Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An Inventory of Finished Objects 2008 edition

Knitting:
(1) Knit Washcloth--sugar and cream--Mountains and Molehills pattern
(2) Baby A's Blankie squares--Tahki Cotton Classic--Mitered Blanket/Mason Dixon
(3) Knit Washcloth--sugar and cream--Round Dishcloth Pattern
(4) Knit Washcloth--sugar and cream--Octogonal Swirl pattern
(5) Baby Bolero--Encore Colorspun Worsted--Baby Bolero(One Skein)
(6) Jaywalker socks--RRFW Aspen sock--Jaywalker
(7) Trekking is for Necking scarf--Trekking XXL--TifK pattern(Nipperknits)
(8) Basic Socks--Opal--Classic Beginnings Socks for the Family(Wymans)
(9) Bella's Fingerless Gloves--Knit Picks Swish--Stitch-n-Snitch
(10) Rage's Lapis socks--STR Lightweight--Classic Beginnings Socks for the Family(Wymans)
(11) Horcrux Socks--Jojoland Melody--Six Sox Knitalong
(12) Winter Hat--Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport--Knitters Handy Book of Patterns(Budd)
(13) Felted Backpack--Lamb's Pride Bulky--Bags, a Knitter's Dozen
(15) 40+ Barn Raising Squares--various sock yarns--Knitalong

Stitching:
(1) QS Swimming with Dolphins(HAED/Tate)--page 5

Reading:
(1) Dream Chaser(Kenyon)
(2) Twilight(Meyer)--reread
(3) New Moon(Meyer)--reread
(4) Dark Needs at Night's Edge(Cole)
(5) Dark Desires After Dark(Cole)
(6) Blood Noir(Hamilton)
(7) What I Learned from Knitting. . .whether I wanted to or not(McPhee)
(8) Dark Lover(Ward)
(9) Lover Eternal(Ward)
(10) Breaking Dawn(Meyer)
(11) Acheron(Kenyon)
(12) Lover Awakened(Ward)
(13) Lover Revealed(Ward)
(14) Eat-Clean Diet(Reno)
(15) Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook(Reno)
(16) Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids(Reno)
(17) Lover Unbound(Ward)
(18) Lover Enshrined(Ward)
(19) Glass Houses(Caine)
(20) The Dead Girls' Dance(Caine)
(21) Midnight Alley(Caine)
(22) Feast of Fools(Caine)
(23) It Itches!(Habit)
(24) One Silent Night(Kenyon)
(25) Vampire Diaries: The Awakening(Smith)--reread
(26) Vampire Diaries: The Struggle(Smith)--reread
(27) Vampire Diaries: The Fury(Smith)--reread
(28) Vampire Diaries: Dark Reunion(Smith)--reread
(29) Twilight(Meyer)--reread, again
(30) Dark Lover(Ward)--reread

Barn Raising--2008

The final group of squares for the year. This project isn't finished but it's about halfway there :)

These five squares I finished randomly since I last posted about the blanket.

Here's the big picture:


Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goals for 2008--Revisited

Taken from my January 1, 2008 post:

Knitting:
**Log all stash onto Ravelry--NOPE, honestly, it gets very boring and tedious doing that.
**Finish all outstanding WIPs--no, I really need to work on that one.

Stitching:
**Finish HAED QS Swimming with Dolphins(Tate)--no but I did finish a page
**Finish, at least, 2 pages on HAED I Love Thee(Seed)--I finished 1.5 pages
**Start and finish HAED "K"(Fenech)--started didn't finish
**Work on Provence Sampler(Lavender and Lace) during HAEDless SAL weekends--I did until I got disqualified in the fall I believe

Reading:
**12 books/average out to one new book per month(excludes rereads)--Oh YES, I read a lot for me this year(you'll have to see tomorrow's post)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Year in Review 2008

I did this last year and it was more "knitting-centric". This year I've altered it to include just about everything I've been up to this year.

1. your best FO of the year:
Honestly, my Bella's fingerless gloves. I use them all the time.

2. best FO of the year made by a blog you link to:
The Big Red Barn Raising Blanket--love the color and I love the reason behind it(I even made four squares in it).


3. best yarn you tried:
Dream in Color Smooshy--love the colors and the yarn

4. best new(to me) book/mag/pattern of 2008:

Book: The Black Dagger Brotherhood series(which I plan on rereading soon), Knitalong(love that book--it was huge inspiration this year), The Gentle Art of Domesticity

Magazine: Artful Blogging, Clean Eating, Oxygen

Pattern:
Mandala Shawl (on Ravelry)
Hedwig Owl Cowl (on Ravelry)

5. best new technique or gadget you tried in 2008:
You know, I'm pretty stumped on this one. I didn't try any new knitting techniques or gadgets this year--at least not that I can think of.

Cross stitching wise, I did start a couple of HAED pieces without gridding(flying without a net so to speak).

Exercise wise--I tried yoga and yoga blocks and I liked both :)


6. top 5 inspirations--what five things inspired you the most over the past year?
**JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kresley Cole, and Stephenie Meyer--they are my paranormal romance writing heroes. I love their books.
**Artful Blogging, Cottage Living--both of those magazines are so inspiring to me
**Ink Circles and Heaven and Earth Designs--they always inspire my stitching
**Cathe Friedrich--my DVD personal trainer
**Oxygen Magazine and Clean Eating(the books and the magazine)--these inspire me to try and make myself better.

7. designer who most amazed & inspired you throughout the year:
**Ink Circles--for stitching
**Chic Knits--for knitting

8. Challenges for 2009--what's next for you and your blog?
I've decided not to make "resolutions" in 2009 but rather give myself "challenges" throughout the year.

The first challenge will be a year long one regarding my mind/body. It will consist of changes in diet, challenges in my workout routines, and some introspection. Suffice it to say there will be lots of sweat, reading, thinking, and journaling(some offline/some online).

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fabulous Felted Child's Backpack


Stats:
Pattern: Fabulous Felted Backpack from Bags: A Knitters Dozen.
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky in Victorian Pink

I have actually had the knitting and felting done for a couple of weeks, but it took me forever to get around to sewing the strap to the bag. This is the second one of these I have made and a lesson that I have learned is that, at least for our washing machine, one felting is enough. Both of the backpacks I have made I felted twice and that seems to lose just enough definition. It is kind of a toss up because I think that one felting would keep stitch definition but two felting makes it sturdier.

This will probably be my last project of the year--unless I finish Rage's hat in the next few days.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Cookies

On the 23rd, we spent the evening decorating cut-out cookies. The kiddos love doing that. Here's what we came up with:

This is my favorite new cookie cutter. We bought it on our Disney trip and I've been waiting until now to use it. I love that it is a Mickey head and that it makes HUGE cookies.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!




You Are a Tree



You love every part of the holidays, down to the candy canes and stockings. And you're goofy enough to put a Christmas tree ornament on your tree!



I do actually have a couple of Christmas tree ornaments on my tree ;)

Friday, December 19, 2008

One Down, One to Go


Diva's winter hat is done.
It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Bittersweet, size 4 needles.
The pattern is from Ann Budd's Knitters Handy Book of Patterns

Now onto Rage's hat.
It's Cascade 220 Heathers in orange, size 8 needles.
Same pattern.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crazy Week is Coming to a Close

And the icing on the cake is knitting time with the crew. I'll be cooking up a storm tomorrow.

We just got back from Diva's choir concert and boy did that bring back memories of my time in band. It was a lot of fun once I got past the stench wafting our way. There was this person sitting behind us who must smoke at least a pack a day because this person absolutely reeked of cigarettes. Do smokers realize that the smoke smell sticks on them all the time? Their skin, their clothes, everything? I tried not to breathe through my nose the whole time(which I'm sure was really attractive) but I still got a good whiff at various points during the concert. I guess the saving grace was that the concert was only an hour long.

I'm off to bed. I'll put up come cookie pictures when we're done with them this weekend :)

Oh, and I got 95% of my gift wrapping done. That is a huge undertaking and I'm usually doing it late into the night on Christmas Eve so I'm thrilled with myself right now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crazy Week in Progress

This is a crazy week here at Casa KiP.

Monday--I volunteered in my kiddos school library--I love it there, I'm a book girl.

Tuesday--Jury Duty--ugh--what a waste of time. I know it's my civic duty and all.

Wednesday--finish last minute shopping stuff before kiddos are off for break and Diva has dress rehearsal for her choir concert.

Thursday--finish last minute shopping(it's Diva and Rage's last day of school until 2009) and Diva's Choir Concert(the FINAL winter concert thank goodness).

Friday--Cooking--cookies and knitting goodies :)

Saturday--babysitting for neighbors

That's just the "extras" there is also everything I normally do during the week. I'm going to need a break after this week ;)

Monday, December 15, 2008

I want to Carreaux.

I want this pattern. I can't wait until it comes up for sale on the Ink Circles site. I think it would look stunning in DMC 115.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sweater Quiz




You Are an Argyle Sweater



You are contemplative, brainy, and serious.

You don't take much lightly - life is too important for that.



You are a very determined person. You don't let anything stand in your way.

You think out your actions and act deliberately. You don't waste time, money, or resources.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Resolutions--Early Thoughts

I'm thinking more along the line of "challenges" this year rather than actual resolutions. Mostly having to do with my health(mental and physical). I may add in some having to do with knitting and stitching but not for a while.

So, anyone out there reflecting on this year and looking towards the next?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cookie Time


It's getting to be that time. . .Christmas cookie prep time. My favorite cookies are cut outs; they are the only ones I make. I've taken my annual inventory today and next week will be cookie prep week. Two days for two batches and one day for frosting/decorating. It's my last dessert hurrah for the year, so I'm going to make it a yummy one.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I got nothin'

Today I am too tired and too cranky to have anything of value to say(but this should still count as a post in my December posting quest).

I'm going to bed :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Snow

Snow--at least 6 inches of it--not enough to close schools but enough to make driving this morning a challenge. I drop Diva and Rage off at school and on days like this they usually let the kiddos line up inside. Well, not this morning. They wanted them to line up outside. Diva has no problem with this--she loves to be out in the snow--and I can trust her not to make a break for it. Rage would have no problem with it either BUT since I have to stay with him until he goes inside I have a BIG problem with it. I did the whole "freeze your A$$ off outside" thing during my K-12 experience and the day I got my diploma I vowed to NEVER stand out in the cold again--which is what I told the admin who insisted to me more than once that the kiddos were supposed to line up outside.

The only plus I have seen with Colorado snow is that it is very powdery so at least it's easy to shovel. When I was growing up near Buffahole(I mean Buffalo), I hated shoveling. The snow weighed a TON and took forever to get off the driveway and the car. Plus it drifted which made the shoveling all the more rewarding.

After shoveling this morning, I went inside and got lost in a reread of Twilight. Spending the morning with vampires makes me forget the nastiness outside :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Saturday at the Mansion

Diva had her choir debut at the HR Mansion on Saturday, so while she was warming up I wandered around and got a few pictures.

Here is one of the lamps that lights the veranda. Since the house is over 100 years old I was thinking that these must have been lit with gas or oil at some point?


These two are of the mansion itself--there is actually about 1/3 of it I didn't get into these pictures because of the position of the sun and my options for places to stand while taking the picture. This. house. was. HUGE.




They were also giving hayrides and this is the team that took us around the property. Two lovely Percherons(and for size reference--Rage was almost as tall as one of their legs).

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Christmas Survey

My sisters and I emailed this to each other so I thought I'd post my answers here. If you do it let me know, I'd love to see your answers :)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper. If I had an infinite amount of time I'd love to do really fancy wrapping with all my presents--you know with lots of ribbon. In a moment of insanity I have even thought about knitting "ribbon"--like I-cord or something more intricate.

2. Real tree or artificial?
Artificial--I can't even keep a plant alive. A Christmas tree in our house would become a fire hazard in record time.

3. When do you put up the tree?
The day after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down?
New Year's Day.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Yes, or at least I used to. I have not had it in ages. Now my big treat is the occasional eggnog latte.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
My Breyer horses. For many years all I would ask for were Breyer horses. I still have them(at my parent's house). My absolute favorite was the Black Stallion. We are trying to figure out how to get them out here--they would be a nightmare to ship because they are fairly delicate.


7. Hardest person to buy for?
My husband.


8. Easiest person to buy for?
Diva and Rage.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, it sits up high on our mantle so Diva and Rage don't take off with various farm animals and baby Jesus.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail, but as of the last couple of years I have been really bad about getting any Christmas cards out and this year will be especially difficult as I have NO idea where I put my address book.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I should probably not answer this question, but my husband is the king of bad gifts a tradition dating back to our dating days. We've known each other for almost 25 years and I have had 2 Christmas gifts that showed any type of forethought(both after we were married thank goodness).

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
Elf.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
November.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Cut out Christmas cookies.

16. Lights on the tree?
Lots of white lights--lots, and lots, and lots. If I could get a tree made entirely of lights I would do it.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
Carol of the Bells.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay home--way too hard to travel with kiddos at Christmas time.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Yes, is there anyone that can't?

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas morning.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Traffic, it gets worse and worse at the malls and grocery stores the closer you get to Christmas.

22. Favorite ornament theme or color?
My tree right now is covered almost entirely with Hallmark ornaments. I have been collecting them since 1994; they all have special meaning to us so it's fun to get them out each year.

I also have a dream of getting a second tree and covering it completely in hand made ornaments.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Nothing really. I'd like to get the will power to lose the rest of the weight I have to lose and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

24. Angel on the tree top or a star?
This year we have a star. Usually I put a large ribbon bow on top of the tree. I'd really love to have an ornament finial up there next year.

25. Favorite Christmas dinner?
Well, it used to be sushi(when we lived in Hawaii) but now I don't really have a "favorite" Christmas dinner. I usually make filet Mignon with rice and veggies. Nothing too fancy.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Winter



I saw this when I was picking up Rage the other day and it reminded me of a Christmas card.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Happy Birthday!


Happy Birthday, Little Rage!

Mommy loves her best buddy :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Twilight

I bet you thought I'd be talking about the movie again--well you'd be incorrect.

I bought the soundtrack the other day and, unlike the movie, I loved it! It's a great mixture of mellow and rockin' tunes.

My personal favorites, so far, are:
Supermassive Black Hole--this song just plain rocks
Full Moon--this one is an odd one because it goes completely against everything I usually listen to
Leave Out All the Rest--not surprising since I have 3 Linkin Park CDs
Go All the Way(Into the Twilight)--Perry Farrell, who knew he'd still be cool. I loved Jane's Addiction. I'm actually listening to this one as I type this, love it!

So, even if you really disliked the movie the soundtrack is worth a listen.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hats and Mitts--part 1

I need to get some mittens and hats made for Diva and Rage. Diva's hat is on the needles right now. Diva chose some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in the Bittersweet colorway.

I'm on the homestretch with this hat then it will be on to Rage's Road Cone Orange hat.

********************

Last night we went over to our neighbor's to watch the unrated version of Step Brothers. That movie is hysterical and all the of the deleted scenes and the gag reel are well worth the price of the two disc DVD. John C. Riley's character, Dale, reminds me WAY too much of my own son, Rage.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

National Blog Posting Month--December Edition

NaBloPoMo for short. Did you know they did this every month and not just in November? I didn't but I'm going to give it a shot this month.



This month's theme is Thanks!; I am certain that almost all my posts this month will not follow theme.

But today I can say thanks to myself for getting done with 85% of my Christmas shopping in November and getting most of the Christmas decorations up. I hate waiting until December to get shopping done. Now if I could only find my address book I could get Christmas cards done :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

November Wrap Up/December Goals

December Goals:

Knitting:
**finish gifty knitting

Stitching:
**work on something

Weight loss/exercise:
**hold steady weight wise
**log into Peertrainer at least every other day
**keep a log of every BLT(bite, lick, taste) in an effort to stop the bleeding on the weight gain front
**try for four sixty minute workouts per week

Reading:
**I may reread either Harry Potter or Twilight

November Goals:

Knitting:
**finish the Horcrux/Socktober socks--Yes
**maybe finish a square or two--started one square
**gifty knitting--finished one gift/started two others

Stitching:
**chip away at the two pages I want to finish on I Love Thee--no stitching this month

Other:
**lose, at least, the 2 pounds I gained in October--nope and not only that I gained 2 more--ugh
**see if I meet my 60 in 60 goal this time(round two if you're counting)--nope and I'm saving the next round to begin in January
**finish my 4th Nanowrimo Novel--no, because I never really felt "it" with this one(like I said in a previous post). This is the first time I haven't finished Nano and I KNOW that it will bother enough that I'll probably try and double my word count next year.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight--Thoughts on the Movie

Well overall I disliked more than I liked about the movie.

Pros:
–James and Victoria–they were great. James was so good that he made anyone in a scene with him look bad.
–Alice and Emmett--perfect casts
–Jacob–although I’m not sure how they are going to make him the Jacob in New Moon; he'll need to start lifting(a lot) and growing(a lot)
–Bella’s father–he cracked me up
–Edward–I’ve liked RP since he was Cedric so he gets a pass from me :)

Cons:
–the staring–how many scenes were there where they were just staring at each other? Way too many for me. It reminded me of a really crappy soap opera. Dialogue(the audience can hear) is a good thing in a movie.
–numerous little things-–starting with Bella’s hair blowing in the fan scene--that was sooooo cheesy.
–the fact that Bella went from thinking Edward hated her to not being able to live without him in about 5 minutes. I’d be interested to know what the actual elapsed time for that was in the movie. To me that whole transition and acceptance thing is critical in establishing their relationship through the next 3 books.
–Jasper–nice looking guy, really horrible character(I’m hoping that was through no fault of his own; maybe he made the best of the script he was dealt–not that he had many/any lines?). Did Jasper skulk around all the time in the books?
–Bella–I didn’t like KS as a cast to begin with and she didn’t prove me wrong, unfortunately.
-The soundtrack--I never realized how much a good score affects the way I feel about a movie. A lot of the instrumental music in this movie was very "soap opera-ish". Maybe they should look into Hans Zimmer or John Williams.

It is really disappointing to me how badly it seems to have been done. Maybe they threw it into production too quickly. During the movie I just kept telling myself–maybe all teen movies are this bad. Are they? Along the same lines, did anyone else have people laughing at times that I don't think were intended to be funny?

I’m just curious. If you hadn’t read any of the books, would you even want to after seeing the movie? I’m not sure I would and I loved the first three books. It reminded me of when I saw Eragon--I loved the book and hated the movie and I saw it with people who had not read the book and they didn't understand what was going on.

So I don't know if seeing it a second time will change how I saw it on Thursday night. I doubt it and I'm not sure I want to waste more money doing it. It is sad to me really because the book gave the movie so much potential and I really, really, really went into the movie wanting to like it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Creature Comforts

What could be better than sitting in a comfy chair with a good read and a mug of something warm and steamy?


I picked up the new issue of Artful Blogging today and while I was in Barnes and Noble I wandered into Starbucks and what did I find:


Only the coolest cable knit mug which I had to have.

I also got a new Laurell Hamilton book(the next in the Merry Gentry series) and Mary Englebreit's Home Companion--which has a great article on Amy Butler in it. And if you haven't seen Artful Blogging before check it out. It is kind of pricey but you could get a Starbucks and read it at the book store. I just found this magazine with the Autumn 2007 issue and it really is worth the $14.99. The pictures are stunning and the articles are interesting--makes me want to be a "real" blogger ;)

Horcrux Socks

I'm a couple weeks late for Socktoberfest but here are the socks I was working on:

Finally, after a false start(back in 2007) and a long vacation in the WIP pile, my Horcrux socks are done.

Here are the stats:
Needles: 2.5 dpns
Yarn: Jojoland Melody
Pattern: Horcrux socks from the Six Sox KAL

I loved this yarn because the colorway is the same as the cover of the Half Blood Prince, but the yarn itself is kind of pain to work with; it's very splitty.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Nanowrimo--Ugh!

Feel free to completely disregard this post if you do not want to read my National Novel Writing Month Ramblings.

I am having a crisis of sorts because I am absolutely NOT feeling "it" with my story right now. I have written 12,300+ words so far and so I am not behind but I have not written in the last two days.

I think the first problem is that I am trying to bridge my story from my first year with a short story I wrote over the summer containing the same characters just in the future from where the first story took place. The bridge itself is not the problem. I have an outline of major storyline things that are supposed to happen along the way. The problem is that I need to focus on two characters. Two characters that need to develop a very serious relationship so that the bridge to the short story will make sense. I am just not in the "building a relationship writing place" if there even is such a thing. Also, I have a character in the story who I happen to love and he seems to be asserting himself more than the characters that need to be the focus of this part of the story.

Part of me wants to soldier on and at least get a basic story down on paper which will hopefully lead to 50,000 words.

Part of me want to stop, I'm not going to say quit because I know I will write this eventually(I need to know what happens). I love these characters and this story and I don't want to push myself through part of it because I feel like I "have" to.

At this point I am at a stalemate but I am sort of leaning towards shelving this year's Nano(even though there is a part of me that does not want to do that).

So to sum up, UGH!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Yarn that Followed Me Home ;)

October yielded some sock yarn shopping and even though I shouldn't have, I did :)

Some Socks that Rock in Basan and two in Lenore(I have been lusting after Lenore since I first saw it as a Club offering last year).


Some Red Rocks Fiber Works Aspen Sock in the No Repeat colorway. Limited addition and on sale--I just couldn't resist.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

October Wrap Up and November Goals

October Wrap Up:

Knitting:
**one pair of Socktober Socks--almost one pair(sock 1 done/75% of sock 2 done)
**gifty knitting--Done, still working

Stitching:
**HAED SAL Challenge--QS Swimming with Dolphins--Nope, and that's 3 strikes and out for that SAL for me.

Other:
**lose 5 pounds--gained 2 pounds--ugh! I was not very focused this month.
**finish half of my new 60 in 60 challenge--I did not get halfway but I did workout quite a bit. I don't know my current minutes off the top of my head but I want to say that I'm around 1000.

November Goals:

Other:
**lose, at least, the 2 pounds I gained in October
**see if I meet my 60 in 60 goal this time(round two if you're counting)
**finish my 4th Nanowrimo Novel

Knitting:
**finish the Horcrux/Socktober socks
**maybe finish a square or two
**gifty knitting

Stitching:
**chip away at the two pages I want to finish on I Love Thee

Serendipity

Diva, Rage, and I embarked on a trip to WalMart a couple of days before Halloween on quest for candy and a couple of random household items. Of course, we also took some time to wander around the store.

Rage HAS to spend a good amount of time looking at the LEGO isle--the boy has a very serious Lego addiction.

Diva also likes to wander through various sections of the store: toys, videos/video games, haircare products, nail polish, and bags.

Of course, the last of which warms my heart as I have created a little bag worshipper much like myself. Truly collecting different knitting bags is almost as a much of a hobby for me as knitting itself. We were wandering around the area of haircare products and nail polish when I happened upon this little bit of girly skully goodness and knew I had to have it:

Do you love it? Well, aside from all the pink, I do. I figured that since I have two Lexie Barns bags with a black and pink skully print this wouldn't be too much of a departure. It's a good size for a couple of smaller projects and the print is almost exactly something I have been looking for. Plus it was ultra cheap, as is the WalMart way.

Serendipity at its finest.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!



This year Little Diva was ready to jump into the world of pumpkin carving. She chose the emoticon ;), we chose to put it on the pumpkin facing the traditional way rather than sideways. I think she did a great job.

And Rage, with possibly a little prompting from me--his personal pumpkin carver, choose a skull and crossbones. I loved carving that and I'm so glad he picked it because I would have had to go buy another pumpkin to do it myself if he didn't.

We are being blessed here with extraordinarily nice weather for this late in the year and I have a feeling that our Halloween will be loaded with lots of Trick or Treaters.

Nice weather + Halloween on a Friday = Lots of kiddos

Don't overdose on candy everyone :)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October Stitching

First of all, where did this month go? I feel like it passed in a blur and as I have been sitting here pondering what exactly I accomplished this month I am hard pressed to remember what happened in September and what happened in October--this year seems to be quickly flying to a close.

I do know that I made a dent in one of my HAED WIPs, I Love Thee(Seed). I am not sure how well you'll be able to see if from the pictures but I filled in a lot of stitches around Aragorn's bangs--did you know this piece was a tribute to Arwen and Aragorn(look here for other pieces in her Romance Series)? The stitched piece I am working on differs slightly from the original art pieces but the characters contained within are the same. I absolutely love working on this one and I am hoping to finish the two pages I am currently working on by the end of the year.

Before(at the end of September):


After:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Neat Quiz

**This was an interesting quiz. I was surprised by the results.

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Traditional, Vibrant, and Tasteful

10 Islamic, 6 Impressionist, -2 Ukiyo-e, -23 Cubist, -14 Abstract and 2 Renaissance!


Islamic art is developed from many sources: Roman, Early Christian, and Byzantine styles were taken over in early Islamic architecture; the architecture and decorative art of pre-Islamic Persia was of paramount significance; Central Asian styles were brought in with various nomadic incursions; and Chinese influences . Islamic art uses many geometical floral or vegetable designs in a repetitive pattern known as arabesque. It is used to symbolize the transcendent, indivisible and infinite nature of Allah.


People that like Islamic art tend to be more traditional people that appreciate keeping patterns that they learned and experienced from their past. It is not to say that they are not innovative personalities, they just do not like to let go of their roots. They like to put new ideas into details and make certain that they will work before sharing them with others. Failure is not something they like to think about because they are more interested in being successful and appreciated for their intelligence. These people can also be or like elaborate things in their life as long as they are tasteful. They tend to prefer geometric patterns and vibrant colors.



Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

Friday, October 10, 2008

You know you want to. . .

write 1667 words per day for a month!

For the last three years, I have spent the month of November participating in the madness that is National Novel Writing Month(nanowrimo, for short) and this year will be no exception.

I've loved doing it(and hated it on some days--when things aren't flowing particularly well). I look forward to completing my fourth year.

Why do I put myself through it year after year?
**I love the challenge it presents.
**I love staying up really, really late at night--just me, my iPod, my computer, my characters, and my story(it's worth being exhausted by the end of the month)
**I love that I can just let everything go and write completely getting lost in my story while letting my characters guide the way.
**I love that it allows me to explore genres that I normally would not try.
**I love having a 50,000 word novel at the end of the month that is just for me :)
**I feel like I have to earn the T-Shirt I treat myself to each year.

So, anyone out there brave enough to embark on the madness as well? You know you want to--especially since it is the 10 year anniversary this year.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Look What I Got

I have been waiting, not so patiently, for months and it is finally here. The Opal Harry Potter yarn has arrived in Colorado and in an unprecedented move for me, I splurged on two of each skein :)

**top row(left to right): Hedwig, Harry, Ron and Harry, Ron
**bottom row(left to right): Draco, Tonks, Lupin, Dumbledore

I have loved Opal sock yarn since I started knitting socks back in 2004 and this yarn is no exception. I love how Tonks and Lupin's colorways are somewhat related. Hedwig looks great too. My biggest beef, I guess, is that instead of a "Harry and Ron" combo colorway why couldn't they have done a Hermione? Or since it's a tribute to Half Blood Prince wouldn't Snape be a logical choice. Not complaining, just sayin' is all.

And just because I like looking at them, here's another pic:


And another that I messed with using my photo editing software(I can't really tell the difference though?):

Thursday, October 02, 2008

HAED Background SAL

I pulled out I Love Thee for the HAED background SAL. I just love this piece.

Before:


After:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

September Wrap Up & October Goals

September Wrap Up:

Knitting:
**finish 4 squares--finished 3.5
**finish a pair of socks--nope, but Socktober is coming up
**start some gifty knitting--DONE

Stitching:
**QS Swimming with Dolphins for the HAED SAL Challenge weekend--DONE

Reading:
**finish 2 books--DONE, finished 3

Other:
**lose 5 pounds--lost 3
**finish my 3600 minutes in 60 days challenge--ended up with 2498, so I fell a little short but I'm really not that upset about it. I will definitely push harder for the next round.

October Goals:

Knitting:
**one pair of Socktober Socks
**gifty knitting

Stitching:
**HAED SAL Challenge--QS Swimming with Dolphins

Other:
**lose 5 pounds
**finish half of my new 60 in 60 challenge

Socktoberfest 2008




I think I'm going to work on finishing up socks that are already on the needles.

I Heart Gansey Socks:


Horcrux(one or both colorways I've started):

**the pictured sock is actually frogged, so I'll be starting from square one with this pair**

Friday, September 19, 2008

Avast me Brethren and Beauties!

Tis Black Bess Cash here to regale you with tales from the pirate wench needles. Between me wenching and thieving I try to find the time to partake of this most glorious and honorable hobby you lubbers call knitting. Tis a banner day here as a new project has boarded the needles. Dyed with the blood of bilge rats who have crossed me, I am one repeat of eight into this epic quest.

Going against me usual weapons of choice, I chose the large and threatening size 11 needle--smaller by a hair than me broad sword.

Whether you be a jolly pirate or one who sails on the dark side, join the pirate revolution and partake in International Talk like a Pirate Day. Take me personal recommendation and peruse the New and Improved Pirate pick up lines.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stitching. . . minimal as it is

This past weekend was the HAED SAL Challenge weekend and here's what I got accomplished. It's great to be hitting the bottom of the piece--it makes goal setting easier--get to the end of a column and I'm done :)






Busy, busy as usual. I don't know when all the craziness here is going to let up.

Happy knitting and stitching!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Blogging Blahs

I feel like I should post something but honestly there just isn't a lot of "blog worthy" stuff going on here at Casa KiP.

I'm fully enveloped in the getting back into the groove of kiddos in school--you know fighting about homework, fighting about getting up in the morning, fighting about when to go to bed at night. Plus, Little Diva has decided to get into some activities at school--which hurray for her, I'm so proud BUT at the same time boo for me who has to tote her everywhere. Also, fall has descended upon Colorado with a big thud and we have to replenish the kiddos closets with fall worthy items. Normally this isn't a problem but this year Diva has become VERY hands on as far as what she wants in her closet which means that mommy's clothes buying days are pretty much over(at least for Diva--Rage doesn't care what I get him, but boys are really boring to dress).

Then there is the age old struggle I have with what to do with my limited free time. Do I knit? stitch? workout? read a good book? Lately working out has been winning and then at night when I have a bit more free time I'm too tired to craft; I just sit and stare blankly into space most of the time.

I did go to see Nine Inch Nails on Tuesday. And IT WAS AWESOME!!! The show was great, the company was great(see Stacey's blog for details), and it goes without saying that Trent was spectacular. Ahh, Trent(**excuse me while I go daydream for a bit).

Okay, I'm back. Let's see what else have I been up to. . .my sisters and I give each other monthly health related challenges. This month we have decided to explore the world of Clean Eating(**see Tosca Reno's book called The Eat-Clean Diet for details). The goal, for me, is to try and eat clean at least 90% of the time. It's going pretty well and I am enjoying trying new things.

I guess that's about it. Hopefully I'll have some knitting and stitching related goodness to show you later in the month. I already have two Barn Raising Squares done.

Well, back to the family. Later taters!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Is Summer Really Over? August Wrap-up/September Goals

August Goals:

Knitting:
**no new cast ons--DONE--I finished 1 Barn Raising Square and 1/2 a sock.

Stitching:
**QS Swimming with Dolphins(SAL weekend 8-11)--DONE
**Provence Sampler(SAL weekend 15-18)--not done, kept working on the above QS and consequently eliminated myself from the HAEDless SAL.
**TT K (2 QS Wednesdays)--not done, see above

Reading:
**finish 2 books--D.O.N.E.
I read:
Breaking Dawn(Meyer)
Acheron(Kenyon)
Lover Awakened(Ward)
Lover Eternal(Ward)
Lover Revealed(Ward)
Eat-Clean Diet(Reno)
Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook(Reno)--very little actual reading here
Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids(Reno)
Lover Unbound(Ward)

Other:
**workout for 1800 minutes--1396/1800--I need to pick up the pace if I intend to meet my goal of 3600 minutes total by the end of September.
**lose 5 pounds--lost 3


September Goals:

Knitting:
**finish 4 squares
**finish a pair of socks
**start some gifty knitting

Stitching:
**QS Swimming with Dolphins for the HAED SAL Challenge weekend

Reading:
**finish 2 books

Other:
**lose 5 pounds
**finish my 3600 minutes in 60 days challenge

Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympic Stitching--Closing Ceremonies

I have decided to challenge myself during the Olympics. I believe that knitting is a winter sport and the Knitting Olympics is the Harlot's domain. So I've decided that the summer Olympics, for me at least, are all about stitching.

Starting with Opening Ceremonies tonight and going through Closing Ceremonies I am going to get 300 stitches in per day on QS Swimming with Dolphins. Wish me luck because in addition to all of the this stitching, we have the madness of "back-to-school" next week.

Before(8Aug08):


After:


25Aug08: Olympic Update. Well, my Olympic stitching was a bust. I'm like one of those countries with like two athletes neither of which have a chance to medal they're just happy to be there. I got 1201 stitches done over the course of the games. It sounds good but in order to have reached my Olympic Gold I would have needed 4800. So I didn't make it to the podium--frankly with such a poor showing I can't even see the podium ;)

I did read 4 books over the course of the games though and I'm really happy about that.

I watched the Equestrian Events and a little bit of swimming. So Michael Phelps. . .here's what I think. I think that after swimming concluded he should have gone and competed in other events. Just picking random sports to "try out" as it were. He could have gotten lucky and possibly medaled in a couple of other things I'm sure. Can you imagine him just showing up for different Track and Field events? It cracks me up just thinking about it.

Enjoy your Olympic Stitching-Knitting and/or viewing!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Barn Raising--the July Edition

Here's the monthly update on the Barn Raising front.

This is the big picture(so to speak). All the squares I've made to date stacked up.


This picture is a little dark but these are the squares I knit for Diva and I this month.

**clockwise from top: STR Sherbet(Diva), Cherry Tree Hill(me), Skully square/STR Rook-y(me, because I made all mine to trade and didn't have one left for me), and RRFW Burning Rubber(me).

These are squares I got from Stacey and Wanda in exchange for a couple of Skullys(now I just need one from Miss Cynthia and I'll be all set--no hurry though).


Finally, these are squares for Stacey's Dad.

**clockwise from top: STR Ruby Slippers, STR Jasper, Great Adirondack in Cranberry Bog, and Opal.

I will not get as much done in August because school starts and I have some stitching and socks I want to work on :)

Friday, August 01, 2008

July Wrap Up/August Goals

July Goals:

Knitting--
**no new cast ons--finish stuff already on the needles--DONE, no new cast ons.
**I finished 6 Barn Raising Squares this month

Stitching--
**QS Swimming with Dolphins(SAL weekend 11-14)--DONE
**Provence Sampler(HAEDless SAL weekend 18-24)--skipped this month as my sis was in town.

Reading--
**finish one book--DONE, read Dark Lover by JR Ward


August Goals:

Knitting:
**no new cast ons

Stitching:
**QS Swimming with Dolphins(SAL weekend 8-11)
**Provence Sampler(SAL weekend 15-18)
**TT K (2 QS Wednesdays)

Reading:
**finish 2 books

Other:
**workout for 1800 minutes
**lose 5 pounds

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Doing My Part

If you are a HAED stitcher(Heaven and Earth Designs for the uninitiated) or you want to be one, now would be the time to buy a chart. Specifically, this chart:

Ching-Chou Kuik is the artist and she donated this piece for Michelle and Bob(the brilliant duo behind Heaven and Earth Designs) to use as a means of raising money for tornado relief. Their house and much of their property was destroyed by a tornado and they are overwhelmed with where to begin--to say the least. This chart will only be available for two weeks and then it's gone forever.

If you would like to help out, go here for the details.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Random Stuff

Sorry about the MIA-ness. It's been a busy July here at Casa KiP.

First there was the excitement of the 4th of July.


Then one of my sisters came out to visit--the first person from my family to come out since we moved here in 2005. She wanted to show her kiddos the mountains so we decided to take them to Glenwood Springs to swim in the hot springs. It's about a 3 hour drive from here to there and you definitely see a lot of mountains on the way.

**left to right--Tank(nephew), Little Diva-in-Training(niece), Diva, and Rage

My sister doesn't knit **gasp** or craft at all really **double gasp**. She runs, and runs, and runs, and then she runs some more. She came here to run in a higher elevation. There was much talk about her mile times and how ticked she was that she was running slower here. I just smiled, nodded, and said more power to ya. Why can't someone figure out how to get knitting/stitching to give you a runner's body? I'm jealous and envious of my sister and all the work she does, because it really pays off. But there is no way I'm ever running that much. Michelle very astutely observed that my sister's running mania was very similar to a knitter's need to knit or a stitcher's need to stitch--to each her own, I guess :)

We also got a new computer during all this July madness but we still don't have everything switched over. I'm still using the old one for Internet and pictures.

And, finally, today I registered Rage for Kindergarten and we went and paid all the fees you need to pay to start the school year as well as got the lists of all the supplies you have to buy--do NOT get me started on the ridiculous amount of stuff you have to buy(especially now that I'm buying stuff times two since both my kiddos are in school).

I will hopefully have some knitting and stitching content soon :)