anagramofbrat: (team tatro (2015))
We've been averaging a snowstorm a week since January up here in Ye Olde Newe Aengeland*, to the point where I think all the kids in the state of Massachusetts may have had school on one Monday since the semester began. D: Boston and the surrounding areas have been getting it really bad - I think they've had maybe a collective five feet of snow in the past few weeks and things out there are a complete disaster any kind of transportation-wise. New York MTA had to lend the Boston MBTA two giant rail snowblowers for track clearing, even. (Fun Fact: those machines are honestly called Snowzillas. Seriously, google it.) This has made kid weekends super challenging, and with the current snowstorm finally petering out this morning, Tuesday finds me with a day taken off from work and the kids still here because the roads have been utter shit for the past 48 hours. Thankfully school has been cancelled for the past couple of days, so that isn't a factor, but apparently Kidzilla's class now has Snow Day homework they have to do in case of school cancellation so she's been meeting the news of yet another snow day with alarmingly grown-up groans. On one hand, yeah, there's been a bit of scrambling with the change in schedule, but on the other hand having them here a couple of extra days has on many levels been really fun.

I've decided that Wee Beastie is, in fact, a Neverland fairy. I say that mostly because I often joke that he's too small to hold more than one emotion at a time, so as a result all of his emotions are all-encompassing forces of nature. When he's happy, he's a ball of zoomy radioactive joy. When he's sad, he is inconsolable and Everything Is Terrible. When he's angry it's like a storm descends in the room, he's all violently flailing appendages and screaming. It is certainly a Thing To Behold/worry about.

After he pitched a mega fit last night about having to go to bed which ended with him punching [ profile] cell23 square in the nose (not kidding about the violent flailing), I sat with him for a little bit after his time-out to calm him down and we had a long, surprisingly interesting chat about how he experiences big overwhelming emotions. He concluded independently that angry was his biggest feeling, and when he gets angry it's "too big for me" and that's why he has trouble controlling himself. I told him the quote from Peter Pan about how fairies are too small to be more than one thing at a time, and he got this solemn little expression on his face (hilarious, btw) and was all "Yeah. That sounds correct."

He is, indeed, a funny little bug.

Anyway, we agreed that we need to work on making more space for big emotions. I've been wanting to get him involved in some kind of directed physical activity/martial art so he can vent off some of the pent up physical energy for a while but owing to budget constraints on both sides of the state and the additional difficulty of only having every other weekend to work with on ours it hasn't really been practical. Still, this morning I'm taking another stab at looking at some options for him. The local Tae Kwon Do school seems pretty promising aside from the scheduling hurdle; I may stop by later in the week to take a closer look at it and see if the every/other schedule can be worked with/around. That is if it ever stops snowing long enough for anything to dig out and reopen around here. If anything, their summer camp seems tailor made for him with a week of martial arts, playing with horses and learning to swim, so that is something to sock away money for at the very least.

In other news, along with getting bitten with what seems like every creative idea ever (and thus being paralyzed with indecision about which to work on at any given time, since the Super Bowl I've been having intense needs to Color Things. This led to a rediscovery that I absolutely adore geometric patterns and mandalas, a ridiculous number of which are available free on the internet, so as of Sunday I've decided to try to color one per day, be it with actual markers/pencils/crayons or digitally. I've only done two so far and I'm not sure how the one-per-day bit is going to work out long term as I tend to gravitate towards the ones with intensely complex patterns, but I do indeed find the process very brain-unclenching.

Well, we'll see. I do need some sort of anxiety reduction type thing to do on the regular for a while, but previous attempts at meditation have already shown that I suck at it - in fact sitting still with nothing tangible to focus on tends to make my anxiety worse. (This is why I tend to not work well without music or some kind of background noise - silence freaks me the fuck out.) This is also sort of why I miss having a commute - driving tends to calm my brain down right quick as well. Maybe when the roads clear, considering the free fall gas prices have been in for the past little bit I'll do more of that too.

* I made that spelling up. don't have a historical accuracy cow at me please.
anagramofbrat: (old school tetris)
Apparently sometime last November this guy stumbled across Bowser while he was up on Etsy and liked him so much he blogged about it.

Beaded Bowser Descends from Your Wall

Color me flattered. Wish I'd seen it sooner.
anagramofbrat: (big boo)
I got the Tetris Dance back framed! I have yet to unwrap it and put it up. While it's gorgeous, I definitely have some Things To Address in future screenshots if they are to look superfabulous framed. I am also toying with the idea of making another one. Hell, should only take me a couple months, right? As opposed to 8, lol?

Boo is seven rows from done. Would have been closer or actually done tonight, but I hit the wall a few hors ago so I attached the little chain to hang him with and took pictures. I'll finish him up if not tomorrow, later this week.

This is one of the few pictures where you can actually see the Aurora Borealis (rainbow) finish on the beads, so yay. That's hard to photograph. Especially with an iPhone.

In non-bead impish creativity, [ profile] cell23 has commandeered the kitchen table as his Warhammer painting station - as a result, one corner of the table is mobbed with space marines in various states of prime, ink, paint and seal. Shortly after I photographed Boo I was downstairs after some nibblies and impishly decided to have a little fun with them.

I have been sternly admonished to ask before "manhandling my space Barbies." I have also been asked to ensure that the world knows these particular figures are only base-coated and will look a lot cooler when finished, though I pointed out that they're grouped around a TARDIS and one is standing on an oversized 8-sider. Somehow I doubt anyone is critiquing the paint job... but I suppose on the Internet it's a possibility.

Ugh the problem with having a three day weekend is that facing the Monday afterward is extra specially not okay. >_<


Feb. 25th, 2014 11:37 pm
anagramofbrat: (big boo)
Oh god I'm starting to become one of those people that never posts here anymore. Not good. Especially given my state of mind lately (not bloody good) you would think I'd be translating the mental ick into words. But I haven't been, which may be a little bit of the reason I've been pretty fucked up lately.

It's only a little bit of the reason though. This winter has just been... dark for me, for various reasons. I mean, I've survived worse, but I'm wearying of this ongoing depressive cycle, especially as it looks like it's just going to wear itself on into month #3. Hooray. But seriously, my silence online almost directly corresponds to my silence in other aspects as well - I've hermited up good. Hanging out and watching Movie 43 (which was TERRIBLE btw, don't waste your time) with folks Saturday evening was probably the most social I've been since... yeah. *sigh* Oh there have been good bits of course, but they're quite quickly absorbed into the ick.

I know a good part of this is me still working through Dad's passing. I went through about a month of being numb, even relieved. Now the hurt is setting in hard. I never expected to miss his monthly or so nagging to call him so much. Really his fussing in general. That old black man snicker he'd do after he'd ask after Drew and I'd reply with "eh, I haven't murdered him yet..." And I've been... afraid? I guess to return to New York and confront the true emptiness of the house. Last time didn't count, it was jam packed with relatives. Now it's just my cousin there with occasional stopovers from Ruthy to make sure things haven't exploded. Hell, even Roy and the dog are gone, since he's moved in with his mom in Indy. I keep saying I'm going to go down and then end up not having the money or the spoons or whatever. But a lot of it is just... dread. And not wanting to deal with New York in winter especially since it's been snowpocalypsing more there than here (and we've been getting hammered) but mostly just dread.

One of the big stressors this month is Moonbeam and the UTI that will not die. He's been on special food for a month and a half now and two courses of antibiotics and this damn thing just will not quit. Much like last time, five days after he finished his antibiotics course he started showing symptoms again and now I'm just at my wits end. I know on some level this is just what happens with an old cat, especially one that hasn't been cared for barely at all and has been eating the worst bargain basement kitty kibble Dad could find on sale. I could go on an extended rant on my family's attitude and treatment of animals, especially cats, but that's just going to work me into a pissed off lather and I don't have the spoons for that. But this has been a drain on my ability to can, and also on my already strapped wallet. I honestly don't know what we're going to do if it turns out we can't lick this thing, or if he ends up needing surgery or something. It breaks my heart because other than this, he's a joy - affectionate and snuggly, purrs like an idling truck and just has these big old green eyes full of all the love ever and the idea of losing him is just... not doing good things for my psyche right now. Its like, no. Not right now. Not so soon after Dad. But it's like what do we do? I was not ready to have to revisit this feeling of complete and utter helplessness in the face of possibly fatal illness again, not this soon. And then there's just this overarching sense of failure - I'm already carrying a buttload of guilt over not being there enough for Dad last year, but now I can't even do right by his damn cat.

So yeah... my state of mind is not so great right now.

Well in ways-to-escape-dealing-with-it news, Boo is progressing despite having to rip him out and start over four or so rows in. I have this bulk spool of black nylon thread that I keep attempting to use lying around and the attempts just end up frustrating failures because it's too thick for the kind of thing I'm doing, since it involves multiple passes through a weensy bead with a thickish needle. (for the craft - it's actually much thinner than a sewing needle). I can't quite bring myself to chuck it though, so I think I'm going to save it for loom stringing, if I ever go back to doing things that way. Hand weaving takes a lot longer but the resupt comes out so much better looking... anyway. Nothing majorly exciting yet - I'll take more pictures when I get down to his actual eyebrows cause right now all I got is the top of his... head? Can Mario ghosts be said to have heads?

So that's me right now. This too will pass, I know it will. I just want it to pass a little sooner rather than later.


Feb. 16th, 2014 11:21 pm
anagramofbrat: (beads)
Today I learned that beading has gone from occasional hobby to compulsion. Or at least to a point where I'm actually twitchy if I'm not working on SOMETHING. I found this out after packing up my bead case for a visit to Drew's parents with the kids today and of course between escaping cats and getting Wee Beastie out the door I left said case in the living room. Cue Andee being super antsy without it for the entire visit.

This is... somewhat less than good. But once I got home and got to work on Boo a bit, lo and behold I became human again. Ai ya.

Anyways, in said bead news, I have finished my interim project, which is a strap bracelet with a pattern of blue roses on it. It was something of an attempt to use up the beads I'd ordered for Amanda's silent santa present (which, now that I've finally gotten it in the mail I can post pictures of, and then of course I unearthed an old pattern I'd thrown together for Big Boo and... yeah, instead of using up what I've got I had to order more blue beads this week, hurray.

Amanda's bracelet:

Blue Rose bracelet:

And the very top of Boo's head:

Other than that, not too much to report. The kids are on school vacation this week so we have them until Thursday. Or rather I do, since I have the flexible schedule and the ability to work from home, lol. It's okay though, I don't mind, and they tend to behave pretty well for me plus... it's cute watching Drew coming home and having his whole family around to pile on him after work. :) Unsure what we're going to do with all that time other than go down to Cinefart to see The LEGO Movie again. And you know, sing "Everything is Awesome" a few bazillionty more times.

Ugh and ow. I have my annual zit. Actually, I haven't had one in at least a couple years, so of course this one has to be a painful itchy proto-Vesuvius above my chin. Whine.

That's about all the news fit to print, really.

It is DONE

Jan. 30th, 2014 07:30 pm
anagramofbrat: (old school tetris)

Shotgunned the last six rows last night so OW but BEHOLD. Worth it.

Taking a bit of a break, healing up... and planning the Next Thing.
anagramofbrat: (yarr!)

24480 / 25840 beads. 137.18 rows. 94.737% done!

Projected completion: Wednesday.

My gods, my hands hurt.
anagramofbrat: (beads)

These last 25 rows or so? proving to be excruciating. Some of it is definitely hitting the wall on a project when you get to a point where you're approaching finished and yet you'd rather throw all your work out the window than actually finish it. Working on this has been like pulling teeth this week - wherein I was happily putting in 3+ rows a night a couple of weeks ago, this week I've been lucky to squeak out one. Some days not even that. So progress has slowed to a crawl. Some of it is that the last 25 rows of this pattern is a very detailed repeating pattern where I can't fudge a mistake as easily as I could in the beginning of this project so there have been several instances where I would notice a mistake made at the beginning of a row and then have to rip out a good two+ hours of work. Or just real life copy/paste areas where I'd be comfortable with the pattern I've been repeating and then continue it beyond a point where I'd have to change it. There's been more grumbling and invective hurled at this particular project this week alone than any of the rest of the time since I started it.

Me: Grumble grumble rassum frassum arg [rips out mistake]
Lil'Beast: Did you mess up again?
Me: Yyyyyyyyyyyyyup.
Lil'Beast: Maybe if you quit messing up you'd be done by now.

Unhelpful six year old is unhelpful, surprising no one. >_< Hilariously I screwed up real good about a half hour after this exchange, whereupon I stepped on the handle of my beading box and scattered three colors of beads over a good three foot square area of the Jones Library carpet yesterday. It's gotten to the point where that sort of thing doesn't even warrant cursing anymore, just long sad sighs and the resignation to sit down and pick the beads out of the carpet for the next hour. (Though this time I was kindly assisted by [ profile] cell23, Kidzilla and one of the librarians.) At least when they were gathered up and re-containered they made a very pretty mess:

That's the 3rd and least full container, btw, lest you think I'm planting my flag atop Mt. Molehill here.

Price of doing business, I guess. Thought the incident and their aftermath led to one set of the library parents chatting me up - turns out they'd just moved to Amherst from Kensington, not too far from Dad's house, so there was some old neighborhood connecting there.

But yeah, I'm in kind of a state of grumpiness and hatred for this project currently. What is further annoying me is that I'm too close to the end to put it down. I just want to get it DONE at this point so I can finally think about something else. And I'm mad about the dragging of last week - I'd kinda planned to have it done by now.

Oh well. A break, then back to work.

23320 / 25840 beads. 137.18 rows. 90.248% done!
anagramofbrat: (old school tetris)

21590 / 25840 beads. 127 rows. 83.553% done!

It's certainly coming along! With any luck (and hopefully a minimum of wrist breakage) hopefully I can get this done by next weekend? Maybe? We'll see.

Life has been... well. Pretty much this, and podcasts and TV and will likely be that until I finish this. Hence the lack of postings. The two kind of major bits being dealing with Moonbeam's recovery, since he spent the better part of the week shut in our bathroom, to no one's enjoyment - the other two cats were freaked out by their comrade being trapped in there, Moonbeam HATES being shut up away from people, plus the inconvenience of not really being able to use the bathroom effectively. But thankfully Moonbeam is on the mend, is once again continent (thank fuck) and there is no longer kitty litter all over the bathroom (yay) so there was that. He's still on antibiotics for another week and on the urinary tract food at least until we finish the bag/cans, but at least that bit's not quite as gross. As an added perk, his general smellycatness seems to have gone away as well, so maybe the hideous breath was a sign of something else going on that the medicine is taking care of. Either way win.

Not much else to report other than attending a lovely party at [ profile] renegadethumper/[ profile] deliriumdeva's new place in CT. Those two do love themselves old converted factory spaces. Also I have various home improvement/cat amusement projects in the works for when this thing is finished... they mostly at this stage involve lots of measuring and discovering that I have pretty much forgotten all of my middle school trig except for the Pythagorean theorem. >_< Meanwhile I am terrifying the husbeast with murmurings on twitter about possibly needing 1500 feet of sisal rope and a whole lot of PVC pipe. Hey, I said they were projects. :P

But... first things first. Let's finish this one first.

Tomorrow, much to my surprise, I have off for MLK day. I will mostly be spending it going in for my annual as well as making a crock of stew for the week, and maybe not pissing myself off with tumblr: land of social injustice, to mark the holiday? :/ And of course, the beading. All the beading.
anagramofbrat: (no more caffeine for you)
I promised a progress picture.

16150 / 25840 beads. 95 rows. 62.5% done!

Meanwhile 2014 so far? HAS BEEN BITCHING COLD OH GOD. Seriously, it got to below zero last night with a -25F wind chill. I like winter and all, but I should not still be freezing my ass off inside. With the heat on. Wearing sweats. AND THERMALS. What the blessed fuck. I mean, it's winter and all but that shit is ridiculous and this is a region kinda known for ridiculous weather.

Also I should not have coffee after 10pm. Especially on a day when I've slept until 2. Wheeeeeeeeeee
anagramofbrat: (beads)
...which is rather inexcusable, as while yes, life got chaotic and "interesting," bead stuff still happened.

I did have to put the Castlevania Forest project on the back burner so I could make a present for Amanda. I decided on a cuff bracelet with three diamonds in it. Between Things Happening *wince* and some shortage of supplies I didn't quite get it done for Christmas - in fact I only just got it done this evening so I'll be putting it in the mail tomorrow. I hope. *shifty eyes* Anyway, have a slideshow of THAT project:

And if the slideshow doesn't work, have a link instead.

Things I learned from This Project:

  • I now know how to do picot fringe. I now also hate doing picot fringe. Also when doing pico fringe, order tiny round seed beads, not delicas, unless you're going for sharp looking. (It kinda fits with the design though.) But moral of the story? Fuck picot fringe. Fuck it right in the ear.

  • Miyuki end tubes are the best findings ever ever amen. I may order some tinier width ones and some much much wider ones for Mysterious Future Projects.

  • Next time I do this - four diamonds and much less chain.

  • if you're going to do a lot with jump rings, suck it up and get a set of tiny bead pliers. After muddling along with tweezers and regular pliers I took advantage of a Joann's sake and got extra snips and a set of three craft pliers and oh my god, quel difference. I apparently mentioned buying these in my last bead post but DONTCURR they're awesome.

  • There are almost zero local major bead and finding retail websites that aren't wholesale. The closest for beads is my go-to ( but they don't really have any findings at all. Thankfully it's not too bad paying $5 shipping for 2-day mail from but argh. I'm about half tempted to offer to build an online store for my local bead shop purely for my own self-interest.

  • It is also damn hard to shop for exact shades of colors/finishes online. Not every retailer has every color, most of their search tools are absolute shit and considering these beads originate from Japan their descriptions/names for colors vary wildly in translation. (thankfully, their product numbers don't; I have the five shades of Game Boy Green memorized. There were a few points where I gave up in a fit of pique and built my own database. I might still, because ARGH.

In other news, along with some of the aforementioned hard to find findings, I treated myself to one of these bad boys, which came today and OMG I love it.

I know, it kinda looks like a pregnancy test. It isn't. In fact, oh god, keep this thing far away from your hoo as possible. This is a thread burner - good for taking care of those persnickity millimeters of thread you can't quite clip. You just BURNINATE THEM OFF with this thing. (and then Trogdor comes in the NIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT - sorry) It is also fantastic for taking care of those ugly patches where you have a visible buildup of wax in between beads/rows. BURNINATED. EEEEEE.

*cough* I might like hot things. A little. The only drawback is that burning nylon and wax smells exactly like burning hair, which isn't too bad of a thing if you've spent any amount of time in a black hair salon.

I started back up with Castlevania on Christmas: I'll post some progress pictures on that front in a few rows, but I guess for now have a bead count.

14790 / 25840 beads. 87 rows. 57.237% done!
anagramofbrat: (old school tetris)
Finally hit the halfway mark, and it actually looks like something now:

A week late, but whatever. Hey, next row I get to use "black" again! whoo.

Progress on this may slow up for a bit this month, as I have to work on Amanda's Silent Santa present. Still, I will be more than happy to have this done by mid-January. 2.5 months is still waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than 8.

12920 / 25840 beads. 76 rows. 50% done!

Oh hey, I also bought beading pliers, cause sales at JoAnn's are apparently impossible to walk away from.
anagramofbrat: (beads)

10880 / 25840 beads. 64 rows. 42.105% done!

A little short of the goals I'd set, but not a bad amount of progress, really.

I have a POST but honestly I'm still all up in my feels and can't quite get it out on paper yet. Not thinking about it for now and knowingly, flagrantly sublimating into beading. And maybe baking. And maybe Christmas decor.


Nov. 27th, 2013 01:11 pm
anagramofbrat: (ARBT logo)
I dragged out the breadmaker last night and cranked out three loaves of bread - one for us, two to take with us to NY. And I'm not done - some whole wheat and pumpkin are also planned. There might have been cackling and repeated exclamations of BAKE ALL THE BREADS while I did so.

Drew and I are heading down to NY with [ profile] esotericscribe tomorrow. Prayer circle for us, lol.

9955 / 25840 beads. 58.56 rows. 38.526% done!

Can't see the forest for the trees. And the glare. Taking pictures of this thing is a right bitch.

Seeing as November ends on Sunday and this weekend is bound to be nuts I'm revising my goal count down a bit - from half done to 45%. I probably could bang out 18 more rows by Sunday, but I'd have time to do nothing else. 10 seems a bit more reasonable, though what will probably happen is I'll land somewhere in the middle. I'd be ok with that. Regardless, its still going MUCH faster than the Tetris one did - I didn't hit 39% on that until February. I mean I started it a couple weeks later in the year than this, but still I'm kinda boggled that I've managed to do in a wee bit under a month what took me twice as long last year. What a difference determination and a few improvements in technique make.

Anyway, time to fill my house with the smell of baking holiday stuff.
anagramofbrat: (dragon)

9350 / 25840 beads. 55 rows. 36.184% done!

I'll probably take pictures tomorrow cause you can actually see enough of the tree trunks to make it interesting.


Nov. 24th, 2013 02:23 am
anagramofbrat: (yarr!)

7990 / 25840 beads. 50.676 rows. 33.34% done!

Whoop, 1/3rd through.
anagramofbrat: (game face)

7990 / 25840 beads. 47 rows. 30.921% done!

My end of month goal is half done: 76 trombones in the big parade rows. We'll see if I get there.

damn it

Nov. 22nd, 2013 12:50 am
anagramofbrat: (superfail)

7650 / 25840 beads. 45 rows. 29.605% done!

1 row. Yeeesh. But considering I've spent much of the evening scouting used car listings on the internet and stressing about River being terminal, if not quite yet dead... yeah.

Oh and I was going to elaborate on my rant about #feministselfie on Twitter earlier but it's late and I got other shit to deal with than internet shit.

I really wish these sorts of happenstances didn't immediately dredge up all my YOU FAIL AT LIFE HOW ARE YOU 35 AND NOT ON TOP OF YOUR SHIT YET crap.


Nov. 21st, 2013 12:33 am
anagramofbrat: (Default)

7480 / 25840 beads. 44 rows. 28.947% done!

Woot! I have gotten to row 44! Which means I'm done with the eye bleedingly difficult top foliage and next row begins tree trunks. I know that just made no sense whatsoever and I should probably repost the pattern but I'm lazy and I want to go bed down with my book and boy.
anagramofbrat: (spoon flower)

7058 / 25840 beads. 41.518 rows. 27.314% done!

Nothing on Monday and only a row and a half-ish done yesterday due to a sudden onset of deathly Vague Plague. it was not pretty - I went home early on Monday, and was feverish and miserable by the evening and mostly slept it off. Still not feeling too great as of this morning, but very grateful that I can work from home so I don't lose 2.5 days of work I actually get paid for.


anagramofbrat: (Default)

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