Fried that squash blossom

Good god, this was a long suffering spin.

PRS-zucchini&blossom

And I blathered on so much about it…

Last year, I was thrilled to buy the wool – Pigeonroof Studios superwash merino in “zucchini blossom.”

Pigeon zucchini

I started to spin it.

PRS zucchini

I fantasized about pairing it with other yarn from my stash to become some sturdy socks.

PRS-squashblossom

I realized I spun the first bobbin backwards, so I got irritated and put it away.

I started spinning it again during last year’s Tour de Fleece.

I cut my thumb.

TdF-Wipeout

I blamed the wool and put it away.

I got it out to finally finish for this year’s Tour de Fleece.

PRS-zucchini-TdF2014

I made a three-ply and thought all was fine.

PRS-zucchini-3ply

I ran out of one of my three plies.

PRS-zucchini-not3ply

I am now done.

PRS-zucchiniwashed

I have 258 yards of a heavy fingering/light sport wonky 3ply, and 114 yards of a light fingering/fingering wonky 2ply.

PRS-zucchinitangle

(And we won’t speak of this).

And I’ll shut up about now until I have a finished item from it…

if I ever have one at all…

(Incidentally, I did fry up those blossoms and it was a mushy miserable failure, as are most of my neglected zucchini plants which are lousy with stupid male blooms).

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Feeling peckish…

I hate most fabric marketed to babies, or rather their keepers, since perhaps babies would really just like giant boob prints, but most of it is just pathetic and timid, too cartoonish, sometimes oddly and vaguely religious, too pale and sickly pastel, and just plain ugly (however I do like some vintage baby prints).

But this one caught my eye a bit ago, and I knew about an upcoming wee one that needed a sewn item.

woodpecker-fabric.com

(Michael Miller fabric, pic from fabric.com)

I don’t make many things for babies now – at first I made many things because I only knew one.  Then more people started having them, and then the first one got a sibling, and I couldn’t keep up, or the charm wore off, or they started to blur together in a drooling blob and I couldn’t remember what I’d made and for whom.

(My apologies to all of those second children out there.)

So I whipped up a little quilt for the wall, but it could still be used as a quilt.  I had a grand idea of massive three dimensional applique with crazy depth and perspective, but in the end I kept it simple – a bit of applique birds and leaves and machine quilting.

woodpecker quilt

I had to buy thread again too – you’d think I would have learned from the last time I moved and couldn’t find it…

But the paint is drying in my new studio room at the moment, and next will be a freshly sealed floor (and then it has to become the bedroom for a while while I work on that room) and then I’ll be able to unpack allllllll of my sewing things!  So I see that day not so far off in the distance now.

But back to woodpeckers – I’m a fan of them.

I like their almost jungle-sounding call.

And their rat-tat-tat drilling (as long as it isn’t the house).

And though I don’t like that they damaged our lovely Magnolia, I’m fascinated by the pattern that they made – almost as if the tree had ripped out stitches…

woodpecker damage

…or machine gun fire.

woodpecker damage with moss

Maybe the yard is run by Woodi Peccaroni, the ancient don of the fermented tree sap bootlegging era…

 

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Hot and bothered…

I’m busy and I’ve run out of pre-written or partially composed blog posts, or rather ones that aren’t just one big fatass rant.

It’s been hot and humid and I thought I could deal with it, but it’s been ramped up lately to tip me over into full brain and body stupor.

(The air conditioning in my car is broken and we don’t have any at home yet).

I actually had a bee in my britches a couple of weeks ago and it stung the sh*t outta me.

A bite in the ass does not make one work harder.

I’m sure lighting a fire under it will have the same negative consequence.

Out of some weird mid-life moment, I actually joined Facebook with my real name and it sucks… though I get to bully the old bullies back by choosing not to “friend” them back, but then I feel bad even though they sucked and made me feel like hell in the seventh grade.

The seventh grade is the seventh ring of hell.

I only had about 70 kids in my grade for all 13 years (kindergarten included) and I can’t remember 70% of them.

I’m getting PT for my knee and the place plays this “oldies” station that is the music from my formative record-buying years… it’s kinda freaking me out – too much of my past all at once.

With the near end of the World Cup, I am overjoyed to quit cable television and hope it nestles into its own hell ring.

I’m getting a lot of spam comments on this blog and it’s annoying the piss outta me.

I’m almost finished knitting a medium to largeish-sized project, recently sewed a small project, and thinking about ways to spruce up some ugly hollow sliding closet doors – we’ve got two sets of them…

I also just started to spin a bit for the Tour de Fleece.

PRS-zucchini-TdF2014

I will finish up this disaster from last year.

(One bobbin spun backwards, I cut my thumb while spinning the next, and it’s been picked up and put down too many times to count.)

I also want to spin some other things I didn’t get to last year.

I can’t find those at the moment though…

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Don’t try this at home…

The thing about living in a small town really close to a little impoverished city (but also close to giant rich cities) is that our libraries suck.  I’m originally from a midwestern state which had a very progressive library system and a whooping budget to support it.  When I moved to my old city, it was full of incredibly beautiful library buildings, but so-so collections.  Here?  The buildings suck and the collections are downright pathetic.  (Our town’s library is a nice little old space though).  But that also means books aren’t thrown away or checked out often, so N was able to bring home a mother lode of decorating books from the late 1940s and early 1950s.

I dove in looking for period-appropriate color guidance and decorating ideas for our house of the era.

I’m all for creative re-use and never discarding something until it is truly and utterly useless.

I like old sh*t and prefer to own things that existed before me.

I don’t like fine antiques that need to be minded and not often used in my own living spaces, yet I know not everything belongs in a museum.

But this?

furniture ideas-surgery

Good god, it makes me cringe.

furniture ideas-hack

Maybe I should put it into perspective – I’d gladly hack apart something from the 1980s because to me it isn’t old and there is still plenty of it around…. so that’s probably how someone felt about their 30-year-old furniture in the 1940s.   However most of what we had 30 years ago is total sh*t and made from particle board and other unhackapartable things…

I should pause before I go into a very long-winded rant and sob story about a lovely old apartment I once inhabited with built-in cabinets, a lovely and still perfect deep cast-iron enameled bathtub, and solid and well-patinated hardwood floors only to have it entirely gutted by a new owner who wanted to make it “nice.”  It wasn’t – she made it all beige and full of synthetics and she should have been thrown in some sort of prison for her destruction and wastefulness and lack of any amount of aesthetic sense.

Too many DIYers and paid “designers” are ruining the souls and characters of our old homes.

Our house isn’t that old, it’s from the 1950s, and a style I thought I’d never live in and don’t love, yet I’m keeping the good useful parts as they are, and I’m looking at ideas from the era to keep it from becoming too disjointed from its past (hence my dilemma over the knotty pine paneling)  I feel that the original owner (yes even a phantasmic one) should walk into a home and see some familiar elements.

furniture ideas-distance

I found a few useful tips I could agree with though – I love a close lamp (and you certainly wouldn’t want to singe your yarn…)

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Not quite as old as a rock

I recently had one of those stupid decade-marking birthdays.

snakeskin

I’m mostly okay with aging – I’m not fighting it with dyes or potions or knives – but I miss my younger self, rather my younger ache-free self.

mutant strawberry

On this particular birthday, we went for ice cream and the teen behind the counter flirted heavily with N, but called me “ma’am”* very pointedly and twice – normally I’d address that with amusement and mild contempt for the youth of today, but it stung a bit this time. And on that day I also accepted the fact that my knee had gone to hell and wasn’t coming back any time soon.

So it’s a couple of weeks later, and I’ve been banned from hiking, stairs, ladders, and hills (we live on a hill for christsakes). I’m bummed and it’s slowed down the progress on the house and curtailed my typical summertime activities.  Another downer is Italia going out of the World Cup.  I’m not much of a sports fan, but I can commit to something that only happens every few years.  In order for us to watch the matches though, we had to buy cable TV.  I hate it.  I thought we’d try to get our money’s worth and tried out a few of the channels with those ghastly home flipping/shopping/designing shows and in the end, I just want to forget it all happened…

I know the people on TV aren’t quite real, but those houses do exist, and the dumpsters of utterly wasted materials are very real too.  Granted, tragically awful aesthetics and very broken things need to be addressed, but walls being knocked out for mega-refrigerators and perfectly fine stone and ceramic being smashed and tossed rather than extracted for re-use, or left in place makes me want to vomit.

Stone is ripped out of the earth and shouldn’t be a trend.

It should be banned altogether or require some sort of hoop jumping to get it, but not in an exclusive sense to make it more in demand.

pink marble

We recently stayed in another fine old hotel, and I was happy to find that they retained the possibly original pink marble floor.  The rest of the bathroom was done up in the latest trend – including a clashing granite sink top cut in a stupid shape for the stupid sink, but the floor was just lovely because of its age and it came from the days things stuck around a bit longer.

I’m thrilled we can cancel the TV now (but the World Cup also offered up some premium knitting time).

*We don’t live in the south or within a community where ma’am is a sign of respect – here it’s hurled at no-longer-young ladyfolk in sneering tones…

Don’t get me started on Mrs…

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Old blue quilt

oldbluequilt-full

Many years ago, I found this old narrow reversible quilt at my old favorite thrift store.  I loved that it was made from scraps, improvisational, hand and machine-sewn, and the fact that it was just plain old, and I like old sh*t.

I sewed a sleeve on the opposite of what I considered the more public side and hung it in my bedroom to ward off the cold seeping through the walls in my old apartment – I loved that place too because it was old – but damn, it was also cold.

oldbluequilt-ties

It’s tufted with knots of white, blue, and reddish-pink (perhaps formerly red?) wool yarn.  The interior might be filled with wool as well as it’s just a mass of somewhat disgusting clumpy lumps now, but I’d need to perform a little surgery to find out.

(And I don’t think I really want to see what’s in it in case it’s nasty).

oldbluequilt-pinwheel

The reverse has a pinwheel and some nice fabrics not seen on the front.  This pinwheel got into my deep brain and caused me to make many half-demented pinwheels last summer, or maybe the summer before…  I think I probably have enough to make something from them… I should find them.

oldbluequilt-squiggle

I like this squiggly block.

The back has a few stained blocks, but were stained in their former life perhaps as clothing, as the stains were sewn over.

A few faint splotches look suspiciously like blood, or a really robust coffee mixed with a hearty and delicious red wine.

(That is also part of the reason I chose the other side to display).

oldbluequilt-plaid

And there are some lovely hand stitches too.

I also love that delicate blue pattern on the left side.

I can’t date it – there are definitely some old fabrics in it, perhaps from the 1910s, and the red, white, and blue color scheme could place it in WWII times, but some of the other fabrics have a 1950s and ’60s vibe?  Though the shape is also older – long and narrow – somewhat too big for a crib and too small for a twin bed.  It would probably best fit one of those narrow cot-like beds (don’t they have a name???).

But it seems that it could have been made from old clothes from a number of members of a family perhaps for a notable baby or a soldier – as a memento, or a comfort for someone leaving home.

But things are rarely as they seem, right?

When I was trying to pare down my things after I moved to N’s house, I gave it to him to give to one of his family members who was having babies at the time – I thought it would be nice for a wall in a kid’s room.  But he wanted to keep it, though we didn’t get around to hanging it up then.

Or in that apartment of late of which I’d rather not speak or remember.

And we still haven’t put it up in the new house (or anything else yet until the painting is done…

rather, all of the repairs that need to be done to the walls before I can even begin to paint them).

But I rescued it from storage a few months ago, and I’m  really glad I still have it.

And I love hate love hate love hate love that he enables me in the keeping of old sh*t.

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Knot or not?

I’m adamant for leaving some original details in a home, but I’m having a terrible time deciding whether to keep our knotty pine paneling or paint over it.

knotty pine paneling

This is one of the few times I wished the previous owner painted over something so I could just throw up my arms and say oh well, stripping it would be a nightmare and involve chemicals, so I’ll just paint over it too.

And in theory, I could paint it knowing that it would be possible to restore it later by stripping it, but who would?

I could also preserve it by drywalling over it, but that would involve either renting a truck or having the drywall delivered, and that would cost more than a gallon of paint and primer (and I know, maybe two gallons of primer, the really heavy-duty kind).

knotty pine

I really hate early American decor, country style, rustic/primitive/PA Dutch stuff, and I’m not a fan of the cabin look unless I’m in a cabin.  Since we’re in a place with lots of trees and birds, it does often feel that we’re in a cabin, but then when we go to cabins it would feel like we didn’t leave home, and I want to feel like I’m in a cabin when I’m actually in a cabin, and when I’m home I like light open spaces.

We’ve also got some cheap 1970s fake wood paneling that I’m miserably attempting to fill in with spackle (more on that later) and have no regret “ruining,” but the pine is giving me pause…

knotty pine paneling & paint

It also begs for questionable colors in the pea soup and snot families…

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