Monday, December 30, 2013

Heh. Ram.

This year's Christmas theme: Scarves for everyone who wasn't overwhelmed with scarves the last time that was the Christmas theme!  Also school spirit!

Gay Brian works at VCU and probably enjoys accessorizing.  He also dresses like it's still the 90's, and I vaguely remember Mark from the quintessentially 90's musical Rent wearing a scarf like this, so this should go to your Pinterest board for "Amazingly Heartfelt Gifts and Exercise Routines No One Has Ever Actually Used."

This is Red Heart Team Spirit which is self-striping.  Since self-striping yarns tend to be designed for knit patterns, I went with a pattern written for this yarn in which the picture showed semi-decent looking stripes: Sports Fever Scarf.

Because I am insane, the slight unevenness of the stripes vexes me greatly.  I assume no one else has even noticed (except the Kristen).

But hopefully Gay Brian will enjoy wearing this fierce and fabulous scarf at all the VCU football games.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Craftmas

A common theme on crochet posts is how I have too much yarn.  I don't mean my crochet posts specifically--I mean everyone who knits and crochets apparently hoards yarn like the Lion Brand factory could shut down any day now.

So, I thought Lion Brand's new packages of little yarn would be good for me.  I could make small projects without having to hoard more stupid yarn.  Since there's a Christmas themed package, I thought I could make nice Christmas decorations during the vast hours of leisure time I have at the end of the semester.

One issue I've discovered while making my festive holiday garland is that one still ends up with scraps of leftover yarn--they're just smaller and even more useless that all the other scraps I'm hoarding in case civilization collapses and I need to start crocheting crude garments out of whatever I've got.

Exhibit A: Running out of white yarn before my vision is realized.

You non-crafters are probably wondering why I can't just go grab some more white yarn from the overflowing mountain of craft supplies that I sleep on.  Because you don't understand that all the other yarn is slightly the wrong size or slightly the wrong color or texture, and I have too much damn yarn because it is all slightly different.  I have at least three skeins of slightly different white yarn that would not work.  Yeah, don't take up any hobbies.

After finishing my stars, I contemplated the ridiculous unfairness of having too much white and silver left over despite running out of white.  Solution: snowflake ornaments.  This was quickly followed by a better solution: add snowflakes to garland.  That'll teach Lion Brand Yarn to try to ruin my last minute decorating!

The actual pattern suggests using festive ribbon or string to finish the garland, but that didn't take into account not being able to fin any ribbon an having just enough red yarn to not be able to make anything else (yes, I have at least three different kinds of slightly wrong red yarn.  This is the holly jolly hell I live in).

The stars and snowflakes are tied to the string with matching yarn for their outer row.  I'm not sure if it should stay over the mantel or be promote to banister duty.

Despite using surplus yarn to finish the garland I still have all this crap left to deal with.  My options are limited by the fact that I absolutely refuse to make tiny hats and scarves for wine bottles.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Last Minute Christmas Decorating (and Drinking)

This is a good craft for lazy people who need a last minute Christmas decoration and who would like to drink away their holiday feelings.

Step 1: Get some Cat Wine.  Sometimes cat wine appears at Kroger, and I found the orange cat wine at World Market this year.

Step 2: Drink the wine.  Cat wine is smaller than regular wine, so you can totally knock this out while you watch the greatest Christmas movie ever made: Batman Returns.

Step 3: Rinse out the bottle.  Don't forget to shake it like a Polaroid picture--or like a Snapchat for you damn kids--to get most of the water out.  Lay the cat down on a towel to dry.

Step 4: Embellish.  Give your cat a yarn or ribbon collar.  In honor of Brian's favorite colors, I have used some navy blue yarn to attach an ornament to the orange cat.

For clear glass cats, get some miniature lights.  Rice lights might be too small to fill up the whole cat, and the effect isn't as bright.  I used a string of 20 Christmas lights from A.C. Moore.  Carefully feed them into the wine bottle.  If the lights get stuck, use a pencil to slowly push them further in or pull the bulb back out and try feeding it in again.

Once all the lights are in the cat, the cord may be a bit short.  Be flexible with cat placement or get an extension cord.

Step 5: Set up Decorative Christmas Cat in a place that needs more Christmas cheer and open another bottle of wine to celebrate.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Imaginary Brian likes orange, so I decided to make him an orange scarf for his birthday while I was working as a carnie.  Unfortunately when I started it I didn't realize that I could probably have just given him 2 dozen shortbread cookies and he would've been happy, but now he can be warm when he goes beyond the Wall for work.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Scarves are for Virginia

 Working 3 jobs in October has killed my gift crafting planning skills.  For example, while working as a carnie, I finished Gay Brian's Christmas present and Imaginary Brian's birthday present.  Completely forgetting that Virginia's birthday was before either of these.  As a jerk, I wasn't seeing Virginia on her actual birthday and had until our next bar trivia night to make a present.

I present to you the one skein scarf.  All things are possible when you'd rather crochet and watch Breaking Bad instead of grading student work.

I'm at least a month behind on grading student essays, but check out this stylish wool scarf!  Also, no students are on my trivia team or acknowledged my birthday, so I clearly made the right call by making something for Virginia.

Monday, October 7, 2013

CASA Superhero Run Costume

For the CASA Superhero Run, I decided that I should dress up as something children would recognize.  Also, I didn't want to find out that my Sailor Moon costume doesn't fit anymore.

Since my father was going to be wearing a Batman costume shirt I'd won in a raffle, I decided to make a Batgirl costume rather than reusing one of my Catwoman costumes.  Yes, of course I have multiple Catwoman costumes.  Who doesn't?

One of my issues with the store bought Batgirl costumes is that they either look nothing like anything Batgirl has ever worn or they are one piece monstrosities.  To make your own Batgirl costume, you need the following:

  • Large yellow T-shirt (or a T-shirt 1-2 sizes too big)
  • Yellow felt
  • Yellow yarn
  • Black shirt (short or long sleeved depending on the weather)
  • Black leggings/yoga pants
  • Batman mask (I recommend the cheap one at Party City with built in scowl lines!)
  • Gloves
For the logo, I used the incredibly sophisticated and creative technique of googling "Batgirl symbol" and then printing out the largest one.  Pin that to your felt and use it to cut out your chest emblem.

For the cape, cut off the back of the yellow T-shirt.  Cut off the bottom hem, then cut out semi-circles to make the bat wing points.  A smart person would probably make a pattern, but I was able to do it freehand without things going horribly wrong.  To really get the TV/comic book effect, you will probably need to use actual fabric and a pattern rather than cutting up a T-shirt.

The front of the T-shirt will be used to make "boots."  The bottom to the armpit of a large craft store T-shirt is long enough to make knee high fake boots for me.  It's probably easier if they're just under the knee since 1)walking and 2)covering the shoe piece.  There is no way in hell they will completely cover your calves unless you're made of twigs, so just slowly rotate to make sure no one sees the back of you.

If you have boots you are willing to ruin, glue the T-shirt "boots" on top of them.  Otherwise, put on your costume leggings.  Wrap a piece of yarn around your calf just below your knee.  Cut a piece long enough to tie, then measure your ankle the same way.  Glue the longer piece to the T-shirt hem.  Practice swearing ahead of time so you'll be ready when you severely burn yourself.  Glue the shorter piece near (but not at) the bottom of the "boot."

Once you've glued both ties on, flip the "boot" over.  Using your template, cut out the top part of the bat logo.  Glue this on the top center of your boot tops.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cage Free Pasta Recipe

I have finally caved and ordered an add-on item for my produce box: herb fusili from Bombolini Pasta.  Fortunately another Dominion Harvest customer came up with a recipe for me to remix.  My secret is to take someone else's hard work and add more vegetables I had lying around.

Bootleg Pasta (originally Flippant Flip's Tomato and Zucchini Pasta, linked above)

1 pint sun gold cherry tomatoes from Adlyn Farm
1 zucchini from my last Dominion Harvest box (sorry, Zucchini Farm, I forgot who you are)
1 Marconi pepper from Adlyn Farm
Some broccoli
Mushrooms to taste
Leftover onion
Garlic salt
Olive oil
Feta cheese from Lover's Retreat Dairy
1/2 lb herb fusili from Bombolini Pasta
1 lb ground beef

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slice tomatoes in half, cut up the zucchini and mushrooms, them mix them in a rectangular glass baking dish with olive oil, garlic salt, and basil.  Trust your heart on how much seasoning to add.  It is most likely impossible to have too much garlic or basil.  Bake for 20 minutes.

While vegetables are in the oven, cut up the pepper.  Brown the ground beef with your pepper and leftover onion.  Since it is impossible to have too much basil and garlic, you might as well add some to the beef.  And some tarragon--everyone knows that the more seasonings you use, the better you are at cooking.

Once beef is cooked and other vegetables are done, combine and mix in your glass pan.

Part of this culinary adventure involves cooking with pasta that is not part of a 10 for $10 promotion at Kroger.  This is fancy pasta for fancy people as it says on the passive aggressive Post-It note I used to keep anyone from messing with my local, cage-free noodles.  Apparently it has to stay in the refrigerator and only takes 1-2 minutes to cook.

 Have chair stolen by cat while slaving away over a hot stove and contemplating making a Facebook status update about how lucky everyone is that you don't have Instagram.

Top noodles with meat and vegetables or combine before serving.  Top with feta.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

My dear friend Brian turned even more despicably old the day before America did, and I discovered a recipe for cupcakes infused with spirits.  As everyone knows, the Irish only stop drinking in order to get into fist fights or to eat potatoes.  Sadly, my own wretched Irish blood causes me to lust for potatoes, but I was able to stop shoveling them in my inferior gullet long enough to make alcoholic dessert products.

My attempt is the combination of two recipes: one with an argument over the offensive name in the comments and the other posted on the Duncan Hines website.  The cupcake base is taken from the Duncan Hines recipe in the fine O'Simone tradition of tradition of culinary laziness.  As is the filling since that has more whiskey and less butter.  Since I know these people from a graduate English department, the more whiskey the better.  At least one of them would probably have preferred it if I'd just poured whiskey into cupcake wrappers and skipped the cake.

This project was also how I learned that Virginia ABC stores keep a binder with measurement conversions.  Yeah, I did ask for a conversion from airplane bottles to tablespoons, but I want you to know I prefaced it with, "Uhh, I don't know if you can answer this, but..."

Somehow both the ganache recipe and the frosting recipe yielded an unholy amount of ganache and frosting. As usual, I ended up with more cupcakes than the box promised (2 dozen large and small since I switched to the small pans while waiting for my large pan to cool).  This still wasn't enough cake to contain or support all the alcohol extras.

To core the little cupcakes, I used a straw to create small circles in the center of a cupcake and scoop them out.  I used another straw to "spoon" filling into the opening.  Large cupcakes can be cored pretty easily with one of those frosting decorating tips and a small spoon.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Honey Ginger Chicken

I have become a supporter of local agriculture.  Every other week I get a box full of assorted produce from assorted Virginia farms.  In theory this is supposed to help me expand my culinary horizons.  Mostly I add vegetables I've never heard of to things I already know how to make.  This usually means tacos or, since I now get a dozen free range eggs, quiche.

Dominion Harvest sends out recipes.  Usually I look through them, decide I can't think of a main dish to make with the side dish, and give a piece of locally grown, organic lettuce to my pleco.  Last week I decided to modify the Honey Ginger Green beans into an entree.

Honey Ginger Chicken

  • Soy sauce
  • Green beans, trimmed (I assume this means "cut the weird looking ends off.  This is my first experience with green beans that doesn't involve a can.)
  • Sliced water chestnuts
  • Chicken, cut into cubes/small pieces
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Celery, cut up
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (this is from the original recipe.  Having made it once, I will probably scale back on the ginger next time).
  • 1/4 cup honey
Boil water.  Add green beans and cook for ~5 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

Heat 1/2 cup of soy sauce in a skillet large enough to fit all your meat and vegetables.  Stir in garlic and ginger.  If you're lazy like me, the powder will soak up the soy sauce.  Add a bit more or see what it looks like after you add the honey.  Add chicken, water chestnuts, celery, and green beans.  Stir, cover, and go see what's on TV.

Check in on food.  Add mushrooms at some point.  Stir just enough that it looks like you're working hard and people should appreciate your efforts.  If you've got some greens from your produce box, go ahead and add those too.  I mean, they can't give you anything that's actually toxic, right?

Serve over rice or eat as is.

Monday, April 22, 2013

London Calling

I originally started working on a present for London Baby before it was even known what London Baby might be.  This lead to a heated discussion among my family over what counted as gender neutral once London Baby was male.

During this discussion the cat decided to take a nap on the star blanket in progress.  I decided that I might as well take advantage of a known gender to come up with a more striking color scheme.

(This being Simonsen Country, the debate on whether or not purple is a gender neutral color rages to this very day.)

There is nothing quite like going to A.C. Moore with two sad pieces of yarn tied together to check color matching.  Especially when you have to dig through your whole tote bag to find your two sad yarn scraps.

Unlike some of the other star blankets, this one is done entirely in baby yarn.  The largest color strip is Bernat Baby Sport in Popsicle Blue which is conveniently sold in a massive skein that, at the time, seemed like a blessing.  This matches everything!  I probably won't run out of it!  It's on sale!  I can now say with confidence that you only need half a skein of Bernat Baby Sport to make a baby star blanket with 3 other colors.  I'll let you know when I figure out what the hell to do with the other half.

Apparently all star afghans are required to have a variegated stripe (except the cat's, but she only sees half the color spectrum anyway).

Monday, March 25, 2013

We're not going to the prom, fancy peeps!

My office spouse mentioned that his birthday was coming up, and I'd already discovered his nostalgic fondness for Peeps.  I considered actually getting him a card but ultimately settled for putting a "Happy Birthday" speech balloon on a package of Peeps purchased during a buy one, get one free sale.  Which I mentioned so everyone would know that shit's totally platonic and shit.  Rumors are already circulating among the students.

This left me with a dilemma: what to do with an extra package of Peeps?  As fond as I am of the humble Peep, I have lost my lust for cramming them down my gullet.  Fortunately, Buzzfeed posted a list of ways to make Peeps even more likely to give you diabetes.

Since I had no Little Debbie brand Twinkies available, I went with Tuxedo Peeps.

Since only part of the white candy will show, you can just drag the Peeps through it.  For those of you playing at home, I'd recommend having a candy paintbrush to shape the chocolate jackets.  Either it's easier to use chocolate chips or I just suck at putting chocolate formal wear on marshmallow bunnies.

As you can see, some of the bowties came out better than others.  The bunny in the middle got that interesting expression from my touch up brush dripping.  I assume that he's the James Bond of my Tuxedo Peeps.  Or maybe they're all James Bonds, but he's the Sean Connery and the one with the really crappy looking jacket is George Lazenby.

This Peep was dipped too far in the chocolate, so she has been given a little black dress, making her Smurfette among the James Bonds (Peepsy Galore? Moneypeep?)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pets leave paw prints everywhere else

I've been eyeing the Pet Announcement kit on the Richmond SPCA's clearance shelf for awhile.  I think announcing a pet or having a puppy/kitten shower is a classic dick move, so my cunning plan was to buy the kit and share it with other pet owners so we could all have cute little things to frame.  Because we are all childless and crazy, but not "send out pet announcements like a fucking weirdo" crazy.

The Pawprints Pet Announcement kit assumes that you have a pet that will remain perfectly still while allowing you to squish its foot on some weird magic ink pad thing.  Unfortunately, all cats hate the following things:

  1. Art projects
  2. Doing what you want them to do
Plan B: set up Pawprints Pet Announcement no-mess ink pad and perforated paw print cards as directed on the floor and wait for the cat to step on it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I should be so lucky

Having discovered that Sharpies are faster than embroidery, I decided to get a multipack of onesies and decorate them for various babies.  This cunning plan was thwarted by A.C. Moore not selling onesies, so I couldn't use my coupon and teacher discount.

Back up plan: toddler sized T-shirts.

This is a transfer from the Sublime Stitching Craft Pad (It's also included in the Sushi Bar pattern).

Let's just say blue is for good luck in learning.  And because toddler sized T-shirts don't come in a lot of colors.

It's a tabby in honor of their cat.  God, I hope it's in honor.  Look, let's just say it's in honor because the cat would be around the age where you don't want to ask.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mo' babies, mo' crafting

Remember back when everyone was having babies?  Apparently some people I know didn't get the memo that babies are like sooooooo last year.  Which I guess I can deal with since I bought too much baby yarn.  Also, trying to match yarn colors from memory is not a good idea.

Solution: sweaters for everyone!

Apparently one of the challenges of buying clothes for babies is figuring out what size the baby will be at the appropriate season.  Added to this difficulty is the fact that my family produces monstrous children who grow at an alarming rate.

Since this sweater was for my cousin's 10 1/2 pounder, I decided to make the 12 month size.  Since I still don't really understand sizes, I think there's a possibility they could just put this on the baby now and have it fit. I mean, the baby's not going to care if it makes him look bigger than he is.  Based on the free patterns I've been browsing, some parents put their babies in fancified sacks--this kid should just be grateful he has a real garment.

Also, Baby Gargantua lives in Asheville, NC.  I remember it being cold there every damn morning, so this sweater will still be seasonably appropriate whenever it actually fits.

The main sweater is Bernat Baby Coordinates, which is what I used for the first starghan and the award winning baby set.  For the edging/button loop I used Pound of Love Pastel Green--which is pretty much an exact match for the mint green in His Jeans while Baby Coordinates Iced Mint is not.  Yes, that blue, white, and mint colored yarn is called "His Jeans" for some reason.

Leftover yarn=baby hat.  For the last baby set, my mother said the hat looked too small for a baby that would be wearing the sweater size.  I just go with the age on the pattern and assume that everyone can enjoy looking at the nice matching set and then cram the baby into whatever fits at the moment.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Look, it was either pictures of my cat or gift spoilers.

Crochet Cat Bed

Materials needed: yarn, pattern for something that is not a cat bed, K hook

  1. Follow directions for pattern.
  2. Set unfinished project down.
  3. Cat bed complete!
The ruler is for measuring pattern pieces and seams.  The crochet hook is somewhere under the cat.

Bonus Pattern! 

Papercrafting Cat Bed
  1. Attempt to read the newspaper rather than feeding and/or giving all of your attention to the cat (works with any piece of paper larger than a book).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fat Fat Fatty

I appreciate Mardi Gras as only an agnostic can: it's an excuse to party, and I'm not spiritually obligated to give up anything.  It's not a last hurrah before Lent; it is a hurrah to kill time between New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day.

My only problem with Mardi Gras is that it discriminates against people who have jobs.  Hence my Vendredi Gras parties of year's past.  Which took place after Mardi Gras, thus highlighting the benefits of appropriating the holidays of other cultures and using them as an excuse to throw theme parties.

Now that everybody I know is tired on Fridays and/or out of town, Vendredi Gras has given way to Meowdi Gras, a fundraiser for my Richmond SPCA Dog Jog Team.  Meowdi Gras requires Meowdi Gras decorations.  Having a lot of free time in the afternoons and responsible adult stuff to avoid, Meowdi Gras decorations have been slowly escalating.  Did you know that if you take out the decades old batteries, you can still get a Purrtenders toy to purr?  And then dress it up like a sad old cat lady and declare it a decoration?  And how were there two different lines of unwanted pets in the 80s?

To balance out the crazy of putting stuffed cats all over the house, I decided to make a wreath.  Wreaths are sad and nerdy, but in slightly more stable way than cats.

How to Make a Mardi Gras Wreath

Materials required:

  • A mother who makes lots of wreaths so you can possibly just find a wreath somewhere in the house
  • A mask
  • Mardi Gras beads
  • Feathers
  • Hot glue gun
  • An A.C. Moore cashier who lets you use both your teacher's discount and a coupon
  • Metallic paint you already have in the house
Step one:  Paint the mask.  It's important to do this before work so you can risk having green paint all over your hands.  Contemplate what would happen if you replied to colleagues and admins questions by saying you fingered the Hulk.

Step two: Wait for the mask to dry.  Rummage around for the crappiest wreath.  Consider what the hell you're going to do to make this straw wreath respectable without having to buy more stuff.

Step three: Realize that somehow, despite years of hoarding craft supplies from forgotten, unstarted, and unfinished craft projects, you only have curling ribbon and yarn.  Decide that you are too damn lazy to wrap any of these things around a straw wreath.

Step four: Contemplate Michaels ad.  Remember that Cabbage Patch Dolls were orphans waiting to be adopted.  Google Fluppy Dogs.  Discover that Fluppy Dogs had some weird, dimensional travel thing going on...but also ended up in the pound.   At least My Little Ponies lived in a free, feminist society.  Well, except for when the First Tooth Ponies sold the Newborn Twins into slavery.

Step five: Oh, right, making a wreath.  Go buy some ribbon.

Step six: Wrap ribbon around wreath while the 4 hour journey that is making a king cake.  Run out of ribbon.

Step seven: Buy more ribbon.  Make the mistake of wearing your red T-shirt to A.C. Moore so an old lady thinks you work there.  Decide to buy skinny ribbon.

Step eight: Finish wrapping the wreath.  Realize that your impulse to wrap it with curling ribbon and skinny ribbon was absolutely correct.

Step nine: Glue beads to the back of the mask.  Glue them some more until it looks right.

Step ten: Glue the mask to the wreath.  This may take several attempts as something designed to go over a human face does not easily line up with a wreath.

Step eleven: Hang this bastard up.  Wait for lesser beings to marvel at this seasonally appropriate masterpiece.  Revel in the smug satisfaction of not making some deco mesh horror.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Just in time for it to be stupid cold again!

A few months ago, I lost one of my fingerless gloves.  I find this very inconsiderate of me since it would've been much more convenient to either lose none of them or both of them.

My cousin knitted me a new pair.  I thanked her by not mentioning that I'd received them and by crocheting myself a replacement for my defective pair.

Oh, and by making the greatest baby gift any unborn child has ever received.

The last pair used green yarn from another project that kind of matched my wool scarf.  This time I decided to just get the same yarn although the dye lot is slightly different.

The way the colorway comes out is always a pleasant surprise to me because gauge swatches are for conscientious people with too much time on their hands.  My philosophy is measure once, cut once, that's not even, cut again, damn it now it's ruined.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Let there be light

Back in 2010, I discovered embroidery.  You could make all kinds of pictures without being limited by squares!  It was so much faster!  Holy crap, I kind of suck at satin stitch!  I'm too stupid to keep track of what colors I used without an actual pattern!

My greatest talent in needlecrafts is starting a bunch of projects, getting distracted, and stuffing the unfinished projects into a bag that may or may not ever be opened again.

One day while dicking around on Amazon, I discovered embroidery paints.  Which are expensive, so this eventually lead me to think of Sharpies.  While there are actual fabric markers, they're complete bullshit.  The sadistic bastard who created fabric markers designed them so that they would never move smoothly on fabric.  I had no idea if Sharpies would be any better, but I did enjoy writing on my own clothes as a child.  Like most childhood prodigies, I was often bored in school and would do things that are either a sign of great intelligence or sheer stupidity.  I also once cut a hole in the knee of my pants because I wanted to see what would happen.  Experimental design like this is why I didn't end up in a STEM career.

I still need to clean up the rest of the shirt.  I cut the sleeves and the collar off, but I'm pretty happy with my tracing skills.  And my instincts were right: Banana Clip Yellow Sharpie worked better than Normal People Yellow on the blue fabric.  That's right; my instincts only work for arts and crafts.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'll Punish You!

This is a special order from Kendra.  Or for Kendra?  The important thing is I figured out the hair and Kendra gave me money.

Kristen mocked me for cutting out little crescent moons and delicately placing them on the boots, but look at this attention to detail!  This is some fine god damned craftsmanship.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Depressing scavenger hunt

This year was a difficult holiday.  My grandfather was in the hospital on Christmas, and he was very weak after coming home.  My family was there for the weekend after Christmas, and my father spent most of the time helping my grandfather with his mobility issues and doing the things my grandfather used to do (making the coffee, getting the mail, etc).

I was staying in the house.  The house now smells weird.  Other family members have been helping clean the house and move things out of the house, but the house still smells weird and is full of junk.  I went over with Kristen to get ready for a Salvation Army run and see if there was anything I wanted.  I moped my way through the costume jewelry and took a tile I'd ordered during a trip to Solvang, CA.  Still in its plastic even though I was toodling around California a decade ago (and the bummer continues!).  In my grandparents' defense, the tile is of a family crest, and family crests for people whose surname used to change once a generation are probably bullshit.  Oh, and they still have a house full of stuff.

Kristen asked if the few pins, tile, and felt bat magnet were all I wanted.  And then she mocked me for rescuing one of the fish pans from the Salvation Army pile. We shall see who has the last laugh when I make some gross gelatin dessert with my fish pan and she can't have any!

For most of the clean up effort I've felt that I would never find anything in their house that would give me as much joy as the time I discovered my cousins' abandoned My Little Ponies.  This feeling did not take into account staying in the house alone with no TV and no internet.

I found some postcards my great-great aunt and great-grandparents had received just in a box on an old writing desk.  I don't know if they'd been there when I'd look through stuff as a kid or if I just didn't give a shit about postcards from 1923 when I was 10.  They've been rescued along with a picture of my grandmother and a button pin from General Motors' 1940 World's Fair exhibit.

By the time I got to the drawer of patterns, I was in full scavenge mode.  I ended up grabbing pattern books for things I can't even do.  I figured we could all have a good laugh at men's knits on the internet, and then I'd list them on eBay.

I've added the crotch glow, but I want you to know that at least half of these pictures feature a man casually posing with a pipe.

Unfortunately there are no instructions for how to find an elephant belt.

This would be a good investment for the modern hipster.  Seriously, hipsters, who would think of bringing this look back?  This would be the least mainstream thing you could possibly wear.

I like that nearly all of these models (including the dog) feel slightly embarrassed to be wearing these things.  I guess the dog coat isn't as bad as the little shoes.

According to this, knitting is pretty much like calling somebody up.  Or texting for you 21st century Almost Teens.  Except you guys can just buy cheap clothes for less than it would cost to buy enough yarn for some of these projects lol.