Saturday, December 26, 2009

A White Freaking Christmas

So...this is my mom's neighbor's mailbox...

We got just a little snow for Christmas.  Fortunately, we'd thought to bring overnight bags and the cat with us, so we've just been having something of a Christmas sleepover party.  I felt bad about having to call out from work because of the weather, but when I saw the mail truck start up the hill, then give up and turn around I felt a bit less wussy.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

3 Kind of Sad Things I Would Like for Christmas

At the risk of sounding like a grownup, there are actually a few depressingly useful things on my Christmas list this year:

1. A decent hairbrush
     - I used to have a really nice, actual boar bristle brush.  It worked great, and I've never been able to find another one I've liked quite as much. I need something with bristles rather than the plastic spiky things that just static up my hair.

2. Pumpkin moisturizer
     - I don't even know if they make this stuff anymore (it may have been seasonal), but they used to carry it at Beauty Brands. I really loved it, it smelled incredibly tasty, and it actually felt like it was moisturizing instead of sitting in a greasy film on the surface of my skin.

3. New valve stem caps with pressure indicators
     - I have no idea what happened to mine.  I think they got left at the garage last time I had the car serviced.  I've bought the regular caps in the meantime, but I really like being able to tell at a glance if I need to actually check my tire pressure or if I'm just parked in a dip in the parking lot.

It's not like they're even really hard-to-find items, it just seems like I never really go anyplace that sells them, and they're not really essentials, so I'd feel silly making a special trip just to buy them

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My house is the crappiest parfait ever.

As I soldier on towards the eventual goal of getting my bathroom painted, I am astonished how a house less than 40 years old can have this many layers of stuff.  And I mean LAYERS.

When we bought it, the house had been sitting empty for a while, so at the very least I expected some redecorating just in the name of freshening things up.  The main bathroom, though...everyone's first reaction on seeing the bathroom was along the lines of 'oh, that's too bad...'.  At some point, a previous owner took textured wallpaper, tore it into random pieces, and layered it all over the bathroom walls.  Over a previous wallpapering job.  Textured chunks...random...overlapping... I do not know what thought process led up to this, but it must have been done fairly soon before we bought the house, as the first time we turned on the hot water in that room, half of the wallpaper bits peeled off, and the other half became an integral part of the drywall.  Two years on, and I'm just now getting enough of it off to get that room painted like a (relatively) sane person lives here.

In various other rooms of the house, we discovered that wallpaper borders had been put on top of other wallpaper borders, with layers of paint intervening. Then there's the kitchen...

The cat kept getting stuck to the kitchen floor, because when the dishwasher was running, it heated the floor enough to make the adhesive vinyl tiles sticky and loose.  Out of curiosity, I popped one up and discovered that instead of being stuck down to the sub-flooring, there was a solid cream-colored vinyl floor underneath (which was great, because the rust-colored tiles didn't really go with the kitchen anyway).  So, my mom and I peeled up all the tiles and scrubbed off the adhesive as best we could (tip for those of you trying this at home: Pine-Sol is fricking made of awesome.  It's like the anti-duct tape.).  While doing this, we took up the threshold strips at each doorway and the floor heat vent, and discovered....drum roll please...ANOTHER LAYER OF FLOORING. I'd been wondering why the carpet transitional strip seemed to go up from the carpet to the hard flooring. We don't know if the first layer is salvageable yet, so I want to to wait to take up the cream-colored stuff just in case we have to end up putting in a new floor from scratch, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if there was yet another floor under that.

The crowning moment of WTF, however, was when we had the original wood shake roof replaced with composite roofing.  Correction - what we thought was the original roof.  Someone, rather than replacing or fixing the original wood shake roof, put another entire wood shake roof over the top of it.  To quote Family Guy: "Pie? Drunk? The?"

On the bright side, at this rate, once I finally get everything cleaned up, my house should be several square feet larger than when we bought it.
Now playing: They Might Be Giants - Kiss Me, Son of God
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 30, 2009

Simple Lace Headband/Sash

Needed a little something extra for my 'Knitting Fairy' costume, and I found about half a skein of Berroco Lumina left over from a crocheted headband I'd made for a friend, so I whipped up a quick lacy headband for myself. With more yarn, you could easily keep knitting to make a sash/hipbelt, but for this particular project, I was constricted by both supplies and time.

Yarn: Berroco Lumina (Berroco Sox Metallic or Louisa Harding Jasmine would work nicely as well - thin, smooth, and sparkly is the key here)
Needles size 5 (3.75 mm)

Cast on 16
Knit two rows

Row 1: slip one as if to knit, (yarn over, knit 2 together) until 1 stitch remains, knit one.
Row 2: slip one as if to purl, knit to end.

Repeat these two rows until desired length. Knit two rows, and bind off.
Note: The finished piece will be a parallelogram, not a rectangle, so don't worry if your knitting seems to be leaning to one side as you work (it's supposed to).

Now playing: Avenue Q Original Broadway Cast - Schadenfreude
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I don't know why this works, it just does...

Hit the writer's block hard enough to knock the wind out of myself again, so I present once more my top ten most listened to songs.

Listed by total play count:

10. Ocean of Lust - DeVotchKa
9. Enjoy the Silence - Depeche Mode
8. At My Window Sad and Lonely - Billy Bragg & Wilco
7. Anthem for the Already Defeated - Rock Plaza Central
6. Corrupt - Depeche Mode
5. Energy - The Apples in Stereo
4. A Pain That I'm Used To - Depeche Mode
3. Never Let Me Down Again - Depeche Mode
2. I Can't Decide - Scissor Sisters
1. John the Revelator - Depeche Mode

Listed by average plays per day (oh yes, I got it set up properly...):

10. Hotel Song - Regina Spektor
9. Precious - Depeche Mode
8. Energy - The Apples in Stereo
7. California Stars - Billy Bragg & Wilco
6. Never Let Me Down Again - Depeche Mode
5. Black Mission Goggles - Man Man
4. John the Revelator - Depeche Mode
3. A Pain That I'm Used To - Depeche Mode
2. Song of Our So-Called Friend - Okkervil River
1. I Can't Decide - Scissor Sisters (seriously - an average of 1.9 plays per day, not counting listening in the car?)

I like being able now to look at my songs organized by plays per day. There's not really all that much difference in terms of artists, but I think it's fun to be able to take a look at my listening habits on a shorter term basis than the total play count provides.

Okay, enough math/analysis - back to language skills!

Now playing: Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall Cleaning

I've never quite understood the point of 'spring' cleaning. I mean, spring rolls around and you want to go out and do stuff (in theory). You're not really going to be inside that much for a while (again, in theory).

Fall, on the other starts getting cooler, and you sort of look around and go "I'm going to be in here a while - better clear some of this crap out of the way." There's also that whole keeping the creepy-crawlies from trying to get into the house for warmth as the weather gets colder to keep in mind. Not to mention holidays coming up that require other people to actually have to see the inside of your house (you can't get most of them to agree to blindfolds - I've tried).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Best Cooking Accident Ever!

I had some leftover rice from making chicken fried rice for dinner, so I thought I'd whip up a little rice pudding as an evening snack. I had just dumped in a couple of big spoonfuls of ginger and was reaching for the cloves, when I saw, sitting on the shelf proud as you please....the jar of ginger...

I looked at the jar on the counter, and realized that I'd actually just added garlic powder to my rice pudding. A less extemporaneous cook might have just muttered a few swear words and dumped the whole thing. However, all I'd added so far was rice and milk, so I thought I'd just try making a savory rice pudding. Ended up with a VERY tasty cheesy tomato risotto-like substance that will make a marvelous lunch tomorrow (the mouth is still in the mood for something a bit sweet to go with all this tea, will just have to make do with toast and jam...) Thus, I present:

Cheesy Tomato Rice Thingy

2 cups rice
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons powdered garlic
1 chicken-tomato bouillon cube
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
handful of shredded cheese (let's call it a 1/4 cup)
black pepper to taste

cook until pudding-like consistency and cheese is thoroughly melted.
Now playing: DeVotchKa - Queen Of The Surface Streets
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quite a bit of knitting, indeed.

So, I'm finally getting some of my older projects finished (mostly because I've got great ideas for new stuff and I'm too cheap to just buy more needles). Right now, I've got a kitty pi that's all done but the felting running through the washing machine. I'm a little nervous, honestly - I haven't felted anything in this machine before, and the damned cat bed took me so long, I'd really hate for anything to go wrong at this late stage. I suppose it didn't take that long in terms of continuous knitting, it got set aside for about a year, year and a half, but still... I did the math, and there's over 600 yards of yarn in this thing, not counting the eyelash yarn worked in at the top edge. Pre-felted pic for the sake of posterity (34 inches in diameter):

Also, since the **SECRET SWATCH** turned out so nicely, I got the needles today to start working a few more kinks out of the design. I'd love to have a prototype done soon, maybe get the pattern out by Christmas, but I really need to finish the other two in-progress patterns before I start in on it. After all, it's much easier to teach a class on a project you have a pattern for, hm?

Got the yarn to start in on some of the Christmas knitting today, too. Very excited about it, but (of course) I have to finish up another project to free up the needles I need. was just something for myself, so I could always just throw it on a stitch holder for a while...

Now playing: Moxy Früvous - King of Spain
via FoxyTunes

Monday, September 07, 2009

Swatching up a storm...

I was going to be all good and not start any new projects until I got a few things finished, but then I realized that if I want to actually get a baby blanket to my cousin in Australia before she's due, I probably want to have it done and mailed by Thanksgiving. I decided to go with the Op Art Blanket from Knitty in a nice washable cotton - good to wrap up in, but not too hot for Western Australia. So, did a few swatches until I got the gauge I needed since the yarn I'm using isn't the same weight as the pattern calls for (though more color-fast, from what I hear):

And then we got in some shiny new yarn, and I had a flash of inspiration. I'm really excited about this swatch:
What's it a swatch for, you ask? a secret!
(also, I may have been watching too much Slayers lately....)

And, just to round things off, I present Friday and Saturday's cup art (the sandwich shop was closed yesterday and today for the holiday :( )"

Relatively happy with Gir, but with the giant Octopus I drew the smouldering city first, then decided what was attacking, so he's not quite as integrated into the picture as I'd like.
Now playing: Depeche Mode - Blue Dress
via FoxyTunes

Monday, August 31, 2009

More doom on a cup!

Went with something of an unintentional Smurf theme today:

It started off as just a cat stalking something in grass, then I thought that the cat sort of looked like Azrael, and decided that the subjects of today's doom would be a few hapless Smurfs - perhaps a branch village of political dissidents, striking out on their own against the patriarchy of the main village, and about to discover that there was, in fact, safety in numbers.

Now all I can think of is that scene from Snatch:

"The hare has to outrun the dogs."
"So what if it doesn't?"
"Well, the big rabbit gets f*cked. "
"Proper f*cked?

Only with Smurfs and cats...
Now playing: DeVotchKa - Head Honcho
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reorganization, and the unluckiest city ever built on styrofoam.

So I'd been planning on entering a local knitting contest, all gung-ho to show off a lace entrelac pattern idea I've been kicking around for a bit, but after realizing that
A) I'd have to buy tickets to the festival to get in to even submit my piece and
B) that the prize was just a gift certificate to go buy yarn someplace I DON'T get an employee discount, I decided that my time was better spent taking on some custom orders I've had nibbles on (who would pay me in something a little more useful like **cash**).

One of the jobs in particular sounds like fun - a big project, but pretty mindless pattern-wise. I just have to get a decent estimate together of how much yarn it's going to take, so I've been doing some gauge swatches and math. Thus, I present to you: the teeniest gauge swatch ever!
Ten stitches to the inch, awwww yeah. Probably won't end up going with this needle size in the end, but it was fun to swatch.

Also, I've been getting a bit bored with just writing my name on my cup every day at work, so the last few days I've been getting a little creative with the Sharpies.

Friday's cup:

And today's:

I like to imagine that this is all happening to the same, extremely unlucky, city. My lunch is well seasoned imagining their tiny cries of 'What the hell? Again?'. (it would seem the population of my tiny imaginary city is surprisingly jaded....)

Now playing: Scissor Sisters - I Can't Decide
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Catching up on things.

I was kind of operating on silent running for a while, as there were some birthday and swap projects I was working on that I needed to keep quiet until the big reveal. My two favorites out of the batch:


Made this little guy for my friend's birthday - she likes squid/octopi, her boyfriend likes ninjas, so I figured it was something she could proudly display anywhere in the house. He's made mostly out of black denim, with a square of Amy Butler's Full Moon Dots for around the eyes.

And from the swap, PAMCAKE APRON!

I was discussing how awesome this came out with a co-worker, and she suggested a tutorial. There is a small problem with this, however, as you soon shall see:
Step One: Draw 'lil Hellboy on apron
Step Two: Color in drawing with acrylics mixed with fabric medium.
Step Three: Heat set.


Latest kick has been embroidery - got two projects going there, bunch of knitting projects, both for myself and as samples, knitting contest I'm gearing up for, soldered pieces I'm working on as a commissioned job, the new fabrics the store just got in are inspiring me to do some more sewing, and I found an awesome plushie contest I want to enter...

What's that? Sleep? Never heard of it.

Now playing: The Apples In Stereo - Energy
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

5 Impossible Things I Would Like For My Birthday.

My birthday is coming up soon, and as usual, I can never decide what I'd like. I'm terrible about talking people out of buying me awesome stuff because I get all 'reasonable' and ask for something I need instead of something I want. So, in that vein, just in case anyone I know has suddenly developed magical wish-granting powers and has been holding out on me, there are five completely impossible (well, not IMPOSSIBLE, but very very unlikely and improbable) things I would love to see for my birthday:

1. Through some odd, previously unnoticed surveying error, it would turn out that my house is not actually part of the subdivision, and thus, not subject to the homeowners' association rules (or dues)

2. A trip to Paris to go to the Depeche Mode concert there the weekend of my birthday.

3. A lifetime supply of beer. Good beer. If someone tried to give me a lifetime supply of Bud Light or Coors, I think I'd punch them. (I say as though this is somehow more likely than anything else on this list)

4. My computer upgraded to the point that it might be in danger of being classified as a sentient being.

5. A way to get to my laundry room without having to go through the garage.

That last one seems a little out of place, I'll admit, but it really really bugs me, and I just can't figure out a way to do it without inventing a teleporter or losing a closet.

Now playing: DeVotchKa - Ocean Of Lust
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.

Went out roller skating for a friend's birthday Sunday night, and realized three very important things that I should have thought of earlier:

1. I cannot skate on regular roller skates, only on rollerblades.

This was quickly remedied, as the rink had rollerblades available at no extra charge as long as you left your shoes with them. Of course, the rental rollerblades were missing a wheel and had gum in one (prompting me to announce to my friends "and for my next trick, I shall order a piece of cherry pie with a pit in it!").

2. I have mostly skated on pavement, not wood.

Wood is a lot smoother. And faster.

3. I have mostly skated on hockey skates, leading to two sub-points:

a. Hockey rollerblades lace up, they don't have those weird bindings that always seem to work loose because I don't really know how to adjust them properly.

b. I used to skate WITH SAFETY PADS ON!!!!!

As I sit here on a heating pad, covered in Dragon Balm, I realise point 3(b) is really the one I should have remembered...

Now playing: Duke Chapel Choir - 08 - Lacrymosa - Mozart Requiem
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just a quick nerd check-in.

I finally managed to get to see the new Star Trek. I confess, I was sort of putting it off because I was certain it couldn't live up to my mental picture, but I was more than happy with it. I was actually tempted to go kill some time until the IMAX showing started at ten, but I have work tomorrow, so probably not the best idea... It combined three of my favorite things: Star Trek, Simon Pegg, and the possibility that Voyager never happened.

Seriously. I don't know where Voyager went wrong, but it did it fast, and it did it HARD.

Now playing: Nena - 99 Luftballons - German
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Look on my scarf, ye Mighty, and despair... (part 6)

It's been slow going between various injuries, new pattern ideas, and generally a metric shitload of other stuff that I needed to work on, but the scarf is up to 26 inches. On the one hand, I want to see just how fast I can get this thing done (is there a record for fastest Dr. Who scarf ever knit?). On the other hand, since it's all garter stitch it makes a great breather from my more complex projects.

The Endpaper Mitts in particular require frequent breathers. The pattern isn't hard, but since I hold both colors and work the fairisle pattern in German and English style with one color in each hand, I can only work on them for about a half-hour at a time before my left arm starts killing me. (Granted, at the moment both arms are killing me from all the yardwork lately, but even so...)

Of course, I just got my partner assignment for the Venture Bros. swap on Craftster, so everything will be going on hold for a little bit while I get my craftin' on for that. I've got a full sheet of paper covered in ideas, I just need to go stalk my partner for a bit and get the list pared down.

Now playing: Depeche Mode - The Sun & The Rainfall
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hooray for Multitasking!

Taking a little break from the Scarf to do a few swatches for some other projects:

The tri-color one is just an actual gauge swatch so I can get some sizing into the mix, but the brown striped swatch is giving me fits. I'm not sure if the colors are quite right, and I know that the 3x1 rib pattern isn't what I need. I thought the two variegated browns would get the right feel to the piece, but I'm wondering now if solid colors will end up looking better in the end.

I...I may have officially played too much Psychonauts...

Now playing: Rock Plaza Central - Anthem for the Already Defeated
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Look on my scarf, ye Mighty, and despair... (part 5)

I've re-started the scarf, this time in a mix of Wool-Ease and Signature (mostly because there was a KICK-ASS sale on it). I was originally going to make it about 3/4 the width the pattern calls for, because last time it seemed really wide, but in the better quality yarn, it's so much softer that it really does need to be that wide.

Just updated the laptop to Ubuntu, BTW - very very happy with it in general, but I haven't found a music player I really like for it yet. Just a matter of trial and error, I suppose. Grand scheme of things, I suppose it doesn't really matter, as the whole reason behind getting the laptop back up is so that I can watch TV and generally be sociable while I'm on the computer.

Now playing: Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again (2006 Remastered)
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fresh Out of Armageddon...

Neil Gaiman asked the people following him on Twitter to tweet pics of ourselves with tea and armageddon, but all I've got is a stockpot full of tea:

Hopefully, someone has some leftover armageddon they'll be willing to share in exchange for the recipe:

2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
1 heaping tablespoon of loose black tea
1 heaping tablespoon of whole cardamom pods
1/2 tablespoon whole cloves

Toss everything into a stockpot, fill with water, and bring to the boil. Keep it boiling for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, strain and serve with milk and sugar. I like to keep the pot on the stove all day, just ladling it out straight through the strainer into the cups and adding more water to the pot as needed to keep the tea level up. The leftovers are also good cold.

Now playing: Depeche Mode - Martyr
via FoxyTunes

Friday, April 24, 2009

Look on my scarf, ye Mighty, and despair... (part 4)

Well, the time may have come to start the scarf over. Turns out that what with having used up a fair amount of the cheap acrylic on other projects, there's probably not going to quite be enough for an entire second scarf. I suppose I could just make it narrower, but I'll be damned if I'm buying any more of this particular yarn (the best comparison I can think of is that it's the Coors Light of yarn). I do have most of the colors I need in Lamb's Pride, though. I did the math today, and realized that it would only take about $20 worth of yarn to make up the missing colors. Technically, the goal *was* to use up the stash acrylic so I could justify buying the yarn to make myself a nice version....

I suppose I could just use the acrylic to whip up some little plushies for Etsy, or hold it back for a stash-clearing swap...I was really hoping that this would be a fairly cheap project, though.

Now playing: Depeche Mode - Miles Away / The Truth Is
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Apparently, I do not know how to use spray paint.....

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Note that there is little, if any, paint on the finger actually used to trigger the can. Was my hand in the way somehow, like an accidental photograph of a thumb? Was I using some odd technique that others would want pictures of to illustrate the 'don't' section of an informative "Spray Paint Dos and Don'ts" pamphlet? Was it a faulty nozzle that was leaking? (I lean towards this explanation, as the paint was dripping everywhere as well) Was the can itself leaking?

I do not think I will buying this brand of paint again, regardless of its dirt-cheapness. Whatever the price difference was, I think I used up enough soap and nail polish remover to make the pricier paint worth my while if it sprays better.

Now playing: DeVotchKa - The Clockwise Witness
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Look on my scarf, ye Mighty, and despair... (part 3)

The soldering class this morning went fantastic, but I started to lose my voice about halfway through. I thought at the time it was just because I'd only brought a cup of tea that lasted barely a half hour into the 3-hour class, and I was talking pretty much the entire three hours straight, but it really didn't improve even after I got a soda. Then I went and got some more painting done, and the cool breeze picking up really didn't help. I'm thinking I may have caught a touch of the sore throat one of my co-workers had a week or so ago.

Regardless, feeling a bit out of it has slowed progress on the scarf a bit. I'm only up to 20 inches, though I think I can get it to a full 2 feet before bed. I was really hoping to be further in by now. At least this time I'm remembering to go through and sew in the ends as I change colors. Last scarf, I'm pretty sure it took me longer to sew all the ends in afterwards than it did to actually knit the thing.

scarf 2

I should get all my yarns together and print out another copy of the pattern so I can bring it along to work on during the traditional post-holiday dinner couch coma. I wonder what the record time for knitting a Dr. Who scarf is?

Now playing: Alice Cooper - Clowns Will Eat Me
via FoxyTunes

Friday, April 10, 2009

Look on my scarf, ye Mighty, and despair... (part 2)

Huh...was scrounging around for the next color in the sequence for the Scarf, and discovered that apparantly I'd started another scarf some time ago. Long enough ago that I didn't remember having started it...or these two single socks...or this other scarf...or that hideous sweater out of Lion Brand Homespun...

It seems I need to keep a better eye on my stash/projects. This is where Ravelry comes in handy, I would've forgotten about half the projects I have going at the moment without it.

I've just reached the one foot mark...I think 20 feet finished length may have been underestimating a bit...

(no FoxyTunes sig today - has a preview of Sounds of the Universe up!)

Look on my scarf, ye Mighty, and despair... (part 1)

Well, I was browsing the yarn stash, trying to think of some way to clear some of it out, and I came across the leftover yarn from my Dr. Who scarf. And I looked at it, and I thought to myself 'huh - I probably have enough here for another one'. And so I am...

Not sure if I'll keep this one, or if it'll end up being another present. I suppose it really just depends on when it gets finished.

4 inches down, 19 feet, 8 inches to go.....

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

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

More random lists...

The five words that clear out most of my spam:


I'll take "Things That Can Go F*** Themselves" for $500, Alex.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Because I didn't have enough projects...

I realized recently that the 'play count' on iTunes isn't quite as useful as I'd like it to be in determining how much I actually like a song - a song that I've had on my playlist since January and have listed to 20 times isn't necessarily as popular as one that's been on there for three days and has 15 plays. What I need is an average plays/day count. Ideally, there would be something I could just plug into iTunes to accomplish this. I've found lots of iTunes add-ons, but none of them seem to do quite what I want (though the one to categorize your music by assigning colors to each song was interesting - a little synaesthetic, but interesting.). Thus, I go forth to fix up something in Excel to import my iTunes data into. In a perfect world, I'd have the time to write an actual plug-in (correction: in a perfect world, someone would have already written such a thing for me). And then I want to make some shiny little charts, and sift out little strange bits of data to play with. Because I'm just weird like that.

Also, we're now three days into Script Frenzy, and as you can see, I am busily coming up with anything and everything possible to distract me from actually writing something...

Now playing: Marilyn Manson - Personal Jesus
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

More teeny tiny painted things

Or more accurately, more paint on the teeny tiny things.


Next time I buy a figure, I'm going to set something up so I can do time-lapse pictures of me painting it. Now if I could just get my hands on a Witchalok mini...

Now playing: The Clash - London Calling
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Go Forth and bask in the Awesome

My article detailing the awesomeness of Dr. Strange is up:
Go forth, read, comment, go out and buy a few back issues, petition Marvel to hire me as a writer.

(Also, I think it says something about me that I already had 'Dr. Strange' as one of my tags...)

Edit:(link to article changed)


Why do I do this to myself? I despise pineapple, I dislike ham, and Im not really all that fond of cranberries. So why am I sitting down to eat a slice of ham on toast covered in pineapple, cranberry sauce, and melted cheese?

Okay, so I know perfectly well why. But I'm going to blame sleep deprivation and go work on tomorrow's comic.

Update: I have discovered why pineapples were placed upon this earth. I think I should use a straight cranberry relish next time though, rather than the cran-raspberry stuff I had on hand. Maybe a slice of the canned stuff? Regardless, canned pineapple now going on the grocery list as a standard feature.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Head Clearing

In the middle of trying to convey to others the awesomeness that is Dr. Strange. I need to take a step back and do something else to clear my head for a bit, so I thought I'd randomly share the current ten most listened-to songs on my iTunes playlist:

10. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
9. Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac
8. The Oblivion - DeVotchKa
7. 500 Miles - Peter, Paul, and Mary
6. Ashanti's Letterbomb - Dean Grey
5. My Dear Acquaintance - Regina Spektor
4. Curbside Prophet - Jason Mraz
3. Leaving on a Jet Plane - Peter, Paul, and Mary
2. John the Revelator - Depeche Mode
1. At My Window Sad and Lonely - Wilco and Billy Bragg

Very surprised. I was expecting a much higher Depeche Mode/Peter, Paul, and Mary ratio...

Friday, March 27, 2009

General whatsits.

Went to check out a new game store today, and decided to splurge and get a couple of new minis to represent the cleric and warlord in our current D&D campaign. Got a good start on them tonight, here's a pic of all the in-progress minis:

Somehow, I managed to stumble upon the female mini showing the least amount of skin out of any sculpt Reaper makes. Seriously - the two bulky fighters behind her are more naked. Hell, the male cleric has more skin showing. Regardless, this makes our party look a bit more representative of the actual characters:
The Munchkin figure just seems awesomely appropriate for the halfling thief, so I've no plans to replace him. Ideally, though, I will eventually find a better figure for my dragonborn fighter, and will be able to stop using an Abe Sapien capsule figure...

I've also got a good start on my Endpaper Mitts. Finally. The first attempt had a few problems. The biggest one was that the grey marl yarn I'd chosen as the main color and the self-striping green that I originally wanted to show off with the mitts had absolutely no contrast. The fairisle pattern just faded together into a grey-green. Then, when I took it off the needles, it turned out that the large in the pattern was going to be a bit uncomfortably tight anyway, so I've started over with a hair thicker black yarn as my main color, going to just use the larger needles called for, and we'll see how the green self-striping looks now. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Managed to get some projects finished this week - finally. Got mom's socks all done, got a few store samples ready to go, and I think I could make a granny square in my sleep now. I've been trying to go through my Ravelry notebook and get some old projects a bit farther along, as well as getting photos on everything.

The big thing has been getting good photos of all the projects I've done for work, since my boss gave me permission to start a store Ravelry group. Turns out I've made a lot more of the displays than I realized. Ended up getting her to finally sign up for Ravelry, as well.

Now playing: Modest Mouse - Bury Me With It
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I have officially ruined the mailbox

When I painted the mailbox yesterday, I started to get all panicky that I couldn't find the stencils to replace the house numbers on the side of the box. My panic was proven correct today, when we got a slip of paper in the mailbox from the postman saying we needed numbers. This really pisses me off because, well, it should have been pretty obvious that we'd just painted the box and needed to wait for it to dry before adding the numbers.

Then I discovered today painting the box that A) I have no f**king idea how to use spray paint with stencils, and B) if you paint that hammered metal stuff over regular spray paint, it bubbles up and makes the basecoat peel off in big chunks. Apparently I will have to sand and repaint the whole damned thing, and get it all done tomorrow, between going to work and everything else I have to do tomorrow. because the postal carrier can't be bothered to, oh, I don't know, LOOK UP AT THE SIDE OF THE DAMNED HOUSE?!?!?!?!

I really wish we could just switch over to some other method of getting all our mail, like how we can just use cell phones instead of dealing with a house line. FedEx should look into that, maybe.

The main point here though, is that I was right. Which makes me feel a little better.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

General Updates

Started in working on the outside of the house today. The backyard in particular is going to take some doing. Two hours outside, and I only just got the patio cleared off and got a dead branch cut off of one of the trees. I really need to do something about the side yard, too. Maybe just till the whole thing up and cover it with pea gravel to make a nice path to the backyard that'll be a bit easier to haul all the tools and stuff I need from the garage without having to drag stuff through the house.

Going to set Tiwaz to work tomorrow on prepping the house for painting on Friday when I have the day off. We don't have a particularly tall ladder, but we should at least be able to get a decent start. I think I'll paint the mailbox, too. Just to make it stand out a bit. Don't know what the homeowner's regulations regarding mailbox color are, but hey, after two attempts to get a copy of the freaking rules, I say the hell with it - if they don't want it an interesting color, they should have told me when I asked.

Also starting work on a couple of apron designs that I think will go over well on Etsy. Haven't decided whether to screen them, or embroider them just yet. Grand scheme of things, I think that once I take my time into account, the two methods will cost about the same. I may have to do some tests as to washability, though. I've only really ever embroidered decorative items before, so I'm not sure how the floss will stand up to the sort of washing a BBQ apron's going to have to handle. Shall have to test it out on a kitchen towel.

Now playing: Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My day thus far...

Woke to the sound of birds singing and the first ice-cream truck of the year driving by. Then I hopped out of bed and brightly started in on a fun art project.....

....Then the weird 'no no no' noise started coming from the cat.....

I managed to whisk her out the door in time to keep the kitty spew confined to the doormat...where I didn't see it and put my foot in it tossing her out...

Foot scrubbed, gonna go clean the carpet, get some food, and see if I can manage to get back in 'project' mode. I think on days when I wake up with a project in mind, I need to just make putting the cat out the first 'to-do' on my list.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Funny, or sad?

So, my boss made this pendant that said 'Yes We Can'. It was only after she asked which color represented Democrats that I realized it was an Obama reference. Hand to God, I thought she'd made a Bob the Builder necklace. I have no small children (yet), I have no excuse. Other than being Libertarian. Is wanting to have an excuse for being completely out of the pop-culture loop an acceptable reason for having kids?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Somewhere, Ford Cruller is crying.

So...yesterday, I put on a pan of bacon to cook, set the timer for ten minutes, and went upstairs to grab my camera to take some pics for Etsy.

Good news is, apparently if something catches on fire, my oven shuts itself off and locks the door until it cools. It must have happened pretty fast, because the timer never actually went off, and the pan is perfectly fine, since I'd thought to line it with foil. The top three inches of the oven are not quite as happy:

Not to mention the door:

Thankfully, it's just the inner glass that's cracked, and as it turns out, this house has one seriously kick-ass attic fan.

It was only as the house was clearing out that we realized 'Wait, the house was so full of smoke, it looked like an 80's hair band music video...why is it so damned quiet?'. And thus we went out and bought new smoke alarms, having remembered that ours are wired into something that no longer works and we couldn't just slap new batteries in them.

In other news, I have had this German Technopop cover of 'Take Me Home Country Roads' stuck in my head for four days now. I've even managed to get it stuck in other people's heads. It may be the audio equipment of a computer virus. And it is made of awesome.

Now playing: Die Inselfeger - Country Roads (Tränen-in-die-Augen Mix)
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Making a note here - HUGE SUCCESS


Yesterday afternoon I got a call that one of the knitting teachers at work had needed to cancel, so I stepped in for her. (since I'd knit the sample and made the adjustments to the pattern anyway...) Fun, but a bit exhausting after a full day of work. I think it went well, though. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and more importantly, seemed to get the hang of fair isle okay. And heck, a little extra money here and there never hurt.

However, the 10-hour day at work on top of the furniture moving yesterday means that about all that I can move right now is my fingers. Fortunately, that's all I really need to be able to move to eat and knit.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Good on you, Ann Norling!

Well, the handwarmer pattern is almost ready to go forth into the wide world and bring pack some spare change. I had a friend do a test-knit, and she pointed out a few things I'd kind of skimmed over (like the dimensions of the different sizes...oh, details), so I just need to fix those and get my little hand up to be added to the list to sell patterns through Ravelry.

The Top-Down Raglan class at work got me in the mood to start back in on the cardigan I put on hold to finish the Christmas knitting. I really prefer the Woolworks free fill-in-the-blank pattern I'm using to the Ann Norling pattern the class is doing, though. I made the kids' version as a store display, and there were a few bits where I really had to re-read the pattern a couple of times to make sure I was doing what I was supposed to. Not a bad pattern, just oddly phrased in places. Most of her patterns are like that - there's just something a little odd. Like the one we have where the picture has the camera datestamp on it. My boss is convinced that Ann Norling is just printing these patterns out at home and assembling everything on her dining room table. You know what? If she is, more power to her. I just wish my dining room table was clear enough to pull off something like that.

Now playing: Peter, Paul and Mary - 500 Miles
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Next coat...

Almost forgot, got the first coat of actual colors on the minis the other night:

Tiwaz says that so far, the beetle is looking disturbingly life-like.  I give full credit to the mica topcoat.  I've mostly been focusing on the creatures, as they're the most urgently needed (in the sense of 'someday when everyones schedules aren't totally fucked over, we might need those'), but I've got a nice base coat on the shield and the sorceress's cape as well.

Knit, knit, knit, CROSS-STITCH!!!

I'm finally starting to reach the end of the knitting backlog.  Got both of the remaining pairs of handwarmers done, and the socks are coming along nicely.  I really need to get the handwarmer pattern all polished and posted - it's not going to be a free one, though.  Assorted reasons lead me to believe that I should charge a little something for it - not much, probably only 50 cents to a dollar.  I'd feel a little silly selling them if I was handing out the pattern for free, and well, quite frankly, I could use the ego boost of people buying something I've designed.

(Yes, I know I designed and/or wrote several patterns for sale at work, but I don't actually get credit for those.  Or more importantly, money.)

However, as the Christmas crafting winds down, other holidays loom before me.  Namely, a shitload of birthdays.  I've got ideas for most of them, it's just a matter of gathering the necessary time and/or money.  In particular, I've got a couple of very interesting cross-stitch/embroidery ideas in mind. (wow, I'm getting some mileage out of my forward slash in this post, aren't I?).  There's a couple of neat things I ran through Dark Lilac before they took their pattern generator down, and the rest I should be able to cobble together okay, as they're mostly text.  

All of this, of course, being dependent on getting the last of this Christmas stuff finished up soon.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Year, New Stuff

Well, got my first comic of the New Year posted.  Hopefully, I can keep this up as at least a weekly occurrance.  I've got my next two weeks done too, so that's a good start.  I figure I can manage to come up with 52 funny things to say within the space of a year.  I could probably do more in terms of ideas, but unless I become an overnight success with merchandising and such, I don't think I can  afford the time to do more than one a week.  Now I just need to get my website looking a little more user-friendly, maybe integrate this blog into it.

Also used my Christmas money to get started on a new hobby - soldered jewelry.  Here's my first two pieces:
My first two soldered pendants
Nothing overwhelming, certainly, but I really enjoy it and it seemed to come pretty easily to me (with some help from my dad, Mr. Certified Welder, of course.)  Each one seems to come out better than the last, so while I've got some stuff now that I'd feel pretty good about wearing myself or giving as gifts, I think by next week I should be up to a point of feeling like I can sell them.  I know that sounded odd, but what I mean is that I've got the framing down but I'm not feeling secure in my soldered jump rings - stuff for myself or people I know, I can fix if the ring fails.

And I got the first coat of primer on the minis I (well, we technically, but they're basically all mine until they're painted) got for Christmas:
primed minis
Now I just need to figure out where the hell I put my X-Acto, remove the flashing, and I can get really dug in.  I'm thinking of doing the dungeon vermin first, as it's the monsters that we need the most for our campaigns.