Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

To you! And You and You and YOU!

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The kids wanted to get dressed up today in pirate gear, so I improvised a piratical costume out of stuff around the house. Mock if you will, but I must say - the sabre is pretty awesome.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Something so small...

can really be a pain. No, for once, I'm not talking about the kids. I was in the ER last Tuesday with doctors hovering above me and debating the merits of emergency surgery. One ultrasound later, they decided on a referral and sent me home at midnight. Sheesh. What the specialist concluded after much prodding and pushing was that I likely have a gallstone roaming around my innards. Going for more testing next week, and we'll see what happens next. For the time being, I'm going to try and eat SUPER healthy. Should get the little bastard out in no time flat.

Needless to say, I have had a lot of knitting time in the last week, waiting for one doctor or another. Lookit what I made!

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It's a mod to a Toddler Hat pattern. Made to match the scarf I finished earlier last week.

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Unfortunately, Miss E hates them both with the hatred of a thousand suns. Sad panda moment. So, I now have to figure out what to do with the (unused!!!!) set.

Now then...before I fell ill with my mystery malady, I made some homemade blueberry pies last week. I dearly wish that I'd picked up more (MORE MORE MORE) at William Sonoma when we were in SF. I could happily live in that store. Namely, the handheld pie makers and the madeline pans. But one thing that I was happy to purchase was the Star Wars sandwich cutters. I tried making some Millenium Falcon pies, and they turned out alright. Wouldn't do it again, but at least Miss E enjoyed helping me bake them up.

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That skirt she's wearing? The tutorial's here. Cute lil' skirt, VERY fast to make. And perfect for International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This is still a crafting blog, right?

Just checking.

My crafting time has mostly been taken up with swap packages as of late - I had two on the go, themed around Grimm's Fairy Tales and Apocalypse/Zombies. Even though I've not sent out both, I'll show them to you. I'm quite proud of them, they're amongst the best packages that I've ever put together.

Grimm's Fairy Tales

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Here, you can see a Star-Crossed Slouchy Hat, lots of fat quarters and remnants from the Cinderella project bag (tutorial here), A Make Your Own Slippers Kit (with pattern, Malabrigo, buttons and needles), a skein of KnitPicks Stroll in Enchanted Forest, and miscellaneous yummies. This is probably the most international package I've put together, as the books and glass boot shotglass are from Germany, the chocolate is from San Francisco, and the buttons are from my inherited button collection, likely originating in South Africa. I loved the hat so much that I made myself one too.

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Apocalypse/Zombie Swap

I made my partner a Zombie survival kit.

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There's a pair of Evangeline gauntlets, a Crazy Zauberball, Sari and Angelina fiber for spinning (my partner likes to make art yarn), seriously gross band-aids, gummy brains, a handmade brain soap, the coolest needle gauge ever (the bloody hand), and the bag, made to look somewhat post-apocalyptic.

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I added some Shaun of the Dead buttons to the outside of the bag, but forgot to get pics of them.

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Chuck Norris approved FTW.

Other projects that were finished up:

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Twinkleberry socks! Not sure I like the cuff on these - they tend to roll. But very pretty nonetheless.

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A simple pair of fingerless gloves for myself, for when the weather starts to get nippy. Silky Malabrigo, dyed by me in the Sedna colourway.

And would you like to see what the beach looks like the day before a hurricane hits?

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Pretty damn sweet. And yes, that is a X-wing fighter that Mr. Munchkin is surfing the waves on.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A lil' more Cali...

So, the Exploratorium was ... mind-blowing. Imagine an entire aircraft hangar filled to the rafters with the best, coolest, most exciting science-y stuff. (Yes, they even had a Tesla coil.)

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Honestly, I just want to post picture after picture of the exhibits that they had on display. But instead, I'll just direct you to their website, 'cause there's no way that I can morally explode your bandwidth like that. And as for *that* bridge? Meh. It's a bridge. A big, orange bridge. I don't like heights. Therefore, I'm not terribly fond of bridges by default.

The day after the bridge/Exploratium, we drove down to Carmel by the Sea, which is the closest town to where the wedding was. It's an entire city filled with little cottages that look like a village that the Grimm Brothers dreamed up while drinking absinthe.

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We were fortunate enough to stay in a cottage B&B that was not only close to the beach, but had its own working fireplace. Every single night after the wedding events, we headed back to the cottage and started a fire, often falling asleep to the pops and crackles of the flames.

Now then - about the wedding. My little brother and his beautiful bride are a gorgeous couple...but I'm not about to post pics of the wedding for the Internet's general consumption. What I *will* show you is the beautiful setting for the wedding.

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California really is stunning.

The day after the wedding was my birthday! Yay! I'm old! Seriously, I'm about due for a good old fashioned mid-life crisis. I chose to celebrate the day with a trip through the Carmel LYS (Knitting By the Sea)

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and treated myself to some gifts in the form of plush, lovely sock yarn.

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Then, off to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. LOVED this place. It was absolutely packed with fellow tourists, but we managed to see the Seahorse exhibit

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and some Sea Turtles.

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We had ... an incident ... at dinner that I won't punish you with, but suffice to say that I didn't get any birthday cake. Boo.

The next day was our final one in California. We took the scenic route back, along the coast. Once again, the GPS was the source of a wonderful unplanned surprise - we decided to take a side road and found ourselves in a massive forest of Redwoods. (We took the 84 from San Gregorio, if you're wondering.) I think that if there was ever a part of California that I would like to live in, it would be this particular slice of shady heaven.

Finally, since we needed to kill some time before our flight, we went back to the Lego store in San Mateo. Best. Idea. Ever.

I really enjoyed my time in San Francisco...don't know if I left my heart there, but it sure was fun while it lasted.