May 02, 2005

Lisa: Needlepoint Joint

As I mentioned earlier, Sarah and I decided to drive up to the Needlepoint Joint in Ogden, which is about 45 minutes North of Salt Lake City. It was definitely worth the drive. The store was awesome. I snapped these two pictures on the sly, since I didn't think I would be allowed to photograph the store.

And here's Sarah, checking out pattern books!

Anyway, they had every kind of yarn I had heard of, plus tons of patterns, needles, accessories, and fancy buttons. Most importantly, they had Swallow casein needles like the one I broke--but I managed to find one or two other things to buy also. I'll post separate entries for the new projects.

I wish we could have spent more time up there. Historic 25th Street (where the Needlepoint Joint is located) is super cute, with tons of little brick shops that are antique stores, restaurants, galleries, etc. Maybe next time we will make it an evening!

May 03, 2005

Lisa: Adventures in Beautifying

I have been having some skin issues lately, so I decided to try an oatmeal mask inspired by this book. There's not much to the recipe. You put some oats in a bowl, and then add water and stir until you have sort of a paste. You glop the stuff onto your face, let it dry, rub off the dried chunks, and then wash off the rest. I had pretty good results (at least, my skin doesn't look worse), but I think next time I'm going to try the cornmeal version from the same book. The oatmeal totally clogged my bathroom sink, and I get the idea that the cornmeal will make a smoother paste.

Also, since I don't like to use very much foundation, and since my foundation color is sort of orangey for my skin tone, and since I am always trying to simplify my morning routine to maximize sleeping-in time, I decided to combine my moisturizer and foundation into one bottle--essentially creating a tinted moisturizer. Here's what I started with:

I squeezed everything out into a bowl, mixed it together with a spatula, and used a ziplog bag with the corner cut off as sort of a funnel to get the mixture back into the moisturizer bottle again. The two substances mixed together quite well, and now I am applying a not-at-all-offensively-colored tinted moisturizer in just one step in the mornings! Admittedly, buying a moisturizer that is already tinted would be less messy, but this way I can use up what I already have. Please don't bother saying anything about the germs I introduced into my moisturizer, because LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!

Oh, and I almost forgot--here's my newly-organized bathroom shelf, complete with plastic cubbies!

The Demeter spray is Honeysuckle, and it is so yummy. I highly recommend it!

Lisa: the Chipmunks are rollin' up in here

Like the hoodrat that I am, I was listening to the local R&B/hiphop station, U92, on my way to work this morning. During one song, I couldn't stop a huge smile from spreading across my face. Hey, I'm just glad Alvin is getting some work.

Sarah: Would You Like To Stay Forever?

Did I tell you that I'm working full time at one of my jobs now? Did I even tell you that I used to have two jobs? Well, I am. So what do I have in my drawer at work?
-current knitting project (a cool shawl/scarf made of crazy ribbon yarn)
-iPod charger
-laptop (depending on the day)
-birthday cards
-breakfast (well, in the fridge)
-lunch (well, in the freezer)
I think I could live here. What more do I need, really?

Sarah: Oh, we're movin' on up

I've spent the last week taking garbage bags, boxes, and armfuls of belongings to my new apartment. It's adorable. Pictures to follow, once we get the furniture in and the empty boxes out. Everyone's been so helpful and nice, but I've been so tired. If my parents were worried about a rock n' roll lifestyle, they need not be concerned. I'm in bed around 11 every night, after I spend the evening cleaning, putting away, and generally keeping house. It's nice though, and fun to be in my own place with my roommate. Also, I can finally see the floor in my room, so I must be making progress. The only tricky part is the flooded basement that did not affect us in any way, except for ruining our water heater. I've boiled more water in the last four days than in my entire life. My showers are bracing and... exhilarating. I'm calling the landlord today to threaten and rant. Stay tuned for an update.

Also apartment related is J's birthday (Happy 20th, cute roommate!) which brought the apartment a new clock and a small table (possibly for her sewing machine?).

Still on our apartment wishlist: coffee table, area rug (we have all tile floors, except for our bedrooms), and some awesome wall treatments (we have REALLY high ceilings - lots of white, blank space) that go with our retro feel (hopefully) living room. Also, I'd love magazines, websites, and books that tell me how to inexpensively make my apartment fabulous and swanky, instead of looking like a mish-mash college abode.

May 04, 2005

Lisa: Branching Out

At the Needlepoint Joint I picked up a few skeins of light green cotton yarn and some #8 needles in preparation for making Branching Out, a springy, lacy scarf pattern from the newest knitty.

The little thingy on the left is a yarn cutter pendant, which I got because (unlike scissors) it can be taken on an airplane. However, I am NOT going to wear it as a pendant, because of its humongous size and obvious old-laditude. Anyway, I am thinking about taking this project (since it doesn't involve 10 balls of yarn and four different sets of needles) to work on in the plane and on trains/buses when we go to England and Scotland. Is this a mistake?

May 05, 2005

Lisa: Do not do a Google search for "tight skirt."

On a dollar-pattern day at JoAnn's a while back, I picked up this skirt pattern and some black denim. I finally got around to finishing it.

I don't know if you can see it very well in that picture, but I did View D, which has pleats on the sides with some ribbon trim across the top of the pleats.

The skirt turned out cute, but it's a little on the snug side. I need to remember that sewing pattern sizes are smaller than retail clothing sizes! Oh, well. I've been meaning to lose a few more pounds anyway, right?

May 06, 2005

Lisa: Fountain Cowl

While at the Needlepoint Joint, I also bought the materials for this sweater,

which is called Fountain Cowl or something, and is from this book:

In addition to being very cute, I am hoping that this sweater will replace the pink one that I so sadly shrunk. Here's the yarn I got:

It's Schoeller+Stahl Flanell, and it's much cheaper than the Adrienne Vittadini yarn the pattern calls for, but the color is almost an exact match, and it should be the same gauge and fiber content. I also had to get two pairs of straight needles and two pairs of circular needles for the cowl part. I have never used circular needles before, so that should be an adventure. This sweater will definitely be the hardest thing I have done so far, but that's how you learn, right? And I will do the Branching Out scarf first, so that I get the hang of doing lacy patterns.

May 08, 2005

Lisa: The Best of Friends

One of the other librarians found these at the Holladay Pharmacy, and I had to get some. I love George and Martha, and even if I didn't these were just too cute to pass up.

May 09, 2005

Lisa: fit for a princess

I can't believe I haven't posted about decorating my pager yet! About a month ago, I bought 2-way pagers for myself and Blake. The idea was that they would be a cheap alternative to cell phones. We can send each other text messages, send and receive email messages, and exchange text messages with anyone who has a cell phone. It's quite handy, and about half the cost of cell phones per month. The pagers themselves were $9 each, and are plain back used models. I wanted to make mine cute, so, inspired by Sara's Handbling over at Going Jesus, I decided to paint it and then stick on some "jewels." I found some spraypaint especially for plastic and some acrylic crystals at JoAnn's. I decided not to ante up for the real Austrian crystals, since they cost three times as much. I didn't want to spend $20 on crystals for a $9 pager.

I taped off the screen, keyboard area, and the area on the back with the serial numbers and stuff, and sprayed on a few coats of paint according to the instructions on the can. When that was totally dry, I stuck on the crystals using tweezers and E6000 adhesive, as Sara recommended. Here's the result:

Sorry about the blurry pictures. It's surprisingly difficult to take in-focus pictures of something that sparkles. My camera kept freaking out and focusing on the table instead.

May 10, 2005

Lisa: Casing the Joint

After the whole needle breaking in half incident, I decided that my next sewing project should be making a knitting needle case. I found one in this rockin' book that looked pretty simple. I picked up some cool upholstery-weight fabrics at the Home Fabrics store in Midvale (which has a huge and reasonably priced selection) and went to town.

Word to the wise: invest in some heavy-weight sewing machine needles if you're using upholstery fabric for this project--I think the ones I got were made for sewing on denim. My top-stitching seam across the bottom of the case was going through four layers of velvet, two layers of chenille, and two layers of jacquard. I broke two regular needles before I gave up and went to JoAnn's.

Anyway, here's the finished product:

I'm happy with it. I think this is more of a keep-at-home storage solution for the entire needle collection, rather than something I would carry with me on the go. It's fairly huge. Maybe I should make a mini travel version...

May 17, 2005

Sarah: I'm valid! Validate me!

I recently joined the forum of a site I frequent. The conversation boards have a rating system for members of the forum based on how many times they have posted on the site. Because it is a home-themed site, the "ratings" are also home related. Some include "Housemate," "Housesitter," or "Head of Household." What am I, you ask? A lowly "Subletter." Oh, the shame! So now I visit the boards daily, searching for threads that I can make quality contributions to. All because I need to raise my status. The site is judging me!!

Sarah: Untapped potential (and I'm not talking about myself)

This site is full of potential craft projects. If you click on the different categories, you will find not only ready-for-crafting "arts and crafts" and "kits and models" but popsicle sticks for recreating your fourth grade diorama, lamps, sockets, and wiring for creating your own awesome lamp, and who doesn't want their own lab supplies? I know I do. I know you do. Let yourself be seduced by the broad range of offerings and low prices, but also pray that they will have photos of all products, not just some. The drawings, though cute, fairly accurate, and reminiscent of old catalogs, do not convince me when it comes time to purchase.

May 23, 2005

Sarah: Tool of the Week

As a new apartment renter, I'm discovering fabulous tools, appliances, and other objects as I maintain, decorate, and fix up my apartment. This week we celebrate:


fabulous for cutting flowers shapes out of soda cans, which you then attach to "stems" (pieces of wire hangers, also cut by the tin snips) and put in a $1.00 vase. An awesome free crafty project (after the initial tin snip purchase), easy to do for any period of time. Just make sure your friends don't mind the sound of tearing aluminum.

The details:
After I sacrificed myself for "my art" (sic, Mallory) and drank a few cans of Diet Coke, I cut around the top and bottom, then snipped down the can length-wise so that I had a small rectangle of metal. I lightly imprinted the basic shape of my flower with the tip of a pencil. This helped me to end up with an okay shape, and also make sure I included the parts of the can that I wanted. I'd rather have the wavy colored line in the petals of my flower, rather than the nutritional information. You know what I mean. I made all of my flowers with at least two layers of metal. That way, I felt like they were a little more interesting, and looked a bit more finished. Doing so, however, makes it hard to get more than 1.5 flowers per can. Thus, my project is ongoing. A girl can only consume so much soda in one night. To attach the flowers to the stem, I punched a hole through the center of the flower with a hammer and nail, and then threaded the stem through, bending it around the hole with pliers. It's hard to explain, but perhaps I can add pictures eventually. I also made a few leaves, but I have not been able to successfully attach them to the stem. I've tried pinching them around the stem and punching a hole in them, but either way they slide to the bottom. Ideas are welcome.

May 24, 2005

Lisa: you...Padme

It's sad when the best thing I can think of to say about a movie is "it was WAY better than the first two!" And it's even more sad when that isn't really saying much. That's what the Star Wars franchise has done to people. Sars summed up my feelings on Revenge of the Sith pretty well. Here's an excerpt:

Lucas can really make a movie look like a million bucks. A big set piece, no problem. Huge battle sequences, shit-kicking Muppets, aging an evil chancellor three hundred years with static electricity, ain't no thing. Two people just talking to each other and he's at a complete loss.

Update: Also, don't miss these hilarious Star Wars country song titles on Fametracker.

Lisa: Princess Peanutbuttercup

For our summer reading club kickoff party at the library, I am making a princess costume. Our theme is Dragons, Dreams, and Daring Deeds (cheesy, but hey, I didn't make it up). I decided to make the blue dress from the "I would not say such things if I were you!" scene in The Princess Bride. I haven't been able to find any pictures of the dress online, and I have been using a videotape for costume research, so I'm not sure how to make screencaps of my own. Anyway, I'll get some pictures up of the dress-making process soon.

The POINT is that I have a chin-length red bob with blond highlights. Not exactly your traditional princessy waist-length blond ringlets. I am trying to find a way to disguise at least the short length of my hair, while keeping the soft, feminine look Buttercup has in the movie. I don't think I want to wear a full wig. Here are some alternate options I've found online, but I'm not really loving any of them. Please send me your ideas! The good part is that this is a fairytale/fantasy princess, so I don't have to be authentic to any time period. Basically, it just has to look pretty.

Gotta love Maid Marian.

The idea is a stuffed fabric tube with ribbon twined around it and bits of fake hair sticking out the end. It would be fastened to my head somehow under a veil.

Princess Isabelle from Braveheart. This would involve net caul things over the ears stuffed with fake hair (or lined with fabric) with fake hair braids around them. I'm not sure about the circlet, but I would definitely want to forego the veil around the neck.

From Padme's Picnic Gown. I could handle the loose ringlets around the face, but I would need some kind of curly ponytail attachment for the back.

Pop some fake braids on there (if I can find the right color), find a way to slick the rest down in back, and we're good to go.

Drew wore sort of a be-pearled golden hairnet in Ever After.

This looks a lot like the pearly hairnet thing too, but maybe a bit smaller and neater.

Sort of a turban thing. Seems like it would be hard to get it to look right and then keep it up on your head.

Sort of a fabric bag tied on to the head. This is basically a variant on the hairnet idea, but you can't see the hair through it. Also, I thought this girl looked like she kind of had a bob.

A bunch of different crown/veil combinations. I don't think I would want anything around the front of my neck.

May 27, 2005

Lisa: Amazon Wish List

Amazon is practically perfect in every way, but there are a few things I would change. The most irritating of these has just come about with the new redesign. Apparently, there is no longer an "advanced search" feature! At least, I can't find one. There isn't even an ISBN search! Just "Search" and an empty box. This is unacceptable.

Secondly, I wish the international versions of the site were all a big happy family, allowing me to add items from all the sites to one big wish list. I want to put these two skirt pattern books from the Japan site on my list (thanks a lot, Mariko!), as well as this DVD of just the Buffy musical episode. I don't want to spend $50 to buy all of Season 6, which was largely crap, but I also don't necessarily want to illegally burn just that episode off of someone else's Season 6 set. I just want to pay my money for only the part I want. Is that so wrong? But I digress.

Thirdly, I wish there were easily accessible "log in" and "log out" links. I love all the cookie-enabled features Amazon offers (Big Brother overtones or not), but I don't necessarily want everyone else at work or wherever to be able to see my suggestions or (heaven forbid!) edit my wish list. "If you are not Lisa, click here" just doesn't cut it as a log-out option. And sometimes it can be tricky to log back in once you have figured out how to log out. Sometimes I have had to try to access a secure area of the site (logging on to check order status, change contact info, etc.) just to be able to delete something from my wishlist or see what they think I would like to listen to next. I think the problem is that they either don't want people to realize or notice how much of the site is personalized through cookies, or they think the average user is too dumb (or too concerned with preserving anonymity) to log in to access these features and allow Amazon to collect the information they use.

Lisa: Enlighten Me. (Get it?)

Quick question. Does anyone out there know stuff about lamp posts that automatically light up at night? We have a lamp post in our front yard that used to light up every night when it got dark. It stopped lighting up, so I replaced the light bulb, and now it doesn't light up at night any more. It never lights up. Any ideas? There is no switch for the post inside the house. There is a breaker just for the lamp post, but I have made sure it is in the correct position. I can't find any kind of sensor on the post itself that could be obstructed, but even if the sensor WAS obstructed, wouldn't that mean the lamp would think it was dark out and would just stay lit all the time?

Putting in a bulb with a smaller wattage made no difference. Here are some pictures of the lamp post to help with the detective work. There is a little thing on the front of the lamp post that I thought might be some kind of daylight sensor. It is a little round circle right below the lantern part. It looks almost like a mini bike reflector, with little horizontal lines inside the plastic--doesn't seem to be especially reflective, though.

Here's the lamp post:

Here's a closeup on the possible sensor thingie:

(Click on the thumbnails for bigger pictures.)