Crafty Rantings

I'm Crafty. I Rant. These are Crafty Rantings!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

You Just Don't Know...

OK people, you just don't know what I went through to get this picture posted! First... let me tell you about today. :) Indulge me. Please.

In case you don't know/remember/care, I am a probate paralegal although to avoid the responsibilities associated with that title, my business cards say I am the "Estate Administration Assistant". I like it... it's longer. :) Anywho, I went into work today and worked 5 hours on just one case. Oh yuck! Probably wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't stayed up until 2am trying to catch up on all the tv shows I taped during the week. But did I care? Nah.

I'm tired. I get home and realize I hadn't posted the picture of the slippers yesterday as I had intended because (a) I didn't take them and (b) I had to go out and buy shoes for the banquet I'm attending today and, oh yeah, I forgot, (c) I had to spend three freakin' hours hunting for my strapless bra to wear with the cool dress I'm wearing to the banquet. Oh... did I mention I didn't find it until this afternoon? I was forced to totally rearrange three shelves in my big clothing closet shelves in the hall closet.

Now what does all this have to do with crafting? I want to wear the darn Mary Jane slippers to the brunch tomorrow morning at the convention. Everyone is asked to wear their funkiest, cutest, oldest whatever slippers to brunch and they will be awarding prizes. Well heck, I want to wear them anyway so what's one more day to wait?

I took them to work and put them on the windowsill in the direct sunlight in my office. They dried Thursday. I couldn't wait and jumped the gun and put the ribbons in Wednesday night even though they were still a tad damp. I just didn't care. Remember what I said in an earlier post about hating to wait at Christmas? Well darn if this didn't feel like Christmas! I finally made something for ME!!!

So today I finally find the right place to take pictures. Can't use the washing machine like I usually do because the light pink ribbons don't show up. Move to the loveseat. Nice contrast with the blue. Snap, snap, snap. Take the camera over to the computer. I have a Kodak EasyShare Z760 which I bought last November. Already upgraded that model since then. Oh who cares... I love the thing! I have used it a zillion times! So much so, in fact, that I loosened one of my front USB ports in my computer and so I attached the cord to another port and left it there. Today, I plug the cord into my camera, turn on the camera and... that's right. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Unplug the cord and the camera is fine. So I try another port. Looks like it's the part of the USB cord that goes into the camera that has died. Not even a year! Granted, I use the camera tons and tons so I probably loosened the port in the camera.

I want to cry but I don't. I do what any resourceful, cheap New England girl does when fudge happens. I got off the internet and called WalMart. They don't carry replacement cords and, they inform me, probably the only place to get one is through Kodak. (Still want to cry at this point but don't.) The nice man on the phone tells me I can get a memory card reader and plug the card in there and the reader into my computer and do it that way. (Kinda worried, still, but less of an urge to cry.)

I hop in the car and go to WalMart all the way across town. I look at the memory card reader the nice young man is showing me and want to cry again. It needs a USB 2.0 port. I know for a fact mine are earlier versions because I bought myself a DVD-R external drive for my birthday and had to take it back because it required USB 2.0 ports and mine were too old for the thing to work with it. So I know ahead of time this will not work with my computer. In less than 30 seconds I am stifling the urge to screech with joy and hug and kiss the young salesman who is young enough to be my son. He shows me this cute little $10 thing I can plug into my USB port, put my card in and my computer can read the pictures. The difference? There is no USB 2.0 requirement! So I buy it, bring it home and try it knowing I can return it tomorrow if it doesn't work. The results? Lookie here...

So stop asking me about "Where's the picture with the ribbons?" and "Are the dry yet?".

I'm going to brunch in 'em tomorrow. So there. :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mary Jane Slipper Update

Everybody keeps asking so here's the update... But first, my friend LB told me that another member of the KC (Knitting Circle) felted her Mary Jane slippers last Monday and on Friday they were still damp. I put mine on a rack (which I have to return and get a replacement because one rod was broken and I didn't notice!) and today they sat in the sunshine on the windowsill in my office. I did put them on to show a friend tonight and they're still damp. I am hoping they are completely dry by Sunday when I want to wear them to an event at the convention.

From here I am going to email the lady who wore the sample pair at our last KC meeting and ask her to find out how long the darn triple sole things take to dry. It's frustrating. And maybe she can tell me some way to finally get those thick soles to dry so I can wear them!

Hopefully Friday I will have time to take a picture and post it to show y'all the ribbon I put in to tie them. The nice thing is if it frays or I don't like it anymore, I can buy something else and change it.

Sorry... still wet.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Wet Feet

The Mary Janes aren't any drier now than they were this morning when I left for work. I even tried using the hair dryer but am petrified they'll shrink more so I stopped. They are still a bit squishy when I put my foot in. I am beginning to think it'll be July before they're dry because of the triple soles. Oh foo! I WANT TO WEAR THESE! I even have the ribbon! This rots!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Felted Mary Jane Slippers

OK, I admit it... I was always the first one up at Christmas because I hate waiting. So hopefully whoever is reading this won't be turned off by how they look sitting on a plastic bag with plastic bags stuffed into them to help them hold their shape (I have re-stuffed the toes and pulled them to narrow them a bit since taking this picture as well as moved the bag in the shoe around so ignore that little bit of bag sticking out on the left side of the right slipper!). These are SOOO cute! What I did was take them out of the wash every 8 minutes and check. At 24 they were almost ready. So I set it for 8, pulled them out again at 28 minutes and they were the right size. How did I know? Well I put two plastic bags on the floor, squeezed out the water from the slipper, put the slipper on the plastic bag and my foot into the slipper to see if it was the right size. They will fit my foot without being snug but also not too loose. Besides, as all we who felt know, if I get unhappy with it and want them a tiny bit smaller after they dry, I can put them back in the hot water and felt a bit more.

I don't know if you can see the pretty mulberry color all that well or not. I tired to put a picture of the right slipper alone at the end of this bragging session (hehehe) so that you could see it better but I can't get Blogger to allow me more than one picture. Hope the one at the top is sufficient!

My fears of being able to see the stitches because I don't like to felt things down too small were baseless. Since I made the medium size and have a foot that is more at the smaller end of that, I had to felt them enough that the stitches aren't visible. My task now is to find a pretty ribbon that will compliment the color.

These were super easy to make (if you crochet) and fun and fast and very rewarding. But here's the thing about gifting these to someone - unless the person knows how to felt, I probably wouldn't. I would make them and have the recipient do the felting to size. This means that I can't make a pair for my mom because she wouldn't understand the instructions because she does not craft. I have similar wonders about other people I thought might enjoy these. So instead I will try something else (Brooke and LB, you know what I mean!).

Can't wait to be able to wear these! BTW, the instructions call for making a second sole and attaching it to the bottom but the instructor made it a triple sole for extra softness and while I debated a long time about making a third, I am really glad I did. Once you felt them you can't add and I prefer them softer. So I would recommend to others making these that they make 2 extra soles and attach them to the bottom of the slipper. I attached one at a time. I also did the recommended stitch down the middle to better attach the soles to each other on both soles. This means I made the second sole, crocheted it to the bottom of the slipper, sewed, made the third sole, crocheted it to the bottom of the slipper (which now had 2 soles) and sewed that. I could tell when I tried them on for size, even wet, these will be comfy.


A 50 Moment

Well at least now I can use my age as an excuse. I had none before. :)

I needed to charge up my camera this morning so I did. And completely forgot to take a picture of the Mary Jane slippers before felting. Sorry!

They are felting as I type this and when dry, I will take a picture and post here. Because I have to squeeze the water out and air dry them, I am thinking it's going to take two or three days... I am very unhappy about this because I wanted desperately to take them to work tomorrow and show them off to my friend Vicky who is a knitter and everyone else who saw them "in process". Oh well, at least with luck they will be done by Thursday when I will see Julie, Linda and hopefully Brooke at a BCLPA meeting and be able to show them since they're all working on them, too. If they aren't dry by tomorrow night, I may turn on my heater, set them on top and see if that helps. hehehe

Pictures to come. What I see in the washer when I take them out to check on them (they're almost the right size now after about 26 minutes!) they are going to be really cute. I think this means I will be going out today to find perfect ribbon for the ties. I know buttons are traditional but I like the ribbon idea.

Stay tuned! Same Penguin time! Same Penguin Channel!... er... blog.

My Secret Pal!!

Look at all the cool stuff! The "Hot Knits" book has some great patterns in there and there's a sweater coat with directions for extra extra large which I am sure would fit me (I prefer things larger and sometimes "extra large" is if you start counting "small" as zero!). The cotton yarn will get used probably sooner than anything other than the stitch markers and counter only because I have been working with that a lot lately. Hopefully you can get a better look at some of the items in the picture below if you can't tell from the picture to the left. I AM A VERY LUCKY PENGUIN!!!

My secret pal is awesome!!! My weekend started the right way - perfectly with a surprise!!!