Monday, January 30, 2006

Not much time to post

J thinks he has the flu now :o( :o( so we had a short day at work. I need to go to the dentist *OW - :o( GROWL* tomorrow. I thought it was 'at the end of the month'... well the end of the month came quicker than I had anticipated.

I think I am going to try to make anise seed cookies this week. I bought the ingredients today, but have to decide which recipe I want to make. I've found some that have butter, and some without... some that have eggs, and some without! I have some 'vegan baking butter', so the no-egg recipe might win.

**back from dentist** 2.5 hours in the chair :o( but actually, I didn't feel a thing. We have a very good dentist! They had to pull on my mouth (think fishhook) so much, I feel like my cheek is one big bruise.

Still reading Beekeeper's Apprentice... just haven't had a lot of time these past few days.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Make the best of it, I guess...

Most of my afternoon was spent in migraine-land.

I won't go into long gruesome details, but my cold might have mutated, or not. It might have been the headache that made me nauseous+++, to say the very least, I was extremely unhappy.

But - on to less depressing things. Luckily my migraines, rare though they are, gift me briefly with an overly 'sensitive' sense of smell. This is not always a lucky talent -- but today I took advantage of it. After the worst of the headache had subsided I had J take me to the produce section at the grocery store. **evil grin** I can't explain the sensation of everything coming at me at once, but it was deliciously good. Several ripe plums won out, along with some garlic and pineapple (odd combinations.. you would think I was pregnant, not sick!)

The other thing migraines are good for, I found out today, is working on the puzzle. Some subconscious part of my brain understood where things went a lot better than the rest of me did! You would never think a person with a headache could make that kind of progress on a red/yellow/brown puzzle! Finally, I fell asleep. This was before the grocery store excursion.

J also got his hands on a copy of 'Omohide poro poro', or translated -- Memories of Yesterday. This was an extremely sweet Japanese movie. J said it 'warmed his soul'... not a lot of movies can do that.

And now - at least for now - I feel better. So I am thinking it was probably just a really bad headache case. Time will tell. It's time for bed.

Hope your day went better!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Hurary for the Library!

My Interlibrary loan copy of 'The Beekeeper's Apprentice' came today (Thanks again, Chris!).

I must have seemed overly happy; the librarian gave me a 'peer-over-glasses' look as she handed me the book.
(I clapped my hands and said 'Yay! It's here!', is that so bad? ;o)

We have the movie Amadeus borrowed from our boss, to celebrate Mozart's birthday.

I'm halfway through the heel of the sock. I chose—for the heel—to do an every-other stitch pattern with the two colours of Palette. Hopefully this will make the heel stronger.

I heard on the radio, not too long ago, that seeing the color purple makes your right brain active, and thus, gives a creativity burst. I'm not sure if I believe it, but my sock is VERY purple. And, now, so is this post!

J had a new-year's resolution that he would get twelve rejection letters this year for short stories. So far, he hasn't written the first month's story. He is "failing at becoming a failed author" That is his quote, not mine! ;o)

I have an iron in the fire, but the magazine I want to try for doesn't publish again until May.

We did do some hard work today as well. J and I went out to the office (on a Saturday) and placed 6 cedar posts for the new garden plot. Working together, and having the use of the office Kubota tractor, it wasn't too large of a job. Poor J was sneezing the whole time though :o( I think I need to give him a couple more doses of that tea.

And now, to get to that book!

Friday, January 27, 2006

More sock progress

It's just a little more of the same... so first go over to Diddle's Cartoon Wunderland and look at his new sketches ;o) There are also some interesting poems at Arbutus e-zine.

I'm just about to start the heel, 30 stitches out of 64, my pattern suggests. So, these may be the last pictures of this sock you ever see ;o) j/k! Click to enlarge the pictures.

Sally has to check if the needle is edible...

I caught Willow playing 'mousie' with J. That is one of the bow-tie toys ;o) Please pay no attention to the messy house in the background! (Those are quilting leftovers and the bag for this camera!)

And now, I have to thank Chris! She gave me a link to a great tea. I worked with the idea and made my own recipe, as seen below. I am feeling much better today (after about four doses of this). It wasn't a cure-all, of course, but I know it helped! As always, be careful(sparing) with licorice.

The Tea (my version)

1 tsp licorice root
1 teabag of 'I Love Lemon' tea*
about 10 pieces of seedless rosehips
1/2 tsp dried powdered peppermint leaf
pinch of fresh ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp worth of dried ginger root
1/4 tsp worth of dried powdered basil leaf (or more)
5 whole cloves
Adjust to taste as needed

Put all of this into a coffee filter, mix it up, and make in a regular coffeepot. I used a four-cup coffeemaker for this.

Let cool and drink with soy milk and/or honey.
Makes 2-3 servings.
*Commercial product containing lemongrass, rosehips and peppermint, as well as other ingredients.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's a cold :o(

I think I must have slept until noon today - lying there like I was dead. J was an angel though, and although he was up at 6:30, didn't wake me up. Wow, huh?

I finally got up to wander in to work with him, because I really didn't want to explain how to do some technical stuff that needed to be done today. Luckily, it is all typing. I am sitting here in the new building drinking licorice&ginger tea (just one cup!) and trying to get the work done.

Thanks for all the suggestions, Rhiannon and Chris! I'm trying a lot of things -- hopefully one or the other of them will work.

I brought the sock to work today but I'm not sure if I'll work on it, or take a nap.

On the good news front - Abby is doing much better. They think they found the nail she stepped on in the yard. I really hope none of the puppies finds anything else out there. The kittens stayed at home again today. They were really confused :o( They hardly ever stay home at all and it has been two days in a row, now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Purple sock progress

Here is Sally admiring the purple sock.

I spent twenty minutes calling for the girls at the office today. I even looked up in the ceiling with the ladder. While I was standing up there, I said to myself:
'I'm calling but you're just not here.... err... You're not here... Ah! They're at home today! **silly me**
We left them home today and I spent all that time worried looking for them ;o)

One of our boss' dogs cut her foot on something in the yard today. She bled alot :o( :o( J and our boss took her to the vet. It took both of them to carry her back into the house afterwards. She is a big (heavy) Great Dane! Poor Abby :o( She got three stitches between her toes.

And to boot, I think I'm getting a cold :o( Chicken noodle soup time!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Crashed Cats

We were watching Count Duckula when Willow crashed in my arms on the futon. Salamander was crashed on J's coat in the chair. We've borrowed a different camera than usual, and were trying it out. I also grabbed a great picture of Willow confused by J's new DVD-computer drive.

Technically, the camera isn't as nice as the other one. But - it may be available for us to take home more often - to get shots we otherwise would miss! Sometime this year, we will buy our own digital camera. J is still exploring options there.

Small Piece, of a larger picture

I found a fossil today of microshells, out in the granite in the office drive. But I can't scan it in, and it is too small to photograph! :o( So, I'll settle with a small piece of a larger drawing... fossils are kind of like that, too.

From 01-21-2006, 'Listening'
Which is a large, ranty piece that goes everywhere and nowhere at once.

My philosophy for art is:

It doesn't really have to go anywhere - but if it does come together in the end - I'll sit back and declare a miracle. Then I'll grab another piece of paper and start another one.

Willow jumped out of the car today, as J was getting in, and ran into a neighbor's yard. She went through a hole in their fence, so I had to run around to the other side. I thought I was going to lose an ear, or a piece of neck, walking her back around the fence and into the car, because someone was running a circular saw down the street.

I'm making fried rice and veggies for lunch. We are going to try to make homemade hummus (with garlic, lemon juice, chickpeas and tahini) later on, if I can get the blender clean.

OK - back to work! BTW, check out Alina's Blog, she has great drawings!

I went to college in Fargo, ND.

There was a print by Oscar Jay Gillespie, at the Plains-Art Museum, is one my instructor suggested I examine when it appeared in the gallery. He thought it looked like what my art does.. the decoration and swirlies, and the animals. Reading the artist's comment on that page, maybe it is coming from the same place that my art does. I understood, even then, what he meant- but it didn't inspire me to go that direction.

I found it again today while looking at their printmaking residencies (to see if I recognized anybody!) Check out more of the artist's work, at the link on his name above. He really does have an amazing style. Realistic anatomy and technique, mixed with fantastic(fantasy) imagery.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Little Gray Mouse

J and I found this little guy hiding out in the garage at our office. J carried him out on the handle of a hoe(alive of course!), then borrowed a camera and took a few pictures, while the mouse hid in the clover. I'm really glad our kittens (or other cats around here) didn't find him/her!

My comment : It's cute, as long as it isn't in the house,
and hasn't bitten anyone!

J's response to that : 'That's a pretty cute disease vector.'

EDIT : Our boss says the tail is too long to be a mouse, so it must be a shrew. The picture doesn't show the tail, but it's about 2 inches long. I guess shrews look different in Tennessee than in Minnesota. Our farm cat in MN used to bring us shrews, they were small, thin, with tiny eyes and had extremely pointy noses. Our specimen is pretty round for a shrew! Because it is 'round', and the fact that it didn't run like the wind when J picked it up on the hoe handle, made our boss say she(the mouse/shrew) was probably going to have little shrews (in the garage). What a funny thing ;o)

My personal opinion : Deer Mouse, they come in gray too ;o)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sunday stalling and patchwork

I am listening to Haydn's 101 in D-Major (Clock Symphony) while drawing today.

Link: Holy Shiny Mudballs Batman!

We had pizza last night! We rarely order out, except for Lucky Dragon Chinese. I got my own medium black olive and mushroom pizza, which lasted through breakfast.

J, who is 6'4", finished off a large vegan pizza by himself.

Willow is organizing a delegation in support of opening a can of tuna early. She claims (loudly, mind you) to be hungry while her bowl is full. She then rushes to the kitchen when I get up from the desk. These cats are spoiled... they get a half-can of tuna about once a week.

I am wasting away my morning doing :

1. Playing Sudoku!,
But I am a wimp; I have the hints turned on.
2. I wasted at least an hour at Kittenwar.
Some people have made up very unique dual cat names.. like Chamomile and Earl Grey, and Thelma & Louise, Gozer and Zhul.. and maybe Chaos & Diablo will be seen, soon, there too ;o)
3. We watched the comments on two eps of CSI...
I could swear they had the actor that plays Gil (Billy Peterson) stand in for the coroner on one of the episodes. J doesn't believe me...
4. Hopping through blogs connected to Crafting Japanese.
Hop, Skip, Jump has more herringbone creations!

Actual work done, (not a waste!)

I've cut out all of the pieces for this patchwork to back Miss I's gift. It may actually be prettier than the original patchwork for the front. In plain geometry, however, it might hurt the eyes! All of the fabrics are scrap pieces. The pattern in red is a friendship star. I don't remember if the pattern the white pieces are making is called 'Broken Dishes', 'Whirligig', or something else altogether.--I take it back, it looks like a variation on either Lincoln's Platform or Churn Dash, with the friendship star added into it.

I have to sew it together later.
We made big progress on the puzzle, but it isn't finished yet.
J says his brain was injured somewhere between the jigsaw-puzzle and Sudoku ;o)

The purple sock is now cast on +5 rounds.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Kitten Cuteness

I thought Chris needed some of this ;o)

Some other 'baby pictures' I found on our server. The one of Salamander in the leaves is the day she got her name, for sticking like glue (and hanging by one paw) to the satellite dish outside our boss' house. The dark-grey kitten is Happy Cat, Miss I.'s cat, and our girls' sister.

And dreams of puzzle pieces danced through their heads...

The girls are on Kittenwar ;o) With all their brothers and sisters.

What do you call a cat-owner's puzzle
with ten pieces missing?


This hasn't happened quite yet, but it's my prediction atm.

The apple-crisp was okay, but it could be better. I used very small Washington apples and a 7x7 pan. With larger apples, and the full-size pan I'm sure the recipe would work better. There would be more apple left after peeling, that is for sure.

Sally 'helped me cook.' She is a constant kitchen-cat. I can't run a broom, faucet or wipe down a counter without her investigating. The only cupboard in the kitchen she can't get open, so far, is the pantry. Which is lucky!

As I mentioned in a comment reply, I slept in till 9 am today. I'm not sure if it is a triumph or a defeat. Willow was repeatedly trying to wake me up, from 3:30 am on, to tell me the food dish was empty. I ignored her, which is atypical. Salamander decided I needed her mousie laid beside my pillow as encouragement to wake up.

We got a DVD of CSI from Netflix today! Yay!
I hope have the willpower to clean the house and get some other things done. Miss I's birthday present (a week late now) is still waiting for a backing. I just haven't found a good fabric for it!

Willow is in full play-mode... chasing a receipt around the floor and bunny-kicking her red tennis ball (which is usually for chasing, then ignoring.)

Weekend Goals :
  • Miss I's birthday present.. again
  • Finish our puzzle!
  • One book read.
  • Part of a sock made.
  • Clean house, fold laundry *ick*
notice how I put that one last...

Friday, January 20, 2006

End of the 6:30 am week.

Well we are now home after a long day of work. I didn't get the drawing redone.. and I only cast on for the purple sock. Not a lot done, but those things weren't 'work!'

J pulled out an old electric fence today, and painted and installed shelves in the new building. He also cleaned a humongous fish-tank that had been sitting outside for years! When the fish-tank was bleached, rinsed and dry, J and our boss moved it inside the building.

Our boss picked up a set of superballs specifically for Willow and Sally! The girls make awesome leaping catches. I wish I could get some action-shots of those jumps. It is humorous to see Willow (usually a slug) jump-chase after the ball. She just gets ready to grab it with both paws, and it bounces away again.

We dropped a superball into the fish-tank, and introduced the kittens to the 'glass box.' This was a frustrating experiment for them. I have concluded that Willow is smart. However, she is usually too lazy to show it off!

Willow understood that the ball was inside the box after a few bounces.. eventually climbing up on top of the edge, and then into the box. Sally kept thinking the ball would magically get out and continue going in the direction it was headed. Poor Salamander! I really thought she would catch on to this, seeing her monkey-like ability to open doors, cupboards and turn on faucets.

**drumroll** I got up at 7 this morning! And, I was out the door before J! We'll see if this lasts. He plans to get up at 6:30 am on the weekends too! At least we know we will make it to the library on Saturday.

J and I are ordering seeds for our garden tonight, and I am baking an apple crisp. We might attempt a puzzle if the kittens don't steal the pieces!

Chris - I showed Miss I. at work the picture of Chaos 'looking innocent.' She said he looks like a little sweetheart ;o)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A little more awake.. I need more practice

At being awake, and with these pens ;o)
I tried to sketch Willowpede from a photograph (not the cartoon style from before), and ended up with this.

I drew this at work, while waiting for a co-worker to show me a new editing job to take over. Compare it to this picture from 'Picture Day', and you will see my problem. The left side of the drawing is messed up. I might need to get my glasses renewed again, as this looks ALOT like my drawings from college before I started wearing my glasses. I am officially far-sighted in one eye, and 'almost normal' in the other. At least, I was two years ago! ;oP It makes for a wacky effect! Some kind-eyed(kindhearted) co-workers can't see the difference... but again, that is being kind.

I'll try again tonight (with a print-out to help me with proportion grids) and see what I get.

BTW - I've ripped out a sock made with 'Palette' yarn three times now! Anybody have a starting point for how many stitches to put onto size 2 or 4 dpns? I've narrowed it down to somewhere between 48 and 65 but I'm getting nowhere fast! Would appreciate any advice...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

6:30am and 53° is just not my thing lately...

J has this new thing he is trying... getting up every morning at 6:30 am. He was inspired by I am glad he is trying to get up early. Getting him up, even by 11, used to be like peeling that sticky-rubber stuff off of credit-card offers.

He has been getting up, like 'clockwork', every morning since Sunday. But, I'm not responding well to this experiment. In fact, he describes it as a 'hostile reaction.'

We have been getting to work every morning around 9 am. I keep forgetting things and not getting tasks done before we leave the house. This makes me upset, mostly at myself. I used to get up three hours before he did, around 8 am, and get all my work done. Now, I don't have that time. I'm trying my best; maybe things will get better?

It is also between 51° and 55° in the house every morning. (heating bills$$$) I just want to hide under the blankets until it is at least 60°. *Sigh*

Anyway... Right now, this is what I want to be doing, as illustrated by Sally.

We have to make a light-box for taking product photographs today. I hope I'll make it! Hope you have a great, and alert, day!

Oh! And it snowed yesterday! Not real Minnesota snow, but the closest thing Tennessee has to it. Big flakes that stayed on the ground all the way till today!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fun photos

Willow 'helps out' as I set up the wire animals. Sally is caught in the act at the office sink, playing in the water and leaving dirty pawprints..
Wire cats and dogs I made last week during some downtime.
Two 'for-fun' drawings from Monday night. Each is about 4x5 inches, on scrap bristol and done with a Pilot Precise-V5 pen (not waterproof).

Monday, January 16, 2006

Tagged! - 'four things' and first art attempt

Wow, Chris tagged me! I haven't done this before, so .. here goes *thanks*!

Four Jobs you've had (just four?):
  1. Computer networking intern for Itasca County, MN
  2. Greenhouse/plot-assistant for U of M Experiment Station
  3. Michael's store associate/ordering/bookkeeper, Fargo, ND
  4. Webmistress and assistant-in-editing for a property-rights magazine, Hollow Rock, TN
Four movies you can watch over and over :
  1. Any Indiana Jones
  2. Any of the Back to the Future series
  3. The Princess Bride
  4. And yes, Amelie (I love that movie!)
Four places I've lived :
  1. Grand Rapids, MN
  2. on Amen Lake, MN
  3. Fargo, ND
  4. Paris, TN
Four TV shows you love to watch :
We don't get TV anymore, here in our little town, so... I'll join Chris and go with ones I once watched...
  1. CSI (the las vegas one)
  2. NOVA on PBS
  3. House
  4. Stargate SG-1 at 11 pm on Saturday night
Four authors I read :
  1. Andre Norton (I have 50+ of her books)
  2. Agatha Christie
  3. Piers Anthony
  4. Larry Niven
Four places I've been on vacation ... eep! Vacation?
  1. the Crooked and Chain lakes, MN
  2. Bighorn Mountains, WY
  3. Atlanta, GA (Fernbank museum)
  4. Paris, TN (before we moved here)
Four websites I visit daily :
  1. Google News (for work)
  2. Lots of Blogs!
  3. Yahoo Games Literati (most days)
Four of your Favourite Foods :
  1. Does coffee count? with cream?
  2. Cheese pizza with black olives and mushrooms
  3. Cream-cheese wontons from the Lucky Dragon (local shop)
  4. Fuji apples
Four places you would rathar be right now :
  1. My old drawing studio (with classical music playing)
  2. A yarn shop, oogling the wares
  3. In a private hot tub or lake
  4. At the library, with no time-limits.
Four bloggers to tag? hmm I'll tag Rhiannon, but she might have done this one already.

My first attempt for the Memphis showpiece :

Fanciful Stories, c. Marie Winger-Meyer 2006
"Fanciful Stories" 01/15/2006 MLWM
Waterproof ink on bristol.

Links :
I feel a link between Anna Marie Pavlik's work and my own - also a printmaker, and born in Minnesota.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Artist still?

There is an art show going on Memphis soon. The deadline for entries is in March. I want to enter -- to do something like this again. I have a few months, and free time to work on it as well. I have to make myself the will and the confidence for it though.

We went to Jackson today to try to find J a new wedding ring. He lost his ring just before we left for Minnesota. The store didn't have his size, so we have to order it out of a catalog. It is so hard to find plain gold bands! The lady at the counter acted very strange, as if we were too young or she really didn't think we were married at all.

Salamander just tried to jump into my lap and slammed into my elbow instead. She is rubbing her head and looking up at me pitifully. Poor little cat! I hardly ever know exactly when she is going to 'lapland' soon enough to be ready for it. Of course, like a little kid, I have to pick her up and comfort her.. then see if she walks straight~!

I'm knitting a few dishcloths again, but have to focus on the artwork if I want to have something to enter. With the amount of time that has gone by since I picked up my pens --- you would never guess I have an degree in printmaking and drawing. :o( I'll scan in some of my attempts tomorrow.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

53° this morning in the house!

The kittens were curled up in a ball behind J's legs this morning. They needed heat!

Sun and Moon data

Garrison Keillor rocked today on PHC -- with a hyperbolic story of mushing pet dogs and a flexible-flyer sled rigged with clothesline downriver to the University of Minnesota to deliver a term paper in a blizzard.... I was ROFL. I was born and raised in Minnesota (and moved to TN last year). The mental image of mushing a cocker-spaniel is just too much ;o)

J and I played Scrabble. The kittens helped. Willow attempted to remove tasty tiles from the board as they were played, while Sally batted the (luckily closed) tile bag around the living room.

J is listening to podcasts from The message is interesting but the guy's voice (for some reason) is annoying me. I picked up 'Murder on the Orient Express' at the library and put 'The Beekeeper's Apprentice' on I.L.L (Thanks Chris, I hope they can get it!)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Softies and kitty bow-tie

Daily Observance : When I'm peeling carrots, Willow will dive into the garbage can after the strips.

I made another little softie the past few days... and it wasn't the Puss'n'Boots. I am hopeless ;o) :o( I'm not sure how to finish it though... or even if it should be a 'he' or a 'she.' Is it a mouse, a cat, a weird-eared rabbit or a dog or lamb(without the whiskers)? Here is a quick GIMP sketch, lacking a scanner here at home. Any ideas what I can do with her/him?

Kitty Bow-tie Toy

With a fuzzy yarn, cast 12(16) stitches onto a size 3 dpn. Knit two rows. Start seed-stitch pattern with garter-stitch edging of 2 on each side. Gradually decrease until there are 6 stitches on the needle. Work one row of 6 stitches. Gradually increase back to 12(16) stitches. Knit two rows and bind-off. Leave a long tail at the beginning and the end of the work.

My kittens jump and toss these for hours at a time. They carry them around like 'dead mice' and pick them up out of their own ambition to play (when sister is asleep, etc.) I use some old 'Dazzleaire' yarn.

Links :
Punctuating Parentheses
Punctuating Quotation Marks
Kanji-land : Japanese 'kuro'=='black'

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Knitting pictures

We are still working on finishing the house at the office. I took some photos of the kittens and the workshop the other day on the office digital camera. I was able to sneak in knitting pictures too ;o)

Willow with an odd expressionSally looks at a paintbrush
Pink knit bunnyRed mini-cable socks

Willowpede prances
I love Willow's expression -- she was watching a moth on the ceiling. Sally was investigating the tools on one of the work tables. The pink bunny is pretty beat up (from the car ride), but here she finally makes her appearance. My red socks (finally!) Willowpede prances across the counter as I take workshop photos.


Too funny -- Year of the dog pictures
This mommy-cat has her paws full!
A news article on how to make stuffed-animals from sketches.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Monday, January 09, 2006

Knitting Content

The beginning of my little knit cat for MoS. Size 1 dpns.

In my mind's eye...

Narrative Pattern (unfinished)
45 stitches cast on to size 1 dpn with KnitPicks Palette in Wood and Bark. Stripe diagonally for 4 rows, one row of Bark, tie off Bark. Increase across front shoulders to 55 stitches. Knit until piece measures 4.5 inches. Divide into two legs with stitch-holders (stripe legs ## stitches). Knit two striped 'arms' (## stitches) with white paws. Begin head with (## stitches), increase to (##) stitches after (##) rows, stitch for (#) inches, decrease evenly. Make little ears and sew on. Make hat, belt and sword out of felt. Knit or felt boots?

My girls' older sister, 'Mouse'. Can you see the resemblance? Mouse, however, is tail-less, like her father (a true Manx). Our boss owns Mouse and Newt, the mother of all three.

This is a great little giraffe softie from While She Naps. Some owls too. The urge to sew stuffed animals is almost too strong to bear. But we have painting and moving of office equipment to do. Another disk of CSI came from Netflix today.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sunday Night

I like this guy --> Michel Deguy, poet
Diddle has finished his alphabet series
Another great blog (with better illustrations than mine *grin*) and cute crafts!

J and I walked uptown, got apple pies and hoarded the local newspaper at the restaurant. Its the little pleasures, isn't it? We got back just as the sun had set. The sky was a purple-blue over the courthouse, which was aglow in soft lamplight. It was at that moment just before it gets 'dark'... and the light was perfect. Our street actually looked pretty, even though nothing was really out of the ordinary. We agreed we need to start scouting for our own digital camera to catch things like this.

After getting back, we put up our third bookcase in the front room. We still have more in storage. Even so, we could give the local library a run for its money on non-fiction ;o)

Cast onto my size 1 bamboo needles with two colours of Knitpicks Palette. This isn't large enough to be a sock -- maybe my Puss 'n' Boots will be knit.

Fairy Tales

Knitting... hmm, knitting? I wonder, it sounds familiar but...I am spending way too much time doing other things lately. Bad Knitter! Today I'm sitting here listening to an old replay of PHC, and avoiding housework. But, it's fun ;o) I joined Month of Softies yesterday, and the theme is fairy tales.

I found this site with full-text versions of the Brothers Grimm. I had never seen these tales before.Two pretty Japanese tales :
  • The Tongue Cut Sparrow
  • The White Hare of Inaba and the Crocodiles
J suggested to do a softie for Puss-in-Boots.

Note to our Cats : The opening of the dishwasher (or dryer) is NOT an invitation to an amusement park ride. In fact, I am sure there are laws about this... Stop doing it.
Also, adding us as ramps during your 4 am racetrack is getting on our warned. Tuna privileges will be revoked!

I guess it is time to get up and fold laundry (:o( I hate folding laundry. In unrelated news, the second chicken is now a goose. No genetic-engineering was involved, just bad draftsmanship.

Willow keeps staring at the bathroom like there is a monster in there -- I can't figure it out. She wants me to protect her, but I dont know what from! Maybe the shower dropped water on her head or the wind rattled the window...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Quilt Decisions

image by Marie Winger-Meyer
Willow passed out.

My first quilt is badly in need of repairs.

I made this quilt during the last two years of high school, almost (eep) 10 years ago now. The only real course of action, although I don't want to admit it just yet, is to recover it with a new work. The seams just won't hold up to many more washes.

There are so many small pretty pieces of fabric I will miss! Most of the fabrics were from childhood and family clothing.

As I attempted to make some repairs, (before I gave up) Willow tried to 'help' me with the thread. I kept telling her 'I don't need help from little paws!'... eventually she went to sleep wrapped up in part of the quilt. It was adorable but short-lived.

I went thrifting, but didn't find anything I could use immediately. My willpower is getting better -- as that means I didn't buy any fabric at all. (I think I learned my lesson when my fabric stash was destroyed in a basement flooding in Fargo.) I did buy some 1920's booklets of Geometry, Physics and Punctuation. I love old books in readable condition! Each of these were 50 cents.

I's birthday present is pinned together -- but I don't have a backing for it yet. Luckily, she doesn't read this blog ;o)

Links :
I'm not the only one making chickens! here too!
cute cat zippercase
I think I posted these girl kitties before... maybe, but too cute.
Some great nuigurumi photos, Candlemomo's blog led me to.
To round it off, some knit kitty dolls as well.

I know, photo recycling, but I couldn't resist

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday slowness

I hit the motherlode! of softie cuteness...

Nothing much interesting today, yet... We watched City of God last night, a film in Portuguese. It was remarkably interesting... although sad that (I think) most of it is true. J was reccommended it by someone .. we forget who, and wasn't sure exactly how it was going to be. I agree, it deserves a four star rating (although, R). We got it from Netflix.

We are painting baseboards at the office, and perhaps, hanging some more lights. The new building is coming a long way. We will probably be here at work until midnight tonight (since we got in at four (EEP!))

Things for the Weekend
1. thrift for some more fabric (and for something to make I's birthday present with).
2. finish the second chicken
2b. Maybe finish I's birthday present! (if I'm lucky)
3. make coldframes for our seed starting (Sunday)
4. think about how-in-the-world I am going to slipcover the HUGE couch at work.
5. Get J to agree/disagree on the seed catalog order.

Links :
A discussion about Japanese 'zakka' and 'kawaii'.
A cute sock monkey bright colours!
A stuffed elephant playing the piano
A cute bunny in somewhat Japanese style
red kitty and friends in crochet
A sweet herringbone kitty over at Hop Skip Jump blog.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Knitting dry spell

Not knitting much lately... Instead, the second chicken is in the stitching mode and I am producing more art. Landlord came today and started on a list of projects -- Sally stayed behind the washer and dryer for most of the time he was there. When we couldn't find Willow, I called her, and eventually found her in the cupboard with the dishes!

After we removed her from there, Willow approached our landlord twice, but then meowed at me question/worry-like and hid behind my legs. Poor little girls -- they thought the house was theirs and theirs only! ;o)

upside :
All of the windows in the 'cold front room' may be fixed soon... allowing more craft activity there.

downside :
I have to keep the house 'presentable' for about a week :o( It was a long list of projects.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

origami links

I love origami, although I can only make a few things. Since I have a large stack of 12 by 12 paper that was given to me... I collected some links.

Pinwheel (difficult)
Star Box (I found this difficult)
Would like to try these kimono dolls (modular)

Simple rectangular box (type my cousin taught me when I was little)
Rob (my cousin) made these throwing stars too.
Nice step-by-step instructions for the classic crane
Step-by-step classic jumping frog

And .. a whole list of cool diagrams to keep you busy!

Softie links and tea recipes

These kittens could be Willow's long-lost relatives! j/k
Or maybe these cubs are ;o)

Our kittens caused several big smiles at the gas station today. The first lady just looked in and laughed(good laugh), then got into her car. The second lady couldn't stop looking, she asked if they liked riding. J said -- 'Well, both of them used to.. then we took them on an 18 hour ride up north. Now, only one of them likes it.' EEP She stood, smiling and watching the kittens look out at her until we pulled away. Then she went inside and talked animately with the lady behind the counter who looked and also happily laughed and waved.

Links :
Cute black kitties dressed up for a wedding!
A crochet turtle
Happy Cats in aprons
Set of photos of vintage animal-making patterns.
Definition of 'nuigurumi' - Japanese
still looking for a GOOD definition of 'Japanese-zakka'

First one finished! No striped fabric yet. Willow attempted to drag him off by his feet twice while I sewed on the wings this morning. I looked at her and said 'Willow, I love you, but I wouldn't reccommend that..."
Tea Recipes:
I read in a book the other day a tea recipe that looks a lot like something my grandmother had in her recipes...

rosehips, ginger-root and orange-peel, for the cure of congestion and colds.

Another recipe she used involved red-raspberry leaves, but that was 'not for children'... and using the inner bark of willow as a tea for headaches. She taught me about red clover (leaves), white clover blossoms and the juice in honeysuckle flowers all being 'good-to-eat'. All of these plants grew in our backyard. There was a large wild rose bush growing through the back fence that gave the rosehips.

I guess some of the 'old knowledge' is still alive, somewhere ;o) **None of these are meant for actual 'medical' alternatives... just passing along some old family recipes**

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cute chick(en)s ;o)

Chicken by Marie Winger-Meyer
I'm hearing a LOT of chicken jokes working on this at the office. I'm not sure if I can stand it long enough to make two more ;o)

The first one is going well -- need to thrift for some red and white striped fabric. The landlord didn't come yesterday or today -- now he says Wednesday morning. Hmm.... we'll see. J has already added onto the list of stuff-to-be-done(that'll teach him to procrastinate!).

Sally is meowing at our vents and doors -- I think she misses J's mom's big fluffy cat. I caught them 'talking' sometimes when we were staying there. She doesn't understand that the car ride took us far away from the 'new cat downstairs'. There is also a new black and white cat in the house across our parking space. The girls can see it while sitting in our kitchen window... and are VERY interested.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Progress reports

Non striped-leg chicken

Little doggie purse

I need to get some striped fabric for the next chicken! I really wanted striped legs :o( All of this fabric is from my stash. Putting the comb on the chicken from the inside was difficult, as it had to round over the head and be right-side out.

The little dog will have a zipper in its back between head and tail - and a blue pocket inside. After that is finished, I will carefully stuff him through his feet.

Links : Loobylu, a beautiful inspiring blog (with softies!)
Morphe - look at the little kitten/lion girl!
Tamer baby foxes bred <-- remember this news story?
King Kong's kernel of scientific truth, article. Take a look at the comments on this article.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

How to write 'cat' in Japanese


I found this image at Otake Japanese Calligraphy Showroom

Sunday, not my fun day

Because the landlord is coming on Monday... almost fits the words to that song doesn't it?

I cut out some pieces for one of those chickens (book in French), but Willow won't let me sew it together. She says the lap is hers today, no chickens allowed. She will have to be disappointed though :o( All of this stalling, partially self-induced, helped along by kittens... isn't cleaning my house.

Daily Observance : Willow likes bananas.
2nd Observance : Banana peels make great cat toys, for a few minutes at least.

We finished Lone Gunmen about one in the morning -- too bad that series was cancelled. I think it had merit. Anyway there are a lot of worse shows that ran for more than one season.

Okay I guess I'll get cleaning. At least the laundry is already folded and put away.

these fish look cute too... and an owl! And a kitty doll! :o( I need willpower!

I REALLY need willpower --> flash puzzles! There is a cute one of a panda in the back-issues. I warn you, it's tough! ;o)