Month: December 2002 (page 2 of 9)

LOTR: The Two Towers was good. Very good. I had read a lot of reviews beforehand and was expecting to be put off by some stuff (bad blue-screening, inappropriate dwarf humor, etc.), but honestly, none of that bothered me at all. Gimli’s orc-killing contest with Legolas was one of my favorite parts of the book, and I would’ve missed it if they’d left it out. The Ents weren’t anything like I’d imagined, but I still thought they looked good. (The Snook thinks they would’ve been cooler as stop-motion animation, but he was still a fan.) Even frickin’ Liv Tyler didn’t bother me so much. (Although, what was that business about her and Aragorn, like, breaking up before he left? And why didn’t we get to see her knitting the stupid flag, since that’s all she does in the damn book? Okay, I guess she did bother me a little.) All in all, I liked: all the ass-kicking, everything Legolas did, the Ents, and Gollum. I didn’t like: Aragorn’s nasty hair. Couldn’t the king of men take a shower every now and then? (Falling off a cliff into a river doesn’t count.) I’m sure Eowyn could lend him some conditioner. (That said, I wouldn’t say no to some Aragorn/Legolas slash fiction, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.)

Oh, and did anyone else decide that Smeagol was not, in fact, a hobbit, but a house elf? He looked disturbingly like Dobby.

Thanks to Stefanie for sending along this interview with Hermey Elfin, “Santa’s CIO”. Very amusing. I guess being a dentist doesn’t pay very well these days. 🙂

Santa in stubbiesHappy Christmas!
In case you couldn’t tell, the Snook and I aren’t doing anything special this year. No travelling, no decorations, and no gift exchanging. (We did buy ourselves an air conditioner though, which has already been much appreciated.) Mostly we’re just enjoying having two weeks home together. I’ve been doing lots of crafting (I’m sure you’re surprised), and he’s been brewing and tinkering with his computer. It’s nice. We’ve also been indulging in our new mutual addiction to The Amazing Race. (We had three new episodes in 24 hours! God, I want to smack Flo.) Tomorrow is Lord of the Rings day, and we’ve already got our tickets for the first 9:30 a.m. show. I’m also hoping to get in some time at the beach this week, if the sky ever clears up. (It’s been warm but cloudy.) Oh! And rumor has it Kristen‘s arrived Down Under, so I’m hoping to meet up with her when she hits Sydney.

See? Lots to do. I’m a little sad about not having a traditional Christmas, but I think that’s just something I’m going to have to get used to while I’m here. I forced myself to get up at 3:30 last night and call home to catch everybody having dinner at my Mom’s. It was pretty cool to hear the crowd noise and be passed around to all my relatives on the phone, but it’s also nice to just step back from all that every once in a while, you know?

Oh, and unlike every other (lazy ass!) blogger in the known world, I will not be taking time off for the holidays. That is my gift to you, my friends. (Not that I’ll have much to discuss beyond craft projects and TV shows, but you never know…)

Curious how we celebrate Christmas Down Under? Wonder no more.

Jakob has published his list of the Top Ten Web-Design Mistakes of 2002. Forget web design; how about English? Since when is “web design” hyphentated? Tsk tsk, Jakob.

How much time have you wasted? As web-goddess is coming up on her second birthday, I thought it might be fun to look back and recognize all the folks that contribute here at the site. With a little database help from the Snook, I’ve managed to put together a table of everyone that’s made over ten comments for the two years the site’s been running. I bet you’re wondering who the most prolific commenter was, right? It was me, of course! (But then, as a hostess I’m expected to participate in all the discussions.) In the #2 spot was Brigita, who had nearly double that of Moire. (Although, in fairness, Brigita has pretty much been here since the beginning, while I’ve only known Moire for the last year or so. It might be fun to compare their posting frequency, but that’s too complicated even for me.)

Want to see where you fall on the list? Read on!Okay, so this is totally unscientific and relied on your using the same name every time you posted. If you used different names but I knew it was you – like “anon” and “Nicci” – I added those together. But if you’ve got a common name, somebody else with that name might have posted, thus inflating your total. So don’t take these as 100% accurate. (I hyperlinked names when I had the person’s URL handy. If I’ve missed yours – or messed yours up – let me know.)

Name Comments
Me 1657
Brigita 658
Moire 375
Tara D 215
Tricia 188
Kristen 164
Martin 156
Max 149
Nicci 138
Jann 134
Amy (my sister) 127
John 112
Ferret 98
Claire 96
Jenny 89
Bill 75
RDH (my Dad) 73
Mia 58
Dan 55
Kel 53
Psorr 49
Matt 35
Stefanie 24
Orangecat 22
Khay 22
Enki 20
Little Julie 19
Ron 17
TheOtherKris 15
Jeremy 14
Nora 13
Tracey 11
Sal 11
Kingsley 11
Yasmin 10

Ooh, I didn’t realize the Indiana quarters had been released! What a crappy design. A friggin’ race car? That’s our one symbol of state pride? I would’ve at least put some corn or Amish people on it.

My sister sent me an e-mail to say thanks for the Gryffindor scarf. It’s the funniest thing ever. An excerpt:

I F***ING LOVE THE SCARF! It is the gorgeous fruit of your labors. It is the manifestation of all that is good about crafts. It is a work of art. I can’t even tell you how much I just KNOW others covet it. They must. I wore it shopping all day yesterday at the mall, and though it was hot as hell and I got all sweaty, I caught smiling glances of recognition from many a potter-loving geek, mom and child. (Jim here at work thought it was a USC scarf! I set his ass straight.) I now feel I must strive to
live up to Gryffindor standards when I wear TS. I must be honorable and true – and brave and loyal. I am a Gryffindor. I rock.

How great is that? I hope the others I’m making are so appreciated!

My First Sock Monkey

Sock Monkey“Ehhh, monkey!”
Yeah, it’s yet another craft. For some reason the other day I decided I wanted to make the Snook a sock monkey. It was a really quick project and I finished it in just a couple hours. I found the original instructions, but I ended up using this page more. As you can see, it turned out all wonky. (His arms, for example, are clearly not lined up.) The Snook likes it though, and he’s named him “Johnny Vegas” (after the comedian that did the On Digital ads with the sock monkey in the UK).

Carpenters Record Album Purse

Carpenters Album Cover BagI am so going to Hell. The big thing on the Glitter discussion boards lately has been album cover purses. Basically you buy an old record album, cut up the sleeve, and fashion a bag out of it. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for suitable albums ever since. Friday I hit the jackpot. It’s the Carpenters’ “Now and Then” album. Saturday I collected all the other supplies and today I made my bag. Is it morbid to carry a fashion accessory emblazoned with the picture of pop music’s most celebrated anorexic? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Read on to see more pics and read how I did it.Album coverOkay, before you vinyl purists get all up in arms about the wanton destruction of this album, rest assured that it was a bargain basement, scratched-as-hell, one dollar piece of junk. (I plan to turn the record itself into a bowl, but more on that later.) Here’s what the front of the album looked like. As you can see, it was one of the big folded-type ones, not simply a cardboard sleeve. This was nice because it meant I had plenty of cover to work with. A lot of people make small handbag-type things, but I wanted a full-size messenger bag so I planned to use the whole thing.

InsideSo the car image is nice, but it was the inside that sold me. Check out this surreal image of Karen Carpenter. It looks even weirder in real life. She’s all Photoshopped and color blocked. I like it.

InsideAnd of course, on the opposite side we have Richard. Who looks like a vampire. He’s got really pointy eyeteeth!

Cutting the cover apartThe first thing to do is cut all the pieces apart. I discovered that two of the trifold sections (the parts that weren’t the record sleeve) were actually glued along a couple sides. So I had to use a knife to carefully separate them. Once I had all six pieces (the other inside piece was the song list), I planned how I wanted the bag to look. I decided to use the front cover (the car) as the front of the bag, and have the side panels continue the image and sort of “wrap around”. Then for the back, I’d use Scary Karen. Inside, I backed the front with the song list, Karen with Dick, and the side panels with some remaining cardboard. I also used a double thickness for the bottom. (The point of doubling the sides up is just to make sure it’s sturdy enough not to fall apart.)

Laminating DickThe next step is to laminate all the boards. I glued the double-thicknesses together and took them up to my local copy shop, but the woman there said they were too thick to go through her machine. So I went with my backup plan, which involved clear Contact paper (the kind kids use to cover their books). Basically I just wanted to waterproof and protect it. So here’s me carefully laminating Dick. I didn’t care so much about the pieces facing the inside, but I made sure that the outsides were perfect and air bubble-free.

Don't buy these! They suck!Okay, so to fasten all the sides together we need to insert “grommets”, which are little round metal eyelet thingies. I bought this package at my local hardware store. It even comes with a tool. (You push them through the hole from the right side and then bash the end down to keep it from pulling through.) Unfortunately this tool sucks. Don’t buy it. It broke within minutes and even when it worked it did a crappy job. So I went to the craft store and found another package that came with little metal bits that you pound with a hammer. These worked much, much better.

Snook pounding grommetsHere’s the Snook demonstrating the right way to pound some grommets. I spaced them so that they’d be staggered along each edge and therefore the lacing would cross and look cool. At least, that was the idea. I messed it up on the back side, but you can’t really tell. Anyway, punching holes and inserting the grommets is the worst part of the whole job. But if you get good grommets from the start, it’s much easier.

Side viewHere’s a side view so you can see the lacing that holds it together. I used some cheap (like twenty-five cents a meter) vinyl lacing that I found at my craft store. You could also use leather or ribbon or even fishing line. Whatever floats your boat. I went over every edge twice so that the lacing would be criss-crossed. It worked pretty well. Here you can also see that I’ve put one big grommet in the top of each side panel. This is where I hooked my handle, which was just a basic black nylon strap that I pulled off an old bag I had.

Front viewHere’s the completed bag from the front. Neat, huh?

Back viewAnd here’s the back, with Scary Karen grinning at you.

That’s it! As you can see, this made for a really big bag. It’s as wide and tall as a record and the side panels (and thus the depth) are about one-fourth of that. It’s really more like a cereal box than a purse. I like it though. Now it just remains to be seen whether I’ll actually have the nerve to carry the thing… 🙂