Friday, March 9, 2012

Updates

Today wasn't rainy so I finally had a chance to finish up my DIY project. For comparision, I've posted up both the original & the finished product side by side.

What a difference! Even better, all the supplies to improve it cost me $20, which is less than I would have paid for a secondhand dresser at a thrift store or on Craiglist. I'm so pleased with the final effect, although I can't promise the drawers will stay that pale shade of gray forever. I may end up painting them again in a few months when I start longing for something more cheery or girly.

And next up, I've finally gotten to a point in my friend's Skywalker shawl that I feel I can post a picture of the progress. I didn't take a full-size photo because I'm actually in the middle of knitting a row, but I have to show off how nicely the Planet stitch is shaping up and that deserves a close-up shot anyway. :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Updates & A Frenzy of Fiction

Geez, it's been busy recently. My birthday was on Friday, we took a day-trip to Savannah, GA to eat at Paula Deen's restaurant—which I'm sad to admit was not worth the four hour wait-time—and I spent Sunday trying to correct some knitting errors I made to the two shawls I'd been working on.

I haven't taken pictures, but I'm about to do the final section of lace for my friend's Skywalker before the edging, which is going to be a pretty lengthy and complicated bit of work since it requires me to follow a chart that has a billion different stitches on it (I'm exaggerating...there's only half a billion).

The picture below shows how I occupied myself during the several-hour long drive to Savannah. It was supposed to be the final lace panel for the Diamonds a Dozen shawl pattern I've been tentatively designing:


I was not happy with the state of the "diamonds"--which had gaping holes in them that ruined the crisp lines I'd expected. So, I decided to throw out the diamonds and set up a lace panel of diagonal lines. I'm hoping this second attempt will be more pleasing to me (I'm very picky and I've already started over on one part of this shawl because the diamonds weren't crisp enough to me).

No telling when I'll get to that though, because I'm more concerned with finishing up my friend's shawl & my dresser.
Speaking of my dresser, work has been suspended on it. I got a good deal of it completed the first weekend, including all the sanding and I put wood filler in all the nicks as well as some of the extra 'drawer pull' holes, which weren't needed. As you can see from the picture below, the dresser had a good deal of damage done to it. The second photo shows the same side after liberal application of wood-filler, more sanding and the first coat of paint.
The dresser needs a second coat of paint to seal everything up, but it's been raining a lot lately so I haven't been eager to go outside and fuss with it.

 


As a result of the grim weather, I've been reading a lot lately. You may have noticed that I posted up a new gadget that lists some books. These are the books I've read recently that I would recommend (with links to the official websites of the authors/books). I've read some other ones, mostly Harlequin romance novels, that I wouldn't recommend. Don't get me wrong, I adore cheesy romance novels, but I was not impressed by the spelling and grammar errors I've been finding in the ones I've been picking up lately. I know this is probably a bit picky and ridiculous (picdiculous?) of me, but I think that, if someone's been paid to read the manuscripts and EDIT them, there shouldn't be any misuses of punctuation, misused words, etc. Although I did get a good fifteen minutes of ridicule out of one book wherein I read "I can mange" and then spent the following fifteen minutes lost in internal dialogue as I contemplated how exactly one manges. In a few days, I'll try to compile some reviews for the books on my list, but for now, the links to the official websites will have to satisfy you. :)


I just finished reading Beastly by Alex Flinn tonight (I'd started it awhile ago, but turned it back into the library when I got the phone call that Power of Six was finally in) and I've decided to go back and re-read Beauty by Robin McKinley to decide which I liked best, but unfortunately, my local library doesn't carry a copy so I ordered it off Amazon. Hopefully it'll arrive near the earlier "arrive by" date rather than the later one. I don't think I can wait patiently until March 28th for it to come in. :)


In the mean time, I'm thinking I'll have to content myself with books I have on my bookshelf—bought ages ago—that I've yet to read...and hopefully, I'll get a call soon about the book I placed a hold on weeks ago. It's Justin Cronin's The Passage, which I've heard good things about—mainly that it combines vampires with apocalyptic chaos. Yes! I love me some apocalyptic chaos & vampires. Put them together, and I'm a happy (and possibly twisted) little hamster.
Hopefully, it won't turn out to be like The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom. I got about sixteen chapters into the book, felt hopelessly lost, and finally broke my cardinal rule about reading—Don't read reviews in case of spoilers—in hopes of finding out what was going on. I ended up finding out that it still wouldn't make sense at the end of the book, so I parted ways rather than continue trudging through in confusion. It started out good, the writing was interesting, but the characters just were not likable enough for me to continue suffering through what quickly developed into slogging narrative and confusing "horror scenes."