25 June 2011

Holiday mood

My Man of Wonder arrived a few days ago.  After a wonderful family supper - and discovering I've passed all this semester's modules - we're going on holiday for a bit.

The plan includes much sleep, new recipes, wandering around mountains, and generally spending as much time hugging as possible.  Living on opposite sides of the country can get old really, really quickly.

See you anon!

12 June 2011


Last night, an owl swooped over and perched on the roof not ten paces away.
The silent wings of this predator and
Her proud stance
Reminded me
of peace

My Lady, I thank you.

10 June 2011

Touching sides

I have all sorts of thinky thoughts happening in various shadowy corners of my brainmaze.  Unfortunately, they shut up as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard/pen. 

This is unfortunate, especially as I really do need to get one particular essay off my shoulders.  (It's to answer someone's question, but may devolve into a TMI-unless-you're-a-geek after the exams are over).

Yeah.  Exams.

One more to go.  I'm pretty confident about the past ones, even The Unholy Mess That Was Stats 372.  And about which I still need to format my complaint.  But yeah.  Right now I'm deeply involved in the biochemical mysteries of phytochromes and cytokinins.  (That's not snark; they're fascinating and I'm enjoying botany most of all my subjects.)  If I'm to actually give into the madness and apply for Honours, I need to do well in this one particularly.

I wish there were another way to get accurate assessments, without the performance anxiety.  I also wish that I'd discovered St John's Wort many years ago, but that's a whole 'nother ball of kidneys.

26 May 2011

Soap: PDA and first aid

Soap is basically made from drain cleaner and oil.  There is no way to do it otherwise; melt-and-pour soap means you just buy the stuff after the drain cleaner has reacted with the oil.

This means that it is a very bad idea to eat raw soap.  Which my "baby" (approaching 30!) brother discovered this weekend.  Fortunately this batch was a remilling of cold-process that went wrong, therefore it was cooked, thus way less hazardous than it could have been (i.e. he didn't end up burning out his entire GIT).  But hey, what a nasty way to wake up.  He turned out fine, but foamed at the mouth all day.  Now that I know he's fine, and the adrenaline has cleared out, it's kinda funny.

So: if you get raw soap on your skin, or other surfaces, the best thing to do is to rinse off with vinegar.  Caustic soda is alkaline; the vinegar neutralises it.

BUT if you eat it drink milk, not acidic fluids like orange juice; the reactions of the acid & alkaline will exacerbate any burn.  DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING.  Call a doctor.

All things considered, it's best to leave internal cleansing to nettle or buchu teas.

19 May 2011

I can haz nu hobby?

Because exams start tomorrow, here's just a teaser for what I'm now doing as well as playing with sticky pointy things ^_^

Yes, I am now hooked.

03 May 2011

Linky Limbo

Excellent analysis of the American Birther movement and its relation to White privilege: http://tinyurl.com/4xgz3zv

Awesome analysis of the ASD spectrum by a 9-year-old http://tinyurl.com/3mxjqyj "What matters to him is the autism scale, not the function scale, and I found his perspective unique--just like his autism."

The difference between believing and knowing: an excellent introduction http://tinyurl.com/43hq62x

Hmmm.  http://www.juancole.com/2011/05/obama-and-the-end-of-al-qaeda.html

Finally: it's old, but it still raises a grin: http://tinyurl.com/585uyd

01 May 2011

Sekit Projects completed

Sekrit Projects Completed!

(and new ones started, but those later)

So herein a few of the projects I finished this past year (and crossing my thumbs that the compression-thing works.)

Embroidered hanky, on Arty Brother’s design, and my first (very bad) attempt at chain stitch fill. Note to self: Never ever use red as a solid fill on a hankie again. Unless the red is a small part of the complete design; each time I see this IRL it looks like an awful nosebleed ^_^

Jar cover for Engineering Brother, based on a kite-surfing photo. I think this thread was old as it frayed like whoa. Also, back- and stem-stitches need careful thought when combining. The textures were pretty unbalanced. I also decided to leave out the “kite-strings” (what are they called?) because the halter was already one thread thick, and it would’ve looked too bold. Turns out that confused everybody. Oh, well. Next time I try this, I’ll know to go for stylized more than realistic.

Scissor-keep for Arty Sister, based on this kit by Textile Heritage. It worked really well as an introduction to cross-stitch; the design was effective but easy to figure out, and the instructions were mostly clear. Yes, the scissors should have been attached to the corner opposite to the tassel; my mistake. (the finishing instructions were the most difficult to follow, but I’m not a stitcher, so a lot of it needed figuring out. Also, wow Aida fabric frays like anything – especially after re-stitching for the third time!^_^).  If I see Textile Heritage kits in RSA again, I'll definitely snap them up.

Christmas present for Man Of Wonder, who I was lucky enough to be with one whole month. It was going to be the next one, but that only got finished in mid-Jan, so...

Mark II went to my parents. (Unfortunately, I forgot to record the kit name) I’m rather proud of it, the conversion and completion took months. Photo rather obviously taken pre-iron:

So these were the best/most significant things I've done.  I'm pretty much happy with my progress so far, as I'm steadily learning about fabrics, colour, and improving my needle control.  Also, having fun which is kind of the entire point :)