June 28, 2012


So.  For those of you who are new here and might not know this - my kid broke her leg last year.  It was awful.  But throughout the whole ordeal we told her to be BRAVE.  That she was a strong and BRAVE kid and that therefore she could handle anything.  Then when we heard about Disney/Pixar's upcoming movie we lost our minds:

A redhead who has to be BRAVE?  Um.  That's our kid!!!!
Holy crap.  That's our kid.  Seriously.  Even her name is almost the same.
And she was going to be just over 3 when it came out!  Perfect age for her first ever theater movie! So basically we've been looking forward to and crazy excited about this film for over a year.

When they rolled out the merchandise my kid about lost her mind.  She thought the BRAVE curly redhead wigs were about the funniest things ever.  And she refused to take off the Merida dress my mom gave her:

Sunset at Lakewood Park

But then as we got closer I started to get worried.  The reviews were kindof meh (although if you're going to read one read this one by Slate).  And it plays into the whole fiery-redhead trope that I despise (Making personality assumptions based on the color of someone's hair is NO DIFFERENT than making assumptions based on the color of their skin.  Stop it.) And I'd been warned several times about some scary parts with a bear:

And this is, unfortunately, another princess movie.  And we've FINALLY been moving away from the whole Disney princess thing.  Finally.  And Peggy Orenstein's rundown of Pixar's female problem had me super concerned (btw I HIGHLY recommend her book "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" Amazing material - especially if your kid is going through a princess phase and it's making your head explode)

And can anything you've been looking forward to for that long live up to your expectations?

So it was with a little bit of hesitation that we took her on Saturday.  She was SO EXCITED.  She wanted me to use the curly spray in her hair so it would be extra curly:

And of course she wore her Merida dress:

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Complete with sparkly shoes, tights, and a fabulous bag.

 We ended up leaving for the theater earlier than we had planned because all she wanted to do was go, go, go.

Guess what day it is!  #brave #merida #disney

We got there before they even opened the doors:


We weren't the only ones there early.  And the other kids waiting thought she WAS Merida!  It was pretty crazy.  We went to get popcorn at one point and the entire lobby of the movie theater was basically staring at my kid.  The little girls in front of us had a whole discussion trying to work up the courage to wave at her.  It was insane.

I wore a dress because I had a feeling she would be getting some attention.  You don't want to look like a mess when everyone is staring at you.
She got pretty shy with all of that going on and buried her head in my leg.  So we just hung out in our seats after that.  She didn't actually eat any of the popcorn.  I blame myself for that one - I made her put napkins on her lap b/c I didn't want the popcorn to stain her dress.  So she just avoided the popcorn all together to protect the fancy dress.

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When my girl gets into new situations she just gets very, very serious.  So she watched the whole movie with complete attention taking it all in.  Afterward it took her awhile to digest it all.

All braved out.  #brave #merida #disney #

She did eventually tell me that she liked it.  But that there were bears.  But she wasn't afraid she was just shy.  And maybe we can go to see a movie again sometime?

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The movie itself was gorgeous.  The "I don't want to be a princess" storyline was done in a fresh enough way that the plot didn't fall flat.  At all. Merida is a princess I would actually be ok with my girl looking up to.  She is extremely bad-assed and also smart and well-spoken (thanks, it seems to her mom):

Do you have any idea how many times this exact thing happens in my house?

I have to admit I teared up pretty much any time young Merida was on screen:
And the ending destroyed me.  This movie doesn't end with a wedding or with the princess dancing with her prince.  It ends with a mom and her girl riding through the forest together.  Learning to appreciate each other.

Wait.  That's not the screen shot, is it?
Overall YES.  This movie lived up to our ridiculously high expectations.  The whole experience was amazing.  Perfect first theater movie.  Great film.  Great characters.  Go see it.  You won't be disappointed.
First movie. #brave #disney #movie

June 27, 2012

Wordless Wed: Hipster Family.

Hipster family.  #family #target #hipster #unnecessaryglasses
I have nothing to add to that photo.  Big BRAVE with my redhead for her first ever movie in a theater post coming tomorrow!

June 23, 2012

The Shawl that Never Ends.

So.  Lots to think about on the Olympics / Ravelympics thing.  I"m loving all of your comments on it - interesting to see how the knitting community is still pretty split.  Knowing that the letter they sent really was a standard letter (here's the one they sent to the Redneck Olympics) helps.  In other news remember that Color Affection Shawl I was working on?  Yeah.  THERE IS NO END TO THIS PROJECT.

Color Affection Progress
This is the shawl that never ends.

Color Affection Progress
Oh it goes on and on my friends.
Color Affection Progress
I simply started knitting it not knowing what it was.
Color Affection Progress
And I'll continue knitting it forever because.... this is the shawl that never ends.
Color Affection Progress
Next row same as the first.  A little bit longer and a little bit worse!
I have some lovely silk ready to go for a Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl but I promised myself I wouldn't start that until I finished this.  I'm beginning to believe that it's not possible.

Color Affection Progress
So. Many. Stitches.
For those of you who have knit this before how did you deal with the last few sections of millions and billions of stitches per row?  Wine?

June 22, 2012


So!  That.  Wow.  For those of you who don't know what's going on the US Olympic Committee sent a cease and desist letter to Ravelry for it's use of the term Ravelympics.  Which, fine.  Ok.  I get it.  Trademark sucks and blah di blah.  However in the letter they said this:
We believe using the name "Ravelympics" for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country's finest athlete...
Excuse me?  I'm doing what now?  By spending HOURS watching your coverage and also by the way knitting I'm disrespecting you?  Then they said this:
...fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.
Record scratch.  Ok, now I'm pist.  Really pist.  Because I guarantee you that my last Olympic effort was just that.  An Olympic effort.  A beginning knitter, or even an advanced knitter could not have pulled this off in two weeks:

Traditional stranded sweater redesigned and knit in 2 weeks.
Seriously.  That is hard work.  That is years of training in action.  That is stretching yourself beyond the limits of what you thought you were capable of.  That is everything the motherfucking Olympic spirit stands for.

And a good part of me wants to go on a huge rant about how the ugly underbelly of this whole debacle is this:

Sports = male pursuit = good, worthy, hard, profitable
Knitting = female pursuit = worthless, cute, unnecessary, not profitable

But.  They have apologizedTwice, actually.  And I want to be a bigger person and accept their apology.  However it all seems.... hollow.  A pat on the head to all the crazy (because a female can't get upset about something without that word coming out) knitters out there so that we go away.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet.  I have very much enjoyed participating in the 3 Knitting Olympics that have been organized so far.  I was hoping for a redemption on my last triathlon for this Summer Games.  I've even started training specifically for it (and YES it is training even if I am spinning instead of sprinting).   But at this point I just want to watch some X-games and get the taste of this whole debacle out of my mouth.

What do you guys think?  Are you still going to participate / watch this year?

Edited to add:  I wanted to throw up a few links to what others have been saying about all of this.  The Yarn Harlot had a great voice of reason post,  the Crochet Liberation Front has a fantastic Open Letter to the US Olympic Committee which speaks to the craft vs sports issues in a much more eloquent way, and WIP Insanity writes about the apology and second apology which has the best quote ever in it:
We are yarncrafters. Fear us.

June 20, 2012

Wordless Wed: Summer Vacation Dress and 2 Years.

The dress is the Summer Vacation Dress (basic shirred dress using elastic thread) and I made it for my daughter in July of 2010.  Photos on the left were taken July 2010.  On the right June 2012.  What a difference two years makes!

Made Sundress 2 years later

Made Sundress 2 years later

Made Sundress 2 years later

Made Sundress 2 years later

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Some details (ending the wordless wed part now):  The dress is the most basic Summer Vacation Dress.  No armhole cutouts or anything like that.  Just plain old elastic thread shirring. I used ribbon for the ties and was super excited that the orange ribbon lined up with the orange stripes in the fabric:

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Her hair was so short!!!
The hem I used is detailed in the Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt pattern. 

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I don't remember all of the details of the first photoshoot now but there was some drama with her shoes.  She wanted to wear her red shoes but I didn't think that they matched the dress and wouldn't let her.  She basically spent the whole shoot crabbing at me about it before walking to the door and demanding to be let inside to get her shoes.  Looking back I think it's hilarious.  Not that a 16 month old was so opinionated about shoes.  I think it's funny that I tried to have an opinion in any of her clothing whatsoever.  Especially her choice of footwear.

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Put these on my mom!
Now I know better.  Kid wears what she wants to wear.  The reason I was even able to do this little comparison is because she decided that she wanted to wear a dress today, used her stool to reach the rack in her closet, looked through the whole thing giving me the rundown on each dress, finally picking this one.  Which she then outfitted with her clear jelly shoes (the pink ones don't match, obviously) a fabulous rhinestone neck-a-lace, and a pretty slamming bag:

Made Sundress 2 years later
I made the bag, too.
When did her legs get so long?  When did she turn into this kid?  Although I suppose the main difference in the two years that span between these pictures is this guy:
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I hate any and all shoes.  No matter what they look like.

June 16, 2012

Indians Social Suite.

So my my home team and first sports love the Cleveland Indians are doing this amazing thing called the Social Suite:
The Indians Social Suite is a one-of-a-kind social media experience providing attendees both stunning views of the on-field action and the ability to network in their own private, Wi-Fi enabled suite.
It's been called the coolest thing going on in baseball and after last night's game I'd have to agree.  It was a perfect night for a trip to the ballpark:

Great night for a ball game!  @indians #indians #socialsiite #baseball #happyincle
Tribe Game
Tribe Game
Plane/Helicopter things in town for military week.

 And the view from the suite is fantastic:

This. @indians #indians #socialsuite

I was especially excited to be able to go take my husband to the Indians vs. Pirates game since we all know his sports affiliation:

Tribe Game

The Social Suite is full of surprises and perks for attendees.  Last night we got to meet Gary Bell and Joe Azcue both former Indians Greats:
Photo courtesy of @indians
Matt had fun smack talking football with Gary who apparently is a Cowboys fan.  And we had a nice time just relaxing and enjoying the game together:

#happyincle #baseball #indians #socialsuite @indians

When the game was over we were all taken down into the bowels of the stadium:

Tribe Game
We saw some of the players' kids being led down this hallway.
Before this happened:

Tribe Game
holycrap we're going onto the field.
Tribe Game
Seriously we're on the field!
We're on the field!!! #socialsuite #doesnotsuck @indians

And my 18-year old Indians fangirl self died of jealousy.  We even got to see the Military band up close:

Tribe Game

Before heading to the visitor's dugout to watch the fireworks.  The dugout that Matt's team had been in literally minutes before.  The dugout that still had some equipment in it:

Tribe Game
That smile?  Is why I wanted to take him to this game so badly.

Tribe Game
I love this photograph (and this guy) so much.
I took about a bjillion photographs of the fireworks trying to get the perfect shot:

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I think I nailed it:

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Thanks so much to Erin Parker and Anne Keegan for all of their work on the Indians Social Suite!  It is a truly fantastic and unique experience.  So glad to see our team using social media!

How about one more shot for the road:

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