18 May 2011

Introducing: A Playful Day!

I meant to post this yesterday, so I could have something every week for the month of May, but, because I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I forgot. I'm interviewing some of my dear friends, who's blogs I think you should check out, because they're AWESOME.

Today, I am"interviewing" my friend, Kate, who runs the A Playful Day blog and her awesome A Playful Day podcast!


What is your name? She who plays
What is your quest?
To make the world a more playful and pleasant place, one game at a time.
What is your favorite color? Whatever colour I chose each day. I'm notoriously whimsical. It's usually intense though. I love the drama of a sunset or the blue of the Indian Ocean or the button on a child's vest.
What are your hobbies? Knitting, podcasting, photography, walking, reading, board games, fact finding and exploring. 
And why is that? Because I made a vow after a rather miserable few years where I would live every day playfully as a life saturated in limiting yourself, self sabotage and unflexibility is no life at all. I believe that play is therapy for both children and adults alike.
How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? A couple. A couple is the safe answer to everything e.g. "How many of these brussel sprout cookies do you want to try?" "Er, a couple?"
What is your favorite song genre? Probably old time rag bands, swing, soul. Things you can dance to and twirl your skirt. I am pretty into music generally. I love a lot of different genres. Picking one makes me feel mean.
What is your favorite style of dance? That kind of dance where you forget that anyone's looking. I used to perform until I bust my hip and I still crave ballet with every bone in my body. Except my hip bone.
How do you overcome the awful threat to your creativity, which is boredom? I stay curious and I dare myself to explore and play. Just the other day I felt boredom looming so I crept to where my man was working in the other room and 'hid' behind the door. Over the time period of about 5-10 minutes I crawled over the floor, dived behind the sofa and hid (unsuccessfully) behind a waste paper basket. Just because.
So, being that you're famous now and have a podcast, what are your favorite things about being a podcaster? Getting to talk to people and find out about them and getting everyone into a sort of community. The crafting community is a very special one and what I love more than anything is when you link two people up and it works so well that you know things are going to be brilliant for them.
Worst? Editing out 'ummmmms' and tech mishaps. I lost a weekend once trying to work out how to edit out the sound of my laptop.
Being that you reside in England, have you ever harassed the palace guards in funny hats?
Yup and I did it in Prague too. I spent a while just staring at their uniforms and them standing so straight. I announced to my friend 'Man he's so upright he has no bum, mine doesn't do that' and tried. My friend caught a pic of him peaking at my bum. We laughed for ages when we saw as it was back in the day of processing film and we hadn't noticed at the time.
What inspires you? I work with children facing great adversity and I regularly tell them 'I wanna be just like you when I grow up'. The ability of any child to render any adult's problems to nothing with their innocent view on life is amazing, inspiring and empowering.
Why are keys so fascinating? Because you never know when you'll find their lock and where it might be. I always loved stories with secret doors and boxes. I still climb in big wardrobes to see if I go to Narnia. Seriously, if you have one and don't want your clothes thrown everywhere, don't show me.
If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what would you want? Observer. I love playing and being involved but actually when others are enjoying themselves I tend to step back and just enjoy their enjoyment. You notice a lot about people from just watching. I'm endlessly nosey. Not in a gossipy way but more of that childish curiousity I always have.

What's one of your favorite childhood memories? Sitting on two buckets in my favourite bikini. I had this red folksy print bikini with ruffles that was NEVER on straight where I was always tearing around but I loved that thing. It was unusually girly but then I'm a girly tomboy. I had that on and was sat on an upturned bucket at the seaside with a smaller upturned bucket for me to put my feet on. I was devouring a nice drippy icecream and there was a lady bird on my leg. The sun was out and the sea was warm and the sand even warmer. My Dad and I built castles all day but chatting to that ladybird really tickled me pink.

13 May 2011

Dudley rode a horse backwards first.

About a month ago, I received an earburn in my Ravelry inbox, from Vanessa. She excitedly signed me up for a blog review of a new shawl pattern. I'd never done such a thing before, and needing some blog material, I agreed! A few weeks later, I received the pattern for the shawl. I was amused by it immedeatly. 1. It was called the Dudley Do Wright shawl by Anastasia Knits 2. It had triangles on it! Luckily, I had just received my KSD yarn in the mail, and being that it was the only worsted weight around (I'd already taken my yarn stash to Georgia) I caked them and began work on the shawl immediately.
Rows 1-16
I rate my crochet skill level as intermediate, and I found this shawl really simple and fun to work on! First off, I'd never made a worsted weight shawl, so I was pleased at how quickly it worked up. Of course, you can use any yarn weight you'd like, but I find the worsted looks best, though, I would make one again, in possibly DK.
I sat down and began work on it, and found myself enjoying the triangles appear as I went along. Rows 1-16 went by quite quickly, and took me about an hour to do. Rows 12-16 are repeats. After one set of them, I had the pattern memorized and could easily watch TV while doing them. I probably could have finished this project in a day, if it weren't for my tendinitis and having to pack a whole apartment. It took me about two days to complete, not including blocking time. Now, in one of Anastasia's pictures, she has her shawl blocked where it's what I call "super blocked" meaning, it appears super lacy. For some reason, I wasn't particularly fond of that. But, to each your own, right? So I gently blocked mine, after handwashing it with some Soak. Back at the apartment, I didn't have any of those fancy foam blocks, so I had to block it out on the carpet. It took two days to dry! I guess I've been spoiled by using mainly only fingering for my shawls? But once I got it blocked, I was pleased with the results. I mean, just look at it!

I am tremendously pleased with the results. This shawl was not overly complicated, quick, and fun to do! I gave it to my grandmother for Mother's Day/super late Christmas present, and she loves it. Now, this shawl does come with a pretty decorative border, but I ran out of yarn, so I was only able to SC along the edges to give it a clean finished look to it. I'd recommend this to anyone!

The designer has offered 25% off her pattern for those that are interested! You can buy it off her website Anastasia Knits and enter the coupon code amberghini. This coupon code is only good from today until May 20th, so get crackin'!

07 May 2011

STFU Already!

I arrived to my parent's house last night about 10pm. I was so tired, I basically stumbled into the house, on the couch, then down the stairs, into my bed. While, completely forgetting the whole time about the cicadas.

Oh yes. The Magicicada is a thirteen year cicada, meaning that they only are annoying every thirteen years. The last time they were out, was 1998, and I was in middle school. I remember the boys pulling down the tree branches at lunch, and letting them go, flinging cicadas everywhere, making all the girls scream. I laughed. Anywho, these noisy bugs can make their annoying noise up to 100 dB, which is about as loud as a lawn mower passing three feet away. And they make this noise as soon as the sun comes up, until it goes down. In other words, if you live in the woods, like my parents, you're pretty much having to repeat yourself if you go outside.

These annoying bugs live about a month. Basically, they come out of the ground, which they've been hibernating in for about thirteen years, come out, mate, lay eggs, then die. The eggs mature for about six to ten weeks, where they drop to the ground, bury into the ground, and the cycle starts all over again. Hmph.

For more educated sounding information, or when these bugs might be attacking you, please check out the Wiki page I ganked my information from.

05 May 2011

My Old Kentucky Home

Weekly Tank Parade
Today is my last [full] day here at Fort Knox. For the past six months, it's been an amazing experience. What? Living on post while your husband goes to school and you're bored as hell is an amazing experience? Well, yes! This was my first time ever being an "official Army Wife" and living with my husband. We got married in May of last year, and due to the economy, I stayed with my parents and kept my job. He was a Gold Bar Recruiter at Georgia Tech, and so we decided the two hour commute to each other wasn't that bad. We kept it up for six months, before Brian moved to Fort Knox for ABOLC. I originally wasn't going to move to Fort Knox with him, because we were going to go to South Korea for our first assignment. Then Kim Jong Crazy Person decided to blow up a chunk of South Korea, and various other stuff, and then I wasn't going to Korea anymore. So, I decided to move to Kentucky, so I could enjoy actually spending some time with my husband. And I have been, since after Thanksgiving of last year.
Brian demonstrates proper
Mud Puddle Jumping
Living on post was a completely different world for me. I was threatened to drive under the speed limit, something that is hard for me to do. I learned that being nice and friendly moves you from a tiny hotel room, to the biggest apartment with a tiny shower and slow internet. Bugle calls happen at least 10 times a day. I found out that tanks are loud and are pretty frickin cool. I discovered that you should tip the bagger at the commissary, or you look like a bitch. People come and go, and all the spouses are just as lonely as you are.
It actually was not horrible, as some spouses have described it as. I made it through ABOLC just fine. Then, ARC came along, and it sucked. I won't lie, ARC, while it's only a month long, has sucked the most. Brian was selected to be Class Leader and because of that, I saw him even less, and he was even more pissed off than usual. But, we got through it. Brian graduates ARC today, signifying a job well done.
After ABOLC graduation
Now, shouldn't I be all sad because my husband's going to Korea and leaving me? Nope. He traded orders with someone, and now we'll be moving to Fort Bliss, in El Paso, TX here within the month.
And with that, for the month of May, I'll be interviewing some friends, so you can see why I think they're awesome. Mainly, so you'll forgive me for packing and moving across country, with a husband, a cat and me, in a UHaul, instead of updating my blog.
Until then, I'm going to go pack.

02 May 2011

Cleaning out the fridge.

With moving, comes one fun task that most people forget about: Cleaning out the fridge. The only "cold" thing I've bought in the past two weeks has been milk and a frozen pizza. My mission has been to clean out the fridge. So, the other night, I ran out of ice cream, and I wanted something for dessert. I stared in the fridge for about two minutes, when I spied a forgotten tub of Cool Whip lingering in the back. My first thought was just to dig in and enjoy, but I decided that I wanted something with a bit more substance. I pondered for a few moments and then it dawned on me, BROWNIES. But wait, I've already packed my brownie pan! Crap. I thought a bit more, and as I panned around the kitchen, I saw it. Muffin tins. Perfect. I'd like to say that I made brownies from scratch, but I needed them RIGHT THEN. So, I pulled out my "snack size" box of brownie mix, threw in the eggs, oil, etc and poured it, creating six brownie cakes. Nom. While baking, I cleaned out the fridge of the stuff that had already been freezer burned or past the expiration date. Ding! Done. Pulled 'em out, let them cool for all of 30 seconds before dumping half a tub of Cool Whip on each brownie cake. All I have to say? Best. Idea. EVER.

Perfection.

01 May 2011

Indiana Fiber and Music Festival

Well, yesterday was the Indiana Fiber and Music Festival, and being that it was only an hour away, I went! I took a fellow Army wife and her daughter for support, and the fact that I didn't want to go by myself. We loaded up about 9:30 and headed on over. It was at the 4-H Fairgrounds and didn't look very big. We got there and were greeted by some people, who pointed out where to park. Got out of the car, and wandered over to a table and the nice people there pointed out the three buildings of stuff. Awesome.
Obey the sign.
The first building had the most "stuff." There were all sorts of fibery crafts in there! I picked up some handmade greeting cards from a really awesome lady. I can't show them to you, sadly, because they're for friends. After that I saw Luna, our LYS owner and her booth, Blueball Mountain Spindle and Needleworks, and I was just overwhelmed with everything that was crammed in that small building! There was mainly fiber and whatnot, but there was the occasional booth filled with yarn and things that I could use. I also got to see an "old fashioned" knitting machine demonstration. I want one! Moving between buildings, we spotted a funnel cake stand, and of course, had to indulge. So delicious. After that, we spotted Llamas and Alpacas! The daughter was so excited, she headed right to them. She was allowed to pet them, and even lead an Alpaca around a course! It was pretty cool, and she really enjoyed it.
"Does yarn make you happy?"
 Moving on to the next building, was a smaller more barn like structure, that had even more fibery goodness in there, including a beautiful blue skien of yarn that I picked up from Happy Fuzzy Yarn. It's delicious. Also in the barn were the angora bunnies! Sadly, I didn't see anyone picking the fur straight off them and spinning it. But, they were beautiful and on sale for $50! If only I were a spinner...
The last building sadly wasn't that full, but it still held some neat stuff. I believe it's where the classes were going to be held. Overall, I had a great time, and if I were in the area, I'd go back again! But sadly, my days are numbered here in Kentucky, and I must move on to greener pastures.