Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's disappointing when you plan to use "I think I just peed myself" as a post title, then find out you've already used it, darn it

Because I did, when I saw this:

Especially because it makes me remember this: which is not safe for work, seeing as how it's rather crude, but hilarious all the same, as it imagines Edward Cullen of Twilight fame as someone who picked up a lot of hobbies while everyone else in his family was hooking up.  A small sample:

oxymoronassoc: i bet he went through a phase where he knitted shit
[info]oxymoronassoc: to keep from strangling emmett
[info]oxymoronassoc: everyone got a lumpy pullover for xmas that year

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Did I mention we went to the zoo last week, too?

Liza has found a new career goal -
Camel Driver.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Meta action shot!

Why yes, I am tweeting one-handed while holding a butterfly and being photographed by my daughter.  Why do you ask?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

First of the year

Look at that beauty!  And way earlier than previous years.  Shame this is my only tomato plant that's even set flowers, much less produced fruit.  We may be relying on the kindness of strangers Tabitha for our tomatoes this summer.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Guess what I did for two hours today?

Good thing I had the radio on, as pitting eight cups of cherries at one sitting is a bit on the tedious side.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finally, I'm writing again

It's just not here.  Check out a post I'm sort of proud of over on the new blog:

Nom nom nom

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Turning my family room into a sweat shop


Why yes, I am encouraging my 5-year-old to help me iron fabric scraps so that I can rend them into useful sizes before I store them.  And she loved it so much, she wants to do it again tomorrow morning.

Am I awesome or what?  Now if we can just get her trained to do Jason's collars and cuffs, Daddy will look much more dapper at work :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Carpentry project of the day

"Mom, what's wrong with my swingset?"
"Nothing's wrong with your swingset."
"Yes there is.  Look at the end."
"What, did a bird poop on it again?"
"No, look!"

"Oh. ... Well, I guess we'd better fix that, huh?"

Yes, the end of the swingset fell off completely with no warning.  The bolt holding the uprights onto the beam pulled right out, as did the screws on the L-bracket that was supposed to be holding the bolt in (great engineering job, there, former owners of the house who built the thing).  Luckily, this happened when no kids were on it, although I'm pretty sure the beam the swings hang from wouldn't have crashed to the ground under the weight of the 11-year-old next door.  $100 in supplies, two weeks to wait for the mail-order bars, and an entire day of work later ...

I still have to drill the hole on the little extended piece to hang the disc swing, and cut off the old support the swings used to hang on, but that hasn't stopped somebody from using the monkey bars continuously since the moment the concrete footings were cured.

You can't see it in the pictures, but it looks pretty funny to have all of the new construction (pretty close to) square and plumb, and the old structure ... really not.  Maybe I'll get around to fixing that some day, since I had so much fun doing the monkey bars all by myself.  If I ever pry the kid off of the bars, that is.  Of course, she only goes hand-over-hand for one gap, then she stretches for the rest of it, the little cheaterpants.

Oh, well - stretching is good for the body, too.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What do you say when everything was just ... perfect?

One week ago today I was in the car, driving through five states with a friend, en route to Squam Lake, New Hampshire.  The trip was easy, if long, and while we didn't see any moose ...

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... we did see a deer fly off the hood of a car in the next lane on the highway.  Did you know that deer bounce when they hit the pavement at 65 mph?  Now that's something I never expected to learn at ...

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Four and a half days of crafting bliss - just me and 150 other crafty people taking over a historic family summer retreat on an idyllic lake ...

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... for classes, camaraderie, and (at least for me) a lot of this:

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Our first class was at a cabin that was, as I fondly referred to it, at "the ass end of nowhere," which was reached via a brisk 10-minute hike through the woods ...

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Luckily, I had a hearty breakfast that morning, so I even after the hike I was ready to tackle my first class - Latvian fingerless mitts in five color stranded knitting.  I've done colorwork before, but never with so many colors, and she really opened my eyes to some of the things I've been unintentionally doing wrong.

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Really, it's not that hard once you get used to the whole idea of controlled chaos on the back side of the piece.  Don't give me that look - you know you want to try it, too.  Look how easy it is - I didn't even break a sweat!
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My class the next day was even farther away from our home cabin, which gave me plenty of time to gather inspiration from the woods around me.  I'll spare you the approximately 48,000 pictures I took of ferns, and instead show you the most interesting bit I stumbled upon:

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I swear, those puppies looked so fake, I was tempted to see if somebody had hot-glued plastic mushrooms to the tree.  Anyway, I needed all the inspiration I could get, because I was supposed to be designing botanical-inspired things to print on fabric.  I was also totally copying designs out of that Japanese book on the corner of the table :)

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Squam wasn't just about crafting, though - there was plenty of time to enjoy the facility and its surroundings. I decided to use a free afternoon to drag myself up to the top of a mountain the hard way (i.e. on the shorter path that went straight up the side of the damn thing, which meant there was a lot of actual "dragging myself  up the hill" involved).  Luckily, the view was totally worth the schlepp.
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My last class was only half a day, which was a shame because I really had a good time meeting Jared Flood and starting the blanket he designed.  The thing was so fun that I couldn't resist working on it more in the car on the way home.  

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Luckily for me, wool is very absorbent, because there may or may not have been a few sniffles from my side of the car as we drove off into the sunset (well, actually just away from the sunrise, since we were heading west at an ungodly hour of the morning).

I'm not a normally effusive person, but I have to say, this was among my best vacations ever.  Nothing went wrong, everyone got along, I didn't forget anything, the people were nice, the place was spectacular, there was plenty to do, nobody thought you were weird if you didn't want to do anything but sit on a dock with your feet in the water, and everybody was crafty.  I'd go back in a heartbeat, and while I don't know if I'd say it was life-changing, it was certainly awesome.  And fun.  And inspiring.  And only slightly mosquito-filled.  So if you're even slightly crafty, go check it out.  You'll be glad you did.

I came, I S.A.W., I Squammed!

I'm still planning to put together my thoughts on the experience, but here's a video from Jen Grey that shows where I was last week.  I'm in the video (look for the red capris around 1:30-2:00) and my partner in crime is the lady in short overalls walking through the dining hall later in the movie.  Thank you, Jen, for capturing the experience so wonderfully and sharing it with us all!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Radio silence

... commences .... 


Back on Monday with really, really cool stories and pics.  Promise.