Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’ve Moved

It’s been a little quiet around here, but I’ve been working away on something new.  And shortly, Let It Unravel will be here no longer.  I’ve started a new site with a new blog, but all of the old content has been moved over.  Please join me over at http://www.linenandleaves.com/blog 

 

Hope to see you there!

Stacy

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What to Wear: While Crafting

what to wear

stay naked.

it doesn’t matter how much thought I put into selecting an apartment, I always end up with a sweltering hot stuffy little sewing room.  Maybe I secretly like it that way.  This time around I have ample closet space, but it is still one hot little room for summer sewing.  When I heard the theme for this weeks What to Wear link-up I was a little stumped for ideas.  Immediately I had a flashbacks to the sewing room I used while I was still selling my crafts at multiple markets each week.  What happened in that room wasn’t pretty.  The cat spent most of that summer looking like an overstuffed lifeless mound of fluff under my sewing table.  And well, I was almost always naked.  not good naked.  Sweaty, irritable, grouchy naked.

But you’ve all been saved from seeing that photo.  My new crafting space is a little more forgiving.  With the help of a large fan I can usually keep my clothes on.

usually.

I spend most of my time either at the gym in workout clothes or in my crafting room.  Sadly, my wardrobe reflects this reality all too well.  Nope, no cocktail dresses and cute summer sandals in this girls closet.  If you were thinking of raiding my closet you might want to reconsider.  In summer the only outfits you will find are tight fitting running pants, moisture wick shirts or frock-ish tent like skirts, dresses and old t’s.  This has its limitations.  I’m not working too hard over here to be fashionable, but I still try and be presentable enough to answer the door. Just this morning I scored an awesome purple running top and a pile of vintage linens at the thrift store.  Hooray!

what to wear while craftingWhen I’m crafting or working away on some new creative ideas I tend to stick with what’s most comfortable.  Very little jewelry or anything that might snag or otherwise get in the way.  bare feet (but, of course!).  a comfy loose fitting skirt or dress.  Lately I’ve been wearing a lot of clothes that I’ve made myself, but when I got dressed this morning and headed to the sewing room I found myself in some old favourites.  This skirt has seen better days, but nothing beats an easy cotton wrap around.  The top is a simple thrifted grey tank.

so what’s going on in this photo…am I about to claw my own head?  maybe so.  maybe so.

Looking for the real fashions?  head on over to Nicole’s blog Gypsy in Jasper to see what the other ladies put together for What to Wear: While Crafting

What She Ate (Naughty but Nice)

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I’ve been eating nothing.

I wish I was writing this post a few days ago when for a brief moment of time I was feeling very positive about this whole experience.  But yesterday I hit a wall.   19 days with no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, no red meat, nothing with preservatives, no dairy, no eggs, no soy, no peanuts, no wheat/gluten, no oranges/grapefruits, no strawberries or bananas, no tomatoes or potatoes or mushrooms or peppers.  blah!  I have 11 days to go and than I can slowly start to add things back in.  But honestly, just when I think my stomach is starting to feel better and that all of this will result in a grand discovery that will lead me to a lifetime of feeling great…I eat something and my stomach gurgles and churns.

There have been actual improvements.  My skin is improving with less redness and fewer rashes,  the fatigue that threatened to derail me from doing anything and everything has finally lifted, and for the past few nights (after weeks of insomnia) I slept.  and for those of you who have experienced insomnia for any extended amount of time…you know that a little sleep can go a long long way.

anyone who knows me knows that i have a weakness for all-day breakfast (and beer, but we won’t go there for now).  oh how I’ve been craving a greasy spoon breakfast.  So for my “Naughty but Nice” meal I decided to whip up a batch of Buckwheat (vegan, gluten-free) Pancakes and some delicious Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties.  I’m allowed to have maple syrup in small amounts…so I drizzled it deliciously over these beauties and dug in.  Sigh.  11 more days.  What will I add in first…you may be wondering…well, i’m wondering that very same thing.  Bananas are pretty high on the list.  Surprisingly, even higher on my want list than coffee.

Turkey Breakfast Sausage (Gluten-Free)

1 lb lean ground turkey
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine and mooosh all together.  Form into small breakfast sausage sized patties.  Fry em’ up in some olive oil and enjoy.

Buckwheat (Gluten-Free Vegan Sugar-Free) Pancakes

1/2 cup Buckwheat Flour
1/4 cup Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water (egg replacement)

You know what to do.  Mix it up.  Pour it out.  Flip Flip.  Eat.

P.S  there will be pictures.  my picture card reader thingy is broken…again!  i’ll upload them soon.

* *

You have to head over to Abhaya and check out the delicious What She Ate: Naughty But Nice recipe she posted for Cauliflower Crust.  Drool.  When I can have cheese and eggs again…I’m so making this!

Who I Have Become

garden hands

 

You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again

 

This quote from the book “Lolita in Tehran” really struck me this morning.  I’ve been pondering and committing to slow deliberate action these days as I sift through a decade of shuffling from one place to the next.  I wonder how much of my adult life has been spent orienteering to a new place and saying goodbye to another.  How many versions of myself have existed and which one will persist.  

And I realize, so much of my time has been spent chasing after a part of me which may never have even existed.  Was I ever really truly carefree?  Or is this a story I created to dispel the discomfort I have with my true self or to allow myself to linger a little longer in a chronic unhealthy game of denying the present.  

Ten years ago, I say, I had nothing to worry about but the contents of a backpack and a pocket full of maps.  Which is not true.  The maps, the travel, the days spent thinking I was defined by my distrust of proper footwear and all matters of conforming, were a ruse.  A distraction I have continued to play over and over again in search of that one place that would magically make everything click and I’d stay. 

And in truth, while I travelled, threw jobs away like candy wrappers and said goodbye more often than hello…I craved the very things I now have.  I remember sitting in a tent sewing by hand day dreaming about how great it would be to just have a little room with a little table with a sewing machine.  or coffee with a friend.  or a familiar haunt to visit.  houseplants and a garden and a stack of books to read.  

Yes, I have always wanted my own piece of land.  I have come close to deciding I must be a failure because at 33 I have so few of the things I thought would make up my life.  I thought by now I’d have a family.  Maybe a farm.  Perhaps I’d run a little tea shop and master the art of sinfully good cookies and scones.  In focusing so much on what I have yet to achieve, I have failed to celebrate all that I have and all that I should be grateful for.  In spending so much time looking for the person I was, I have failed to celebrate the complexity and beauty of who I have become.  

 

Turning

night time highway

At best I’m a scattered mess.

I’m reasonably comfortable admitting this now.

I’m not even sure what this post is really about, but woke up this morning feeling that it was time to get back to writing…any writing…even if it is just a rambling blog post.  I pulled out a stack of old journals, sifted through snippets of poems, giggled, and traced through a rather mixed up geography of thoughts.  

13 moves in 6 years.  21 moves in total.  Do I have just a terrible case of wanderlust?  Not really.  The moving and constant uprooting does little to satisfy my urge to explore and rather counter-productively destroys all funds and time for real adventure.  It is to the point now where I can barely tell the difference between an old familiar place and a new one.  

2009.  The year I turned 30.  The months leading up to my 30th birthday I was a madhouse of writing.  (and perhaps even an actual madwoman…but why dwell!).   Journals that I had failed to fill for years suddenly ran out of room.  I house sat a big old place on a hill with a 180 acre view and something about that space, two summers of being a caretaker at a cabin (and a decision to not simply jump at the first urge to flee) allowed me the space to write.  But my inability to secure long term employment and housing meant everything (including emotions) remained in boxes.  Labelled, but contents still vague and mysterious.

I feel I am starting to unpack now.  Figuratively.  Literally, I am still living in a rental which smells of stale cigarette smoke from the previous tenant and is punctuated daily with arguments and bad language from the other side of our paper thin walls.  But figuratively i am starting to pull out the necessary tools for some much delayed goal setting.  (and yes, top of that list is still ‘buy a house’ and ‘consider vacations instead of moving’).

Here is what appeared in my ‘year of turning 30’ journal titled:  30

a decade of knitting
gnawing at memories
picking nails

fidgeting from one foot to the other

passing time at being suspicious

or questioning
anything that doesn’t bite back

and even some things that do.

 

 

50 Cheap Dates

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Perhaps I shouldn’t advertise that I’m a pretty cheap date.  But it’s true.  Anything that starts with b and ends in ‘eer’ will get me to the table.  You can get a second date at the slightest suggestion of ice cream.  And yes, I do believe Mr. Beardpants secured me as his full-time live-in lady over several days worth of apple pie for breakfast.

I bore easily.  Even with ample nourishment and internet access to zombie shows.  And despite having a house full of books, craft projects and other forms of entertainment, I’m always nagging suggesting that we go out and do something new.  Mr. Beardpants and I have spent an excessive a lot of time together, in particular, over the last year where we have been living and working together.  And I think it’s important in any relationship to try and switch things up or at the very least move the conversation away from work.  Those of you who work with your significant other will know what I’m talking about.  If you spend most of your meals making fun of your boss or plotting the next days enormous load of overwork…than it’s time to start picking away at this list of 50 Cheap Dates.

Quite a few of these suggestions are date ideas we’ve put into action and some are dates I’m hoping to stroll out of my house for soon (hint: Mr. Beardpants! I know you’re reading.  And Mwah..i loves ya).  And I’ve included a number of date ideas that you can do at home.  These will be particularly good for couples with kids who can’t secure a babysitter, have stretched the budget already to the limit and/or have started to forget that they have names other than Mom and Dad.

1. Check out a local museum.  (Some even have a free day or regular free evening.)
2. Pack a picnic and go for a long bike ride.
3. Settle in for a themed movie marathon.  My preference would be the entire Die Hard series with ample servings of popcorn and shoutings of yippee-ki-yay-mother-***bleep.
4. Search online or through some cookbooks scored at the library and try out a new recipe together.
5. Plan a board game night and invite some losers…ahem, I meant other players…to join.  And remember…nobody likes a loser.
6. Create a picnic in your own backyard.  Complete with candles and intoxicating bug spray.
7. Go for a night of browsing and tea drinking in your local bookstore.
8. Do a tour of local vintage/junk shops.
9. Go treasure hunting through Saturday morning garage sales.  Don’t forget the coffee and junk wish list!
10.  Play tourist in a nearby town.  (Millbrook…I hear you have a good bakery and I’m coming to see you).
11. Check out your local art gallery or search for an artists cooperative
12. Create a mini map or brochure and do a walking tour of local attractions.
13. Rent a canoe.  (You know what they say…the paddle test is the ultimate relationship tester.  And if you can manage a strenuous portage without fighting…I think you’re gonna be just fine).
14. Go to the library and select a book for each other.
15.  Grab a deck of cards or a chess board and head to your favourite pub or coffee shop.
16.  Take $5 each to a local thrift store and buy a surprise for your partner.
17.  Visit a local winery or farm.
18.  Buy some inexpensive art supplies and create a masterpiece together.
19.  Take a stroll through your local farmer’s market and plan a ‘local’ meal.
20.  Grab your camera and head out for a photography hike.
21. Plan a mini one night escape and stay at a local campsite
22.  Borrow some fishing gear and head to a local fishing spot.
23.  Plan and build a piece of furniture together.
24.  Find a local festival.
25.  Attend a matinee.
26.  Check out a local band.
27.  Go indoor rock climbing
28.  Plan and create a chocolate tasting night
29.  Make homemade bread together (than stand around looking smug while stuffing your faces with fresh bread smothered in butter.  Trust me, the smugness is necessary)
30. Go for a late night full moon hike or snowshoe.  ( complete this by packing a beer or two, some wine and/or a thermos full of your favourite hot beverage.)
31.  Plan an at-home fondue night  (nothing saves love like swiss cheese)
32.  Serve up some breakfast in bed.
33.  Create a fort in your living room and tuck in for a movie with s’mores.
34.  Make ice cream sundaes.
35.  Go for a swim.  Pool.  Lake.  River.  Puddle.  You choose.
36.  Volunteer at a local event or for a local organization together.
37.  Visit your local zoo
38.   Bowling.  If only for the ridiculous shoes.
39.   Create a city wide treasure hunt
40.  Mix margharitas and hang a hammock.
41.  Go house hunting.  (and my preference…pretend you can afford a house!).
42.  Make finger foods, light some candles, set up some comfy cushions and snuggle in to read.
43.  Try some lessons together.
44.  Create an at home spa night (there is likely no man on earth who wants to actually do this by the way.  But there’s always hope).
45.  Write a bucket list together.
46.  Plan a fantasy vacation or plan a realistic super low budget awesome adventure.
47.  Train for a race together or run in a local fundraiser.
48.  Check out some local theatre (last year we brought a picnic to a Shakespeare in the park performance).
49.  Visit a local bakery.
50.  Nothing saves lovin’ like mini putt.

Things That Can Break

vintage typewriter suitcase

moving boxes

Wondering if I can wear a goiter with style.

These days I’m forced to recognize that ‘control’ may be more illusion or perspective than reality.  That my body (despite being properly fed, nurtured, treated delicately and exercised appropriately) might still do its own thing.

I am edgy today.  Irritated at the bags under my eyes, the ease of exhaustion, the swelling in my throat and the persistent pain in my back….my hips…my feet…my hands.

Moving forward…movement in general…is what is best.  The quiet numbing slosh of the water at the pool as I go from one end of the lane to the other.  The scrape of the skate blades on the freshly cleared ice.  If I sit for too long I may stay that way, suspended.

This morning I started to pack the boxes.  Started the process of putting everything temporarily on hold until we unpack again.  A familiar, but now completely uninteresting process.    I have moved enough times now that there is no longer any excitement in it for me, but luckily also no hesitation.  No longer that sense of sitting on the edge of something new…some unknown potential…some brief glimpse of opportunity.

There is always the uncertainty.  But even that I have gotten used to.  I don’t know where I’ll work…if I’ll make new friends…if I’ll find old or new patterns to follow….if this place will be better or worse than the last.  For now I will simply not know.  You have to sit with that.  There is no other choice.  No prediction.  No way of reading the future.

I am a master now at address changes.  All of our worldly belongings can be unloaded by two of us in under an hour.  I panicked briefly about labeling boxes and than quickly realized it’s not as necessary as it seems.

Next friday, a pizza box…perhaps a bottle or two of beer…and that strange hollow echo of a place not yet your own.