Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm still here, I swear!

Yesterday I scrubbed all the floors (except the carpet ones) on my hands and knees like Cinderella. That was great and oddly therapeutic. I intend to carry on with that this evening, although i hope to be a bit less enthusiastic when I wash the dog tonight.

I made some delicious thai peanut chicken in the crock pot this weekend. I want desperately to eat it and like it. But I also made Nancy's cold sesame noodles and messed it up terribly. Too much vinegar, not enough sesame oil (ran out). So therefore it stands to reason that I should leave it in the fridge and get Taco Bell. Right?

I turned off the AC and refuse to turn it back on. It's hot.

I am cleaning like a crazy lady, and i can't stop. I am actually getting the house clean and ready for me to leave it unattended for a few days. It's tough though, because I have been living a slovenly life lately. Thank goodness that is coming to an end. I just needed motivation and i hate hate HATE coming home to a dirty house.

Well that's all the news that is fit to print, and a bunch that really isn't. I promise to try to be more interesting soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Everyone remain calm

Sorry for all the melodrama earlier this week.

I am much calmer now, and i think that I have been able to put things in perspective. I can turn all that stuff into lemonade, and i will. Knowing me, that means that while in the end I will have my lemonade, I will mess it up terribly at first and spill said lemonade all over the kitchen first, but I will still have it. Sorry, metaphors aren't really my thing.

Anyway, everything will be fine, whether the sky chooses to fall or not. I will be just fine, and this will be a chance to become even more committed to the things I love doing and blogging about: cooking in bulk in my soulmate, er, crockpot, DIY craziness, and upcycling, knitting, sewing, hanging out with the animals, and picking my nose. All are worthwhile endeavors IMO.

Also, not sure if I told you this or not, but on Wednesday I leave for TN to go visit Boyfriend. I will be meeting his ENTIRE family at his sister's wedding, and I am terribly nervous. Luckily I have some new clothes including but not limited to pants that fit, a party dress, and finally at long last some shoes and a purse. You would not believe the amount of shopping I have done to get here, people. It's appalling. Tomorrow is haircut and eyebrows. I am feeling good about this, but it has been time consuming and exhausting. Not to mention the kick in the lady bits that is shopping for clothes when you have gained weight and being forced to look at yourself in dressing room mirrors. Ouchie.

Long story short, I will be back now with funny stories (that are funny to no one but me), some knitted things (finally finished that French Market Bag!) and hopefully after all this wedding stuff dies down I can get back to crockpotting and sewing and what not.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Sign of the Times?

Okay first of all, please excuse the tone of this post. I promise not to be like this for too very long.

I won't bore you with all the details and how they all came about and so on and so forth because well, it's just boring. But I can tell you that having access to your company's books can be both a good and bad thing. It's a good thing because you can see trouble way off on the horizon. It's a bad thing becaus you can see trouble way off on the horizon.

I fear that because of a million different things including but not limited to this festering turd of an economy that I may not have a job sometime in the future. It would most likely be in the new year, simply because I think that things will be okay till November and then I think that The Powers That Be will make it be okay through the end of the year because they are good people. After that...

...who knows?

I foresee a downsizing after that. I foresee me being a likely candidate for that downsizing. One of my clients will be sold in the new year. Another that was supposed to be built next year is now back to the drawing board all the way back to the land to be bought for it. And I am paid why more than what I am worth in all honesty.

So here's what I have wrestled with today: how can I prepare for this? What can I cut back on that can free up more money to be stashed away in savings? What can I do now that will make it easier to possibly not have a job later?

With the economy the way it is right now, I have been lucky in that minor changes have allowed me to still live basically unaffected by it. I drive less, and try to be more mindful of the most efficient way to run errands so that I am not driving unnecessarily. I have cut way back on going out, and almost never go out to eat. I am thinking now of changing my cell phone plan, seeing about changing my car insurance (although that scares me) and getting my cable and internet cut off. Now THAT, friends, is scary.

Today is icky.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oh Crock Pot, Where Have You Been All My Life?

Is it me, or do you hear a choir of angels singing when you see the pic of the newest love of my life?

Just me?


Well anyway, I discovered *this blog* which I have added to the sidebar over there for your perusal. It is fantastic. Basically it is one woman's committment to using her Crock Pot every day for a year, and I love her for this most holy of missions. Why the hell didn't I think of this during the midst of summer when it is hotter than the hinges on the back door to hell here and I am running the fricken oven and or stove all the damn time? What is the deal with that?

Anyway so far I have made the chicken nuggets and they were pretty good, and then- oh then last night I made the turkey meatballs and they are nothing short of divine. Sent from heaven, they are. I love love love love LOVE them!

Ballad about Crock Pot forthcoming.

Feel free to share any especially delicious crock pot recipes you have with me. I want to use it all the time now.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bow Chicka Wow Wow

OH hurray.

This is all the yarn I dyed up over the weekend. First of all, here is the blue from the Kool-Aid dyed yarn from frogged sweaters. It was doing nothing for me.
Here it is in the dyepot:
And here it is all wound up nice and pretty:

Now here's the one that I did on Friday night. this one the skein got all tangly when I was trying to get it ready and I spent a LOOOOONG time getting it all straightened out. Well, remember on Friday night when I said that I was worried about how it turned out? I actually like it a whole lot. It looked nothing like this in my head whatsoever. I set out for it to be something totally different. Thank goodness it wound up looking like this because I already have yarn that looks like what I wanted this to look like, and well- I think that is plenty. I had a hard enough time finding something to do with that yarn, this will make a nice.....something. Anyway here it is:

this one was next. In my head I was using the haindpainting method to get something sort of tweedy. I wanted it to be burgundy with little pops of color all over. Well, it didn't work out that way at all. It wound up being just burgundy but it isn't totally hideous and I may find some use for it someday. Matter of fact I sort of love it and I am going to try this trick again, just with less dye maybe.

now this- this one I am really pleased with. I went shopping this weekend for stuff to wear to a wedding coming up and fall stuff is out and it made me wish for fall so badly. It's still in the 90's here and it makes me so miserable I could puke. Anyway, I think that this totally cliche fall colors are really disappointing. These are not the colors I aimed for at all, but hey live and learn and make really ugly armwarmers or fingerless gloves or mitts or something fun. I tried to do this from a self striping yarn tutorial, so I really want to see if it actually worked, and I think that some mitts would work out good for that. I should have gone with my gut and used the amazing pine-y color green I came up with before I got to what was supposed to be a deep chestnut brown. Argh. Always go with your gut. One thing that I do like about our winters here is that until probably January or so, you are okay with stuff like scarves and hats and t-shirts and fleeces. I would rather be covered head to toe in a t-shirt with an annoying saying, ill fitting jeans and hand knits than hiding under my big old ski jacket which I fear will be even more snug this year that it was last year. Eeep.

Okay well I have decided that I love dying yarn and now that I know that I should put it away for a while because my cabinet is overflowing and I really should be knitting out of it instead of adding to it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Crazy Friday Night

God, I suck.

It's Friday night, and here I am, updating the blog. With knitting pics. I am such an exciting gal, aren't I.

Anyway, the September KAL for me is to finish UFOs like I said before and here is the first one! It's my Lucy bag. There were times where this bag was fun and interesting to make, and there were times where the bag was mindless and just what I needed and there were times when I wanted to gouge my own eyes out with my DPNs because Jeeeeeezus there are miles and miles and miles of stockinette. That's it, just stockinette. Stockinette in the round, stockinette not in the round. Stockinette in a box, stockinette with a fox. You get the idea. Here it is all finished*, and before felting:

Here it is after two rounds in the washer, and stuffed with plastic bags and waiting to be dried.

the color is much more accurate in this pic than the top one. But it was the last like ten minuted of daylight and I snuck outside to take it's pic pre-felted. It still boggles my mind how much stuff shrinks when you felt it. So fun. Oh and I think that I am going to have to hand felt parts of it that refused to felt as much as the rest. I don't want to put it back in the wash and royally screw it up otherwise.

Also, I have some yarn hanging out in the dye pot in the kitchen on top of the stove. Um. Hmmmm. I wanted to try a multicolor kettle dying technique and I am pretty sure it will not be acheived unfortunately. Oh well. I am not all that worried about it- the great thing about this is that I plan on playing with dye pretty much all weekend and then anything that turns out bad (like this will that's in the pot now I think) I will just over dye black and see if I can't do something cute with it later. I am trying not to be like I was with jewelry, so afraid of wasting materials that I would never try something and be horribly crushed when it didn't work out. And now that I think about it, I don't think that I even really LIKE multicolored yarns that much! Luckily it's just fucking yarn and even luckier, I have a good bit just waiting to be dyed. Either way I will share pics of all my dyeing failures and triumphs alike i promise.

*please ignore the potting soil all over the place. Prior to this pic being taken, Charles the wonder cat went on one of those Kitty Rampages, where they bounce everywhere and run and crash into things and then tip things over and sit down immediately and furiously lick themselves as if to imply that they couldn't have made that big mess over there when clearly they are in the middle of washing their face.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm Trying, Really I Am

I added a few more things to the Etsy store. Nothing overly exciting, just a few books. But still, I did it. I hate so very much the process of going through this stuff. It is so not fun it's unreal.

But hey, I am doing it. And I decided that I will try to list at least three things a week till it's all up there. And Wednesday is Etsy day, so you may want to skip out on Wednesday updates for a while. Ha! I am also thinking that maybe perhaps I will run a little special or something every month to try to get some of this shit out of here- 25% off books for the month of September or something. I guess I have to get them all in the shop first.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Secret Sewing Project

the pic you see above is the beginnings of a HUGE sewing project. I am nervous about it, but I think that it will be good practice for me. It is nothing but sewing straight lines, but I am a bit worried about it nonetheless. Hopefully it turns out okay, and I will share the results when I am done, which the deadline for that is this week. Wish me luck.

Oh and you will be happy to know that I was dismissed (along with everyone else) today from jury duty! Yay! Turns out all the cases were either settled or continued becuase of various assorted scheduling conflicts. So I decided to play hooky for the rest of the day. We were released at 11, but I came home instead of going to work. I ate a nice lunch on the couch, knitted for a bit, and then took a two hour nap with the dog. After that I did my first but of yarn dyeing ever! Hooray! I will show the process pics in a different post though. Those deserve their own post all to themselves. I think the results will be really nice, but I can't even hang it to dry till tomorrow. I may cheat and take it out of the dye pot after dinner and then have it soaking and what not so that I can hang it to dry outside before bed.

Now I am off to upcycle the dog and repurpose her as a clean pet. That should be swell.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Grocery Bags and Jury Duty

Well here it is 2pm on a Monday and I am updating the blog. Why is that you ask? Well today I had to do my civic duty- jury duty. Ick. It was actually sort of fun. I got there sort of on time and parked in the garage where I was told to park (a million miles away in the sweltering heat and humidity) and then reported to the court house. I went to go thru security, and they told me that my knitting was not allowed! It was on tiny little circs that could not have hurt a fly. Still, they said it had to go and there was no where I could check it. Thus, I walked back out into the heat and put it back in the car. there went my dreams of getting the French Market bag finished this week thanks to hours and hours of nothing to do but knit on it. I was so sad, but luckily there wasn't a whole lot of sitting around before they called roll and then started picking jurors for cases. I didn't get picked so I was on my way home by noon! Awesome! i still have to call back tonight to see if I am needed for tomorrow, and if I make it out of tomorrow's selections then I am home free for the next three years! I hope I don't get picked. I can't pay attention when things are boring, and I don't think that I would be helpful with a verdict if I wasn't really paying attention pretty much the whole time. ha.

I am actually sort of happy with the way these came out! I used this nifty little idea that I found via How About Orange and it was easy and fun. And now my grocery bags are not so plain and boring. And they have them for sale up at the front right as you walk in, so I have always worried that they would accuse me of stealing them (absurd I know) so now you can clearly tell that these bags are MINE. Now I want to potato stamp my whole house.

Well, even though I have a thousand million other things I should be doing, I think that I am in the mood to dye some yarn today. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Couch Got a Facelift!

You know I love a good before and after.

Here's the before, but it's a pic you've already seen- just thought you would like to remember the couch as it was- a lovely purple during the Reagan Administration, now a color I like to call Eyesore Mauve. Please ignore the sullen foxhound in a dress and focus on the sadness of the couch.

And NOW! Feast your eyes on the fun and excitement that is my new cushions! I am still tweaking the cover, and handsewing the top cushions shut so it's a bit of a work in progress. But, it is a million percent better.

Later on I will have to take a pic of it with it's friend The Armchair. the armchair was finished in April, I think(?). So obviously the couch is happy to be just as snazzy. But I didn't feel like cleaning up the living room enough to show you it.

Love it!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Truant Bunny

I bought this bunny pic a while back. It has been on my Etsy favorites list for over a year, and I finally bought it a few weeks ago.

Here it is in its little frame, hanging up in my dining room. I giggle every time I walk past it. I just love that bunny.

I bought it *here* from blueberrybandit. She was helpful and friendly and all around awesome. I think that I am gonna scoop up some of *these*. Those little sperms are too funny.

Happy Friday! I am off to hide under covers and watch Netflix movies with my animals all day long. I love stormy days. Sigh.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another Mail Call

I haven't checked the mail in a while. I don't know why I have this aversion to it, I just do. And I have been doing a bit of (okay fine, a TON of) online shopping lately, so I thought I would share the bounty.

Here's some fabric from J. Caroline Creative, and I realized when I opened the package that I was then attacked by a moment of premature senility. I bought the one fabric that clearly does not go with the others to make a simple skirt. The others? I think I wanted to make an ironing board cover with one, but I don't know which. the rest, I think I was gonna make either a purse or some fabric boxy type things. I have no fucking idea.
Next is something I am quite proud of. It is a destashing of yarn made from frogged sweaters! I bought it on Etsy, and I feel like it was a steal of a deal. It is like a pound and a quarter of wool. Neato!
Well the colors of the above yarn do not do one single thing for me, (well the dark green is okay and so is one skein of the dark purple you can't really see), and I had money burning a hole in my PayPal and I have REEEEEEEALLY been wanting to learn how to dye yarn, so I bought this:
Then I bought these two fat quarter sets and also this scrap pack. I thought the FQ sets would be fun for aprons, or maybe placemats, or something fun and small. The scraps too. Plus it was a fun way to try out some fabrics that I just don't have access to here in my sometimes style-deprived little town.

And look! A kitty! He didn't really come in the mail, sillies.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ready for Her Closeup

Well, just when I thought that our chance for international fame and superstardom had passed.......

Maya and I got picked to be in Charleston Magazine!

We got the calls over the weekend. Then yesterday I set up an appointment with a photographer for this afternoon at the doggie park and then later on I talked to a reporter and she asked a few questions about Maya and the things we do together.

Last night I went shopping and got a new shirt and also a new collar so that the two of us are looking good. Shorter notice than I would have liked but it looks like Hanna is headed this way so that cuts out most of the end of the week.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Why Our Country Is In The Crapper: A Case Study

Oh. My. God.

First of all, Hello! Sorry to have been so absent over the past few days. I was busy last week preparing for my trip to the NC coast, and thusly had nothing to report on or show you. Then, I was gone for about four days, and it was truly glorious to be away from a computer for that time. I think that I got on to post my Labor Day post, which I had already in draft. I know, it is sort of wierd but it seems like it is either feast or famine for me and blog-worthy material. I either have tons of stories or things to show and tell, or nothing but UFO's (un finished objects, not spaceships and such) and random silly pics. I am trying to keep that garbage to a minimum, so I keep things in draft and post as I feel they need to see the light of day, or get them ready and then upload pics as I get the projects finished. Kind of cheating I guess, but hey, whatever works.


So my mother and I are out and about on Saturday, and she was kind enough to take me to the two yarn stores in her area. soe we arrive at one, and it is hot and stuffy and there was nothing exciting and no prices were marked on anything. Off we go to the second one, and arrive to a group of about 8 women probably in their 50's or 60's having a stitch and bitch- ya know, sit around and knit and shoot the shit.


Naturally, the discussion turned to politics. the story is about to become very disjointed, just so you know. I was listening, but trying not to listen because I was fondling the lovely selection of tweeds they had and trying to get over the mental block i have where when I go to a yarn store I cannot think of a single thing that it was that I was hoping to find or had a project in mind for, nothing. I was also trying not to listen because listening to these awful hags made me want to furiously knit something that could be used to choke the life out of all of them. All but one. Here's why:

As the discussion turned to last week's current events, or the DNC, one woman heretofore referred to as The Voice of Reason said, "I kinda liked Bill Clinton." Que the clucking, the tsking, and one woman's sarcastic offer to put the poor VoR on her prayer list. Giggles all around.

Next, another woman wondered aloud in a very suspicious tone of voice just how Michelle and Barack Obama went to those fancy schools. The VoR replies, "They probably got scholarships and loans just like everyone else." Astounding! You mean, they did what whites, yellows, browns, blacks, pinks, and oranges have done all over the country?!? No WAI!!! So the Suspicious Lady responds all huffily, "Well then how do you suppose he got to go abroad all those times?" Gee lady, I dunno. Clearly since he is black he must have either sold drugs or stolen TV's and pawned them in order to get through college. Nothing gets by you!

Now we come to the oh so pleasant portion of the stitch and bitch where we talk politics AND religion. Weeee! Indignant Voice pipes in to bring up Obama's pastor. And my goodness, can you believe the things they are learning in their churches? "Here all this time he's been sitting in a church being taught to hate us! Can you believe that?" Lots of "mmmhmmms" and dissaproving clucks all around. "After we've been so nice to them!" says Also Indignant. <prepare to gag> "Ya know," Also Indignant says, "I know a Black Gal, Miss So and So, and she is just the sweetest thing. Even birthed one of my babies! And all this time, she's been taught to hate me! Why, I've even had her children over to swim in my pool!"

Christ on a bike! These women really were having this conversation. Really. They were. I was seriously inspecting some lovely Rowan Tweed, but it was getting hard not to stand up and exclaim, "Well that's mighty white of you! How far down the street were they before you counted your silver?"

But now they are all going around saying lovely things about all the Real Life Black People they all know. Which amounts to like .75 Real Life Black People per person. And then they begin to talk about the perfectly understandable joy that blacks around the country feel now that there is a very real possibility that for the first time ever, a person with any color what so ever will be President. The Voice of Reason says that she can understand the excitement and importance. Of course you can, that's why you are the Voice of Reason! Well, then another member of the Modern Times Think Tank and Knitting Coven pipes in to say that a coworker of hers is also black, and she is just the nicest thing! But don't you know it, she's got a big ole picture of Barack Obama in her office! Giggles all around once more. What a merry time at the Saturday Stitch and Bitch.

At this point I can't take it another minute. I throw the armload of tweed down on the ground, because I didn't want to give that shop any money (now is the time to mention that Indignant Voice was the employee of the shop, possibly the owner) and I stomped out. My mother was already outside. She couldn't take any more after the pool comment.

So I would like to wrap up this uncharacteristically long post with a thought: these women were the worst possible kind of racists. I would much rather have walked in and seen hooded Klanswomen (if there is such a thing, I dunno) knitting cozies for their burning crosses or something. Why? Because I think that people should own their thoughts and really be who they are ugly or not. It's way better then covering it up poorly and having people see right through you.