Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Boom, Boom, Boom

This week is going by as fast as my posts are!
Sadly though I realize with as fast as the week is flying by it only means that my dear old friend Damo will be flying back to his lovely family in China this Sunday... sigh. But he has made the promise that he shall be back to live here again come the summer, so I wait. See this man is my muse, and the one true artist that gets me to thinking about my art, and what I do with it. As long as he's been gone, I feel as though my inspiration has been seriously dimmed. Until he gets back though the husbeast has been given the job of helping to track down old friends of his in the industry to aid in the job arena. Hellooooo Pixar, got a live one here for ya, anyone there, Pixxxxxar?
(There is currently an old, black, London Taxi sitting outside my work window. It's so cute, I wish I had one.)

Now finally as promised, on with the wonderful details from the millinery class this last Sunday. And yes it is a 3 week class on held on Sundays, from 10-4 across the bay in the hills, about 45 minutes from us.
The teacher is Wayne Winchern, and has been in the hat making business I believe since the 80's. He has a few kooky one that's for certain. Everything taught so far has just been vastly informative. We started off by making the brim and and crown to a sailor hat, out of buckram. Now the hat itself is not what I would have chosen to make myself, but I'm trying to make it work. Maybe I'll make it red and ship it down to my actress friend in LA. This process though has been exactly what I needed information wise. Buckram is a very sturdy sized cotton with holes wide enough to stick a needle through. As a frame it works wonders, it can also be steamed a stretched into any shape desired, or wetted and blocked into a shape using pinning.
The buckram is then sewn together, a wire edge is added to the brim, and eventually piece by piece fabric is sewn onto the buckram. Turns out that my process for making hats is relatively the same, but not as refined nor finished. But now, now it will be. I really am stoked for this chance to grow beyond what I've been doing otherwise. That sailor hat is still in the works, ie fabric needs to be added, and it needs to all be sewn together, but that's this Sunday's class.
The second hat that we worked on was a straw hat. I know ewh straw, but it's not just a hokey straw hat. We had the option of using the floppy brim form or the bell form hat. I went with the floppy in a cool grey/blue shade (the only one there!). Those hats were then wetted and blocked on a hat block. This process requires a lot of pulling and some roping off of the hat to make sure it stays put. Mine evolved into a bit of an art form. Not too sure if it'll look good on the head, but on the form it's a free flowing tricorn of sorts that has lots of movement. I think of it as being a contemporary tricorn, which shall be embellished accordingly. I have a little wooden pirate ship that I've been waiting to use with just the right hat. That and a skeleton key with lots of trim, and some feathers, sounds fun, non! I believe this weekend we'll be sizing those formed hats and adorning them.
So that so far has been my millinery class experience, a fun one with a bunch of really cool women all enjoying the art together. I keep thinking that I should take my hat frame and steam the living hell out of it and pull it into a nontraditional form if it's still possible. I feel so wicked for not being able to stick with the teacher's original intentions, but come on! It's horrendous.
Cheers for now,
I'm currently on the third block for the log cabin blanket for my FIL. Still not sure how big I'll be making it. Somewhere between 6-12 blocks.
PS I forgot to mention that if you click on the picts below you can see larger images of us goof balls.
PPS I just realized that my one year blogaversary is coming up here in Feb. on the 11th! Ahh it's been a year already how cute is that.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Well as promised here are a few of the picts shot at and before the Edwardian Ball. The handsome young man accompanying me is my friend Damo, sorry though ladies, he is married.
They are rather random, and a little
disjuncted, but kind of fun none the less.
We are waiting! waiting in the pouring rain, waiting for the ball to begin....Terribly strange acts enlivened the stage, and terrible persons wondered the floor (7 feet tall and all)
And this, this is me wearing my lovely little Calorimetry (sp? WTF pick a decent name for your patterns knit designers!) tonight in the garage while polishing the aluminium on Betty Rocker. Betty is the husbeasts beloved '69 Triumph Bonneville Tiger. She's purple and silver and loverly, but not running yet. One of these days. Mark my words. My small hands will probably be pulling many of those parts off if the husbeast has his way!
ps please don't ask why the first few phrases are underlined. Copy and paste is a buggy blogger action obviously.
and later we shall discuss the Millinery Class!

Ah Zut!

Once again Blogger the Booger has struck, and an entire long winded post was erased.
So here I am again, making up the difference.
Again (even though you're not aware of it,) I shall apologize for not having my picts ready. I have no idea how to get them from flickr, nor do I care, you'll just have to wait to see the silliness that was The Edwardian World's Faire.
But I can tell you all about it.
It stormed Friday night, I narrowly missed plowing into a car parked sideways on the freeway in the city, and had lovely fun hydroplaning in my truck.
We arrived safe and sound.
My partner in crime dressed in a dapper second hand find of a tux and a bowler (borrowed from the husbeast). Donned eye makeup to suite, and glasses for $1.50. Myself in my long gored skirt, and longer underskirt, cute little jacket that is such a timely cut, and the commissioned mini top hat for the painter boy with the mohawk (yeah still waiting to trade).
We stood in line for some time, made great acquaintance with the ladies behind us, and all the while My skirts were hiked up around my knees. We managed to stay relatively dry, and when the que reached the box office I came to the realization that I had taken my ID out and left it on my coffee table. Yeah that was real bad, but thankfully the manager let us in, I was just not allowed to drink. I had planned on not drinking anyway, so I really didn't mind that I couldn't besides, the bartender on the top floor at the Great American Music Hall made the best Shirley Temples.
The people in line were fascinating, the costumes meticulous and so creative. Inside it was certainly a World's Faire. There were a few vendors, Dark garden Corsets, a milliner, a women's designer, some period piece sellers (antiques and knockoffs), and the mask maker from Dicken's. Not to mention the wonderful workings of Kinetic Steam Works.
Certainly the best of the Edwardian World's Faire was the lineup of bands and acts. Kitsch songstresses with silly songs began the event off right. Then came another band or so, then some more acts, Edward Gorey did a few stop motion (actors) pieces with poems of the gorest endeavoring. There was the City Circus with a bunch of children that just baffled the crowd with their agility and accomplishments. A real cruddy Goth band, the Unextrodinary Gentlemen. But the evening finished off with a wonderful local band, Rube Waddell. They were worth the wait, and exactly what I was hoping for in a band. See I have out of the ordinary taste in music. My favorite instrument is the accordian, and well the more raucous and the more wild the musicians the better. Imagine Tom Waits on crack (wait he already is...) with a toxic waltz vibe, all the while paying tribute to American folk using saw blades, and any number of brass instruments. They were great.
If you will just imagine with me real quick, ok, clear your minds...
Ok so imagine a quartet on stage, a large gathering of wonderfully clad persons gaggeling and giggeling. The music begins, with a good quick real, feet start thumping the old wooden floors of the Music Hall move your being into the beat of the music. Your partner, a well clad man in a tux looks at you, grabs your hand and does the best impersonation of a toxic waltz in a square two foot area. Spinning around and around, laughing giddy, not even feeling the least bit embarrassed as this is just how it should be, two old chums cutting a rug and letting their cares fly in the face of the wind. The dancing was great, and our dancing begot other dancing by other carefree spirits. Reeling and jigging, pounding and thumping with the beat of a misbegotten ill behaved raucous group. That is the purpose of the Edwardian Ball, of "the genre that doesn't exist"
Sepiachord is the "genre that doesn't exist".
It is to music what "steampunk" is to literature and cinema: something that looks back to the past to comment on the present while looking sideways at the future. A cubist aural experience.
As goth & glam are the bastards of David Bowie, Sepiachord is the made from the genetic material sown by Tom Waits.
Sepiachord is assembled like a clockwork orchestra, from such elements of musicSinister Circus, Cabaret Macabre, Chamber Pop, Organic Goth, Celtic/Gypsy Punk, Mutant Americana, Ghost Town Country
It is the music our grandparents or great-grandparents would have listened to, if they were as off-set as we are.
Taken from the site. It explains the sentiment a bit well for my liking.
Tomorrow I'll give you all the lovely low down tidbits from the millinery class.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Oh so much to do.

A very merry birthday
To him
To him
A very merry birthday
to whom
to whom
to Him!
Today is the husbeast's 32nd Birthday. And in the off chance that he ever reads this blog, he should know that he means the world to me. This is in fact where I get all mushy and bleary eyed as I recount the times he's pleased me, and tickled me pink by all the unsuspecting little things he does for me. Where I relive the days that were unsteady and rocky and look back to those as days of growing up and growing together. Then I focus on the fact that we get to live the rest of our lives together, holding hands, ~embracing my one another. Thinking to the future of all the neat times we get to share, children, squabbles, vacations to strange destinations, and of course a fulfilled and fantastic life with cherished memories.
Happy Birthday Graeme, the love of my life, and my best friend.
Tonight instead of going out, the husbeast has requested a simple dinner of roasted chicken, stuffing (my first homemade), and baked cauliflower (his mum's recipe), topped off with chocolate on chocolate HaagenDaas bars.
On the knitting front, I ripped out most of the Hemlock blanket even though I was at the bind off it just didn't look right. So I've decided to make it and some bits of Noro Silk Garden laying all over the house into a log cabin. Here's a bit of knowledge for you evidently a gay republican in the government is called a log cabin. I have no idea why, or what the hell that's supposed to mean, but yeah. I was told that last night as I made my statement on the news of his dad's christmas pressie. Which I am sorry to delay further, but I believe it will be worth it. Now onto the logging. Or is it cabinning? I'm going to stick with logging.
The lemon Chiffon Mini Tophat is still in the works there are still a few things that need perfecting, then embellishing.
Oh and this weekend looks pretty full.
Friday my friend Damo and I are going to trek out to the city for the Edwardian Ball. The husbeast is focused on his woodworking projects, so I must say that Damo is back just in the nick of time to go with me. He's currently living in China and is only back for one more week. But he is still saying that he and his wife and son will be back in June or July. But back to the Edwardian Ball, it looks to be quite the event. Lots of bands and some rather strange entertainers. I must remember to have a few shots of coffee before we go, otherwise I may just be dead asleep on the dance floor. I'm pretty excited as this means that I get to dress up in my fun clothes, and I've been debating as to whether I should go into Berkeley and see if I can find something new at one of the many second hand but cool shops. I may just have to pop in. I'm thinking some knee length skirts with my bloomers and also toole would be great paired with my bodice and a handsome shirt. Of course I'll don a mini topper, but it just may be the lemon chiffon! Squee.
Saturday we venture to the In laws for their birthday boy celebrations, yum! His mum is the best cook.
Then Sunday... my first Millinery class. I can't wait to learn some new tricks.
Cheers til then.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Calorimetry Gone Wrong!

I believe I have found my muse, and the model du jour, oh Tyra! I have your next Top Model! Tyra! Why isn't she listening to me. Here you have the hubeast holding our beast, Haze my precious leetle pitbull. And yes he is all meat head.
This is the second calorimetry I knit since Thursday. The first one is destined for the head of my bff, but thus little ditty is for me. And it's so pretty, and it fits rather well.
Please note that the first one I made in Manos de Uruguay with 110 sts, not the 120 called for and less the # of short rows (still using 8's ~and getting gauge). That was too big for my fat head, so I made a second one in a lovely wool terra of the earth? I'm not sure but the spin of this is just delightful as it has this illusive purple in the color. I'll try to find the brand later maybe. Also note that for the second one I made I started with 96 stitches. WTF! It fits though, and I lurv it just in time for the latest cold temps and piercing winds. Too sad no snow :^(
Oh and the next hat is on it's way. Get this it's lemon chiffon. Oh so lemony... mmm lemon curd, lemon meringue.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ah yes, now that's better

Isn't it though.
We awoke this morning to pea soup fog, and it was delightful. I love the way fog turns everything translucent in some weird hazy way. It's still here and it's midday. Loving it, loving it I tell ya.
After visiting with the in laws last night, and yes MIL the wonderful fed us a great dinner of lamb curry (got to love leftovers!). And then bade us take home some metal shelves for the garage to appease the organizational skills of the husbeast. Then she also bade us to take her grandmothers chairs off her hands. Of course we have to go back for those, but with the husbeasts 32 birthday coming next week we'll be over soon enough. They're the cutest little white chairs with tiny little seats, but so adorable. Some paint stripping is in order, but that's been decreed my job as there are numerous woodworking projects lined up for the man.
After getting the shelves into the garage with the husbeast gleefully filling them I left him to his work, and ... finally... sat down .. to my sewing machine. Yes I did, I sewed a brim and a top to a mini topper in the wonderful yellow. I did hit one snag where the bobbin and the needle fought, so there' s a bit of a boogery part to the top piece ~but not that noticeable.
I was unable to figure out the proper way to iron on the interfacing. I know how silly of me, so I just sewed it in place with the fabric. The ironing would actually help the fabric be a little more taught, but I actually burnt the first piece I did! I'll have to call the experts on this one. Mommmy?
Too bad she's driving down to LA to pick up the cutest little puppies being flown in from Australia. She has a thing for Jack Russell, Parson Russell, and now the sweet little Russell Terriers. A little boy is coming to stay with her and then the little girl is going off to her breeder friend in Florida. But the last one she got is just the cutest littlest wobbeliest schmooshiest wuv muffin around. And no I am not exaggerating, there are mellow terriers out there. And yes they are a newer breed mostly in Australia and Sweden right now, but the US is starting to see them appear. So keep your eyes peeled for the short little Russel Terriers out there.

Monday, January 14, 2008

No new title here

It's Monday, Hazy outside, and Cold in. Well as cold as it can be when you live in one of those near warm all the time climants. It is true we have 2 seasons, Spring and Summer, and it does seem that Spring is coming in recently. My bulbs are poking through the soaked ground, and I cut the grass yesterday for the first time in a long long time. Sunday's weather was almost tank top weather, except when the sun started going down and we were once again reminded that it truly is Winter still.
I knit not a knot. I sewed not a seam. I did make dinner twice though.
Eeee so exciting. Well not really but the Curried Beef Stroganoff by Alton Brown was/is highly yummy. Every time I want to make something I have no idea how to, I just google the recipe in mind w/ Alton's name and whammo I get just what I was wanting. In case you're not sure who he is he's the guy on the food network who does Good Eats, and also the Motorcycle Eating trip something or other titled suchly... I don't know.
I did go shopping this weekend in Berkeley and I gathered new ~okay same fabric as the purple hat but in new colors~ that are just so gorgeous. Of course I have way more fabric than need be, but it was only possible to get a 1/2 yard of the colors and so I did. There's a yellow golden color now, a teal w/ brown and my new fav rust w/ dk brown. The colors are so rich. The rust one would make a lovely corset once my sewing skills are a little better. Of course that does mean that I would need much more fabric than originally required.
I also stopped in over at Lacis in Berkeley, it's the Lace and Textile Museum w/ a shop and they teach some courses. One of the gals working was wearing the cutest mini top hat that actually had no top to the hat. It was of a rather ingenious design. Her name was Kelly, and the manager happened to mention that she's trying to get Kelly to come up with a min top hat class. Which in my book would just be fabulous, as I could be introduced to even more techniques. I believe she may also be using a form of some sort that may be offered there. Not sure yet but will keep you updated.
Speaking of classes, my intro to millinery class is coming up here in a few weeks. Can't wait. Finally something to give me a little kick in the pants. Something Please!
Cheers until then.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Paying the price

I'll be the first to admit that I over indulged last night. When I wrote that I'd had about 10 glasses, please keep in mind that those were very small taster glasses. So really I had about 5. BUT, there's always a but isn't there, I do have an excuse. Last night on our way home from work, we were leaving the island on the back road to avoid the nightmarish freeway. Well traffic slowed, lights were flashing and as we drove carefully by, the driver to a vehicle was covered in a yellow tarp, and the passenger side to the vehicle was crushed. Mind you the car was sideways facing the husbeast and I.
I know that's not a reason to drink 5 glasses of cheap red wine, but I just couldn't stop myself.
On another note today I was waiting for the light at a crosswalk, looked up and saw a bicyclist get hit by an old man in his car.
So that's 2, I really don't want to know what the third will be.
A little follow up to last night's post. Wrecking Balm I suppose it works, if you have like very little pigment left any how. And to settle anyone's mind at ease, I'm not getting rid of any of mine, nor am I really in the mood to get a new one. I just have no idea what I would get next, but the notion has been on my mind for about 2 years now.
And finally, there has been knitting. Yes that's right I made a knuck. I used a lovely skein of Blue Sky Melange 100% baby alpaca in the blue sky colorway. The cuff I paired with a grey and am still not too stoked on the bind off. It just seems flimsy and vacant. So that may need some working on still. I had to tweak the pattern because of the slightly less bulky yarn, but it turned out rather adorable IMHO.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Recking Balm, really?

So the other night I discovered a few of the Ravelry Tattoo groups, ah finally. What a wonderful slew of interesting and tatooed knitterly women. Just like me, like kind. I've been drinking red wine (yeah we fell off the beer and gluten bandwagon for the husbeasts benefit), and I've been lamenting and watching LA Ink. I'm on the verge of figuring out what I would like as a new tattoo. There's the one on my back, which I love and then there's the 2 on my leg, ~the imp and the brugmansia vine in blue and orange~ and then there's the metamorphic butterfly on my ribs (my first ever!).
As I looked through some of the rather inspiring tattoos on the site, I could only wonder to what degree I could take a sleeve based on the basis of a floral motif paired with craft. Craft, yes the phrase from my Alma Mater (hello how many glasses of $2 chuck have I just had...11?). Scissors, hats, needles, yarn, balls! Buttons, and bobbles paired with elements of the oddest kind. I am still thinking of what could next adorn my body, I just am so not certain yet.
Through my rambling do you see a pattern? A question has been formed and a request has been expressed from the husbeast. He insists that I dispose of a previous tattoo before I get a new one. The means through recking balm (sp?) .
I don't know what to say to this except that I still love the first tattoo I ever got. And I really don't want to see it disappear (like it works that great!) in order to create something new, even though I realize he's put up with a few 'interesting choices' from me when it comes to my tat's.
All I have to say to all of this is honey, would you please pick more flowers. ;) Love ya!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Back in the Boat

Well it's certainly been awhile (notice the emphasis on the H for all you Family Guy types out there), I hadn't meant to be so quite but it really was for the best. I had Friday off and finally got a decent sleep because of it. So here I sit a bit snotty ~ nothing some nasal spray can't remedy~ but much more well put together.
The husbeast was a real peach and treated me to first some really yummy Indian on Friday then after doing nothing all day on Saturday, we got of the house on Sunday and went to see Sweeny Todd (ah swoon). I loved the movie, apart for all the gore, the costumes and dialogue and whole storyboard were amazing and well worth the price gouge at the box office. I do have a little bit to say though, there were 2 women that walked into the movie after it began w/ a little 5 or 6 year old girl. They sat in front of us, and well I didn't want to be rude and tell them they shouldn't have her in the theatre, I just couldn't but I know I should have. They eventually walked out after the first multiple blood letting, but really with a title of the Demon Barber of Fleet St. what really were these women thinking, gahds. Some people aren't all that brilliant. Oh and even though there was singing, the husbeast rather tolerated it, though he did mention that there could be more boobies to compensate.
On the knitting front I've done nothing. I need to fix the FIL's Hemlock Ring Blanket that somewhere went really awry. Christmas Eve Day I was binding off before we went over there and had plans to work on it whilst enjoying Christmas with them. And well firstly I ran out of yarn. Secondly it was one giant ruffle. Yes somewhere it turned into a ruffle as I bound off. I believe my stitches are too many. Must be some erroneous miscalculation in one of the rows I ripped back or such because it really is not justifiable. So that has been looming over my head at this time.
On the other front, the mini topper that was commissioned by the husbeasts HR lady, I've been putting that off also. For two reasons really. First I've really felt like poo and have wanted to do nothing but watch the boob tube. Secondly because I've been wondering if it's possible to sew the entire thing on my new sewing machine. And well there is another thing, I want to sew a proper edging onto the brim to finish it off. You know I'm going to go ask these things to my mentor, just one moment. Ah got the info I needed, but looks like I need to practice on some old hats before I attempt doing such on a commission where the fabric was given to me to use.
Before I leave you all today I just wanted to add that Beverages and More has some nice quality Absinthe in their shops now. The husbeast splurged and brought home a bottle of Lucid for New Years which we dragged over to my BFF's house and drank merrily. I might add that the concoction known as a Hemingway really isn't that great tasting. That's champagne with Absinthe. I much preferred the traditional way of serving the beverage. Where in you pour a shot into the glass, wine glasses work well, then take a slotted spoon (or in our case a fork) and place a sugar cube on top, using distilled water pour this over the sugar cube until dissolves or the glass is full. Stir, and enjoy. I find I like the licorice taste with the sweetness of the sugar. I believe I had about 3 almost 4 shots of Absinthe one and a half was paired with champagne and woke up almost all right in the head. I believe it was the champagne that really did me in. Oh and for any of you out there thinking it's bad and a hallucinogenic, well it isn't. The deal is that back at the turn of the century the wine industry in France was wiggin' out because the appearance of Absinthe had taken much of their business away, so a political campaign was established to make this elixir into the devil's fodder. There is a bit of truth to the stories, but the poisoning was happenstance from certain lesser companies that employed disreputable practices in creating the liquor, ie copper and lead based pots. Well the ban was recently lifted and the liquor is now watched by the FDA to make sure that the thujone is at an appropriate amount, and that the liquor is properly distilled. The distillation practice of making Absinthe is one of the most complex in the world for such a spirit, but the herbs all work to make such a harmonious blend of delicacies that it should be enjoyed on just that right special occasion.
Cheers and til then.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Welcome to a new year

Hope everyone is well rested and rather well inducted into the new year by now. I'm tired, I have been tired, and snotty. Turns out the husbeasts 'allergies' were really the Rhino virus, so here I sit sickly, but without a fever! That's pretty much been my last week around here. I must admit that at times my eyes have felt like melting out of their sockets which would be a better fate than sitting in their little eyeholes as I prefer them to. Sorry for the hideous detail, but what do I have to hide around here.
I have yet to use my new little spinning wheel, but soon I may get around to it. I suppose I'll see if I'm really up to the challenge of the ordeal. I have broken in my little sewing machine, and am rather stoked to report that I am the proud new owner of a grocery bag holder. That's right, I even made one for my mum, not half bad if I do say so myself.
Here you go a little pink marshmallow for your viewing enjoy,
aren't they so cute with their little chocolate drizzles and peppermint sprinkles, ahhh poo.
Don't ask me what's up with the placement of the letters w/ the picts... I ah I got nothing.
I'm sorry guys, but I'm still just rather pooed, soon I do hope to be back to normal. Until then enjoy your days and embrace your evenings, but remember that a passion for destruction is also a creative passion.
Cheers until my eyes stop melting and my nosicle stops drizzling.