Category Archives: Craft

My DIY endevours.

Making for Holidays


Given that he buys most things he wants anyway, I’m making for my husband’s birthday/Christmas holiday. He’s long wanted the Ultimate DM Screen, so I’m going to try to print him one and make a cool app for his tablet.

Above is one of them screenshots of an early model.

Goal–not Resolutions

Home safe from the Christmas trip,  I’m ready to state some 2014 goals.  I’m trying to work from small, action items… for my own good.

● The serial that my friend and I are working on. Edit what we have and record some of it in January.

●Finish my personal WhoScarf

● The Practical-Magic-Fight-Club-Supernatural story, get at least into the second act by March, via 250 word-per-day chain.

●design my craft-styluses

● get a design outline on my productivity suite by February

●Design the web app for work

● be judged ready for parenthood.

● get my office straight at home

● Find the right furniture for the front room, couch, shelves, hall tree.

It’s a longer to-do list than I thought I had. Well, I still aim for them.

Sometimes I don’t know if I don’t have real ambitions or I still haven’t found them quite yet. Or if just existing has gone on too long and I can’t quite feel them the same way. I know this: there is a lot of joy and imagination in me and more than just a sidekick in my soul. I have been given a great gift in the past year, coming home, meeting lovely people, finding a job, having some clarity again. The future is so very open and I am excited to meet it.

I do I hope everyone who reads this finds at least as great a blessing as I have in 2014.

Picture post

The awesome and huge vintage doctor bag I found at the antique shop. The inside is nearly pristine!

A view from my chair of our new family room.




The deer that keep coming up out of Ferne Cliffe park into our street.


The Knit-along sweater I finally finished in time to wear to GenCon.

Two Completed Sweaters, One “Well, it tastes good” Candy Try.

I had been working on two sweaters, recently, one knit and one crochet (see previous entry), and now they’re done. They fit. The are cute… Cuter on a person than on my blocky doppelganger, not that I’m not totally thrilled with my dummy.  It is a TON OF HELP.  It also reminds me that my hips are a problem lately [haha, no… seriously… — Trish].

The first one is a crochet, the first in a while, and one that reminds me I LOVE TO DO LACE PATTERNS, they are so cool to see come together.  I’m going to have to do more.  Certainly, I’m going to have to make another one of these, maybe for mom, and maybe for my friend Jen.  I think the yarn I used might be discontinued, at least in this color, but the pattern is still easily found.

I absolutely love this, and can’t wait to wear it.


The blue sweater is the one I chose to make from my cashmere/merino yarn I got on sale at Craftsy.  This yarn works up so nicely and SO SOFT!  I have a rather unique way of holding the yarn, so this particular type twists and untwists on me, but I loved working with it once I got the hang of it.  I want to buy more next time there’s a good sale.

It’s too warm for now, but later…

I made a mistake in the yoke that meant I needed more yarn, but the lack of dropped rows in the top means I won’t need to wear anything under it, necessarily, and I like that.  I suck at heavy layers. I feel like a mummy.


The little piles of brown gunk are the second stage of my first attempt at making amaretto truffles. Once the cover-and-dip part happened, I got pulled away and pictures worthy of craftfail didn’t happen– but it tasted GREAT.

Earlier this year we were visiting the in-laws and we went to Uttica where we visited The Chocolate Shoppe. It was there that my husband had their truffles and he has been thinking of them ever since.  Some google this past weekend and voila I took some time off packing up the house to make it happen.  Taste-wise, it’s a hit.  Next time, though, more amaretto and smaller pots to work in for better dipping coverage.


Sweaters and Math

So what I’m doing right now is that I have two sweaters (with great yarn, one of which is discontinued, I think) that I had to quickly order an extra ball to finish. My math was just a tad off, somehow. The answer is to buy one more ball, always. Note to self!

The dark blue one is my sweater from the merino-cashmere yarn I got on sale late last year from the Craftsy sale site. It’s gorgeous and soft and I look forward to wearing the sweater. I probably would have been fine, except I stopped making the drop-stitch rows too soon, because of a misreading of the pattern I was using. So… I could have ripped back and tried this, or did what I did and went with the sure thing of an extra ball.






This other sweater is my crochet venture with Naturally Caron Spa in Sea Green and it is GORGEOUS and fantastic to work with. I picked it up on my last visit up north as something new and portable to take on the train. GORGEOUS, I have to add again. I managed to snag a ball of the right yarn on Amazon, rather than doing a quick redesign.




What I’m saying here is, again, buy an extra ball.

This is my yarn stash. I just played at making it more organized in a color-sense. I have a LOT Of blues.


Speaking of blues, I’m moving along on the spiffy cashmere-mix merino yarn that my husband bought for me.  I REALLY like working with it.  I’m going to be saving up to buy more of it, perhaps.


Last week wasn’t very productive, in my mind.  I shied away from my individual code projects or writing projects.  Fear of success/failure?  Probably so.  I’m also lazy.

The weather has finally turned toward spring, so that’s bound to inspire me in a lot of ways.  There’s yard work, and just so much to do when one can leave one’s own house to do it.  In the winter it’s all “House-car-destination-car-house” because I DO NOT GO OUT in that freezing stuff!

Watch out world… I’m coming!

New Tank and Filling My Mental Tank

Blue Tank Front
Blue Tank Front
Tank Back
Tank Back

I finished the “Jason X” tank.  I haven’t made the undersleeves, but I do plan to.  I’ve got a sweatshirt I’m thinking of repurposing for a tester.

I’m also working on getting a little more in shape.  Still.  I eyeroll myself.

Mainly, I’m trying to get this career thing off the ground.  I’m sending out revised resumes and trying to work on my projects and just… generally trying to get in gear now that I’m home.  I want to do all the things I wanted to when I finally got back here, and I bet I go bugnuts trying to do it all at once, but fortunately, I have family here to keep that from happening (It’s too big a job for my husband alone).

Chapter 3 is ON

I’m coming very close to my own version of the cute blue sweater from Jason X.  It’s very cute, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to fit.  I am, as always, just a little hesitant to finish because the neck is the tricky part for me.

blue sweater
Come on, inspiration can come from anywhere!

I also finished the Season 15 Who Scarf, finally.  It’s still available for sale, as will be custom-sized versions of the blue sweater when it’s done.

The move is almost over.  We need to get the house sold.  It’s a unique property, but so cute and roomy.  I really wish that I could have brought the house, after all our work, here to live in.  Finding a house is such a pain, and moving itself is no picnic.

The processes has brought out my inner klutz. I’ve been considering putting up a sign, now, saying “X days without accident” after the last few weeks.  I’ve not bled so much in ages.  Bruises aside, my hands have taken a real beating.

I’m advising everyone who finds themselves in a quick moving situation to get as much help as possible and hide if possible.

The serious job hunt is back on, now that I have connections.  I’m also looking into going back to grad school.  The whole thing feels like it should be really promising.  It’s good to have the theoretical support in finding what I really want to do and starting a real career again.

Honest truth:  Though I do want to write (and I do), I want to create something most of all.  I want to have a problem to solve and to use my mind or skills to do so.  Ideally I’d be writing code, or maybe text.  I also have a great deal of interested in working at a library as one of the last real-world sources of information.  I’ve been putting feelers out.  Fingers crossed.

The Longest Month On Record

Holy crap, I can barely believe it has only been a month and a half since I last indulged in a post. Let me tell you, it’s been a year worth of roller coaster.

The election was an exercise in awesomeness and insanity. Alexander county: hotbed of corruption. I probably want to talk about this someday, but now’s really too soon. The people we worked with and met while my husband ran for State’s Attorney there were outstanding. I hope we get to associate with them more in the future. It’s hard to make me say things like that, because I often kind of shy away from people. I think that in some way I grew by knowing them and doing this thing.

That brings me to the real benefit of the run. I think it was really the best thing for Dude and I. I think we learned to trust one another and work as a team more, again. Being a professional sidekick to him showed him how capable a worker I am, and we got insight into one other’s work processes and lives. He also learned how nice it really is in Southern Illinois. I think he’d almost forgotten.

So, we set off on the post-election world with positivity and a newfound teamwork. This is a good thing, an important thing, because his primary plan has included getting a practice of his own going as soon as we can, maybe down south. Team Neumann, all the way.

Which turns out to be important for other reasons. We’ve lost two grandparents in as many weeks, since the election. Dude’s grandfather, who had been suffering from senile dementia and quickly losing his memories of his family, passed on the week before Thanksgiving, and my own Grandmother passed on the Monday before, just as we were really starting to look like moving back toward my parents’ area was likely. The whole thing is still sort of bittersweet, because while neither of them suffered, we will miss them. Dude has actually missed his grandfather for a while, now.

So, while the “lots more money” aspect of the Aspiring to Help Reform Alexander County Plan fell through (as, perhaps, did the “We become outrageously involved citizens” part). We are still getting to live near some family and think about starting a family.

Chapter 3 will happen. We are going to rock it. We met some people we were totally meant to meet and learned some things we will need to know.

I’m ready to start packing and get back to writing. My friend, Jennifer, her new friend, and I are hatching something very multimedia and dramatic.