Saturday, January 17, 2009

That new house smell...

is a combination of sawdust, polyurethane and cleaning products. I LOVE it.We've been collecting our belongings from various caches around town (friend's basements, my studio, etc.) and moving them over one pick-up truck load at a time. Although I'm very excited about moving in, I'm also a little sorry to realize that in comparison to the newness of the house, our furnishings and junk look extra crappy. I was sort of in denial regarding the quality of our belongings. You've heard of Shabby Chic? We specialize in Salvage Yard Not-Very-Chic. As one of our friends commented upon entering: "It looks like a Steelcase museum in here."

So imagine me arranging and rearranging our "vintage" office furniture, trying to somehow to make it look cozy and inviting. I'll be out of touch for awhile until we get our internet switching over to the new abode.

Ta ta.

Ragnar...home again.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


When Manimal came home for dinner tonight, he gave me the low down on the work they'd been doing at the new house.

Stove: hooked up.

Drier: hooked up.

Windows: construction gunk removed from tracks

Front Entryway Tile: sealed.

Kitchen Tile: scrubbed and ready to be sealed, tonight after dinner.

"And you know what else needs to be done, after the kitchen tile gets sealed, before the house is habitable?" he asked.

"I don't know, what?" I asked.

"Jack shit."

Ragnar...I'm in love with Jack!

PS: tomorrow I'm going over to take pictures of everything before we fill it up with our crap, so check out House of Straw sometime this week for finished photos.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Monogamous knitting...

But first, a finished object. Yes it looks exactly like the last finished object I posted. That's because I've been knitting the horned helmets non-stop...this one is bigger though. The grown-man-who-should-know-better that this one's for has a 25 and a half inch cranium. Usually I can try things on as I go and get an idea about how they'll fit, but this one just made me feel like a little kid playing dress-up...if her papa was a viking.
Notice that it fits a 26" soccer ball like it was made for it. And those horns? All me baby. I'm so danged proud of my self I could just spit. I am told that the recipient hasn't removed it since he put it on, and that it's the only hat that's ever fit him properly so I guess all those years of higher math finally paid off. Ratios people, it's all about the ratios.

If your first finished project sets the tone for the year, then 2009 is going to be one hell of a party.

And speaking of knitting in 2009, what's with this goal to become a monogamous knitter? Huh?

Well I had a little sit down with myself awhile back and said, self, said I, you need to get this knitting thing under control. If you don't reign in a bit you're going to be putting yourself at risk for all sorts of knittingly-transmitted-diseases, like stash-lice and UFOitis. And then I answered myself, okay self, I'm willing to discuss it, but you have to drop the knitting as sex metaphor because it's just sad, and no one likes that sort of junior high humor anyway, okay?

Long story short, I've realized that the reason I never finish anything is because I have (at last count) 14 things on the needles (no wonder I can never find my needles). And I flit from one to the other until I'm just not in the mood for any of it, and then I start something new. So I've written them all down and I'm seriously trying to whittle the list down to a managable size. I've even started writing down "promised" and planned knitting projects in a "list" with the intention of whittling those down as well. So far, so good, although instead of picking one item off the list and working on it until it's done, I'm still allowing myself to flit from one to the next as long as it's already started...sort of like an alcoholic visiting all of the old watering holes before going on the wagon.

The prize at the end? I haven't decided yet, but I've had my eye on some of those fabulous fair isle sweaters....dum dum dum dum.

Ragnar...knit slut no more.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Gate Crasher

Of course I knew there would come a time when I couldn't rely on babygates to keep Ragnarson in his place. Naively I thought that time would come when he was three or so. Turns out I was wrong by about a year and a half.

We call this tricycle his "seige machine." He uses it as a combination battering ram/stepping stool. I've tried hiding it but then he uses his toybox or a laundry basket.
So far I've managed to catch him before he gets the second leg over, but after a couple of thwarted efforts he gets pissed and just rips the gate out of the door frame.
Usually he pulls it down on top of himself, but a few days ago while I was cooking dinner, he managed to pull it out of the doorframe, staggering backwards a few steps, but remaining upright. When I stuck my head around the corner to see what was going on he was standing there looking like the Incredible Hulk, holding the babygate in front of him, which he then tossed to the side before stomping into the kitchen to confront me.


For his next trick: he is learning the fine art of nose blowing, which is pretty useful what with all the winter colds that have been going around. This morning while I was folding laundry though, he was pulling kitchen towels and washclothes out of the laundry bin faster than I could fold them, and blowing his nose on every single one before dropping it and reaching for another.

Little...sweet darling baby.

Ragnar...proud? mama.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Be it resolved...

I usually do end up making some sort of nod to the tradition of New Years Resolutions...even on those years that I manifestly refuse to resolve anything, I have to honestly say that there's a deep down, follower inside me that just can't let January 1st pass without whispering something like: "work out everyday, I'm going to work out everyday! but not tell anyone about it, because I'm not making any resolutions this year...yeah."

And I'm feeling a lot of change related energy right now, what with (almost!) moving into a new house, a completely empty, new house where for the first time in my life I won't be living in a space that's full of other people's baggage. Add to that the fact that I'm having to reevaluate my lifestyle, finally coming to terms with the fact that Mommy Ragnar is in fact a different person from Step-Mommy Ragnar, and you have a me that's practically vibrating with good intentions for the New Year.

Freshly Inspired by Jodi Green and her Uberlist, both the 2008 and 2009 versions, I give you: Ragnar's Completely Ridiculous, Unachievable but Well Intentioned List of the 100 Things I Want to Manifest in 2009. I may at some point expand on some of these but for now, a simple list.

1. Smile at people, and make eye contact.
2. Participate.
3. Become a monogamous knitter.
4. Grow food instead of plants.
5. Take myself seriously.
6. Work in the studio at least once a week, even if that means going in for an hour and puttering around, accomplishing nothing.
7. Organize.
8. Get better at making things out of wood.
9. Take a class in something.
10. Spin
11. Reupholster the "dining room" chairs.
12. Publish at least 4 new knitting designs.
13. Submit at least 1 design for publication.
14. Do not allow the new house to fill up with junk.
15. Build 2x4 shelves for the studio.
16. Keep the Etsy store up to date.
17. Knit a sweater for myself.
18. Build a light box to facilitate the taking of better pictures of artwork and crafts.
19. Get excited about things.
20. Sew curtains.
21. Read something by Jane Austen.
22. Post a project on Instructables.
23. Stop using Ragnarson as an excuse for why I can't get anything done.
24. Make a chore schedule.
25. Economize.
26. Visit someone in a far away place.
27. Eat less pork.
28. Eat more lamb and goat.
29. Brush and Floss.
30. Build a wood oven in the backyard.
31. Whittle.
32. Make a dressform.
33. Send postcards to people instead of emailing them when I'm just writing to say "hi."
34. Stop eating candy at work.
35. Use my datebook.
36. Do laundry before I completely run out of clothes.
37. Make some artist trading cards.
38. Go to the dentist.
39. Compost.
40. Read less crappy chic-lit.
41. Sing.
42. Socialize.
43. Use up yarn.
44. Sew clothes that I will wear.
45. Send birthday cards.
46. Buy music.
47. Write a story.
48. Recycle
49. Ride my bike
50. Do not knit things that are not on "the list."

Half way through, whew. Take a breather for a second.

51. Make something out of clay.
52. Wear color.
53. Enter at least one quilt show.
54. Be a better friend.
55. Do not delay making phone calls.
56. Use Ravelry as a tool, not a distraction.
57. Take Rat Girl to a play.
58. Go to Wednesday night knitting group...once in awhile.
59. Follow through.
60. Bake bread.
61. Design my next tattoo.
62. Work in the Gardenhouse, at least once a month.
63. Keep a better record of knitting projects.
64. Eat at home.
65. Strength train.
66. Work on the yard.
67. Earn money.
68. Be less judgemental.
69. Work with K and B on quilt tile designs.
70. Plan meals in advance.
71. Take vitamins.
72. Cut back on caffeine.
73. Make deliberate decorating decisions on the house.
74. Replace plastic food storage containers.
75. Preserve food for winter.
76. Get fresh air.
77. Make soap.
78. Go to art shows.
79. Subscribe to a magazine.
80. Cultivate patience.
81. Make halloween costumes for the family.
82. Buy in bulk.
83. Teach a quilting class.
84. Tell people that I love them.
85. Approach local galleries about showing my work.
86. Don't worry about what other people think.
87. Use reuseable shopping bags.
88. Explore "found objects" in my quilts.
89. Repaint Ragnarson's blocks.
90. Reject guilt.
91. Sew fabric produce bags.
92. Sketch.
93. Ask for help.
94. Invite people over.
95. Read a non-fiction book.
96. Go camping.
97. Sew in the third dimension.
98. Swim in one of the great lakes.
99. Forage.
100. Listen to myself. me what you've got 2009.