Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Radical Honesty

Television: Today and Tommorow
It seems like I have learnt a lot from american television shows. Although if you consider hours of tv watched against amount learnt it's probably not that even. In "Lie to Me" when you first meet the geeky young Eli he is being radically honest. It intrigued me at the time because I do lie a lot (not about important stuff - just to make things more interesting), but my default is to tell the truth and that confuses people because they think I'm joking when I do. Anyway, that was my first introduction to it and I read up on it and did an experiment and then forgot. The experiment was last year and I asked out a guy I have fancied the pants off for some months but who is so utterly unsuitable as for it to be practically a 'Friends' storyline. He genuinely thought I was joking and each time he asked me if I was really asking him out and I said 'yes' he took it as sarcasm and so it never went anywhere. 
Source: imgfave.com via Alex on Pinterest

Then they used Radical Honesty on a recent episode of Bones. I love Bones. I relate to Brennan quite a lot and wouldn't mind relating to Booth ifyouknowwhatimean. There was a debate between Brennan and Booth which went a bit but probably not much like this because I'm doing this from memory. 

Brennan: I think Radical Honesty is a good thing as it means people can work much more efficiently together. 
Booth: That's fine as long as you take peoples' feelings out of the equation. But as soon as you add them back in you need to have the little white lies that show you care and don't want to hurt people. 

Obviously there's a reason why I don't write screenplays and I've undoubtedly done Bones a massive disservice by misquoting all that well-tuned prose but you get the drift.  
drifting snow

I have been thinking about giving this Radical Honesty thing a try. But then I keep holding back because of Booth's well-made and badly quoted point about caring for the feelings of others. But then this highlights my dilemma. I have this ridiculous, pointless, pathetic crush on this guy. It's the same one as in the previous example. Since that incident he has acquired a girlfriend and if there is one thing the last 6 months has taught me it is that One Does Not Go There so it's not even as if I want to act on this crush. But it is unflushable - I can't ditch it. It's like being a schoolgirl again and hoping he sits at your table at lunchtime. It is really annoying too because he is utterly unsuitable, not attractive, not my type at all, we have no shared interests and live very different lifestyles and he often comes out with things that make him sound like a real twat. In fact if something did happen between us I would probably be quite repulsed. It's just so goddamn irrational and I have already tried to get over it in all the ways I can think of but none have worked. So, as a last resort, I have considered radical honesty. I could just tell him. "Hey you. I really really fancy the pants off you but cannot work out why and have no intention of acting on it. So now that's out there let's all just get on with our lives." No. Even as I write that I can tell this is not going to work. But it does seem like it would be a relief to just get it out there. 

The wiki page says "The program asserts that lying is the primary source of modern human stress and that practitioners will become happier by being more honest, even about painful or taboo subjects" It is a bit of gamble though. I just *have* to stop fancying him though because it's fricking ridiculous. 

I've been rambling on about the inside of my foul mind for the last few posts so let's do some non-mental stuff. Doesn't this look awesome?
London Duck Tours on the Thames
I spent A Lot of time on the river at the weekend going to and from the Watercolour exhibition at Tate Britain. I had always thought Watercolour was a very specific type of paint that came in little hard cubes and you added water too and it was transparent. 
BUT it turns out that Watercolour is defined as pigment suspended in a water soluble medium. So that means it essentially covers everything apart from Oil Paints. This surprised me but it was a nice surprise as it meant the exhibition contained some nice goache and acrylic numbers that I probably wouldn't have otherwise seen ever. 

I do like travelling by boat. If you're not a Londoner and come for a visit try taking the Thames Clipper for a couple of stops. It's cheaper than those noisy tourist boats and you can still sit outside. It gives you a different perspective on very familiar things.
London Eye
Plus having read far too much detective fiction in my time I like to keep my eye out for floating bodies. What? Nothing weird about that. It's not like I've ever seen one. My sister has a friend who is on the murder squad of the Met and I asked him if he could find out how many bodies were found floating in the Thames in an average year but he said No. Very sad. Meanwhile back at chez Byrne it looked like Hurricane Craftina had swept through as I had so many part completed projects on the go. Half a dress for muvver, half a skirt for me, parts of a summer cardigan, looking something like this:
...and as for the windows:
Balloons on the windows
It looks a bit jobby but that's the benefit of window crayons - they come off with water and you can start all over again. 

To finish, just when you thought this blogpost couldn't get any more random, here is a heart shaped leaf. 
Heart Shaped Leaf
This is the sign that I really do need to start dating. If nothing else it may put me off men so utterly that I get over my crush. If you know a man who meets the criteria in my previous blogpost then send him over. Must have his own teeth, not be an alcoholic and not try and borrow money off me. I know - I'm picky. 

The Final Analysis

I have signed up for a free trial of a dating site. As part of the sign up you get a personality report. It's all quite interesting (who doesn't like reading about themselves) but I thought the final summary was worth a post here, just to keep in mind. 

Given your most obvious qualities, it would be great for you to meet the kind of partner:
  • Who appreciates your need for time spent one-to-one rather than being with lots of people.
  • Who shares his feelings with you and feels good about you expressing yours.
  • Who listens to you and supports you in practical ways when times get tough.
  • Who's able to accommodate when you stick to your guns.
  • Who's happy with your direct, straight way of communicating.
  • Who can be intuitive.
  • Who is as organised and conscientious as you are.
  • Who enjoys the relationship here-and-now, day-to-day.
  • Who looks at the positive side of things and is optimistic.
  • Who welcomes your emotions and expresses his freely.
You'd also really like it if your future partner:
  • Isn't too clingy and smothering.
  • Lets you cherish and take care of him.
  • Is happy to spend some of his free time doing things together.
  • Is happy to make joint plans for the future.
  • Likes to be physically affectionate.
  • Shares your intellectual interests and is able to talk to you on a wide range of subjects.
So there's my checklist for when I eventually venture out.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Make a Clock, using your favourite fabric

Polka Dot Fabric Clock Tutorial
This is an idea that popped into my head a few weeks ago and I finally made mine yesterday so thought I'd share the process. 

You will need:
Clock Tutorial
  • A clock mechanism with hands (see note below about this)
  • An embroidery hoop of the size you want your clock to be
  • A piece of fabric big enough to fill your embroidery hoop
  • Waste cardboard at least as tall as your embroidery hoop plus 2 cm.
  • A pen
  • (not shown) Glue suitable for sticking card to wood
  • (not shown) Scissors
A note on clock mechanisms: You can get these quite cheaply in a number of craft shops and online. I do not like the sound of ticking and so I looked for something called a "continuous sweep" mechanism. Otherwise any clock mechanism will do. I found mine on ebay where prices went up to £10 per unit, but mine was about £3.50 inc postage.

On your card draw round the inner edge of the inner ring of your embroidery hoop. Then add on an extra 1cm on each end and cut out this shape. 
Using your scissors make a number of small cuts through the extra centimetre of card and up to the line you have drawn. You are effectively making  a number of tabs which will fold up at 90 degrees to the rest of the card. 

Put your fabric in the embroidery hoop and trim off the excess at the back so it looks neat from the front. 

Flip the hoop over and insert your card. You'll see that the flaps I cut earlier are now pressed against the inner hoop while the main body of the card is flat against the fabric. 
Once you are sure everything is fitting properly use glue to stick the flaps to the embroidery hoop (but not to the fabric - afterall you may want to change the fabric in 6 months and having it all glued on will mean you need to cut out more cardboard instead of just changing the fabric).

Using a skewer or your scissors and keeping your fingers clear, make a hole in the middle of your hoop, going through both the card and the fabric. The hole needs to be big enough to fit the shaft of the clock mechanism through. 

Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding fixing the mechanism in place, placing of the hands and battery. 

Now put your clock up on the wall and sit back while time passes. 

  1. My clock hands kept colliding and stopping themselves when I first put it together. As they were plastic I got a dish with boiling water and dropped them in for a minute. I carefully fished them out and was able to straighten them so they now move smoothly over each other. 
  2. Pliers may be useful for tightening the clock mechanism washers and nuts around the cardboard and fabric. 
  3. As mentioned earlier, you are not stuck with this fabric forever. You can make it seasonal with special summer or christmas fabric, or show off some of your embroidery or patchwork. When you do want to replace it carefully remove the clock mechanism and undo the embroidery hoop. The fabric should just fall out and the card is attached to the inner loop so should stay in place. Put in your new fabric, tighten the hoop, make a hole in the fabric where it needs to be and replace the clock mechanism. 
If you use this tutorial please make a voluntary donation of just £1 towards my ongoing craft addiction. 

Chocolate Dipping Sauce Recipe

This simple sauce takes less than 2 mins in the microwave and is good on fruit and, for the true sugarholic, marshmallows!
Chocolate dipping sauce Recipe
You will need:
  • About 40g of cooking chocolate
  • Tablespoon of honey
  • Knob of butter
  • Microwavable dish
  • Fruit/marshmallows
  • Skewer/cocktail stick
Precise timings will depend on the power of your microwave, and if you don't have one you can use the traditional bain marie

Break the cooking chocolate into pieces and put in the microwavable container. In 30 second bursts, zap the chocolate until it has started to melt (For me this took two 30 second bursts). 

Remove the dish from the microwave and without stirring add the butter and honey. 

Put back in the microwave and zap until the butter has melted (for me this was just one more 30 second zap). 

Stir until smooth and serve while still lovely and warm. 

Additional options: you can add some cinnamon or other spices or a small shot of your favourite liquor. Just bear in mind with the latter that this will make the sauce runnier and so you may want to omit half of each of the butter and honey to compensate. 
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