Adventures in La-la land

Friday, April 30, 2010
I'm back.

Last weekend I traveled to my old undergraduate college town to visit some my friends. I stopped at a few of my old hangouts: Henry's on Eighth, Louise's Downtown. And I stopped at a few places that I hadn't been to before: a new location of El Mezcal, Tortas Jalisco. It's only been 3 years since I moved out of my college town, but already so much has changed.

The biggest changed that I noticed was this monstrosity. It's a new on campus hotel that is now the tallest building on campus. I suppose that it's a great addition for potential students, alumni, and student's parents that want to be as close as possible to campus.
I used to live where those cars are parked.

But, I still miss the sandwich shop. The Oread Hotel was built on top of the original Yellow Sub Sandwich Shop and a bar called The Crossing. These two businesses had been here for a long time and were iconic for students on campus. I ate lunch at this Yellow Sub when I had my first campus visit in high school, and many times after when I was a student until it was closed down to build the hotel. Although there is still a Yellow Sub in town and there are many off-shoot's of Yellow Sub (called Planet Sub) scattered across the state, I still miss the original location.

I also noticed this thing...

It's a hut of some kind located in front of the former Anthropology building. It stands about as tall as the actual Anthropology building itself. Your guess is as good as mine.

Not only did I have adventures of the traveling kind. When I got back home I was still feeling adventurous and decided to try a new drink: Thai tea from a local Chinese take-out place. It's kind of a reddish brown color and it was sweet to taste. I don't know what's in it, but it was pretty nice.

Kung Fu Hillbilly

Saturday, April 24, 2010
This is what made me laugh this week.

It's Diemon Dave's Ninja School from the Jerry Springer Show

"You got your Judi chop, your Karate chop, and your Ninji chop."

Works in Progress

Friday, April 23, 2010
Today I thought I'd show off some of the projects that I am currently working on.

Last fall, I signed up online to participate in The Sketchbook Project through Art House Co-op to keep in touch with my drawing and painting roots. After signing up for the project, I received a Moleskine sketchbook with a barcode on it, a deadline of January 1, 2010, and a randomly picked theme to create my book around. Out of 30 options my selected theme was "My life in a Yellow Submarine."Once the sketchbooks were completed and sent back, they would tour various locations in the U.S. before ultimately finding a permanent home in the sketchbook library at the Art House Co-op Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. However, my sketchbook got pushed to the side as I got bogged down with finishing my schoolwork for graduation last winter and I missed the deadline. But I am the type of person that finishes what she starts and I have continued to work on my sketchbook since with the intention of completing it. Here are a few of my finished illustrations:

20 pages down, 20 more to go.
Another project that I have been working on is the Chamomile Tunic. The tunic features a crocheted flower waistline which makes it both pretty and a "pain in the butt." I started this project back in October 2009, but quickly put it into hibernation. This month. I've picked it back up again and am trying to crochet a couple of flowers a week. So far I'm up to 22 (out of 60ish)

If you have a Ravelry account you can find the pattern here. I'm using Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Tide-Pool.

Chamomile Tunic by Asami Kawa

My Crochet Progress
Finally, I fell in love with Chic Steals Ruffled Top tutorial this week and I found the perfect shirt to use.
George Patterned Button Down
Size XL
Walmart $3 (on Clearance)

It looks a LOT like the shirt Chic Steals used in her tutorial, don't ya think!? I'm hoping to try this out sometime next week. So, keep checking back to see the finished products.

Weekend with Prudence

Monday, April 19, 2010
This weekend, Oscar winning director/producer, Roger Ross Williams, showed his film, Music by Prudence at my local library. Williams is perhaps most famous for his Kanye moment at the Oscars:

"Music by Prudence" is a short documentary film that explores the life of Prudence Mabhena. Prudence is a young woman from Zimbabwe living with Arthrogyposis. In Zimbabwe, disabled people have been seen as a curse and some even believe that their disabilities are caused by witchcraft. For Prudence, living with a disability has been no picnic, as she was abandoned by her parents as a child and was raised by her grandmother before she went on to attend King George VI School and Centre for Children with Disabilities in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The film follows Prudence and her band mates from their group, Liyana, that was formed with classmates from the school.

I encourage everyone to check out this film. You'll be touched by Prudence's energy and spirit as she and her band mates show that people with disabilities are enabled, not disabled. And I encourage you to catch a screening with the filmmaker if you get the chance. He was very well spoken, answered everyone's questions, and even showed off his Oscar.

Look for Roger Ross Williams and Prudence making press rounds in May and catch the film on HBO on May 12th.

To learn more about the film:

My DDR Workout

Friday, April 16, 2010
This past Christmas, while many of our friends were trying to decide if they should upgrade their video gaming systems to a PS3 or a Nintendo Wii, the boy and I decided it was time for us to upgrade from a Nintendo Game Cube to a PS2. We know the system is 10 years old. Some of the perks of this system are:

a) it's cheap ($60-$80)
b) it doubles as a DVD player
c) there are already a lot of great games available for the system

Two of the games that I use the most are Dance Dance Revolution Super Nova and Dance Dance Revolution Extreme (along with the DDR soft dance pad).

These games are great because they get you off of your couch and really get your heart pumping. And it's really great for indoor, budget conscious ladies like myself that can't afford a monthly gym membership. My undergraduate university even offered a 1 credit hour class in DDR. Plus, they've got some great tunes. Supernova features songs and some music videos such as Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles, Let's Dance by David Bowie, and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper and Extreme features songs from Duran Duran, The Pet Shop Boys, Paul Oakenfold, and The Village People (you know which song). What's my absolute favorite song to dance/ work out to? The Other Side(radio mix) by Paul van Dyk featuring Wayne Johnson.

I try to do DDR on workout mode 3-4 days a week for 30-40 minutes, or approx. 100-200 calories (according to the DDR counter, which probably isn't very accurate).

Have you tried DDR? Do you have a favorite DDR tune? Let me know your thoughts about DDR or video game exercising.

Bye Bye Betty!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tonight is a sad night for TV. The final episode of Ugly Betty will air on ABC at 9pm (CDT). Sure, the show had it's flaws (like the time when Daniel's older brother disappeared and returned as Rebecca Romijn after a sex change operation; or the time when ABC moved the show's time slot around so many times that we didn't know what day/time it was on anymore), but it was still one of my favorite hours of television.

Over the past 3.5 years, we've seen Betty grow, mature, and come into her own with her style, career, and personal life. Here's a list of the top 10 things I will miss most from this show.

  1. The fashion forward clothes- Betty works for a fashion magazine, so I could always count on her coworkers being impeccably dressed. Even Betty had some inpiring moments late in the series.
  2. The brightly colored sets- The set design was like no other I'd ever seen before. Bright, modern, chic.
  3. The geeky boys- I'm talking about Walter, Henry, Matt & Rio. Who doesn't like watching nerds in love!?
  4. Amanda and Marc- Their banter was hilarious.
  5. The Suarez family- It was nice to see such a sweet, loving, and accepting family on TV.
  6. Justin coming out of the closet- He just came out! I wish the show would have stuck around so that this storyline could be expanded. I don't think their are enough realistic gay teen characters around.
  7. Betty beautification- She just got rid of her braces. If only we could have seen her loose the glasses.
  8. The telenovela dream sequences- Enough said.
  9. Christina- I loved Ashley Jensen on Extra's and was happy to see her (and hear her accent again) on Ugly Betty.
  10. Wilhelmina Slater- My favorite mean girl on TV.
Wednesday night's just won't be the same without it :(

Finished- Cheesylove Sweater

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
This sweater had been on my "Knit List" for over 5 years before I finally decided to take it on. My goal was to knit this up and wear it for Valentine's Day this year. I cast-on this sweater on January 27, 2010 and finished it on March 31, 2010...a month-and-a-half late and just in time for 70+ degree temperatures.

The pattern is Knitty's Cheesylove sweater. I used brown Patons Wool yarn for the main color (MC) and pink Patons Divine for the hearts. I knit the pattern in size small (I normally wear a medium or junior large) ,but I knit the length of the large so that the ruffle would hit just above my hips. I knit the sleeves in the round instead of flat and did some additional hand seaming afterward to mask holes formed when I made the increase stitches.

When I first tried on the sweater, the body was especially saggy around my bust area (where I'd used 2 strands of Patons Divine to knit the hearts). Therefore, I ended up making some post-knitting alterations and I took in an inch-and-a-half on each side under the arms.
I'm pretty happy with my final result. It's nice and warm and it fits me pretty well. However, this sweater will have to be stored away in my closet for awhile until the temps cool down again.

I Love a Parade

Monday, April 12, 2010
I had a fun filled weekend! The weather was wonderful and I got to see 2 different parades. On Friday, the Shrine Circus was in town and to kick it off they had a parade through Old Town.

On Saturday, Bartlett Arboretum celebrated it's 100th anniversary with a parade, car show, music, arts and crafts and lots and lots of tulips.

Lets just say I made out like a bandit in the candy department. ;)

If you are in the area and missed the festivities and still want to check out Bartlett Arboretum, they will be doing a concert series there all summer long. You can check out their upcoming events here.

Project Runway Season 7

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
If you haven't guessed by now, I am a HUGE fan of Project Runway and have been since the beginning. This week's episode of Project Runway season 7 will determine which 3 contestants will be going to New York's Fashion Week at Bryant Park and will still be competing for the grand prize. Since I can hardly contain my excitement, I've decided to break down the 5 remaining contenders, and share my opinions and predictions on who will make it to fashion week and become the winner of Project Runway.


YAY! Anthony is BACK!

*Spoiler Alert* In episode 11, Maya decided to leave Project Runway even though she'd been in the top 3 multiple times. But, thank goodness she did, because I'd been missing Anthony hardcore and I am glad to have him back. You've just gotta love his funny stories and catchphrases in that Georgian southern drawl.

episode 5

episode 11

I think Anthony has a great sense of style when it comes to lady-like ball gowns and party dresses. But, Anthony has gotten himself in trouble in the past for being too into decorations and being "boring".


I like Milla's personal style and in the beginning of the season, she was my pick to win. Her styles are very mod/ retro chic and I like that.
episode 1

Milla & Jonathan episode 3
However, as the season has progressed, she has not been getting along with the other players and her last few looks have landed her in the bottom half.

Jay Nicolas

Jay has flown under the radar for me. Although he's been safe and had high scores on a number of challenges, his looks haven't been too memorable with one exception.
episode 7 aka. the hardware challenge

I want those trash bag pants!!!

episode 6

From the beginning Emilio has shown that he can make great clothes (if only we could erase that washer string bikini from our minds)
episode 1

episode 10

Seth Aaron and Emilio episode 9

I think that after the show is finished, Seth Aaron and Emilio should make a clothing line together because their outfit from episode 9 is my favorite of the season.

Seth Aaron
He's also proven to be a strong contender. Seth's got a rocker/punk style, he can sew fast, and he can sew good.

Check out his awesome jacket!

episode 10
I absolutely loved his print!

My picks for the final 3: Anthony, Emilio, and Seth Aaron

And the winner is: Seth Aaron- Not only is he a quick sew-er and can make great clothes, but his personal style has shown through in everything he's made, which will make him the judges favorite to win.


What I'm Reading: Dead and Gone

Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I am a fan of HBO's True Blood and I have been a huge fan of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels ever since I received books 1-8 in the series last Christmas. Since then, I've shared my copies with my mom and even my DAD! Therefore, I am happy to report that Dead and Gone (book 9) is being released in mass market paperback TODAY! Look for it at your local bookstore or check it out here.


Happy Easter!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter everyone! I hope everyone had a fun and happy Easter weekend!

This weekend, the band Gooding was in town. They're a pretty rockin' live act that you all should check out if you get the chance.

On Easter Sunday, I spent the day with my parents and they cooked up an Easter brunch. I may be soon entering my late twenty's, but I am not too old for chocolate bunnies and dyed Easter eggs. My mom and I just fixed the traditional hardboiled eggs and colored them with white vinegar and food coloring. Maybe next year I'll try some of the lovely Easter egg decorating techniques I saw on the web. Here are a few of my favorites:

Alisa Burke posted 3 very drool worthy Easter egg and nest tutorials for white crackle eggs, graffiti inspired eggs, and decorative eggs (shown above).

Chick Steals posted this D.I.Y. Easter wreath.

Martha Stewart had tons of ideas like these Lace Eggs, Stenciled Eggs, and Chocolate Eggs.

And if you're on Ravelry, check out these sweet Egg cozies.
This pattern by Derya Davenport is available for free on Ravelry and Craftster.

This pattern is available for free from Lion Brand.
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