Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Blanket for My Mom

My mom has been wanting me to knit her a throw for a while now and here's the thing about my lovely momma: She is the least and yet the most picky person on the planet. She says she would love anything I made, and I know that she would in a way. However, I know her better than she knows herself and I wanted her to really REALLY love it, and so the choice of pattern and yarn were crucial. My mom likes things a very certain way even if she doesn't like to admit it :)
 I wanted to find a pattern that would make a stunning and comfortable blanket that wasn't too plain but wasn't too busy. I also wanted to find a yarn that was washable (very important), soft, and the perfect color. It took a long time for me to find the perfect choices. I ordered many different colors of yarn that ended up not working before finding the exact shade I was looking for. In the end it was well worth the effort. I finally found this free pattern through I used Patons Shetland Chunky yarn in soft teal. 
The pattern wasn't too difficult. It was the first time I had done any cable knitting (believe it or not) so that was a bit of a challenge at first, but as a whole it was a fun project. It definitely wasn't a beginner's blanket, nor was it a quick knit. I didn't anticipate how long it would take, but luckily I finished it just in time for Mother's Day!
I have to say that I'm more proud of the way this cable throw turned out than anything else I've ever knitted! It is exactly what I knew she would want and I was right. She loves it :)
Another fun thing I did for Mother's Day was order cards from! They have cards that are really pretty and then you can add your own photo and personalize the wording and everything. Anyways, I found the sweetest and most perfect old photo to put on my mom's card. It is us walking through Yosemite hand in hand. I am four and my mom is twenty-six, which is my current age. I remember this trip so well. 
Isn't it precious? I'm so lucky to have such an amazing mom and I hope that one day I can be half the mom that she has always been to me. I haven't always been a great daughter, but I'm working on making up for it now so that's what counts right? 

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Art of Film - Two Parts

part 1.
I hope you don't mind if I go on and on today. If you do, oh well, I'm going to anyway :) I've got two things to talk about both related to the art we all love: film. Matt and I have been watching a lot of foreign films lately. I am usually not a huge fan of reading subtitles because I like to knit while watching and you obviously can't knit, read subtitles and watch the movie at the same time. But, lately foreign flicks are almost all I want to watch. I think they are a little more inventive and artistic in other countries when they make their movies. You also get a glimpse of their culture and a feel for the way they live when you watch them, which I love.
Last night Matt and I watched Amélie, a French film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Netflix gave it five stars for us and it received 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, I had put off watching it for a long time because the trailer didn't really appeal to me. However, Matt's cousin posted on Facebook that she and her groom-to-be watched and loved it so I decided we should give it a go. I loved loved loved adored adored adored it! It was absolutely the cutest movie I've ever seen in my life. Everything about it was unique. I hear all of the director's movies are fantastic so I am looking forward to finding out for myself (without any reservations this time). 

Now I'll get to my real point; what I got on here to talk about.
If you watch European movies you have probably noticed the contrast between their cultural views on sex and violence on screen, and ours. I was thinking about it today, and the perception over there really makes a lot more sense... Before you go and roll your eyes, hear me out. They are very open with sex and nudity, but very strict on violence, and we are definitely the opposite. Our nation is no stranger to sex scenes in movies, but it is very different. It's hard to explain. Sex doesn't seem to be as glamorized or (for lack of a better term) "porno-like" in most European countries. Love scenes in their movies are more nonchalant and seem to pass as easily through a film as a scene of someone eating breakfast. I'm not saying they are all like this, but it has certainly been my experience with the films I've watched. There may be a lot of nudity in a say a French or Spanish movie but you almost never see a horrific murder scene. 
This really got my wheels turning... Why is it that it is so extremely uncomfortable to watch a love scene when your grandma is in the room, but you don't give a second thought to watching someone being shot in the head? Mating is as natural as breathing in the animal world. What is unnatural and what we should shy away from and feel uncomfortable with is violence. I believe it is just so embedded in American culture that we don't stop to give it a second thought. 
I really want to try to implement the "European approach" to restriction on television and movies when raising my children.  I don't ever want my children to be able to watch a human or any other animal being put to death by a violent act without emotion. Likewise, I do not want their reaction to be excitement over how "action-packed" a movie or television show is due to it's violent content. And, along with that, I don't want to make sexuality and nudity such a huge forbidden issue (when they reach an appropriate age of course). I think it should be more of a open non-issue. I'm not positive but I'm willing to bet they have a lower rate of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases over there than we do. Maybe I'm wrong though. And, I'm positive it is much easier said than done. Like my Dad always tells me, I'll know when I have my own children.

*Please note that I am in no way, shape or form putting down any of my friends or family for however they've chosen to raise their kids. I'm just thinking out loud. Feel free to disagree with me :)

part 2.

Another thing I was thinking about earlier today was music videos. Remember those?? I used to always watch music videos while I was getting ready for school in the morning, but I hadn't seen one in forever until I searched it out. Musicians still make them! MTV doesn't seem to have them at all anymore, and does VH1 still even exist? Where do they air them? I guess maybe they just make them so their fans can watch them online and have an image to go along with their tune. I was delighted to discover that some of my favorite songs to listen to right now also have amazing videos! Yay! Here are a few that make me extremely happy to be alive. They are beautiful and I hope you will take some time to watch :)
P.S. For those of you who aren't computer savvy, if you want to watch the video full screen you just click on the video and it will take you to the youtube website. Once you're there you can click on the four arrows in the bottom right-hand corner to enlarge the video.

Happy Monday

This song had no video, only the audio with the lyrics. I'm still adding it at the risk of people thinking I've gone over the "hippie" edge. I don't care. I absolutely LOVE this song. It perfectly sums up how I have been feeling about spirituality in a catchy little piece of happiness.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Knitting for Babies

My sweet cousin in Arkansas just had a baby girl. I wanted to knit her a couple things and I thought this super cute little cardigan from Susan B. Anderson's Itty-Bitty Nursery and an absolutely precious bunny beanie that I found in the free patterns on would be perfect. 
I added the lady bug from a different pattern book just for a fun bonus. I thought it was cute:)
I had so much fun knitting this sweater. I may even knit one extra just in case I ever have a daughter. 
And with Easter coming up soon I thought this would be darling. The ears don't stay up so I was pretty disappointed with that. I used a soft yarn and I should have chosen a wool yarn or something that was a little stiffer. Oh well, you live you learn. 
Have a happy three day weekend!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Perfect Day With My Perfect Valentine

Matt and I celebrated Valentine's Day yesterday. We had a little blast of springtime this weekend. It was about sixty-five degrees and sunny, which in my book is just right. I made pancakes with maple glaze and chocolate covered bacon for breakfast.We read in bed and took walks and got coffee and sat in the sun.
We went and saw a late afternoon movie called L'illusionniste or The Illusionist (in English). It's an animated French film that I've been so looking forward to coming to Davis. I absolutely loved it. Every bit of it. It wasn't subtitled so I had no idea what was being said. That was never much of a problem though as it was practically a silent film. The music was so lovely and the artwork was absolutely stunning. It was such a treat to the eyes. It was simple and romantic somehow. I think watching a movie like that in such an old and beautiful theatre at a time when there's almost no one else there is so fun. Matt loved it too. It was a delight.
For dinner Matt made steak and scallops, herb red potatoes, salad, and chocolate covered strawberries. We ate on the living room floor and lit candles and had wine. It was so delicious. I honestly don't know how he does it but he is like a magician when it comes to food. 
It was the best Valentine's Day I ever had, even if it was early:)
P.S. Matt had these cards sent to me in three parts, with the last one arriving today. He's so cute.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I know the time for New Year's resolutions was over a week ago, but I needed some time to really think it through. Resolutions are not something to be all willy-nilly about. They're serious business. I decided to go with eleven in honor of it being 2011.
For those of you who know me, if you see me straying from this list say something. No one would ever accomplish anything without motivation and people to keep them accountable. Well, maybe some people would but I am definitely not one of those people.

(I hope you don't mind that I'm going to be speaking directly to myself.)

1. Gossip less. Be someone who never says anything about anyone that doesn't come from a loving place. Don't be petty. Let go of your judgments and become more open, accepting and tolerant. Remember to be kind and generous with your thoughts and especially your words.

2. Start a new book every month, and make some of those books informative about cultures you don't know much about. The more you know, the more you grow. Remember to constantly be changing your worldview. It will make you a better person.

3. Teach Kiddo at least one new useful life skill and one new sign. Remember repetition. Don't get discouraged and keep at it.

4. Lose weight. Not just the weight you gained by eating too much dressing and pie, but a substantial amount of weight. And, lose it the healthy way; slow and steady. Exercise more and implement portion control. Do not set ridiculous, unattainable goals like losing 40 lbs. in 3 months. Remind yourself everyday that your weight loss has to be about a long, healthy life. Do not make it about vanity because when it becomes about vanity you give up. Don't give up. If you eat Taco Bell on Saturday it doesn't give you an excuse to eat poorly on Sunday.

5. Volunteer your time and resources to at least two local organizations. Just because you may not have a lot of money to give doesn't mean you can't give your time. Do not just say you're going to and let it slip your mind. Actually go out and make it happen.

6. Remember your word for this year. (My mother-in-law told me she thinks my word for the year should be "release", which I think is absolutely perfect.) Stop stressing over things that are out of your control. Don't obsess over your future and make so many lists (except this list, of course) and timelines. Release your anxiety and learn to relax. You and Matt will accomplish your goals when you do. Matt will get into school if he's meant to. You will have children when God gives them to you. Just stop and release. Everything will always be okay.

7. Learn to cook. I mean really and truly learn to cook. Watch Matt, find recipes and go for it. Try to think of it as fun instead of your preconceived ideas about how hard it is. Ina didn't get where she is today by sitting around and thinking about how she'd like to start cooking. Get in the kitchen, start out simple and learn it. Then get good at it, but that can be next year's resolution...

8. Knit, sew and paint more this year. Learn new techniques. Find patterns that challenge you.

9. Get closer to God. Remember that no matter what it does not matter what you do or don't believe. All that matters is that you give thanks daily to the One who loves you and created you. Do not let your confusion about religion discourage your spirituality. Remember how much better you feel when you pray. Put your worries into God's hands. He (or She) has it under control.

10. Try your best daily to be a better wife, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, granddaughter, niece, cousin, caretaker, and friend. If you fail one day, try harder the next.

11. Remind yourself daily of your blessings. Be thankful everyday that you get to wake up next to a husband you adore and go to a job that you love. Be thankful that you are capable of doing all the things on this list.

*Bonus Resolution:
This is more like a wish. Win the HGTV Deam Home. :)