Sunday, December 15, 2013

Diva Donna's Day of Decadence

The Wordpress Daily Prompt is:

Daily Prompt: Festivus for the Rest of Us
by Krista on December 15, 2013
You have been named supreme ruler of the universe. Your first order of business is creating and instituting a holiday or festival in your honor. What day of the year is your holiday? What special events will take place? Describe YOU DAY in as great a detail as you can muster: the special foods we’ll consume, the decorations we’ll use…everything.
If I'm going to go about creating a festival in my honor, it won't be about what I try to do: Eat healthy food in healthy serving sizes, and get regular exercise. The Official Foods will be: Guacamole and Dark Chocolate.  Not mixed together. Just anything that complements those items. Oh! And there must be garlic, and something with melted cheese --but not too much melted cheese or the evil gods of Lactose Intolerance will visit revelers when they least suspect. And eggs with runny yolks. Perhaps starting the day with some sort of egg, bacon, sausage and potatoes bake, where the eggs are left whole to bake in the oven, so that when it's done and you slice into it with your fork, the yolk runs all over the potatoes, bacon and sausages. There will be a commercial tie-in with Carl's Jr. (Hardee's) and their Six-Dollar Guacamole Bacon Cheese Burger. 
For those who can afford fancier meals: Steak! Preferably medium rare. Preferably filet mignon. 
Dessert? Dark Chocolate Anything. 
Music: Beatles, Eagles, Billy Joel, Ludo, Pat Benetar, The Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer, Mumford and Sons
The Princess Bride and/or Episodes of any Steven Moffatt series, preferably, Doctor Who and Sherlock will be playing in the background. If those are not to the taste of the revelers, there are many alternate movies and TV programs...Too many. 
As for decorations, Diva Donna has eclectic tastes. If revelers choose to go more traditional, hand knit and crocheted decorations might be fun--but make it awesome, like perhaps Science Fiction themed. No doilies! (Unless you are knitting a stack of doilies in reference to Diana Barry from Anne of Green Gables --or if the doilies are not too precious and are knit in filet with references to the Diva's favorite pop-culture references from the 1990's through our current time. 
Really, just have fun, revelers and do whatever the hell you want! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yarn Bowl (Part 1)

Last night, I took my daughters with me to an event at Painted Earth that was organized by my Stitch n Bitch group. We painted yarn bowls. A yarn bowl is a bowl that has a slit or hole in the side. You put your working ball of yarn in the bowl, thread your yarn through the hole if it's a new project, or through the slit if it's a work in progress, and it helps keep the ball of yarn from bouncing all over the place or from rolling away as you pull more yarn from it. Click here for some examples of lovely yarn bowls.

Being the Doctor Who fan that I am, I attempted to paint the Exploding Tardis that was painted by a fictionalized Vincent Van Gogh in the episode, The Pandorica Opens.  Part of the problem, aside from a severe lack of formal art training, is that when painting on ceramics, the paints appear to not only be much lighter before they are to be fired in the kiln, but often a slightly different shade. So, here is the before shot of my yarn bowl:

The front of the bowl. Notice the slit with the hole at the end. The hole is supposed to be at the center of the explosion.

Aaaaaand, here's the back.

My daughters painted mugs. We are supposed to come back in a week to pick up our finished products. I'll post more pics then.

Friday, December 13, 2013

It's a Record!

If I don't do anymore posts this month, I will have broken my previous NaBloPoMo record of posting 12 days in a row before I let the day get away from me and forgot to publish a post. Tonight, I'm meeting my Stitch n Bitch group and we're going to paint yarn bowls at a local paint your own ceramics place. I'll post the preliminary results tomorrow, maybe. We don't get them back for few days while they are being fired in the kiln.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Love Me Dead

This is one of the songs that I can listen to over, and over, and over, and over. You will see me singing along and rocking out to it while I'm driving. I feel like I've experienced both sides of this. Is it a bad thing that I feel a little twinge of pride when I imagine this being sung about me? Is this a first step to becoming a Super-Villain?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Work In Progress Wednesday - The 4th Doctor Scarf

The colors looked closer to the correct colors when I was ordering the yarn online. This is why I don't like to order yarn online. A few days ago, I posted a pic of my yarn that had arrived (scroll past the mug pics). The colors look closer to how they looked online in the photo, thanks to lighting and my flash. For some reason, I ended up having to edit this one just to get it close. So this is my scarf so far. I'm using fingering/sock weight yarn instead of worsted weight and size 2 needles instead of...well the pattern suggests size 5 with worsted weight, but I think I'd end up using size 8. I cast on 66 as the pattern suggests. It is still going to be a fairly wide scarf in spite of the lighter weight yarn. I am pretty sure I'd cast on fewer stitches if I was using a heavier weight. I almost used a size 5 needle with this yarn, but my daughter, who will be wearing this scarf, preferred the tighter knit. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Covert Narcissism?

Playing with the writing prompt for today, where we were asked how good we were at placing others before ourselves. This made me think about all the Narcissism Personality Disorder posts and articles I've been noticing on the internet lately. They seem to have eclipsed all the Introversion vs. Extroversion articles and posts (Of course they would, wouldn't they?)

Then, I stumbled upon this article, 23 Signs You're Secretly a Narcissist Masquerading as a Sensitive Introvert.  It has a test. I took the test. I scored 42. I did a little fist pump when I saw that score because I am a Douglas Adams fan (SPOILER ALERT).

I breathed a sigh of relief, because, apparently, at least according to this test, I scored very low on the narcissism scale. The average score was upper mid-60's. 82 and above is high on the covert narcissism scale.

I apologize for the short post. My mind is in the process of becoming engulfed in Brain Fog™.  Hopefully, there will be clearer "skies" tomorrow.

Monday, December 09, 2013

It Never Seems to Look Like the Photo in the Book

I finally finished the Catching Butterflies pattern by Stephanie Dosen. It is supposed to look like this:\

And this:

I used different color yarn, hand dyed by my friend who owns Inner Yarn Zen for the main color, and for the butterflies, I used yarn dyed by another friend, who owns BC Yarnings. I don't remember the name of the colorways, and I couldn't find the labels, so I guess we all have to suffer from my lack of organization. So, here's how mine turned out:

I made these for my daughter. The yarn I used for the butterflies is thicker than the yarn in the original pattern. The butterflies on the gloves on the left are positioned more like the pattern, with the rows of garter stitch going perpendicular to the stockinette stitch in the glove. With the other butterflies, and with my daughter's approval, I tried sewing the butterflies on in the other direction to make the wings look a little more like a butterfly rather than a bow. (Though, bow ties are cool.) My daughter is happy with them, and really, in the end, that's all that matters. If I took the time to get better lighting and use something better than my Galaxy Note (one), to take the picture, you would be able to see that the little "butterfly" pattern on the main glove does show up fairly well in spite of me using a dark shaded multi-colored yarn.

Also, I ended up using one size up on all the needle sizes. I may have used a lighter weight yarn --it's fingering yarn. If I had to do it over again --and I probably will, I would make sure I had an even lighter weight fiber for the butterflies, as recommend. Also, I would do an extra pattern repeat between where I stopped making the thumb gusset and the ribbing at the top. I would also do a couple of rounds of straight knitting on the thumbs before starting with the ribbing. 

You can find this pattern on the Tiny Owl Knits website through the link above, and it is also available in Stephanie's Book, Woodland Knits, which is what I used. 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

My Old Car Misses Me

Around 2010, I was in a minor car accident that resulted in our Mini-van being totaled. The insurance payout allowed me to get a car I had been fantasizing about for a while: A MINI Cooper. Our two oldest kids either had their own transportation, or were not living at home anymore, and just our youngest, who was around nine at the time, was the only one left to drive around, so even though we couldn't fit our family of five in a MINI, we rarely all drove together in the same vehicle anymore. On the rare occurrences this did happen, my husband and I decided we could just use his car that did seat five people.

My dream MINI Cooper is British Racing green, with a white roof, and white side mirrors and white racing stripes on the bonnet and boot. No sunroof, because it's hot enough where we live near the desert, I don't want to give the sun any extra help.  The inside would be brown with wood textured panel for the dash.

I would frequently go to MINI USA to "build my own MINI." I got this pic of Google Images.

My actual MINI, after scouring all the ads that were within a two-hour driving distance, turned out to be Indy Blue, with a white roof and white side mirrors, no racing stripes, and it did have a sunroof. I was fine with the color. It was pretty close to TARDIS Blue, so I dubbed it, The TARDIS, explaining that it has Time Lord Technology because it's "bigger on the inside."

Earlier this year, my 2004 MINI developed a fatal illness with it's transmission. Reluctantly, we (Okay, I was much more reluctant than my husband), traded it in for a brand new Scion XD. We had a choice between Charcoal, and Black Currant Metallic. Of course, I had to choose the weird color. It's almost as small as the MINI, but with more space on the inside, including room to seat five, and 4-doors instead of two. It doesn't look as retro on the inside as my MINI did, but it does have a USB port, AUX hook up, and Bluetooth for phones and/or iPods, which the MINI did not have.

This is just from the internet. But it looks just like my car.
Today, as I was leaving the restaurant where we had our NaNoWriMo TGIO "party" today, I saw, parked right next to MY Scion, in the very same spot where I had parked last year, when I was still driving my MINI cooper,  MY old MINI! Okay, most likely, it was not my old MINI cooper, as blue and white MINIs with sunroofs are not a particularly rare sighting in these parts. Still, I thought it was cool enough to take a pic:

Yep, that's my little Scion to the left of the MINI.

Okay, that is all. Every time I see a blue MINI like that, I just think my car must miss me, because it seems to be following me around....Yeah, that's it. My car misses ME. 

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Ski Day!

My husband is taking all three of our kids, ages 22, 22, and 12, skiing tomorrow! It started with it just being with our 12-year-old daughter, but then she decided she didn't want to have to get her chores done in time to go skiing, though she used the excuse that she didn't want to be sore the next day for school. So, while we were out running errands, my husband called our 22-year-old daughter, who is currently staying with us for a while from Portland, and asked if she would like to go. He asked her before asking our son, who is also staying with us (not from out of state) because there was available ski gear for her, and he wanted to avoid the hassle of getting more ski gear. She declined, not really wanting to get up at 5:00 am.  He then called and asked her twin brother (or son, mentioned above), even though he knew we'd at least have to get him some ski pants and gloves. Our son was very excited to go, and accepted the invitation.

When we got back home from errands, we told our oldest daughter that her brother ended up being the one to go skiing with dad.

"What? Nick's going? I want to go, now! I was going to say that on the phone, that I wanted to go if Nick was going, but then I realized that might sound mean."

"Yeah, that does sound kind of mean," my husband deadpanned.

She went on to explain how the last time she and my husband and her sister had all gone skiing last year, and she wished her brother, who was unable to make the trip had been there too. My husband relented, and said they could both go.

Then our 12-year old heard that her siblings were both going, but more importantly, that her sister was going. She began sobbing that she wanted to go if her sister was going. She promised she would get her chores done tonight if she could go skiing now.

So, now, all three kids are going skiing with their dad. I'm not able to make the trip because I have my already scheduled Thank God It's Over party for NaNoWriMo, and I'm the municipal liaison, so it would be weird if I didn't go. Yeah...that's why I'm not going with our car that only seats 5 people.  It should be noted that our son was the only one who was perfectly willing and happy to go skiing with just him and my husband, considering that these two are the ones that tend to bump heads the most in our house.

No, this isn't them. Just something I found off Google Images when I typed, "skiing snow summit" in the search box.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Yarn, Yarn, Yarn, Yarn!

A couple of days ago, I made a post about getting some goodies I had ordered. I also posted the pics on Instagram. One of my friends commented and asked how much I spend on yarn, because it seemed so expensive at Hobby Lobby. Here was my answer (edited for typos):
This particular yarn was on sale at I don't normally like to buy yarn online because I can't feel it or see what the colors REALLY are in person. I took a chance here because the price was so low at the time. I recommend getting the Joann's, Michael's and Hobby Lobby phone apps. You'll get the weekly coupons sent to your phone so you don't have to remember to bring them. I usually go to Joann's and wait for sales and use coupons but they are all about the same. Sometimes Walmart will have lower prices, but much less of a selection. Each of those main three stores will have a line of yarn or a colorway that the other 2 don't have. I also have friends who hand dye yarn. I buy that too, but of course its more expensive due to the higher quality of the yarn and the hand dyeing. How much I pay depends on what I want to make. Cheaper yarn like acrylics will cost less. Sometimes I'm willing to pay more for higher quality yarn with natural fibers. Also, it depends on how much yarn is in a skein or a hank. The yarn I bought was fingering weight. 231 yards per skein. The prices ranged from 1.69 to 3.39 per skein. 4 of them were under $2, 5 were under $3 and only one was over $3. I thought those were pretty great prices for that particular yarn, oh and its 100% Peruvian highland wool.

A very small sampling of some of my yarns.

I'm checking all prices on unless I can't find a particular yarn there. I tend to buy a lot of my yarn at Joann's just because it's the closest to my house, followed by Hobby Lobby (which I rarely go to, only because I'm still sad that Mervyn's isn't in that location anymore, AND I get too much of a synapses overload walking from the front of the store all they way back to the yarn aisle. And then Michael's is the next closest, but usually my second choice for yarn, just out of habit since Hobby Lobby hasn't been in town as long. 

From the top left: Lion Brand Jiffy: Right now, it's selling for $2.84/skein, down from $3.79. It is 100% brushed acrylic. The solid colors are 3oz and 135 yards. It is a bulky weight yarn. 

Going clockwise to the right, is Caron One Pound: It is selling for $6.99/skein, down from $9.99-$8.99 (apparently some colors cost more than others??) It is 100% acrylic and feels softer and more comfortable to the touch than the Jiffy yarn. It is 16oz, and a whopping 826 yards. It is worsted weight. 

Next, is Caron, Naturally Caron Spa: This has actually been discontinued because Caron was purchase by Bernat Yarns, and apparently they already had a similar (though not quite the same...grrrr) yarn in their inventory. I did manage to find a place to purchase it on the internet: It was selling for $3.99/skein down from $4.99. It is 25% Bamboo/75% acrylic. It is very soft and silky. I'm sad to see this line go. It is 3oz and 251 yards. It's more of a sport weight yarn. 

Going back to the left, do you see the little ball of yarn that is multi-colored blues, greens, and purples? Yeah, I am a moron who lost the label, but I bought it at a local independent yarn shop (now closed). I don't remember the name, but I do have a vague memory of it either being 100% alpaca, or a wool/alpaca blend. I do recall paying around $12 for it, which seems like a lot...but I NEEDED it. Some of you fellow fiber artists will totally understand what I am saying here ;-)

Next on the right, is a hank of yarn that was hand-dyed by a member of my local Stitch N Bitch group. It was made for a special event that some of the members went to: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 2) Opening Night. I'm not into the Twilight Saga, so I just bought the yarn, because it was so beautiful, I could not resist! it is 75% Merino Wool/25% nylon. 460 yards of fingering weight yarn. Because it is Merino Wool, it can be machine washed in cool water and tumble dried on low. It was $24 for this limited edition yarn. Her website is:

Next, is a hank of yarn I purchased at the Vista Fiber Art Fiesta a couple of years ago. Michaeline Marie is the fiber artist. I didn't see anything up on her site as of this typing, but keep checking back.  I bought the last two hanks of this colorway for a total of $40 (so, $20 each, if you're doing the math). This is also a fingering weight yarn, though it looks slightly thicker than the previous yarn. I have no other information on this yarn, other than I am going to assume it is wool or a wool blend, and will probably not take the chance of machine washing it --though maybe I'll end up knitting a little sample to wash and see how that goes. 

At this point, I am wondering what possessed me to put so many different types of yarn in the photo. I want to done now. Okay....soldiering on....

Next is Lion Brand Suede: This yarn has also been discontinued. It is a bulky weight chenille yarn. Very soft, like...suede.  100% polyester, 3oz, 122 yards. It can still be purchased on ebay for anywhere from a $1 (as of this typing) to $14. Good luck!

Below the Suede is Lily's Sugar 'n Cream cotton. This particular skein is 3oz and 150 yards. Now, they either sell them in 2oz or 4oz skeins. The 4oz of this is $2.24 down from $2.99 on 

The last three balls are Noro Yarn Silk Garden. I bought these a while back from Jimmy Beans Wool. I can't find the labels (see earlier about me being a moron) They are 45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% lamb's wool and Dry Clean Only. 50 grams, 110 yards of heavy worsted/Aran weight. They usually run about $11.95 a skein. 

Okay, am I done? Yes? For now. I do want to give a shout out to some of my other friends who hand-dye and make other fiber art related accessories:

One day, I will have my own Etsy shop with little thingies I've made with yarn...just gotta build up that know....after I make all these gifts....

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Can I Please Bring my Kitty to Stitch N Bitch?

I am supposed to leave in a couple of hours (as I begin typing this post) for a meet-up with my local Stitch N Bitch group. It's cold outside and I kind of want to just stay home and cuddle with my kitty, Audrey:

Rub my belly!

Audrey chose to curl up on my hand as I was resting it on the bed. I'm trapped. I can't move. Typing with one hand.
So, you see my predicament then? On the other hand, (see what I did there?) I'm a borderline agoraphobic, so it would be good to get out and be with like-minded women (and men!) or even not at like-minded except for our mutual attraction to fiber arts.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Look What I Got!

First, my mug that I ordered through The Bloggess arrived today:

They let you customize it on Zazzle, so I changed the color of the handle and the ring around the lip from black to red, you know, 'cause it goes with the blood. The other side of the mug originally said "Weird and Proud," but I changed it up a bit with a drawing I did for DrawSomething 2's Daily Draw. The word of the day was "Costume":

Yep. Ralphie from "A Christmas Story."

And...Saving the best for last, at least, in my opinion. My yarn for THE SCARF arrived from Knit Picks!

I used their Palette Yarn
And that's Y A R N even thought it looks like Y A M.
As soon as I finish my daughter's fingerless mittens, I'll start on the scarf.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Update on the Clarinet

Here is a stock photo of a clarinet. It isn't either my daughter's clarinets. 

So, it turns out it was not stolen. It was in the storage room in the band room, so I guess only a cursory look was made for it. So now we have two clarinets. We are hoping to take the old one back and get credit to go towards the newer one, because she likes the sound better on the new one. That is all...For now.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Clarinets and Mental Health

We have a missing clarinet. We don't know exactly what happened, but at this point, we believe our 12-year old daughter's clarinet may have been stolen either from our car or our house. It could have happened anytime between November 21st and yesterday. So, yeah, she didn't practice during her entire break. We have searched for it in all the reasonable and all the ridiculous places where  it could possibly have been misplaced both in our home and in our car. Her band teacher confirmed that she did not leave it in the band room over break, and it wasn't left in anywhere on campus. 

But why would someone steal just the clarinet out of the house. Even if she left in plain sight in the family room, surely, there had to be more worthwhile items to steal, like maybe a laptop? There was no sign of a break-in. If it was taken from our car, still no sign of a break-in, plus, why just take the clarinet? Why not take the iPod? I wish there was some way to retrieve our memories from the 21st and from every day in between until we could at least have a clear memory of when and where it was last seen. 

My husband wants us to file a police report, but what on earth do we tell the police? We have no solid suspects, we aren't sure exactly when or where we last saw it, and we aren't even 100% sure it still isn't just misplaced in some crazy location in our house, yet to be discovered. 

My daughter and my husband are now at the music store getting a replacement clarinet. Because, what do we do? Tell her she can't be in band anymore? Tell her she can never play clarinet again? In spite of the fact that she didn't practice during Thanksgiving break, she loves her clarinet. Band is her favorite class and feels like a sanctuary to her. In the second grade, she was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and has been seeing therapists off and on for it.  Naturally, this little episode put her over the edge, and she wasn't able to go to school today, even though her teacher assured her he wouldn't be angry with her.  She was just sobbing and throwing up, so finally I decided to give her a "mental health" day. Can I have a mental health day?

Sunday, December 01, 2013

December NaBloPoMo

EVERY month is National Blog Posting Month, but you can only enter one month at a time. After failing to meet my 50,000 word count goal for NaNoWriMo, I'm attempting to rebuild my writing "muscles." I wasn't used to writing every day. I certainly wasn't used to having to write a minimum of 1667 words every single day. I'm building slowly. First, I'm just going to try to write something, anything, every day. Even if it's just a cute picture with a caption. After that, I'll try having daily word count goals. 

See you tomorrow!