Where the Hell have I Been?

When we last met, I was busy with a-million-and-one things, which not only prevented me from writing in my little corner of the blog-o-sphere, but (even worse) got me out of the habit of doing so. Things have definitely calmed down a bit in the past few weeks, at least in that I have had a lot more free time, but the mindset to write and share just hasn’t been there. More frustratingly I think has been that I just haven’t been taking pictures of everything. At least not with my “good” camera.

Here’s the short version: We moved into a beautiful house, got a couple adorable pets, I left my horrible job, we got another adorable pet, and now I almost have a (hopefully better) job. We’ve also set up a mostly-weekly family game night and we’ve worked our way through most of that boardgame shelf (and *ahem* added to it). And instead of elaborating any more on any of that, here are a bunch of pictures taken since we moved in. Yes, most of them are of our pets.

Atlas Atlas
Atlas Cave Johnson
Castle Panic!
Cave Johnson Atlas and Cave Johnson
Atlas and Cave Johnson Atlas
Robo Rally
Cave Johnson Monkey

Cave Johnson and Monkey


As I said earlier this month, my mother-in-law purchased a house and we started work on “renovating” it, though it doesn’t need much work. Mostly we just painted all of the rooms (which is still a work in progress) and started getting the basement ready for installing a commercial kitchen.

Since we have until the end of the month, and we need to use our apartment kitchen for baking as long as possible, we’ve decided to take our time with moving. Most of what we’ve been putting in has been new furniture that we got because our furniture collection thus far has consisted mainly of “We need more storage? GET MORE BOOKSHELVES!!” Consignment shops have been our friend this month.

Last night, though, we finally brought in our first load of “STUFF” and unpacked it. We strategically brought in the entertainment center and bookshelves so we could put up our games and books and take the boxes back. As far as unpacking goes, those are kindof the easiest things out there to unpack. I really hope unpacking everything else goes just as smoothly.

It feels really nice to have moved the first load of boxes over. Like our stuff is migrating and we can actually see a difference in the apartment which helps motivate to continue the packing ad nauseum. Our internet is getting switched over tonight, so we’re going to be focusing on the office and my studio this evening.

Hee, I’m gonna have a studio. Man this is exciting!

P.S. Here is something that is not in my studio, but is totally awesome. Most of these games have yet to be played, and as evident by all the shiny reflecty-bits, are still in their original plastic. What this means is that we are going to have a lot of fun playing new games after we get settled. Aww yeah.


Good gracious, it’s June already? Where has the time gone! I have been shuffling around a few post ideas but they all keep getting pushed back for one reason or another, but mostly due to sheer lack of free time. I do have an update on the elusive Catkin, but no time or space for a good round of photos (or finishing the row I’m on) and I’m trying to crank out pictures for Illustration Friday, and I most certainly haven’t forgotten about the monsters! So what is this major timesink that has befallen me? Well, the answer is threefold.

First, we have just closed in on our first month of the outdoor Farmer’s Market. It has been indoors all winter, which is a much smaller crowd and so baking and preparing take up much less time in the cooler months. But with the beginning of May came the beginning of off-the-walls dough making and peparing and hours upon hours of baking. On top of our full time jobs, Chu and I spend a great deal of our nights and weekends making real genuine croissants to blow the minds of the bizarrely multicultural population in this little Southeast Iowa town.

The second thing that is distracting from the bloggy mayhem is puppet practice. Yes. Puppets. I’ve been part of a puppet… troupe?… for a couple years now, and for the most part, we just practice, and it’s a lot of fun! But this summer we have 2 huuuge projects going on. One is more adult-themed filler type material for a documentary with a bunch of big name people like Oprah. No I haven’t met any of these people, but it’s pretty wild thinking that we’re going to be in a “Real Movie.” AND we’re doing the shoot next weekend! The other project is much more in the vein of what we normally work on, and involves puppets that look all excitable like this:

Super totally excited for all of this, but again, my only time to do puppetry is after work!

The final thing that has been filling up my time (and more importantly my brainspace) is an ultra awesome HOUSE that we are going to move into this month! We have been trying to mentally prepare for this for a while, and now we’re trying to physically prepare for it. Next week we are planning on painting every single room on the main floor. And more importantly, we are working on setting up a full fledged and certified kitchen in the basement, so all that croissant stuff I was just talking about can get done a lot faster and smoother without tracking flour all over the house (which has been the natural state of our apartment for the past year. Ugh). I think having the Commercial kitchen in the basement instead of sharing a space with our personal kitchen might even surpass my excitement for getting my very own craft room to replace my current craft nook.

The good news is that after the initial move in and after the shooting for the documentary is done, and after the croissant kitchen is all nice and set up in the basement, I may have time again to knit and make monsters.

Impromptu Hatting

This morning I woke up and prepared for a pleasant out-of-town brunch with the in-laws. I pulled on a nice purple shirt that I hadn’t worn in a looong time, then spied some soft yellow yarn I had started making a potholder with. I then decided the yarn would be much better suited on something new and daring.

I don’t wear a lot of hats- they look funny around my ears, they look funny around my hair, they look funny in general. But I like them enough on other people to give them a try once in a long while, and today is one of those days. I pulled out from my Ravelry queue a pattern for a slouchy hat that looked just light enough that I might just be able to pull it off in the sweltering Midwestern summer months.

Started about 9:30 this morning before heading off to brunch, worked on it in the car and while waiting for food. I ran out of yarn just four rows until the end! I had to run out to the dreaded walmart to retrieve one more skein just so I could finish the band. The only modification I made was the picot edging- didn’t like it, so I replaced it with one more row of single crochet for stability. Upon further reflection I could have probably gotten away without the last 1 or 2 rows, but I would have still needed the extra skein.

Here’s a picture of me needing a haircut:

It’s just a bit too tight around the ears, but it should relax, and if it were much looser I don’t understand how it would stay on with it pushed back as far as these things are supposed to be! Hoping it does loosen up just a touch so the hat and glasses don’t wage war against my head and give me a headache. Overall, I’m pretty sure I like it, so hopefully I’ll wear it out and about!

Pattern: Pretty Puffs Slouchy Hat. [Ravelry] [Craftster]
Yarn: Lily Peaches & Creme in Sunshine
Hook: J/10/6mm

Amigurumi FINISH!

Last Saturday I talked about amigurumi and how I can’t finish projects with multiple pieces to save my life. Well, no more! I have finished the amigurumi cupcake in record time (about 3 evenings) and it is complete with base, frosting, glaze with a swirl on it, raspberry, polyfill, safety eyes, and embroidered mouth. Aw yeah.

The pattern itself seemed to be pretty well written, though the book itself falls a bit short in some areas. I don’t need my hand held all the way through the pattern, but it would be nice to see pointers on how to use the safety eyes, tips on placement of the eyes, etc. I found myself running short on yarn that I was using to sew because it didn’t really mention how long to leave the ends, but I managed. And lastly, the instructions for an adjustable ring were not at all what I would call the adjustable ring.

That being said, I might go ahead and make the doughnut sometime in the near future, before these new balls of yarn get added to my mystery stash and get lost in the great yarnie bins. More stash is the last thing I need!

Teehee, cupcake.

365 Monsters: Reset and Bonus!

I’m a cheater. For the past 50 or so monsters, I’ve been really bad about doing one a day, which has meant that Saturday night and Sunday morning have been a scramble to get all 7 made- and it’s shown in the quality and creativity of the monsters. Yeah, I’ve been ultra busy these days, but since when is that new? So I’ve decided to to a quick reset.

Hopefully this week I will really and truly get back into one monster per day, but I didn’t want to force it this weekend. Perhaps this week or next week or sometime soon I’ll play catch-up and do two per day for a whole week so I get caught up on this missed week. Not making promises, just speculating.

But in the mean time, here’s a monster that came to me through true creative angst and vision. I was having a truly horrible and crummy and miserable day at work, and then upon going for a short walk to do some puppeting, I was attacked by a wasp! Turns out I’m not allergic (Hallelujah!), but that was highly unpleasant. I went back home and Chu found a lovely remedy of baking soda and water, turned it into a paste, and slapped it on my arm. 10 minutes later, just about all of the redness was gone and the baking soda had turned itself into a monster:

It’s an arm grub!
Don’t quite see it? Hrm… Let’s take a closer look…

There we go! Much better!

Stay tuned- next Sunday should be back to normal!

Not sure what’s going on? Check out my 365 Monsters Intro as well as the Make Something 365 Blog for more information and inspiration of your own!

365 Monsters Days 94 – 100

Day 94 – 4/22/12 – Nothing Rhymes with Orange

Day 95 – 4/23/12 – Ask a Stranger

Day 96 – 4/24/12 – Work in Front of a Mirror

Day 97 – 4/25/12 – Make an Invitation

Day 98 – 4/26/12 – Work with Time

Day 99 – 4/27/12 – Insects

Day 100

Not sure what’s going on? Check out my 365 Monsters Intro as well as the Make Something 365 Blog for more information and inspiration of your own!

3KCBWDAY6 – Improving your Skillset

Lets face it, the majority of my projects, knit or crochet, don’t rely too much on shaping or sizing. I rarely pay attention to gauge, and in the case of hats, I’m usually making things up as I go along. I also have a chronic problem with finishing things I’ve started, but I’ll focus on that later. Today is about expansion, not completion… right?

So like I said, most of my crochet and knit items are flat pieces, but today I received a pretty neat gift: Yummy Crochet, a kit with a book of amigurumi patterns and all the supplies I’ll need to make 2 of the patterns: a cupcake and a doughnut. Now, I’ve tried a couple times making stuffies and other small pieces, but I generally got frustrated with all the small pieces or bored with sewing all the pieces together, but this time I am determined to get through at least the cupcake before it ends up on my to do pile for another year. Things that I will learn: How to use safety eyes, how to position safety eyes and embroider a cute little mouth in such a way that the thing actually retains its cuteness, and how to sew the pieces together without trying to rip things apart in the process. Patience and perseverance!

There are a couple extra things that I really want to talk about here, but I must wait. Partly for the photos that I don’t have yet, and partly for things to be actually complete before making an announcement for once. But damn am I excited about this one. Coming soon: More progress and awesomeness!

This has been a post celebrating the 3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.