Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cat Comparison

Okay, this is incredibly silly of me, but I always like looking at these kinds of charts in magazines. And besides, it seems like the best way to sum up our weekend and brief experience as a two cat household.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Weekend Guest

This is Slick, our house guest for the weekend. In spite of their completely opposite personalities it's been going well. Of course they are both very confused about the situation. But fortunately because Lucy is very sociable she pretty much bases her sleep schedule around us humans. And Slick is the opposite. So they've managed to avoid each other well. When they have met, there's been some hissing, but no major incidents. Much better than I expected, I have to say. But I know it's been a hard weekend, particularly for slick. So I'm pretty glad he enjoys the catnip toys from Jake and Micah so well. Lucy likes them, but she's not as much of a catnip fiend. I've noticed these cute cookies have drawn Slick out of his hiding place multiple times over the course of the weekend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tofurkey Day & Pie!

I believe I need to post the video above before thanksgiving since it is more relevant that way.

We have a special guest over for the holiday, we are watching my parent's cat Slick (aka Schwartzcat) while they are out of town. He arrived this afternoon, and so far no major incidents, of course we've been keeping them apart to get adjusted thus far. There is the possibility of updates on this topic throughout the holiday weekend...stay tuned.

Also, we will be having Tofurkey (store bought) and lots of lovely side dishes (not store bought.) And if we can manage it, there's supposed to be a parade tomorrow, practically right out our front door. So basically, I'm not going anywhere, but there should be some interesting stuff to blog about if I get a chance!

I Hope everyone has a fun weekend planned. Happy Tofurkey Day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Today in my Apartment...


I rearranged furniture. This is something I do that I hypothesize distracts me enough to actually kind of enjoy cleaning. I sweep, organize and do all sorts of stuff that is normally not fun in the process. The end result seems somewhat seasonal; placing the couch in front of the window will perhaps keep the apartment slightly warmer. Chuck's reaction was in his words "tepid." But am hopeful that the new layout will prove cozy. Perhaps it will also help me keep clutter off our dining table since we now face it. Or at the very least it made cleaning more fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Finally we have Aquired Cart

We've been on the lookout for one of these since we ditched the car back in September. Not something that's been completely essential, we've certainly gotten by pretty well with our handy fabric bags. But we have jealously watched many many people walking around our neighborhood with these in tow. A few weeks back we checked out the Container Store, where they are avaliable, but rather high priced (which seems to always be the case there.) Finally it was our neighborhood ACE Hardware where we found success. Also purchased: a mop & bucket.

And, oh, this was on the way back from Printer's Row, home of Loopy Yarns. I did make a modest yarn purchase there, nothing very fancy. The "jumbo" shopping cart is the news of the day.

Another good topic for weekends

1. Perched, 2. 4/365, 3. Acorn found a shell to grow into., 4. FInished Cable Cushion, 5. IMG_6963, 6. changecakes, 7. Polar Bear Diorama in the Stoll Wing, 8. Hats and scarves, 9. Untitled, 10. Mr. Bones, 11. Untitled, 12. 30 october., 13. 2 may., 14. Outside Cats, 15. Fruit, 16. Untitled, 17. kittycat, 18. IMG_6917, 19. Pantry after!, 20. Stash corner, 21. HEBRU (part of his mural), 22. Symmetroflections #4, 23. Mère & Pére : handmade paper, 24. strawaffles, 25. Turning

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pink & Gray Treasury


Notices these subtle colors floating around in my etsy favorites sometime last week and I promptly made up a poster sketch about it. Of course it wasn't until this morning I notices some space freeing up in the treasuries. Nice to get it of my sketch board!

You can view the treasury here:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Listen Up!

Something the other day reminded me of this video by the Gossip. Filmed in one of my favorite places in Seattle, the Chapel bar. I do miss the crazy martini list including the pepper and the murder. And when you're hanging out with people in the chapel of a former mortuary, there's always something to talk about. Actually, it's a pretty nice, very design-y space. And Beth Ditto puts on a great show. Chuck's photos of her from Bumbershoot are still among my favorites.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shop looks a bit like Christmas

So this is more than a few seasonal items hanging out in my shop right now. But wait! There's more! (heehee) there's also the larger scale paper ornament and a few cards I may decide to list soon. Most of the paper goods come as an offshoot of crafts I did for myself last year. The tags I've just listed are the leftovers from the ones I made for my own gifts last Christmas, for example. I guess I wasn't sure how many I would use up, and by the time I knew it wasn't Christmas anymore. This year I'll probably try to think up something new for my packages, meanwhile, they are freshly listed in the shop!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


A few knitting projects that have been so close to finished finally got completed last week. First item tackled was the Leaf Cardigan. Ah, the applied I-cord trim. I was all ready to finish it, made it half-way around the sweater then suddenly ran out of yarn. It took me a while to get my hands on more yarn, and a little bit longer to get into the mood to do an I-cord trim. I was sorta having a brain freeze or something on how it was done. I dunno why, I got over it pretty easy by paying just a little bit more attention to what I was doing. Anyway, it was a fun project, I really enjoyed the top-down raglan construction.

Second item was nearly complete already, it was just a matter of deciding when to stop. And also if I wanted to connect the ends to form one big loop (something that could still be done later, if I change my mind.) Last night I wove in the ends and declared it finished. A interesting knitting challenge here of working double pointed needles through the loops. This project was inspired by a japanese knitting book that has lots of great project ideas, even if it's a little skimpy on the details (and English, though there is some.) A second project influence by this book is in the works.

Meanwhile there are more than a few items I really need to photograph and add to the shop.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Birthday celebrations, internet style

Happy birthday to me!
On Etsy there is a page of Etsians with Birthdays. Apparently since I recently signed up for a buyers account for some more secretive Christmas shopping, I'm on there twice. Oops! Also, I get a nice note at the top of every page:

And then on ravelry I noticed a cake appears with my avatar today. A little subtle, but I like it:

So far that's all I've noticed. And it's late. But I thought this was cute enough to share nonetheless. Perhaps I'll find more tomorrow!

Remembering Italy

Hadrian's Gator Chiesa dell'Autostrada del Sole Campo de Fiori
A work in progress since I signed up for flickr about a year ago is uploading the massive amounts of pictures I took when I went to Italy in 2002. This was a full quarter in undergrad, with lots of traveling...that adds up to a lot of photos. I think one thing that orginally got me very excited about flickr was the idea that I could place these photos on a map (the geotagging I was talking about in my last post) and have a better record of where I went. I spent a good chunk of a weekend or so when I first signed up working on this. After making 10 sets or so I stopped for reasons I don't recall.

Anyway, somehow I put it out of my mind for a while. Then a few things yesterday got me thinking about it again. One I suppose was the post yesterday, another was finding an image of a church I had been to but forgotten the name of on Facebook. Turned out that people that went on the Rome trip in my Graduate program had also stopped there. It's pictured in the middle above. Anyway, happy to have identified it, I promptly uploaded, labeled and did everything else to it I intend to try to do for the rest of the photos.

And then I realized that I hadn't even gotten to uploading pictures of Rome and the rest of the trip. Those first 10 sets really only covered the first 4 weeks of the quarter. (We spend the first two weeks in Ascoli Piceno, then traveled to many cities in Northern Italy. We settled in Rome for the rest of the quarter minus the last two weeks in which we traveled through cities in the South.) Part of the reason for that is that the bulk of the digital photos I have are from the beginning, before I filled up my tiny 2002 memory cards. Once we settled in Rome I was alternating between digital and film, until I eventually ran out of space completely.

Anyway, the goal is to eventually scan and upload everything. For now I'm slowing trying to finish off the rest of the digital pictures. The collection in progress is here, and I'll be sure to post about it when it's finally complete. (at which point I think it means it's time for another visit, right?) It's a lot of work googling and trying to recall names and places, I wish I had done it much sooner. But it's also a lot of fun.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Flickr Maps & Recent Walks

Wheeler-Kohn House

Just a quick post on this, since it's early & I am still groggy and consuming coffee. (Yeah, I was up late last night for no really good reason.) We're kind of right in the middle of a lot of interesting stuff architecturally, so we've been taking walks that involve lots of photos. And I try to be good about uploading and tagging these photos. And geotagging them as well, as evidenced in the picture above. You can see more of my map here:

In my opinion, the interface is clunky (only a handful of photos show up at one time) but I still enjoy playing with flickr's map feature. From the link above, in the bottom right there's a blackened tab that says "Search the map" which gives you a few options on how to search. Within my maps, I recommend looking up photos "taken in" Chicago, Italy, Washington, Utah or Colorado. Italy in particular was fun, though difficult because I did it last year from what I could recall about an undergraduate quarter long trip in 2002. This tagging was one of the first activities that got me hooked on Flickr.

I wish I could provide specific links to each of those, but unfortunately it's not set up like that. I hope eventually it will be less clunky, but for now I'm happy to know pretty specifically where I've been. (oh, also zoom in, I try to get as specific as I can) Alternatively, on most of my outdoor photos on the right you'll see the neighborhood listed under additional information, with a link to a map that will show you where that picture was taken. Anyway, thought I would try to share this, since I'm not to sure it's a feature most people are aware of or use. I certainly enjoy it, even if it's mainly for my own reference!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yarns I "need" to Stash

1. Tahki Cotton Classic
for Cabled Boat Neck Sweater

This has been long on my Queue, since before I had one on Ravelry. One of the first magazines I ever got had an ad featuring this pattern and since it was still on my mind months later I went out and purchased the booklet on a lunch break. I almost stashed the yarn for it too but the shop was short just a few skeins. I was leaning toward the light mocha color at the time, but now I'm contemplating any of the colors pictured below from yarnmarket.

2. Euroflax Sport Weight for Bottom's Up
I think I had noticed this pattern as a free download on ravelry before, but when I saw it as a FO done in Euroflax I got excited. It was fellow former Seattleite and flickr contact Melinda's FO that I was reacting to. Euroflax is one of those yarns I've brushed up against at the yarn shop and thought about how nice it would be in sweater form. This pattern is lovely, only taking 3 - 4 skeins, and looks dramatic enough to justify the fancy yarn. I know I have too much on my plate right now to get it done in time, but all of the colors below seem so perfect for New Year's Eve. I think I'm leaning toward pewter, pictured in the center.

3. Blue Sky Alpaca's Dyed Cotton in Fern
for Organic Man Pullover
Lastly, something that is definitely on my plate right now is this pullover for Chuck for Christmas (or perhaps his birthday in Jan. if I can't get it done in time.) I love the color pictured, but when we stopped by a yarn shop this weekend I thought it seemed to orangish for Chuck's completion. Though I also liked a brown, Chuck said he preferred a nice shade of green called fern. Oh, by the way, this present isn't much of a secret. I've been talking about making it for him since this magazine came out last winter. I just have to get around to stashing it (soon!) so I can get started.

New Item teaser

Necklaces In progress Pre-photo shoot necklace photo

All but one of these items should be in the shop soon (the clear necklace on the left is already heading out to my grandma.) The ones on the left are similar to my Bottleneck Necklace. In fact the bottleneck necklace is there posing with the group. The one on the right was inspired by a picture my Aunt Leslie sent me this week of a necklace she bought in Colorado. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be a great style to play around with and a great way to use up some of the tons and tons of seed beads in my collection. (I won't go into how this also prompted an evening of bead stash organization last night. But that's probably a good thing anyway.) There may be more of its kind on the way! But first to add some finishing touches to the necklaces pictured above and get them in the shop!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Juice Colored Treasury

Juicy Treasury

For some reason yesterday I wasn't feeling very into the idea of posting an entry even though there was stuff to post about. I guess that must've been true Sunday as well. Sunday I did manage to nab a treasury west, thanks to noticing an Etsy forum title that said they were becoming avaliable soon. I should've blogged about that Sunday night, treasuries are one of my favorite Sunday night activities. But I didn't so I will blog about it now that I've just found out it was on the Front Page this morning! I completely missed it, but I'm excited to know it was there. It'll be up for this evening before it expires.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today was Good

Well it was. Perhaps later I will post more in depth. But just to briefly summarize here for now - We went to the Handmade Market in a bar called the Empty Bottle, then stopped into a restaurant/bar I've been wanting to check out since before we moved here (because I'm sorry but I love puns and word play) the Handlebar. And there was also checking out of the shops I've already been to but like a lot over on Division in Wicker Park. Somehow I managed to come out of the cool yarn shop over there empty handed, and I'm not really sure how that happened but apparently it is possible. And though the transit had some issues on the way there, as we started our trip I took pictures of Obama posters. And on the way back there was a lovely trumpet player at one of the stations, and interestingly a girl carrying a chair from train to train. It's nice to just be in a city like this.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cool Japanese Ad

Chuck found this website for a Japanese clothing store a few weeks back, and I have to say I love it. I keep trying to figure out how to explain it, but I think you just have to see it. It's neat. I just realized the first time I looked at it, it was at night and the images were night time images. I came back to it today and the images are completely different than before. I believe it knows your location and time zone and adjusts the images accordingly. Incidentally I notice a lot of Cabled scarfs are featured, something I've been working on lately. No pictures though, it's getting to be a more secretive time of year. Anyway, I figure this sort of counts for a video friday feature, even though it's a little different than my usual posts.

Update: Chuck came home and pointed out there was a widget for posting it on your blog. Also it's downloadable as a screensaver, and since I really think it's best viewed full screen, I may end up doing that soon! It would seem the do have one US store in Soho, in NYC.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cool for Cats

Cat Treasury

I woke up this morning with our sweet little cat Lucy sleeping on me and shortly there after nabbed a treasury. So I decided to make it all about one of my favorite subjects, cats. The title was from the Squeeze song "Cool for Cats" one of my favorites when I was just a little cat obsessed kid. I've recently signed up for, which I guess is pretty similar to twitter, except for music. I haven't used it a lot so far, but I was able to find that Squeeze song, which made me pretty happy. You can listen to the song by going to my blip profile here. And my blips also show up as tweets. The internet seems to be full of chirping noises lately! Oh, and I almost forgot, you can visit the treasury by going here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Everywhere I've lived

went for Obama. I like to think I had some influence. Well, okay, maybe here in Illinois the fact that it's his home state had some weight. But I'm proud of all my states, OH, WA & IL. Thanks for coming through.

I'm not sure what to say in this post, but it's a good week to be in Chicago. (I knew something was going right with the amazing weather we've been having!) We weren't out in the middle of it all right when everything was announced. It's hard to believe that as recently as yesterday I didn't know how this was going to go. Perhaps that is why we stayed in last night. Though once we did know, and I calmed down, we took a walk around the neighborhood. We're very close to it all, right at the south end of the park, so even from our apartment we could hear the honking and cheers. The city of Chicago was ready for this event. We actually had taken a very long walk earlier in the day around the entire park to see what was going on. I have never seen so many cops, so many forms of police vehicles, so many TV station trucks in one place. Before and after it sure seemed like everyone was pretty unanimously happy.

During our walk, which must have been around or very close to midnight, there was so much going on. Michigan Ave. was closed, we walked right up the middle, which was such a neat feeling. Someone was carrying the American flag around. People were doing a pro-Obama cheer on the sidewalk. They were selling t-shirts for $5 creating a bit of a frenzy right near the bus stops. And like I said, Chicago was ready. Transit was lined up and packed along the intersection two blocks up from our apartment. The CTA had people with vests directing people to their buses. Cops were enticing people to cheer for Obama even. I'm really not sure Obama had to throw a party, I think Chicago would've done it anyway, but it sure was nice.

I cried for much too long, when I thought I was going to be able to stop I came out and saw that Jesse Jackson was crying and the news anchors seemed to be on the verge of tears too. I'm all puffy this morning. I have a headache. It's completely worth it. Even so, I'm disappointed to learn the results of Prop 8 in California and the success of similar measures in other states. But I hope, just like last night, we can see change on these issues come sooner than anyone expects.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Friday on Tuesday

Video today even though it's not Friday cause I just couldn't help but have a flashback to 1992. Silly I know. I still have my Dee-lite CD somewhere though, they were just too much fun. Oh, and don't get distracted by all the neon colors and forget to vote, that's the whole point!

Monday, November 3, 2008

And to fill the yarn keepers...

Ok, you got me. My birthday is less than two weeks away and I am dropping hints. *ahem* No I am helping out my friends and family with some gift ideas. Hopefully this might also help some other people that may be wondering what to buy crazy knitting cat ladies (we shall call them "CKCLs" since knitters love the abbreviations) in their lives. Well, that's easy. you can never have enough yarn. What's great about this as a gift because even though it might seem like CKCLs buy plenty of yarn for themselves, knitters have all kinds of odd shopping habits. For example, I'm I probably what you would call a project knitter. I mainly stash yarn with some end result in mind. I eye all the lovely handspun stuff but haven't purchased any off of Etsy yet because a) it's pretty expensive and b) I don't have a plan of attack. But if someone were to purchase this kind of yarn for me I would find something lovely to do with it, and I'm sure really enjoy the quality and workability of the yarn itself. And like I said, I need something to fill the yarn keepers.

Some of my favorite vegan yarns from Etsy are above and below.

From left to right:
100% Banana Fiber from BlondeChicken
Recycled Yarn from Craftyyarn
Organic Cotton Sampler from ChamomileConnection
Cotton/Ecospun Handspun Yarn from Hobbledehoy
Lavender Bamboo Yarn from theknittingsiren
Bulky T-shirt Yarn from mklawrie

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I really like these things...

I suppose they are most accurately referred to as "yarn keepers." Anyway, they seem perfect for projects in progress that must live near the couch, or comfy chair. From left to right: Inklore's Yarn keeper, Lotta Jansdotter's Fabric Bucket and Jenna Rose's Storage Bucket. Also they are 7", 6" and 9" in diameter respectively. So while I'm always really drawn to Lotta Jansdotter's items, this one is on the smaller side. Somehow I just love the idea of a very large and very pretty fabric bucket that will hold lots of stuff. But then again, perhaps different sizes for different projects? Maybe more than one would do the trick...

Now with more Bracelets!

Knotty Blue Bracelet Knotty Green Bracelet

There are only a small handful of bracelets in my shop. I guess this is probably due to the trouble I have wearing them. I like bracelets, I have quite a few, but every time I try to wear them I end up fussing with them a lot. Probably one of the many signals that I should cut back on the coffee. Anyway, I've recently added the two bracelets pictured above. I actually think I'd be less prone to fussing with these two, since the are hand knotted between each bead there isn't much to move around, other than spinning them around your wrist, which would probably get boring even for the biggest coffee consumers like myself. If I didn't fuss with them so much I might think about wearing both of these at once. Check out the green and the blue, and maybe look for some more fuss-reducing bracelets to come. Meanwhile, if you enjoy fussing or are able to resist it check out the other bracelets in my shop.

Oh and I've decided to extend the free spider with purchase of my webbed necklace through the weekend since I"m still feeling in the Halloween spirit. But after election day he's mine!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Last Vegan Mofo Post

Halloween Cookies

My last post for the vegan month of food I guess is coming in a bit late, since it's now November. But we did make these cookies last night, and plus I have to post the Halloween Cookies. I suppose the end of Vegan mofo doesn't mean I won't be posting anymore entries about food, but they will be less frequent. By now you've seen some of my favorite regular dishes. While I do still feel accomplished and may even continue to snap a few photos of these dishes, I probably won't be blogging about them. Unless I have some stunning new revelation about how to prepare them I suppose. So mostly I'll just post here and there about new and/or complicated meals...which...we'll see how often those show up...

Anyway, we've made these sugar cookies quite a few times and the turn out pretty well. I'm not really sure where the recipie was orginally from, I think perhaps the internet at one point. This time we didn't have quite enough white flour so they were made with a mix of whole wheat and white. I tend to avoid doing that, sugar cookies are not supposed to be healthy. But it's not too noticeable in this recipie. Perhaps there's enough sugar. We made a selection of cats, ghosts, pumpkins, spiders and webs, the rest of which you can see here and here. Making sugar cookies at Halloween I guess is sort of a tradition, I remember doing it with my Mom. So I've been collecting Halloween shapes for a few years. It's too much fun to stop!