About Me

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Lapsed anthropologist-turned-burlesque performer and post-modern punk housewife/homesteader living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a hunky husband, gorgeous daughter, adorable corgi, fluffy rabbit, and three clucking fabulous chickens.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Awesome Life

If you told 25-year-old me that 27-year-old me would be living in a gorgeous house in an awesome neighborhood with an incredible fella and an awesomely adorable corgi, I wouldn't have believed you. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.

I mean, look at that dog. That dog is rad.

The fella isn't bad, either. I mean, he does stuff like this:

 I find myself getting frustrated at the job market here and the difficulty of getting into a master's program and the first-world crisis of wondering what to do with your life, so sometimes it's helpful to reflect on the awesomeness that is life. I've lived on three continents when most people on Earth never travel more than 50 miles from where they were born. I get to have incredible adventures with people I love on a regular basis. People wait hours in line around the block, even in bad weather, and pay to watch us perform. I know djs, photographers, chefs, artists, writers, musicians, activists, and I get to be part of that community. I am happier than I have ever been, and it feels amazing. The biggest problem Mr. Bear and I have is that his long hours keep us from spending all our time together. Because, seriously, we'd never be apart if we didn't have to. We're kind of disgustingly in love.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sewing Workshop

I ended up having only one student, so it was more a private lesson than a workshop. I took some 8x8 inch squares of fabric that I designed myself(which you may remember from this post) and cut them into triangles.

Emily and I picked out eight triangles and practice hand sewing straight seams to piece them together into four small squares.

Ponyo was, as ever, ensuring our safety.

...or just mucking about.
Once we pieced the triangles together by hand, we practices machine-sewing straight seams to piece the squares together into a block. I stupidly forgot to take pictures of the process, but I had Emily bind her quilt block, batting, and backing together with strips of scrap fabric on the sewing machine to finish her quilt potholder/tea trivet/what-have-you.

Emily had brought along a pair of adorable sailor pants she wanted to make into shorts, so we pinned them where she wanted them to fall, cut off the excess, rolled the cuffs, and I showed her how to handstitch an invisible hem, which actually takes no time at all. In about ten minutes her pants had become some seriously cute shorts.

All in all, I'd say it was a successful venture. She now has two things she can show off proudly and say she made, and she is no longer daunted by altering her clothes thanks to the invisible hem stitch.

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A magic attic of my very own!

I have foolishly volunteered to teach a basic sewing workshop today, which means that I have to get my craft room in order. Mr. Bear graciously helped me set it up(by helped, I mean he did most of it while I worked on the screenprinting workshop last night). My craft room is the largest room in our house, but Mr. Bear cannot stand completely upright in it. It is definitely Miss Bird sized.

It was a great relief to me to pull all my yarn out of storage and have it available again!

Yarn thief!

I can't wait to hang some fairy lights up here and figure out a creative way to display my fabric collection.
While I'm at it, I may as well show you my library-in-progress.

The red table is going to be refinished. I haven't decided between aquamarine or cucumber. The hideous wingback will also be recovered in something lovely. I'll be converting the closet(not shown) into an instrument "room". It currently houses both my violins and my harp, though the ukulele lives on the wingback for now.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yudu Test Party

We've been trying to screenprint shirts to sell at shows, and to that end Jewels purchased a Yudu and brought it over so we could give it a whirl. It's quite the involved process. You basically have to perfect the art of applying capillary film to the screen before you can do anything else.

This was the image we started with, drawn for us by Jana's awesome and talented boyfriend, Ben.

Jana was also delivered of a healthy baby boy last week, and brought him over to meet everyone. Levi is adorable and tiny and was very quiet the whole visit. Ponyo, true to form, was waaaaaay more interested in food.

About three hours after beginning the process, we were ready to test our screen. Mr. Bear had a spare black shirt we tried it out on.

And here is our result. Not bad. The definition in her fishnets didn't translate, nor did the feather she's holding in her mouth. I've prepped another screen and we'll try again. My final verdict on the Yudu is that it is way too expensive($20 for two emulsion sheets. Two.) and not at all user-friendly. I don't think I'll be getting one of my own.

Goodbye, my Sarah Jane

When I was a kid, I think around seven or eight, I used to watch reruns of classic Doctor Who on PBS at my grandparents house. I distinctly remember curling up on a big overstuffed recliner, enthralled by a man with very curly hair and a scarf that was way too long, and his smart-talking companion with short brown hair who never let him talk down to her just because she was a woman. Fourth  Doctor and Sarah Jane; that's where it was at. She was the companion all others were compared to, and though I liked Leela well enough, and though I think Amy Pond is adorable, it will always be Sarah Jane that I admire and wish to emulate. A strong and infinitely capable woman.

In her appearances in the new incarnation of Doctor Who and in her own spin-off, the character of Sarah Jane was even more formidable, if that were even possible. And the astounding part of that is that Elisabeth Sladen was in her 60s and making a comeback current starlets can't manage in their wildest dreams. She put so much of herself into her role that it was impossible not to love her, the well-spoken, sharp, classy lady. To everyone who loved her through her role as Sarah Jane, I like to think we all got to meet her anyway, and to us she will always be "my" Sarah Jane.

Her passing strikes a particularly resonant note with me, as she passed from cancer, and my dearly loved aunt Denise passed from cancer a month ago tomorrow, another wicked and wonderful woman without whom the world is little dimmer, a little less fabulous than it was before. The passing of strong women who teach us what it is to live according to your own ideals is always tragic, and it is more important once they've gone to remember what they have taught us, directly or through example, about being true to yourself and unwavering in your zeal for life. "Travel really does broaden the mind" and we should all have our own adventures, as many of them as we can pack into our brief spans on this planet.

I shall have more to say on the subject of my aunt as we near her memorial service in June, after I've had a chance to process through my grief. For now, it is easier to meditate on the loss of Elisabeth Sladen, since I can relive all my memories of her through the legacy of her career. I will leave you with the tribute made to her by those who knew her, grew up with her, and had the good fortune to work with her.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Today was absolutely gorgeous outside, and I took advantage of the weather to enjoy the lovely gift Mr. Bear got for me this weekend; a potting bench! We looked at one on sale and determined we couldn't build it for cheaper, so home it came. Here it is:

It looked much more impressive covered in pots and with my trowel in the soil bin.

I got all my seeds into starter pots. Yay! It's been sporadically snowing and hailing all week, so they may be going under makeshift greenhouses next week, but still. Progress! I also dug up the Snowdrops from the old house and planted them in a pink pot out front.

After gardening, we took Ponyo to Manito Park and walked about for a bit. She enjoyed the new park and as always was much better behaved for Mr. Bear than she is for me.

Tonight's PnP rehearsal is an Easter Potluck as well, so here is my contribution; a Quorn faux-chicken roast for us vegetarians. It's been marinated in a mix of mustard, maple syrup, cloves and cinnamon, and orange juice, and as you can see I stuck some orange slices on top. It smells delicious!

And finally, what would Easter be without a bunny? This is Ianto, and he's coming home with us in a few weeks. We need to build him a hutch!(Edit: Turns out Ianto is female and we've named her Butterscotch!)

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tiny Owl Knits Swap

I belong to the Tiny Owl Knits group on Ravelry(if you're not a Raveler, you can find her etsy shop here, and you should totally check it out because it's amazing!), and we had a Spring swap, which was super fun. I just received my swap package in the mail, and oh-em-gee it is gorgeous!

Spectacular charm bracelet!

Necklace in my favorite colors.

Extra yarn for coordinating accessories(methinks some gloves?)

Beautiful sock yarn.

Parseltongue hat! I can now hang with the cool kids in the Slytherin common room.

Ponyo was very interested in the parcel.

...aaaand thought the sock yarn was a perfect corgi toy.

I love my swap package. This was my first swap, I hope to do a better job on my next swap package. The one I sent out this time 'round was made on a budget and with a shortage of time and not nearly what my swap partner deserved.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What has two thumbs AND a corgi? This guy!

Totally the right dog for me, look at that face!

She's here! She'shereshe'shereshe'shereshe'shere!
And she is adorable! We're keeping her crate in the kitchen for now, because it has linoleum floors and she thinks carpet is grass. Mr. Bear will train that right out of her, no problem. He's awesome like that. In the meantime I've made a couple makeshift puppy gates out of a moving box and a large suitcase that are working just fine. All the neighbor dogs are clamoring to know who the new girl is. Right now she's curled up in her crate taking a nap.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


 This is Angel.
Angel is an AKC registered Pembroke Welsh Corgi. She's coming to live with us this Friday. Angel was rescued and is a little overweight(just like me!), but has a very sweet personality and just needs lots of love and reassurance. Mr. Bear and I are very excited to have her. She's coming to us by way of a lovely woman who contacted me through the Corgi Style group on Ravelry. Angel doesn't get along with the other corgi in her rescue home, and I let Dorothy know we'd be thrilled to have her.
After about three years of intensive searching, I finally get to have a corgi companion of my own.

Edit: We've renamed her Ponyo. It's a much more suitable name.
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