Sunday, March 8, 2015

In Which I Decide To Pack Up Everything I Own in A Week and Move

Long story short, the people who own the house I've been living in wish to sell it and I do not wish to live in Indiana for a whole 'nother 12 months, so with three weeks left on my lease, I'm shoving everything except the cats and some beer into boxes to put it in storage because I've got a six-month lease on a 1BR apartment. Blogging will be light to non-existent until I get settled, but I will be blowing off steam on Twitter.

I'm also taking a lot of pictures of things I will have to deaccession. My mother has been trying to throw away my grandfather's La-Z-Boy for ten years, and she will probably finally get her chance--but not until I get some more photos of the cats sleeping on it. I felt safe in that recliner, until one of the springs popped out of the bottom (probably in the 1960s they did not design furniture to hold fat people). Mostly, it's a strange sad "This is Your Life" in artifacts...a Krating Daeng bottle that I have at at least ten years and have moved at least six times, a half-dozen blank books that are still blank, a whole ream of software test plan print-outs that were too low on toner to use but the other side was blank for scratch paper! I should probably be boxing now and sorting later, but it's so crazy.

My dad says the lease thing is God kicking me in the ass so I do something different--and yeah, I have been stagnating.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Snow Day Brew Day

Trying out a Dunkelweizen kit from Great Fermentations. This is batch #5 of my homebrew career, first batch of 2015, and first Dunkelweizen.

Flavoring grains steeping.

Assistant Brewmaster FUZZ* watching some CatTV while the kettle comes to a boil.
Cat TV

Almost there!!!
Almost there...

Chilling the wort! WINTER IS AWESOME!
All-natural Wort Chilling

Ok, chilling the wort outside took a lot longer than I thought it would. Shoveled my driveway and it was only down to 140F. Shoveled my sidewalks and my neighbor's sidewalk and it was down to 120F. Went inside, watched Iowa State get their 20th win of the season. It took about 3.5 hours for the wort to get down around 75F.

Into the fermenter:
Easily the darkest-looking beer I've made so far.

Assistant Brewmaster Smokey* says "Hurry up and pitch the yeast so you can get my supper!"

My previous beers have all fermented in the front closet, but I'm leaving this one in a bathtub for easy cleanup, as I know from experience this yeast knows how to have a good time.
Fermenter with blow-off tube

And the sun sets on another successful brew day.

* All my beers have a "less than 1% cat hair by weight" guarantee.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Citizen Photojournalist For a Day

Elections Are What Democracy Looks Like

Rather than repeat the story, I'll let you read it at Ace of Spades HQ. I still occasionally get hits on the pictures.

I have not been that enthused about anything since I moved to Indiana. I made some effort in 2012 but the locals made it clear only married homeowners are welcome, so screw 'em. I got TV to watch.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Snow Dyeing

A long time ago, and far away, in a different and better life, there was snow*, and I used it to dye fabric.

Snow Dyeing

Fiber-reactive dye is poured on snow piled atop scrunched-up fabric. As the snow melts, the dye comes in contact with the fabric; different rates of melting and different concentrations of dye create patterns.


I still haven't used these fabrics. I should.

* Last Saturday it was so warm I sat Outside in a tailgate chair to drink a beer. Sigh.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Off-Color Valentines

I think these are all from 2005 or 2006--I didn't keep much paper documentation and the laptop I bought in the fall of 2005 time died in spring of 2006 and took all my photos with it. All hand-dyed fabrics, probably from 1999-2003.

Next time I feel like I haven't made any progress with design or color, I need to dig these out. Woof.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

In Which I Remember I Have a Blog and Finish Some Quilted Pieces

I'm attempting to spend less time on the internets and more time stitching, at least 15 minutes a day (except Tuesdays when I have a printmaking class). I'm starting with some things that have been laying around unfinished, but I have a queue of new things as well.

First one is an interrobang, which I began in spring 2012 when I had a short fascination with obsolete typeset characters. It's comprised of two quilted layers--the background and the symbol are quilted and edged separately. They just had to be attached and beaded (the pins are not part of the quilt, it's too big to fit in my scanner so it's photographed on a wall).


The character was made using the technique of fusing tiny (less than 1") scraps, layering chiffon over them, and stitching the layers together to create a new fabric. I'm still looking for a snappy name for this technique so I can sell a book about it--but you can't copyright technique so please use it your own work and show me the results. :)

Interrobang Detail

I also beaded this bit of bottle-cap shisha:

Deutsche Radish

Mailed it to a dear friend last week. After 3.5 years here, I finally found a post office Friday before work. It wasn't open at 8 a.m. (who does business on a weekday during normal business hours, amirite?), but there was a self-serve kiosk, so in theory no problem...but the postage for the envelope was $0.98 and the minimum purchase was $1. I had a second envelope (an EBE going off to Minnesota), which would have made a total of $1.98, but the kiosk wouldn't let me weigh it for postage until the first envelope was paid for. I had to buy a 49¢ stamp that I did not want and have no need for to mail my envelope. Twice. Yay, government.

In other news, I'm thinking about my personal branding for future projects. "Still Life" is a great name for living alone in Indiana and working interminable overtime, but I'm starting to believe I won't be here forever (beer and cats? I'm keeping those!).