Friday, February 26, 2010

Latest and Greatest in the Amigurumi Collection...

Meet Harry Elephante.

He is my latest amigurumi and he will be joining Zatara Bear and Poptart Pig in a fundraising event for my family's 7th adoption (see my mom's blog).

I am rather pleased with how he came out. As I was making him, I was hugely concerned about doing a trunk (remember, I make stuff up as I go).

"maybe he can be a panda...or...a pig with giant, round ears or...uhhh...something with no trunk. GUYS, I'M SCARED!"- I complained to my sister 'Faz' and friend Trina.

But hey, he turned out okay!

Now I am getting bored with crocheting animals (although I still think a frog and a monkey would be excellent).

I think I need to take a break and knit something... I'm thinking a sweater for my little sister? *really, I want another sweater, but in order to get enough yarn to cover all of me it is like $50. Smaller people=less yarn=cheaper!*

Or make a...I don't know...I will figure something out. I just need something new to fixate upon. In the last month I have made curtains (it was an angry experience in which I spent a lot of time yelling "YOU ARE THE FABRIC OF BEELZEBUB! WOULD YOU PLEASE BEHAVE!?"), 2 pillows, and 3 amigurumis. Gotta keep busy!

*sorry about the bad lighting, Photoshop is in rebellion and won't let me edit.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oh Mr. Sun...

I am sick of winter.

I can't say don't like winter, I do like it. You need snow to snowboard. And for the WINTER OLYMPICS! But snow is something I can only deal with in moderation. December and the beginning of January are great, but there comes a point where enough is ENOUGH.
I'm at that point...

I live in New England; 'tis a strange place. We've had tons of snow this year and now the temperature has gone up just a bit and we now have rain. And slushy melting snow. It is disgusting.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE THE RAIN. Rain is actually one of my favorite things in the world, but I like it better when it is a summery shower. Or a thunderstorm. I'd even take some 'April showers' (bring Mayflowers...but not Pilgrims...) right about now. Warm air, green grass, big drops of water, and it smells good afterward.

But all I have currently is February 'yuk rain' (yes, yuk with only a k.)with dreary skies.

My complaints about YUK RAIN are as follows;

It is ugly enough outside with the bare trees and dark skies, but now when I look out at my yard, it is only worse. We live on a back lot and the houses around us all sit on little hills...basically our yard is a collection of the neighbors' excess yard water. I am waiting for lilypads and maybe some koi fish to pop up in our front yard (magical!); we literally have a little pond going.

We also have a pebbly/stone dusty driveway and right now it is full of potholes/puddles the size of...aardvarks (that was the only thing of relative size I could think of earlier today when I was trying to describe them?).

Yesterday I went to the gym and when I came out it was pouring. I walked to my car hoisting up the bottoms of my too long yoga pants (I'm short. And I do not believe in dignity.) so they wouldn't be wet as I drove home.

When I drive in the rain I put my wipers on max speed and then they squeak. I am really OCD about having the windshield clean, otherwise I end up intently looking at the paths the water droplets make, instead of like...the road.

I want spring (summer would be nice too...). A few days ago it was 42 degrees and sunny (no rain! no snow!) and I got so excited I drove with my windows down.

Yesterday I cut the bottoms off some jeans in hope of soon wearing them as cut offs (yup. I do that. Cuts offs and boy's cargo shorts. With converse hightops. And I like it, so shhh.)

Over the weekend I bought a red gypsy-ish skirt and I cannot stop thinking about wearing it (which it bizarre, because I don't even like skirts...they are like a 4 times a year event for me. I think it is more the color that has me excited. Or the gypsy look.)

I am longing to see the sun again. Winter needs to be over. Now. Unfortunately, I have to wait for March 20th for it to be official.


Maybe if I start wearing cut off jeans to the gym my pants won't get as wet...?????

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tibetan Monks have secret skills and they aren't telling.

Last night, sitting in 'my chair' (a green chair by the TV which if anyone else sits in I pick them up and move them.) watching ski jumping and looking at a Travel and Leisure magazine. It was a copy from December of 09 and it was suggesting some unique holiday gifts.

One of the gifts had me laughing for a good 5 minutes. And I even offered to by it for everyone for their birthday (and then burst out laughing again...) What kind of gift could make me laugh in such a prolonged manner?


Well, what does it intend?, you might be wondering. I'll tell you, but brace yourself, as it is a little ludicrous.

Travel and Leisure described it (and I quote!) in this way;
"Dark chocolate infused with positive energy by Tibetan monks, Intentional Chocolate, $15."

What!? Craaaaziest thing I have ever heard. First off, how do the monks do that? According to the website of this chocolate the monks are just excellent at meditating and have trained under the Dalai Lama...ummm...okay...? And once they bring forth this energy HOW do they get it in the chocolate, may I ask??? HOW does it stay there? Special packaging? More intense meditation? Top secret methods which they have gained by additional training under Willy Wonka?

From Intentional Chocolates "about us" section;
"All the products from Intentional Chocolate include this intention: “Whoever consumes this chocolate will manifest optimal health and functioning at physical, emotional and mental levels, and in particular will enjoy an increased sense of energy, vigor and well-being for the benefit of all beings.”

I am all for a positive attitude, but I can tell you mine isn't coming from some guys in orange robes. I am all about joy and fullness of life, but mine is from my Savior, not a fifteen dollar bag of chocolate.

Poor confused monks. I don't even think energy infusion pays very well...

Monday, February 22, 2010


Over the weekend I did a bit of shopping. I confess, residences, citizens, and stalkers of Bloglandria, to being a thriftstoreaholic. (And for those of you who are thinking 'ew! germs! useeeed clooothesss?!?!?!' I have a washing machine and it works great. Thank you. PS: I bet my clothes are cooler than yours...)

I stopped in at my local Goodwill and Savers and grabs a plethora of items (t-shirt, red skirt, belt with phoenixes on it, some jeans with pre-made holes, a bracelet.). Happened to have my mom and a couple small children belonging to my family clan with me, and as I found a shirt that was black and read 'CIAO BELLA' in gold cursive letters, my 8 year old sister says,
"What does that say?"

"Ciao Bella. It means 'Hello Beautiful' in Italian. People use it like a greeting. Then they kiss your cheeks. But whatever, it says my name, so I'm getting it."

"Do they have one that says my name?"

"Don't think so. 'Ciao Gianna' isn't exactly a commonly used Italian phrase..."

Kids. Funny little critters.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Made Ya Smile!

You know those pictures that you just look at and can't help but laugh?
This picture is one of those for me.

This is one of my (3) cats, Tobin James, *yes, he has a middle name. i love names. lots of 'em. ask me about my fish AlphaBetaLucaRonanTobyJackGeorgeMontazumaKhublahGhengisKhan sometime...* trying to attack me through a glass coffee table.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Let the games begin.

Tonight is the most important night of the Olympics.

At least according to me it is.


In case you haven't been paying attention, Snowboarding {the good stuff} kicked off Monday night with Boarder Cross (like motor cross racing, only on snow with snowboards, obviously). Seth Wescott of Team USA brought home GOLD. For a second time. Commendable job my boarding brother!

Last night was women's boarder cross. And poor, poor Lindsey Jacobellis of the USA wasn't able to bring dignity back to her name. She lost control in the semi finals, took out a flag, and was disqualified. I was yelling at my television.

In other Cross news, did you see team USA's pants!?

Burton, you are amazing. THEY LOOK LIKE DISTRESSED JEANSSSSS!!!!! (way better than Torino's pinstriped outfits...Yankees? On snowboards!?)

*At least Jacobellis LOOKED good as those pants ripped though a flag...

When I first saw Nate Holland wearing them Monday night I yelled at him *"What? Did you forget to pack your board pants, bro!?" *(...through my TV...) for wearing jeans and trying to race. Now that I know they aren't actually jean, I am muy muy jealouso and would really like a pair of 'em. I am so sick of going boarding and seeing everyone in gaudy neon colored outfits...

Now, back to Halfpipe talk. The king of halfpipe snowboarding (and skate boarding!), USA's 23 year old Shaun White--The Flying Tomato-- will be working his magic on half a cylinder of highly compacted snow.

**"oh my, he will not age well..." says my mother, watching an interview with the awkward looking white kid with a bush of red hair last night

"mom, he has so much skill and money that no one will care..."**

This is what I have been waiting for. For 4 years. YOU MUST WATCH THIS EVENT. For the love of America. For the love of snow. For the love of snowboarding. For the love of produce in flight!

I would really like the 3 guys from the USA to win all the medals in this event...but Shaun must take gold. If he falls and/or doesn't win, I WILL be yelling at the TV once more...VERY loudly.

*Ps: women's halfpipe is Thursday. You must watch that as well and cheer for the 3 American ladies. Because I secretly wish I was them...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Adventures of Emikel and Jro...

--CHAPTER 13--

Emily and I, West Virginia 2008.

Matching hoodies from Northstar Dance Academy.

(Emily is a beast of a pointe ballerina and a good tap dancer. I tried ballet, jazz and hip hop and felt inadequate at all three. But give me a jig anyday, and I'll make you feel inadequate. )

You get bonus points {hmm, didn't know I was giving those out, did ya!?} if you can tell me


(**other than my peculiar facial expression and huge-looking chin...)

Monday, February 15, 2010


Has someone ever said something to you that has just stuck with you for years? Even someone who isn't a teacher, a public speaker, a pastor, or a celebrity? Someone you weren't even friends with, or didn't even know? Someone unlikely? Just someone random?

There have been times where someone has just popped into my life and said something that I can never forget.

One of those times was in 2006.

I was on a 10 day missions trip in Morelia, Mexico. There at Vida Abundante church I met a girl named Pia. She spoke a fair amount of English and she would sometimes help our team translate, as we all spoke very little Spanish.

I don't exactly remember what day of the trip it was, but it was mid morning during what we were calling a "Sports Clinic" (a basketball and soccer/futbol camp at the church for neighborhood youth), and me, Pia, and a leader on my team were sitting in the shade, just talking. The leader asked Pia (who I think was about 17...? I was 15 and I recall her being slightly older than me...) a question somewhere along the lines of "what do you want to do with your life?"or "what will you do once you graduate?" or know those questions...

Her answer,
"I want to make God smile."

Simple. Straightforward. And totally genuine.

The young girl could barely speak English, and yet, she said one of the things that has stuck with me for years. I'll never forget it. I had never heard it put that way. Actually, I had never even thought of God with a smile on his face.

She found her joy in God and knew that above all else she wanted to bring Him glory. To make Him happy. To make Him smile.

Me too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Star Performer

My little sister Avi (almost 2) is a good entertainer.

She can tell you all sorts of animal sounds, phrases, count to 10, and mostly she can sing. She has an abnormal (for someone her age) ear for music. While she can't always get the words to songs correctly she can add her own words to the tune. And it..sounds like the song...?!

ABC's, itsy bitsy spider, twinkle twinkle, and all other childhood classics (as well as whatever else she hears enough times); she has them down.

Last weekend my mom was trying to get her to sing "Oh my darling, Clementine" on video(except she says "oh my darling papapa..." and sings it to my dad. We skip the part about being lost and gone forever and she substitute other words in tune...). But then she lost interest and tried to steal my camera...she also has a strange adoration of technology and knows how to work a phone...

Anyhow, I am posting the video because she is just too cute.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Is anyone out there as exxxxxcited as I?


I am an Olympics fanatic.
The opening ceremonies are tomorrow night. Then comes the exciting stuff.

Now, first you must know I am a person who watches very little TV. Very little. I am far too busy to keep track of the 'lives' of Jack Bauer, people on some a remote island for some unknown reason, and form of super hero, or anything/anyone else. What I watch is occasional, sporadic, and is usually on the Discovery Channel or involves Duff Goldman, the Ace of Cakes.

You must also know I would much rather play any sport (maybe not well, but that doesn't stop me) than watch one on TV for any extended period of time. I only watch major sporting events, like the Superbowl, or World Cup (also fanatical about that. but we can discuss that in June!).

But the Olympics, especially the winter ones, are a serious love of mine.
The official site of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics is already short cutted on my desk top.

I have the snowboarding schedule written out in huge, sharpie-d letters, stuck to my desk. (I really hope I don't have to watch any members-whose initials were L.J- of team USA fall on their faces and lose gold because of pride like I did last winter olympics...anybody else remember that? I was screaming at her through the TV) TV coverage schedule will be printed, highlighted, and stuck near my TV.

I am already plotting what I have to do to be able to be home (because I am Tevo-less) next Wednesday night to watch the men's Halfpipe event. And women's on Thursday.

I am already predicting that Apolo Ohno will win every men's speed skating event, or at least most of them, because that is just what he does.

And I am fully intending to sit up my butt, in front of a TV, every night for the next couple weeks. And maybe even several hours on the Internet watching replays, reading recaps, and just over all obsessing about the whole deal.

I will watch all and any of it, but especially SNOWBOARDING (on one of the worlds best mountains- Whistler.) and speed skating. Those are my favorites. I think luge and bobsled are highly entertaining; those guys are crazy! Curling makes me laugh because it is so random. Swimming is sort of dull. Hockey is good. I think track shouldn't be in the winter sports. Skiing is cool, but not as cool as snowboarding. I think there should be a snow volleyball event. And this year I am going to watch Figure Skating because last year I did 8 levels of basic figure skate training (more to say I have done it, than actually wanting to.) and I now have some amount of appreciation for what they do. Even if they scare me.

Anyway. You will probably hear a fair deal about my Olympic addiction over the next couple weeks. I just thought I should prepare you. Anybody out there as amped up as I am? If not, I will try to change your mind before the closing ceremonies come around.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Flaming food and birthday wishes.

Yup. I'm nineteen now. Good stuff, I guess.

Yesterday I woke up to the sound of 7 people (and 1 being carried) marching up my stairs singing "happy birthday" (we do this in my family. they show up in your room, singing, and hand you a plate of flaming food...), carrying a tray of coffee and a cup of pineapple with candles stuck in it (pineapple because I don't really like breakfast, but pineapple is accepted at any time of day and it is easy to stick candles in).

Then my mother takes pictures with her paparazzi camera. Nothing like a photo shoot in the early morning...

*my eyes are scary, but this is me and Avi blowing out the birthday pineapple. looks like a glowing cup of something dangerous...

Ate the food, opened the gifts, spent morning putting away gifts and doing stuffs.

Went to lunch with my parents at a Mexican place called Azteca (decent food. I had quesadilla del mar-basically a quesadilla with grilled shrimp in it. Churros for dessert.) best part was when a guy made, from scratch, guacamole at our table. And it was GOOD. Very good.

Spent the rest of the day setting up/attending an annual worship team meeting at my church. Normally I am a singing keyboardist, but when situations needing creativity arise I apparently become the interior designer. With the help of a couple team mates, 'Mopeeps,' 'Brick,' and Jonathan, we moved couches, hauled out cafe tables, rolled and unrolled and rolled some more rugs, and lit lots of candles. And step up enough tables and chairs for 40 people.

The wonderful Mopeeps showed up with cupcakes and balloons for me. She is wonderful, did I mention that? And they are the coolest balloons ever; tyedyed balloons?! Did you know they existed?

Then we ate food and talked about worship team things....

Overall, good birthday. Little busy, but good. Now I just need a day to use up some gift cards that are not so patiently waiting in my wallet.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!

Monday, February 8, 2010

As mad as a hatter I am...

Is anyone else as excited about this movie as I am? I have been waiting months for this to come out and last night, during the Superbowl, when they played a trailer I got excited all over again. (Robin Hood looked good too! )

Now, I understand there are Tim Burton people, and then there are not Tim Burton people. 'Cause...he is a weirdo. A

But I happen to like movies done by Tim Burton, containing Johnny Depp, and there is nothing you can do to change my mind. I am one of those people who loved the new willy wonka (or Charlie in the Chocolate Factory) and thinks the old one is not as good. As a kid my favorite part was the creepy tunnel with the boat...because I too am a weirdo...

I am also one who greatly disliked the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland (and at some point I watched some version with real people and don't really remember it...?) and I am excited for a remake. (Other than the fact that they cast Anne Hathaway in it. Don't like her. )

I KNOW they won't get the book right; I've already prepared myself for that. It's okay, not like I am not used to movies ruining good books...

So march 5th (or after...) me, the Cheshire cat, Johnny Depp with freaky green eyes, and Alice will be coming to a theater near you!


Superbowl, anyone?
I am not exactly a football fan, but I do enjoy watching it. But I have to say, usually my favorite part of the Superbowl is the commercials.

This year I was actually disappointed. Way too many for beer (welcome to America...) and a strange reoccurring theme of people wearing no pants in public locations...

But I did have a favorite. The little kid Jaylin on the Doritos commercial. He was my hero for the 30 seconds he appeared on the TV. Click here to watch it.


Funny stuff. What was your favorite commercial?

*In other news, today is my last day to be 18. Sort of sad, I guess. I know it is just a number, but 18 was my favorite year so far, for so many reasons...

But, like it or not, tomorrow I'm 19. More to come on that, once the 19-y stuff commences.

For today I'm hanging out with my best friend and...doing whatever it is that we do.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What have you been doing lately...?


That's what I have been doing.

My new room (there will be pictures, but not yet. Just be patient) has a nice little table, with 3 nice little chairs, and plenty of workspace for imagination.
On that table I have been taking my love of decoupaging (*basically gluing stuff onto something else in an artist manner) to a new level. I have this wooden, foldable lap desk (for like writing while sitting in bed and such things) but was boring. Bare, ugly wood.

So, because I am me and me doesn't believe in boring, I am making it cooler. I have been hacking up magazines like a mad woman and mod- podging (decoupaging glue...) them onto it, along with movie tickets, clothing tags, and newspaper clippings.

I'm not done yet, but let me show you what I have done. Sorry, I am a little excited.

Top surface.

Top folds up into a white board, leaving another top-ish surface.

The Joker and Batman, right next to my ticket from seeing Dark Knight, are my favorite part of the whole thing. (Are you one of those people who disliked that movie, or one of the ones who loves, it like I do?)

The large Owlbra (Owl/Zebra) on the toptop (not the top-ish top...) comes in as close second as favorite.
Still need to do the fold out sides. A stack of magazines is eagerly waiting...

Friday, February 5, 2010

The smell of coffee in the morning...

I'm kind of a coffee addict.

I've gotten better, but I cannot (okay, actually if I torture myself I can, but I choose not to do that...) go with out 1 cup of good, strong coffee in the morning.

But I've found a new way to feed my love of coffee.

My new closet a small room. But that is another story. Anyway, in it is a dresser, and on the dresser is one of the best ideas of my life.
Right there, next to my first pair of converse and my hand-done "Pollock art" is...

A little glass cup (with a pirate in hammock on it, reading Salty Dog across the top) full of COFFEE BEANS.

I love that smell.

Smells like Starbucks. Smells like happiness. Smells like memories.

My dad and one of my uncles used to put piles of them in the cup holders of their cars. I remember as a little kid getting into the car and inhaling deeply. As a child I actually used to EAT coffee beans (one of many strange things I did...)
Or it reminds me of this fantastic little coffee shop called Day Break next to the library ( in a town which I shall call G-bury), where they had great, big coffee roaster going all day and that smell was everywhere.

And now, when I step into my closet, that same smell hits me. It's absolutely wonderful. You really must try it. Just don't grow up to be an "addict" like me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I trace the rainbow through the rain...

Last week, as I was busily moving my computer and all the things in and on my old desk, my 11 year old sister, T, walked into my room and said "WHOA, HOW DID YOU DO THAT!"

I looked frantically around and still had no idea what she was talking about. "Do what...?"

"How did you make that rainbow on the wall!?"

And there, above my computer, right where I had been sitting, was a rainbow.

I had a stack of CD's face up on my desk and the sun had peeped into my window just right, hit those CD's and caused this phenomenon of many colors on my wall.

It was a PERFECT Roy. G. Biv (anybody else learn the colors in order that way?) rainbow, directly in front of my face and I had been missing it.

Oh the simple things...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Driftwood and Breakfast Snack

Meet Zatara Bear and Poptart Pig, my latest Amigurumi creations.

This little critter will not be found on etsy, but instead will be used in a fundraising attempt for my famlys adoption to Ethiopia.

I had never done a pig before, so Poptart was a first attempt. I like her ears. Her name is Poptart because...she is pink and I once claimed I would name twins Poptart and Green poor future children...

And bears are my favorite to make. But Zatara (yes, like the nickname given to the Count of Monte Cristo by smuggler Luigi Vampa, meaning Driftwood. Love that book/movie) is especially adorable. I love his eyes.

Still trying to figure out if I can make an elephant, because I bought some excellent blue yarn. And I think a frog would be cute too?

Monday, February 1, 2010


Well. I've been mighty busy lately moving my room from one end of my house to the other, and doing the other things that I do...

...And I haven't thought of a quote for today.

But, I would imagine that YOU like quotes, and maybe, perhaps, by some chance YOU have an all time favorite quote?

So for today, drop me a line in the comment area and inspire me with what it is that inspires you!

Appreciated muchly.


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