Feed on


I’ve been on a winning streak with the dumpster diving just lately. Found this embroidered jeans jacket in the West Bottoms on Monday.


This is legitimately a thing I’d buy and wear on purpose, so finding it in the trash is just a bonus. Free obnoxious clothing is serendipitous and appreciated.

Then, yesterday, I found these:


Again, things I would genuinely wear, even if I hadn’t found them in the neighbor’s trash. There were two other pair, chenille knee socks in pink and green, not photographed here because I am planning to use them for Fairly Stupid Sock Creature fodder. I bought myself that book last year and have every intention of making weird critters out of old socks and other knit goods.

I’m also experimenting with this blog. I’ve got it set up now to crosspost to Tumblr, where I’ve been blogging semi-regularly since March or April. Right now my Tumblr also reposts to this blog. That may become a pain in the arse; I am noticing fairly ugly formatting and some weird loops with other rebloggers’ commentary. We shall see if I leave my Tumblr to repost here (I may set it to crosspost original content only, not re-blogs). I need also to re-jigger my Twitter feed into the sidebar. Back when it worked properly, it was a feature I quite liked, as I use my Twitter usually to air oddball thoughts that aren’t really sufficient to develop into a blog post, but which amused me enough to bother logging on and typing out in 150 characters or fewer.

Also, here’s an artsy shot of the embroidery on the collar and back of my new jacket.
I am entirely too easily amused.

You guys! A fungus exists called the Stinky Squid

And they totally look squidly, and apparently smell of poo.

A horrible side of me wants to cultivate a bed of them somewhere just for the total grossout effect.

Thinking about animated GIFS

and how back in the day, they were kind of a shameful, naff affectation.  The little “website under construction” GIF with the man and shovel, the e-mail GIF, with the little mailbox that flapped open and closed, the dancing baby, and the dancing hamsters.  Everyone did it and everyone reviled each other for having done so (Internet, don’t never change).

But now animated GIFs are like completely freaking awesome and there are ones made from everyone’s favorite TV shows and movies, there are original animations mutated from classic paintings, animated comic strips, and so on.  They are fun, entertaining, provocative, and the heart and soul of Tumblr.

Moreover, an animated GIF can sometimes say as much as a picture, and even then a little bit more.

Right, Ishikawa Rika?

I’d already been planning to make my son an amanita mushroom costume for this Halloween.  Using a footie sleeper pattern for the main body of it, that’ll be done up in a light tan fleece, with an oversized, slightly padded beret in red with white spots appliqued on (and mittens also in red, so his hands look like little-bitty mushroom caps).

But today, while riding my bike (which is when I have most of my good ideas – or ideas, at any rate), it occurred to me that I should dress as a log.  Since I am always carrying the little dude around on my hip, it would be a good visual joke, a mushroom growing on a log.

Sometimes I scare myself with my genius or whatever the crap it is.

On year later:

one year difference

Same baby, same car-seat, same pose, one year apart. On 7-13-13, we got to bring young Joseph home. The photo on the left was from his “car-seat-challenge” at the NICU, to make sure that his heart rate or breathing wouldn’t be hampered by being positioned in the car-seat. The photo on the right was from today, when Joseph zonked out in the car on the way home from the grocery, and I let him finish off his (abbreviated) afternoon nap all buckled in five-points style.

IMG_6483 IMG_6482

So, these are basically home-made Robeez. With nonskid soles, even.  I’d like to say this is because I am all craftsy and innovative and capable and shit, but to be perfectly honest, it’s largely because I somehow managed to lose my son’s actual pair of Robeez. McCall’s M6342 View I, to the rescue.

Kiddo’s got to the point where all he wants to do is walk, and by “walk,” I mean totter about like a poorly engineered wind-up toy while I hold him up under the armpits.  He’s really enthusiastic about the project, but he lacks all balance and most direction sense.  He just wants to go and lurches about at random.  It’s pretty entertaining for both of us, really.  But because of his great obsession with being up on his feet, we needed a new pair of shoes, because we do go indoor/outdoor quite a lot and my garden and patio have all sorts of scratchy debris that would be nasty to bare feet.

These booties have a layer of very heavy canvas beneath the nonskid sole, which should protect his feet from sticks, gravel, etc.  It wouldn’t fend off sharp burrs, but so far our back yard is burr-free.

In the course of making these, I somehow managed to misplace my seamripper.  Sadly, I can’t make myself a new one of those.

Do the Mashup…

sailor dress mashup
For a lark, I am creating a dress based on a mashup of these two patterns. I am using the View 3 skirt from the 1966 Simplicity 6840 and the full-length middy tunic from the 1974 Simplicity 9922. I measured the pattern pieces against one another and they are the same at the hip, so there is no reason this won’t work.

It’ll be a short-sleeved dress for summer use, navy blue, white collar, red piping. There will be a line of piping at the join of bodice and skirt, as well. I will wear it with red shoes, naturally.
I have used the middy pattern for a maternity top, adding in a sort of a-line flare below the bust. It served me well in that capacity last year, but now, I can move on to something a little less Princess Diana Circa 1982.
IMG_5671 IMG_5655
I’ve used the 6840 pattern a few times, most notably my Minnie Mouse polkadot dress and my Odoru 11 dress (inspired by the stage costumes from a Hello!Project subgroup)

This morning, as I was preparing to go down and plant some additional morning glories in my front flowerbed to fill in some bare patches, I caught this weasel-faced jackass dumping the ashtray from his car into said flowerbed.  

So, I did what any crotchety gardener would do and started shouting at him, something to the tune of “I see you dumping your butts in my flowers, you pathetic cockgobbler.  I’ve got your license plate number and if you don’t clean that shit up, I’m calling the cops.”

He did clean it up, while muttering about my general bitchiness and lack of pulchritude the whole time.  I gave not a single goddamn, considering that he was, in fact, cleaning up his stinking cigarette mess.

I ain’t got time for “get off my lawn.”  It’s straight insults and threats here.

Happy chappy


So, that tiny little scrap of humanity they allowed me to bring home from KU Med Center back on July 13 is now 26″ long and 16lbs, 4 oz. Quite a bit of progress from his starting stats of 17.5″ and 4lb, 14 oz.

What Joseph likes is: his feet, being carried around, sitting up like a big boy, chattering in his own little language, his octopus toy, food, and we’ve just recently discovered something else he enjoys:

1991 Trek 850 hitched to a circa 2000 Burley D'Lite.  This is pretty much THE BEST THING.

Riding in the Burley is good times as far as the youngster is concerned. He seems to enjoy hanging out back there, usually playing with one or another of his toys, waving his hands and feet around, or just watching the scenery roll by. We made it down to the season opener of Bike Friz this past Monday, which was pretty much the hard test of Burley-ing it. Google Maps tells me that it’s 6.5 miles, which sounds about right to me. So, that’s a fair jaunt in the trailer, and he was contented and mellow all the way down. He had a little bit of a meltdown on the way home, but that was less about the trailer than it was about it being past his bedtime. However, after an initial burst of fussing, he sensibly fell asleep, and was sacked out so well that when we got home, I was able to transfer him from trailer to crib without waking him!

Here’s a sample of Joseph’s verbal repretoire.

That video was taken over a month ago, and he has added a range of new noises and syllables to his vocabulary. The following is his weirdest noise to date:

The first time he busted that one out, I thought, “wow, he’s got a demon infestation!” It really is a singular and alarming sound to hear coming out of a face like that.

And of course, I had to include the obligatory “baby covered in pureed carrots” photograph. Pretty much every parent with access to a camera has taken this photograph, and I am no exception. There is something inherently hilarious about children learning to eat real food.

Joseph is particularly excited about carrots specifically, though he has thus far proven to be fairly omnivorous.
He’s most fond of apples, carrots, and sweet potato but he’s game for just about anything. He goes flippin’ bonkers over carrots, though. Like he tries to wrest control of the spoon, and then worries it like a terrier killing a rat. That’s enthusiasm in my book.
Moments before this picture was snapped he had the bowl gripped in his jaws, not unlike Snoopy in the Peanuts strips.

Actually, he does a number of Snoopy-esque moves. He does this crazy little head waggle which is usually accompanied by a general wild kicking of feet and waving of hands which looks like a horizontal version of the Snoopy Happy Dance. If you watch the first verbalization video, he does it a little bit from time to time.

I’m getting such a kick out of this kid these days. He’s getting more and more interactive. He was matching tones with me this morning – I’d sing a note, and he’d imitate it. It seems he has pretty good pitch. He’s starting to try to imitate sounds sometimes, too, which is fun. He’s getting closer to talking and I am really excited about that. In the meantime, I’ve gotten to know the moods of his noises, and I can tell a happy babble from a frustrated babble, from a “look, buster, I’m about fifteen seconds from having a full on meltdown, so you can either deal with it now or not, but I’m not afraid to start yelling, see.”

From time to time I’m just amazed at what a neat little guy he is. Basically a pretty cheerful little fellow, pretty good at going with the flow, but not afraid to speak his mind when he does need something. He gets the sillies now, where he gets in a mood to giggle, make faces, play peek-a-boo, squeal, and blow raspberries. It’s one of my favorite things, when he wants to get goofy. I always oblige him in sillytime. I have a half-formed theory that lots of smiling, laughing, and general rumpus is likely to be good for his sense of humor ultimately. Among the things I want for my child, the ability to wholeheartedly have a damn good time is well up the top-ten list.

Super-Secret Bat Cave

Complete with bat, of course.

Here is my new sewing room.

Is it not glorious? Let us revel in the glory. Rev-rev-rev-rev-revel. Aaaah!

It is also where my computer and excessive collection of shitty romance novels live. For if-and-when I re-acquire the free time to re-start my shitty romance novel review blog.

Right now, I share the space with a crapton of bicycle wheels and tires, a 1974 Honda CB350 that needs its carburetors rebuilt, and all the rest of the normal basement stuff – washer, dryer, freezer, beer fridge, camping equipment, off-season clothing, bale of Costco toilet paper, canning and homebrewing crap, etc. A metric shitton of etc., honestly. Eventually, the 1959 VW will also be crowding in, and the motorcycle will (hopefully) go out to the shed that Joel built for motorcycles and gardening equipment.

I bet I’ll be the ONLY woman in the world whose sewing room doubles as her garage. It will be EPIC.

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