Working Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Speaking of working, I didn’t last night. I went out with friends to a great restaurant, thank you, and then came home and went to sleep. I’m working now, though, and uh, sorry this is late. Really.

What work did you do this week?

78 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, June 12, 2024

  1. Really, you are allowed to have fun, enjoy yourself and your friends and to sleep!! Don’t feel guilty!

    I decided to be kind to myself too. I have been working on a duffle bag for about a month. I sit down to work on it, stare at the instructions and think. Then, I pinned what needed to be sewn and thought some more. While I was thinking, the cat decided that the bag was a perfect place to nap. I figured that was a sign that I wasn’t going to work on that bag, at least not for the next week or so. Maybe next weekend.

    I’m still collecting signatures for the quilt. I’m now in the “hounding” phase, picking up strays etc. It’s not fun, but I apparently have a talent for it.

    I did quilt and bind the airplane quilt. While I was working on the binding, Wendy was being very helpful – sticking her legs in my sewing area, etc. Here she is, looking perfectly innocent and relaxed.

  2. I’m working on deciding what I want to do next. I think that I have exhausted the opportunities available to me locally for showing and selling art, but I am not sure how to lengthen my reach. I have social media, of course, but haven’t been able to grow that into anything regular. Suggestions welcome, indeed actively encouraged, for more networks and resources. I am not looking for markets or craft shows right now, more flexible options for time commitments.

    Until I form a new plan I am going to work of restocking and revitalizing my etsy shop. I had some small success with painted jean jackets, which I abandoned mostly during covid when sales of clothes and jewelry plummeted. But what to paint? What would people want to wear on a jean jacket? Sometimes I do quotes, when I can be bothered to work on my lettering skills. Otherwise its usually a lot of nature, moons, trees, some flower and ferns, etc. Suggestions welcome here as well. Thanks!

    1. What about quilt-like geometrics to fill in the back panel, maybe with a shout-out patch on elbows or front pocket? I see a lot of people plastering quilt blocks on the front of tshirts/sweats (on Instagram), but they often don’t work visually (for me, at least), because they are just plastered there, a square element plunked on a canvas (human torso) that’s not square. But if it were painted, it wouldn’t need to be quite so square, and I can see how visually appealing it would be to fill in the back of a jeans jacket with a quilty design, or possibly something non-quilty (things that are more painterly), in the center surrounded by quilty elements to fill in the space to the seams of the back panel.

      Or maybe that’s just me, and my love of geometric designs.

      1. Thanks! something to think about for sure. I work with quilt patterns a lot, but usually only on canvas. I haven’t moved to wearables.

    2. Painted tennis shoes (trainers, sneakers) or mules/clogs? I’ve seen the occasional ones with stained glass and/or quilt colors and designs that are done well.

      1. Real question here, not critique of an idea: Is it weird to wear a representation of an article of clothing on another part of your body? I once had a navy blue dress printed with little red high heeled shoes, but they were tiny and repeated.

        Idk. I once had someone request that I paint an interior view of a greenhouse on the back of a jacket and I thought that was odd. Like, why would you want to look like you had a pathway through your body? I am probably overthinking this.

        I get twitchy about quotes too. There are some that I love, but feel weird about how they would present when worn…

        1. I once saw a baby in a onesie that was printed to look like a shoe. Old Mother Hubbard reference, I guess.

    3. I am always on the look out for clothing with interesting floral designs. Maybe one large floral element combined with smaller random patterns or geometrics?

      1. My friend has been pushing hard for poisonous plants and flowers. I will put that on the research list.

    4. I love jean jackets – never seen one with a quote – so that sound awesome – plus if there were something sparkly or glittery, maybe in the writing? Total trifecta win for me.

      1. I use Stevie Nicks/ Fleetwood Mac a lot. Those quotes go good with flowers and nature and leaves and I have sold several to people going to her concerts.

        I also do Tolkien because I am a geek.

      2. My son has a jacket (very light denim in camouflage-green) onto which he made us (my dad and me) sew all sorts of patches from the various places we’ve been to and superheroes he loved back then (and still loves, but what is not to love about Spidey).
        It looks cool even now when he’s more or less outgrown the style.

    5. Tattoo art for me.

      I wouldn’t want to get a tattoo (having potentially toxic material inside my body where said body is unable to get rid of it… phew), but I very often like the style.

    6. What about fairy tale/mythology symbols, with little subversive twists…or forests with teeth, like Faking It!

      1. Fairytales are always good. I have been wanting to do unicorns and mermaids, but am a little daunted by the details. I will work up to it. Eventually.

  3. I’ll be packing the car for our trip to Lassen NP and prepping food to take all day today. Leaving after the commute traffic dies down tomorrow! Have not done much writing work this week, but I did go on a lovely “dinner and a book” date with some friends yesterday—we met at the local bookstore, shopped, then had dinner at a restaurant I haven’t tried before, where I was able to order a couple sides and a house made blackberry soda that all seem to be treating me well so far… I picked up the beautiful California Forests Field Atlas that I’ve been eyeing for several years as my book purchase. (That might not be the exact title.)

  4. Little Mermaid is in pre-tech week, it’s going well. Work is going well, still doing a lot of online training. I had an audition for Something Rotten and got a callback for it, so fingers crossed on that one.

  5. Good for you for taking an evening off, Jenny. Sometimes you need to refill the well. Or else you burn out.

    I’m working on promo (obviously), but that’s winding down, so now I’m working on research for a nonfiction book on deities. Have I mentioned I hate research? Most of my books are just me talking about stuff and making up spells. But I’m doing it, a little bit at a time. (Okay, I don’t hate research itself. I hate trying to figure out what to use citations for, which things I can just put as a resource, and organizing it all so it makes sense. Bah.)

    I’m still trying to get the last few tomatoes and eggplants into the garden, finish mulching, and get more weed cloth down. And prep for an online class on Spellcrafting I’m giving this weekend. We’ve had a major weather shift and I’ve had a migraine for 5 days, which makes it hard to work on anything. Double bah.

    1. Sorry about your prolonged migraines. I have a bad one today and I’m barely coping. I hope yours goes away soon.

  6. Sinus headaches, which reportedly are not nearly as painful as migraines, are also often caused by changes in weather, apparently mostly in barometric pressure. I used to get them the day after my mother did, for some odd reason. (This happened even after I lived on my own and was unaware of my mother’s, so it wasn’t suggestion.) I kept them well into middle age, and then for some reason they mostly went away.

    1. I was told by my migraine doctor that true sinus headaches (which I thought I had) were rare and usually caused by sinus infections. Otherwise, what people think of as sinus headaches are migraines, which often affect the trigeminal nerve in the face. Migraines can have many triggers, including environmental ones, so the result is the same as it would be if they were sinus headaches, but the treatment is different. I have greatly benefited from recent advances in migraine medication, but one of the most effect treatments I use is a lidocaine nasal inhaler that just numbs the nerve from the inside and breaks the chain of pain.

      1. Well, what I and, I gather, my mother had, were much milder than migraines are said to be. Ibuprofen really helped, and I found that working could take my mind off the pain, whereas I gather that migraines make work impossible or very difficult. And they did seem to be associated with the weather, so they were not simply tension headaches.

  7. I’m taking most of June off from one kind of work (writing fiction that has deadlines), but it’s still a working vacation (writing fiction just for fun and catching up on house/yard work). Big accomplishment this week was a bigger project than I’d realized: organizing, photographing, editing the photos, and uploading the information on 28 quiltlets (I had 30, but two had issues with the red dye bleeding, so my cats get to keep those two) and three lap quilts for the Romancing the Vote auction (to benefit voting-access groups) the first week of July.

    If anyone wants to donate something to the auction, the deadline is June 28. I’ll put the link in a separate post, so as not to end up in moderation (I hope).

    1. If you’d like to donate something(s), go to romancingthevote dot com and then click on “contribute to the auction.”

      They accept a wide range of donations, from tangible items to services (critiques, etc.).

      Here’s an important caveat: “We will not be accepting individual ebooks or audiobooks in this auction. If you’d like to donate ebooks, consider getting together with some friends and making a themed ebook bundle that one of you can submit, or submitting your own bundle of five or more ebooks!” They don’t say it, but the same really applies to paper books too — not that they won’t accept them, but unless you’re, e.g., Jenny Crusie offering an out-of-print signed hardcover, it’s best to offer a bundle of several signed books, rather than just one.

  8. I’ve mostly been working on my brain, getting it ready for upcoming travel (stressful) and a week with the aged parents (not precisely *stressful* but it’s vastly expanded set of social demands from my usual).

    The house is mostly tidy, if dusty; the yard mostly tidy as well.

    Completed the review I was doing for QRI. Completed edits for my new release – M/M coworkers to lovers 50+ single dads novelette – which is releasing Saturday from JMS Books. Continued research for that story prompt from Tammy & Lupe. Submitted & contracted novelette for the Advent calendar promo.

    And caught another cold from DH. The worst should be past by Saturday, but I feel like shit and am extremely cranky about it.

  9. I finally finished unloading, reloading, and running the dishwasher.  I hadn’t thought I owned enough dishes, storage containers, and so forth to generate two loads without washing (except for a few hand-wash items), but evidently I do, so I immediately started unloading again and hand drying.  (Glass and china, etc., come out nearly dry on the air dry setting, and plastic is never dry even on the heated setting, since it retains so much water on its surface.  Under normal circumstances, I let everything air dry for a day or two.)  The dishwasher is now unloaded and needs reloading.  If I can get it done quickly,  I may even have a neat kitchen for a bit.

    In hot weather, around the house I generally wear shorts that have an elastic band and a drawstring, much like swimming trunks do.  The elastic in them goes while the rest is still in good shape, but I discovered a while back that I could replace the drawstring with an elastic one, so that it was doing double duty.  I first used a fairly stretchy elastic cord that I had found in the Walmart craft department.  When that was used up, I couldn’t get more, but I discovered that parachute cord works pretty well, although it is a bit less stretchy than ideal.  The elastic band in one more pair of shorts had reached the point where they needed treatment, and for a while the shorts sat around, unwearable.  I finally took action.  The best way to work this is to sew one end of the cord to the old drawstring (overlapping the two for an inch or two), and then to pull the drawstring through at the other end, and then cut the stitches.  But getting a needle through parachute cord is a struggle, so as a shortcut I tried just taping the ends together, with the same overlap.  Big mistake.  They pulled apart, and like an idiot, I pulled the cord all the way out and had to start from scratch with an empty drawstring tunnel.  Option 2 (in my experience) is to securely tape the cord to a wooden skewer or a thin chopstick (the tape holds better on wood than on cloth) and thread that through.  The stiff wood gives you something to shove even from the exterior of the drawstring tunnel.  This worked, but it was a struggle. I had had the bright idea of wrapping the taped skewer in plastic wrap to reduce friction.  This worked for a while,  but then the plastic bunched up.  I eventually got it through, and the shorts are again wearable.  It feels like a major accomplishment.  Next time, I sew the cord to the drawstring!

    1. The waistband is the very last part of my scrubs to wear out. But I will bear parachute cord in mind.

    2. Try using a safety pin. Also, I don’t put elastic waist pants in the dryer, they tend to lose their elasticity. Air dry.

      1. That must be why my waistbands outlast the rest of the pants. I dry everything outdoors most of the time.

  10. Slow week. I finally gathered my hot and sweet peppers, bought some more cream cheese, chopped and mixed in a loaf tin, added bacon, and baked “Unstuffed Peppers.” This was not the first time and there’s a pic on my site I’ve shared before. I should have cooked the bacon and added it separately – ’tweren’t nearly crispy enough. Maybe next time I’ll use Canadian bacon.

  11. Watering my husband’s garden in the mornings, and working on a bookshelf quilt for one of my favorite nieces, the bookworm. All of this while trying to figure out how to get a watercolor style that I’m enamored of created with acrylic paints on the side of a refrigerator and listening to decluttering ideas on YouTube.

    I threw the painting problem into the dark well of my subconscious to sink or swim. It used to work when I had problems in Excel pivot tables… no idea if it will now.

    I promised myself I wouldn’t paint anything else until I finished with the quilt, but I keep making only-fixable-by-ripping-it-out mistakes on the quilt. Just walked away from it in disgust. My subconscious may be revolting (in both senses of the word.) *sigh*

    1. I have a fair amount of luck using acrylic like watercolor, but I find that the material that I am painting on makes a big difference. Also, the quality of the paint. The cheap stuff has too much white in it, making it opaque and muddy when you water it down. But the heavier bodied stuff that comes in a tube waters down into those transparent layers well, especially the blues. Maybe you can prime the side of your refrigerator with gesso? Might still run too much though. I would probably buy a big sheet of raw canvas, no gesso, paint it flat so you get the breaks in the colors where you want them instead of just downward, and then figure out a way to hang it.

      Of course, that may not be what you want at all in a high traffic/spillage area.

      1. Thank you! I like the idea of painting it flat and then affixing it to the side. This is my second run at this particular “canvas.” I was able to lay a layer of white acrylic over the old one, and that let me literally peel the first painting off. But the hardest part in making the first one was the part at the bottom, as my knees… yeah, they didn’t like that at all, no matter whether I was getting up and down off the floor or trying to kneel or trying to squat. And sitting on a small bench made my head reel after just a little while… so the bottom definitely got short shrift. Anyway, that definitely sparks a thought or two. There’s just me and my husband, so not lots of traffic, no worries.

        Here’s the finished post of the first refrigerator painting. Found out afterward it wasn’t a mural, because they are by definition painted on a wall. Oh well: and the actual first thing I’ve posted on Instagram, so there’s that. For some odd reason, it actually makes me happy that it no longer exists, other than in digital form.

  12. I’m in a broken-things-useless-things-&dirt have to go mood.

    I tore apart the Florida room. Broken stuff hauled away. Un used desk given away. Dusted, swept & mopped like a fifties housewife. The result makes me so happy.

    I’m about to do the same thing to the living room.

    Back on track with my food/movement stuff.

    Tammy my accountability partner deserves a medal or trophy for patience.

    Still not writing, though.

  13. I have the week off of work and am in Ohio visiting my parents. My mom was supposed to have surgery, but Aetna denied prior auth 2 days before. The doctor’s office is appealing, but will it be approved by tomorrow morning? Probably not.

    So part of my work is to chat with my mom, trying to subtly bring up power of attorney and such…

    Otherwise, have gone for long, slow walks with her and maybe know what’s going to happen next in my WIP.

    1. I’m sorry, that is so hard. My dad finally updated his 30 year old will that isn’t really relevant anymore, but is still deeply resisting any discussion of POAs or other end of life planning. I know that talking and thinking about death is hard, but it is also difficult being the person who will be responsible after. Take care.

  14. Weather has been uncharacteristically cool for June – sweatshirts and socks. Good gardening weather.

    My PIL are visiting this weekend and I need to clean the house. DH will help but he’s in the office this week so he has less time. I have a bad migraine so not moving fast today. My MIL is difficult and none of us are really looking forward to their visit (including DH) but they only stay for 48 hours.

  15. My mini-deck garden has been working away. All of the seeds I planted (was it just a week ago?) have sprouted and are on their way to turning into something edible — I hope.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been working on trying to get my workout routine restarted. My natural inclination is to reinforce the Newton’s “a body at rest tends to stay at rest” law of motion, but I’m pretty sure my health provider wouldn’t approve so it’s back to using the elliptical machine on a regular basis. I’m increasing my workout a minute at a time, as I work my way back to my pre-Covid 45-minute workouts. I still don’t like doing it, but I can also see that my arms/back are less tense, so there is a positive payoff.

  16. It’s emergency week here – plumbing, dog, iPhone and Mac laptop (so just came back from replacing both which has left me limp; would rather deal with sewage issues because at least they don’t make me feel stupid and incompetent), rental emergency, banking emergency, mother issues at long term care residence. Have I left anything out?

    1. Oh that sounds like way too much ‘life stuff’ to be dealing with at the same time, Tammy. I hope there is a positive outcome for all of the issues. Take care of yourself too.
      I think some tech sellers just like to play mind games with customers, if you understand the first 10 things they refer to they will just keep going until they find things that you don’t. Others are genuine nerdy techs & either have trouble understanding non techie questions or are happy to provide you with so much information at such an expert level it becomes incomprehensible 🤣.

    2. What an awful week. I’m so sorry. I hope you had a good book at the end of each day.

  17. Still cleaning closets and clearing out. I’m trying to get the house ready to list on the market and I keep finding new things to fix. Expensive things. At this point, it may be costing me more to sell than to keep the place. Need to find some light reading, lol.

  18. We had the cable guy here this week. It took him all of an hour to hook up the boxes gather the old equipment and we were back in business. But I don’t understand why we practically have to beg to get someone out to do this work
    After what we pay a month. Corporate greed. Then I had to go out today to buy a clock to put on the cable box. We were so used to a clock in the old box. Argh!

  19. I’m sick, achy, head pain, sinus pain, ringing ears, can’t sleep even with the drugs. Have not been this sick, maybe since 2017. Brain is so foggy and body strength is none existent. Reading between sleeping, when I sleep. I will be fine, don’t worry about me. Sister turned 88. Dinner. Don’t want to give her this. Best oldest sister ever. Staying home. Looking at the pretty pink peonies to make me smile. The scent is lovely.

  20. I am back working on my garden. I was almost done with the area I am cleaning up to lay down a walkway bricks on a gravel and sand base. But I asked my husband to price a few rolls of sod for me to fill in an area that I wanted a little more grass and a little less flower bed (My flower beds are typically 8 feet or more deep). And instead of pricing he brought home 3 of the most pathetic looking sod ever seen – not dead yet but very yellow. So I had to break one project to prepare the area where the sod would go. This is going to be a new flower bed also so I had a lot of stuff to take up. I have the sod done today. It will need further shaping if it actually survives. But I can now go ahead on preparing the base for my walkway and hopefully get started on it. No pictures yet since I just have bare areas with weeds and/or dirt.

  21. Trimmed the azalea and am now weeding out my stepping stone path. One meeting down and one to go.

    Made a big batch of pasta salad and roasted a lot of broccoli. No cooking tomorrow.

  22. I schlepped my stuff back from the suburbs on Monday and went to PT on Tuesday. And for the first time this spring I managed to put in a full length stretch on the Nu-Step afterwards. Which may explain why I have yet to do my daily exercises even though it is now 10pm. But I am in my workout clothes and after hearing how productive all of you have been I am going to do my exercises while I watch the news.

  23. I have spent the day cooking, because I ran out of chilli oil before visiting my parents last week, and that is not an acceptable state of affairs. A good friend of mine is having a really rough time at work and can’t really handle cooking for herself right now, so I’m cooking for two. Which doesn’t make a difference to the volume of food at all. I eat a lot.

    Last week I visited my parents to help bed down their enormous garden for winter and as usual didn’t get through even a single section although I think I cleared enough of the laundry garden that Mum can work in it now without hurting herself. Next task: research gardening services and get quotes.

  24. I’ve been packing like a thunderstorm. Meeting with moving companies. Meeting with realtor. Planning a trip out to hunt for an apartment. Plus dealing with an unexpected medical issue.

    I’m excited and happy and anxious and exhausted all in one go.

  25. Last week was full of fun things like a Red Sox game, and a bonfire birthday party on Saturday. I went to bed happily beat, but woke up shivering, and ta-da! I had a flu. So this week until today has been about trying to rest, trying to get anything done, trying to take care of my parents. Today, I’m pretty good! So now I can take care of my mom, who has just started it.

  26. I bought a very large marble mortar and pestle last week, and have been making pesto in it every few days (with store-bought basil, sadly, since my basil plants are struggling in our 95+ days right now), and it is so much better than anything I ever made in a food processor! It takes longer, of course, but it gives me tremendous satisfaction. I made a big batch before work this morning, and I’m eagerly looking forward to having a roasted sweet potato topped with pesto, marinated onions (from Teri Turner’s No Crumbs Left cookbook, a birthday present from my boyfriend) and a poached egg for supper. So simple, and so lovely!

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