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One of my friends recently started a site about the misuse of American tax dollars to bail out greedy banks and their CEOs.

Well, guess what, he is on NPR. They edited him down to a single sound bite, which is a bummer, but you can check out his site for tons more info.

Obviously, this is a sensitive issue, especially for people who may face losing their house, and those of us opposed to the bailout, certainly aren't happy about the predatory practices that some banks employed, to get unsuspecting consumers to sign up for unreasonable Adjustable Rate Mortgages. But housing prices certainly did get bloated and banks surely did get rich off these practices. There have to be better ways to deal with this problem than trying to maintain a formerly insane status quo.

I'll leave you with one last fun link and then we'll return to our regularly scheduled doggy pictures and general crafty goodness.

The Subprime Primer explained by stick figures.

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Spin Off

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A couple of my online friends have already sent me congrats on my shawl write up in Spin Off. In fact, Deb saw it before I even got my copy.

When Interweave contacted me about including my shawl in a "gallery of shawls," I imagined a couple of page of a dozen or more baseball card sized boxes with a photo and a short description. Even after filling out the questionnaire, I simply assumed they wanted enough material to be able to cherry pick what they printed. When I saw that I got a whole 2-page spread I was floored...and pleased.

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One thing I discovered, while filling in the details, is that I am still a real neophyte at this spinning thing. How many twists per inch in the singles? I dunno. What drafting method do I use while spindling? Anything that keep the spindle from going plummeting to the floor, I'd say.

But still, it was fun to revisit this piece and I'm still proud, of the fact that I produced so much yardage on a little hand spindle.

Easter weekend

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With the patine cowl finished, I am now fully immersed in an unbloggable project (or two). But I think I can still find some useful blog fodder. I have some plans to do some more Excel for pattern writing posts, if that's something you guys like. And if I make good progress on the piece, I'll probably be doing some serious swatching for another personal (that is, blogable) design.

In the mean time, I leave you with some beachy cuteness from this weekend. See all the pictures, over on Flickr

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Panda: "Do I want a cookie? What sort of question is that?"
Thea: "Happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy."


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A refreshing dip on a gorgeous day.


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Pogo dog.


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Thea looks uncharacteristically serious.


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The girls at a down-stay, waiting for Leo to throw the squirrel.


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Exhausted puppies snuggle up for the ride home.

Practical

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This piece is so different than my normal style. Usually, I like to create something you couldn't just pop into Old Navy or Gap and buy. But sometimes it's nice to crank out something so utilitarian that you could wear it twice in a week and no one would notice.

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There's not too much to say about it. The lines and construction are all quite simple. It's incredibly comfortable and should be a nice layering piece on those rare occasions I need to be in the office for work.

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I think my mannequin wears it a little better than I do. She's such a show off.

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Even though this piece feels a little "blah" to me, there are elements I like. I find the wide ribbing very flattering and I thought the way the collar looked, when half finished, could be modified into an interesting shawl collar on a cardigan.

For now, this piece is off to New Hampshire to get a warm dip in a dye bath.

No longer a bastard

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Yesterday was a very special day, but this story starts quite a few years back.

The year was 1989 and my mom was a 40 something divorcee in a little town in NH, with two kids. She had started dating a year or two before and I was as glad for her to be starting fresh as an indifferent tween can be. You see, I was suffering from a severe mental disorder commonly called, puberty, and my brother, well, he always had a knack for making a scene, and he felt there was nothing quite so entertaining as horrifying my mom and her suitors for sport.

So, occasionally, a nice man would offer to treat the whole family to dinner and get to know the kids, and, well, if my mother ever writes her memoirs, you'll be able to laugh at the results.

But in 1989, my mom met Ben. He was an affable and gentle guy who shared the whole family's twisted sense of humor. Over the next few years, we saw him more and more and it was clear that he and my mom were growing closer, despite her demon-like offspring. Finally, one day, they gave me the news.

"Marnie, we're getting married."
...

...

I'd been living with this woman for the past 16 or so years and I was wondering if this guy was loco. "Don't you guys want to try living together a little first?" I asked.

But they were resolute. "We love each other and living together isn't going to tells us anything we don't already know.

I thought they were insane. I left them with a shrug and some parting words, "Well, if you get yourself knocked up, don't come running to me for free childcare."

My mom and Ben married in 1992, in a lovely little ceremony in Maine.

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My mom throwing her bouquet at the wedding.

In the years since, Ben has seen some of the hardest times our family has been through and brought us countless laughs. He has embraced our insanity and added a dash of his own to the mix.

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Ben and my mom at a friend's wedding.

I'm sure there have been times when Ben has wondered what he got himself into. Heaven knows, I still think he's crazy.

But after nearly 20 years with our ragtag family, Ben has made official what has felt true for so many years. Ben is now, officially, technically, legally and biologically (wait, not that last one) my father.

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My adoption papers and Ben and his lawyer at the court house.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy-o!

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