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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The camera never lies subtitle: how to waste time for non-beginners

I am wrapping up this week having waved goodbye to my son from New York, and gearing up for a weekend with the little girls doing a multi-night sleepover while their parents get a well earned break and some fun time at a wedding in another part of the province.

I am of course crazy about my son who lives so happily in New York and will be heading down there for a visit end of November I think. My daughter and son-in-law will be there earlier so we are going to space ourselves out a bit. Us folks from Nova Scotia operate on the assumption that anyone who moves away must be just dying without the relatives so we try to make sure they are never alone- as much as seat sales allow.

This trip my son didn't have his girlfriend with him, she is in the middle of big and interesting work projects, either that or lying in a dark room somewhere with a cold cloth on her head recovering from the last round of visitations, and I really did miss having her here too.

Don't get me wrong, I raised this guy and did a real good job, but he is a guy and there is a limit really to what you can do.

I'll give you and example.

They have just moved into an apartment in Brooklyn and I want to do a housewarming thing. Of course I want to make it. In my worldview a person doesn't need a mother to do what you can buy at a store. So when I was home I asked him, "I really want to make you something for your apartment, what would you like?"

His response was, "well I am not sure we want to clutter the place up."

This is not an answer. Not a reasonable person answer, so I really wish his girlfriend had been with him. She gets it. I can talk about projects or all the stuff that is moving around inside my head and she knows what I mean. 

I don't need a translator.

I really like her. I think I will just email her instead now, go direct.

As I wrote last post I have been up to my eyeballs, with family stuff, with students (I taught summer school) and now with coordinating a new program we have got going.

Just so you know when you take over someone's job and they are sooo delighted and rush over all the files and thank you publicly in all the meetings, well that may not be a good sign and there might be a lot of pages in those files with the page twos missing so to speak.

All that said I have done an enormous amount of stress relieving project planning (we are going minimalist this fall owing to the time crunch not the runways) have almost finished a StyleArc dress (can't find the battery recharging part so the photos are probably going to be taken by an almost four year old with an iPad this weekend, take that into consideration when you see them), and have been engaging in some excellent time wasting.

First off I read this piece in the NYTimes before terrorists took the site down this week (this really happened) on how lipstick was toxic which I knew anyway but up until this week didn't care about.

I decided however that I might as well care so I invested in a cool bunch of mini samples of mineral makeup from this outfit

Since the samples arrived I have been doing major fooling around in the bathroom where I apply one of the samples on my unmade up nearly 60 year old face and then take an iPad picture of it, (that's when I realized the recharger had gone AWOL), find my glasses and take a look.

It is really interesting to me how things I wouldn't normally wear look so different in the bathroom mirror than they do in an actual picture. Much like when you make something which you think is splendid until you take a blog shot and realized it makes you look dumpy.

Same phenomenon.

This is really pretty fun and both Mr. Rascal and I are very entertained by this process, which owing to the number of samples I ordered is going to be going on for a few more days (the little girls are going to love this).

Here is what this high level process looks like, which you might find interesting if you don't see nearly 60 year old women's faces without makeup except one part with her natural hair colour and natural baggy eyes often enough:

Au natural except for some purple mineral eyeshadow and some lipstick made of organic something or other.

Googly eye glasses with some dark powder type eyeliner added, no mascara nothing else. BTW I also have a pink smaller pair of glasses but I have to say the big nerdy glasses are good for seeing, which if you are talking eyeglasses has some relevance.

This is a pretty fun way to waste some time and my one revelation is that this stuff actual seems to stick to your face pretty good which surprises me, since it is all essentially loose powder.

In addition I have also worked on the smallest of sewing projects. My youngest son has lots of theories about most things and one of those is that the tiniest bit of light keeps people awake.

His solution is to go sleep in a forest or something but I like my running water and power plugs, but it is true sometimes I don't sleep - a pattern that started waiting to hear that teenage kid open the door and rolling over to see what the time was on the digital clock, before they moved to New York and the forest. The pattern of broken sleep of course continued with The Change and things like fair isle vest knitting,  nailing down the sub sections of the meaning of life, and wondering if this year I should be a dress person or a skirt person.

Long and short of it I made these little numbers, one for summer and one for winter, although with there being more light in the summer I think I have to season reverse them. And yes that is lingerie elastic you see:

The thing is.

These eyeshade really work. I haven't slept this well in years. Seriously. They even worked to help me get back to sleep when the phone rang at 3:00 a.m. and it was a student, you know the one who had called me at home that afternoon to ask for an emergency extension because she had strep throat and had a fever of 103.

"Opps," she said, yelling over the sounds of the bar. "I must have pocket dialed you."

Yep my sleep mask worked great and I went to bed with a smile on my face knowing whose paper I would be marking first Monday morning.


Pattyskypants said...


Jane M said...

Oh the new found joys of a sleep mask. I prided myself for years on being able to sleep anywhere anytime. We know where pride leads.... Yes, the sleep masks really work wonderfully and still let me keep enough ambient light (via semi-urban life with streetlights and yard lights) to make my way safely to another room in the middle of the night. One of mine has lingerie elastic as well, LOL.

badmomgoodmom said...

I just want to post a PSA from a former analytical chemist. "Natural" cosmetics are not a guarantee against lead. In fact, studies have shown that lipsticks made with "natural mineral" colourants are higher in lead than those made with synthetic colourants.

Why? Because earth minerals contain a mix of things, including lots of heavy metals. Lead is the most common and ubiquitous metal, and too much of the other heavy metals can also be hazardous to your health.


That said, how much lipstick do you really eat? Unlike candy, which you ingest on purpose, you .wear. lipstick and try to avoid licking or rubbing it off.

It's probably ok to have a little lead in your lipstick because the overall dose is likely to be lower than the amount of lead you drink in your water and the air that you breathe--and no one is advising you to stop drinking water or breathing.

Dr Kristin Sainani does a good job explaining the science in her free online class.

SewRuthie said...

Fantastic, your posts just make me smile.

How did you make the eye protectors?
I've gone for a blackout blind + lined curtains but then have a very brightly glowing digital clock!

Judi Pinkham said...

Way too funny...you always make my day!!!

Martha said...

What a great post. Thank you!

meredithp said...

You slay me. :-) Have fun marking those papers. :-)

Barbara said...

Ruthie I just google DIY sleep masks and found a .pdf. The only change I might make again is to cut out a bigger curve for my nose. Depends on the schnoz of course.