Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wool - My Medium of Choice!

First post in approximately 100 years, so bear with me!

Why not start off with what I've been up to recently, combined with a little friendly competition? Attempting to win the HackPittsburgh Hacker Olympics... and Felting!!!

I've recently discovered the joys of working with wool in several different fashions, most particularly needle felting (dry), and wet felting.

If you're interested in the wet felting process, here's my process, step-by-step:

Step 1:
Gather Your Ingredients! I used:
* Seventh Generation lavender mint dish soap (easy on the hands, easy on the earth, easy on your wool)
* old 1980's style metal bangle (other base forms will work equally well, like wire or even cooking twine)
* wool roving
* tupperware dish
* hot water (courtesy of the sink)

Step 2:
Pull off enough wool roving to completely encircle (and then some) your base form.

Step 3:
Spiral wrap the wool roving around your base form. This can also be done by just forming the roving around your base form, but the colors in the particular roving I chose here looked great spiraled.

Step 4:
Place your fully wrapped bracelet into your dish.

Step 5:
Sprinkle your dish soap of choice around on the wool. Just a bit.

Step 6:
Add hot water. Just enough to get your wool wet.

Step 7:
Agitate the hell out of it!!! Rub and "wash" wool roving, with a "pinching" action to start, then moving into rubbing and rolling between palms as the wool begins to tighten.

When the wool texture is to your liking and tight on your base form, rinse well in clear water. After rinsing, add a capful of vinegar to warm water in your tupperware dish. Swish, then rinse again in clear water, and you're done!


Give it a try, and drop me a note with any questions! steelgreypittsburgh (at) gmail!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Has it really been this long?

Wow! I skipped the entire month of April!

Pretty ridiculous. Not interesting at all. At least not for this blog. Life, however, has been quite interesting...

I've been more places in the last several months than I can name off the top of my head - Arizona, New York, and much of New England. I've lived in probably just a few less than that.

I'm making it a point to enjoy everything Pittsburgh has to offer this summer.

I've been to some seriously amazing shows.

I cut off all my hair (not the first time, but it feels like drama every time).

I pierced my nose (I've wanted that since I was 16).

I lost and continue to mourn a dear family member. I can't bear to take his number out of my cell phone, even though he's not at the other end of that number anymore. Even though I get sad every time I email something to myself from my cell phone because his number is next in my directory.

I developed a life path and a life plan. Both got derailed a bit.

I'm developing a new path and a new plan. Well, sort of.

And I'm a-gettin some of just exactly what I need.

That's all. Now I'm a little happy and a little sad. I just try to remember, when everything gets you down, try to laugh a little. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Contents of My Bag

From no blogging to two in one night? Oh, the insanity!

Nah, I just had something funny to share.

Yesterday I stumbled across a pair of Chucks at TJ Maxx. They're brown and pink, and they exactly match my Timbuk2 bag. I've had the bag since December Holiday break.

What a score, and it sort of made me realize to look super-smashing, I should probably clean up my bag a little bit. Then I thought, wouldn't it be interesting to share the contents of my bag? All of these things I carry around with me every single day. No wonder my back is curved.

Outside of the bag:
* Streetlight Manifesto button
* Mighty Mighty Bosstones button (from New Year's Eve show in Providence)
* Toasters button
* Barkers Beauties button
* little blue carabiner with chapstick hook
* silver blue full-size carabiner (for shopping)
* purple pen, courtesy of Yahoo!

Inside flap pocket:
* Buffalo Wild Wings receipt (chicken wings)
* Clipps receipt (haircut)
* mini chakra stone set in small plastic ziploc

Main compartment:
* wallet (not even going to venture inside that tonight)
* awesome green cabled knit hat from myrddinthegeek
* 2 Eat 'n Park receipts
* TGI Friday's receipt
* 19 business cards (all mine)
* scribbled note with directions to my doctor's office
* 2 ATM receipts
* 2 band aids
* 1 appointment card
* 2 travel packets of Motrin
* 1 lemon cough drop
* pewter pocket mirror with celtic design on back
* 1 prized Pilot Precise V5 RT pen
* other meds
* travel packet of kleenex
* Buffalo Wild Wings receipt
* Gateway Grill receipt
* 2 Panera receipts
* checkbook
* random set of keys I never use
* pair of green earplugs
* travel size Lemon & Sage Body Butter from Bliss
* compact of lip gloss
* pair of cream colored fingerless elbow gloves
* sunglasses in red case
* Lone Star steakhouse receipt
* dollar bill
* roll of Cinnamon Mentos
* Fuddruckers receipt
* MarketPlace Grill receipt
* expired car insurance cards
* PetCo receipt
* El Campesino receipt
* 2 large stone beads in a paper bag from the Bead Mine
* 1 quarter
* container of green tea mints
* 4 Canada Dry Ginger Ale Halls cough drops (yes, ginger ale cough drops are available in Rhode Island)
* Mad Mex receipt
* Murray Avenue Grill receipt
* copy of The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
* black cloth headband
* small courderoy bag with assorted toiletries
* copy of Locks of Love donation form
* coupon for free chocolate fondue at The Melting Pot
* birthday card from captdex96
* coupon for The Square Cafe
* 3 pages of pictures of inspiration for my next tattoo
* Banfield Wellness Plans brochure
* Banfield Vet paperwork from Stuart's last visit

There you have it!

Thank you.

*Someone* has been throwing some serious nag-time my way in terms of my blogging activity. Apparently when about 6 people read your blog, at least 1 or maybe 2 of them is bound to get cranky enough to call me out on the fact that I rarely blog anymore.

Fact of the matter is, I've been a little caught up in life. I'm looking for a new place to live. I'm trying to compile some things and get them sent in the mail. I need to clean out my bag. I'm saving for some ink. And I'm in the process of redesigning myself and my life in a manner I currently see fit.

So for all those who are wondering, I am now healthy. I am also now well on my way to happiness. Several of you have passed me some sanity, and you know, it means so much to me.* So thanks. And for those of you who listened to me cough up my lungs at 4am, I'm sorry I've put you through that. For those of you who didn't mind that I crashed on your couches and chairs, camped out in your guest bedrooms and parked myself on your spare mattresses, I thank you so much.

That's all for now. Thanks kids.

* Lyrics tidbit thanks to Less Than Jake. Thanks for putting feeling, backbone and balls into my daily life.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Wikipedia defines metamorphosis as:

"... a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's form or structure through cell growth and differentiation."

Is that what I've been doing here? Is that why I'm perpetually in this state of flux? There are days when I think of myself as a phoenix - dead and gone and rising again from the ashes of everything I've left behind... the bridges I've burned... everything I've tripped over. A butterfly - nibbling my way through life as a caterpillar with all the hopes and dreams of my butterfly day. And then there are days when I think of myself as a plain old lump of shit. A pig in a pen, wallowing in the very same everything I've left behind, the same bridges I've burned, and everything I've tripped over.

My body's been through some wicked changes. My pants size over the past few months has gone from a 6 to a 0 and halfway back again. I cut off all my hair (nearly a foot) a week and a half or so ago. I've lived in I don't know how many places. I've been sick so many times (and am still somewhat sick) over the past few months that I no longer remember what it feels like to actually feel good. Healthy is some sort of mirage, and so intangible.

I have been so sick for so long that I've started to believe other forces are at work. My last feverish day, my body temperature ranged from 102.8 to 96.4 degrees. That day I was completely convinced my body was going into septic shock, or rejecting all of my organs simultaneously, or perhaps slowly turning all my blood into unusable sludge. I could barely move. I could barely even see.

I've been doing some reading on what could possibly be (actually) wrong with me. And I think it's stress to the nth degree. This article from gave me a little (no, a shit-ton) of insight: How Stress Affects the Immune System.

I've thought about this very seriously. I've pondered it. Hard. And I have decided that if I don't do something about it, I'm going to die. I'm going to get worked up about something, and my body is going to lurch itself into a final fever. I'll reach that magical 108 degrees, move way beyond hallucination, and *poof* - my mom gets my Sgt Peppers on 33 1/3 vinyl, my best friend Tracy gets everything I own with stars on it, and Matthew gets my batshiat crazy dog (aren't you excited!). Please, please cremate me in my Streetlight Manifesto t-shirt, Bad Religion underwear, and my black cat ears.

So I have decided to make some life changes. I decided to make some life changes back in October too, and that has led me here, to a place that's part scary, part delightful, and somehow all downright stressful. I'm on the path now to taking care of me.

I'm making some adjustments. What animal do you know of that can achieve metamorphosis twice? I haven't heard of one, but I'm sure as hell going to try.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm wondering...

... what I'm doing.

Had a great conversation with my dad last night. Makes me wonder why I was hiding from him for over a week. But then again, I do know I was afraid of getting the "old" reactions.

I constantly wonder why talking to someone else (who I'd love to be able to talk to) is like pulling teeth. I'm positive I've had better conversations with a sandwich. Totally sucks, but I'm learning to deal.

I also internalize absolutely everything. Is that a born, in-blood trait? Or is it taught? At this point, I'm a little unsure. Could be a blend of both. The big things that really bother me I don't even talk about. At least not until it builds up and bursts the seams. And then I'm a fountain of disgusting. Which is what I've become. And it's taken me 29 years to get to this place. I have 29 years of rotting garbage behind the gate.

Dad says open the door and take the trash out for good. I think he has a good point, especially because some of it is old, old, old. And I've tried to fix things, I really have. Only problem with really taking out the trash for good is: where do I get a shovel sturdy enough to scoop it, and where do I find a bag big enough?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Here. Where?

I'm hiding.

I'm imposing on a lot of people, and most of the time that feels bad. But I'm not sure what else to do at this point, so I continue.

Feeling: displaced, frustrated, angry, weak, lost, agitated, sad, lonely, overwhelmed, ugly, distracted. And WAY too needy. I don't like to be needy.

Listening to (on loop): Last Rites to Sleepless Nights - Less Than Jake

They've said it better than I could right now.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It's been a while...

... wow, has it ever.

Sorry I've been missing. I've been a little sick. I'm still a little sick, but well on my way to feeling a heck of a lot better, at least physically.

This has truly wiped me out. I haven't slept this much in a really *really* long time. I feel a little bit dysfunctional, and strangely enough I'm really getting used to the 6:30 pm nap and 7:30 am rise. It's a little odd.

Not only has this wiped me out, it's been stressful for its own reasons.

More on that later. Potentially.