Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rootie-Tootie, Fresh and Fruity

My eating habits have been atrocious lately. Coming home to a dark, cold, empty, lonely house, waking up to the same each morning hasn't really inspired me to do things like cook or go to the grocery store or eat. Which of course starts off a vicious cycle with more sadness and tiredness and, well it's all just a bit ridiculous.In addition, what I have been eating, hasn't been very healthy, a handful of pretzels and a cup of tea for dinner? No wonder I have felt like sh!t the last few weeks.

Last night I decided I had had enough of my self-induced whatever you would call it - stupidity? self-pity? (self-induced, self-pity lol)...anyway, so I went to the new Hy-Vee in Liberty and bought food. I also set some new goals for myself about food.

(1) Eat
     Well duh!

(2) Have fruit with every meal. 
     This is actually pretty hard for me. I don't know why, but I struggle with eating fruit. I buy it. I think about   it, and then the fruit goes rotten. Similar situation happens with fresh veggies.

(3) Eat more veggies
    At least twice a day

I probably should put some goals on there like - eat less sugar (oh sugar why are you so delicious), but I thing that if I fill my diet with good things, I won't eat as many bad things. And I know if I tell my self I can't have sugar, that is all I will want. That path leads to madness and sugar binges.

And after having taught Ecology of Food for several years, buying fruits and veggies this time of year is complicated by the guilt that I am buying food that has traveled across thousands of miles so I can buy blueberries out of season. I however, have decided to be totally selfish and put that guilt aside for now. This summer is when I can do something about that. Canning in my future?

Here are the fruits and veggies I bought at the grocery store.

Two oranges
Korean Pear
Sugar Snap Peas
Carrot Chips
A plaintain
Grape Tomatoes

I think that is it. My goal is to eat all of this before it goes bad (especially that Korean Pear, it was a little spendy). Truthfully, it seems a daunting task.

Today - having blueberries and blackberries that I simmered, on my Eggo's for breakfast. Have made my turkey sandwich with Spinach and Carrot Chips.
So so far so good.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What to do?

A friend of mine gave me this beautiful fabric on Saturday. As it matches my dining room walls perfectly. I was originally thinking about making curtains, but there isn't quite enough fabric for that. Besides, I thought, I am not going to be living in this house forever. I will hopefully, however, have a table. I hated to use this beautiful (and yes reversible) fabric to make curtains that I might never be able to use again. So I cut out a piece to make a table-clothe out of. That leaves me with about 2.5 yards of this fabric. It's upholstery fabric, so it is 72 inches wide. It's also very heavy.

I have several options for what to do with this fabric.
(1) Cover the chairs that go with my table - I decided against this, it looks too busy with the chairs, and as my sister would say, it makes it all too matchy-matchy.

(2) Make garb for SCA - YES!, but then the question is what?
The fabric is HEAVY. I can't imagine wearing a whole, long-sleeved cotehardie from this, it would be sooooo cumbersome (my blue dress is a patterned after a cotehardie). So I started thinking of some other options.
     (a) A side-less surcote. I have always (well since I started in SCA last summer) wanted one. It will still show off the beautiful fabric, but not be so heavy as it there really isn't much on the top of it. Many of them have fur, but I don't think I would add fur.

     (b) Some sort of middle eastern garb - a coat maybe? I don't really know enough about middle eastern garb to really know what the options are.

Regardless, I would like to make the garment reversible to take advantage of this gorgeous fabric. 

Another option would be to make a bunch of cushions and pillows for sitting upon at events. 

I am also not sure how to approach sewing this heavy, heavy fabric, but I am looking forward to finding out.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A present for a good friend

I present to you, Anne's Scarf., This is a project I started on last fall, with no clear recipient in mind. I just needed a relatively mindless project, that wasn't socks, to use up some of my scraps of sock yarn. The result was this colorful scarf, shawlette hybrid do-hickey. As I progressed on it, I knew it was going to be a gift for my dear friend Anne. She has been a great friend and a wonderful colleague. Plus she is the Goddess of Cleaning and Organizing. However, despite her long admiring my knitting, I have never gifted her any. This was an oversight that SORELY needed remedying.

Monday Anne had a birthday bash (I need to continue the tradition of attending a party the night before classes start), and so I finished up the scarf, took it's portrait and was going to wrap it, and then realized, I don't have any wrapping paper. So I thought long and hard about what I could possible use for wrapping paper, and the only thing I could think of was a plastic grocery bag. Ugh..but desperate times, right? Luckily, I found a brown paper bag, used to wrap wine in at the grocery store. Since this was a slight step above a plastic bag, I went for it.
2nd Tackiest Birthday Wrapping
 Well, it looked pretty crummy, but then I remember, I had some ribbon I had saved from some Easter Candy. So in the end , I think it turned out ok, though I hope Anne wasn't disappointed there wasn't wine in the wrapping.

She seemed to like it anyway.
Much discussion followed about the many ways you could wear this hybrid thing (still not sure what to call it). Here is Anne modeling the Babushka

It was a great party - with cake AND pie AND Oreo dessert.  YUM!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Like a hole in the head

I need a new project/hobby like I need a hole in the head.

Not that that ever stopped me. Recently I have been itching to learn to embroidery, inspired by sites like this. So last night, I found some instructions for period stitches and suggestions for motifs here. I dug out my hand-dyed wool using plant dyes, wool so itchy that I would never knit it into a garment, found some old white fabric that was cut out for some long-forgotten quilt I will never make and got started.

The motif I am using is the small faces from the Mammen Cloak. Of course, I am not doing the small, cause I am a rebel like that. So here is my start.

There are three faces on the cloth and I am thinking of doing each one is a different stitch - stem, chain, and either split stitch or couching. I started with stem stitch.

So I am probably using the wrong fabric and the wrong needles and the wrong thread in the wrong colors, but I am charging ahead.

I also put together my work basket to keep me on task so I actually finish something. I can only work on projects in the work basket, and I must finish one before I start another.

In here is some mending, my embroidery, a veil I need to hem, the back gusset I want to put in my new blue dress, my attempt at refitting my first dress I made (I don't have a photo of that), and yes, there is a hat project represented in there, by a couple skeins of yarn. The rest of the hat is over here, waiting to be untangled and re-worked.

Just have to say


Sunday, January 16, 2011

A couple more photos from Crown

For my non-facebook friends, a couple of pictures of me in my garb, taken by my friend Kat.

Images from Crown

This weekend I attended the Crown Tournament for the Kingdom of Calontir. 

My "garb" ready to go. I forgot to actually get a picture of myself in it though. I also spent most of my time dancing, and don't have picture of the fighting. It was a fun day. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Anatomy of a Profile Picture

Here is my current facebook profile picture.

Not to sound arrogant or Narcissistic, but, I love this photo and I find myself contemplating it a lot, both from an artistic perspective and in self-reflection.

What I love about this photo - I love how the dark and light spaces almost quarter the photo, but at angles instead of straight lines, light cat-a-corner to light and dark to dark. I love that the only color is around and in my face which is in the center of the photograph, and that the only colors with warm tones are those in my face.

I love the motion that the lines of the tree I am leaning against and my arm give to the photo. I love that you can't see what I am looking at, but it sure looks like it was something interesting.

I like the odd perspective of the photo so that you can't really tell what is going on.

And best of all, this was all fortuitous, a quick snap shot, taken without planning and without me seeing what I was taking a picture of, as is the case when you are alone taking pictures of yourself.

I also find fascinating the look on my face - to me I look tranquilly joyful, as if I see something up there that is wonderful.  This is so fascinating to me because what I was trying to do was take a photo where it looked like the thorns of the locust tree were poking me in the head. Don't ask why, I just thought it would be cool. Also, I wasn't feeling tranquil or joyful when I took this photo. I was feeling rather sad and isolated from the world. And cold! My hair looks so frizzy because it was still a little wet when I went out and thus froze. I went on this walk to stave off those feelings of sadness and loneliness. For those of you who don't know, I am in the process of getting a divorce, which will be a positive thing in the end, but at times is difficult.

When I look at this photo, I see a woman I want to be, and that I must be (I hope) somewhere inside. And, I like to imagine that what I am looking at is my future, and, again, I hope that this is a snapshot of how I will feel in that future.