fredag 20 juli 2012

Summer flu and Bennäs library

Summer vacation is supposed to be just that.
Vacation during the summer.

But when your body gets the summer flu, things change. What was supposed to be vacation gets turned into a boring sleeping sneezing not-meeting-your-relatives kind of vacation. And trying cure your flu while trying to get some sleep in a bed that's not your own.

But there is a silver lining here - being ill in a different town means that you can explore the content of books at the local library. Getting a library card wasn't that hard either, and thay didn't even look funnily at the "small pile of books" I wanted to borrow either.

Only flip side with them is that I already read them all, and now I want more.

I wonder if someone in the family have time to go with me to the library again today...?

Small pile of books, tea and a packet of tissues.

torsdag 29 mars 2012

The thirteenth thing you didn't know about me


The Truth about me Thursday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present one truth about myself.

Most persons like to talk. Some more than others. I'm one of those.


Most people like to talk the most about one simple topic. Themselves. Unless they're embarrassed by something they've done, then not so much. Or depressed.

Another thing is that some people go on and on and on about certain topics. Think broken records, but without the scratching sounds in between sentences. At times, this can make them really boring to  talk to, at other times they make you so frustrated that you actually debate whether you can just dare to leave the conversation. Just walk away. Even though it's perceived as very rude, and your Mother/Father certainly taught you better manners.

I once got the comment, from a friend, that

"You talk a lot, but unlike [other friend's name]
you always talk about different things"

I know, I know. And yes, I do. But not when I'm depressed.

And then.... there's the people who like to win in debates.

No matter the topic, if the other person says something you know is just wrong, you immediately have to correct them. Successfully being "right" and proving the other person "wrong" gives you satisfaction. Even more if you can then go on and further "educate" them about why the right is... well, "right". If you "loose", then you get angry.

I'm one of them too.

But since last autumn (that is, since 2011) I had this... well not exactly an epiphany but still a similar experience. I won't go into details, because of all the thing about  talking-too-much here above, but I will say that trying to lessen this "need to win while debating" is making some parts of my life Heck*.

Endeavouring to be both brief and don't egg people on in debates is one of the hardest things I'm trying to learn. I guess it can be thought of as being part of my mantra. The hardest hard thing about it is doing it so that no one notices. And I'm not there yet.

* In the comic strip Dilbert (created by Scott Adams) "heck" is a lesser version of hell reserved for people who have done misdeeds that are not evil enough to warrant hell. Heck is ruled by Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light who carries a giant spoon instead of a pitchfork.

onsdag 28 mars 2012

Craft Project Wednesday: cont. Three V&A dresses


Craft Project Wednesday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present a craft project I'm currently working on.

Okay, today's update on the three dresses are thus:

The violet and the two brown dresses have gotten all their upper parts (top and lining) cut out and the edges have been zigzag'ed. They're all mostly sewn together now too. The skirt parts also went through the same treatment, and only the violet skirt is still not sewn together with it's upper part.

And... I took out the (still unfinished *sigh*) green summer dress, and finally made the lining for it.

Parts before they got zigzag'ed.
Most boring part, unless you count hemming the last part around the skirt. The worst part about sewing is that you can't really tune out while you're doing it - it's like you're going hypnotic on the surrsurrsurr while desperately wishing it to be over. The silence between finishing one piece and reaching for the next is really loud.

The violet dress, but now the upper part
has been sewn together with the skirt.

Most of all, I wanted the violet one finished. Which (naturally) led to it being the last one I can finish. Where will I find a violet 40 cm zipper in just the right color?

The parts that make up the upper part.
This is the lining for the green dress.

Finally, the upper part's lining for that dress is done. I just wanted to show you how the separate parts look. Not that hard to cut out, no? It doesn't give you a flattering décolletage, but it's easy to sew.


...and after,

Yes, I know, my iPhone can't capture the exact color of light green. It's weird, but it's true: all photos  either show it as too yellow or too blue. Most annoying.

So now, instead of three dresses
we have five near-finished ones.
I just need a few more things for them...

After all of this sewing, I'm kinda glad I'm going on a trip during the weekend. We're going to Uppsala for the weekend, me and three people from my folkdance group. So, no sewing for three days, no more surrsurrsurr...

It will give me some time to plan the decorations I want on the dresses. If I get a moment to myself, between all the folkdancing.

lördag 24 mars 2012

Craft space presentation


Okay, I must immediately admit that I got inspired from one thing that Tove wrote a while back on her crafts-blog. It was about the need to get a craft space. As in, a room or big desk or something similar where you can leave your handicraft and other project and still have room left in the house to just ... well, live? And not sort of get swamped in projects all the time.

I must say, I do get what she's writing about. Because I've sort of resorted to use different parts of our home for different types of crafts.

Here, let me show you...

My desk.

You've seen it before, and you're sure to see it again. Right now there's probably between four and ten projects currently "in progress" on it. Most of them are hobby jewelry projects, but since I want to use my desk for normal writing too... all of these project sort of "shuffle around" on the desk.

Perched on the cabinet beside the desk...

Here's where I put some of the "done" jewelry projects, as well as most of the tools and other "stuff" that didn't fit into the black small drawers. I wrote in January how I thought the "order" in the black drawers and in the white IKEA-flower pots would last perhaps a month... But surprise surprise, so far nothing have come and magically destroyed the order. Everything sort of "accuired" a place of its own, and has decided to stay put. Quite unbelievable, if you ask me.

The rest of the book case.

Queue our big book case. Where - in addition to books - I also have to store my sewing machine, my sewing threads and the odd bric-a-brac of buttons/zippers/ribbons/pincushions.

The sofa.

My new favorite nook for sitting and just be. Or read. Or surf the web, or crochet. The small red IKEA-lamp will someday be exchanged for a brighter one, because hand sewing is nearly impossible to do here. Oh, and the storage spaces inside the "extension" parts are filled with my knitting yarn and our extra blankets.

The opposite corner in the couch is Micke's. But he likes my corner better.

Because the extension cord for the computer doesn't reach that well into "his" corner.

The big bamboo-leaf flower pot by the sofa.

It's filled to the brim (and then some...) with "project bags" with sewing/crochet/knitting projects. If you keep a project in a bag, it won't become dusty and won't loose any essential hooks/needles/yarns. Thus, you can store them nearly ad nauseum.

Our kitchen.

Because I craft there too, and not only by cooking. As evidence, you can see that there's a project in the sink...

I bought (although it was more a case of window-pity-shopping than anything else) a really dehydrated Phalaenopsis aphrodite orchid (swe. brudorkidée) for 6 € from our local mini-market. Just to see if I could get it to not loose all its white flowers.

Yes, I'm a sucker for dying plants. Especially since I knew it to be a WT orchid (wild type) and not a "simple" hybrid nor a "intergeneric" hybrid like the other two Phalaenopsis I have. Yes... I do like plant genetics.

Our *cough* walk in closet.

Well.... then there's the "walk in" closet. Not so much a "walk in" anymore... because the crafts supplies that I rarely use or are so bulky that I can't put them anywhere else are found here.

Sometimes, things fall on you from the upper shelves.

The white book case, upper part.

The yellow postal box is currently filled with old coffee packages. Because I'm gonna sew them together and add them to the "quilt" made out of coffee packages that I already have. No idea when this is going to/must happen though, but probably before the 1st of May.

The white book case, lower part.

Then there's oil paints, aquarel paints, fabric paints, package ribbon, various small jars with wooden beads... Lots of stuff.

And all the rest, on the floor.

And on the floor (as well as in the black cardboard boxes to the right...) there's my current stash of fabrics. The "Big Blue Bag" (that have white letters and says "My Big Blue Bag) has the inherited fabrics, and the light blue plastic bag is some of my "current" sewing projects. The "God Jul" bag has old video tapes in it. Because... well, they needed to be somewhere and this was it? Perhaps.

I don't know if I - or you for that matter - learned anything from my photos, except for the undeniable fact that I too want a place to store ALL this is, and not spread it around the house.

One can always wish.


fredag 23 mars 2012

Craft Friday: Variations


Craft Friday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present either a hobby jewelry technique
or project I'm currently working on.

One thing I'm really glad for is the fact that since I decided that I wouldn't get stressed out or make any kind of excuses for a sudden lapse in my blogging. My text, my rules. Which is why I'm letting you know that last Friday's craft post has gotten slightly postponed. I wanted to write this post instead, and leave the post I had planned to write about "lack of inspiration" for a later Friday.

Yay, editor and writer's choice! Gotta love it.


So, instead I'm going to distract you all with some photos and talk about doing variations. More specifically, what I tried out a few days ago.

Upwards down on the paper:
coated tiger wire (black),
crimp bead covers in various diameters
and some 'goldish' small plastic beads.

I'll return to the crimp bead covers (shown in the photo) in a bit.

Now, I have written it here before, and I'm sure to comment on it again: I am not good at coming up with variations, and I'm really bad at randomization. Nevertheless, I wanted to see if I could force myself to up with any variations for the plastic "Christmassy" necklace I've already made some time ago.

Now, that necklace was a test, so some parts on it were a bit ... sloppily done. Mostly because I had to take it apart a few times. Which is why I wouldn't dare to give it away as a present. So, I made a new one, "version 1", which turned out much better.

In "version 1" (as in the "test" one I myself use) I used thicker red nylon beading string to string the red beads and the smaller 'goldish' beads in between. For "version 2" and "version 3" I used the black tiger wire (that you can see in the photo above).

Version 2 (left) and version 1 (right).
Notice the one vs. three bead "spacer" between
the red beads themselves.

So, the variation here is in the "space" between the red beads. Three vs. one 'goldish' beads. I still like the one with three better, though.

Tiger wire vs. nylon beading string.
Version 2 (left) and version 1 (right).
The tiger wire combo with the crimp beads in their
respective crimp bead covers makes that version look
a lot more tidy. Especially around the lock.
But the variation with the tiger wire does present nicer ends at the lock. Oh well.

"Version 3" on the beading board.

Now, "the thing" with tiger wire and crimp beads + covers is that you can make these things called floating or illusion necklaces. Which derives its name from the fact that (if done right) the beads seemingly just "float" on the wire, and if you use transparent wire it giving you the illusion of them just floating on your skin.

Well, onward to how it turned out.

"Version 3", the floating necklace.
And, no, this is not product placement for the computer brand,
it was just the only white thing I happened to have within reach
to use as a background... But if you're still mumbling "smygreklam"
then how about the Fiskars scissors in the upper right corner? :P

Yes, it looks pretty okay to me.

The thing that was even more fun to notice was that the crimp bead covers make this "jingle jingle" sound around the crimp beads. So, it turned into a real "jingle beads necklace".

All the variations
(from left to right):
test, version 1, 2 and 3.

And that was pretty much what I wanted to show you. From beading string to tiger wire, from one type of spacer to just "space" (on the floating necklace).

torsdag 22 mars 2012

The twelfth thing you didn't know about me


The Truth about me Thursday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present one truth about myself.

Every person has quirks that make them contradictory.

One of mine is that I try being ecological... but I still take loooong showers. I crave showers. It's usually the first thing I want to have in the morning - otherwise I don't really wake up - and it's usually the last thing I do before going to bed. Beginnings and ends. How each day starts, and how each day ends.

With endorphins.

Back in the summers when I went to scout camps, camporees and even one jamboree, I always sort of had to go on a morning swim. Salt och sweet water made no difference to me, or if it was kinda cold or if it was raining. Had to take my morning dip in water.

So I can't really say it's a need for warm water, it's more a need to get clean. Well, since anthropology and neuroscience gives us hints (nice subject by the way, much found online but don't read the popular science bits, go for the good stuff, like this nice and easy lecture from Colombia University, NY) that women generally do have better sense of smell than men, it might just be that I don't like to smell bad.

But then on the other hand, who does?
Oh, yeah, those people and their houses that Kim and Aggie cleaned up....

onsdag 21 mars 2012

Craft Project Wednesday: Three V&A dresses


Craft Project Wednesday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present a craft project I'm currently working on.

Okay, the deal is like this. My stash of fabrics - with fabrics and textiles inherited from my mom/aunts/grandmothers - isn't miraculously getting any smaller. Even with Ida and Mimi picking out some fabrics that they could use for new sofa cushions. So I need to get in there, and get cutting.

Which is what I spent 2 hours on, today.

With the risk of sounding like a one-trick-pony here, I just went ahead and cut out the parts I need to make three identical V&A-dresses. Yup, the same vintage dress pattern I've used before, and probably will again and again and again...

I mean, because I really like the skirt-part on it. It falls nicely, it's easy to cut out and to sew. And modify, since not everyone is a size S. Like when I did Mimi's Frostbite dress. But the upper part.... Don't like it. At all. Which is why I've tried to come up with new ideas for how to sew that upper part of the dress. 

But today was just about cutting out parts. Don't have time or inspiration for anything else.

One skirt i violet, two in brown. And pockets for all of them.
The violet fabric is a not-too-thin-cotton one I found in the
"as is" boxes at Eurokangas, and the brown feels like some cotton
and polyester mix. Don't know what it is, but I know it came from one
of the aunts. There wasn't a huge-huge amount of it, but I'm still guessing
that someone bought it to sew drapes. Just my guess.
I'm such a Scarlett O'Hara...

When I have more (of both), I'll start sewing. The good thing is that I have matching sewing thread and a zipper for the violet one, the bad is that I don't for the brown ones. But I'll manage. I do have black lining fabric for one of the brown dresses, but I think I'll wait and head out to Jätti-Rätti when I have the money and time for such an adventure. I need to make a list of all the things I need, and buy them all at once.

And maybe I'll be able to lure someone to come with me too. It's pretty boring to go on an adventure alone.

fredag 16 mars 2012

Craft Friday: Lack of inspiration - what to do?


Craft Friday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present either a hobby jewelry technique
or project I'm currently working on.

So, in holding with the 1:1 ratio of jewelry design, and continuing on creating a mixed media necklace out of Emmis's and mine broken porcelain plates, I must say I'm currently really lacking the 50% inspiration needed. It's not that I don't want to create anything, because I do, but I just can't get the hint of an idea to even form in my head.

And this is annoying, to say the least.

I've put all the things I'll need for the project on my desk, and I've put my scrap book open on the "right page" there for all to see, I've even thought up a few techniques I thought I try out with the polymer clay on the same time.

But I just can't come up with any real inspirational ideas.

Which is why I think this post should be about how people find inspiration from different media for different projects. That's a good theme, right? I'll just continue on this blog post tomorrow, when I've thought it through a little bit more. No harm done, right? :)

torsdag 15 mars 2012

The eleventh thing you didn't know about me


The Truth about me Thursday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present one truth about myself.

Okay, so far I've written about my drinking habits, my eating habits, and how I like to cook.

Food, food and more food. Story of my life, at least for the moment on my blog.

What I was going to write today was about how I do realize that I'm actually overcompensating with my cooking today the fact that my Dad didn't allow us kids to cook that much while we were still living at home. Which is sad, since theoretical knowledge about how to cook something really doesn't compare with practical knowledge.

I do, however, understand how a stressed out parent might not want the kids to bake something just before the dinner preparations are supposed to start. A sink full of dirty bowls and utensils, and the oven being used, isn't really helping. Cue hungry and not-so-happy family. Hypoglycemic people are generally not very nice.

But cooking is also about learning timing.

Which is really hard, if you're not allowed to practice. Combine this with my time-optimism, and you get terrible results. Especially if you want to cook from scratch.

But, about overcompensation.

I think it might run in the family, because I can't really remember times when the cooks/family has been satisfied with just serving nondescript normal boring food. Although this can be best seen when the family has some big event that needs to have food made... because then we clearly go over the top with the cooking. Like, don't e.g. get me started about Christmas-dinner.

I do it, my father does it, my aunt does it. Their mom (my grandmother, oh how I still miss her and her cooking!) did it, as well as my grandfather. Except he mainly did sausage and meat dishes... which meant that his korvsoppa (eng. sausage soup) had a ratio of 90% sausage, 5% vegetables and 5% water. I'm not kidding. Seriously, I'm not. But he'd worked at a butcher shop, so...

So, for my family I'm quite normal, but I can't really generalize this behavior to just my family. I'm sure there's more wonderful people out there who do exactly the same.

Anyone who eats three meals a day
should understand why
cookbooks outsell sex books
three to one.

(who happened to be an American newspaper
columnist who wrote a lifestyle-column)

onsdag 14 mars 2012

Craft Project Wednesday: the Eeme baby blanket


Craft Project Wednesday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present a craft project I'm currently working on.

Since I haven't posted anything about crocheting for a while, I thought I'd remedy that.

Already some time ago - I think it was last autumn - I held an arts & crafts party here at our place. Amng other things, Anne left me a box with things (some fabrics, ricrac and yarn) she said she didn't have any use for. Among the yarns there was 5 skeins of "baby pastel" colored ones that I completely understand why she hadn't found any use for them.

Neither of us are 'pastel' color users, but one thing that soft pastel colors are routinely used for is... baby stuff. And even though neither of us are expecting, or have friends who are, I just thought "why the heck not?" and started on a baby blanket.

The pattern is one I found in the very lovely book The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet by Margaret Hubert. The pattern is called Four-color Spiral, and that's exactly what it is. The blanket will be as big as there's yarn for it. Which means that it will be pretty small.

Here's Eeme, but the pastels are actually much lighter
shades than what my iPhone's camera manages to convey,

I started on it when I was still sick with Norovirus last week, and it was more a consolation project than anything else. So, I haven't gotten very far on it, but we'll see....

fredag 9 mars 2012

Craft Friday: the Memento mori earrings


Craft Friday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present either a hobby jewelry technique
or project I'm currently working on.

This one is gonna be quite short. If you have no idea what memento mori is, then go and read about it.

Mine and Micke's good friend Ida turned 26 years yesterday, and tomorrow she's throwing a come-as-you-are birthday party over at the only Irish pub here in Turku. And for her birthday, I'm giving her:

Ida's new Memento mori-earrings.

Why? Well, I thought she would think them cool, and since she's an art history major... I just thought she'd get it.

What do you think? Too weird - or too odd - a present?

update written the following Monday:
She really liked them! I'm so relieved! For once I've managed to make a jewelry-present that was spot on. Huge success, and a huge relief. I'm so glad :)

torsdag 8 mars 2012

The tenth thing you didn't know about me


The Truth about me Thursday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present one truth about myself.

Happy International Women's Day.
Today's post is, among other things, about being a woman.

If the previous "truth" post, the one that was about my 'drinking' habits, then I think I need to write one about my eating. Eating habits, that is.

It seems to me, that more and more people make some fuss about eating. One one hand it does make sense, since eating/drinking/excreting/breathing/sleeping/procreating are major facts of life. On the other hand, eating should be as easy as, well, breathing. Which our bodies manage to do autonomously.
Oh, part of our eating, the whole digestive-tract-catabolism-thing that's part of our metabolism, that's autonomous. And most of us don't think that much about it... except for us with allergies. Or stomach/digestive problems. Or those with digestive tract cancer. Oh well... there I really put my foot in my mouth.

But this wasn't what I thought I'd write about for todays post.

I wanted to adress my eating habits.

When I was still in primary school , I remember how my dad used to stock the fridge with snack for us kids to eat before dinner was put on the table. Much of it was processed, and microwave meals, and now that I think back on it all I'm not so surprised that I had bad acne and really difficult skin. No problems with my digestive tract though, or allergies. Those came later.

But I did love to eat. Food was nice, and since dad explicitly forbid us kids to "fix" stuff in the kitchen, it was one of the places I wanted to be.
Still is.

But there is something about the whole growing up-thing when you're a girl, and looking at my parents I guess I decided pretty early on that I didn't want to look like them when I got older. I'm not saying "fat", I'm telling you "overweight". And that is were young girls run into a whole mess of danger, growing up.

First, how would you feel is your father always complained of how little you ate at dinner? Because you didn't eat three (3!!!) whole plates like him? Especially if the food was mainly starch and fats and there was hardly ever any fresh salad on the table?

Secondly, if you see your mom trying to diet so that her knees would hold better, how does that make you as a girl feel about your own body?

Thirdly, how does it makes you feel when the most important thing in your family is creating food, but your gut (yes - a pun!) is telling you something with it is off?

No wonder I still skip meals then.

Didn't do it then, but started with it when I moved to Turku in 2001 to start my studies at Åbo Academy University. For the first time in my life I, and I alone!, was responsible for me being well fed. And it was heavenly. Not just because I could cook as much as I liked - but because I could choose when/what/where.

But, about skipping meals.

Sometimes, I do it just because there's nothing in the fridge, or because it would take too much time to make anything, or because we don't have enough fresh fruits, or.... there's a whole list of reasons.

But only one answer. "Because I don't feel it's too bad if I just skip a meal". It worries Micke, though.  Because he doesn't cook, so he thinks it's okay to take short cuts. Like making four sandwiches instead of dinner.

But it's like the joke:

I'm half-bulimic. I eat a lot, but then
I just forget to throw it all up afterwards.

That is a most terrible joke. But I do eat, with gusto, with a passion, really tasting the things I put in my mouth, and go to great lengths to make tasty meals. I'm a foodie, and I will never be anything else.
But I don't want to wake up when I'm 70 years old, wondering why I'm diabetic and overweight. I don't want to substitute dinner with snacks, and I don't need 3 plates to feel well fed.

It is suppose to feel as easy as breathing. But I guess, it's not. It looks like this thing with eating, it will haunt us all our whole lives through.

onsdag 7 mars 2012

Craft Project Wednesday: the Oomen stones


Craft Project Wednesday is a 2012 recurring blog post
 where I present a craft project I'm currently working on.

Okay, you know how some people collect things for no apparent reason? Well, I happen to "collect" the links of web pages of people who have either a biomedical/biochemical degree, but then either works in some field totally opposite or in it in some odd setting or another. Or just happen to blog about something other than biosciences.

Thus I present to you: Margaret Oomen. She blogs over at Resurrectionfern. She takes amazing photos, and some of the things she blogs about is crocheting and embroidery. I found out about her when the people at the Purl Bee (a store in SoHo, New York) had her over for a presentation of one of her patterns.

If you google her name, you're overrun with photos of smooth stones covered with crocheted lace patterns. But even better, check out her Flickr-stream!

It's different types of crocheted stones all the way, and some even have patchwork! But no matter what, I still like her plain white-on-stone ones the best.

Which is why I'm presenting to you my four "Margaret Oomen"-stones. I used pieces of doily crochet patterns from the book Crochet Inspiration by Sasha Kagan. To make the "coats", I started on a doily pattern, and then tried to fit it snugly around the stone with rows of single and treble crochet. The stones were the ones I collected when I was visiting Emmis and her parents out on their summer cottage last August.

My Margaret Oomen stones.
Yeah, even though they're not made by her,
I'm still giving her all the credit.
As I well should.

To make the "coats", I used a 2 mm crochet hook and white leftover yarn I had gotten from one of my maternal aunts.

Pick a motif, and then just crochet in the round.
I actually found it very relaxing, since
most of it was free crochet.
I think I'm gonna do this again this summer, if I manage to scavenge up some more stones and happen to have a small hook and white yarn with me. It would be cool to add more motifs to the collection.

fredag 2 mars 2012

Craft Friday: functional jewelry design and dancing


Craft Friday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present either a hobby jewelry technique
or project I'm currently working on.

I must confess that I hadn't really planned ahead on what to write for today. We're going to catch a train today up north to Bennäs, because one of Micke's cousins is getting married on Saturday. Everything is packed, so we're good to go, as soon as I finish this post.

Planning for this wedding - wondering what to pack, and which shoes, and which earrings to bring - kind of got me thinking about functional design again. A well planned and executed design means that the jewelry piece in question is wearable to a lot of occasions, on top of being aesthetically pleasing.

Weddings usually means dancing, and dancing usually makes you move faster than you normally do. Depending on the dance, you might even stand closer to your partner than what you do when normally  just conversing with them. Which means that the jewelry you're wearing must accommodate or conform to this.

There's nothing more embarrassing than having your necklace swing around and hit your partner on the cheek. Done that.... whops...
Or that your earrings, with clip-on studs, fall off because you happen to move your head too fast, done that too...sorry! or getting it stuck in your hair... Or worse, the other person's hair!
Or having the focal bead/stone on your necklace create a hard lump on your chest that gets grained into your chest bones every time your partner tries to swing you around. Ouch ouch, done that too.... 

So, my point today is:

  • conduct "trial runs" with the jewelry in question, if you're gonna use it while dancing/other sport activity.
  • make sure the finish on it can handle sweat.
  • weight need to be pretty precise, especially for earrings, because they will move up and down on your body and create places of irritation. 
That's all I came up with for today, next Friday I'll write about something where I can post photos too.

torsdag 1 mars 2012

The ninth thing you didn't know about me


The Truth about me Thursday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present one truth about myself.

There's this interesting thing about elementary-trough-high school alcohol and drug education.

It worked, on me. Don't know about the rest of the people, but at least on me.

I was an absolutist until I was 23 years and some months old. And then, it was pretty much a conscious choice for me to start imbibing alcohol. On a "alcohol oriented student event". Although, aren't they all?

Like any scientific experiment I ran through the test itself,
which meant drinking about 10 portions of alcohol in 6 hours,
after which I got very dizzy and thus very nauseous,
drank at least a liter of soda water,
all the while complaining loudly how dizzy I was,
then felt slightly better,
ate a burger and some fries at McD,
then fell asleep at home in bed,
while the whole world was still spinning through the roof,
although that was probably just my vestibular system having problems,
woke up at 07:35,
got myself to (lab)work,
because it was Thursday,
and didn't feel anything worse than just plain old tiredness.

Although my lab handler did ask me "weren't you supposed to be home today?". And one of the friends I had gone to the event with spent her night, and half her day, sleeping in her bathroom because her hangover was so terrible.

After this, I have been hungover - as in "really" hungover - perhaps three times.

Because, as Micke says it, I'm a terrible drinker. Because I really don't... drink that much. And I drink really slowly. We've seen that time and time again, where he drinks perhaps 2,5 beers while I'm still sipping on my first glas (12 cl) of wine. And after a certain point, I just don't want any anymore.

I can handle the tiredness that comes on the next day, but I have no intention of spending my day alternating between being decked out and/or throwing up because of the alcohol poisoning. Which being hungover really is all about.

So I know how it is like on both sides of the coin. Funny thing is, out of the definitions about drinking that I've grown up with

absolutist (meaning total alcohol abstinence)
nykterist (meaning you drink a little)
drickare (meaning you're a "normal" drinker)
alkoholist (meaning you over-indulge)

I think that some of the most judgmental people I've come across are the ones in the first category. Alternatively talking down about the people drinking, or egging them on with more. I guess it the same with sex: those who haven't any personal experience with it seem to spend too much time thinking about it. It's really weird, but I still understand them. But I don't want to condone such behavior either.

Oh well, this post certainly became quite long, and I only wanted to say "Hi, I'm Ea, and I'm really not that much of a drinker. Of either alcohol or water." There you have it.

onsdag 29 februari 2012

Craft Project Wednesday: Random Café au Lait necklace


Craft Project Wednesday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present a craft project I'm currently working on.

So, I've written before about knotting necklaces. And how there's enough tutorials found online about that. Just google it, I promise you're sure to find one to your likning.

My "random" Café au Lait necklace,
still lacking a clasp but otherwise nearly completed.
Hence, the tape and taped together strings.

What I, however, haven't written about is how long I've waited and much I've wanted to make a copy of the "Café au Lait"-necklace found in the book "Mastering the Art of Beading" by Genevieve A. Sterbenz

Well, the answer is "long enough". Really. That book is one of the best books - if not THE best book - I've read at least so far about making bead and wire jewelry. It's clearly thought through, written in such a way that it's an absolute delight to read, the photos illustrate just what they're supposed to and nothing more, and the layout (with a complete glossary about techniques, with photos, in the back).... oh my, how I adore this book.

Excerpt from the book.
How aptly the author writes it:
"bonus projects". Because you'd only
known this if you'd bothered to read
through the introduction.

If you'd buy only one beading book as a reference book, then this would be the one. I'm certainly gonna buy it, as soon as I get those extra 30 euros saved away for it... *sigh* Having a limited budget sure sucks.

Well, the project named "Café au Lait" in this book is a knotted necklace with a color scheme of soft browns & beige & golds. You can see what it looks like in the photo here under; it's the middle project on the first row. 

Excerpt from the back cover.
Middle project, first row, that's the one I'm talking about.

I wouldn't have had any beads suitable for it unless I would have gotten some as a Christmas present from Mimi. In her own word she "was very likely not to ever use them, so why not donate them" to me instead. The color scheme they have is more cold bronze/brown/beige, but it still suits the "idea" of the project, so I went for it.

After some heavy thinking and weighting of options, I used the nylon thread I bought from Blingi last Christmas (quite thick, but I have no idea about it's wpi!). It's really slippery, and won't knot well, so I actually didn't. Just used it as I would regular wire. I'm sure this decision will come back to haunt me later, but...

Finally, my bigger bead board is empty!
I was going slightly bonkers from not being able to move it,
because of all the pearls already put into the design on it.

The hardest thing about designing this whole necklace was to randomize the positions of the beads. I think too much in symmetry to get a pattern to truly look random. Which is why this was a good training exercice. Just like a computer, I find randomization hard.
And yes, as evident from the photo, my desk is filled with an odd assortment of bric-a-brac. Nothing new there... But it IS easier and faster now to clear away the non-needful things, thanks to the black drawers I got. 

There, nicely tucked away with a reminder that I have to fix
a clasp and 4 clam shell caps for it. Oh, and just to make some
"smygreklam", I wrote it on a Nordlek 2012 card for you to see :) 
So, only thing left on this project is two little things: clasp and some caps.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get those soon, so that I can get this whole thing done ASAP. Otherwise, it will be like "just the zipper and hem"-thing in the post about the Frostbite dress.

tisdag 28 februari 2012

Sore feet

After the party my folkdance-group threw last Saturday, I must have forgotten afterwards to stretch my foot muscles enough.

Which meant that come Monday, the rest of my body felt okay, but... my feet and calves were in a terrible condition. Especially after Monday's 3 hours long tango practice. Auch.

So after I'd gotten home, I took a quick shower and then spent a blissful hour sitting on our couch, thoroughly enjoying a foot-bath. You wouldn't have been able to lure me away, it was so heavenly. It didn't work out all the kinks in my feet, but it came pretty close. Sleeping the rest of the night with a heating pad filled with wheat kernels also kinda helped.

Conclusion: must remember to stretch muscles more often.

fredag 24 februari 2012

Trapped in purple


This post has nothing to do about anything important, and a lot to do with something very random occurring.

Well, tomorrow is the day when my folkdance group celebrates it's 39th year, and naturally I've been trying to decide which dress I want to wear for the occasion. So, because I had - like right now - some spare time, I decided to pick out my options from the wardrobe. The first dress I tried on is a purple satin one that I bought second hand for 4 euros this winter.

Pulled it on.
Started to pull up the zipper.
And it got stuck.
And then it broke.
And I couldn't get it off.

No movement, in either direction.

None whatsoever.

And I'm still wearing it, because even when I phoned Micke and asked him to come home and help me take the whole thing off.... it just wasn't possible.

Not without cutting out the zipper, anyway.

So now, I'm sitting and blogging in our sofa, waiting for tango practice to come up. In the violet dress.

So apparently, this Friday's tango practice is party-time

Craft Friday: Reused porcelain necklace


Craft Friday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present either a hobby jewelry technique
or project I'm currently working on.

There is something to be said about the dichotomy that is porcelain and pottery.

One one hand it is burned in very hot ovens, used to store everything from food to chemicals in, and  it can withstand the tooth of time for hundreds of years. A thousand even.

But on the other hand...

Shards from one of Emmis' nice,
if broken, green plates. breaks into a hundred (or a thousand) pieces if it accidentally falls on the floor.

Which, needless to say, is what happened to a few of Emmis' plates a few weeks ago, as well as to one of mine last Tuesday. Left were a mess of shards, and I managed to scavenged a few before the rest were thrown out with the trash. I know there's lots of things that you can do with pieces of porcelain, beautiful mosaics e.g., but when these accidents occurred I wasn't interested in spending time/money on any big project.

This even though I tend to be somewhat of an epic crafter...

What I thought of, instead, was more like "what if you combine the shards with a coating/setting made out of polymer clay". Emmis seemed to be interested in the idea at least. Well, since I promised her a pendant made out out of one of the shards from her plates I don't think she was all that against the idea in the first place.

Emmis' and the shards.
And they were such nice plates, too.

My shards. Oh, this is one of the plates that I got as a present for me
getting my Finnish Matriculation Examination back in year 2001.
The shard I'm holding in my hand is the one I saved.

Nope, no photos of a done project... yet. I've been too busy with making Mimi's dress, which very quickly ate up every available surface in our living room. As well as every available space in my head, it seems.

Oh, but if you want to read about such projects, I recommend reading the posts on Alex's Creating Trouble blog. Oh, and go check out the amazing porcelain dress! It's amazing what an internet search can bring you...

torsdag 23 februari 2012

The eighth thing you didn't know about me


The Truth about me Thursday is a 2012 recurring blog post
where I present one truth about myself.

Everyone has their preferences. Such is life, and without people preferring something over something else all our lives would be a whole lot grayer.

When it comes to sweet things like candy, sodas and the like, I have to confess myself to be racist.

A candy and soda racist.

Again, this is something that was funny when me and a couple of friends thought it up back in high school. How I wouldn't eat candy like licorice or salt licorice and not drink sodas like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Because I was a candy and soda racist.

Originally, it was "karkki- och limurasist".

The definition kinda stuck, but writing it down now, here, I must confess I think it looks absolutely terrible. Horrible, even.

The word itself, this loaded word... racist. I would not want it associated with the person that is me. Because even if it is a very human trait to try and joke about something grave, in order to mentally cope with something, there is not much positive associated with that word.

racism   |ˈrāˌsizəm |
• the belief that all members of each race
possess characteristics or abilities
specific to that race, esp. so as
to distinguish it as inferior or
 superior to another race or races.

prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism
directed against someone of a different
race based on such a belief 
: a program to combat racism.

"The belief that all members....".
Seeing that written down, looking at it through a biochemists' point of view, I must say I do concur. 

The more the people of Earth will interbreed and mix up genetically, the better for all of us, but until such a day comes, the more a population indigenous to a certain area will have "characteristics or abilities specific" to that region. Black/brown/blond hair be damned, this is about things deeper than such phenotypes. Some people are more prone to certain types of cancers, some to immunologic diseases, some to heart diseases.

We're all humans, but it is still our heritage that defines half of what we are (in accordance with the other half being how we're raised). Some might be better at some things, but we still have only less of 1 % difference between one another.

But I think I'm gonna stop referring to myself as a karkkirasist.

onsdag 22 februari 2012

Craft Project Wednesday: update on the green dress


Craft Project Wednesday is a 2012 recurring blog post
 where I present a craft project I'm currently working on.

Finally, after a total of 3 days of sewing, I and Mimi managed to finish off her green "Northern Lights"-dress.

This was when I had "just" the zipper and the hem on the skirt left to do.
No photo truly does the satin's color any justice.

I must remember, if/when I make a dress after this one, that:
  • It's infinitely easier to create a dress for someone else, since you can always try it in the person straight away and do corrections. Trying to sew something for yourself in this way is insane.
  • Always buy the bigger spool of thread. Or two of them straight away if you're unsure.
  • The more carefully you measure and pin everything, the less time and frustration you will have to spend ripping up seams and sew anew. Especially the zipper. Oh my Goddess, the zipper...

Thank you, both Mimi and Ida for your ideas, all the help and the company while I sewed! You're the greatest. But you already knew that.

Mimi, sewing the pockets while I took a small
break. My bum was falling asleep from so much
sitting. You can see my reflection in their kitchen window.


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