Wacky-world Wednesday.

Sometimes I worry a little about where our country is headed.   I find the political divisiveness to be disconcerting, the pop culture to be bewildering, and my own black-and white-certainties to be increasing in grayness at roughly the same rate as my hair.

I'm not young enough to know everything.
 Oscar Wilde

That's when I like to get out some old magazines and reassure myself 
that people were a bit unbalanced back in the good ol' days, as well.

I have concerns about this baby, for instance.

Not to mention this mother.

And if Russ or I looked like this getting dressed in the morning, I'd be a little suspicious.  
If this was before they invented anti-depressants, 
then what were they doing with their laundry products?  
Because it was obviously working.

I'd certainly need to take SOMETHING if I had to wear the kind of contraption 
it would require for me to look like this Barbie doll . . . er . . . housewife.

And what's in this zombie jello? 

(What isn't in it might be a better question. It looks loaded and dangerous.)

I saw a kid at the convenience store 
chug two 5 hour energy shots this morning, 
and it worried me. 

But after this 1953 housewife opened her bottle of "Joy" 

("Joy in a Bottle" -- that was the questionable caption)

She looked like she'd perhaps found something stronger than dish soap.

Just sayin'.  
I feel much better now.
I'm not going to worry so much about us . . .  for a few days.  



Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous . . . . Albert Einstein


An old book arrived in the mail on Saturday 
that I had been waiting for:

I didn't get a chance to look at it until Sunday morning,
when I sat down at my desk and started to thumb through its charming pages.

One of the first definitions I came across was this:

I thought it was cute and funny and made a mental note that if I ever cut myself, I should remember that illustration because I could use it somewhere.  Then I went upstairs to chop vegetables.

While I was chopping, I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if I cut myself?" but of course I didn't.
And I promptly forgot about it.

Until about 30 minutes later when I picked up a piece of glass for a picture (the kind I handle ALL THE TIME) and sliced my finger.  A real bleeder.  And not funny at all.

And of course the event raised all kinds of questions about predestination and fate and psychic abilities and why I never seem to have a decent bandaid in the house.

I'm not the first person to chew 
on those kinds of questions, of course . . . 

Some of the great philosophers have taken them on as well.

I'm not going to spend too much time worrying about it.

Even if, as Publilius Syrus figured out way back in the first century,

Fate is not satisfied with inflicting one calamity.

I'll just avoid driving my car for a few days.  Or crossing the street.  Or riding my bike, roller-blading, climbing on ladders (or walking under them, of course), going upstairs, going down, climbing in or out of the bathtub, handling sharp objects, using toxic chemicals  . . . . I'll just do something completely safe and ordinary.

Hmmm. Yes, sewing would be just the thing. 
Of course, there's always this thought:

"A person often meets his destiny 
on the road he took to avoid it."

Jean de la Fontaine

Well now that's just not fair.  
If I stay home and sew to avoid driving the car, I'm doomed.  
If I drive to Target to avoid sewing, I'm doomed . . .

Actually, I absolutely have to go to the post office. 

And I'd like to stop and get a bite of lunch . . . .

"Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like."
Lemony Snicket

(But if I do, I'm going to choose my restaurant 
very carefully.)


Pre-Weekend Update.

Here's what's happening 
at Small Works today:

wind and rain, 

a new piece,

a slow-moving embroidery,


a knee injury 
(that somehow seems to match the aforementioned embroidery)


a few bars 
(luckily mine are rocky road brownies!)


a (new) June 1939 
Woman's Home Companion Magazine
that's just awesome

(and a few other things.)

Hope your weekend is full of a variety 
of fun and interesting things as well 
(and a rocky road brownie or two).  

Happy Friday!



The cheese stands alone.

"A corpse is meat gone bad.  
Well and what's cheese?  Corpse of milk."

James Joyce

It being the first day of autumn, I couldn't help thinking of one of my favorite Northern Exposure episodes in which the inhabitants of Sicily begin the task of gaining their 15 pounds of protective winter fat.  To assist them in their effort, The Brick begins serving pancakes with every meal.

The same thing happens to Minnesotans, it seems, because as soon as the leaves begin to turn our thoughts begin to turn -- to the comfort of food.  Just Mother Nature playing a cruel trick that she invented before there were furnaces but that she continues to think is funny because we keep falling for it.

And in the mathematics of my life:

comfort food = melted cheese

I must come by this naturally, although an argument could probably be made as to whether by nature or nurture. I definitely come by it via my mother.  She's said a lot of funny things over the course of my lifetime, but one of our family's favorites began showing up 10 or 15 years ago and persists despite our ridicule.

In order to explain whatever decadence she has just ordered or is eating, she will say,
"I'm in my melted cheese years."

This era seems to have struck me much earlier than it did her, and my only concern is that if she's in her melted cheese years for only, say, 20 years or so, and I'm in mine for 50+, there are bound to be figure implications for me that have yet to strike her.

Although G.K. Chesterton maintains that, 

"The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese,"

luckily the cartoonists have not, and I was delighted to find this comic in my newspaper recently:

Yes, melted cheese perfectly executed could most definitely inspire testimony, if not an entire religion -- the fried cheese curds I had while at the cabin in Wisconsin this summer, for instance, providing a perfect spiritual experience on which to build. (I've thought of them often and fondly since.)

"Many's the long night I've dreamed of cheese -- 
toasted, mostly."

Robert Louis Stevenson

So in the interest of making Ms.Fall feel welcome by putting my most fattening, poetic foot forward, I thought I'd offer this autumnal ode, a ditty I've jotted this morning while simultaneously trying to determine whether I shall make an old fashioned grilled cheese or a pizza for lunch.


Joyce's sweet corpse of milk

 melted and glistening

stretch of silk across my sandwich

your flavor river flowing

over my food, my plate

of luxury lengthening as I pull

you into my mouth

feeding greedily and with so

much lust


I saw a movie recently where one character was making noises while he was eating something delicious and the other character said, "stop having sex with your food!" and I felt a twinge of sudden guilt, knowing I may have committed the same sin myself from time to time.

But when the food involves melted cheese, 
and it's the first day of autumn. . . . 
well, if you don't want to listen to me eat, please leave the room.  

Because I intend 
to fully enjoy my lunch.




Monday means . . . The Small Works Weekend Report!


That's the kind of weekend it was.  Among other things, we attended a party that was so lovely it made me realize that I've never actually given a party.  Martha Stewart is still wondering what happened to her invitation.  Someday, perhaps I'll be able to not only spell hors d'oeuvre, but actually make one that looks as beautiful or tastes as good as the ones I consumed by the plateful . . . but probably not.

Entertaining at my house is usually some two liter bottles of soda on the counter next to a plate of chocolate chip cookies.  I only wish I'd had a camera so you could have enjoyed it with me.

I also wish I could have put you in my pocket when I attended 

Junk Bonanza.  

It was my second year and it has already become a beloved September tradition.  

The best kind! I was delighted to see my favorite vendor there once again, her booth chock full of the ephemera I dream of the other 364 days of the year.

She literally had 



In addition to the types above, 
I also got a bunch of wonderful flash cards with pictures on them:


And some awesome author cards, which will come in handy if I ever get around to making the literary-themed pieces I daydream about frequently:

And I scored a hefty pile of vocabulary cards,

so I can continue with my vocabulary series, my favorite work of the past year.

And some bizarre cards from an old game of unknown origin, just because I liked them.  

(I picked up this one because it reminded me of her)

I also picked up some great buttons, my favorites of which were these turquoise beauties:

And then she packed up my purchases 
in these darling popcorn bags
-- be still my heart!

Jealous yet?!  You should be.  I'm even jealous of myself.  It's almost enough pleasure to make Monday morning with laundry and Monday night with Jillian bearable.

Even a rainy Monday that was supposed to be warm and beautiful but most decidedly is not.

I said almost.

(If anyone wants me, I'll be in the studio playing with my new toys!)



It's Friday and It's Finished!

Well, I promised a Friday reveal . . .
so we may as well get right down to business!

It started with an idea

and a concept behind the idea 

and this drawing

and an old piece from an embroidered tablecloth 
of unknown origin.

And here's how it turned out:

I'm relatively pleased with it (for a first attempt!)

So I framed it up like this:

and now I believe I'm going to make a few more 
so I can put them on Etsy.


And now (not to toot my own horn, but--)

Can a cow toot its own horn?

in other news . . . 
I'm going to Baltimore again! 

I also got accepted for St. Paul, Atlanta and San Francisco, but I'm going to have to consult my truck driver/booth hand as to his 2011 availability before I make any further decisions about my show schedule for next year.  But it's always good to have a deadline coming up.  And Baltimore is a big deadline!

So I suppose I'll have to quit fiddlin' and get back to REAL work.
(After a few more embroideries, of course -- there's still room for improvement.)

Luckily, I have plenty of unfinished work patiently waiting for me to notice it . . . 

Happy Weekend!


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