indefatigable

And I’ve been looking for my truth
Since God was a boy Guy Garvey

Dear Internet,
I’m taking a break from making holiday cards as there is only so many pithy messages one can write before the hand gets tired. The breakfast bar looks as if Michael’s has thrown up glitter and paper everywhere. I’ve received so many responses for the cards I closed down the form because a girl can only make so many damned cards. What is surprising me the most is I have not sliced a finger with the Exacto knife or glued things together that are not paper.
Edit: I’ve made all the damned cards and have loads of extras. If you want a card, go to bit.ly/HolidayCards2015.
I’ve been getting back into crafting again to help quell my brain and the satisfaction having a finished product made by oneself. I started with coloring this summer, moved on to knitting again when I found my knitting supplies. This, of course, meant I had a ton of projects started and no idea now who or what said projects are for. I tore each project back to a ball of yarn, using said yarn to knit myself a long scarf. Nothing fancy, just a garter stitch back and forth. I forgot how to fucking purl, cast on, and cast off. These are all simple stitches and if it were not for kind friends on Facebook and YouTube, L-ville would hear the brunt of my swearing on why I could not do what I had mastered so long ago.
A million and half years ago (2010 –  2012) I ran an Etsy shop, Excessively Diverting. I sold handcrafted holiday bulbs, pins, bookmarks, and other trinket specializing in out of copyright books and authors such as Jane Austen, the Bronte’s, Charles Dickens, and so forth and so on.
The shop was successful but the time & cost could not justify keeping the shop open as the majority of sales came during October, November, and December. When breaking down the wholesale cost of making the items and I was paying myself $0 per hour to keep prices competitive, meant I was barely breaking even. I kept all of the templates and other similar items in a box for said store re-opening sometime in the future, but I don’t even have a permanent place to live so that’s not happening anytime soon.
Back to crafting! I also do cross-stitch, which has been slow going. I started a project of matryoshka doll style Avengers ages ago as gift for someone I now have no idea who for. Captain America and the Hulk were finished before I realized I had fucked up the dimensions. That project is just hanging out in one of my craft boxes for something as I do not want to waste what I have already completed.
Then there is the holiday cards, which I’ve been steadily working on for the last week. I was perusing Etsy, Amazon, and other sites for cards to send this year, as you do, when TheExHusband suggested I make the cards instead. This is marvelous idea as I owned most of the major supplies required and all I needed to purchase was paper and a few colored glitter gel pens to finish the cards. Buying office supplies? Oh twist my arm. I have a large vintage tackle box chock full of pens of all sorts (gel, glitter, fountain), colored art pencils for the coloring, nibs and ink for said fountain pens, highlighters for paper and otherwise, drawing marks, and disposable calligraphy pens. Then there is my notebook collection which has grown so large, I have at least on packing box filled to the brim.
One could say I have a fetish for office supplies.


It’s been a couple of days since I started this entry, not finishing it as I didn’t really haven’t the heart. TheSads are again attacking, which probably amounts for and while TEH has been great on cheerleading me on to not dwell, but when you hurt, everything hurts: brain, body, emotions, feelings. Every change in inflection from whoever sends a cavalcade of feels from my brain to my toes.
It’s in that particular space I don’t want to be touched or spoken to. I want to do my thing (crafting, reading, watching TV, whatever) because I don’t have to think when I do these things. This is where I can not worry about my actions, my words, my being intrusive to someone else. It’s where the crying jags come, less frequently now but still appear nevertheless.
The non-touching part can be problematic when you’re around people who simply care about you and want you to feel better.
A friend on the Facebooks shared a mantra, of sorts,
momentofsuffering-web
Which has been a gods-send for me to remember that TheSads are a part of life, are not permanent and will leave at some point.


Yet a couple more days have passed since the above update. TheSads lasted all of one day, where I soaked TheExHusband’s shirt with tears. The following day I was feeling slightly right as rain and the day after that only got better.
For about a week I’ve been walking 17 minute miles on the treadmill since I wrote the above and the endorphin high has been awesome at keeping sad feelings at bay. I get up in the morning, throw on my workout clothes, eat breakfast, and head down to the in-house gym with a bottle of water and workout for about 40 minutes. The workout is two minutes to warm up, walk two miles at 17 minutes a mile and then cool down. With my Spotify “get fit” mix in my ears, the time passes quickly.
I haven’t done yoga since we’ve returned back to Louisville and while one could point out I was being lazy, I will retort there was no space in the condo for me to lay my yoga mat down. True facts.
The lack of space has much to do with my stuff taking up all the available space. Over the past weekend we moved all of the boxes down to TheExHusband’s storage unit and now the condo looks huge. After some furniture shifting, there is now space for my yoga mat and the condo doesn’t seem as claustrophobic as it once was. I joked to TheExHusband that as we’ve shifted all of my things into the storage, I will now get a job.
You can bet on it.


Speaking of such, my Louisville job interview went really well as they are bringing me in for a two day in-person interview in a few weeks. My Connecticut interview, via Skype, is tomorrow. I’m nervous but I feel pretty confident about both situations. I need to get a mutha-fucking job. Full stop. I’m doing research on both positions and living in both locations. If by some grace of the gods I get two offers, it’s going to be a really hard call. The bennies for both are nearly identical but the pay is wildly disparate: $20K between the two at their minimum pay rate. Taking into account the cost of living for both cities, the Connecticut job will allow me to pay down my $20K credit card debt that much sooner. (Which is crazy to think about when the cost of living is a bit on the high side.)
You might be thinking, “Okay. Get through the damned interviews first” and I get that. I do. But I have to think about these things so I’m not making half-assed jumps for one over the other. Both positions are awesome and I can do a lot of good at both institutions, so if I come to this crossroads, I’ve got a lot to think about.
It should go without saying if only one position offers me the job, that is the one I’m taking. A girl cannot be picky.
If neither offer me a position, I’m starting the search again in January when the academic job search reopens.
It should be no surprise I’m exhausted from the amount of job hunting I’ve done over the last 11 months. But it will get better soon, this I do know.


One of the last things I said to TheBassist before the break-up was I’m emotionally exhausted and that is still true. The idea of dating right now makes me nauseous and compounded with reading OkStupid, just ugh. (I would implore you to not read OkStupid for the simple fact it will depress you on the state of humanity.)
I’ve resigned for not dating for year but I will be open to finding new friends in the area I’m living in permanently. In Louisville it would be super awesome to go out with other people not TheExHusband and it would be super cool to meet new people on the East Coast. Friends are good. Dick pics are not.
I dragged TheExHusband out to a social event last week and that went…not so well. It was run by one of the larger social groups in Louisville and the crowd was mainly yuppies and other ilk; not my scene at all. TheExHusband and I met a few people, mainly creeper guys who were there to pick up women and “get free shit” (as told to us by one such individual). I was feeling anti-social, part of TheSads, and TheExHusband was amazed he was the one making introductions rather than myself. I’m a pretty outgoing person when I need to be but I just wasn’t feeling the vibe of this particular group of people. TheExHusband mused we need to find our own people, geeks and such, and there are socials for them so that will be on our agenda in the upcoming weeks.


I’m leaving the house on a daily basis, I’ve cut sugar out of my diet and eating as little dairy I can get away with, I’m exercising, and meditating (131 days in a row and counting), — you know, all the things that I need to live a life and that I should be doing anyway. But I loathe to talk about ThePlan, in this space, right now because I always have good intentions and then they peter out. I want to make these changes permanent — and I think this time they are sticking. I don’t feel rushed about doing these things, I just do them. I may not be talking about such matters in-depth as I am wont to do but I will at least give some kind of update every now and then
A big part of my feeling better will be when I get a damned job. That’s a certainty that cannot be denied. When that happens, everything else will fall into place.


Finally, it is a mere 209 days to Lisa-mas.
xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 1998

Cross-stitch is not for the weak

While I was in Chicago recently for a few work conferences that were back to back, conversations with girlfriends and boyfriends often turned to DIY and the crafting movement. All the cool kids are doing it, it seems. Now I’m no stranger to the DIY/crafting world as I’ve been dabbling on and off for a few years, including but not limited to the following:

But the one that seems to be all the rage in my circles is cross-stitch. I can name half a dozen people off the top of my head who currently count this as their number one crafting past-time. Their constant yammering about their projects, and since it seems you really don’t need to know how to do much other then thread a needle and sew, appealed to me. I like the idea that it is essentially paint by numbers, but with thread. (I will also admit TheHusband has asked me to put the knitting needles down as my hats keep getting more and more interesting. The latest one ended up shaped like a used condom.)
Since having an instant support group for any kind of activity appealed to me, I took myself off to Hobby Lobby tonight after work to get supplies. Since I was not fond of getting a pattern that was “of the lord” or of a fruit basket, I bought a bag of 150 colors of floss, rolled up tube of cross-stich fabric, a hoop, needles, and other accouterments as seen in the picture above. I figured I come home, have dinner, find a pattern, and go. And if I hated it, I would pawn the lot off to Kristin.
No. Not that simple.
The cross-stitch world is complicated. The surge for wanting things handmade has increased the amount of information on the topic, which makes sense since there are thousands nay millions of pages on just about any topic in the universe, according ye olde googles. But I’m a librarian! I should be able to find stuff easily. No, not quite true either. Bad taxonomy and tag stuffing also thwarted my plans. After an hour of looking for patterns, for an easy one I could do in a few hours, turned out to be horribly wrong. I had thought of coughing up a few bucks to Subversive Cross Stitch, whom I long amired, only to find as I was going through their patterns, nothing appealed.
Kristin suggested creating my own pattern, using something like MyPhotoStitch to generate the colors and patterns for me. But the problem is that I wanted to do something BIG AND FLASHY vroom vroom, when I still need training wheels. So instead of creating something that requires 44 different flavors of floss, I need something that has say, eight. Tomorrow when I’m not feeling so emotionally drained, I’ll probably create a TARDIS or something Doctor Who related.
And hopefully this time, nothing will come out shaped like a used condom.

1. The proof that I broke even on my investment with Excessively Diverting proved to me that I could make and sell something of my own creation, which is a huge confidence boost. Now only if could apply that to other things in my life.

Morris Street Project: May 21, 2011

Happy Memorial weekend, or as we American’s like to think of it: Another weekend for us to light things on fire, drink copious amounts of bad beer and strut our painfully overweight bodies in clothing three sizes too small.
TheHusband and I are getting ready to head out for own hedonistic fun, but wanted to get these images up before we left. I also took an amazing shot of a poppy this morning, that has bloomed in our front gardens while its brethren are too heavy to even keep their heads up. The poppy plants in our backyard, also the same gorgeous tangerine color, have also bloomed and the heads too are so heavy that they are laying on the ground.
I was thinking today as I wandered around our gardens taking picture that it seems that movement, blooming and the like doesn’t seem to have moved that much through the month of May. Turns out I was wrong. If you look at the shot of the front of Throbbing Manor from two weeks ago on 05/07/11, it looks positively barren compared to the shot taken on 05/21/11. The other thing you can notice is that on 05/07/11, the blossoming cherry located to the right of the image is in full bloom while two weeks later, the blossoms are gone and the tree is fully green.
Who would have thought so much has changed in a matter of two weeks? But it has and this is why I will continue to do this project, to document the things that previously would have gone unnoticed or possibly, even ignored. I love how lush our neighborhood is becoming and our backyard is looking positively like a rain forest.

MorrisStreetProject-052111b-small
Morris Street view.

MorrisStreetProject-052111a-small
Throbbing Manor view.

Morris Street Project: May 14, 2011

Morris Street Project, Week 9
Nothing earth shattering to report in the world of our gardens this week other than everything is blooming within an inch of its life after the recent rains, including all the fucking ivy and creepers that keep coming back though I seem to spend a gazillion hours pulling, chopping and murdering anyway I can. We’ve also planted some of the vegetables and began plotting what to do with the rest of our lot as either the former owners or the flippers laid out and landscaped the plot to an inch of its life but did not do any upkeep in the interim until we bought it. This means that various ivys, nettles and creepers have taken over controlled areas and we may end up tilling most of our front and back yards back to soil and starting anew for next year. TheHusband grumbles that our city lot is much harder to tame then if we had bought the damned 22 acres in Ada with the bubbling brook simply because we could have just let everything gone wild. His consolation is that our dream of buying a ruin villa in Italy for our vacation home means that he can get his goddamned bubbling brook with olive trees aplenty. That is until we both see something of a modern condo layout in which, all plans are pulled from the table on the goddamned bubbling brook.
But I digress. In other news, the excavation company has not been working on our street all week, so what you see below has not changed since the image was taken. The talks from the crew that our street will be “finished” by the end of June seems to be a lot further away then they make it seem. I’d just like to point out that since we moved here in January, there has not been a week a port-a-potty has not been installed somewhere on our block. I’d like to think that with this being a historical neighborhood, that is not necessarily “period.”

Morris Street Project: 05/14/11
Morris Street view.

Morris Street Project: 05/14/11
Throbbing Manor view.

Morris Street Project: 05/14/11
Drainage ditch across the street from our house.

Morris Street Project: May 7, 2011

Morris Street Project, Week 8
At first I was going to comment that I wish I had some torrid or interesting tale to tell to accompany this entry when I realised that I already forgotten about Conversations With My Mother (part i), which events occurred over the weekend. Forgotten is probably not a good word, “choosing to ignore” is probably better.
Mother’s Day weekend was almost too beastly hot in addition to the blinding sun which meant TheHusband and I spent most of the weekend in the gardens. I shot loads of images from around the gardens, which are far more interesting then the same street view and Throbbing Manor view I’ve been shooting almost religiously with my iPad2, but I still need to process them and I’m feeling lazy.
The images taken below have a washed out look to them, which I attribute to too much sunlight and I was not able to really color correct. I kind of dig the washed out look, so I’m okay with that. This weekend is such a contrast to last (blindingly sunny and hot, droopy with rain and cold) that the images taken from today (May 14) are looking much more lush.
I have been uploading all the images to a Flickr set and the transformation of our street is much more remarkable when you run it through a slideshow rather than the weekly installments I’ve been dishing out.

Morris Street Project: 05/07/11
Street view.

Morris Street Project: 05/07/11
Throbbing Manor view.

Ciao,x0x0x

New Moo Cards

New Moo Cards.

I took advantage of a recent sale at Moo to procure new business cards that I’ve been desperate to get for some time now. The batch I got from Moo last year had my old cell phone number, which I was unable to port when TheHusband put me on his cellular account this past January, which made them the cards pretty much useless as soon as I got the new phone. I attempted to fix said cards by hand writing my new phone number below the old, but looked like crap since my handwriting is pretty sloppy.
When I reminded myself to order cards again, it was too late to get them for ALA this past June. Instead, using the mock-up of the original Moo cards as the template, I created new cards at home, this time incorporating a QR code and obviously the correct number. While I got loads of compliments on the handmade cards, but I have not been satisfied with the quality as our printer is kind of crap.
It seemed a bit ridiculous to print 3 sets of business cards: one for personal, one for Excessively Diverting AND one for Dewey District Library. I knew for sure DDL needed cards as Kristin and I agreed to get a single set to split since we wanted something in hand to hand to libraries when we go visit them. For the personal + ED cards, I ended up combining the info on the one side of the card for both endeavors and when previewing it before printing, I was okay with how it looked. But having the print cards in hand, I realise not so much. The problem with the personal+ED cards is that I’m too attached to the image on of me at age 2 or 3 to give it up to gain space to say, do one thing on one side and the other thing on the other side. Plus, I could not get the QR code to sit properly while designing the cards, so that got tossed out.
The image side of the DDL cards is pixelated, which is fine because that onus is on us for not using a high enough res of the image. We decided that next time around, we’ll pay better attention to designing the image so it doesn’t look so choppy for printing. For now, however, the cards will have to do.
This is the incredibly long winded way of saying, “Hey! New Moo cards!”
x0x0x,
Lisa

Wanted: Your (used, well loved, weeded, no longer needed) books

Librarians! Booksellers! Bibliophiles! I am in the process of doing a fairly large project that will be heavily dependent on used books. I am currently scouring local charity shops, used bookstores and library book sales for my needs, but thought I’d put the call out to the internets. I’m looking for a particular types of books, so if you have anything you think might be of interest to me via the list below, contact me via email, Facebook, Twitter or comment here and let me know what you have.
I will pay for shipping of the materials.
I am looking for:

  • Classic authors (think Austen, Brontes, Melville, Dickens, Joyce, Tolstoy, etc) whose works are in the public domain. If you\’re unsure, email me for clarification or see if their work is available on Project Gutenberg. I’m not picky about the author or the title, just as long as it is in the public domain.
  • Books by Ian Fleming, mainly James Bond series.
  • Not terribly picky about edition, publishing house or locality. Will accept non-US based English and also foreign editions.
  • Preferably hardcover but will accept paperbacks depending on size/condition.
  • Would prefer and love large print versions, but not necessary.
  • If the cover is ripped/torn/damaged, but the majority of the interior text is clean, I still want it.

 
Mwah!

To: Make: Knitting – iTardis, an iPod cozy (v1.0)

iPod, iTardis, iPhone
iPod, iTardis, iPhone

Roughly about 18 months ago, Lindsay sent me a link to an Etsy page of a seller showcasing their knitted Tardis iPod/iPhone cozy. Lindsay, in her infinite cuteness, said, ” Make me this!”
The design and concept of the Etsy version was pretty poor: The person essentially knitted (with acrylic yarn no less) a tube, unseamed, and then cross-stitched Xs in for the white/shadow on the doors. I was more appalled that the seller wanted $20 for the thing, even though essentially it was wrist cuff, just slightly longer. I knew I could do a lot better version that would also be much cheaper.
When Lindsay came to visit a few weeks later, I had constructed the pattern (more or less) and all we just needed to get needles and yarn. I also guessed, based upon my knitting speed, it shouldn\’t take more than a few hours to turn out. Since Lindsay was going to be in town for a few days, I figured we could leisurely get this going and have it done at a later time.
Little did I know that it would be fits/starts spanning 18 fucking months, not a few hours as intended. The design, implementation,needles, yarn weight and colors: Everything was frogged and ignored by me for months only to beredone and then frogged again!
With all that being said, here is the iTardis (FINALLY), HUGE thanks to Krazy Kate, this really only took me a few hours from start to finish as I had predicted all those months ago. Krazy Kate showed me the path of how to streamline and design the cozy, and yet there are improvements to the design and construction to already be made and thus, this is a prototype. Lindsay was so excited about this being finished before she left today, that she left with the prototype on her iPod. This version fits my iPhone (seen above) better than the classic iPod above (it’s slightly longer).
If someone can give me measurements to their iPad, I would adore that as I want to knit up a prototype for it.
Whomever helps me out with the iPad version, will get the prototype for free when I’m done (shipping will also be on me).
Leave contact information via comments or the usual locations.
Pattern for all versions, with tweaks, coming soon-ish. Image above, however, will take you to the Flickr set showing the entire thing in-progress.