Monday, April 30, 2007

Fabric makes me woozy


I'll tell you all about it, once I'm able to get up off the floor.

Also? I still love Ryan Gosling.

That is all.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


The designer and creator of these awesome slippers gave the go-ahead in yesterday's comments to post photos of said slippers. So here they are!

I did not make these. But I want to make them. Real bad.

So cute!! Want the pattern? Click here.

Want to go to Superbuzzy, who has shipped my bird fabric and made me all atwitter with anticipation, and who alerted me to these slippers in the first place? Click here.

Now. Here's the next question.

Do you want some awesome/geeky/clever/great badges that would look really cute on some slippers if they really existed as badges? I know the answer is yes.

The Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique has constructed many, many super kick-ass nerdy badges, including an arts and crafts badge. The duck pictured above is the "destroyer of quackery" badge:
"In which the recipient never ever backs down from an argument that pits sound science over quackery."
Click here and look at all the glorious badges. If you're a hard-core nerd/geek/cool/hip kid, you won't be disappointed. (via BoingBoing)

Hey! After you look around, come back and tell me:
(1) which badge(s) you think you deserve, and
(2) which badge(s) you would get in that other life you didn't get to have because you were so busy having this one.

Badges and patches are cool!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Crochet redeems itself. For a moment.

I don't know that my overall position has changed on crochet (read about my overall position here), but these *cursing* *cursing* slippers really go a long way toward elevating the form.

Click here to see. They are called Babushka ballerinatofler. [I would've put the photo here, but they said right there I couldn't, so I didn't. Just go look and come back.]

Did you see those little iron-on patches?!

And the soothing shape of the slippers themselves?!

Yeah. So, I'm looking at these things, I'm punching stuff because they're so cute, and I realize I may have to re-give in to the crochet.

I'm guessing the designer is trying to win a toaster for recruiting crochet skeptics (or she's just a kind person), because she graciously shares her pattern here. In two languages!

Never let it be said I'm not flexible or willing to reconsider the merits of something. You can fairly say I'll be grouchy about it, but you can't say I won't do it. Because I will. This post, if nothing else, should demonstrate that.

(These slippers are via Superbuzzy, who - for some reason - thinks I live in an area not served by the US Postal Service, and so will not let me order that godforsaken bird fabric already. Yeah. Just a little grouchy.)


Edited to add: Problem was not with Superbuzzy, but with the USPS. The lovely people at Superbuzzy responded promptly to my concern, and my order is officially placed! Woo-hoo! Bye-bye, grouchies. Hello, bird fabric!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Venn diagrams are hilarious

My beloved NWAI just sent me this link to a Village Voice music review that I highly recommend.

(Please note: It has very little to do with crafts. It has diagrams, but that's pretty much where its relevance ends.)

Here's the point. This article manages to attend to my love of thorough-going analysis, my loathing of tautology, and my love/hate relationship with hip-hop.

I haven't heard the song being reviewed, but this article does a good job of piquing my interest.

And I do love those Venn diagrams.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Things I'm loving

Chevron Scarf. Lumpy, but growing.

Where have I been? What is the deal with my not posting? So sorry. For a stretch of time there I couldn't even find my computer. Turns out it was buried beneath Quiltie and Articles (Quiltie and Articles -- a play in three acts -- can be seen at a community theater near you). Things have settled down here a bit, so things should be back to normal in the posting department.

So, I was gonna write a whole post about how much I love Ryan Gosling. I really was. I was going to go on and on about how I have a physiological reaction when I see him, a reaction that is truly beyond my control, and about how I found out only recently that he knits scarves, and how that information was just gravy on the already-delicious mashed potatoes of my love for him. But it became clear that, were I to write about that, it would quickly become super weird and creepy.

Kinda like it just did.

So! Hey! Here are two other things I am currently loving, that are not at all creepy or weird! Just lovely and delicious. I assure you.

First: Color combination sites.

Colourlovers is one, and the color palette above is Grapevine Marmelade.

Kuler is another, and I've mentioned it before.

As I've said before, whether you're looking to put a room together, design a greeting card or a scarf, or figure out how you want to color-code your files, these sites are inspiring, fun, and useful! Check them out.

And, second: The magic and beauty that is Hillary Lang.

Wee Wonderfuls is her teeth-shatteringly great blog. When you go over there, be prepared to view an ungodly number of cute things. If you aren't ready for cute things, or you are allergic or something, then I'll advise you to steer clear. Unless you like stuffed robots. Or kick-ass quilting. And in that case, I'd say take a pill and get on with it already.

Recently, blog people were all abuzz about one of her quilts, and for good reason. When you click on the quilting link above, it's the red quilt. Look closely to see that where she made mistakes on the quilt, she sewed on strips of fabric with words of caution/advice on them. Genius! Seriously.

There are other things I'm loving, like the 12-week old apricot poodle puppy I saw today out at the farmer's market, and the Kiwi Strawberry Hansen's soda my sidekick bought for me the other day, and the new couch we have which puts a person to sleep instantly with its cozy powers.

I think I will go sit on that new couch right now and work on the Chevron Scarf.

I bet Ryan Gosling would approve of this scarf. But that's neither here nor there.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

There he is.

Look who came out of hiding for some re-marking.

I think Quiltie's had some time to think. And so have I, frankly. And after this period of reflection, I've realized I've got a tedious, tedious job of ahead of me, but one well worth the trouble.

I shall re-mark every mark that Quiltie went and ate back in the day.

I'll do it because it's long overdue. I'll do it because it's an exercise in revisiting unfinished business. But mostly I'll do it because, after that mocking from my Craft magazine, I've gotta do something to reclaim my craftiness.

I think Quiltie's on board this time around and won't try any foolishness. Just to be safe, though, I'm going to use that Hera marking tool which makes inedible markings. (Not indelible. In-edible. He ate my markings last time!)

Sorry, Quiltie. Let's just get some time under our belts, and then I promise we'll regain that trust. Someday soon, I'll sit under you like Betsy Ross, stitching and whistling a tune. And that will be just grand.

Quiltie, everyone!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Transforming traditional crafts, indeed.

My third issue of Craft magazine is mocking me.

You call yourself a crafter?

When's the last time you set some stones in a bit of twisted wire? Or made your own lip balm? Or silkscreened something?




Okay. Well, when's the last time you made some doll clothes?

Yeah. That's what I thought.

So, have you ever stuck eyeballs on anything? Like, say, a lamp?


Fed up and sure I'll never say yes to anything, the magazine dispenses with the questions and just goes with a list.

Used a mold. Recycled pull tabs into art. Made a finger puppet.

Still, nothing?

My magazine shakes itself at me. (Not having a head, this is the best it can do to demonstrate its overwhelming sense of disdain.) Unable to resist, it hurls the obvious last zinger at me before slamming itself shut.

And you call yourself a crafter.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

When good intentions happen to good people

These little angora booties are from the very tasty Last Minute Knitted Gifts, a book full of absolutely beautiful items in it for the knitting. So soft and cute and soothing and wee.

How are your teeth? Hurting? Yeah. I thought they might be. Here, let me help you out with that. You don't want to go through your whole day with painful teeth.

Aaaaaaargh! My eyes! Your eyes! Ooof! It's a trade-off, the teeth for the eyes. Not sure which is worse. But, man that is unpleasant to look at.

Allow me to explain/defend/ask for your support and pity.

First of all, the yarn is not that bright in real life. Really. I'd tell you if it was. It's a perfectly reasonable shade of... that color.

Second, my local yarn store does not carry angora. They may physically push you over if you've got a good yarn combination in your hands, but they draw the line at selling you yarn made of bunny. Aren't gonna do it. They will sell you this incredibly soft and fuzzy synthetic yarn as a substitute. Perfectly ok by me. I've got no stake in knitting with angora. Fine.

Nice lady working at the yarn store: You will have to double this up, but that won't be a problem. Just use both ends of the ball of yarn at the same time, hold the two strands together, and knit them like they were one strand of yarn. Oh, also! While you're knitting, be sure to keep the ball of yarn in a very small Ziploc bag. Very small. Like snack-size. Otherwise you're gonna have a huge, tangled mess on your hands. You don't want that, and I don't want that. You'll hate me.

Me: Ok.

Gratitude for still standing upright at the end of this exchange? Enormous! Giant, flapping red flags being waved right in front of my face? Ignored!

Me (at home, later that afternoon): La la la. Let me get a little Ziploc bag. I'm gonna make some booties! (I look in the cupboard. Gallon-sized only. Too big.) Huh! Well. I'm not going to leave the house in this situation, because that would be excessive. What can I use instead? What oh what? Hey! My PIC gave me these cute zip-top nylon bags. One of them is quite small. That should do just fine!

It was a tight squeeze, but the lady did say "very small". There was a little concern at this point that the yarn might get caught in the zipper while I was knitting, but the concern was overshadowed by how cute those booties were gonna be. Cute!

So, you know what? The yarn getting caught in that zipper was so the least of my problems. I wish that had been my biggest problem.

For this pattern, it's pretty imperative that you be able to see your stitches on the needle as you're knitting. You know, like this is a stitch. Let me put my needle in there. Not, is that a stitch or is that just fuzz? Or, is that both strands of yarn or just one? Or is it just fuzz?!

I won't curse at this time. I'll allow you to imagine the most colorful string of expletives you can, and then insert them here. Because right here is where those go. I can tell you that very clearly. I am quite sure this space right here is not fuzz, so you can put your curse words here with confidence.


So, this is pretty much a disaster for the reasons I've alluded to. I now have the wrong number of stitches on my needle, and there's this crazy thing you have to do in the pattern where you can't just cheat. I would rip the whole thing out and start over -- maybe not doubling the yarn -- but the store lady made the tangling-up seem like such a nightmare, I'm afraid to try to pull it out. Waaah. Life is hard.

Hey! This seems like the perfect time for some fresh-squeezed, life-lemons lemonade! Anyone need a tiny, tiny square of fuschia-ish fuzz? It's quite soft.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A sign that I've had time to watch TV

Behold! My Chevron Scarf has doubled in size! That is due in no small part to the Battlestar Galactica mini-marathon my sidekick and I had the other night. (I can't sit and just watch that show. Really. I'd feel twelve kinds of bad if I just sat and watched.)

This progress makes the scarf all of 4 inches long. So that's real good.

Also? I was poking around on people's blogrolls (now that sounds dirty), and on yes, I MADE that there was this link to Kuler. I haven't looked too closely yet, but Kuler appears to be a site that is all about color combinations -- tasty, fantastic, pull-my-eyes-out good color combinations. Go look! It's so soothing!! (How often do I use multiple exclamation points? Rarely. So you know I mean it.) Totally useful for every kind of craft there is, including home decoration or arranging food on a plate in a pleasing way (so that second one is a stretch. And?). Go check it out.

Someday I'll be able to do all that crafting I was doing before. Remember that? When I made all kinds of stuff? That was fun. More of that, please. Oh no? I have to figure out where to put all those articles? Hm. Well. I'll just think of that as crafting. Mind-burning, soul-twisting, weird-memories-eliciting crafting. That should make it fantastic.

Maybe I'll start a blog about that. I'll use all of Leopold's ideas from yesterday's comments and will post every day about how I used my articles as kitchen tiles and mattress filling. You'd read that, right?



(shaking my fists at the heavens) Aaaarticleeees!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

How do you solve a problem like this paper?

There are lots of good things about having gone to school for twelve hundred and three years. Really. Lots.

Those things aren't coming to mind at the moment, because all I can think about right now is the debris that's been left behind. Seven years of graduate school makes for quite the mess -- binders, books, flashcards, articles... Oh, the articles.

While I was writing my dissertation, my wasband and I started referring to articles as my arch-nemesis Articles (pronounced ar'-ti-clees). And let me tell you something, I have got so many binders full of Articles, it's ridiculous.

As we sit here, those binders are occupying a large parcel of real estate in my home -- precious space that could be inhabited by yarn or fabric or other crafty items. How dare Articles continue to monopolize my life, lo these many years later!

I am going to gain the upper hand with my arch-nemesis once and for all. You'll see.

One small problem, though: It would seem like throwing perfectly good money away if I just got rid of them. Even if I recycled the paper, I would feel terrible about tossing thousands of dollars' worth of resources right out the proverbial window.

You know we have the internet now. You can just look stuff up if you needed to.

Sure. Yes. Ok. Maybe. But that's hardly the same. Does the internet have my very own highlighting and notes in the margins? Don't think so. Are the syllabi from courses I've taken on the internet? No. No, they're not. How about all my carefully-taken notes from classes? Not gonna be able to Google those.

Why would you need any of those things?

You never know. I might just... I don't know!

I'm thinking of scanning some of the more important articles, burning those to a CD, and recycling the rest. How does that sound? Space-saving at a minimum. Time-consuming at a maximum. But, I can't think of a better solution.

What have other people done with all their old school stuff? Do people mostly just chuck it?

I'll tell you what I will not do: get a storage unit. If Articles wants his own place, he can pay for it himself. I am not paying rent for Articles. That dude has cost me enough already.

Seriously. Any and all ideas (except for the aforementioned storage unit) are welcome. You'd think that with all that schooling I could figure this out. But you know what? It's always better to collaborate.

With the power of the internet and the pressure from my crafting supplies, together we will overthrow Articles once and for all! Who's with me? Huzzah!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Do not count me out, fellow knitters

The Chevron Scarf is officially underway.

Yes. I have said this before. But this time, I mean it. Want proof?

Ha HA! I have knit a few rows. That makes it official.

This terrible photo clearly shows how beautifully the two yarns alternate. You've got your green rows then your multi-colored rows. Delicious! I think it should be good. I also think it should be finished right in time for the red-hot summer. Because my timing is nothing if not horrible.

But you know what? If women can walk around in high heels, destroying their feet and backs for the sake of beauty, I can certainly wear a woolen scarf in the height of summer, no? Oh, right. I would look insane if I did that. Look at that woman! What is she doing to her neck? Why in the world would she be wearing a wool scarf this time of year? So she can show off her knitting? How ridiculous! And insane!

Oh! But maybe if I wear my high heels while wearing the scarf, people will understand. They'll be so taken by my stunning shoes, they will see that I am not insane, I am just fashionable. And then they, too, will want to wear a woolen scarf in the middle of the red-hot summer.

Genius, me!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Have a little time to kill?

Dude. Quizzes. Right?

Here's what I'd say about the online quiz, in general. In the "pro" column we've got their time-killing and sometimes ego-boosting properties. In the "con" column we've got the fact that they are eye-burningly hideous to look at, generally cheesy, and usually made for either the twelve year-old or the perv.

I don't want to oversell them, but with their lovely design and quite pleasing content, Modesty Panel quizzes are awesome.

I took two of them just now. So you know, I am better at telling the difference between food and poo than I am at knowing the difference between Art and Crap. All things considered, I think that's probably for the best.

(Be forewarned: If you take the Snack or Scat quiz [and don't think I don't know that's the first one you'll take, PIC], be prepared for some pretty hideous photos when you get your results.)

Click here to go take yourself some quick quizzes, and then come back and tell me how you did.

Also? Crafting-related posts will resume a-sap, once I go through my house and make sure I've tossed out all the Crap instead of the Art.

(via How About Orange)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Overheard at Crate and Barrel

My sidekick and I were strolling through our local Crate and Barrel, and we passed by as a woman was stroking the top of a coffee table.

Woman to cheery salesdude: What is this top made of? Is this faux marble?
Cheery salesdude: No, ma'am. That is travertine tile.
Woman: Oh! (She looked more closely.)
Cheery salesdude: Yep! Nothing here is fake. They sell that at Pottery Barn.
Sidekick and I (simultaneously, over our shoulders, and out loud): Oh, snap!

We all had a nice laugh after that. It was funny mostly because the salesdude was openly and chipper-ly slamming Pottery Barn. But I think some of the laughter could have been at us and our use of the now-outdated expletive "snap". The kids are long done with "snap" and are no doubt up to much more interesting and dynamic ways to underscore someone else's humiliation. We just don't know what those ways are yet. So, who are we to think we can say "snap", and say it with feeling, without looking like complete dorks?

The answer should be obvious. And that's Doctor Complete Dork to you.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Did I ever show you this scarf?

This was one of the first scarves I ever knitted. Back in '04.

Life was easier back then.

Ah, back in '04 I'd go to the store, and some yarn would catch my eye. (This will be the opening line of my book of poetry: Ernest Tender presents Sweaters and Yanni. The poem will be called Mittens. Look for it at a bookseller near you.)

Anyhoo, back to the yarn. Here's what I'd think back then: Nubblets of color. Just a touch of the shiny. Little furry parts? I'm intrigued.

And that's all it took. I was so amazed they could cram all that mess into one yarn, I'd buy it. I'd sit and knit with that yarn, and next thing you know I'd have a scarf.

No longer sufficient! I can't just go to the store and pick out a hodgepodge of a yarn and make a scarf. Don't be ridiculous! This is what happens in my mind at the yarn store now:

I would never like or wear something made of this.

And that's the end of that.

And yet, I wear the shiny, furry, nubbletty scarf a lot. It is not comfy, cozy, or particularly pretty. But it goes with just about every damn thing I own. It just does.

I long for simpler days, people. I really do.

Maybe I will turn April around with a new rule: new yarn must have at least 5 mix-ins. Toffee, chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, Heath bar, and fudge. Yes. That's it. That is exactly the next yarn I am going to buy. And then I am going to make the most delicious scarf you ever saw. And you will want to eat it, and you will ask me if you can have a bite, and I will say, "No. You most certainly may not." And since it will go with everything I own, I shall wear it every day.

Simpler days, here I come!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Overheard at the fancy supermarket

Small woman, mid-20s, pushes past me line to meet up with the dude she's with. She's holding a giant bottle of some beverage with a drawing of some pears on it.

Small woman: Oh my GOD! I had this in Europe, and it's AMAZING!
Dude: Really?
SW: It's AMAZING! It's completely amazing. I had it in Europe. And it's SO amazing.
Dude: Huh.
SW: I wonder where it's from. It is SO good.

She looks closely at the bottle, reading.

SW: I would think it's made in Europe. It's so incredible. (She keeps reading. She stops cold.) Florida?!
Dude: Huh.
SW: It's made in Florida?! (Panic time.)
Dude: Wow.
SW: Oh, no. (Sigh of relief washes over her.) It's just distributed by Florida.

Once she said it was distributed by Florida, I was out. That was all I needed.

I may've gone to the fancy supermarket for the eclairs and the deal on Vitamin water, but I most certainly left with more than that. I left knowing that there's a pear drink out there that is European-ly delicious. And that that very drink is distributed by Florida. And that that woman -- the one who pushed past me with glee and pride -- will be able to sleep tonight, knowing that the amazing drink she had in Europe was not made in Florida.

Everything's gonna be all right, everybody.