Sunday, February 28, 2010


I was at Target today buying groceries and saw a mother and a couple of teenage girls shopping; one of the girls could have been me oh, about 40 years ago, I guess. She was tall and slim, had short reddish hair, was wearing a miniskirt, lace stockings and little boots, and was carrying a big fabric bag. She actually looked a little bit like me, but it was the outfit that caught my attention.

I don't do a lot of shopping for clothes, but I'm in Target a lot and I've noticed that much of the new stuff looks like the 70's--ethnic prints, gypsy dresses, floral prints, tie-dye, smocking, gauze. When I was in my last year of highschool I made a huge piece of patchwork by sewing together hundreds of small squares of fabric, then I laid a tissue pattern on it and made a maxi-dress with ruffle at the bottom, an empire waist, and little cap sleeves. Around that time my high school banned long dresses, but I would wear it when I went out on dates. Why would they have banned long dresses? I don't remember, if I ever knew.

It's just funny how clothing styles go in and out of fashion. And it wasn't at all unusual to make our own clothes. I don't know if anyone does that at all anymore. We were sitting at lunch at work one day last week, and one of the guys--who is involved in theater--said he wasn't able to wrap his brain around being able to take a flat piece of fabric and turn it into a piece of clothing.

It was a way to have new clothes that cost less than buying them ready-made, and I remember spending hours at the fabric store looking through pattern books and deciding what fabrics would work. I also spent hours at the remnant tables in the fabric stores, and a lot of my clothes were made of fabrics I found there, some were made from drapery fabrics and things like that. Both unusual, and less expensive, two qualities that I looked for.

I took home ec in high school, and I remember making a little suit out of a heavy purple and cream-colored fabric; I remember sewing corduroy, and the fuzz that would result when cutting it. I remember making maxi-dresses--that patchwork one in particular--I remember making something in an evening that I would wear the next day. I don't have the time or the patience anymore to do that, but it's nice to know I could, in a pinch.

Oh, and the girl that I saw today was wearing some kind of headband that had a long chain hanging down on one side with a charm--a leaf, I think. Something that would have fit perfectly in 1972.

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Sunday, February 07, 2010


I ran across this post this morning, which reminded me that I've been meaning to write about my latest notebook obsession: Levenger Circa.

Like the writer above, I have an unhealthy obsession with office supplies. It matters to me that the pen I choose be the right pen for the paper I'm writing on. Some paper needs a liquid ink or gel pen, some paper needs a ballpoint. And not just any ballpoint. If I go upstairs at work to a meeting a pick up my notebook, but not my pen, I'll go back down to get the pen, the right pen. I go through cycles with that, of course, finding new ones, and discovering that some of the ones I've loved have been discontinued.

Which is part of my problem at the moment. Levenger has discontinued the "Compact" Circa, so I'm currently having this internal dialog with myself regarding whether or not I have enough refill sheets. I have all three sizes of notebooks. Letter (8-1/2x11) size is for client meetings. It fits into my computer bag and has plenty of room for taking notes without having to turn pages. The "Junior" size is 5-1/2x8-1/2, and I use that one for notetaking at internal meetings and brainstorming. The Compact size (3-3/4x6-3/4) is the one I keep in my purse for notes, lists, etc., and that's the one that's been discontinued. I wish I had realized earlier they were going to discontinue it, because if I had, I would have ordered some pocket dividers.

I lucked into a special deal a couple of weeks ago where they offered the supplies to make five compact notebooks for a special price, $19.95, I think. I got five sets of covers and rings, two sets of tabbed dividers, business card holders, and refill paper--one package each of lined and grid. But no pocket dividers, and now they're out of stock. I checked the Levenger Outlet on Ebay, but they're out, too. Oh well. I just went and looked at Ebay again, and no luck on dividers, but there are several punches on there. I'd love to have one, but just can't justify the expense. Maybe some day.

Right now Levenger has a great deal on a letter size notebook with multicolor pages, so I ordered one, plus another package of compact refill paper . . . I had a coupon for 20% off, so that covered shipping. You can sometimes find coupons online (like this one), which makes it more affordable. I actually prefer the white paper to the multicolored, but I like the annotation style paper, and at that price I can make do with colored paper.

I got into this style (the Cornell method because it was created by a professor at Cornell University) of notetaking years ago, but I don't remember who made the notebooks I was using then. The lined portion is for notes, then (the way I use them) you can go back later and add notes about the notes in the blank sidebar. It seems pretty effective, and it keeps the notes more organized rather than having a lot of extraneous notes within the page.

Oh, and my current favorite pen is the "Be Green" Black XFine Precise V5 Rollerball. It writes beautifully on the smooth Circa paper.

I use my iPhone and iCal for keeping track of appointments, but I also have a datebook that I've been leaving at the office, open on my desk so I have a visual reminder of meetings and deadlines. It's a We'Moon Astrological Datebook, which makes me very happy. I used to buy them, but kind of got away from using them, i.e., I'd buy one, use it for a couple of weeks or so, then stop. So I stopped buying them, but decided to get one this year, and, like I said, it makes me very happy, and so far I've kept using it.

Aaron was in my office talking about something one day last week, and saw it lying on my desk, and looked at it, and then he said, "I still don't understand what this is." I said, it's my datebook, and then said something like, it's a new-agey, hippy dippy thing, earth religion, etc. He said, "It's got a blue girl in a ring of fire," and then we spoke-sang "Ring of Fire" in alternate verses.

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Monday, February 01, 2010


I've been trying to be better lately about not buying things that aren't really necessary. I hardly ever buy magazines anymore, and seldom buy physical books. I do buy a few ebooks, but they don't take up much space. ;)

I've also been trying to get rid of stuff that I don't need, and never look at. Last year I sold a bunch of yarn from my considerable stash, and lately I've slowly been selling my old knitting magazines on eBay, Etsy, and Amazon, and books on and Amazon. It's terribly satisfying to list a 10 year old magazine that I paid $5.99 for, and sell it for $19.95. Last weekend I was down in the basement looking for something, and found a deck of miniature animal totem "medicine cards" that looked like they'd never been used. Just on a whim I looked them up on Amazon. They're out of print and, amazingly, there were people who had them listed for sale for over $150! Of course, that doesn't mean that they're actually selling them for that.

The cheapest one on offer was listed at $75.00. I decided not to be greedy, and listed mine for $45, and they sold tonight. I've been going to the post office every night this week with a couple of packages. It gives me some extra spending money, and clears stuff out of the house, neither of which is a bad thing.

I've yet to find anything of immense value, but you never know. And selling an old magazine for 3 or 4 times what I paid for it isn't bad.

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