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In the spirit of the season…

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Your Elf Name Is…
Grumpy Snaggle Tooth
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I can sew…

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What is this world coming to? Not enough Kilts?

Send those poor half nekkid Scottish soldiers over here. I’ll sew them up some kilts…eventually.

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My 70’s Apartment…the little extras that make it cool

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…and now for the season finale of My 70’s Apartment…the last peek at the things the really make this place cool. Dude.

The dark wood paneling on the kitchen counter/bar…

The popcorn ceilings…

The ceiling tiles in the hallway…is this an office or my apartment?

The ‘chrome’ in the bathrooms…

The ugly ass closet slider doors on the useless closets – check out the ‘brass’ trim…

The brown quasi-shag carpet.

The floor to ceiling dust catchers, I mean drapes…

And now what you’ve all been waiting for the ‘bling’ that gives this apartment it’s groovylicious vibe…

Yes folks, not just a wall, but a mirrored wall.

So freakin’ cool I can’t stand it dude. But, it’s our home, it’s what I can afford (and somehow I feel it’s still waaaay overpriced), and I don’t complain – too much. Someday we’ll move to a much better place (but not with 80’s deco please – that stuff’s nasty).

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And you thought I was over the quizzes…silly you…

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Your Inner European is Dutch!

Open minded and tolerant.

You’re up for just about anything.

I draw the line at face painting…

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…remember when I said my Knitting Bag needed a name?

I finally came up with one.

Everyone, I’d like you to meet…Mr. Stuffles.

Mr. Stuffles, this is everyone.

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Ohhhh, so THAT’S how it works…

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This weekend found me discovering a few things.

First of all this FlyLady stuff is hard work…

  1. Wash all your dishes, and scrub your sink til it’s clean and shiny
  2. Do this every night and you will wake up to a clean sink and you’ll have a great start to your day.

Wake up Saturday Morning – I can’t see the bottom of my sink again. This FlyLady thing isn’t working all that well. Ahhhh! OK, I get it now, so you have to dry/put away the dishes you washed by hand, and put away the dishes after the dishwasher cycle is complete. Only then can you keep your sink clean by washing the dishes, putting them away, etc. It’s a vicious cycle I tell you. I spent all weekend doing dishes. This sucks. No wonder they have you doing one thing at a time until it becomes a habit. This organizing stuff is hard work. If you tried to do it all at once, you’d give up. HELLO! Been there done that.

Second, my friends think I don’t take enough time out for myself – and they care enough to tell me by…

  1. Gifting me with some really comfy slippers and stuff to give myself a facial.
  2. A bag of Cinnamon and Orange tea with a bunch of dark chocolate.

So while the kid is away for the Holidays, I intend to do just that – facial, mani/pedi – ahhhh…

#2 came from a friend (male) with instructions. “How to relax: Brew the tea, put your feet up, enjoy the chocolates and think of me…or nothing at all.” Easy enough. What did I do? I brewed the tea, ate the chocolates and thought of him wearing nothing at all. That’s the way this woman relaxes. Booyah.

And now for some photos (not of the naked friend you pervs)…

A few peeks into my teapot/teacup collection…’cause I’m still distracting you from Xmas knitting…and there’s still a whole freaking week left…and the whole “My 70’s Apartment” thing is freaking boring. Gack.

First the gifted tea and my tea bags from Japantown. Can’t read the instructions (they’re in Japanese), so I’m winging it. Pretty straightforward though. Put tea in bag, put bag in hot water.

Next up…my ‘girlie’ teapot and a few ‘girlie’ cups from my collection.

Spencer refuses to have tea with me when I use that ‘icky girlie stuff’, so he bought me these cups for Xmas one year. I give you…the ‘manly’ (as in plain with no flowers) teapot and the ‘manly’ cups (yes, they have flowers, but they’re blue, and the cups are far from dainty).

Hell, I’m just happy he will sit down with me and have tea. I’ll keep him.

NOTE: Just to let you know, I haven’t forgotten about “Boobie Tuesday” and “FlyLady Friday”. I’ll start up with that officially next year. Sounds so deceivingly far away, doesn’t it.

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My 70’s Apartment…the Lights

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OK, so now we continue on with our “My 70’s Apartment” horror tour.

Dining room “Chandelier”…

Bubbilicious Baby!…I’m sure it was ‘all that’ back in the day…not so much now.

Kitchen crapness…

…damn that thing is fugly.

The sconces…kitchen…

and hallway (and no, it’s not an outside hallway)

The bathrooms…

…talk about harsh.

There is no other lighting ‘built in’ to the apartment. No light on the balcony, or in the closets, no ceiling fixtures in the bedrooms or living room. I consider myself blessed. I couldn’t deal with any more of these than I had to…

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What’s with this frogging thing? And who cares?

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Well my friends, there was one person curious enough and not afraid to ask.

Enter Cherry. A knitter wanna-be and a personal friend. Don’t worry yourselves into a tizzy my knitting readers, she will be brought over to the dark side and into the ranks of the obsessive knitters ever so gently and soon enough…

Let’s get back to the main topic shall we?

Well Cherry, here’s my explanation – and you can consider this your first knitting lesson.

Knitting is made up of two different stitches: the knit stitch and the purl stitch. It’s how these two stitches are manipulated that makes knitting such an ever-changing habit, I mean hobby. Whilst making a knit or purl stitch, mistakes can be made. Sometimes you have to un-do what you have done. If the boo-boo is on the same row or round of knitting, you can tink (knitting backwards or un-knitting or k-n-i-t is now t-i-n-k – get it? Cute, right?). If the boo-boo is a few rows down or you’ve made the mistake throughout the entire piece, you might want to frog.

Frog – v. to take apart knitting for whatever reason (choose one, choose wisely) 1. a big mistake in the knitting 2. you can’t stand it anymore (can you say “Donna does that?” I knew you could) 3. the gauge is all wrong 4. the yarn is all wrong for the pattern 5. what the hell was I thinking?!? etc etc etc (Been there chose them all.)

Why call it frogging? This name comes from the words the knitter mumbles (or thinks) as the stitches are ripped apart. Rip it, rip it, rip it – almost sounds like ribbit, hence a frog and ta da! we get the official knitting term: frogging.

For the most part, when I’m frogging it means I’m taking apart a thrift store sweater and therefore gaining lots of expensive yarn for little to no $$. Booyah! Being a financially challenged single parent has allowed me to be more creative in how I subsidize my hobbies. Example: $5.99 bought me two sweaters, which took several hours to frog, which turned into 2600 yards of yarn, which took several hours to skein up, which has already kept me out of lots of trouble and will continue to do so when I finally do knit it all up. I shudder to think what that would have cost me at a store. Actually, I wouldn’t have been able to buy it. At all. 2 Sweaters = $5.99, hours of low-cost entertainment = PRICELESS!

Frogging is very calming for me – one of my favorite de-stressers. While I do usually have to knit – frog – knit – frog until I can actually get something going, I enjoy frogging other stuff even more. Thrift Store Sweaters are the perfect things. For $2 to $4, I get hours of frogging and winding enjoyment and very cool, once expensive yarn to feed my stash. With a little TLC, it looks as good as new and I get to knit with some yarn I would never have been able to afford the first time around. It’s a win-win all the way around as far as I see it.

For those interested, this is a very good tutorial and where I learned to do the deed. It explains how to pick out the right sweater (yes, there are actually sweaters that don’t do well with the whole process – usually the ones in a color I like too), how to take that sucker apart, and how to deal with all the yarn you just scored (skeining, washing, etc). Ashley Martineau does a great job taking her readers through the steps, and there are lots of photos. Give it up for Ashley – You Go Girl! In checking out her site for the link, I noticed she’s got a link to a free download of the eBook version. I’m gonna have to go back and see what else she’s added…

Well, Cherry, that concludes your first knitting lesson. Hope I explained it well enough. If not, let me know.

Warning: Thrift Store Sweater frogging can be addicting. You could find yourself ignoring everyone and everything else to spend all your days combing Thrift Stores for ‘the perfect sweater for frogging and all your nights frogging them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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So NOT the way to reduce your clutter…

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If there was ever a reason to clear out the crap in your house, this is it…guess we’re stepping up the FlyLady stuff this weekend.

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My 70’s Apartment…the Kitchen

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And now back to our regularly scheduled distractions…

In my attempts to distract you once again from my Xmas knitting, I once again reveal way too much of my personal life. Ok, here we go.

Get ready for a blast from the past folks…time to WOW you with my ‘retro’ apartment decor.

Retro style is ‘in’ right? Riiiiigghhtttt?!? Oh nevermind.

The “Mod” kitchen cabinets…

…not too bad, I think they are selling stuff like this at IKEA, right? Check out the vent-a-hood. Lovely shade of green that goes with…

The Original 70’s stove…

…I like green, but please – not on appliances.

It goes so well with the new fridge

And That 80’s dishwasher…

Oh! And the Formica! Just ties it all together, don’t you think?

That’s sarcasm folks.

At least the floor is ‘new’…

…circa 1999.

Sometimes I just wanna put on some platforms and strut around the place. Instead of the platforms (cause you know I would fall and break something) I added this…

A genuine reproduction KitCat Clock. The tail goes back and forth and so do the eyes. It’s taking in the scenery. I can hear what it thinks… “Tick Tock Tick Tock…is that stove really green? Tick Tock Tick Tock…I can’t believe it’s green. Tick Tock Tick Tock…Holy Crap! The stove is green!”

I don’t even notice it anymore. Seriously. I don’t.

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