Saturday, June 28, 2014


My husband has an assignment this weekend! (Sound of cheering) I love the idea of temp work. It's lovely in our household, where it gives us some nice time to putter and travel together guilt free between assignments - without the hassle of arranging vacation time! This, however, has been a LONG season of very little work, prompting my husband to apply for another agency in the hope of regular work between the two. He's been home A LOT. (This is coming off of a 3 1/2 year stint at S-BUX Corporate, so we got spoiled)

It's very hard to get things done with a spouse at home. For one thing, I tend to get up fairly early (for a theater person) and start bustling around. I try to have a list of quiet, non-sewing activities for the early morning and weekends when both my husband and downstairs neighbor are sleeping. I post items on Etsy, do some early morning prep work on the kitchen front (this morning, I'm drying cherries), cut out my next sewing project, or pay bills. Eventually, my husband gets up and comes into the living room to hang out - which limits the scope of crafting - as clutter drives him crazy. Left to my own devices - I will have a project in some stage of "becoming" in each room of the house. I'll have Etsy linens in the bathroom getting hand washed or spot bleached, something dyeing in the vat in the kitchen, the mannequin I'm styling for a listing in the library - where the laundry I'm waiting to fold also sits, and the sewing room in perpetual explosion. With husband around, I try to reign in the chaos. And, when we're both home together, I don't want to work - I want to play, too! So a quick trip to the fabric store turns into several hours of joint puttering.

But today, I'm up. I'm doing. And I'm very efficient! Hooray!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014


I've begun canning. I know!!! I've bought a living social coupon for a canning seminar, but I don't have a Saturday free to take it until August. But, with such thing as the internet -I've already broken in my new canning pot, rubber gripper thingy, and the first two jars.

I made....CHERRY JAM!

Ok. So Cherries plus a few things. Because the conversion from the big jar of pectin versus the original small paper packets wasn't very clearly spelled out, and I wound up putting in 3x as much as I was supposed to. Which led to chopping up the rest of the cherries I had in the kitchen. Which led to chopping up another cup of strawberries to add. Which ended with using a few tablespoons of grape juice instead of apple - because I had it around the house and didn't want to go back to the store...

And once my cherries were properly mashed and gelled, bottled, cleaned, topped and ready to go - I discovered that my stewpots were too short for the jars. So, after another mad dash to Value Village (bought a pot that would 'do') and Goodwill (found an actual small batch bona fide canning pot, complete with accessories), I made it home to boil the heck out of them.

I tasted the jam last night. It is GOOD!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Many thoughts...

So many thoughts today. So many things buzzing around my head in general recently. So, off I go.

1. Etsy:

I've been working pretty consistently on my Etsy site. I've been wanting to do this for quite some time, but needed the right combination of steady work (for capital) and extra free time (to find/prep/photograph/list) to get started. The 8 weeks between Les Miserables and Funny Girl was ideal. My initial goal was simply to make enough profit to cover my crafting binges (and really, I'm fairly frugal even with those - but it felt better buying yarn if I knew that I'd contributed money to the general coffers JUST for that, instead of skimming off the grocery budget). However, as we stare around unknown corners of theatre work, with Alan still applying for artistic directing positions and directing jobs around the country, the idea struck me that this business would be one that could be easily moved to a different location as needed to provide me with continuing work. I'm not there yet, but I've made good progress. The business has already reimbursed my expenses, and left me with a tidy $200 of profit since March. Not a bad start to a brand-new enterprise.

2. Climate Change:

Maybe it's living in Seattle, and maybe it's getting a Prius and finding the DIY site to be very cool, but I'm more and more concerned about our environmental impact, and finding ways to eliminate it. I feel overwhelmed by reports of how quickly things are going to get very bad if we don't make radical changes. But I also believe in the power of ordinary people to make changes even when the powers that be can't. For example, we can get mad all we want at the oil companies and government, but as long as we -the consumer- continue to purchase gas for our car, we're contributing to the problem. If we all just got fed up and switched to electric vehicles (or hybrids, if we drive more), they wouldn't have a consumer base, anyway. I'm beginning to research the Smart Electric car, with the idea of keeping the Prius for hauling, and long trips.

3. Giving Back:

While appalled by the SPU shooting (and more so because my sister is a recent Grad, and her boyfriend who still attends classes was in the lockdown), I was heartened to watch both the GoFundMe Campaign to give a honeymoon and early marriage gift to the kid who stopped the shooter, and the GiveForward Campaign to pay for the funeral of one student, and medical expenses of the others. It is heartening to live in a community that cares that much (and I think the funds have both gone global now).