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Remember…

Do you remember along time ago when I started making this?

 

This was the itty bitty plan.

The lovely delightful colours I chose.

The first set of colours! Oh the memories.

 

Making BILLIONS of tiny little squares.  They almost grew as fast as the lucky baby who belongs to this blanket. (Nephew)

The checking of size.  I remember going ‘Ooh almost half a blankets worth of little square bits’

 

The absolute agony of joining all the little squares together.  Wanting to kill myself rather than sew all these little ends in and chop all the loose threads off.

 

Well I forgot to give you the big TA DA! I finished it blog post!

I finished it quite literally the day before (3rd Sept) the baby shower, which was the 4th of September. 

The creation of this lovely cuddly snuggly nightmare to assemble began on the 11th of June 2010.

The baby is likely to be born this week or the next, so now probably really is a good to to celebrate this accomplishment.

So here it is!

Now if only I could accomplish finishing my ESSAY ON CLEOPATRA before tomorrow!

one for the road…

Dearest World of Blog,

Holy Crap On a Cracker! (big bang inspiration there)

Life has been incredibly busy. Between the Hunger Games, Family events, College and all the associated work that you get to take home (because you have nothing better to do in your spare time, right?) I have literally had no time for anything enjoyable. Like blogging and making pretty pictures for it.

Right now it’s almost midnight and I’m writing this on my phone in bed because I am having issues getting work out of my brain for some peace and quite. I want to go back to reading whatever it was I tried to start last weekend before I got bogged down by History!!

Now I’ve realised I haven’t even had time to blog about how incredible I thought the Hunger Games were. All those feelings I’ve pushed to the back of my brain, to make room for historical perspectives of Cleopatra and analysing themes that occurr in Macbeth. I think before I open up a can of Katniss, I might read the trilogy again before I make any official comments (official, cause my opinion is so important. Ha, I kill me.).

I’m still thinking about Cleopatra. Popularly portrayed as a devastatingly beautiful Egyptian seductress, but in reality a not very good looking (just look at her face on her coinage, not very pretty)Macedonian, maybe even a diabolical political schemer. All that is good and fun to ponder, the suck however is inolved in the writing of the essay and discussing the differing historical perspectives and evaluating them within historical context. Or something similar to that.

#note to self – when I get some time one day… Do a post that unveils the top secret baby blanket that I built.

Until then.

Yawn.

‘Mono no aware’

Cherry_blossom_by_VforVieslav (1)IMAGE: Taken from VforVieslav at Deviant Art

First of all, you are probably wondering what on earth the title of my blog today actually means. Well, Grasshopper you seem to have found me on a generous information sharing day. Whilst reading one of the many Japanese history books I have assigned myself lately I came across this beautiful sentiment.

Mono no aware

It is a Japanese expression which is usually expressed through symbolism of nature (like a haiku), it represents a view that life is beautiful but ephemeral. It translates literally as ‘the sadness of things’1

I don’t know about you, but I rather like a perpetual state of melancholia, so that screamed out to me.

I’ve noticed that I am a really slack blogger.  Especially when I said to myself this time last year ‘ooo I should do BEDA’ which as you can notice I haven’t.  I apologise.

I have been reading an awful lot this last couple of weeks.    See below.

The Secret Garden

One of my favourite parts from The Secret Garden, this excerpt just paints a vivid image of my Secret Garden.  It’s divine.  This excerpt gives me hope.  I think it also fits with my ‘Mono no aware’ theme.

I think It has been left alone so long – that it has grown all into a lovely tangle.  I think the roses have climbed and climbed until they hang from the branches and walls and creep over the ground – almost like a strange grey mist.  Some of them have died, but many – are alive, and when the summer comes there will be curtains and fountains of roses.  I think the ground is full of daffodils and snowdrops and lilies and iris working their way out of the dark.  Now the spring has begun – perhaps – perhaps – perhaps –‘

‘Perhaps they are coming up through the grass – perhaps there are clusters of purple crocuses and gold ones – even now.  Perhaps the leaves are beginning to break out and uncurl – and perhaps – the greay is changing and a green gauze veil is creeping – and creeping over – everything.  And the birds are coming to look at it – because it is – so safe and still.  And perhaps – perhaps – perhaps –‘ … ‘the robin has found a mate – and is building a nest.’2

I’d never read The Secret Garden before, but I had watched this version of the film at least a million times in my life and absolutely adored the story.  So it was funny reading it thinking Dickon was going to die.  Every page I was thinking ‘Oh no, it must be soon’, because Dickon was my favourite.  (In the movie he died and Mary and Colin fell in love.)  So much to my happiness, Dickon does not die.  Mary and Colin do not make out when the ending credits begin to roll.  Talk about a much more satisfying ending.

All in all it was rather nostalgic and inspiring and filled with joy and sentiment and overcoming issues, which I did adore.

The Lightning Thief The Sea of Monsters The Titan's Curse

The Battle of the LabyrinthPercy Jackson and the Last Olympian

Now This series (pictured above) was also extremely satisfying.  I’ve always loved and been fascinated by Greek Mythology.  Way back in the day, I think my primary school days to be precise, my mother gave me a book.  A book that she bought from the school book club when she was a child.  It was an Encyclopaedia of Greek Gods, Demigods and Demons.  I used to flip through it all the time reading about all the different heroes and Gods.

I thought the idea of having more than one god was awesome.  I thought it was Christianity was rather boring with just the ONE god and then Satan.  But Greek Mythology was so much cooler because there was a trillion Gods to choose from.  I remember pretending the Greek Gods were real and praying to Athena to help me pass a maths test.

So for this series of books to exist – blows my inner-child’s mind.  For an adventure series written in a post Harry Potter world this book is all kinds of awesome (once I got past the whole eww as if Olympus is at the top of the Empire State building and my aversion to all things where Americans always saving the day and being the hero i.e. Independence Day, Deep Impact, Armageddon, the list just goes on and on).

I always loved the story of Hades and Persephone. I like Rick Riordan’s spin on it.  I always imagined it differently.  Maybe I’ll write it down in length one day (taking consideration of ‘Mono no aware’).

If you have a little boy, who can not bring himself to read anything who wont read Harry Potter, get him this series.  It’s got swords and monsters and battles and puzzles and and and… everything a little boy could ever want to imagine.

The writing is sometimes very clunky but it works because you have to remind yourself that it’s Percy’s point of view and he is 13 and his descriptions of things will be very 13 year old boy-like, so it works.  And fabulously.

There is a movie adaptation of the first book, but I do not recommend seeing it ever.  Talk about TERRIBLE.  I liked it for the first 20mins and then it was just spoiled.  Destroyed.  Crap.

Across the Nightingale Floor 'The Sword of The Warrior'
Episode One of the Tales of the Otori: Across the Nightingale Floor. This was really interesting, but there isn’t much I can say about how it goes.  But I promise when I finish the series I’ll fill in all the gaps.  I can say this though, after reading this I was inspired to make my main historical study this year on Japanese history, well and because I have a massive crush on everything Japanese at the moment it would seem.  I’m even considering a Haiku challenge.  Maybe a Haiku every day type thing.  I’ll keep you posted.  Or not, we’ll see how my work load increases.

Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, what can I even say.  I cried. Profusely.  I tweeted her and she offered me a tissue.  See. (Below)  I have just started reading Linger and I really don’t know if I have to gumption just now to persist.  I feel like it’s doomed.  I’m thinking Shakespearian tragedy type damnation.  Which also fits nicely with my ‘Mono no aware’ theme.  Sometimes it’s all just too much, especially when it mirrors your view on the real world.

Maggie Stiefvater

Some questions I put forth to you, the reader.

1. What gives you hope?

2. What inspires you?

3. What makes you think of ‘Mono no aware’?


I’m hungry now.

Until next time lovelies.

Live Long and Prosper.

1. Henshall, Kenneth 2004, A History Of Japan From Stone Age to Superpower, Palgrave Macmillan, New York

2. Hodgson Burnett, Frances, 1911 (this edition 2008), The Secret Garden, Puffin, UK

The thing I’m best at is tuning out to everyone and everything in existence. It is also a rather bad habit for anyone trying to have a conversation with me. I usually hear their first 3 words then I’m gone…

I’m rather good at reading. I read 2 True Blood novels in one day once. I also read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in one extreme sitting on that Hallowed afternoon 3 years ago.

I am rather good at buying books.For example: this one time, I purchased 9 books in one afternoon. In less than an hour. Both in a real store and online. (@whooitsscott, this is why I have a book quota. This is why I am banned.)

I am very good at pruning trees. Yesterday, I was rather active in my backyard garden because reading The Secret Garden inspired me. So this whopper of a tree which was planted in the most ridiculous place you could possibly wish to plant a tree, had to be pruned. Oh did I prune it. It was most likely some where between 3.5 and 4 metres high. It is now, thanks to the help of my wicked gnarly pruning saw, considerably smaller. 1.3 metres to be exact. The sun now shines wonderfully into my yard, into my lounge-room window. Oh the pure joy.

I’m pretty ok at crocheting things. I’m still learning a lot of different skills and techniques. But so far as my crocheting adventures go, I rock!

I am also very proficient at breathing and being able to walk at the same time. Actually I’m pretty good at being able to breathe and do any old ordinary thing at the same time. Like this.

I’m good at a lot of others things to, but this is all I feel like listing right now.

Ask me anything

First of all if you haven’t watched this yet.  Do it.  I was so excited I cried a little. 

 

I only read two books in June.  I don’t know about you but this literally devastates me.  Although this despicable effort does have a great reason behind it,  I banned myself from any leisurely reading until all my final essays and assignments had been written and handed in.  I did cut it quite close, my final essay was finished around lunch time on the first marking day and luckily my teacher let me email it to her.  That could have been a disaster.  I did get reasonably good marks for it too, so I can’t complain there.

Admin at the campus said all of our results would be mailed to us during student vacation.  It is now week two and I have not received anything yet… I am waiting very patiently.  Maybe I should check online…

Ok I did.  Results aren’t bad either.  Even the subjects that I didn’t really apply myself are reasonably scored, both are over 70% so that my dear = CREDIT!.  I am really impressed with my statistics score – 93%, people.  That is pretty darn schweet considering I practically failed maths in high-school.  90% in literature (I promise I will pick up my game next semester, field of choice) and I am a smidge disappointed in my LALS score, as I really worked my butt off – 87% so I’m really going to have to impress that teacher next term.  But I suppose 87% is a good mark because she marks REALLY REALLY HARD! I need other peoples scores to compare myself.  I need a RANK!

My Eclipse Review

So one of my first things to do these holidays was to see Eclipse.  Don’t you dare judge me.  It was reasonable except for every scene being an EXTREME CLOSE UP!!  It almost made me puke.  Oh and the corny factor, cliché to the MAX! While watching, it brought up those intense feelings of wanting to smack down with Stephenie Meyer.  Ok so it’s a well known fact that the Twilight Saga is horrendous literature, poorly written and so on and so forth, right? Yes. Then later on while watching this… picture below (don’t judge me here either) 

Anyway I give 15 points to Taylor Lautner for stating the obvious ‘I’m hotter than you’ HA F*@#ing HA.  Other than that it was as cheesy and terrible as you’d expect, there were some fun action scenes, nothing amazing.  The wolves were hot, Emmet was hot and Edward was moody not worth drooling over.

It occurred to me, the literary injustice of it all.  Stephenie Meyer, instead of going down the path to greatness she stumbled on the sugar-coated, gooey caramel stuff, where everyone lives happily ever after.  As it is so wonderfully pointed out in Dawson’s Creek, the purpose of a love triangle is, that for every amount of happiness there are equal amounts of pain.  In my opinion Twilight could have been more ‘epic’ had she not taken the weak road. 
Instead of inventing some bogus character for Jacob to imprint on, she should have killed him or left him wallowing for all eternity or something remotely interesting . 

Good stories don’t have happily pukefest ever afters (except Harry Potter, but there was lots of pain and death so it deserved a light at the end of the tunnel) Scarlett does not live happily ever after with Rhett = great fiction, Heathcliff doesn’t really get Cathy = great fiction, Romeo and Juliet do not live happily ever after, Jack and Rose do not survive Titanic together, Gilbert Grapes mum dies! Dumbledore dies!, Dawson and Joey do not end up together (thank god).  You get the point right?  Jacob is the pain – he shouldn’t get such a cop out weakly written crap ending.  Did she run out of ideas or something?  Garrrrrr, I cannot keep going, I will get punchy!

Anyway so I’ve been working on my top secret crochet project which is a present for a baby that isn’t born (jess if you read this DON’T TELL ANYONE!!)
For people interested in crocheting the colours I’ve chosen (pictured below) are Panda Magnum Soft 8 Ply (they feel luscious to touch), colour numbers are blue-4603, green–1385, red–9275, orange-4422 and white-4600.

So far I’ve only completed two sets of squares and have started the third.  See.

If you want to make a blankie of your own Pip from Meet Me At Mikes has some pretty good tutorials.

Or you could check out these super colourful ones from Lucy at Attic24

I love these ladies.

 

 

Last night I picked this back up. 

I don’t really know if I like it, but it’s quite interesting.  Good arguments too.  Tell you when I’m finished. 

 

Pieces of today…

Gnarly Clouds of Doom!

Poisonous Delights

Charlie McDonnell has a new song about Monkeys

Finn wanted to be included, whilst I was outside taking pictures.  Yay, heart him everyone.  We love him.  Well I do.

 

June Book Wrap Up (late much and pathetic)

Radiant ShadowsDead in the Family
 

Books Read in June: 2
Authors Read in May: 2
Radiant Shadows – Melissa Marr
Dead In The Family – Charlaine Harris
Total Number of Pages in May: 651

Now I am going to go do stuff. 

Ethically Speaking…

On the 31st of May 2010 I had the pleasure of reading the most delightfully funny letter to the editor in my local newspaper.  The letter goes as follows;

The Origins of Ethics

Has anyone heard the one about ‘no scripture in schools’, only to be replaced with classes in ‘ethics’?  Whose ethics and on whose instructions?  Bible ethics have been around for ages and have proved to be just what the doctor ordered, but I have my doubts about the government’s morals.

Now I’m faced with a major ethical dilemma here, do I name the writer of the above letter giving her all credit due to such an intellectual masterpiece worthy of harsh scrutiny?  Or do I take the ethical and moral high ground of not naming the person who wrote that before I discuss how moronic they are?

What do I do?  Oh lady, master of ethics.  What  does the bible say I should do?

What doctor ordered this prescription of bible ethics? Where did you get that information?

Bible Ethics?

I think there is a major difference between classroom ethics and government morals as well.  I also think government ethics and morals are considerably different also.  Not that I can be bothered digging around to find the appropriate documentation and such.

Can somebody get this woman a one on one meeting with someone like Richard Dawkins.  Film it, post it everywhere.  Because I’d really love to see that discussion.

Tell me what you think in the comments.

Onto other stuff.

I didn’t do my May wrap up, and it’s nearly the end of June already.  I suck.

The Very Late May Wrap Up

Vampire AcademyCoonardooSuite ScarlettSuperman: Birthright
Scarlett FeverWill Grayson, Will Grayson
Books Read in May: 6
Authors Read in May: 6
Superman, Birthright – Mark Waid
Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green and David Levithan
Suite Scarlett – Maureen Johnson
Scarlett Fever – Maureen Johnson
Coonardoo – Katharine Susannah Prichard
Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead
Total Number of Pages in May: 1932pages

I have also began a top secret crochet project.  It’s only really top secret between me and the real world.  The internet is to be trusted keeping my top secret secret.  You can follow me on Twitter and watch as I progress through the gargantuan task I have created.

Here is the project so far.

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicThis was step one.  Designing where the colours would sit in the top secret crocheted blanket of secret.  There are four colours all up and then the white.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

The Second step, was to begin making exactly 16 coloured centres of each colour.  Clearly I started with Blue.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Step Three and Four was to crochet around the coloured centre twice, with the white and the the blue again.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Step Five was to crochet the final white bored of each square.  I am only half way through the pile.  But this is what the blue ones look like when complete.  Obviously when the blue stack is complete I will complete the first five steps for each colour.  Then the next step will begin.

I apologise for the horrid quality of the photographs.  I was lazy and used my phone.

Anyway next time I see you I will blog about True Blood and Vampires and Disappointments and things.

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)

Another weekend gone and now it’s Tuesday.  Already.  As far as mine went, the weekend was quite uneventful especially if we are going to discuss social interaction, which I can tell you we aren’t.

So for all the nerds and crafters out there (maybe even Nerd-Crafters), I want you to know – I’ve done it!  Something in my brain has finally clicked in to the right place and I can follow an Amigurumi pattern. 

Below is a picture of my very first Amigurumi creation.  Don’t be to harsh with your judgment – he is my first.  I’m sure you’ve all made terrible firsts before.  So be nice, you don’t want to hurt his little mushroom feelings now do you?

As you can see it is a Super Mushroom from Super Mario Bros.  If you like him you can get the pattern from this website HERE! 

Not only does this ladies site have easy beginner patterns like this one, she has full patterns to make an actual Mario and a Luigi and heaps more fun things.  She even has 10 or more Pokemon for you to choose from.

As a first timer there were parts of this pattern that didn’t make sense but if you look up what all the abbreviations mean in a how to crochet book or online you should be able to work it out.  Also there are plenty of crochet tutorials and blogs out there that a very helpful to beginners like myself.

The red mushroom above was unfortunately stuffed with old plastic bags because I was too excited to wait to go to the shop and get some stuffing, but this green one is properly stuffed and looks a lot nicer because I looked at some tutorials and learned how to do decreases properly.  This easy tutorial is quite helpful.

So after a day or so, I went and got some stuffing.

And this began.

Which eventually became this…

He’s not entirely finished because he needs his spots.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t be friends.  He’s not really the right shade of green either, but it’s all I had.

As you can see the properly stuffed one looks HUGE, compared to the poorly stuffed with plastic bags one. 

Enough of those. Some books from this week.

Coonardoo         Scarlett Fever

As far as reading goes this month it has been very tough indeed.  I literally trudged my way through the first 5 chapters of a novel named Coonardoo for TAFE.  It was so excruciatingly slow.  I had to read the first 5 chapters twice because my brain just kept dying and not retaining anything.  I finally got past them and the ‘crappest*’ book ever turned into a half decent read.  Pretty tragic story actually.

Within two days of reading that and I decided I was ready to choose something I actually wanted to read.  It was Scarlett Fever, Maureen Johnson’s sequel to Suite Scarlett.  It was a fun quick read, too bad it ended so soon.  Damned Johnson and her cliff-hanger ending!  I anticipate the third.

Now I really should do my homework. 

*This is a direct quote from another student in my class. Not my opinion.