Review: The Keto Reset Diet

The Keto Reset Diet

The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot your metabolism in 21 days and burn fat forever by Mark Sisson with Brad Kearns

This is a diet plan for those who are looking for a way to lose weight and aren’t shy about eating a very specific selection of types of foods. The idea behind this plan might sound familiar – it’s designed around eating high protein and very-low-if-any carbs. You follow this extremely strict plan for three weeks and then gradually ease up on those restrictions. This book includes both general guidelines and detailed meal plans for those 21 days. It also provides charts outlining grams of carbs, fat, and protein and total calories for the ingredients/portions used in the meal plans. All the recipes using those ingredients are also provided, so you can make all the items on the meal plans. I’m not good at restrictive diets myself – I tend to go overboard and then get mad at the world when I’m unsatisfied – and I’m not a medical professional or scientist, but I’ve heard from other folks that it has worked well for them. Your mileage may vary!

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books

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We Can Fix This

Anti-gerrymandering art quilt is probably not a phrase that too many people have found occasion to utter, but it’s been on my tongue for the last few months as I worked on this piece.

We Can Fix This - art quilt by Anne Heidemann

I’m happy to say that you can currently see it in person if you can get to Mount Pleasant this month, as it’s part of the Pop Up Show currently happening at the Morey Gallery at Art Reach.

In this year of What-In-The-World-Is-Happening-Here 2017, politics feel super messed up and there are so many people in power doing terrible things that hurt all of us, but especially the most vulnerable among us. How those politicians can live with themselves, I can’t imagine, except that I guess human brains are pretty good at justifying things that are in one’s own self-interest and the generally Old White Dudes in power have a lot of practice. It feels so overwhelming – how do we fix what’s wrong when many of our elected officials are actively undoing the good we’ve been able to achieve in the past? It can be hard to know what to do or where to even start, but I’ve been trying to identify smallish things that I can actively take part in that might help. Working to end gerrymandering is one of those things and this art quilt is an expression of my frustration with the current system and an attempt to bring attention to this problem. As part of the gallery show, it is, if anyone is interested, for sale. If it does sell I’ll be donating half the proceeds to Voters Not Politicians, an anti-gerrymandering group in Michigan. And I fully encourage y’all to donate to this good cause regardless! Michigandalfs (and everyone) deserve better.

Pop up show at @artreachofmidmi - postcard featuring yours truly's piece (top center)! #mtpleasantmi #artquilt #art

You can also check out a process video of me working on this piece:

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Blythe Quilt Swap

This month I participated in a swap – as usual, for Blythe, but this time specifically for a 12×12″ quilt. This swap originated in an online group for Blythe sewing enthusiasts and I was super geeked to see it. I’ve been thinking of making a Blythe-sized quilt for some time and this was the perfect excuse!

My partner and I have swapped before so we kind of know each other’s tastes a bit, which made this so much fun. Here’s a video of me unwrapping the quilt she sent me (also includes pics of the one I sent to her).

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review: The Garden in Every Sense and Season

The Garden in Every Sense and Season

The Garden in Every Sense and Season by Tovah Martin, photographs by Kindra Clineff

Gardeners looking for inspiration in the form of color photos will not be disappointed here. Martin focuses on each of the five senses as she moves through the four seasons, picking out favorite plants and parts of the garden (including earth and creatures) for each combination. She tells this story from her own first-person perspective with a cordial, friendly tone, which really draws you through and makes you want to find out what she’ll focus on next. She even finds things to appreciated during an East Coast winter!

full disclosure: reviewed from a NetGalley digital copy

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review: Knitting Ephemera

Knitting Ephemera

Knitting Ephemera: a compendium of articles, useful and otherwise, for the edification and amusement of the handknitter by Carol J. Sulcoski

Knitters will likely recognize Sulcoski’s name from her many books and articles, hand-dyed yarns, and speaking and teaching engagements. This is one of those cute little books that makes a great gift and can be enjoyed by dipping in here and there to read one or more of the short entries. These entries are provided in no stated order and include a biography of the patron saint of knitting (oops! there isn’t one, but a few possibilities are detailed), knitting-related world records, a list of knitting acronyms, definitions of yarn color effects terms, facts about knitwear through the ages, and many more. This would be a lovely book for a coffee table, waiting room, or other spot where someone is likely to pick it up for a few minutes and enjoy the facts they happen upon.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Kalamazoo Public Library through the MeLCat interlibrary loan system

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October freebie!

Ophelia Wrap by AnneArchy

When I go to a conference or other situation where I know I’m going to be sitting still and listening for a number of hours, I take a project that I don’t have to think much about. That way my hands are busy so I can ditch the ants in the pants and pay attention to what’s being said. Because I don’t want to pay much attention to what I’m knitting, I want a pattern than is easily memorized and, if possible, doesn’t have a right/wrong side and doesn’t involve repeats that need to be counted. I wrote this pattern to meet all of these wishes! It’s an openwork wrap and since it doesn’t need to be a particular length, all you need to do is memorize the one line of stitches and then work that line until the piece is as long as you want it to be. I also get a TON of compliments on this when I wear it (I’ve made a few and wear them a lot in the cooler months).

Pick up this free pattern on Ravelry, LoveKnitting, and Craftsy.

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review: Wise Craft Quilts

Wise Craft Quilts

Wise Craft Quilts: A guide to turning beloved fabrics into meaningful patchwork by Blair Stocker

So many people I know have quilts like this – created from shirts and other items that have special meaning. I have not seen many books focused specifically on these, though, so this is nice to see. Stocker offers 21 designs using a variety of types of material, including baby clothes, a wedding dress, table linens, and even bike race numbers (used to create a picnic blanket). Surprisingly, a t-shirt quilt is not among the projects here, but there are tons of instructions for creating those online. Many of these projects could be adapted to use whatever material you want to use – it wouldn’t have to be reuse of something existing, or could be a combination of reuse and purchased fabrics. There are a lot of options here, as well as inspiration for repurposing existing materials.

full disclosure: I borrowed this from my local public library, the Chippewa River District Library System

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review: the life-changing manga of tidying up

the life-changing manga of tidying up

the life-changing manga of tidying up: a magical story by Marie Kondo, illustrated by Yuko Uramoto

Are you a fan of the life-changing magic of tidying up? Or maybe you are looking for a different way into the Marie Kondo way of life? This book is a story-fied version of the original concept: it has a main character, Chiaki Suzuki, who is a young woman living in a cluttered Tokyo apartment. Her neighbor who likes to keep things tidy and Marie Kondo (AKA KonMari) herself also feature in the narrative. The story takes Chiaki from living a social life that mirrors her messy home to streamlining her wardrobe and letting go of the tangible reminders of past relationships. The concept that physical possessions weigh you down and hold you in the past will be familiar to KonMari devotees, as is the idea of using objects and clothing to spark joy and live a more fulfilling life.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books

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mini, petite

Mini Skirt for Petite Blythe

It’s not that easy to find clothes for Petite Blythe, and I’m always looking for separates that I can switch up, so I made this cute little wrap skirt pattern. It’s super easy and knits up in just a few minutes – make one in every color!

This pattern can be downloaded on Ravelry, Etsy, LoveKnitting, and Craftsy.

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