adventures in craft shopping

(I went to go write this onto tumblr and realized that it was really long, so I deleted it and decided to write about it here)

Jamie and I went to a local craft store the other day. Our area has a handful of craft stores and, hell, even some of the local Walmarts have a decent craft section (not as amazing as they used to be back in the day, but working their way back to it). This particular one I wanted to go to because they have a better fabric section.

Jamie and I went wandering through some aisles, wandered through beads and papercraft sections, the woodworky things and the kidstuff. I found a kid’s dress and pointed out that a) Cricket would look super adorable in it and 2) I could probably make one myself. Jamie agreed on both things (it was one of the dress-up dresses. sequins and tulle. I don’t do sequins as a craft because of childhood and the constant dealing with sequins)

Jamie found a couple things that he wanted to try/play around with, so he grabbed those. I found some yarn on sale that was really pretty and really tempting. But, I reminded myself that I have no room for more yarn and while the stripe-gradient thing was really cool, I have no idea what I’d make with those. I have a skein of one of those stripe-gradient yarns and I haven’t messed with it. I have a plan for it, yes, but I’m not sure how it’ll go. And, I was mainly here for fabric.

Like I said, this particular craft store has a better fabric section. So, off to fabric we went, circumventing the yarn area. We found some fun print fabric that would be cool to use, some glow-in-the-dark fabric that was more expensive than I’m currently willing to pay (I have small projects and I’m cheap. cheap also means more various fabrics)

I’ve been looking, off and on, for a specific fabric for a few years:: white with red polka dots. I’ve found white with pink-and-red or pink-and-purple polka dots, I’ve found white with green-and-blue polka dots, and I’ve found red with white polka dots. White with red polka dots is hard. I had figured I’d have to use red felt, red fabric, or even a red fabric sharpie (which I have all three), but, just in case, I’d like to look.

I found white organza with red polka dots. Score. I can work with the see-through fabric, I have white fabric at home. So I go to the counter to get it cut.

sigh.

I am ignored by the woman at the counter, who has seen me walk up, and continues working on folding fabric in front of her. Ok, cool, finish up what you’re doing (the retail monkey in me is screaming “acknowledge your customers!”) and I can wait patiently. I work retail, I’m not going to be a dick. I was also raised to be polite and wait patiently despite my grandmother’s best efforts otherwise.

Another woman comes up and another customer just dumps all this fabric onto the counter, joking about finding more stuff (a woman after my own heart. more power to you lady). The employee asks if she has her ticket and calls out a number.

There’s a ticket system? Since when?

There’s no notation to “take a ticket” or “please have numbered ticket ready” or anything like that. The woman who has steadfastly ignored me demands to know if  I have a ticket. I told her: I’m sorry, I didn’t know I needed one. So she calls out another number.

Are you fucking kidding me.

A woman who has grabbed a ticket from a pull-out machine that I had no idea was there because it blends in with the surrounding area hands me her ticket. I told her I could wait, no worries. She insisted I take her ticket and she grabs another. She was super cool and I thanked her and said “Shows how often I’m here, doesn’t it.” and we chuckled a bit.

The woman who has ignored me and gotten mad at me about this whole ticket thing calls out the number and I smile and ask for half a yard please. She unrolls it and I can see where someone just eyeballed it and cut it haphazardly. She measures half a yard, does a cut, and then uses the handy-dandy little pre-made cut area in the counter to cut the fabric. She doesn’t smooth it or even seems to care when it bunches up.

I don’t care, I want my little bit of fabric so I can get out of here. It’ll be enough for what I need.

Without looking at me, she tells me that this fabric is non-refundable.

Really? Really. It’s fabric. It’s cut fabric. Why would I want to return it anyway? I tell her that’s fine, take my ticket and half-assed folded little peice of fabric, and walk away.

We walk away far enough and Jamie can see that I’m a little mad at the whole encounter. I point out that I’m glad I didn’t have a lot of fabrics I wanted cut and that I’m not going to come back for fabric, I’ll just shop online or something. (which sucks because I prefer physical contact with the fabric I want. I want to see it and feel it before I make a decision).

We go up to stand in line and the woman in front of us insists we go ahead of her because she “has so many things” and we have one or two (we had like five but they fit in the palm of Jamie’s hand). The teeny tiny girl in her early 20s was there ringing people out. She’s super nice and even if I look at her name tag I can never remember her name. She always has a smile on her face and is always wonderful. I like her.

We had a better experience with the cashier and the couple of fellow customers than we did when dealing with the fabric people.

As we were halfway across the parking lot, I told Jamie: the longer I work in retail, the more I fucking hate people. Jamie told me it’s because I have higher standards because I work in a retail environment and have higher expectations.

I looked down at the fabric in my hand as I sat down in the car and saw that the red polka dots that I saw in the store are bright neon pink.

Jamie told me it was ok and I told him I can easily fix that. Hey, I’ve got fabric markers, I can do it.

 

making things

+ I finished the Combo Breaker blanket, it is folded up and sitting on a shelf until Jamie remembers to take it to work to give it to the parent. lol

+ I made Jamie a Bear Hat. It is a smidge too small, but he thinks it’s awesome. So, I’m working on making another one (I have the yarn so why not?) I still have a few more months before it gets cold enough for him to wear a hat, so I have the time to work on it.

+ I keep staring at the same documents doing nothing.

  • Weird Granddad story is just…there. I am at a point where I don’t remember exactly where I was going with it
  • Attempted Novelette is at a standstill. I’m at the point where I can’t remember whose name is for which character except for one, and that’s mainly because I keep making terrible jokes about it.
  • I’ve been jotting down notes for another story idea to try to get bits together with it

+ Nothing is finished and I don’t know if I’m fine with that. I don’t know if it’s an epic brain fart or just extreme apathy.

+ Bug and Firefly got into it the other day and Firefly needs to learn that Bug is getting her back for when they were younger and Firefly got Bug because Bug was too nice. Now Bug is a tank of a dog and has power behind her snaps.

Firefly is fine, we carted her butt to the vet, where her head was cleaned and parts were shaved. I insisted we take her because of the puncture under her jaw (which is fine, just squicky) and we learned that she’s got a couple more punctures than I had originally thought. She’s on antibiotics and has been happily spoiled by getting to sleep on the couch, getting various pieces of human food (cheese, peanut butter, things like that), and snoring on the bed.

small project

I decided on a whim that I would make a baby blanket. The internet says the average blanket is approximately 30×30. And, Jamie’s boss is having a baby so it’s a fun excuse to try to make something new.

I’m going with the most basic thing I can think of right now (one colour, which is a light yellow) and thinking on if I’m going to add any embellishments later on or attempt to crochet some sort of border around it to see if it’ll help keep the ends from rolling up.

I’m making the thing on my S-Loom, so I’m determined that this will be the first project I complete on the S-Loom itself. The first project I started was a peachy-coloured scarf that I got maybe 1/4 of the way done before pulling it off and starting this. I was mainly doing it to see how the S-Loom would work. So far, I am liking how it goes.

I’m also pretty sure this will be larger than 30×30.

I guessed on the width. Using the partially done scarf and the middle section of my middle finger (which is approximately 1 inch long, so it’s a great too to use. I’ve weirded out people using my forearm as a measurer because I know my forearm is 1 foot long from wrist to elbow. it’s pretty neat). So, if it’s more than 30″ then that’s what it’ll be. It’s a weird little handmade item, so why not be off just a hair?

When I started this, 3 rows was 1 inch and I was like: I can get this done in no time! 21 rows in, I was no where near the 7 inches I had initially thought and worked a few more rows. Now I’m 30 rows in and have found that if I don’t stretch the blanket, I’m at 5 inches, but if I stretch it I’m at 8 inches.

So, I won’t stretch it.

This means that I am 1/6 of the way done. I think it’s kind of funny, I tell my customers I don’t do math as I pull out my phone and bring up a calculator (it’s true, I can’t do percentages in my head), but I can do basic math for knitting. This means, if it takes me 30 rows to get 5 inches, this whole thing will be approximately 180 rows. This can change, as the longer it gets , the…tighter? the rows become. It makes sense if you look at it, or, at least, it makes sense to me.

180 rows. I can do this. The Doctor Who scarves I’ve made have been longer than 180 rows (granted, this is wider than any of the Doctor Who scarves I’ve made). If it turns out all right, maybe I can be brave and try to remember how to do the “Russian Knot” (there are tutorials on youtube so I’m good there) and do more than one colour and work my way through that.

I also thought about doing some sort of embellishment. I was watching a tutorial on how to make crochet “puff flowers” and I think they look pretty neat. Jamie said if I can learn how to make those, maybe I can learn how to make butterflies and such (there’s a tutorial on youtube for butterflies as well, I think by the same person I was watching make the flowers). It’ll be neat to see what happens.

Is it spring yet?

I am starting to get tired our weather. One day it’s 20 degrees and doing the famed “Wintry Mix”! and the next day it’s 65, all 1/2-inches of “snow” has melted. The following day is a blistering 29 degrees and windy as fuck while the next day is 70.

While the area we live in is technically “bowl” shaped, I’d really prefer to have weeks where we work on getting warmer and warmer and not have weeks where I don’t know if I should wear my boots and an extra jacket. (ok, in all seriousness, I’ll wear my boots until they fall off of me…which is sooner than expected since some of the seaming popped the other night. but they are going to be 10 years old in June). This is March. I don’t want to wake up one morning and to find snow on the ground and then wake up the next morning and feel like I could walk around in my bondage shorts.

But, on the plus side: Just barely over a month and we get to transplant all of the veggies outside into the re-tilled garden area! I am very excited.

The pumpkins decided to damn the germination period (3 weeks) and go for 6 days because we are awesome and the cheap-o germination stand we built has been a success! Quite a few of the plants had to be re-potted, so our bunny room is extra warm (which is good for the bunny as well) and smells of wet dirt (because Jamie re-potted everything in there I think), and we bought a few more seeds. Jamie wanted to try watermellon (and if memory serves correctly, we are going to be buried in creepers. thank whatever god out there that I was very adamant about not planting zucchini). They cayenne peppers seem to be pouting and being slow to germinate, which is fine. The catgrass has gone insane (and we are growing some for Fred’s cat Mr Jingles)

Jamie also found a good website to buy some herbs and other oddities, so when we get the chance, I get to buy me some feverfew (I love me some feverfew). I have another seed website bookmarked because some of the beans looked interested (I do blame Ursula Vernon for that one*)

This weekend or so, we’ll be going to buy (or build) fencing to keep the monkeys out of where the garden is going to be. The downside to this is that we’ve got to find something taller than the basic little white picket fence that’s about a foot tall and is around the outside A/C unit because Hobbes likes to leap over that fence so he can snuffle about and try to eat whatever bug is back there. And we need to keep the monkey-butts out of the future-garden area.

And: hopefully this year will be the spring/summer where we finish the “fire pit” area. We are also still planning to rip up the little fence between our house and our neighbor’s so we can replace it (possibly with the little white picket fence thing like we have around the outside A/C unit). We also need to fix the end of the driveway thanks to our latest snowpocalypse (and stupid City snow plows), which ate away part of the driveway. The neighbor (not the one with the fence) will be starting up the yearly calling-and-harrassing some City employee to “clean the culvert” and “dig it out” because it is not our responsibility. If it were, that shit would be a concrete ditch by now.

Now, to enjoy the weather, pop in headphones (and put on pants, I don’t want to put on real pants) and clean the backyard)

 

* My hope is that I will not turn into an avid gardener like Ursula Vernon because her posts (and mentions on KUEC) are kind of scary when she goes off on tangents about mulch and the large number of beds she has. But she does try very hard to grow just things in general (with an attitude of “let’s see if this sprouts!) and has a specific type of plant that she tries to grow (it’s native gardening or something?).  I love her work, she cracks me up.

hopefully a success

Jamie and I have decided to attempt to do a garden this year. The trouble is the monkeys and how we are going to keep them out of the area that Jamie has tilled (and have it be unlike the last time we tilled an area of the backyard, had another frost come, and had Firefly dig up anything that we attempted to put in. the area is still rather uneven in places, but the dogs don’t seem to notice). He’s going to be tilling the area for a second time this weekend so we can get things a bit smoother.

While that’s going on, Jamie had originally just bought two lights and were going to string them up from the ceiling in the Purple Room (aka: the bunny room; formerly: the cat room), but then we both remembered that it is our house and therefore would not be safe to put lights up using nothing more than those little screw-in hooks. So, we went to Lowes (ok, Jamie went back to Lowes and at that point I was awake enough to go along), bought a cheap-o plastic shelving, another fixture and another set of lights, and created our own little germination area. Jamie pointed out that the $50 that was spent altogether was still cheaper than the indoor germination pods that were being sold.

Apparently we’re doing something right.

It’s been about a week and a half to two weeks. The cucumbers and turnips sprouted first, then the kale and tomatoes. We’re fully expecting to see sprouts from the pumpkin seeds by Saturday (they were “planted” this past Sunday) because all of the plants have seemed to have gone: fuck this, let’s get growing! So, hopefully by the time we can actually plant things outside (which, the farmer’s almanac states should be April 14th), we won’t be run over by hordes of pots (and Odwalla boxes) that are threatening to explode greenery everywhere.

We’ll also be putting up fencing (because of Firefly)  around the area where the little garden is going to be and, paws crossed, this year will be the year when we rip up the ancient “fence” divider that is between our yard and our neighbor’s yard (we both agree it needs to go, they can’t afford it and every time we make plans to do it, something happens) and replace it with a nice fence. This will give me a chance to continue the Fight Against The Poison Ivy and That Damned Vine because I, of course, will be the one ripping out the fence and putting it in. Because, frankly, I really do not want to sit in a doctor’s office so Jamie can have his shot-and-pill combo this early in the year (he’s allergic to, well, practically anything that grows. but, he’s very allergic to the poison ivy, poison oak, sumac, virginia creeper, etc).

If we are successful, we will have:: The Veggiepocalypse(!) as well as Attack of the Killer Pumpkins(!). If all goes well, Halloween will be very fun this year (and I will require a new dremel, some wooden spikes, and possibly some little tealight candles among other things)

Being cheap for Halloween

This is not a screen-accurate version of a Jayne Cobb outfit.

Yes, it is a little messy in the bedroom.

A few things:

+ Jayne hat was knitted and looking at this makes me realize that I did end up doing the orange and yellow about a row or two each too much. Next time, I should probably make the pom on top a little smaller.

+ Pants are work pants (yay!), boots are my own much-loved military boots, shirt is from our collection (we got it a year or two ago). Belt is Jamie’s.

+ The holster is one of Jamie’s belts and one of our bondage straps jury-rigged because I’m cheap. I also “made” a little holster out of a piece of black felt and stuck in a neon yellow watergun.

I had a lot of coworkers tell me that I either looked “really cute and adorable” or “like a little kid!” I’m kind of surprised I didn’t get in trouble by personell or my Big Boss because I had forgotten to take the little watergun out of the holster and just walked around work with it. But, I guess since I was doing stuff, they could ignore it? If someone had mentioned it, I would’ve taken the thing out.

I had a lot of fun being a dork and pretending to be the Hero of Canton. I think I also managed to get a couple people interested in checking out the much-loved show.

Learn Something New Everyday: June

So, I’m a few days late with coming up with Learn Something New. Not because I forgot to write down some stuff for the last few days, but because June was a crazy month and I really have no idea what day it is most of the time. Things are probably going to get more hectic because I work retail.

No links for June because I really don’t feel like it and we’re in the middle of a small project.

——

  1. Izzy-butt has gained 4 lbs since she’s been given a bottle of Ensure with dinner.
  2. New York City has a four-person body freezer up for sale.
  3. Apparently all you really need to be a “good” or “prominent” Sci-Fi author is a dick.
  4. More people are willing to pay $4 per pound for a bag of cherries than the $6 for a 3 lbs box that is located on the shelf right below the bags.
  5. A new Chucky movie is coming out. It is being toted as “more scary” than the recent Chucky films and “more like the original.”
  6. Threadless has a little section of TMNT shirts.
  7. Yuengling has a pittie mug! (aww, damnit, now I have to give them a try again)
  8. Cough drops are like candy with benefits.
  9. Jamie can pull off a surprise party! And he made me a Dalek cake!!
  10. I just got “Hall of Mirrors, Vol. 2” for free. (all I can think of is it’s a glitch)
  11. More people showed up and more pets were saved during the “Just One Day” event at the RCACP than I expected (over 70!)
  12. It is official: I am a crazy cat lady.
  13. An organization in NY is going to pull 13-15 dogs from the RCACP. Woohoo!
  14. Doggyloot has leashes and bandanas that let strangers know if your dog is shy, has issues, or is in training.
  15. Holy fuck, Sean Bean doesn’t die in “Silent Hill 2.”
  16. Udo Kier as a mechanical puppet is really fucking creepy (watching “The Theatre Bizarre”)
  17. Ommegang’s new GoT brew (“Take the Black”) comes out in the fall!
  18. Mango dumdums are really gross.
  19. Accidentally found out how to get dumdums off the stick without chomping down on them.
  20. Met a guy who was friends with Vincent Price, it was pretty cool. (he mentioned that Vincent Price was the nicest man you’d ever meet, he also said I’d made his day because I knew who he [Price] was and could name the movie that was where his shirt came from [The Abominable Doctor Phibes]
  21. Pointing out that today is midsummer/solstice really weirds out “normal” people, especially when they complain that the day is “so long.”
  22. If you want cotton candy, you can’t find it anywhere.
  23. CLR will eat through grout.
  24. Algernon, one of the new kittens, can easily spring up pant legs.
  25. There is a recipe for a chocolate espresso panini.
  26. “Frankenstein’s Army” has a VoD and limited theatrical release of July 26th. I am excited.
  27. Darius Rucker has a song (“Wagon Wheels”) that mentions Roanoke.
  28. The HPLHS’ Dark Adventure Radio Theatre will be releasing “The Colour out of Space” soon.
  29. Daly’s Mango Passionfruit is surprisingly tasty.
  30. Your own pair of scissors come in handy at work.