Digital Karnak: Welcome

Digital Karnak: Welcome

My husband clued me in to this amazing site produced by UCLA. I haven't had time to go through the whole thing yet, but the timemap feature showing the gradual development and change of the temple complex through time is FABULOUS.  An excellent visual reference and teaching tool.  For me at least, really understanding those sorts of changes through time takes a lot of staring and flipping of maps and/or a visit to the actual site and the leisure to wander as I like.  It's really great to see this sort of thing pulled together and made available for people all over the world!

Settlers of Catan 'ghan! With Free Pattern

Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins: Settlers of Catan 'ghan! With Free Pattern

I am ridiculously proud of myself for having guessed that a Settlers Afghan was in the making from a prior post.  Better is that the pattern is generously shared at the above link from Cthulhu and Cousins.  Including an inexpensive and washing safe method of making the sheeps!

Little Mi (hot water bottle & doll set)

This hot water bottle plus lovely gently scented doll is such a lovely thought for days in bed or on the couch feeling poorly. Hot water bottles are not all that common in the US, but I think are greatly under-appreciated. They're certainly a good way to keep toes warm in the winter without raising the thermostat and a good way to comfort achy spots without worrying about an electric heating pad.
Fröken Skicklig has a lovely selection on her blog. They've sold out of her etsy shop, but there's no harm in having the address handy for her future productions. :)

Tom Servo

Check out this awesome Tom Servo by Crafster user MageAkyla.

Tom Servo
Posted using ShareThis

Found via Geek Crafts

Home already, round one of testing complete!

We managed to get the second part of our appointment done earlier today, so we're already home.  Things went very smoothly - not even a hint of panic for me!  The EMG did show some myopathy and paresis in my thigh muscle.  We'll see what more gets made of that.  I actually found the nerve conduction test sort of entertaining - being shocked makes me giggle, or maybe it was my leg moving without me doing anything.
The EMG with the needle was not the most pleasant thing ever, but wasn't too bad.  My hugely nerdy self couldn't help but think the sound of my muscles sounded awesomely like the feed from a radio-telescope.  *Hiss-crackle-crackle*
Anyway, I'm super-proud of myself for not being a total wuss.  I definitely couldn't have done it without the hubby there.  
Still a little bit sore from the tests and I really need to wash the EEG goo out of my hair.  Tomorrow is the MRI - no worries about that really, I've done it twice before and have the drill down.  So long as I'm lying down when they put the IV in, I'm cool.
The plan for the rest of this rainy day is, I think, to chill out at home.  If it weren't raining, I would be all about a trip to the zoo, but not so much.  Maybe later in the year.


Good Day

I spent most of the day out visiting today to distract myself from tomorrow's needle-tastic/electrocution fun.  It was really good to catch up with some people I haven't seen lately and even fun to see people that I see all the time (shout-out to the hubby on that one).  It did wear me out a bit though.  The dreadful gray weather isn't helping either - it seems to make my vision/vertigo stuff worse.  Bleh.  Anyway, a good day, though no crafting done.
Now we're waiting for rosemary-dijon crusted pork chops and baked potatoes to get finished up and we got a frozen cherry pie to bake (I've had a weird craving for it lately).  And I scored some Ben and Jerry's Cinnamon Buns ice-cream to try.  And some Cocoa Pebbles.  If I wind up feeling all crappy the next few days, at least I will have had an awesome dinner tonight and I have fun stuff to snack on if I feel like it.  Yay!
I also need to get cracking on Mom's present for Mother's Day.  And when that's done, I need to work on a gift for a friend who is, sadly, probably going away.  And I have wedding presents to work on too.  


No need to fear this swine

Emilie little pig 02
Originally uploaded by kifkif
I love this sweet little pig with her lovely dress and bouquet. Take that "swine" flu!

Bluebell the Jackalope Plush

It's a jackalope!!!! My western roots rejoice!

Mini Amigurumi Terrarium

Terrariums, especially miniature terrariums seem to be one of the latest things in the crafty world. I love this version by Irisgurumi, perfect for those who fail at growing things! Super adorable!

Slow Day 3

So, I tried staying up all night and day to reset the sleep schedule.  Fail again.  But I did manage to do some dishes early this morning and go to the post office.  Then I fell asleep on the couch with Oreo, despite trying really hard to stay awake.  Sigh.  I'm still sleepy though, so I'm hoping I can get back to sleep later.  I have a huge backlog of Reader feed to go through.  
Some good news, though - I don't have to be sleep deprived for my EEG so I may be able to reschedule it and the EMG for a time that is better for me.  I will confess to being pretty nervous about the EMG - needles and I don't get along too well.  I know it's necessary, it's safe, etc., but I'm still worried it will trigger a panic attack - something that I can't really control.  It's absolutely infuriating, especially when people around you are telling you "it's fine, you're fine" - I know that, if I could keep my autonomic nervous system from deciding to go bugnuts I would!  Fingers-crossed it goes well.  Having it later in the day when I'm a bit better rested will probably make it easier on me.  I hate being a wuss.


Slow Day 2

So, resetting the sleep schedule was a big fat fail.  I set an alarm, I woke up, I got up to take meds.  Then, like an idiot, I got back in bed to read for a while and promptly fell back asleep.  For the rest of the day.  And woke up feeling awful.  Thanks weather.
I also realized that Mother's Day is way closer than I thought, so I've been crocheting a gift for my mommy while watching the US version of The Office on the Roku. (Some really frightening parallels to people I know in that show.  Plus, watching the Pam/Jim romance unfold from the beginning makes me all girly-happy.) I took a break when my hand started to ache to look into different types of therapeutic gloves.  I have some, but they don't really support my fingers and my pinky and ring finger are not happy.  I also have to wear them inside out to keep the seams from rubbing funny.  And my hands get fairly sweaty in them.  Also, they're ugly, which isn't a huge deal, but it would be cool to remedy that.

Craft Glove
So, I'm looking into the following:
IMAK  - these have the advantage of being cotton-blend for breathability and they have good finger coverage.  They are a bit pricey, but they seem to get good reviews
"Miracle Gloves"  - Inexpensive, recommended in a Ravelry thread I checked out (still looking in to other suggestions there), adjustable wrists.  They do look a bit thick though, which could be a problem for summer-time.
Handeze - Also a bit pricey, seams might be a problem...
Wii Boxing Gloves - What?  How are these not appropriate?
Isotoner Arthritis Gloves - Seams are on the outside, flesh toned...
Thermoskin - Adjustable wrists, good reviews, grippy exterior fabric, plus they're all space-age looking.  A bit pricey.

Anyone have experience with these?  Other suggestions?  

I hope to make my own eventually, at least for fun fashion accessories.  I especially want to try some cotton fingerless gloves for longer walks in the summer because sweaty hand + cane = suck.

Looking for options here has also reminded me how hard it is to find this sort of thing for some people.  If you think of who most people regard as "typical" arthritis sufferers you probably think of older/elderly people.  While there are notable exceptions, these are also people who may not have computer access and/or who may not be comfortable with finding or ordering products online.  It's horrible that it can be hard (at least in my experience) to find these sorts of products in stores or at least find a selection to choose from.  I got lucky finding mine in a Hobby Lobby.  I've looked elsewhere - in other craft stores, in drugstores, in Target and Walmart and have rarely, if ever, seen similar products.  I can't help but wonder how many people have given up on hobbies that they love because of hand pain who might have found relief using these sorts of gloves but who have no idea that they exist or who simply cannot find them.  If you or friends or relatives have this problem PLEASE consider getting them a pair as a gift, just to try out.  This isn't limited to hands either - there are similar items for other major joints.  


Slow Day

Having a slow day today - I'm trying to reset my sleep schedule.  I've slipped back to being awake later and later (or earlier and earlier) and then sleeping later as well.  If I didn't have appointments to keep I suppose it wouldn't be so much of a problem.  Anyway, I'm trying to get back on my stricter schedule of sleeping at night instead of during the day (harder than it sounds, I assure you).  
My allergies are acting up as well (I'm pretty sure it isn't man-bird-pig flu).  Nothing really caught my attention today for posting (yet), possibly because I'm in an allergy fog.  As it is, I'm stretched out on the couch with Oreo trying to distract myself from thinking about the dreaded EMG test on Thursday...

Karlee Fuchs: Free Pillowcase Sewing Pattern

Karlee Fuchs: Free Pillowcase Sewing Pattern

I found this great free pillowcase pattern via Craft - it looks both easy to follow and fun!  It's written for a standard sized case, but I imagine it wouldn't be that difficult to adapt for bigger pillows.  I'm looking forward to trying it out.



Originally uploaded by Tine V.
Wheee! This punk-topus brightened my day. Great colors + crazy hair + piercing + cuteness = happy!

a photographer

a photographer
Originally uploaded by beruta
I love this simple, graceful photographer behind her camera and tripod. Another simple = wow!



Seriously - hours of entertainment.  (Warning:  some vulgar language if that's a problem)

Kappa #1 and #2

Kappa #1 and #2
Originally uploaded by Organtitus
These adorable fantastic creatures are breathtaking - the faces are so beautifully expressive!


Drunken Chthulhus on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Drunken Chthulhus on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

To make up for the cuteness of Hello Kitty, check out the cuteness of on Chthulu on Flickr!

Hello Kitty Devil

Originally uploaded by silly_a1804
I will confess, I'm not a huge fan of Hello Kitty. Hard as it is to believe, she's actually a little too cutesy for me. (Don't analyze my logic there, others have tried, failed, and wound up with really bad headaches.) I like this Hello Kitty though - she's got some spunk. And I think a friend of mine would probably like her. Something else to go in the Ravelry cue.

silly_a1804 used the free pattern available here with some modifications.

Go away, Elvis!

The past few days have been especially bad on the myoclonus/spasm front, especially today.  I probably overdid some walking/standing, which is sometimes the culprit.  Other times it just happens.
Anyway, the most dramatic of the movement problems, the ones that really sort of scared us when they first started but are now sort of old hat are concentrated around my hips and lower back.  Essentially my body just starts jerking strongly forward and to the left.  This reminds me vaguely of the early days of Elvis and his "dance" or whatever that made adults all over the country fear for the very souls of their children after their exposure to the evil of rock'n'roll.  So, we now call refer to this with some mention of Elvis.  Usually that I'm either possessed by Elvis or that I'm a really crappy Elvis impersonator.  
As I said, today is being especially bad and my hands have been getting more twitchy lately too - making typing a problem.  I'm super achy too - not all that surprising given the movement stuff.  I can sometimes stop it briefly - usually by tightening my abdominal muscles - but it's difficult to keep that up for a long time and sometimes even that doesn't quite work.  Anyway, I spent most of the day curled up in bed with Oreo reading and dozing - thankfully the spasms seem to stop when I'm asleep or nearly so.  I've since relocated to the couch so I can have the heating pad on my ass and lower back (those muscles get quite a workout with the spasms).  
I'm not sure if new stuff is going to get posted today - I figure this post meets my daily goal of posting at least a paragraph.  We'll see.  
Anyway, everybody send good vibes to exorcise Elvis!!!!

The Monarch - Venture Bros Plush Prototype

I soooo would have bought this if the deal with Cartoon Network had gone through. I mean, it's the freakin' Monarch! How could you not think having your own plush, lovable, megalomaniacal, Lepidopteraphile would be fabulous????

Curse you Doctor Venture and your influence with Cartoon Network execs!!!


Frog Princess

Frog Princess -- Done
Originally uploaded by woosie21
I'm really digging this sweet girl frog - the nicely webbed feet, the cute flower accessories, and the three-dimensional eyes are all a wonderful mix.

Carnaval no Rio

Carnaval no Rio
Originally uploaded by joyceamigurumi
The details on these Carnivale ladies are fabulous - I love the feather details and the awesome shoes.

Beatrice and Charlie.

Beatrice and Charlie.
Originally uploaded by stjernfall
I love this bunny couple - they make such a sweet pair. The details on the overalls/jumper are great and googly eyes make EVERYTHING better.


Kieran the Leprechaun


Hurray!  I finished the leprechaun for Dad.  I've decided to name him "Kieran" - "little dark one."  I'm not totally thrilled with him - his arms are wonky and the hat sort of sucks, but he needs to get in the mail tomorrow, so he'll have to do.  I don't think Dad will mind.  :)
I did basically the same thing as I did with Lorcan - I used the Human Amigurumi pattern from Geek Central Station  though I used a smaller hook this time to get a slightly smaller Kieran.  I'm fairly certain he's totally acrylic.  This left his hair a little less wirey, but much softer and I actually think the tendency of the Bernat satin I used to fray slightly works well for the hair.  Yarn details are available on my project page on Ravelry.

My attempt at a cowboy hat failed miserably.  I should either have made the crown higher or narrower and the brim wider.  Alas, I didn't figure that out until it was a bit too late.  I do have a friend to thank for the idea of using hairspray as a stiffener - it didn't leave the hat too stiff, but it helped a bit.  My husband was kind enough to give me some wire to thread through the edge of the brim in an attempt to make the hat look a little less lame.  Meh.  I think he's still pretty cute and the shapeless, oversized hat is sort of fun I guess.   Better luck for me next time.

I'm afraid the photos aren't as lovely this time either as I just remembered a few minutes ago that they needed to be taken and hubby obliged.  So, you can see how I totally don't dust under my couch.  :)

I'm sure Dad will be pleased to know that Kieran underwent a rigorous quality inspection:

Quality Inspection Begins

The up-close sniff test

Passed Inspection


Amigurumi Chihuahua

Amigurumi Chihuahua
Originally uploaded by rabbizdesign
These cute little guys are just fabulous, from the poses and accessories to the great expressions. Yay, doggies!

Crafting For a Cause - Handmade Items Help Sick Baby

From the Craftzine blog is a story about fellow crafters banding together to help raise funds to help baby Isaac "Ike" Roy, the premature baby son of Kari Anne and Steven.   Fundraising is especially important to the family at this point as  Steven was recently laid off.  
There is a website devoted to information about Ike and many crafters from all over have donated items for an auction to raise money.
Do what you can to help, even if it's just passing on the links! A summary of the story is also in the Craftzine post linked below.

Craftzine.com blog : Crafting For a Cause - Handmade Items Help Sick Baby

crochet flowers for napkin rings

I love these delicate crocheted flower napkin rings available on etsy. Practical and pretty! There are other lovely options available in her shop.

The latest health news

I didn't have a chance to go through my RSS feeds today, so I haven't got around to posting any cool stuff yet because I had a neurology appointment today.
The good news is that they're finally taking me seriously after about a year of visits every few months.  
The bad news is that I appear (to them) to be getting a bit worse.  A friend asked if *I* thought I was getting worse, which put things a bit in perspective - I don't think I've gotten that much worse since about December.  We did discover new muscle weakness today though, and I've been particularly twitchy the past week.
Anyway, I gave a bunch of blood for testing today and I have neurophysiological tests and another MRI scheduled for the end of next week.  They're now looking at possible genetic disorders and taking a closer look at my cerebellum.  
Surprisingly (or maybe not), I'm not really freaking out that much.  As I've noted here before, I've pretty much accepted that I'm disabled and likely to be so permanently.  And I've been prepared for the possibility of gradual decline (please let it be REALLY gradual).  The only thing I've been really impatient/worried/frustrated about was figuring out what the problem is.  I'm hoping that we're getting closer to an answer now.  So, everybody keep your fingers crossed!


tn_Llama (5)

tn_Llama (5)
Originally uploaded by Chiwaluv Chi's
Yay, llama/alpaca (sort of like sheep-goat for archaeologists)! The expression is perfect. The more I get into crochet and knitting, the more I like the animals who provide us with fiber for yarn. We've toyed with the idea of having a mini-farm/hobby farm once we get out of the big city and with the idea of having an alpaca. Maybe this truly "mini" one would be a good start...

Amigurumi Raving Rabbid

The crafter really captured the manic quality of the raving Rabbids! I had a blast (with much swearing thrown in) playing one of the Rabbid games on Wii, so of course this is something I like.


Originally uploaded by knittingdreams
Again, we find an example of the "Shoveling Ferret will like" natural law at work:
- crazy hair
- crochet
- cute
- animal
- accessory
- sweet face

He's absolutely adorable!

The Mission Statement for This Blog

sry, but teh shiny demands � Lolcats ‘n’ Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?: "funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures"

Puppy on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Another lovely piece by squiddles.  This time she's made a sweet terrier puppy along with lovely accessories.  Hurray for doggies!

Puppy on Flickr - Photo Sharing!



Originally uploaded by Planeta Amigurumi
Here is another lovely amigurumi from Planeta Amigurumi. Her ability to pose and use simple shapes to great effect is so breathtaking to me.


Hair Club for Fey, my latest WIP

Not to worry, the hair transplant will be completed soon, but for now, he looks like a rather batty monk...

Hair-club for Fey

Hair-club for Fey

So, my dad admired Lorcan when he saw the photos and hinted that he might like one himself. I started on another leprechaun when we were out visiting last month, but couldn't quite get him finished. Last time I talked to my mom, she mentioned that Dad had sort of mournfully asked where his leprechaun was. :) So, I've got to get this new one finished in time for Dad's birthday next week. He has black hair, as Dad has a distinct bias against redheads (long story involving an ex-wife...) and he's a bit smaller, hopefully enabling him to either be a good-luck charm dad can fit in a pocket or that he can hang in his truck.
I still haven't been able to decide on a name - suggestions are welcome. I am planning on making a more cowboy-style hat for him, as Dad is the most authentic cowboy I know (or at least was when he was younger, but I don't think that's something you exactly lose).

Attack of the giant Shi-Tzu!

We went out for a walk at a local park today and my husband got this great photo while I was having a rest. I think this is an excellent illustration of how big Oreo *thinks* he is. And you can sort of see my new haircut and short fringe, which is also sort of cool.


Originally uploaded by whiteoutart89
Or you'll be overtaken by cuteness!


Gila Monster amigurumi

I'm loving this crocheted Gila monster by squiddles on Flickr.   Yay poisonous desert creatures!  Remember kids, don't play with the real ones  Check out some of squiddles other work - it's great, especially her itty-bitty turtles.

Tree Spirit

Tree Spirit
Originally uploaded by Angry Angel
This cute guy appeals to many of my likes: fantastic creatures, cute things, and crazy hair, especially crazy blue-green hair (anyone who knew me my Freshman year in college can definitely attest to the blue-green hair part). I love the additions of fuzziness as well as the earthy colors for this inquisitive Tree Sprite.

Go check out Angry Angel's flickr stream too - there are some other fabulous creations to be admired!

Compute Cute Overload

Originally uploaded by rising_expectations
Ridiculously adorably plushie/softie robot with arms to hug you. Not crush you! Hug you! I'm pretty sure he won't steal medicine from old people either.

Sorry, Sam Waterston...

I will keep you safe and sound...

This mother and child amigurumi piece makes me feel cuddled and warm just looking at it. Very sweet and I think it would be a great gift for Mother's Day or for a new Mom (or even a not so new Mom). The pattern is available on etsy. I have already grabbed one myself - I was looking for something fun to make my Mom and I think this will be great!  
Have a look at her other great creations and shop too!


Amigurumi Martini Olive Octopus

May all your drunken hallucinations be so cute! Available as a kit in Demonsterative's etsy store!

Quite possibly the most awesome skirt you will see this year

Missile Command Skirt 23
Originally uploaded by L. Marie
Missile Command Skirt - tutorial and pattern featured on Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. I imagine this basic notion could be adapted to any number of other games, depending on your creativity level and/or level of geekitude.

I do occasionally make something (Crochet Hook Handles Pre-Bake)

So, after stumbling onto a video showing how to make your own crochet hook handles I absolutely had to take my 40% off coupon down to the local Michaels and grab me a Sculpey color pack and some cheap aluminum Boye hooks. I love this idea, not just for the fun, easy DIY aspect, but also in hopes that these larger handles will help with my hand problems. (I recently scored a Clover Soft Touch and have enjoyed it, but DIY is even better.)
I spent a good part of this evening having loads of fun playing with the polymer clay, stuffing the hooks into it, and writing on the new handle bases (so I'll know what size the hook is). I basically taped some aluminum foil to my lap desk to give myself a reasonably flat, non-sticky, non-transfer surface to work with. Oreo was fascinated until he decided I was not doing anything truly food related. I'm waiting for the oven to heat as we speak so I can bake these bad boys. I'm looking forward to trying them out in the next day or two. I think I might have overworked my hands playing with the clay, but it was fun and therefore worth it.

DIY Dress Form

I found this via Craft today and am super excited - dress forms are pricey and while having one would be very handy for me, I haven't wanted to invest in one while I'm still not certain how devoted I am to the whole sewing thing.  However, this is cheap and I suspect it will be hilarious for my husband and me to do.

The materials list is essentially:
- a friend (you can't do this alone)
- a garbage bag
- scissors
- water activated packing/paper tape
- masking tape
- a sponge
- water
- a pole (they used an old Xmas tree trunk and tree stand and the video includes a link to other options)
- fabric scraps or expandable foam for stuffing
- several hours

How-to Make a Body Form

My teenage air-guitar fantasies come true

The Beatles RockBand screencaptureThe Beatles Rock Band

I realize this is old news, but I don't care. All I care about is how to acquire the $250 I need to get it. Anyone want to donate to the "Get a Cripple an Awesome Wii Game Fund?" I promise to take video of me playing and post it here!

Seriously - I dreamed about a game like this long, long ago when I listened to the Beatles 24/7. And thus I am ridiculously excited about this now, even more so because George Martin's son, Giles, is involved in the production. How cool is that?

Right, off to air guitar with my cane...


Dear Hubby's Latest Work

My husband has been getting back into Warhammer 40K lately.  I will confess to finding the game itself horrifically boring to watch and not my thing for actual play, but I LOOOOVE the figurines (or dudes, as I tend to call them).  He's been working carefully to get his army all spiffied up and ready to go and I've been observing with interest.  I want to paint at least one guy to see if I like it, but haven't gotten around to actually doing it yet.   Here's someshots he took of his dudes:

Grey Knights

Grey Knights

Beyond Your Borders – Experiencing the World | The Art of Manliness

Beyond Your Borders – Experiencing the World | The Art of Manliness

My husband shared this excellent article from The Art of Manliness with me.  Traveling and really make personal connections with people, as opposed to doing the sterile, perfectly planned, rather isolated typical tour package can be daunting on a number of levels - financial, health, time, personal comfort, language barriers - but it is certainly worth it if you can at all manage it.  You will learn to appreciate your fellow humans immensely and, hopefully, be a wonderful unofficial representative of your own country.
Starting small is always possible - try Bed and Breakfasts, camping, or backpacking in your own country or one that shares your native language first and build your way up.  

Crochet Wall-e

Crochet Wall-e
Originally uploaded by sukigirl74
I literally said "oooooooooohhhhhhhh!!!!!!" when this popped up in my feed. Wall-E plus crochet! See the links for more info!

DIY Star Trek Communicator

Trekker masynmachien and daughter created an excellent Instructable for those who would like to make their own TOS communicator complete with chirping noise.  Check it out!

Star Trek communicator from a discarded mouse - More DIY How To Projects

crocheted helicopter

crocheted helicopter
Originally uploaded by FluidAmbition
It's a helicopter - what more can I say? Well, I guess I could make helicopter noises, but those don't work so well in print....

Check the link - the maker has a very lucky nephew!

Bunny Bowling with thelongthread

Etsy :: The Storque :: How-To :: How-Tuesday: Bunny Bowling with thelongthread

There's a great how-to on making your very own bunny bowling set available from the Storque.   Check it out!

Craftzine.com blog : DIY Fashion: Reinventing Hosiery

Craftzine.com blog : DIY Fashion: Reinventing Hosiery

A great post from Craft about hosiery, including a wonderful tutorial for adding a bow to your short socks.  I am a huge fan of socks and tights, especially knee socks (must work on acquisition of knitting skills!) worn to be shown off, so this makes me happy.

A great pair

Originally uploaded by makidra
I really like these two - I suspect because they sort of put me in mind of a dear friend and I if we were transported back in time. I'm the one on the left with the supercilious expression :)

Needle felted flower fairy sitting under her flower, made in wet

Needle felting results in such lovely works, and this is no exception - I really like the simple fantasy setting here.

The Birthday Girl Wears Feathers

Another fave from Applehill Dolls. I have a fondness for feathers, though I'm not quite brave enough to make and wear a fascinator or hat (yet) and the outfit is great!


Mmmm, pain relief (aka NSB from theferriswheels review)

Mmmm, pain relief
Originally uploaded by shoveling_ferret
So, I promised a review of this wonder product once it arrived.
Sally from theferriswheels was wonderful to work with - if she was weirded out by my gushing in happiness over finding this thing, she hid it very well. :) She was wonderful about communication and let me know as soon as she got it in the mail. It arrived on Saturday, but I didn't get around to picking it up until Sunday. That's super fast!
No mess of packaging to waste or have to dispose of - very good! Very nice directions included!
So, I popped it in the microwave and...ahhhhhhhh! Yay! It fits as far up my neck as I want it to, drapes my shoulders nicely, and hits the tense parts very well too! It doesn't stay heated quite as long as I would like, but I suspect that's more to do with our craptastic tiny microwave than with the actual pack. (Also, if you're like me and never clean your microwave, put it on a plate or something when you heat it - you don't want popcorn-butter residue on your happy.)  I love that it stays in place really well too - I can get up and putter around a bit without having to untangle myself from cords or make sure things are unplugged AND I still get my warm relief while I do it.

Overall, I'm very pleased, as I hope you can tell from the photo (I'm also rocking some great camo jammies my Nana bought me last Xmas and having a particularly achy/icky day, so I probably look a bit more sickly than usual). I will definitely be recommending these to friends and family!

(I also love that there's yarn, an amigurumi book, and the upper part of my old-fashioned electric heating pad visible in the photo...)

Toby the Elf - OOAK, polymer clay

Maybe I'm just a sucker for striped socks,but I really like this little elf with the sweet expression, fabulous hat, and excellent socks.

Demystifying Double Crochet for Beginners | Crochet Me

Demystifying Double Crochet for Beginners | Crochet Me

Kim Werker has posted a great, nicely illustrated guide to double crochet for beginners.  There is a tendency not to realize where the first stitch is supposed to go at the beginning of a new row with this stitch and making a mistake can lead to a piece that gets narrower and narrower.  I speak from experience - I still haven't finished the shawl in question...   I figured out the problem on my own eventually, but here's hoping other people can be saved the trouble of frogging most of a project.

Anyway, check it out!

Yeti Trio

Yeti Trio
Originally uploaded by Monsterosity
I love these - the fun fabric for tummies and faces, the slightly scary eyes, the punk-rock fur - all around awesomeness!