Monday, October 30, 2006


One of my favorite things about the colder weather is that it is perfect for soup. You could have a different soup every day and never repeat. Anyway, there was some beautiful purple cauliflower at the farmers' market this past weekend so I bought it and turned it into Purple Cauliflower Soup. As you can see, it came out a lovely lavender color.

I would have liked it to be darker, like the original cauliflower but I made it with milk and potatoes. Maybe I'll try it just with broth and potatoes next time and see how that comes out.

Not 300 But Rearranged

My friend Lady Epiphany has put up her 300th post. I am humbled. That's ok. By the end of November I will have a novel written. May not be very good, but it will be a novel.

I spent yesterday rearranging my home. I live in a studio so the choices are limited but every now and then I like to change things around. It's a lot of work since I do it alone. I have to take all the books out of the bookshelf, all the drawers out of the dresser, all the files out of the filing cabinets, and so on. At the end of it all I am happy with one change and unsure about another. I will just have to live with it for a while and see if it works. I did attempt a bit of Feng Shui but it is difficult in a studio. For example, my success direction is south and my desk should face that way. But it just didn't work. But it does face in one of 4 auspicious directions. One can see that if one were serious about Feng Shui it would be very difficult to make it all work unless you could build from scratch. Especially because your home has its own auspicious directions which, ideally, should match yours. Sadly I am at odds with my home- I am east and it is west- but one advisor feels confident that that is okay as long as the main entrance to the room matches the house, with in fact it does. So it's okay. I don't have to move. I know, you were worried for a moment there.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Back to It

I got back to the spinning wheel today. It's been months, possibly a year since I last used it. And man it shows. I have decided to start from scratch, relearning it. Fortunately I have the Alden Amos book on spinning. If you have any notions of going out and buying a wheel I recommend this book. It's serious. Everything from preparing raw fiber to a discussion of wheels to finishing. And written with humor. I know that you Muggles think it's a bit nuts spinning in this day and age when you can get almost any yarn for yourself but there is something very special about spinning your own. You feel pretty darn good. Like the first time you bake a whole cake from scratch. It's a very real, tangible thing that you accomplished. When I was at the fair this past weekend I saw some expert spinners from a guild. Amazing what they can do.
And it doesn't escape me that it is just a touch ironic, like spending tons of money on candles. A hundred years ago they welcomed electricity and women everywhere were more than happy to buy store bought clothes. Hand made items became the province of the poor and now they are a luxury. No one who works two jobs to put food on the table is going to take the time to knit a sweater by hand, unless she really loves the labor. And that is partly what makes these things so precious, the time that is put into them along with the sweat and occasional tear. They are a labor of love, even if it is only our love for the craft. Most crafters do like to give though. We even give when we know the gift will not be properly appreciated. Because that doesn't matter, or it shouldn't. We give because we want to, because we can't help ourselves.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Crazy Idea

I have returned from the Sheep and Wool Festival with my bank account in tact. For those of you interested in what went on, proceed to The Skein Blog tomorrow. I will include one picture here.

How's that for a fab do?

I know, you want to know what the crazy idea is. It all started with Lady Epiphany. If you've read her most recent post you know she has joined NaBloPoMo. National Blog Posting Month. The upshot is that you post every day in November and you can win a customized blog banner as well as some hosting. But if you follow the link and go to the NaBloPoMo site they tell you that they are based on NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. That particular insanity is a group of people who write a novel in 30 days. 50,ooo words in 30 days. Don't worry, it doesn't have to be Pulitzer material. Quantity is more important than quality. Those of you who have been with me from my first post know that I had intentions of writing some fiction here. This has not been the case. As any writer knows, writing is work. And I have been a lazy butt and not done any work. So in order to kick start myself I have joined NaNoWriMo. We'll see how it works out. The business is likely to be a bit slow now in the beginning so hopefully there will be time. And maybe I can get out to some writer events so I don't go stir crazy and start writing "All work and no play makes Plaid Sheep a dull girl" over and over. This may mean that this blog suffers from neglect but I will try to keep you up to date on the insanity. Wish me luck, I think I may need it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Day One

Here we are at the end of day one of the business. I feel a bit odd, sort of hyped up. I think it's the anti-climax. Now, understand, I didn't expect an order on the first day. But somehow I don't quite know what to do with myself. For the last several weeks I have been focused on the day I was going to go live. And now it's here and I feel as if the ride has stopped suddenly and I've been slammed back by the seat belt. It's a whole new life, one I've never lived before. I have to find my way and it is daunting. I also know I need to have positive thoughts. I can't think: "What will I do if it tanks? Or is slow? I could get a part time job to fill in the holes." No. I must proceed as if it will all work out or else it won't. I have to be all there. And really, I'm not in extreme financial danger. I have resources that will help me if I am in need. I won't lose the apartment. And yet.... I suspect that I doubt myself, doubt that I have the creativity and the drive to make it work the way I want it to work. And although I have had help and a lot of support (thank you all) still I feel very alone. More alone than I think I have ever felt. This is the real challenge. Not the details of the business, but the labor of getting past my own insecurities and self-limitations. My magnum opus. Now on day one.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Almost There

I know, it's been some time since I posted. It's been a busy time, dealing with all the last minute details before the business goes live. I've taken a ton of pictures then cropped and sized them and uploaded them. Tedious but educational. I've been discovering the bugs in my shopping cart software. Well, not bugs exactly, but things that don't make sense. More education. I am very grateful that my personality tends to optimism and cheer. I'm told that I was a cheerful child and I think I've managed to hang on to my even temper. This has been invaluable during this business start up. I am a perfectionist but a cheerful one. And I am learning to let things go. They are not as important as they once were.

I read Robert Brezny's horoscope each week. It's always amusing and frequently apt. This week he says:
"According to the Midwest Book Review, David Foster Wallace's 1,088-page book Infinite Jest is "perhaps the most innovative novel in the English language since James Joyce's Ulysses." The Review of Contemporary Fiction calls Infinite Jest a vast comic epic, adding that it's "so brilliant you need sunglasses to read it." On the other hand, critic Dan Schneider ( believes *Infinite Jest* "might be the worst novel ever written." I expect that there will be a similar diversity of opinion about you and your efforts in the coming week, Aries. My advice? Ignore everyone's assessment but your own and that of the person who knows you best."

Sound advice.