Winter projects

January 28th, 2014

It’s a work day and… I’m sitting at home. But! I’m not slacking. I’m actually working from home right now – one of the perks of being a programmer :) I don’t do this often because I think it’s still important to have in-person interactions with coworkers.

However, today, Austin iced over. We got a “wintry mix” over night, and now there’s ice on the roads. Let’s just say… living in Texas doesn’t prepare you for cold weather like sleet, ice, snow, etc. We’re really bad at things like that. Between midnight and 11am, there were 214 accidents reported, and the number is rising. In other words, I’m not leaving this house. I fear the drivers more than the ice.

Lately, I’ve been slowly working on some unfinished projects. The first is my new computer. I bought all of the parts during Black Friday, and they’ve been sitting around since. That’s right, it’s been two months!

Just the other day, I finally unwrapped the parts and began assembling. I got to the point where I want to put in the hard drives, and then I stopped. Though I bought a new SSD for the computer, I still want to move over the HDs from my current computer. And well, I’m not ready to move those yet, so it’s sitting here unfinished again.


Many people assume you have to be super techy to build a computer (which helps), but it’s really just a lot of reading instructions. The case shows you where to put things. The motherboard comes with a manual to say where things plug-in. Other parts like the heat sink will also come with instructions. You really just have to follow them, and of course, there’s the internet for anything confusing.

The other project is part of my home decor goals. I decided to see if I could make curtains and started by making some for my sewing room. I’ve found that it isn’t hard, but it’s still time consuming because it requires a lot of measuring and cutting. I’ve just been doing a bit on it whenever I have time.

So far, I’ve done the sides of the window, and now I want a part to go across the top. You can see the top part in progress on the floor. The curtains are lined with a white fabric to add thickness.


Here’s a close-up of the pattern on the fabric:


When I’m done, I plan on having an entry about how I made them :) Oh! And if I don’t blog on the 31st, then I want to go ahead and wish everyone a Happy Chinese (lunar) New Year!

22 Responses to “Winter projects”

  • Nancy says:

    It’s so cool that you’re a programmer! Taking c++ convinced me enough that it takes a lot of thinking outside the box along with a bunch of patience to debug problems when it comes to programming (especially since there are so many programming languages out there *o*).

    Wow, there are so many problems caused by the ice! I’m guessing that people aren’t used to ice in Austin, are they? I hope you’re staying safe and warm at home!

    Your new computer is looking good right now! Ooh! It looks like you got yourself one of those gaming-designed motherboards, sweet ;P. You’re right about building a computer; there are a lot of instructions you need to follow. But for the main part, I could assume people should generally know where each parts belong.

    I really like the patterns on the new curtains! It has that seamless feel to it.

    Happy Chinese New Year too, Cat!

  • Carolynne says:

    I honestly admire anyone who can build their own computer. My husband has done it most of his life and I think it’s amazing. It’s also way better in the long run performance wise, I suppose. You would get to pick all the different parts you want and get all the right features. It is a favourite for gamers :D Good for you.

    I don’t blame you for staying at home. I wouldn’t want to go out in the snow and ice either, especially if you’re not used to driving in weather like that. Yikes. Too many accidents. I hope everyone is okay.

  • Tara says:

    Nice on the new computer. It looks abfab! I remember you telling me that you got the parts, so I’m glad you are putting it together. It looks super sweet, and I know it’s gonna be great when it’s done! I just back everything up on two external HDDs, so when I got my new PC, I was okay with not installing the old ones into the new ones :)

    The curtain looks very nice! Not my colour, but it still looks nice and gives off a soothing presence :D

    • Cat says:

      Thanks! I wish I could just use the SSD but… it’s not big enough, haha. I have a main HD (1TB), photos HD (1TB), and a back-up HD (2TB), so I need to move them all over XD;;

  • Aaliyah says:

    those are such pretty curtains! I love the color! it’s great you know how to set-up a computer. I just know how to use it lol – just droppin by girl! Been a while! hope everythings going great for you!

  • Kay says:

    I love your blog! First time visitor but I’ll be back for sure. The curtain fabric is amazing!!

  • Stephanie says:

    From here, the curtains look great! They go surprisingly well with the picture of Totoro. I’m sure that when you and your husband are done decorating, your house will be incredibly fun.

    As someone who has “build a computer” on her bucket list, I’m actually relieved to hear that I don’t have to know a whole lot to get started.

  • Amy says:

    I only did a bit of programming at uni and decided it weren’t for me so I ended up as a front-end developer :D

    I know what you means by fearing people more than mother nature. Some people can be reckless at times and not care about the safety of others on the road :( When the UK hit a snowstorm year ago, the managers at work had to do car pools to get all the staff in through the snow.

    I’ve always had my hand held when I put my computer together, I’m usually the one watching with glee. I guess most things are labelled now so it’s a simple task!

    I hope you have a lovely Chinese New Year too!! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  • Tiff says:

    Jeeebus, stay safe! It seems that 49 states are experiencing a polar vortex & California is just straight chillin’ in warmth….but we seriously need ice. Like, give us your ice or something because we’re going through the worst drought in history. Halp.


    Wow building a computer! Exciting. Never done it, but my brother has. I have put in RAM before so … that’s the extent of my computer building. Guess I don’t really feel the need to since I love my all-in-one. :D :D

    The curtains look really good!

  • AnneMarie says:

    Good choice staying inside! Icy roads are not fun to drive on.

    Big applause to you! I’ve always wondered how complicating putting a computer is. You make it seem easy. I didn’t realize they came with instructions. I mean, what if you buy the parts from a variety of places because you want a certain part from a certain company, etc. ?

    And I really like the curtain! I’m incredibly jealous of your interior design skills.

    • Cat says:

      Thanks! The important part is whether the parts are compatible with the type of motherboard you have. It’s normal to have parts from different companies :)

  • Karin says:

    We who lives in the northern end of the world often laugh and sneer at the silly southerners who get all panicky at the first sign of snow or cold, but I’ve come to realize cold is very different depending on where you are and even small amounts of snow can be dangerous if you don’t have the right equipment.
    If you live somewhere where it almost never snows it’s no wonder people don’t have proper tyres and don’t know how to drive on snow and ice. Good call staying indoors!

    Cool that you’re building your own computer. :) I’m thinking about getting a stationary computer soon (after many years with laptops) and my boyfriend want us to build it ourselves. I’ve never built a computer before, but he has, so at least one of us will know what they’re doing, haha!

  • Holly says:

    I heard about the snow in America. Texas doesn’t normally have snow, does it?

    Britain is also rubbish at preparing for snow despite having it every year. The country comes to a standstill.

    I really like the pattern of the curtains you’ve made. I was suppose to sew up the ends of my curtains because they are slightly too long for the windows. But that was 6 months ago and it still hasn’t been done haha!

  • Agent Q says:

    Happy Chinese New Year to you!

    I’ve always considered assembling a computer, but was too hesitant due to the fear of buying wrong parts and then spending too much money trying to get the right ones. That has always been the immediate deterring factor for me, even without actually looking at the necessary components. For you though, I’m sure with your knowledge and experience with this line of work, you’ll get it done and be proud of the final product.

    Oh man, I heard Austin was much worse than Houston was with these icy roads. At least in my part of town, we weren’t hit that badly. Then again, I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who drove on local roads as opposed to highways, so who knows? Glad you’re safe though. Wise move staying indoors. After all, even if you are good at driving on icy roads, other people can really throw you off. There’s no preparing for that kind of situation. :/

  • Tong says:

    Wow nice computer! I’ve always thought about building one, haha. Have you thought about using the HDD as your main drive (since it stores more) and using the SSD as your boot drive? Alot of computers these days are configured like that.

    • Cat says:

      I’m probably still going to use the SSD as the main drive, but I’m definitely keeping my other HD around for extra storage :)

  • Kim says:

    Eek, hope you’ve been staying warm and safe! It’s been cold/rainy here as well but it’s California…so we’ve got nothing to complain about D:

    Oooh, awesome that you are building your own computer! Must be exciting! My boyfriend had been buying parts over time since Black Friday as well, and he finished building it for me last month! I’ve been using my 13.5″ macbook for over 5 years, so using my new PC with a large monitor has been a dream! I can’t wait till I can get a graphics card so I can get into online gaming :D

  • Jenny says:

    The weather has definitely been crazy this winter – hope you’re staying safe and warm! My fiance would always tell me that building your own computer is actually really easy (and much cheaper!), but even after all these years I still find all the pieces of hardware very overwhelming.
    Love the fabric you chose for the curtains, can’t wait to see more pictures!

  • Kayla says:

    I don’t blame you for not wanting to leave the house! I swear that bad drivers become even worse in weather like that.
    The curtains look great, wish I was creative enough to do cool things like that.

  • Joy says:

    The color of of the curtains is so pretty! I really love them! Also, I think it’s awesome that you’re building your own computer!

  • Liv says:

    I don’t think 214 is an alarming number for accidents even for here so I can’t exactly say New York is prepared to magically drive back snow like it sounds like compared to the south. Whenever it snows, drivers take twice as long to get home and some may suffer some CO overload, so I’m very grateful these times that I’m a commuter. I think what Texas might not have at hand is enough salt? I don’t even think snow plows are necessary. When it snows here in December the roads are presalted and everything immediately melts, preventing the kids from any white Christmas fantasies.

    There’s a lot of things where people assume you have to be super-techy to do (like coding a website). Since I’m a designer who codes my friend who is a print designer assumed I also know how to jailbreak. Uh, okay, lol. I’ve never built a computer though but mainly because I don’t use Windows anymore.

    Have fun slowly working on those projects, and two months of procrastination is just fine! :D I bought a game in mid-October and only last week did I open it …….

    • Cat says:

      Yeah, I guess I don’t know what the norm is on accidents in the winter. 200+ for just the morning time is high for us, so I did not want to be on the road at all XD;; I’m not sure what the final count was.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think we pre-anything for this type of thing =/ They seem to toss a lot of sand on the road after the fact in hopes it helps…

      Haha, I’m so bad at playing games I’ve bought, and they sit around for a while. I need to break that habit!

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