23 March 2013

hello & goodbye

Hello, there! Have you been wondering where I am and why I haven't posted here in months? I'll be kind enough to tell you: I haven't blogged because I realised that I don't want to.

Once upon a time (well, actually, not very long ago) I thought that I wanted to have a nice blog with all sorts of interesting posts and get lots of traffic and comments and maybe even become a professional blogger. Then I realised that I wanted to have a nice blog -- but I didn't want to keep one. Every time I looked at my blog, I thought about all my plans and ideas for it, and then I closed the window because I wanted to work on my novel or read a book or bake cookies instead.

The problem that I have with social media, including blogs, is that they tempt me to forget why I'm making things. I love showing things I've made to others; but too easily showing things I've made slips into making things for show. That may not be a bad thing, but it's not what I want. Recently I saw an advertisement for glasses with a built-in camera so that one can always photograph whatever one sees. It seems to me that camera-glasses, rather than preserving memories, would prevent them from being made in the first place. One could never get away from the thought that, well, the camera is looking at things for me, the camera will remember them for me, and I can look at them later. But when one went back to the pictures, they would just be lifeless pictures. There is nothing wrong with a picture; there is, I think, everything wrong with taking a picture instead of living life. I stopped caring about my blog because I like real life more.

I don't mean that I'm going to throw away my computer; I still spend far more time on my computer than I want to admit. And if you email me, I'll try to answer. I'll even type up my latest experimental recipe for you, if you ask. But I don't want to blog. I'll leave my archives up, in case anyone wants to look at them, and perhaps, in a year or two or ten, I'll change my mind and come back, but I doubt it: I've never really missed my deleted Facebook account.

So, this is the end. Few blogs end this way; for most, the posts come fewer and farther between, until they quietly stop; but I want to make a definite end. Thank you for reading my blog, and I hope that, while it's lasted, you have enjoyed it as least as much as I have.

13 December 2012

a holiday

Christmas is coming, and I am going to take a little holiday (of indefinite length) from my blog.  But I would be happy to hear from you by email or otherwise!  I will be acquiring a used sewing machine soon, so I hope to post some patterns when I return.

Meanwhile, I came across this article, which I recommend, should you want something to read and consider:  What You Should (and Shouldn't) Say to Someone Who has Lost a Baby from Naturally Knocked Up.

On a lighter note, I have made this apple crisp recipe from About.com at least three times in the last month, and it is delicious.

20 November 2012

every word, the dark ages version

I've had an Amazon Kindle for a bit over a year now.  (Perhaps sometime when I'm less busy I'll explain why I like it as much as I do.)  My grandmother, who has had one even longer, introduced me to a free game called Every Word, in which the goal is to spell as many words as possible, using the letters of some other, longer word.  If you have a Kindle, I recommend it.  Just remember that sera is really a word (the plural of serum).

If you don't have a Kindle, though, or want to play a simple word game in situations when obviously doing something on a Kindle would be inappropriate, here is the dark ages version.  All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil or pen (or use the margins of your class notes, but pretend that I didn't say that).

Choose a somewhat long word or name, say, appendix.  Make a list of all the three-letter words (not names or abbreviations) that you can from the letters of that word, a second list of four-letter words, a third of five-letter words, and so forth..  For instance, from appendix, you can obviously get pen, end, and pend, but you can also re-arrange the letters to make pie, axed, pined, and napped.  When you run out of words, start over with a new word.

I have had a lot of fun with this recently, especially from Constantine and persuasion (35 three-, 62 four-, 47 five-, 15 six-, 2 seven-, and 1 eight-letter word before I got bored).

26 October 2012

I am still alive

Seven days has turned into seven weeks.  I've not forgotten that I have a blog, but I've kept putting off writing until sometime when I'm not so busy.  That never happens.  We had a lovely wedding and a lovely honeymoon and then packed things up and flew off to Europe.  I've been taking two classes, working part-time as a nanny, keeping house, re-reading The Lord of the Rings, and meanwhile having three colds in a row.  It's been busy, tiring, and difficult, but still an adventure and a fairly good one at that.  And now everything is changing again.  For reasons that are unclear to us, I'm suddenly losing my job and, with it, our housing.  So now we have six weeks to find other housing that we can afford.  Am I crazy for trying to do NaNoWriMo?

08 September 2012


I was planning to post pictures of the wedding stationery and bulletins that I made and my garter pattern, but somehow that did not happen and I am getting married in five hours so I have more important things to do.  I'll be back in a week...

25 August 2012

four sewing tips

I am presently sewing my wedding dress and have come up with a few tips to share.

1.  Lay out slippery fabric on a mattress.  Spread out one layer of fabric at a time, putting pins through each one straight into the mattress to keep it from wrinkling; then spread the pattern on top in the same way.  Trace around the pattern with a pen or wheel and cut the fabric later, or just cut (carefully) along the pattern.

2.  Keep track of pieces cut with check-boxes on each pattern piece.  When you've cut one piece, check off one box.  Then keep track of the pieces with a note pinned onto each one.

3.  Mark seam allowances with masking tape on the sewing machine plate.  If you have, say, a quarter-inch foot but need a five-eighths inch seam, measure five-eighths inch from the needle on the plate and mark it with a piece of masking tape.

4.  Baste your hems.  Instead of measuring, say, a quarter inch and ironing it over twice, baste a line half an inch from the raw edge.  Press it down and tuck the raw edge into the fold.  Or baste a line a quarter inch from the raw edge, press it down, and fold and press it again.  Generally, baste halfway up the seam (here, a quarter inch) when the raw edge is wider than the rest of the fabric, such as at the bottom of a skirt; otherwise, baste all the way up the seam (here, half an inch).

Please share your sewing tips!

18 August 2012

welcome to strawberry cottage!

At last, the new name and new blog header are here.  A new button will come eventually.  How does it look?