Friday, July 22, 2011

Yarn Haul

Yarn ShoppingI always feel rich on payday. Usually the last three or four days before I get paid, I'm scrounging for change to put into my gas tank (and to buy coffee and sometimes lunch). Then, when Friday comes, it seems like my car stereo automatically starts playing that N'Sync song and I go crazy. This payday, I felt like going YARN shopping. Now, how wild is that? I know. I cruised up the hill to go to Jo-Ann Fabrics, listened to the newest Harry Potter podcast, and plotted in my head what I was going to buy. I limited myself to $20.. For sure some Vanna's Choice (I just got a new granny square book and want to make a blankie!) and some thin yarn for that lacy crochet book I reviewed the other week. Little did I know that Jo-Anns had some crazy clearance! It started Sunday, so most of the cubbies were empty, but I found plenty of skeins for as low as 50 cents. At the end of my visit, my receipt said 18 items for $19.05!

yarn haul

Here's a list of what I picked up: three cards of bow-shaped pink buttons; Vanna's Choice in Eggplant, Pea Green, and Dusty Purple; Red Heart Sport (these were only 50 cents!) in Wood Brown, Medium Thyme, Baby Pink, Black, Pumpkin, and Blue Jewel; a big 7oz Red Heart Super Saver in Light Periwinkle - also only 50 cents (How could I resist? So worth the price!); Bernat Softee Chunky in 39531 (burnt red-orange); Premier Sockweight in Thyme and Tanzanite; Royale Crochet Thread in White; and Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread in Maize. The only things that were totally full price were the two crochet threads & the cashier scanned the weekly coupon book so I got those 40% as well. The Lion's Brand were on sale for $2.50 a skein. My advice: Go to your closet Jo-Anns as soon as you can!

Yarn Collage

Crochet Lace DoilySo, that was definitely exciting. I plan on making some granny squares from the new book I got (Beyond The Square: Crochet Motifs) and I'll make a post on that after I do. Speaking OF, I finished my first project from the Kyuuto! book I got! It was way easier than I thought it was going to be. It did take getting used to the smaller needle & thinner thread, but in the end, I think I really liked it. I sometimes have trouble with fluffier and thicker yarn, like Lion's Brand Homespun, and it was easy to work with such a solid strand of crochet. It probably took me around five hours total to complete this. After I finished, I let it lay on the counter over night with a wet paper towel over it and it blocked beautifully! I don't know what I'll do with it yet .. maybe once I weave in the ends, I'll mail it to my grandma; she gave me the needle and thread!

Happy crochet! Have you gotten any fun craft hauls lately? Let me know what you got and what you plan on doing with your stuff! ♥

I'm staying!

Ok, I really did go try to look at wordpress and I could not handle it. AND I got this all straightened out, so I'm finally! What do you think? Anyway, I downloaded some crazy Chinese iOs app named "meitu," which is a really fun image editor! Here, this one is very exciting:

Me! MaDonna!
First official picture of me on the blog! (besides profile)

Anyway, that's my last rambling about ~blog start-up~ for now. I could care less about SEO for my own personal shit. Wordpress might be better, but I have more friends on Blogspot & I know how to do what I want! Like the olden days, when I refused to use a site builder & coded all those iframes and image maps by hand.

I have some fun summer-y posts on the way! Thank god tomorrow is Friday, so I will have all weekend! <3 Love!
Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blog Moving?

Well .. I know I've just begun, but I've heard that blogspot may not be the best place? Have you ever tried wordpress? I just want my blog to look the best and be the easier for people to read. Watch this space!
Monday, July 18, 2011

Pasta Puttanesca

Sunday was lovely and lazy. I went to a big slumber party with all the girls in my belly dance troupe the night before and I woke up on the floor in a big pile of sleeping bags and pillows and sleeping girls. My hips definitely hurt, (no air mattress), but it was worth it. It felt like the morning after a big birthday party in middle school. We stayed up all night watching scary movies, playing board games, telling secrets and eating chips and treats and junk food. It was kind of like therapy, but way more fun. Also, wine.

Afterward, my best friend, Channa, and I went to eat cake! There are two things that make this even more awesome than it already is: 1. It was an audition cake for her wedding! (I am her Maid of Honor!) and 2. The cake-maker is my boyfriend Mark's sister! She is an amazing cook, like honestly the best food I've EVER eaten, homemade or restaurant. She made Channa a miniature red velvet cake with a butter cream frosting and it was amazing. She also had little hors d'ouevres of scrambled eggs and bacon with truffle butter on toast, as well as the most delicious gorgonzola cheese from the Co-op close by, as well as chorizo and black olive tapenade. Can't forget the champagne! I would've taken pictures, but I was too busy eating.

All that delicious food inspired me and after I got home for a little post-sleepover/post-champagne nappie, I drove back to town to buy some groceries. I tried my hand at Pasta Puttanesca!

Chopped black olives, diced tomatoes, fettuccine noodles, capers, tomato paste, garlic, anchovy filets and red pepper flakes.

I had found a few recipes online to act as a guide, but a lot of them called for less noodles than I wanted to make, so I had to add more for the sauce! Also, many of the recipes included shrimp or chicken, and while that did sound delicious, I wasn't feeling THAT ambitious. I ended up improvising most of the amounts: I know I wanted a lot of olives, so I more than doubled that, but I also wanted a more oily sauce, so I held back on the tomato paste. And .. it turned out delicious! There are some things I would change for next time, though. One would be to actually include a protein, like shrimp or chicken. The other would be to hold back on the red pepper flakes. So incredibly spicy! I usually don't mind that, but with it so hot outside (it was over 100 degrees on Sunday), I didn't necessarily want my meal to be so spicy! It was good, though. I got home from work tonight and saw that Mark had eaten all the leftovers, so it sounds like he liked it, too! I have tomorrow evening off, so maybe I'll make it again with my changes.

The recipe that I mainly followed was from and you can find it here!

Super Taranta!

Hello! Did you know how hot it is in MN right now? It is so hot that the I-94 freeway has buckled from the heat. We are sitting at a heat index of about 115 degrees. Too bad about the freeway, too ... thanks to the government shutdown, we don't have road construction crews. Whoops!

Anyway, no long post today, since my brain is a stew. Almost fainted today and went to lay on my mom's bed with a wet rag on my face. I'm feeling a little better now, but I have to go to my other job in 45 minutes.

Here is a video of my dance troupe, the RakStar Fusion Bellydancers, doing our dance to Gogol Bordello's "Super Taranta!" Heads up: we do form a human dragon. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Intermittent Kitten #1

I'm sure it comes as no surprise, but I plan on posting pictures of my cats on this blog. I have two kitties: Chester, a ragdoll, and Sonny, a Himalayan/mutt. My phone and iPod picture folders can be pretty much separated into three categories: food, me in a mirror, and the cats.

So, this is my section of kitty photography! I didn't want to plan a special day to post them ("Sonny Sunday" anyone?!) because I don't know if I could wait a whole week, BUT I also don't want to just post them like a crazy person. Which I guess I might be too late for.

Today's Intermittent Kitten is Sonny, napping in the sunshine! I think if I find any fame and fortune on the web, it'll be through Sonny's milky mustache and Whoville Who-Paws.

Sonny Cat
Sonny Cat

If Sonny could have little kitty headphones in, I'm sure he'd be listening to "How Soon Is Now?" He is the son and heir of nothing in particular.
Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kyuuto! A Japanese Crochet Book.

I've been kind of down in the dumps about money lately. One of the bad things about living in the country is the fact that I have to drive triple the amount of miles to work than I would if I lived in town. I don't mind the drive; it's the gas money that kills me. A big chunk of my paycheck goes right into filling my tank, so I can't spoil myself as often as I'd like. However, with my new job, I've been making a little more than I did at my last one! I let myself browse around on and Amazon for some used book therapy. I found two and one came yesterday!

Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts - Lacy Crochet

Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts

It definitely fits the title - it is so cute. The projects are all so tiny! I haven't decided which patterns I want to try first, but I have a few in mind. The only thing I'm worried about is, since this is a translated book, the instructions aren't as simple as I'm used to. They read more in a paragraph-form, rather than a list of crochet abbreviations. I think this book will be good for me to learn how to read charts - there are a lot of those in here! The best part is that it was only $4.50 and it is just like new.

Crocheted Sachets
Look at these little sachets! The daisy pattern on the left is adorable. You can't really tell, either, but one of the leaves on the other sachet is little green seed beads! I really like the daisies, and I think it would be sweet to add it to another pattern. Make a bracelet of flowers? OH, or a headband! I definitely think that this is the first one that I'll try. What else do you think I could use those flowers for? Tell me!

Crocheted Basket
This tiny basket is so cute, but I don't know where I'd put it. It seems like something my cats would love to play with. If I put it anywhere they can't get to, it wouldn't be so convenient to use. Whatever! I'll probably still make it. Besides pattern clarity, the other thing I'm a little nervous for is yarn & needle sizes. The book calls out which needle to use (definitely way smaller than anything I've crocheted with!), but it doesn't tell me any yarn weights. Maybe I'll buy some sock yarn and see how that works!

All in all, I'm very excited to start working with this book! I do have to go to JoAnns to get the right kind of yarn. I bet those daisies would turn out nice and pretty if I made them bigger! Then I could make a scarf of flowers. Another thing I'll do is look the book up on Ravelry. I'm sure plenty of people have done patterns from this book (and there's another one from the same line about amigurumi) that will have noted which yarn they picked.

I'll be sure to post pictures after I've finished some projects! Wish me luck! <3

Me! MaDonna! © 2013.

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