Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 12/28/2011

I figured out where I was on the Flourish shawl!!!  I have worked on it  a little since last week, but you cannot really tell.  Here's a little peaky of it:

The reason that Flourish hasn't progressed greatly is that I dropped it on Monday in order to finish the Citron shawl because I want to gift it before the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  It's finished and now needs to be blocked.  How does one block a Citron?  It has to have a bath first...that I know, but...then what?  Lots of pins on the round part or weed-eater cable or what?  Help.

I cleaned out the daughter's bunny cage today.  Meet Africa.  He is temporarily in my care.  While I had him out of the cage, he made me a little yellow puddle on the floor.  I think he likes me.

MK out.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Movie Monday - 12/26/2011

Despite scurrying around with last-minute Christmas preparations, I did watch a few flicks in the last week...

Jumping the Broom is a predictable little movie about cultures and socio-economic backgrounds clashing as two people are preparing to tie the knot.  Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Paula Patton and Laz Alonso star in the film and all do a good job.  It was cute. I liked it.

I just love Russell Brand.  Most of his characters in movies are a little naughty - on the bawdy side - but I find him cute and the antics are fun to watch.  In Get Him to the Greek, he plays Aldous Snow - a rock star that is sobriety-challenged. He is being escorted by Aaron (Johah Hill), a record label executive, from London to a sort of comeback concert in Los Angeles.  It was rude, crude and socially unacceptable at times, but I was entertained.

The documentary Catfish is a bit controversial.  A 24-year-old photographer,  in New York in New York is sent a painting of one of his pictures that was painted by an 8-year-old girl.  Soon, he gets to know most of the family via telephone calls, e-mail and the Internet - specifically Facebook.  I cannot say too much about the film because it would spoil it, but critics of the film question its authenticity.  At best, it can be seen as a cautionary tale.  I liked it.

In theaters:
Like Crazy is a love story between Anna (Felicity Jones) and Jacob (Anton Yelchin).  They meet in school; they fall in love; she overstays her student visa.  After she goes back to England and tries to return to the US, she is deported.  Even though they marry in England, she still has that student visa issue to clear up.  His work is in the US.  They are kept apart, and interestingly, both have affairs while they are waiting for things to work out for them. (Really?!?)  I didn't buy the story, but the acting is pretty good.  It was alright.

George Clooney and Ryan Gosling star in The Ides of March.  George Clooney also directed, helped write the screenplay and produced this film.  It is about a senator (Clooney) trying to win the Democratic nomination for president and all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that his press secretary (Gosling) has to handle.  It is also about how ambitions can sometimes get in the way.  It is well acted and a very good movie.  I liked it.

Until next time...

MK out.

Friday, December 23, 2011

FO Friday - 12/23/2011 - Merry Christmas Y'all

I finished these Christmas stockings in November, but then I took them to the embroidery shop and it took a few weeks to get them back.  I gave them to the recipients last week, but waited until today to show them to you:

The stockings are made from Ella Rae Classic wool in mostly Christmassy colors and using  5mm 16-inch Addi turbos. 

I winged the pattern, knitting top-down with a picot edging for the feminine ones and a funky edging for the masculine one that I will not use again, most probably.  

Then, I proceeded to the short-row heel, continued down the foot and grafted the toe.

Here is an FO from several years ago.  It is a shawl that I made for myself using Trendsetter Dune yarn.  I remember that the pattern (Lacy Scarf or Wrap by Catherine Ham) called for seven skeins, but I stopped after six.  I really wanted to wear it and was over it already.  I returned the extra skein, and to this day, I keep wondering if maybe I should have gone ahead and used all seven.  Oh well...

I love the yarn.  It has just the right amount of sparklie...and you know how much I heart the sparklie!  It has done a bit of blooming since I first knit it, and it still looks great.

MK out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 12/21/2011

So, last week, I pulled out the Flourish shawl that had been in time out. I didn't know where I was, because, silly me, I didn't write down what row I ended on the last time I worked on it.  I looked at the shawl.  I looked at the chart.  I did some counting and I tinked back about 4 rows.  Still, I couldn't figure out where I was.  I looked at the shawl.  I looked at the chart.  I counted.  I put the shawl back into the bag.  I worked on the two other projects.

Today, I pulled out the shawl.

It still looks the same as it did last week, but I am determined to figure out where I am before I go to bed tonight.

Wish me luck.

MK out.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - Christmas Lists

Imagine my surprise just now when I came upon my blog, since I am contemplating a WIP Wednesday post, and notice that my Ten on Tuesday post didn't publish.  Well, maybe because it was saved as a draft...

I back-dated it, because I am "detail oriented" that way.  (I know what phrase you are thinking instead...)

This week, with Christmas being only days away, Carole asks us to tell 10 Things You Have to Do Before Christmas.  Here is my list:

1.  Wrap four gifts…but they haven’t come yet.
2.  Finalize the actual date our family will celebrate Christmas…Christmas Eve v. Christmas Day Night…Don’t ask.
3.  Pull out all the serving dishes and utensils.
4.  Double check the pantry to make sure I have everything I need.
5.  Bake – I think this year, it will just be pumpkin bread, zucchini muffins and some cookies.
6.  Finish writing thank you notes for stuff The Husb has been getting at the office.
7.  Pick up the grands and drive down to the Big D to see the Christmas lights.
8.  Deliver the baked gifts.
9.  Watch It’s a Wonderful Life at some point on Christmas Eve.
10.  Enjoy my family and friends.

MK out.

P.S.  That is not a picture of my house.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Movie Monday - 12/19/2011

The race to the Oscars is gaining speed.  There are so many movies out right now that I have not seen, and more are being released weekly.  I will do my best to catch up...

The Descendents, starring George Clooney and Beau Bridges, is garnering Oscar buzz.  Matt King (Clooney) is a descendent to one of the first white land-owning families in Hawaii.  He is the trustee of a large piece of property on Kauai.  Many of his cousins want to sell it off to developers, and while he plans to take their wishes into consideration, the ultimate decision rests in his hands.  The natives are not happy that the land may be sold.  Meanwhile, Matt’s wife is involved in an accident and is being kept alive artificially.  Not only does he have the weight of the future of Hawaii on his hands, but he is now a single parent to two girls in whose care he has been absent up to now.  It was a comedy with a deeper message.  I really liked it.

In 50/50, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, a guy in his twenties that finds out he has a rare form of cancer.  Seth Rogen plays his best friend Kyle.  Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston also star in this movie that is intense at times, but definitely heartwarming.  The medicine is not always true to life, but it was a good story and the acting is very good.  I liked it.

A planet named Melancholia is hurtling towards the Earth on a collision course.  Kirsten Dunst plays Justine.  She and Michael (Alexander Skarsgard) get married and her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg and brother-in-law John (Kiefer Sutherland) offer up their estate for the reception.  But Justine starts acting a little off and soon, it is evident that she has a mental illness and is falling apart.  Claire is the steadfast one.  By the end of the movie, as the deadly planet nears, it is Claire who cannot handle things, while Justine knows exactly what to do.  Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgard and Udo Kier also star in interesting look at the world coming to an end.  It was entertaining, but weird.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is an older film (1972) that is named in a list of twenty-five foreign films that we must all see.  I don’t remember who made up the list.  The movie is in French with English subtitles.  It is difficult to follow, and it seems that the story unfolds in bits, both in dreams and the experiences of each of the six main characters.  Basically, it is supposed to be a satirical view of society.  Interestingly, the sextet is always supposed to share a meal, but something always happens and they do not actually eat.  It was different.

In A Better World won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film last February.  It has been described as a cautionary tale. It is a story about bullies – on many levels. Two school children become friends.  Both come from homes with issues.  One is rather passive, the other is rather angry.  The two together are not a good combination.  Meanwhile, one of the dads is a physician who goes on mission trips to Africa and treats women who are victims of the local thug. The film is in Danish with English subtitles.  I didn’t recognize any of the actors, but they all did a great job.  It was very good.

MK out.

Friday, December 16, 2011

FO Friday - 12/15/2011

Don't faint...The last time I did an FO post that included knitting was in September.

I cannot believe that I never showed y'all the Little Boy Blue sweater.  I sewed the buttons on weeks ago and put it away.  Well, out of sight and out of mind...

I used 4.0mm -  24" circulars and Tahki Yarns Tweedy Cotton Classic in a pretty blue colorway.  The pattern is Old School Cardigan by Kristen M. Jensen.  I would gave it a medium difficulty rating on Ravelry.  I didn't find it hard, but for someone just starting out with cables, it might be intimidating.

Remember this cardi?

Here it is in action.  My mom had picked out the pattern and together we picked the yarn from my stash.  She wanted me to make a gift for the son of a special friend of hers.  Well, here it is in action:

I was worried about the sizing, but it fits well!

And I had leftovers from that Reynolds Cabana, I made a couple of hats, totally winging the patterns:

Y'all have a good one.

MK out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 12/14/2011

Remember those trees and those poinsettia leaves from last week?  I scrapped those ideas. The Barbie sweater made the cut and just needs finish work, as does the matching hat. Now, there's a scarf on the go too:

I was commissioned to make a hat, and I've been working on it:

I pulled out the Flourish shawl today.  I put it away weeks ago because my stitch count was off and I wasn't in the mood to deal with it.  It doesn't look very different from the last time I took a picture, but here it is anyway:

That's my Wednesday. 

MK out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 12/13/2011 - For the Hostest with the Mostest

This week, Carole asks us to tell Ten Hostess Gift Ideas.

Here is my list of things that I like to give and receive:
1.  Flowers always put a smile on people's faces.
2. There are so many wines out there...It is hard to choose.
3.  Chocolates - make mine dark!
4.  Homemade cookies are great, especially if you have a specialty that everyone likes.
5.  Homemade bread or muffins...I like zucchini bread or pumpkin bread or banana nut bread.
6.  A fruit and cheese basket is a healthy treat!
7.  I really love kitchen towels. I especially like holiday themed ones.
8.  A nice shower gel or lotion (or both) from Bath and Body Works.
9.  Handmade soaps add a nice touch to a powder room.
10. There are so many pretty decorative candles, and they don't have to be scented.

I will leave you with something hysterical I saw the other day...

...and no, I won't be giving it as a hostess gift to anyone I know.

MK out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Movie Monday - 12/12/2011

Slow week:

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 was a over two-hour set up of the final chapter in the Twilight story.  Bella and Edward get married…Bella becomes pregnant…Bella becomes a vampire.  All of this to get ready for the next part…when the Volturi will be coming after Renesmee.  The usual suspects starred in this film and they are either becoming better actors, or they are just growing on me.  It’s definitely fare for the Twilight Saga fans, but I really liked it.

Nowhere Boy is about the early John Lennon, before The Beatles.  John (Aaron Johnson) was raised by his Aunt Mimi (Kristen Scott Thomas) and Uncle George (David Threlfall).  His mother Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), lived only a few blocks away, but John didn’t meet her until after his uncle died.  We do meet the young Paul and George in the film too, but this movie is about how John became John Lennon.  He had a rather difficult early life, although his aunt and uncle loved him very much and tried to do right by him.  The movie is based on a memoir by Julia Baird, who happens to be Lennon’s half-sister.  Overall, the film is very good.  The acting is first rate.  I really liked it.

MK out.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday 12/7/2011

Oh em gee!!!  There is actually a WIP Wednesday post this week...

I am making trees, poinsettia leaves and Barbie sweaters.

What about you?

MK out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 12/6/2011 - Ho Ho Ho!!!

It's the most wonderful time of the year....Carole prompts us to tell our Ten Favorite Holiday Traditions.  I'm all over that!

1.  Picking out the picture for the Christmas card…since 1990.

2.  Attending the Tree Lighting on the Square in our town.  We attended this year was the first time in about five or six years, because The Kid started playing sports around then, and he would usually have a game on the night of the event.  Anyway, I was glad we were able to resume the tradition this year…It was the 23rd annual lighting, and The Kid is 21 – so we've gone to quite a few in our day…
3.  Putting out the Christmas dishes every December 1st and using them all month long.
4.  Pulling out the decorations and trimming the tree with the as much of the family that is around.
5. Hanging the stockings….same ones…same positions…every year.
6. Lighting scented candles every night. My faves are the ones that smell like a Christmas tree.
7.  Watching Christmas movies and specials…A Charlie Brown Christmas is a must!
8.  Making cookies...It will be a little sad this year without my momma around.
9.  Driving down to the Big D to see the Christmas lights in Highland Park.
10.  Putting out the presents under the tree after everyone has gone to bed on Christmas Eve...and in the early years of our marriage, that sometimes meant we didn't get to bed before 0300.  Apparently, it was The Husb's family tradition growing up that all the presents weren't wrapped before Christmas Eve when everyone went to bed.  I have since modified that part of it...It has morphed to I wrap as I buy over the years.

MK out.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Movie Monday - 12/5/2011

The weather outside is frightful today.  No ice and snow, much to the chagrin of the grandchildren whose ears had perked up to the words "slight chance of snow" on the weather forecast yesterday and were hoping for a school closing today...

Directed by Barry Levinson, You Don't Know Jack is a biographical film examining the career of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.  Al Pacino plays the controversial right-to-die activist and he is very good, as are Susan Sarandon, Brenda Vaccaro and John Goodman. The film ended after he was convicted and sent to jail for second degree murder.  He served about eight years before he was released in 2007 for good behavior.  Kevorkian died in June this year and was said to have not suffered any pain.  No matter which side you support in the euthanasia issue, this movie was thought provoking and entertaining.  I liked it.

Terri, starring Jacob Wysocki and John C. Reilly, is a film about an overweight teenager who suffers many indignities at school from students and teachers alike.  Aside from his weight issues, Terri stands out because he wears pajamas to school…everyday.  His parents died when he was quite young, and he now lives with an uncle, who has his own issues.  The school’s vice principal (Reilly) is the only person who gives Terri the time of day, and deservedly so.  Terri is very bright and empathetic towards other people.  He’s a good kid.  I liked it.

The trials and tribulations of dancers are depicted in Every Little Step.  This film is about the casting process for the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line on Broadway.  The movie follows the year-long process of casting the leads.  What the dancers go through is grueling and heartbreaking at times, but any of them will tell you that if he or she wins a role, it is worth it.  It was fascinating and entertaining, but if you are not in the least bit interested in the subject material…you might be a little bored.

I wasn’t sure I would like J. Edgar when I decided to see it the other day.  I really wasn't all that interested in the subject matter.  I figured that it would probably be nominated for at least one of the major Academy Awards categories; so, I felt compelled to see it.  Now, I am glad that I did.  I really didn’t know all that much about J. Edgar Hoover, except that he was the head of the FBI until his death in 1972 and that he had “the dirt” on many influential people (and that he used it regularly as it suited him).  Leonardo diCaprio, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench and Armie Hammer were wonderful in their roles.  It was surprisingly good.

Stay warm and dry!

MK out.

Friday, December 2, 2011

FO Friday - 12/2/2011

No knitting that I can reveal today, but I am super excited about something:

Can you believe it?!? It's only December 2nd and the tree is up, with lights and decorations.  It must be a first.

Next up, finishing the Christmas shopping and starting the wrapping.

Knitting soon...

MK out.