Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hello again, liquid eyeliner

Overpriced makeup came in the mail, but somehow I didn't hear the post-person and now I have to go pick it up on Montreal road with ID and proof of residence. Can you believe I paid $80 for this convenience?

So much more to say, such little desire to share how pathetic my holiday is shaping up to be. 'PhD applications' are tied with 'thesis' and 'personal life' for 'Andrea's biggest disaster of 2007'. On the bright side: from here, 2008 is a long, gleaming road of upswing. It has to be.

It'll all come out in the wash.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday blues

I wish my overpriced makeup would come in the mail.

I had to work today, and I had a mild panic attack when I looked at the schedule and realized xmas is next frigging week. I'm in pretty good shape; I've made all the gift I planned on making by hand, but I've put off the shopping till now and it's the worst possible time of year to shop.

I made an observation today; the holidays make unimportant things seem urgent and important things get shelved, where they fester in the subconscious stress-basin to keep you up at night. If it were socially appropriate to bring a laptop and work on my thesis on christmas day, I would. But it's not. In fact, it's super-not. To do so would look rude and selfish, etc etc ad nausium, even though it's essentially the focus of my entire life right now.

So what's the problem? Have I lost perspective? Or just the commercialized "christmas spirit"?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Somber hangover reflections

I haven't been in a very good mood lately.

I'm stressed by the multifarious pressures of putting together the PhD application, which is essentially designed to be a heart-attack inducing bag of stress. Futher, to have to convince all these schools and profs that you're worth any of their attention at all can be a bit of an ego-crusher. I think the whole point of its tediousness is in weeding out people who say "what's the point?" and throw in the towel, and believe me, I've been close to that point.

Futher to that, when you're feeling stressed and low on self-esteem, any little thing can throw you off your feet. Case and point was last night, my staff xmas party.

I had worked that day, and had grappled with my usual feelings of "nobody likes me here" and "nobody appreciates the work I do here". That happens. Nonetheless, I do enjoy the company of the people I work with, regardless of what I percieve my popularity there to be. And I was looking forward to the party too, especially the gift exchange where I envisioned a big reaction to my thick, soft, fluffy mittens that I worked so hard to have finished in time.

We do a "chinese gift exchange" at our parties, which means that when someone opens a gift, they can swap it for a previously opened gift. The year I made alligator mittens, everyone fought over them all night and my heart soared. The girl who unwrapped my mittens this year tossed them away in favor of something "better" without a second's hesitation, and my heart sank. They wound up going to the new girl, who claims to like them a lot, but seeing them so unappreciated was unreversible.

This is the plight of the handmade gift enthusiast; the odd time someone will not appreciate the time, work and care put into your items. And fuck, does it sting.

On a lighter note, my disappointment culminated in my almost getting into a fight with some girl at the bar. Picture this; Zaphods. I'm wearing a BCBG corset-top and pencil skirt with my highest stiletto heels. I have an updo and elaborate makeup. As I walk along the bar from the dancefloor-end toward the coat-check area, I encounter some congestion of people. My travels slow down as I'm worced to walk toe-to-heel against people in front of and behind me.

All of a sudden, the girl behind me spills her drink all over me. I'm not exaggerating either. I felt it all over my chest and left arm, my top and my leather watch; I even felt it fall down my left leg and into my shoe. I raise my arms and turn to start accepting the profuse apologies I'm expecting, but I don't get any. When I inform this broad that she has just showered me in whatever whe was drinking, she told me to "take it easy", and my cup runneth over.

Details of the event are a bit of a blur; I vaguely recall repeating "take it easy" incredulously. What I do remember in perfect clarity was that she tried to walk away from me, toward the door and down the steps... so I helped her along. I shoved this girl down the steps from behind. I was 100% ready to fight, despite the fact that I was a) wasted, b) in high heels and c) far smaller than this girl I was fronting, even with my high heels on.

For all I know, it would have been a fight I'd have lost, but I'll never know because the girl just disappeared. I looked for her for the rest of the night, but she was probably hiding from the drunk, crazy woman (me).

Anyway, drink-spilling girl, if you're reading this, you need to be taught some manners. And I need to vent some aggression. So bring it!

Friday, December 14, 2007

2:56pm - light lunch; glass of red wine.

I'm working on my thesis. Or is my thesis working on me?

I'm in a bad mood thesis work won't fix. Goin to Winners!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day in Montreal

Today was the longest day ever.

Dad and I were on the road to Montreal at 10am and I was barely awake. My first appointment was at Concordia with Prof. Acland, which was very enjoyable. He was very personable and gave me lots of information about the school and the program. My interview with him probably put Concordia at the top of my list, actually. The campus was beautiful, great location, etc. Definately a good prospect.

McGill was so-so. My meeting was with a prof who had a wierd office on the outskirts of the campus and it was snowing cats and dogs, so I didn't raelly get a visual impresion of the school. His interview was very brief and to the point; he didn't really "sell" me on the program, but I guess that's not his job. He did reiterate what a highly ranked and prestigious school McGill is, and how few spots there are in their PhD program, etc.

The way home was a real pip. Apart from the lovely snowstorm, dad and I were thrying to leave downtown Montreal at 5 o clock PM! We were stuck in rush hour traffic forever. In fact, I only got home a little while ago, and it's now ten to ten. Ugh.

I brought my knitting bag in case I got back to town early enough to join the girls, but I'm just too exhausted from the ride home. I hope they forgive me. This week has been far too busy for my liking.

I'm excited to have a day off tomorrow, with no travel plans, and no shifts at Top. I have a few errands to run, might check out the gym at some point, do some xmas shopping. I think a day off my applications is in order though.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yesterday I was so discouraged and overhwlemed by my applications that I managed to accomplish a whole lot of nothing. Actually, no. I did accomplish one thing. I managed to spend almost $80 on cosmetics online. That's right, cosmetics. 3 items. $80. Someone should take my credit card away when I have PMS.

Today I will work on thesis until I have to go to the store at 5. No more retail therapy allowed. If I'm good, I'll treat myself to an ice cream or something. But $17 for an eyeliner... yeesh.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weekend in Toronto

People I know think that I'm pretty laid-back, but I'm actually a huge stress-case. Case and point; my trip to Toronto. I was terrified of wandering around the "big city", finding my friend's apartment, finding York U, finding the prof, finding my way back home. I did a LOT of preparation for my trip. I researched the TTC so that I knew what I was doing. I printed maps of the city, bus routes, subway lines, etc. All this preparation, and I forgot my emailed confirmation of train ticket purchase that I was supposed to print out and bring to the station.

It wasn't a big deal; it's just a confirmation. They had my name and credit card # and stuff there, and I was able to pick up my tickets without a problem. Nonetheless, it's the kind of screwup that makes me infuriated at myself and makes me worry even more about my ability to complete my mission in Toronto.

I got there and found my friend without incident. We went to Sneaky Dee's for dinner and drinks, which was very enjoyable. Sarah and Dave just got a new teeny tiny kitten, who I enjoyed playing with. She kept climbing my legs like a monkey up a tree. Thank god for denim!

The next morning, I embarked on my trip to York 2 hours ahead of my appointment to ensure that I made my meeting on time. I have to say, I am so impressed by Toronto's public transit. That subway is quick! From Downsview station (the northmost stop on the subway) I caught an express bus especially for York students. That was a long busride. That school is really far from Toronto central! I had been told, but dang. That's a hell of a commute to do every day if I don't want to live in North York (and I don't).

Here's where things get really sad. 11:50 - I show up for my meeting ten minutes early, enthusiastic and ready for the interview. I waited... and waited.. and waited. 12:15 - I ask the secretary if they'd seen the prof. Nope. Any way of paging him? No. 12:30 - I'm starting to get upset. I call Sarah and have her go into my hotmail account to confirm time and place. Monday 12 noon, Film and Theatre building. 12:45 - I'm plotting my revenge. Infuriated, I'm planning what I'll say to this asshole when I finally see him... something along the lines of "If you think $160 and ten hours of travel is not a big deal, you were never a grad student" or "If this is a reflection of your institution, York can fuck itself", etc etc.

12:50 - He shows up. Apparently, we'd been having 'communication issues' over email... He got my frist 2 emails introducing myself and making the tentative appointment, but he never got my confirmation (which I KNOW I sent!). He apologized for making me wait, and let me in. At this point, much of my enthusiasm has evaporated. I asked the questions I had planned to ask, but I'm sure I didn't sparkle the way I had originally intended to. Furthermore, I had been really interested in the program at York but the prof told me a few things that are making me reconsider. All in all, it was not a good meeting.

Afterward, I was able to get some shopping done and had a quick meal with Sarah and Dave before getting on the train coming home. I arrived at 9:58 last night and went straight to bed.

Today my itinerary is pretty laoded:
- I have to figure out what's up with my emailing! I'm supposed to have appointments with profs in Montreal later this week, and if something's up with hotmail, I need to fix it!
- Dr's appt at 3:30 pm. What a fucking pain in the ass just to refill a perscription I've been on for almost 10 years.
- Thesis! Argh! I'm running out of steam for this school business. As if these applications aren't punishing enough, my supervisor is putting the screws on me about my thesis. In fact, he said he couldn't write me a good recommendation without a few "letter perfect" chapters under my belt. Wonderful; the applications are due in a month and now I've got some "letter perfect" chapters to produce FIRST.

This situation is killing my ambition and making me wonder if I am simply a sado-masochist seeking stress and pain. Every time I meet with a prof, they suggest that I apply at another school or program. "Cast your net widely," they say. Have they forgotten that each school costs $80 just to apply? Transcripts cost another $10, and each school wants 2! That's $100 per application, plus that time and pain and suffering that goes along with all the work that I send in to them. I mean, FUCK!

I'm going to proceed with applying to 4 schools; York, Carleton, McGill and Concordia. If I get in to one, great. Cool. If not, fine! I'll wrap up my masters thesis and try again next winter. Take a year to work and save money and maybe even get my driver's license. Not the end of the world.

Wow, what a long, cathartic post. I remember when I started this blog and would stare at the blank window wondering what to write.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I was undecided about what to make for the staff xmas party, so I was wise to wait for inspiration. Today, my stash told me what to make.

I had forgotten about this BEAUTIFUL Patons Luxury yarn I found at a salvation army last spring. It's a mohair blend, bulky weight, blackish/greyish. The color is called "starry night" or something like that. I found 4 brand new balls in a bag for 99 cents. It should have easily cost over 7 or 8 bucks a ball!

Bulky weight yarn is good for a quick gift, and the neutral color makes it very versatile. I found a pattern for crochet mitts on Ravelry, and I'm finally inspired! The trainride should fly by!

Today I got my ISIC card, ordered my transcripts and got as much rest as I could. I'm a little weak and headachy, but not sick in the traditional sense of the word. 5 hours on a train is pretty restful too, if you think about it. As long as I don't have a cold; ie- as long as I'm not blowing my nose throughout my appointment with Dr. Forsyth! I'll be ok.

My usual computer routine has a new venue;! Over the holidays when I'm not so insanely busy, I'd like to cross-post many of my FOs from craftster to handmadeottawa.

J and A did a great job starting it up, and it's exciting to be "on the front lines", so to speak, and see it's membership grow by the day! If you haven't checked it out yet, do!

Sore throat

I had a tickle in my throat yesterday, and this morning I woke to find a full-blown sore throat! Boo! I have the busiest week EVER starting tomorrow;
I work 2 to 9 Saturday, and then I'm off to Toronto Sunday! Not a good time to be sick AT ALL. But that's when these things happen, don't they?

I had to cancel plans for snowboarding with Lizz this afternoon in favor of "taking it easy". What crap! At least I might be able to nip this bug in the bud. That would be great!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Going in to see my supervisor today. FINALLY! I will sleep better after this meeting, I believe.

Still haven't decided what to make for the staff party... I need to have a plan by Sunday. I went out and bought some washable worsted-weight yarn in an amazing grape purple color; a color we're seeing a LOT of in the store right now. I'm thinking of making just plain mittens with it, but the mitten pattern I've been using is really long and slow. It's knit on dpns and a teeny tiny guage, which makes them beautiful and warm but very time-consuming.

I'm on the lookout for a good/interesting mitten pattern in crochet. Crochet is ever so much faster; and also more yarn efficient, I think. I could possibly make a matching hat & mitts with that one "super saver" ball!

Tonight, T and I are having dinner with my sister and her husband. It was her hubbie's bday like, 2 weeks ago and tonight is the first night we've been able to secure a night and get a sitter for the little'uns. Thing is, reservations is for 7:30... unless Tom drives me right to Vanessa's afterward, I won't make knitting circle!

I'll make him drive me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Compromised efficiency!

Wednesday morning. Still haven't heard from my supervisor.

The bus #7 comes right from my neighborhood, through the market, all the way down bank and right into the Carleton campus. Convenient, right? Wrong. It takes forever. Bank st takes forever. Especially now, with that terrible detour due to the demolishing of that pub, it takes just over an hour for me to get to school.

I need to go. I need to pick up TA assignments and get myself an ISIC card so that my train ride to Toronto next week doesn't cost a small fortune. Thing is, I'm waiting on hearing back from my supervisor. I was hoping to have a meeting with him the same day as I run these errands, thus killing not two, but three birds with one stone!

But he's not getting back to me, so I'm going to have to bite my efficient tongue and ride that 7 all day. Blast!

I bought my transcripts from Ottawa U online yesterday. A nice $80 for 8 copies!! Frig! That costs about as much as each individual application! This application process is going to cost me a small fortune... good thing I've made most of my xmas gifts this year!

I trid to start working on a gift for my work xmas party last night, but I was... uninspired. I looked through all my hip knitting/crochet books (and I have a LOT!), and couldn't find anything that really excited me. So I decided to make purple animal mittens because they're such a hit in general, but I couldn't seem to cast on. I wound up working on my other mittens instead.

Maybe I've made too many animal mittens and am just so sick of the pattern. Or, it is possible that I just don't want to contribute the same handmade item tio this staff party that I did once before; even though that was about 2 or 3 years ago.

Luckily, my invite came in, so I have the luxury of being able to peruse their free patterns for something that inspires me. Their search engine is wonderful too; I can choose criteria like what it is (mittens, socks, etc), what weight yarn I'm using (worsted, bulky, etc), which method I prefer (knitting vs crochet) and whether or not I'm willing to pay for a pattern! Genious!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007!

Finally got my invite to! It's been a month of waiting and desperately checking the waiting-list-checker... now here I am and what a wonderful distraction from all the super important things I have to do today!

I'm going to let myself play with it later. So excited to get all my knitting stuff organized!

In other news, I'm hungry.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I get so rediculously excited when I have email! To come home to 14 new messages was a real treat today, even though it was mostly my school colleagues giving me feedback on my personal statement.

I had to work today in this absolutely redonkulous weather and I'm pretty glad to be home and warm... I think I'm going to take a bath and take it easy tonight. Tomorrow is schoolworkland...

1) go to campus to pick up the LAST OF THOSE TA ASSIGNMENTS FOR 2007! I'm glad, eben though I still have to mark their final exam, and I have to do it all over again in January.
2) read the feedback for my statement and revise it accordingly
3) get printer ink! Probably on my way home from 1)
4) gym
5) laundry
6) ok, now I'm just thinking out loud.

I hereby officially give myself the night off.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I can't believe I forgot to mention!

Undeadclothingco made it's first sale yesterday! A has paid me, making his my first sale ever!

A, if you're reading this, I'm jacking the price for custom wallets. Yours was a 'preferred customer' rate, FYI. Random car forum guys pay more!

Setting the wheels in motion

My month is coming together now. I've heard back from all the profs I've contacted, and made travel plans to Toronto and Mtl next week. Having plans set in stone is really relieving stress I didn't realize I had. I guess I was worried about fitting travel in between work, family, applications and thesis. Fortunately, those close to me understand how important these travel plans are.

Sunday Dec 9th I'm going to Toronto for one night. I have a meeting with a prof at York the next morning. I'm getting to stay with Sarah and Dave which makes me really happy and excited. I sprung for train tickets; I figure it's worth it for 2 reasons. 1) I can knit/read on the train and I can't seem to do that on the bus without getting bus-sick. 2) The train is less likely to be held up by terrible weather, which is all we've been getting lately around here.

I'm going to Mtl with my mom and dad (their parents live there from Dec 13th to the 14th. Yes, that means I have to miss crafting circle that week! It hurts. Especially since I was all like "Yeah, we'll do the gift exchange on the 13th and we'll have it at my house and it's the perfect time and blah blah blah!" Oh beans. The next thursday is the 20th, and I hope that's not cutting it too close for out-of-towners. Waiting till after xmas is not the biggest deal, but it's a bit of a bummer.

The Let it Snow party last night was... alright. Last year, I "stopped by" the party after closing the store. I wasn't in the mood to party at all, and I wound up getting hammered and having an amazing time. I guess I had high expectations for last night as a result. It was still fun, but not the shit-show it was last year. I'm glad too, because I have to work today and I remember being hung-over as hell last year.

Speaking of work, I better get going!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Eerily quiet at the living dead girl's house

I woke up at 7:30 am and the boys are still asleep. Now it's 8:19 am and they're still asleep. Felicity isn't even annoying me yet. It's like the Langoliers or something... you know? That Stephen King movie about people who fell asleep on a plane and when they wake up, everyone who was awake is just gone? I actually haven't seen the movie, but I read the short story and it was good. The people had just disappeared but non-organic matter (ie- tooth fillings, dentures, steel rods, pacemakers) remained in their seats. Creepy, huh?

I am officially in the midst of a super-busy stretch. I have something reasonably important and time-consuming to do every day from now until Xmas. Fortunately, I've got much of my xmas gifts taken care of. There remains the hardest man to buy for; the notorious t.o.m. I'm pretty sick of buying him video games, DVDs and books he doesn't read.

Any suggestions, blogosphere? What to get the man who has it all?

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Someone. Actually. RECOGNIZED me from this blog.

I was utterly dumbfounded. It's not like I go to any great lengths to hide my identity or anything, but at the same time I haven't posted my full name, place of residence, work... I may have mentioned Carleton... hmm. Anyway, this girl from MILK claimed to have recognized me by my photo, which is incredible. Good vision, girl from MILK! You should abandon retail and become a... person-finder!

In other news, I had a very long but reassuring day. PhD application time is wrought with highs and lows; moments of confidence and integrity and moments of misery and despair. If you have more highs than lows, the apps get done and sent off. If you have more lows, well... they don't. I sure hope I have more days like today.

The weekend is already upon us! This week flew by very fast, due to business and stress (busy-ness, not business). Tomorrow I have to return some library books. That's it. I'm going to work on my apps tomorrow but I'm largely going to take it easy. Then tomorrow night is a little cocktail party I'm sure I'll enjoy!

Saturday is the Let it Snow party at Babylon! I feel like I've been looking forward to it since the last one!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On track

Yesterday was pretty darn productive, I must say. I got through the vast majority of the assignment corrections, e-mailed profs at Concordia, McGill and York, and even managed to go to a Bodypump class! I pumped hard too, I'm not looking forward to trying to get down the stairs for another cup of coffee. Owwww

Instead of watching a movie last night, I decided to vent some aggression by playing Halo2. It's been a while since I played it... I guess I forgot how scary it is to play by yourself late at night. It's just the flood... they get so CLOSE! Anyway, I played until I had effectively scared the shit out of myself. Productive day.

Holiday fun times are starting to clog up my December calendar! My supervisor is having a party this Friday, Top of the World is having a party Saturday, and Tom and I are having dinner with my sis and bro-in-law for his birthday Sunday! Sounds like a damn good weekend!

1) finish corrections, input grades
2) maybe some undeadclothingco if I have time before work?
3) work; 4-9

Frig, it looks cold out there. Tonight is probably going to be a snoozer at the store.

Tomorrow I have 2 meetings with potential references for my applications; one at 10 am and the other at 5pm. Nice scheduling, huh? I'll probably hang out with my mom in between, seeing as she's so close to Carleton and she called me yesterday but I was too busy to hang.

I'm actually pretty nervous about the 10am meeting. It's a prof I had for a communcations seminar last year. I think he'd made a good reference because he's a comm prof and 3 of the 4 programs I'm applying to are in communcations. Thing is, we didn't really *click*. It's not that we didn't get along at all, but I feel like there's an equal chance he'll give me a good reference or he won't. I'm trying to imagine myself in his office tomorrow and him saying "Sorry," and wondering how to gracefully accept that. I got a decent mark in his class... I'm probably overreacting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yesterday started out sooo bad! Isic card, bus pass and ink cartridge purchases did not happen. I was so annoyed! Apparently you need 5687 pieces of proof that you're a full-time Carleton student before they'll give you an ISIC card. They don't sell semeter bus passes until mid-December (at which time the mall will be mobbed) and Grand & Toy was out of my size cartridges!

When I work the cash at the store, I ask customers if this purchase is a gift or not. If they say 'no', I like to tease them for shopping for themselves at this time of year. Now I'm that guy! I bought some clothes at Neon for half off, a winter coat that I desperately need, and a very special sweater. I'm eager to premiere it at knitting circle this week.

Basically, all I accomplished yesterday was to spend about $500 on MYSELF (which, you'll notice was NOT on my list!)!!

So today, I have to do all those things I didn't do yesterday. It won't be fun, but it'll feel good to have done them. Then I'll treat myself to popcorn and a movie when Tom goes to hockey! Good deal!

Monday, November 26, 2007


Every year, the staff at Top of the World has a gift exchange. It's the kind of thing where you get a gift ($20 is the monetary limit), wrap it up and put it under the tree. Then when it's gift time, we do a "chinese gift exchange" (forgive me if this is racist, I know of no other term for it).

Basically we pick numbers, and open gifts in that order. If you don't like your gift, you are able to trade it with someone who went before you. It's tricky to explain, but you probably get the gist of it.

I've handmade gifts a couple of times and they've always been a big hit. One time I made large alligator mittens and people were literally fighting over them. It made me feel pretty good.

Opinions please!

Busy bee!


1) pick up TA assignments
2) get student ISIC card
3) buy bus pass for next semester
4) buy black ink cartridge
5) do all this in time to meet Jen at 3:15
6) shop, eat, see movie, enjoy afternoon
7) start correcting assignments
8) seek and contact third reference
9) work on emails for profs

... at this point, I think we're actually in Wednesday! Frig, I have a lot of shit to do. I probably can't afford to spend an afternoon shopping with Jen, but I also can't afford NOT to unwind. Plus, I do need to do some more holiday shopping. So there.

10) write personal statements for applications and have them proof-read
11) secure transcripts for applications
12) go crazy and shoot self in the face.

Note that neither thesis, nor undeadclothingco makes the list. Bummer.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Those last few posts have reflected my stress levels and as a result, have been horribly boring. I'm still working diligently on my PhD applications, but I'm not going to lament about them here anymore.

Last night Tom and I went to a great hockey game; the sens vs the flyers. We lost 3-4, but it was a good game. The highlight of the game was when a young woman (late teens, maybe) caught a puck in the jaw. It was BRUTAL. I've been terrified of taking a puck in the face ever since Tom started taking me to games... our seats are in the second row, so we can easily see how hard and fast these fuckers fly. Tom would tell me that since we're so close to the ice, there's no way I could take a fast one in the head; at worst, a high-flying puck could bonk me on the crown.

Well, that's not what happened to this chick. Immediately after getting hit, Tom waved over the attendant who took her away. She came back in the next period with a giant ice bag on her chin. The welt was already turning blue, and I bet it looks terrible today. What pissed me off was that the elderly couple sitting a few seats to her right tried to keep the puck! When the whole thing happened, Tom and I clearly saw the woman pick it up, inspect it for a sec, and put it in her purse. Then, when the injured girl was getting treated a manager-guy came and asked if anyone had seen where the puck went; he'd like to give it to her. Nobody gives it up. When the girl came back to her seat with the icebag, Tom and I glared at the woman till she gave it to her. Geez! Decency police!

I have a big task list for this upcoming weel, most of which has to do with my applications. I'm going to buy a student ISIC card for deals on VIArail service. I figure a last-minute trip to Toronto is not so bad if I'm able to knit/read in transit. I can't do that stuff on the bus. Getting the ISIC card is kinda stupid though; I have to supply my own picture of myself, which they cut up and use for the ID portion of the card. Isn't that rediculous? First of all, I haven't seen an actual material photo of myself in years, they're all digital now! According to facebook, I have over 200 photos of myself available to me. Now I have to pay to have one printed for this damn card. Stupido.

I have a vague shopping/movie date with Jen planned for this week too, which is good because I'm not done my xmas shopping yet. I haven't got much more to do, but I'd like to buy handmade, so we're going to go to the North Dalhousie boutiques! I love them.
One day they'll meet undeadclothingco. I hope they get along!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

OK; calmer now.

It's not a big deal if I can't get to Toronto. I contacted a prof at Carleton through email alone, and I can do that with York too. It's not the end of the world.

Furthermore, it's not the end of my career if I don't get in at York. I might get in at Carleton and decide I want to stay in town! So I'm chilling out.

There's a personal statement writing seminar today on campus at 10. Then knitting tonight... I'm almost done zoomZOOM! I might have a hard time parting with it, to be honest.

Tom bought a shovel yesterday. Winter, it's offish.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Well, my excitement and enthusiasm for applying to York next year has already faltered. This morning I discovered that I need THREE, not two, references. This complicates my life... I was surprised at the ease with which I found #2, which practically dictates that #3 will be a pip. A colleague of mine suggested I get a communications prof to do it, since I took a COMM course last year and it is partially a COMM program I'm applying into. Unfortunately, my COMM prof and I didn't exactly strike a chord. More specifically, he turned me off by LECTURING throughout his seminars (we're supposed to do the talking, pal!) and then busting my balls about the final paper proposal. In the end, I wrote a stupid paper that I hated, and he appeared to hate it equally. A-. Not a bad mark, but there's no way I'm asking him for a ref.

So I have to ask someone else. There's a department conference Friday, where I can ostensibly shmooze and feel some of my former profs out. I hate mandatory shmoozing. I'm a good shmoozer when I'm in the mood, but now I have this PhD gun to my head. Eff.

Furthermore, I discovered that York also wants my undergrad transcripts, which I thought I had escaped entirely. Truth is, I was a rather mediocre student in my first two years. It wasn't until midway through the 3rd that I got caught up in sociology and decided to run with it. Presumeably, they're not going to care much about my marks for my first two years, but they sure did hurt my average and I'm sure I only got into my Masters program thanks to my references and contacting Carleton profs.

Which brings me to the third pain in my ass. My colleague told me point-blank that I have no chance of getting in to that program without meeting with some profs and convincing them to work with me. He said he had an A+ average after his undergrad, but he still got rejected from graduate schools he didn't visit. Well, fuck.

I mean, I should have known this. I freely admit that contacting a prof helped me get into Carleton. But York is in Toronto! It's not like a half hour drive. Furthermore, it's practically the holidays and the application is due mid-Jan. Like people aren't busy enough without jackass last-minute students coming to kiss their asses? Eep.

Anyway, none of this is terrible, tragic news. I have time to round up another reference. I'll check out the York faculty list and email some profs for some meetings. Maybe I'll go in early Jan when the holiday shitstorm dies down.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Getting up early RULES.

At first, I was grumbling about how I had to go all the way to campus to pick up my assignments to correct in this frosty, freezy-rainy, shit weather but it turned out to be a rather lovely day. I got my assignments, did some groceries, did some laundry and washed my hair; and it's only 2:41pm!

A certain sociology prof at Carleton really made my day today. I emailed him with the typical pleasant preamble; "Hi, how are you?" and then I asked for a brief meeting... I only slightly touched on the fact that I was poking around for a reference. Then he fully called me on it: he said he'd be happy to write me a "very strong" reference letter and I don't need to see him in person. Well... Sweet! It made me happy that he was so amenable. It's nice when profs you worship give you a little pat on the head. I had a little blushy smile about it all day.

Now; correct assignments.
Any day/afternoon time after that; thesis.
After dinner/nighttime; undeadclothingco. A certain someone's zoomZOOM wallet is almost finished. Yes, that's its official name: "zoomZOOM!!!" It's funner to say than to type.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ah shit, I didn't get to snap a photo of Finny wearing his mittens. I think he was pretty overwhelmed at all the gifts and fuss and cupcakes (He is only 2 after all!). My sis will probably send me some eventually. They sure are cute with the googly eyes on!
Today I worked 10 - 5 and didn't accomplish much else. It's 8 o clock and I feel like going to bed. It's amazing how standing around, selling shoes and sipping coffee can tire you out!

I'm not allowed to be tired for the rest of the week! Lots to do! Assignment corrections, thesis, PhD application, in that order. First thing tomorrow I go to school and correct! Then I need to start trolling for references... I would assume my supervisor would recommend me but number 2 will be a shot in the dark; I have some ideas though. Then I have to get the theoretical portion of my thesis banged out and being reviewed by the end of the week (ideally).

I had a mini business meeting with my sis and her boyfriend, who are officially undeadclothingco's only staff. And they're volunteers! I'm eager to see another version of the logo and improvements to the website. I'd like to have some of my never wallets up on etsy in January. January 2008! Undeadclothingco's officialy buniess unveiling! Party time. Seriously, I'd like to have a party about it.

Apart from that, hm. Knitting circle thursday, I presume. Maybe some 90s dancing thursday night... it's been a while. Hm. Yeah. Boringest post ever.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

So this morning I had a wonderful idea. I started looking at schools I might consider applying to for my PhD. This was a great idea because it's inspired me to actually work on my friggin thesis for the sake of getting it done. Yes, DONE. The sooner it's "DONE" the sooner I can get to the editing stage... so in essence, DONE isn't really complete at all. Anyway;

I think it would be wise to throw an app to these 3 schools;

1) Carleton. I've lived in Ottawa all my life, so there is a certain appeal in staying in a city I know and am comfortable in. Furthermore, I had a pretty good experience with my MA; good teachers, good courses, good campus, no complaints.

2) Ryerson/York. I wouldn't have wanted to move to Toronto, but when I saw this COOL program, I realized I have to at least apply to it. It's a PhD in Communication and Culture (not 'sociology') and it's offered through both Ryerson and York universities. The rationale is that you have access to the best of both universities; York's rigorous theoretical background, and Ryerson's hands-on, empirical emphasis. Cool eh? Toronto is far from home, but I do have friends there and this program is too neat not to apply for.

3) McGill? I dunno, it doesn't grab me very hard, but I feel like I should give Montreal a chance to be fair. It's not as far as Toronto, and my sis lives there. Iunno. Couldn't hurt to try. It is choice #3 though.

So yeah! Applications are due as early as mid-January 2008, so I gotta get on that. I'm going to start trolling for recommendations this week, and there's a seminar on how to write good personal statements this Thurs.

That's all the inspiration I needed!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oof! It's been a while since I've worked an 8 hour shift at the store and I forgot how they can suck up your entire day and wear you out!

Bizarre factoid; I left a small stack of my business cards on the flyer wall at Top of the World last Sunday... and as of Wednesday they're ALL gone! There isn't much info on those cards... weird. I'll have to monitor my website counter to see if I'm getting more hits...

I had a great time at J's craft night yesterday. I'm stoked that she lives so close! I could literally walk over for a visit if I wanted to (it'd take like, 45 mins, but still!) I am also eager to do business with her boyfriend, A. I like that while he has given me an idea of what he'd like, he's leaving me a lot of agency as creative technician. That's exactly the sort of business interaction I'm hoping to have with undeadclothingco. Custom... with an undead twist. I'm gonna work on his this weekend.

This past week literally flew by. FLEW! I couldn't believe it was Friday today... now it's almost the end of November and I'm nowhere near where I forecasted I'd be on my thesis. Gotta pick up the slack!

In other news, my nephew Finn turns 2 this weekend! I'm bringing the cupcakes! Hope he likes the alligater mittens I made him!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Task list for Thursday;

- Breakfast. Pancakes. First order of business.

- Put nice pretty photos up on in fact, today might be the day I shell out some bucks to get rid of those dang pop-ups and ads...

- Make wallets now that I have my labels? I'm only 50% stoked on them... thing is, I wanted them to have a black background. Jennifer printed the black onto white ribbon, so the black is kinda... dingy? Faded. When I sew it against pure black fabric, it looks pretty ghetto. I've mentioned the matter to Jennifer who was a very nice and courteous vendor, but if she can't print onto black ribbon I don't think I'll use her services again.

- ummmm, thesis of course. :P

- Look into PhD application. OH GOD! No, there's no way I'm ready to do this today. That's a weekender.

- Dinner with Anna! It's been ages!

- Knitting circle at J's! YAAAYYY!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Sweet Cherry Pie

Last night was the Cherry Pie networking event for Ottawa businesswomen, so I dressed all pretty, loaded up with business cards, and prepared to get my small talk on. Heck, small talk aside, I had questions to ask and contacts to make! I was an Ottawa businesswoman on a mission!

We arrived to find something I was worried about; vendors. The upper floor was covered with booths of people selling their stuff. OK, no big deal, Vanessa and I start to wander. We check out the downstairs; same thing. Booths and booths and products and wares. Have we just paid $10 to enter a bar/market?

That was exactly what we did. All I could get from vendors was a sales pitch. If I attempted to engage them in business discussion, they would edge away from me and tackle the next prospective consumer. In fact, some of the booths didn't even appear to be local businesses! A salon tried to sell me Bumble hair products, and had absolutely zero interest in my business card.

Evidently, there were others who were under the same impression as Vanessa and I. A nice lady walked up to us and said "Hi! Want my card?", to which we replied "Sure, want ours?" Obviously it was a contrived effort to shmingle and shmooze, but that lady was one of 3 people who I was able to chat with that night.

Don't get me wrong; the evening wasn't bad. It just wasn't exactly what I expected, or wanted. That's not their fault. The setup was lovely, and there were delicious hors d'oeuvres. I also did meet 2 noteworthy local businesswomen:

Angelina Wrona - artist. This lady is so hot. And I don't mean physically (although she wasn't hard on the eyes). Her art has a Mark Ryden/Tim Burton feel to it that I absolutely adore. Her paintings were huge, but not outrageously expensive. She was friendly and amenable; we had some nice conversation about art and all things dark, and I didn't get the feeling like she was trying to sell me her stuff. Her website.

Lana @ Paper Skirt - invitations, cards, paper goods. Vanessa and I wandered up to this little lady who eagerly answered all our crafy business questions (and there were a LOT of em!) She herself is doing her crafty business part-time, she is doing numerous xmas craft fairs including Glebe, Sandy Hill and Ladyfest, and she only started up in May! Impressive. If Cherry Pie was an event to inspire us business newbies, the event has Lana to thank. Her website.

So that's my review of Cherry Pie. I hope it didn't come out totally negative- that woulnn't be accurate. It just wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Vanessa described what we were looking for - a forum of businesspeople gathering solely for the purpose of supporting one another and answering questions and stuff. It's really not a bad idea... maybe a certain event-planner friend can get on that! *nudge nudge*

Yes J, I mean you! You're the only one who reads this anyway! But really, perhaps such a forum style meet and greet could be co-opted to the show and tell you've been thinking about. Kinda like a workshop, but not exactly?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I wish I could just declare the week of my period to be a total write-off. Seriously. If I could have the entire week to spend (medicated) in bed, I would be that much happier, as well as those around me.

But of course, this arrangement is impossible. Not only does life go on that wonderful week, but it tends to go on, and on, and on. This is the week of important events, deadlines, meetings, parties. This is the week someone will throw something completely unexpected at you and anticipate a rational response. How, I ask, is this fair?

The catalyst for this rant is that I'm all gussied up for Cherry Pie, a networking event for Ottawa businesswomen. A night to SHMOOZE, to shmingle, to be in a great mood and make friends with everyone around you. Perfect for my current state. Let me tell you, extravagant makeup is not compatible with sporadic crying fits. I couldn't be less in the mood for tonight.

On a more positive note... ?

Monday, November 12, 2007

This weekend has been an exercise in patience and a testament to just how far I'll go for a friend.

I've had a tough time finding sincere, long-term friends. It's easy enough to have friends out of convenience; people you work with, classmates, neighbors... but sometimes these people slip out of your lives as soon as you stop seeing them regularly. They might have had intentions of maintaining a friendship with you, but let's face it; there are too many people out there and too much stuff on our plates to go out of our way for someone.

It's a cold and utilitarian way of thinking but after the weekend I've had, I've taken the opportunity to reevaluate my tendency to go out of my way for others. Be a friend to have a friend is a relationship of reciprocity, and an imbalanced one is frustrating. Lesson learned.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Today was an undead day!

It began with volume 2 of the small business workshops at Carleton. The workshops are both inspiring and terrifying; they give you a LOT to consider when starting a business, but they provide you with so much information.

Then I met with Kevin for a mini photo-shoot; just the wallets 3 I've already completed and the 2 sets of coasters. I was a bit grumpy that this was all I had for him. If I had my labels in this week, I'd have had another 4 or 5 to shoot. Kevin's photography is so amazing though; I can't believe how much better the product looks in his photos than in mine. It's not just that they're nicer photos; tt makes a tremendous difference. He still wants to edit them slightly and add my logo to the bottom corner. Then he's going to print them and drop them off to me Sunday!

To any and all fledgling models out there; if you're looking for a good photographer to add glamour shots to your portfolio, I couldn't recommend Kevin more strongly. Apart from his excellent work ethic and commitment to quality, he is a very decent, stand-up guy. Undeadclothingco is lucky to have him!

To see his other work and/or contact him, visit his website.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Really pissed off

I didn't always loathe Mazim magazine they way I do now. I used to ignore the pictures of airbrushed, plastic hookers and enjoy the frank attitude of the articles and reviews.

Then one day the photos started to really bug me. Eventually I came to believe that these magazines that feature these fake women as ideals are not just annoying, they're harmful. They are doing voilence to women in 2 ways;
  1. Perpetuating an impossible beauty ideal hurts women physically and emotionally. Because of the sheer impossibility of these bodies, even very beautiful girls feel a pang of inadequacy. How can one be expected to feel good about herself if she can't airbrush away her so-called imperfections?
  2. Not only are women subconsciously comparing themselves to these fucking cartoons, so are men. And who can begrudge them looking for perfect dolls when these magazines insist that they're out there? They're not. They exist in photo editing software.

My distaste for the magazine has currently come to an all-time high;

They've gone to the next level; rather than just promoting fake women, they're bashing real ones. Score 1 for patriarchy! The disgraceful list of the "5 most un-sexiest women alive" is comprised of Britney Spears, Madonna, Sandra Oh, Amy Winehouse and Sarah Jessica Parker at the top.

How surprising that they target five women who subvert the androcentric mold of how women should look/behave. Madonna- too old. Women are no longer sexy after 30, right? Britney Spears- five years ago you were jizzing all over her, and now she's crap? Admittedly, she's in pretty poor shape these days, but she's only fucked up because her sense of self-worth was hypersexualized since she was 16 years old. Giver her a fucking break, please. Drugs and tattoos are cool if you're a male rocker like Tommy Lee, but not for women like Amy Winehouse. And Sandra Oh's presence on the list is blatant racism. We Westerners like our Asians skanky and submissive, not educated and assertive. Fook-yu!

When interviewed about the matter, Sarah Jessica Parker shrugged it off. She is quoted as saying "I believe in the old 'sticks and stones' philosophy, so frankly their words don't come close to hurting. I don't think I am (sexy) either." Undaunted, Maxim continues to kick her while she's down, making fun of her dismissal of the magazine, citing that she took it in "gallop—er, stride"

I am literally enraged by this. I wish I could do more than simply boycott the magazine. Sending an angry letter to the editor would undoubtedly submit myself to allegations of being a fat, ugly, man-hating dyke-feminist. So what can I do? I write this rant to let out some steam.

Next time I buy Maxim magazine, it will be because the store was out of toilet paper.

Another early morning and another productive day (hopefully). It starts with meeting Lidia for breakfast at Hamie's.

The more I think about it, the more certain I am that I should bring some kind of portfolio to the Cherry Pie event. I mean, it sounds like a pretty unique opportunity. I've booked my photographer for tomorrow; he's going to shoot the wallets and coasters that I have, print them up with my logo in the corner, and then I'm going to go buy a leather portfolio cover or something. I mean, may was well. It couldn't hurt.

The only thing is, I really wish my labels were in! As it stands, I have 3 wallets and 2 sets of coasters for Kevin to shoot. My first 3 wallets; as much as I love them, I think my subsequent wallets with stiffer interfacing are superior. However, they're not finished (because I'm waiting on labels) and I certainly can't shoot them without the taping, exterior and strap!

I think this is a sign that undeadclothingco has officially become my small business; replete with stressful deadlines! Just kidding.

Now I'm off to scour the web for some tutorials on how to throw together a decent portfolio.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Yesterday was the most productive day EVER!

Normally, when Tom and I have Mac he wakes us up at 7 and Tom gets up and I roll over and go back to sleep. Yesterday, I decided to get up and get cracking on my T.A. assignments. As such, I had them finished and in the mail by 11am! Then I worked on my thesis for hours and hours, doing laundry simultaneously. I worked on both an empirical portion and a theoretical one. Then, when Tom headed out to the hockey game, I made wallets and wallet and wallets.

Actually, I didn't finish any wallets; I just made a whole bunch of the interiors. The interiors are the trickiest part, what with the interfacing and the zippers and shit. I'm waiting till I get those labels in before I tape them and add leather exteriors. I wish they'd come!

I did one black and red wallet interior that looked like it needed something on the change purse. So I drew up a quickie logo of a heart with batwings on it. It's an idea I've had based on a doodle I made in my notes at school last year. I bleached it into the change purse and it looks AWESOME. Pics to come when my camera batteries charge (yeah yeah, my camera needs batteries.)

Later last night I get an email from my sister's boyfriend, who is a graphic designer. He's been tinkering around with some logos for undeadclothingco. So he sends me these two logos and they look almost exactly like the one I bleached into the wallet! I was very impressed and very very excited! In fact, my excitement carried on to this morning; I sat at my computer with a cup of coffee and squealed with delight when I saw that it was in fact as cute as I remembered it.


How cute is that little frigger?! I have some ideas for tweaking which are apparently welcome because I am apparently also "art director" of undeadclothingco. How rad it that? I must remember to add it to my resume.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My schoolwork slacking is starting to catch up with me. I had a meeting with my supervisor yesterday to hand me back a portion of a chapter I had written. His feedback was pretty good, but now that I have a clearer idea of what I've got to do, I can see how friggin much I've got to do! Plus, my T.A. assingments are kicking in pretty hard; the class has one every week from now until the final. The good news is that as the weather gets colder and shittier, I'm less inclined to procrastinate.

Still waiting on business cards and labels. Maybe today?

I'd really like to have them in time for Cherry Pie; a meet and shmooze event for Ottawa's businesswomen. I found out about it through facebook. I looked it up on, and the event got good reviews for past years. The event listing says to definately bring business cards to circulate around, but I'm wondering if I should be bringing some product too. I mean, my business card just links to my website, which sucks. Maybe I can get it looking up by the event, which is Tues Nov 12. at Helsinki lounge.

Today: T.A. assignments, thesis thesis thesis

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Today was a good day; I managed to sleep in, work on my thesis, have coffee with friends, knit, do groceries, and spend time with my Tom. Not bad for a Sunday!

I also got in contact with a friend of mine, who I'd like to hire to do some work on my website. He's supposed to send me some sites he's done so I have an idea of what he can do. The idea of having a website up and running without ads is very exciting.

Still waiting for my custom labels! I'm starting to think about contacting the seller; I don't want to because we had such a pleasant transaction in the first place. I don't really feel like whining or nagging. Then again, if I'm wanting to run my own teeny tiny business, maybe I should practice busting some balls. She gets till Wednesday.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

It's funny and a little sad to look back at an earlier post and see how excited you were for the night before. Last night was ok... my mood was a little hampered by having to work till 9 and the fact that someone broke my precious Sharper Image hair straightener. It's hard to get your groove back after that shit! Plus, Tom was still feeling like crap; actually, I think he's worse than before.

He was a good sport though; let me put zombie makeup all over him and drag him out to the bar. He looked fantastic. The fact that he was already ill helped his undead look by a lot! My costume was pretty good too, I think. Some stupid chick came up to me outside and exclaimed that I was dressed up as a "make-out slut", a term I didn't know existed. Apparently she mistook the blood all around my mouth for smeared lipstick? Brilliant.

Tonight is knitting circle as the first day of November. November has to be THESIS MONTH! I've been slacking long enough. According to the timeline on my research proposal, I'm supposed to be DONE and EDITING by 2008! I'm not in bad shape though; my supervising is reviewing a potential chapter segment, and I think I know what I'm doing. I hope!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

my favorite day of the year!

Busy busy day!

  1. Finish correcting my T.A. assignments and throw them in the mail so I can party tonight sans guilt!
  2. prepare costume; rip nylons, soak tank top in blood, review zombie makeup techniques
  3. work; 4 -9
  4. come home and GET READY!

Jeez, can you tell I'm stoked? I wish I wasn't working.. it'll be a little hectic getting ready at 10 o clock.

See you at Babylon tonight!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My boyfriend who kept me up all night with his snoring made it up to me with a pancake breakfast :). Ugh, what a night. In addition to the snoring/waking up, I had crazy frantic dreams; one involved eating what I thought was some spaghetti in the dark, and then walking into the light and finding the plate full of wasps. In another, I was visiting a local prison that was built underground... I was going to the warden's office and the hallway got narrower and narrower... *shudder*. That one's gotta be from watching too much prison break on DVD!
Creatively, not much else going on. I've been working on a wallet for my friend Vanessa becuase a) she needs one badly, b) I'd like a test subject to see how my wallets wear, and c) I love her. Thing is, she's vegan, so I can't use my leather. This has turned out to be a way bigger problem that I could have ever imagined.... Usually, I make the interior and go all around the edges in bias tape. Then I simply stitch it on to the leather exterior, sandwiching the snap strap in between. I can get away with this, because the leather leaves a good cut adge; it won't fray or anything. Making a wallet with a cotton/polyester exterior necessitates me going all around the entire wallet with bias tape, which is really tough! Plus, I can't figure out how to install the snap strap while keeping the entire perimeter of the wallet taped!
Sorry animal-lovers, this is the last vegan wallet undeadclothingco EVER makes (unless she can find a synthetic product with good raw edges. For a good price.)

I vented my frustration by making two wallet exteriors featuring some form of violence against animals

****(before PITA comes to douse me in red paint, know that I am referring to my frustration for synthetic products, not my frustration with animal-kind! Actually, my cat did wake me up several times this morning, whining to go play outside. Then I finally get up and take her to the door, but she doesn't want to go anymore because it's raining! GAH!)

Oh, poor mister chicky... did your head pop off??

mmm, savory sirloin!

The irony is that the steak one is foiled onto velour - VEGAN!

Friday, October 26, 2007

HUGE craftster post asking for brutally honest opinions on quality and pricing of my stuff and not a single bite! :( I'm accustomed to waking up, checking craftster and having several comments on my posts... what gives? Craftsters are either sleeping, or my stuff is really that bad? Boo.

Fruitful trip to Fabricland last night with Vanessa! I got some stiffer interfacing, so maybe my wallets won't be so floppy. I'm not finishing any more till I get my labels though.... I wish they'd come!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Poor Tommy is sick today so I'm taking care of him. I'm also making stuff (of course)!

Today I made another set of coasters; these ones are black with tweed bats on them. I set up an shop, but I'm rediculously hesitant to list anything... seller's anxiety, they call it on craftster. I'm not sure how much to charge; I know it should be relative to how long they take to make, but that's such a variable... it depends on so many things. Supplies are hard to price too, seeing as I use one snap per wallet and they come in packs by weight. I'm also concerned about the quality of my products. I know that handmade wallets can't really stand up to machine-made industrial ones. The last thing I want is to charge someone $30-40 for a wallet that wears out in 2 seconds.

I think I'm going to have to ask craftsters for help on this one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today is a rainy shit-sandwich day, and normally I don't like rainy shit-sandwich days. However, now that I "work from home" and don't necessarily have to go out in the shit-sandwich rain, it's a great excuse to take a day for crafts!

Today I'm going to test out my new Linda MacPhee foil kit... I put some glue in a design last night and I'm going to try to foil it. Exciting! I'm still out of bias tape and interfacing, so I probably won't get any done today, but I can assemble parts and decorate exteriors and stuff. That's really the fun part anyway.

I've come up with some new products for undeadclothingco, due to inspiration from my trip to Workshop, Victoire and Ma Cuisine. I'm thinking; coasters! Ma Cuisine had sets of leather coasters all wrapped up in a leather strap with a snap on it. Lovely presentation, makes a great gift! I could do that. Totally. I can even envision some kind of reverse applique going on... yes. Also, passport cover? It's really a simplified wallet, when you think about it. And if the design on the front has something cool to do with travelling... and it can come with a matching luggage tag!

Okay, now I'm getting carried away. I'd best get to my crafting (and laundry!)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fun/busy week/weekend of inspiration/fun

1) Bought some fabric scraps (fat quarters) for wallet interiors at the Inspirations needlecraft show. Also a foiling kit that can apparently be used on leather, which is exciting, because when I make my wallets, the applique is the most time-consuming part. Well, not really, but it does take a while.

2) Bought some custom garment labels from 'Jennifers Jewels' on ( They'll look something like this:

Jennifer was awesome; very quick to reply, very eager to answer questions, very reasonably prices. I was happy to do business with her, and I strongly recommend her to others! I bought 30 labels for $10 plus $1 shipping! Perfect for little old me just starting out. I can't wait for them to get here so I can sew 'em in!

3) I worked on my thesis a whole bunch today... I think chapter 2 is almost done. I have a meeting with my supervisor wednesday, and I'd like to print it out and give it to him, just to see if I'm on the right track. I think the uncertainty is what stagnates thesis-writing... always wondering if I'm doing this right?

4) I saw Children of the Corn today and it was terrible. I mean, bad. My combined love of all horror films and short stories by Stephen King oculd not save my disgust with this one. Bad.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Needlecraft convention; FUN!! Couldn't really stay too long today (I have the busiest day EVER) but I'm stoked to go back tomorrow....

Lots of quilting supplies and you know what that means; FABRIC SCRAPS GALORE! Wallet-making heaven. Tidbits of every pattern/print imaginable... and since it's late October, I saw a bunch of Halloween-themed ones; stuff with bats and witches and all that shit I love love love! I'm very excited, as you can tell. I think I'll only bring $50 so I don't go broke!

It's raining cats and dogs right now (don't blame me for using such an antiquated term; I've been chilling with grannies all morning!). And HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TOMMIE JENKINS! Foil and freezer paper party is in order :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Headache today. And grumpy. Missed my bus trying to get to the gym today and almost went back home in protest (I didn't though; I waited for the next one and was 10 mins late for BodyJam). I'm glad I went, because I can say I did something productive with my day. Apart from the gym, I've been browsing wikipedia and youtube.

No wallets today, I'm out of bias tape. I've seen bias-tape-makers at Fabricland; they look like mechanical devices to to help you measure and cut regular fabric into bias tape. It's tempting, because it implies that as long as you have fabric you'll never run out of bias tape, but I bet it's really time-consuming.

I did set up a bigcartel page today and had my domain name forward to it. I'm not sure if I like it... it doesn't allow you as much agency as I thought in terms of layout. If I pay ten bucks a month I get more agency, but I may as well pay ten bucks a month to angelfire and get rid of the ads (which was why I switched). Then again, angelfire doesn't have the built-in payments system... we'll see.

Tonight Tom asked me to go to the hockey game with him. I chose knitting circle. Got my priorities in check!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

...can't... stop... making... WALLETS!

It's getting real bad. It's all I feel like doing. The satisfaction is palpable, and since each one is turning out better than the last, I'm starting to crave the increasing satisfaction.... it's a fix. I've started enstating rules, like "I can only work on wallets after dinner/before bed". It's getting in the way of my research, a LOT. I'm also not getting enough knitting done for xmas presents. eep.

I want to look into more advanced leather tools... stuff that can emboss, or draw... I like the look of the applique I do, but it does take a long time. I timed myself making a wallet last night, and the general assembly of the interior takes about an hour and a half. 15 mins to cut and interface all the pieces, 40 mins to sew 'em all together and install the zipper coin purse, 20 mins to do the bias tape all around the outside. Then I embellish the outer cover and sew it on. *whew*

As I need to start thinking about pricing, I also need to consider the materials I'm using. I got the leather wholesale; a frigging boatload of it for $25. I seriously don't imagine I'll ever run out of that. I bought cheap broadcloth on sale for the interior... $4 a meter, and a tiny fraction of that meter to make a wallet. Do I have to figure out exactly how much that fraction is to determine the cost? I suck at math. Then there's the cost of the zipper (4 for $.99, pretty negligible), the snaps (I forget), and the bias tape (I forget too). I'm considering opening up a line of credit or a bank account strictly for this endeavor to help keep track of my expenses relative to my profits.

But this all sounds so serious. I mean, a bank account?? If I have a business bank acocunt, then I officially have a small business. Am I ready for that? I'm in the middle of a friggin graduate degree. Am I biting off more than I can chew?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

7 random things

Since I've only been blogging for less than a year, revealing 7 factoids that my blog doesn't yet know should be a cinch. Let's see if I can dredge up anything interesting;

  1. I eat meat, and am not apologetic about it. I eat it because I like its taste, and because I have no moral qualms with adhering to the food chain. However, this does not mean that I condone unnecessarily cruel meat-processing practices. Au contraire. I really resent being made to feel like a bad/immoral person because of this personal choice, or that my love for my cat is somehow hypocritical.

  2. I have never been off the North American continent. Unless Mexico counts... that's not South America, is it?
  3. I am terrible at geography.

  4. I have a weakness for musicals and rock operas. Jesus Christ Superstar is my all-time favorite, but I also love Tommy, Moulin Rouge, Chicago... all that good stuff. But I didn't really like Rent. Go figure.

  5. I decline my vote to denote my disatisfaction with all the candidates and the voting system. Its not the same as not voting; it's showing up at the polls, registering, and declining. I think that people who don't like any candidates and vote for "the lesser of evils" are doing the system harm.

  6. I am on good terms with my parents, who are still together and living in Ottawa. They have embraced retirement and travel the world every winter. Last year was Portugal. I simultaneously envy and respect them for their lifetimes of hard work and their ability to enjoy life.
  7. I have a cat! Her name is Felicity and I've had her for about 12 years. She was a stray for a year, so her age is lucky 13; old for a cat, but she's in reasonably good health. She is, however, rather overweight. I've always thought this stemmed from her having been a stray; she still doesn't trust that food will always be available, so she overeats? It's my theory. I love her to bits. I'm aware that she's not a spring chicken anymore (nor was ever a chicken at all), so here's a small tribute.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Between the trouble I had with the applique, and the fact that I sewed the interior in upside-down, that first wallet is a write-off. Fortunately, my second one turned out pretty great!

Thing is, for the outside of this one, I used scraps from a leather coat project.... so the leather is very very thin. I'm worried that this is the only reason it was so easy to work with... does this mean all my thicker upholstery leather is no good for wallets? That's a sad thought.

This one didn't take as long as the first, but it's still pretty frigging time consuming! I guess the longest parts are; cutting the pieces, THEN interfacing them, THEN cutting them again. I'm trying to eliminate one step in this operation by interfacing the fabric first. Bias tape is also somewhat time-consuming... I guess I'll just have to get used to that.
The good news is that materials are reasonably cheap (especially with the amount of leather I have) and they sure are fun! I'll have to post a bunch in the business forum at craftster to see how much people might pay for them. There's a ladyfest craft sale coming up, but I don't think I'll be ready in time... I should be working on xmas gifts instead of undead wallets!
We're off to Montreal today for Chrissy's wedding tomorrow. Can't wait to show Lisa and Aron the fruit of my crafy labor!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

So I swung by yarn forward on my way back from campus and got the lowdown on my machine... or at least I've got some ideas of what to try. It's a tensions issue (which I suspected) and the lady gave me some tips for how to adjust the bobbin tension. She also suggested that I dust the bobbin case. Apparently setting the thread tensions at 0 was contributing to the skipped stitches; thanks, troubleshooting.

Anyway, I'm eager to wake up and tackle this thing again. Making wallets is addictive, and every time I make one, I learn something that I can change to make them more my style. Today's a rainy, shit-sandwich day and knitting circle is cancelled tonight, so what the hey!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

my sewing machine made me scream about ten times yesterday. I couldn't (can't) figure out what's wrong with it! I'm trying to do some applique on the front of a leather wallet, and it's skipping stitches and getting caught and the bobbin side is a mess... so frustrating. All the technical support I get is this troubleshooting page. It says that for skipped stitches you have to lessen the thread tension, but I have mine set at ZERO! It doesn't go any lower! If I call yarn forward they're just going to have me bring it in, which isn't extremely convenient on the bus in the rain. I'm going to wrestle with it a little more this morning, but fuck!!

Apart from the leather applique woes, the rest of my wallet project is going well. I went to fabricland yesterday and bought some metres of broadcloth and cotton, some prints and some solids. Also a whole bunch of little zippers; 4 for a dollar! Some bias tape, some fabric glue for the appliques... not too shabby. I wish I could make wallets for a living... but I'm also careful what I wish for.

What else? Work tonight. Should probably get to campus at some point today.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I don't like to nag my significant other about the few things left unfinished in our house, but I am freezing! We still don't have a furnace, and it's starting to cool down! Cold fingers keep warm by typing, sewing, knitting, anything!!

So yeah, finally made guage, starting mittens. Also working on an undead wallet... the construction went pretty well; now I'm trying to do applique on the leather outside. Applique is not as easy as it looks, and leather is rather unforgiving when it comes to mistakes. Fortunately I have so much of it, it's not like I'm wasting it on trial and error or anything. I need some stuff at Fabricland... bias tape, small zippers, lining fabric and fusible interfacing. Maybe I'll make a pilgrimage later today. I'd like to have some product photos on the website by xmas.

Working on my thesis this morning, which is going pretty good. I had originally wanted to do the theoretical mumbo-jumbo first and get it over with, but my supervisor suggested doing the empirical part first to keep my interest and motivation up. Good call! Watching the movies in my dark office with my headphones on is definately lifting my spirits.

Was that a pun?
I think it was.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The bad news: An "undead clothing" company exists! A couple of girls have made a myspace page and a little shop page for it. Worse, they feature bats prominently in their designs, something I was also planning to do.

The good news: The aforementioned bat hoodie appears to be the one and only product they have available. Also, with the exception of the bats, they're going for a pretty different aesthetic... their site is covered with pink and diamonds and their logo is a mock-up of the Louis Vuitton all-over print.

Still, I was bummed to learn the name wasn't as original as I had hoped. I'd had the name kicking around in my head for so long now, I thought I'd have come across any others. Not the end of the world though, or so I'm assured.

Turkey turkey turkey at the cottage this weekend! Not much knitting because I can't seem to make guage on the mittens. My needles are down to a US 2 (!) and if I have to use those, I'll never finish them. Bummer! I may have to scour for a new mitten pattern.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Shopping, shopping yesterday with mom, and so much knitting my hands hurt today. Almost done gift for Finny.

Today I worked on my thesis a little and spruced up a little. Some more graphics and a guestbook added. Big deal. Desperately need some product photos... and product, for that matter.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Aha! Motivation! In 2 forms;

1- picked up both versions of Night of the Living Dead, the new Dawn of the Dead and Land of the Dead on DVD. If I immerse myself in this undead world, my thesis I will write.

2- Got an email from the Carleton listserv about a call for papers for a conference in Mtl on community. I get a million of these calls for papers every week, but I think I might actually apply to this one. It says it's looking especially for manifestations of globalized community as represented in art or literature. Movies isn't that far off. I think I could make a good case. I'll write up an abstract by January.

3- Signed up with Angelfire and got my domain name to fwd there. I also added a cool background, but it says something about myspacelayouts down the side. It needs a look of work, and my html/web-building skills need a lot of tweaking, but at least it's started. At least the $$ I paid for now goes somewhere. Even if all there is is a background image, a link to this blog and the words "coming soon".

Zombies this morning, work tonight.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mom's slippers - fait accompli!

All done! and aren't they adorable! I love the slight point to the toe... it gives them a bit of an elfish look.

Oddly enough, the pattern has disappeared from the site! I feel so lucky to have nabbed it (and printed it) before it went away. I'd like to make some more of these babies... maybe some alterations...

they would look pretty good undead.

Monday, October 1, 2007

  • finish correcting assignments; sort, organize, etc.
  • go shopping? I actually need stuff, not the frivolous kind of shopping
  • draft up some logos for Mallory... this hsouldn't take long and isn't that hard, but I'm dreading it for some reason.

I should have the slippers completed by tonight; I'm just doing the finishing and some appliques on top. I found a sewing pattern for a great leather wallet online, which I may try out later today. If it works, maybe my xmas gifts can be wallets as well as mittens?

I should also go to the gym. And get a haircut.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I've been correcting papers all day and I'm still only halfway through my pile. How frustrating to write helpful and thoughtful comments on the papers when I know more than half of them won't read them anyway. *sigh*

Slippers are essentially done, but I'm looking for a nice pattern for a little crocheted rosebud to jazz them up. I see a lot of crocheted "roses" and "rosettes", but they're largely messy and/or too big. I'm going to try and freestyle it. Then they're done, and I've got to get cracking on the mittens!

If I get through all the assignments today, I'm letting myself play Halo2 all night. It's a deal.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tuesday I love the slipper pattern, Thursday I hate it.

No, I don't hate it. I'm just annoyed at having had to restart the sides portion of the slippers 10 times. My crocheting-in-the-round is problematic... I increase when I join, making for a strange spike on one side. My mission at craft circle tonight is to determine what I'm doing wrong!

But all this crafting goodness has to come after an afternoon of dull and annoying (how can something be simultaneously dull and annoying? Doesn't 'dull' imply boring and 'annoying' imply active frustration) meeting with the prof I'm TAing with. We have to meet to get a how-to on the new version of WebCT (which I could probably figure out for myself) and then practice grading assignments until all the TAs are consistent. Note the word UNTIL. I hope to be out of that meeting and in a decent mood by 7.

Other news; saw Resident Evil: Extinction last night. How nice to leave a theatre satisfied! That movie is great, a pleasant surprise after R.E.2 blew so hard. In addition to an enjoyable evening, the movie got me thinking excitedly about my thesis again, which is a relief. I'd been lacking inspiration as of late.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Today I'm conducting a workshop for the class I'm; how to do their weekly assignments. It's not so bad, I offered to do the workshop because I was frustrated at how poorly done the assignments were last year. Each paper is a piddly mark out of 5 (which pissed me off), and having to give the majority 2/5 is downright brutal. So, from 2:30 to 4:30 I have to talk to them and they have to listen to me. Who do you feel sorry for?

Apart from this gaping wound in my day, I'm obsessed with my mom's slippers I'm crocheting. The pattern is AWESOME; such good-looking, well-shaped slippers... not like those terrible shapeless ones you see at the Salvation Army all the time. I'd like to add a crocheted rosebud to the toes! Note to self; scour the web for a crochet rosebud pattern

What else, what else. Nothing. Slippers. Thesis.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A busy week, at last

Blogger says 15 people have viewed this blog. My condolences. This first attempt at blogging is admittedly halting, inconsistent and probably very random. I'll get the hang of it one of these days.

Points of interest;

1- I bought a domain name! is officially my property. I'm hunting for a humble graphic design student to design me some logos and get my party started. Exciting! *EDIT* -don't bother checking out the link, there's nothing there yet!

2 - I'm a little bit all-over-the-place with regard to my Chirstmas-mitten-extravaganza. I started swatching on the suggested size needles (which are TINY! US3!) and my guage was still way too big! I'm starting to worry that if I have to go to even smaller needles to make guage, the mittens may take too long to complete by xmas (I'm talking about 4-5 pairs, mind you). I've also started my mom's Chirstmas slippers and alligator mitts for my nephew.

3 - T.A. strike is over, so I'm back to work.

4 - Thesis is not writing itself for some reason.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Maybe I'll start doing this again. Let's say I've been inspired.

I've given up on my prepster jacket. I hate it. I've sewn in the sleeves a zillion times and blocked it and everything, but when it's all said and done it's just a itchy, soggy shapeless sweater-thing, not the cute, fitted tweedy jacket in the photo. Lesson learned:... unh?

The zebra-print hoodie is going pretty well; the intarsia is going better than I would have expected. It's taking forever though, and I'm eager to get cracking on the various pairs of mittens I hope to give away this Xmas.

Things I'm looking forward to;
  • going to bed tonight!
  • my cousin's wedding!
  • visiting my nephews this weekend!
  • the coffee I'm about to go get myself!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sleeves will be the death of me! I've sewn all my seams, and the shoulders of my prepster are.. *sniff*... PUFFY! This is not acceptable for a project that has taken me since January and whose yarn cost about $80!

Knitty tutorial here recommends sewing the sleeves in flat, so I'd have to rip out all the lovely seaming I've done. Bummer, but a small price to pay to salvage this project ie- turn this jacket from something that sits in the closet to something I'll actually wear. I fucking hate sleeves.