Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just 'cuz I can crochet doesn't mean I should, probably... ;D

Xmas '09 gift for Joey 2
Originally uploaded by mantequilla81


Ok, I love this photo, hahaha. But that's because I'm a dork.

So the sad thing about this project is that the gloves are for my friend Joey... who is very much a dude. Yet you can see that these fingerless gloves fit me well. *sigh* I have man hands. I'm a 5'10" Amazonian woman that desperately wishes I was 5'2" and dainty. It's like a St. Bernard trying to be a lap dog. xD

BUT I like how the gloves turned out. I think Joey will, too. They're simple and WARM, and they'll go with a cool leather jacket or a pea coat (as Joey is a fashionable sort). And if he doesn't like them, well... then hopefully he'll lie and tell me he does. Good thing I'm working on a stationary set for him, too. Speaking of, I'll have to show that set when it's done - it's probably one of the cooler card sets I've ever made. Which reminds me, I need to get back to work on those, I still have 4-6 of those to make...

Anyway, this is the second to last crochet project for the holidays, but the last one will be a looooong one. It's a scarf, and it's a scarf I'm trying to figure out from only looking at it. Oy. We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wannabe: Luxirare

Luxirare keeps sneaking up on me, and I've finally given myself over to it completely.

The funny thing is, I'm not so much interested in her fashion posts as I am her food posts. She makes some of the most exquisite food posts I've ever seen - even when she's not the one making the food. Her photos are works of art, and her write-ups are hoity-toity foodie talk with a touch of wit and the occasional pop culture reference thrown in (she freakin' reference Wu-Tang Clan, she had me at "C.R.E.A.M."). Some examples: Pie Pops Bento Box

Rather than make this a complete ass-kissing post, I'll simply write here what I just commented on her Steak n' Sides post (which isn't even my favorite post!):

"My GOD. I'd go gay for you."

I mean every word.

(The Hubs won't mind, as long as I help her cook a good meal for him before we ride off into the sunset. Something tells me he'll be too drunk on good eats to notice.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

See? I make stuff.

I do make things, I don't just point out other people's awesome stuff.

The only problem is I don't make anything mind-blowingly original. I'm aware that there's nothing new under the sun, but man I sure wish I could come up with something awesome that takes off and everyone wants to make themselves... like marble magnets. (Not that I don't make marble magnets, haha, I freakin' LOVE making marble magnets!)

One area where I'm not that creative but I'm capable is crochet. I enjoy the simple patterns, as I'm still new at it, plus the repetition is soothing to me (same with knitting, but knitting takes longer so I tend to fall back to crochet). I accept that I'm not making anything mind-blowing, but I really wish I had the brain to create patterns. Too much math for my simple literature-minded brain; it's a miracle I've trained enough in sewing to look at a sewing pattern and (mostly) figure it out! They used to look like complicated 1000+ piece puzzles when I glanced at them. xD

Anyway. Xmas is coming, and it's my favorite time of year. Unfortunately, this year is going to have to be thriftier than previous years due to my technical "unemployment", so I'm starting early and crafting the hell out of everything. xD The first two completed projects: Neckwarmers! My grandmas are both in Chicago, which gets fa-REEZING in January and February, and as they're not as young and spry as they used to be, I'm afraid they're always going to freeze outside. Last year was hats and pocket-warmers (ceramic pie weights in a nice blue fabric), this year is neckwarmers and hot cocoa mixes! (I haven't tried the recipe yet for m'self - if I try it and like it, I'll definitely share!)
The pattern is by Stephanie Gage, and can be found here on Crochet Me. The idea is that they wrap around the neck, and can fold over or stay up as the wearer sees fit.

I'm crocheting 2-3 more gifts this year. After that... actually, I'm not sure! Hahaha. Gotta review my xmas list again. I LOOOOVE xmas, and I'm very fortunate that I have friends and family that humor me and pretend to like their homemade gifts. =)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Comics #1 - intro post/ Keith Knight

So while I fantasize that people might actually read this bizzatch, I'm thinking it'll be fun to focus a Sunday post every other Sunday (or maybe every Sunday, depends on how many I can think of that are worth celebrating), on comics.

I am a huge comics nerd. HUGE. My dad used to mention it as a point of pride that I was the only girl he knew who ever read newspaper comic strips - he'd read the paper after work and automatically hand off the comics section to me when he was done, ever since I could read. I love comics and cartoons, the combination of story-telling (English nerd WUT) and art is just wonderful to me. Even though I wasn't into the superheroes when I was younger, I still liked hanging out in comic book shops, even if all I bought were the Archie Digests (and KATY KEENE! OMG I loved Katy Keene, probably because I loved drawing/designing clothes when I was young als0). The joy of comics has grown to include superheroes on occasion, with Daredevil being my favorite title, but mostly centers around graphic novels and webcomics. Not too much in the fantasy arena, either - I really love people who illustrate human stories, autobiographical or not.

On that note, I want to share a dude who I don't share with people enough. You may have heard of him, and even may have confused him with the guy who draws "Boondocks" (Aaron McGruder), as he often likes to joke.

Keith Knight, author of "The K Chronicles", "(th)Ink", and "The Knight Life", is the bomb in bomb diggity. I've been reading him since the early days of college, so that would be about, oh... 7 years? At least? Unfortunately, I don't remember how I discovered him, but all that matters is that I DID, and I've been getting weekly giggles ever since. I even bought his "Complete K Chronicles" collection to catch up on the older strips that I missed out on, and I giggled my way through it - and frequently re-read it as well! Now he's delivering daily giggles in his syndicated comic strip, "The Knight Life".

So why, exactly, do I adore this comic strip so much? Mainly his sense of humor. For one, his drawing style conveys a casual sense of fun to me - he's not trying to make cartoons look human, he's making humans look like cartoons. He makes clever little puns, hilarious little jokes, and sight gags as well. He's just FUNNY. Whether a witty one-liner or a well-told story, I almost always laugh at his newest comic. He makes his everyday semi-bohemian life seem full of amusing anecdotes, and his reflections on his family and his past are also entertaining and identifiable. He's also a new(ish) father, and his comics about raising his son are also funny and warm.

Here's a cute example: (Clicking the comic itself takes you to his Buzzle page, where you can look through a good chunk of his archive)
As this comic also displays, he leans similarly to the left, politics-wise. Which is something I also agree with, I will admit, so if you're not really into political comics, I'll admit that not every one of his comics will appeal to you. Not every comic is an anti-right-wing political reeming - if anything, I'd say his comics are 33% political, 67% his own life experiences/funny stories, depending on the hot-button issues, in The K Chronicles. (th)Ink, his one-panel a la "The Far Side" weekly comic, is much more political, though, and might not be to everyone's tastes. On the opposite side of that, his daily syndicated comic, "The Knight Life", is much less political than his weeklies, due to needing to "play in Peoria", so to speak, but still retains a great deal of humor and fun.

I'll admit I have a personal bias towards him, as a lot of his early comics focused around living in SF (a city I have much affection for). He just seems like the kind of guy I could enjoy a few beers with (well, I'd be drinking cider or wine, I hate the taste of beer) and I'd leave with sore cheeks from laughing. Since to find him would equal stalking (and I still haven't been able to go meet him, sadly, as I chickened out the one time I could have, and the other times I've been busy with other engagements), I'll happily settle for reading his weeklies and dailies, and feeling like he's telling me a really funny story - and drew it instead of writing it just to give me a little extra happy.

Check him out!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Doodles by me - 1st post

So I will never claim to be an artist. Any artistic capabilities I have are thanks to my mom, who I DO consider an artist, but she would probably take a similar position to myself. Basically, we have a knack for it, but we're not what you'd probably consider "serious" artists. If I took classes, I could probably be more technically skilled, but I haven't so I'm not. I'm a great appreciator, but a technically-challenged creator.

Semantics, really, because I'm sure there are some people who would consider some of what I do "art". In fact, I have a few ideas of "art" that I'm hoping to work on this weekend (and yes, I will consequently post said art).

All this "art" talk aside, I really do enjoy the occasional doodle. Sometimes I even like them so much that I want to share them. I'm not a constant doodler, and what I usually tend to draw are pictures of people. I esp. love to draw clothes - I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was younger and drew clothes all the time, and I studied costume design in college, where rendering the costumes in watercolors was one of my favorite parts!

While working as a substitute, I am usually bored when the teachers just give me the very basic plan of "watch a movie". That's when it's basically expensive baby-sitting - I appreciate the money, but YAWN. So I decided to illustrate this feeling:
Yes, this would be me. Feeling very, very bored. This particular sub day, I arrived to find out my only instructions were "Have students continue working on projects." That's it. No information on the project other than what was on the board, and no info to do with students if they finished early, if they weren't working, class policies, etc. VERY ANNOYING. And boring.

That was a crappy day. The Hubs heard how frustrated I was that day, so he decided to be a wonderful husband and pick up some dinner for us. Specifically tri-tip that was already cooked at Raley's. Lo and behold, he also stopped and picked up a box of my new cookie obsession: Maple cookies from Trader Joe's.
That's right, my husband doesn't bring me flowers, he brings me meat and cookies. Which is exactly why I married him. xD

So like I said, I'm not an artist by any stretch, but occasionally my doodles are amusing.

And you think YOU can knit...

I discovered this via CRAFT magazine's post. Janet Echelman does these large-scale woven pieces that are INSANELY AWESOME. Observe:When I saw this, I was just blown away. I mean, for Pete's sake! That's freakin' BREATHTAKING. I literally gasped when I clicked on the image.

Her website portfolio is of similar awesomosity, but my favorite is that one. Partially because it's all glowy (yes, glowy is an art term ;p), and partially because I love all those colors.

I'll try not to re-post CRAFT magazine posts too much, but I love having them on my syndicated feed. They usually post a variety of links to appeal to all types of crafters. If you haven't heard of the magazine, it's now exclusively online - the damn economy made it too expensive to print anymore.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


So. Life happened. It's kind of annoying that way.

I'm a teacher, or at least I'm trying to be one, and the economy is not being kind to me in this pursuit. I was pink-slipped, and was one of the (seemingly few but supposedly hundreds) that didn't get their job back.

As I pride myself on being the best that I can, this led to me kind of shirking craft stuff for a while. Well, I'm finally pulling myself up by my bootstraps and jumping back on the crafting train! It's been fun, and cathartic.

As such, the focus of this blog is going to change a little bit. It's not going to be in sole support of my etsy shop (which I also need to focus a little TLC on), it's going to be where I blog about things I enjoy that also focus around creating. Most of this will result in craft-related posts, yes, but don't be tripped out if you see the occasional recipe share or geek-out over something. I seem to be drawn to creative outlets and things one can do with their hands, and that is what I want to talk about here, in the hopes that this will draw in fellow seekers of little touches of beauty in the world so we can share and commiserate over such things. I'm excited for this shift, because my main blog, which is personal, tends to only focus on my life, and most of my internet blog-friends aren't as into the creative side as I am. A few, but not enough where I feel I can talk about these creative inspirations and joys in the personal blog. =)

So, as such, the blog WILL occasionally feature my own work (sometimes with an arrow pointing to my etsy shop if you're so inclined), but it will also be my own little place to point out other great, creative things and go, "OOOOO LOOKIT!"

Hopefully I can give you something to make you ponder, laugh, or at least smile... and occasionally probably make you roll your eyes at my nerdiness. I accept this.