Monday, July 25th, 2016 09:16 pm
Margaret Hubert, Customize Your Knitting (2016): libraries are great because I can't imagine buying so many modification how-tos that are nearly useless for me. The TOC is divided into Customi [sic] Knitting, Professional Finishes, and Stylish Embellishments. CK sorts "most of us" into one of four body shapes---rectangle, triangle/pear, inverted triangle, and hourglass---and instructs us to measure ourselves, no diagram. Then there are a total of four pullover and cardigan patterns, each given in four slightly loose, easy-to-wear versions that balance the overages of each body shape. Pattern sizes are also four, roughly 34-46" (garment not wearer). There's no mention of waist shaping or bust adjustment. All versions are given bottom-up with separate set-in shoulders that are meant to be seamed, and each pattern uses worsted-weight yarn.

The PF section shows how to sew in a zipper by hand, how to add a basic patch pocket, and so on; it's solid. The SE section goes to town in kind of a 1940s-'50s way: make and sew on a little knitted flower or leaf motif, or pick up stitches at the hem to add a picot or lacy border.

In short, it's all right in what it does, but I wouldn't hand it to "most of us" unless "we" were primarily researching the field. "Most of us" flailing around without benefit of a local expert, or without patterns that begin with the same assumptions about proportion as our respective bodies actually have, would probably need more specificity of help. At least, I wouldn't have understood most of this book a few years ago, before I'd read a small pile of others. and I don't see making anything from it now.
Monday, July 25th, 2016 10:45 pm
My brother called me less than five hours ago to ask about setting some Pokemon GO related stuff up at AnimeIowa, since I'm on staff there.

The convention is this weekend, which makes it extremely late notice, but I'm also on a special team that likes to do things like that, so I put him in contact with our team leader, and basically we might be making this happen.

I might be spending all day at the library tomorrow trying to get all my ducks in a row for this, is what I'm saying. Plus everything else I've been putting off and/or not doing.

*flexes fingers* Okay, let's do this!
Monday, July 25th, 2016 07:16 pm
...this may be of interest to some of you! (usual kickstarter caveat applies, in that the product isn't guaranteed despite being funded, but.)

Lazy-Ass Cats: A Coloring Book for Adults - -- 22 days left
Monday, July 25th, 2016 07:23 pm
Moving happened! Thank you for all the well wishes! The last nine months won’t be completely done done in my head until I close the sale of my old house on Thursday, but the meat of it, the huge stress and worry and omg we have to find a place to live that we both like AND that we can afford — all that is done now. We’ve spent two nights at the new place and I’m so glad we found this place.

Last fall and winter was spent getting Fiance out of his apartment and moved in with me at my old house, which really did take four months. He’d been there for 15 years and had a crap ton of stuff, which we moved into storage. This spring we started fixing up the known problems at my old house to get it ready for sale, and about halfway through that process, as luck would have it, one of my best friends was looking to move into the neighborhood. Considering it was through reasons that were outside both of our control (she has a custody agreement thing going on), the timing was the kind of thing that might get me believing in a higher power again. In short, her interest save us a lot of stress, time and money since we didn’t have to spruce up the place for showing it to strangers. Instead we just had to get all the repairs done, which we’ve done over the last two months.

Once we had the contract in place on the old house, our real estate agent let us start looking for a new one. I just gotta say that a good real estate agent is worth the money. Our agent was so good and helpful and just dealt with many things so we didn’t have to. She recommended our mortgage person who was really terrific, and all in all we felt like we had a good team working for us.

I guess we went out three times looking for places? Three or four, looking at two or three places at a time. The market in our area is moving fast so some houses we looked at and didn’t go for were sold within a few days later, even some of the stinkers. One house we really liked except it was on a six lane highway. It was on our third trip out in early June  and I was starting to get freaked out about finding a place in time because we had to be out of the old house by the end of July. The list of recommendations from our agent were not really exciting us or meeting our criteria, and Fiance was in a bad mood about it. But I picked two places anyway just to see something. The house we bought turned out to be the second of those.

Fiance was not impressed with the photos, and they didn’t do it justice, so he was all set not to like it. But as we walked through, we both were feeling like it was a place we could live. His comment was “I want to not like it, but I kinda do.” On the way to the third place that he’d picked out when I said we were looking that day, we already started talking about what could go where. We made on offer on it that day.

Then it’s all paperwork and inspections and back and forth with the seller (again, our agent was awesome with helping us deal with all that) until all that was settled, and fast forward to last week when we signed for it and last weekend and we got to move in! On the second day of the heat wave! We hired movers and that was also money well spent.

Now comes the unpacking. I’m so excited. It’s a good place, and better it’s a good place for us. I still keep freaking out about it being home now, in that way of new places that aren’t familiar yet, but I can feel myself settling into it.
Monday, July 25th, 2016 09:14 am
Dear Tribal Belly Dance and Street Clothing Store:

Most of your clothing requires that the purchaser wear no no bra because the back and side cutouts would show everything. You have a single caftan for the random fat lady who stumbles upon your site and would like to buy something from you. Your mesh caftan is not really a fat lady caftan. But at least you have one in solid fabric for fat women who love wearing caftans.

Your sole other option is the range of maxi or kerchief dresses, all of which make me look like a fucking hobbit, by the way, so no thanks.

Did I mention your tribal bra selection is solely available in a C cup, which means that you're actually eliminating most of the women who can wear your clothing from buying your bra selection.

You may as well put up a banner on your website saying "NO FATTIES."

I accept perfectly well that you can design clothing for whoever you want, but when your entire line is designed for a narrow range of body types (not mine), I hope you don't mind that my most fervent, desired wish for your company is that you have next to no customers and that you go out of business.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and browse costuming and related clothing from people who think that women like me deserve to wear pretty, fitted garments also. They definitely want my money more than you do.
Sunday, July 24th, 2016 09:30 pm
That really is Nigel Bennett showing up on this week's episode of Dark Matter.

I'm sure he's going to be a bad guy. Because it's Dark Matter and also it's Nigel Bennett.
Sunday, July 24th, 2016 07:08 am
maybe I'll get some writing done? I've found airports are weirdly good for writing in. I once wrote a whole fic in an airport once. It was only 1000 words or something but it was good.

I'm going to take my writing notebook and possibly a crochet project with me

gotta be prepared
Sunday, July 24th, 2016 12:11 am
I have this annoying thing going on where I will be tired during the day, and looking forward to going to bed, and as we're doing the going-to-bed thing I'm generally sleepy and having trouble remembering words and --

-- and I get in bed and a few minutes later, BAM, wide awake with my brain going "let's do stuff let's watch Netflix or play games or something whee".

For hours.

I know I "should" just try to sleep anyway, but the compulsion to do things is like an unignorable itch that just ... I can't fight it. And I don't know how much is psychological and how much is physical, how much is "ooh I'm actually comfortable let's stretch this out as long as we can" and how much is an aversion to sleep and how much is aversion to the period where you're not asleep yet but nrainwasps keep buzzing around and I have to distract myself.

It's fucking frustrating, and makes me feel like I'm failing at adulting.

Tonight's especially bad because earlier today I didn't just have the usual fatigue, I was actually sleepy, with the gritty feeling to my eyes that comes with way too little sleep, and I went to bed four hours ago and I'm not asleep. because that's how much I suck
Sunday, July 24th, 2016 04:45 pm
Saw Ghostbusters yesterday. It was fun. Yes, there were shout-outs to the original movie, but it was its own self. I loved the friendshippiness. Definitely.
spoilers will be slimed )
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 03:43 pm
Blackberries, blueberries, and black pepper chevre.

Also made rhubarb syrup today -- 5 half-pint jars, now cooling on my countertop. I may make something else tomorrow. Peach salsa, maybe?
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 09:28 pm
Hello hello, once again it's July and I have read a GREAT BIG STACK OF BOOKS.

Currently reading: Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer; Meanjin 75.2

Recently read: You know how I said I was going to read Phryne Fisher while travelling? Yeah. I didn't. First I read a stack of magical-realism queer erotica set in London, and it gave me the literary equivalent of the "at once, to Pink Flloyd!" reaction I get from listening to MCR: at once, to Ben Aaronovitch! I almost resisted, but then I was *in* London watching my Dad have the surreal experience you have when you, an antipodean, arrive in London and find that the reality does actually look quite like the version in Neverwhere. I already own a hard copy of Neverwhere, so do not need a kobo copy, but the e-books of the Rivers of London books, they called out to me. So I bought them all.

Reviews, going back to where I last left off:

The Night FairyThe Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Update: gave this as present to Miss Seven for her birthday; re-read it before doing so. All sentiments of previous review still stand.
Oh, this was absolutely adorable. Flory, an injured juvenile night fairy, adapts to life in a giantess' garden. Flory's quite a character: she's not nice, nor often kind, but is engaging to read about. Even her acts of generosity don't seem to come as *kindness* so much as determined altruism.

I'm not convinced that the feature of the ending wherein she discovers her wings are growing back was actually necessary. She'd made friends and found several alternative means of mobility - adding 'and also her wings are cured!' doesn't add anything, and does repeat the magically-walking-cripple trope.

The illustratons were wonderful.

The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, #1)The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh now this I liked a *lot*. It had something that the Alpennia romances don't: grit. It's not *sweet*, and it's not really a romance, it's definitely erotica. It was gritty, not just in the sex - there's quite a lot of blood and violence involved in the general plot, too.

The magical realism worldbuilding was good, for the price mark; the detective plot sound, and didn't try to over-reach itself.

The Mystic Marriage (Alpennia, #2)The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now this was gripping! Plot solid, world-building solid, and character work really interesting. I love that the book took a difficult-to-like character from the previous book, and while making her *sympathetic* did not necessarily make her *nice*. Some of my quibbles re: the ending of book one were also smoothed over, as Jones has clearly put actual thought now into how you go about constructing a partnership as ladies of independent means in the 17th century.

A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies, #2)A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent follow-up to the Magpie Lord, in every possible way.

A Case of Spirits (A Charm of Magpies, #2.5)A Case of Spirits by K.J. Charles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cute, short, and a bit lighter than the others. Good work for a short splice-in story.

Flight of Magpies (A Charm of Magpies, #3)Flight of Magpies by K.J. Charles

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This one I am less happy with, largely because of the ending gambit. Obviously, IRL, if a job is making someone unhappy and their significant other has the money to support them, well, quitting is fair enough.

But I wanted Stephen to be Magical London's Commander Vimes, dammit. And I *don't* count 'rich lover whisks poor clerk off his feet' as a good romantic conclusion.

The gritty, not-sweet aspects of the sex that I liked in the previous two pushes a little further into unhealthy here, too. Not badly written, but a little more difficult to get into (for me, at this time, idek).

(FYI, the Alpennia books are on Amazon and Kobo; the Charm of Magpies ones are at Samhain Publishing's website)

Stacked-up reviews of the Rivers of London series to come when I've finished Foxglove Summer.

Up Next: I got partway into KJ Charles' Jackdaw before buying up the Rivers of London books, so I'll go back to that. I've got a couple of books to read asap for work, and I seem to have bought Gentleman Bastard in a fit of... something.

Music notes:

Fixated on Amy MacDonald at the moment. Picked up the best of Katrina and the Waves, because of a craving for 'Walking on Sunshine'. Not sure if that warranted buying the ENTIRE CD, but anyway.
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 12:54 am
Argh AnimeIowa is less than a week away and I still have so much left to do argh argh argh!

Okay, Socchan, just calm down and assess. Here, make yourself a list, you know that helps.

* Finish a second Discord (currently about 60% done? Head/body/tail and left foreleg are done, head/body/tail are sewn together, still need to make the other three legs, the wings, the horns, and sew all of those on, and then the hair; due at AI at some point)
* Make some food type things for a thing
* E-mail a bunch of people a bunch of things
* Print out copies of the current/updated Accessibility Policy for the Info Desk
* Print out also: The ingredients list for the food in the Consweet, the Quiet Room rules and key checkout sheet
* Make different food type things for the same thing
* Pack up stuff to sell
* Pack up display stuff
* Pack for stay at hotel
* Crochet more things to sell???
* Make more magic potions to sell???

Well, we'll see if I have time for those last two things. On the plus side, I have at least two "crochet in the same room as other people" opportunities in the next two days, so that should help me knock out more of Discord, if not the whole thing. And I might even have more time to make more Blue Rays!

Okay, assessment done. I might be able to do this.
Friday, July 22nd, 2016 07:25 pm
We did indeed get keys to the house and fork over a ton of money on Wednesday! We're moving tomorrow! I will have a proper summary of events when things are a little more settled.
Friday, July 22nd, 2016 01:33 pm
I don't have them, but I would like them. The tag line would be "Not Your Fucking Secretary."

There is nothing wrong with being an administrative assistant. However, I am not one and do not wish to be asked to do administrative assistant duties. Especially when I am not at work.

Just because I'm good at organizing shit does not mean that I am in the mood to organize your shit.
Friday, July 22nd, 2016 10:34 am
Title: Antithesis (poem and Fanart)
Fandom: Due South
Pairings: Fraser/Victoria and Fraser/RayK
Rating: G
Summary: Ray is the antithesis of Victoria.
Made for the DS6D_fanworks prompt: Antithesis

here at DS6D_fanworks