Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Today's critter: A story about lint.

I'm a little weird about picking up every little piece of lint and detritus on my carpet. This is a good example of why. I wouldn't have wanted to step on this... but he was fun to play with! It was late night when I found him, so it was difficult to photograph him and do any justice to the variegations in green he displayed. Very pretty. He eventually joined the small tree in the front of my house.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


This is the corner of my slab porch and the little brick enclosure that's to my right as I'm leaving my house. That enclosure is under my front windows, and I've planted some wildflowers there which haven't taken yet. That's why the ground looks so blasted there -- I had to rake up a bunch of stuff and, you know, push dirt.

Which does nothing to explain what greeted me as I was skipping merrily out my door today. After I literally came to a skidding stop and stared at it for a second, it just stayed there and... flicked. I figured it would be gone by the time I unlocked my door, went inside, grabbed my camera and came back out, but... clearly not. It's cute! And I've been seeing a lot of them lately.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Live Life Without Irons

I'm getting pretty accustomed to sewing with commercial patterns, but I haven't advanced far enough to create my own. Not entirely.

But with the help of this tutorial, I made myself a 6-gore circle skirt (sans pockets), entirely self-drafted. It's three parts Jeep fabric, three parts embroidered camo. I had to punt a little with the waistband (zip and button in rear), but it WORKED, which is always a thrill. It's just above-knee and fits me better than it does Heddy Headless, my dressmaker's dummy, which is why the waistband looks a little gappy.

I like bias tape as a finish because it's a lot easier than hemming a circle and also unifies the various panels.

Here's a detail of the fabrics, because they are so cool (both purchased at Joann on the cheap, as usual). One of the slogans on the Jeep fabric is "Live Life Without Limits."

These pictures were taken after the skirt had been worn on a night out, so it's a little wrinkledy. Stood up well, though, which is frankly always something I'm a leetle worried about when I wear my own clothing out.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pinky Proof

But proof of what?

A: A sewing machine can be hazardous even when not switched on.
B: I am a danger to myself.
C: My new habit of photographing everything... maybe not such a great thing.

Today's critter sighting.

I trotted into the house tonight around 19.30, merrily chatting away with a friend on the phone, and made my way straight to the doorwall to open up the house. (Beautiful day today!) When I saw her out there, I oh-so-rudely interrupted my friend to tell him hush hush, let me tell you what I'm looking at here.

I don't know much about deer, but she looks like a youngish one. My camera was on the table behind me, so I grabbed it and sat on the floor to try to take a couple snaps without moving around too much, all the while describing her over the phone. She really didn't seem very bothered by me; slowly stepping back and forth in the little area next to my deck, sniffing the air, ears occasionally twitching, she even looked directly at me a couple of times. I'm not sure where her friends were, but you know deer -- where there's one, there's a dozen.

What was especially funny -- and unfortunately unphotographable -- was when I noticed a little more movement over to the left of my vision. Oh lookie there, it's our little raccoon friend! I didn't ask him for ID, but the coloring (light patch on his left hip) convinced me that it's the same one I videod. (Videoed?) He was travelling in the general direction of the deer, who had her back to him at the moment, when he noticed her and froze. Then he turned around and ran in the other direction! Who knew the white-tail was the natural enemy of the raccoon?

After several minutes of generally aimless gracefulness, the deer casually made her retreat down a path to the ravine. So damned pretty.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


One more thing about this place of mine. It's true that I have a coat rack on my porch, but this is how you really know you're at my joint. This is the beautiful redhead that greets you outside my door. (Yes, she's mounted on my front door. You can just see the frame in the photo in the previous post.)

"It's just grass."

I've been in my house for about 2.5 years now. You may have noticed that I like taking pictures of it. I don't know how long I'll be here, but I do enjoy documenting the place. Today's photo is a slightly different view from my usual top-of-driveway. Semi-ironically, what you can't see is a big part of my inspiration for spending all day today mowing and trimming and bricking and hosing -- my porch overhang has finally been reaffixed with a light that isn't a fingernail away from falling out of the hole and knocking out the pizza dude. And my roof and gutters are clean. Thanks, Buddha! (I'm not allowed to use ladders by myself.)

When I was originally looking at buying this place, it was late Fall, and before letting ourselves in, my Realtor and I paused to watch a crew of about 6 men working on the 1++ acre yard. Bruce looked down at me in that patriarchal way that's almost avoidable from a man a foot taller than myself. "That's... an awful lot of yard," he said, the little lady understood but unspoken.

I smiled in goofy desperation, because from the time I'd seen the place I knew I'd be living here. "It's just grass." flutter flutter

Well, let me tell you. "It's just grass" becomes a lot more fun when you've got the right pardner. And this is my pardner. I won't go all Tim Taylor here, but I will say that the motor on this little golden devil is almost as big as what's in my motorcycle (and quite a bit bigger than my first bike).


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Handsome, really.

I know they're pests. I know he would kill me if given half the chance. But still... cayooooot! I'm enthralled by ANY critters in my yard, of course (maybe you've noticed), but in my couple of years at my wildness abode, I've never seen a raccoon here. Seriously. Coyotes? Check. Spiders the size of my hand? Double-check. But this is my first bandito. So I got a little footage through my kitchen windows.

(My original footage is a little better, but I had to let YouTube chew it up for posting purposes.)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Amber Suite

A couple of months ago I went to a gem and jewelry show at a local civic center. I hadn't bought beads in a long time because I still have bags and bags of unutilized beauty awaiting attention, so I went mostly for entertainment, with the idea that something would have to be particularly notable to come home with me.

And then I saw these hanks of semi-raw amber. They were so chunky and unpolished and interesting! I grabbed a strand thinking, all right, this is mine IF I can find something that is going to go with it TODAY. No hoarding -- either we come away from this show with a project ready to go, or we come away empty-handed. After visiting every booth in the joint, I had my collection: lavastone, moonstone and a large carved bone Chinese bat (a favorite symbol of mine) to serve as a focus. A feast of natural textures!

I think it was the next afternoon that I put it all together in a jewelry suite -- necklace, bracelet (on elastic) and ring (wire-wrapped). The bat disc is about 3" across and is attached by waxed cord, looped through Chinese stopper knots, which match the little black lavastones nicely.

Each of the pieces is actually kind of big, so some planning goes into wearing them. Pretty, though. Click on any of 'em to see bigger versions with more of the pretty.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My bedroom is about an hour darker now.

I didn't think I needed a new shade for my bedroom. Then I saw a heat-fusible roller shade kit in the clearance aisle at Joann. Red stickers work like magic. This particular one promised me that if I found a fabric I liked in that very store on that very day, it would join forces with me to make the gee-golly-keenest bedroom shade ever! And thus the hunt began.

I did find that perfect* fabric, and grabbed a bundle. Then home to the big cutting table.

Neat, huh? More subtle from a distance, but practically hollers my name in the up-close.

In addition to the fabric being 5839038 miles long, it's a geometric pattern, which meant that I had to get it perfectly straight to the edges of the shade. Because... I had to. I didn't take any pictures of the assembly process, but using this shade kit is quite simple. However. Have you ever folded king-size sheets by yourself? Working with a big, uncut length of fabric is a bit like doing that. With both hands asleep. Which is why there are no photos -- arms not long enough.

Once the length of fabric is in place, all you have to do is iron, iron, iron your way to a funktastic new shade! It's not very light-blocking, but the finished product is pretty cool as a detail. Worth the hassle. Oh and definitely worth the $5 it cost me for the kit.

P.S. My bedroom is never ever actually this bright. I had to take a flash-photo to show what was going on.

*There is no such thing as perfection in anything. Ever.
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