Monday, December 7, 2009


The in-laws are sending us to Hawaii!  Back in a week or so :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Book fair!

Earlier this month we had the book fair at the Museum of Printing History.  Here's me with my offerings:

Regular readers may recognize some of these books, especially my two miniature books in the left corner.  (Those went quickly.)

The little books in the middle, in the neon covers, are tiny staple-bound notebooks; I find them useful, and usually have one in my purse or wallet, but they didn't sell, at a dollar each.

All three of these ones went, though.  All I have left is a few of the Florentine-paper ones, and one with Rome on it that I forgot to bring but that (see post below) is now destined for the perfect sister-in-law.

Much fun!  My second fair, not as exciting as the first (because I spent all of 3 weeks making things, rather than a few months like last year, so didn't have much variety or any of the little earrings which sold so well last year), but still a very good time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas List

Oooh, stuff to make!

-Mother: (she might someday come here, so it's a secret!)

-Father: that's always one I'm stuck on, as he's sometimes difficult and doesn't pretend well if he's not sure he likes something.  He may get a hat, like the rest of the men.  Or a last-minute book buy, as has sometimes happened.  I normally come across something great for him (old scouting book from the used book store, or, one year, a gizmo that turns your Nalgene bottle into a French press coffee maker!), so we'll wait and see.

-Grandmother: Sewing caddy, from pattern here.  And, as she's got fragile skin, lotion, like every year.  Perhaps someone's handmade lotion off of Etsy -- I can make lotion myself, but, well, I'm not very good yet, and... see fragility of skin, as mentioned.  Not good.

-Grandfather: Perhaps some of these.  He loves Churchill.

-Sister: (she might actually check this blog, so it's a secret!  But at least two homemade things.)

-Brother: Shaving kit (from pattern here) and perhaps also skull hat (from pattern here)

-Aunt who likes things made for her: Sewing caddy, as well.  And perhaps a tea wallet, as she's always on the go.  There's a zillion patterns out there, and I've got tons of scraps.

-Aunt who doesn't appreciate most things made for her: something purchased (perhaps purchased from someone else who's made something?)  (I'd skip her altogether, but she *gives* very nice gifts -- that's my only "obligation"-style gift.  Everyone else is a joy; last year I made her a little pillow, though, which did please her and was a joy to make.)

-Uncle who likes food: food :)

-Uncle who likes things made for him: oooh don't know yet -- perhaps another book, although I did make him a day planner last year.  But he's always super-appreciative of any homemade gifts, no matter how awful (he's a schoolteacher, which might help!), so he's a joy to give things to.

-Girl cousins, and the teacher uncle's girlfriend: Rae's Buttercup Bag, in various colors (there are 4 girl cousins)

-Boy cousins: skull hat, as above

-Perfect sister-in-law: coptic-bound book with map of Rome on the covers, as she's going to Italy with her family (may toss in one similar for perfect sister-in-law's little sister)

-Sister's husband (for some reason, I think of him that way, and think of my husband's brother as the brother-in-law): a secret, purchased from the Small Object (we get each other tiny things each year -- last year I made him a head cover for a golf club, and they got Himself a Texans hat)

-Brother-in-law: Don't know, but I got some lovely brownish variegated yarn that I may make into a hat.

-In-laws: no idea.  Worked for years on their last present -- think I'll just leave it to their son to buy them something this year! 

-Himself: perhaps a sweater (the back's done!), perhaps a gym membership -- we'll see.  And, if I can figure it out, a scrub hat with the Texans logo on it.

And some of my melt and pour soap for everyone (Himself won't let me play with lye, so all I can do is melt and pour or refashioned "hand-milled" soaps).  In flower shapes and floral scents for the girls, in herbal or otherwise manly cubes for the guys.

One skull hat
most/all of the Buttercup Bags
book for perfect sister-in-law (well, nearly complete - just needs to be sewn, which takes no time at all)
part (each) of what mother and sister are getting
Sister's husband's gift
as mentioned, back of Himself's sweater
soap :)

And to think, some people want my family to go to a one-gift-for-someone-out-of-a-hat scheme (and I *know* I'll draw the difficult aunt!).  They can do it if they want (they usually complain about having to spend money (because they feel bad if they haven't spent a certain amount per person), or feeling guilty when other people give them things), but I get such joy out of making things for other people that I'm not going to let their psychological hangups or financial guilt trips deprive me of that!

One easy solution for someone who's anti-materialism (but unwilling or unable to make things for everyone), financially straightened, and also feeling obligated to have something for everyone, is to do what one good woman I know did once with "teacher gifts" for her child's school -- gave a donation to the Heifer Project in the name of the teachers of the school (all together) and then gave each teacher a card (which she prints herself, using Greetings Workshop) saying, "a gift has been made in your name to the Heifer Project," etc.  I see no reason why it couldn't similarly be done for "The Smith Family," with cards for each.  Print them yourself, costs no more than the cost of the ink and paper, and with good enough paper you'd never know the difference.  (I'm always surprised at the stores -- $4.50 for a simple card?)  Then you've done something good for someone else, haven't spent more than you could afford to ($50 for many charities will do much more good and bring more joy than $15 each to a dozen family members!), haven't given things they probably wouldn't like very much to people who don't need anything, and got rid of gift-giving obligations in a way that the people you give the cards to are obliged to act pleased about!  (And many of them would be, in fact.) Also, if you're making things but stuck for ideas, there are other one-size-fits-all ideas -- cookie-mix- or tea-mix-in-a-jar all around, or (like me with the cousins) one gift for all the girls, one for all the boys, or (as my mother used to do when there was a bumper crop of berries, which there hasn't been for a few years) a jar or two of homemade jelly all around.  If your friends don't appreciate it, your friends don't need gifts.  If your family doesn't appreciate it, too bad.  They're your family, and they know you and your views on things, so they should be happy that you think they're worth any effort at all!  (Well, minor hypocrisy here: if there's someone in your family who doesn't appreciate it, but is a REALLY good gift giver (like the aunt above), it might be worth it to buy something for that person!  But, in general, rule holds.)

As for me, I have to make things, and don't have much success selling the things, so it's good for me to have the opportunity to give them away!  I'm easily pleased, so I love everything I get in return (and usually my favorite gift ends up being something a teenage cousin picked up for fifty cents at a flea market), but I don't keep a tally on who gives and who doesn't, and I don't mind at all if you don't give me anything -- so long as you allow me to give you something!

What's on your list?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marshmallow Utility

Before my current job, I was a high school economics teacher.  I like to think that I was a fun one, too.  We did in-class exercises to help illustrate basic economics principles, and my students seemed to enjoy those days just as much as they days we watched educational videos (the days when I had to have one-on-one progress talks with each student). 

My favorite exercise was teaching the students about marginal utility -- a lesson I called "Marshmallow Utility."  To their credit, the students remembered the name, and whenever marginal utility came up on a test they could identify it. 


The big kind of marshmallows works best, as it has an effect faster.  Bring several bags.

I lined up several volunteers at the front of the class, and had them plot their happiness (after consuming zero marshmallows) on the blackboard. 

Fed each one a large marshmallow, and then had them plot their happiness again.  Everyone's went up.

Fed each one another large marshmallow, and had them plot their happiness (general sense of well-being, etc.) on the board.

Repeated several times.

For all except one girl (who absconded with the rest of the bags after class!), each student reached a point at which one more marshmallow made them feel a bit worse, whether from over-saturation or from dietary concerns. 

That, I explained, is marginal - or marshmallow - utility.  How much happier will one more marshmallow make you?  For all except the marshmallow-lover, the first additional marshmallow caused a big jump in happiness, the next few increasingly smaller jumps in happiness, and eventually an additional marshmallow causes a loss in happiness.  Similarly, if you're a supermarket, the first cash register makes things much better, an additional cash register makes things quite a bit better, the seventeenth cash register makes things very slightly better ... and eventually you reach a point where adding another cash register doesn't solve check-out problems but instead makes it so crowded it's hard to get your carts out the door.  If you've got a restaurant, one more helper in the kitchen is great, two is even better, fifteen means you're always tripping over each other.  Something massive, though, could be the equivalent of my marshmallow-lover -- if you're trying to pick up all the trash on the entire Pacific coast, for example, you have to go a very long way before the marginal utility of one more worker becomes negative. 

Lesson?  Keep eating marshmallows until it would be detrimental to chow down on another one.  Keep adding workers until the marginal utility of one more worker is less than the marginal cost of that worker.  (If I'd charged the students a nickel a marshmallow, they should keep buying marshmallows as long as they got at least five cents worth of pleasure out of each marshmallow.)

Economics is fun :) and tasty!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Baby Blanket

Things on the schedule to do today:
Wash dishes
Clean kitchen surfaces
Clean up the tiny bits of kitty litter the little cat leaves on the carpet
Go to grocery
Make dinner
Debate tonight's plans
Change sheets
Make many books
Do some stuff for work
Clean the man-cave (overflowing with my stuff as well as his)

Things done today:
Wash dishes
Go to grocery (but forgot list, and forgot plans, and wasn't hungry, so got only milk and have no dinner plans)
Made one book (just like the Martini Record below, so no photos)
Made two self-binding baby blankets from the pattern here

One entire department at work is expecting -- 2 people, one pregnant herself, one with a pregnant wife. Due at the same time. (That department will be useless in a few months!) I figured, with Christmas and everything coming up, I wouldn't get something knitted in time, so I whipped out two flannel blankets -- figured the blue edging (which is also the back) and the yellow flowers make it unisex enough -- one's a girl, and one's to-be-announced. The pattern's really enjoyable, very fast, and the geometry of it suits my mathematical brain. Hope the parents-to-be like them!

Of course, that means I'm very behind in inventory for the book fair next weekend, and the house isn't clean, and I have no plans for dinner (speaking of which, I love the name of the blog "Things to make instead of dinner"), or whether or not we're going to an office party tonight (heh - Himself is coming straight from work, so he could go as a doctor!), and I haven't done anything for work....

Well, that's the way things go around here!
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Thursday, October 29, 2009


I made these oaty-cakes from Simple Up the other day. Figured I'd better take a picture of the last two before they were all gone! My only difference was (as you can tell) using a heart-shaped cookie cutter. They are somewhat granola-bar-ish, so I think I'll make them again with perhaps some honey, or peanut butter, or dried cranberries mixed in, cut them into ovals, and call them granola bars. Really very excellent -- a bit dangerous (eat over a plate!), but not too sweet, not too dry, not too anything but irresistible.

And aren't my plates sweet? They're the "Flower Shop" Nick and Nora pattern (which I can't find online anywhere), and each size of dish is a different pattern. Got them at a resale shop where I was volunteering -- I fell in love with them, and that was that. Meant I didn't have to register for dishes when we got married! At some point, I plan to paint our "great room" in the yellow tint you see at the top right corner.

So: Oaty-cakes: very good! Go, make some!
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Martini Record

What do you think - make a journal of interesting mixed drink recipes?

The paper entertains me. The insides are standard linen resume paper, hand-torn, very nice.

Sewn with waxed linen thread.
Zooming in on these two pictures (shadows heightened in the lower one), you can see the difference in the sewing -- this book was sewn with single-needle coptic style sewing; the florentine book below was two-needle sewing, and I think it looks a lot more even.

Tutorials, of course, can be found through the links at TJBookarts' website.
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New book

I had fun with this one, my first two-needle coptic-bound book. I used a lovely florentine-style (maybe actually florentine -- it's "made in Italy"!) paper for the outside, and a Japanese print on the inside.

Plain blue copy paper matches nicely.

If you zoom in on the picture below, you can make out my stitches. I think it looks a lot better than single-needle coptic, but it's more of a pain (especially as I have only one curved needle, and had to do the other straight!). Pink cotton thread. These colors make me happy!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Brief notes

Oddly unable to find time to post lately, although I can find time for other things...

But just wanted to say:

This skull hat is awesome, totally making one for my teenage cousin.

And, See Mommy Sew is giving away fun scrappy bits -- and Between the Lines has cards! and beautiful things!

That's all -- the husband's on the night shift for a week, so I should be able to get stuff done, photograph it, and publish it!  (Now my 15 mins are up, so back to work!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


A few years ago, I typed up all the letters my grandparents wrote each other in the early 1940s (when he was at West Point, she was in Houston or NYC, and they were dating/engaged).  (More on that at some other time.)  One of the more entertaining bits to me was when she wrote of her excitement that her office had purchased air conditioning, and that it would be turned on between 1 and 4 pm in the summer. 

I have a few coworkers who don't have air conditioning.  (I live in Houston, if you've missed that.)  I've lived in India, where air conditioning is rare and it's often 90 degrees at night and humid, but with good ventilation and a fan it's not bad, except when there's a power cut and your fan gives out.  (I've also lived in England, where there was once a news story on TV on how possibly one could manage to sleep when the temperature only got down to 70 degrees at night -- however, they mostly don't have fans and mostly don't/can't open their windows, so I can imagine it might be a bit suffocating at times.)  Last September, after the hurricane, most of us went two weeks or so with no electricity.  Not bad, inconvenient, but not bad.  (Yes, if you depend for your life on electronic medical equipment, bad.  For most of us, not bad.) 

Why am I thinking of this?  Someone was just yammering on about how it should be mandatory for the City to provide free air conditioning to everyone in town, because it's a necessity of life and it's a basic human right. 

When did we get so soft?

There was one interview on TV after Hurricane Rita a few years back, where the reporter asked a fellow how he was managing to survive with no air conditioning.  His response?  "I haven't got it anyhow, so it doesn't bother me!"

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rigid Heddle Mats

I made these two mats a while back on my rigid heddle loom.  I used the Sugar and Cream yarn, which I love -- it's the same yarn as in the star blanket I made a while back.   It was just a simple weave, not trying to get any fancy patterns at all (although I did have fun with my graph paper plotting out how to warp it to get fancy patterns in plain weave).  Overall, I'm pretty pleased.  I didn't weave in the ends when changing colors, as it really bulked up where it duplicated (the yarn's so thick), and I figured I'd have to do something with the edges anyhow, as I'm not yet overly steady on the tension at the edges. 

You can't really tell from these pictures, but this one (that I made first) is longer than the other.  They were intended to be placemats, but I didn't measure properly when warping on, so one's placemat-shaped, and the other's squarish.  I realized when switching that there wasn't enough yarn, so left only a very small gap for fringing in between the two.  I think I may just zigzag over it on the machine to hold the fringe in place, rather than knotting ... any opinions on that?

Not bad for functionally a beginner, though, right?

(I did do several pieces 15 years or so ago, all with some sort of scratchy earth-toned stuff that I've seen in weaving shops since ... I prefer non-scratchy finished products, so I prefer working with things like this.)
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wine-colored dress

What I want:

Alison Sweeney's dress tonight on the Biggest Loser.  A-line, funky sleeves, nifty low-cut-ness, and wine colored.  Absolutely gorgeous.  I have tomorrow morning off of work... I have no money, but perhaps I might go to Target or something to see if there's something like that somewhere... No image, because there's not one online yet (heck, the show's still on!)... my second ever twitter search (first: to see if I was the only one having Blogger troubles or not a few days back) was to see if anyone else mentioned her dress; seems (so far at least) that nobody has.  Perhaps I'm crazy.

This is an excellent color, though:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bright and girly Emmeline apron

I just love making these.  The instructions are simple, I get to play with fabric and colors, and it's such a lovely finished project.  I hate photographing them, though -- it never turns out right.  I iron them, and they look great to the naked eye, but the photograph makes them look wrinkled, or uneven, or something.  And my mother's dress form sure looks busty! 

At least here you get true colors:

Both Jo-Ann prints.  The accent color/sash is a yellow with tiny white butterflies on it, picking up on the butterflies in the hot pink.  I need to get an up-close picture of the decorative stitching I did across the top band, but this is one finished project with which I am very pleased!

In other news, my list of unread posts from my 489 Google Reader subscriptions has gone down to 997 after weeks at 1000+!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I read this book this past week.  I must say I was looking forward to reading it, but did not expect to like it very much.  As it happened, though, I loved it! 

The book, for those who don't know, keeps almost all of Jane Austen's original text, adding in sections (and changing just a few words here and there) to add a background of a zombie plague across England, where the five Bennett girls (and Mr. Darcy, although not Mr. Bingley) are all well-trained in zombie fighting. 

(Spoilers ahead.)

Aside from my enjoyment of the zombie element, I very much appreciated the way that it made several pieces of the plot easier to understand.  Charlotte's decision to marry Mr. Collins, for example, stems not just from her fear of ending up an old maid, but also from her infection with the zombie plague, her awareness that she has but a few months to live, and her hope that her new situation will give her a better end.  Darcy's excuse that he warned Mr. Bingley off of Jane because he feared that her illness (from Jane Austen's original) might be a sign that she had also become infected with the zombie plague also is much more believable than that he feared she wasn't actually interested in him. 

In all, a very enjoyable book; the solidly 1900-era costumes on the girls in the illustrations aside, I heartily recommend it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No internet

My internet's out again -- 5th day out in the past 10 days.  Perhaps it's time to switch providers?  Anyhow -- back when it's fixed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Green miniature book

Again, blurry dying-camera shot, but you can see my little book's structure.  Case bound, linen resume paper, headbands from France, paper from odds and ends lying about... very fun little blank book.

I like this paper - it looks and feels like snakeskin.

Love the way the marbled paper turned out in such a tiny segment.

My hands look so big!  It's about an inch across and 1 1/2 or maybe 1 3/4 inches tall.  It, like the red one, is available in my shop.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Red miniature book

Sorry for the fuzzy pictures - the camera was dying.

Looks like leather, actually is paper.

Real marbled paper, off-cuts from a larger book.  My hand gives you some sense as to size -- it's about 1.5 inches by 2.5 inches.

Six signatures of linen resume paper, headbands from france, case bound.  And very fun to make.
Along with the camera battery going, my internet has been out for the past two days... meh.  So, editing the scheduled post from work on my break (I'm a good girl, don't blog when I'm supposed to be working, but a 1-paragraph edit in my afternoon break is fine).  Hope it gets back up soon... although I'll probably get more of the house cleaned tomorrow if it's not!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


More detailed pics to come; this was the best one, though, so showing it off first.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Buttonhole book

I've been home sick today, and didn't do much but lie around. I picked up something from the kids I was around on Sunday, I expect; sadly, my grandfather is ill as well, as I had dinner with him Sunday night. I did get around to making this little buttonhole book today, though.

Neither of these pictures is right on the color -- it's greener than that. The paper is some I picked up in India in March; the paisleys are made out of little glued-on dots.

Sewn with linen thread from France. Boring old yellow copy paper on the inside, but the colors do match well. About 6 inches tall, about 4 inches wide... I suppose one could put a bunch of 3x5 photos in it!

The endpages (false endpages, technically). Don't know where I picked up this paper... heh - don't know where I picked up most of the yarn and paper I have lying around!

I also unearthed a few miniature books I made a while back; photos to come tomorrow.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Yarn

Look what I won from a Pfat Fiber giveaway!

It is such a lovely blend, so soft, and the colors are just gorgeous (see the dress below -- I like those colors!)... I'm a convert. The marketing plan worked -- when next I buy yarn like this, I'm highly inclined to make My8KidsMom my first stop!

Any ideas what to make with it? It's more than I'd need for a regular pair of socks... could make super-long socks, or something non-sock-ish... suggestions?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


What I'm wearing today:
The Danielle, from Burdastyle. (Cropped to remove silly hair.) Went together really fast. I'm very pleased! I made it in a tiny sundress, but that was much too short to show online (wore it to Galveston on July 4, but tiny sundresses are fine then). I love the fabric -- it looks like wool, but it's actually brushed cotton, so suitable for Houston weather. Here's to Joann's sales!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


A few weeks ago, I was in Austin for a conference, and I was taken to Hill Country Weavers. The store's an amazing experience -- very hard to limit yourself. I bought some excellent yarn for a sweater for myself, and then I saw this. Fool that I am, I was too impatient to play with it to take a picture when it was nicely braided up, so this is all you get. It just looked like candy...

I got a drop spindle once, from a woman in Bolivia -- I bought a woven guitar strap from her, then some yarn, then was so interested in the spindle she was using that she sold that to me as well. I couldn't find it just now, though, so I watched some videos on youtube and then made my own temporary one out of a hook, a pencil, and a circle of cardboard, and spun away! It wasn't that hard.

First, after spinning it all, relatively evenly, I decided to ply it. Ended up a bit bulkier than I would have liked, so it went back to singles. More pictures to come.
Right now, I've done something to my wrist, so I can't knit, crochet, or even type much. Machine sewing seems ok, though...
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Fiber Arts Shops on Hwy 290

Hello all!

We went to Austin earlier this weekend, stopping by my grandparents' place in the little town of Carmine halfway there (claim to fame: the bank was robbed by Bonnie and Clyde -- they even have a plaque commemorating it). Along with gingerbread pancakes at the Magnolia Cafe, I wanted to try out a new weaving shop in Brenham I'd heard about at Winedale a while back.

Driving up to Austin, passing through Paige, I as always looked left and saw the little sign for the Paige Historical Museum and thought it might be nice to look in... and then I looked right and for the first time ever saw a sign for a business! On the way back I had to stop, and I easily found what may be the only business in Paige:Yarnorama! I wish I had an interior picture, but had no camera this weekend (the above is from their website). It's a lovely and exciting store, with roving, weaving materials, spinning wheels, masses of sock yarn and handpainted yarn and silk yarn and anything fancy you could ever want. Friendly people, too.

Having spent all my extra money at Half Price Books in Austin, I couldn't buy anything, so I went on down to Brenham.

There, into Fibers (sorry, no picture at all). My 6th grade art teacher, Mrs. Fowler (who it turns out is nationally known as an inkle weaver and has written articles on the subject), had us all use inkle looms to make belts. I bought the loom afterwards and loved it. When I saw someone at one of the Winedale historical events with an inkle loom, I told them about Mrs. Fowler, and the weaver knew of her and told me to come to the new shop in Brenham. It's a lovely shop, very big and open. It's certainly central Texas -- there were people in there with the same accent as my grandparents' German (actually Wendish, but who's telling?) farmhand, who's been in this country for generations, so the German modified itself beyond easy recognition but left its traces in the accent. It has tons of weaving, spinning, knitting, crochet, and probably other stuff as well. (I think I saw some scrapbook supplies.) The help desk/check-out counter is made from display cases showing lovely antique tatted and other fiber arts items.

Both certainly worth a repeat visit; both like nothing we have in Houston (If we do, Houston people, please tell me -- I've heard that the nearest weaving shop is in La Porte, and I never go that direction).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Beard Hat!

I don't like buying things I can make myself, so when I saw the beard hat / beard toque for sale at various places, I figured I just needed to make one myself. I looked for patterns online, most of which were Ctulhu or crazy loosely-knit or loosely-crocheted things. My kid brother's going off to college in Colorado, and he's a good sport and also a big hat wearer, so I wanted to make him something that would be warm and hold up to a bit of wear. He's got great red hair and has in the past cultivated some very nice mutton chops, ones that make him look not like a belated hippy but like something out of Dickens, and I want him to go full-out lumberjack and get a big beard. I figured this might convince him, so I made up my own pattern, and here's the result (posed with an authentic Norwegian climbing pick):

I used a basic spiral single crochet hat pattern, then just made it the desired shape. For a moustache, I used Drea's pattern, and it was absolutely perfect. The beard, rather than being a flap, is a pocket that hooks over your chin and keeps your neck warm as well.

Does that shirt pattern look familiar? It's from a tutorial I couldn't find anywhere just now, but I know came through my blog reader sometime last fall (the best I can find is here, but the link afterwards is dead). I wasn't doing freezer paper stenciling, so I just used an iron-on transfer, which was fine.

I made four; they were Christmas presents for Himself, my brother, and both brothers-in-law.

This one's also gotten too small for the beard-wearer, as you can see, so it's mine now.
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Monday, August 31, 2009


I still exist, I really do. Things have been a bit hectic at work (I'm on a break at the moment), as we're moving everything to a new wing. So I come home and cook dinner and fall asleep. But I've taken a few pictures of fun things, so I'm going to queue up a few posts (so there's not a glut all at once) about:
- The Beard Hat I made for my kid brother
- The sweet little sundress I made for myself
- The scarf the knitting group at work made for me
- The team of rogue road repairmen (when called, the City says they're not doing work in the area) that make it difficult to get out in the morning and think my yard's a tip
- The cable-heavy sweater I'm making Himself with scratchy yarn, and the Aran-style sweater I'm making myself with excellent yarn (not that I don't like him, I just don't trust him to actually wear it, and don't want to waste excellent yarn on something that's not getting worn!)
- The placemats I wove on the rigid heddle loom (yay!)
- The flash-drive cover for my boss
- The baby-girl-camo sweater that's nearly on its way to my hunter friend's new daughter

See you soon!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Girls' night out

I never go anywhere. I work full time, and Himself is a doctor, so, the few times he's home, I want to be with him ... and I'm usually tired when I get home and just want to sleep. Tonight I let a sweet girl I've known since we were six talk me into joining her for a girls' night out (well, actually, in, at her place).

With some excellent cheese, and some excellent wine, a bunch of girls -- most taking the night off from kids as well as husband -- talked about babies (did you know olive oil makes a baby's bottom easier to clean, just like greasing a pan before baking?), in-laws (from experiences of many: don't live with them! Especially without the husband!), and husbands (they just don't understand why girls who have a maid coming have to clean up before the maid gets there!). We don't have any babies yet, of course, but it was still a great evening. Last time I did anything of the sort was January, getting together with my college roommates / bridesmaids. I'm the only married one of the four of us, so it was different tonight. Fun both times. The time before that was last July, going out to Galveston with coworkers just a few weeks before the places we went got washed into the ocean. But once every six months isn't enough... I must remember how much fun I had tonight, get over my hermit/homebody tendencies, and get together with girls more often!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Remember this?

I moved it inside because it was dying from our overwhelming dry heat. It then went into suspended animation because of the air conditioning. So, I moved it upstairs into our unused bathtub, where our zoned a/c sets it at 85 in the daytime (coincidentally, apparently the optimum temperature for tomatoes). This morning I have this:

Isn't it beautiful? Ok, one tomato, but I've never had any at all before, and at $1 for the seedling, it's given me more than $1 of excitement! The little flower beneath it may be producing another one as well.

Isn't it so pretty? This afternoon, I'll find out how it tastes.... so happy!
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