Monthly Archives: February 2009


So I’m doing my taxes, and accounting and other such number-rich stuff, and once again bemoaning the lack of a number keypad on my (otherwise beloved) Macbook. Sure the design is more elegant without it; sure it means the rest of the keys can be a little bigger/less crowded. But when you’re entering in lots of numbers? Man oh man it’s irritating. I’ve spent enough time using adding machines and number keypads to really miss being able to enter numbers that way.

So I thought to myself, “what I’d really like is a Bluetooth number pad” and did a quick search online. I found one that’s not too bad looking but kind of expensive and it looks more like a calculator than just a number pad (I have a calculator, I want a number pad). By this time the OH is looking over my shoulder (the Y-chromosome detected the search for electronics) as I’m doing an image search and indicates a promising one. As we wait for the page to load he’s asking “does it go with the Mac look?” when what to our wandering eyes should appear but this:


Sweet, yo.

This is not at all helping me to want an iphone less. Because this would actually be Useful. I would definitely put it to Practical Purpose. It would not merely be a toy, an expensive gadget to entertain myself with (because I don’t actually really need a cell phone more than once or twice a week). It would be a Tool. Heck, it would almost be a legitimate Business Expense.


In other news… knitting!
This:Orange is what is finally developing from my lovely orange llama/wool harvested from the sweater I made years ago with more enthusiasm than wisdom. (The tension was a little loose, and I obviously chose the styling thinking I was about 6″ taller and many inches narrower than I have been in my adult existence – so I had a love-disappointed relationship with it and rarely wore it, but the yarn; yummy like pumpkin pie – don’t let the washed-out pic delude you.)

It’s new life will be as an easy top-down raglan sweater from this “pattern”, with short sleeves and a cable panel down the front of the left side to give it more than just orangeness for interest. (The fastidious among you may notice the cable looks a little odd: that’s because I missed a cross while watching The Visitor [highly recommended BTW, kind of sad but very good] and I will be repairing it tonight.)

I’m very much looking forward to completing this and being able to ensconce myself in orange warmness again. Though given the short sleevedness of it I might have to whip up a set of arm warmers to go with it. Hm, I do have some great orange-mix sock yarn left… OK, I’m not allowed to start another project before finishing the two I’m working on. (When I was a voraciously reading teen I always had 4 or 5 books on the go at once… I figure it’s good to have projects for each mood to stay interested.)

Speaking of the other project, it’s slightly beyond half done, and I’ll post it in its complete, bright happy springy glory in about 6 days. Give or take.

Works for me…

If you could only take supplies for one craft, would this be your choice?

I’d definitely want a few more patterns though.


Why, oh why don’t I have an iphone, when this is not available for my laptop?


Just keep your tail out from under my rocking chair.

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the fortunate birth of the privileged naturalist who ended up penning On the Origin of Species (side note: few things irritate me as much as people who refer to it as “The Origin of The Species”, and know little enough about the whole subject that they think it’s really just all about people coming from apes and therefore somehow insulting and OMG I could go on and on…); Happy Darwin Day!
So here’s to the dude (and to Wallace -thx Maggie- who figured out a lot of the same stuff independently but lost top billing to Darwin, and to Mendel who did very important complementary work in genetics but seemed largely uninterested in this evolution stuff) and here’s to us for all being animals.
But wait, there’s more!

This one’s for you, Maggie

From these wacky people:

Go wild.

This week, I’m just forwarding…

I love this ad.
Naturally, I immediately start thinking about the “ew” factor, but really, who can argue with a porter getting a shoulder rub for his efforts… (And I admit, I like the Louis Armstrong song.)

Ultimate Treehouse

Ohhhh yeahhhhh.

I don’t know about you, but I want one in my backyard.

An Object Lesson in Using the Right Materials for the Job

So, yesterday. Yesterday I spent the entire morning making more of my Year of the Ox prints since I ended up not having enough after submitting 3 to the PROOF print show/exchange.
I made 8 prints – I figured 8 should be enough to get me 3 or 4 good ones, given that each print involves 3 impressions to screw up.
Ladies and germs, how many good prints do you think I got? 3? 4? 8? 2?
Sadly, there was not one good print in the whole mess. After completing them and picking 3 that I thought would do, I looked at the original print run.
Dudes, the leftovers were better than yesterday’s run. Sad, so very very sad.
So here’s where I went wrong:
#1- I have a crappy baren. I bought the only one I could find and afford and it’s just crappy. That said, I think I did OK with it and it was likely the least of my problems.
#2 – My brushes for blending the colours on the block are also crappy. You’re supposed to use these, but I just used shortened stencil brushes for (again) reasons of finance and convenience. I managed OK on some, but mostly not.
#3 – I didn’t get the paint mixes right. As a result, my green is more of a dirty yellow (I think I also used the wrong yellow to start with – I couldn’t remember which one Elisabeth used in the workshop), and the colours are not nearly as delicate as in the first run (though I think this is also affected by #1, #2, and #4). (And looking at the photo now I actually like the richer background…)
#4 – Wrong paper. I think this was the biggest problem. I foolishly not only did not bring a print with me to get the paper, I didn’t even look at one for several weeks before going to get the paper. The paper was too thin and too absorbent either because of the finish or the density. Not sure. Anyhoo, this meant the colours all bled shamefully, and the prints have no nice crisp lines, only mucky, splotchy areas.
#5 – I was doing it because I felt like I had to, not because I was really excited about it. While I still enjoyed doing it, and had been looking forward to it, it wasn’t as thrilling as when I was first learning and had years of pent-up wanting-to-do-it-ness. So I may have been a little less attentive to details.

I had a few castoffs from the first run that I decided are good enough after all, but I still need to use one of the new ones so I picked the least offensive and will send it to someone who likely won’t be bothered by it’s shortcomings.

So yeah. That was my yesterday morning.

P.S. My apologies for the two weeks of radio silence. I have been working on a top secret mission and was only allowed to communicate with the outside world over matters of life and death.
Well, no. I’ve just been spending eight hours a day working on the UTW site update and have needed to avoid the computer on evenings and weekends. The good news is it’s nearly done so I should have a brain again and more thrilling news to report.