Posted in Crafts, Lifelong learning, My Own Personal Weirdness

Spice of Life Crochet

I came to this realization the other day that I am a much more happy, productive Lisa when I am crafting. I really enjoyed doing those dolls, using my hands for more than just typing. When I craft, the back of my brain can work on writing thoughts while my hands do something else for a while.

So I decided to do a fall themed crocheted blanket. But I didn’t have any patterns for that, so I looked through what patterns I did own and found this one. Which looks like a lot of fun! It’s a striped sampler, basically, and has some things in it I have never attempted before.

Then I went to try to recreate the colors she used in the original, but more fall-like. That’s when I discovered I didn’t really actually have any fall themed colors on hand. So I changed a few of her colors to things a bit more muted without being oranges and rusts. Here’s what I’ve ended up with. πŸ™‚

We shall see how it goes. πŸ™‚ I think I’ll just crochet all weekend and ignore the weird things going on behind the scenes.

Posted in Crafts, My Own Personal Weirdness, Writing

VoG: Creativity Doll and Inner Editor Monster Doll

Today (or whichever day I am currently on that may or may not be the right day – it’s hard to keep track with the group calendar changing) we were supposed to make two different kinds of dolls: one a Creativity Doll and one an Inner Editor Monster Doll.

I have a lot of random craft supplies at my house because, as you all probably already know, I am a craft dabbler. So I dug out a bunch of stuff, traced an outline on some beige fabric, pulled out my mom’s old sewing machine, and I went to work. I’d made a doll once in the distant past, around third grade for the one room schoolhouse experience. And when I say “I’d made” I really mean that my mom made it while I stood by and handed her things, as was the way of my people.

The doll itself was easy to make, with simple lines and a quarter inch edge all the way around. Using my mom’s sewing machine is second nature, unlike the one that I’ve had for the last decade or so that never made sense to me (which I shipped off to a friend the moment I got my mom’s in my hot little hands). I did have a little trouble at first with the thread tension, but a little swearing and rethreading later, I was good to go.

Stuffing proved a little harder because my stuffing tool went missing, but I used a skinny handled jewelry making file instead. Then I decided she needed clothing, so I freehanded a dress pattern while playing games with the boys. Sewed that up, then painted a face, glued on some curly, colorful wool (from needle felting) for hair, and gave her a bit of bling. But something was still missing. Shoes. I had no idea what to use for shoes. But she was just about baby sized, so I hand-sewed her some felt baby booties based off a pattern I’d thought about using for Kay’s twins when they were born, but never got around too. I eyeballed it. They turned out okay.

The Inner Editor Monster Doll is where I went off the rails. I felt like it should just be wackier, I guess. I grabbed an old, much hated bra out of the dresser, cut the straps off, and sewed it into a tube. I really thought I was going to break the sewing machine, but she worked like a dream, sewing through multiple layers and a zipper without any trouble at all. The backside, the secret side I’m not showing you all, is a black and white striped ribbon with all the bad phrases we wrote down during that Golden Words writing experiment several weeks ago, all those not so nice things people, and therefore my Inner Editor, have said to me. After I was done, I didn’t like her staring at me. It made me uncomfortable. Now in this section of the book, Julia Cameron says some people like to burn this creation or destroy it or maim it in some way. Another thing you know about me is that I love setting things on fire. But I just couldn’t somehow. So I came up with option B: a sleep mask. So now my Inner Editor can just take a rest and leave me alone. πŸ™‚

Posted in Crafts, Writing

Treasure Map

The last collage style thing we were supposed to do this week was make a treasure map of what we wanted our future to look like. I made mine a “From Here to There” style map. I know y’all are all laughing at the bottom middle one, but it’s the hardest thing to do for me. I like to help people, but I spend far more time on that than anything else. If being published is a goal of mine, I’m going to need to spend less time volunteering and much more time writing.

Posted in Crafts, Writing

Another Day, Another Collage

I had to go out and purchase more magazines. I tried a couple local thrift shops and in one I found National Geographics from the early 80’s, which was perfect because these next couple collages were supposed to be things from Birth-Age 5 and Ages 6-10. Even more perfect: one had a whole section on Nebraska in celebration of writer Willa Cather. I literally cried seeing photos that my heart knew were Nebraska before my brain read the words on the next page that told me they were, in fact, Nebraska. It was wild.

There weren’t a lot of magazine pictures left for the second poster, sadly, so it mostly got old family photos, interspersed with a few magazine bits from England or California, which were big family trips during Ages 6-10.

Posted in Crafts, My Own Personal Weirdness, Writing

Grab Bag Collage

Another Vein of Gold post. Sorry, it is eating my brain lately, so it’s what you get to see. Here we were supposed work as fast as we could, grabbing thirty or so images that struck us from magazines, and make a collage without overthinking it. Overthinking it. Hahahaha. Well, I hit a couple walls right away: 1) we don’t keep magazines in the house, really, and 2) I was totally out of scrapbooking tape.

So I gathered up all the Entertainment Weekly’s and Tyler Today’s that my dad had at his house (with permission) and here’s what I came up with. It took way longer than you might think. Enjoy!

Posted in Around the House, Computers and Internet, Crafts, Exercise, Family Time, Friend Time, health, Lifelong learning, Music, My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing, Parenting, Television & Film

Huge List of Activities to do with Kids during Covid-19

I started this document ages ago and have shared it with many friends, family members, and FB forums already. It’s compiled from many, many different places: lists on facebook, travel websites, space websites, family websites, school websites. It’s broken down into categories for ease of use: The Arts, Books, Celebrities, Coding, Crafts, Disney, Exercise, Food, Movies/TV/ Mental Health, Museums, Music, School Related, Travel, and Non-Internet Things to Do.

Hope you enjoy it. Here’s the link.

Posted in Computers and Internet, Crafts, Family Time, Lifelong learning, My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing, Parenting

Summer of Themes 2020

School got out a couple weeks ago, but my family has been taking a little staycation. I spent some time working on my summer plan for the kids. With summer camps being out of the question, we went back to the drawing board and decided we were going to do another summer of themed days. We’ve done them off an on for years and I first wrote about them here and here.

A lot has changed since then– we’re down to two children at home now, both teens, the internet can be viewed on the big TV in the living room, and free videos abound about far more subjects than we’ll ever have time to watch.

Here’s a link to this year’s list of themes. I’m updating them weekly on Sunday mornings, usually. Feel free to download and change for your own needs. πŸ™‚

Posted in Books, Crafts, Friend Time, I Am Traveling, What I Love

Book Making Weekend

One of my best friends and I made books this weekend. She took a four-day workshop on it and graciously offered to have me down for the weekend and teach me her new skills. I forgot to take a picture of the book press, which is large, red, and dusty from having sat in someone’s workshop area for years.

Things I learned:

1. Glue is the foundation of all books. That and more glue. With some glue here and glue there. Also some paper.

Photo of a workspace that includes a teal cutting mat which has cut paper and a rectangle of cardstock on top, a wooden 12-inch ruler, a black Sharpie marker, an awl, a white plastic storage container, a box containing a brayer, a bottle of fancy white glue, a yogurt cup containing glue and a a foam paintbrush covered in glue at the tip, a blue bowl with a wet, blue paper towel wadded up inside of it, a pair of green-handled scissors, a red stool, another work area across the table from the main work area (but without the teal mat), and front-and-center a hand which is coated in glue holding a cardstock spine that is also coated in glue. So much glue.

2. I cannot cut the cardstock. Not at all. My friend ended up cutting it all. BUT she has a Cricut and we’re going to cut down some of her huge cardstock sheets to run them through the machine later. I folded all the paper in half, though.

3. Stabbing little holes in paper is fun! So much fun!

4. Sometimes you forget how many holes to make, so you have to improvise. We accidentally put in 5, but you need an even number in this style of book binding, so we put in another one at the bottom. We used variegated thread for our inner binding, which made it super festive.

5. Beeswax smells just like when you smush your face really deep into your cat and then try to breathe, but without all the fur up your nose.

6. There is no 6. 7. Waxing thread is also addictive. I don’t know why.

8. Sometimes you have the wrong sized paper for your interior. So then you need to cut it, but it is hard to do without the guillotine. You may try many things, like sanding the paper, cutting it with box cutters, or even using the dremel wood cutters. They will not work. They will also make the house smell weirdly burnt. Then you will go out to Wal-Mart really late at night and buy a guillotine. They are CHEAP. Start with that last step.

10. Bookbinding has a lot of waiting time while the press does its work. We watched irreverent feminist comedy specials on Netflix while we waited. You can watch whatever you want. πŸ™‚

11. When putting the endpapers in, use the tiniest line of glue. We thought we had. We were wrong. Also, don’t use thin paper for the endpaper. Mine was a little too translucent. Steph’s was fine (a nice sage green, not pictured.)

12. Make a feature of a little error. My error was cutting the paper too close to a little signature spot on the paper. I ended up putting it on the front, where it looks like a cute little frill. We also learned that if you don’t like one side of your book, flip it the other way and make the back the front (my blue was crooked on one side. This side is much better.)

We had such a fun time making these little darlings! πŸ™‚ 12/10 would do it again.

Posted in Crafts

Homecoming for the non-conformists

My eldest kid surprised me last night with a request for a homecoming mum for his girl. LAST NIGHT. After three weeks of me saying “Are you sure you’re not going to change your mind?” They did and they didn’t. They still aren’t going to the dance, but they are going to go out and he requires a mum for this process.

First I was flabbergasted. Β Then I flippantly said at this rate all that would be left was Halloween ribbons and I could make a Harry Potter mum. His date loved the idea.
This morning I spent an hour and a half and $119 and now we have supplies to make our own mum. For $60 I could have purchased a pre-made one, but this one is half-school spirit, half Harry Potter so it’ll be better. Also, it will be bonding for David and I and that’s priceless, right? As a bonus, I can hot glue him to something when he pisses me off.
There was an owl selection process.Β 

After multiple texts, we chose the one on the front right because it had feet and did not have a stick up its butt to deal with.


Some of the rest of the supplies. Oh, and a Bible. Cause I’ll need it after dealing with a kid and a hot glue gun for hours later.
Wish us luck!