Weekend Update

Nothing much to report; husband and I went to Van Aken Marketplace on Saturday for a little adventure. I ate Poutine for the first time ever (if anyone had told me it’s french fries with gravy on it, I would’ve certainly have done so sooner!) and was sad that I was too full to sample anything else. (Seriously, that was a half size portion? For what? a family of five? Egads.) We also got lovely baked goods from On the Rise, coffee and some Giftmas shopping done.

On Sunday we made a trip down Euclid avenue in Wickliffe to try out Couchland coffee shop; loved it. It’s spacious inside, lots of couches (which one aught to have suspected from the name) and a lovely library of books. Their Pumpkin Pie Latte was first rate; will certainly be returning.

Enamels Update: I did spend some time working on enamels. I put down a white pelican shape on the Pelican medallion I was working on and fired it; came out lumpy but I like it. I’m afraid the sunflower did not fire all the way; I thought it was done but enamel scratches off. Will need to re-do the final firing. The mixed brown continues to disappear sadly when fired. I was really watching the temperature and not keeping them in long but… blast. Maybe I need to be hotter and fast? Two of the portrait medallions are OK, not fabulous, but OK, nearing done. The large portrait medallion with the blue background continues to vex me. I put a plain robins egg blue background down on a new medallion; I’m planning on doing something sketchy on it. And I added another coat of white to my calligraphy experiment medallion. Oof. That was a lot, not terribly encouraged, but… continuing. I am learning, eh?

Quilt Update: Two more threads. Slowly but surely… can’t wait to be done with this project! I’m more than halfway done, maybe two thirds? with the top stitching.

Knitting Update: Plugging away at this shawl which is much bigger than I thought.


Thursday Gratitude

Today I am grateful for many things:

  • Remembering it is Thursday and to post gratitude 🙂
  • Coffee, through which all things are possible.
  • Yesterday after work the husband and I went shopping! It was a lovely outing. We got dinner at Panera, hit the Sketcher’s shoe outlet (Husband wanted new hiking boots) and ended getting coffee and a doughnut at Dunkin’, a very successful and pleasant outing.
  • Cooler temperatures; yay jacket weather! I’m wearing one of my favorite blazers today and my wool beret, oh how I’ve missed you cool weather accessories!
  • Pumpkin Spice Everything
  • Halloween
  • Apparently the traditional gift for 18th anniversary is porcelain. I win! hee.
  • I managed to pack my lunch all of my work in office days this week. Go me!
  • wordle, Sudoku and other silly little puzzle games
  • I have gotten to know some really great people of the years as coworkers that I would never have met otherwise, I’m grateful for that.

Style – Bloomchic

So I had been getting ads for Bloomchic on my facebook feed and one dress just looked nice, so I clicked on it… and it kept coming back on my feed and eventually I decided; oh hey why not? It wasn’t expensive. Add to cart.

It’s a plus-size store, so my size was the smallest they carry. (A size 10 on their site, normally I wear a 12 but the 10 was right for my measurements.) At the $30 some dollar price point I was concerned it would not be great… and indeed the fabric is quite thin (as you can see in my selfie) and unlined… however even though it’s a poly (egad, synthetic fibers!) it was comfortable. Very light though; you will want a slip if you get a lighter color or want to wear it in less warm weather.

What I like about this dress: It’s comfy and has pockets. Easy to accessorize it up or down for formality. Machine wash. Black goes with everything (including my inner goth). The sleeves are actually shorter than they look on line, which is a length I prefer. I can wear any number of colorful belts with this that have been languishing in my closet.

What I don’t like about this dress: The fabric is very thin, no lining. The waistline is at my ribs; it’s really an empire waist, which I find unflattering on my figure. Easily amended by wearing a lower belt, however. I’m not too fond of ‘lantern’ sleeves, there’s that elastic line on your arm afterward.

All in all; I am pleased and think it was worth the price point and yea verily, I may order another from them in the future.


Weekend Update

On Saturday the husband and I went to Coventry so I could pick up my copy of my sister’s new novel at Mack’s Backs. It was lovely, and I did as much shopping and browsing as the husband could stand, heh. Plus we got Lattes at Pheonix coffee and picked up a Grum sub for dinner (and dinner the next day, I really must remember that a half Grum is more than enough for the husband and I! mmm, so tasty though.)

I picked up my wool felting this weekend (after a madcap search through the house for my materials. Tsk. I had pulled them out to work on felting some weeks ago apparently, and not put it back where it goes. Bad, past me!) Anyway, I had this idea to make my own custom wool felt insoles. I purchased some navy blue wool blend insoles and using my needle felting needle, applied some wool roving to them.

Left insole with wool roving needle felted on it, right blank insole for comparison. I also trimmed the heel and top a little to make it more my foot shaped.

It took much less time than I thought it would! And today I am wearing them. We’ll see how the day goes on if it is a success or not. 🙂

Other updates: Quilt Update – continuing, did two or three more threads worth of top stitching. So slow! But progressing. Painting Update – Spent just a few minutes working on “Daddy Issues” not much, but I did it.

On Sunday we went to Foster’s Ice Cream and I got my first Pumpkin ice cream of the season, yum!


Thursday Gratitude

Look at me, remembering its Thursday ON Thursday! (Some days you have to take your wins where you get them. :))

As always I have much to be grateful for:

  • Today is a work from home day, woot! (I swapped Thursday for Wednesday so I could attend a work function yesterday so let’s also be grateful for my boss being flexible and allowing me to change days like that.)
  • Duolingo, I continue to maintain my streak in French. Mais oui! Je parle un peu de Francais. (Starting to feel like I am not horrible at it.)
  • Stable income; I am more wealthy than I ever imagined myself being when I was a kid. For my formative years my main goal was to not be poor… never really thought about being wealthy! heh. This is quite a pleasant surprise and I am grateful for it. (I understand that my definition of wealthy is different from other people’s, but honestly… I do not worry about paying for housing, food or necessities and I have enough money to go to a restaurant or tea shop or the occasional trip. That’s more than wealthy enough for me!)
  • Spell checkers. English, you continue to thwart my every attempt to use a large vocabulary with your non standard spellings. Thank goodness there are spell checkers!
  • Speaking of having money; I bought a new eShakti dress, and a skirt and a dress from another site this month. Hee. Grateful to have the savings that such whim purchases are not at all damaging to my lifestyle. Plus, new clothes! with pockets!
  • Mark and I tried out a new (to us, anyway) tea shop last week. The Perky Kettle in Chesterland; it was lovely. Do recommend and so happy to have found a tea shop with a patio! Very proper English afternoon tea.
  • Scones and clotted cream.
  • Black currants
  • The eShakti dress I ordered is now listed as out of stock on their website; which makes me feel happier that I bought it instead of waiting.

Weekend Update

I neglected to post Thursday Gratitude, mea culpa gentle reader, I actually took Thursday afternoon off and it was lovely. The husband and I went to a tea house “The Perky Kettle” in nearby Chesterland. The afternoon tea was quite properly british, by the way, and we had a lovely time. But with that and the usual hustle of my Friday workday I quite forgot about Gratitude. Tsk.

It was a long holiday weekend and I am certainly grateful for that! On Saturday the husband and I went to exotic Cleveland Heights and had a lovely time. We visited Critical Hit Games on Cedar specifically to pet kittens. The owners are fostering kittens and had them available in store for petting and admiration. Afterward we went to Lee road for coffee and discovered a new patisserie, Sophie La Gourmande. Lovely! Felt like walking into a cafe in France! And delicious. Will absolutely have to go back! We also went to the DMV (such fun.) and Library.

Sunday I tackled my to do list and got much done including:
Knitting Update: I finished the baby bonnet. Eeee. It is very cute and was relatively easy. Kind of want to knit another… but went back to my Ukranian scarf because one aught to finish the works in progress first. I put the bonnet on a stuffed animal to take photos for Ravelry. V. Cute.

Quilt Update: Continued top stitching. Did four threads worth on Saturday and Sunday. I’d say I’m about 75% Done? Good move forward. Can’t wait to finish the thing.

Painting Update: Painted a small bit on “Daddy Issues” moving ever closer to done.

On Monday we went on a quest for Pumpkin Spice Lattes; foolishly as the first two coffee shops we tried were closed for Labor Day. d’oh! We finally ended up at Starbucks so mission was successful. We also went to Lowe’s just to walk a bit indoors (It was rainy and walking outdoors did not appeal.) Which also had the unfortunate side effect of thinking of new projects to do around the house, heh. I was absolutely delighted by their quantity and variety of Halloween decor for sale, by the by.


Style Blog – Casual day

Today’s offering; Cavern Club T-shirt, skirt, jacket and carnelian necklace

This is the same knit skirt from eShakti from my last post; really it was a great buy, I don’t know why I hesitated over the “Add to cart” button. A black knit skirt with pockets is such a versatile wardrobe staple! For my day off I pared it with a Cavern Club T-shirt (purchased on vacation in Liverpool a few years ago) my gray lacy jacket from Passport to Peru and this great carnelian necklace from Feed the Ravens etsy store (it’s antique carnelian! Like, hundreds of years old. How cool is that?)

What I like about this outfit: Very comfy. The skirt has pockets. The jacket covers the spaghetti straps on the top, allowing me to wear a bra with it as those straps are now covered too, and my upper arms which I am so self-conscious of. The necklace is a great pop of color and such a cool statement piece. Bragging that I have been to the Cavern Club in Liverpool.

What I don’t like about this outfit: The constant fear that my bra strap will show. *sigh*

Life · Uncategorized

The Art of Self-denial

The self is a hard thing to see; even for people who self-examine regularly. I’m becoming more and more aware of my long history of self-denial. Like many women I was always taught to put other people first, but it goes deeper than that. I deny myself even when there is no one else involved! Really, it is the thing I do best.

I deny myself a proper meal; grabbing a granola bar instead of making myself lunch.

I deny myself things I want; telling myself that I’m robbing someone of a gift idea for my birthday or Christmas (and then when I don’t get the thing… I am sad and wait until the next major holiday hoping. And then the store closes and I will never, ever get that Star Trek tankini. Alas!)

I deny myself exercise; feeling that self care is a waste of time

I deny myself food I like, getting whatever is cheaper instead, what they have too much of, what’s easy/fast, etc.

I deny my own to do list to help out others.

I deny myself music; my husband gave me a nice Sony Walkman MP3 player, but I never found the time to set it up and add music to it. I don’t buy myself music, either. I don’t turn on the radio, even. This is sad. I love music.

I deny myself time; not taking vacation days or sick days, working through breaks, working early or late…

I deny myself the things I want to do; If I want to paint in the evening, but my husband wants to watch a movie? I watch the movie, and feel bad I didn’t paint. (When I know if I just said “Actually, sweetie, I want to go paint.” he’d be “OK! I’ll watch this movie you don’t like!”)

I’m just noticing the pattern… and how pernicious it is.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m better at this than I used to be, thus my New Year’s resolution this year to turn on the heat or air conditioning in my car even if I’m the only one in it. (And I’ve been doing that! mostly.) Baby steps. Recognizing the problem and the pattern is a big step, eh?


Style Blog – floral and feminine

Today’s offering; net vest-thingy over a blue shirt and black skirt

Not sure if this is really work appropriate, but I felt pretty in it! My sister Marie had this lacy over-jacket and I about bullied her into buying me one too because OMG! Look at it! I feel very feminine in it and am on a continuing quest to find the perfect paring for it. For this look I added a light blue silk-cotton t-shirt from Winter Silks and a black knit skirt (with pockets!) from eShakti and a new pretty necklace from Brighton. My “If you can read this you’re too close” mask is from Beau Ties.

What I like about this outfit: The t-shirt and skirt are very comfortable, both being knit and natural fabrics. The gauze over-jacket makes me feel like an Edwardian aristocrat going to tea. You just want to twirl in this thing. I like how the light color of the t-shirt brings out the pattern of the lace. I like that the skirt has pockets, absolutely necessary. I love how the necklace fits with the neckline.

What I don’t like about this outfit: The t-shirt’s collar is a little mis-shapen. The pockets in the skirt are slightly less accessible (one must fuss with the over-layer to get to them.) I do feel that it’s a tad casual for the office, but it was a day when I had no meetings, eh?

Like I said, it’s a continuing quest to find the perfect outfit for this particular jacket. I do love it though so onward! I think this one was successful, but it’s not quite the perfect paring yet.

Art · Life

Weekend Update – Waterloo Arts Festival!

I was feeling depressed a lot last week; and as the weekend approached all I wanted to do was sleep. However I was also desperately aware that I needed to get out of the house and do SOMETHING. A friend had mentioned the Waterloo Arts Festival and I remembered it fondly. I was sure the husband would be against it; so many people! But, when I hesitantly broached the subject, he was all for it! yay!

Saturday morning we attended an on-line class about Swedish gilt leather embroidery and seal bags (So cool!) and then we headed out for the Festival. It was really fun; so much to see! and so much bigger than in the past! It was great to walk through and look at all of the cool arts and crafts. We got a Slovenian sausage to split (husband declared he could’ve eaten a full one, but it was so big! I certainly couldn’t have!) In all, a very pleasant afternoon and my first street fair in probably five years. 10/10 would recommend, totally will go back again. And we bought a small ceramic gnome. Because we always need more gnomes.

It was a Very Good Day.

On Sunday I declared a desire to go to the park, and so we did. We went to the North Chagrin reservation and had a thoroughly long and pleasant walk. Afterwards I took us to Panera for lunch! ha! wild and crazy! Going out for lunch! for no reason but to go out to lunch! It was glorious.

Sunday was also a good day.

And I did get some stuff done too.

Knitting Update: Impatient for my additional yarn to arrive which is stalling the shawl I was working on, I started a baby bonnet. (Bonnet for Baby Emma from the best of Jane Austin Knits, in fact.) Am about a third done with it too. Small things are fun. Also using lace yarn from the stash so extra bonus points for stash reduction. The yarn for the shawl arrived on Saturday, by the way, but now it will wait until baby bonnet is done. 🙂

Quilt Update: Yes, I worked on the quilt. Slow but steady. 11 inches square done now? about?

Painting Update: Spent a very few minutes painting on Daddy Issues. Glad I did.