I keep thinking I should volunteer more, but then I'm always foiled by regular commitment requirements that don't fit into my travel schedule, or training requirements that mean taking time off from work. But! There's always Craftin' Outlaws show set-up. Because they tell you what to do, and all it takes is a willingness to carry a lot of furniture.

image

I really like this group. They're fun, they're accepting, they're creative, and they're so, so very appreciative of people helping out for nothing but some swag from their vendors (and it's great swag, in case you're wondering). This was my second time volunteering for them, and I'll definitely be back for the Holiday Show.

image image

This show was at the High Line Car House in... German Village? Whatever's on High Street just south of the courthouse downtown. It was a really pretty space, but it ended up being really crowded when people actually came in to shop.

image image

But considering how long the line was, that's not really surprising. I love that people actually stand in line, not just for the free swag bags, but also just in general, for the awesome vendors.

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Also, there was a food truck. Sweet Carrot may be my new favorite food truck ever.

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Back before Christmas, I suggested to my knit group that we should go pottery painting some day, as our group thing for the month. (I had Christmas presents on the brain, and pottery came up as an option.) Last week, we finally made it to a place up in Dublin, where I painted a bowl :-) Because bowls are always useful.

Pre-kiln, it's all pastel-y and chalky, but already very pretty.



Post-kiln, it's just plain awesome.

IMG_1983

I'm so glad I put the red edge on there. It makes the whole thing so much more interesting.
Wilton's food coloring is interesting for yarn dyeing. Not only is it cheap, food-safe, and easily available, but it's also sort of magic. Case in point: all three skeins below came out of the same dye bath.

Dyeing 19c

The pink was the first skein. I thought I could do something fun and dab black dye onto the wet skein, maybe get a bit of a speckled thing going.

IMG_1929

Instead, I used way too much dye, and it distributed relatively evenly throughout the water.

IMG_1936

But that's ok. I like the green/purple thing you get when Wilton's black breaks. Except when I rinsed the skein, all the blue tones that weren't left in the crockpot went down the drain.

Dyeing 17c

Ok then. Good thing I had more yarn to dye.

IMG_1937

This one sucked up all the greens and purples, turning into what I now expect black Wilton's to do on a good day (on a bad day, there's loads of pink to muddle everything up).

Dyeing 18b

And then I looked in the crockpot, and the water still wasn't clear of dye. Alright. Last skein.

Dyeing 19a

I love the blues in here. There's also some specks of purple that give it a really nice depth, but overall, it's definitely a light blue skein of yarn.

Dyeing 19b

And there you have it. Three skeins, one dye bath, three different colors. Magic :-) Ok, also SCIENCE!
... I bought a sewing machine over Thanksgiving :-)

I finally got around to unpacking it over the holidays, and decided that making project bags out of some cut-off pants legs seemed like a good start.

Project Bag 2a Project Bag 3a Project Bag 1a

I kind of like the idea of recycling old clothes into new stuff - bags like this are a good way to practice things like seams and linings, and nobody cares if they're a bit crooked. Plus, they'll make good gifts for some people :-)

For now, I'm attempting a duvet cover. It's... interesting. Mostly I need a bigger table.
I... have no idea what's going on. Thanksgiving weekend totally threw me off my mental schedule, I keep thinking it's December, and my desk at home is a freaking mess.

Oh well. I have New Year's to look forward to, I have cookie cutters and gingerbread cookie mix, and I'm going to see Red Dawn this weekend, because who doesn't need a bit of Chris Hemsworth thrown into a crazy month?

Also, I bought a sewing machine on Black Friday. No, I basically have no idea how to use it. That'll be the project when I'm sick of studying French :-) Because seriously, I need to finish that course.

I'm also planning a whole lot of traveling, including a DC trip with Sara for a pop culture academic conference (I am such a geek), and a possible trip to LA in March for work (and possibly visiting Carrie, if she's around), along with Gally in February (why am I spending that much time in LA?) and... no wait, that's it. September doesn't count as vacation planning when I'm not even sure yet if I'm planning a vacation in September.

Wow. If you read all that and don't have a headache, I'm impressed. I should obviously go to bed instead of ramble on the internet :-)

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