Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Flea-market day & preview

Searching for Inagaki Tomoo. Sketch for Cat Making Up?
find at this link or this link, thanks!
Remember to respect the Museum and Artists' copyrights!

A Preview from KnitOwl & friends
These are some of the things I'm working on.


At the Flea-Market
Huntingdon TN fairgrounds, every Tuesday morning
Well, we went! In the accepted tradition, we arrived at 8:30 am and laid out all of our wares. I wore my big white hat, and we brought Abby the Great Dane along for the ride. She is a big dog, (130+ lbs) and got quite a bit of attention from the shoppers, which she loved ;o)

I didn't sell any dishcloths, (although two people asked if I'd be back another week) but did sell some odds-and-ends I cleared out of the sewing box this week (unopened vintage lace, elastic etc). A toy rabbit and the duck set came with, both of which were picked up many times and looked over, but not sold.

The cost of having a 'booth' doubles next week... J thinks we should drag some extra things out of our storage garage and try again anyway.

I've got a few more things done to put up in the shop - and will be working hard at it. I was up until 2 am, finishing, tagging and packaging. I am really excited how the ducks turned out!

I'll have pictures later on today, right now I have to make lunch, then varnish some boards for the new office shelves. After that, I'll be tackling another Python program for online form submittal.

It's a fun life ;o)

In other sad news: Willow's father (and maybe Sally's), the Manx, was found dead this morning :o( He escaped his yard last night, and something got him :o( :o(

Monday, February 27, 2006


Sally: "Hurry up! She's coming back!"

Here is my attempt at Illustration Friday, although it's Monday ;o)

About the sketch: around 3" square, made with coloured and watercolour pencils, black V-5 Pilot Pen, and yellow notebook paper (I'll use better paper next time ;o) I usually do an outline drawing first, then a texture drawing, then the final drawing in colour (with all the bugs worked out) This process took about 20 minutes.

My cats do this in real life, except for the 'lookout part'... although I'm not sure. Photo shot with a Canon A40 PowerShot camera under daylight conditions, long-exposure. Loaded into the Gimp and cropped to a manageable size ;o)

I've heard that it will be nice weather tomorrow morning, so maybe we willl get to the flea market to sell dishcloths, random toys and household items. I'm working on the duckies and a new doll (based on the pattern from the doll I had in the Hjemkost museum's women's art showcase in 2005, just before we moved here) that will need a LOT of work before she is done. I'm taking 'in-process' pictures of her to combine into an album later.

We are off to work!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Lazy kitties, lazy me?

The girls are being lazy today, in true cat fashion. I've got laundry, and cooking, and sewing to do (and knitting... how does that keep getting left out?) I feel much lazier today though, than yesterday. All of that running around with the camera, and bunny-sewing and pizza-making.

I've started in on another 'new-old' book, Main Street, by Sinclair Lewis. The link is to the net-version, but I am reading a hardcover copy. I'm in chapter 5 so far. Old books just have a wonderful feel, like a forgotten dialect -- strange spellings, misnomers, scientific inaccuracies -- all of it adds to the charm. Plus, there is the added experience of it being a path once heavily trodden, and now barely visited... especially in the 1850-1930 copyright range. At least, those are my thoughts on it ;o)

J is kicking my *** with the hiragana learning. He even wrote it all out on a napkin at a restaurant just to prove it. :oP Here he goes again this morning, you can see some of the characters in this photo. (click to enlarge)

Links: I was over at The Bloomin Basket and there are some beautiful turned lathe items, and wooden knitting needles! And she knits ;o) What talents!

Oh GROWL! I missed Prarie Home Companion this weekend :o( :o( :o( I'll have to download it whenever it becomes available.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Living in Paris (TN) Part 3

We didn't have a nice blue sky today. In fact, it has now turned quite 'cold' again, 48°

The Conclusion of 'Living in Paris (TN)'
Parts I, II & III
As promised, this is the replica of the Eiffel tower, built by college students. The tale goes that it was originally made of wood by some engineering students. However, termites brought the wooden one down. By that time, it had become a tourist attraction; so, they rounded up money to build a new one out of metal. This is just outside a large park that has a swimming pool, tennis courts and all that jazz.

There were some 'hooligans' throwing rocks while I was trying to get my shots. Here is one of them picking up a rock to throw at the tower. J says this is our revenge.

Craftiness, and photo link

I have been knitting! Only six of these are for flea-market, so far. The two red/white dishcloths are for my mom's B-Day present. She doesn't have a computer, so I think I'm safe ;o)

Sally had to check out the cool fabrics I thrifted.

The multitude of non-crafty pictures I took today will be over here.

Friday, February 24, 2006

'Voodoo' Bunnies EEP!

Hey look, I found the macro button on my camera ;oP No, I'm not trying some odd ritual - this is corrective surgery, I swear! ;o) I just got off the phone with my Mom, and she is feeling better. We talked so long my neck hurts now! Hopefully there will be 'non-jeans-leg' pictures tomorrow.

Lot of Links

1.) hop skip jump blog has more creatures of cuteness posted ;o)
2.) Dacia Ray has some useful cuteness, and also a bevy of bunnies at her flickr stream.
3.) This green elephant with a pouch is an interesting idea...

Other links:
A.) Getting ideas by browsing FotoSearch (the pics are NOT free, but the looking is.. they have some cool texture and detail shots in here)
B.) Archive.Org, however, is a search place for free stuff to download. Music, radio, movies, pictures and articles from the Internet Archive.
C.) And, not to forget WikiSource and WikiMedia Commons.

Make It Links
a.) Runo dollmaking patterns (free online)
b.) Dogs and Cats <--easy looking
c.) Extremely elaborate dollmaking site.
d.) Sweet 1940s doll! I'll definitely have to try this one!

My News: The weekend is almost here! I hope to take a lot more pictures. J says I need to 'get off my tail' and start making a new portfolio, to show in Memphis and Nashville. EEP. I am easily scared by such things, but I have to do it sometime... he is right. The first 'Gallery Walk' is one of the most frightening things for an artist. (My advisor described his to me!) Even with the stuffed animals in the shop (and a job), J reminds me: 'That isn't what you went to school for six years for... is it?'

*sigh* No. :o( Let's see what I can get started on...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Catfish Sighting!

I saw Chris' post on large cats, and J said 'Get out the camera!' BTW, both of these pics are rarities.... him letting me post them, rarer still, so enjoy!

This is my DH, J, holding a 10 lb. half-Manx catch named Willowpede ;o)

For comparison, this is Willowpede as a kitten, on June 31st of last year.
J says we fed her too much 8o}
But of course, he's kidding!

Some background -- We were carrying all of the kittens in a box, and J wanted a photo of Willow before we brought her back to her Mom. This was the day all of the kittens were among the leaves on the satellite dish. Willow is about a month-and-a-half old here.

BTW, if these pictures take FOREVER to download, give me a hint... Not everyone has a T-1 or large displays I'm sure?

Walk in the Woods

Little Ducks

Little Duckies

I went out and took a lot of pictures today, trying to get practice with this Canon PowerShot A40, but Blogger isn't responding to uploading my pictures :o( So, here is just one at PhotoBucket. I'll have to post the woods pictures later.

We went looking for land again today, looking on a road not too far from the office. There were four signs, and none of them seemed very good hits. One place wanted 60K+ for a 20 year old trailer and a small lot. EEP! Well, that isn't the usual around here -- so it quickly went in the 'No' pile.

Almost done with my Mom's second dishcloth, and the third duckie (not seen in the pic). Next will be a larger bunny and some sheep! More pics and links later, Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A New Place to Work

J and I 'invested' a little in a new bulletin board and some supplies to organize my working area. The old desk is still here too, but this is a nice flat spot to work. 'KnitOwl and friends' made an official sale -- so I am trying harder!

Icicles on a holly tree in the morning.

Countdown to my Mom's birthday : 12 days! 1.5 dishcloths done in her colour, and the little daisy-patterened bunny is still waiting to be sent along with them. I still have to mail all of this, and it has been taking longer than usual to get mail up to Minnesota.. not sure why.

Great Link : Real Kana <-- Practice hiragana & katakana in a flash-card format (no sound though :o( and in different typefaces... wow

Another Great Link : Hacker's A Writer's Reference online with exercises.

Book meme!

I saw this over at Chris' blog and thought I'd try too.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
(The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger)
(His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
(Life of Pi - Yann Martel)
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
(The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon)
Lord of the Flies - William Golding (shiver)
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell <--Want a Copy! Haven't gone to get one yet.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
(One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
(The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini)
(The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold)
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
(Angels and Demons - Dan Brown)
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Neuromancer - William Gibson <--J won't read
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson <--J's FAVOURITE
(The Secret History - Donna Tartt)
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
(Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides)
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
(Atonement - Ian McEwan)
(The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert

Hmmm... I have a lot of books on my shelf, but not many of these!

Some from my shelf :
The Wall Around Eden - Joan Slonczewski
The Silkie - A.E. Van Vogt
The Man Who Would Be King - Rudyard Kipling
The American - Henry James
The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson
Ringworld - Larry Niven
The Invisible Man - H.G.Wells
The Illustrated A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking
Language and Art in the Navajo Universe - Gary Witherspoon
The Wind Up Bird Chronicles - Haruki Murakami
Lake Wobegon Days - Garrison Keillor
The Iron Cage - Andre Norton

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Living in Paris (TN)

Part II

A beautiful tree on the courthouse block.
Someone at work told me this is mistletoe!
I've never seen it (outside Christmas) before!

The Paris, TN Courthouse

Close-up of tower

Well, here is part two of the series, that means I just have the Eiffel Tower replica left to photograph ;o) I love that big tree, it is one of my favourite shots downtown, besides the courthouse. The coffee-shop has some neat pineapple-shaped cornices that might be of interest later.

Sally-Mander was attacking my
gardening hat from last year
when it fell onto the floor

One-Eyed bunny! Somebody call a doctor! ;o)
I'm in the process of remedying
this poor guy's vision problem.

We have another staff meeting tomorrow, and I've been working on code most of the night. Sally got out of the vehicle today, but luckily ran for the house door. It was pitiful to see her jumping (she is acrobatic) trying to get in the closed screen door :o( I was really worried we were going to lose her. I think we need to get a cat carrier now, and they are NOT going to like that...

We didn't get to go to the flea-market today, it was 35 degrees out. But, we did hear (too late) that some people did go. I was up till 2 am doing laundry and working on bunnies and dishcloths, so I guess it is good I didn't get up at 6 ;o)

Softie Links : Dacia Ray's pretty kitties
Weird looking owls,
amigurumi sheep!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Da da da dum.. eek! eek!

I think she's imitating Lurch from The Addams family...

Ignore the towel in the background, but do look at the lazy cat that was draped over my arm for half of the morning ;o)

We are working at home for part of the morning, because the office well-pump is frozen. It was an unsually cold (for this area) weekend, dropping down to at least 5 degrees (which is nothing compared to what it was in Minnesota!)

My purple socks were sitting in my knitting bag all alone... So I pulled them out for a progress report.

I am stitching one more bunny and the monkey-bear, as my pair of Mini-Bunnies are going off to a good home. *celebrate* I was way too happy last night about that ;o) J said I was like a little kid!

It is President's Day so I can't send out the little bunnies until tomorrow :o(

Links: Sweetnellie has beautiful animal dolls, so elegant and almost vintage.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

One of these bunnies...

is going on a long journey.

The bunny on the right (and the sad attempt at a carrot, because she said it needed one) is going on a snail-mail journey to my mom (in MN), along with a batch of sketches.

Pizza, and the bunnies keep marching in

Willow is helping me cut out more little creatures! Yet another pattern came to my mind last night, and the prototype is halfway sewn (but doesn't photograph well yet). But this little girl does!

I tried to embroider a face without the white background, which made her look quite different. This bunny-picture is quite big, so beware the click!

The monkey-bear oddity I am working on (it is hard to draw with a keyboard mouse!) -- I took a photo of it in-progress but it looks like a mass of white cloth and paper.

Knitting News : My purple socks are not entirely forsaken -- I've put a few rounds on them here and there. After the flea market on Tuesday (weather permitting) I hope to do a bit more. The dishcloths are churning out, when I'm not stitching little rabbits and their kin ;o)

J put the girls' collars on them again today. They hate them. While we were watching an anime we caught Sally sitting up on her hind-legs with her chin to her chest trying to lick her collar off. She gave us a dirty look when we laughed at her.

I'm making crackercrust pizza again, with fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers and onions. We made a batch last night and it was delicious! And to think, a whole pan of this costs 3-5 dollars, instead of 20.00 to order a 'vegan' pizza from PH! It really is worth the 15 minutes of handwork in the 58° kitchen ;o)

Before it's gone...

Links: stuffed dragon ok.. this looks oddly familiar -->'bubble' doll <-- Did I see that in my sleep somewhere or what ;o) And a very scary 'lantern fish.'

A too-cute owl!

I need to make the fourth bunny and send it off in a care package to my mom. She is having a seriously hard time with my sister right now. I joked with her some on the phone, but I think a little bunny and some drawings would help more right now.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bunnies in Progress

I got into a sewing kick last night after I got home ;o)

J says they would make great puppets ;o)
Willow got in on this too, she thought they were toys for her ;o)

A full shot of the little skirt

Bunnies in Progress!

Links: Little Bear Studio, of Thistletown fame. This is a photo of her great studio! Much more organized than my desk ;o) Also, Up and Away shop, I know you can tell why I think she's cool!

J is working on another puzzle, a smaller one this time ;o) He has almost all of it done. We are going to order Chinese at the Lucky Dragon *claps*! I think the cracker recipe would make a good pizza crust too -- will try that for supper tonight. Prarie Home Companion comes on at 6 pm!

In other news, My sister got married last week.. and I'm actually not very happy about it. But that's that.

Friday, February 17, 2006

An Hour to Make, Five Minutes to Disappear

These are crunchy baked crackers made from the Pepper Crackers recipe. Except -- these are Sundried Tomato and Basil crackers 8-) YUM! I stayed up till 1 am making two batches of these as a sort of 'peace offering' for work. As could be expected, only one batch survived ;o)

Mollychicken made two darling little bears a while back. I & II.

These bunnies at Wee Wonderfuls -- so sweet!

Learning Japanese
J and I are currently trying to learn Japanese, but we haven't been able to get into a local class. J called some of the Universities around here, and it is upwards of $1000.00 for just one person to take a single class! There is also a cool place in Memphis (I'll have to track down the name) that offers cafe style classes, where you make an appointment, and meet there to have coffee and conversation with your teacher and the group you registered with.

The other choice is some software. The software I have is old, and actually isn't very good. I haven't learned much from it, and it no longer runs on my new machine. We've been watching Japanese movies (with subtitles in English) for a few years now, and have picked up quite a few words there, as well. This is a long way from picking up on 'generative grammar' though.

I put a bid on some new software this morning, something J has researched. He is still calling around to other, farther-away colleges, to see what they have.

It is our goal, in about 6 years, to visit Japan and spend a month there together. By then though, I will have a really hard time going! As we are planning for kids next year... *cringes at the thought of taking them with to a foreign country OR leaving them behind with Grandma* :o}

Now I have to go to work :o{

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Willow's Dream Come True

How spoiled is this? J made Willow's dream come true of being able to play with the fan 'danglies.' What are those called anyway? She sits on the drafting table and cries at the fan now. It is the cutest thing in the world, when she stands up on her hind legs and pretends she is tall enough to reach, paws kneading the air, until... no more balance, and she has to come down.

Survey: What is your favourite type of coffee (or coffee drink, or substitute etc)?

On Etsy.

And, watch out! Here comes an armed nuigurumi rabbit! He's grabbed all the pointy things on my desk and is ready for combat! Okay, I'm letting out a little steam about the work stuff ;o)

Softie Links :
These are cute in an...odd... sort of way.
An awesome dragon, is it knit or crochet?

Sally says: Why wouldn't you be taking a picture of me? What are these soft cushy things in my photo-shoot?

The Mid-Air Bite

The mid-air bite!
Sally ready for the attack.
And Then, they get tired...
little kitty project, unsewn
little kitty project, halfway
Six am is usually 'Kitten Attack Hour' at our house. However, usually I am not in possession of both my wits and a camera at the right time ;o) Well, this morning I was. **Notice in that first picture Sally's feet are not touching the ground at all!**

KNITTING NEWS : 5 white dishcloths, 2 red, 1 white on the needles. I'm going to run out of white yarn ;o)

Link: KnitStory blog is having a problem with overflowing bookcases. I'm sure a lot of us can relate to that! (peers at her desk and seven bookshelves crammed full) Hmmm.... Swatchy is getting far on her beautiful fair-isle sweater!

The Beekeeper's Apprentice is safely back on its way to Sweetwater, TN, about 300 miles from here! The last part of the last chapter seemed so strange, although that's not a good word for it. The apathy she felt after being injured wasn't really resolved, although the little girl's letter helped some. Chris, you said there is a sequel? I'm going to have to think about that.

I saw 'Tears of the Giraffe' by Alexander McCall Smith, at the library. I don't know if I want to add another new author to my list yet... especially with all the CSS and office-troubles we've had in the past week. *sigh* I stayed up till 1:00 am, night-owl-knitting, and got up promptly at 6:30 with the alarm, and I want to clean furiously... I can tell I'm worried :o(

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Living in Paris (tennessee)

Our semi-famous 'catfish' sign ;o) I only had one shot from the car.
The text says 'Home of the World's Biggest Fish Fry'

I wanted to go down to our beautiful courthouse building and grab some nice detail shots this morning. However, the sun is not cooperating and I don't have all day to wait for it :o( That will have to be another day. There are three things in Paris, TN that top my list of 'photographable for tourists.' (I guess, by the town's idea, Northerners will always be tourists) ;o) Well they are, the model of the Eiffel tower, the fish sign, and the courthouse in the middle of town.

Man! Are our windows dirty or what?
But look at those whiskers ;o)

Sally has a new habit in the car. She 'kneesurfs' on J. She used to sit in my lap and sleep, but of course this is much more interesting! She usually sits very still and will go up to his headrest and sleep as well.

One more shot