Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I have blogger beta now.

So I changed my look to a different template. Wheee.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Call me crazy...

But I think I'm going to attempt to participate in Knit From Your Stash 2007, the brainchild of Wendy of Wendy Knits.

The Rules:

1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.

2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:

2.a. Sock yarn does not count. What? You think we are made of stone? (Although I will try to refrain!)

2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, we may buy yarn to knit that gift.

If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project.

2.d. We each get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- we are each allowed to fall off the wagon one time.

We are allowed to receive gifts of yarn.

4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt.

I'm not entirely sure if my stash will last me until September, but I dare say it could. I have a lot of UFOs that I believe also count toward my stash!

The only thing that kills me is that this stashalong of sorts aligns perfectly with my nine months of freedom before beginning law school. This might, indeed, be hard. However, time will tell.

Back to homework.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Jewelry portfolio

I took a beginning jewelry (read: metalsmithing) class this past semester. It was my last semester of undergraduate studies (*sigh*), and it was that one thing I'd been wanting to take forever.

I got my pieces back, and there are actually a good amount of them that I will actually wear! And I had so much fun doing it, that I still want to continue my pursuit of jewelry-making. We shall see.

I'll go in chronological order, so you can see me go from being clueless to less clueless.

These were my first two assignments. A leaf, and a leaf bracelet. I used nice, soft copper on both. Impressively, the bracelet is already tarnishing. Wooo. I wouldn't wear copper, as it turns one's skin green; it's not my thing anyway. These make nice mementos, though.

Next, I had to do a chain project. Again, I used copper, as I didn't have to anneal the wire; it was already soft enough to manipulate into rings by hand. I got a C+ on this, by the way, even though I still think it looks pretty decent for being a boring bracelet. Probably won't ever wear this, either.

Next, I started to move on to more fun stuff! These are two ring bands made out of brass; the one on the right is my size, a petite 5 1/2. I was proud when it came out right. The one on the left is for a friend of mine, who joked that I should make him a ring. I did. It's a size 9, as his fingers aren't very large. I pressed some squares on his, while mine is perfectly smooth. You can't really tell from the photo, but my plain band is polished to a high shine to the point where it looks like a wedding band or something. I plan to wear it to work to hopefully deter creeps from hitting on me!

At this point in the semester, I invested in some silver so I could make some pieces out of the only metal I usually wear.

This was supposed to be a brooch rather than a pendant. I made my own pin back closure, and I was getting really proud of the thing... until I had a nice mishap on the buffing wheel that destroyed my closure. Pressed for time, it became a pendant. This is my first (and only) stone setting; this amethyst kicked my butt, as I had no idea bezel setting would be so... annoying. Oh well. I may yet put a pin back on the thing, as I'm more likely to wear it as a brooch than a pendant.

These earrings were the quickest, easiest, and less mishap-y of all the things I created! They, too, are silver, but aged a bit with liver of sulfur in order to give them a more pewter-y look. Like the ring above with the squares on it, these have circles imprinted on them.

A quick band I whipped up for the boy.

Now for my favorite piece, my casting project! It is so terribly awesome; but I'll tell you, lost wax casting was one of the scariest processes I've ever encounter. I looked around for a video on youtube, and none of them actually showed it being done. No fun!

This is the shape of the ring. Mostly square-ish, with beveled edges. I think I love it.

Now to wear it out tonight!

Monday, December 11, 2006

On assignment

Thank you everyone for the kind words about my kitty. I tried to reply to them all, but found it kind of weird; one thing that still confuses me to Blogger is replying to comments. Sometimes more savvy bloggers send me a reply to a comment via e-mail, and I'm, um, not sure how to do this. There seems to be some way because there's always the name of the blog in the subject heading and whatnot. Plus, I only receive a few of the comments that actually get posted via e-mail. Anyone know what the deal is?

Anyway, I've not been knitting much. Finals and such, culminating in a minimum of 80 pages for me to write this week. I'll do it, but it feels suspiciously like pulling teeth. Thank goodness it's the last time; if I were going, I'd be walking in my graduation ceremony on Sunday... except I'm not going! Don't want to, don't have to... I'm such a rebel. I can find better things to spend $30 on other than a black gown. Heck, that's almost enough to get the Knitpicks Andean Silk to make Knitty's Tubey!

Yes, yarn diet.

Oh, um, I knitted one of my final exams. The assignment was for my WGST/AAS course, Black Women: Politics and Racism. The assignment was to create a collage or other artistic rendering of Black womanhood. So, I decided to knit Angela Davis and talk about political power and subordination... you know, the usual stuff.

Random bits of Red Heart I had laying around... matte board... and a hot glue gun. I didn't really have time to make her into a purse or pillow or something, so I figured that a panel on a board would do well enough... right? My professor seemed happy enough about it. Now if I don't ace this assignment, someone is most assuredly going to be toast!

All my classmates were like, trying to get me to commission sweaters or sell my work/designs. You know, make a living off my knitting? If only that were actually possible...

Thursday, December 07, 2006


R.I.P. Dumars, December 30, 1989 - December 7, 2006

As much as it kills me inside, my baby kitty is no more. She was just so arthritic and stopped bothering with the litterbox and... well... I feel like I've lost more than just a cat because, let's be honest, I wasn't even five when I got her. I begged mom and dad endlessly for a kitty, and my aunt's cat had kittens. I mean, the day I got her mom told me that dad was going off to get me a "surprise" and I remember clearly, standing by the front door, thinking that the "surprise" was a Sesame Street video or something.

Yeah, much better. Dad walked in with a kitten under his shirt. He probably got scratched by the terrified little kitten, but it didn't matter. It was so cool. We debated and debated what to name her. I said "Blackie" being an awesomely original four year-old. I think it was my mom who suggested Dumars, after Joe Dumars, a Pistons player that both my brother and I loved.

She was really perky and social up until the very end. It's just that she decided that grooming and litterbox use were unnecessary, as she was quite arthritic. If she was in a lot of pain, she didn't show it. She just wanted lots of love.

I really hope I can collect myself before I have to leave for work. I knew it was time, but that still doesn't help.

Happy news, Amy, happy news.

Savyminx has to have the coolest taste in color out there. Phosphor or Ultraviolet? Wait, ****, I'm on a yarn diet. The only person I've found who competes is Perchance to Knit who also puts stuff on her blog, always a good read. All the delicious fiber seems to get snatched up quickly, thank goodness, because in that case I'd be buying it all up!

Er, um, yeah. Yarn diet.

And holiday gifts. How am I doing? Uh, badly.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Etsy, how I love thee.

I didn't give Etsy much notice when it first popped up.

Now I LOVE browsing on it, and occasionally buy things.

I bought these from craftyone77, who notably makes really sweet notebooks out of found objects. I had a soft spot for the paint chip ones, having spent too many months behind the paint counter at Lowe's.

And today, it was the earrings.

How could I resist? These are from Resplendent Redhead. If I had more money, I'd have bought EVERYTHING on her shop.

I'm knitting one of my final exams. I'm getting there; might even finish it tonight. I'll post it like mad because I think it'll be pretty sweet when all is said and done. I do need to get my hands on some red or black or silver board that's used for mattes in a frame. Maybe at Art Attack?

Sorry I'm being mysterious about it. It'll be worth the wait, I promise! Hope my professor likes it. She did say, when giving the assignment, that we could basically do what we wanted, including glue macaroni to paper. Might as well use a method I enjoy, right?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Some people have lots of cats, we have fish.

I got a Betta fish to keep me company in my dorm room three years ago. I named him Cai, after one of the knights in The Mists of Avalon which I was reading at the time. I got him a bowl, a fish sitter for spring break, and he kept me company. Cai is still with me today. Over the summer he graduated to a one gallon bowl instead of his half gallon former home. He was still seeming sluggish, as he was much larger than when I got him.

So, Cai graduated again to a two gallon filtered, aerated tank:

These days, the little guy is three years old and more active than ever. The change in his disposition was remarkable. In the meantime, Steve and I had gotten five other bettas and two goldfish, each with a bowl to themselves, of course. Seeing Cai's improved state led us to decide that ALL of these fish deserve their own little tank. Except today, we went overboard:

My brother was going to give us a ten gallon tank, but it was in such a bad state of repair that we decided to forget it... and went to PetSmart and got one twice as large. There are no fish in it yet, as it is filtering, heating, and aerating its way to stability for the next couple of days. There is a tank divider so two of our remaining five lucky bettas will get new ten gallon digs complete with lots of real and fake plants, pretty gravel...

Yeah. Overboard. We couldn't decide which fishies got the two spots in the tank, so we ended up putting their names in a hat and picking them out..