Ms Crafty: where craftiness rules supreme...

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Minnesota-Daze Grand Finale

Well, our last day had finally arrived. Of course, I was still exhausted from the literal marathon bike ride...but it was an absolutely gorgeous day. Bug free, sunny, just perfect.

We decided to go lawn bowling. And we had a blast.

Of course, you can't have a little fun without a little drama...I'm not going to even go into that...

Just before we headed out to the airport for another super fun (grrrrr) red-eye flight back to san fran, we had the pleasure of watching my 4-year old niece play in her first-ever soccer game. It was hilarious...the kids hadn't gotten a chance to even they were always kicking the ball the wrong way and somehow always managed to create large piles of kid bodies as they tripped all over each other.

And the parents REALLY got into it. I mean, these kids are 4-6 years old. Chill, people. It's just fun. Don't spoil it!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Minnesota-Daze Day 5

Whew, I'm out of breath today. There isn't much to say...I mean, you'd think I'd know my S.O. a little better by now...wait, let me start over.

This morning my S.O. woke up and wanted to take a bike ride...just a quick jaunt around a couple of lakes and back--20 minutes max. Famous last words.

Instead, I ended up on a 30 mile (literally) super bike ride around the entire city of Minneapolis. We saw lakes, beautiful homes, downtown, rode by the Mississippi, and also managed to cut across the center of the city right through the worst ghetto.

Somehow, I managed all of this with a sprained ankle (seriously, each time I pushed the pedal it hurt) as well as a super-sore ass (the seat on this bike was like a brick). And, of course, I think my attitude was pretty stellar considering...

Did I mention that I hate biking?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Minnesota-Daze Day 3

We decided that we wanted to play "beach volleyball." Now, I live on the left coast and grew up on the Atlantic coast, so to me, beach volleyball means actually playing volleyball on the beach.

But, since there aren't true "beaches" in Minnesota, lots of public parks have sand volleyball courts on which to pretend one is playing at the beach.

Volleyball wasn't enough for the guys, they had to make quite of show of machismo, thus they had to follow up volleyball with some basketball while we watched from the sidelines (and played with my baby nephew).

Then, it S.O.'s brother sprained his ankle. The fun was over. Now with a small toddler (who needs a car seat), a baby (who needs a car seat) and two sprained ankles we had already exceeded the capacity of their station wagon...

So, what do you do once you have two sprained ankles in the house?

Go home and play ping pong of course!

Notice that state pride?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The N.A. wine

So, my S.O.'s brother's wife is 7 months preggers. And, she's really fantastic about avoiding alcohol, even though the cravings for wine and beer are just about killing her.

One day she was in the store when suddenly she realized that, hello, they make non-alcoholic beer and wine. She got a 12-pack of O'Douls, as well as a bottle of non-alcoholic red wine.

At least with O'Douls (not that I've ever tried it, mind you...I'm really a wine and cocktail drinker) you know what you're getting.

The non-alcoholic wine was the most disgusting thing we had ever tasted. Seriously. It tasted like communion "wine" with a cup full of nasty 'ol vinegar. It was repugnant. So, of course we decided we had to use it to play a joke on my S.O.'s mother who is a self-proclaimed connisseur of fine wines.

Basically, we poured wine for all, and all sat around the table playing Yatzee (yes, they still play Yatzee in Minnesota, in fact, they are HUGE gamers). Anyway, we were playing Yatzee and all sitting on the edge of our seats watching and waiting.

We were all giggles...and it took her more than 5 minutes to take a single was hilarious...she was utterly horrified...

Obviously after that we offered anyone who showed up a glass of N.A. wine...

Good times...

Friday, May 27, 2005

Minnesota-Daze Day 2

We had an agenda for Day 2. It was...drum roll, please...hit the hellacious halls of the Mall of America in order to find bridesmaid dresses...

The Problem:
The bride is a size 2 and wants her wedding party to wear short little hanky dresses. The kind of thing that a size 2 would look good in (and only a size 2 or smaller with no exaggeration).

I spent the day trying on dresses that made my self-esteem plummet. I mean, I seriously looked about six months preggers in these dresses...oh well.

The worst thing is that we didn't find a now we're right back to square one.


Oh, yeah, and we played lots of ping pong...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Minnesota-Daze Day 1

Well, off again to Minnesota to visit the S.O.'s family. Each year is a little bit different than the last...the bug factor can seriously make or break the visit...

This year, I'm happy to say, was completely bug free...

We took a red-eye flight to MN, arriving at the airport nice and early just after 5am...and let me tell you, you'll never get a better night's sleep than on a red eye in the back row of a completely full flight...yeah, the back row. Joy of all joys. I mean, don't these people know that they are literally thrusting their buttocks in your face when they are waiting for the bathroom. And, these folks aren't thin.

I'm not kidding myself. I'm not thin...but I like to think i don't stick my big fat bottom into the faces of those in the back row who are trying to sleep.

Anyway, we arrived completely exhausted, to some beautiful weather.

We decided to take our niece and her friend to the park. It was beautiful, and those kids had a ton of fun.

Though I took lots of pics of the kids, I'm including my requisite stock photography shot...I had to lay on the ground for a while to get this one just right...

After the park, we went to play tennis, just us a-dults. Within ten minutes I was on the ground with a sprained ankle. I managed to amuse myself for the remaining tennis time by taking super blurry action shots...

But, the weather was amazing...we don't get weather like this in san fran...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My kitty is sick... :-(

When I got home today, one of my babies (yeah, that's right, my cats are my little furry babies until further notice) was lying super still and had blood dripping out of his ear...

I, of course, panicked, and touched him to make sure he was still with us. At which point he sat up and shook his head spraying micro droplets of blood all over the apartment.

I called the vet in a panic, and they said to bring him in the next day...which we did. Now, several hundred dollars in, they have NO IDEA what is wrong with him.

Here's a recent pre-illness pic of him: Chirper, age 15

Monday, May 23, 2005

I feel like an old woman...

So yesterday I was innocently reaching for something (nothing too high, so no overreaching whatsoever), when suddenly my lower back began to spasm. Basically I spent the rest of my day first laying helplessly on the floor (all the while noticing how much it needed a good vacuuming). I had to have my S.O. help me get into bed, where I proceeded to lie in a helpless lump for the rest of the evening. :-(

I have never felt so old...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

the iPod cozy

Clearly I have completely lost my marbles, but before I even loaded music onto my precious, I decided that I HAD to have a cozy for her. I mean, that brushed aluminum can, horror of all horrors, be scratched.

Sure, I have better things to do, but somehow this just seemed right :-)

If I'm lucky I'll finish that sweater I should have finished weeks ago...

mr. clean, you're a genuis...

I'm not sure if you've heard of a little miracle called the "Mr. Clean Magic Eraser." I hadn't. But then, one fateful day (two Sundays ago, actually) my sister called.

"Um, you have to get the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser."


"I'm serious."

"Ok! I get it."

"You don't understand. It got rid of the soap scum. I only had to wipe twice."


Needless to say, despite my feigned apathy I was intrigued. I've been fighting an endless battle against soap scum for some time. Finally, last week (hey, who has time to travel out of Metropolis to go to Tar-zhay?) I picked one up. Of course, it sat for a week in it's packaging immobile on my bathroom counter.

It wasn't actually magic, as the sponge didn't hop out of its' box whilst I slept and clean my bathroom of its own volition. (You're probably thinking "Well, duh." but I was still hoping for some magic ala Fantasia).

Finally this morning I rolled up my sleeves, put on my rubber gloves, and got to work.

While I didn't have the easy breezy time of it that my sister had, that thing managed to get off what looked like it must have been four years of soap scum. I didn't even know how much soap scum I had until i used it on one little bit of tile. After several swipes it was so clean and white, and of course made everything else (i.e. the rest of the bathroom) around it look brownish green.

I was locked in heated battle, and it was quite a fight. Two hours and one completely used up Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge later my bathroom looks cleaner than it ever has.


Now, back to knitting.

Friday, May 20, 2005

my iPod is a yarn ho

My precious little iPod just couldn't wait for a peek into my yarn stash.

"Stay up all night and knit me an iPod cozy" says Greedy Gretchen.

I...must...obey....I am powerless...

my preciousssssss.........

Today I took a giant leap for gadgetkind and finally procured a much deserved and coveted ipod. Yes, I know, everyone who is anyone got one when they first came out. I have drooled over them for ages, and just decided it was time. Perhaps it was the impending yearly trip to visit my S.O.'s relatives, perhaps it was the fact that the green ipod mini perfectly matches my favorite green purse. Maybe it was even those damned adorable i-pod socks that finally sold me. Of course, I will be making my own ipod sock this weekend, using some of the 50 bizillion colors of cascade 220 I already own...

My cats are jealous already. They were secretly hoping for a kitty pi, and now they'll be stuck trying to sleep on an ipod sock. Se la vie, kitties.

Monday, May 16, 2005

the long, long weekend

Ok, so this entry is a tad on the tardy side, but I've got excellent excuses. Do you really need one? Ok, well for starters my cat was sleeping on my laptop, and you do not mess with this cat when he's sleeping...Anyway, now for the BIG NEWS.

Yes, that's right BIG NEWS. After no less than 32 tries starting the infamous Rowan "Butterfly" dress, with the good help of my excellent friend (who painstaking read me directions for the 8 repeating lace rows stitch by stitch) I actually completed *drumroll* the FIRST EIGHT LACE ROWS. Normally, I don't get too excited about finishing eight rows of anything, but this seriously feels like a real accomplishment. Feel free to give me some sort of trophy, or a chocolate donut works, too.

Here's a picture of the 8 rows.

I know it doesn't seem like much, but it's something. I was starting to have serious doubts about my knitting prowess. Now, all I have to do, is repeat those 8 rows 13 more times. Then make that same piece of lace three more times...

Besides, now when I mess up (it's not if, it's when on this project) I can unravel to my last eight rows, which will remain forever perfect. Whew.

Well, those 8 darn rows took up most of my Saturday--that and getting my FREE FROSTY. Yeah, that's right. Sorry if you missed out on the super sugary not-quite-chocolatey frozen goodness.

Sunday I woke up with absolutely no intention whatsoever to walk SF's Bay to Breakers race. And yet, somehow I ended up walking 10 miles. Yeah, that's right, 10 miles. Those of you who know me know that I don't walk ten miles for anything. Now, days later I'm still suffering...each and every one of my muscles is crying "help me" at every step.

But at least I've got those 8 glorious lace rows to get me through the week!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Merrify this %*$(#&%

I'm sure you're wondering what that title is all about. If you're a designer, hang on because this is going to be a bumpy ride (okay, that is a gross exaggeration, but really don't I deserve to have a little drama every once in a while). I'm currently working on designing a line of holiday greeting cards, and in a meeting today I was told by the client (quite seriously, I might add) to "merrify that design by 30%". I am dead serious. I sat there in shocked silence, wondering just what in the hell does that mean? Should I add smiley faces, or jolly little elves or something? I mean, the card is supposed to have stockings on it. Holiday stockings. I'm not really sure how some socks hanging on a mantle can be more "merry". Exactly how does one go about quantifying merriment? Any ideas? I'm open to 'em.

Onto a more pleasant subject...breathe breathe out slowly making a slight shushing sound. Feel the agonizing stress of the day melt away as you pick up your mighty knitting needles. You know the ones. The ones that are keeping you from going completely insane on a daily basis. (Of course, they are also keeping you out of therapy because all of that money you spend hoarding yarn leaves you strapped for cash and keeps therapy from even being an option).

So, I've set myself up for a colossal knitting failure. You've probably all seen that amazing dress on the cover of the latest Rowan magazine. If you haven't, shame on you. Well, basically I've been blabbing all over town about how I'm going to make that damn dress. And I would love to, truly I would. I have tried. Seriously, no less than 25 times I have sat myself down with the dreaded 8 repeating lace rows which make up the bottom hem of the dress, and every single time I've had to rip it out. See, it has all of these complicated yarn forwards and increases et cetera, which I am told will eventually turn into one amazing piece of lace. I have yet to see it, as I can't seem to get past row 7.

For the past two weekends I have tried and tried
(did I mention unsuccessfully) and have reduced myself to tears of frustration, and still I cannot make that damn lace. Well, I've still got two days to work on other projects (which I am knitting super slowly so as to avoid said dress) and then Saturday I'll be back in dress hell... A knitty friend of mine, with patience almost as short as my own, has volunteered to sit with me and read the stitches one at a time as I knit until I get to row 8...we'll see...I'm not quite ready to give up (read this as yes, indeed I am quite ready to give up), but let's just say that if those 8 rows don't happen this weekend my dress dreams (and the dreams of those knitting vicariously through me) shall come to a rather abrupt halt. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Time to pop the cherry on this blog thing...

My name is Ms. Crafty, and I have a problem. A serious problem. I hoard yarn. By the truckload. I dream about lying in a feathery-soft mountain of expensive yarns. I want to swim through my stash, coming up for air every once in a while.

My mom was definitely the O.C. (that's original crafty to you). She knitted, stitched, quilted, and much to my and my sister's disdain, often sewed us matching outfits. (This was worse for my sister than myself, since being younger and smaller she ended up wearing everything twice). She crafted every spare moment she had (and still does). Anyway, suffice it to say that crafting is in my genes.

Now, I've always been crafty. When my sister and I were kids, we'd have a "daily" craft market for my grandmother (who watched us while my mom was working) and my strange aunt. Hours of operation M-F, 2-4pm. We sold small crafts that we made every day. We would sew, paint, draw, collage, anything we could get away with. (And, by the way, our prices were rock bottom and ranged from a nickel to a dollar.) What did we do with this wonderous wealth? Why, we spent it on yet more bizarre craft fads and gizmos, duh.

I've tried it all: Scherenschnitte, painting, drawing, oil pastels, watercolors, graphic design, sewing, collage, cartooning, knitting, crocheting, wire work, soap making, jewelry making...the list goes on and on...

The question is, why? What do I hope to gain from my obsession with handicrafts? I mean, I wouldn't be caught dead at a typical country craft style fair where purveyors of bizarrely cheesy hopelessly happy gingham scarf clad snowmen ornaments are the norm. I don't really hope to sell my fact, I'm hoarding the finished goods, too.

I'm hoping this blog will serve as a record of my crafty endeavors, as well as a meditation on all things crafty. Why do I craft? Because I love it. Why do I love it so much? I'm not sure I've got an answer to that just yet.