This Is Just To Say …

Just kidding. Forget about the plums. (See William Carlos Williams’ This is Just to Say) This is about some pre-vacation stink.

Hilarious and Tragic. That’s the name of the reality show I am about to film about life with Russell Jenkins. Because sometimes you come home late after work and class and take your dog for a bonus walk, even though he had three already. Sometimes there is a skunk just waking up to toddle around at exactly that same time. And, miracle of miracles, sometimes those two things come together in a magical union of are-you-kidding-me and I-hate-everything. And you become elastic, lithe and ninja-like in your moves and avoid the inevitable result of a skunk not liking you as much as you like the skunk. So you move, you bend and now and escape … and your little one-eyed, slew-footed, rhinoceros-shaped dog just cannot. And so, here you are at 11:33pm with a dog locked up in the bathroom after a tomato juice bath waiting for round two: lemon juice. The tomato juice industry is full of shizz and tried to make the off-label use of their product into a solution that does not (to my nose) work. We’ll reserve comment on the lemon juice industry for now. But, the gin and wine and Valium industries are about to see their market shares kerdouble overnight. Kerdouble is a word because I said so.

Buachaille – coming soon!


This is terrific, and I’ve got time to clear out the stash pile to make room for this yarn!

Originally posted on Kate Davies Designs:


We are getting very excited here, as we are anticipating a large woolly delivery, and it will soon be time to announce the launch of our new yarn. I thought it was time to tell you a little more about it.

(my favourite sheep, from Colours of Shetland)

I am a great advocate for using local materials, and nowhere more so than where wool is concerned. Sheep, and the human work around them, are an incredibly important part of the structure and character of the British landscape and I find it very sad that so many yarns made and sold in Britain in general, – and Scotland in particular – are not raised here, from our native sheep. With some notable exceptions, much of the wool described as “Scottish” has little or nothing at all to do with the many sheep raised in this landscape by hard-working farmers and…

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Rapid City, SD

Just back from a work-work trip to Rapid City and it was tremendous.  Being from the middle of the country, I never really got it when people referred to South Dakotans as Midwesterners.  They just seemed like Westerners to me, but I was wrong.  Squarely Midwest … and charming and hospitable and funny and warm (but not the weather!) and just like home.

I had a blast, but am so happy to be back and getting some work for me and Make.Do. done.  It’s gonna be a long weekend.  Good thing I got this from Neighborhood Fiber in the mail this morning to keep me motivated!

Happy Friday!neigh

Sorry, Buddha

I am not evolved enough to appreciate the glory of all God’s creatures and be a steward of their care. I love a wonky-eyed dog and even a personable opossum, so I would say that I am 99% there, but for my all-consuming hatred of 1000-leggers (silverfish) and clothes moths.

I was a woman on fire today after I finally figured out (I hope) the source of the moths. And let me say here that I have only seen 1 or 2 a day, so I understand how one could think it’s less of an infestation and more of an annoyance. My circumstances, though, make even 1 a terrifying experience.imageI have a boatload of yarn in storage (all in space bags, so fingers crossed) and a big wholesale shipment on the way. So, sorry not sorry for eradicating my mortal enemy today.

They were in the rug. The rug I begged my mother to give me that used to sit in her store in Ohio. The beautiful pink and red and blue and green hand-knotted rug that I do/did love so. It had been rolled up since before my escape from Texas and all that dark coziness and heat was a comfort to the moth horde. I fixed them good and how with a Dyson, a Shark, a steamer and some highly-toxic-but-worth-it spray.  Three times today.

And so they are gone and dead now. Not just dead to me, but d-e-a-d, and I know it’s not right to revel in the demise of a hapless creature, but still, I am doing a dance on my moth-free rug right now. No shame. I will get to the yarn in storage to do a double-check when I get back from travels on Wednesday. It should be okay as it was all super-sealed with repellent in every space bag, but I want to make sure. Until Wednesday then, I will be comforted and more relaxed than I have been in weeks. Sorry, moths, but you came for the wrong one!

Inspired by…

Tooling around today because I’m a little unfocused, but not in a bad way.   Best way I know to deal with this feeling is to embrace it.  I’m choosing to do it by noodling around the web and jotting down notes on the things that inspire me/ideas to try for Make.Do. styling, website design that I’m not ashamed to say I’m going to copy!

This one from Miss Kris is killing me.

Click the image for the full site.

Click the image for the full site.


It’s a real thing and I got it.  Prepping for week’s vacation this month (thank the Lord!) got me thinking about more travel.  I have some good stuff coming up in 2016, but would like to get one more just-me hunk of time away before Make.Do. and the bar exam have me underwater.  My goal:  The Seychelles.  It’s been on my list for ever and I’d sure like to make it happen before the year is out.  It’ll put a hurt on my pocketbook, so I’ll have to do a lot of extra side-work if I want this one.  But, just look:

Via Lonely Planet.  Click the image for more.

Via Lonely Planet. Click the image for more.

How could you not want to be there.  IF I don’t get the side-work $, next on the list is Argentina. I might be able to swing that as a business/work trip, because there are markets galore for fiber and yarn, and I’ll need to supplement inventory at Make.Do. Buenos Aires has a yarn district (!) with about 20 or so shops all clustered together selling goodness like this:

Via the Milana Yarns Site.  Click the image for more.

Via the Milana Yarns Site. Click the image for more.

And, if all else fails, it’s a road trip, back to the perennial favorite, Jekyll Island. Nothing to do there but get up in the morning, sit on the porch and stare at the live oaks with their Spanish moss dresses, and ride a bike to the beach.  This could all be dreaming, but there’s nothing wrong with having a dream, I say.  Have a great week!

Pick that up off the floor!

That’s what I think to myself at least twice a day when I walk past the same half-skein of Paton’s that’s been on the floor under my desk now for … well, since I made those socks back in January.  Terrible.

Organization isn’t necessarily my enemy, but it’s definitely running scared from me!  I don’t know why, but it eludes me.  I say it every weekend, but owing to the sighting of a moth earlier this week, it’s for real this time.  Major clean out involving the purchase of a commercial garment steamer, a new vacuum cleaner, every space bag in the world, and about $8 billion worth of moth balls.  Starting with the yarn, and moving on to the fabric and patterns stacked up in the sewing closet.

This genius was introduced to me just today by this genius, and I can’t wait to get started applying these thoughts and this approach to my craftedlife!  Happy Thursday!

Gray Power! (Or, grey, if you prefer)

My failing memory has given me many gifts, and I am grateful. I am grateful not to remember slights suffered in high school (or those that I committed, and I hope they were few and minor), missed opportunities in college (David Jacobsen!) and pure-D stupidity practiced on a daily basis as a mini-adult (Andersen Consulting, the McKee Years). But, in my aged state, I find myself most grateful for this: that sometimes, late at night, that wonky, spotty memory compels me to drive down a dark and twisty road at speed to the far-away grocery store before they close so that I might buy the one dog food, which I forgot to buy earlier today, that Russell Jenkins finds acceptable. Ah, the open road! The thrill of the chase! Ten minutes to get to a store that’s 12 minutes away!


And that gift would be enough in and of itself, but I am doubly blessed that it is often made greater when it magically pairs with my other old lady frailties — poor eyesight and general high-strungness — to heighten the experience of said dark and twisty road on which I’m driving in a hurry by making every blowing plastic bag appear as if t’were a possum running for my tires, every wriggly bush appear as if it were a bird ready to take flight right into my windshield, and every twittering leaf seem to be the silhouette of a baby deer ready to bolt directly into my path.  Some people bemoan the failings of their bodies and senses as they get older.  For me, the whole thing is terribly exciting. Allons-y, indeed.

Also, you guys, Russell Jenkins is trying to kill me with this food bullshizz. Let the authorities know if I don’t turn up for a few days. He did it. He may not have “done” it, but he “did” it. Driving at this time of night, to avoid the one-eyed death stare in the morning.  Just terrible.  He knows what he’s doing.

We Are Sparta!

Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but that’s also a little bit how I’m feeling right now.  It’s been years of planning and months of SERIOUS planning to find a homebase for Chicago TextileWorks (now, Make.Do.)  I was a contender for a grant — and still am — but I’m going to have to fight for it.  I don’t foresee a blood feud or a fight to the death, or anything … tho … I will if I have to … if I can borrow someone else’s sword and skirt … and muscles.

When they emailed me about re-characterizing my proposal under a different model, I balked a bit.  Partly because of butthurt/ego (How could they NOT want to give me everything I asked for and more?!) and partly because the re-characterization just won’t work for what Make.Do. is about.  The terrific committee member who answered my call listened to my case and suggested that I submit supplemental information for my application.  I was floored.  And, I said, “Great, I have a business plan for you.” And then I said, “But I need to present it in person.  It’s important for us to see each other.”  And, to my surprise and delight, she said, “Yep, come on down.”  I bought a new dress, I got copies of the business plan bound (thank you, Bryan at OfficeMax!), I contemplated dyeing my hair to cover the gray, but then thought, no, this might be the one time it makes me look distinguished instead of just old!  I got this!

Tomorrow morning, I am off to meet with the selection committee who holds at least this next little bit of my fate in their hands.  I’m not nervous, I’m excited.  And, I’m prepared.  In a move uncharacteristic of me, usually (and maybe because I don’t often get presented with challenges to the EXACT THING I BELIEVE IN AND WANT MOST), I actually asked for what I wanted — this meeting — to sell my idea to people who can help me make it happen.  It’s an idea I believe in and I am 8 kajillion percent positive it will work … and not just work, but be profitable and a benefit to the local community.  That’s a great feeling and I can’t wait to get there.  So, how do I know it’s going to work?  I don’t know it’ll work out exactly the way I want, but I’m 100% it’s gonna work out exactly as it should.  Why?  Because this little ditty from this site about nursing (? no idea) popped up in my feedly reader under the ‘inspring’ hashtag just as I was shutting down for the night.

Someone's trying to tell me something, methinks!

Someone’s trying to tell me something, methinks!

Happy (late) Monday!


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