Five good things, including crafts and grocery store music

1. If Food Network and HGTV are getting stale for you, check out Li Ziqi’s YouTube channel. She shows how to make food and other items using traditional Chinese techniques. This video of her making a writing brush, ink stick, ink slab, and paper (yes, she made paper) blew me away. She also has gorgeous videos of her building bamboo furniture and cooking meals over a wood-fired stove, all set to relaxing music. You’ll be thankful for modern technology after watching a few of these.

2. It’s a glorious time to be a crafter! Years ago, Knitty and Ravelry were game changers for me in my knitting thanks to beautiful, modern patterns. I decided to get back into cross-stitching this week and WOW, the patterns are way better than they were 30 years ago! I’ve known about Subversive Cross Stitch for a while, but the sheer number of funny, snarky, edgy, and modern patterns on Etsy made me so happy. Cross stitch isn’t just for cutesy samplers anymore, and it’s about damn time.

3. I’m obsessed with the music played at grocery stores. Few things make you feel older than hearing the music you grew up with as sonic wallpaper. That said, the places I shop can have…interesting mixes. One grocery store always surprises me: one week it’ll be an entire ELO album, the next might be an Andrea Bocelli/Sarah Brightman duet followed by Ariana Grande. Here’s my Spotify playlist if you want a taste.

4.  I read How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell last month and can’t stop thinking about it. I need to re-read it soon. It’s a good companion to Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport–the first book is from an artist’s perspective, the second is from a computer scientist’s perspective.

5. Annie Lennox rehearsing “Under Pressure” with David Bowie. Enough said.