Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Someone tried a break-in again recently. This time they were actually in the building, and tried a crowbar to get into the storage area. I still hadn't heard from my landlord about whether he was making police reports, so I called the police non-emergency line to find out. They wouldn't tell me anything, and also wouldn't allow me to make the reports myself. Grrr. (It has to come from either the caretaker, who is half deaf and not super bright, or the landlord.)

So I called my landlord. He'd been away, and only just got back yesterday. He's leaving again for another trip. When I asked him if he'd made reports, he asked what the point was. Argh! Yes, I know there's not much that could be done, but they might send out more frequent patrols, or something. They *certainly* won't do anything if they don't know there's a problem!!!

He said he'd call the cops, and after he's back from his other trip, he'll do something about making the laundry room more secure.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I found this lovely piece of fabric in the remnants bin:
I think it will make a fantastic felted bag lining, or something. :)

(Yes, I was checking to see if there was suitable bag fabric in the remnants bin... but there wasn't, so I paid full price for the fabric for my brother's bags.)

Funny Sign

I love it when someone with a sense of humour gets to order the signs. :)

(Seen in a Phys Ed building at my university, while preparing for the final exam.)

Lessons Learned

Earlier this season, my brother commented that my reusable bags were really nice. I decided to make him a couple for Christmas. I finally had time to buy the fabric a week before Christmas, and washed the fabric that night at my mom's. However, I didn't end up having time that weekend to cut and sew the bags. I worked up to the 22nd, came down with a cold, went shopping with my dad on the 23rd, went to his wife's for Christmas Eve... and came home that night to bags that were still looking an awful lot like a wrinkled piece of fabric. So I started cutting and sewing.

Finally, shortly after 4:00 am, I had a Christmas gift ready:
(I bought 2m of fabric to make 2 bags, since cotton canvas tends to shrink a lot, but somehow still had enough fabric to make three bags. Bonus!)

Lessons learned:

1. Sewing takes way longer than I think it will.

2. Buy lots of thread... sewing takes way more than I think it will. (And stores aren't open at 3:00 am on Christmas morning.)

"I don't need to buy thread," I thought, "I have matching thread at home!"

It was true... I did have matching thread at home:
However, it ran out half way through sewing the top on the second bag. My back-up green was a greyish green, and looked plain grey against the lime green fabric:
So I tried a contrasting red that matched some of the design. Unfortunately, either my seamstress skills suck, or there was a reason the sewing machine only cost $100. The above photo is the wrong side. The right side looks rather worse:
(And here I thought I could sew straight lines on non-slippery fabric.)

Oh well... they're sturdy, and will carry groceries just fine.

Next time I promise to try to remember to buy extra thread.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Contest Alert!

Thread Therapy is having another give-away, this time for a lovely tea cup and saucer! The deadline is soon, though. (Sorry for not being more on the ball!)

Monday, December 20, 2010


Hee! I saw a cute crochet pattern while perusing Flickr, and clicked on the pattern link. Google offered to translate it from Dutch for me... but I think it had a few problems. Here's a sampling of the translation:
1st round: 4 Handling (1st double stick), 19 double crochet dc in ring, consistent with a slip in the fourth single from unloading on April 1. You now have 20 stabbing. Times.
April Fools? ;)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I can haz warmth!

The winter coat I bought back in... oh... was it 1996? 1997? has finally reached the point where it looks like it belongs to a homeless person. (One with access to laundry facilities, at least.) It wasn't that bad at the beginning of the season, but the tears where the pocket corners join the jacket are getting ridiculous, and the cuffs are showing their age too.

A friend admonished me, for goodness sakes, not to buy a men's coat. She offered to take me shopping, but I had already arranged with my dad, since then it would be a Christmas present from him. (Actually, it was because I remembered seeing a nice selection at some places he took me before, and which were awkward to get to by bus... plus the possibility that the coat might become a Christmas present.)

Saturday I bought a ladies coat, although I had some misgivings. It was very fitted, and I'm not used to having winter coats being fitted. The salesperson convinced me that you don't *want* a lot of extra room, because then you had to heat all that air. However, there was *no* extra room, even though the coat was XL. I got several second opinions on Sunday, and decided that I wasn't going to be happy with the coat.

Today dad and I returned that coat, and went shopping in the men's department. (Sorry R!) I now have a men's size L down jacket. (M might have fit, but they were out of Ms, and S was definitely too small.) Dad and I were debating who I looked like more... I said the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but dad said the Micheline Man. (After googling the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, it turns out he was fictional fictional, for Ghostbusters. I guess my dad never saw that movie.)

There were some nice looking coats in the women's department that fit, but they had polyester outer fabrics that were attracting dirt from well over a foot away (dad tested using a scrap thread he pulled off one), and, in addition, the fabrics didn't feel that durable. Why is it that only men are expected to need practical outerwear? *sigh*

Tomorrow, you may laugh when you see me, but I shall be warm. (Hmmm... I wonder if I'll still fit in a single bus seat?)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pudgy Little Bunny

Gee... the bunnies look pudgier this time of year. ;) This one is cleaning up after the messy birds scattered their seeds. :)

The city bunnies definitely aren't jack rabbits... not only are they smaller, but their ears are much shorter. I think jack rabbits go white in the winter too.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Crazies In The Neighbourhood

Oooo! Another entertaining sign on the house down the street:
Looks like all the signs might be the result of a divorce gone bad?

I pity the new owner, should actually moving in prove problematical... but I'm happy for the neighbours of this nut. ;)

Latest Dishcloth

Given to a knitter friend who brings cookies and buys my pattern magnets. :)

Window Chili

Neato! My chili peppers are ripening from the tip down:
It looks rather festive, doesn't it?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Latest Dishcloth

Very happy!

New Handtowel

I still need to find and sew on a button, but other than that, I've finished another hand towel:
The previous ones I did haven't worn out, but they've gotten grungy from heavy use, and don't *look* clean even fresh from the wash. This one shouldn't have that problem, I hope.

I made it from a nice, thick facecloth, rather than cutting a hand towel in half.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tip For Idiot Drivers

Suggestion: you might want to brush off more than just the front windshield and driver's door windows... with roads the way they are, being able to see more than 90 degrees will help you avoid someone who is about to hit you from the right or behind.

Also, how on earth do you expect to be able to merge right safely?!?!?!!!!

I'm glad I'm home now, for more reasons than one!

Monday, November 22, 2010

This is Ridiculous

Really? REALLY?!?!! It's only been snowing since Thursday, and the snow piles are *already* a storey tall. Sheesh.

The rivers are still high. I heard on the news this morning about flooding in some areas, and the Amphibex being sent out to break up ice jams. Next spring could be *bad*.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Winter Is Here

Attendance at the art show was pitiful... probably due to weather and the number of other shows on this weekend.

My display:
(Since pretty much everyone missed seeing it in person.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Contest Alert!

For craft images here

Rest In Peace

Rest in peace, neighbour. You were a wonderful person, and I'm glad I knew you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh, The Weather Outside Is Frightful

And the sidewalks haven't been plowed yet. Since it would take me a ridiculous amount of time to slog down to Henderson with the way the sidewalks were, I decided to wait for the 20 (since the 60 runs often enough that I *should* have been fine). The 20 was only about five minutes late... but then I ended up waiting *25* minutes for the 60!!! According to the schedule, *five* buses should have gone past in that time. Even if they can't manage to be on time, it would be nice if they could at least maintain spacing. *sigh* With additional time lost en route, I'll be making up 26 minutes sometime.

I don't think any students missed me... anyone who would have come see me for help would also be contending with the buses, and I have yet to have a single customer.

I wonder how many of my students will be showing up for class this afternoon?

PS: It will be nice and toasty at the art show tonight, so if you're looking for something to do... ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Making A Mess

Since Thursday was a holiday, I was a bit ahead on my dishes this weekend... so I decided to dirty a bunch. Presenting six mini lasagnas ready to be frozen, then popped into the oven on a week night:
Mushroom-Spinach Lasagna with Goat Cheese. Mmmm! My apartment smells unbelievably good. (My kitchen is now a disaster.)

I suppose I should go wash all those dishes I created now... *sigh*

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Windwheel Repair

*cough* *cough*... Note to self: although it doesn't smell, pay attention to the "work in a well ventilated area" warning! (I meant to have the windows open, but forgot. I've got a cross-breeze going now, and am in a different room. Opening the windows at +1C is a bit nippy.)

I finally got around to gluing the upper wheel on my Windwheel spinning wheel. I meant to do this repair outside on a nice sunny day, but somehow that never happened this summer. So, kitchen it is. For those who are interested, I took photos of the steps (except the actual gluing... I needed to focus then, to get the glue *only* where I wanted it):


Here you can see the crack better:
It turns out it wasn't *completely* separated... there were strands joining the two parts. This made gluing more challenging.

These clamps were to go through the holes:
It turns out it's difficult to get clamps that are small enough to fit in the holes, while being long enough to span the holes. This pair *just* fit the bill once I removed the pads... but then there were no pads. So I added a few layers of newspaper to minimize marking.

Dry run:
The newspaper around the wheel is for two reasons: protect the wood from the ratchet, and to keep the strap from being permanently glued to the wheel. ;)

Glued & clamped:

Now we wait...

Last Weekend's Gardening

This is what caused the pain I experienced Saturday, Sunday, and then sore backs of thighs for several more days:
Not very impressive, is it? Well, it was basically the first time I had gardened all year, and wet clay is... difficult. Here's an idea of how it looked before:
All the green shredded stuff is from my caretaker's idea of gardening... before I went out, he went at the garden with the weed whacker. (I don't have high hopes for this garden after I leave.) I have pulled the annuals from this second area, but the rest will have to wait until spring now. (It's been snowing & raining since last night. Nothing has stuck, but the ground is even wetter now, and, being mid-November, there's no hope of it being workable before spring.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I had a strange dream last night. It was my birthday, and I was having a large number of people coming for cake, which was being served in a gymnasium. The cake was to be a layer cake, but it wasn't ready when people started arriving. The cake and filling were both made, but the cake had to be sliced and the layers assembled. My dad decided to slice the cake layers, but sliced four layers instead of five, and did a really crooked job of it too. This was annoying but okay... but *then* someone cut up the cake into tiny irregular pieces. This meant that it was going to be difficult and time consuming to assemble the layers... I'd have to make sure the pieces were all in place, then add the filling, then assemble the pieces of the next layer. As I was doing this, people started helping themselves to cake, which upset me further, since (a) I no longer had all the pieces of the puzzle, and (b) there wouldn't be enough of the final cake for everyone if some of it had already been eaten before the party started. But whenever I chased people down to get the pieces back, other people would take the opportunity to serve themselves cake. Finally I smooshed the remaining cake into a bunny outline (why a bunny when I had been making a rectangle before? I don't know!), and put on the icing. The final smooshed result was inedible, and so I didn't get any cake.

I woke up still feeling upset. (Don't you hate that? You know it's irrational, yet you can't shake the feeling.)

When I got in to work, H had brought in leftover birthday cake, and I got a slice. It was even a layer cake! What a bizarre coincidence!

That slice of cake *really* improved my morning. Thanks H! Happy birthday again!

Learned something new today...

When I was stumped, a co-worker found the answer:
According to the JLS:

A compound assignment expression of the form E1 op= E2 is equivalent to E1 = (T)((E1) op (E2)), where T is the type of E1, except that E1 is evaluated only once.


int x = 0;
x += Math.pow(y,z);

is equivalent to

int x = 0;
x = (int) (x + Math.pow(y,z));
Fascinating! It's fun learning something new. :)

Saturday, November 06, 2010



It was a nice day today, it hasn't rained in a while (well, not *too* recently), and my weekend wasn't as crazy busy as they have been... so I decided to go out and prepare the garden for winter. (Dig the lawn & weeds that were reestablishing themselves in the bed, pull the annuals, and trim the perennials.)

The soil was *still* mud. The first stuff I dug wasn't too bad, but, as I worked my way back towards the lawn, I had to dig the stuff I had been standing on... pure airless clay. A consistency that would probably be nice for working on a wheel. I did get a bunch done, but not nearly as much as I had planned, and not nearly as much as I would have been able to had I been able to dig the peat moss in at some point this summer. *sigh*

I didn't feel the strain while working. I didn't feel the strain while showering. I didn't feel the strain when I took my laundry downstairs. However, when I bent over to sort the laundry, I suddenly felt it in my chest. Somehow, I seem to have strained my upper breastbone, and *boy*, is it *painful*. I can feel it in the rest of my chest too. (Why my chest?)

Apparently, this is what I get for not gardening all summer, and then try to dig gumbo for several hours.

I think I'll be leaving the dishes I had intended to tackle tonight until tomorrow. (Thankfully I did get some done Thursday night, so the pile isn't as scary as it could be.)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fun With Bible Thumpers

I saw this comment at another blog (Note: make sure you read after point #1.):
To rock another post about being gay and what the bible teaches:

1) When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

2) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

5) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

6) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging

Found A Blog

I found a lovely craft blog via a Flickr photo, and thought I'd share a link. She's planning on having some blog contests in November, if you need other incentive to click over. ;)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Brain Fart...

Whoops... I misunderstood the bus schedule (and apparently had my logic circuits turned off), and ended up at knit-night an hour early. I was *really* confused when I first got here, but caught on when I looked at my watch. (For only the nth time since getting off the bus.) Doh!

Well, I was able to do a bit of work... but the rest will have to wait until I'm home (dishes, evil dishes) or back at school (access to Access). Or until someone e-mails me a question. Hmmm... just thought of something else I can do. TTFN!

Art Show Invitation

I'm showing again this year in our upcoming group show:
LCAG Digital invite NOV 2010

Also, my mom is displaying at Art Expo this weekend, so I encourage you to go down and buy lots! ;)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Better

This is what I didn't want to blog about earlier, but can now that it has been fixed:
Looks like some eedjit tried to force the front door to the building last night, and bent the latch. According to the caretaker, initially the landlord wasn't planning on coming to fix it until tomorrow, which meant that the building would be unsecured overnight. (The only way to get the latch to extend was to push it from behind with a screwdriver, which only worked when the mechanism was disassembled.) I sent him an e-mail with photos, and explained my concerns. The lock is now fixed, and I am happy. :) (Not happy that someone tried to force the door, but happy that all is now fixed.)


Happy, happy, joy, joy! Mr Landlord is on his way to Home Depot, so the problem will be fixed before nightfall!

Apartment Grumbles

Grrr... I have some apartment grumbles to post, but will not be posting them until at *least* tomorrow, for reasons that will become *very* apparent. I am *so* looking forward to owning my own place, when I can do repairs on *my* schedule. (Even if they are inconvenient... but the stores are open for another hour and a half, and so this *could* be done without incurring overtime hours of a specialist. Heck, get me the dang part, and I'll do it myself!)

*sigh* ...Dreaming of a nice little house in a well-treed area.


I had some great sushi tonight (now last night)... with an adorable little carrot butterfly:
I just had to share. :)


In addition to the political robo-calls last week, I seem to be getting more prank calls. Including something right now. (1:45 am.) I wonder if the prank calls are Halloween related? (Or students who are annoyed with me?)

Private numbers are now blocked. If you have your number blocked, and are actually someone I want to hear from, send me an e-mail with a time that you would like to call, and I'll temporarily unblock it. (Or you can unblock your number.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Winnipeg came down with a case of the white fluffies last night, but it seems to be fully recovered now.

All these pressure changes are killing my head, though. :P

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Breakfast of Champions" This is NOT.

Dinner of the Dedicated
"Dinner of the Dedicated"

High protein, high carbs, high sodium... being stuck on campus late means convenience store food. (Unless it's even later, in which case it's vending machine junk.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Ugh... could someone please shut off the fireworks that are going off in my head? I think I'm going to be sick.

And while you're at it, you can give the knee arthritis back to whatever granny it belongs to. I really don't need it.

(I think my body is giving a commentary on the weather. This morning they were referring to it as a "weather bomb" on the radio.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Contest Alert!

Oooo! Click over for a chance to win a cute handmade hippo softie!


*sigh*... Smarmy Sam won again. :(

Now to wait and hear who my city councilor is... this is the first time in my memory that it wasn't the same person. I hope the person I vote for gets in.

Nooooo! I just checked the live results, and the Conservative is in the lead with 97.7% of the polls reporting!!! Dang Rod G, for splitting the left! Well, perhaps Smarmy Sam won't hate our riding so much with a councilor on his side. :( (It's still pretty tight, though... perhaps she'll still pull through...)


Suggestion to non-stick cookware makers: if your frying pan keeps sliding off the burner... it might be a touch *too* non-stick.


How to feel rotten about yourself: create a resume that makes you think "wow, I *am* good, I'd hire myself!"... then show it to your mother. (Yes mom, I know that's not what you meant, it's just how I feel after cutting it down.)

Also not mood-lifting: lack of sleep. *whine* And crummy weather. (Although it's not nearly as bad as the radio is making it sound... at least, not here, not yet.)

Dear radio: Please tell me happy, uplifting things in the morning.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Things That Could Be Better

My router doesn't want to renew it's DHCP lease, and so I'm tethered to a wire. I called my provider when the internet was flaky (I couldn't connect via wired either), got put on hold, and then was *finally* given the option to have a call back. Two *hours* later when they did call back, I could connect when wired, but was busy with other stuff and so didn't play with it enough to figure out that wireless still wasn't working. Perhaps I'll have time to play with it this weekend.

I'm tired... but I need to finish stuff before I can sleep.

Fall rain is gloomy. (Hmmm... I think this calls for hot chocolate.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I feel like I might be coming down with something... after dinner I snoozed on the couch for a bit, and then went straight to bed. Not counting brief wake-ups, I slept for 17 hours. Hopefully that will bolster my immune system.

I find robo-calls exceedingly annoying. Politicians who have annoyed me thus:
• smarmy Sam Katz (incumbent mayor, I *don't* like him to begin with)
• Thomas Steen (also someone I'm not voting for anyway)
• Judy Wasylycia-Leis (boo... I had such high hopes for you!)
Politicians on whose behalf I had a human call me:
• Shaneen Robinson (bonus points to you!)

Big pile of things to do this weekend. :(

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I managed to find purple to wear October 20th.

More Retreat Stuff

Raffle Prize #1:
I put lots of tickets in this one, because I think the necklace will look nice with my suit jacket.
I love the necklace. I tinkle when I wear it. (I must be giving lots of fairies their wings... oh, wait... that's angels.) The Siglarr "nourishing facial cream" appears to be something I'm not allergic to, from a test application to my forearm. Ingredients:
I should probably see if I can track down the maker to find out if the vitamin E oil contains sesame. (The things I learn from my soap-making book...)

Raffle Prize #2:
This actually started out with an electronic game instead of the stocking kit, but I asked another raffle prize winner if she wanted to trade... I live alone, and it was a game that people in my family likely wouldn't be good at. (I think you had to sing songs from popular shows, or something like that.) I entered for the alpaca-silk fibre. :)

Yes, both prizes came with the facial cream, but, since I had two, I gave one to my roommate for the weekend, who wasn't as lucky about winning raffle prizes. (She didn't win any.) I cheated for the photos, and used the same jar in both. ;)

Stuff from the goody bag:
IMG_3928 IMG_3929
(I actually got a second one of these reusable bags with my second raffle prize.)
Not shown: fibre plus needle-felting needle (shown below) and bag made from wool sweater (also shown below).

One of the workshops I signed up for was felted bead making:
IMG_3924 IMG_3925
I cut the tip to take a peak, but I'm not going to cut the rest until I've felted the whole thing firmer. Fun! (We did needle felting, but this style bead would work better if wet felted.)

Yarn purchases:
Last week was so crazy, I didn't manage to find time to pack until I got home on Friday, and then it was a scramble to cram stuff I might need in bags, so that I could leave for the retreat. I managed to remember everything *except* the recommended flashlight (my dad happened to have one in his truck) and the supplies for my workshops. I happened to have yarn that would work for the Tunisian crochet workshop, but didn't have anything for the broomstick crochet class. I bought this yarn for that class... I knew I wanted to use the fun green yarn, but also bought the plain yarn in case the green yarn didn't work well. (The green yarn worked okay, but it wanted a bigger crochet hook and bigger "broomstick"... I've since restarted.) The beige marl I'll use to make some of the sock monkeys from the sock monkey booklet I bought a while back.

Current state of the needle felting on the wool bag-from-sweater:
I still need to add more swirls on the left to balance things out.

Tunisian crochet dishcloth:
I invented the pattern. It's not perfect, but then I was learning as I went along. (I didn't know about the different cast-off method until I was half-way done the third quarter.) I think it'll make a great dishcloth. :)

And finally, the brainless knitting I was able to manage while not taking classes or working on retreat projects (or sleeping):
Yep, another dishcloth. :) Note: Bernat Stripes with three colours per sequence end up with two wedges of the same colour beside each other.

Monday, October 18, 2010


In class today:
• The wireless mic went dead.
• The overhead projector bulb burned out. The spare was dead too. The second projector was chained to the cart in such a way that I couldn't use the screen I wanted to (I need to place it on the podium to use the screen I normally do), but it at least let me continue writing stuff on the overhead using the side screen.
• My text switched to Arabic. (Luckily I didn't care *what* I was typing... and eventually a student mentioned how to get back into English. I didn't want to waste class time searching for whatever setting needed fixing... I figured that could wait until after class.)

Oh... and Word was doing stupid things again, and when I went to demonstrate the alternate method, I couldn't remember where to find it. *sigh*

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Knitting Retreat

I barely had my camera out... basically only late Friday night when people said "I want a photo of this!" The rest of the time I was either knitting (or some other form of crafting), having too much fun, or sleeping (last week was nuts... still is... but things should ease up a bit by Wednesday).

Anyway, here's what I have photographic evidence of:

Feeding frenzy at "Yarns on Stage". (Note: there were more attendees than what you'll see here, but many had gone to bed by midnight when my camera finally came out.)

Pretty greens! Mine's the one on the left. I've done more needle-felting since this photo was taken, but still have more to do.

A gorgeous art quilt that was one of the raffle prizes... aren't the stone beads neat?
I didn't win this, but I won two other nifty prizes! (Yes, I'll take a photo of my prizes and my bag plus other stuff later... but probably not tonight, unless I need a break from dishes.)

(Ladies in front of) Yarns on Stage.

I arrived home around 4 pm... now I'm doing laundry (loads in both washer and dryer, two more waiting to start) and catching up on work forums & e-mails (done). Still to do today:
• dishes,
• make hummus & other lunch stuff,
• make & eat dinner,
• prep for class tomorrow,
• prep for Art Talks tomorrow,
• send thank-you e-mails to people I spoke to on Thursday (I really should have done that sooner, but I haven't had a chance yet),
• create resume, and
• water plants (sad, droopy things!).
I think that may be everything. At any rate, it's more than I'll have time to do tonight. :(