26 April 2012

Day Four: There is a season...turn turn turn

Today reads:
As spring is in the air in the northern hemisphere and those in the southern hemisphere start setting their sights for the arrival of winter, a lot of crocheters and knitters find that their crafting changes along with their wardrobe. Have a look through your finished projects and explain the seasonality of your craft to your readers. Do you make warm woollens the whole year through in preparation for the colder months, or do you live somewhere that never feels the chill and so invest your time in beautiful homewares and delicate lace items. How does your local seasonal weather affect your craft?

My, what a great question. Living in Georgia most my life, I kinda experienced four seasons. KIND of.  Georgia has Spring, Summer, Dog days of Summer, Fall, and normally a mild winter, meaning, snow that lasts more than a day is rarely seen. Then, I moved to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where I experienced the most snow I've ever seen in my life. A whole week, nothing but snow and ice. It was amazing. Now, we're living in Hell El Paso, which is a desert climate and totally different than anything I've ever experienced. I own five gallon drums of sunscreen and lotion, I've never had so many bloody noses, and it's just plain hot and windy, constantly. It's very interesting to me. With that being said, you'd think wool is out of the question. Nope.
It snowed here twice, last year. I was impressed. So, while it was only a few days I needed my wooly things, it doesn't mean I won't stop making them.

Truth be told, I find myself wanting to knit socks and sweaters and crochet blankets. Warm things. I mean, what can you knit or crochet that won't make you sweat in the desert? Lace cardigans, I suppose. But, this is why I have friends and family in cold places to where I can still knit and crochet these goods. Plus, I've gotta go back to Georgia sometime...

So, to make a long story short, no I don't craft for the seasons. I knit/crochet what I want, when I want.

25 April 2012

Relay for Life

Relay for Life was *always* popular in my hometown growing up. I never went to any events, because the only thing I knew it was about was fundraising and cancer. That's it. So, I was kinda meh about it.

And then November happened. I lost my father-in-law (whom I've never met) and my grandmother to cancer. Ouch. Christmas came and went, and then I lost my uncle, and then my mother-in-law in January. Four people in three months. I'm still at a loss. I'm finally okay to where I can talk about it without bursting into tears, but I still don't like to.

Then this year, Charla decided that she was going to start a team. And then she explained to me how it worked. What? That's all? Well, hell yeah I'm in! So she formed the team hEL Paso's Kitchen (get it? The theme this year is reality TV shows) So, for them, I'm joining.

I'm joining for my in-laws who lost their battle with lung cancer. For my grandmother who lost her battle with ovarian cancer. My uncle who fought long and hard with his cancer, only to be cut short, because of a brain tumor. For my grandfather, who also lost his battle with lung cancer. For my mother who narrowly avoided colon cancer. For my aunt who won her battle against breast cancer. For my friends and family who survived. For everyone who died.

I will walk.

And now for the part I hate. Fundraising. I have set a small, personal goal of $100. If I don't make it, that's okay, but if I exceed it, that's even better. I know times are tight, but if you're willing to donate anything at all, I'll be grateful.

I thought there was a little widget for fundraising, but apparently not. If you're feeling generous, please head over to my personal fundraising page and help me help others survive.

Day Three: WILD CARD

Today's real 3KCBWDAY3 topic is "Your knitting or crocheting hero." I don't have one. I swoon equally over everybody's projects. I'm an equal opportunity swooner. Soooo, I chose WILD CARD DAY.

Craft Your Perfect Day
Plan your fantasy day with your craft, It might just take up one hour of your day or be the entire focus of the day, but tell your readers where you'd love to craft, whether you'd craft alone or with friends, knitting or crocheting something simple or spending a day learning new skills.


My perfect craft day would be be knitting 12 lace weight sweaters in an hour. HA HA. No, really. Back to kind of reality, my perfect day is one where I could knit or crochet all day without my wrist hurting. Snuggled up on the couch with a good movie going in the background, some hot apple cider, cat's aren't attacking the yarn, and everything's going smoothly and quickly. *sigh* As you can see, I prefer to knit and crochet when it's cold. More on that tomorrow. Another version of my perfect day is learning new skillz and picking them up pretty quickly. Like, lace shawls. Yes. Oh lace shawls, I will conquer you one day. 

It's kinda funny that it asks if you want to craft alone or with friends. I prefer to craft by myself when the pattern's more complicated, but if I'm just sitting there, doing something repetitive, friends are very welcome to be involved. I just hate missing out on chatter and the like when I'm concentrating, and it upsets me when I'm concentrating and I can't think due to all the talking. CRAFTING PARADOX. Anywho. As my dreams are crushed by reality (cat jumping into my lap and in my face. I'M TYPING MOVE.), I sigh and am thankful for what I can do.

She looks so innocent.

24 April 2012

Day Two: Photography Challenge

Today's entry is a photography challenge, the description reads:
"Today challenges you to be creative with your photography...Taking interesting photographs in this instance isn't about flashy cameras or a great deal of technical know-how, it's about setting up a story or scene in a photograph and capturing something imaginative. Your photograph(s) should feature something related to your craft, so that might be either a knitted or crocheted item, yarn, or one of your craft tools. One example of setting a scene would be to photograph a girl in a knitted red cape walking through the woodlands with a basket of goodies, as in the Red Riding Hood tale, or you might photograph a knitted gnome hiding among the flowers in your garden. Photo editing is permitted for competition photos."

So, I thought about this for a while, and then it smacked me upside the head! I knew what I was going to do! After perusing through a few of the already taken photographs today, and I saw no one do it yet, I dare risk it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:

Yarn Barf.





For those of you who have no idea what yarn barf is, it's defined as “the mess of tangled yarn you pull out of the middle of a center-pull ball.” And if you'd like pictures, this blog has a very wonderful explanation, and also an interesting way to fix it.

...I thought it was funny. 

Edit: I just learned that you can nominate pictures! If you'd like, please nominate mine here. 

Needs moar belly dancing.

So, while I'm waiting for my hair to dry, so I can participate in today's Knit&Crochet blog, I'll tell you about my Madison/Athens adventure.
Madison, GA has one of the prettiest downtown to me. You arrive driving by houses ranging from the mid 1800s to the 1940s, and then hit a small selection of blocks of building filled with some of the most fabulous stuff. It ranges from a tea room, antique store, bakery, and other odds and ends shops. If I want something unique, this is where I go. Especially to the Laughing Moon. That shop NEVER fails to have 394875934875 things I want to buy. Especially in the kitchen section. This year, after looking for it for TWO YEARS I finally found it. My toast clock. If there's one thing you should know about me, I LOVE TOAST. So, it's only appropriate if I have a toast clock, being that the Kit-Cat clocks creep Brian out. Anywho, I got my toast clock and other appropriate things for me, and a few for others, and I sped of to Athens. Home of the University of Georgia (GO DAWGS) and the biggest conglomeration of Hipsters in Georgia. No lie.
I went to visit my friend Stephanie from college, and met her three adorable kids. We chatted for a while about life and the past, and where things were headed in our futures. Then, I headed off into the heart of Athens, the downtown area. I was looking for Junkman's Daughter's Brother. I love that store. It's like a less classy Laughing Moon. I successfully found a belly dancing wrap for me in there, along with other fun trinkets such as a "WTF" notepad for Brian and a "random crap" box for me. After tooling around at Junkman's, I went off in search of a belly dance store that my friend, Jenny, whom I also was going to meet, recommended. Worldwide Fashion. It was jam PACKED with belly dance stuff, ranging from Tribal to Cabaret. I'd hit the motherload. I walked out of there with two cholis, a wrap for Charla and I, and some new bindis. A little disappointed that I couldn't find any harems I liked. Guess I'll have to try my hand at making pants again.
I left in search of Jenny and the Grit. The Grit is the first vegetarian restaurant I've ever been to. And holy crap, was it good. I ordered the three veggie plate, and got an ear of corn, three cheese mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli with lemon herb butter. Oh man. I was so full. I wanted a slice of the chocolate red velvet cake, but I knew it wouldn't fit. After Jenny and I rolled out of there, we went to her belly dance hangout, over at Floorspace. I was going to dance with them, but we got there a little too late, and so I got to watch them dance instead! They were a mix of Turkish and another style that I can't remember, but it's more choreographed folk dancing, instead of the improve style that my group does. It was fun watching. I took some sneaky ninja pictures.

This is the group with their awesome studio that they use
And that's just an awesome picture of Jenny, spinning around, enjoying the newness of my skirt.

They were all very nice, and it was interesting watching a different form of belly dancing. I couldn't recognize any of their moves, but it was fun. I wish now, that I was brave enough to break out my real camera and snap some more shots.

After that, we headed back to Jenny's awesome house. It's so cute and so very her and Richard. After the tour, and a husband-wife drum solo belly dance, and also playing with Jenny's sabre, and petting the cats,  we decided to play wine-infused Rummikub, which was one of the most fun things in my life. It also involved popcorn laced with M&Ms. Jenny and Richard are super awesome, and I had a fantastic time, and it makes me sad that they live three states away and way too many miles. I MISS YOU JENNY.

23 April 2012

BONUS ENTRY: Stitches South

I was going to post about this if Knit&Crochet week had a space, but it doesn't so you just get a bonus entry today.
I went to Stitches South this past weekend, and while it wasn't as impressive as the last few years, it was still awesome. I found everything I wanted, and didn't blow my budget (well, just by $5.)
Originally, Mom and I were going to spend two nights up there, but when I saw the vendor list, I changed it to one. We got up Saturday morning, and headed up to ATL/Smyrna. I say that, because if you go across the road from the convention center, you're in Smyrna, but yet, if you're on the side where the center is, you're in Atlanta. I digress. We got there in plenty of time, no traffic blunders, but I did have my usual barrage of derogatories flying out of my mouth, while my mother just shook her head and sighed. Being loaded up on Starbucks hot chocolate didn't help.
We find a parking place, and I bounce right on in. HEAVEN. Six isles of nothing but stuff for ME. Okay, well, others, too. Being that I wasn't dying to chase down any particular booth this year, we just started with aisle 100 and wandered. My first actual "hey I'll buy from here if I can find anything stop" was Neighborhood Fiber Co. She had a cute little booth filled with wonderful indie yarn. As I peered at the labels, making sure I could touch the yarn without itching, I wondered what color I should get. I knew I have enough fingering weight to last me a lifetime, so I stared at the worsted. Which one would speak to me? OF COURSE. The epically beautiful Easterwood, a dark green. Semi solid. Squishy, not itchy. Seen in the earlier blog post. I walk up to the owner and hand her my yarn. "I need this." I declare. "Indeed you do!" she replies. Comes in a cute little reusable sack with her logo on it. Good deal.  I wander off for more. And then my phone rings. Why, who else is it but, Vanessa at Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts. We holler through broken cell phone garble and I just yell "AISLE 100!!" Hoping she'll get the point. After a few minutes, she appears! So, for the rest of the show, Mom and I wander around with her and her husband.
I find lots of things I want, but none that I'll die without, until I pass by the erin.lane bag booth. Oh yes! I need needle holders, because they're EVERYWHERE. And then I find my print. Bras. I can't stop laughing about the bra fabric. I buy a straight and circular needle holder, and now I'm kicking myself for not getting a DPN holder.

Aren't they wonderful? As soon as I'm "allowed" to buy stuff again, (we're saving up for a washer and dryer) I'm going after a matching bag and DPN holder.

We wander a bit more, and I stumble upon the Bijou Basin Ranch folks. I seriously can never say too much about how wonderful these people are. One of them taught me how to purl last year, and I'm still grateful for it. This year, I forgot my 15% off coupon, and they still let me honor it, and because I bought enough skeins (the beautiful five skeins in the previous post), I got the pattern free for the Shawl Cardigan. I don't think I'm proficient enough at knitting yet for it, but I don't care. It's beautiful and I'm going to make it.

After that, I wander on the last row and I FINALLY find one of the main things I came for: Sock blockers. After staring at many awesome looking designs, the final decision between lobsters or rubber ducks, I choose the ducks. I also choose a beautiful shawl pin, that is about to become a hair stick. These are from Purrfectly Catchy Designs. Beautiful, wooden. Well hand made. I also got another shawl pin turned hair stick from Knitting Notions. It's the lighter one in this picture:


And that was that. Or was it? Mom decided she wanted to wander back through, backwards, just in case she missed anything. She kept staring at the yarn baskets pretty hard, but they didn't speak to her. As we wandered off, Mom got a phone call. My cousin finally answered! She wanted to do lunch with us. Yay! She said she made something and wanted us to come to her house. Okie dokie. Mom and I wandered around a bit more, and then Vanessa and her husband met back up with us. About this time, I decided to swim dig through Woolstock's giant bin of yarn. I actually find yarn worthy of purchasing! And with my last $33 (and Mom's $5) I buy 10 skeins of Lousia Harding, the dark charcoal in the previous post. It feels wonderful and has a nice twist to it. We wander down the last few rows, and then we split. We were there a total of three hours, and I blew $205, which I didn't go over budget, and everything fit in my suitcase, and all was well.

After Stitches, we met my cousin who was all "JUST KIDDING. We're going to Mary Mac's!" Mary Mac's, apparently, is an Atlanta institution, and if you don't go, you're going to hell. Okay, not really. But, if you like Southern food and lots of it, it's the place to go. Everything I stuck in my mouth was drool worthy. Especially the Pot Likker. Which is the best turnip greens I have ever eaten. And I loathe turnip greens. After trying all the foods, we all rolled out of there. Down the hill, into the car. I bought the recipe book. I'll be fat in no time. We parted ways, and Mom and I vowed never to eat again.

Mom and I did a teensy bit of shopping, and after both of us were disappointed in what we found we headed back to the hotel. Vanessa and her husband offered to go to dinner with us, but Mom was so full I left her on the couch and went to visit. And then we decided to go to Ted's Montana Grill, but I was just so tired, Vanessa told me to go to bed. I felt awful flaking, but after getting into my pajamas, I flopped into bed, and was snoring by 9:45.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, was Stitches South day.

It's finally here...


YAY! All week I will be blogging about topics and how I feel about them. Are y'all sure you can handle that? Too bad. Cause it's going to happen.

TODAY'S TOPIC IS: Color. (or as the original post says "colour")

I love color, much to my husband's despair. I mean, I have every Fiesta dish color that's available right now.  (Best idea for a wedding present, ever.) I love the use of different shades, to create different themes, feelings, ideas. Color and I have always been friends. With that, I have lots of colorful yarn. But, I find, that when I knit and crochet things, I'm happiest with "neutral" colors. Black, grey, white, brown. But I rarely buy those colors. Why? I'm still not sure yet. I think it's because I have such a colorful wardrobe, I find that I don't get much use out of my colored items, unless it's socks or a hat. Which makes me sad.

I just came back from Stitches South, and I'm eyeballing the yarn I bought. Charcoal grey, Dove grey, and a beautiful dark green. LET ME SHOW YOU:










(I'm very proud of my purchases. I think this is the first time I've bought stuff with projects in mind. Last three Stitches I just bought willy-nilly.)

But, the funny thing about me and my color? I can't stand variegated yarn. I love looking at it in the skein, but once it knits up, it makes me want to bash my head against things. Now, don't get me wrong, semi-solids are fantastic, self-striping is a dream, and ombres are drool worthy. But random patterns and colors? Makes my head want to explode. Yet, I'm still attracted to the variegated skein. But, I've learned to resist.

18 April 2012

Trees! Blessed trees!

Mmm. Trees. So many. So pretty. So green. That's right, I'm currently "on vacation" from El Paso. I'm hanging out here at my homestead in Georgia. It rained this morning. Everything's so pretty and green. And I can breathe without wheezing.
I arrived on Sunday, and so far, my adventures have been nice. Saw a bunch of friends and people I know on Monday. It's nice just walking around downtown Milledgeville and getting mobbed by people. I also did a little hometown shopping. Went to the local antique store, Auntie Bellum's Attic (get it?) and tried not to buy everything in the store. I did walk out with some church/hometown cookbooks, because those are the BEST things to buy. Four more for my collection.
Tuesday involved checking out the local cupcake place, Doodle's,  that's only open on Tuesday. I had the Elvis cupcake. It was a chocolate-banana cupcake with peanut butter icing. I'm a little disappointed there wasn't bacon incorporated somewhere in there, but it was delicious! I also went on a hunt for an anniversary present for Brian. Our 2nd wedding anniversary is May 1st. Wonder if we'll actually celebrate this one together? Last one I was trying to figure out how to knit and celebrating that they had finally gotten Osama Bin Laden.
Today is "Daddy Day." Wednesday is the day that Dad closes the store so that he can rest and get stuff done around town without having to worry about his business. I was supposed to help him take stuff to the Christian Outreach (like a Goodwill) but being that it rained, I think our plans have changed a little. He left me a note saying that he'll be back around lunch, when yesterday he told me to be ready at 10. It's 10 now. Ah well. Guess it's just me and Pepper, for now!

Meet Pepper:



A two year old Mini Schnauzer who likes to sniff your ears and bark at the rain.

10 April 2012

Friends and Family Hafla!

I've been so lazy about blogging, I almost completely forgot to blog about our belly dance Hafla that was on the 29th of March! Oops. Brian was able to come watch, which excited me and made me very nervous all at once. It was loads of fun, even though we had to rush away to a Hail and Farewell afterwards. So, I'll stop talking now and give you pictures!







All the above photos are from J. Whalen Photography. 

All the ones below are mine.









If you can't guess it, I'm the one in the bright blue skirt!
Edit: I can't figure out why my picture formatting is funky. Oh well...

09 April 2012

Flattered!

I've been awarded two blog awards recently. I've just been really shy about putting them up, because I never know what to say when I receive them! Thank you, of course, but other than that, I don't know! But now that I have two, I will be grateful and thank the individuals!
The first award I received is the Liebster Award from Traci over at Tiny Might's Tales . She has wonderful papercrafts and recipes that she blogs about, and be sure and check out her son's 5th birthday party. You can never go wrong with a pirate theme!

Here is some information about the award:
The origins of the Liebster Blog Award are unclear but "the word translates from German as "darling" or "beloved". It's given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers in order to generate some traffic for them.

Here are the guidelines for the Liebster Blog Award:

  •  Acknowledge the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  • Give this award to 5 other bloggers, who must have less than 200 followers, and let them know through a comment on their blog.
  • Post the award on your blog
  • Best of all- bask in the glory, have fun, and share the love!
Five other bloggers that have less than 200 followers? This is actually tougher than I thought. Everyone that I follow has a lot of followers!
How about:
The Way I See It
Erika Made It
Heart Shaped Leaves
Lipstick, Motorcycles, Stilettos, and Life
My Grandmotherly Ways

My second award is the Versatile Blogger award! This is from Omlair over at My Grandmotherly Ways. I love that she calls herself grandmotherly and isn't even close to being one! She's a fabulous crocheter and has a beautiful kitty. 


This award also comes with the following rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award 
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself

Seven things about myself? Well, alright.

1. As a kid, it was rare that you didn't see me without a book in my hand. I was normally in the top three readers for my school. These days, it takes me forever to read a book, mainly because my other hobbies and chores are in my way. This makes me sad.

2. Adding on to the one above, it is believed that I can read 1000 words per minute.
3. I am a mostly self taught crocheter and completely with knitting. My grandmother tried to teach me crochet when I was young, but I was more interested in other things. Then, about 2006 my mother showed me again how to crochet a towel, and it just exploded from there. Then, early 2011, I got tired of seeing my friend's beautiful knitted items, and I got jealous and decided to teach myself to knit. I'm still not doing it properly, but hell, I have a 60% finished knitted sweater. I'm pretty pleased with myself.
4. I love cooking. It's so much fun. Matter of fact, I love it so much, I'm thinking of getting a culinary degree. 
5. I can't sing to save my life. That doesn't stop me from doing it. 
6. I never had one set thing that I wanted to be when I grew up. It ranged from teacher, fighter jet pilot, nurse, ballerina, firefighter, graphic designer, sniper, etc. I'm pretty sure at one point or another, I wanted to be everything. I still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up." 

7. I love to learn, but I hate school. It's a terrible conundrum.

And the fifteen people that you should check out:



Er, I realize that's only 13, but I left some friends off, because they blog about more personal stuff, and I wasn't sure if they'd like attention suddenly. But, that's okay. Hopefully, they'll forgive me. 
 

07 April 2012

Almost Krystals

The other day, I was dreaming about what restaurants I'd indulge in when I returned to Georgia for a vacation this month. Top three on my list? Zaxby's, Waffle House and Krystal. For those of you who don't know, Krystal's is similar to White Castle. Ahh. Now everyone knows what Krystal is. Being that I'd never had a White Castle before in my life until 2010, Krystal was all I knew. I still prefer Krystal to White Castle. ANYWHO, moving along, my dear sweet, amazing, awesome, wonderful, talented, kick ass friend, PJ, presented me with the best gift of all: a recipe. A copy-cat recipe of White Castle. All I had to do was wait for my husband to get home (and stay home) so I could make them.



Oh man, yes. Dare I say these are better than Krystal and White Castle? I do. Thanks to Favorite Family Recipes, I now have access to delicious, homemade sliders. And they don't give me heartburn like Krystal's do.

05 April 2012

BLT (hold the T) pizza

I love BLT sandwiches. But, I don't love the tomatoes, so I always get weird looks when I order them without tomatoes. And then I tried one with fried green tomatoes. Oh my. But that story's for another day. This story's about pizza. The first time I ever went to California Pizza Kitchen, I got over giddy that they made a BLT pizza. So I ordered that sucker. It was heaven. I went back again another time with my husband and he was APPALLED that there was LETTUCE on a PIZZA.  He refused to even try it. Fine. Whatever.  More for me. And so, that being said, last night, he was out in the field and didn't come home until after I was long asleep. And nights like that mean I cook whatever I want, normally stuff he doesn't like. So, I made myself a BLT Pizza. Oh yes I did. Thankfully, I had everything I needed in my house.


First off you, start with an exploding can of pizza dough. No lie. This thing popped open and I screamed. I also noticed from standing my can vertical, that the dough was all funny and so I just rolled it out into some blob of a pizza.


Hey, whatever works. I was hungry and wasn't going for aesthetics here.

Then, I added about a cup and 3/4ths of shredded Mozzarella shredded cheese (I like lots of cheese), and sprinkled bacon EVERYWHERE. I don't know how much I used. Did you see the little bags in the first picture? Yeah, I ripped one of those babies open and sprinkled until I was satisfied.


While that was baking (according to the directions on the package), I mixed up some lettuce with about a tablespoon of mayo.


15 minutes later, I get this, which looks good enough to eat by itself. 

And then I just spread the lettuce everywhere. Cut into whatever shape you want, consume immediately. Also, if you wanted tomatoes, here's where you'd put them on. Probably under the lettuce.

Now, I highly recommend that if you put the lettuce on top, that it's consumed immediately. Because, if it just sits there on the hot pizza for 30 minutes, when you come back, it's all wilted. If you'd like, just put the lettuce on each individual slice and go along with it. 

So, looking back, if I were to make a recipe,

1 can of Pizza crust dough
1-2 cups of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
½ cup of bacon pieces
1- 1½ tbsp of mayo
3-4 cups of lettuce


Just guessing. I want to say it took about 25 minutes to prepare and bake.  As every recipe, you can add more or less to your liking. Or make your own dough, or fry your own bacon. Or just buy the shredded lettuce. You know. Creativity!

I think it's delicious. 





04 April 2012

Uninspired

I'm feeling particularly uninspired and unmotivated this week. All I want to do is sit on my butt and eat cupcakes, but I don't even have the motivation to go get them! So, I'll leave you with a PSA.



WEAR SUNSCREEN.

(It hurt to walk properly for two days.)