Thursday, June 29, 2006

Craft Envy

Before launching into my tale of craft envy, I have to complain a bit more about our local grocery stores. Yesterday after work, I went to Shop-n-Save (because it is cheaper and Porkchop needed Pop Tarts), which is a lot like Cub. I think they might actually be the same entity because the stores are arranged just alike, and the signage is the same. Well, just like Cub, Shop-n-Save doesn't stock cannelini beans! Or, apparently, pine nuts or sliced almonds! Grrrrrr..... This means I'll make an additional trip to Jay International Foods after work today.

On the plus side, I found the "World Market" aisle of the new Shop-n-Save and picked up some Bosnian treats. I think it's a little odd that the Bosnian chocolates and cookies are so much cheaper than the American ones. And, they're so much cuter. The only downer is that all of the European chocolate bars at Shop-n-Save are milk chocolate. Since the beginning of this year, I stopped eating milk chocolate unless it's in cookies or a drink. I've always enjoyed dark chocolate, but I've really come to appreciate it so much more now; in fact, I have no urge to have any milk chocolate at all (except for cookies with milk chocolate). The idea of eating a whole bar of milk chocolate or even M&Ms kind of grosses me out. Blech.

Here are some poor quality pics of the Bosnian treats I purchased...

Wafer cookies and a banana-flavored treat

Banana treat close-up This must be one of the cutest packages ever. Who doesn't want something with a little cartoon monkey on it?

All of these treats were had for under $1.00. Crazy, eh?

One more thing about Shop-n-Save, English Breakfast tea was to be found nowhere, so I picked up Twinings's Irish Breakfast tea. This was actually a good thing. It appears that the tea I've been craving is Irish Breakfast, not English Breakfast. Twinings's Irish blend is stronger and more robust than the English one. Much better.

My workplace has English Breakfast tea for free, but you have to use the weird "cappuccino" machine to make it. I think it's freeze-dried or something....I don't trust tea that isn't in some sort of leaf form. I'm still using the non-dairy "creamer" at work because bringing in your own half-and-half or soy creamer says, "I work here, and I'll be here for a looooooong time."

Oh, and in other food-related news, I'm finally going to hit the Soulard Farmers' market this weekend. Yay!

Craft Envy
Have you ever read the Little Birds blog? If you haven't, you must. The author, Stephanie, lives in a fun old house in Portland, Oregon, where she raises two beautiful children and makes the most exquisite hand-sewn items out of vintage fabric. She also has an infrequently-mentioned husband, who must work a sweet-ass job that allows Stephanie to lead the creative life.

Porkchop and I love to read Little Birds because the blog really is well-designed and well-written. I think half of America (okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration)also reads it because there are always 20+ comments, and just try to buy something off the Little Birds Etsy shop. Things are literally sold as Stephanie posts them. Crazy. Also crazy is that the Little Birds readers shower the author with free things. When Stephanie mentioned wanting to go to the Neko Case problem! A reader e-mailed an offer of free tickets. Exactly.

Stephanie often posts links to her friends' blogs, which are filled with super cute goodness. Sometimes Porkchop and I want to throw up. Not from cute-overload, but from envy. We want to be able to stay home and make things, too! Porkchop summed up the issue last week when she said something like, "Carrie, the problem is that these people are all married and have husbands who support them!"

It's true...but I wonder: Men are still paid a family wage these days?? We all know the wage gap has narrowed because men's salaries have decreased overall, not because women's salaries have increased so much.

Anyway, Porkchop continued: "Can we marry a couple of men who will support us so that we can stay home and make things?"

So, if you know a couple of men who want to enter marriages of convenience (convenient for us, that is!) and give us money and health insurance, let me know. We will return the favor by giving them some hand-made goods. We might also want some semen out of the deal, but they can't have any sort of parental rights to any resulting child.

Of course, Porkchop and I would take turns supporting each other, but we're barely scraping by together with our respective liberal arts degrees.

Okay, so Little Birds has a sister blog: A Bird in the Hand, written by Stephanie's sister Lisa. A Bird in the Hand can be refreshing because it's not as perfect as Little Birds. Lisa still seems to lead a pretty sweet creative life, even though she's not married. As I learned recently by reading the blog, Lisa is actually a big gay swimmer in San Francisco and has medaled in many international gay sporting events, including the Gay Games. She will be at the Chicago games, so maybe we'll see her there.

Finally, the bird blogs have a mother blog: Crazy for Fiber. That's right, Stephanie and Lisa's mom is a super-quilter who blogs.

I would say that I wish my family were like that. But I don't really.

I found the Little Birds and A Bird in the Hand blogs while reading the Yarn Boy blog. I love the Yarn Boy blog because he's funny, but not in that "look at how sarcastic, intelligent, and funny I am" way. Just in a nice, funny way. Unfortunately, he hasn't been posting very regularly of late. By the way, Yarn Boy has designed a few patterns for Knitty and makes and sells buttons that read "Boys Knit," how cool is that?

Have a good day!

The Bosnian banana treat....better to look at it than to eat it. The fake banana part was vaguely familiar, but I can't remember what it reminds me of. Buy one and admire the packaging.


Anonymous said...

banana treats are always a no-go, but packaging is quite important. i heart your blog! my friend bex is a blogger too. i did not know there was a whole blogging universe! we have an etsy store for no she didn't, i don't have anything in it right now, but beth does. look for no she didn't on the etsy website. ~katie

Carrie said...

Yay! I'm glad you like my blog, Katie-bear.
Yeah, I kind of felt behind the times, not having a blog and all.
I'm going to look for your etsy shop right now!

Darcie said...

This has to be the tardiest comment ever, but I'm just starting to go through the archives, Carrie! Fun tidbit: "Jadro" appears everywhere in Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia because it's what those folks call the Adriatic. I think that's right, anyway. On my trip, I took a Jadrolinija ferry, stayed at the Hotel Jadran, and saw countless businesses with that name in the title. Like Badger (fill in the blank) in Madison.