Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Excellent Adventure; Part 1

I had planned to be productive yesterday.   I knew that I really should finish the "first" draft of my senior thesis so that I might spend the next three weeks editing it.

What happened instead so so awesome that I'm going to break it into two parts for your enjoyment.

My evening started off with a church activity involving food.  I brought vinegar taffy, which everyone seemed to enjoy, but honestly the highlight of the activity for me was the shrimp in grits someone else brought.

For the record shrimp is the most delicious food in the world.  If I were trapped on a island for the rest of my life and I could only bring one book I would bring shrimp instead. That's how much I love it.

After the activity Josh and I headed over the Gladys's house where we were planning on meeting to hike the Y.

When we were finally all assembled we realized that Taylor* wouldn't be able to go hiking and make it home in time for curfew.  We sat dumbfounded for a little while then Josh mentioned that there was a castle here in provo that we could go explore.

It's not a real castle per se, but it was constructed for the filming of some film that was a knock off of a movie that we all enjoy.  Apparently they kept it up because couples like to take engagement and wedding pictures there.

As all the doors and windows were padlocked we just explored the outside of the building.  There was a random amphitheater, a couple stories of locked rooms, and an outside chimney, all of which was made more interesting by the cloak of night.

There as a single room, which was also locked from the outside, that had a bright light emanating from under the door and around the shutters.  We knocked, but no one answered.

See? Castle! (source)

I don't know what I was hoping for, but it would have been awesome.

We dithered around for a while, both at the castle and on the paved trails behind it, then rushed to buy pizza and ice cream before Taylor had to drive home.

I swear it took us longer to pick a single half gallon of ice cream than it took us to eat it. Someone wanted coconut, can you believe that?

* also known as 'He-Who-Has-a-Car'

P.S. the photography blog I pulled the picture from is amazing! Unfortunately it doesn't look like she updates very often. Though I still think you should check it out.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Cranes 2-4

As soon as I posted about my art project last week a witch was flipped and every idea inside my head was stupid.

Then today I was walking my dear friend out of my apartment when I happened to look up.  The concrete on the bottom of the stairs had cracked and mostly fallen away.  It was bright out so you could see the texture clearly.

It was beautiful, in its own way.

So this is what I did with it.

Those are Starburst wrappers so I suppose I should say that I have in no way been endorsed by the candy company. I just happen to like the color scheme.*

I love how these cranes are tucked away, yet out in the open at the same time.  I find that not many people look up when they're traversing the stairs so maybe my cranes will never be noticed.

But maybe they will.

here's Josh, looking stupid for your enjoyment

*I'm totally open to it,Wrigley's advertisement dudes...**


What about Gladyce?

One of the friends that I mention frequently here on my blog would like to be known as Gladyce*. Of course, she's one of the four people I've already named so to smooth you into the transition I thought you might like to hear a story about her.

Okay, Okay, I mostly want to make fun of the name she chose. Gladice? really?  That sounds like an old lady's wet fart**.

Last year Gladyss, Josh, and I climbed into my little car for a impromptu camping trip down to Arches National Park. There happened to be one more person in the car than there were seat belt. Since I was smallest of our group I was automatically elected to sit on Gladios lap for the drive.

I think my butt was completely numb after about two hours.

When we got to Moab we stopped to ask for directions to a good camping spot.  The awesome local directed us towards a long, winding road.

It was late so the only light came from our car, it reflected off the canyon to our left and made the trees look ghostly.  we could only see as far as the next bend.

"I feel like any moment there's going to be a man with a chainsaw in the middle of the road" I murmured.

"Don't say that!" Glaydys's voice was just a little bit higher pitched than normal.

I glanced towards Josh in the darkness, confidant that we both understood.

"In Virginia near my house there's this bridge" He began  "it's called Bunny-man  Bridge because about ten years ago on Halloween-"

I'm pretty sure that we told her every serial killer story we knew, and then every other scary story we knew.

Glaidiss was not impressed.

She had also heard most of those before SO WOULD WE PLEASE JUST CUT IT OUT?

Of course she was so freaked that night that she ended up sleeping next to the biggest man in our group, and he had a crush on her at the time.

So Win?

*she told me to spell it some stupid way. I don't remember so I'm just going to make stuff up.

**Just kidding!  You know I love you Hallie.

 Edit: Gladys tells me that it's a nickname that she got in school because there were three other girls with the same first name and they were all tired of getting confused with each other. Which is actually pretty darn cool if you think about it. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Murder and Lace

On Tuesday of this week I sat down some of my friends and made them watch a favorite movie of mine. 

This is a Halloween comedy about a famous critic. It starts out with him trying to cover up a series of murders committed by his aunts.  I'm not sure why he doesn't just go to the police, maybe just because he sucks as a person and cares more about his reputation than justice.

His Pyscho brother shows up with a body of his own. So suddenly poor Cary is just trying to keep his aunts out of jail, put his brother behind bars, and put the other brother into a psychiatric ward.

He has to blame somebody for the twelve bodies in the basement after all. 

I absolutely love watching this movie with the uninitiated. The twists have become familiar to me, but my friend's faces are always priceless. 

So do yourself a favor and watch this, right now.


Monday, March 26, 2012

A Colorful Time

Last Saturday was the festival of colors. This (according to Wikipedia) is a celebration of when Vishnu saved Prahlada from being burned to death by his father.

This happens to be a huge deal here in Mormon land because who loves a wacky party more than a bunch of Young adults?*

A couple friends and I actually had plans to go this year, but somewhere along the way we realized that we wouldn't be making it in time for our chosen throw.  So we stopped off in order to goof around instead.

I visited my first pawnshop  and we explored a huge antique store that seemed to cater mainly towards little old ladies

Down the street from these shops of wonder and fantasy was this charming little store called "Dirty Jo'  Punsters". It was of the uh *ahem* adult variety so of course we had to take crappy camera phone pictures under the sign.

As we were approaching there happened to be three people who passed us going the opposite way. 
One was an older man with some sort of foot brace, the other two were a mother and her young son.

We took our pictures and giggled about how a lingerie store that wants to survive in Utah probably shouldn't creep all the young ladies out.

An old  man in a foot brace walked into the store.

I  looked around to see if possibly this was just elderly gentleman with an injured leg.


He had waited until the young mother was far enough away before doubling back to enter the shop'o'fun

Guys I nearly died laughing.

We never did get around to going to the throw, but man, did we have a fun time anyways

*nobody, I can't believe you even had to check.

Steph and Spencer

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Farts and Crafts

My friends and I finally started going to the gym.

I mention for two main reasons.

First, I have a giant blister on the bottom of my right foot, it literally covers 1/2 of my heel. I know, that's gross right? Well I was limping all day Saturday and Sunday so I think you deserve to share in on my misery.

Secondly this gym was where I started off on my new art project.

Wait for it...

Here's the dealio; I've been making paper cranes since elementary school so they feel a little ho-hum to me now.  They're just something I do in church or in class when I'm so bored even doodling won't cut it.  They aren't pretty, they aren't art.

Except they could be.

My plan is to make 1000 paper cranes, and to create art projects along the way.  Initially I'll  merely leave these origami creations around campus and take artful pictures of them, but I already have a few fancier ideas stewing up in my head.

Honestly my goal is to make somebody stop and notice something that could be pretty if they just took the time to think about it.

We'll see how far I get before BYU dings me for littering

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Perfect Pancake

I've been trying to decide what to talk about for a while now, which is partially why my weekend post has come so late.

Shall I write about my Pi day and the quick dessert I whipped up?

Or should I talk about my new art project?

Or the Saint Patrick's day plans which may or may not have involved about a  half galleon of fake blood?

With these awesome choices to wax boring upon I had a hard time choosing just one (even though the obvious choice would have been the one that's quickly becoming non-relevant).

This is the best gift I have ever gotten guys, seriously.
So instead of any of that I'm going to talk about the perfect pancake, and how I figured out how to make a lovely non-lumpy batter back when I didn't have a hand mixer.

For those of you who aren't obsessed with pancakes (it's like desert for breakfast folks, why would you not be obsessed with them?)  there are two main kind of deliciousness; the ones that look like buttermilk, and the kind that look like crepes.

My personal favorite are Swedish pancakes, which belong to the crepe family, but work up a little thicker.

The recipe is as follows.

3 eggs
3/4 cup of flour
1 1/4 milk
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt

The trick to getting a non-lumpy batter despite lack of fancy electronic devices is to mix the eggs and all of the dry ingredients together before adding the milk.  This  makes it easier to add in the milk without the flour flipping out and creating a clique to exclude all the other kids.

Now stay with me here, bring a skillet to medium heat and butter it up. Then grate some cheese over the pan before adding a pancake amount of batter. Let it cook for a little bit before grating some more cheese over the top.

Eat it with caramelized syrup, and dwell upon the perfection.  

I've tried this method out with a couple other pancake recipes (with and without my glorious hand mixer) and it seems to hold mostly true.  This old fashioned recipe for instance worked up perfectly when I finally tried alternating little bits of flour with the butter, egg, and finally the milk. I was careful to keep it at mostly a paste until the last of the milk.

Seriously though, try the cheese thing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Crochet Cuff -instructions-

My camera is still not fixed, I am sadder than is allowed.
Allrighty, so I think I finally go the garbledy- gook inside my head sorted out into some order for your enjoyment.

For this project you'll need two different colors of yarn (I just used left over redheat' and 'hoops and threads' that I had laying around) one 5.0 mm crochet hook, one 5.0 mm afghan hook,  a tapestry needle, and a button.

Granny square;

Row one; starting with color A and the normal crochet hook use the magic circle method to crochet 12 hdc in the round, in the last loop of the last stitch switch over to color B, slip stich into the first hdc.

Row two; ch 3 (counts as 1 hdc and 1 ch), *Hdc in the next st and ch 1* repeat to end and sl st into the second chain of the three chain space.  Tie off color B.

Row Three; with color A cast on into one of the ch 1 spaces, chain 2 and hdc in the same space (counts as a pair of 2 hdc). **2 hdc in each ch 1 space* ch 1 after every three hdc pairs* repeat to end.  sl st into the ch 2. tie off color A

Straps; (repeat on both sides)

Row one;  cast on into one of the chain 1 spaces of the granny square insert hook into the next st, yo, pull up loop; *insert hook in next ch, yo, pull up loop* across to end  leaving all loops on the hook, you should also pull up a loop from the next ch- 1 space of the granny square so that you have a total of eight loops on the hook.

yo, pull through 1st loop on hook; *yo, pull through 2 loops on hook* across until one loop remains on the hook.

Row two-six (or until long enough); repeat row 1, pulling up loops from the vertical bar of the previous row. tie off color A

Here's a good tutorial for what I'm talking about.

Edging and Buttonhole;

Starting at the right edge of the side you want the buttonhole cast on with Color A and sc around the entire cuff.  When you reach the corner you started on do 2 sc, ch 4 and skipping 4 stitches below,  2 sc.  turn and sc across the short edge once more.

Tie off and weave in loose ends. 

sew a bottom to the opposite side of the cuff.

As always try to show me up! I'm sure a bunch of you could come up with something a lot cooler than what I have here.

Oh and in case you missed it here's my original post on the matter.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Crocheted Cuff

My brother's eighteenth birthday was last Wednesday and I'm going to send out his birthday present today. 

It probably sounds like I'm terribly late, but I didn't get the measurement for his stupid wrist until the day before his birthday.

Why am I only sending out the cuff today?

Because I'm terribly late and only made the cuff today.

I used a convoluted granny square and then I afghan stitched the straps until they reached about the correct measurement.  after that I just did a single crochet all the way around the edge (slip stitching across the granny square because it was all weird and bulgy) and then slapped a button hole on one end.

Voila! Something my eighteen year old brother would be impressed with if I was nine.

I might do a pattern later, but at this point I can't think of a clear and simple way of expressing it besides what I've already written.

Do a small granny square, afghan stitch the wings, finish off with a layer of the darker color for 'style', contrive some method of fastening it on, and you're done.

Improve upon my design and show me up! I'm excited to see what you have to offer.

Orange is my brother's favorite color.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Publisher's Fair

My friend and I have recently decided to start working out every Monday and Wednesday together.

We didn't go last week because we were both swamped with midterms and what not.  We also didn't go this Wednesday because there was a publisher's fair up at BYU and we both thought that was a much worthier cause.

We also didn't work out on Monday, but that was just because we didn't feel like it yet.

At the publisher fair there was a bunch of different magazines and a few short story or book companies which were interested in what the students had to offer.  It was really cool to be in a place where people honestly wanted to make contacts in the professional writing world.

Mostly my friend and I spoke with the lovely people behind the desks and giggled inwardly about how neat it was.

It did make me realize that aside from the story for my hypothetical webcomic I haven't really been writing in the past couple years.  I didn't even have a serious idea to talk to these professionals about.

And now that I think about it I don't even have an idea that sounds appealing to me as a 'writer'*.

I like writing.  I like being a writer, and it kinda bother's me that I haven't been keeping up with it.

What this crisis of writing related faith translates to i my life is that I'm going to start writing creatively every morning. I haven't found time, so I'm going to make time.

And I'll only get a little discouraged when I suck at first.

What this translates to for you is that I'm going to post one of my poems that I happen to still be quite found of.  I was going to do a short story  but I lost all of my work when my computer died last year and there isn't anything new (and short) worth showing.

This Burning

Oh this sweet deep burning!
that finds me upon humbled knees
And  leaves me smitten, with a yearning
for the things i feel, but can not see

I reached out and with my fingers
felt something much more then air
and there -with those words- still lingers
a knowlege of something truly there

a stirring passage, a whispered prayer
that quiets my innermost qualms
i would give up every worldly care
for that book with in my palms

 Oh that beauty! Oh that voice!
that cries as if from the dust
Oh those martyrs! Oh that Choice!
That renders my loving trust.

I might post my first attempt, so that you can see what a year long break does to someone

* when you're no longer working on something then they kick you out of the club, it makes room for new victims.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How to Overcomplicate Things

When I wanted to spectacularize the gear art with my awesome future brother-in-law what I trying to do was have a large off center gear to focus the piece with trains of different colors trailing off the canvas.

My inspiration was a nebula.

My tool was a piece of cardboard.

Yeah, it didn't really work.

What I ended up was a grey sort of blotchy thing with washers that happened to be stuck to the canvas because the orange paint underneath wasn't exactly dry when I stuck them on.

I'm telling you all this because it explains why I decided to go the long route with my more successful art spasm. (ed- click the link to see the finished product)

See I've read that in watercolor you can use a wimpy variety of tape to select against which areas you don't want the paint to permeate.  I figured that I would give it a try now with the crayon piece because someday I'd like to retry the already explained failure.

First I painted my canvas black so that the entire base would be one color.  Then  I found an acceptable 2D image of a gear* and printed out several sizes.

Because the tape I bought at hobby lobby was too sticky it ripped up the paper underneath as I was trying to detach it from the mold. I got around this by adding another layer perpendicular to the first. After all, the tape has to be able to come off the roll.

I cut out the gears and then arranged them the way I wanted on the canvas.  I unpeeled the tape, then stuck them kinda sorta  where I had painstakingly arranged them moments before.

Then after about a gazillion layers of white spray paint.  I glued the crayons  to the tape in the hopes that it would make the wax look like it was originating from the gears themselves.

Then I melted the crayons and voila! Instant art!

The tape didn't really work as well as I was hoping that it would, but I think that is mostly due to the fact that I was trying to go from black to white.  If I had been going the other way I'm sure it would have performed much better.

*clip art *cough cough*

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Melting Crayons on a Canvas

I've been drooling over those amazing melted crayon art pieces for several weeks now.   To anyone who has the internet or has a friend who owns the internet this is probably old hat, but I've finally gotten around to it myself so I thought I'd share.

I already have this awesome piece hanging on my wall so the idea was to do something along the same lines.
No, I didn't steal this from my sister.  Why would you ask that?

See for my Christmas present my sister's fiance and I got together to make some negative space art.  We used little packets of serrated washers from home depot so if you look close the little circles actually appear to be gears.

You just arrange the 'gears' on the canvas in an interesting pattern  and then spray paint over them.

They were a ton of fun to make.

Of course, I tried to get too fancy with mine, and it didn't actually turn out.

That canvas is still actually in my closet, and I intend to apologize to it someday and give it another go.

But we're talking about my new art piece now so I should probably roll that baby out.

please hold your applause until the end of the program
My original intent was to get the color to look like it was oozing from the gears themselves.  But because there was some splatter* and uncontrolled leaking of wax there's too much color above the black bits for that to be the obvious case.

Still, unpredictability is part of the entire point of a medium like this.

And my friend wanted to melt these out.  For Shame!
And you know what?  I love it.   I love that how the wax amalgamating several inches below the gears creates a second line that draws the eyes across the canvas.

I even love how the garbage bag I placed underneath the piece while I was blow drying got bunched up so there are these little ridges a half inch above the bottom of the piece

If you're thinking about trying this I say go for it! It really was the most fun I've had in a while

Now I just have to find somewhere to hang the darn thing.

My next post will show how I did the gears themselves.  It was drawn out and overcomplicated so I feel like you should all appreciate that as well. 

*Mr. Clean's magic eraser really does get crayon off the wall.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Being the Awkward Third Wheel

I was undeniably looking forward to the ward 'date night' scavenger hunt this Friday. As I've mentioned before I don't get a lot of dates so this little activity seemed perfect for me.

See the idea was that every girl would bring an extra shoe, then all the guys would pick out a shoe. Everybody gets a date, easy peezy right?

You would think so wouldn't you?

As could be expected there were a lot more girls than guys.  This in itself is not too terrible a fate, it just ends up being more of a group activity than anything else, and everybody still has fun.

In fact if the guy is particularly witty or attractive the girls can hold an Agni Kai over his phone number later that evening.

 it was just that ended up with a recently engaged couple.

Soooo...  not even a little bit of flirting for me.

They weren't awkward about it or anything, I just haven't so blatantly been the third wheel in a long time.  But let me tell you,  it's like riding a bicycle.

Do you think I was doomed from the start?