I’ve gotten back into the habit of biting my nails with the added bonus of tearing at my cuticles when I’m out of nails to bite. Thanks, 2020!
Long-time readers will know this is an ongoing struggle for me, only stopped when my nails look pretty. However, in the last decade of being an on-again, off-again nail biter, I’ve also realized that my fingernails can’t handle any kind of polish–not even the 5-free, 8-free, non-acetone, “no harsh chemicals” kinds. Any long-term use of polish will make them peel…and let me tell you, if you think picking at some ragged cuticles is fun, try picking at your actual nails as they flake into nothingness!
I was doing OK at having healthy naked nails and leaving them alone until I started working from home in March, where I was free to just put my fingers in my mouth all day long. What to do?
I saw someone raving about nail stickers in an Instagram story and thought, “Let’s try it.” Reader, they are incredible. They’re literally just vinyl stickers shaped like fingernails. There’s usually 20 in a pack, they last about a week, and when you’re done, you can just peel them off–no removers needed. And if it’s a really bad day, you can just peel them off early and leave your cuticles alone.
This wasn’t entirely a present, since my brother bought the fabric a year ago, but I guess I gave him the gift of finally sewing it up. It’s quilting cotton, so it’s a little rough, but the print is pretty great. (And seasonal!)
Here’s a closeup, along with the snazzy black pearl snaps from SnapSource:
(It’s not my most perfect pattern matching but it’s pretty good.)
This is Simplicity 3852 again, really straightforward and fast to sew up. I have a new interfacing hack, which I used here: take non-fusible intergfacing or just regular muslin and spray baste it to the fabric with Odif 505 (discovered thanks to lingerie sewing blogs). It works wonderfully and I will never fuse with an iron again, only to have it fail in the first wash.
Somehow in the last decades of living on my own I shifted from thinking about my brother as my sibling to thinking about him as a person. But lately I’ve been going back to thinking of him as my brother, remembering that we have that shared experience, the feeling of being on a team (Team Let’s Pretend, Team Stay Up Late, Team Don’t Tell Mom & Dad).
He and I have the same memories. Yes, from when we were kids, but also from being teens, watching MTV, figuring out the world, even Mom’s illness. That feeling of having someone who knows your history like that that is so reassuring. That’s what a sibling gives you, and that solidity is something I’ve taken for granted.
My brother is someone who will fight like hell for his family. He’s the person I’d call if I needed to get rid of a body or rig up a camp to survive the apocalypse. He is incredibly smart, sensitive, caring, and open and he’s been a good friend and good brother to me my whole life–even when I didn’t admit it.
Therapy has taught me that relationships and feelings take work, but that the work is worth it. I’m grateful I can work on myself and strengthen my oldest friendship: the one with my brother. Happy birthday, Alan. I love you.
1. Anne Helen Petersen writes about musical taste and losing yourself in an album as a youth–maybe it’s because we’re about the same age, but this made me incredibly nostalgic:
I listened to music while doing homework, while driving to school…while staring into space, while falling asleep, while waiting for the dial-up internet to work, while thinking about boys, while talking on the phone, while reading, and while, again, staring into space. This music wasn’t just my background, though—I feel it’s essential to make that clear. It was the foreground, the thread that helped the rest of my life make sense, helped me make sense to myself.
2. If you need a new album to listen to in its entirety because you’re overcome with nostalgia, Austin Kleon featured 31 of them in August.
3. A must-watch: I Felt Beautiful, But You Made Me Feel Different
This came through this very morning from the Poets.org newsletter. Ada Limon is getting to be a favorite of mine and this is just wonderful–” a small spasm of joy I did not imagine/ when I woke.”
Give Me This
by Ada Limón
I thought it was the neighbor’s cat back
to clean the clock of the fledgling robins low
in their nest stuck in the dense hedge by the house
but what came was much stranger, a liquidity
moving all muscle and bristle. A groundhog
slippery and waddle thieving my tomatoes still
green in the morning’s shade. I watched her
munch and stand on her haunches taking such
pleasure in the watery bites. Why am I not allowed
delight? A stranger writes to request my thoughts
on suffering. Barbed wire pulled out of the mouth,
as if demanding that I kneel to the trap of coiled
spikes used in warfare and fencing. Instead,
I watch the groundhog closer and a sound escapes
me, a small spasm of joy I did not imagine
when I woke. She is a funny creature and earnest,
and she is doing what she can to survive.
Obviously no sewing happened while the power was out, but I did start my next knitting project: the Aquamarline Sweater from Park&Knit. It’s everything I ask for in a sweater (seamless, bulky weight, colorful) PLUS it uses up odds and ends from the stash.
The pattern is written to allow you to do whatever you want with the colors, but I’m thinking a rainbow ombre would be nice, like these two finished projects:
@stellarino.stitches on Instagram
PandaGoUrgh on Ravelry
Stay tuned for the finished sweater (probably 2021 if we’re being honest).
Hello again! I only planned to not post on Monday last week..but the Wasatch Front saw hurricane force winds Tuesday as a storm moved in and we were without power from Tuesday morning to Sunday evening.
It was fine in the bigger scheme of things (especially compared with the fires in Oregon and California) but frustrating at times (goodbye, everything in the freezer).
But the power is BACK now! I pretty much spent Sunday night using different appliances and turning on the lights.
1. More Instagram:
Can I recommend playing You Are Jeff Bezos to get an idea of how much money that really is?
The ruling class has figured out that a happy and productive population with free time on their hands is a mortal danger…And, on the other hand, the feeling that work is a moral value in itself, and that anyone not willing to submit themselves to some kind of intense work discipline for most of their waking hours deserves nothing, is extraordinarily convenient for them.
[…] If 1% of the population controls most of the disposable wealth, what we call ‘the market’ reflects what they think is useful or important, not anybody else.