30 November 2008

a buffet of randomness

There was a huge sigh that huffed out of me this morning when I realized that there was only one stumpy little post separating two Where I Stand Sunday pictures.

It is the joy of returning to work. I went back last monday after having been off for quite a while nursing my back and the re-entry was not kind. The mood there is less then joyous (I work for GM for those who don't know), its just one huge waiting game. Keep your fingers crossed for us if you are so inclined.

On the art front, there has been some work being done. I'm still not feeling the love for art quilts so I'm continuing with my knitting assault. There has been much progress on Stonewall:

While I am really enjoying the yarn, I was feeling slightly homicidal toward it yesterday. Its Noro Silk Sock Yarn, really posh stuff - except for the freakin' knots and sections that are hardly spun that pull apart into roving puffs.

I experienced both.


At the end of the first skein which meant I was already facing an upcoming join.

There was much cussing involved as I ended up with five joins rather then the one I had anticipated. *&^(% yarn...

I'm also eyeing it thinking about the blocking of it. If you click on the picture you can see all the texture that the pattern is producing. I'm kind of liking it and when I stretch it out to see what it looks like flat, I'm not sure I want to obliterate the sponginess of it. I guess I'll have to decide when I get to the end of it. That photo above? That's not even to the halfway point. Lots of knitting, dudes, lots of knitting.

Oh, and I'm also taking on some knitting for a wedding. Mary is tying the knot next september and I'll be casting on for a stole for her once the yarn winds its way over to me. I have my eye on a couple of patterns but suggestions are welcome.

On the writing front, today marks the end of NaNoWriMo. Truth be told, I sort of bent the rules to feed my needs. When I started the challenge, I already had 149 pages done. I had kind of stalled so there was nothing like the completely unreasonable lure of writing 50,000 words in thrity days to get me moving again. (I dig challenges, I must defeat them all.)

I ended my word count at 93,000 and 326 pages. And now the fun part is upon me, editing the beast:

Writing is a different monster from the kind of art I usually make. But I'm totally enthralled with it. I upgraded my version of Word to 2008 so I can utilize all the nifty comment and revision tracking tools it has. Who knows how long it will take me to work through the second draft but I've been picking at it everyday so I'm hoping by the spring to have a solid draft done.

Let's see...what else?...

I cleaned my studio today. Again. For the billionth time.

I'm considering a stash diet for 2009. With everything that is going on with GM right now, I am again in a holding pattern when it comes to the topic of getting my own place. Space is limited and to be honest, I bought all this stuff because I loved it so its time that it got to come out and play.

In the grand scheme of things, my stash is not obese. My fabric stash is contained in four of these, my yarn stash has grown considerably this year but I'm working my way through it.

The thing about my fabric stash is that I still have a lot of commercial fabrics lurking in there. As I'm moving forward with revised ideas of what I want to do with my fiber art, they aren't really fitting in so much anymore. I don't want to sell it for many reasons, among which are the fact that I know I wouldn't get anywhere near back what I paid for them and I really like them. Michele sent me some books about doing traditional quilts so I think I may attack them for that. Should be entertaining to watch me try to make accurate seams and blocks. I can hear the swearing now, should be spectacular...

We have been warned that we are getting a few inches of snow today. I suppose its time since the calendar is turning over onto December tomorrow but still, it will make rush hour more like rush hours. The new city I'm working in seems to be in the path of a snow belt, getting dumped on from all the lake effect snow. Thank goodness for my iPod...

On that note, I'm going to wander off and find something creative to do. I spent the morning cleaning up the downstairs since I'm hosting a pot luck Christmas party for the art groups I belong to this weekend. Its left my back cranky. I do believe some knitting is in order....

Where I Stand Sunday

My shadow pulls away from me, distorting in the late afternoon sun. It is stretched cobweb thin, betraying the worry that is breeding beneath my skin. I crave an outcome, a resolution, an ending that will either prop open the door or slam it shut with a deafening crack. This edge is too sharp to stand on, too demeaning to build a life on.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

27 November 2008

grab a fork, its turkey time....

Returning to work has been a treat. The 5am wake up call has left me snoring on the sofa by 8:30 every night, I'm fairly pathetic that way. But the one good thing about going back this week was that it was only a three day work week. Gotta love the universe's little favors.

So I'll be off to my aunt's shortly to eat turkey and stuffing and pecan pie. Should be a pleasant day.

Wishing all of you the same, Happy Turkey Day.

23 November 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

I am watching in tortured awe as the county waves its fists and clucks its tongues that my company, my career, my livelihood is not worth saving. I have spent the last decade engrossed in the automotive culture, watching as it has struggled against bad government policies, flail during the decline of the economy, and now as it grovels for the same aid that was so easily handed out to the financial sector. As thousands of Michigan residents watch the hearings in horror, there is no way to describe the tension that has now become every day life. It tears at each one of us, thick with betrayal and the unknown as we wait to find out the shape of our future.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

19 November 2008

its a lovely number

I am totally digging the number 27 right now. Why?

Because that's how many dollars it took to fill up my gas tank.

I was sure the number dials on the pump were broken or something. I actually tapped the little plastic cover, wondering if the gas was stuck in the hose and just hadn't made it into my car yet. Ever since gas bills began to rival mortgage payments, I had gotten into the habit of letting my gauge go down to less then an eighth of a tank. I know, I know, not wise in winter weather but if the roads were dry and I wasn't wandering far from civilization, I'd let it run down.

Normally I'd be looking at a bill in the $60s to fill her back up again but not this time. I filled up for less then half that and it looks like the price is sticking.

Which is exceptionally good news since I had back to work next week and will once again be driving the Tour de Michigan again on a daily basis. (My drive to work takes me through a good chunk of the map in my area.)

I'm working hard to take it easy the last few days I'm off. I am not watching too much of the news anymore, to say that I am frustrated by what is going on with the hearings about the loans for the Big 3 is a colossal understatement. Instead I'm hoping to just relax before I re-enter the rat race at full throttle. Because it ain't gonna be pretty when I walk back in there, I've already been warned.

So bring on the knitting again, its cheaper then therapy. And I've even messed around with writing a little today. The NaNoWriMo challenge was starting to turn me into Jack Nicholson's character from The Shining. I was starting to think he was totally rationale for writing nothing but the same sentence on hundreds of pages. Mary and Cathy suggested that perhaps a break would be a good idea. I took their advice and left it be for a couple days. Somehow, "Heeeeeeeeere's Lynnie!" doesn't sound nearly as threatening, it might not be a good look for me.

16 November 2008


This is the view out my front door. I like the cold weather but not having to trudge through or drive around in the slippery white junk.

If you live in a state where the weather is still warm, send us some to melt this junk away.


Where I Stand Sunday

It’s the perfect picture of patience. The bronze statues stand outside the library, blending in with the surroundings, becoming nothing more then a part of ordinary. The amber light is all that breaks that darkness when the sun sets, casting a wary spotlight on them. I stand with them for a brief moment, feeling a sliver of their solitude.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

14 November 2008

there's no stopping it now...

...when I go on a knitting binge, I really go on a knitting binge.

I've taken to surfing etsy for different yarns and obsessively scouring sites for free patterns and trying to mentally calculate just how much I could actually knit for gifts this year. (I've actually abandoned the last activity. I've heard tell of perfectly sane people who drool in the corner on Christmas Eve, needles in hand, and muttering about how they will finish that sweater by the morning. I'm already half there, I don't need the extra nudge.)

But today demonstrated to me just how strong its taken root.

It would turn out that I am a lace knitter. I'm being sucked into it, especially by patterns like this one. Even though Mary teases me that the only reason I wear so much black clothing is because they haven't made a darker color yet, I am inexplicably drawn to the icy blue color of that yarn.

But that's not proof that I've gone off the deep end. Wanting to make this is.

Come on, say it with me, "Ooooooooooooooooooooooo, that's puuuuuuurttttyyyy" *sigh* Yes, yes it is.

I bought the pattern. It scares the crap out of me. I have no idea what I am looking at but since I am an incredibly stubborn person and refuse to be defeated by something as simple as sheep hair and sticks, I'm going to give it a shot once I've wrapped up the scarves I have on the needles now.

Now I can hear you saying that this would make a good winter wear item and since winter is here I should knit it now. No, no. I believe this will take me approximately twenty years to knit so I'm really not in that much of a rush. I also want to pick someone's brain about how to adjust things to fit me better.

And be sure to take a nice long look at the online magazine it comes from, Twist Collective. I hadn't heard of it before today and its a really really really nice publication. The patterns are available for purchase (obviously since I got that sweater/coat pattern, duh). Just hold your mouse over the pattern title and it pops up with more pictures and info. Its yet another in the long list of knitting crack dealer/enablers who just add fuel to the fire. But in a totally good way.

And so the knitting obsession rages on over on this end. I suppose there are worse ways to be.

11 November 2008

easily entertained

I admit that in the realm of the pet world, I lean more toward the pooches then the kitties. But that's not to say I don't love them, I find they incredibly entertaining. I saw this video on another blog and giggle snorted. So I thought I would share it here too:

10 November 2008

it was inevitable

Four things happened all at the same time:

1) I art quilted myself to death. I sat down the other day to work on something and was so disinterested in it I knew I'd hit tilt. Luckily I have overcommited myself in the hobby department so there is always something to turn to when I get sick of one thing.

2) Winter has arrived in Michigan. It is wet and cold and dreary...and I love it. (Quit giving me dirty looks, I can't help it that I like it.)

3) I'm seriously stressing out. I have my appointment to see the surgeon on friday and at this point I'd rather walk naked through a rainstorm of falling cockroaches then hear what he has to say.

4) I finished knitting Rivolo. There is nothing like the end of a knitting project to turn me into a raving lunatic to start more.

So I did.

But first I blocked the scarf. What an adventure that was. Thank goodness I had the foresight to buy blocking wires. I shudder to think at the cussing that would have ensued had I attempted to try to create straight edges with pins.

This was my first time doing any kind of serious blocking. (I think I will be asking Santa for blocking boards, my bass ackwards system seriously left something to be desired.) I give you lace blocking in photos:

Straight off the needles. Looks like a blob of ick.

Drowning in the sink. (I'll never get over the smell of wet wool. Blech.)

Stretched and pinned (after much cussing).

All pretty and lovely.

I seriously love this pattern. There are a few screw ups in my execution but it was my first lace attempt so I'm okay with it. There wasn't any serious mangling going on. The only thing I didn't do was add on more repeats like I originally said I was going to. I needed to, mostly because I went down one needle size since my yarn was on the thinner side. Its so light weight, I totally dig it.

In fact, I like it so much I started a second one:

This baby will be whisking its way to Colorado when its finished to a pink loving chick. (You didn't really think it was for me, did you? Tsk, tsk.)

But I didn't stop there. Oh no, there was serious knitting binging to be done. (Its also a great procrastinating tool when you are a NaNoWriMo chick.)

I cast on and boogied through a couple repeats of Stonewall:

You'll notice that this is not the lovely laceweight I was thinking of using. Since the thing I love most about this pattern its its monstrous size, it seemed counterproductive to knit it in yarn that is the equivalent width of eyelashes. I apparently can be taught.

Instead its Silk Garden Noro sock yarn, which actually works out in my favor since I need 800 yards of it to make the size on the guy modeling it. (I figure it will come down to my knees since I'm so stumpy. But I'll be a warm short person so I won't care.)

This yarn is different for me, its 25% silk and 25% nylon and doesn't have the regular boing-boing stretchy factor that straight up wool does. There were tension issues and frogging at the beginning. But we are in a good stride now. I still figure I can make a career out of knitting this thing. There are nearly 100 stitches in each row. So that means there are 1600 stitches per repeat. I hate math...

I felt a little disconcerted when I realized that I was going to be trapped in this project forever (even though I think its gorgeous and do totally love it) so I dug out some other yarn and started a brainless 2x2 rib scarf:

This bugger is for when I'm laying on the sofa resting my back and can't concentrate on a chart. I'm going to randomly stripe it. This yarn is bulky and huge and in the time that it takes me to knit three rows of Stonewall, I had this much done. Brainless knitting rocks...can I get a whoop whoop?

So its all about the yarn for a while until my nerves have calmed down a bit and my hands have cramped into claws from knitting too much. But they will be happy claws so I won't complain.

We lost power this morning at 3am and DTE didn't manage to get us up and running until around 12:30. Since I get up around 7:30 every morning, it left me a whole lot of time without TV or computer. (Shut up, I know I have a laptop and it doesn't need to be plugged in. I didn't want to drain the battery by writing, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

So this was a total knitting day. I don't think I'm done yet either, yarn binge yarn binge yarn binge.

Although I'm thinking Dooley has an even better idea then that:

Knitting and wesites. Life doesn't get much better.

09 November 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

Its one of the hardest things to do: to look through what you know to be solid and see the possibilities on the other side. The water and fish life below the glass floor pulses, working to create its own world. I stand separate from them, in a reality opposite in every way. How often we find ourselves separated by such a thin line… how many times we struggle to be the dominant one. Fate scoffs at us, knowing that without each other we would be nothing. Its not until we learn to look through the glass that we will really see each other.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

08 November 2008

it's beginning to look a lot like....


That was the song that my radio alarm clock woke me up to today. I was vaguely aware that this radio station's insanity was close at hand but seriously...Christmas?

As soon as Halloween fell off the calendar, these nut jobs started playing Christmas music. By the time Thanksgiving has been tucked away, it will be nothing but jolly tunes and that hippopotamus song that makes me twitch like I'm being electrocuted.

I would like to cheerfully beat the program manager of that station about the head and shoulders with a soggy flip flop.

I can only imagine what the DJs working there think. The unfortunate thing is that its the only radio station that comes in clear in my bedroom. Its a cruel twist of fate to be sure. The only other option is to allow the high pitched beep on my alarm to wake me up and as I am already severely handicapped when it comes to be being pleasant in the morning (just ask Mary, when we travel together she gives me lots of personal space until I've had coffee), the idea of being woken up to a sound that reminds me of fingernails on a chalkboard could be bad for public safety.

I think there should be a law: no Christmas music played on the radio stations until there is snow on the ground. And snow that sticks, none of this flurry-that-dissolves-as-soon-as-it-hits-the-grass crap. Of course, poor South Dakota would be listening to nothing but right now if that were the case.

I'm still busy enjoying fall, not to mention the few days of Indian Summer we got. Let's not rush things, shall we? Besides, I'm tired of the stores and movies and radio stations starting in with the advertising so early that by the time the holiday gets here you're sick of it. Kind of sucks all the fun out of it. And I really dig Christmas so it would be nice to enjoy it without wanting to slap the retailers.

Anyway...I'm happy to report that I've hit 207 pages on the NaNoWriMo challenge. Of course it helps that I gave myself a giant blister on the side of my right index finger. I was making hanging slats for my quilt exhibit which is soon on its way to here and after attaching 36 eyescrews to the 18 wood slats, I managed to basically skin the side of my finger. I can't bend it or I whimper like a two-year-old. Which means my procrastination plot to knit was foiled. I can, however, type well. Rock on...

06 November 2008

ramblings of a NaNoWriMo participant

I need to write a total of fourteen pages today in order to keep up with my goal for NaNoWriMo. So far I've written about half a page. (Do you think it would be cheating if I increased the size of the font to 20 point? Yeah...I thought so...*sigh*)

Instead I've spent the day puttering at anything but. Which really is stupid because I've got a piece of paper sitting next to me covered in scribbles of where I want the story to head next. Its just been tying myself down to the computer that's been the problem. I blame the internet, its too easy for me to become distracted. (Hence the blogging.) But I also blame Mary. And here's why...

Ever since I hurt my back, I've taken to yarn shopping online. Its not nearly as fun because nothing beats being able to wander around a store a few (or a hundred) times and petting all the fibery goodness it has to offer. So every once in a while, when I'm on that fine line of going loopy from extreme boredom, Mary will swoop in like an angel from heaven (or hades depending on how you look at it (love ya Mary)) and drive me over to a yarn shop. (I've turned her into a total yarn whore as well. Its nice to have company.)

As usual, she didn't disappoint and I came home with new friends:

Gorgeous lace weight that will shortly be made into this. (The scarf, not the man.) I'm all about over sized scarves so I'm eager to get this one on the needles.

The other is a massive glorious lump of Fleece Artist yarn. I drooled heavily all over this display. I don't know what I will do with this yet but it is mine and I will admire it intently until it becomes something other then a massive glorious lump of yarn.

Something did happen on the drive home that struck me dumb. (Shoosh all of you out there that are taking that comment and running with it.)

We saw not one, but two, gas stations with unleaded regular for $1.97 a gallon. Has anyone checked to see if the sky is still where its supposed to be? I never thought I'd see the day again when it fell below $2.50 much less under $2. Hot diggity dog, bring me my gas can...

Now I'm home and its just me and Mr. Laptop. And that page count nagging at me....

I just checked, this blog post has over 400 words...do you think anyone would notice if I slipped it into the story?

04 November 2008

did you?

I stood there, ballot in hand and felt amazed that something as simple as this piece of paper could help change the future. I darkened the circles, fed my vote into the machine and as I walked from the building, the anticipation for the results took root. I am longing for a new beginning, a new face for my country, something I can truly be proud of. Now I wait, watching the news and keeping my fingers crossed.

**This is a bonus Where I Stand photo, marking this historic election. Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

02 November 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

I am mesmerized by the talents of nature. Trees use each season as their own personal canvas, creating their own brand of artwork. They throw themselves into their work with everything they’ve got. I am humbled to stand at their feet, soaking in their expertise.

Where I Stand Sunday
is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

01 November 2008

awwwww, shucks...

I will admit that a lot of the time I feel like my blog is just a socially acceptable means of talking to myself in public. I know people read it but you just never really know if when they do they are muttering about what you just wrote. So it was a bright spot in my day get this award from Suzanne over at Yarnhog today!

Probably the coolest thing about this award is that I now get to hand it off to five other bloggers that I really enjoy. I will admit that I am a blog junkie so it was kind of tough to choose but I managed. So according to the rules I found over on Suzanne's blog, here's how it works:

The rules for award acceptance are as follows:

1. The winner can put the logo on their website/blog.

2. Add a link to the person who gave you this award.

3. Nominate at least 5 other websites/blogs.

4. Provide links of the nominated websites/blogs.

5. Leave a message at each website owner that you've nominated.

So here goes, I really dig these people and if you go check them out, I think you will too:

1. Eyembellishments - Michele is a kick butt mixed media artist who also goes on adventures with the sock creatures she creates. There is always something interesting brewing in her studio.

2. Kathy Nida - Kathy's art quilts always slay me, they are outstanding.

3. Knitspot - Anne Hanson is the lace knitting queen, I bow before her.

4. The Funky C Fiber Spree - Cathy Arnett is always getting into some kind of trouble. She is an awesome fiber artist and a totally funny lady!

5. Turtle Creek Quilts - Mary Dyer is a fledgling blogger, she just began. She is an awesome friend and artist and very funny! Her blog is one to watch!

So thanks a bunch to everyone for reading - I appreciate it!