crochet


I actually finished this yesterday, but didn’t get the pictures uploaded until this morning.

laptop case 2

I kind of just made it up as I went along, but it turned out really well.

laptop case open

laptop case closeup

I used Red Heart SS in Teal with an I hook. The stitch pattern is the block and offset shell stitch (block 27) from 63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches Combine To Make An Heirloom Afghan (That’s a mouthful, eh?)

I lined the inside with a sweatshirt fleece in a lighter teal and used an invisible stitch to tack it down all the way around. Then I folded it to size and used crab stitch (reverse crochet) all the way around to give it a nice finished edge.

Overall, I love the way it turned out. It fits my laptop perfectly – snug, but not to tightly. I’ve been waiting for a project to use those buttons on for ages, and even though I think they look great on the cozy, I may have to wind up changing them out. They don’t have enough of a lip on them to keep the flap closed securely enough for my taste.

I’m thinking about adding a small pocket to the inside for paperwork/discs and maybe one to the back of the outside for my power cable. I haven’t decided yet. I kind of like the unfettered look of it without pockets of bulging crap hanging off of it. I may just make a separate bag for that stuff. Right now I’m just happy to have something soft and cushy to protect my new baby from dust and scratches.

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After several days of feeling like utter crap, today is a good day. Right now the neighbors dog is in the back yard playing with Moxie, I’ve got a big cup of coffee, and I’m writing this post from my new laptop!

laptop

Most of my electronic devices have names, and my laptop is no different.  I thought that since I’d named my mp3 player Euterpe (after the muse of music and lyric poetry) that I’d stay with the theme and name my laptop Clio after the muse of history.  It may seem odd since technology is so “now” and all, but finding my very first online diary after eight years would say different!

Clio is an Acer Aspire 4720Z.  She’s got 2 gig of RAM, 120 gig hard drive, she runs on Vista.  So far I have no complaints about Vista.  I’ve heard awful stuff about it, but haven’t seen it myself (again, yet.)  There was one other laptop in my price range that had 160 gig space and a built in webcam (which mine doesn’t have) but it didn’t have the dvd burner, which I really wanted.

I’ve spent most of the weekend playing with it and setting it up how I want it.  It’s weird having a computer all to yourself that you know nobody else is going to use.  I wonder if I can keep it virus/problem free?

Of course, because we spent a big chunk of money this weekend, something had to go wrong.  On Saturday afternoon Paul and I were lounging in the front room – he was playing his DS and I was messing around with Clio.  He got cold being directly under the a/c so he turned it down to fan and went back to playing his game.  Only problem is that when the house started warming up and he switched it back to cool, it wouldn’t blow any cool air!  We tried everything, including pulling the entire unit out yesterday afternoon when the house reached 94 degrees and cleaning it from top to bottom.  We’re pretty sure the coolant is gone.  SO, that means that we’ve got to brave the heat until Friday when we can go buy a new unit.  We’d just have it serviced, but it’s a small window unit and I seriously doubt it’d be worth the time or money involved.  Getting a new one is probably our best bet.  Luckily, our back room has a small window a/c and now that I’ve got wireless internet and a laptop I can spend the hottest part of the day back there.

No new portable electronic is complete in my house until it has a cover/cozy.  I’m crocheting a cover for Clio right now to keep her protected from dirt and scratches.  I’m about 3/4 through it, I still need to finish the edging, line it and then sew it up.  I’ve taken a small hiatus on my hoodie until the cover is finished and I can stop being lazy long enough to wind some hanks of yarn in to balls.

It took so long for flickr to upload my picture that I’m almost finished with lunch! I finally gave up and hosted it through photobucket.

Photobucket

I’m hoping it’s not too large a picture. Anyway, this is my first super healthy bento. There’s leftover stir fried carrots and broccoli from last night, homemade hummus with a little cayenne pepper, cucumber slices to dip in the hummus. There’s also onigiri with star shaped nori on top, mini dill alligators devouring green olives (I took great pleasure in stealing their prey and eating their faces off!). Fresh strawberries and watermelon jello for desert. That’s a big lunch for less than 600 calories!

I was going to try something different today and add a slide show of what I’ve been doing, but apparently wordpress has issues with flash and I don’t feel like taking the time to figure out how to circumvent it.

So, the last week, in picture form:

I spent time with my adorable family

Awww

Took Moxie to the vet for her shots. Afterwards Gutter stared Moxie down

kitty scares moxie

Then he got lovey with a chair leg

gutter love chair

Dr. Evil says “Hi”. He used to have a mini-me, but he committed suicide.

hello fishie

I worked on Valpuri for mom. I love it, (hate the cables, but love the top) but I’m really unsure if she’ll like it. I haven’t decided if I’ll continue with it or not.

valpuri for mom

I started a soft ball for the dogs to play with. If they like it and don’t tear it apart in a day I’ll make them more.

i will be a ball

I’ve been knitting garter stitch squares on the bias. They’re quick, colorful and completely mindless knitting. These are about 4×4 inches I think, and I can work on them while watching tv or reading without worrying if I’m going to screw them up.

bias garter squares

I had this cute crocheted strawberry in my queue on ravelry and decided to make it the other night while my hands were itchy for something to do. It literally only took about 20 minutes to make.

crochet strawberry

I got to spend some much needed hang out time with Hammie last Thursday and she had me try Guitar Hero 3 on her ps3. I loved it so much (and Paul and I had been talking about it…it wasn’t completely spur of the moment) that I went out the next day and bought the game and two guitars. We spent most of the weekend playing.

guitar hero 3

All my game gear needs handmade stuff. I’m working on two guitar straps:

pink cabled guitar strap

A pink cabled one for me, and a green and navy one…for me too (because Paul probably won’t use it)

green and navy guitar strap

I’m also planning on modding the face plate because it’s removable. I’m thinking pink, with a Dresden Dolls plane logo, but that may change.

I also spent some time outside. I didn’t do the much needed yard cleaning I should have been doing, but I enjoyed the good stuff that was blooming. Not this though:

damned weeds

Stupid weeds. They literally just started cropping up about a week ago. I’ll probably have Paul take them out with the weed eater, but I’ve contemplated leaving them and telling people I’m cultivating all the green I can.

There’s beautiful stuff growing too though. I have a tea rose bush in my back yard

tea roses

The flowers are so delicate and beautiful. The bush itself is a behemoth…this is only about half of it:

about half the tea rose bush

It’s taking over a whole corner of the yard and while I’d really love to leave it to overgrow and beautify an otherwise ugly yard, I’m going to have to either trim it back or tie it because it’s perilously close to the air conditioner.

grape vines

My grape vines are doing fabulous, despite me not watering them properly. One of these days when I’m feeling adventurous I’ll fertilize the bed and set up a drip system for them so we can have some decent grapes. The birds ate most of them last year.

lilacs

These lilacs are in my front yard. They smell wonderful and I love the pale purple of the flowers. I admit now, I’m a total lazy ass and don’t tend things like I should. If I did, I’d have three huge lilac bushes thriving in my front yard instead of the one at the end. I don’t water them and I should. That’s my confession for the day.

I know it’s a lot of pictures, but hopefully no one is on dial-up! I just haven’t been in a blogging mood lately and wanted to catch up. I’ve noticed that I don’t feel like pulling out my camera much lately, but when I do, and when I get my ass on wordpress I want to blog, but it’s getting me there that seems to be the trouble. ugh! I’m going to try to be better about it, if for nothing else than to keep a log of what the heck I’ve been up to!

Okay, here’s a slightly more involved post.For some reason I’ve fixated on starting a bedroom set first. I think it began by wanting a knit a teensy tiny afghan and went from there. I started a cabled coverlet on size 000 needles but I just couldn’t fiddle with those tiny things on the yarn I was using. I switched over to a size 1 steel crochet hook and some fingering weight angora I recycled.

mini angora afghan

I used this pattern which I think is a take on the crazy stitch? I liked the way it looked so much that I started a full sized afghan in the same pattern. I figured that in the mini world this would be a super bulky afghan. It’s 1:12 scale for a queen sized bed, right around 5.5″ x 6.5″. Since I don’t have a mini bed yet I kind of had to guess that it will fit. It’s soooffffft!

The afghan was the very first thing I worked on and it was so much fun that the mini bug bit me and I worked on mini stuff the rest of the weekend. I did the doily next, but you’ve seen a picture of that, so we’ll move on.

mini shirts

I made some tiny little folded shirts next. They can’t be unfolded or worn, they’re just visual. The striped shirt I made first and I LOVE how it turned out! There’s even a minuscule tag! I used size 11 (I think) seed beads for the buttons. The black and white shirt is a pocketed pullover and the pink sweater is a swatch from the pink angora I used for the afghan that I didn’t unravel. I’m thinking about using these in a pulled out dresser drawer or maybe a little leather suitcase.

My mind followed the clothing idea and I of course needed some little hangers to add to a closet!

mini hangers

It’s 26 gauge wire. I’m still learning so much about scale that I’m not sure that it’s really “accurate” but I like the way they turned out.

Until I can get some true mini supplies I’m playing strictly with what I’ve got around the house. I made a vanity tray with some perfume bottles –

mini vanity

The tray is some random thing I had in my button tin. I think it was an electrical piece of some sort. It’s just under 1 ¼” and I filled it with blue and gold colored gel glue (Elmer’s 3-D glue is awesome!) I gave it a little swirl before it dried and I really like how it turned out. The perfume bottles are random beads. They’re not as wonky as they look, I just haven’t affixed them to the tray yet and they kept tipping over. I was actually getting a little frustrated because I had to cut my nails back REALLY short because they were torn up from crafting and I’m not used to not having my nails to pick things up!

mini braided rug

Finally, last night I made a little faux braided rug.  I used embroidery floss in white, light pink and bright pink and just kind of fudged an oval out of it.  It tried curling because it was such a tight gauge so I used stiffener and pinned it down to dry.  I think I pushed the pins in a little too tightly though because I can see the indents.  I may have to wash it and redo it if I can’t pull up the nap with a pin to my approval.

I think that’s it on the mini front for now.  I’ve got a billion other ideas and I’ve spent hours surfing mini sites for projects and information.  I’m so happy I’m finally getting around to doing something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid!  I never had the opportunity to have a doll house before and it’s always something I’ve wanted.  I founda site with step by step instructions to build a house and I think I may look at that as a first house until I can save up for a kit.  I found some pretty good deals on ebay but I’m not sure I want to get in to buying a bunch of pre-made stuff just yet.  We just switched over to a visa debit card so I think I could get in to a lot of trouble on ebay!

This pictures within this post finally put my flickr account over the 200 free picture limit lol!  I guess I post more than I thought I did!  I’ll still be able to use it, but it won’t show my most recent pictures on flickr itself I guess.

I’ve noticed I’ve been a little lax on posting the last week, but it’s mainly been because I’ve been working on stuff and trying (trying being the key word here) to do a little housework.

I’ve been knitting away on a cardigan for myself called Mr. Greenjeans. I’m calling mine Mr. Tweedjeans since I’m using some of that monstrous mountain of tweedy yarn I posted about awhile ago. I didn’t mention the sweater before because honestly, I’ve had a lot of false starts on sweaters for myself lately. This pattern is a top down raglan and I’m past the waist right now so I think it’s safe to say I’ll probably finish it. There’s still quite a ways to go, but I’ve done the most tedious part…the bust! I put the sweater on waste yarn and tried it on and was surprised to find it was kinda big on me. I was expecting it to be a little snug. No complaints though, I like large comfy sweaters much better than ones that are snug and constricting.

I took a break on the sweater to make an instant gratification project.

cupcake

I’ve always loved little crocheted and knit food items.  They’re cute.  This little guy took me less than 30 minutes to make, not counting the time I played around with the sprinkles and trying to get creative with the photo.  If anyone remembers the little alien I made awhile ago, this cupcake pattern is from the same designer.  Hannah Kaminsky is so darn creative.   I put a few drops of strawberry scent in the fiberfill before I finished sewing it up and it smells so good!  I queued a bunch of different knit and crocheted foods on ravelry so I’m sure I’ll have more to show soon.

On Friday Paul and I went to Laughlin with my parents and had seafood buffet.  I’d never been in the Avi casino and it was pretty nice to get out of the house and DO something.  I ate a ridiculous amount of crab (and little else!) and afterwards we played slots for a couple of hours.  We took a little over $100 with us to fool around with, with no intentions of walking out with anything.  I never expect to win anything, that way I’m not disappointed when I don’t.  We blew through it pretty quickly.  In the 11 or so years we’ve been going to Laughlin together we’ve always used our last $20  in mad money on dollar slots.  This time was no different and we were happily surprised when I hit $140 over the course of three different slots.  We basically got a free dinner and a few hours of entertainment for free 😀  Yay!

Paul took a vacation day so he’ll be home today.  We’ll probably spend the day lounging and I may or may not get around to painting a couple of cabinets in the kitchen.  I’ve had this idea for a random geometric thing for awhile now.  We’ll see if it works out.  If I don’t do it today, I’ll get around to it soon I think.

It took just two weeks of dedicated crocheting to finish this afghan! Now Hammie can stop hounding me for an updated picture 😀

Picture 214

I battled with a migraine on Friday and Saturday and that slowed me down tremendously.  I’m feeling a bit better today though and I was able to finish the afghan in the wee hours of this morning.

Try as I might, I couldn’t get a picture of the entire thing.  This one was taken on my bed with me standing on a folding chair above it, with my camera all the way to the friggin’ ceiling.  You get the idea though I’m sure.

The pattern was pleasingly accurate on yarn specs.  I didn’t use quite as much as the pattern called for, but it was really close.  Three of the six yarns called for I got from my stash, so that made me doubly happy because I really do want to use up some of this yarn!

Now that I’m finally allowing myself to work on something else, I can’t decide what to work on!  I’ve got three or four projects that are in progress and I don’t know if I want to work on those or start something new.  Sigh…decisions, decisions!

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