Slacker

I got my new camera. I’m trying to love it, but I’m not there yet. My old little camera and I had a very special bond. I’m having trouble letting go.

Despite having photographic capabilities again, I still didn’t take any pics of any of my finished projects, some of which have been around for a month or more.

Slacker.

Instead, I took pictures of Simon and Tilly being ridiculously cute in their new favorite sleepy spot: On top of Princess’s tank, right next to the heat lamp.

These two look so much alike, its not even funny.

Simon got upgraded to an adult cat collar on Saturday; he officially outgrew his kitten collar. And next month we’ll celebrate his neutering. Little boy’s getting so big.

I also braved the general locale of the mall on Saturday, without actually going to the mall. The general locale was enough. I’ve managed to avoid the mall altogether this year. Score.

I have one thing left to pick up, then Xmas gifties are all done. I did some baking on Sunday, and will do some more on Thursday night and Friday, since I don’t have to work.

I’m ready to turn the heel on the second Pointelle sock. My mom’s birthday is a week from today. I think I can finish them in time, since the insteps work so much faster than the leg. Rock on.

This post is pretty lame, I know, but I felt the need to put something up here. This space seems a little neglected lately, and it’s only going to get worse once Annual Busy Time starts up after the first of the year.

Oh, also on Saturday, I got a live catnip plant for Simon and Tilly.

Attacking the ‘nip, hardcore

They’re *BIG* fans.

Such a Disaster

I was a cooking fiend this weekend. Saturday, I threw a beef stew in my Crockpot and made tomato soup while Mark came by to grout my new tile countertop. It looks fantastic!

He also brought his much-loved Naughty Reindeer hat with him so that I could finally get some finished pics of it.

A hat this epic deserves an equally epic pompom.

The pattern is pretty simple, if riddled with long floats. However, instead of being a total dope and using a silk blend for colorwork (as I have been known to do in the past), I smartened up and used good ‘ole Cascade 220. The stickiness made the floats easier…most of the tension issues came out with a good wet block on my glass head. To make it cozy, since I don’t find Cascade 220 particularly cozy myself, I put in a partial lining—just up to the ears—with some soft and fuzzy angora/bombyx handspun, which I didn’t snap a shot of, of course.

I have it on good authority that this hat gets a lot of wear. There’s nothing better in the world than a much-loved handknit!

Immediately after I snapped these pics, I dropped my beloved little camera LCD-screen-side-down on the hardwood floor. I joked out loud, “Way to break your camera, Jac,” and realized hours later that I had, in fact, broken my camera. Totally fried the screen and broke the little tab that holds the battery in place; it won’t even stay on, just turns itself off.

Such a disaster…so tragic…

I was so upset, I couldn’t help but jump online and order a new one. (I’m a Pentax girl for life.) It’ll be here in a couple days, thank goodness, because I feel completely lost without my camera.

Yesterday, I made brocolli mac ‘n’ cheese, my second attempt at that recipe and a good one; it came out even better than my first try. And, in an effort to use up some sweet potatoes before they bit it, I whipped up Smitten Kitchen’s sweet potato buttermilk pie, which came into work with me today. And I threw together a few batches of dough for these delicious-looking French Butter Cookies. Its currently chilling in my freezer, waiting to be sliced and baked at some point.

Of course, since I’m such a disaster and broke my camera, I have no pics of any of this culinary awesomeness.

Weak.

In knitting news, I finished the first Pointelle sock, and started the cuff on the second. Great pattern, and the yarn is just wonderful. I’ll show them off at some point…such a disaster…

Kicking the Kitchen Up a Notch

Things have been busy, busy, busy ’round these parts as of late. Work has been unrelentingly busy, all leading up to Annual Busy Time, which starts in less than 30 days.

And, in my attempt to be “less lame,” I’ve been spending more time with a circle of friends I haven’t spent a lot of time with lately. My long-dormant social butterfly is waking back up. I’m loving it.

And least you think I haven’t been knitting, let me assure you I have been. I finished Multnomah (Simon was *very* helpful with the blocking process) and a pair of simple socks, that I gifted to Jenni because I apparently can’t remember how big my feet are on any given day.

Then I whipped out my very first pair of handspun socks, and cast on a pair of Pointelles in one of my favoritest yarns, String Theory Caper Sock, which I think are destined to be my mom’s birthday present. And I started (and dang-near finished) a Super Secret Xmas Project for one of my favoritest faves. More on that way later.

And all that is from stash. Yup, Operation Stash Containment is going fantastically thus far. I’m doing great. What I’m not doing, clearly, is taking pictures of anything.

A good part of this past weekend was devoted to another recent project: Making my apartment my own. I love my apartment, but when I moved in, I never intended to stay very long. Then everything blew up and my life kind of fell apart for a while. I’m getting back to a good place, and a big part of that has been making my 700-or-so square feet all my own. The first project was the kitten-room re-do. This weekend was all about the kitchen.

Mark, putting on some molding Hard Hittin style, which means no miter box, just a skillsaw and a triangle. Can you dig it?

First and foremost, I’d be totally and completely remiss is I didn’t give madd props to my favorite spindlemaker. See, my apartment has no countertops. At all. For almost two years, my only counterspace has been a four-foot kitchen cart—not really convenient when you like to cook. When I mentioned my desire to put in some sort of counter, Mark didn’t just agree to help; he jumped in with both feet and built me an entire, custom, upcycled-wood cabinet that would color any woodworking hobbiest impressed.

Over the course of Saturday, Mark outfitted it with doors and, after a quick-ish trip to Home Depot, hardware. Then I got a five-minute lesson on laying tile, and we went at spiffing her up. A coat of primer and paint, and she got to looking really pretty.

How do ‘ya like them apples?

Course, I’m making light here. It was a ton of work, mostly on Mark’s part. I’m a lucky girl to have a friend like that, and I know it.

The tile still needs grout, but man, it looks awesome already.

I’m totally psyched for how it looks in my kitchen. The red tiles don’t exactly match the wall color, which is perfect. I had something completely different in mind when we walked into Home Depot, but this just screamed at me off the display. I think I made a good choice.

Awesome.

Yesterday I went crazy with three rolls of shelf liner. My mom ingrained in me the need to “do things the right way” as a child. Damask-ish print shelf liner is totally “the right way.”

Have I mentioned my kitchen is huge? This is just half of it. It’s spectacular.

So, there it is, my fabulous kitchen, now even fabulous-er. My steal-of-the-century kitchen cart now serves as an island, and my cooking mojo is about to go sky-high. And a zillion-and-a-half thanks to Mark for being so ridiculously awesome its not even funny.

Next up: The closet known as my bathroom. My landlord has promised me a new ceiling and a new bathtub/shower in the near future. Rock on.