Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Coming to you from Lost Wages...

Oh yes peeps, yesterday my fabulous 12 hour workday was punctuated by an afternoon McFlight to Las Vegas. Now, under normal circumstances LadyLinoleum + Las Vegas = Lotso Fun. Under current circumstances LadyLinoleum + Las Vegas + 200 Bankers from The Cube Farm = Notso Lotso Fun...

That having been said, I do like this year's hotel choice, Red Rock Resort, even if it is way, way, waaaaaaaaaaay off The Strip. Like $40 cab fare off The Strip. Are you feeling my pain? Good.
Anyhoo, The Cube Farm hosts this Retreat (read working 12 hours a day, every minute of the 12 hours scheduled with activity whether it be presentations, presentations that discuss other presentations, meetings, meetings to discuss whether we should be having more meetings, just footsteps away from a casino is seemingly very rejuvenating) every year at a different venue in Las Vegas (or in this case Summerlin, hence the cab fare). In anticipation of this yearly celebration of our firm, I, in turn, attempt to devise ways in which to extricate myself from this commitment. I know, hard to believe having been apprised of the fun that I'm sure to encounter here at the Satellite Cube Farm, oh so close, yet oh so far from the casino doors. Needless to say, my yearly attempts to extricate myself from this commitment usually result in a 12 hour workday punctuated by a McFlight to Lost Wages. So, here I am, luggage loaded with 40 lbs. of paper, pens sticking out of all orifices (okay, I agree, gross reference), overworked, stressed out, playing my Satellite Cube Farm Lackey role...

I thought I saw a bar near the hotel's business center though. So, all is not lost.

And there is always my carry-on bag filled to brim with yarn. Crocheting and knitting in the airport seems to be a theme with me as of late. I know that I don't talk about my WIPs much, but I am crocheting wings. Maybe they will be able to whisk me away from this banking torture. I can dream, can't I?

More from the road later...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Weenie Link Pattern & Other Errata...

Yesterday I was out and about Downtown LA with friends doing some art viewage (story forthcoming) while donning some weenie linkage when I heard this called out to me from a passersby, "Hey, I love your hot dogs!" So, the dogs got their due despite the ubiquitous artful offerings surrounding them...

Now you too can make your own weenie-esque statement for I just posted the freebie pattern for all to crochet and enjoy. Go here to print it out and get started! Then go ahead and give me a virtual pat on the back for writing the pattern up so very promptly despite my crazy work schedule and inane amount of overtime that I'm having to endure at the cube farm presently.

Speaking of overwork, your Lady of the Linoleum is quite literally exhausted by her day job. Unable to read her usual cadre of blog offerings, answer email or eat lunch for that matter, her spirits are quite low while her level of anxiety is rocketing off the charts. Spent, depressed and freaked (and obviously self-aware of my neuroses), my friends in Bloglandia have come to my rescue with a few well-received gifties...

Steve must have known I needed a shoulder (or in this case a bust) to cry on, so he sent Rosa over.

She's made herself at home in one of our many bookshelves (next to the Venus of Willendorf as Playboy Bunny...LMAO) and is, in fact, quite a good listener. However, sometimes I could use a little advice and what with Rosa being made from paper and all, well, she's kinda quiet. Ah well, she's a beauty nonetheless! Thanks Steve!

Next, nothing soothes a Linoleum soul like YARN, shea buttah and handmade soap! Thanks Deneen! You are an angel!!!

And last, but certainly not least, I received a few more hooks from Jimbo!

Notice one of those hooks is teensy weensy? Yep, he did it! He made me a hook that is small enough to use with thread! Amazing.

Thanks everyone for your comments and emails! I will eventually catch up and be answering your emails and visiting your blogs again! I miss hanging out with you guys in the blogosphere. Hang tight with me. My pesky work schedule will let up in a few weeks!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Jerpoint Abbey

I am an individual who has been blessed with a deep connection to place. Not to every and any place that I happen upon about my journey through life, but specific and meaningful rest stops here and there that can be comforting, surprising, ancestral, cerebral, full of quiet beauty or energetic prose. West Los Angeles, my bustling beach-adjacent urban community home, feels this way to me. Upon first footfall in the vast expanse of the Arabian desert, it felt as if birthed from my soul. So too the deep valleys and great precipices of urbanity native to the island of Manhattan or the lonely rural highways that criss-cross Ireland's emerald rolling hills. I don't know whether this phenomena is anomalous to me or whether it is quite commonplace for it is a sensation that I do not share readily. Rather, I relish the connection, savor the sites, smells, associations and become quiet companion to my new discovery and at the same time, reacquaint myself with an old friend.

While in Ireland, traversing the narrow paved arteries from North to South, this place called out to me...

Jerpoint Abbey. Majestic and brooding, stalwart as well as compassionate, this relic my familiar.

It's breathtaking...

It's quite and contemplative...

Its details stupendous...

Utterly unforgettable, Jerpoint Abbey is my forever friend...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Weenie Link Scarf

The staff here at Project Wrongway are proud to present this stashbusting masterpiece...

The Weenie Link Scarf!

Modeled by my bee-you-ti-ful offspring, this scarf is an, err, interesting alternative to the pedestrian rectangular versions one usually sees about town. Yes. It. Is.

Apropos from disco to deli and fast to work up from approximately 100 yards of Cascade 220, the Weenie Link Scarf is a Prime USDA example of meat to wear. Pair it with the Mixed Grill Wrap and you have an outfit that observers are sure to talk about long after the barbecue ends...

Crochet Stats
Yarn: Cascade 200
Hook: F
Pattern: Monster Crochet/Project Wrongway Classic - will eventually be offered as a freebie

More meat to wear to come! Just. You. Wait.

Copyright 2006 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I get *buy* with a little help from my friends...

I am a big devotee of adding stuff to my stash by purchasing goods offered by my fellow bloggers. Yarn, hooks, thread, fabric, hand-made items, whatever! There is some good stuff out there for the taking made by some amazingly talented peeps.

My most recent acquisition appeared in my box o' mail after having made its way from North Carolina and the home of the three olive martini enthusiast herself, Elizabeth! Now, many of you peeps are already familiar with the crack fiber that Elizabeth is pushing marketing. If perchance you've managed to get through life thus far without being exposed to Elizabeth's marvelous hand-dyed magical combos, well then, you've been missing out big time! Take a looksee at this stuff, specially dyed to Linoleum specifications:

Is that not the most gorgeous sock yarn you've ever laid eyes upon? C'mon you know you want some...go visit Beth and tell her you need a fix...

Next bit of fabulousness found in my personal post consisted of whittled wood. Oh, but not just ANY random scraped-up twig. No, this pair of whittled wonders came to me from none other than Jimbo!

Aren't they bee-you-ti-ful?

Well, y'all need to git sum 'cuz Jimbo and his hooks are rocking my world AND I like the guy AND the man is using the proceeds from his hook-makin' to build hisself a posh pad. So there. Go now and buy some groovy hooks!

If only Jimbo could figure out how to make some teensy weensy little hooks to fit my beloved thread, my hook habit would be sated...

Git to shoppin' everyone so I can live my life through you! I know...I'm pathetic...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wins, Losses and Honorable Mentions

Apparently I am not good at bragging according to my buddy Natasha (proprietor of another excellent blog and online store, as well as highly talented and funny...go visit her and take a looksee at her hand-spun fetishized fiber dee-lights).

Well Natasha, and the rest of my peeps at large, here's the haps over at ChezLinoleum...

Foremost, the first ever Paps of Shrone Award (circa 2005) has been bestowed upon moi! Wooo Hooo! I am very excited about this as (i) I never win anything (of course you know there is a HUGE "L" for loser branded upon my forehead that oddly resembles the "L" on Laverne's monogram sweater...yes, my reference IS dated...only burned and fleshier) and (ii) leaves me wondering who the heck voted for me as the competition was pretty darn fierce in my humble opinion...Well, I want to thank all those that thought me worthy to receive the um, err, purple boobie prize! What a gift to break my LOSER streak!

Thank you Mother of all Shrones for making me a Shrone in the first place! I think we Shrones need to have a float in the next Doo Dah Parade...Lori, thoughts?

Okay, next up is a Monster Crochet mention in the new Spring Interweave Crochet mag! Yee Haw! For those inquiring minds out there who want bask in the glory of my honorable mention, turn to page 8 and read Sandi Wiseheart's Hook into the Web article. Thank you Sandi for giving Tater Claus his few minutes in the limelight. It's difficult living your life as a brown spud in a red hat you know? You know.

Lest you think I lead a charmed life, let me be the first to share with you this simple anecdote...In the flower box of life, beneath the sun-soaked petals fanned out regal and proud, below the leaves whose green epidermal layer glistens with every drop of rain, underneath the strident stems from which these glorious seed pods take their support, there lies the manure. Oh yes, just three days after returning home from our Irish vacay my husband was informed that he no longer needed at his place of employment thereby positioning me as the sole breadwinner in this here not-so-humble abode. Needless to say, this fact alone takes any wind out of any sail that I may have had.

However, from the detritus of life comes growth right? Just humor me. Yes, LadyLinoleum you speak the truth! For I believe, from worry comes contemplation. From sorrow comes an appreciation for contentment and HUMOR. From challenge comes bravery. The inhabitants at ChezLinoleum will prevail eventually. Keep your digits crossed. Pray. Do a little jig. Whatever. Just keep us in your thoughts because we could use all of the good vibes the blogosphere can muster. Okay, enough of me being a whine-o. Smoochies all around!

Speaking of smoochies...I have some virtual smoochies of thanks that need to go out to a few peeps!

One smoochie to the Mother of all Shrones for sending me a "just because" gift of Sticky Eyes...

Another smoochie goes out to Rebecca for this happnin' poultry fabric...

And a final smoochie to Terri for sending me a copy of the Magic Onion play (no pic)!

So, I may be in dire financial straights right now, but my tank is full up with friends. Thanks guys!

Our current finances, or lack thereof, will prevent me from yarn-hoarding, but things need to change soon because my addiction is one that is exceedingly difficult to kick. The proof is in this post (worth a few chuckles I assure you) by my lovely and talented fellow addict, Briana. Basically, if I'm forced to chose between yarn or food, I will chose yarn. Do you think my family will notice that the meatloaf is crocheted? It's low in carbs...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Aer Lingus Shawl

Let's take a break from the Irish vacay raconteur-ship (and subsequent artistic lingual license with that last word) to take a looksee at what I accomplished while on the plane to and from Dublin:

Henceforth, this garment shall be called The Aer Lingus Shawl! And it 'tis quite fetching, no?

At any rate, I do believe that I was the only individual who boarded the plane with an entire backpack stuffed, and I do mean filled to the brim, full of yarn. It couldn't be helped. I mean, where else was I going to get a full ten hours (each way) of uninterrupted yarn-and-me time?

So I used my several hours of squishage in a coach seat wisely, for I am working out the logistics of more pieces for Project Wrongway. Just you wait and see...The pattern for this large knitted semi-circle will have its due in the limelight on the Wrongway, whatever it's transformation. Of this, you can be sure. For now though, it is pretty, functional and downright NORMAL. Anyway, I need a bit of normality 'round this here bloggy blog blog every now and again...

Knit Stats
Yarn: Crystal Palace Merino Stripes in colorways 24 and 34
Needles: Size 9 40" circ
Stitch: Stockinette

I'll write up the pattern for you all this week. It's totally simple. Hell, you can probably figure it out just by looking at it! LOL

And while we're on the topic of shawls, here's my little finished batwing diddy made from an Elann freebie pattern that I forgot to show a while back:

Ooooooh, just saw this one on Elann, while getting the link for batwingola. I think I need more yarn...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Yes, more of Ireland...

Whilst atop the Emerald Isle the travelers three decided to take a couple of factory tours. So, first off we hopped in the rental Beemer and traversed yet another set of narrow two-lane Irish highways to the city of Waterford, south of Dublin.

And what is Waterford famous for? Yep, crystal! Now, I have to admit, I had never been a huge crystal fan. Yes, it's very pretty when it catches the light and glistens, but I am more of an earthy girl. I love pottery and stoneware. Oh, and I love glass too, but more in vein of Dale Chihuly (who by the way, I believe to be a genius with glass right down to his piratic eye patch) than cut crystal. Anyway, when in Ireland one must go to the Waterford Crystal Visitors Centre where they allow you to slap down some euros and get on a bus for transport to their working factory floor (please note that I said working factory floor, relevant to next "tour").

Upon leaving the bus we were guided through the various artisan workshops to witness the magic of making glass. The glassblowers and cutters being my faves:

Then we were shuffled onto the engraving room where I fell in love...

Skellies on Waterford Crystal! Had this piece not been close to 500 euros, it would be mine.

Wait, there's more:

Okay, the fetus one is a bit much, but nonetheless I had not expected to see any piece of glass like this at the Waterford Crystal factory.

At the tour's end, we were dropped off before the GIGANTOR gift shop and yes, I purchased a few pieces...and a few more. So, yeah, I like crystal now...

LadyLinoleum's rating of the Waterford Crystal experience is definitely two thumbs way up!

Unfortunately, my thumbs are pointing downward for the next factory tour...or whatever the next experience was supposed to be.

A little background...months before embarking on our Emerald Isle tour I had heard that visitors can tour the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. I was so excited at the prospect of learning how the dark molasses-y brew was magically conjured that the notion of such a visit was far and away becoming the focal point of my impending journey. Okay, so I don't get out much. Whateva!

Anyway, upon entering the Storehouse we were asked to plunk down 14 euros apiece. Then and only then were we told that the "tour" was self-guided. Okay, fine, but how am I to know how the dark molasses-y brew is conjured??? Well, from the reading materials posted on the walls.

Seven floors of reading materials posted on the walls. Oh, and did I mention that this isn't actually a factory tour? No? Actually it's just seven floors of reading materials posted on the walls with a few antique brewing machines spattered about. Why are you looking a little hot around the collar oh Lady of the Linoleum??? We show you the ingredients for Pete's sake!

And you get a free pint of Guinness...Uh, that would be a big ole NO to the free part. IMHO, that pint is compensation for making me read seven floors worth of verbiage with little to no visuals at the highway robbery price of 14 euros. Thank you very much. Bitter? No, not me.

A word of advice, when visiting Dublin just hit a few pubs, order a pint (or three), watch some football on the television, dialog with a few of the locals and relax. From that experience you will learn more about what goes into the local brew than plunking down Disneyland ticket prices to self-guide through the maze of verbiage at the Guinness Storehouse.

More green highlights to come...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm Baaaaaack!

Yep, back from Ireland! Land of rolling emerald-scapes, sheep o' plenty, bustling cities both large and small, pubs galore, friendly peeps AND a booming economy! As you may know, not long ago Ireland was considered a third world country. Not. Any. More. Currently Ireland is kicking some economic butt and the once impoverished nation and people are thriving. Truly wonderful to see and experience, if not expensive. But in true LadyLinoleum shopping fashion, my dollar was their euro for which I converted and spent aplenty, thereby doing my part to further stabilize the country's current economic bliss.

Needless to say I spent quite a bit of time shopping on Grafton Street with my mom, the hubby being the designated shopping bag holder, buying lots of tweed and indulging my personal addiction of choice - shoes! Oh shoes, how I love thee. Okay, yes, I've just gone from zero to completely shallow in 2.5 seconds (more to come on this front I assure you). Let's move on, shall we?

We, the travelers three (my husband, my mother and meself), decided that when in Ireland, stay in castle. So, we made reservations at Clontarf Castle. Located approximately three miles from Dublin City Centre, once owned by many a historic figure including Oliver Cromwell and peppered with the heads of dead animals past, was a very comfortable accommodation that served as our base of operations for the length of our stay. Incidentally, the Clontarf area was the former neighborhood of Bram Stoker of Dracula fame. Cool, eh?

Clontarf Castle:

One of the many animals who gave its life for wall ornamentation:

Neato lobby shot:

Having rented a car upon arrival in Dublin we were free to travel the country at will due to wheels. So travel we did, up and down the east coast of the Emerald Isle to destinations such as Lisburn and Belfast in Northern Ireland and Slane, Newgrange and Waterford down in the south of the good ole Republic.

First stop, Lisburn, Northern Ireland!

Home to the Irish Linen Centre and Museum and quite the picturesque stop on ye old map, Lisburn is a beehive of activity. Lots of shops, restaurants, pubs and as I mentioned above, home to the story of the origins of Irish linen manufacture. This is a must-see for those of us with a penchant for fiber!

Although the museum does have intriguing current exhibitions relevant to linen and fiber in general on its ground floor, I recommend their permanent exhibition which tells of the origins and production of linen found at the top floor of the building. Complete with mannequins demonstrating the various stages of linen production and a real live docent present to answer any questions you may have, this exhibition is both informative and a little disturbing due to its Village of the Damned styled mannequin workers. Ending the mostly self-guided tour through the exhibition and making sure that none of the mannequins has suddenly sprung to life, seeking to make you part of the um, err, experience (okay, so I've watched House of Wax one too many times), the viewer is then met with several working floor looms dressed with linen fiber and their actual-in-the-flesh weavers producing amazing linen specimens for sale. Very cool.

Irish Linen Centre:

Next stop on the northbound very narrow two lane Irish road, Belfast!

It 'tis strange that my rather reactionary husband has a distinct interest in urban guerrillas, which was our main reason for a visit to Belfast, for it is so contrary to his political bent. The man continues to be a puzzle...Anyhow, despite Gerry Adams and crew having put down their weapons in favor of ballots, this modern city rests just above not so distant images of bloody urban conflict.

So what to the travelers three do in Belfast? They drive their rental Beemer around in search of Sinn Fein HQ to purchase t-shirts. No, I'm not kidding. Are you thinking ugly American tourists? Yeah, me too...

Ahem, well if you're not completely appalled by that last travel tidbit, then stay tuned because there's lots more to come from our travels about the green isle in the North Atlantic...