Friday, April 8, 2011

Experimental Posting

Whilst scratching around my computer desktop I found these images from the end of February's 2011 Thing-a-day. Little words assembled using my Catphabet:



I didn't post them then because I wanted to end that challenge by spelling out "The End" and "G'BYE" and then I kinda forgot to share them later.

Seeing these again made my mind wander to thoughts of the other communal thing I recently participated in- if only peripherally and mostly anonymously - the 2011 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. Specifically the challenge topic posed on Day 5 - Experimental Blogging: "an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity"

Don't know why I didn't think of it at the time, but now, the only thing I can think about is writing an entire blog post in catphabet code. How annoying would that be? So much so that I can't stop smiling. You know that twisty, evil smile that travels up past your eyebrows and into your hair along your part, curling and uncurling the very tips of the ends of the shafts.

Grinch Smile
google images

Good thing I'm far too lazy to do that.

Bwa ha ha

Hook On!

Monday, April 4, 2011

2KCBWDAY7 - Fun Time

2KCBWDAY7 Day seven: 3rd April. Your knitting and crochet time.

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

Day late, dollar short. Eh. Life.

Here we are at the end of another round of the fun and lovely community activity that is Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. So quickly too. Alas.

So. Last year there was a topic about actual physical place-of-crochet. This topic is broader in scope but the response begins in the same place – my chair in the living room. No photo. Not ever. I’m rather embarrassed by the state of things around here these days and prefer to wallow alone in my shame. Actually, no photos at all for this one. I’m afraid that we are off another whirlwind adventure down my the foaming stream of my dizzying consciousness. Bring your Dramamine, everybody?

I crochet while watching TV. In fact, I often keep the ole boob tube on for the background noise alone. Why not music? I don’t know really. We just didn’t sit around listening to music in my youth. More a conversation, TV and play with the cats and dogs and other sundry critters type family. There were records and radios and we all loved music but that wasn’t the real focus of our entertainment. Except for physical things like cook-outs and cleaning house, where the beat made the mood and enhanced the activity.

I did listen to music more often while in college and grad school. Usually in my bedroom at a desk where a TV always felt rather out of place. So I studied with music playing. Drove the inevitable long distances commuting to schools and jobs with music too. College was and hour commute daily, each way. Grad school wasn’t at first but eventually it too was an hour in traffic. Hmm. Then most, if not all, of my real grown-up jobs were long commutes. Hey, culinary school too. Shoot, even my first out-patient treatment center was a long commute. Lucky I guess. No wonder I was always so tired and cranky.

And with all of that driving, I listened to the car radio. Maybe I equate the radio playing with the drudgery of endless, mindless hours at the wheel and aching, bubbling, enraging frustration of dealing with big city long distance traffic. I don’t know that I can relax listening to music anymore. I haven’t really tried. I just stick with the TV.

Daytime programming is nice and monotonous. Nothing too exciting to drag my attention away from the hook. The white sound is important, but the visual stimulation is also quite helpful. All the changing patterns and colors of standard TV broadcasting decorate the periphery of my sight as I hunch over my hook and thread. Prime time can be a bit problematic though. Sometimes I have to put things aside and focus on something with a unique plot or irresistible character interaction. Funny enough, when I stop and think about it, there isn’t a lot offered prime time these days that will make me put down the crochet. I like that term. Interestingly enough, I heard that about a TV show once: they added a young, hot guy to the cast to get the girls to "put down their knitting" and some hot girls to get "Dad out of the garden". Brtitish show, kind of obviously.

Anyway, summer reruns are coming and I can crochet to my heart’s content while only marginally responding to the TV. Have been on basic cable for only six months now, but it didn’t take long to find out that daytime cable is rerun hell … or crochet Eden depending on your mindset. This all works for me. Keeps my hands hooking and my synapses firing. In fact the only glitch in thoroughly enjoying my crochet time comes from the daily, often seemingly hourly, wrestling match with the cat.

Like most cats, Wulfie is an attention whore. The sight of hook in hand is his signal that the human is nicely fluffed up and awaiting his sprawling presence. In other words, he wants to sit on my chest and will squeeze his fuzzy little head under hook and thread and up between my hands completely blocking my line of vision. And if I’m not fast enough, I’ll lose hook, thread and any other small accouterments I may have temporarily stored on my shirt under a solid 108 degree wall of fluffily annoying catness. Of course, even if I can clear the deck fast enough, I will have to put the work away anyway and attend to his satanic majesty or I’ll get kitty-claw pin cushioned to death as he tries to get comfortable on my person. Remind me why it is that I think I like cats?

Ah. Cats and crochet. They go together like Spring and flowers, hearth and home, tar and feathers…

Hook On!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

2KCBWDAY6 - Aspiring

Aspiring to be more timely with these posts. My bad. Lost an entire day somewhere. Weird. Back to it.

2KCBWDAY6 Day six: 2nd April. Something to aspire to.Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do. Maybe it is something you think you will never be bothered to actually make bu can admire the result of those that have.

Sometimes I get the urge to build. Something that I can assemble in a few hours instead of a few days. I’m not sure if it is the planning of said projects, you know - the dreaming, or the actual desire to make that captures my imagination. After all, some of these objects would take days if not weeks to actually complete, and that’s only if I already knew how to do any of the construction. I like to imagine myself as bright enough to figure things out from the internet, a couple of books and some blind struggling. I rather love trial by fire, if I can beat the fire that is. I only kind of like a little adrenalin and am not full-on masochistic.

Although many things cross my twisted little tinkerer-wannabe mind, the thing I am repeatedly drawn to is clear materials. Lucite, Plexiglas, pourable resin, glass, crystal, acetate sheets - all of it. No matter where my ideas start, I always wind up in the land of see-through with high hopes, deep wishes and insufficient coffers.

For example, one day I started dreaming of not being crushed beneath the weight of collapsed columns of poorly balanced crocheting supplies and decided to devise a more stable storage method. The format that came immediately to mind was that of the old, now decommissioned library card catalog chests with the all those lovely drawers.

Wine Storage Card Catalog

They have popped up a lot in design blogs and studio organization literature. I really respond to compartmentalization. You should see the trees of folders I have on my desktop. Any cons? Uh, yeah. The mothers cost a lot, weigh a ton and the worst offense - the drawers are too small to hold the balls of crochet thread I use. Arghh.

OK, so how about the old style apothecary chests. I love the “mad scientist in the land of copper and glass” aspect of them and the drawers are a good size:

Apothecary Chest

Bigger Apothecary Cabinet

Ha ha. The prices for these babies are even funnier than those for the card catalogs. Even, or maybe especially, the reproduction ones are out of the same solar system as my budget. Clearly, trendy and commercial is not the way to go for me. Sooooo. DIY it is.

The idea of hacking CD/DVD towers into my own version of an apothecary chest came to mind. The result of “internet inspiration” re: thieving photos off the net.

CD Drawers (apparently)

I like the possibilities. Get a plain, unadorned version and Cecinatrix it up. Would this mean I had to invest in paints and cabinet hardware and lacquers or whatever? Considering that my workshop would be in my tiny apartment where random flurries of cat fluff assault the atmosphere? Uh. No. Anyway, my heart had become set on something clear in which to store my cotton threads. A system that would offer both quick and easy access while presenting the world (OK, me) a constant display of colorful sparkly big time pretty.

I found these acrylic boxes in the ULINE catalog:

The Stassssh

I lo-uh-uhve catalogs. Anyway, I misunderstood the description and as I’ve mentioned before (only like every time I talk about these boxes), the outside dimensions are perfect for my packages of crochet thread. The inside dimensions? Short by 1/4 inch in every direction. Alas. But I make do. Stubborn and cheap to the rescue!

Then I stumbled across a pic of what I really wanted:

Mother F-ing choir of angels!

Yes. A plexiglass apothecary-style chest. Mmmmmmmmmm. Lucite. The company that made this is a custom fabrication place in California I believe. Fun, fun, funny fabrication prices. Completely worth the cost, too. It's just – you know - the money flow suckage. DIY? Maybe. This project/idea is resting on the back-burner for now. I’ve done the "construction research" (all that I have the patience for) and am all ready to tinker and catch fire. But the supplies? Maybe if I was patient, thrifty and shifty, I could buy a shelf sized piece of acrylic every couple of months until … judgment day.


So here I am, lost in slumber with see-through dreams. Let me share a few items with you that make me very happy to look at even if I could never, ever afford them; and truth to tell, I wouldn’t necessarily want all of them in my home. For a lot of these things, it’s the desire to figure out how to make them for myself, after which, of course, I’d probably lose interest. Either that or go maker-wild, turning my bedroom into Lucite Labs. Does cat hair interfere with acrylic bonding?


Rimfrost Hack

Three Rimfrost Hack

I missed the Ikea Rimfrost shade by a few years. Drat! Curse their thrifty Scandinavian good-business practice product rotation! The fun I could have had. Bwa ha ha! I digress.


Ghost Candelabra

How awesome is that!?

Lamp shades:


Crystal. Lampshade. Crystal. Come on!

Entire 3D lamp:

Bourgie Lamp
also MOMA
although I seem to have
misplaced the link info

Comes in gold-tinted see-through goodness too. I saw that one at but sorry, they are much too clever to let me acquire by questionable means any usable photos for me to offer them unethical, yet free advertising.


Hmm. OK. Maybe furniture leaves me a little cold. I may like the idea of a cabinet and chest of drawers and even a slick nightstand/end table/coffee table but these chairs? They are turning up all over the design blogs, some TV shows and even a few craft-art mags. The “forefront of a popular trend” has never been a selling point for me, in fact quite the opposite is true. I resist many things on the basis of their popularity alone.

But, the real trouble I have with the Ghost Chair is that I can’t get past the image of naked thighs beneath the short pants featured in the requisite Texas summer survival gear kit. I don’t know a lot of supermodels and the image of folds of sweaty exposed flesh pressed up tight against clear sparkly acrylic doesn’t exactly make me want to run out and get the bank loan I would need to purchase one of these babies. That image would haunt and terrorize my beautiful see-through dreams causing me to awaken hourly with fevered screams.

But then again, maybe that’s just me.

Hook On!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

2KCBWDAY5 - Experimenting

2KCBWDAY5 Day Five: 1st April.

And now for something completely differentThis is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.

There are no rules of a topic to blog about (though some suggestions are given below) but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog. This can take one of many forms, but here a few suggestions:

* Wordless, photographic post
* Video blog post
* Podcast
* Cartoon/sketch of an idea
* Write about a subject from a different perspective (for example, you could write about a day in the life of a knitted sock from the point of view of the sock).
* Interpretive modern dance (why does someone always suggest this?
* A poem or piece of rhyming verse
* Stop motion animation


Meow. Meowmeowmeow. YAAAAOWL!




Just kidding. April Fool! Just wanted to share a little of what my nights have been like lately. Nights. Afternoons. Trips to the bathroom. Or kitchen, or front door. Sitting on the couch. I really miss REM sleep.


So many things I can think of…

“Desire fo Rorrim” ala sdrawkcab nettirw tsop elohw eht…

(ie " The whole post written backwards ala “Mirror of Erised”…")

…block word by backward maybe or

(ie "or maybe backward by word block…")

or in surface crochet cursive…


or free-air crochet cursive…


or hand drawn and colored penciled…


or entirely beaded...


or even on pennant flags…

wahoo, buckeroo

Nah. I think I'll go somewhat virtual:

Fun. No, really. But now I have all these ideas bouncing around inside my head and I'm itching to play with them all, but I just can't seem to justify the copious amounts of time that they would each require. Sigh. Ideas are seldom the problem - it's the realization that frustrates.

Hook On!