Friday, June 20, 2008

Still More Amigurumi

Originally uploaded by la_mañosa
Today I finished this little guy, Echo. While I was putting him together, he looked like an insect for a while (big eyes and a long snout) but I've slowly been forming him from insect-looking to Elephant. I was a little worried, though, when I took him out to show a friend today and he asked me what Echo was.

This is about the millionth pattern I've made from Amigurumi World. I love this book! I don't think I've ever made so many crafts from one pattern book before.

Soon I'll be giving crocheting with thread a try. Can't wait!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Disarmed by Cuteness

I can't stop crocheting cute toys!

On Saturday, I went with my friend, Lori, to the World Wide Knit in Public Day being held at a local park. It was nice to meet some of the other local knitters, spinners, and crocheters who are in the community and the knitting guild. I crocheted, of course! Too bad the rain kept threatening us all day--after a small bit of rain, Lori and I packed up and headed to the creamery to eat lunch, have ice cream, and a photo shoot with my newest creation: Leonardo.

I've got a few secret projects going right now, but not anything I can show. Lucas and I are heading out of town to go to Baltimore for about 5 days. He has business (a training event) while I have pleasure: hours and hours of craft time and sight seeing without the bother of dishes, laundry, etc. I plan to bring lots of projects to work on and I hope to have lots of finished objects to show for it! I'm not quite sure what places I ought to visit in Baltimore. Right now, the art museum is on the top of my list, as is the harbor area.

After Baltimore, we'll be in D.C. for two days and then back home for a couple of days before heading out to Michigan for a week.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meet Magellan & Our Civil War Trip

I love Magellan the Jellyfish; however, his is destined for my brother-in-law as a birthday gift. Magellan enjoys drifting and swimming slowly about the ocean, eating small fish, and hanging out with other jellies in a "smack". Although Wikipedia says that jellyfish have no brains, I can see the intelligence in his eyes, can't you?

I'm working on a couple other amis: a lion I've named Leonardo and an Elephant whose name I haven't decided on yet. I'm having such fun making them! I confess I've neglected my quilting so that I can obsessively make, read about, and drool over flickr photos of amigurumis.


We had a really nice trip to four Civil War sites last week. We started out at the National Civil War museum in Harrisburg on Sunday. It was fascinating looking at the displays and reading about the war there. It is just amazing that those men were able to travel such long distances on little food, carrying heavy equipment and then go right into battle. We spent an hour or so at the museum and then traveled to Antietam and drove around the park, seeing the battlefields, farmland and monuments. We also visited Burnside's bridge where Union soldiers attempted to cross and were fired on by Confederate soldiers. It's hard to imagine anyone making it across the bridge, but eventually, they managed to (I can't remember if that was because the Confederate army ran out of ammunition).

At Antietam

Burnside's Bridge

We left for Manassas on Monday and visited the welcome center, some portions of the battlefield, the Stonewall Jackson monument, and "Deep Cut" where a number of Union soldiers were killed as Confederate soldiers fired upon them from a deep indentation in the ground (hence the name, Deep Cut). We also explored Old Town Manassas and had a pretty nice meal at an Italian restaurant. My father-in-law was served pineapple sorbet in a baby pineapple and I had the best tiramisu! Most of the employees there, including the chef/owner were Mexican but some of them also knew some Italian and so there was a lot of Spanish and Italian flying back and forth, which I enjoyed listening to. I had hoped we could eat lunch at a Portuguese/Italian restaurant but unfortunately, they didn't serve lunch on the particular day we were there.

At Manassas (Bull Run)

(You can't see the actual deep cut in this photo but this is the battlefield. They have recently removed a number of trees that have grown up since the war but were not there during the battle. The sign says that the intent is to give people a better idea of what the battlefield looked like at that time)

After Manassas, we drove on to Fredericksburg (VA) to see the battlefield there. Another battle in which the Confederate army was concealed, this time by a stone wall and the Union army tried to advance and suffered heavy losses. The area is called sunken road and Marye's Heights, which is where the stone wall extends. We saw a house there that still had the bullet holes in it (both inside and on the exterior)! We also saw the Kirkland Monument, for a young soldier, Kirkland, who went out to give water to wounded and dying soldiers who were desperately thirsty and lying on the battlefield. He carried canteens of water, as shots were being fired, until the Union army realized what he was doing, and there was an hour and a half cease-fire while he gave water to men on both sides. He was called "The Angel of Marye's Heights".

We also enjoyed shopping in Old Town Fredericksburg. They have ghost tours and trolley rides, among other attractions. I spied a cute cross stitch shop and picked up a newer Prairie Schooler design that happens to have a goat on it. :) We had lunch at the most wonderful French restaurant, called La Petite Auberge. I had ratatouille, black beans and seasoned rice with a side of steamed broccoli. And I couldn't resist a little dessert--key lime pie with chocolate crust. Sigh, I miss that place already. Right before we left, I also located a nearby yarn shop where I searched for some "flesh" colored yarn to make a couple of amis I've been wanting to start.

Downtown on Caroline Street

Fine French Dining

We had beautiful weather throughout the trip; however, our last day (Wednesday) was very hot and we traveled north to Harper's Ferry. Harper's Ferry was a small bustling town that was devastated by a combination of the Civil War and a flood in the 1930s, I think it was. It has been preserved and is relatively isolated. You take a bus shuttle from the visitor center down to the town, which is along the Potomac River. The only residents from the town, as far as I could tell, were the shop and restaurant owners there and perhaps the people who were informational guides. The armory there was destroyed but there is a sort of replica of the one that was captured by John Brown prior to the war.

We visited some shops, bought a bit of hand-crafted pottery, shopped in the bookstore (where, of course, I found a quilt book I had to have) and checked out some of the historical places in the town. The bakery, if I remember correctly, was in the home of a man who was a union sympathizer and widower with many children who was one of the first people killed in the town by a stray union bullet. Later, I think the Union occupied the house and used the bakery.

View of the bakery

Bad weather was coming so we decided to head out of town. We got delayed a bit by a strong storm with heavy rain but managed to get back home safe and sound. It was a great trip and it was so good to get out of town!

Since then, I've been filling in at my local quilt/yarn shop, Stitch Your Art Out. I love getting to meet so many people who are passionate about the same things I am!

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Collage

I've seen a few people doing this new meme and I thought I would join in, as it is a pretty creative idea.

1. Misty Road, 2. Scallops on the tomato risotto, 3. Canadian serviceberry at Fort Custer, 4. oh... the blues, 5. 7 Days - Winter 07 - Day 4, 6. heart top matcha latte :D, 7. "La mia casa è il mare e con un fiume no, non la posso cambiare", 8. Cinnamon Ice Cream & Raspberry Sorbet, 9. path, 10. Happy Easter!!! (^o^), 11. APPLE & ICE, 12. Café matutino

Here are the questions:
1. What is your first name? Misty
2. What is your favorite food? Risotto
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color? Blue
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
I used to adore David Duchovny when the X-Files was on TV
6. Favorite drink? Milk Tea/Matcha
7. Dream vacation? Italy
8. Favorite dessert? Ice cream
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Unafraid
10. What do you love most in life?
Family & Friends
11. One Word to describe you. Creative
12. Your Flickr name. la_mañosa

If you'd like to try it for yourself, you can find the instructions at this lovely blog, Bella Dia.

By the way, World Wide Knit in Public Day is Saturday, June 14th. You can find out if there is someone hosting it in your area at the web page. There is one in my area and I'm planning to get out and meet other knitters, spinners and crocheters.

I've got lots of pictures to post from the Civil War trip. I'm working the next couple of days but should have time to share about our trip soon.