Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Wage Job

Hello, The Void.

No sooner had I posted that bit about a stress-free Christmas, I was called to do a few capes for an historical reenactment. Which I agreed to, and THEN got called to start training for the wage job - out of town. For 2 weeks.

So naturally, I packed my sewing machines and table. For the record, this works only if you get a room with plenty of natural light, and a convertible sofa-bed. I got lucky I didn't need to bring my own work lights.

2 weeks turned into 4 weeks. Then 5 weeks, travelling through the Niagara Region of Ontario from grocery store to grocery store to learn about this:

I cracked that huge parmagiano reggiano open all by myself, with only a scoring hook and a couple of pointy cheese knives.

And this:

The pecorino romano wasn't as tough-rinded as the parm, but it was crumbly all the way through. It took a team of two (me, and the other guy), to garotte it in half with a piano wire, and then a two-handled guillotine knife to break it down into eighths, so I could get it on the cheese wire tray for alabaster-white wedges of sheer sheep cheese bliss.

And MOAR of this!!!

OMG. I still can't believe I got paid to eat this. This stuff is amazing. Favourite is the raspberry-washed.

Ironically, I have no pictures of the many wonderful, locally made cheeses. I ate them. (In case you're wondering: Comfort Cream. Eat it. Also: Mountain Oak Nettle gouda. You'll agree with me, I know you will.) One day, during the Cheese 101 course, we sampled 17 different kinds of cheese! At the end of the third day, we had consumed 35 different kinds!

All this, to learn that I can't really distinguish a "nutty" flavour from a "meaty" flavour, but don't tell me Canadian blue is the same as Danish! And Esrom... No. Just... no.

And that has kept me frantically busy. I got the capes finished with three days to spare before the historical reenactment, and preparing for the grand opening of my store left me with zero free time until now. I actually got a day off. (I've had other days off. I just slept through them.)

So as usual, the Elven Hands store takes a downturn in production, until I find my new groove. If you see it in my store, get it now. I don't know when I'll be able to post new things. But that's nothing new, is it?

Until the next break, The Void! Happy shop-hopping!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Stress-free Christmas

Have a good holiday, everyone! The best decoration is what you put on your plate. Time for me to slay some potatoes and French those beans.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Embroidery as bloodsport?

Hello, The Void. I have not been ignoring you. I have been... distracted. Yes, distracted. Looking for my wage job, maybe having found my wage job, and playing Candy Crush between anxious nail-biting and Etsy order-filling while waiting to hear from the HR department so I can start my training for the wage job.

But today, I tell you about my relationship with paper surgical tape, and why I keep it in my sewing tackle. It's not for piecing slashed patterns back together.

See, machine embroidery doesn't forgive you for being careless. I thought I was helping Gunny Jane, and she told me my micromanaging was not appreciated. She told me through my thumbnail and out the other side that I did not need to help her catch that initial stitch.

(First of all: If you are bleeding because you have sliced a piece of yourself OFF or nearly so, with rhythmic spurting of blood, just compress and contain, and get thee to the nearest emergency ward. You need stitches, and you are not the person to sew yourself up - you need TWO hands to do that. Second: if you're not up to date with your tetanus vaccinations, get your booster! You probably just had a needle go right through your finger in the sewing room, right? What's a little jab in the arm after that? Third: This is what *I* do when I hurt myself. I am not a doctor or a field medic, and I have a reasonably fortified immune system and pain threshold, with tolerance for gore. If you're not sure you need medical help, get the medical help. Be sorry you troubled your doctor with a minor injury, not sorry you didn't, and now have to deal with a massive infection.)

Because I have done stupid stuff like this before, I keep the paper surgical tape on hand to bind the fingernail in place and finish my project. Once the blood stops flowing (takes about 5 minutes of compression) I don't need to bulk up my finger with an absorbent pad. The surgical tape covers the jagged edges of a snipped or pierced fingernail, so I don't painfully snag on my project and reopen the wound. Also, holding that fingernail down will help it grow back normally. And I'm less likely to sew my tape to my project. (Yes. It happened. I learned and moved on.)

And while I keep dishwashing gloves in my tackle for free-motion embroidery and quilting, they also double as, well, dishwashing gloves, for dissolving the water-soluble stabilizer in the freestanding lace project I didn't bleed on when the embroidery machine bit me.

And I know you want to see the thumbnail. It's not Left 4 Dead graphic, but it's enough for some people. Pic is below the cut.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Handmade for the Holidays and Baby Turtles

The Sassy Chameleon Tea and More's Handmade for the Holidays event in Aurora, Ontario is on November 28, 2013, from 2pm to 9pm. I'll have a small table there with these, and many more gifty things for sale, many not listed in my shop. (Seriously: the shipping would cost more than the item!) While $2 from the sale of each of the Baby Turtle patches will go to the Little Res Q, I will make another separate donation to the Yellow Brick House, a women's shelter in York Region. Check out the Sassy Chameleon's event flyer, and stop by, if you're in the area.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Unusual Food Object

 I wasn't sure whether I should eat this or hatch it. It's a jackfruit, or a langka, or kha-nun. I'd tasted it canned, and liked it enough to put it in a banana-jackfruit jam, but the canned fruit was kind of rubbery. I didn't realize what buying a fresh one meant.

I mean, sure, 10lbs of fruit, but I had no idea what was inside. It turns out the ugly fruit is a PEACH MOTHERSHIP!

Thank-you, this website! She Simmers had much better pictures and lots of good suggestions. Which I followed, I swear. Except...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Digital Hoarding

It's the perfect storm: new freebies, plus membership freebies, plus a sale, plus unexpected disposable income...

I acquired 40 new embroidery designs in less than ten minutes. The worst part of it is that I already have hundreds, and probably will die of old age before I finish stitching them all out just once.

Somebody in my family seriously needs to have a fairy-themed baby shower. I have a stampede of unicorns, alone!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Turtle Love

This lovely is for sale in my store (Elven Hands Unparalleled Fabric Oddities). And from the sale of this patch (and others like it, in case a few more people order one), I want to donate $2 of every sale to Little Res Q. Thank goodness they have a very convenient PayPal donation button on their website.

I want to help. Turtles aren't just ninjas to me. And things like this wall of humans in Bonaire remind me that we can do small things that make huge differences to individual creatures.