Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finished Items and Hallowe'en

After some stress of school, my dishwasher breaking, my HVAC unit leaking, the outlets in my kitchen all not working, and school, I've finally been able to finish a few things. Stress knitting is the best knitting.

I finally finished those god-forsaken stockings!

Here's a link to the Ravelry Project Page.

I'm getting in full swing for the Hallowe'en season! The weather has been gloriously cool these past few days. 

I made a little candle holder. I'm still experimenting with Sculpey, and I'm not very good with it.

I'm working on a pattern for a Hallowe'en table runner. I really like the idea, its cute, its classy... I'm going to need more yarn. 

I'm attempting to plan a party. There will be movies and friends and delicious foods.  And a poster. I'm still working out a theme. 

I have a shoulder octopus, your argument is invalid.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dragon*Con Prep!

I live for Labour Day Weekend.

You might think I'm exaggerating, but I honestly, Dragon*Con, for me, is about living. Its a massing of tens of thousands of people, all held together by a love of a culture. Its a diverse culture, to be sure, but it takes every single person who wears a badge and makes them one of many. You will never be the only one in the room who likes a certain TV show, or who reads a certain series of books, or plays a particular game. Your interests are shared by many; you are never singled out as different. It is the ultimate celebration of 'being yourself', letting loose and not being scared. For me, its about living life to the fullest.

And, one top of all that, one of my favourite parts of the Con is the preparation stage. Piecing together a costume; making lists of things to do, bring, and eat; poring over the guest list to find the people I can't wait to see. Not only am I really prepared when I get there, but I had a month of enjoyment out of my ticket!

I plan on bringing the market bag I made last year. Looking back at the post, I had hoped to empty it of yarn by this time... That didn't happen. Oops!

Here is a Packing List I suggest for your Con bag:

  • Water! I'm bringing a Camelback insert, and refilling it every night. Hydration is extremely important.
  • Snacks: Granola bars, homemade chips (in a tupperware so they don't get squished), Goldfish.
  • Lunches: I plan on creating bentos with high-carb foods (onigiri for me, fresh bread for the boyfriend). I'll post about them later. There is a food court, and hotel food, of course, but lets save a bit of money, shall we?
  • Hip Flask: Its got a map on it and will have rum in it. 
First Aid/Costuming Aid
  • Small First Aid bag with Band-Aids, Neosporin, and pain killers. I expect that blisters and headaches will be the only real injury we will receive.
  • Feminine Hygiene Products. Even if you don't expect to red tide to hit, the stress of the con often will mess with your cycle. Or, you could be like me, and somehow match it with this weekend, 3 years running. In an emergency, stores in the hotels sell them, but I like to be prepared.
  • Deodorant. Its hot and humid in Atlanta. You don't want to smell like... well, the rest of everyone.
  • Sewing kit with needles, black thread, and safety pins. Both costumes are black this year, but if you're wearing something with lots of colours, pick up some clear thread, or bring bobbins with matching colours. Don't let your sewing kit get too bulky, though!
  • Steampunk Handkerchief. It matches, and a hanky always comes in handy.
  • Parasol. This goes with my costume, but will also keep the sun off us for the walk there and back, and any intermittent outside-ing we will have.
  • Hairpins and hat pins.
  • Cell Phone and charger. Airplane mode while in the basement of the Hyatt. I have one of those wallet cases for it, so I will be keeping my debit card, ID, and cash in it. 
    • If you have a smartphone or tablet, be sure to download the DragonCon App! It works offline, so its great on tablets without wifi, or phones in airplane mode. I strongly recommend it!
    • I also suggest installing a QR Code reader. Lots of fliers and such have QR codes, and it will make life a bit easier.
  • Camera, if your phone sucks/doesn't last that long.
  • Kindle, pre-charged, loaded with a few books, for waiting in line and such. I have one with month-long battery life, so I don't expect it to die over the weekend. Make sure to bring your charger if you have a fancier version!
  • When it comes to electronics, its best to keep it simple. For one, if something gets stolen, you don't want to by carrying your laptop around. Also, you really don't want to be distracted from the Con around you, because you were playing Pokemon on your DS. There is already so much you won't be able to see, because of time and being human, you don't want to miss out on anything else.
Other Accessories
  • The Pocket Guide. The app is awesome, but your phone WILL die.
  • Umbrella, if it looks like it will rain.
  • Hand towel. Cleaning up messes, wiping one's brow... Its much easier than having to find paper towels.
  • Gaming accessories (Dice, Magic the Gathering Decks, etc). I would advise against bringing large books (like Players Handbooks), because they are bulky, and the gaming room tends to have everything.
  • Cash. Vendors prefer cash, and when you have cash, there's a definite limit on what you can buy. Moreover, check out the list of vendors, so you have an idea of what you want to purchase. But keep a bit for those 'must have' buys. I'm going to hit up the bookstores and Chessex this year!
  • Calling Cards. For people I meet (and like!), and photographers to send you your picture. Ask the photographer for his card! Also, its a great form of advertising! Put your blog or etsy store on it. 
  • Calling Card! Complete with blatant advertising.
  • Notepad. You're going to meet people, see things, need to remember things--its important to be able to write them down, even when your phone dies. Notepad and some cool pens are a must.

Things to Make Sure You Do at the Con
  • Find one panel a day you can't live without missing. Go to that panel.
  • Get business cards from stores you buy from, and store you wish you could buy from. Keep them in your wallet, or someplace safe. You can even write a note on them, so when you look at them later, you remember why you liked them.
  • See the Atlanta Radio Theater Company. Seriously. They do a great job of whatever they perform, and radio theater is a bit of a lost art.
  • Stay hydrated! You don't want to spend the convention sitting in a first aid room because you passed out in line. Remember: don't start drinking water when you get there, start drinking the day before!
  • Use the 3-2-1 rule: 3 hours of sleep, 2 meals, 1 shower DAILY! 
  • Visit the Art Room. There are a lot of really cool things, and many forms of media. Its pretty fantastic!
  • As someone on a diet, I also suggest letting it go by the wayside this weekend. You're going to be spending a lot more energy than you're used to; its better to get behind on your weight loss by a pound than passing out due to lack of food. 
  • Remember: DragonCon is about an experience. Its not about what all you buy, its about the people you meet, the fun you have, and the time of your life! Go bond with people! Make new friends! See some cool panels! Enjoy yourself!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mono green and Peaches and Cream

Mono green infect is the symbol of MTG players with no intelligence.
Seriously. Its a one-trick-wonder. The intelligence required involves watching turn 2. If opponent has no creature, win. If not, destroy creature,  win next turn. Rinse and repeat.
Sales on the Peaches n Cream mega skein make life awesome.
Seriously! I'm gonna make some dish towels. Tea towels. Its a useful summer project,  when you can't bear to think about wearing warm clothing.  And all I can think about is tea parties.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Branching Out

I've been rather busy lately, doing all sorts of things. I really do enjoy making things, whether is be in an art-related subject, or engineering.

I've gone back to work for my last co-op session at a company I don't much think I'll return to. This, coupled with an hour-and-a-half commute, means I have very little time for myself these days, so I try to make the best of it.

I finally ordered from The Ring Lord. I designed a costume of Kitiara Uth Matar, from the DragonLance series. I'm going to take it to DragonCon! But this means I am to learn to make chain maille and scale maille.

I'm doing pretty good, so far!
Its being shaped into a halter top, so it looks a bit weird.

So many rings!
I've been bento-ing again, I'm going to try to lose some weight for DragonCon. I haven't really made anything visually pleasing, or else I'd post pictures. I did get an onigiri mould, though. It really does help! Its a great way to portion your rice in a super cute way.

Michael's was having a sale on 2oz pieces of Sculpey, so I decided to try my hand at it. I made Cthulhu!

Kinda bad picture
I really had fun using it. Its like playing with Play-Doh, except I get to keep it! I really need more practice, though. I used one of my aluminum jump rings from the scale maille to secure it to the ribbon. 

Great idea though--awesome buttons!! Much cheaper than buying expensive fancy buttons, and you have control over what you get. I might put then on my next knitting project.

As far as knitting, I'm working on a shirt. I got a bit frustrated with the lace pattern I picked, and just decided to knit stockinette. I just want something i don't have to think about, that I can just make. I still haven't finished those damned stockings. They are in the Hibernation Box of Shame for now. 

My plants are growing well! Everything germinated except rosemary, I have no clue why. I have quite a little collection now, its very nice to go out on the porch and chill with. I'll be able to harvet some basil soon, which of course means pesto! 

I think I might buy a cheese-making kit.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pots, Octopuses, and Depressing Stockings.

Great News! I have taken up gardening.

After a bout of rather severe depression, I figured a bit of green might help me feel better.

I even knit a little cuff for it!

I must say, it is quite nice. A little something to get excited about, to watch and wait.

The Cat grass and Basil both have sprouted!

On the other hand, I have been knitting! Most recently, I have been working on Octopuses (according to my mother, this is the correct plural).
Little guy even has a hat
He is pretty much the large ball from my Knit Cthulhu pattern, with the same crotchet tentacles, just at the bottom. I don't really remember the hat pattern, but I made a people-sized hat from Felix Cucumber on Ravelry and I used the same principles.

I'm working on a second iteration, with i-chord tentacles around pipe cleaners. I'm not sure which I like better.
Needs a face

On a more depressing note, I've been working on these lovely thigh-high stockings. I even got one done! However, the second-sock syndrome could not be greater on this one...
Yup, the's a broken needle.

So I switched to little projects for the time being.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Creamy Chicken and Pasta

Mmmmm pasta.

All we had left was a chicken breast and some cream cheese. Boyfriend did NOT want to go grocery shopping. Fine! I said. I'll make something.

4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 Extra Large bouillon cube
Tablespoon Italian seasonings
1/2 cup water
1 diced chicken breast
4oz cream cheese
Half pound pasta
Paprika (optional)

Serves 3

Brown garlic and butter in medium saucepan. Add bouillon cube and water, heat until dissolved. Add seasonings and chicken breast, cook until chicken is done. Add cream cheese, stir until melted. Simmer while pasta is prepared. Add pasta, stir to coat. Serve topped with paprika.

This is a pretty cheap meal--without chicken, it is about $3-4, around $5-6 with it. It satisfies the need for delicious creamy goodness. The chicken is not necessary, so it makes a great there-is-nothing-to-eat meal. And Boyfriend liked it!

Also, leftovers make an easy lunch.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Its been a little while

But I was hard at work! Here are a few things that I've done in the past month.

I finished my Dad's Christmas present (Yeahhhhh month late), and I shipped it Priority Mail today. So happy to be DONE, I can't even begin to tell you.

In an attempt to clean up the corner that is my desk, I made a bag for my stash. The pattern is super stretchy; it comfortably holds about half of my yarn! The plan is to hopefully have it empty by DragonCon, so that I may carry it around.

Its a really good size!

Obligatory Cat picture
I started on size 7 DPNs and then switched to 10.5 circulars once it got big enough. I brought the knitting to Friday Night Magic, and everyone thought I was knitting a hat. Mind you, I have knit quite a few hats there over the past few months, but anyway...

I'm thinking of getting into embroidery  its been a long time since I'd done anything of the sort, and it is very relaxing. I've had an inordinate amount of stress this past month, with a death in the family, finding out we had to move, finding out we can't afford to move, the rigors of Georgia Tech, and getting my credit card number stolen. Alas, Babylon.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Steampunk Handkerchief

I am a bit of a steampunk. The engineer in me just loves it. Gears as jewelry? Incredible contraptions? Welding goggles as a fashion statement? Who wouldn't love it?

I prefer the classier side, more Victorian than Street Urchin. I love to find old Victorian knitting patterns, although her come with pictures, so I've been hesitant to try them.

I have found a depressingly small amount of really steampunk-y knitting patterns. I did buy the Ladies of Mischief's Needles and Artifice, and I do quite enjoy the items in there (particularly the scarf!) Unfortunately, there are few other items I have been able to find. Yes, I have looked at everything with a steampunk tag on Ravelry.

Anyway, all that blather leads me to my pattern. I made a handkerchief! I can't say its authentic or anything, but I like it.

I wanted a solid piece of fabric, a solid core. Then I wanted a nice lace edging, sort of symbolic of function encased in fashion. I think the colours are what give it the correct rustic feeling.

Folds up nicely.

You will need:
Sport weight cotton yarn. I used Knitpick's Simply Cotton in Heather Brass, but the colour has been discontinued,to my dismay.
Contrasting colour of crotchet cotton.I know there's different sizes and such, but it does not matter
US Size 4 needles
US Size 2 needles
Tapestry needle

Gauge: 6 sts = 1 inch
Finished size: 8"x8"

Cast on 54 sts
K1,P1 to end
P1, K1 to end
Continue in seed stitch until work measures 8".
Cast off.

Switch to smaller needles. Pick up stitches on edges; purl across. I did it by side, then attached the corners together.
K1, [YO, K2Tog, YO, SSK] to end
Purl across
K1, [YO, K2Tog, YO, SSK] to end.
Purl across
Bind off in picot lace; that is to say, k1, slip back to left needle, cast on 2, bind off 4, slip  back to left needle, continue on to end.

Sew up corners, if applicable.
Close-up on lace
Weave in ends.
Monogram if you wish; I added a little pendant.

I like to bring my lunches to work/school in a tupperware, wrapped in a handkerchief, so I quite look forward to using this.

Happy Knitting!