Sunday, May 31, 2009


In a completely uncharacteristic burst of actually having an attention span, I spent the weekend finishing projects. I manged to get THREE items off the knitting UFO/WIP list. (This is the only UFO/WIP list at the moment, actually. Everything else is waiting to be located, admitted to, and cataloged).

First off - basic Jitterbug ballband socks. These are actually the most recently started project due to an unfortunate frogging incident that led to the project in progress being given a timeout. I was also having a flare and realized I was not safe around lace or any other knitting that involved actualy thought. Yarn - Colinette Jitterbug, colorway Popsicle. Odd thing I've noticed about Jitterbug - for some reason it tends to pool completely differently from sock to sock, even using the same skein. Go figure.

Second - the single oldest knitting WIP I'm aware of. I started this, got 13 rows from the end and ran out of beads on the perle cotton. This meant calculating how much yardage I would need to finish, cutting that much off the ball of cotton, and stringing beads from the other end to finish up. I finally worked up the nerve, attention span, and enough light to finish this. (Plus, I bought a bead spinner a while back. Definitely worth using a Jo-ann's coupon for if you do anything with large quantities of beads!) Yeah, I know. First attempt at bead knitting and I pick dark colors. Did I mention common sense and forethought are not my strong points? (Dime included in the picture for reference as to size of beads and lack of sense.)

And finally, a bit behind the trend, but my first foray into the world of amigurumi. What better way to start than a cute, cuddly, crochet version of the Lord of Darkness himself, Cthulhu!

Thanks to this burst of activity I'm actually down to - um, erm, *mumble,mumble,19,mumble,mumble* knitting WIP's!

Oh yeah, almost forgot -

I also finished a bottle of wine and a bag of M&M's. A girl's gotta have goals, right?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Raiders of the Lost Recycle Bin

Occasionally I get comments from someone who observes "Oh, it must be nice to have the money to spend on craft supplies." Guess what, I don't. Now I do save on budget in several ways, I don't have a TV, I'm one of those thermostat guardians (or would be, if it wasn't just me and the ferrets), etc. Craft supplies however, are NOT necessarily a huge investment on every single item involved, if you just take a good look around you. You still need to invest in some basic tools, but the consumable supplies - that's another story!

First, there's the internet. Whatever you are interested in, I can pretty much guarantee there are free patterns, directions, how to tutorials and YouTube videos demonstrating techinques. At the moment, one of the projects I'm still plugging away on is the crazy hair doll head. I've decided to go with a soft body based on a free pattern from Nuno dolls.

After looking over the pattern, I decided I will probably try to make her a little more full-bodied, so will need to trace the pattern, then add a bit around the edges. I tend to prefer traceable patterns when possible anyway, just because I like to have the line on the fabric to go by when I'm assembling. Many magazines and books will suggest buying cardstock or template plastic from a specialty store or craft store. This is another item there's no need to spend money on.

My first quilting teacher showed us the magic of the plastic that comes inside bacon packages for templates. If you happen to not have bacon in the house, check the recycle bin. Odds are there's some form of thin cardboard in there. In this case, said cardboard probably provides a disturbing glimspe into my dining habits, but oh well. You can also use the thin cardboard from priority mailing packages, the piece of cardboard that is frequently in a pack of paper to keep it from bending before purchase, or - well you get the idea. Look around, you probably have most of what you need on hand.

Next idea - I was reading through a magazine that had some really cute pendants that were made from sheet metal that had been stamped, glazed, painted, beaded, embedded in polymer clay, etc. Most makers already have basic paints, assorted beads etc. You can run to your local craft or hobby store, pay for a sheet of aluminum, OR (here goes another distubrbing glimpse into my dietary lifestyle) use the sheet aluminum you already have on hand. Yep. A can and a pair of tin snips and you have enough for several pendants.

So what else do you already have on hand? Take a good look before you toss that item! Plastic yogurt cups, frozen dinner trays? You just replaced a plastic palette and a paint or resin mixing cup (and you don't have to feel guilty if something dries in it and you have to toss it out - there's another one easily available!) Drying dome for clay? Didn't you just replace a light bulb? Yep, same dome. Multi compartment tray for beads and small craft items? Egg carton. Linter for paper making? Check your dryer (and as an added bonus, if you're organized enough to plan your laundry and check your lint trap, you can somewhat color control your lint! Denim lint gives a lovely soft blue-grey tint.)

Grab your fedora and whip and head outside for the great recycle reclamation - you might find ideas you never even knew you had!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Hate Being a Grown Up

There is absolutely nothing fun to report for the weekend. I've been doing boring adult stuff for the last two days - all around housekeeping in one way or another. Bleah.

In lieu of anything interesting, I'll just give you more zombie follow up.

Five scientific reasons zombies could happen

*Warning* Adult language and some graphic zombie-ness in the link.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Zombie Update

Ongoing Public Service Announcements.

For those of us in Southern states - as if zombie humans weren't bad enough, now we have to worry about Zombie Fire Ants!

Apparently the Zombie Animal Threat doesn't end there either. I would enourage you to check here to see if you have imminent threats in your area!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled weirdness.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Seriously - Why I'm Not Getting Anything Done again

"Symbiosis" by Pilobolus

More geekery

Really - I'll get some real posts up eventually. Busy wandering through I'll tear myself away and get back to work someday.

In the mean time -

Levitation, Science and Sculpture

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Drive-by Cool Stuff Alert

Theo Jansen, Creature Builder

Amazing - sculptures? Creatures? Artificial Life? Just go see.

This is why I'm on so many groups and sites - amazing things like this get passed on!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Trees Are Watching (or Why I Flunked the Crazy Test)

A while back someone posted this quiz to one of my online groups. Most of us flunked with varying levels of distinction. Now bear in mind, the best description of this particular group would probably be "Merry Band of Misfits", as it involves artists, knitters, dyers, and general non-conformists. Also bear in mind, I in no way believe in any "diagnosis" delivered by a few questions online. The results, however sparked an interesting discussion.

The part most of us flunked, regardless of the other levels, was the bit about seeing, perceiving, or thinking differently than other people. One person related a tale of working in an artist studio collective, coming in, and mentioning "There's a really cool dead seagull across the street" at which half the studio emptied out to go see. Some of the others had at other times posted pictures where you could see a face in a flower, or an image in a stone. It seems those of an artistic or creative tendency see these things, but others don't - therefore the massive flunking of the "differently than others" portion.

On my part, I recall training for my current job. Most of us parked in the same area, which led past a row of trees to get to the building our training class was in. Due to the way the trees were trimmed, several of them had the appearance of eyes, or faces - one particular tree more so than the rest. I noticed this, and pointed it out to several people. The most creative of the bunch immediately said something to the effect of "Oh wow! How neat!" A couple of the others were more on the "Huh?" level, but after being shown "See? There are her eyes" said "Oh, yeah, I guess so....". The ones who were the most no-nonsense, black and white, career focused, "I don't have time for that" types maintained they could not see anything at all, even when specifically pointed out - and in fact, gave me and the other highly creatives odd looks and a wide berth for the remainder of training.

So which one are you? Is the tree looking at you? Can you see her?

What about now? Are you crazy too? Think about it for a bit. If you are, welcome to the group. Isn't it delightful to enjoy things other people can't?