Thursday, December 17, 2009

New car!

Yay! I bought a new car today! Merry Christmas to me! It's a 2004 Subaru Legacy SE. It's their 35th anniversary edition Legacy. Pretty fancy. It almost feels TOO nice. My last car was a 1984 Volvo (RIP Old Blue) with 215000 miles.Faux woodgrain. OoOOOooO.
Power Moonroof. *little hearts*

Yay! So happy! There's a cd player but no aux jack for my iPod so I might go see about getting a new stereo installed sometime this week. I don't want to drive to Illinois and back without my iPod. Time to go for a drive!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Buttons, candy and snow!

This was a busy "makin' stuff weekend". Of course, none of the stuff I made was for Christmas presents. I'm still only half-way through making my Christmas cards... finishing those is on the agenda for tonight. Unless I get distracted making Dorset buttons! I just found out about these yesterday and they're totally addictive! I want to make buttons, pins, earrings, everything! out of them. Here are the four I made since last night.

So watch out, they might be coming your way this Christmas because I can't stop making them.

And I made this painting of a brick wall. I can't say more about that just yet.

Last night Howie and I got a gingerbread house. It was the messiest thing ever. The frosting came dry in a bag and had to be mixed. Well, I don't have an electric mixer and it felt too thick doing it by hand so I added a little extra water. Yeah.. it pretty much melted everywhere. Baubles slid down window panes, the doorknob fell to the ground and the door tried to melt off the face of the house. I'm not even going to mention the avalanche of roof "snow"... yeah. It was everywhere. But I think it turned out pretty decent. I just had to keep pushing things back into place until the frosting hardened. But, trust me, you don't want to see the back of the house. I had a lot of extra candy bits and just stuck them all back there. It looks like a candy monster threw up all over. I'm totally looking forward to eating it, though.

Speaking of snow, we had a HUGE snowstorm here about a week ago. Here is a picture of our neighbor's car, just to give you a little taste of Wisconsin in December.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tour of Altoona (and Beyond!)

I've been wanting to go around and take pictures of town, but it's been cloudy for 2 months. The sun actually can out today so here you go. This is for everyone who hasn't been up here yet. First I had to bundle up against the cold, Wisconsin weather. Hurray for knitwear!
Here is the ever popular Altoona Family Restaurant. Even the seagulls have to wait in line.Then there is the Just Local Foods Co-op:And Tangled Up in Hue (they sell art and handmade stuff, yay!) and Yellow Dog Knitting.

The antique shop and the budget theater.

The bookstore, which has a really nice little sitting area upstairs, and Infinitea Teahouse.

The river and some randomness:Then we went to Chippewa Falls to see the Christmas lights. It was pretty cool. The pictures didn't really work. You'd have to see for yourself. Come visit! You know you want to!


It does not feel like Christmastime. The stores have had the Christmas decorations out since before Thanksgiving (so wrong!) but it just doesn't feel right. Maybe it's the lack of snow or because they just don't really know how to decorate up here, I don't know. I put the Christmas XM station on tv and dug my decorations out of the stinky basement.
Since we've moved to a bigger apartment, it seems like I have a totally inadequate amount of decorations. And I'm too cheap to buy more. Mostly I just put up my tree. It's barely over 6 feet, but I put 1250 lights on it. I think it could still use more near the top but ma says it's a fire hazard.

My tree isn't exactly uh... traditional... Here are some ornament highlights:

And then there's the tree-topper, which is a dog angel wearing red velvet and leopard. Oh yeah!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Alpaca Hat!!

I'm finally done with the alpaca hat (Andean Chullo)! I'm so excited! Crazily enough it didn't take me any longer than knitting a pair of socks. Three weeks start to finish and that was with a little hiatus (didn't want to do the i-cord edging and tassels. Tassels are a hassle. Not really. But they aren't as fun as knitting.) So here it is, in all it's alpacay glory. I'm so in love with this hat. It's my favorite thing I've ever knit. (Don't tell the socks!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monster Dash!

I did a little something different for Halloween this year. My dad and I ran the Monster Dash Half Marathon in Minneapolis, MN. I was a little worried about this run since I had been sick for about two weeks and hadn't run. And I still had a nasty cough. But mostly it was because I hadn't run, and my longest training run was about 4.5 miles.

Sound familiar? I did the same thing a few months ago when we did the Ohio Half. I messed my foot up that time and could barely walk for a week. I could feel (and hear) the tendons in my feet moving. So I really didn't want that to happen again.

But I had a pretty good run. It was FREEZING at the start. I couldn't feel my fingers at all until mile two. My legs never warmed up. (Note to self: probably not a good idea to wear shorts in Minnesota at the end of October when you plan on being outside for over 3 hours.) I started to drag a little at mile 5, but kept a fairly steady pace. At mile 8, I broke out the iPod and some caffeinated "goo". After that I felt pretty good. Music really helps.

Until mile 12 when nothing helps but being finished and sitting down to a huge french toast breakfast with hashbrowns and fruit. But I finished. My time was 2:47. Not great, but better than the last one. I wish I'd trained better. I passed my dad right near the end. He was having trouble with calf cramps, probably from cold legs (stupid shorts!), but finished just a minute behind me.

It was pretty fun though. The goody bag had a really nice long-sleeved running shirt that I actually wore (first time wearing a long-sleeved running shirt for a whole race). And the medal is pretty awesome. It doesn't say Minnesota so I'll have to remember, just like I have to remember I did Iowa even though I got NOTHING for finishing that. Grr. Stupid Iowa. Anywho, here is the medal. It's also a belt buckle. Neato.

Disney World Marathon in January is next, right? :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What to do, what to do...

Just wanted to post some things I made. They were surprises for my folks so I had to wait until they got them to post this. Here they are:
That's a little button drawing I made for my dad to take to work. It's my first "artist trading card".
"SMILE! It's Halloween!" Halloween card for ma. I like making these a lot, even though it takes forever to cut all those little peices.

On an unrelated note, I'm trying to figure out what direction to take my future/career in. Here are my ideas:
-Start my own yarn/fiber shop like the Fold in Marengo. (Buy a farm with some land, get sheep and alpacas, run the store out of my house. Spend all day knitting and kibitzing with the customers.)
- Return to school to be a dietician (specializing in whole foods wellness/weight loss/veganism). Looked for jobs related to that, didn't have much luck. Possible waste of money?
- Return to school to be an art teacher. Pros: Summers off and somewhat creative environment. Con: Purple hair not an option.
- Try to get a job as a freelance children's book illustrator. No experience or ideas on how that actually works.
- Write a graphic novel about my adventures as a cynical retail clerk. Probably going to do that one anyway.
- Write trashy romance novels. Pro: easiest genre to get published in. Con: I would have to tell people I write romance novels for a living.
- Get a real job. Pros: money. Cons: eternal misery/sold soul for money.

Ideas, comments, donations welcome.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Halloween is almost here! The weather was so warm for so long that I waited to decorate and then it got really cold and felt more like winter. It's like we skipped right over Fall altogether. So I don't feel that Halloweenie this year.

But I did get my Halloween Swap package in the mail today! Super exciting! Check out all the goodies.

Did I mention it snowed again?

"It's not normally like this." It's a good thing Howie and I got some stay-at-home essentials like this awesome chair from Goodwill for $7. It's actually a nice poopy green, but looks brown in all the pictures. It's also the cats' new favorite scratching post.

And we bought a Wii! And Wii Fit! Woo! It's super fun. We rented Super Mario Galaxy, Ghostbusters and Animal Crossing:City Folk from Blockbuster and that's all we've been doing for a week. Here is Howie going for a nice island jog.

Here is me in Animalia. And here is my knitting project that I work on when Howie is playing. It's Knit Picks' Andean Chullo. That's the bottom half of some alpacas.

And I gave Howie a haircut and he made some yummy vegan stew, served with the bread I made earlier. Now it's time to settle in for some knitting and Super Mario!

Happy Birthday Howie! Goodbye Metrodome!

This is a little late, but here it is none-the-less. October 12th was Howie's birthday. The big Three-Oh. Since we moved up here we talked about going to see a Twins game at the Metrodome. They built a new stadium so this was our last chance to see them play there. We never really got our act together and missed the last game. But we got a second chance when the Twins went into the post-season. So I got tickets for Howie's birthday to see the Twins play the Yankees. It ended up being the Twins last game ever at the Metrodome.

Howie got stuck sitting next to Yankee fans (BOO!) so I couldn't help asking this kid to stop so I could take his picture as he walked by:

The Twins lost pretty horribly, but it was a fun night anyway. We did the wave, ate cracker jack and there was even a crazy fan who ran out onto the field. He actually made it to the fence on the other side, but he couldn't get over before the guards got there.

Oh yeah, and did I mention it SNOWED on Howie's birthday? Everyone assures me it "isn't normally like this" up here. I've been hearing an awful lot of that.