One day…

I’ve gone ONE day without an accident.

Surely that has to count for something.

Sunday I pinched my finger taking apart a motor for Logan and have a fine looking blood pocket under the nail of my ring finger.  Luckily it’s not big enough to have to bore and drain, but it still hurts like the dickens.

Of course, yesterday I had a migraine, so I didn’t do much during the day but knit and feel miserable until Logan brought home a Coke and my medicine cocktail kicked in.  An hour later, I felt spry enough to whip out the drill and a hammer and finish the bookshelf without injury!



Keeping in mind that Logan chose the ebony stain and wanted it to look a bit more rustic, it’s not that bad.  I hope it stays together.  >_>;;  I would’ve chosen a more gunstock or mahogany color myself (anything to warm up that basement), but whatever, sometimes he gets to pick things in the house too…at least for a little while.  ;P

I have some silver spray paint and a nice big bottle of cinnamon…and that may sound totally unrelated but I saw a fun tutorial about how to make wood look like rusted metal by using those over black paint, so Logan may get something more industrial and ancient looking if I get bored when we officially redo and finish the basement.  We have to get an escape window installed first though and figure out what do with those suspended pipes.  Bah!


Better weekend

After a thoroughly crappy week, as soon as the weekend hit things began to look up.  Amazing how the weekend makes everything better, isn’t it? 😛

Logan works what is called a 9/80 schedule over two weeks.  He works nine hours on Monday – Thursday then eight hours on the first Friday and has the second Friday, his “Gold Friday”, off.  He loves having a three day weekend twice a month and it often lines up with holidays so we get to enjoy having the time to take small trips here and there without having to use his PTO.

We didn’t take a trip this weekend, but it gave us time to get some things done around the house.

We cleaned up a bit in anticipation for Halloween on Tuesday.  About 1/3 of the time, we have snow by now, so we don’t usually get to see the kids in costumes, just parkas and snowboots.  With this year still being unseasonably warm — the leaves are just now changing colors! — we’re really looking forward to seeing what the kids come up with.  I haven’t decided what we’re going to wear yet or if we’re going to dress up or just play games while we wait to hand out goody bags.

I did sign us up for the Teal Pumpkin Project and put us on their map, so maybe we’ll get a few more trick-or-treaters.  We usually just have the kids in our actual community after they do the hayride and party the community throws; we’ve never had more than two dozen trick-or-treaters anywhere we’ve lived.  …but in addition to bags of candy, we made up a dozen bags for our teal pumpkin with activity books, pens, stickers, erasers, sticky hands, bat rings, stencils, and those super obnoxious whistling straws.  Logan and I loved that stuff when we were little, so hopefully kids with bad food allergies will too!

I also found a fabric shop that had the llama minky I wanted.  Thank goodness!  Better yet, they were only 19 cents a yard more than the other, bigger place, AND they sent an email just a few hours later saying my order was completed.  I don’t have a tracking number, so I’m not sure if it’s in the mail or not yet — I just found it and ordered it Friday afternoon, so no expectations on that — but I’m delighted either way.  So long as the order actually works out, I’ll be using TheFabricMarket again in the future!  The other place., had told me they were restocking the fabric on Friday, but they never did, so I’m glad I wasn’t counting on it…or worse, needed it for a custom order.  This is one of my rare selfish, for me, quilts.

On Friday night we went to our “adult” Halloween celebration — it IS the best holiday of the year, afterall!  One of these years, I’ll find a live Rocky Horror to take Logan to see (last year there was one but the timing didn’t work for us).  This year, though, Evil Dead worked beautifully.


Evil Dead the Musical was hilarious.  Campy, raunchy, and a great mashup up all the movies shoved into two hours.  The front few rows were a plastic covered “splatter zone” where, by the end of the show, the cast was gratuitously running around and spraying fake blood on them out of bottles.

Then we got to come home to start watching Stranger Things 2!  Yay!

Saturday, I sent Logan off to the Green Energy and Sustainable Living Fair.  I somehow hurt my elbow on Friday night (the week wasn’t quite done with me yet) and couldn’t move my arm until yesterday evening, so chose not to head out into public.  He had a great time and said he felt like a gas guzzler driving a Prius with all the electric vehicles.  He talked to a lot of vendors about home improvements and tried out lots of cars, so he was a happy camper when he came home at the end of the fair.

Today Logan is banking in some rare overtime for a letter he has to issue.  It’s rare for the company to open the overtime wallet, so he never refuses when it is — and I don’t mind having a bit of time to knit on the weekend.

I separate the sleeves today!  I’m a bit nervous and have procrastinated it a bit because it’s the first time I’ve ever had to CO in the middle of a row, and the instructions are definitely written for somebody who’s an old hat at sweaters, so this could get interesting.  >_>



No better place to throw your anger at a internet fabric company than into cleaning, right?  😀


Remember Logan’s basement chaos?


This is what it looked like as of tonight!


This is “my” side of the basement, as Logan calls it…even though it now houses all of the home improvement supplies on those two big, metal shelves and his treadmill.  His scrap metal and wood collection are behind me in that storage thing I slapped together a few weeks ago.  The bookshelf will be added when it’s done. The chest freezer and canned good shelf is hidden in a cubby to the right and you can see a fair share of sewing goodies.

My quilting frame was unearthed!!!  I could’ve done a happy dance with that one.  I also have my precious Two Spool treadle set up and uncovered the sewing machine I was given that had belonged to Logan’s grandmother (both on the left).

The machines and cabinets on the left are for rehab.  The green one is empty, with a storage bench.  I’m stripping the paint off and refinishing it to replace the cabinet my 401a is currently in — the cabinet it has now is old and rickety and on it’s last leg.  This one has much more space and a tip out drawer, which I like.  Plus, it has the stool!  Logan’s collection of old magazines to sift through are on it right now because somebody (not naming names) put heavy stuff on it while I was stripping the interior paint off earlier this year and warped it a bit.  Since it’s a bit of a puzzle table and folds together neatly, it needs to be convinced to go back together smoothly before I carry on.  The other two machines were given to me and will be rehomed when they’re spiffed up — one is a treadle and just needs beautification and some love.  I may practice repainting sewing machine heads with it, or at least perfect a French polish; the clear coat is gone as are most of the decals, so no real loss if it takes a few tries.  The other is motorized but the motor was shot, so Logan wanted to play with learning to rewind one without consequences.

It was a long and messy process, with a bit of organization and break-down of larger components still left to do on the actual laboratory side, but Logan is really excited about it and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  He had to dance around with his light saber in the dark when we called it a night.  Floor space is awesome. 😛

Mitzi, however, remained unimpressed with everything we had to sort through.  She insisted on staying with us, though.


Sorting boxes and cans of parts that one of our neighbors gave us into our own storage system.  Mitzi literally couldn’t care.

Logan has been determining whether or not parts are still viable and worth keeping and then I get to break down, organize, and put away what he wants to save.  I’ll share a photo of his laboratory at some point when it’s a little less chaotic.  It was in just as bad of shape as the other side, maybe worse.  Now, at least, it’s a functional processing center.  It, too, has only been improving every day.  The last of the mystery boxes from our neighbor is in the photo, so after this, we just have to finish disassembling things and harvesting parts from bigger projects — some projects aren’t worth saving, but the components are.

While we were sorting and cleaning tonight, we kept hearing a sad meow.

Sagan wanted to say hello but couldn’t quite get to us from upstairs.  Sagan is not a vocal cat, at all, so it surprised us both to hear him meowing.  He’s also not the brightest cat around — he definitely doesn’t live up to his namesake — so we’re always a bit surprised when he can find us.  He’s the type of cat that gets lost if you leave the room while he’s asleep.  His only motivations in life are food and snuggles.


The pipes from our heating system run along the basement ceiling, through a hole in the block wall.  The hole connects to the boiler room where the cats love to hang out — so much that we put their litter boxes there.  I figure he was making a pit stop and saw the light and heard us, so finally put two and two together…plus, it was almost his dinner time.  😛

If you look super close, you can see cat hair stuck to the blocks and some black smears on the wall.  Those are from another of our cats, Joule.  She’s a wily little brat and loves nothing more than to give Logan a run for his money.

He thought he had his basement sealed off from the cats, but she comes and goes as she pleases through that hole and generally keeps the basement mouse free (yay!).  There are cute little paw prints on the wall to prove it — one of our friends thought we painted them on.  He finally caught her down there a few months ago and sure enough, she parkoured her way almost straight up the wall like Spiderman and vanished through the hole back into the house.

He once waged war on her as a kitten and tried locking her downstairs (our house is a multi-split level, so he was just trying to keep her in the bottom half) — he triumphantly told me there was no way she could get upstairs.  She’d beaten him upstairs by the time he’d gotten up there to tell me.  She’s my favorite of the cats and definitely my little sidekick.  >_>;

She even helps me when I’m on the phone or computer most nights.  ;P





I received a disheartening email this morning.

…and by disheartening, I could cry.  I typically only cry when I get super angry.

My anger escalates to hiccups then tears.  I definitely have hiccups.


If the text is too small, the llama fabric I was so excited about yesterday is shorted.  They only have 3.5 yards left…somehow…when I ordered 5.5 yards.  There was plenty when I ordered Monday and the system updates automatically and they still showed yardage in stock yesterday when I took the picture to share here.

So they either magically lost 12+ yards of fabric or were filling orders that came in after mine first.

Either way, I’m unhappy.  They offered a substitution if it was cheaper than my current order and only if I responded quickly enough, otherwise they’d said they’d just ship the shorted fabric if I didn’t.  That does me zero good since nothing else matches the quilt I already have fabric for, so I responded back and told them as such.  I’m not interested in any of it if I can’t have what I paid for and was led to believe was available when I ordered.  I ordered what I ordered for a reason…and I don’t need some (now useless) $13 a yard fabric hanging around otherwise.

I know I’m over-reacting, but it really makes me not want to shop there again.  I just feel like it could have been handled differently.


Fabric and EQ8

Even though I dabble in a lot of different crafts, my biggest love is quilting.

I don’t always have the time to dedicate myself to it, especially around the holidays when presents and other projects are more important, but whenever I have a few free minutes, that’s inevitably where my mind wanders back.

I’ve been working on the Chimney Fire cardigan for the past little while, so haven’t thought much about quilting at all.  I’ve posted the tutorials in my Facebook group for the Skill Builder quilt that I slapped together.  All that is left is the final assembly instructions (that I still need to write) but I have a week to do that, so I’m not worried.  ;P   …other than that, I haven’t really done anything to do with quilting or sewing in months and it’s starting to make me itch.

So, I’m having to do little things to scratch the itch without diving into projects like I want to so, so badly.

I bought backing fabric for a llama quilt I have planned.

It’s minky. used to have almost 200 yards of it when I first found it and decided it was what I had to have for my quilt.  As of this weekend, they were were down to 15 when I ordered my five…now they only have three, so I’m glad I ordered when I did!  It was time for me to bite.  I love, love, love the print and hope it will be loved as much when it arrives.


Not my photo; I totally yoinked it from  I can’t wait for my fabric to arrive!

I also upgraded my EQ7 to EQ8 last night.

Totally, completely worth it.  At least at the introductory upgrade price it is.

There were a few things about EQ7 I didn’t really care for — mostly interface issues, slow loading, and generally fussy things — but they were completely resolved (for me) with the updated program.  I still prefer QuiltAssistant for making my paper-pieced blocks, but that also could be a familiarity thing.  I’ll play more with EQ8 in that regard as I have time.

In the meantime, the custom quilt layout and the changes to the applique design are a dream for people like me.  I’m thrilled with it.

As I was converting files over from .pj7 to .PJ8, I took the opportunity to clean out old quilts I’m not interested in any longer and to rename some that were just generically thrown in or confusing.

When moving files, I noticed I was missing part of a BOM I’ve been collecting forever.  The BOM is for alphabet applique with flowers — after two years, the set is finally on X this month.  I’m normally not a floral type of girl, but I’ve loved all of the blocks in this set.


Xyris by bdieges, from my Electric Quilt image exporter

The designer, bdieges, releases them in both .pj7 format and as .pdf files temporarily for free then sells the pdfs on her craftsy site.  Unfortunately, I’ve been collecting the .pj7 files so I can manipulate them in EQ and change them to fit my own project needs in the future.

I contacted her and offered to buy the two I was missing if I could get them in the .pj7 format.  I’ll admit, I was super nervous — lots of designers are nice (that’s how you survive in these days of social media, afterall) but I’ve also met some who are downright horrible and mean.  I don’t do well with mean and my anxiety always tells me I’m bothering people (even though people that message me about my quilt designs are never bothering me!)

Thankfully, Barbara is definitely on the super nice scale.  She was amazing and just sent me the two files I was missing from last year.  All she asked is that I send her images of my completed work so she could share them or post them on EQ so more people will know about her site.  Gladly!

I won’t be working on the quilt for a little while, though.  I have several in my queue before this one and won’t even start playing with layouts until the last block is released in December — at long last!!!  …but I felt she deserved some recognition for how awesome she was way sooner than that — both in designing such beautiful blocks and for being so nice.

So, if you’re a quilter, feel free to check out her page at   🙂  She has some really neat stuff.

Living in a bubble

I really do need to lock myself into a protective bubble for a few days.

After skinning my finger on Friday, I walked into a corner hard enough on Saturday to bruise myself to a pretty shade of purple up my right thigh.

Sunday, while I was staining lumber for the bookshelf (and staining myself to the point it looks like I’ve gotten tribal tattoos) — no, I haven’t finished building the shelf yet; oh, the problems of not having enough space inside where the shelf is going — Logan started waving a gross looking leaf in my face.  He said it fell off of a tree.

No joke.  It’s autumn.  Lots of leaves are doing that.  He insisted I go back and look at the tree anyway, though, as it was my precious peach tree and he hasn’t shut up about it for a week or more.  He says it has looked sick and wouldn’t let it go.

Sure enough, the peach sapling isn’t just sick, it’s dead…and on the way back around the house, as I was wading through the taller than normal, tick-infested grass, I stepped in a hole and twisted THE ankle.  It’s super swollen and angry again and I’m super angry at the whole thing.  Logan knew about the hole but didn’t decide to fill it until after I re-injured my left ankle that I sprained so badly six months ago and that never healed right.

In brighter, less bitchy, news:

I received a package yesterday!  I signed back up for Amazon Prime for the season, and it’s already worth it. 😛

I decided to treat myself to some blocking mats that are actually gridded — I normally block on our fold-out couch.  Whatever works, right?  But since I’m making something that is actually going to need to be sized to fit somebody else, I thought a little splurge to treat myself.  I look forward to using them!  I’m also excited that I can steam projects on these and tote it around the house, instead of being stuck in one room with it and having to wet-block it.

The real purpose of the Amazon order was to get finger bandages.  I ended up ordering some IV3000 bandages since they have a better moisture transfer ratio than Tegaderm but also have a low reactivity for people with allergies and similar general purpose — I saw them recommended on an IV board.  I’ve always been bad about maceration when I wear any sort of bandage or even gloves for a long time — you know when you wear a bandaid and sweat under it or if it gets wet and your skin turns that weird pruny, white?  That’s hyperhydration of your skin and can lead to breakdown of the skin (one example is bedsores).   …so if I’m wearing a complete coverage bandage, I’m especially leary of one that doesn’t breathe well.

I put on an IV3000 last night and so far, so good!  It usually takes about a week for me to start to develop an itchy rash to a new type of adhesive anyway, so maybe by then I’ll be healed enough that I won’t need a bandage anymore.  😀  These bandages are actually pretty cool.  If you have a strong stomach for finger injuries, look at McClellan on YouTube, the recoveries are pretty mind-blowing.

Personally, I’m enjoying being able to bend my finger again.  I also like that the bandages are super thin, to the point I can feel through them and even use my phone.  I’m going to kick back in a bit, ice my ankle some more, and try knitting…and hopefully the yarn won’t hurt through it; by the time I wrapped it around my finger, I have five layers of bandage over the actual wound because of the way it folded (only one is stuck, the other four are just dog-eared over it), so it’s providing a bit more padding there.


The bandage is wrapped completely around my finger and folded on itself.  You can kinda see where my skin is gone and healing — it looks brownish and darker pink through the film.  It’s healing up quite nicely, actually.  I still had the tiniest bit of serous drainage yesterday from the deepest, widest cuts and where three of the deep cuts joined together (a drop of serous fluid is nothing to worry about, just means it’s healing!).  My finger was still pretty sore yesterday but as of this morning, there’s no pain except if I press relatively hard on it.  I’ll take that as something is going right.  🙂


Well, shit.

I’m not even going to sugar-coat it, last night I screwed up.

Screwed up, how?

I peeled the inside of my finger like a banana with some spring steel.

Potential energy hurts when it’s released!


The steel uncoiled unexpectedly and got me good; it skinned a few knuckles on both of my hands and whipped my arms, but my right index finger really took most of the damage.  It sliced off a chunk of skin about 1/4″ wide from my fingernail down to my second knuckle.

Luckily, I once had a doctor tell me my body’s “fight or flight” response was awesome (it’s awesome until you have to have your finger pricked five times for a drop of blood and the nurse is crying over it).  I had already stopped bleeding by the time I had scrubbed off all the graphite and oil from my hands.

Fun fact for people who are new to my medical mishaps: in the past few years, I’ve developed an allergy to every adhesive that has been tried (break out with scarring rashes), hence the hilarious gauze hiding the open wound.  I really do need to get some tegaderm tape — it’s the last recommendation of sticky, protective hope from my dermatologist.

The real pisser is that I use my right index finger to tension and throw my knitting yarn, so I have to figure out a work around for the bandage sooooon!!!  I use my left middle and index when crocheting so maybe I can play with some scrap yarn and learn to adapt?

I did get to knit yesterday before hurting my hand and made some good progress.  I also seem to be birthing a mini schnauzer.


It looks symmetrical, so let’s just hope it continues to grow as that way and will fit Grandmother when I finish it!  I’m just nine or ten more increases away from dividing off the arms and I’m actually pretty excited about that.

Aside from the weird cable in the center to change the direction of the ropes, I’ve had very few complaints — just two — about the pattern and I hope it stays that way.   I’ll note both gripes if I need to on my Ravelry project because one is an easy change (add some markers because the pattern just says to moss stitch to the cable pattern) and I think it would help other people that make this sweater.  The other has to do with the gauging so only time will tell if that is a real concern.  I will be pissed if I make the whole thing and it winds up like I fear it will.  The gauge is done in moss stitch but so far the whole project seems constrained by the cables.  I cable way, way tighter than I normally knit and they aren’t going to expand much in blocking, even if I do so aggressively.  I also had to go down two needle sizes to get the moss stitch gauge right.  …so this better not end up a child-sized sweater!  *fret*

Thank goodness Grandmother is lovely and petite!  So there is some wiggle room in sizing.


My giant genes came from somewhere else, for sure.

I also managed to get the grape juice as close as I think I’m going to get it.

Logan hates juice.  Hates it.  To the point he once told his mom he’d leave a woman that drank it.  Now he’s helping me make it.  XD

I think it helped seeing what was going into it and getting to play with adjusting the flavor.  Plus, homemade grape juice actually tastes like grapes (not the abomination in stores) and he was in love with the Concords because he said they tasted like the green grapes his parents grew when he was little.  Nostalgia wins us all over.


These grapes were so sweet and otherwise not as flavorful as we liked by the time they were juiced, so we ended up doubling the grapes and halving the sugar in the end to get the right concentration of flavor and tartness that a proper grape has.

We had a few leftover grapes but not enough for another pint, so we made the jar on the left extra grapey.  We’re looking forward to it.  Or, rather, I am….but Mr. Cries When He Has To Drink Juice said he wants to try it.  Progress?  I swear,  Logan really is 31, not three.

Snobs, etc.

Does anybody else ever write a post then delete it or just never publish it?

I find myself venting off and on and then never releasing it to the public.  Same with Facebook.  >_>  The things that end up getting published are almost always sunshine and rainbows or clinically cold…so I wonder if it makes me seem snobbish, even when I promise I’m not?

Actually, I once “met” a guy in the back of a car that said he’d always thought I was super snobby and that he was totally wrong about that.  We’d actually been classmates in 5th and 6th grade but never spoken to each other until we ended up at the same college and in that car — I was super shy and a cheerleader (I know, it makes no sense) and he was a new kid with a ton of personality, so instantly popular in our class of 23.  We’d both just assumed that the other wouldn’t have the time or interest in us.   His dad transferred jobs in 6th grade and they moved, so we never spoke until years later and hundreds of miles away.


Not my photo, though I used my questionable MS Paint skills to hide names.  The Historical Society where I grew up scanned all of the school yearbooks from the county and posted them online.  It’s a fantastically fun resource.

I didn’t even want to be in the car but I was more or less babysitting one of my roommates who had partied a bit too hard and wanted food late at night.  She came back to the room after searching for a ride and asked if I’d go with her and, of course, I wasn’t about to let her go off into the middle of nowhere with some strange guy that she didn’t know in her condition, so climbed in the backseat and went along.   I might as well get a Blizzard out of drunksitting, right?  As we were leaving, some other guy hears about our trip to DQ and asks if he can go along too.  What college kid doesn’t live for food?

Somewhere on the car ride, the guy in the back with me (that I would soon find out was Chuck) commented that I looked familiar.  I thought he was just being obnoxious to mess with the driver — my roommate had outted the driver having only agreed to take my roommate if I went too, so we’d been giving the guy a pretty rough time.  But when I actually turned to look him, I had to admit he did indeed familiar as well, so we actually introduced ourselves.  Minds blown and lots of OMGs.  To be fair, finding out Chuck and I knew each other REALLY made the driver mad (long story there including lots of sulking and the driver trying to charge Chuck for gas and threatening to leave him in town — not a way to win my affection, for sure, much less other bizarre things the same guy did over the years), especially when we spent the rest of the night chumming it up and chatting about people/places we both knew.

Assumptions gone, thankfully.  We were casual friends through the rest of my time at college.  I was already a sophomore by that point while they were freshmen and I graduated another year early.  Chuck took his own life not long after he graduated, so I’m glad we were able to clear up misconceptions when we did.

It really does make me wonder though:  How many other friendships and fun people have I missed out on because they’ve just assumed I’m snobbish because I’m quiet?

…or now because I’ve embraced more of my weird side and sport odd colors of hair and have a distinct lack of fashion/care?  Anxiety is a weird one.  I can dye my hair a rainbow of colors, but I still can’t pick up a phone and call people.  Then again, having weird color hair and wearing weird metal band shirts may be my saving grace because I think the assumption that I’m a certain way keeps a lot of people at bay.  I’m horrible at small talk.  It’s so awkward. :/



Today was spent adjusting the bookshelf plans I found online to fit the area we wanted then sawing up the wood to match our new calculations.  Hopefully my math works out!  We got most of the pocket holes in before it turned dark and we had to pack everything back inside.

It’s always fun playing with tools and making stuff.

The grape juice tester was too sweet, as I suspected.  Granny Boo used 1 cup of grapes and 1 cup if sugar per half gallon she made but I still think her Concords had a better, more tart flavor.  I made a second tester pint this morning and halved the sugar again and added a few more grapes to try to increase to overall flavor.   It’s ready now, so I’ll crack it open to try with dinner.  🙂


Our water here is so hard, it makes the cans look awful.  I wonder if adding some vinegar to the bath would keep that down?

Busy, busy

I finished the collar on the cardigan and have picked up the stitches (still not my favorite thing to do) on the edge to start actually knitting the body.  Hooray!

Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mess up and somehow manage to purl a stitch on both sides?  Never done that before…and don’t think I could recreate it if I tried. Luckily, my lifeline was just two rows before so no real time loss.

We grabbed lunch out at the fresh fish place today.  I had crab cakes and Logan had a poke bowl; both were super tasty.  I would share a photo but we inhaled it.

Then we went off to Lowes to grab the lumber I need for the bookshel I’ve been whining about.


Yay, lumber!

I also had a good laugh in the store.  I had to actually explain to three guys what pocket screws were before somebody could tell me where they were in the store.  Physically explain what a pocket screw is.  I could’ve sworn the guys were just being jerks but they had to call in some old guy and thank goodness he knew what I wanted.  …as I was walking away, pocket screws in hand, the guys asked the old guy what the screws were for, so at least it wasn’t just me.

I also found some Concords!  That can only mean I’m making Granny Boo’s grape juice.

I did a trial can in a pint jar to make sure I’m not making it to sweet.  The variety she grew were a bit more tart than the ones I have now and I hate sweet juice.


As it’s cooling, the grapes are releasing more juice.  Hopefully by morning, it’ll be the color I remember and the taste I’m looking for.  If not, I get to start playing with adjusting the recipe over and over.  Fun times!

I’m excited to have my grubby paws on some grapes, though.  I usually hate grape juice, but hers was always the exception.