Things to do in Summer 2012:
Things to do in Summer 2012:
I remember my mom hanging prisms in the windows when I was little. The sun would shine through them and they'd cast rainbows around the house. People had them hanging from their rear-view mirrors, dangling and catching the light. No one does that anymore and I really don't understand why. I mean, they're so pretty and simple and the patterns put a smile on my face. It's hard to be in a bad mood when you're surrounded by refracted light.
When we moved into the house, one of the first things I did was order some prisms on etsy. This shop carries a wide variety of shapes and sizes at a highly affordable price. I've got them hanging in 4 different places in my house and depending on the time of day, time of year, and amount of direct sunlight, there are many spots where the rainbows brighten our space. In the kitchen I've got 5 small round crystals sewn to the bottom hem of the curtain. In the warmer months, when I keep the kitchen window open a crack at all times, a light breeze makes the rainbows dance.
Sometimes I will shake the curtain lightly to tease the cat. She turns into Ronnie James Dio on that business. Us homebodies know how to have a good time.
A facebook friend of mine recently posted the following status update:
'ways to prevent sweating your make up off' isn't as popular on google as one would think.Accurate. During this warmer time of year (for everyone in the country except the PNW, apparently) our skin tends to sweat and get oily and just not cooperate in general. This can be rough on one's make-up routine. Having a smudgy and shiny face that feels like it's melting off isn't exactly a good time. I tend to have oily skin ALL of the time, so here's how I deal!
Simple. Cheap. Doesn't take tons of extra time.
Wait... what? Color? Jasie bought something that isn't black or gray? It's floral!? What? No way! It has hot pink piping? The base color is CREME?
I don't understand. How is this possible?
One of my favorite things about having my own blog and my own platform for talking about my life and such is that that I can literally say whatever I want. I can blab on and on about nail polish or my feeeeeelings or pretty fabric or stuffing food in my face and it's totally fine for me to be a self-obsessed monster. Am I right? Like, it's fine. It's expected.
My blog is only a little bit topical (and only on certain days), and the rest of the time I can just vent my thoughts and ideas and the inner-workings of my addled brain. And as you all know, I have a lot of shit swirling around up in there. A LOT.
Today is one of those days of the week where I'm supposed to focus on something specific - in this particular case, it's my thrifting habit. The random thing I want to talk about today could also technically fall under the "tutorial tuesday" category, though, so I skipped that one this week and am combining the two. BECAUSE I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT. You're not the boss of me!
It is no secret that I love shopping in the linen section of thrift stores and finding funky bedding from days of yore. All of the stuff I make and sell on etsy is produced from these fabrics, my home is decorated in them, my office/sewing room is taken completely over by them; they're a major part of my life. Another item I usually look for when thrifting - embroidery hoops. If I'm going to have eighty gajillion different fabrics around the house, I may as well stick them in hoops and throw them up in arrangements on my walls. It just makes sense.
And it's so painfully easy.
I will never claim that it is art (except the patchwork ones I've sewn, because I'm a creative genius, you know), but home decor is allowed to be a bit cliched from time to time. It shouldn't always be about what's popular or on trend (or AVOIDING that) or in the pages of Dwell or ReadyMade or whatever. Sometimes it should just be about what you like. Personally, I like fabric. I also like shit from Ikea and my flokati rug and funky houseplants and not in some ironic way. Irony gets exhausting.
Just do what you like. I like putting old fabric in embroidery hoops.
If you think you'd like putting old fabric in embroidery hoops, get thee to your local thrift shop and look for some supplies and follow these 10 steps (which really didn't need to be numbered and could have just been a paragraph, but whatever).
- Make sure that any hoops you buy have both rings intact and that the screw used to tighten them actually works.
- Now find some funky floral pillow cases or something.
- Take them home and lay the fabric down on the counter and lay the hoop on top of it. Cut out the fabric around the hoop, leaving an edge of 3 inches or so.
- Loosen the screw on the hoop and lay the outer hoop on the counter. Lay the fabric on it, pretty side facing down. Shove the inner hoop onto the fabric and flip the whole thing over.
- Tighten the screw back up and start tugging the fabric tight in the hoop.
- Once it feels completely stretched out, tighten the screw as far as it can possibly go.
- Cut excess fabric off the edges.
- Put a thumb-tack in the wall.
- Hang the hoop up.
- Lather, rinse, repeat.
It's summer, it's the solstice, it's time for a sale.
For as long as sunshine and warm breezes reign supreme, you can save 25% on every item in my shop by using the code SUMMERSUMMERSUMMER at checkout!
My patchwork cuffs are each one of a kind pieces of wearable art! The fabric used is all repusposed vintage linens, the buttonholes and end are finished by hand with embroidery thread, and there are 3 buttons on the other end so that the size is adjustable from 6.5 - 8 inches. Normally priced at $20.95, you can own one of these unique cuffs for only $15.71!
These felt garlands are normally $16.95, with the coupon code, they are under $13 apiece! Each garland was 100% HAND-SEWN using recycled wool felt and will drape beautifully wherever you choose to hang it (mantle, doorway, bookshelf, on the wall for a child's birthday party, or in a nursery are all good places)!
My sets of 3 lavender & mint dryer sachets are usually $7.95. With this code, they are only $5.96! These sachets are 100% hand-sewn with repurposed vintage linens and filled with a unique blend of dried herbs and lavender buds, all locally sourced. It doesn't get more buzz-wordy than that, you guys.
Every little purchase helps support my family so that we can keep on trucking with this funky little single-steady-income life we have.
The unschooling community seems to be the one place where my habitual neatness is viewed as a character flaw. I don't get a super judgmental vibe from most people who hold this attitude, but I definitely feel an undercurrent of it, regardless of intention.
The way many unschoolers talk about housework makes me think that they picture a sea of uptight Stepford Wives out there, ignoring their children in favor of scrubbing the kitchen floor, or not letting their children do anything fun for fear of the mess, or having houses that resemble museums more so than homes... and while yes, there is pressure in our society to conform to some middle class keeping-up-with-the-Jones's lifestyle, I think we can fight against that without casting out those of us who do get a certain amount of satisfaction from a clean floor and fluffed pillows. I get that this attitude is very much in response to the expectation that wives and mothers should keep spotless homes and spotless children, but I don't think that swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction is the right course of action.
Unfucking my habitat is part of my self-care. It's part of how I create a rich and eclectic environment for my son to explore his interests and ideas and to be introduced to new things. It's out of respect for the other people who live in my home and their own proclivities for neatness and tidiness. I feel like degrading housework and cleanliness as a waste of time or an either/or situation that somehow infringes on our ability to practice connected parenting is just another blow at "women's work" (and parenting, as humans are pretty decent at multitasking).
It may seem to some that the appropriate feminist position would be to dismiss this kind of work as degrading or superfluous, but that's counter-intuitive and counter-productive to women, children, families, and anyone who does this kind of work for pay (and even more so, those who do it WITHOUT financial compensation).
If you personally find doing the dishes at this precise moment to be inhibiting your ability to be present with your kids, then by all means, leave them until later or ask your partner to do them or enlist a friend or relative for help!
We are not capable of being all things to all people.
If getting that laundry folded isn't high on your priority list today (or tomorrow, or this week, or ever), that's perfectly ok. If you are a mom who is feeling bogged down by an unspoken expectation from your family that you shoulder more of the housework than what you feel you can handle, communicate your needs and ask for help. In no way am I suggesting that you should be a superhero who DOES IT ALL.
If a family is happy and healthy and safe (or working towards those goals), it doesn't matter to me how much you do or don't clean or how important housework is to you (if at all). Households can fall at either end of the spectrum, or anywhere in between. We're allowed... but the less we focus on the shoulds of it all, the better off we'll ALL be. Let's just stay away from vilifying in general.
Friday was an excellent day for yarn-bombing, eating ice cream, and wearing incredibly short shorts. Kitty and I found a naked pole near the end of the main drag that needed some sprucing up. We got a bit conceptual (ha, yah, not so much) and decided that the top section represents the Summer weather we should be having, the middle doesn't know what it's doing, and the bottom is already anticipating Fall-like weather. Not the most optimistic view, but we're realists.
Afterwards we grabbed Silas from the park (where he'd been socializing and playing, as our yarn bombing was very boring to him) and went over to Elevated to grab some ice cream. Between the three of us we consumed the following flavors: cardamom, pistachio, mango & triple-citrus italian ice, coffee, and dutch malt. It was kind of amazing. There were jimmies involved.
My shorts were indeed short. It's actually a romper that I'm wearing - I bought it online in 2010, tried it on and when it didn't immediately work like I wanted it to, I threw it back in the bag and up onto a high shelf in the closet it went (it was a clearance item and couldn't be returned).
It's things like this romper that make it obvious to me how my relationship with my body has changed. The ways in which it "didn't work" two years ago aren't things that are magically different now, I just view them differently.
With a few minor alterations, it became exactly what I wanted it to be and I don't mind that it hugs my tummy and that you can see Visible Belly Outline. Basically, I just had to shorten up the straps so that it wasn't so low-cut that my bra was hanging out, and the shorts didn't have the shape I wanted, so I hemmed them up with elastic in the band to create a shape more like bloomers. It was fairly simple, I just needed to step back from the garment for awhile, come to terms with my shape (ROUND), and have the patience to tweak the piece into what I wanted.
jewelry - Forever21
5’3” - 240ish - size 18/20ish - DEATHFATTY
I remember staying at my Grandma Dorothy's house when I was little. She had a formal living room at the front of the house and a separate sitting room at the back where we watched movies and read books. Honestly, I'm not sure what the formal living room was for, since it didn't feel like much living was done there, as I rarely saw the adults spend any time there, outside of large family gatherings.
I loved being in that room all by myself, sitting with my legs crossed on her white leather ottoman, gazing out her front windows at boats on the Puget Sound. I'd take her old photo albums off the shelf and look at pictures of her and her siblings and parents when she was young. There were also many pictures of my dad and uncle when they were children. Most of them were black and white portraits in natty little matching suits on front lawns or first days of school and such, but sometimes I'd stumble onto pictures from when my Grandfather was still alive. I never got to meet him, and really, neither did my dad, as he died when he was only a toddler.
He was a large man with a strong forehead and nose, slightly resembling the butler from Downton Abbey, but maybe a bit less posh and dignified, since he was a pharmacist and not working for an Earl. I wonder if my dad and uncle sat in that same living room, on that same ottoman, looking at these pictures... The ottoman was a mother's day gift to Dorothy from my dad when he was 15. He was living with a foster family at the time and working in their furniture store after school.
That ottoman now sits in my living room, albeit covered in Ikea fabric, as the light-colored leather has seen better days (and has been the victim of many cats). It's the piece of furniture I hold most dear, with its history and memories and timeless round design. I can't imagine my living room without it. It fits perfectly with the white bookcases that I thrifted and pushed together to make a tv-stand, the two chairs I picked up at The Habitat for Humanity store here in town, and our weird giant speakers that we bought at Goodwill and painted teal.
It may not be a formal living room, and we certainly don't have a separate sitting room tucked away elsewhere in the house, but it's still a great place to curl up and flip through photo albums.
I often poke fun at myself and my style of cooking by referring to some of my most-often-prepared meals as "70s mom food". Of course, this is mostly self-deprecating, but it's also true, as I really DO love a good casserole. The dish I've been making the longest (and that is enjoyed by the most people I've cooked for) is my Tuna Noodle Casserole. I know, I know... the combo of cheese and pasta and tuna is nothing new or exciting and most suburban white kids in my generation grew up eating some variation of this dish, but I've tweaked the recipe so much over the years that for me, it does feel new and exciting compared to the version I ate as a kid.
I use different cheeses than my mother did, the standard egg noodles were switched out for tri-color rotini many years ago, the tuna is higher quality and has better flavor, and I've added in a lot of different flavors via herbs and spices. The basic principles of my mother's Tuna Noodle Casserole are there, but the details are different.
Here's what you'll need:
- 3 cans of tuna (I generally use 2 cans of "good" tuna like TJ's or Rubensteins, and 1 can of "cheap" tuna, like Bumblebee or Chicken of the Sea)
- 1 bag of tri-color rotini (We like Wacky Mac)
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP flour
- 2 cups milk (we use whole)
- a handful or two of frozen peas
- CHEESE (I used parmesan, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and gouda)
- herbs & spices (salt, pepper, basil, parsley, garlic powder, oregano)
Once you've got your pasta and peas going, flake the tuna apart and add it to the sauce. Most of your cheese will go on top of the casserole once it's in the dish, but I like to add the parmesan to the sauce at this point. Also add any herbs and spices you want in your sauce. I like using frozen chopped basil, black pepper, and dried parsley and garlic powder.
Once your pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander and move it to a 9x13 casserole dish (I like using glass for this). Sprinkle the buttered peas in among the pasta. With a slotted spoon, start scooping the sauce onto the pasta, evenly distributing the solid tuna. Once you've got the chunks out, pour the liquid part of the sauce as evenly as possible over the pasta. Sprinkle grated cheese on top until you can barely see the stuff underneath.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. If you like your cheese more golden than melty, broil on low for 2-3 minutes at the end.
It's that time of year where Summer is SO CLOSE that I can taste it. I pine away for it like a swoony 13 year old when I doodle the word "Summer" in my notebook and draw little hearts and swirls around it. I want to wear tank-tops and short sleeves, but it's just not time yet. Sure, I was able to put on shorts a few weeks ago, but that was only a teaser for the season.
Since I'm not exactly in the market to buy a bunch of new clothes and it's not pleasant enough out to give up layering altogether, I have to find ways to remix my wardrobe a little so that I don't become bored. I found with this outfit that throwing a belt over the whole thing changed it up enough to keep me from sighing heavily when I look in the mirror.
5’3” - 240ish - size 18/20ish - DEATHFATTY
I've always known that Summer in the PNW doesn't officially start until after the 4th of July, but it's still hard to accept that and wait for it each year. I'm ready NOW.
Sometimes I can get so caught up in the IDEA of something that I fail to really think about the REALITY of it.
Example: Having a baby.
Seth and I have been trying to get pregnant since Fall of 2010. I went off the depo shot, busted my ass to get myself ovulating again, bookmarked articles on homebirth and links to gear I felt we'd need, thrifted for an alarming amount of baby clothes, and generally spent the majority of my free time thinking about pregnancy and babies. And then it hit me... I'm only 30. Why am I in such a hurry?
My mom didn't have my little brother until she was 37. Seth's mom had his youngest sister when she was 40. We have plenty of time. In Port Townsend especially, that is not an odd occurrence. On average, I'm usually about 10 years younger than the other parents of kids Silas' age that I encounter.
There are so many things in our life that would change drastically if I got pregnant right now (obviously), and while we do want to have a child together at some point, there isn't any reason it has to happen right this second. The more I step back and look at the big picture that is my life, the more I like what it is right now, AS IS. I've finally gotten a handle on taking care of the people I already have in my life. That's a big deal. Also, Silas is at a really amazing age where he's growing more and more independent every day and soon he'll be out socializing without me. We should be taking advantage of what a low-maintenance phase he's in, as it's kind of amazing. Basically, the pros of waiting faaaaaar outweigh the cons at this point.
I decided last month that the first thing I needed to do to ensure that we didn't get knocked up the second we realized we didn't want a baby (wouldn't that just be splendid? NOT!) was to get back on some form of birth control. After talking to my doctor and doing research on my own, I opted for having the Mirena IUD put in. It's a low hormone option that has the same hormone that was in Depo, but lasts for 5 years (as opposed to getting a shot in my hip every 3 months)!
Having it put in last week was definitely weird and a bit uncomfortable, but I think I had psyched myself out so much beforehand that the reality wasn't as bad as what I was expecting. I mostly felt crampy, which wasn't anything that couldn't be solved with some ibuprofen and the vicodin prescription they gave me. Heh. I mentioned the IUD on facebook, and while it was interesting and sometimes a little scary to hear about other people's negative experiences with this particular method, I feel optimistic that it is a good fit for me. And OH! I almost forgot... I found out something interesting during the appointment - my uterus is 9cm across. True story.
It's nice to not feel like we're in such a hurry. I'm able to focus on the things I want to be doing RIGHT NOW, which mostly involve having a good time (all the time).
Beware the Dangerous Fatties by Ragen Chastain
"The first use is when someone suggests that you should go on a diet. Try giving them a look of disbelief, a quick snort of a laugh and saying “Are people still peddling that? I thought everybody knew that weight loss doesn’t work.” shake your head disapprovingly and say “Wow, the computer era makes the evidence so accessible and people still don’t bother to read it!'"
Being Mean to Fat People Is Pointless: A Good Old-Fashioned Plea for Civility by Lindy West
"Fat people in America are reduced to nothing but fatness. A fat person has a health problem of any kind? It’s because they’re fat. A fat person is single? Well, duh. Fat. They deserve it. A fat person is poor? That’s not surprising-obviously they have bad judgment and no impulse control! Because why would a smart person choose to be fat? If a fat person goes to a restaurant and sits on a broken chair and the chair collapses under them, it’s because they’re fat. But if a thin person sits on the same broken chair and the chair collapses under them, it’s because they sat on a broken chair."
"We let Willow cut her hair. When you have a little girl, it’s like how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? If I teach her that I’m in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she’s going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She can’t cut my hair but that’s her hair. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she’s going out with a command that it is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. We try to keep giving them those decisions until they can hold the full weight of their lives."
- Will Smith on why he let Willow cut all of her hair off
"Call Your Girlfriend" cover by Lennon & Maisy
So twee and I give no fucks. It is adorable.
Is the free market efficient? by Paul D'Amato
"Above all, capitalism wastes human life. The U.S. spends billions to warehouse 2 million people—many of them young Black and Latino men—in overcrowded prisons. It provides sub-par education to millions of poor students, sending a message that their lives will amount to nothing. Are people homeless in America because there’s a shortage of homes? And if that’s the case, is there a shortage of homes because we don’t have the concrete, the wood and the steel to build them? The truth is that under capitalism, there’s no incentive to build low-cost housing for the homeless—because it isn’t profitable to do so. The same goes for the more than 800 million people in the world who go hungry. It isn’t profitable to feed them. So food is stockpiled or destroyed rather than distributed to them."
VIDEO: Ill Doctrine: Why Gwyneth Paltrow Should Just Say “Nuh” by Jay Smooth
How Gwyneth Paltrow should’ve handled the controversy surrounding her tweeting the “N-word” during Kanye and Jay-Z’s concert this weekend.
A Rapper Finds His Muse in the Stars by Anna Louie Sussman
"Informed by meetings with top physicists and cosmologists at MIT and Cornell University, "Dark Matter" is intended to be the first in a series of albums that GZA—born Gary Grice in Brooklyn in 1966—will put out in the next few years, several of which are designed to get a wide audience hooked on science. "Dark Matter" is scheduled for a fall release. Another album will focus on the life aquatic, a subject he's fleshing out with visits to the labs of marine biologists and researchers, as well as meetings with the likes of Philippe Cousteau."
"Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness. A mature person does not fall in love, he or she rises in love. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. Now they cannot manage and they cannot stand. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have the integrity to stand alone. A mature person has the integrity to stand alone. And when a mature person gives love, he or she gives without any strings attached to it. When two mature persons are in love, one of the great paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone. They are together so much that they are almost one. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. Only freedom and love."
For those who aren't in the know, I totally reopened comments when I did the name change/redesign. Feel free to share noteworthy links you've come across recently in the comments on this here post!
I rarely walk into a thrift store and wander aimlessly - I have a system for how I thrift. There are certain sections I ALWAYS go to, not in any particular order, but each of these sections must be covered while I'm in the store: picture frames, doilies, linens (for sewing), embroidery hoops, teacups and saucers, and last but not least, Tupperware.
Some of it ends up going into my kitchen to be used around the house, but only 1/3 or so of the tupperware I own right now is stuff I personally use, the rest goes put away in a bin in the closet. Why would I buy all of this just to stuff it in a closet? Eventually I hope to open a resale vintage shop on etsy. I registered the username I wanted for the shop AGES ago and have slowly been collecting a diverse range of items to stock the shop. One of these days I'll actually get off my ass and pull the whole thing together.
I'm very picky about what era and style I'll buy, and most of what I own is from the 1970s. I'm a sucker for the vivid oranges, yellows, and avocado greens of that era. I've also been lucky enough to stumble upon a couple of mint/seafoam green pieces!
I tend to find LOTS of pickle strainers. For some reason, no one seems to realize what they are and that they should buy them. They're one of the coolest pieces tupperware ever made, in my opinion! I remember being 6 years old and opening up the fridge in search of a salty, juicy pickle to munch on in the summer and finding them in our super cool avocado green pickle strainer. Memories, man...
I know collecting vintage Pyrex seems to be all the rage right now, but it can never take the place in my heart that is reserved for 1970s tupperware containers. Never ever. VIVA LA PLASTIC!
So... being on the radio was ridiculously fun. I want to thank everybody who tuned in locally and who streamed it live. Not everybody was able to give it a listen, so I had Seth record it and it's now online for your listening pleasure.
Being on the spot was really bizarre. It's true what they say, that the second that ON AIR light goes on, your brain literally dumps out everything you had planned to say and yah... I said "um" a lot. I also use the word "technically" a lot. I don't know what that's all about. It's technical, ok?
I'm definitely thinking that KPTZ is something I need to get involved in now. I'd love to make this a regular thing, and possibly even end up with my own show. I'm in the process of finding out how to make that happen.
I was a teenager in the late 90s. I listened to the local (Seattle) "alternative" radio station on a daily basis. I idolized the DJs and recorded my favorite songs onto cassette whenever they came on and called in to make requests and enter contests and to ask questions during on-air interviews with my favorite musicians. I couldn't just watch a video on youtube or torrent an album (hell, Napster wasn't even a thing yet).
The radio played a vital role in my exposure to and enjoyment of music. I had dreams of becoming a DJ like Marco Collins and exchanging witty banter with a co-host and being pretty much the coolest thing I could imagine... locally famous. And tonight, for one brief hour... those dreams are coming true.
From 8pm to 9pm (west coast time), I'll be dropping in on a show my friend Liz is filling in on. I'll be able to play my favorite songs and my voice will be on the air and I'm so full of excitement and anticipation right now! I can barely wrap my head around it.
If you're local, you can tune into 91.9 FM to listen. Outside of the Port Townsend area, you can stream it live online at KPTZ.org.
Now to put together my playlist! Oh my gosh.