Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Race to the finish line

Caution - I don't think anyone's going to have time to read my blog until after Christmas, but just in case, I've made certain parts a bit hard to read as something of a spoiler protection.

Well, I figure there's no time to get every project done in time, so I've finished the ones for the out-of-towners, and I'm going to make sure all the others are at least started, so I can wrap the projects with a picture of the pattern and everyone will know I didn't just flake, and know what things are going to look like.

So I'll have a pair of socks, two hats, a two and a half pairs of handwarmers, a pair of slippers, a couple of plushies, a small pile of cellphone charms, sleep pants, possibly some more earrings, and a sweater that the freaking yarn hasn't actually arrived for yet (seriously - this is two years running!  I order the yarn to make the sweater back in October, and it just never arrives.  Last year's was discontinued, I can't wait to hear the excuse for this one)

Then there's also rewiring the plug that fell off of the tree (shouldn't be too hard, but it's the downside of the pre-lit tree), wrapping everything, and I think I was supposed to make cookies. I don't know anymore, my caffeine level has dropped slightly below rational thought, but still holding above motor control.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Looming...


Eight days of crafting time left.  I sort of hope we get more snow tomorrow so I can just tuck in for the day and get some quality crafting time in. (of course, I'll probably need to go get a few extra supplies, so....)

There are ends to sew in, knitting projects to finish, bits to be sewn together, jewelry to finish, prints to be made, inks to be heat-set, items to be pre-washed before wrapping, patterns to finish, etc, etc, etc.  I'm a little glad that not all of the relatives are going to be able to make it in for Christmas, since it gives me until New Year's to finish up their stuff.

I'm supremely confident that I can get everything done, but there's gonna be one hell of a crash Christmas evening when I fall over from exhaustion.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I added my twitter to the sidebar - I do tend to talk to myself a lot, I feel a bit less silly talking to the internet rather than sitting here talking to the cat, especially as the cat has a tendency to wander off a bit.

The pickles are all done.  And nearly all eaten.  Needless to say, they turned out well.  We're already planning all the vegetables we'd like to plant to pickle for next year.

We need to plant some onions, too.  I keep running out, and it's so nice and snowy outside, onion soup sounds so very very tasty.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

NaNoWriMo Fail

Once again, I did not complete NaNoWriMo.  November is really never a good time for me - it's usually when I start panicking about getting the Christmas crafting done, not to mention that I had a craft show to prepare for this year and the brief possibility of hosting Thanksgiving.

However, on a brief spin through Wikipedia trying to recall if James Bond works for MI5 or MI6, I happened to read up on all the other MI agencies.  Most of them were wartime sort of things and are now defunct, but....there was never an MI13.  At least not one anyone knows about.  I think I have next year's NaNoWriMo idea.  Or a kick-ass Hellsing fanfic.  Or Torchwood. Must...resist...fanfic...save...good ideas...for original works...and stop...talking like Captain Kirk.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hello, Winter!

Yay!  First snow of the season.
Looked very crisp and snuggly this morning, too bad I had to go to work.  Fortunately, the pavement was warm enough that the roads were just wet rather than icy.  Meant a nice slow day with plenty of time to work on the store samples, at least.

Got some pickles started, as well.  They were the leftover radishes from the Thanksgiving relish tray, and I'm hoping to have the pickles done in time for the Christmas relish tray.  I'm doing tsukemono-style pickles, sliced thinly and pressed with salt.  If everyone likes them well enough, I may be able to get a bit of a subsidy to buy a proper tsukemono press instead of using two stacking tupperware containers with weights in one.  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In progress

Thought I'd post a few in-progress paintings that I'm working on for the show next week:

This one is going to probably be the most heavily reworked.  I don't know what the hell I was thinking here, trying to just paint a checkered tablecloth without doing a few sketches first.  The perspective problems just make me cringe.


This one is just an abstract, it's almost done, I just have a few details to add.  I found an entire package of metal leaf that's going to be going to a good cause  - my painting instructor would be so proud.swirly goodness

I think this one's self-explanatory.   He may get a friend looking for his bucket depending on my time constraints.ORLY?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Novels and Knitting

Well, NaNoWriMo is going fairly well so far.  It helps that this year I had a setting planned out.  I'd actually started to write a story in this setting several years ago, but I'd been writing it all longhand between classes, and and some point the envelope I was keeping my pages in kind of vanished somewhere and is still probably floating around campus.  I still had all my setting and character notes, though, so I'm using them to start over from scratch.  

I'm also coming along well on getting some stock together for the craft show next weekend.  I have high hopes of actually selling some of my paintings, and I've got some jewelry pieces I'm pretty proud of, too.  I'm thinking that I'm going to change my policy and go ahead and put stuff that I'm working on to sell in my Ravelry notebook.  After all, most of them are original patterns, I could be selling the patterns through Ravelry, or be getting some attention focused on my Etsy store.  which reminds me, I need to get to work finishing up my tags and business cards for next weekend.  I'm pretty excited about the whole thing - every now and then I need a little validation that my college degree is somwhat useful.

Friday, October 24, 2008

And now a brief political message...

That is all...
(images CC from wikimedia, poster generated by diy.despair.com)

Monday, October 13, 2008

And this is why I waited to register to vote.

In the last two hours, I have had THREE political poll phone calls. They've got four minutes, and then the next one gets immediately answered with "I'll vote for whoever will shut the hell up and let me get back to what I was doing!"

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Updates all around

Well, I just finished going through my Ravelry notebook and taking some fresh pictures to update my projects in progress. The big one to update is the hat I'm working on - it's an original design, and I'm really very pleased with how it's turning out. Took a little while to get the hang of the shaping in double-knitting, but it looks pretty good, and I think I've explained it nicely in the pattern. I'm actually pleased enough that I think people might be willing to pay money for it.

The felted satchel for Tiwaz is coming along nicely as well - I'd hoped to have it done for our aniversary, but I don't think I'll quite have it done by then. Definitely before Thanksgiving, though. Now that we have a washer and drier, I have a bit of a backlog of things that need felting anyway - best to just set aside a day for it.

And, of course, we're heading dangerously into NaNoWriMo time again. I'm thinking this year I'll actually prepare a bit, try working up some character profiles and such. I've got two pages of a comic that I drew as part of an art project, and I'm thinking that might be a good jumping off point for me this year - I essentially drew a trailer, no plot really involved, just a hook. I don't even think there was any dialog, just character introductions. I've got my author page all updated, though, and I just need to grab this year's badges and fix my sidebar links.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another thing to add to the list of things I can only do when no one is watching...

Seriously, since when can I make an omelet? Without fail, every time, it turns into scrambled eggs. I don't even know what possessed me to try today. Perhaps Cooking Mama really can improve your cooking skills...or maybe it's that I've simply never tried when there was no one else home to whom I could show the perfect, perfect cheese omelet.

Starting the Christmas Crafting

Well, the Christmas crafting has begun in earnest. So far I've got one original pattern I'm working on, and two more projects I'm working on from other patterns. I'm trying to do smaller projects and not take on too much, possibly famous last words.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Triumph of Planned Obsolescence

Last week we were getting ready to leave the house, and the garage door opener wouldn't work. This has happened before, and turned out to be a broken spring that time, but we could tell all the springs were intact this time. So, we tried running it again, paying closer attention to the actual opener, and found that while the motor was running and the chain was hooked in properly, the chain was not moving. A few days later when we had the time, we opened the opener up and had my dad take a look at it, thinking that it was just a gear not catching...

And by 'not catching', of course, we mean 'made of nylon and shredded to bits where it rubs against the metal gear'. There is no way to fix this gear, and replacing it would be exceptionally awkward - assuming we could find or fabricate the right gear to begin with.

The next step, then, was to look up the model and see what sort of warranty it might have had on it. As it turns out, this model is no longer made, so no one would have been able to do anything for us even if the warranty still applied, but here's the kicker - the opener originally came with a ten-year warranty....

Ten years exactly. On the one hand, I am incredibly pissed off because we have had rain every day but one since this happened . On the other hand, somewhere out there is an engineer/industrial designer who really knows their estimated material lives.

Now playing: Jonathan Coulton (Portal) - Still Alive
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Best laid plans of mice and men are all f***ed up by cats.

So I woke up this morning all "I'm gonna write, and do some painting, and clean the kitchen, and get that hat pattern posted", but then I opened my bedroom door and found this:

So the cat got dumped out on her fuzzy little butt, I cleaned up the trail of shredded toilet paper, found where she'd hidden the toilet paper roll holder, and now I'm going to eat and play World of Warcraft, because it's all gloomy outside and that just sucked up my will to do something productive for the next few hours.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Recipe: Caprese Salad Extreme

A deli near my house makes a truly awesome caprese salad, but it doesn't seem to be something they make every day, so as my contribution on the Fourth, I sort of reverse-engineered it and added a few touches of my own:

1 1/2 lb mozzarella (the nice fresh squishy stuff or the little balls)
3/4 lb cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
6 whole sundried tomatoes, chopped
5 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or about one-third to half the tube if you buy the stuff I always get)
1/4 large onion, very thinly sliced
2 cloves roasted garlic, chopped (or a big heaping spoonful of the pre-chopped stuff)
1 teaspoon"Italian Seasoning" (I like the Paul Prudhomme Pizza and Pasta Magic)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Oregano and red pepper flakes to taste

Whisk together everything except the onion, cheese, and cherry tomatoes in a large NON-METALLIC bowl (found that out the hard way with previous tomato-based salads). Cut the cheese into cubes and stir in thoroughly, letting rest for a moment. Cut the stems out of the cherry tomatoes and add (if that hard little stem part doesn't bother you like it does me, just stab them a couple of times before tossing them in), followed by onion. Mix thoroughly. For best flavor, cover and let it rest in the fridge overnight before serving.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Of Heroes and Villians

When Heath Ledger died, I went 'oh, that's too bad.' Having seen The Dark Knight, I now feel his death as a great personal loss. This was not campy clownish Joker, this was pure Frank Miller-esque chaos given human form Joker, and it was amazing. I honestly don't think that the next Batman movie can possibly be as good, simply because the Joker is really your classic top-shelf Batman villain, and I don't think anyone else could play him. Honestly, if you define a superhero by his villains, then Batman really is near the top (I'm sorry, but Dr. Strange still wins the villain contest. I mean, Shuma-freaking-Gorath!)

The whole movie was amazing - we went to see it at this awesome theater that's pretty small but very 'golden age of Hollywood' themed and serves actual food and booze. It was like watching it in a big room full of friends - we all cheered and laughed out loud and screamed and when it was over the whole audience burst into applause. I'm kinda glad we didn't go to the IMAX theater for the opening, because I think it just would have been too much for me at that time of morning -I would have been too shaky to drive the half-hour home. (Though I do look forward to going out there to see it again, as I've heard that some scenes were actually filmed especially for IMAX)

And then we went to IHOP, and the waitress asked as we'd finished off our pancakes and waffles, were we interested in dessert.....

Monday, June 30, 2008

The fruits of my rummaging

So excited about the results of my thrift store rounds - the big winner of the day (not counting the furniture at my friend's garage sale) was an old ammo case I found at Salvation Army. It smells really strange inside - sort of like fireworks, but not quite. I thought maybe it was some other kind of munition, but the only one I could think of was cordite, and I've been informed that a) it smells more like marzipan, b) was mostly used by the British army, and c) doesn't seem to have been used since WWII. I seem to have just been reading too many pre-1940 books lately.

As a co-worker pointed out, it was probably used in Vietnam, so someone may have been storing 'smoking materials' in it as well as the ammo. But it doesn't have that 'art professor's office' smell, either. Doesn't really matter, since it's getting scrubbed out to within an inch of its life so I can use it as a lunchbox.

The other big 'woot' moment came from the cheap-ass Scrabble game I got. At first I thought I'd make something cool out of them for my Etsy store, but then I got to thinking, and I honestly think they'd sell better to just sell the tiles as supplies.

Oh, and someone from Geek Crafts spotted my Mona Kitty t-shirt on Craftster, and they're going to feature it on Wednesday! Happy happy joy joy! There's my ego satisfied for at *least* the rest of the week ^_^

Now playing: Beatles - Across The Universe
via FoxyTunes

Odd thoughts...

Where does the government get those markers to black out documents? Because the brand-new Sharpie I'm using can only do the tabs on three file folders, tops, before I have to let it sit and rest. Are they using special markers, or is there some technique I don't have down?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Always nice to feel like I've added a little awesome to the world:

I'd made a painting of Hello Kitty as the Mona Lisa for my latest swap, and everyone loved it so much that I cleaned up one of my concept drawings and made a screen at work. I now know what every girl I know is getting for Christmas ^_^. It looks a little blotchy because I had some glow-in-the-dark screenprinting ink that came with the kit I bought off the clearance rack that had sort of congealed too much to be usable on its own. So, I mixed it in with the opaque white in hopes that the glowiness would still work - which it does, but I can't get a decent picture of it in the dark. Now to go find my iron and heat-set this baby so I can wear it tomorrow!

I hope my partner finds her camera cable soon so she can post some pictures of the rest of her package - I wasn't able to get very good pictures before I sent (I was in a hurry because I thought I was running late, but it turned out I sent two days early)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Get your car in the basement..."

I kid you not, the weather girl honestly just said this. I mean, there's a big storm, hail, gas storage facility hit by lightning and on fire (which is why I just came back from running out into the storm to fill my gas tank up), and this weather girl is currently in the process of warning people on the OTHER SIDE OF THE STATE about their weather. I know damn well and good that none of them get this station. And she always makes a point of breaking in on CSI, too.

And don't think I'm being condescending referring to her as the weather girl. I looked up her qualifications once, she's not actually a meteorologist. I've actually signed a petition to get this woman pulled off the air.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Goodies

Ah, it was nice to have a day off. Lots of things I'd been meaning to get around to. Between all of us, we managed to get the living room cleaned, new fan installed (I can't believe what a difference a better light makes - I'm all pumped to start painting the living room now!), bought fabric for dining room curtains, and made some truly fantastic burgers.

I'm actually so pleased with how the burgers turned out, I'm glad I wrote down everything I put in them. I'm going to try to work out some more specific measurements than 'some' and 'a couple of splashes', and maybe post the recipe in the next few days. I think with an egg and something to act as filler (my first thought is bread crumbs, my second thought panko or crushed bagel/pita chips) it would make an incredible meatloaf as well

I'm really loving the fabric I got for the curtains - I'm starting to wish I'd maybe gotten a little more to re-do the chairs, but I don't know that it would be sturdy enough for that purpose. It looks wonderful with the curtain rod (pictured), and it's going to go really nicely with the cobalt blue I've got picked out for the final coat on the walls. I'm starting to think maybe I should just do the cobalt as a wash over the cadet blue I've got going in there at the moment. Something to maybe try out on a piece of scrap wood, see how it turns out.

I also found some nice fabric for some 'around the house' shorts for Tiwaz. It's hard sometimes to find a nice masculine looking fabric that isn't obviously for someone under 12. (Not that I don't think he'd wear Star Wars or Transformers shorts, - hell, not that I wouldn't - I'm just saying...)

I also got a few things for the latest swap I've joined. I'm pretty excited about the projects I'm working on, trying out a few new techniques and such. Don't want to go into too much detail in case my partner is checking my blog, but I've got the supplies for all but one of my projects, and I'm really looking forward to finishing up the big project. I'm trading a friend some shrinky-dinks for the supplies I need to get it done, as I discovered this weekend that somehow she has managed to get through life thus far without never knowing the joys of shrinky-dinks. This is a state of affairs that I simply cannot allow to continue. I'm sure she will enjoy them thoroughly, and promptly use them to create something far cooler than I could have come up with, just because she's kind of awesome like that at times.

Now playing: Dean Gray - Ashanti's Letterbomb
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Potayto, Potahto

So my assignment at work today was basically 'fit ten pounds of potatoes into this five-pound bag'. Turns out it's an easy enough task to accomplish, but when you're done, a lot of potatoes are going to be very pissed off at you. Fortunately, enough of the 'potatoes' have given me crap that I don't care quite so much if they're pissed off anymore. After all, you can't make an omelette without breaking a few potatoes...er...eggs. I probably should have had a better lunch.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

You get what you pay for...

So I found out today that GameTap is offering Psychonauts as a free download. My first thought was 'great! I almost paid $15 for the XBox version'. My second thought, about an hour into the game, was 'oh yeah...I really hated trying to play the demo on the PC'. I just can't find a comfortable button layout to play this game using the keyboard, I really need to get it in a version I can play with a controller. Oh well, something to add to my Wists.

I've been doing good on non-jewelry items for Etsy as well, got a few notecard sets lined up, and a few scarves and hats are ready for their close-ups. If time allows this week, I'm thinking of maybe putting a pattern up in pdf format - although Ravelry added a function to sell patterns through them. I'm going to have to do a little research into their shopping mechanism to see which way I want to go with that.

Now playing: Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I Miss Coffee...

Well, that drawing I wanted went up on eBay today - I got the first bid in, and was instantly outbid all the way up to my limit. I honestly didn't think for a moment that I'd be able to get it, but at the very least I was hoping to keep the lead for a full minute. And this is why I don't buy much off of eBay. Believe me, it's not for lack of trying some days.

Regardless, I've been on an Etsy restocking spree lately. Mostly jewelry, which I love making, but I really don't feel like that's what I want to focus on - it seems like such a large percentage of Etsy is jewelry. Ideally, I want a variety of types of items in my store until such time as someone actually buys something from me. I just don't seem to be able to get a good grasp on what exactly Etsy shoppers are looking for, I guess. I'm thinking of putting a few strategic ads out on Project Wonderful, but I want to get my shop a little fuller first. I've got a few knit items I'm finishing up, another painting I'm working on, and a cute linoleum block that I'm planning to use to print notecards, but it seems like there should be more I could get together.

And that's where the lack of coffee comes in. I love coffee so much, and somehow other forms of caffeine just don't seem to give me the mental energy, just physical. Of course, I don't know that I'd feel quite so strongly on the matter if I wasn't allergic, but still, every time I hit a creative block, I find myself thinking 'well, one cup wouldn't hurt...I've got antihistamines...'.

Oh well, I'll just drown my sorrows with yarn - I'm nowhere near having used up enough to fulfill my New Year's resolution yet.

Now playing: Electric Light Orchestra - Turn To Stone
via FoxyTunes

Friday, May 02, 2008

multi-talented cat

As I awkwardly type this, all eleven pounds Miss Minerva is carefully perched on my kneecap, cleaning her own butt. I have no idea when she suddenly developed a sense of balance, as earlier today, she tripped over a rug in the living room. I shall attempt to get the hell off of me and continue later...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A faint glimmer of garden...

In hopes of actually having a garden this year, I picked up one of those little greenhouse thingies at the grocery store and seeded it Sunday night:

The chamomile has already sprouted nicely, and it looks like the basil is close behind. I'm hoping that at some point in the next couple of weeks, it'll stop raining long enough for me to get out in the backyard and actually get a place ready to transplant these guys when they get big enough. I maybe should have thought about that before I started the plants, but if worse comes to worse, I can always transfer them into larger pots for a bit to buy some more time.

Except the catnip...somehow, it doesn't seem like that great of an idea to have a big pot full of catnip anywhere inside, unless I wanted potting soil all over the carpet and the cat permanently stoned.

Now playing: Jill Tracy - Evil Night Together
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Little touches of awesome

Several random bits of minor awesomeness this week:

Yesterday I went to the Sonic near my office for lunch, and the carhop that served me was actually on roller skates! I've never actually seen a carhop on skates before.

I have had several random people at both jobs tell me I have a very nice voice. I feel like I should finish those flash lip-sync tests now >_<.

I've been using Google Maps' Street View to make note of particularly awesome houses in the name of working up a house plan of my own. I wish I'd known when they came by to do my street, I totally would have put a 'Hi, Google!' sign in my front yard or trimmed the bushes into something vaguely obscene.

I heard about Doodle Day (a fund raiser for Neurofibromatosis), and would really like to bid on this Sandman doodle. I know there's no way I could afford it, but it's one of those things that I just have to try for or I'd be kicking myself later. Seriously, it's because it sounded like a good charity... *shifty glance*

And the new Weezer CD should be out in time for my birthday!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

So Far, So Good

Well, the new job is going well so far - I don't seem to be suffering from any reduction in crafting time (although sleep has been another matter - it's going to take me about a week to adjust to having 'grown-up job' hours). We'll see how long I can keep up the full seven-day workweek between the two jobs, though. I do dearly love me some employee discount on crafty goodness...

It may not have been the brightest idea, but I think I can at least keep up the two job situation long enough to get together the money to get my car fixed (I got the insurance payment, but with the monthly paychecks, it ended up having to go towards other bills). I just can't seem to shake this odd feeling, though, and I can't really pin down just what the feeling is to figure out the source other than just another bout of low-thyroid induced paranoia.

I have a few more goodies to go up on Etsy when I have a moment and a charged camera battery and some clue on how to display them. Actually, I've had a couple of ideas, just a matter of getting the shots set up right. And then there's the waiting with bated breath to see if any of my bids on Alchemy are accepted - someone actually needs a cat bow-tie! I may have to make a batch to put up for sale and take the opportunity to really proof the pattern.

Now playing: "Weird Al" Yankovic - White & Nerdy (Parody of "Ridin'" By Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone)
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 24, 2008

New/Old project

So we were over at my parents' for Easter, and discovered that Little Kitty Dude has seriously outgrown his Kitty Pi. Even all curled up into a ball, he still sleeps on top of it rather than in it anymore. If I'd known he was going to turn out to be Humongo-Cat, I'd have made it larger to begin with, but as it stands, I suppose I'll just have to make him a new one. Fortunately, I've got two skeins of Kureyon in colors that'll go with their living room, and I've got a few other assorted shades of green wools that I can stripe in if it looks like the Kureyon's not going to be enough. If my calculations are correct, I'm going to have to make this thing the size of my kitchen table (pre-felted - he's not quite *that* big....yet...)

Fortunately, my cousin picked up her cat from her folks, so the new kitty will be needing a bed and can make use of Kitty Pi Mark I. I'd thought about grabbing it for Miss Dummy-Fuzzbutt, but she seems to insist on pink.

Damned girly-ass cat.

Now playing: Bright Eyes - First Day of My Life
via FoxyTunes

Friday, March 21, 2008

a difficult choice...

So, the new DeVotchKa album came out Tuesday. I have enough money in my iTunes account to buy the whole album, but on the other hand, I really want to have the physical disk, with all the bookletty goodness. Is it a little sad that I'd kind of like to buy both? I suppose I shall just skip lunch for a few days and use the money to run out and pick it up...ever hopeful that a store around here will have it, now that I think about it, since the only way I've ever been able to get any of their albums has been at their shows.....

If I could just figure out how the hell to redeem my credit card points since they decided to go fuck around with the rewards program, I could resolve the dilemma in nothing flat. Oh well, I suppose I'd snap if I didn't have minor things like this to get all my worrying out of the way over.

Now playing: Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Holy crap, yes!

Sometime in the dark of the last two days, Etsy brought Alchemy back up!!!!!11

Woo-hoo, I'm off to browse for potential shoppers!

Friday, March 07, 2008

There's a reason I had eye surgery...

So today I got a cute little metal bead of a skull garlanded in roses. I don't have a picture, but you can see the bead here. So, seeing as how it's lead-free pewter and miniature, my first impulse is to paint it. It's seriously tiny - maybe 10mm, tops - but it's not like I've never painted little tiny whites and pupils on a tiny pewter head before ;)

I'm not going to paint the whole thing - just the roses and leaves. Then a clear coat, and I think it'll look really cute as a cellphone charm. Either that, or I'll have to buy another one and turn them into earrings.

The topic of painting small pewter things of course brings to mind the recent passing of Gary Gygax. It's odd to think what an influence someone I never actually met in person has had on my life. Hell, my friends and I played D&D instead of going to prom, and it was my quest for a decent gaming group in college that led to meeting my husband. Kind of scary to think that tabletop gaming may actually have *improved* my social skills.

Now playing: Marlene Dietrich - Lili Marlene
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, March 02, 2008

In like a lion and a lamb?

Interesting weather this week - we've started March off with sunny clear skies and temperatures suddenly in the 70s - with straightline winds topping 30 mph. I honestly don't know if that counts as 'lion' or 'lamb'. I lean towards 'lion', since it's supposed to snow tomorrow. Yeah, 70s one day, snow the next. Gotta love midwestern weather.

So the satchel for her nibs is just about done - I just need to find my ironing board and put in some interfacing in the flap to reinforce where the snap is going, then attach the handle and it's done.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


So happy - I need to go through my calender and start writing in all the awesome movies I want to see this summer.

Hellboy II Trailer

I'm just so freaking happy Johann is in this one - he's my favorite BPRD character (though I've heard rumours about Lobster Johnson in the next movie...)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Slowly going insane...

So, turns out the little satchel I'm making was supposed to be for tomorrow, not next Saturday. Could've sworn the kiddo's birthday wasn't until next week, or I wouldn't have said I'd have the bag done in time. Not that it's going slowly, but since I work all weekend, I don't think it'll be done until Tuesday at the earliest. Here's a few in-progress photos:

As for the insanity, while sewing tonight, I found myself meowing the theme to Bonanza... I really need to fix my iPod.

Now playing: They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse in Your Soul
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I haven't had nearly enough to drink today...

I'm still so worked up over my car that I can tell I'm not getting to sleep anytime soon.

I was out shopping earlier, and in the 15 minutes or so I was in the store, some asshole whacked the side of my poor little pumpkinmobile with his truck door. Then he came out while I was still on the phone to the insurance company, got all belligerent when my mom went to talk to him, and drove off.

And I even got a photo on my cellphone of how nicely his door matched up with the dent.

To give you an idea of just how bad this is, when the nice police officer (God, I love my local police - they're always so nice) showed up, he looked at the side of my car and went 'Jeez, what did he hit that with?' We're not just talking scratched paint, I've got a ****ing FOLD in my rear passenger-side door. I mean, it could be worse, the door still works and the glass didn't get cracked or anything, but still - and the man was just such an ass.

Anyway, the officer said that if no one actually saw the guy hit the car, there wasn't much they could do, so tomorrow I'll be calling the corporate office of the grocery store next door to the lot where my car was parked and see if their cameras extend over that far. If nothing else, I've gotten a paper trail started with the police, so it's one less thing my insurance company can raise as an objection to paying out to get my car fixed.

*deep breath*

Okay, so the reason I was at the store in the first place was shopping for supplies for an adorable satchel my mom's commisioned for a friend's little girl (which as an aside back to the car, means mom felt guilty about being the reason I was there, so she said she'll cover the deductable). This bag is going to be so incredibly cute - she starts preschool this year, so I'm making it kid-sized, but big enough for her to carry stuff like a couple of coloring books and crayons and whatever the heck else a kid takes to preschool. Also, I got a few supplies I needed for some plushies I'm planning on putting up on etsy soon.

Now for some fortified hot tea and a little mindless websurfing to calm down enough to sleep at some point tonight.

Now playing: Alice Cooper - Steven
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yarn Review: Himalaya Recycled Sari Silk

I'm liking this yarn, but not loving it. I think the finished piece is going to turn out fairly impressive, but the actual process of working with it has been a bit wearing. For some reason, the concept of knitting with television static comes to mind. A certain amount of slubs, knots, etc. were to be expected as the nature of the beast, being recycled and handspun, but the bits of straw I keep picking out of the yarn have been slightly offputting. Also, I was really not prepared for the amount of shed/fuzz that's being produced.

Overall, I think I'd work with it again for something special, but it's not something I'd use for just anything. Final judgment will be reserved for seeing how the finished hat washes - I have to admit to a few qualms concerning the colorfastness, but it's not like it's coming off on my hands or needles like some yarns I've used.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Let there be light - please!

Odd phenomenon lately - seems like everywhere I go, light bulbs burn out in my wake. We've got three out at work, five at home, and the streetlight on the corner goes out every time I go past it. It seems odd that so many light bulbs that were all last changed at different times would all go out at the same time.

I got a pack of bulbs on my way home last night, but I'm thinking that perhaps certain rooms would benefit from fancier bulbs. I wish I had my craft area a little better defined, so I'd know where to spring for the full-spectrum/true-color bulbs.

Also, it's snowing again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Failure to Prepare

So during my lunch, I went to the pastry shop down the way to get my usual Italian soda. They were of course busy, and when the girl got me my soda, she apologized for the wait because, and I quote 'we just weren't prepared for this'.

We're talking about a pastry and chocolate shop here. And they weren't expecting a big rush on Valentine's Day? Of course, these are the same people who regularly run out of quiche (their main lunch menu item). If we just had the money, Tiwaz could totally blow them out of the water. Ooh, the dessert tonight...it pays, marrying a pastry chef!

In actual, to the point, crafting news, I'm very excited - I've actually gotten a list together of art fairs coming up, and I swear, this year I will actually make the deadlines for submission. I'm terrible about forgetting about fairs and gallery shows until a few weeks before they open, well after the submission deadlines. And as a happy coincidence, my favorite art-supply store is having a massive sale this month. I mean *massive* - buy one get three free canvases and 30% off my favored brand of paint.

I don't even care if I sell any of my work, it's just the thought of having some of my pieces in a real honest-to-God non-student show.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

eBay has its uses...

Funny the things that suddenly bother you in the middle of the night.

I recently traded in my Stratocaster for an acoustic, and for some reason about an hour ago it started nagging at the back of my mind that I really had no idea if I'd gotten a good deal on the trade or not. So, I nipped over to eBay and looked up my model - turns out I got a fairly good deal for it (it was a modern Mexican), and they threw in a hard case for the acoustic.

I've always had good luck with that music store in the past, don't know why that was bothering me, other than I've managed to take care of most of the other stuff I was worrying about and needed something new to keep the list full.

Now playing: DeVotchKa - Miette
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, February 07, 2008


So frustrating - I got the stuff for my swap package done, but I won't be able to mail it until Monday. It's all just sitting there tormenting me. I almost want to post a few teaser pics on Craftster, but since my swap partner's one of the organizers, I don't want to taunt her too much.

Oh well, gives me a chance to get some decent pictures before I send for once - might even get creative and make a small extra just to pass the time.

Or, you know, I suppose I could send Tiwaz out to mail it for me - but the weather's gotten nasty enough, we're really trying to not venture out any more than we have to. Maybe if it's cleared up by Friday...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Changing my policy?

My original policy on Ravelry was that I wouldn't post any projects that were finished before I joined, and I wouldn't post anything that was going to be for etsy. I'm starting to reconsider that second part of the policy, though. It seems like at the moment, about two thirds of my projects are being made with the hope of selling them, and while I certainly wouldn't post every single individual item that I'm making on there, I am giving consideration to posting the prototypes for the patterns that I plan to sell on etsy.

I'm just not sure if I'm comfortable with the minor self-promotion involved. Maybe I should just stick with the free patterns, and hope that people will follow the links on here to buy the other patterns.

Maybe I should look up some designers on Ravelry and see what they've done with works/listings

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Up yours, global warming

Yesterday was beautiful, sunny and 60 degrees. Today, it suddenly snowed about an inch.

And here I sit, icing my rotator cuff.

On the bright side, got my sewing machine safely home and all set up. I'm going to do a few tests with my chosen fabric tonight to check my thread choice, maybe work on a mini version out of muslin to test the pattern I've worked out. I'm seriously pumped - I've got the book, the bookmark is just drying, all that's left is the bag, and that's maybe two days of work all together.

Hooray for early sending!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Damn, Damn, *Damn*

No sign of the sewing machine. Got everything else done, I just need to do the bag and of course the machine has vanished. This wouldn't be all that big of a problem, but my swap partner's allergic to wool, so I can't just whip something up and felt it, and I'm not sure if I'll get my paycheck in time to just go buy a plain one to gussy up.

And it's not like I can borrow mom's machine. There's a reason she got me my machine for Christmas last year - nobody wants to use her machine. Except maybe as a doorstop. Even then, I imagine I'd trip over it and hurt myself. It tears thread to bits every three feet, the thing jams trying to sew two pieces of muslin together - something is horribly and profoundly wrong with that contraption.

Well, fingers crossed, maybe mine is still at mom's.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Damned Jinxification

Well, spoke too soon. Somehow, I seem to have misplaced my sewing machine. I thought I knew right where it was, but it turned out to be some of my photography equipment.

Words can not express just how much I don't want to have to sew a tote bag by hand. I've got tomorrow off, hopefully I can find my machine then - if not, I'm going to have to change my plan and just buy a basic bag to revamp rather than starting from scratch.

Fortunately, everything else is okay - just a little shopping I've got to do, and a touch of inspiration to wait for.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Daily Dose of Awesome

So, I'm all in for the Reading Rainbow Round 4 Swap on Craftster, and in my various and sundry travels through the interwebs preparing my swap package, I discovered that the Barnes and Noble website has at least one HP Lovecraft short story collection listed under the category "Religious Fiction"

That is just freaking awesome.

Also, not to jinx myself (ah, crap, I can feel it jinxing already), but this is the furthest ahead I've ever been on a swap. Granted, we only have to send three items, but I've already got two just about done, so at least there's only the one area that can *seriously* go wrong.

Geek ahoy!

I am the biggest geek ever. This short, fuzzy video clip should not make me go all tingly and tear up.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Back into the black hole...

So day before last, mom brought over a WoW game card for us. (she and my cousin recently lapsed back into the game, and decided they needed Tiwaz and me as well) After spending an entire day upgrading my computer, re-installing WoW, getting all the updates, and upgrading my character to Burning Crusade, I logged in.

I spent the next 15 minutes getting repeatedly one-shot killed by a couple of undead in the Southshore graveyard as I was attempting to hearth. Way to remind me why I stopped playing.

So, I got everyone else to come join me on my nice safe, happy PvE (normal) server.

I've got a lot of other games I should really be trying to get through, but World of Warcraft does have the advantage of providing me with some truly quality knitting time. Between griffin flights, boats, zeppelins, and trains, there's a lot of downtime where I don't feel justified in actually leaving the computer, so the knitting basket just goes next to the chair.

I've actually got two new patterns I'm just polishing up - they were supposed to be Christmas presents for co-workers, but since we got a new printer for Christmas, I've told them there's a slight delay while I type them up and format them nicely rather than giving them xeroxed handwritten sheets. I'll give them a chance to make the patterns first before I actually post them. (Well, one - the other one had enough time put into it that I'll actually be selling it on Etsy. But not for too much.)

Now playing: Weezer - Simple Pages
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


So, my three resolutions for the New Year:

1. Keep the house cleaner so that guests coming over doesn't require a three-day sleep-free cleaning marathon, just a bit of tidying and a quick vacuum.

2. Get six months' worth of house payments saved and in an interest-bearing account

3. No more yarn may be bought until I meet one of two conditions:
a) sell $50 worth of stuff on Etsy
b) completely use up the contents of one yarn tote.