Saturday, March 17, 2012

Trying To Be Smart For Christmas

The last couple of Christmases have taught me that seems to be when we have new family members or when a blanket would make an appropriate gift. And so, it turns into a mad scramble for me: how many blankets can I make and how many would I need if time were no limited. I'm not playing that game this Christmas.

I decided I squeeze in a stashbuster blanket now so that I have one done for Christmas.

This was taken while I was still doing the lazy woman's blocking method, by hanging and stretching it out in my laundry room. I estimate it to be almost 4' wide and almost 5' long. I made a granny rectangle first, and then added triangles to the sides. It keeps the same proportions as the original rectangle,  but it seemed like an incredibly fast way to make it larger, while adding a design element to it.

It was made with an I sized crochet hook. It's made from:
--part of a Lion Brand Pound of Love in Pastel Yellow (#157)
--2 skeins of Ella Rae Amity Prints in a varigated orange (#203)--this was bought from Crazy Girl in Cedar Falls, IA, and BTW, at only two skeins, this is a crazy amount of yarn. I still had a tiny bit left over when I was done. Each skein is 200 yards of yarn.
--3 skeins of Bernat Baby Stretch in Boomerang (#30500). I forgot where I originally bought the first two skeins of this yarn but I fell in love with it and had to buy the third skein from someone on Etsy. Normally, when I make a stashbuster blanket, I don't buy anything extra, but I felt like this blanket really needed the third skein. It's a boucle yarn that works up with almost a terry cloth towel texture. Very cuddly! But at 173 yards per skein, it didn't have the same lasting power that the Ella Rae yarn seemed to have, but that may be due to the thickness differences between the two.

Showing Some Love for the Crafty People

"Lisa Lichtenfels studied traditional oil painting at an early age, attended the Governor’s School while a teenager and continued her education at the Philadelphia College of Art. There she met Judy Jampell, who was becoming well known for her three dimensional soft-sculpted facades. Inspired, Lisa was going to be an illustrator until the prospect of independent animation and filmmaking fascinated her. Graduating with majors in Illustration and Film, she was immediately hired by the Disney Studios as an apprentice animator."

This was taken from the bio page of Lisa Lichtenfels' website. I don't want to spoil what her craft is, so check out her website galleries. You will be amazed at what she's creating with just fabric and patience!

A Video Extra From "Dawn of the Dead"

In 2004, Zack Synder made a remake of the "Dawn of the Dead." The original was from 1978. I saw this movie a couple years ago, but Sy-Fi has been showing them a lot lately, probably because "The Walking Dead" season 2 finale on AMC is airing tomorrow night. A smart programming choice for Sy-Fi but really all they are doing is riding AMC's coat tails on the continuing zombie phenom.

As a lover of George Romero's zombie movies, I have to admit that the remake is pretty damn good. It reminds me of Rod Zombie's take on "Halloween," where he doesn't change the story, but rather adds to it. "A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall." It's not the same characters, but they are comparable.

One of the best parts of this movie is something I recently discovered: "The Lost Tape: Andy's Terrifying Last Days Revealed," which was a part of the DVD release. Andy is the gun store owner across the street from the mall, and this video short gives Bruce Bohne, the actor portraying Andy, a little more screen time. You realize that Andy is every man, just a regular dude, but he's facing the unnamed zombie apocalypse all by himself, save his goldfish and birthday gift, Ariel.


From the armchair movie critic POV, my only wish for the movie and this short, as shown in two parts, would have been to make Andy seem a little more frantic as a zombie. Granted, he turned very quickly after being bitten (Andy's lost video shows the passage of time better than the movie ever did), so he was still "fresh." But he didn't have dead eyes yet. He still looked too much like himself.

Just fair warning, these videos are NSFW, because of the language.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Birthday Card to Share

This is  birthday card that will be going to my mom in a few days. About 95% of it was made from items I received from mandys_momma in the Craftster Flat Rate Paper Craft Supply swap.

The only things that were mine were the blank base card and envelope, plus the stickers on the front ("It's your day") and on the inside ("Happy Birthday!). Everything else as a swap item, including the glue stick.

mandys_momma, aka Cathy, really seemed to put some thought into the kinds of things she put together for me, because so many different pieces went together so well.