Thursday, March 30, 2006

Must be the Sharpie fumes

So we're clearing out all the boxes, papers, and general stuff other than furniture. Piles and piles of random paperwork have been purged from the bookcase and computer area, awaiting their proper place in the filing cabinet. Why aren't they in there already?

(clears throat, looks down)

I suck at filing. It's not really Dan's strong point, either. If anyone ever has a notion that I'm some kind of super homemaker, please get that idea out of your head. I hate cleaning and am pretty lousy at keeping paperwork in any kind of order. There, I said it.

This doesn't mean I have given up all hope. As I went through the drifts of old medical records and paid bills, I realized that this move is a great time to start over and get it all together. I'm attacking the filing cabinet with folders, tabs, and an honest to goodness home filing system.

I'm having a blast doing this.

Must be the fumes.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I've come out of the closet

Literally! All the boxes are now downstairs in the garage and the closet is essentially clear. Dan is going to take the sewing machine and serger down once I've finished a couple last minute sewing jobs (baby carriers and a doggy coat for friends). Next comes the second hardest task this week: clearing out the computer area with it's wall of books and piles of CDs, paperwork, and both computers. Should be quite a bit easier, though - most things just need to be boxed up directly with no sorting of any kind really needed, unlike my huge project pile. I did manage to get rid of many bags of clothes, cloth, and miscellaneous drek while cleaning and this will only make moving that much simpler. All boxes are numbered and labeled, and I've started an Excel spreadsheet with descriptions and where each box should go in the new house (which we are still hunting for). I'm all about the organization, at least outside of a previously messy closet.

In other news, we have a contest winner! Thanks to this handy random number generator, Tammie of Knitammie wins a copy of Wrap Style or hand made soap if she prefers. Thanks to everyone for all the comments and suggestions - I think it will all really help. For anyone who missed it, B'Gina shared this in the comments:

"The shop is The Twisted Ewe in Port Townsend, Washington. My friends, Suzanne and Brien, bought it from it's creator, a nice lady name Jennifer who raises sheep and spins her own yarn! They will still be selling her custom yarns, so that's going to be great.

I'm making note of everyone's wish lists and will pass them along to Suzanne. Kathy also gave me several good idea, like a knitting night, which I'm happy to say has been going on for a while, already. We're going to be selling online, too, and hope to have a fairly sizable range of things available there.

We'll be having custom designed patterns (my job), and, if the legalities work out, we'll have a "library" of old knitting books that customers can copy patterns from, free of charge. That's got possible copyright ramifications, so we're not absolutely sure if we'll be able to do it, though.

I'm going to start a blog for the store, which will not just be a sales tool. I'll be blogging about the perils of trying to create patterns and about other arty things I do for the shop. Suzanne and Brien will be blogging about what it's like getting into the retail yarn biz (if I have to get them in a hammerlock to get them there, I will ;+), and we'd love knitters and needleworkers from all over to join in.

We always want to know what we're doing right, or wrong, and what we may be omitting that we could do. We may at some point start a bulletin board, if it looks like the blog is engendering enough discussion to warrant it, so please keep us in mind.

I'm building the site and have to get busy on that. The URL will be: I'll let Kathy know when it's up.
Also, if anyone wants to be personally notified (or has any other comments or suggestions), please email me: bginab at gmail dot com.

Thanks for all your comments. We're just doing inventory this weekend to see where we are as the shop changes hands. So, it will take us a while to make any changes, and, who knows, the shop may already have most of what you want. That would be nice. ;+)"

I'm off to fill up boxes again. this time next week we'll have brand new, soft soft carpet instead of the stained "plush" there right now. It'll take about a week to finish up retouching the paint everywhere and get the final cleaning and tidying done, and then the house will go on the market. I'll most likely fly out to Portland a couple of weeks later to do some house searching, and then after that, moving. It's all really coming together quickly now. We'll be in Oregon very soon!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

May the Force be with me

Full disclosure here. The disturbing images below are of my closet...A.K.A. the craft and computer area or Where Things Go To Die. Here lies my beautiful Pfaff sewing machine that I love dearly. The poor thing is almost buried by the project pile next to it, and my lovely serger hasn't seen the light of day in quite a long time.
Here you can see my yarn stash - the two blue topped Tupperware-ish containers in the front there. Oh, sure, I have a few skeins in the beige canvas knitting bag right behind them, and there are several live projects downstairs by the couch, but that's it. The rest of the boxes are all fabric and patterns and batting and foam. Oh, and our suitcases live by the foam for some odd reason as well - have to fix that. Everything on the right is Dan's computer graveyard (oh, wait, he calls those boxes "parts"...though nothing in them has been used since I can remember. I don't disabuse him of this notion but I do reserve the right to mock privately).

We're getting new carpet next Saturday. All boxes, piles, everything but the furniture must be moved out by then.

I'm going in.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Spring has sprung

Happy Spring, everyone! I know the Equinox was actually yesterday, but it was blustery and stormy here and didn't feel like Spring at all. Today was crisp, clear and beautiful. Lean in close and see if you can smell these beauties!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

What would you like in a yarn/needlework store? Contest!

No, I'm not opening a store, but I do know of some folks who are and they would love feedback. They would love to know what people would like to see that might be a little out of the ordinary, and what yarns they particularly like. The store will be located in Port Townsend, Washington, and is going to be called The Twisted Ewe. My pal B'Gina is going to be setting up a blog giving more information and background and updates very soon, so stay tuned!

So here's how you can help out a fellow yarn and needlework addict (and help make an already wonderful sounding store even better). Share your favorite yarns and any yarn or needlework items that are a little different but you wish you could find somewhere. Next Sunday, March 26th, I'll select a random commenter (I love random number generators!) and the winner will receive a copy of Wrap Style (or some hand crafted soap, if you already have a copy) as well as the satisfaction that comes from helping another knitter and needleworker out.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Quick cat update and recipe

Tabby is doing much better now. By the next morning she was back to her old self, scarfing down cat food with abandon and curling up and purring against my leg. It's amazing to see how quickly animals heal, isn't it?

I made this fruit dip for Arden's St. Patrick's Day party at preschool (I brought green fruit - apples and grapes - and dip) and it was a huge hit. It tastes just like cheesecake and is incredibly easy to make up. If you made it with a little less cream, it would make a perfect frosting for cupcakes as well.

Cheesecake Dip
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Heat over medium-low heat in a small pot until smooth, stirring frequently. A whisk helps to break up lumps easily. Cool to room temperature and serve.

Remodeling PS - cutting tiles that are multiple sheets of smaller bits is pretty much impossible without an honest to goodness big guns tile cutter. We have now learned this the hard way. Dan is off to the hardware store to rent one. Live and learn, right?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wacky Wednesday

This is what Ryan grins and utters every Wednesday morning. School gets out the same time every day...except Wednesdays, which get out an hour and a half early. So they call it "Wacky Wednesday" to help the children and parents remember. This works, well, most of the time.

So today I'm going to cover all kinds of wacky territory. First, an apology. I have been neglecting this poor blog in favor of spackle and tiles and paint. I have gone so far as not even mentioning the incredible knitters meet-up we had on the 5th with Lauren and what seemed like a million other cool knitters. Bad, bad Kathy. Above, you see the beautiful Mountain Colors Twizzle that Susan made me buy. Really, honestly - she held a sharp pointy stick to my head and forced me to pet the soft, luscious Merino and silk. Next to this, you see the Chibi that is all Lori's fault. She bought one and as I scoffed just a little she ever so slyly pointed out that the needles were bent at the end, all the better to seam with, my dear. Ah, well - show me a good tool and I'm there! What I didn't get a picture of was me tempting the lovely Andrea to watch House. Bwahahaaaa. (waves arms gracefully through the air) And now, to your right you see the Multidirectional Scarf that I'm making out of this cuddly stuff. Another apology - I know, I know, I'm *this* close to finishing my Perfect Sweater. I know! But right now we're doing so much with the house (and I've been sicksicksick) that I needed something brainless and simple to work on. Scarf time. Over there, you see a cream puff. Not just any cream puff, but a Beard Papa's cream puff. Caramel, to be exact. Oh my freaking stars, these are goooooood. Crisp, just barely sweet, creamy, and filled literally as I paid my $1.50. This was the first time I've had one, but it won't be the last! Over on the other side you see Arden's finger pointing to Koi...that happen to live in the middle of the mall that has the yummy cream puffs. There's a round circle of open ponds overflowing with fish of all sizes (from "look, so big, Mommy!" to "oh, it's an eensy tiny one!"), shapes and colors. Arden kept running from rock to rock, pointing to this fish and that one and asking what each one was called. I think he was asking for names. Last is my not pictured cat, Tabitha, who had to go to the vet's today for an abcessed tooth. She came up this morning, mewing plaintively, and when I looked at her face I saw one tooth sticking out of the side of her mouth. It was so swollen that it was being pushed out, so off to the vet we went. Poor thing. They were able to save the tooth, but she hurts and is curled up into an unhappy ball right now. No picture out of deference to her less than photogenic condition - she would have nothing less. To her great credit, nobody at the animal hospital could believe that she was really sixteen years old. I have a hard time remembering it, myself. They said she'll probably live to see twenty, and I'm hoping they were right.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

You know what every bathroom needs?

Carpet. There's nothing like sinking your toes into cushy, warm polyester first thing in the morning. And the way it squishes when the sink leaked last summer? So cute! I especially like the way it enhanced the overall decor, adding a certain sense of sophistication that would otherwise have been missing.

We were surprised, shocked even, when our Realtor suggested that we lay down tile on the floor instead. Who wouldn't love beige shag, especially right next to such a deep and inviting bathtub? But we went ahead anyway, saddened that no one else could see the treasure our house held.

Ha! I pulled up that carpet so fast, I barely had time to shout victoriously as the last corner came loose. Who the heck puts carpet in a bathroom? I've been asking myself this for six years now. After the carpet came out, I ripped out the padding, finding it stuck in little bits all over the floor. Turns out it was stapled down, so we had to pull up each and every one with pliers. I pried off the tack strips around the edge of the room - so deeply satisfying to rip out wood and hear the cracking and splintering. Destruction is fun!

We finished laying down the backerboard - thin sheets of cement - on top of adhesive. Laying that stuff down was a bit like icing a really large cake, since you have to spread it just so and then comb through with a serrated trowel. I felt like tossing chopped nuts or coconut on it for decoration. Next comes the tarpaper membrane that will hopefully protect the lower floor from water damage, then we're tiling, baby! I can't wait.

Membrane is done! We're tiling tomorrow.

Now here's something different

That would be hail you're looking at. On my patio. In Southern California. Bizarre.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Blog within a blog

I'm going to be very, very busy until next Wednesday. Why, you ask? Because I'm doing a one week food blog over at one of my favorite foodie haunts, eGullet. I'm taking pictures of every single thing I eat and cook, so it's a little like being on some kind of odd reality show for people obsessed with spices and microplanes. I'm having a blast, but there will be understandably little blogging here while I'm working on it (knitting updates to come, though!). Anyone interested in taking a peek, look here.