Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Calgon, Take Me Away

It's been a hectic time in Petulaville lately.
I hosted Thanksgiving, and I'm an utterly craptastic hostess (seriously, I'm sure I put all of the guests on edge because I get so wound up). Then we had a weekend full of different guests, which was followed up on Monday with my Dad going in for knee-replacement surgery, which was followed up on Tuesday by Midge going to the vet's to get spayed.
No one got food poisoning, the guests have all gone home, and both of the patients are doing well. I, however, have managed to deepen my brow furrow by approximately an inch, I'm broken out, and my Aunt Flo decided to pop in for an extra visit (because, apparently, a month just seems so empty with only four days of cramps).
While there has been a bit of crafting going on, all projects are in states too unsightly for me to photograph. Sooooo, lucky for me Mary Jane has put up a very cute free mitten pattern for me to post about. It calls for 100 yards each of two different yarns, so it's a great stash-buster. She also claims they're a quick knit, but I fear that my skills (or lack thereof) may prove her wrong.

And here are some other things I'm loving:
The band Sophe Lux (found via boing boing). Their site is, unfortunately, on myspace (is it possible to assault one's senses and overload one's computer more than most myspace pages do? I don't think so.). On the plus side, you can hear several of their songs there. I guess I'd describe their music as being sort of a neo-baroque mellowed-out Tori Amos/Kate Bush-esque amalgam. Great album cover too - it looks like Mark Ryden could have done it, but I can't find any info about it.

JamFancy's crafty goodness (also on myspace, but her page is assault-free). She makes the cutest little creatures, and I love how she photographs them (that's her image on the right - hmmm... I'm seeing a charming resemblance to a fought-over lentograph that I cherish). She even has some patterns for them available for downloading here. You also have got to check out her team's entry for the Blythe beauty contest. I'm not a member of the cult of Blythe, but I was really bowled over by the attention to detail - the adorable appliques! the pet deer on a leash! the lunchbox! the teeny tiny buttons! the shoes and the stripey stockings on her spindly Blythe legs!
I'm overcome by the cuteness of it all.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A House at War

I'm sorry to have to tell you about the strife that recently swept chez Petula.
One minute all was peaceful, and the next it was husband pitted against wife.
I never thought it would happen, but my dear Davis became a most ruthless adversary.
Was it a bitter row involving a misplaced toothpaste cap and an empty roll of toilet paper? Or something more serious, say, accusations of love in the afternoon with a swarthy deliveryman?
No, my friends, it was a feud with much higher stakes: we were unwittingly fighting a bidding war on eBay.
I had figured it was likely to happen someday, but it still took me by surprise. I had my eye on three lenticular postcards. For the first auction we bid against each other without realizing it and then lost out to a third bidder. I narrowly won the second auction, and when Davis saw the winning bidder's name he figured out what had happened. By then he had already bid on the third card, so I let him win that one (it only seemed right).
Hopefully he was trying to purchase these latest obsessions of mine as a gift, rather than as decorations for his own studio/laboratory. It's not that I would object to his twee decorating sensibilities, I just don't want the added eBay competition.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I'm happy to announce that the ever-fabulous Mary Jane Mucklestone now has a blog!

Knitters may be familiar with her patterns which have appeared in Interweave Knits (on the right is a model wearing Mary Jane's Fair Isle Sampler Hat - so very cute. Mary Jane is very cute as well, but I'm tragically lacking a photo of her in the hat).
MJ is a genius with color. Last spring she showed up in a pastel fair-isle cap that was positively yummy looking and prettier than a plate full of petit-fours topped with crystalized violets.
-and coming from me that's saying something. I practically dream about petit-fours. Maybe if we put some pressure on her she'll photograph the hat and put it on the blog (and, you know, give us petit-fours).

Please pop over and welcome Mary Jane to the blogverse.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A mystery solved; a quest begins

A friend was over a while ago, and for some reason we started talking about those weird old 3d-ish pictures that were prevalent when we were kids. Neither of us had seen any in so long that they were kind of fuzzy in our memories. We remembered them as plastic-coated strange scenes that may or may not have been photographs.

As someone who is greatly enamoured of eBay, I felt certain that we could find some on there, but what were they called? Since a search for a "plastic-coated strange scene that may or may not be a photograph" was unlikely to bring up an auction for what we were seeking, I tried to google to discover their actual name. Unfortunately, there were too many other 3-d technologies hampering my search, and I soon gave up.

Then, yesterday, I was on eBay looking for something ENTIRELY unrelated, and I stumbled across one of them! It was ugly, but it gave me some more search terms to use. Not only was I able to find out their name, but I was able to purchase a couple postcard-sized ones that I really like from a seller in Bulgaria! This lovely little gal will be on her way to me shortly:

Quite dreadful and fabulous all at the same time, no?

They're called lentographs or lenticular photographs. Photographs of a scene are taken from several different angles, the pictures are chopped into verticle strips and intermixed to form a single image, then a sheet of plastic that's made up of lots of verticle prisms is laid on top of it for the 3d effect.

I had one of Little Red Riding Hood in my room when I was little. I loved it, and I remember spending a lot of time staring at it, moving back and forth trying to see behind the figures. I found one on eBay that's just like the one I used to have - turns out it's really quite creepy:

To be honest, though, that just made me want it all the more.

Unfortunately I missed the end of the auction (plus it went for over $30 if you include the shipping, which is more than I wanted to spend). Oh well, at least I have a chance of tracking one down now that I've increased my vocabulary.

Friday, November 10, 2006

It's hard to lose with hues chartreuse

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted - it doesn't feel like it's been that long.
I probably make three blog posts in my head every day, but it's the whole head-to-page conversion thing that's slowing me down. Of course, since that's the process that keeps me from posting about my morning bowl of cereal, maybe being slowed down isn't a bad thing.
Anyway, I finally have a finished project to display - it's the scarf that I made from recycled and re-dyed yarn. It has a sort of buttonhole thingie for the tail of the scarf to fit through since I didn't want to either tie it in a knot or have the ends flopping around.
It started off the perfect length, but then ended up too long after it was blocked. So then I re-blocked it, but I guess I was a little overzealous and now the edges are all wavy. I think I 'll wait till I spill something on it and need to wash it before I attempt another blocking.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Snippet From the Photo Album

When I'm out junk shopping I like to peruse the old photographs. Most of them are pretty dull, but every once in a while I come across one that really speaks to me.
This one said, "There's really no point in trying to keep a straight face."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Weird Science

The haunted driveway struck terror in the hearts of children throughout the seaside village of Rockland during Halloween 2006.
When it was done with that it struck terror in the hearts of the clean-up crew.
This year's theme was a double feature of Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space and Bride of the Atom. There had been plans to build some sort of crazy scientific aparatus like a Tesla coil or a Van de Graaff generator, but that went up in smoke (heh). I still have hope that we'll have something like that in the future, but this year I had to make do with low-tech colorful vinegar and baking soda explosions (and even then I never managed to get the timing quite right- the most impressive display was for my eyes only all over the kitchen counter). Ahhh yes, the life of a mad scientist is one part inspiration and 2 parts 409.

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