Thursday, January 31, 2008

Today's New York Times House & Home Section

The New York Times would say it is a perfect slow movement day, it is cold out, and I am thinking again about how to change without rushing out and buying things. The House and Home section of the paper today was full of good stuff:

The Slow Life Picks Up Speed is interesting because it again points out that the participants in the movement don't "grow" easily...or maybe at all. The article has several examples of companies that ended up sending work abroad etc to meet their production needs, and thus became "fast".

It is the conundrum.. slow food was made in your kitchen or in small restaurants, not in huge places that fed thousands. Now the slow movement is incorporating the recycle movement and sometimes produces something that everyone wants. It can't be available to everyone because the original materials were discards or one of a kind things that aren't available widely. So it begins to manufacture "discards" and use them. Then it becomes "fast" and the originators bail and start another small company re-using already produced stuff one at a time and the cycle starts again. I just wish the article had talked a bit more about quality, functionality and sustainablilty as hallmarks of the movement, but maybe that is just my thinking?

The other 2 articles were one about Piet Oudolf, a garden designer who has a focus on the winter and how the garden dies. The pictures are textural. And then, there is Eliphante, the home of Michael Kahn and his wife, Leda Livant that incorporates rocks and scraps from constructions sites and both inside and out.

I wish I could find someone who would fix my old Kenmore sewing machine. It does so much that I want to do without using a finicky computer interface and used to sew like a dream. I think it is repairable but I guess I have to find a slow sewing machine repair shop!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Vintage Plastic

I am starting to photograph some of my new pins etc. for Photographing them is never easy. I need several good pictures of each with one showing size.
I used to shoot them beside a quarter, but seems some people don't "get" that and still don't know what size they are.
This time I am trying to position them against an old folding ruler. Not sure if that is any better, but keeping everything level is proving to be harder than I would have predicted, optimist that I am.

Out of the first 43 shots I kept these 2. Lighting, sigh. I am still not happy with these, so back to the process.

The wind would blow the house down if it could. It must be coming across the river at 40 miles an hour. It isn't freezing, but with the wind it is an adventure to go out.
One person + one dog = 3 walks per day at a minimum. I remember when I used to be able to spend the whole day in my jammies when I worked from home and only had cats!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We have knitting content

Now that home improvement has reached a pausing place (it never stops when you live with me ... as I do) I was wanting a hat. I have funny hair.. lots of very very fine mildly curly hair. As a result, I get VERY bad hat head. SO, if I make a hat it has to look good enough to stay on til I get into the shower again once I put it on.

and though it looked good in the picture it did nothing for me and was hard to keep on my head. I gave it away before I thought to take a picture of it, alas. Maybe Nicki will get a pic and send it to me?

This one did it for me, though I modified it significantly because........... I never seem to knit anything as written. Dysknittia perhaps?

This is how it looks now:

The model is very cooperative ... no?

the mods....

The Needles:

I didn't have size 17 needles and so I used size 15s.

The Yarn:

It calls for Rowan Big Wool (Gauge: 8 sts/4 in Needle: US 19) 2 skeins for the large size (87 yds/skein) I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky (Gauge: 10 sts/4 in Needle: US 13) color 16023.

Time: under 5 hours with time out for one dog walk.

Did I swatch? No, I sort of felt my way through it, and did a bunch of ripping out when I found something wasn't working.

What I changed: I added a pattern repeat to the large size so I started with 74 stitches. It fits my head perfectly. I added an extra cable repeat after the first decrease row to make the hat deeper (taller?) because the row guage was off too.

Yarn Used: About 10 yards more than 1 skein.

What I will change for the next one: I am going to make this again. I really like it. The next one I want to be even deeper (taller?) so I will do 2 repeats of the first pattern section instead of one. I think that will make it come down further on my ears, which I want it to do.

Bonus? I got 4 skeins of this lovely yarn, 2 each of complementary colors, so I will have close to 1.5 skeins left in 2 colors. Does that say "neckwarmer" to you? It does to me!

Monday, January 28, 2008

It is "done"

Except for the big fat cat in the middle of the workspace, it is 90% done. There are still boxes to clean out and things to figure out but for the first time since I moved up here to semi-urban Manhattan, I have a place I can actually DO things in. How EXCITING!!

Another shot, because I don't know when it is too much of a good thing:

I think it will be great in the daytime.

I do need a place to sit at the lowered table, but we shall see if I actually sit there or if it is home to printing once I have some young male company with the strong hands needed to tighten the legs on the drawing table. My mother always said "With your hands you better not want to be a washer woman." or words to that effect. I have NO strength in my grip and I guess it is way too late to start squeezing those exercise balls.

One final picture of the territorial issue we have going on here.

I put an old bathroom rug in Sienna's crate so it would be warmer for her. She likes it, but Romeo LURVES it. He goes in there as soon as she gets out in the morning and basically stays there all day. He has given up his cardboard box... Moving on UPscale, I guess. She routs him out at night when she goes to bed, but he didn't want to leave last night and for a while they were both in there.

The boy knows comfort when he sees it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

47 words

free Touch typing

i will do ANYTHING to keep from cleaning the studio.

Thanks Gill

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Day 2 - Studio

All the wrapped and stacked framed pictures are stored, except for the ones that are still waiting to be hung (they are in the bedroom) and the front bookcase on the left is re-organized. It was one of those tasks that you couldn't do one thing til you did 4 others. Three closets had to be re-organized before there was room in them for all the framed things. I didn't set out to re-org the closets, but it is collateral damage here. So the framed stuff got put up in the top of three closets and it will take an act of congress to get them down again.

Clementine found the whole thing VERY boring. Tomorrow is the back of the left side and some tossing out of things. Then on to the dreaded right side.

Friday, January 25, 2008

studio before

This is it. Today has to be the last day it looks like this, since I can't even get to the window to see the view, which is great.

The view is across the Hudson River, so I can see the Palisades in New Jersey and a lot of the river, though that is true only in the winter. In the summer I get a little sliver of river. (Don't ask about the little bodies hanging in the window. They are for another post sometime, but they are NOT bodies and they are NOT hanging)

I missed the picture but earlier today there was a white tug pushing a white barge with white boxes of some sort on it down the river. With my luck it was nuclear waste from the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor, but it was pretty great looking in any case.

OK, the goal is to start on the left corner and work my way around. Today I am hopeful.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

desk, day2

I got it mostly clean. It looks fake it is so cleared off... although I suppose even a clean desk is relative. There are still things on it, but close up it looks shiny.

Before I do "before" pictures on the "studio" though, there are a couple of other aspects of this cleaning jag I am on.

The desk is really the first thing people see when they clear the hallway. Frances' comment about how different our lives were made me think about this view:

Standing in the entry foyer, you can see why the clean desk is something I need to focus on. If you look carefully you can also see that Sienna thinks this is a waste of perfectly good time that could be spent shagging balls on the tennis court (her), or throwing balls on the tennis court for shagging (me).

Finally, there are these things..somewhat neatly arranged in a tray. I found the ladybug in the

subway, just sitting on a bench, the knitting cables are for the Denise set I am going to list on EBay. (I want to know where they are and the minute I put them somewhere I will forget where they are). The mouse is for whenever someone else uses my computer so they don't mess with my stylus and pad.

There are sunglasses, folding reading glasses, a hair clamp and a battery for my phone. I NEED all of them, and if they aren't there, where would they be??? someplace where I couldn't find them. SO, as long as they all fit on the tray they are staying there.

Now on to the studio, but that is a several day project and "befores" will wait til tomorrow.

I am learning that my biggest problem is that I am an "in the open in piles" kind of organizer. If I put it away ...I can't find it.
How to address that.. do I make lists of where I put everything I think I might look for and then put the lists on the desk? That sounds a little weird. Suggestions? Getting rid of most of it is NOT an option, wait til you see the stuff in the studio!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Starting the final push

This is my way-too-messy-to-work-on desk. It is sort of symbolic of the mess that I am living in right this minute. When I first moved in, I was all about cleaning up and putting away, but when I got to the last boxes it started to overwhelm me like it did when EVERYTHING was in boxes. I need a jolt of "just do it nowitis". The kitchen and the living room are overall fine, the desk is a hole in that particular fabric.

Today the desk. Tomorrow the dreaded Studio. I had a good start there, but later when I unearthed anything that didn't seem to have a home I put it in the studio to deal with later. Now is later.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Union Square Cafe

On a very cold January night. Good food, good friends, great fun

There were 2 steaks, so only one picture.

The star of the show, polenta with gorgonzola and walnuts. We all wanted this again for breakfast this morning.

great night.