Crafting

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Moved.

Finally!

We’ve moved to on-base housing and love it so much more than off base. Our off-base house was gorgeous and had lots of room, but the staircase was so narrow and steep that we’d been sleeping downstairs since Cupcake was born (and after buying a king-sized mattress in November, sleeping on the couch seemed like a crime!)

So Bagpiper looked into switching us to on-base housing and we moved in a couple of weeks ago and we’re all settled and unpacked now. We have cable TV (we didn’t have that off base) and yesterday the internet was connected so I can play online again.

Our on base house is definitely a little smaller than our off base one, but it’s still plenty of room for us and the best part? AMERICAN APPLIANCES. It feels so so so so so good to have an American oven and American washer/dryer. We’re also a lot closer to Bagpiper’s job. So close, in fact, that he sometimes runs to work in the mornings. He’s even been coming home for lunch! It’s nice and we’re all happy.

Except maybe the dog.

She does really good around the baby, but I think she’s starting to get jealous of the attention the baby gets. Bagpiper and I make sure to give the dog plenty of attention, but Sushi doesn’t seem to think it’s enough and wants more and is acting out….by pooping in the house.

Yesterday she even pooped on the couch!

I was livid.

We take her out just as often (and maybe even more so) than before and she’ll pee and poop outside, but she’ll also poop inside, too. It’s becoming less frequent so hopefully she’s adjusting to having a baby in the house, but UGH! I hate it.

Cupcake is getting so big! We’re fitting into newborn size clothes now and started to smile and even giggle. I keep trying to catch that giggle on camera, but so far I haven’t been able to capture it.

She’s been sleeping through the night for a couple of weeks now and that has definitely been such a blessing. Everyone told me that babies didn’t start sleeping through the night until they were about three months old. Cupcake started sleeping through the night at just six weeks! We’re definitely very lucky!

Since I’ve been getting more sleep it’s given me more energy to get things done during the day. I’ve started writing again — I’m currently working on the first draft of a romantic thriller and I’m also editing a novella that I keep ignoring (I’m not a fan of editing/revisions). I’ve done some knitting — I made a beanie for the Bagpiper, some hats for Cupcake and I’m working on a small sweater for her. In a couple of days I’m starting a Knit-A-Long with Allyson from The Sweatshop of Love. I’ll be knitting a gorgeous cardigan for myself. I’ve ordered my yarn and it should be arriving this week.

I’ve also started a work out program. I started yesterday (Feb. 1) with Zumba 2 for the Wii. It’s a lot of fun and definitely burns the calories. I like that the game tells me how accurate my movements are and how many calories I’ve burned. I’m tracking my eating and work out habits on Lose It! I’ve used the site before and liked it, so I’m starting again. My plan is to do Zumba every day and also walk around the neighborhood every day. Next month I’m hoping to start P90X in addition to Zumba and walking daily.

P90X is a tough, tough workout, which is why I’m not starting with that. I’ve done it before and I know it works, but since I haven’t worked out in a looong time, I figure it’s best to start with walking and Zumba before jumping into P90X. I may not even start P90X in March. I may wait until April. We’ll see.

And that’s about covers the news.

Now that there is internet in the new house, I hope I can get more regular with my blog updates.


Beginnings

As I stand on the cusp of motherhood, awaiting the arrival of baby girl, I think of all the special moments and memories my husband and I will enjoy with her.

Her arrival.

Her first day home.

Her first steps.

And so much more.

These moments, so ordinary and yet so extraordinary, deserve capturing. They deserve to be preserved in picture frames and photo albums. And not just the moments I will share with my family, but the moments you will share with yours. This is why I’ve decided to create Wonderland Memories. I want to capture all those moments that make life magical.

Let me preface by saying I am not the only photographer on Okinawa. I am not the photographer who has been on the island the longest, nor am I likely the most experienced. I do, however, have a creative eye and a passion for photography. I am not starting this business to get rich or to weasel people out of hard-earned money. I’m starting it because I enjoy taking pictures and I believe that when someone hires a photographer, it should be affordable.

So if you live in Okinawa and you are graduating high school, getting engaged or expanding your family, let Wonderland Memories capture the magic of your special moments.


Round 2…KNIT!

After being in a knitting funk the past few weeks (mostly due to having to frog a project that was 50 percent completed), this week I’m determined to get my knitting groove back.

Saturday night I went over to a friend’s house and we knitted and watched TV for a few hours, and that definitely helped. I finally frogged the hat and basically started over. I tinked back until there were about 10 rows on the needles and restarted the pattern. I stopped knitting when I reached the point where I had previously frogged (mostly because it was late and I didn’t want to start the pattern and stop in the middle).

I’m hoping that knitting today and tomorrow will produce a finished hat that’s worthy of my favorite author’s head. 😛

BTW, I got a new Nikon D3000 over the weekend, and it’s flipping amazing.

What are you knitting this week?


I really hate frogging.

There’s a reason my last post was more than a week ago.

I’ve been in a knitting funk.

Two weeks ago I began a slouchy hat for one of my favorite authors. Halfway through, I realized that I forgot the increase round. You know, that round that’s going to make the slouchy hat slouchy? Yea. Totally did not see that line in the pattern. Of course, I noticed this 17 rows after I was supposed to knit that round.

Because it was late, I decided I would tink back the next day and just reknit. Only, the next day came and I was still upset at having to frog half the project, so I left it alone for another day. Then another. Then another.

Die devil frog.

Suddenly, it’s a week later, and I still have not touched that damn hat. I really hate frogging. I’m already a slow knitter to begin with, so even though it’s just 17 rows (which really, is not a lot and I did this in an evening while watching a movie on Netflix), all I can seem to focus on is that it’s two hours of wasted knitted.

I can’t possibly be the only knitter who gets put into a funk when faced with frogging.

The good news is that I’m on Spring Break, so I have lots of free time to reknit the hat. I’ve also started rewatching Doctor Who on Netflix, and knitting + Netflix = awesome times.

How do you deal with frogging? Do you get put in a funk like I do and stop knitting for a day or two (or week) or do you just shrug it off and knit on?


Book Review: “Yarn — Remembering the Way Home” by Kyoko Mori

Normally, my book reviews are reserved for Book Addicts; however, since this book is not the type of book I normally review over there, I thought I’d review it here, since I believe it will resonate with knitters of all types.

Title: Yarn — Remembering the Way Home
Author: Kyoko Mori
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Details: eBook, 240 pages
Publisher: Gemma Media

—–

A memoir of crossing cultures, losing love and finding home by a New York Times Notable author. As steadily and quietly as her marriage falls apart, so Kyoko Moris understanding of knitting deepens. From flawed school mittens to beautiful unmatched patterns of cardigans, hats and shawls, Kyoko draws the connection between knitting and the new life she tried to establish in the U.S. Through the last, empty days of her marriage, Kyoko finds a way to begin again. Interspersed with the story of knitting throughout, the narrative contemplates the nature of love, loss and what holds a marriage together.

Kyoki Mori delivers a moving account of her life by threading together various knitting projects with different episodes in her life. As Mori’s story unravels, you share pain when she loses her mother, the frustration she feels with her family, the slow demise of her marraige and the joy she finds when she takes charge of her life.

I don’t read many memoirs, but I thoroughly enjoyed Mori’s story.

Though at times the story is slow-paced, threads of Mori’s youth weave seamlessly with lessons she learns as adult. Each section in the book corresponds with a different project, and they range in their difficulty: scarves, cardigans, fair isle,  etc. At one point she compares her marriage to instarsia — her and husband come together when it suits them, knitting together the image the pattern calls for, but when the image is done, they separate until the next pattern.

The book jumps back and forth a lot from Mori’s youth to her present day, but Mori is so frank and honest about her life that the way she tells her story works beautifully. Though Mori is a drastically different type of woman than I am, she is comfortable in her own skin and in the end I admire her strength and courage.

“Yarn — Remembering the Way Home” is more than just the memoir of a knitter. It’s a story woven together in pieces, and much like in a knitted garment, the end result is worth it.

4/5 Stars.


It’s bigger on the inside…

Like I mentioned in my last post, I didn’t get to finish many projects this month. I did a nice pair of cabled fingerless gloves for a friend’s daughter and I also knit a cozy for my Sony Daily Edition eReader (which, btw, I love).

I’m pretty proud of my eReader cozy. I’m a huge Doctor Who fan — but if you follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, you probably already know this. While searching Ravelry for eReader cozy patterns, I came across an iPod cozy pattern in the shape of a TARDIS*.

I just about died with geeky glee. With a few easy adjustments to the pattern, I was able to knit a TARDIS for my eReader.

Project: TARDIS Cozy
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in River
Ravelry Project Info
(includes adjustments made in “notes” section)

Yay! If you’re a Doctor Who fan, you probably know how cool this is. You probably also get the quote, “It’s bigger on the inside.”

*Explanations for the non-Doctor Who fans:

TARDIS: Stands for Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space. It’s a blue police box the Doctor uses to travel through time and space.

It’s bigger on the inside.: What the Doctor often says when someone new steps into the TARDIS. On the outside, it’s a normal blue police box. On the inside, it’s epic.

 

The Tenth Doctor in front of the TARDIS

…and now the inside:

"It's bigger on the inside."

And one more picture of the Tenth Doctor, just because.

The TARDIS, the Tenth Doctor and the almight Sonic Screwdriver!

If you don’t watch Doctor Who…you really should. It’s lots of fun. Especially the seasons with David Tennant. He’s my favorite Doctor by far. If you have Netflix, the first four seasons are available via instant streaming.