Tuesday, May 31, 2011
(From "To The Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf)
I was thinking about Me-Made-June and how I wanted it to be more than just a collection of photos: "This is me in the things I made: amn't I clever?"
I hit upon the idea of turning it into a personal "art journal" project: to make the recording process a creative act in itself.
For every day of June, I intend to wear Me-Made clothing and to set my self-portrait in its context by developing a collection of sketches / writings / photographs, all together in one volume. So I can look back at this one month in my life and recall the detail.
Because the blogosphere is all very well, but it is somehow intangible, elusive. I need the smell of the paper and ink. It's why I don't have a Kindle or similar. It's not just about the words or the pictures, it's the texture of the page itself, the blot where you held the pen in place too long. The imprint of the bookmark.
It sounds highly pretentious, I know. Terribly self-indulgent! But isn't that the root of creativity? Losing yourself in the process? Cutting yourself off from the cares of the day like Mrs Ramsay (above) with her knitting?
Rather like my "hour a day" regime for weeding, I will enjoy the discipline of having a timeframe to develop this new journalling habit. Who knows, I might stick to it!
And of course it's always good to have a reason to buy a beautiful new notebook. :)
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
This branch was in my vegetable patch and I had to enlist FL's help to get it back over the fence.
Oh - he's doing OK this week, by the way. Maybe the news that he is going downhill gives him something to battle against: new motivation.
As for the vegan boost to my recipe regime... hmmm. After last week's Pear and Couscous fiasco, I decided to offer a mini portion of animal protein at the side of this week's new recipe... just in case. This week's speciality was Brown Rice, Roasted Beetroot and Orange, which had a lovely dressing of orange juice, red wine vinegar, ginger and sesame seeds. There appears to be an upsurge of opinion that fruit doesn't work in savoury dishes. The slices of orange were left til the end and eaten as "pudding". Sigh. But at least they were eaten.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
All images borrowed from Etsy. I hope the sellers don't mind...?
There is also the option to add an apron-wrap at the back, and a shaped front waistband and super-generous top-stitched pockets!
And see that lime green flounced version? Oh me oh my, it is the "prairie skirt" I spent the late 1970's sighing over!
See that girl in the bandanna and the denim skirt? That was NOT me! But I SO MUCH wanted to be that girl! She was the sort of girl who went out with FL ! :O
And I could be her NOW! Do you think he'll notice?!
Though HER bandanna was navy blue ; )
I strongly suspect that the blue linen I bought to make a Portfolio tunic is about to be diverted.
Hurry up, Mr Postman! I am having a major attack of nostalgia!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I made peace with Betty Jean, cast on 58 stitches instead of 50, and started up the first sleeve.
And made blueberry spelt muffins.
And watched 500 Days of Summer with The Girl.
And I ogled my new embroidery book. Someone has dribbled cough syrup over the front cover but I am in a place of deep serentity: ommmmmmmmm............
FL has gone to golf despite feeling "incredibly weak" yesterday. He is actually quite upbeat.
We are both in awe at the kindness of strangers on the other side of the planet who have taken the time to send us information about the latest in Myeloma drugs /research. Thank you! I have followed up some links and will certainly have plenty of questions to ask the doctor in June. I was caught offguard last week: that won't happen again!
In dog news, Hero has not yet realised what has been done to him. Yesterday, he took off after the puppies, right through a nettle patch, with me in hot pursuit. It was the Attack of The Killer Lampshade.... not. Ever get the feeling you have left something too late?
Today? Today I am thinking of embroidering a couple of pillowcases. Our bedlinen has begun to resemble the Turin Shroud and needs to be replaced.
One day at a time, people, one day at a time.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I can't bear to be around: pregnant women, babies, happy young couples. I am a jealous witch.
If ever I needed a creative outlet, it is now.
I am in a stuck place with Betty Jean - I can't see to knit brown sleeves on brown needles. New light-coloured bamboo dpns are on order. But that doesn't explain why 50 stitches are too few to go round my wrist: does that mean the entire cardigan is going to be too small? Err... yes, I could measure it... but I am in denial.
I started knitting a baby tunic but I hate it, because I hate babies and I hate people who can have babies (see above: jealous witch).
I have hacked at the weeds in the garden until I got blisters on my hands.
I have scrubbed the kitchen floor.
I have sat at my desk and stared into space until the only possible solution seemed to be a trip to the vending machine to buy chocolate.
I need something to look forward to. All I can think of is our holiday on the West coast. I wonder if FL will be well enough to go?
I ripped out the turquoise socks and the fluffy peach shrug.
I cooked an emphatically vegan meal called "Catalan Couscous Salad with Pears". The Girl liked the couscous. FL liked the pears. Nobody liked the combination.
But here's the thing: it is almost the weekend. I have ordered some herb plants to grow my own tisanes. I am going to plant them in an old sink at the side of the house, out of reach of rabbits.
And the dog has had The Operation and won't be molesting next-door's puppies again.
And I have new embroidery book to play with.
You see? It's not all bad after all!
P.S. "Taking a scat" is an expression The Girl uses when someone throws a wobbly - usually a teacher. Until this very moment, I thought it was about jazz-talk: ranting in a crazy way, scatting. But just now I realised it more likely means taking an emotional dump. How lovely! I won't be using that expression again in a hurry!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
In the same spree I bought a length of gorgeous orange and white striped cotton for another 1940's blouse, and some blue herringbone-weave linen for a Portfolio tunic.
Who remembers my plan to make a pair of socks every month this year? It's just not happening. March was abandoned in favour of Betty Jean. April was a pattern-choice-failure. We are halfway through May and I haven't even given socks any serious thought.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Today I received my personal report, and boy oh boy, it makes for interesting if confusing reading!
My initial reaction was indignation, that one week's food intake and activity-level readings were used to make "sweeping assumptions" about my diet and exercise habits. But then I remembered that I had been in control of my life for that week, and that even though I knew my every mouthful and movement was being measured, I did almost nothing to consciously modify my behaviour. I say "almost" because I did do one thing, which will show itself in a moment...
So, what's the verdict on my diet and lifestyle?
Here is a graph which shows that I spend 47.55% of my life sitting on my skinny bottom.
I only managed to muster 2.38% of "vigorous activity" in this average week.
Despite this, I only just scraped into the "normal" category for my Body Mass Index, and have low levels of trunk body fat and visceral fat.
My food intake across the 7 day period averaged 2563 kcal per day, made up of: 38.95% fat, 12.06% protein, 47.65% carbohydrate and 1.34% alcohol (heh!). A healthy diet should contain 30-35% fat, 10-15% protein and the remainder carbohydrate. No alcohol, apparently!
I don't know where they counted the calories I get from sugar: the fruit, the chocolate, the Eat Natural bars...?
My energy balance was 3.51, which means that I took in far more energy that I used up. By rights, if this week was typical, I should be the size of a house by now!In my dietary defence, I would ask the jury to note that this week was unusual because The Girl was away in London, so FL and I ate the same meals two days running, twice, and those days included his favourites: sausages and roast lamb. Normally, we would only eat these meats once a week and either freeze the leftovers or give them to the dog.
My inactivity level was also skewed by The Girl's absence and bad weather, as I spent my evenings knitting next to FL, and had not yet begun my hour-a-day weeding regime.
This graph shows my activity data across 7 days. But wait a moment... what's that big red spike on Day One, Roo?
Hee hee hee! That would be my quick bounce on the trampoline! The pathetic 0.08% of "very vigorous" activity in my entire week boils down to those few minutes of madness! I was testing the activity monitor, Your Honour.
I also received feedback on the degree of control I exert over myself in respect of food and snacking. The Girl was right! I exhibit very high levels of Restraint and do not appear to experience much Hunger.
But I also tend to eat more after a period of
conscious restraint. I think this means I am the type of person who might be at risk of developing an eating disorder. But I knew that already.
So... what have I learned from all this?
(1) I need to step up my activity levels. There is quite a pleasing red spike at 12.30 every day when I walk up the road to buy my lunch. But I could definitely put more energy into walking the dog instead of ambling along looking for wildflowers. Or worse still, letting FL drive the car up the field with the dog in hot pursuit, and me in the passenger seat - tsk!
(2) My diet isn't too bad, but I could improve it by reducing my fat intake, if that week was typical. I actually think I have made this correction already, with the use of the slow cooker and increased numbers of vegan meals and salads in our weekly menu.
(3) I am not giving up my weekend glasses of wine for anyone, sorry! It is medicinal.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I fancy making this plaid skirt (top right) to wear with her.
Sunday, May 08, 2011
I wouldn't have liked to use a really soft or slippery fabric. I think it works best with a crisp cotton or maybe linen. Something that holds its shape.
P.S. Please excuse ugly green parka and wellies: it was bucketting down with rain when FL took these "action shots" out of the car window!
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Recently, I have spent more odd moments on Ravelry, and ended up losing interest in all my current knitting projects except Betty Jean.
Instead of working on an unloved turquoise sock, or a lacey peach mohair shrug that I WILL NEVER WEAR (stop shouting, Roo!) I have realised that I want to knit more vintage-inspired cardigans and sweaters out of AlbaYarn, a shawl out of Sock Hop handspun, Shalder out of super-sheepy wool from the West Coast - in short, to have a purge and start again. RRRRRRRIP!
Jessica left a comment recently, which really struck a chord. She said:
I LOVE this style that I see evolving on your blog (I mean, I think you've always known and owned your personal style, but it's like when you're a teenager and as you grow up you slowly fill out the edges of the core person that you always were ... am I making sense?)
Yes, Jessica you made a lot of sense to me. It has taken me all this time to "be myself" and fit the skin I'm in. And part of that is about ditching all the stuff that fogs my vision and stops me being "me". Even if I have spent hours trying to make it work. Turquoise sock, I am looking at YOU.
My dear mother recently asked me what on earth I do with all the things I "kept making" - where did I put all those tops and skirts and dresses I "kept making"? After calming down from my instant teen-style anger at this suggestion that I was exhibiting wanton profligacy (and will surely not go to heaven as a result) I spluttered out a reply that these are the only things I have! The other bits and pieces only get to stay for as long as it takes me to replace them with me-made-ness! I could go on at length about the good lady's four wardrobes full of anonymous polyester garments and multiple pairs of almost-identical shoes, but I won't.
Instead I will sign up for Me Made June.
'I, Roobeedoo, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-June '11. I endeavour to wear
only self-made clothing (excluding upholstery and underpinnings) each day for the duration of June 2011'
Monday, May 02, 2011
Sunday, May 01, 2011
There's no urgency to completing the chores. The laundry gets done and hung and put away. The slow cooker works its magic.
There is still time to cut out a new dress and start stitching it together.
Still time to read a book out by the treehouse in the sunshine, with the dog pottering about, sniffing every rabbit hole just in case.
Plenty of time to stay calm about The Girl's maths exam on Wednesday. It's not too late to understand parabolas or volume or those bizarre functions that I am certain I never needed to know about at 14... or 46.
And there's still tomorrow to come.