scrappystickyinkymess


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A pretty lace calendar for 2017 – English and French!

You may recall that I often make foreign language calendars.  It can be a struggle – especially when an internet source has a mis-spelled word or a wrong translation, which has happened more than once to me – but I try to do at least a couple of them, usually French and Spanish.  The biggest pain is that the foreign language versions more often than not use the Monday to Sunday set up.  I have always used the Sunday to Monday version.  Having said that, when I was working, I tended to use my desk calendar from a Monday as the beginning of the WORK week.  More on that later…

So here is the English version, Sunday to Monday.

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And here is the French version, Monday to Saturday

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It’s likely I will make a Spanish and English Monday to Sunday version at some point.  Is a Spanish Sunday to Monday version a thing?  if so, better comment or I probably won’t bother to make one 🙂

 

As I have mentioned, and the reason for my absence here, I have moved house.  I have unearthed some odd artifacts from my working life.  I found a couple of cartoons that a friend in the mailroom (me and the boys had a regular lunchtime date to play Hearts whenever there were enough of us around.  I got used to the 11:50 phone call to let me know if we were on or not) drew for me.  This one was after he spied me reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

FL

and this one I forget what prompted it – probably just the name similarity, despite the mis-spelling:

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The other thing was a certificate for my membership in the Visual Lunacy Society (stamp company) from an engineer I used to do research for.

VLS

Note the date:

2VLS

Funny what you find and keep re-finding but don’t pitch in the bin!  I think I’ll hold on to them for a little longer…


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Just a bit about the house….

I have been referring to “the house” often and now some progress has been made I thought I would share a bit about it.  The house used to be a pair of side-by-side Victorian semis which were united in 2000 into one house.  When we took it on, we knew there were issues, but were a bit in love with it from the start.  Rose-coloured glasses and all that.

We have done a LOT of work on it so far but there is still a ton of work to do.  The next big thing is the front entryway.  Each house had its own version of Victorian clay tiles, which were lovely, but filthy.

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The part that was cleanest was just under the stairs.  On the left you can see the state of them, and on the right what about 2 hours of scrubbing with powerful cleaner and a stiff scrub brush and then scrubber attached to a drill accomplished

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Looking down from the upstairs landing, you can get an idea of exactly how much tiling there is.

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Further down you will see the other angle as the tiles flow on to the back of the house. We are re-thinking me spending weeks scrubbing when after they are clean, the next step, the sealing of them, is critical.  It might be something to hand over to the professionals!

I am pretty much living in one room, DH’s office (or it will be) at the moment, as there has been painting and carpeting and damp proofing and construction gong on all around.

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Sad, isn’t it?  But on the plus side, the lounge is looking lovely, ready for old furniture – and new curtains. New furniture is still a ways off, I’m afraid. It’ll all be a bit mis-matched for a bit.

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A casualty was one of a pair of lampshades, dropped by one of the painters.  It took me a week to sort out a good replacement, due to a series of annoying issues with Amazon.  But I quite like the new glass shade

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The lounge and the dining room are being professionally done. The dining room is still in progress

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I’ve done the snug (a small second sitting room that will probably be a library of sorts

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and what would have been wayward son’s bedroom

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and what would have been his studio

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THAT one was a real challenge!  The walls were bright deep blue above the dado rail and under, two fat stripes of lime green and turquoise!

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The walls were badly lined and there is flippin’ wood chip everywhere, but at least I got a fresh coat of paint on it.  Best that could be expected, really,  as it has already take two weeks for the pros to do the lounge and dining room and the ceiling in the snug.  At some point I expect we will have to strip off all of the wood chip and have the whole house re-plastered but RIGHT NOW it is more about making it clean and fresh, fast, for us to live in.

In that previous photo you can see my hubby’s touching expression of love.  Some men buy jewels, some buy flowers, but mine knows what matters.  He slipped a pair of comfy knee-pads in the basket at Homebase, knowing kneeling on the hard laminate flooring was going to hurt.  Love that guy loads.

I have one room that is done (except for an area rug and sorting out the curtains, and that is DDs room, the Purple Palace

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As she will never have a fire in the fireplace. I’ve used some re-positionable adhesive and added squares of Basic Grey cardstock over the tiles. You don’t see it in most of the photos but every bedroom has a sink and most have a fireplace too.

I also did the Master Bedroom (see my sad and lonely bed-on-the-floor?)

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and the biggest success was fresh white paint and new vinyl to replace the tattered and smelly carpet in the master bath.

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What else?  I am in the middle of slapping a quick few coats of magnolia on what will be my office – this is actually just an hour before I started

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I am awaiting the repair of the sink to do the last wall and a half – it was falling off the wall, and apparently leaking so the joist underneath is drying out so new floorboards can be installed.

I had to re-paint a bit of hallway that was incredibly grubby, leading up to the loft.  You can see that the door is in need of re-painting too!

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The acoustics in the upper landing are fabulous.  By placing a bluetooth speaker just here

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and streaming Radio Paradise from my iPad, I can literally fill the house with music.

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What’s missing?  Well, the kitchen is a big one.  It is proper disgusting.  I can’t even show it. There is NOTHING good about it,  Rising damp, stained, ornate cabinet doors with extra barley twist insets (all painted duck’s egg blue but chipped and showing the original orangey wood thru in some places) and too shallow to fit our dinner plates, then buckled and lifting dead cheap laminate floors,  grubby backsplash tiles and cheap and ugly work surface.  We had one end unit ripped out and a new radiator installed to make room for the dishwasher but this room is just something we will have to live with while we re-stock the bank account to pay for a new kitchen.  No point in spending money to make it marginally better when it needs ripping out ASAP.  We may spend a pittance on some vinyl to cover the laminate, but other than that, nothing for now.

Off the kitchen is a smelly, damp and mildew-ridden utility room that is in the process of being sorted out, and a smelly downstairs loo, also being sorted.  There is another utility room off the back of the other side, with a small store room off it,  that is bone dry and smells fine.  Go figure.

Upstairs there is another bedroom that we are doing NOTHING to (the ONLY ROOM that seems fine) and a box room that was an office. That needs quite a bit of work too as the walls are full of nail holes and Blu-tak and there is a huge hole around the electrical socket that worries me a bit. There is also a slap-dash bookshelf that need removing before it can be painted.  There are two more family bathrooms, both needing a lot of work, not just cosmetic refreshing, but which are useable, more or less.  We might have to replace the shower mechanism in one, the other has just a tub, toilet and sink. If you are counting, that is 8 sinks upstairs.

So, if you were wondering what was keeping me from anything more than occasional blogging, now you know.  Between cleaning, and painting and wrangling workmen and making 1000 hot beverages, it was hard to find time to do much else!

I do believe this is going to be a work in progress for the foreseeable future…

 


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AWOL. Upgrading woes.

Yes, so we more or less took the plunge and hooked up the new Mac, again.  But because there are still issues that will take longer to sort out than a day, I am currently working with one monitor (and its associated keyboard and mouse) on the old machine and one monitor (and ITS associated keyboard and mouse) on the NEW machine. Only one has sound. Lots of stuff on the old machine doesn’t work on the new machine.  Very sadly, one thing is a game.  I play it when I am on hold, or have time to kill waiting for something. I’ve been playing the SAME GAME for a few years.  My score is…impressive.

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The score is so high, on the game screen it spills out of the area that holds it.  If this were the MOST irritating result of switching machines I could probably live with it.  But it isn’t.  It’s simple things, like not having a SAVE AS option in preview, instead having to EXPORT a Tiff to turn it to a .jpg.  And it not retaining the destination for a saved file or having a way to set a preference, but having to change it every time. everything takes more steps than it once did.  That is just ONE program.  Combined with the fact that every time the big monitor sleeps due to inactivity, the screen resolution is set to 800×600, without the actual screen resolution I need (1920 x 1080) in the list of options, which renders it unusable till I reboot, I am struggling a bit. And that is why I am SO resistant to upgrading.  I’ve limped along till it was upgrade or give up computers, since virtually no browsers are still being supported on Mac OS versions as old as mine.

Bear with me.  I will be back someday, just maybe not someday SOON.  Probably in time for 2017 calendars LOL!


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My DASH diet planner

Fair warning – I am not planning on adding this as a download, as it really is useless unless you buy this book. I did buy it and read it and love it.  In the past, when I have been successful in dieting it has been down to cutting out carbs and most fruit. We have always eaten a ton of veg and lentils, black beans, white bean mash, but far too much meat.  This version of DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) doesn’t cut out any one food group.  It seems like a plan that is sustainable.  But making sure I am getting everything I need while not overdoing things in certain areas was always going to take some planning and attention.  So I created my own personal planner that has the bits in it I need. I have been using it (since yesterday when I began the Phase one diet properly) and so far it IS helping to keep me on track.  I was happy to share it on the FB Support group (kindly linked to me in a comment by follower Bridget) because the folks there have the book and can make use of the very specific info – and won’t be misled by the abbreviated info in the charts.

But if you are following a specific diet, you might consider making one of these for yourself.  Just the making of it helped me a lot! Because I have a Filofax style planner, I first made them to print and slice down the middle like my other planner pages:

This is the serving checklist – basically a prettier version of what is in the book

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I also made a sheet that tracks my weight, blood sugar level and activity – this is the first version, the final one includes tick boxes for water consumption.

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I also did a sheet that highlights many of the meal suggestions for the Phase One portion.  I figure by Phase Two I’ll have a better grip on it.  Plus it is too hard to squeeze as much info as I would need in a small sheet LOL!  I have the book to refer to.

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The tick boxes are so I can keep track of how many times I have a particular meal over the week.  Phase One is only two weeks so this sheet is only useful for a limited time. There is a Phase Two serving checklist too, that will become the bulk of the planner over time.

But it also occurred to me that many people won’t have a planner.  And aren’t going to be keen to buy one just for tracking their diet.  So I re-jigged the layout so the sheets can be printed on an A4 or US letter sheet, sideways, and used in a standard 3-ring (or 4-ring) binder.

I was lazy and cheap and printed these on printer paper, standard quality, hence the colour difference.

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What I did notice in that process is that the meant-to-be-cut pages won’t work in a binder like this – the sheets are flip-flopped, so the MON-WED days are on the RIGHT rather than the left.  Of COURSE it wasn’t going to be easy.  But hey ho.

I feel lucky that I have the skill (sort of)  to customize a personalized planner for specifically what I need to plan for.  And it makes me realize why I found it so hard to create a “generic” planner for OTHER people to use.  Everyone has their own ideas of what a planner needs.  I remember back when we used NeXT computers, post-PC, pre-Mac.  There was an object-oriented programming tool that let you group individual bits of code just the way YOU needed to, to build a program without starting from a blank screen.  It fascinated me, and made so much sense.  Wouldn’t it be totally cool if you had little building blocks for a planner that you could drag onto a properly sized blank page, and its reverse,  to create your own customized version? And change the colour or font with a click? Then just send it to your printer and BAM! WHAT? Prefect planner!

Ah, dream on….


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When in doubt, add a calendar!

Here is another 2016 calendar.  Just something I was playing with “before.” I wanted something a little more hand-drawn looking and I think this fits the bill.

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I like the font for the letters, which is called Quirky Knots. I did check three times and really concentrated so am as close to 100% sure these are correct as I can be.  Avoiding any crappy site that added a calendar that had the wrong info on it, I found one that I feel is reliable and have saved it so I can come back to it again and again.

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On a personal note, I saw the Dr. and he is happy enough not to increase one of the meds.  Apparently the normal thing to do is to start on a low dose and work up to a high one.  I’m on 1.5mg and the norm is 10mg.  I did a little research on something my sister mentioned in passing, the DASH diet.  Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.  I like it,  and it’s been rated the top diet (in the US anyway) for 5 years for both how easy it is to stick to as well as how effective it is.  I got the book for the weight-loss version, and it IS good.  When I lost 40lbs a couple of years back, I did it by cutting out virtually all carbs and limiting my fruits to berries.  That “cured” my type 2 diabetes (ha ha) according to the Dr.  but it really wasn’t sustainable.  I love toast too much LOL!  I can live without ice cream and candy, even muesli or granola far easier than never having a potato or toast with my eggs.  Just before the heart attack I had noticed a slow weight gain, and had just started to go back to removing those foods from my diet again.  But the DASH diet includes all sorts of fruits and grains. There is meant to be a two-week phase that is no fruit, no grains (which I didn’t know cause I had only read the info on the Mayo Clinic website, which is the original diet, without the focus on weight loss and as a by-product, metabolism re-set and sugar control) but the diet after that has all the things I love in small quantities.  Yes, even dark chocolate!

It has really only been two weeks since I got out of the hospital but so far I have lost 8 lbs, brought my sugar levels down to an acceptable level (not good, but far better than in the hospital – the combo of the so-called “diabetic diet” foods like piles of mashed potatoes and carrots and very few GREEN vegetables and the stress of being in the hospital probably contributed to that at least a bit) and am not struggling with it at all.   Well, I am struggling a little simply because the UK is far behind the US in offering low-salt, no added salt or sugar, non-fat or low-fat versions of foods.  I’ve yet to find pancake syrup in any store I’ve shopped in, let alone the sugar-free versions I saw in the USA 15 years ago.  And reduced salt chicken broth?  25 years ago that was common in the USA.  I still struggle to find it reliably.  I gave up on proper Jewish rye and pumpernickel bread (as opposed to the damp, Polish market ones) and there are 100 other things that the book mentions as “in any grocery store” that can’t be found here.  It’s made me have to research every little thing, read labels like never before (and I really did read them a lot already) to stay on track.  But I am seeing the benefits already.  I feel better, and am looking forward to the Cardio rehab sessions to get more info.  I’ll be dragging out the stationary bike – with winter coming it’ll be a reliable way to exercise – and am looking to find a yoga DVD for stress reduction.

OK so that was all super boring, I’m sure.  I’ve rarely let much of my real life slip in here, keeping it to mostly crafty things, but this is huge for me and I find writing about it helpful.  I promise I will try to set this sort of personal stuff apart so it is easy to skip over.  I might even relegate it to another blog, so I can satisfy the need to write about it without boring the crafty folk to tears!

Thanks for all the kind comments, BTW.  It means a lot.


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Of hearts and heart attacks…

Well.  The last printable I added was hearts and then I had a heart attack.  As Alanis would say Isn’t that ironic?

Funny, really,  but there are some things in life that if they happen, you expect them to be huge.  If not huge, then at least recognizable.  I have been schooled by the movies and TV.  When someone has a heart attack, they clutch their chest, grimace in pan, drop to the floor like a dead weight, or slump back in their chair or on the hospital bed, as the monitor flatlined.  Na.  Not like that at all.

I had the worst pain in my ELBOW over the bank holiday Monday.  It hurt like no hurt I have ever experienced. You know when you bash your thumb with a hammer, or get it slammed in a door?  How the pain throbs with every heartbeat?  It was like the pain of that without the momentary respite on the downbeat.  It just hurt on and on and on.  By 11pm or so, with no medicine touching it, I was pacing the house.  I could not sit still.  I was wracking my brains for what to do.  In the end, luckily, I dialled 111.  As I was trying to describe the pain, again luckily, I commented that I thought maybe it was causing me to panic a bit as my chest felt a tiny bit tight.  A minute later that passed but the NHS lady said they would send along an ambulance to check me out.  Which they did.  The did a ECG in the driveway, thought it looked ok, but decided to take  me in anyway.

I had a blood test right away and ECGs over the night. The Dr. who came in said it all looked ok but they wanted to keep me in and repeat the blood text 12 hours after that tightness.  They did.  The Dr. came back to apologize, saying he hadn’t actually looked at the ECG himself, when he did, he thought there WAS a small indicator of SOMETHING, which was confirmed by the blood test.  Yes, I def. had a heart attack. Oh joy!

I felt FINE.  They gave me some meds to slow my heart rate and thin my blood, eventually did an angiogram (a very weird feeling, as the wire travels thru your artery) and an angioplasty to install a small stent.  Bionic me.   Ha.  The rest looks good, my heart is pumping well, no other arteries are thinned, although one is slightly “furred” (hello diet + statin, goodbye cholesterol!) The stent took the artery with the problem from a B road to a motorway.

TECHNICALLY I am banned from work for 2-3 weeks, from driving for 2 weeks, and then need to do some cardiac rehab.  But is blogging technically working?  There were one or two bits I had to do online, and I felt a short session to explain my absence would be ok.  So long as I don’t allow anything to stress me out. I figure I can do very short sessions, once a day. Knowing there are a couple of people who asked for specific things that I have not yet been able to send IS stressing me out, so I figure it’s better to at least explain.  Then tomorrow I should be able to do those couple of things and eliminate the stress.  Job done.  It’s self-imposed stress so I can remove it – just knowing I have a plan makes it less stressful.

In the meantime, I have a handful of printables that I had been playing with.  Nothing super awesome, but usable with the odd tweak or two.  I’ll pop them up as I can.  triangles

Pretty simple and basic but I think useful. Grab them here and enjoy.

 


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Today is the day! and July 4th printables

Eek!  It has been AGES since I had to “study” for a test!  The last one was surely my UK driving test 10+ years back.  I can only hope the Life in the UK test goes as well.  The driving test took me about 7 minutes to complete and I got a single question wrong – but then, that didn’t require me to remember DATES.  I’ve been known to forget the year the kids were born, for heaven’s sake.  How am I meant to remember that there was a huge influx of Jews to the UK in 1656? or that after 1695 newspapers needed no government license?  Those questions did come up in the practice tests.

I have done so many practice tests my head spins.

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Based on that I should feel more confident but I don’t.  I’m not a great test-taker, never have been.  Doing the three days of tests for my Master’s degree had me in knots, despite having gotten straight A’s thru the entire program.  My tummy churns, my head throbs, and I second guess myself on every question.

{sigh}

by 4:30 pm I’ll know.

I’ll add these for balance.  We’ve lived in the UK for over 20 years, with a short break back in the States after DD was born.  I love living in the UK, but that doesn’t make me any less American.  And dual-citizenship won’t either.  So here are some 4th of July printables to download.

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I think they are a bit fun and colourful.  I sort of designed the two quotes from the Star Spangled Banner to be used together, either side-by-side or one each on two side-by-side pages, but that was just my thought.  The vertical 4th card could be used for a bit of journaling or even a small photo.  I  added a trio of little circles to punch as well.  Hope you find them useful and as usual, I would love to see how you use them!


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Another n of THOSE posts…Printables plus.

 

 

 

 

Where to begin.. I am helping DS’s GF make a mini book.  I just can’t stop showing her cool things, techniques, options.  Really, I should just limit her choices, as a newbie paper crafter, rather than dumping my 20 years of experience and room full of product on her, but I just can’t.  She has made a few bits already and loves both those bits and the process.  I think she should be really proud of herself!

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Of course, the creative loveliness comes at a price…

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So what I am doing is digital design stuff.  I’ll add these printables for you.  Fun and funky and super colourful.

 

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And one interesting thing to note.  Deli paper.  Remember how hard it was to find in the UK?  Or if you could find it, it was a stupid price for a handful of sheets, or £100 shipped from the USA?  WELL, there are a few options now on Amazon (or here)

I spied the box lurking at the side while taking the desk shot, and realized I had never shared the info.

What else am I doing?  Humm.  TRYING to tidy up ancient posts from UKScrappers and studying for the Life in the UK test.  All in all it is keeping me busy.  I probably could have added this post yesterday for WOYWW but I knew with near 100% certainty that there was no way I would get to any visits  and that isn’t very fair.  In the past when my visiting has been patchy, it’s much more because sh*t happens, and my best intentions were scuppered, rather than I KNEW I would disappoint and joined in anyway. But I had a quick look at the post and I think I did see Julia announced 2nd 2015 WOYWW crop, so I am pretty stoked about that.

Now off to do practice tests….

  1. Which of these forts were part of Hadrian’s Wall?
    (Choose any 2 answers)

    • Housesteads
    • Skara Brae
    • Sutton Hoo
    • Vindolanda

Arrghh.


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Lists

I encountered a little list challenge the other day – it is this one. Titled

BBC Believes You Only Read 6 of These Books…

Apparently the BBC never actually said this. The list was created by an unknown individual and spread around the internet, as things do.

I read a lot, a lot less than I used to, but still a lot.  I also KEEP a lot of books.  Rather than do what I’ve READ I ticked those that I know, with 100% certainty, I own, either here on my bookshelves or back in storage.  My results:

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OK, I actually have 65, I missed Heart of Darkness but had already clicked to see my results, captured it, and converted it to a .jpg, and was too lazy to go back and do it again. I also have multiple copies of some (1984 was at home in storage, for example, and I thought DS needed to read it so I bought another copy.

That is actually not even correct.  There are 8 books that I OWN but haven’t read.  Some are because I started them and wasn’t immediately gripped by them, and some were just down to time, when another book jumped the queue and I never went back – Cloud Atlas and His Dark Materials fall in this category.  A Prayer for Owen Meany didn’t grab me like The World According to Garp (I’ve read that one SO many times, as well as many other books by John Irving just not Owen Meany) and three Jane Austen’s sit on my shelf unread, part of a Complete Works set.  I both own and have read The Neon Bible as well as A Confederacy of Dunces, but that didn’t make the list.  I’ve actually read other books by many of the authors but virtually ALL of Bill Bryson’s books.

On a whim I snapped a couple of shots of my bookshelves

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Should have turned the camera portrait cause the shelf just above this one has 1984 and Brideshead Revisited!

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The list did make me wonder.  There are a lot of books on my shelves that *I* think are great books that aren’t on the list and some that are on the list that make me go Meh. I would read Love in a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love over Austen most days, although to be fair they are apples and oranges.  Possession would make the list.  And Neuromancer would make my list – heck, The Difference Engine, cause to my mind it birthed Steampunk would too.   A Wrinkle in Time under KIDS. Perfume, and Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring under translated-from-another-language.  Homicide: a year on the killing streets (written by the David Simon, who did the TV show Homicide and eventually did The Wire) and Rivethead for factual and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas cause it’s so unique and Lonesome Dove cause it is so epic and so western, and I do love me a good western! I think all those books have at least as much to recommend them as the ones on the list.

This is a non-crafty diversion.  Sorry if you expected lovely paper or printables.  I am knee-deep in laundry and mixing that with cleaning out DS’s PC.  It’s shocking the amount of dust.  Handfuls, I kid you not. The bookshelves are in the room I am working in, next to the laundry, so I had a lot of time to think about this topic.  LOL! Now I wonder what is on YOUR list that isn’t on the actual list. Feel free to add your picks in the comments.

 


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Knitting – lace charts

I had these, ready to post at some point, and I am just going to try uploading them and composing a post over the next hour or so, while I work offline on something else.

What I have been doing during my forced absence from the internet is knitting.  I completed the sweater I was making for DD and started another one, from a Craftsy class.  Not having much luck getting to watch the class – well, not unless I want to watch a minute, have my internet drop, wait, have it reconnect, watch another 5 minutes, etc etc.  – but I did get the class materials downloaded.

I have only ever really done simple knitting.  Socks, for all the fear they seem to cause, are really simple with a good pattern.  Follow it and you will have success.  But things like Cables and Lace, where there is a complex, multi-row or -round pattern?  THAT does my head in.  I started the lace yoke pattern for the Choose Your Own Sweater Adventure class but chart reading has never been my strong suit.  I kept losing my place, getting distracted or having to pick up and put down my knitting for 100s of reasons.  It was making me crazy.  So after frogging back to the cast on maybe 4 or 5 times because I made a stupid error in reading the chart, cause the marks I made didn’t make sense the next day, for example, I took a look at my problem and figured out how to solve it.

justchart1The chart looks like this. It’s not a complicated pattern really.  But I still struggle to “read” my knitting – if I lose my place I find it really hard to look at the stitches and figure out what they are.  and if I miss one, and things aren’t lining up right, I am hopeless at tinking back to correct.  I tried making marks, using a Post-it note to keep track of the row I was on, but was still struggling.  I never had this much trouble with crochet!  What I needed was the chart to be bigger and a way to isolate just the row I wanted at ay given time. Easy enough..

The symbols for this chart were easy so I just recreated it in my drawing program.

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I printed it and cut it up into strips.

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I made a stack of the rows. So all I had to do was complete the row then fold it back and paper clip it.  Do the next row, fold it back, etc.

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I also made the legend bigger and easier to read. Was it a bit of work to do?  Yep.  LESS work than ripping out 4 rows of the chart?  Nope.  The good thing is I can store the chart with the pattern and will never have to do it again.

What would have been a quicker way to do it, and what I will do for any more complicated chart, is to scan it in, print it BIG, then use a window cut in a larger piece of card to show only the row I am working on.  Adding a couple of paper clips will make it a lot more secure than a Post-it note and the bigger size will help me a lot.

chartwindowI don’t ever mind taking a bit of extra time, or doing a bit of work up front in order to make whatever the process is I’m working on easier.  It’s a bit like taking the time to create the monthly calendar blocks.  Sure, I may spend a day getting it all lined up, checking and re-checking the dates, and sizing them, but then, when I want to do a new calendar design,  I only have to do the fun part, the colour and image bit, the font choices, etc.  The hard and boring part is already done.  I just had to remember the lessons learned in calendar making and translate them to knitting to solve the problem.  And the lessons learned from having a kid with a disability, who has to find her own way to do something that is easy for many people, but not for her,  helped me recognize and analyze my limitations (bad eyesight, being scatterbrained and unable to easily grasp charts) and develop a way to overcome them.  Much better than just saying Well, I will never knit lace or cables…ever.