Friday, December 31, 2010

Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon


I watched this 3 hour movie streaming on Netflix this afternoon. I can't believe I'd never heard of it before I put it in my Instant Queue a few weeks ago. I had not planned to watch it today or anytime soon really but it was one of 30 movies on my Instant Queue that were going to stop streaming as of January 1. This was the second of the two movies off that list that I got to watch today. The fist was Ghost. I chose both via two main criteria: it was unavailable from the library so I'd have to use one of my 3 Netflix DVD slots to send for it and it was something I thought I could watch with half an eye while crocheting. Ghost fit this latter criteria because it was a multiple rewatch for me and I wanted to listen to the soundtrack more than I needed to see the story again. I chose Barry Lyndon based on the reviews complaining about its slow pace and length.



I was so wrong to think that a movie based on William Makepeace Thackeray's picaresque novel that was slow paced could be watched with half an eye. Not only did I end up having to take out and redo in the second half of the film the two rows of the baby afghan I'd accomplished in the first half, I discovered late in the film that I'd been missing a lot of story that was presented visually. It is not enough to listen to the narrator and dialog only.





Besides missing many story elements by glancing at the screen one or two out of every five seconds, I had missed a lot of the visual artistry Kubrick had given this film. Every scene was like a 18th century painting come to life and choreographed like a dance. The use of color and light was enchanting.

As enchanting as the visual elements was the musical scoring of this film with the use of many classical pieces including Handel's Sarrabande as the primary theme throughout which was given several distinct renderings according to the mood of the scenes via use of different instruments and pacing. That and several other pieces I've not yet identified by name and artist continue to haunt me hours later.

I do believe I'm going to have to send for this one after all. In order to watch it start to finish without taking my eyes off the screen for more than the occasional blink. In fact this is probably going to go on my short list of movies to own that I would watch repeatedly.




Above is the scene in which the Irish rake Barry seduces the married Lady Lyndon during a card game. Note the sparsity of dialog. I actually missed most of this scene during the movie and only got its full impact while watching this YouTube.

Below is the scene near the end of the duel that takes place about ten years after the above scene in which Barry Lyndon and his stepson Lord Bullington square off. Because this was the third of three duels that framed the story as told by Kubrick, I do believe he was trying to say something about the duel as a concept or its role in that era but I'm not clear exactly what.





Lending to the poignancy of this scene are both the memory of the duel Barry fought at a similar age to Lord Bullington and the fact that shortly before his own son with the Lady Lyndon had died in an accident and thus the death of this son in the duel would leave her bereft of both sons.

Based on the material I've read online after watching the movie, I understand that Kubrick changed the story dramatically by including this scene which was either not in the novel or had a quite different outcome and by leaving out the several decades of Barry Lyndon's life that followed in the novel. Now I'm intrigued to give reading the novel a try. I don't believe I've ever read a Thakeray.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sick

funny pictures-I haz a hed'ayk  rub mah belleh
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I'm having one of those days. I want nothing but sleep but when I close my eyes I feel like I'm falling. And falling...

And the light inside my eyelids is brighter than a summer sun.

I haven't [picked up the afghan since I woke up so no progress today. I made it half way through row eight before quitting near dawn and I timed row 7 at 55 minutes which really changes the math in yesterday's estimate based on 90 minutes per row.

Today also changes the calculations based on daily quotas too as it reminds me I can't always count on getting to work at all. So an average quota of 4 rows means occasionally doing 6 or even 8 in one day.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baby Afghan Begun



So, after all the frustrations of the last several days that prevented me from getting started, I'm pleased to report that I've begun the baby afghan and completed four full rows in the last 24 hours.

Above is a closeup of the two ends of the approximately 36 inch strip showing both front and back. The first two rows went quick at 70 minutes each but they were straight double crochet and I wasn't surprised that the first row to interweave with the row below, alternating triple crochet stitches with double crochet slowed me down considerably. But I was surprised by how much and anxiously hoped throughout that it would be a fluke and later rows would go smoother. That hope was met when the next white row interweaving with the blue went off without a hitch and seemingly quick tho I forgot to time it.

I'm concerned about how long rows will take because I hope to get a reliable estimate of how many hours I need to dedicate to this project and so I can establish a reasonable quota of rows per day in order to finish before March 1.

My intent for the size is approximately 30 inches by approximately 40 inches. Before or after the 2 inch fringe I'll be adding to all four sides.

When I made the starting chain I stopped and measured it after every 100 count and it went over 30 inches by several after 300 chains. Now it measures nearly 18 when folded in half and laying flat which means it is nearly 36 inches.

I started the fifth (yellow) row in order to confirm that there will be five rows to the inch. To get forty then I need 200 rows. But I also need to satisfy my aesthetic sensitivity by insuring that there is a complete iteration of the pattern in those final inches. One iteration involves 10 rows: white--blue--white--yellow--white--lilac--white--pink--white--green. Thus I need 20 interations to make 200 rows. But also to satisfy my aesthetic taste I'm insisting that it ends in blue as it started so I'll add another white and blue and then two whites, the first interwove with the final blue but the last a straight double crochet that is not interwoven which I am thinking will make adding the fringe later easier. So, counting those first and last rows and the white--blue--white added atop the green of the 20th iteration, I'll have 205 rows. Or I could leave off at 19 iterations and have 195 rows plus the fringe.

I am guessing, based on today's experience, that my time per row will average 90 minutes. For 200 rows that adds up to 18000 minutes or 300 hours. Which means 4 to 5 hours per day through the end of February.

The picture below shows the full strip folded in half along with the six spools of bamboo thread inside sandwich bags which was my solution to the problem of the loops of thread slipping off the roll and tangling. The main source of my frustration Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as I posted about preciously. The solution really does seem to be working.




If you're wondering what that teeny baby doll seen next to my work is all about. Well those were from my Mom around my birthday in November. They are vinyl I think. She got them for me because she knows I'm really into baby dolls of all sizes and also into all kinds of miniatures. She also thought I might be able to use them as decoration for the bookmarks. I probably will eventually with at least some of the 10 but meanwhile I discovered their usefulness as unravel prevention by putting the loop where I'm leaving off around the baby's waist and pulling it snug. At first I was just slipping it over the head but that was kinda creeping me out.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snarl



I just spent most of the last two days getting this snarl out of the blue bamboo thread I'm going to be using for the baby afghan. From 3 Monday afternoon until noon today (with brief interruptions for dinner and tending to laundry) and again from 5 to 9pm this evening. After all of that I'm not going to be able to use the thread I salvaged for the afghan or any gift quality work for that matter. I may use it for practicing new stitches or testin guage with various size hooks. Though there are long stretches of it that look fine in texture and color, there are too many snags, splits, frizzies, and dingy looking sections.

I did follow though on my idea of putting the thread balls in to separate sandwich baggies. The kind with the zip lock. I haven't tested it out in action but it does seem likely to work--to allow the thead freedom to unspool as I wok without falling off in great gobs. It also keeps the spools from rubbing against each other which will minimize friction fraying. I'm anxious to get started now. I'm three days past my intent to begin and three weeks past my hopes for an earlier start.

Oh, I did take time out last night to make another Joanne.com order. I'm so excited. When I told Ed there was another free shipping coupon in my email but for a minimum of $50 order I didn't really expect he'd be able to make it happen for me but he didn't even hesitate.

It's my biggest order yet and I'm getting several new treads. I'm also stocking up on the yellow and lilac for the baby afghan with 3 each because those two colors are hard to get in the store. The lilac is available only online and the yellow has only occasionally been available at the store. If I'd known how to estimate how much it was going to take I might have stocked up on the other colors since the white, blue, green and pink as well as the yellow were also nearly a dollar less than the regular price. The lilac wasn't sale priced and it's regular price is a bit more than the regular price of the other colors.

But I'm just as glad I don't know yet how much I'm going to need as then I'd have felt obligated to make the order about the afghan and I wouldn't be getting all the little treats. Which I will wait until they arrive to talk about as then I can have pictures. Besides I am so about getting started on that afghan NOW!

I won't

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Dressed and Blessed


Sweet Dreams

I got two of the bookmarks I crocheted recently tucked, blocked and dressed last night. They're all dressed up because they do have somewhere to go.

The one at top is the one I experimented with the new Interweave stitch I discussed in last night's post with the bamboo thread I'm intending to use on the baby afghan for my niece. I've decided to send it to her as a congrats gift upon the birth of her son, due January 7. But I'm still debating whether to tell her that I'm making an afghan for the baby based on that thread and pattern. See she will have reason to wonder whether I'll have it finished by the time he starts school because I have yet to finish the needlepoint bible cover I started for her sixteen birthday nearly ten years ago.

Below is one I made for the daughter of a friend. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift.

One of the things I've developed a habit of doing when I know who the bookmark (or any item actually) is for, is to think loving thoughts towards that person as I work, send blessing to them. A kind of meditative prayer state as I work. Hence the 'blessed' in the post title.

And as you can see I continue to name my little darlings.


Jazzed


Well I've got a lot on my agenda tonight. I'm going to be doing laundry throughout the night while watching 11 episodes of Castle season 2 which was due back at the library today. I'll be crocheting as I watch of course. I'm hoping to start the afghan before I sleep. But I found a huge tangle in the blue bamboo thread when I woke today and I've already spent two hours working at it. One of the drawbacks of working with this lovely thread is that it won't stay on the ball. It keeps falling off in loops as in bunches of loops and if I don't discover it immediately it is liable to tie itself in knots. At least this time it was only with itself and not the five other balls in the bag.

I'm about ready to set this ball aside and break out one of the new ones for the project so I can get started. I have a plan in mind to prevent it from happening again. I am going to stick each individual ball into sandwich baggies so they aren't rubbing on each other.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Crochet 101


101 Stitches to Crochet
edited by Erika Knight
Published by Interweave Press.
one of their Harmony Guides



This box of cards featuring 101 crochet stitches was part of my Christmas present from Ed. There is an accordion folded booklet with some basic instructions and visual how-tos for the several basic stitches and their abbreviations which will help me learn to read patterns finally. There is a card with a key to iconic images of stitches and other instruction used in the graphic patterns.

The rest of the cards, measuring 5x6.5 inches, feature one stitch per card with a nice actual size photo of a sample swatch of the stitch on one side and the instructions on the back in both words (with abbreviations) and a graphical pattern to follow for however many rows are needed to complete one iteration of a pattern.

The card I've featured here is of the stitch I chose to use on the baby afghan I'm going to make for my niece in Montana who is due January 7th. I won't get it done in time obviously but I hope to finish by early spring. It isn't a winter afghan anyway. I'm using bamboo thread size 10. I made that bookmark seen there in the middle to practice the stitch and pattern and experiment with hook sizes and so forth.

The stitch is called Interweave and lends itself well to multi-color patterns. I'm going to have fun with it on the bookmarks too. I'm picturing dozens of color combinations that have me mentally drooling as I type.

The pattern you see there in the bookmark is what I'll be doing for the baby afghan. It alternates white with the five pastels: blue, lavender, pink, green, and yellow. In order to get the interesting effect of color on color you must change thread on every row. That bookmark has 23 rows. Which means it had 46 tails to tuck.

I have no idea how many rows the afghan will take but I intend to make it approximately 33X44 inches probably including the 2 inch fringe on all four sides. On the bookmark, when using the size 6 hook which I think I've settled on, I got about 10 stitches to the inch working a row. I got about 4 rows to the inch.

I haven't done the math yet to figure out how many stitches per row and how many rows I'll likely need to do. I'll have to do that in order to know how long to make the starting chain.....

33X10 = 330. 44x4 = 176.

Yikes. How to I keep track once I get past ten chains? I have trouble with that doing the bookmarks that use 11 to 40 odd chain.

Ai Yi Yi.

The bookmark with 13 stitches by 23 rows took me most of a night to work. Of course I was learning the stitch and there was the factor of having to stop and switch threads after every thirteen stitches so I could not build up a rhythm. I guess I'll see how it goes once I start working the 330 stitch rows.

I hope I have it done before the kid starts school!!!!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Have a Meowy Christmas

Funny Pictures - Christmas Cats
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After two days in a row that were go, go, go and full of good-byes and hellos voices chattering in crowded rooms, I'm ready to sit in the stillness and listen to the sounds of breathing.

Don't think I'm complaining. I had fun. I loved seeing all those a get to see so seldom. I was grateful for family, for giving and receiving gifts and hugs, for food and laughter. It is just

time

to

breathe.



Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas full of all possible blessings.

so Mr Red Soot waz welcom gest... ...well dis embarassin.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Hoarders R Us

enuf iz matter uv perspektuv mi perspektuv iz winterized

Ai yi yi.

We; got home from the family Christmas gathering about 9:30 and tho I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was crash on the bed, I couldn't even sit on it until I got it cleared off. It took me two hours and it still isn't done right. Stuff is stuffed in willynilly.

The unmade bed was layered in pillows and blankets, bath towels and clothes, books, wrapping paper and tissue and product packaging and shopping bags and several of my crochet projects and several more loose balls of crochet thread and things I bought for myself while shopping for last minute Christmas gifts this afternoon.

While shopping for my gift for Ed I was also shopping for more crochet thread for two time sensitive projects. One for my Mom's birthday January 3 and the other for my niece's baby due January 7th. Besides four skeins of Sugar N cream yarn for the first and five skeins of bamboo crochet thread for the latter, I picked up two skeins of bamboo and one of cotton for my bookmark projects. I am totally running out of room to store the thread.

Recently I started keeping balls and skeins of thread and yarn in project kits in order to keep some of them out of the overstuffed drawers holding my thread and yarn collection. But now I've run out of room to keep the project bags. And besides it is another bad habit of mine (related I'm sure) to collect projects until I'm so overwhelmed I can't finish any of them.

The project for my Mom is the same one I started a year and a half ago. I was supposed to embroider a sweat pea vine on one of her sweaters that my sister had created several small bleached spots on. I blogged about it several times summer before last. I'd hoped to have it done by her birthday this year (11 and a half months ago) but had gotten discouraged by one issue after another stemming from my not knowing what I was doing. The biggest issue being that embroidery floss does not play well with yarn. The sweater is knit in a cotton sport yarn and I've been trying to find a compatible cotton yarn to work the flowers and vine for over a year now. I had looked at the Sugar N Cream brand before and thought it might work if I could find the solid colors I needed--green and at lest three pastel shades. But all I ever saw were the variegated colors. A couple weeks ago I found the shade of green I needed for the vine. Today I found lavender, rose and aqua.

The bamboo thread I picked up today was to augment what I got in the Joanne.com order last week. At the time I sent for it I thought I had until March so had not ordered enough to complete the baby afghan I had planned for my expecting niece in Montana. I'm still not sure I have enough but by the time I've used half of what I have I will know exactly how much it is likely to take to finish.

I was going to list the Christmas presents I got today but I'm wiped out. I had only three hours of sleep before Ed woke me to get ready for the shopping. I came so close to not going. Ed offered to take me on Sunday instead. That would have been fine for the afghan thread but it would have meant not including my gift to Ed in this weekend's family festivities and that didn't sit well. It has been several years since Ed gave me money to shop for him. Last year he wanted his laptop and the year before it was his MP3 player and though I went with him, he did the shopping and selecting.

This year I got for him. I'd known for months what I wanted to get him too. He had been expressing and interest in getting back into his hobby of bead weaving with seed beads. I got him a beading loom and about ten packages of seed beads covering most of the main colors in the palette. Both brights and pastels. I added a few storage containers since the packages were cellophane and would not hold the beads once opened.hub

He got me another set of headphones to replace the ones he got me for my birthday and which I killed two weeks later on Thanksgiving morning when I let my netbook slide off the bed where it landed on the plug and broke it clean off.

He added to that a USB hub with four ports. I've been complaining about having to unplug the DVD drive or the mouse in order to plug in the printer or camera.

He added to that a crochet stitch guide that is a set of cards in a box instead of a book. 101 stitches to learn.

He put all of that in a cloth 'gift bag' which will serve as another craft bag. It is just like the one he put my headphones in on my birthday only different pattern.

Ed got a set of chocolate brown fleece sheets and a cooling platform for his laptop from his Secret Santa who turned out to be his Sister for whom I had been Secret Santa.. The one I made the shawl for.

I got a set of black Jerzy sheets for the bed, a fleece jacket and a sweater-shirt from my Secret Santa who turned out to be my niece again. The niece who lives locally and is still in high-school. I was her Secret Santa last year.

Ed got 2 pair of jeans from his folks and I got fleece lounge pants and $20 check to spend on thread, beads and ribbon for my bookmarks.

Well. another family gathering begins in twelve hours.....

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Caroling. Not Just for the Birds...



Put down the hook and needles long enough to soak up a bit of the spirit of the thing I'm doing all this work for. Somehow I manged to acquire a sense of harassed anxiety about the season this year without even having any of the shopping, cooking, decorating on my agenda--without even leaving my room much let alone leaving the house.

Well back to work. Got about fifteen hours before were due to leave for the family thing at Ed's brother's. Half of that should be for sleep.

Ha.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tick Tock

dis no mess iz purreznt i b dun n tiem i purromiss>



tick tock


Where DID the time go?

Gotta get back to work so I'll leave you with a reposting of a poem I wrote over a decade ago when I was frantically prepping handmade Christmas presents at the last possible second:


Coverstory
by Joy Renee

Sorry, this poem does not relate.
I’m running a little bit late.
It’s already half-past eight
And I’ve got still to do
Many stitches times two
And the wrapping of seven plus four.
It’s got to be ready to go out the door
Not a minute later than one.
And I’m afraid I won’t get it done.
If I continue to fiddle
With riddle and rhyme
I am sure to run out of time.
So I’ll have to forgo my remarks
On the silliness of making
A thing for protecting
Worth more than that which it guards!

############

This poem was written in 94 or 95 to slip into the gift bag with a needle-pointed book cover for a paperback which I had been frantically putting in the last stitches on the morning our gifts for Ed's family were being picked up by his brother as they left the Longview area on their way to Phoenix, Oregon.... [the rest of the post]

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blue Shawl Nearly Finished



This is the blue and purple shawl I'm making for my Sister-in-law whose name I drew out of the bowl at the close of last year's family Xmas to-do. Ed's family switched to drawing names for the honor of giving one nice gift to one family member instead of giving two dozen dollar store gifts.

I drew Ed's sister's name and decided to crochet either an afghan or shawl for her. Am also making a coaster set out of crochet thread but I may not get them ready by Friday. I still have to take out twelve rows and put back in eight on one of them--I mistakenly repeated two stripes about half way between the end and the center--and then attach the embroidery floss fringe to all eight ends. That's 33 half inch pieces times 8.

I finally broke down and asked Ed to go pick up another skein of the yarn for the fringe on the shawl. I'd been planning to just take out one row at a time until I had enough fringe pieces. He picked it up this morning before he left for work so I made this my main focus for today hoping to have enough done in order to ease his anxiety over me having it ready to wrap long before we leave for the family to-do on Friday afternoon.

He has reason to be anxious as last year I was crocheting the neck scarf for my niece all night and right up to the hour we left for the to-do in early afternoon. And then trying to put the finishing touches on a bookmark during the fifteen minute car ride and then another half hour hidden away in one of the bedrooms at his brother's house with the family waiting on me for the last five to ten of those minutes.

Attaching the fringe pieces to the shawl today is just the first step. I'm going to be tying some knots similar to macrame and then distressing the ends to make them look fluffy like a long-haired cat's tail. I'd also like to put the same fringe along one long side so that there is fringe hanging down over the hips. But I decided to stop and do the knots and distressing of the two end sections and see where I am time-wise.

I draped the shawl around the office chair at the computer desk in the front room to give as good an impression as possible of what it will look like worn. I was hoping to also get a shot of the back but my camera batteries gave up the ghost after one.

The length reaches from my nose to my toes when held up in front of me before the fringe. When draped around my shoulders the ends reached my wrists and the back edge my waistband. Again, before the fringe. That's why I would still like to put fringe on the one long side so it will cover the hips. But that will mean another 75 or so fringe pieces to attach, knot and distress. Which is about the equivalent of doing two more ends.

Well back to work.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Grand Prix



Ed and I are about to watch Grand Prix and it won't be over before midnight so I'm opening a post to get the time stamp and will probably post something about the movie afterwards.

Later: Ed didn't make it to the end of the movie. He kept falling asleep so he gave up. He had been saying for an hour that it was almost over but though he'd seen it as a 10 year old and I'd never seen it, I could tell by the 'feel' of the story that it was closing in on the climax of the several story lines--three romantic relationships and the four racer's competing for the championship.

I sensed that even though I was mostly clueless in over half the scenes because I couldn't catch all the dialog. Ed asked that we not have captions as they interfere with the aesthetics of the cinematography and we couldn't have it turned up loud enough to compensate as his folks had gone to bed. So after I'd asked him for the fifth or sixth time in the first half hour what he/she had just said and caught a whiff of annoyance off him I decided to relax and crochet and get what I could out of the story and plan to watch it again alone on my netbook with headphones and captions before we send it back to the library.

Meanwhile I allowed the music of the soundtrack to trigger nostalgic memories of listening to my Dad's LP which had the themes of several movies one of which was this one.




I noticed Maurice Jarre's name in the titles as composer of the soundtrack and was intrigued as I became aware of Jarre from the soundtrack of Ghost which I used to own and nearly wore out the CD. Until I found the following YouTube montage of Jarre's soundtracks I was unaware he was responsible for Doctor Zhivago and Tin Drum as well. There were others on here that surprised me and also some that didn't show up on it that I was sure I remembered were his as well. I guess I need to look him up on Wikipedia to get the full scoop.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Serenity #209


I was watching the first season of Joan of Arcadia on DVD this past week and as before when the show was on TV, I fell in love with the theme song by Joan Osborne. This music video is pretty awesome too.

I have season 2 of Joan of Arcadia waiting for me at the library and will probably be picking it up tomorrow along with two or three other TV series seasons. Like Crossing Jordan 1 and Castle 2 and House 2. Once again they have either come earlier than I counted on or we delayed picking them up so that more than I can really hope to watch in a week are waiting at the same time. Sigh.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

LOLing About

cant fine wurdz n heh dey beddr kamoflawged den poodul n durty sno

Just took my daily LOLcat break. Captioned several myself this week and thought I'd just share a few of those that didn't head an earlier post.

I've been crocheting like mad all week--30 bookmarks from the new thread acquired since Monday. Yeah, I know I said I was supposed to set the new thread aside after Wednesday and return to the work on the Xmas gifts which now consists mostly of tail tucking and fringe applying.

Sigh.

Just did not have the will to resist the siren calls of the 16 new colors and textures.

Well I now have two left to crochet to meet the goal of two of each new thread color and type that joined my rainbow this week. Altho I've only worked single color patterns and am itching to start combining them in the multi-color patterns, I think once I get these last two done I can set aside the new thread and return to the Xmas gift projects with resolve. I have until Friday afternoon to have them ready for our family todo.

u mus hab mai purrmisshunz 2 climb teh laddr ob knawledge



deez storeez r unner mai purrtekshun

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Friday, December 17, 2010

A Slice of Joy

ai bless ur owie and sendz heelingz


This afternoon while making my lunch, the knife sank unexpectedly fast into the over ripe avocado and sliced across the first knuckle of my left index finger.

It was minor as far as knife injuries go. Little more than a paper cut tho it bled enough to need a bandage. But a bandage wrapped around the first knuckle of a finger makes typing a challenge. Forget speed.

Worse than that (tho I'd probably ranked it differently last month during NaNo) is the awkwardness it lends to crocheting what with the very finger that's supposed to control the tension on the thread and dole it out at the proper speed being hampered by the bandage which prevents bending and blocks the sense of touch (I can't feel the thread) and provides a slick surface right where the thread needs to lay on which it slips and slides any which way but the right way.

I can't take the bandage off until I'm sure the rubbing of the thread won't restart the bleeding. Since I'd loose several times as many minutes as I saved in washing the blood out of my work or redoing it entirely I must either accept slow and awkward or set it aside entirely for another pass time. Say reading one of those library books due next week.

Or sleep....

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gone With the Wind



I just watched Gone With the Wind. It was the second time in my life, the first being 30 odd years ago either shortly before or shortly after I got married. In the late 70s or early 80s on TV. I remember it was a two night event and was terribly chopped up by commercials.

I had read the book a few years before that in the summer between 9th and 10th grade. It was one of the rare books for which I turned back to page one after turning the last page and started over again.

Oddly, I remember favoring Melanie over Scarlett. I 'got' her. She was closer in spirit to who I thought myself to be at the time. Scarlett reminded me too much of the bullies I contended with throughout my school years and I could not muster sympathy for her or root for her success. But tonight, though I still admired Melanie, I was mesmerized by Scarlett. Her gumption in the face of despair and terror outshown the selfish brat persona I had remembered and I had to admire her for her ability to renounce the culturally expected helplessness of her era's 'ladies' and make her own success by hook or by crook. I'm wishing I had a bit more of Scarlett and a bit less of Melanie in myself now.

During the intermission just before switching to disc 2 I went to the library catalog and ordered the book. And while there I discovered there had been two sequels written in the last twenty years. If ever there was a story--movie or novel--that needed a sequel, it was Gone With the Wind. But how can a sequel written by someone not Margret Mitchel ever do the story justice? I know that Mitchel herself was adamantly opposed to a sequel.

One tells Rhett's story and the other Scarlett's. Rhett Butler's people by Donald McCaig in 2007 and Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley in 1991.

Does anyone know if either of them were any good at all?

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Delivered


The order of thread I've been expecting is finally here. I had to go with Ed as he left for work so that I could have it today and not have to wait until he got home from work in the wee hours. Like 4am as he did this morning. We ran by the post office and retrieved it and then he dropped me off at the entrance to the trailer park on his way to work. I've been playing with it all afternoon. Finally stopped to get a picture for this post.

Actually the four bookmarks across the top there are made from the thread I bought in town on Monday. I put them in to show contrasts in size the different types and sizes of thread make. On the far left is one made with the cotton sock yarn, Paton's Grace that I picked up at Michael's Monday as an experiment. I think it might make a better key fob than bookmark as it is at least twice the size of the standard size 10 thread seen in the Goldenrod and Cardinal Red in the middle. The two on the far right are made with the size 30 white.

The two below are made from thread out of the box I got today. On the left is a new type of thread. At least new to me. I've had my eye on it in the online catalog for months because of this variegated pastel they call Fairy Tale. It is rayon instead of cotton and more expensive than the cotton threads.

I've discovered that it is difficult to work with. It is slippery and snags easily and doesn't hold its shape well. The the stitches bunch and the bookmark curls up as you see and will need to be blocked. On the plus side, I like the silky texture. I think it would look good in embroidery as well. The thread size is hard to judge. Definitely smaller than the size 10 but I think bigger than the size 20. I was using a size 9 hook which kept snagging or slipping between the strands. Possibly I need to use a bigger hook.

To the right is the black Cebelia Crochet Cotton Size 20. I've been wanting to get a lacier black thread for awhile now. This thread holds its shape better than the Aunt Lydia size 30 just above.

Across the bottom are the four cotton size 10 and the four bamboo size 10. All Aunt Lydia brand. The four cotton are left to right: my Peacock Blue (that ran out in October and the only repeat in the box), Aqua, Monet Multi and Dusty Rose. The four bamboo left to right: yellow, green, lilac, pink. All pastels.

The three balls in the middle are the Lizbeth Cordonnet Egyptian cotton size 20. I loved the one I got last summer and now want to start collecting more colors as I can. It is more expensive than most of the other thread at nearly twice the cost for half the length. But I think it is worth it. The thread holds its shape so well just the time saved in blocking will make it worth it. And the colors are brilliant. I noticed that the Joanne online catalog is now offering the Lizbeth in size 10 but I'm sticking with the size 20 until I have collected a bunch.

I favor the variegated as they look good alone or as borders or other accents on a compatible solid color. But I ordered my first solid in that dark turquoise to go with the Turquoise Swirl seen still in its individually wrapped package. The third Lizbeth cordonnet is called Red Burst and is a variegated combining a dark red with either a burgundy or dark reddish brown.

There they are. As you can imagine I'm itching to get back to them. I gave myself this one day to get it out of my system and then I need to get serious about putting the finishing touches on and getting the Xmas gifts ready to wrap. That means a whole lot of tail tucking and fringe attaching. Meh.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Delivery Delayed

Invizbul yarn attak


Still waiting on that Joanne.com order of 13 crochet thread balls. It is nearly a week beyond the original expectation. But have been keeping myself distracted with the new thread I got yesterday at Wal-Mart and Michael's. Made several bookmarks. Aiming for two of each of the new thread's. Was going to take pics of the half dozen I have so far but my camera batteries died.

Well, at least I know the package has arrived at the Phoenix post office as of 5:30 this evening. I'd been following its progress through online tracking since the beginning and was quite frustrated when there had been no new info since it left Kent, WA the evening of the 10th.

So tomorrow then. Look for pics. I think I cans scrounge up batteries. My palms are fairly itching to get hold of those 13 thread balls and skeins. Only one is a replacement for one I've had before. Thee Parakeet Blue. The rest are new in either color or thread type or both. My hook will be flying over the next week.

I've still got finishing touches to put on the several Xmas gifts I have on the hook though so I've got to exercise a bit of discipline. Do not want a repeat of last year when I was working the hook for the last twenty hours before heading out the door for the family get together.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

New Threads



It was Ed's single day off this week and he took me thread shopping. Also Xmas shopping for our 8 year old grand nephew.

I'm still expecting a box of new thread from Joanne.com which is now nearly a week later than I anticipated when making the order 16 days ago. Today's excursion to Wal-Mart and Micahael's took the edge off my anxiety about that box of 13 new threads.

Today my primary aim was to replace the red (Victory aka bright red) that was down to its last layer on the cardboard tube. But I went ahead and replaced the Golden Yellow and Purple which are both over half gone. And then proceeded to add a new shade of red (Cardinal aka dark red), a new shade of yellow (Goldenrod), and a variegated shades of purple. All size 10 weight.

That is purple there in the bottom right corner. I don't know why it is so hard to get purple to look purple in the photos I take. It usually comes out looking some shade of blue. At least it isn't turquoise this time.

I added white in size 30 and two skeins of cotton yarn intended for knitted socks but which I've had my eye on for several months to see how it works for the bookmarks. I like it's feel. It is a Patton's product called Grace. I chose a solid blue and a variegated blues and purples for the experiment.

The green Sugar n Cream cotton thread is for a different project which I'll discuss when I start it but I won't use more than a few yards of it for that so I intend to experiment with it for the bookmarks too. If not for the crocheted part than possibly the tassels or braids. I'm concerned it is too thick for a bookmark once crocheted.

Getting these ten and the 13 arriving soon stowed away is going to be a challenge. And I don't even want to think about getting all the thread now in kits for the Xmas gifts still on the hook stowed. I believe the only solution is to keep several projects going at all times so that ten to twelve balls are kept in the kits and out of the two drawers which were stuffed to the gills even before my last thread shopping excursion in October (?). If I hadn't been keeping 6 to 10 in project kits since then I don't know what I'd have done. I may have to resort to crushing the cardboard tubes but that truly offends my sensibilities.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Serenity #208

Day uv rest  iz doin it rite

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Disappointment

bring mi da bluez  ai haz a sad


The Joanne.com order I made two weeks ago tonight has not yet arrived. It was originally supposed to come in 7 to 10 days from the moment of ordering but I didn't get the acknowledgment from FedEx until the following Tuesday and they started the 7 to 10 day clock at that time which should have made it between Tuesday and Friday of this week. Considering the season I had not hoped to see it before yesterday anyway but when it did not arrive by today I started feeling the creep of disappointment. That sinking sadness of let down. I know it is silly. I know it is childish. But there it is.

And it is not like I don't have plenty of thread to work with. And technically I don't need any of the thread in that order to finish the Xmas gift projects I have going and since there is only two weeks left for those to be finished I really shouldn't even be playing with my newest rainbow in a box until those projects are wrapped up--in both senses of that word.

Still I pout.

It looks promising for Monday though as the tracking says it left Kent WA last evening in the hands of the postal service.

So Monday. And just in case it doesn't arrive Monday I do have a substitute anticipation. Ed has promised to take me to Joanne's and Michael's to shop for replacement thread for several colors I'm running low on. Most of them needed for the Xmas projects. My red is nearly gone. I see more cardboard tube than thread. My yellow, purple and orange are low but only purple is needed for the Xmas projects.

Another source of my sadness is the discovery of a mistake in one of the Xmas gifts. I left out two rows from the middle of one of the purple coasters and will have to take out 8 rows and put them pack in after putting in the missing two.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

A Toy Story

Do you ever feel toyed with?

Sometimes I feel like someone's favorite toy. Like live entertainment. Or a cartoon.

This afternoon I was making my lunch. A sandwich and coffee. I started the coffee maker first thinking I could have my sandwich made and cleaned up after by the time it finished. But as I was putting away the cheese and mustard and bread, I noticed the lid atop the coffee maker was still standing up. I'd forgotten to close it. The heated water can't get up into the grounds when that lid is open but it sits there burbling and hissing same as when it's doing it thing.

So I had to stand around in the kitchen waiting for enough coffee to fill my cup to percolate through to the pot before I cold return to the room where I'd anticipated starting up a DVD to watch as I ate.

Upon return to the room I found safe(ish) places to set down the coffee mug and sandwich.--the latter on top of my closed netbook--while I got settled on the bed and got the DVD started. I reached for my glasses which I'd left on my netbook lid when I lay down this morning about 5. I had to reach over the sandwich which was blocking them from my view and I miscalculated their position and instead of picking them up I knocked them off and they tumbled behind the printer upon which my netbook set.

I had to get up off the bed to reach over the printer and fumble around on the back edge of my desk (aka TV tray table) but I couldn't find them with my fingers. Now I had to assume they had fallen off the back of my desk and into the closet and to get to them I would have to pull the bags and boxes out from under the desk. Bags holding crochet and sewing, boxes serving as desk drawers and craft misc storage.

I piled all this onto the bed and got on my hands and knees with a battery powered LED lamp and again fumbled around among miscellaneous objects identifying them by feel if I couldn't see them. It was hard to have both arm and head under the desk at once so I had to alternate between looking and reaching.

I was in this position when Ed came in to get ready for work. He told me to get out of the way and he would find them. So I got up on the bed and he looked under and behind my desk, moving more of the boxes out before declaring them not there and replacing the boxes. I suggested they might be under the printer than in the hollow space behind the paper tray.

I decided that I ought to move my net book off to make it easier for him to look there. To maybe lift the printer up. So I slid the netbook on its board with mouse and external DVD onto my lap. The sandwich going along for the ride.

My mistake was in reaching over to steady the printer as Ed tipped it up to looked. This unbalanced the board across my legs and netbook, papers, DVDs, headphones, mouse, and of course the sandwich, tumbled to the floor. The sandwich landing milimeters from Ed's feet.

So he had pick all of that up and put it back on my lap before he could continue looking for my glasses. He did finally find them under the printer. He handed them to me and then headed for the shower. I set about reassembling my netbook lapdesk and getting the DVD started before picking up the sandwich Ed had set on top of the printer to examine it. It had landed on one of the Netflix envelopes instead of directly on the floor so it escaped any obvious harm and I decided it was still edible.

But before I started the DVD and my lunch I decided I needed the fan turned up as all of that activity in a room that heats up near 80 when my in-laws have the heater at 73 in winter had me feeling about ready for a shower myself. So I set the lapdesk on the bed and started to get up but as I jostled my desk the box of often used books and desk misc tumbled off it onto the floor. Upside down. Spilling books, notebooks, pencils, camera, USB cord, ear buds, bookmarks, remote, LED lamp, library card, receipts, debit card, squeeze ball, and sunglasses onto the floor across my path to the fan and Ed's into the room.

I heard the shower on the other side of the wall go off as I knelt to start gathering it all up but I was still at it when he returned and once again had to help me find stuff that had slid out of view or into the shadows, behind or under something. I think we got it all. But I'm not sure I remember every last thing that was in that box. I'd been dropping things into it since the beginning of NaNo or even before Halloween.

So the stuff picked up, the fan turned on, Ed dressed and gone, I settled back on the bed and fired up the DVD, put on the headphones and picked up my sandwich off the printer. The top slice of bread was dry as toast.

Oh and my coffee was lukewarm.

I hope someone was having fun.

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Stringing Along



I haven't got much to say tonight as I just passed 25 hours awake. So I thought I would share in pics what I've been up to with my crochet hook in the last month or so.

Above you see some of the bookmarks made since mid October. Only some as at least this many if not more have had their tails tucked and then been placed with the others awaiting adornment with ribbons and beads and fringe and tassels.

Back in September I began making sets of one each of the patterns in my repertoire with whichever two colors struck my fancy. In mid October I worked the orange and black set and began an orange and brown set. After Thanksgiving I started working the red and yellow set and then forest green and yellow and then forest green and red.



I was planning to add white into the mix with the red and green and maybe do a three color pattern--an Xmas theme--but as you can see I'm getting quite low on red. I'm hoping to replace it this weekend. That is one of the colors I can almost always find in one of the three stores locally that sell crochet thread..JoAnne's, Michael's and Wal-Mart--so I did not include it the JoAnne.com order I'm expecting to arrive any day now. But I am expecting my beloved Parakeet Blue replacement. I've been without for over two months now.



Last week I finished putting in the rows on the blue and white mat. It still needs its tails tucked and either a border crocheted on or a fringe attached on the ends. I began the project with a set of place mats in mind but decided I didn't want to commit to four identical large pieces so now I'm calling it a vase mat tho it could also be a book cover.



Last week I also completed the last of the purples coaster set. Or thought I had until i began preparing this shot. I discovered that the last one I did--upper right--is missing two rows out of the middle. I need to take out eight rows to put them in.

But not tonight. Tho it's going to bug me until I fix it, I think I'm tired enough to sleep anyway.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Problem Solving for the Birds


I've got 12 hours to do what I can with 8 overdue or due library items, including at least 4 hours of video. There's no way I can finish with all of them.

I feel like the penguins in this vid, using up the available time going back and forth, back and forth between options.

What to choose, what to choose...

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Stories Are Calling

funny pictures-Watchoo meen, only seben bedtiem storeez? Ai'z not teh leest bit sleepy yet!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I may have sounded like I was complaining about all the pressure exerted by the slough of library due dates in the next three weeks but really I'm eating up the stories so I can't really have too much resentment. In fact it is quite possible that I set myself up for it so I'll have an excuse to spend the extra time with the stories--both DVD and books.

Well. Enough chit-chat about it. The stories are calling me.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Maybe You Find It With the Essence?

Pleez give me moar time she sez i looks          and          looks derz no moar time nowherz


Those elebenty huuard library stuffs r pressing my panic buttons. Teh string of due dates began today and for the rest of the month most weeks will have two of them. This week it is all three of the days the library is open--Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Oh dear. There just went another minute sneaking away on its velvet pawz. Quick kitteh snach it wit ur clutchy clawz and save it from the tick-tock's jaws.

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday Serenity #207



Contemplating consciousness.

Wallowing in wonder.

Getting some giggles on.

Can it be anymore apropos for a Sunday pastime that solicits serenity?

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

But I Always Do

DON'T BITE OFF  MORE THEN YOU CAN CHEW


I have bunches of library items coming due in the next week. Three of them are TV series with 900-1300 minutes. That's each BTW. Then there are 4 Inspector Lewis episodes and a Sandra Bullock movie--Murder By Numbers. These weren't all supposed to come home on the same day. If Ed had been able to pick them up as they arrived they would have been spread over two weeks with 3 or 4 due dates. The series are: House season 1; Joan of Arcadia season 1; and Forsyte Saga complete.

Then there are several books coming due with either holds on them or zeroed out renewals. One of them is the novel The Passage by Justin Cronin which I was in queue for since late July. It will be months before I get my hands on it again.

There are 38 items on my card and 23 on Ed's of which all but three I sent for for myself but even the three Ed checked out for himself I am highly interested in.

Plus I'm probably going to get my turn for Franzen's Freedom, the Oprah book club selection, sometime in the next week. I've been in queue for it since the morning she announced it. I think that was early October?

Library items aren't the only place where I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew. I have too many projects in process: dozens of stories 5-50% written; daily blog posts; dozens of partially prepared book reviews, a number of them intended for the dozen or so reading challenges I joined over the last year; crocheting bookmarks; crocheting Xmas gifts; a website I've been working at creating for over a year; plans to start selling my crocheted bookmarks and/or patterns of those I created in electronic format; sorting junk boxes and drawers; two large cross stitch pictures; a dozen other partially done craft or mending projects; research projects related to one or more of the items above which contributes to the accumulation of library books.

That is still just a partial list.

So unless I can get some of those book reviews ready to post, I'll probably be continuing the practice of posting LOLcats with a minimum of commentary as I did throughout November while focused on NaNo. The primary focus for the next 17 or so days has to be getting the crocheted Christmas gifts finished. That is the shawl and coaster set for my sister-in-law; the coaster set for Ed's folks; an embroidered bookmark for my 8 year old grand nephew. And that is only a partial list and only for Ed's side of the family. There are a few on my side who celebrate Christmas (I was raised in a church that did not. And no it wasn't JW) for which I have intentions to crochet bookmarks or coaster sets. Tho for the bookmarks I just need to dress one of the 200 or so already crocheted. Then there is my Mom's birthday coming on January 3.....

Making that list is making me drowsy or driving me to put in a DVD and get lost in a story.

At least I can crochet while watching videos. That's how I've gotten one shawl, five coasters and a couple dozen bookmarks crocheted in the last six weeks. Plus tucking hundreds of tails on previously crocheted bookmarks. Which reminds me, it is time to take more pictures of the last month's work which will give me posting material that isn't off cheezburger.com or youtube. Sometime in the next week there will also be pictures of the 13 new crochet thread balls on their way to me from Joann.com care of FedEx.

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Problem Solving Techniques

Haz u gotz a problem to solve?  Chew on it n teh ansur will come


I have several problems on my mind on several topics which is probably why problem solving became the them of several LOLcat captions I came up with this evening.


Now i seez teh slushun.


My most often used problem solving technique is some form of looking away--changing the subject, goofing off (on cheezburger.com for example) or:

we haz purfected problem solving  tekneek uv sleepn on it

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

32 Years

u turn teh pagez  uv mai heart


Today is our 32nd anniversary.

Not doing anything anniversary-ish tho as this is the week Ed's hours at work explode. Last night he didn't get home until after 2am (this morning) and left again before 2pm expecting much the same tonight. This has been the way of it since he started working on the shipping dock in 2001.

So I'm spending the day much as I have since mid October with my books and netbook, my hooks and Netflix, my memories and Merlin. Reading, writing, crocheting, web browzing and watching videos. And remembering.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Waking Up on the Wrong Side

My awake is in  coffe cup?


of the sun.

Swing shift sucks.

Three more weeks of this.

Married to one of Santa's elves I am.

Do you ever think about all the work that goes into making that pile of presents under the tree possible?

Sure it is common to hear the complaints of the terrible shopping experiences, the long shopping lists, the last minute wrapping, the late night bike assembly and so on and so on.

But what of all the work that went into getting those gifts to the place where the buyer buys? All the assembly line workers, the packagers, the warehouse and shipping dock workers, the truckers, the mail delivery persons, the person taking your order over the phone?

Many many many of these 'Santa elves' work 50 to 60 and more hours per week between Thanksgiving and Christmas taking a while lot of crud off the stressed out customers and still have to shop for their kid's Christmas at Goodwill since they are likely to take home a pink slip on Christmas eve.

Pardon if I sound maudlin. I've been awake for three hours and not had my coffee yet. Ed and I got in a pattern of him bringing me home a cup of hot fresh brewed coffee each night and that was working OK when he was getting home between 9 and 10. But this is the third or forth time in a week that he's not been here by midnight. Drinking my coffee between midnight and 3am is not such a good iddea. Is no wonder I'm still awake at noon or even 2 to say good bye as he leaves again.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Here's Mud In My Eye

I don't feel like a winner. My NaNo efforts this year were junkier than ever before. Worse than I remember of last year's which was so bad that I've yet to reopen that file to abuse my eyes upon it. That feeling of disgust combined with the death of my laptop just a few days later followed by several weeks of zero access to my files contributed to my not writing any fiction (except for a few days dabbling with a script concept for Script Frenzy in April) for eleven months. So here's to my barfing up another 50K of muck for my mind monkeys to make mud balls to throw at me.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

How to Keep a Cat Happy

u mus pay toel 2 turn page wut iz toel? jus gess til iz happy or bored


Your guess is as good as mine.

My Merlin is giving me fits. He is constantly on or grabbing at whatever item I'm trying to use (book, netbook, crochet thread or hook, mouse pad, headphones, pillow, blanket) or at my hand or arm. My right hand is covered in scratches. He's got food and water. He even has freedom (after 0pm) to leave the room and roam about the living room and kitchen, drink from the doggy water, sleep on Bruiser's bed, the couch or any one of four cushiony chairs. But no he has to plant himself by my right hip and play cat and mouse with my elbow as I type or mouse-click.

I guess he's feeling neglected.

As I type this, 24.2 hours left of NaNo.

Don't know my word count. Don't want to know. Haven't looked since my birthday on the 13th.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Serenity #206

Sunday.  Teh Day of Rest  let meh showz u how

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Been Knotty

I BEEN KNOTTY


Just spent three hours on Joanne.com and made a big order of crochet thread. Big for me anyway. 13 new balls of thread. Each one different in color or style.

See I ran out of my favorite shade of blue several weeks ago. A bright turquoise called Parakeet. Ever since I'd been watching for another free shipping promo coupon in my email. Have received them twice before this week but they did not coordinate well with paydays until now. And then this one was only good for orders over $35. So even though I only really needed 3 or 4 of them at this time I splurged.

Nearly all are items I can't get in the stores the only exceptions being a couple of the bamboo thread colors but I ordered every pastel of the bamboo except for the blue I already have as I have a project in mind. Ever since I first worked with the bamboo a year ago I've had in mind making a baby blanket with it and was only waiting to learn of someone in my circle expecting. Just learned my niece is in March. So I ordered pink, green, yellow and lilac to go with the blue and white I already have. I can usually find all but the lilac in the stores though not always all of them at any one time. I'm sure I'm going to have to augment before the project is complete but there is time for that.

Besides the Parakeet blue there were two other size 10 solids: Aqua and Dusty Rose. I have seen none of the three in the stores and the last time I made a Joanne order I tried to order the aqua and dusty rose but they were out of stock so they were high on my list.

Another size 10 was a variegated in blues and purples much like the yarn the cat has in the LOLcat above. It is called Monet Multi.

I ordered a size 20 in black. Size 20 is a finer thread than the 10 and makes a lacier product. It is also more expensive and harder to find in stores. Also harder to find in colors other than neutrals. I hope to someday start collecting them in the entire rainbow but they are spendy at over $4 per ball and sometimes the ball is still less than 100 yards. This one was 400 yards for just under $5 so I splurged. I have several whites in 20 and 30 and 50 weight which came from my mom's or Ed's grandma's sewing stuffs and have been picturing how black would look in the various bookmark patterns.

Last summer I ordered as an experiment a variegated blues and purples called Caribbean in a Lizbeth Cordonnet Cotton and I absolutely LOVED it and have been really hankering to order more even though it is nearly $4 per ball and only 210 yards (compare to the size 10 bedspread weight at over 400 yards for under $3). But not only do I love the selection of bright variegated color combos, I adore the way this thread holds its shape. No blocking has been necessary even after the project has been practically wadded up in the bag or purse while under construction.

So no surprise that I was planning to put one more of the Lizbeth Cordonnet in my next order. I'd been planning one called Red Burst which is a blend of dark and bright reds. But since I still had room in my order when I reached that page and had already included all of the priorities, I went ahead and included two more--a bright turquoise solid and a turquoise vari called Turquoise Twist. That will make it possible to do one of the two toned patterns with a Lizbeth Cordonnet.

Do you get the idea I like turquoise?

Another experiment for this order was a Rayon thread which I'm curious about as it's texture is described as being appropriate for baby clothes. It is fairly spendy too but I've had my eye on one of it's variegated called Fairy Tale which looks to be several pastels..

So now I wait. 10 business days or so. Which means probably at least Wednesday of the week after next.

Then I have to figure out where to put them all. The two drawers I've been keeping my thread collection in were stuffed to the gils before I put together the three project bags several weeks ago--the vase mat/bookcover; and the two coaster sets. A forth bag, the wrist bag, holds two or three for bookmarks which I knock off in an hour or so and which have a high turnover rate with balls shuffling back and forth between bag and drawer. But the mat and coaster projects are commandeering 13 balls between them. One coaster set has colors in common with the vase mat so both of those projects are in the new craft bag I got for my birthday.

I'm on the last of the purple coasters so those four balls will be going back in the drawers soon. I could very well be done with the blues and white mat and the blues and browns coaster set by the time the Joanne order arrives. So where in the world am I going to put 13 more balls.

At least only 4 are the typical largish size. The Lizbeth are the size of a toddler's fist. The bamboo are the size of my fist and squishy. But the size 10 thread are the size of a man's fist. I find that tradition annoying as the thread is wrapped around a tube I can fit over my fist and slide up my arm. It is a ridiculous waste of space whether for shipping, storing or schlepping around while on the hook.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Day Was So Purrific!

Humorous Pictures
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I tried the turkey dive and did a belly flop now all that's left is falling asleep...purrchannce to float upon dreams.

4.2 days left of NaNo. 50K still long way off. Tempted to write it off instead of writing scenes. Wonder how many times I can type the words 'turkey dive and belly flop' over the next four days?

OK so that's probably the morning after blues or the up-against-it angst talking. Darkest before the dawn and all that. Sigh.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble, Gobble

Funny Pictures - Thanksgiving Cat
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Thanksgiving.

A day for food, family, fun, fellowship, food, fixins, fussing, fullness, food.

Oh and did I say food?

I'm the turkey now. Stuffed to the gibblets.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Yesterday's Snow



If you slept in you probably missed it for by noon it was all but gone. i got these pics shortly after dawn by standing on the back porch in my slippers. I'd been doing laundry all night and about an hour earlier had spotted the snow on the neighbor's car when their security light popped on while I was at the kitchen sink. So I got my camera ready and waited for dawn.

It's just as well it is gone and the winter storm has moved past us. We've got family on the roads all weekend and the passes north and south of here are no fun to drive in the snow. Plus snow events make the logistics of Ed's job on the shipping dock extra hard what with trucks delayed and snow in the shipping yard. So as much as I love snow and want to see it, I feel guilty for wishing for it

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Feel a Bit Like Something the Cat Drug In

Funny Pictures and Gifs - Cat Runs into Wall
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Or like I've been slammed into walls and drug down a flight of stairs by malevolent forces.

Untitled


Between Monday afternoon about 3 and Tuesday afternoon about 2 I did four loads of laundry (sort, prep, wash, dry, fold & put away)sorted two junk boxes, organized the closet, switched out summer for winter clothing in the more accessible locations, decluttered my 'office' aka the 3x2 foot area beside the bed, showered and shampooed, sorted and reorganized a bushel or two of craft and sewing stuffs, cleaned up the kitchen from the several meals and snacks we had separately fixed in that time. All of this involved a lot schlepping of stuff back and forth between living room and bedroom, bedroom and laundry room and bedroom and bathroom and bedroom and porch, bedroom and kitchen and kitchen and living room.

I had hopes as I wrote of my progress and plans in yesterday's post to be all done and heading to bed about 10am this morning which would be about four hour late on my current schedule. Yeah right. I still had bunches of stuff in the living room, bath room and kitchen and a load in the dryer when Ed folks got home from their overnight trip at 1pm. So Ed helped by schlepping the stuff out of the living room onto the bed where I still had laundry, crafts and clothes from the closet I was trying to get put away. This made it more difficult and take longer than if I had been able to bring the stuff in as its 'home' was prepared.

It didn't help that shortly before my in-laws arrived I'd been walking on the bed in order to put crafts stuff and books back on the shelves and had stepped off it like stepping off a giant stair step and landed my heal on the bed frames coaster instead of the floor. Oh and shortly before that I'd been putting craft stuff away on a shelf above my head and a sewing kit in a box fell off onto my face, smack onto my nose and forehead, knocking off my glasses. Both of these incidents caused pain of the quality that make you want to run for the toilet but you can't move.

I'd already been stiff and sore from an incident of colliding with the hall door jamb on Sunday afternoon moments after waking up which had left me feeling whiplashed from neck to ribcage to lower back and hip. Because of the stiffness and dizziness left over from that the 20+ hours of chores had been an adventure in minor and major klutz events. Stumbles and stubs and fumbles and flubs. Like when I was sorting one of the junk boxes and an attempt to salvage the beads off the handle of a damaged-beyond-useful plastic pouch, I cut the string and dropped it and about thirty tiny beads went skittering all over the living room floor, I spent fifteen minutes on hands and knees with a flashlight retrieving them.

So I didn't lay down until after 2pm and then couldn't sleep until I got up at 3 to take three ibuprophen. I then slept until nearly 10pm. I immediately took 2 naproxin or I'd probably not be able to type this. That was over two hours ago now and I'm about ready to take two more. I should have taken 4 in the first place.

BTW it snowed this morning between 4 and 8 am. As soon as it was light enough I went out on the back porch and got some pics. I just now remembered that or I would probably have made this post about that instead of this long whine.

But after relating the event of the day I'm wonder what in the world I was thinking going out on that ice slick step with treadless slippers while being the only one within earshot awake. Must have had an angel on my side of the battle afterall.

I'll prep those pics for posting tomorrow. It was the closest a trailer park ever gets to wonderland. Most of it was melted by noon.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

It's That Bad

Have u ever smelt a smell so bad that your nose  tried to hide inside your head?


Between the clothes in the full hamper in the closet directly behind my desk and the litter box at the foot of the bed my nose has been beleaguered by the aura of hell. I hate to confess for how long. Between NaNo and this swing shift Ed is on I've had more than the usual difficulty finding an opportunity to do laundry and other room chores.

Ed folks had not gone out of town overnight for a couple months which is my preferred set up for tackling the room chores. And no it has not been that long since we tackled them. But it has been hit and miss since late September for it is hard to find the time when these prerequisites hold long enough to sort, prep ie stain removal, wash, dry, fold, put away one or more loads: 1. Ed is awake. 2. I am awake. 3. Ed's folks are awake. 4. The washer and dryer are not in use. 5 Ed's Mom is not doing chores that have her moving about the house (with my eyes there isn't room in this small trailer for both of us to be moving about--especially up and down the hallway) 6 I have the energy.

Today Ed woke me on his way out the door for work about 2pm to tell me that his folks had left town until tomorrow afternoon. Since that moment over ten hours ago (actually over 12 hours ago as I wrap up this post) I've been working at laundry and room clutter. I began by moving my netbook and books and sewing out to the living room where I'm set up to work or play while waiting on loads. Then I sat with my coffee and breakfast to watch a movie and wake up thoroughly before pulling the laundry out of the hamper and sorting it and treating stains.

My efforts today have been slow going and frequent breaks required. I've been hampered by the effects of a jarring Monday afternoon when I bounced off the door jamb moments after waking up. I hit it sideways with my right shoulder and today I am sore from neck to hip from the whiplash. Stiffness and pain throw me off balance. I have some dizziness too but am not sure if that's related to the jarring, sinuses, or the inactivity of the last several weeks.

At any rate, I've got one load out of the dryer with the second one just beeping its ready for the dryer and two on the floor. I need to get a shower before I do those two loads as I'm wearing things that need to go in them if I'd like to have them available again before the end of the year. :)

Ed is home again now and already asleep so I can't mess around in the room until he gets up after 8am. I usually try to lay down between 5 and 6 so I can be awake before he leaves but if I lay down before he gets up he'll have to call me by 10 so I can move everything back into the room and put it away. Since I'm usually quite inefficient if not an accident waiting to happen for an hour or two after waking, I'm probably not going to lay down until I get it all put away. Which probably means at least 10am.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Serenity #205

funny pictures-It is not every day that we are needed.  But at this place,  at this moment of time,  all mankind is us,
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Birthday Bonanza



My birthday was a week ago today. I posted about it then and described the gifts Ed got me and promised pictures soon. Had thought a day or two. But here they are. Finally.

At top is featured the craft bag that served as a gift bag. Ed was so pleased with himself over that. I've been using used gift bags as craft bags for my crochet projects for a year and a half now and before that, since the mid eighties at least, I used them for other crafts and a variety of other things including storage containers. You could say I have a thing for gift bags. So when Ed saw the craft bags shaped like gift bags but with the addition of pockets and a zippered top he knew I'd love it.

The bag holds 9 full balls of crochet thread with enough room on the sides for slim items like pattern books and the clear plastic zippered pouches I use to hold small projects in process and as project tool kits. The tool kit pouch is sticking out the side pocket in the picture but usually is inside. That pocket has a Velcro fastener. The pocket on the other side zips closed. Then on the narrow side there is one of those net pockets with elastic rim which can hold a water bottle or baby bottle. I've seen bags like these used as diaper bags but this was being sold at a craft store



The lavender thread was one of the items in the bag as I had been talking about a project I needed it for. There was also a size 6 crochet hook which I meant to put in the picture but forgot. I had lost my size 6 a couple weeks before. Probably under the bed on the wall side which would make it irretrievable without moving the bed which can't happen without moving the bookshelves on the other side out of the room which isn't going to happen until we move into our own place. So Ed replaced the hook.

The projects pictured are not the usual bookmarks. The blue and white one folded inside the pouch is the mat or book cover I posted about a few times already. It is about 3/4 finished now. At least in terms of the crochet. There will be the tail tucking and there are a lot of those. 2 per stripe. There will be around 30 stripes.

The other projects seen there are coasters. Two different sets of four intended as Xmas gifts. They are shaped like mini throw rugs and will have fringes on each end made of embroidery floss. The two on the right are in shades of purple and the one on the left is browns and blues. No two will have the colors in the same order.

This coaster concept came out of my imagination as I worked on the bookmarks and was trying to come up with something I could make for the non-readers on my gift list. The effort involved in each one is about double that of a bookmark.



OK these weren't in the bag but came in the mail inside the birthday card from my Mom and sister and nephew. Mom writes that she saw and wanted these for me as she knows I collect baby dolls and dolphins and she thought these might be useful as bookmark decor. With the babies I could probably thread a narrow ribbon or braid between their crossed legs but the dolphins will need to be pierced somehow to create a secure attachment. I thought maybe a noose of thread around the tail but that would probably not hold for long.



And here are the headphones. The real gift from Ed--the craft bag being 'just' a gift bag and the thread and hook 'just' something I needed and would have been picking up soon anyway bday or not. The headphones tho are the 'big ticket' item which he'd had in mind for weeks as I had been complaining for months about the tinny sound (also tiny) of the ear buds and the way ear wax had to be cleaned out frequently and of the way his cheap headphones I occasionally borrowed felt like they were slicing my ears off.

I can't remember the last time--if ever--I've had headphones this nice. Not only is the sound better than I've had in a long time, they are so well made in other ways. Especially the cord between the appliance and the phones. It is well reinforced in all the places that typically short out after a few months use in cheap models . Besides which the cord is thicker, stronger and more pliable so it would take a lot of abuse to break the wire inside.

I have been using them more than my crochet hooks all week and that says a lot. Sort of. Since most of the time I'm crocheting I'm also listening to music, an audio book, a news pod, a YoutTube playlist or watching a movie it doesn't take much use without a hook in hand for it to exceed that. But point made.

Not to belabor it but I can say I've been wearing them more than my eyeglasses all week. Now that is really saying something.

FYI if you're curious about the brand and model: Sony Dynamic Stereo Headphones MDR-V150. And this is not a quid pro quo product review. We paid for them.

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