Wednesday, May 26, 2010

You too can experience the joy of bathing your cat!

Our poor kitty was so hot today that she chose to sleep next to her cat bed :-(  So, to help cool her off, I gave her a bath.  I'm not sure if she appreciated it or not.  You be the judge.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Favorite Cookout Foods

1) Cucumber Salad
- my version of what they serve at Tennessee's and Firefly's.  They key lies in the rice wine vinegar.

2) Brian's burger flavor of the moment - whatever he comes up with is always outstanding.  Last week we had burgers with fresh herbs, chipotle in adobo and I believe some bbq sauce for good measure.  Yummy!

3) Roasted baby red potatoes
- slathered in fresh dill, olive oil, kosher salt and left on the grill to crisp up.

4) Grilled meatloaf
- best meatloaf ever!

5) Cheddarwurst
- a pork and beef sausage that has bit of cheddar cheese in it.  Excellent on your run of the mill hot dog bun and over the top good with kraut or spicy mustard.

6) Grilled pineapple rings - these are are best on top of vanilla bean ice cream.

7) Ice cream sandwiches made with home made chocolate chip cookies -
had these at a friend's cookout recently and they were amazing.  I happened to stumble on one filled with coffee ice cream.  It was divine!

8) Pasta salad
- I have a pretty darn good recipe for this now, with plenty of fresh veggies for crunch.

9) Watermelon wedges
- enough said.

10) Cole slaw
- great on the side and even better when used as a burger topping!

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Mystery Bag is Complete!

So, my lovely new bag is all done and it came out awesome!  And no, I didn't knit two of them, I just wanted to show you that the bag is in fact reversible.  Another neat feature is that you can make it into a shoulder bag by just dropping one of the handles, which will then also close the top of your bag.  I could even slip the strap over my head and carry it like a messenger bag.  This ability came in really handy when I was at a graduation for a cousin of mine this weekend. 

I'm going to take a bit of a break on the knit and crochet alongs for a bit.  Recently I have been starting and planning far more projects then I am completing and I feel a bit overwhelmed by all of the project deadlines looming in the not too distant future.  The next kal I do will be another one sponsored by Appalachian Yarns and lead by the intrepid Talithakuomi.  The theme is a mystery wrap and it is scheduled to start in July, so hopefully I can dig myself out of my never ending pit of works in progress by then :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ten on Tuesday (a tad late): Ten Favorite Musicals

1) Les Miserables - I saw Les Mis for the first time in high school and was totally hooked.  Even my husband, who in general doesn't like musicals, likes this tale of Jean Val Jean, convict 24601.  My favorite song has to be On my Own.  I love the original London cast, but unfortunately I can't seem to find a link to that version and nonw of the rest sound nearly as good.  Another good one is Do You Hear the People Sing.  You can see a good clip of that by clicking here.

2) Sweeney Todd - I saw the Angela Lansbury version of this great musical for the first time with my friend(s) in a viewing room at the library in college.  Ever since then the musical has intrigued me.  Johnny Depp didn't hurt my liking of the musical either :-)  Favorite songs = Green Finch and Linnet Bird (one that a friend was very good at singing in high school) and The Worst Pies in London (both Angela Lansbury and Helena Bonham Carter did great versions).

3) Phantom of the Opera - The first big musical theatre production that I recall seeing.  I know I saw many on the small stage, but I saw this at the Wang and it was a big deal.  I spent much of my free time in high school striving to sound like Christine along with my other friends.  As I recall the cable access hallway had some damn good acoustics!  Favorite songs include Think of Me and Phantom of the Opera. You can see a good version of the former here.

4) Wicked - So, I've never actually seen this musical.  I read the book and listened to a few clips on the music online and then just downloaded the soundtrack, knowing that I would love it.  And love it I do.  I hope some day I can actually see a performance.  My favorite song has to be Popular which you can see here.

5) Little Shop of Horrors - This is such an awesome musical!  The movie starring Rick Moranis is hilarious.  Steve Martin plays the dentist and her is absolutely perfect.  Favorite songs are Skid Row, Suddenly Seymore and Dentist.

6) Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog - Not a standard of musical theatre, but a musical nonetheless.  Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillian and Felicia Day are wonderful in this web musical.  Favorite songs include Bad Horse Chorus, A Man's Gotta Do and Brand New Day.  Just download the whole thing now and get it out of the way.

7) Once More with Feeling - Joss Whedon's musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer sung by the actual cast.  Some are better singers than others with Anthony Stewart Head and Amber Benson showing their vocal chops off the best.  Favorite songs include I've got a Theory / Bunnies / If We're Together which can be heard here, Walk Through the Fire and Under Your Spell.

8) Nightmare Before Christmas - Tim Burton combines Christmas, Halloween, claymation and singing with great results.  Favorite songs include This is Halloween and Sally's Song.

9) Bye Bye Birdie - The version I'm most familiar with is the 2005 tv miniseries starring Jason Alexander and Vanessa Williams.  The story is of the rock legend Conrad Birdie being drafted into the army and how his adoring (and squealing) fans say farwell before he heads off to war.  There are quite a few excellent songs but my favorites are Bye Bye Birdie (you can see a clip here) and Spanish Rose.

10) Newsies - Ah.... gotta love those Disney musicals!  This was another high school obsession for me.  I adored Bill Pullman and musicals, so when I heard he sang a few lines in this I most definitely had a squee moment.  The movie is the story of Pulitzer and Hearst raising the cost of their papers by a penny and how it affects the newspaper boy that were trying to scrape by a living.  It is wonderful and stars a very young Christian Bale.  My favorites from the movie are King of New York and The World Will Know.  Below you can see the latter:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Knit Night Shenanigans

So, we just might have been a tad wound up at knit night tonight... I love my knitsibs; they are all wonderful and hilarious ladies that make my week every Tuesday night.  Here are a few samples of why:

Heather kindly lended me the use of her toes to hold the drop spindle containing my latest spun single as I used a wooden kitchen spoon to form it into a center pull ball for plying later on.  Isn't she such a helper?

Now we couldn't just show my point of view, we had to see how this worked through Heather's eyes as well.

My three precious little eggs (dubbed by me of course) of hand spun wool in the cactus flower colorway.  I will be making each of these eggs (or singles according to actual professionals) into a small skein of 2-ply yarn.  They are going to be beeeeeautiful!

Oh, and here is a shot from a few days ago when I was spinning up the singles that shows the roving before I spun it up.  Gorgeous colors huh?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen... I have a Squid! - Update to Mystery Bag KAL

Funny looking isn't it? 

This is what my Mystery bag looked like after finishing Clue #2 and doing the first section of Clue #3, which I finished on Wednesday.  Now for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how this was going to turn into a bag.  Thanks to the group's spoiler thread I now know how it all comes together, but I think I'll let you all sweat it out for a bit and and only fill you in when I've finished the bag (probably this weekend). 

I have one other piece of the braided cable which will be 40+ inches long; I have only done about 24 of it though, so I have a long way to go.  I have very recently reached my mental limit for cabling so instead I'm focusing on the main portion of the bag. 

I think I am about 75% of the way done with this KAL and it's been really cool seeing everyone's color choices for their bags and seeing people's progress through the weeks.  I'm kind of sad that it will all be over soon... Luckily Talithakuomi has assured us that Appalachian Yarns will be holding more KALs in the future with a mystery vest up next and perhaps a shawl this summer.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Card a Week: A Very Vintage Birthday

Unfortunately I don't have time to put up the details of this card right now, as I am about to head out to a class taught by the lady that will be the recipient of this card, but I promise I will add the info in later.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

10 on Tuesday - Ten Places That Make Me Happy

  1. On the island in Maine
  2. On the sailboat at the Cape
  3. At knit night
  4. Taking a nap with my kitty (anywhere)
  5. Kayaking down the Concord river
  6. Rocking in our rocking chair on the patio
  7. In a hammock
  8. Anywhere with live choral music
  9. Driving down the highway with the windows open and radio blaring on that "perfect" day
  10. Anywhere with my hubbie

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day Off Shenanigans

What, you ask, is this monstrosity?  Well, it is officially my solution to setting the twist in my first hand spun yarn which involves 2 hangers, a small basket and a large craft punch.  Hey, it's what I had on hand, so don't ask! 

I finished up with all the spinning a little over a week ago, but just hadn't gotten to the part where I put the whole skein in hot water for a half an hour, then shock it in cold before smacking it around a bit and hanging the whole thing up to dry.  I woke up (kinda early for a day off) and decided I really should just get the deed done.  

So, currently this is the lovely view from our patio and it will remain so for at least the next day.  Truly, I am high maintenance, lol.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mystery Bag KAL Clue #2 Update

On Monday night we got our second clue for making our mystery bag for the KAL.  We managed to wring the clue out of Talithakuomi (our intrepid KAL leader) a day early due to some quite impressive bribery through poetry.  I decided to submit a haiku contribution:

Our hands lay dormant
Itching for inspiration
Your post holds the key

With that and several other fine specimen of silliness, we received our next clue and I started knitting away.  Here is my progress as of Tuesday night at my knit night.  I amazingly got a lot done which is shocking since my knitting group is a bunch of gabbers who are prone to distracting fits of laughter.  So, getting anything done at knit night is truly a miracle.  That being said, the ladies in my knitting group are da bomb!  I wouldn't spend my Tuesday night's anywhere else.   

As I am working through this KAL and we keep on getting clues I've realized something...   for the life of me I can't figure out how this is going to turn into a bag!  Tal has done a wonderful job being our constant clue support and has been spending a lot of time on the discussion boards keeping everyone happy, answering questions and causing giggles.  She has also been able to keep us all guessing this the order of her clues.  We keep on guessing that it's really a sundress or a hat or something else ridiculous.  

I have to say that doing this KAL has been a wonderful experience thus far and I'm really hoping to do more of them in the future.  Ok, too much typing and not enough knitting!  I have a long way to go before we get our final clue on Tuesday (or will it be Monday?). 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spring CAL - Tiny Whale Finished!

When I first started Planet June's Spring CAL, I decided I was going to make one of each of the patterns so that I could try them both out.  My little daffodil is well underway with 4 of its six petals done, but it has been languishing a bit as I have other projects I'm working on.   Also it is a bit too complex to be a quick sit down for a few hours and get it done kind of project.  

Instead, yesterday I started making the second pattern, the Tiny Whale.  Shockingly, I actually finished it up in one evening!   He's a pretty small little guy (maybe 4 inches long) but I'm surprised I was able to make him that quickly mostly because I'm still fairly slow at crochet, especially when I have to really pay attention to the pattern.   But, he's all done and looking very cute!  June suggested that these little guys make good cats toys, so I might make a few more and load them up with some catnip for the feline family members when I have a moment.  Emerson, our friends' cat, sure seemed like him after some catnip persuasion anyway.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Card a Week - Flowery Thanks

So, I'm still keeping up with my one card a week goal, which I'm pretty psyched about.  Doing these cards has been getting easier and easier as the weeks go on.  This week I thought I would do a thank you card since I have more than a few people who could use some thanking in my life.  I'm also really excited because A Muse just came out with their spring release, which is called Everything's Rosy (I looooove floral stamps).  I'm so psyched because in a couple weeks I'll be going to a class featuring the use of all these new stamps.  AWESOME!!!  You can get a sneak peek at some of the new stamps by checking out A Muse's blog.
Ribbon & Bling:

She's a Helper!

So, Molly really wanted to help me spin up my roving tonight.  She wouldn't leave me alone, especially when I want to take pictures of the whole process.  No, she insisted on making her presence known and documented.  You can see a finished picture of my first completed hank of handspun on my photoblog by clicking here.