Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Princess Bane and the Frozen Peas

I haven't abandoned my blog.

I haven't been doing much lately because the summer heat drains my energy. I am the opposite of solar powered. I do not tolerate heat well. It makes me feel cranky and gives me a headache. I AM TIRED OF BEING HOT.

Last week was busy at work. This week will be busy, too... but I might as well be at the office because my home air conditioner has gone kaput. I want to break down and cry. Of everything in my house that could break, the air conditioner is the worst for me.

No heat? Gives me a chance to wear a sweater.
No hot water? I can heat water on the stove.
No running water? I know how to flush a toilet with a 1/2 gallon bucket.
No internet? I can read books.
No electricity? I can read books by flashlight or candlelight.

No air conditioning? I'm miserable. Sweaty, gross, cranky and miserable.

So I sit here in front of the fan with a cold towel around my neck and another on my legs. To help cool my core, I'm using a package of frozen peas as a lap desk. Aaaaah... cool and refreshing.

I wish I had 100 packages of frozen peas to sleep on.

That's how this princess likes her peas: frozen and on top of the mattress.

Yeah... I think my brain has overheated.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Interlude: Dogs

I hoped to have a project post up by now... but the project turned out to be a total failure. :( I already have a couple more projects in the works. With luck, they will be successful and I'll post about them soon.

I'll fill the interlude by rambling ad nauseum about my dogs.

As many of you know, I have two small dogs. Indigo is a brown and tan Miniature Pinscher. Nook is a black Chihuahua mix. They are similar in size and appearance, and they're pretty close in age.

They both love warmth. Nook's favorite place is "Nook's nook," a kitchen cabinet turned dog bed outfitted with a blanket and heating pad. Indigo will sometimes join her there. They both like to burrow beneath the blanket.

And that is where the similarities end. Their personalities are completely different. Indigo wants nothing more than to be with her human (me) and is generally indifferent to everything else, even food. Nook has more typical dog interests, including toys and food.

Indigo is nearly silent; Nook barks, play-growls, and makes all kinds of funny sounds; she even quietly barks in her sleep, which is hilarious. Indigo is clever; Nook is... well, not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Indigo is bold and fearless; Nook is afraid of everything.

In almost every situation, their actions or reactions are totally different.

For example... I let them out into the back yard.
Indigo quietly stands on the patio.
Nook madly dashes around the yard for no apparent reason. (Sorry for the loud wind noise on this video!)

I go inside and pull the door almost closed.
Indigo waits quietly on the doorstep until I notice her and open the door to let her in.
Nook enthusiastically scratches open the door and bursts in like a tiny SWAT team.

I sit on the sofa.
Indigo lies down on my lap or right next to me, and she demands belly rubs.
Nook chews on her toy.

I open the laundry closet door.
Indigo runs over to see if there are warm towels coming out of the dryer.
Nook runs to her kennel to hide from the terrifying monsters who live behind the door.

I put the basket of towels on the floor.
Indigo jumps into the basket the instant I set it down.
Nook eyeballs the scary basket from the safety of her kennel.

I offer each dog a treat.
Indigo sniffs at it... considers it... sniffs at it again... and if she decides to eat it, plucks it gingerly from my fingers and carries it over to the sofa to nibble at it.
Nook grabs it and swallows it whole without even pausing to sniff what it is. (After all, if I'm offering it, it must be edible, right?)

I give them dinner.
Indigo spends three minutes "burying" her food before deciding whether to eat. If she eats, she daintily selects one piece at a time.
Nook gulps down her food in a few seconds, no chewing required. (She now has a slow feeder bowl so dinner lasts about four minutes instead of four seconds.)

I give them a bath.
Indigo looks indignant and tries to jump out of the tub.
Nook looks confused and tries to eat the shampoo lather.

I go into the bedroom.
Indigo springs lightly onto the bed as if gravity doesn't apply to her. She sits quietly, waiting for me to sit down so I'll have a lap for her to lie down on.
Nook lines her body up parallel to the bed.. looks up and down a few times to gauge the distance... then leaps sideways onto the bed. Then she stretches out, ready to play.

Two dogs with vastly different personalities... but I adore them both. Indigo is sweet, cuddly and affectionate. Nook is cute, playful, and hilarious. I may not matter to a single person, but I am Indigo's entire world. I may be melancholy, but Nook's goofy cheerfulness can always make me laugh.

Bringing these two little ladies home from the shelter was far and away the best decision I have ever made. Hooray for rescue pets! :D

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Returning Soon

Hello, all! Just checking in to say I will return soon. I hope to get back to project posts in a few days.

If you are participating in Craft Along with GIY, you can leave a comment with your project link on the theme announcement post or on this post at any time. June's It Takes Two theme will continue into July.

As always, I appreciate all your support and kind comments. Thanks for sticking with me!

ADDED: Because of spam comments I have been receiving lately, I have turned on word verification and comment moderation. Sorry... I know that makes commenting more of a hassle. I hope it will be a very short-term situation.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Random Pictures and Thoughts

Just a few random pictures and thoughts...

I don't typically take pictures of my food, but these strawberries were the most beautiful I've ever seen. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. ;) They were deeeelicious.

The dogs are enjoying the new landscaping, especially the pea gravel which gets the full intensity of the sun well into the afternoon. Indigo in particular loves the heat. She basks in the sun, and when she comes inside, her fur is practically hot to the touch. Despite this, I have never seen her pant.

As usual, Nook saw that Indigo had a good idea and copied her actions, joining her in the basking. With those two, it's easy to tell who is the brain and who is the brawn. :) Nook is adorable, but not the smartest dog. Whatever her Chihuahua heritage is mixed with, it's not Border Collie. ;)

I enjoy the new landscaping, too, though I'm dismayed at the number of weeds that have sprouted up due to the rainy spring we've been having. Fortunately, rainy weather means overcast days, so I've been able to get outside and keep up with the weeding.

Unfortunately, weeding gets me up close and personal with my yard's insect and arachnid population... estimated at about fifty-two gazillion. :P Ants, spiders, grasshoppers, pillbugs, mosquitoes, and tiny black creatures I call Leaping Speckbugs.

What's interesting are the vast size and temperament differences between Colorado bugs and the bugs in Georgia, where I grew up. Colorado bugs are tiny and docile compared to the huge, aggressive monsters in Georgia. Colorado grasshoppers are about the size of a pinky fingernail; Georgia grasshoppers are as big as a whole thumb. Colorado ants are teeny and will move away from you; Georgia fire ants are enormous and will rally 100,000 of their closest friends to assault you with painful stings. And while mosquitoes in both places are out for blood, you can see the Georgia mosquitoes coming. Colorado mosquitoes are so small, I first thought they were gnats.

However, I did find evidence of one big Colorado insect - the molted exoskeleton of a large dragonfly.

I made a short video of a nighttime lightning storm, from which I captured some cool images.

That's all for now. I haven't been feeling well, so haven't done much DIY lately. I hope that changes soon and I can get back to posting projects.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: June 2017

Oops! June sneaked up on me and I'm a little late with the craft-along post.

During June, I will work on a craft project for the monthly theme. Around June 28, I will post my completed project. You can share a link to your project on that post or at any time during the month on this post. On June 30, I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

To participate:
1.  If you're a blogger, add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your post. Link the icon to this page:

2.  On either this theme announcement post or my completed project post, leave a comment with a link to your project. You can link to your blog, webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it.

Your project can be big or small. It can be in any style, goth or otherwise. The fun is in the crafting! :)

The theme for June is It Takes Two. As always, you can interpret this broadly:

  • knit a pair of socks
  • make a pair of earrings
  • sew a two-piece outfit
  • paint a pair of candlesticks
  • draw two portraits
  • decorate a pair of shoes

Monday, May 29, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: Repurpose

The theme for this month's Craft Along with GIY is Repurpose. I completed a very simple project: repurposing a queen size bed sheet into a couch cover.

First, I measured the width of the couch seat. I added 2 inches to allow for hems, cut the sheet to this measurement, and hemmed the sides.

Next, I draped the sheet front to back over the couch. This length was okay, so I simply left the factory hems on the sheet ends. I marked along the sides of the seat to indicate where to attach the arm covers.

To make the arm covers, I cut appropriately sized rectangles and hemmed the sides. Then I sewed them to the main cover where I'd marked it.

And my couch cover was complete!

It's not gorgeous, but it keeps the dog hair off the couch and is easy to launder.

To share your Craft Along with GIY project:
1.  Add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your blog post. Link the icon to this page:
2.  Leave a comment with a link to your project. If you're not a blogger, you can link to your webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it. (Please link directly to the project page.)

On May 31, I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Black and Blue

Several attempts to change my black hair to purple left me with an ugly multicolored disaster. I had a mostly black ponytail; pinkish brown, dark blue, and black splotches all over my head; a greenish streak on one side; and around my face, two small spots of purple along with my natural brown regrowth.

After 10 months, 20+ hours in the salon, and hundreds of dollars, I was DONE with this ordeal. No more catastrophic kaleidoscope on my head. I was going back to black.

Still... after so much time and money... it was hard to abandon the dream. I decided to color most of my hair black but try for purple bangs/fringe.

I bleached my bangs and a small portion of hair around my face. I was briefly tempted to leave it yellow and orange because that would have completed the entire color wheel on my head. :P

But I forged ahead with my attempt at purple. I used Splat Purple Desire mainly because it was readily available. Knowing my hair grabs pigment, I diluted the dye with about 1/3 conditioner and left it on my hair for only 30 minutes.

Instead of purple, I got a combination of pink and blue. Not entirely surprising because mixing dye with conditioner can sometimes give a patchy result.

Though the dye encounter had been diluted and brief, the color stayed on pretty well. Especially on my skin! My scalp remained blue through about five washes with tea tree shampoo. After another five or six washes, my hair had faded noticeably.

For my second attempt, I chose Manic Panic Ultra Violet. In the jar, it's essentially the same shade of purple as the Pravana violet which had twice turned my hair nearly black. But I know that Manic Panic has less pigment... so I took the risk and applied it full strength. I left it on for one hour.

Instead of purple, I got blue. Or maybe you could call it blueple. But it's a pretty color, and it's nice and even, not splotchy.

The rest of my hair is back to black. Despite the bleaching and redyeing abuse it's endured over the last few months, it's in pretty good shape except for the ends. A decent haircut should fix that.

I would have liked purple hair. But the black is easy to maintain, and maybe I will eventually find something that makes my bangs purple. For now, I'm okay with black and blue.