September 29, 2009


Holy moly I'm tired. I had to get up early, with an alarm clock, like a normal person today. And also last Friday. You see, I have a job again. Nothing much mind you, easy stuff that pays what feels like minimum wage for Santa Barbara. But minimum wage is at least a paycheck, which is much better than the nothing I've been getting. The first two weeks is just training, so only 4 hours a day. This is both good and bad; good because it lets me transition back into a working person again (outside the home at least), and bad because we could really use a full-time paycheck. I think in this case the good outweighs the bad though, so I'm cool with it.

You may be aware that today is DS's birthday, and that he is officially 30. Last week was also my friend Sam's birthday. To celebrate, we're having a joint party here at our apartment tomorrow. Thus, I spent the weekend cleaning (with DS's help), seriously cleaning the craft room/office (SERIOUSLY; as in filed 6 months worth of floating papers and found all the carpet and desk space!), and then doing other things. For example, I made a super sweet birthday banner out of felt and fabric (photos and a tutorial to follow when I'm not exhausted), and because I love him, a LOT of peanut butter balls for DS. Also lots of earrings for Sam for her birthday (with major design help from Juliana!). Those last three things didn't get finished over the weekend though, so I finished them tonight. Oh crap, scratch that. I have more PB balls to dip in chocolate. *sigh* Hey, I get off at 12:30 tomorrow!

Well, as long as I get to sleep soon (it's 10:09 right now), I should be well rested for the festivities tomorrow. In the mean time, here are some photos I've been meaning to share for a long time.

Felix and Winston, crow hunting. Not that they'd know what to do with one. I'm positive Winston would run away in terror if one actually came to the window instead of taunting him from the power lines.

A rare moment of shared love. They did this a lot as kittens, but not so much anymore.

Also, it's pretty rare that I can get decent photos of Felix. She's not very photogenic.

I love how he has his leg sprawled over her. He takes up so much space!

Look at them holding hands!

She really is a pretty cat. I'm happy to finally have some pictures to show that.

Did I ever show you these? They're my Settlers of Catan cookies, made the first night that the group of six of us that regularly play games together got to play this particular game. We had needed the 6 player expansion, and the game stores were sold out for a long time.

This is homemade royal icing, dyed with food coloring, and piped with different tips onto that break and bake sugar cookie dough (I could only make so much from scratch in one night).

Here they are laid out like the game board. Blue is the ocean (ports), yellow is wheat, black is ore, green is forest, white is wool, and red is brick. That one lonely cookie with only yellow sprinkles is the desert.

The cookies were a lot of fun to make, though my icing designs got sloppier as they went, because I ended up being late. Not really a quick project. But tasty!

September 24, 2009


My mother requested a custom scarf as a present for someone. She wanted something in purple that included hearts. I've been studying anything woven I can ever since I bought my loom, so I knew a heart pattern was possible. Of course, I had never done anything other than a plain weave, with my only experiments thus far being in color placement in the warp and weft. So I decided to take this challenge! And it was a challenge, though thankfully one I could handle. I tried several different techniques from the only book about weaving in the entire Black Gold Library system (which is a terrible shame), and finally settled on the loop effect. It would seem inlays are best made with different yarns, with the thicker yarn used for the pattern. The contrast helps make the pattern visible. Since I was using two identical yarns (other than color), I had to make the pattern really stand out to keep it from blending into the background. The end result is an identifiable shape that is puffy. I have to say, I really like it.

looks pretty cool

one sided
hard to weave in the ends of the pattern yarn...

I do think I could get the pattern on both sides, though it would increase the working time by quite a bit, and use a lot more yarn. I'll have to experiment.

I have an order for six scarves to be sold in a family member's store. I decided that I needed to buy yarn in bulk to help keep costs down (seriously, yarn in my local craft store is EXPENSIVE), and found this site called Smiley's Yarns. I'm almost ashamed to admit how much I bought.. but I will use it, and a good selection on hand will help my creativity. And I keep telling myself that at least I took advantage of the expensive flat rate shipping; got my money's worth there! More importantly, they have some HUGE discounts on their sale yarns, so the cost of materials going into each project will be drastically reduced. It's kind of a weird site though, and I got nervous today and checked the BBB, just in case. Luckily, they have a good rating. Probably should have checked that before giving them my CC information.. :P oh well, what are you going to do?

Finally, the 2009 ornament is coming along, and they should be done by November 1. I am taking pre-orders, which will help me know how many to make. So if you want one, let me know! You won't have to pay until they are ready for shipment, so don't worry about possibly hating the design (though so far, I have gotten really good feedback from the people I've shown it to)!

September 20, 2009


Today I got the most rewarding message via my Etsy store. A previous customer was writing to tell me how much they loved my pen dangles, and wondering if they could get any more. The note then devolved into some extended ramblings where they touched on various things they loved about my other products. This part was in many ways better than the first. It reminded me of how I might write to someone if I were feeling like a fan girl over something/someone I loved. It was without a doubt the most flattering message I've ever gotten from a stranger regarding my work. I would make anything for them! It was very inspiring.

I had the pleasure of watching two movies yesterday with some friends. One was born and lived the first 12 years of her live in Colombia, and I felt as if I were providing her with an important cultural experience. I mean, Robin Hood Men in Tights was a significant part of my childhood! And who hasn't see Monty Python and the Holy Grail a hundred times? She had seen the first movie before, but this time she watched it with earnest and found many things in it to love that she hadn't seen before. Both movies helped her understand some of the sayings we all use without thinking about it. It was a lot of fun watching them with her and seeing her enjoy them.

Did you know that Stargate SG-1 is available for viewing on Hulu? Currently 7 seasons, and they're adding the rest. I had never seen this show before, but I had noticed it on Sci-fi a lot, and decided to give it a try. It's actually pretty good, though of course it has an element of cheese to it. It's hard to find good sci fi that doesn't have an element of cheesy, so I'll over look it. You should give it a try.

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September 16, 2009

Birthday updates and more

Today I saved the life of a Western Scrub-Jay. At least I'm hoping I did. I found it in my yard when I went to get the mail, and immediately knew something was wrong with it when it didn't fly away from me. I think its wing was broken. But I called around and found the phone number for the local wildlife care center, who told me how to safely catch it, and then I turned it over to them. In return for their help, I have offered my volunteer services for as long as I'm unemployed. We'll see how that goes.

A pretty, and delicious pair of cupcakes that DS and I treated ourselves to for my birthday.

DS and myself.

My birthday cake!! My friend Sam made this for me. It is super moist chocolate cake with a later of raspberry sauce in it. SOOOO yummy! I'm still enjoying it :)

In the way of presents, in addition to the cake above, I received the new Alton Brown book (which is AWESOME) and a starter kit for Art Clay (handmade silver stuff, here I come). DS is excited about both; the first because Alton Brown is the coolest, and the second because it came with a butane torch. He's wanted one ever since a friend brought one to a cookout and used it to make caramelized fruit (and also torching things).

*le sigh* so cool. And the book wrapper comes of into a full size poster. Woo!

September 14, 2009

Creative Roundup

I've mentioned a few projects I've been working on from time to time, but haven't been posting pictures. This post seeks to fix that.

Bookmark for Luke's birthday, consisting of copper, sodalite, unakite, and hematite.

Pen dangle for Luke's birthday, consisting of betel nut, wood, and a sleep goblin charm.


Curtain close up, and also the cat tree.

Nine patch quilt for the Drama Queen's new baby.

My "signature" on the quilt, consisting of Sleep Goblin, my initials, and the year.

One of the new scarves in the store.

September 11, 2009

Conversation with the Plumber*

Plumber: So Sleep, are the kids at school?

Me: *confused* I don't have any kids..

Plumber: Really? Then who do the toys all over the place belong to?

Me: *looking around frantically* Toys?! I have toys? Where?!

Plumber: You know, the drumset and other things in the living room.

Me: Those belong to us.

Plumber: Oh! Are you a musician?

Me: Um, sort of? *looks at the piano* But the drums are for the game Rock Band.

Plumber: *confused, maybe slightly embarrassed* Oh. *perking up* Well, if you need to practice.. *grin*

Me: No really, it's okay.

*Plumber came yesterday to snake the kitchen drain. Stupid thing just stopped draining. No slowing down first, no warning. Just BAM! You can no longer use the kitchen sink or dishwasher! My downstairs neighbor works in construction, and was kind enough to help me the night before, but we only managed to make a mess. As it turns out, our pipes are old and nasty enough to be disintegrating, so all we managed to do was extract a lot of oil black water that I was informed was rotten pipe. It was disgusting, to say the least.

The whole toy conversation really threw me. I had no idea what he could be talking about when he said there were toys all over the place. My first thought went to the set of wind up tub toys I have (because I really like wind up toys, and who could resist a submarine that says "deep seeker" on the side??). But no, he meant our video games. No one has ever assumed I was old enough to have children big enough to play with something the size of Rock Band instruments. I mean really, they're not exactly small. I'm thinking a kid would need to be at least, what, six? I'm still carded for alcohol and given suspicious looks from time to time for crying out loud. What would I be doing with a six year old?

Originally, this encounter had me slightly embarrassed at the lack of order in my apartment. The more I think about it, the more it just makes me feel old. Maybe this guy is just so out of touch with technology that the only scenario he could come up with is that I must have children? But he wasn't all that old either, 40 at the most. And my parents are in their 40's and know about video games...

Whatever. Screw this, I am not old! Even if I will be 28 tomorrow, that is young baby! And I will play video games until the day I die, so there!

September 07, 2009

Luke's Visit: July 3 - July 6, 2009

Location: Paseo Nuevo Mall, rear steps
I love the tile work on these stairs.

Location: State St, near the Amtrak station
This tree is CRAZY! Each set of branches is like a perfect star.

Location: Stearn's Wharf
I've cropped out the bird poop covered thing the camera was sitting on. Helps a lot!

Location: Corner of Stearn's Wharf and State St.
Luke wanted to post with palm trees. He's very fond of them.

Location: State St, near the yummy danish bakery
Luke is petting a statue of a squirrel. He's nice to animals.

Location: State St., in a side thing full of sculptures.
Luke looks over Ben Franklin's shoulder to see what he's reading.

Location: Same as above.
The french horn player of a trio looks at the cellist with longing.

Location: Same as above.
DS "smiles" for the camera. He's a jerk.

Location: Craft room, my apartment.
Winston and Felix decide they really like the air mattress we bought for Luke.

Location: Santa Barbara Winery
Luke says "cheers"

Location: Same as above
DS and I demonstrate the uplifted pinky technique.

Location: Santa Barbara Zoo
Luke shows us how awesome the frog mask is.

Location: EWWW! Exhibit, Santa Barbara Zoo
Luke with Gecko on glass

Location: Santa Barbara Zoo
Pretty Leopard

Location: Same as above
Sleep/Scary Leopard

Location: California Trails Exhibit, Santa Barbara Zoo
Luke poses in front of the new condor exhibit

Location: Santa Barbara Zoo
Scary Lion. GRR!

September 01, 2009


1. It's September 1. What? I seriously don't understand how time can move so quickly here.

2. This is the last week of my 2 week temp job. It's a shame, because I enjoy it. I also don't have anything lined up for after, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

3. I had a very weird dream last night. Weird in terms of both storyline and characters. Why was I dreaming of people I've known since 1st grade but haven't seen since high school? Not sure, though I would guess that the pictures showing up on Facebook of my skipped 10 year reunion have something to do with it. The weirdest thing? I dreamed of this guy, Buddy Sampson, who in fifth grade I had a huge crush on. I remember I sent him one of those notes in class with the yes and no check boxes. He checked no. He seems sorry he couldn't make me happy, but I did not forgive him.

I don't remember much about him from high school (I'm beginning to find I don't remember much about high school period, but that's another story), and I certainly haven't seen him since. So why dream about him now, 10 years after seeing him, and 20 after caring? Who knows, but the dream was at least fun. There were speed boats and seals and beluga whales. So thanks for that Buddy!

4. In a normal place, September would bring to mind aspects of Fall, such as harvest, pumpkins, colored leaves, and cooler temperatures. Here we're having a heat wave, sleep with THREE fans in the bedroom, and all the palm trees still looks like their normal stupid selves. Fall is my favorite season, and I'm a little afraid of how spending one here will affect me. Time makes no sense without seasons! Maybe that's why I feel flabbergasted over it being September.

5. My husband and I watched Major League last night. I had never seen it, and that upset him very much. I have to say, it's a great movie. I think it made him very happy to listen to me getting excited about it.

6. Which reminds me, married life is awesome. I don't think I say that enough.