Sometimes Mommy’s Can be Selfish

Yesterday was all about me.  I went to rehearsal, I lazed around the house for the afternoon, and then we went to a show.  It has been such a long time when I did something purely for me and my mental health, it was much needed, and today – despite a small hangover – I feel great.

Last night, we saw Rasputina at a venue not far from our apartment.  It was great.  I have been a fan of theirs for a very long time, and getting to see them live is a highlight of my year.  Their music – “Neo Victorian Chamber Rock” as they classify themselves, is alternately poignant, comedic, emotional, and historic.  I first learned about them when I was 14, and have been a fan ever since.  There were times when my interest fluctuated, but the way they play those cellos is hypnotic and beautiful, so I always return.  Rasputina is the music I put on when I’m upset and it always helps me relax.

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Also, yesterday, I cast on something for myself.  This was a hard one, and I feel a tad guilty for it.  I had a lovely Saturday at the farmer’s market and sold a lot of knitwear, which technically means I should restock.  But I am so sick of making the same thing over and over, on small metal needles that have put a hole in my forefinger.  There are two weeks left, I still have enough stock to fill my shop, so I’m not going to worry about it.  I’m really good at rationalizing my choices.  I am going to work on the things I want to.  I started a swatch.  And then I started this pullover for myself.  It is a chunky one on size 13 needles, which means it’s sort of flying by.  It will be the Leif Slipover, and just in time, too.  I feel the cold is sinking in to my bones today and the idea of something warm and handmade to throw on – without sleeves, because sometimes sleeves are just cumbersome – makes me happy.

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What is your selfish mommy time?

Quickly I Write

I had every intention of writing a blog post yesterday about th Ravellenic games that will be kicked off this afternoon in conjunction with the opening Olympic ceremonies.  I had every intention of going into detail about my goals during the next two weeks and how I was going to see them through.   I wanted to do that so today, I could post a picture from work at exactly 3pm central time showing the first feeble stitchs of my self-imposed challenge.  As you can see there was no post yesterday.

What happened was that, while I was typing away, a pile of work fell in my lap and consumed my attention for the rest of the working afternoon.  I got off work, picked up Ellette from camp only to discover that she had – for the second or third time this summer – lost her lunchbox.  As punishment, I told her that she had to make up that money I had put into those lunchboxes.  I had a studio that needed to be moved into the attic and a dining room to be reorganized, plus generic cleaning in preparation for my sister’s visit.  So, I piled up boxes by the attic door and she carried them upstairs and put them neatly in a row for me to sort later, meanwhile giving me pitiful looks and whimpering slightly about how tired she was getting and how boring it was.    I then cleaned up the kitchen, swept and mopped the floors, and vacuumed the rugs.  By this time, we were all hungry, my sister was late, and I couldn’t lift another finger.  We ordered thai, which led to confusion about food, during which my sister arrived, with others in tow, and chaos reigned for a while, pushing the blog out of my realm of thought.

So, today I am catching up what I should have said yesterday and holding off on what I wanted to say today.

1) Info on the Ravellenic Games can be found here.

2) I am a part of Team Windy Knitty.

3) I will be competing in wip wrestling.  The goal is to tackle the works-in-progress that have been piling up.  I will be starting with the Chess Game:

 

4) Apparently, I tried to post and everything south of the picture was lost (including the picture) – I’m sorry.

5) If I finish this in time, my next wip would be the Panda Fan Shawl I started in Denmark.

6) Followed by the Cog Steampunk Scarf.

7) I have more in the line up if (IF) I finish the above 3.

8) The games end August 12 (that’s 17 days!)

9) Tonight there is a kick off party with Team Windy Knitty at Fireside.  Come on down!

 

Are you in the game?

Third Weekend

Steampunk Weekend…

Time Travel

This past weekend, with the gorgeous weather, and the fleeting moments of freedom, we went to the coffee shop down the street.  It is the season of rummage sales, yard sales, moving sales, and whozit and whatnot sales.  On our walk home, we encountered no less than three of them, all with a wide range of items priced to go.  The largest, and most interesting, of these was a family prepping for a move to Colorado.  Tons of things were up for sale.  Dressers, old collectible toys, vases, board games, (a lifesize cardboard cutout of Rose Tyler) and a steamer trunk.

 

We had to have it.  There is severe rust and a musty odor, and the locks don’t quite work, but for the price and the novelty, we couldn’t resist.

 

What are we going to use it for?  Well, the thought of using it for it’s original purpose has crossed our minds.  We could fit everything we need for three in here without much trouble. But the thing is flipping heavy as it is.  I spent all day yesterday cleaning up the living room to make room for it, and then did some research on restoration.  That is my priority.

As you can see, the locks are all pretty rusted.  I have wiped them down since taking this picture, but they still need a good treatment.  I need to find out which locks work and which ones don’t – and whether or not it is worth replacing the ones that don’t.  I also need to get rid of the musty odor rising from it, but intend to pick up an anti-microbial spray to kill mold spores and then using a baking powder or natural remedy to remove any excess odor.

You can sort of see the staining in the drawer.  Most of the drawers have some staining.  Initially, I thought I could remove the fabric, clean the wood, and put in new fabric, but upon looking closer, there is no removable fabric.  It is as though the wood itself has been patterned.  I’m not sure how to take care of that.

This is the back of the trunk, where a crack in the leather leads to staining down the trunk.  I have been informed that most leather is treated with an anti-microbial wash (or some such), so I don’t have to worry about mold.  I still would like to know if anything can be done to remove the staining and big gouges.

I know that some of you who read this are interested in restoration, steam punk, antiques, etc.  Do you have any thoughts/advice?

 

Tuesday

Monday saw the completion of the steampunk wings:

I do really like them and will definitely be making more.  If you are interested – I do custom orders, but these pre-made ones will only be available online if, by chance, they do not sell by June 20th.  The only way to get them is to come to one of my shows.

I also finished making coordinating bias tape for the Celeste wings so that I could complete the sewing (not complete yet) and I began framing the wings.

By midnight, I had completed two full pairs of wings, minus the finishing at the very edges – that’s kind of time consuming and my lighters were all dead.  Today, however, I picked up several more lighters and set to work.  Unfortunately, tea lights (which I have plenty of) do not offer the same amount of control that lighters do.

The ribbon is the most tedious part.  Once started, it is near impossible to stop wrapping until the wings are done.  I always dribble glue on my fingers which is never fun.  The Celeste wings are especially difficult because the center spirals flop around – and metal is kind of sharp.  I have several cuts on my forearms and am very grateful to my glasses for protecting my eyes.

Today, Tuesday, has seen the gathering of supplies that I had run low on so that I can finish some things – such as one of the custom orders.

These have been fun to make and explored a new technique – which I will most definitely be utilizing in the future.  They are cute and dynamic.  The moss is fun and adds an extra dimension to the look.  I have used moss in the past, but my experience has been that it dries out and becomes brittle, or gets so saturated with humidity that it starts falling off.  This is a faux moss and a new glue – a higher quality model train glue – that should lend more durability to the wings.  The only problem is the wings are porous and the moss isn’t sticking.  I must find a new glue.  This is a back step I was really trying to avoid.

 

*groan*

Getting Things Done

At some point in the day, every day this week, I have sat in front my computer, ready to write.  Then I would heave a sigh and close the lid, because I had nothing I felt worthwhile to say, or having too much on my mind to take the time to write anything down.

This house lately has been a string of stressed energy, and it has leaked into every facet of my daily functioning.  We have all been tiptoeing around each other, afraid the others will bristle at the slightest surprise.  At times, we are to withdrawn to interact.  Most evenings this past week, I have curled up in the corner of the couch with headphones glued to my ears and knitting in my lap.  No one wants to approach the pointy, potentially dangerous, sticks, and I’m okay with that.

My to-do list isn’t getting marked off, which is my own fault.  I have been focused on the never ending ever growing Tetris afghan, which is coming along nicely and pattern requests have already been made.  I am eager to finish, photograph, and send it on it’s way.  I’m worried that by the time I have finally finished, it will be too heavy for the weather in San Fransisco, it’s final destination.  Either way, it’s a journey.

The new year has inspired, as it usually does, the desire to purge the unwanted build up in my house, head, and life.  Starting, a much needed update to my Etsy shop.  For starts, we have new top hats:

            

They can be found here, here, here, here, and here (in the order they appear!)

Trust me, there are more to come.  This is a constant endeavor, as what I make quickly gets snatched up by individuals or consignment shops. I have taken to keeping yarn at the workplace with me and when I need a break from staring at a computer screen, I work a round or two.

I am also in the process of taking stock inventory.  What do I have that has been broken in transport (unfortunately, that happens a bit)?  What do I have from prior to 2011? (And I really don’t think there is much).  Then, there is a look at what materials I still have and trying to get through those so I can get started bringing out fresh designs.

And then, finally, I will feel like 2012 is on track – perhaps 3 weeks late, but things are still rolling along.

UFO hunting

In cleaning my house, or rather – trying to clean my house – I came across several boxes of unfinished knitting projects.  I will share them with you, in hopes that the embarrassment of it all will spur me into action.  Unlikely, but worth a shot.

 

   

After laying everything out, I discovered things that were almost completed – the fairy dolls I began when I was in Arizona several years ago, a belt, the start of a shirt, and a competition project from a year or so ago.  I never did finish.  I think inspiration slammed the door on that one.

  

I found projects I had been intending to add to the shop – purses with interesting embroidered pictures like clouds and dandelions, and floral headbands that still need to be blocked and pieced together.

   

I found several project designs in their planning stages – some purses I was planning on needlefelting but got bored of.  The yarn was a cast off from another knitter and an undyed beige from Brown Sheep.  I designed a pair of steampunk Victorian gloves that took me to the fingers to realize I had made it too small, and didn’t actually like the pattern as much as I thought I would.  Elements of it have been stripped away for the next attempt.  I also discovered the dragon puppet scarf I was designing when I got stuck on the wings and cast aside.  I have the pattern written for everything except the wings, but something about this task is daunting and uninspired.

 

I found several projects that I had no clue as to why they were started.  The lace was being frogged slowly (which I completed after taking the photos) and the yarn will be used on some other project.

 

Of course, here is what I have of MAY and JUNE’s afghan squares!!  (Please ignore the fact that it is the middle of August and I am severely behind!)

 

The Settlers of Catan board that still needs to be reworked so the pieces are even.

The Cog scarf that I am still piecing together.

An entrelac purse that was sidelined for some other project.

The fan shawl I started in Denmark and the pair of socks I promised Ellette.  Just after this photo I tried the sock in progress on Ellette and realized they were too small.  They were frogged immediately and I haven’t had the heart to try again.  On a lighter note, I did take the shawl with me for a while and get some work completed.

These are all the projects that just needed the ends woven in – most of which have been completed while watching tv.

And, the racerback tank, which I haven’t actually worn yet but I am happy to have completed before the end of summer.

 

I also have many projects in the line up (why is my work never done???)  I have Dodo wings to make, as well as another wing commission.  Dog wings to make for several people (but, fair enough, I haven’t been paid yet, so it doesn’t exactly count in my things to do list)  I have also been commissioned to make a Doctor Who scarf (check out this website, it rocks!)  I have also been dieing to make the chess board I have been in the process of designing, finish the aviator hat, catch up on the afghan (and begin the afghan I have been designing in my head.)

So, my sanity may be hanging by a thread at the moment, and somehow, when the chaos starts to thin, I add more.  Why is that?

 

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