29 April 2009

more clouds

more clouds, originally uploaded by marinatina.

No bloggity blog yesterday; I'm sure you were all just crushed. Too much school, not enough time for making things. And what else would I write about, except things that I make?

(The photo above was taken up north.)

Oh, hey, one thing--as part of my "thinking deep thoughts about my life" thing, I've been thinking a lot about not writing a thesis and just taking comps. While discussing that with my de facto adviser, he mentioned that it may be possible to do a non-traditional thesis, something that uses the internet as a delivery mechanism. I'd still have to have the content, so I'd essentially be doing an entire 90+ page thesis and creating a website or whatever, but doesn't that sound like a fun challenge?

27 April 2009

sunny with a chance of awesome

1. I updated my Etsy shop! First time in at least a month, so I am quite excited.

2. I overslept and am going to be quite late for my internship. That is not as exciting.

3. If I'm running late, why am I updating my blog?

26 April 2009


clouds + branches
  1. I've been trying to get a handle on my Flickr account (I have over 12,000 images, and I had forgotten that at least 11,000 of them exist.), and I found this photo, taken on a walk around my old neighborhood in Harlem. I think Kira & I were walking to this cafe across from the top of Central Park, if I'm not mistaken. It reminds me very much of what it looks like outside right now.
  2. Remember when I made beans? It turns out that I most definitely did not cook them long enough, either in the slow cooker or in the pan when I made the first batch. But! I made the rest of the beans yesterday, and I cooked them in what seemed like way too much water (because the first batch was so dry, you see), and I added all of these spices and also salt (here is something I learned--if you use dried beans instead of canned beans, you're probably going to want to add a bit of salt, because you know that liquid that canned beans are in? that's basically salty brine.), and I cooked them forever, and they turned out totally fucking delicious. So, you know, victory for Marina! Finally; I was starting to forget that I am actually kind of good at cooking.
  3. I am actually going to be able to update my Etsy shop on Monday. I have things to list and photos of said things and I have even started writing up little blurbs about what said things are. That is probably my least favorite part; I keep wanting to write "It's a purse! It's awesome! Buy it! Give me money now!" but that would probably not be a very effective selling technique.
  4. It seems that it is going to be another gray rainy day, which is really fucking annoying, as I need to get some work done today. I think I might actually go to a coffee shop to do work, depending on how much it's raining, I guess. I haven't done that in forever, and I just remembered yesterday that sometimes getting out of the house can lead to me being a much more focused, efficient person. Surprising that I would be more focused when I'm away from all of the things that distract me.
  5. Wow, I am blogging a lot lately. I go through phases, I guess. Sometimes I forget that I've been doing this off and on since 2002. Holy shit, that's seven years. I'm not sure how I feel about that...

25 April 2009

this week

bag #1 bag #2 bag #3

Whatever else happened this week, at least I made three bags. I may have also finally figured out the damn zipper foot on my machine, but I don't have anything to show for it. Yet. But now, there is wine and Harry Potter on the teevee, so I think that I will call it a day. I hope you are doing something lovely and exciting on this Saturday night; please tell me about it in the comments so I can be jealous. In a nice, supportive, "I'm glad you're happy" kind of way.



Above is my breakfast--scrambled eggs with sriracha hot sauce, jalapenos, and red bell peppers. Yes, you're right, that does sound spicy. Spicy food cures colds, haven't you heard? I don't think I made it spicy enough though; my eyes aren't tearing up, and my sinuses certainly aren't clearing up.

Notice how dark the photos is? It is hella dark outside, for 10am on a Saturday at least, because there is a massive thunderstorm moving through Milwaukee. I bet Nathan is having fun playing frisbee right now!

22 April 2009

photos of rain are okay as long as it's not actually raining

rainy day, originally uploaded by marinatina.

To continue that theme for the week that I mentioned in passing, here's another photo of something I like about Wisconsin.* This is my parents backyard, on a rainy day.

In other news, there is no other news. At least, no news that I'm ready to talk about. I've been thinking a lot of deep thoughts about my life and whether or not I'm happy with where I'm at, but I'll probably not write too much about that until I make some decisions.

Okay, enough of this, time to do some more paper piecing!

*I think the actual theme I mentioned in passing was "pretty pictures of Wisconsin week" but I just realized that I kind of hate the word "pretty." Not all the time, but definitely right now.

holy crap

holy crap, originally uploaded by marinatina.

Guess what I finished? Everything is hand sewn, and maybe a bit wonky at some of the corners, but I think it will be okay once I piece the entire top together and quilt it. I really do think that I will make an entire quilt like this, though I don't expect to finish it anytime soon. I could hand quilt it, too! Hey, it's not like I have anything better to do with my time, right?

Speaking of which, time to go to my internship!

21 April 2009

i learned something new!

i learned something new!, originally uploaded by marinatina.

Nathan is okay, so that's great. I had a whole bunch of time to kill at the Urgent Care waiting room. Luckily, I taught myself English paper piecing last night, so I had something not scary to focus on. It's surprisingly fun, paper piecing; surprising because I generally detest hand sewing. Too slow and all that. This is very calming, though. You baste the fabric to paper templates, and then you whip stitch the pieces together. So easy! I'm not going to make any big promises about making an entire quilt like this, but I am definitely going to make a block. It's called Grandmother's Flower Garden, which is kind of nice.


spring flowers, originally uploaded by marinatina.

Flowers at my parents house.

Nathan is not feeling great. We're going to Urgent Care. Definitely not a fun happy morning.

20 April 2009

no passing zone

no passing zone, originally uploaded by marinatina.

It is 41 and rainy, after hitting 74 on Saturday. Apparently it will be in the thirties this week, with a strong chance of snow. I think that this week will be "pretty photos of Wisconsin" week on this here blog, because I think that I would do well to stay positive. Or some bullshit like that. Above photo was taken up north; I like the colors.

19 April 2009


journal cover
I made this journal cover last week. I'm relatively pleased with how it turned out, though I'm going to adjust my pattern a bit when I make my next one. I'd like to make a few to sell at craft fairs this summer. Which means I should really actually fill out & submit applications for some craft fairs. Anyway. This one turned out well for a first try, and I'm kind of psyched that I figured out the basic pattern entirely on my own.

new bag!I made the bag last night. The fabric is Anna Maria Horner & some brown Kona cotton. I'm pretty happy with it. I'm finalizing my pattern for this bag--I say pattern like I have an actual physical pattern that I'm updating, when really I just sort of remember all the measurements that I used and will probably use the same ones next time. I think I might actually list it on Etsy, though probably not today. It's very gray and gross out, and I don't know that I'll be able to take any good photos of it. This one was taken last night with a flash, which is why it looks like shit. The bag is nice though.

There's not a whole lot going on besides that. This day feels a bit off. I've been cleaning, just to feel like I'm doing something. The beans I started yesterday finally finished cooking, I think. I took them out of the slow cooker at least. The recipe I used was meant to prepare dried beans to be used in place of canned beans, so I guess they're probably at that point? I'll make something with them and see how it goes, I guess. I made some more lentils using a recipe from a cookbook my mom bought for me. 400 recipes using three & four ingredients. She bought it at Costco; probably it's available other places too. It's pretty okay so far. The recipe that I used is supposedly dhal, but since it uses almost no seasoning and no ghee, I think that's a bit of a stretch. Still, it's a good lentil recipe, and I'm figuring out how to season it.

Oh god, this is boring! "I made lentils today, they were okay." I'm sorry! Next time, I'll try to have a recipe or at least a good photo or something.

18 April 2009

slow cooker full of beans.

slow cooker full of beans., originally uploaded by marinatina.

I bought some dried black beans from Outpost last month. I got as far as bringing them home and putting them in jars before I completely stalled. Having to soak them overnight before I cooked them involved way more planning than I can handle. Until this weekend, apparently. I washed them last night & put them in the fridge to soak. I put them on low this morning; do you like my slow cooker? Nathan's mom gave it to me. I'm really into the flowers and the brown. Anyway, it was supposed to take 8 hours on low to cook them; I switched to high after 7 hours, and they have been in there for another hour and a half, and they are still not done. What the fuck, right? I guess I can put them on low overnight if they're not done soon, but that seems like a bad idea somehow. This is the first time I've cooked anything with a slow cooker, so I'm kind of lost when it comes to adapting to the unexpected.

Um, anyway. Isn't my slow cooker pretty? I think it really compliments my mixer and the awesome yellow walls in my kitchen.

15 April 2009

a sence of

a sence of, originally uploaded by marinatina.

From the Magic Garden on South Street in Philadelphia. Kira and I went there on a day trip before I moved to Milwaukee.

14 April 2009

blue + yellow

V, originally uploaded by marinatina.

This is the quilt I'm working on. Well, "working on." Probably it will not progress a whole lot further until May. I'm not entirely sure how big it will be when it's done; my intention is that it'll be at least 60"x60", but I'm not super clear on quilt math, with the seam allowances and such. I have learned one thing though--basing a quilt on 4.5" squares is a terrible idea. So many tiny damn squares.

12 April 2009

exciting news!

[Disregard previous post; I finally remembered that something actually important happened today.*]

My cousin Jason is getting married! To this awesome woman named Sarah! And will soon be a stepdad! Which means I will soon have another... second cousin? I should figure out what that relationship is, my other cousin is having a baby soon. Okay, that's not the point, the point is Jason is getting married! Also, I get to be in the wedding party! Score!

Alright, back to my previously scheduled stupid schoolwork.

*Aside from The Resurrection**, obviously. Uh, also, I think it technically happened a few days ago? The proposal, I mean, not Jesus. That was years and years ago.

**That's what Easter is, right? The Resurrection? Or is it The... Day Jesus Flew Up to Heaven***?

***I did not think this was going to turn out so blasphemous.

baby carrots

My apartment is freezing. We turned off the heat at the end of March, during the brief period where it seemed like spring might actually be starting, and regretted it almost immediately. I refuse to turn it back on, as it is spring and it will clearly get warmer any day now. It's 36 outside right now, though; please remind me why I moved back to Wisconsin.

08 April 2009


I swear, this semester just seems harder than every other semester, EVER. And not, like, devastating, not so bad that I just can't take it, it's just one thing after another. I broke a glass the other day--actually I'm pretty sure the cat knocked it off the night stand, but whatever--and I seriously just wanted to cry. Which is just fucking ridiculous, and totally melodramatic of course, but seriously, it's just one thing after another. Just, BAH. And now I need to finish a first draft of a paper that I actually am really into, and holy shit, I am a terrible writer and/or historian. A historian! That is why I qualify to be a TA, because I am a historian, or like a historian-in-training? What?

I don't know. I don't know where this is going or what the point is. But I saw Jeb the other day, and when I was leaving, he was like "well, I'll see you in another six months." And the reason no one ever sees me, the reason I rarely manage to finish the blog posts I keep starting, is because it is just one damn thing after another.