I just want to make beautiful things…

Desperation

So, apparently this girl forgot to hit the “Submit” button on last month’s car payment and had to pay double this month. Take me now Jesus, just take me now!!

I’ve lived on less, this was just a bite to the button I didn’t need.

OK that’s a lie, the clothes I bought at The Limited when I opened a store credit card there I didn’t need was what I didn’t need, but hey, I needed some stylish stuff that actually fit.

Being the frugal girl, I’ve had to really get creative with ways to continue to feed my fiber habit. Also, I’m rather farmer minded, and hate to waste food, especially if I paid a lot for it.

I’ve read started that portion controlled diet that got sidelined when my kidneys decided they were going to blow up my insides, and by the time I felt like eating them again, they went bad. Other Rachel mentioned that she had told her dad about my spring past time of dyeing with nettle, (“He thought it was so funny that you were so excited about boiling and dyeing with weeds!” She just doesn’t get me). This got me thinking….

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You bet I did!!! I mashed them up a little bit, boiled them for a good half hour, and then let them sit overnight.

When OR came home and looked inside she asked what it was. I told her the still-beating heart of Snow White. She wasn’t amused.

Strained it thru the cullender the next day, and thru in four skeins of handspun; 2 super wash merinos, and 2 skeins of alpaca/merino blend. Both had had a nice pre soak vinegar bath.

So, let me tell you what I did wrong:

*I will not mash the berries. The boiling will let the color bleed all in its own.
*I will not be lazy, and will dig out that wire strainer to remove the pulp from the mashings, as it will slide right thru the cullender
*And I will strain it a second time
*I will also get off my lazy horse and get the bigger pot…let’s just say I am damn lucky that the stove top is black, for real.

So, it boiled, it cooled, and outside to the strainer it went.

And by strainer I mean the patio table

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Works like a dream!!

Here lies the final product:

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The left is the super wash merino, which is significantly darker and has ACTUAL shade of blue in it, super cool! The right is the alpaca/merino, which is lighter. I’m honestly considering a second soap washing with these, the just don’t feel soft and I know it’s because of all the pulp. Regardless, I’m calling this a success!!

Rachel

Brink

Interesting times. Good, but mostly bad.

Apparently, I developed an infection in my kidneys. I woke up on Sunday morning and thought I had food poisoning. Various unpleasant symptoms ensued, and I stayed the night at my parents house. Passed out a time or too. Couldn’t retain fluids.

Monday, went to urgent care and sure enough, kidneys. Who knew?

So I had been doing really well working out and eating healthy, and now I’m off of my routine. This girl LOVES a routine! So I’m trying to get back into my groove.

In fiber arts news, I’m trying to catch up with Spinzilla.

Spinzilla is a new spinning tournament in its second year, and it’s simple: Spin like hell for a week!! I’m racking up some serious numbers and trying to make space in my closet lol.

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Lake Springfield

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A batt I won from ApotheFaery

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My alpaca/merino blend

Lots of fluffy lovelies coming off of Scarlet! More to come tonight!!!

Happiness is a Full Belly

I just got back from Disney World!

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The Hookers and I were able to go to all four parks. I would have come home with no money at all if my stupid debit card didn’t have a limit. Seriously, I saved up a bunch of money and it barely let me spend over $100 a day! I wanted to buy the place out! The Hookers and I were able to go to all four parks. I would have come home with no money at all if my stupid debit card didn’t have a limit. Seriously, I saved up a bunch of money and it barely let me spend over $100 a day! I wanted to buy the place out!

I ended my day at the domestic violence shelter, and my best intern I  refer to as T-Pain brought me a cake. It was a very sweet send off for me and my tiny work tribe.

Now, I have decided after this week that I will never live in florida. Never. I very much dislike the sensation of stepping outside and being instantly covered in sweat. It’s not ok. On top of the occasional rain storm that came down upon us I frequently felt like a giant used condom in my poncho.

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The Hookers and I were able to go to all four parks. I would have come home with no money at all if my stupid debit card didn’t have a limit. Seriously, I saved up a bunch of money and it barely let me spend over $100 a day! I wanted to buy the place out!

We hit each park on its own day: Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and finally Epcot. We also ate in the most shameless, gluttonous fashion, and it was here that I discovered, to my doom, that cheesecake is delicious. I had it almost every single day. Thank you Dining Plan!!

Our resort was absolutely beautiful. Now I won’t bore you with my usual long winded description says of every last thing, so here’s a photo Montage of some of my favrites. I’m sorry most of these are selfies

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Cloe was NOT pleased that I was leaving

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The Lego store at Downtown Disney

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Sarah surprised us with these darling packages of lollipops, tiaras, and autograph books!

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My silly girls at Yak and Yeti. Great recommendation from our consierge. 

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You may or may not know that I’m obsessed with Gone With the Wind…

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We could see the nightly Epcot firework show from our resort, but on the night we were at epcot, we missed it. The waitress at our lack – luster seafood restarant took FOREVER to get our dining plan check, and then we had to get all the way across the park to do our last Fast Pass ride, which I seriously regret doing. I love fireworks,  and I had been looking forward to watching the whole show while we were there, and I missed it. I don’t know if the girls knew but I almost cried. I think I was a little extra tired that day but I had really been wanting to see it.

Aside from that snafu, I had an excellent time and would love to go back in a couple of years!

Oh, and here’s the most important picture, the one I really would have died over had I not gotten it:

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Meant to Be

Things are moving right along. The House of Rachel is back in sync with OR back from vacation, and the neighbors seem to have moved half of their people into the attic on their side of the duplex.

I had my second interview for a job last week and left feeling very nervous. While I was working on the first round of goals for the 30 Day Push I talked about, I got a phone call for the job! I start the day after I get back from vacation and I’m so thankful!!

My goals now look a lot different than they did before I got that phone call! I can now focus more on my family, building my finances back up and being a better friend.

On that note, I’ve made more progress on Other Rachel’s Bee Keeper Quilt

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That dark green square with the flower embroidered on it? That is yarn I had leftover from a pair of mittens and headband I knit for Rachel years ago when we first met! I figured it would be a fitting addition to her blanket!

I leave for vacation in less than a week, and I will be sure to send lots of love from the happiest place on earth!!

Rachel

Push

I’m in a bit of a funk. To spit it out plainly, I have hit that brick wall moment of realizing that even though I like my job and love my coworkers, I don’t make enough money. $9.34 an hour pays the bills and lets me eat, but sometimes I still depend on mom for groceries here and there. This is predominantly due to the Disney trip in two weeks, because as you know my car broke down and I had to buy a new one. These car payments are kickin my butt on top of replenishing my Disney fund.

I’m looking for work elsewhere. I’ve had two interviews at one place, but it’s hard to read if I landed the position or not. Only a wing and a prayer will tell. I’ve tried to just lift it up to God and let Him take it from here, but I’m still nervous. I have a timeline to preferably find something before the lease is up and I move out in March, but I would much MUCH rather find something now, and not later.

I’m really looking forward to finding a place for myself next year. I don’t regret moving out of my parents house. I like the leg room, but I’m really leaning on the side of having just my own one bedroom apartment. Other Rachel is fine and all, but I would just rather be alone now that I know what living away from my parents is like.

Basically: I just want to roll around in my personal yarn cave. Maybe get a pet angora rabbit.

I’ve been trying to work on my personal development with learning better ways to deal with my frustrations and priorities. I’ve finally put all my bills on paper to track my finances, and even getting better at cooking…that’s kind of a start right?

I also started a challenge called the 30 Day Push. It’s organized by a lady named Chalene Johnson and you should seriously google her…she is an amazing motivator and fitness trainer. This challenge is actually based around priorities and personal growth, and I’m only in day 2, but I think I’m going to be much more organized and make a lot more healthy habits after it’s all done!!

In knitting news:

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Cleo has been very helpful this week while OR is in North Carolina on vacation. It’s just been her, me, my yarn, and the thermostat down to 74* and it’s been complete bliss. I’m working on some BFL/silk blend but it sheds worse than Cleo does!! I’ve also dyed up some more Lake Springfield fiber. I’ve got two four ounce braids, one is a little pulled out because I man-handled it in the pot while it soaked, the other is perfect. Getting better all the time!

Restless

I finally finished the Tour De Fleece. I managed to pull off 1,375yds of finished yarn all together! I have a little bit of Lake Sprlingfield left on the bobbin, so now my task begins of trying to re-create that oopsy dye job!

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I haven’t been sleeping well again lately. This past weekend was full of events such as a last-minute trip to the fair with Other Rachel, but it still didn’t take things off my mind. Even though there was a beautiful llama and alpaca in the petting zoo…

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They even had elephant rides, but we did not partake. I wound up dancing with this one, a poor girl who was enclosed behind a tiny, tiny area of electric fencing.

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Still, it hasn’t been enough to take things off my mind. In fact, there’s not really a concrete way of telling exactly what’s in my mind…there’s so much that falls between the tedious and the devastating depending on what mood I’m in at the time. I’ve picked up a few old knitting projects that fell by the wayside, tried new recipes, even went on a date last Friday night. I still feel this overwhelming since of restlessness.

I think my main point of concern is my lack of exercise. I’m going to try something new this month to get me ready for vacation, and there’s a few things I wanna try to get me down some pounds before the end of the year.

I’ve made this argument before, but some of you are new to my reason for wanting to be in shape. I’m a recovering exercise bulimic, what the proper clinical term is I’m not sure, but my way of purging was thru extra swimming laps at practice and walking laps around my school an hour before classes. I was hospitalized for dehydration once and was chronically ill from it. I’ve learned to be healthier about it, but I’m a little bigger than where I want to be.

Long story short: If I loose a bit of weight, I can save money on yarn.

No bullshit. I have developed a thyroid problem, but my Gods-honest reason for wanting to loose weight is so I don’t have to buy two extra skeins of yarn to fit my size.

Take it as you will. I’m going to enjoy this cloudy day. Just got done doing yoga with my kids at the shelter and it was a complete riot.

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Carve

I love spinning. I want to make pretty yarn as often as I can but don’t make enough money to send my fiber to the mill that often. So, I decided that slowly but surely I want to produce everything myself!

It started last month. My uncles all have a certain skill that they have as a hobby, and for this I consulted the Carpenter, my uncle Ray

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We built a three sided box about 34inches long. This, ladies and gentlemen, will become a wool picker! The finishing touches will involve some 4inch nails hammered in thru the bottom and into the sliding lid, which, when you feed the fiber in, will pick the fiber apart, loosening any of the dirt and vegetation tangled in it.

Finally got back out to the shop to work on it today. I decided to stain the box the same color as my wheel Scarlet!

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While I was waiting for the conditioning coat to dry, I ran a crazy idea by my uncle. I wanted to see if he could teach me how to use my grandfathers wood lathe to turn a circle whorl to make a drop spindle. He was ecstatic to try!

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My uncle had heart surgery a couple of months ago, and he’s just been down and depressed since then. I truly live for learning new things, and being my teacher has kinda brought him out of his funk. So, it took a little practice and expiramentation, but after about two hours, we got it!

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Behold!!! I am so elated to have actually pulled this off! It’s a beautiful walnut piece, and I tried to put a “ripple” design on it, if you would. Now I just gotta buy and stain a dowel rod and we are all set to go everybody!!

Rach

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