New shoes! To replace the well-worn, well-loved Skullies. These have red roses on GRAPH PAPER. I love graph paper! Good for designing, and working out plans for forts. Also good for Eric’s new Sudoku addiction.

After Matt’s radio show and chowing down at the Miss Florence diner, we explored the impressive and large Bookends used bookstore, where I met the most plush cat I’ve ever seen and found this gem from 1978:

The ISBN turned up nothing, and neither did a Google search, but it’s a really interesting read. I may have mentioned it before, but I have a habit that usually garners some sort of teasing about biological alarm clocks going off. I have a small collection of things going for any future children I might have. Things like Roald Dahl books, The Adventures of Pete and Pete DVDs, Dale of Norway patterns, and now this cool book about decommercializing holidays.

Last week I stayed up all night to sew a new pillowcase…by hand. I still haven’t started using the amazing antique sewing machine that Gail gave me. This is silly of me, but I do love the look of hand sewing. I decided to try to make some simple curtains for the apartment, since we’re staying in the same one for another year, and it could use some spiffing.

Top to bottom: a Kaffe Fassett manly stripe for the living room (it kind of matches the hardwood floors), a really cool metallic print for throwpillows, hilarious deer print flannel for another pillowcase, green and brown leaf print for the bedroom’s curtains, eyelet for the kitchen or maybe an apron, and some very soft cotton to make myself some sort of sleepwear, hopefully nicer looking than all of my Old Navy PJ pants.

More day off fun–I went to Barnes and Noble to mine decorating ideas and read through magazines I can’t afford, like Selvedge ($20) and Delicious ($9 and from Australia), and books I can’t afford, like Quilts by Denyse Schmidt and Mason-Dixon Knitting from Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne. I love both books and will buy them one day! I really can’t get over how enjoyable Mason-Dixon Knitting is–the patterns are incredibly original, and that is coming from someone who spends her days absolutely immersed in knitting. I hadn’t really been a reader of their joint blog, so the hilarious and sharp writing was a surprise. It reminded me of Amy Sedaris, decidedly Southern but with a darkly comedic edge. The stand-out projects for me are the curtains inspired by champange, the linen robe which looks like a dramatic kimono and all of their creative knits for the home. I can’t wait to read this thing cover to cover.

Even though I had a dull headache (the good kind, if that makes sense) I ended my outing with a trip to the Jones Library. I wanted to pick up Color by Victoria Finlay for Project Spectrum reading. These were a bonus:

Since this is already turning into a monster post, I’ll go ahead and reveal something that has been on my mind for awhile now. I got a letter from the department I applied to for graduate school, it said that I have been placed on their waiting list. After assuring me that this was a good thing, they told me that they’ve admitted 15 applicants with the anticipation that 3 will not accept. If they dip below 12, they’ll go to the wait list. BUT-they have to maintain a balance of concentrations, so the only way I’ll get in is if someone says no AND was going to study what I hoped to. My chances are slim, but I’m trying to stay optimistic. The deadline for the admittees to make a decision is April 15th. Until then, I’m thinking of back-up plans.

Textiles are a possibility, as is education. One crackpot idea I had that sounds better and better is being a home economics teacher. I know that there isn’t really a huge need for that, but here’s the deal: I love crafting, I love food, and I love sharing what I know. In college I spent a huge amount of time scanning ads from old issues of Good Housekeeping magazine for an independent study I did about the history of ads. The issues were kept on the 27th floor (I think) of the UMass W.E.B. DuBois Library along with a lot of other books stamped with the label “PROPERTY OF UMASS AMHERST DEPARTMENT OF HOME ECONOMICS”. While I should’ve been mastering Marxist economic theory, I was happily hidden in the stacks of cookbooks and antiquated images of motherhood and domesticity.

After reading through an archive about the history of home economics put together by Cornell researchers, I realized that it marries many of the interests I have about feminism, consumption and practical crafting. An Australian website had this list of the skills a home economist fosters:

  • To help students understand and confront the way they influence and are influenced by broad societal factors such as media, advertising, peer pressure, government policies and changing technologies

  • Design, evaluate and make decisions related to textiles and food

  • Utilise design and technology relevant to families and households

  • Balance work responsibilites with personal responsibilities and leisure.

  • Provide opportunities for students to develop vocationally related knowledges and skills such as those related to food technology, hospitality, childcare and the design and textile industries.
  • Negotiate for effective and diverse family and interpersonal relationships

  • Understand and take action to enhance human growth and development

  • Take control of their health and develop health promoting behaviours

  • Choose nutritious foods in a changing market place

  • Prepare nutritious foods and develop health promoting food behaviours

  • Make informed, responsible and ethical consumer decisions

I guess I’ll end with my favorite response to the question “What do you want to do when you grow up?”

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that. “

–Lloyd Dobbler in Cameron Crowe’s “Say Anything”.
Over and out,