Thursday, June 28, 2007

I've got your soft dreamy layers right here, pal.

The sweet UPS guy just delivered my order from Purl (which got here so fast), and it is full of glorious random items.

Sure, I'd gone to Purl to buy a magazine for a particular pattern, but while I was there, it seemed only reasonable to get some stuffing for a someday pillow, some tester sizes of the soap that people love for their handmades, and three Robert Kaufman fabrics - berry, coal, and cocoa - also for the someday pillow. Right? I don't want to make a big plane fly and a big truck drive all the way here just to hand me a magazine.

I am overwhelmed with excitement and confusion.

What will become of me and my dreamy layers?


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Overwhelm of Meta-crafting

Crafting in today's world - i.e., The Future - has become glorious yet strange. And I'm really feeling the strange these days.

Allow me to do a thoroughly unscientific, completely unresearched, and not at all valid bit of analysis to make my point.

Let's just use quilting as our example, because it's easy. Back in the day, quilts were mostly function. Some style, sure. But mostly function. The steps involved were the following (according to this made-up history I'm constructing):

1. Gather up fabric items that are damaged beyond repair and/or outgrown.
2. Cut said fabric up into useable shapes.
3. Sew useable shapes up using needle and thread to make new useable item.
4. Put useable item to use.
5. Repeat from 1 when appropriate.

In the future (you know, the time we are living in right now), the steps can be very different. And by different I mean overwhelming.

Now, I know that in many places the traditional 5 steps are not only necessary, they are the only steps. The overwhelm I'm describing is absolutely, unequivocally a First World problem. I am clear about that. Please don't think I'm unclear about that.

That being said, here are the Steps in Quilting Today that will lead a person straight to Overwhelm City.

1. See fabrics and quilts on the internet or on crafting shows that you've recorded on TiVo.
1a. Leave an effusive comment if the quilt you saw was on someone's blog.
2. Find book or online information about how to create quilt using many techniques.
3. Order fabrics online and/or go to quilting/fabric store to buy brand new fabric.
4. Wash brand new fabric to remove sizing and to make sure colors won't bleed.
5. Iron washed fabrics.
6. Gather equipment for cutting fabric - rotary cutter, cutting mat, ruler.
7. Cut fabrics with equipment using patterns and/or precise measuring.
7a. Replace cutting blades regularly.
8. Sew fabrics with sewing machine or by hand.
9. Iron as you sew.
10. Take photographs of process using digital camera.
11. Upload photos onto computer.
12. Modify photos using photo software.
12a. Create and maintain a set of photos on Flickr to capture the workings of this project.
13. Blog about process.
13a. Write clever and/or useful commentary.
13b. Include photos.
14. Check for comments on blog.
15. Respond to comments on blog.
16. Continue to sew quilt.
17. Repeat 10-16 until quilt is complete.
18. Figure out whether to turn quilt into useable item or hang on wall, as Steps 1-17 have taken two years.

It should seem pretty obvious that there are many places where the whole thing can fall apart, what with all those steps. I get lazy just looking at all those steps. If I'm honest, it's the 13s that are really killing me. Well, 13 and 15. Oh. And 16. Whatever.

But Dr. B., it doesn't have to be that hard. Just make the quilt and don't worry about all the extra bells and whistles. Don't let the meta-crafting interfere with the crafting-crafting.

If only it were that easy. Once you're into this thing, you're in. {sigh}

Quiltie, hang in there. Mama's gotta watch her TV shows and do some more blogging before she can get to you. But you'll be ok. You've made it this far. Just think, some day you and I will reach 17 together, and we will be so happy. Won't that be great, Quiltie?


The Future!

Friday, June 22, 2007

The tallest yarn

News flash: I'm no artist.

As you'll recall, here's the drawing I did -- from memory -- of the giant haul of yarn that my PIC's sister brought back from Argentina.

We all agree that, while this is a stunning image in many, many ways, I shouldn't quit my day job to become an illustrator just yet.

What I might want to do, though, is turn my ability to predict the future into cash money.

Remember as I was leaving, I posted that I was gonna take photos of the yarn? I didn't tell my PIC this. She had no idea I was going to ask her to pose for such a ridiculous thing. However, when I showed up to her house, she was wearing the outfit I had drawn her in (except for the shoes. As I said, she'd never wear grey shoes.)! Check it out in this backlit photo!

I'm also psychic enough to know that many of you hate that picture because you can't see the yarn.

So here. Let's step out onto the patio.


Dudes! Check it out! Everything is all smushed down, so it's not seeming as tall as it really is. But, I am here to tell you, it's the height of a six year-old. And it is such. Good. Yarn.

Also? I came through on this intention to take and post these photos. Let's make sure we don't forget that. I'm probably gonna need to cash that in at some point. Since I do have the power to see the future, I can tell you with quite a bit of certainty that I will surely blow it in the follow-through department. You'll remember this then, won't you?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Visiting The Haul

I'm running out the door to go visit my PIC and The Argentinian Haul.

I'll take my camera this time, and maybe - just maybe - I'll be able to capture the magnitude of what I've been talking about here.

Knowing me, though, I'll come back with a bunch of hemming and/or hawing about how this picture doesn't really do it justice, or how I couldn't really get any good pictures because we found ourselves buried under all the yarn, or how I totally forgot to take pictures because we were swept away into a time warp.

The point is this: I have very good intentions (which you know I have in general). Those intentions are currently set to "make sure to take good pictures of all the yarn" and "post those good pictures on the blog". My intentions are pure.

Here's what you can do for me: Keep on breathing. Please don't suspend said breathing while waiting for photos. I care about you too much to see you lose precious oxygen to the brain.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm getting clothes dirty right now.

Projects or tasks that seem to be never-ending cause me a great deal of consternation.

Take laundry, for example. I have many beefs with laundry. This is but one: It never ends. Ever. As the title of this post suggests, I'm sitting here right now, minding my own business, and my clothes are getting dirty. Not because I'm sitting in filth. But because that's how it is. It is the very nature of laundry itself, to always be recruiting perfectly good clothes into taking its dirty laundry form. I hate it.

I think this is part of why I fancy the crafting. If you are a responsible crafter, you can -- in theory -- complete something. And that's it. It's over.

Let's not split hairs about who finishes things and who doesn't, or who thought hand-quilting a queen-sized quilt was a good idea. Let's just not.

I'd like to simply go on record as saying that sometimes organizing one's supplies can be one of those endless things, and this Ravelry thing may be a very slow boat for me. It's a good thing. Just like fresh laundry is a good thing. But I think, if I'm honest, organizing and cataloguing my stash might just kick my ass.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Happy birthday to Mue

My adorable mother is having a birthday tomorrow! Hooray for her being born!

I would go on and on about all the amazing things you should know about her -- like about how she has super-powers, and how she can make things happen for people with those powers; and how she raised me and my brother to feel like the most special people on the planet, capable of doing or being anything; or how she's just really, really cute -- but you would just get jealous, and then you wouldn't read my blog, and then I'd be sad. And my mommy wouldn't want me to be sad.

So, as a little tribute to my mom, please enjoy this little girl singing this adorable song.

Happy Birthday, Mue!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Super cute wall decals

You know I generally prefer the handmade gift over the store-bought gift. On principle, I think doing a make, and then giving the make away are key to everything.


Every now and again, I've gotta give props where props are due. And these Blik wall decals are so prop-worthy, it's not even funny.

My PIC and I saw some of these in person in Vancouver recently and just couldn't bring ourselves to buy them. Even though they are re-positionable, removable, and downright adorable, we couldn't justify the purchase.

But, let me tell you, they are not making it easy to resist. Go over there and see what I mean.

P.S. Don't miss the Rainbow Poops.

(I also highly recommend saying that P.S. as often as possible. It might just be the very thing your life has been missing. No? Just me? Ok, then. Just me. Well, me and probably my wasband.)

(via not martha)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

So many ways to blow it. So little time.

I don't know what to tell you. Sometimes everything seems just fine. La la la.

And then you look a little closer -- perhaps in better light -- and it's not fine.

And then you wonder, "Why did I look closer? Everything was so perfectly fine before I went and did that."

If I were a different person, I could move past the cable-like nubbin ridge (CLNR) in the middle of my Chevron scarf. I would throw caution to the wind, embrace the imperfection that is life itself, and I would move on. Not rip the thing back. Just move on.

So, next step: Get my hands on one of those devices that turns you into a different person.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Yarn is weird

You know how when you look at something for a long time, it can start to look really weird? when you spell a word, and you know it's spelled correctly, but all of a sudden it just looks strange?

That's how I'm starting to feel about my yarn.

I'm sure these yarns are just fine. Exactly right. Just as they should be.

And yet, they look kinda funny.

Well. In all fairness, I'm sure the yarn feels the same way about me.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Wiikend

It's been all this, all the time since Friday.

Given that we've been trying since November to get one, it should be understandable that we've been playing into the wii hours of the morning.

Please add this to the growing list of things that are going to make me wonder where 2007 went.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Let "Operation In Sight, In Mind" commence!

I have a theory.

I developed this theory earlier today, after taking some photos of my yarn stash for Ravelry.

(I just got my invite to Ravelry, and it could not have come at a better time, since I was just talking about how if I can't see it, I forget I have it. So, I am very excited about Ravelry. But more on that in another post. Must. Tell you. About. Theory.)

My theory is this: I think there is a relationship between the amount of love I have for a yarn and my ability to take a good picture of it.

While it is certainly not always the case, I think it can be said that the more I love a yarn, the more likely it is that will I take a bad picture of it. The picture is likely to be blurry, badly composed, and just in general unremarkable. Remember those photos of the Argentina haul? Ok then.

So. With that in mind, how would you say I feel about this yarn?

I don't want to toot my own horn about this photo or anything, but here's a hint: I'm not getting married any time soon.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I completely forgot I had that.

My PIC has always been amazed by my ability to forget I have things. These "things" can be anything, from food to yarn to fabric. You name it, I've likely forgotten I have it.

PIC (looking in my cupboard): Oh my God. You have a whole chocolate bar in here?
ME: Oh. Yeah. I completely forgot I had that.
PIC: What are you talking about?

She and I used to work together, and she would often come into my office and ask if I had any food.

ME: Let me look.

I'd pull out a box where I kept snacks.

ME: Oh.
PIC (dumbfounded): You completely forgot you had that huge bag of Cheetos? How is that possible?!
ME: Hmm. Right. You want some?

This whole thing is generally fine by me. I don't concern myself with it. When it comes to my things, if it's out of sight, it is very likely -- as they say -- out of mind. Then, when I see it again, it's kinda like Christmas. Only paid for already.

But every now and again I amaze myself. Really and truly. I will come across something that is so far out of my awareness that seeing it is like a walk down memory lane. Only with no real nostalgia. More like with some "what the...?" and some "oh, good lord, you're kidding."

This scarf - abandoned after a few strands of fringe - was at the bottom of a pile of yarn that I just went through last week.

As I stared at this scarf, the whole thing came back to me: the lady at the yarn store who convinced me that a metallic yarn would look "so rock 'n' roll" with the tweedy red yarn I'd selected; the 50% off sale and its judgement-impairing properties; the lady telling me to cut the fringe before I started knitting so I wouldn't run out of yarn; my knitting the scarf and having no idea why I was knitting it or who it would be for; my running out of yarn because I hadn't listened to the lady about cutting the fringe first. (Sure. I listened long enough to buy metallic yarn, but not long enough to get the actual good advice she was offering.)

So here I sat, years later, staring at this almost-finished-and-so-very-useless scarf. I stared. I thought. And then I did what I usually do in these situations: I put it back where I found it.

I figure the next time I stumble across it, perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised and only moderately disgusted that I made it. And it will be just like Christmas.

I need more yarn I need a hole in the head. But these Socks That Rock yarns will not leave me alone. Everywhere I turn, someone is using this yarn to make something delightful.

Cara used it for her mini Monkey socks in Watermelon Tourmaline. Very cute little socks, and I've had my eye on that Watermelon color for a while.

Tiennie used it for her Chevron scarf in Monsoon and Footzey Foo. This is, hands down, one of the most beautiful color combinations I've ever seen. Ever.

A-ha!! In a move that I can only make sense of by thinking the yarn gods are looking after me, Monsoon is only available to the Rockin' Sock Club members. As I am not a member, I shall not be purchasing any yarn today. So there.

I'll bet those grapes were really sour anyway.