Monday, March 31, 2014

Crazy Knitting Lady

I knitted many things over the last fivish months. It makes me feel so accomplished to cram them all into one post . . . so it looks like I have been more industrious than I actually have (I actually am now working on becoming fairly industrious in knitting; this post marks some of the beginning to this strange phenomenon). Ahem.
I knitted my grandmother three scarves for Christmas . . . that was not my initial intention, but anyway.
Here are two:

I call this the lazy, untalented, un-crafty person's knitting. I made these from packages of lace with pre-formed holes through which I knitted (I think you can also crochet them as with the similar mesh yarn). They each took no more than two hours. I also made an even simpler scarf by finger braiding a chain of mesh yarn which formed a long loop to be looped into an infinity scarf. I prefer this look to the feather boa one . . . if you must cheat and if you must wear this style :P (I am terribly afraid that the person for whom I made that scarf did not even see that it was a scarf and even if she did, she did not like it; oh well, the rest of the gift should have been okay . . . and that rest still fulfilled the $15+ requirement for the gift; but grrr, I still feel bad, hence this confession/explanation).

I copied from sight this pattern for my mom from ravelry since I thought it was stupid to pay $4 for a simple design. It isn't exact to a perfectionist but the same effect. This is the one for my grandmother.

My Ravenclaw scarf. Ravelry had plenty of free "patterns" (more like tutorials because they are so simple). I wimped out and bought cheap yarn. I am normally a fiber snob . . . and should remain so because apparently I do not know how to buy decent cheap items. This stuff (Paton Metallic) is AWFUL. Wispy chains filled with black fluff. Fluff, not yarn. I am OCD and frequently felt compelled to pull out said fluff. Lots of it.

For example:

Ravenclaw all the way peoples. I am happy to report that I got Ravenclaw in a couple tests (or at least one :/) when I had only seen the fourth movie and that is all I knew of HP . . . Slytherin came next and then Gryffindor and then Hufflepuff. I also got Ravenclaw for Pottermore. Yes, it is official. Also, I love how a version of spell-check has the House names in it; I missed an "f" in Hufflepuff and right-clicked to see if Hufflepuff showed up; it did. Awesome.

The white beret (Cascade Beret on ravelry, free) I finished in the fall. The first of the berets promised much earlier last year for my sisters when they saw my pink one. I guessed the wrong yarn weight so had to find different patterns. Great big sister. I prefer larger sized berets . . . in theory the size of mine which I wore all of once. Whatevs. The second beret I finished several weeks ago; I like this one (Ume Hat and Gloves on ravelry, free) better in both the pattern and the shape of the hat (the first one didn't decrease as nicely). I have most of one matching fingerless glove done also.

This shrug (this pattern) I finished a few weeks ago. It is a magnificently late Christmas gift; but there is worse, I have more Christmas gifts left to knit!

I have several projects in the works (including that eternal pink sweater) and several in contemplation. I love being able to knit, and I love scrumptious yarn.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Thief Film

I could find a flaw in anything, so I will shut my mouth about imperfections.

We loved that they actually used German a lot, and the accents were delicious.

Oh, Max.

Oh, the story, oh the sweetness.

Rudy, be still my heart. I want a little boy just like him and so do my sisters; my sisters and I squealed at his adorableness. Kiss him Liesel, kiss him.

Watch the movie.

Whispers: "But the book is far, far better."

Please note that there is improper language in this film.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Sunshine Blogger Award

I have been awarded this three times, so I guess I had better do this post haste! Thank you so much ladies!
Here are the questions in order of nomination:

~Heidi's Questions:

1. Do you have a favorite spring color?

Medium lavender purple. That is probably my favorite color period.

2. One of the most riveting books you’ve ever read?

I stayed up into the wee sma's for two books this year: Nomad and The Book Thief.

3. A favorite adventure movie?

As in no fantasy at all? Um, I can think of only one, the old Swiss Family Robinson which I would like to see again soon.

4. Mexican, Italian, or French cuisine… Do you have a favorite?

Probably French even if I can only think of bread and desserts . . .

5. Do you like shopping for relaxation or would you “infinitely prefer a book”? Or either?

Shopping online is fun although I wouldn't call it relaxing (although it is closer to relaxing than shopping in a store). Book reading can be more exciting than relaxing too.

6. Do you like cranberries?

I don't think I have had plain cranberries, but I love the juice.

7. Do you enjoy hiking and camping?

Moderate hiking yes, if I get to stop and splash in creeks and look at flowers and such. I haven't been camping in the rough, but I doubt I would like it.

8. Working with animals?

Nope, just cuddling one cat, and bugging the other (for which he hates me which irritates me, how dare he hate me?!). After which I often wash my hands.

9. Do you ever name places? Inspired by favorite literary locations?

If I was creative enough and could remember enough choices I might.

10. Do you enjoy dying your hands brown in garden soil? Or do you find worms unsettling?

Worms and dirt both. Also, I kill plants when they are left to me alone.

11. A specific instance of God’s kindness toward you in the past year.

Only the general one of keeping me well.

~Laura's Questions:

1. Do you have a favorite childhood book?

I greatly enjoyed the Little House series, and I made several sunbonnets with the original sewing book.

2. What is the worst book / book series you have read so far? 

I could name several probably, but I will go with Divergent. I didn't finish the series. Don't read it.

3. Do you speak any other languages or would you like to learn a new one? 

I am in my fourth semester of Latin at my university, but I still have to rely entirely on aids to translate. As for learning more, oh, yes. See my bucket list.

4. A country you would like to visit someday is...

Most/all European countries. 

5. What do you like to do in your spare times? 

Read, knit, waste time on the Internet, shop online.

6. Your favorite childhood movie is ...

I have a problem picking one favorite. I know I adored So Dear to My Heart, Heidi (this version, totally crushed on Peter, and we girls imitated Klara during the rescue of Heidi scene, also I had boots which I thought were similar to Klara's, btw, my maternal great, great, great grandparents came from Switzerland with two of their children and are buried in my state now), and Hans Brinker (this version, I crushed on Hans then, although when I watched it more recently realized that his friend Peter is handsomer).

7. What is your favorite fruit to eat?

Home grown strawberries.

8. Would you rather prepare a recipe from a cook-book or from the Internet? 

Neither, recipe cards which denotes that I probably I have tasted the recipe before (I am really picky).

9. What do you like to do on a rainy day ?

The same things as on a regular day, boring I know.

10. Have you ever read the Bible completely or at least tried to?

I read it last summer. I remember reading of a family who read it in a month, so I was aiming for that, but I am not a consistent person, so I think it took a couple months, 2-4.

11. What book of the Bible inspires you the most?

I don't know about inspires, but I like Proverbs.

~Shannon's questions

1. Where would you like to live someday?

It would be cool to live in Europe, but I like family near, so unless I married a European man (don't I wish, British or German or Swiss or . . . yeah) with a nice family living near us, I will stay in my state.

2. Is there any  music or songs that ever gives you the chills from hearing it?

Instrumental Celtic music, although the Gaelic singing in the Brave preview made me emotional also.

3. How will your ideal dream house look like? 

A chateau, stone cottage, or castle, bedecked with climbing roses, ivy, and fruit with neighboring houses far away.

4. Would you prefer to live in a city or out in the country?

Country with reasonable city access (how I have always lived).

5. Something that inspires you is...

Beautiful clothes, fabric, yarn, books.

6. Where you afraid of an specific horror movie as a child? 

I have never seen a horror movie, but I am sure I saw something that scared me, but I cannot think of an entire movie at the moment.

7. Did you ever sleep with a nightlight ? 

Oh, yes. Sometimes as an adult. I am easily scared.

8. What is your favorite dessert? 

Anything chocolate is pretty grand.

9. An animal that creeps you out 

Possums (just one of a very long list). Their eyes are like holes and their horrid pink tails, ugh. As a child I thought the dust rings in one of our bathroom fans looked possum eyes, so I made them my imaginary friends, so that I was creeped out less.

10. A great lesson you have learned over the years  

I am not too good at learning my lessons.

11. Something you can't live without.

My family.

I will just nominate three, and I will try to tag different bloggers than I tagged for the Sunflower tag. I am guessing that a couple have been nominated already, oh well.

My Questions:

~Do you like Dickens? If so what is your favorite book and favorite film/T.V. portrayal of that book?
~Most obscure older book (as in not recent decades, but early 20th century or later) that you have read?
~If you do crafts what is the most complicated and/or extravagant items you have ever knitted, sewed, crochet etc.?
~Does it drive you crazy when book details are ignored in movies (clothing colors/styles, eye/hair colors, etc.)? If so name the most irritating instance.
~Have you or anyone else in your family traced any of your family genealogy significantly? Do you have any known Native American blood or anybody "famous"?
~How would you describe the differences between sci-fi and fantasy (some blasphemous acquaintance at one time tried to say these genres were the same or close!)?

I nominate:

Anyone else may join the tag again with my questions if they wish in the comments or on their blog (I would like to know the answers, but it is bothersome to tag tons of people who anyway may have already done the tag or not wish to do it, so I hereby tag anyone else who wishes to join).

I tried to match the link and question colors with the blog colors; I am so clayver (I am reading Nicholas Nickleby and enjoying it muchly) :P

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Book Thief

This is my reaction upon reading this book several weeks ago. I didn't want to modify it much, just a few edits.

Um, everything and everything. What do I even say?

Rudy. Rudy!

Liesel and Max HAVE to marry since Rudy died. That is the only way after that ruination.

My sister (who reads Dostoevsky and likes it) said this was the best written book she had ever read. We both want to read more of the author (I am afraid I will be disappointed; I was, content-wise I decided I shouldn't read The Messenger after perusing it) and agree that the movie, however good, cannot do it justice because the amazingness is embedded in the words. How fitting for this book. I almost, sort of don't want to see the movie.

Just wow.

Yeah. I need to read more on WWII.

This is the crème de la crème of historical fiction. It does not spare you realism. The author's parents came out of this background.


You are supposed to hurt. This isn't fantasy.


I HATE doing this but beware the profanity. I will buy my own copy and mark it out. There is also somethings regarding Rudy's physical examination and Liesel's reaction that might bother people. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I had hardly heard anything of this movie before pins starting appearing in my Pinterest feed; I actually thought it was out way before it was really in theatres, I think. I began to wonder when the pins showed up on Pinterest and then my little sisters and mom saw and exclaimed over it even to the point of comparing it to Tangled (a high standard indeed!).

Oh, spoilers btw.

Kristof was too underdeveloped especially after Flynn, but he was cute and hilarious.

I didn't want Hans to be bad.

I thought Elsa sounded too old in her song (I care not about the famousness of the singer), and Mom didn't like what she called her "sultry look." I thought the dress was pretty, but the slit was unnecessary as was the way she walked and sang. Oh, and "Let It Go" was very humanistic, selfish, and feminist (but nevertheless very fun to sing because of the music), and it deserves a whole critique post in itself, but we shall see. Over all Elsa and her part of the story disappointed me.

The character of Ana was cute and funny, but again Rapunzel (whom I thought didn't match Flynn in development) still was a better developed character. I thought it was sad that the sisters never saw each other for years. Ana's green coronation dress; envious! The "I mean I am awkward, you are gorgeous" bit was HILARIOUS as I would totally do this in real life.

I think that the movie had too much going on for the characters to develop well. It was also too dark for me (sometimes I skip the dark parts of Tangled); when I watch Disney I want light for a change. I also did not like the effeminate (Mom's term, mine is harsher) snowman. Enough with the P.C. stuff Disney, really.

Oh, we waited to see the teensy bit at the end of the credits, and so I read a disclaimer (in the credits, and as far as I can tell, perfectly serious) regarding Kristoff's booger line, so no one would called Disney sexist. Hilarious, but really? Really?!

I can't wait to see it again since listening to the soundtrack, and I want to make an Elsa dress for myself and an Ana dress even though I wouldn't look good in it. I want The Art of Frozen. I want to read Snow Queen and read up on Scandinavia and Sami culture.

It was no Tangled. But the extras like the music, clothes, hair styles, culture . . . fascinating. Oh, and all the fan art and pairing of Elsa and Jack Frost (now I need to see his movie) or Elsa and Hans (I was still impossibly hoping for something like that until the end).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yarn Along

I am again participating in the weekly yarn along on this blog.

I finished the book from last week's link up, The Elite, but I am still working on the knitted top. I actually have three knitting projects on needles at the moment, so this time I am posting a different one (it is one I have worked on most recently and the one I am closest to finishing).

Nonfiction, yay for me! I finished Gatto's book Dumbing Us Down maybe a week or two ago. This book is more in depth. Um, the author seems a bit paranoid regarding government agendas, but then he knows and has read many more government sources than I have. I totally agree with his assessment of the results of public schooling, and as I am a former homeschooled student, a lot of the ideas regarding the negativity of public schooling are not new to me. I am not sure how helpful these books really are; they seem more damaging to a Christian homeschool crowd than otherwise because of the humanism and paranoia. Anyway, the pattern is a fairly simple pattern from Ravelry called Feather and Fan Shrug and it is freeeee!!!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Regency Hairstyles

I wanted to join in the fun with another post besides the tag for Period Drama Fashion Week, but without photos from the films. Disclaimer: I in no way recommend all content on these sites; I just found the tutorials via Google and some are on YouTube.

I decided to try to find some tutorials. I would imagine that most Regency ladies had long and super long hair since they probably avoided wigs since Regency fashion came about as a reaction to the excesses of the Georgian era.

Several years ago I think I found a Lydia Bennet tutorial (it could have been Lizzy, but I tried it on my sister to look like Lydia's hair style), but I have no idea how to find this again. I know that it involved doing a French twist without tucking the top in and then arranging the hair to fall in a waterfall and then curling that waterfall. I tried the 2009 Emma hairstyle in the last few years or so. With practice I think I could do it pretty easily (I am probably delusional).

Here is an article on regency hairstyles with comparison to classical (this period inspired regency fashion).

Here is a chart showing different hairstyles for different years of the regency.

These tutorials are for those with super long hair (mine is almost to the tops of my hips) and decently thick hair:

Here is a bun with braids around it. Something Jane Bennet might wear. The girl had curls, but she could do them because she had what she called regency bangs.

Here is a style with bun, curls, and braids.

A whole set of posts of different styles from various Emma adaptations.

Here is for medium to longish hair:

This is the 2009 Emma hairstyle.

General regency.

Lizzy Bennet.

For short:

Here is how one lady mimics a regency look.

I do believe that the short almost pixie style, which Lady Harriet Cumnor in Wives and Daughters (post Regency) sports, is in vogue with a few in the Regency. UGH. I do not like or advocate this style then or now (especially not now) as it is VERY unfeminine.

Anyway I hope you enjoy these hair style tutorials. I think I will definitely try some soon . . . and I will try to post photos.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Yarn Along

I am linking up to this yarn along here.

Forgive my iphone photo of subjects on carpet :P And the horrible clash of colors.

I have been seeing Kristen from Sew Technicolor's link ups but never really considered joining in (I am a bit of a ditz sometimes).

Anyway. I have had this yarn and pattern for about 7.5 years. The yarn is a slippery, snaggy ribbon yarn and the pattern a bit much for the going on 16 fairly early knitter I was then. A couple years ago I took it up again and knit the sleeves at the same time. Those sleeves are fine, so this time I decided to started afresh on the bodice and knit both back and front at the same time too (hence all the strands going everywhere). Even now I still pull things out. (I may or may not be in the middle of pulling out a row, and I may or may not have pulled several inches out earlier today).

This is my second try at the book as well. I posted hysterically when it first came out, and I was devastated. I still want to finish the trilogy. I just want to like the books with such wonderful princessy covers (and I tend to heartily dislike modern photo covers) and what was to me a pretty fun first book although I doubt The One can fix too much; The Elite just needs to be erased. This book makes me want to scream still even though I am closer to calm despair than previously. I will take immense satisfaction in giving it (America really) a one star on Goodreads.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Period Drama Fashion Week at For the Beauty of the Earth: The Tag

It is not like I don't have drafts that need to be published (or school to be done, but who is asking about school?), but how can I pass this event up?! The Literary Heroine Blog Party and Tag was soooo fun!

1. Tell us five random things about yourself.

~ I love italics and I am sure I speak in them (see Emily of New Moon).
~ I have a problem having just one project (of a particular a craft) or one book started.
~ I have tried to make some of my own cosmetics and treatments and such. I think the deodorant worked. The foundation/concealer needs more ingredients to be more than a greasy tinted moisturizer.
~ I hate coffee and don’t like hearing about how people “cannot live without it.”
~ I am taking Latin at the university for my language. Dorky much.

2. What are some of your favorite dresses from period dramas? Pick three.

I have trouble thinking of favorites much less picking them. I want to make an outfit like Harriet’s purple ensemble from Emma 2009; it is a spencer jacket and dress, and I cannot find a photo. I like Felicity’s purple dress with the gauzy neckerchief (I don’t think that is the right term) and Elizabeth’s ball dress.

3. How would you describe your own style?

I will pretend that I have it all together and say elegant and frilly.

4. List (up to) five of your favorite period drama wardrobes.

I like some of Lizzy’s dresses in Pride and Prejudice 1995. I like several styles (not always the colors) in the Emma 2009. The Inheritance clothing was lovely. I love the dresses in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure. Some of the dresses were pretty in Ever After.

5. What are some of your favorite fashion eras?

Regency, Civil War, later Victorian, 1950’s.

6. What are five things that make you happy?

Books, sugar, whole milk, real lemonade, pretty shoes.

7. Do you like to wear hats?

I would like to like to wear hats, but they make me feel really self-conscious and stupid.

8. Do you have a favorite fictional character who has the same name as you?


9. What is one of the ugliest dresses you've ever seen in a period drama?

I don’t know if The Secret of Moonacre counts, but those dresses with exposed hoops like skeletons were both bizarre and ugly.

10. What is the most-worn color in your wardrobe?

Grey this winter. I am getting tired of it; I prefer not to wear neutrals much.

11. What are your sentiments on the subject of tea?

I like some types with lots of sugar. Part of my problem is that I squeeze the tea forcing out bitterness into the tea. I just don’t like many drinks (whole milk, water, some fruits juices, real lemonade and occasionally hot cocoa for me); I am horribly uncultured.

12. Do historical inaccuracies bother you?

Mightily usually.

13. What are some of your favorite eras of men's fashions?

Regency and well most of 19th century, retro.

14. Have you ever read any books on historical fashion?

Yes, but I think they were all juvenile. The adult ones are HUGE . . . or feel that way.

15. If you could pick just three fictional characters to have over for tea, who would you invite?

I will stick with period dramas. Henry Lennox to see what was wrong with him, Laurie for laughter, and Jo so that I can MAKE her marry Laurie.