Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Last...

It's the last day of the month.  It's been the nicest July I can remember weather-wise.

It's also the last day to watch PBS OnLine Film Festival.  I watched the ones I had not seen in the last few days:

Mad River Rising is animated and is about an old man living in a skilled nursing facility who escapes to the time of the Great Flood of 1927.

My Dear American is about an Indian American couple celebrating the Fourth of July in their new home, when they are exposed to prejudice.

North Star shows excerpts of a slave's memoirs about escaping to Vermont using the North Star to guide him to the land of freedom.

Overpass Light Brigade is a documentary short about the group of activists who hold up lighted letters on a bridge at night spelling out words that express their concerns.

Sorry About Tomorrow is about a guy who travels back in time, attempting to alter the course of events to come.

The Jazz Ticket is a documentary short about a Los Angeles inner city high school band teacher who starts a program that has benefitted the students and the surrounding community.

The Yellow Wallpaper is adapted from a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gibson.  It's about a woman struggling with mental illness.

Tryouts is about a Muslim girl who wants to join the high school cheerleading squad.

Westland is about reclusive artist Tim West who lives in Arkansas.

Why We Rise documents the story of three young people who are undocumented.

Will is an animated short about a dad who leaves his young daughter a voice mail on 9/11.

You're Dead to Me is about unresolved issues between a mom and her daughter.

All the films were good - some more than others.  It was time well spent.

MK out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WIP Wednesday - 7/23/2014

I had pictures all ready for knitting documentation last Wednesday, but it's been a flurry of activity around here lately and time got away from me.

I'd be finished with my Camp Loopy 2 project by now, but since we've had company, I'm behind.  Here's where I was last week - picking up the trim stitches:

Here's where I am today - ready to finish the sleeves:

I really heart this yarn.  Have I mentioned that before? 

MK out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just Shellin'

Growing up in the G, we'd go to the beach frequently, but we never really went shelling.  We'd find shells and sometimes take them home with us, but it was more of a "Oh, that's pretty!!!" spontaneous or happenstance moment - not a dedicated activity. 

We have some friends visiting and since we are at the beach, we had to go.  

My friend Harriet taught me how to shell.  Her family has been taking beach vacations for years and that's an activity they enjoy.

My first day's haul:

Harriet turned me onto the shells known as Kitten's Paw.  They are the ones on the bottom row of the picture. The shells are found in nature attached to coral. They are a bivalve - like clams and mussels, but instead of a hinge holding them together, they depend on their attachment to the coral.  

My second day's haul:

I found a plethora of Kitten's Paws - in many different colors and sizes.  They really charmed me, as you can tell.  I picked up about a hundred of them. (There's a penny in the picture for scale.)

I got lots of the doubles:

I like this double that has a smaller one attached:

Here's the teeniest one I found:

My third day's haul:

Shelling is fun...

...I highly recommend it.

MK out.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Movie Monday - 7/21/2014

Only ten more days left for the 2014 PBS Online Film Festival People!  I need to get busy seeing the rest of the films I haven't watched yet.  We are currently entertaining some good friends and I haven't been able to sneak away and do things like that.

I have watched a couple of movies since last Monday:

Ida is about an orphaned girl who is raised in a convent and is about to take her final vows.  The mother superior insists that she meets with her only living relative. When she does, many revelations about her past are brought to light. The film is set in 1960s Poland - spoken in Polish with English subtitles. It was really good.

In Chef, Jon Favreau plays a recently fired chef who sets out in a food truck to jump start his culinary creativity.  Favreau also wrote and directed the film.  Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Bobby Cannavale, John Leguizamo and Oliver Platt are among the talented actors in this movie. Although it was fairly predictable, it was a good movie and I liked it very much.

MK out.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Movie Monday - 7/14/2014

The 2014 PBS Online Film Festival continues until the end of the month.  Y'all should check it out here. The longest film is only sixteen minutes and change.  I've watched more of the movies:

Dog Save the Queen is about a hunt for a direct descendant of the Queen's corgis to further the line. Seems when HRM visited Rarotonga, Cook Islands in 1974, one of dogs had a night on the town and populated the place.

El Doctor is about a couple who hired two migrant workers to build a deck in their backyard.

El Reloj is about a girl and her grandfather on their weekly Sunday outing.

First Match is about a girl wrestling on an all boy team.

I Am the Aurora Hunter is about the best aurora borealis photographer in the world.

Islands is about a girl who finds love in the Pacific Islands - all without speaking!

Lady Thunderhawks is about a Native American high school basketball team that inspires hope in their community.

I also watched The Grand Budapest Hotel.  It's a Wes Anderson quirky film about how the owner of the hotel ended up with it.  There are many good actors in it:  Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, Mathieu Amalric and Jeff Goldblum...just to name a few.  It was funny and quirky and I liked it.

MK out.

Friday, July 11, 2014

FO Friday - 7/11/2014

I have a little FO to show you today.  I am still sewing on buttons, but I made this little cardi out of a leftover ball of yarn that has been sitting in the stash for years:

It's another Blizzard, in the smallest size and without the design it's really a Bitty Blizzardish.  The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patine.  It was quick and easy...what can I say.

In other news, I bought new cushions for the lanai chairs:

It doesn't take much to make me happy.

MK out.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WIP Wednesday - 7/9/2013

Here we are...another day.

I've been working on my Camp Loopy 2 project.  

I am past the yarn tangle, the swatching and blocking, the separation of the sleeves and it is coming right along.  I really like this Shalimar Breathless.  It knits nice.

Another WIP today:

This porch hasn't been cleaned for years, and I am not kidding.  

The only times we've come, we haven't stayed more than a week - and that does not warrant taking a day out of our trip to clean the lanai.  

It was gross...the dirt was pretty caked on from the humidity.  I would never go out there barefoot because my feet would turn black.  

Well, seven mop buckets of water later, I can walk around barefoot and everything.  Tomorrow, I have to tackle the smaller one. I'm not really looking forward to that, but I know I will be so happy once it's done.

At least I had a nice view.

MK out.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Movie Monday - 7/7/2014

In Tammy, Melissa McCarthy plays the title character - who is having a bad day. She wrecks her car by hitting a deer, she is late to work and is subsequently fired and she finds her husband at home cheating on her.  She decides she needs to take her grandmother's car and just leave town.  Her grandmother, Pearl, (played by Susan Sarandon), will let her take the car if she can go with her. Flashbacks of Thelma and Louise snuck into my head, but this is an altogether different movie.  Toni Collette, Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh, Allison Janney, Dan Akroyd, Mark Duplass and Gary Cole also star in this very funny movie.  I like it 

Into the Abyss is a documentary about a triple homicide that was committed in Conroe in October 2001. Michael Perry was convicted for this crime and was sentenced to death. He, along with family members if the victims and law enforcement officials were interview for this film.  It was good, but a little creepy.

PBS is currently holding its online film festival. I have watched six of the 25 shorts so far:

7 Day Gig is about a Catholic Jew who hires strangers to sit shiva for is recently deceased father with him.

A Part of Me, Apart From Me is about a guy who misses his wife.

Border Bedazzlers is about a woman and a priest who help Mexican kids paint the border wall between Mexico and he United States.

Calls from Home: Prison Radio in Appalachia is about a radio show that allows family and friends to send on air messages and shout outs to people incarcerated in Appalachian prisons.

Diamond John is based on the true story about how diamonds were discovered in Arkansas.

Digging For Water is about villagers trying to dig out a drill bit that got stuck while drilling a water well in Haiti.

I am enjoying all the films so far.

MK out.

Friday, July 4, 2014

FO Friday - 7/4/2014

Happy Birthday America!!!

I finished my Issey Scarf a month ago, but it waited and waited for me to get around to blocking it and taking some glamour shots:

I used two skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Happiness color way.  It's an exclusive color dyed especially for Happy Knits in Portland, OR.  I visited there last fall and bought it as my souvenir yarn.

I love's a luscious blend of merino, silk and cashmere.  

I love my scarf too.

MK out.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Camp Loopy 2014 - Session 2

The second session for Camp Loopy 2014 started today.  I've had my yarn and have been ready to get going for a couple of weeks now:

The challenge for this second session is to: Find a project that reminds you of one of your favorite places to vacation or relax.  It can be based on colors, regions, names or however you'd like to interpret your love for that favorite place.  The second project must have a minimum of 600 yards.

My favorite place to vacation is the beach.  I remember playing in the waves with my family when I was growing up in the G, and years later, taking my kids to the beach and doing the same thing. (No picture of the kids at the beach...My parents were better at documenting our activities than I am.)

I'm going to make the New Wave Cardigan.  I have wanted to make this cardi for a while; so, I thought it would be perfect, seeing that it has the word "wave" in the name.  I will be using Shalimar Breathless.  It's a yarn that I've been eyeing.  I chose the color Neptune because I really like it and it has a tie in to the theme.

I kinda procrastinated and started winding my yarn today.  Of course, I still have to knit and block a swatch...

(I'll wait a bit while you three rolling on the floor and laughing collect yourselves at the thought of me blocking a swatch...)

Yeah, I'm not a big swatch blocker kind of girl.  Most of the time, I just knit a square, measure the stitches and rows and if everything lines up closely enough - I get going.  That's because I mostly knit things whose gauge is not critical - shawls, scarves, hats, baby items, afghans, socks...

OK, gauge is important with socks, but since I mostly knit socks for me, I have figured out the idiosyncrasies and the tight gauge doesn't really change after washing that much.

BUT...this cardigan needs to fit and the Breathless has silk in it and silk tends to grow after it is washed.

Off to finish winding yarn...

MK out.