Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Oh, no!

I just got the bad news. Cleo, our 14 years old cat, got a lump and she's going to undergo surgery. My sister says it's not an invasive procedure as her poor mom Cathey, may her sweet soul live in kitty heaven forever, but it brings up bad memories. I'll spare you all of the meotional rumblings going through my head right now, but please, PLEASE cross your fingers for my poor kitty.

(photos courtesy of my sister)


Monday, January 29, 2007

At long long last!

So, officially - unless I'm talking about other related things - all shop updates are moving to my new blog: So, yeah. You're being spared the endless "look what I've made and here's where you can get it" thing. Sheesh... Update your bloglines/blogroll/whatever if you're interested.

I have a million more (fun, very fun) HTMLy things to do today, so the weird things meme will have to wait a bit. In the meantime - here's the last product picture to be featured on this blog EVER (well, maybe...). You know where you can get those

See you later, gators!


Friday, January 26, 2007

I'm Beat!

Oof! What a nutty week... I've been cutting and sewing like a little maniac this week, trying to make some more items for my shop (yeah, I know you're tired of those pesky shop updates. As soon as Mr. Blogger allows me,I'm going to creat a shop update blog, then I'll be back to my regular ramblings). I'm done making the totes, which I'm really proud of, but no pretty photos yet. I also had tons of house cleaning things done (and a ton more left to do. Oy, poor Max. I swear I'll clean your cage tomorrow...). Add to that the fact that the gym finally got those new spinning bikes, and those things work you twice as hard, and not managing to get more than four hours of sleep per night for three days - and you can figure out my state of mind. All that I can think about right now, is cuddling on the couch with a nice cup of Milo and hopefully a cat, and watching Firefly (again). Maybe some knitting too. Maybe.
I'll leave you with some WIP photos from this week. OK, they're mostly not WIPs anymore (some are even in the shop. Oy, I'll stop now), and some kitty cuteness.

That's Oranigna, now happily blocking.
Some "Thank You!" cards for you know what.And some business cards for the s**p.

I'm going to do so much of that tonight (only without the paw on the face. I'm not that flexible).

Speaking of TV, I've been watching some good shows lately. Remind me to give you a nice, film-school-crap-free roundup sometime.
And if I owe you an email - I KNOW! I'll get back to you monday. You can count on it (sort of).
Happy weekend, y'all!

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

In the land of "first"s

This weekend was all about stuff being "the first":

1. I've sewn my first tote bag.

(more photos here and here ) It's based on this splendid tutorial by Super Mariko with some changes, like the outside fabric folding in, the pocket and the felt fish. Next time, there will be some changes. All in all I'm pretty proud of myself. I may make more for the store, if it looks like people might be interested.

2. We went to this posh new local. Ok, it's as posh as the Inglewood border can get. To be honest, this area is being invaded by hippi-posh young kids like us, and the restaurant was really nice, but that was a funny observation.

3. I made this and OH MY! That thing is GOOD! It's also the first cake/cookie/bar I've ever made that came out perfect the first time. You've got t make a batch, I'm telling ya (no wonder I had tons of energy to cycle on monday... ; ) ). The only thing I made different, was exchange the glaze with this lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze my mom makes. The tangy made it a bit more balanced, sweetness-wise. Man, I'm drooling just thinking about it... Thanks for shring, Myra!

I'll close this entry with some photos of your favorite feline. We brought our load from Costco in these boxes and Suki has turned them into a kitty home (AKA "Fort Kitty"). They take up half the kitchen, but we can't bring ourselves to throw hem away. Sorry for the blur - cats move quickly (more photos here and here).

Happy Tuesday! Happy Week! Happy life!

Have you seen those cuties from Anna Chambers? Oh, I'm humbled, yet again...

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Friday, January 19, 2007

A Little Something Special

Just a little post to make a special announcement - I'll be offering this sweet gift wrapping option in my shop for Valentine's Day - free of charge.

This offer includes wrapping in white or red tissue (2 layers), a white ribbon with red heart print, and a cute gocco printed gift tag (original design on thick watercolor paper) in red on white, tied with a red thread. Not too kitsch, not too cutsie.

All you have to do, is go to the shop, select and buy your favorite item, and in the buyer's comments, mention that you'd like the item gift wrapped (I won't be wrapping everything like I did on Christmas, because I'm short on supplies). Offer valid until Feb. 14th or while supplies last, whichever comes first.
C'est tout! Have a happy weekend!


Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Favorite Little Store

I know I live in a city with a huge fashion district, I rode the bus through it a couple of times, but I leave the real venturing out into it mysterious depths to a time when my pockets are not quite as empty. And as much as I love shopping online, I'm getting a bit tired of buying all my fabric in virtual stores. Not that I have anything against the many fabulous I bought from in the past, but you know - it just ain't the same as going to the store. Know what I mean?
About a month and a half after we moved here, we went on a bit of a fabric store hunt. Yellow pages online wasn't very helpful, but eventually we ended up at the local mall. If you've never been to that mall and you don't live in the area - let me summarise the experience for you: It's bad. It's as bad as malls get. It's as bad as bad malls get. Seriously. The only two good things about this noisy, not too clean, and full of junk food mall are Forever 21 and the local Sally's Fabrics.
But my love affair with Sally's did not begin that day. As a matter of fact, after getting there the very first time, after wandering around Sepulveda for too many hours, I took one glance at the display and said to Ant - "we're going home". And home we went. It was only after many small visits to get this little thing or that that I fell totally and utterly in love with it.

The real beauty of my dear local, is not the atrocious selection of upholstery, or the cheesy cotton prints or the veriaty of synthetic yarn. It's those little finds that snapped my frugal heart.
You see, on top of bolts and bolts of your standard cottons, denims, satins and such - it also has shelves upon shelves of $1.98, $2.98 and $3.98 per yard goodness. And most of them aren't defected or nasty in any way - but small pieces people return, under a yard and such. And it's not too hard to find there some very appealing little finds. I got some of my most favorite patterns there. And they have a large selection of spools of thread for thirty cents each (and you know what a color addict I am, I can't take home just one spool). But I think the "worst" is the button bucket. They have a bucket of carded buttons for literally cents each. Need I say any more? Ant already knows he can hang out for quite a while at the mall's Game Stop when we go to the store for just "five minutes". No way I'm getting out of there with no buttons (can you see the painted pink flower ones? I swear I had a sweater with those when I was little). Oh, and they have patterns and magazines, and packs of lace and trim too... I won't tell you everything or you'll com down here and steal all of my stash. Can't let that happen.
Yeah, I often sin at being a girl of "rich taste and poor pocket", but I love how sometimes you find those kind of pearls in a cheapy crappy little mall. When we move, I seriously might come back for it. I kid you not.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

When Hell Valencia Freezes Over

Man, anybody who's been making fun of me complaining about the cold - see? Temperatures all week came down to 2 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Fahrenheit) at night, which got even Ant wearing an extra layer. He's wandering around in a t-shirt most of the time. Like my mom says "I get cold just looking at him". Brr...
As for Valencia, NBC news showed some snow footage in Stevenson Ranch. Like I said, I always believed this happy little suburb was built on a hellmouth... We got out of there just on time.

Thank you for your concern and well wishes for Mr. BooBoo's health. He's doing fine and healing well. Until the next act of clumsiness, that is...


Monday, January 15, 2007

I am Klutz

My goodness, am I a klutz. I'm the worst kind of klutziness I know. Honestly. At any given time, I have at least three visible bruises, a couple of paper cuts and a scratch or two (granted, paper cuts can be considered an occupational hazard and anyone who has a cat gets scratch 2.7 times per week at least, but that's not the point). If you hear a thump followed by a muffled hiss - that's probably me hitting the corner of the living room table again. Or the bed. Or an open cabinet door. Or whatever.
You'd think that in 26+ years I'd finally learn to work within my physical limitations - stand up slowly from a crouching position (especially in the kitchen), not to rush into the cycle room like a tornado, backing away from a machine in the gym, closing all doors that don't need to be open, walking into the bedroom slowly. Ah... nope. None of those useful lessons ever make it into my thick skull. I just don't seem to be in full control of all my limbs (and head) at the same time, and it's not like I'm super tall or anything. I'm just - a klutz.

So this above here is my latest damage. I threw a used X-Acto blade into my trash, instead of into the blade receptacle. Then shoved my left hand into it to squish its overflowing contents down. What do you know? I have an almost half inch long and pretty deep cut on my poor pinky. Ouch.
Do you think I will one day learn? I doubt it. I think some people are just too darn accident prone.
Thank goodness Ant's mom is a nurse. Now let's just hope this wonderful quality isn't genetic.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

...In the meantime

It does look like the shop has been taking over this blog lately. Not sure all of you approve of that (my comments seem to have been silent lately too - what happend? Don't you like me anymore?), not sure how that even happend. Anyway, I'm considering opening (yet) another blog for store updates only. We shall see. In the meantime... a KNITTING update!

...Wow, this photo is old... I'll take new photos of it as soon as I can stop posing stuffies in appealing positions in a natural scenery. Oy...
Anywho - this is Orangina of Glampyre fame. She's a way cool knit. I said before I think this sassy top knits itself. Even a senile, scatter minded raccoon like me can memorize the four row repeat and make it look nice. Even when I'm sleepy. I finished knitting it while watching Dexter's season finale (AHHHHH!!! And many "I knew it!"s), but it's yet to be blocked and seamed. I can't wait to try it on... If you came across this page while googling "Orangina" to find out people's opinion of this pattern - my advise to you is: BUY IT! You won't regret it.
On other knitting news, I have a strange craving for Endpaper Mits this week (you know, kind of like the craving of chocolate you-know-when). It gets really cold in our apartment. My hairdresser said it's the wooden floors. I even had what looked like a cute color combo of sock yarn all ready for them, Only to realize it ain't that cute. Well, no knitting time wasted here, but I will find a good color combo and knit them. I'm in the mood for fairisle.
I also knit this for Ant for Christmas. It's Swell du Knitty, with a stripe instead of the "surfy" wave pattern (Ant's a skater, totally different worlds). It's knit with Knit Picks Telemark - Bayberry and Chestnut. I had to use whatever math I remember from high school to figure this out, as Telemark and Brown Sheep that the pattern calls for are of very different gauges (it went pretty much like this: knitting girlfriend finally manages to sit boyfriend in front of the computer to pick a pattern he likes for his new hat. She then gos to a website to have him pick the yarn. He points to the first yarn he sees and says "that one, in this and this color", and flees to the living room to hide. Note to all boyfriends of knitting girls - making a hell lot of noise while palying Gears of War will get you found very very quickly). I think it came out good, though. And Suki thinks so too.

Speaking of which - how can I write an update post and not post a photo (or two) of your favorite feline?

This is her "You thick human. Don't you get it? This playdate is OVER!!" look.

Have a grand weekend!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

At last!

Finally! After much sewing, photographing, uploading and listing - the new product line for PaperArmadillo has been launched! Hooray!
You can find some cute stuffie scarves, some cute little keychain rings, and some stuffies. More are on their way too. You can take a look at all of them and of course - buy something, right here.

And to celebrate the launch - a special deal to you, my faithful readers: Put the code YARN 'N COFFEE in the comment section and get a free gift with your purchase!

...And now - I'm off to watch Dexter. It's brilliant.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Hard at work

That's why there was no shop update today (that and the fact that it was too grey for photos, that I didn't sleep at night, and that etsy seems a bit erratic the last couple of days - excuses, excuses). Sorry... BUT - mark yor calendars:
On Wednsday the 10th, the new line of PaperArmadillo goods is coming! If you want a reminder (and a member freebie, ahem...) - sign up for the Shop Updates mailing list right here.
I'll leave you with some photos, I've got to go back to the sewing machine.

One messy desk

Yeah, I have a tattoo

Strawberries and yogurt (my only sort of resolution this year - eat more fruit and veggies. Yep, it's strange, considering that I'm a vegetarian. I know. I am eating more things that are green though, to your attention, Dad)

A new kitty design (more photos here, here, here and here)

And some more new toys.

See you Wednsday!

-- 1.10.2007 UPDATE --
Etsy seems to be super slow today, so the store update i taking forever. But it IS happening, so don't run away!


Friday, January 05, 2007

Designing a Stuffie - My Way

Remember I was talking about some stuffie redesign? Well, I've been working on it. It took a bunch of scribbling and one night without sleep (yes, I got out of bed when I gave up on the shut-eye, but I was very productive), but I've just finished my prototype new stuffie - and I'm very pleased.
While I was working on it, I took some pictures, to share. I started taking those for the WIP Friday group, and they're really fascinating. So I made up a little, not even a tutorial, but a walk through my work process designing my new stuffie. I hope you enjoy it!
Go to the Designing a Stuffie walkthrough

From this:

To this:

His name is Ed, and he likes candy cane, re-runs of Star Trek: The Next Generation and pistachio ice-cream.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sneak peek

Here's a sneak peek at what's been going on chez moi this week (between the taking of temprature, curling up on the sofa with a kitty, the sneezing and the gulping down of dayquil). Luckily, I recovered from the cold right on time for New Year's Eve, which was loads of funn, and of which I'll update you as soon as my friend A sends me the photos. I'm sure there's plenty of totally embarrassing ones for me to share... Did I mention we went bowling?

Also, I just opened a Store Update Mailing List you can subscribe to right here.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

(I got the calendar at Atelier Jade, because I know you'd like to know)