I got a big stash of old Cushing dye envelopes. Tried “Apricot” for starters. This reminds me a lot of Pro Chem “Spiced Pumpkin” which I wove into a blankey long ago as one of my first dye/weave projects. Anyway this Cushing seems to work perfectly fine and it’ll be fun to go through all the envelopes.

Book Corner 2021.5

by Nicole Lapin

Every now and then I cave and buy a shamelessly silly self-help book. It’s just kind of brain candy. Nowadays, I’ve beyond aged-out of their target demographic, so I have to take the advice with more and more grains of salt. I did get a couple of good ideas out of this one, which I’ve already forgotten. (  )

Really, I should be spending my time better.

The unfortunate title brings to mind the best part of Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories. Super-intelligent (and wise-ass) aliens give advice to Woody Allen’s character, who wonders if he should be doing something more meaningful with his life, like “helping blind people” or “becoming a missionary.” Here’s the advice:

“You’re not the missionary type. You’d never last. And incidentally, you’re also not Superman; you’re a comedian. You want to do mankind a real service? Tell funnier jokes.”

Consider it generic advice when you just feel too tired to contemplate “Becoming Super Woman.” You’re not superwoman. You are what you are. Want to do mankind a service? Do it better.

They Call It Mello Yello

They call it mellow yellow…. quite wrongly.

The color on the right, that is. On the left, the original white, for comparison.

So from the Little Book of Life Skills, look at this trick I learned:

It’s what to do with the toilet brush after you’ve cleaned the toilet. Let it drain right there for a while. It seems so obvious, yet I never thought to do that!!!

Book Corner 2021.4

by Erin Zammett Ruddy

Not only practical, but at times inspirational, advice – from how to make your bed and empty the dishwasher to how to get yourself through a tough time to how to set goals.

I was put off at first by the makeup chapters early on, not only because they presume a female reader (no one said this was going to be a chick book) but because of the level of make-up use they assume. “Do your highlighter after you’ve put on the rest of your makeup” – WTF is highlighter?

But there are always going to be chapters here and there that an individual has no use for. For example, not everyone works an office job, or a job at all; and some bits are not so much practical how-to as how-to-motivate-yourself-to. There are people who really don’t empty their dishwasher for days? But then how do you run it again? Whatever. Most of the chapters would be a good read for most anybody.

I loved:
– Send an effective email
– Make your point
– Write a to-do list
– Clean a toilet (I hate to clean, I suck at it – I need all the help I can get)
– Set goals

I’m sorry, I still don’t understand how to fold a fitted sheet. (  )


This was taken yesterday – it’s not much different today:


I finished this weaving. It still has no final destination. But I think I’ll trim the edges with some beadwork. I am going to pull out my bead loom for the first time in years.

MLK Day 2021

First real snowfall of the season happened night before last. The above was taken yesterday morning. It’s so beautiful! I love what it does to the light coming in. (Me, having something good to say about snow? Pandemic life is getting to me.)

And today sees me doing my first attempt at cotton dyeing. My first fail was turning the stove on. I didn’t recall where in the directions they said to turn on the heat, but figured it must have been SOMEWHERE… no, apparently not, according to iLiveToDye. I am not sure if that ruined anything chemically. But this spaghetti has been sitting in the dyepot for hours now and is still white. (Not actually spaghetti.)

I’m reading a book, which I look forward to finishing & blogging soon, called Little Book of Life Skills, which inspired me in a kind of gratitude challenge that is actually (gasp) helpful to my day-to-day mood and not just a laundry list of things I really know I should feel grateful about so I can stop bitching already; nor is it just a Facebook parade of “look how great my life is!” and “I’m HAPPY, DAMMIT” not-so-cleverly disguised as a gratitude exercise.

They said to start each day thinking of 3 very specific things you’re grateful for, and one great thing that happened in the last 24 hours. They said this will be a lot better for your daily frame of mind then thinking about what you USUALLY do when you get up in the morning, which is all the crap you should really try to get done or have to get done that day. And it really is better. I’m not saying it makes me gay all day, but I’m saying it makes a good kickoff.

So they way I’ve used it, is I’ve actually tried to think of three unique things to look forward to that day. Which may not exactly be ‘gratitude,’ but what is ‘gratitude’? Are you grateful for your house, your health, etc.? Of course! So what? They said to get specific. That had me morphing the daily exercise into things to look forward to, which of course I’m grateful for.

Book Corner Re-Read Picture Book Edition

by Geraldine

OK, yes, it’s a picture book. But I came across it on my shelf the other day and it made me go “Awwww…. the Goat in the Rug”… and pull it down and re-read it. This book sparks so much joy in me!

It’s told by Geraldine, an angora goat who lives in a place called Window Rock, with her friend Glenmae, who is a Navajo weaver.

If they live among a community of any other people or goats, it’s never mentioned; closest we get is the fact that it is “miles” to the nearest store. It’s just Glenmae, a weaver woman, and her goat.

One day Glenmae takes out some big shears and gives Geraldine a clipping. Geraldine is ticklish, so she “kicks up her heels” a little bit.

Glenmae washes the mohair and then goes out to collect dye plants. Geraldine tags along. Thinking that all the plants being picked represent a delightful picnic just for her, she eats them all. The next day, Glenmae sets out for that store miles away to buy dyestuffs — and leaves Geraldine home.

Glenmae dyes the mohair in reds, browns, and blacks. Geraldine starts to frown a little bit, wondering if having ingested dyeplants is going to turn her all those same colors.

Glenmae spins the mohair into thread, its strength illustrated with a picture of her and Geraldine playing a bit of tug-o-war.

Finally Glenmae sets up her loom and starts to weave a beautiful one-of-a-kind rug. By the time she’s finished, Geraldine’s fleece has grown almost long enough for another rug.

I love to close my eyes and imagine being a weaver woman living all alone in the desert southwest with a pet fiber goat.

There aren’t many Navajo weavers left like Glenmae, the story concludes. “And there’s only one goat like me, Geraldine.”

Much as you remind me of my Beatrice, Geraldine, I believe that there is no other goat quite like you. Every goat I have ever known has been one-of-a-kind.

I hope you can see why I love this book.

Book Corner 2021.3

A Map that Reflects the Territory

Does this count as a “book”? It doesn’t have an ISBN number. It’s a set of five little physical books collecting essays written by a group of bloggers called Less Wrong. You could read them all online. I prefer reading books, so I paid money for the books.

I didn’t finish every essay. Some weren’t interesting, some required too much work.

Best quotes:

“We’re looking at a collapse of reference to expertise because deferring to expertise costs a couple of hedons compared to being told that all of your intuitions are perfectly right.”

And I didn’t tag it so I won’t put quotation marks, in case I got a word or two wrong, but: We are each of us basically 3.5 billion years of hacks in a fragile trench coat.