animal muppets drummer
Originally uploaded by out of the frame

I'd contemplated trying an Animal amigurumi (he's one of my favorite Muppets) but out of the frame beat me to it. Which is fine, because this is awesome! Great use of fun-fur/eyelash yarn, too.

He even has ickle drumsticks.


Yet another reason why Oreo is a punk

He just had a bath.  I talk to him when I bathe him, partly to reassure him and partly because I talk to him most of the time.  I think this may bewilder some visitors, but that's another post.  One of the running themes of my Oreo bathing monologue is that he will feel better and less itchy when we're done.
He clearly does not believe me.
After every bath he plants himself in my direct line of site and proceeds to scratch, bite, lick, and nibble on himself as if to say, "See!  I do not need baths!  They do no good, stupid mama!  Being stinky and dreadlocked is my natural state!"
He also runs around like a spaz when just after his bath.  He also usually does this after coming in from a walk.  I really wish that I felt half that good after a bath or after pooping.  How does that work, anyway?


Knitting in Space?

So, I was yammering excitedly to Tom about the Ares launch today, which led to me saying that I wish I could be in a launch as opposed to just watching one, but that's not likely considering that I'm broken. So Tom said that maybe they'll find something to inject in my brain to make me better. And I said maybe they'll figure out that I'd feel better in zero gravity. I actually do wonder about that... Anyway, then I, of course, wondered if you can knit in zero gravity. I see no reason why you shouldn't, though I suspect being overly vigorous in the motions could send you careening about and I would imagine it would take a little while to get used to dealing with inertia but not gravity in keeping stitch tension.
And then I thought I'd go look around to see if anyone ever has knit in space. A few quick Google searches didn't turn up anything, unfortunately. However, if anyone knows if it has been done, do please let me know - especially if there's video.

What I did turn up is below, however. A link to a NASA page about using textiles for composite wing-structures and using principles drawn from knitting, sewing, quilting, weaving, etc., to develop and make the materials. Pretty nifty.
Advanced Stitching Machine: Making Composite Wing Structures Of The Future

As a bonus little (?) known fact: Like a lot of kids, I wanted to be an astronaut. I was pretty hard core about it, though. I went to Space Academy (and I totally want to go again). I loved the books and documentaries that came out around the time of the 25th anniversary of the first moon landing. I worked extra hard at science in math through junior high and high school (my two worst subjects) and started making connections with people (politicians) in the hope of getting a recommendation for the Air Force Academy. My plan was to go through the Academy, become a test pilot, and then head to NASA. I was waaay more interesting in flying the shuttle than being a payload or mission specialist. Unfortunately, my sophomore year I discovered I had mitral valve prolapse, a condition that I was fairly certain would mean there was little chance I'd be allowed to fly. The pediatric cardiologist agreed with me on that score - I recall him being genuinely sympathetic and kind when he told me, too. So, I fell back on my first choice of what I wanted to be when I grew up - Egyptology - and re-directed my energy toward that goal.
I still love space stuff, though. Perhaps predictably, I tend to be far more interested in the human stories and histories than the technical details, though. In the past 18 months or so, I've discovered some of the wealth of historical material NASA and others have made available on the web and am thrilled by it. I'm also really pleased that they've taken the time and effort to do oral history recordings and transcriptions. There is a huge mine of potential data and primary sources there for historical research.

Look at her go!

Beautiful launch today of the Ares I-X rocket.  She's supposed to be the launch vehicle for the new Orion capsule.  The two together are planned to be replacements for the Space Shuttle.

Seeing a launch in person is on my list of things I want to do someday.


Warning: Little known threat to farmers and yarn aficionados

Originally uploaded by Tapir Girl

The dracullama. Wings. Fangs. Fear.

My neurologists?

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I've been shot!

It was a flu shot.  Just the regular one - they don't have the H1N1 (aka hamtrax) one at my primary care group.  Had my regular follow-up.  I need to look into checking my BP more often - it was fine today, but has been high at other times.  That could just be from stress being at the doctor's office (gee, why would I be stressed?).  So, I'll keep an eye out for low-priced home monitors.  My primary care doc suggests I get the H1N1 if I can, so I guess I'll keep an eye out to see when/if it becomes easily available around here.
We talked about my rollator request.  She offered to send me back to physical therapy for a new evaluation, which is apparently necessary for such things.  I told her I'd wait until spring.  Thinking about it, I don't think a rollator would do very well in the snow.  Nor do I fancy trying to heave it onto a bus full of undergrads.
And it seems my basic method of pain relief is okay - NSAIDs (usually ibuprofen) plus an OTC proton pump inhibitor when necessary because my stomach hurts.  Yay.
She also helped me get my pulmonary function test scheduled sooner.  Pretty cool.

I managed to get several rows of k1,p1 ribbing done on the fingerless gloves I'm making up as I go along.  Several older ladies were fascinated while we all waited for our flu shots.

The nurse who gave me a flu shot was wonderful. Very cheery.  I made her laugh asking how many people come in a drop their pants.  We wound up talking about race-relations of all things and it was wonderful.  I barely noticed the shot.


Stash enhancement

Michael's is having a big sale on yarn this week, including on Thick and Quick, which means that I went and scored enough in the beautiful cranberry color to make this cardigan. I also got some worsted acrylics to experiment with for some amigurumi patterns I'm thinking of attempting to write.  I also scored a brayer.  Excellent.

While looking at sweater patterns for myself, I thought it might be a good idea to start off with something smaller, so my nephew and/or niece may be winding up with sweaters for Xmas.  Unless I get too impatient to do the little ones and just start on my own.  :P


Welcome Sign for the Commune

Mini Mall Fail � FAIL Blog: Epic Fail Pictures and Videos of Owned, Pwnd and Fail Moments: "epic fail pictures
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I Cannot Make This Crap Up

Ancient, Giant Beavers Didn't Have a Taste for Wood : Discovery News

Also, why the hell was this in my news feed for archaeology?

(I suppose with a bit of a stretch, you can make an argument for the climatology data being significant, but honestly...)

angry teddybear

angry teddybear
Originally uploaded by Speckerna

If the bloody stump, cast, and victoriously raised firearm weren't enough, the excellent addition of the angry eyebrows should tell you that this bear means business.

Excellent. /Monty Burns


Tea, Collaboration, and Contemplation

A very wonderful friend came to visit me today bearing yummy cheeses and crackers and cookies and chocolate.  Bat cookies!  We made a pot of tea and had fun laughing at Oreo being a punk trying to convince us to share cheese and crackers and cookies.
We looked at the fabric paint/print block conundrum, which inspired me to do a bit more research into a solution.  I thought I'd share what I'd found
 - making a stamp won't work with the metallic acrylics I'm using for this particular project, but might be possible with non-metallics.  Apparently the light reflective particles (like mica) don't really pass through the felt or paper towel or whatever you choose to use for the pad.  This makes sense, but I would never have realized it and thus might well have wasted time and paint.
- A lot of people seem to feel that using inks is a better idea.  Typically water-based or acrylic screen-printing or block printing inks.  I haven't used them myself yet, but I hesitate to use them because I've found the range of colors to be limited and because they're difficult to find in many stores and I like to be able to buy stuff in person the first time around.  I also worry that some of them tend to leave too much of a thick layer and a stiff hand.  But then, so do the metallics.
- I have also seen a lot of suggestions for using a brayer to apply paint/ink to the block.  I think this is the direction I'm most inclined toward at the moment.
- There is also a suggestion to use cotton swabs or similar items to clean paint out of the grooves just before printing.  I sort of tried this already with a paintbrush and didn't find it all that satisfactory, but I may give it another shot.


Crafty Cripple Commune*

So, I was talking to some friends who also happen to be fellow crafters and chronically ill peeps, online today and someone mentioned how they wished we were neighbors.  So, of course, I decided we needed to all live in a commune.
My initial suggestions were ramps everywhere, conveniently placed nap spots, cabana boys (I should add in girls, for those so inclined), lots of fiber bearing animals, and high explosives.  (Gotta have high explosives - it's a commune, isn't it?)

Other suggested additions:
- Unlimited pain meds and topicals that actually work.
- Top quality medical care with doctors who aren't douchebags, possibly provided in exchange for knitted/crocheted goods

And things I've come up with since:
- lots of gardens
- wireless heating pads
- a moat and 10,000 gerbils oops, that's for something else
- an enormous library

And we've already decided to demand really expensive, high quality yarn for the FBI standoff.

In vaguely related news, I've discovered I might be psychic.  I was re-reading a rather snarky autobiographical sketch I wrote a few years ago and it had the following line:

She hopes to propose a dissertation concerning redacted to protect, uh, someone, assuming that this dissertation topic doesn’t go the way the last one did – with a whimper, a bang, the theft of several expensive books, random threats, and a whiff of gin and over-priced men’s cologne.
Well, the gin turned out to be moonshine.  And no one stole books this time.  And none of the men involved wore cologne (though some of them really probably should.)  Otherwise, yeah, pretty much what happened.

So, in that vein:

She hopes to legally acquire several million dollars in the near future along with the deed to a beautiful ranch in Wyoming.  And for a friend to become a rich and successful healthcare worker.  Oh, and she still wants a pony.  And a shotgun.

*What?  It's alliterative!  That beats out offensiveness.

Ancient Mosaic Reveals Artisans' Footprints : Discovery News

Ancient Mosaic Reveals Artisans' Footprints : Discovery News
There's always something special about finding footprints or fingerprints or other clear signs of the individual(s) in archaeological contexts.

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Pretty, clever, and practical

This lampshade by suzettesuzette is amazing! The granny squares are adorable and the application is wonderful. I would never have thought of a lampshade. Very cool.

I'm going to hell for laughing at this

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I actually got some crafting done today

I finally got myself going working on a long over-due gift.  It's not working out quite how I had hoped, but I think it's still fairly nice.
I'm working with stamps and having a bit of trouble getting good coverage without it being overly gloppy. I'm also using textile paint, which may well be part of the problem.   I have been sort of painting it on with a sponge brush, but that's not so hot.  I'm tempted to try hacking a stamp-pad based on this wicked cool tutorial, but I'm a little hesitant for fear it will waste a hell of a lot of paint or that it won't work with the paint I happen to be using.  Anyone have any tips?


Wow, something actually worked

I got called today to set up my cognitive testing appointment.  I'm shocked.  Pleased, but shocked.  It's scheduled for just a few days before my next neuro appointment and I'm hoping they'll be able to get the results ready in time.
Interestingly, the testing lasts all day 9-4 with an hour break for lunch.  I guess that should at least give a good indication of how fatigue affects me.  I'm very curious to see how this all works and, so far as I know, I don't have to do much in the way of stupid, awkward physical maneuvers nor are there any needles involved, so I'm kind of looking forward to it.
Something about being so tired Monday or my CPAP gurgling or something has thrown my sleep schedule off again, so I had no sleep last night despite several attempts.  I'm trying to stay awake as long as possible today in the hopes of resetting my stupid busted internal clock.  Incidentally, "as long as possible" means until I literally can no longer stay awake or until I start to feel seriously queasy, whichever comes first.  I spent most of Tuesday and much of today practically vibrating between the random involuntary movements, the tremors, and general quivering in most of my major muscle groups.  That was fun. :P



Originally uploaded by Waikikidragonfly808

He's so excellent! Perfect with Halloween coming up!


Last week I was feeling particularly craptastic and didn't feel like looking at my Google Reader feed.  Holy crap do I have a huge backlog.  Even after I decided to just not even look at a few of my subscriptions, I still can't get it to say less than 1000.  Bleh.  Anyway, I'm working through it and hopefully will find a few cool things to share here on the blog.
I woke up at 5 again this morning, again because my CPAP hose had built up condensation.  I've ordered a tube cosy thing which is supposed to help.  I really hope it gets here soon.  I napped most of the afternoon without the CPAP and was reminded why that's a stupid thing to do.  I usually wake up with a splitting headache, stuffy nose, and I sweat like crazy if I sleep without it.  And any pain I have is usually worse because I didn't get adequate sleep in certain stages, usually REM when my brain starts going "holy crap, she's suffocating, wake her up!!!  Okay, it's cool, no, wait, crap!  Wake her up again!!!!"  Seriously, people, sleep is really important.  Don't skimp on it.



So, today's neurology appointment was rather anticlimactic.  They were running behind (as usual) and I saw the senior attending doctor first.  As per usual he asked, as he has numerous times during EVERY FREAKIN' VISIT if there is anyone else in my family with similar symptoms.  And I answered as I have EVERY TIME "no."
If I ever see him again and he asks again I'm going to invent a sadly departed Great Aunt Matilda who had the exact same symptoms as me.  And when they ask me how she died I'm going to tell them:  "She strangled her neurologists with her IV tube.  Unfortunately, that also cut off her life-saving medicine, but she died with a smile on her face."
Anyway, I said I wanted to see one of their colleagues, preferable someone who specializes in movement disorders.  Shockingly, I did not get the "but why!?!?!" response but instead got an "oh, okay, that's fine."  (Insert image of me doing an Oreo head-tilt here)

At some point there was also a question as to why there weren't cognitive test results and I explained that despite my nagging about it via multiple emails, the examining doctor hadn't gotten around to arranging the appointment.  So they're supposed to be setting that up.  Again.  We'll see.

Then we discussed my freezing episode from a few weeks ago.  Apparently, "I was standing up trying to walk and my legs refused to work for 1-2 minutes" was insufficient description.  So, Tom kindly stood up and demonstrated my shorter freezing episodes.  I had no idea that I wave my forearms around like a spastic T-Rex when this happens.  I am also no longer laboring under the misperception that I am at all graceful.

Then doctor #1 wandered off.  For like an hour.  We finally caught him in the hallway to ask if we were supposed to have left.  Apparently no, the examining doctor still needed to, you know, examine me.  So he finally wandered in.  And totally blew my mind by saying, that, yeah, we should see the movement disorder doctor because they hadn't been able to figure anything out and that really wasn't good.  Then he asked if I was really sure I couldn't go back to school.  And I, as calmly as possible, said:
"Well, no.  There is absolutely no way, physically, I could at all manage to participate in or run a dig.  Not happening.  Nor, really, am I up to researching and writing a dissertation right now.  I can't focus for long periods of time and I have trouble pulling things together.  I think that I might be able to manage pulling together lectures for a course, but I really don't think I'm up to original research.  And there is no way I can hold down a job outside the house right now."
So, he said that that just wasn't okay and wasn't acceptable.  And I said I wasn't exactly thrilled about it either, but that's the way things are and I've come to accept it.
Anyway, he's going to consult with the movement disorder doctor to bring her up to date and we'll see what happens from there.

The thing is, the junior doctor (the second one) is a very nice guy.  He just seems sort of clueless and lost.  And his supervisor (the attending/first guy) is kind of a jerk.  He's patronizing, he avoids or outright refuses to answer questions, and he really seems to have no empathy.  Hopefully, I won't have to deal with either of them extensively again and the new doctor will be an improvement.  And maybe we'll make some progress toward figuring out what the problem is.

At this point, my expectations and desires are not exactly sky high.  I'm sure some people will regard this as overly pessimistic or negative, but they can, quite frankly, suck my metaphorical balls, as they haven't lived my life or dealt with this crap like I have.  The truth is I don’t think it likely I’ll regain my health entirely. If they can get me back to a point where I have the energy work as an adjunct part time or hold some other sort of part-time job, especially if they can get me back to a point being comfortable driving  or with enough energy to manage public transit in Chicago 2-3 days a week, I will be overjoyed (and slightly surprised). Hell, even if I can get the energy to get a successful Etsy shop up and running I'd be happy. Or, failing that, I need to know if I can or should apply for disability, preferably with at least a chance that they won't laugh themselves sick before denying me at every appeal.  Life is expensive.  Mostly, I just want to know what’s wrong and see if we can stop it or slow it down. I want to know if I can have kids or adopt or if I need to start getting my affairs in order (whatever the hell that means) or if I’m likely to be a crotchety old woman with a wheelchair with a shotgun rack on it. That’s what I want.  (Also, I'd like a pony, but I don't think neurology can really help me with that)

Today was also a reminder of how real this is.  I was awake at 5 AM because my damn CPAP was gurgling because condensation had built up in the tube.  I got up at 5:30.  I showered and ate and got dressed and left the apartment a little after 10 to walk barely half a block to catch the bus to the hospital.  I went to my first appointment.  I walked to lunch across campus - maybe 3 blocks.  Walked back for my neurology appointment.  Walked 2 blocks back across campus to camp out in Tom's office waiting for him to get off work so we could ride the bus home together.  Walked a block or so to catch the bus and then the half block home.  By 1 PM I was in an annoying amount of pain and more than ready for a nap, by 3 I was actively complaining, by 5 I was squirming and now I'm ready to take an extra dose of ibuprofen and rub myself down with as much BenGay as I can stand.  My vision is blurry.  My hands are slightly numb, my toes tingle.  My ass hurts (seriously, and I already applied BenGay there). My shoulders hurt, my upper arms hurt.  For some damn reason my armpits hurt! I feel like I have about five tightly kinked knots in each thigh.  And, of course, as usual I walk like a drunken sailor with two termite infested peg-legs.  And walking takes effort now.  It's not a simple, mindless thing anymore - I have to think about it, plan my route, make sure my legs are doing what they're supposed to be doing.  It's taken an effort to write this and I have the sinking sensation tomorrow is going to be an especially bad day for brain fog.  I'm missing or forgetting more words than usual and started stammering a bit starting about mid-afternoon.  The only reason I haven't gone to bed already is that I know at the moment I'm in too much pain to fall asleep easily and that the first few minutes of lying down while my back unkinks or whatever the hell it does is going to be excruciating.
I can manage that once or twice a week every 6 weeks.  I would be a quivering mass of sobbing menthol-scented jelly after 2 or 3 days in a row, let alone 5, all the time.
The thing is though, much as it sucks, and I'll be damned if I'll pretend that it doesn't suck, I'm not that unhappy.  I have a husband who loves me and takes care of me and does chicken dances for neurologists and rubs BenGay on my butt and friends who laugh at my good humored (really, it is intended to be good humored) bitching, and a little dog who comes and cuddles on my lap and dances for joy when I can get up and play with him.  And I have books and yarn (not enough, though, there's never enough yarn) and fabric to play with when I can.  But I would like to not have to wonder and worry quite so much anymore.


Psyching Up

Tomorrow I have what I hope is my last appointment with my current neurologists.  I plan on firing their asses.  I'm really hoping this doesn't turn into a ridiculous drama-fest, primarily because that will take a lot of my energy.  And I'd rather not be labeled a "problem patient."
Anyway, the initial plan is to tell them that, after over a year, I just don't feel like we have or are going to establish a comfortable rapport and that I want to be referred to one of their colleagues, preferably someone who specializes in movement disorders.
I expect they will attempt to talk me out of it or make excuses.  I've been practicing saying, "yes, I understand that, I still want you to make the referral."
I figure I'll give them about three "bbbbut...." episodes before I suggest that if they have a problem doing as I ask that maybe we should bring in the clinic coordinator.
I intend to try very hard not to turn this into a long list of why I have a problem with them and what I think they've done wrong.  I would prefer this to end as painlessly as possible.
I also plan to *insist* on having the referral appointment made before I leave the office, given their track record at forgetting to and failing to do things like set up follow-up appointments, labs, inform me of test results, etc. even after I nag them.

Wish me luck.


This Evening's Dinner

Star Trek Eggo Waffles.  Apparently there was a run on frozen waffles at the store and this was all Tom could find.  Weird, but not disgusting.
I got about 11 hours sleep today (starting at 6 am) and want more.  Crap.
Last night was spent attempting to cast on for some fingerless gloves.   I think I did it about 8 times trying to find the proper permutation of needle type (bamboo or metal), size, and number of stitches to cast on.  These are being knit flat and then seamed up the side because I don't have double points nor no I have multiple sets of circular needles in the same size or a super long cord for my interchangeable circs, so knitting in the round isn't really happening.
I watched the old 1940s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier and was deeply disappointed to see that they decided not to use period costumes.  Then I watched the 1990s adaptation of Little Women which inevitably makes me cry.


And today in "holy crap, you're stupid!"

Interracial couple denied marriage license in La. - Yahoo! News

I think I may have damaged my forehead smacking it in exasperation.

The truly classic quote from the article:

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

1. Dude, you're a racist. Resorting to the "I have tons of insert race/ethnicity/other status here friends" argument usually means you are.
2. Even if you did to begin with, I don't think you have "piles and piles of black friends" anymore.
3. Extra bonus points for "I let them use my bathroom" and "I don't believe in mixing the races that way"
4. Does he always refuse to marry people if he thinks the marriage won't last long?

Dear Mr. Bardwell,
You are a racist. You may not be willing to admit it, but you are. You're also an idiot.

Most adults with a semi-functional brain



I slept through most of yesterday.  Today I'm still really tired, my throat is sore, and I hurt.  Liberal use of ginger-honey-lemon tea and ibuprofen has done nothing.   This blows.  My hands are bothering me enough that I'm hesitant to knit or crochet, plus my brain is foggy enough that I'm not sure I want to start anything.  Humph.

Also, I'm giving serious consideration to getting a Snuggie.  I'm also considering an electric blanket for use on the couch.

On top of that, I'm having trouble settling down to read anything, which is equally annoying.  Double humph.

On that note, I think I'll be taking myself and a selection of books off to the bed.


Shopping and Pain

So, Friday I went out shopping with some friends on a quest for jeans for one of them.  Fairly uneventful except that I got motion sick in the car, which hasn't happened to me in several months.  Joy.  At least I didn't barf.

Saturday, Tom and I decided to check out a Goodwill store just to see what we could find.  This would have been more enjoyable if I hadn't suddenly started having double-over, OMG-WTF-there's-an-incubus-in-my-abdomen cramps.  I toughed it out.  Didn't find much besides a fairly decent haul of sci-fi/fantasy paperbacks and a cardigan for Tom.  No luck in the velour sweatsuits (I like the nicer ones with the hoody and pants because they're comfy but I feel comfortable venturing forth in public in them) or in corduroy jumpers or dresses that aren't disgustingly cutesy or matronly.

Saturday evening the worst migraine I've had in a very long time hit.  I suspect the motion sickness on Friday was part of the "aura." prodrome.  Anyway, it started off like one of my typical migraines that I get every 10 days or so - sucktastic, but I can take some Excedrine, find a quiet spot and read or sleep and deal.  Then it decided to get extra evil on me.  Yeah...I thought someone was driving an ice-pick through my skull.  My eyes kept slipping out of focus.  I started sweating.  And I started getting nauseous.  Anyway, I managed to get to sleep.  And woke up Sunday with the migraine still there.  And the nausea was worse.  And I was having hot and cold flashes and sweating.  And feeling rather...giddy.

I finally got rid of it (mostly) very late Sunday night, possibly early Monday morning.  I hate these.  The pain sucks, but that isn't what bothers me the most.  It's the nausea and hot/cold flashes and skin being over sensitive and giddiness or lightheadedness or anxiety or whatever the hell it is that I really, really hate.  It makes me feel slightly panicky and slightly like I'm not quite in control.  It's dreadful.  It isn't precisely a panic attack, but it is sort of similar, though it lasts a while.  And it puts me in mind of some of my worst moments mentally and emotionally, which probably doesn't help matters.  Anyway, talking about it/through it seems to help, thus this post.  Having Oreo decide to shove my laptop off my lap and occupy it himself also helps, as I discovered last night.

Anyway, I'm still feeling a bit fragile - the migraine hangover, I call it.    Hopefully another day of rest will help.


Star Wars Tauntaun Sleeping Bag Will be Available in November

Some of you may recall ThinkGeek's awesome April Fool's joke this year - the Tauntaun sleeping bag. After much howling in dismay from the internet that it was just a joke, ThinkGeek decided to see if they could make it a reality. Apparently, come November, it will be.

TechEBlog Star Wars Tauntaun Sleeping Bag Will be Available in November


Yet another reason to adore Stephen Fry

Depression is awful, it's real, it's not a character flaw, and it can be crushing. Worse is the feeling that almost no one around you understands what it's like.

Crystal Nunn reached out during about of depression to Stephen Fry, who has been remarkably open in discussion his own struggles with depression. And, wonderfully, he replied.

Letters of Note: It will be sunny one day


Zombies! Bunnies! Zombie-bunny!

Originally uploaded by tinyowlknits *

Check out the adorable zombie bunny made by tinyowlknits. This is another example of less-is-more - I like the simple shapes - arms and legs can be fussy sometimes.

Anyway, the details here are adorable - the pink yarn under the eyes and the scar across the face are great zombie details.

Available from tinyowlknits' Etsy shop.


In the interest of full disclosure...

I've signed up to be an Amazon Associate.  Essentially, if you follow a link I create to a product on Amazon and buy it, I'll get a small percentage.  I'm not anticipating this generating large quantities of money, nor am I planning on turning this into a place to shill products, but I thought it might be nice to get a bit of extra money every now and then for doing what I do anyway.  Assuming I remember to do the links the right way to actually get moneys.  Actually, if I even hit the minimum to get  a reward ($10) I will be shocked and amazed.

Anyway, if people are vociferously against this, feel free to let me know.  I won't necessarily change things, but if it will make you feel better to swear at me and accuse me of selling out, have at it.  You could also not click the links and buy stuff, though, too.  :P

Amazon Amigurumi

Now that it's been delivered, I can post about the Amazon from Creepy Cute Crochet: Zombies, Ninjas, Robots, and More!
Top photo shows her bald and nakey! Oooh, amigurumi pornography (this should get some interesting Google hits).

Once I figured out how to get the hair going, with the help of tutorials by the author of Creepy Cute and aided by finally breaking down and getting some tiny steel crochet hooks - it worked out very well.

I decided that an Amazon needed a bow as well as a spear, so she wound up with both. It's a recurve bow, because I am that much of an archaeological nerd. If I'd had appropriate stone or some broken glass handy, I may well have tried knapping a tiny spear-point, too. As it is, I made a bunch of little notches on the edges to make it look as though it had been re-touched.

I used an ombre yarn for a more "natural" looking bikini. The stupid thing was too big, even after I remade the amigurumi using a larger hook, so I did some alterations, making decorative loops in the bands of the top and skirt.

The whole thing is made of various acrylic or acrylic-wool blend worsted weight yarns. I know that the patterns call for cottons, but they can be a bit harder to find in a variety of colors and I have tons of acrylics handy. Yes, baby-melting acrylics. Suck-it, yarn snobs.

I think it all turned out pretty well.
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Latest Project

So, I bought a skein of ultra bulky yarn quite a while ago intending to make myself a beret. And I finally got around to it. I actually started last night, attempting to follow a pattern. Yeah, not so much. I frogged it. Multiple times.
Screw following patterns. I made up my own. And here is the result. It's not finished yet, but I figured I'd share it here anyway. It's worked up ridiculously fast, but I can feel my tendons or muscles or something in my hands and forearms starting to twinge a bit more than usual, so I think I'll give it a rest for the night.

In other news, I managed to get up well before afternoon today. And I dusted, swept, mopped, and fed and watered my plants. I think the mini-rose is dead, but my African violet is doing spectacularly well. Maybe I'll try to get some more. Or see if I can find other flowering plants that do well in similar conditions (indirect light).
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Schnauzer Puppy

Schnauzer Puppy
Originally uploaded by Jaravee

I love these adorable schnauzer amigurumis by Jaravee. Her other puppy patterns are equally adorable. The eyebrows for the schnauzers are a wonderful touch.
Schnauzers, though, have a special place in my heart - my mom loves them and currently has two - a white male named Oliver and tiny salt-and-pepper female named Lily. Dad grumbles about them, but he loves them too. I'm rather fond of them myself, but, of course, no doggie could replace Oreo in my heart.
Oliver, actually, was indirectly responsible for my adopting Oreo. I had spent a week or so at my parents before moving up to Chicago and Oliver would sleep in my bed. I realized that I really, really liked having a doggie around and thus wound up going to look at doggies for adoption in Chicago and found Oreo.


In which very little happens

Not much going on lately.  I had an pretty disconcerting episode of freezing while standing the other night. I had been in the dining room looking at my bookshelves for something to read and I just froze. For a few minutes I literally could not get my legs to move, but I was still standing.  I thought I might be stuck there for a while, but everything started working again, so not a huge deal.  This is good, as Tom was asleep, so who knows how long it would have been before my pitiful cries for help woke him up.  ;P  Just another symptom to report to my neurologists, who will undoubtedly look puzzled and disbelieving because they work hard at living up to their nickname:  "The Douchetastic Duo."
I figured out the costume and hair for the amigurumi and she is nearly done.  Her polymer clay accessories are cooling after being baked and she should be ready for delivery tomorrow.  Once everything started making sense, it went pretty well.  I'll post pictures after she's been delivered.
I slept most of today and am still tired.  My various plans for getting things done are mostly being postponed daily because I'm too tired, too twitchy, or have other things to do.  Sigh.  Not giving up, though.  Dammit.
I am pleased, though, that Netflix now has Mystery Science Theater 3000 on instant play.

On the schedule for the rest of the week:

  • Get some stamps put together and used
  • Start on my next knitting project (fingerless gloves of some variety)
  • Make some napkins
  • Work on the crochet hook case I started sewing months ago.
  • Work on the crocheted bag I started crocheting months and months ago.  It's getting close to finished.
  • Think more about holiday gifts - who is getting them, what they're going to be, when I need to start them, etc.  Last year we made chocolate bark for people and Xmas cookies for doggies and I'm thinking of doing the very same thing this year because it was easy, tasty, and everyone seemed to like it.  I'm also inclined to crochet or knit things, but that's time consuming and unpredictable.  :P
  • Work on a crocheting project for Tom.  (IS A SECRET.  CANNOT SAY MORE.)
Oh, and I have a doctor's appointment Friday.  Endocrinology.  Boring.



Something has triggered a return of pretty major tremors and twitches for me the past few days.  It's made doing things that require precision with my fingers...interesting.  I've been especially foggy lately too.  It's sort of hard to describe to people who haven't ever experienced it.  It's sort of like everything is slightly out of focus - things that you actually look at, but your mental processes as well.  For me, this means I spend a lot of time staring at walls or other things without actually seeing them while my brain has checked out, or require several repetitions from people in order to understand what they're saying or even register that they're speaking to me (Tom gets to experience that one the most - I'm sure he's thrilled).  And I forget where I was going with a sentence in the middle of it or can't remember words, often simple words, as I'm typing or speaking.
My pain levels have increased too.  And I've started getting very random sharp pinching pains that last only a few seconds at a time in very random places.  Like my earlobe.  WTF?  My earlobe?  What is that about?
So, the movement stuff and the brain fog means nearly everything has been on hiatus the past few days and will probably continue to be until I snap out of this or adapt to it, whichever comes first.


Word of the Day


My husband introduced me to this word when he found it in the petitions to the Supreme Court regarding firearms restrictions in the city of Chicago.  (You can get PDFs of both petitions there - Chicago's lawyers decided to use the word "nugatory" and the reply seems to find that, uh, interesting.  I'm not discussing the case here, just pointing out the word.)

I thought it had something to do with nougat, creamy, tasty nougat before I was given any context.

We both hoped it had something to do with The Nuge because the use involved guns. I was thinking along the lines of:  "That action was so deeply stupid, trashy, and ignorant as to be nugatory." Alas, no.