Ms Crafty: where craftiness rules supreme...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I'm not looking at you...

...but I'm still helping you knit

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Feel my pain and shush

So the blisters I received while painting Sunday decided to break open and bleed all over the place today. Sweet. I looked pretty silly today with bandaids all over my hands today--yes, fellow co-workers, clearly I have some kind of plague. Please avoid me.

Especially in the bathroom. To elaborate on a recent Purl post (yes folks, this is going to be inappropriate bathroom talk, so if you are easily grossed out or offend easily stop reading this now), I'm sick of people not being familiar with simple corporate bathroom etiquette. Specifically, not only the buffer stall issue, but even more specifically the not punishing me for wearing funky shoes by seeing my shoes under the stall and beginning a conversation -- all while I'm trying to pee.

I have a shy bladder. I simply cannot pee if I think anyone else knows I'm in the bathroom. So, talking to me doesn't help! Please give me a little common courtesy and just pretend I'm not there. Please...

Monday, September 26, 2005

The long, long weekend...

Hello imaginary internet friends. It's been a long while since I have been able to sit back and take even a moment to relax and mull things over.

Now that I've got the promise of promotion at work, folks are treating me as if I've already got the promotion. Fyi, if you become a manager and have no one to manager, it just means that your workload and meetings quintuple. Seriously.

Also, the London thing is happening. My parents and I are taking a one week trip to London in two weeks. It's really soon. I've been super stressed out about finding accomodations, but last night around 10 pm pst I FINALLY found a reasonably priced (for london, anyway) hotel for the three of us.

Saturday I went to a friend's wedding in Napa. Normally, that wouldn't be a stressful event, but with this past weekend apparently being the only weekend in which EVERY FESTIVAL known to mankind and San Francisco took place, let's just say that it took just over an HOUR to get to the golden gate bridge. Sigh. We thought about turning around and going back home and sending a really fabulous gift.

But we toughed it out and made it early enough to have a drink before the ceremony--which was a huge bonus.

We had a great time sitting at the bad kids' table making jokes and taking goofy pics. It was actually one of the more fun weddings I've been to in a while.

gratuitous wedding flower shot

Saturday morning KB and I helped a friend who is opening a yarn store paint his space. Sigh. Manual labor sucks. I think it took about an hour before my hands erupted into blisters which promptly broke open. Of course, my steely resolve, and my desire to get home before 2pm, helped me paint right on through the pain.

I'm so ready for a break. If I'm lucky hopefully I'll get at least an hour or so to knit tonight...

Any London yarn recommendations much appreciated, yarnies. Frommer's 2005 mentioned something about designer knitting kits being a good deal in London, but failed to mention where to actually go about purchasing said kits...


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Remedial Cupcakes for Dummies

Is a class I should look into was my turn to make cupcakes for the now titled "cupcake Wednesdays" which have replaced the much favored Waffle Wednesdays (we were busted by facilities for operating a waffle iron on the premises).

I decided to make the strawberry cupcakes but in normal old cupcake paper sleeves. It all seemed pretty easy. I put the first batch in the oven and oops...I forgot to tap out the bubbles--clearly I should have followed my own advice and given my mom a ring before I put in the first batch. Sadly, afterward, I discovered that it really is a vital step. The first batch came out of the oven and were sadly flat.


The second and third batches were pretty good.
It was all starting to go swimmingly well. I mixed up the icing while the final batch was cooling when faux-husband came home from work and tasted the icing.

He promptly declared it too sweet for consumption.
Now, this is supposed to be sweet icing as it is merely butter and sugar with a little berries really for color.

He proceeded to mash up all of the remaining strawberries and stirred them into the icing, which instantly became more of a hideous pepto soup.
I spent another hour adding sugar and butter (and anything else I could think of) to try to thicken the icing and still have it taste okay. It seemed like I added another pound of confectioners sugar just to get it thick enough...

Of course, it ended up even sweeter than it was when he tasted it. It was even too sweet for me--it literally hurt my teeth to eat it.
Still, people at work ate 'em up, and I suffered little to no razzing.

Still, I need to see a dentist STAT.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Cupcakes 101

When I was a kid, my mom used to make us cupcakes and sometimes my sister and I would help. It all seemed to easy then. So, when KB came up with the idea of making cupcakes at her house this weekend I said why not? Of course, we quickly discovered that we didn't know the ins and outs of cupcake making.

I decided to make southern style strawberry cupcakes (which means you put some strawberry gelatin in the mix) to make super fruity, somewhat gelatinous, yet delicious cupcakes. You do also use real fresh fruit all mashed up as well. Proof below.

I also took an idea from my mom, who is brilliant when it comes to these kinds of things, and decided to forego paper cupcake sleeves for ice cream cones -- the whole thing is easy to handle and entirely edible.

Filled try of cones below.

Now, if you've made cupcakes in the last 15 years (which I hadn't until yesterday) you can easily detect the rookie mistake I made right off of the bat. You got it. I WAY overfilled the cones.

They started bubbling over in the oven (but thanks to the deep pan no spills). I immediately called my mom. Of course, I couldn't let her know that I had already filled the cones. No, that would be admitting my folly. I asked her how much batter to use...she replied matter-of-factly that you NEVER EVER fill a cupcake sleeve or anything else cupcake related more than two-thirds full. Ever. End of story.

Here's how they looked when they came out of the oven a million minutes later.

Here's the one that I assumed I had underfilled which actually turned out okay.

Luckily, I still had a little batter left, so I was able to make 3 traditional cupcakes.

Which came out perfectly cooked and delicious. Of course, the strawberry butter cream icing helped too.

KB tried to come up with a way to salvage the 23 disastrous cones. She officially revolutionized the cupcake industry by slicing the bottom of of the cone and creating ice cream cupcake donuts. Looks delicious. Tastes marginally okay.

After snacking and trial and error, here's the best I was left with...

Well, lessons learned. Thanks for all of the advice, mom. Next time I make cupcakes I'll be prepared. Really. Or else I'll call you before I do anything...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Job Over

Well, I started a new job on Monday, and today I decided I was done. Turns out that I needed to start over at a new job in order to realize what I had at the old one...

The old job really wasn't really so bad. I had it pretty good there--decent money, respect, a quiet large work area...and of course there's a small group of really smart and funny intelligentsia...

I'm convinced they all read the New Yorker and the Onion religiously...I guess because I do...or I'd like to...when I have time...

Well, it's time to stop thinking about work and knit...

Would you hurry up and start knitting already?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bling, bling

So I started a new job on Monday. It's funny how after just two months it had completely slipped my mind how challenging it is ramping up and learning a whole new set of ropes and adjusting to a compeltely new environment...

Ugh. I'm just exhausted.

To feel better about it all, I spent some time last night blinging my phone.

It didn't work out quite as well as I'd hoped--the self-adhesive fake rhinestones were a smidge on the large side, but hey--it's fun.

And, I can now rest assured that the S.O. won't mistakenly grab my cell phone when he's heading out the door.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I finally finished that baby sweater!

I can hardly contain my excitement, but I am proud to report that I have finally finished the baby sweater for my new niece, Sadie.


It's not that it was difficult, it wasn't. It was a normal raglan sweater. I'm not sure if I would really do it again...I'm not super font of the fancy sleeve and hood cuffs. (Plus, that stitch pattern wasn't very fluid or easy to was actually pretty awkward and involved the need for me to grow a third hand to hold/work a crochet hook).

Plus I'm already sick of sewing things up...I totally need to get on the neck-down sweater train.

Here's a detail shot of that stitch pattern.

Well, onto the next hurdle -- actually going to the U.S. Post Office to mail this sucker. For some reason since I used to work for the USPS, I can always manage to come up with a reason not to go and mail stuff. I literally have months worth of stuff to be mailed (souvenirs from Hawaii, presents for nieces). Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Musical Jobs

Well, today I sort of took another new job...for now I'll work three days a week at this new place and two days a week at the ol' gig until I can help them find a new competent person...

I'm sort of looking forward to it, and not. I'll miss a few folks at the current gig. And, it's hard to miss all of the time you spend at a new job ramping up and figuring out how they do things...

Oh well.

Here's a belated pic of the Debbie Bliss bolero I finished quite a while ago (and actually wore to the SO's sister's rehearsal dinner -- not with this top). Got tons of complements...totally love it.

A special shoutout to Janis who held my hand through seaming and made all of those complements possible.

Baby sweater update (and hopefully wedding pics) to follow.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

San Francisco Owes me a New Pair of Shoes!

I have this pair of shoes that I absolutely adore. I coveted them for more than a year before I finally gave in and bought them since I clearly was going to regret it for the rest of my life if I didn't buy these shoes.

I've had them for a year. I love them. I wear them sparingly only in good weather since they are suede.

This morning, thanks to the wonderful city of san francisco, they were completely ruined.

I woke up early this morning to call the Emergency Number for the building in which I work, since the city of SF was supposed to be repairing a water main last night. As of 3:48am, according to the informational recording, SF reported that the water main was fixed so everyone could report to work.


At 9am the bus I was on abruptly came to a halt at Mission and Fremont streets and told everyone to get off. Really nice. Of course, what they didn't mention was that you'd be stepping out into ankle deep super schmutzy water on the sidewalk--deeper if you had to cross the street.

I suppose I shoud have tried to just stay on the bus. But I groaned like all of the other worker bees, and stepped down much to the detriment of my favorite comfy shoes.

See the evidence?


And Here

Even more...

See how the suede is cracked and filthy?

I got to work and had soggy yuckfoot all day. Sigh. The fates are against me.

I'm thinking about mailing the mayor my yucky shoes and asking for new ones...I mean, they were my favorites...

Somebody owes me some new shoes with a side of satisfaction!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Last Wednesday was one of the worst days ever...of course, I couldn't blog about it right away since I was away at the faux sister-in-law's wedding.

I had stayed up really late Tuesday night cleaning up the house and packing so that Wednesday morning would be super easy. Of course, it was anything but.

I woke up and went down to the garage to snag a load of laundry. I suppose that one of the charming cats had discovered my inevitable departure, and needed a super special way to show me how s/he felt about it. Hence a large fresh pile of poo on the floor.

Also, just so you know, fresh poo makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Baby poo, cat poo, it doesn't matter.

So, after I finished cleaning the poo off of the floor, I hustled upstairs to feed my evil, furry friends. I opened up the cabinet to grab a couple o' cat dishes, and several coffee mugs came crashing down and exploded into little bits all over the counter, the floor, and of course right in my face.

I spent about an hour cleaning that up and picking tiny ceramic bits out of my hands and feet. Good times.

I was an hour late to work, but once I got there I worked like dog...and I STILL missed my big deadline. Crap.

I should have just gone back to bed and called in sick or something.

Anyway, time to download pics from the wedding...I bet you're chomping at the bit to see 'em...I know I am...