365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time


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Week 51/52: Christmas Eve Eve

12-23-2016b

I was on the fence about continuing this blog.  Then I got an email that WordPress automatically renewed my account for another year.  My credit card’s been charged and I’m paid up, so what the hell, I might as well keep going.

I’ve still been crocheting and knitting, and I recently picked up cross stitch again.  The pattern for the font and Christmas balls that you see above are from Julie Jackson’s newest Subversive Cross Stitch book.  I also made the ornament below.

I’ve got a list of profanity-laced expressions that I’m planning to cross stitch and frame in the near future.  I’ll share them with you if I get inspired to take photos and post again.  In the meantime, hope you all have lovely plans for the holidays!

12-23-2016


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Day 356/365: Holiday Treat Bags

Every year that I have worked at the prison, I’ve always made sure to give a card or homemade treat or a small gift of candy to the correctional officers who work in our yard.  It’s my way of showing how much I appreciate them and their assistance in making sure that I get my own job done.

It also ensures that I’m well-liked by custody and that they’ll certainly run to my office if I ever have to hit my personal alarm device.

Tonight I put together these gift bags of candy canes and assorted Lindor and Ghirardelli chocolates.  This year I’m also adding a holiday scratch-off lottery ticket.

I think these bags will be well-received among the officers.  Especially if those tickets turn out to be lucky.

12.22.2015


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Day 353/365: Santa Claus is Coming to Town…

A few months ago, the city of Morro Bay started implementing plans to build a bike park right next to my neighborhood.

12.19.2015

The photo above is an old one.  They’ve made a lot of progress since it was taken, and the packed dirt hills have been calling my name every time I drive by.  The new park is supposed to open in 2016.  So when Sean asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, the tomboy little kid in me who never owned a bike in childhood said, “I want a BMX bike.”

Hence, this happened this afternoon:

12.19.2015a

The box was delivered to the house a few days ago, and Sean decided to put it together today.

12.19.2015b

After it was assembled, he let me ride it for a test drive down the street.  And then promptly took it back and said I have to wait for Christmas Day.

The little kid in me can’t wait.


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Day 27/365: A Christmas Story

1.27

The beginning of a top-down sweater with increases for raglan sleeve shaping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Happy New Year!” I greeted Mr. Y, a patient who I hadn’t seen since around Thanksgiving.  “How was your Christmas?”

“It was fine, it was good,” he said.  He gave me an update on his recent activities and we talked for a little bit.  He was in the 12-Step Program and participated in a bible study group.  While the 12-Step Program was facilitated by one of the psychologists in our mental health program, the bible study group was coordinated among the inmates.

“We took up a collection for Christmas,” he said.

“A collection?” I asked.  “What do you mean?”

Then he explained that last month, he and the rest of the bible study group pooled their resources including their work pay (15 to 90 cents an hour, depending on their job assignment) for a total of a few hundred dollars.  Then they went to canteen and purchased canned soups, ramen noodles, deodorant, soap, toothpaste, and other basic necessities.  They identified indigent inmates who didn’t have jobs or family support, and on Christmas day, the bible study group went out on the yard and started handing out packages to their selected recipients.

“Wow,” I said, impressed.  “That was very thoughtful of you guys.  What a kind and generous thing to do.”

“Guess what happened next,” Mr. Y said.

“The whole yard got wind of it, and everyone came looking for a handout,” I guessed.

“Yep.  We started getting all these guys—‘We heard there was free stuff.  Can I get some soup?’  And we talking guys with jobs and money on the books.”  Mr. Y shook his head.  “And then the police come over and tell us we gotta break it up, ‘cause we got too big a crowd.”

“That’s a shame,” I said, shaking my head too.  “But I guess that’s how it is.  You’re in a prison, so you’re gonna get those kinds of guys, looking to take advantage.”

“What’s that expression?”  Mr. Y took a moment to search his memory.  “That’s right.  ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’ ”


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Day 17/365: Second Completed Pair of Socks for 2015

1.17A

For Christmas, Sean bought me yards of cute fun fabric (including this wrestling mask print), and I got him a skateboard.  He actually selected the board, trucks, wheels, and bearings, designing it specifically to go fast around the hills in our neighborhood.  The guy at the skate shop assembled it, and then I paid for it.  They packed and boxed it up, and then we took it home where I wrapped the whole shebang in Christmas paper and set it under the tree.

The Monday after Christmas, we were up and about, lazily considering our breakfast options and discussing what we would have that morning.

“I can make eggs and potatoes,” Sean offered.  “But we’re out of eggs.”

“I don’t feel like driving,” I said.  “Do you feel like going to the store?”

“Sure,” he said.  “I’ll go.”

It didn’t occur to me at that point in time that he didn’t put up a fuss, because usually he disliked driving to the store as much as I did.  If I’d thought about it, that would have been a red flag that he was up to something.  But I didn’t, and I kept sewing, or knitting, or scrolling through Facebook, which are usually my top three activities to do when I’m sitting around the house on my day off from work.

 

1.17B

(Can you see the sea otters in the background?)

 

About forty-five minutes passed, and I thought it was pretty strange that he was taking so long to make the one mile down to the supermarket and back.  But I wasn’t too worried.  He’d probably chosen to drive to another local grocery store a few more miles away.  Several more minutes passed, and then he was coming in through the front door with his backpack and baseball cap on, looking sweaty and suspiciously like somebody who did not just drive his car to the store.

“What’d you do?” I said.  “Ride your bike?”

“No.”  He started unzipping his backpack to remove the groceries.  “I took the skateboard.”

That’s when I noticed the side of his pants looked like they’d just been dragged through the street at about twenty-five miles per hour.  “Did you take a spill?”

“Yeah, it’s no big deal…  Look!  The eggs aren’t broken!”

 

1.17C

(The ripples in the water really are sea otters. Click for a bigger picture.)

 

He made us breakfast (a really good meal of over-medium eggs with country-style fried potatoes), and then I went back to doing my thing and he decided to watch one of his Netflix DVDs.  The movie was only halfway through when he got up and said, “I kind of am actually in a little pain.”

I stopped the sewing machine.  “Do you need me to take you to the hospital?”

“No… But maybe to Urgent Care.”

We went to Urgent Care and sure enough… the eggs weren’t broken, but he couldn’t say the same for his elbow.

 

skateboardB

 

 


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Day 4/365: Mexican Wrestling Mask Quilted Placemat

What's this?  They made a fabric with pictures of my family on it?

What’s this? They made a fabric with pictures of my family on it?

When Sean and I ran the Ventura Half Marathon back in September, we saw a guy running in bare feet and a Mexican wrestling mask.  We had about half a mile left in the race, and I was tired.  Seeing this guy effortlessly skim by in bare feet and wrestling mask, I was impressed.  And inspired.  We’d been running for two hours and thirty-five minutes at that point, and it was the half marathon.  This guy’s race bib indicated that he was finishing up the marathon.  That’s 26.2 miles, people.  In bare feet and a Mexican wrestling mask.  Finishing in under two hours and forty minutes.  Sean and I looked at each other, and we were like, There goes a badass motherfucker.  And then we started sprinting like crazy.

For part of my Christmas gift, Sean surprised me by choosing assorted yards of fabric from one of my favorite local independent shops.  This Mexican wrestling mask print is one of those fabrics.  I knew I had to make something that we’d use and see all the time.  A dining table placemat made sense.  Doesn’t everybody want to eat a meal with a badass motherfucker?

The easy part:  You sew your blocks together and quilt them the fast and lazy way.

The easy part: You sew your blocks together and quilt them the fast and lazy way.

The harder part:  Preparing the binding and then sewing it on.

The harder part: Preparing the binding and then sewing it on.

Ta-da!  Finished quilted placemat.

Ta-da! Finished quilted placemat.

This guy says, "I like it."

This guy says, “I like it.”