Monday, June 22, 2015

Virtual Cat Collecting

There's  an app for the iPad, it's a Japanese game called Neko Atsume.  And the goal is to collect cats by feeding them and buying them treats, toys and furniture.  Oh, and the whole game is in Japanese.  So you have to rely on the pictures to figure out what to do.  

Mindless, but so cute.  Yes even Japanese internet cats make me happy.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It's Next Time!

Whew!  That was a very looooooong break.  I'll just say "I'm sorry" and move on to the latest and greatest.

Most importantly, let's catch up on the cats!  My trio of gatos: Delilah, Monkey (a/k/a Pepper), and Macy.

Delilah - still grouchy, much more lazy and possibly going deaf.  Still the head of household

Monkey is a fierce hunter at night and a lovebug in the morning.  She's a real talker too.

Macy is just too sweet for words.  Also begs to be let "out" into our garage.

I've not totally abandoned my crafting.  During the holidays, I knitted a bunch of hats, based on a super easy (and free!) but oh so cute knit pattern (Slouched Tuva Hat).   Easily one of my all time favorite patterns and definitely a go-to for gift giving.

I also started focusing on crochet.  I made a granny square project bag, which I use to cart around my current crochet project (African flower blanket - more later).  I love the completed bag so much, even with all of its flaws (my lining/sewing skills are less than average).  I started a second bag, but it's been abandoned for now.

Granny Square Project Bag
I have moved onto the African flower motif (to be sewn together as a blanket).  Why do I choose colors that I think are fabulous in the store, only to start working on them and find that they are pedestrian and retro (not in the good way) together.  The project is coming together nicely and I should be able to finish it within the next month.

African flowers

The only thing in my way of needlecrafting is my job.  My life is consumed by work.  I am miserable.  I am doing the worst thing possible, catching myself saying things like "if I can just make it through this month" and "if I can just get through this next deal, then..."  I am always putting off living my life.  I'm not doing anything proactive to change things. I'm a negotiator and a procrastinator, so in my mind, I'm working on the solution, while still getting through my day.  However, when I really examine what my life is and how things actually are, you know, in the real world, then I cannot' really argue with that truth.

This rationalization is the way I convince myself that things are fine; I compare it to looking in the mirror.  I look in the mirror every day, while I brush my teeth, put on makeup, do my hair.  I see myself but I am never looking that closely or with a critical eye.  So I can tell you superfluous items about how I look (maybe I'm wearing lip gloss, maybe I'm wearing my tortoiseshell glasses, etc.) but I will not tell you or admit to you that my clothes are fitting too tight or my makeup line is visible.  That's too much information; too much to process or control or fix in whatever time I have.  I just ignore and persevere.  This is a stupid way to live.  I think I'm fooling myself.  But I'm really heading for a crash.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Until Next Time

Summertime is in full effect here, and I would like to go swimming but I have to wait out the afternoon thunderstorm that is headed our way.  I managed not be a total lazy bum this weekend - I got up and went to the grocery store, did the laundry and cleaned out the cat litter boxes.  

We're are still a family of five, two cat guardians (me and Mr. Grump) and the three feline overlords, Delilah, Macy Gray, and The Monkey.

Macy likes to lounge with us in the living room

Yes, I posed them but Monkey and Delilah lay like this for a while

The most gorgeous face in the cat world
Delilah has some health issues that we are mostly attributing to get up in years (she's maybe 11 or 12?) - her weight dropped off dramatically and we had to start her on medicine to regulate her thyroid.  She put the weight back on and we are trying to monitor her more closely.  She's not as active as she used to be, more lethargic but not in a scary way.  Just an overall lazier way.  She takes after me, or I take after her.  It's hard to get a picture of her sitting upright, she does a lot of laying down.

Macy is a robust cat, who rarely has any issues, and The Monkey, well, she's still a kitten so she's all over the place, not to mention a really effective huntress.  

I'm working on a ripple (baby) blanket right now, as well crochet place mats.  I don't have any big projects ongoing.  I have a Missoni-style blanket on the needles, but it's been sitting untouched for a while.  It's hard to knit a blanket when it's ridiculously humid outside.

Stash-buster baby blanket
place mat made from t-shirt yarn (fun project; I've made two; have two left to finish)

My sister-in-law visited the UK this month and promised to send me some yarn from Ireland.  I have to wait and see if I actually get it.  I found the most beautiful cowl pattern and I hope I can use that yarn for this project. 

Not my project - this is from the pattern page - it is simply beautiful
I will find the right yarn and the knit the hell out of this

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Chaos Postponed for the Weekend

It's a Saturday evening.  I am outside on the porch, listening to music, drinking some wine and crocheting.  Delilah is fast asleep in the chair next to me, while Monkey is running around hunting geckos.  

It's deceptively relaxing.  I have a huge week at work coming up that I am not prepared for and that I forecast may be partially disastrous.  If I could just calm myself by realizing that it is not the end of the world, that (any) failure is just that..and not the end of the world.  I have never been able to self-manage myself, and I am not sure why I think I could start now.  Is it just the lies that I tell myself to get through the day without melting down, so I can struggle internally to stay in control of my emotions?   Yes.  Yes it is.

I finished my basic ripple socks.  They are cute and I think I did a good job with knitting them to a good size (instead of my normal baggy oversized socks).  The only issue I had (and had nothing to do with me) is that the two skeins didn't match!  They were The same dye lot and I started each sock from the middle pull.  On one sock, they tied the yarn together, so there must have been a break but they didn't match up the color way.  It's not that bad because it was at the end of the sock (I knit cuff down so the color mismatch is near the toes).

I think I will be digging through my closet to locate an old project...a ripple scarf or shawl.  I put it aside early last year to work on my various ripple afghans.  It's time to get that thing off the needles.  

There will never be enough time to get to all the projects I want to do.  Stupid work for interfering with the important stuff.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Perfecting My Technique

Very grateful for the slow transition from Florida winter to mild and overcast Florida spring because I'm having a hard time with my budget lately.  Any additional expenses, like having to run the air conditioner, would max out my already-strained budget.  I'm clinging to breakeven mode every paycheck but only by a sliver; I feel like the good guy in the movies, who is hanging on to the side of the building by just enough to keep him from falling to the ground below.

It helps to keep my mind off it.  I'm very good at running away from things that bother me.  I was working on another chevron afghan, but only made it about one-third of the way before I got really bored.  I picked up my smallest needles and starting knitting socks again.  

I tried to hide the fact that the left sock is smaller (but it fits better) than the right one

I'm trying out a new heel with these zig zag lace socks
I've got my sock mojo working for me right now.  They are not perfect, but I love finishing a project in a few weeks.  

So all my sock yarn has been getting a second look these days.  I'm really trying to perfect my technique.

Pretty soon, we should be coming up on the end of Monkey cat's first year with us.  I'll work on getting a picture retrospective because she has grown so much in the last year and she's just a perfect (or so) fit.