25 October 2008

I'm a proud Mommy

Today I ventured to the first Craft Fair here, which was held instad of my beloved Stitch'n'Bitch.
It was overwhelming.
Seriously overkill, especially on the quilting side.

It took me a while to find the knitting places and especially the two I was looking for specifically.
The first one was Astrid's Dutch Obsession, my favourite place to shop for yarn online in the Netherlands. I couldn't resist two balls of Kauni Lace and I briefly met a very busy Astrid, wearing a wonderful shawl herself.

My next stop was Storm op Zolder, where I got what I came for - a drop spindle beginner set. I wanted to learn to spin for such a long time and so I got the set and even booked a workshop. Since I was the only one I got a private lesson.
And I'm hooked. I'm still producing thick'n'thin yarn, it's nothing to write home about, but I'm one proud Mommy of my first nest of handspun yarn. Why did it take me so long?

I dressed up in my beloved shawl and a neckwarmer made out of Safari (I got it from I Knit London at the first SnB in here a couple of years ago) and surprisingly, at least to me, the shawl got plenty of attention and compliments.

I hadn't expected that, since it's an absolutely unspectacular design and not fancy at all.
A nice story: when I got my first (and only) coffee I stopped in my tracks staring at a woman staring back at me.
She had caught my eye because she was completely dressed in blue and turquoise, with matching glasses. And it were the glasses that made me stop - I knew that designer. She looked at me and said: "I love your glasses. They are two colours, aren't they?" I showed them to her and yes, we were loving the same designer - Theo. Her friend also joined, completely in red - with red Theo glasses...It was too funny and a couple of people might have thought we were insane, laughing and chatting about our glasses and that we dressed to match.

I also got two balls of pink yarn to knit my friend in Canada a scarf from. It's going to be her first winter in Edmonton and I'm not sure she knows what she will be up to in a couple of weeks.

And now? I will go back and spin some more! I have no idea yet what the yarn will become, that will be determined later, but spinning makes me happy! It takes ages with a drop spindle, but it is SO relaxing!
I even spun in the train back home!

22 October 2008

Summer’s End

Autumn is here...it's chilly now at night and still warm during the day. Leaves are turning colour and I love the smell in the air.

I haven't knitted, really knitted for far too long. Like hours on end, audiobook on, headphones on, tea next to me...

I completed a neckwarmer on size 15mm needles out of Gedifra Gigante on the way to my sister last weekend and worked on my Sassa Lynne cotton scarf for the rest of the time (on size 2,5mm needles) and it grew visibly! My Mom has picked up knitting again, small projects and only as long as her athritic hands allow, but it's good to see her handling the needles again. She was my inspiration in the first place, many moons ago. A LOT OF MOONS AGO ;-)

Work: better not mentioned. Project is getting nowhere any time soon and two other projects, related to each other and also related to my main project are nearing their deadline. I mentioned the interaction to the Project Manager of these two and that integration would needed to be tested as far as I'm concerned. She agreed and asked why it wasn't done. I told her that the Project Manager (who is at the same time my manager) didn't think it was a priority. She asked for the name and when I gave it to her she started laughing and just said:"Forget it. You raised the flag, let's leave it at that, that's all you can do. And just between you and me - by the end of the year we're gone and they will be no support."
So I am not the only one having doubts of his competence.
Uncapable of clear answers or decisions.
I started looking for a new job.
That makes me the second one out of the five ladies currently in the team. I'm not rushing this, but it feels good to know that I have a way out. Que sera, sera!

Yesterday was our eight wedding anniversary. Since we couldn't celebrate on the day itself we both took today off and slept in, had a wonderful lunch and pancakes with ice cream for dessert. We celebrated our initial wedding at a pancake house back in 2000 - rather untraditionally. And I would just do it again.
I didn't wear a dress, but beige pants and shirt with a green chasuble. My hair was short, its natural colour and I wore little makup and my Mom's gold jewellery.
There was no program, I just had my families and friends around me.
I would do it all over again and I would marry the same guy. Yep, I can be that boring ;-)

Talking about boring - my latest hair colour definitely isn't! It was a bit of an adventure, seeing that on the day of my appointment, exactly one week ago I already got stuck in the train on the way as the city was experiencing a power outage. When we finally were allowed to process to the next station, one station away from where I had to be, but with a great metro connection I departed the train and exodused with hundreds of others direction metro. A couple of stops later I managed to arrive at the "salon" (it's a tiny space in a corner of a warehouse annex called Chill Out) only five minutes late. I was greeted by a young gentleman by the name of Thomas - clearly not my stylist. Her name was Sigrid and she had just called about being stuck in a train due to power outage...sounded familiar. We made the best out of the situation, got some coffee and my tresses were shampooed and conditioned.
After that I got ushered to a chair with...no mirror! A TV with a movie playing in front of me. And space for my cup of uisce beatha, java flavoured, no ethanol, sugar or milk. That was slightly weird in the beginning, not to see what he was doing - but although I knew the movie it's one of my better liked ones - National Treasure. I love conspiracy theories. After the cutting and buzzing the dye was prepared and applied. Same as last time - magenta - but now all the dark red bits were gone and the result is VIBRANT to say the least. I'm absolutely in love it, both cut and colour. It's slightly punk-ish with its short sides and longer back, the back will grow longer still and I want to keep top and sides as they are.
This is it today, a week after the deed was done:

That purple and pink are two favourite colours of mine is somewhat known in the meantime and I got some lovely eyeshadow to match hair and glasses. Now, if only I could find the perfect lip colour...it's my proverbial grail at the moment.

I also discovered another perfume oil goddess in the form of Astrid at Blooddrop
I got quite a package from her, including some Halloween treats! Halloween KitKat - I didn't know it existed! How delightful!
I believe in supporting small and unknown artists and enjoy discovering what others have to offer to this world.

This is what I got:

Little tryouts of:
What witchery becomes in this wood?
Ask thee not lest ye be invited to partake of the foul festivities and daemonic songs.
~Old New England church warning to peasant folk on the Witches Sabbath (October 31st)
Dark and conjuring musk, sinister patchouli, thick sunless woods and orchards, dizzying rum, diving clary sage, and the oozing hay absolute of scarecrows.

(Broceliande Forest, Brittany, France)
For the death of Nature un-renewed. Lush, green, mystical. Green fruits of the forest, meadows and canyons, clear and sharp rain.

Le Cimitiere de Binic
(Cememtery of Binic, France)
A small seaport cemetery, crushed seashells for gravel, a blanket of camellia petals, withered bouquets of roses, ornate crosses and saintly statues, and always an Atlantic breeze that sounds like faint whispers.

Belle Cavaliere
A ride through an English garden. Light and airy florals with leather.

Sweet summer apricots, crisp early fall red apples, moist spice cake, clove and brown sugar. Just some of the things any good witch will have in her pantry!

Devonshire Cottage
A quaint stone farm house with a view of the wild ponies. A bountiful bouquet of herbs from the garden, creeping ivy, and a gentle base of clotted cream, sugar and condensed milk.

Incredibly soothing herbal tea with rose, mimosa and honey.

And for my most beloved husband - it arrived in time for our anniversary, perfect timing. He LOVES anything with lavender (or chocolate ;-)) and it smells great on him:

Academic Absolute
This is Blooddrop’s first gentleman’s fragrance. It has been named in honor of my scholarly male friends, regardless of their field of study. It is a handsome, elegant scent with a blend of classic ingredients: amber, vetiver and lavender.

Two bottles of Cobweb and Merci 14, both no longer on the website.

I'm wearing Witchery now, dark and soothing. I already discovered more I want to try - Schicksappeal
Oy vey, what she’s got that we don’t?! Schicksa-appeal, baby! A sparkling, bright, clean and just-ever-so-slightly unorthodox blend of green tea, wisteria, ginger ale, sweet grass and a paper thin slice of kiwi.
Kiwi? In a perfume? Got to try this!
I love unusual mixes.

14 October 2008

Longing for quiet company.

I'm having a terrible off-week at work. Constantly angry to a point I don't recognize myself.
Have been able to voice my anger (which is something I usually don't do, it takes a long time before I burst and rupture, this time it took half an hour). Damn project is getting nowhere and despite all evidence and fact delivered by the tester (aka me) there is no guidance, no management, no decisions, no backbones.

No solution in sight, out of my hands. The people in charge don't have the balls to pull the plug - something has to give, and soon. If they don't dare - I do!

Dead horses are dead, no matter how much we pull at them. They don't get up after three days, they rather start to smell.

Must not forget to breath.
And it's okay to be sad and desperate - after eight months of frustration and nothing to show for it's okay to have enough. So much time and effort. I don't want to invest and continue to invest into something were nobody can, wants and is able to tell me what the direction is. No alignment between parties, meetings held, important remarks being marked as interruption rather than what they have been, expectations created only to be retracted half an hour later. Because management didn't check with tester on what issues are.
Structural solutions required, but not appreciated.

Damn perfectionist little me.
I was feeling better, getting better. Four working days destroyed that.
Angry, but also at myself for relapsing.

Lost In Crowds

I get lost in crowds: if I can, I remain invisible
to the hungry mouths. I stay unapproachable.
I wear the landscape of the urban chameleon.
Scarred by attention. And quietly addicted to innocence.

So, who am I? Come on: ask me, I dare you.
So, who am I? Come on: question me, if you care to.
And why not try to interrogate this apparition?
I melt away to get lost in this quaint condition.

At starry parties where, amongst the rich and the famous
I’m stuck for words: or worse, I blether with the best of them.
I see their eyes glaze and they look for the drinks tray.
Something in the drift of my conversation bothers them.

So, who am I? Come on: ask me, etc.

In scary airports, in concourses over-filled,
I am detached in serious observation.
As a passenger, I become un-tethered when
I get lost in clouds: at home with my own quiet company.

Herald Tribune or USA Today. Sauvignon Blanc or oaky Chardonnay.
Asleep for the movie. Awake for the dawn
dancing on England and hedgerows –
embossed on a carpet of green. I descend and –
forgive me – I mean to get lost in crowds.

05 October 2008

Street art

I like street art:

Artist(s) unknown.

03 October 2008

I have a cold!

And I don't appreciate it at all.
Scrunching our database again at the office. I work two days operational - means: in my normal desk job as product/inventory scheduler for a (petro-)chemical company, currently don't work Wednesdays (doctor's order) and the last two days I work on a VAT related database project. Since February - and it's 33% done. You do the math.
It's frustrating at times, but I enjoy the peaceful office I have and managing myself.
And I love databases and especially showing their weaknesses.
This project is especially frustrating due to lack of leadership. There is no project lead and this makes reporting issues and getting alignment an interesting endeavour.

We had some unsettling news regarding possible layoffs, but so far I'm not worried. It's nothing I can prevent from happening. And as far as I know I'm still needed.

My operational desk is in a big room, which somehow is always cold. I'm sitting next to a window-wall, floor to ceiling glass to the outside world. Combine that with the airco and about 20 people having different opinions on what a good working climate is and you get one very cold me.

And somehow this outfit caused quite some hilarity in the office yesterday. Well, at least I was warm. And I didn't wear the tam, only when coming in and later when leaving.

This is Tudora (I love me my neckwarmers, let me tell you), matched with the Hemlock Tam (upper part is a doily), teamed up with a purple (what else) shirt and grey cardigan (hooray for cardigans, need to knit one and then some), black jeans (not visible). Completed with Plumevine's earrings and a Scottie Tea Spoon.