Friday, February 29, 2008

Stash shock

It is a snowy day today, the last weekday of my kid's midwinter break. We're all a little sick of each other--Brian is on a work trip and I've maxed out my "entertaining mom" persona. It takes a lot more energy to come up with interesting things to do with the kids when the weather is lousy, though, all things considered, we've done pretty well this week. My mom and I took the kids to a water park overnight on Monday and I think we all came back a few shades paler from the chlorine. It was fun in a weird indoor mid-western kind of way and did tire the kids out, especially Fiona who pretended to be a seahorse and pulled my mom in an inner tube around the lazy river for about two hours straight. I've let the kids eat fast food this week which resulted in them being pretty nice to me, we visited pretty much every branch of the Ann Arbor District Library and I planned to take the kids to the Detroit Science Center today until the snow storm and sickness hit.

The newly minted 5-year-old is asleep upstairs with a low fever and I'm letting the 7-year-old play as many games of Chain Factor as he wants. So after I shoveled the 5 inches of snow that fell this morning, the house has been pretty peaceful.

It seemed like a good day to start taking responsibility for my yarn stash. I got the invite to join Ravelry a few weeks ago so I set up my account, logged in two of my works-in-progress and then kind of spaced out and forgot about it. Today I had enough time to do a little more exploring and discovered that I can check out other people's experiences with patterns I'm considering and also organize my own notebook area. The scary and humbling part is to take responsibility for my stash.

Right now my stash takes up 4 Sterilite bins that fit under one half of our double bed. And they are kind of, um, full...
Some of the items packed in there I recognize--a whole load of Rowan Big Wool print from a sweater I frogged, the extra ball or two of yarn that were left over from a project where I was worried about running out of the dye lot and overbought a bit, a few gifted balls of yarn that I haven't had the heart to get rid of. But there is also a large quantity of yarn that I completely forgot I had. There's a nice little "Will trade or sell" feature on Ravelry that I plan to make use of to get rid of some of these errant skeins. Maybe I can get myself down to 3 bins?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Desk protection

I have never owned coasters until now. Truth be told, I have hardly ever had a piece of furniture that required a coaster--most of it was so utilitarian or impermeable that a condensation or coffee or tea ring was not a problem.

But now that both Brian and I have desks at home that could be damaged by the errant glass or tea cup, I decided that it was finally time to get some coasters. Actually, it didn't work quite like that. I saw these coasters and realized that I loved them so much that I could finally justify their purchase rather than continuing to prop my tea cup on some piece of correspondence.

I bought them from the lovely, quirky Etsy shop of Robotcandy. It started with a Robot Sam the Answer Man coaster stocking stuffer for Brian:
And then I found myself wandering over to his desk mid-day and snagging it for my afternoon cup of tea. After forgetting a number of times to replace it before his evening beverage/computer time, I decided that additional purchases were necessary.

I went back to Robotcandy's shop and found the following perfect coasters. I don't really need three more coasters, but I figure it is good to be able to rotate them as my mood requires. So now I have:
My writing coaster
A kitty with glasses and an ink well to get me in that dweeby mood to write.

My knitting coaster
I'll forgive the girl for holding her needles wrong (the ends point down when you knit, for you non-fiberholics out there)

My I'm-freaking-out-and-having-a-bad-day coaster.
A bit of WWII advice from the British government puts my own problems in perspective.

Now the question arises which coaster will get the most use...I'm afraid that at the moment, I'll probably be leaning towards coaster number three, but I have hopes that number one will become more and more necessary as my children's novel progresses.