Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fresh Batteries

I've been feeling a little drained of creative energy lately, but it turned out I just needed a good day out to recharge my batteries.  Through happy coincidence, I ended up having a Sunday completely free - no class, no work - that happened to coincide with Planet Comicon.  I really wish I'd had the time to finish my Fourth Doctor scarf, since there were a lot more people in costume than I remember from previous years (though I haven't been for a couple of years since I kept forgetting to ask for that weekend off), but I think a good time was had by all.

For a change, this year I wasn't overly excited about any of their media guests, although one of my friends (or rather, her little boy) was pretty pumped about getting Boba Fett's autograph. We were mostly excited about the artist and writers that were there this year - particularly Ben Templesmith. I actually brought along one of my cast resin tentacles as a gift for him (finally got a decent cast without air pockets, it seemed like a good thing to do with it).  He was very nice, signed the books we'd brought, and was kind enough to overlook the terrible, terrible pun I made. My husband also got his copy of Ex Machina signed by Tony Harris, and I'm still kicking myself that I didn't think to tell another friend who's a big Walking Dead fan that Tony Moore was going to be there.

And, of course, there's always the fine selection of TOTALLY LEGIT videos to be had at Comicon:

It's one of those things like eating fried food on a stick at the state fair - it's just not a Comicon without bins of DVDs of sci-fi blooper reels, fan-translated anime, and long-cancelled TV shows with questionable box art. I was severely tempted by the Birdman and Galaxy Trio video (it's so cheesy, the cover pic is actually of a Birdman action figure!), but it's one of those things that I'd only buy so I could say I have it, and there were bins of Transformers that seemed like a far better use of the money.

A great day for inspiration, though.  Besides being inspired to get a lot of current projects finished up and possibly think about costumes for next year, I ended up with a list of new ideas as well.  Also, we stopped by the Asian market on the way home and bought these:

Seriously - plaid chopsticks! How can you not feel inspired by plaid chopsticks?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Of Mittens and Kittens

I'm terrible about knitting things for other people but never making anything for myself.  Somehow, I never feel justified buying yarn for something that isn't going to be a gift or for sale.  So, when I got a gift certificate for Christmas, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to get yarn for a little something for myself.

The crazy amount of snow we've been getting lately has just been too much for my usual gloves, so I figured mittens would be a good idea. Handily enough, I'd just made a pair of mittens as a shop sample before the holidays, and I freaking loved the yarn - it's the chunky version of Berroco Vintage.  One skein was more than enough for a pair (and I even made them a little on the large side).  The pattern...well, the less said the better. It ended up being a 'Pirate's Code' kind of situation.

I managed to get them done just in time for (what will hopefully be) the last round of snow.

And here we have them after shoveling (and in better light - this is closer to the color in person):

I'm very pleased with how they held up - I was out in the snow for somewhere between and hour and a half and an hour and a quarter, mittens covered in snow, using one of those snowshovels with the 'grippy' handle that's like a ginger grater (and my hands stayed so warm!).  There's really not much fuzzing or pilling, and what there is looks like a good run through the washer and dryer will clear up.

And in the world of cats, poor Miss Minerva's been frustrated lately. We have an obvious mouse in the basement chewing insulation off of pipes, but it seems to be keeping up out of her reach.  We've given her free run of the basement for the last few days, and she's spent most of her time there, coming up only to lie around the house sighing heavily (seriously - you've never heard a cat sigh so much in your life) and occasionally take out her frustrations on her toys.  I feel bad for her, since despite usually being a bit of a dim bulb, she's really an excellent mouser (very good about just catching them without eating them) and she's being denied her chance to shine.  At this rate, we're just going to have to wait until payday and spring for a mousetrap.