Friday, June 30, 2006

OH, Friend of a Canadian Friend




Since tomorrow is Canada Day, I am listing some friends of Canadian Friends today. The links are not necessarily Canadian, but the friends that I got them from are. And therefore, they are Canadian recommended. Nice, eh?



Life in Purple
Sassy Art Goddess
Big Geek



I'm at the point now, where I have surfed so many friend blogs, there may start being repeats. If that happens, just ignore it. It's part of aging, this random memory loss. You wouldn't want to make me feel old, would you? Well. Would you?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Fans


I am not a fan of fans. Any kind of fan. Electric, ceiling, bathroom, Toronto Maple Leafs (oops, sorry), ANY kind.

Sure. It's Ontario in the summer. It's hot. And stuffy. And we don't have air conditioning (I'm too cheap). So, the fans are a nessecity. But, I hate them.

Now, if you promise not to laugh, I'll tell you why.

I think I was killed by a fan in a past life. I can't stand the sound of them. Not even the little fans in the bathroom. Although, I'm pretty sure it wasn't one of THOSE that killed former me. But I can't handle the sound of them. It's like nails on a chalkboard for me. No. It's worse than that. It's like a hundred mosquitos buzzing in my ears. It's like a thousand whiny voiced teenage girls blabbering at me through the Tim Horton's drive thru speaker. It's like a million kids with braces chewing on tin foil.

And I have to SLEEP with fans on. I wouldn't, if not for my husband. Who was quite obviously NOT killed by a fan in a past life. Because he likes them. And wants them on. ALL NIGHT. Maybe he invented them in a past life. Or invested in them. Whatever. They still need to be turned on.

So I can dream of all the horrible ways I may have died by fan. It must have been a fairly recent past life, since I don't think electric fans were invented very much before electricty. Maybe it was a short life. Whatever. I really, really try to ignore them. But, as soon as he leaves for work early in the morning, I get up and turn it off.

And forget about the ceiling fans in our bedroom. I put my foot down on those. They are NOT to be running when we are sleeping. Because every once in a while they make a little clicking sound. At which point I get visions of the ugly little brass pull chain (and why can't they make pretty little chain pulls for those? Why are they always ugly crystal teddy bears or unicorns or horrible wood and brass teardrop contraptions?) getting caught in the blades and tearing the whole fan apart, throwing fan blades in every direction but most certainly into my head.


Did I just hear a snicker? This isn't funny, people. I have issues. And it's not like the issues will lessen with age. I think some would call me quirky (which is ever so much sweeter than crazy as a loon). So stop laughing. Or I won't tell you about my next quirk. Check your watch. It's coming soon.

I'm going to get a coffee.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Introducing.....The Shawligan!





Half shawl, half cardigan. Designed for little girls who are too busy playing to hold the ends of a shawl, but are SO past ponchos.

Remember.....when you are walking down the street someday, and you here some little girl beg her mom, 'please please pleasepleasePLEASE mommy can I have a Shawligan© of my very own?', you can say to yourself, 'Hey, I know who coined that word. That was Tara. Inventor of the Shawligan©.'

And you would be right.



Pattern is forthcoming.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned for far more interesting posts from me in the near future. I am back to crocheting, the shed is almost built, and I can move my neck again.

BUT.....I currently am ignoring a raging migraine, and it's knocking around inside my head trying to get my attention. Or drugs. Whatever.

I'd like to say thanks for all of the great Friend recommendations on Friday. I loved them all! And now I have some new blogrolls to search for next Friday!

So, while we are waiting for my headache to subside, go visit my new tenant (thumbnail on the sidebar). Oh my! There's a bug in my coffee! I wonder if that's some kind of a sign. Or maybe it's just what happens when you live in the country in the 'great' province of Ontario. Ya know, the license plates say 'Ontario, Yours to Discover', but I propose to the provincial government that we change them to say 'Ontario, What the Heck is THAT Bug!?' Eh? Come on. Who's with me? We can start a petition. Or not. Just go visit my renter. Unless you want to see me go off on some other rambling tangent. And if that's the case.....stay tuned!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friend of a Friend Friday ~ With a Twist!

To be quite honest, folks (and when am I not?), this computer is making me angrier than a Canadian stuck in a Tim Horton's drive-thru. It's slow, slow, slow. And while it may SEEM effortless to come up with some new and fun friends of friends every friday, there is actually quite a lot of surfing involved.

So, for this friday only ( I get my good computer back later today), let's play it a bit different. Give me a friend blog you like. Just post the name and link to it in the comments. It could be anyone. It doesn't even need to be crochet related. Heck, I like visiting anyone! And I will. Visit, I mean.

So.....who should I go see?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Pain is in the Neck


I have come to a very important conclusion about my life. It's about trust. More precisely, it's about who I can trust.

It seems to me that you, my internet pals, my world wide web of buddies, my online confidants, are the only people left in the whole universe that I can trust.

Because I know (KNOW), that if we were to go out drinking somewhere (a bar, a school dance, a wedding function, whatever), and I were to say to you, in all seriousness, 'Please, for the love of Folgers, PLEASE, do not let me drink and dance. Sure, it may be funny to see me trying to recreate the video for that Dee-lite one-hit-wonder Groove is in the Heart. Or watching me jump around to the classic Canadian drunken dancing wedding song, Home for a Rest. Or getting pictures of me thinking I dance just like Shakira does when she bellydances. But it's not funny in the sober afterwards when I have a hurt neck. It's just not funny,' I know you all would agree that a hurt neck is indeed not very funny, and you would stop me from drunk dancing.

You would resist the urge to watch me making an ass of myself. I know you would resist.

Because I can trust you.

Unlike all of my friends in high school that got me drunk before the school dance (not that I EVER had booze underage) and sent me forth to groove to Billy Idol and Salt n' Peppa.

Or, unlike my later friends, who would take me to the headbanger bars and buy me a crazy little drink called a Ghostbuster, with an unknown alcohol content, and then sent me out into the headbanging arena with songs by Metallica and Def Leopard.

Or, apparently, like my very own father, who has never before seen me drunk and dancing, and wanted as many photos as possible so as to show everyone else in the family, who will now surely try to feed me alcohol in order to view the spectacle in person.

OR even my husband, who has seen me drunk before, and who also likes to encourage me to drunk dance, but is usually a lot more concerned for my welfare and stops me before any injury occurs. Until recently.

And now my RL (real life) friends, who I have whined to about my current state of stoned-on-Robax due to whiplash, who are now plotting and planning a way to get me drunk enough to witness said dancing.

Why? WHY?

Can they not see the pain I am in? I know ya'll understand. I know you do. And you would NEVER do that to me. It really, really hurts. I can't even CROCHET, dammit all.

And yes, there will be photos (I knew you would ask). Eventually. My computer died again, and it's in the shop again, so I am on the old crappy computer again. When I get the "good" one back, my dad will, I'm sure, send me the evidence (in which I will then photoshop myself just a smidge skinnier). I do believe all of the dancing photos also include the wedding shawl I made. So, ya know, two birds and all that.

In the meantime.....praise the Folgers and pass the Robax!

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Big, Fat Geek Wedding

Have you ever been to a geek wedding? I highly recommend it.

No matter how geeky my friends think I am, I didn't even come close to this crowd. The head table alone consisted of six physicists, one chemist and a zoologist.

The speeches were long and drawn out and were apparently very funny.....if you get science jokes. The loud snorts and guffaws told me that it was indeed very funny.

My husband could not start a conversation in the men's room lineup with 'Hey, how's it goin'?' but a well timed 'Who do prefer, Riker or Picard?' got the tongues a-wagglin'.

Working the phrase 'Come on, it's not rocket science!' into the conversation as much as possible is a lot funnier than you can imagine.


I am sure I will never again see so many single men try so very hard to catch the garter. And plan out strategies beforehand. With a pen and paper.

If you ever have the good luck to witness an 80's style dance floor dance-off between two nerds, you will never forget it. Ever.

Double daring geeks to eat entire roses (including the stem) is a surprisingly successful endeavor. Especially when they are drunk.

You are absolutely guaranteed to be, by default, sitting at the cool table. And no matter how much you normally suck at dancing, you will definitely be, by default, the best dancer there.

If you are going to attend a geek wedding, please keep this simple equation in mind:

Open bar + the sudden ability to dance like Shakira + an open bar (hey, there was a LOT of booze) = a slight case of dance floor whiplash, Father's Day brunch spend on the floor of the bathroom stall praying for sudden death, and a husband with rose breath.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Not So Pretty Friend of a Friend Friday

Apparently, my dad (who is visiting) is also a photoshop learner/nutcase. And apparently, he has learned how to use the liquefy tool on his photoshop. And apparently, he thinks it's hillARious to take photos of people and make them look like they were too ugly to live in the land of really,really ugly mutants.

And APPARENTLY, I think it's even funnier to make HIM look that way.


Apparently.


If you can't handle looking at a mug like that, go visit this week's friends of friends:

A Little Crochet
Fabulosity
Honestyrain

And if you see a renter in the sidebar, go see them, too.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Here's a question for ya'll.....

What the heck is so darn fascinating about a freshly mopped floor, that every child, pet and husband must IMMEDIATELY walk on it while it is still wet?

And in the same vein.....

Why can the parties mentioned above (well, minus the pets), when there are no clean towels to be found, use the same damp and smelly towel they found on the floor and be happy with it (ew), BUT....if there is drawer full of freshly laundered towels they must then use every single one of them for their very next bath/shower? WHY?

Also, why does building a shed count as contributing to the household, but crocheting a pretty throw pillow does not?

AND.....who the hell is hiding around the corner with handful of animal fur just waiting for me to finish putting away the vacuum cleaner so that they can pile it up in every corner and behind every door in the house? WHO?

I'm serious. I want answers. Or a vacation. Either one will do.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Spook. Dude. What are you doing hiding in the closet?"

"Because, I'm pissed at Mom. Aren't you?"

"What for?"

"What for?!?! Because she made us go to the....the....UGH....I can't even SAY the word!"

"You mean the vet?"

"Ack! Don't say it out loud!"

"Stupid cat. I LOVE the vet! Give me three good reason to hate the vet."

"Duh. Leaving the house, riding in the car, all those horrible people touching me and petting me. And don't forget the needles. What on earth could you possibly love about the....ugh....vet?

"Ummm.....leaving the house, riding in the car, and all of those wonderful people touching and petting me. Oh, and the treats, too."

"You got treats?! Man! Dogs get everything! Go away. I'm hiding from Mom and Dad. That'll teach them for taking me there. What a horror."

"Hah! You don't know the half of it! I heard Mom telling Dad that the vet said you were too fat! They're cutting your food in half! Sucka! Ha ha ha ha!"

"What!? You can't be serious! I'll STARVE to death! I'm not fat, I'm just extra cuddly! I demand a fair trial!"

"HA HA HA HA HA HA!"

"Ya, well. Laugh all you want, old fart. While you still can, anyway. Old fogey."

"What are you talking about?"

"I heard Mom tell Dad that the vet said you were getting old. Sucka! Oops. Make that OLD SUCKA!"

"Whatever. I'm SO not old. I'm only 6. Or maybe 7. I lost count."

"Ya, well, Dr. Evil Vet said you're eyes are looking old. So there."

"I'm not old! I can kick your ass, that's for damn sure!"

"Oh, sure. And you're only 4 times bigger than me. That has nothing to do with it. I didn't say you were shrinking, I said you were getting OLD. Ha!"

"Shut up, Fatso."

"Whatever, Old Geezer......Wanna hide in here with me?"

"Sigh. Ok.....stupid vet."

This post is dedicated to the Memory of canine friend, Bellaballoo (1999-2006). Survived by her mom, Stephanie, her dad, Kevin, her boyfriend, Duke, and all of her many friends, human and dog. We'll all miss you.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Crochet Chart~Ladybug

This graph is designed for use with hdc (half double crochets), but you could also use sc or extended sc. If you use a dc, your image will be too long.

Please keep in mind that this is not a pattern. It is only a chart. For information on how to crochet images with a chart, visit http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/ for tutorials. To print this chart, right click your mouse on the image and choose "Print Picture". This chart can be used to make products for sale or distribution, but do not reproduce the chart itself anywhere else for distribution (print or internet).

Friend of a BLEEPING Friend Friday

I know. Your'e all DYING to see my picks for Friend of a Friend Friday. And I'll get to them. But I want to rant a little bit first, ok? If you really can't wait, just scroll to the end of the post.

Just ignore my tears on the way there. Sniff.

RANT ON....

I'm really, really, busy right now. More company coming, of course. My aunt-in-law is coming later today. I have a TON of cleaning to do before then. Because apparently the building of a shed renders the occupants of my house useless. USELESS. And all of the housework has been left to me. And, really, come on people. I have BLEEPING Photoshop, now.

So, cleaning all day. Then, more cleaning and shed building all weekend. I will determine which one is done more when I see how much rain there is. And quite honestly, I'm hoping for rain. Because then all of the BLEEPING useless household members previously discussed will be held hostage in this house. Mwhahahahahaha.

Then, next wednesday, my dad and stepmom get here. That's also my one year bloggiversary. But don't expect to see much of me. I'll be entertaining the masses.

The next weekend will be spent in Toronto for my cousin's wedding, trying to avoid all sorts of family members that live and breathe just to torment me. And I don't think I will even have my BLEEPING spectacular wedding shawl to stun them into silence with. Because I will be busy. Cleaning, shed building and entertaining the BLEEPING masses.

This seems to be a theme with me, doesn't it? All this cleaning and entertaining. Why? What happened? I'm a BLEEPING artist, dammit. I should be hanging out in my own little studio somewhere, creating some sort of art. Not cleaning BLEEPING toilets. Toilet cleaning does not involve paint and canvas and clay and nude male models.

Ok, so fine. Crochet designing doesn't use nude male models, either. Much.

But, cleaning I must do. because apparently that is what fate has in store for me. Clean, clean, and clean some more. Until I am too old and weak to pick up a sponge and throw it at whoever left those DAMN DIRTY CLOTHES ON THE BATHROOM FLOOR!

...RANT OFF.

Now, for today's Friends of Friends you should go visit:

Smatterings
Jinglelady's Crochet
The Other Side of the Pom

Also, go check out my tenant. Click on the thumbnail in the sidebar.

If anyone has a friend with a new crochet/photoshop/family/knitting/funny/etc (pretty much anything at all) blog, and they would like to see them listed on a friend of a friend friday post, please email them to me at coffeecrochet@hotmail.com

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Crochet Chart ~ Little Monkey

This graph is designed for use with hdc(half double crochets), but you could also use sc or extended sc. If you use a dc, your image will be too long. The nose, mouth and eyes are embroidered on at the end.



Please keep in mind that this is not a pattern. It is only a chart. For information on how to crochet images with a chart, visit www.crochetpatterncentral.com for tutorials. To print this chart, right click your mouse on the image and choose "Print Picture". This chart can be used to make products for sale or distribution, but do not reproduce the chart itself anywhere else for distribution (print or internet).

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Faux Fauxhawk


Today was 'Wacky Hair Day' at oldest brat's school. I was aiming for a fauxhawk. Somehow, getting up a half hour early and trying to fix the hair of a 12 year old with a wussy scalp without coffee, or hairspray for that matter, doesn't always produce the best results. I am calling it a faux fauxhawk. Hmmm. Do two fauxs cancel each other out and make it a realhawk, then?

But it's wacky, anyway.

The shed is not finished, but it's getting there. No further injuries to report, but we are really only working from the short time after dinner until dark, so it's slow progress now.

The spectacular wedding shawl is on hold. Because I have far too many other ideas to be bothered to make something for myself. You'll get to see some of the ideas soon. I promise.

Photoshop is still being practiced, as evidenced in the above image. No specific tutorial, I was just using all of my previous lessons to see what I could come up with. Don't ya just love the font? (
click here to get it)

And that's about it. Sorry. But go check out my tenant (thumbnail on the sidebar). SO, SO, SO, SO funny.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Shed That Love Built


This weekend was for shed building. Or at least yesterday was. Saturday it rained all day. And power tools are SO persnickety in the rain.

So yesterday was for shed building.

Hubby, although lacking in construction experience, seems to have picked up a lot of skill and knowledge along the way. After his forays into kitchen and bath renovation, I was impressed to see how much he knew about building something from scratch. From the ground up, as they say.

I, on the other hand, had previous experience. I don't like to brag (much), but I took a carpentry class in high school (about a billion years ago), and we built a cottage addition. Which turns out, is very similar to a shed. And I was the top student in the class (and the only girl, thank you very much).

The biggest advantage I had over all of the boys in the class, besides the basic ability to do math and the brains to not cut off appendages in various sharp and electric tools, was hammering. I rock at hammering. Being the only girl, they were constantly trying to prove that they could do a better job than me, so they would challenge me to a hammering contest almost every class.

And I would beat them ALL. Mwhahahahahahaha.

So, I'm a good hammerer.

At least I was. In high school. A billion years ago.

The shed itself went very smoothly yesterday. Perfection. Perfect cuts. Perfectly square. Perfect. And I got to hammer me some nails.

That's when I learned something about myself. Years and years of carpal tunnel tend to leave a girl's wrist kind of...well....wobbly.

So, I had to wear a wrist brace. Which required me to hold the hammer a little differently, about a third of the way up the handle. Well, that's just not the right way to hold a hammer. You don't get all of the power of the swing unless you hold the handle at the end. But, I was still getting the job done, so it was OK.

Then I hit my thumb.

Ya, I know. Everyone hits a thumb sometimes while hammering. Including me. This one was a doozy, however. Instant blood blister. It really, really hurt.

Writhing around on the ground kind of hurt.

After that, my thumb was a little shy while hammering. I had trouble getting the nail into the wood because I would try to time my swing and the release of the nail simultaneously so as not to hit my thumb again. Thus requiring a LOT more swings (and misses). After a while, my wrist started getting sore, so I used both hands to hammer. Little tiny swings from halfway up the handle using both hands and wincing in fear that my thumb may be hit. And that's when I realized it. Me, the hammer champ of my high school carpentry class.....HAMMERING LIKE A GIRL!

I was so embarrassed.

Then hubby hit his thumb. Then he hit it again. So, I asked him if he was just trying to make me feel better, or trying to win some kind of sick contest. Then I dropped a 2x4x12 on the back of my ankle. More writhing around in pain. Then hubby yelped again. This time it was his pinky.

Our twisted little game of who-can-injure-themselves-in-the-most-spectacular-way-without-actually-requiring-the-emergency-room went on throughout the day.

I finally asked him if it might be more time efficient if we just started hitting each other with hammers.

The jerk looked like he was contemplating it.

Eventually, we had the four walls up. And then it got dark. So we stopped. Because it's one thing swing and miss in the daylight, but in the dark it could be a bloodbath.

And that is the story of the shed that love, well, half built.

And for those of you wondering about the photo.....I was using photoshop to crop and resize and all that jazz, but after a half an hour and two cups of coffee and no final product in sight, I learned my most important photoshop lesson yet: Sometimes it's faster and easier to just use the old program that you know how to use. Tada.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friend of a Friend Friday!

I don't want ya'll thinking I have abandoned crochet completely. I really haven't. In fact, I've started a shawl for myself with hexagon motifs, to be worn at the wedding of a cousin that I used to live with, but was never really close to. I wasn't planning to go, but then my aunt called and said the numbers of people attending are pretty low, and they paid A LOT of money for it (my uncle has to leave retirement and work for 2 more years to pay for it), so she is trolling for guests. And, since my dad and stepmom will be there, and it's only a 6 hour drive from us, and I have a really great excuse to make a shawl that blows all of their snobby knitter* minds, I figured 'What the heck!'

Besides....it's an open bar.

But, new shawl aside (which I will show pics of as it progresses), I have not really been crocheting much. And I think we all know why. Photoshop is somewhat addictive. Not as much as yarn, but not far behind.

So, today's friends of friends may be graphic involved as well as fiber involved. It took a bit more searching through blogrolls, but heck, I'm on the computer anyway, right?

Today you should go see:

Big Girl Feet (brilliant graphics and a great knitter, too!)
The Worsted Witch (more brilliant graphics, and I LOVE the name!)
My Hobby Blog (Another crocheter and photoshopper)


And, for anyone interested in photoshop tutorials, here are a whole PILE of great ones. I may need a few extra days to get through them.

Janee's Photoshop Tutorials


*Sidenote: I don't think ALL knitters are snobby. I usually envy their skills. But some of them, like my aunt and the lady that owns the only LYS store around here, don't consider crocheting. They just don't consider it. And if it does cross their minds, they just wrinkle up their nose and act like they stepped in dog poop. But AI don't think all knitters are like that. I like most of you. Really.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Click on the note to go to the tutorial I used!

I Ain't No Dummie

Yes, more photoshop tomfoolery today. I suppose I could just read the instruction book, or watch the instruction movie, or even get a Photoshop for Dummies book.

But this playing around on the internet is more fun.




Before........and after.


This project was a combination of a tutorial on turning photographs to sepia color and another on creating different photo edge looks. I threw in some of my own playing around with cropping and using the brush tool to lighten portions of the photo.

The model was my daughter at my wedding, before she turned into a snotty teenager. Sigh.