Wednesday, January 12, 2022


The claim here is that major food shortages in 2022 are likely to be limited to urban areas.

In 2020, the pattern was often that rural stores were last to be stocked; the trucks were sent out from the cities to the nearest stores first.

And the likelihood is that if food becomes very scarce, it will be used to keep order in the metropolitan areas.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Mostly good

The holidays went well for us, aside from me discovering that the freezer plug had been knocked loose, and that the food in the freezer was well above refrigerator temperature.  It is not a large freezer, and it was only about half full, so it was not a huge loss, just disappointing.

I set up a sewing station for myself in our library, and have been working on a sewing project using a commercial dress pattern.  I used an old sheet to make a "muslin" version first, for fittings and pattern adjustments, which turned out to be a very good idea, as the initial fit was poor, being far too small in several places, and large in others.  I did find a zipper in my stash, and I had the fabrics and thread already, so the only cash outlay was for the pattern.

I ignored my mending pile from about Labor Day until Christmas, but after that did most of the easier repairs.

Last month I also made a batch of homemade laundry soap, using scraps of bar soap, and borax and washing soda (recipe should be in one of the posts under the recipes tag), now that we are no longer living in a rental with a high-efficiency washer.  I've previously worked out that this laundry soap does tend to leave a thin build-up of soap scum over the laundry, but that that probably protects the fibers to some extent.  I still use regular detergent for my husband's clothes.  The grocery store was out of borax for several weeks, but eventually restocked.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Paper bag Christmas stars

We made some paper bag stars like these at a Christmas gathering.  We used glue sticks, not a glue gun, though.  They looked good with brown bags, but I think white bags would be better.

We found that it took at least 8 lunch bags per star, to make it full enough to come around full circle. 

I thought a little about making a similar shape with a big accordion-folding of paper at home, but haven't actually tried it out.

This reminds me that I am also planning to make coffee filter watercolored paper flowers again.


I got my Christmas shopping more or less done, and most of it in one round of going into one store after another right before closing time.  I was blessed to be able to find some good things in the limited time that I had.

Last weekend we had 8+ inches of snow, most of which melted as the thunderstorms came through.  No storm damage here, although there was an unusual and oppressive feeling in the air as the storm approached.

I've done a few little experimental projects, aside from gift-making.  One was to flatten a peach can and play around with shaping the metal.  It was easy to cut with tin snips of the giant-scissors style.

Another was to do a quick little crochet snowflake using string, in the same style as this hanging, where the crochet is colored and stiffened afterward with paint.

I am planning to run some more scraps of fabric through the laminator, and perhaps to do some more woodcarving for gifts.

An embroidery I am working on is proceeding, although I've not put much time into it:  a little scene of a shack in the woods.  It will probably turn out well just because I am too busy to overwork it.

One child has ambitiously planned and made the gingerbread for a gingerbread village.  Another is preparing for a cooperative Christmas craft booth effort with friends next year.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Snowy and cold

I'm not sure hot glue is the best material for sealing gaps around a window frame, but I had a small below-zero breeze coming into my bedroom, and it was worth a try.  I expect that it will be easier to remove than caulk.

My most recent hot glue craft project was gluing white cardboard leaves onto a cardboard rectangle.  It turned out okay, but proved a little harder to hang up than the effort I wanted to put into it.

I've also been carving two little wooden goblets for toys, using a well-seasoned section of maple branch.  I've decided to not put a finish on them, or even to sand them.  I used a Swedish slojd (don't know how to do the umlauts; aka sloyd) knife from Rockler that I got for Christmas last year.  It is a bit large for most of the woodcarving that I do, but worked well in this case.  My husband has one too, and somehow managed to break the tip of the blade off.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Around town

Two Twin Cities Best Buy stores looted in organized robberies.  Two stores on almost opposite sides of the metro area, same day and time.  "Police are investigating if these similar crimes were connected in any way."

Biden is expected to visit on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

It's as good as it gets here... terms of getting the house organized and decluttered in between the busiest seasons.  I washed many of the windows before the weather turned cold, and have been able to conquer most of the messy areas.

I started an embroidery project for a Christmas gift.  I bought an embroidery hoop for it, but already had everything else.

I also have a couple of woodcarving projects in mind.  My husband brought home a woodburner, and we've been trying it out.  From looking at comic series art, I think the way to go with that is to do the shading first, and then add the fine lines and details.

The Twin Cities had some protests following the Rittenhouse verdict, but nothing near us.

We are well-supplied for Thanksgiving, and are thankful for what we have.  

The children have requested six different kinds of pie.