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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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My update was thwarted yesterday by a visit from an old friend. I hadn’t seen her for several months so by the time she left it was almost time for Paul to get home and I didn’t have the chance to finish what I’d started. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling all sorts of off kilter and paired with my laziness my pictures suck.

But, I managed to get all my gifts (or at least the ones I can remember off the top of my head!) into a picture. I wasn’t sure about posting 50 pictures so I crammed everything in to one shot.

birthday gifts

I’ll start with one of my favorites. In the front, on the left is the bento that Hammie got for me. It’s really roomy and so I could use it to hold a few lunches or one big picnic lunch for a couple/few people. The penguin and Spiderman dog are mp3 player toys. I’ve wanted one for awhile because they’re so cute and Paul got me the Spi-dog. He liked it so much that we went and got the penguin to match so we both have one. (I took the penguin!) Let’s see….the purse is from my in-laws, the Nightmare on Elm Street figures are from Paul (One of my favorite horror movie series!) Behind the figures is a new food processor from my mom, Paul got me the pink tool kit (Cute, huh?!) The electric pot is from my mom, and the ds games and movies are from Paul. That’s a lot of stuff…jeez! The movie is Juno, with an cd of extra songs that didn’t make it on the soundtrack and Paul also got me season 4 of Nip/Tuck and the first season of Hell’s Kitchen.

Paul had to work for a while on Saturday morning. He had to be at work at 5 am, but he was home by 7:30. We got dressed and went to the swap meet and walked the entire thing. It’s bigger since I was there last. That’s where we found the ds games…for a steal! We got all four of the games for $15. Afterwards we went to my parents house and after visiting for awhile we went out to lunch. We’d originally planned to just go over for cake and coffee, but my mom was super butt-hurt over not getting to spend time with me on “her” day, so we went to lunch with them. After lunch we went to my In-laws house and opened gifts there. My mother in law wasn’t feeling well so I feel kind of bad that we stayed so long she had to go back to bed, but I got a nice surprise while I was there. Hammie, in her stealth mode, called my mother in law and asked for her address so she could hunt me down. The funny thing is that as soon as my mother in law got on the phone with her I knew it was her! But, Carmen was cute about it and said that she had a friend she wanted me to meet lol. When we finally left Carmen’s house, Paul, Hammie and I went back to our place and played Guitar Hero 3 for awhile. After Hammie left, Paul and I just kinda hung around and then later in the evening we did some shopping and came home to fall in to bed exhausted.

It was a really nice birthday overall and the best part is that I got to spend most of it with people I love.

Last night, after Paul went to bed and all was quiet, I was able to finish binding off on the Hemlock Ring. It took me about four hours or so to bind this sucker off. Look at what a nice little mess it is right now:

before block

Looks great, doesn’t it? lol!  It looks so shriveled up and kinda jellyfish like, but it’ll look much better once I block it.  I need to clear off my table in order to block it, or I may wind up doing it on my bed since it’s going to be fairly large.  I also need to go on the hunt for lots and lots of pins because this sucker’s going to need them!  I can’t wait to see what it looks like all sorted out though, it should be nice.

My guitar is done, and I’m fairly pleased with it despite the problems I ran in to.

db guitar

The first problem I ran in to was with the pink paint. It had a much thicker consistency than the black (maybe due to it being a different brand…I don’t know) and even after a test spray it coated my face plate with a bit of a lumpy texture, so I got some bumps I wasn’t really happy about. It’s a satin finish…not sure if that has anything to do with it either. A few coats took the worst of it away though. You can still see small bumps/imperfections, but in person it looks far less worse than in pictures.

dd logo

I used the Dresden Dolls plane logo for part of the design. They’re my favorite band and I love that logo! If you haven’t heard of them, please visit their site!

This is where I ran in to my second problem. I used some packing labels Paul brought home from work for the stencils I used. They’re sticky, but not too sticky because I wanted to be able to remove the stencils without marring the paint. Apparently they weren’t quite sticky enough for the detailed work I was trying to do because the paint feathered all along the edges 😦 You can really see what I’m talking about in the next picture.

db closeup

Dirty Business is the name of a song by the Dresden Dolls. I love it, so I chose to name my guitar after it 😀 You can see the way the paint feathered out under the stencil. In retrospect I should have used masking tape and many many thin coats of paint instead of four or five thicker coats. I sprayed some paint into a paper cup and hand painted around the plane logo to clean it up, but I decided to leave the feathering on the words because it just seemed fitting. It was an unexpected design element!

I even did detail work on the rest of the guitar:

details

pink gibson

Details were hand painted. They’re a bit shaky, but I liked making it all match. I learned a lot with this project. I learned to test my paint better, do many thinner coats instead of a few thicker ones. I learned to be more fastidious with my stencils and that spray paint is near impossible to wash out of paint brushes. I still love the way it turned out, despite it’s unexpected design elements 😀

I finished the pink cabled strap too.

strap detail

I’m probably going to have to wind up lining the back side because it’s a little stretchier than I expected. It turned out pretty well though!

I also started two more knit projects this weekend.

I pulled the Valpuri top that I was making for my Mom apart, and started a new project with the yarn.

hemlock start

I just kept having this nagging feeling she wouldn’t care for the top, so I started the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I’m actually using the instructions here though, instead of the original instructions from the vintage pattern. I think this will be much more to my Mom’s liking and she can use it for whatever she likes. It’s a pretty nice cotton yarn so she could use it as a tablecloth, a blanket, a shawl, whatever she wants. It’ll probably wind up a giant doily or a tablecloth for her outdoor table. Mom and Dad just bought a new gazebo/pavilion so they’ll be spending a lot of time out there this summer. I have a feeling she’ll probably use it out there. it’s a beautiful pattern and I may queue it up again later to make one for myself!

I also started work on my Burridge Lake Aran Afghan.

burridge 1

I got a pretty good amount of it started for as little as I worked on it this weekend. I’m using the no cable needle method and I’m liking it much more than if I had to knit, move stitches to cable needle, knit, knit stitches from cable needle, repeat. I can move the stitches over into a twist and then knit them all in a row. It’s an interesting technique…maybe I’ll do a video on it one of these days.

So, that’s what I did this weekend! I wanted to update yesterday but I spent a good chunk of the day laying in bed in agony from a friggin’ migraine. They always seem to hit me when I’ve got plans that don’t involve cleaning house.

**And to you WordPress. Shame on you!!! You don’t log someone out halfway through a big assed post where they lose half the damned thing when they try to publish! You suck right now!

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!

I took Paul to work again today so I could run errands. In the 15 minutes it took me to get from the airport and back she’d murdered Bonnie.

bye bye bonnie

I’d used this bento to house some Strawberry Chex last night for some late night munchage and I guess the smell was too alluring. I’d only used this bento twice 😦

Oh well…moving on.

My yarn arrived in the mail last night but I was too lazy to take a picture. The color is not quite accurate, it’s a little lighter in person. I’m in lust with it and I can’t wait to make something FOR MYSELF with it. I haven’t decided what just yet though.

knitpicks shadow vineyard heather laceweight

I also actually finished something too! Remember that afghan I posted about months ago? The oddball block afghan? Here’s the link, refresh your memory. Remember now? Good.

I started this a long time ago but I was trying to structure it too much. I started with the first block and I got about 3/4 of the way through it and put it down. Someone uploaded the patterns for the blocks on Ravelry and it flicked my interest on again. I picked the 19th square to start on and finished it just this morning.

oddball sampler afghan square 19 little boxes

If you look, you can see where I jacked up the pattern. On the right, the very last repeat of blocks, I didn’t change the colors so it’s the same as the blocks below. Oh well. I seriously doubt it’ll be that noticeable when it’s sewn together with all the other ones. I was just way too pissed at my mistake to fix it and I think I’ll just call it a signature instead of a knitting flaw!

Here’s the back too, so you can see how wickedly neat my stranding is 😛

oddball sampler afghan square 19 little boxes back

That’s about it. I’m going to go vegetate on the couch because I have run my ass all over this town today.

Here’s today’s bento:

fruit and yogurt

I’m calling this my “I feel like crap and don’t really want to eat but know I need to” bento. It’s just strawberry yogurt, cantaloupe, grapes, a few dates and a few bland cinnamon cookies.

I also wanted to post a picture of the latest dishcloth I’ve made

garterlac

Over the past year or so I’ve started this cloth around five times. I always got confused or bored with it and tossed it down, but it was this weeks cloth for the dishcloth group on ravelry and I decided to finally bite the bullet and finish one. I used Sugar n’ Cream striping yarn and I really like how it turned out. You can find the pattern here.

I think I’m going to go crawl onto the couch and pretend that my back has been magically replaced with…I don’t know…something that doesn’t hurt.

I had a really nice weekend! I spent the whole weekend shopping, crafting and cooking – what better, right?

Friday, after we’d ran errands ( you know, paying bills, all that pain in the butt stuff) we went to GameStop and I picked up Leisure Suit Larry (Magna Cum Laude). It’s a smarmy, mature rated game and it’s funny as hell. I rented it some time ago and really liked it. They had a used copy at GameStop and with the credit we had on our card I got it for free! After that I hit the Dollar Tree that was conveniently next door and found a few bento supplies.

bento boxes

I got the Hello Kitty bento there. I also picked up some little plastic picks there.

We hit Safeway after that just to pick up some soda for Paul, but wound up leaving there about $50 poorer because of the great deals we found! They had grapes for .75 a pound and I started buying up some supplies for my bento lunches.

bento stuff

Even though Paul was tired I made him take me to another dollar store before we went home. I don’t think it has a name…now that I think about it. I picked up the other two bento boxes shown above, as well as some tiny cookie cutters and a HUGE bag of chopsticks for a buck. There were probably 200 packages of chopsticks in the bag!

I wandered around there and was thrilled when I came across these:

mini furniture

They’re obviously not top quality, but I think they’re nice starters. I plan on making some mods to them. The little hutch’s doors don’t open, but if I can find some super tiny hinges I’ll be changing that. I think the second piece will become an entertainment center and I might put the desk in my crafty room. I read on the package that there are six different furniture pieces in the series so I think I’ll be popping back over there periodically to see if I can find the other three.

I finished some knitting this weekend as well! I’ve noticed a growing trend in the grocery stores of racks upon racks of reusable shopping bags. At .99 apiece they’re a good deal, but why buy them when I can make my own that are not only bigger, but cuter and more unique?

knit shopping bag

I used this pattern on size 15 needles. The body of the bag went super quick and I modified the pattern to in the round so I wouldn’t have to seam the bag. I also picked up only 60 stitches for the top on size 10 needles. The handle felt like it took forever, but I think it was just because I was impatient to finish it. I hope to make several more of these. It holds an unbelievable amount, probably more than I can comfortably carry at once!

I also promised pictures of the miniature foods I’ve been making, so prepare for several more pictures!

mini purple cake

This is my favorite so I’ll post it first! Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, covered in purple fondant with a teensy white flower on top. I cut a piece out of it so you could see the frosting inside 😀 It’s just barely an inch across.

mini potatoes and carrots

Tiny potatoes and carrots!

mini french loaf

A perfectly toasted loaf of french bread.

mini donuts

A dozen various donuts – two maple bars, two glazed, two apple fritters, two jelly filled, two frosted, and two cinnamon twists!

mini cupcakes

Three super tiny hostess cupcakes. These little suckers were so fun to make but hard! Those squiggles on the tops were so hard to make! The cupcakes are only about 1/4″.

mini apples

A whole bunch of crisp red apples! I need to make a little basket to put them all in.

Finally, a set of eight plates.

mini plates unfinished

They’re currently unfinished. I need to sand them smooth, paint them and glaze them. I’m looking forward to making matching bowls and a little scared of the challenge of making cups to go with them.

Hope I didn’t kill your connection with all these pictures! I plan on posting a picture of my bento lunch this afternoon. I know y’all can’t wait!

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