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Archive for August, 2007

Knitty, Quilty, and Crappy

So… the room is painted. And when I say painted, I mean “Ohmygod, I give up.” I’m trying to put a positive spin on it by calling it something like “Dappled Sunlight Through the Fence” and calling it an artistic statement. It’s not quite working, but meh. So the new plan is to cover it with fabric, get the ceiling fan up, and move in.

 Learn from these painting mistakes:

1. Always buy more paint then you think you need.

2. Always do two coats no matter what they tell you. I’m glad they feel their product can hold up to just one coat, but I’m pretty sure they’re lying.

3. Base coat. Base coat. Base coat.

4. If you’re doing it alone, break it up. Painting is much harder and hotter than you plan for.

 So, I call it a good learning experience. I’m not out much money even though I bought twice the roller and three times the paint that I thought I needed. If I decide to paint it again, it will already be primed and ready, and I’ll be a little bit smarter. Yes, I’ll let you see a picture of it, but not yet. I just can’t bear it yet.

 Me and my mother did lunch this Saturday. It’s a bit of a pain that we both have to drive about two hours to do it, but I needed my sewing machine back. It’s fixed. Well, fixed isn’t the right word. We found the problem. We’d been buying the wrong sized bobbin. Dumb, but we didn’t know and now we do. Also, I’m going to do a project.

I have a twin sized flat sheet laying around that I decided was going to be a the quilt back for three different quilts. To improve my skills and to do something that I think is worthwhile, I was going to start making baby quilts to donate to different charities. It just so happens that we have to do two hours of community service for one of my classes. Granted, making a quilt is over two hours, but just barely. You know, like by two days or so. Anyways, this was the perfect excuse to push me into doing it. I wanted to donate to Linus Quilts, but I need someone to sign off that I did my part and the closest drop of center is Savannah- roughly a 5 hour drive from here. I need to find a local hospital or something, but damn it I am going to do a quilt. It’s due September 12th, so I need to get on it. I think this will be a good experience for me. I really don’t want to flake out on this and just do something easy instead.

 During lunch, my mom handed over a few old craft magazines she had laying around. In the — issue of Knit It! I found the perfect beginners scarf. It’s a simple garter stitch that goes way beyond “just a garter stitch” with the additon of freaking huge needles and pretty variegated yarn. The largest needles I have are size 17 US. I’m whipping up a swatch to see how it would look.

Alright, alright. Here’s the damn room. Actually, I just opened a Flckr account and can’t figure out how to post pics, so here’s two links. One of the overall effect and one of the splotchy coat.

And since I can’t get my Flckr pics to work, here’s what happens when Felix is more interested in getting a scratch than getting his portrait done.

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Knitty Stuff and a Fuckton of Pics

So, I’m teaching myself to knit. This is all fine and good. I’m just running into a few snags as I try to learn new patterns. Namely, anything with a knit and purl in the same row. Does anyone have any tips? I can’t find troubleshooting in my idiot’s book, but I’m relatively certain that seed stitch does not look like this.

I can’t get non-blurry close up shots with my cheapie camera. Otherwise, I’m so incredibly proud of myself. I’m learning something new. I’m teaching myself something new. New skills are always good and I can see myself improving so much just from the short time I’ve been doing this. I’m backing up and trying to do ribbed stitches to see if I can knit and purl in groups on the same row. We’ll see how it goes. For now, take a look at exactly why I bought size 10 needles.

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Don’t they look beautiful with the yarn? The green doesn’t look as good on camera, but great in real life. I’m using my mom’s cheapie leftover acrylics to learn on. Also, that’s a freakin huge difference between my garter stich and my stockinette. I rule. 

But I need help. I’ve taken pictures of the edges here. It’s on my stockinette. Are there supposed to be so many loops on the sides?

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 Or such a huge freakin stitch at the end of the row? Help?

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 In other news, I just got the den primed earlier today. Yeah. I’m a little late. I didn’t wash out my paintbrush well enough either, so it was like painting with steel wool. Exciting. And I may have bought the wrong kind of replacement roller. Meh. Don’t care. I have a lovely Pepto pink and yellow room just waiting for a bright off white to make it feel roomy. Really. Promise. This weekend.

 I’ve been flipping through a few new blogs lately and have seen the 365 Photo project. It’s a group on Flikr. I’d like to look that up. I’m contemplating trying that myself.

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Etsy Treasure!

I just had to show off my first… twisty thing of handspun yarn! I’ve never even seen one in real life before and I’ve definitely never worked with natural fiber before. I saw the roving on Etsy and fell in love. Now, I have no clue how to spin except for the brief research I’ve done confirming that I don’t have what it takes at the moment. It’s so big! I had no idea that 4 ounces would be this much. Do you see how little I know about yarn? Here’s the Etsy pic that made me fall in love.

 

Can you friggin blame me? And here’s two shots of it in natural light, spun.

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I know. It’s heavenly. Visit LlamaMama’s shop here for more natural llama fiber.

Also, I ordered a mosaic on slate a little while back- my first Etsy purchase. I’m such a newb. It’s from Nutmeg Designs and is put on nice heavy slate and signed. Apparently, she found the tiles in a build your own ashtray kit from the 60s, designed for little kids to give to their parents. Classy. But there is such beautiful stuff in her shop. Visit here.

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Painting Progress and a Meme

So… I’ve hit a couple snags while painting. Nothing that makes me despair or want to stop; it’s just going to take a bit longer. Namely, wood paneling grooves are a bitch and certain things stuck up more paint that expected. So I went back, bought reject primer and another reject color. I’m calling my first two painted walls primed. So there will be three colors and pints of paint that will have gone into creating one effect. Meh. It’ll be done before next weekend and I’ll enjoy it as I work.

Here is one “primed” wall with the grooves

filled in. And here is another wall being primed. I love the striped effect, especially on the paneling. It’s just kind of funny.

 I can’t ever seem to get my pictures where I want them.

In other news, I’m jumping on the meme bandwagon over at Anodyne’s blog. I haven’t done a meme here yet (or often in general) and hey, prizes! So.

6 Weird Things About Me

1. I love bones. I mean, crazy love. As in I debate with myself whether I should go back and pick up road kill. Yeah… They’re beautiful.

2. I love self help books. I have big goals and I know how to acheive them, but my motivation is often lacking. Note the lack of finished projects and such here. That’s also present in the rest of my life. The books help me get off my ass and inspire me.

3. I’m currently amazed at how different I’m becoming. A few years ago, doilies and granny squares and such things were unthinkable. They didn’t fit who I was or what I liked. I’m looking at homey, “granny” crafts in a whole new light. And if feels scarily good.

4. I love Indian music. It seems to surprise a lot of new people I meet, but I’m crazy in love with Bollywood and Kollywood movie music. And dancing. And fashion. It annoys some people that I rarely listen to music in English anymore. And I love to sing along to crap that I don’t understand and can’t pronounce. Good times.

5. I’m in love with relics of the past, specifically of the old South. Broken houses and barns. Old live oaks covered in Spanish moss. Railroad tracks. Sunken graves. Dirt roads. I have more pictures of them than I know what to do with.

6. All I have ever wanted to do was own my own home. I’ve never had any greater dream. In fact, my greatest and most vivid fantasy is sitting on my covered porch in the rain. Above all, that is what drives me- the promise of home ownership.

 So there you have it. I guess I should get back to the paint, huh?

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First Week Makeover

For many of you, this was the first week of school for yourself or your children. As a college student, I both feared and anticipated this day. Many things have happened here in the last week. I could tell you about them, but who cares. What you care about is that my roommate moved out and I have my apartment back to myself again. I know we’re all cheering at that. To celebrate, I’m painting this weekend! For some reason, there is wood paneling. Well, that’s all fine and good until you realize that your den is a tiny 8×10 room and you’re about to shove your queen size bed in it. Yeah.

 So, I found 3 buck reject paint at Lowe’s, along with painter’s tape, and a roller set from Big Lots. I’m doing this as cheap as possible because

1. I’m cheap.

2. This room is small enough that I’ll want to paint it every three months.

and 3. The management is going to just caulk over and repaint the paneling when I move out.

I don’t think I’ll even have to repaint the walls or pay them to do it when I move out because of that. I’ve never painted a whole room before and, truth be told, I’m writing this to sit out the cramps formed in my leg by taping the ceiling. Apparently, standing is harder work than I thought.

Anyways, here is a picture from the inside. See that lamp? Tucked in the corner. See the door. On the other corner. Yes, it’s that small. Wood paneling helps.

Link because the pic is too big.

Also, an awesome pic of the hard work that went into my apartment before I got there. What the hell? I still have paint on my carpet where people just slopped it on the walls. Surely I can do better.

No pic from the outside, because there’s a window on that wall that’s giving my camera hell. Wish me luck.

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Small Pleasures

I’ve been slowly tackling a few things around the house, feeling immensly relived over a few simple fixes here and there. Stuff I’ve been too lazy to do that’s built up into something far more annoying than it should be.

I finally added a bathroom trashcan. Alright, so it’s totally ghetto, but I lost my old one in the move and don’t want to buy one. Also, cat butt!

And now I finally have a valance up in the kitchen. The first curtains in the whole apartment!

 And while we’re in the kitchen, the rug my mom made for me that I absolutely love. I just wish you could see it as clearly as I can. Notice tiny cat feet.

 

But it doesn’t look like I’ll be moving for a while. Cat Butt #2 is weighing me down.

Nevermind, Catt Butt #1 is back.

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Yo Yo Mania

Project Profile: I have recently embarked on a mission that I like to call Yo Yo Central. For no other reason than that’s the first thing that came into my head. Originally it was a mish-mash of whatever fabric I’d already washed. Then I saw a handful of white yoyos together and decided I wanted a whole quilt made out of them. Just because.

 

Mission: To make a million fabric yo yos.

 

Goal: A yo yo quilt. Yo yo and button flowers. Extra for a stash.

 

Reason: It seems like a good idea.

 

Progress:

Colored Yoyos: 34

White: 42

And one crazy-huge one for no apparent reason.

 

So it’s not really a mania yet, but it sure feels like one. I’ve put a “Yoyo a day” provision in place, but I’ve yet to faithfully stick to it. It’d be nice to have a daily minimum anyways. I do, however, usually do a handful every couple of days, so I don’t feel so bad about not doing them daily, but still get in my daily quota. I made my first yoyo flower pin a few weeks back for my mother using some really nice fabric I had, but forgot to take a picture. I’ll try to get one from her later as I really liked it. I even went through the trouble of piercing a shell to use as a button on the front. At least I was proud of it.

 

This is a fairly recent picture of my progress, though you can’t see some of it because Big Fluffy decided to help.

 

I also had a horribly failed attempt to make beaded earrings last night where absolutely nothing worked out right. I’ll have to buy more supplies before I start again. AND! I got to play with henna. I’ve done lots of henna designs with varying levels of success, but never got to use real henna. I’ve discovered that this may be for the best. One of the stencils didn’t work the first time around, the bag wouldn’t work properly with the thickness of the henna paste, and I had to resort to a toothpick for designs. Of course, after we’d decided to call it a night, I got the cone to work and I added to the crap already there. The stencil at the bottom worked fine, the stuff in the middle was free-handed with the bag. The left side was the stencil that crapped out, turned into a very remorse sun, and the sad paisley on the right is the work of an idiot and a toothpick. Middle’s not so bad though.

 

I would also like to note that she doesn’t usually look like a linebacker with scoliosis. My camera got wonky.

 

Yeah… I’m not as bad with a pen though.

The bottom right one turned out wonky. I’m not responsible for the top right tattoo though; that was all his bad idea.

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