Thursday, September 29, 2011


The last time I tried to donate platelets (and failed), one of the nice phlebotomists recommended that I try drinking a gallon of water the day before my donation. I had an appointment yesterday but I wasn't sure if she meant a gallon the day before or a gallon in the 24 hours leading up to my donation. So I did both. I started drinking water as soon as I woke up, until over the course of the day, I'd drunk a gallon. I also set the clock about 24 hours before my appointment counting that water as part of that gallon.

It worked. The first stick went easy peasy. The second one was a little more painful, but not excruciating. Oddly enough, today, the former stings more than the latter. I watched The Shadow Strikes (from 1937) while I bled. Wow, no background music. At all.

I totally forgot to share these pictures from Palmetto Tat Days.
 Morning sun over the dining hall
 The lake, visible from the dining hall
Maxfield Parrish clouds on the way home.

Anyway, on Tuesday, I spotted this outside my office building.
My very first yarn bombing in the wild.

I quickly tatted this during my commute Tuesday and Wednesday (project, book, pattern and thread)

As you may remember, I totally screwed up the bind off on my socks. I have run a 'magic thread' through the loops (that I could find) to hold them until I can get them back on the loom. I suddenly realized last night that I could try on my sock. Here is the result:
That's right. I frogged it. Turns out, the sock was too small. I adjusted the loom and I'm going to start over.

Tonight is our Traveller game. It's so late 80's. For the second session in a row, we'll be dealing with bureaucracy and paperwork. Our characters got just over half of the signatures they need for their latest contract. And hopefully, have thrown their rivals off the track. I think the engineer is still upset about them derailing his race track plans (they invaded the region).

The GM handled it pretty well. We roleplayed the first couple interactions and then we just rolled dice. We all deal with bureaucracy and red tape in our everyday lives. We don't want to do so in our fantasy life as well.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm Home and I'm Tired (Palmetto Tat Days)

I am back home again from Palmetto Tat Days. My friend and I left Thursday morning and arrived at the site in time for supper. We did have a slight problem with my GPS but we called A's husband and he went to the Palmetto Tat Days' website and gave us the directions. We've corrected the problem and if it's at the same site next year, we're good.

We picked up our pre-paid stuff (this year's pattern cd, t-shirt, and kits) and started shopping in the vendor room. The Lacemaker was this year's featured vendor. Very dangerous people. I spent money. I did stick with my 'probably going to spend this much' budget, even if I didn't stick with my 'going to try to only spend this much' one. I bought some threads and some books, as well as a pair of split ring pliers. I had no idea such things existed but oh this will make my bracelets and other jewelry easier to make.

Some of the instructors also had stuff for sale. Some had kits, or books they'd written, or shuttles they'd made/decorated and one person had hand-dyed thread. Noooo, that's not dangerous to my bank balance.

My first class, on Friday morning,  was the Hearts Afire Cross by Sandra. It's all dimpled rings and even a column of dimpled split rings. I used Lizbeth size 20, I think it's Springtime. I can now do dimpled rings in confidence.

 My other class on Friday was a broomstick picot snowflake by Martha Ess. It's from her new book: Fun with Picots (I think that's the title). I bought a copy of it, by the way (and got her to sign it). She made broomstick picots easy. For some reason, I didn't take a picture of my snowflake (I made it dark purple) but here's the first one completed in class.
They had the banquet Friday night. We had crackers (you know, those British things you pull apart with a large pop, they have silly paper crowns or hats, silly jokes & a tiny toy inside).

After that was the attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the most tatters tatting the same pattern at the same time. Yes, I am in those scenes. No, I won't tell you where or when.

One funny note about it, when Palmetto approached the Guinness folks, they thought Palmetto meant tattooing. Even they've never heard of tatting.

Georgia Seitz was the auctioneer and they auctioned off the quilt and wallhangings seen in the video. The money raised goes to scholarships, allowing people to attend Palmetto Tat Days who otherwise couldn't afford it. I bid on one thing but it quickly got too rich for my blood and I dropped out.

There was a night owl class after that but I wasn't feeling too well and headed up to our room. Riet was teaching that class and apparently it was a lot of fun. The sort of class that really fuels creativity.

We were up early for the Early Bird the next morning; it started at 6:30 am. It was a snowflake, one designed by Jane Eborall. I had a little bit of trouble starting but I managed to get one point done. After I made my 3rd mistake, and the one I couldn't easily fix, I decided it was time to stop working on it. No, it's not a hard pattern, I was just not fully awake and aware. They were silly mistakes.

After breakfast, I took Abby Small's Crystals n' Cuffs class. Oh wow. Very easy pattern and I want to make so many of these.

After lunch I checked my silent auction bids. I won a few, I lost a few. The auction closed at 3:15, during the afternoon class break.

I had another long (2 session) class in the afternoon. I took Erin Holloway's bangle class. I picked a kit that had huge beads in it so I decided to tat over 2 bangles instead of 1 and bracket the beads between bangles. Here's my bracelet after I finished the 1st set of bangles.
I have it posed on my drink bottle. About this time, when I held it up, I commented that it resembled a 1920's era beaded lampshade. Since I added so much to my bangle (tatting over 2, doing 2 sets), I ran out of thread. As soon as Erin has a chance, she'll send me more. I would have finished if I hadn't run out.

I may have gotten some of the timing wrong on the events but I had a great time. A and I headed home after breakfast on Sunday. We took our time. We stopped several times to stretch our legs, and so forth. I got home about 9 pm. So tired. But it was worth it.

Next post: what books I bought and other matters

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I've been doing (some pictures)

I've now tried kumihimo. Wow, it's easy. I started with the yarn from the kit (which was in Japanese, by the way). I couldn't read the kit instructions so I did what any 21st century computer savvy person would do: I turned to YouTube. I quickly found some instructions. Here's my 1st kumihimo braid. Something I learned, get something to hold the loose ends or they will tangle. 

Once that was done, I pulled out some ribbon yarn from an unsuccessful project and wound 4 lengths on spool winders. I put about 2-2.5 yards on each one and tied a knot to make a loose loop for later. Here's some shots of the braiding in progress, both front and back.

And here's a comparison of the two braids.

I finished that Saturday and pulled out some red and black embroidery floss. I have started a spiral pattern braid.

I have decided to enter this bracelet for my tatting entry at the State Fair.

Last week's Doctor Who (Night Terrors) was just creepy. A friend has an adopted child and he found it touching. Eventually. Anything with creepy toys is creepy.

Yes, I know what the anniversary is. I'm very quiet person and I usually grieve in private. I haven't been able to watch any of the memorial services, hurt too much. Yes, crying gives me a headache.

I've been involved in an interesting Fate (gaming) discussion on Google+. It has revolved around the Fate system and how it relates, or doesn't, to Old School Renaissance Gaming. One point in the discussion was that OSR is not a hard and fast point, it's a scale. For some points on the scale, Fate system is an excellent fit, with the exception of the high risk of character death. It relies more on player experience and input, unlike some of the more modern versions of DandD. In 1st edition DandD, the player would have to say, “I'm climbing up to look behind the statue” instead of 3rd edition's “I roll my search skill.”

It was not a good week at work. I spent most of the week frazzled and out of sorts. It was a short week but felt longer than usual.

I took a really long weekend, because we had a convention to go to. Friday through Tuesday, including travel days. This was a special gaming convention, in celebration of a friend's birthday. We finally got to meet his fiance. She's a really good cook and we decided that we like her. We ate some really good food; the China Bistro still has really great dumplings. They had a new one; pork and pumpkin. It was so nommy. We ate at Minerva's, an Indian restaurant. They play Indian music videos and movies (MTV, I think), which adds some entertainment. There was also the Shiny Diner; which I wish they'd open around here. They buy local foods and have jukeboxes at every table, with volume controls. The only 'drawback' is that everyone hears your selection, and vice versa.

Our home campaign of DandD 3.5e Forgotten Realms was Sunday, too. We ended early, because we made it out of one zone unexpectedly. Our GM didn't know if we would go attack something else or just leave. GM wanted to time to prep the next section. It was a trifle anticlimactic as we bribed our way out instead of killing everywhere we went. It was probably effective at hiding our trail, though.

After playing, we spent time discussing Dr. Who. Yes, we're geeks.

I re-read some of JD Robb's In Death stories. I've been wanting to re-read Memory in Death for awhile. Let's see, what else have I been reading. I finally read Changes by Jim Butcher. Now I want to read Ghost Story and the last story in Side Jobs. I need to finish The Meaning of Everything.

I went to the bookstore on Friday, cause my mood was so bad that I really needed the pickmeup. I bought a few books, although the one I was looking for wasn't there. I read Must Love Lycans, by Michele Bardsley this weekend, one of the books I picked up. I left the others in my car, so I would get something else done rather than just read all weekend.

Next weekend, I go visit my mom and the weekend after that is Palmetto's Tat Days. Then I have two more weekends and the State Fair begins. One weekend will be Historic Oakview Park event and the the other has the home Forgotten Realms game. I will not have a free weekend until the one before Halloween.

I got a recipe from a women's magazine the last time I was at Mom's. It's for no-machine ice cream. Here it is. I'd recommend 1.5 tsp of vanilla and definitely put it in the freezer, but it's delicious. I used splenda and lactose-free milk and it worked fine.
no machine homemade ice cream:
1 c whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs sugar
quart-size zip top plastic bag & seal
kosher salt
gallon-size plastic ziploc bag

Put 1st 3 ingredients in quart-size bag.
Combine 4 cups ice & ¼ cup Kosher salt in gallon-size plastic zip-top plastic bag
Place smaller bag inside big bag & seal big bag
Shake large bag vigorously for 6-8 minutes, do not squeeze bag
When smaller bag is plump & willowy, ice cream is ready
Remove smaller bag, wipe off salt & ice
Serve immediately as soft serve or freeze for 20 minutes for hard ice cream