30 April 2007

Nearly F O

This O actually isn't quite F; I still have to sew on the snap. It's an adaptation of the Emerald Beaded Bracelet. You may remember that I made one for myself, but this one's for Thing 1. She chose the thread and bead colors herself. I think she chose wisely. And this time I used prestrung seed beads, which saved me countless hours of putting beads on the thread.

29 April 2007

Back from SF

Sorry folks, this one will be image-heavy. Thing 1 and I enjoyed a beautiful Saturday in San Francisco. We stayed on the 8th floor of the Hotel Palomar, where this was our view:

We're looking over Market Street and up Stockton Street. After checking in, we had cream puffs at Beard Papa's.

Then we were off to SFMOMA, where we saw the Picasso exhibit, I tried to explain to Thing 1 why artists like to depict naked people so often, and then we hit the gift shop. I love museum gift shops.

After a brief rest at the hotel, we went shopping. One highlight was a visit to Art Fibers, one of my very, very favorite yarn stores.

We also visited San Francisco Centre, which I think may now be called Westfield Mall. Whatever it's called, it has a wonderful food court (including a Slanted Door outlet) and a Japanese stationery store. I have a confession to make: I adore stationery and office supply stores. I can spend a long, happy time in Staples. So you can only imagine I am in a shop that stocks all those incredibly cute and clever Japanese papers and pens and erasers and so on.

Knatolee, there's a fantastic store there called Lupicia that has over 400 kinds of tea!

Eventually, we collapsed back in our room, although we did later make a trip to the Container Store, which was conveniently located next door.

I've never ridden in one of these things--don't they look like fun?

Today, Sunday, was less fun. Thing 1 broke the magnifying mirror in the hotel bathroom and then had a tantrum (I thought she'd outgrown those!) so we just headed eastward without doing anything fun. But as soon as we got off the Bay Bridge, our eastward progress was stopped by this:

I'm just thankful I don't commute to SF, because that will be a mess for a very long time. Today, we had to take an unplanned detour through Berkeley in order to get home, adding an extra hour to our trip. Here's what really annoys me, though. The highway collapsed 7 hours before we got there, and there wasn't a single sign on the very long Bay Bridge to warn us that the highway was closed. Nobody had any idea until they got to the I-80/I-580 split, abruptly discovered 580 closed, and slammed on their brakes in confusion. Good job, Caltrans.

26 April 2007


Thank you, ladies, for all the great suggestions for that fabric! I definitely think the Loteria fabric needs to be a tote bag of some sort. I'm thinking the pink skulls would be awfully cute as a skirt for one of the Things. I need to find a really simple pattern. And maybe one of the others will be an apron. So many choices!! Something fun to think about when I ought to be grading or writing.

I received a GYS swap package today from Chiara in Italy. There was some pasta, of course, and some cute things, but this was my favorite:
How cool is that?!? Thing 1 is thrilled.

Speaking of Thing 1, today while she was emptying the dishwasher she informed me that her name is actually Gently Carefully Yesmom. Sounds good to me. She and I are heading to SF this weekend to visit SFMoMA and do some shopping. She's never been to an art museum and I think she'll enjoy it.

24 April 2007


So I just acquired some really cool fabrics. See? I have no idea what I want to make with them, and I'm very open to suggestions! I have 1 yard of each except the pink skulls, of which I have 2 yards. Keep in mind I am not an experienced or talented seamstress, but I'm willing to learn new skills and I do own a sewing machine. And of course I won't get to this until after the semester is over, but I can dream now.
So, whatta ya think??

22 April 2007

Pics as Promised

As promised, for those of you not already thoroughly sick of the subject, here's my kitchen. As you can see, Ruthie matches the new floor:

And here's the view toward the family room. The crooked painting has been straightened.

Thanks for all the compliments! :-) We are really enjoying the kitchen.

19 April 2007

Power On!

The kitchen guys are done! We have power! We have counters and floors and appliances! We have dust everywhere, but that will soon be remedied. Here you can see what the kitchen looked like as they were installing the tile.

And here is Square #10, lounging against the new backsplash (before it was grouted).

My parents understand our situation completely, and sent us this sign. It's still in the kitchen, but it will also fit right in at work.

And finally, I received my first Postcrossing postcard--from Helsinki. How cool is that? And you know what? One of my cards made it from California to the Netherlands in 3 days! It can sometimes take mail longer than that to get to the next town over from here.

Tomorrow I'll post a pic of the (nearly) completed kitchen. I say nearly because there are still some smaller jobs awaiting Hubby, like moving and replacing light fixtures. But the really major stuff is done. :-)

Yesterday was a weird animal day here. At work, there was a Canada goose fast asleep in the middle of the road, one leg tucked up and its head under a wing. It didn't budge as cars carefully swerved around it, and also didn't seem bothered by the guys running a large tree shredder thing about 20 feet away. And then my evening ceramics class was attended by a gopher. The instructer caught it and took it away somewhere. I also saw a crow come within about 3 feet of flying into a girl who was walking across campus. What was up with the critters yesterday??

17 April 2007

Back in Stitches

Yay--my Knitting Spot is back! I'd show you a picture, but I'm back to living like a pioneer woman while they tile they backsplash. We had to turn off the electricity to the kitchen and laundry room, which also means we have no power in the study, master bedroom, upstairs hallway, and 2 of the upstairs bathrooms. Both computers are out, although I've jury-rigged something with the router and my laptop. Also, the entire kitchen is wrapped in paper, including the sink. All the appliances are out except the fridge, which is currently residing in the family room (much to Hubby's delight--only 2 steps from the couch to the beer!). However, we do have power in the family room, which means I can sit and knit and watch tv. Hooray!

15 April 2007

Order and Progress

My latest swapping goodness has arrived from south of the border. Waaaay south of the border actually: Brazil. My first South American swap. Cibele send so many wonderful things. To name just a few: yarn, tea towels, stickers, and earrings, all in the Brazilian national colors. I love the Brazilian flag, BTW, and I kinda dig the national motto, which is "order and progress." There are Portuguese dictionaries, which is great--a lot of people around here are from the Azores, and I've been wanting to pick up a bit of the language. Oh, and just so much more, including a bunch of snacks not pictured here, and snow globes that Thing 1 had already whisked away when I took the pic. Thank you so much, Cibele!
And yes, that's an actual floor in the picture! We are making progress and becoming more orderly. The floor is done. The sink is operational, as are all appliances except the stove. We just need to put all the furniture and stuff back, and for the next 3 days the backsplash will be installed. Then we can clean up the thick layer of dust that's over everything. I think tomight I'll get my Knitting Spot back. Hooray!!

13 April 2007

Swap arrived from Shanghai

Today I received a wonderful package just stuffed full of goodness from Jo in Shanghai. Behold:

This picture actually doesn't even show it all--there were lots more snacks, including haw slices, which I'm really fond of. Isn't that yarn pretty? And there's a whole set of postcards from the Modern Ballet, and deco tape, and a CD, and, well, just tons of good stuff for me and the Things. Thank you, Jo!

And the astute among you will notice that these goodies are arrayed on a granite countertop. That's right--I have counters now!

12 April 2007


If you still care about the renovation saga, here's what my kitchen looks like at the moment.

And the family room. This picture looks like some sort of tragic accident, but it's just Ruthie enjoying the cool cement to nap on.

By the end of the day today, we should once again have countertops, a sink, and a dishwasher. My Knitting Spot won't return until Monday or so.

11 April 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, RIP

Kurt Vonnegut has died. He was 84. He's been one of my favorite authors ever since my junior year in high school, when Mr. Johanson had us read Slaughterhouse-Five. Among other things, he coined one of my favorite words, granfalloon. Look--you can get free pdf versions of some of his books (if you want to sign up for Wowio, please let me know)! Busy, busy, busy.

10 April 2007

Beaded FO

I just sewed the snaps on this little beauty, the Emerald Bracelet from Magknits. Obviously, I changed colorways--mine is more of a Cobalt Bracelet. There are several things about this that make me happy:
  1. The materials to make it (size 8 perle cotton and size 11/0 seed beads, plus a snap) cost a total of about $5.
  2. I did not go insane stringing over 1300 seed beads, one by frigging one.
  3. I did not end up with over 1300 seed beads accidentally being sent flying all over the couch and/or floor.
  4. I did not manage to injure myself on the size 0000 double points on which this was knitted.
  5. Knitting it took 3 evenings, which was less time than it took to string the beads--that took 4.
  6. I finished before my Knitting Spot went away.

09 April 2007

Roughing It

Tonight I washed assorted dishes in the bathroom sink. It made me feel like a pioneer woman.

Now, I realize that a) pioneer women didn't have guest bathrooms in which to wash dishes; and b) even if they did, they probably didn't spend much time rinsing sippy cups and Tupperware pizza slice savers.

Nevertheless, that's how I felt.

We've lost the countertops, dishwasher, and kitchen sink. The stove and washer and dryer are next to go. I don't know what they're doing about the fridge, but at least we'll retain the microwave.

Oh, and today I learned the whole project will (allegedly) be done next Wednesday, not next Monday, as I'd originally been told.

But tomorrow I will really have to rough it, because I'm losing my Knitting Spot for several days. All the furniture has to come out of the kitchen and family room and laundry room so the new floor can be laid there. Which means the living room (which is not being refloored) will temporarily house 3 couches, 1 kitchen table, 11 chairs, 1 coffee table, 3 end tables, 2 toy boxes, 2 DVD racks, 1 large sidebaord, the contents of 3 closets, dog dishes, a trash can, a china cabinet, an Ikea corner shelf, 3 bookcases, and a 9 foot pool table. It's a big room, but it should be pretty much impassible for the duration. And neither of my other comfy sitting spots--the loveseat in the study or the Ikea chair in the bedroom--is in view of a tv, and I like to watch tv while I knit.

Life is tough.

07 April 2007


This summer will see the release of Spiderman 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Shrek 3, Hostel 2, Fantastic Four 2, another Die Hard movie, and probably many other sequels. I'm thinking maybe they could save resources by combining some of them. For example, we could have...

Spiders of the Caribbean!!

Maybe the dust is getting to me. Here is what's left of my kitchen:

We have no functional kitchen sink for the next 10 days. Great. Time to try every restaurant in town, I guess. And because some of us have spring break, I guess we'll be trying lunch specials around town, too.

Oh, and Knatolee, there's no actual picture of the mailbox in yesterday's post. I wasn't trying to drive you crazy. Our mailbox is pretty boring anyway--it's the kind that has individual locked boxes for everyone on the block. What you can see in the post is the book of postcards that arrived in the mailbox.

06 April 2007

Cough cough cough

After a week and half of obnoxious hacking and coughing, and after everybody I know told me to go to the doctor, I actually did go to the doctor. Bronchitis. It makes it really hard to teach, but that's okay because spring break is upon us. In my case, spring break will mean a week of keeping Thing 2 and Ruthie out of the way of the counter and floor guys, but at least I don't have to talk for 3 hours a day to 110 people.

Thing 1 doesn't have next week off, but she did have off today. I was going to take her SFMoMA (where there's currently a Picasso exhibit) but didn't quite feel up to it. So instead we went to see Meet the Robinsons in 3D--and we both enjoyed it a lot. It's one of the better animated features I've seen in a while, and the 3D is fun without being overdone.

Darned if we didn't pass a nursery on the way home:

It's 80 degrees out today--time to plant! Among other things, I scored three kinds of lavender. I also bought some cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers, in the vain hope that the Things will eat more veggies if they grow them themselves. We also came home with a preying mantis egg case. We always end up with a lot of mantises anyway, but I guess the more the merrier. THere are plenty of aphids and things for them to gobble.

And if you look closely at the picture, you can see the lovely surprise that was waiting for me in my mailbox. Eve sent me a whole book of Barry Foundation postcards. What could be more fun than a bunch of Saint postcards directly from Switzerland? It was a wonderful surprise. Thank you, Eve!!

02 April 2007

Number 9, number 9....

Are you bored with these yet? Obviously, I'm not. I think it's the quick gratification, coupled with the nummy Noro colors.

01 April 2007


If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I enjoy swapping. I've always loved getting surprises in the mail, and it's fun to send them too. I've completed quite a few swaps via Gimmeyourstuff. What's amazing is that so far, I have yet to be disappointed in a single swap--although I do have to exercise patience waiting for packages to get here from overseas. I've participated in several knitting-related secret pal exchanges, and been the recipient of some really lovely, generous gifts. I've gotten to know some amazing people, too! Several of you have jobs I really envy, and such interesting lives, plus you're so creative! I've also recently done several postcard swaps through Swap-Bot. And today one of my postcard swappees told me about Postcrossing, which is just way too tempting to pass up.

I wonder what people think when they receive a postcard from Turlock--and yes, you can actually purchase such an item. Does Turlock seem exotic to someone living in say, Finland or Thailand?