Saturday, April 27, 2013

Today in LDRs

This year my boyfriend took up knitting, hardcore. We're long distance, and he's in Boston freezing and sitting by the fire wearing thrummed mittens and knitting me all this stuff and I'm in California in a T shirt making ice coffees and spritzing myself with water and not knitting him anything. So, these took a while.

Here I am in a flattering SF sunset wearing a scarf he knit with the same design. The pattern is from LeesyKnits, and it is just so cute.
It's necessarily knit from the feet up- the hedgehog spikes are single stitch checkerboard, and it doesn't look cute knit from the top down. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

I made an infographic!

This week I realized that humans are the largest primate, and not gorillas. I was so excited that I started researching mid sized megafauna which might be surprisingly smaller than humans. Right now I have access to my dad's graphic design computer (+knowledge) so I got to make this in Illustrator and I like it a lot. And I got to use Dawn's tablet! 

My dad told me to sketch in a very rough shape and then refine it afterwards, which he demonstrated by drawing a basically perfect great white in 0 seconds and then correcting one fin. (it's not in this image because the bottom of their range is 200 lbs above the top of the human range. I guess the small great whites I have seen in photos were juveniles) This took me four days, because at first when I got a tiny bit fatigued with refining lines my stylus control would fall apart.
The roughed-in first go animals were just a malformed mess, but this lion looks pretty good to me.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The 100 Push-Up Challenge

 I am doing the 100 push-ups challenge, where you do small sets of push-ups every other day until you can do two sets of 50, at which point you can probably do one set of 100, or are nearly there. I am doing the easiest tier, and I am pretty good at it. Every couple of weeks you do as many push-ups as you can to make sure you are still on the right tier. It's called an exhaustion test.  Yesterday I did my exhaustion test and I got 5. I thought that was pretty bad, but later I remembered I had already done the set of 5, 5, 7, 5, max. "Am I tired now? Is that too many? Am I okay?" gets me enormously fewer push-ups than "Okay, now do 5 again."

I didn't really re-read the directions for an exhaustion test, but I think next time I will just try for 100 and see if I get to 12 or something.

Relatedly, the "max" push-ups I can do after my little sets is always zero, which seems fine to me because look, I did 22 push-ups tonight! But I will enter it into my calendar as the recommended minimum.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Dress Myself Correctly!

When I was younger my mom got me a The Color Analyst session, where a lady fawned over me and held up any number of scarves in different palettes to show what looked good and didn't look good, and then she gave me a little printed palette to compare to my wardrobe (so that I could discard non-matches) and take with me when I go shopping. (Also there were some great panels painted brown, blue, and two other colors that show whether you are warm or cool toned when you put your hand in front of them and your hand blends or pops out.)The idea is that you will be empowered when you easily look your best every day in flattering colors that coordinate with everything in your closet. I am not used to fawning, I mean I cut my own hair and do my own nails. So it was kind of nice, and kind of weird. I could tell that she could have spent 5 minutes doing the consultation, but then it wouldn't be engaging me and showing me how gaunt and pallid I can look if I wear black or orange. I keep the palette in my purse sometimes but I don't consult it when shopping. I got it out today, and compared it to the things around me, and I found that I am doing pretty good.
I even have a bunch of blue things like I am supposed to, even though I don't like artificial blue, because it is so easy to find blue things. This prescriptivist stuff reminds me of my little rant about the enormous percentage of women who are supposedly wearing the wrong bra size, because a bra fitting will yield a different size than the one she wore to the fitting. I wear the right everything size! I would know if I wasn't wearing the right everything size! 


I have this app on my phone called Wunderlist. I feel like my Wunderlist entries are super clever, like I am an expert at wanting things. I usually put my shopping and wish lists on the back cover of my notebooks and  so I don't lose track of them, but now I am aggregating them into Wunderlist.

My "Travel" list gives me a twinge in my belly because it's so exciting and so unattainable. But I know if I permanently want to go to the New Zealand beaches and fjords, the Budapest hot springs, and the B
altimore Washington monument and George Peabody Library, I will eventually be in a state where I can make it happen. There are two things from each of those places on my list, as well as "use a pneumatic tube" which I recently found out you can do in some offices with their old systems and some hospitals with new systems. I got excited to add "send a pigeongramme" to my New Zealand wishlist, but the service was replaced by telegraph in 1908. So that is my travel wishlist. I also want to go to iceland, but for the same reason I want to go to Budapest (to swim in hot springs), plus in DC all the metro ads are for going to Iceland on your way to London, and that made me want it more.  I bet there are a lot of iceland shaped things to buy in iceland, and i would like that.

 I have a seperate wishlist for books I want to buy or check out of the library, but some should be on my travel list because I specifically want to read them at the Library of Congress. Like, the Klingon Newsletter, which I won't be able to read but will still be exciting. Also I want to look at very old copies of books by the Dutch ambassador to Japan, Isaac Titsinghs. I know everyone has already made their peace with autocorrect, but it really takes exception to basically everything on my wishlists.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Resin Jewelry

 There is still a lot of trial and error with resin for me. I love this ring, but it is rubbery so I have to recast it with the correct catalyst to resin proportion, also the back is flat but that's nicer than the many tries I did as a 3d cast instead of a flat cast. Also it is too big. I was making some dripped resin layered rings before this, so I thought adding material was the easy direction, but for a cast item I think it will be easier to shave off material. So I can cast this in beeswax, which shrinks as it cools, then make a fresh mold in 2 part silicone, then cast it in resin that I've mixed properly.
 I figured out a one piece cuff link I'm happy with! I made the original out of buttons and cheese wax. And I can cast it in any color! But the mold is only usable once or twice, because I make it thin and then invert it to release the cuff link. I just made a thick mold and cut a zig-zag down the side to release the cuff link, but I haven't tried it yet. I'm hoping it will just make a thin seam of extra resin that I can trim off. Maybe I can let the resin set in the mixing container for a short time to thicken.
I love waiting overnight to decant these little treasures. Maybe I should take notes instead of trying to remember what works.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fabric Dye

The jacquard iDye is supposed to be no mess because of the dissolving plastic they're made from- just toss it in the dye pot! But my counter was wet (whose counter is dry all the time?) so a packet got glued down and then when I pulled it up it made a terrible mess. I was glad I did my ring modeling earlier in the day.