Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slowly, carefully trying to reemerge. First I was busy, then there was some family medical crisis stuff that I didn't really want to talk about. But of course it was occupying my brain, so there wasn't anything else to really talk about either. But things are starting to get better. I'm still busy, but I'm getting the hang of it. Family members are still ailing, but they are getting better.

So I've come here to complain about how I just had to rip out six rows of careful lace knitting. Luckily, I had woven in a lifeline, so at least I'm not starting over. And I think the project is actually going to turn out beautifully. I just need to remember not to work on a semi-involved lace project when I'm exhausted.

Hopefully I'll be around again. I want to be.

Friday, September 12, 2008

So, I haven't posted in a long while. Nothing bad is going on, it's just been busy, and I haven't been having the writing mood. But! I'm hoping to get back on track soon. Helping this is a restorative trip north this weekend, to go and gawk at elephant seals. If we find some, I'll take pictures and post them here next week. I'm so excited. Elephant seals are awesome!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Feather earrings!

Made using this tutorial, on a break from painting. I plan on wearing them to my teaching job this afternoon.

I really recommend this project. It's super fast, super easy, and feather earrings are just plain awesome. I'm in love with them myself, and plan to make a bunch more.

Ooo! And pictures of my stripey sun hat will be coming soon. It's all done, and adorable, but I haven't managed to get a good photo of it yet.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


As of this afternoon, my yellow stripey socks are done!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yo! Still knitting those yellow stripey socks. I'm almost done. I'm maybe half an inch or so from starting the toe. I've been working on them when I can, I've just been busy. Which is also the reason for the lack of blogging. But as I am starting to settle into my new, more madcap routine, I'm ready to start blogging again.

Sadly, I don't have a whole ton to say at the moment, or at least not things I would want to say to the world at large.

Oh! I know. Charlie and I started going to yoga again on Sunday after a bit of a hiatus, and it was wonderful. We can really only afford to go to class once a week most weeks, but I really want to incorporate it into our lives more. So I'm using part of an Amazon gift certificate to order a dvd. I'm sure eventually our home practice will be self-directed, but we really aren't ready for that yet. I just know that it's the right thing, doing more yoga. It makes us both feel good. For me, I think it's a more effective treatment for depression than medication or therapy. (For me. Obviously, different things work for different people, and if therapy or medication or a combination of the two are what works for you, than I'm just really happy for you that you have something that works. For me, yoga just feels more effective. Different people, different brain chemistry.) (God am I defensive.) For Charlie, I think it helps him to slow down, which is something he really needs. Not to mention, it helps our posture immensely, which I've noticed cuts way down on my foot pain.

Ooo! And I'm crocheting a sun hat. Which, like the yellow stripey socks, is almost finished. It's also yellow stripey, come to think of it, although it's yellow and gray striped in a much more sedate way. I'm digging it though, and I'm excited about having something to keep the sun out of my eyes.

After those are done I'm going to start another pair of socks, this time a nice alpaca-blend pair for Charlie. I also want to start a lace project. I am all about lace right now, and it isn't reflected in anything I'm working on right now, which is just wrong. It is reflected in my Ravelry queue, which is largely lace sweaters. So I'm pondering my options, and I think I'll be starting on a lace sweater soon.

Hey! I guess I had stuff to say after all, just in a very rambling, semi-random sort of way. I am out of practice with the blogging. I imagine with a renewed regular posting schedule, I will become a bit more coherent. In the meantime, I promise pictures of my projects as soon as they are finished, which should be soon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Big earthquake, but Charlie and the boys and I are all fine, other than that our phones aren't working.

Friday, July 25, 2008

As of last night, yellow stripey magic loop sock #1 is finished! Yay! And as of this afternoon, YSMLS#2 is started. Huzzah!

I've got to say, I'm enjoying magic loop way more than I thought I would. I may be even switching my sock needle allegiance from my much beloved double points. It's that awesome. Largely because I have less fear of the sock coming off of the needles in my bag with magic loop. I'm very paranoid about that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So tonight Charlie is for real working late, and I wanted to have the celery with peanut butter I was going to have last night. Except when I went to get it out, the celery (which I bought on Saturday) was all floppy. I don't know that I've ever had celery go floppy like that. I was weirded out, so I threw it away. But now I have to come up with a new dinner plan. I am not pleased. I mean, I have other lovely vegetables that I'm sure are in fine condition, but I wanted that celery. And I wanted a dinner that involved little effort, and would get very few dishes dirty. For now I'm eating frozen grapes and weighing my options.

In good news, sock #1 of my current pair is almost done. I think there's a very good chance I will finish it tonight. The yellow and the stripey-ness continue to delight.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I just realized that the downside of my husband unexpectedly coming home for (late-ish) dinner is that I can not go with my previously planned menu of frozen grapes, and maybe some celery with peanut butter and raisins if I want more substance. Crud. Ah well, he's worth it.

(Note: I was seriously planning on the frozen grapes and maybe celery menu, but I also had nice hearty homemade chili for lunch. So I am not flying in the face of proper nutrition. Mom.)

(Well, not my mom, as she does not use the internets, but I know there are people out there who worry.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

It is the magic loop sock! In progress! I am digging it's yellow stripey-ness so much (It's On-line Supersocke 100 Holiday Color). I can't tell if I'm really going any faster with magic loop than with double points. I've been busy, so I've been doing a round here, a round there. But it's coming along pretty well for having been started Friday late afternoon.

In other news, I actually finished a toy last week after a bit of a toy making hiatus. So I'm hoping to get back on track with that in general. And I have a small painting commission, which will help me keep in painting practice. And thus, I am exercising my art muscles.

In other other news, there is a big pot of chili on the stove with my name on it, and I think I'm going to go eat some.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I think you know the answer.

Guess who taught herself magic loop knitting this morning? And made oatmeal raisin cookies? And discovered that the walk to the train station in summer heat and odd for the region humidity is not fun? And saw a rat climb over her neighbor's balcony into her bushes and is now a little freaked out by that? And is surprised by being freaked out, because she used to have a pet rat?

Yeah, things (other than rat related things, which I'm actually not too worried about, what with the cat and dog around) are going well here. Our household may have some boosts in income soon, which is exciting.

Plus magic loop! Which is actually really easy. Pictures soonish. I need to use it to make something that isn't in a dark, doesn't look like much in a photograph color.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Go, right now, and read this article/recipe about making cold-brew iced coffee. Because cold-brew iced coffee? Is amazing. I made my first batch last night, drank it this morning, and am making a double or triple batch tonight so that I can have lots and lots tomorrow. And if that means that I end up drinking way to much coffee tomorrow, than so be it. It's good. Also, easy.

Not a ton going on here. I working on swatches for a sweater I want to design. While doing so, I am promising myself that I will write this one into an actual pattern with multiple sizes to share with other people if it turns out. By doing so, I feel productive, even though I am just knitting the same little swatch again and again in different yarn/needle combinations while watching tv.

Also, can you tell from the coffee picture that I have a tripod now? My mom had two, so when I visited Chicago she gave me one. When you have shaky hand like me, it makes a difference.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I am always seeking the wonder in the everyday world.

The taste of milky tea.
The silhouettes of the plants outside my bedroom window wake on the closed curtain when the light is just right.
How the same plants look like a lush jungle when the curtain is open.
The sound an apple makes when, having been lightly tossed upwards, it smacks gently back into my palm.
The smell of onions cooking.
The gentle touch of someone's fingers on my neck, as they do up the back of my dress.

I like little things like this, the amazing things that happen all of the time without anyone noticing. Except that I like to notice. It's not a new sentiment, obviously. Lots of people take pleasure in the simple art of paying attention. It makes life good.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Hey! Happy Independence Day! I'm checking in now in case I don't get a chance later, and also because some one (the dog) who is not so independent needed to be taken out to pee, so I'm already awake. Which I guess normally on a Friday I'm up at six, but it's a holiday so I was planning to sleep a bit later than the 7:15 at which I was awoken. Okay, to be fair I was planning to get up around 8am, because for me that feels very decedent. Because I am an adult now.

Unless fireworks are visible from my patio, I don't think I'm going to see fireworks today. Which I'm fine with, since the fact that anywhere in California is having fireworks displays during such a horrible fire season makes me nervous. Although of course they'll do the fireworks without me. But at least I won't have to cram in with a bunch of strangers and get mosquito bites. I'm not a fan of crowds, nor mosquitoes.

At any rate, pretty soon I'll go to the store, and then I'll have a whole lot of cooking ahead of me. But yeah! Have a fun day, no matter where in the world you are.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


So! Still hot! And I think I have a cold, or allergies, because my head feels heavy and my eyes are burning and I keep sneezing. But I will keep on going, because I have a lot of cooking ahead of me.

Tomorrow I'll be making a tomato sauce with sausage, a tomato sauce without sausage, and a pesto. To go with them, I will be making a very large amount of homemade pasta. Fortunately, I have Charlie to help in all of this. He's still working on gaining confidence as a cook, but he's really pretty good. It also helps that these are all foods we've made enough times that I won't need to consult recipes, and they're all things I can more or less guarantee will turn out.

Making pasta is so much fun! It's sort of like the Fuzzy Pumper Barber set I had for my playdough when I was little, except that when you eat the end result of this it tastes good. (Well, playdough also tastes kind of good, but homemade pasta is even better.) And homemade pasta is really, really tasty. What with the freshness and the eggs and all.

After a short time making pasta, Charlie and I are already deviating from the recipes we've started out with. I now go with two cups of flour to three eggs, plus a little bit of water, unless the eggs are on the big side. You make a flour mountain, make a little volcano top in the middle, and plop your eggs in the hole like a virgin sacrifice (horrible joke. I'm sorry). You scramble the eggs with a fork, and then start pulling flour into them. When they stop being runny, you start mixing with your hands. When its turns into a dough, you start kneading it. And you keep needing it for about 10 minutes. At that point you either start running through the pasta machine, or you get out a rolling pin and start rolling. Either way, you keep going until it's a noodle type thinness, at which point you cut it, cook it, and eat it. And it's awesome!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It is hot out there. I mean, I realize it's frequently hotter in these parts, but it's still really hot. After walking back from my knitting group I need a second shower. I mean, it's up and down hills and mostly in direct sun, but ugh. It really isn't that far, only 1.75 miles, and in cooler weather is a really pleasant walk. Today, not so much. I'm also just not a warm weather person. My feeling on it is, I can always add more layers, but you can only take so much off before you're naked.

At any rate, I broke down and turned the air conditioning on, which I hate to do. On the other hand, I do enjoy not feeling physically awful, so it's a trade off.

In other news that isn't about me sweating, I continue to enjoy art. And in particular, I am starting to work on my pieces for Crafty Giveaway, which I announced back in May. So if you're one of the recipients for that, you should be getting a package from me in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Back to work!

It's a semi-blurry photo of a toy that's long from finished, but it's still proof that I am back to work! And I could not be happier. I was getting worried. I came back from vacation, and felt devoid of ideas and stories and images and inspiration. It was like my brain had gone quiet. It will probably not come as a surprise that the thing that brought the noise back, so to speak, was writing about the issue in my sketchbook. It's a reminder that even though I never feel like I'm doing it right (which is in itself a nonsensical thought) using my sketchbook as an art journal is really helpful. I think it will also lead, long term, to me making my art more personal, in a way that I don't always think it has been in years. And that's good.

So yes! Art working again! Happy! Weeeee!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm back! Actually, I was back Monday, but due to a variety of boring things I was feeling under the weather and exhausted, and entirely unmotivated to do much. I'm still tired and feeling a bit cruddy, but I'm going the right direction, so I thought I'd drag myself back over here.

At any rate. Chicago and Michigan were lovely lovely lovely, and before that I had a great birthday. The are fun pictures to be shared, and stories to be told, but for today I want to look towards the future. More specifically, I want to look to tomorrow, when I will be using the pasta maker Charlie got me for my birthday!

I am so excited about this. We eat a lot of pasta, and I've been really wanting to make it myself for awhile. We've been making gnocchi, but I want to make noodles. And now I can!

Editing to add-

The point! The point was, food, as a theme. I've signed up for NaBloPoMo again for the month of July, both as a shot in the arm to get me going, and because the theme for July is food. And I love food, both preparation and consumption. And I've been thinking of either doing a lot of food posts here in addition to my art and personal stuff, or starting a separate food blog. So this will let me test out that idea.

See, so it ties in with the pasta maker, which was the point, except that I forgot. My brain is not so great today.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hey! It's June! It's been nuts here, and now I'm about to have a house guest, and then head out of town. So posting will be sporadic for the next two weeks. But hey, Charlie will probably have a lot of business trips in July, so I should be around a ton then!

I started June off with my very first trip to Disneyland! With a free ticket courtesy of a friend of a friend, because I am not made of money. It was really fun. Like, way more fun than I expected it to be. The fact that it's mainly pokey paced kiddie rides is entirely my speed. Also, not much in the way of lines. During a crippling recession is apparently the exact right time to go to a popular and expensive amusement park if you really want to get the most out of the experience.

The rest of the week was mainly spent working on art stuff and house stuff. The house stuff is boring, and some of the art stuff I can't share as it was made as gifts for people who might see this. But hey, check this guy out.

An ivory billed woodpecker, as requested by my long-time friend Jean. I'll be mailing him off to her soon.

Also, I've been cutting up the paper grocery sacks we've accumulated, and binding them into little books. I think they'll be excellent for drawing in.

So I hope to be back at this soon! And once I'm back from visiting my family, I'll be around here a lot more.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My desk*, as of a few minutes ago. The only difference now is that there is less tea in the cup, on account of I drank some of it.

Oh, and as of today, I'll blogging at The Needle. I haven't personally put anything up yet, but don't wait to check it out. There are a lot of people there, and they all have great work on display.

*My desk, as opposed to my work table. I do most of my work at the work table, but right now I'm just doing small sewing, and if I sit at the desk I can play with the internet at the same time! I'm multi-tasking! And realistically working a bit slower than I would be otherwise, but sometimes this is just how things need to be.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I do a ton of drawings I don't share. Or that I share, but just with Charlie, or just with family. Drawings I don't do for a project, drawings that aren't done carefully. Drawings that I do just for the sake of drawing, because sometimes you just need to draw. These are two of those. I decided to share these because even though they aren't the best drawings I've done by a long shot, they make me smile every time I come across them in my sketchbook. I hope they make you smile too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Does it make me a big nerd, that one of my biggest daydreams is about opening my own art school? Not a big degree program style school, but more of a empowering people to make art sort of art school. Art for the sake of art sort of thing.

Ah, what do I care? I like being a big old nerd.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Well, we got to spend almost $800 today fixing Charlie's car, and we've been having (and will continue having for a day or two) unseasonable thunderstorms. I've spent most of the day cleaning the house, particularly the guest/catbox bathroom, as Charlie's dad arrives tonight. That said, I'm pretty happy right now. Because Charlie's dad is coming to visit! And also, I like rain. It screws up some of our plans for the weekend, but the world smells so nice and fresh right now. And with nature watering my plants, I can continue to ignore them! I like how nice the house looks, so the dreaded cleaning has paid off, even if it wasn't fun to do.

There's no fun upside to spending $800 on fixing Charlie's car. I mean, I'm glad he found out the issues with it via the mechanic, instead of via horrible fiery accident, but it's still a lot of money.

Oh well. Not the end of the world, and as my art stuff starts to take off, we'll be doing better and better.

It's a cruddy day for pictures, and I'm still tidying and what not, but I should have some more art to share soon. And also soon, a shop update! For real this time!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Crafty Giveaway!

Holy crap is it hot here. I mean, it was hotter last summer, but it's only May! May! I don't think I am entirely suited to these southern climes.

In other news! This is Post# 200! Yay! To celebrate, I'm doing something I was meaning to do ages ago-

I was commenter number two for this meme over at Bird Ahoy!, and a bit later I got an awesome package (which, speaking off, go check out the amazing stuff that Lesley makes). Then I sort of sat on my part for a few months, because things got busy, blah blah blah, essentially I'm easily distracted.

But! The first three people to comment on this post will get a handmade gift from me! The catch being, if you get the gift from me, you have to send handmade gifts to three commenters via your blog.

So yes! Comment away! I will send you presents! Presents!

Monday, May 12, 2008

I don't have much to share today. It's gray and drizzling, (I cannot use any word ending in -izzle now without thinking of Snoop Dogg. We saw him once, driving the car next to us when we were stuck in traffic. It's probably the best celebrity sighting I've ever had in LA that wasn't through work.) so there are no pictures. And really, there wouldn't be a ton to take pictures of anyway, because I've mainly spent the day doing house work. Which I'm getting to an okay stopping point with, and I may go have a cup of tea and enjoy the gray and the drizzle, because later in the week it will be ungodly hot. Which is all to say, nothing much to see here today, so go read this article about the amazingly awesome Lynda Barry. She rocks an awful lot.

Ooo! Editing to add the link to the slideshow about Lynda Barry's new book. Which is probably linked from the article above, but I had missed previously. So I share it for people like me, who miss things sometimes.

Friday, May 09, 2008

If you remember way back, when I finished my first Hedera, you may have wondered whatever happened to the second one. The answer being I never got around to making it. But I felt guilty! Very guilty. I kept waffling on whether I should go ahead and knit the second sock, or as more and more time passed, whether I should just start over completely.

Yesterday, Bert made the decision for me.

Of course, he didn't bite a hole in the easily darned stockinette portion of the sock. He went straight for the lace. Because he is evil.

Luckily, he's a very lovable evil.

Ooo, and I am fast approaching my 200th post. I have some fun ideas of how to celebrate. Keep an eye out.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The cat is sitting on my lap while I work. He has discovered the mouse, and the fact that it makes a "click" if he hits it. Super helpful.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Nothing much going on here. Busy busy busy. Today I've made this half of a bird (the rest to come later today or tomorrow), folded laundry, scrubbed down the stove, washed dishes, vacuumed the sofa, made more candy. Normal sort of stuff. This weekend we had friends for dinner two nights in a row, and saw Iron Man. Awesome abounded, in both of the dinners, and the movie. I'm a big life-time comic book nerd, so to see a nerdy movie done fairly well warmed the cockles of my heart.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

As promised, the blue bird.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Big Packages!

I got a late start on things today. Well, I started early enough, and got my grocery shopping done, but by the time I was finished putting said groceries away, my little headache had grown big, and I was not terribly functional for awhile. Luckily, a little lie down and some asprin brought the headache back to tiny after a bit, and I was able to get some things done!

I have half of a little blue bird made. Rather than using my normal bird pattern, I'm adapting the duck pattern. It's looking good. It should be finished tomorrow; I'll share it then.

I also made matzo candy! From this recipe. It is so good I kind of don't want to ever eat anything else again. Which is fortunate, because I bought a five lb. box of matzo crackers at the store today. It is, as one might imagine, a very big box. But it was also very on sale! And was the only size box of matzo they had, owing to matzo generally being on sale right now. And I was tired of being thwarted in my attempts to buy various grocery items, just because the grocery store is not so good at stocking the things I want to buy. Also, secretly, I really like buying really big containers of things. Like the time I bought a can of hominy that was larger than my head. Which I thought I had talked about here, but I can't find it, so maybe I didn't. Anyhow, that can of hominy was very, very big. It was awesome.

Oh! And we are significantly less on fire in my region than we were yesterday, which is a plus, as I don't like being on fire.

Monday, April 28, 2008


He's reasonably identifiable as a duck, right?

And in non-duck news, I am not currently on fire, but the current wildfire in Sierra Madre is close enough that I can see the smoke from my street. Which has me in a constant state of mild panic. Partly for myself, but also for people I know who live vaguely that way, only I'm not sure how far that way. Also for my cat and dog, who's dependence on me is really emphasized by things like this. Plus it's a upper 90s F in April, and our air quality is shit with all the smoke. I don't think I will ever become entirely comfortable living in a region that is so constantly on fire. Anyhow, in summary, fire scary.

Also, the water in my building was turned off for awhile this morning, no warning, no explanation later. This has happened way more frequently here than in any building I've ever lived in, and I can't say I'm happy about it. I'm not sure if it's a management issue, or if there is something wrong with our building. Either way, it wasn't a fun way to start a day this hot. At least it's a pretty great building otherwise.

But hey! Enough bad! Look at the duck! And sorry that this post is even more all over the place than usual. Nature trying to kill us has me stressed.

Friday, April 25, 2008


I did something today that was brave, risky, and possibly foolish. It's also something that, for however small it is, will quite possibly change my life in the most wonderful ways.

Backing up a bit- I've been having interviews to work at a local art supply store. And honestly, if money was tighter, it would be an awesome place to work. They're really nice, and it pays decently for a retail job. And yesterday they called and offered me a job. I gave it a lot of thought, talked it over with Charlie, and today I called and declined the offer.

I realize that turning down a good job in this sort of economy is in many ways a stupid decision. But I also think that for me, it was the best decision to make. I'm finally making headway in my art career. For some people, balancing that with a steady retail job is an ideal situation. But I know myself, and I know that I throw myself so wholeheartedly into whatever work I have, that there wouldn't necessarily be anything left for the art. And that's not okay with me.

I'm not planning to just sit at home and make toys and paintings. I'm also lining up some freelance illustration work, and I'm hoping to start teaching some art and craft classes. The whole idea is to make the work I do that isn't directly creating art be things that feed back into my creativity, things that inspire me instead of drain me. And for me, teaching a few classes does that.

I'm also fully aware that I can only do that because I'm so fortunate as to have a husband who's work pays the bills, and family and friends that would back us up if we hand some catastrophic misstep. More importantly, at least to my current mindset, is that I have a husband and family and friends who are supporting and encouraging me to pursue art. I am so lucky to have them all.

So yeah! I can't say I'm not nervous, but I feel deep in my depths that I've made the right choice. I'm an artist. Full on. It's my job.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Today is the day to decide how brave I am.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The fishboy, he is finished.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Today's work is slow going. It's turning out well, don't get me wrong, but it's a more complicated piece than I've been doing lately, and it's taking time. It'll be worth it though. As I'm getting better at what I'm doing, more and more of the time spent on art becomes worth it. Which I guess makes the time before it worth it too, because otherwise how would I have gotten to the point I am at now?

Anyhow, it's also slow going because I'm tired. For non-serious dog related reasons, I've been awoken way too early the past two days. And last night we were out late (well, late for us on a Sunday, as we've become the stay at home sort of people) at a friend's theatrical showcase. Which was awesome. I'm so proud of our actor friend, he did so well.

Charlie, of course, is even more tired than I am, as he had much the same Sunday as I did, except that he started the day by flying from Melbourne, Australia, back to Los Angeles. And he's at the office now, so he can't take a nap break the way I'm thinking I might.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

This is what I'm working on this afternoon. It's going well, and I have no doubt that this toy will be done by the time I go to bed tonight. And another one will hopefully be started.

This morning was all about errands. First the fabric store for more of the nice felt, and matching thread. Then to the pet supply store, for wet cat food and a 35 pound bag of dry dog food. A quick stop was made to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, because it's in the same parking lot as the pet supply store, I have a gift certificate, and we needed replacement wineglasses for all the ones we've broken. Then the gas station, a stop that made me glad that I walk to most places. And finally, a stop at the supermarket, for bandages (I am clumsy, and we only have the tiny bandages left), and toilet paper, and a little bit of supplementary food.

One of the food items was a rotisserie chicken, which I had part of for lunch. I'm turning a bit more of it into a chicken curry salad sandwich for dinner tonight, and a bit more of it into a chicken and mushroom savory bread pudding for dinner tomorrow. So a good purchase I think. Tasty tasty!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm waiting for Charlie to call me from the airport, before he jets off to Australia. I'm surprised how lonely it feels already. Mainly because he wouldn't be home yet anyway on the average weeknight. But also because previous to my move out to California, I had lived alone for years. Yes I had lived close by to my family, but I had an apartment to myself. But right now, tonight, I'm feeling lonely. And it's not really a bad thing, because I'm realizing that I'm lonesome for the lack of Charlie specifically. Which makes me oddly happy.

I have the odd sort of feeling you get when you move into a new place, where it doesn't seem entirely like home. And that too, I think, is the lack of Charlie. Because this apartment has only ever been my apartment with him.

Luckily, he'll be back on Sunday. And in the meantime, art art art!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm part way through painting a batch of faces (and one head) and I am flagging. And even when I finish these, I still have six unpainted faces, and one unpainted head to go. I love sculpting the faces, and I love painting, but painting faces is very tedious. That said, it so neat to see the character come out with the painting. I try not to worry about being too tidy with them, as I think it lends the faces personality if they're a little messy. It's also a reaction, I think, against my brief stint making puppets for stop-motion animation. In stop-motion, the heads generally have to be very neat painted. And that's all well and good, and something that I entirely understand from a technical standpoint, but I am at heart a messy and imperfect person, and I want my art to reflect that. Anyhow, it's something I think about every time I paint faces for toys.

It's been a mad house around here, getting back from our trips out of town, only to be thrown right into getting Charlie ready to go to Australia. And at the same time, I'm looking into getting some outside work. It's something I have to admit I have mixed feelings about. It isn't that I'm in any way lazy, it's that I've had some less than stellar work experiences in the past, and I'm a little gun-shy at this point. But I did have an interview today, and I think it went pretty well. I'm not sure if I'll get the job, but I'm no longer feeling so freaked out about going back into doing some customer service if necessary. I need to remind myself that ever job is different, and that this is actually something I'm very good at.

The other part of my resistance to this is that my work in art is finally coming together, and I'm loathe to be away from it. But at the same time, it would take only a little bit of extra money to make our household comfortable, so that wouldn't translate into all that many hours off of the art.

And I'm babbling. It's nice to have this space to work out my feelings in.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Twenty-one new standard sizes faces, one new big face, and two new heads. Not bad for a few hours of work. They're now baking in the oven, and will be painted at some point tomorrow. I'm also going to prep some small canvases tonight, and paint them at the same time as the faces.

All this work is going towards me having a big art week. Charlie is leaving for Australia on business Wednesday night, and won't be back until Sunday. I've got to admit, the idea of being without him, especially so far from my family, is a little daunting. Luckily, I have plenty of art I need to create to fill the time. I got into the Crammed Organism show, so I need to finish the toys for that. And I have at least two commissions to work on (I need to check my master list on that, but that's the amount I can think of right now). Plus I want to be able to update my shop for once. I'm actually hoping to start doing more regular updates, and making more of a business out of it. So barring any unforeseen circumstances, I'll be spending most of my weekend with art. Which is awesome. I figure I can work in the studio most of the day, and move my work to the dining room table in the evening so that I can watch movies while I sew. I'll miss Charlie deeply, especially as we were apart this weekend, and he works ungodly sorts of hours even at the best of times, but at least I'll be busy with something I love.

Speaking of being apart, Florida was worth the trip. I'm twenty times more exhausted than I was when I left, but seeing my family was so nice. I don't get down to my grandparents house nearly as often as I should. And since my parents and my siblings came down from Chicago, I got a chance to see them too, which I'm always happy for. I still miss them every day. Plus there were assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins. Plus swimming and anoles. So a good time.

And Charlie had fun in NYC. His meetings went well, he saw lots of old friends, and ate lots of tasty, tasty food. Plus he saw a bunch of awesome art, and brought me back the catalog from one of the shows.

Now if there can be a weekend coming up in which he is here with me, things will be awesome.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I've been running about wildly all day. To my knitting group, to drop off an job application (although I'm hoping I can teach classes rather work at a store or in an office, since for all that I'm very, very good at customer service and the like, it's also very, very exhausting for me, what with my social issues and all), to the post office, to the vet to drop of the boys for boarding (Charlie, sadly, is not coming with me to visit relatives, but he is going on a business trip to New York). And now that I'm home I've been mainly getting household stuff wrapped up, so that we don't return to a complete disaster. So no real art today, although I did do a little sketch of a knitted toy I'd like to make.

Tomorrow we will get up bright and early to be off to the airport. Although our flights only leave a half hour apart, we're on different airlines, so we won't be able to wait together. Then at the other end, I will meet my family. We will collect our bags, get our rental car, and head off to my grandparents house. Once there, I suspect it will mainly be hanging out, chatting, going on walks, and swimming in the pool. A low key sort of time. I'm very happy about this.

If I get a chance to get on to my grandpa's computer, I'll try to update. If not, I'll report back on Sunday!

Editing to add: I wanted clarify, re: teaching versus customer service, that I've had both jobs before. Teaching doesn't give me the kind of massive anxiety customer service does. It's difficult, and tiring, but I don't stay awake all night panicking about work the next day. Plus I actually enjoy it, and feel like I have skills to share.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The toy from yesterday is finished. It makes me happy. Which is good, because there's a lot wrong in my life and the world right now.

The other thing that's making me happy is that Thursday I fly out to Florida to stay at my grandparents house for a long weekend. My parents and my siblings are flying in to. My aunt and uncle and my two boy cousins are driving in. The other aunt and uncle on that side of the family, along with the two girl cousins, live a few miles from my grandparents. In other words, I'm am getting to see the majority of my family this weekend, and it's awesome.

Monday, April 07, 2008

This is what I've been working on today. It has a little ways to go, but it should be finished by some time tomorrow at the latest.

Really today should have been about making new faces, and doing a small painting I need to get ready for an auction. And these will be the main things I work on tomorrow. It takes a lot of willpower to be self-employed, and some days I do better with that than others. At least I got work done. But it would have been a better day if I had gotten different work done.

That said, what I really wanted to do with my day, in my heart of hearts, was to nuzzle fuzzy kitten tummies and silky puppy ears. Which actually, I may need to take a break soon to do. Because man are those little guys inviting.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I gave myself a haircut! Charlie helped!

Now we're going to Sears, because I need jeans that don't have holes in inapporpriate areas, and I also may need a jean skirt.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I gave Charlie a buzz cut this morning. Now I'm seriously considering giving myself one. I like my hair, don't get me wrong, but it's such a hassle. At the length it is, it really needs to be blown dry to look good, and I don't really like doing that. Charlie is encouraging me do cut it, as he thinks I look especially cute with the buzz.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The seamonster I showed in progress before? She is done!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sewing down individual sequins is time consuming, especially if they are far enough apart that you need to start new knot each time. This is something I had long known intellectually, but it's still a little surprising to me in practice. No matter. I'm having a lot of fun with this one. She's the first in what I hope will be a long series of seamonsters. Or rather, water monsters, because while I see her as a seamonster, I also want to make lakemonsters and rivermonsters and bathtubmonsters.

I learned to swim before I could walk, and I walk early. I feel so at home in the water, and frequently wish that I could conduct more of my daily business from the shower. Hopefully soon I'm going to start swimming regularly. I think it will improve my life greatly.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

After letting it sit for a week (if you were guessing that my knitting group meets on Wednesdays, you would be correct!) I got back to my green sock, and made a little progress. Not a lot. But I've made enough progress that I can tell that my theory that as the ankle started to grow, the foot would start to fit better was correct. Which was a relief, because I didn't want to rip out. And I like my socks to fit a bit tightly, especially handknit socks, so it's all just fine. I'm feeling excited about them again.

The baby shower I went to today was tons of fun, and the food (done potluck style) was wonderful. My spanakopita was enjoyed, and I'm going to be putting together something of a recipe to share, both with the people who attended the shower, and with anyone who reads the blog. Get ready for easy! I would give more of a rundown of the shower itself, but I've had a bit to much caffiene, and I am all jittery and scattered.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Progress on this little seagirl was interrupted early on, when I realized that I needed to make spanakopita for a baby shower I'm going to tomorrow. So I'm not quite where I thought I'd be work-wise at this point in the day. On the other hand, I made extra spanakopita when I was cooking, so I'm ahead on dinner. It evens out.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Yellow Bird

I just finished making this little guy. He's for an auction to benefit the nursery school my mother teaches at, the same school that I went to when I was the age her students are now. She was a teacher there when I was a student (she's been teaching there a long time). Pilgrim is a great school. I'd send my future kids there if I still lived in the area.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Did anyone else do Earth Hour? We did, and it was really fun. I think we may need to have dark evenings more often. Reading and chatting by candlelight, playing with the cat and the dog, having a beer. It was all very relaxing. A good reminder of how little it takes in life to have a good time.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Today we went to the Huntington with Brianna. Which was fun, but also really, really exhausting. It feels like it shouldn't be, but it is. It was also super, super crowded today. I don't know what was going on, but there must have been some event.

Friday, March 28, 2008

First of all, I want to point out that Jezebel/Fine Lines is talking about The Westing Game. As soon as I saw that, I had to run to the other room to find my copy, and I suspect I'll be re-reading it this weekend. Not only is The Westing Game one of my favorite childhood books, it's one of my favorite books period. And Ellen Raskin wrote a bunch of other good books too, although I think my copies of the other ones are still in Chicago. I'll have to remember to pick them up in June.

In other news, I have been carving more stamps.

I've thought up some ideas to use them, which I'll share once I try them out. But I really like them. They make me smile.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Not Dead!

This has been absolutely fascinating to me lately:

The Wikipedia list of premature obituaries.

I feel sort of ghoulish getting so much pleasure about it, although I suppose the fact that the people weren't actually dead (hence premature obituaries) lessens that. It's just so interesting. Plus, I like knowing things. Especially things that are, for all purposes in my life, rather trivial. Trivial Pursuit is one of my favorite board games, because I'm either winning or learning something. My brain is really, really suited to holding on the most useless crap possible.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Last night we were watching a movie (This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which is an excellent documentary that anyone with an interest in film, censorship, or conspiracies should see), and while we watched I was knitting. I got to the spot on the green sock where the heel should start. And I thought, well this is great, I'll knit this heel up real quick and I can be at an easier part for my knitting group tomorrow. This was stupid. Starting to knit a stretch that's hard to stop in the middle of is not something one should do when bedtime approaches. Also, at least for me, short rows aren't the best idea when I'm tired. That said, for awhile, it was going well. I was more than half way done. And I was rushing, because I wanted to go to bed at a reasonable hour. You see where this is going, don't you. Picking up a tight wrap, a stitch drop. Or something. Honestly, I'm not sure what went wrong. It seemed to be messed up in a way that defied both physics and all sorts of logic. And since I couldn't figure out what I did wrong, I couldn't fix it. So I had to rip out the entire almost finished heel. There was a lot of swearing. Then the stitches I had ripped back wouldn't go back on the needles easily. There was then more swearing, and also crying. Then some stomping around the house, and some throwing the sock down on my work table and slamming the office door. I left it until morning.

This morning, after getting at least a little sleep, I picked up the stitches again. And tonight after dinner, I knit the heel again. This time it worked. I took my time, and it worked. Of course, I'm not entirely sure the foot was long enough after all, but that's an issue I can figure out tomorrow.

I also did some more stamp carving this afternoon. I really like this one. It's the stamp version of the felt and polymer birds I've been making.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Upon reading this entry on iHanna's blog, I realized that it had been a long time since I had carved any stamps. Too long, really. So this afternoon I took a break from my sewing and did some carving. This is one of the stamps I carved.

I can definitely tell I haven't played with the carving tools in awhile, and it's a lot cutesier than I usually work, but I like it. And I like carving again. I need to do this more often.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Yesterday was a lot busier than I expected, but definitely fun. I'm still exhausted from it. Worth it, but still exhausted.

The day started off with dim sum at Empress Pavilion. Even though we had been to Dumpling Master for dinner on Friday night, I was still super excited and happy to start my Sunday with dumplings. Honestly, I could probably eat dumplings pretty much every day. I love them deeply.

The middle of the day was spent introducing a friend to the kitten, and then taking a stroll around Pasadena. Phone calls were made, plans began to materialize, and I was to make dinner for six.
I actually went with the exact same menu I had planned when I thought it was just going to be Charlie and me. The only difference is that I have fewer leftovers.

The menu-
Leg of lamb, marinated in garlic, rosemary, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Roasted in the oven, because we haven't gotten a grill yet.

Potatoes, roasted with the lamb, and then fried up on the stove because they hadn't cooked enough in the roasting pan.

A nice pan sauce from the lamb drippings, drizzled over the lamb and the potatoes.

Eggplant sauteed into something of a stew with onions, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic.


Homemade frozen yogurt.

Bread and apple pudding, flavored with vanilla bean and amaretto.

I think it all went pretty well. I certainly had fun.

Today I've been using the lamb left on the bone, and a bunch of other leftovers from the weekend to make a huge pot of chili. That's the big red pot in the picture. It's becoming something of a tradition in our household that after a big dinner party or holiday meal, I turn the leftover meat into chili. It isn't as fancy as the meals the meat is left from, but I think I look forward to it even more. Partly because I'm a big fan of chili, and love playing around with making different kinds, but also because when you make this big of a pot of anything, you can freeze it and eat for quite awhile.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hey! Happy Easter!

I just through an impromptu dinner party for six. It was awesome, and I believe fun was had by all. Also lamb. Lamb was had by all.

Before that was a Easter dim sum brunch, which was so awesome it may need to be a new tradition.

All in all, it was a great day, both for food and in general. More details tomorrow, when I am not so tired.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

For my mom, who wanted a picture showing how big the cat is.

Friday, March 21, 2008

We've been having a truly lovely day here. Charlie had today off of work, so we were able to spend the morning in our pajamas, reading and playing video games. The afternoon was spent thrifting and book shopping. I believe tonight we are going out for dinner. There's been a lot of playing with the cat and the dog. It's my favorite sort of day.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm not always crazy about living in Southern California. Really, if there was more film for Charlie to work in in Chicago I'd want to be back there in a heartbeat. But there are certainly perks of living here.

For instance- today is the first day of spring, and it actually feels like spring. There are little pink flowers starting to bloom on the bush outside my office window. And while I spent $54 filling my car with gas today, at least it was not covered in a thick layer of ice.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Headache. Bad headache, behind my right eye. Not feeling super functional.

On the other hand, sock progress! Yay! This isn't my first time making socks, but these are my first toe-up pair, my first self striping sock yarn, and my first knee socks. It's going quite well on all fronts so far. I adore, ADORE, the colors.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My yarn arrived!

Guess who is making herself some knee socks?!?!?!?
(The color is even better in person- a good deal warmer and grassier, more vivid and alive.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

I am entirely too enamored of the new cat (and our dog, who continues to be fabulous) to get as much work done as I should. But I'm still poking away at things, getting things ready to go. These (very) rough sketches are for sea-monster toys. I'm not sure whether I want to use them for a specific show or auction, or it I just want to make them and put them up in the shop. Probably both, provided they turn out well, as I rather like the idea of sea-monsters.

On an unrelated note, Charlie and I were dining at home with a friend last night, when Charlie glanced out the window and saw a peacock on top of the building across the street. The friend and I didn't turn fast enough to see it, but when we went out on the the patio to look, we saw four peacocks near the top of the tall tree next to the building. I would have taken pictures, but it was too dark out when it happened to get a good shot. At any rate, it was very cool, and extremely bizarre. I had never thought of peacocks going that high up, although when I told my mom about it she said that friends of hers with peacocks will sometimes find them on the roof of the barn. I suspect my peacocks are from the L.A. Arboretum, which isn't far from us, and has peacocks (which roam the grounds there) escape from time to time.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


We got a new cat!
Meet Bertram, named for Bertie Wooster of Wodehouse fame. He's a year and half old (or so the shelter estimated) and was found as a stray in Glendale. He's outgoing and affectionate, and we already love him to bits.