Of Rats and Jen

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Rattie TeleVision

Filed under: Rats!,Video Clips — folkcat at 1:26 pm on Thursday, October 4, 2007

I’ve been specifically asked for a Rattie update! Seems some of you get a Rattie Jones if we don’t talk about Lola and Sable for too long.

We’re still finding that we need to keep Lola and Sable separated. That means that Rattie Time out of the cage takes longer, since they can’t be out together without supervision.

I think there may be hope that they can live together again one day. Sable is seeming more chipper these days, like she’s getting out of the funk of losing Star. She’s actually started giving Lola her own back when Lola tries to jump her. This change is in the early stages, so I’m trying not to pin any hopes on a specific result, but I think there’s promise.

Meanwhile, since I really don’t have any knitting to show today after all, here are some clips from RTV – Rattie TeleVision.

Sable Gets Her Ear Skritched

She does like her a good ear skritching, Sable does. I love how she leans her head over, then stretches the paw out to get a good grip so she can hold her position.

Lola Has a Bunny Belly

I’ve never mentioned this before, but soon after we adopted Lola, I noticed her belly and wondered if we should have named her “Bunny.” Can you see the long-eared white rabbit?

Freebie Friday tomorrow – don’t forget to check back!

Lazy Weekend?

Filed under: Blog Admin,Knitting,Rats!,Reviews,Video Clips — folkcat at 4:54 pm on Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yes, and no. Gryphon spent a lot of time getting much needed sleep.

My time was spent about 50/50 between so lazy I didn’t even craft (much), and working very hard.

When I was working, it was on the new blog, Shopping Jen. There is now a proper About page, and even the raw beginnings of a F.A.Q. (If you have any questions about Shopping Jen that you’d like to see answered in the FAQ, just leave a comment on the FAQ page.)

The largest part of the job, though, involved this blog, Crafting Jen. Over the two and almost-a-half years that I’ve been writing, I’ve created over 860 posts – 46 of which contain reviews of one type or another. It’s my plan to extract those reviews and re-post them to the new blog as a means of seeding it with content.

It took time to locate them all, though, many hours scrolling through my archives and looking at every single post I’ve ever written. As part of another future project, I also identified every recipe I’ve ever posted – it’s my plan to someday list them under that mysterious “Link 3” at the top of this blog.

So far, the only reviews that have been copied over to Shopping Jen are the three I did a couple of weeks ago. One of the edits I made was to include a list of related links at the bottom of each post. So now, for example, the review for Romantic Hand Knits includes not only the publisher’s link, and one to buy the book at Amazon, but links to both Annie Modesitt’s blog and website.

The weekend was not completely craftless, however, even though long stretches when I wasn’t working on the blogs were spent doing nothing but watching TV. And I mean, really nothing.

I did, eventually, do some work on the entre-lac bag, mostly on Monday night. I’m currently on Tier 5 (of, I think, 14 or so). The more I do these, the faster they get.

WIP - Bags and Books

I love the colors in this one – quiet blues, purples, and greens. It might be hard to give it away come Christmas time!

You may have noticed that the bag is posing with a stack of books. That’s a teaser for upcoming reviews! All five of these titles will be evaluated over the next week or two, and I’ll tell you what I think of them over at Shopping Jen. And here, too – craft book reviews will always be cross-posted to Crafting Jen.

Other reviews are coming up which will only be posted to Shopping Jen. Gryphon and I went to Panera this weekend, and tried a few of their new menu items. Shopping Jen readers can look forward to hearing about the new Chipotle Chicken Sandwich, the Orchard Harvest Salad, and the Pecan Braid. And I’ve got some newly released snack items from the grocery store to check out.

Rattie at Work

It was not a lazy weekend for Lola, who went into Fiber Inspector mode again. She has to make sure that entre-lac bag is top quality, after all!

Sadly, she still doesn’t quite grasp that the knitting, while available to her for inspection and to cuddle with, is not hers to take home.

I’m sure we’ll get the hang of the concept eventually. Meanwhile, I’ll just stay vigilant while both knitting and Lola are around!

Finally, a Good Start; and, New Toy!

Filed under: Blog Admin,Knitting,Rats!,Video Clips — folkcat at 3:43 pm on Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Last night I made a fresh attempt at my latest socks – Socks for Folkcat, Pair Three, Sock One (SF:P3S1), and actually got somewhere!

SF:P3S1; Toe Done

The yarn is Fortissima Socka Mexiko Country Colors, #14 (Serengeti). I’m loving how this knits up! The background colors run long enough that even on my extra-wide foot, the stripes are wide enough to count. And I adore how the other blotches of color come into play, creating splashes and dashes here and there. I think there may be more yarn from this product line in my future.

New Toy!

We love the gadgets here, both me and Gryphon. Our cellphone carrier is Verizon Wireless, and every two years, they let you get a new phone (from a specified list) for free! Our two years were up recently, and here’s what I got:
Jen's enV
LG enV

From what I can gather, this is one of the cool phones from last year. (The iPhone, of course, has blown all other cool phones out of the water. Ask my brother!) It’s not just a phone with a qwerty keyboard, it’s also a 2-megapixel camera.

That’s as much power as the Olympus camera I bought myself about 9 years ago, for over $900. (It was a bargain at the time!) Okay, the Olympus still takes higher quality pictures, and will still be the go-to camera for most blog purposes. The phone, on the other hand, is more likely to be with me almost all the time, and it will let me do something the Olympus won’t – e-mail or message the pictures to flickr, direct to the blog, or to friends.

One of the coolest features about this phone – I can take videos with it, up to an hour long! The image quality isn’t the best, but it’s a chance to at least occasionally show you cute Ratties in motion! (I promise, I won’t abuse the opportunity by inundating the blog with rat videos!)

Here, then, is your first chance to see the new girl, Lola, in all her hyperactive glory:

Notice, at about the 1-minute to go mark, how I say “Go see Daddy!”, and Lola takes off like a shot to get back to Gryphon! Our girlies are smart!

As you can imagine, I’m having fun learning all the features of this new toy. Like browsing the web while we’re out doing errands, checking the weather, etc. I’ve only just scratched the surface of what the enV will be able to do for me, I’m sure.

Review Blog In The Works!

Yup – I finally had an “a-ha!” moment earlier today, and came up with a name for a review blog: Shopping Jen.

I know, I know – fairly obvious, isn’t it? Also, per my checks with multiple search engines, not already being used, and the .com domain was available. We snapped that up this afternoon.

Gryphon and I will be working together the next couple of weeks to get Shopping Jen up and running. Once that happens, any non-crafty product reviews will have a home – and they won’t be clogging up this blog. Don’t worry – reviews of knitting or other craft-related books and items will be cross-posted here. After all, they do fit the Crafting Jen theme!

In fact, be watching Thursday and/or Friday for my review of the two knitting books I mentioned yesterday, Romantic Hand Knits and The Yarn Girls Guide to Knits for All Seasons. And I think there will be a giveaway involved, too, so be sure to check in!

If I Plant Them, Will I Get a Jelly Bean Bush?

Filed under: Holidays,Video Clips — folkcat at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 21, 2007

“Beans are neither fruit nor musical.” – Bart Simpson

Sunday is National Jelly Bean Day! Celebrate by eating your favorite variety of jelly beans – mine is Jelly Belly. If you’re not convinced it’s worth participating, perhaps Jim from The Office can talk you into it:

Hand Me That Chainsaw…

Filed under: Special Events,Video Clips — folkcat at 1:27 pm on Wednesday, April 18, 2007

BTW, today is International Juggler’s Day! I’ve celebrated by juggling scarves – my one and only performance talent – and Gryphon celebrated by watching me.

You can celebrate, too! If you juggle, spend a few minutes practicing. If you don’t juggle, find someone who does and encourage them to do a little while you watch.

Or if you don’t have access to any jugglers otherwise, you can take a peek at this video of Michael Moschen. This talented man is my favorite juggler of all time, and this is one of my favorite of his pieces.