Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Archive for November 2010

Blog post sabotage

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Well, I had another thing unfortunately sabotage my blog posting: my computer died. Like, it shorted out with no warning, just a suddenly black screen with a little fizzle sound, and it’s dead. Luckily, I didn’t have to spend money to have it declared dead, as I live with “the Mac Doctor,” which is the name of Chris’s new home based business. He repairs macs! My motherboard shorted out and it will cost $300 for a new motherboard. I’ve been wanting a new, unibody aluminum Macbook Pro for quite a while now, and one is coming in the mail next week! Instead of repairing my computer for me, I’m going to have Chris fix it and then sell it for me so I can put the money towards the line of credit I got for the new computer.

And the other day, I tried to post about all of this on my iPhone with the WordPress app, but it crashed while publishing and I didn’t have the heart to re-type it all out on the little iPhone touchscreen keyboard. I guess that’s the lesson to always copy and paste somewhere!

Right now we’re decorating our Christmas tree! We went to a cut your own tree farm, which turned out to be more like a guy’s property that just happened to have a whole bunch of pine trees on it. The type of tree we got this year is not as bush and full as the kind we got last year, so we spent a good hour and a half traipsing through the woods looking for the perfect tree at the perfect height and with enough branches. We got a pretty good one, and now we’re working on getting our lights to work. It’s funny how a string of lights from 10 or 15 years ago, which we got from Chris’s parents, is working way better than a set that was brand new last year. Everything is made so cheaply these days, and it’s sad to me that we waste so much because we always have to throw away crap so we can buy new crap. I hate the principle of planned obsolescence!


Written by nikkinbird

November 29, 2010 at 12:21 am

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Snowman brains!

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Another stalled project:


It’s a Teeny Tiny Snowman from Mochimochi Land. I’m actually only sort of stalled on this one. I’m missing stuffing, but then decided I could make this first one my test snowman and stuff him with scrap yarn. The scrap yarn shows through, but it’s not so bad. Then I looked at the clock and realized that this is as far as I’m going to get tonight. I love my sleep – after 9pm I get significantly less productive at whatever it is I’m doing, and go into reading mode. So the snowman adventures shall continue another time. I plan to make more than a few as Christmas ornaments to give as gifts this year. We’ll see how that goes.

We’re under a Winter Weather Advisory until after Thanksgiving, meaning snowstorms are coming! We got a small taste of it Monday afternoon and evening, but it wasn’t so bad. I hope we get an outright storm on Thanksgiving! I love the cozy feeling of being able to stay inside when it’s snowing and storming out. Or even when I do have to go out in the storm, it’s like the new snow makes an ordinary drive home from work into a crazy adventure. Everybody’s super cautious driving, there are no lines to mark the roads, and reaching my destination is like a huge accomplishment (and relief).

Written by nikkinbird

November 24, 2010 at 3:08 am


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I’m making progress on Chris’s sackperson from Little Big Planet. Rather, I was making progress. Then I hit roadblocks. The roadblocks mainly being that I haven’t yet bought any of the extra components like stuffing, eyes, a zipper, or pipe cleaners, and they are required before I progress to the next stages. In my defense, I was going to use a different pattern than the one I’m using now, so I didn’t have this list when I bought the yarn. Still, I didn’t consult the list from that other pattern, either.

The first pattern I was going to use is this free one by Alan Dart, and it’s pretty good. But it bugged me a little. It was a pretty good approximation of a sackperson, but Chris’s sackperson needed to be perfect. Or at least very very closely resembling the character from the game. And the proportions were just off somehow, to me. So then I was idly browsing the results of a Google image search for “sackboy,” and I came across somebody’s blog, who had purchased a knitted sackboy from RugRats on etsy. I did a little more poking, and as luck would have it, the seller has a pattern for the sackboy for sale too! I’m very satisfied with how closely this sackperson resembles the one in the game, and the mouth is even posable to give it different expressions. I’m excited to finish it, even though I know I’m going to be put off by all the finishing and putting together that’ll be required once the knitting is through. I’m sure I can handle it, though.

Written by nikkinbird

November 23, 2010 at 3:11 am


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Oh no! I didn’t blog yesterday! I had a topic all lined up and some free time in which to do it, but during that time I got a call from a friend and some very bad news. The husband of one of my best friends was badly injured in Afghanistan, and the news was quite a shock. So, the blog post slipped a bit, and I honestly wish I didn’t have that excuse and that everything were fine.

Chris and I went to the Festival of Trees craft show yesterday. One of my goals for the near future is to sell at a craft show or two, so seeing all the booths was quite inspiring. We bought a couple of small things, including kettle corn! I saw so many things I did want, but I’m on a budget until my next paycheck.

Having to work on a Sunday makes the weekend feel so short, but luckily this week will be short too! Looking forward to Thanksgiving.

Written by nikkinbird

November 22, 2010 at 12:15 am

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Christmas City of the North

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A few photos from the Duluth’s Christmas City of the North Parade:

The AmSoil zamboni for the new arena that I will get to work in:

Bentleyville is another Duluth wintertime attraction. A whole bunch of light displays to walk through down in Bayfront Park. The Bentleyville float:

East High School’s marching band:

This is Chris’s high school, and this could be the last year this band marches under that name, as the school district is changing East into a middle school.

This is my second year bearing the icy weather to watch the parade, and it’s officially a tradition. My toes still feel a bit numb a few hours and four slices of Pizza Luce pizza later, but it’s worth it to be one of the hardcore, outdoors parade watchers. Plus, various businesses give out free hot chocolate and cookies on the sidewalk.

Written by nikkinbird

November 20, 2010 at 5:48 am

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I’m going to Kentucky, I’m going to the fair…

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The other night I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back asleep. I’m sure it wasn’t totally responsible for my insomnia, but I had “If you’re happy and you know it” stuck in my head and it sure wasn’t helping! The title of my post is the beginning of another nonsense song that the kids really like. It makes no sense at all and it’s entirely possible that I don’t remember the lyrics right, but it’s like this:

I’m going to Kentucky
I’m going to the fair
I’m gonna see the ice cream man
with (something) in his hair.
Shake it baby shake it
shake it ice cream man
make me a milkshake
I’ll drink it if I can
rumble to the bottom
rumble to the top
then turn around and turn around
until I holler STOP!

Yep. Completely random and whimsical. But it’s pretty fun to start singing a song and have the kids all quiet down, do the hand motions that accompany the song, and even sometimes dance.

In other news, the scarf is growing: (with epic kitty battle standoff bonus pic in the background)

And spoils from a recent trip to Yarn Harbor:

From top to bottom:
1. Brown yarn to make my own sack person from the game Little Big Planet.
2. Yarn to make mini snowmen from Mochi Mochi Land
3. Buttons to finish my Garter Yoke Cardigan, finally.

p.s. I apologize for the crappy lighting in the photos. It’s dark by the time I get home from work. As much as I wish I had the foresight to take photos in the morning, the only way this blog-a-day thing is gonna work is if I snap quick photos at night!

Written by nikkinbird

November 19, 2010 at 4:05 am

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Coffee shop knitting

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Spent a nice evening at Caribou Coffee with Chris. He worked on stuff for his fledgling computer repair business, and I knitted. Coffee loaded with chocolate and caramel was just what I needed after today. I think I’m coming down with another cold, so that is definitely not helping with my stress coping skills.

To be honest, I’m a little upset with the progress on my mittens. Oh, they’re coming along just fine, except for one thing. My gauge is tighter now on the second mitten! I put one on top of the other to compare, and it is noticeably smaller. Perhaps I can block it out once it’s done. It’s a hard choice, though – try to knit looser for the rest of the mitten, so they’ll be closer in size, or keep going this way, so the left mitten is at least all the same size from top to bottom? I guess this just means I need to knit more colorwork so my gauge gets more consistent. Like I need an excuse for more knitting!


Written by nikkinbird

November 18, 2010 at 4:27 am

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