Sweater Progress

I’m alternating between knitting on the Lammas sweater and the Squirrel sweater while I wait for the yarn for the next pair of CAYA socks to arrive. I’m making progress, even if it’s slow.

Lammas Sweater

The squirrel sweater is also progressing, though I’m started to note that the body is the same length as the body of the Lammas sweater — you know, the one designed to fit a full grown adult.

I’m fairly certain there’s a salient comment on the state of women’s fashion in there, but I’m too tired to find it.

On the up side, it’s very soothing knitting which has been exactly what I needed lately with things getting shaken up  personally and physically — woke up on Sunday at 3 am to the big shaker in Napa! Things are all fine here in Alameda; nothing even got knocked over that I could tell. It’s the strongest earthquake since Loma Prieta in 1989, and I’m hoping it’s the big one for the next 20 years or so.

I’d also like to note that my cats? Worhtless as earthquake detectors. No warning, and Padma just sat up and blinked at me. Which is more than Fred – he slept right through the entire thing, as well as my middle of the night Twitter frenzy post-quake. Useless, the pair of them.

At any rate, the earthquake gave me a nice excuse to sit around on Sunday, knitting and watching Frontline, because that is how I roll over here. Both sweaters seem to be stalled around the six inch mark so hoping I can break through and make real progress.

More Tarot Progress

No final photos yet – I know, it’s sad – but we’re moving along through the photoshoots. It’s hard to believe we only have 19 cards to go!

The High Priestess, much like the Magician, was a deceptively easy shoot in terms of props and location. I fear these are lulling us into a false sense of security about how the Majors are going to go.

Here’s a peek at what you have to look for:

Future Unknown

In the meantime, it’s onward with the project and soon you’ll get to start to see the finished photos.

Baby Squirrel Progress

The sweater is slowly coming along — I’ve finally finished the baby squirrel chart, so it should pick up, which is good because I’m pretty sure that the intended recipient is about at her due date.

I considered requesting she wait until I was closer to finished to deliver, but I’m pretty sure pregnant ladies don’t like that much.

Baby Squirrels

I do like how the squirrels turned out, so hopefully the rest goes quickly! I’ll have more time too — I’ve finished another pair of socks (which you’ll see as soon as I deliver them to their recipient!) but the yarn for the next pair is still en route since I didn’t realize how much processing time the order would need. Which gives me a guilt-free sock break and time to work on the baby knitting that needs to get done.

New Wildlife

Apparently I am the suburban version of Snow White because, y’all, animals just keep showing up on my doorstep.

I don’t know if they can sense that I’m a sucker, or if there’s some sort of animal kingdom hotline, but I’m reaching the point where I don’t even guess what creatures will be on my deck when I wake up.

Case in point, on Tuesday, this is what greeted me as I looked out my back door.

New Visitors

I’m calling him Rocket, and I believe he’s behind the repeated upending of the cat food container of outdoor kitty’s food. (It’s been moved inside now).

He was also greatly unmoved by my efforts to get him to move off the porch so I could feed the cat, which left me standing on my deck in a robe, hollering at a raccoon while sleepy enough for my southern accent to return. Hello California; my roots, let me show you them.

I Shall Call Him Rocket

He was also supremely unimpressed with the apple I tossed his way, and I haven’t seen him since but I suspect he’s still around.

If I am to collect wildlife, then I would like to humbly suggest to the universe that some corvids or a fox would not go amiss …

This entry was posted in Life.

JournoWitch Hat, Part 2

Last week, I went over the basic steps I used to create my newsprint witches hat. You could stop there, and wind up with a perfectly serviceable hat, but it looks a little plain.

Sadly, I forgot to take step-by-step photos of the next part, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

The first thing I wanted to do was age the hat. I was using new(ish) newspapers, not old ones like the original pin used, so they looked very bright. Naturally, the day I wanted to do this was one where everything went haywire and I brought work home with me, so I used the time I was troubleshooting issues to steep a bowl of very strong tea. I used a paintbrush to paint the newspapers and give them a little color.

It didn’t yellow them much, but it did take out some of the bright whiteness that was happening. I had also planned to put the hat in the oven and (gently) heat it, but it was too tall. I’m currently storing it in my (very sunny) living room, so I also hope the sun will age it over time.

From there I added a black ribbon as a hat band; I tied it on with a bow because I couldn’t find my fabric glue. (Or possibly I don’t own fabric glue, though that seems like a terrible oversight, if it’s true.) I also used some faux ivy to give it some more dimension and personality.

Voila: One Charming Hat

Witch Crafty

The brim wound up curving up, likely from moisture? It was entirely unplanned, but I think it looks great so I’m not worried. It also wound up being very slightly too small for my head, so is best worn at a rakishly charming angle.


See? I’m one serious witch!

Working Through the Majors

When I said we’re back in the game, I meant it. We shot another of the Majors this past weekend, which means that out of 78 cards, we only have 20 left to shoot!

Nancy and I have been working on this project, which I first thought we’d knock out before the end of my Saturn return, for four years now. Being this close to the end? Doesn’t even feel real.

We’re still working on catching up on editing, but here’s a glimpse into what The Magician has in store for you:

Shooting The Magician

If you want to keep up with the project, the best way is to go ahead and follow us on Facebook! As things ramp up even more, we’ll share more updates about what we’re shooting, and what we plan on doing with the project next.

JournoWitch Hat Part One

Now that we’re into the Majors, the tarot project is getting more elaborate, and so are the props. So naturally, I used the excuse to make a project I’ve found on Pinterest.  In this case, a newsprint covered witches hat for one of the upcoming cards.

The original pin didn’t come with instructions, so I’m documenting my process here.

I started with creating a base, using poster board. It’s a little lightweight but it was the best I found. I didn’t want to try to use a store-bought hat, because I wasn’t sure how things would glue to fabric.

I measured my head, and used that to figure out the radius and trace a circle. (Crafts: Life’s joke for insisting you’d never use geometry.) I don’t have a drafting compass, because, well I haven’t used one since about 7th grade, so I used a dot at the center, a measuring tape, and a prayer for the best. I traced a brim six inches out from that, because that was how much room I had on the poster board. It came out slightly small, but will work for what I need. (Did I mention I sucked at geometry?)

Hat Brim

Next up was a cone. I trimmed a sheet of boaster board to be roughly square and then rolled it into a cone. This turned out to be the most difficult part. I tried to glue it, but the Gorilla Glue failed to live up to it’s name and it wasn’t sticking. I got it all over my fingers, nearly glued myself to the floor, and wound up with hands drier than the Sahara before giving up and using staples on the theory that it would be covered. I measured the base and then trimmed the cone, adding an inch to the bottom and cutting it into tabs to attach it.

Cone for Hat

Once cut out, I glued the cone and base together. Mod Podge was much more effective than Gorilla Glue, for those of you playing along at home. This is the point I got really nervous, because it was still looking more third grade homemade Halloween costume than cute hat.

Posterboard Hat Base

Next up was the fun part – taking a bunch of newspapers and cutting out articles and glueing them on. My adorable small town newspapers were quite useful for this. I’m catching up on TV shows I missed for no reason and am finally watching Charmed, which made a great background for this.

Newspaper Applied

Once the newspaper was attached, the hat started looking  a lot cuter! I could leave it like this, but I still have plans. Next week, I’ll document the process of aging the paper, adding a band, and decorating it!

Destination Santa Cruz

The final adventure in the spirit of air came with a trip to sunny Santa Cruz. I love, love, love Santa Cruz and I don’t visit nearly enough.  This time, I went with my friend Katie. Katie and I worked together at my previous company, and we haven’t had a chance to see each other much since so it was great to reconnect.

She was also nice enough to agree to hold my hand as I braved my fear of roller coasters at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. While it was very cool to ride a coaster that was built in the 1920s and is a historic landmark, the verdict is very much that — I don’t like roller coasters. At all. I can say I’ve faced my fear and ridden one, but I have no impulse to do so again. Ever.

Braving the Rides

Afterwards, Katie convinced me to go on the log flume. Turns out, I still don’t enjoy those either. Basically anything where I am coming up out of my seat is not a ride I need to be on, safety bars or not.

On the up side, we did hit the beach after and it finally felt like a real summer. I’m a southern girl, and it’s not summer until a trip to the beach happens. I’ve skipped that the past several years and I think it’s what’s been missing. I’m making a mental note: Santa Cruz trips every summer to make it feel official!

This entry was posted in Life.