Monday, April 27, 2009

Me as Modern Art

Niobe had a link to this cool site that will make a faux-Mondrian image of you, based on your answers to several questions.

While I am far from a fan of modern art or design, I really like my Mondrian. We are getting a new deck soon (demo this week!) and I think I might use this as a bit of a guide in choosing my patio furniture.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Girls' Guide: Icing

In honor of the Blackhawk's win in the first game of the playoffs, I thought I'd republish part of a post from my old blog (though edited a bit, for style and I felt like I left a few things out). Enjoy.

I am a hockey fan, without a doubt, yet am still confused by some of the rules. Can you explain what "icing" is? Not the cake kind, of course.


I Want To Know About Sports So I Can Be Pretty AND Smart

Dear Pretty & Smart,

Icing. The official definition: When both teams have an even number of players on the ice, and one player shoots the puck from behind the center line and it cross the opponent's goal line but does not go into the goal.

The key to this rule is that the puck crosses both the center line and the goal line without being touched and is then received by an opposing player. It is considered a delaying tactic and results in a stop in play and a faceoff in the offending team’s defensive zone.

The interesting this about the icing rule is that it is not based on fair play. It was established to make sure hockey games were fun to watch. If a team was up against a much stronger team, they might resort to pure defense, simply shooting the puck up the ice every chance they got, which would not be fun to watch. If a team was ahead late in a game, they might also try this tactic to waste time, especially if the score was still close. Icing requires that both teams play aggressive offense, which is way more fun to watch.

The rule was modified prior to the start of the 2005–2006 NHL season to further discourage the offending team from "icing the puck." A team which has iced the puck is not allowed to substitute any players before the next faceoff. Teams often would ice the puck to stop the game when they needed to swap out tired players for fresh ones. The NHL made the change in an attempt to speed up game play, hoping the added consequence would reduce icing.

I hope that helps clear things up a little bit.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ellie the Sock Elephant

I finished my very first sock elephant and I'm happy to say, she no longer looks like an imperial walker. Well, not much anyway. I'm fairly confident in saying that my first elephant is a bigger success than my first monkey. She can even stand up all by herself:

She's got a good face, too.

It took a bit of wrangling to get her trunk to look less like a penis. Seriously. At first, I was sort of afraid to work on it on the train. I mean, the last thing the morning commuters want to see is a weird sock-penis.

She's got a funny little butt, too. What do you think of her tail? I'm not sure what elephant tails really look like. The pattern's helpful suggestion was "make a short roll of material and sew in place." I did sort of a short tube from a scrap, and I tried to sew it on so that it would hang down, not straight out. It ended up sort of halfway in between.

She sits, too. For some reason, I couldn't flip this picture around. It's cute sideways, too.

This weekend I sewed three more rockford red heel animal bodies: a monkey, another elephant and a dachshund. I'm very excited about the dachshund.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sock Elephant in Progress

I started working on a sock elephant. Thus far, it is going remarkably well, though it currently resembles something from Star Wars.

Imperial Walker:

Imperial Sock Walker:

Part of it is that the legs are a little too long for the body, and part of it is the weird shape of the head. I think i put the mouth on a little too close to the front. I think it might look better totally on the bottom of the head.

At the moment, the trunk is looking like a penis. If I can't figure out a way to fix that, this guy will stay an Imperial Walker. Do you think there is a market for Star Wars memorabilia made from socks? Will George Lucas sue me? I'm following Rockford Red Heel Socks' pattern. It's not like I set out to infringe on someone's copyright.

The pattern is possibly the most poorly-written pattern EVER. It is the original Rockford Red Heel Sock Elephant pattern that comes with every pair of socks (along with their equally difficult to understand monkey pattern).

It seems the Rockford company now exists solely to sell socks for monkeys. This amazon link also shows BLUE socks, which would obviously make awesome elephants. I'd never seen those before. The instructions that are included are, I think, intentionally folksy and poorly written. If I hadn't found a better pattern, I would never have understood how to follow this pattern.

If you want to learn about making sock animals, Stupid Sock Creatures has a myriad of awesome techniques. He claims you can do it without a sewing machine, but I doubt it. It would take a LOT of very careful stitching to make the body pieces tight enough so that stuffing didn't leak out. I love his creations. They are ugly but adorable and really creative.

This is the pattern I followed for my first monkey. It has a lot of pictures, and very clear instructions. You can check out my first attempt here. My second try was vastly improved.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Want It

Someone should buy this for me. It is awesome. It is a mini filing cabinet for business cards. If you wanted, you could get me just about anything from, and I would love it.