31 July 2009


Normally this is the kind of thing I'd relegate to a Facebook status update*, but I just finished machine quilting my first quilt. It's a baby quilt for my cousin's newborn baby, and it is brown and blue and AWESOME. I need to piece & attach the binding, which I'm planning to do after Nathan & I go grocery shopping, but yeah, I am like 85% done with my first quilt! Yeah! More details & photos later.

*Ugh, I hate myself for typing that, but my cousin's fiance is also friends with me on Facebook, and I think she was pretty sure I'd finish this baby quilt right around the time Noah was graduating high school, so I want to maintain the element of surprise if possible.

25 July 2009

give me money i want money

I've been putting off updating this here bloggg until I had time [read: energy and/or motivation] to upload some photos to Flickr. Well, woops, should've uploaded them before today, as my Flickr pro account expired! And while you can get a year of membership for the low, low price of $25, that is roughly $525 more than I can afford right now. Does that make sense? Did you catch the implied message that I could really use $500 right about now? Ugh. I am 98% sure that we're going to be able to pay rent next week; I am less sure of my ability to pay my credit card minimum payments the following week. I keep changing my mind about the "best part" of my Bank of America story [the one where they raised my interest rate from 9.9% to 24.9%, did I not tell that here? Because I have forced everyone I know in real life to listen to my epic tale of woe], but I think it might be that they nearly tripled my interest rate because my debt to income ratio was too high [thanks Sallie Mae!!!], which also means that my minimum payment doubled, which means my debt to income ratio is now even worse. Geniuses, I tell you, there are bona fide fucking geniuses running that bank.

Oh god, this is so boring! I think that is my least favorite part of being broke--the fact that the only thing I have to talk about is how broke I am and how completely fucking evil Bank of America and Sallie Mae are. Actually, Sallie Mae is not so bad. They have been nearly human in our interactions, and I owe them way more money than those fuckers at BofA, so they're the ones who actually have reason to worry about my ability to pay them back.

Okay, you know what, no more talk about money. I just deleted a whole mess of boring words, because whatever! I am temporarily broke, but I will be solvent by September at the latest, so on to more important things. Namely, I have been sewing up a storm. I bought another day of advertising on Etsy for Monday, and I am determined to have at least 5 new bags and possibly a whole mess of new pocket zip purses. I came up with an entirely new way to make them, which is just incredibly exciting to me. I wish I had a photo of either of the two that I've made so far, but basically it is a zip purse that's constructed like an interior zippered pocket in a handbag. Does that make sense? The zipper is on the front, but unlike the other front-zip purses I've made, the front side is made entirely out of one piece of fabric.

Oh, whatever, I will post a photo once I've listed a few in my shop. The point that I really want to get at here is that I've been sewing almost non-stop for the past few days, and it has been amazing. I've been attempting to sew my bags assembly-line style, which is going to be a much more efficient method once I get used to it. So far, I can't get through any one step without realizing I forgot to cut fabric for a pocket/lining/strap/etc from one of the bags. Still, it has been kind of relaxing to just take my time on each component without worrying about finishing immediately. I did get a bit antsy tonight though--sewing for three days without finishing something is weird--so I put together an entire bag, and it looks awesome. I changed my method for making straps, and I think it's pretty awesome. Also, I am a little in love with my walking foot. It makes my stitching look just a bit more polished and handmade rather than homemade.

Wow, holy shit, this is all just really boring, isn't it? Money and obtuse descriptions of things that I have sewn and/or things I've used to sew. I am going to go finish my glass of wine (just opened the bottle I got for my birthday, will have to make it last for weeks! Or just drink it all tonight!!) and get some sleep and then I will sew all day tomorrow!

21 July 2009

i can hear people laughing

This whole "work" thing is exhausting! I am actually really into the project I was hired to work on, and very interested in making my boss and my department (and myself) look good to the rest of the organization, so I actually work very hard. No checking the internet, no staring off into space, no finding excuses to wander away and hide for half an hour--man, I really hated that last job I had in NY. Uh, yeah, anyway, work is fun and remunerative but exhausting!

Which is why I have not been "blogging," dear internet. Work is exhausting, and my friends (that's right, I have them) keep asking me to hang out with them. I went to the Dane County Farmers' Market with Kira's mom Lois, which was sweet. After we left the market, she drove past some tobacco fields and told me about how tobacco is grown! It was super interesting, for real. Who knew Wisconsin had tobacco farms? I spent Sunday afternoon canning jam with Stephanie and Erin, which was totally awesome. I just tried my first jar of homemade strawberry jam; it was good and very, very sweet. Probably getting the low-sugar pectin next time. Erin made jam with fruit from the raspberry bushes in her backyard, which is fucking amazing. We traded a jar, so I will have one jar of raspberry jam to enjoy.

My grandparents had a gigantic raspberry patch in their backyard, and my grandpa made jam every year. I always thought it was my grandma, but my mom corrected that assumption recently. Those damn raspberries reminded me of them and their house and playing in their backyard and hiding in the raspberry bushes and late summer Saturday nights with my family. I had a dream about my grandma that night; I was at my grandparents' house and trying to do something that was taking too long (people were waiting for me and getting impatient) and then suddenly my grandma and I were walking away from the house, and I think I said something about how people were waiting for us, and she told me not to worry, and then I asked her if she knew that she was dead, and she said yes, and I asked her what it was like, and she said that she was happy. Or something like that; the only thing that I remember clearly is how happy I was to see her again. And then I think I woke up or something. Ugh, and now I have made myself cry.

19 July 2009

comedians of comedy

Is what I'm watching. It's pretty great! Nathan and I were going to bike to Bayview (to go to Sparrow Collective, check it out), but he had Dear Astronaut things to do (they're trying out a new drummer), and I screwed up my back again. Lower back this time, which is twice as annoying as it makes it twice as hard for me to, you know, move. The best part? I think I pulled a muscle or whatever as I was falling asleep two nights ago. I used to be an athlete and get injured while competing or whatever, and now I hurt myself while sleeping.

Ugh. Anyway. I'm probably going to make jam later, which is cool. I've been walking around the apartment, trying to psyche myself up for the two block walk to Erin's house. Or three? Fuck. Anyway, homemade strawberry jam! Totes awesome. I sewed a bunch yesterday, before my back got really bad (or perhaps I sat hunched over my sewing table for a couple hours and then my back got much worse?), so as soon as I can manage to sit at the sewing table to put everything together, I will have five or six new bags. Awesome! I am going to go take some more ibuprofen.

18 July 2009

patience is a virtue

Ooh, it is no fun being broke, especially when it is mostly self-inflicted due to lack of proper planning and saving. Ugh, boring right? It has actually encouraged me to be more creative about cooking, and I came up with an awesome tomato sauce recipe, which has me feeling like a bit of a culinary genius. Growing my own basil was an awesome idea.

I went to the Dane County Farmers' Market with Kira's mom this morning, which was amazing, though not being able to spend any money was kind of lame. Also, I did something to my back last night, so walking kind of makes me want to cry. (Wow, I like to complain, it seems.) We went inside the state capitol for a few minutes (the farmers' market stalls are sort of ringed around the Capitol building), which was pretty impressive. Wisconsin pride, etc.

What else? Some sewing happened yesterday; more will happen today. Being broke may suck, but it has really encouraged me to get off my ass and try to make some things and hopefully make back some of the [too many] dollars I've spent on fabric over the past few months.

Ugh talking about money is boring. Enjoy some photos of produce; I'm going to go sew.

squash knot

pink and green

packer beans!

biggest portabello mushroom i have ever seen

17 July 2009


hiking by boulder lake
[hiking by boulder lake]

I feel gross today. Headache and everywhere-ache and ugh. But! While I do not feel up to leaving the house, I am determined to get things done at home, albeit 50% slower than normal. Nathan is cleaning the living room, and I just finished cleaning the kitchen. Yes, it is already 1pm and that is pretty much the sum of my accomplishments today, but I didn't manage to get myself out of bed until 10:30, so really I think I'm doing okay.

I had a very long list of sewing I was going to do today, which may have to be scaled back, but I am going to at least sew up the fronts of three bags. Come hell or high water (what? who says that?), I will finish five bags by Sunday. I have big plans that I am not going to discuss just yet as that might jinx them, but the point is, I am ready to make a lot more progress on the ol' craft business thing.

Also, I am sitting at my kitchen table, and the window is open in front of me, and it's an old window that tilts out, and the glass is old and kind of ripply, and from my angle, when people walk by, their legs look twice as long. Cool!

15 July 2009

hi how are you i am fine thank you

You know what is a great way to get the ol' adrenaline going? Ride your bike through downtown Milwaukee to the post office, and then ride your bike home. That's what I just did!

I bike everywhere now; it is totally crazy pants. I did not see this happening, even when I bought my bike. I thought I would maybe bike to the co-op, or anywhere else that I could access via non-busy streets. So, maybe a 10 block radius from my house. But no, I bike to and from work everyday via the Oak Leaf Trail, which is just amazing by the way. It's like a wooded, peaceful bike superhighway through Milwaukee, and it takes me almost directly to my job.

Yes, that's right, I have a job--I hung around at the best volunteer job in the world (pretend that's capitalized, I don't feel like going back to change it) so long that they finally gave up and decided to pay me for a few months. Well, something like that. Anyway, I am getting paid cash money to do something I actually enjoy. Weird!

Also, I am getting paid cash money for my sewing. The cash money is not exactly plentiful (yet!) but I mailed out this bag today, and I have some ideas for new bags that I'll be working on over the next couple days. Variations on a theme, the theme being "I like stripes."

Alright, shoot, this post needs a photo. Here is a photo from camping last weekend. My battery was nearly dead, so I took like 10 photos of trees and that was it. I need to get better at taking photos of people, because I have zero photographic proof that I had fun times with some awesome people.


13 July 2009

tooo much stimulation

July has been crazypants so far. Update soon, tomorrow with any luck. Highlights include turning 25 and going camping; lowlights include being screwed over by both Sallie Mae and Bank of America. From now on, all of my financial needs will be met by credit unions. Also, I sold a bag. Paying for a day of advertising was definitely worthwhile.