Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Is Birthday!!

Is Twenty-Nine:


Is Thinky:

Three Day Weekend Productivity

Is Cute:

Huh?  We not doin' noffin....

Is Scared of Bad Dreams:

OMG!  I hads a bad dreem!

Is Sleepy:


Is Kinda Pervy:

Three Day Weekend Productivity

Is Last Day of Sale!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sale PSA for Sewing People (Plus A Bit Of News That Affects No One, Not Even Me, Really)

First up, if you're a sewing type, want to let you know that JoAnn's Fabric chain has a sale going over the Memorial Day Weekend - Simplicity patterns are 5 for $5. Since they're usually in the $14 - $17 range each, a buck a piece is a pretty damned good deal. (Vogue patterns are $3.99 each also, even the fancy designer ones that are usually $25 - $30. So yeah, now's a good time to stock up on Issey Miyake and Badgley Mischka patterns. Hellooo!)

I picked up a tidbit today courtesy of some Myspace wanderings - my ex is married now. And all I can say about that is: Hurray!! Jason and I were engaged for about a year, and we split up, for the best, close to four years ago. I haven't spoken to or run into him in quite a long time, but I really couldn't think of a negative thing to say about the guy - he may feel differently about me, who knows - but he was genuinely a good and kind person with a lot of great qualities and talents. To know that his story since me is a happy one, full of love, that thrills me. Not that I think his whole world would have ended after me, obviously, but I'm glad there doesn't appear to have been a lot of disaster between then and now - the girl he married is the first girl he dated after we split...and I, of course, married Travis, who was the first person I dated! Isn't it awesome to know that the "rebound" girl and guy worked out for each of us! I really do love a happy ending. Congratulations, Jason, truly.

Friday, May 23, 2008


First, thanks everyone for all the kind words, comments, emails - I appreciate the support, sympathy, and kindness. I'm feeling a little less worn down now, and I got a good amount of sleep last weekend, which helped a bit...

So let's talk sewing stuff. I wanted to make a pretty summery skirt to wear to my best friend's shower, so I stayed up late on Friday night working myself to a frenzy (because that's really what I needed just then, to stay up until 1:00 a.m. sewing...) When it was all over, it was .... well, pretty terrible. I wore jeans to the shower, 'kay? Then, because I couldn't bear that I'd ruined such a large amount of pretty Amy Butler fabric, I cut it down, removed the zipper and the most offensive portion of the skirt (an extended contrasting waistband that SO did not work out the way Butterick or God had intended) and hacked away at it until I had this:

My first garment (in years anyway)

It didn't turn out half-bad, for a slapdash hack job. The finishing leaves something to be desired, and I had to cheat a lot - my hem is pretty atrocious, because I couldn't fold it under or it would be just *thismuch* too short. The length here is exactly right. Another half inch and I would have hated it.

Part of getting the length right involved making this a little more low-slung than most of my skirts are. Borderline obscene, really.

My super-low-slung skirt

I wore it to work on Wednesday, though, and got several compliments on it. (I also got to share a lot of information with a lot of people on the street at lunchtime - it was, uh, kind of a windy day. As my skirt blew up over my freaking head and I showed my panties to the entire world, I thought, "NOOOO!!! These seams look AWFUL! Everyone can see them!!" Fun little TMI sidenote to that story - discovered that night as I got ready for bed that I'd been wearing my underpants inside out. God I hate it when that happens. Wonder if anyone noticed. Hey, wasn't that an extra-special glimpse into my life?)

Okay, so anyway. About that shower:

Jessi's shower

It was a blast. I got to make Jessi wear a plastic foam bra molded into parrots. There aren't many occasions where I get to whip out a parrot bra, at least in my life, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity. (It was a lot of fun anyway, parrots notwithstanding.) We celebrated our birthdays too, by spoiling each other rotten to the best of our abilities. (She won. She always does. I got some crazy awesome stuff. In a related note, the book Organic Kitchen rocks.)

I made a purse too, the Amy Butler Frenchy bag - a pattern I selected mainly based on the fact that I rabidly wanted to sew a purse and, well, it was the only Amy Butler pattern the shop had. I'm choosy like that.

Frenchy purse

I love the fabric - the lining is a camel-coloured woven like the brown used for the top of the bag. I would love to tell you what the fabric is, but I have no earthly idea. I'll have to check it out at the sewing shop on Saturday.

I also made a bigass tote bag for my best friend for her honeymoon:

Tote bag

Along with a handy carrying pouch for it:

Button pouch for tote

And a little lined zippy pouch to go with, for carrying wallet/ID/passport, all that stuff one might need on a honeymoon:

zippered pouch

So yep, that's what I've been up to. Lotta sewing. (Kitten photos, I know, I know - I'll get around to it, I swear!)

Guess what? Travis is on Ravelry now. :-D

Hey, so my birthday is on Wednesday the 28th - I only point it out because it seemed like a good time for a sale. I want people to buy stuff from my shop so I have money to buy myself presents. Generous of me, ain't it? Heh. So anyway, everything in the shop is 15% off between now and Wednesday. (Prices haven't been changed - revised invoices are easier.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Coming Clean

We need to have a talk.

Clearly, I've not been as bloggy as usual these past few months - semi-monthly posts with not very exciting content abound. Truth is, I'm kind of tired. Not of blogging, per se, but there's a lot going on and it's hard for me to put on the whole happy bloggy show. For some period of time now, I've been putting up an inordinately cheery front for the benefit of those around me while increasingly defending myself against questions as to what I did or didn't do, or was perceived to have done or not done. I'm exhausted, wearing down, and retreating more and more - for the past several weeks I've done little else than drive to the bus stop, get to work, get back on the bus, drive back home, and then hide there until the next time the bus is scheduled to leave. I've allowed myself to be dragged from the house precious little. Plus, the trouble with being an empath is that when someone close is upset or losing sleep, so am I - which of course then leads me to struggle with being available to others. And the other trouble with being an empath is that the "but this is nothing - think how bad it is for, say, the people of Dujiangyan in China - you're really lucky!" argument only serves to upset things further by promoting an emotional response on that mess.

All this is not to elicit responses of sympathy or offers of support - I know they're out there and I appreciate them all - nor is it to point a one's responsible for my current state, much of which is self-inflicted by my own nature. The purpose of this is to offer some form of explanation to anyone who wonders why I don't post, why I don't comment, why I don't call, why I don't respond to a comment or an email or two or six. I've been making lots of excuses because I hate to admit that maybe I'm just a little worn down for interaction at this point. Failure to be a friend is really never excusable, but as much as is possible, I'll hope you'll forgive me my absence or my distance.

And if I'm not blogging, it's for fairly good reason - the only thing worse than having to listen to someone bitch endlessly is having to listen to them fake a sunny disposition to try to cover up how much they'd like to bitch endlessly.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rectangles, Unsupervised:

So since it seems like all my knitting projects will be under wraps for a while, I'll make sure to do some sewing projects I can show off. I know you may not read this for the sewing, but I gotta give up something for viewing!

I've been working on my rectangles. My pillowcase remains alone, and I've moved on to other kinds of rectangles. Some I'll share later, to keep things spread out, but for now, let's see.

We have rectangles with zippers:

Zipper Pouch

And with lining rectangles, too! I used this tutorial to sew this little pouch, using a Japanese fabric obtained from this shop, and a simple cotton lining fabric from a local shop. Once I had it down, whipping one of these up took about 30 minutes, if that, so I made up a few.

The project I'm most proud of from this weekend, though, is my pleated rectangle:


With a tiny trimmed rectangle for pocket! And another tiny rectangle for towel loop! (Which is purely for show, because if I DID have the forethought necessary to thread a towel through that loop before I started my cooking, before the day was out I would inevitably light it on fire while hanging over the oven.)

This one came complete with long skinny rectangles at the back:


I'm way excited about this apron - I love the fabrics (Heather Bailey Freshcut with matching solid cotton trim, from a local shop) and the pattern, from Amy Butler's In Stitches. (Yeah, are her patterns crazy-specific or what??)


I have a shop recommendation - Elm Studios Online makes the cutest little dishes, plates, and keepsakes. But wait, there's more!

awww ... stupid post office

This is what my unfortunate-but-lovely plate looked like when it got to me. This is not for lack of trying on Elm's part - the plate was wrapped in tissue, then bubble wrap, then nestled in shredded paper. It was simply the box - stamped fragile, mind you - that could not withstand the severe drop kicking the postal service gave it (seriously, do you SEE that box?? How much do they hate small boxes, to treat them like this?) I emailed the seller just to let her know, and within minutes she had sent me a message apologizing profusely and offering to ship a replacement immediately. Sweet! Her prices are unbeatable, her items are adorable, and her customer service is AWESOME! Big fat recommend!


And now, a Kitten Update:

Corrie says hi again, this time with her eyes open!


(I know it looks like I'm squeezing her to death, but I'm only keeping a loose hold on her - she's really just that tiny!)

And Rambouillet is thrilled she had babies. They make good pillows.

Glad I had kittens...

Reno's all, "Ooof!! Mama! Whatchou doin'??? Gitoff!!"

Friday, May 09, 2008

Weekend Update

I feel like I left everyone hanging. It's been almost a week! Let me start by wishing a Happy Mother's Day to those of you who have ever been a mother or had a mother. And for those of you who have not, I'll say, "What the hell...?"

Kitten Status: Excellent. They're fat and adorable, and Corrie's eyes are opening (she is also damn loud - I think she's part Celine Dion). I was almost certainly correct in estimating Reno at "male" - there appear to be sprouting little indicators to confirm that...

Best Friend's Wedding Status: Imminent. The shower is May 17, and I'm very excited about that. The bachelorette party - a long weekend in Key West, woot! - is also imminent, and I'm even more excited about that! TEQUILA!!!

Sewing Status: Progressing. I started an apron in Tuesday night's class. I'm probably too excited on that note, so let's move on before I start espousing my incredible gift for pinning paper to fabric and making stitches in a (mostly) straight line. (I'm also a mean seam presser-outer, but really, I don't want to brag.)

Aging Status: Unabated. I'm approaching my 29th birthday - I can't believe it's that far into the year already - and birthdays normally have little effect on me, but 29.... That's the age my mom was when she had me, man. After 29 comes 30, which I'm not dreading or anything, but the 30s are when I have to stop being a big old selfish baby and start thinking about growing up and doing that whole family thing. (Don't I make it sound like that would be the worst thing ever? Of course I'm anxious to expand our family - but I'm maybe not looking forward to giving up all that couch time.)

Knitting Status: Secret. I'm afraid I won't have much to offer here for the next couple of months. I've received some intriguing emails and contacts, and so I'm going to be working on some things. (Yep, vague. Sorry, that's the best I can do.)

Wool Festival Status: Approaching overkill. We've booked our trip to Colorado in June for Estes Park - I'm very excited about that because I'll get to pal around with Kristi for several days, yay! - and I've made the arrangements for lodging for Taos Wool in October. Add to that the ever-present North Carolina SAFF at the end of October, plus a possible detour to Rhinebeck if the money holds up (I'm hopeful but not entirely optimistic, we'll see), and it's going to be a wooly few months!

Good News Status: Middling at best. Unfortunately, there have been two very tragic turns of events in lives of two friends. One I wouldn't really want to talk about, but the other - a good friend from high school, and my best friend's bridesmaid, is a horse trainer in Kentucky (yes, again with Kentucky - I'm not kidding) and was thrown on Wednesday. She broke her back - fractured a vertabrae, and while she's expected to recover, surgery is up in the air right now. (My husband said, "Oh God, she's not paralyzed is she?" and I responded, "No, she's..." And suddenly it hit me. Oh God, she could have been paralyzed. But she wasn't. Thank you Jeebus for that blessing.) So for the next few months, we'll be trying to talk Bekah into a nice desk job post-recovery. (She loves her job. I'm so glad she loves her job. But dammit, I'd rather she be unhappy at work and still walking around, like the rest of us are.) Please send thoughts and prayers and energy for a speedy recovery (and a "surgery won't be necessary" diagnosis) in the direction of Kentucky.

Oh, and by the way: Kentucky? F**k you. I've had about enough of your crap.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Say Hi, Corrie!


Corriedale, by the way, in the unlikely event that she turns out to be a he, will then be called "Dale". Reno's name works either way.

Reno and Corrie

I got a few good pictures of the kids while Rams was eating. She's happy to let me play with them, but when she hears a "mew" she does run over to make sure I'm not doing anything wrong. She's a good parenting coach!

So all the "fun" I had dyeing fibers last week translated to a shop update today, with merino, superwash, and optim. Here are some favourites:

Salsa Infierno Truly Outrageous Rumplestiltskin
Visit the shop for more.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The New Brood

Rambouillet + 2

Here's the new family! The kittens spend most of their time nursing, of course, so it's hard to get pictures of them. The tortie, especially, is quite the little hider, so it's tough to capture her. The black kitty is pretty photogenic though:

Little Merino

See, isn't he cute?! Eyes aren't open yet, as is the norm, but the little guys are already pretty good at makin' noise!

Here's Rams and the elder kitten on his birthday, last night:

Rambouillet + Merino

I don't actually KNOW that it's a boy, obviously, but it's just what I figure. Also, we did pick out names. Rambouillet's kittens are Reno (the black/white) and Corrie (the tortie). Well, those are their nicknames.

Reno, for Merino. Corrie, for Corriedale. When referring to both kittens together? We just say Cormo.


My own cleverness amuses me infinitely. (And I managed to name three cats after FOUR sheep!)

Rambouillet + Merino

"Four?! Wait, what? I'm DONE with the kittens, right?? Oh....I get what you mean. Whew."

Update on Rambouillet & Co.

We have two kittens! FIFTEEN HOURS LATER.

I'm on NO SLEEP. We were calling two different vets, plus my friend - the vets voted that I leave her the hell alone - I might have been stressing her out by poking her every few minutes - and said we should take her to the emergency room if there wasn't anything by 11:00. My friend voted that if Rams was breathing fast and shallow but didn't seem in distress or anything, that she was just in labor, to just wait and let her do her thing and take her to the vet in the morning if there wasn't anything. Since her suggestion sounded cheaper and more reasonable (if Rams is still purring and rubbing on our faces, she can't be all that miserable and stressed out,) we waited until this morning, but still no kitten.

Travis took her to the vet - it is definitely my turn to miss work next time - and they did an x-ray to check positioning and everything, said it looked normal and the kitten was moving, but Rams wasn't pushing. I think most likely it's just that she's just so young and she really wasn't sure what to do. They gave her a shot of something to speed things along....nothing happened....they said they'd give another shot and wait, and if nothing happened, they may have to do a C-section (on a cat, ohmychristexpensive). Fortunately, as Travis was wrapping up to go to work - they told him no point in waiting, and he really can't afford to miss much time right now - the tech came running out and said the second one just came along. FIFTEEN HOURS between kittens. AND! I WASN'T THERE!! What a little brat she is. But I'm proud of her - poor thing is probably completely exhausted, I can't wait to see her and give her some major snuggles. All kinds of great news: no c-section, and the vet didn't even charge for the x-rays, they only charged for the emergency visit (no appointment, obviously) and the shots, so we got out of there for well under a hundred bucks, God bless 'em. Yay, second kitten with no surgery, healthy mama, and a reasonable bill! Best elevenmonthiversary gift EVER! (Today we've been married eleven months, by the way.)

And I'm guessing the father is the fluffy black-and-white wandering around - I was rooting for either him or the orange cat, and rooting hard against the aptly-named wanderer we call Fuggo. The new baby is a tortoiseshell like her momma. I can't wait to get home and get pictures - more updates soon!

Yay, happy healthy Friday to all! May your weekend too be filled with mewing and tiny kittens. :-D

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What A Good Girl

ETA: 7:00 a.m., 13 hours since birth of Kitten #1 and no sign of another kitten, plus she's still breathing a little fast and shallow, so she's off to the vet. Updates when we know more.

Rambouillet's birthing center

Waited until the new camera arrived AND had the first one moments before I got home! So I didn't really miss anything.

Kitten #1

Well, okay. I'm missing a second kitten. I am currently FREAKING. OUT. She had the first one at about 6:00 p.m., and it's now 10:30 and still no "second kitten". According to the vet's x-ray, there should be two. We're monitoring her for a while, and we'll take her to the vet if deemed necessary. (We have spoken multiple times with the emergency vet, our regular vet, and my friend the total cat expert, so don't worry that we're stumbling through this advice-less....if you get my drift....)

Rambouillet with Kitten #1

She seems pretty chill about the whole thing. And damn if that ain't one adorable little kitten.

There may be little in the way of sleep....