Thursday, October 30, 2008

Found on Flickr


holiday Heart Felt ornaments

I'd love to have a set of these on my Christmas tree. :) So lovely!

Found on Flickr


Minxie from the front

Awwwwww!

Whether to Laugh or Cry

This is *so* wrong!

Found on Flickr


Turkish spindles

Oooo... add that amboyna burl turkish drop spindle to the list of spindles I'd love to own one day.

At first I thought I was safe because it was one of a kind, but then google showed me otherwise. Then I was safe because indecision caused by all the other gorgeous woods used by the spindle maker reinforced my will power enough that budget considerations came foremost. ;)

Found on Flickr


EXTREME CLOSEUP

Oooo... I'm going to have to favourite knittyarcrafts.etsy.com for when I'm feeling richer. :) (Hmmm... and for when her shop is less empty!)

Found on Flickr


Little Green Dino

Awwwww!

Found on Flickr


Bottle Cap Pincushion #123

So pretty!

Found on Flickr


leaf on rocks at the Glensheen Mansion

Lovely... serene... this would make a lovely desktop photo. Especially for patriotic Canadians. ;)

A Slow Moment

Things have temporarily slowed down, so I think I'll catch up on a few more "Found on Flickr" posts, so I can close some more tabs in my browser.

Fzzzt

Need chocolate.

Please shut down, then reboot only after a suitable period of downtime...

...off to find chocolate.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Too Much Drama

There is too much drama in my life right now.

There are some dealings with students that I am soooo tempted to blog, but won't.

There's the bugs in the apartment building.

There's the race between stripping the desk and the oncoming winter.

There's the guy I met on the bus (Penny... you were there) who gave me his phone number... do I call or don't I? He seemed like a nice guy, but "once burned, twice shy"...

And then, there's my neighbour, J. *sigh* She's in Edmonton, visiting her mother. I'm bringing in her mail, and looking after her cat (antihistamines, hives, "cat clothes", and showers...). She asked me to mail her a cheque that was due to arrive the day after she left. It arrived on a Tuesday rather than the expected Monday, but I left home late that day, and so was able to mail it out the same day. It hasn't arrived yet. I called J the other day about a different issue (the apartment bugs, and whether it was okay if the landlord and a bug guy went in her apartment), and was confronted with a demand by (I think her brother) as to where the cheque was. I said I mailed it, and J then commented that her mom said things often took a week to arrive via mail. Well, today I got a message from (the brother?) to call on the cell number. I did, as soon as I got home, but I didn't arrive home until late. (I detoured to Michaels to buy a frame piece that I need for the upcoming art show. Local friends: I'd love for you to come to my show!) When I called, I couldn't get through, because either the cell was off, or it was out of range, and the voicemail is *still* full.

Later that evening, I got a gruff call from (the brother?), asking why I hadn't called, and what I had heard on the message. (I don't think he listened to the fact that I called as soon as I was home, and wasn't able to get through.) Then he wanted to know what I had done with the cheque. WTF?!? Am I being accused of being a thief, when I'm actually doing a favour?!? He asked what address I had sent it to, and so I started reading it out. Turns out J had given me the wrong address. (When she got there, her mom said that she thought she had given J the wrong address... why didn't they check what address I had earlier?!?!!!) Anyway, he calmed down when he realized that I had used the wrong address (which was the only one I had), and that I had put my return address on the envelope, so either it would be at the address it was sent to (they had tried checking there earlier, but no one was home), or it would come back here.

J said "I had wanted to trust you..."... I think she was relieved that I hadn't in fact cheated her, like apparently her (brother?) seems to be trying to convince her (my opinion based on his tone when he talks to me). Sheesh. If you don't feel you can trust me, don't ask me to do these things. If you *do* trust me, try to find out what might have gone wrong *before* accusing me!

They've been waiting for the cheque so that they can do their return trip.

Anyway, I went down to check J's mail, and there was another cheque. I said that if she gave me her bank name and account number, I would take it down and deposit it tomorrow. The (brother?) seemed to think I could do it tonight via phone banking. (Um, no... to deposit money, they actually want to *see* the cheque, don't they?) Once I convinced him that it can't be done over the phone, and that I'd either do it before the lab I'm substituting for if there's a branch open early enough (it turns out there is), or during lunch if there isn't, he was so grateful he was offering to hug me, take me out for dinner, or buy me a bottle of wine. Thanks, but no thanks. I don't know about the (brother?), but J is poor, and so I'm not going to make expenses for her, just for doing a favour. But *please* stop accusing me of being a thief. (Or don't ask me to do things that you don't feel you can trust me to do.) Also, I don't want to be wined, dined, or hugged by someone who swings between gratitude and extreme distrust.

Sheesh. Grump.

Given that I haven't told her, I suppose I shouldn't expect her to be extra grateful that I'm doing this even though the cat gives me hives, I've had to buy extra antihistamines (that I wouldn't be taking right now otherwise), and that I went out and bought a kitty litter scoop and more cat food, because the food she left ran out, and I didn't want to go prying through all her stuff to find a scoop. (I tried obvious places to look, and couldn't find one.) But it is upsetting when you do things that are "above and beyond the call of duty", but are getting treated like dirt.

Okay, rant over.

Found on Flickr


Teeny Tomte

Hee! I have the book this pattern is in... I *must* make one of these! (There always seems to be more projects than time...)

Found on Flickr


sun quilt

Gorgeous!

Found on Flickr


Blue Zebra

These fellows are so cute, I couldn't blog just one! (Check out the Flickr stream for even more.)

Found on Flickr


lion wallhanging

So adorable!

Found on Flickr


York Minster

Awesome! I love how artistic people get with felt. :)

Found on Flickr


Needle Felted Christmas Sugar Gilder

So cute!

Found on Flickr


Handknit Felted Tote With Needle Felted Orca Whales

Gorgeous!

Found on Flickr


Felt Christmas Decor

I love the whimsy in these!

(I need to close some windows in my browser, so prepare for a deluge of "Found on Flickr" posts...)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sale Alert

The Sweet Sheep is having a sale:
Is it chilly where you are? Are you inspired with fall and Christmas knitting plans? I know I certainly am and I wanted to share my excitement with you, so we are having a
HUGE NOVEMBER SALE!!
There will be a large selection of yarns on sale at great prices starting October 31st and running through November 21st. This sale will be big!
Let me know what you get, so I can experience it through your stashes. ;)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Please Help...

Please help my friend help helpless cats and dogs... I just received this e-mail from her:
Hi all -

The animal rescue group I volunteer with, Independent Animal Rescue, is taking part in the Care2 contest for America's Favorite Animal Shelter. This contest is open to rescue groups and shelters across the nation, and we are currently IN THIRD PLACE (as of almost 8 p.m. Sunday night). The top five groups get a monetary award with grand prize being $10,000.

IAR is a wonderful completely volunteer-run organization that saves many cats and dogs from the Triangle and surrounding communities. Some animals are from shelters, others are feral kittens that are rescued at a young enough age to be tamed, and some are strays, abandoned or "found" animals that are brought to us from people in the community. I currently have two foster kitties available for adoption and two kitties that I've adopted from IAR. Our web site is here:
http://www.animalrescue.net

How can you help us win? By going to the web site below and voting for IAR as your favorite animal rescue. It only takes a few seconds, is completely free, and every vote really makes a difference! $10,000 would go a LONG way toward helping us save more animals! We are currently the only group in the top five that helps both cats & dogs and is not breed-specific.

http://www.care2.com/animalsheltercontest/70100/

Feel free to forward to anyone who might be willing to vote for us! They don't have to be local to vote for IAR.

Thanks so much!!!
Last I checked, they ask for a zip code, so I think you need to be living in the US to vote. If you are, please take a moment. Thank you! I appreciate it. :)

Uh, okaaaaay....

This morning as I was snoozing, I could "hear" some bass level noise. I figured that either my downstairs neighbour was playing some music with bass boost, and the floor was doing a really good job at filtering out the rest, or he had an exercise bike.

It turns out he's in his car out in the parking lot. He has the music turned up fairly loud, with the bass boost even louder. And he's drinking beer. (I don't think drinking beer in a car is legal.)

Well, I suppose I should be glad that he's blasting music in his car, rather than in his apartment.

10 am update: even more uncool than drinking alone in your car on a Sunday morning? Leaving the beer can on the ground when you're done. Mr Downstairs Neighbour is now officially completely uncool in my books.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mona is Evil

Wolseley Wardrobe is having another sale:
From now until Nov 2nd we are having a sale. All consignment is 50% off, yarn is 20 - 50% off, metal and plastic needles are 20% off, patterns are 25% off and books are 10% off. There’s lots of new stock and it’s all on sale!!!!! So we hope to see you there.
Will I be good, and stick to my tightened budget, or won't I?

Last month my credit card bill was rather on the high side, making my expenses higher than my income. (There was a dentist appointment on it too, which, to be fair, is a once-in-six-months cost. But still, it was higher than it should be. I got a little lax this summer, when I had two jobs.) So, I'm back to just dreaming about the yarn I'd like to buy. ;) Like this, or this.

Given how tight my budget is, and how my computer is having trouble keeping up these days (probably some RAM will fix it for a while, but they also don't last forever), it's also time for me to start saving for a new laptop. I'll be sticking some of my extra tutoring money in a "sock drawer" (whenever it adds up to a significant amount, I'll put it in the bank to earn interest, and replace it with a note)... and that way I'll have the funds there (outside of my emergency, fall-back savings) when it is time, and I can't wait any longer.

PS, hint to family: if anyone is thinking of getting me a ball winder for Christmas, you might want to see if Wolseley Wardrobe has those on sale too.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Desk Update

You know that linoleum glue I was whining about being so impossible to get off with all those toxic chemicals? Totally water based.

I had noticed that when I dripped sweat (ew!), that it got sticky. I considered using water, but I was worried about raising the grain. Then, last night, I put some bleach on the black stains. When I moved the bleach around, I noticed it got milky and bubbly. Then it occurred to me that bleach contains mostly water, and if I was putting that on the desk, why was I so worried about water? (Either both would be a problem, or neither... at any rate, the whole surface might as well be the same.)

I'm not sure if I did raise the grain, or if I just cleared all the glue and whatnot out of an already textured surface. I'll have another look today after it has a chance to dry out. Things were getting pretty soggy by the time I left, so I decided to call it quits. The water was still getting dirty when I quit, but perhaps that was from the stain, rather than more glue.

The black circles didn't fade much at all. I may try again today, but they're sort of growing on me, as "character".

I'll upload progress photos at some point. I have some of the pieces that I've already started putting the finish on... they're *pretty*!!!

The Human Barometer

My shoulder stopped hurting at some point during the day. Last night on the news, they mentioned that the barometric pressure was falling, and, sure enough, my barometer said the pressure was lower. Coincidence? We shall see. (I need to pay attention to see if the pressure rises without me hurting, and perhaps even write down some of the numbers. ;) ) At any rate, the old barometer on the wall is pretty. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mega-Pain Owie!

My shoulder seems to want to act as a human barometer... it *hurts*. It really started acting up last night, and has continued this morning. Last night my regular barometer said that pressure was up... this morning it hasn't changed from last night. Owie, owie, ow, ow, OW!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gack.

Life is crazy. There's so much I'd tell you, if things would just slow down a bit. Like about the beauty of the few desk pieces that have their first coat of finish (which I should probably be buffing now, but there's no time), the cockroaches found in two of my neighbours' apartments, my new neighbour below me (whose mother doesn't let him talk), the silverfish I found in my apartment last night, the rugrats that came over and swiffered random locations of my floor for me, while also trying to pull the arms off my stuffed monkey, and chewing the wheels crooked on my toy car (long story about why I have a toy car)... my neighbour who is freaking out (in my apartment) over the roaches (*much* smaller than the NC behemoths), the CS forums that have a ton of posts on them (not that I'd blog about them, but they're work I need to do before bed)... promising to look after my neighbour's plants, cat, and mail...

...but back to reading forums. Perhaps I'll have time to chat tomorrow night...

Voting

I voted... did you? You don't want the Americans to beat us in voter turn-out this year, do you? ;)

VOTE!

Canadians! Get ye to the polls! ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Stuff Done... Or Not

Apparently I can't get stuff done because I have too much to do. Right now I have several things I'm working on, and everything needs something from another room, where I run into another task that I'm in the middle of doing. I remember that task, and that I wanted to finish it asap, so I restart that task... which needs something in another room, where I run across something *else* I'm working on! Sheesh.

However, I have managed to focus, and did get several things done:
• The dry dishes are put away (there's a few more plastic containers that need more drying time before I can put away the drain rack).
• I washed my mango tree while showering. (It's having spider mite problems again... this washing is two weeks after the last one, and I didn't see any more mites, so I think it's safe now... this wash is just to make extra sure before I put it back where it belongs.)
• I put a screw hook beside the plain old screw that was holding up my swiffer mop, and hung the swiffer mop on it instead (so it doesn't keep falling off), and put an angled nail (*up*) beside the slightly-down-angled nail that the dry swiffer kept falling off too, fixing that problem. (The dry swiffer doesn't have a ring that will fit on a hook the way the mop will.) The broom seems to be doing fine on it's screw, so I left it the way it was. (Hmmm... I think I need one more attachment so that I can get the duster hanging too... I should check that. done)
• I cleaned the bathroom sink, mirror, and toilet.
hung art-nouveau plaque
dusted fans before putting them in storage
wiped table, kitchen counter, stovetop, above-stove shelf, kitchen windowsill

To do:
• floors (although the boys from next door took care of most of the area under my bed by crawling around underneath)
• clean tape residue off the glass from a frame (what kind of nutty framer *tapes* the matt/picture/backing assembly to the glass!?!? Or uses regular *cardboard* for that matter?!?)
clean and put away my hair clippers done
take the three desk pieces in the hallway outside, sand them lightly, then take them downstairs to the storage area (where I'll be putting the finish on... it requires room temperature for application) done
store the two fans in the storage area done
take out and store the window air conditioner in the storage area (I sure hope it fits on the shelves I have down there!) done
go over to mom's and work on the desk pieces that are there (sanding the drawers and then bringing them here) (did two drawers, at least... four more to go), then finishing the stripping and cleaning of the top and moving it so that I can get to the uprights
• make Christmas ornaments for the Christmas ornament swap (to be mailed before the end of the month... I've bought all the supplies now, so now I just need to make them.)
• address all the packages that need to be mailed, preferably before I forget which pair of socks is going where!
• sew the flap back on my dad's cot (it came off when I was assembling it this summer)
• sew more patches on my jean blanket
• sew two plastic bag holders so I can organize and store them better

... and, of course, lots of other stuff! I'm going to go and make more progress, before the length of this list scares me! ;) (I'm sure there are things that I've left off, that I'll remember as soon as I'm in the next room!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Found on Flickr


..we're happy tonight..

Neat! A great combination of watercolour, embroidery, and beads. :)

Public Service Announcement

Sara, formerly of "Crochet All Day", can now be found at Lazy Knits And Purls. I'm posting this as someone who has a hard time keeping track of all her moves, as a favour to all those like me. ;)

(Sara: *please* stop moving? Pretty please? ;) )

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yarn Stores Are Evil


IMG_4769

I went to Ram Wools to buy a big bottle of Eucalan for me (not in the photo, already put away), a sample pack of Eucalan to accompany a soon-to-be-completed gift, plus some extras for future gifts. I decided to wander around to see what is new.

Instead of spending $20, I spent... um... I'm *not* saying.

Yarn stores are *evil*, I say!

I did restrain myself somewhat... I considered buying a sweater's worth of that Lana Linda (some colours felt stiff from the dye, but these must have either been made from downy lambs from heaven fleece, or at least had some silk or something sneak in), but restrained myself and only got enough for a scarf and whatever accessories use up the leftovers from the scarf.

I wound the ball of sock yarn (yes, I *know* I said no more sock yarn) into a ball at the store, and managed to leave the ballband behind. *whoops!*

I can't decide if the scarf will be a gift, or for myself. I think it may end up for myself.

The Sky is Falling!

A *really* noisy flock of geese just flew overhead! I heard them from inside my apartment.

Found on Flickr


french knot sheep

So cute! I must make some! :)

Found on Flickr


Sophie, d├ętail

I love the purple (amethyst?) beads at the ends of the fringe! The random shapes and random lengths go so great together... and a great photo with the moss!

Found on Flickr


#279 Pond View

I had to post about one of my favourite fibre artists again. :) Great reflections!

Found on Flickr


Steampunk brass wire time bug

Oooo! Way cool! (I love the look of the brass with the dark wood, too.)

Antique(?) Barometer


Antique? Barometer

This barometer used to hang in my parents' house when I was growing up. Then my brother claimed it. (The glass was broken when he moved in with my dad... he didn't package it 100% securely, and dad apparently treated the box roughly... not really the fault of either, but the fault of both.) I got it from my brother when I was wondering if my joint pain was pressure related. (I never did make a properly documented study.)

I asked mom (without it there for discussion), and she thought it might have been a wedding present (and therefore not antique).

Dad thinks it might be an antique... he said it wasn't a wedding present, and might have come to the family when my great-grandmother (on my mom's side) moved into a nursing home. Mom... does that sound right?

At any rate, I think it looks cool, and I like how I used a copper-coloured ribbon to hang it from the side of my hand-me-down furniture. (The ribbon goes up over the top, and I screwed a hook into the hidden part of the particle-board side.)

Desk Update

Wednesday I stripped three more drawer fronts:
Stripped Drawer Fronts

I thought you might find some of the construction interesting too:
Dovetail Construction Inside of Desk Inside of Desk
Does anyone know how to date a desk? I'd love to know how old this actually is, or any other history related to it. :)

And last, but not least, this remnant of paper glued on the underside of one of the shelves amuses me:
Bottom of Shelf
I wonder what sort of reference it was? What are the numbers? I love it! (It is staying!)

Casting Ballots

I won! Tuesday, at the university bookstore, there was a contest for an "Art Fest" prize... I filled out a ballot, and I won! (I think I may have even won the grand prize, because my name was first on the list that I had to sign when I got my prize.) Here's what I won:
Prize!
Holbein Artists' Oil Colors, 12 colours (them's good quality paint!); Canson sketch pad, 65 lb, acid free; Strathmore 400 Series Smooth Art Board; paper palette; 10"x14" canvas panel; 11"x14" stretched canvas.

Of course, I then bought stuff to go with my prize:
Shopping...
But it was all on sale, so I don't feel so bad. ;) The brushes are nicer ones than what I've been using for acrylics, so I'll use them with my acrylics, and move my acrylic brushes over to oils. The lady at the store helped me pick out what I would need (linseed oil, and the brush cleaner)... we debated about the toxic solvents, but then decided that dish soap and water, finishing with the brush cleaner would do the job. (That's what she uses... and I really don't like breathing in highly toxic fumes.) The conte crayons I just got to try out, since they were such a good buy.

<begin lecture> Speaking of filling out ballots... make sure you *VOTE* in the upcoming election! (That's Tuesday for Canadians, and November for Americans.) Filling out a ballot doesn't guarantee you'll win, but not filling one out guarantees you'll lose. <end lecture>

Autumn!


Changing Leaves

I looked out my window a few minutes ago to discover that the leaves have now changed in my neighbourhood. I don't think they were this way yesterday! ...Of course, yesterday was long enough that I don't think I looked out my windows... I left early while half-asleep, then arrived home late and dead tired.

While deciding on which way to point my camera, I also noticed that my windows are filthy. The question is... clean them now, only to have them completely frost over in a month, or clean them in the spring when I'll be able to see out of them? ;)

Found on Flickr


Balls?

Oooo... there is something about these that I love!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Vintage Finds


Vintage Finds

I bought these at an "antiques & funk" shop... both will be put to use. :)

I have no idea if the piebird is actually old, or a reproduction. Either way, it's cute and functional. (Although it has a rather small hole on the top, and only slightly raised sides on the bottom... but hopefully that'll be enough.)

The handcarders definitely look old (the nails aren't uniform, and the carding cloth is leather), and there is some rust and mangled tines, but they work better than the pair I already had. The carding cloth on these is finer: the tines are closer together, and they're sproingy rather than stiff.

I like stuff that has history... what would make it better is if I *knew* the history. Oh well. ;)

The carders were $8, and the piebird was $4... so if the piebird was new, I probably paid about normal retail, and the carders are definitely *much* cheaper than buying new ones. Plus, reuse is good for the environment. ;)

Red River


Red River

The river was looking particularly lovely tonight as I walked across the bridge.

Last Night's Lovely Sunset


Sunset

Gorgeous!

Following Instructions

The other night I loaned my dad my food dehydrator so that he could dry some mushrooms he picked. (The ones he ate already haven't killed him yet, so he must have identified them correctly.) When he came to pick up the dehydrator, I stressed that the instructions were in the box, and that he should read them, because the way the pieces are assembled to fit in the box is *not* the way they should be assembled for use. I said this several times.

Today he dropped off the dehydrator, and sheepishly mentioned that he hadn't put the one white plastic piece where it was supposed to go, and the bottom rack had signs that it had been too close to the heat. He said it was still functional, but it definitely showed signs. (I didn't dare open the box.) *sigh* I said that that was why I had *told* him to read the instructions... had he read the instructions? "Um, did you tell me to do that? I read the ones that said not to put them in the dishwasher..."

He said that the bag of dehydrated ("shiitake") mushrooms he brought me was worth more than the dehydrator... that's all fine and dandy, but mushrooms won't dehydrate my beef jerky the next time I want to make some. ;)

Did I tell you the story about how my dad jumped on the ice to test that it would hold him *and* his ATV? And then later fell through, and had to walk to civilization?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Art Workshop

Yesterday I attended a fun workshop on compression style painting using acrylics on yupo. (Anyone know if that is pronounced "you-poh" or "yup-oh"?)

This painting is currently a bit of a failure:
IMG_4739
I may play with it some more, both for experience, and on the off chance that it turns into something I like.

But I really like these two:
Depths We All Come From The Earth
I plan to show them in the November art show and sale that my club has. :)

Scarf

On the alpaca farm tour (which I haven't blogged) I bought this handspun yarn (previously unblogged):
IMG_4695.JPG

In the spirit of "it doesn't count if it never makes it to stash", I made this fun little scarf:
IMG_4742 IMG_4743 IMG_4744 IMG_4746 IMG_4747 IMG_4748

Speaking of "it doesn't count if it never makes it to stash"... how does that work for yarns that simply don't fit in the stash bins? (I've decided to consolidate my stash into it's allocated containers, and even with the extra sock yarn bin, not everything fits.)

Crochet Socks


Crochet Socks

Woo hoo! I finally got around to blogging a finished pair of socks! (There are *many* pairs that I haven't gotten around to blogging... life has been crazy!) There were only two rows to go, so I finished these off last night.

Found on Flickr


01

Oooo... pretty. :) I love the use of crochet in the breast and belly of the bird. :)