Friday, April 29, 2011

On birthdays

I've been a dedicated reader of Slate's Dear Prudence column for at least five years now, and Miss Manners on MSN before that. From time to time, there's someone who writes in about a birthday. It's one of two takes on a situation. A) My friends forgot my birthday and I feel hurt or B) My friend is going waaaay overboard in celebrating and thinks her birthday is an annual wedding where she gets all the attention she wants for as long as she wants.

I've done some thinking about this, because I suppose both responses are unreasonable (though, full disclosure, I'm more likely to fall into the former camp than the latter). I think it stems from feeling deep in your heart that you're un-cared for. It's a lot more obvious in the first response than the second, but overcompensation is usually an indicator of a lack, no?

The people who comment (and usually the advice-givers) are down on people who think they should be celebrated by their friends on their birthday. "You're too old, stop acting like a child" is how it typically goes.

It makes me wonder what's so wrong with celebrating people on their birthdays. What's wrong with celebrating people in general? We don't have time or energy to do that every day (though maybe we should), but it seems like people should be excited to have one day they can celebrate and make the people they supposedly care for feel cared for.

I'm not talking about addressing the symptom or reaction (sulkiness or self-centeredness) but the root of the issue: that people don't feel like those around them genuinely care about them. Maybe that's not just appreciating someone on his or her birthday, but regularly. Actually caring for people because it's important and because we want to.

P.S. it is still snowing outside. That's six months, folks. And I thought I was going to get to garden soon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scrambled updates

Been a busy few weeks! I've been working on two websites, and I've been meaning to post a link to my own company, Paraphrase Media, for about a month now. I finally finished it (mostly...there's always room for improvement) and am excited to be official!

It's been such a busy few weeks that I haven't done any projects, other than baking. Also, I've taken up being a full-blown nerd, playing COD Black Ops (mainly to kill the zombies). If video games weren't bad enough, Todd got me a headset to wear while we're playing, so I can be told by the friends we play with not to shoot the crawler...right before I do. Oops. (Sorry, nerdy digression.)

I have been doing some really awesome things with eggs lately, that I'm going to share. That is a rosemary-onion-spinach scramble, seasoned with cracked black pepper, kosher salt, green onions and plenty of Tillamook Colby Jack. (Secret: the "onion" part is actually powdered onion soup from a packet. Surprisingly versatile stuff.) The rosemary was grown in my windowsill herb garden (in which I am unfortunately, and so far unsuccessfully, battling aphids. I'm buying ladybugs today.)

There have also been some very successful stir-fry experiments, but I don't have pictures, so I won't mention them yet.

Plans are also in the works for my summer garden, which is going to include:
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • oregano
  • possibly zucchini
  • lettuce (more for springtime)
  • petunias
  • geraniums
  • dahlias
and I am excited for it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to knock off a J. Crew headwrap's the headwrap how-to and an example that I made!
  1. Use your seam ripper or scissors to remove all the thread that holds the tie together: remove the tags, backing and any trim stuff. The idea is to turn it into a flat piece of fabric.
  2. Once all the thread is removed, iron the wide part of the tie so it's flat. Iron and flatten to where the tie gets skinny and remains skinny; leave that alone.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Watch out, J. Crew

Three summers ago, J. Crew made an amazing accessory known as the no-fuss headwrap. I bought a few and wear them all the time. I always wish they'd made more...more colors, more fabrics...

But the thing is, I've always known they're incredibly simple to make. If, you know, you can sew. (Which I now can!) So last weekend I rounded up a bunch of fabric I'd bought for this purpose (including a men's silk tie from Goodwill for experimentation purposes) and got to work studying the construction of the headwrap.

It's really simple. The basic idea is a 16" x 8" rectangle (for the top part) and a 2"x 8" rectangle (for the tube that holds the elastic around the back). I have to double-check my measurements, but I'm thinking I'll post a how-to when I make my next one. The first was sort of an exploratory mission.
Some of my stitching was very nice and neat.
Some...wasn't (in the middle...that's the messy part. Not the hem). Silk is kind of tricky and my sewing machine doesn't really like elastic much. Anyway....stay tuned for a how-to in the coming days. I'm excited to have a huge supply of headwraps.

P.S. SUPERCUTE tie, huh? $3 from Goodwill. Totally weird for a man's necktie, but LOVE for the headband.