Monday, December 23, 2013

Tis The Season...

...for the greatest SNL Christmas skit including one Michael Bublé!

This is one of my most favorite skits...EVER!


Friday, December 20, 2013

A Little Envelope Love

For my extremely delayed Holiday cards this year, I took some inspo from The Postman's Knock blog and followed the very helpful instructions on How To Create Envelope Calligraphy.

Boy, do my hands hurt!  There was definitely A LOT of erasing, a lot of tracing and a lot of love that flowed out of my Pilot G-2 07.  It was worth all the hard work, though, because my envelopes look bangin'!

The font I used as the base was Some Weatz (available for download at Da Font).  I made a few changes, of course!  I didn't want it to look exactly like the original font!  If I did, it would've been way easier to print out pretty labels but NO - I want a personal touch.

Poor Louisville.  It was my first attempt at fancy lettering and it really took a beating!  I need to erase my guidelines (obvs) but man, I'm wondering if I should redo it...I know the recipient(s) will enjoy the contents more than the actual envelope but still - presentation is everything!

My dear Brooklyn-ites were next.  I picked up a slightly more used version of the same pen than I did for Louisville.  What a difference, surprisingly!  Louisville was done with a brand new, out of the box Pilot pen and I hadn't realized I had picked up my older Pilot pen from a different are of my desk.  I found that if you use a more "seasoned" pen, you get smoother lines than a brand new one.  Ya live, ya learn, I guess.

My Jersey folks were next.  I made some special embellishments to their names but I shared the zip code because I LOVE the way the 7's turned out!  So classy!

I saved the best of the full addresses for last: my lovely Los Angelean.  There's clearly a lot of cleaning up to do but I just really like how this L turned out versus the Louisville one.  Sorry, Louisville!  I also really like writing those A's.  They're just as pretty at the 7's!

For the personal cards, I experimented with this one for my friend Heather and her husband, Preston.  By experiment, I mean that I freehanded most of it - like the little swooshes at the R and N and the H was an embellished version of the quick faux-calligraphy H's I like to do (which you can kinda see quickly at the start of this video).  I think I did all right!

I did print out a sheet full of names for everyone in our gift exchange so that I can make some kind of fancy personalized envelopes.  Hopefully between writing these and my Katniss wrap - which is coming along nicely, my hands won't be too tired to continue writing!  I didn't meet my writing goal for November so I'm hoping I get there by some time in January.

What are your holiday plans?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Katniss Wrap - Progress

Last night, I raided my local Jo-Ann's and got to work on my Katniss Wrap! I got two pretty greys that I felt comfortable with (and they matched!), a larger cable hook (for my stash) and started planning out my stitches. The needles are a set that I'm borrowing (going on a few years now) from Oni. She brought them back with her from England while she was there and they are quite possibly my favorite set of needles to work with!
Anyways - I got my sketchpad out, turned on the TV and wrote out my stitch key. I think you can see in the third photo to cast on 36 stitches.  That's all I feel comfortable with sharing at the moment because I don't feel too confident in the amount of rows to twist the cable just yet.  I twisted it too soon in the first few rows (just to get it started) and I think in the second twist, I twisted it too soon, STILL - even though I waited twice the amount of rows than the first time!  I think the longer it gets, the easier it will be to figure out when to twist it.  With that being said, the area I'm working on is for the arm hole / strap and it will be on the back of the finished piece!
I'm holding a strand of Lion Brand Chicago Charcoal and Bernat Softee Chunky True Grey at the same time and it's a lot thicker that I thought it would be - which is great because I was afraid it was going to be too loose / thin!  I love the combination of these two yarns!
I know Katniss's piece isn't cabled but I think this might turn out to be a more stylized version of it (and not a direct copy - which would be nice but...)


1. Yarn stash - I have 5 balls of Lion Brand and only 2 of the Bernat / 2. Yarn color names / 3. Needles / 4. 36 stitches cast on / 5. The first cable twist (to the front) on the 5th row (too soon!) / 6. Progress after 2 twists and 15-ish rows finished

What do you think?  I probably should've made the cowl first since I don't know how long it's going to fall from the neck to the shoulders - which would probably determine how long the arm strap is but oh well!  At least with this, I know that the cowl neck might be too bulky as a cable so I might just make a 2x2 rib OR maybe I'll try some bobbles?  Or maybe this pattern I saw while looking for a link to the bobble stitch: the Purl Twist.  So pretty!  Or maybe the Belt Welt!  That might match a little more to the arm strap design.  I feel since the arm strap is going to be embellished some, so should the cowl - but not too much and maybe the Belt Welt pattern is the right mix for this?  There's only one way to find out!

PS - my aunt would be so proud that I'm putting all the knitting skills she taught me to good use.  She would probably be happy that I'm using my Post-Apocalyptic Talent.  What's that: Post-Apocalyptic Talent?  While she was here, we were talking about if an apocalyptic event happened, what skill or skills do you have that would be useful in a large group - if you survived?  I told her I can cook the basics but I can knit up some stuff for the harsh Winter months and she said that with my knittings skills combined with hers, we'd make a pretty good team.  I'm glad she'll have me in her group!  Do you have any Post-Apocalyptic Talents?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

That Katniss Wrap - My sketch

So...I had some ideas forming in my head about the "Katniss Wrap" (that's what I'm calling it) and the more I broke it down, the more I realized that it's not really knit - it looks more of like a woven or braided piece.  Not to worry because I deconstructed it in the best way that I could: I talked it out on my car ride on my way home from work last night and on my way to work this morning.  As soon as I got in, I printed out the loveliest photo of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss (from Captiol Couture) and another that featured a front-on shot of the "Katniss Wrap" and sketched out my version.
Keep in mind that I'm a terrible illustrator

Do you like how I'm wearing Peeta's locket today?

I decided it would have to be constructed in two parts: the cowl neck and the arm piece.  I love knitting in the round!  I think it's a fun way to knit things up quickly and efficiently but because I felt like the neck piece needed some texture, I can't knit this one in the round because the texture I want is a able (or possibly two) and I'm not that confident in my cabling skills in the round just yet.  I barely have enough patience for a single cable and here I am designing two flat pieces, each with cables.  Go big or go hime, right?!
In case you can't see on my terrible illustration, the cable is pretty basic with the straight line representing a knit stitch all the way down on each side of the cable - which is the way I feel comfortable doing cables.  So, the arm piece will be done in the same way - even though that's clearly NOT how it is in the photos.
In the photos, it looks like a very intense braided piece - which it very well could be since District 12-ers are pretty resourceful.  I think I might be able to recreate the "weight" of it with a really chunky yarn and some large needles but I want there to be some play room for the cowl to be more relaxed than the arm piece.  We'll see what comes off the needles since I don't ever swatch anything - I kinda just go.
The more I look at it, the more I think the neck piece could be the only cable part and maybe the arm piece could have some light ribbing on the sides and it could be two strands of yarn held together for a thick, basic knit, maybe?  That'll give the arm piece the "tight braided" look and the cowl a more relaxed feel.  And then the whole thing could be crocheted together with a basic chain from the inside or I could sew it with a large yarn needle?  We'll see how I'm feeling when I get there - if I get there, that is.  Sometimes, knit pieces get boring and I abandon them (like the countless scarves in my knitting bag) BUT this project seems short enough that I can make it during my time off during the holidays next week!  Fingers crossed!

I'll be sure to post progress photos and *try* to write the best directions I can (if it works out the way I want it to!)

Monday, December 16, 2013

THG:Catching Fire

Image source 

 I FINALLY saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and let me tell you, I was a big ball of emotions.

*SPOILERS AHEAD* in case you haven't seen the first movie or read any of the books...

Friday, December 13, 2013

A totally 90's afternoon break

Do you ever hear something that reminds you of something else and then you try desperately to remember what it was but it escapes you so badly that even your Google searches don't make sense?
That just happened to me.  On a (rare) lunch break, I went with a coworker of mine to Mellow Mushroom and on the way, I Google searched for a "90's techno video game on the Playstation that had bugs and gold coins".  That wasn't my exact Google search but either way, I couldn't find it!  I broke down and texted Oni once we got back to the office and it was so simple!

The game: N2O: Nitrous Oxide with the soundtrack by: The Crystal Method.

Why was this game on my mind?  My coworker had a Fast and Furious soundtrack playing (not sure which one - maybe F&F6?) and some tracks on there reminded me of "that weird Playstation bug techno raver" game.  My coworker had NO idea what I was talking about and I tried to search my brain for the answer almost the entire lunch break!  Mystery solved, thanks to Oni - who I should've texted all along...

Do you remember playing Nitrous Oxide?  What was / is your favorite video game?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Monthly Gif Party?

It appears as though my Wednesday Gif Parties aren't doing too well in the readership area so I'm thinking of canceling the weekly party and maybe doing them monthly.
I love the bounty of gleeful gifs I find on Tumblr and I like sharing them with you.  I know that sometimes it has a tendency to slow down your browser (because it does for me), so I apologize.

You can check out December's Gif Party here

And now back to your regularly scheduled blogging ^__^

Happy Wednesday!

Quite the eventful morning!

Image source

My overactive imagination strikes again...
I heard some really strange noises as I was preparing to leave my house this morning and my imagination went crazy imagining things that I probably shouldn't.
I leave for work before 6am so it's dark outside.  Like, really, really dark.  Not to mention there are trees around my house that block out the light shining from the street lamps on the main road so my house is DARK when I leave for work.  This morning, I was packing my lunch when I heard a loud screeching noise.  I brushed it off thinking it could possibly be branches scraping across one of the windows but I heard it again, except it lasted a little longer.  Slightly unnerved, I continued my morning routine and headed out the door.  Once I opened my front door and waved my arm to activate our motion sensor porch light, I heard some scurrying through the dry leaves in our yard.  Like, A LOT of scurrying.
So, I screamed, ran inside and slammed the door shut and ran upstairs to grab my old man so that he could come check out the situation.
We opened the door together but saw nothing.  I was hesitant to walk out alone but I had to get to work and my old man wasn't quite ready to leave just yet so I couldn't wait for him.  He agreed to watch me walk to my car and wait until I was in it and it had it started before he could return to his morning routine.
I hurriedly walked to my car but I tried to be as quiet as I could so as not to disturb whatever was lurking in my yard.  I kept imagining the slow-moving zombie lady from the very first episode of The Walking Dead.  Why her?  Oh, you know, because she's the stuff my nightmares are made of and I've only been able to watch just the first episode so she's the only zombie I'm familiar with.  Just getting the link for the photo of her made my skin crawl...
Anyways - I quickly and quietly got into my car, locked the doors and revved my engine but I couldn't leave yet.  We had a cold front come through and I had ice all over my car.  I was basically in an icebox.  Terrified of running into Miss Zombie, I didn't get out to scrape it off.  Instead, I let my defrost do it but it took FOREVER.
Visions of slow-and-fast-moving zombies ran through my mind as I stared into my icy windshield.  I kept imagining that once the ice had defrosted, a zombie would be revealed...waiting for me.  Yikes!
Luckily, there were no zombies (thank goodness!) but I left my neighborhood in a bit of a hurry.
At work, I heard more strange noises as I crossed the parking lot but this time, I was on my own.  I can't really describe what I heard but it wasn't the same screeching sound as before or else I would've been terrified and either frozen where I stood out of pure fear or I probably would've gotten back into my car and screeched the hell outta there!  Either way, I safely made it to the front door, unlocked it and got safely inside.
I can't believe it's barely 10am and already, I'm freaked out of my mind!!  I'm trying to calm down but I just hate zombies and I hate that my mind goes there whenever I hear weird sounds or I'm alone or whatever.

What scares you?  Is there anything scary in particular that your mind goes to when you least expect it?

Monday, December 9, 2013

2014 Resolution: Unlock the Spanish part of my brain

If there's one thing I learned while my grandma and aunts were in town for Thanksgiving, it's that I HAVE to learn Spanish (again).  I say "again" because here's a fun fact: Spanish was my first language.  That's right - I used to speak Spanish fluently and now, it's like a fleeting memory.  I can understand what people are saying and I might not pick up every word, but I still understand the gist of what is being said but I can't ever have a conversation.  Why?  I get too in my head about it.  I told one of my aunts that it's like when you're a kid and you have this really neat / fun talent and you're at a party with your parents and your parents ask you to show your neat / fun talent and you get all embarrassed and you shut down.  I've seen kids do it and I know I've done that and the same thing happens now when my Mom demands that I speak Spanish.  It's never in an authoritative way but I still have a tendency to shut down because I've been put on the spot: the sentence forms in my brain, I think too much about the verb tenses and male and female whatevers and try to get my brain to get my mouth to say it but my brain is like "I'm afraid they're going to laugh / correct you so hard / get irritated if I'm wrong, so let's just say it in English because you definitely know that" and then it comes out in English and I get semi-scolded for not even trying.  There's a whole process that happens within a split second and it gets scary.
The scariest part is that I know it's there.  I know it is but I don't know how to unlock it.  Oni told me how she unlocked it for herself - because that was her first language, too - and I've kind of explored those methods but none of them really work but I think it's because I kinda don't want them to?  I don't know.  There's a lot of pressure there but I think I know how I'm going to do it because I've already made a declaration for 2014:

I had to throw subtitulos in there because that's my current favorite Spanish word right now.

So, I'm going to hijack all my Mom's issues of Latina Magazine (since they have the articles in side-by-side English and Spanish), I'm going to *TRY* and watch the Spanish news.  I say "try" because I don't even watch the English news...and I'm going to give Notes In Spanish a try.  I think I'll also try and in keep in contact with my my aunt in New York and talk to her in Spanish.  She and I have always been close and I think this will be a fun way to stay in touch.

Has anyone else kickstarted their 2014 resolutions?  What are yours?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Comet ISON: #missedubro

There was a lot of talk about ISON burning up as it made its way around the sun.  The gif below suggests there might be some of it still floating around...


I'm so happy I updated my Star Walk app because the pop-up notifications and the links to the VITO Technology blog kept me pretty tuned in to ISON's journey through our solar system.  I was looking at purchasing a telescope right before I got my notification that ISON was visible to the naked eye (via Start Walk) but nothing really caught my eye...and I would've had a tough time seeing it because of all the light pollution and...well...the sun is kind of a LARGE obstacle.  My old man and I had talked about going to the mountains for a nighttime viewing of the stars (and possibly ISON during sunrise or something) but November was just TOO BUSY!!!  I didn't even get to put in "FADE OUT" on the script I was working on during NaNoWriMo.  UGH!  I'm not upset, though, because November was a blast!  I just wish I could've been able to contribute to the Flickr pool.  Oh well.  You can check out the photos here!

I think the reason why this was kind of important to me was because I remember being able to see the comet Hale-Bop in the 90's.  It was kind of a huge deal for me, my friend, and her neighbors.  They bought a fancy camera with a long, fancy lens and had a Comet Party.  It was pretty magical and I guess that's what I was kind of expecting for ISON since it was kind of a biggish deal.  But I guess not since it wasn't really all over the news or anything.  Either way, I'm glad I was still able to track it with Star Walk and their blog - which made it a different kind of magical.

So now that ISON has burned through our Sun, what's up with the Black Knight satellite???

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday Gif Party!

Our beautiful Earth

This post reads: "That last slice is where bitches die"

Bob's Burgers!

I remember seeing a special about the way the Playboy servers were trained to serve drinks at the Playboy Club and this was a very special technique.  I forget what it was called but it looks pretty.

Sasha Grey *__*

Jax Teller hair moment *__*

And now...some cute baby animals!!

See the gif set here!!!

This gif reminded me of my cousin Eddie because I feel like this accurately represents the way we acted when we got together ^__^
(SPOILER ALERT: We annoyed the crap out of his brother Charles, my old man and pretty much everyone else and we had TONS of fun doing it!)

Happy Wednesday!



My cousins, Eddie and Charles, and I having a sip of Puerto Rican rum / My new "bar": The Booze Cruise! / My flat tire / Salted Caramel Blondie at Argosy / My Seattle friend Davey!  Doesn't he look dashing in my glasses?!  *SWOON* / Davey and I having a moment at Church *__*

Wowzers meowzers!  What a holiday week last week!  I was definitely NOT ready to get back to work, that's for sure...
The guest list included my grandma and aunt from Puerto Rico and my other aunt and cousins from New York.  My uncle (also from New York) couldn't make it but we still had a blast.  He was missed!

I was lucky enough to host my cousins for a few nights (PARTY HARD PARTY HARD PARTY HARD) and it gave me the perfect excuse to turn my old man's fish tank into a bar!  I have dubbed it the Booze Cruise for a couple of reasons: 1) "Drunk Tank" and all other "tanked" jokes were a little too obvious (but I will admit - Drunk Tank is pretty damn good!) and 2) I needed a place for my pirate busts and I figured fish tank + water "theme" = PIRATES!  Now all I need are some actual novelty gems, some gold coins and maybe a treasure chest to make the setup complete!

Because I hadn't really partied with my cousins in FOREVER, I was trying to figure out where to take them.  I learned quickly that they both have totally different personalities but one might adapt a little better than the other.  Maybe it's a mandatory gene when you're the first born...I don't know but I felt it (since I, too, am a first born).  Luckily, Oni suggested we hit up Joystick on Friday - which took the pressure off lil ol' me since I don't really get out much anymore.  And since the selection of ladies was totally lacking (according to my single cousin), we went to Church, where the ladies were plentiful.

I had never been to Church but I always wanted to go since I drive by it pretty frequently when I'm downtown.  It was great!  The crowd was diverse and friendly for the most part.  I will admit - it was kinda weird watching my cousin talk to the ladies but it was cute at the same time.  I have to keep reminding myself that they're not the babies they once were!  LOL

On our way home, I had a flat tire but it didn't register as flat until I pulled into my driveway.  Thank goodness we were safe and sound!  That made for an eventful morning since I only slept barely a handful of hours, I had to get all 4 tires replaced!  Then, I had a lunch date with my friend from out of town (who I hadn't seen in years, btw) and it was great!  I took him to Argosy and we devoured everything down to my favorite treats: a Mondorita and the very decadently delicious Salted Caramel Blondie.  All the while, making plans for that evening - after our family dinner, of course!

My cousins and I ventured out to Church and shut it down once again.  The crowd was great and we even scored a table across the bar - which is good and bad.  It was good because we were right by the bar and we didn't have to keep going up and down the stairs like the night before.  It was bad because when it got crowded, people were spilling drinks on us because of the close proximity but no worries - good times were had by all!

How was your Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday Gif Party!

Wooo!  The Wednesday before Thanksgiving!  What are you thankful for?  I'm thankful for you guys and gals!  XOXO

My most favorite thing from Will and Grace!

These are called Phenakistoscopes.

See more phenakistoscopes here

When I saw Scott Pilgrim VS The World I got a major creative boost for my graphics. This one was one of my little favorite. Why? It's short, simple and kinda cute.

Okay, okay, I must admit - I haven't seen The Town yet (WHAT?!) but Jeremy Renner is quite adorable here...

A calming thunderstorm over the ocean...

A molotov cocktail in slo-mo.

See the gif set here

Sounds like the Ghostfacers are returning to Supernatural sometime soon!

The post reads: Pretty sure everyone needs a Dave Grohl hair whip on their dashboard.

Yes, it's true.

Here's the cast of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire being adorable (except for Liam - he's being the "too-cool-for-school" older brother lol)

This makes me laugh and I know it will make you laugh, too :)

Happy Wednesday!  And also - Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2013

My job did a thing...

So, we had a BIG announcement at work on Wednesday.  We rebranded AND we announced our super-secret partnership with XBOX Fitness!  Check out the video:

I'll give you a hint at who did the camerawork and lighting...LOL
Actually, I can't take all the credit on the lighting - that goes to my Production Supervisor. He's a BEAST when it comes to lighting! Check out this side-by-side we did while we were testing our lighting set-up for the announcement video shoot:

He did such a great job (and Heather was nice enough to sit in for us to get some test footage).  I'm so glad we can now green screen instead of fudging through it with some grey paper and and RGB Key.  Okay, okay, enough nerd talk.

I am really excited about the XBOX Fitness partnership, though.  The classes are AWESOME - and I'm not just saying that because I work there, I'm saying it because it's true!  They're only 30 minutes and time flies by while you're doing it!  If you're one of the lucky ones to snag an XBOX One, I urge you to try the Mossa classes!  I believe they're free for a year if you have an XBOX Gold membership...I'm not sure how the memberships work since my old man is the keeper of the XBOX at our house (it's just a Netflix / Hulu box for me! Ha!).

But seriously - try the Mossa workouts.  They're great.  I never thought I'd enjoy the Mossa Fight workout (because Group Kick always intimidates me) but Fight is so much fun and you'll feel AMAZING afterwards!  Take it from me!  It's the thing I needed to break my weight-loss plateau.

Who's getting an XBOX One?  Let me know how you like the Mossa workouts!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Gif Party!

Phew!  I'm on time and I come bearing gifs!  LOL

Bless Blaine and his twerking (but I'm sure glad that was the END of it...)

Remember this sweet little goofball...

...who turned into this handsome man?

Adriana Lima from my newest tag "BAD BITCH ROLL CALL"

This gif makes me want to take the band footage I have and gif ALL OF IT

This makes me sad that I can't flip my hair (for now, at least...)

Watch that caramel drizzle...

See the gif set here (you know you want to!)

One of the coolest parts about the film "The Fifth Element" (for me, anyways) is the fact that there are lots of models in it! When I was a kid, I loved hearing all those great facts about that film because at the time, models weren't all up in our faces with Instagram and Facebook and blah blah blah, so I loved that Luc Besson and Jean Paul Gaultier had all these great models in Gaultier's great costumes. Also, Jean Paul Gaultier put his hands on EVERY SINGLE COSTUME in the film to make sure that it was exactly right. That tiny little fact has always stayed with me.

See the gif set with 8 other stunning models from the film here


And here it is - the elusive perfect loop

Happy Wednesday!