Saturday, January 23, 2016

A little bit of snow

In case you didn't know, the east coast (aka - the entire world!) got a little bit of snow this weekend.

Actually here it is in the afternoon of Saturday and we've got something like 24 inches with more to come. Its funny how snow like this makes people loose their minds. I stopped at Trader Joe's on Wednesday for cheese and coffee and they had to start a line to get INTO the store. There were at least 50-75 people in line when I left. Even though you resist getting caught up in the frenzy of Snowmageddon!AaaaaaaaaHHHHHHHHH! it's hard not to. Miss Mary and I went for a walk to pick up a bottle of wine and some rice from the grocery store - which we could have survived the weekend without. There was a line at the State Store! And then we just looked in the window at the Shop 'n Bag, saw the long lines there and said - forget it! We stopped at my favorite Indian/Pakistani spice store (where there was a much better deal on rice anyway) and even though there was also a line at least it wasn't insane. We got home just in time - about an hour later it started snowing.
I gotta tell you, I ain't never seen snow like this before! Seriously - I've never seen it go sideways all the way around my house. All of the windows have snow drifts on them.  

There were some other unpleasant surprises.
That would be snow coming in the front door through the mail slot. Now I know why the former owner blocked it. Thank goodness I've been putting a towel against the back door and there wasn't any on the inside.
 Jacques insisted on going out in that.
After 10 minutes I tried calling him from the front door a few times but no response. I called for him every 20 minutes for an hour - nothing. Finally I got worried about him and found him struggling in a deep snow drift. :( Poor baby. Once he saw me coming he just gave up and stayed there until I picked him up. With a small lull in the blizzard this afternoon I went out and shoveled a little bit so that the snow didn't get totally packed down.  I asked him if he wanted to come. He didn't budge from in front of the heating vent.

In the afternoon I opened the back door to take some photos and he clearly wanted to take advantage of the open-door opportunity.

He very quickly changed his mind and came back in.

Something about a snow day makes me feel extra energetic. Go figure. Even though this storm happened on a weekend (such a waste of a perfectly good weekend if you ask me - it could have happened during the week, given me some days off and then I could have been more productive...) I spent Friday being super productive. In the morning I straightened out bills, car insurance documents and other pressing matters, then I decided I deserved to do something creative.

On Thursday a co-worker (Charissa) brought bento bags to my attention. 
Essentially, it is a piece of fabric folded and sewed (very simply) to create a bag to carry anything really - lunch for example. Great instruction video here:
I was immediately intrigued. I've been tying my lunch container into my dish towels every day - which works just fine - but these - well these are just cool.
I spent the afternoon making a few. I have plenty of fabric to play around with this and find the perfect size.

The concept is pretty simple. The measurement is 3:1 so you can make it any size you like.  

Fold the ends to triangles

 Then fold the square in the middle in half on the diagonal to achieve the above. 
Pin the edges where they meet and sew. 
I also surged the raw edges - which I don't really like. I don't have a very good relationship with my surger and so I'm not happy with the result. I need to find a better solution for this. But for now - its fine. 
Two containers fit into this bag. Plus room for tangerines.  

Hot diggity!

I was so excited I made a few more:  

When I finished the largest one - the blue one - I thought it was too big - unwieldy. Nope. It is perfect for shlepping all things I want downstairs when they are upstairs and vice versa. Can't wait to take it with me to collect my farm share on Tuesday.
I also spent some time fixing one of my most favorite tote bags I've ever made. I made this before I moved into this house, so it has to be at least 8 years old.

The bag has stood the test of time -  but the straps have not: 
Last weekend I went to our quickly dwindling Fabric Row (very sad actually) and purchased some nylon strapping.

Good as new!

Today we (me and the boys) spent the day watching the snow.

It was amazing how it drifted. In some places there was absolutely nothing and in others, 3 foot banks.
I had some business to take care of today too - letters of recommendation and such, but while those were being written I was felting my new slippers! Yippee!

A few years ago now, I knitted and felted the purple slippers (on the left).
 They were wonderfully warm. But sadly the soles wore out.

I decided to knit up the left over bit of yarn I had from the project to felt into pieces I could sew to the bottom. Fine.

However, if you are unfamiliar with felting here is a brief how-to: knit the desired project with 100% wool -  extra large. Wash it over and over in hot water until it shrinks to the desired size. It's a good thing its warm in California or this sort of project would be a very costly extravagance and these slippers would be worth their weight in gold. In Philadelphia - well - think of all the money I will save on heating because my toes will be warm (go with me on this one). But even so, felting one little swatch really was too much of a waste of resources and I decided to knit a new pair.

Yes they are horrifically ugly - but since I am on a strict yarn diet I had to use what I had and that was it. And who cares really - I will not wear these in public. These are strictly wear-in-the-studio-to-keep-feet-warm slippers.

After second washing:

After third washing - almost there:

After fifth washing: 

The Jr. Inspector has approved. Can't wait 'till they are dry and I can put them on!

The Jr. Inspector allowed me to take his portrait: 
Then he moved to the pile of coats waiting to be put away. Much cozier I suppose. 

And we are still watching the snow come down. 

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