Jul 28, 2006

More Corn and Bred

I was trying to write, really I was, but giddiness over Rock Star's impending return and the realization that if I finish writing, I have to go back - combined with a still disorganized house and wireless internet - was too much for me to deal with.

So I packed up the furkids and drove to my parents' place in Indiana: The Land of Dial-up, Sunshine, Good Food, and Good Company. It also helped that some dear friends were in town and it was 4-H Fair Week. 'Cos y'all know that, even though I was punk rock 'n stuff in high school, I was still a 10-year 4-H member. And ran for Fair Queen. Word.

The 4-H and Open Class exhibit buildings were full of lots of great projects. Being Indiana, there were some big beautiful corn specimens.
Grand Champions

Although Cake Decorating had some professional-level projects...
Big, Beautiful Cakes

...this little cake stole my heart.
The Cake the Speaks to my Heart

Despite some hidden Knox County talent, I'm so sick at how few textile projects there were that I can't even talk about it. I mean a pair of elastic waistband pants WON THE OPEN CLASS GRAND CHAMPION!

Moving on.

After K and yours truly - the snarky hometown girl - finished rejudging all the exhibits, we were famished and stopped by the Pork Producers' booth for some food, but it was already CLOSED!
Pork Producers

So we stopped by the Sandborn Lion's Club booth for some pizza from Jim and Amy's in Bicknell - quite possibly the most perfect piece of pie you will ever get. Mine was loaded with pork, of course.

Jim and Amy's Pizza

Then it was off to the animal barns. We ran into a kid that I babysat when I was a kid. He is now t w e n t y and his younger sister was a candidate for Fair Queen.

So the Circle of Life continues.


PS - I just returned to cable-fast-modem. And Rock Star is coming home Sunday morning. So I probably won't catch up with you for a little while. But I hope you're all well.

Clean Machine

The spare room was really getting me down all summer. We basically threw everything in it and shut the door.
Princess Room Before
This is just a small sample of how horrible it was.

I decided to 'get medieval' on its ass.
Clean Machine

I traded the desk and the dining room table, which we were looking to replace anyway. It is much much bigger - perfect for computing and crafting. Hey, it's big enough to do both at the same time!
Princess Room, Clean (sort of)

See that sewing machine to the left? No? It's masquerading as a printer stand. It's Allegra's. She gave it to me when she moved to a smaller place. I love it, and I will tell you why at another time.

The room was pink, suitable for princesses when we moved in. We hate it. We are talking about painting it chocolate. I'm hoping we can incorporate my latest purchase into the design scheme.

Future of Princess Room?

It is the new Belle by Amy Butler, in Sun Glow. I totally used my babysitting money to get it.

Now please excuse me. I have to go and pet it a little more.

Jul 21, 2006

I am dying laughing

The Bush Pilot is brilliant (thanks, Twisty).

In other news, I'm making these flowers. And writing.

Everlasting Love

Have a nice weekend.

Jul 19, 2006

WTF Wednesday, 1st Edition

WTF 1.2: Leaf Detail

Thanks in advance for playing.

Jul 16, 2006

Mmmmmm, socky...

It's hot in the Monkey House, so I've been making socks lately. They do not sit on one's lap, making one all hotter and stickier, so they are perfect July knitting. You've seen the bottom sock before, but the yarn for the top sock was dyed by Big Geek Beth. Isn't it fun?
Dye-O-Rama Socks

This summer is all about making knee socks for myself to wear under my boots. Those Hue ones are cute, and you can sometimes find 'em fer cheap, but my feet get COLD in the winter.

I'm casting on my first Jaywalker with Sunshine Yarns 'Beach Day.' I really love the colors.
Beach Day

I know I'm probably doing something really stupid, but does anyone have any advice about the ribbing at the top of the socks? It's way too tight - on both of the completed socks - and the last thing I need to do is lose my legs to hypothermia and cut-off circulation this winter. I've just done a simple purlwise bind-off so far.

Beth and I went to a party last night at her friend Josie's place - Josie is an awesome crocheter and just got a book deal! It's scheduled to be released in March and is called In the Loop. You can see her designs at Weird Mirror in the meantime. The Spiderweb Skirt is making me seriously consider picking up the hook again.

A couple of posts ago, lots of (okay, two) people asked about the labels in my handbags. I ordered them from Heirloom Labels in NJ a year or two ago. They only have a few canned designs, but they are less expensive than some other companies that I've considered. I really like the end result and, if I recall correctly, they came pretty quickly. Also, Moe? I mail order the Amy Butler fabric for best selection and most efficient use of my time. I think I got those pieces from Crafty Planet last year.

Other recent highlights:

* We got the Tom Waits tickets (Please don't be too jealous, Jaichan - maybe he'll need to pick up some money from someone in Canada someday)!

* Because I am still Rock Star-less, I am still quite grumpy. Also, it's going to be eleventeen million degrees here for the next few days so I bought an AC from Home Depot that I could actually afford AND carry. I installed it and everything, but now we're in lock-down mode and Teak and Barley just keep sitting too close to and snapping at each other.

* I still have no job. I get super-pissed after a decent interview and I find that people want to pay me little more than what I was making 8 years and 1, almost 2, degrees ago. I keep applying for things that look interesting but I no longer get excited about it. Why can't HR people see that I ROCK?!

* I still have no dissertation, but I'm working on that.

* The raspberries in the back yard are ripening. Here's a snap of our first harvest:
First raspberries

* It's only 4:00 and Barley thinks it's time to eat. It IS NOT TIME YET!
Is it time yet?!

* Thank you SO MUCH for all your recent comments on my work - they make me blush a little.

* I'm still catching up on all y'all's lives. Maybe it will happen this week, maybe it won't. Rest assured it will... someday.
I will EAT you!

Jul 13, 2006


Nicked from Beth.

Jul 6, 2006

Amy Butler WIP

One of the best things about finally moving into our place is that I've been reunited with Stitch (my sewing machine) and all my fun fabric.

I am nearly finished with another Amy Butler sewing project. I still need to add the handle, clip some threads, and give it another good steam.



The problems with Stitch are a lot worse. Does anyone in the Chicago area know of a great place to take a basic Singer for a serious but inexpensive tune-up? I would greatly appreciate any advice you could offer.

PS- I just started an 'Amy Butler fans' group on Flickr. If you sew or are planning to sew with her fabrics or patterns, please join!


I hope you didn't think I was bragging in my last post. I was just amazed, given that I just moved from a neighborhood in which we were robbed, drug deals routinely happened a few houses away, I had a scary white trash neighbor (eek, anonymous, I know what your friends are going through in Lake Co), and I sometimes worried that a group of junior high girls would jump me for my iPod.


I went south with the Insane Clown Posse this weekend to spend the holiday with my parents and brother and new SIL. I didn't take any knitting. Because I was going to write. I think y'uns can guess how that worked out so I won't spell it out for you.

We had a great time. Our grandmother and aunts and uncles and cousins came over and the day was hot. My beautiful cousin hung out under a tree and read while the rest of us were swimming.
Summer Day

Barley had a bath and found a big stick...
Big Stick

...and even Teak was able to spend some time outdoors. After getting a bath, that is.

We were also able to go to central Illinois to see my great-aunt and uncle who, in their 70s and 80s, still run their jewelry store.

It was very joyful during the days in southern Indiana, but night is when the ghosts come out. We've lost some key members of our family in the past few years - to death or Alzheimers or just changing relationships and we all tend to get nostalgic. I remain grateful that we have each other.


Jul 1, 2006

I live in a nice neighborhood

I'm declaring an Independence Day for myself this weekend and logging off.

Before I go, I have to tell you this story. I was just outside mowing the front yard thinking 'wow, I'm surprised I haven't been ticketed for this weedy mess yet' when this guy approaches me with his baby from across the street. I'm thinking 'oh shit, what is he going to harrass me about?' and he introduced himself and his child to me.

To welcome me to the neighborhood.

Go figure.