Sunday, April 27, 2008

All in the family

It has recently been brought to my attention that my mom actually reads my blog. Apparently my sister taught her about the "Older Posts" link at the bottom of my page, and she spent an afternoon catching up on previous posts. Its a good thing I haven't been writing in this blog for very long... She also said she's going to share it with one of my aunts. I know they are family but I'm flattered that they're interested in my ramblings nonetheless.

Not a lot to update on. Still chugging away on the current bridesmaid wrap. Its actually moving along more quickly than the last one, but its still rather monotonous work. I would say I'm probably about halfway done.

Pattern: Michaela (free pattern from
Yarn: Knitpicks Shadow in Campfire Heather

So far I am really happy with the pattern, and I can't wait to see how it looks when blocked. Its pretty easy, but since its a 16-row repeat, I still haven't got it memorized. However, there are something like 17 pattern repeats across, so I generally just have to look at the pattern once at the start of each row and I'm good for the rest of the way across.

I also have a new little friend. His name is Huey.

Huey has color calibrated my monitor and now he sits by my laptop and monitors the ambient lighting and apparently adjusts my monitor as needed. I got Huey because I would like to start making some prints from my photography again. And as I once learned back in the days when I was dating "he who must not be mentioned for fear of my head exploding" there is nothing so disappointing as sending what you think is a beautiful picture to the printer only to have something very different come back because what you see on your monitor is not actually what Photoshop thinks its showing you.

Huey was a surprisingly cheap option that got decent reviews. I think I may be a victim of the slight reddish cast people mentioned (i.e. my pictures still look slightly more red on my monitor than they do when they print out) but over all its pretty close. And I'm happy with it. Especially for the price.

One of the main reasons I wanted to make sure I could get reliable prints is because I have started an etsy shop. You can see it here. For those of you not familiar with etsy, its sort of a storefront for people who want to sell their crafts and artwork and whatnot. You can list an item for 20 cents and etsy only charges you a small percentage of what you sell each item for. So if you don't sell anything, you are only out the 20 cents.

I haven't sold anything yet, and I'm not holding out high hopes really... especially when you see all the gorgeous photography that others have done. But I figured it wouldn't hurt to post a few. The print company I just signed up with sent me my free test prints and they look pretty good. They also have an option to print blank greeting cards using whatever photos you want, so I was thinking those might have a better chance of selling. And even if they didn't, I could always use them myself. Worth thinking about.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Things I love...

...made by other people.

1. LaurenAlane's birds, especially the cake toppers. You can check her out at

photo from

2. Origami bouquets. I still love my flowers but these are a close second. She has some tea stained ones that are pretty awesome too. Its probably good I didn't find these until it was too late to change my mind or I'd still be waffling back and forth. you can see more of her flowers at

Another gorgeous origami bouquet, this one was made by a fellow craftster for her own wedding.


3. Anything made by Howlindoggie of etsy, especially this necklace. It was hard to pick just one of her pieces to share. I don't think I'll manage anything like this at our jewelry class...


More of her designs can be seen at

I've been cruising etsy for inspiration for our jewelry class but its kind of hard to know what to look for since I'm not sure exactly what we will be doing. I do have a few ideas, but seeing what some people can make is intimidating!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

drinky drinky

neither of us had anything particularly pressing to get done yesterday, so we decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and go out and do something. mr. z had stopped in at a wine shop in Grandview a while back and found out that they had occasional wine tastings. So after dinner at a pub down the street, we walked down to the Twisted Vine to check it out.

it was an interesting experience to say the least. there were a couple people there when we got there having one of those intellectual conversations where they spout crap without fact to back it up. this one centered mainly on how we are being destroyed by the pharmaceuticals in the water these days, though no one had a response when i asked if they'd heard specific numbers. all the articles i've read contain vague mentions of parts per billion and parts per trillion... which are practically negligible, especially when compared to other pollutants in the water. but whatever.

there was a very friendly, very chatty woman doing the pours and i must say, it was an enjoyable tasting. we only really cared for one of the six wines (and the delicious port wine cheese ball) but somehow we ended up bringing how an assortment of six different wines anyway. i thought about blogging them, but think I will document them as we drink them.

Hunt Country
Fingerlakes region of New York
Vidal Blanc Ice Wine

this is actually not one of last night's wines, though we did crack it open and drink it last night after the Hispanic performance that followed the wine tasting. this is a dessert wine from one of the NY wineries we stopped at on our annual Christmas eve wine tour. We also had their ruby port, which we've already consumed, that i preferred to the ice wine. But then, i do have a thing for port. Must say though, its a mighty tasty ice wine. if you like ice wines, i'd recommend trying it.

happy spring!

it looks like its finally going to stay spring time here! its so much easier talk myself into running when its not all blustery and miserable out. mr. z and i even took the dogs to Goodale park and i messed around with the camera a bit.

the magnolias are in full bloom and they look gorgeous! and now that there is some greenery, i got to play around with the infrared filters a little bit. its been so long since i used them, it took me a while to remember how to process them.

this is what the south side of Goodale looks like in infrared. its not much in the way of artistic composition, but it was a good reminder of how much i enjoy messing around with it. the trees are still a little thin... the more leaves the better when it comes to IR.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Baby knitting

I finally have a knitting project to show. I must say, I'm only moderately pleased with it. The pattern was quick and easy and I like the idea of the final product. My problem?? The yarn. I am officially a yarn snob, methinks.

Its a baby blanket/hoodie combo, and it is actually quite cute. I knit it for a friend who is not pregnant, but has another friend who is. This friend of a friend is actually have twins. So I also have a pale sage green to knit a second one, as well as enough to knit a hat and some booties for each baby.

In the quest for something affordable and baby-proof (ie washable) I went with acrylic. The original yarn in the pattern is a cotton, but all the reviews said it pilled terribly. And I was afraid anything superwash would stretch out all wonky after reading The Book of Yarn. So I went with an acrylic. Its Vanna's Choice from Lion Brand (I feel dirty just typing that). But it had the colors we liked and it was washable... and it got fairly good reviews.

In all honesty, it was fine to knit with. I didn't have any problem with the yarn splitting really, and it did soften up a LOT after a trip through the washer and dryer. And odds are the recipient will never know the difference between that and any other yarn. But I know. It just didn't feel quite right to me, it wasn't the same as knitting with wool. Don't get me wrong, it turned out fine, nice even. But I don't know if I'll ever use the Vanna's Choice again. I'm just too spoiled.

One thing I did not count on with the acrylic. Or rather I did count on it and shouldn't have, had to do with weaving in the ends. With wool, the scales catch each other and you can weave in a few inches of tail and it will usually stay put. Not this stuff, they wiggled loose a bit in the wash/dry cycle, just enough to be noticeable and had to be woven back in. But there was one join, roughly in the middle of the blanket that wouldn't stay so I tied a knot and cut the tails. The shit won't even stay tied its so slippery, I'm afraid its going to come undone and unravel itself!! I'm going to send it back through the wash once I finish the second one to see if it will stay put or if I'm going to have to reknit the second half of it...

Roses are...

Orange? And brown and ivory and champagne?? They are if they are made of fabric! You may remember from previous posts, that I was contemplating the possibility of using fabric roses for my wedding bouquets. Then I finally decided to just go for it because I really liked the look and to hell with the idea that you MUST have flowers at a wedding. Well,Therussian, sent me a picture of some sample roses the other night to make sure I liked them before she proceeded to make a ton of them.

I was torn between having the finished edges or the raw edges showing and we decided to go with the raw edges. I think the silk one looks awesome (the one on top in the orange-ish red). There are also two other colors of silk but she hadn't made them up yet in case I decided to go with the finished edges instead.

The color in the photo is a little wonky, I assume because of the lighting when she took the picture, but she assured me that the colors look really good together. YAY! She thought she should be done and able to send them to me sometime in early May, so I am really excited to see how they all look.

In the end, it didn't really save me any money over going with real flowers. But I couldn't find any real flowers that I really liked and I'm not a flowery type gal anyway, so I am super happy that they worked out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Looking hot...

... quite literally. I must generate massive amounts of heat when I run. There were people who ran the whole race all bundled up in running jackets, or with hats and gloves. S and I only made it three or four miles before we started looking for the guys so we could hand off our long sleeve shirts. There was a point where I thought I would be willing to run naked I was so warm. Of course then the race was over and we about froze our asses off on the walk back home.

I also apparently look like I'm going to die, regardless of where I am on the race course. There are some pictures of us in the campus area(roughly mile four or five), when I still felt really good but I look like hell. S on the other hand is smiling directly into the camera, looking all cute and peppy. No big deal.

BUT then you have the following picture, which I'm pretty sure is coming down the homestretch when I wanted nothing more than to have my legs amputated so I would never be tricked into running 13 miles again. And again, S is smiling at the camera, looking just as happy to be there as she did at mile three. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU WOMAN???

But I will share the photo anyway, because I think we rock for getting out there and finishing. And keeping our miles under 10 minutes the whole way.

Ken likes to point out how tall I look in this picture.
At least I have that going for me.

The picture quality is less than spectacular, which I guess is to be expected when you pirate a low res file from the official race photographer's website.

Clearly I've recovered, because I'm already looking for another one to sign up for. And maybe this time I will take my training a little more seriously. I'd reallllllllly like to get one in under two hours.

Monday, April 14, 2008

long time gone

It seems like its been a really long time since I last posted. I guess in the greater scheme of things, it hasn't been THAT long, but its been long enough. The few random people who do check in here are going to stop coming by if I don't post something...

I feel like there is lots of stuff to share, its been a busy week or so around here. Between school and work, and then this Saturday a good friend and I ran the Capital City Half Marathon here in Columbus. For being fairly undertrained, we performed surprisingly well, crossing the line in 2:01:19. There will be some pictures of that at some point, no doubt. That was followed by brunch at Northstar with an ever increasing number of people and then an afternoon of laying around feeling nauseous and beaten down. Thankfully I had Sunday off work and got to meet the gals for breakfast out again, this time at Tasi, which was fantastic.

Probably the main reason I'm finally getting around to posting today is that I have a test this afternoon. And one tomorrow afternoon. And nothing gets me motivated to do things like needing to study. In fact, I've already dusted, emptied the dishwasher, fixed something I broke in the process of dusting, and contemplated taking a load of crap to the goodwill drop off. What I have NOT done is study. Seriously, I'm over school. At this point, I don't care how to treat gerd, or peptic ulcer disease, or whatever the hell I'm supposed to be able to regurgitate later today. Its springtime!!

So to start things off, I have been tagged by one knittycrafter to do a meme (or whatever these blogland things are called). I saw her get tagged by devonshire and had a sneaky suspicion that I might be next. Here's the rules: Pick a book at least 123 pages long. Open that book to page 123. Find the fifth sentence and post the next three. Then tag five other people to do the same.

I was reading Enchantment, by Orson Scott Card, again but I finished it yesterday. I have not started anything else so I will use that one. Its a good read, I recommend it.
"Esther saw her son in the still water. His was the only face the water could have shown her, for what other living person was linked to her by blood and love? My Itzak, my Vanya, what is happening to you?"

Unfortunately I don't have five blogging friends. In fact I don't really have anyone that I know reads this blog regularly and also has a blog of their own aside from one or two people (one of whom tagged me). I know there are some people who visit fairly regularly, based on the site report but they are all quiet folks. So I'm going to tag Ros, and while I'm at it, I'll tag Ms. Maylily as well, just to force her to post because I'm in need of some reading material. Mwahaha...

I was going to post a knitting project and maybe some wedding updates, but to avoid making this post even longer, I will instead share a photo from the archives.

According to the blogger forum on ravelry, some folks disagree with the idea of posting photos that have nothing to do with the content of the post, but my thought is, who doesn't love a pretty picture? And besides, photography is (or was and hopefully will be again) one of my favorite "crafts" and one I like to share just as much as my knitting.

Happy Monday to all :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

something blue... among other things

I already posted my something old and my something new, and the something borrowed is a bit up in the air at the moment. I haven't really nailed down anything specific, though I may be borrowing something from one mrs. lahman (whose name still just doesn't sound right to me, even after all this time). But I do have my something blue...

Mr. Z went and picked up our rings on Tuesday. I wish I had a better picture but my lowly 50mm lens will only focus so close, which is further proof that I really do need a macro lens (but that's a post for another day). The dark stones are actually bright blue sapphires, though they don't look like much of any color at all in the picture.

I did try taking some pictures of both our rings together with my smaller camera but of course its batteries died immediately following the picture taking. And do you think there is another pair of AA batteries in this apartment?? Of course not.

There has been a fair amount of paper crafting (if you will) being done around here as well in the last few days. I have all the components of the program slides cut out and ready to go. The assembly will wait until we've actually printed the programs, but for now its nice to know that I've done as much as I can. Here is a sample, its the only one the I actually glued together entirely, and its being modeled by an unprinted program that was sacrificed for the sake of design.

The brown band is some scrapbooking paper I found at Michael's and cut into strips. Its sort of handmade looking, with lighter fibers running through it. The square and leaf are cut out of paper scraps leftover from invitation assembly.

And lastly, I've made about 80 favor tags. Why 80? Because that was all the cream colored tags that Michael's had so now I've got to go scouting around other Michael's to see if any one else has them. The original favor plan was just to tie some ribbon and the tag around some sparklers for the guests to light once it got dark. But the tags are giant compared to the sparklers so we (by which I mean I) decided that maybe we should put an apple with a tag at each place setting, along with the beribboned sparklers. Since we're getting married in an orchard (albeit a cherry orchard, but you make do with what you have) and we'll be using apples for the centerpieces, it seemed appropriate. Provided I can talk Mr. Z's brother into sparing a bit of his apple harvest for the occasion.

This was a test run on an apple that was lying around, conveniently enough. It took me days to perfect the calligraphy, and even longer to write it on 80 tags. Or maybe I just used a stamp and a brown ink pad that allowed me to make 80 tags in a couple of hours, all with perfect calligraphic script. Again, the leaf is punched out of the leftover copper invitation paper.

Not that any of you care, but this picture provides me with further proof that I need a different, better focusing lens because the plane of focus is off. That probably actually has more to do with the user error than the lens in this case, but still...