Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Weeeeeeee! Tye Dye In Your Nuker

Good thing I didn't click on the E-harmony 3 for 1 button! Turns out I wasn't really lonely, just had a wicked case of PMS. Thank goodness. I was starting to worry.

^^^^ This is about as close to plumbing talk I will ever get, so no worries. I'm done^^^^

Well, this blog has gotten sorely off topic as of late and I apologize to all of you for it. Here is a little crafty goodness to help bring it back.

How to tie dye in the microwave with Koolaid.

The good thing about a microwave is that is super heats water very quickly. The other good thing about a microwave- most people have one, they are pretty easy to use, and they are reasonably safe.

You can do this project with kids on a snowy or rainy day, but please don't let them near hot things. Use common sense and be careful. Steam and boiling water is hot, and Koolaid stains. Be smart, and have fun.

Things you need

1. white cotton tee shirt (or nylon/cotton tights, or onesies)

2. microwave safe ceramic or glass bowl- big enough to hold whatever you are dyeing.

3. Dye- in this case sugar free Koolaid powder or water based icing coloring.

4. squirt bottles, or glasses - something to dissolve dye in and put the dye onto the shirts.

5. water

6. plastic cling film aka saran wrap.

7. 1/2 cup of baking soda

8. Tongs or someway to turn your STEAMING HOT items while nuking.

9. (optional) cotton string.
10. Kitchen sink

Here is how you do it

1. PRE WASH white cotton tee shirts, tights, onesies or whatever you want to dye. -Note Acrylic and Polyester DO NOT DYE (not even a little)

2. dissolve your baking soda in a sink full of lukewarm water and pre-soak your item(s) to be dyed for about 30 minutes.

3. While you are pre-soaking your whites completely dissolve your dyes in small containers of warm water- the more dye in the water the darker the color will be.

4. Wring out your items to be dyed and arrange them one at a time on plastic wrap. If desired tie the item up with cotton string (not rubber bands).

5. Artistically squirt or dribble your dye onto your shirt/tights/onesie.

6. wrap up the item completely in the plastic wrap and place in microwave safe bowl

7. One item at a time---Nuke it! - I would start with 2 minutes on each side at medium power. YOU SHOULD CHECK YOUR ITEM EVERY 30 SECONDS to be sure it does not catch fire. You want the item to be steaming hot, almost boiling hot and you will be able to see the color developing thru the plastic wrap. If you are seeing the plastic turn burny stop and let the item cool completely before you touch it.

8. Let the item cool completely and remove it from the microwave, rinse thoroughly and enjoy!

Important notes:

All microwaves are different, therefore you should be really careful to not catch yours on fire.

If your item is not thoroughly wet- you run the very real chance of catching it on fire, burning your house down, and melting your microwave. Don't do this. Be sure your item in thoroughly wetted.

Some onesies have metal snaps. Do NOT put metal in your microwave. Duh.

Don't try to be clever and substitute RIT or some other commercial dye for Koolaid or food dye. You should not put fabric dye in your microwave if you plan to cook food in it afterwards.

******You can also do this with silk scarves or super wash wool yarn! Simply follow the above steps but substitute 1/2 cup of vinegar for baking soda. Be sure to skein your yarn out and tie it off in at least 4 places- so you can rinse it without it getting all tangled.

Yeah! Look at you fancy dye person.

Here a couple of scarves I have dyed in my microwave. I'm not really a tye dye tee shirt kinda gal, but I love a good tie dyed silk scarf.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

28. Maybe.....

It is because my birthday is stuck right between Christmas and Valentine's day, or maybe because all my friends are pairing up, or maybe because this week I have received facebook notices about 3 engagements and 2 weddings....but damn! As we like to say at work, my 'dinger' has gone off. This time last year I was happy, no, not happy... thrilled or maybe even elated to be single. This year I have to admit I'm (almost but not quite) lonely.

Today was my 28th birthday. I am planning a move to New York City. I have a small online business that is slowly but surely growing. I make my 'regular' living working in theatre; something that many people wish and hope and dream to someday do. I just lost 16 pounds! I am financially independent of my parents and I work in the arts (did I mention that?) Somehow all that still seems boring compared to my friends who are pairing up like animals for the flood!

I actually found myself flirting with a college student at a coffee shop today. I don't know how old he was, but he wasn't 28, and I didn't care!? WTF? I believe I have gotten a small taste of what it must feel like when your biological clock starts ticking and I am here to tell you -it isn't pretty.

Maybe the people at E-harmony have a special timer that tings with my biological clock, because today they sent me a 3 for 1 notice in my email, and I almost did it. geesh.

Well, on a nicer, less pathetic note I am participating in a craft fair the weekend before V-day at a place called The Space in Hamden, CT. Maybe there will be a nice crafty-artsy boy for me to oogle at there.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blogging for Choice

Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. I am participating in Blogging for Choice by well, blogging for choice. I know you are thinking this is gonna get ugly, but I am here to try to make it as pretty as possible.

Simply stated-I am Pro-Choice. Here is why. I believe, among other things that I, you, and the greater United States (especially the District of Colombia) cannot, should not and hopefully in my lifetime will not dictate women's reproductive health. Simple as that. I cannot understand another woman's life story- because I don't live it. Therefore I cannot dictate what is right for her. You cannot understand my life situation and story, and therefore you cannot dictate what is right for me. Although you and I may have had a similar upbringing, sociopolitical beliefs, religion, education and career path, you are not me and therefore cannot understand what my life is from my perspective and I cannot understand yours.

There is the sticking point. Perception and perspective. What a person perceive to be true is all that matters. My perception of my life lead me to move halfway across the country to a place I had barely visited and take a job for no more money in a place that costs more to live! To me it was a great decision because I perceived it to be a great decision. If you choose to have a baby-for whatever reason-you perceive it to be the right choice for you, and therefore it is. If I(or you) choose not to have a baby- for whatever reason- I (and you) perceive it to be the right choice, and therefore it is. If and woman in these great united states chooses to have a baby and give it to some other people to make a family, then that is the right choice for them, because they made the choice based on their life's perspective. And that's all that matters- perspective, baby.

The harsh reality is- women are going to continue to have abortions. We have been having them for Milena, herbal, self induced, medical, and positively medieval. Now we are lucky enough that an abortion is legal and safe. I hope in my life time I am never faced with the prospect of loosing a woman in my life, because she felt desperate and faced some horrific back-alley abortion simply because someone else didn't respect her right to her perspective. And there we are, back to that word. Perspective. I am more than Pro-Fucking-Choice. I am Pro- Perspective, mine, yours, and hers.

Here are some good links

Naral- One stop shopping for all things and information Pro-Choice.

Emily's List- A political action committee to help bring Pro-Choice to power.

Planned Parenthood-A national organisation that provides women's health services, birth control, emergency contraception, adoption services, and abortion counseling and services.

Feministing- The most bitchin' feminist place on the web.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Blog for Choice Day

I'll be blogging for choice tomorrow in honor of the 35th anniversary of the Roe Vs. Wade decision.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On Auto Shops and Feminists

A great thing about living alone is it gives you time to get inside your own head, indulge yourself in new things. A bad thing about living alone is you don't have someone else to temper you. You tend to grow quickly, indulge your whims and for better or for worse become your own magnifying glass. So, I have been doing some feminist reading over the last few months...and.....I have had some car trouble over the last 10 days or so.

Many women, when faced with car issues hand the keys over to their brother/father/husband/boyfriend and allow him to take care of the issue. I however, do not have this luxury as the closest male family member is about 900 miles away, and I am blissfully single. So I deal with my own car. I have been taking it for it's regular oil changes and tire rotations, just like a good consumer should. So when I got a flat (I changed it myself) and took the car in to have the tire patched.

The very nice person at the desk asked me if I needed any additional maintenance work done, and I happily informed them I just had it all taken care of, and all was well with the maintenance of my car. I got a phone call 4 hours later. The tire was patched, but the tires were in need of a rotation, badly. I asked a few more questions and ascertained that the garage that had been doing my 'maintenance' had not been rotating my tires, and furthermore, since I bought the tires from that garage, the rotations should have been free. And it is in these situations that I find myself asking the question....did this happen because I am a woman? The answer- I will never know, but the fact that I even think it makes me mad.

More than mad, it makes me sad. I am sad to see that women in this world no matter how intelligent, how educated, how powerful we are- we are still just dumb girls in many minds. This very issue has been brought to the spotlight in recent weeks in the way the media is covering Hillary Clinton's campaign, the way the candidates are talking about women's reproductive rights and the way I feel walking into an auto shop.

I'm beginning to see why women who read lots of 'feminist' literature and identify themselves as Feminists are seen as angry, and it just might be because we are.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Okay, so I know 2 posts in one day is a lot...but I just read this on feministing and I have to say. WTF?


Veggie Soup

This is an easy-peasy yummy soup. It can be made either vegan or meaty. It's great either way. I like to make a big pot of it on Sunday afternoon and eat it for lunches. It also works great in a slow cooker a.k.a. a crock pot.

1 large onion (larger than your fist) chopped into biggish pieces

2 large red potatoes (fist sized) unpeeled, chopped into slightly larger than 1" cubes

3 cloves of garlic smashed and minced

4 Celery stalks chopped

5 Large carrots chopped (about 1lbs. bag)

6 Cups of veggie or beef stock ---reserve one cup---

1 Can of your favorite tomato soup

1.5 lbs of super lean stew beef (optional)

1 bunch of parsley chopped with stems removed-usually sold in the produce isle of the grocery store

1Tbls of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tbls Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Rosemary (either fresh or dried)

In a big pot saute the onions in the olive oil and salt over medium heat until translucent about 3 minutes. Add garlic and if using beef, add beef and saute for about 2 minutes. Add stock and tomato soup allow to come to simmer. Add veggies, parsley and rosemary. Do not bring to full boil and cook over medium/medium low heat until veggies are done (and meat is almost falling apart) about 4 hours. Dissolve the flour in the reserved stock and add to soup, bring to low boil and stir continuously to thicken soup. Stores really well in the fridge for about 4 days.

If using a slow cooker- combine all ingredients (except reserved stock and flour) and cook over medium for 8 hours. Dissolve flour in reserved stock and add to pot. Crank it up to high and cook it for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.


Friday, January 11, 2008


I need a man in my life. Why? Here's why.

1. My cat barfed in my bed twice last week

2. My car died yesterday and I had to deal with 3 auto-repair shops to have it fixed.

3. I got a flat tire tonight.

4. I got a $647.15 auto property tax bill in the mail.

Oh my!, says the feminist, you don't need a man for any of those things. Yeah, true. I cleaned up the cat barf and changed the sheets. I was smart enough to know I shouldn't ignore the check engine light, took it to the various repair shops and had the repair covered under the warranty. This is the 3rd flat tire I have dealt with in the last 2 years, so I know how to safely change a tire and get myself back on the road. I knew the tax bill would come so I have been squirreling away money to pay it, even on my limited not-for-profit salary. I can deal with all those things, but my beer is empty and I really don't wanna get up right now, so if I had a man in my life- he'd probably be nice and get me one.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Craftivsm I

As I was listening to NPR (as usual) and a story came on about a twenty something tailor's apprentice, the small but mighty push towards craftivism and not being a mass consumer. The story got me thinking, thinking about my life, my work, and my place within a bigger movement. What is my place in all of this craftivism?

The Arts and Crafts movement of the 19th and 20th centuries was a push towards beautiful high quality, handmade, pieces furniture and decorative arts. I'm sure at the time the original people involved were thought of as nuts for their push for handmade in a time of industrial revolution. Just as right now craftivists are looked as subversive, anti-establishment feminists by people who can easily purchase cheap mass-produced goods made in our new global economy.

The difference now- with the advent of the Internet you can read all about the lives and musings of artists and craftspeople, find ones that have the same politics as you, ones with your worldview. You can easily be informed about where and how your goods are produced. As and informed consumer it is much harder (for me) to purchase anything without questioning it's origin, sustainability and larger impact.

I find myself asking all the hard questions when I shop now. Where was this made? Was the person who made it payed a living wage? Is this cup of coffee fairly traded, does the barista have health insurance? Did these eggs and this milk come from animals who were pinned up and pumped full of hormones? I'm sure my life would be much simpler if I didn't ask these questions. I know my grocery bill would be lower. but would I be happier? I doubt it, and besides, my life would be so boring and predictable without wonderful handmade goods.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Monsters in the Night

Last time I started monster and ended up kitty cat. This time I took the same approach, just in reverse. I thought I would feel inspired with some more felt and eyeballs. I went to the store and bought the most candy colored, kid-flavored bright felt I could find and some eyeballs that look like a cross between a cat and a reptile. I brought them home, made some dinner and got to it. Monsters were born! Not exactly scary, but monsters all the same. I like the pink one the best. I named him Etienne, but you can just call him Steve.

I'm not sure if this was the kind of monster my friend was thinking I would create, but a monster is a monster- at least on this blog.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Slightly Spicy Vegan Pumpkin Soup

This soup is a sweet and spicy yummy vegan pot-o-gold. If you like creamier soups puree the whole thing, if you like chunky soups omit the puree entirely. It is a great one to take to work as it stores nicely for about 4 days in the fridge. Mmmmm winter squash and curry!

Slightly Spicy Vegan Pumpkin Soup


2 Tbls. Olive Oil

1 Large Onion (slightly larger than fist sized) chopped

1 Large Red Potato (fist sized) chopped into 1” cubes- peeled or not

1 Large Sweet Potato (long as your hand) chopped into 1” cubes- peeled or not

1 cup of chopped carrots – about ½” pieces

3 cloves of garlic smashed and chopped (or use 3 frozen cubes)

30 oz ‘box’ of vegetable broth (you can also use Chicken Broth)

15oz can of pumpkin

2 Tbls. flour

2 tsp. of Curry Powder- you may want more or less- if you don’t really like spicy food start with 1 tsp (you can add more at the end)

½ tsp. of Cumin

½ tsp. of Nutmeg

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp pepper

In large pot saute onions in oil until translucent (about 3 minutes) add garlic and salt; sauté for another 2 minutes. Add flour, curry powder, cumin and nutmeg and sauté for another minute. Add broth, give it a good stir and bring to a boil. Add carrots and boil for about 4 or 5 minutes. Add pepper, potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover to cook the veggies until done- somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes.
Take off the heat and allow soup to cool. Once cooled, puree about half the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot and re-heat. Mmmm vegan curried pumpkin soup. Tastes really great with Naan bread or a toasted English Muffin.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

♥ New Year, New Look ♥

Huh! What?

Oh yeah people. In an attempt to get out with the old and in with the new I'm reworking and revamping my Internet life.

I've been spending lots of time in the etsy forums reading about how different sellers promote their shops, and in my opinion a clean, fresh, new look is what it's about.

Therefore- I'm updating the look and feel of my blog and my etsy site. I've replaced my banner, I'm working on my pictures and photography and working on focusing my line of products. If you have an opinion (or would pretend to have one for a few moments) please fill out this questionnaire and post it in comments. -just a note- I'm allowing anonymous comments on this blog just for this purpose. Please be honest and constructive. A bunch of 'oh it's great!' is not helpful.

1. How did you hear about http://www.etsy.com/ ?

2. How often do you buy things online?

3. Do you think http://www.catherinette.etsy.com/ prices are too high, too low, or just right?

4. Do you perceive free shipping to be a great value, a good value, a fair value, or of no value?

5. Would you rather visit multiple etsy shops or just one with several different items?

6. What other products would you like to see http://www.catherinette.etsy.com/ sell?

7. Overall how do you feel about the photos and listing descriptions on http://www.catherinette.etsy.com/?

8. Overall what do you think of the look of this blog?

9. How did you find about this blog?

10. Any additional comments?


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

from Monster to Narwhal?

Sometimes my brain works in very strange ways. So strange in fact, that I don't even understand it.

My friend Dan suggested I make some monster pin cushions. Seemed like a good idea to me too, so I start patterning a one horned monsters. I made a maquette, and it didn't look like a monster to me. It looked like a backwards whale, so I added a tail and a horn and here is a Narwhal!

Then I thought maybe a red spotty monster with 3 eyes... and then I actually looked at the mock-up, added a little more black and voila! a ladybug was born

Okay, now really something scary, something dark and sinister, something freaky, maybe change the body shape, play around a bit. Made the maquette looked again, and it became a cat. It might have been the black cat sleeping on my lap that influenced me, but either way, I started monster and ended up kittycat.

I don't know where all the cutesy stuff came from, but here it is and just in time for Valentines day. Maybe next week I'll try to make a hamster and a scary beast will be born. Happy New Year!