Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Home

It would honor me if you continued to follow my blog at its new address at wordpress.com.
I appreciate each and every follower I have here on Blogger and understand that Blogger followers can't necessarily follow on Wordpress. . .  But if you have Google Reader, you should be able to add my feed to it there. :)

Many thanks to those who've enriched my life by leaving comments here in the short time I've been blogging.  I look forward to seeing you at my new blog home. :)

Caturday May 28

Today's Caturday update brings us to an older photo of the princess, making every attempt to have herself discovered by management at our apartment complex.  Not that we were breaking our lease or anything. . .


We never did get in trouble at that apartment for the above non-specified issue. . .  However, things they were doing in violation of the lease agreement could've landed them in court if we'd been so inclined.  But that was two apartments back and about 50 miles away from here.  Practically a lifetime ago in when it comes to Contini's experience.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and a (reflective? patriotic?) Memorial Day.  What is the proper "greeting" for Memorial Day, anyway. . .?

Friday, May 27, 2011

On a Friday

Well, to be honest, I probably would've had my project from the last several WIP Wednesdays done. . .  If I hadn't done several of these smaller projects to ensure I had something to present today.  The more time that passes with this particular UFO (un-finished object, which should really be abbreviated UO but let's face it, that's not as fun) the more I find myself doing these little side projects (these and the array of octopuses) as insurance for Friday posts -- in addition to satisfying my instant gratification needs.  Is anyone else guilty of doing this?

I shouldn't gripe too much about them, though, because they were all fun.  Well, okay, almost all were fun.  (Click any photo for its larger version)

 

After seeing some stitch markers in various places online, I decided to make a few of my own. I've a ton of Swarovski crystals laying around from various past jewelry projects.  Naturally my stitch markers would require bling (this is me we're talking about). ;)  I posted sneak peeks of these over on Twitter and at my facebook account and got some positive responses. . .


 

So I made a set for my friend.  I don't consider any of these quite good enough to sell (sure I've been making jewelry for over two decades but my wire wrapping capabilities are still iffy) but they're good enough to give away. :D
I'm working on that wire wrapping thing, because I ultimately would like to sell stuff like this.

In an attempt to try making jewelry like this, I ended up. . .  with this random ring.  (In other words, despite having an instructional video on Youtube, I was unable to make anything even remotely close to the bracelet shown in the link above.)  I'm not giving up but I'm choosing to take a break from it for a little while to regroup.  Maybe find better instruction on Youtube -- or concise written ones.  Any ideas, anyone?
Moving along.






Before anyone asks where the real fiber FO is, I present this little guy:

 




I actually won the pattern for this platypus on the Winging-It blog written by E-Dreamer at the beginning of May. :)  Took me a couple weeks to getting around to making it.  Quick, very cute little pattern that I took one tiny liberty on (its tail).  If I can possibly reduce or eliminate sewing in my projects, I absolutely try.  (Which was the case with the tail on this project, and you'll see just how much I dislike hand-sewing -- and to what extent I avoid it -- when it comes to next weeks' FO Friday post.)
Anyway, I finished this one night after Earl took Contini to bed and I sneaked it into the computer room and left it on his keyboard as a little surprise gift. It went over very well, I think. :)

And lastly, before I forget: please go visit my new Artfire page.  If you liked the stitch markers, you should like my jewelry.  (Heck, if you like jewelry, you should go check it out -- I don't post my beaded creations on this blog nearly often enough, and this is a good way to see the kinds of stuff I make.)

I'm considering doing a give-away for handmade personalized stitch marker sets.  Would anyone out there in blog-land be interested?  Requirements I'm considering for the contest would be a comment here (I'd need to know who wants to play of course) and a comment on my "business" facebook page after the stitch markers are received.
Though I've received a ton of compliments on all pieces I've sent to friends and for the commissions I made, I've been unable to collect them where it matters for online business: in public, online.  And I suspect having feedback where people can see it would help my credibility. . .  Thus the second half of the requirements for the contest.  Any thoughts?

Once you're done link-hopping and leaving a response here if you're so inclined (I love feedback!), please click the image below to visit other bloggers who, I'm sure, have more fiber-related content and probably far-less self-promotion. ;)
Have a wonderful weekend and come back tomorrow for Caturday!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

So I hear. . .

Now some people are having problems commenting on Blogger.  I have also heard that it has to do with one specific comment setting/option.  I've altered that setting to one that I believe doesn't have any problems, so if you've commented in the past and comment again, you'll notice a little change.

Don't panic, it's no mistake. :)

I'll see you tomorrow for FO Friday! I've got a few little goodies to share.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Before the Cream Sits Out Too Long/You Must WIP It

(I'm currently waiting for breakfast. . .  And also running out of Devo lyrics with which to title these posts.)

Click photo to enlarge (beware blur)
It's totally not what it looks like.  I bet it looks like I've made zero progress since last week.  In reality:



Click photo to enlarge (beware blur)
This is what's going on.  The piece on the left is the back panel. The piece on the right, still on my needles, is the front panel. . .  And it's just about three inches from shoulder shaping!  (Which I'm quite eager for.)


I was hoping perhaps this could be my FO Friday project but I've had even less time to dote on this pattern. . .  Because of stuff like this (if you watched the video, I have a simple yes/no question for you: did you watch it the full way through?). . .
And this:
Click photo to enlarge
Contini has discovered the community playground and is quite in love with it, as you can see. :)







Edit: Boo, hiss.  I changed my "reaction" options for my posts and in doing so, Blogger ate up all the reactions I've received over the last few months.  Ah well.  :(

Monday, May 23, 2011

Unthemed Monday!

I don't do too many unthemed posts.  They just feel awkward to me.
I was actually going to whine and moan in this post about Contini's eating habits lately, and then he suddenly decided to be all about raisins.

And then DH decided to update our podcast.  So all bets regarding this post were off. ;)

You should watch the following video if:

1. You've enjoyed the videos I've previously shared
2. You've got a good sense of humor
3. You don't mind a little bit of bawdy or the occasional (written) bad word (I don't want anyone getting offended!)
4. You like things like renaissance faires
5. You like cute children (I'm biased, I know!)

Without further ado. . .





[Begin shameless self-promotion]
We always welcome comments wherever you feel like leaving them (here, our website, on Twitter, on Facebook, via message in a bottle).
[End shameless self-promotion]

Wednesday we will return to our regularly scheduled programing.  Anticipate my complaining about the mesh cover-up which will never be finished. . .  ;)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Caturday May 21

Miranda is gazing off into eternity: my little "social commentary" on today's scheduled apocalypse.

Click photo for larger image

I'll be seeing all you other fun and frisky people next week. ;)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Morning

Happy Friday!  I won't muck this post up with a lot of text or anything, so I present FO Friday in the form of video!  (If you'd like to see close-ups of anything in the video, please let me know and I'll gladly photograph it and post it on my blog ASAP.)

video



And the other FO I mentioned in the video:
Click photo for larger image

The color in the photo is fairly accurate. I think my camera nearly broke trying to capture it.  This is my usual Kool Aid dye on lace weight Silken Kydd from http://www.elann.com70% Super Kid Mohair/ 30% Silk and 100% delicious!  (And no, no ideas for a project yet. I am really bad about that! I am always open to pattern suggestions.)

Now go see other FO Friday posts, before your retinas burn. . .  ;)

I'm also on Wisdom Begins In Wonder this week!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Say WIP It/WIP It Good

This is going to be the abbreviated version of my typical Work-In-Progress Wednesday post.

Last night was pretty lousy:  Contini had a nightmare.  Once he finally settled down enough to talk and could reply to us, he told us that apparently I'd "put something away."  That'll teach me to go into my son's dreams and clean anything up!  (Just call me Mommy Krueger.)  Unfortunately, the lousy night has followed us into a lousy morning, leaving me little opportunity for a halfway decent post today.
(As always, click either photo for its larger version.)

I am officially only three inches away from getting to bind off the back panel of the cover-up I'm working on!  This project is fairly straight-forward, just physically larger than anything I've really ever done before.  It's been slow-going and in that regard, quite frustrating.  Thankfully I have a few "instant-gratification" style projects to relieve that frustration.







And off to the right, a snuggly close-up preview of what's coming on Friday.  You may be able to guess what it is.  Even if you do, you may not expect quite what I did.  (I'm working on making a very short video reveal for this particular FO.  I have to see how that's going to work out.)














So my question to everyone out there this week:  What is impeding you on your WIP?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Caturday May 14

A Tail of Two Kitties:

Yes, I meant "tail," not tale.  (I'm trying to be cute, bear with me.)
Today's post was supposed to be about one cat only but Miranda, never one to be outdone by anybody, had to create some drama this week.

Click photo for larger image
Miranda helped herself to a lovely spot of sun to lounge in on Tuesday of this past week.  I thought it'd be a prime opportunity to get some decent stock photos for future Caturday posts.  Upon closer inspection after I took many photos, I noticed something poking out of her mouth. That "something" is visible in the photo to the left (just beneath the white patch of fur beneath her nose).  It was her bottom right fang sticking straight out, in the process of breaking/falling out.  This was news to us and needless to say, I rushed to the phone for the veterinarian.  Of course they couldn't get her in same day and while I went out for food less than an hour after that phone call, the tooth came out.
We took her to the vet nonetheless and got some unexpected news:  heart murmur, ear infection, dehydration.    On the bright side (and something the vet refused to comment on), she'd gained weight from her last vet visit.  This vet (who I'm currently feeling quite iffy about returning her to for many reasons I'm not mentioning here)
was loathe to do anything about the missing tooth which apparently broke off and didn't actually fall out.  I figured there'd need to be an extraction and she didn't want to put kitty under any anesthetic, not even for a tooth cleaning.
We left the vet's office $160 poorer and feeling like our cat was about to drop dead before we made it back home.  Yes, she's old (14, our best guess?) but she's not deteriorating the way the vet was having us believe.
Currently, Miranda (less half of one fang) is sitting on my lap and feeling quite smug for taking over this Caturday post.  She's had some aggravations the last few days (cleaner and drops for her ears, antibiotics for her tooth and a bath after she messed herself in the carrier on the way back from the office visit) but she's also had a lot of pampering and treats including a new water fountain and Catsip.  *cough*AndCheese*cough*


Click photo for larger image
Without further ado, I'd like to introduce Phobos.  Phobos was Miranda's brother.  They came as a package deal (literally, two-for-one) from an animal shelter in Orange County.  We went to countless places to find just the perfect addition to our family back in 2004 and traveled 160 miles round trip once we found the cat for us.  Except it wasn't cat, singular.
I was wary about taking two cats in when we were only interested in one but we fell in love with these two and they became His-And-Hers companions.
Phobos was a very affectionate (if not incredibly shy) cat whose life ended a year ago today.  We were preparing to move and he'd been soiling the carpet for quite some time for no physical health reason we could discover.  As the move approached, his health deteriorated suddenly and rapidly and I found myself having to make the decision -- unmatched in difficulty -- to make an appointment for euthanasia.  Knowing it was the humane thing to do didn't make it easier.  The earliest they could fit us in didn't seem quite soon enough and I was certain he wouldn't make it to his appointment.  When we took him in and they weighed him, the towel DH carried him in weighed more than he did (and he'd always been larger than Miranda by almost twice her weight).
I had DS with us (at that point not even 17 months old) and kept him entertained by looking at the kitties up for adoption while DH kept Phobos company through his last breath.
I felt cold and callous, everything I chose to do up until that point very methodical and sterile.
It was on the way home that I completely broke down and sobbed the whole half hour drive.  And would have random break-downs for several weeks later.  (And Phobos wasn't really ever "my" cat.)

In the days immediately following, DH did the best thing he could do to help his grieving process.  He put together a touching video memorial for his cat.  It would honor us if you would watch the video he made in Phobos's memory; it's only a little over 6 minutes long.


And now you know our secret identities. . .  (I think it was worth it.) :)
I hope everyone has a nice (drama-free) weekend.  I look forward to sharing fun stuff with you next week!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Night Saturday Morning

With the excitement at Blogger in our past (I hope), I cautiously make my FO Friday post.  I also wanted to thank those who posted replies to Wednesday's Post.  I still hold on to some optimism they will eventually restore the comments.


Kitty drama is temporarily on the back-burner so I figured I'd wait until tomorrow's Caturday post before delving into that story.


Today's FO is not stitchy, but rather yarny.  With someone's candy-themed hand-dyed yarn as inspiration, I got my slow cooker back out for the first time in around five months.


Of course my yarn isn't as professional (at all) or nearly as beautiful as Tami Klockau's but I love the color I got.  It wasn't my aim but when all was said and done (I'll thank the warm weather for speedy dry time) I thought of amethyst when I saw the color.  My poor attempt at theming color names led me to Amethyst Mist, which just so happens to be a plant whose leaves are a freakishly close match to the color my yarn ended up with.


















So that'll do it for me today.  Come back tomorrow for kitty stories and photos.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When a Good Time Turns Around / You Must WIP It

It's strange how on many Wednesdays, a Devo lyric fits what's going on in my life just perfectly.  In this case, the good times turned around yesterday about when I decided to take some photos for upcoming Caturdays and noticed something poking out of kitty's mouth.  I'll spare the details but suffice it to say a tooth has subsequently fallen out and we're taking her to the veterinarian later today (the earliest they could take us).  Much fun will ensue (not). Kitty update should follow on Friday or Saturday.

Gladly on to my WIP.  (Click any photograph for its larger version if you're so inclined.)

If you weren't here for Monday's post these next two pictures won't mean much to you.  But I dismantled the hat and the shawl I'd made from my home dyed (Kool Aid) yarn.  I am pleased to say I salvaged every last bit of yarn from the shawl.  (I made mistakes with the hat but that yarn wasn't nearly as important to me to salvage.)  I have plans for the yarn pictured right.  The yarn pictured left?  Still don't know.




I started work on a pattern from a magazine last week just after I posted that WIP Wednesday blog entry.  Resolved to not adjust it once it published, I figured I'd introduce the project this week instead.
Among my almost-halfway-through-the-year-resolution: work patterns from books or magazines I have yet to try anything from.
I created a Ravelry page for this project here (a rare thing for me) and will be updating it accordingly.
Anyway, that mesh you see to the left is the back panel for a "cover-up" using left-over stash from a shawl I made my mother last year for her birthday.  It's currently just about eleven inches long.

Which brings me to my question this week:  how do you store your works in progress while you're not working on them?  I got sick of leaving my project on the top of the couch and pulled out an old basket I had.  I almost actually look like a knitter! ;)  It's too bad between my son and kitty that I can't leave this basket in the corner of the living room and turn it into decoration.


I'll leave you with a little bit of beautiful, my Phalaenopsis babies in bloom:





Monday, May 9, 2011

Past, Future and Photos

Random Monday update! (Aaah, the world's coming to an end!)  I had some photos to share so I figured, why not?


What do these two shawls and one hat have in common?  They're all about to be frogged.  I made the two shawls without a pattern (both crocheted) and I liked neither.  The left-most shawl was made with the yarn I used in those gloves I recently posted about (now octopus).  The shawl shown center is made from yarn I dyed ("Funky Berries" in my stash at Ravelry) and I feel it deserves a better fate.  The hat on the right was a failed pattern interpretation.  I fail at lots of stuff.  Since I have a pattern that would be perfect for this little bit of yarn, I thought I'd put it to good use (as I've never -- and will never -- wear this hat).
I am becoming queen of recycling!  :D

On the topic of recycling yarn and whatnot, I made a New Years resolution about 5 months late:  to use up my stash.  It's mostly a thing of necessity (no money and lots of yarn taking up space) so you'll probably start noticing some yarn gettin' all familiar (isn't that shirt being made out of the same yarn in your mom's old shawl? why yes thank you for noticing!).
"What shirt, Contessa?"  Come back on Wednesday. I know, I'm mean.

I've also endeavored to attempt a few challenges and actually, you know, finish them.  (I have a big problem with that -- it's why a certain fanfiction story I've been working on is a decade old, no signs of stopping or finishing in the remotely near future!)
Anyway, one of the challenges I'm undertaking is starting in July:  blog through a book.  This goes a tad bit against my desire to NOT spend money.  But I realized I could totally capitalize off this stash situation I've gotten myself into by getting the One-Skein Wonders book. A one-time $12 expenditure to help me bust my stash, learn some skills and make some gifts.  And complete a challenge successfully.  I can't wait for July!!!  Dear Hubby told me that book is my Mother's Day gift and that's perfectly fine with me.  (His Father's Day gift, Tron 2, is going to be more expensive and a lot less enjoyable.)

Off to the right is a photo of the cactus I made for last Father's Day (mentioned not in my last FO Friday post but in the comments/replies for it).  Last year, a cactus.  This year, a trilobite.  Or maybe a herd of trilobites.  :)

Lastly, I leave you with a touch of Spring.  (Click either photo for its larger version.)

 The succulents at my parents' place are starting to bloom.  My camera can't handle the saturation of color and you don't have a feel for its size but this gives you some idea the beauty of what these plants can produce.
The cattleya (right) is also in bloom.  Same as with the succulent flower, this doesn't give you a feel for size but the color is fairly accurate.  Plus you can see all the beautiful sparkles on its petals (no, that's not dew).


I had a wonderful time with my hubby, parents and son for Mother's Day.  Most of the apartment got cleaned (maybe not a treat for some women but definitely one for me).  We didn't do anything special but I can't express how happy it makes me to watch my parents play with my son.  I even sneaked some video of the antics. :D
I think I've yapped enough for a non-typical blogging day.  I'll see everyone on Wednseday. :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Caturday May 7

Click photo for larger image

She looks just like a little ray o' sunshine with that expression, doesn't she?  Old cat is old.
I also find myself wondering why -- when I'm the only one in the room with her -- she sits on the floor several feet away with her back to me.

To my fellow mommies out there:  Happy Mother's Day (tomorrow)! :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

American Friday Night

It's another FO Friday!  The following two photos are my attempts at creating anticipation for the conclusion of the guessing game from Wednesday's blog update.  (I fail.)

Click photo for larger image
To the left is a photo of a pretty old FO.  I adored the yarn and I loved the pattern (this is the second set of gloves I've made with that pattern).  However, something happened where these mits came out just way too baggy.  I set them aside never to wear them, to let them gather dust.  And then in the last week, I had a flash of brilliance to frog them completely.







Click photo for larger image
And from the ashes of shame rose a beautiful new project called "octopus amigurumi."  (Stop me if you've heard this joke before: namely last FO Friday.) ;)
I think one of the best things about knitting and crocheting is the ability to create something new, something better from the grips of disaster.  It's the ultimate story of renewal, redemption, re-yarning.  Knitting and crocheting are awesome.  (The same can be said of making beaded jewelry, to be honest, but I don't know. . .  It doesn't hold the impact of frogging a completed project and creating something you like so much better with the yarn. . .)



And now, without further ado, the unveiling (click either photo for its larger image):


Of course I will tell you what that thing is but I'd love some honest opinions, as this is a Father's Day gift.

Did you recognize that this is a trilobite without my having to say so?  Because I genuinely think it looks like a beige roach.  I love it and I'm glad I made it.  I'm giving it -- but I just wanted to know if I will need to preface its presentation with "it's not a roach."  ;)

I worked off this pattern and have to say between the needles being smaller than recommended for the yarn and the slipped stitches of increasing tightness, it totally brought me back to the days of being a new knitter where I knitted so tightly I actually broke my needle tips.  Can I just say I don't miss being so uptight with something that's supposed to be relaxing?

Lastly, I have a question for those who knit and crochet.  I'm knitting or crocheting and meanwhile, I'm having to pull my own hair out from the stitches in the project.  I'm not losing an unreasonable amount of hair or anything but the two or three strands that I lose manage to go right into what I'm making!  Seriously, I'm starting to consider hair nets.  Does anybody else have this problem?
I suppose it's a good thing I'm not the cook in the family!

Come back tomorrow for my Caturday post and have a wonderful weekend. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

No One Gets Away/Until They WIP It

Click photo for enlargement

Nothing much to report this Wednesday so I figured I'd invite my friends (if you're reading this, you qualify!) to play a little game.  :)

What is today's Work-In-Progress?

You can look at the larger image if you think it will help.  Otherwise, I'll leave you with a little hint:  it's not dirty.  You can make a dirty guess if you like, but it'll be wrong -- even if it makes me laugh a little.  (I grew up with two older brothers, I couldn't escape "dirty mind syndrome.")

Come back on Friday for the answer!