Monday, February 28, 2005

Like a Butterfly...

...I flit from project to project.

I was happily working on some gift knitting and contemplating casting on some mindless knitting (a chenille throw) to keep near the television...but alas, I've been diverted like a butterfly to a lovely lacy flower...I'm test knitting Mariposa for Southwest Trading Company! (as of right now, the image on the main page for SWTC happens to be Mariposa). It's a lovely lacy flower wrap done in Bamboo yarn. Unfortunately for me, in order to save myself a long extraneous tail from long tail cast on, I tried single loop cast on for this project and the first row was proving to be a real pain in the you know what. After struggling to get halfway through the first row (309 stitches!!) I gave up, frogged it out and re-cast on using long tail. Sadly, things are progressing slowly - either I'm just a slow knitter or I just didn't have a good appreciation for how long it takes to make a lace object...ah well. I guess I'll re-evaluate this whole "test knitting" concept once I'm through with my first project.

Random fact for you readers: a Mariposa is a lovely tulip-like flower that grows in the southwestern United States and Mexico....mariposa also happens to be the Spanish word for butterfly.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Yowza! Thank you Secret Pal!

Look what was waiting for me when I got home last night...well, okay, it was actually a USPS Priority Mail box, but Priority Mail boxes just don't make for interesting photography. A super humongous appreciative THANK YOU goes to my Secret Pal. It couldn't have arrived at a better time - I've been stressing lately (well, stressing more than usual anyway) and this really brightened my day - and it's all perfect - and color coordinated to boot!

What all is it? Why, it's the March/April 2005 edition of Cooks Illustrated Magazine, a yummy bar of Lindt Bittersweet Dark Chocolate, handmade and personalized Grapefruit & Tangerine Bath Salts and Rosemary Mint Soap, a Ty Beanie Baby Kitty, pair of Mandarin Orange Votives and an adorable homemade card...and some absolutely delightful yarn in my favorite colors! It's Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk yarn in two colors and Great Adirondack Yarn Co. Whiskers yarn. What fun!

The Rosemary Mint soap smells absolutely wonderful as do the candles and the bath salts. I love the labels :D I had to laugh because I was just thinking to myself to get more votives - so these went right into my candle holders. Thanks so much, Secret Pal!

Overdue Photo Blogging

All the rain has put a serious crimp on my Photo Blogging - I have a thing about getting proper colors in my photos, so I generally hate taking pictures inside under artificial lighting...but since I had to crack out my camera for some other photos, I figured I'd crank em all out at once and try to get some practice using Paint Shop Pro :)

Lookie lookie :) Amy knows I love to enhance my Fabric Stash almost as much as I love to enhance my Yarn Stash...she got me some Lilly Pulitzer fabric and some Incredibles toys - Baby Incredible (I can shoot his head off!) and Dash (he's a wind-up toy)! I loved that movie - can't believe its coming out on DVD/VHS already!! Thanks so much for brightening my day, Amy - I'm workin' on plans for that fabric :)

Bejeweled Ribby

People have asked, so here it is :) The jewelry for my Ribby. It's a fortune cookie charm from Amyville! Isn't it fantastic? It even has the "fortune" peeking out like they sometimes do on real cookies! Rumor has it that a zipper pull option will soon be available for the various goodies at Amyville, but if not, Amy will do custom orders :) The cool thing with these little goodies is I can attach em to other my Clie (something like a Palm Pilot, but made by Sony) or even a cell phone. Accessories for everything whoo hoo!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Egrets...and Herons...and Pelicans! oh my!

Other than the stunning wildflowers, the recent rains have filled in a lot of the drainage ditches that seem so prevalent where I live - and have made small artificial wetlands - it's been great walking into work and seeing ducks and other cool water fowl (I actually saw pelicans one day!) out and about. A small park that I pass on my way to work every day has a pond that is stocked with fish...the presence of the fish seems to draw egrets and herons. This morning it was exceptionally beautiful with the bright sun rising and fog vapors lifting off the water surface with egrets silhouetted all along the shoreline. Such a shame I had go into work rather than sit at the park and enjoy the scenery - mist and fog would certainly go with my latest inspiration...I've been drooling over the lovely designs of Alice Starmore...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Rain Really puts a Damper on Things!

While I like the occasional shower, the recent weather in the southwest has just been wreaking havoc with things. Granted, it's certainly resulted in more than its fair share of early spring cleaning...which I am thankful for...but it's also resulted in throwing me off from my normal weekend habit of getting outside to poke around - and with all the recent rain, the wildflowers should be stunning - if I could just get myself to a trail that won't be a mud wallow! Sadly, this week actually has showers forecast for *every*single*day*. I'm starting to go stir crazy. A girl like me can only get stuck doing indoor activities for so many weekends (and my house is about as organized as it's going to get!!). Sadly, this has also resulted in my getting way behind in photographing works in progress and some wonderful gifts...I have a thing for natural light - images just come out more true to color in natural light. While I'm getting more and more proficient at removing color casts and otherwise manipulating images in Paint Shop, it is certainly not my forte - much easier to deal with images that don't need that kind of adjustment to begin with!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Place for Everything...

...and everything in its place.

I swear. All this rain is proving to be most difficult on my wallet as well as on my sanity. There is only so much organizing and redecorating that an individual can do without going absolutely bonkers! :D

This weekend resulted in yet another trip to purchase a nice tall bookcase. (Norrebo, in case you're wondering) It puts my other bookshelf to shame (an affaire of bricks and laminate shelving as done by a starving college student). So now we look incredibly literate...until you go in for the close scan and realize that one and a half shelves are dedicated to hiking books and field guides! The arrival of Norrebo into the house also enabled me to move my towering pile of cookbooks from the bedroom (don't ask) over to the etagere that flanks the's nearly full, if you can believe that.

Cruz asked for photos of my newly tidied guest rooms. Sadly, I don't have any - and I'm still rather shy of publishing photos of my home. I don't know why, it just seems wrong. I will say that our biggest problem was having the vertical storage to put everything. Prior to the Great Organizational Weekend, all of my extensive hiking gear was strewn about the floor. One might wonder how it is possible that an individual can really have that much hiking gear....well, it's safe to say that I have enough gear in the house to run a small outfitter - at last count we had over 10 backpacks, 8 sleeping pads and some crazy number of tents and sleeping bags. Add in the fact that I have climbing gear and enough rope to wrap my house in and perhaps you get the picture. Go vertical I say :D Get yerself some shelves and some bins and start compartmentalizing. I'm a great fan of compartmentalizing - it just seems to make for easier access! Things that can hang can be hung on the walls from peg boards...or even in the closet! I never thought it could be done without offloading a ton of the gear, but we managed - and I'm positively stunned at the difference.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I'm interchangeable!

You are interchangeable.
Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every
eventuality covered and every opportunity just
has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and
every day is a new beginning. You are good at
so many things, it's amazing, but you can
easily lose your place and forget to show up.
They have row counters for people like you!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hee hee hee :) How fitting is that? I love my Denise set....I only lament the fact that I don't have enough cords to get more projects on em...and for some strange reason, I seem to have multiple projects that call out the same size needles - I guess I better get a move on and get me more circulars, LOL! (and oh yum, isn't the yarn in that image just gorgeous?! note-you might have to look in the "background" portion of the yarn ball - for some odd reason, the image from quizilla is coming up looking rather odd and with some srange photo effect making the yarn look like it's been turned into some ceramic object...)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I'm such a Chicken

With all the reorganization that ensued over the last weekend, I've discovered that I do indeed have a zipper foot for my lovely sewing machine. However, after much contemplation, I still chickened out and dropped my Ribby off with a seamstress to have her zipper installed. Call it paranoia - my sewing machine has been known to get a case of the munchies every now and again...nibbling and gnawing on my fabric. After all my hard work on Ribby, I didn't care to risk her to my temperamental machine....and now, just a couple days later, I have a complete Ribby :)

The seamstress did a good job, completely overlapping the zipper teeth with the sweater bands, so while I made sure to have a matching zipper, it really isn't ever noticeable (except for the zipper tab, which is now (tho unfortunately not in the photo) sporting its very own jewelry - an ultra-adorable fortune cookie zipper-pull from Amyville!. Definitely a fun and easy sweater to knit up, it fits great with my modifications. If anything, I'm actually contemplating getting the ribs a bit damp to get them to relax down a little bit so I get a closer fit through the body. Check it out all the gory details on my Finished Objects Blog :D

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Spring Booties

Spring is coming, and several people I know have babies on the way. Instead of going out and purchasing baby gifts, I thought I'd go for something more personal - some quick hand knit baby booties seemed to be the trick (along with some other hand knit goodies) . These booties flew off the needles, and were a fun and quick knit - there's nothing like projects that give instant gratification! Aren't they adorable?! Cruise over to my finished objects blog for pattern and yarn info.

As for me, I'm now lusting after the book "Socks for Sandals and Clogs" it appears it's soon to be re-released as a second edition, and has some pretty funky patterns inside :) Probably not the best thing to start out on for a Virgin Sock Knitter, but hey, I happen to be one of those wierdos who actually does wear socks with my Sandals (and Clogs).

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

What's a Girl to Do...

With un-mendable garments that may or may not be in style any more? Why, scavenge for fabric, of course! What better than to convert the old and unusable into something new and fun?

And what could be more fun than a new handbag? :) Alright, I admit it - I have a strange obsession with purses. While I generally carry one rather large purse (I always lug a quart of water around with me, and it has to fit in my purse - and a quart of water is no light thing - it weighs two pounds and isn't exactly compact!) - I like small fun purses too. And rather than go out and spend all kinds of money on purses, I've decided to start making my own...and once I get good at it, I may even start selling 'em - that way, I can shamelessly indulge in enriching my fabric stash!

This little corduroy number with festive lining is my first run. Very simple in design with a single unzippered pocket. I've already got some design changes in mind to try out for future models. In case you're wondering, the base of the bag is about 4 1/2 inches by 6 inches and I'd guess it's about 6 inches deep. It's safe to say I'm getting to be on better terms with my sewing machine :) Though I'm still sticking with straight seams just to be safe!

Monday, February 14, 2005

IKEA'd Again!

It truly is amazing what a little bit of organization will do. Somehow, over the course of several years, our two "guest rooms" turned into oversized gear closets with gear all over the place. Should I have the pleasure of receiving guests, the poor people would have to be shoe-horned into the guest rooms amongst all the equipment with hardly any space for their luggage!

Thanks go IKEA and a ridiculously energized and determined husband, our guest rooms are guest-ready again and my gear room looks like an outfitter's shop! It's really quite impressive. I honestly can't remember the last time I could walk around freely inside the guest room turned gear closet...And all this was done without throwing away hardly anything - just some new shelves, a hanging peg rack, some dowel extensions for my existing peg racks and some storage benches (which the cats adore). Unfortunately, no photos are available - I was too embarrassed by the original mess to capture it, and well, I'm kinda embarrassed by the quantity of outdoor equipment we own. In any case, while it seemed like mad torture to actually get it done, the rooms look positively stunning.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Healthcare POS indeed!

**warning** This Post Contains Nearly No Knitting Content **warning**

Sorry folks, 3 days and no updates...I fear the only good that has come out of having the flu is a mostly complete Ribby. Sadly, I'm well enough to have packed myself back off to work because I'm one of the last people on earth that still uses a 56k modem...and trying to work from home on such a pokey connection was driving me batty. As a result, I've not had proper light with which to photo my Ribby or anything else I've been working on (gifties!). Hopefully this will be remedied relatively soon. This ends the knitting update.

As for that title, I'm on a rampage about the state of the healthcare insurance system. I laugh every time I see it, because I'm on a POS plan. Literally. They don't mean for me to refer to it as a Piece of Sh*t, but there it is. The plan benefits must have recently changed, and rather than direct mail all the plan participants notifying them of the changes, I believe they just posted the changes to some website that they hoped we'd go visit. Imagine my surprise when I realized there had been a 50% increase in my dr visit copay cost and some prescription medications have received a 100% cost increase! Oh, and another thing - they've gone and implemented a mail order system for prescription medications....and from what I hear, they plan on making certain "maintenance" prescriptions more difficult to obtain from a brick-and-mortar retail pharmacy to force the use of this prescriptions-by-post program...was this communicated in any nice manner? Of course not. After all, the program is a POS.

Monday, February 07, 2005

An Un-Seamly Productive Weekend

Well, it turns out I was only sick enough to completely pass out and be useless for one day - unfortunately I was not sick enough to be useful for logical thought or anything else over the weekend - but 2x2 ribbing was a Ribby's sleeves are done, and she's seamed up! I've picked up for her collar - I think I'm switching over to the Mock Neck style with perhaps some contrasting trim. Zipper hasn't been purchased, but I have tried her on as is, and she fits nicely (and yes, I couldn't resist tampering a bit with the lengths, and I'm happy I did). I noticed the darker color fabric seems softer and less scratchy to the touch - not sure why that is. I figure by the end of the project, I'll have used all my dark yarn and will perhaps have 2 skeins of the light blue remaining.

Since I'm doomed to another day on the couch, I'll probably manage to get some work done on Cozy - unless I manage to drift off for a very welcome nap....what is it with colds and flu that make it difficult to get any sort of restful sleep at night?! I would think that the body would do anything for a "system shutdown" kind of rest to get rid of the offending bug. While I've definitely hit the "I'm really sick and tired of being sick" stage (otherwise also known as the whiny and wall-climbing phase of illness), I try to tell myself: "at least I'm catching up on my knitting and reading...." :) Be well, folks - and do whatever you can to keep whatever is making the rounds away. You definitely don't want *this* bug.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Saved from Daytime TV!

One of the things I absolutely dread about being sick is getting stuck watching daytime television. I don't know what it is about daytime television that makes it so absolutely dreadful, but it just is - and no, I don't have cable or satellite TV at home.

So - why on earth would I find myself stuck dreading the horrors of daytime television you ask? Well, I've been battling some weird bug all week and it finally laid me low yesterday - fever topping 100 degrees F, and good for absolutely nothing other than being horizontal on the couch. I didn't have enough energy to read, to knit (how sad!), to push the cats off me when they *both* insisted on sitting on my chest - and definitely no energy to surf channels. What saved me? Why I was passed out for most of the day, thank you very much! Definitely an interesting experience for someone who is usually multi-tasking with all kinds of things going hither and yon.

I'm officially on the mend, though am definitely no where near able to multi-task (heck, I'm barely able to single task for that matter!), and while I will likely continue to acquaint myself with my couch, I will hopefully be able to get more rows done on Ribby (I'm guessing 58 more rows before sleeve cap shaping).

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

nerdy tomboy!

What to do! Not feeling creative enough for a proper blog update....yet nothing has been posted since Monday evening?! The Shame! If you're like me, you go hunting for content....and Quizilla comes to the rescue! I offer you some insight into my childhood and my mind...

tom boy result

What kind of little girl were YOU?
brought to you by Quizilla

I am nerdier than 92% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

*Supreme Nerd. How embarassing is that?!