One Little Word 2018: FORGE

Verb –
1 a : to form (something, such as metal) by heating and hammering forged pieces of iron into hooks
b : to form (metal) by a mechanical or hydraulic press with or without heat
2 : to make or imitate falsely especially with intent to defraud : counterfeit forge a document forge a signature
3 : to form or bring into being especially by an expenditure of effort working to forge party unity The two countries forged a strong alliance.

IMG_3711It took me a while to think about a word for this year – I sort of lost touch with ‘BUILD’ last year. One thing that I think will help me with this word this year is getting a small sign or postcard with it on it to hang at my desk so I can see it every day.

I was toying with CREATE for a while but that feels too froo-froo in this do or die, full on assault that the world is right now. I spent a bunch of time chewing this over and FORGE stood out. The change I want to bring about this year isn’t easy – it will take serious effort, skill, and diligence to bring forth. There’s serious work that needs to happen in our political sphere, in regards to my health (losing weight OK?!), and we have some big designs on house projects. But nothing will happen if we don’t put our heads down and let fire sculpt iron.


Ohio State Fair 2017

We LOVE THE  FAIR! By the time the Ohio State Fair closes this year, I’ll have been 3 times. We were able to see all of the highlights including the Ohio Natural Resource Playground, the Bobcat display, the butter cow, the FOOD and the Cardinal Building. This year the fair had it’s share of tragedy but I also won BEST IN SHOW in Cookies for my dulce de leche bar cookies and I could not be prouder! I made the a few times to prep and brought them to my family’s annual Fourth of July party and they were a huge hit. I’m tickled – but have literally no idea how to top these for next year!

You can read the recipe here and the write up (!) at the Columbus Dispatch. Here are some of my favorite snaps from this year’s State Fair.

C and the cows!
my traditional gyro at the Ohio Sheep Improvement Assoc booth in the Taste of Ohio building
morning sun
the skyglider!
C loved the Bobcat ‘playground’
my winning entry!

Lisel and Co Gallery Tunic

I bought this pattern almost a year ago (yikes!) and when my favorite fabric store, Sew to Speak, was moving I picked up some super fun pineapple fabric on sale. Lucky for me, they still have the pattern in store so I could purchase the length I needed (plus an extra yard, oops!) and bring home fabric that had a project already picked out.

I cut this out in an afternoon and was able to work on it in fits and spurts in the last two weeks of my maternity leave. I’m really excited with how this turned out – even if I did pick the wrong size. The pattern was straightforward and challenging enough that I learned a few new things but not too difficult I couldn’t stop and start over the course of a few afternoons. I worked mostly off the Gallery tunic view but added the pockets and collar from the dress view. I would definitely make this again, probably in a more drape-y fabric.

Bright Scarf, and sewing for me

My mom gave me a length of bright fabric a while ago and I finally make it into a scarf! I usually just sew for Christmas but I recently made a dear friend a crib quilt so I took advantage of having everything out to repair a few things as well as make this and turn a few baggy race t-shirts into racing singlets. Sometimes it pays to not be so quick to clean up 🙂

african scarf 2

And because I can’t try to use the self timer without acting like a fool.
african scarf smile

Easy Homemade Scrubs and Bath bombs~Fast Valentine Idea

I made these scrubs and bath bombs for some lovely ladies in my life and thought it might be fun to share! I think these would make great gifts for girlfriends for Valentines too!
homemade scrub~the comyn space

Sugar Scrub
1 part white sugar
1 part extra virgin olive oil
2-4 drops essential oils (I love eucalyptus oil)

Whisk together and store in a tight sealing container.

homemade scrub~the comyn space

Salt Scrub
1 part kosher salt
1 part white sugar
2 parts extra virgin olive oil
2-4 drops essential oils

Whisk together and store in a tight sealing container.

homemade bath bomb~the comyn space

Bath Bombs
1 part baking soda (I used one cup for 12 mini cupcake sized bath bombs)
1/2 part citric acid
4-8 drops essential oil
witch hazel, in a spray bottle
dried lavender (optional)

Prep your mini muffin tin but adding dried lavender to the bottom of the pan, if using. Whisk together baking soda and citric acid until there are no clumps. Whisk in essential oils. Spritz the witch hazel on your citric acid/baking soda mixture until it just begins to clump in your hand. You don’t want to use too much or it will start the reaction before you put the bath bomb in the bath 🙂 Press the mixture as hard as you can into the muffin tin, this is what will keep the bomb together, don’t hesitate to really get out your aggression! Let them sit for 10 minutes and then turn out onto parchment paper to completely dry.

Emergency Backpacks

I am embarrassed how long it has taken me to get this project finished! I’ve been working on getting all our emergency supplies together. Both mine and M’s are still a work in progress, but it’s better to be started at least. Here’s what’s in mine:
emergency backpacks~the comyn space

a back pack (duh)
pink nalgene contains fire starters (matches and a lighter), flash light, extra batteries, plastic baggies, flare
wool socks
garbage bag
yellow box contains lighter, steel wool, whistle, compass and thermometer (to be carried apart from the main backpack, should we become separated from it)
toilet paper
toothbrush & deodorant
premade first kit

M’s bag is essentially the same things, with the addition of a cooking pot, some food, a camp stove and a small blanket. Not pictured in my bag is a light coat with a hood, feminine care items, and a clean pair of skivvies. I’ve never seen those things on other people’s lists but I think they are important.

We aren’t planning on anything terrible happening but we do want to be prepared in case it does. The city of Chicago’s emergency plan is to evacuate to Milwaukee, mostly via car. But we also wanted to be prepped to hike out if required. Most of what we put together are items we already had scattered in our camping/hiking stuff and I just put them all together. We are much much more likely to use them in September when he head to the boundary waters this summer 🙂

Dining v. Eating

One of the things I struggle with is making time to sit down and eat dinner at home as well as making it feel just as special as dining at a restaurant. I love cooking at home, especially for other people, M or other friends. Back in college, we had ‘family dinner’ once a week and that was always my favorite meal.

For me, eating is mindless and out of boredom. You put a bag of Goldfish in front of me and some Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I’ll knock back the whole bag. All 12 servings. Eating is for nutrition. It’s all those boring string cheese sticks and carrot sticks. It’s for convenience; it’s those prepackaged foods and anything you have to unwrap.

Dining, on the other hand, is a communal experience. It’s passing plates of tasty and fresh vegetables over heads and glasses of wine. Dining is stopping and taking time to spend with those you love, nourishing each other with good food and great company. It is a fancy night out at a Michelin starred restaurant.

One of the small things I’m doing to be proactive is putting a tablecloth on our dining room table and eating off our good plates. What steps do you take to make dinner special at home?