365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

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Day 269/365: The Problem With Having Two Homes

This morning I got up early to drive back to the Ventura homestead, and I thought I’d packed everything I needed:  my purse, my laptop, my knitting.  That would have been enough, except that it was too hot to knit this afternoon and I decided that I felt like coloring, instead.  I had a coloring book and some pencils that I’d left here in Ventura a few weeks ago, and I was enjoying some peaceful coloring time when…  the tip of my colored pencil broke off.  And then the next one.  And the next one.  And I couldn’t find a single pencil sharpener.  Because they were all up at the Morro Bay house.




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Day 256/365: The 2015 Ventura Half Marathon


This year’s finisher’s medal

We did it.  We completed the half marathon this morning.  13.1 miles, plus an extra 5 miles that we walked today, getting to the event, getting back home, going out for breakfast, going out to lunch, and later walking to the Ventura Promenade so I could take photos for the blog.

All I can say now is Owww.  And I’m hungry.  Again.




Day 255/365: The Day Before the Ventura Half Marathon

Well, tomorrow is the Ventura Half Marathon.  We’ll have to get up at 5 AM, and we’ll probably be starting the race around 6:45 AM.  I will be asking myself why the hell am I doing this, especially around mile eight or nine or ten, when I’m hot and tired and sore, and the faster runners have already turned around at the halfway point and are making their way back.  So think of me around 9 AM, Pacific Standard Time, and send good vibes so that I can get through those last three miles and make it to the finish line.


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Day 242/365: In Which I Tell You About Dolly

You may or may not be familiar with the pop surrealist artists Mark Ryden and Marion Peck and their body of work.  In 2008, they collaborated on a short film called Sweet Wishes.  (Go ahead and click on the link to watch the film.  It’s less than two and a half minutes long.)  The film features Dolly, Baby, and Bear, and it’s a story of what happens when the three of them get what they wish for.

Ryden and Peck also released a hardcover book based on the short film.  Even though both Sean and I are fans of Ryden’s work and have even been to a couple of his art shows in Los Angeles, we were unaware of the film and the book until just a few months ago when we stopped to browse the Kinokuniya Bookstore in L.A. before heading out to a Galaxy game.  I spotted the book on the sale rack and quickly snatched it up.


Sean wanted to make sure that we got to the Galaxy game in plenty of time, so we left the bookstore shortly afterwards and headed out to the Stub Hub Center.  Once there and safely ensconced in a parking spot, we realized we’d made it with plenty of time to spare, so I pulled out the book and we sat in the car and looked through the pages together.  I never laughed so hard at a picture book as I did with this one.  We went through it quickly, and then I had to go through the book a second time, enjoying it all over again.

Fast forward to last week, when Sean and I were walking to the Golden Egg Café in Ventura for Sunday morning brunch.  A few doors before the Golden Egg is a thrift store.  I always stop to check out the display in the window if something catches my eye.  This time, something definitely made me stop.



Unfortunately, it was Sunday, and the thrift store wasn’t open on Sundays.  I wanted to make sure that this doll was the same Dolly from Sweet Wishes, so I stood in front of the window with my phone and snapped a bunch of close-up photos of the doll’s face.  Then Sean and I went on to the Golden Egg.

I forgot all about Dolly until I returned to Morro Bay the following day.  As soon as I remembered, I went downstairs and pulled my hardcover copy of Sweet Wishes off the bookshelf and compared my photos to the ones in the book.  Sure enough, the two dolls were the same make and model.

“Sean,” I said that night when we were talking on the phone.  “That doll was Dolly!  And I didn’t buy her.  Someone else probably will.”

“Aw, I doubt it,” Sean said.  “That doll will still be there.  You can go back and get her when you come home this weekend.”

The week passed, and on Friday Sean caught the train from Ventura to Morro Bay.  We drove back down to Ventura late Saturday afternoon and stopped for dinner and then groceries, so we didn’t get back home until almost 9 PM.  Sean was still unloading the car, so I got to the door first and let myself in.  Guess who was propped on the coffee table?  Sean had gone back to the thrift store on Thursday and purchased her for me as an early birthday surprise.

I did a little bit of online research and found out that she is a vintage doll from the late 1960s.  She’s in pretty good condition, considering her age.  She was made in the USA by the Ideal Toy Company just a few years before I was born, and speaking of birthdays, I told Sean that his purchase of Dolly was all the birthday gift that I needed this weekend.


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Day 213/365: Quilted Placemat #3, So Close to Done!

We’re at the Ventura homestead this weekend, and once again, the problem with keeping two residences has reared its ugly head.  I was hand-sewing the binding on my third quilted placemat, and I ran out of thread.  I hadn’t thought to bring more thread with me, and all of my sewing notions are up in the Morro Bay house.  So I can’t finish the placemat until we drive back to Morro Bay tomorrow.

This isn’t the first time that Sean and I have been at one place and realized that something we needed was sitting at the other place, 150 miles and two counties away.  Last week Sean brought his computer up to Morro Bay and discovered that he’d left the power cord back in Ventura.

But there are worse problems in the world.

In the meantime, I have this:


So close to done!


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Day 212/365: First Haircut All Year

I took Friday off from work today because I had a dental appointment and a hair appointment in Ventura.  After breakfast, Sean and I got into The Rental and he drove while I tried to hand-sew the binding on the third quilted placemat in the set of three that I’m making for my cousin.  Unfortunately, we hit a lot of traffic and the stop-and-go movement was making me carsick, so I set the placemat aside to finish later.

On a separate note, I have been growing my hair out for Locks of Love.  I plan to donate at least ten inches, but I’m currently a couple inches shy of my goal.  In the meantime, I still needed to get the scraggly ends trimmed, so I scheduled to get this haircut today.  It’s the first one I’ve had all year, and I’m pretty happy with it.  I asked Sean to take a photo so I could text it to my hairstylist to thank her, and this one was my favorite.  Even though it’s a blurry action shot, you can tell I am stoked.



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Day 187/365: Week 3 of Allergy Testing

After last night’s Women’s World Cup game, Sean and I still had to make the 150-mile drive back down to Ventura so that I could make my morning appointment for allergy testing in Oxnard.  I knew that I would be getting shots in the arm this week, but I didn’t realize how many there would be until the nurse came into the room with this tray.


“Am I getting a shot of each one of those?” I asked her, just to be clear.

“No, only the ones with the brown dots on the caps,” she told me.

Needless to say, it was not a pleasant experience and after about the first five or six shots, I couldn’t help whimpering.  Truthfully, I wanted to cry a little bit, but I told myself that it would be over pretty soon and then there would only be one more day of testing next week.  In case you were curious, I had an allergic reaction to each and every single one of those shots, and when I asked the nurse what they were, she simply replied, “Mold.”

After my appointment, Sean and I had a few errands to run– stuff like going to the credit union and to the post office and getting an oil change for the car– and then we had to drive back up to Morro Bay.  I started knitting a new sock over the weekend and I also did some sewing, but I’ll share those projects with you later, because now I’m wiped out and it’s pretty much time to go to bed.