Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ooooops. I Did It Again

I loved this one meme, where you google your name and needs and post the top ten things that pop up.

So I did it again, to see what the Internet thinks I need now.

1. Spike needs help coping with his chip.

2. Spike needs a scrub.

3. Spike needs to give "Carpocalypse" to another station.

4. Spike needs a Mommy and/or Daddy.

5. Zach is all the Dad Spike needs.

6. Spike needs you and he can't lose his mother like that.

7. Spike needs an honest good hearted male role model in his life.

8. Spike needs a doggy jumper for the winter.

9. Spike needs a new pair of boots.

10. Spike needs to be protected from disease.

Ah, but don't we all??

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Writing About Writing Redux

There are times I think I have nothing left to say. That I've been writing and writing and writing for work and for play and for art and that the well has finally run completely dry.

Microfiction here, shared journal there, quick character sentence for an ATC, and whoof, that's it.

I'm a junkie for journal prompts, or rather, for the promise of journal prompts. I glimpsed a deck once of 52 prompts at a store I frequent (Gareth purchased it right out from under my nose, and I thought he was getting it for me for Adverb, cos he was being sooooo sneaky about it. Then he gave it to a friend of ours--and I haven't seen the d---ed thing since.) and I was really tempted to purchase it because it looked perfect, but I didn't. (And you just read why.)

See, a lot of journal prompts are things like "Write about your favorite pet." Uhm, write about your favorite child, if you have more than one from your very own loins. Most of the parents I've talked to swear that while one kid's moon may be momentarily in the ascendency, they love 'em both bunches, sometimes in different ways. I love the cats I have differently each from the other; I love them both differently from the cats I've had; and I loved those beasts differently than I loved the various rodents large and small that I kept for pets.

So what to do when you have nothing going? Apparently just pulling out a book for a writing exercise is enough to get the juices flowing. I was going to post the results from an exercise from Writing Down the Bones, but I've got a reasonable post right here right now. (Next post. Promise.)

I've found that the old technique of opening Bones and flipping to a page wiht my eyes closed works well for choosing a technique to try. Much of Goldberg's ideas are intriguing on their own, so when the rule is that whatever pops up is what you MUST use, then there's something to start with, other than your favorite flavor of ice cream. A sunset. Woot.

Next to that is Anyone Can Write which I need to re-read, I think. It has some playful bits, though not as cut and dried and in a deck format as Bones.

And then, earlier today I found this one book where the authors gathered many of the games the Surrealists played all together in one book--more than just The Exquisite Corpse. From what I've seen . . . wow. That could keep me out of trouble for a year.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hup, Hup, Hup!!

Scrabbling back onto the wagon, thinking of how we talk about "keeping" resolutions each year and how most of us end up breaking them moments after we set them, sometimes.

But everything else we keep, we lose sometimes. We keep our cell phone, our car keys, or wallets--but who hasn't mislaid one or more of these? We find our wallet in the car the next morning, tucked under the driver's seat. We pick up the house phone to call our cell phone in order to locate it between the sofa cushions. We find the car keys in the jacket we put on for just a minute to go fetch the mail, or the one we changed our minds about since it didn't go with the pants so well.

So I lost my resolutions temporarily. Maybe I shouldn't leave them where the cats can get at them, eh? There they were, behind the couch with Jesus and the nip mouse, all this time.

I had resolved 2007 would be the year I knit for me, me, me--and I am, but it also gives me pleasure to knit for those I <3, and for those I don't even know. So be it. I have a project on the needles for me, me, me too.

I had resolved I'd write a post each week. Oops. Didn't happen the week before last--I got busy and I was going to take pictures, and well, we all know what the road to Hell is paved with--I took pictures! (Go here if you've forgotten. Feed the naked while you're there.)

So two posts last week. Lucky you.

I wonder about people who keep all their resolutions--in a pretty little box, perhaps?? So they always know right where they are in their Virgoliccitudinousness? Or do they keep them like their keys--finding them, losing them, putting them back where they go most of the time?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fallin' Off the Wagon

Today tastes like unsweetened black cherry Kool-Aid. I can't decide if it's more bitter or sour.

I took rather a bad tumble off the stash diet wagon. I didn't buy anything, but I wagged home a ton of freebies--that I didn't need. Not even for the project I thought I'd do with them.

See, Project Linus had a blanket bee February 3. Yeah, blame it all on the tough crowd that does charity knitting. They softened me up with brownies and coffee, those infamous gateway drugs.

I was being so good. No, wait a minute, SOOOOOOOOO GOOD. < puts away megaphone>. I was ignoring the hospitality table with all the free yarn. I looked at the booklets (most were crochet, as that's the way the pendulum is swinging now) and didn't take any of them. Hey, I was being SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD.

And then they announced October's blanket challenge. This is a biannual event--February and October. The challenge varies--usually it's color for the knitters (make something in pink and brown, teal and purple, orange and green) and subject for the quilters (sports, puppies, games). This time, it was just one theme.

*****JUNGLE***** (lemme try that again)

Generate Your Own Glitter Graphics @ - Image hosted by

Yeah. Like that.

Now, before you can understand why this drove me to a) start a new project before finishing one already on the needles; and b) snarf up a metric ton of stash yarn from the pushers nice folks at Project Linus, you'll need to know that in my stash as I sat in my folding chair, was a big cone of boucle yarn in camel, gold and rust. I'd been thinking about a Project Linus binkie pattern for that stuff for years, and just had never found anything that made me hungry to take it on.

I was going to use it as a carrying thread to unite a black and white blanket (ehhhh); then I was going to double it and use it as stripes in a blanket (ehhhhhh); then I was going to use it in a slip-stitch honeycomb/big dot pattern (ehhhhh). But now, it had found its calling in a tiger blanket. Hmmmmm . . .

And so I swooped down upon the freebie table and snarfed up every skein of funny green (for the background), black (well, duh, a tiger blanket), and white/cream I could find. Someone had donated a pair of pillow shams and a half-completed crochet coverlet in cream--they went into the bag, too. (Hey, if it was a treasured heirloom that someone in the family was dying to have, then they would have gotten up and found someone to complete it or figured it out themselves. I hope that when I go, my good stash is eBayed and the acrylic is donated--whether the project is finished or no. I'd rather someone get the material and do what they want with it so someone can have and love the finished object until it wears out.)

Not pretty. Not pretty at all. Rather like watching a 300 plus pound person in foodstained clothes gobble down an 18-scoop and all the toppings sundae with their bare hands, solo. (That's probably going to garner some flames.) You can't help thinking, "Honey, have a little self-respect. You don't NEED that."

And then, that very evening, I cast about for how to make this work. Stripes of all sorts and kinds fell off the needles and were ripped out until I decided on entrelac, and then made a chart to keep the borders from being uniformly sized and shaped--I was going for more of an impression of a tiger in grass, with just the black and orange fur and green framing and intruding and . . . well, here's a photo.

Fortunately, I didn't hit my head too hard, but coming home from the bee and digging through all the black and cream and white to get to the cone of the orange boucle was a real killjoy.

< gets a cup of coffee, sits in the wayyyy back> Hi, I'm Spike, and I am powerless over free yarn.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Progress of a Sort

Today tastes like Midori margaritas with too much salt. Just as the lovely melony yum starts to kick in--blammo comes the saline!

Progress is being made on all the projects posted earlier this year. The charcoal thing is longer and greyer, the red stole is . . . longer and redder, and the castle blanket is more colorful in a willy-nilly way.

As mentioned earlier, I plan for no posts of the lace until we block--all the patterns are set, and unblocked lace looks like wet Kleenex. Seriously. It's crumply and rumply and you can't see the places and spaces that make it dandy. I suppose I could photo on the tile floor to give a sense of the thing growing, but I'd almost rather go to blogthings dot com and post a quiz result.

Currently I'm working to reduce the number of projects for other folks in the paper realm. 2007 is all about me after all. I've determined that I'm going to complete my obligations to others and then not volunteer for any more until I get my projects down to a manageable size. Yes, knowing me, this may take the rest of my life. I am very selfishly okay with that.

But it feels good to have reduced the decos down again, and to know that once I eat my obligations for the swaps I'm in, I'm done. I like decos--I like planning them, and finding just the right images for my themes, and finding the right stuff for others' themes and creating the composition. But I'm really not okay with the poor rate of return.

In one group I've sent out six decos over a year. I know where one is, and I have not received ANY home. One in particular (and not the one where I know where it is) is near and dear to me, and as far as I know, it's in a landfill somewhere.

Fortunately I bought more materials to re-create it as soon as I finished it and was having trouble prying it out of my fingers to mail. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to assemble it.

That's how it goes, ennit? I have an art journal with stuff and things and inspiration wedged in the pages that needs to be glued in--haven't done that yet, either. I have books of techniques to play with that would yield scrumptious backgrounds to place focal images on that could then be journaled in with text winding among the pictures, or that could even have pages printed on the computer and then glued on before the book was finally bound.

Yup. Sounds familiar. So I'm focused on getting the bulge moving, closing the doors behind me (gently, gently, I wasn't raised in a barn after all). I'll probably continue with one deco group whose raisin meal1 is to finish half-completed decos and get then home to their owners, full of art from various artists in the owner's chosen theme. I like to work in them, I just don't like having to make them on schedule, send them on schedule, and then wait . . . and wait . . . and wait for them to come home at last.

1. Raison d'etre = raisin d'entree = raisin meal. B'dum bum ching. I'm here all week; try the pork roast.