August 2019 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Since I didn’t post this last month, here’s my August reading pile:

Reading Pile August 2019

From top to bottom: Norma by Sofi Oksanen, Hath No Fury edited by Melanie R. Meadors, and Susan Cooper’s young adult series The Dark Is Rising in a one-cover edition (Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark Is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree). Lastly, there is Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s excellent Gods of Jade and Shadow.

What’s on your TBR stack at the moment?

The Blog Is Back!

Ahem Ahem!, Thumbs Up

Hello again, all! What a summer it was here; how was yours?

As it seems now – I’m cautiously hoping! – that this blog’s stalker-follower is gone, I’m going to start blogging again.

Flickr Rosmarie Voegtli Writing Cropped

Rosmarie Voegtli via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

It was a very strange, very stressful situation, as I’m sure anyone who has had to deal with prolonged uncertainty can guess.

How will I go forward from here? I confess that I’m not entirely sure. I’d like to keep more or less the same blogging schedule as before: two posts a week, Mondays and Thursdays, with an odd post here and there when I feel like it, and no posting on selected holiday or vacation days.

However, an entirely unexpected, unrelated, huge project came my way in July, and I’ve been very busy with it since. I’m hoping it won’t influence my blogging, but we’ll see.

If you have thoughts about what you’d like to hear or how often, please let me know!

It’s nice to be back. 🙂

April 2019 Recap

Newsletters

Like last month, I’ve done some prototype work this April. For a while I’ve wondered about using felt as interfacing in various projects. We’ve already been using my two placemat prototypes for over six months; they seem to be holding well.

This time I started a purse. Here are the fabrics during the color test / fabric selection phase:

Purse Prototype Fabrics

I had two golden ribbons to choose between; if you look carefully, the one on the right has tone-on-tone striping. In the end, I decided on the plainer ribbon. I may have regrets, though…

A major roadblock for this project has been an 8-point applique star. I started that already in March by making a pattern. As this was to be a prototype, I wanted to use up some scraps from my remnants bin. In hindsight that wasn’t a very good decision; I had an inordinate amount of trouble with the star, since I foolishly selected two very slippery, knit-based fabrics: crushed velvet and faux chamois.

I did finish the star eventually, after much cursing and procrastination.

Applique Star WiP Pieced

Now I just can’t decide whether it’s good enough to apply on the purse. I guess that means not.

Well. You win some, you lose some. That’s just the nature of the creative process.

But: Having finished my taxes earlier than usual, I also had ample time to rearrange my workroom. That invariably meant flinging the smaller bookcases around. In addition, I took the opportunity to death clean some of my possessions, and all that lead to restyling my shelves. I made a curtain to hide some of the less than handsome binders and folders:

Bookcase Curtain Finished

The rest of the shelves aren’t quite there yet, but the curtain is looking great, don’t you think? 🙂

Since I moved my desk, my office phone handset was displaced. I made it a tiny end table out of two upcycled oatmeal containers, posterboard and a round tablecloth:

DIY Phone Table Finished

Here’s a secret: the tablecloth is actually one of my SCA veils, naturally well-washed and pressed. (SCA here means Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., i.e., a group of medieval re-enactors.)

In early April, we finally lost the last of the snow and got to enjoy the first leaf buds and flowers, albeit a little late. Spring is my favorite time of the year! 🙂

2019 First Dandelions2

Flowering Pear First Flower

We continue to experiment with new foods due to dietary restrictions. Here’s a dessert that happened to be all vegan: poached pears, roasted & salted cashews and almondmilk vanilla ice cream.

Poached Pears w Pecans

Will I sound too childish if I say OM NOM NOM!?! 🙂

And, of course, at the end of the month we saw Avengers: Endgame. I’m still mulling it over, but it definitely is a one-of-a-kind ending to a one-of-a-kind series of independent but interlinked movies.

Avengers: Endgame Cast Sings “We Didn’t Start the Fire”

Movies & TV

Europe is already there, but here in the U.S. the release of Avengers: Endgame will take place tonight. In honor of Stan Lee et al., plus the remarkable sequence of 20+ Marvel Cinematic Universe stories, here are some of the cast members singing together:

Avengers: Endgame Cast Sings “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on YouTube

Their version of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” is delightfully tweaked to fit the MCU. I also love how zooming out, at the very end, the comic panels form a photo of Stan Lee. A very fitting homage.

Husband and I are still figuring out when we’ll be able to get to the theater. This weekend, definitely. Until then, time to hide from spoilers!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Happy Easter Earth Day!

After Hours, Bits in Spaaace!

Today happens to be both Easter and Earth Day. Happy Easter Earth Day, then!

Flickr NASA Goddard Black Marble Africa Europe Middle East

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

If the above’s the Earth part, here’s the Easter part. 🙂

Flickr Benson Kua Late for Easter

Benson Kua on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

I love both images, as different as they are.

Hope your week has started enjoyably!

April 2019 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

My March reading piles stretched well into April, so my current pile isn’t that large:

Library Pile Apr 2019

The quality will make up for the quantity, though, or so I suspect: I have Kameron Hurley’s military time-traveling scifi novel The Light Brigade, Arkady Martine’s debut novel A Memory Called Empire, and The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore.

Can’t wait! 🙂

Anything intriguing in your pile? Do share!

What Brexit Means for Playfully Grownup Home Customers

Ahem Ahem!

I’ve been following with increasing alarm Britain’s exit negotiations with the European Union simply because of the massive, unprecendented uncertainty they have created. No-one has been able to say what aftereffects there will be, either for businesses or private citizens and residents.

No-one is even able to say exactly when Brexit happens. April 12, 2019, used to be a deadline, but obviously that never happened. At least it will give me a chance to address the issue here.

Flickr Tief im Brexit-Dschungel

Tief im Brexit-Dschungel by Twitter Trends 2019 on Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

At the moment, Playfully Grownup Home customers in the UK can submit orders as normal. I will not make any immediate changes.

I will continue to fulfill my seller obligations as before, but any post-Brexit duties or changes to the customs process when packages enter the UK will remain the buyers’ responsibility.

However, I will be keeping an eye on the situation. Should the shipping be slowed down or otherwise encumbered too much by the new processes in place after Brexit, I reserve the option to end shipping to UK. I hope it won’t be necessary.

P.S. I do also think it’s incredibly shortsighted of Britain to leave EU, but whether they do or not is really not for me to decide. For the sake of UK friends and others, I hope the effects are minimal and manageable.

Cake Toppers That Look Like Flowers, Embroidery, Geodes and More

Design & Designers, Food & Drink, Thumbs Up

My Modern Met shared some amazing buttercream cake toppers in an article. They are the work of Leslie Vigil, California-based artist and cake maker. And they are. So. Beautiful! All of them!

Among the most interesting to me were these three toppers that include embroidery-like elements:

Instagram Leslie Vigil Cake Collage Embroidery

Leslie Vigil on Instagram; collage by Eppu Jensen.

Her geode cakes would make great treats for theme parties for N.K. Jemisin The Broken Earth trilogy:

Instagram Leslie Vigil Cake Collage Geodes

Leslie Vigil on Instagram; collage by Eppu Jensen.

There are also a few explicitly geeky ones, like this Groot cake:

Instagram Leslie Vigil Groot

Leslie Vigil on Instagram.

Visit the My Modern Met article and Vigil’s Instagram for more – there are so many designs to love! Almost makes me wish I were in California, too. Then again, I’m sure my doctor would be much happier if I were to stay away, far away, from cakes. 🙂

Found via Good Stuff Happened Today on Tumblr.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.