Eureka! The Humble Thesaurus


Why is the thesaurus so great?  This is resource that will expand and improve your creativity in ways you never knew!  This common tool is something that I had overlooked for YEARS!

I’ve been blogging for several years now.  5 or 6, I think.  My blog has changed and evolved a few different times.  Right now, I mostly focus on poetry.  I now write my poetry with a minimum of 2 tabs open on my computer.  One to actually WRITE the work and another, my new-found Best Friend, the thesaurus.

If I am trying to convey a feeling and I don’t seem to be able to find the right word for it, I always jump over to the thesaurus.  In poetry, you want what you are trying to express to flow in a way that is pleasing to the reader.  If it doesn’t, your work will fall flat.  One word can make all the difference in the world.

I’ll give you a few simple examples.  If I want to say that I’m angry in a poem or story, rather than use the word angry, my thesaurus suggests fury, indignation, rage, passion and many more.  I find these much more creative ways to express anger.  Don’t you?

Another example.  If I want to express that I am sad, my trusty thesaurus suggests the words bitter, dismal, wistful and many others.  Sound better?  I think so too.

To me, using the thesaurus can make or break a poem or story for you.

In the tiny Elfchen below, titled A Splash of Starlight, in the 4th line, I used the word illuminated rather than the boring word, lit.  A much more eloquent way of expressing the same thing.

a
splash of
starlight bathed the
night and illuminated our
love

My revelation of the thesaurus, described above, may be something Old Hat to many of you out there.  But to many others, this may just be the thing that unlocks that creative inner voice that has been trapped inside you!  You can find Thesaurus . com HERE. 

So, tell me, what revelation in writing have you discovered that helps you?  Please share!  

Copyright (C) 2020 Penny Wilson

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Making Face Masks


Do you want to make your own homemade face masks?  Below are instructions of how I make them.  These are NOT medical grade face masks.  But if you need a face mask, as many places are requiring them these will work great.  There are lots of different masks out there and lots of different ways to make them.  This works for me.

Supplies you’ll need:  Fabric, 1/4″ elastic, scissors, straight pins and a sewing machine.  The fabric, ideally, should be a cotton or cotton blend.  T-shirt fabric works well.  Sheets, pillow cases or denim also work.  The denim, although it works, if it’s too heavy, your sewing machine is going to have a hard time handling it.  The light blue ones above are a fairly heavy denim and I was only able to get 2 pleats instead of 3 because of the thickness.

For one mask, you’ll need 2 pieces of 6″ X 9″ fabric and 2 pieces of 7″elastic.

With RIGHT sides together, pin the elastic between the layers at each corner.  Be careful not to twist the elastic.

Sew around the outer edge of the 2 pieces, leaving about a 2″ opening along one of the long sides. I used about a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Using the 2″ opening, turn the fabric right side out.  Now your elastic will be on the outside of the piece.

Next fold and pin 3 pleats on each end of the fabric.  I just eyeball this.  Some people use precise measurements, but accuracy is not essential here.  I also pin closed the 2″ area that I used to turn the fabric. *An important note: be sure that the pleats on both sides of the mask face the same direction. I use the pin I put in the opening to remind me. I have them all face down toward it.  

Carefully sew around the perimeter of the piece, being careful not to sew over the pins.  On the pleats, if the fabric is heavy, go slow to be easy on your needle and sewing machine. I sew around the perimeter twice for extra security.  This is up to you.

I then press the pleats flat.  But as you can see from the picture above, it’s really not a necessary step.

And there you go!  You just completed a face mask.  After you do a few of these, the process will go faster.

A few notes and tips: I will often use a lighter weight fabric with a heavier one to make it easier to sew.  You end up with a mask that has 2 different sides. I had a hard time finding 1/4″ elastic for a while so I just cut the pieces length-wise to make them more narrow. 

I don’t charge for the masks that I make.  Some people do, but there are so many people unemployed, this is a source of income for them. There is a huge need for these. They go out as fast as I can make them. Consider your mail carrier, or grocery store clerk, delivery drivers, lawn workers.  Also think about the homeless shelters, assisted living communities, senior centers. Every little bit helps.

If I left anything out in my instructions above, or if you have any questions just let me know.

Have fun!

Copyright 2020 Penny Wilson

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  ❤ Penny

Homemade Face Masks


I’ve been making fabric face masks for a few weeks now.  I do this mostly on the weekends when I’m not at work and have more time.  They are going just as fast as I can make them.  Today I took half a dozen into a local pharmacy and the girls there about cried because they were so happy to have them.

I’m not on the front lines of the COVID-19 horror, thank heavens.  I think that we all have an obligation to do what we can.  This I can do.  I’ve asked my co-workers for fabric donations and have had a good response.

With the change in attitude about whether or not we should wear face masks in public, it won’t be long before it will be mandatory in the US.  These masks will also ease the demand for medical masks needed for health care workers.

If you Google homemade face masks, you’ll find lots of different patterns.  YouTube also has some good how-to videos.

If we all pitch in and do what we can to get through this, it will be less painful for everyone and be over with sooner rather than later.

Stay Safe, Stay Well and Stay Home.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Penny ❤