Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Could Someone Bring Me a Shovel?

'Cause 30" ain't where it's stoppin'. Do you see what I see?

The schools are closed because they can't plow the back roads with the usual plows. They've got to wait until the huge highway plows are free. (Which may not be for quite some time.) Boy Scouts is canceled today. Some friends have significantly more snow than we do, and they live only a few hundred feet higher, or a little closer to the big lake.

I heard, also, that the 10-year-old "new" gymnasium's roof collapsed over the weekend. (I haven't been able to find a news story on it online, but my source is reputable.) Um, can you say "engineering miscalculation"? I'm just glad it was over the weekend, when nobody was in the gym. (I'll repeat myself: there are a multitude of reasons why I don't choose to send my children to school.)

Needless to say, we're not going anywhere this weekend . . .

Anybody have a big, hefty plow truck they'd like to lend me?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What a kick this has turned out to be.

Sometimes, things turn out a little differently than you supposed.

I figured I'd blog, and the blog slowly turned into something I really enjoy. It's fun to post, to rant, to rave, to share snapshots of my world and interests.

Then, there are the perks. ;o)

Like, when someone finds my blog by Googling for this string:

pictures of nilkantha somayaji the great indian mathematician

Or, this one:

do females exist on the internet

How cool is that? lol

Then there's seeing the recent visitor map . . . which is seriously fun. Check it out:

Senegal, Finland, Japan, India, Hawaii, the UK, and more. (There are two more pages of maps that cover other time periods which I won't upload here.) One of the most common entry pages is the bean dip recipe I posted a while back.

Who'd'a thunk it? ;o) Such fun!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Itty Bitty, Tiny Little Things.

It's funny how very small things can make such an impact on one's day.

For example, this is what I saw this morning out my window . . .

And the front window . . .

(The plow threw up some of that, but not a whole lot.)

This was the coolest part, though. Can you see that little black speck just under the right side of the monkey rings?

It's the top of the hose bib on the white pipe below.

It has snowed steadily all day (as it did last night), and now you can't see the hoses bib at all. The higher swing is just about completely buried, as well. I'm not gaugeing the snowfall by how many rungs are visible behind the slide.

The snowfall has been so fine and small that I didn't expect this kind of accumulation. It's amazing . . . and fun. Such little, tiny things.

And, in other little, tiny news, two FO's.

On the left is a Sheepy Time Knits Sheepy Sack, and on the right is a Warm Heart Woolies trim soaker, newborn size.

These were both really quick knits, and it gives me an unaccountable amount of pleasure just looking at them. They're so tiny and soft, I just can't help it. Maybe it was Shan's recent post that put a bee in my bonnet about knitting for the baby; I don't know. Soakers are a far cry from Bohemian baby knits. Either way, I'm not done yet. I'm eyeing all of the wool I've got that's soft enough, wondering how many soakers and longies I can knit.

And now, I'm going to head for bed. I'm beat!

FO Details:

Sheepy Sack

Pure Wool 3-ply worsted in a discontinued pink. (I bought it from another mom online.)
Knit Picks US6/4mm Classic Circular

I knit all but about 2" of the 79g I had, and it's about 1" shorter than the pattern dictated. It's still going to work beautifully, though. The Uruguayan wool is an absolute dream--soft as cotton, and perfect for brand new skin (or 30-something skin ;o).

WHW Soaker

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Denim (discontinued).
Knit Picks US6/4mm Classic Circular

This only took about four hours or so to knit. (It probably would have taken less if I could have worked on it straight through.) I like the WotA, but I'd rather have something a little heavier for soakers. This will work for little babies, or light daytime duty.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Purling in a Long-Tail Cast-On

Did you know you can? I've known for a while, but I finally figured out today how to not twist the purl stitches. So, without further ado, here's the proof.

(Please do excuse my wintertime work-worn hands, etc.)

It's so interesting, seeing one's own hands, knitting away, on a screen. This was fun to do, as was my little video on adding beads to knitting. I think I'll have to do more of these . . .

That's what the internet needs, right? A few more knitting how-to videos? ;o)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

AaaaaaaaurrrrrrrrrgGrrrrrrrrrrr . . . .

I must be cursed.

Today wasn't all that great . . . I have a TON of things to be grateful for, but still, by dinnertime I was wiped out, aching, and just wanting to sit down and knit something pretty and soft.

Didn't happen.

Why, you ask? Well, it has to do with me and socks. I have started at least ten different socks for myself; all have been frogged before completion. Most didn't make it past the heel, but tonight's fiasco, the Yarn Shortage Anxiety Socks, were all the way to kitchenering . . . for the second time! I was so excited to knit these and get them done. I have some beautiful Araucania Nature Wool in deep, subtly shifting garnet tones, and I thought these would be perfect. I couldn't find size info in the pattern, but got gauge, and figured I'd just try them on as I went, and it would all work out. Sure.

Firstly, this pattern has some kind of weird mojo about it. I began with 60 stitches, but ended up with 55 after the heel after religiously following the directions. (Huh???) I knit the heel twice, (the first time I somehow managed to miss a couple p2tog's and had uneven sides to the flap), and on the second time, I still had an uneven number of stitches left on the needle. (Double huh???) Even with things going as well as that, I really hate the feel of the Dutch heel. Those two ridges of picked up stitches right under my heel are annoying.

Secondly, I couldn't get the toe decreases right. I began according to the instructions, at 2" to go, and even tried the sock on to make sure I wasn't making the sock smaller before my foot narrowed. Ignoring the point where the pattern went to "decrease every round" and continuing only decreasing every other round, I still was a couple rows short on length. So I ripped back all of the decreases, knit a few more rounds, tried on the sock, and gave it another go. Total de ja vu.

And get this . . . the sock was a little too big around in the instep, even with the five missing stitches, and the gauge difference. (Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that when I checked the gauge on the actual sock the first time I tried it on just before turning the heel, I found that I was getting a full stitch more to the inch than the pattern calls for. Smaller gauge, fewer stitches . . . it seems like that should make a reasonably smaller sock, no?)

Maybe the woman has exceptionally large feet, and I missed the memo.

And my stitches kept shifting 'round on the needles . . . instep stitches would end up on the heel needles, and vice versa. I've knit on socks for hours and hours, and on dpn's for hours and hours more, and I've never had that happen before. Totally strange.

So, here are my sock-knitting woes, as far as I understand:

Problem #1: I've got size 10 feet.

Problem #2: I've got "elegantly pointed feet", as the Yarn Harlot once wished for (but I can't for the life of me find the link to). (I know, I know. Two sentences in a row ended in prepositions. I tell you, it's a curse tonight.)

Problem #3: While my feet are size 10 in length and just barely medium in width of heel and toe, I have fairly high and narrow insteps.

So, most sock patterns are too short, baggy in the middle, and the heels are too small, making the rest of the sock fit funny. May I tear my hair out now?

And I have such pretty, pretty sock yarn all ready to be knit for me . . .

Online Cotton Sockotta, a cotton/wool/elastic blend that feels heavenly.

Crystal Palace Panda Wool in a colorway I simply adore. (Bamboo/wool/nylon.)

Trekking proNatura, a wool/bamboo yarn that is lovely soft and light (which is important during late summer here).

Dream in Color Smooshy in a to-die-for pink. And it's sooooo sproingy. Almost as sproingy as this . . .

Collinette Jitterbug in Mist. I've lost the ball band, but it doesn't matter. There's no way I'd need two skeins, since I doubt I'll ever live long enough to knit knee socks for my long 'ol legs.

Knit Picks Memories in Hawaii. Soft, simple, comforting merino in a heavy fingering weight. I bought this locally on clearance when a brand-new yarn shop was dumping it. The owner bought a bunch of stock from Knit Picks, but then marked it up the full retail markup, and nobody really bought much of anything. (I did buy a skein of Decadence at her price, as well as a different skein of Memories, in my defense. I wasn't just a vulture.) I love Knit Picks' yarns, but their shipping policies make me exceptionally grouchy, so I treasure what I have of theirs seeing as how I very nearly abhor ordering from them.

Angora Valley Fibers sock yarn; I think this is the Petunia colorway, but I've lost the ball band and it's not at the website. I bought this locally.

More Smooshy . . . I just couldn't decide, and I'm such a sucker for pink and purple. I wear a lot of neutrals and blacks*, and I love to wear bright socks with them. Red socks are one of my favorites, but these pink and purples will be great, too.

(It's silent protest against the color trends of the last nine years, and the fact that due to gestation and child-rearing, I've been just outside of the size ranges of Eddie Bauer and L.L. Bean, the only two companies who still make clothing in colors I can stand to wear.)

More Memories in "Easter". This is so perfect for fall and wintertime . . .

And another bamboo/wool blend yarn that I'm dying to knit. It's pink and brown with a touch of blue, with that silky bamboo feel . . . and I love it love it love it.

Please, does anyone out there have any idea where I can find a sock pattern that's not so incredibly fiddly, doesn't require me to rib the whole instep (crazy-making, that), and is easily customizable for my very different-from-average feet? I've been reading through patterns until I'm cross-eyed over at Ravelry. I've joined the "Sweet Big Feet" discussion group over there and read and read and read, but to no avail.


Thanks. I do feel a little better now . . .

Side Trip

Out on the high plains of the frozen north, it was about 5F with a biting wind, and sun so bright it hurt to look at the snow. But I couldn't help it . . . it was so incredibly beautiful.

When it's this cold, the snow is driven and shaped like sand, in fantastic contours. It's surprising what can happen when the wind meets a little resistance.

And then there's the play of light and shadow. Maybe I'm a little weird, but I have this thing for a good line. I love black and white photography and graphite art for that reason--there's no color for the artists to lean on to support his or her work. It's all about composition and line; and it's amazing what those two elements can create on their own. (Do go check out the graphite art link--it's incredible stuff.)

The frozen steppe stretched nearly as far as I could see, infinitely varied.

With delicate shapes and lines drawn by the lowering sun . . .

Then, I simply couldn't stay out longer. My camera felt dangerously cold (notoriously bad for the battery), not to mention my fingers, nose, and other extremeties.

So, I began the long trek back . . .

. . . down my driveway.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Knit and Crochet: a Comparison

As a long-time crocheter who made the leap, I definitely recommend learning to knit. It's such an interesting process, since the mechanics of knitting are so different (what with the straight needles, and all). Before I learned, I simply couldn't wrap my brain around how someone could draw up a loop with those pointy things. Just goes to show how limited human brains can be . . . even though I saw knitting all the time, and looked at hand-knit soakers, socks, clothing, and the rest, I still couldn't quite believe it was possible. We're such funny creatures.

Here are my own observations about the differences between knit and crochet. Your mileage may vary; this is in no way definitive or absolute.

Crochet is gorgeous, and still one of my favorite crafts. It makes beautiful lace and amazing decorative edges, adapts itself wonderfully to truly 3-dimensional designs, and is just plain fun. It's also handy to only have one or two live stitches on the hook at a given time, since you essentially bind each stitch off as you complete it.

Knitting is incredibly utilitarian, with the added bonus of beauty. It makes a more functional, durable fabric than crocheting does (less bulky and usually smaller holes). In my experieence, when crocheting is stretched and pulled, it's incredibly hard to block it back into shape, whereas knitting responds more forgivingly to actual use.

Assuming you used the same diameter tools and yarn, and made identically-sized swatches with knitting and crochet, knitting would take more stitches, more time, and less yarn than crochet.

YMMV, but those are just the things that I've found to be true in my knitting and crocheting.

I find that I knit a lot more than I crochet now. I've knit quite a few hats and socks for my family (four small kids plus DH), as well as a couple of soakers and other things. I have, ahem, more WIP's than I like to admit, but that's definitely a pattern to which I don't hold monopoly. ;o)

Learning how to knit opens up a lot more options in your ability to make things, where crochet just doesn't lend itself as well to some projects. For example, there are crocheted sock patterns out there, but stockinette stitch really does work a lot better than any crochet stitch for socks. Knowing both crafts is such a neat way to expand the way you see garment construction. It's a lot like being bilingual (which I was able to enjoy for a short time in college).

The other most notable part of learning to knit was how clumsy I felt. I'm a pretty coordinated woman, and I can catch on pretty quickly to most of the things I try. But knitting? I was cross-eyed with my tongue sticking out for nearly a full day at the start. Then my eyes slowly uncrossed; but it took another couple of days before my tongue could rest comfortably behind lips again. It was at least another week or two before I was decently fast. So, hang in there when you're learning. It's hard at first, but once your brain and your hands really start working together, it's like anything else you've learned to do in life (walking, talking, typing, stirring a pot of soup). It becomes automatic pretty darn quickly. Which reminds me, I've been meaning to do a post on how I learned to knit. . . .

So, to all you crocheters out there: go learn to knit. You'll be glad you did. :o)

And, to all you knitters: go learn to crochet. ;o)

Friday, January 18, 2008

I *have* been knitting. No, really, I have . . .

See? This is the Anderman's hat:

It's currently in stasis, ripped back to just before the decreases, waiting on my Knit Picks order to arrive. (I broke down an ordered some needles from them, despite my strong distaste for their shipping policies. My order took three days to ship, and will take a full week or more to get here. I'm trying very, very hard not to feel annoyed, since they've got a monopoly on KP needles.) I just hate knitting hats on 24" circulars. When I get to the decreases, I don't mind using a 30" needle with magic loop . . . but for the rest I just want things to flow.

Next up, Vern's socks.

Yep, that's right. They're finished! I never did rip that wonky one back to the heel to reknit. I had him try them on last night, and he said that they didn't feel different, and it wouldn't bother him. So, I wove in that lone end from kitchenering the last toe, and voila!, an FO.

But don't look now . . . here's another one . . .

This is another Sweet River scarf, done with one more horizontal repeat with smaller yarn & needles. I used a US4 this time, and some Skacel Divine that's positively to die for. It was on 50% off clearance at my favorite LYS, otherwise I never would have been able to make myself buy it (no matter how glorious it feels). I'm planning on blocking this tonight, and we'll see how it turns out. I'm not going to block all of the ripples out--I just want to even it up enough to not flare at the ends.

And in other news, I have been doing some beading. These are the last few things I've made to take to the aforementioned LYS to put on consignment.

First we have some little scissor fobs:

And a necklace.

I really like the necklace. It was fun making something pretty with beads I hadn't thought about using together. (Please excuse the funny exposure--it was late, and I was fresh out of sunlight.) I actually have built up a nice little stock at the LYS . . . I think I've got a few more than 15 sets of stitch markers and three bracelets there right now (along with the things pictured above).

Oh, and after a week of the boys sleeping in the living room (which has been interesting, to say the least), here is what their room looked like last night:

Yep! That's a bed in there! Last night they slept in their new two-tone blue room, and seemed to like it quite a bit. We still need to re-paint the doors and put up the chair rail molding (hence the rough transition between the colors), but those are things that can be done with the beds in there . . . and only one night of camping out for the boys. (Hooray!) Next up, the girls' room.

And now, I'm off to nap a couple of kids, and see what I can get done with the remains of my day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

For Shan

When I saw this quote, I thought of this.

"Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow. Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live."

~Dorothy Thompson

It wasn't the "afraid to live" part that caught my attention. Rather, it was the description of courage. I've always loved the addage: "Bravery is not the absence of fear; it is the mastery of it." Only fools aren't afraid. The difference between cowards and heroes is that the heroes keep trying.

Here's to everyday, ordinary heroes . . . and that means all of us.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Movie Meme

So here is a list of the Top 100 Films of All Time. I'm pretty out of the movie loop (haven't been to a movie theater since Episode 1 in 1999), and I'm just not into most of the popular stuff (don't like strong language or violence). So, here's what I've seen . . .

1. Citizen Kane (1941)
2. The Godfather
3. Casablanca (1942)
4. Raging Bull (1980)
5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
6. Gone with the Wind (1939)
7. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
8. Schindler’s List (1993)
9. Vertigo (1958)
10. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
11. City Lights (1931)
12. The Searchers (1956)
13. Star Wars (1977)
14. Psycho (1960)
15. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
16. 2001 : A Space Odyssey (1968)
17. The Graduate (1967)
18. The General (1927)
19. On the Waterfront (1954)
20. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
21. Chinatown (1974)
22. Some Like It Hot (1959)
23. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
24. E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982)
25. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
27. High Noon (1952)
28. All About Eve (1950)
29. Double Indemnity (1944)
30. Apocalypse Now (1979)
31. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
32. The Godfather Part II (1974)
33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
35. Annie Hall (1977)
36. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
39. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
40. The Sound of Music (1965)
41. King Kong (1933)*
42. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
43. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
44. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
45. Shane (1953)
46. It Happened One Night (1934)
47.A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
48. Rear Window (1954)
49. Intolerance (1916)
50. Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
51. West Side Story (1961)
52. Taxi Driver (1976)
53. Deer Hunter, The (1978)
54. M*A*S*H (1970)
55. North by Northwest (1959)
56. Jaws (1975)
57. Rocky (1976)
58. The Gold Rush (1925)
59. Nashville (1975)
60. Duck Soup (1933)
61. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
62. American Graffiti (1973)
63. Cabaret (1972)
64. Network (1976)
65. The African Queen (1951)
66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
67. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
68. Unforgiven (1992)
69. Tootsie (1982)
70. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
71. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
72. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
74. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
75. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
76. Forrest Gump (1994)
77. All the President’s Men (1976)
78. Modern Times (1936)
79. The Wild Bunch (1969)
80. The Apartment (1960)
81. Spartacus (1960)
82. Sunrise (1927)
83. Titanic (1997)
84. Easy Rider (1969)
85. A Night at the Opera (1935)
86. Platoon (1986)
87. 12 Angry Men (1957)
88. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
89. The Sixth Sense (1999)
90. Swing Time (1936)
91. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
92. Goodfellas (1990)
93. The French Connection (1971)
94. Pulp Fiction (1994)
95. The Last Picture Show (1971)
96. Do the Right Thing (1989)
97. Blade Runner (1982)*
98. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
99. Toy Story (1995)
100. Ben-Hur (1959)

23 out of 100.

I've seen plenty of movies . . . just not these. ;o) Although, there are a couple on here that I'm thinking I should watch, if only for their cultural significance. Citizen Kane, or example. We'll see . . . or rather, I guess I'll see. :o)

Consider yourself tagged if you read this. Just copy, paste, & bold the ones you've seen. (Then leave me a comment so I can go see what your score is. ;o)

Oh Boy.

Things sure have gotten boring here lately, haven't they? I'm working on it, but it's slow coming . . . life has just been really full lately.

Thanks for your patience. ;o)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Principled Chef

So, I was thinking that it would be much easier for me to have my recipes all in one blog. So, here it is:

Principled Chef

It will take me a while to get the posts moved over, but meanwhile, I'll be posting recipes over there. (Don't'cha wish that Blogger had a "Move Post" option? I sure do.) I'll try to do better at taking pictures of the things I come up with, too. The Pioneer Woman has inspired me that way. Her recipe posts are so good that you feel like you're right there, listening to her as she chatters away, peeking into the mixing bowl, and seeing every single step. (83 photos for pot roast alone!) I wonder . . . does she talk to herself as she cooks? That would be an effective way to know when to take pictures. ;o) If I used my camera that much at the stove, though, I would definitely burn, spill, or mangle something (possibly the camera).

So, long story short(er), when you want some recipe inspiration, head over to the Principled Chef. Just don't get your hopes up for more than two photos for each of my recipes. (They're really not that complex!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Multicultural Chicken and Pasta

  • 1 bag Tinkayada brown rice pasta (penne)

  • ~2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken pieces (breasts & thighs)

  • 1/2-3/4 c. barbecue sauce (I use Backhills Barbecue Sauce--a local brand that's sweet with a little peppery kick)

  • 1 14 oz. can coconut milk *not low fat* (Thai Kitchen organic)

  • Several two-finger+thumb pinches Lemon Pepper or similar seafood seasoning (I have some from Costco I love)

  • 2 t. cornstarch

Cook the pasta according to package directions. While that's going on, warm a little extra virgin olive oil into a skillet and add the chicken pieces. Drizzle barbecue sauce on top. Cover and simmer for 6-10 minutes, or until chicken looks like it's nearing well-cooked. Add coconut milk, and allow the gentle simmer to help incorporate the more solid portion of the milk. Sprinkle seafood seasoning evenly over the top. Keep at a very low simmer for 10-15 minutes more. Mix the cornstarch with water and slowly drizzle over the chicken & sauce and simmer until thickened. (Just a minute or two--if it doesn't thicken by then, you've either got the heat too low or not enough cornstarch.)

Serve with this yummy salad:

Kid-friendly Butter Lettuce Salad

  • 1 bag butter lettuce (more tender and flavorful than romaine or nutritionally empty iceberg.

  • Ranch or Poppy Seed dressing of your choice (we like Litehouse JalapeƱo ranch or Brianna's Poppy Seed)

  • Parmesan/Romano cheese (grated or in a shaker bottle)

  • Raisins

My kids love this sufficiently that they eat it without complaint, and ask for seconds (especially if they don't know what the main dish is yet ;o). I let them choose what toppings they want; the cheese and raisins are mostly for my more sophisticated palate.

This took me about 30 minutes to prepare, and it wasn't labor intensive. (Meaning I didn't have to wash, cut, core, peel, or fussy-cook anything. My kind of easy.) Everyone loved it, and this is definitely going in the family cookbook.

Now, if I could just keep from becoming bored with a recipe after eating it only a few times! Hopefully I'll just keep coming up with them. ;o)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Uber-quick . . .

This is silly, I know . . . but I just had to pop in and say, if you haven't had your wedding ring cleaned recently, do it now! ;o) While I was out for errands today (all day, actually, just got home at 8:30 after leaving at 9am this morning), I dropped my ring off to have it cleaned and a couple of the prongs straightened and the rest of it checked out, and I hardly recognized it when I picked it up.

I wish a picture could convey how amazingly sparkling and shiny and gorgeous it is . . . I'll try tomorrow if there's any sunshine natural light to be had.

I've only had it for just shy of 10 years; you think I'd know how amazingly beautiful it is. (But it has been at least three since it has been really, really clean. Bad girl, I am.)

So now, it's off to finish putting the groceries away, try to get a few things straightened up after a couple of days of not feeling so good (don't'cha hate it when that happens, and the ENTIRE house is immediately overtaken by the law of entropy, and you can't even find your couch?), and try to not laugh too hard when a realtor shows up in the morning with a prospective buyer. I had a premonition about this as I was driving away from the house this morning, but the call didn't actually come until about 6pm tonight. However, the other guy's realtor begged and begged our realtor, who then begged and begged us, to let the guy see the house. I guess that if he doesn't see it, he won't buy it. And if he sees it, he still may not buy it . . . but there's always the off chance that he'll be able to see past the clutter, the post-holiday chaos, the half-painted and totally trashed bedroom, and all of that, and see that our place is the best deal in the neighborhood. Which it is, by about $50k.

Anybody wanna buy a house?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Naughty, naughty girl . . .

And no, it's not what you think. ;oP I've been painting.

Yep. Blue, in the boys' room.

Before a small painting experiment this summer, (remember this? Just scroll to the bottom), our home was entirely builder-white inside. Blech. I can say that it makes for a lighter interior in the winter, which we all need dreadfully here in the land-of-very-little-winter-sun, but I just couldn't take it anymore. It was either paint, or hang lots and lots of colored lights . . . and they just end up looking messy.

Luckily, I didn't give up on that horrible Barbie-skin-gone-wrong/painted over in pink acrylic crafts paint wall. It turned into this:

Not bad, eh? (And don't you love how a camera can take straight lines, and bend them? Although with some of the framing in this house, the camera doesn't have to do much.

So anyway, I got things out this afternoon to slap a test swatch on the wall, to be sure I liked the color (Behr's Cumberland Fog). And while I was at it, I wanted to try out the really nifty tool the paint guy at Home Depot sold me that is supposed to do edges and corners and around trim without masking.

Soooo . . .

And it was so much fun, I thought I'd do all along the ceiling so DH wouldn't have to, come Saturday.

Except, well. More than the edge along the ceiling got painted. (Sorry for the sea-sick orientation of that shot. The wall really is straight . . . I had to measure and level that line today. It's good.) Since it was a spur-of-the-moment thing, I didn't patch holes or sand down old patched holes (from where my senior munchkinette, then 4 1/2, accidentally tore the curtains out of the wall when this was her room), and so things look a little patchy.

Especially here . . .

I ran out of paint. But all in all, that's not bad coverage for one quart, no? I was pretty impressed. With only about 8oz more paint, I could have made one complete coat. It kind of stinks to have to go buy another quart to finish, but I guess I'll live. (I do have enough to paint the lower portion of the wall . . . I just ran out of time between lunch cleanup and dinner prep.)

It's really nice to have some part of the house NOT white. Even though the boys are sleeping in the living room tonight, and probably will for another couple nights, I'm excited to get this job finished and see how it looks.

Speaking of which, it's time for a change on this blog, don't'cha think?

P.S.) I've been knitting, and thinking over the Christmas Tin ideas, and I'll give an update on those soon. ;o)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Christmas Tins

So, for Christmas, my Mom received from her neighbors a trio of tins of uber-yummy cocoa mixes from Starbucks. Since she doesn't do refined sweeteners, either, she gave them to my brother David (the first Chromosome recipient). When I saw them in my mom's china cabinet, waiting to go home with Dave . . .

. . . I mentioned how cute they were, and she told me the story. Now, knowing my brother (who loves clothes, but couldn't care less about tchotchkes, I sauntered over and traded him a neck massage for the tins. ;o)

Could you blame me?

Meanwhile, Vern is freaking out moderately, as we're also trying to get rid of schtuff so when the day comes that our home sells and we move, we're not buried in the avalanche that would undoubtedly ensue. When we moved here, we had a 24' moving truck, a 4-horse trailer packed to the gills, a few friends' pickups, and Vern took a couple of trips with our own 8' x 12' trailer. The next time, it's all going to fit into a 24' truck, or we'll start writing "FREE!" on the sides of boxes and leaving them on the highway-side. (Don't worry . . . in North Idaho, they won't stay there long enough to be considered littering.)

But these little tins are different. (No, really! lol) They're small (3.5" square), my favorite color (ra-ra-red), and incredibly useful (did you notice those little label brackets?).

So, now that I've got them safely home (and have managed to ward off the munchkins, who also think they are very attractive), I'm at a complete loss as to what to do with them. I was sure I'd have plenty of ideas, but I'm fresh out. So, put on your thinking caps, and I'll go dig around in my stash for a skein of fun stuff or some fiber (since I'm giving up on spinning for the next decade or so) for the winning suggestion.

And now, I'm off to ready the munchkins and myself for a dinner out at a friend's home tonight!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Yep, another pattern. (Aren't you excited? lol) It was my job this year to think up a gift for my youngest brother, a successful college student who just finished his accounting internship, has a knack for having everything he needs and providing himself with most everything he wants. I finally asked for a list of ideas, and one of them led me to believe that he would like a winter hat. So, I made one for him.

As I was working on it, DH said "I hope he doesn't like, because I want it!" But no dice. David loved it, and wore it every chance he got for the rest of his Christmas break.

Consider Chromosome:

The actual pattern will be available shortly in this very post . . . after I finish DH's Chromosome. ;o)