July 19, 2014

Nom nom nom.

Posted by Ryan at 10:42 PM | Comments (5)

Nine comments? For a blog that hadn’t been updated in six months?! You are the best readers a blogess could hope for.

Reflections on questions/suggestions in the comments:

Anj: How are the kittehs doing?

Well-ish. Joon had to have two teeth removed and something funky is going on with one of Benny’s kidneys; will retest in October. For now, Not Thinking About It. That being said, they are sassier and friendlier than ever, certainly poster children for adopting from a shelter. And since comments about the kittehs are often a veiled request for a photo ( :-) ), here they are, staring at a fly on the ceiling:

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Diana and kmkat: How about knitting new covers for the lamp shades?

Problem is, either way I have to buy new lampshades because it’s impossible to “un-sisal” the one lampshade I did do. That hot-glue-gun glue is some industrial-strength sh___. What do you think of these? (I don't care what the salespeople think; I'm giving any potential lampshades a good long sniff before I buy them.)

SquareMary: LOVE the story about trying to make lampshades out of slides. I’ve seen that done on a craft show and am intrigued by the result but the effort required—holy Jebus. Dozens of slides, and four hole punches and four jump rings per slide? I could knit a pair of socks in the time that would take! Although I can see it being a fun event for a group, a “lampshade bee,” if you will.

JanzKnitz: Put the lampshades in the sun…

I did this recently with a hand-knit cotton washcloth that had developed a funky, moldy smell. Even better, I completely forgot about it and so it went through days and days of getting fried and sterilized in the sun and, you’re right, it worked remarkably well. But I don't think the smell of the sisal can be "fried" out of it; I think it's too much a part of it.

Kris: Did the sisal block out the light?

Actually, no. It really made a pleasant filtered light through the gaps in the sisal. I was surprised.

Diana: Love the lamps! Would you be insulted or flattered if I copied them?

I copied the idea so knock yerself out! There are lots more examples on Pinterest, or just on the interwebs in general, if you want more inspiration. Despite the end result, it was fun and easy.

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I’m only human. Like most people, I think, “[Such-and-such] only happens to other people.” Oopsie—hello, depression; hello, breast cancer. Unfortunately, I've also made the mistake of thinking this: “Moth infestations only happen to other people.” Oopsie—hello, moth infestation. Not only a moth infestation, but an infestation of moth-epicures. Before I realized they were in the house, they had gone on a laser-beam-guided hunt for the best of the best which, by moth definition, is the least processed, closest-to-the-source wool. And what can be less processed and closer to the source than felted Mongolian camel fur which even still smells like camel? Yes, they found the Mongolian camel from Cousin Tom, Mongol LEE. (Dulaaners may remember the name.)

Before:

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After:

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They disemboweled the poor thing. It made me sad for so many reasons. Trouble is, I can’t kill the moths. It’s a Thing with me. So if they want to eat their way through all the wool in the house, they’re welcome to it. That being said, other than the camel, everything was and has been well-protected so I’m hoping this will be the worst of the damage. And that being said, I don’t prevent Benny and Joon from killing the moths but they don’t. I can’t say I blame them. Who wants a mouthful of moth?

[Update: Joon did catch one last night. Caught it near the bed while I was lying in bed and crunched it right in my ear. Euw. So euw.]

July 13, 2014

Going Coastal

Posted by Ryan at 03:24 AM | Comments (9)

I’m not the kind of homeowner who regularly rearranges her furniture. In fact, most of what’s in the house is in exactly the same place it was when the movers plopped it on the floor 20+ years ago. Sometimes, however, I’m come all over with a burning desire to redo my bedroom as I was a while ago when I decided to change my boudoir from cozy earth-tones to lighter, breezier coastal/nautical/Cape Cod/Nantucket. Don’t ask me why; this just…happens.

I also don’t believe in paying more if you can get the same thing for less. For the redesign (way too strong of a word for something that primarily involved buying a new set of bed linens), I desperately wanted these lamps from Pottery Barn but, at $99 a pop, they were too rich for my blood so I opted for some similar but much cheaper lamps at a discount home-decorating store. The only drawback was that they came with severely straight-sided, Puritanically white shades.

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No problemo, I thought. I’ve seen what those crafters on Pinterest do; all I need to do is wrap the lampshades with rope/sisal/twine. Easy peasy.

Surprise #1: The glue in hot-glue guns is…hot. Really hot. Who knew? The last of the blisters on my thumb has only just recently healed.

Surprise #2: Who knew that, when buying rope/sisal/twine you have to be as concerned about dye lots as you do when buying yarn? Not that the sisal (which is what I ended up using) is dyed, per se, and not that they even have dye lots but different balls can have different colors. Here is the first shade:

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Note the lighter rope at the top, darker rope in the middle, and lighter rope again at the bottom. This is more pronounced in real life and looks truly dorky.

Surprise #3: Sisal—at least this brand—smells somewhere between strong cat pee and a decaying corpse. Add the heat from a light bulb and add to that the fact that the lampshade, being on my nightstand, was no more than a foot or two away from my nose and you can understand why the remaining sisal found a new home through Freecycle, the lampshades are now the property of my local Goodwill, and I have rededicated myself to knitting as my one and only crafting hobby.

January 25, 2014

POOF!

Posted by Ryan at 06:19 PM | Comments (7)

To further illustrate the need for hairbands, this is what happens when I take the hairband off:

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There's been quite the change over the last few months, hasn't there?

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January 18, 2014

...Two Bits!

Posted by Ryan at 01:40 AM | Comments (9)

Recently, I changed my blog photo to this:

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The story behind the picture is that my chemo-curls had started to get the better of me. Sometimes I looked like Angela Davis…

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...and sometimes I looked like Flattop:

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So, although you can’t see it in the picture, in an effort to wrassle the curls into some semblance of order, I'm wearing a headband. It's one of a set of three cheesy, cheap, stretchy ones bought at Idolatry*. One is black (non-committal shrug of shoulders), one dark brown (meh) and one a putrid sandy brown (blech).

It then occurred to one that one could knit her own damn headbands and make them any color she wanted! So, out came the needles and yarn remnants and in short order I had two headbands of admittedly pretty tame colors: a gray that goes with my hair (unknown-brand alpaca for those who care about such things)…

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And churned out last night, a blue that goes with jeans (Lion Brand Jiffy Thick and Quick for those who care about such things):

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Headbands that are more colorful are on the horizon but, that being said, I've discovered that knitting headbands makes me downright twitchy. You cast on, knit an inch or two of ribbing and cast off. Which is all you need but it feels as if you’ve started knitting a hat, made the ribbing, had a severe senior moment and forgot to knit the rest of the hat. Perhaps a better way to way to describe it is it feels like when someone does only the first five beats of “shave and a haircut:" Dum dum-dum dum dum...[silence].

(If I have now made you twitchy, relief is at hand. Read the title.)

* I use a British voice on my GPS and this is how he pronounces Dollar Tree. Of course I glommed right on to it.

January 04, 2014

Report-Card Report

Posted by Ryan at 08:49 PM | Comments (6)

(UPDATE: My litigation Inner Bitch has a name! After watching last night's episode of Downtown Abbey, she will be named Lady Mary.)

It occurred to me that you, my pets, have been slogging along with me on my return to school and I never shared the upshot of the first quarter. It took a mind-boggling effort but I passed. Which is saying something because you have to finagle a B or better. If not, they say the university equivalent of "No soup for you!" Or, to put it another way, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.” You aren’t allowed to continue. The yenta in me is snarkily curious about who will return.

Second quarter starts next Tuesday. The good news is the absolutely fantastic lawyer/teacher from last quarter—dynamic, interested, interesting, funny, confident but sometimes self-effacing, and a bit of a babe—will be teaching all three nights. The bad news is, he said, and I quote, “Trust me. If I pass you through from first quarter to second, I’m not doing you any favors.” Gulp.

Second quarter is all litigation, all the time. I’m looking forward to getting acquainted with my inner bitch. We will need to give her a name when the time comes.