Friday, April 29, 2011

Bookmarks, and Magnets, and Cards, oh MY!

Art shows sure take a lot of prep! Even on "vacation", It's taking late nights to get ready.

My display:
5 paintings, 76 cards, 12 card packs, 48 magnets, and 7 bookmarks.

So far I've sold a bunch of cards (including one pack), and some magnets. Looks like I might get a commission for a pet portrait. :) (They came to the show determined to buy a painting on the website... but that one had already been given to my friend K!)


It's 20 C out, 25 C in my apartment (I *soooo* want to put the AC in), and there's a winter weather watch, with snow forecast for tomorrow. Who set the weather settings to "random"?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yay Bike Ride!

Bike ride #2 of the season today. :) About the same length as last time, but a headwind only one way (yay!), and I stopped for Sub Zero ice cream on the way back. :)
1. I still get chain grease on my legs.
2. I inherited my mother's/grandfather's legs.
3. Although my legs are pasty, part of the colouring in the photo is from the lighting. They're actually more of a golden/red-pasty than blue-pasty.

I also stopped at Superstore, but they still didn't have the phones in stock that I was interested in. I did pick up some more dust masks and some top-on carrots.

Take That, Fast Food Chain!

Now *that* is a hamburger. (Gluten free, to boot!)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Bunny

Does anyone know what "polyglycerol esters of interesterified castoroil fatty acids" are? The fact that it contains cocoa butter and vanilla extract (as opposed to vanillin) implies that it's better than average Easter bunny chocolate, but the PEICFA is something I've never spotted on an ingredients label before.

Oh, wait... it's not an Easter bunny, it's a "Biggie Bunnie"... so it should be fine for that teacher who only allows "spring spheres" in her classroom. (The spelling is as good as the math.)

Update: Note to self: sometimes it's better not to google food additives.


I bought a lovely new work of art from another club member.
I happened to have an el-cheapo frame that is the right size. It's an el-cheapo frame, but it would allow me to get my new art on the wall sooner rather than later, protect it, and not cost any additional money.

The frame is a few millimeters too short width-wise. Frack. *sigh*

I had even picked out one of my paintings that I was going to put in the closet to make room for this one.

Speaking of art, the art show is coming up next weekend:
LCAG May 2011 poster OL
However, the lovely owl I bought has already been snapped up, so you'll have to find something else. ;) (If you want to come just to look, that's fine too!)

I have an eight foot space, plus cards and magnets in the shrink-wrap area. If you want to say hi, I'll be running credit cards on Friday and half of Sunday, and doing the silk painting demo on Sunday. I hope you can make it!

Worn Out

I think perhaps it's time to make a new bath mat.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tackling The "To Do" List

Monday, in addition to laundry, I tackled a minor task that's been on my to do list for a while: shortening my paint brushes. I like to be close to my acrylic paintings, and the long brushes keep bumping my shoulder. Using a short brush I like as a guide, and trying to keep important writing on the brush, I lopped off the ends:
Much better! (Hmmm... I wonder if there's anything useful to be done with paint brush ends?)

Of course, now my brush case is a bit taller than it needs to be:

It's also coming apart a bit:
I fixed that first:
(I feel like I should have brought it to the spinning and *weaving* retreat!)
Much better!

After that much, I decided to leave the shortening to another day.

First Bike Ride Of The Season

Yay bike ride!

I thought I put air in the tires before I left, but it turns out the reason the pump gauge said they were full is because I forgot one of the steps in opening the valves. (The "psst" when I took the pump off was from what I had built up in the pump.) Whoops. They weren't too low.

I greased the chain and gave it a wipe.

My bike wanted to "go!" just as much as last year... until I hit a head wind. Then my body remembered that it had spent the long winter being sedentary. Whoops.

Looking at Google Maps, it looks like it was about 12 km round trip. (I should add a bike mileage thingy to my wishlist.) I biked over to a friend's, visited for about an hour, then biked back.

On the way out, I had a headwind on Concordia (1.7 km), on the way back, I had a *stiff* headwind on the bike trail (1.8 km).

I remembered on the way back what my goof had been on the valves, so when I got home, I started pumping air. After one tire, I was feeling rather dizzy, so I lay down to let it pass. It didn't really, so I pumped up the other tire. Probably low blood sugar, rather than low oxygen.

Although it was bright and sunny this morning, clouds moved in by the time I made it outside. However, it didn't start raining until after I was home. :)

Strange sight on this morning's ride:
Although a CarCycle isn't a usual sight, the thing that had me really surprised was how it was parked on an Elmwood street, and hadn't been stolen! The training wheels are cute. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Knitting to the Rescue

Turns out this is the perfect knitting project to help me get my marking done.


I have both hands full of yarn, and so have to untangle myself and set it down to move the post-it notes.


(There are separate charts for front and back, so I have two post-its to move.)

The rows are short and quickly completed. I love seeing progress.

After I mark a few questions, I let myself knit 1-3 rows (depending on how much I've marked).

It's saving my sanity, plus helping me make progress on my marking. Another late night tonight (if I can stand it), and I should be done. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Change of seasons

You know winter is over when construction hits. There was a plague of it downtown yesterday.

Sorry I caused the weather to turn cold overnight... I left my windows open all night. (It was *brisk* today, inside *and* out!)

Taking a break

Although I've been swamped with marking, sometimes I need a break.

The mittens have been progressing surprisingly quickly on those breaks.

IMG_4307 IMG_4308

PS: In case you didn't notice, I added the broken needle photo to the post below.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Furnace Filters

...Not just for furnaces:


I bought a pack of filters last week, but hadn't gotten them in the windows yet. When I got home today, it was quite warm in the house, so I rigged this temporary set-up. Works great. :)

Social Cooties

Winnipeg is in it's dusty season, where the snow has melted, leaving behind a season's worth of road grime, ground down sand (and probably road too), salt, and snow mold. I'm recovering from my cold, and still have a hacking cough.

So that my cough isn't exacerbated by the dust, I've been wearing dust masks.

People look at me strange, and I've noticed the seat next to me staying empty longer. I ignore the looks, and enjoy the space. ;)


...That didn't sound good.

I caught my lunchtime knitting bag between my hip and the door frame. One of my KnitPicks wood straights is now in three pieces.

Photo to come when I'm near my camera cable.


Sunday, April 10, 2011


Getting 22 stitches per 4 inches, instead of 24. I think the pattern must have been written by a tight knitter, because it calls for 3.5 mm / US 4, and that's the size needles the yarn recommends to get 22 stitches per 4 inches.

Punching in the numbers, the gauge difference is adding an inch to the circumference. Looks like I need to rip and restart on smaller needles. :(

Besides the size, a looser gauge will be less durable, and let more wind through.

Trying to balance keeping the floats loose with getting a tighter gauge is going to be tricky.

Pattern: Wool Trends double mitten with knitted-in angora lining (note: I got a different angora yarn than the one listed on the kits page), Ravelry link.

Ravelry project page.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


I've basically spent the last five days in bed, if you ignore the failed attempt to go to work, the time spent doing laundry Saturday (no option), or the few dishes I managed to do... was it Sunday? I'm now in a bit of a stupor. I'm hoping that this is a sign that I've now slept the cold off, and am ready to get back to work. (It would have been more convenient had the "slept enough" point happened in the morning, not when it was time to go to bed.)

I woke up this morning, coughing enough I had to have a bath to settle it. I had another bath tonight. After a bunch of phone calls, I got some asthma meds to prevent bronchitis. (Amusing: after getting a phone call, I went to the back door to exchange a fist full of cash for a paper bag with drugs... my parents had picked up my prescription for me. ;) ) I took the puffs then, and will take a second dose after I finish writing this, before bed. (It's supposed to be twice a day, and it was mid-afternoon when I got them, but I didn't want to wait to start.)

I'm not sure if the medication is starting to kick in, or if the cough is under control due to the bath. If it's the meds, I should be able to go to work tomorrow. If it's the bath, I probably won't do so well if I try to go in. I suppose I'll have an idea when I wake up, and find out how the hacking cough is then.

I should just go to bed, and figure this out in the morning (since I obviously can't figure it out right now)... but sleeping for five days has really thrown my schedule off. I feel like I should be hungry (I don't know why... possibly because I only ate twice today), but I don't think I am. I hate being in a stupor.

Well... time to medicate, use the neti-pot, do my normal nightly ablutions, and hopefully I'll get to sleep okay. Perhaps I'll change which pajamas I'm wearing, just for some variety.

Whatever I have, I really hope no one else gets it. :(

Monday, April 04, 2011

To The Fool Who Would Be King

I'm all for rehabilitating criminals, but wouldn't a prison farm be better than a job as a political advisor? And even if that person appears to have been reformed, do you really want to give them security clearance? Especially since their crimes involved fooling people?

Either you are a fool, or the person you allow to do your hiring is a fool... and anyone who allows a fool to do his hiring is a fool.


I thought I was feeling better this morning, but my the time I got to work, I thought better of it.

There's nothing like a virus and lungs full of gunk to leave you wiped out. Even sitting in front of the computer right now is making me tired. (I already napped for four hours after straggling home from my failed attempt to be a productive member of society today. I thought I'd let myself up for a bit, to see how it goes.)

This morning I knew I wasn't 100%, but I thought it was just an iffy voice and not-100% lungs. I felt like I had energy.

The energy was used up by my walk to the bus stop.

By the time I got to work, I had to take a sore throat lozenge, and was probably disturbing the rest of the bus riders with my hacking cough. Standing up at the office, I felt dizzy.

So I said "hi, good-by, I'll try again tomorrow."

I called my allergist, and she's phoned in a prescription for my "try to prevent the cold from becoming bronchitis" lung medications, so I'll at least have to show up to the university for that. (I could have had it sent to a closer pharmacy, but I didn't feel like going out again today, and made the possibly foolish assumption that I'll be better by tomorrow. Four days in bed should be enough, right?!?)


Sunday, April 03, 2011


Well, this is useless. I felt like I had a bit more energy, so I decided to attack the dishes. (At least a bit.) I changed from pajamas to real clothes, rinsed the few items that were soaking in the sink (most were already piled to the side), then filled the rinse bucket with water.

I'm now pooped, and out of energy. (To the point of feeling shaky.) Maybe that feeling of "starting to get some energy back" was just a delusion. :P


Amusing: Discovering you have a frog in your throat when you call your boss to warn her that you may be home sick on Monday too. (It's my third day in bed... not much is amusing at this point.) Unsurprisingly, she had no trouble believing that I'm still sick.

Given how much gunk I've been hacking up, it probably shouldn't have surprised me that it was having an effect on my voice. When you live alone, you really don't have many reasons to make that discovery, though, unless you decide to test it.

Here's hoping I'm over this nasty cold soon!