Monday, July 30, 2012

Pucker up!

make something monday
I made something delicious a few weeks ago!

...And then promptly forgot to take decent pictures. Whoops. So here's a photo of my bestest friend eating it- not that you can tell what it is!


I whipped up a batch of no bake, raspberry lemonade cheesecake. Except I couldn't find raspberry lemonade anywhere, so I opted for pink lemonade.

Man oh man were these tart. Tart and delicious! I feel like I should make some sort of joke with that, but I'm refraining. Barely.

They were super quick- I probably spent more time looking for the nonexistent raspberry lemonade than actually making these. I can totally see using all sorts of concentrates to make different flavors. I can more than see it- they're on my to do list! I can totally picture orange cheesecake bars- I suspect they would taste like sherbert. Yum.

I'm not a huge fan of graham cracker crust, nor is anyone else I know, so I think I'll wind up using a nilla wafer crust instead. I'm practically drooling at the thought.

On another note: Ravellenic Games are going FAB-U-LOUS. Seriously. I think my sweater is going to take five second total. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but it is going rather well!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

50th Anniversary Cupcakes

cupcake saturday

A very dear couple to me (my adopted grandparents!) just celebrated their 50th anniversary. Could you imagine being married 50 years? They got married when they were both super young, and their still touring the country and kicking it. 


Mema*loves*chocolate, and because of some seriously picky eaters that would also be consuming the chocolate, I figured I would go with a standard chocolate/caramel combination. I used my favorite chocolate doctored cake mix recipe, of course. I seriously need to start investigating something new in the chocolate universe. 

I also used a frosting recipe I had tried before- just a basic caramel frosting. Nothing fancy. It didn't turn out as amazingly delicious as it did the first time, but once I smothered it in chocolate and caramel syrup, it tasted pretty darn good.

As a finishing touch, I decided to make some decorations in the form of chocolate. I basically tempered chocolate over a double boiler, then filled a frosting bag with a fine tip and doodled away! A little time in the freezer hardened them up, and they were ready to go! Unfortunately, I had a ton of chocolate left over, so it's going to be languishing in my fridge for a while. I'll probably wind up breaking off chunks and throwing them in cookies, or something.

All in all, pretty darn good cupcakes to celebrate a pretty darn good marriage!

Friday, July 27, 2012

In which I fall in love with beads...

 finished object friday

Another project I finished ages ago! Eventually I'm going to start taking photos immediately after blocking projects.


Haruni was my first big lace project with beads. I had paid quite a bit more than usual on the yarn, so I was determined to make something spectacular with it. I think I managed that one pretty well.


Even though I'm not particularly fond of intricate charted patterns, I actually really enjoyed working on this project. Not only do I love the pop the beads give, but the yarn, Schaefer Yarn Co's Audrey, was so smooth and lovely. The body of the project was easily memorizable, so it fulfilled my mindless knitting quota. I love, love, love the slight ruffly aspect that the edge gives it. The finished object is so soft and cuddly, but the beads and silk keep it from being overly warm.


I had plenty of beads left over at the end of the project, which means I get to use them again. My favorites are the almost tarnished looking one. I love those muted metal colors- chrome, silver, etc. The beads wen fabulously with the color of the yarn. I wound up using wooliekim and haramis' notes on the placement of the beads, because I'm nothing if not a follower. I'm still struggling to find decent notes on bead placement for my Laminaria, so I might be forcet of venture out of my comfort zone, but we'll see about that. I'll investigate more later...


My only disappointment with this project is the color- in the skein and in the ball, the yarn was this gorgeous mix of white, gold, and silver. Knit up, it looks almost dingy. You can definitely see the different colors in the close ups, but as a whole, the colors are too muted to really pop when they're thrown together in the pattern. I still absolutely adore this project, and the yarn (which I will be rushing out to buy more of, as soon as possible, yum yum!), but I was hoping for a little more oomph like in the skein. Again, I love this project, I love this yarn, and I love this pattern. As soon as I get a properly gorgeous yarn, I think I'll be knitting it again, but without the center increase pattern.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Last Suppers

book review thursday

book review thursday
I've been at kind of a standstill when it comes to reading. It's not for lack of books: I easily have about two hundred piled around my room, waiting to be read. And it's not from lack of time. I'm really not doing much else with my time, apart from playing chauffeur to my sister and arguing with various University departments.

In part, I think it may be that I'm disappointed that I still haven't received the second installment of the Booktown mystery series. I was extremely excited to listen to the next book, but was put on a wait list at my library. I haven't felt the urge to listen to many other audiobooks. Plus, I've been rather lacking in the inspiration department. I keep finding series of books to read. While I love exploring my favorite characters in new adventures, on some level, you need a bit of an intervention. I have yet to find a proper audiobook that will take me away on a new universe.

I'm also feeling a bit guilty that all I've been listening to and all I've been reading lately have been classified as cozy mysteries. I know that there's nothing wrong with reading what you like- after all I firmly believe that the purpose of books is solely for enjoyment. If you don't enjoy what you're reading, you're missing the purpose. Still, when time after time it's yet another quirky heroine solving a murder, I feel like I'm stuck in a rut. I need to break out of the pattern, at least for a little bit!

Finally, I think the biggest reason I've been avoiding reading has been that I'm stuck in a never ending book. While I ordinarily enjoy nonfiction, particularly when it involves mysteries and serial killers, I just can't get into The Devil in the White City. I know a good chunk of the reason is that it's a paper book- again, one of the two hundred or so covering every surface in my bedroom. It's hard for me to read paper books now that I feel the urge to knit at every waking moment. The other part is something I'll discuss when I eventually finish it. I know it's not an issue of the topic- I absolutely adored the episode the Stuff You Missed in History Class did on the murders, and the World's Fair is a topic that's been featured at my work for months now.

In any case, out of sheer desperation, I downloaded the audiobook of The Last Suppers by Diane Mott Davidson in hopes that I might finally resume my interest in books. After all, pretty soon I'm going to be much too busy to be reading as often as I can now.

This attempt to garner my own interest failed miserably. I felt myself tuning out of this book. While I still enjoyed the characters of Marla and Goldie, I couldn't keep any of the secondary characters in this book straight. The whole book revolved around Goldie freaking out, with entirely too much of a focus on religion. You didn't get to enjoy her relationship with her friends and family, and the whole bit about her hearing voices was rather disturbing. While I understood that she was going through an emotional crisis with the loss of her fiancee, that should have given Davidson an opportunity to stress the importance of Goldie's relationship with her family. Instead, it was a book entirely filled with inner monologue of someone anguished.

The mystery itself felt very much pushed to the wayside in favor of inner monologue whining. There were minimal clue finding and red herrings. It was just a dud of a book, in my opinion. I have faith that the next few will be considerably more entertaining. I know that my complete lack of knowledge involving Goldie's religion didn't help matters either. 

(2/5 stars)

Murder is Binding

book review thursday

book review thursday
Murder is Binding was a rather... interesting book for me to listen to. When I first stumbled across the concept, I adored it. A mystery book store owner solving a murder? How quaint! I quickly became bogged down in the actual book, unfortunately. I'm not sure if it was just my difficulty in relaxing into to the narration, or the writing, however.

Every time the narrator started to speak in anyone's voice other than Tricia, I felt myself wince. Angela became obnoxious to listen to, even though I felt that she was the most funny and interesting character by the close of the book. The male characters were similarly hard to listen to due to the narration.

In terms of writing, I felt that the author was... stilted at first, and didn't really hit her stride until the concept of Grace Harris' mistreatment was introduced. In fact, I had a hard time even convincing myself to play the book until that point. Once Grace was introduced, I was absolutely hooked.

I think my main problems with this book (apart from the quality of the audiobook. I'm still trying to understand why there was music that should have been featured in a play at the very beginning and end. It totally drew me out of the narration), were issues associated with the introduction of a new series. In a simple cozy mystery, I expect to have issues with characterization and world building when the writer is settling in, and this book was no stranger to these problems. They weren't, however, enough to significantly lessen my enjoyment. I absolutely loved the setting, and the mystery was interesting and not entirely predictable. The ending really sealed the deal in terms of my interest in the book. While I didn't see it coming, it wasn't so far out of reach that I felt it wholly implausible. I can't wait to listen to the next book in the series because I have a feeling it will be even better.

The high points of these books, besides the concept of BookTown (I so want to vacation there), was the introduction of interesting characters such as Angela and Mr. Everett, both of whom I'd love to take to lunch. Tricia herself was more of a shell of a character in this book, and I'm really hoping to see her develop more characteristics other than a grudging love for her sister. I was displeased that the ineptitude of the Sheriff wasn't addressed at the end, as I felt that it was highly unrealistic and I'm curious to see how it is handled in future books. All in all, I think this looks like the start of a great series!

(4/5 stars)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Overextending Myself

start something sunday

As I promised two weeks ago,, I'm spilling the beans about my secret knitting plans- and yes that's plural for a reason!

I'm one of those people who doesn't know moderation. I can't just eat a tiny piece of dessert; I need a big bowl. I don't sign up for a minimum course load at school; I sign up for the maximum. I can't just borrow one book from the library; I have to grab four or five. So when it came time for me to decide what to challenge myself with for the Games, I couldn't just skate by with something manageable now could I?

First up, a sweater.


This was my teaser from before. I wound up picking up a few skeins of the deliciously soft Louisa Harding Aimee a while ago when one of my LYSes was having a cashmere sale. While the amount of cashmere in this yarn is on the low side, I predict that the finished object- a Brompton will be deliciously drapey and comfy sweater.


After deciding on the Brompton, I convinced myself that it just wasn't enough. I wanted to make a lacey shawl while I was at it! After all, I find myself frustrated when I try to knit shawls during the school year. So onto my list came the Laminaria. The yarn was so pretty and I fell so in love with beading while knitting my Haruni, that I decided to throw some beads on top of that. After all, more is better, right?


Finally, I found myself stalling on knitting the matching booties for my pumpkin hat. Once I realized this, I also found a solution. What was merely added to my utterly impossible goals. I decided that forcing myself to knit them during the Ravellenic Games would be perfect. What's that saying about giving a busy person another thing to do?

In any case, at least I have a variety of knitting projects for different situations. I suspect that Laminaria will become my audiobook and audio podcast only knitting, the booties will be good for a movie or two, and the Brompton will have to function for everything else, including sitting in on my sister's various activities. At least I'll be prepared for any potential down time! I'll be knitting these under the Team Sasquatch group, as podcasts have long been my knitting companions.

I'm incredibly excited for the Games. I doubt I'll be watching the actual Olympic sporting events. I've  never been one for for sports, and the way the name debacle was handled left me with an extremely bad taste in my mouth. Not because of the existence of a cease and desist letter- I actually wholly support that, as copyright/trademark restrictions is "srs bsnss", but because of the blatant disrespect and hostility the wording of the letter contained. Anyways enough of the negativity. The point is that I'm excited for the competition and the challenge. I'm nothing if not enthusiastic!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cookie Dough Galore

cupcake saturday

Oh hey, you want to see something delicious? BAM!


I don't like chocolate- I really don't. But I could have eaten about a dozen of these.

I used an assortment of recipes, because, well, I could. And I wanted to make sure these came out utterly delicious because they were for a man who's been like a second dad to me. I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe, and then a new recipe for the cookie dough filling, and finally a recipe I've used before for the oh so amazing and evil cookie dough frosting.

The cookie portion didn't sink in while baking like I expected- instead it merely sat on top. I wound up with tons of little edible cookie dough balls (because there are no eggs!) leftover, and my sister has been making her own cookie dough ice cream sundaes with them. Yum...

Friday, July 20, 2012

A long time coming

finished object friday

I know that you didn't think this would ever happen.

Heck, I didn't think it would ever happen.

But it did. I finished my Beatnik- just in time for 100 degree weather! Don't I have great timing?

Beatnik on

Joking aside, because frankly, I doubt it's going to reach sweater weather anytime, well, ever at this rate, I'm so proud of myself.

I wrote earlier about how this was my first attempt at dying yarn. The yarn was Lionbrand Fisherman's Wool in the Oatmeal colorway, but attacked with Kool Aid. I was aiming for more of an orange, but I love, love, love this color- I even have a bunch of lipstick and nail polish that match!The yarn definitely isn't on my list of favorites- much too scratchy for that. However, it was super on sale, on a billion yards without knots. I was rather impressed. I wound up soaking the sweater with some conditioner, and while I still won't be wearing it without an undershirt (I'm wondering about the practicality of the sleeves), it did manage to soften considerably.


The pattern itself was somewhat easy to understand, though it did take me quite a while to figure out the instructions for the front, and then when I finished, I couldn't figure out which side was the front anyways. It looks the same either way, so whatever. The charts really enforced that, well, I hate charts. It's not that I dislike charts themselves, or find them difficult to understand, I just prefer projects that I can take and not pay attention to. Again, the who autopilot knitting thing. It's not so bad when I've got nothing going on (like this summer), but normally, the only time I have to knit is when I need my eyes and majority of my attention for something else: hense the autopilot knitting. 

Beatnik Close Up

Once I saw just how pretty the cables were though, and I tried on the finished sweater, I instantly forgot about how annoying it was to have limited time to work on it. I believe I ran through the house showing everyone, and shouting "HOLY SHIT I KNIT A SWEATER. ISN'T IT AWESOME?!" I also quite a bit of yarn leftover, so I'm thinking about making fingerless mitts or a hat if I have enough yarn. Who knows. That won't happen for a while at any rate- my eyes need a break from the retina searing color.

(Seriously, isn't it awesome?)

I was afraid of seaming it up, because I have issues with mattress stitch (it's a hit or a miss if I do it right, don't ask me why), but the moss stitch hides any seaming issues wonderfully. I wound up knitting the sleeves in the round because seaming that was just not going to happen. It did make joining them to the body a smidge more difficult, but all in all, not too bad.

In total, I love this sweater! It does look like it gives me a bit of a stomach pooch (okay, I know, I already had that pooch), but I don't careeee. Sorry for the blurry photo by the way- apparently I was too hideous for my camera to take a proper photo.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Cereal Murders

book review thursday

book review thursday
The Cereal Murders was the third in the Goldy Bear Culinary Murder series, and so far, I think it may have been the least impressive. It wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but I felt myself less than captivated by the mystery. I think this largely had to do with the fact that right about now, the very last thing I want to think about is stress over college. Despite these personal feelings, Davidson yet again managed to pull together an interesting story and complete with developed characters and surprising plot twists.

This book developed the character of Julian more than the last, and I actually started to almost like him. It was a bit of a stretch that he went from hating Goldy in the last book to caring for her so much that he was losing sleep over from worry, and the fact that Goldy was taking care of him with no coordination with his parents. I know that if I were to suddenly move in with strangers during my senior year of high school, whether I was 18 or not, they would have been having routine chats with my guardian. Goldy was just too clueless about what was going on with Julian and his grades to really make that believable.

Minor quibble, of course. I did like the various twists and turns throughout the story, and I loved imagining the Tattered Cover. I adored Tom in this book, but I really do with Goldy had more with it friends. While Marla is fabulous, the closest person to a friend that was featured in this book was Audrey, who was an absolute trainwreck and annoying to listen to. I wish Davidson had included a friend other than Tom for Goldy to bounce ideas off of. Instead, we hear here constantly talking to Tom about various ideas and pumping Marla for gossip; it becomes rather monotonous.

Despite these small criticism, I did really enjoy this book, as it was a great mindless listen. Love, love, love this series... It might prove to be hazardous to my heath though- I've been craving biscotti ever since I finished this novel!

(3/5 stars)

Shakespeare's Landlord

book review thursday

book review thursday
In keeping with my audiobook obsession (I seriously thought I would read more paper books this summer- HAH), I decided to explore more of Charlaine Harris' repertoire. That, and I ran out of available Sookie Stackhouse books and wanted something a little less mystical-magical.

Shakespeare's Landlord, a murder mystery series kind of fell flat for me. My main problem was that I wasn't able to relate to the main character, Lily Bard. While she was hurt and injured and that upped my empathy, I just had a hard time sussing out an actual character. I wound up not very invested in the book, or figuring out the murderer because of this. I'm not surprised in the least bit that Harris wrote this before the first Sookie Stackhouse book: her ability to write likeable, interesting characters with actual personalities has certainly improved. Another thing I had a hard time dealing with, and this is my own personal hang-up, was that Lily would just involve herself with a married man. While I know some people certainly engage in that type of behavior, I have a hard time respecting or liking someone who engages in the act of cheating- whether or not they the attached person. But again, that's my personal hang up. It's also a reason I just can't like Mad Men- it bothers me too much.

I do intend to try giving this series one more chance and reading the next book. The premise is interesting, and I love the idea of a kick-butt, murder solving housekeeper. The book certainly wasn't bad. It just wasn't great.

(3/5 stars)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Crap Collector

a few of my favorite things

Yesterday, a friend of mine found out that she managed to score the job she wanted! In celebration, we went out for a small lunch, then I followed her while she bought a ridiculous amount of work clothes. I was so good,  I didn't  buy anything, even though I was sorely tempted.

Well, almost.

The last place on her list- a shoe store- happened to be located near a Half Priced Books and a Charming Charlies. While I successfully  managed to avoid any books hopping into my arms (mostly due to the fact that I've been reading the same paper copy of a book all summer, and I have loads more waiting for me after that), I didn't fare so well at the accessory store.

I'm a fan of big purses, you see. The bigger, the better. Unless I can fit the kitchen sink in my bag, I'm not interested. Unfortunately, because I'm also not interested in leather/pleather, it usually culminates in a giant bag with no pockets. My most recent purse is no exception. I constantly struggle to find my phone, my iPod, my headphones, my lipstick, my scissors, my darning needle, etc. I'm a mess. I usually have at least two knitting projects in the bag, and while I've bought countless skeins of yarn, I've never bought or made project bags. So not only do I have a jumble of "little" things, I also have skeins of yarn getting jostled and tangled together.

In short, my purse is a disgrace.

To combat this, I decided to pick up a small, make up bag for those little nicknacks. I searched Target. No luck. I looked in Kohl's. Zilch. Charming Charlies would definitely have one, right?

Uh, no. But it did have a cute little "purse" on sale for $5 that seems sturdy enough to handle the abuse in my purse! It's meant to be a clutch with an option for straps on the inside, but I think it'll work wonderfully as a crap collector.


That's the scale, above. My current purse could fit a small three year old, not that I've tested that theory. I have, however, tested the theory that it will fit a few cats (three has been the maximum from my skewed data set).


The crap collector is small enough to  not be cumbersome in my bag, but large enough to fit the above. There's little room after all of that is squished in, so I'm not worried about anything getting damaged. It's all quite snug. (That would be my phone, iPod, headphones, coin purse, and one tube of lipstick.)


The best part of this buy? The little gem in the clasp. I didn't even notice it until I had gotten home, and it almost made me love it more than the price already had.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pumpkin Head

finished object friday

Monkey go this phone back today and called me three times! He's good, mini Creature is good, and I knit a baby hat.

Wait, what?


When I made the gloves and cowl set for my mom's birthday this year, I had a little over a skein leftover. After staring at it a while, it finally dawned on me that it would make an adorable pumpkin hat for some lucky baby. After all, I was a Halloween baby, so pumpkins are a must in my mind. My first ever Halloween picture involves me in a pumpkin onesie... Except it was taken a few days after I was born. Better late than never, right?

Anyways, the yarn was definitely, absolutely, positively going to become a pumpkin hat. Queue me promptly forgetting about my intentions and becoming distracted with other projects for six to seven months.

A short time ago, I was in an absolute fit because I had run out of portable projects. I was stash diving in an attempt to come up with some thing to knit when I came across that little orange skein and remembered my previous intentions. Before I knew it, I had cast on and finished the whole hat!


It's adorable. It's super soft. It's utterly perfect for... oh. Darn. There's the catch. There's no babies in my life (yet!) and I don't feel comfortable donating a hand wash only hat to a hospital. Whoops. So into the closet it goes until someone I know has a baby in a fall month.

The pattern was deliciously simple. I merely changed it to a K7 P1 rib, then fudged the placement of the decreases to make points fall over the purls. I added a simple leaf as a finishing touch and was done before I knew it! I still have half a skein left, and I know exactly what I'm going to do with it... But that's a secret, for now.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

book review thursday

book review thursdayIn keeping with my mystery kick, I opted to read The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I had heard the title often tossed about as a book club worthy book, and I should have paid more attention to that association. This book was not, as I expected, about a woman or women acting as detectives, solving mysteries and being plucky. This was more of a commentary on African life. The mysteries were lackluster, the scenery was tremendous.

It took me a long time to actually get into the book because of my preconceived notions. I normally avoid books set in non-western countries because I often feel that the author is trying to make their readers feel guilty for their easy lives. I also have trouble relating to the characters involved. Initially, I thought I would hate this book for precisely that reason. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. The writing was simple, but I still felt that I could picture Mma Ramotswe, and Botswana, and all of her surroundings. The author managed to make the whole novel relate-able, but incredibly simple.

The mysteries were, as I mentioned before, lackluster. They were incredibly predictable, and not very interesting. It wasn't until the kidnapped boy was introduced that I really cared anything about the mysteries, and even that plot was thin. While it did serve to "inform" me of African life (I have no idea how realistic the stereotypes in this book are), it wasn't very deep. The writing style was also on the simple side. I often became annoyed at the dialogue because it was so formulaic and unrealistic. There was no complicated language or sentence structure whatsoever, which becomes very grating. It almost felt like I was reading a book for a child, apart from the subject matter.

The ending also disappointed me. I listened to the audiobook version, and was actually shocked that well, it just ended! There was no explanation, no conclusion, and no wrapping up. It was incredibly unsatisfactory.

Despite my personal disinterest in the book I can certainly see why it has received the acclaim that it has. McCall Smith has managed to introduce several debatable topics, and it really would be a  great novel to discuss at a book club. Personally, it wasn't my thing. I would have preferred a more substantial plot to go with the intense characters and background.

(3/5 stars)

One for the Money

book review thursday

book review thursdayI really didn't have any interest in reading One for the Money until I saw the movie preview. While I'm not particularly fond of Katherine Heigl (due to a grudge for "ruining" Grey's Anatomy), the preview was enough to make me want to see the movie. Of course, being who I am, I couldn't just run out and see it at the theater, I had to read it first... which meant waiting for a library copy to become available.

By the time I actually got around to reading it, the movie was long out of theater, and I was less than impressed. For all of the praise and devotion from the fans, One for the Money was lackluster in my opinion. The main character was, well, stupid. There were many "funny" scenes that fell flat (there were scenes that were genuinely humorous, however). I didn't feel the "sexual tension" that I'm sure I was supposed to, and the climax was, well predictable.

There were good parts to this book, however. It was an interesting premise. I loved the setting, and I thought that the background was utterly believable. I loved that the family was huge in the story, both through family dinners with her parents, and also just the small touches of relatedness that you get in a closeknit group such as that (being employed by her cousin, having a distant in-law taking her shooting, etc.).

Overall, it was an okay book. Not something I'd write home about, but it did make me more interested in seeing the movie. I'll be interested in seeing if I'm more into the book after seeing it. I don't think I'll necessarily continue the series, but I certainly wouldn't write it off.

(3/5 stars)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pod Person Behavior

a few of my favorite things

Today has been an... odd sort of day. I entirely blame it on the fact that I got about three hours sleep last night. So far, I not only went and royally enjoyed myself at my sister's volleyball practice (though, I was enjoying myself listening to an audiobook and knitting hexipuffs), but I did so while drinking something unusual.


I'm really not a coffee person, and as I've mentioned before, I'm really, really not a chocolate person. The fact that I was guzzling down a bottle of this stuff like it was water Dr. Pepper showed just how darn delicious it was. I did show some restraint, and cut it with half a bottle of milk. I think I might have gone over the edge between the richness and sugar if I hadn't. Now I'm determined to replicate the flavor with plain old coffee from my keurig. Yum.

So yes. Seriously. Go out and buy this coffee right now. This instant. It's that good.

In terms of the knitting, I was happily duplicate stitching on hexipuffs and garnering attention from the prepubescent boys who were lifting weights behind me. Even though I had my headphones in, I could still hear their completely mystified conversations about what on earth I was doing. Next up is an optometrist appointment for Jenny, where I'm sure I'll get even more attention.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just a swatch

start something sunday

The Ravellenic games are approaching, and I'm doing my best to prepare.

If by prepare, you mean get ridiculous, improbable goals.

Here's just a hint of what's to come: a swatch for a sweater in a delicious, soft, drapey yarn.


I've also loaded up on podcasts, DVR'd about a thousand movies, and have stocked up on audiobook downloads. I will be totally set on entertainment for knitting time... Which is good because I'm afraid that in order to meet my goals, I'll have to spent 24/7 with my needles.

More on what my goals are later this week!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bump! Set! Spike!

 cupcake saturday

Last week, I talked about my obsession with lime cupcakes with strawberry icing. Because I can't leave well enough alone, I made strawberry cupcakes as well. Someone talked me out of lime frosting because apparently some people don't like fruity frosting.


Instead, I opted for my basic buttercream. After debating the idea of green frosting, I decided that since the cupcakes were in honor of one of my parents' volleyball parties, they ought to be thematically linked.

Hence the slightly terrifying volleyball.


I've discovered that it is much, much easier (and prettier) to frost using tips and bags than to try to make a smooth surface. Not to mention, I'm not very good at piping a picture, even if it is a picture made up entirely of curved lines. I got quite a few questions as to what they were suppose to be

. I don't think I could quite get a job at Sprinkle with that skill level. The black was just the vanilla buttercream with black food coloring dumped in, piped through a teeny frosting tip. Eventually, I realized that it would have been a lot easier if I had made chocolate frosting and made that black, rather than go from a white base. Derp. Again, this is why I'm not a professional.

I wanted to use the strawberry cake recipe from my mom's birthday, but Apron of Grace website seems to have gone defunct. Instead, I googled and found an "adaptation". Because I had never saved the recipe, I don't know how different it is from the original Apron of Grace. The cupcakes were deliciously moist and properly strawberry flavored, though I do still wish I had tried it with lime frosting!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The story of Creech

finished object friday

I'm so close to being caught up with blog posts for recently completed projects. Mostly I'm just in need of photos. I've also been doing a really good job of taking photos of projects I completed a long time ago, but just never photographed

I counted this project towards my 12 in 2012, and it kind of feels like cheating because it was SO quick. Seriously, like two hours and I was completely done.


I think she needs a little backstory.

Once upon a time, Monkey discovered that not only was I incredibly susceptible to extreme weather, but my primary diet is ice cream, soda, and Taco Bell. Since clearly no human can survive on such a nutrient deprived lifestyle, he came to the unquestionable conclusion that I'm secretly a reptilian alien.

After a while, it finally came out that I'm the last of my kind, I live on an invisible spaceship that has caused me to be utterly pathetic because everything is given to me with a push of a button. I think he ought to make this a children's book. In any case, this running joke eventually led to his renaming me "Creature", or "Creech" for short.

When I first found out that Monkey would be away this summer for two months, I threatened to hide in his luggage- which of course led to more jokes about how he'd open his rucksack for supplies only to find me inside, having eaten all of his MREs.


So, as a surprise, I whipped up the tiny dinosaur pattern out of the Teeny Tiny MochiMochi book, because it matched all descriptions Monkey came up with for me. I told him that this was a teeny version of me, and it was going with him to keep an eye on him while he was away.


First, she had to examine his luggage to make sure everything was packed properly and he had enough underwear.


Then, I had to make sure she understood all of my (and her) favorite things. Like my new sunglasses. She looks almost as fabulous as I do in them.


Finally, after all of that hard work, we stopped for a delicious drink- a tall caramel frappuccino with coconut syrup from Starbucks. Yummmm. Her pattern was ridiculously simple and quick, and utterly awesome. I really enjoy the toy patterns like that, where they have creative photography and cute little back-stories/descriptions. I used leftover yarn from my Citron and a smidge of pink yarn from my hexipuffs for the spikes.

In the last message Monkey sent me before he had to give up his cell phone, he included a photo of the mini Creature hanging out with his stuff in the barracks. I don't know if she'll come back from his trip, let alone come back in one piece, so thankfully she was a super quick knit, and the book she came in is something I'd recommend to anyone who likes quick, cute toys or has a middle school girl in their life, as it took quite a lot of effort to rescue the stuffie from my sister.

 All in all, one of the most fun projects I've worked on!