Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm leaving for a week in Chicago tomorrow morning, and I'm starting to get antsy. This may be in part because I'm taking the cat and the dog to the vet in about 45 minutes, and I'm going to miss them. Also I hate juggling both of them at once. Also I think it's about to rain, which makes driving in LA super fun, because when it rains a whole lot of people here forget how to drive.

I'm also all anxious and antsy because I don't really enjoy traveling. I mean, I'll like the being there, but I hate the airport and the airplane. Which I suppose no one is super crazy about. For me it isn't a fear issue, it's a being trapped in a crowded place with very little control of the situation issue.

I'll be fine though. I'm taking deep breathes, and reminding myself that all of this packing/dropping off/traveling part will be over soon, and then I will be in Chicago with family and it will all be worth it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Papercut in progress

Inspired by this, this, and this, along with making some paper snowflakes by hand out of coffee filters (a much beloved activity), I've started doing some paper cutting again.



It's still in progress, but I think it looks pretty good for a half hour's worth of work.
Butter is softening on the counter for the cookies I'm baking for Charlie's work party tomorrow. There is something about baking cookies for a party I'm not going to that makes me feel very grown up. Realizing that, on the other hand, makes me feel like I'm twelve, so it evens out.

Baking will be good. I haven't baked in a long time, and I really ought to. The kitchen in this apartment is pleasant. I have a stand mixer, which generally makes things like cookies come together very quickly. Plus it's December, and even in Pasadena it's chilly enough that having the oven on is pleasant.

It will also be good because the art is currently not working. Luckily, it worked long enough for me to finish the commission piece, but now that I'm working up new stuff, it is not. Things have gone wrong that defy basic concepts of geometry. It's very, very frustrating. I finally have a piece going alright, but it required enough odd little saves that I know the pattern I made for it won't be worth reusing.

It's worth it, the experimenting and taking risks with my work, but when it does fail it is a bit disheartening.

Edited to add: The cat's doing alright. I'm not certain about how he'll be long term, but for right now he seems to be improving.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hi! I've been working on another commission piece, which has left me busy and without a lot to share. And now my cat is having some health issues, so I'm dealing with that. So posting may be sparse for just a bit longer. Please don't abandon me. I promise I'll come back soon.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


I've commemorated my poor fallen toy as necklace. It turned out well, and was easier to make than I thought it would be. I may need to make some of these for the shop.


In the meantime though, I have many faces painted and ready for bodies!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


This is what I spent my day on. Thirteen standard size faces, one very big face, one very small face, and one pendant. This was taken pre-baking. Now they're baked and cooled on my worktable (a whole side story for another time, but hey! we bought a dining room table Saturday, expressly so that I could have my worktable and set up my office.), but alas the picture I took of their current state is somewhat crappy.

The next step will be painting them which will be tomorrow or Thursday. It takes a few hours, which puts tonight out, since Charlie should actually be out at a reasonable hour. We haven't decided yet if we're staying in or going out, but either way I want to spend time with him. Since I also want to keep painting until I'm through once I do start, it'll have to wait.

I'm glad to have so many done. In a way, sculpting the faces is my favorite part, but it is time consuming. But it's worth it not to have to stop sewing when I'm on a roll just because I'm out of finished faces.

Plus I'm excited about these in general right now. I'm full to the brim with ideas and enthusiasm.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Shop Update!

Hey! There is an update at ye olde etsy shoppee! You should go look at it! And buy things! We will all have fun in this endeavor, I promise.

In other news, my back hurts for no apparent reason, and it's making me feel like hunkering down with a cup of tea and the television. Which I think I am going to do presently.

Anyhow, I'm hoping to do another update later this week. So keep checking back.

Also, I will try to be more exciting right here tomorrow, content wise! So come back for that too!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

One step back. . .

I selfishly wanted to go to the bathroom without the dog's company yesterday morning. And when I did so, I stupidly left the door to my office open.

Thus this:



Became this:



It was up high, hanging on the switch of a broken pole lamp I need to bulk trash. I think he climbed up on the also broken desk chair, leaned over, and pulled it down to the floor to eat it.

Luckily, he is very cute:



That incident, combined with my having a fever and sleeping through most of yesterday afternoon, and being busy with household stuff most of today, means tomorrows shop update will be a little smaller than hoped. But! I'm going to do a few more small updates throughout the week, and possibly into the next week as well, outside work permitting. I considered pushing it really hard tonight, but I decided that I would be more likely to put out quality products if I got them done at a slower pace and did small updates more often. It's what works for me.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Apparently, I'm just a genius in general.


I saw this out the kitchen window a few minutes ago and ran out into the backyard in a panic. The house was on fire! Except that it was coming from the dryer vent. So the dryer was on fire! Until I stepped into the cloud of "smoke" and it smelled sweet and clean, like detergent, and not burnt at all.

Yes, that is a cloud of dryer steam. Apparently living in a constantly warm, dry climate for a year or so is enough to remove the memory of what dryer steam looks like coming out of a vent.
Hey! It's the last day of NaBloPoMo. And I've really enjoyed it. I won't say that I've written anything particularly profound or even all that interesting this month, but I have gotten into the habit of writing everyday. As that was the goal I was hoping to accomplish with all this, I'm satisfied.

I doubt I will keep up posting on the blog everyday after this (for one thing, starting next week it is non-stop activity until March), but I'm thinking I'm going to try for every weekday. I think the regular schedule will keep me going, but at the same time the lack of pressure will mean that I can focus on writing things that are worth reading. That is the goal for December- improving the quality of the writing, now that I've got quantity down. I used to be a pretty good writer, and I'm hoping to get that back.

I was going to take pictures of the new pieces that I've done so far for the update and share them, but it's raining. And I won't complain, because holy fuck have I missed rain. It's so cozy and peaceful feeling. (I say this as someone working from home today. If I had to go out somewhere, I might feel differently.) Plus, it's been such a dry year that every bit of moisture helps.

Also, there's a lot of eucolyptus, bay, and dill growing in my neighborhood, and the rain really brings out their fragrance. It's smells like a fancy spa around here.

As for today's plans, I was hoping to make more faces for the toys, as I have run out. Alas, I fear instead I will be folding laundry. Five loads of it. I'm serious. Someone (Charlie) changes his clothes several times a day, and someone else (me) has not been keeping up with the laundry the way she was meaning to. Also I need to vacuum, do dishes, and tidy up at least in the living room and dining room in case the people we're going to dinner with decide to come back to our place afterwards. When you combine all of that with the fact that making faces and heads, and then painting them, tends to take at least a few hours, and makes a mess of it's own, and you get that it is probably not happening.


Luckily, I have some heads still, so maybe late afternoon I can do some sewing with those.
I am a calender reading genius! Monday is December 3, not December 2 as I had been previously convinced.

So shop update is Monday, December 3, 2007.

More from me later today.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rusty

I've been working most of today toward the shop update (come look! Buy things! If you buy things, maybe one day I can get a dining room table and move my work table into my studio!) sewing mostly, plus organizing things I've made in the past to sell and then didn't. Right now though, I am take a semi-forced break. Because Rusty is sitting on my lap.

I've talked here many times about how our cat, Rusty, has some issues. He had a hard life before he came to live with us. We talk a lot, especially the past week or so, about how far he's come, emotionally and physically. But he still has a long way to go. He's no longer dangerously thin, but he could probably still put on some weight for his health. He no longer hides behind large appliances and furniture, but he's still always a bit on edge.

So the fact that he is right now sitting on my lap is wonderful. Usually, if he decides to sit on my lap when I'm working, it's more a figure of speech. He actually usually stands on my lap, happy, but ready to leap if there's a hint of a threat. When he decides to sit with Charlie when he's at the computer, Charlie has to perch towards the back half of the seat while Rusty perches in front of him.

But right now, Rusty is fully settled into my lap. Resting. He's awake, but he's looking up at me instead of scanning the room. He isn't purring yet, but it feels like he may soon.

So even though I have work to get done, and I have to pee something awful, I'm going to keep sitting here awhile longer. And it will be very, very worth it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Toy/Ornament! And Shop Update coming!



I really love how this little guy turned out! He's my prototype, and will also be a gift for my mom. But I enjoyed making him so much, and thought the result was so good, that I'm going to make more of him. Not him specifically, but this shape and with the appliques. I'm going to do a bunch of designs.

That leads me to my announcement, which is that I hope to have an update of my Etsy store on Monday, December 2. There will be more of these guys, which can serve as Christmas ornaments, everyday decorations, or if you cut the ribbon off, a fun little doll. If there's time, I'm also hoping to get some of the other things I make in there, like the more conventional dolls. If it goes well, I'll try to have another update the following Monday.

I'll put reminders up here again, but come Monday, please go check it out!

(And yes, I know there isn't anything in there right this second. But please check back after the update! I promise, it will be full of the awesome.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sewing!


Hey! I am sewing again! Huzzah! A new toy should be up for all to see tomorrow (it's a fast one).

Monday, November 26, 2007

One of the odd things I'm noticing with the whole posting every day for a month thing is that I can no longer remember if I have posted yet in a given day. I literally had to check just now.

It's been an interesting experiment. In general I think it's been good for me. I didn't try to hard to say something amazingly interesting every day, as long as I said something. And it was good. I mean, in the future I suspect I will post often, but not every day. But the result of this is that I have gotten into the habit of much more regular posting, and for me that's half the battle. I definitely function on habit.

That said, currently I'm tired and not likely to be all that interesting. I got a bookbinding book last night, and was compelled today to walk to Dick Blick and Paper Source to buy bookbinding supplies. That's a trip of about four miles round trip. Then I lugged two big bags of books back to the library. All in all, it's not a huge amount of walking, but it's enough to wear on me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hey! It's my first wedding anniversary. We're having a great day, one actually much like yesterday. It's been mostly reading, playing old video games, drinking coffee, and poking around bookstores. In a minute I'm going to give Charlie a haircut, and then we're heading out to dinner. We're going to La Luna Negra, which is the same restaurant we went to the day we got engaged. It'll be an early meal, and then home to watch Simpsons and relax.

We're very happy.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

We're having the kind of day I love today. Slept until about 8:15, and spent the first half hour or so after waking playing with the dog and my husband. We puttered around for a little bit, and then went off to Dona Rosa for breakfast. Charlie had a pumpkin emanada and coffee, and I had a small bowl of pozole and an horchata. From there we went and stocked up on eggs and produce and the farmer's market. The sky is so clear where we are today. The farmer's market is deeper into the foothills than our house, and when we were there we could see so much detail in the mountains. It's a beautiful, beautiful day.

When we got back I started a pot of turkey chili going on the stove, and then left Charlie to read his book and play with the dog while I ran errands. I got sensible things at Target (silicone spatula, measuring spoons to replace my ever disappearing measuring spoons, winter boots for visiting Chicago). At Vrommanns Bookstore, I got Charlie his anniversary gift, the first two volumes of the complete Tintin.

On the way home some kids doing a scavenger hunt drew my picture.

Then I was home, and I gave Charlie his presents even though our anniversary isn't until tomorrow. We ate turkey chili, and it was the best turkey chili that ever was.

Friday, November 23, 2007

That was a nice holiday! I was worried it would be sad because we weren't able to get back to Chicago and be with our families, but it was fun. The only part that was bad was when Smee (the dog) destroyed the circular needle I've been using because I failed to pay attention to him for five minutes. Luckily, I had an identical one, and was able to transfer the project to that with no trouble. So it all turned out well.

Our first wedding anniversary is this coming Sunday, and we were talking about all we've been through in our first year of marriage. Getting trapped and almost dying in a snowstorm, living in a really bad neighborhood, losing jobs, scrounging for money, having health scares, and so on. But we don't think about those things much. We're in a wonderful, safe neighborhood now. We got a new cat this year, Rusty. Charlie has a great job, and I'm plugging away at my art. We're good. We're together.

I think we're going to make it!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're having a lazy little day here. We decided to stay in Pasadena for the holiday this year, since we're going to Chicago for Christmas. And we've ended up without any guests. So we're taking advantage of this by staying in our pajamas, drinking coffee, and watching the parade. I intend to watch the dog show too. We'll eat our dinner when we get around to it, probably in the evening. There will be a conference call/video chat with Charlie's family this afternoon. It's going to be good.

For the curious, the menu I'm going for is-

Sauteed mushrooms. These are the mushrooms I get at the farmer's market, which are so much better than any mushrooms I've ever had it's amazing. I'd probably be happy just eating a mountain of these.

Pumpkin soup. I love pumpkin soup, and I make a good one. It's cheap, it's easy, it's nutritious, and it's incredibly tasty.

Turkey breasts. I believe they're boneless. I'll probably pan-fry them. Honestly, I was intending on roasting a bigger bone-in breast, but this what I found. It should be tasty. Honestly though, turkey has always been the least interesting part of Thanksgiving dinner to me. I'll be more excited about it when I'm incorporating what's left into soup tomorrow.

Cranberry apple orange sauce. With local apples and oranges. But only cranberry juice, no berries, because I forgot them and wasn't willing to brave the store again. It is 100% cranberry juice though, so that should count for something. I'm making it up as I go along, but I think it will be good.

And pecan pie. Because I love pecan pie, and it's dead easy to make.

Writing this out, I'm realizing that this is a hell of a lot of food for two people. That just means that I won't have to cook much the rest of the weekend. We'll eat leftovers. Hooray!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Squares!

I am all about squares today! I was knitting a potholder at my knitting group today (Christmas present for my brother) and loving it. So easy and relaxing. Then I was asked to contribute a square or two to an afghans for wildfire victims project. Which inspired me to also want to start a queen-sized bed blanket for Charlie and me. Joan was heading to Michaels afterwards, so I rode with her and got yarn for a hat for my brother, the squares for the fire victims, and some to start of my bed blanket.

I'm excited. This will be nice to work on when I'm to tired to work on other things, and will be good travel knitting. This will probably accompany to Chicago and back. It should be good for on the plane, and also nice in that I can work on it while being social with relatives.

Which is not to say I'm abandoning my other projects. I'm hoping to cast on my second Hedera on Friday, and I'm already planning to get yarn for more socks. Plus I want to start a sweater for Charlie. And a million other things. Not to mention all of the non-yarn related projects, the paintings and the toys and the writing. But today, I am excited about squares.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why, why, why did I think it was a good idea to go to the grocery store on the week of Thanksgiving? I mean, I had to, what with running out of olive oil and all, but holy shit it was crowded. It wasn't actually an unpleasant experience; people were behaving politely and the staff was incredibly efficent. I just get sort of freaked out by crowds.

In semi-related news, Trader Joe's Greek Style Fig Yogurt is the best fruit yogurt ever. It's thick and lovely, it isn't particularly sweet, and the fruit is figs! I love figs! And as it turns out, figs go super well with yogurt.

In totally unrelated news, I'm having tons of fun playing with my sketchbook, doing something of an art journal with it. It's very fulfilling.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I got up at three this morning, to see my siblings to the shuttle that would take them to the airport, as they gone back to Chicago. I said my farewells (and not too sadly, as I will see them again in a month's time for Christmas) and then went to join Charlie and Smee back in bed. Charlie and Smee had been waiting out front for the shuttle with us, but Smee lost in when at a newspaper delivery truck that had it's parking blinkers on. I know, the horrors. The lights, they were blinking at him. Since barking in the wee hours of the morning was not polite dog behavior, and since Charlie had a long work day ahead of him, they headed in first.

Anyhow, I did get back to sleep, but I'm a bit out of it now. I sleep so lightly that I tend to always be a bit tired. Today I get to be extra. But there isn't anything that needs to be done that is such an immediate need that it's today specific. I'm allowing myself a bit of a loaf around the house, drinking tea and such.

I do need to take a shower and pick up some books I have on hold at the library. It'll have to wait a bit though, as Rusty has settled on my lap. He used to sit on my lap all of the time when I was on the computer, but for a month or so he hadn't. I'd missed it. So even though I've done all of the online stuff I needed to do, I'm going to keep sitting here and poking around. Because I have a little orange cat on my lap, and I'm going to savor it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Family fun is being had! It's so great to have my siblings here. I haven't gotten much work done in the past few days, but I don't see that as a problem.

This morning we're just hanging out. Sausages have been eaten, and Evil Dead 2 is being watched. It's very cozy, and exactly what I need. Plus Smee is so excited that he can barely contain himself. He's going to crash so hard tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm trying again with the plants


My sister bought us new plants at the farmer's market. She assures me that these ones are much easier to tend than the ones I killed this summer. Plus the guy we got them from gave me an instruction sheet.

Also, we named them, the idea being that names will make me feel guilty if I neglect them. On the left we have Charlie's plant, Mario Plant, and on the right we have my plant, Tubby Bumpkin. I'm digging them already. They're very cute. I really hope I can keep these ones alive.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Siblings!

I'm so excited! My sister and brother should be arriving here in a few hours. I even checked their flight status online, and the plane is running early. They're in the air right now, coming towards me. This will be awesome.

Because of a variety of reasons (my freeway driving panic, the fact that their flight gets in during rush hour, the fact that we no longer live super close to LAX) they're getting a shuttle to my house from the airport. Which is kind of nice, as I can putter around here and be all showered and lovely when they get here. Although I am kind of missing picking people up at the airport. Being there waiting, and seeing them right when they emerge from the terminals is fun. But battling morning traffic on freeways that would terrify me to drive on in the best conditions isn't worth it, especially when we live some where with a reasonably priced shuttle option.

Anyhow, I should continue the getting ready.

Hopefully I'll have some good photos of us all soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hedera: Sock One- Complete!!


Excuse the crappiness of the photo (it's night time, which is not condusive to good picture taking, especially if you aren't a particularly good photographer in the first place. ) but I had to share right away. Hedera: Sock One is done! It's looking awesome! The only thing I would do differently next time (well, not the very next time, as I want the other sock in this pair to match) is that I would do the ribbing at the top a needle size smaller. This isn't a fault of the pattern issue though, it is just that I rib much, much looser than I do anything else. I thought it being a smaller starting stitch count than I usually do would make up for that, but you know what? I rib really, really loose. A well. It's still awesome, and it seems to be staying up alright, which is the important thing.

Next: on to sock two!

Cat Pee Jamboree

Step one of cleaning up the house for my siblings arriving tomorrow is complete! And since it is by far the most foul step, the initial clean-up and mopping of the guest bathroom, also known as the room where the cat pees, I felt I deserved a short break.

God was that gag inducing. It isn't that the cat doesn't pee in his box, it's that he also pees on other parts of the bathroom floor. Since this is the only part of the house he pees in, and he does it even when his box is clean, I suspect this is mainly just him being stupid. Especially as he is a stupid cat in general. This time around, there was a giant pool of rancid urine under his box. I ended up dumping a bunch of baking soda on it before I tried to get it up of the floor. This worked well, as it masked at least a little of the odor, and it absorbed enough of the liquid to make it easier to get up. It was really, really gross though.

I'm poking around at the internet, trying to find solution. I'm kind of tempted to try Feliway, but it's awfully pricey for something I'm not sure will actually work. Beyond my not being clear on whether the science is sound, there's the fact that I'm not sure if this is a Rusty's stupid problem or a Rusty's neurotic problem. I'm thinking it would help with neurotic, but not so much with stupid. The internets should try and convince me one way or the other. If anyone out there has tried this, please comment. Let me know your thoughts. Meanwhile, if Petco has it when I'm running errands later, I may just get it. It could be like giving myself the early Christmas present of less cat pee.

Ah well. Back to more cleaning. Ick.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ugh.

Whew. Today was knitting. Generally, I walk the two miles or so to knitting, and then walk it back again. On the way back this time, I kept going past my house and went another mile or so to Borders (for magazines!), the supermarket (for shampoo! and conditioner! and mopping soap!), and then to Peet's (for coffee beans!). And then I walked the mile or so back again, carrying all of my purchases, and my knitting stuff.

This is something I've done in the past many times to no ill effect, but today it really wiped me out. I'm not sure why. It may be the heat (it was 87 farenheit, which is a whole other issue as it is mid-November, and what the hell Southern California, come on) but I've done longer walks in hotter weather. It maybe the weight of what I carried, as all of those liquid things really add up in weight. It could also be that I didn't sleep well last night, and I haven't eaten lunch yet.

In any case, I'm wiped out. I should be mopping Rusty's disgusting bathroom (again!) but I'm thinking that may wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nap

I just woke up from the most lovely nap. I hadn't even realized that I was so tired, but I lied down for a minute and ended up just sleeping. It helped that my room was full of warm, wonderful sunshine, I was all cozy and warm under the blankets, and I had the dog curled up under the covers next to me, also asleep. Really, I only got up because I had to pee. Otherwise I think I'd still be dozing in the sunshine with my puppy. It's good I'm up, I have things to get done. But it was certainly nice to have that little moment.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Somehow, I had failed to realize that today was Veteran's Day until I turned on the news this morning. I think I may have thought it happened back near Labor Day. I may have, in fact, gotten it confused with Labor Day. Holidays like this are for what ever reason difficult for me to remember.

I'm basically pro-Veteran's Day, what with my grandpa being a vet, and my generally being in favor of days honoring people who do very difficult, scary things that I have trouble even contemplating. That said, I wish this did not mean the library was closed. I really would like some new books.

In other news, we went and saw No Country For Old Men last night. I'm glad I've seen it, but I don't plan on seeing it again anytime soon. It was really good, but it was also kind of too much for me. Very brutal.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Professor Rusty


I should probably find more productive things to do with my time, but damn if this wasn't a lot of fun.

Actually, this may be a costume for Rusty in one of our upcoming video projects. The sweater is from back when Smee was a puppy (is it odd that I saved his puppy sweaters?). The glasses are a black pipe cleaner.

The cat was oddly willing to go along with this.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Vacuum!

Today's big excitement is that we got a new vacuum! And I genuinely mean that. We have carpet in this apartment, and Charlie has the asthma. Our old vacuum was one that Charlie and his old roommates bought for five dollars at a garage sale. Even at five bucks, it was perhaps over priced. It was sort of like vacuuming with the sofa. It weighed about as much, was about as manuverable, and picked up about as much dirt as you would expect to get sucked up by pushing the couch around the floor.

Our new vacuum is this one. It's the number one pick from Consumer Reports. Also, it was on sale, one hundred dollars off. A friend has one and says its great. I'll report back once I've actually tried it, but I think this vacuum may actually suck things off my floor.

Oh, and being this excited about a vacuum does make me feel old, thank you.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Always learning.

I learned some things this morning! For instance, according to the smoke alarm in our bedroom, steam from my shower is now the same thing as smoke. Also, said smoke alarm does not have the "BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP" sound characteristic of most smoke alarms. Our smoke alarm instead makes a noise more like "BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR". Only much, much louder. It is sort of like if you took an old-timey alarm clock and made it very angry, and then amplified it and shoved it in my ceiling. It is a death from above, the ceiling is trying to kill me sort of noise.


For all that this noise is far more likely to get you up and out of bed than the standard beep, it does not say "fire alarm". Thus I jumped out of the shower, water still running, and ran around the bedroom dripping water and yelling about what the hell was going on and what that horrible sound was. Luckily, Charlie has today off, and while I threw clothes on to be safe, he was all having his glasses on able to determine that the horrible noise was the smoke alarm and that the building was not on fire.

And everything is fine now. The smoke alarm stopped by itself (which is good, as we can't reach it even on a stool and would have had to whack it down with a broom). Once we calmed down, we realized that we live around the corner from the firehouse, so if the building was on fire we would know by now.

Also, I've learned that the likelyhood of my ever sleeping through the smoke alarm is basically nill.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's a little chilly, and quite gray around here today. I'm mostly enjoying this, as I like wearing sweaters, and I've always felt the sun in Southern California is particularly brutal. That said, I think I'd be enjoying my tea and blanket weather a bit more if the lamp in my office wasn't such a piece of crap.

Going into this, you have to realize that my apartment is set up so that there is some good degree of overhang shading all of my windows. Normally, in sunny Pasadena this is a lovely thing. The apartment is by no means dark, but it stays a comfortable temperature in the summer heat, and the light isn't glaring. However, this means that on those rare gray and gloomy days, it is dark in here.

The other thing you should know is that this lamp has always been broken, or at least it's been broken the entire time we've had it. That's how we got it, actually. One of Charlie's coworkers was clearing out her office awhile back, and this lamp was going to be thrown away otherwise. At the time, we had no money, and lived in a different apartment, one with crappy lighting, and so a free lamp wasn't going to be turned down just because it had major structural issues. Plus, by chance, it matched the other, non-broken lamp that was already in our living room.

But back to the issue at hand. The lamps are split up in our new apartment, with the working, non-frightening lamps living one in the living room, one in the bedroom. The crappy one is in my office. And lately, it has started listing. It looks like a thin tree in a strong wind. This strikes me as a precarious situation at best, so I don't really want to use it. I'm afraid the dog or I will bump it and it will fall over and something horrible will happen. What that horrible thing that would happen when a floor lamp fell over I couldn't say, but I'm dreading it none the less. So I'm sitting here in the gloom, and feeling a bit put out.

I guess what I'm saying is, I need to buy a new lamp.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hedera love


I am loving Hedera. Absolutely loving it. It's fun to work on, and the lace looks much trickier than it is. I'm very fond of things that turn out in such a way that I look talented and hard working without having put in much effort.

I'm also loving my Knitpicks Gloss (the color is called Pumpkin!). It's the second time I've used it, and it's all lovely and soft and with a subtle luster to it. It is a little splity, but nothing I can't handle.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

On something dear to me.

Yesterday, I thought I had lost a dear friend. And by lost, I mean misplaced, though possibly permanently, and by dear friend I mean my red plastic knitting counter.

The sentiment is there though. I went to pull it out of my bag, and it wasn't there. It wasn't on the table. It wasn't anywhere.

I started to panic. Had it been placed somewhere completely nonsensical and hidden while we were cleaning the apartment this weekend, so that it wouldn't surface for months? Even worse, had it fallen from my bag when I paid for coffee on Sunday afternoon? Would I have to get a new counter?!?!?!?

As much as it made me feel ridiculous, I did not want a new counter. I liked that counter. It was red and jolly, and it kept track of rows and rounds in a way my distractable brain cannot. It was my little knitting buddy. I know I shouldn't form such strong sentimental attachments to inanimate objects, especially since with me this takes the form of strong anthropomorphizing. (I frequently apologize to the apples not chosen to go in my bag at the market.) But it is who I am. I am a person who thinks of the plastic clicking thing that counts her knitting rows as a friend. It's stupid, but it does no one harm but me. And I wanted my little red plastic buddy back. Also, I was starting lace repeats and making notes on paper to keep track slows me down.

Anyhow, I was starting to get extremely sentimental about those little things that we don't realize are so important to us until it's too late, when I found the counter shoved deep in my sofa.

I'm glad you're back, little friend.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pipe Cleaner!!!!!

OH! When I was getting supplies for the various upcoming projects, I also got pipe cleaners. Which may get used in the making of some of the projects, but even if they don't, pipe cleaners! In many colors! Variety pack! Yay!

They will join the giant box of popsicle sticks in the pantheon of dorkily awesome craft supplies in my office.
Now that the green sweater is done, I thought I'd talk about some new projects I'm working on, or am about to start.



Like this little fellow. This is the sketch for a toy I'm about to start. His face is made, I got the last of the supplies I'll need this afternoon (I hope, anyhow), so it's good to go. The finished toy will be a bit different than seen here, particularly in that I'm tweaking some colors a bit.

On the knitting front, I'm going to start working on the Hedera socks. I'm also hoping to start some nice green knee socks soon, but that will have to wait since I haven't even bought the yarn for them yet.

I'm also starting a hat. A mixed media hat, one that I've been dreaming of making for years. For now that's all I'll say about it. I think it will be better to show it off when it's a little further along.

Also, there will be painting. There are even some paintings that have been started that need to be finished.

And dioramas featuring toys I've made, which will than be photographed and made into postcards.

Also, this swift, for the winding of yarn. Because I'm cheap, and don't want to spend forty bucks minimum for something like that. Although that maybe a job I pass of to someone like my dad, or my uncle, or my sister. Someone with more tools. Because it will cease to be the cheap way if I need to buy lots of tools. Also, even though I know I've done more complicated woodworking projects than this, my eyes just shift out of focus everytime I try to read those directions.

Anyhow, busy times ahead! I'm feeling very vital and ready to create!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Green sweater: DONE!!!!!!



The green sweater is done! And I think in general it looks better than it does in this picture, but the light hitting my patio at this hour makes everything look a bit odd.

Anyhow, I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out. It's very warm and cozy, and while I've heard some people say that Wool of the Andes is scratchy, I think it's very soft. I'm wearing the sweater right now with a tank top and it isn't bothering my arms at all. And I say that as someone who has fairly sensitive skin.

Most of the expansion that came with blocking disappeared once the sweater was fully dry, leaving it just a bit bigger than before. The only part where the size isn't perfect is the hood. And the hood isn't a blocking issue. The hood is a Jessie getting overly enthusiastic about a deep hood issue. I went a little overboard. As you can see in the photo, I can pull the hood all the way over my face. Even that has it's advantages. This will be a very good sweater for taking naps.






In other news, I left the market basket on the floor once I emptied it of Farmer's market goodies yesterday. I was in a hurry to make lunch, and I thought I'd return it to its shelf later on.

When I came back though, someone else had claimed it. Indeed, Rusty spent the rest of the day in that basket, and did not appear to mind if we picked it up and carried him around in it. As our friend Jack said, he appeared to be a very Zen cat all of the sudden. Very at peace.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Still damp.

It was stupid of me, wasn't it, to think the sweater would be dry in time for me to wear it tonight? I mean, I've had things dry that quickly before, but they were small things. Not big ones, like the sweater of enormity. I've moved it to the patio, in the warm, dry air of Southern California, and it's helping, but not enough. I've gone out there several times, laid out on the sweater, and whispered into the damp fibers "Dry. Dry." But you know? It is not working.

So I think I am going at it with the blow drier.

Sleeves of DOOM!

So the green sweater is still a little damp, but I had to update on it's blocking issues. It's close enough to dry that I was able to try it on. The body has grown a little, mostly in width but a bit in length as well. The hood has grown.

However, most impressive are the sleeves. Preblocking, they were about midway down my hand. They're about the same width as before, but the ends of the sleeves are now several inches past the ends of my fingers. All I can do is laugh, and keep thinking of how cozy it will be. And I still love it.

Anyhow, pictures will hopefully follow in not too long.

Big!

I have errands to run, so I'm just popping in quickly before a longer post later. In large part because I want the big post of today to be the finished sweater, but it's just a little damp still. Also, the blocking of the sweater has been moved to the floor of my studio, and since it isn't a big room, I've had to move my office chair out of the way. So I'm standing up in front of the computer, trying not to step on the sweater, and it's a little awkward.

But I wanted to record the observation that wow did this expand a lot more in blocking in sweater form than it did in swatch form. It's going to be a very roomy sweater. Not that this is really a problem. I was planning on a roomy sweater, for coziness if nothing else. That said, if I had known, I would have worked in more length and less width. But whatever! It's still a great sweater, and it's mine. I'm very proud of how it's turning out.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Green Sweater: Blocking


See that. That is the green sweater blocking on my bedroom floor. Tomorrow, presuming it is dry, I will sew on the buttons and it will be DONE! Hooray!

The blocking is being a bit of a miracle blocking in some respects, as it seems to be fixing an issue with the button bands not stopping the edges from curling in. We'll see if this holds once the sweater is fully dry, but I'm thinking it will.

The only downside is that my bedroom currently reeks of wet wool. And while some wool smells nice wet, and while this wool smells fine dry, this wool wet smells like a great big fart that won't dissipate. It isn't the best thing. But at bedtime I'll gently transfer the sweater to my studio to finish drying, the bedroom window will be opened, and I think all will be well in the world of odor.

So tired

So I had some amusing things to share today, and I may still later, but right now I am so incredibly tired. I took myself to the Pie and Burger for lunch today, and when the waitress asked me if I wanted another Coke, I just sort of stared at her in confusion. I am that kind of tired. I am shaking a little with the tired.

It is because Charlie was at work until midnight, thus pushing bedtime to about one am., which was followed by getting up at a normal weekday hour. This has been happening a lot lately, and it's starting to take it's toll. Which is to say, if it was just last night I would be tired but not dying tired, but it's sort of been compounding for awhile. I realize that I could theoretically go to bed before he gets home, and sometimes I do doze, but I can't really sleep. It isn't the being alone. It's the fact that the dog is very antsy if we reach a certain point in the evening and the entire family isn't home. This leads to a lot of him going from dead asleep to barking hysterically. It doesn't lend itself to resting.

Which is to say nothing of Charlie, who can't even take naps. He looks so run down. It really worries me. I'm trying to take the best care of him that I can when he's home, making his coffee for him and such. I'm so lucky to have him. I love him so much.

Anyway, I'm going to take a nap, and hopefully that will revive me enough to post more later. And if it doesn't, at least I've popped on and done a post for today.

Oh! And my green sweater is nearly done! In fact, all of the knitting is done. All I need to do now is weave in the last few ends, do the two inches of sewing needed, wash it, dry it, and sew on the buttons. I'm hoping to do most of that today, and when it's dry and has buttons, I'll get some finished pics up.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

One day in, and I'm already going stream of consicousness.

I woke up this morning and was so thrilled that it was Friday. I was about to roll over and give Charlie the good news (because apparently my morning brain thinks he can't figure these things out for himself) when I realized that it was Thursday. Then the alarm went off, and the dog started rolling around, and glasses were put on, and we were not nearly as close to the weekend as I had thought anyhow.

So it isn't Friday. But it is November 1st, and that means it is the first day of me trying to do this blogging thing here every day for any entire month. We'll see how well this goes. I'm excited about it, and theoretically it shouldn't be difficult. However, I have this fear that it will turn out like my plan to have pen pals. Which is to say, not so well. If someone I am supposed to be corresponding with is out there reading this, please know that I am incredibly sorry that I haven't written in awhile. I'm easily distracted. But I will write. At some point.

In completely other news, for the second Halloween in a row, I have gotten zero trick-or-treaters. I was really hoping some of the kids in my building would come by, so I'm disappointed. The two giant bags of candy will have to console me.

This is also the second year in a row that nothing really happened in terms of Halloween excitement of the party variety. I'm sure I could have sought something out, but I had an awful head cold, and everyone seems so busy. I hate to bother people to spend time with me. I know that's a ridiculous attitude to take, but I just feel so guilty that all of the people I know have such limited free time and to ask them to do something with me. I, um, have self esteem issues.

But hey! I went to knitting, which was great fun, and I went in my costume!



I went as Charlie. It was a remarkably easy costume of a homemade fake mustache (felt and double-sided poster tape) and wearing one of his t-shirts. Oh, and I brushed my hair straight back when I got out of the shower, just like Charlie does. The mustache would only stay on for a few minutes at a time before my lip got sweaty and it fell of. But the overall effect was great. I will hang on to this costume for when Charlie and I need to switch places to insure wacky hijinx.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NaBloPoMo

Just a reminder (I think I've talked about this before. I'm very tired.) that I'm going to be posting every single day in the month of November. Or at least I'm going to try very, very hard to post every day. If my internet dies for a whole day, I probably won't go seeking out an internet cafe, although I might try the library. But anyway, that's the plan. Please come by! Say hello! Make me feel like I'm not talking to myself. Not that I wouldn't keep it up anyhow. I talk to myself all the time anyway, or to the dog and cat, which is practically the same thing.

So um, come by. I talk to my dog and my cat. I must be exciting!



(If this is all a little incoherent, please forgive me. I've been knitting for over three and a half hours straight. But hey! My green sweater has a hood now! Only stupid button bands and hood band to go!)

ETA:Okay, I've tried my damnedest to get the badge to be in my sidebar. It should work. I've done this before. But it isn't. I give up. There's a text link instead.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ravelry

Yo! I'm popping in quick like to say that I've gotten my Ravelry invite. My handle in there is JessieMae! Come visit! There isn't much up yet, as I have a nasty cold, but I'm hoping to add stuff soon.

For tonight though, it's more work on the green sweater hood, redoing the ribbing on a hat for my sister so that it will actually stay on her head, and bookmarking recipes for later. Charlie's off having a boy's night with a friend, so I'm going to make up some soup and hunker down with my projects.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's turning into a real sweater!


I can get over how this has become a real sweater. I almost typed "looks like a real sweater", but it doesn't just look like a real sweater, it is a real sweater. An unfinished sweater, but it's getting close. I've got the hood under way, and after that I'll do the bands, give it a wash, than sew on the buttons and it'll be ready to wear.

The magic of a string looping around it self to form whole, recognizable objects is one of the big appeals to me with knit and crochet. It isn't just with this sweater. It's ever sweater, every sock, every hat, ever toy, and so on. They're all just an artfully arranged ball of string. It makes me feel very clever and powerful, that I can get the string to arrange itself that way. Never mind that it's pretty easy and something many people can do. It just means that a whole lot of us get to feel clever and powerful. And that makes it even better, because the more people who realize how awesome they are, the better.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Safe!

So, tomorrow I'm hoping to put up pictures of the green sweater progress. It has two arms now, the same number of arms that I have! Convenient! And the beginning of a hood. But it's getting dark, and I want nice daylight to take pictures. So you have to wait.

But! I wanted to check in and say that I have not been consumed by fire. Not that I was in any real danger. The closest of the fires to me was about 30 miles away, and I think that one has been contained. Also, the LA Times historical map and a variety of friends who grew up in Southern California assure me that Pasadena doesn't really get the fires. It's still scary, and our air quality sucks, and I'm incredibly sad for all of the people who've lost their homes, and in a few cases their lives. But I, personally, am safe. Freaked out, but safe.

One other thing- I'm the only woman in the 20-40 age range who doesn't like Say Anything, aren't I? I just don't like it. It always feels sort of creepy and stalkery to me, and John Cusack spends the whole movie being so whiny. I don't begrudge other people their love of it, but it really isn't my thing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Green sweater! Now with half sleeve!


Sweater shots! Now with hot sleeve action! Or at least hot half a sleeve action! The sleeve is going fast. I'm really digging it after slogging along on the body. Plus I should be able to make both sleeves with four skeins total at most, leaving five skeins for the hood and bands. So I'm good. I have enough yarn for this sweater to reach full awesomeness potential. And I think it just might.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Body: Finished!

The body of my green sweater is done! I'll do pictures tomorrow; I finished just in time for the sunshine to be dying down. It took a little more yarn than I had expected; the end count for the body being just short of eight skeins. But that still leaves nine for both sleeves, the button bands, and the hood, so I should be fine. I'm in the home stretch!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Green sweater progress!

Hoo boy am I tired. Charlie didn't get home from work until midnight, and I'm always totally on edge until he gets home. It's not the being by myself, it's the worrying about him that gets me. I can only imagine how exhausted he is right now.


The upside to an evening alone is more sweater progress! The body is almost done. In fact, I could declare it done right now, but I think it'll look a little better with an inch or two more on the bottom. I'm doing a seed stitch border, and it's slower going than stockinette, but I'm enjoying the change of pace. That said, I actually really enjoy long stretches of stockinette. I like how it looks, and I enjoy doing it. It's nice to have my hands busy without really having to pay attention to what they're doing.

It's turning out well in general, and I think when it's done I'll wear it a lot. Plus, I think I have enough yarn that I'll be able to make a hood. I'm almost done with body, and when I am I think that part will come to about 7 and 1/2 skeins. What I'll have let to do then are sleeves (I have long arms) and button bands. So the 9 and 1/2 skeins I have left should totally be enough for those things, plus a generous hood, right?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Four new faces! Buttons!



Four new faces today! One will be for the last of the secret Christmas commision, but the rest don't have specific fates. Mostly I'm just really enjoying working on this style of toy guy again. For whatever reason, I was stalled on ideas for them for quite awhile. All of the sudden, for the past few monthes, I'm really on a roll. And I'm extra excited now, because after one more secret toy, I can start showing them off again! I'm really interested to see what people think of the ones I'm working on now.



Plus the buttons for my new sweater came today! I got them from The Button Shoppe, and I really like them! The sweater is progressing nicely, so I should get to put my buttons to use soon. Now I just need the needles I ordered for the sleeves to come. I tried to buy them at the yarn store near my house, but she doesn't stock the brand of needles I started with. And while my Clovers are the same US size as the ones she stocks (6), the metric size is different (mine are 4.25mm, everything she had was 4mm). The difference probably isn't enough to be a problem, but I'm not risking it with that much work involved.

Also of note today- I gave the stove a good scrubbing, which it was really needing. It looks good now though. It also took forever.

And for anyone still reading, I leave you with this- I went to the kitchen this morning to get a cup of tea, and there was Rusty, my tiny little cat, eating the dog's dry food. Which is a mystery of sorts, since the cat has plenty of his own food, and this is dog food that the dog isn't even interested in. Rusty is a weird little cat.

Friday, September 28, 2007

My sweater progress continues! It is now a discernible garment. Granted, if I stopped now it would be a remarkably unflattering and unfinished cropped vest type thing, but still! You can pretty much tell now that it is becoming a sweater. I'm deeply impressed with myself. I would put up pictures, but it's quite overcast today, and I suspect pictures would not turn out well.


Not that I've actually been knitting today. I will, but at this point it's been housework and reading, emphasis on housework. The big task of the day was mopping Rusty's bathroom. Rusty is missing some of his brain (not literally, to my knowledge, but he's probably never formed certain neural pathways due to malnourishment and neglect early in life (which is to say before we or the rescue group got ahold of him)) and he is a little sketchy on litter box use and etiquette. This isn't as big of an issue as one would think, as all of his "accidents" are in the bathroom, on the vinyl floor. (And yes, he has been checked over by the vet. Nothing is wrong with him other than being temperamental and a bit dim. I've has cats in my life die of kidney problems, and I'm very conscious of that possibility.) There is, however, the matter of the cat pee smell in the bathroom (which is also where his litter box is.). (Wow am I all over the parenthesis today.)

The odor had gotten rather pronounced, so today I buckled down and started cleaning. This is a drawn out process, because beyond the normal sweeping and then a mopping, I had to give the room a few additional moppings. One mopping just made the bathroom smell like cat pee AND orange soap, which isn't significantly better. But with some efforts, and way more time than you would think such a small room could possibly warrant, it now smells like orange soap. And maybe a tiny tiny bit of cat pee. But the litter box is in there, so I'm not expecting miracles.

And I signed up for NaBloPoMo, so you will hopefully be seeing a lot of me come November. We'll see how well that works, the posting everyday, what with Thanksgiving and a wedding anniversary, as well as the possibility of guests and travel. I'm optimistic though. I want to start writing more, and I'm hoping this will give me a kick in the pants.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I continue to make toys I'm not at liberty to share right now, and my current paintings are sitting less than 1/2 done in the living room. So I bring you knitting! Both finished and in progress! I joined a knitting group here in Pasadena recently, and it's been really great. Everyone has been super nice, and it's so great to get out of the house and interact with people. Working alone can get a little lonely sometimes. Plus the concentrated weekly knitting time has really made me more productive, knitting wise at least, and I suspect more productive in general.

And so we have:



Black socks for Charlie! Plain black socks for Charlie. Really, really plain black socks for Charlie. Luckily, he has smallish feet. Plus I loves him.

They're basic top down socks, on US1/2.25mm needles, in Knitpicks Gloss.



A top down hat made from the Noro Iro I bought from Michael Levine when the knitting group made our field trip downtown to see the Yarn Harlot.



A pink top down hat, made from yarn I got by unraveling a thrift store sweater.



And finally, a green top down raglan cardigan, made in Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. It's still very much in progress, but I'm enjoying it. It's dead simple, which makes working on it very relaxing.

Anyhow, I should get on to more of my secret sewing, for the secret toy making project. Secret secret secret!

I'm such a dork.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I am awake. I would prefer not to be. Thus, rambling.

So I'm awake. Not voluntaraly I might add. It was not a good night for me getting sleep. First there was the drunken young people jambaroo outside my window. To which I say, young people, it is (or was, anyhow) Thursday night. Thursday. If you want to have a drunken jambaroo, do not have it in a quiet residential neighborhood full of working adults and families.

[A sidebar- at 27, do I still count as a young person? Considering that I'm all married and tax paying and pay close attention to things like eating lots of whole grains? Probably I do. Huh. That's fine actually, as I still sometimes feel like I am playing an extremely involved game of house that I am taking deadly serious.]

Then the dog got restless. There was a lot of kicking and squirming and snoring going on. Also, he really wanted to sleep smashed against me with his head under the covers. Which is fine, and is in fact how he usually sleeps, but last night sleeping under the covers caused the dog to inhale the sheet, and thus would need to be saved before he stopped breathing.

The dog did finely settle down, but by that point my brain, the autonomous part of my brain, had given up on sleeping. Which meant laying in bed for hours, thinking confused thoughts about sweater design. And eventually it meant giving up, and coming into the studio/study to play with my good pal the internet.


The odd thing I'm finding, as I sit here writing this, is that my fingers are making many sleepy typos, but there is still a part of my brain supplying me with words like autonomous, and even supplying them correctly (I checked). Which I think sums up a lot of my existence rather nicely. Even when I am a bit useless or slow with things, I always have a rather nice vocabulary.

Anyhow, I ought to stop rambling. As it is, I'm not entirely sure how much sense this will all make when I come back and look at it after a nap. But I hope to be back later today! I have exciting knitting progress!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Two paintings, a mask, and a toy you can't see.

I just finished the most super cool toy, and I want to show it off so much right now. Except I can't, as it's a commission piece that's intended as a Christmas gift for someone who might see this. So it'll be here eventually. But not yet.

But in the meantime, paintings! And a mask!





I'm so glad to finally have time to get back to art again. I feel so much more vital when I'm working. And the work I'm doing is coming out well. So it's all good!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hey! I have new paintings! And I'm further along on the mask I was showing in progress in that last post. Except I can't really show any of this off right now, as I didn't get good pictures of them when the light was good. So lets all hope real hard that it occurs to me to take those pictures tomorrow. During the day. The way I've been meaning too.

Friday, August 31, 2007

In Progress



This is what I've been working on today and yesterday. It's part of a larger project. More about that soon, and with better, less in progress photos.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Let the calm begin!

Wow, I really let August get away from me, huh? If anyone is still out there, or comes back, I apologize for that unplanned hiatus. It just got really busy here, is all. There was a visit from my parents, the rest of moving stuff over to the new place, going to Portland for a wedding, a visit from Charlie's parents, and so on. Plus I have only this week started even doing any considerable art again, what with the busyness. Also what with the having no idea where the boxes with my supplies are. (I labeled them, but there are an awful lot of boxes.)

But I'm back! Um, again! And I think I should be a lot better about this consistent blogging thing now that I'm staying in one place for an extended period of time. This is really the first time that my life has settled down since around April 2006 or so, and I'm very, very excited.

Plus I'm getting a decent amount of art stuff done this week, on account of I am staying indoors to hide from the heat. Today, it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit before noon. Yesterday it was 101 for awhile. I realize this is to be expected in Southern California, especially now that we've moved inland, but I don't have to like it. I've never really been a big fan of heat. So I'm indoors with the curtains closed, and I'll turn on the A/C in not too long.

Also, I noticed yesterday that when it started to get dark out, I kept avoiding turning on lights. As though the heat would see the light on and know I was home. Because I'm awesome.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

In retrospect, perhaps boxing up all of my toy making supplies was a stupid idea. Granted, they're in labeled boxes, and I think I even might know where those boxes are. But that where would be behind other boxes. Boxes not currently at the head of the unpacking list.

But I am so desperate to make more toys. And to paint too, and while I have a lot of my painting supplies out, a lot of them aren't, including the canvases. Plus I need a drop cloth to protect the carpeting.

So I am thinking that I will stop by Michaels this afternoon. I'm not usually inclined to by art supplies from them, but for the toy making stuff it will probably be fine. Plus, it's only a few blocks from my house! Not to mention that I haven't ever been to this particular Michaels. For all I know, it may be great.

And it's on the way home (sort of) from the hair salon. That's right. After years of cutting my own hair, I've decided to let a professional have a go at it. I don't know that it's something I'm going to make a habit of, but my hair is at an awkward growing out point that could use some help. Also it's cheap.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Enough Already.

Alright, seriously, this is getting ridiculous. So, earlier this week there was the people gunned down, one dead, in front of our old apartment. Then tonight we were going to the grand opening of the Panorama. Except we never got out of the car, because on the same block as the Panorama, at the other end, was a dead body. Covered by a white sheet. Surrounded by police. So we turned around and went back to Pasadena.

There better not be more dead bodies tomorrow. I've really had my fill, thank you.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Dodged Bullet

We went back to the old house last night to get some stuff, and discovered that a 14 year old had been shot in front of our old house Wednesday night. Apparently he fired into a crowd of people in some gang related thing, hitting two people. When the police responded, he turned the gun on them and they shot him.

Needless to say, Charlie and I are both freaked out, Charlie to the point where he vomited in his sleep from nerves last night. We just moved out on Saturday. We had originally been planning to look for a place that started August 1, but some lucky bit of instinct and intuition told us we need to get the hell out of there, as soon as we could.

And obviously, we're fine. Shaken, but unharmed. But this wasn't a surprise. It was a long time coming, and up until this incident the police more or less ignored the constant cries for help from the community.

Our front neighbor is terrified, and is trying to get out of her lease. She has six and a half months left, and the landlords aren't sympathetic to her justifiable fear. I've told her to get a lawyer, and that if necessary we will help her find one. Because we may have had our issues with her, but no one should have to live with that, and as a young single woman she's especially vulnerable.

We'll still have to go back, to get the rest of our stuff and to clean up at least a bit. We're going in the mornings only, and bringing friends. And for today I'm making Charlie stay home from work, and we're going to spend time together. I feel so, so lucky.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Oh Internets, I Missed You So!

And I'm back. Nothing deeply exciting here, at least nothing that would be deeply exciting to other people. I'm totally in love with how I can walk my dog with out feeling uncomfortable or endangered. My new place is even bigger than I first thought, now that there's furniture in it for scale. Um, Trader Joe's has started selling dried mangosteen, and that's pretty awesome. That's something that would be exciting to other people. Attention people who are not me! Trader Joe's has dried mangosteen. Go get some. You'll probably like it!

Not much art stuff getting done the past few days, what with the moving. A little sketching. And I have plans to make little diorama type sets to photograph the dolls I make in. That should be fun.

Oh, and we have a Wii now, so I will now have to allocate time to that. It's a great big wonderful time suck. Even just sitting around making miis is deeply amusing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Moving is Rotting My Brain.

Tomorrow is the big moving day! Hooray! I am so ready to be done with this. It's been 24/7 work for about two weeks, and a lot of work for the two weeks before that, and I am absolutely spent. I was starting to hyperventilate this afternoon when the woman from the moving company called to tell me they had to change the time frame for the pick-up from the 11am-2pm she told me earlier to 7am-9am. Which is bullshit really. Yesterday she tried to get me to change the day from Saturday to Monday. It's too late to do anything now, but needless to say, I am not hiring these people again.

There was also a panic earlier today when I realized my credit card was over the limit, and how did it get over the limit? I mainly just buy groceries, and for two people. A bit of thought and some conversations with Charlie (but not looking at my transactions online, because Capital One was being a butt today), and we realized that I had booked two plane tickets, a hotel, and a rental car. And those are all expensive. Mystery solved, although I am still waiting for the payment I made on my card to clear.

Now I am kind of half packing, half chilling. My brain is mostly shut down. And in about four hours I'm heading out to see a puppet show and eat Indian food. Which I thought was going to be what I did yesterday afternoon, until I realized that the fact that every email and invitation to the puppet show said July 13, and Friday, and that those were good signs that showing up on Thursday, July 12 was going to get me a lot of staring at nothing. Because I'm a genius like that.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The stuff dreams are made of.

I had a dream last night that I was waiting to buy a bus pass. Really. I am so boring.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I am at the worst bit of packing right now. The time when all of the easy to pack, easy to catagorize things are done, (books) and we are left with the difficult (cast iron pans) and the odd (knick-knacks). Plus I've entirely run out of patience for this, not to mention energy. I hate moving. Hate hate hate. Before I came to LA, I lived in the same place for six years. And I hate packing most of all. It ties in to my other big hatred, putting things away. If you want laundry washed, dried, and folded I'm your woman. If you want that laundry to live in drawers instead (neatly folded) in the laundry basket, that would be a job for someone else. Left to my own devices, I keep my home clean in the sense that it's sanatary, but it's always cluttered. So the fact that I hate packing should not be surprising.

That said, it's worth it. I hate our old neighborhood. I don't feel safe here. It keeps getting worse, and the police have only recently gotten interested, and then only barely.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hey! I am not dead, nor have I given up on blogging. I'm just super busy, with the trying to move very quickly (I hate our old neighborhood. I hate it. I'm so tired of firecrackers all the time, and graffiti, and kids breaking in to houses, and constant, constant noise), and also the working with Pete on some stop-motion stuff. (Speaking of Pete and stop-motion, check out this spot he did on his own a week or so ago. It's awesome.)

Also, it's hot. Actually, that's the main hang up against real content today. I've been working on moving stuff at home, packing boxes and calling utilities. But honestly, the packing and dealing with utilities is not holding me back. I could find time. But I can not deal with heat. I just can't. I am not a hot weather person. I'm more of a brisk to cold weather person. (I know. I moved to Southern California. I'm a genius.) Fortunately, the new apartment has central air, but until then, expect me to be a little less comprehensible than usual.

Ah well. Back the box mines for me!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Finally, My Dream of Two Toilets is Realized.

We got the apartment! Which I now realize is not actually one I have described in detail here, but was the one we wanted most of all. It's one level (everything else we looked at, oddly, were townhouses) which isn't a plus, but isn't a minus either. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two huge patios, a working fireplace, a dishwasher, washer/drier in unit, parking, and a nice big kitchen. Plus space to set up a living room area and a good sized dining room area too. Finally I'll be able to throw proper dinner parties, instead of having everyone eat pasta off of their laps. Not that eating pasta off of ones lap is a bad thing, but it'll be nice to have the option of serving things that are best eaten at a table.

And I am dead serious about the two toilets being a dream come true. It isn't that sharing one has caused any problems, but there's something nice about having the second one. I'm drinking water constantly (the whole eight glasses a day thing has never been a problem for me), so you can draw the natural consequence. Plus we can have the cat's litter box in the bathroom that isn't our main one, which is a really pleasant thought.

Oh! I am so excited. We're going down to sign the lease tonight, and any moment in the next week or two that we aren't working, we'll be packing. The plan is to move as soon as possible, perhaps in a week or two.

It would be faster, but we both actually are doing a decent amount of work. Charlie's got his Astro Boy job, and I'm helping a friend make a commercial. Combined with art stuff, we're pretty busy. But happy! I don't want to jinx anything, but things are finally looking up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Five New Heads!


Yesterday was all about new heads. I worked on these five lovelies from before noon until nearly 6pm. Which was perfect timing, because I then had to get dressed (I had, um, worked in my pajamas all day), because we had been invited to a special screening of a forthcoming movie. And the score for that movie, done by a friend of ours, was great! And um, yeah. We really liked the part our friend did.

But these heads! I'm pleased with them. They already have perspective identities in my mind. There's prospector head, and swimming girl head, fancy pants girl with her beehive (which was originally going to be more Marge Simpson curly, but didn't end up as such), and the shy girl who's maybe a little chubby, and her weird, goofy brother. I think about them a little too much; it maybe isn't healthy. I have a hard time parting with them by the time they're completely done. I've spent so much time with them, and assigned them personalities. It's something I need to work on.

We're still waiting to hear about the dream apartment. One couple turned it down, and there's still one couple ahead of us. But they haven't communicated with the people at the building in awhile, so we have a good chance. I'm really hoping. I think we'll know today though, one way or another.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Still no official new apartment. We've applied for three, but we're down to two possiblities at the moment. Our choice- Charlie decided he wasn't as crazy about one place once he had thought about it, and since it was the most expensive of current options, it wasn't a big sacrifice. I'm still anxious to here from the places we do want, and I'm not making a big effort to seek out new possiblities right this second. It's just as well, as looking at apartments during the work week is tricky.

No new art to show right this minute. I have a few sketches around and a sock I've been knitting (I've been knitting it for awhile. It's not even the second sock. It's the first sock. This doesn't bode well for the pair getting done in a timely fashion). There are some new model prototypes I made today, but they're for an commercial job, and not really all that interesting out of context anyhow. Plus most spare time has been taken up by apartment hunting, errands, and yesterday's much need spa trip. (The spa trip was a belated birthday present from Charlie. He went too. We had massages. It was lovely.)

Since I don't have art to share today, here's a close-up of Smee, waiting patiently as I hold his Kong over his head.


And as an added bonus, Rusty helping Charlie sit on a chair!

Friday, June 22, 2007

We've just started apartment hunting, and I'm so antsy. I know that technically we have time, but we've been itching to get out of this place for months now. We saw a place that was pretty great last night, and applied. We haven't heard back yet, and I don't expect we will until late today or tomorrow, if not until Monday. Neither of us could sleep particularly well, and now I'm all jangly from tiredness, but still to hyper to rest.

And it's generally hard, because even with the move into the suburbs (we're planning to move to Pasadena or there abouts, from our current LA home), there's very little that's both in our price range and allows pets. Add in the fact that as we get older and more financial stable we're also getting a lot pickier, and choices get ridiculously scant. Los Angeles is just a very expensive city. And it's suburbs likewise.

Anyhow, I really do hope that this is all resolved soon. I feel like I'm going to be on edge for months to come.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My world is lovely


So I tried out some new things with this doll. Her feet have flat bottoms, and she has removable shoes. I also used some little brass colored glass beads I got this weekend as buttons down the front of her dress, and on the cuffs. And her skirt is paneled, so that it goes outward in all directions. I'm really pleased with how she turned out!

I pleased with a lot of stuff lately. I've been working out regularly, and even if it's only been a week, I'm still really proud of myself. It isn't something I love, but I know that it's good for me. That said, now that it's starting to make me feel healthier, it's easier to go to the gym.

And I love all of these toys I've been making! It was a little bit of a gamble, as I'm making a lot of it up as I go along. But I really think they look good. They're cool! The one I have up on my store isn't selling, and I feel like there's a good chance that future ones I put up won't sell either. My luck isn't great, and I need to push myself to promote more. But at least I love making them.

Plus I'm starting a new series of paintings this week. A loose narrative told in scenes across four or five small canvases, it will portray a girl's trip through space to a strange new place. Sort of an allegory for my move to LA, which has been wonderful and bizarre and terrifying all at once.

And hats! I'm making hats again. I sold a hat a few weeks ago, and I'm working on more. There will be teapot hats and peacock hats and tree hats!

Yeah, art is making my world lovely.

Friday, June 15, 2007

New Doll! Plus Bonus Body Issue Digressions


Another doll, done! She came together relatively easily. I think I must be getting the hang of my doll making process. She'll be up in the shop soon. Watch for updates!

In other news, I started going to the gym yesterday. When I lived in Chicago, I walked a lot. It was my main mode of transportation. Sadly, walking everywhere in LA just isn't possible, and even where you can walk, it frequently isn't pleasant. So I've gotten out of shape, and it wasn't feeling very good. And I wasn't feeling super great about how I look. Which I feel guilty about, the being down on my chubby self. Especially as I frequently think other girls look extra cute when they're chubby. But for myself, it doesn't match up with how I look in my head. Probably because I was a tiny kid, and most of the women in my family are wee. The realization that I would never be a tiny, lithe little thing, at least not as a healthy person, was not really a bad thing, but it was sort of a surprise to me. At any rate, the fact that my health will improve with working out is my bigger concern, along with generally feeling good. And I'm going back this afternoon. I already feel more awake than before. I realize that's mostly a psychological thing, but whatever. I'm feeling good!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

This picture represents how I'm feeling right now.


Nothing I'm doing is working particularly well today, and it's terribly frustrating. The little felt robot pouch I want to make to hold my business cards has come out crappy twice in a row now. The handle for the teapot hat I'm crocheting is all lumpy. My head hurts, it's too warm, people are doing loud construction type things in the neighborhood, and everytime I get a leg up on housework the dishes fill the sink again and the clothes are back in the dirty laundry bag. In other words, nothing is really wrong, I'm just in a colossal grump today.

I think I'm going to go draw more. That, at least, is working today.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Weekend of Awesome!

Taking a break from washing the mountain of dishes from last night's Sopranos finale party (kind of liked the end, perhaps precisely because it pissed so many people off). I have to take a break for a few minutes to give my finger a few minutes to heal, as I cut it on one of the pointier of the dirty things.

So I will point out highlights of my weekend!

Friday was my birthday, which was spent reading, working on hats to sell, hanging with the dog and cat, and fielding phone calls from well-wishers. In the evening Charlie took me to Los Balcones Des Peru, our favoritist LA restaurant. After a trip to the cd store and the comic book store, we came home. And not a moment to soon! We were going to watch a dvd, but when Charlie flipped on the tv, there was a police chase. And newscaster was saying "They've just rounded the corner of Adams on the Washington". And we remarked to each other that that was awfully close to our house. (You know where this is going, yes?) So we settled in to watch the chase, which went in circles around our neighborhood. It was all "hey, there's the Trader Joe's" and "hey, there's HD Buttercup". And then they turned on to my street! And it was all "hey, there is our house" and "hey, there is our car." It was kind of scary, but we kept watching to the end and it came to a peaceful conclusion.

And Saturday it was off to Pete and Caroline's house for a Pete's birthday party. Which was enormously awesome. There were tons of great people, lots of good food, and a bouncy castle! I'm now firmly of the belief that basically every social event needs a bouncy castle. For that matter, ever gym needs a bouncy castle, as that may be the most exhausting cardiovascular exercise ever.

But yes! Good weekend! And please excuse any typos, I am having trouble typing with a band-aid on my fingertip. Also, my brain is a little stupid today.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Stuff in Shop! Stuff in Shop!



This little fellow has been added to my etsy shop!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sew Excited (that I'm making awful puns)


Tada! I have finally set up my new sewing machine! And despite the copy on the box (and my deep fears) it did come with a foot pedal. It just gives you the option of using a start/stop button on the front instead. Which is actually kind of cool, that my machine could be used by someone with out good use of their legs. It's an inclusive machine!

I was seriously afraid to set it up. I hadn't used a sewing machine in a few years, and I really thought I was going to mess it up. Now that I've set it up with no trouble, I have to laugh at myself. It's not like driving a car, where messing up could hurt or kill someone. The worst that could happen is I'd sew through my finger or break some machine part. Fortunately, it set up with out issues, and sews quite nicely. Sews pretty quietly too.

In a bit I'll have to put it away for the day (the perils of having no designated work space and having to use the kitchen table), but I'm really excited to put this baby to heavy use. I'll have to name it, I think.

On an unrelated note, this weekend was fully of greatness! Friday night we went out for dinner at Sushi Karen, one of my favorite restaurants in LA (well, technically Culver City, but same difference). The food is great, but because it's not on a super main drag it's never super crowded.

Saturday we were off to the LA Arboretum, which we somehow had never been to. I can't imagine how we'd gone so long with out visiting it. It's amazing. Lots of leisurely walking, lots of trees and plants, and there were peacocks and turtles everywhere.

And yesterday I went to my very first baseball game! It was great. I was afraid I would become horribly bored, but I didn't. I actually had tons of fun, and the game was really close. So close in fact that Charlie went to use the bathroom, and when he came back a minute later the game was over.

Okay. On to some online pattern browsing, and then to conquer the mountain of weekend dishes.