Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shine on, Cheapass Christmas, shine on.

Craftster is like a sick obsession. Wallowing through all the crap people make out of other crap to find those rare few awesome ideas can lead to hours upon hours of feeling alternately elated, exasperated, inadaquate, and nauseous. Often at the same time. I spent an evening staring at craftster a couple weeks ago and was left with two revelations: #1 I needed a Dremel, #2 most of the people on cratster need to lay off the crack. In fact, so deep was this need for a Dremel that the next morning when I woke up the first thing I said to Red Todd Kidd was, "I need a Dremel." Now you may not know this (Sarcasm! sarcasm!) but RTK puts up with a lot. A LOT. I start all kinds of crazy projects and most never make it out of the planning stages letalone get finished. So of course he just laughed and we went on about our day.

I never did shut up about the Dremel. I talked about it non-stop for two days. Finally RTK gave in and bought it for me as an early Christmas present. He's the best, ain't he? I have so many projects lined up for that thing that I'm busting at the seams trying to contain myself until I've finished all my Christmas projects.

Now, aside from the desperate need for power tools I did spy something that turned out to be important. Some girl or other had made a tote bag out of a velvet painting. Not two days later as Darth and I are walking home from school there was a 2 1/2' x 5' velvet painting with a hole in the corner in someone's yard that had a sign stating: "Free". As you can see, Darth and I ripped that sucker right off its frame and took it home.

For those who don't know about this yet, my cousins and I do a gift exchange where you may only spend $10 and you must make your gift yourself. Behold the velvet purse (lined with a bedsheet) I made from the neighbors' discarded painting. Isn't it horrifying? I purchased a zipper, metal loops and ribbon. Thus far I have invested all of $4. PLease note the snakeprint on the ribbon. I assure you this was only because this was the only ribbon Wal-Mart had in the correct width. I'm thinking I may make a matching coin purse. Does cheapass Christmas get any better than this? I think not.

I've nearly finished a glove for the SIL, I'll show it to you once it's done. 11.5 discloths done, 4.5 to go. I volunteered a scarf for FIL but luckily I actually have one that's nearly done I can give him and no it's not the Harry Potter one. A cup warmer for SIL's boyfriend is in the works. A beaded badge holder necklace thing for mom too. I'm headed to the crazy house people! At least this year it seems like I may actually get everything done. Shouldn't there be some kind of prize for this? Wait, I think creating that purse made me inelligible for any kind of kudos. Oh well.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Blogstalking: Trinket

This week's blog stalking is: "...a little something nearby that's been around for longer than you can remember, and you don't know why you still have it, but for some reason you can't get rid of it?"

I have one of those and it's coming up but when I took its picture I started snapping a few others. This one (to the left) is of several
tchotchkes that sit out on my bookshelf. Let me tell you about them.

I have no idea what Kennywood is. I'm told it's not Kenny Rogers' version of Dollywood. I was disapointed. The shot glass belongs to Red Todd Kidd and it has pins and whatnot in it. The snake and the monkey I found in a shop one day on clearance and purchased because RTK and I were born in the year of the snake and monkey (respectively), the kids were also born in those years, weird, eh? The little mug that says San Francisco is from my childhood. I've had it since I was at least four. I don't know its story but I do know the one behind the Wild Animal Park cup. The WAP cup is the kind they call a souvenier cup but really isn't the quality of something you'd save. That's part of why I saved it. I also saved it to torment my Brother in Law with. That's still coming as soon as I figure out something to do with it. It's already been two years that I've saved that damn thing. Please also note the book on the Fourteen Dalai Lamas flanked by a book titled Rage and two Sin City books, I didn't pose them, we are that hypocritical.

Next up we have the mysterious elephant bead. I clearly remember this having something to do with my friend Bish. I also remember it being on a cord with other beads once upon a time. What happened there is unknown to me as I fried most of my brain cells from those years. Also in the drawer holding the elephant bead are notes from knitties and knitbloggers, matches, lighters, and weird stuff I've saved for no real reason. You can see RTK's braid from when he cut off his hair as well as one of the two New Hampshire state quarters I was going to find a way to make cuff links out of for my friend The Single Letter. He is not from New Hampshire and has never lived there. Yes, I know we're strange people. I know you may also be wondering why I've burried a fridge magnet my son made in a drawer (you can't see it but it's adorable) and the answer is because the thing is made out of a piece of slate and it won't stay on the fridge. I need a stronger magnet but keep forgetting to get one.

Lastly, we have the thing that truly fits the category: the butterfly pill box. I honestly don't know where this came from. I've had it as long as I can remember. I do remember picking off the enamel to see if the picture was printed underneath it when I was about five. You can see the paint is coming off and it's in terrible shape. It likely came from a dollar store. I don't even like butterflies. And yet it's packed away, safely in my jewelry box, away from little hands. I can't get rid of it. We humans are strange aren't we? I bet there's no chimp carting around a little rock just because he's been holding it longer than he recalls.

I remember, when I was little, I thought it was a box to keep a butterfly in because it looked like it had an air hole in it (it's actually the spot where the button on the front to open it is attached). Because I know it kills me with curiosity when people post things like this without telling what they keep in it I'll show you. Earrings. It's been holding earrings since 1994 or so and I bought a bunch of little studs shaped like random stuff at a faire, though most of the ones in it now belong to RTK. Some of the ones in there are piercing studs fom the eleventy billion times I've had my ears pierced and repierced. For some reason, I can't throw those out either.

So there you have it, my trinkets.

In knitting news, I started the gloves for SIL, have completed 10 of 16 dishcloths, and created yet another project for myself.

Monday, November 13, 2006

How much I hate crochet:

I hate it so much that even though I bought one of those comfort hooks and am becoming fairly proficiant, I'd rather attempt to make a doily than a granny square. Evidence of this is to the left. You see I've been hammering out those Bandwagon discloths, one after another, for the last couple weeks. I'm a distracted person with not much time to knit so thus far I've only done eight. When I started the ninth one I realized the colors I had chosen were too close (the blue you see there and another light veriagated blue) and thus the resulting dishcloth was stupid looking. I decided to try another pattern rather than go buy more yarn (hooray for my budget!) but was faced with the question of what pattern to try.

Well, when you have a good 18 balls of Sugar and Cream lying around you're bound to find at least one discloth pattern on a ball band. I found four: two knit (one ugly, one not), two crochet (one hideous, one granny square). I was then faced with a choice like unto Sophie's. Knit a doily discloth, something that looked hard and that I've never even attepmted anything like or crochet a granny square. The mere thought of crocheting a whole project nearly sent me into convultions so I cast on eight stitches and into the circle I went.

As you can see it went well. I was dang proud of that thing when I was done. I have to do a second one which doesn't exactly thrill me but it is a nice break from the Bandwagon cloths (they're like crack, I swear, you just can't put them down).

The funny thing is, when I looked at the finished one I realized that somewhere in storage I have a doily that is done in the same (albeit much finer) style. Beautifully knit in teeny-tiny laceweight cotton thread, it's a star pattern just like that with a fantastic edging that's all pointy. One of my exes had a grandmother who knit amazing lace and that "simple" doily was something that took her an afternoon of boredom. She gave it to me when I was first learning to knit because I was so amazed at the tiny needles she used to make it.

Anyway, I'm making progress on my Christmas knitting. Nine dishcloths down, seven to go (notice how the number grew?). I also have one pair of gloves and the Red Todd Kidd project which is likely to be back burnered since it's a time consuming one and I don't think I'll be able to start it in time. Sigh.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Class photos and global warming.

(Click the pics for larger views if you feel like it)

Looking out the window at the gloomy, brisk November day I can't help but think, IT'S 86 FUCKING DEGREES OUTSIDE, WTF!? Seriously, I'd really rather be at the beach today, it's blindingly hot and by noon it should be at least three degrees hotter. I wouldn't be surprised if it hit 90. In November. If there's anyone left who doesn't believe in global warming I'd like to invite them to sit in the cool coastal breeze here. Nearly 90 in November. Bah!

I've completed another dishcloth and am onto the sixth, progress! I need to also do a pair of gloves for my SIL but since I can't find a decent pattern I might just make her a teacup cozy. Though, I can't seem to find a pattern for that either. I put it to the knitties to find me a teacup cozy pattern and they have, hooray! Also my MIL informed me that that would be a good gift for my FIL too. I have the perfect handspun for the two of them, keohinani sent me her very first handspun and there should be enough for two tea cup cozies, plus then they'll be extra special. I love it when things go my way!

Darth's very first school pictures came in today. They're hilarious. In his individual portrait it looks as though the photographer said, "Smile or I'll kill your your family." In the class photo he's been put dead center, as though he wouldn't stand out enough otherwise. His two best buds are the kid grimacing and looking down in the front row and the kid behind him in the red shirt.

I was going to post my first class photo but sadly, I can't seem to find it. I know it still exists but whether it's in my storage or in the disaster of a cabinet that Mom keeps her photos in, I don't know.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Holiday Knitting

Can two other words inspire panic, anxiety, loathing, and procrastination in a knitter so much as the two that title today's post? I think not.

I took full advantage of the hella phat yarn sale at Michael's a few weeks back to stock up on cotton yarn ($1 per ball!) for those Bandwagon -er- Ballband Dishcloths. Many thanks to TurtleGirl for pointing me in the direction of this pattern in an online form rather than in a $30 book (that I now covet). The whole point of this insanity is to bring the cost of Christmas to a minimum this year instead of being broke until the end of February as in years past. Whoever is on my list as a "must" is getting a pair of matcing dishcloths. My cost $2 and, of course, time. I'll make up some little goofy limerick about how simplicity and effort are what the holidays are about so as to shame the recipiants into not making a face at the gifts and voila, my wallet is saved.

I'm not just being cheap mind you, this is really all we can afford, it's just that I'm facing up to that this year instead of buying stuff I can't afford anyway.

As you can see from my picture there, I've completed four of the ten planned dishcloths and have started a fifth. Also you may notice that I appear to knit in a lightless cave. I assure you this last bit is untrue, it's just a trick of the flash, or lack thereof, so that I didn't end up with another washed out photo. I couldn't show the items in natural light today as there was very little of it, overcast as the day was here by the shore. You probably will not notice that I did a crochet edging around these things and added a little loop so they can be hung up to dry.

That's right, I did a crochet edging. Me. And it only took me HOURS to do that first one. The second one took fewer hours. The last two I managed to do today (the edgings, not the entire dishcloths plus edgings, I'm not The Flash or anything) and it's only 5:42pm as I write this. Crochet still confounds me and I'm certain I'm doing it wrong but it did neaten up the edges a bit and if it looks bad, well, they're only going to be scrubbing the meatloaf out of the pan anyway, right?

I've mentally commited myself (and not to the asylum, hee-hee) to doing a few more of these if time allows, as well as some sort of gloves for my SIL. I was going to knit socks for my MIL but have decided to do these for her birthday since she's requested a new photo album for her pictures of the kids. I have a super secret project lined up for Red Todd Kidd but since he claims to read this drivvel, I can't tell you about it. I also don't know that I'll have time to do it since making anything for him is rather arduous since I lag on it. I just never think he'll like what I'm making (and have little evidence to the contrary).

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Update to the update

I just picked up the boy from school and the teacher gave him a paper crown. He's insisting on being called "Birthday Boy".

When we got home I asked him to close the gate and he said, "Sure Super Mom!"

So I said, "Thanks, Super Boy!"

To which he replied, "No, Birthday Boy."

"Oh, sorry Super Birthday Boy."

"Sheesh, was that so hard, Mom?"

Oh, Bezzie, the Kindergarten cut-off date in his district is Dec 1, he made it by a month.



Photobucket - Video and Image HostingToday is Darth's fifth birthday. At this time five years ago I was happily sleeping in a hospital bed, epidural taking care of my woes. He was born in the afternoon, about 3:45. It was a nice day. He's at kindergarten rightnow, which is weird for me. He's never been someplace else on his birthday before.

I should be posting adorable Halloween pictures but the camera got left in the car last night and thus, no pictures yet. The kids were adorable, though. They all said, "Trick or Treat" and "Thank you", though at a few houses, Miss Beans just said, "Pleeeeeeeeeease!" Mis Beans and Tank (my nephew) really cleaned up. We had to empty their bags a few times because even though they weren't full, they were too heavy for two year olds to carry and the bigger kids (my brother, Darth, and Red Todd Kidd) weren't ready to quit yet. They all had a good time and that's the important thing.

So, NaNoWriMo. I had this crazy dream last night that was like a movie. I was thinking about writing it but now I'm thinking not. I can't do NaNoWriMo yet. When Lola is in school and I have some free time durrign the day then maybe but right now, I can barely blog. Though, I'd like to point out I've blogged three days in a row for once! Don't count on this to continue, now that I've spoken of it I've jinxed it for sure.

I have things to show you and I'm so bummed that the camera isn't here! I've got a couple finished Christmas presents and adorable kids in costumes! This is torture! In the mean time enjoy this picture of... um... What do I have a picture of? Okay I scanned a pic of Darth from the day he was born. Red Todd Kidd is holding him. The green jacket he's wearing was lost somewhere along the way, which makes me sad.