Saturday, January 31, 2009

happy 1950's birthday Kate!

Ok, so I know this image looks odd.... but I wanted to put up one I took at our friend Kate's birthday party and I didn't really have a chance to get any good shots. So I was playing around with the filters in Photoshop (which I usually avoid) and thought this one actually gave the rather "blah" image I took some interest factor.

The filter is called water paper and I guess it's supposed to mimic the use of watercolors and how the paint bleeds across the page. Overall, I think it makes the picture look like it's from the 50's. So, it's nothing much, but I wanted to share it and wish Kate happy birthday!

Friday, January 30, 2009

new project: malabrigo hand thingies

So, I just wanted to share my newest project with you. I'm making malabrigo hand thingies because they have a similar look to the pattern of my hat. So far I'm about halfway done with one.

I just love this yarn too. It's so pretty and the color varies slightly from more pink to purple throughout the hank. I've made a few booboos and frogged it a couple times, but I'm pretty happy with this rendition. Well, I'm happy enough not to want to rip it out again and start all over anyway.

So that's what has been keeping me occupied lately.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

birthday shenanigans

This was just one of the indignities I was forced to suffer this Tuesday when the fam got together for my birthday dinner. I knew something was coming.... mostly because dad had called and warned me that my torture was imminent. I also had a tiara with flashing lights and feathers that had a big "30" written on it. The candle pictured is actually a very specific kind of retaliation for what I did to his cake one year.

Let's just say colored green sugar made the top look like AstroTurf and there was a gravestone candle involved... I'll just leave it at that. Also, my mother I'm sure played a part as well. I have tortured her with such illustrious birthday hijinx announcing her 50th birthday on Medway Cable Access, actually putting 50 candles on her cake (all lit) and then giving her a birthday card referencing the fire dept. being ready for her cake to be lit.

Is that wrong?!? Nah..... so I guess I had this coming right?

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Guess what I finished today.... SQUEEE!!!!

I never could have done it without Tara who suffered through my asking her questions all day yesterday through a few hours of knitting and many of tinking (only on my part). I was giving myself a hard time about this hat becaase it seemed to be taking me so long to do. But, I just realized that I started it on the 18th, only 8 days ago. That's not too bad, especially for my first hard and a hard to understand pattern.

This project was full of firsts: knitting a hat (1), in the round (2), using both knit and purl stitches (3), decreasing my stitches (4), using double pointed needles (5), and learning how to make centered double decreases (6). Ok, I think I need a non-learning intensive project now so my brain doesn't start coming out my nose, lol!

As I said Tara was a huge help as well as the staff of Black Sheep for fixing one of my bigger mistakes. A great reference that I used today (when there was no really available to help out) was this Knitting Glossary on

Anyway, I'm really happy with it and probably won't take it off for days.... just because I can :-)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

working on knitting during lunch... industrious or downright stooopid?

So, I started working on my hat again this evening. I was looking at the pattern as I normally do and something just didn't look right. Then I got paranoid. I went back and carefully removed some stiches thinking I had miscounted, then I started in pattern again.

No, still didn't look right. Finally, I noticed that it looked like I dropped a stitch somehow along the way when I was tinking (un-knitting or knitting backwards). So, I tried to fix ithwith what I was hoping was success, but I counted my stitches and I now have 92. Ok.... I started with 90 and any addition other then in 3’s wouldn’t work because the pattern would be off. AAAARRGGGGGG!!!!!

I so should have never brought it to work and knitted during lunch. I knew somethign aweful would happen if I did that… and surprise, it did :-( Now that my panic has waned, I started thinking and I probably just did a couple yarn overs when I was talking to people during lunch. Then when tinking made the sitches look uneven, so I thought I dropped a stitch and in the process probably did drop some or add some.

Regardless of the situation, there is nothing I can do or Youtube can show me tonight, so I’m going to Black Sheep during lunch tomorrow to ask them to help me. Otherwise I’m going to go insane.

This hat was going so well this time.... at least taking the pictures calmed me down. It looks great other than the train wreck of a job I pulled today.

hey look, I finally got a nice sunset!

I was so mad this morning! I work up extremely early for me and said "hell, I'll stay up and head into work early and get some things done on the way." I was driving down the hill by Ferjulian's when I saw the most gorgeous sunrise ever. One of those really dark moody ones... Unfortunately I wasn't smart enough to slam on the blinker and pull over anywhere so I missed my opportunity.

This has happened to me so many times I can't even count the total. So, pissed that I had missed the cool picture I went to work and went about my day. On the way home however, I struck gold!

So, here is my first sunset in like forever... I was beginning to despair ever finding some neat to photograph ever again (well, other than my crafty creations).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the solution to creative laziness

One of the things I'm always giving myself a hard time about is that I only seem to find time to stamp when I am taking one of my monthly classes at Ink About It or if I am reproducing a card from one of the classes. I'm almost never creative on my own!

So, I was surfing the interwebs a couple weeks ago and found the A*Muse Lounge, an online community/haven for lovers of all things A*Muse. I was just looking through the posts in the forums and found that they are doing challenges. Well... I think I finally have the answer to my stamping laziness!

So, needless today I finally registered today and sat down to make my challenge card. The challenge was: something new. I just picked up this tree set last week (after one of my classes, sigh), so I thought this little tree was a good candidate.

Monday, January 19, 2009

apparently second time IS the charm

So, as you can see I had a very successfull knitting day today. Unfortunately it was at least partially because Brian was at work crunching on a game... and therefore not around to distract me.

Well, at least something good came out of it! I had much better luck on this attempt and I now have 13 rows of my hat done without any major flaws (unlike yesterday's epic fail). It's so much fun to knit too. Anyway, I just thought I would do another post since I was so proud of my progress... go me!!! :-D

my hat is underway!

Problem: I started casting on the 90 stitches for my hat and then realized I did know how to join the yarn for knitting in the round... oops!

Answer: Thank you YouTube for saving me with this video.

Anyway, here is where I am so far. I actually started working on the hat yesterday and realized I had made some pretty serious mistakes after 10 rows, so I ripped it all out and started again. While this should have pissed me off, I'm pretty zen about the whole thing at the moment because it's good practice since I haven't ever combined both knitting and purling in the same row before now. Also, I think my new circular needles are making everything go much faster.

When Tara and I were at KnitWitts on Saturday, I bought some bamboo tipped ones which are a dream to use. The yarn stays on them nicely but then again it slides off easily when you want it to. I don't quite know how to explain it. Anyway, I think I might have to start replacing all my other sets with bamboo as well because I like them so much. I shouldn't be surprised really... I always gravitate towards the most expensive option for everything. Just ask mom and dad; they have decades worth of proof.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

great new yarn! drool...

So, Tara and I went out in search of two local yarn shops yesterday. It's so nice to have a friend who is into knitting as well. The first place (which I forget the name of) was in Sturbridge (I think) and while there I finally found the yarn I am going to my my own hat and scarf out of. May I present: Trabajos del Peru - a %100 Extra Fine Merino Wool by Plymouth Yarn.

Isn't it just gorgeous?! I'm such a sucker for mixed color yarns, especially when they are this beautiful. So the patterns I am using are Scrunchable Hat by Jennifer Eastbergand Scrunchable Scarf by Susan McConne that can be found on Ravelry. I think I am going to start the hat today since I am so excited about finally picking out my yarn.

It's supposed to snow most of the day tomorrow and Brian is at work, so hopefully I'll be able to finish up the knitting on the bear so all I have to do it sew it together and embroider the face (shudder). That part of things isgoing to be very interesting....

Friday, January 16, 2009

our newest toy: world of goo

So Brian picked ordered this the other day and it looks fabulous! It is similar to a free online game we have played called Fantastic Contraption which is a physics game (yes, we are geeks). I haven't really gotten a chance to play but Brian was messing around with it late last night after we watched the Battlestar Galactica webisodes. I think he got it for like $9 so it might be something you want to check out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

a*muse valentines class samples

These are the very cute cards and treat bag I made at my class tonight with Jenn (see her cool blog here). Jenn teaches classes at a few area craft stores with her home store as Colorful Creations in Hyannis, MA. Mom and I go to all of her a*muse classed at Ink About It. We used a*muse stamps, cardstock and ribbon with copic markers and watercolor pencils to color everything in. These classes are always so much fun. They and mom's and my scheduled play time. Anyway, I only had time for a quick post, so have a nice night!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

playing with my markers

So I took today off to have some fun me time, so.... I broke out the copic markers! I absolutely love these markers. They are made and Japan and are used by a wide range of manga artists, designers and crafters. They have tons of great colors and 4 different styles of marker to fit your crafty needs: ciao, sketch, wide and original. My set of colors is basically all the original design which holds the most ink.

What's nice about these markers is that they last a long time, don't require you to store then flat (like many others do) and while they are pricey you can buy ink refills and replacement nibs, so essentially once you have the marker, all you might have to buy is ink for the rest of your lifetime. Cool huh? You can do all sorts of things with these markers too.

There is a great blog I read called I Like Markers that show all sorts of techniques from beginner to expert. Off to the right is one example of what I colored today. You can do some amazing layering of color if you pay attention to Copic's numbering system.

Also, Jenn, my a*muse instructor, uses therse alot in the cards we make during class. I dare say I might have some cards to show off after my Valentine's day class with her tommorrow... the card samples look very cute, so I'm sure I will have plenty of neat things to share.

Monday, January 12, 2009

yarn... what yarn?

So, anyone else think I bought too much yarn? Nah......! I've been working on the bear, but there isn't enough difference in what I've done to really post about it. So I focused on all my cool yarn instead. I just keep on buy it as a see (and feel) stuff I like.

So Tara let me know about this really cool site called which is a knitter's dream. Once you get approved (which can take several days) you have access to hundreds of free patterns, a project tracker, and a place to catalogue your yarn stash (complete with your own uploaded pictures of each yarn). They also have a bookshelf where you can list your related books and seem to have a pretty extensive online community forum and a messaging system. It's kind of like Facebook for knitters. So, if you like that stuff, join in. My username is jjphotoftw. if you want to friend me.

I also discovered that Facebook now has an application called Networked Blogs where you can link your blog into Facebook and have followers. Neat huh? So if you're on Facebook, add the app and start following my blog. I heart you Facebook!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winter wanderings

So, it's been a pretty quiet weekend for us, mostly playing wow and relaxing when we were home. I did get to go out a take a little walk today with my camera and found some neat icicles on the main office building. I still can't seem to take good winter pictures and I don't know why. Maybe I just need to wander somewhere other than the complex for inspiration...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bear beginnings

These are the first few rows of my newest project. I decided to make an Any Yarn Bear. Now, it should be pretty simple.

It's all in garter stitch and you just knit the head, body and legs as one piece, then the arms and then sew all the pieces together afterwards. I haven't gotten the increasing/ decreasing thing down yet so I wasn't going to attempt anything involving that.

So, here are my first 15 rows of the bear (or his head anyway). I choose an interesting yarn for this (if you can even call it yarn). It's basically suede and is therefore not very stretchy, so I have to be careful not to let me stitches get too tight. A friend of mine gave me a gift card to Michael's so I went out in serch of yarn yesterday after work. I lucked out and this stuff was 50% off, which is lovely since it goes for $7 a (very small) skein. So, I got 7 different colors and now can make lots of bears in different colors! The yarn is made by Lion Brand.

Anyway, I figured this would be a good project because it will hopefully be quick and then I'll be able to make toys for all my friends' kids. I'll post as I work on it more so you can see the progress.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No more xp for us, hooray!

Woohoo! We finally hit level 80!!! Here is my victory screenshot with all my new (and matching) armor :-D

To answer your inevitable questions:

  1. -Yes, I am very easily entertained.
  2. -Yes, playing WoW is considered quality family time.

  3. -Yes, I do plan to continue playing WoW until they no longer make expansions (hopefully a very long time)

  4. -No, I will not be growing up anytime soon. It's not like I'm 30 or anything, geeeese!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yeay!!! I can knit/purl now!

Ok, so I finally figured it out. I now can do things other than just the knit stitch!!!! YEAY!!! I realized that you actually have to move the supply of yarn to the front of the needles when purling and behind the needles when knitting. That is why I ended up with all those extra bizarre stitches in all my soon to be demolished work.

So, I tried a few different things out last night: all purl (garter stitch), alternating rows of knit and purl (stockinette stitch), all knit (more garter stitch) and then I alternated knit, purl repeating on one row and purl, knit on the next to make the seed stitch (mom, I believe this is your dreaded popcorn stitch). So, I had fun and finally felt a little less like a knitting noob.

As frustrating as it can be to learn things by yourself, there is that sick sense of satisfaction when you finally figure something out that you have been struggling with for awhile. Now that I can do more conplex stuff, I think I'm going to practice and make a scarf/hat for myself in this neat purple yarn my mom got me when she was up in Maine last week. Here goes nothing.... This is a cool site I found that tells you how to make a bunch of different knitting patterns:

Oh, and by the sheer fact that I have posted, you have proff the cat didn't kill me in my sleep.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Molly the infuriated

so.... you want to know what you cat looks like after her first bath by your hand? Well, I have a treat for ya!

Actually she was quite good aside from the gut-wrenching yowls when I had her in the sink. Those always make me feel horrible. The funny thing is that I thought she would hate me the rest of the night. Nope, she's been all over me since her bath... maybe she's sizing me up to see how easy it would be for her to kill me in my sleep. I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Knit addict

So, I caught the knitting bug in early December...

I then decided to make scarves for Brian's mom, our sister in law and my mom for Christmas... stupid!!! True story: I so didn't stay up almost all night on Christmas eve finishing a scarf. December featured many days of furious knitting.

So, I'm pretty good at the knit stitch, but so far trying to do anything else ends up with me ripping out all my work and tossing the ball of yarn aside in disgust. There is just so much neat stuff out there, so I found some neat free knitting projects online. Check them out at: and

I will hopefully be able to play around with some of these neat projects soon. But, first I have to figure out how to purl and combine the two stitches so I can make my projects more interesting. All attempts thus far have involved somehow creating extra stitches that don't play nice with others.... grrr...

So anyway, this picture is of a scarf I am making for Colette to chase away the dreary winter.

And yes.... it's all in knit stitch :-P

Friday, January 2, 2009

Woohoo!! B finally gets a Christmas present!

So, I was finally able to order Brian's figureprint of his main WoW character, Setekh. We're so excited!!! It's kind of like creating your own little statue... First you have to enter a lottery to get chosen for a figureprint. The company is so new and there are so many people interested in these that they have to limit how many people can order per month. Then you basically tell them the name of your character and what server it is on and they pull the info of what your character is wearing/wielding from the WoW Armory. Then you choose your pose, stand and viola! You have your very own 3-d representation of the character. I can't wait to see his up close. Hopefully we'll win the lottery again so I can get one of these too.... Having Thayolin immortalized forever as a mini statue makes me so very happy ::GLEE:: Oh, if anyone is interested, go to to enter the lottery to order one. Oh, and don't give me that look... these are damn cool!

New Web Comic: Looking for Group

Ok, so it's not new or anything, but it's new to me and my friend Sam informed me of it's existance just yesterday. So if you want something fun and geeky gamer-related to read check out Looking for Group at