Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Who Knew Things Organized Neatly Was a Thing?

On feedly I follow an art, design, and visual culture blog called Colossal.  Some posts are interesting to me, others not so much.  One of their posts focused on photos from the book Things Organized Neatly, curated by Austin Radcliffe.  What fun!  And definitely interesting to me.
I don't know about you but I enjoy looking at collections of similar but different objects and I especially enjoy seeing them arranged on a flat surface where I can see each one individually and compare the differences, or look at the contents of a container, or the equipment someone uses at work, etc.
I thought this sewing machine created from sewing notions was a bit of fun.  See a better, clearer photo here.
In the parlance of photographers and designers the process of arranging objects in systematic ways is called knolling.   
buttons things organized neatly
I don't know about you but I love seeing objects arranged neatly.  Most of the time.  But it's not something I, personally, would do with objects except to take photographs of them.  For some people I suppose this is just too much.  But think of it.  We like the shelves of grocery stores to be organized neatly.  What if the cans of peas and beans and corn were all randomly placed on shelves, all mixed together?  We like the thread in a store to be arranged so we don't have to search through all the spools for the color we want.  And books at the library or the bookstore are so much easier to find when shelved properly.  There are a lot of ways that are lives are simpler when things are organized neatly.

When I think about it, perhaps some quilts are the ultimate things organized neatly.
quilt top stars on scrappy backgrounds
See more things organized neatly at Tumbler, here or here.

I saw a blog post a few days ago in which the author suggested that this much organization might be over the top, obsessive/ compulsive for some people but she color coded her Smarties when she was a child.

What about you?  Do you enjoy photos of things organized neatly? 

--Nancy.

P.S.  You can tell that I'm feeling at least a little better because I'm reading blogs and books and feel well enough to write a post.  Perhaps one day soon I'll pull out a quilt to sew or un-sew or create.   I hope you are staying well.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Covid, Doing Little, 2021 Books

I'm recovering from Covid and at the point where I really want to do something but have nearly no energy, either physical or mental.  It's a strange situation because I'm not one to sit and do nothing.  Sometimes life gets so busy I think, wouldn't it be nice to be able to just sit for an hour.  I'm not so thrilled now that I can do that. 

I finally picked up Cheddarback and began a little slow quilting.  And I've been reading.  And napping.  And just started taking walks again, such slow walks, around our neighborhood.  By all I've read, mine has been a mild case of Omicron.  (It felt like a sinus infection to begin with.)  I've been able to weather through it at home.  It didn't sink keep into my lungs though I do have a cough and I didn't lose my senses of taste or smell.  I haven't have much of an appetite.  I'm ready to feel good again.

We just took our Christmas tree down today but other pre-Christmas things are still cluttered around.  The nisse along with her patterns and papers sit in her box with unfinished neck scarf, Dear Prudence lays under the cutting mat awaiting a choice of binding and a trim, the Christmas wreath is still on the door, and a bag of Christmas gifts sits near the couch in the family room.   

I've missed all the end of year wrap-up posts (too late for that now) and all the planning for 2022 posts (I don't have the mental energy yet), but I thought I could share a list of (most) of the books I read last year.  I came up with a new system to rate them:  loved them, liked them, ho-hum, strongly disliked them.  I tried to include notes about language and intimacy and whether light fantasy.  I may have missed some language notes, though.  If you have questions I'll respond to comments or you can check goodreads for reviews.

I Loved These Books
  • This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing: A Memoir.  Jacqueline Winspear
  • South of the Buttonwood Tree.  Heather Webber (light fantasy)
  • Hamnet:  A Novel of the Plague.  Maggie O’Farrell  (positively lyrical though the ending could have been stronger, one intimate scene)
  • The Lake House.  Kate Morton
  • Midnight at the Blackbird Café.  Heather Webber (light fantasy)
  • The Kitchen Front.  Jennifer Ryan
  • The Downstairs Girl.  Stacey Lee
  • The Lost Spells.  Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris (breathtakingly beautiful)
  • Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting.  Lisa Genova
  • The Paris Library.  Janet Skeslien Charles
  • The Lights of Sugarberry Cove.  Heather Webber (light fantasy)
  • Every Secret Thing.  Susanna Kearsley
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words.  Pip Williams
  • The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive.  Lucy Adlington (non-fiction, amazing ways the women worked together to save each other!)
  • The Rose Code.  Kate Quinn
  • The Keeper of Happy Endings.  Barbara Davis

I Enjoyed These Books, Worth Reading
  • WinterFrost, Michelle Houts (children's chapter book with a nisse)
  • The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding.  Jennifer Robson
  • At Home on Ladybug Farm.  Donna Ball
  • Penguin the Magpie: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family.  Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Grieve
  • Growing Up.  Russell Baker
  • The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin (children's)
  • News of the World.  Paulette Jiles
  • The Second Sister.  Marie Bostwick
  • On the Wings of Morning.  Marie Bostwick
  • The Last Garden in England.  Julia Kelly
  • The Ride of Her Life: The True Story of a Woman, Her Horse, and Their Last-Chance Journey Across America.  Elizabeth Letts (non-fiction)
  • Seven Perfect Things.  Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • The Shadowy Horses.  Susanna Kearsley (some language)
  • A Desperate Fortune.  Susanna Kearsley
  • The Paris Apartment.  Kelly Bowen (some language in difficult circumstances)
  • The Nature of Fragile Things.  Susan Meissner
  • Pumpkin, The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog.  Laura Young
  • I'll Be Seeing You: a memoir.  Elizabeth Berg
  • Hannah Coulter.  Wendell Berry
  • The Keeper of Lost Things.  Ruth Hogan (some language)
  • The Last Thing He Told Me.  Laura Dave
  • The Last of the Moon Girls.  Barbara Davis (light fantasy)
  • Never Fall for Your Fiancée.  Virginia Heath (a fun farce; some intimacy)

Good Enough, Not Fabulous
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.  V. E. Schwab
  • The Uncommon Reader:  A Novella.  Alan Bennett
  • A Piece of the World.  Christina Baker Kline
  • The Promise Girls.  Marie Bostwick
  • The Lost and Found Bookshop.  Susan Wiggs (placed here because of the ending)
  • The Last Year of the War.  Susan Meissner

Books I Disliked and Wish I Hadn't Wasted My Time Reading
  • The Lincoln Highway.  Alex Towles

I hope you're having a good new year!
--Nancy.

Friday, December 31, 2021

The Last Finishes of 2021

hand quilted hot pads
My daughter asked for hotpads for Christmas.  In the scheme of things, these are tiny finishes (compared to a quilt) but finishes they are.  They are all made from scraps or unused blocks.

Before washing and drying the top ones measured 7 5/8" square and the bottom ones measured 8 1/4" square.  After washing and drying they measure 7 1/4" and 7 7/8", respectively.  So, they shrank about 3/8".  I made them large knowing they would shrink but I expected more shrinkage.  They'll still work.

I debated about using two layers of Warm and Natural batting and finally decided on three layers.  I've made hotpads before but I didn't document exactly how I made them which left me to figure it out again.  After making the tops I cut the batting and background a little larger and anchored them in place.  I hand-anchored two sets, then used a long machine stitch to anchor the other set.  Then I cut them to size and added the 2" folded binding around the edges.  That didn't work very well.  The quarter-inch seam seemed to almost disappear in the thickness of the batting and it seemed less than a quarter inch..  I don't know how else I would have done it though because I don't have a quarter-inch presser foot for my machine.  I'll give it more thought before making more hotpads.

My daughter's kitchen walls are that tealish color and her favorite color is red.  Next time, though, I don't think I'll use such a light color as the off-white in the wedding ring hotpads.  I don't know about you but my hotpads often pick up discoloration when the they touch the edges of a pan where they meet the food.

And that's the end of 2021 (in less than four hours).  Good riddance, I say.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

--Nancy.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

A Nisse FInish - December's One Monthly Goal

Maileg-style pixie or nisse
The past few days, a week, even, have been greyer than grey, all clouds and overcast with rain scattered through some days.  Not a ray of sunshine to be seen.  There was no chance of taking a photo of this little nisse outside--it would have required a flash there, too.  You'll have to trust me that she really is very sweet.  And she seems to love her stuffed chicken.
Maileg-style pixie or nisse
From head to toe she measures 13" and from tip of hat to toes she measures 17".  She hasn't been helpful this year but I attribute that to the fact that she only received her eyes this afternoon.

Maileg-style pixie or nisse
I've been knitting her a little tubular scarf using a French knitting spool I made.  I think it's a little too large but hope it will shrink in the washer and dryer.  If it doesn't, I'll make another using a smaller tube and fewer pegs.

Finishing this nisse -- sewing her eyes and mouth and making a dress -- was my One Monthly Goal for December.  I'm glad to have finished in time.  Thanks to Patty of Elm Street Quilts for hosting the One Monthly Goal Link-ups every month.  Click here to see others' goals and results.

Covid certainly has made a mess of the health-care system.  Nearly every common ailment that one would normally have gone to a doctor for two years ago now seems to be a symptom of Covid and requires a negative Covid test to see a doctor.  For example, I have allergies and what I believe is a sinus infection but can't see the doctor until at least Wednesday, the day after I take a Covid test and ONLY if the test comes out negative.  In the meantime I have a grueling headache that won't go away.  This, too, shall pass.  (And I hope it passes sooner than later!)

I hope everything in your world is set to rights.

--Nancy.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas!







At this season of light,
when we celebrate the birth
of the One Who is the Light,
I wish you and yours
a Merry Christmas!

--Nancy.
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