Maker Monday: Magic Healing Soup

So I’ve caught the plague…

Almost certainly due to a herd of little kids coughing in my face, high-fiving me with their germy hands, and general spreading their germs in my direction, I’ve been struck down with illness.

I am never this glam while sick.
I am never this glam while sick.

This has featured:

  • a sore throat
  • a kind of spooky episode of chills
  • body aches
  • so much sleeping
  • an uncomfortable amount of television
  • magic healing soup

Magic Healing Soup is something my mom invented, and I continue to make, with additional tweaks. It may or may not be actually magic, or healing, but it makes me feel like I’m doing something for my health.  Continue reading

Maker Monday: Works in Progress

I like to make things.

All kinds of things. Food things. Crafty things. Story things. Here’s a little peek into what I’m working on lately.

Knitty Things

The Green Cardigan

The project: I’m knitting a sweater. I’m farther along than I’ve ever been. There is still a sweater back and a box of yarn that I embarked on seven years ago waiting for me, but this time, I’m for real.IMG_20160119_125353_768

The details: It’s the “Essential Cardigan” from KnittingatKnoon, and it’s very no-frills. I don’t know how to knit frills, so that works out. I’m knitting it in Plymouth Yarn’s Encore in dark forest green. While green sweaters are not exactly a hole in my wardrobe, I don’t have a green cardigan, so I feel okay about it.

The schedule: Done before spring, I hope.

Fingerless Gloves: Great Weekend Mitts

The details: What do I love? Three quarter sleeves! What do I hate? Cold wrists! Thus, a pair of mitts. I’m knitting them in cheap-but-soft acrylic, in burgundy and navy stripe.IMG_20160201_084942_032

A word about the name of this pattern: While some humans could knit these up in a weekend, I have not. I have been picking at them since October, when I started knitting them so I’d have something to knit in a scene in my acting class. (The key to Chekhov is to add knitting, it turns out. You’re welcome, I solved acting for you).

The schedule: Done before spring, I hope.

Sewing Things

In the past month I’ve completed Gertie’s “Portrait Blouse” and a pair of Wearing History’s “Smooth Sailing Trousers.” I’ve cut out an additional pair of trousers in black, and they’re just waiting for me to stitch them together. I need to fix the first pair’s zipper, as I have somewhat mucked it up, but otherwise it’s set. The Portrait Blouse is a dream, and a quick sew.

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I found that cutting out a bunch of projects at once, and sewing them later seems to work out for me. It provides a jumping off point–it’s harder to make excuses about starting a project when it’s already cut out.

Cooking Things

You can make seitan in a slow cooker. I’m not sure how I missed this. I was so skeptical.  I gave that roast serious side-eye as it cooked, but holy cats! It works! Recipe here is equivalent to the one I used.

Story Things

I’m writing a new play, and that feels deeply satisfying.

What are you making lately?

 

 

 

Maker Monday

Making things is starting a (minor) revolution.

With a new year, and the cold, clear days, it’s easy to get introspective. And so I have. As I think about all the things that bring me joy, it’s easy to cast myself as scattered. I like so many different things, lots of them at least vaguely domestic. But as I look more deeply, I find my various interests all fall under one big umbrella: I really like to make stuff.

Me and my new best friend, the Food Strainer-Saucemaker.

Writing a play, knitting a sweater, baking a loaf of bread–these are all essentially creative acts. It’s self-expression through concrete forms. It’s sculpture, but instead of clay, I use ideas, and words, and yarn, and flour.  Continue reading

DIY: Humidifier

It’s cold in the Midwest, my friends.

The temperature is low, the freeze is on, and moreover, the air is dry. Dry, dry, dry. The steam heat radiators in our apartment go full blast at night (so vintage, so charming, so very loud) and while it’s nice to be warm, they obliterate any moisture in the air.

We apparently own a humidifier. It’s supposedly in the basement. This was not a thing I knew when, in the middle of the night, feeling like I was slowly becoming a human raisin, I decided to throw a wet towel on the radiator.

Continue reading

Vintage Hair for Modern People: Pin Curls

The Internet is full of pin curling tutorials, and I see no reason to add another one.

It’s not secret that heat styling is no good for your hair. Curling irons, blow driers, straighteners, hot rollers–they work really well, but eventually leave you with crispy tresses. Yes, there are heat protectant sprays,  and yes, you can pry my hot rollers out of my cold, dead hands, but for daily styling, I’m trying to avoid heat.

Finally, after The Great Cropping Accident of 2015, in which a hair dresser and I had a very different understanding of “take some of this weight off so the curls will bounce”, I have enough length to do something. It only took a year. I’m not bitter at all. But as my hair has gotten heavier, it has lacked a certain volume and shape, and je ne sais quoi.

Look at me, pretending that was on purpose.
Look at me, pretending that was on purpose.

A hot roller set makes my hair look fantastic, if I do say so. But I am not willing to hot roll every day, because of the aforementioned heat damage potential. Enter the pin curl. Continue reading