Song Book Illustration Pink Bracelet

I am in love with this piece. It's vintage-y. The lady has adorable hair + a scarf. It involves yarn. It involves crochet. I love the look of the tinting in vintage images (I think it's called hand-tinting?) Plus, the description adds a bit of info about how it was made, which I always appreciate - it makes me feel a bit closer to the creator of pieces.
Check RCButtons's Flickr stream for more awesomeness.

Favorite Egyptian Pieces

I've decided to start up a new series here featuring ancient Egyptian "art" pieces on a semi-regular basis. At some point I will also put together a post explaining why I have art in quotation marks up there - today my brain is simply not up to it.

I thought I would inaugurate the series with one of my very favorite pieces from the tomb of Tutankhamun. The goddess statues from the canopic shrine - Isis, Selket, Neith, and Nephthys. The goddesses stand with their bodies toward the shrine, arms outstretched, faces to the side in a protective pose on the edges of the shrine containing Tutankhamun's preserved internal organs. The symbols on their heads indicate their identities. They wear very fine pleated linen gowns typical of the late 18th Dynasty. It is their faces in particular that I adore - the sweet, serene expressions are absolutely captivating to me.

Here is an image of the shrine itself in the Cairo Museum. Isis and Selket are visible:

And here is a closer view of Selket:
Personally, I think the finest photos of the Tutankhamun objects were probably taken by Harry Burton, the original expedition photographer "loaned" to Howard Carter by the Metropolitan Museum, New York. There is (or was) a traveling special exhibit of Burton's photos and there is also a lovely book featuring them.

Photo credits:
Photo of the outer canopic shrine by Gérard Ducher located at Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Selket by Snofru located at Wikimedia Commons


Being for the benefit of Mr Kite crochet

Crochet + Beatles = Awesome! If I remember correctly, John was inspired to write this song by a vintage poster, so it's somehow fitting that meekssandygirl was inspired by a Beatles song to crochet this piece. Check out her Flickr stream to see more of her creations, including a few more inspired by the Beatles.

ceramic dish with glass melted in the base

I love this ceramic piece. The color variation and texture along with the wonderful effect of the melted glass is wonderful. It puts me in mind of volcano calderas and hot springs and reefs. Exquisite.


I'm recuperating after a long but enjoyable week-end with visitors. We had a lovely time at the Lincoln Park Zoo on Friday. My husband lovingly pushed me through the entire zoo and to Watertower Place on Michigan Avenue in a wheelchair so that I could join in on the outing. He swears it didn't tire him out and wasn't too much trouble. It certainly made the day far more possible for me, though I was still very tired and very sore by the end of it. The wheelchair does open up some more possibilities for extended outings.

Saturday I had to sleep in, fortunately this wasn't too much of a problem. We went to the beach in the afternoon which I enjoyed a great deal - the cool water and buoyancy are very soothing.

At some point on Thursday, knitting (at least stockinette) finally clicked for me and I have a nice start on some fingerless gloves.

I am, unfortunately, still very stiff and sore and achy from being out and about so much combined with rather stupid goofing off with wheeling myself in the wheelchair. However, I think a few days of rest will do me good.

I also have over 1000 items in my Google Reader to go through, so at least I won't be bored.


Time off

Just thought I'd drop a note that we have visitors in town this weekend so I think I'll be a bit short on posting. I hope everyone has a good weekend!


My First Purse

Last night I finally got around to using the fat quarters I bought back at the end of March. I decided I wanted to make a little purse of some kind and dug around on the internet looking for something I liked. I finally settled on this tutorial. It worked out really well because rather than precise measurements and pattern pieces it was more of a make it up as you go along thing. Or at least that's how it was for me.
This is the first time I've fired up my sewing machine since February and there were a few problems. Primarily the new bobbins I had bought didn't fit correctly on the bobbin winder. Not because they were necessarily the incorrect size but because they were pieces of crap plastic.
Anyway, once I decided to just stitch with white thread which I already had a good metal bobbin wound for that problem was solved.
Next up was cutting the fabric. My first experience using a rotary cutter was...interesting. I still have all my fingers, never fear.

Anyway, I learned quite a bit from this project:
  1. I really need a quilters rule or similar large clear plastic ruler thingie. Cutting things with the rotary cutter is exciting enough with shaking hands - not having something to guide the cutter makes it suck waaaaay more.
  2. I need to learn to take frequent breaks. My back and knees are still killing me from sitting too long without sufficient back support.
  3. Ball-topped pins melt if you iron over them. Eww.
  4. My iron is a piece of crap and needs to be replaced.
  5. Don't cheap-out on bobbins.
  6. My bias tape maker may or may not be a piece of crap. I need to try it with a really nicely cut piece of fabric before I make a final judgement. I'm leaning toward crap though.
  7. Fusible interfacing is pretty fun.
  8. I seriously need to quit with the "I must finish all of this now!" crap - it just wears me out and makes me hurt more, shake more, and is generally stupid.
  9. I can actually sew. Not really well yet, but I can do it. Yay!
Anyway, the next project is on hold until I get a quilters rule. I need to be able to make straight lines.

Here is the purse. I love this fabric. Must fine more/similar.
Purse outside

Purse inside

Purse ties

I carried it today and it was a nice little bag - enough for my wallet, phone, iPod, keys, and some tissue.


Zoom Zoom lightening her load

This is awesome! Mama turtle, plus eggs, plus babies. The babies will fold up and fit back in the eggs and the eggs all fit inside mama. What a great fun toy!
The photography is great too.


Unkind Nicknames for Oreo

Part of how I interact with many friends and loved-ones involves large amounts of talking smack. While there are some exceptions, if I make fun of you outrageously and to your face it usually means I like you. This is how the things I usually say to Tom and that he says in return are not, in fact, spousal abuse, but are "flirting."
This, of course, extends to Oreo as well. Here's the list of things we call him on a regular basis:
  • Punky Chewster
  • Stinkerbell
  • Monster
  • Dumb-butt
  • Doofus
  • Goofus
  • Punk Ass
  • Stinky
  • All Things Dumb and Ugly (yes, inspired by the Monty Python song, which was in turn inspired by the hymn)
  • Fru-fru bear
  • Fuzz Bucket
  • Freak
  • Freakazoid
Tom also regularly threatens to do one or all of the following:
  • Take him to the sausage factory
  • Leave him in the alley
  • Trade him in at the pound
  • Make him in to stew
  • Duct tape his limbs
  • Dangle him from the ceiling by his toes
  • Hold him out the window and squeeze instead of walking him
Yeah, we really don't need to have kids. Can you imagine how much therapy they'll need?


Busy Day

I was amazingly productive today, despite only getting 4 hours of sleep (which I will be paying for tomorrow I can already tell). Hubby took me out supply shopping. I picked up some Speedball Speedy Carve blocks (the pink eraser-looking kind) to try out. I think/hope that they're a little firmer than the sort of golden colored Soft Cut stuff from Speedball and will therefore take finer detail a little better. I also picked up another Exciter pack from Jacquard (I don't make the names people). This time I went with the Halo and Jewel Colors. I already have the Traditionals pack and loved it - a little went a very long way, it had a good consistency for printing/stamping and painting, it has a lovely watercolor effect when diluted a bit with water and, most importantly, it leaves the fabric with a really nice hand - no nobbly bits, no shiny/sticky-ness like you sometimes get with screen prints. Very nice. See close-up examples here.

I also picked up a few other little things I've been needing/wanting - more bobbins, some safety pins, ball ended straight-pins (I have a terrible time seeing and handling the plain-topped ones), and some more sponge-brushes.

I called my Dad to wish him happy Father's Day. I had to track him down actually - Mom and my half-brother and his wife had managed to pry him out of the house for a barbeque. Yay!

I had a nice long chat with some friends I haven't talked to in far too long. Talking smack counts as chatting, right?

I took Oreo out for a short walk. He's such a little gentleman for me when he knows I'm having a rough day physically, and I was today. Lots of near falls shopping (I'm very good at catching myself, even if I do wind up looking like a total dork in the process) and the lack of sleep is catching up with me in the form of aches and pains.

Then I chopped up an old long-sleeved t-shirt sleeve (well, Tom did), wrote identifying info on the pieces with a laundry marker, and used the new safety pins to attach the tags to each of my remnants I picked up last week. (Thanks again, G!) Otherwise I would never have been able to keep straight which was which and what cost how much, etc., etc.

Tom has kindly taken the lot down to the laundry room to wash it for me. I'm hoping I'll be up for getting photos of it tomorrow.

I'm planning on spending the better part of the coming week working on some more print-block designs and hopefully doing a bit of sewing. I'm probably going to start out with a crochet hook case I've been meaning to make for myself as a way to get warmed up before I start in on the "special" stuff I'm planning.

New tada's revolution installment

A Texas sized Adventure – Part I � Tada’s Revolution

Minimix Blaster

Minimix Blaster
Originally uploaded by Tinkerbots
How freakin' cool is this? I've always loved the shapes and colors of vintage kitchen equipment, but never thought to recombine it with other bits and pieces to make a wicked cool space-age blaster.

This would make my occasional tendency to smoosh up against walls, peer around the corner and yell "pew pew" at people way more fun. And possibly more comprehensible. Possibly.


Shout out!

Some time in the past few days I hit over 1000 visits to this dinky little blog! Not bad for being live for just a few months. Yay! It seems a fair number are return visitors too. Double yay!

So, here's a shout-out to all my readers. I hope you find my ramblings and links fun and I appreciate your taking time to have a peek at my silliness and hope you return.

Some of you are lurkers, I know, and that's fine. Hi!
I know a few of you are grad school buddies! Hi, grad school buddies! Wave!!!!
Some are Ravelry friends - Hi, bitches (you know who you are)! I hoist my cane in your honor!
Some are college friends - 'Sup! Thanks for not linking to photos of me with orange or blue hair!
Some are fellow bloggers - Welcome! I salute you with my keyboard.
Some are peeps from Flickr whose work I featured - Welcome! Your creations have made me gasp, smile, laugh out loud, given me shivers, or all of the above. Keep it up!

I think that covers most the categories, right? Hi to everyone else anyway!

And tail-wags from Oreo - he knows you're really here to see him.
upside down

Edit: Judy from Virtual Quilter reminded me that I forgot the people who have me in their Google Reader feed (and other RSS feed readers too). Sorry! Hi to all of you too!!!! That was extra silly of me seeing as how I do most of my blog following via Reader. I blame the little holes in my brains. :P


Mummy Facial Reconstruction

Here is a wonderful video of digital facial reconstruction of Meresamun, a temple singer during the Third Intermediate Period in ancient Egypt. Based on the style of coffin and other information, Meresamun's lifetime has been pegged to around 800 BC.
The facial reconstruction itself is based on the high quality CT scans done at the University of Chicago Hospitals in preparation for the special exhibit The Life of Meresamun at the Oriental Institute.
Anyone in the Chicago area should really try to pay a visit. Those outside the Chicago area, please take a look at the links, the OI website is a wonderful resource.

El Ranchogurumi

El Ranchogurumi
Originally uploaded by angelsan
I love this little guy. Especially the hat - that hat is awesome! And he looks so cheerful with his little poncho.

Be afraid, be very afraid


I found a set of interchangeable needles on eBay. $18 after shipping. Gently used. Happy dance! Now I can poke people or garrote them, however the mood strikes me!
Sing it with me now:

Stabby, stabby, poke, poke, stabby, stabby, poke - yay!



Six years ago today we stood before our families on an overlook at Lake Tahoe and were married by a guy who looked and sounded like a used car salesman and talked about apocryphal Indian stories that said the waves sound like lovers or something. (I was busy trying not to crack up by that point.) A few days later we got a rental car stuck in the sand on the shores of Pyramid Lake while trying to see the Great Stone Mother, were rescued by hippies (I think Oreo may have gotten a contact high - at least I hope that's why he was eating cowpies later that day) and a Paiute guy named Dwayne, and missed our flight. Thankfully, my Nana had no problem putting us up for the night.
Anyway, it's been quite an adventure so far. I imagine it will continue to be so.
Here's some mushy pictures:


Oreo in veil


Oreo Spa Night

Oreo has been in desperate need of a haircut for a few weeks now and I kept forgetting to schedule an appointment for him to be groomed. We finally decided to just give it a try ourselves. We've done this a few times before in desperation and the results were...interesting.

Hey, Oreo! What did you think of the last haircut we gave you ourselves?
hell hound

This time it turned out much better. We sat him up on my shower chair in the tub, which made it much, much easier to reach all his parts. I talked to him and cuddled him while Tom did most of the clipping and cutting. We used ordinary hair clippers with a #4 guard for his body and a #2 for his legs. Then we went over some spots, especially his belly, with a beard trimmer. He absolutely hated having the clippers near his ears and jaw no matter how gentle I was, so we did most of the trimming around his face as well as his paws and toes with scissors. After shaving we vacuumed up all the hair in the tub with the ShopVac and then gave him a bath. Oreo wasn't exactly thrilled with us, but he does look very handsome now. Of course, if he had his way, he'd be one giant, smelly, itchy dreadlock.
Small wet dog

I think we'll keep on trying this in the future and maybe invest in a better set of pet clippers. It's certainly better than the $50-70 every few months we pay for his grooming.
Oreo damp

Flaming Amigurumi Turtle

I think these would be the most awesome guard animals ever.



Originally uploaded by csfgirl
This is absolutely stunningly beautiful. And the effort and love that has to have gone into making this only adds to its beauty.
Last time I visited my parents, my dad shared a bedspread in a roughly similar style to this that my grandmother had worked on for years on and off.
I don't know if I'll ever get around to working with thread rather than yarn, but I can certainly stand in awe of the people who do.

Seal ready for rescue

Seal ready for rescue
Originally uploaded by BocoZoo
Now this is the sort of cute lifeguard I would really like to see. I would totally let him save my day! Click on the link to BocoZoo's Flickr stream to the right for more of her fun creations.


Originally uploaded by seaandlighthouse I
I don't know how anyone could ever look at this amigurumi and be sad. It's purple. It has wings. A beak. And claws. Plus, it appears to be blushing. I lurves it!


Originally uploaded by Home Hooked
Doggie!!!! Super-cute and very nicely executed amigurumi of a chihuahua.

This little guy reminds me of one of my favorite aspects of dog ownership in the city. Our neighborhood is fairly multicultural, so there are families who speak all sorts of languages around. I love walking with Oreo and seeing a family with little kids up ahead, chattering happily in their native language, only to see the kid break off, stare at Oreo, and announce loudly and happily: DOGGIE!!!!

Yes, "doggie" is apparently an international word because it doesn't matter what language the kid was speaking 30 seconds ago - it could be Spanish, Mandarin, German, Japanese, Russian, you name it. And Oreo gets extra wiggly cute when he hears it. And is always a very nice gentleman with the little ones, especially the shy ones.

:: Ça fait cot cot ici, ça fait cot cot là ::

The photography here is nearly as exquisite as the doll. I love the slightly ethereal look of this girl, too.
In English, the name of this photo would translate roughly as: "A cluck cluck here, a cluck cluck there."

As in, the sounds chickens make. I was going to say "bock bock" but I think that's German beer. :P

sukigirl: How to crochet Eve from Wall-e

Follow the link below for a wonderful crochet pattern for Eve from Wall-e.  Yay and thanks to sukigirl designing and sharing such fun for free!  

sukigirl: How to crochet Eve from Wall-e


Tiring but good day

I didn't sleep very well last night and had to be up this morning for an appointment, but today still managed to be a good day.  My dear friend took me out to do a bit of shopping, including a visit to Vogue Fabrics.  Drool!!!!!  We spent a generous amount of time rummaging through the remnants and I got a great haul of stuff.
Going through some of their other lovely stuff has also reinforced my need to get sewing again and build up some skills so that I can go back and buy some of their lovely silks, for example, to make clothes.
As it is, I have some wonderful cottons to work with for bags and for table linens.  Enough, in fact, that I'm looking around as we speak for some basic accounting tools in order to take the next step toward starting a little product line for sale on Etsy.  
I know myself well enough to know that I need to start keeping books from the get-go, even if the whole thing fizzles.  Otherwise, I may wind up in a mess of receipts and papers and no clue what is going on.
I also need to figure out a few other "business-y" things - like tax stuff.  Groan.  Anyone with any resources to share, I will be immensely grateful.

I am now exhausted, though, and probably need to stop with the thinky stuff for now before I get thoroughly confused and frustrated.



Went to see Up this evening with some friends.  Fabulous.  Tear-jerking, but fabulous.  I want one of those dog collars for Oreo.

The Joy of Gardening

I made myself dinner tonight.  This is quite an achievement for me, actually.  Nothing particularly elaborate - some canned button mushrooms sauteed in garlic, white wine, red pepper, fresh flat-leaf parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, and butter served over rice.  Tasty. Especially exciting, though, was that the fresh parsley came from our indoor garden window-box-esque thing!  It was ridiculously exciting and satisfying to me to go pick some parsley, rinse it in the sink, and use it.  I was sufficiently enthusiastic about it to make Tom laugh.  :)
As I'm still awake (20 hours of sleep will do that), I decided I wanted some tea.  I picked up some ginger tea Friday night, along with a beautiful Asian-inspired infuser mug with lid.  It has a dragon on it (I lurve dragons).  It was $5.  I felt craptastic and shopping is therapy.  Therefore, mug.  :)
Anywho, I made my ginger tea and went and grabbed some fresh mint leaves to add in.  Ginger + mint + honey = delicious.  I wish I had thought of this in the depths of winter - warm and warming beverages without caffeine are always welcome!  I think I may try some iced ginger tea when/if summer arrives too.  Maybe ginger, lime, and honey.  Ginger supposedly has some anti-inflammatory properties in addition to being good for grumpy tummies, so maybe I'll see some side benefit on the pain and thyroiditis front too.


Ferret van Winkle

I slept for a good 20 hours straight, so probably no posts of great substance today. Well, I did wake up for a few brief moments, but not long enough for actual function.  My hips and knees are killing me, probably because I sleep on my side(s).  So much for re-setting my sleep schedule. Oreo was overjoyed to see me.  I suspect Tom was torturing him again.


Well, at least I didn't stuffocate*

I have an ongoing battle with my CPAP.  It has a built-in humidifier, which is awesome. My problem is getting the setting on the humidifier just right - too little and my nose dries out and I get a headache, too much and water settles in the hose and makes this horrific thunking noise when I breathe, which usually wakes me up.
I recently went up a size in nasal pillows (I swear to Jebus, my nostrils got stretched by the smaller ones) to get a better seal.  So, I figured I would go up a setting on the humidifier because my nose had been dry the past few mornings.  About 5 AM the scary thunking started and woke me up.  So, I turned off the airflow (because it can be a bit loud and annoying if the mask isn't in place) and fumbled around to drain the little bit of water that causes the problem, dropped the humidifier setting back down, put the mask and headgear back on and went back to sleep.
Only I forgot to turn the airflow back on.  Which I didn't notice until several hours later when Tom was getting ready for work.  I only noticed because I said something to Oreo (probably to tell him to quit chewing on himself) and didn't have the weird gasping sound and choking sensation I usually get if I try to talk when the airflow is on.  
I'm guessing this has something to do with why I'm especially tired today.  

*Yes, "stuffocate" - I like made-up ,little-kid-like neologisms.


Decoupage box

I decided some time ago that I wanted to play with decoupage. I bought a multi-pack of small bottles of Mod Podge, a blank pencil box, some small sponge brushes, and some pretty origami paper. And they sat. For months. I decided last week, though, that the box would be perfect to hold the towels I printed. The Mod Podge multi-pack included some intended just for paper, so I went to town. I did have a few bubbles and wrinkles and I think, in retrospect, that I would have liked a glossy finish (I could have just put on a second coat of regular Mod Podge), but otherwise I think it turned out fairly well.
Decoupage Box

I have some very old books with beautiful type-face that my husband salvaged for me, including some in the old ornate German type. I think coloring the pages with some watercolor and then using them as papers could work out nicely.


Long Day

I had a rather long day today, but not much to report really. I'm on day 3 of "Elvis-pelvis" which made walking the mile to visit my husband a bit more of a challenge than usual.
I broke down and rode one of the electric cart/scooter things for the first time ever at Target this evening. It really helped today - very handy little things.


Richard Dawkins as a puppy

Seriously, it's rabid (pun intended) atheist Dawkins as a puppy. Only the puppy is far cuter, nicer, and probably has better historiographic, anthropolological, and sociological research skills. Meme this, buddy!

The finished printed towels

I posted a few days ago about my very first print blocks.  I managed to get some pretty nice photos of the finished printed towels as well.  I think they turned out really well.  I'm going to spend the next week or so working on some more designs for kitchen and table linens (napkins, place mats, dish towels, table runners, etc.).  I'm still undecided about whether it would be better and/or more economical to make objects from scratch using cotton, linen, or cotton-linen blends or if using ready-made things is a better idea.  Anyone with info on where to find ready-made items for reasonable (cheap) prices, do let me know.

Full towel 2

Full towel 3

Product: NASA Apollo 11 Manual

Product: NASA Apollo 11 Manual

Apollo capsule manual

Tom shared this with me via Oh!Gizmo
Of course, now I want it.


I have no idea how to feel AKA the neurology follow-up

Today was my neurology follow-up.  If you've been following along, you'll remember that at my last appointment they ordered genetic tests and that when I contacted them for the results, I was told that they were "held."  When I asked what "held" meant, I was told that we would discuss that at my appointment.  So, to summarize, I spent the better part of the past month freaking the hell out.
Turns out "held" actually meant "we decided to cancel the test for now."  After we pointed out that I had been, you know, FREAKING THE HELL OUT the past month wondering about this and how simple it would have been to say "oh, we decided to put that test on hold for now" we did get something resembling an apology.  
So, there are no genetic test results because there was no genetic test.  They decided they wanted to narrow things down a bit more and follow-up a few more leads before ordering an expensive test that could result in major problems for me in the future in relation to future medical insurers.  

Also, my doctors appear to have grown souls or something in the past 6 weeks.  I seriously almost asked if they were pod people.  We were treated like adults with semi-functional brains this time.  My questions were actually, gasp, answered.  There was a genuine dialogue - helped by my tossing medical jargon around.  (Why, yes, I do like words, I collect them.)  They asked both of us how we felt and were coping with this crap.  The resident who sees me promised me that he will do everything he can to get to the bottom of this and that he'll be consulting with his colleagues as much as possible.  He also told me he'll have more time starting in July to do a bit more research.  While I do wish they had been this on top of things months ago, it's nice that it's happening now.  

So, in summary, they get another chance.  As Tom commented - it seems as though they get a little better every time we go in.  Maybe by the end of all this they'll be super-awesome doctors.

On another front, the thyroid tests I had rheumatology run last week had come back.  My thyroid is acting up again.  My TSH levels are up - that means that my thyroid is getting a message to make more thyroid hormone because my body thinks I don't have enough.  I also appear to have some thyroid antibody action going on - which may well explain the elevated TSH - the antibodies could be eating my thyroid hormone thinking they're invaders.  (They're all like "pew pew pew" and then my thyroid hormones are all like "I can't shake him!  He's right on my tail! Arrrghgh!")
Thus, I will be seeing an endocrinologist.  I've wanted to see one for a year, but my GP didn't think it was really necessary.  Sigh.  All of the hypothyroid stuff could be causing or exacerbating my neurological and movement symptoms.  So, until that's clarified, we're waiting on doing a muscle biopsy to see why my thigh muscles are wasting or melting or whatever the hell it is they're doing.  My gut says something else is going on besides just the thyroid stuff, but we'll see.

Anyway, in summary - we don't really know jack.  Still.  I still can't work.  I still feel like crap.  I still seem to be getting worse.  
I do know that the next person who tells me "you're too young for disability" is going to get smacked with my cane.  I don't want to go on disability, but I also can't stay unemployed indefinitely.  I need the help that disability programs can provide to either start up a home business or get hooked up with home-based jobs and I need a bit of help in the meantime.  I worked from the age of 15 onward.  I paid my taxes.  I'm not asking for a free damn handout. Unfortunately, the process of applying is stalled for now as I don't think I'm likely to be approved without a better diagnosis then "hmm, dunno, that's weird."  Not to mention that Social Security has "lost" record of my employment history between 2004 and 2006, thus technically rendering me ineligible for benefits.  So I also have to find our tax returns for those years.  
Hopefully we're getting closer.

I Pity the Fool! Mr. T - needle felted

One of the most awesome pop culture inspired art/craft pieces I've seen lately.
This reminds me that I have all the A-Team seasons waiting in my Roku queue...

Print Blocks!

I've been wanting to try print or stamp block carving for quite some time.  Last weekend I bought the basic materials - carving block, tools, and some fabric paints.  This past week was spent looking for Egyptologically inspired designs I liked and getting it ready to transfer. I chose a garden pool scene that features very typically ancient Egyptian perspective and a sema-tawy.  Sema-tawy literally means "united are the two lands" and is a common decorative motif on the sides of royal thrones.  It unites the heraldic plants (the lily and the papyrus) of Upper and Lower Egypt around the hieroglyph for "unity."  As the prints are to be a gift for my parents 30th anniversary, I thought the unity motif would be fitting.  Plus I've always loved it both for its visual appeal and because I have always enjoyed the way ancient Egyptian artists combined symbolic motifs, art, and writing.

I decided to go with the acetone transfer technique.  Essentially, you take a printout from a laser printer or photocopier, lay it face down on your block and rub some acetone on it.  The toner is transferred to your block and you just carve away.
Unfortunately,  my laser printer at home is not conducive to this method.  Fortunately, Tom volunteered to get copies elsewhere and it eventually worked beautifully.  

Acetone transfer on block

Yesterday evening was thus spent in front of the TV with my lap desk while I carved away.  I found it amazingly fun and managed not to injure myself or any innocent bystanders.
Sema-tawy and Garden Pool print blocks

Today I worked on pulling prints to two flour-sack cotton towels.  I did the garden pool print at the center and the sema-tawy motif in each corner and centered just above each hem alternating in red, yellow, and blue.  I couldn't get a good photo of the full towel this evening.  I will try to do so tomorrow before everything goes into the mail, but no guarantees.

Here are two of the sema-tawy prints:
Sema-tawy pulled prints

The first garden pool print:
First pulled print - garden pool scene 2

And the second garden pool scene:
Second pulled print - garden pool scene

For both types of print, I slathered on the various colors of paint as quickly and evenly as possible, then very, very lightly misted with water and put it face-down on the fabric and applied very light, even pressure.  After lifting the block I went in and filled in color or made a few corrections by hand.

My back is killing me at this point and it took me most of the day to do all this, but I really like the results.  Next up I think I'm going to try some smaller stamps and a few other motifs.  



In addition to watching Star Trek, I've been watching the new Doctor Who on the Roku.  I'm ashamed to admit that I'd never seen Doctor Who before - I'll have to catch up on the older seasons at some point.
Today we watched the episode Dalek.  At one point the Dalek in the episode downloads the entire internet.  All I can think is that we should probably be grateful that the Dalek just killed some people, started to mutate courtesy of Rose, and then decided to self-destruct.  I mean, what if it had taken a second look at what it had downloaded and discovered /b/ on 4chan?  Then we'd have a Dalek running around demanding tentacle porn (which, for a Dalek, probably isn't all that weird, considering), finding and creating horrible and disgusting photos, and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and standing outside of Scientology centers.  Actually, that last one would be awesome.


Picnic Dinner

Today I didn't get to sleep until 9AM and slept until about 4.  Yay, stress-induced sleep problems. 
We got sandwiches and went out with a friend to enjoy the sunset and the lakefront for dinner and I worked on some crocheting.  
Oddly, I'm still really sleepy.  Still haven't gotten around to lino block yet.  Really need to do that if I'm going to get the present ready for my parents' anniversary.


Originally uploaded by downtownmonsters
These nifty little polymer clay Star Trek dudes are awesome. Gorn, Bones, Kirk, Spock, and Orion Slave Girl. Very fun. Downtownmonsters has them available for sale on etsy if you're interested.

Urine, Fingernail-Filled 'Witch Bottle' Found: Discovery News

Urine, Fingernail-Filled 'Witch Bottle' Found: Discovery News

Also apparently contained belly-button lint.  This ranks up there with finding a latrine for "gross things to find" during excavation.

Bit late "today"

I slept through most of the day (again) and then caught up in crafty stuff before posting for Thursday.  
I've been having fun decoupaging a pencil box to hold a gift for my parents.  And I've just finished (for now) a very mediocre, if not outright bad watercolor.  Playing with paints was fun, though.  
I still haven't gotten around to deciding on my linoleum stamp designs.  So, that's being put-off until tomorrow.
I'm still being bedeviled by headaches and backaches, despite getting plenty of sleep.  At least today's headache didn't start until I'd been up for a little while.  

Today's episode of Star Trek was "The Conscience of the King" (actually, I watched The Menagerie too, but didn't notice anything snark worthy)
Notable details:
  • Lenore Karidian's fur (fake) minidress when she comes aboard to beg for a ride.  I can't find a photo, which seriously upsets me.
  • "All this power, throbbing and surging, yet under control."  Wow, that was really damn subtle, there, Lenore.
  • Riley shouldn't have been sent down to engineering to protect him.  He totally deserved some pain and possible death after his stupid-ass shenanigans in The Naked Time. Especially the singing.  Lenore's attempt at murder was totally deserved.  
  • Dude, phaser overload - why not just leave?  Also, are the captain's quarters really open to anyone?  Or is it just anyone of the female persuasion?  Or are we supposed to infer that Lenore spent the night and popped the phaser in the light box while Kirk was freshening up?
  • Are there no dental or DNA records in the 23rd Century?  Kodos/Karidian and the body burned beyond recognition?  Dental records were used in forensics in the 1960s.  Surely a sci-fi writer could have extrapolated the idea of DNA identification.  
  • Lenore has a serious case of the bat-shit crazies.  
  • According to the Memory Alpha entry for this episode, Matt Groening named Kang and Kodos after Star Trek characters - Kang come from the episode Day of the Dove.



I woke up early today and couldn't get back to sleep.  Lack of sleep = more pain, so I moved between couch and bed most of the day.  Then fell asleep without my CPAP which led to a killer headache. Ibuprofen is making my stomach hurt.  However, Tom is making me brownies.  Oreo is curled up next to me.  Hopefully brownie and milk will make my tummy feel better.
Trying to decide if watching TV will make me feel better or worse...


Slow Day

I had a rheumatology appointment today.  No news, really.  They tried to access my genetic test results (all part of the same medical center) and couldn't - there was simply a note saying it was "held" and "Dr. (name changed to protect the inconsiderate) will call."  We're not sure if that means he's supposed to call the lab or call me or what.  The rheumatologists think that's weird too.  
I'm so tired of this.  And I've had it so ingrained in me over a lifetime that I'm the one who is unreasonable (even when I'm not) that second-guessing myself is taking a lot out of me. Combine that with the authority society tends to vest in doctors and this is even less fun.
I also regret not having asserted myself from the start.  I thought if I was polite (meek) and quiet and tried not to be a "problem" or "bother" anyone that everything would be fine. Clearly, that isn't necessarily the case.

I hope these sorts of posts will at least help other people who are in situations similar to mine or help them avoid these sorts of situations all together.

Dragon Conga Line

dragon conga line
Originally uploaded by LT81
These little guys are adorable. I have a huge love of dragons, especially nice dragons and these guys look nice. Plus, one of them is purple. I have eye-searingly purple yarn sitting around in my stash waiting to be made into a dragon but I keep getting side-tracked. So, I will admire LT81's for the time being.


More lessons from Star Trek

So, I'm sitting on the couch trying to teach myself to knit (again).  It's going pretty well - I'm doing a long-tail cast-on courtesy of this video.  I decided I wanted background TV - this requires something relatively familiar that I can process but also sort of ignore.  So, I chose Star Trek for the simple reasons that a)  I've seen every episode dozens of times; b) it will annoy be payback for someone constantly mocking my Trekkie-ness.*
I chose the episode Miri, which is among the ones I like best.  Aside from the "ooh, Earth-like planet" = we ran out of production money, lesson, there are a few others to be noted from this one.
  1. Are we sure that at the beginning, when they first get down to the planet and get attacked by the "creature" shrieking "mine, mine!" that they didn't actually find one of the few remaining academics left on the planet?  Seriously - unkempt white hair, raggedy clothing, unwashed, demanding, clingy, irrational.  Yeah.
  2. Kirk and Miri tread a weird line of pedophilia and gerontophilia. I mean, she's 13, but also 313.   Or, possibly, I've just spent far too much time on the internet.  Even he acknowledges it at the end of the episode when he's all like "I never get involved with older women."
  3. As I've mentioned before, the remastering really highlights the terrible makeup.  I'm guessing that it was probably at least partially necessary for decent appearance on average 1960s-era television sets.  I need to test this theory by viewing color shows of the same vintage.  Any suggestions? 
  4. Shatner giving Miri the "you're becoming a woman" talk is seriously awkward.  Thank the deity of your choice we were spared "Soon...there...will....be...blood-coming-from-your-girl-parts..."
  5. What the hell is up with Yeoman Rand's hair?     Like, does she spend hours every morning doing that basket-weave thing in the front of her beehive, or do they have super-special hair-weaving (literally) technology in the 23rd Century?  And if so, is it really standard equipment on a starship?  And isn't that style somehow a violation of OSHA or something?  I can think of numerous reasons why that style is a bad idea:
- random alien creatures could fly into it and be   killed
- it could become a nest for alien creatures
- it presents a large target for weapons fire
- it may frighten other sentient beings (it sure as   hell frightens me)
- there is no way that would fit under a space helmet unless they make special "big hair" ones
- it's hideous

Also, among the best quotes from this episode:
  • Back on the ship, I always tried to get you to look at my legs... - Rand.  (Dude, in the mini-dress uniform how the hell could he NOT look at your legs or your underwear?)
  • No more blah, blah, blah! - Kirk.  (Totally need this one next time I go to a lecture)
  • Bonk!  Bonk on the head! - the children.  (Indeed, children.  Indeed.)

*Yes, "trekkie"  and get off my damn lawn.
- image courtesy of Wikipedia