Thursday, January 26, 2012

apropos of nothing

I've noticed this weird driving etiquette in Providence: if someone is trying to turn left and there's an unending stream of on-coming traffic, some driver will invariably slow and flash their brights so the left-turner can sneak through. Actually it goes for right-turners, too, and buses, and pretty much anyone caught in a tight spot.

This city has some serious traffic-flow problems -- lots of one-lane streets, wonky five-street intersections, and chutes-and-ladders interchanges -- so it strikes me as a creative and uncommonly civil solution to give a fellow driver an extra inch to squeeze in.

There are plenty of assholes on the road, don't get me wrong (high on my pet-peeve list are those who sail through red lights just because they feel they've been waiting long enough), but the courtesy of other drivers trumps them. Incredibly, it's the perfect antidote to road rage. I've actually started looking for opportunities to let people in, and I feel bad when I miss them.


I have a head cold and feel like I'm wearing a diving bell, which may be why I'm writing about traffic and seriously contemplating further research into it.

Carry on, then!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

from the workshop

Here's a little sample of what I was up to last month (you know, aside from weatherproofing):

 (well, this is kind of like weatherproofing, if you're like me and have feet that are basically never warm from November to April)

All of these were made to order, so they're not for sale, but I still have most of these fabrics so if you see something you like, give me a holler.

I haven't been painting lately, which is frustrating, but at least I still get to play with colors and textures.

It is satisfying to have warmed & prettified lots of feet this winter, though.


Friday, January 13, 2012


Hey! I've been MIA for the past couple of months. It's been one of those so-much-to-say-that-I-forgot-what-I-was-going-to-say kind of seasons. But mainly I've been sewing slippers, watching Portlandia, and weatherproofing my windows.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a project that has pretty much sucked from the start, and has steadily gotten worse and worse to the point where you're questioning how worth it is to finish, but the reason you can't stop now is because LOOK HOW MUCH TIME I HAVE PUT IN ALREADY. Giving up now is like losing to Father Time. Regret, woe, wrinkle cream ensue.

It has taken an embarrassing amount of time to weatherproof the windows. Fortunately for us, the winter has been unseasonably mild, but really that's just another excuse for why I don't have to finish weatherproofing the windows TODAY. So the plastic has been lying in a heap in the front parlor all week, partially obscured by books and toys and shame.

The only fun part of this process is using the hairdryer to shrink-fit the plastic so it's tight as a drum across the window. Sadly, that accounts for the last 90 seconds of two hours' worth of work getting the tape up and cutting plastic sheets to fit the windows. This took twice as long for me because our windows are 64" high and the plastic is only 62" long. I ended up using the double-sided tape to add extensions to the bottom of each panel, but there was lots of cursing under my breath and hating the people who designed the kit for, I don't know, 20th century houses or whatever.

High ceilings and tall windows are so charming!*

*only in the summer time

Yesterday Auden was horsing around in the front parlor doing who-knows-what while I was in the kitchen having a snack with Isla. Moments later I heard the unmistakable crash, tinkle of a window breaking.

By the time I came out, he was already mid-flow in a steady stream of I'm sorry's, as if to physically retract what had just happened. Which was that he threw some duplo legos up in the air, and instead of going up, they went over there, to that window. That window with no plastic on it yet.

I'm not sure how old a window has to be in order to be broken by hollow plastic blocks, but I'm guessing pretty old. If the wavy uneven funhouse-mirror effect of glass returning to its liquid state is any indication, I'd say it was pretty old. If the drafty joints and rotting sashes are any clue at all, I'd say.... okay, you get the point. This house was built in 1890, maybe these windows are originals!

So now you can see them, the Telltale Legos, lying between the inside pane and the outside storm window, surrounded by shards of broken glass; sad, forlorn, maybe a little guilty. The storm window keeps the weather from totally coming in, but the irony of the timing of this accident is pretty poetic. The plastic is fairly laughing at me from its heap, not three feet away. And of course now I can't finish weatherproofing until the carpenter comes to fix the window and replace it.

On Monday.

Happy Weekend, to you too!