Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Found on Flickr

Temari 34 - Snowflake - Pole View

Pretty! I've made a few temari balls, but always following a pattern. I never would have thought to branch out and make a lovely snowflake like this! This photo opened up a whole world of ideas to me! (Not that I'll find time to pursue them... I still have a few temari balls from way too many years ago that I haven't finished.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thrummed Mitten (in progress)

Thrummed Mitten WIP

I can't wait until these are done! They are going to be *so* cozy. :) I love how the thrums look like little white hearts on the lovely red Manos del Uruguay yarn. (And working on them seems to have caused the weather to warm up too! The more progress I make, the better the weather is!)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cleaning the Oven?

Oh... hey... those bacon-wrapped jalapeño thingies were great, but they spattered (and set off the smoke alarm)... any great tips on cleaning the oven in a non-toxic way?

Friday, December 26, 2008


Christmas was fantastic!!! Christmas day at mom's was wonderful (I got wireless! and a ball winder! and everyone loved what I got them!), and so was boxing day with the dad side of the family here! There was no fighting or even unpleasantness, everyone *loved* the food (boy, are we stuffed!), and my brother set up my wireless for me too. :)

The walnut roll turned out *perfect*! It's not quite the same as my grandma's... mine apparently tastes more "walnutty", and mine was sweeter too (which my dad is a *big* fan of... as are the rest of us), so I count that as a success. Shelling the fresh walnuts did taste a lot better than the stale bag ones... even my dad noticed the difference. (He had been a non-believer before.)

Mmmmm! I think I'll roll in for an early bed tonight. ;) The dishes can wait until morning. (My dad's fiancée offered to help me with them, but there aren't an unreasonable number, especially considering the amount of food, so I thought it nicer to relax with family after dinner, and I'll attack them tomorrow.) My finger even seems healed enough that I can wash dishes without gloves!

I didn't get all of the cleaning done that I had wanted to do... but the place was reasonably presentable, and I'll get to the rest over the course of the next week. (Which I plan to be more relaxing than the past week!)

My intentions for this next week of vacation: Do the rest of the cleaning (or as much as I can manage while still relaxing), make some more bobbins and shelves with my dad, finish the desk, and have my mom, Bob, and grandma over for New Years dinner. (I figure I should feed them too... but I won't get as elaborate as I did for tonight. Lighter fare will be nice, I think.)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Lovely Christmas Morning

Christmas morning has been lovely! (I've been doing my best to ignore everything that still needs cleaning.) I slept in, then spent the rest of the morning in my pajamas. (I'll be hopping in the shower right after I'm done writing this.) I opened my stocking swap stocking (plus a present from my neighbour):
Christmas Morning
Stocking Swap Goodies
What wonderful goodies! (I had one of the teas already this morning!) One thing in the stocking not pictured here are the stitch markers, one of which has already been put to use on my thrummed mitten:
Stocking Stitch Markers

Well, now I should shower, and then wrap the presents for Christmas at my moms! I hope you're all having a fantastic Christmas too! (And remember to ignore the cleaning that didn't get done!)

Christmas Prep

Today is Christmas at my mom's, tomorrow my dad & family come over to my place. I still need to wrap the presents for my mom's. For tomorrow... I've accomplished a lot, but still could do (and will be doing) a lot more. My bedroom (a room that no one will be in, but was the easiest to clean) is spic and span (okay, you can probably find some more dust hiding in a few places, but it's pretty good... I dusted the surfaces and swept and mopped!)... the living room has been (mostly) tidied, but still is filthy... the bathroom is okay, but could use a more thorough cleaning than it has... the kitchen has gotten better, and worse (I dealt with the stuff-in-progress on the table, but then I baked... so I really need to do dishes, clean the counters, and sweep and mop the floor)... the office is a disaster zone (it has a door)... the hallway, well, it still has two large desk pieces in it, and a colony of small dust bunnies, grit, and the cleaning supplies that I've been using. (Did you survive that mess of punctuation abuse?)

Anyway, here's something that turned out perfectly:
Chocolate Cheesecake
(Well, I haven't tasted it yet, but this is my third time making it, so I'm pretty confident.)

Here's the walnut roll that I'm really unsure about:
Walnut Roll
The dough the recipe called for left out something... there wasn't nearly enough liquid. I added enough water to make it kneadable, but... it didn't rise. It was a dense lump. (I think it needed more liquid.) So I used a dough recipe from a different dessert bread... but it said to mix the yeast with the flour, and a lot of the little yeast capsules were still visible as such the whole process through. It looks like it worked (ignoring the yeast spots), so I think, as long as it baked all the way through, it'll be at least edible. (Although possibly not enough like my grandma's.)

Then, there are these:
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies
which have been prepared, and will be put in the oven when my family comes over. I've never made these before, but they *look* tasty. (Recipe here.) I have the whole thing covered with foil... hopefully they won't dry out or something before tomorrow evening. (All this prep was done last night.)

By the time all this was done, it was *late*, and I couldn't face the dishes. (My bandaged finger had spent enough time being soggy, and I was tired.) If I don't get to them before I head over to mom's, they'll still be there when I get back. They *will* be done before tomorrow. (The rest of the cleaning that I had planned to do? Some, but not all, will get done too.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You know you're in Winnipeg when...

... your herbs get freezer-burnt on the way home from the grocery store. (Why did I bother?) *sigh* The cilantro's not too bad, but the basil's awfully black. Hopefully I'll still have something usable come boxing day.

It's snowing!

It's snowing a fluffy, happy, Christmas snow!!! Ginormous, ~1 cm flakes are floating down! I love this kind of snow. :) I almost missed it, what with all the frost on my windows. (Pretty frost, too.) Perhaps it'll still be snowing a bit later when I go out to get the last few ingredients for the Christmas dinner I'm preparing. :))

Injury Report

Well, the tape started coming off pretty much immediately for the second batch of dishes. I wrapped a big wad of tape around, got the major stuff washed, and then decided the plastic containers could wait until tomorrow. :P

Then I jabbed myself pretty good with a splinter while rubbing in the finish on my desk top. *sigh* (I can't decide if this third coat is sufficient, or if I should go overboard and do a fourth... the top will get a lot more abuse than other surfaces, and that first got sucked in pretty good... but this last one felt like the surface was pretty well sealed by the previous two, so another may not make much difference. Hmmm...)

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Sign?

I think bloglines is trying to tell me something... it keeps re-marking posts as new, especially the Word of the Day:
laggard: wasting time
I would like to point out to bloglines that I have indeed started the dishes, and could it please stop marking this one as new? (It comes up double each time, too.)

I have stopped my dishes half way through, though... the masking tape and liquid bandaid gave out, so I'm giving my finger time to de-prune before reapplying and doing the rest. (It might have lasted had I only applied the finger-condom just before starting the dishes, but I wanted to be careful when I was bleeding the registers: the caretaker had put cockroach powder in the ends where the pipes went through the floor to make sure the roaches didn't decide to come into my apartment. I'd rather not have poison getting into my cut.)

I'm starting to feel pretty hopeful about having my apartment ship-shape in time for Boxing Day. (That's when everyone is due to come over to my place.) Well, all of my apartment except my "office", which is where many things are being deposited "to be dealt with later". My office has a door, though, and I may just close it. ;)


I figured out why I was using an extension cord rather than a powerbar... the powerbar with the right configuration doesn't have a cord long enough. I should look into getting a powerbar with a longer cord for that spot.

Note: I live in an older apartment, which means few electrical outlets, and not necessarily where you want them. There's a problem spot in the livingroom... it's where the cable comes into the apartment (one), and I have my tv (two), VCR/DVD (three) and antenna (four) plugged in there too. Plus, a little ways over on the same wall, I have my phone (five), answering machine (six), and stereo (seven), all going to the one outlet. The spot that I was going to put the powerbar is the spot with the phone, answering machine, and stereo. The only outlet that is anywhere close to these three items is the one that has all the other stuff plugged in. (The next closest one would have to go around the entranceway to the living room, but that one is operated by the light switch. The next closest one after that one is nearly thirty feet away.) I have my phone service provided by the cable company, so the only thing that *doesn't* need to be near the cable service is the stereo, but I like it where it is because then I can listen to it either from my livingroom or the kitchen.

Yes, I shouldn't have seven things plugged into a single outlet... but what other choice do I have?

Small Accomplishments

So far I haven't gotten *too* much done yet, but I am at least getting *some* stuff done.

I tested the liquid bandaid stuff in the shower... it held up, but started peeling around the edges:
(My finger is healing nicely... perhaps I won't have a scar after all?) So, to protect it some more, I added a finger from one of the vinyl gloves, with masking tape (tip from kirsten):

I still haven't washed my dishes, but I got one spot of electrical mess tidied (I attached the surge protector to the wall where it'll be easier to get at, once my desk is in place):
Since it's hard to tell which black cord belongs to what, I made tags:
and attached them:
While I was crawling around on that part of the floor anyway, I dusted there too, and opened up the heater covers (there and in all the rooms) to bleed the radiators. (It turns out the bleeder valve was at the other side of the radiator, but how was I to know before I started?) The only radiators with significant amounts of air were in the bathroom and livingroom. However, now I know that they aren't an issue. :)

Now, why was I playing with electrical cords instead of doing my dishes and dealing with my disaster of a kitchen? Because my brother gave me some LED Christmas lights, and I want to put them on my plant table. Okay, that doesn't make sense yet, but really, there *is* a logical explanation. I opened up the LED light package, and noticed the lights start right by the plug. This meant that I definitely need an extension cord. However, when I went to look in my stash of miscellaneous electrical/phone/computer bits, I discovered that all I had left was a power bar. So I looked at where my (two) extension cords are, and decided one would be better off with a power bar than an extension cord. However, the items plugged into the extension cord had several of those AC adaptors, and the layout of the spare power bar isn't good for high numbers of AC adaptors. The power bar by my computer was much better suited (although still not ideal) to multiple AC adaptors, so I swapped power bars. While I was doing that anyway, I decided it was about time to get around to wall mounting the power bar. Now I just need to crawl around the dusty place where my extension cord is, and perhaps wall mount that power bar too... and then I'll finally have a free extension cord, and hence some Christmas lights! :) (See, there *is* method to my madness.)

Okay, off to get dustier... (at least I dust the areas as I'm playing in them. And I do intend to get to all of the dust before my family visits.)

Ask and ye shall receive...

Two people asked for "action shots" (on Ravelry, but close enough), so here I am wearing Durrow:
Durrow Durrow
The photos are a bit grainy, but that's because Durrow looks better without a flash... and the sun, when up, is outside in the *cold*.

PS: That's mom's Christmas tree. She decided to go for a minimalist look this year. (That decision happened to come after spending an hour just "fluffing" the branches.)

Found on Flickr

Ah les crococos...

Love it! (This reminds me... I still want to make that Morehouse Merino alligator scarf someday.)


Happy Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, or whatever else you celebrate!

(Now back to cleaning my place, before my own family get-together.... This place is a disaster!!! Hopefully the liquid bandaid I bought will allow me to wash the dishes...)

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Although I didn't let the finger stop me from working on the desk, I've decided to let the dishes pile up a few more days. I have enough, and I'd like to give it more of a chance to heal before I soak it for an hour.

'C' is another character that I normally type with my injured finger. It's also fairly common. Today's bandage isn't as bulky or stiff, so I am having a bit of an easier time typing, though.

I did get around to doing some tidying today. (Yay!) I still have lots more, and what I did do isn't perfect. (That will come with time, I hope.)

Tomorrow I go shopping with Dad for the stocking stuffers. (We go to Scoop N Weigh, because his friend owns it. These are *not* waist-friendly stockings! ;) ) We're also going to stop at the grocery store so that I can pick up a few things, including the last of what I need for Christmas dinner. (Which has been rescheduled for Boxing Day, due to dad's fiancee having plans with her family on Christmas Eve. Having some additional time to prepare is nice!)

I've set my alarm for mid-morning so that perhaps I'll get a *bit* more done tomorrow. Speaking of which, I should get to bed.

New noise from the downstairs neighbour: perhaps a squeaky... spring? I can't tell what it is. It seems to be coming from their weight room, so I'm guessing it's weights related. When I first heard it this morning, I thought it was one of the kids from across the hall being upset over something. (It's an odd noise... kind of like a seagull.) Luckily it's not too loud. (I wonder what he'd do if I knocked on his door and offered him some of my sewing machine oil? It might be too thin for whatever is making the noise.)

Speaking of apartment stuff, the landlord spoke with the caretaker, and says the fire alarm is now fixed. At any rate, it hasn't gone off since yesterday morning. (Thank goodness!)

Desk Update

How many times can I tell you my desk is pretty before you run off and never come back?
It *is* pretty!

Perhaps that side stuff isn't veneer... there appears to be half-inch thick wood forming the edges of the top, although I could have sworn I saw a thin piece being pulled away when my dad was taking off the one section of edging....

I don't think the bleach had any effect on the black rings. (I don't care... they add character.) The finish sure has brought the colour back to the top! I'm really happy about that. :) There is a bunch of bubbling of the veneer (from the water I used to remove the glue) that I need to repair.

I need to get that hide glue soon so that I can finish everything. I can't wait until the desk is done!

Window Ice

The ice coating the insides of my windows appears to have melted. This allowed me to see the bizarre column of ice that formed between my two sliding window panes:
Bizarre Ice
How curious! I wonder what caused it to grow as such a perfectly vertical-sided round column?

(The red bits formerly belonged to one of my old towels, but the ice claimed them.)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Desk Update

So, I have still been making progress on my desk. The uprights and drawers have had their finish for a while, and are parked in my hallway while I finish the top. Last weekend I got my dad to help me move the top from my mom's garage to my storage room. Last night I applied the first coat to the top (which really sucked it up greedily), and a third (or was it fourth?) coat to the new trim pieces I bought. (They still need to be cut to size.) I have a bunch of photos which I haven't had time to blog, but I'm too lazy to figure out which those are right now. ;) For now, here's what the wood under the trim looks like:
Side of Desk Top
That's veneer. Under trim. Now, I realize that the trim isn't original, but it's obvious that this veneer wasn't meant to be visible. First, it doesn't have the same finish as the rest of the desk, and second, there's a knot in one spot:
Side of Desk Top
Does anyone have any clue as to why the makers of this desk would put veneer between the desk top and trim?

I've removed the old trim on three of the four sides. I left the fourth side as something for the top to sit on, since I'm finishing it propped up on its side in my storage locker. (Hopefully this won't cause any problems when I go to remove that piece... Perhaps I should take it off, then just set the top on it? That way I can check to make sure it's not getting glued on each time I apply a coat. (One down, at least two to go.)

The final thing I'm pondering is whether I should try to bring up and assemble the top before or after Christmas... there's not a lot of time before Christmas, but it sure would be nice to have the desk uprights out of the hall...

I'm Daft

Last night I shelled walnuts. (Yes, I know you can buy them shelled, but the bulk nuts sold at Christmas time always seem way fresher than anything I have ever bought in a bag.)
Shelling Walnuts
I ended up with two cups of nuts, a bag of misc crushed shells (hmmm... dyeing?), and whole half shells that I'm going to hang onto for crafting purposes.

Some of the whole half shells still had extra shell stuck to them, so I decided to clean them up a bit. I thought to myself "I need to be careful so that I don't cut myself." What happens? The knife slips, and I jab the tip of my left index finger rather deeply. (Not emergency-room worthy, unless my cleaning was insufficient and it decides to get infected, but it's definitely going to leave a scar.) *sigh*

Anyone have any recommendations on how to wash a sink full of dirty dishes with a nasty cut on one finger? Perhaps that left glove I have left over from refinishing will be long enough...

It's making typing rather difficult too. (I touch type, and the bandaged finger is fat, stiff, and can't feel the keyboard. It's also the one used for e and d, both very common letters, and on top of it, it seems to be throwing off the rest of my hand.)

This is what I get for doing something non-essential when I should be tidying and cleaning my apartment...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Found on Flickr

I love these!

Fire Alarm

I traded invigilating an exam Wednesday night for today's hours, so now I'm home for the holidays. The fire alarm has gone off three four times this morning. *sigh* I'm already wishing I were back at work!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Found on Flickr

polar bears

Awwww! (And if you buy them, 50% goes to the March Of Dimes.)

Found on Flickr


Hee! So cute!!!

Found on Flickr

The Snowy Forrest

I *love* this!

Found on Flickr

New Paper Ornaments - Tutorials

Neato! I recommend checking out the tutorial at:

Found on Flickr



Found on Flickr

my robot


Found on Flickr

Watch case pincushion

Awesome!!! I want one!

Found on Flickr

Vildist jõulumuna niplispitsiga

Amazing and gorgeous! I can't imagine how long it took to make that lace...

Found on Flickr

sheep pincushion

So cute!

Found on Flickr

Felted stone brooches

Way cool!

Found on Flickr

Strips, felted scarf

Gorgeous! (But for slightly warmer weather than what I'm dealing with these days...)

Found on Flickr

Kitten Mittens

Awww! (Here's a kitten that won't lose his mittens!)

Found on Flickr

NOM gnomes

So sweet! I love them!

Found on Flickr

baby hedgehog


Found on Flickr

Gingerbread houses Nov 29 2008 027

*Gorgeous*! I whipped up several batches of gingerbread dough this morning, but my piping skills aren't nearly what this person's are. (Hmmm... what structure to attempt this year... any ideas?)

Found on Flickr

christmas tree decoration

Adorable! Go check out Little Cotton Rabbit's blog for a free pattern. :)

Found on Flickr

one of three complete

Awesome! (I kind of have a thing for ravens and crows... they get a bad rap, but their feathers glisten in the sun.)

Found on Flickr

Borsa a papera #2

I love it!

Found on Flickr


Yesterday I got a bit more caught up on blog reading, today I seem to be getting a bit more caught up in blog posting. Prepare yourself for an onslaught of "Found on Flickr" posts, as I come out of my shell! ;)

Isn't this magnet adorable?

Seriously Spontaneous Spinning Batts!

I haven't blogged October's yet, so I'll do both October's and November's batts:
Seriously Spontaneous Spinning Batts
Aren't they *gorgeous*!?!!? They're from I was never able to snatch up one of the spontaneous batts that showed up there, so I signed up for the three month club when it became available. Mmmmm! Dreamy! The one on the left (October) is happy and magical. The one on the right (November) reminds me of a mossy forest floor... or, looking at the photo with the extras on top, like Jupiter! I am *so* going to enjoy spinning these. :)

October contains: alpaca, yearling mohair, wool, silk, bamboo, silk noils, kid mohair locks. The extras are fuzzy, translucent beads in an organza bag.

November contains: alpaca, mohair, silk, silk noils, bamboo, merino, corriedale, and tussah top. The extras are coordinating crocheted circles.

I requested no glitz... it's pretty in the batt, but tends to be kind of scratchy when spun. After this is over, I may just subscribe to the baby cakes club, just to have some more fun. :) (Baby cakes contain glitz... but I'll enjoy them anyway!) Hmmm... I wonder if hbacmama or another local would be interested in splitting a babycakes subscription...?

Mail: Ornament Swap

I signed up for a Christmas ornament swap through Handmade Parade, and earlier this week my ornaments arrived:
Christmas Ornament Swap
Aren't they awesome?! My favourite is the little book. (My next favourites are then the santas, and then...) Finding room on the tree was challenging, but I now have most of them up.

Here's a sample of the ornaments I sent out:
Christmas Ornament Swap Christmas Ornament Swap


Here's Durrow just after I finished seaming:
and here's Durrow, drying by the weak morning light:
Speaking of light... yesterday was sunny, and so much of the ice on my windows melted. The north window ice is thicker than ever, though. (I can tell because of how deeply embedded the towel fluff has become... every time I change the towels I'm using to catch the puddles, more towel fluff stays behind, entrapped in the ice.)

Found on Flickr


Ooooo! What *gorgeous* buttons! (She has an Etsy shop!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Durrow is DONE!!!

(Yes, I know it's way late, but I don't have tutoring tomorrow morning, and staying up allowed me to wash the dishes, and now I'm waiting for my unmentionables to finish soaking so I can hang them to dry overnight.)

The final bits of seaming at the armpits aren't perfect, but they'll do. Durrow is also having a bit of a soak now. When it's dry, I'll have a new sweater to wear!!! It's not going to be a favourite, I suspect, but it is really nice to have it finally, officially, done!

Pics tomorrow... unless the first years actually decide to make use of me in the help centre before their exam.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In the News...

A while ago I sent in a photo to a local TV station that shows "weather pics". When it didn't show up later that night or the next day, I assumed that nothing had come of it. Today at lunch, one of the professors said that he saw my photo! How cool! (Too bad I missed my five seconds of fame...)
Red River

Crying Wolf

Three mornings, three false fire alarms. *sigh*

Update: make that twice for this morning, and I forgot to tell you about the one last night. So that would be five in total (that I was home for). It's a good thing my friend Kelli isn't here visiting me!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's not just me...

Tonight's top news story: the weather.

A Friend To Be Thankful For...

Yesterday, hbacmama rescued me.

Yesterday afternoon, after the tree hunting, I was having my own private rave in my apartment (courtesy the downstairs neighbour), but I wasn't in the mood for a rave. (Now, granted, it wasn't *that* loud, but it had been going on since the previous evening.) While waiting for the tree to thaw, I called my grandma, and then hbacmama.

Not only did hbacmama invite me over, but she fed me a fabulous dinner, let me use her ball winder, made me cocoa (with *real* marshmallows), and even Toffee Crunch Blondies! Mmmm! I was in heaven.

Sock yarn cakes:
Winding Yarn

I am eternally grateful for last night. Thank you!!!

(I was going to say that now I have all of my sock yarn wound, but then when I got home I remembered the two hanks under the tree that I got from H. Whoops! Oh well... the winding that I did do took somewhere around two hours, and I was tired of winding after that.)