Monday, November 25, 2013

Laughing in the Studio

Studio work is rather laughable at the moment. But writing zooms along.

Our sheets and pillowcases are a disaster. When we had guests this summer, I gave them the best sheets, the ones with three holes instead of seven.

I've been reading this book,
Time to Eat the Dog? the real guide to Sustainable Living by Robert and Brenda Vale

 Product Details

What I like about it is it gives a scientific (argue as you like about that concept these days) overview on different carbon footprints. Here's a quote to give you an idea.

"It's not what you do, it's how you do it. We cannot do much about embodied energy, except to chose a small car and make it last a long time. We can, however, do quite a lot about fuel consumption." There is a comparator chart, Smart car vs. Toyota Landcruiser with different kinds of fuel consumption. It comes out the way you'd expect it would, the Landcruiser sucks. We've all been listening to car/fuel issues since the '60's or more.

The same goes for food, if you've been paying attention. Building methods are beginning to break into people's consciousness and a small number of people are thinking about stuff. Having too much of it, but a lot of these folks throw out or donate stuff, then trot out (or drive) to buy items that get the organic or local or living simply gold star. Bit of a goof up, that.

What is new to me, well not new, but confirmed, is the chapter on clothes, shoes, spare time, weddings, funerals, laundry and other household matters. All this is a long way of saying that it is more economic, money and carbon wise, for me to make pillowcases myself than to buy them already made. I save close to 30% in both areas.

My favourite quilt shop has a wonderful collection of flannels all year round. This pattern calls for .6m  for the body and .2m for the trim bit. This is the size for a queen pillow. I'm not sure if a king pillow is wider or not, otherwise it will work for those as well. For a twin size, I think .5m would work.  Their pattern uses cottons, but Steve and I prefer flannel.

Saving 30% on anything is worth considering if making it myself is a good idea. I have apron and pajama patterns all ready to tackle this week. Hopefully.

My other sewing adventure was with a scrap of half meter flannel. I cut the flannel top to bottom into 4 sections, sewed a tube, sewed up one end, poured in two tennis balls. Then I tied a knot at each end of the tube and you have the 'headache buster' Slip these tennis balls under the back of your skull, where the spine meets the skull and rest on it. The tension just seeps out. Let the balls slide down the spine, rest, slide, rest and you can massage your back using nothing but gravity and the about $2. of materials. I love it. We have two sets of these in the house already, upstairs and down. I always travel with a pair, they are brilliant after a long trip. The set above were a gift and the recipient loves them.

Time to blather on about a few other things. Videos. The bloody things. Two weeks ago I spent most of two days video-ing studio work and not a single one would upload to this site. I haven't spoken to the genius son about this, rather, I've just sulked about it. I will have to sort out the technical bugs before I try that again.

Writing has been going mostly well. Do you ever have that moment when you know you are learning something really important but you'd like to just strangle the teacher or the situation. The last 10 days or so, I've been having a pedagogical experience slamming me in the head nearly every day on the topic of plot. I had several tasks to do on plot. I could see the purpose before the task was completely outlined. The tasks were even things I had the kids do when we homeschooled. I was annoyed at myself for having to re-learn the whole thing again. But I followed instructions, I complied (not easy) and I have found the plot again. I can unroll from the fetal position.

This weekend past we had a "write your pants off" event. We had the weekend to find 24 hours and write like mad, on something already existing or something completely new. I chose something new and managed to write for a whole 6 hours straight. 22 pages of story. Then I needed a hot bath to unkink. We then attached our documents to some thingy that belongs to Humber College students and the others can read what has been written. We are then supposed to comment on each other's work. It sounds simple, but technically it's a killer. Any physically. I hope I get decent feedback.

It is -11 outside, that's with windchill. This morning was my first shift at the Out of the Cold Shelter. I was surprised to find only 7 guest using the beds. Good in that it means less work for me and hopefully people have other shelter, bad in that it is still needed. wouldn't it be terrific if the beds were all empty because everyone had safe, dignified housing

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