Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mother's Day

First of all, I had a happy not-quite-surprise this evening. Ok, well it snuck up on me anyway. When we first bought our place in January there were these two HUGE bushes out back. They were way overgrown, and it took me two long trimming sessions to just get off the dead wood and do a little shaping.

I was hoping they were buddleia bushes, but I wasn't quite sure. I read that you really should do a severe pruning on them in spring, but these guys were well over 10 feet high. Also, they weren't looking too healthy. I thought I'd prune more aggressively next year. So I did the best I could, and hoped for blossoms.

I forgot to check them over the last few days, and happened to glance out the window tonight. Buddleia it is!


As usual with any outdoor work, I had Supervisor Spook and Overseer Marmalade.

Another happy surprise: we have grapes! Or at least we will someday, hopefully. They're getting a little out of hand at the moment. I think I'll build a little trellis between the railing and the neighbor's fence. There's another vine already trained on top of the fence.

For Mother's Day this year I made a set of fingerless mitts to match the shawls I made for Christmas. They're both original patterns.

For my Mom's, I ran into the Solitary Sock problem. I made one, and was really happy with how it turned out, but then I set it aside to work on other projects. By the time I came back to the second, I didn't even know what size hook I'd used. On the bright side, the second one turned out looser, so it was just a matter of going down a hook size and re-working part of it.

I hear this happens when people make socks... That's why I'm intrigued by the concept of knitting two socks at once. Too bad it doesn't really work with crochet, other than holding two skeins. Which is not a bad idea, really.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Here's a project a few years in the making. At least, the design was rolling around in my head for that long. Every once in awhile I'd think again: "I really want to make that Mario blanket!"

The recipient was obvious. When I was little, I remember my older brother B always on the NES. I got to play every now and then, but mostly I just got to watch. Not long after this Exciting game console came around, my oldest brother S decided to take it apart to see how it all worked (not surprisingly.) Unfortunately, when all the pieces went together, it no longer played any sound. Mario and Luigi had no theme music or action sounds for all their hopping around and smashing Goombas. Our parents pointed out that it could be sent away to be repaired, but B would have none of that! So, silent Mario it was.

I started the bricks a little over a month before my brother's birthday. I finished in time, but just barely.

Here's an action shot, where I'm just starting in on the question box.

I first pieced together the tube, attached it to the ground, and then filled in the sky.

I thought three coins were appropriate, one for each decade =)

I sewed on the coins and box each on one side only, so it wouldn't be too thick in those places.

I "climbed out" of the tube several times. I thought a life-size tube was awesome, and other people seemed to find it hilarious =)

Here he is all wrapped up and ready to go.

Awww it made a heart!

The finished product!

Here's B posing with his new blanket.

I got a tremendously awesome response from friends who saw the blanket in progress.

Happy Birthday, bro! I had a ton of fun making this, and I hope you enjoy it :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fire Poi

I've realized that there simply isn't enough time to focus on all my projects/hobbies/interests at the same time. Therefore, they tend to drift in and out. Poi is something that's been out for a little too long, but I'm starting up again. I ordered a new set of fire heads and they just arrived today. I'm so excited!

This is the first time I've tried the Cathedral style of wick, which are supposed to burn more efficiently and bigger than my previous wrapped ones. I went to my favorite site, Home Of Poi to order them, and I tried not to get too distracted by all the yummy new toys they've added since I last looked...

I just need to get some kerosene and hit the beach! But until I do, here are a couple older images, from about 5-6 years ago. The quality was low, and that's why they're tiny. Maybe next time I'll get some better pictures and longer exposures.

Ok, so one of them isn't fire. That was the first time I played around with my multi-color LED Sauce sticks. They have since cracked, but they were tons of fun while they lasted.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Purple Potatoes

Awhile ago I picked up some purple potatoes at our local market. They sat in my cupboard for a bit too long, and had unusual spidery-looking eyes all over them.

The insides were marbled and definitely purple. After they were cooked and mashed they turned greyish-blue, but otherwise tasted like normal mashed potatoes. Since the eyes looked so cool, I thought I'd cut one end off and plant it.

Now I wish I'd planted more!

It's growing fantastically in the front yard. Later I'll have my own purple potatoes =)

Moral of the story: Don't throw away good-looking potatoes that are already starting to grow.

Also, my mom and brothers brought us some little blueberry plants. I'm looking forward to harvesting our own blueberries!