Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snow Days, Creative Outlets, and Updates!

Beans,

Today, I write a post in memory of our dear porch cat, Concernicus.
While it's true that he was not MY cat, but a wild beast, we had some good times together on the porch. He died a warrior's death. RIP, Concernicus.

While I haven't crafted in a really long time, I have been immersing myself in creative processes. As you wrote earlier, I have been engaged and planning a wedding! I can't believe it's already been 9 months! I have a lot of things together, color scheme (ish), a wedding dress, cupcake ideas, flower ideas, centerpiece ideas.... but nothing is set in stone and I keep fearing that all my visions and inspirations will never result in a physical result!

However, I've been checking wedding blogs for months and months now, as well as Etsy treasuries and inspiration boards, collecting pictures and virtual things to obsess over and wish for. So! Needless to say, I'm getting excited about seeing how things turn out!

Now that my vision for the reception has sort of materialized, my latest hobby is daydreaming about my nonexistent wedding registry!! J and I can't possibly fit even so much as a lemon zester into our overflowing tiny kitchen cupboards - but a girl can dream. :) I'm imagining a future home that looks like a cross between Better Homes and Gardens layout spreads and the front page of Crate and Barrel. *sigh*

Yesterday morning, my scouring of Etsy led me to try my own hand at creating treasuries! If you're a member of Etsy, and you enjoy looking at pages and pages of cool stuff, I really encourage you to check out treasuries - so much fun! And, being the vain sort of person who imagines that somebody will read a blog that only gets posted every 3 months, and who believes my wedding will somehow be the creative, DIY Event Of The Year, I naturally want my treasuries to go to the front page of Etsy! So please look for my treasuries "Splish Splash!" which is composed of things I would LOVE to have in my imaginary bathroom, and "Writer's Block", which just seemed like a cool theme for a collection. :)

Maybe I'll make a treasury for Concernicus.

Love,
Mooser





Saturday, November 13, 2010

3 Months? No way!

Hey, Mooser!

It's been three months since either of us has posted! That is unacceptable. So I'm going to post about...

FEMALE ANATOMY! yaaaaaay are you excited? I bet.

A few weeks ago you commissioned a uterus, and I finished it in one night. Unfortunately, it looked like it was done in one night. So I'm going to make a second attempt -- perhaps tonight! Anyway, I wanted to share with you some of my inspiration photos and thoughts about how to improve the idea so it looks less like a balloon with arms and more like the most fundus organ in the female body - the uterus!

Here it sits with my heart! The uterus is about 4in tall, which is about 1in taller than it should be, but making it shorter would probably be really hard. It will take careful planning, which is certainly not a strength of mine.

The obvious problems with this design are the overall shape of the uterus which is simultaneously triangular and rectangular (which is really hard to reproduce), the fallopes are not properly shaped (but to do so I would need wire), and the cervix is actually only a tiny bit narrower than the body of the organ, but there are multiple diagrams of the cervix and uterus that are conflicting. I have gathered a few laparoscopic images to help clarify these anatomical features, and would appreciate input as you are the only one I know who has had such intimate contact with a uterus (in a medical setting). hey-oh!

Diagrams often depict the cervix as a very tiny doughnut, and has always been described to me in biology classes as "tiny", which fueled my misconception that the cervix was a tiny button-shaped opening on the bottom of the uterus. In looking at more diagrams, though, the cervix appears to be no narrower than the bottom portion of the uterus, while the opening is of course very small. So! In the next design, I will have to try to make the cervix blend a lot more with the rest of the uterus body instead of abruptly narrowing the design. I think I will keep the technique of making a tube extending from the uterus and folding it in on itself to create the rounded opening. Hopefully it will work!
 This is by far my favorite photo so far - it clearly shows the fallopes, the ovaries, and the overall shape of the organ. Here, the fallopes look folded downward as opposed to being bent outward as diagrams usually show, though this is only one view and other perspectives show a different curvature. Not to neglect that every woman's precise anatomy will be different, which slightly complicates the matter. I like this photo also because it shows the different contours from the semi-triangular top, a pinch in the middle, and a bulbous bottom. I think this shape would be more interesting (and probably easier) to reproduce, and would help lead into the cervix better. I didn't include the ovaries the first time, but will have to next time. It would be most anatomically correct to include the sheet of tissue that holds everything together, but that would obscure the other bits and seems like it would be annoying to knit.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll update with a new and hopefully improved version of the uterus.

Love,
Beans

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Learning Curve

Mooser,

I am currently (re)blocking the center piece to that blanket I should have finished years ago. So far, it has been far more of an adventure that it probably should, but oh well. I have been researching different blocking techniques, and decided that steam might be a good option since I am low on space and towels, and wet blocking can be so messy. I started by stripping my bed of sheets, mattress pad and laundry. I then covered the bed in a plastic sheet I found, since I had read that a plastic sheet can be substituted for the underlying towels and would allow the piece to dry faster. My cats love things that make rustling noise. All cats do. And they LOVE it when I make my bed. So they were there, my precious little helpers, trying to subdue the large, shiny, crinkly thing that was threatening to suffocate my bed. In the end, I needed to use pieces of string to outline the dimensions of my knitting, and 250 odd pins to get it into shape. All I needed was the iron.



 The iron, thanks to my incredibly tall boyfriend, is in a cupboard I can just reach, and is full of water since it was recently used. There is now water everywhere - not only because I spilled the full water tank on myself while fetching it from the cupboard, but because I am incapable of remembering to keep the iron in the correct upright position when not in use. It also kept beeping at me, and I'm still not sure why.

 I waved the iron over the piece until my back hurt, and I'm not convinced it did the job. I took a pin out to test and the edge rolled up on itself. Not a good sign.

My cats had fun, though, and I can't wait to see how my ever tolerant boyfriend reacts to see our bed covered in plastic, pins, and pieces. Should be interesting!

Bonus pictures of Iroh enjoying his new plastic kitty tent, and Nermal curling up under one of the pieces.


Love,
Beans

P.S. Lace update: I have successfully knitted a small square of lace weight yarn with size 4 needles. Attempts to knit an actual lace pattern not as fruitful but will keep trying. We ordered the yarn to knit the shawls, plus extra for plenty of trial and error. I'll have to perfect my blocking techniques before blocking all that delicate lace!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Congratulations!

Mooser,

This is coming a bit late, but congratulations on your engagement! I'm so happy for you! I've started compiling projects and inspirations for your wedding. Mom and I have decided to make you a lace shawl, plus some for the bridesmaids. As per usual, we decided to do this without any prior experience or research into knitting lace!

Here are my findings:

Knitting lace is infuriating! In my research I've found that there is so much variations in lace weight and material that substituting lace yarn into a pattern is nearly impossible. The yarn I bought to practice with is so light and fine, and so hard to knit with! I bought another ball that is a thicker yarn, and I think I will try to practice with that first.

Good thing the wedding isn't for another year! We will need every second.

Love,
Beans

Friday, March 5, 2010

'Evening Beans,

I love the new fabric! I know what you mean about not wanting to cut into the kitty fabric. I immediately thought of a few patterns I've seen that feature prints or sections of them. Most are adaptations of the log cabin block, or just given wonky frames for a modern look.

This one gives the butterflies a central role, and in this one, some super-cute owls are pieced right into the strips of the block. I agree about the need for coordinating solids - those patterns are beautiful but probably need to be paired with something that gives your eyes a rest.
Now...a pattern for the other fabrics... maybe just square patches? Simple, but pleasing, I think. So many possibilities.

You don't know how excited I am that you're joining the dark side of sewing and fabric addiction.

Love you!
Mooser




New Fabric!

This fabric isn't exactly new. I bought it a while ago, when JoAnn's was having a sale. I've started making plans for it, though, and I'm excited! 


 


This is the first bundle. I love the rich, bright colors and of course - the kitties!


Here are my two favorite designs in the bundle. I don't have the heart to slice up the cats, so I'm thinking I'm going to cut out different shaped pieces featuring all the different cats. I'll use the other fabrics to fill in the other bits between. They're very festive prints. I might get a few dark solids to help bring out the patterns.

•      •      •

 
Here is the second bundle. The tones are much more earthy, and the patterns are simple repetitions, so I don't feel so bad cutting into them.

 
Look how cute they are!

I can't wait to find a pattern to use them for.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines and Merry Christmas!

Hey Mooz!

Really enjoyed your last bost! and thanks for showing off the heart I made your for Christmas. That was my first, and I can't wait to make more. It was a really fun project.

Being Valentines Day, I thought now would be the perfect time for a Christmas themed blog post! Featuring your recently finished Christmas '09 quilt!

Here's a nice shot of the fabrics used and the zig-zag quilting. I know it was an accident, but it came out really well!  
And here is Iroh enjoying the warm lap while Mooser finishes binding. Also, there's a glimpse at the backing. I love Christmas plaids.
Finally, The lovely Christmas quilt draped casually over our arm chair. Wonderfully cozy!
I was very impressed at how quickly it took you to put it all together (for the most part). You'll have to post some more pictures of the finished product some other time.
As for my own projects, I still have too many things started and not enough time. I've bought a total of 7 lbs of yarn for Hawk's blanket. You'd think that it'd be the most massive blanket in the world, but it's all because I keep buying the wrong wool. So I'll have plenty for future projects, I guess!
Another exciting purchase I've made: some more red yarn to replace the skein that my cats puked on! Any tips on getting cat barf out of yarn without ruining it? Gross. It was my favorite red yarn, the same stuff that was used to make my sweater and the left atrium of your heart!
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