"Whatever shall we do in that remote spot? Well, we'll write our memoirs. Work is the scythe of time." --Napoleon Bonaparte, on his way into exile.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

First socks

First socks
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Second sock DONE! I sure worked on it last night at Knit In. I'm so pleased the Fair Isle patterns matched up on both socks.

Finished up the toe decreases and did the kitchner stitch on them this morning.

The bit of silver metallic thread running through the yarn (and the name of the yarn, Fortissimo "Disco" Colori) has caused me to call these my "Disco" socks.

Side view of sock

Side view of sock
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Got a little scrunchy on the ankle. Comfy!

I love the heel on this pattern. It was a freebie in the Patternworks catalog last fall. I liked the long leg on it, and even though it was for Kroy sock yarn, it worked.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Da Winnah!

There's a new button on my sidebar...looks something like THIS:

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Winner

Now I can get back to the normal life of a


Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Fine Finishing Weekend

Yes, I saw the HP movie, and I wore my HP scarf. I hoped to get proof by posing next to the movie poster, but it was a small theatre in a small town at a sold-out show on Friday night, so E was not up to the task. He wasn't up to the task in the parking lot, either, as you can witness in the photo below. He hates, hates, HATES "posed" photos, so I never have any decent ones of myself (unless someone beside E takes it, and trying to explain my digital camera ruins any sense of fun one might have taking a photo). Sigh.

Loved the movie, of course, even if I did have to watch it in a 105-degree theatre. Yes, at times I had to force myself to stay awake, despite the herky-jerky pace of the movie.

There was a tree-lighting ceremony going on outside as we went in, and the tree was lit when we came out. Another picture of that below.

I really got moving on finishing Tess's Pink Fluffy Cloud sweater (Elisha can finallly stop bugging me about it every week at Knit In!) and I managed to knit quite a bit on my second sock on the trip up and back, so all around I am finishing up and getting ready for new projects.

Sorry, this is a bit of a grocery-list entry. I am 7,267 words away from being a NaNo winner, so I am a bit distracted.

where all my crafts meet

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

I made 6" fringe for my HP scarf, which was folded over and looped through the ends witha crochet hook. Then I cut it down to a little over an inch. This required my scrapping/stamping self-healing mat, my quilting rotary cutter, and my quilting AND scrapping/stamping clear ruler.

tis the season

dancing tree
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

This is pretty much how I feel now that the holidays are upon us.

nice scarf, ugly face

nice scarf, ugly face
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

E does NOT know how to take a photo. Here's proof.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Google Image Game

Got this from Knitting for Boozehags, where I didn't quite understand it but was game, (I didn't get the part about finding images), who got it from Jennifer, who (a) gave her entry a title that explained it more clearly and (b) has a site that looks like mine, which for some reason really confuses me (I'm looking at you, too, Keely...AAACK! It makes me dizzy).

Google the following and and post the first (or favorite) result of each:

1. The name of the town where you were born...Detroit

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

This is a special image for a number of father worked at DAP for 30+ years; and, when I had a long break between classes at Wayne State, I would spend hours across Cass Ave., wandering the halls of the DIA...where this mural is much more impressive in its actual size.

It was either Diego Rivera or the giant Uniroyal tire on I-94. I went for class.

2. The name of the town where you live now...Dexter

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Hee. Couldn't resist.

3. Your name...Denise

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Yeah, like I was gonna put up picture of Denise Richards.

4. Your grandmother’s name (just pick one)...Yolanda

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Props to the real Yolanda. Though it was her first name, my grandmother never, ever used it. I was just curious to see what Google came up with.

5. Your favorite food...Chocolate

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.


6. Your favorite wine

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.


7. Your favorite song...Queen Anne's Revenge, Flogging Molly

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Totally in my head right now.

8. Your favorite smell...vanilla

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Better Late Than Never...

...and strikingly true...
Although Meg got the same results with DECEMBER 22nd.
What's up with that?!
Props to Jillian anyway.

Your Birthdate: August 22

You tend to be understated and under appreciated.
You have a hidden force to do amazing things, doing them your own way.
People may see you as strange and shy, but they know little.
Your unconventional ways have more power than they (and even you) know.
Your strength: Standing up for what you know is true.
Your weakness: You tend to be picky and rigid
Your power color: Silver
Your power symbol: Square
Your power month: April

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Moomintrolls and other gentler kids books

I'm still participating in Postcrossing, although I haven't sent out more myself since my initial sign-up. I have received two; one from Germany (Hamburg) and this one (just the postage is shown) from Finland. I particularly enjoyed this stamp because it features a Moomintroll, delightful little creations of Tove Jansson. E knows of them because they've naturally crossed into Russian children's culture; he has a couple of cartoons he's downloaded and shown (and translated; they're in Russian) to Tess and me. He found a book at Ann Arbor's Friends of the Library book sale once; Moominland Midwinter, which I adore.

The stamp is also unique in that it's fuzzy! I'm so glad our respective postal services didn't destroy it with a big, nasty cancellation stamp.

I was recently looking for Astrid Lindgren books (E routinely informs me she wrote so much more than just the Pippy Longstocking books) at our library and came across a different childhood favorite of mine, The Golden Name Day.

When I was ten, my family moved to a house where I FINALLY had a room of my own (I'd previously always had to share with my sister) and I promptly decorated it with yellow rose wallpaper just like Nancy in the book. The Garth Williams illustrations take me straight back to childhood, since he also illustrated my beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder series and several other childhood favorites, including Charlotte's Web and Cricket in Times Square.

Funny, I was thinking of Golden Name Day (I'd long since forgotten the name of it) just last week, and wouldn't you know, there was Lindquist, right next to Lindgren. It has been a refreshing treat to read in the past week...just a gentle story of simpler times without anyone being in danger or going on any fantastical adventures.

Not that I mind that kind of book, I just grew up with a different kind of literature than Goosebumps and all the TV tie-in crap that we try to avoid with Tess. She regularly announces to people, "My mom doesn't like Sponge Bob." She's had to add Hello Kitty to the list (at least, the DVDs and videos out there) after discovering they're a bit violent (Hello Kitty! I swear). Although I have nothing against Hello Kitty merchandise (I once collected bits of Batz Maru merchandise, because I loved penguins), just her on-screen adventures.

Back to NaNo. Since I'm not letting anyone read my first draft ("The first draft of anything is crap" -- Ernest Hemingway, I believe...), you can go read fellow NaNoer Bob's "Lucky Seven" Harry Potter interview, in which I recently participated instead. Thanks, Bob, that was fun!

Finally, speaking of childhood memories, I loved miniatures as a kid and saved my paper route money (honestly, I had a paper route, how old-fashioned is that?!) to buy a dollhouse at Franks Nursery & Crafts (now I'm really showing my age...they recently closed all their stores and soon, in the wake of JoAnn's Etc and Michael superstores, no one will remember them). I remember the seemingly exhorbitant price of $85 (took me a year to save that much...I made $30 a month on my twice-a-week paper route). Through the wonder of Yahoo Google ads, I found these beauties, clocking in at $139-$250. I'm gonna need a daily paper route to save for one of those!

Friday, November 18, 2005


I'm bummed that I didn't finish my GoF scarf in time, not that I had movie tickets for tonight, but it was the principle of the thing, y'know? I ran out to Old Village Yarn Shop in Plymouth on Tuesday, to exchange my extra skein of gold yarn for a much-needed skein of the burgundy so that I could finish it. However, that was the Extra-Crappy Weather day this week (horrible dark grey skies all day, GINORMOUS icy cold rain drops splattering down non-stop), and I think it actually made my cold worse.

I skipped knitting that night, didn't get any NaNo words written, and went to bed at -- kid you not -- 7:30p. A lovely NyQuil-induced coma followed, and I felt better on Wednesday, but I had WORDS to catch up on. Alas, no knitting was done until late yesterday. We couldn't get a babysitter and I didn't have tickets anyway, so I said WTH and set my scarf aside. Just one and a half repeats to go and it's done, I swear (plus sewing...and fringe...). We'll most likely see GoF this Sunday (scarf or not) or next weekend, when we're up north and have built-in babysitters.

I was still sufficently bummed about not finishing the scarf "on deadline," that I updated my Finished Projects page for 2005. See? I have finished something since March. I bought the scarf yarn on my birthday back in August, and have been working on that ever since. I just forgot to update the Finished Projects page this summer.

As far as NaNo goes, I'm going to break the 30,000-word mark tonight (as soon as I get back to [ahem] writing). I dropped a plot bomb on my main character at the 24,000 word mark this week, and it got FUN. No, really, fun. I've introduced a new character that I have a crush on (don't know that it's a good sign yet), and despite the fact that he is a poetry-writing American real estate broker (seriously, I knew one of those once), I keep seeing and hearing him as Lupin, which is throwing me (E and I saw Kingdom of Heaven the other day, and we both kept referring to the Hospitaler as Lupin, as in, "Look! It's going to be Lupin's head in that pile!").

I developed a crush on Thewlis when I watched the the PoA movie on DVD recently. Too bad he isn't in the new movie. Hopefully he'll be in the Book V movie (Order of the Phoenix would shorten to OotP, which just looks goofy). I get the strangest crushes, I swear.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday Blues

It doesn't help that I'm feeling absolutely crappy. I had a mild cold two weeks ago, and thought I dodged the bullet, but no, Mother Nature had something even nastier in store for me.

Luckily, my FIL is feeling well enough today for Tess to be over there, so I have the house and the day to myself. E's off playing the last of his outdoor tennis (yes, he's NUTS) and I'll hook up with him for dinner at his folks (after which he will play MORE tennis; alas, it's the indoor league that he runs). Our Sunday tradition.

E and I have a silly habit of teasing each other about his "mistresses" ("did you really go play tennis AGAIN tonight? What's her name? Huh?!") and now my secret (NaNo) lover. I took off for knitting on Tuesday knitting. Suspicions abounded (Tess was the one who noticed I forgot my knitting, she pointed it out to me FIRST THING the next morning). And so the teasing began in earnest on Wednesday, although E was a bit less enthusiastic about it than I usually am about his (tennis) mistress.

I realized I was up north, writing away while mom yakked at me, and in front of E and Dad, and no one asked me what I was working on. Well, Mom did once, and I just said I was writing, and left it at that. I didn't want a bunch of questions about NaNo, my plot (or significant LACK THEREOF), setting, characters, etc., so I didn't offer much info. Would anybody, especially a mom, let someone get away with, "I'm working on a novel" ? I wouldn't.

This morning was the first time E asked me about my novel. Mainly because I went to write again Friday night (I got ahead by 900+ words), and AGAIN yesterday afternoon (DayQuil gives you a nice buzz, but I still barely clunked out 887 words), both times at the B&N on Washtenaw. Seems a lot of NaNoers are students, either at UofM or EMU, and that B&N is on convenient bus lines for both universities.

Overall, though, I have finally hit the 20,000 words mark, so I'm happy. I won't give myself the day off today, but I may go upstairs and write on my laptop from the couch. It's too cold and dreary down here in the lower level, where our computer is, although I type MUCH faster on our home computer.

Typing in a bookstore is dangerous to my wallet. I found a quilting book I'd really like, but I held off until I got home so that I could use an Amazon gift certificate I have. Of course, when I looked up the book I like, the author had a similar book with MORE quick patterns, so I completely used up my $25 Amazon g.c., and then some. At least the g.c. is not sitting on my desk as it has been for weeks, taunting me.

Now all I need is a decent sewing machine. Must consult Consumer Reports (E LOVES doing that), and various other sewers/quilters. Mom has a Viking ("more machine than I need," she reports), another good friend of ours has a Pfaff. I've heard bad things about Singer, so maybe that HearthSong beginner's machine isn't for me (does anyone else get that catalog, and find a million things they, as an adult, would love to play with?!). I could pass the Singer on to Tess, though, once I figure out sewing on it.

Oh! I completely forgot about the Pewabic Pottery show at our neighbor's church yesterday. I wanted to go last year but missed it. This year I had to drag Tess along (3 1/2 y.o. + pottery tiles = certain disaster), so it was a short visit, but I picked up some lovely new tiles. When I'm done writing for NaNo, I've got to go figure out where to install them. I'll post more about that in the next entry.

Friday, November 11, 2005

F.A.T. Report

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

That's for Fabric Acquisitions Team, BTW.

Mom has a terrific quilt shop in Harrisville as well as a decent yarn shop. I had too much fun pawing through their fat quarters for Tess's embroidered lady quilt. There's an Aunt Sarah piece in there, plus tiny ballerinas (Tess's favorite, of course) and some really big shoes/slippers.

Currently these are being spread out all over the house by Miss Thang. I must go rescue them and get them in the wash.

I am such a freak. One of my favorite accomplishments over the weekend was sorting my mother's scrap box by color. Seriously, I spent over an hour doing this. She even gave me little baggies to put them in. I was giddy. Must be that cusp-of-Virgo thing in my natal chart.

Oh, look! Previous proof of my freaky organizational gene.

Mom had a good laugh at me because when Tess was born (and I was heavily getting into scrapbooking ), I cleared a storage cabinet of old fat quarters I'd been collecting (about 6 years' worth). Naturally while I was up there this weekend I asked for some of them back. I didn't take much. Not surprising that my tastes have changed in the last ten years.

I picked up this cool project book at the Harrisville fabric shop (The Quilting Patch, I believe). Lots of fat quarter ideas, and crazy how quilting and scrapbooking can cross paths. There's directions for making fabric Artist Trading Cards and covered journals. Now to get some more printable fabric for my vintage photo collection.

Up North Yarns

Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.

So this is what I picked up Up North this past weekend. The Wildfoote is a lovely, soft, ballet pink. The pink & brown yarn is from the Bad Lady Shop (see previous entry). There was actually the same brand of yarn in Robin's shop, in a REALLY cool lime green colorway (I'm into pink and green lately, as well as pink & brown, not sure what's up with that), but I figured I had spent enough and IF ONLY I HADN'T BEEN CONNED INTO BUYING KNIT PICKS YARN AT 3X THE COST!!! Okay, letting go now...

The purple Glowlash is from Robin's shop; it's for the brim of a hat for Tess. The pink & purple Sierra Quatro underneath is an old KARYS find from their sale bin; it will be part of the hat, too. Now to figure out a design...

The roving is from Robin; it's for fairy hair. Embroidery thread just didn't do the trick.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


...words, in case you're wondering. I managed to write while up north, even late into the night with my mother sewing at the dining room table, yakking at me occasionally, and the next day with Tess running around and my dad tickling her and Egor glaring at me for not stopping! the! madness! (my dad is the world's worst tease, and his tickling can bring a small child to tears...although he knows to stop just short of that).

Mom and I hit the craft show circuit Saturday morning, Tess in tow. She was amazingly well-behaved for all the dragging in and out of the car we did with her. The first show was at the F.O.E. hall and it was like stepping back in time. People were already sitting at the bar (at 10:30 a.m.!) smoking and having breakfast (at the same time, naturally! We were Up North)! I wanted to walk around outside afterward until my clothes freshened up, but we had craft shows to hit.

The next show, at the local elementary school, was packed. The first table in the gym was piled high with hand knit mittens (acrylic, and seamed up one side). Adult sizes were $2.50 a PAIR. Crazy. Crazier is I only bought one pair. Too bad they didn't have a purple pair for Tess. Perhaps even crazier to my knitting buddies is that I just don't KNIT MY OWN DAMN PAIR. Well, I will, I will, as soon as I knit up the 5 more pairs of socks I have yarn for. Now at least I have a sample pair of mittens, right? For less than a skein of acrylic yarn.

At one point we stopped at the knit shop in the mall; I was looking forward to this as I bought some of the owner's (what I thought was) homespun when I visited in the spring. The shop owner had two more skeins so I bought them and had them wound. While she was winding them I thought to ask what kind of sheep they came from (she had just shown me a pile of natural homespun on a bench in the shop, and told me those skeins were from her Blue Faced Leister). She slipped and said my yarn was Wool of the Andes. Wha...? Isn't that Knit Picks, I asked (naturally, since she was selling colored Wool of the Andes in her shop, with the Knit Picks label on)? Well, she said, I get this from the same supplier as Knit Picks.

Well, my slow little brain took the rest of the day to process this. I got in the car with my mom and said, wait a minute, she was selling Wool of the Andes for $4 a skein...and I'm pretty sure it's $1.79 in the catalog...

Later, we looked in the Knit Picks catalog, because what I bought was fingering weight and I was pretty sure KP only sold a worsted weight in natural, at $2.29 a skein (and not 440 yards, either). Alas! I forgot about their dye-it-yourself sock yarn.

Fingering weight.

440 yards.

$3.49 a skein.

What I just paid $9 for, without the benefit of the KP label, and with the assurance, last spring, that this was her yarn, she just had it "sent out to be spun."

Luckily, this experience was offset with a trip south to the lovely yarn shop in Harrisville. Robin truly does spin her own yarn, and showed us a stand of more rough looking, but prettily dyed, yarn from sheep she can call by name. ("This is Harry Belafonte," she told us, handling two particularly lovely orange skeins, "my friends ate him. They didn't tell me but I heard it through the grapevine after I sold him to them. They apologized later, but I knew that might happen when I sold him.")

I picked up some glossy purple fur for a hat I'm making for Tess (I should have enough to edge some mittens with, too) and two very pretty skeins of pale pink Wildfoote yarn for, of course, socks.

I'm trying not to obsess on my bad yarn shop experience. I'm taking a "buyer beware" stance, and a "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" attitude. That store owner has lost two customers, and, knowing my mom's penchance for gossip, she will lose many, many more. What goes around comes around.

In the meantime, I need to change my home page from Flickr. Because I always get sucked in to other people's photos. My latest curiosity lead me to this gal trying to lose her virginity. Strange but true...

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Off and running with NaNo. I'm at 6,300+ words, Day Three. I'm trying to write 2,000 words a day and so far I've hit goal every day. 1,667 is the base-line goal to reach 50,000 by November 30th; I found earlier this fall that I can type 2,000 words in an hour and a half, so that is entirely do-able. Right now I'm a bit ahead if I have to take time away this weekend.

I started with an autobigraphy, but after 2,000+ words of that idea Tuesday morning (Day 1 of NaNo), I realized it was nothing but "I remember..." and "When I was [insert age here]..." BORING. Also, I believe it's technically "not allowed" under NaNo rules. I went and took a shower and came up with a whole new idea; wrote another 2,000+ words in the afternoon while Tess was in preschool. No, I 'm not sharing it yet; it's nothing great, but it brings me to the computer every day and DUDE, 6,339 WORDS, I ROCK!

Somehow in the middle of this I have stumbled across old journals, people I used to read, people whose favor I curried, and I cringe. There is a whole world of bloggers and journalers out there (hee, I'm thinking of one in particular that used to call those of us who used HTML editors "pussies," now she's using LiveJournal). And there are blogs/online journals I'm currently reading that I have to fight to make me not feel like...less. Ugh, that old chestnut. Done. In the trash.

I have been journaling online since 1998. I can't prove it (...oh wait! yes I can). I've learned a lot about myself over the years and how I react to the world, how I write, and what I can choose to read and think.

We are heading up north this weekend and I have been fighting the anger that comes up every time I hear the disapproval and disappointment in my mother's voice over choices I've made in my life. How I'm taking care of Tess, my spirituality, my yard, for pete's sake. It's a constant onslaught, and I don't need to add my own criticism to the cacophony. Done. In the trash. Breathe deep.

NaNo is teaching me to let go this year. Last year I worked on a novel I'd been dreaming of, imagining, and researching for over 12 years. I couldn't finish it. I can't describe how much more liberating it is to work on a last-minute idea that I got while taking a shower.

Sweet, sweet relief.