Trollidity: The Hobbit-Hole of Phantasmagoric Splendour

A Girl like I*

Miscellaneous stuff about me

There's no real reason to house all this stuff here, except that I have no other place to put it. Some of it I want to keep for my own reference (the Escapades list, for instance), and some of it I hope will be of some use to any swap partners who may be swapstalking me. And some of it is here just because.

Are you my swap partner?

I am trying to compile a plethora of information about myself, things I like and dislike, wishlists, my own reminder lists of things I need or want, and so on. The hope is that somewhere, somehow, amongst all this stuff, you will find what you need for whatever swap we may be participating in.

Off-site links open in a new window.

Wishlists
  • my Amazon wishlists: I use these in a very spotty way, sometimes just to add random things that look sort of interesting.
  • my Wists: This is a combination of interesting things I see, projects on Craftster (and other places) that I like, patterns or tutorials for things I'd like to make, etc. It's newish, so the list isn't huge (yet), but it's growing.
Miscellany
  • escapades: A lifelong To Do list.
  • house list: A reminder list for myself of things I want/need/would like when, one of these days, I actually have the new place we keep planning to build.
Stuff I Love
  • Knitting. I taught myself to knit in February of 2005 and have been addicted pretty much ever since. I'd like to learn more about shaping and designing, because I have all sorts of ideas kicking around in my head but lack the necessary knowledge of garment construction to make them look quite right.
  • Tea. Oh, tea.
  • Lavender. (The plant, I mean.) I have five lavender plants in my flowerbeds at the moment; I think they're lovely to look at and the smell of lavender is one of my favourite things.
  • Books. I read all the time. I learned to read very young and have not stopped since.
  • Colour. I have been having a passionate love affair with deep, rich reds for the past couple of years now. I love colours that are rich and highly saturated (the look of the movie Amélie is a prime example of this). At one point the colour industry would have called them ‘jewel tones’, but I don't know what the current fad word is.
  • Keeping a diary. I write every day, at least a sentence or two.
  • Writing letters. Real letters, on paper. I usually use a fountain pen or a dip pen because it makes me happy to do so.
  • Singing, although I'm too self-conscious to do it much in front of people.
  • Making stuff. Self-explanatory, I think.
Stuff I am Fond Of
  • 1920s vintagey stuff. I am so very sad that I was born too late to be a flapper.
  • Vintagey stuff in general, from various time periods.
  • Garnets. They are my birthstone, but more importantly, they are a gorgeous colour. See above remarks concerning reds.
  • Crochet. I don't know as much about crochet as I do about knitting, which is probably the reason I do less of it.
  • Yoga. I don't always make time for it as consistently as I would like, but I enjoy doing it and I love the way I feel when I do do it consistently.
  • Gardening. I'm only a beginner gardener, and I'm absolutely terrible at keeping the flowerbeds weeded, but I really like plants and wish I knew more about tending them. I quite like herbs and am fascinated by herbal lore, herbal remedies, etc.
  • Quotations. I often write down lines or even whole paragraphs that strike me while I'm reading; I also note down quotations that I find elsewhere. All these papers and scraps live in their own designated folder in my filing cabinet.
Stuff I am Definitely not Fond Of
  • Pink. Not so much because I think it's too girly or too cutesy or that I am somehow above pink, but rather just because I don't really like the colour much.
  • Pastels. I don't wholly hate pastels—in the right context, they can work very well—but generally speaking, they are not my favourites. Mostly, I just don't like that babyshowery, easter-eggy look that pastels sometimes attain.
  • Cutesiness. Some things just naturally make you go ‘awww’ and melt a bit, and that's okay; I just don't like things that try too hard for that reaction.
  • Sugar in my tea. Or any sweetener, really. I drink my tea plain or, on very rare occasions, with milk or cream.
  • Polka dots. I don't often see polka-dotted things I like.
  • Rick-rack. Rick-rack invariably makes me think of preschooler crafting and/or the type of small-town craft fairs that are really more like yardsales.

This is really hard, this list-making. It's hard to come up with stuff out of the blue. More things will be added as I think of them.

Crafts

As mentioned above, I love to knit. I like to crochet too, but I only know a little about it and have not yet made a great effort to learn more. (I probably won't until I decide to make something where the pattern only comes in crochet form.) I started making blank books because I am a journal fiend, and buying blank books in a bookstore was getting too expensive—plus, I could never find ones I really liked, and I would end up searching through every style they had on the shelf and finally ending up with one that was just okay and thinking, ‘Well, I guess this'll do.’

I've done some iron-on transfers on T-shirts and stuff. Haylie sent me a stencilling kit in the Verb Swap, and I finally tried it out a year later on a bunch of stuff for the Little Visitor Swap 7, and I got totally addicted. I think I might like to try silkscreening or something one of these days. I've done a bit of amateur papermaking too, also courtesy of Haylie.

I've dabbled in beading and sewing and candlemaking and various methods of getting paint on stuff. I helped paint a mural once, although I am a terrible painter. I can draw a (very) little. I am absolutely horrible at sculpting anything and actually won ‘Worst Bubble Gum Baby Sculpture’ at Amanda's babyshower. (My bubble gum baby was reminiscent of a starfish that had been dead for some time, and I definitely deserved my award.)

I'd really, really, really like to learn to sew. I have a sewing machine but am still trying to get the bugs out. I'd also like to try soapmaking. I make a lot of bath salts and face scrubs and that sort of thing, and I'm trying to acquire a better, more thorough grasp on the subject.

I am extremely interested in learning to fix up furniture—something along the refinishing/decorating/altering line. My plan is to start trying to find stuff at the Salvation Army or Goodwill or whatever and sand it down and see what happens.

Collections

Okay, I don't really have things that I actively collect. But you know how sometimes people will find out that you like something and then they just start giving it to you and you end up with a collection? That's kind of what happened with me and frogs. I've got lots of frog stuff. (A teacher of mine at college told us once that somehow her friends had got the idea that she collected ladybugs—which she didn't, and she didn't even have any particular love for ladybugs—and they started giving her ladybug stuff, and now she has TONS of ladybug items. She said it was sort of disheartening to have someone go on a trip to, say, Egypt, and bring you home a souvenir and instead of it being something cool and Egyptian, it would be…another ladybug! The story cracked me up, because I know so many people that do that kind of thing.)

In a similar way, I also have amassed what we refer to as 'The Buddha Collection'. I'm not a Buddhist (although I find Buddhism interesting, from the small amount I know about it), but I love Buddhas. (The fat variety of Buddha, not the thin ones. I think these are called ‘Hotei’ or ‘Laughing Buddha’ and are not the same Buddha as the others.) Anyway, I adore Buddhas, I always have; they make me smile and give me the warm fuzzies. So I impulse-bought a ceramic Buddha statuette one summer when I was about nineteen. I loved it so much (and showed it to everybody, and was so thrilled to have it) that my mom bought me a Buddha figure for Christmas, and so it began. I now have eight Buddha figures (ranging from 51/2" tall to 13/8"), a set of (three) see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-speak-no-evil Buddhas (which I love immensely and which are each about 31/2" tall), an incense holder, a pewter necklace, a larger jade necklace, a windchime, and The Stone Buddha (who is not actually stone but cement, I think; he comes in at about 121/2" high and sits outside my house).

Also, I have inherited TONS of glassware of various sorts (vases, tubs, decorative jars, candleholders, etc., as well as drinking glasses and cups, shrimp cocktail-type cups, two punch bowls with cups, small bowls, sundae glasses, and so on—even a whole set of amber glass plates with matching punch-type cups) from various relatives. I've got a bunch of green glass, slightly less amber glass, and LOADS of clear glass. I love it all, and I actually use some of it—I keep my cooking utensils, for instance (wooden spoons and the like) in three green vases on my kitchen counter, and I have another two green vases full of knitting needles in my living room. Someday—soon, I hope, depending on how things go—I will be moving into a different house, and then I will break out all the cool household stuff I've been hoarding. I'd like to display the glass stuff, 'cause it's all so beautiful, but I don't know where I'm ever going to put it all!

I have a certain amount of tea paraphernalia as well—mmmmm, tea—but I don't know if that really counts as a collection. Besides a couple of teapots I only use on special occasions and a couple that have been retired due to cracking, I have a tea-for-one (which is what I use to make tea for just me) and a regular-size Brown Betty I got from my mom for Christmas of 2006 (which I use to make tea if I have company). I think I need a new big teapot, though, because the Brown Betty, despite the fact that I've tried to pamper it, has developed a network of hairline cracks. I also need some real teacups; I have a couple of sets of small demitasse-like cups and saucers, and I've got various mugs, but I don't have actual teacups, and I can't find any around here. All I can find are coffee-style cups. (This is the Pacific Northwest, and we're not that far from Seattle, so I guess coffee culture has taken over.) Eventually I'd like to have at least two full tea sets—pot, cups, saucers, creamer pitcher, and sugar bowl, and maybe a tray too—one for everyday use and one for special occasions.

Other stuff I ended up with from the various relatives, along with all the glassware: lots of dishes (a couple of sets and a bunch of odd pieces—a whole bunch of decorative saucers and dessert plates and small bowls), several oil lamps (very pretty and have turned out to be extremely useful on a couple of occasions).

Factoids
  • I don't have any allergies that I can think of.
  • I have three dogs (all pit bulls) and two cats. The dogs are named Lennon, Destiny, and Pepper, and the cats are Chaucer and Poe. Destiny came with her name, and my dad named Pepper, but Amanda and I named the others. When Amanda and I still roomed together, we used to joke that we were going to name whatever cats we accrued after poets and the dogs after musicians. Destiny was the first one to throw off the pattern (although she didn't become a part of the household until after Amanda was living elsewhere).
  • All my pets except one are rescued animals (that's why I have so many—I really didn't start out to be a crazy pet lady). I got Chaucer at the pound in the days when I was petless. Lennon and Destiny were both kicked out of their original homes due to landlord trouble. And Poe just showed up one day as a tiny kitten; his eyes weren't even all the way open yet.
  • I've been a vegetarian since November of 1998. NB: I'm not vegan; wool, honey, etc. are acceptable.
  • I have two tattoos: a small frog on my right shoulder blade (Amanda has a matching one) and a small daisy just at the crease of my left ankle.
  • I have a weird middle name.
  • My birthday is January 11, 1980.
  • I've known my best friend—the much-mentioned Amanda—since I was seven. She lived with my family for a while when we were teenagers, and she and I roomed together for about three years after we moved out of our parents' houses. She is so much a part of the family that my parents refer to her as their daughter and I often unthinkingly describe her to others as ‘my sister’.
  • Except for Amanda, I'm an only child.
  • I don't cook much (and I'm not a heck of a lot of good as a cook), especially since I live alone, but I like to dabble once in a while, usually with baking. I adore to make things that are yummy with tea, such as scones or muffins.
  • My friend Bryan and I get together for tea every Thursday afternoon at 3.00 (which is rather early for tea but is the easiest time for us).
  • I cannot remember a time when I could not read, at least some. (I once asked my mom, ‘How old was I when I learned to read?’ and she replied seriously, ‘You have always known how to read.’) One of my very earliest memories is of reading a children's book to myself and discovering for myself that ‘live’ (as in ‘to live’) and ‘live’ (as in ‘alive’) were spelled the same way and that ‘love’ was only one letter different. I've been fascinated by words ever since.
Vital Stats

Height: 4'11" [sic!]

Weight: Maybe 90-95 lbs. (I don't own a scale, so I have no way of knowing for sure.)

Clothing sizes: I wear size Small in practically everything, or occasionally X-Small. I can occasionally get away with Medium shirts, depending on the style/cut, but they're usually baggy and too long and the sleeves hang down past my hands.

Right now, my jeans are from the men's department, because I couldn't find any that fit in the women's section; at this moment, I'm wearing a pair of 28×30s. The last few pairs of jeans I owned were Women's 1/2 Short or Girls' 12 (and there's something degrading about realising that you're nearer 30 than 20 and are still forced to shop in the children's department. Also, Girls' sizes are meant for people who haven't gone through puberty yet, so they're just…not…shaped right). And apparently I am deformed, because it's virtually impossible for me to find jeans short enough for my mutant legs.

I wear US size 7 shoes. (Apparently that is enormous for someone my height. So it seems that I am freakishly short with legs like Toulouse-Lautrec and feet like skis.)

You see? This is why I must learn to sew.

Jewellery

I am a tiny person, so I prefer small or delicate jewellery—not always, but in general. I often like simple jewellery (not necessarily plain, but understated or not overcomplicated). Things that are really bulky or jarring can seem kind of overwhelming on me because I'm so small and have a light build.

I wear necklaces a lot. Often chokers (the aforementioned pewter Buddha necklace, for instance, is on a 24" chain which I wrap twice around my neck to make a choker, and I wear it all the time) or sort of collarbone-length or slightly longer. (The best choker length for me is about 121/2" to 131/2", depending on how it's made, and for the collarbone-or-longer necklaces, anything up to about 17" to 19" is good.) But on the other extreme, I do really love Twenties-ish stuff, so I also like extralong flapper necklaces.

I occasionally wear ankle-bracelets in the summer, but I only have one that I really like.

I have a silver ring with a garnet that I, at times, wear continuously (partly for sentimental reasons and partly just because I like it); I don't often wear other rings, but every once in a while I put one on. I also have a toe ring that I never take off and have worn for so long that I forget all about it.

My ears are pierced three times each, but I don't wear earrings much because my ears are so sensitive. I do wear them on special occasions, but they have to be made of sterling silver or something like that, or my ears will turn red, swell up, and fall off. They may do that anyway, sterling silver or no sterling silver (they are really sensitive).

I usually prefer silver to gold. I own very little gold jewellery.

Hair Stuff

My hair is really long—about hip-length—and fairly evil. It's really, really fine (not thin—I've got lots of it—but each strand is very fine), and it's curly-ish in a weird way, and slippery, and it has a mind of its own. I usually wear it back in a knot at the nape of my neck (held in place with a no-metal elastic hairtie) or in two braids, or I just leave it loose. Sometimes I put it in a ponytail, twist it around itself, and secure it with a couple of medium-sized clips in back so that I have a sort of twist-thing along the back of my head (vaguely like a French twist, but not). I never wear barrettes—they won't stay in my hair, and anyway I have so much hair that they get lost in it. The larger barrette-style clips don't work, either, which is a shame, because I have two really pretty Russian ones that people have given me for Christmas. And I hate banana clips. On the other hand, I do like headscarves, although I don't wear them all the time (because they don't stay in my hair very well either).

Random Stuff I Would Like
  • Hair sticks. I don't wear them a lot (partly because I don't have any anymore, and partly because when I did have some I usually forgot about them), but I like the way they look.
  • Decorative stitch markers are always welcome. I have very limited beading supplies (and ability), so I've never made any for myself. Haylie made me a set of twenty-five (twenty-five!) because she is awesome, and I love them very much.
  • Stationery or pretty much any sort of writing implement.
  • A vintage apron of some sort. I keep seeing them in the Suzy Homemaker Swaps and they're so cool; I know RecycleMicol has a bunch on her Wist, and I've seen them on other people's too. I guess I'll have to go look at some and Wist them myself, or at least link to ones I like. UPDATE: I really must get to work on this, because I think I'm going to be needing apron(s) soon.
  • Bloomers. Snacker got a pair in the FOC Swap 2, and although I have no great desire for purple patterned ones (what IS that pattern?), the very idea of owning a pair of bloomers makes me happy. As Batgirl commented, ‘That's it. I MUST have bloomers.’ But I'd like a really Victorian, old-fashioned pair, all ruffly and ribbony. I am not normally a ruffly kind of girl, but for bloomers I think ruffles are a must.

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*With thanks to Anita Loos (and Lorelei).