Thursday, March 25, 2010

Brothers Bloom

Completely random awesome movie find: Brothers Bloom.

This movie was an incredible hodge-podge of things that all mixed together to be awesome. There were big name actors but it was quirky. It seemed to be set both sometime in the past but also here in the present sucessfully, at the same time. The tale was of con-artists ploying their trade and it was a heart-warming romance.

It was great and I highly reccomend it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A quiet place.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous this past weekend and I wanted to go out and simply enjoy it by reading etc. outside. This however was not the easiest thing however as I have no yard to call my own.

My landlords have a smallish property and most of it is quite landscaped leaving only a small bit of grass where I could stretch out. And when they are out and about it just seems quite awkward to be out there reading etc. There's also a nice park/walking/bike trail nearby. The park is full of a playground and little kids with not much other space. And the path is frequently used. And it's in the shade. Its still too cool for me to be out of the sun. Plus I really desire peace and quiet.

So I packed my backpack with my book and a blanket and walked just a few minutes to a large graveyard up the hill from my apartment. It's rather quite large and is sprawled across a number of hills. Having taken a walk there a few days prior I knew the views from some of the crests were stunning and there are quite many interesting gravestones.

I hoped there would be some space where I didn't look rude and disrespectful sitting on someone elses grave. And sure enough the far edge butts up against a ravine down to the creek by the aforementioned path and there it was almost like a small field where I settled with my back against a small tree. Surprisingly somehow most all of the normal street etc. noise was cut significantly. And so I'm incredibly happy with the location. I could still see a good bit of the grave yard stretching out before me. And in fact a few people drove in to visit graves. I just hope that my presence didn't disturb them.

Anyone have any idea as to proper graveyard etiquite?

I will most likely be back quite a few times unless I hear that it's a faux pas.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rag Rug Wrap Up

Also "way back" in February I finished my kitchen rag rug.

The finished product is approximately 26"x21". Really I should have made it longer and less tall. But for a fly-by the seat of my pants type project...I'm happy.

Final review:
 $12 for 4 bed sheets at Salvation army.
Much tearing of fabric (surprisingly easy to do with nicely biased sheets!)
 One ginormous crochet hook (actually the 2nd biggest perhaps). 
A good many hours bent over on the floor becuase the sucker is bigger than my lap.
Two significantly less cold feet when doing dishes.

Really it's a good bit surprising how the 4 big bedsheets condensed into a not-so-huge rug. I think it looks awesome in my kitchen :-)

Special Olympic Scarves Wrap-Up

"Way" back in February I was working furiously on my "star" scarf for the special olympics. I'm proud to report that I completed both that scarf and then I used the remaining yarn to whip up a quick crochet scarf as well.

My local knitting group collectively made around 7 or 8 scarves I think.

From what I can see online the even went off quite well and they easily recieved more than enough scarves. Hooray!

Monday, March 22, 2010

March Progress

March definitely came in like a Lion for me. And while it's calmed down some, I really don't see many lambs in my future.

The stress is entirely work related. This is always the busiest time of the year and there were a few compounding issues thrown into the works this time around. And so I’ve been feeling pretty stretched since late-February-ish. Then pretty much from right around when March started it’s been like running full throttle into a brick wall. Over, and over, and over again. Can you tell from all of my amazing metaphors (and I could easily think of dozens more) that things really are not very happy for me there? Yes? Good.

Thank goodness that my personal life is actually for real happy, or I would be completely doomed. Reason #1 for this is the continued awesomeness that is my Man. We hit six months on the 11th. Yay for us. I’ve also been happily crafting, reading, managing to ride my bike at least a bit, and I’m a bit loath to say where the Man can see it but I’ve even been video-gaming it some as of late. These things make me happy. Although even some of the happy things have been a bit stifled owing to exhaustion and what not. Boo.

But let’s take a closer look at my specific March goals:
  • WoT Reading: An easy easy check. I finished book 2 early in the month and as I only have 170ish pages left in book 3 I may actually be back on track with my book a month plan.
  • Bike 100 miles: Uh-oh. Right now I’ve only logged 35 miles. And I have absolutely no excuse as the weather has been incredibly gorgeous. It’s just so hard to get motivated when I can collapse on the couch and read or do a craft. Or if I want to enjoy the weather I can go read outside. Technically I still have 10 days which is quite enough for lots of miles. But I don’t see it happening. Maybe I should modify and try for 50?
  • Blocks of the month: Double-ish check. I finished the planned 4 squares. Then at some point I calculated how large the afghans would be and decided I ought to be doing 3 of each (6 total) blocks each month. Last night I started to question that so who knows what I’ll really do. But so far this month I have completed 2 crochet squares and 3 knit squares plus have 1 crochet block started.
  • Art Journal: I started 1 page and didn’t finish anything. New things are totally not my strong point. Must kick self into action.
  • Wall-decal: 2 weekends ago when I was actually not working I found that I can easily freehand a dandelion seed. I was very proud of myself and promptly cut and ‘hung’ one lonely seed which floated their alone for a time. Then yesterday I was re-inspired and drew up a bunch, cut out 4 and proceeded to attempt the stem. It’s much too big and heavy now, but it’s still good progress and quite awesome.
  • Blog comments: So far I’m slacking. It just feels so weird. And is exasperated by my own lack of bloggage recently. But I should be able to do it now that I am posting again.
  • Postcards: I was going to do something for St. Patty’s day. And even started/tried something new. But the new thing wasn’t so cool and I never kept going. But if I do something relatively simple, maybe design something printable, the goal could still be easily met.
  • Organize craft stuff: Check! I did this 2 weekends ago. It was awesome. I took many pictures with the intent of blogging about it.
  • Cook: Kinda doing ok at this maybe? Early in the month I made Chicken and Biscuits which is kind of cheating because everything, the meat veggies and starch, are all in the one dish. Last week I had two good dinners of ham steak and pierogies with peppers. The peppers thing was an unknown but it worked out happily.

Well I do still have some work to do. But seems like I stand a chance at being moderately successful. Rock on!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Goals

Goal setting has never been one of my strong points. If it's something I can do right away I'm perfectly good at that. Frequently when I have free weekends I'll make giant task lists and typically do pretty well at accomplishing them. But the farther I get from the goal-set date the less likely it is that I will complete the task.

But I'm feeling motivated today. This is partially owing to the fact that I have totally been banging out craft projects recently. So I'm going to try for some March goals. And I'll try hard not to be too overly ambitious.

  • Finish reading WoT book 2. I should have been able to accomplish this in February but the olympics distracted me. Now I'm going to have to work a bit to make it back up to getting through a book a month.
  • Ride 100 miles on bike. This is pretty ambitious and will be entirely weather based. Right now the sun sets around 6 and we only occastionally make it into the 40's. But I'm hoping that by the end of the month I'll be able to push out a few 1 or 2 hour rides with temps in the 40's and if i'm really lucky 50's. Fingers crossed.
  • 4 squares. 2 crochet, 2 knit for my 'block a month' afghans. I really ought to like space these suckers out over the month to keep my yarn-crafting itch satiated while working on other things through the month.
  • Make at least 4 art journal pages. Maybe even get watercolors to play with.
  • Dandelion wall-decal for bedroom. I have wanted to do this for a long time.
  • Leave at least 10 blog comments for others. I am a total lurker, but must break out of this habit.
  • Send another batch of postcards to friends and family.
  • Organize all craft stuff. I have so much stuff and a good bit of it is randomly stored. Organization (or as close as can be) will be awesome.
  • Make at least 2 real home-cooked meals (meat, veggies, and starch) from scratch. I've been failing on the feeding-self-well thing recently. But I don't want to do more than 2 because frequently such things feed me for a full week.
It would be way to easy to keep thinking of more things but I really must contain myself. It's a good list. A few things may be a challenge (biking), but with some persistence and drive ought to be do-able.

I'm thinking I ought to do weekly reports. Breaking things down into smaller pieces is always helpful to success.


Back in January a co-worker and I attended the state farm show. It's right down the road from the office and going with someone who will actually sit and watch the whole sheep-to-shawl contest with me was awesome. My co-worker had gone before both in previous years and previously that week and had taken notice of some Alpaca yarn.

Now she is quite familiar with my spinning and knitting stories as I have been known to more-or-less have office show and tell days :-) So she wanted to know if I'd be able to make her a scarf from the skein of alpaca yarn (the stuff was expensive $28!). At 200 yards it was close but I figured I ought to be able to do it using a lacy pattern and some larger needles.

Sure enough about two weeks later I presented to her the finished scarf. It's a bit on the short side but makes up for it by being stretchy, thick, warm, and o-so-soft.

Just last week she put together an outfit with the scarf. Being a quite stylish lady I was absolutely in love with what she wore. It was a white cabled sweater with a deep purple pencil skirt. The scarf was around her heck and fixed together with a broach. the colors all worked together perfectly and it was stunning.

I'm quite sure that I'm biased having knit the scarf. But it was just the most awesome feeling to see her and be able to say "I made that!".