Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May Update

Apparently, if you don't actually click Publish Post, it doesn't publish. Imagine that! Daily Polish:

Yup, gold again! (And a fairly bad job too...) I wanted to see how it looks over the darker color. Since this one is new to me, I don't yet know if it's more opaque, translucent, or if it has awesome color-change properties like some polishes I bought as a set awhile back. It's very much affected by the dark polish underneath, not nearly as bright and shiny this time.

For my next trick, erm, photo, I give you not a photo, but a graph:

Hey! Look! A DOWNWARD slope! For reals! I've got a conference coming up with a LOT of travel time, so I should be able to get another chunk of yarn turned into fabric this month too. Amazing what happens when you don't buy any yarn and actually finish things! Speaking of finishing things, I did in fact finish that scarf, and now have 39.05 miles of yarn, with nearly 3 already knit up in the blanket, and another 2.5/3 to go. Just keep knitting...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Nearly There!


Color is Cover Girl's Hue Thrill Me, again. I was hoping it was translucent enough to have the gold shine through, but I should have used the other dark color that I know is less opaque. Tomorrow will probably be the shiny gold again, because I like shiny things!

Today is the last day of May. I have 9 repeats done on a 13 repeat scarf:

I can so do this. I may need to break my rule of only the blanket at home until it's finished, but I will have this sucker washed and blocking tonight, even if I'm laying it out to dry at 11:59. Please, do not let me be struck by lighting on my way home from work* because I have said this!

* I'll forgive the Powers that Be if I get struck on my way to work, because hey, day off of work and probably the rest of the week off if I'm all lightning struck and all.


The (Week-) Daily Polish, since I don't typically bother on the weekends:

Ferme Quick Enamel color 01. This is a Japanese nail polish left by a friend over the clear base coat. I removed the old stuff, since the fingers weren't all that hot anymore. It's always a conundrum, the fingers get chipped but the toes are fine, so I don't need to re-do the toes, but I want them all to match. Do I re-do the fingers to match the toes, remove the toes and re-start, or just leave them non-matching? This time, I removed it all for matchy-ness.

Secondary awesome:

We celebrated the final payment to our ginormous student loans with ginormous burgers. Ridiculous Burgers, to be exact. Along with champagne, a pie each (chocolate pudding for me, lemon meringue for Lee, this crust recipe), homemade onion straws, guacamole, and an assortment of other toppings you can read about here. The burgers were actually dinner for two days, and while not as good the second day, still awesome!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Today's Daily Polish:

Sparkly! Because it's Friday and I can. Wet'n'Wild's 407A, the sparkly one. Yes, my middle finger managed to get messed up somehow. I'll live. My other hand is not so hot along the edges due to some burnt-on lamb-based gravy and steel wool. I generally do my nails over breakfast, reading a few pages from a book as well.

Secondary photo:

As (somewhat facetiously) promised, breakfast! This week breakfast has been a banana and a slice of cake, along with tea of some sort (Earl Grey today). I made a cake (Lady Cake from Joy of Cooking).  It was supposed to be cake truffles for a charity event, but my mind was addled and it never got finished in time. Could not focus to save my life that evening. So, I used it to learn how to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream and decorated it with a Sierpinski square fractal (cool site).  See:

Not the best decorating job, but you get the idea. I need a larger cake and a smaller decorating tip to really get a good design going on. I don't think I particularly like the Swiss Meringue frosting; it's not bad, but I prefer more solid frostings and have always loved decorator's frosting with 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp almond flavoring. Good for the repertoire in case it's called for, but I probably won't be using it too often. Maybe for macarons...it might be good there...hmmm....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

An Ikebana

Today's Daily Polish:

Color is L'Oreal Creme #254, Spirited Plum, and the bottle is nearly finished! Wooo! One or two more times and it'll be done - and then I have a second bottle of the same one to use. D'oh! Not that big a deal, I like this one, it dries quickly and is a pretty nice color, typically.

Today's secondary picture:

Ikebana, with a poor neglected spinning wheel in the background. And our degrees, if you're wondering what's framed back there.

It's been awhile since an ikebana post. Mostly because I haven't photographed any of my arrangements this year so far. I've had a couple of nice ones, but they have either had bits that I wait for the bloom and something else shrivels up or I wait too long to arrange them at home and they are no longer looking so hot. Or I just forget to photograph them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More Polish

Today's Daily Polish:

Lancome's Vernis Absolu in Nude 3. I usually layer my nailpolish for a couple of days until it stops drying in a reasonable timeframe, then take it off and start over again. I've had nearly all of these for probably close to ten years. I don't think I've purchased any since starting college in '03. And I still have way too many!

Today's secondary picture:

All the nailpolish. All 25 bottles of it. I swear, it multiplies when I'm not looking. I actually got most of these from a neighbor back in high school, when she was getting rid of the business-y nailpolish she wouldn't be using anymore. I believe it was the summer I was starting an internship at an engineering firm. She gave me a fairly large bag of nailpolish, and I've got most of it left!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Daily Polish

No, not kielbasa and pierogis. In an attempt to blog more often, I bring you...The Daily Polish!

Today's color is a clear base coat followed by Cover Girl's Hue Thrill Me. I'm trying to use as much of my consumables before leaving Japan as possible. I brought all of the makeup and toiletries I had when I got here, and may need to actually purchase a lotion or soap/body wash as I'm getting really close to zero. Same with lipstuff. Nailpolishes, on the other hand, are not disappearing so quickly, even though I've been trying to paint my fingers and toes often to use up polish, stop biting them, and be pretty. The bottles just last so long and don't go bad, they take forever to finish!

In addition to a stunning picture of my (hopefully non-smudged) fingernails, I plan to post a second picture of...something!  Could be a current WIP, could be breakfast, could be my flowers, could be something completely different. Today's secondary picture:

This is my current carry-along project. I started this Illusion Snowflake Scarf (Ravelry) on the 14th, and hope to have it finished by the end of the month. Given the current pace and the fact that it's a week 'til the end, should be do-able. I only work on it walking to and from work, do a few rows at lunch, and knit some more if I'm reading e-mail or papers. Home is the huge blanket only. The scarf is about 1/4 of the way done so far. Really easy pattern, love the yarn, wish I could have found a lighter blue as the lightest instead of going all the way to navy blue, but it works.

Looks like this is the second month in a row where my yarn count is going in the correct direction!

Friday, May 20, 2011

What's goin' on?

Blog silence for awhile. Not that that's new or anything. Must take more and better pictures so I can blog about projects midway rather than just the finished ones. I always find the midway posts more interesting on blogs I read, I just don't seem to have interesting things to say or take pictures for mine.

Ah well.

Recently, I bought a bunch of plants. I like plants, though I've killed all that I've tried to grow. We had some mint and oregano seeds that if I were watering other plants anyway, I'd try to grow those too.  I bought five little ones from the dollar store and arranged them in a pot:

Sure, they'll outgrow the pot soon enough, but that's okay, they're pretty now and given my track record may not ever actually live that long. I also got some pretty flowers from the flower shop, put them in pots, and planted the seeds in some of them because the flowers won't last that long, I'm sure:

All the pots had dirt from last year (or the year before) when they were planted, so I just used that. Oddly enough, four out of the five pots have tiny little sprouts. Only two of them are purposefully seeded, so I guess we'll see if it's weeds or mint from two years ago or something else entirely that is growing in my plants!

On the knitting front, more Rhiannon while out and about and at work (no photo), a way-cool illusion scarf I started when I had to be in on Saturday (no photo either, it's still at work!), and the blanket:

Really hoping I get this one done for a 1-year anniversary gifting...but as of right now, I'm honestly not sure if I'll make it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Plus Bunches

I recently purchased a pattern for a tank top as a layering piece for my camping gear. I prefer a bra tank to wear as a base layer, rather than a sports bra, and while I've been looking, I haven't yet found one I like in my size. I've found a couple great ones, but they weren't in my size and I couldn't try on comparable ones to see what size I should order online. Ones that have been in my size have been not quite right for one reason or another - mostly straps that are too thin. I want nice, thick straps so that with the backpack, I'm not getting any uncomfortable digging going on. To that end, I found the perfect pattern, Butterick 5609, had a real hassle getting the printable version, and managed to make it just barely in time for a trial run on a 5-day bike trip over Golden Week vacation (details here).

Of course, I haven't taken pictures yet, but I will! Since I was getting everything out and using my sewing machine, I thought it would be a good time to delve into the sewing stash. I have fabric and patterns for a few shorter sleeved button-downs that will be perfect for "cool biz" starting June 1, when you can wear more comfortable clothes to work in Japan. It already being May, I figured I'd better get started so I can wear them rather than taking the supplies back to the US as stash!

I fixed the bobbin case (it needed a bit of sandpaper to one edge), finished the crafting tool holder that was nearly done, made the tank top that turned out to be perfect for my purposes, and now have nine other projects cut out and waiting for sewing. Nine seven, I finished three and found another box bag ready to go. Nearly all of which need something purchased before I will be able to complete them. I have a shirt that needs some seam binding, four shirts that need buttons (two that still need to be cut out!), and another shirt that needs fabric - I had extra fabric that worked well as a contrasting color for a pattern I own, I just need a coordinating main color now. At least the biggest pain in the butt is done, almost all of the pieces are cut out and nearly ready to go. The button down shirts were the most questionable. I have a bunch of purple and black linen, but not technically enough for the two shirts of each I wanted to make, so some finangling was necessary (and still is for the black...) to cut it all out correctly.

Now to actually do the easy part...