Month: November 2015

Cloud Celtique

cloud celtique finished

I have gone back to small scale commissions.

I had a ball of yarn left over from a commission that I took, for another scarf. I had posted a link to the Celtique pattern, and a minor bidding war broke out [the designer allows for small scale sales of this project, so no weirdness there]. This was a fairly fast knit. My only ‘issue’, such as it is, is that I think the yarn may be light bulky weight, because I knit to yardage, knit the full ball and the scarf is still slightly shorter than what I would have liked.

My burn out has actually been driven by boredom-which I didn’t discover until I returned to cabling. I’m happily knitting again as long as I don’t think about the intensity of the pattern (and I’m cabling).

*Because of the commission aspect, I will be listing value at the end of the listing.

cloud celtique

Cloud Celtique

-Pattern by Collete Audry, on Petitboutdemoi

Yarn: Big Twist Chunky, Cloud (white)

Skeins: 1

Yardage: 195 (almost completely used)

Needles: 10 1/2

Pattern: Celtique

FSOT value: $33.48 American

November Empties and Purchases

I don’t post this twice a week, but I’m going out of town this weekend, and am not sure if I will get it published if I don’t now.

Empties and Purges

I felt like I was in a place mentally where I could purge, so I did.

*Elf palettes-So these were supposed to go, but Mid staged an intervention. My daily eye looks are minimalistic to an extreme and neutral leaning. I have a stack of palettes that I was keeping because they were gifts from him but not being used…and then he realized they were the gifted palettes. They’re currently back in my box and I’m going to make an effort to carry more color around my eyes if I’m keeping them.

Smith’s minted rose lip balm-purged, not getting used. I have piles of lip balms I like better.

Jordana– purged, Lip gloss in gorgeous. I think this is pushing 8 years old and just gets pushed around. Easyliner eyeliner in seagreen. I would actually probably use this one if I didn’t have a feeling it’s also 8 years old.

Maybelline, Color Tattoo in Fierce and Tangy-purged, not getting used and slowly drying up. I think this pot is 3 years old and it’s not getting any rotation.

Milani, Baked Sand eyeshadow-purged, I never really got into this one.

Ulta lipstick-purged, color 241. I have similar colors in formulas I like better.

Elf-purged, Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick, summer nights-This is close enough to my natural lip tone that it just leaves me with shimmery lips. I’m not really a shimmery lip person.

Wet and Wild-purged, lipstick in Breeze-I have similar colors to this already so it’s getting tossed,  Turn Up the Volume mascara-it left me with panda eyes every time I wore it, Megaeyes defining marker in brown-this was one of those markers that came out of the package bone dry. I would have returned it but I spent $.50 on it.

Old Spice Bearglove-Empty-Mid’s favored body wash. We go through this stuff like water.

Notable Purchases-Favorite Items from this month

Nyx All Over Balm (Argan Oil)

Physician’s Formula Super CC-Light/Medium

pf super cc

Unfiltered and natural light. I actually remembered for once. Only wearing the CC, no other product.

So the photos on the website are a little extreme. I don’t think this stuff is photoshop quality good. But I will say that I’m tempted to go back and get more, hopefully in light instead of light/medium.

It’s a touch darker than I normally wear (it was more obvious in person), but I straddle the line between light/light-medium in every brand so it’s always hit or miss. I also have foundations that are still currently too light while my tan’s fading, so I can layer it with those foundations. I also found that the color evened out a little while I wore it, so after an hour or so it wasn’t as dark. It felt pretty consistently good on the skin as well. The big thing was that it didn’t cling to my dry patches, so I’m going to try it under my foundations.

The big thing for me was this-I wore it on a day when I was ill. I put on a fairly light application at 9 am. I worked until 930 pm, and it wasn’t until 9 pm that someone asked me if I was ill because my color was off. I had noticed that it was fading around 830-but that’s still close to 12 hours for what was barely an application.

Wet and Wild Take on the Day Primer

Testing a theory

My SADD got really bad last winter. Like…self destructively bad. I got into beauty in quasi serious way to set up a self care routine. Now that it’s SADD time again, I went back to a full beauty routine-if you told me at 25 that I would hunting the perfect moisturizer I would have laughed at you.

It does seem to be helping. I’m much better this year than last year. Plus I’ve fallen in love with brick red lipstick. If I have 75 of them, as long as they make me happy, it’s cheaper than therapy.

Lip Purge

…That said, I started my fall lip challenge. I have to admit, it wasn’t much of purge this time around. I only ditched two tubes-but I have more stuff to go through. If I have similar colors in a formula that works better for me, I’m keeping the better ones. Life is too short for dry lips.

2015 Gratitude List


  1. Opportunity
  2. Health
  3. Change
  4. Sisterhood
  5. Coffee
  6. Argan oil
  7. Dark red lipstick
  8. Faith
  9. Development
  10. Movement
  11. Grace
  12. Clean water
  13. Stability
  14. Affordable food
  15. A walking neighborhood
  16. A snowless November
  17. Cheap head scarves
  18. My husband
  19. Mid’s job
  20. Abundance
  21. Friendship
  22. Networks
  23. Goldfish crackers
  24. Travel opportunities
  25. Busses
  26. Sheep
  27. A more consistent heating system this year
  28. The local police
  29. Magnesium
  30. Modern medicine
  31. Education
  32. Shadows
  33. Self acceptance
  34. Books
  35. Family
  36. Hope
  37. Skill development
  38. Consistency
  39. Routine
  40. Teaching
  41. Challenge
  42. Aging
  43. Gray hairs
  44. Chap stick
  46. Target
  47. Vacation time
  48. Sick time
  49. Overtime
  50. Self care

This year was hard. I have to admit. Most of my list this year is concepts, which makes it tricky.

Gratitude List Rules:

I can’t take credit for this one, I got the idea years ago from The Frugal Girl. You write a list, without thinking or planning, of 50 things you’re grateful this year. They don’t have to be earth-shatteringly important things, as long as you’re actually grateful for them. The list isn’t ranked, other than being the order you think of them.

The Art of Reading Cables

the art of reading cables

This isn’t so much a tutorial.

Reading cables is being able to follow the pattern the cable in the cable itself, without following the pattern. Generally about halfway through the establishing repetition I can tell how to knit the rest of the cable, just by how the cables are laid out in the row.

The pattern is nice to have. Does the cable twist left? Twist right? Am I slowly eating purls into knits or knits into purls? But the pattern isn’t necessary because in the end it’s just a cable and if I go off roading I’ll still have a cable.

It’s a meditation of a sort, figuring out what happens next. It’s part of what the addictive quality of cables are for me. I like lace for the challenge (I have knit Faroese and similar sized projects in the past, just not recently), and for the variety. But I will also go back to cables when I need to remember why I love to knit.

I’m going to keep saying this until I internalize it: 2016 will be the year of Doing. I have several sweaters sitting around my apartment in various stages of neglect. All cabled. One of them will be finished by the end of next year. My first sweater was a heavy men’s aran. If I could do it at 15, there’s no reason I can’t do it at 30.

My current cable is a scarf I’m knitting to ease back into patterns. It’s getting traded for a trip home and a bottle of wine.


cloud russet

Oh hey look at that.

I knit something. That didn’t include large amounts of garter stitch.

This scarf was knit as a trade piece. When I measured it on the needles, it felt a lot longer than it feels on, so I hope that it’s adequate. I suppose that the person that commissioned it could use it as a Christmas gift if it’s not. It’s more fashion length than true, Buffalo winter length.

I actually really enjoyed this yarn. It’s not alpaca soft or anything, but for 100% acrylic it’s acceptably soft. It’s a Joann’s exclusive, as far as I can tell.

So that would be the primary change if I would do this again: knit it longer. I did buy two balls but when I measured it on needles one ball felt like it would be long enough. That’s what I get.

I enjoyed the pattern. Oddly though I only managed to memorize the pattern at literally the last rep. That’s odd for me, I normally memorize patterns a lot faster than this. But that was me, not the pattern.

cloud russet close

Cloud Russet

Yarn: Big Twist Chunky, Cloud (white)

Skeins: 1

Yardage: 195 (almost completely used)

Needles: 10 1/2

Pattern: Russet

Apple Spice Kitchen Simmer


I’m slowly starting to do [seriously Memory Month was the best thing I’ve done for this blog yet] [spoiler: do is 2016’s Word of the Year. More on that later] again. It’s not a happy thing. It’s a fighting against the current thing, a I really don’t want to be doing this thing. But I know that it’s like exercise-I might hate it when I’m doing it, but eventually I’ll be glad that I did.

Speaking of which, I took myself on a wander yesterday, which is why I finally got around to trying a kitchen simmer. I got in the habit of taking myself out on dates when I was going to SUNY Oswego. The idea was that I am an introverted, impatient thing, and if no one was going to take me, I would take myself. I haven’t done it in years but there has been oddities in trying to plan Thanksgiving this year and it sent me into a minor tailspin. I went and got myself a new lipstick, took myself on a lunch date, and wandered through Kenmore enjoying the cold. There’s about three days a fall where I like the cold and then I remember it’s Buffalo and it’s going to be cold for six months…

I came home and made a pie. Which left me with cores (and a recipe to go up later this week). And led to finally trying a kitchen simmer. My building is decently old, and even when it’s freshly cleaned it smells a little musty from the basement. It gets worse in the winter. I want my home to smell good, but Mid can’t handle candles.

This is a very simple project, and it will appeal to the idea of using as much as you can for as long as you can. You can simmer it for a couple of days, adding more water as you go. You’re not eating it so letting it sit overnight isn’t an issue but that’s about as far as I would let it go.

Apple Spice Kitchen Simmer

To a medium sauce pot, add either several apple cores and peels, or two chopped apples, cinnamon sticks, and a good sized dash of pumpkin spice. Let simmer slowly.

You can add cranberries, oranges, or vanilla for variety.

The Hole

Originally reviewed in 2012

Generally when I watch a horror piece about kids, I can see why other people would read into the piece a certain amount of symbolism about growing up and embracing, or at least acknowledging, the darkness that we all have in side. I don’t really agree that it’s there though, or that it’s the root of the piece.

This is one of the exceptions to that pattern. The Hole follows the plight of two brothers who after a bout of moving rapidly around the country with their single mother, move into a sleepy small town and find the titular hole in their basement. Opening the trap door over the hole, they discover that this seemingly empty pit isn’t so empty after all.

The symbolism is both readily obvious but not so obnoxious that it distracts from the movie. The storyline doesn’t suffer from the connection between the darkness in the hole and the fears that the elder son faces about growing up-and turning into his missing father. The hints that perhaps running from the darkness inside-to the extent of flooding one’s life with literal light-isn’t such a great idea aren’t so direct that it becomes annoying and clunky.

They even manage to throw some water symbolism in there, and make it work. I don’t think that this is a movie with a ‘message’, and I don’t even think it’s a horror piece about growing up-but I actually think that makes it even more effective. If you’re looking for scares, I think this one was a little too tropic (and a little too much like The Gate without enough new ground covered) to be creepy, but it crawls in a way that I liked.

Beauty Babble-Packing for the Truly Minimal

profusion palette 2015

Trying this again since the first time I tried to post this it tried to post it for four days ago…

This is my favorite time of year for cosmetics. Like, I wait all fall for the Profusion palettes to show up at Walgreens.

I love the colors that come out-Wet and Wild’s Here’s to the Wild Ones? I’ve bought three of those lipsticks, and I almost never buy multiples of a LE line. I don’t even do that with my oils from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. I love, love, love dark lips-especially cranberries and wines.

But I really can’t resist ultra cheap cosmetics. The $1 Profusion palettes are actually normally pretty good-I’ve had maybe 10 of the total and only had to ditch one for lack of pigmentation. They’re not going to be heavily pigmented…but. If you’re just finding my blog, here’s the thing: I veil full time. I haven’t shown my hair in public during the day in close to two years. So between my hoard of dark lip colors and the already heavy visual of the top half of my head, I’m perfectly fine with a lower pigmented eye-especially for work. In other words, a lower color pay off is a lot less of an issue for me than it is for a lot of people (and honestly, most of these really cheap palettes are fine-not amazing but fine-to begin with).


Just so you get an idea of what I mean when I say I already have a lot of color near my eyes. The photo is filtered but I’m also fairly certain I’m barefaced in it.

I’m going home after Thanksgiving. I’ve not had a trip home on a major holiday in eight years.

I’m only going overnight, taking an Amtrak. So I’m dealing with two things: a lack of time and a lack of space.

I go truly minimal for trips like this.

-A bb cream or lightweight foundation. Just enough to make it look like I haven’t been on a train for four hours.

-A light highlighting blush. I  like Maybelline’s Master Class.

-A neutral heavy palette. I like to use one that also has a couple of pinks or oranges for options.

-Brown eyeliner and mascara,  for my coloring it’s more forgiving than black.

-A ‘my lips but better’ lipstick-right now I like Rimmel’s Kate Moss 08, the black tube one.

-For cleansing I’ll throw in a pack of wipes. I’ll also throw in a fluffy brush.

I might add in a red tinted balm and a darker colored smudge pot. But this will give me a decent base to work with and not eat up baggage space.



Jose Prendes

420 Pages

Accessed as an Ebook

4.99 at the time of review

I have to be completely honest with you, I have no idea why I have a copy of Sharcano, and I really wasn’t expecting much.

I’m not necessarily cheating with my 52 in 52 Challenge, but I might be picking books that are easy reads on the bus. When I found Sharcano I couldn’t really figure out why I have have it (I have a massive shark phobia, for one) and it’s not really a genre I read frequently. I’m not a monster or a natural disaster girl.

To get the main weakness of the novel addressed up front: if you’re the type of person who needs a tight writing style you’re not going to into this novel. This book reads more like the way that my coworkers and I talk to each other than a book, it feels like a conversation with a lot of very casual narration. However, Prendes is capable of presenting a story that’s surreal and paced fast enough to overcome the slightly unconventional story telling technique.

And the story really is surreal-sharks, volcanoes, mythical beings…the narrative is actually goofball enough to be entertaining while being just grounded enough to be so unbelievable as to not be readable (the fact the characters are consistently stopping and asking, wait, what? helps; I don’t know if I could handle this book if everyone were wandering around saying, ok, I’m completely on board with this). It’s hard to describe this novel without giving away too much of a plot twist that I honestly didn’t see coming. Other readers may have seen it coming, but I have to admit I didn’t.

It is 2014 and volcanoes are erupting out of nowhere-volcanoes that have been quiet for thousands of years. People are dying and no one knows why-and there are reports that people are being eaten. But by what? And why is the Vatican so interested?

Not a traditional monster novel, or a disaster novel, or an end of the world novel, the book is actually highly enjoyable. There are a few aspects that read like plot holes, but Sharcano is the first in the trilogy so hopefully they are addressed in the rest of the series.


MYO Body Scrub

Fourth memory-Today is an odd day. My week has involved things like police reports, and today is the one year anniversary of Snovember or Knife or whatever you want to call the giant storm that hit Buffalo last year. It’s 65 degrees F out right now.

However, Christmas/Yule/Winter holiday of choice is coming up, and body scrubs make awesome gifts.

MYO Scented Body Scrub

I love body scrubs.

And with winter coming, my skin sorts of demands them.

I love the ones that smell like things. I’m totally that person that needs my world to smell good. If you can get away with just bare bones, basic body products, rock it.

I need my world to smell like oranges and Erebus.

…There actually is a perfume called Erebus.

I am being completely overrun with imps and decants-some of which I like the smell of, but I wear and think, oh, this would be better as a bath product.

imps and decants

…When two worlds collide!

MYO Body Scrub

*Make sure to use separate bowls, cups, spoons etc when mixing a batch or be willing to take rubbing alcohol wipes to your cutting board before you wash it. Not that I would know or anything. If you use food safe oils then don’t worry about this step.

Sugar or salt. Cheap stuff. Don’t waste good sugar on this, go to the dollar store.

Coffee grounds, dry-but used is okay, as long as they’re fully dry (optional, I don’t always use them)

Skin happy oil-olive, coconut, sweet almond, whatever you can get your hands on

About a sample’s worth of perfume oil (or an imp or decant). More oil if you like a heavier scented product. An imp will hold about two pipette’s worth of oil, for reference.

1 reasonably water proof glass jar with a lid, like a small canning jar

Pick out your final container, and into that container pack your -dry- sugar/salt/coffee. If it fits dry, it’ll fit wet.

Dump the contents into a bowl or cup, then slowly start drizzling in the unscented oil. Mix until -just- damp, them mix in your perfumed oil. If the scrub is still not wet enough to your tastes, add more unscented oil until it is, keeping in mind that you’re going to probably have to wipe it off the bottom of your tub.

When the scrub has the consistency you like, pack it back into your jar.

****This will make your tub slippery. More oil=more slippery. Make sure to be careful getting in and out of your shower. Wipe out the bottom of your tub.***