Saturday, January 31, 2009


I got the following from my landlord, after requesting some clarification on the rules:
Your spot is your spot, so no problem. I just don't want people parking extra vehicles unless they have permission.

If the social gathering doesn't affect your neighbors, I'm ok with it, but if it does it's a problem.

Let me know if there is anyone that needs more clarifications.

My New Knitting With Beads Tools

I've been working on Ice Queen (um, started in August at the lake, then ignored for many months until a day or two ago), but have been having problems with the beads I chose (size 8). Many of the light blue beads had holes that were just a smidge too small for my itty-bitty, size 0.75 mm crochet hook. So I made some beading tools:
(some steps not photographed due to the battery needing charging)
I made one for each colour, so I could just pre-load a bunch of beads on each.

Demo (I'm not at a stitch that needs a bead, so I just used the yarn tail):
Ta da!

Painting and Palette

When I put my paints away, they looked like this:
When I opened the palette today, they looked, um... "moist":

Today there was light (wow!), so I could get before and after photos without the flash:
IMG_0631.JPG IMG_0633.JPG
(If you're having trouble telling the difference, I worked a bit on the snow in the distance.)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Small Problem

It's time to go to lunch, but I my foot has pins & needles from waking up.

Okay, now it's over, and I can go eat. Yay!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mah Nu "Sta-Wet" Palette

Don'tcha hate it when a product butchers spelling? Here it is at the start of tonight's painting session:
and at the end::
Look! Grass highlights! More snow!:
Doesn't it look amazingly different? Aren't you waiting on tenterhooks to see the next incremental update? ;) Yep, this is a gradual process.

For your viewing pleasure, here's a comparison between the current version and the previous version:
IMG_0614.JPG IMG_0605.JPG
and between the current version and the photo I'm working from:
IMG_0614.JPG Dad and Nicky

A Few Bad Apples?

Rules Reminder

Hmmm... could this be a case of a few bad apples making things worse for the bushel? Not that there's a bushel of tenants in this block.

There's one tenant that regularly uses more than his alloted one parking space, but he's moving out in February. There's another tenant that has added a vehicle recently, but I think it's the fellow below me, and I saw his regular vehicle being brought here by tow truck, and the "new" vehicle that appeared has been parking tight up against the old one.

This had better not affect my ability to occasionally park a vehicle in my spot.

As to the other "rule reminders", I'm guessing it's mainly against one tenant... she sometimes has people over late (and they aren't super quiet), she leaves her stroller beside her door (in a completely out-of-the-way spot), and it was her guest that I dragged outside when I caught him smoking indoors. Her downstairs neighbour complains whenever there's noise there late, and the caretaker doesn't like her either.

The "no partying after 10 pm" rule is phrased in such a way that it really has no effect against Mr Party-Of-One below me. (Grr. Although it's been a few weeks since he bothered me last.) I wonder how this rule affects me having a friend over for spinning? (I can't remember what time we normally go to.)

I did notice a strong smell of... cigars? in the hall yesterday when I got home, but I have no idea if it was someone in the hall, or if it spilled out of someone's suite.

There's other tenants that leave bikes in the storage room that aren't in their lockers, and another guy who has a set of tires not in his locker... but these rules don't really address this either.

The grease stains on the paper sure add some class to the notice too. :P

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Painting WIP

When last I updated you about my painting in progress, it looked like this:
Painting WIP
and, to unconfuse you, I showed you what I'm attempting to paint:
Dad and Nicky

Well, since then, mom and Bob gave me my birthday present early... an easel!!! Folded:
Unfolded with the drawer pulled out:
Paints in the drawer:
Painting being supported by the easel:
Isn't it awesome!?! They had been going to wait, but decided I could really make use of it for the acrylic classes I'm taking this month. I *love* it! It makes packing up and setting up so much easier. :) (I still have two other bags... I have too many paints, brushes, etc. to all fit in the easel, plus there isn't room in the easel for my palette, water container, or mediums.)

I have also been making progress on my painting. After the underpainting shown above, we were given homework instructions to paint the lightest lights, and the darkest darks:
I completed this homework shortly before I had to leave for the lesson when it was "due". Whoops. ;) Then, at the lesson, I continued working on the snow and sky:
I asked the instructor how to approach the painting, and she said to work in layers, from the back to the front. So, next I worked on the sky:
(I did that last night at home. I'm actually finding time to paint at home! Well, a tiny bit of time...)

Tonight at class I spent two hours adding the thin, flat clouds of winter, and the farthest off bit of grass:
Yeah... I don't know how it can take that long to paint that tiny bit either. ;) I think it's because I keep having to stop to let what I paint dry, before continuing to work my way forward.

Even if it isn't that much yet, I think I did a rather nice job on the sky and far-away grass/bulrushes. (The bulrushes may require some highlights before I get to the next closest bit, and the snow in front of those bulrushes definitely needs another layer of paint.)

So, once more, here's the painting side-by-side with the photo I'm working from:
IMG_0605.JPG Dad and Nicky
Yep, that faraway bit definitely needs some highlights. (Those also required me to wait for the current layer to dry... and there wasn't enough time at class, so I just cleaned up and left it at it's current state.) I think this is a painting that is best done in many short painting sessions. (Perhaps I should get a stay-wet palette for that, so that I waste less paint.)

So... whaddaya think? ;)

Monday, January 26, 2009


Cobblestone WIP

I'm now at the point where I need my size US 5 dpns. They aren't where I thought they were. While I searched alternate places they could be hiding, I found this vintage set (19 cents!) that someone gave me when they were cleaning out stuff, but they're bigger than a US 5. Anyone see a set of US 5 dpns lying around somewhere? They're bamboo, I think Clover brand. *sigh*

Now I *really* wish I had tossed in a set of US 5 Harmony needles in my KnitPicks order, like I had contemplated. (I checked. They aren't on the bill. So much for being responsible. ;) )

Grrr. (There are more places I can look, but they're more difficult due to clutter, container sizes, and last year's moving mess.)

Political Musings

Blagojevich: Is he really that stupid?

Obama: *love*

Canadian parliament: Where's our Obama? *sigh*

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I loved that pot.

Today, while washing my "chili pot", I discovered a crack:

While examining the crack, wondering if I could get away with continuing to use it, or if it would "explode" (corningware does that)... it slipped, hit the faucet, and cracked off the handle:

Farewell, dear pot. You served me well, and I shall miss you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Can I Get An EWWWWWWW!!!!!?

Background story, part 1: I live in an apartment. The tub is white (well, it was after I scrubbed it, it was grey when I moved in), and the bathtub surround is sort of an off-white-yellow. Now, it's a bit odd to have a white tub and an off-white surround, but then, landlords are usually thinking more about cost when they renovate, not aesthetics. So I wondered about it, but not really that much. I did notice it fading over time, so I figured at least some of the colour was due to some previous tenant being a smoker. (The condensation on the walls and ceiling was yellow too... that's getting better.) I wondered just what colour the surround had been originally.

Background story, part 2: There was a stick-on hook on the surround that kept getting mildewy, due to it's location with respect to the spray from the shower. I never use the hook, and the caretaker had expressed his extreme displeasure with stick-on stuff when I moved in, so I took the liberty of removing it today.

Here's the spot after removing the hook, scraping off a bit of remaining sticky stuff, and wiping it with a wet cloth during my shower:
Smoke Stain
The white square is a piece of printer paper I'm holding up for colour reference purposes. Apparently the hook had been put up while smokers were living there, and it had prevented the stains from being washed off. EWWWWWWWW!!!! Can you imagine what it was doing to the smoker's *lungs*?!?!!!

Now, that got me thinking again of what colour the surround had started off as, and the fact that it was odd to have the surround a different colour than the tub.

That's when I realized that this spot:
Smoke Stain
showes the original colour, or, at least, the original colour under non-smoking ageing conditions.

I had noticed the pale spot before, but the bit of white paint, and some of whatever that filler is, threw me off realizing that it was actually the original colour. (This spot is where a shower contraption was attached before the plumbing was upgraded. The contraption would have been installed at the same time the surround was installed.)

Look at that pale, near-white spot, and the still-stained surface around it. Now look again at the stain that has been protected from washing:
Smoke Stain
Ewwwww! (Now be thankful that I didn't show it to you before I scrubbed it some!)

Smokers: The habit you are addicted to is truly disgusting. It smells disgusting, you and your clothing smell disgusting (please wash your outerwear regularly too!), it is harmful to you and those around you, and it stains things. Ew.

No wonder my time disappears...

So, after my shower, I went downstairs and started my laundry. (Yay! The facilities were not in use!) As I was sorting laundry, the building caretaker came in, and we started chatting. He started off by complaining about the tenant whose suite he's repairing right now (the pipes in that section were replaced in early December, he's finally finishing the patching now... and yes, the tenant complains about the caretaker too), and we started talking about stuff that people do that we don't like. I mentioned that I can't wait for one family to move out, because they're heavy smokers, and the smell gets into the hallway. That reminded me of something in the bathroom, and, after moving my first load into the dryer and starting the second load, I took him up to show him. (You'll see it in a bit too, I've got a post coming about it.) Then I showed him the damage that the ice caused, gave him a candy cane from my Christmas tree (yes, I know), we talked about how the tree was growing, he asked about a painting I'm working on (post coming), then he noticed my spinning wheel. I ended up demonstrating spinning with the wheel, spinning with a spindle, yarns have different thicknesses (etc) depending on what you're making, then explaining about the fact that there's different sheep breeds, and different breeds have different qualities. That moved on to the fact that there's different breeds of chickens (I happen to have an old calendar with photos to prove it)... and then I think my buzzer buzzed to indicate it was time to go down and retrieve my first load from the dryer. We continued to talk while I switched that load, but he let me go afterwards.

Now it's 7 pm, I still haven't washed my dishes (or taken down the Christmas tree) or had dinner. (I need to wash dishes to eat tonight.)

Time sure has a way of evaporating. (I did a bit of blog reading too after changing the wash.)

(Conversations with my caretaker are a bit of work... he's partially deaf, and somewhat simpleminded. You have to talk loud, slow, and explain lots. Kind of like when I'm running the help centre.)

Well, I suppose I should go attack those dishes so that I can eat. I'm hungry. Perhaps I'll steam some broccoli first... that pot is still clean. I'll just eat dinner in shifts. Whee.

Thank you!

Thank you, for all your hugs! I do appreciate both the hugs, and all my online friends. :) (Sometimes I just need someone local, you know?) I thought I should let you know that I'm feeling a lot better today than I was the other day I posted, and one of my friends with commitments has found time to squeeze me in next Friday. :) (I think she likes it as much as I do, but it's all those dang commitments, you know?)

So... today is for laundry, taking down the Christmas decorations and tree (I *know*!), and sewing up some of the things on my list, so that I can put the sewing machine away. Plus dishes... I don't think I've washed them since last Sunday, when I had my previous marathon washing. (At least this time I was able to eat relatively normal meals with the dishes I had.)

If I get the sewing machine put away early enough, I'm going to do a little painting too. (I have to show you the *awesome* easel box my mom and Bob gave me as an early birthday present!!!!)

It would have been nice to go skating too, but at -21C, my dad chickened out, and I have a few too many things to do to go by myself. (If I have other people's schedule to work around, I feel justified in putting off chores. Otherwise I don't.) I did get out last weekend (I'll be posting that on the Swatchy blog soon, I hope), so that was nice. :) My new skates are *wonderful*!

Okay... off to take care of business. (First up, showering and getting dressed. Then I can start the laundry. I enjoy a slow start to my Saturdays.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm Lonely

I'm lonely, and it sucks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Aforementioned Tuques

I spun the leftover roving from the thrummed mittens:
IMG_0565.JPG IMG_0566.JPG

Then knit tuques, which, although I cast on the number of stitches I calculated to be appropriate, ended up arbitrary sizes:
IMG_0576.JPG IMG_0578.JPG
The mom said she'd roll up the brim, and their hoods would keep them on. (What is it with me and tuques? If I try to make them specific sizes, they never fit. *sigh*)

Given the amount of green that came off on my dpns:
I decided to set the dye in the green tuque (I didn't want the mom to freak out when her fair-haired kid came home with green hair):
I gave it a soak in water with some vinegar, then plain water, then gave both tuques a eucalan bath.

The mom is thrilled. I'm not sure what the kids think yet... they're both miserably sick, so I haven't pestered them.

Window Ice

Window Ice

My window ice scares me. (Luckily this was several days ago, and it's now warm enough that it's melting and dripping outside, as far as I can tell.)

Cobblestone WIP

Cobblestone WIP

This was taken a few days ago, so it's a bit longer now. I should probably slip it on a longer cable and try it on, although it will grow a bit when I get it wet. It's a nice, relaxing knit. :) (Those early purl rows were hard on my hands, though! With all the mittens and tuques, it's been a while since I've been purling.)

Christmas Tree Growth

Christmas Tree Growth

I find this quite fascinating. (Yes, I still need to take my tree down. So sue me.)

Crochet Socks

Crochet Socks

Oh, look... another pair. (That I actually blogged!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Contest Alert!

Check out the great bags up for grabs at Balkan Style, and wish her a happy blogiversary while you're there!

Contest Alert!

Okay, so I'm not in bed yet... but that means I can let you know about a great blog contest for a basket of cool crafts that you should run and enter to win!

(And now I'm heading to bed. Really!)

Staying Warm, Crafting

Tonight, after a nice, long nap, I stayed in and did crafts. :)

First, I swatched for my Cobblestone sweater:
Cobblestone Swatch
(Yay! I swatched! Good me!) Given that the wool is superwash, and the yarn also contains cotton, silk, and seacell, I wanted to see how the gauge would behave. I got stitch gauge, but the row gauge was too loose. Then I washed the swatch (yay me!) to see what happened when it hit water:
Cobblestone Swatch Cobblestone Swatch
It looks like it grew, but I'll measure again tomorrow after it's dry.

I'm a bit bummed, because I don't have Addi lace or KnitPicks needles in a size US6, but perhaps I'll need to go down to a US5. ;) (I have Boye interchangeables, but they're not nearly as nice.)

Then I spun up and plied the rest of the roving from the green thrummed mittens, and got 36 yards:
Merino Handspun
Since I want to use that yarn shortly (to make a matching tuque), I gave it, and Curly Sue's yarn (similar colours) a finishing bath:
Handspun Soaking

Okay... time for bed. Good night, sleep tight, and stay warm!