Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tony Stark Meets Struggling Artist's "Talent"

It would seem that I am utterly obsessed with drawing the Avengers. You can guess that that's what's happened when a blogger writes about the same thing five days in a row. But I'm also getting better. I mean, compare today's Tony Stark with last week's Iron Man:
I've gotten so much better! Maybe it's because I've learned the uses of a pencil... 

By the way, Stark is holding a glass of whiskey in the top drawing. It's kind of hard to tell, but he is. 

Now I have to go draw Loki before bed! just kidding...


Monday, May 28, 2012

Thor, Again.

When I see this picture, all I can think is, Thor straightened his hair. In the rest of The Avengers, his hair is slightly wavy, but here, it's perfectly straight.

So I had to draw Thor again, straightening his hair:
I also drew him from Thor rather than the Avengers, because I'm terrible at drawing armor, as I'm sure you remember from my previous drawing of Thor. And frankly, I'd much rather have a straightening iron than a hammer. 

Actual Crochet

I like mice. Well, I like fake mice. Well, not rubber mice. Stuffed mice.

And I (sort of) like crocheting.

Two and two make four.
I "followed" a free pattern I found, which actually means loosely based my own "pattern" off of a free pattern I found. I'm very bad at following patterns, especially in crochet. I'm a fairly terrible crocheter. And one of this mouse's ears is bigger than the other. And it looks like a rat. But oh well. It's the first actual thing I've crocheted, that has a shape other than a rectangle.

I used hand spun yarn, and ran out twice, and had to go and spin some more. But it turned out okay in the end. It's actually supposed to have legs, but I didn't know if I had enough extra yarn and I wanted nothing less than to spin more yarn.

The picture on the pattern looked better. But i guess that's what happens when you say, "That step is stupid and unimportant" every other stitch.

Entrelac! Whoa!

Right up there with cables, I think, was entrelac. Until now, anyway. Of course, I expect cables will be as simple as entrelact when I've finally gotten around to learning them.

With Youtube, beginning knitters are able to pick up the most amazing skills in less than an hour. Of course, for me, it took less than half an hour to practically master entrelact. But that's just me. And in all honesty, I did have to go back to the video several times while completing my swatch.

But still, the results are stupendous. I used my two 25 yard skeins of Navajo-plied yarn. A sort of purple lavender and a smashing blend of white and grey. I love how the white and grey ended up in the diamonds. I say diamonds. More of a sort of lopsided rectangle. but diamond-y enough.

I saw, at the DFW fiber fest I went to the other month, a gorgeous pale blue baby blanket, and now that my knowledge of knitting has expanded to this, I've realized that the blanket was solid-color entrelac. I'm making one.

After I've finished (or even started) all the other projects I have in store, of course.


Friday, May 25, 2012

A Novelist's Cat


Possibly Naomi's least-favorite thing about her seemingly endless fans was their undying determination to know where she got her ideas. What did people think was in her head, jell-o?
Naomi's reason for suggesting others' assumption that her skull was full of jell-o did not come from her immense, and indeed nonexistent, dislike of jell-o, but that she was in the middle of mixing up a panful for her cat, who loved jell-o more than anything. Except, perhaps, Naomi's laptop, which was the cat's favorite place to sleep.
Her promotors tended to get angry whenever Naomi answered these questions with a sarcastic remark such as, "You wouldn't be accusing me of plagiarism, would you?", because the poor people were often so shocked and thereafter intimidated by their favorite author, which, according to her promotors, brought the sale of her books down by ten percent. Naomi doubted this, because she told half a dozen people off for asking her such questions a day, and she was still a multimillionaire.
Hades, Naomi's fluffy black cat who was often mistaken as a demon, meowed up at her from the mosaic kitchen floor. Naomi flicked her short, curly blonde hair out of her eyes and replied to her cat, "Shut up, Hades. It has to set."
Naomi was one of the few people in the world who could tell the god of the underworld to shut up and not be immediately zapped across the river Styx. Not that her cat was actually a god. More of a Supreme Ruler of the Universe.
"Meow," Hades meowed again. He rarely said anything else to Naomi, though 'Hiss' was a common greeting to whoever rang the doorbell.
There were currently seven people writing Naomi's biography, and they were constantly arguing over the origin of Hades. Some said that Naomi had found a poor black kitten in the gutter and taken it home to find that it held immense power in its paws, but these few were currently seeing psychologists five days a week so nobody really cared about their opinion. The others said that Naomi had either found the cat in her local animal shelter and had mercy on it despite its unlucky color and abnormally fluffy fur, or she had misread the label at the pet shop for 'harmless kitty-cat' due to her dyslexia.
In reality, one of Naomi's adoring fans had dropped the kitten on Naomi's balcony at midnight with a note saying that he was a late birthday gift. Naomi had accepted the cat from the anonymous giver and named him Hades after he ripped the stuffing unceremoniously out of Naomi's designer chairs, therefore killing the chairs.

my thoughts exactly...

who doesn't love this?

The Doctor meets Earth's Mightiest Heroes at last...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Avengers. It's what we call ourselves, sort of like a team. "Earth's Mighiest Heroes" type thing.


Most five-year-olds can draw a better superhero than I can. The same goes for my friend Rose. And yet, we still went to the trouble of drawing several. It goes the with Avengers craze.
First, my drawings:
Iron Man
Thor


The Hulk

Captain America

Hawkeye
Loki

Black Widow



And then Rose's:
Iron Man
The Hulk
Thor

Hawkeye
Captain America
Wow. I expect art museums around the world will be calling momentarily with offers of five million dollars or more.




Monday, May 21, 2012

The Son of Neptune

The sequel to The Lost Hero is much, much better. The writing seemed, to me, of higher quality and the characters were more enjoyable.

Please don't ask why the picture is lined in hot pink, because I don't know.

After our well-known hero Percy Jackson wakes up after 8 months and can only remember his girlfriend's name, the only way to escape the monsters chasing him is to make his way to Camp Jupiter- the Roman camp for demigods, unknown to Camp Half-Blood.

I like to compare Hazel to Captain America, because both were from the forties and slept for 70 years; though Hazel was in the Underworld, in the Asphodel Meadows, not encased in ice. Hazel was told that a descendant of Neptune would break her curse, but so far Percy hasn't done anything to help her...

Frank has possibly the coolest problem of the three: his little stick. Fragile and very easy to burn. The stick, not Frank. Though, under the circumstances, it could go either way.

An amnesiac, a cursed daughter of Pluto from the 40s, and a guy who could be killed by a single spark. Who else would be chosen to save the world?

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Lost Hero

The first book in Rick Riordan's new series was interesting and funny. Not the best of books, it could definitely have been better, but I did enjoy it.

Jason, Piper, and Leo are the newest batch of demigods in the book. Jason Grace, who can't remember who he is. Piper McLean whose famous father has disappeared. And Leo Valdez, who is the only one able to tame a wild robotic dragon and name it Festus. Their first dose of monsters and demigods is on their school field trip to The Grand Canyon, when Coach Hedge, their cruel gym teacher, dies to save them from evil wind creatures. They are then whisked off to Camp Half-Blood, where only Leo really feels comfortable.

But they've only just arrived when they're off again on a quest to save the goddess Hera. In the four days before the winter solstice, they encounter the gods of wind, the dead reawakened, and the giant Enceladus. The cliffhanger chapter ends keep you reading, and certainly send you back to the library for the next book in the series. Oh wait, I already have it! I guess I have no choice but to go read The Son of Neptune...

The Teddy Bear of the Future

It's a Time Lord... and it's a Tardis-blue teddy bear. With a bow tie and suspenders. He has pants too, but they aren't very clear in this blurry picture. I had to use my phone. He used to have a fez as well, but it fell off.

I made the Doctor/bear a year ago or so, and recently he was rediscovered in my huge hammock of stuffed animals. His pants are made of brown felt, the suspenders of just everyday slightly faded red cloth, and bright red ribbon for the bow tie. The late fez was also made of felt, red. And probably embroidery thread for the tassel.

I'm so proud. I'm just accomplishing all sorts of dreams today, aren't I?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hot Springs Village

About 15 months ago, my friend Rose and I took a road trip to Arkansas.

About two days ago, my friend Rose and I took a road trip to Arkansas.

About two hours ago, we got home.

Rose's Grandma on her mother's side lives there, in a totally awesome house on a hill. We love going there, and this was our second trip. We had just as much fun this time as we did last time.

Actually the back of the house, but still awesome
We arrived in Hot Springs Village, where Rose's Grandma lives, around 5:30 on Tuesday. As it was before, we ate dinner, then me and Rose went to our bedroom to read until late into the night. But we also improvised a bit, trying to watch an episode of Psych (unfortunately, the Dougherty's laptop is very old and a PC, so we only got a few minutes in) and played Imagine If, with the Avengers. Our favorite was, Imagine if Loki were going on a first date. Out of the six choices, I can only remember the two we picked: A dinner at a fancy restaurant with a symphony, or bail out after ten minutes.

The next day started with me and Rose eating breakfast on the front porch, while Mrs Dougherty took Rose's Grandma to her doctor's appointment. Actually, the day started with me and Rose delaying the action of getting out of bed for as long as possible. But after we got out of bed and ate breakfast, we watched Up, and then got dressed. It was probably about one o'clock by then. I love slow mornings. And afternoons.

We went to the park for a picnic, and were abandoned there for about an hour after we ate. Fortunately, we stole Mrs Dougherty's cell phone so we could call to be picked up. Okay, so we weren't abandoned, we were left by our own choice, and we were given the phone. Big deal.

Rose and I were left at the house again that evening, and we watching Captain America on the laptop while we ate leftover pizza, which we finished up today. Captain America was not very enjoyable, however, because the laptop had a very dark screen and we could barely tell what was going on. We'll have to re watch it on a better laptop...

And now, I think it's about time to eat, with my own family again. Guess what we're having: pizza!

stop motion, beware!

You could say that I've been making this Stop Motion Animation film for months, if you count letting the photos sitting on my phone since heaven knows when working. If you don't, then I've been working on this film for about half an hour. I call it Wax Ballet, and I am very, very proud of it, with good reason. I think it's one of the best thing's I've ever done. I think it's one of the best things anybody's ever done. 
video
The movie stars a waxman I made from and old pumpkin spice candle, but unfortunately he was thrown away before his movie was released and isn't... er... available to receive fan letters. Sorry for the inconvenience. You can send them to me in his place. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Avengers

You could google 'The Avengers' and maybe on the millionth page my blog would come up. You could probably count on me scrolling through page after page searching for a link to my blog, if I didn't have better things that I'd rather be doing.

I recently got back from seeing it for the second time. I saw it first last Sunday, and even though that was just more than a week ago I found myself looking forward to seeing it again as soon as I found out I was going to. It's that good. 

(Okay, so that's not saying that much. I would have gladly watched The Hunger Games a week after I'd seen it, as well as a good deal of other movies. But that's completely aside from the point.)

The obvious question after seeing The Avengers is, Did you like it? That's the obvious question after every movie, unless the movie is so utterly amazing that nobody could fail to adore it or the movie is so utterly terrible that nobody could fail to hate it. But another question just as frequently asked is, Who's your favorite superhero?

I'm sure that loads of people say Loki and Hawkeye. Me included. I'm not sure you would actually classify Loki as a superhero. But he's still my favorite. It took a while for me to decide this, but after seeing it again I decided that they are the two coolest characters. Though, Iron Man comes up pretty close behind.

If you were to stay in the theater until the credits listed the special thanks just to see if you're there, like I did, you would be rewarded, not with your name in the actual credits of an actual major motion picture, but with a short clip of the Avengers, eating shawarma, looking slightly miserable, very tired (I think Captain America is actually asleep), and full. Who said waiting through the credits was a waste of time? 


Sunday, May 13, 2012

a disturbance in the force

So, say you read this awesome blog that is updated every other day and is full of fascinating stories, fiction and nonfiction alike, and a great deal of the posts have great photographs perfectly depicting the happenings in the fabulously written part of the post, which vise versa explains the pictures. I think we all know what blog I'm talking about.

Then say you stumble upon all the entries in May and June, and you see that they are lacking one thing. Those brilliant pictures that help to define what the author (me) is trying to say, in the rare occasion that the author's writing (mine) is difficult to understand.

This is not my fault. Of course, hardly anything is my fault. But included in the never ending list of things that aren't my fault is that of the mysterious disappearance of photos. This is all my sister's fault. Not that I'm blaming her for taking her camera on her trip. I'm just saying that I'm not to blame for not posting any pictures.

I guess only thing to do is go ahead and buy a camera myself. Unfortunately, buying a camera includes spending money, money which I don't have. I guess I'll just have to get a job as soon as I turn 16... all for the benefit of my followers. You see what I do for you?


Oh, and before I go, this is a picture of Mulch and Julius. They went back to the Texas Rustlers Guinea Pig rescue a couple of weeks ago, where they now happily reside. Their names are now Shawn and Gus, which were also their names before I got them. Named obviously after Shawn and Gus from Psych, a show that I've recently discovered to be awesome. i could go on. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Joke of the Month- May

A farmer is watching a painter painting a sunset. The painter turns to him and says, "Do you see the colors in the sky, the wild swirl of red and purple? Do you see them dancing across the chasm of the heavens and the clouds sparkling with pink and silver raindrops?"

The farmer looks at him and says, "Well, I used to, until I took the pledge."

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Newest Victim

My sister-in-law, Augustine, has the most beautiful, thick, long red hair. beautiful, thick, long red hair combined with my outstanding skills as a hairstylists end with:
 A Katniss braid, my specialty. A personal favorite. I'm getting pretty good at them.
 This is a new braid I'm practicing, a waterfall braid. I love them so much, and they're super easy as well.
I saw this braid on Pinterest a few weeks ago. Three fishtails braided together. Absolutely gorgeous. It takes a while, but I think the result to be worth the work.

I'm just such a talented person. Sometimes even I can't believe my outrageous skills.

Monday, May 7, 2012

spin in a touch of 'art'

Art yarn. aka a beginner's yarn. Or, yarn that is artfully decorated with unevenness and bright colors. Personally, I find yarn to be more beautiful when it's smooth, thin, relatively even, and soft. However, art yarn is a lot of fun to spin. Especially if you're trying to make a smooth, thin, relatively even, and soft yarn that ends up able to be placed only under the title 'Art Yarn.' Then you can say you did it on purpose.

So this morning, I was thinking, I want to spin, but I want to spin with lots and lots of colors. So I'll just cut little bits of roving and stick them all together in a skein of yarn and ply it Navajo style. Then I was like, well what about making little batts? But how do I make batts without a drum carder or hand cards? The answer? Dog slickers. Two of them.

In our roving supply, we mainly have white, turquoise, lavender, and gray. We do have other colors of course, but these are the four that we can use and not regret it if the yarn doesn't turn out, because it's not the nicest roving in the Universe. So I stuck little bits of these four colors on a dog slicker and made a tiny little batt. And spun it. I was very happy. So I kept on making more and more of these batts. 

I laid my roving on the dog slicker... 





And came out with a little ball of fluff,
after much combing and tangling and moving around. 
cool, huh? I don't know how many I ended up doing, but it was a lot. I think my favorites were where I had all four colors on there and had this big, bright batt. 
There's the yarn. It's gorgeous, isn't it? But I wasn't stopping there. I was going to, as I said, practice my Navajo plying skills, but I loved this yarn so much I didn't want to use it as practice. Then I remembered some sparkly thread that we had in the Magical Basket of Spinning Supplies, perfect for plying with boring singles to add a bit of... um... sparkle. I hate using such an unprofessional, unsophisticated word twice in the same sentence. But anyway, I plied it with the... shimmering silver thread. And the result was fantastic. 
I made this picture really big so you could see the absolute wonder of it and be even more jealous than you already are of my outstanding talent. I would have made it x-large, but that isn't compatible with the aesthetics of my blog's layout. it's approximately 86 yards, and I can't wait to knit or crochet something out of it. maybe a light scarf... 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spinning

As I mentioned in my last post (I think. First drafts, final drafts, I never know what actually ends up published), I've been working on Navajo plying, and now that our computer that supports cameras:
This is the first one I did, from a pretty thin single, I think it was 20 WPI (wraps per inch), which is classified as lace yarn. Then I plied it. I haven't counted the WPI, because I've never really done it before, but it's probably mostly worsted weight with a few lengths of bulky.

excited to practice more Navajo plying, I quickly spun up around 90 yards of white and gray and immediately plied it, without taking a photo of the single.
The nice thing about Navajo plying is that it keeps the colors in order, so instead of having a sort of swirly striped look on the yarn, I have a little bit of white, then a bit of gray, and back to white, and so on. Of course, where the colors change there's a bit of that stripy look, but that's only for a few inches. 

I'm still pretty bad at it, but I'm not bad enough to be discouraged from ever trying it again. I just have to get around to spinning some more singles... 

I've been progressing pretty well with the blue roving I got at the DFW fiber fest. I've divided it into eight half ounce bits, and I've spun up four of them. Each one has had a drastically different yardage: 86, 124, 167, and 143. But it'll all even out once I've plied it. 
Isn't that a cool photo? How it's in focus in the front and out of focus in the back? Don't you dare say I did it by accident. Even if it is true. 


Friday, May 4, 2012

due to our incredibly stupid computer...

The reason I haven't posted in three days is that our poor little computer is taking a little vacation from being used 24/7.

So, without a computer to waste my time on, (I know, I know, we have two more computers in the house, but they don't count because they aren't sleek and shiny and silver.) I've been knitting a lot. Well, kind of a lot. I was actually knitting more before the computer broke, because it only broke last night, so my point isn't really proven. If I had a point...

But I have good news: I finished math! for the whole year! I think. The whole final exam thing was a bit confusing, because the Final Exam A, which I was doing, had only 20 problems, but the answers for the Final Exam A had about 80 answers. So... I don't know what's wrong with the math book, but its not my fault.

I also learned a new way of plying handspun yarn called navajo plying, which is super fun once you get into the rhythm. I'll post a photo when our other laptop is back from his vacation.

(actually, i'm pretty sure i can get photos onto this laptop... but i dunno. and i'm too lazy to find out)

So even though this post has no pictures, I hope that the (kind of) short paragraphs helped you to keep reading. I find that the more white space there is on a page the easier the page is to read.