Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Linking to Creativity

My computer is back home. HP had to replace the defective fan (a common issue for HP laptops), and the fried mother board. Fortunately, my hard drive is was in tact. (exhales breathe I'd been holding for 2 weeks).

Using a borrowed computer meant it was always easy to save/share websites, but that doesn't mean I didn't find them:

Are you reading Creativity Prompt? This blog provides memes, writing themes, and journal making instructions to encourage you to "seduce your creativity." I like the early post on making your own hard-bound journal.

Live in the bay area? There is new fabric store in the city: WhizBang Fabrics.

Also, The Church of Craft is re-organizing, and has found a new home: Rock, Paper, Scissors Collective in Oakland. I haven't made it down to this place, yet, but a trip is definitely in my future.

Check out the inspiring winners of the 2008 World of Wearable Arts.

I LOVE A Little Hut's 3-D Trees made from junk mail.

Finally, Goody-Goody has a fast little project for a fabric covered bead bracelet These are a great way to use scraps of binding!

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Photos and Aging, Are Living The Fountain the Youth?

Last week I received a CD from my brother with about 250 photos from childhood. I've begun to process these and upload to my Flickr stream. I think I'll organize them online by the decade (1950s, 1960s, etc.), though I'll admit that some of the dates will be a guess.

One thing struck me while working on these. I have photos of both of sets of grandparents, taken about the time I was born, which means my grandparents are about my current age.
1951, maternal grandparents

1951, mike, paternal grandparents

They look old.

It's not just that I don't look as old as them, it's that nobody my age looks as old as grandparents do in these photos. I don't think it's hair color or hair style or glass frame. It might be weight, but I doubt it. Somehow in 2 generations, we've all found a fountain of youth that has us looking about 10-20 years younger than our grandparents did.

Genetically that can't happen in 2 generations.

What has caused the change? Is it better medicine keeping us healthy? I don't think so; my grandparents -with the except of one with type-1 diabetes - were quite healthy at this time. They had not had heart attacks or episodes of cardiac problems that occurred later.

Could the nutritional improvements that occurred when we young have such a dramatic effect that we are physically aging more slowly than previous generations? If so, what does that mean for our children and grandchildren who are consuming a hugely processed diet? Will we be an anomaly blip on the genetic chart? THE generation that somehow got it right?

If it isn't nutrition or health care, what else could it be? I can't imagine. But I'm curious...

Or am I wrong?

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baker's Aprons

I've been attracted by simple baker's aprons/market aprons as a way to use some of my stashed 1 yard pieces of fabric. These aprons are easy to wear, simple to sew, and useful gifts to have on hand.

I used a finished apron for my pattern, then forgot to add seam allowances when I traced the design. This left me with a finished apron that was just that much too short, too short-waisted.

Darn. A creative solution is called for.

I was always planning on using a contract fabric for the trims and straps on these aprons. So I simply cut them in half and created a "contrast fabric" waist that puts everything back where it belongs. In the case of the market aprons (those with a pocket running along the bottom), the contrasting fabric is also used there.

I like the way these aprons are turning out. They are cute, fast and great way to use some stashed fabric that I'm not sure what I intended to do with.

I'm working on a short tutorial for this, but there are a couple reasons that this post must remain photo-less. I'm having a problem with yahoo/flickr and I'm temporarily blocked out of my account (AAAAHH!). Also, my computer is at the shop getting a new motherboard. I'm using a borrowed computer and trying not to do things such as upload my photos here (instead of my own computer). Have no fear, though the pictures are being shot, the tutorial is being written and Yahoo and I are working on my proving to them that I'm who I say I am.

The photos are coming. The aprons are coming. I'm sewing again.

Life is returning to good.

Sorry, no photos with this post. I'm having trouble with Yahoo and Flickr that need to be worked out before I can get back to my photos. Als

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An Open Letter to Some of My Very Bestest Friends

Dear Best Friends I’ve Had In the World (and you know who you are).

There are lots of things that I love about you gals. I love the way you know one member can’t digest nuts, so bake batches of cookies both with and without nuts in them.

I love that you know some gals are allergic to shrimp or shellfish, so you only make paella when they are not in town.

I love that you except that one member FREAKS OUT BIG TIME at the smell of tumeric or the word “curry” so you try to keep both away when she’s around.

I love that we know one girl grew up with too many beans begin forced down her gullet, so we don’t bring those to dinners and watch squirm(though that squirm is funny!)

I love that on trips we occasionallly stop at a restaurant because one member approves of the tea they serve (black, plain, brewed, not mixed with the coffee brewing system).

I really love that one of you who is allergic to strawberries drove all around the county to get me strawberry pie for my 50th birthday, because THAT'S what "birthday cake" means to me.

BUT when do I finally get equal treatment?

It’s been over 20 years that I’ve known I have an allergy to cow’s milk. While it’s true, if I’m healthy and the dosage is small, all that will happen is a slight cough. No trip to the ER or anything. Greater exposure and I’m hit with allergic bronchitis which can be treated by Mucinex and allergy pills. During the winter months, or if I’ve already gotten a cold? the dairy will require me to take these meds for 4-6 weeks. Twice a day. Just because I’ve eaten some cow milk.

This one isn’t new - to me or you - yet you never seem to remember that OH YEAH, DEB IS ALLERGIC TO COW’S MILK, SO LET’S PLAN SOME FOODS THAT DON’T HAVE IT IN. A couple of you actually sound offended when I questioned last week why so many of the foods we had at a party contained cow’s milk. We will travel to a retreat together, go out for a tea or celebration - plan what sounds - to me - like a safe menu and then you change it to challenge what I can eat. And you complain when I express my frustration.

Worse is when you ask me to “just eat a salad”. Like I don’t deserve warm/hot food like everyone else because I’m being “difficult” with my food choices. Because my allergy only means difficulty breathing not an epi pen episode. Because it’s easy for you to cook with milk and cow’s milk cheese and you don’t want to change. Ya know, they make some might fine cheeses from goat and sheep milk, and you can even find them at Trader Joe’s!

While we’re talking, I’ve discovered something important these past 2 years. For years I lived on TUMS to fight heart burn. TUMS all day (even if I said I was using it because I don’t consume cow’s milk and need the calcium).. TUMS for the heart burn.

I’ve discovered that if I limit - or eliminate - wheat from my diet, I don’t need to take the TUMS. Hmm. Wheat = heart burn. It’s a recent discovery. I haven’t shared it with you all because you look at me like a 2-headed freak for not using cow’s milk; if I start talking wheat, too, I figure it’s all over. Although you accommodate a lot of other strange food requirements, these two may land me in “never invite anywhere, she’s too whacky” list.

There are many fine grains grown in the world: oats and rice are common, spelt, quinoa (yuck), ya want to list a couple dozen more?

So do think it might be possible once in a while to plan meals we share together - or consider restaurantswe visit- to accomodate the person who is trying to avoid wheat and cow’s milk. That isn’t that difficult: choose an Asian restaurant and I’m probably golden. Most Asian diets do not use cow’s milk and much prefer rice to wheat. They tend to be fairly safe on the bean issue (except perhaps for edamame) and I’m sure they can brew tea by the pot any way the drinker prefers.

Think about it. Afterall I thought I was one of your very bestest friends in the world, too.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Monday, October 06, 2008

You WANT to rent this movie!

Monday evening my girlfriends and watched this movie as part of a memorial/birthday celebration. You want to see this too! It makes you young and hopeful and happy.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Casa de Murillo at the Museum

A YouTube video tour of Cathy Cano-Murillo's exhibit at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ. Glitter, Virgins, Day of Dead... color, color, color..

Cathy shoots video like I do, except she remembers to talk!

Besides Cathy, do you know any Latina crafty-bloggers? I'm looking for some for an article I'm working on. Please hit me up with any links you've got.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.