If you are one of the five people who watch my insta stories and follow my blog, you know that I sliced my finger with a pair of scissors. Because of this my macramaking has taken a backseat to general slovenliness. My hands are itching for some rope, though, and if you know of finger caps or some other protective gear to enable me to get back to the knots, leave a comment. Also, my hands and wrists are achy, I don't know if it's carpal tunnel or arthritis or just being in my 40s.
So if I haven't been making this week, what have I done?
Yet another hurricane is on its way, this time toward Florida, where friends and family still live. Hurricane Irma has already torn its way through the Caribbean and is expected to make landfall in South Florida on Sunday. I grew up and went to college in Florida. Many friends from high school still live in central Florida. My brother, who lives in northeast Florida with his family, told me that Irma is expected to reach them on Monday at only a category 1. Florida is a weird and wonderful place that often gets a bad rap. But it has some of the most beautiful beaches. Lefty and I were married in Seaside on the panhandle, where the beaches are a fine pale powder and the water blue. The east coast beaches are a little sandier and more populated. Playalinda Beach, my home beach, is one of the few unspoiled beaches of Florida. There are no condos, no tourist traps, just beautiful beach and dunes. Praying for my home state.
Well, Lefty was right. My garage studio is too cold to work in in the morning. So last week, I set about creating a workspace in my bedroom. This involved cleaning out and organizing my long-ignored sewing supplies and moving furniture up- and downstairs. Adding a workspace to the master bedroom forced me to pay attention to the aesthetics of the room. The master has always been a bit of a mess. No cohesive style, just a random selection of furniture with cluttered surfaces and drawn curtains. Now, art and photographs hang on the wall. I make the bed every morning and open all the curtains to flood the room with natural light. Living where we do, it's still a bit gray.
This leads me to my next topic. Photographs. Currently I am using my iPhone 6S. I've purchased a tripod and remote, which does make taking photographs easier. And I am learning a few tricks to taking better photos with the iPhone. But, as you can see, they still aren't great. I don't know if I'm ready to invest in a DSLR camera. Even the more affordable ones aren't that affordable. Perhaps, Santa will bring me one.
If you have any tips or tricks to taking better photos with a iPhone, please leave a comment. Or let me know of any online tutorials or classes, If you use a DSLR, what camera do you like? Any tricks to scoring a deal on a camera?
Like anyone with a heart, mine is with the people of Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey. I grew up on the coast of Florida and experienced many almost and near-misses. I have a vivid memory of playing under the dining room table that my dad moved into our tiny kitchen during Hurricane David. I am fortunate to have never experienced the devastation of those who lived through Andrew, Katrina, and now Harvey. There are many ways to help those in need, and there are many comprehensive lists floating around the internet, but I thought I would mention two organizations that address specific needs.
I'm continuing to work through Knot: A Book. The Plafond and Pan Chang knots have me stumped, but I will keep practicing. Working with these knots is working my brain in ways it hasn't been worked in a long time. I've suffered from mom brain for so long. (It is real; I don't care what science says. This time.) In a way, macrame and knots are weaving my brain cells back together.
I finished another work that I will share with you on Monday. It is a perfect example of how I had a plan and the rope had another idea. The final result is something beautiful and the first work that I am truly excited about. And through the process I think I am finding my voice.
Stuff I Bought That I Love
The little doodad to the right is a MagSafe to MagSafe2 converter. That doodad is what is allowing me to type on this computer. For reasons that are too complicated to explain, there is only one power adapter cord for two newish MacBooks at my house. When that power cord is with Lefty, I am SOL. That is until I bought this $10 converter instead of a new power adapter. I can attach this converter to my 5+ year=old macbook power adapter, and it now works with the newer macbook.
Every Tuesday during the summer, I visit my favorite used home goods shop, Mimi's Attic, to pick up a fresh bouquet of flowers. If you have a flower CSA in your town, I highly recommend it. Not only do you support a local farm, but fresh flowers in your home is good for the soul. It's not expensive either. If you buy flowers at the grocery store or farmer's market, you might even save money by joining a flower CSA.
Every time I go to Mimi's Attic, I bring home a basket or two. This past week, I found the loveliest framed embroidery. I've hung it in a corner of our bedroom. I've always put our bedroom on the bottom of the list for decorating. It has always been, and is, a mishmash of hand-me-downs and random pieces of furniture. It does contain a few special pieces, like the wooden headboard made by my dad and the antique hope chest given to me by my mom. We spend so much time in our rooms, I need to pay more care and attention to it. One step... hang a beautiful piece of art
Mama's got a new pair of shoes. I've waited over 20 years, but I finally own a pair of Doc Martens. I wanted a pair so badly in college, but I could not afford them. So I bought some cheap, shiny, pleather, lace-up combat boots. I loved those boots, but they weren't the same as real Docs. Now as a full-fledged grownup (and lifelong boot lover), I have many boots for many occasions. Knee-high riding boots, comfy ankle boots, snow boots, and rain boots. But I'm also trying to pair down my wardrobe to things I truly love and wear. When Zulily ran a sale on Doc Martens, I leapt at the chance to own a pair of black oxfords. (I know, I know. You can't get more punk than Zulily). I can wear these with anything. Now the breaking-in period begins. These puppies are stiff.
This was not a good week for reading and watching. Or, at least, nothing was memorable enough to mention. I will leave you with what I have been listening to. Iron & Wine's new album Beast Epic.
Earlier this week, I shared with you the almost-fail that was my work table (part 1, part 2). My studio is still half a disaster of a garage, but it's getting there. By the time I get the garage cleaned out and organized, the weather will have turned and I will turn my attention to creating an indoor studio.
Knot: A Book is written, designed, and illustrated by fiber artist Lise Silva. Her large-scale hangings and jewelry are beautiful and otherworldly.. She sees knots as meditation.
Like many of you, I have tried a variety of meditation practices and none seemed right for me. My thoughts would continue to spiral. And, quite honestly, it was boring, and I felt no more relaxed than before. Sleepy, maybe, but not relaxed. Once I found macrame, I found a way to meditate and create. The repetitive movements, the feel of the fibers, the beginnings and endings. My mind became quiet. I became more mindful of my surroundings and actions.
Lise Silva's book contains lovely illustrations and simple-to-follow instructions for 14 knots, including the True Lover's Knot and the Rising Sun Knot.
I've had a few works in progress this week, but I've reached a bit of a block. So I will set those aside and begin anew. I have some plans for macrame necklaces.
Stuff I Love
Like many moms and dads, keeping my coffee warm in the morning is a big problem. I have had mornings where I reheated my coffee in the microwave a few times before even taking my first sip.
Then I bought this Ello travel mug from Target. Sure it wasn't a favorite mug like my beloved yet broken Jonathan Adler utopia mug, but it keeps my coffee warm, nay, hot!
I found the perfect dress, y'all. The. Perfect. Dress. notPERFECTLINEN is a family business based in Lithuania. Everything is made by a person and not a machine. The colors are warm and earthy. And the linen is soft and perfectly imperfect. I ordered a sleeveless linen dress earlier in the summer. It was worth the wait. By adding a long-sleeved tee underneath or a sweater on top, I can wear the dress into fall. Add some wool leggings and it's good for winter. I love it so much, I ordered two more. I wish I had a photo to share. Keep a look out on my Instagram page.
Another incredible buy this week is a Danish secretary. I call him Mads. Mads is made from a gorgeous warm teak wood (that matches the wall a little too much, but I don't care). I still have to style and re-do the art on the wall. I can finally hang my Lisa Congdon and Ryan Berkley prints. The black-and-white painting on the top of the secretary is by the kid, from her dark period.
I know what you're thinking. This is only your second blog post. Why a "week in review" now? Well, I'll tell you. It's Friday, and it makes sense to do a week in review post on a Friday (Saturday if you want to get technical, but c'mon.). And a week in review is easy-ish. I don't have to think so much to generate ideas about my week. I have a lot of ideas about my week, but I will only share a few with you.
After several weeks, I finished a coiled rope basket that I made from clothesline and crochet yarn. About halfway through, I realized I should've been using a basket stitch, but I still like the end product. This was a simple project that I could work on with a 4 year old running rampage through the house.
I've also been working on a macrame wall hanging, using Niroma Studio cotton rope (the softest, loveliest rope) on a copper pipe. All that's left is the fringe, and then she'll be ready to photograph. Most of my process shots aren't great because I've been working in the foyer and there is little to no natural light.
Now about my actual craftspace. I dream of a day where I have my own little perfect studio. (A tiny house art studio, anyone?) For now, I make do with what I have. My current space includes a little sewing corner in the kid's playroom, the aforementioned foyer, and the garage, which I have been transforming into a space to make stuff (and hideout when I need some alone time).
I will post about the garage transformation another day, but here's a little update. Yesterday, the kid and I went to Lowe's for galvanized pipe and plywood to build a worktable. I've stained the wood, but must return to Lowe's to exchange pipe for different pipe. Once the table is complete, I'll share with you how I built it.
Read Watch Listen
I have been in a bit of a reading drought this summer. But, this week I read Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I needed to read something powerful and inspiring this week, and Adichie's book fit the bill. Every new parent should read this book. Every person should read this book. An excerpt:
Tell her that kindness matters. Praise her when she is kind to other people. But teach her that her kindness must never be taken for granted. Tell her that she, too, deserves the kindness of others. Teach her to stand up for what is hers.... because her consent is important. Tell her that if anything ever makes her uncomfortable, to speak up, to say it, to shout.
who am I?
modern punch is me, Becky, mom of a kid and a dingo, wife for 20 years. I grew up on the Florida coast watching rockets launch from my backyard. Now I live in the beautiful Finger Lakes amongst the wonderful weirdos and waterfalls.
All opinions are my own. I am not an expert. I am not paid for anything. I have only one rule: don't be an asshole.