Friday, December 19, 2014

FO Friday - 12/19/2014

Ho, ho, ho...I have something to show!

I have some friends and they recently had twin girls.  I have made Christmas stockings for the whole family so far.  

Now it is the twins' turn.

The oldest child who is about five calls her stocking her "sock."  I think it's quite fitting, since I made up the pattern from all my years of sock knitting.  

The yarn is Cascade 220 and Ella Rae Classic.
MK out.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Movie Monday 12/15/2014

A Most Wanted Man is the last movie of Philip Seymour Hoffman's released while he was still alive.  It's a British spy film based on a novel by the same name written by John le Carre'. Robin Wright, Willem Dafoe and Rachel McAdams also star. Hoffman plays a German agent trying to land a minnow to catch a bigger fish.  It was good.

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star in Gone Girl. It's a thriller - based on a novel - about a man (Affleck) whose wife disappears and soon, suspicions point to him. Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry also star in this twisty-turny film.  It was quite entertaining.

Two dying teens meet in a support group and fall in love in The Fault in Our Stars. It's a sad subject but the film doesn't get too sappy.  Shailene Woodly, and Willem Dafoe star in this film, also based on a novel.  It was very good.

MK out.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Little Early Christmas Cheer

I have an online group of knitting friends.  I've met quite a few of them IRL, as we have had some meet ups in the past.  Every year, we hold a Secret Santa swap and I have participated several times.

This year, my Secret Santa is someone who has been my Secret Santa before.  She has also been my Scarf Swap Sister too.  She is one of my good friends in this group, and she holds another special place in my heart because she lives in The G.  She keeps things under control for me there, since I can't get down to the place often enough.

As she has on the previous occasions, she sent me some really cool stuff:

Here's the group shot of the opened packages:

Can you guess what this little gem is?  I've seen them before and thought they were really cool.

It's a purse/bag hanger! Isn't it clever? I know I will get good use of it.

There's some needle point protectors:

Aren't these wooden buttons cute?

She crocheted this snowflake:

I love this cute note pad - I am a sucker for note pads.  I love to write down the things that are swirling around in my head so I can make room for more:

The Knitter's Reference Card will come in handy and the yarn is to dye for: (Did you catch the pun?)

It's a gorgeous MCN (merino-cashmere-nylon blend) in an aptly named color - Wine on the Deck. It's Special Delivery Sock by Catawampus Farms and a portion of the proceeds is donated to support midwifery care for women and children in the US. I think that's really cool!

And she included lots of saltwater taffy from one of my fave spots on The G - La King's Confectionery. It's an old fashioned soda fountain kind of place.

I cannot thank her enough for all the Christmas magic she included in this package!!!

MK out.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WIP Wednesday 12/10/2014

I took some pictures on Sunday in the hopes of writing a Start Something Sunday post, but things got away from me.  It's that time of year - the one of the frantic running around, lists that seem to grow longer despite crossing things off of them, events to attend and people to see.

My house looks like a tornado went through. I've set up stations in the den and kitchen: card addressing/envelope stuffing/stamp affixing, ironing, sewing projects, general paperwork shuffling/attending, knitting (for Christmas, of course) and wrapping/packaging to mail.  It's not the most efficient way to get things done, because I bounce around from thing to thing and get sidetracked within each category, but for some reason - I do get things done and it's comforting in a manic sort of way.

I am giving handmade gifts (read knitted and sewed) for the first time in a while. I don't relish deadline making and finishing. Historically, my handmade gift forays have been of the last minute variety.  Two months ago, I noticed that the gift box is rather full. I enjoyed making all the items, I loved the yarn and was thoroughly charmed the whole time I worked on the projects, but I cannot keep everything! So, I am down to three items still to make.  I cannot tell what each item will be yet, because there's a slight chance (as in 10 to the minus 14) the recipient will read this post before Christmas and his or her surprise will be spoiled.

So, here's what is on the needles - First up, I am making something out of these yarns:

I've already started this item. I am using some of my leftovers of Lion Brand Wool Ease. It's a good yarn to make things for easy care items. 

Secondly, I am making something out of this yarn - and I have started this item also. I think it is by Lamb's Pride:

I haven't quite decided what to make for the third gift, but I still have a little time. Don't I?

Finally, I have started my final project for Loopy Academy this semester - mittens!  

As you can see, I am not very far along, but I have until the 31st to complete them. The pattern is Outbound. The yarn is Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere in Lipstick Lava.  I may keep these, or they will go into the gift box for some future occasion.

I think this elf better get busy!

MK out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It's a Christmas Miracle!

We bought a new tree Sunday. Today is December 2nd and I just finished decorating it. 

It's not a record, but it is a Christmas miracle.

MK out.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Movie Monday - 12/1/2014

Justin Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda star in This is Where I Leave You - a dramedy adapted from a novel by Jonathan Tropper. Family matriarch (Fonda) gathers her children and their spouses to sit shiva for her recently deceased husband.  There are funny moments and poignant moments, but the film is not as good as it could have been. Something felt a little off, but overall, it was alright.

The Genius of Marian is a documentary about Pam White, who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Ironically, she receives the diagnosis when she is in the midst of writing a biography about her mother, the famous painter Marian Williams Steele, who died of Alzheimer's. When she can no longer write, her son Banker starts to record their conversations and is able to capture her memories. It was a compelling picture of how Alzheimer's affects the family and friends of the patient. It was good.

MK out.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Movie Monday - 11/24/2014

In Boyhood, we follow a boy for about several years of his life from age six. What is interesting about this film is that it was shot over a twelve year period, a couple of weeks per year and using the same actors throughout.  The boy, as well as everyone else, age naturally. Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette star in the movie and all do a good job. It was good.

Colin Firth, Emma Stone and Hamish Linklater star in Magic in the Moonlight - an entertaining rom-com by Woody Allen.  The movie is set in the French Riviera during the 1920s. Firth plays a famous illusionist who is hired to discredit Stone, a psychic medium. Jacki Weaver, Eileen Atkins and Marcia Gay Harden also star in this film. I really liked it.

Vincent (Bill Murray) is an unlikely choice for a babysitter, but single-mom Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) has no one else to watch her 12-year-old son in St. VincentNaomi Watts should garner a supporting actress nomination for playing a Russian prostitute who "dates" Vincent. She steals the show from Murray and McCarthy. I'm not a big fan of Watts. I think she's a little over-rated as an actress, but not in this film. She was funny. Chris O'Dowd delivers another wonderful comedic performance. I really liked this movie.

MK out.