Friday, August 28, 2009

And now weaving, too?!

Well folks, today I busted out my loom. Yeah, I know it sounds impressive, but it's a vintage Spears Weaving Loom, Size 4. It is complete with instructions and all the pieces, save for a hex nut that I probably lost. This is archaic, even as rigid heddle looms are concerned. Circa 1954 to be exact, but hell, if people can weave with string and clay weights, there's no reason why I can't get this thing rigged up. Of course I'm using yarn for the weft that is WHOLLY UNSUITABLE, and I recommend anyone who stumbles into my unfinished, scatterbrained universerse to choose your weft wisely, but seeing as it came from the thrift shop and I have no idea what else to do with it, weft it is. It is a three ply laceweight cotton/wool blend. One ply is cotton, one ply is wool, and there is also a binder thread. The yarn catches on the loom like mad, but after setting it up, it shouldn't be a problem. My goal is a scarf for my dad. I've been wanting to make him one with handspun, but haven't found the right fiber. I wanted it to be lightweight, yet manly. We'll see what happens. I can guarantee it will be boring as fuck. But I believe it will turn out nicely. Stay tuned...

Well, I don't know if it is scarf material, but it sure is fabric. I'm so excited! There's actually about 9 inches of woven fabric wrapped around the front beam! Setting it up really is a pain in the ass, but was so worth it. When I'm finished with this, I'm going to try to weave some of my art yarns. The yarn I'm using is really really sticky. At first I thought I needed a large shed, but I've gotten used to it and can tell if there are stuck threads. So far, so good! Done with my first shuttle (oh god, I almost wrote bobbin! This is a whole new world for me!!!) Gonna wind up some more and work on it tomorrow. In the mean time, I started new projects, working on some in progress, abandoned others and am generally going crazy as usual. Pics to come :D

If anyone came here searching for instructions, someone has posted them here

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mmm mmmm good

Well, today I finally got something done...I called my college that I was AWOL at and began the readmission process. A small feeling of relief has come over me. I feel much better, but still have a ways to go before everything is fixed. This morning I made ropa vieja in the crockpot, and I must say, the oven has been relegated to a time-out. It's too fucking hot to cook! The crockpot is my new bff! The ropa vieja turned out awesome with white rice, and on Thursday, I'm making crockpot lasagne.

Monday, August 17, 2009


It's early and I'm awake, and somehow in the middle of REM sleep, I finally discovered a use for my camel hair roving. Yes. Camel hair. I've been thinking about making an art yarn hobby horse for a while, but forgot about it. Camel hair would make some awesome reigns and bridle for my horsie. I definitely will make this project someday...when I have enough artyarn for the mane :D Maybe I will try my hand at braiding.

Later that day...
I find it hard to believe that I'm drinking Tepache, a Mexican fermented drink that I made for Cinco de Mayo, but I won't drink beer. Been thinking about mixing up a batch of Mavi, but I can't till I make some space in the fridge. Next time I make tepache, I will definitely use much less sugar than recommended. Mixed with selzer water, it is much more palatable. Also, more cinnamon and ginger, less cloves. It's still yummy and tastes great on this f'in hot August day in NY.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

O Blog Where Art Thou?

I've missed you bloggity blog. Besides not feeling well and being stressed out at work, not much has happened until about a week ago! First of all, I went to the insubordiknit weekend workshop for my b-day and it was awesome!!!!!! Magicstix and I had so much fun with the women of Spin City and we even made some new friends :D Also, at one of the Queens Library groups, M gave me a pair of hand-knit socks and the new Cookie A. book. Yippee! I'm on vacation now. I got one bobbin ready for Aeolian and have to dye more camel/silk for the next bobbin. Also, I've been mulling over an Alice yarn-The White Queen, and I need some burgundy wool for cocoons. Lastly, I have to get on my fair isle pulse warmer chart for steeking and dye up the yarn for those, too. Made some yummy cookies tonight-Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pecan cookies. Tomorrow we're going to Fette Sau and tuesday we'll have ropa vieja. I can't wait!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What a mess!

So usually while on vacation, I end up watching "Clean House" all morning and reflect on the situation in my apartment. It's been about 2 years since I started really trying to clean up the crap. I've taken about 5 pick-up truckloads of stuff to charity in this time, and have progressed nicely, but I still feel like I'm nowhere near the place I want to be.

The kitchen, though dirty, has been much better. I know where things are now, and things all fit where they belong, uh, except the empty canning jars. There are still things I have that I don't use, like my pressure canner and dehydrator, but at least the things I use most often are accessible and the things I don't use aren't taking up valuable real estate for things I need. I've cleaned out the food cabinets and try to use up weird ingredients that I buy. I would really like to figure out the 7 day meal plan thing, but I guess in due time. I also did a really good cleaning, taking apart the stove, cleaning the oven, deep cleaning and putting Finish on the floor, but I haven't been able to keep up with it. :(
The living room has also improved. Unfortunately, it also is not where it should be. One day, I cleared off the table and set it permanently. It has remained like this, more or less, since I did it. The set table really makes the room look better, but now the sofa has crap all over it.
The bathroom is OK. I cleaned out a lot of stuff and have been using up all bath products and got rid of everything I don't use or was expired. I do need a new carpet, though. The one I have is nasty, but once that is changed, it will really improve the place.
The entertainment room also has improved. I cleaned out some stuff, and hubby was wonderful and cleaned out his stuff, and also organized his closet, put in shelves and made it super neat.
The bedroom. Ugh. The thorn in my side. I drastically downsized my book collection and condensed two bookshelves to one. I probably still have more than I need, but at least they are all able to fit on the shelves. It still needs to be finished. I got rid of two more full garbage bags of clothes when changing over the winter to summer clothes. There is still a big pile of crap that has no home, and I didn't finish painting the walls, so there are also pictures and stuff that have to go on the wall one day. My dresser is constantly covered with crap and so is hubby's. To add to the foolishness, his dresser is in worse repair than it has ever been. The drawers don't open right and I feel really bad that it's like this for him. I hope that this year, I can get it fixed and painted for his anniversary present.
The big problem with the bedroom is the craft room. Ah. The craft room. That is the thorn in my heart. Because I can't get in there, the stuff I take out ends up in the bedroom until I get a big pile to throw back in there. I came up with sort of a plan to figure out what I wanted from the space. I don't know if I can do it, but I do know I want the space for reading, knitting, spinning, fiber prep and sewing. I would love to try to get the bookcase in there, but I'm not sure how if it will work. There's already one small bookcase in there (The Library of the Future) filled with crafty books and magazines. I actually went through that one recently, too, and got everything to fit. Book buying is just about banished for me. My soap-making stuff needs to go somewhere. I also have to downsize my sewing maching collection. All my sewing stuff has to fit in the closet. All fiber has to fit on the metal shelving. I'm tired just thinking about it. Yikes!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'm going to do the unthinkable!

I bought my Ashford Traveller about 8 years ago. I don't spin on her often, though I love her to death. For many years, I have considered this, but never, ever, until now, did I ever make a final decision: I'm gonna take her apart and...

paint her! Yes. I will sand and paint my wheel. I am the kind of person who likes things to be individualized. I individualize educational programs for my job, I individualize knitting patterns, and yes, now I will individualize my wheel. I imagined going to insubordiknits workshop with my girl the way she is, and felt sad and dejected. This is not the wheel of my dreams. She spins well for me, but she needs a makeover. For years I have known this day would come. Today, somehow, I found my inspiration! Costa Rican ox carts. I have long admired beautiful tole-painted antique wheels, however, my artistic skill only spans fiber, not paint, nor especially, drawing. These are painted with simple stylized shapes with a standardized shading technique. I believe I can do this. I have been favoriting ox-carts on Flickr! all morning. I know. I have issues. The painting of the wheel is like a rebirth for her. To this day, she has no name. As soon as decided on a color scheme, a name hit me: Isabella. She is not Isabella yet, but she will be soon! I am painting her after my birthday dress. If you've ever seen my birthday dress, be afraid, be very afraid. This wheel will not be for the faint of hear. I'm a little nervous about the resale value and also, about my ability, however, there is no time like summer vacation to get started on yet another project!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So, how was Boston? Day 1

OK. I'm exhausted. My body aches all over, I'd like to cut off my feet but it was SO worth it :D

On Friday, I woke up feeling much improved from the previous days' disease. I began to try to clean up the apartment, knowing that if I return to my cluttered, messy, dark apartment after spending the weekend in a fabulous bed and breakfast, I might just jump out my window. (I only live on the second floor, so I'd probably end up with a broken ankle, and worse off than before!) So, I began cleaning, using the gather and toss method, grabbing piles of fleece and fiber and yarn, UFO's, and whatever is supposed to be in the craft room, and tossing into said room, and closing the door. I gathered up the dirty laundry, made the bed, put all my shoes away, except for two pairs that I use often and did the dishes. I also cleaned out the car, replenished my first aid kit with pain killers and antacid tablets, packed up my emergency bikini kit and went to the carwash. Finally, I slipped on my shoes and ran out the door with all my crap. Running wildly now, I ran to the bank, went to Duncan Donuts and drove through the carwash. I was on my way!!!!!!!!
I had burned a few CD's for ride, New Order, Metal, Jazz, Tool, Goth, and New Wave. I planned on listening to the lighter stuff for the more pleasant parts of the trip, and listing to the metal CD which consisted of Tool, Metallica, Disturbed, Korn, and System of a Down when stuck in traffic. Well, no sooner did I get on the highway, I had to bust out the metal CD. Ugh. I continually hit pockets of traffic throughout the whole ride. For the most part, it was OK, though. I brought my lunch with me; tuna mac, homemade pickles and salt & vinegar chips. Somewhere in Connecticut, I stopped at a rest stop to use the bathroom. Inside the bathroom stall, I saw this:

Now I was mortified! I hurried back to the truck and realized that I didn't have another pair of shoes besides some vintage shiny chunky heeled sandals from my great-aunt. Shoe shopping would become the number one priority on this trip. Because my feet are so messed up, I wasn't looking forward to finding Crocs in a foreign town!
Well, the drive must go on. I made my way to Massachusetts easily, and found the B&B without too much incident.
The hosts were nice, if not distant. The property was gorgeous! I felt like a Victorian heiress. I wish I had knit that fancy dressing gown I saved in my favorites on Ravelry. It would have fit in perfectly with the decor! My room was a beautiful shade of green-blue. It was very nicely decorated, Victorian Minimalist, if there is such a thing! The first thing of order was to unpack. I dumped out my travel bag onto the bed, than took the whole pile and shoved it into the armoire. There. Just like home :) With nothing to do until A called me, I settled into the fancy window nook overlooking the street to read my book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Just when our heroine started kicking zombie ass with her ankle dagger, A informed me that she had taken the day off and was ready for some fun. Yippee! She lives only 3 blocks from my weekend home, so she was there in minutes.
I was so excited to answer the door, and showed her around my home. It felt that way, as I seemed to be the only one there and I had a key for the front door. All my feelings of trepidation, "Will she like me?" "Will we get along?" were thrown out the window within moments. I was looking forward to all the weekend had to offer.
First, we went for a walk in the arborarium for look for frogs or toads. Studioloo on Rav was raffling off handspun for pictures of toads in the Story Time group, and I really, really wanted to win it. Unfortunately, between the fact that I am an amphibian repellent extraordinaire and A was yelling, "Hey, frogs! Where the hell are ya?" I think our chances of seeing one were cut to slightly impossible. We had a nice time, but my feet were really hurting. Next, we went to eat Thai food. We both asked for spicy, but the waitress talked us out of it and we were both satisfied with the level of heat in our meals. Besides, we had Thai iced tea, and that fixes everything! My tummy had been bothering me all day, so I chose to get most of my meal wrapped up for later. It was delish, though. Chicken and Pineapple Fried Rice. Mmmm.
We returned to A's pad, and I met her funny neighbor and her sweet hubby. He was slightly tramatized by all the giggling and laughing. And I tend to talk really, really loud when I'm that excited. We had some absinthe, (and A, I'm so sorry, I tried so hard to like it, but I just couldn't-I'll keep working on it!) and messed around on Rav, (of course!) and talked some more. I left with a bag of mohair and sweet knitting dreams. A walked me back to the B&B and I went to bed about 1. I even took off my shoes so I could sneak upstairs. Just like home!

Stay tuned to the next installment of "So, how was Boston?"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's the Final Countdown!!!

Boston is on my mind. Diamondgirl and I are going to have fabulous time!!!!!!!! In any case, I'm crazy as a batt. I've been carding up something fierce in hopes of swapping out some of my stash that I've had forever for some brandy new fibery goodness. Now I'm ending up with the same problem as with my yarn and my clothes. What will I really use? I don't spin for big projects. Maybe I'll stick to art yarns for fun and luxury yarn for nightgowns and such. We'll see :D

I dragged all my stuff out of the craft room in an attempt to organize it and have only discovered that it is a mess and will not be tamed. Imagine an area where I can actually sit or spin or read. What's that? I seriously need to rethink that space. My crap has spilled out into every windowsill, corner and table in the house
In other news, a casting on frenzy has ensued. I started a hot water bottle cozy for dad, a sisal cabled doormat, D's bikini and I don't plan on stopping here. I'm sick, I tell you. Sick.
I really should start burning my music collection now. 5 hours is a long time without the ability to control my music.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sick, I'm freakin' sick!

So it's vacation and I'm sick. It's like deja vu from my school days. I've always been sick on either Christmas or Easter vacation, but SUMMER! What gives? I have a laundry list of things I'd like to get done, and here I am all stuffy and sneezy and sick to the stomach in bed writing in my blog. Well I joined a new group on Rav and it's called Story Time. We are reading "The Borrowers", a book I feel like I should have read but never got around to. In any case, there are activities to go along with the chapter and DH and I tackled the first one last night. Hubby and I went to the pond to find a toad. We failed our mission. All we found was this:

Where the hell do you find a toad? I'm obsessed with winnning Studioloo's handspun. I think our next adventure will be in the cemetary at Houdini's grave. Maybe he can conjure up a toad for me from the dead.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More Bang for the Buck!

I had a whole day planned for garage sale-ing, but seeing as I'm broke and have to bring the car in for oil change and new brakes this week, decided to forgo my thrify adventure and only go to the annual Salvation Army sale in the office by my apartment. I had been there before and have vivid memories of a Pyrex Stovetop Coffee Maker which I was keen on for a few bucks, but unfortunately, not being a coffee drinker and knowing nothing about Pyrex coffee makers, passed it by, thinking it may not have all the parts. Later that day, I couldn't stop thinking about it and went back, but alas, it was gone! (I obsessed over that coffee maker until I finally won one on eBay. I believe it is a thing of both beauty and function.) Getting back to the Salvation Army, last year, the sale was upstairs in a large room with lots of big windows and was quite inviting. This time, the sale was in the basement. There was not nearly the amount of stuff as last year, however, I scored huge in the designer clothes that fit me category as well as printed sheets for my next hare-brained scheme. Go to Flickr! for the details :P

While hoarding a load of stuff in my arms, I tripped over something on the floor, looked down and realized I was standing in the middle of a bowling lane. I almost fell in the gutter! It always makes me sad to see stuff like that. The bowling lanes at the Hunter College 23rd Street Campus are in such a state of disrepair, but we keep using them anyway. I wish people would be able to save stuff like that.

Well, anyway, I am excited to be adding stuff to my wardrobe that I can possibly use that fits me and is in good shape. If I don't wear it in a year, it's going to have to go. I'm on vacation now, and even though I'm starting to get sick, I think I will be productive. I have finally read Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" and cracked up all the way through. It took me so long to want to read it since I was living that lifestyle (minus the cocaine and heroin habit) and I didn't feel the need to read about it. Everyone I know read it and it may as well have been assigned reading at the CIA. Now that that has been in another lifetime, it was fun to revisit it for a few hours. I feel like everything he said is true. I have never met a baker who wasn't somewhat out of his mind. The pastry shop really is a civilized haven in the bowels of the kitchen. Cooks do talk about their dicks all the time. His characters could have been any number of people I have met in that business. He really made me laugh, and I love that I could hear him telling me the book in his voice in my head. I also love that I only have one degree of separation from him, and have possibly been in the same place where he was either hanging out or working , and maybe even ate his food. Weird.
This brings me to my husband. I think one of the main reasons I can be around him is because of my time in the kitchen. He is a cook. I realized this today. He's witty and bawdy and rude, curses like a sailor, is upfront, concise, methodical and all the things one needs to survive in a kitchen. He smells like a cook when he comes home from work and he works in a bakery! Even if he never steps foot in a kitchen again, the truth of the matter is, he will always be a cook. At times it can be infuriating, however, I wouldn't change it for the world :)
OK, zombie time. My husband has been killing Nazi zombies on the TV, and I'm preparing for zombie attacks in real life. My summer reading list includes The Zombie Survival Guide and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I'm very excited, but also sad that I will devour them in a night or two. Twilight series is after that, as after all the zombie action, I think it's important to switch it up to other manifestions of the living dead (or undead as they may be).
To delay the quick start and finish of my zombie studies, I started reading a book about vintage clothing called "Alligators, Mink, and New Money" by Alison Houtte. It's pretty cool. I like knowing about the designers she names and her business venture. I'll have it finished in the morning, I'm sure. Signing off for now. I'm tired, my throat hurts and I don't want to wake up at 4:30 in the morning, like I have been now for two damn weeks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


So here are the pics of my finds this weekend, plus the carding I did. The mohair locks were a bit felty, but that's ok. They're going into an art yarn. The ribbons don't have a plan for now. I'm just happy I have them! The green batt is the first of the colorway "Forest" I will make. Don't know what for yet, or if it is done. I'm not fond of the way the glitz is distributed. Lastly, the green and pink was made from drumcarder waste, all carded together. Will probably end up as art yarn, too.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My blog is dying...

Poor bloggity blog. No one reads you. The blame is surely on me, as I have been slacking reading other people's blogs and therefore have not been publicititizing you properly! That's ok though. You're here for me when I need you. One week left before vacation and I'm holding on by a thread (probably literally because I'm surrounded by it anyways.) I'm a little dejected about vacation, as I always want to do a zillion things, and end up on my lazy bum doing nothing. Here's a list of things I would do if I were inclined:
  • finish painting the bedroom walls and furniture that I started two years ago
  • clean up the craft room so I can find the sewing machine
  • finish sewing my bedskirt, my rockabilly fair dress, my swing top, the chair pads and make some more stuff
  • work on fiber prep, spinnning and UFOs
I may have to make a schedule for myself. It seemed to work ok last time, so hopefully it will work again. It appears that if I don't do something in the morning, the whole day is lost, watching Clean House and Spongebob.
This week I've been obsessed with ripping fabric. So far I have two balls. I also am slightly obsessed with the idea of making rugs. I've been shopping for fabric to rip and plan on hitting the thrift shops later to get some! Maybe I found my niche on etsy? We'll see. I did some drum carding with some practically felted fiber and it's a dream now. I really like it but feel like it's not finished, so I have to go back to it. I'd like to finish carding that colorway up. It's probably going to be about 4 oz. I need a big diz to make a roving out of my batts. Pulling it worked OK, but I want it thick and even. Practice and the right equipment will improve my skills.
Also, today we're going to the Renegade Craft Fair and it's very exciting. I've wanted to go for a few years, but never knew about it 'till it was over. Thanks to Rav's new event calendar, I actually found out in time. Cool! What shall I wear?
Lastly, J and I went back to the garage sale and were in heaven. The lady charged us 50 cents a yard on all the trimmings and I can't wait to get pics of all the booty. And I also got a BCBG silk top for $4, from a girl who wanted it to go to someone who would look good in it. I was very flattered. She wanted $10, but I only had $4 left from all the trimmings I got, so she said OK.
In other news, Yippee! I'm a natural redhead, at least till my roots start growing in. I suck at dyeing my roots. I also made bananan bundt cake for breakfast from this recipe from It came out pretty good. There was leftover coconut topping from my pie last week, so I used it in the middle of the batter. It was so yummy, I might do it again on purpose!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Busy Little Bee

It's been a rough week, so I haven't had much to say. My plan as of Friday was to stay in bed the entire weekend. Luckily, by Saturday morning, I decided to change the plan. After I dropped hubby off at work, I went food shopping. We haven't done a real food shopping in a couple of months. Mostly it consists of small trips to the supermarket to buy what we need for dinner that night. I hate shopping like that because I know it wastes money and also, makes planning a nightmare!  I spent a pretty penny and now my crazy uncle has me going online to check out all the circulars on Saturday morning to see if there are any good sales on meat!  The freezer is stocked and it feels great!

Now for the booty!  I went to a garage sale that I found on craigslist to find fabric and trimmings.  The lady said she would bring them out next week because she didn't reach that part of the garage yet!  I bought that transferware plate for a quarter.  Next, I went down the block and found another sale.  I think I spent $6 on the chiffon hair bonnet, the cow hamburger patty press, the velvet table topper and the handkerchief.  Not bad for a morning out!  I think the bonnet wants to be artyarn, but not sure yet.  The velvet also wants to be something, but I'm not sure what yet.   It would be nice if the bustle made a comeback.  I might make one with it.   Last year, J and I put on a fashion show at a senior center.   I have to get to gettin and make some stuff to show, as this year hasn't been very productive as far as clothing is concerned.  J said she's dragging stuff out of the basement to show.  It should be interesting...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Barbeque-less Barbeque

My, I've been busy today. In honor of Memorial Day, I'm having a Barbeque-less Barbeque. I haven't been feeling well lately, so ribs in the oven was much easier than climbing in and out of the window. I cooked country-style ribs with a rub in the oven at 275 for a few hours, basted them with bbq sauce from Steve Raichlen's grill book and cooked them some more. Corn was steamed on top of the stove. When the ribs were done, I took them out and put biscuits in. Just finishing up the ribs in the broiler and it's dinner time!


So MagicStix coerced me into joining the Spin City Aeolian Spin and Knit Along.  I was deathly afraid to do it.  I actually have yarn that would make a nice Aeolian, but why make things easy?  The camel/silk top she gave me was begging to be something fantastic, so I figured, why not?  I'll do it.  First I had to dye the fiber.  It's really hard for me to pick colors, and I knew I wanted something earthy to go with it, but not boring.  They also had to be functional and match my clothes.  I found some roving on Etsy that gave me inspiration, and these are colors I already had mixed up and ready to go: lt. brown, dk. brown, golden yellow, and magenta.  Unfortunately, I have a heavy hand at dyeing and it ended up WAAAAY darker than I had planned.  Oh well.  I might get more fiber, seeing as now I have a  local source and I don't think I will spin fine enough to make the yardage I need.  Here's pics of the fiber: 

Pie Challenge!!

I started a group on Ravelry and am very excited. It's called Pie Challenge!! and it's a monthly challenge based on a theme. I will officially start the themes on June 1st, but decided to throw down a mini-challenge to get started. You had to make a pie out of stuff you have in the kitchen already, no shopping for ingredients. My contribution is German Chocolate Cake Pie and I'm very excited for it to cool down so I can eat it. Here's a tutorial:

First, bake a pie crust, fill it with pudding and a layer of cake

Get a simple syrup ready.  This one is flavored with chocolate vodka.

Using a pastry brush, soak the cake evenly until it is moist.

Then, spread on the second and final layer of pudding.

Finish off with a second layer of cake and spread on the topping.  I added some Bacardi 151 to temper the sweetness.
Here's what it looks like after the topping is spread on.

Finally, I found some ganache in the fridge and piped it on top to make it a little fancier.  Mmmm.  Cake-Pie!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Idiot Neighbor, Take 2

So I’m taking a nap, (I penciled one into my busy schedule of doing nothing) and I start to hear a weird hissy drippy sound. The cats have been evil since the middle of the night. One knocked over my fan and flower arrangement in the bedroom window at 3 AM, then he proceeded to knock over the litter box later on. The orange one woke me up at 5:30 by meowing and purring in my face, then I caught him on the kitchen counter when I heard strange noises in the kitchen. Back to the drippy sound. I am half asleep with one eye open, looking around the mess of my bedroom trying to locate the source of the sound. It seems to be coming from where my makeup is. Is it an aerosol can or pump hairspray about to explode? Is it an insect under the dresser? I look up and don’t see anything and the a$$hole upstairs has the music loud again so I can’t hear where it is coming from. The cats looked with me, and I could feel something spraying me in the face ever-so-lightly and I’m so confused. When I stand up and turn around, I see all kinds of water dripping from inside the doorway. I call for my husband, who is no where in sight, then proceed to find some clothes and go upstairs. What I see when I open the door is a waterfall of water dripping into the hallway right next to our apartment. My husband is already upstairs and apparently, idiot neighbor has clogged the toilet and didn’t f-in’ hear the waterfall afterwards because the god-dang music is too loud! The restaurant people from downstairs start ringing the bell wildly to let us know there is a leak in the restaurant, and we just told them it's the guy upstairs.  I swear my landlord saves the front apartment for idiots only. The last guy who lived there’s wife started a fire in the kitchen garbage (judging from the pile of beer bottles in the trash and the fact that she smokes and is stupid, I think she put the cig in the garbage) and tried to put it out with a pot of coffee, which dripped down my bedroom walls. That’s all for now. He turned the music down and I’m back to doing nothing. The world is safe…for now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What a Wonderful Day!

Today I went to the church where dad and stepmom got married and where my friend got married.  One of my students received his first communion.  I know his parents were thrilled.  B sat though the service wonderfully and quietly.  He did great!  Then we went to a pub to get lunch, which was also nice.  I love my adopted family.  I really feel blessed to be a part of their lives and their family.  One can have enough family, but not enough good family :)

Friday, May 22, 2009


Today is the last day of my VW Jetta.  We (The mechanic and I) have agreed it's time to take it off life support and donate it to charity.  Let's review some of the great moments with the Jetta.

The First Day-A New Beginning
Excited to join the ranks of the two-car family, I drove to Pennsylvania with my mom, where the little blue Jetta was waiting patiently in the driveway.  After getting a tour of it's features by my mom's husband, I hopped in and proceeded to follow my mom down the winding country road.  About 1/4 mile down the road, the hood popped open, flew into the windshield and cracked it all the way across.  Confined to viewing the road in the small space where the open hood attaches to the car, I slowed down and pulled over onto the shoulder.  My mom was nowhere in sight.  I decided to hyperventilate for a while until she realized I was not behind her.
What may have been 3 minutes later, (an eternity to me), I see my mom drive up on the shoulder across from me.  She steps over to the car and remarks, "Oh.  I see the hood popped open."  I have no reply to this.   I realize my hands hurt because they are still gripping the wheel, and I finally understand the saying "white-knuckled."  I meant to get the car blessed with holy water, but I never got around to it.  This leads me to my next Jetta experience.

The Roof-top Pary
Every year, the teachers at my job are invited to an Upper West Side rooftop party, overlooking the Hudson river.  (Actually, that should be coming up soon...) It is hosted by the parents of one of the students in my class and involves shmoozing and drinking and eating catered food.  I believe it is one of the highlights of the year.  Any event which requires me to get dressed up and eat and drink is a good time, (the only exception is when one of my various parents gets remarried.  Then I go heavy on the Jack and light on the good time.)  We had a splendid evening. I wore a cute green and while silk print dress in a 50's style.  It had a wrap top and a full skirt. We left the party at around 11 o'clock.  As I was about to cross 2nd Avenue to get on the 59th Street bridge entrance, I heard a loud thumping sound.  Passersby were shouting and pointing from the sidewalk, "You have a flat tire."  Gee.  Thanks.  I didn't notice.  Not one to be deterred by gender roles, attire or aptitude, I proceed to park on 2nd Avenue in a no standing zone, open the trunk and take out the spare tire and tire kit.  Wait.  Did I say spare tire kit?  That's funny BECAUSE THERE WAS NONE!!!!  We had the tire.  It had air in it.  No jack, no lugwrench.  WTF?????  WHO TAKES THE SPARE TIRE KIT OUT OF THE CAR!!!!!  That's ok.  I tried to console myself.  We will find someone and borrow a jack and wrench.  One of the girls from work has a Jetta and was coming home from the party around the same time.  No problem.  We borrowed her jack and somehow, I think with the help from some guys on the street, managed to get the car up.  Now for the wrench.  Oh.  It doesn't fit.  The Germans are soooooo special and need fucking special lugnuts for their fucking German engineered cars.  Noooo.  It can't be standard.  They're German, why make things easy.  (I will say now that I am German and I see that this making things difficult comes from that side)  I call DH.  I remember having a 4-way lug wrench in the back of the truck.  He's tired and angry and it's probably about 12:30 and he just got off UPS.  He comes to the city and guess what?  No 4-way lug wrench.  Oh.  I think it was in my ex-boyfriend's truck.  My bad.  Five of the girls from work are hanging around with me in party dresses and DH refuses to get out of the truck and even say hello.  I finally admit I have to call a tow truck.  The girls leave and I'm left with my DH, who is currently not speaking to me.  The tow truck comes and drags the Jetta down to 35th street and 10th Avenue, how fucking convenient.  They change the tire in under 3 minutes and charge me $80 for the towing and $5 to change the tire. Ain't it funny how that stuff works?

Going to Work
One day I took the Jetta to work.  The car was acting weird and braking weird the whole 9 miles it takes for me to get there.  When I got off the exit, the car was not braking!  I repeat, the car was not braking!  DH has a habit of always putting on the emergency break, no matter where he parks.  I do not do this, and his dashboard always has check engine, low oil, a venerable Christmas tree of warning lights at any given time, so I didn't know the emergency brake was on.  I figured it out, but not without almost having a heart attack.  

Monday, May 18, 2009

Still tired and depressed

I feel like a zombie today. After work, I passed out for about an hour, woke up starving, and I still feel like I could go to sleep now and wake up in the morning. School has me stressed out. I don't know what is going to happen. I haven't finishes my incompletes and I didn't file a leave of absence and it's been a year. My time is up. Everyone is going to be mad at me. I don't know what's wrong with me. I get so frustrated. When I sit down to do school work, I feel lost and overwhelmed. My knitting has taken over because it helps me get my mind off the reality of the mess I've made. Hubby feels bad, but there's nothing he can do. I really have to fix this.  DH has been wonderful about everything and has offered to come to school with me.  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm so tired...

All my Amazon stuff, save for my silk artyarn, came in this week. I'm very excited to report that. Knitting Lingerie Style is super-cool and I can't wait to make a slip. I've got some stuff on order from friends and family, one shrug and two bikinis, as well as a shower present for my cousin's fiancee. I'd like to finish that stuff up before I work on my own stuff. Mom's shrug is coming along nicely in Moda Dea TweedleDee. It's bulky acrylic, but really soft and nice. She picked it out, and it's working beautifully in the pattern, which is supposed to be for a mohair yarn!

In other news, schoolwork has been non-existent, so I decided to do some ABA on myself and put myself on a schedule this Saturday. I've done a bit of cleaning, ate breakfast, worked on my mom's shrug AND did some schoolwork. My reward is a trip to Smileys and AC Moore, to get more yarn for my mom. Smiley's is having an awesome sale. I'm getting there when the doors open so I gotta go. Being this productive is super tiring. Did I schedule in a nap for later?

I didn't schedule in a nap, but ended up taking one anyway. Mom's shrug is coming along, and I switched from dpns to magic loop on my alpaca cuffs. Here's a haiku about it:

Alpaca glides on
Two pointy, silver needles
My world is all right

I am so happy that I can work on this project again! Insubordiknits might be having a weekend workshop in August and I will be so pysched if it can happen!!! I can't afford her new DVD, but for my b-day, nothing beats a fiber workshop. Art yarns. I have books, and I have sort of tried, but I will be ready by the end of summer. I plan on making a daily schedule for myself to help me organize my time better. It will include fiber processing and knitting, to keep me motivated and on track.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas in New York baby! My dad had given me an Amazon gift card earlier this week left over from Christmas, and I made short work of it on multiple fiber-y pursuits. Gift #1-Yarn swift, which is necessary for gift #2-850 yds Misti Alpaca Lace Handpaint in Mauvelous, which is necessary for gift #3-Options metal interchangeable circular needle set. Add to that Knitting Lingerie Style, two feather pillows and one skein of Artyarns Regal Silk in a springy pink/green colorway and I just about used the whole thing up.

My first package arrived yesterday. Misti Alpaca is sooooo soft! It's burning a hole in my stash and I haven't even put it away yet! I think that I might make a circular lace poncho using Aeolian stitch patterns. I think I may be somewhat crazy to do this, as I am a novice lace knitter, but with a calculator and cool pattern from elann which gives instructions for a poncho using any lace pattern, I think I may be able to do it!!! It actually may be easier. That also means that I get to knit the purl rows! Oh goody, goody gumdrops :) Actually, I don't mind purling so much, anways.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

It's finally here!  I can't help but to celebrate holidays where great food is guaranteed: i.e. Pie Day, Dia de los Muertes, Bastillle Day, etc. Who cares if most Mexicans outside of Puebla celebrate it?  Does it matter that beer companies first popularized the holiday to increase revenue?  NO!  I'm so excited.  Just have to cook the pork and make the guac and some salsa.  Hey!  I'll make salsa now so it has a chance to macerate!   Good Idea!

This is what flan looks like!!! It's coconut and cinnamon and I can't wait to eat it!!!! The pork is on the stove and I'm about to make guacamole to snack on. We had a fiesta at school today and most of the kids ate chips and salsa and were happy. More chips and salsa for me, please!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Getting Ready

Tomorrow is  Cinco de Mayo and I'm very excited.  I have my menu, and most of the ingredients.  Today is a prep day.  I will cut up and season the pork, make the flan and the tomatillo sauce and salsa.  That means tomorrow all I have to do is cook the pork and make the guacamole.  I try to go out to eat Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo, but being as we're so broke this year, I figured I'd do it myself.  We'll have plenty of leftovers.  Last night I made my version of ratatouille (without eggplant) with shrimp and white rice.  By Wednesday, I can use the rice in stuffed peppers with some of the pork and tomato sauce.  Tonight we will have Philly Cheese Steaks with shredded beef from TJ's.  I love food.

Later that same day...
Cheese steaks were super yummilicious!!! I made the salsa verde, the salsa de chile and the flan de coco y canela(with a healthy dose of 151!).  I roasted the tomatillos in the broiler for about 9 minutes and actually followed the recipe.  For the chile salsa I strayed a little bit.  First off, those chiles have been in my pantry since I tried to make mole about 4 years ago.  They were not pliable, I could not score them and devein and seed them.  I did the best I could by cracking them and shaking any loose seeds out, then soaking them in boiling water.  After,  I threw them in the food processor.   I didn't toast them, which may be sacriledge to some, but so would using up old-ass dried out chiles!  The soaking water didn't seem too bitter, so I used it, and I didn't strain it, as I wanted a somewhat chunky sauce, like the one in my favorite Mexican hole in the wall.  I possbly used ancho and pasilla chiles, as I forgot to label them and know I used three chiles in my mole.  My crazy pineapple drink is still hanging out in the bathtub, and I have the guacamole ingredients, save the avocado and tomato chopped up and ready to go.  DH even said he would try the flan!!!  I still have to cut up and season the pernil so it's ready to go tomorrow.  Did I mention I'm excited?!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It's almost Cinco de Mayo!!!

I'm very excited about eating Mexican food this week. No wonder TJ's had the guac kits on display when you first enter the store. I've decided on my favorite: carnitas. I will be braising pork butt in lard. I'm so excited!!!

I'm officially obsessed!!! I had no idea that Cinco de Mayo was this week. (I know it's funny, but it's because I wasn't thinking about it!) I bought refried beans, and blue corn chips and a guacamole kit, but wasn't even aware how soon I would need them!!! Upon further research, I've decided to put together a menu.

Blue Corn Tortilla Chips and Salsa and Guacamole (I ate half the bag, and now will have to hide them from DH)
Carnitas with Salsa Verde

and Chili Sauce
Tepache (Mexican lightly fermented pineapple drink)
Coconut Flan

Well, the tepache is sitting in the bathtub, where it can ferment and bubble and spill out all it wants if it is inclined to do so.  It should be ready by Tuesday night.  I put the piloncillo in the food processor with the grater blade and only used 16 oz, and I used the whole pineapple, including the flesh.  After sampling the dark, rich, piloncillo, all I can say is yes, it's brown sugar, but the flavor is different then your regular Domino brown sugar.  I would make the effort to find it-it's gooooood!

Since Western medicine has not been able to offer any insight to my maladie, I have decided to invent my own diagnosis complete with name and description.  I am suffereing from an episode of acute procrastinits.  Brought upon by a severe bout of anxiety from things I should have taken care of a while ago, the disease manifests itself with overall body and muscle aches, extreme lethargy and pain in the joints, especially the toes, ankles, knees, wrists and knuckles.  I refuse to go to the doctor because I don't believe they can help me, save another prescription of pain killers.  One doctor diagnosed me with a non-specifice auto-immune response triggered by stress.  The obvious solution is to remove stress from my life.  Good luck in that department.  Because of school and money situations, this week has been awful and now I'm laid up here in bed writing this ridiculous blog post.  My husband is sick, too, from Chinese food, and I imagine it will be an interesting day.  

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Foodie Survey!!!

1. How do you like your eggs?
Runny yolks all the way!!!! Over easy, poached, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, shirred, baked, omelette, scrambled-but still soft.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea?
Tea with sugar or honey with/without milk or lemon. Herbal, black, green, except I hate white tea and rooibus. Gross. My fave teas are strawberry black tea and rose black tea.

3. Favorite breakfast food:
Chocolate-any way I can.

4. Peanut butter: Smooth or crunchy?
Creamy, with added sugar, no doubt!

5. What kind of dressing on your salad?
Depends on my mood. French, vinaigrette, honey-mustard, blue cheese, I pretty much eat them all.

6. Coke or Pepsi?
Uh, Dr. Pepper.

7. You’re feeling lazy, what do you make?
Pasta with butter, peas and parmesean cheese.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?
I hate pizza, but if I must, either buffalo chicken or hawaiian.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make?
Whatever the voices in my head tell me to...

10. Do any foods bring back good memories?
Tacos are my all time fun food.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories?
Overcooked steak reminds me of skirt steak cooked in the toaster oven as a child. I remember chewing and chewing and chewing, UGH!

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?
My friend's grandma used to make awesome coconut candy from fresh coconuts and whenever I see it, I think of her making it in the kitchen.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?
Anything with eyes or other body parts attached that look like they may walk or swim off my plate.

14. What was your favorite food as a child?
I've blocked out most of my childhood :O I can't remember.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like?
Lots of foods, mostly strongly flavored ones, like sauerkraut, mustard, pickles, horseradish, wasabi, jalepenos, black pepper.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate?
Not really.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable:
I like most fruits and veggies, but like all berries and I don't have a favorite veggie. I do like brussels sprouts more than most people, though.

18. Favorite junk food:

19. Favorite between meal snack:
Whatever's in arms reach.

20. Do you have any weird food habits?
When I eat pomegranates, I have to carefully peel and take out all the seeds intact, put them in a bowl, clean up the mess and wash my hands before I eat it by the handful.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?
I'm not nor have I ever been on a diet.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like?
See #21

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?
I usually take it however it comes.

24. Can I get you a drink?
Depending on my mood: Fun party-frozen and fruity Classy party-Cosmopolitan Bar-Jack and Coke Cafe-Grapefruit and Campari (it's kinda gross, but you get used to it)

25. Red or White Wine?
Depends. Beaujolais or Reisling. (Have you guessed I need sugar in my life?)

26. Favorite dessert?
Don't usually eat dessert after dinner, but will eat pie for any meal.

27. The perfect nightcap?
My bed.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm feeling so crafty!

So I started knitting my fun fur bikini titled "Grassy Knolls" It's coming along swimmingly, I might add. I wish I could find my pompom maker so I can make the dandelion pompoms.

This week I've been taking pictures of my outfits as I leave the house in the morning, and can tell you already that it's enlightening, but not too enlightening(thankfully) I saw myself in a long sweater and wow, no more long sweaters for me unless it is a dress. Everything's gotta stop at the hip. My little belly pooch sticks out too much for my taste and cutting it across the hip breaks up the line a bit. It also keeps my legs looking long while adding a little bit of length to my short waist. Cutting straight across the waist is baaaaad for me, except in very rare outfits.

I went to the dinner dance on Friday and made my matching fascinator and work my crazy eyelashes. I'll have to take some pics today of all have been working on. Lastly, I went to Jo-Ann fabrics and got some 1/2 off linen blends for a summer skirt and top. I used Lion Cotton and wooden beads for the yoke of a cute print top I will sew as soon as I figure out the pattern. I'm also making two more t-shirt bags for grocery shopping. Signing off for now. Lots of stuff to do!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

DIPR (Daily Individualized Progress Report)

The title of this entry is named after the paperwork I do at work. This is my run down on things going on. So. I made my earth day bag and it came out cool and I hope to actually do some shopping eventually so I can use it. It's gray and has Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn hugging on the side. It's also kind of stained and gross, but it's a shopping bag, so I can forgive that. I might make a matching Joker bag, if I still have the t-shirt hubby got me. I'm not a baggy t-shirt kinda gal, so a large, boxy black tee with the Joker's head on the front is not something I want splayed across my chest in public. However, it can work for holding groceries. Sorry for the lack of pictures lately. I lent out my camera batteries to a friend over the weekend, then forgot them at work today. I will catch up with them ASAP.

I tried to clean up my humble abode a little today. With my feet being all messed up and generally tired and depressed, cleaning hasn't been a priority. Big plans like wardrobe reconstruction and planning need a neat and organized place. It looked like a nuclear warhead exploded. Now it looks like there was an earthquake. A small improvement, but progress nonetheless. In any case, I can't physically reach the sewing table in the craft room so cleaning up that mess in also in order. (In case you're wondering how I made my t-shirt bag without reaching the sewing machine, I have a dirty little secret: I have about 4 sewing machines. It's absolutely nuts. I didn't buy any of them. One is a working treadle machine, one is a white from the sixties, one is a crappy singer, and one is a sears. Each one has it's own issues. I'm afraid to get rid of any in case I have a sewing emergency, like I'm working on my Halloween costume the night before Halloween when the bobbin bird nests and stops working altogher. Yes, this has happened before. So anyway, I keep a sewing machine on my nightstand for quick sewing jobs. What a freak!)

Lastly, a word about my etsy shop. I really wanted to open it, however, due to a few reasons, I have decided to put this off for a while. One, I don't believe I have a quality product at this time. I need more practice carding before I try to sell anything. Two, I do not have anything that sets my products apart from anyone else's. I need a niche. Three, I have no money right now. Making money means spending money, and it's something I just can't do right now. Lastly, because my feet hurt so bad, I haven't been using my wheel at all, and before, I had no inspiration to use it. I'm going to pursue other endeavors, like sewing, for now, until I feel I'm ready to get back to spinning stuff. For now, I will continue to simmer up ideas and research stuff. Maybe by summer I will find something more promising. There a few things cookin' as we speak...

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's finally done!!!!

Swallowtail has flown off the needles!!!! She's blocking right now, as we speak, on the living room floor on the rainiest day! She measures 27 inches by 58 inches. Don't know if that sounds right or not. The foam blocks are colorful kids alphabet blocks I borrowed from one of the "never use" closets at work. They work great, and the best part is that they were FREE :P I am starting on a pair of ruffle-y beaded wristlets to go with my navy blue spring jacket using some turquoise blue variegated Araucania Atacama that was on sale at AC moore a zillion years ago and sitting in my stash, waiting for the perfect thing to knit. I decided to buy beads for it, so that makes this my first official beaded knitting project. I might add some more if I like how they look.

This is part of my wardrobe overhaul. My lack of interest in accessories has to come to an end. Usually, I don't wear any jewelry, save my wedding band. If I'm getting all fancy, I put on silver hoops, medium sized ones are the norm, huge ones to look extra-hooch. The right accessories are important, but I don't want to be an accessories-whore, so I'm trying to start with dolling up my jackets first, since they get the most wear. Since I'm working from my stash on this project, all I bought were the beads, and I hope to have enough yarn for a small lacy scarf. Not swallowtail, but something similar. This has become very exciting for me. I hope to have "influenced" about 1/4 of my wardrobe by the time I'm done with this project.

On my spring sweater front, I'm scared of binding off the shoulders and making sleeves with no pattern, so I put it on the back burner. The weather isn't exactly right for it anyways, so I have about two weeks before I could be using it regularly. Also, I decided that one slightly felted tan old-navy wool sweater can use an overhaul. I think I will turn it into a cardigan, but I haven't come up with all the details yet. I only know I would like to do some embroidery on it and a collar-very Anthropologie, I know... For Earth day, I'm making a t-shirt shopping bag with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn on the side. Hopefully, I'll remember to bring it to the store. Maybe I'll make a pouch for it, too. That's all for now. Feeling hungry. Must eat...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More obsessive wardrobe thoughts...

Still harping on this. Today I'm participating in the changing of the guards, winter/fall wardrobe to spring/summer wardrobe. I've been thinking about color palettes and have decided that organizing one based on my current items would be helpful to me when picking out new clothes and fabrics. Mainly, I hope to find a common color theme in all seasons to build my core wardrobe around and change accent colors as the seasons change. For example, I see that I wear pink, burgundy, brown, and tan pretty much all year long. In the spring, I can add aqua to the mix, in the winter, add olive green and in the fall add mustard. Something like that. In any case, I plan on doing some thrifting and reconstruction, too. I've seen lots of shirts on etsy that have inspired me to get some tees and bust out the machine.

I also have been thinking about the types of clothing I wear. In the summer, I wear a dress or a skirt with a cardigan almost every day. In spring, I wear pants and skirts with layered tops and cardigans/jackets. In fall, same as spring, and as of last winter, pants and sweaters with a shelf-bra camisole pretty much all the time, save for the occasional sweater dress.

It would be really cool to plan a wardrobe around unconventional accessory pieces, such as bustles, pockets, aprons, collars and sleeves, along with removable applique pins. I envision my a-line denim skirt being a backdrop for all kinds of crazy concoctions! Lastly, I'm thinking about my style. The way I dress depends on where I'm going and what mood I'm in. I have outfits based on different characters, like "the cowgirl" -a western shirt, frye boots and bootcut jeans for a going to the farm, or "the flirty romantic" -dripping with gauze, lace and ruffles, and puffy sleeves, or "goth girl" with black and burgundy and skulls. Finding a way to incorporate all these styles into one wardrobe is difficult. I think I may plan a mini-wardrobe around each of these styles so I can keep it interesting without having so many clothes that I don't wear.

The final thing I have been thinking about is what, exactly do I look like when I leave the house in the morning. Many days I don't even bother looking in the mirror, so I don't even notice until I get to work how rough I look. It's possible that I will run an experiment documenting what I look like for work for two weeks to a month. I want to become neat and put-together, and this will be the first step in assessing how long the road will be until I get there!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back to the Wardrobe Business

I found a sewing blogger who has the same idea I have! Added to blogroll to keep up with progress. She had a few helpful ideas and linkys that I'd like to share :)

First it's the S.W.A.P. thing. Sewing with a plan. I guess the offshoot group I will start is K.W.A.P. Ha ha ha! It's the idea of planning fabrics and patterns to match your lifestyle and create a basic wardrobe. This is exactly what I was looking for!

This was borrowed from "The Sewing Journal" blog:
The plan recommends evaluating one’s lifesyle, then sewing 11 garments out of 2 basic colors and 1 complementary color.
2 pairs of pants
2 skirts, one solid, one print
6 tops, matching and coordinating
1 jacket

This website has more info on the concept and its implementation.

So I think I may go with olive and either taupe or steel(gray-blue) for my basic colors for summer work-wear. I'm excited to have a plan. There was a great idea to use paint chips when going fabric shopping so you can have a range of colors to coordinate with. Love it! It works for yarn, too! One woman carries a mini-swatch book of her basic wardrobe fabrics in her purse so when she is shopping, she can assess right away if something will match. I can't tell you how many times I have to carry a skirt or shirt around with me for days until I find something to go with it. I've got a garbage full of clothes ready to donate to the salvation army and I seriously hope that this year will be the last that I have to do these massive clean-outs. Parting with loved, hunted, but ill-fitting articles has become easier over time. After I clean out winter stuff and switch to spring/summer, I may take pics of all the saved clothes on me so I can get a better idea of what I actually look like. Also, I really do need good pants. I'm gaining weight and think I'm an 8 now, and I would like to exist without buttons and waists digging into my skin. Bye for now. Off to dream of matching clothes...(I really do need a life!)

Please cut off my feet!

I went to the podiatrist today. Diagnosis: Morton's Neuroma. Go ahead. Google it. Not much good news there. It seems all roads lead to surgery. The conversation goes something like this, "Well, first we'll pad it, then we'll shoot it and if that doesn't work, we're gonna have to cut it, but the padding and the shooting doesn't usually work, so good luck with that." He stabbed me with a cortisone shot before I could even protest effectively. I wish my feet would go back to normal. There's a dinner dance coming up and I'm going to have to wear a gown to cover my crocs. It feels like I'll never dance again. The pain and drudgery of my condition this past week has sucked all the life out of me and I don't want to do anything at all. I'm going to watch Reaper and pretend my foot isn't still cold and tingly. Signing off.

Monday, April 13, 2009

When too much is not enough...

WARNING: Long, drawn-out post with frivolous details. Turn back now if my wardrobe issues do not interest you!

I have too many clothes. This is not a new revelation, rather a reiteration of what was previously known. The last few years, (and those of you who know me personally can attest to this), I have been trying to organize my life. Though I have not met my goals, I certainly have come a long way in my attempts to achieve them. Case in point, my wardrobe. As a child, I felt very isolated. I learned in the 8th grade the importance of clothing, image and their relationship to the way others treat me. I'll never forget the first time I wore new clothes that I picked out and thought represented my "new image." A popular boy in my class said, "Hey look, it's Manhattan girl." At the time, this was the highest compliment I could have received. I was born and raised in Queens and full of self-loathing, and to be able to be sized up as "one who goes/lives in Manhattan" meant the world to me. From that point on, clothing was very important to me.

During my high-school years, I wore a uniform, so my "real" clothes were strictly weekend wear. I truly was a Manhattan girl from that point on, and spent lots of time in the East Village, wearing black leather and punk wear. On the flip side, it was just as important for me to be able to walk into Barney's or Bloomies and have someone ask if I needed help and not sneer at me and walk away. I learned how to blend in with my surroundings and felt just as comfortable at Maxine's in a cocktail dress as I did at The Building, listening to Nine Inch Nails dressed in black fishnets with skulls and crosses dripping from head to foot.

As a young adult, I spent much time going to clubs and my weekly allowance was spent at the Salvation Army, buying up clothes to repurpose and style for my outings. Spoiled as I was, I tried not to repeat any outfits at the same club and most of what I wore was, shall we say, memorable. I often wore wigs and 6-inch stiletto platforms and my best compliment at this time was "Are you a man or a woman?" Everyone knows drag queens do the best make-up jobs.

As a pastry chick, I lived in my checks and had little time or inclination to give a damn about what I wore. I went back to college, and this wardrobe suited me just fine. It was pretty much funky-thrift-shop-wear.As a matter of fact, it probably contributed to the idea of my classmates that I was their age instead of ten years older. (Never mind my ridiculously child-like behavior.) Then somehow it happened. I became an adult. A professional with a career that entailed that I look somewhat professional. What the hell is that? What do I do? Surely I can't wear my stained, holey, obnoxiously flower-printed velvet trousers in that environment. This was one of the the hardest things I had to do...

Well, my mom saved me. She brought me to NY and Co. and spent $500 on some new clothes. Comfortable pants that fit my long legs, coordinating shirts, even a vest!!! My first work wardrobe. Only one problem. I hate being a cookie cut-out. My first picture day, a girl at work and I showed up with the same shirt. It was horrible. This kind of thing had never happened before. Also around that time, I ran into an old friend in the subway. I felt so embarrassed to be seen in those clothes, almost ashamed, like I had given up the spirit I once had to sell out to my age and duty and responsibility. Though at the time I shrugged it off, I think it deeply affected me. Since then, I realize I have been on a quest to sufficiently define myself through my clothing once again. I miss the confidence I had when I knew what I was wearing was a clear representation of myself at that moment. I miss the excitement of the hunt to find something perfect, instead now I buy things "because I can wear them at work." I am boring. I hate it. Finally, it brings me to knitting.

I noticed in my projects, yarn choices and pattern favorites that there is a terrible dichotomy of style and sensibility. I believe I have too much of the former and none of the latter. If someone cataloged my current wardrobe, there are a few assumptions that might be made about me. It would be surmised I am a salsa dancer, attend weddings, fine arts performances and charity events relatively frequently, go out to fine dining establishments often, host dinner parties, enjoy cooking or have a 50s fetish, that I have goth tendencies at times, also cowgirl tendencies, enjoy wearing feminine clothing, do lots of shopping or leisurely activities, and frequent bars and clubs at night. While some of it is spot-on, it is a bit exaggerated. I don't think I need 23 dresses in the summer, as well as 9 or so evening gowns. My 14 winter skirts were barely worn this year due to issues with finding appropriate and affordable legwear this year and my 8 swimsuits don't earn their keep when I wear one about 3 times a year if I'm lucky.

I want to create a wardrobe, not a collection of mismatched items I never wear. I want the sweaters I make to match something and be functional, not simply because I could, or because I had to use up yarn in my stash. This coming year I feel it. By next spring, I will spin a different yarn to tell. I did some research tonight and found this, a website about wardrobe planning. It had many helpful tips, and I hope when I do the changing of the clothes that I can start my planning. Spring and summer clothing is much easier to make than winter or fall, so I hope to sew and/or knit some basic pieces that I can really use. One person discussed thinking about the cost of an item in terms of how much you wear it. A dress that costs $200 that you wear once is expensive compared to a cashmere sweater that costs $80 that you wear 30 times over a few years. (This is also a good strategy for rationalizing high-end yarn purchases.) I'm ready for change.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Here's my Hot Cross Buns from the King Arthur Flour website.  I think they came out good and I used my mini-tripod to take the shot.  Photography is not my thing.  I consistently forget to take pictures, even when I have my camera.  I guess I'm too much of an attention-whore to remember everyone else.  Oh well.  I'm working on it.  Still been off my feet for the whole weekend.  It's really sucked to be on the futon for three days.  Soon, I'll have to get ready to make the rounds.  I want to finish my pink sweater before tonight so I can wear it to my aunt's house and have everyone fawn all over it, but I fear this may not happen because I won't bring it to work on at my uncles house or it will smell like an old man bar from the '80s.   Maybe I'll wear my green crocheted sweater that I still haven't gotten a good photo of instead.  Yeah, that's it.  My mom is good at taking pictures and never gives up an opportunity to get some of herself, either.  Do you see where I get it from?  Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday :P

Friday, April 10, 2009

Why me?

I will continue on with my theme this week, self-pity and loathing.  Today I could not walk when I woke up this morning.  My foot hurt all night and there was no improvement, so I had to stay home from work.  Besides a splitting headache (which I handle very poorly, as I seldom experience them), I was exhausted, and tried to limit any walking, keeping my foot elevated and watching 6 hours of Dr. Who Season 3 on Sci-Fi in between naps.  The only fruitful thing I did today was wind my 8 oz of pink mohair into a giant center pull ball in preparation of making my Twinkle evening shell.  I must finish a paper this weekend and plan on doing it tomorrow no matter what.  My leg hurts, too.  I left my "Fetching" supplies in my truck in my knitting emergency kit and couldn't spin even though miraculously I had the urge to.  (Damn you double treadle!!!)  Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Welcome to the Real World.

I'm broke.  Not just broke, but broke-ass damn broke.   I could've bought a used car for the price it cost to fix my car after the accident.  (It really was  a bargain AND my truck hasn't looked so nice since I first got it, so that's the only thing I could say that's good.).  Feeling down and out and like I really messed up my life.  DH is wonderful, and it's times like these I'm reminded why I married him.  I feel like the luckiest person alive to have someone so understanding at times like these.  So he can't stand my loud chewing or the way I hog the sheets and the bed, but when it comes down to when it matters, there's no one better. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Finally, an FO!!!

I finished my shrug in a little more than a day! I'm very happy with it and have been playing dress up all day :D The picture on the bottom shows the major mod, a ruffle on the top half after the ribbing. (Separated by a lifeline) All I need now is a hat and I'm good to go. I'm thinking of a gold bird, some netting, a matching felted base, some ribbon and some feathers. Thats all. Maybe some flowers, too. Fashion pics to follow soon. I really want to set up an outdoor shoot soon.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I've been bad...

I cast on another project gasp! I had some sparkly mohair bulky novelty yarn in my stash from Smiley's, and I was dying to start on a Twinkle pattern, so my mohair shrug is in the works.  I hate my Lion Brand needles and can't believe I bought them.  At least I had a coupon! I love Smiley's and they have a great selection of needles, but size 17 and 19 circs are not easy to come by, AND they all cost upwards of $14 a pair.  I don't need needles that are more expensive than the yarn!

My swallowtail will NOT be finished by April 1st.  I stopped mid-row and can't bring myself to pick it up right now.  It makes me want to cry.  My tank sweater has stumped me with the neck and shoulder casting off and I need someone to help me try it on and hold the needles to see if the mannequin and I have the same waist to shoulder measurements.  I know I could just use measuring tape, but I'm paranoid about stuff like that.  Pics to follow.  My free Flickr account is maxed out this month, just like my credit cards. Ugh.

Turns out my flickr account could take a few more pics! Miu-Miu is doing better. She's sleeping next to me on the futon. I feel relieved but wonder if/when something like this will happen again. What if I'm not home next time? It was really awful seeing her like that.

On a lighter note, my shrug is almost done, just a few more rounds and then BO. I found the perfect dress, one that I bought for my sister's wedding. It's a wine/black iridescent taffeta gown with spaghetti straps. I plan on making a fascinator to match with felt and feathers and possibly millinery netting. Also, I will knit or crochet beaded wire jewelery to match. AND I have awesome eyelashes to go with the outfit. They are multi-colored, feathered top and bottom lashes. I'll take pics when I get my lightbox together. Thats another thing on my agenda this week. This outfit is for a dinner dance for work next month. I will look like a freak, but everyone knows me now and I've built up their resistance to my freakiness, so I'm not concerned. I love driving in a pickup truck wearing wigs and gowns. It's so funny!

This is not good :(

My cat Miu-Miu had an episode of vestibular syndrome a few years ago.  At the onset of the episode, she was walking in circles.  In a few short hours, her hind legs were paralyzed and and she was unable to walk independently.  A trip to the vet (which I was convinced would be her last) gave us hope that she could recover.  I came to the understanding that she may or may not recover, and any improvement may not end up at 100%.  It took a few months for her to have satisfactory improvement.  For about two months, she would not come out.  All of her food and water was kept next to her and I had to rig a litterbox to look like a pontoon boat, with stabilizers on either side, so she wouldn't tip it over getting in.  Eventually, she began walking around again, like she's drunk, a typical symptom of vestibular disease.   Her capacity to jump is diminished, but she can still jump on a chair or the futon, just not the bed.  Miu-Miu is shy by nature, and spends a lot of time under the dining room table.  She comes out at night to cuddle on the futon and dig her claws into me, albeit, lovingly.  

Today I heard some banging from the kitchen and ran towards the noise, only to find her on her back, next to the wall, flailing around, seemingly trying to right herself.  I pulled her away from the wall, in the hopes that she would roll over by herself, but she continued to twitch.  I really thought she was having a seizure, and knew there was nothing I could do but wait it out.  After another minute,  she stopped twitching and began howling.  Now I'm stressed out.  I can't afford a  trip to the vet, after paying for the body work on my car.  She stopped meowing and at the moment is resting comfortably under the table.  I'm periodically checking to see if she is mobile, and hope that this is an isolated incident.  One good day is not worth a week of bad ones.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Horror!

So I got into a car accident the other day.  It was good for an accident, but it pretty much sucked.   Thank God no one was injured at all.  The car in front of me hit an ice patch and lost control, doing a 360 when I hit him by the driver side tire.  We were on a dangerous, two lane, narrow highway by my house, both on the way to work.  Turns out the guy's dad and my dad know each other and his dad owns an auto body shop two blocks from my house, so I should have my truck back by the weekend.  O, the joys of car ownership...

On a lighter note, my sweater is nearing completion.  I'm trying out a short-row shoulder with a three-needle bind off.  I just have to do a few rows on the shoulders and back, and make some sleeves.  This is the hardest part, I think.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I lurvs teh internetz!

I've been wanting to knit a spring/summer sweater for a few years now, but this is the first year I actually started knitting sweaters, so I'm excited that I will actually get some done! Last year, I started on Coachella after much consideration about shaping and fit, and gingerly decided to go for it.  Unfortunately, I lost interest once I decided it's probably too small and the cowl neck and racer back aren't really flattering on me, even if by some dumb luck I mangage to get them right.  Pages of the projects on Ravelry tell the sad tale of disappointment in the fit of it.  So, I did what I needed to do.  Coachella is no more.  Deleted, needles ripped out, and the sad, floppy mess of what what started lay in my craft room somewhere for me to find the next time I clean it out.  That brings us to now.  I found a great pattern.  Problem is its f'ing British, and is not sold anywhere in the U.S. or online.  After much thought, I'm going to design a copycat for myself.  I've only designed a hat, and knit 3/4 of a sweater and one shrug.  Both of those had raglan shaping.  This is more like a set-in sleeve project, so I've been nosing around to find info on designing.  Basically, the sweater has an empire-waist, a mock wrap top, and cap sleeves.  I found a handy tool on Knitting Daily that gives me the pattern based on my measurements to get me started on the bottom and I so very excited, that I added the button to my blog!  Check it out.  It's awesome!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Inspiration has struck!

Vacation is almost upon me and I have tons of plans! I will finally finish one paper and dig into the other. I will knit sleeves on my cabled sweater. I will finish my swallowtail shawl by March 31st. I will get inventory ready for etsy and build my damn lightbox. I begin blending and spinning yarn for my opal and ruby aeolian shawl. How exciting. I'm tired now...

Monday, March 16, 2009

I was a bad girl...

I owed the library fines. The bad thing is I could have bought about four books for the amount I owed. The good thing is I created a new system for myself. While I believe in supporting my public library, I don't believe in paying exorbitant fines for my laziness and stupidity. My compromise is that if I continually insist on accruing late fees and spending the money anyway, my new incentive is when I bring back books on time, I am entitled to buy myself some yarn or a book. Still spending the money, yet now I have something to bring home! I am so a genius. Swallowtail is on the back burner, as I have lots of work to catch up this week and I've officially entered nuppville. Etsy on hold, but vacation coming soon. Must...hold...on...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

So tired...

I just woke up from a four hour nap. A few things-Swallowtail is my nemesis. Lace knitting may not be for me, just as I realized that socks may not be for me either. Maybe I haven't given it a good go, but concentrating this much is a PITA. Today I found two vintage knit/crochet accessory books. Maybe I will make my vintage books a photo project. I started turning my really old, broken down pattern books into PDF files, and will seal up the books to protect them. I love vintage books!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day!!!

Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh! There's snow outside! And I don't have school! And I can knit swallowtail till I'm blind today. And dye and card and spin, and watch stupid movies, like "Black Sheep"
I really need to get on this lightbox thing. I think my pictures have been getting better, or my expectations have been going down, as ever since I found the Macro button on my camera, methinks I like it better. Gotta go! Gotta whole lot of fibery stuff to do!

It's 1:13 and the dye pot is cooking away! I'm doing solid colors to blend with the drum carder into batts. Don't think I want to dye and sell roving at this point. We'll see. So far, things are moving along.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm in awe!

I have met so many talented people at Sit n' Knit! The level of expertise and creativity never ceases to amaze me! Harlem Purl has made me the most awesome pair of "Fiddlehead Mittens" by helloyarn. Helloyarn is my idol! One day I will do one of her designs. Stranding scares me. I have done it before, and it was a pita, and I haven't tried since. Of course, that was a few years ago, and my knitting mojo has increased so her patterns are definitely on my to-do-in-the-near-future list. The mittie swap party was awesome, but I forgot my camera, due to a phone call as I was walking out the door. I also forgot to bring a project to work on, as everything I'm making now is a secret. Shhhh. I'll have lots of pics to come this week. Thanks to everyone at Sit n' Knit for the mittie exchange. You have forever spoiled me in this swap, and I expect every swap to bring me awesomeness like this!


So, it's Saturday morning, and true to form, I have to weave in ends, make a cord and tassel and start and finish the second thumb. I am also baking a coconut lime pound cake. The last one came out broken and made me really angry. Party at 1:00. Awesome. Watching Bye-bye Birdie, and I have to go to work at 9:30. I'll have a little time to finish between job and swap. I am the world title holder for "Last Minute Lucy." Oh well. Hope she likes 'em. She will, she will :D

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Still not finished!

Still not done with my damn cardi! Just knitting up the ribbing on the sleeves and having a tough time decided on final length. Also, I'm not sure I like how the ribbing is stretching around my arms. I had a feeling I didn't pick up enough stitches. I'll continue on for a little while longer and decide when I reach just past the elbow. Ugh. No pics until I'm done!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'm such a dork!

So I decided to make this floofy crocheted sweater for some instant gratification. I used acrylic from my stash and it really is interesting. Aside from my interesting choice of yarns, I really like the pattern. At first, I thought it was confusing, but I figured it out, changed a few things and the fit seems to be on point. In any case, it seems a little short, so I'll have to do something after it's seamed up. Not taking any progress pictures. I just want an FO!!!!!!

Hubby interrupted my work because he left the lights on the VW overnight. I had to boost it, but everytime he tried to start the car, the alarm went off, and the autotheft has no button to shut the damn thing off. That took about an hour. Luckily, I didn't sit in the car with him. Apparently, he was really, really mad! Eventually it started and we had to drive around until we were sure the battery was charged. I love life in the city!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm gonna do it!

So, I've finally decided to open up an Etsy store. I've been collecting materials and will start the site very soon. I'd like to get the first sets of the Easter/Springtime line-up before mid-March. Not sure what will happen, but...We shall see.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Peasant Food Rocks!

So I am still sick. I ran into my grandma at the doctor's office. It was nice to talk to her for a while. When I got home, I decided to make soup. Now, I have to tell you all, I only liked French Onion Soup for a very short period of time in my youth, until I really started to have a strong dislike for all things too onion-y. For some reason, this past week, I've had an onion soup craving like I couldn't imagine. I decided to do a roasted onion soup, to ensure the flavor was sweet and mellow and not too bold. I took a white onion, a red onion and a yellow onion, and three shallots and sliced them on the mandolin into a greased pyrex casserole, then put them into a 425 degree oven until they were caramelized, mixing a few times while cooking. At the same time, I roasted 4 beets and a head of garlic. When the onions were browned, I added some beef stock and put it all in a saucepan on the stove with the roasted garlic and some pepper and thyme. That boiled for about an hour. I found some ciabatta bread in the freezer and toasted up some slices with coarsely grated parmesean and that was my dinner. I'm hoping the garlic and onion will help me feel better sooner. I also made borscht. Four beets, one potato, a few baby carrots some beef bones and a tiny head of red cabbage all came together in my crockpot. I added some apple cider vinegar, dill and thyme, and I think it's coming out ok. I'll eat it with buttered rye bread tomorrow. Yum. Time for bed now. Cough, cough, sneeze.

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