Monday, June 30, 2014

Resolution Wrap-Up Plus 3 Good Things

Today you get a twofer, because I'm going to try to add some positivity to my Mondays and it's also the last day of the month.  So, we have the Monthly Resolution Wrap-Up and the first dose of 3 Good Things in the same post!  So here we go.

Resolution Wrap-Up
I did pretty well if you consider them 24 separate goals, but I failed if you consider it one goal.  Also, hilariously, my randomized square position was perfect so I've only gotten two bingos.  It's terrible.  See?

Pathetic, isn't it?  Well, here's the breakdown.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Today Has Been A Day

Yeah, I think that's about all I can say about it.

Ian woke me up at quarter to ten with a bunch of text messages, which hasn't happened in a while.  We had some plans change and he wanted to let me know, so that was nice.  (And that reminds me, I need to pay my phone bill.  Hang on.  ...Okay I'm back, having discovered that I have my credit card number memorized, so that's fun.)  I decided to hang it all and get up, and actually fixed my bed and showered and had breakfast (all of these things are unusual; the shower thing because I tend to do it at night).

Mom took me out to lunch at P.F. Chang's, and we forgot to take pictures, so here is me in the car with the leftovers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cherry Field

Once upon a time I was a new crafter who had no yarn.  So I asked if anyone had some yarn they wanted to get rid of, and ended up with a box from my grandmother's attic and a box from a friend's mom, and I still have a lot of those yarns.

One of them was a huge ball of cherry-red aran-weight acrylic.  It was soft, so that was a plus.  It was brighter than a lightbulb, and nothing else seemed to go with it, so those were minuses.  I fooled around with it for a while and could never find anything that it wanted to be, so I gave up on it and shoved it back into my Stash Tower.

Two days ago I was watching some of the Olympics from February that are still on our DVR, and needed something mindless to work on.  I pulled out this yarn on a whim and asked if it wanted to be a small blanket.  It said...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Flash Your Stash 2014

Every year on Ravelry we have a thread called "Flash Your Stash", for which we crazy yarn people drag all our yarn out of its nooks and crannies, spread it out over our couches/tables/king-size-beds/floors, and take pictures of it.  It can be very amusing to see how the stashes change over the years, so a lot of us do it annually.  (Besides, it's a good incentive to reorganize the stash as we put it all away!)

I did take part in Flash Your Stash 2013, as you can see if you follow the link.  Also as you can see, my stash was pretty meager and mostly consisted of inherited scraps.

Unfortunately, this year is quite different.  This year, it covers the gameroom table on which I assembled three-foot afghan blocks.  Yeah.  This is going to be scary.

Ready?  Here we go.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Card-Making Endeavors

As I mentioned earlier, my grandfather died this April.  Now that life has settled somewhat, my grandmother decided it was time to start writing thank-you cards for the dozens of people who came out of the woodwork to help and support her.

Something you have to understand about my grandmother:  She took up card-making as a craft several years ago.

The way I am about yarn, she is about cards.  She has diecutters, various types of ink, the hugest collection of stamps I've ever seen (yeah, the rubber ones like kids play with), embossing powder, ribbons, glitter.  She makes these work-of-art cards for every birthday and holiday and we just marvel.  When my aunt moved out, Grandma took her room and converted it into something like a study/craft room.  The closet is like a tiny card workshop.  It's fabulous.

But she has 50 to 100 thank-you cards to send out, so she reluctantly decided she'd save herself the work and just buy them.  So off she went to every store she could think of, looking for simple elegant thank-you cards that suited her taste.  Unfortunately, she couldn't find anything that wasn't tacky or too plain.  She could always find something to improve, and she wasn't willing to send out any less than the best.  Eventually she gave up the hunt and resigned herself to making them.  Still not quite ready to make them all from scratch, however, she found a box of 50 black-and-white patterned plain cards she could embellish, and enlisted my help.

So Thursday afternoon we planned and had a few mild arguments over the designs. (Mostly I just sat around while she tried things, and occasionally gave input on ribbons.)  Friday afternoon we really set to work, and I was smart enough to pull out my camera and take a bunch of pictures of the process to share with you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Early Morning, A Quilt, And Incoherency

I was still awake at five-thirty this morning.  My brain wouldn't shut up, and I wasn't physically tired enough to use my body's inclination toward sleep to calm my mind down.  So I got up, made myself a cuppa (TJ's Mango Black Tea with plenty of cream and sugar), and ventured outside with a blanket thinking I would watch the sunrise.  Instead, I ended up watching a lot of clouds.

But that wasn't bad.  I could actually watch different layers of clouds blowing across the sky at different rates, which was fascinating.  I also caught glimpses of a gibbous moon when empty patches in all the layers lined up just right.  And of course there were the birds.  I heard plenty of chirping from seven or eight small birds that looked like they were setting up some sort of aerial football (soccer) game which eventually dissolved into flirting, a few annoying crowing noises from the ubiquitous grackles, and at least one mourning dove said good morning.  The mourning dove in particular made me smile, since one of my brothers taught himself to imitate that call on an ocarina, so perfectly that I could never tell whether I was listening to an actual bird or a plastic potato.


So the crocheted thing from my last post.  The one that kicked my ass with embarrassing ease?  It's a blanket.

What, you already figured that out?  Okay okay fine, let me give you some more detail.

At least a year and a half ago, probably closer to two years, I promised Ian that I'd send him to college with a blanket if we were still together.  In August, he moves approximately 200 miles south to start his junior year, and when he does... his blanket will absolutely not be finished.  But I should have it done for his second semester.  I think the wait will be worth it, considering how much symbolism I managed to cram into one blanket.  Here's what it should look like when finished:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Knitting While Drunk

Or crocheting while tired, or any variety of the form [craft] + [mental impairment].

I often think of crafting as having certain milestones, immutable laws that every crafter is going to slam into at some point regardless of whether or not they've been warned the wall -- I mean law -- is there.  (Case in point:  I taught a friend to knit and she recently messaged me to ask, rhetorically and with much frustration, why everyone seems to think she's crocheting.)  So it stands to reason that even though I know that crocheting late at night is always agreed to be a bad idea, and definitely because I assured myself that being a Night Owl excused me from the inevitable... I slammed into a wall.

As far as I can tell, this is what happened last night.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Gentle Jab

Tomorrow is Ian's graduation party, the next day marks four and a half years of us "being together" or "dating" or whatever you'd like to call it.  This is kind of a big weekend for me.

Because my mom sells kitchen supplies for The Pampered Chef, pretty much every viable occasion is met with some sort of kitchen gift.  There's already a stash in the garage of boxes for me.  This means that Ian is moving out with a small dorm kitchen package from my family (mostly Mom), which is somewhat colorful. Off the top of my head I only remember that the color-coated knife is green and the mini cutting board has pink edges (I insisted; Mom consented on the condition that it clearly be my fault), but I'm pretty sure there are a few other colors too.

And now there's going to be one more.  Why?  That requires a few stories:

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summer Fun Bingo, Or, Resolutions For June

Sometime before the end of last semester, Ian asked me if I'd like to go to France with him in July.  He has family there and occasionally flies out to see them (and practice his French) for a few weeks.  I said yes, of course, even though I don't speak a word of French and I'd had half-formed summer plans already.  Pretty much nothing takes precedence over Europe.

I'm still not sure if we're going -- planning this has turned into an adventure for him -- but I operate under the assumption that I'll be out of the country for three weeks in July because if I don't I probably won't be able to go.  That means I can't go job-hunting (no one will give me three weeks off when I started working like two weeks ago), and I can't take a summer class (the last week or so overlaps when we're potentially leaving).  Essentially, it means I have to cram my entire summer into June, and hope I won't be here in July.  Enter the Summer Fun Bingo, Year Two.
Click to zoom
This is something we did last year.  I honestly don't remember if I did all 24 things or not, but I at least gave it a shot.  Last year there were categories, and really hard things as well as really easy things.  This year I just threw together a list of 24 things I want to get done, and think I can possibly accomplish in June.

So for this month I have either 1 resolution or 24, depending on how you look at it.  If you think of it as one, my resolution is Complete Summer Fun Bingo Card.  If you think of it as twenty-four, here's the rundown:

Rising From The Ashes

As you may have noticed, I failed at juggling.  In fact, I catastrophically crashed and pretty much everything but school fell to pieces.  I still made straight As.  I have no idea how.


My grandfather died in April, a few days after his 70th birthday.  I hadn't seen him in some time because I didn't want to remember him like that, so I'd already said my goodbyes.  Twelve hours later I listened to the announcement in church and just felt numb.  One week later I went to his funeral in a black-and-white dress (mostly white) and bright teal shawl because I couldn't bear to just wear black.  My aunt looked at me and said "I think all Grandpa would have said is 'nice hat'.  Non-issue."  Apparently he didn't look too good dead, so the casket was never opened.  I'm okay with this.  (The funeral arrangements included those tiny Hershey's candy bars wrapped in little blue papers that had a picture of Grandpa and had his birth/death dates on it.  We were very disturbed by what we dubbed the face chocolates.)


A couple weeks before this, on the 8th, I finished this blanket for a baby cousin so new he wasn't even born yet.  He was born exactly one month later, on May 8th.

It's a very happy blanket.  I have a picture of him lying next to it, but I'm not going to put it up here out of respect for the kid's privacy.  Suffice to say, he's an adorable little bugger and I can't wait to meet him.


I got my wisdom teeth out about a week and a half ago, and my jaw is still sore.  Plus food keeps getting caught in the empty sockets and bothering me.  I'm not really sure what the point of that was, but it's over now.  Although I did lose some weight while on a soft-foods-only diet, which could be problematic.  Essentially all I did for three days was watch episodes of Arrow on Netflix and work on this: