Monday, September 24, 2012


 Camping was soooo much fun, but before I get to that I want to touch on what I did earlier in the week.

Tuesday night my sister posted a picture of TMNT nails, and I decided that I was going to give them a shot right that second.  So I gathered my nail polish and gave the design a whirl.  I really should have done something different with the thumb nails, because they look a bit like frogs without the masks. I wore my Leonardo Wristers the next day to show off my turtle power.
 I also whipped up an adorable Vampire Cupcake Amigurumi that I started Wednesday and finished Thursday.  This adorkable character is based on the Vampire Cupcakes in Sweeten Village.  You know, the free online web comic illustrated by Beck Seashols and written by Brad Duncan.  It earned me a big hug at the last BRAG meeting.    

Oh!  I also got my Harley Quinn picture that I won from Beck.  I will take pictures of the illustration with Harlequin, since she was named, in part, after Harley Quinn.  But right now Harley is curled up in my lap and I don't want to move her.  She is so skittish she doesn't cuddle often, but I think being stuck with Trousers for two days she wants some loving.


Meet Spike.  Spike is an old white chihuahua (I don't remember his exact age), and he is a grumpy old man. But he remembers us from when he was simply an old man.  Honestly, Spike has been old as long as I've known him and I've known him for close to 5 years now.

 But we didn't make the trip just to visit with Spike.  We went to see our friends Eric, Casey and Logan.
Logan impressed us all by walking most of our hike, which was straight up the mountainside, cutting across the ridge, and then picking our way down to a real path.
James and I have known Eric and Casey since college.  Eric's was the place to be if you were smart, artsey, and liked animals.  We got Trousers (the tabby) from Squirrel's (Eric's cat) last litter ever.  Squirrel disappeared a week after giving birth to seven kittens.  Sadly only three survived: Trousers, Skirts and Cheeto.

Anyway, Eric has a plot of land up in the mountains that serves as a private campsite and future home.  The house is still in the planning stages, but they've been developing and landscaping the creek that flows along the edge of the property.  We were there when the log bridge was set up Memorial Day Weekend.

What did James and I do while Eric and Casey worked? 

James found chalk and drew on the rocks. 
 And, I dangled my feet into the water and crocheted.  

This is why my nails are relevant.  I tested the colors on one foot and never painted the nails on the other foot.  I looked a bit uneven!
 I worked on the Reef Blue Ripple Scarf made from Lion Brand's Amazing yarn in the Glacier Bay colorway.

The scarf isn't finished, but I did take an assortment of cliche Scarf in the Woods pictures.

The colors matched the rocks so well!


I can't remember if I mentioned this in an earlier post, but my computer is having a small issue.  It really is a small issue, but the fan is a little out of whack and the blade is hitting the side of the power supply.  Luckily the computer is still under warranty, but I do need to send in my power supply (where the fan is located) and wait until a replacement arrives in the mail.  On the plus side my computer will stop making terrible noises when I turn it on, but on the downside my computer access will be very limited until I get the part back.  Therefore I don't know when I will post next, but I may try to borrow James' computer, even though he doesn't like me to use it (I don't have a good track record with computers.

Video of the Week

 This is just a fun and cute short video.  Enjoy!

Post at you later,
     Super Nerdy Hooker

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Crochet and Cats

How do you spend your Saturdays?  I spend mine cuddling with the cutest cats in the world (yes, in the world), crocheting and watching movies.  Sometimes I do crafty things that aren't crochet, but I'm trying to finally finish that sweater for my mom that I keep mentioning, which means today is devoted to that sweater.  I'm making progress, the first sleeve is about an inch away from being done.

This week's movies were Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and E.T. They were both good, but Tinker Tailor wasn't the best choice for Saturday crafting movie.  In fact, I don't think I would have really liked it all that much if I hadn't read the book first.  It's a very slow paced movie (like the book) and it has a lot of cutaways to past events (like the book).  But, unlike the book, I didn't really feel like I knew the characters as well, or really understood what was happening.  In the book, at least, I was trying to guess who the mole was, but watching the movie there wasn't the same build up of solving the puzzle alongside George Smiley.  There were a lot of hints and innuendos that never really panned out or provided much insight because you weren't in Smiley's mind.  You were one of the people watching from a distance, and the movie didn't even show the final confrontation.  I won't tell you who it is, but there was no final confrontation in the movie.  It was a rather flat movie, and while I don't think that they should have turned it into an action movie, they could have created a deeper sense of urgency through the cutaways.  In short, if you like psychological spy movies without a lot of action this will be a treat.  As I said, the story is good, it's just very slow paced, like the book.

E.T. on the other hand was fantastic.  I haven't watched E.T. since I was a kid, and even then I only saw it once.  I won't bore you with a full review, because you've probably seen it.  Or, if you haven't, you don't need me to tell you to run as fast as you can to your Netflix queue, Redbox doesn't have it.  I, however, do not have a Netflix account at this time, but I did pick up a VHS copy of E.T. at Goodwill a while back and I am so happy I decided to finally watch it again.  Drew Barrymore was adorable as a kid.

Speaking of adorable kids, here's the best comic panel from the week for you:
Batman and Robin #0
By Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz, & Carlos Mangual 
Is that not the cutest thing you have ever seen?  I know it's one of the cutest things I have ever seen (at least in a Batman comic).  But if you aren't a comic reader, the cutie in the bat suit is Damien Wayne, Bruce Wayne's son.  Yeah, Bruce Wayne has a son, mothered by Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra's al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins.  That was a bit of a mouthful, but if you are even the slightest bit interested I suggest that you run, don't walk, to your nearest Comic Shop and pick up a copy of Batman and Robin #0, if they aren't already sold out.  If they are sold out then don't hesitate to order a copy because it gives you Damien's back story (honestly it leaves out the conception, but if you really want a comic where Batman is actually caught in the act pick up Catwoman #1 and #2).  Then, after you pick up the Batman and Robin zero issue, you should pick up some other comics from DC's New 52, this is the month to pick up back stories and jump into the fray.  You just might become addicted.

Wolf Hat Variation #2

On Wednesday I mentioned that I was frogging the black-on-black hat and restarting as a headband using the same materials as the first Wolf Hat with ear flaps.  I whipped this baby up last night, and even recorded most of the pattern as I made it.  I need to retest the pattern and fix some of the issues where I know it is unclear, then I'll release it.  I don't know if I will put the pattern up here for free, or if I will put it in my Etsy store.  Or, I might post it on the blog, leave it posted for 1-2 months, and then move it over to my shop.  Decisions, decisions.

As you can see the weather finally decided to co-operate so that I could take some good pictures outdoors. Now I just need an actual camera that isn't my phone! The next step in the Wolf Halloween plan is to work out some matching gloves, and to send the pictures on to Jenn! It's been a fun project, but communication is sometimes a little slow.

Before I forget, I probably won't post next weekend because James and I are going to go visit some friends for the weekend, and the weekend after that my grandparents will be in town.  I will try to make a midweek post in lieu of my Saturday post, but no promises.  

Post at you later,
     Super Nerdy Hooker

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

International Crochet Day

Declared an international holiday in 2007 by Jimbo's Front Porch today is International Crochet Day.  Here's why:

“I have thought for a long time now that the art of crochet and those who practice the art deserve some significant recognition. And so in my great power as the Ruthless Tyrant of my vast hook empire have decided to declare that Sept 12, 2007 will be a Holiday that I’m cleverly calling “International Crochet Day”. I’m giving everyone who works for me (ME) a day off. You just go ahead and take the day off too…. tell’em Jimbo said it’s ok (see where that gets you!)”

What a great idea!  There are national and international holidays for just about everything, and even if this one isn't well known, we deserve a day that celebrates us as crocheters.  It is a wonderful way to bring awareness to a craft that is still treated as the red-headed step-child by those who just don't get it.

So, rather than complain about the number of times I've been asked about my knitting, I'm going to take some time today and celebrate the art and craft that is crochet by writing a midweek blog post and then curling up with some yarn and a hook.

Oh yeah, each year Jimbo gives away one of his beautifully crafted crochet hooks to celebrate the holiday.  You can enter to win on his blog, but hurry up because the giveaway ends tonight at 10pm pacific time.

Crocheting a Castle

I walk to work most days, so rather than lug yarn and hooks back and forth from home to work and back again I decided that I needed a work project.  A project that I could work on during my breaks, with the additional benefit of not feeling guilty for not working on other projects.  I decided that my work project would be the beautiful Enchanted Castle from White Crochet Christmas 1992
Enchanted Castle; White Crochet Christmas, 1992
This is a great project because it looks very complicated when it is actually pretty easy.  I would rate the pattern an Advanced Beginner/Intermediate more because the pattern uses size 10 crochet thread and a size 5 steel hook (1.7mm), I'm using a size 7 (1.5mm) because I don't have a size 5.  Then, of course, there are 21 pieces that will need to be stiffened and assembled.
Since July 16, I have completed a total 13 pieces.  So, numerically speaking I'm halfway done, but since 6 of my completed pieces are tiny roofs and there are still two tall towers and sidewalls left, it is safe to say over half the work still remains.  But it's fun and fairly easy.  I'm having to revise the pattern a little because the language is a little confusing in places.  Once it's done I'll have to find a place to display it where (maybe) the cats won't destroy it.

Wolf Ears or Hat Variation #2

For Hat Variation #2 I am happy to announce that the black on black yarn debacle is frogged and shall be no more.  Instead Variation #2 is going to be a headband (though I still want to try my original design idea), in the same color way as Variation #1, posted in the previous entry.  I don't have any pictures to share, but after this post I'm going to work on Variation #2.

Crafty Nails

I know, I know, it's International Crochet Day, but I want to take a moment to talk about my nails.  The craftiest thing I did yesterday was paint my nails.  Which, honestly, I didn't have time to do on a day when I only had an hour to shower and cook dinner before skating off to a Comic Book Club Meeting.  For some strange reason, I decided that I would somehow squeeze in cutting my hair and painting my nails into this oh to short hour.  But, I did paint them, and I don't think they came out horribly.  They aren't amazing, but they aren't horrible either.

I was going for a red and blue star in a black background.  So I painted on the red and blue base, when that dried I stuck on star stickers and put the black layer on over that.  Only I didn't realize my bottle of black nail polish was pretty much empty until it was too late. When the black was (mostly) dry I pulled off the star stickers and low and behold, red and blue stars were revealed. Oh well, everything mostly came together in the end and now I know that I need to go out and grab a bottle of black nail polish before Halloween comes around again.

I lied, but only a little, I'm going to go post and support other crafters and artists in the BRAG forums, and then I'm going to curl up with some yarn.  Hopefully, I'll have pictures of the headband this weekend, maybe even in time to be posted Saturday!

Post at you later,
     Super Nerdy Hooker

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Something to B.R.A.G. About

Well, hello!  I hope you are having a Fantastic day! I know I am enjoying this lovely rainy Saturday. Which reminds me I need to throw open some windows to invite the cool air inside!

And now that the windows are open and there is a cool breeze flowing I think it's time to do a little BRAGging, by which I mean I want to tell you about the Blue Ridge Artist Group that I alluded to on Thursday.  I was invited to attend by Beck Seashols who is the amazing and wonderfully talented creator of Beckadoodles the Art of Cute and writer of the Sweeten Village Webcomic.  I first met Beck on Free Comic Book Day where she was signing copies of Womanthology in which she has a single page spread on page 263.  We met again at the B&D 30th anniversary and then this past Wednesday I won a giveaway on her Beckadoodles Facebook page.  Beck is an artist, crafter, designer, cartoonist, glitter queen, and she knits and crochets.  You should check out her Etsy store where she has some awesome pieces of geeky crochet and paper-craft that you know you want!

BRAG has only been an active group for about 5 weeks now and started when Beck met Daniel Silverman while he was promoting his book Broken Dreams, the first of The Dream Shift Chronicles, at the 30th Anniversary Celebration.  Beck and Dan concluded that there needed to be a group for creative types to mingle and support one another.  Dan is also a graphic artist and designer and you can check out more of what he has to offer here.  Dan is wonderfully talented and super nice.  I chatted with him at the 30th Anniversary, and his book sounds good.  Of course, I now have even more incentive to pick up a copy now, and will do when I have both time and money... or at least money, because I can always make time for reading!

I have to admit that I was really nervous before I got to the meeting.  I'm still a little shaky when it comes to promoting my own work, but everyone was so welcoming and friendly that I felt at home right away.  Even after only one meeting, I can tell that this is a diverse group of wonderfully talented individuals.  The aim of the group is both to network and support each other as we all continue to learn and grow within our respective and overarching fields.  Honestly, if you feel that you have nothing more to learn you may as well pack it in and call it quits.  I'm excited about the different classes and tutorials that members will be able to share.  As the group grows I will tell you more about the members, because if we can't promote each other, then who can we promote?

The Big Bad Wolf

On Thursday I also received a commission, or rather the opening query, for a toboggan with wolf ears that could be used as part of a sexy wolf costume, but still be wearable during the winter.  I said yes, yes yes.  I still only have some vague ideas of what Jenn wants, but I'm already going full force because I figure if I design and create multiple variations then I still get the experience of designing, writing a pattern, and I can throw the creations up in my Etsy store.  So, in this vein, I made a trip to Jo-Ann's to purchases yarns in various shades of grey and black.

Hat Variation #1 is made using a strand of Red Heart Eco-Ways in Storm held together with a strand of Sensations Rainbow Boucle in Black Rainbow to create a shaded effect.

I want to experiment with this design by starting at a different point in the repeat.  As I mentioned it is a rainy day so I had to work with the lighting available to me, and the pictures above don't show just how much a difference in shading there is between the crown and the brim.  That's why I took a closer detailed picture. 

I like the color shift, I just haven't decided if I like how much of a difference  there is between the crown and the brim.  I'll try it again (at some point) starting with the grey repeat of the boucle rather than the white.  I'm also curious as to how the looooong stripes in the boucle will effect the coloring when started in a different portion of the repeat.  The ears are made with an additional strand of Lion Brand Fun Fur in Silver Fox held together.  Because, why would I want to use three yarns from the same company?

I'm now working on Hat Variation #2 which doesn't have earflaps per se.  I'm making the body of the hat with Red Heart Super Saver Black held together with Lion Brand Fun Fur in Black.  This may have been the stupidest design decision I have ever made because it is difficult enough to work with dark yarns or eyelash, working with two dark yarns one of which is an eyelash yarn is just plain suicidal.  I thought about frogging it and restarting the design with the Black Red Heart held together with either the Silver Fox Fun Fur or Lava Fun Fur.  Part of me says to keep going because I do kind of want an all black sample, but I may also be able to achieve that with the Black Red Heart and starting at the beginning of the Black stripe of the boucle.   I just don't know yet, but hopefully I'll be able to share the final results with you next Saturday.

While I was at Jo-Ann's, I also fondled some balls of yarn that were various blends of bamboo and wool.  I've made two small projects with bamboo yarn and I wish it was a little cheaper because it is soooo soft and smooth.  There was a ball of yarn at the store that was a bamboo-wool blend that I wanted because it was soooo luscious, I can't remember the brand or colorway, but someday I will bring a small ball home with me and make a fun or sophisticated accessory with it.  Some day.

As for my mom's sweater, I'm going to work on it while we watch movies tonight, and then some more at the Laundromat tomorrow.  It will get done, and it will get done soon.

Inspiration Book

I have a large number of ideas swirling around my head of projects (crochet and other craft) that I want to try and there a great many post-it notes stuck around the house with partial lists and thoughts that have a tendency to get lost and/or forgotten.  At the BRAG meeting Beck shared her Big Book of Inspiration with us.  It is just a notebook where she can keep her thoughts together in ONE place, rather than scattered about her brain.  I liked the idea so much that I started my own notebook of Inspirations and Ideas.

Right now, this is the only page in the book.  But, the first couple pages will be for lists of project ideas sorted by Crochet and Non-Crochet.  Beyond that I want to keep track of those individual projects with sketches, notes, and written patterns.  There is a good chance that at some point I will rip out the pages and put them in page protectors in a three ring binder, because I like being able to manipulate the order of things and reorganize.

Fun Video of the Day

If you haven't heard of Gangnam style then this may blow your mind.  It's strange, random, and awesome K-pop by Psy.  If you've seen it, enjoy it again.  James and I love it, but the cats don't because they don't like us dancing around the house. I think they're afraid we're going to dance over their tails!

If you're intrigued then you should also check out this article that talks about the viral sensation and explains a bit about what Gangnam style is and this translation may help you appreciate the song beyond the bright and hilarious imagery of the video. 

Post at you later,
     Super Nerdy Hooker

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


It's been a while since I last posted, but I have some good news.  No, I have some great news.  James started work this past Saturday at B&D Comics.  Oh happy day!  This means several things.  It means that we will finally have a second income again, the house will be cleaner, and since he works on Saturdays I should be able to make Saturday my regular posting day.  I may even be able to slip in a few posts during the week on days he works!
So why didn't I post Saturday if he was at work?  Well I was busy running errands, picking up birthday presents and ingredients for his birthday dinner on Monday, and cleaning the house. It resulted in an awesome birthday celebration visiting some pawn shops, watching guilty pleasure TV, enjoying homemade beef-and-cheese enchiladas (his favorite), and going to see Avengers in theaters again.  It was a great day!

Yard Sales

So, just to catch up on a few things we have been hitting up the end of season yard sales that are popping up around the neighborhood.  For a mere $8.50 we picked up one hooded top, two short sleeve shirts, one skirt (needs minor repairs), three books (Gulliver's Travels, Neon Angel, and 1984), a votive candle holder, a hemp necklace, and a wire ironing board.  Yeah, I know the ironing board doesn't sound especially exciting, but I plan on decorating it so that it is Super Awesome.  I'll share those plans with you as they develop.

We picked up a copy of Neon Angel by Cherie Currie of The Runaways and after we got home we discovered that for $1 we purchased a signed copy of Neon Angel.  It's signed "To Erin, with love" so we hypothesized that the book was a present to Erin and probably signed during the publicity tour when this updated copy of the book was released in 2010.  This would account for Erin likely forgetting that it was signed, or maybe Erin just wasn't worried about the signature.  We did talk to the seller briefly and discovered she was selling everything that she couldn't fit in her car because she was moving back to California where she is from originally.  Whatever the reason, we are excited to be in possession of the book (which was on our short list of books to pick up) and we are extra excited to have a signed, albeit personalized, copy of the book.


Last time I posted I mentioned that I was working on a TMNT Leonardo inspired set of fingerless gloves and mask.  I also promised to share pictures in the next post, so here they are for your viewing pleasure.  The first picture is James showing off the set with foam sword prop, and the second picture is to provide a less distracting view of the product.  I'm working on full sets for Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello.

In other crafty news I am sooooooo close to finishing the sweater for my Mom it is not even funny.  In fact I am so close that it is getting quite painful!  I am hoping to push through and finish the sweater this weekend or by next Wednesday, because I still need to do the edging for the body and wrists, and I haven't picked a pattern for that quite yet.

Also, tomorrow I am going to a meeting of the Blue Ridge Artists Group (BRAG).  I was invited by a local artist that I admire a great deal and I am super excited to join them.  I am very optimistic that it will be a great group of people.  I'll tell you more about the local artist in my next post since I will, hopefully, be able to share a piece of art I am picking up and tell you about other awesome members of BRAG, as I am assuming that they will be AWESOME.

Post at you later,

     Super Nerdy Hooker