Archive for August, 2009

Without further ado…

July 1, 2009

After I made the curtains with my Mom last year, she gave me one of her sewing machines as a gift, and I’ve been meaning to use it. To encourage myself and maybe start selling pretty rice packs (hot packs) on my other website (work-in-progress, not up yet), I bought this lovely bunch of fabric. Some are yardages and some are quarters, and I’m excited to see how they all turn out. Because no, I haven’t sewn any of these up yet. Except the cream-colored muslin.

July 2, 2009

On the 2nd we went out with Jay (pictured with NinjaHusband) and Shelly for their good-bye party. They moved to Milwaukee for school and awesomeness.

July 3, 2009

More fabric for my rice packs, just after I brought them home.

July 4, 2009

Rick and Gracie were fast movers! We hung out with friends for the Fourth (after helping my sister move to her new apartment). Cookout, games, awesomeness.

July 5, 2009

Oh, this picture. NinjaHusband’s aunt had this picture of her mom, N’s Grandma, for a while and gave it to us. This aunt also gave us Miyagi. We brought the picture home and sat it on Miyagi’s favorite recliner, and got a picture of both of them. I think I’ll send this to Auntie Linda — she’ll get a kick out of it.

July 6, 2009

I rode my bike to work this day, and snapped this picture of the fields east of Peace Road. This was on the way home, when I had more time to stop and enjoy the landscape, such as it is. Sometimes this place is beautiful.

July 7, 2009

My birth bag, or one of them. I don’t remember why I had this out, unless I am that lazy and didn’t put it away after the birth I attended on June 24th. Another “crap! I forgot to photograph something today” kind of shot.

July 8, 2009

Self-portrait of the artist as aviator. Sunglasses were a gift from Femiknitter. The scowl is my own. I swear I try to look happy in self-portraits.

July 9, 2009

I was unwrapping the fabric from July 3rd, sitting on a chair and just tossing the pieces onto the ground. Miyagi came over and crouched on top of them and didn’t seem to mind when I continued dropping fabric onto her head.

July 10, 2009

The cat is the go-to subject when I need one, I guess. This was Friday night on Maribeth’s birthday (Hi Maribeth!), and we were scoring the wallpaper for the Great Wallpaper Removal of Ought Nine. Meegs (Miyagi) got worked up over the racket, so we calmed her down with her very favorite catnip pillow.

July 11, 2009

This photo represents all the pain and tragedy I feel regarding the wallpaper, and especially that damn tiny bathroom.

July 12, 2009

I don’t want to dwell on the wallpaper, so that Sunday’s picture is baby washcloths at the park. Knit Night met up at Hopkins Park, and I was so giddy at not having to take down wallpaper that I accidentally left my sunglasses on the picnic table. These washcloths went to Baby Waggie’s stash.

July 13, 2009
No picture!

This was the first day of my week-long vacation from work, and I just took it easy and didn’t worry about very much at all. It was great.

July 14, 2009

On the second day of my vacation, I decided to get to some hobby canvases that I’d painted blue/metallic blue a long time ago. I wanted to paint something basic, something nice for my office/guest room (the really green room) to balance out the green. A little wine accompanied me on my painting endeavors, and I may paint over what I ended up with (see July 16th).

July 15, 2009

On NinjaHusband’s birthday (hooray!), Anna came over to help me figure out my approach to sewing. She clearly knows what she’s doing and really helped me with the finer points of sewing a rice pack. While my sewing machine was out of its carrying case, the cat got into, and then out of, the bag.

July 16, 2009

One of the finished products from the 14th. I’m not super happy with it — it looks too busy. I have very little talent in the painting area, and I may just give it up. Grr.

July 17, 2009

Zucchini from my co-garden at Jill’s house. One was longer than my arm, I shit you not. Delicious zucchini bread, you will be mine this fall!

July 18, 2009

I had forgotten about this picture until I downloaded them earlier this week. I love that it’s the same shot (mostly) as the one from January 10th in this post. One of my goals when I started this project, or even before that, was to get some pictures of the same places/things at different times of year. Woohoo! Goal setting leads to goal reaching! I am awesome.

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Which is why they’re going up ahead of my next batch of daily photos.

My Chosen-by-Blog Socks are done! D-U-N done!


I started these on April 22, 2008 and finished August 23, 2009. Yes, these socks have been in the works for 16 months. I am appropriately shamed.


This sock (above) was finished first, last year sometime. Then I stalled on the second one, because I wasn’t knitting them at the same time, as is my wont. Apparently I only have 2 sets of 2.25mm / US 1 double points, and one set was tied up in another sock that ultimately died a froggy death because it was too tight. I have learned my lesson and will never knit single socks alone again.


This sock (above, again) was the second one that got neglected. And by the time I got around to knitting on it again, I had grabbed the wrong pattern like an idiot. (At one point I had downloaded and printed off a bunch of Wendy’s toe-up sock patterns, and for some reason thought I was working on the Toe-Up Gusset Heel, when in reality I had been working from Toe-Up Slipstich Heel) When I realized my mistake I bemoaned my stupidity, cursed my eyes, and threw the socks into the bottom of the workbag.


I didn’t pick this up until two weeks ago, when Femiknitter was visiting. I had finished most of the baby knitting I was working on (except for the baby blanket, which I’ll talk about later), wanted a simple stockinette project (the better for talking while knitting), and pulled this out. Femiknitter must have some project mojo because every time I have a stalled project around her, I pick it back up and finish it within a few weeks. I pulled back the yarn to where I could start the correct heel and forged ahead like I owned the place.

twisted rib

The pattern is Wendy’s Toe-Up with Slipstitch Heel, and I added three columns of twisted knit stitches along the sides, and topped the socks with 1×1 twisted rib. Delicious.

I wore them yesterday, because it was a little cool for August, and they fit perfectly. Hooray!

Ravelry project page

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I’m scrambling to get all caught up, guys, really. I might even get the beginning of July up by this weekend. I really don’t want to be 2 months behind anymore, it feels weird.

June 22, 2009

We were walking in downtown DeKalb when I noticed the new restaurant across the street had this amazing piece of advertising. I don’t think they actually do magic tricks (ILLUSIONS!) during the lunch hour, but a girl can dream.

June 23, 2009

This is a pretty vase with a sordid past. In 2006, the first year that lots of our group moved away from DeKalb, we congregated at Mark & Amy’s for New Year’s, thus setting the stage that whoever buys a house gets to host the festivities. We also agreed on a gift exchange. I don’t remember how the whole thing went down, but NinjaHusband and I put in one gift together, so we got to choose one gift. I had a big crush on this red vase (I love red and there weren’t many purely decorative things in our apartment), but NinjaHusband wanted the Post Secret Book (original website) which was also in the mix. And we fought about it. In front of our friends. Shame! We made up later and hugged each other because it was silly to fight over these things. We chose the vase. And later that month Mark & Amy sent us the Post Secret book, because they’re supercool.

June 24, 2009

To keep Miyagi busy sometimes I wedge the fish-on-a-string toy into the top of the recliner and let her bat around at it. This is an example of my success.

June 25, 2009

I do not live on this street, but I turn down it to get home. The street’s name is Longwood, which makes me giggle every. single. time I see the sign. Because I am twelve.

June 26, 2009

Beer bottle. I don’t know if this was at our house or at Adam & Beth’s. We hung out with them that night and I’m sure I drank a bunch. I had to have a fairly invasive diagnostic test that day, and wasn’t happy about it. Thus the drowning of the sorrows and the artsy-fartsy picture of a beer bottle.

June 27, 2009

Sunset through the front door of our friends’ new house. Full disclosure: I totally thought there was a fire in their neighbors’ yard, so intense was the sunlight. BECAUSE I HAVE BECOME MY MOTHER.

June 28, 2009

I completely love this picture. Beers, knitting, and knitter. Hi Cassie! Knit night is the awesomesauce.

June 29

On Monday the 29th NinjaHusband and I drove up to my Aunt Pat’s house to see my cousin Becky (who lives in Texas now) and to meet her girlfriend (now fiancee!) Kori for the first time. We had so much fun making dinner, meeting Kori (who says “y’all” unironically), and giggling uncontrollably. This is (from left) my sister Maribeth, Kori, Becky, and my cousin Brittany. Maribeth, Brittany, and Becky are all about the same age and are super close. (I don’t know what they’re doing with their hands, but I think it’s an inside joke from when Maribeth and Brit visited Becky and Kori over the winter.)

June 30, 2009

And this is just one of the many, many reasons I’m looking for a new eye doctor. This is on their receptionist’s desk! Customer service FAIL.

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In honor of Margaret and Amy, who asked very nicely for these pictures, I give you the final paint job pictures:

A few shots before the painter’s tape was removed…
directly from patio doors

(With a “before” picture, in case you can’t remember the horror of that wallpaper…)

Looking into the kitchen from the living room…
north/west corner
I love how much the woodwork pops out with this new color!

(The reference picture, from the same point…)
(I hate even looking at this now. I’m amazed we lived with it for a year.)

The south-ish wall.
painting by Matt
The painting is by a friend of ours, Matt, who picked up painting all on his own and is self-taught. We have several other canvases of his, and this one (which previously lived in NinjaHusband’s office) fit right in with the kitchen. Hooray!

Kitchen, looking left from main room

We still have a lot to put into it, but I’m so happy with the way it looks now. So. Happy. The dining table and the bookshelf have switched places, so it’s easier to get in and out through our patio doors, which is a big improvement. The kitchen feels much more liveable and happy now.


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Now that I’m finally letting my brain run free, it seems I just can’t shut up.

June 13, 2009

On Saturday, June 13th my whole family went out to my Grandma’s house to paint it. This had been the plan before she went into the hospital/nursing home, and we stuck to it even though the morning started out all rainy. Two pictures for this day because the small one at the top looks cool and kind of captured my mood on the drive up; the second one is my Auntie Patty, my Dad’s only sister. She has been the coolest of the cool aunts, paying attention to me when I was young (a big deal for kids, because adults don’t always listen), always there for me when I was going through the crazy teen “my parents don’t love me!!” stage, and just really really cool. She’s getting married to a supergreat guy, John (on the right) next month, and I’m so excited he’s part of our family.

June 14, 2009

Still life with knitting, book, and cat.

June 15, 2009

The drama and history portion of the bookshelf. We really downsized our book collection when we moved, giving away over 200 books, probably. Now one of the two really tall bookshelves (both of which are in my office) mostly holds my stationery and some other things that usually go in desk drawers (because I don’t have a desk). We may have to rethink that as our collection grows.

June 16, 2009

Is it weird that there are so many pictures of my cat? I can’t tell. I’ve never had a cat and a photography obsession at the same time before. I think we must have gotten takeout the night before and this is Miyagi’s way of repurposing the paper bag. It totally cracked me up.

June 17, 2009

A local business. A lack of understanding grammar. A perfect photo opportunity.

June 18, 2009

Part of my real job entails photographing library events. This year’s Summer Reading theme was “Read Around the World” and they scheduled lots of programs with an international theme, including this bagpiper. He’s a member of our local fire department and married to a library employee, plus, you know, a piper. It was a really great program with some basic history about bagpipes, traditional dress, and the countries pipes came from, plus fun music. I love bagpipe music and a lot of the kids at the presentation were dancing all over the library’s patio.

June 19, 2009

We went out with friends to celebrate NinjaHusband’s new job, and this wall in downtown Sycamore was so textured and interesting (plus it was late and I hadn’t taken a picture yet that day) that I had to snap it.

June 20, 2009

Another excellent night with friends, and Baron the dog.

June 21, 2009

On Father’s Day we went to a wedding. I took many pictures, but this one of Caroline and Andrew stood out, mostly because this is before all the drinking started and Andrew started busting out his DANCE MOVES. I put DANCE MOVES in all caps because there is no other way to convey how expansive these moves were. Suddenly he seemed to take up four times more space than before. Flailing was involved. But I thought his DANCE MOVES were amazing, possibly because I was also taking advantage of the open bar.

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The wallpaper having been vanquished, we moved on to painting.

This was July 19th. I had to work on the Saturday following a full week off work (yes, it was as awesome as it sounds), so we tackled the priming on Sunday.

NinjaHusband had already taped the ceiling and countertops and everything else, because he is a more precise and focused person when it comes to that sort of thing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: he should have been in the tiny tiny bathroom taking off that devil wallpaper.

Moving on!

See the stellar taping job…

Where I started priming with Killz…

Behind the stove…

And here it is, all done.





At this point, I could have stopped the whole process and been content. I mean, does this even look like the same kitchen? Of course it does. But it felt so much bigger, so much more open, and so much less hypnotic. It’s plain white, and it’s lovely because I don’t want to vomit or murder someone when I go in there anymore, and I call that a success.

One more set, the painted set, coming up. We still don’t have curtains, curtain rods, and new switchplates yet, and the glass tile backsplash exists only in my head as of yet (we are currently disagreeing about colors), but the painting is done.

Hint: the color is called Sweet Illusion. ILLUSIONS, MICHAEL!

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There are so many pictures to post that I am not even going to try figuring out the numbers (145 = May 25, etc). Just dates from here on out. I like to mix things up. And be lazy.

I just looked at my calendar and realized that I have over 2 months’ pictures to post here for show and tell. And yes, I still have been taking pictures (almost) every day, just not posting them because of, well, the lazy. I’m not posting all of them now; they’re not all uploaded and that would be one hell of a post. They’ll be put up in batches as I get a chance, hopefully a few batches a week, starting with the oldest:

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day weekend, we had a rainy and kind of cold cookout with friends. This is their dog, Baron, a golden retriever who loves everyone. He reminds me of the dog my family had when I was wee, and I love visiting Baron and his people.

May 26, 2009

Grapes and cherries, leftover from the cookout where 3 people brought big bags of cherries. They’re in a grey & green bowl I bought at Anderson Gardens (that website has some sound) in Rockford maybe 8 years ago or so, in a set of 6. We actually chose our plate pattern/color based on those bowls, so beautiful are they.

May 27, 2009

This was taken at work on a Tuesday night, probably when I realized I hadn’t taken a picture for the day. My rubber band and paper clip collection. Exciting!!

May 28, 2009

NinjaHusband and Beth. We went out with Beth and Adam for drinks and N decided to cuddle up to Beth because I was sitting next to Adam.

May 29, 2009

A failed attempt at a baby hat. This yarn is discontinued Knit Picks Parade, a sportweight superwash wool/nylon blend. It’s really scratchy, and I have no idea why I thought it would make a good baby hat. Probably because it was green and patterny, and would have made a cute non-gender-specific baby hat IF THE YARN HADN’T BEEN THE APPROXIMATE TEXTURE OF STEEL WOOL OH MY GOD. Sometimes I go a bit blind when it comes to knitting things I reallyreally want to work out. Thank you to the ladies at my Stitch-n-Bitch who set me straight and convinced me to rip it out.

May 30, 2009

Guys, I have no idea what this is. None at all. It can’t possibly be egg yolk, because I haven’t handled eggs in years. It looks like there’s a layer of oil over something, but damned if I know what. Leave your guesses in the comments — the best guess gets a prize.

May 31, 2009

Before I talk about this picture, I have to say that this day was a little difficult and kicked off the many reasons for my blog silence and probably a little bit of depression. In the morning I went to the yarn store in Geneva (Wool & Co.) with my friend C and had a wonderful time. It was her first time to Wool & Co., and we just had a great time hunting yarn and being overwhelmed. Then we had lunch at a noodle place and got chocolates at a confectionery before coming home. I had a great time.

The difficult part came when NinjaHusband and I drove up to my cousin’s HS graduation party. My Grandma Joy, who has lived alone and still driven herself, has been declining over several years. At the party she stumbled or nearly fell (I wasn’t in the room) and my Dad and his brothers took her to the hospital, leaving the party pretty quickly. N and I were getting ready to leave when this all happened, but stuck around to give hugs and find out what we could, which wasn’t much.

We drove home and I went to knit night where I took this shot and felt better, but distracted. While I was at knit night I learned that Dr. Tiller had been murdered. When I got home I learned that Grandma had had an MRI or CAT scan and some more severe problems had been uncovered. She hasn’t been back to her home since then, and won’t be back.

June 1, 2009

Gummi bear on sidewalk. I found this as I walked out to my car on Monday afternoon, headed home from work. Someone had dropped a few gummi bears and the sunlight was hitting them in interesting ways.

June 2, 2009

Miyagi found some unused bags in the corner of the dining area and made them her own.

June 3, 2009

Beth playing with a bottle of vodka (or gin?) and coming out hilariously scary.

June 4, 2009

The Lutheran church on the corner of 3rd and Pine in DeKalb. I thought the “Blessing of Animals” bit was kind of sweet and charming, and the light hit the sign in a really pretty way.

June 5, 2009

My youngest sister came over on Friday to learn how to make a crocheted star-shaped baby blanket. We shopped for yarn, then sat down to work on the pattern. I love teaching crochet and knit to people, and especially my sister. She picked it up really well and decided the order of the colors, and is about halfway through the blanket now. Everytime I go up to Mom and Dad’s I see her and we go over it together, or I help her figure out how to solve a problem.

June 6, 2009

Hanging out with friends on Saturday, watching Jay and Ryan start a new homebrew. This was the mash (I think? I’m not very aware of the terminology) and it looked weird and interesting. Like deconstructed bread.

June 7, 2009

Sunday I was apparently drunk while watching Stop-Loss, and got carried away by all the cowboys on my teevee screen.

June 8, 2009

Cabbage! Cabbage soup, made by NinjaHusband. It was delish.

June 9, 2009
No picture available!

June 10, 2009

My friend Angie gave us this pregnant belly/breast sculpture when she returned home from travelling in Africa. I’m considering hanging it in the bedroom, but so far it has only made it to the living room, propped against the wall between a plant named Montescue and our radio/ipod dock/CD player/thing.

June 11, 2009

This adorable baby (though slightly blurry) is the son of our friends Court and Jamey. He doesn’t usually look this fuzzy or terrified. I didn’t take this picture (I’m holding him), but I like it a lot. We visited them on a Thursday, meaning to play some board games, but we ended up talking about this awesome little guy the whole time. I really enjoyed hanging out with them and holding the baby.

June 12, 2009

Another child that is not my child. This is Zara, daughter of Samantha & William, friends and all-around cool people. I took this picture at the library on “Chalk Art Friday” at which Zara seemed to have a really good time drawing on the sidewalks with big hunks of chalk.

Okay, that’s the first batch of what I hope will be several this week. I have lots to catch up on.

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