Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ceci n'est pas une blogue du Nouvelle An

Oh, who am I kidding.
Of course it is! That's right everybody, new year's is just around the corner and that means:
*CUE EPIC MUSIC*


 And in this version, the lyrics don't actually sound like "O four tuna, bring more tuna, statuary on his knees".
Anyways, I recently realized that at a Chanukkah party the other day (no matter how many times blogger tells me that spelling is wrong, THAT is how I spell Chanukkah. Two k's.) I was acting more obnoxious than usual. For me, this means being somewhat uh..pretentious...perfectionist (in a really annoying way) and well, generally treating my friends a little more shabby than usual.

That being said, (And I couldn't find a suitable Love Actually quote to go here, although I did try. Very hard. But the movie was all about how you tell the truth and spend time with people you love, which I did.) I just hope they'll forgive me and we can make the New Year more splendid than the last!

Right, so New Year's Resolutions:

1) Get down to the gym WITHOUT COMPLAINING
2) Actually finish a couple projects that are not hats, scarves or mittens (well, I still haven't finished the other mitten. My cat decided to play with the first completed one and was pooping out blue for a week and oh my god, my hands are so cold I can't type)
3) Don't fail any classes (like french. harrumph)
4) Don't eat Cheetos because I realize all they do is give me a stomach-ache
And Finally
5) Go with the flow. Just because someone is taking lousy pictures (or using a flash outside) or
 pronouncing a word differently than I do or is typing too slow or just in general does something less efficiently (or so it would seem) than I do (so it isn't necessarily less efficient):
It doesn't mean I have to get up there and change the way they do things. It's not a pretty picture and usually ends in a lot of exasperated sighs and silly arguments.

That being said, I should also stop getting into silly arguments with my best friend. They're not worth the arguing and the fighting. And fighting "sucks balls" as she would say.

So, mein lieben, ich liebe dich unt gl├╝ckliche neue Jahr! 


I love google translate :)

So now that I have spilled my guts, it's time for some photos and project updates!



As mentioned before, I love making hats and there's this one patter from lion brand yarn (that I will post) that makes rather fantastic hats. It uses just one ball and although it's got plenty of holes in it, it's surprisingly warm..just not in -17 C weather. Like today. Anything between 15 and -10 is okay. But anything colder just goes right though your hat and makes your ears blue.
I know mine turned purple. It was creepy.
Anyways, here's what mine look like because I'm sure the models in the lion brand yarn picture were chosen from a catalogue. I'm positive they've got a catalog for generic 30 year old looking models who are doing clothing lines like the commercials with the two annoying men and the ugly clothing modeled by women who CLEARLY never wear them. Reitmans? Possibly.


So this is a friend of mine wearing the hat I made her with some lovely green sparkly yarn she gave me. 
If you want any of the yarn, be prepared to make a 9 hour flight to Arizona. 



So the green compliments her fiery red hair quite nicely ^_^


As for the pattern, here it is. Although I didn't make this one up (but I have memorized it perfectly).


One Ball Hat (slouchy hat )

Band
Ch 10.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across - 9 sc.
Rows 2-80: Ch 1, turn, working in back loops only, sc in each st across.
Hold first and last row together, with sts aligned. To join Band, ch 1, turn, working through both thicknesses, slip st in each st across. Do not fasten off.

Hat
Rnd 1:
Ch 3 (counts as hdc, ch 1), working in ends of rows across long edge of Band, sk first 2 rows, *hdc in next row, ch 1, sk next row; rep from * around - 40 pattern reps at the end of this rnd. Place marker in last ch-1 sp for indicate end of rnd. Move marker up as work progresses.
Rnd 2: Hdc in first ch-3 sp, ch 1, *hdc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1; rep from * around.
Rep Rnd 2 until Hat measures 6 in. (15 cm) from lower edge of Band.
Top of Hat (crown)
Rnd 1:
*(Hdc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 7 times, sk next ch-1 sp; rep from * around - 35 pattern reps.
Rnd 2: *Hdc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1; rep from * around.
Rnd 3: *(Hdc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 6 times, sk next ch-1 sp; rep from * around - 30 pattern reps.
Rnd 4: Rep Rnd 2.
Rnd 5: *(Hdc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 5 times, sk next ch-1 sp; rep from * around - 25 pattern reps.
Rnd 6: Rep Rnd 2.
Rnd 7: *(Hdc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times, sk next ch-1 sp; rep from * around - 20 pattern reps.
Rnd 8: *(Hdc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 3 times, sk next ch-1 sp; rep from * around - 15 pattern reps.
Rnd 9: *(Hdc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 2 times, sk next ch-1 sp; rep from * around - 10 pattern reps.
Fasten off, leaving a long tail. Thread tail through sts of last rnd and pull to gather. Knot securely. 


You can see just how much neater and simpler these directions are from the ones I've been posting because I post mine the way I would understand them and lionbrandyarn posts them the way everybody else would.

I'm kind of a nutcase.




Monday, December 19, 2011

Ti-30x-IIS. Plus, there's a cute guy at the library

Wooaahhh I've been gone for a while.
New interface!

Lovin' it.

Anywhozzles, this new interface is not the reason I am here. No, indeed. I have recently been...liberated. Freed from the chains of oppression. Granted my freedom from evil personages that wish nothing but for you to think how they tell you to.

That's right. School's out for the winter holidays! YAY! No more homework, no more exams, no more borrowing calculators from the cute guy at the library because you're only allowed one of two models of calculator.

This one:












Or this one:












I know. They're exactly the same. Unfortunately, me bringing my calculator in (one model too early) would have ended in me getting a zero on my calculus exam seeing as a) no electronics except those already specified and b)I simply would not have been allowed to bring it in and would have done so poorly that I probably would have died in shame.

However, school is over for the next month, so I have dedicated my time to several hobbies, one of which, as you know, is crocheting.
So I have created these lovely bracelets for your crocheting pleasure.

Black Beaded Band

I will start with this one as it's pretty simple and straightforward.

Materials:
-Size 10 Cotton crochet thread (any color will do. I used plain white, but I'm planning a future project with black metallic thread. Oooh fancy :D I used a GIANT ball of cotton thread from Zellers-not the whole ball obviously-->$3.00)
-About 224 3mm glass beads (I used a little more than half a 30g tube of beads from Chaton Beads in Black-->$1.00)
-1mm Steel crochet hook
-Scissors

Abb. (What asshole made up the word "Abbreviation"?)
-Ch: Chain
-Sc: Single Crochet(s)
-Sl st: Slip stitch
-Bd: Bead (I probably won't use this very often but be on the lookout)
Instructions:

1. Thread beads onto thread. Leaving about 10 inches between beads and hook, Chain 17.
2. Sc in 3rd ch from hook, sc across. You should have 15 sc. Turn.
3. Rows 2-5: Sc across. 15 sc. Turn.
4. Row 6: Sc in first chain (not counting turning chain), sc with bead in next sc (google instuctions on how to incorporate beads into crochet work. It's really easy). repeat 6x, ending with one sc in last sc.  15 sc, 7 beads. Turn.
5. Row 7: Sc across. 15 sc. Turn
6. Repeat rows 6 and 7 until you have either 32 rows of beads or the bracelet is the desired length. Fold in half, beaded sides together lining up short edges and sl st edges together.

And there you go! A lovely beaded cuff that should take you no more than an hour or so. It can also be pretty badass if you create a beaded pattern on black thread but we'll see about that later ;)

NEXT:

Zipper Bracelet and Ladder Cuff
Zipper Bracelet:

Materials:
-Size 10 cotton crochet thread
-About 70 3mm glass beads
-1mm steel crochet hook

Instructions:
1. Thread beads onto thread. Here's where it might get tricky: chain each stitch with a bead. So when you're making your foundation chain, you need to slide a bead down each stitch, draw up a loop RIGHT above it and continue as though nothing has changed. Do this for either 35 chains or until it's the right length to fit your wrist.
2. Sc with a bead in each chain of foundation chain.
3. Tie off. Cut thread to a length of 5 inches. Thread though last stitch of opposite side of bracelet and tie it tight. Slip on to your wrist and wear with pride!

Ladder Cuff:

Materials:
-Size 10 cotton crochet thread
-62 3mm glass beads
-1mm steel crochet hook

Abb:
-Sc: Single crochet
-Dbc: Double crochet
-Trc: Triple crochet

Instructions:
1. Thread beads onto thread. Chain 10.
2. Sc in 3rd ch from hook. Sc across. 8 sc. Turn
3. Row 2-3: sc across. 8 sc. Turn.
4. Row 4: 1 sc into first sc. 1 sc with a bead in next sc. Sc in next 4 sc. Sc with a bead in next sc. Sc in last sc. Turn. 6sc, 2 sc with a bead.
5. Row 5: Sc across. 8 sc. Turn.
6. Repeat rows 4 and 5 until you have 31 rows of beads.
7. Sc across. 8 sc. Turn.
8. Dbc across. 8dbc. Turn
9. Sc across. 8 sc. Turn
10. Dbc across. 8 dbc. Turn.
11. Repeat rows 4 and 5 for another 31 rows of beads. NOTE: If after step 10 you are crocheting your beads on the wrong side, do one more row of Single Crochet.
12. 2 rows of sc. 1 row trc (I just used the triple crochet to hurry the band along and make it bigger but you can use rows of single crochet if you like).
13. Holding short ends together, bead sides together, slip st edges tightly.

For all of these projects, a couple notes:
A) Crochet with beads and thin thread tends to make the projects curl up . With the cuffs, this won't be a problem once you crochet the edges together. However, with the Zipper bracelet, it tends to get a little spiraly.
B) It's easiest to get the beads on the thread if you first thread the cotton through a needle and then thread the beads though that. I used a size 6.8 embroidery/crewel needle.
C) They're really ridiculously easy. I'm sorry if my instructions are confusing but I did come up with these projects off the top of my head.

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Love My Willy

AHAAHAHAHHA Gaby made a sex joke! LOL
Are we all 8th graders here? No? Good.

Although, if we are, I suggest you read this:
Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner.
Read it, love it, eat it, lend it to your friend.
And good god, they might be making it into a movie @.*
(that's my mindfuck face, by the by)
That'll be one hell of an awkwardly hilarious film but since it's all about the way the main character, Shakespeare, writes..not sure how they'll figure this one out....

Anyways, for you William Shakespeare fans out there, I strongly suggest you watch this.
Like, right now. Stop studying for midterms and just waste the next hour and a half of your life.
You won't regret it, I assure you.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=170335550077595599


This is just part of it.
Here's my other favorite part:

Having been in a production of Othello, I can safely assure you that this is so much better than the original.
As our artistic director liked to put it "It's a very talky play". *Tejy smash!*
Sorry, that was a bit out of character. Ahem.

So yes, enjoy it, laugh, cry, defenestrate (don't you just love how there's a word to throw things out the window? Kind of like how there's a word to remove someones insides. DISEMBOWL)
Bye, I have to go study now.

CURSE YE GREAT HAGGIS BREATH...dontcha know....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Craftybits

I had a very good friend over the other day (yes, I have friends. I don't just sit at my desk all day writing blog posts...*twitchy eyes*) and we spent a very pleasant afternoon beading and making things out of FIMO for my booth at my CEGEP's first ever craft fair! Well, she beaded while I made things out of polymer clay. I had run out of ideas for jewelry and she, being creative and wonderful, came up with these:

Double Stranded Bracelets
Simple, yet elegant and pretty damn cool. For some reason the ones I made came out looking like crap but essentially what you do is you take a piece of wire about a foot long (make it a little longer just in case). It's supposed to fit snugly around your wrist so just measure it like that, I guess. Fold it in half and put your clasp on this end. Next, choose your beads wisely. Don't use beads that are too large because it might look funky. Slide one bead on one strand and then another over BOTH strands. Repeat until it's big enough for your wrist. If you have really really tiny wrists and you're planning on giving the bracelets away, please, for pete's sake, don't measure it on your own wrist. The person you're giving it to will NOT thank you. In fact, they might die from lack of circulation. So that's a pretty simple design but the silver wire running in and out gives it a pretty cool finish.

Being unable to bead that day, I had busied myself with making more cheesecake charms for the craft fair at my school. They came out better than I had expected to be honest...

Cheesecake Charms 2
Ahh, so much nicer than the originals :) Clockwise from the top: ...let's say..Lemon/Peach or Orange Cheesecake, Strawberry Banana Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheesecake, Very berry Cheesecake, Lemon Key Lime Pie, Blueberry Cheesecake!

Damn, now I really want actual cheesecake...
Anyhow, these ones have silver findings and they're a little bigger than my first batch. They're also a little more realistic..except for those weird Lemon/peach/orange/godknowswhat ones. Don't know what I was thinking but they do remind me of canned peaches. I love canned peaches. I also love fresh peaches but that's really not the point here.

So, we made bracelets, cheesecake charms...Oh yes. I also made these:

Cupcake Earrings :)
My first batch of FIMO Cupcakes.
For a first try, these are rather smashing. Still need some work on the actual cake parts, but hey.
These are all for sale so if you have any questions/comments/screams of rage/jokes or riddles, drop me a line!

Oh, I forgot about this:
Green Antique Bracelet
It's not actually an antique. The caps on each side of those giant green ceramic beads kind of give it an antiquated look I find. A little bit Gothic (Victorian Gothic. Not 80's goth)

Happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's beginning to be too early for christmas!

Unless of course, you're Michael Buble, in which case every day can be Christmas if you're singing to me <3

I'm a freaky fan girl. Get over it.
 
Oh yeahh...
But the point I'm trying to make is this:

It's halfway through November and already the Christmas Carols are out, the trees are being sold, the decorations are tackier than usual and goddamnit I can't think when he's singing this song...*turns off Buble*
SACRILEGE 
Warning: this might turn into a Buble-loving rant.
Anyways. So. Christmas. 
Or should I say: Commercial-mas
*obnoxious Daily Grace Laughter* (If you've never been forced to watch an episode of Daily Grace on youtube, count yourself lucky. She's really irritating)
Where was I?
Ah yes, Commercial-mas. Now, Christmas used to be about family spirit and giving little homemade knickknacks to your loved ones because there weren't any Wal-Marts back in the 1800s.

Alright, I'm not going to go on and on about how Christmas is now all about buying gifts that are going to break in about 2 months so you can say "hey, I'll buy you another one at christmas next year LOL"
Sorry for being such a cynic. I'm Jewish. People don't celebrate Hanukkah on tv (unless you're on the O.C in which case you celebrate Chrismakkah!)
the point I'm REALLY trying to make is this:

What. the. fuck.is.this???
Oooh damn, I told myself I wouldn't use profanity to such an extent on my blog.
Justin Bieber, you have caused me to break my anti-fuck streak!!!
POINT IS: I thought the Drummer boy song couldn't be any less massacred. it's a bad song, everyone knows it. the whole parapapumpum thing doesn't help. It's cute to see little eight year olds get excited at every Parapapumpum but...c'mon, seriously? This song goes beyond massacre: it's been maimed, raped, shot, drawn and quartered, hanged, dropped into boiling oil and every other medieval torture and/or death known to man.
Bottom line:

*dies a horrible and painful death. something about bleeding out from my EARS. and it's not that bieber can't sing, because he can. he can sing. this song is just ridiculously horrible*

It's too early for christmas carols >.<

P.S: Sorry, Michael Buble, for putting you in the same post as Justin Bieber. It won't happen again.

P.P.S: this is the real reason for my untimely death (see below)

B.I.E.B.E.R = Believe in Everything because everythings reachable :D♥
...
A good friend of mine called this girl a "Belieber"

I'm sorry, Justin. I just don't "Beliebe"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November, Movember, Rovember, Nanowrimo!

It’s been a busy November so far this year; Movember, International Day of Tolerance, and dipping into serious mode for Remembrance Day. But something you might be less familiar with is an event that could explain the mysterious disappearances of aspiring writers across North America: 

NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, is an annual, month long creative writing project started by Chris Baty on the internet back in July 1999 where aspiring novelists and angsty writers alike disappear from society until December 1st where they finally turn off their computers and let out a collective sigh of relief. In 1999, Baty offered San Francisco a challenge: Can you write a 50 000 word novel in 30 days? And while this may seem extreme, NaNoWriMo has expanded from its original 21 writers recruited by Baty, to include more than 200 000 aspiring novelists from all over the United States and Canada with more than 37 000 winners each year. The collective word count of 2007 was a mere 6 million and it has grown to more than 1 billion this year.

1,856,502,337 to be exact...and November’s not even over.

So don’t forget, Nanowrimo’s not over yet. There’s still time to jump on the novel wagon, sharpen your pencils and brains and just write whatever it is you want to write about. And after four weeks of stressing out about midterms and finals because you’re just a thousand words shy of being on target, or your friends are wondering why you’ve disappeared off the face of the earth and you come to class every morning with a permanent glazed expression because you’ve been staring at a computer screen for too long watching small lines of script cross the screen since you’ve been writing all night trying to stay on the 1,666 words per day goal...crossing that golden finishing line will feel better than winning an Olympic medal. Or at least it should. 

But what do I get for finishing NaNoWriMo? Unfortunately, you don’t win money. Nanowrimo is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing their love for writing to classrooms across the continent through their Young Writer’s Program and the Office of Letters and Light (HQ to NaNoWriMo). So far, they’ve raised $493,822.54, but they’re hoping to raise at least 1 million by the end of the month. So, what do you get for all the stressing and caffeine induced jitters? Prestige (you just wrote 50000 words in a month. You rock), a crazy cool certificate that is awarded exclusively to NaNoWinners and various widgets, bookmarks and printable items featuring cartoon monkeys and palm trees. And there’s an added bonus to people willing to pay a mere 15 dollars to support the YWP: you can get a printed copy of your novel with the cover art of your choice from the Office of Letters and Light so you can show it off to your friends and say “that’s right. I’m a published author”.
 
 Note: this is not me! This is someone awesome who has actually managed to finish NaNoWriMo whereas I have not to this date!


NaNoWriMo: Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More scarves...

I'm beginning to think it's possible to have just too many scarves!
I thought I had too many hats but now scarves are my problem. I really hope someone has the decency to buy them otherwise I'll be out of money for supplies before I know it.
That last scarf (the crazy pink one) is going for about 15-20 dollars because I know no one is willing to pay more for something they can buy at Old Navy for 7 bucks made by starving children in India working for 5 cents a week.
Enough with the blasting. Here's something new!






Yes, this is my sister wearing my latest creation (I finished it today incidentally) And indeed, she looks a little crazy here but normally she looks...well, more normal.









Like this:





Which makes my scarf look more cool, sophisticated elegance.
Well, as much elegance as you can get from purple acrylic yarn and contrasting outfit. And yet, me likey. This one took a little longer than the other scarf (in terms of hours of labor. Not in terms of procrastination time. The infinity scarf took about 5 months while this only took about 2 weeks of hour long crocheting sessions).

Oh yes, I should probably mention that this was crocheted. By me. Obviously. But you already knew that.




I recently joined Ravelry which is kind of like the Facebook for crocheters and knitters and therefore AWESOME. There are THOUSANDS of free patterns and for a cheap geek like me, it's basically heaven. BOOYEAH.

So I got the pattern from this person:  "Jennifer Fayard" and it's called "Sandbar".

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sandbar

There's the pattern and I"m too lazy to copy the instructions, not to mention I adapted it for my own personal needs. For example, instead of casting on 60 I only chained about 42 because it was just too damn wide and it would have A)Taken me FOREVER to make and B)Used a whole extra ball of yarn while I had already used up 2 for the whole thing. And it's already about 6 feet long (which is alot when you're only 5"3. I hate being short) and precisely 8 1/2 inches wide! I measured with a sheet of paper.

I feel sneaky >:D

So yeah, that's about all I'm up to nowadays. I mean, hey, I do have two papers to write but I'd rather finish up these scarves, you know what I mean? I hate fundamentals of business with a burning passion. Anyone want to write my paper on corporate sponsorship and women's sports teams for me? I have to admit that watching sports doesn't really interest me. I do love sports but...not so into the watching OTHER people play them.
Ahem, I really need to go to sleep now because I need to get up at, as my friend would say "the crack of stupid" so I can get to school at 8:15 for 2 HOURS OF BADMINTON!! YAY!!! :D
Night!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scarves Abundant

I don't think I've ever worked on this many scarves at once in my entire life.
Scratch that; I've NEVER worked on this many scarves EVER. There's a craft fair at my school in two weeks and I've decided that, along with selling some jewelry and my cheesecake charms, I'm also going to sell some scarves and some hats.
Crocheted/knitted scarves and hats. And so far I have one scarf completed (see below), three more on the way and no hats.
Kill me.
Here's the deal with scarves: they're pretty, they're snuggly, they're warm, they make you go 'aahhhhh' when they're soft and fuzzy.
But they're ANNOYING to make. Not only do most patterns (crochet at least) tell you to chain the number of stitches the scarf is LONG, but if you're knitting them they just never ever ever seem to get longer! It's kind of like your last boyfriend's junk; you want it to get bigger, but it's not getting any longer (courtesy of highschool lady friends. Thank you Andrea.)
Ahem.
Phallic jests aside, the completion of scarves does tend to give the maker a great deal of satisfaction, especially if one has been working on said scarf for a while, then gave up...lost the scarf in the making...and finally found it again only to finish it in two days! YAY!
Take this Circle Scarf for example:









Now, this may look very complex and difficult and you might be saying "Gosh, Gabs, this is really quite something"...
Thank you, thank you *blushes*
Oh, go away false modesty/pride/stupidity. We have no use for you here.
So, despite my ranting that I hate knitting (oh, I haven't ranted about that yet? Ah well, next post will be an anti-knitting rant!), this never ending scarf was indeed knit..knitted? knitteth? I don't know anymore.
So yes, this was created using a Basketweave stitch (as you can see from the photo, it looks kind of like it was woven. I assure you, it was knitted using a combination of purls and knits).

And as you can see from the pictures below, it can be worn in various ways:


This is how normal and beautiful people wear it. If you want to be normal and/or beautiful, wear it like this!

Alternatively, you can wear it this way:

This is how crazy people wear it casually. Don't ask me how they wear it on a bad day. Trust me, you don't want to know.

Ah, so you want the pattern now, do you? WELL YOU KNOW WHAT, I WON'T GIVE IT TO YOU
MUAHAHAHAHAH
Just kidding. Here you go!

Circle Scarf (AKA Infinity Scarf)

1 Ball of 100% Wool (pink) [I don't actually remember what the brand was as the label has been discarded for quite some time. But Facebook Garnitures Dressmaker Ltee., check out their photos and keep going till you see the photo of their yarns and it's the pink ball in the 6th row of the 2nd column) so yeah...not helpful

1 Ball Mohair to match (same instructions as above)

Correction (November 2012): The yarn is called Patons Wool Classic in blush pink and the thin yarn is Patons Lace in the Pink/brown/black blend. Use size 8 (5mm) knitting needles. 

Instructions:

(Double up wool and mohair and knit with all four strands-->2 wool, 2 mohair. don't worry, it's not ridiculously thick)

1. Cast on 16 stitches (or 20. I found 16 made a nice width but that was also because I wasn't sure I had enough yarn. Turns out I didn't which is why the scarf turned into an infinity scarf).
2. Rows 1-4: Knit 2, Purl 2 across
3. Rows 5-8: Purl 2, Knit 2 across
4. Repeat steps 2-3 for desired length.
5. Cast off and weave in ends.
*NOTE: THESE ARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR A  NORMAL SCARF

*If you decide to make an infinity scarf:
A) Make sure you leave a long tail at the beginning of piece (at least 20 inches. I'm not kidding)
B) Knit until piece measures (just let me go get my measuring tape)..we'll call it...45 inches from beginning
C) Cast off
D) Crochet short edges together (I suppose you can always sew them together, but I am deathly afraid of sewing so a crochet hook is the next best thing. Crocheting is actually always better than knitting but hey, another time.)

Correction (2012): having finally mastered the Mattress stitch, you're still going to need at least a foot of yarn when you bind off, so you can always sew the edges together if you're afraid of crocheting. 

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bonny Wood Green- In Honor of Rememberance Day

Despite the fact that it's only sunday and remembrance day is on the 11th, let's just roll with it.

This is a piece I wrote based on this song:
(Bonny Wood Green)
...to commemorate all those lives lost, all the men who served and never made it home, and all the women who waited for their loved ones to return.


   The meadow is green, the fresh green of a new spring. The birds sing above in the canopy of trees. I watch, hidden in the foliage as a girl and her friend dance around the clearing. Carefree. Not thinking of me. She was never thinking of me.

   I watch for a while, hidden above, the branches threatening to break at any minute. Once or twice I think her eyes flick in my direction. But all too soon she is gone, leaving nothing behind her save the memory of a girl dancing in an ivory tunic, auburn curls flying everywhere, chicken legs awkward and graceful. And beautiful.

   I walk about the village at night, the stars twinkling gaily above me, their spirits alive with the thought of such innocent, young love. I see her at her window, staring into the night. Her eyes are glazed over and she doesn’t move. Thinking, just thinking. She was never lovelier than when she just pondered the most insignificant details of life. The leaves falling from the trees in October; the smallest snowflake stuck to a woolen mitten; a petal in the mud, unsullied by the heels of boots stomping through the village.     

   When a door opens, I nearly jump out of my skin. She creeps into the growing darkness, a candle in one hand. Her nightgown billows about her unshod feet, exposing three inches of bare ankle. The wind sweeps her time darkened hair away from her neck, gleaming pale and milky white in the moonlight. Her lips part in a perfect O when she sees me, a silhouette in the dark. She follows the shadow to the clearing where the stars peek through the canopy of leafy, green trees. I am the boy she once made fun of in school; now a young man. But she is still the girl I was always in love with. She takes my hand in hers; they are so very small and pale in my own roughened, weather beaten hands. I bring it gently to my lips, a silent promise. I caress the soft skin of her neck, her cheeks, her arms; one shoulder escapes from the loose gown she wears and I trail down soft kisses, swift and light as the flapping wings of the butterflies in the summer; she sighs, one hand knotting tightly in my hair, the other strokes across my jaw, roughened by two days’ worth of unshaven skin. I press my lips against hers, my breath ragged with longing and desire…

But, too soon, the night is over and day begins again. We seem to have all the time in the world together; every day is spent wandering the lush green hills. I kiss you every moment I can and when I ask you to marry me, you say yes. That was the happiest day of my life, the day we said “till death do us part”.  But when the British army comes recruiting, I find myself leaving; walking away from my home, my family and my one true love to join the forces at war. It is agony, agony in its purest form. I walk on, not knowing what lies ahead. But I don’t want to know what is going to happen to me. All that matters is that nothing ever happens to her. But I cannot leave without kissing her sweetly, one last time…

 When I reach my post, the men are weak and tired from hunger and disease. Their loved ones are all they talk about when they receive the news that they can go home: their service is finished. Mine is about to begin.
I have never felt so alone; never have I missed her more than I do now.

The trenches teem with a number of horrifying things, but we have no choice but to bunker down deep into the filth to avoid the bullets flying overhead and the shells exploding around us. The ground shakes as another artillery shell lands close by. The sudden cease in gunfire tells me that men are either dead or dying. The sun creeps over the horizon, but it is not the warm carefree sun that we spent so many days lying under; it is laughing at me, mocking how few hours are left before the nightmare begins again. As we retrieve the wounded from the fields, I feel a pang for every soldier I see that I had met and befriended.

There are so very few of us left now. When night falls, the horror starts anew. I can’t hear my unit commander over the steady firing of a machine gun. I only see his lips move as the ground beneath me erupts. All I can do is shout your name until everything turns black…


Miles away, you wait for me in a white apron. Every knock at the door, every footstep outside makes you run to the window, hoping for me to return. But the days turn into weeks, the weeks into months and you give up all hope for my safe return. And so you sit at the window, your dress faded in patches where the rays of sunlight seeped in. Your auburn hair is coming loose and there are such lines of sadness on your young and beautiful face. But I will return, my love. And when I do, I will kiss you sweetly, as if I had never been gone at all. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My cat is a parrot

holy bejeesus my cat is smelly :S who knew that such a small creature could smell so bad?
Okay, that really wasn't the point of this blog post. I should really be studying for my math midterm next thursday, but I would much rather write for a bit. About myself, of course ;)
If you were curious, this is what my kitten looks like:
















He's kind of freakishly adorable <3
I'm also using that photo as advertising for myself, as I made the necklace he's trying to chew on. His name is Mr Miyagi (my sister chose the name despite the fact that he's a cornish rex... not a chinese mountain cat). Anywhozzles.
I knew I said I wouldn't be writing another post until nanowrimo was over....well actually I lied because I never said that. It was implied however so I offer my sincerest apologizes to the few people who actual read this XD. Aw, mr miyagi you're too darn cute!
He's chewing on my math notes. How sweet that he wants to help me procrastinate. But yes, I insinuated that I would not post until Nanowrimo is over. However, I discovered that I dislike writing when forced. Although I will attempt to finish on time, it is far more likely that it'll be a particularly half-assed attempt. Woohoo!

Anyhow, I've recently become slightly obsessed with Titan A.E. It's essentially a post apocalyptic 2d animation from 20th Century Fox before they pulled the plug on their 2d animation studios because Titan did so badly at the box office. Incidentally, Fox also made Anastasia which is probably why the main character, Cale, looked so much like Dimitri...
But yeah. Titan A.E. Good movie. Super entertaining, crazy graphics, clever script geared towards us teenagers and plenty of sexual tension. Oh, and gratuitous naked 2d animation characters. Odd, I know, but I suppose they needed that bite. I mean, you don't actually see anything. Just a shot of Cale's bumbum and Akima, lead female, in an itsybitsy towel. Who knew that there was 2d animation just for us?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's gonna be legen....wait for it....DARY!!

Greetings faithful subjects! It has been too long that your dreary lives have not been graced by one of my excellent blog posts.
Yes, I love myself. Get over it.
Anyways, the point of me finally getting around to a new blog post is for one simple reason:
Two words:
IT'S NANOWRIMO TIME!

*ring ring*
Hello?
*hushed tones*
What??
*more hushed tones*
WHAT?!?!?
*urgent whispering*
*phone slams down*

My secretary has just informed me that that's three words. Not two.
Curses.
But seeing as I am currently being happy eating Halloween candy, I've decided that trifles like those simply do not matter. Because I have delicious candy but more importantly because it's time to start writing again!
Or at least I would...If I could find my USB key. That's possibly the only thing I keep losing time and time again. It just seems to pop up everywhere when I'm not looking for it yet I can never find it when I try.
Last week I found it in my pencil case and I can't remember how it got there. Post if you've ever lost something and then found it in the randomest place.

Alrighty, gotta go. Got places to be and a novel to write.
I WILL SEE YOU AT THE END OF THE MONTH AS A NANOWINNER BABY! BOOYEAH!

Monday, October 24, 2011

SPSS: Stupid Package for Stupid Students

Okay, this is not what SPSS actually stands for but for the purpose of the now, let's just go with it.
SPSS actually stands for Statistical Package for Social Sciences which, in my opinion, sounds pretty lame. And with my new experience in SPSS, it IS pretty lame. It's this weird program for analyzing data and, according to my teacher- Dr Rebecca Lee (who incidentally insists we call her DOCTOR LEE because she's got a goddamn PhD in who knows what. Oh, and she's very VERY white)-SPSS is actually very useful for analyzing data.
That is, of course, if you're going into the social sciences and dedicating your life to research.
Which I am not.
Basically, you open the program, make your codebook (where you program codes for each of your variables so that you can type in your data later and make sure you can extrapolate meaning from incomplete data:
You'll understand what I'm talking about once you watch this)
And the reason the data is incomplete can be answered with 4 words:
The dumb fuck pile.
We did a test run of the survey for which we are currently analyzing data and well, we got some normal looking answers....
and some completely ridiculous answers. Allow me to illustrate.
Our survey begins with some pretty normal questions: the participant's age, ethnicity, neighbourhood, university of choice, etc...
Now, most people would just say "to hell with it, it'll only take me five minutes. I'll dash off my answers and book it." However, some people decided "Well I don't give a shit. I'm gonna be spontaneous and ridiculous because I'm SO ORIGINAL."
Yeah that's right. I just dissed the dumb fuck pile people.
So, to get to the point, somebody for their age wrote 40 years old.
We're in CEGEP. The oldest person I know is 22. (for all you non Montrealers out there, CEGEP is like grades 12 and 13. A sort of in-between High School and University). Next, for gender, said person wrote "Neither" and finally, for ethnicity, the same person put:
NIGGAH.
I kid you not. We were slightly shocked, horrified, yet amused at the same time. Needless to say, that survey is NOT being used. There were about 6 out of 30 surveys that were slightly less ridiculous and they all went into what we now call the Dumb Fuck Pile.
But anywaffles, a funny thing happened. I was halfway finished the codebook for our actual project when I asked DR LEE how to code a question and she tells me
"You're supposed to be copying (she said COPYING) the example codebook in the textbook and then entering the given data"
It was 5:30. Class ended at 6.  I spent most of the period actually using my brain...and those 20 minutes I spent copying a codebook and colums of numbers basically turned me into a zombie.
Everyone left that class with a permanent eyes-glazed-over expression.
Not to mention it was possibly the most boring thing I've ever done on a computer and that's saying something because copying data into tables when doing HTML is pretty boring.
So I'm going to go and continue to zombify myself by watching NCIS reruns and crocheting and eating chocolate.
Tomorrow I need to go rowing.
yeah...

Ta!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Boom boom clap...Kill me

I know I know. I'm 17 and listening to Hoedown Throwdown by Hannah Montana.
I can't help it.
It's stuck in my head :'(
The thing about Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus is that no matter how bad the songs are....they're ridiculously addictive. And I'm watching this:
...instead of doing my french homework that's due tomorrow morning. >.<
By the by, watch this video if you want to see the dance done properly. These ladies are amazing dancers! Kudos.
Besides, it's all Charlie McDonnell's fault. If he wasn't so damn cute and all...wow, I sound terrifyingly freaky. But here he is in all his silly dancing glory:
Being from the internet, he does not "exercise evah".
So uh...great. The song is still stuck in my head....and I still haven't done my french presentation.
Whoopdeedoo.
I think I'm a master procrastinator. Is it bad that I'm slightly proud of myself for that?
Don't answer that.
Oh hush you.
But you know, mastering the art of procrastination takes either some prodigious skill or some serious "I don't give a shit" attitude.
Or both. I'm kind of hovering somewhere in the middle.
Boom boom clap..boom de clap de clap
AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!
Okay, bye internet!
Hello powerpoint. You're going to be my new bestfriend :)

Oh, and as much as I would like to have something to show you today, I don't.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

Wait...I think I'm losing here.
Gaby STILL 0
Procrastination 1 MILLION (I can hear it...laughing at me....slow, evil sounding chuckles....mwehehe..he..he.hehee...)

Ta...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Decontamination!

So yes... here I am. At my desk. 6 hours after writing the previous post about hats!
I love hats. I love making hats. Making hats is fun.
I sound like a weirdo now.
Alrighty then.
A few months ago I made myself that black fuzzy hat in the post titled "Hats!"
A fried of mine said "Oooooohh!...Make me a hat?"
And make her a hat I did. And then her sister asked for a hat. This was about 6 months ago.
I made the hat yesterday. Gaby 0, Procrastination 1.
And so began my little business as hat maker. Although it's less of a business and more of a give-hats-to-my-friends-who-ask-for-them-and-possibly-charge-them-for-the-yarn. But, as I previously said, I don't usually buy yarn to make hats. I use yarn that I've either stolen from my friends, my sister (who is a knitter, incidentally. I will forever claim that we are not related) and from my mother's ancient, (and I mean ANCIENT) stash of wool, which includes actual 30 year old handspun wool.
It didn't smell so good, to tell you the truth. Had a sort of...musty, wool-a-l'ancienne rather pungent scent. Then, I found teeny tiny worms in the wool and we had to decontaminate it with mothballs.
Yuck.
So I'm guessing you really didn't want to know that. And those of you in western civ potentially reading this are not paying any attention to your professor at the moment because you're desperately hoping for more tales about nasty bugsies.
Sorry to disappoint.
Anywhozzles, here's the other hat I promised I would post:



Same hat. Different models.
Ooooooh! Sneaky ;)
This is the hat I made for my friend's sister, who is also my friend but all this talk of friends is making me want to sink into the depths of facebook and never surface so I think I'll just get on to the pattern.
Very simple, very similar to my other hat.
Oh, and sorry for the horrible quality of the photos. I took them with my phone's camera and despite that fact that it takes great pictures for a cameraphone, the quality is still really really bad. Not to mention they both just went through photoshop for some slight light editing so that you can actually see what colors the hat it.
Alright. Moving on.

Materials: (oh, and I'm also playing around with the HTML instead of clicking "bold" because that's too easy XD) GO html course!
Worsted weight yarn (color A)
Sport weight yarn (if you want to follow the exact same pattern, the blue is slightly thinner than the cream)(color B)
Size 5 crochet hook (google what size that is in international sizing. I'm too lazy.)

Abbreviations (have you ever wondered why the word "Abbreviate" is so damn long? I haven't)
Sl st: slip stitch
dc: double crochet
sc: single crochet
ch: chain
trc: triple (or treble, if you will) crochet

Instructions:
1. Chain 6 with color A. Sl st into first ch to form a ring.
2. 12 dc into center of ring. Join with a sl st. (round 1)
3. 2 dc into each dc. Join with a sl st. (round 2)
4. 1 dc into first dc. *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next dc*. Repeat from *. Join with a sl st. (round 3)
5. 1 dc into first 2 dc. *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 2 dc*. Repeat from *. Join with a sl st. (round 4)
6. 1 dc into first 3 dc. *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 3 dc*. Repeat from *. Join with a sl st. (round 5)
7. By this point, if you're using the proper thickness of yarn, the top should be looking fairly big. If it still looks obsenely small, continue increasing (2 dc into 1, 1 dc into next 4 dc) etc...Don't do more than 6 increase rounds.
8. 1 dc into each dc. Repeat round until hat is 1 1/2 inches shorter than desired length (so keep trying it on).
9. When hat is 1 1/2 inches shorter than desired length, switch to color B.
10. With color B, 1 dc into each dc. (to get the spiky looking pattern, don't crochet into the little loops on top, chain into the space between double crochets.)
11. 1 sc into each dc (this time, chain into the two little loops of each dc).
12. Switch back to color A and 1 sc into each sc. Tie off, and thread yarn through inside of hat.

And there you go! A beeaautiful hat that's actually warm and cozy enough for these crazy Montreal winters!

For the flower:
1. ch 6 in Color A, keeping a 6 inch tail. Join with a sl st to form ring.
2. 9 sc into ring.
3. Switch to color B.* Ch 3, 3 trc into first sc, sl st into next sc*. Repeat for remaining sc. You should have about 7 or 8 petals.
4. Thread tail from color A through hat, tying flower securely onto hat (you can figure this out. If not, ask your sister or mom to do it).

So, there you have it. This hat took me about 2 hours to make, but once you get the hang of it, you can whip one up in no time.
Now, I have to go finish my best friend's birthday present. Let's just hope the final product is WOW worthy.

Ta!

Hats!!

I recently discovered that making crocheted hats is ridiculously easy and ridiculously fun. However, I'm writing this in the computer lab at my school and I left the hat I just finished in my locker which is four floors down and I'm too lazy to go get it.
Oh wait, I just found one that I made last year in my bag XD
So yes, I am aware that it looks like a misshapen bladder or something but it's really very comfortable and looks like a cute lil' beanie.
Don't ever let me say that again.
On second thought, this is going to take a lot longer than expected seeing as my phone is refusing to send me photos and the internet is really really REALLY slow because everyone here is using it since the majority of people don't have class right now (yay Activity Period!).Oh wait, it's uploading! AWESOME!
So.
Here we go:
So clearly the thing I made is that black fuzzy cap on top of her head (this is a friend of mine who reads my block during western civ XD) It's a very simple pattern.

Materials:
Worsted Weight Yarn
Size 5 or 4.5 crochet hook

Abbreviations
Hdc: half double crochet
Sl st: Slip stitch

Instructions:
1. Chain 6 and join with a sl ch in first ch to form a loop
2. Hdc 8 st into the center of ring. Join with a sl st.
3. 2 hdc into each hdc from previous round. Join with a sl st.
4. 1 hdc into first hdc, *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next hdc*. Repeat from *. Join with a sl st.
5. 1 hdc into first 2 hdc. *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next 2 hdc*. Repeat from *. Join with a sl st.
6. 1 hdc into first 3 hdc. *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next 3 hdc*. Repeat from *. Join with a sl st.
7. 1 hdc into first 4 hdc. *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next 4 hdc*. Repeat from *. Join with a sl st.
8. 1 hdc into first 5 hdc. *2 hdc into next hdc, 1 hdc into next 5 hdc*. Repeat from *. Join with a sl st.
9. 1 hdc into each hdc (repeat for next few rows until your hat is as long as you want it to be. And there you have it! The perfect recipe for a custom beanie. On the plus side, you can use this pattern for practically any material you want. Try it in wool, acrylic...acrylic...or acrylic. There are lots of different kinds of acrylic so you're pretty much keeping your options open anyway. The best way to make this hat is to not buy the yarn. Steal it from a store, your friends (especially those who knit. Be nice to your friends who crochet), use scraps, a smallish ball of a previously larger ball. I guess what I'm saying is that its not really worth paying 6 dollars for a ball of yarn to make this hat. Besides, the best projects are made of scraps. You know why? Because you get to keep them. And because I'm writing this on my android (android> iPhone), my thumbs are starting to hurt. You'll see the other hat in a few hours. Ta!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Going Bananas

Finally keeping up with my own blog. Normally I would write about two posts per year but let's shake things up some, shall we?

Being a crafty type person, I am not limited to FIMO. I also love beading. And I use to bead ALOT. The kind of boring single strand glass seed bead beading that no one found interesting. Then I discovered The Bead Emporium (sadly, now gone and replaced with a shoe store that sells shoes with the giant soles designed to keep your back from breaking or whatnot. I just said whatnot.) Then I discovered B.E.A.D It... then Chaton Beads! So many bead stores in the span of two or three blocks! What bliss!
So after many days of wracking my brains and sleepless nights (really not true at all), I finally decided, to hell with it. I'm going out to buy beads.
And buy beads I did. I now have 4 tackle boxes full of various beads. It's really quite insane if you think about it.
So I'm trying not to.
Anyways, despite telling myself that I will like all of my designs, I always seem to feel the need to run them by my sister. Now, I love my sister, she's great and all...but she never seems to like what I make. And normally, I should think "well, okay, she's got a really insane style and I don't like the same kind of jewelry as her and who the frig is she to tell me that my jewelry isn't nice anyway? Huh? Yeah, that's right."
Naturally, this does not happen and I have wasted precious time trying to appease her.
Oh my I am such a doormat.
So yeah...I made this necklace the other day.
It's made of turquoise ceramic beads, silver caps and white glass seed beads. (excuse the graininess, Photoshop tends to make my photos lose a bit of their quality. And the beads are turquoise. Not greenish as they appear here. Wow, I should probably take a new photo shouldn't I...) and it's about 22inches...I think.
The earrings probably won't be included in the set (not to mention the silver beads at the bottom of the head pins keep falling off...)
The necklace IS on sale, but I'm not sure for how much yet. So I'm basically rambling on about things that I know nothing about despite the fact that they're, you know, things I should know about.
Alrighty, I have class soon and I want to watch some BONES re-runs. Who's excited for season 7?
THAT'S RIGHT. I AM!! :)

Ta!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crafts for ...Darn, I can't think of anything clever that rhymes...

Well...I've had this blog for quite some time. I haven't posted anything in about a year because unfortunately, I forgot that I had a blog at all. Sweet. So, to shake things up a bit I'm going to turn this into an artsyfartsy super fun blog.
Yeah...no. But it'll be interesting...and hopefully entertaining. So here's to my first of (hopefully) many posts (that'll actually get views!)
I love crafting (yay for verbing words. ooh look, i did it again!) and I'm hoping that my crafts will get a bit more exposure if I plaster them ALL OVER THE INTERNET which is basically what I'm doing. So, first things first:
..
Uh...
Wait, not sure what I should post first...
Beaded stuff....or funky...
beaded or funky beaded or funky beaded or funky
FUNKY WINS.
So, here is an assortment of charms, made out of FIMO (which is a polymer clay and completely awesome) and yes. Shaped like cheesecake.
Booyeah.
Materials included first and foremost: FIMO
What a surprise. Second, an array of head pins and earring hooks.
And finally, a DASH of sheer creativity. Et voila! Cheesecake earrings! Which I have actually distributed among my friends, however: IF you wish to purchase a pair, I charge $8.00 per charm, OR $15 dollars a matched pair (which means that you need to buy two of the same or I charge you a dollar extra for messing up my ordering system! Kidding...but I still charge $16.00 for two charms that don't match.)
Drop me a line here!
I also have an account on deviantart where I am still The Fungi-Portal.
http://fungi-portal.deviantart.com/

Ta!