Friday, October 29, 2010

Granny that I am...

I have a new project.

Last time I went to my grandparent's farm I posted a bunch of pictures, and mentioned at the bottom of the post that my Grammie taught me how to crochet granny squares. True story.

Since then, me and my obsessive complusive/fixated personality have been on a mission. I, Isabella Kiss, though I be not a grandmother, and going to make a blanket!


Since that time (2 weeks ago) I have been spending my late evenings crocheting. And I have now made 80 Granny Wee Squares (I like my name for them better.) I am over half way. I figure I need about 144 to make a decent size blanket.

I am using a size F crochet hook and bunches and bunches of scrap acrylic yarns left over from my other various projects.
 My insanely organized box of scrap yarns. Used to be a lot fuller...

There are LOTS of ways to make granny squares, but I am doing it the way my Grammie taught me {Ps: if you want to know what that way is, message/comment me. I will let you know. If I put it in this blog post a good many of people will be bored.} She is a pro blanket maker. All the grand-kids have them, she gives them to people as gifts, she has even sold some, so she knows what she is talking about. Actually, she is the only reason I know how to knit/crochet in the first place. She taught me to knit when I was about 7, but it wasn't up until about 2 years ago that I really got into it. She also taught me to crochet...around 8... but I HATTTTEEEEDDD it and was a total failure beyond a basic chain up until this year when I randomly taught myself to make Amigurumi.

Anyway, I like it now.

Exhibit A, my Grammie's work:

Exhibit B, MY work:

My first square!

The little table in my bedroom has be utterly OVERTAKEN with color categorized WEE SQUARES!

An so the project continues on...

My hope is to have the blanket (or technically "afghan," but I don't like the sound of that word so, it is a BLANKET) done by the end of the year. I still have a bunch of squares to make, then I have to sew in all the yarn tails, and then I have to border the edges in black. I've yet to decide if I am going to crochet it all together in black, or it I will contrast it with white. Or another color. I'll worry about that when I get there.

I'm excited. It will be quite the accomplishment. I'll have a amazingly colorful blanket and...I think I can be certified as a grandma or something...? Joshing, I'm just joshing. Although, I did run around for a while shrieking "IMMA REAL GRANNY!" (think Pinocchio in Shriek when he yells "Imma real boy!" I do a GOOD Pinocchio impression...)  

But grandma or not, I like the artfulness of it all. I enjoy making them (I love repetition), any project that lets me combine colors is fun, and I enjoy that each one I make is different. So, if you want to call me Granny Isabella, that is fine by me. I am having fun and I'll have a cool blanket and you won't so...whatever. :)

***Pictures of the FINAL result to come!!!! Just give me another month or so!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ministry of Chalk Board Encouragement.

These two girls make me smile.

Simenesh (13) and Tia (11) are pretty awesome, and I am blessed to have them as sisters. I have a multitude of family members, but, this week, these two win.

Simenesh joined our family back in the spring. She spoke very little English (as English is not what is spoken in Ethiopia...). But she has come a long, long way. She is one smart kid and her English is improving in leaps and bounds. She amazes me. She now fits right it and it is like she was always here. God is cool that way.

Recently she has started an encouragement "ministry." In our kitchen we have an antique chalk board hanging on the wall and for the last month or so she has been leaving encouraging messages (with the help of Tia) on it for one family member per-week (or so). She did my dad. She did my mom. And then she kept moving down the line...

Now, I've had a pretty rough week. I have a lot going on and I am feeling slightly overwhelmed. But apparently this week is my week for encouragement. And believe you me, I needed some.
I had to smile when yesterday morning I woke up to this:

Normally I am a grammar policewoman, but...this much love transcends grammatical rules.  :)

Tia and Simenesh, you're are wonderful.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

IMMA BEast, Imma beast...

I have been asking my dad to take me shooting for a looooonnnng while and FINALLY it happened.

Today I went with my dad (and his friend Joe and Joe's 11 year old son Joey...) to a local shooting range to fire a gun for the first time in my life.

AND MAN WAS IT AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was really nervous at first. My dad's gun is BIG (A .40 Millimeter Smith and Wesson, if you happen to be familiar with guns and that means anything to you) and I have really tiny hands. The first time it was in my hands I was scared to fire. I knew it would kick, but I wasn't really sure of how much (having never fired ANY real gun, EVER).

But don't worry. I quickly got used to it. :)


"Dad, hit him in the head!" --Joey
'No, you want to aim for larger body mass if that is a bad guy."- my dad
"But...what if he is a ZOMBIE? Then you definitiely want to aim for the head. Trust me, I read the book."- me
"....he is not a zombie..."- Joey's dad 

First attempts. Good, but not great.

As the Black-Eyed Peas (or really my friend Mopeeps) would say 
"Imma beast, Imma beast, imma imma imma beast."

 Yeah, I could feel the kick all the way in my shoulders... 
and I need to work on my stance. I am all leaning backwards and stuff. 
I realize just how badly  now that I am looking at the pictures.
Sheez Bella, way to look like an amatuer...:/
Well, it is a start. Always next time!

 2 bullets in a row in the (almost)same spot, to which I cried "I AM THE ROBIN HOOD OF GUUUNNNNNSSS!"

 Yup, I MIGHT have that target hanging in my room. I could potentially be a little proud of myself...

 Mr. Joe let me shoot his .09 H&K a couple times.

 I think I liked standing better than sitting, but my aim was more consistent from a seated position. 
And my oh my do I make crazy faces with a gun in my hands.

 ...yeah. I shot a gun with my legs crossed. *rolls eyes at self* 
Way to be a total girl, Bella...

*celebrate like imma beAST!

I loved it. It was something I have wanted to do for a long, long time and now I feel rather accomplished. Given the opportunity I would FOR SURE go again (New goal, since I've crossed generalized shooting off my list. FIRE A RIFLE!). 
Way fun. Got to spend time with my dad, which doesn't happen often enough, AND I got to spend time with his gun on top of it. Twas for certainly a good time. I like guns now. Maybe a lot. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

More quoteable Psalms...

**I am obsessed with Psalms. I think we all know that by now...

Earlier this week as I was praying I asked God to give me a new passage of scripture to hang out in for while (as in read, reread, and reread for...however long. Usually at least a month) and I ended up in Psalm 139 (I tend to end up in Psalms, A LOT.).  Then the next day, as one of my pastors was giving his message, he referenced Psalm 139 and encouraged out congregation to go home and spend repeated amounts of time in that scripture. *Total confirmation. God, you're so cool!*

Anyway, it is one of those passages that I have read a zillion times, and I hear it quoted all the time, but spending some more time with it really caused me to fall in love with it and just be more in awe of God. It talks about God knowing every detail of my life and how he is actively involved in it. He knows every thought before I think it, ever word before it comes out of my mouth. And He knew all of my days even before I had lived a single one of them. Everything is in His hands! That is...ridiculously amazing. Totally unfathomable. Blows me away. And puts me at rest: my life doesn't have to be in my hands because He has had it all planned out PERFECTLY since before the beginning of time!!!

So, without further ado, here is the 139th Psalm, in The Message translation (click here for NIV or ESV)

1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.    
     I'm an open book to you; 
even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
   You know when I leave and when I get back;
      I'm never out of your sight.
   You know everything I'm going to say
      before I start the first sentence.
   I look behind me and you're there,
      then up ahead and you're there, too—
      your reassuring presence, coming and going.
   This is too much, too wonderful—
      I can't take it all in!

 7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
      to be out of your sight?
   If I climb to the sky, you're there!
      If I go underground, you're there!
   If I flew on morning's wings
      to the far western horizon,
   You'd find me in a minute—
      you're already there waiting!
   Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
      At night I'm immersed in the light!"
   It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you;
      night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.

 13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother's womb.
   I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
      I worship in adoration—what a creation!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body;
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
   The days of my life all prepared
      before I'd even lived one day.

 17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
      God, I'll never comprehend them!
   I couldn't even begin to count them—
      any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
   Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
      And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
   And you murderers—out of here!—
      all the men and women who belittle you, God,
      infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
   See how I hate those who hate you, God,
      see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
   I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
      Your enemies are my enemies!

 23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
      find out everything about me;
   Cross-examine and test me,
      get a clear picture of what I'm about;
   See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
      then guide me on the road to eternal life.

And, as usual, I tend to link times in my life to passages of scripture, as well as songs. So of course I have a song to go along with this. Recently I have been listening to (the amazing) Jason Upton and playing his song "No Sacrifice" (look it up. On his -rather old -album Faith. It'll mess you up) on repeat as well as playing it myself on piano (Jason Upton is GREAT if you are looking for keyboardy worship leader music. I love him, you should too.)

So, here are the song lyrics.
To you I give my life, not just the parts I want to
To you I sacrifice these dreams that I hold on to

(Because)Your thoughts are higher than mine
Your words are deeper than mine
Your love is stronger than mine
This is no sacrifice
Here's my life

To you I give the gifts
Your love has given me
How can I hoard the treasures that you've designed for free?
To you I give my future, as long as it may last
To you I give my present, To you I give my past
My God is so big that I cannot even wrap my mind around it. Scriptures (and songs inspired by God as revealed in Scripture) like this remind me of that and make me fall in love with him all over again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Overdue post for VISITOR REBUILT (more shameless endorsing)

Two weeks ago the band of my good  friends Nathan, Harrison, James and Caleb - "Visitor Rebuilt"- did a show at UCONN. It was pretty much their first big show, at which they had their first EP under their first label. Kinda a big deal. (and you should look them up on Facebook, PureVolume, Myspace or google them. They are awesome guys both inside and outside of the band)

I didn't get very many pictures in the low, low light with my dinky camera, but...I tried.

 *The EP, Ever Rising. Album art done by our wonderful friend Sarah Louise Upjohn. Photo on back done by ME!

 Long story, but basically I have a nickname given to me by the band and it is the "Band Aid" (as in the helper/slave of the band). This is my "Band Aid" shirt-it says so on the front- and I was a goof and made them sign my back. They need a liiiiiittttle practice before they are famous. Some of them...*nathan* took several tries. Get working on it guys. :) )

 James decided that they should put out ear plugs and label them as free "marshmellows"??

 Robbie May and Jimmy Wilson of "Paint the Shore", another pretty cool local band of friends of ours.

 Nathan, the frontman, guitarist and vocalist.

 Classic bass (Harrison) and guitar (Nathan) duel.

 James (the drummer) stood up (still hitting the kick) and played mandolin on one song, just because he has such a talent.

Left to right: Harrison, Nathan, James, Caleb.
*Harrison is poking Nathan because...well, it is another long story, but basically he shrieks and it is funny.
The show was pretty sweet and they have another one coming up soon. Until then, take a listen to their song "With These Arms." If I was asked to pick a favorite VR song, this one would be it. I admit to listening to it on repeat...
Sorry, the video quality is not-so-great, is all I got. Watch the video and then... GO BE THEIR FANS ON FACEBOOK!!!!

With These Arms- Visitor Rebuilt (October 8th, 2010) from MyNameisNotKing on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birthday Funnanigans.

Today is my best friend "Emikel's" (Emily Michael to the rest of the world) birthday. She is 19, graduates from cosmetology school next weekend, and...she is amazing.

Yesterday, for her birthday, she and our friend Sam(antha) got their noses pierced. My friend Louise and I went along for moral support and to pretend we were their mothers (or something). Em and Sam have been planning to get nose piercings...well...since forever. Like 7th grade or something. And yesterday they finally went and did it. They TRIED to get me and Louise to do it too, but (to quote myself) "My nose is the same yesterday, today and forever."

But still I had fun. Just about anything with those 3 girls is a good time.

 *oops. Finger on the flash. :)

 Nosies, prior to piercings.

 Emikel, PRETENDING she was nervous. As you can see she has had needles shot through her ears many, many times so this was no big deal for her. Honestly, she didn't even flinch. 

 Sam, with a NOSE RING!

 Marked and cleaned.

Checking out the placement before they put the needle to her nostril.

 Final product. Stud in nose, and wearing her new birthday hoodie 
(made by ME! She is a piratical chick, like myself, and this suits her perfectly. Purple is her favorite color, she loves skulls, and if you look closely those are swords, but HAIR CUTTING SHEARS!)  
You're so cute, Emily Michael. And I love you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!



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