Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays Update!

Pretty relaxed x-mas. I could get used to this 4 person holiday thang (me and bf went to mom and dad's house...and that's it). Very different from usual chaos.

Here's my holiday story: there is a toy/misc drive at work every year to get items for the local battered women's shelter and the kids there with their mom's. This year, with all of our jobs in peril, there was much less stuff in those boxes than there was last year. Well, one morning there was even less- someone on the cleaning crew stole some items out of the boxes. Remote control cars and baby blankets, it turns out.

Now, they knew it was someone on the cleaning staff b/c they tried to move teh security camera before they stole the items...but didn't realize that it was a wide angle lense and they were on film anyway.

I got really upset about this, ranted about it on the 'ville and to an online/in town friend who's on the 'ville as well. She offered to donate some items she'd made, and to pick up a few new toys at Wal-mart. I also dragged/invited my bf to a walmart toy run in the official capacity of chaffeur, but he ended up buying half teh presents (go bf!)

Well, my 'ville buddy didn't just donate a few things. We're talking a huge bag of toys, as well as a huge pile of hand crocheted blankets, lapghans, onesies, cuddly little dolls...just tons of stuff.

My friends generosity turned a few stolen items into a larger pile of goodies than everybody together had donated thus far.

There's a holiday miracle there for ya, regardless of what you are or are not celebrating today.

Take car of each other, y'all. :)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tapestry Pieces

Been trying out tapestry crochet lately, so I did a MST3K piece b/c I loved the show and it is a two color design:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The world needs more MST3K crafts, especially MST3K. Are ya with me, folks?

I then wanted to try a 3 color piece, so I did this small patch of a Red Shroom from super mario bros:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And b/c I run with a gaming crowd and my bf loves Mortal Kombat, for a bigger (but still only 2 color) piece I did the Mortal Kombat logo:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This one is special because not only is it an awesome logo, not only do all my friends love MK, but...I met the dudes themselves! Daniel and Carlos Pesina agreed to guest star in Press Start, and as the unofficial makeup person (read: girl) and prop diva, I got to meet them and smear greasy makeup aaaaaall over 'em. They didn't kill me. Daniel was Johnny Cage and Scorpion/Subzero/other palette swaps, and Carlos was Raiden.

Yes, I put makeup on Johnny Cage for a movie.

Ah, it's a fun world :)

Saturday, December 9, 2006

My favorite picture ever

I went to ireland about two years ago, and at one point while looking over a cliff a guy came up with a 3 week old lamb (so he said). I had to hold it. I needed a picture. is me holding a IRELAND!!


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

"Can I have some wool when you grow up?"

Crochetville ROCKS

I recently posted a rant on Crochetville and got so many kind words back...:) If you haven't been there, you gotta check it out- the warmest fuzziest place on the planet. If you are from the 'ville- I love you guys!

In other hooker news...I've been stashbusting like mad and will probably be slowing down quite a bit. Made two scarves for my mom, a bunch of snowflakes, the snow princess purse (below), a bunch of other purses, dress scarves, a hat, a bunch of crochet washclothes, 2 knitted waschclothes (including one with a knit/purl design of a bunny) 11 comforghan squares (for three different causes) and have mailed out some of the stash I didn't want to other folks on Crochetville. I don't have a lot of pictures, and the ones I do have will have to wait- the camera isn't mine, you see :(

I have actually picked the Dr. Who scarf again, too! Go me.

I will now probably put it down for awhile in order to make 8-bit video game character sprites out of perler beads. I've made some, they've gone over great with the I might make more as a x-mas (or end-of-movie-going-to-magfest) surprise. Happens about the same time anyway.

I'll try to get pictures of those up many pictures

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Snow Princess Purse

Hey, betcha forgot this was a crochet blog, all you people not reading it! But ho! I do see a crochet project below!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I had a couple of spools of mason line laying around that I bought super cheap, and had been turning them into snowflakes. Got bored of that, and figured this super shiny white nylon cord might make a nice purse. And that purse needed a snowflake.

It looks quite shiny and frosty in real life. It has no handles...because I couldn't think of any that looked good. But hey, not bad for a couple of lunch hours, using about $2 worth of clearance sale supplies, eh?

An open response to Crochetme's "Freaky" afghan

Dear Internet,

If you've seen the latest issue of Crochetme, you've seen the Freaky afghan. You've probably also noted it's somewhat controversial nature. My problem isn't with the afghan- I think it's a dumb joke, that's all. I have no problem with people cursing around me casually- but I'll save that diatribe (although being cussed out is different).

However, someone didn't like the afghan and left a comment. The designer sounded off a rapt rejoinder that I felt someone needed to respond to. The designer basically tried to make themselves out as a person persecuted by "judgmental people", tried to make people dissaproving of swear words equal to religious persecution, and then invoked the bill of rights specifically as the document making all good citizens responsible for fighting for the rights of people to say exactly what we disagree with. I have a problem with people invoking the bill of rights and freedom of speech while acting offended that someone disagreed with them on something that was intended to create controvery.

She also mentioned that she would not attack the poster, but the poster wasn't afraid to call her names. Except...the poster did not call her names. In any case, such a response was very aggressive and unprofesional and very obvious about it.

The following was a comment I left on the site in response to the designer's comeback to someone's dissapproval of the afghan. The comment was deleted according to Crochetme's policy, so I'm putting it up here.

"Maria- you are right, humour is subjective. And controvery happens. And yes, the Bill of Rights is the best thing we have in this country. It's what makes me proud of Americans- that they will fight for it. And I have no problem with swear words in my own life, just so we're clear.

But from what I can tell, the post above didn't call you any names, and was just telling you of their feelings. Strongly, yes, but no blatant name-calling.

Like you said, the bill of rights is about fighting for the right of people to disagree with everything you hold dear. That's what this person was doing- disagreeing with your humour and questioning its validity. They didn't deserve being termed a "judgmental" person just because they were offended. Your pentacle example was a bit alarming in the reactions you got...but this person who posted is not everyone who ever criticized you. It's not the same issue. Could it be that you really aren't open to people disagreeing with you?"

I don't think anyone will read this, ever, but I wanted it up somewhere. And Crochetme is completely within their rights to delete comments according to their policy- their site, their rules. I also do not have a personal problem with the designer. I don't think it was an offensive afghan. I just don't like how a rather sophmoric and shortsighted response to a poster can be left up as a reprimand for everyone to see without anyone being allowed to challenge it. Oh, and I love a good argument.

Respectfully yours,


Monday, December 4, 2006

I was beat up by Ninjas!!

Okay, so I have a tendency to go for dramatic titles. But, in a way, it is true. One benefit of a crazy life is you get to have funky blog titles.

Last weekend the bf asked me if I could be a minion/goon for shooting Sunday. Basically, there were supposed to be extras but there weren’t. So actor #1’s girlfriend volunteered to be a goon and I did too, knowing that it was crunch time. Little did I realize at the time this meant putting on a large vinyl mask with black mesh over the eyeholes and running and jumping and fighting in a dark warehouse. Oh, and I’m practically nightblind…and I was “fighting” a blackbelt…and I had plastic weapons and he had metal. It is fun to live my life.

Not that we were in a real fight (I’d be dead) but it was kind of funny to try and do impromptu fight choreography with card carrying ninjas when neither of us “goons” had any natural ability in fighting whatsoever. We managed to do pretty well, considering we couldn’t see our opponents and had no idea what the heck we were doing. And we didn’t get majorly hurt considering we were blocking metal axes with plastic shields (that can bruise, my friend, that can bruise. As can fake dying on cement floors over and over and over.)

So I’m bruised, but proud. I fought ninjas. And I am very much not a ninja. But I am willing to wear goofy outfits and hop around and grunt and yell and wave my arms and walk like a gorilla and attack someone with a plastic sword (knowing that they are armed and are themselves a registered weapon) and then flop onto the ground and die over and over.

Oh, I do so love the low-budget movie making.

It doesn’t matter if you’re good (at least for the goons) It matters if you are willing to hang in there and make a big giant fool of yourself. Because when you feel like an idiot is when it’s starting to look right on camera. Funny how it works.

Plus I got treated to free Steak n’ Shake afterwards, and they have a new dark chocolate fudge shake for Christmas and it is nifty-licious.

I take pride in my willingness to do what no sane woman would do. And I didn’t do it just for my bf’s sake (although that was a big part of it). I did it because it was a BLAST!! I was tired, bruised, hungry, cold and one heck of a crank the next day (4 hrs sleep or so before a regular 8-5 workin’ day), but I am so glad I got to be part of it. It was great, and I will forever take pride in how hard I tried. I am a crazy yarn-totin’ ninja-fightin’ woman.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Knitting be my nemesis

FIrst off- I rarely have more than one WIP at a time. Been crocheting for 6 years, and I always worked on one project (albeit obsessively) until it was done. Then, I decided to learn to knit.

Oh, for the good old days...

Now I decided to pick up knitting specifically because I knew that there was one yarn item in the entire world that both me and my bf could agree is awesome. And cannot be bought in stores at all. The one item I could make him that I know he would proudly show anyone with interest. What is it, I hear you ask?

Okay, so no one's asking, but I'm still gonna tell ya. Muwahahaha.

That item is a Dr. Who scarf.

Now I know people have crocheted them. But I'm not such a die-hard crocheter that I couldn't recognize that to do this right, it needed to be knitted. It needs to have that lovely ribby look only knitting can give. There's something so...I don't know...english about it. Can't explain it.

So I learned to knit- to make this one project! It wasn't the first thing I put needles to. I did a few practice scarves to try and even up my tension. It ain't bad now (not great, but who can tell in something this huge? It'll stretch anyway.) I drug (invited) boyfriend with me to Hobby Lobby and we spent an hour picking out the yarn colors. I had printouts and patterns from the BBC and fans, but I knew I would not be making an exact copy of the original. For starters...those 70's tastic colors just aren't around anymore. Besides, I don't want it to be hideous, just wacky. Plus I was limited to cheap acrylic yarn. C'mon, this many colors at 2-3 skeins each? Can't afford more than that.

Started it and got 7 feet along in a month or two. 10 feet or so to go. Wanted it for winter. Have I worked on it in the past month? NO

I, the one WIP wonder, put it aside. Decided to go through my three-box-big stash and use up some stuff making charity items for the holiday season. Temporarily, of course. Got surprised at the fun stuff in there, starting whipping out crochet goodies for friends and strangers. Got re-aquainted with the almost instant gratification of the small crocheted FO. And now I can't stop. I can't go back from quick and easy /stashbusting /gift making /crochet-is-so-much-damn-faster-than-knit joy and go back to the Dr. Who scarf. I only have one other WIP at a time...but that scarf is languishing there.

Why did I put it down and stop feverishly trying ot make progress with my slow knitting self? Because I calculated that at my slow pace (10 rows an hour), if I worked on it 1 hr a day (all I can squeeze in without rushing my life too much) it would take me over a year to finish it.

Let that be your lesson. Never, ever figure out how long something will take to finish. Or it will never get finished.

I will pick up those needles again, I know. And I warned bf that this scarf would not be ready in anyone's forseeable future. In fact I picked it up to try and teach myself patience- to work at something in only the time I can easily spare and not put aside things to get a project done at any cost.

Yet I miss those days of proudly declaring "I have no UFOs in my life."

Sigh. Knitting, you are my nemesis.

But I solemnly swear by the powers of Lion, Caron, Patons and all the others, that I WILL defeat you. And by that I mean finish this scarf.

And maybe figure out this increase-decrease thing for later :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oh, is that so? Take THAT!!

The situation: I do thanksgiving with my boyfriend's wonderful family, and Christmas with my folks. My parents drove back to our hometown for thanksgiving, came back, nothing big was shakin'. Then I got a call Sunday (actually, a series of calls) saying that they were not going to drive back to the hometown for Christmas after all this year, and we should start our own tradition in town now. (My folks and I ended up living in the same town -not our home town- by accident. Long story)

Anyhoo, they didn't tell me at first why we weren't going back for X-mas, but I knew it was big. Then they let me in on it. You know why? Because it turns out we were voted out of Christmas.

Has survivor taken over the whole freakin' world?

What actually happened was this: for years we did a gift exchange. Everyone met at Grandma's, the siblings picked a name of one person to buy for, the grandkids all picked a name amongst themselves, so everyone got and gave one gift. Then we got the bright idea that instead of one $25 dollar gift, we could all buy everyone a $5 gift. Works the same: there are 5 grandkids and 5 siblings.

Then financial trouble hit, and some of the siblings complained that they couldn't afford to buy and didn't want to receive if they couldn't buy. So they leaned on grandma, and it was decreed that NO ONE could bring presents. To christmas. Ooookay. Fine then.

Fast forward to thanksgiving. The moment my parents leave for the 4 hr drive home, the rest of the entire family decided that it wouldn't be fun to do no presents, so they'd just have the grandkids exchange. Except for me. They decided to leave me out. I admit, I am the oldest, but only by 2 years. They came up with rules that excluded me but left in the next youngest cousin (if you were still in college the age limit "didn't apply")

My mom, and thus me, have always been the black sheep of the family. When grandma bought presents "for all the grandkids" she always "forgot" mine. Even though I was the only one who lived in the same town.

Now, this isn't about's the principle. Isn't it slightly screwed up when there are 5 kids to decide to exclude ONE of them from the gift giving? And do it when she isn't there, and after waiting for her parents to leave before voting? How many families out there exclude anyone of any age from the holiday?

I'm ...mad. Let's leave it at that.

So I'm not going. But the "Take THAT!" part of this post is that I'm dealing with my frustration at this by putting all of my energy behind doing RAOK for the folks at Crochetville. I went through all the wish lists and am going to meet as many as I can. If my family doesn't want me and my crafty giftness, I'll spend that energy on strangers that can appreciate it. I don't really celebrate Christmas, but I like the spirit of it, and that's how I'm going to keep that spirit alive.

The silver lining? It prompted from my bf the funniest yet sweetest condolences ever. Such as "I'm sorry my family is jewish, because otherwise we'd love to have you to ourselves and have the best Christmas you've ever had." And my all-time favorite "hey, my folks love you. They told me that if we split up, they'd have to think long and hard about which of us they were going to keep."

Friday, November 24, 2006

Oh, another thing...

Two posts in one day! Good for me :)

Just wanted to mention that Press Start, the video game comedy movie I help with/live with/work on, for which the fake commercial below was made (after I obsessively crocheted dolls for it...yeah, I'm sick I know) also has other nifty side things. Such as what, I hear you shout?

Such as an animated series! Yes, it's true! The writer and the editor get a scripts, find guest actors, record edit and animate a 3 minute cartoon every month. The new episode premiers the final friday of every month, which means the new one is up today. As an extra bonus, in this one my voice is added to the cacophony...I play the annoying little yellow guy (Zippy) who flies around incoherently.

Hope I don't get typecast...

If you're into videogames, go check it out at

Black Friday

Well, against all odds me and the bf got up at 4 am this morning, got ready, and headed to Best Buy. We decided that we would be there at 5 am for the opening of the doors, but we were not going to wait outside in a line for hours beforehand. There's only so much early morning insanity we can take.

Since the line wrapped around the front, side, and back of the store with an extra little loop at the end, bf lost much hope. But I tend to rally when spirits are lowest so we hung in there, got in the store and grabbed what we came for- cheap mp3 players and jump drives for ourselves and family presents.

Here's my thought for the day. Wouldn't it be awesome if craft store, both chain and LYS did black friday sales? Think about it- waking up extra early, before the sun and the sane people are up, lining up with other crazy people and storming the store looking for great deals...but all craftylicious deals! Instead of being in lines for electronic stores or discount stores with all kinds of people looking for all kinds of things, we could be in a line of people who all share a love of craft-niftyness! Imagine ball winders, OTT-Lites, work tables as door-buster specials with decent deals on yarn and hooks and notions sprinkled thru the store?

Oh, that would be such fun. And the stores would make a killing- because we all know that while we were there to pick up a book or a winder of anything on a $10 discount, we would pick up $30 of yarn or more because we were there already, we needed it for a project, gas is too expensive to drive back, etc.

It'd be brilliant. Who's with me?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Habits are hard to break

So, today I dropped off five scarves and three hats that I had crocheted in a charity collection box at work. For the past week I have been going through my yarn stash and trying to figure out how to turn every last scrap into something someone could use. I've been piling up odds and ends of gifts bought but never given, intent on shipping them to folks on Crochetville as random acts of kindness. I've spent hours after work baking and freezing bread and cookies to be given out later. And why?

I think because we're getting into full Holiday season. The reason I'm blathering on about it is not because I'm proud of myself, but because I'm confused. Because I don't do Christmas. Used to, not anymore. Haven't celebrated it for years. So why when November is winding down do I get this super strong urge to give gifts? Not that I'm against charity, or giving- I'm just in favor of them as a year round thing, not as part of a religious holiday.

So if I don't believe in Christmas, and don't celebrate it, why am I suddenly seized by an impulse to pile up gifts and ship them out?

I'll still send stuff out and donate because people seem to need pick-me-ups more this time of year. And warm goodies are needed more as it gets colder. But still, it's an odd habit I to not have quite broken yet. Christmas must-do-everything guilt still lives on.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Okay, so there's no pictures yet. But ha! There is a video :-)

This is an oddity that kept getting odder. My boyfriend and our friends are making a video game parody movie, and I am helping out in the props/set/costumes/general-how-the-heck-can-we-do-this-can-you-fix-it-or-hold-this-up capacity. I also get craaaazy ideas.

So, of course, I had to crochet dolls of the main characters and then beg for pictures. And when going out to take pictures with the dolls, somehow the gang came back...with this!

I love it. And who else has a fake commercial for their crocheted junk? In a language no one who was involved with it actually speaks? (We are all from Illinois)

Incidentally, if you want to know what the heck all this is about and what those odd costumes are for, check out the movie page at

Intro time

Well, until I can get some crochet pictures up here, might as well introduce myself. I'm 23, graduated from college in 2005 and have been surviving in the "real world" since then. My job? Not interesting, and probably won't exist soon. Eh. My hobbies? Crochet, of course, as well as reading whenever I can (I've been on a non-fiction kick for a few years) and watching lots and lots of movies. This happens when you've been dating a low-budget filmmaker for years.

I also dabble in other crafts and am in the long process of trying to learn how to cook. Also want to learn to sew, embroider, make more complex crochet projects, read braille, bake awesome goodies, and lose some serious weight. Ah, could there be a conflict between those last two? Mmmmaybe...

Fortunately my overwhelming urge is to make or learn everything, not to consume everything. Usually if I bake it, I eat less of it than if it was store bought. Odd. But whatever works.

How long have I been crocheting? About five years, although I have stuck to such easy to finish projects that I'm still a beginner, really. And I am not a fibre snob. Except for some cotton items, everything I've done is acrylic. Yeah, I know. But I am not ashamed. Natural fibres feel great, but most of my crochet history has been during college and that first year with a job. Yarn money was just not a top priority. And if you crochet mainly to be able to pick up the hooks and make something bizarre, its nice to have a little bit of lots of colors in the same yarn sitting around. So ha! Acrylic can rule the roost if you let it. And c'mon, who hasn't cursed at a handwashable only garment in the past year? Easy care deserves more accolades.

Current projects? I am learning to knit. Haha! Hey, I love crochet, its faster and easier and more adaptable to my mad creations, but I want to be able to make anything I want to and that means knowing how to knit. The reason I bit the bullet? Making a Dr. Who scarf for my boyfriend. Crazy, crazy stuff. It needs to be 17 feet long, I've got 7 feet done and am putting it aside for a little while. I'm using this project to learn that not everything I start has to be done immediately. Most fibre freaks have too many WIP lying around- my problem is that I can't seem to leave even one unfinished to regain my sanity. So expect Dr. Who scarf updates occasionally until the sucker is done!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hello World!

Let the madness begin. Ever so slowly, of course.