Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Round Up

 What did I make in 2014? I designed these needle felted stockings for new babies
Snowmen/Gingerbread people
Is this my favorite? Red Poinsettia on white wool felt
Four Calling Birds, Cardinal variety
Four Calling Birds on Blue
Handmade Vanillas  Brandy, Rum, Bourbon and Vodka (recipe for these is in my Toll House Cookie essay.)

  In the fall of 2013, I took a online class offered by Penn on Modern Poetry, recommended by Bad Mom, Good Mom. I enjoyed the class, but best of all, it inspired me to start writing again. I was so inspired that I wrote "Thirteen Ways of Looking at Bad News" . On a whim, I submitted it to The-Toast.
No one was more surprised than I when they replied that they would be delighted to publish this in January of 2014.

Inspired by the incredible sexism of the NY Times obituary of Yvonne Brill, I wrote the blog post about their incredible wrongheadedness. But our friends at the NY Times continued to be sexist trolls, which spawned a Twitter hashtag: #NYTwomensobits
I read these and thought  NO, they are doing them wrong. They should write them as if we were in The Handmaid's Tale, but as if women were in power. So I wrote a few, submitted them for fun and got this reply back: Write MORE. So I  wrote some Misandrist Obituaries, published last January.

In the spring, I took an online class at Duke in Behavioral Economics: A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior. I liked this so much, I wrote, How to Avoid a Bank Robbery, which was published on Medium.

Inspired by the amazing sexism that accomplished women face, and the unacceptable attitudes in the media regarding their clothing choices, I wrote Wearing the Pants, A Brief History of Women wearing Pants in the West, published last summer.

I read a study about cats, and how they hear you calling, but choose to ignore you and wrote:
T.S. Eliot and the Science of Naming Cats. There is a lot of interesting research out there about cats. Basically, scientists have discovered that they are all acolytes of Ayn Rand, and Slytherins.
He hears you calling him, but chooses to ignore you. Cats are not dogs, people.

  While reading a cookbook, I noticed in the headnotes of a chocolate chip cookie recipe a glaring historical error. Cookbooks full of inaccuracies like this (Food writers are very seldom trained in historical research techniques), but this one was particularly egregious. They claimed that the Toll House Cookie recipe was based on a Colonial recipe called a "Butter drop-do". Curious about the weird name, I did some research and discovered that everything we thought we knew about the origin of Toll House cookies was based on a web of lies.  My Secret History of Toll House Cookies was published on Dec 5th.

They still keep publishing the wrong stories. It's amazing how difficult it is to correct a deliberate falsehood. Read my essay and tell Epicurious to get their act together. Do it for Ruth Graves Wakefield.

That's a brief list of what I did in 2014. I wish for all of my Dear Readers a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Needle Felted Christmas Stockings

This year I added some new designs to my stable of needle felted Christmas Stockings. I detailed the process of making them here.
The stocking above is a gift for a new baby.

Needle felting can be done on many fabrics. These stockings are made of wool felt, which doesn't ravel and is very easy to work with.

The Poinsettia Design is my own - I free cut the petals and leaves to get a primitive look.

I lay them on the felt until the design pleases me, and then felt it down with my machine.

After that I sew them together. I have a bunch more to show you later this week.
I always get new ideas to try whenever I make them.