Yuletide and bears

Oct. 18th, 2017 08:05 am
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
SteelyKid made teddy-bear-pipe-cleaner swaps [*] for her Girl Scouts bridging ceremony last night, which she was justly proud of because she'd figured out a better way to make them that didn't involve cutting up the pipe cleaners, and she distributed them by running up to people, sticking out her full hands, and saying, "Bears!"

Which made me laugh every time, thinking of friends writing Yuletide.

Anyway, her swaps were a big hit, and if you need a Yuletide beta and you think I might know your fandom, hit me up even if it's not on the spreadsheet. Comments are screened.

[*] Any kind of little craft on a safety pin that you can trade.

Holly has a new friend...

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:08 am
seawasp: (Default)
[personal profile] seawasp
 ... who was also an old friend, and a brand-new conundrum to solve in Chapter 26 of Princess Holy Aura!

attempting embroidery

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:18 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Somehow, I don't know how, I started following an embroidery blog, Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread. And I liked what I saw, but transferring designs seemed really tedious and also fraught with the possibility of error, and it's not like I don't have enough stitching projects on hand already.

. . . and then, of course, I found pre-printed "coloring book" fabric in a craft store, very cheap. So I decided to give it a try, using spare floss from my stash.

The fabric is "Zenbroidery", specifically the Garden print. The picture has suggested stitching, but, well, check out the big version: you could see the printing through the stitching, I just couldn't make myself do it. So I dug through the Needle 'n Thread archives for ideas, picked out some floss, popped the fabric on my Q-Snaps, and started out.

It was a lot of fun at first! Not having to look at a pattern makes things flow surprisingly quickly and enjoyably. And making the vines split off and curl around was very satisfying.

Here's as far as I got before I stopped:

picture )

(click to make huge, or view on Google Photos)

I'm stopping for several reasons: I don't like the colors I picked; it's too big (10" square); satin stitch with a single strand of DMC is incredibly tedious; and worst, the fabric is just awful: it's so thin you can see the brown desk underneath it, and every time I had to pick out stitches or try to set them close together, I was afraid I'd rip it.

So I'm going to put this aside and get some better-quality (and smaller) preprinted fabric from Etsy, as my travel project. Because I have also started gridding the Teresa Wentzler Celestial Dragon, nearly eight years after I was given the pattern, and that's not a travel project in the least. (I'm making myself a ruler for the gridding, and even with that I'm still so nervous about messing it up that I'm sure I'm going to recount all the blocks regardless, because I'm planning to do as she suggests and stitch the border first . . . )

Do you embroider? Do you have a favorite pattern source or type? (I think I might try crewel at some point, because the nice soft thick wool threads look very appealing.)

Guess the author!

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:07 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
"Atwood lifted much of HANDMAID from Heinlein. Yet the world thinks she’s an original."

It's back to school...

Oct. 16th, 2017 06:14 am
seawasp: (Default)
[personal profile] seawasp

... and time to start another mystery in Chapter 25 of Princess Holy Aura

Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:02 pm
archersangel: (blah)
[personal profile] archersangel posting in [community profile] books

This is one of those books that I went back-and-forth on even put to the list of books to rent from booklender.com, much less actually putting it in my "impending" books list at the site. I kind of regret it.

It feels like it's two different books. One is about a former teen pop star that got dropped from her label after wanting to sing her own, more serous, songs instead of the "bubblegum pop" stuff they wanted. Then her mom ran off to Argentina with her manager and all of her money. Followed by her finding her fiancee (in a boy band at the same label) cheating with the latest (20-something) pop sensation. Because she has no money she has to move in with her ex's brother (who's the black sheep of the family) & take a job as an assistant director at a college dorm.

The other is a murder mystery of the "cozy" kind. I prefer cozy mysteries (where they don't go into gory detail & are light on sex & violence) but this one was kind of "fluffy" except for a knock-down-drag-out fight at the end.
Also at times if felt like it was trying to be a third book about how being a size 12 is not fat & is the size of the average American woman, you know. And if you don't know, you should.

Over all I had a hard time getting though it & would've quit it, but I wanted to see who did it & why. Seriously doubt I will be reading the others in the series.

signal boost

Oct. 14th, 2017 02:40 am
rushthatspeaks: (signless: be that awesome)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
It would, to understate the case, be nice if 45 no longer had instant access to the nuclear codes.

S.200/H.R.669, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act 2017, would keep the President "from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike", which could also help put a stop to the string of wars-that-have-not-been-officially-declared that the U.S. has been in since WWII. (If we're going to be at war, Congress should have to admit it.)

This bill has been sitting in committee since January. Getting it passed is very important, since right now we are on the edge of a nuclear war even more than we have been on the edge of a nuclear war since 45's inauguration, and every time I think the danger level has to de-escalate he says something else.

[personal profile] rachelmanija has a script and phone numbers for those of you who are in the U.S. to call your Congresspeople and push for this to get out of committee. Note that this includes a link to Resistbot, which will fax, call, or write your representatives for you, free.

She's also trying to get the hashtag #PullTheFootball going, for those of you who use Twitter and other places that hashtag; getting a visible groundswell of opinion would be very helpful in moving Congress forward on the bill. If you're not a U.S. citizen but have U.S. citizens following you on social media, using this hashtag can help with visibility and with getting the word out about phoning/writing to your followers.

If this law passes, it could literally save the world. May the ghost of Stanislav Petrov watch over us all.

#PullTheFootball

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:29 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Everything is terrible, but people living in the US, or US citizens abroad, take a minute for this?

Support the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act (S. 200, H.R. 669) to require a, you know, declaration of war by Congress before the President can launch a first nuclear strike.

rydra_wong has links and context, and rachelmanija has phone numbers and a script. (Don't, however, spend your time contacting members of Congress outside your districts; save your energy.)

They were telling Seika's parents...

Oct. 13th, 2017 06:43 am
seawasp: (Default)
[personal profile] seawasp
... and now they're to the REALLY hard part of the explanation, in Chapter 24 of Princess Holy Aura

The Water Dragon's Bride, Vol. 3

Oct. 12th, 2017 12:12 am
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli posting in [community profile] books
The Water Dragon's Bride, Vol. 3 by Rei Tōma

Spoilers ahead for the earlier ones. . . .

Read more... )

DIY electronic bullet journal

Oct. 11th, 2017 10:53 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I realized I've been using with a DIY electronic bullet journal since January and actually keeping up with it . . . consistently, the whole time? . . . so it's probably time to write it up.

tl;dr: I use Dynalist, a free webpage/app that allows you to generate collapsible outlines, to keep a to-do checklist and journal bullet points for every day. I like this because things that don't get done can just be dragged into a new day, and because bullet points for journaling lowers the mental energy required to keep up with it. This system is highly flexible, goes with me everywhere, and lets me keep almost everything in one place. (I use Google Calendar for things that need to be scheduled more than two weeks out.)

Setting the scene: )

Then, in early January, I read Tobias Buckell's post on bullet journaling, which made it sound sensible and appealing. After a little more reading (I noted down this Buzzfeed post), I found a recommendation for Workflowy as an electronic bullet journal—necessary because I will not carry paper with me everywhere and I need to have access to my to-do list at all times—the examples were way more complicated than I needed, but did show that it could be very powerful and customizable.

I stopped using Workflowy at the end of July for two reasons: first, the mobile app was not good, it was way too easy to drag stuff around by accident, but hard to move it on purpose; second, it only lets you keep a single (infinitely long and collapsible) outline, which was cramping my reference-note-keeping-consolidation.

Hence: Dynalist. Which is free, and which has an Android app in beta which is much more functional, and which lets you have multiple documents. (It also has a Workflowy import.) The paid version is a smidge expensive ($8/month billed annually), but I haven't felt the need for it; I might, however, end up signing up anyway just to toss them some money. I use a pinned Chrome tab (like so) on desktop, because I didn't realize it had a Windows desktop app in beta until I just checked.

Here's how I've adapted the general bullet journal idea to a collapsible outline app: )

I've sometimes gotten a few days behind, but never more than a few, and I've always gone back and filled in at least a point or two about the day. And I started on January 9, so that's really pretty darn good. It hasn't been a magic (heh) bullet about getting things done, but it has reduced the amount of effort I put into keeping track of things, which leaves more energy for actually doing them. So on the whole, I'm pretty happy with it; and in case it sounds useful to you, here it is.

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