Friday, July 29, 2011


I saw this photo of some adorable little coasters that looked like slices of citrus fruits and I had to have some. And all I needed to make them was some felt, glue and a compass. Yay!

I drew out three circles, one four inches across, then 3 1/2, then 3 on a spare manila folder to serve as a pattern.

The largest and smallest circles I cut out of the citrus colored felt, the medium circle out of white felt.

The smallest felt circle will be the sections of fruit, so I cut that into eight wedges.

This bit is totally optional, but to keep the soon to be coasters from sliding around in the table I cut out another four inch circle from some craft foam.

A judicious amount of glue later and I had these.

Since the lime one isn't actually done yet but the light's going so i needed to take a photo now, an actual lime took it's place. I just wanted to let you know that I don't regularly use coasters for fruits,

Monday, July 25, 2011


I try not to keep too many projects on the needles at once mostly because, like a Skinner pigeon, the positive reinforcement of a completed object keeps me pressing the lever. I mean knitting. Or something. Well, that simile got away from me.

Usually socks are my go to quick project to keep me chugging along on the longer stuff. But the pair that I'm currently working on, while not particularly difficult, are taking forever. I'm looking forward to having the finished pair, but for whatever reason I'm just not feeling working on them. I've been carrying around the yarn and needles to start the second of the pair but it hasn't happened yet.

Soooo taaaallll.

Here's the first of the two. I think next time I make socks they'll be super plain stockinette anklets, because blarrrrgh.

Another thing I'm still working on is that purple sweater vest I started ages ago. It got put away during the renovations and I've recently pulled it out again. The stitch pattern is simple enough that it should be a relatively mindless tv-watching-project, but since I'm not following a pattern, or drafting one so much as making it up as I go along it's making me think morer than I'm comfortable with.

What can I say, thinking is hard. In happier news, I finally managed to take a photo that's relatively true to the pretty pretty color:

Definitely not a neutral.

I picked up a couple of skeins of a super bulky novelty yarn on a whim yesterday and, despite really wanting to finish up what I've been working on, cast on for a scarf immediately.

The original plan was to make a little triangular kerchief but it just didn't hang right with the weight of the yarn, so a regular old rectangle it was. I'd like to try again for the kerchief in a more appropriate yarn with the same stitch pattern.

Since the 'novelty' part of the yarn didn't show up in that photo have another.

Tiny sequins yay!

The elongated stitches helped move it along pretty quickly and two Harry Potter movies later I was all set for a winter that, in the midst of months of 100+ temperatures, I'm pretty sure will never show up.

Living in an almost literal lake of fire isn't exactly conducive to a knitting habit, but damn I try anyway.

Being able to knock out a scarf in one evening, almost twice if you count the original triangle satisfied my need for finished project warm fuzzies and I've gone back to plugging away at that vest. Once I get that done, I've got a sweater's worth of yarn in a pretty warm gray (back to neutrals, no one is shocked) that's calling my name.

Maybe I'll get a pair of socks at some point in there too.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Latent Hipsterism

My iPhone is pretty much my primary camera since it's just about always nearby and for a phone the camera is actually pretty good. The problem is that there are a million apps that encourage my awkward love of filters. I resisted for so long because slapping a 'vintage' filter onto a mediocre photo doesn't do as much to improve it as I think it does.  But I love it so much.

I finally gave up the fight against hipster aesthetics (am I subverting the hipster paradigm if I love filters unironically?) and downloaded a million of them and have been entertaining myself by taking a million pictures non stop for the last few days.

Unsurprisingly, the first handy victims were the kittens:

Sally looking less than amused at my prodding

Sleepy babies.

We went out to The Boyfriend's parents' place this weekend and I took full advantage of the pretty scenery and his mom's flowers:

Drought's hitting the lake pretty hard this year.

The Monkey lined up her collection of Angry Birds plushies next to her and wanted to take a group photo. So, of course, I was only encouraged.

Apparently the holding out her feet/hands is a think now.

Making a picture I took this morning look faded, beat up and a million years old makes no sense, but I can't stop.

Oh, who's that at the door? Flowers? FILTER!

Thanks, Boyfriend!

I wonder if it's genetic, as Pater loves to antique things when dyeing leather, as is evidenced by this super awesome journal cover he made me for Christmas.

I didn't edit this at all and it was hard, let me tell you

Between this and my determination to sign up for every social networking site and then never use them, I think I may need to check myself into rehab for abusing technological time wasters. In semi-related news, google+? Eight and a half million times better than facebook. As soon as I have more than two friends on it I'm totally quitting facebook with their creepy privacy policies and sketchy views on intellectual property rights forever. I for one welcome our google overlords.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Monkey

While summer is still eating my face (soooo hot. Why, Texas, why?) the best bit has to be summer vacation.

Not mine, though. Sensible!resa hasn't won the argument that going back to college and studying something not completely and totally useless is the best idea, so lazy!resa is still content to spend too much time with cats and syndicated television.

No, my niece is off for the summer and while her gramps can watch her most of the day in his semi-retirement, the semi bit means that she spends a couple of hours in the morning with me.

This is FANTASTIC. And not just because it gives me an excuse to drink juice boxes.*

She's six which means she's finally getting to the age where kids are kind of like tiny people only with weird and random ways of thinking that are just endlessly amusing.

I mean, she was a pretty cute baby and all, and toddlers are fun if completely exhausting, but, as she'll proudly remind you, she's six and a big girl now. That's why she has blue painted toe nails and awesome light up shoes with laces (that she can't quite manage to tie yet) and can play dominoes.

Even if it is a set with pictures instead of numbers. And SpongeBob themed. Soon, Monkey, soon, you'll be shuffling the bone pile and yelling 'domino' like a boss.

And now she finally likes to color. Before school she did a bit, but it wasn't exactly her favorite way to spend time. Now she's 'the best colorer' and likes to point out that auntie resa's box of crayons has 96 but hers has 120 and that's more.

Another new found common ground has been knitting. When I first started learning crochet I thought that having a niece would be a pretty safe bet as far as keeping me from having a surplus of toys in the house, just sitting around and taking up space and never being played with.

I was mistaken. Lumpy T was thoroughly rejected, as was the tiger ball:

Octavio was a hit though, especially after being introduced to the game, 'flying Octavio, the super quadropus':

Knit or crochet garments were a total non starter though. I don't think I've ever seen her in a hand crafter article of clothing since she was an infant and none too good at pulling off the hats Mater made her.

Not even tempting her with purple, 'the best color,' worked.

I'm not sure what changed, but on a lark I asked her if she wanted me to knit her some socks like the ones I was wearing and after years of saying no she thought about it and said yes.

A trip to the store immediately followed where she picked up every skein of sock yarn that had a decent amount of purple in it. After being assured several times that really, it would turn into stripes, she settled on a favorite and I cast on.

I'm not really sure why if I wanted a picture of her in her new socks it had to be like this, but I don't care because it's hilarious. Seriously. I know I'm biased, but it cracks me up ever time I see it.

Also, I'm pretty sure my first pair of glasses were dark purple plastic frames too. Clearly she's my nerd padawan.

*They just taster better than a regular glass of juice, ok? Don't ask me how nostalgia works.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Oh, Summer

It's eaten my face right off.

The beginning of kitten season was a rough one this year. I keep hoping that the longer I do this the less time it'll take to get my 'kitten-legs' back. Didn't happen this time, but even the boss lady agreed that our first set of fosters was a hell of an introduction to the season.

Here's Parsnip (now adopted and probably renamed) from this year's first litter:

We currently have three other fosters driving me batty. Here's Sally, whose siblings have already been adopted, cuddling with Junior:

Then there's the other two.

It started with a call from our very awesome vet, asking if we had room for two bottle babies. We did so off we went.

Instead of collecting just the kittens though we ended up with their mom too. The woman whose balcony they were all living on informed us that while she wasn't terribly friendly the mama cat was manageable, even going so far as allowing herself to be picked up.

This was not entirely true. While the mama cat did have a pretty good relationship with that woman that was pretty much the extent of her people friendliness. So, we ended up with a feral cat in our bathroom.

I wasn't aware, but apparently if you put a freaked out feral cat into a bathroom she'll do her very best impersonation of a hissing, spitting tornado. Walls were climbed, great clouds of fur were released, several things were broken... We decided to go ahead and leave them for a while despite the fact that the kittens had a pretty bad upper respiratory infection, complete with eyes so gummy they couldn't open them.

For the first day or so we managed a pretty awesome co-parenting gig with her. She took care of the feeding and regular bathing duties, we stole them when she was at her most settled to clean up their eyes and medicate them.

And then the Boyfriend broke it. You see, kittens don't like it when you mess with their eyes (who can blame them) and protest the cleaning and medicating quite loudly and insistently. And rather than ferry them off out of earshot he attempted to mess with one there in front of feral mama cat.

She was less than impressed.

After that attempting to steal her babies resulted in growls, hisses and quite a few slaps. We managed to get them only through some luck, a handy towel and a brush handle. There was quite a bit of terror involved, especially as the kittens immediately began squawking about it, risking setting off the feral tornado again.

It ended happily enough though, we have the kittens (who seem to just be a sickly sort as they now have tummy troubles) the mama was fixed and released back into her feral colony and no one is peeing all willy nilly in my bathroom anymore.

Now, they just need names but as sickly as they've been it seems like tempting fate to give them real names at this point.

Tiny brown tabby
Tiny lynx point Siamese.

The downstairs redo turned out pretty great, if more involved than we initially though.  It was a little shaming when a team of industious contractors were able to lay a tile floor in three days while it took the Boyfriend and I a month to paint the walls, but hey. That's why they're professionals, right?

Unfortunately, the glass top to our coffee table was an unintended casualty, so a new coffee table was in order. Add to that, the Boyfriend had bought himself an obscenely large television and the ~ten year old Ikea entertainment center just wasn't going to handle it. After eight and a half million trips to various furniture stores, we ended up with a new sofa as well. It actually looks like adults live here now, something that's not so secretly foreign to both of us.

I'm quite pleased with everything even if I did have to break in a new butt dent. Of course, the cats did their part, immediately covering it hair and chewed off burrs. Also, the fosters with tummy troubles? Totally pooped on it. Buying a white sofa was clearly the best of ideas.