Tuesday, September 27, 2011


(What's a TUSAL?)


Forced perspective; gotta love it! It looks like a massive pile of orts, when in reality it's a teensy tea light holder stuffed full of organza from the Bumblebee. Ah, it makes it look like all those single strands of silk from Chocolat are really amounting to something.

The weekend at Disney was fun (but of course!) but I did get the creeping crud while I was there. Fortunately, it waited until I was on the plane on the way home to really manifest itself, so I didn't ruin any of Michael's birthday weekend. Except for last night, maybe, when I was too unconscious to watch Fringe or even watch him open the presents that were too heavy to take with us (he got a Disney book to open on the plane and then some Godiva Pumpkin Spice Bark to open on his birthday before we threw ourselves into the parks).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

War of WIPs Call to Arms #10

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Ooooo...I must really love you guys. I have to leave the house in TWELVE MINUTES to catch a flight.
But yesterday I promised felted things. My first felted things ever.
Glamour shot. Getting stuffed with plastic bags while drying. What does everyone else use?

I've actually sewed on the nose and ear linings since this dark, cloudy picture. I'd take another one, but NOTIMENOTIMENOTIME!!!!

And what am I going to do NOW??!?


Have a great weekend!!

Join the battle with us! Visit Revelations of a Delusional Knitter to enlist!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday (Slow as a Turtle)

Got a little bit done on the Origami Turtle.

I made minuscule (hunh, that's spelled with two u's, eh? I really am losing my spelling ability as I get older) progress on my qiviuk, like HALF A ROUND, so no photo. I did my first bit of felting, EVER, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see that. Well...my first INTENTIONAL felting, anyway.

I got a little more done on my pre-stitching for Chocolat. Sorry for the "flashy" photo, but it's been dark and rainy here in the mornings.

It looks more impressive than it is...I DOUBLED the amount I have done, BUT I have to have 10.5 more of these round motifs done by November 2, and I am NOT on pace for that. Also, we're going to Disney World this weekend for my better half's birthday, and it's too much trouble to take this on the plane. I'm toying with what I should take...socks which are not on any de-stashing list whatsoever but are very portable? The qiviuk cowl which stands in the way of starting a shawl but might break my sanity if I drop a stitch? Astrid which is on the War on WIPs list but would involve bringing a scissors since I'm working on teensy, theoretically quickly-finished motifs? Something small from the Crazy Challenge (My WIPs go to 11 list) but requires clean hands?

True story: I once got on a plane with but one needlework project (and one needle). The minute I got in my seat, I pulled out the needle to thread, and immediately it flipped out of my hand. It was one of those slow-motion moments where I watched it tumble through a graceful arc, flashing periodically as it flipped end-for-end before dropping into oblivion. I spent the rest of the flight reading Sky magazine. *the horror!*

For more WIP Wednesday eye candy goodness, head over to Tami's Amis!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Alaska: Glacier Bay Part Deux!

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Previously, on the Alaska trip--
Glacier Bay, Part 1

Sailing out from Margerie Glacier, we went by Lamplugh Glacier again. This one is much smaller, but the blues and teals were deeper.


The palm trees around the pool seem especially out of place.
Although, there were some people who stayed in the hot tubs THE ENTIRE TIME. (Once again, temperatures were about 40F!) Yikes!

Click for bigger, teal-ier colors.



Conditions were favorable for us that day; we got to sail back and see John Hopkins Glacier.


And Topeka! Yup, that's a glacier up there in the dip between the mountains. Also, I'm pretty sure there's a bear there somewhere, as our helpful park ranger on the intercom was saying, "If you look to the right of the boat, there is a bear...right by the triangular rock."

Ohhhhhh, the TRIANGULAR rock. Of course!

No, we never actually saw a bear. However, we did see eagles. If you click to embiggen this picture, you'll see them on the ice floe right in front.


In fact, we saw so many eagles, that things started to go like this:

HEY! What's that on that ice floe?!? Is that a sea otter?

Aw, it's just an eagle.

In fact, it started to sound a lot like "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!":

"What'd you see??"

=) "I saw a sea otter!"

=D "I saw a bear!"

=( "I saw a rock...er, eagle."

We did end up seeing some (extremely cute, squee-worthy) sea otters later, with their little paws tucked up to their chins, when we were leaving the park. But again, no zoom lens to speak of, so no pictures. They were visible with the binoculars (did I mention this before?? If you go to Alaska, ABSOLUTELY BRING BINOCULARS!!), but that's about it. I actually have tried taking pictures with the weensy camera through a binocular lens, but this works just about as well as you'd expect it to (i.e., NOT AT ALL).

Finally, we had to leave. The clouds lifted as we exited the park, and the whales began to wave hello.

Can you see them in the lower-left corner? (Click for bigger) It was really hilarious; when the whales started to show up, we were inside the forward lounge, looking out the windows and only half-listening to the "Who Wants to Be a Bazillionaire?" gameshow going on. Every time a whale tale appeared, there was a massive gasp, applause and rush to whichever side was seeing the whale. The poor crew member who was emceeing, upon seeing most of her audience had fled, started saying, "We are going to charge you extra for the whale-watching expedition!"'

After we went outside, I got to enjoy one perky whale who breached, over and over, for about five minutes! Again, this was a binoculars-only experience, but it was such fun to watch.

Unbelievable that all that mistiness was just a few miles away.

There is STILL MORE Alaska to come! But pictures should be much easier to wade through. So the post should be up sooner. BUT OF COURSE THAT IS NOT A PROMISE. =)

Otters and eagles and whales, oh my!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Alaska: Glacier Bay

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Previously on the Alaska trip...

It felt like it took me forever to pick out the pictures for this post (I'm sure that for the two of you who've been waiting on a new Alaska post, it felt like that, too), because it was so hard to narrow down the choices! I'm actually splitting it into two posts just so I can get one out! Most of the pictures will become MUCH bigger if you click on them, and I would highly recommend it...not due to my photography "skillz" (or lack thereof), but because these things are all massive and huge and have amazing details.

From the moment we sailed in to Glacier Bay National Park, we were met with incredible views like this one.

I'm not going to lie; staring down at the milky-blue water, I had a few thoughts of Titanic. I had a vain hope that we'd have a sunny day; I had in my head that sunlight sparkling off of the glaciers would be awesome.
But I'm so glad that is was cloudy and misty. I think bright sun would have just meant I'd have to wear sunglasses. Plus, I kind of liked the slightly spooky atmosphere. When the ship's engines aren't running, it's pretty silent out there. The crowd even seems hushed. It's hard not to be awed by the views.

We passed a smaller glacier, Lamplugh (pictures in the next post) on our way to Margerie. This was the view as we were sailing towards Margerie. You're looking at it from an angle; it's about a mile wide, so the only way to get the whole thing in the picture is from an angle or with a wide-angle lens (which I don't have on my bitty point and shoot digital camera).

The boat stops in front of Margerie for a while. I don't know how long I could have stood there just staring at the different colors and formations in the ice.
Can you see the tiny seagulls in the foreground? If you only click for bigger pictures in two pictures in this post, click on these. Pictures of Margerie were the most difficult to pare down, because I took approximately 3.79 bazillion, and they were all subtly different, showing different details.
See that snowy-looking ice in the water in the bottom-left corner? That means the glacier has calved recently. I did manage to capture part of a calving on "video" (consider those as "air-quotes" because the "video" was taken on my digital camera). The visual isn't that great, but if you listen past the "oooing" and "aaahing", you can hear the thunder of the glacier.

Back in the day, the ships used to blow their horns to make the glaciers calve, but I'm sure the wildlife didn't care for these noisy visitors. No matter; we saw four or five good calvings while we were there. No dramatic crack-and-tumble; they were more like mini-avalanches or snow slides. But still very awesome. The park ranger who was on board giving a color commentary over the ship's PA system told us to zoom in with our binoculars after a calving to see the seagulls dive for all the goodies that were stirred up in the water. This really gives you a sense of how big things are. Margerie's about as tall as the Statue of Liberty! Since I did't have a macro lens to capture the gulls, here's a little bit of scale for you.

Poor Ferris glacier is just to the right of Margerie, but doesn't get as much love, because, well...it isn't nearly as photogenic.
Ferris is carrying the dirt along on top, as opposed to Margerie, which occasionally has it mixed in, or on the sides.

You can see that just a few of our shipmates were also out on deck, braving the cold (it was around 40F).
I had to splurge on some hot chocolate (replete with whipped cream and in a thermos!) to stave off the cold. I must admit that the "preservatives" they added to the hot chocolate certainly warmed us up! Watching the guy pour, I wasn't sure there'd be any room for the hot chocolate! Later when I thought about it, I was pretty sure that he was just trying to empty all his bottles more quickly so that he could go inside. =)

As the boat turned to leave, we dashed down to a lower deck. Still a great view. You can see the ripples coming from the glacier, which means that I got this shot right after a calving.

Next up: we leave Margerie behind and see three more glaciers. Stay tuned!

Glaciers in Alaska come in many shapes, colors and sizes, and turbo hot chocolate makes them all seem better.

Ahoy, Me Beauties! (And Scalawags)

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Arrrrr! Today be Talk Like a Pirate Day! Don't be a lubber...remember that pirates don't say "argh"...that's the sound we makes when some bilge rat tries to make us eats our vegetables, savvy? Now move along smartly and sling some lingo about!

This PSA has been brought to you by the letter "R". Arrrrrrrrr.....

Friday, September 16, 2011

All The Buzz (but no yarn)

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I finally had an hour of daylight to fuss with attaching the wings. I ran into a few problems. First, I had a wing with only one trailing end on one side of the wire. It was impossible to pull the ends of the wings together that way, so I had to anchor another thread on the opposite wire.

Second, I had this idea that I was going to thread the wires to the back and tack them down back there...yeah...not so much. The bulk going through the linen would have been too much. So I clipped the wires shorter (with my giant kitchen shears, of course), and in the process clipped an end off...see "First". The ends are just kind of hiding under that fringe of the turkey work (TECHNICAL TERM: i.e., "fuzzy stuff").

After that, it was just a matter of fiddling around with pulling the two ends together/through, and tightening the veins.

Sorry these pictures are kind of blurry; I just have a basic point-and-shoot camera (um, maybe I should read the manual? It probably has some fancy settings) and no swanky macro lens.

If I had the wings to do again (OH PLEASE NO), I would reshape them a bit. See how this guy's wings are straight across the top, rather than curved? You know, WING-SHAPED??
Hunh. My camera can take SOME good close-ups.

Also, I'd make the two ends of the wires meet on the organza before cutting out, rather than having an 1/8"-1/4" gap between them that had to be pulled together. Doing that made the wings kind of pucker or ruffle, rather than lying flat.
See what I mean? And real bees' wings don't do that. Makes my bee look kind of like a "bee fairy" or something. =)

Still, I'm pretty happy with him!! And very happy he's done! If anyone is interested in the pattern and instructions, drop me a line at heather at lottloft dot com. You'll need more linen, wire, organza and beads, but there is plenty of the Madeira floss left over, and there is a sample of the beads, wire and organza so you know what you need. If I get more than one request, I'll do a drawing at the end of the weekend.

If you're looking for actual yarn-related "Finished Objects", head over and visit Tami's Ami's:

The Bumblebee is done! That makes a whopping two projects finished from my Crazy Challenge. That's...sad. But YAY FINISHED BEE!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

War of WIPs Call to Arms #9

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I declare victory!!
I have toed the line to de-feet my arch enemy, the Errant Lace Socks!

Nothing can com-pair to the well-heeled campaign that has resulted in my sole finish for the month.

Aaaand...that's enough of the bad puns. After waffling on whether to just finish them (due to the CRAZY DIFFERENCE in the pooling or whatever between socks) or totally rip them out, I finally decided to just finish them and move on.

I will wear them with very long jeans.

I have enough Tofutsies left to make an extremely small shawl. Like this, maybe. You know. In a few years. When I run through the rest of my stash. ;)

Join the battle with us! Visit Revelations of a Delusional Knitter to enlist!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday (Closer to Bee-ing)

I finally cast on for the front of my Origami Turtle:
I'm doing the left and right fronts at the same time, on the same needle, so they look a little crowded. I'm actually a little farther now than this picture, which was taken on a very dark and grey day, so the color is not the best. The directions have you do the same pattern sequence on the left side as the back, but then they SWITCH IT UP FOR THE RIGHT SIDE. Like, the left is 4" of moss stitch, then 3.5" of eyelet pattern, etc., and the right is 2" of moss stitch, then the eyelet pattern. Schwunh??? I don't play that kind of crazy, so I'm making them the same. Otherwise I'd be walking around with one shoulder slumped down by 2" all the time.

The Bumblebee is getting dangerously close to being finished.

I trimmed the thorax and cut out a wing. I may have done more than that since I took this picture, and you may want to drop back by on Friday. ;)

Side view of the bee. The thorax is supposed to be a "dome". Well, it's something like a dome, anyway.

Again, I didn't want to trim too much lest I create a bee with a crew cut!

Finally, I did make a start on Chocolat, a class I'm taking with Jackie du Plessis at The Attic in November.

I have to have 12 more of these motifs done by November 2...I GOTTA GET CRACKING!

For more WIP Wednesday eye candy goodness, head over to Tami's Amis!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who? What? When? Where? ...but Mostly Who

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I was gone for a while there. My only excuse (besides work) is that we started watching Doctor Who (I've never watched before), and it's nigh impossible to blog while watching Doctor Who. At least, it was while David Tennant was around.

You see, we watched a few episodes at the beginning of the new series (starring Christopher Eccleston). Michael had loved Tom Baker growing up, but I just didn't get it. I was all like, "What? Why? What??" the whole time. After three episodes, I was ready to give up. But I knew a few people who loved it, and also said that David Tennant was awesome.

So we skipped ahead to the end of season 1, and when David Tennant showed up on the screen, I said, "Now that's MY Doctor." Long story short, we then watched seasons 2-4 straight through. I grieved for a day when season 4 was over. I won't say why ("Spoilers!") but I was seriously upset.


Labor Day weekend is always Dragon*Con here, and since we're so close, we always try to go to the parade. We had a couple jerks who decided to stand up in front of us (they'd been sitting on the curb) AND put on giant hats right before the parade, so I don't have any really good pictures. Instead, here are some entertaining ones. =)

In honor of my newest obsession, excellent Blink cosplay, a couple 10th Doctors, and...
...well, let's say that's Rose taken over by Cassandra, shall we?

The Harry Potter section was on the weak side, but Luna made up for it with sheer enthusiasm.

This guy's always around.

Darth Vader begs for snacks.

Sure, there were Green Lanterns, Orange Lanterns, blah blah blah. But this Pink Lantern is using the power of love to conjure a martini!

If you're ever screamed, "NOOOOO!" at the end of Buffy, Angel or Firefly because of a cliffhanger, you've probably shaken your fist at this guy.

Fantastic Halo costumes...some great Reach armor...and a SQUEE-worthy Grunt!

Sci-Fi janitors...only awesome if you've seen Dragon*Con TV...which I was shocked to discover is very funny.

Michael went briefly on Monday to check out the art market and merchandise market, and he got this shot of a yute being subdued by a Sand Person.
Excellent enforcement against shenanigans.

Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in the Clone Wars animated series, conned Michael into buying me a Star Wars shirt...his words.
Hilarious. And I love the shirt!

And just so there's some stitchy content here, this is the latest progress picture of Random Thoughts. The color's a bit off; I had to brighten it because we had several days of cloudy, chilly weather and there was just no light ever!

I was AWOL for a while; I watched a LOT of Doctor Who.

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