I’m feeling random today.
I checked online to see if it was National Day of Randomness, and it wasn’t. I think that’s the way it should be. I mean, if we are supposed to be random on a particular day, doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
May 1st is National Lei Day — the flower necklaces from Hawaii. Took me a minute too. When I taught in Hawaii I was given several leis and I have to tell you they are amazing. At some point you have to put cut flowers in a vase on a table somewhere, but you can wear leis wherever you go.
I was also given a lei needle. It is 17.5″ long with a sharp point at one end with a crimp on the other end that reminds me of a crochet hook. It’s been threaded through the flannel that covers my design wall since 2004. It brings back happy memories every time I look at it. (You can click each picture below to see it larger if you are on the blog reading this.)
In Honolulu it rained once every day (for about 4 minutes) and the temperature was perfect. It must have been 72 degrees all the time. I could live there. Easy. No, I still haven’t done anything with all the beautiful fabric I bought. It’s curing. I’m fine with that. It’s like money in the bank.
It got up in the 60’s here yesterday. The yard still squishes like a wet sponge so dying is out of the question until it dries out.
I swept off the deck last night and put up my dying table. I’m ready as soon as the weather cooperates. I have several pair of underpants (from the Yo-Yo Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties) to dye and about 2,000 feet of clothesline prepped and ready to go. Spring is good.
The deck was a mess, filled with leaves from last year. Sweeping was quite satisfying until I realized I didn’t really want to sweep them onto the grass where they would just blow back onto the deck. I wanted them bagged and gone. That meant picking them up—with my hands.
I wasn’t in the mood for getting dirty, plus there were creepy crawlies in there. How to get the leaves bagged without touching them?
I like containers: bags, tins, baskets, boxes….all of them! Here’s my short list.
1. There is something special about the Jumbo 2.5 gallon Hefty OneZips that drive me wild. They’re 14″ tall and 16″ tall and I have no idea what you’re supposed to use them for, but I can’t get enough of them. I use them for quilting projects and for hauling around quilt tops when I travel. They’re sturdy and they zip, and the zipper has a slider. Brilliant!
True confession: I’ve never purchased one. I’ve been recycling them from quilters who use them to protect their Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts during shipping.
2. I have two favorite “pretty-to-look-at” tins: the Arnott’s Biscuits tin from Australia and the 1997 Baltimore Album Quilt Limited Edition tin from Milky Way are on the shelf in my office.x
I use an old Altoids tin as a sewing kit when I travel. Space in my carry-on is extremely limited and I have to bring something to sew when I travel, even if I never actually have time to sew anything. (Just knowing I could sew is very re-assuring.) Inside are my thimble, needle-puller (pinky finger tip from an old pair of yellow rubber gloves), needle threader, Thread Heaven, folding scissors, pins, needles, two colors of thread (wound on bobbins, wrapped with hair scrunchies), and an LED light for my index finger in case I want to annoy my seatmates on the plane at night as I sew. I’ve never done that, and I’m not even sure the light would work, but it fits in the tin.
3. I love Ikea. The first time I went to an Ikea store I spent four hours wandering around with my mouth hanging open and didn’t buy a single thing.
I’m over that now. I can still spend the better part of a day looking at all the cool stuff (family members have suggested a leash) but now I purchase.
I started teaching in my @Home Classroom because I could use the collapsible, round, pop-up-things called NOJE as personal thread collectors for each student. Sorry. Everything is named in Swedish at Ikea and most vowels have an umlaut which I can’t reproduce here—two little dots above the vowel. NOJE are very cool. I bought them knowing that they were cool; I just didn’t know at the time what possible use I had for them. I enjoy buying “on spec.”
NOJE have been replaced by the less cool and somewhat stupid KUSINER which I don’t like nearly as well even though they are the same shape. (Who needs the number?! Or, if a number were truly needed, why do they only go up to “three?!”)
I buy more GLIS nearly every time I visit Ikea because they could discontinue those some day and I don’t want to run out.
I use them to organize my scissor drawer (you will have to look carefully as my organizational skills are questionable at best) and to haul around the extra light bulb for my digital projector. No, I don’t know how to change the light bulb, I just haul it around. There are probably more uses for the boxes (the lids pop off and you can change them around), but I just haven’t thought of them yet.
By far one of the most ingenious Ikea designs is the zippered-bottom cloth organizer. My new personal favorites are the lightweight SKUBB, although there are several models. The kind I like now come in colors (purple, turquoise, and black) but my head almost exploded trying to pick out which was the most attractive color so I just bought white again.
Catch this: they unzip and collapse. I am not sure why, but they do.
If I ever wanted to drown in Swedish red tape I would ask permission to create a pattern so that we could all make these out of quilting fabric. I have laid awake at night constructing them in my semi-sleep.
Click here for the Swedish furniture name generator. Type in your name and see what kind of furniture you are. I can almost guarantee you will not come pre-assembled.
My favorite radio show is NPR’s weekly news quiz “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” I mention that because I’m going to the cinicast tomorrow. If I’m understanding correctly, I’ll be watching a live video of the taping of the show from New York City at my local movie theater. Or, rather, at my daughter’s local movie theater. We have attended three or four live tapings (in person) but I rarely listen to the show on the radio. It comes on Saturday morning and I usually forget. I started downloading the podcasts in 2006 and have quite a collection.
I listen to them at night when I go to sleep, unless I am mentally constructing a zipper-bottomed container of some sort. Sometimes I have to listen to the podcast three or four times as I keep falling asleep in the middle, often sooner. I know that sounds like a weak endorsement for my favorite radio show, but I’m sure that I laugh in my sleep.
To finish up my random newsletter for May, I leave you with three little videos.
As Marsha McCloskey and I were driving from Eugene, OR to Poulsbo, WA last week we stumbled upon a lilac festival. I was not well-behaved.
I am the queen of flat tires. I’ve gotten more than my fair share. Marsha and I had a doozey several hours after the lilac festival. Luckily we were a mile and a half from our destination so it was all part of the adventure.
The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative continues to thrive. You’ll soon be reading about our 15th grant award in a future AAQI blog. We can raise this money because the quilting community has been incredibly generous in its support of our efforts. The May online quilt auction offers 27 small format art quilts as we have so many times before. After more than 14,000 quilt donations one might think the magic is waning. Not so, my friends. The quilts this month will knock your socks off! Take the tour http://www.alzquilts.org/quiltauction.html or watch and share the video.
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Have a wonderful May and enjoy Paranormal Day on Friday.