Tag Archives: books

computer’s ba-a-ack . . .

 

real wellies & woolies day outside

. . .  faster and 500 gigs fatter than the old hard drive. He-he! Whilst that tablet left me cursing more than once, it was adequate for keeping in touch and it also uncovered some surprises.

The sensitive touch screen was danged uncomfortable to get used to, but what felt like forever was actually more like three days.

Appropriate apps were quickly downloaded once I discovered how truly bad the pre-programmed search engine was.  (And pop-up ads were conquered, too.)

Using the tablet I read a couple of my favourite Mrs. Malory books unavailable except in on-line editions. Delightful bedtime reads. (Shh! Rumor has it Santa  pre-ordered another favourite: Mrs. Tim Gets a Job by D.E. Stevenson.) I still prefer books to electronics, but needs must when availability (and price!) are concerned.

Friend Scott out in San Francisco has been working with Dean Street Press  getting a lot of out-of-print authors back into print, and this is one of the newest batch from his Furrowed Middlebrow (FM) series. Amazon US                      Amazon UK

I’ve read all of F.M.’s  Frances Faviell books, and enjoyed them tremendously. One of the delightful things about Scott’s series is they’ve all had half a chapter or so on Amazon to download for free, so you can get a sense of the writing before buying. Most helpful ~ wish more companies would do this.

cannot for the life of me remember why there’s a whole packet of this colour in stash… not one of my ‘usual’ shades!

What else has been going on besides watching late election returns and reading? The normal seasonal clothing swap, with associated mendings, such as those leftovers from late last winter’s tops I’d chosen not to hem. They’re now sorted, and I’ve moved on to some RTW slightly short old cords. Plus thinking more urgently about several pieces of winter fabric and how to make them up.  Photos soon.

Slowly some projects are making their way through the thinking stages, and they’re a mix of hot and cold weather items. Am I the only one doing this? The climate down here can be 60’s one day and 40’s two days later.

Sometimes I’ll put on a video while seam ripping, and lately I’ve revisited that dapper gent Lord Peter Wimsey. Ages ago when the series came out in the U.S.  National Public Radio wrote, “They offer us a fantasy of perfect closure, a world where even bloody murder is little more than a brainteaser that can, and will, be solved.” If there’s ever a time for whimsy, it’s whilst seam ripping.

I might have finally cracked my crater bread problem, partly by accident. I was rereading the booklet that came with the machine and realised they’d specified one type of yeast at the beginning, when describing ingredients in general.

But the specific recipes didn’t specify that same yeast. I had been using regular yeast. Wrong. Seems I needed rapid rise for bread maker bread.  I checked with King Arthur’s web site,  my on-line bread experts.

proper bread — at last! ! !

Yep. The change was made. And not too much change resulted in my next loaf. Oops?

Then one weekend I forgot to stop the machine and remove the paddle before the bread started the final rise. That loaf was perfect.

Cutting out the paddle from the centre bottom wasn’t too difficult. The loaf sliced beautifully, and the crumb was more consistent and lighter. Maybe I should give the King Arthur yeast a try, too.

Meanwhile, today looks more like rainy Yorkshire than a southern state (no disrespect meant to Yorkshire as I love such days), but I’ve no fireplace to sit in front of and knit or crochet. Maybe I’ll sort out the un-moldy blackberries and stir up some muffins.  But the library’s open after the hol. Maybe I’ll venture forth and see what’s on the shelf . . .

Lovelies,

May your horizons be even more bountiful!

Forgive me, couldn’t resist adding one of my favourites.

😉

thanksgiving

Letter From New York by Helene Hanff, author of 84, Charing Cross Road

For once it has been decently cool down here in the southern portions, and actually feels like Autumn.

And thus, after a hectic beginning of the month, we’ve progressed to the fourth Thursday of November which is traditionally Thanksgiving here in America.

My thoughts have gone to Helene Hanff’s description of the holiday as written for the BBC Women’s Hour audience of 1978, and kept for us to enjoy in her 1992 volume, Letters From New York, BBC Women’s Hour Broadcasts.

November, 1978 . . .

“Before the days of James the First, a group of English farmers disagreed with the Church of England. “They will conform,” said King James, “or I will harry them out of the kingdom.” They didn’t conform, and he harried them out… They got on a ship called the Mayflower and sailed to the New World, and landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and established a colony. And since they called themselves “pilgrims” they became known to American history as the Pilgrim Fathers…

“What happened was: the Pilgrims were befriended by the native Americans—the Indians—who taught them how to fertilize the land with eels, how to grow Indian corn and eat it off the cob,

New York City’s finest (Ceremonial division) in the parade rather than walking the beat. Rest assured there were plenty on duty amongst the crowds. I get misty over these guys because 9/11 always comes to mind.

and how to cook and eat an American bird called a turkey. And the next autumn, when the Pilgrims reaped a bountiful harvest, they invited the Indians to a feast where everybody gave thanks to God for the harvest. That feast was the first American Thanksgiving…

“What makes New York’s Thanksgiving unique is the Macy Parade, which has been hauling parents out of bed on Thanksgiving Day for fifty-five years.

(Note: Today is the 92nd parade.)

“The parade features helium-filled balloon likenesses of cartoon characters each as tall as a six- or seven-story building.

(Note: In between the balloons are high school bands and flag wavers and floats from across the country. There was a balloon missing, but as it was windy and below freezing, perhaps they decided a Florida golf course was a better place for someone in a diaper. 😉)

“Americans across the country are determined to get home for Thanksgiving, our quintessential family holiday, more so even than Christmas, since it embraces all religions and recalls the Dissenters’ faith on which this country was founded.”

His Good Self (Santa) always ends the parade at high noon. (The snow was fake, but the 26℉ wasn’t.)

Hope everyone, everywhere, is giving thanks for this day, and enjoying it.

                           🍂 🦃 🦃 🦃 🍂

personal identity & what to wear . . .

Really, how important are our clothes? What do they say about us? What are they saying to others?  Could changing our clothes really change our lives??

If you didn’t see this on Hila’s blog , grab a cuppa, take a break and watch it now.

AUTUMN ! ! ! And just in time for any chilling winds, the crocheted hat & scarf are tasselled & done!

My wooly news from last week was finishing my green acrylic hat & scarf set. Yeah!  And just about completing the 8th of my blankey rectangles. Many more to go. Also continuing to slow knit my autumnal scarf. (All my knitting is slow.)

The teal shorts continue to sit, whilst I decide what to do with a nice bit of leftover rayon…

this will make more sense after you’ve seen the last video – promise!

just another saturday
Having survived a side swipe from the latest  hurricane, it was going to be regular Saturday laundry & maybe cooking a meat loaf. Plus doing a bit of sewing whilst  listening to “Good Neighbors,” a 1970’s BBC series.

If you’d like a peek at the program, click here and here.  Margo’s outfits are so 1970’s I’m putting together a small collection to be aired after I’ve finished watching the 3rd season.

But about that meat loaf. Remember the meat loaf??

About half way through the bake I went out to check it. As I put my hand on the stove top it almost raised a blister. Uh-oh. Something was wrong.

Seems the thermostat had baked it’s last bake and was registering its’ displeasure by refusing to turn off.  Grr… Not an option.

Maintenance came to the rescue, and the dead thermostat was replaced once everything had cooled off.

The glass pan did scrub up fairly easily, and the meat loaf is edible, thank goodness!

But the meat loaf, once I got it out of the cooker, appeared to be more than done, registering well above the appropriate internal temp.

So while I didn’t get any sewing done, the meat loaf is edible.   😳

a life without books is…
Death in the Tunnel.  Despite the fact of the train’s not “com(ing) to a screeching halt” in the middle of the  2½ mile tunnel, I found Miles Burton’s book both challenging and boring; however, the layers of detail kept me interested.

Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm, and taciturn, as reflected by the author’s prose style. I don’t know if I like this one or not. It’s currently feeling ominous. Maybe that’s intentional, and I’ve decided its’ not best to read it before bedtime!

Rather than leaving you with the image of burnt beef and an iffy thriller,  here’s something many of us will find interesting.  And it explains my hand in the middle of the teal fabric…

❤        ❤        ❤

a bit of a catch-up

Things are happening, so grab a cuppa  and let’s start!

my favourite baking book since the 90’s (or ’80’s??)

First, a dive into Muffin-land. After hurricane Flo visited, and slightly more normalcy appeared,  the grocers seemed to be almost giving away berries.

I do love berries – strawberries, raspberries (my fav), blackberries (second fav) and all the rest, but I was receiving more than my greediness could eat. What to do . .  .   .    .

I considered making jam, but lacking the accoutrement and experience, I demurred.  Enter muffins, with a recipe for basic berry muffins (below). Ah! I’d much rather be baking than stirring a boiling pot.

the basic recipe, which I haven’t tried varying yet!

We’re not talking  industrial-scale amounts, but for someone who hadn’t baked in four or five months, anything was major.  Then a few low temp and humidity days magically appeared.

I started baking.

if you’ve never made muffins American-style, do read this carefully.

For those who might not realise, American store-bought muffins are more like sweet cake than a true  muffin.

All muffin  batter is lumpy because the flour is not mixed until it is lump-less.

If you don’t believe there’s a reason why, just try mixing a batch of these one way, and then the other. I know which ones will get binned!

It’s the chemistry/alchemy of the baking process, which I shan’t explain because I don’t know what it is!

(I always use those little paper baking cups in my muffin pans because I hate scrubbing out the pan.)

 

Have I convinced anyone to take a quick break and mix up a batch? (Before we go on, special thanks to taste-testers at h-t #136 & others. You know who you are!)

A large leftover bit of rayon from Vogue Fabric, Chicago, purchased at least 8 years ago!

This fabric has been on my cutting table for weeks because it kept telling me IT DID NOT WANT TO BE A SKIRT.

Oh. I finally listened, and realised how much more I’d wear some shorts, so the shorts pattern is now out and will fit after judicious finagling.

Sometimes, procrastination thinking is a good idea. Tereza, over at Sew for Me, just wrote an interesting post on that, amongst other things (including a look at some Brazilian  fabrics).

Christmas crochet

Thanks to Sheila at Sewchet I spent last weekend, in-between batches of muffins, doing some more work towards Christmas.

Just yesterday I finished my latest adventure in the British Library’s Crime ClassicsThe Lake District Murder by John Bude kept me trying to solve the mystery and was definitely enjoyable!

The three books by Hay ( Death on the Cherwell & Murder Underground here, The Santa Klaus Murder here) were my intro to the series (known amongst aficionados as BLCC).  Since then, I’ve branched out a bit, but only into books written with some humour.

click to go to book on the British Library site

A bit of escape via an entertaining book is part of my regime for staying (somewhat 😉) balanced.

There are limits to what I need in my wardrobe, which is something more and more of us are realising.

Some form of creativity, be it cooking or crochet, is a basic necessity. But more about those another time .

❤       ❤      ❤  Thank you all for stopping by!  ❤       ❤      ❤

time for a change …

playing with heavier weight cotton batik fabric… how to use?

As you see, I’ve changed themes.

Hope nothing has been lost along the way.

If you spot anything gone walkabout, do let me know so I can fix it. Thank you!

Decided a couple of weeks ago to get out this cotton batik from Vogue Fabrics. (I got the end of the bolt last year.)

It has niggled me since last summer. Heavier than I had anticipated, I had put it aside to think about how to use it.

Finally decided there was nothing for it but to make it up as a duster for when (if?) the weather moderates to the sixties instead of the nineties. It would make a good duster to pull on over something else.

(My duster pattern is very vintage & consists of pieces copied  years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve no idea what company it was.)

But what about the “else” to go under prospective duster??  Not wanting to create an orphan, I took some time thinking about what else from stash might work with this busy batik.

maybe wearable with the batik?

Perhaps a combination of teals?

I have a bit of yardage in that solid-coloured rayon – am thinking maybe trousers.

Already have a top & cut-offs from the patterned fabric.

yesterday, almost at the ta-da! stage . . .

This was taken yesterday before front facings were sewn and wrists hemmed. Decided, as the fabric was distinctly not floaty, to leave long slits on either side to allow whatever floatiness might be possible. I cut the back with no centre seam and a slight flare.

To be completed today are the hems. As the sides  are slit 12″ each there are three sections to hem (back and the two fronts).

Then to decide how to tack down the (un-interfaced) facings. I am not a fan of hand sewing, but might have to do it anyway. We’ll see…

On past duster versions (last year’s) I didn’t use facings, in keeping with the very light weight of the fabric. However, I decided to use them this time. Why? Don’t exactly know. It was just a feeling. Know what I mean?

books

Finally finished my latest Durrell volume, Birds, Beasts and Relatives. Have deliberately tried to make it last as long as possible as am having trouble finding a good but inexpensive copy of the last of his Corfu Trilogy, Garden of the Gods.

(No false economy, as the reissued Trilogy over here has been more than the three separately.)

As always, I found Durrell’s writing highly entertaining, educational, nostalgic in the best sense, and humorous ~

“Now winter was upon us. Everything was redolent with the smoke of olive wood fires. The shutters creaked and slapped the sides of the house as the wind caught them, and the birds and leaves were tumbled across a dark lowering sky.” first sentence in chapter, “Owls and Aristocracy,” Birds, Beasts and Relatives.

❤     ❤     ❤

prequel to old magazines

 

Yes, there’s a back story to my last post. I was hunting for an article on how to make tassels. In mentally working out a design for this in-process scarf (to match the hat) am thinking the added weight of some tassels will be needed to balance out the completed scarf’s lightness. And one might even appear on the hat – who knows?

Yes, I did find the article. I also rediscovered some knitting photos (below) that I’d used as inspiration for crocheted items. Crocheted whilst living in Chicago, I soon discovered that my version of the yellow-orange hood thingey did not keep out the bitter winds of a Chitown winter – too many holes! So if you get inspired, remember to be practical, too. 😉

I also sorted through lots of fascinating Threads articles, most of which I tossed. I’m beginning to realise I no longer have nor want to dress for a professional office, so all those tailoring & fitting articles are gone, and so is any temptation to return to such styles. (Well, not all the fitting articles got tossed… 😉)

today’s blogdom
Ever wonder how you manage to avoid spam in your blog’s Comments section? A little thingey called Akismet.  No relation to the 1950’s musical, Kismet, it’s a special programme that WordPress built into it’s structure.

{Edited to add: Akismet works only for spam comments on WordPress. It has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone’s personal email accounts.]

“Sooo…?” I hear some Lovely Readers inquire.

Briefly, because the European Union (EU) wanted to protect people’s on-line information they wrote the GDPR, a.k.a. General Data Protection Regulation.

It also applies internationally to companies the size of WordPress (and Facebook, IG, Google, Microsoft, etc). You can easily read about it on the EU site here.

That’s why WordPress has made a built-in announcement. Aren’t they clever?

Referring back to my stats here in the U.S. — Looking at them, I considered some of the dates/months listed on the left of the screen. Then I remembered what was happening (or about to happen) in the news at those times. There were some interesting numbers in months with interesting national activities. . .

Would you believe that in one month I got over 100 spam comments? And didn’t have to see any of them? I hadn’t even realised they were “there” because Akismet automatically put them into the spam folder.

They were all definitely spam. All from one or two sources (strangely “named” blogs) and all similar message.  Veddy, veddy weird.  I am so grateful I didn’t have to delete so many comments.

Sadly, these days we all need to be alert when we’re on-line. Why not take 5 minutes to look at your own Akismet page? It’s simple.

  • Log in and you should see your full Dashboard.
  • On the left side, look for Akismet Stats. It should be under Dashboard.
  • Click and all will be revealed.

Don’t see Akismet Stats?

  • Look here, scroll down to the left for Personal option–it’s free!
  • Click Get started with Personal.
  • On that next screen look down below the blue Continue bar to “Already have a wordpress.com account? Log in now” and follow the prompts.

summer books
Am slowly reading my way through these 4 books, savouring each of their varied perspectives, and enjoying them all very much. The Santa Klaus Murder is different from the other 2 Hay books I’ve read.

She includes a full-page list of characters, as well as the first floor house map. I use them both! The beginning chapters are each written from a different character’s perspective, with the final two-thirds written by the Chief Constable.

sewing?
Uh. . . The weather hasn’t been very propitious, and I’ve managed to stay quite busy indoors attending to rather a lot of maintenance issues. The apartment complex currently has a good crew, quite competent and patient. Those qualities have been needed, as earlier staff was a bit lacking. Changes were made. A-hem.

Twice last week I was told it was a good thing I’d caught a problem early. Once because it saved me from possibly turning on a kitchen sink tap and getting an upward geyser instead of a downward, normal flow. The second issue saved a lot of my fridge food from getting thrown away because of consistently too high temperatures during the defrost cycle.

So it’s been an interesting summer, folks . . . .

s-l-o-w knitting & sewing in summer heat!

knitting
Have become fascinated with this autumn yarn as it slowly evolves into different colours.

sewing
The shorts-that-aren’t (short, that is) are cut out and might even have a seam or two sewn by the time you read this. Took a gamble with the top of the pocket bags and made them from  blue cotton, left from last year’s shorts. Necessity was the mother of this, as there wasn’t quite enough of the red fabric. Using perennial fav B5432, with length added to use up the fabric.

Somewhere between photo program and WordPress I’ve photos of another cotton fabric cut out for a new toaster cover. (So mundane, but oh so looking forward to!)  Whilst making up the bed just now realised the remainder of that fabric might make a nice little table cover… Never know when inspiration may strike!

nigella’s on our telly
We’re seeing Nigella Lawson’s latest series, At My Table, over here on our PBS stations. In last  week’s episode (No. 4) she admitted – and showed herself using – her “sewing shears” to cut chives. Well! You should have seen the scissors – maybe 6 inches – and definitely not for fabric.  A small needlepoint’s tangle of threads would be more like it.

Clearly, the lady needs a good session with Sewing Bee peeps. I can see it now, can’t you? Nigella Brings Biscuits to Bee!

latest British library crime classics
Just finished reading Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon, which was very pleasant indeed. As Martin Edwards wrote in the Introduction, “For all the chill of the Christmas-time snow… there are repeated clues to Farjeon’s amiable personality in the good humour that shines through from start to finish.”

“Welcome back to the loving family,” she exclaimed. “I haven’t quite (Farjeon’s emphasis) given up my idea of a happy Christmas, David, but Peace and Goodwill have got to get a move on!”

Christmas or no, wouldn’t more Peace and Goodwill be lovely right about now?

Am awaiting Hay’s last and some say best book, not quite in the mail it seems… Don’cha hate it when you see a notice saying “we’ve shipped your books,” and when you click to see the anticipated delivery date the books are still at the bookseller’s?!

Thanks to Sandra at Wild Daffodil for recommending this week’s 15-Minute Drama, “Ground Control.” Several surprises at the end, what?!  (This is only available for a month, so listen now if you’re interested.)

other media
Friday’s Woman’s Hour (just before the Drama) included Aussie author Kathy Lette saying things like “women are each other’s human Wonder Bras—uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better.”  Must say I hadn’t made that connection . . . . .

Friday night was also the “current” (as in what’s finally made it across the Atlantic) episode of The Great British Bake Off.

After Mary & Paul, there was a new program, The Food Flirts. Ever heard of The Brass Sisters? I hadn’t.

“Meet the Brass Sisters a.k.a. THE FOOD FLIRTS! Two passionate food explorers of a certain age on a mission to tackle their culinary bucket list…one bite at a time!”

“… We believe that a cookie is like a secret kiss between the giver and the recipient, and that chocolate is a necessary indulgence.”

With a good chocoholic attitude, what’s not to like?

 

happy, hot july

white loops on red medium weight cotton

Hello, Lovely Readers — how are you? Life’s been happening since my last post, so this is a mite lengthy.

Hope you’ve time to settle in with something cool (or hot, as appropriate to your weather) and stay for a catch-up, including some sewing. Yeah!

Have cogitated and cogitated over what to do with this medium weight cotton, of which I bought maybe 1½ or 2 yards. Finally decided on shorts with pockets, as my blue pair gets worn constantly at this time of year. How long has it been in stash? Ummm . . .  absolutely no idea.

But I couldn’t resist it as it’s that wonderful tomato red that I love but can never find when I have a specific project in mind. Now that I consider it, I was probably thinking “summer dress” but after laundering realised it would be too hot, and stashed it.

At one point I thought “tote bag” and have a piece cut off for that, as well as what I assume were the handles, except there’s a strange “V” cut on one end. Wonder what I was thinking…

Anyway, this is finally out of stash, ironed, and might be cut out by the time you read this. (Not yet, but the pattern’s out!)

this is what I frogged back to – 😳 – but next time maybe I’ll count better

Remember that green & mustard ski cap I was working on last time?  I got it out and looked at it, then counted my stitches and realised I’d got off about 8 rows from the start.

Yes, I was good and frogged it back, but that put a damper on my crochet ardour. That, plus the early onset of extreme heat & humidity. Managed late last week to pull out of the doldrums a bit, and am almost back to where I was.

See what the triple digit temps have done to the lovely hydrangea bushes dotted around the apartment complex? The roses are too scraggly for piccies and grass that isn’t on a sprinkler system is dead brown because our rain has been sporadic.

Looking on the brighter side… Heat means time to tackle the small unread stack of books on my shelf… and was delighted to have found one I’d forgotten I had!

piccie courtesy British Library Crime Classic site

Back story: Several years ago I discovered the British Library Crime Classic series and ordered Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay. I quite enjoyed it, and learned what a humpty is (a.k.a., hassock), as well as absorbing more bits about British women’s university years.

BTW, if anyone has a humpty pattern they wouldn’t mind sharing, please let me know (sewing, not knitting or crochet).

British Library Crime Classics
originally published in 1934
Click to go to book on British Library Crime Classic site

My forgotten mystery was another Hay book, Murder Underground, which also mentions a humpty.

(I’m blaming my humpty fixation on triple digit heat. That and a desire to stuff one with stashed fabric. Add a zipped top & it might be great storage as well as hassock.)

Hay has a third book, The Santa Klaus Murder,  that I haven’t acquired yet just ordered, but I’m also looking for a nice used copy of Bats in the Belfry, by new-to-me author E.C.R. Lorac (Edith Caroline Rivett).

click to go to the book on British Library’s site

If anyone’s read any of Lorac’s books I’d love to know what you thought. Somewhere I read she was a witty author, and if there’s one thing I like to read in summer heat, it’s something humorous.

(Speaking of witty, just found & ordered Doonan’s Wacky Chicks & another Gerald Durrell. And that third Hay book, too.)

I’ve been puzzling over what to do with some of this cotton batik (below) ordered last summer from Vogue Fabrics in Chicago, but now out of stock.  It’s heavier than I’d thought and has a funny sort of texture (possibly from all the dyes used to get the particular splotchiness of the pattern). I love the colours, but the texture put me off for a season.

Chatting over t’internet with fellow sewer Jen (Let the Sewing Begin) with fabric in hand, she thought it would make a good duster, and we talked a bit about what colours to wear with it. Afterwards I remembered a green linen camp shirt I’d found at a thrift shop in Arlington and got it out to check. What do you think—a definite maybe?

Lastly, a “goodness, I’d forgotten” moment earlier this past week when WordPress sent a Sixth Anniversary note. It’s been a tough time down here for most everyone, and I’m trying to buck up and stay more focused on goodness.

To that end I really really am valuing all you sewing bloggers around the globe. Reading your posts and seeing how you all are coping with a very turbulent world makes me feel not so alone over here, and sometimes even hopeful for a decent future. To that end, am sharing one last thing, which I hope will make you smile as much as it does me. . . . . . .

I finally read the last bits of Doonan’s book, Eccentric Glamour, and want to share a quote from the “Wallflowers and Big Stinky Peonies” section (p. 217). This might sound a little strange, but hang on as I’ve the perfect example below it.

“As you begin to stick your toes into the luscious lagoon of eccentric glamour, you will experience a jarring increase in the amount of amorous attention you receive… It is simply a result of how gorgeous and fabulous you think you are…” (Doonan’s emphasis)

If you begin to feel overwhelmed at such prospects, Doonan chides us not to “stay at home and watch “Dynasty” reruns…” Instead, he flatly says that is “…a waste of time—yours and mine (meaning Doonan’s)—unless you share it with someone… It’s a “What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play” Liza in Cabaret kind of a thing.”

As promised, here’s one of my favourite bloggers’ recent posts that perfectly illustrates Doonan’s concept. If you don’t already know NYC’s utterly & outrageously adorable Marcy Harriell, also known as Ooonabaloona, click and say howdy.

HEARTIEST THANK YOU’S & CONGRATS TO ALL WHO’VE MADE IT THROUGH!

Ice Cream, Hot Chocolate, or GnT for All!

❤   ❤   ❤    Happy Sewing!    ❤   ❤   ❤

 

 

meltdown

After a slight meltdown last weekend  over wrong style hair colouring (it’s growing out), the whole area is now into a real meltdown. Unfortunately, my old air conditioner’s compressor protested Thursday, packed up, and left town.

In other words, no cold air speweth forth-eth.

With ‘feels like’ temps in the 90’s this is not something to mess around with. Thankfully, Maintenance was ready: They moved in a room unit so I could have a cool bedroom – yeah!

Then after closing time the supervisor came by to try his luck on resurrecting the old compressor one more time. Yep. He raised that puppy from the dead, and had the new one installed by noon Friday. Phew!

For which I am very grateful as this weekend begins some seriously hot weather… probably ‘feels like’ temps in triple digits.  Seriously. Not. Nice.

What am I sewing? Welllll . . . I did get the thread changed twice last weekend, and sewed a seam. Does that count? LOL! 😇

But I have been industriously crocheting and even picked up knitting needles.

You’ve seen what I call the peacock colours currently and slowly being crocheted into a throw for the bedroom. Six 200 gram balls should do it, I hope.

I succumbed to a sale yarn, which is crocheting up nicely into a ski cap (pattern here). Am having to concentrate a bit more with this yarn as the two colours (green & gold) are twisted together to form the strand. When I single crochet into the back post (to create the stretch) often those two strands will appear to separate. But the acrylic is softly agreeable to work with so I’ll persevere.

The other has autumnal colours that are so enticing I couldn’t keep my hands off it. As soon as it arrived I knew I wanted to knit a long scarf and maybe crochet another cap. I love how the colours are shading into each other. It’s like working with soft acrylic angel’s hair.

Other than that I’ve been reading Simon Doonan’s Eccentric Glamour, just finished listening to Marie Kondo’s The Life-changing magic of tidying up, and re-read a couple of M.C. Beaton mysteries.

The Kondo book is quite a different sort of organising book, stressing quite different things than other books I’ve read about organising. And I’m not certain I should have listened to it. Might take a look at the actual book to see if there are pictorial examples illustrating her methodology. I would enjoy hearing from any Lovely Readers who’ve read her book.

What did you think of her way of characterizing “things?” Am not certain about her concept that “things” all have energies of their own, and we should thank them for being in our lives and  bringing us joy. Maybe it’s just a word thing, because I am frequently grateful for the joy of having the right tool for a job, or a yummy yarn or fabric.

A good contrast has been Simon Doonan’s Eccentric Glamour (2008). I’d never heard of Mr. Doonan until Hila (Saturday Night Stitch) mentioned him, and piqued my curiosity. (Thanks, Hila!)

I found the book humorous, enlightening, occasionally upsetting, yet affirmative. I particularly appreciated his concepts and explanations of Gypsies, Existentialists, and Socialites.

A section with much food for thought was “Growing Old Ungraciously.” Considering he wrote this 10 years ago and Things Have Changed, I’m not going to quote anything. . . but here are a couple of brief ones just ‘cause I couldn’t resist–

“Confidence, not physical perfection or power, is the ultimate aphrodisiac… Children and dogs and God do not discriminate against people based on their looks.” (both p. 217, Eccentric Glamour, American edition)

Like to read a bit more by Simon? See here, here, and here.

And now for a Grand Finale — a brief (16 min.) TED Talk by someone all Great British Sewing Bee enthusiasts will recognise, Patrick Grant. Saw this on Lizzie’s Vintage Traveler blog – thanks, Lizzie!

❤   ❤   ❤    Enjoy!    ❤   ❤   ❤

a-hem. . . Hodge has reminded me . . .

click to go to amazon listing for Hodge’s #1 book

… rather vociferously, I might add, that his books are all on amazon, and I’ll list them.

I was thinking of adding a note that the author & artist get more dosh if purchased from them rather than amazon, but haven’t confirmed that yet.

So if you absolutely must have a copy, click a pic and order

click to go to amazon & Hodge’s #2 book

away.

Otherwise, take a breath, and I’ll let everyone know when I’ve gotten an answer.

I do beg EVERYone’s pardon, particularly His Good Self, for not including the proper links Monday.

(Yes, Hodge, I remember that piccie and I hear what you’re telling me… next time it won’t be the handle between those teeth…)

The old, now sold bookstore’s Facebook page is still up & running, so you might find some of the older versions of Hodge’s adventures there.

(I’d have checked that out for you before posting, but ever since I closed my FB ~ before all the craziness really got going in ’15 ~ a gigantic “Sign In or Sign Up” fills my screen. Talk about sour grapes. . .)

click to go to Hodge’s #3 booklet on amazon. It is waaay too short, and definitely good!