This Must Be Thursday

Eff DeAnna

Have you ever lost touch with someone and not known how to reconnect? It happens to the best of us.  And trust me, I’m not even in the top 50%.  Last year sometime, I stopped blogging.  I had reasons (excuses).  Mostly surrounding time at the beginning.  Trying to figure out a time when I could sit down and write.  Prior, it had been really easy to just blog while Poopie was at practice, but his practices became more sporadic, and I wasn’t stringent on making sure I took time out myself.  Later there was motivation, some stemming from health issues, and serious depression because of those issues, some just lack of practice. While not all resolved satisfactorily, the depression isn’t debilitating anymore since I’ve had time to process and come to terms with things. I have been my usual self of not saying no nearly enough.  Plus, there were a whole slew of other aggravating things no one wants to deal with.  Frankly, I just didn’t have the emotional bandwidth to try to be upbeat here as well as in real life.

To prove how contrary I am, the pandemic, which is throwing everyone else into a tailspin, has been like a breath of fresh air for me.  Many who know me probably assume I’m getting so much knitting done.  I am not.  Knitting is how I cope with the stresses of everyday life.  Without everyday life, I don’t have those stressors, so I don’t need to knit as much.  Being pretty portable, I’m able to take knitting with me when I go to functions, board meetings, shows, etc… but now, I don’t need to worry about portability.

In addition, I am finally home to do all those projects which have been percolating in my brain.  I got 1/3 of my apple tree chopped up, which is awesome considering how terrified I am of chainsaws.  I made poor Poopie help me move 2 yards of wood chips, though I did the 1/2 yard of gravel by myself, since it needed to be done with individual buckets vs. a wheelbarrow.  I’ve torn up half my front yard trying to de thatch it, but had to stop that project because the hippy lawn seed (which involves flowers and low water/maintenance plants) isn’t available right now because of said pandemic, and I blew through my stash.

I’ve also made bunches of masks for family who needed them, and then a bunch more to donate.  I’ve been working through that stash as well, though I did have to order elastic online. And people thought I wouldn’t use my stash.  My sewing has been accompanied by Perry.  Poor Poopie has a negative visceral reaction when he hears the theme music now.  Back in the day, the seasons were apparently over 30 episodes.  I’m honestly not sure how many seasons there are.  I think I’m in season 4.  So…that math is really sad for Poopie.

I heard a phrase on one of my podcasts that really resonated with me–nostalgia bath.  During this weird time, the podcasters were talking about how they are finding themselves steeping in nostalgia–shows, movies, music.  Psychologically, this makes sense.  For people who are having a rough time with the stay at home orders, this brings them back to a more settled time.  For those of us who are having less of a rough time, it’s a familiar stay at home.  Perry Mason was always my lunchtime show when I stayed home sick from school.  Summers, I would wake up in time to see Perry Mason to start my day.  He’s familiar.  Also, I’m not weirded out about people touching each other in black and white.  Watching the color shows, I find myself wondering why the actors are so close to each other.  Once Perry is done, I’ll have to find something else to binge watch.  Thankfully, we live in the future, so that isn’t too difficult.  Poopie will be happy about that for maybe a week, and then be back to aggravated about my binge watching.

He’s having a rough time of it.  He does not like being at home, he needs to be out.  Since we are both members of the more vulnerable populations, even after restrictions are lifted, we’ll have to continue to be more vigilant.  This just means I can’t fully enjoy my quarantine because it hurts me that he’s so miserable.  And there is literally nothing I can do about it.

On to happier subjects.  The title of this post refers to an incident that occurred shortly before everything shut down.  DeAnna was bugging me about my lack of blogging, and faking that she couldn’t remember it, what was it called again? So I said F*ck you.  Someone next to us said “You have a blog called F*ck You? I’d read that!”  I clarified that it was F*ck DeAnna.  I’m not a monster, I only curse at those who deserve it.  So I’m fulfilling my promise to have a blog post named this.   You are welcome, Miss D 🙂

I’m going to try to do better blogging.  I even have built in conversations.  In January, I started trying to follow Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Almanac.  In a few years, we’ll talk about how hilarity ensued, but as I’m working through it, I have so  many feelings about the grande dame of knitting.  I’m planning on sharing!

Wednesday In Progress

Still alive!

I am back after an unexpected hiatus. There are many reasons for this hiatus. I had vacation, which was a mixed bag, and I’ll probably talk about it later, once enough time has passed to make it funny. We came back from vacation to find that the furnace has died. As my Gpa would say: D-E-D, dead. Our April has been colder than usual. And I had no furnace.

Those of you who have chosen to follow me on Facebook (La Tejedora Crafts) or Instagram (La Tejedora Crafts) may have seen a picture of the fire in our fireplace.20180417_090754.jpg  So, I did have *some* heat. However, one of the things I love about my house is that when we had four human sized people in the house before Things 1 and 2 moved out, the acoustics were such that it didn’t really *feel* like we were all on top of each other. Funny thing about air, whether it’s transporting heat, or transporting sound, it reacts pretty much the same. So, my house was mostly an icebox.

It wasn’t helpful that Poopie’s job is now 5 days a week from home, and I had 14 days straight working from home during this time (yes, including weekends).  Despite me waking up to the shopping list in the featured image from Poopie last month, we are both still alive. Honestly, the biggest kerfuffle we had was over fire building.

When we go camping (most often with my MIL and FIL), there are two camps (lolol puntastic!) when it comes to the philosophy of fire. It so happens, in this case, to run down gender lines, but I am unaware of it being necessary to be gendered. My FIL and Poopie like refined, restrained fires. They are very good cooking fires. What they are not, however, are good heating fires. When camping, either FIL or Poopie will get up and make some anemic little fire, and cook us yummy food, which we have to eat bundled up in 17 layers of clothes because the sun has barely made it over the horizon (I may have taken some poetic license with the imagery, but seriously, it’s freaking cold in the mornings). The rest of the day is spent with the two camps vying for control of the fire. Every time FIL and Poopie leave the camp on some adventure, MIL and I, who have stayed behind to read and relax (because—vacation!) load the fire with a bunch of wood and get warm. When FIL and Poopie return, they stifle our glorious fire and tame it. I told Poopie that it’s like they are afraid the posse will find us. Spoiler alert…there is no posse. Imagine all this playing out at home, with just Poopie and I.

The most hilarious part about these differing views of fire is that they are in direct opposition to how we tend to feel about almost everything else in life. MIL and I tend to be the more practical ones, while FIL and Poopie tend to be the wild, untamed, unrestrained ones.

So, work and dealing with furnace quotes, and deciding which furnace, and whether to add AC, and, and, and all conspired to make blogging much lower on the prioritization scale.

HOWEVER, I still took some pix, I tried to make the pages easily searchable in both Facebook and Instagram. Both are La Tejedora Crafts. So, even if I wasn’t blogging, I was still thinking of you Dear Reader. Please do check out one or both of those pages and follow me there.  You get more pictures than just the blogs.

20180417_181227.jpgToday is Wednesday. Which means Works in Progress. I have been working on three, count them, three memory quilts for forever. I finally got them done, and the recipients have them in their hot little hands.

They are my first foray into T shirt quilting, which was quite satisfying.20180417_180431.jpg I learned a whole lot about quilting doing these, so expect to see pictures in the future as I need to demonstrate future thoughts. The loved one who passed was clearly an Oregon Ducks fan, so I chose the colors accordingly. The backs are yummy minky in colors which align with the recipients. I am absolutely sure that when I was asked to do these quilts, the expectation was that I would have a simple blocked quilt with everything the same size.

I try to have my work be individual, and fabulous…one could say Santabulous. So, of course, I went overboard. It was a lot of work, and took a lot more time than I would have ideally liked, but I’m very pleased. My MIL told me they were ugly. I’m going to assume she meant the colors, and not my workmanship (she’s an Oregon Beavers fan).

Lots of little changes have been happening for me and my household during my hiatus, which will need to be accounted for. May involved another vacation, and other work related garbage. Somewhere in this hiatus, there is also Other News. Which I will get to in a later post.

I’m still working on being gentle with myself.  I think it will be a life long endeavor.  WIP’s are things that I tend to beat myself up about.  Things that I don’t get finished for whatever reason.  Falling down on the blogging “job” is also something I’m working at not beating myself up over.  This is all a learning process for me. You might say that blogging is also a WIP 🙂

Thank you for your patience. I hope it was worth it.

Wednesday In Progress

Quilting? Gardening? Sarcasm and wittiness?

When I told a friend I was thinking of starting a blog, she asked me what the blog was going to be about–Quilting? Gardening? Sarcasm and wittiness?  I said “yes”, and she said she’d read it.  That was all the encouragement I needed.  You can blame her.  That’s not true.  Like I said in my first post, a lot of big and little things conspired.  This encouragement was just the last nudge I needed.

This post will be not knitting-centric. *gasp*

Most crafters have several projects going at any given time. There are a select few who have self-control…  I’ve been told… I don’t know. I’ve never actually met one of these crafters.  If you are part of a crafting community, either online, or IRL, you probably have heard cute phrases for some of the projects languishing away wherever you hide them…usually “UFO” as in UnFinished Object.  A different friend wanted me to do something on my blog with regards to UFO’s.  But alliteration!

While I can think of some cute things to do with aliens and UFO’s, nothing was really working for me. So, I figured I’d let the idea marinate in my head for a while.  Eventually, I came across the term WIP, which stands for Work In Progress.  How wonderful!  A: it works with Wednesdays, and B: it sounds so much more intentional than UFO.  A UFO is something foreign, over which we have no control; a work in progress is something we are working on.  People also seem to use the term UFO to describe a project they’ve given up on: That’s not an afghan, that’s a UFO. WIP is just something that’s…in process.

Now, this isn’t to say that if you dug deep (or just glanced through, really) my projects “on the needle” so to speak, you wouldn’t find some items which would qualify as a UFO. I’m going to work on getting those back into a WIP state.  That being said, what I’m currently working on is a gift (or three), so I’m not going to show or talk about them much yet.

This week, the WIP I’m wanting to talk about is a shop hop!20180207_115549.jpg

I know I’ve been mostly talking about knitting. That’s because knitting has been my go to for a long time.  Like I said, though, knitting isn’t my only craft.  Several years ago, L introduced me to shop hops.  Shop hops are quilters’ trick or treating.  You show up at a store and say you are shop hopping, and they give you the fabric and instructions to make a (usually) 6” completed block.  Before you get too excited, you need to know that there needs to be a shop hop currently happening and the store needs to be participating in said shop hop.  Showing up at random stores may lead to embarrassment and confusion (if done right all that will be on the owner, not you).

There are all sorts of different types of shop hops with all sorts of parameters, but they tell you all about them at the beginning–so don’t worry. It’s a great way for the shops to show off their “style” as well as get folks through the door.  For the shop hoppers, it can be a fun day (or more) road tripping and seeing different areas.  Sometimes, I can convince Poopie to be my chauffer.

Right now, there is a shop hop in my area, and I’m in the middle of doing that. Which is why I’m calling it a WIP.  20180207_164757.jpgFull disclosure, the baggie full of goodies will likely end up on the shelf of my quilting table for a good long time  before being pulled out and put together. (side glance to the left) So….doubly WIP.

Now, we can look at all the unfinished projects and despair. I mean, I often do.  But, we can also look at how much extra enjoyment I am getting.  I enjoy the process of shop hopping.  Even when I do it alone, I enjoy the puzzle of getting the most bang for my driving.  Then I get to see all the blocks, and side projects.  I get reminded of awesome stores just outside my normal shopping zone.  Then, later, when I pull out that particular shop hop’s bag, I get to re-enjoy the squares and techniques.  I get reminded of why I love how this person writes their patterns and try out new techniques.  Then, I get to figure out a setting fabric.  *swoon*

Setting fabric is the “background” of the quilt. While there is often a theme, or feature fabric, for a shop hop, it can be difficult to find something to pull it all together.  Or, if you are like me, 6” may or may not be 6” (insert NSFW joke here).  The featured picture for this post is a blanket I made for my co-worker’s baby from a shop hop.  As you can see, while there was a featured fabric line, the color schemes were not really compatible.  Also, one block was NOT 6.5” (the size you need to get a finished 6”).  Go on, guess which one.  The setting fabric in this example is the grey and I chose a setting pattern that hid the miss-sized block.  I’m not sure the picture does it justice, but there are glitter dots in the grey.  Side note, after that quilt, grey became one of my favorite neutrals, it’s soooo much more versatile than I had thought.

I will be spotlighting different WIP’s as we go along. I’ll try to talk about why they fell by the wayside, and what I’ll do to get through whatever obstacle that is.  More importantly, I will try to remember to find the fun that I can when I can.  Taking pleasure in the little things, like finishing a shop hop.  But, in the meantime, I have to get to 16 stores, and Madrona before next weekend.  OMG MADRONA IS NEXT WEEK!!!