Thursday, August 21, 2014

50 books, late summer update

Another year, another list.   50 still seems to be my magic number, so I'm sticking with it.  I started the year with a re-read, which is a bit surprising since I've been so good about reading new (to me) books.

I started with Herland because of David Brin's Glory Season.  He got some of his ideas from Herland, so I thought I'd refresh my memory.  Do not read the sequel, it's not as good.

I feel good about the list so far.  There are some "hard" books, some easy, and some middle of the road.

1 Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
2 Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
3 With her in Ourland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman

4 In the Mothers’ Land - Elisabeth Vonarburg (translated by Jane Brierley)
5 Forbidden - Ted Dekker/Tosca Lee
6 The Silent City - Elisabeth Vonarburg (translated by Jane Brierley)

7 The Broken Dragon - Irene Radford
8 The Summer Before - Ann M. Martin
9 Number the Stars - Lois Lowry
10 The Shadowhunter Codex - Cassandra Clare
11 Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich
12 Startide Rising - David Brin
13 Panic - Lauren Oliver
14 Fantastical Ramblings - Irene Radford
15 The Birthday Ball - Lois Lowry
16 Twins - Caroline Cooney
17 The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
18 The Terrorist - Caroline Cooney
19 Chicory Up - Irene Radford
20 Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye, Lois Lowry
21 The Spindlers - Lauren Oliver
22 Guardian of the Balance - Irene Radford
23 The Goddess Test - Aimee Carter
24 The Goddess Hunt - Aimee Carter
25 Liesl & Po - Lauren Oliver
26 The Goddess Interrupted - Aimee Carter
27 The Goddess Inheritance - Aimee Carter
28 Mortal - Ted Dekker/Tosca Lee
29 Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman
30 Sneak - Evan Angler
31 A Corner of the Universe - Ann M. Martin
32 The Same Stuff as Stars - Katherine Paterson
33 Storm - Evan Angler
34 Orange is the New Black - Piper Kerman

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sabrina's Barn Raising Quilt, finally

Clockwise from top left: Zest, Surf's up, Mango Tango

I needed to start a new project for vacation, as my son’s Barn Raising Quilt just needed to be sewn together and I didn’t want to take it with us.  I’ve been collecting STR Lightweight minis for a few years with the intent of eventually knitting my daughter a blankie out of them.  With mine finished and Elias’ almost done, I decided it was time.

I grabbed a few of the brightest minis and put them in my carry-on (the rest went in my checked bag).

On the airplane, I had a few moments to wind the mini into a ball and start a square.  The first mini I pulled out was “Surf’s Up,” I got a chuckle because we were going to Maui.  The next mini I pulled out a few days later was “Mango Tango.”  I instantly decided that the squares I knit on vacation were all going to be Hawaiian vacation themed.

After Mango Tango, I knit “Zest” because of all the citrus trees in Hawaii.  Then there was “Cockcrow” because we stay at my mother-in-law’s house and there are usually confused roosters crowing throughout the night and day (surprisingly, this year there weren’t any, the neighbors must of got rid of them).  

Next is a bit obscure.  One of our favorite cold treats is this dessert item found at Maui Mall.  It’s called Guri Guri, but pronounced “goodie goodie.”  I was surprised when I pulled out a mini called “Goodie Goodie”!  It was like Blue Moon Fiber Arts knew I would need these and named them appropriately! 

After that luck, I pulled out “Dragon Dance.”  The one Chinese restaurant we would always go to on Maui was called Dragon Dragon.  It closed earlier in the year and we were super bummed.  But I still knit a square in honor of it!

And lastly, on the way home I worked on “Twitterpated” because traveling with a 2 year old is just nuts.

(I feel like I'm missing one or two, I'll update when I figure it out)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Secret Housewarming Gift

I'm finally getting around to blogging about this wreath I made my brother and sister-in-law for their housewarming present.  What can I say, I'm busy!

$7 housewarming present!  It's not the price, but the thought that counts, right?  I wish I had time to make a little plaque with their last name on it.

For this wreath, I used one of the flying discs, like a frisbee, but with a hole in the center.  I wrapped that with ribbon, secured with packing tape.  Then Sabrina helped me hot glue the slippers to the frame.  I followed up by reinforcing them (because her gluing skills need some work, the trigger is a bit stiff for her fingers).

Next, I took a piece of ribbon and looped it around the bottom of a slipper, and around the back to hang it from (I don't like big bows and wreaths hanging from a giant ribbon.  (perhaps I'll take a picture of how I do these hoops)

After that, I took a lei held in the back and pushed through the whole between the skippers (to cover any of the frame).  Use hot glue to hold it in place. 

The final stage was just gluing the decorations on.  Somethings wouldn't glue where I wanted them (like the dolphin to the shovel) and I had to improvise.  I'm really happy with this and it's still hanging on their door almost 2 months later.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Wreath!

First, I'd like to say that I wish I was good a blogging.  I see lots of excellent crafty blogs that are updated regularly.  I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not that kind of person.  And I accept that.

Second, I was very crafty last night!  I made a super secret project for a housewarming present for my brother and sister-in-law.  They recently moved back to our home town of Scappoose!  While it's all exciting and stuff, it also is sad because they are now 45 minutes away instead of 15.  Boo!  It also means I'll probably be spending more time out in Columbia County.

Since I can't show that picture until tomorrow, I've shown you the summer wreath I made last year.  It had fallen off the wall and the kids pulled pieces off.  Since I had the glue gun out, I fixed it up with some new do-dads from the Dollar Tree.

And here's how it looked at the beginning of last summer:

Through out the summer I had added a few more little pieces. but that's the gist of what it was.  I guess I need to take a better picture of the new version.

You can find some of my inspirations on my So Wreathie Pintrest board. (they're towards the bottom)

Friday, February 7, 2014

50 books in 1 year: 2013

Another late 50 Books post...

Last year, almost everything I've read was a new to me book.  In fact, I think only 5 books are rereads and 3 of those are ones I've read out loud to Sabrina.

New this year, I'm including audiobooks.  I've never included them before because, well, I don't usually listen to them. They're great for on the train knitting!  But kind of a pain to check them out from the library.

I feel like I'm all over the place with this list, but it's been fun bouncing around from YA to fantasy to sci-fi to some Native American lit.

Goal: Just keeping track, but 50 would be great
1 Castle Roogna - Piers Anthony
2 Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris
3 A Dance with Dragons: Dreams and Dust (book 5, part 1) - George RR Martin

3a A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast (book 5, part 2) - George RR Martin
4 The Game of Silence - Louise Erdrich
5 Midnighters: The Secret Hour - Scott Westerfeld
6 Midnighters: Touching Darkness - Scott Westerfeld
7 Midnighters: Blue Noon - Scott Westerfeld

8 Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
9 Beezus and Ramon - Beverly Cleary (out loud w/Sabrina)
10 Sundiver - David Brin
11 Peeps - Scott Westerfeld

12 So Yesterday - Scott Westerfeld
13 End of Days - Scott Westerfeld
14 Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare
15 Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare
16 Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare

17 American Gods - Neil Gaiman
18 Janie Face to Face - Caroline B. Cooney
19 Ramona the Pest - Beverly Cleary (read out loud w/Sabrina)
20 Eye of the Heron - Ursula La Guin
21 Thistle Down - Irene Radford

22 Delirium - Lauren Oliver
23 City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
24 The Last Dragonslayer - Jasper Fforde
25 Ramona the Brave - Beverly Cleary (read out loud w/Sabrina)
26 The Antelope Wife - Louise Erdrich
27 City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare
28 Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver

29 The Round House - Louise Erdrich
30 Requiem - Lauren Oliver
31 Eragon - Christopher Paolini
32 The Porcupine Year - Louise Erdrich

33 Chickadee - Louise Erdrich
34 My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece - Annabel Pitcher (audiobook, read by David Tennant)
35 City of Glass - Cassandra Clare
36 Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli
37 Stardust - Neil Gaiman

38 Eldest - Christopher Paolini
39 Hounding the Moon - P.R. Frost (Irene Radford)
40 City of Fallen Angels - Cassandra Clare
41 Thimble Summer - Elizabeth Enright
42 Moon in the Mirror - P.R. Frost (Irene Radford)

43 Faery Moon - P.R. Frost (Irene Radford)
44 Silver: Return to Treasure Island - Andrew Motion (audiobook read by David Tennant)
45 The Silent Dragon - Irene Radford
46 The Song of the Quarkbeast - Jasper Fforde
47 Forest Moon Rising - P.R. Frost (Irene Radford)
48 City of Lost Souls - Casandra Clare

49 Luka and the Fire of Life - Salman Rushdie

50 Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
51 Glory Season - David Brin

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

When good projects go wrong, day 2.

I'm pretty sure I used a size 8 needle for this blanket...  And the new yarn is also from stash, but I'm 150% this is acrylic.  Like, bad acrylic.  Like, bought but never used acrylic.

Last night, I used a size 4 circular needle to pick up the bottom stitches (because, unlike most people, I don't bind off my sections when doing a log cabin, I just keep the stitches live till I come back around with the next color... so I had live stitches already, it was a plus for this part of the project, not so nice when I had to catch each one as I cut out the felt.).

After making sure I was starting at the right side, I knit across.  The last stitch in each row was knit together with the "live" stitch on the side so I won't have to seam up the sides when I am done. You can see in the above picture that the right side is not very nice looking.  I didn't notice that my knit 2 together on the wrong side was creating that weird bumpy thing until I was mostly done.  I am so not ripping it out and knitting it again.  The left side looks lovely, so it's just going to stay.  Maybe after washing it will look better?

The next step will be to pick up the stitches across the bottom of the next section.  I plan on doing a 3 needle bind off on the back side.  I hope it works!

50 books in 1 year: 2012 (really late update!)

(I composed this post in October... sheduled it to post automatically at 8:00 two days later... and I guess it didn't)

I finailly did it!  Actually, I went over!

1 Farmer Boy - Laura Ingalls Wilder
2 Little Men - Louisa May Alcott

3 Jo’s Boys - Louisa May Alcott
4 Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austin
5 A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula Le Guin
6 Northanger Abbey - Jane Austin
7 Tales from Planet Earth - Arthur C. Clark

 8 City of Masks - Mary Hoffman
9 Messenger - Lois Lowry
10 A Larger Universe - Gillaspy, James
11 The Black Pearl - Scott O’Dell
12 A Spell for Chameleon - Piers Anthony

13 City of Stars - Mary Hoffman
14 Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin
15 Island of the Blue Dolphin - Scott O’Dell
16 Mr. Popper’s Penguins - Richard Atwater

17 Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
18 The Borrowers - Mary Norton
19 The Borrowers Afield - Mary Norton
20 City of Flowers - Mary Hoffman
21 The Borrowers Afloat - Mary Norton
22 The Borrowers Aloft - Mary Norton
23 Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
24 The Borrowers Avenged - Mary Norton
25 City of Secrets - Mary Hoffman

26 City of Ships - Mary Hoffman
27 Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
28 The Plague of Doves - Louise Erdrich

29 A Clash of Kings - George R. R. Martin
30 Earth - David Brin

31 The Source of Magic - Piers Anthony
32 Storm Glass - Maria V. Snyder
33 Gossamer - Lois Lowry

34 I am the Messenger - Markus Zusak
35 Otherness - David Brin
36 Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister - Gregory Maguire
37 Mirror Mirror - Gregory Maguire
38 Lincoln’s Dreams - Connie Willis

39 A Storm of Swords- George R.R. Martin
40 Sea Glass - Maria M. Snyder
41 Spy Glass - Maria M. Snyder
42 Pippi Goes on Board - Astrid Lindgren  (out loud with Sabrina)
43 Troubadour - Mary Hoffman
44 Swipe - Evan Angler
45 City of Swords - Mary Hoffman
46 The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman

47 The Face on the Milk Carton - Caroline B. Cooney
48 The Willoughbys - Lois Lowry
49 A Feast for Crows- George R.R. Martin

50 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
51 Whatever Happened to Janie? - Caroline B. Cooney
52 The Voice On The Radio - Caroline B. Cooney
53 What Janie Found - Caroline B. Cooney

Year in review:  I read a lot of young adult books, but I also read a lot of books for the first time this year.  Usually 75% of what I read is books I've already read before.  I'd like to blame the library.  I keep finding more and more books to read.  And I'd like to blame my coworker who gives me "must reads" all the time.  I'm extremely happy to finally have met my goal last year.

In the future: Well, that's right now and a post for another day.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

When good projects go wrong...

Or, fixing a mistake

A long time ago, I knit Sabrina a baby blanket.  Not just any blanket; an Oregon Ducks log cabin!  So awesome!

Or not so awesome...  I used scraps from my stash.  I thought they were all acrylic.  I really did.  Months later, or even a year later, I noticed some pulling in of one section.  Uh-oh!  Wool.  100% wool. 

Fast forward another 4 years.

I've been thinking about this blanket every time I see it.  It's been washed.  And washed.  And washed.  Every time, I think about cutting the felted section out, picking the stitches up, and re knitting that section.  Really?  I didn't do it. 

Until last night.  Richard was folding clothes and came across the blanket.  The deformed blanket that my daughter loves.  He says, "Can't you fix it?"  and I immediately accepted the challenge.  I picked out a new green, found a darning needle, some extra yarn in a light color and some very sharp scissors. 

2 hours later:

It was late.  I was tired.  I may have snipped a stitch I shouldn't have, so I'll have to fix that as well.  Tonight, I'm going to try to re-knit it.