April 2020 Recap

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Still hanging in there? I hope the answer is yes!

Husband and I are still sheltering in place, for the Massachusetts stay at home advisory is still on; the next reassessment date is May 05, 2020.

April 10 marked a month from Massachusetts’ declaration of emergency, and covid-19 cases were predicted to peak around the 20. (I still haven’t seen statements whether they definitely did or not.) It has been exhausting, and I’ve slept more than usual. This past week my mood has settled, though, which tells me I’ve moved on to adaptation. I’ve even felt quite happy at times, which feels odd in the middle of a pandemic.

I continue to be thankful that we ended up in Massachusetts and that we found this fantastic house in the woods; having a lot with trees keeps me sane. Some people are ocean / lake folks; I’m a tree gal.

My concern is I’m currently having mild symptoms. I’ve spoken with my doctor, and got advice and info; I also know where to go for testing if the symptoms get any worse. For now, though, we hold.

Workwise, I’ve only been able to do the absolutely minimum Etsy paperwork. And blogging, that seems okay (not easy but okay), but I haven’t touched fabric in what feels like ages. It’s a really peculiar, feeling a block stopping you from doing a particular type of activity but not others, and I’m even able to partly look in from the outside and analyze my reaction. I haven’t solved the block yet, though.

Instead, I’ve switched to home projects to keep active and engage my mind. For example, Husband and I organized some of his bookshelves. Here’s a blue section…

Shelves in Blue

…and a study in scarlet:

Shelves in Red

Below is an example of a lovely, colorful bean mix that became very yummy baked beans.

Colorful Bean Mix

The weather has cooled down and is supposed to stay below typical till the end of April. We even had a mid-month, middle-of-the-day snow squall, and a few days after that we woke up to a white ground.

Apr 16 2020 Snow

You can’t quite say that we saw more snow during the first half of April than the whole of March, but it’s close. This seems to be the last of it, though, but there’s a lot of rain in the forecast. Bummer.

We’ve nevertheless been able to do yardwork and go for walks in our neighborhood when it’s nice. Puttering away in the yard reveals all sorts of details you don’t pay attention to in the winter. Like an old bird’s nest in a rose bush:

Old Birds Nest in Rose Bush

Our backyard friends are back, too. Here are two bunnies enjoying the new grass:

Backyard Bunnies Are Back

Trees are really starting to put out leaf buds, and spring flowers are finally out in force!

Apr 2020 Flowering Pear in Bloom

Our flowering pears are absolutely loaded with white blossoms. Ahh, I just love spring! 🙂

Stay safe. ❤

Massachusetts Stay at Home Advisory Remains in Effect

Ahem Ahem!, This Is Important

Just after I published the March recap where I gave details of my situation in our new covid-19 world, Massachusetts Governor Baker announced that the Stay-at-Home advisory and the closure of non-essential businesses would be extended until May 04, 2020.

 

Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy will, therefore, also remain closed until May 04.

Heart Banner Blue HB001b-002b

Stay safe. ❤

April 2019 Recap

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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.

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.

April 2018 Recap

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I started the month with a bang by finishing my tax returns two weeks ahead of time. It was great to be done (especially since I discovered a mistake in a previous return and had to do extra work to correct it).

In fact, I was so overjoyed that I decided to run a sale for my shop. As one does. 🙂

WX003b 2017-01

My work schedule was disrupted by multiple doctor’s appointments. I did, however, donate a heart banner in rainbow colors for the annual Con or Bust, Inc., auction.

Rainbow Banner on Door Frame

I also made similar heart banners to sell. I aim to list them on Etsy at the beginning of May, as soon as I finish calculating prices and documenting plus photographing them.

Spring this year has been a little shy. We got snow not only on April 15…

Apr 15 Snow

…but also on the 19th – good grief! This past week, the temperatures finally, finally seem to have risen to seasonal AND stayed there in our corner of Massachusetts.

We have a bunch of early wild flowers that blanket our lawn. Last year, the tiny, tiny white ones were all out before mid-April…

Tiny White Wild Flowers en Masse

…but this year we had to wait till well past mid-month. Phew! I’m so looking forward to many more warm days in May!

Reminder: Last Weekend for the Playfully Grownup Spring Sale 2018

Ahem Ahem!

Reminder: the just-because-spring-is-here sale 2018 is still on, but for a limited time!

This is your last weekend to enjoy 10% off everything at Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy – the sale ends on Monday, April 30, 2018.

2018 End of Winter Sale Cubes

This sale is as shopper-friendly as I can make it: no minimum orders, limits, codes or coupons are needed.

My Etsy shop is open throughout the weekend; Saturday and Sunday orders will ship on Mondays.