Thursday, March 31, 2011

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week: Day 4

Where are they now?

Whatever happened to your __________?
Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.
There are a lot of different aspects to look at when looking back at a knitting project and it can make for interesting blogging, as much of the time we blog about items recently completed, new and freshly completed. It is not so often that we look back at what has happened to these items after they have been around for a while.
How has one of your past knits lived up to wear. Maybe an item has become lost. Maybe you spent weeks knitting your giant-footed dad a pair of socks in bright pink and green stripes which the then ‘lost’. If you have knit items to donate to a good cause, you could reflect on the was in which you hope that item is still doing good for it’s owner or the cause it was made to support.

This is going to be a relatively short post. There are two things that I can think of off the top of my head that would fit the "whatever happened to ____?" question.

The first is the baby blanket I mentioned in a previous blog post. I was so excited about doing this because I figured this type of brainless project would be just the perfect thing to take with me to my knitting/crocheting meet-up group. So I took it.
I did about 3 stitches during my group time and just about pitched it back into my bag. It was the monotony that got to me. I like not having to really think about what I'm doing so I don't have to worry about messing it up, but apparently that was a little bit too little to think about! So I scrapped it.
I'm not giving up on doing an afghan/blanket but it's not going to be done that way.

The second project, also mentioned in that Feb 23 post, is my mom's scarf. I'd made tiny little mistakes here and there that once I fixed them, I couldn't even see where my error was. And then somewhere along the way, about 10 or so rows back from where I've stopped, something happened and the whole pattern kinda shifted. That is an obvious error and I know ripping back is the only way to fix it. But I'm afraid with this kind of lace, it'll rip to the point where I won't be able to pick it back up and continue.
It breaks my heart but at this point and with that particular yarn, I'm thinking a slightly less involved pattern is the way to go. I want to have this done by her birthday and at the rate it's going, even if I ripped back to the mistake and was able to fix it, I'm afraid it still won't be done by July! :'(
I should have just used the same pattern I used for my own scarf (which was made out of the same yarn but in a different color). It'll knit up faster and is an easier pattern to follow and remember. Since apparently I have problems with that. Not that the pattern I used was difficult, because it wasn't. It was just a little too involved for me to attempt while keeping an eye on the little one. I think that's where I made my mistake.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week: Day 3

Tidy mind, tidy stitches.
How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

Stealing an image from many posts back: this is as organized as I've gotten. Not as organized as I can get. . . I have many things working against better organization, the most influencing being a lack of money. Second to that, lack of space.
The clear plastic bin in the upper left is dedicated to my yarn. There's a bag of yarny odds and ends above it. The other bins are for my beading and sewing and other assorted crafts. What you can't see in this picture is three large bags of yarn off to the right on the floor. In those bags are the cheap acrylics (Caron, some Vanna's, etc.).
I organized the clear plastic bin to hold my more expensive yarns (which can equate to "the natural fibers"). I stuck them in plastic bags in the bin hoping to ward off any buggies that might be interested in a wool feast.

Ultimately I would love to have the same kind of set-up that yarn shops have. (I tried desperately to find a photo and the few places I knew had that kind of set up no longer have pictures of it. Of course.) But those who've been to a LYS know what I'm talking about: those little square cubby-hole style shelves split into little triangular sections with diagonal dividers.
I've seen just the shelving sell for over $1,000 (seriously?!) but luckily I know someone who could make exactly what I want to the specs I need. . . And all I'd have to do is pay for the material (which isn't that expensive). Unfortunately he's a bit busy right now, so that's another strike against my pursuit for better organization.

If I had my way, my stash would be neatly shelved the way yarn stores have it. By fiber, first, and then each fiber put into a rainbow of colors. (If finances allowed, I'd have several of each color in each fiber but hahahahaha we're not independently wealthy. Yet.)

You know the character Monica, from FRIENDS? Yeah, that's me. But with yarn. And about twenty pounds. XP

What do I do with my completed projects? I try to share them here and the few social sites to which I belong. When I began blogging, the main point was to share my projects. I mostly fail at photographing, something I really need to fix (especially if I want to sell stuff online!). . . Seems kind of cruel, really, since I love photography and I take half-decent outdoor photos (of flowers and animals). But what good is life if you have nothing to work on or aspire to? ;)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week: Day 2

So far so good! Onto day two!

Skill + 1UP

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

I don't know if this shows maturity as a crafter or if this is merely an indication of my quirky sense of humor, but I've noticed a striking similarity between sex and learning new knitting or crocheting techniques. Let's put it this way: it can be totally awkward and maybe even a little painful the first time you do it and most women have to come to accept that it's just going to be weird until they get more practice at it. So -- which topic was that last sentence about? Learning how to knit on DPNs the first time or losing your virginity? Yeah, see what I mean? You're probably wondering what on earth brought me to this epiphany. It was learning the Tunisian Purl Stitch. Seriously. :p

But seriously, folks, to answer the question: I would say I was still at beginner last year (maybe intermediate beginner?) and now a lot of the patterns I've been doing have been listed as "intermediate." I don't know if I'm necessarily executing the patterns with grace, but I'm able to complete them according to instruction-- which many people are probably coming to realize is a big problem for me.

What have I picked up since this time last year? I finally conquered my fear of the yarn over in knitting (realizing I was doing it with every stitch in crocheting) and made a pair of gloves with cables. They turned out ugly (I think it was the stripes, frankly) but the cables themselves looked awesome. What an accomplishment that was! Those gloves also marked the first time I did striping where I carried the color up the sides, another thing I was horrified to do. I also knitted my first pair of socks, when I previously had not successfully knitted in the round on either circulars or DPNs. Another accomplishment that left me feeling. . . accomplished! ;)
I learned how to Tunisian crochet in the last year, and in recent days taught myself several more Tunisian techniques. It's Tunisian that's actually what's absorbing my time right now.

I'm still waiting on the Entrelac thing despite hearing that it's far easier than it appears. I am vowing to make that one of the next things I'll conquer.

Another vow: more pictures when possible!!
Uh. . . here, have a random flower photo I took recently.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week: Day 1

To my loyal readers, all four of you (one of which is a personal friend, and the other three are faceless, nameless ghosts who float on by): I welcome you to my blog this week. As the banner to the right shows, I'm participating in the second annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week! I've embarked on several other challenges in the passed several months and met all with failure. But this one I looked into and I believe (famous last words!) that this one is something I can be successful with. So without further ado, blogging every day for the next seven days on topics provided over at Eskimimi Knits.

A Tale of Two Yarns.

Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

I have to say my all-out favorite yarn is Caron Simply Soft. It's just about the perfect price. It's readily available (at Walmart, no less!). It's washable, sturdy and I like its selection of vibrant colors (even at Walmart). I've made many projects out of this yarn and it's pretty much my go-to fiber. I also like their spokesperson, Vickie Howell, with whom I've recently exchanged a couple toddler-related tweets. I miss seeing her show on the DIY network, though. *BIG pout*

Now my least favorite yarn has to go to the general category of "eyelash/fun fur/novelty yarn" for being a royal pain in the butt to crochet with. What makes that worse is I adore that kind of yarn and I'm constantly drawn to it despite knowing that it will ultimately sit in my stash and gather dust because I can never find the right things to do with it and it's immensely frustrating to work with.

Lastly, I pine for this gorgeous yarn. Read a little review about my attempt to obtain it:

Blue Heron -- it took 14 days and 2 emails inquiring about my order status to find out the yarn is out of stock (no indication of this status appears on their website). Further, I was unsure if all that yarn is out of stock or just the color I selected. Frankly, I would have been happy with any number of those colors, not just the one I chose. It took 2 more emails to get a refund. Note that they did NOT cover the paypal fee I incurred in the refund and so this transaction ended up costing me 1.68. I will NOT be doing business with them again, though what transpired in this transaction could hardly qualify as having done "business." And, again, the most upsetting thing is how much I wanted that yarn. I've seen it in person and it is absolutely gorgeous.

Overall grade? F.
Recommend to others? I've seen the yarn in person and it is gorgeous. However, PROCEED WITH CAUTION. You saw what happened to me. Fool me once, shame on you. They will not fool me twice, so I can't tell you if what happened to me here was a fluke. I have also seen that similar yarn is available through WEBS for much cheaper.
Using again? Absolutely not

And since the topic is yarn, have some home-dyed slow-cooker kool-aid wool. Those who follow me on Facebook have already seen this. I sure enjoyed dyeing and one of these days have to get back into that. Until tomorrow!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Caturday, March 26

To commemorate another Caturday: another photo of the cat that won't shut up. In her defense, it's been a pretty rocky past few days for her.
We had some unholy goings-on in our kitchen floor for the past few months (a rogue nail was insisting on coming up through the vinyl and eventually came to completely breaking through it) and had maintenance come out and have a look. (Have I mentioned that not everything about living in an apartment is bad?!)
Each time they came to look at it, the situation got progressively worse and it ended up that they needed to do some work on the wood beneath the concrete beneath our tile. So the refrigerator and oven were moved out of the kitchen, the tile pulled up, the concrete knocked out. . .
They did what they needed to Wednesday and Thursday and with everything going on, we had to lock kitty in the bathroom to keep her safe (and to keep the fresh concrete from magically attaining cat prints through it).
I can only imagine how stressful it was. Before my parents rescued Contini and me, we got to experience the noise and dust of the 1st half hour having the concrete knocked out. It was pretty miserable and I'm glad we were able to get the little boy out of here.
Miranda is okay, for anyone who might have been worried. The new concrete is dry and kitty has been released back into the wilds of the rest of the apartment. She's back to her normal annoying little self. ♥

So meanwhile my parents were planning on attending the SDCOS Orchid Show this weekend. After adjusting plans a few times, Contini and I ended up joining them for opening night last night. Contini did so well there for the first hour and a half before getting done with everything. Grandmom was so nice to play with him in the hallways of the Scottish Rite Center while I got to (rather quickly and briefly) enjoy the show and the vendors. Of course my two favorite orchids (Dendrobiums and Masdevallias) would not thrive in our apartment environment but my father told me Phalaenopsis would do okay. . . So naturally I fell in love with a couple "miniatures." Always one to eagerly promote hobbies he and I share, my father bought me these two little pretties pictured to the left. :D
So far so good, they've not been eaten by kitty and they're not dying. Yet. (Luckily I have a place to send them in the event they start waning: my father's Phalaenopsis greenhouse.)

Hoping to get some podcast video completed this weekend. Tunisian crocheted several washcloths over the last few days in preparation for making a new kitchen floor mat (as our old one managed to get a hole in it courtesy the nail I mentioned by Miranda's photo). Hoping also to get some writing done. . . I guess we'll see!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I learned something today!

Seeing Kim Cattrall in an "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" ad this afternoon taught me something (along with making me intensely sad for my favorite whore-playing actress).
I learned the fundamental difference between men and women.

If you say her name to a woman, the woman will likely relate it to a character from an HBO series about sex. And a large metropolitan area.
If you say her name to a man, the man will likely bring up some she-alien from an even-numbered science-fiction movie series.

I also learned she is not originally from the US. Huh.

I'd love some feedback: What are some other fundamental differences between men and women? (Anyone who cites anything obvious about genitals will get a cyber boot up the butt.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Caturday March 19

For some reason lately I've been a lot more aware of the changing of the seasons. I welcomed Winter with much anticipation and eagerness for relief from the hot temperatures of Inland California.
I find myself strangely excited for the coming of Spring despite the coming of weather that I don't like as much as Winter's. I think -- after almost 15 years of going to Renaissance Faires -- that a lot of my excitement is realizing that this weather is the harbinger of another year of faires.
And more opportunities for going to the zoo, and aquariums, and theme parks. . . Which is a bigger deal now than it was a few years ago before we had a little boy who's excited to learn and get into everything he can. ;)

But this year, unlike years past, I'm noticing that the changing of the seasons is bringing out a whole new side of me. My tastes in color choice for projects is evolving into pastels and bright cheery colors. With apologies for the POOR photo quality, please check out the pearl jewelry I just made yesterday. . . (That's a bracelet with charms and a pair of earrings.) I hand-knotted the pearl bracelet, which was only the third time I've done that sort of stringing. I still need a little practice -- I followed this up with a necklace -- but I've found that hand-knotting is quickly addicting. I'm still debating whether it's worthwhile to pick up a knotting tool. The bracelet shown here was done with just a needle and thread.)

I also have a hat and headband I'm working on that is all sorts of cheerful yellows and pinks and greens. Yes, I'm using Bernat Softee baby yarn but it's just perfect for what I needed. :)

In the near future I'm going to start posting reviews, by-the-way. . . Of knitting/crocheting patterns and of places where I purchase items related to crafting (this will typically be knitting/crocheting/yarn related stuff). Doing the reviews came to me in a dream -- okay, no, not really. But I kind of feel like it was one of those strokes of brilliance. I hope my reviews can help others by guiding toward great patterns and keeping others from making the same mistakes I have. . .

And now I shall watch a kids show teach my son about dinosaur poop. (Yes, I'm serious.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Life, Knitting and Everything

Wednesday ultimately turned out okay. Maintenance came by to un-wasp our patio relatively early. It was no big deal, especially since I think he was expecting to see much worse than two wasps on either end of our patio doing their damnedest to build nests. But apparently seeing them out there and doing their dirty work on what I perceive as my property really bugged me (excuse the pun). It was a relief to see them taken care of and later I went out to pick up a can of wasp death to use in a preventative manner in a few days.

Contini took an early nap (he got up so early that he woke from his nap before he'd typically go down for it) but I opted not to nap with him for no real reason other than I wanted to finish what I was knitting.

The Ducks game also went better than anticipated. I hope the same can be said for tomorrow's game. In order to make the playoffs (we're 8th seed, last playoff spot currently) we pretty much have to win all the rest of our games.

Have a little FO to commemorate today being Friday! :D

I am so pleased with how this bag came out. It's fully knit except for the flower/pinwheel and the little chain hooking over the button.
The button is technically on the 'back' of the bag. . . That's due to my paranoia, actually. When I use a bag that has some sort of button or snap on the outside, I always turn that portion of my bag against my body so no one can easily access it. Granted it'd be pretty easy to pull stuff out of this bag due to its mesh nature, regardless of its button closure. It's a tiny bit of added security, for what it's worth. ;) Plus it matched so beautifully it looks like I purchased the button specifically for this project, which I didn't.

I have more updates involving yarn and whatnot but I may save that stuff to piggyback on tomorrow's Caturday post.

Happy Friday one and all! :D

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crack that WIP

Seeing as it's Wednesday and the popular thing to do on craft blogs is post about works-in-progress, I think I'll do a tiny bit of that today as well. *lemming-alert!*

However, unlike all those other blogs, I'm going to discuss my WIP without those pesky photographs. (My camera is unavailable and if I were to photograph my WIP right now with sunlight being what it is, the photo would be virtually useless, anyway.)

But I will include a link: I am knitting something like this. I am on to the mesh portion and since I'm using those small cotton Lily Sugar 'N' Cream yarn balls, I'm also on the second one. There's no set size but I suspect when I near the end of the second ball, I'm switching colors and moving on to the handle. In the back of my head I knew I should have purchased one of those cones. Ah well.

Today is going to be one of those bumpy days where I desperately hope I'll be successful in just muddling through it.
Had a thoroughly unpleasant early-morning wake-up which unfortunately included the little one waking up, as well. I was hoping he might go back to sleep. Silly me.
We have pest control coming out today (allegedly) to take care of some waspy-yellow-jackety looking jerks who've camped out on the overhang of our balcony. I didn't give the pest-control guys permission to enter if we don't answer the door so I suspect they will come during Contini's afternoon nap. Typically this would be perfect, except I know I'm so tired now that I'm really going to want to nap when he does.
And later, the Ducks are playing St. Louis. At this point, each and every game counts for them if they want a shot at eeking by into the playoffs. After last game which resulted in a loss, I'm not too confident about having a post-season this year.

I'm hoping for some sort of good news to help get me through the day today. . .

Perhaps knitting will help keep me awake. (Or I'll be too sleepy and completely screw up something that is going well so far.) :p

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Double-Update Day!

Wanted to share some photos of FOs (and a cute).

Finally finished the bodice of lore. I think it is safe now to say that it is the best fitting bodice I've ever had. I can't thank Christina of Yet Another Creative Blog enough for teaching me!!!
As a side-note, my previous experience with "sewing" (last year around this time) is shown below the bodice: I took one of my oldest renaissance faire skirts, split it down the center and added the ribbon to create a sort-of split skirt.

A close-up of the construction and beadwork I added to the fabric. Have I mentioned how well this fits me and how comfortable it is? :D

While we were taking photos anyway, I thought it a good time to also snag a picture of the keyhole scarf I just finished. I feel this looks far better in the picture than it does in real life. But the yarn drapes just beautifully and it's warm and cozy. I finished just in time to be able to put it away and wait a half year before I can wear it. Yay CA! ;) I felt very "bohemian" at this point.

It's been a year and boy has Contini grown since last faire season. We didn't expect the costume to fit at all (or very well) and it turned out everything will still work for him this year! It has gotten smaller as he's gotten bigger but it still fits and still looks cute as an Elizabethan button! :D
Even more of a surprise is how much he enjoyed wearing it. Considering he's at the "I'd-rather-be-nude" stage of toddlerdom, I thought he'd hate it as much as he hated wearing it a year ago. This bodes very well for the upcoming season!

Have ten more days of Etsy-styled lovin'!

In which I question "beauty"

For several months now, I have been receiving a daily email newsletter. Its topic is primarily fashion and discussing what certain celebrities (I have to take their word for it as I recognized very few faces over the months) were wearing.
I took an interest in this topic probably back around last Thanksgiving and frankly, I can't remember why exactly.

I stopped actually opening these emails several weeks ago but lately I found myself looking through them again out of curiosity.
I feel very Carrie Bradshaw for the next five words: I couldn't help but notice a certain similarity between all the women featured. They all have similar facial structure, similar body shapes and all look extremely emaciated. Now I can tell when other women are beautiful (Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Catherine Zeta-Jones to name a few who top my list) and these women in these emails. . . They aren't even attractive in their thinness. They all look. . . Emaciated. Sick.
This post isn't about how the media and our culture are making little girls have unhealthy expectations. That would be socially responsible of me and I'll be damned if anyone would have that misconception about me. ;) Rather, this post is about my doubting the validity and definition of "beauty." Are these women really deemed beautiful? Am I really that out of touch with what beauty is (now) that I can't see the forest for the trees?
You know, it's not even because these women are sick-looking that I don't see how they're pretty. I don't know. Maybe it is. I really want to provide examples but I feel that's almost a form of bullying -- which I will absolutely not take part in.

Anyway, I've wasted enough time before breakfast ranting about something that really ultimately doesn't matter.

. . . If nothing else, this has proven just how badly I need to get a job.

Pictures of a FO coming later (today, if possible). :D

Have some Etsy-styled lovin'!

10 days remain. . . Coupon code FIFTEENFIFTEEN is still good!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another Caturday, Another Picture

Miranda used to love to writhe against the phone book when we left it on the floor. I used to like to say it was her way of showing affection to my employer, as that was who provided the money that went to pay for her food. (The publisher of that phone book, TransWestern Publishing, became Yellowbook USA. I had worked there for 4 years when the San Diego office was closed and we were laid off.)

I know that story seems a little random in context, but I've been thinking about employment a lot in the last couple weeks, as I've resumed searching for a place to work.

So far this search's track record goes like this:

22 applications or resumes sent (split just about 50/50 between retail and office jobs)
1 call and interview
1 rejection following interview

In the 16 years years I've been interviewing for jobs, this is the first time I've been told "no" following an interview.
I'm relieved because I disliked how far I'd be driving for a job without health benefits (my main reason for pursuing work) and it would be a YEAR before paid vacation would kick in. Stingy? HELL YES.
I'm disappointed because I've never been rejected at this point. This has depressed me pretty wildly. I suspect it'll pass relatively soon. There are worse things, right?
I'm angry. I'm really angry, actually, because it was such a rush to get this interview. . . That instead of leaving the little one in a daycare facility, I had to ask my parents to watch him. That typically would not be a problem but they had plans for the day which were completely ruined for a prospect that didn't come to fruition. (And something tells me in retrospect that they never had any intent of hiring me. . . talk about a waste of time, effort, gas money -- which is a LOT when I filled my tank at over $40!)

So back to Yellowbook. That was my favorite employer, by far. I had the option of transferring to King of Prussia to continue my employment with them when we were laid off. The paperwork was all set and the move was all prepared and then all sorts of little fees and extras started popping up and it was about two weeks prior to our move when we realized there was no way we could actually afford the move. And so we stayed, and I took the severance package.
Part of the severance agreement was that I would not seek employment with the company again for five years. That was in April of 2007. Is anyone thinking what I'm thinking? ;) I've already been snooping around and unfortunately the only positions available nearby are sales. Sigh.

So I continue my job search. I suppose the good thing about tenacity is that when I'm kicked down, it makes me more resolute to succeed, even -- especially -- through anger and disappointment.

Meanwhile I've been watching what's going on in Japan. There's nothing like natural disaster to make your personal problems seem completely and entirely petty. It's been disheartening to watch one awful thing following another out there. They just can't seem to catch a break. :( If I had a job, I'd be more than happy to send my money out to help them. :(

Have some Etsy-styled lovin'!

15 days left!
Use coupon code FIFTEENFIFTEEN for a 15% discount! 15% off for 15 days left!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Photo Update

I like having photographic proof of stuff so here's a sort of pictorial about my weekend (and a FO I've previously mentioned).

We visited a train "museum" over the weekend. I personally like trains in more of a mass-transportation sort of way. The boys just love trains, so this worked out really well for them. It's about a half hour away from home and I'm thinking this is a great thing for future boys-day out activities.
The little one enjoyed playing in the wooden 'train cars,' like the one pictured to the left.

I figured -- after spending money on the pattern and effort on construction -- that Contini would have no interest in Blue (from Blue's Clues). In a way, I was right. He's since discovered dinosaurs (and the show Dinosaur Train). He has little interest in the other show (and gets really upset if I try to get him to watch it) but he does at least play with the crocheted plush I made him! I'm not especially pleased with how it came out so depending on his interest level, I may make a version 2. I didn't have to coax him to hug the plush or smile for the camera when I took the pictures to the left. :)

Messes put a real damper on my crafting time. Prior to purchasing the metal rack you see here, the plastic containers were stacked one on top of the other. I left my beading materials and yarn on top, as those are the crafts I do most (beside writing, that is, which doesn't really require a plastic bin -- although yes, I have a plastic bin housing all my WIP stories) but everything was in such disarray that I only used yarn I'd freshly purchased or that which was most easily accessible. Putting the metal shelves in the closet and rearranging the bins permitted me a few moments to reorganize my yarn (I forgot half of what I had and I have new inspiration for future projects!!!) and to look through beads and jewelry I'd missed since prior to our last move in Jul '10.
I now have access to my sewing machine (I have a bag to finish) and beads I needed to add to that bodice from many blog posts back. Speaking of which. . .

If you look carefully you can see the glass seed beads I've already added. The other side of the front is marked and ready for bead application. I like the subliminal chevron it's going to create. I should be done with that tonight and hoping I get to finish the bodice this coming weekend. :)
I look forward to future bodices I might feel comfortable embellishing more than this one, and I'm definitely doing that at this 'step' in the process if I'm making the bodice myself (which is the plan). It makes me feel so much more comfortable about the security of the beads knowing that there will be no exposed threads since I could sneak my hand in between the fabric layers. Once the bottom is sewn shut, those beads and threads are safe -- barring any snagging of beads from the outside. But hey, "it's period to lose beads!" ;)

Lastly, I've decided to participate in knitting and crochet blog week 2011. You can look forward to more inspired posts (seeing as I'll have prompts to follow) March 28th through April 3rd.

Have some Etsy-styled lovin'!

19 days left on 19 products!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

This Caturday, now with story!

So this morning I'm surfing the web on my laptop. I'm sitting in my usual spot on my couch and out of the corner of my eye, I see Miranda slinking by over to the open balcony sliding glass door (the mesh screen is closed so I'm not concerned about her going outside).
When I glance over, I don't see her at all.
I check at the mesh screen, I check under the end table between the couch and the screen.
No Miranda.

I started thinking perhaps I hadn't seen her and that maybe I'm losing my mind.
Then she walks back into my view from (I have no idea where).

Lousy cat playing her lousy cat tricks.

On a non-cat related topic: IT'S MINE AGAIN! I realize I know very few people (one?) who understand the significance of this domain, and the significance of my possessing it again. I will save that story for sharing on my website once it's up and running. For now, have a splash page. There is no content yet and the link goes no where. I just couldn't wait to make the announcement. HAPPY! =D

And an entry for the "that's-weird" chronicles: as I have more dreams somehow related to heights, I find my acrophobia in them is getting increasingly worse. In last night's dream, I somehow wound up standing on a helicopter platform atop the US Bank Tower. I was looking out over Los Angeles and having a debilitating anxiety attack about it.
Anyone have a dream dictionary out there who could tell me if there's any significance to a phobia getting worse through recurring dreams?

Have some Etsy-styled lovin'!

19 days left on these listings!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A word about the weather

I love gloom. I love grey skies and ominous clouds. I love thunderheads. I'm lovin' these clouds (pictured, left) currently available for my viewing enjoyment out the balcony window.
I love cold weather (though I think 1° Fahrenheit may be pushing that love a little bit) and I love, love, LOVE rain. I only got to experience falling snow at night but to say I thought it was beautiful is a wild understatement.
I'm made for places like Seattle, WA but the joke's on me since I'm trapped in CA where rain and snow are typically rare occurrences. Even when the AMS-certified meteorologists promise rain, I'm used to those promises being broken -- or being terribly disappointed by our "storms" here.

That being said, we've had a pretty interesting winter in my area, broken up with a trip to where the weather is more extreme (NE). The promised snow never came for my part of CA last week (ANGER, WRATH!). One might say I'm a proponent for that kind of weather.
Despite everything, we've been pretty dependent on our apartment heater the last few months but for no other reason than that of Contini hating to be dressed. I'm perfectly content being bundled up but he's at that age where clothing is intolerable, even out in public. (We're working on that.)

Our unseasonably cold temperatures are saying bye-bye and today accuweather claims the temperature is 70 here. Feels like it's a little warmer than that and I was happy to finally be able to turn off our heater in exchange for opening a couple windows. It's just right outside (oh, if only we could keep it like this year-round!) and it's nice to save money on the electric bill.

I celebrated the weather by continuing to apply for jobs. At 30+ minutes a piece, I got two more online applications under my belt this morning, which brings my total from the last couple days to about 10. No office jobs, not yet. The ones I've found for which I am qualified are all through Craigslist and I'm immensely wary about applying. I got some wonderful advice regarding that from an Eljay buddy of mine so when the time comes to approach them, at least I'll feel a little safer about it.

Attempting something new regarding my Etsy shop by including it conveniently IN my blog:

My listings expire in a few weeks and I'm wondering if I were to slash my prices (25-50%), would that make me more likely to make a sale in the meantime? I don't get much feedback on my pieces or my shop but so far no one has complained that prices are keeping me from making sales.

Until Caturday (if nothing worth sharing pops up before then). . .!