Monday, April 25, 2011

Movie Monday - 4/25/2011

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter yesterday and the sugar high has worn off by now.  I know I need a little something to take the edge off, but let me get this post written first.

Since last week, I've watched a few movies...

Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis and Betty White star in You Again. It's about a girl whose brother is about to marry the person who tormented her in high school.  There were some funny parts and the ending was quite predictable, but overall, this movie is a renter.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is kind of dumb, but it's something to do on a rainy weeknight...Jason Segal, Kristen Bell (Her again - Doh!  A funny...she also starred in You Again...get it?), Russell Brand, Mila Kunis and Paul Rudd star in this movie about a guy (Segal) who gets dumped by his girlfriend (Bell).  In an attempt to get over her, he goes to Hawaii to meet new people and have new experiences.  The trouble is that the ex and her new rock-star boyfriend (Brand) are also there at the same hotel.  All sorts of predictable mayhem ensues.  It was alright.

Little Fockers is not as good as Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, but it had a few funny scenes in it.  In this third installment of the life and times of Gaylord Focker, the birthday party of his twins is fast approaching and he gives it another try to win the trust of his FIL.  The usual suspects star in this movie - Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner, Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, Teri Polo and Owen Wilson.  It is definitely a renter.

The story of the little English town continues in Cranford: Return to Cranford.  Most of the original actors return in this reprise...It is one disc with two episodes.  I really liked it.

In theaters:
In the original Arthur, Dudley Moore played the lonely, yet eternally drunk title character, just trying to get through life and having a good time.  It was a really good movie and it won some awards - the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for John Gielgud, a Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy, and I think the title song even won some awards.  Dudley Moore was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, and even though he didn't win, he is certainly remembered for the role - and he played it as if it were made for him. So, fast forward thirty years later, and "they" decided to remake Arthur.  Who did they pick to play Arthur?  Russell Brand, of course - and let me tell you - I think he did a marvelous job.  Anyone else would have just been trying to copy Dudley Moore, but Russell Brand made it his own.  Also starring, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig and Jennifer Garner - this movie is good.  I liked it.

Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett star in Hanna.  Ronan plays Hanna, a girl, who with her father Erik (Bana), an ex-CIA agent, live a solitary life in the European artic regions.  Erik has taught her to kill and to defend herself.  Blanchett plays a CIA agent who is looking for both of them, and she has a vested interest in finding them.  It was suspenseful and entertaining.  I totally called the last line in the movie...maybe you will too.  I liked it.

Have a good one!

MK out.

Friday, April 22, 2011

FO Friday - 4/22/2011

I did not intend to stage a blog silence...It just happened that way.  Lots of things happening at Chez Merry Karma these days.

Still no new FOs to show.  I did dig up a couple of old ones that I had not yet posted on my Ravelry projects page.  I keep finding things allover the place that I haven't posted on Ravelry yet...

I made some socks for The Kid back in 2005:

I used Lion Brand Magic Stripes yarn, but because his feet are size 12 (even back then), I had to buy some coordinating yarn to finish the toes.  Anyway, he's never worn them because he doesn't "want to mess them up."  Aww.

The Husb wasn't left out in the socks-knitted-by-me department:

The yarn is Opal...I got it in Skagway back in 2005, but the socks were made the next year.

Kali Anastasi!/Happy Easter!

MK out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 4/19/2011 - La Familia...

...They may start to smell after three days, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.

They provide me with:
1.  Love
2.  Laughter

3.  Comfort
4.  Encouragement
5.  Support

6.  Hugs and Kisses
7.  Togetherness

8.  Creativity
9.  Surprises

10. Family Game Night

Thanks Carole, for another fun reflection on my life...

MK out.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Movie Monday - 4/18/2011

Get out your pens and paper....there's some good movies to note:

Paul Giamatti stars in Win Win, about an attorney with money problems who finds a way to help his financial issues by becoming the legal guardian of an elderly man. Then, the man’s grandson, whom he’s never met, comes to town. Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffry Tambor, Melanie Lynskey and Alex Shaffer also star. It was really good.

Set in Northern Africa in the 1990s, Of Gods and Men, is loosely based on the true story. The movie, in French with English subtitles, shows eight monks living and working side-by-side with the residents of a Muslim community. They also provide medical care for the surrounding towns. After a group of foreign workers are murdered by some Islamic fundamentalists, the army offers to evacuate or at least provide the monks with protection. They refuse. It was a good film.

Certified Copy stars Juliette Binoche and William Shimell. It is in French and Italian, with English subtitles. Binoche plays a gallery owner who meets up with a British author, and the two embark on a little art history field trip. They get mistaken for a married couple and do not correct the fallacy. The movie is very good, very well acted. It is comprised mostly of conversation, but unlike the Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke collaborations (Before Sunrise and Before Sunset), the conversation is meaningful and doesn’t sound fake or forced. Delpy and Hawke should see this movie as it is a perfect example of everything their movies were not. It was very good.

Potiche, starring Catherine Deneuve, Fabrici Luchini – one of my faves, and Gererd Depardieu, is set in France in the 1970s. Deneuve plays a well off housewife, whose husband (Luchini) is a greedy capitalist and male chauvinist pig…but those were the signs of the times. It was cute, very French – so, of course there are subtitles – and I enjoyed it.

The Last Exorcism is a mockumentary about a preacher who, after performing many exorcisms and taking advantage of the faithful, decides to come clean about them not being for realz…So, he decides to make a documentary of his last one. I don’t know where I got the recommendation to see this film…it was a horror movie…and not very good.

Cranford is a mini-series of five episodes on two discs. It is set in a little English town in 1842. It is a sweet story with good acting. Judi Dench, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon and many other good British actors whom you may recognize from other British period films star in it. It was very good.


MK out.

Friday, April 15, 2011

FO Friday - 4/15/2011

After two weeks of no FO Friday, you would think that I have lots of recently finished things to show off.

You would not be thinking correctly.

I did f.i.n.a.l.l.y graft the toes and weave in the ends on the March 2011 socks:

I used Fleece Artist Merino 2/16 in a Shabby Sheep exclusive colorway called Emily.  It was knitted with two size 0US/2.0mm circulars.  The pattern is Aquaphobia.  The premise with this pattern is that it makes any pooling that many handdyed yarns characteristically make seem less apparent.  I don't think it really accomplished the goal with this yarn, but it did achieve a pleasing effect. 

The slip-stitching every other stitch, every other row makes for a dense fabric.  It is a little bit of a wrestling act getting the socks over the heels, but if you feel like you are going to have to break bones for them to fit - your socks are too tight. 

I don't know if I would make these socks again...maybe it is the slip-stitch pattern in general on tiny made my hands tired.

I finished the Lux Scarf in February, and I finally blocked it last week before Fiber Fest:

I didn't do the greatest job on the flowers, but it will suffice...

I found some FOs that made a few years ago that I have to load on Ravelry.  You see them here first....lucky you!

I made these socks for my momma in 2004.  She was in the hospital after a little fall; so, I thought it would be a nice little gifty.

I made this scarf from a kit I bought at the very first DFW Fiber Fest in 2006.  I cannot remember the name of the kit, but a portion of the proceeds went to breast cancer research.  The yarn is the lovely Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply. 

This cute little scarf was made out of some yarn I bought at the Woolie Ewe in 2007 (I think).  I don't remember the name of the yarn, but I don't think the WE carries it anymore.

Finally, an FO of a different type...Remember those flowers I planted on each side of the entry?  As one goes up the steps, on the left:

On the right:

See that little designer azalea?  It is so pretty when it is in bloom.  Check out what it looks like when it is's the blob on the very left of the picture above the begonias.  It was blooming last week.

I don't like short blooming seasons.

Have a good weekend.

MK out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The DFW Fiber Fest 2011

From these pictures, you will be able to see that I am not a photojournalist.  After I loaded them on the computer, I realized that I've only really captured one facet of Fiber Fest....the vendor hall.  What does that say?

There were some new faces...Whirled Fibers, an LYS in Duncanville, manned the yarn winding booth:

Stone and String Studio, an indie dyer from Flower Mound, brought some pretty yarns and fiber:

The Woolie Ewe, an LYS from Plano, brought only a wee representation of their store inventory:

Crochet Texas had an informational booth:

Creative Touch provided chair-massages for those weary shopping muscles:

There were many familiar vendors...The Great Yarn Company is an online entity:

Michele of The Fiber Lady had lots of bamboo and bamboo blend yarn and fiber:

Theresa from Buffalo Gold brought their goodies:

Madelinetosh brought lots of yarn:

Sherry of Brooks Farm Yarn is figuring yarn quantity needed for a customer:

Ska Ska Designs returns from Colorado.  They were a first-time vendor last year:

Ronda at The Shabby Sheep brought some fun yarn:

The Knitting Fairy was busy bestowing fibery wishes all weekend:

bonny beads had buttons, stitch markers, shawl pins and more:

Sony and Misty of Knitting Lagniappe always add a little extra:

There really were classes...Here's a random class picture, but there were many others:

Kollage Yarns was a major sponsor this year (Thank you Kollage).  The lovely ladies, Erika and Anne, showed off the neat yarns and square needles for which Kollage is so popular:

It was fun to see familiar faces and to meet new friends.

Y'all come out to DFW Fiber Fest next year...Save the date:  March 30-April 1.

MK out.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 4/13/2011

With DFW Fiber Fest this last weekend...there's was more knitting-related item shopping than actual knitting.  I bought a few things at FF, without totally abusing my scheduled break from Cold Sheeping:

Clockwise from the top:  I purchased a Bird of Paradise Shawl kit, a Woolie Ewe exclusive; Three skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Tart will make me a cute sweater; I thought I'd try out those square needles and bought two size 1US circulars to use on a future pair of socks; I didn't have a size 4US in Signature circulars...but I do now...I have my Needle Ho reputation to uphold, you know.

I have worked a little on the Skews:

I started a little scarf at Fiber Fest to have something to keep my hands busy during the few times I managed to sit still long enough to knit:

It is a mohair blend on size 6US needles.  I am just using a little feather and fan pattern.  I can tell this little project will need to be blocked.

MK out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 4/12/2011 - I've Got the Munchies!

I don't know how Carole comes up with the topics, but this week it's 10 Favorite Snacks.

Here are ten of mine, in no particular order, (and can I say, it is not a complete list):
1.   Fritos and Dr. Pepper - but Coke would do in a pinch.
2.   Popcorn - My favorite is movie popcorn with lots of butter, but since that is a heart attack in a tub and I am not always at the theater when the I get a snack attack, microwave popcorn usually suffices.
3.   Chips and Salsa - ole!
4.   Carr's Wafers with my homemade pimento cheese.
5.   Peanut M&Ms.
6.   Lay's Potato Chips
7.   Barbeque Chips - any brand.
8.   Hot Fudge Sundaes
9.   Brie and Crackers - usually Ritz or Triscuits.
10. Nuts - I like pistachios, almonds and cashews the best.

MK out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Movie Monday - 4/11/2011

It is a beautiful morning...I am about to go outside and survey the damage to my precious flowers after the hail storm we had last night.

I really wanted to write a Fiber Fest post each night after returning from the event, but dang!  I was so tired!  And I wasn't on the board this year....I had no duties other than to be there.  Anyway, stay tuned later this week.  I am planning one big post about the whole thing.

I am still tired this morning, since there was that loud hail storm around 1230.  I also received two phone calls last night - one at 0230 to inform me that the landline 911 system is out of order, but I could still use my cell phone - and another at 0530 to inform me that the system is once again operational.  (Aaauurrgggh!)

So, onto movies:

Have you seen the trailer for Barney's Version?  In it, it appears that Barney, played by Paul Giamatti, is a fickle sort of person.  He meets a woman who is a guest at his wedding, and decides that she is the love of his life and wants to pursue her.  It appears madcap and possibly slapstick....but, the actual movie has a heavier story.  Minnie Driver, Dustin Hoffman and Rosamund Pike also star in this dramedy.  It was good.

You must see Source Code with Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga.  It's a science fiction thriller about a top-secret government tool that the government is developing.  Gyllenhaal plays an Army Captain who is somehow inserted into the body of a passenger who dies in a train explosion in the attempt to help the officials find the bomber and prevent future attacks.  I won't go into the rationale of the way it all works, but I will say that even though I figured out who the bomber was early on in the movie, it did not spoil any of the experience for me.  It was really, really, really entertaining in a most satisfying way.  I highly recommend this movie.

Finally, I watched The Other Guys on DVD this past week.  Will Ferrel and Mark Walburg star in this slapstick comedy about two incompetent police officers who buddy up to solve the crime.  Anne Heche also stars, and there are appearances from Derek Jeter, Brooke Shields and Rosie Perez playing themselves.  It was alright.

Until next time...

MK out.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bouncing Off the Walls...

The DFW Fiber Fest starts tomorrow.  It feels a little weird not having any duties associated with it, because for the first five years - and especially the last three - I was consumed with putting-on-a-fiber-festival tasks for weeks and months leading up to the big weekend.  For about the first two months after I stepped off the active board last year, it was really hard to let go.  Today, not so much.  The current board members are phenomenal and I can tell that this year - the sixth DFW Fiber Fest - will be the biggest yet. 

And can I tell you how excited I am that all I have to do is show up and shop and take classes and drink in the yarn fumes and be around my sheeples?

My knitting bags are already packed:

On another note:  Yesterday, I planted the rest of the flowers in the beds by the front door and the front windows...

This one is through the window:

Merry Karma will be documenting Fiber Fest doings starting tomorrow.  FO Friday will return next Friday.  Sorry for the crappy pictures...(as if that's something new around here) camera battery died and I had to use my cell.

Have a great weekend.  Hope to see you at the Fest!

MK out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 4/6/2011

I started a new pair of socks.  I am in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry.  They have a year-long personal sock knitting challenge KAL (knit-a-long).  For April, the sock has to be made with a non-traditional construction or Entrelac or something by the designer Chrissy Gardiner or make the mystery sock aka MOCK.  I've never participated in the monthly KAL challenge before, but since I've been wanting to make these particular socks that are made in a non-traditional way, I thought I'd join.

I chose the Skew pattern from Knitty, because I've been wanting to make those socks for a while now.  I am using two size 0US circulars and Lucy Neatby's Celestial Merino in Fiery Fuschia.

OMG, I just recently discovered the Knitmore Girls.  Actually, I've known about them for quite some time.  They are a mother-daughter team and they have a podcast, where they talk alot about knitting and other fibery pursuits.  I've tried podcasts before and wasn't too impressed; so, I had not listened to theirs....but I had heard that DFW Fiber Fest placed an ad with them a few weeks ago.  So, I listened...and I liked...and I will probably go back and hear all of their podcasts little-by-little.  I had to go to a meeting yesterday that had a fifty minute trip each way, and I played one episode on the way there and one on the way back.  (Another reason to love my iPad.)  Anyway, I love listening to the two of them talk and my favorite way to listen is to sit in my den with my knitting.

Do you listen to podcasts?

MK out.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 4/5/2011 - There Might Be Singing Involved

Carole came up with another good one this week:  10 Favorite One Hit Wonders

                                ( .)

I have to admit, I can come up with more than ten that bring back those memories from back in the day...but here are my Most Favorite 10 One Hit Wonders, in order (for the first two - after that, it's a grab bag):

1.  Midnight at the Oasis - I'm not sure if this song is an official OHW, but it's the only song I ever saw Maria Muldaur perform on The Midnight Special.  Back in those days, if you had a hit, you would be on The Midnight Special.; so to's a OHW.  The reason I liked this song had to do with a boy, of course.
2.  Funkytown by Lipps, Inc. - I danced to this song many, many, many times...good times.
3.  Who can forget Wild Cherry's only hit - Play That Funky Music?  I used to crank it up when it would come on the radio, while cruising The Seawall in the 65 Chevy with all the windows rolled down - because there was no air conditioning...
4.  I used to know all the words to Rapper's Delight by Sugar Hill Gang.  Oh yes I did.
5.  Crack that whip!  Whip It by Devo was always a crowd pleaser.  I remember taking an aerobics dance class in college and our instructor played this song every time.
6.  It's Raining Men by The Weather that's a forecast.
7.  David Naughton was Making It in the disco era.  It is a catchy tune and fun to dance to.
8.  Turn the Beat Around by Vicki Sue Robinson always made me sing out loud.
9.  What a pity Mickey didn't understand.  That's all Toni Basil could say about the matter.
10.  Soft Cell's Tainted Love asks the question, "Where did our love go?"  I don't know, but if you find it, let me know...

There are so many more, but I tried to keep to songs from my high school and college days.

Enjoy the earworms!

MK out.

(edited to add links...didn't feel like doing it at midnight...)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Movie Monday - 4/04/2011

The gardening continued yesterday and is fast falling out of favor with me again.  I had to pull up tons of broken up roots before I could put my coleus plants in the ground.  I am a little sore as I type, but here's what you came for:

I saw Jane Eyre in the theater with a friend this weekend.  After I watched, I had to go back and refresh my memory of the story, because I read the book too many years ago to count.  I can safely say that it is a good adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte novel.   Mia Wasikowska stars as Jane, and Sally Hawkins - usually in lighter roles - played her mean aunt.  It was very, very good...but definitely a chic flick.

Waiting for Superman is a very engaging documentary about the state of the American education system.  If you go to and pledge to watch the film, $5.00 gets donated to an educational project of your choosing.  You can also go pledge even if you have already seen the film, but have not yet pledged.  If this film doesn't call you to action, I don't know what will.  It is not just inner city children who are not getting a good education in this country.  It follows several kids and their stories.  Each family tries to get their child into a charter school, but not all are successful.  KIPP Academy and the Harlem Children's Zone are two of the programs that are presented.  I thought it was a powerful film.  See it.

In Leaving, Kristin Scott Thomas plays a woman who is bored with her life and decides to reestablish her career.  While her office is being built, she falls in love with the subcontractor and the two begin an affair.  The film is in French with English subtitles.  It was alright.

Nanny McPhee Returns, starring Emma Thompson reprising her role as the magical nanny, focuses on a mom trying to keep her unruly children in check while trying to keep the family farm over their heads.  The father is off fighting in the war and their cousins are sent to live with the family because of fighting in their hometown.  Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes and Maggie Smith also star.  It was alright...definitely not as good as the first one.

I also finished streaming Weeds Season Two.  I really think I am engaged because it is a little like watching a train wreck...Definitely entertaining, though.

MK out.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Adventures in Gardening - Continued

Yesterday, The Kid and I drove around town shopping for flowers.  I researched a few flowers on the Internet, but finally came to the conclusion that I was going to go look at some more flowers and figure out what I wanted to plant.  I chose flowers by that age-old scientifically proven method of "what looks good."  Since the scope has been - it would all work out fine.

One thing of note, I am a visual learner, but there is probably an element of tactile/kinesthetic learning in my milieu...And don't forget the stubborn quotient. I am going to become a gardener the good, old-fashion way - I will do it the hard way.

I decided on a color theme - I like the look of red, dark pink and orange together.  At the nursery, I looked at various flowers that liked sun in those colors.  I picked orange marigolds, pink petunias and red begonias.

Since the beds were prepared last weekend, I got down to the business of planting.  I have to say - it was way easier than the process of bed preparation...So, here we go - beds prepared:

Next, I set out the little pots in each area to see how they looked:

It took under an hour to plant all of them:

I see a bald spot:

I know I am new at this gardening thing and I've probably made mistakes already that you might be able to notice, but I'll figure it all out eventually...that's half the fun.

Tomorrow, I will plant some coleus that I purchased at a fundraiser yesterday.  I think I will put a few boxwoods in this spot too.

MK out.