Friday, July 25, 2008

Blogger Meme

Memes, for when you are bored!

RULES: Go to Google and type in your first name and the phrase. Copy and paste the first sentence/phrase you get that makes sense.

Q: [your name] needs
A: Celeste needs a new drummer!

Q: [your name] looks like
A: Celeste looks like a BeautyRiot.
(But the second one was even funnier: Celeste looks like a bizarre accident in a health department branding scheme.)

Q: [your name] says
A: Celeste says bye-bye to baggy clothes.

Q: [your name] wants
A: Celeste wants to throw down. Are you ready?

Q: [your name] does
A: Celeste does her thing on Flickr. (true)

Q: [your name] hates
A: Celeste hates that ok? Hands off lah!

Q: [your name] loves
A: Celeste loves Greg. (uh-oh...does Mitch know?!)

Q: [your name] enjoys
A: Celeste enjoys the lukewarm tub.

Q: [your name] asks
A: Celeste asks about supplementing Antoine's feeding with bottles of formula once or twice a day. (I bet this Antoine kid belongs to Greg.)

Q: [your name] goes
A: Celeste goes Moderne.

Q: [your name] likes
A: Celeste likes to wear belts and pretend they're skirts. (WHAT?!)

Q: [your name] eats
A: Celeste eats applesauce with a big spoon.

Q: [your name] wears
A: Celeste wears onesies. (HAH!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

OMG! Knitting AAAAargh!

Was just about to finish the second shoulder strap on my first knitted LACE item, a Lacy Summer Tank. Held the completed back up to the front to see how it was lining up, and discovered...AAARGH!

I messed up and knitted 11 lace repeats instead of 9 on the back...that's a huge difference.

I have to rip out 15 and a half inches down the back, that's many days, if not weeks, of work! I could try picking out the already finished bottom edge and ripping UP, but... If I rip down from the top, the stitches have not been knotted off yet. AND, it will force me to correct a couple "wonks" in my knitting that I spied way too late to make me want to correct before.

Then I'll have to knit back up to the top again!

I decided, as long as I'm ripping, I might as well make it PERFECT. So this afternoon I spent a good amount of time ripping out what I'd done last night on the first shoulder strap, so I can apply what I learned from that and make it absolutely right.

Here's a photo of the discrepancy (right when I thought I was going to get to wear it this week!):

ribbit

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Overheard in Athens

I overheard this at the grocery store in Athens.

College boy on cell phone inside the store: "Dude, you know I binge eat to deal with my emotions."

Another college boy, on cell phone in the parking lot: "I'm just half assed trying to get a job."

Athens Weekend

Report on our weekend...

below: new flower I spotted in the yard...


below: my swatch test of what the knitted fabric will look like for my Ravelympics 2008 shawl. A swatch is done to make sure you've got the right size knitting needle.



Worked on the guest room closet doors. Like other parts of the house, the last paint job done by the sellers was not fully adhered.

Below: parts of the paint just peeled right off in big strips.



below: But not all of it. Some of it had to be scraped, to avoid obvious "tear" marks that would show under the new paint. I really, REALLY hate scraping. Nails on a blackboard. I also hate sanding for that reason. Chills!



below: I've finished painting the guest room, except for the doors. It's now "Adobe Beige" (Benjamin Moore) with white ceiling, trim and closet. Didn't get a wider shot, since the room is full of sawhorses with the doors being scraped on them. The closet doors and inner bedroom door will be painted a very light yellow: Benjamin Moore's "Simply Irresistible".



below: the room looked like this when we bought the house. Mitch ripped out the carpet...



below: here's what the floor looked like after he got the carpet up...it was stained and scarred.



below: he sanded the floor...



below: and then we both put down new sealant. Nice, pretty floor! Then I went to work on the walls.


below: crape myrtles in bloom in the yard. The small one in the foreground left is a volunteer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tiki SCORE!

We scored a nice set (bamboo? rattan?) yesterday at Agora in Athens. This set is 5 pieces...the sofa is 3 separate pieces that can be used as chairs, instead. Mitch wants to put this retro set in the basement room with the fireplace, since the fireplace has a huge tile mosiac above it...with orange tiles.

Going to check with a dry cleaner to see about cleaning the cushion covers, which zip off.




Rattan chair

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Ravelympics Sponsors & Lagniappe

Signups for the "Knitting Olympics" on Ravelry, the "Ravelympics" has now reached ONE THOUSAND knitters and still rising.

One of the discussions going on now about Ravelympics 2008 is that the knitters' (a.k.a. "Ravthletes") Olympic Knitting Sponsors are the people who bought the yarn being knitted. My sponsors, who paid for the mohair I will be knitting into a shawl (hey, this hobby ain't cheap, my friend!) are:

dear hubby, Mitch (pictured here in Malibu outside one of my favorite restaurants EVAH, Gladstone's)...


and, my grandmother Dee (Virginia) and aunt Diane, both sponsors when they treated me to a yarn gift certificate that I cashed in for the mohair (pictured in The Olive Garden).


Yep. It took three people to buy that mohair. Thank you Ravelympics sponsors!!!

Here are a few more photos from last January of Mitch and me at Gladstone's in Malibu, did I mention I love that place?

Hubby Mitch...


Me, exhausted from the trip and time difference, about to get a Mai Tai before visiting the in-laws...



View from inside the restaurant...


Ever hopeful gull...


Ahhh...love being on the beach in Malibu, even if it is brief...


Outside of the restaurant...Malibu...


View on the way to the in-laws' (driving from L.A. towards Bakersfield).

Prize Package

I won a prize pack on the Selfish Knitters board on http://www.ravelry.com, proving that our Selfish Knitters moderators aren't so selfish after all!

I think 6 people won a prize pack. We had to answer questions and do tasks, like write a haiku about our mascot, write a poem about another knitter, show our favorite selfish knitted item, make up our ideal yarn name and colorway, and decide what we'd want in our knitting bag if we were stranded on an island (I wanted enough yarn to crochet a hammock with).

Here's what I won! Two wonderful skeins of a hemp blend yarn, "Hempathy", and a sample of Soak (wool wash), all donated by moderators, not sure who. A femo needle holder made by Holysimian. A Selfish Knitters name badge by Andreainblue, and I'm assuming she's the source of the letterhead Selfish Knitters writing pad too. A gorgeous Selfish Knitters stitch marker featuring an image of our mascot, handmade by Apryl. A round Selfish Knitters mascot button from SupaCindy. And TWO Charms Blowpops!

What a great package to receive in the mail from cyber buddies. I was thrilled.

Selfish Knitters Prize Pack

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mohair

Here's the mohair yarn I will be using for my Ravelympics 2008 Shawl. The three colors will be held together and knitted as one...the strands are very fine, like thread.

Clockwise from top Right: Teal, Grey and Sapphire.


Triple Mohair Shawl

Friday, July 11, 2008

The F.I.S.A. Corral

Corral of Democratic donkeys after being branded "W" by the Republican elephant. Caption of donkey speaking from the F.I.S.A. corral: "We were against unconstitutional wiretapping before we were for it!"

THANKS OBAMA for supporting unconstitutional wiretapping. The ACLU is challenging this. Thank goodness someone is brave enough to really step up to the plate for our "freedoms", unlike Obama. Good work, Obama! Politics as usual, based on the Republican fear platform. Great flip-flopping, after you had previously vowed to filibuster F.I.S.A.

Suddenly the donkey mascot seems apropos.

A Little Context...

For all you non-knitters who don't grok the enormity and amazement that is knitting, I am posting some photos of completed projects and how long it took me to complete them for context vis a vis my Knitting Olympics post.

Garter Mug Cozy - took 5 days to complete

Mug Cozy

Sock Monkey Hat - took 16 days to complete

Sock Monkey Hat

Back to School Vest - took 6 weeks to complete

Back to School Vest

Cozy V-Neck Pullover - took 3 months to complete

Cozy V Neck Pullover

Summer Knitting Olympics

In case anyone needed more evidence of my insanity, here ya go! I will be joining a fun group of knitters over on Ravelry for the Summer Knitting Olympics (a.k.a. "Ravelympics").

The original rules were devised by the Yarn Harlot for the 2006 Winter Olympics, during which she knitted the below Fair Isle sweater in 16 days! (She is currently doing some kind of "Tour de Fleece" competition involving spinning yarn on a deadline.)

Concept: You must cast on a project during the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics (Aug. 8) and finish before the Olympic flame goes out (Aug. 24). That’s 17 days.

Rules:

  1. The project must be a challenge for you to complete in 17 days.
  2. There are no rules about what a challenge would be. Like the real Olympics, there are many areas to compete in. If you are a new knitter, then a garter stitch baby sweater might do…If you are experienced, well you must decide what a challenge will be for you.
  3. While this is meant to be somewhat difficult (like the Olympics) it is not intended to ruin your life. Don’t set yourself up for failure. (Olympic athletes may cry, but they do not whine pitifully, sob and threaten members of their family with pointed sticks because they haven’t slept in five days. ) This is intended to (like the Olympics) require some measure of sacrifice, and be difficult, but it should be possible to attain.
  4. No casting on before Opening Ceremonies commence in Beijing.
  5. Finish before the flame goes out.
  6. You may swatch before the games. (I consider this “training.”)
I'll be joining the "Shawl Relay" event. Here is the project I intend to challenge myself with: the Triple Mohair Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting's designer, Dorothy Siemens. This project uses three different colors of mohair, held together while knitting. In my defense, this shawl is labeled as "beginner" and "good for tv knitting", and is done totally in garter stitch (all knit stitches, no purls). I think the really daunting part of it is just it's size. But, there are people signing up to do entire sweaters in this friendly "competition"! At least I won't have to seam anything, or cast on a billion stitches, because you start with only 4 stitches and do increases. My shawl will be a tweed of green, teal and grey.



We also can compete in teams. I will be part of Team MINE! Our team's rule is that you have to knit something for yourself. It's a part of my very favorite knitting board, "Selfish Knitters".
There's our mascot, Veruca, holding on to her stash of yarn.



Here are the proclamations of the "Selfish Knitters" forum:



No more knitting for people who don’t vote for your sainthood as a result.

group details

We are The Sainthood of the Aggrieved Knitters Who Say Nee to Non-Lovers of Our Knitting.

Our Battle Cry(s):

  1. We only knit for ourselves and for people who bless us and hand us boxes of expensive chocolates! Or money.

  2. Some people need to learn gratitude or face the wrath of our flinging needles of Death!

  3. Selfish Knitters are people who love and value themselves.

  4. The person I knit for knows how to appreciate a knitted item–ME!

  5. By uber-KAL-ling, selfish knitters can multiply the amount of attention they get for each knitting project. (note: KAL stands for Knit Along and that's when knitters get together, usually online, and share what they are currently knitting and get help/encouragement from each other. Usually, a KAL involves everyone knitting the same pattern and posting photos of their progress.)

Official Proclamation - any knittings done for friends/family who just created human life OR are fighting hard to preserve human life are knittings done from the heart and not because of the selfishness of others and are therefore free from scorn and spite in this group!

We are here to support each other in our quest to become/be selfish knitters. No more “Can you make this for me and have it done tonight?”. No more “But I really liked the other color better.” No more “Can you make me a man-thong?”

GOOD LUCK TO ALL RAVTHLETES and HAPPY KNITTING! I'll be back in August to share my progress, victories and defeats if any!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Kitchen Renovation

Hurrah! The kitchen renovation is pretty much done. When we bought the house, the kitchen had one single bulb to light it. ONE SINGLE BULB! Mitch has put in 3 recessed lighting fixtures in the ceiling, and two recessed lighting fixtures over the sink.

The ceiling also was covered with extremely uneven spray on texture coat that the previous owners had put on themselves, with an aerosol can. Mitch scraped it all off, patched the crack they were trying to hide, and had to apply a special primer because normal primers were not working (hypothesis: previous owners had layered latex over oil with no primer, then texture coated). Then he painted it a nice, flat white.

The original cabinetry stayed; solid wood and interesting handle pulls. We have a new oven, countertop stove, microwave, dishwasher and refrigerator with bottom pull-out freezer.

Mitch hated the brown woodgrain countertops, so he put white in.

He also pulled out the old, dingy lineoleum and put down a white tile floor himself.

To counter balance all that white, I'll be painting the cabinet doors. Colors have not been chosen yet. Atomic Ranch is the site (and book) that is inspiring our renovation and decorating scheme, CLICK to see their site and wonderful photographs.

He also put in a new stainless steel sink and a fancy faucet - the faucet spigot pulls out to a hose, and there's a matching, integral soap dispenser.

We'll be getting a stand alone deep freezer, too. Deluxe!

And to beat all, he painstakingly removed several tiles out of the wall that the previous owner had fired bright red flowers on, and placed in a totally random, uneven pattern. I hated it! He chiseled them out and replaced with plain white. What a hubby.

Go here to see some Before photos: http://yogaluca.blogspot.com/2008/04/new-tile-kitchen-floor.html

Below: Here's a Before photo to start off with, so glad those flower tiles are gone. So glad that coil stove top is gone too! I can't wait to use the easy to keep clean, new flat kind.

THANKS MOM FOR SUGGESTING ELECTRIC, and reminding me that a gas stove would really bother me when I have a migraine. Right, as usual.



below: Hardworking hubby...


below: new counters and appliances... the only appliances I've ever purchased:




below: new tile floor done by hubby (he's amazing):


below: nice, smooth ceiling with recessed lighting...no more cavelike dreary atmosphere!


below: previous texture coat...if seen in person, it would make more sense. It was horribly uneven and noticeable.


below: fabulous sink lighting and sink and faucet. Still have to fix the screen...torn at time of sale.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Mangotiki and BBQ

Here is Mitch firing up the mesquite today, holding his Mango Cooler aloft. Arrrr!

We're grilling swordfish, tuna and veggie kabobs. Gem potatoes on the side dressed with fat free yogurt and green onions.










Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Another Rainbow Sighting

At twilight the other day in Athens, we got a huge downpour. When it was over we went outside and saw a full, DOUBLE rainbow in front of the house. I wish I had a better camera. In the second photo, you can best see the lighter, second rainbow above the first, brighter one. That's Mitch admiring the rainbow.