Nikki's Notebook

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

Archive for April 2011

Rainy day, sick day

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I guess I’ll take advantage of this rainy day to update my sad blog. I must get back into the post a day spirit! I would be working today, but I had to call in sick because of a bad stomach bug that’s going around the daycare. I came home last night after a day of twisting sharp pains in my stomach and fell asleep from 6:30pm to 7am. Over 12 hours of sleep, and I slept straight through!

It’s been busy around here, but sadly not busy enough in the crafting department. The good news is, I put in my two weeks notice at my part time job. It’s also sad news, because I’ve been at that place for a long time, and it’s a great place to work. However, I need my weekends if I’m going to make any kind of headway in my goals to start selling my crafts. On top of that, I’ve begun teaching community ed classes. This week and next, Chris and I are teaching an iPhone and iPod Touch Basics class. I was really nervous for the first one, but it turned out great! Then, the next two weeks, I have a beginning knitting class using my Beginner’s Garter-Edge Mitts pattern. I’m excited for that one, and for the possibility of doing more classes.

We’ve also been going on some nice hikes on the trail near hour house. These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago, when we still had some fresh snow on the ground. And we could still get more snow, here in Duluth!

This is Chris with Gru and our friend’s dog, Dak. We were dogsitting for a day. We went for a short hike on the Tischer creek trail, a little hidden gem in our neighborhood.

And here Gru is enjoying a sip of water from the creek. We’re so glad that he’s turned out to like water, because he’s going to get awfully hot in the summer! He likes today’s gloomy, chilly weather, and is currently sitting outside sniffing at all the fine scents in the breeze.

But don’t even let me get started on the fact that it turns out that he likes to chew wood knitting needles.


Written by nikkinbird

April 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Slowly learning html while making a website

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Weaving has been slow, since I have something else occupying my time. Over the past year or so, I’ve been slowly working my way through Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. The past couple of weeks, I’ve finally been putting my newfound HTML and CSS expertise to use and building a couple of websites. It turns out, though, that when you work through a book like this as slowly and in as many fits and bursts as I have, you tend to forget a lot of stuff. So it’s been a real brain exercise to build the websites, going back and looking up stuff to remember how to do it, or to use google to figure out things that weren’t in the book. It’s slow going, but doing it is helping me learn.

The first website I’m building is for Chris’s business, named fix with a lowercase f. He bought a business this fall called Macintosh Doctor, but he researched a bit and found out that Apple forbids use of any of its trademarked names in other people’s business names. Which is not really that surprising. He’d wanted to change it anyway, and just this week found out that his name was approved! Now we need a website and there’s a little bit of a time limit on it – I’m teaching an iPod touch and iPhone class through our Community Ed program at the end of this month! We need the website ready to put on the handouts for the class.

The other website I’m building is my own, and this blog will eventually be incorporated into it. I’m hoping my website will be a personal site for sharing resources for the crafts I do, and also eventually able to be a space to house some fiber-selling business activities. I also have a deadline for this website, because the week after my iPhone class, I’m teaching a knitting class, also through Community Ed! Again, I need the website to give to the people in my class so that they can reach me again, or get info about taking more classes, or whatever.

It’s all exciting, but it’s also slow going. Working a full time job and trying to start other stuff part time can be exhausting! Tonight we are coffee shopping it, getting a chance to be away from the distractions of home so that we can focus. Speaking of focus…time to get back to that website building!

Written by nikkinbird

April 7, 2011 at 2:25 am

Sunny Saturday

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Today was a very full day. Despite a couple of inches of snow that we woke up to Friday morning, it’s starting to smell like spring around here. Most of that snow, and the accumulated snow from all winter, is all melted away now, and it was 44 degrees today! Yep, that’s right, in Duluth, when it gets to be 40 degrees, we all crawl out of hibernation and do things outside like take walks by the lake and wear shorts. Well, I myself do not wear shorts, not even in the summer, but other people were.

Anyway, this morning started with a fiber rummage sale. I wouldn’t have even known about it if Chris hadn’t spotted a sign on the side of the road! The fiber rummage sale was held in the Duluth Art Institute’s building in west Duluth. It’s an old vine-covered brick building that used to be a library. It’s awesome! I grabbed up a whole bunch of fun stuff.


Various types of yarn. Big cones of wool, smaller cones of cotton, one of which is labeled as “rug warp,” balls of “weaving wool,” and three things of linen yarn. I’ll probably weave more scarves with the wool. I got the bag of cotton yarns because I’ve been wanting to try out tablet, or card weaving. I got the book Card Weaving by Candace Crockett last year and then later happened across a pack of pre-made cards for it, so I’ve been wanting to try for awhile. Inexpensive random yarns from a rummage sale seem like just the thing to practice with!

Then, for a total of $8, I got this:


and this:


The first one is labeled “raw wool” and the second is alpaca fleece. They both need to be washed and processed before becoming spinnable, but I decided this will be a learning experience. I figure that there’s a high chance that there won’t even be any very good, usable wool in that $3 bag, but it was a $3 bag of wool! It’ll be a good summer project to learn to wash and process it. I have high hopes for the alpaca, too. It’s full of VM, or vegetable matter, but already feels super soft.

After our short stint at the fiber sale, we went out for lunch, then ran home and got the pup for a walk. We went down to Canal Park and walked him on the lakewalk. We discovered that he likes going in water. Many huskies do not. Gru made many friends, human and canine, on our very long walk today. He’s so pretty and then when people approach him he flops right into them to get pet, so he’s a charmer. We couldn’t have asked for a better dog.


All in all, a very nice sunny Saturday.

Written by nikkinbird

April 3, 2011 at 12:35 am

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