Posts Tagged ‘crafting’

Kingdom of Keys

Today was going to be an up-and-at-’em early day. Get all the chores that include driving done early. Try and figure out what I am doing with a pocketbook full of keys, of which I only use two. Start restoring work on a table. Finish the inch (2.5) cm left on The Skipper’s Sock. Transfer all the pictures I took yesterday from the camera to a flash drive for my mother and give it to her. All of which would bring me to about dinner time. Cook dinner, clean up the dinner dishes. Cast on the stitches for the front of the Girl’s 1960s sweater even though I haven’t completed my research into lantern sleeves, sewn on pockets or the split neckline. That was the plan.

At 9 am Yarn Rascal came into the work room looking all sad. A face that sad means he ate something he had no business eating. He crawled into my lap, curled into a ball with his tail covering his eyes and has been sleeping ever since. It is now noon. I hate to disturb him when he’s feeling ill like this. So I’ve been moving chores from today’s list to tomorrow’s list getting nothing done while Yarn Rascal sleeps on.

Yesterday I went in search of a pocketbook only to be disappointed. The store I went to had nothing below $149.00. I’ve always shopped there for pocketbooks and found durable ones at reasonable prices. The store used to have a wide selection. Now it carries only 4 different designer brands and every one was marked genuine leather. Genuine leather means to me that some animal had to die in order for this thing to be made. I’m an animal lover. I don’t want to walk around with a genuine leather anything.

Hence no pocketbook. But while taking inventory of my current pocketbook I discovered what can only be described as a kingdom of keys. Some were on little key rings, many were single keys on no rings. Of the 20 or so keys, I absolutely identified 2. I have a vague idea of the locks 3 others might fit. That leaves 15 mysterious keys. Heaven only knows how long they have been floating around the bottom of my pocketbook or why they are there. But I can’t toss them away until I am sure they don’t belong to locks I need to open.

I spread them on the kitchen table–The Skipper thought I was making a mural of keys to frame and put on the wall–to try and wrap my mind around all the things in my life that might have locks on them. Most of them looked like door keys. A few looked as if they might go to hope chest kind of things, and 4 are definitely old and probably from the late 1800s which means they go to things in my great grandfather’s house. Unable to identify them, I did what any crafter would do. I took one of the many glass jars I hoard save and put them in it. I crocheted a quick little lace collar for the jar, then closed the lid. I got one of my antique hang tags, wrote “mystery keys” on it and placed it round the jar. It looks quite at home sitting on my antique secretary’s desk.

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Where have all the simple answers gone? Remember when something like a television set was delivered to the house and set up by the store it was bought from? And when the guy doing the set up was asked “how do you turn it on”, the answer was simple “push this button.” Those days are long gone along with service stations pumping gas for me.

Today, if I want to know how something works I thumb through a manual that’s half the thickness of War and Peace in search of a simple answer to my simple question. Or I get redirected to the web when I click on the little ? button. No matter how I word my query I get the same answer: “Search found nothing.”

New smart phone? Try to answer it when it rings. For mine I need to shake it up and down and repeatedly stab the green icon with the telephone receiver pictured on it while reciting “this damn phone” silently in my head because I never know when it will suddenly connect me with the incoming call and I don’t want the first words the person on the other end hears to be me screaming “this damn phone”.

All of this brings me to the birthday card I finally made for The Skipper’s 90 year old mother. I am nowhere near the card making talent whatamiuptotoday displays when she makes her lovely cards. But The Skipper wanted a card that was individually tailored for his mother (who is sharp as a tack) and so we worked on ideas this weekend. The first idea of drawing and painting three individual pictures was thrown out immediately. Even though the pictures would be small and card sized, it would take me weeks to complete and her birthday is this Friday.

I warily eyed my computer. I have all this snazzy software in it that allows me to create almost anything I could ever want, but never use, so maybe this might be the right time to get to know the software better. Could it really be that hard to create a very, very simple card? Oh, yes. Yes, it can.

The petard I hoisted myself on was of my own making. The Skipper’s Mom is extremely fond of Downton Abbey. I wanted the design to recall the late 1800s to early 1900s. The jewel in the crown of the design was a full body picture of the Dowager Countess played by Maggie Smith in complete late 1800s costume with The Skipper’s Mom’s face in the place of Smith’s face. The setting an old-fashioned picture in an album.

All the software manuals were online so each time I had a question–and they were many–it was back to the internet and play How Many Ways Can You Word a Simple Question so the online manual recognizes it and pulls up the relevant information. By Sunday evening I was ready to quit. My brain could no longer think of rephrasing yet again another question. I had gotten to the point where I just wanted to crawl into bed and stay in the fetal position for awhile. I had done everything I could to prepare the two pictures for merger–merging airlines and banks are easier–and the software wasn’t letting me do it. I was so close.

It was Yarn Rascal and his tail that saved the day and the card. When I raised my eyes and hands to the ceiling and yelled “Why, dear God” Yarn Rascal jumped into my lap and in doing so landed on top of my laptop computer. He has this thing where he won’t allow me to be upset. When I am, he jumps into my arms and wags his tail and licks my face until I get over myself and am laughing. This little guy is my angel from above. When I calmed down and realized it’s just a card and cleared Yarn Rascal from sitting on the computer, the pictures had merged. I don’t know how he did it. I just know that he did.

Early this morning, The Skipper mailed the finished card. The whole thing ended up looking pretty neat. I was saved yet again by Yarn Rascal.

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