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Domestic semi-bliss: 5 things 17.10.18

  • I’ve been quietly enjoying the time I spend these days on hausfrau stuff. Not so much scrubbing the toilets, but just pottering about keeping the household running. It’s quite satisfying, when it’s neither the only thing I have going on, nor something I have to squeeze in around the corners of an over-full working life. Having decided to dial down the design stuff as well, I have time and mental space to take care of things like mending and re-organising bookshelves and clearing stuff out, all of which is long overdue and rather rewarding.
  • The tiny bit of space I’ve managed to empty on the shelves is of course already more than spoken for. I’ve bought a couple of books lately that, arguably, aren’t even all that useful – or at least, necessary? – and yet seemed irresistible. This book is inspiration more than anything else; every project looks very much like every other project and the concept is as simple as it gets, but every step is shown in such beautiful and clear detail,* it does provide a lot of encouragement to go along with the inspiration. (For more variety of mending techniques, I can recommend Mend it Better, but this is still well worth having.) And then of course there’s this book, with a title that is just ridiculously meta and really if you have basic cooking skills do you even need it? But yes, yes I think I do, and again, it’s a gorgeous thing, this book.
  • Oh and then there is this on the way. I have the Designer book already (also on sale right now, if you’re wondering), and I can report that (a) it is fantastically produced and extremely thorough, but (b) I haven’t used it at all because of lack of time and also frankly a lot of overwhelm. It’s not the absolute beginner tome I had hoped for; it’s aimed more at those who are switching to Affinity from other packages, but already understand the basics. Which… I don’t. As I regularly wail, drawing software makes me cry. I periodically learn a little, at great effort, and then forget it all in the months before I next have reason to use the program, and get greatly frustrated all over again. So. It’s a problem. BUT I haven’t stopped wanting to learn, and it seems like the kind of thing I can maybe make space for in my new life.
  • Basically, I hesitate to say this, but I might finally be achieving some kind of… balance? A life that includes paid work, but not too much, and family management, but manageably, and enough time for me that I can do useful stuff in a gentle, no-pressure kind of way, and not freak out any time a new social thing impinges on my schedule? That would be… that would be nice.
  • Still have a pretty serious sleep debt to repay, though. And it’s most definitely past time to invest some energy in cooking and eating properly, getting exercise and all that. I’m no longer EXHAUSTED but I’m still pretty run down. Baby steps.

No 17 of #reallynot52recipes: chocolate muffins from a Swiss book “Cupcakes & Muffins”. Yes, that’s the exact title, even though it’s German. Typisch Schwiiz. We also have “Trips Mit Kids”. Anyway, the muffins were… fine. I’m not mad at them. But I still haven’t found a chocolate muffin recipe I really like, so, if you have one, chuck it over, won’t you?  

* With one exception that I’m a little mad about, viz, there are scattered references to plant dyeing and specifically to the avocado pit dyeing technique in a specific project. “See page 160” appears in at least two or three places where this dye is mentioned. Page 160 holds the instructions for a mending project that uses the dyed fabric and thread… but doesn’t say a single word about the actual dyeing. I’m going to assume that was a late change of plan and they just forgot to remove all those references to a tutorial they suddenly decided not to include, but I’m still cross.

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