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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

One Person's Trash Is Another Person's Treasure

I'm going to be deliberately vague about the circumstances surrounding this story, but I've been giggling about it ever since it happened, so I wanted to share.

I'm part of an organization that hosted an event catered by a local deli.  When this deli delivered the food, it included a ginormous container of lemon wedges.  Seriously, they must have cut up five or six lemons to fill the container they provided.  In my mind, this was an excessive quantity, especially considering that they were meant to go with a mere gallon of iced tea.  Suffice to say, we had a great many lemon wedges left over.

After this event, I was working with a couple of other people to triage the remaining food.  I asked them what they wanted to do with the lemon wedges, and wasn't surprised when they told me to toss them.  However, maybe a minute or so later--after I had already turned my attention to some of the other remaining food--someone who's part of the organization but wasn't part of this event piped up that she would like to have the lemon wedges.

I can see speaking up for something like sandwiches or a fruit plate, but lemon wedges?  Something that combines inexpensiveness, ease of preparation, and lack of palatability in the absence of some other food item?  Doesn't asking for a leftover container of lemon wedges pretty much cement your reputation as an excessively frugal eccentric?  I think if I had wanted something like leftover lemon wedges, I would have tried to abscond with them quietly for fear of drawing too much attention to my idiosyncrasies.

When I broke the bad news that I had already deep-sixed this valuable item, this person just gave me a dirty look and walked away. 

Am I a wasteful person who just committed the food equivalent of blowing my nose on dollar bills?  Have I made an enemy for life by throwing out a container of lemon wedges?  Was I just dealing with an extreme case of someone taking life's lemons and hoping to make lemonade?  Whatever the case, it was worth the entertainment it brought me.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sewing From A Kit

I've been making jewelry since I was a kid, and in all that time, I never thought of myself as a kit person.  I always felt that if you planned projects and sourced materials on your own, you could both control costs and customize projects to your own specifications.  However, both sourcing materials and customizing are easier when you really know what you're doing.  I've learned this the hard way as I've tried to improve my sewing, and have realized that I don't always know what sorts of modifications are possible/advisable.

So when I read positive reviews of several of the bag kits from this Etsy shop, I was intrigued.  As luck would have it, I had been thinking I could use a bag to take to work--something that would hold lunch, an umbrella, and my water bottle, but be less cumbersome than a backpack.  Nice bags (and even no-so-nice bags) are often kind of pricey anyway, so I thought maybe I should buy a kit and make one myself so that I could learn some more sewing skills.

Anyway, it worked out nicely!  I'm sure a more experienced seamstress would have done a neater job in sections than I did, but I'm perfectly happy with how it turned out, and looking forward to using it as my commute bag.  These are some of my thoughts on the experience:

1.  I have a more positive attitude toward kits now.  It was really nice to have everything I needed to make the bag aside from regular sewing thread just show up in one package.  I'm not even really sure where to buy some of the items like the bag hardware, so it was nice to not have to waste a lot of time looking.

2.  I think having everything arrive at once really motivated me.  I finished this bag in about a week (and that's a week of whatever free time I have left after work, class, and other stuff that needs to be done; my leisure time is not all that plentiful).

3.  As far as these particular kits go, this one was great.  I thought all of the materials were of good quality, and the pattern instructions were very clear.  I would definitely buy from that shop again.

4.  The thing that made making this bag easier than apparel sewing was not having to worry about size or fit.  What made it harder was sewing through a lot of thick materials.  My sewing machine was grumbling at times.  However, this experience spurred me to finally learn how to use the clearance plate that came with my machine to deal with thick seams.  So I've learned a skill that will transfer to lots of other sewing projects.

And here are a couple pictures of my sewing kit success!

I added a pen pocket so that I'd always be able to find a pen when I needed it.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Spectacles We Create For Others To Enjoy

I lost my gloves on Tuesday.  Usually, when I lose something, I don't know how I lost it.  I do this time, though.  I was making a mad dash for the Metro, and after the doors closed behind me, I realized my gloves were no longer in my pocket.  My mad dash was all for the lofty goal of...getting to work five minutes earlier?  I don't understand myself sometimes.

It occurred to me later that I was probably a pretty entertaining sight to people on the platform.  Imagine me doing a completely graceless sprint toward the closest open door, leaping onto the train, gloves flying out of my coat pocket.  I hope I at least gave someone a good laugh on a workday morning. 

And I hope someone is making good use of those gloves.