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I’ve done it! Today – which happens to also be our 10th wedding anniversary, so I know it is a very luck day – I have opened an Etsy shop with 33 homemade, hand-sewn items made from oilcloth, fabric and chalkcloth. This week has been spent photographing items, which took far more time and energy than I assumed.

We shall see! I do know that trading stacks of essays for stacks of fabric has made me very happy so far.

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So check it out and let me know what you think

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LindasOtherLife

Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

October 23rd, 2012 | Posted by Lackey in Dining In - (0 Comments)

My daughter was home for her first long weekend from college and she was on a quest for “real” food. I’m not sure what the expensive meal plan we had to opt for is treating her to on campus, but her first request was for spaghetti and meatballs. To my pleasant surprise, not only did she want to eat it, but she was genuinely interested in helping to cook with me. My favorite recipe is from Ina Garten and is simply called Real Meatballs and Spaghetti – doesn’t get any more real. The recipe calls for a mixture of beef, pork and veal. Over the holidays when I make this, I usually double the veal.

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I also usually stash left over garlic bread in a ziplock bag in the freezer to use as bread crumbs in this recipe. We rolled the balls, browned them and followed the sauce recipe to a T.

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Even the dog thought the house smelled wonderful!

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The empty plate says it all. Today my girl returned to campus with containers of spaghetti and meatballs and a recipe she could describe in detail – although she is not sure she is going to mention the veal. Hope her dorm friends aren’t reading this!

I am a brand new Jonathan Evison fan.  I don’t know that I had ever heard of his other novels All About Lulu and West of Here but I’m going to seek them out now because I didn’t want this novel to end.  My husband and I are suckers for road trip novels or movies and I almost missed the image of the van on the the cover of the book which previews the trip taken by Ben Benjamin, a down-and-out caregiver, and his charge, nineteen-year-old Trevor who is in the advanced stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.  They are the road’s most unlikely traveling pair, but they manage to bond with even less likely pilgrims – Dot who is running from her past, Elton who is running from the law, and Peaches who is ready to deliver her baby at any moment.  Each character has been genuinely screwed by the gods of fortune – Benjamin has his own demons to flee – but there is something about a shared quest to see Old Faithful that propels the spirit.  Although a course in The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving offered at the Abundant Life Foursquare Church behind the Howard Johnson qualified Benjamin to take on the responsibility for Trevor’s care, his character cautions the reader that no manual prepares us for life – “Listen to me: everything you think you know, every relationship you’ve ever taken for granted, every plan of possibility you’ve ever hatched, every conceit or endeavor you’ve ever concocted, can be stripped from you in an instant.”

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

October 9th, 2012 | Posted by Lackey in My Reading Life - (0 Comments)

Although I received an advance readers copy if this book months ago, I jus got around to reading The Chaperone and I wish I wouldn’t have waited. A work of historical fiction, this novel focuses on the Roaring Twenties, the early age of Hollywood, Prohibition, Women’s Rights, unwed motherhood, birth control and even homosexuality. The title character is charged with chaperoning teen-aged Louise Brooks (1906-1985) as she travels to New York City to study dance. I knew nothing of Louise Brooks’s career in film but have since done some reading and learned about her rise – and fall – as well as the scandals and her writing about it all in Lulu in Hollywood. Still, the central character is the chaperone, Cora Carlisle, whose own personality is transformed by her venture beyond her farm life in Kansas. The fact that she is reading Wharton’s The Age of Innocence on the train to New York appropriately foreshadows her own enlightenment.

The teacher in me still loves writing in chalk! And chalk cloth is a versatile fiber-backed surface you can write on and wipe clean. I had seen several table settings with a runner of chalk cloth that got me to designing a fabric and chalk cloth runner that is seasonal, reversible and functional. The first edition is perfect for fall entertaining.

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What a great way to label dips, cheeses or desserts on a buffet. And when a piece of chalk is left out on the table, guests can add their creativity, too.

I am planning to make one for every season, but I’m also thinking of trying sports team fabrics, wedding and shower fabrics as well as versions for children’s parties.

So far I have 4 designs for fall – including a bright Halloween polka dot.

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Thinking ahead, I have two holiday designs. I couldn’t pass up the the sparkly cactus Feliz Navidad print. Holiday taco buffet, anyone?

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I went retail today!!! While visiting my favorite hair salon – Charles Moscarino Salon in Strongsville – to get my pink hair extension for Breast Cancer Awareness, I dropped off a basket of my pretty little oilcloth clutches for them to display and sell.

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This should help me see which styles are popular before I go full-Etsy later this fall.

And the hair – pretty cool!

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