Sunday, June 12, 2011

Big Purchases

Okay, the News of the week.

1) I bought my spinning wheel. More correctly, I put the order in with The Bellwether. I really had to buy from Amelia, because a) she is the most wonderful, sweet, kind and funny person, b) she let me come out to her home to test drive the Spinolution Bee before I decided to save the money for it c) she gave me some sheep fuzz from her Soay sheep (RARE BREED!!!!!) to try my hand at. (it's washed, I just haven't started spinning samples yet...)

Really I couldn't possibly have spent my money with a better person. And I get an awesome wheel out of the deal. I really hope it will show up before the Tour de Fleece starts. I would like to have that time to get to know my Bee.

I was out with my mom yesterday, shopping to reward myself after having deep cleaned our kitchen (I used up 3, count 'em 3 Mr. Clean Magic Erasers on that job, and then subsequently ran out of them. Obviously, I'd have to go out to get more, right?) We went to the farmer's market where I picked up 3.2 lbs of Roma tomatoes so that I can make more pasta sauce.  I can't wait. 

2) And then we decided to hit up the T-Mobile store just to see if they had my phone yet. I must preface with a little disclaimer: The reason I went to T-Mo is because yesterday morning, after only having been off the charger for about 2 hours, my MyTouch 3G decided it couldn't handle the battery life thing and died. After a charge, it was fine, but that was just silly. So I decided that if they had the new G2X in stock, I would buy it. They did. I did. It was a beautiful thing.

I have spent the morning rediscovering how many plastic "protector" thingies one phone can have on it. It took me all morning to remember that there was a plastic thing to protect the "power" button! (are scratches on a power button really an issue?)

Excuse me, as I pick another one off of the 8 megapixel camera lens. Honestly. It'll be another week before all of these are off. 

I'm excited. I have a phone that might not crap out on me so soon. But now, due to summer hours being so short (I am only working 28 hours per week over the summer), no more big purchases for me. Glad I got that out of the way. 

And now I am off to check out where the charcoal smell is coming from....Apartment living. It's a treat.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

image Pink Tulips from

To my Mother, who has shared with me 10348 days of her life, teaching me to be self sufficient, to love deeply, and to know what it is to be a true friend.

Still kicking butt after so many years!

Happy Mother's Day!
Your Daughter

Monday, March 21, 2011

FO: Handspun "Sunshine"

(this has also been talked about on The Elusive Thread Blog....)

I finally finished the superwash merino that I had started back in December for CraftyCoug's Christmas present.
Sunshine 3 ply
Sunshine 3 ply

Sunshine 3 ply
Fiber: Lisa Souza superwash merino in Squash Blossom, bought at Stitches West 2010
Spun: worsted style with a short forward draw
Ratios: Singles were spun at 14:1 on my Ashford Kiwi using the fast flyer set. Plied at 11:1

Finished Weight: 16-24 WPI with a few looser bits, roughly a light fingering weight yarn, with spots of laceweight and light DK

After I ran out of one of the singles, I opted to finish the rest with a Navajo Ply. Best idea ever.

Navajo Sunshine

Navajo Sunshine
Finished Weight: 12-20 WPI, closer to a heavy fingering, light DK weight

Both skeins were washed and then thwacked to finish. 

I think if i were to do this again, I would want to do all the singles as a Navajo ply in order to preserve the color progression. I like that this one feels more solid, but I still think the barberpole effect on the 3 ply was really interesting and pretty.

Next onto the wheel: Yarn Pirate Superwash Merino in Fiona

Yarn Pirate in Fiona

I can't wait!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Emerald City Comicon 2011 Wrap-Up

Here is the weekend wrap up of the best Comicon I have been to in a very long time.

First: Here is all the loot we got. It's a lot. So much that it required two photos to get it all. :D
 Clockwise from upper left: The Day After and Other Stories by Wil Wheaton, TV on Fire print by Calamity Jon, Courtney Crumrin's Monstrous Holiday by Ted Naifeh (fave artist ever), 2 3-day badges, Possessions Book 1 and 2 by Ray Fawkes, the entire Unshelved collection by Bill Barnes(<3) and Gene Ambaum
Clockwise from top center: Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: TNG, signed with a special "Wesley says it's SEXYTIME" speech bubble, 2 photos of Bruce Boxleitner, one in his Babylon 5 get up, which should earn me extra points, as they are addressed to my brother and father. Ahem. Happy Birthday, brother. Guess what you're getting. :D

Friday was spent going to several of the panel discussions, such as those of Jonathan Frakes and Wil Wheaton. Wil Wheaton's Awesome Hour was just that. He read from his books, and also answered fun questions.  Jonathan Frakes talked about what it was like after TNG, and how he is still in feature film purgatory after his first feature film doing less than well.

Both were engaging speakers, and were very down to earth, as well as fun to have the opportunity to talk to.

The floor was a giant comic nerd's dream. Not only were there the usual comic book shop booths but we had the opportunity to speak with Bill Barnes and Gene Abraum, who are the minds behind the online comic strip Unshelved.  The coolest thing is that they base their comic off of interesting occurences inside the KCLS system. Since you all know Librarian Boyfriend is just that, the comic is especially entertaining because we are sympathetic to the plight of librarians and workers everywhere.

Costumes included: the Silver Surfer (dude in silver shorts, full body make up and a silver surfboard), a few X Men, and some random cute kids.

Saturday was more fun with the panels, as we heard Felicia Day and Amy Okuda speak along with Wil Wheaton, for the Guild panel. Brent Spiner also was there, and did a panel with Jonathan Frakes. And then, of course, there was William Shatner.

We were amused at all the celebrity guests, but my favorite part was getting some items signed by Wil Wheaton.  Another crafter had given him a knitted Wil Wheaton doll, and he was very good natured. He even held my knitting for a photo, after signing a few items for us.

At one point, he had been mistakenly informed to sign another photo to the both of us, when it was supposed to be our friend's sister, so he gave us the added bonus of giving us the photo with a special addition.

It was a total blast.

Sunday was a little more low key, as most of the super nerds went home. We got to hear Bruce Boxleitner talk about his career and what he's been up to since B5 and Tron:Legacy.  He was incredibly engaging and fun to listen to.

On our way out of the panel discussion, we saw a person in a full on Ambassador Kosh outfit. Srsly. And if the lighting wasn't so bad, you'd have a photo. We also saw a full on Queen Amidala, with the headress and everything from Episode 1, and a few more cute little kids dressed up as robin, batman, etc. And there was even an Ewok. :D

We spent about an hour after the panel discussion wandering the floor, checking Artists' Alley for anything that we had missed, which is where I picked up Possessions and our TV on Fire print (it's called 'Oops' but...)

All in all, I have spent 3 days having fun and geeking out. I need to do this more often. So who's going to PAX?? I'll talk to you in the comments.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


This week is my birthday. And I am taking a little time off. I am concentrating less on my business and more on myself. Birthdays are fun, even though I am the oldest person out of my colleagues.

I still enjoy the birthdays when they come around. I am not a stick in the mud, especially when it comes to the family time and presents that are received.

I really only have one issue with this year's birthday. It's the fact that my driver's license expires. Okay, so yesterday I only spent about 2 hours at the Department of Licensing in order to renew my license. I even had the option to just renew by mail. But there was an issue. You see, the last time I had my license picture taken, I was a lot younger, a lot skinnier, and my hair was fire engine red. I'm still young enough that I get carded when I go to bars (this will come in handy later in life, I swear). But I don't like being the one that requires a double take in order to verify that it's me in the picture.

So I opted to go get my picture retaken and renew my license the old fashioned way. There's only one slight issue with that. The picture itself. There is something about that pale blue background that makes everyone look a little older, more tired, and generally scarier than they are in real life. And my photo was no different. I smiled for the photo, styled my hair just-so, and stood with good posture. And yet I still look exhausted, my hair's a mess, and it looks like I've got ten chins. Annoying, yes. But at least now when i get carded, people can just look at the hair color and move on. That's good, right?

I also went shopping yesterday for jeans. I've lost 4.2 lbs since starting the Cinch! diet.  And my jeans were getting loose. And I happened to tear holes in ALL my pairs of jeans in the matter of a week. Go me. So there was no helping it. I had to buy new jeans. Also picked up two pairs of boots that are squooshy enough that I should be able to stand on them for my 9 hours at work. At 60% off. I love buying off season.

I was productive and am feeling celebratory. Perhaps tonight we will go to the Olive Garden and eat yummy food. Peach bellini, here I come

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Crafting As A Way to Connect

I was looking through the listings at CafePress and noticed a few t-shirts that got my hackles up. As a knitter, I am keenly aware of the volume of strange and often inane comments that can be solicited just by knitting in public. I have heard them all. I don't need a t-shirt with all the reactionary statements with regards to those comments spelled out on them.

But what you must understand is that your reaction will determine how these people react to the crafting community as a whole. You must accept the most inane comments with grace, and reply with as much grace.

For example: "Oh you knit? You should totally make me [Blank Item]!!"

You first reaction will be to tell the person that it will be a cold day in hell when you knit them something. You might want to throw in something about how they probably have NO CONCEPT as to how much time it takes and that the expense is not something they can afford.

Now Stop. Breathe. Just don't do it.

The people who actually have the confidence to make a comment like that are, for the most part, not trying to be rude. They are trying to demonstrate and interest in what you are doing. And remember, you are in a public place, so chances are, that person is not the only one within earshot.

These people are simply seeking a connection with another human being. Perhaps they have experience with another craft. Perhaps they are just bored. The important thing is that you smile, thank them for their comment, and then invite them to try whatever craft it is on their own time.

See that? You have done two things:
1)You have accepted their comment, and been friendly back, regardless of the snark level of the original comment; which puts a good face on the crafting community as a whole, and you as well.

2)You have sewn the seeds for another person to join the crafting community and add their talents to the pool. Just think. Enough people say, "You should try [blank]" and soon enough, that person may consider taking the plunge!

All it took was a little understanding and some tact. Tact is sorely lacking in many of our day to day exchanges, sadly. It helps that the crafting community has a built in safety net that prevents.

I understand that those T-shirts are awesome and amusing, and while I am not saying that *wearing* one is bad. (I happen to have a t-shirt that says, "It's handmade, not homemade, bitch." The biggest issue is if you actually take those words to heart, and start being snarky whenever someone comments on your activities. Remember, we are all still people. And everyone deserves a chance at a nice conversation. Keep it civil, and invite another person to the community.

Crafting first and foremost is about connecting with the craft and those involved. Remember when you were first starting out? Didn't you ask questions and look for support? This is an opportunity to bring another person into the fold, or at least have them speak fondly of us. Please remember that.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Good Mail Day

I ordered a few things from Amazon right after Christmas. Here's the loot:

Start Your Own Business 5th Edition by Entrepreneur Press. I ordered this book after much hemming and hawing because I know there is still so much for me to learn about building a successful business. This has amazing sections, like "Pinpoint Your Target Market" and even includes links to services that are helpful/useful/important. I am already on the 4th chapter, and highly recommend this if you are considering any type of business model.

These are the cutest measuring spoons ever invented! With measurements such as Drop, Smidgen, Pinch, Dash, and Tad, these are the perfect sizes for measuring dyes. The smallest (Drop) is 1/16 of a teaspoon. Perfect for the single skein dyeing that I am doing. And now I know what my grandmother's scribbles meant. :)

With my new work schedule the way it is, I need to use a coffee tumbler everyday, as I am unable to finish my first cup before I need to be out the door. This is a godsend, because it is a push button, automatically sealing tumbler. This means I can stash it in my purse, and it doesn't leak all over. I bought a purple one, and the red one is on my wishlist. And the price isn't half bad!

On my Kindle, I downloaded Content Rules! Which is a great little book about how to create better/more engaging content in both advertising, consumer communications, and posts on this blog. I am hoping that it will help me refine my posting so that I can be more interesting and more helpful to those who find my blog. This is a very interesting little book, and I hope others can get some benefit out of it as well.