Monday, September 13, 2010

Another Year Brings More Changes

It's been so long. And so much as happened. I've finally found a job. It's not my dream job, but in this economy, I'll take anything that I can actually use my brain for. I'm working for Cisco in the service contract center. I had to learn a whole new language, but it was exactly what I was looking for. Since graduation in December, I have been in a mindless job and a bit of a funk. So now I feel shiny new. And I have a new zest for my real passion, writing. I hope the writer's block is gone. And to help the juices flow I have decided to change my school related blog Omro Cosmopolitan into a writing based blog that I will update through out the week during my new found "writing time." So check it out. I will be posting fiction and essays. But I'll still post here about my creative endeavors which will soon include spinning.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Schedule

So I've been graduated (if that's even a word) for three months now. And I live in Unemployment Valley (otherwise know as a the Fox Valley). So I need a strategy. When I switched my major and minor around my goal was to be writer. So I gotta write. Hence I am formulating a writing schedule. I don't lack ideas and I have a lot of desire. But I get stuck with What-should-I-do-first. So to that end I present to you my schedule:

Monday: WIPS and weekend wrap up
Wednesday: Munchkin Tales
Friday: Reviews, mostly books but recipes and yarns as well

Tuesdays and Thursdays will be allotted for Freelance work and Submissions. I am hopeful that this schedule will give me the direction that I am looking for and help me to juggle the various ideas and material that plays hopscotch in mind. So stay tuned. Later tonight I'll post my first review... here's a hint... It's a book.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Craft as Therapy

I know there are many people out there that are offended at the idea of knitting as the new yoga. And while it has been known to calm me down, I've never gotten the post-workout buzz from knitting. However, in the winter dulldrums, so prevalant in Wisconsin, there's nothing wrong with a little color therapy. Traditional at this time of year I reach the grassiest green sock yarn I can find, and knit away on a lacy new sock. The green soothes my need for grass and puts me in the mood for St. Patrick's Day. But this year I'm doing something different. I'm going to sew my winter blues away.

The best part of having a little girl, a very girly little girl, is that you have an excuse to use the most profanely, tooth achingly sweet fabric out there. And I haven't even cut out the Easter dress yet! I had the day off, because she had a day off from school yesterday. So we went to the library, and had lunch out (Pumpkin scones and all). Then I started digging in my sewing room.

This will be a play apron. It's the leftovers from a dress I made earlier in the season. She wore the dress out to dinner with Nana,who said: Wow, you're Mommy made this pretty dress? You are so lucky. Needless to say that me feel pretty good.

This will be a pillowcase dress for Summer Camp.

This is actually flannel, for a play shirt to take her into Spring.

And this is what's coming next. Along with Easter dresses..... With this much color and patter who could be glum, right? And I want to give a quick shout out for the book I'm using Carefree Clothes for Girls by Junko Okawa. I obviously choosing a different color pallet than she intended, but I'm really inspired by this book. I really enjoyed tracing the pattern pieces and adding seam allowances. It made me feel more a part of the process. I feel like I have more creative control. I'm even going so far as to take sleeves from one dress and adding them to different top. We'll see how it turns out. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Dinner Time Deception

When the Munchkin was brand new, I watched every step of development with wonder and awe. I firmly believed that I would never lie to her. I planned to explain every decision, vowing to never use the hated phrase: Because I said so. And in the beginning it was easy to hold these ideals. She simply didn’t argue with me. She ate what I gave her and watched me with wide attentive eyes.

And then we fell down the other side of the mountain. Her willful side kicked into high gear and life got exponentially more difficult. My little Munchkin does everything in her own time. She refuses to be swayed by even largest show of force. So where did that leave me? I found my way into the world of subterfuge.

My mother sent me a copy of Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. This book has been around for a while now, but just in case you haven’t come across it, I explain. The idea is that you make fruit and vegetable purees, and store them in the freezer. Then you add them into your kids’ favorite recipes to sneak in extra vitamins and nutrients. My first experiment was with banana bread, the recipes called for cauliflower puree. The Hubbie said “Mmmmm this good. New recipe?” I laughed so hard I nearly fell over. Well I never said I was a good spy. The jig was up with him. He became my co-conspirator.

Over the last two years I’ve added squash puree into Mac and Cheese, carrot puree into meatloaf, summer squash into “plain” buttered noodles. However my daughter’s favorite dish is something she calls pink pancakes. Can you guess what makes them pink? It’s beets, a vegetable she won’t touch in its original form. This particular recipe also uses ricotta cheese so she’s unknowingly getting protein and vegetables. It’s a real powerhouse. And when I pull the beet puree out of the fridge she calls it the “bag of pink.”

As I progress through motherhood I find issues that shouldn’t be avoided or ignored as well as little moments, like these, where nutrition is more important. I’ve even gotten her to eat baked eggs with cauliflower puree because I called them puffs and she got her own little cup. In this case it’s not so much deception as artful presentation.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

They can't contain me!

That's sounds better than I'm a pathetic week yarn hussy, right? Needless to say, I'm not getting gold in this year's Olympics. My plan: to knit The Trellis scarf. This was a big goal for me because I have never finished a lace weight project. I've started many and I always get lost in the pattern and tink back more than I finish. So I figured a scarf is smaller than a shawl and the pattern just keeps repeating over and over. These were good thoughts, and had life not erupted in the middle I might have been okay. But as it stands I had to tink back three times and got so angry with the cobwebby cashmere that I put it aside and sought solace in sock knitting. The soothing repetition and familiar structure was soothing that I started two new pairs. One for the hubby and one for the munchkin. This is why I am a dirty dirty yarn slut. I can't seem to stay monogamous for anything. But I think I'm in good company. I've heard a few podcasters and bloggers say that knitting is a creative release for them and that Olympic goals don't support that process. Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it. And it's true really. We had a very emotional week at work, ending with a funeral, and my sock knitting was the best way for me to deal with it.

But the future looks bright for this knitter. My house is sparkling clean (Thanks for the help Hubby) and my meals are planned for the week. There are steak and potatoes in the crock pot and the snow is fluttering out my window like a snow globe, but not sticking to the pavement. The restful quality of Sunday has fallen upon my house and I plan to soak it all up and look forward. And I'll try to remember to not sign up for crazy challenges anymore. I have enough stress in my real life. I just don't need it in my knitting life.