Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Longest Day

It's inevitable that I will completely overbook my weekends several times a year, it has however been quite awhile since I've done it this badly.

My morning started with a 45 minute drive into SE Portland to meet up with my cousin for an estate sale that was rumored to have yarn. Well we got there about an hour after it had opened thinking most people would want to sleep in, I sometimes discount the power of a good sale. By the time we got there the best stuff was gone.

I did however manage to score some fiber and knitting toys and only paid $6.50 for the whole lot.

Plus there was an awesome surprise, at the sale I thought I bought 3 skeins of Tahki cotton classic in off white for $1, 8 skeins of Mayflower cotton 8 for $2, a Brother Knitting Calculator for $1.50, Nancy's Knit Knacks DP needle tubes for $1, and an oak darning egg for $1. Pretty sweet deal right?

Later I was checking out my booty and discovered that the bag with the DP tubes also contained a Nancy's Knit Knacks needle & hook gauge, 2 packs of circular needle ID tags sizes 0 to 35, and a set of Knit-Kards. Making this the best score ever!

Ok so back to the day, after the sale I still had plenty of time until the next item on my itenerary, so my cousin and I desided to hit the Yarn Garden and checkout all the super expensive yarns that neither of us can afford. It always amazes me just how much some brands cost.

I stopped at Grand Central Bakery, on Hawthorne for breakfast and made a total onkier of myself because I hadn't eatten dinner the night before see...

Yep it's the remnants of a egg and toast plate with marrionberry jam, a marrionberry jammer, and a mocha. I very much enjoyed watching the people on street and knitting for a bit there, it's noisy and there are people constantly coming in and jostling for space. But it's kind of nice to just lose yourself in a crowd for a bit sometimes.

After breakfast it was time to mosey on out to Parkrose and visit the Rossi Farms for my Uncle Tom's 60th birthday party, Old West style.

Yep, it was time for a hoedown, well it would have been if it hadn't been raining heavily off and on and cold. We kind of ended up all huddled in the tavern on the set with the space heater, drinkin' and waiting for the hog to finish cooking. Here are some pictures...

So I was at the party for about six hours at the end of which I was damp cold and ready to move on to someplace with central heating. So I headed out to Beaverton for a visit to my favorite book store Powell's.

Now this is a nice drive from Parkrose and the original store location would have been closer but I really don't like driving in the Downtown/Pearl area and I would have had to pay for parking because you can never find any on the street. I like going and trying to find used craft and knitting books and it's a good place to kill an hour or several immersed in stacks of books.

After some relaxing book time, I headed out to my next stop, in St. John's/North Portland. One of my friends from work, Lisa is on Wasabi's Gang Green team and they are working on raising money to go to Korea for a championship race in July. For their first event they were able to do a spaghetti feed and raffle at the Mouse Trap. It was a lot of fun and her teammates are totally nuts but quite a bit of fun to watch. There was an awesome bluegrass/folk band there that night and Lia's coach was really funny, I had a lot of fun watching him trying to persuade people to give up all their dough.

The girls are Emma, Lisa, and me, and the dude is Lisa's coach I think his name is Jeremy.

After that I headed into downtown to Kelly's were another friend from work's band was performing. I think they sounded pretty good but I'm not entirely sure because the group before them was out to do as much auditory damage as possible and I kept getting distracted by the 4 different versions of Three's Company that was playing in the background.

It was REALLY distracting because pretty much the same thing was happening on all the screens, but the people were all different. It didn't take me very long to figure out that they were different versions of the same show. What was really tweeking me is that 2 of them were the American Three's Company with John Ritter but while the episodes were mirror images plot wise the female roomates were different.

The other distraction for me was that Steve's girlfriend Angie managed to fall asleep during the performance. I have no idea how! It was so loud in there I just don't get it, she didn't even wake up because of the flash.

Thank goodness the show was the last thing on the schedule for the day because I had a horrible headache and was completely wrung out. I pretty much just flopped down on the bed unconscious, and I stayed that way for the next 12 hours. It's probably a good thing my Temari class the next morning was canceled, I'm not entirely sure I would have made it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Amigurumi Eyes

So I like safety eyes and I know you can get them in all different colors and sizes on the internet, and you can even get them in different color and/or sized sets. That is all good but they never come with the ones I want, or they're more expensive than I think they should be. I want to be able to have a large variety on hand so I can play with size and color for individual projects.

I know that I could just keep a pair in each size on hand for sizing, and then order a color I think will work, but if when I got them they didn't, I'd have to start over. I've tried locating a local supplier but so far I've only found them at two places Twisted & JoAnns but they pretty much have the same selection, and that's pretty limited. Both only have 1 size and color of cat eyes, and black & brown bear eyes in just about every size.

So I picked up a variety of sizes and decided to see if I couldn't change the color, I didn't have any paint thinner but I thought nail polish remover might work. I used some cotton facial pads doused with remover and started working on the paint on the back of the eye. It worked pretty well the brown was a little more stubborn and left a little bit of a red tinge on the eyes. To try and get rid of it I decided to try giving them a bath in the remover. I let them sit for about 15 minutes, and came back to check them and see if I couldn't get the rest of the paint off.

I'd say it was a partial success because while the rest of the paint came off it also ate at the finish which in retrospect makes sense because the stuff dissolves acrylic nails if you give it enough time. A fact the following results reminded me of, yes I'm a little slow at times but I do eventually catch on.

All of the eyes lost the gloss finish and the ones that had been in there the longest had turned so cloudy they were nearly opaque. I hoped they would gain back they're translucent quality as they dried, and I think they did a little but it was hard to tell because the finish was gone. In order to try and fix that, I used foam blocking mats covered in news paper and clear acrylic spray paint to restore the finish.

Again in retrospect I probably should have painted the backs before using the spray paint but in my defense I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to see the pupils until the eyes had been spray painted. I also wouldn't use newspaper again, it started sicking to the eyes and I had to take them out of the foam core before they were dry. The result of that was some clear coat got on the backs of the eyes forcing me to sand them down before coloring them.

To repaint them I just used some nail polish since I didn't have any model paint and I know nail polish works well on acrylic. I think they came out pretty good but you can kind of still see where the clear coat was on the back.

I'm thinking leaving the eyes in the polish remover bath until they're cloudy is a good way to do eyes for zombie/dead amigurumi or if possibly the critter you're making is supposed to be blind, like oracles or cave fish.

The next time I do this definitely no bath, repaint before clear coat, and use a foam block wrapped in tinfoil so the eyes wont sick. Oh, and if I'm in the mood to take things easy on myself I could just order clear eyes in varied sizes so I can cut out most of this process, but it's good to know in case you're in a pinch.