Friday, January 30, 2009

Haven't done one of these in a while...

It's Friday. I have multimedia. I am also tired and therefore lazy.

Here's a peaceful, beautiful tune to end the work week on:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Murphy may have a laugh, but...

I'm going to take the risk of "jinxing" good fortune, but I have reason to believe that my first set of papers will be promising. The drafts I'm beginning to see are rather decent, and I've spent more time on the set-up than I have previously.

I did get a chuckle at the student who submitted a draft that was nearly twice as long as the assignment called for. Ah, but the aspiring academics will out themselves...

Now playing: Glossary - Hold Me Down
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Out to play

After some very brisk cold weather, we had a nice warm day today. I relished the opportunity to go out to the park and enjoy a walk. At the perimeter was a memorial to a local girl who'd been slain several years ago; near the memorial, someone had placed two ornaments in an evergreen tree. If you look closely, very closely, the dark blob reflected in the silver is me.

As I wandered further down the path, I heard rustling under some leaves and dried grass. Rodent-like rustling, I fancied, though I never found out because the critter didn't show itself even after a good five minutes of silent waiting. So be it. I moved on. Shortly down the trail, I found the first of two things I snagged and brought back with me--a stick, just the right size for walking with. It was a perfect fit in the palm of my hand, bearing just enough weight to keep my troublesome right knee from protesting too loudly at the inclines and declines of the trail.

One thing I love about the walking trail is the trees. I'm a self-proclaimed tree hugger, but even I'd give this one its space:

Wicked looking thing, innit?

I thought about snagging some spikes from the tree but decided against it ultimately. I wouldn't want to carry it around, see. No, I would be better served carrying back a piece of glass. Much safer. I presume it came from a decorative window pane; it's red, with some texturing in it. I think it will be beautiful once it's washed and I figure out something crafty to do with it.

All in all, I had my hands full--a walking stick in one hand (I've a blister to prove it) and a partial pane of glass in the other. The sun was just beginning to set as I finished the thirty-minute ramble, and the day's warm temperatures were beginning to chill, and not just in the random pockets of cold air I kept walking in and out of at the beginning of the hike. The only thing that would have made it more lovely would be if my camera's battery hadn't died before I could snag a shot of a gorgeous molten sunset. Ah well. There will be other times, other walks, other sunsets.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hooking for pleasure and possibly profit

One thing I enjoyed over winter break was diving in to crafting, especially crocheting. I've made a vow to myself to try to keep that a regular part of my life even when the semester is in swing. One week in, and I'm managing to do so. (Hey, I'm trying to be optimistic here!)

Here are a couple recently completed projects. Both bookmarks came from Quick-Stitch Crochet, a book I got from the library and may end up racking up late fines on until I photocopy all the patterns I want!

I've been longing for spring these days, so I enjoyed making this butterfly.
And then I stared at the page of bookmark designs, skimmed over the heart one, then remembered some pink thread that I found at an "antique" mall/bazaar, remembered that the pink and red and hearts holiday is coming up, and figured I might whip up a few of these and try selling them, see what comes of it.
The way I see it, it's not crass commercialism. I just ought to support my two costly habits: teaching and crocheting. It'll help fund the latter, at any rate.

Now playing: Tim Barry - Exit Wounds
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New start

In less than twelve hours, the madness begins anew. The respite of winter break has come to an end, and I prepare to return to the trenches to do battle with student apathy, grammatical atrocities, and the never-ending nightmare that is grading.

That said, it's a new start. New students, a freshly revamped syllabus, and the possibility of those rare gems of writing that make the aggravation (mostly) worth it.

I'm ready as I'll ever be provided I can actually wake up to the alarm after not having to do so for a few weeks. Ouch.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mad domestic skills

One tradition that has evolved over several of my aunt's visits is a trip to a ceramic shop to paint some pottery. One year a coffee mug, another a decorative plate, and once a soup bowl.

My most recent project is the one I'm proudest of, though. Is this not the world's most kick-ass soapdish?

I think it earns me at least 100 nerd points.

Now playing: Muse - Blackout
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I've a habit of starting ten projects at once and finishing few of them in a timely manner. However, I have actually been finishing things on break. I sold off all the scarves I was crocheting, or else I'd post them here to show off.

Lemme show you my bag instead.

It came out a little differently than planned, but I'm pleased nonetheless. I used the pattern for Inga's bag, but made a few adjustments: I used Hobby Lobby's Love This Yarn in a striping pattern. I was running very short on the color I was using by the time I got to the handle and edging, so I made a spontaneous decision to hit my grandma up for some similar yarn (what an ungrateful granddaughter I am :D), and that's the slightly lighter blue on the handle and along the edge. I also made the handle a little wider and a little longer, and with the help of my visiting crafty aunt, lined it in navy blue fabric for added sturdiness. Total, it took me two skeins, working out to a bit over five bucks for materials. Note, though, that I extended the yarn I had in the handle, and I also used some blue scrap yarn I had on hand for the joining of the squares; if you want to go for this in all one color, it'd probably be best to grab three skeins. The fabric was also scrap, so no cost there, really.

I've no intention of being a '50s housewife, but I value being able to make things that are both functional and fun and perhaps even thrifty in the process.

Now playing: Ani DiFranco - Joyful Girl
via FoxyTunes