• Beer,  Tutorials

    Wrapping the Beer in an Electric Blanket

    It is so cold outside that it is past the level of cold and just dumb. Come on! One thing that is nice to do on a cold day is to make beer, which Matt and I did this weekend. It involves standing over and stirring bubbly pots in a cheerful warm kitchen for several hours. However, the next stage involves keeping the yeasties from freezing to death and/or over-heating for a week or more while they sit in a bucket and eat up all the sugars to make alcohol.  While I won’t disclose what temperature we are keeping the house at, I will say it is 35 degrees more…

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    Old Poem

    I live by train tracks and listening to them rumble by a few dozen times per day had me thinking of this. Uncle Ben’s Sonnet Uncle Ben was on the roof, drunk no less, with a BB gun, shooting up old cans when he shot my cousin Rick in the face. The worst thing he ever did though was get himself hit by a train, dead instantly, leaving my Aunt Bernice with nothing but 8 kids, breast cancer, and a single wide. You might wonder if it was suicide, We say don’t think, what’s done is done is done. Dad gave a brief but perfect eulogy: “He was dumb as…

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    Storing My Stash

    It is my untested observation that not having children makes growing up somewhat more optional. Despite my ambivalence towards various things adult, however, I find evidence of adulthood all over my house and habits. Grown-up-ness is a tricky condition that can be difficult to diagnose until it is has a 106 degree fever. I often run into little reminders that I am not punk rock anymore. Those who have known me throughout my life might question how punk rock I ever was, but I have been in an offensively named band, so I think that probably qualifies me for some level of former claim to the term.  Similarly, the boyfriend…

  • embroidery,  Tutorials

    How to Transfer Your Pattern Onto Your Fabric

    So, you bought one of these fun patterns online, but how do you make it get on your fabric? The best tutorial selection (I think) comes from the awesome NeedlenThread.com which is a great place for any kind of information about anything, ever, seriously, related to embroidery.  But crud, there are like, 20 transferring options listed on that website! Which is the best?

  • embroidery,  Tutorials,  Uncategorized

    French Knot Apostrophe Tutorial Party!

    I like words a lot, and I end up embroidering a lot of words. I have an unused degree in linguistics that allows me to say with no authority that grammar is not actually that important in many situations, but one situation in which it is important is in embroidery. Because if you are going to spend hours writing something in thread, write it right! So, with my love of correct punctuation in embroidery, here is a tutorial on how I make apostrophes (commas, etc.) using a modified french knot. I know the french knot is a point of frustration for lots of people, and maybe seeing it one more…

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    #Filibernie

    #filibernie is the best “Twitter Hashtag” ever, period, and final.  It is such an awesome hashtag that a new category of “Things that Are Awesome” must be created for hashtags, and then promptly retired because the apogee of the hashtag has been reached. My boyfriend and I often kvetch about how the filibuster is always threatened, but the Republicans never throw down. Yes, Matt and I are made for each other, and yes, we loved the late and great Senator Byrd’s epic op-ed about misuse of the filibuster from May 2010: A true filibuster is a fight, not a threat or a bluff. For most of the Senate’s history, Senators…

  • Food,  Product Placement/Reviews

    Tofu Stuffed Shells

    This recipe was such a big part of my life when I was in college, it was the first thing I made that was “fancy.” I loved this cookbook full of incredibly easy tofu recipes. Probably without it I wouldn’t still be a vegetarian over TEN YEARS LATER. Even though my brother and I made the food throughout high school, prior to becoming a vegetarian I really had no idea how to cook anything that didn’t come from a box – besides cookies and brownies (which I preferred raw, so “cooking” wouldn’t really apply there anyway). It seems rude to copy over the whole recipe for stuffed shells, click on the…

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    Jerseyville.

    My brother posted this map on his facebook page. The route in this map is how to get to Wal-Mart from my dad’s house; to get there, you drive through a grocery store parking lot. I am from a small town (though it’s technically a city!), whose motto is “Close to the crowd, but not in it!” After living in West Virginia for the last 5 years, I can’t believe how flat it is. Look at the green water lines growing across it like vines, how lovely. Now that I have lived far away for over 10 years,  in a place where mostly nobody has heard of my town, where…

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    Pattern Crazy.

    I uploaded ten new patterns onto my Etsy shop today. I spent a lot of time staring at a harmonica and thinking about how a sparrow would go about playing it. When I was drawing all the gingerbread zombies I learned that it’s hard to accurately depict a gingerbread man in profile.  I now know that harmonica’s are similarly difficult object to get perspective on.