31 October 2008

she's babbling about headers now

i am one of those people who has to rearrange the furniture every few months. it's not something i plan; or even something i want; i simply have to. i'll go on for months, loving the way my home looks, then wake one day hating the very sight of things, & unable to stop myself from tearing into rooms.

some of you are those people too. i can see you nodding your heads in understanding - possibly in rooms recently overhauled.

well dear reader, the same goes for my blog. usually i quietly rearrange the links or widgets, & that quells the tearinginto-osity (real word.) this time i'm bored with my header. until i find the time to make a shiny new one, (song totally stuck in my head. you're welcome) i shall be messing with header photos.

my reason for telling you? other than i felt like babbling about it, & i already called a very uninterested manlyman at work to babble? i thought i should warn you in case i screw up, & break something. if the blog disappears, or is so wonky you cannot read it - that sort of thing. then you'll know :-)

not that i plan on doing anything other than easily uploading my shiny new header, but one never knows. the techno gods really do enjoy messing with me. so there you have it.

a totally unrelated photo. i was poking through my photo files for a temporary header, & came across this one. it's the front door of a pub in santa barbara. i toyed with the idea of turning this into my header - ha!
** edited to add :: i received a lovely email, asking about the header photo. it is the inside view of the gate to get into my backyard. the house you see peeking over the top is rubelin's. my little cottage is just out of view on the right. thank you sweet emailer for your nice words about the photo. **

30 October 2008

in this town of hallowe'en...

hallowe'en is among my most favorite times of the year. i love the smell of the approaching winter, seeing the leaves turn & fall, & the excitement of costumes & parties. spiritually it is the time we talk about those who've passed, keeping thehobbit connected with those he's never met, or can no longer remember.

today is to be our day for celebrating things spiritually. i've already dug out old photos to look through when things wind down after dinner, & my plan is to spend the afternoon focusing with thehobbit on that which grounds us: the farm, the house, the meals.

he is only 10 after all, so of course there shall be lots of silliness as well. we have to watch our favorite hallowe'en movies; this & this; decorate our dia de los muertos skulls, & perhaps get out the box of instruments to hold a family jam session. but oh what to wear???


costumes! everything is vastly more fun when one is in costume. that's how we see it at the belfry at any rate. tomorrow thehobbit shall be dressing as a pirate. again. now you know i love pirates as much as the next girl, but i love making costumes so much more. his pirate outfit from hallowe'en '06 still fits; that is to say it finally does fit; but still! i have no costumes to sew this year, & that makes me a bit sad.

thehobbit did talk briefly this morning about dressing steampunk, but before i could get too excited, i found him laying out his piratey gear. he would make the most adorable steampunk! oddly enough we have pretty much everything he'd need, including goggles & a top hat. ok not so oddly really.


tomorrow (after carving our pumpkins) we'll be joining thepapers at disneyland. they don't allow adults into the park in costume, so only the shorties shall get to dress up. whatever. doubly more important for me to dress today, don't you think? hmmm steampunk mama?

that's all the babble i have time for today. i hope you have a wonderful hallowe'en, however you celebrate it. blessed be.


27 October 2008

a day out

there is no nice way to say this: thehobbit & i woke today, sick of being together. ok there most likely was a nicer way to say that, but there you have it. over a week at home with only each other & the pestilence for company was quite enough for us both. as it was manlyman's day off, i suggested an outing. sparing you the usual, painful where should we go discourse: we decided to take a walk at the beach.
thehobbit nearly peed himself with glee as we loaded his trike into bella, & headed to the coast. after a little picnic by the sand, (& tossing our bread crusts to the seagulls) we set off down the bike path. the weather could not have been better! the marine layer was so thick, you couldn't see far past the jetty, but it was warm enough to forego hoodies - my favorite.
a long walk (roll for the hobbit,) a break to play at the playground, sorbet for the walk (roll) back, & lots of stopping to look at things; made for a perfect day out. the best part? thehobbit & i breathed in all that healing, ocean air, & are happy together once more.

26 October 2008

one year!!! & one day.

in typical kat fashion, i am one day late celebrating my blogaversary with you. i'd love to tell you that i was too busy yesterday to post; what with the lavish party manlyman through for me & all. sadly that would be a lie. the truth is that my mind has been in a half-fog battling a pestilence, & i just forgot to post. perhaps i can make one year & a day the next big thing in celebrations?

because we've been vacationing in pestilenceville, our week has been a quiet one. i've gotten a few things deep cleaned, a few others organized, but mostly we've been resting on the couch. i'm sure this (& the meds) has helped keep both thehobbit & myself from getting worse.
one thing i have been enjoying, is listening to this:

son of a witch is the sequel to wicked & so far i'm enjoying it quite a lot. i discovered that i love listening to audio books. we'd been getting cds of thehobbit's books to listen to whilst driving since he was tiny. at first it kept him from fussing, (& me from going insane listening to kiddie songs) then as he grew older it became a favorite time for listening to longer stories. 2 years or so ago we began getting cds for the house as well. not to replace family story time, but to make cleaning time less dreary. if you've yet to try that, i think you should.

i'm not sure why, but it never occurred to me to get audio books for myself. finally i have, & i feel silly for waiting so long. now i don't have to choose between knitting, or reading. i don't have to rush through sewing dinky gnomies so i can get to my book. i can just snuggle on the couch with my work, & listen through my cushy headphones. win, win!

another recent discovery is that i'm very picky when it comes to headphones. ok when it comes to many things, but we needn't go there. i don't much care for the earbuds, nor any of the light-weight headphones. i do like this 1 set i have that slide over the ears, & have no top bar. they hold more snugly to my ears than the light-weight type. what i really want are the ones i had when i was a kid; sort of like these. they were comfy, plus i could more easily pretend i was in the recording studio, when i had only 1 ear covered. it's just not the same with earbuds. or perhaps i'll make these! because, you know, i have so much time on my hands.
so what about you? what are you reading? do you have a headphone preference? would it be ok to wear the big headphones when thehobbit is feeling particularly chatty?

22 October 2008

journey - noun 1) a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time.

some of you may have noticed the little count-down party happening over there ----->
in just a few days, i will have been on this blogging journey for 1 year; & oh what a journey it has been.

i just read my first entry, & find it quite fitting that as i write this, thehobbit is playing with his borrowers' house. that house; much like this blog; has grown well beyond the little play thing it once was. both have become necessary parts of our lives. of who we are.

the near-daily babbling to you, has aided with with my real writing, (you didn't know this was fake writing, did you?) even though it's destroyed my sentence structure, & use of punctuation.

a few weeks before beginning this blog, i was using this book to help me focus on the creative facets of my life. one of the things the book had me do was write non-stop, & unedited for 15 minutes a day. at first it went well, but not long in i found myself skipping days. it just didn't hold my interest. blogging each day took the place of that exercise, & obviously interested me enough to stick with it.

blogging also led me to the creative focus i had hoped the book would provide. not only did i get back into a world i'd let slip away, but i ventured beyond that world, into that of my dreams. now i have a business of which i'm proud, i belong to a co-op of amazing women artists, & even find myself knitting & crocheting!


none of the above is really much of a surprise to me. i am an optimistic dreamer of the highest magnitude. what does come as a surprise are the things i hadn't known about.

i had not known that watching me on my journey, would lead my child to search out creative paths of his own. i didn't know that creating the co-op would give me 4 sisters i wish never, ever, ever to be without. i didn't know that i would discover other blogs that inspire, entertain, & move me in ways i am unable to express.

most of all i hadn't known about all of you. nobody told me that my readers would touch my heart with kind words, & regular visits. most of you do not leave comments, (witness protection program?) but i see you through sitemeter, & it thrills me to no end just knowing you're there. i don't know what it is that keeps you coming back, but i want you to know i am glad you do. glad you have joined me on my journey. our journey.


so thank you blogland. thank you for the focus, the outlet, the laughter that made me pee myself, the friends, the imaginary friends, the fun, the tears, the inspiration, the escape, the help, the geography lessons for thehobbit, the love, the everything else.

& oh yeah - the one hell of an amazing year.

~peace & love, kat.

19 October 2008

i want a giant plate of caffeinated fried food please

well dear one & only reader: i survived the first 2 days of no caffeine; quite possibly it is more accurate to say that all those around me survived. i nearly caved the first day off as the headache was brutal, but i managed to stay the course.

the more difficult has been the food. i should have gone to the market before beginning my evil, life-sucking diet healthier eating habits. i need to figure out what snacks will give me the same emotional satisfaction as the ones they'll replace. as it stands, all of yesterday was spent fantasising about snuggling under a blanket on the couch, with an entire casserole of stuffing all to myself. mmmmm.

autumn has been uncomfortably hot thus far, even for southern california. today & tomorrow are promised to be cooler, so i plan to get as much work done on the farm as possible. everything is suffering from the heat, & the dry wind. i didn't plant any seeds at summer's end; because the beds need serious work done; but we lost a pumpkin, & the row of leek seedlings. happily we had another pumpkin already harvested, so thehobbit will have something to carve.

it's amazing how wild the earth goes when one is too busy to tend it properly. the farm isn't too bad, but the rest of the yard is insane. still, i think if we focus one section at a time, we should have everything under control by winter's arrival.

i'm so grateful to live in a house with a gigantic backyard, that i don't really feel i can complain about all the work to be done. 11 years of apartment living is still too fresh in my mind for that.

the little guy in the photo is a garden gnome we rescued from a pile of things tossed when a neighbor moved last year. thehobbit & i love him with his faded paint, & ever-watchful stance. thehobbit says that he guards the blueberries from goblins, but (as he's nowhere near the blueberry bush) i'm not sure what he's watching for.

that's all i have time for today. i wish i could stay to chat longer, but i have a hobbit in need of a pre-gardening snuggle. i hope you have a lovely day.

16 October 2008

in which i share my thoughts

change is in the air, i can feel it. not the autumnal change, nor the serious changes the world is facing - this one is all mine. the feeling has been creeping up slowly for a time now. i'd sense it ever so slightly, but it would disappear if i stopped to ponder.

i don't know what the change will bring, but i don't feel foreboding, or a sense of dread at all. what i do feel is a tingling charge, like someone, somewhere is whispering fantastic things to me, & if i crane my head forward just enough, i'll hear wonderous secrets.

i think i'm ready; or as near ready as i'm ever able to be. i know i am ready to take kats in the belfry beyond blogdom & shows. partly because i can finally upload photos at the speed of faster-than-dirtitude (real word,) but also because i'm ready to succeed. i have never been one to put off, or keep from doing something for fear i'd fail. what's kept me from going forward with many things over the years has been success. does that make sense? i see heads nodding - i know you're out there too, my fellow freaks who are afraid of what comes after (or with) the end of the rainbow. dangit! now i have who's afraid of virginia wolff in my - no! & now who's afraid of the big bad wolf, the big bad wolf, the big bad wolf? is playing in my head. rats & fleas.

the other changes? i honestly have no idea. i probably should sit down, & really give it some thought. try to figure out where i should be going, or looking, or something. the thing is, i just don't want to. i want; & this is a first for me; to just discover it when it is ready to be discovered. i have no desire ok a little, but only a very little to control this, this whatever it is that is headed my way.


this morning manlyman told me his concerns for my health. there was no way i could argue that, so i didn't bother trying. i decided i'm done with eating poorly, & done with what has become a sedentary lifestyle. i'm not a sickly woman, but i do have genetically high cholesterol, & heart disease runs in my family. so, yeah. it's time.

today marked my last caffeinated drink, & last day without exercise. yes i know the day is not yet over, that there is plenty of time for a good yoga session at least. the thing is: i believe strongly in marking occasions in a grand way. it wouldn't do to spoil the grandeur of tomorrow, by beginning a portion of my journey tonight :-D


just think! one day soon you shall come to visit me, & find a fit, skinny woman, with a thriving bizzie, giddy from all her new adventures, & happily celebrating the first black man to be elected president in the united states. i cannot wait.


14 October 2008

a quickie with photos

i am supposed to be at the grocery store right now, but i stole batteries from something else (duh) & wanted to share a few photos before i left for the day. it's also craft night, so you would have had to wait a whole other day. we both know waiting sucks.

this is for a fiber arts mushroom swap. it's made from wool felt, with the cap stuffed with roving. i didn't attach the cap; which is why i was able to tilt it for the photo. it needs to tilt so you can see this!

everyone should have a chinese mushroom! i used a wooden, gnomie body for the stem & head. i hope my swap partner likes it.

another i am in is the pocket lady swap. the items needed to be waldorf-appropriate, & dinky. each of my 2 partners was to receive 3 items. i already sent my first out, but didn't take photos. this mushroom is freakysmall. i meant to put a coin into the shot, so you could see just how wee, but i was too lazy to head over to the coin jar.

i still have 1 more item to create, then i'll have completed this swap. here is the little mushroom with a forest gnomie.

i want to keep them both!! i didn't get a photo of the gnomie's back - his cloak is embroidered. he's fancy.

past time for me to be off. i hope your day is a wonderful adventure. & by the way... i checked, & my comments are not turned off. some of you people need to delurk & say hello. let me rephrase that, some of you need to delurk, not anonymously, & say hello.


13 October 2008

small house. in the middle of the street.

did i tell you that i finally made the switch from mouse-on-wheel power to dsl? that's right people, i am now able to zip through the internet at speeds that make me a tad vomity! & yes i was the one who just last night was extolling the old-fashioned way. people? i was able to take a shower in the time it took elvie to upload a photo to blogger! i kid you not. ok a quick shower, but still! besides, i am writing this post whilst wearing a bonnet, & churning butter.

i have many photos to share with you, & were my camera's batteries not dead, i would be able to upload them at a wicked, vomity speed. i have been a crafting mad woman. i've begun getting stock ready for the waldorf winter faire, have been tinkering with a few new items, & have kept going with the swap-bot stuff. oh! the woman received my whimsy jar, & had lovely things to say about it. she even hearted me, which is quite a big deal :-)

because i cannot share my photos, i've taken some from greenleaf. thehobbit & i spent an hour this morning, poking through photos of miniatures online. looking at freakyexpensive dollhouses led us to look for more affordable kits. i'm not thrilled with the tab & slot construction, but it does mean that thehobbit can put this kit together on his own should he want to. what do you think?

this one is called arthur. manlyman & i are talking about getting this for thehobbit for xmas. he loves building wooden kits, & he loves minis, so this is the perfect prezzie for him. it's handmade for the holidays taken to the extreme - happy xmas love, make your prezzie yourself. hahahaha!

& if you think this house is sweet, you have to see this! i'm trying to come up with a reason to justify buying that for myself. can't you see the exterior painted to look like a vintage airstream?

all of this takes me back to my childhood. my gramma & i belonged to a miniature club. we'd get 1 kit in the mail each month, then spend most of the day putting it together. those kits were extremely detailed. i remember a dresser with queen anne legs, a grandfather clock, chairs, tables, a 4-poster bed, & loads of dinky brass bits. in a fit of nostalgia, i showed thehobbit photos of minis similar, & he said those are too fussy for me. that boy is one of a kind to be sure.

i know i'm not the only one in prezzie-mode. what are you planning to give your kids?


** song now stuck in my head from post title **

12 October 2008

i'll take an old-fashioned old fashioned please

i've been on the hunt for a typewriter for thehobbit for a few months now. he began pestering me for what he considered the perfect typewriter, & gets more desperate sounding each time he asks about it. as if he suspects that the more time passes, the less likely it is i'll find one. or; & this is quite possible; he's finally in the next phase of his plan to take over the world, & needs to get it all on paper quickly.

what makes me smile is that he described the typewriter i had owned (& loved) when i was his age. i haven't any idea what year mine was, as it was fairly old when it was given to me. i do know it was a manual, portable model found at a garage sale.

when i set about searching for one, i imagined it would be easy, but i was wrong. sure there are loads of typewriters, even vintage ones, at thrift shops & online swap sites; but they are either electric, or good only for parts. those that i've found through google searches have been priced beyond what i can afford. still, i refuse to give up. there has to be the perfect typewriter just waiting for thehobbit.

photo :: property of ??

thehobbit's love of things in their more simple forms thrills me to no end. this part of who he is comes directly from me - manlyman is bewildered by it to be honest. he loves us, & willingly lives in our old house, surrounded by old-fashioned, paint-chipped, archaic things; though he drew the line at the manual lawnmower i bought when we moved here; but he doesn't understand any of it. he is the type (a pun!) of person who looks always forward. he is quite content in a world of sleek, new, & shiny; preferably with bells & whistles.

to manlyman, getting a manual typewriter makes no sense - why, when he can use the computer? i couldn't get him to understand the lure of the keys' clickety clack, or the ding!, or the zzzzzip the paper makes when being pulled out. he didn't see the fun in pushing the carriage back at the end of each line of type, or in getting ink on your fingers when you changed the ribbon. think of the adventures we'll have once we find the perfect typewriter!

there's more to it than that: the sense of accomplishment, appreciation for how easy we have it, & so on. unfortunately i am too tired to write anything else. i have a head filled with snot from cleaning a summer's worth of dust from the floor heater, coupled with ash in the air from a local fire. i'm off to get some sleep. i hope you have pleasant dreams :-)


09 October 2008

the word of the day: dinky

i've written many times about thehobbit's love of all things dinky. he loves dinky food, dinky toys, & dinky creatures. he spends a great deal of time making dinky items, & rearranging his collection of dinkies in his dinky houses. it is all wonderful to be sure, but i'm beginning to feel like a giant in my own home.

this is his borrowers' main house, & guest house. the photo was taken a few months ago, so there are vastly more dinkies within each building. soon they shall be emptied though & hopefully purged of crap as we're going to add a floor in that huge open space above the great room, paint the walls & exterior, & faux bois the floors. by we i mean i - which i am sure you guessed.

here we have a close-up of the dining room. i love the silver candlestick & tea service, combined with the wooden spool chairs. he made the table out of a painted candle holder, & the metal disk that came with a package of magnets. of course he's long since rearranged the room, & turned the spools into something else.

this photo was taken when we were reading this. the dinky penguin was quite the explorer, & thehobbit was forever finding him hanging out in the house, pirate ship, castle, & even the hogwarts playset. i have no idea how he got all those places ;-)

even manlyman's gotten into the spirit, & occasionally burns down candle stubs, & moves things about. thehobbit is always thrilled to discover proof that the borrowers exist. it truly has been such fun, & brought us all a lot of happiness. i just wish it were all dust repellent.


his latest dinky obsession is not making daddyo & i as happy. sweet tinker has inspired him to become a steampunk artist. it's not the genre we are unhappy with; steampunk things are very cool; it's that he took apart his watch & his pocket watch before we knew what he was about. we learned he had done so when he very proudly showed me how he'd organized all the dinky bits into containers just as tinker had. yeah.

there was a royal proclamation sent out, banning all disassembling of anything, no matter what, until further notice. we told him if he uses the bits & bobs to create some steampunk coolness of his own, then we'll discuss lifting the ban. if he does actually stick with this we'll buy him a bunch of thrift shop watches, & some dinky tools for christmas. he did create a pretty box (asking if it looked like tinker's boxes,) but he'd glued dinky shells to a small box, & not used one watch bit. cute, but no watch bits doesn't count.


my own journey with dinkies currently is gnomie-based. i have to create a zillion of them for the winter show, as well as to have on hand for prezzies & random orders. i'm thrilled that my dinky gnomies are so popular, & i'm in love with my new wooden gnomies, but i imagine come december i'll be sick of the site of them all.

which brings me to the end of my babble for today. i need to finish here, & get to cutting gnomie cloaks. i hope you have a good night.

05 October 2008

castles, ships, scares, & adventures

photo :: property of ann wood

i am in love with this cardboard castle. i found it on my daily walk through craftzine, & cannot stop going back to look at it. thehobbit's already asked if we could build our own, unfortunately i haven't the patience to create something this elaborate, even for him.
curiosity led me to visit ann's blog, & oh!!!! she is extremely talented, & i must have this ship.

photo :: property of ann wood


on a decidedly less light note: we had a scare last night. thehobbit; in usual hobbity fashion; was goofing off on the bathroom counter, fell backwards, & managed to get the tip of the tweezers he was holding into the electric outlet. there was a pop!, the tweezers scorched, the power went out, thehobbit scared & the parents more so. we have no idea how or why he was unharmed, but we are relieved beyond words.

i tiptoed in to stare at him a few times as he slept, & today have had to force myself to not follow him everywhere. i think he's more freaked still than he admits, as he's been behaving strangely all day - um strange even for him that is. i don't really care, i'm too busy feeling grateful i still have a child.


wow! we just had an adventure!! as i was writing this post, i heard the pitter patter of little creature feet. rubelin's cats are always sneaking in our backdoor to visit, so i assumed it was they. i looked over my shoulder to find it was not her cats, it was in fact our other neighbor's 2 dogs, zoe & apple box!!!! i can only assume the small dog squeezed through the fence, & the large dog jumped to follow. however they managed, it was unexpected, & quite fun.

we ushered them out, & i went to let the neighbors know we had stow-aways. much to thehobbit's delight, they weren't home. the dogs played happily in our yard for a time; thehobbit romping along side them; & when they finally lay in the grass to relax, i got the cell number off zoe's collar.

both dogs are home now, & thehobbit is sad. i hope one day he outgrows his allergy to dogs; it's just so cruel for a child who loves them as he does. still... what an adventure!

& now i must go comfort a sad hobbity boy. talk to you later :-)


** edited to update: since this post, the dogs have gotten into our yard a few times each day. at first thehobbit was thrilled beyond belief. however... they popped every ball the could find, killed one pumpkin vine, & bit into our largest pumpkin. thehobbit now enjoys helping us send them home! **

01 October 2008

is it time yet for bed?

there was a power outage that lasted from 6ish pm, until 10 pm last night. normally i'd be thrilled at the prospect of a quiet adventure, light a few candles, & snuggle next to manlyman with a book, or a craft project. we did light candles, (because being able to see is a good thing) but it was so abnormally, freakishly hot that neither wanted to sit anywhere near the other. books didn't hold my attention for more than a few minutes, & the thought of crafting whilst sweating in places a girl ought not held no appeal. i was hot, crabby, antsy, & probably annoying. it was quiet to be sure, but it wasn't an adventure.

after a time reading, manlyman gave in to the heat & the quiet, & fell asleep. i became bored without someone to pester, so puttered about in the dark, playing with flashlights, & talking to myself. later i made him go to bed so i could have the couch all to myself. when the power came back on, i lay in the dark, mindlessly watching television, glad for the distraction.

i should have done yoga, or meditated before going off to bed. anything to switch my head & body out of the strange mood of the eve. because i did nothing, i slept poorly. today i have a zillion errands to do, & no energy. this should be fun. bright side? it's wednesday, which means craft night! & did i tell you...

photo :: property of blueeyedcrow.wordpress.com


tinker has finally joined the world of blogging! please visit her, & leave a comment if you like what you see or read. she's simply lovely, & her art is mind bogglingly beautiful. & on that note, it's time for me to go! i hope your day is a happy one.


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