Sorry for the photo quality. 3 camera cards have disappeared, and the one I just bought is defective so I had to use the camera phone. Still only so much photoshop can do with a poorly lit photo. Anyway.....the subject is irons.
For years I have craved a better iron, since watching Sewing with Nancy and envying her Rowenta. Now the Missouri Quilt Company people have that cool Elisa or whatever it is that lifts up every time you stop moving it. Coooooool. But I read the reviews and the darn things quit after a year or so. If I lay out more than a hundred bucks for an iron it should work exceptionally well till I die.
After several cheap ones dying through the years I bought the Black and Decker classic above, because it looked and felt like the old timey work horses that last forever. I was pretty happy with it, one of the kids dropped it hard and broke a chunk or something, and I bought another. It too lasted for a long time then took a fall and kind of rattles on its chassis. So I went a step up and bought the Shark, also above. It cost more, I'm thinking about $40. at Walmart. I probably would have sprung for a Rowenta but Joannes and the city is 50+ miles away, so Walmart was my only choice. The thing just burnt up after about a week. Heated up way to hot and burnt up some of my board, made sizzly pop noises and then quit. I exchanged it and this one has been in moderate use for maybe 6 months and I was noticing tonight that it just won't stay hot. I was ironing all of my uniforms, something I almost never ever ever do. It would heat up and steam one small area and then blink to reheat for 3-8 minutes and repeat. The wrinkles were staying. The starch wasn't getting crisp. I pulled out the semi-rattley Black and Decker and it was a whole new world. Hot, crisp, starchy uniforms with sweet hot cotton and starch scent wafting up. So if you want a good iron but don't want to pay more than $100 (or way more!) I recommend this one. It doesn't steam vertically, I'll keep the shark for that because it does and still steams well, it's the plate that doesn't heat. It doesn't shoot a stream of water either, but I can keep a squirt bottle for that. It doesn't turn off automatically, which is an asset for sewing because the things always shut off just before you need them. I'm pretty trained to unplug an iron before I walk away and the kids don't bother with them much anymore. I like the weight of it, an asset to the press process. I think it's $25-$30 dollars. It does steam pretty well, though I think before I set it aside it had a little clogging here and there. I'll run a vinegar steam through it this week.
I was semi inspired to iron because I was trying out a home-made best press recipe. I haven't tried the real deal stuff, but the homemade didn't really thrill me. Maybe a little less flaking than that good ole Faultless in the can. Cheaper, made with some water, some starch from a big jug, couple shots of Vodka (benefit, I got some pomegranate mix and had cocktails twice now, sipping one now), and some essential oil. Maybe it would be more thrilling on a quilt in progress. I've been too wiped out working days, evenings, AND nights with the new job and old job to do any sewing. I watch videos of other people doing it as I try to sleep in between phone calls. The new job came with on call status 24/7 365 days and why am I surprised that they are calling. A lot. Sigh. At a pay rate of what I was making 20 years and one degree ago. Time to look for ANOTHER job. This one may be a good bridge though, at least it's the right specialty.
The self help book this week: What's your what. The Eat your Frog book was ok for clarification of goals, but awful depressing for someone who seems to do nothing but work and sleep. This one is to help figure out what it is you should be doing for someone who's a little befuddled about what they may really love and really be good at. Good for the smell of career burnout on the edges. I'm not sure I should leave nursing- Oh, I have loved it SO for parts of it. But there have been big chunks of feeling used, abused, and beat up by it. I am a Gemini with a limited attention span that has spent a lifetime moving around the globe and reinventing myself, and I have been doing this for 20 years now. This book might push me in some good direction, since I seem poised to bounce again anyway.
The ironing board is right next to the sewing machine. Felt good to be in that corner. I did turn it on and darn a hole in a pocket. I have a bag of new fabric (shame on me, it won't fit on the bookcase I have loaded with a good hoard already). Maybe this week! A bag. A baby outfit. Doll clothes. Christmas table runners or wall hangings (quilted!). I just have to get 18x 9 inches of space on the cutting table, and enough sleep to not be compelled to bed when I enter the room.