Sunday, September 30, 2007


The last few days I've been catching up on some blog reading, I saw where yarnstorm's book had been reviewed, you can read the article here.

I found this quote particlarly offensive, "The woman who did it first, and best, was right. Shirley Conran's Superwoman was a "slut's guide" to speeding through the chores and getting out to do more interesting things. If, back in the Seventies, life was too short to stuff a mushroom, then it's definitely too short to ice a cup cake now."

I am in no way Martha Stewart, I am not a Jane Brocket, but I don't feel that their pursuit of domesiticity makes me feel inadequate. I'm sure I could walk into any of your homes and feel the same sense of inadequacy. My home is as much as disaster with me being home everyday as it was when I left the house everyday to go to a job outside the home. I'm not a good housekeeper. I can have advance notice that someone is coming for a visit, I can clean nonstop for a week, and when the guests arrive I can apologise, I haven't had time to clean, so sorry, and I swear my home does not in any way look like someone has been cleaning for a whole week. I try, I'm not good at it. That does not stop me from finding Martha and Jane inspiring.

This article is insulting to anyone who pursues any kind of craft. The author seems to think that if you find joy in baking, sewing, knitting, you have too much time on your hands or you married rich.

What a crock of B.S.

I have friends that rush home from work, prepare dinner, eat, probably do a load of laundry or two and then they look forward to an hour or two in front of the tv to stitch or knit. It's relaxing. According to the author of this article they aren't doing anything interesting. My friends' lives are more organized than mine and they all manage to accomplish a lot more with a needle than I do. Their houses are also clean.

My house is so far from perfect that the light from perfect would take 10,000 light years to reach it. It's just that bad. I'm doing better, I try to embrace the joys of the small things, scrubbing a toilet, vacuuming up mountians of animal hair, cleaning baseboards, but the big things seems to take over.

For example, just the other day the middle son forgot to jiggle the handle on the toilet. The toilet ran and ran, the bathroom, the hallway and part of my bedroom flooded. It took two days with a shopvac to get it close to dry. It took a whole can of carpet fresh to get the funky wet carpet, ooops a cat must of peed here smell, out of the house. Who has time to make the kitchen sink sparkle or get the pile of crap off the desk when you are gooshing your way down a wet hallway? You're probably wondering, why not just call those people that come in and dry out your carpets for you? What SAHM wants to spend household money on that? So I shopvac for two days. I'm a SAHM, I have nothing but time anyway right? Should I mention here that this happened at the same time as the most important deadline of my entire life? I may be SAHM but the last few months I've been pursuing a dream or two so not all my neglectful housewifieness is all about leisurely crafty pursuits.

Now that you all see that I suck at housekeeping, I have to say that while a well kept house is something to be proud of what in the world do women do when it's all done if they don't have a creative outlet? Why does the author of this article believe that a little time spent making jam is ridiculous? Why is knitting a scarf a waste of time? Would it be better to waste that time just watching tv? Truthfully, if I'm not working on a needlework project of some kind while watching tv I fall asleep.

I don't like her tone when she talks about the projects that Jane Brocket has completed over the last year. She has obviously checked out her blog as the Quince article was a recent one. I am in awe of people that do several things well, and I'm sure Jane would pursue her love of craft whether she married well or not. I've created some kind of needlework as far back as I can remember. Money is always an issue for me but unless I really need new shoes I always opt to spend the money on my hobbies instead of the necessities unless I really, really need the necessities which, come to think of it, the puppy ate three pair of my good shoes so I'll have to replace those this winter but only when I can no longer make it with just my flipflops. I do have my priorities! I aspire to be Jane. I think she's wonderful, she's creative, she bakes, the pictures I've seen of her home are lovely. Maybe one day that will be me.

I find that there really are two kinds of women. There are women who find a joy, a love, a passion for creating a plethora of things from baking, to knitting, to needlework, to crocheting, to painting, to photography. It's called creativity. Then there are women, like the author of this article, who apparently have no understanding whatsoever for the pleasure of handwork, for the time spent baking a cake, people who are creatively frigid. Those people, for whatever reason, like to belittle those of use that pursue a love for handwork. I think and this is just my opinion, they really believe they are smarter than those of us that have a creative outlet related to the needlearts or baking. I throw baking in there because she seemed to think that baking a pineapple upside down cake was something extraordinary that only some freakish being would do.

I find it sad that she had nothing positive to say about Jane's book. Why did she have to attempt to tear her(Jane) apart? I don't get it. I'll say it again, I found the article insulting to anyone who chooses to make their own clothes, cook their own food, and who loves any or all forms of needlework. It reminds me of something I read years ago about the early days of the feminist movement and how the feminists hated that women still did needlepoint and crewel and knitted because they thought it set them back a hundred years when feminism should mean that we as women could all do our own thing and be accepting of each other and our choices.

In the article she asks the reader if Jane's life resembles their's and then points out that it doesn't resemble her life or any women she knows. I don't understand her point. My life doesn't resemble Martha Stewart's or Jane Brocket's so what? I'm not sure what point the author is trying to make. Is she saying that no other women on earth make quilts, make jam, bake cakes? Is she saying that Jane Brocket is the only woman knitting, baking, finding joy in keeping house? You have got to be kidding me. I realize I don't get out enough but just from Googling craft blogs I think that the people that don't have a creative outlet, that don't take pleasure in their homes, is more the exception than the norm. HGTV, the Food Network, and DIY would not be as successful as they are without all of us looking for the next home project, the next decorating project, the next crafty pursuit, the next new recipe to try.

I do realize that this article is more about the issue of having it all, working women and pursuing the dream of the perfect house and still being able to knit socks, it's an ideal and the author doesn't seem to believe anyone can meet that ideal or should they want to. Hasn't the issue of having it all been beaten to death? Haven't most women figured out their own definition of having it all and are making the best of it? I accept that my house is a wreck, I do the best I can and I find a lot more pleasure in stitching than I do in scrubbing the toilet. I admit it. I'll choose stitching over housework any day of the week and personally I believe I'm a lot more interesting because of that.

*Ok so we all know that I am not Martha Stewart not even on the same planet as her and we also know that it infuriates me that someone believes I'm not worthy because I love creating something with my hands when time allows instead of, I don't know, skydiving? So now on to

What I've Been Doing:

Once again my lack of photography skills amazes me. Above you see my inprogress Fatbottom bags. The one with the pink and brown fabric is Red Heart Coffee, then there's the orchid one with pink lining which will be my practice bag and then one in a shade of red that I can't recall the name of the color.

What do you think of the Spongebob Stitchmarkers? Okay they are shoe charms I purchased at Target. But they work nicely as stitchmarkers.

Let the Christmas stitching begin. There are several ornaments in here I plan to stitch. This is one of the better ornament issues in my humble opinion.

I've been reading The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue. Whatever your opinion of metal or Motley or Nikki Sixx this book is worth reading. It's a look deep in the heart of addiction. Some parts of it have made me sick to my stomach, some made me angry. Sure it's full of self loathing, whining, general jerkishness, but that's what journals are and for Nikki Sixx to make this public, to let people in on this very dark side of his life, very brave. Other people that knew him at the time also commented on entries, filled in some blanks.
For the first time in a few weeks I plan to stitch the afternoon away. I'm looking forward to it. After the stress of last week, major deadline, insane teens, I may spend every morning next week at the beach. I wonder if Ms. Hunt would approve?

*I realize the above rant is all over the place and rambling but that article really made me mad on so many different levels!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Deep, Dark Secrets

Confession time, I have this problem. It's embarassing. I'm so ashamed, but here ya go:

I'm addicted to Rock of Love

I can't help it. It's a weakness. I would love to blame it on me being this total 80s girl stuck back in the era of glam hair bands--well I am but that's not the point. I was never, ever a huge Poison fan. Never had a crush on Bret Micheals, I'm a Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx kind of girl, but I can't stop watching Rock of Love. I can't stop. It's crazy. This whole show is crazy.

I think the next series Rock of Love star should be Tommy Lee. He's crazy, the women contestants are obviously all a little nuts, except for Jess. She's actually kept her cool, and even though I don't know her, I feel she's been true to herself. Do you see, I've got a serious problem? Can you tell I am totally in love with the crazy?

Other than that, I have discovered that I prefer 16 month olds to 16 yr olds and 19 month olds to 19 year olds. I feel that keeping toxic poisons out of reach of small toddler hands was much easier than trying to keep one's teens from being toxic. I knew that as the boys got older, their needs would change, what they needed from me would change but this last week I've felt like one of those parents that doesn't have a clue about what's going on in her kids lives and in all honesty, we do talk, I do have a clue but when several things hit you at once, whew, I'm glad to kiss the past week goodbye, bygones and time for fresh starts with a strengthed parent/teen relationship--I hope unless of course they are playing me which is possible, but I think we all are on the same page.

With any luck pictures in a day or two of some fat bottomed bags, one is going to be a gift and I'm still avoiding the sewing in of the lining because I'm a big fatbottomed baby. Maybe I'll suck it up and do it tonight.

Friday, September 14, 2007

22 Years Ago

The Spousal Unit and I took the vows. While he had been to Florida his family were more Atlantic Coast people. He had never seen the Gulf of Mexico. I told him if he ever saw the Gulf he would never go back to the Atlantic Coast. We decided to honeymoon at good old Pensacola
Beach. What we didn't know was that Hurricane Elena had hit the area Labor Day weekend.

Remembering Hurricane Elena--20 Years Later--July 10, 2005


We were getting married. Who had time to watch the news? Was The Weather Channel even around back then? We show up on Pensacola Beach and very few hotels are open and there are no people. We pull up at the Dunes Motel:

We asked if they had a room:

They said, "We sure do! But you can't stay on the water. That building had a little bit of damage due to the hurricane. But don't worry we're up and running, have power and water!"

Their pool suffered some minor damage but hey we came for the beach anyway!

This was where we stayed:

Nowadays they would never let anyone near the beach until that mess had been cleaned up but 22 yrs ago if hotels could reopen and make a few bucks they did. I think we stayed here for something like $30 a night, it might have been $50. We can't remember. There were one or two other couples there at the time and we pretty much had the beach and motel to ourselves. They ended up demolishing this motel and rebuilding it as a really nice ten story hotel but it once again suffered damage after Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis.
Another tale from the Hurricane Honeymoon, they were opening a Rax across the toll bridge in Gulf Breeze. The banner said "Grand Opening" plain as day. The parking lot was full, we went there for dinner. Turned out it was the employees' family night, we told them we were there on our honeymoon, saw all the cars and thought they were open. They fed us for free and told us to enjoy the party. The Rax is now a Burger King.
Hard to believe we have been married 22 years. They have been full of fun, adventure, and lots of love. One thing I know to be true, as much as I may complain about the Spousal Unit and the football thing--I really hate Fantasy Football, I love him so much and he's my best friend and I am so lucky that my ex-roommate dumped him for the soccer player.
Dude--I love you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


For the last few days I've been planning to take some pictures of what I've been working on. I jumped on the Fat Bottom Bag train, thanks to Julie's relentless posting of her finished Fat Bottom Bags, then Tiffany started crocheting them, so I emailed Sue and asked if a person who has only crocheted ripple afghans and granny squares could make a Fat Bottom Bag with only a minor amount of frustation since Sue made one of these way back last year. Sue gave me the go ahead and over the weekend I crocheted the bag part of two bags. Haven't got up the courage to do the handle flaps yet because of that pesky sewing in the lining issue. I've been pondering that. So instead of actually seeing if I can do it I keep crocheting the bag part which is pretty darn addictive. I don't even mind thinking about how to sew in the lining while I'm crocheting my little heart out on the bag.

Maybe pictures tomorrow. It was pouring down rain this morning and there's really not an uncluttered flat surface on which to take a picture at the moment so when everything dries up outside I'll snap a picture or two because I know you just can't wait to see these unassembled bags.

Other than Fat Bottom crocheting not much else is going on here at the Ranch.

I have been thinking about setting up some kind of rotation for my cross stitch projects. Every time I do this I begin to hate my projects and want to start something new so I don't have to follow my plan so maybe I should just shelve the whole "I need to take control of my stitching" plan.

Right now the pieces screaming at me the most are 13th Colony Bay and Sonne Spotte. They are the only two I want to work on and I love them. I am planning to mix it up on the first and third Mondays of the month by pulling out my TW Fantasy Triptyche and working on it with my friend Sue who is blogless. She is starting her's over on a different fabric and I've made so little progress on mine it's almost a new start but I love this design and I plan to have it finished sometime before I turn 80.

I kind of went into a TW meltdown this weekend. There are so many of her designs I want to stitch and I have Tradewinds also started and want to start her Mermaid and The Fortunate Traveller before the end of the year too. Then I start thinking about all the blended threads and how if I have four TW designs in progress I won't only not finish any of them but I also won't finish any other projects either. Then I saw someone's album where they had finished a lot of TW designs and one project was all four Seasonal Fairies over 1 on the same piece of fabric! Holy Crap! This album reminded me that not only do stitchers actually complete TW designs some stitch several and also manage to stitch other things too. It gives me hope for all my many WIP and UFOs.

Here is the link to the album with all the beautiful TW stitching:

rowenafromoz's photos and albums on webshots