Comfort and joy


The daytime temperature this Christmas weekend was way down in the low- to mid-50s, and around these parts that means it's time to break out the snowflake sweaters, earflappy-hats and chunky knit scarves. I may be a knitter, but for whatever reason, I've never made anything in any of these categories that I deemed wearable. So, with the exception of my pride-and-joy fair isle gloves hastily finished the winter I was heavy with The Boy so that I could commence with the baby projects, my winter go-tos are all store-bought. 

Except, now, for this scarf. I've long claimed 55° to be my ideal temperature (it's actually more like the low 60s, but saying 55° makes me feel heartier), so bundling up in winter woolens now would be an admittance of weakness. Like how, after all those years in Seattle spent snickering at bumbershoot-toting tourists, the mere existence of an umbrella in our home brings me hot, red-faced shame. And yet, I like the look of winter, of people dressed in defense against cold weather, armed with snuggly textiles in bright hues. And there have been times in the past when I donned a scarf in centrally-heated conditions, nuzzling my nose in the cowled loops of a light scarf just for the sheer comfort of it. So seeing all these people in cool weather gear has sent me searching for solace in fabric odds and ends. 

(This post, believe it or not, is actually about our favorite Christmas gifts this year. So how it is that I've already spent this much web-space on a scarf I made for myself, and how I still haven't gotten to the actual creation of the thing, is really beyond me. You know that little bit of categorization on the side there, where it says "things that… I ramble about"… Yeah, I'm going to have to get rid of that soon, because, yeah, I know, this whole site is things that I ramble about. But, of course, I digress.)

This scarf was a scrap trimmed off from a throw, itself comprised of fabric scraps, I made for Mr. New Media for our new couch, whose color is incongruous with the rest of the room, but whose shape and style and price made it something we decided to live with. The blanket is bits of gray t-shirts and some flannel on one side, the reverse a patchwork of fabric reclaimed from promotional tote bags and napkins and tamale packaging with some muslin to fill it out. To get the two sides to size up, I had to trim off some of the t-shirt side, and what came off seemed perfectly suited to assuage my scarf-envy.


The throw was, admittedly, one of those things I really made for myself under the guise that it was a Christmas gift for my husband. I know this, he knows this. It's all good, because he got some other gifts, notably the Gocco prints I purchased in support of his Radiolab fanboy-ness, that were actually about his interests. 

For his part, the husband gifted me with some interesting crafty gear that has left me with a resolve to do more with ink and film. But, so far, what I've been enjoying most the past few evenings is this stampset Mr. New Media picked off my wish list (good boy) and, I kid you not, some empty cardboard boxes left on our porch alongside some linzer cookies and cranberry relish while we lazed in our post-unwrapping stupor. 


Oh, how happy I've been, imagining up little stories to accompany the days of the people who inhabit these little blocks. The boy received a barn playset equipped with all the usual farm animals, and another little playset with horses and ponies. But I suddenly realized that our play room notably lacks little people to pose and create lives for. Sure, there are the few Lego people in the mix, but they came prefabbed, complete with equestrian regalia and farmer coveralls. Their stories have already been painted on. I'm I thinking I need to find or make some fresh little people who wouldn't feel so out of place making their lives and livelihoods in these little buildings.

Tags: cardboard, holidays, sewing, stamp


One of my favorite balancing

One of my favorite balancing tricks in corporate world is being ever-ready to catch the glib refuse of wasteful companies and turn it into something decidedly un-corporate.

I once worked in the marketing department of a large Oily & Gassy company. They were cleaning out the giveaway closet and tossing anything that had no use to them in the foreseeable (next quarter) future.

This is where clever boxes, unique envelopes and hordes of odd paper sing their hoarder's siren song to me. I gather them up, take them home and make stuff...and sometimes I find another similarly afflicted soul and share the wealth.

Delighted you enjoyed the boxiness of them.

P.S. Daughter made me a similarly stitched scarf from soft recycled material.