Saturday, May 31, 2008

Foie gras? Mm, no thank you.

In the past few days I have watched exorbitant amounts of the first season of "Kitchen Nightmares" with Gordon Ramsay and have come to two conclusions:

1) I want to go to culinary school, just for my own benefit.
2) In general, people are scum.

Let me explain. 1) Seeing people eat actual food apart from mac and cheese and those soy corn dogs I just shoved in the microwave makes me long for a more robust culinary life. I took this opportunity to Google some intriguing vegetarian recipes that I might just try. 2) Patrons who go into a restaurant with the impression that yelling at the service people will get them a better meal are delusional. Also, it's just rude. You will not loose your soul by speaking politely to your server about the food. It's just a fact.

That is all. I have to finish watching episode 10 now. Just had to take a quick break from all the chaos to vent a little frustration. I need to watch less TV.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sun?! Eh, okay.

Yesterday I spent (literally) the entire day at the library, reading, looking for books, giving the Jr. Highers mean glances. Our town is a little spoiled when it comes to our public resources. There are entire towns declaring bankruptcy and I'm sitting high in a library with a fireplace and top of the line equipment. It's a little unfair, but such is the nature of our poor economy. I digress.

After I had done everything possible inside the library, I took a stroll across the parking lot to the little park with the ducks and spread out for a good read in the sun. It was fabulous. The ants tried to sneakily carry me away but I'm much too smart for them.

The weather is so amazingly perfect today. I wish there was a picture that could let you feel the perfectness of today. It's almost a crime not to go outside and enjoy it. Even for me. Hater of all things solar and springy.

Neighbour got me some fabulous pastels (and coffee and pencils and charcoal) and my mom got me some wonderful watercolors so I'm going to go art my little heart out. Scream!

P.S. Speaking of babies (oh we weren't? Eh, whatever), it turns out that my friends are starting to have them. Even though I'm feeling the need to have a baby somewhere nearby for me to spoil and give knitted things, I feel like it's just so soon. Maybe it's just me and my point in life. Single, still in school, living at home. Married, graduated, living on their own couples are definitely at a different stage.

Are early 20s too young to have kids? Discuss.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hello, Accomplishment, we haven't seen each other for awhile

1) Finish Hemlock Ring baby blanket - Mission accomplished.

I haven't blocked it yet so it's a little ripply and lopsided. Also, the carpet is making it a little misshapen.

Hemlock Ring Baby 3

Sorry about the lame foot in the picture.

Hemlock Ring Baby1

Hemlock Ring Baby2

Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket
Designer: Extended by Jared Flood (Brooklyn Tweed)
Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby
Color: Lemon
Mods: I knitted with size 6 needles for a smaller blanket. I knitted one set more than Brooklyn Tweed's original because I was afraid it would be too small.

It's just a bunch of knitting, turn back now.

STOP! Hold the presses! I have to ensure some accountability for myself:

Before I start a single project, I have to finish my Hemlock Ring baby blanket. Once this is done I will finish that horrible sweater vest for Neighbour's cat, Milo (that's becoming the topic of every one of our conversations). Then, I will be free to use that fabulous new yarn I got today. I have a horrible case of new project-itis and I'm feeling a little suffocated with all of these half-finished, living, breathing tangles of yarn. Literally, as I type this, have 5 different projects/stashed yarn around me, edging in, begging to be used. So, to recap:

1. Hemlock
2. Sweater vest
3. New yarn (or maybe a sweater or cami or a cowl)

I could add more, but for the sake of the non-knitters I'll stop.

I went back to my LYS today to ask if the owner needed any extra help, she said not right now, but she took my name and number and said she'd call me. The thought of working at a knitting store with yarn in every direction makes me feel giddy.

Also, Ken (the barrista) asked if I needed a job today. He just bought a coffee shop! My favorite thing! Suddenly I'm practically employed!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Call me Ishmael

I was getting a bit of cabin fever today so I decided to grab a book (Moby Dick) and my iPod and walk to le cosy coffee joint inside the grocery store. I have been carefully collecting punches on my card from my daily coffees and finally, I saved up enough to get a free dose of caffeinated bliss. Ken, my favorite (loud, outgoing) barrista (isn't there a masculine version of that word?) and I started chatting and somehow the issue of my birthday came up. You see, it's in exactly one week from today that I will take the fatal plunge into adulthood: 22. Ken, without a word, turned around and marched into the center of the bustling store and yelled, "Hey everybody! It's Ashely's birthday! Let's sing to her! Happy Birthday to you...!" Haahhhh. I turned the brightest shade of red I could possibly achieve. It was fun though. It's not every day you get strangers to sing happy birthday to you.

After the commotion died down I settled into my book and my coffee and had one of the most relaxing afternoons I've had in a long time. I should do that more often. Minus the birthday thing.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


On Thursday, my mom and I went to my aunt's house. My cousin just got married but haven't had a wedding reception yet, so my mom made them a little cake.





Ain't it cute?

I got a little carried away in church this morning. The girl with the braids turned into half the congregation. I'm spending today breathing deeply, napping, rejuvenating the soul, finishing some knitting and creating some art. Have a happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I've been very aware of smells today. Good smells. It was raining when I woke up this morning, solidifying a "good day" status for today. I walked outside for a few minutes in between drizzles and it smelled like freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookies (my favorite). It's so fresh and clean outside. I just made some coffee and the smell mingled with the freshness coming from outside is making our house smell like a nice old Victorian home in the morning. Haaaaaaaa...

I'm working on the Hemlock Ring Blanket. It's probably the most fun I've ever had knitting anything. I'm a bit farther than this


I'm also working on a pale yellow baby blanket version (which I secretly like better). You can see the pattern a lot better on the yellow one. Pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And...we're back!

I am 100% officially done with what should have been my Senior year of college. Don't panic. All is well. Normally I'd be melting into a big puddle of goo, but I'm feeling good. I have broken out of college limbo and I'm progressing forward. Praise the Lord.

Sorry about the lack of blogage lately. I've just been completely unable to formulate words lately, maybe the stress of finals week. Now I'm done and I just might be back here full time. I took home all of my sculpture pieces today:

This started as a full head/bust sculpture and decided I liked it better as just a face. I wanted it to look kind of broken. Broken and earthy and rustic are terms that are starting to define my art. I'm happy with that.

Here's that Rodin torso I posted a while ago. I glazed it. I liked the way it turned out. I think I may just be over my fear of glazes.

Winston Randall IV is glazed too! He doesn't really have two pupils on his left eye. It's a trick of the light. He stands up, but not very well. I think I'm going to have to put him on a stand.

So, remember a while back when I said "today I am an artist because someone offered me money for my artwork"? Well, it doesn't even compare to actually selling your artwork. Something I did today. Yes, that's right. This is a picture of the first dollar I've ever made as an artist. Ew, that makes me sound so...commercial. I didn't take a picture of the piece I sold but I'll probably make another one. It was really hard to part with it. But I made 25 bucks. Score!

And finally, I lied about the bike. Today, we drove miles and miles for this adorable bike. No one had them because apparently they're hot stuff. This bike makes me day dream of warm summer days in the city and biking to church. With my little basket. And a bell. Brring, brring. Scream with excitement!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Finals week is affecting my courage

I was driving in the parking lot of my school this morning when suddenly the largest dragonfly I have ever seen in my nearly 22 years of life started to assault my windshield. I began to scream as if the giant mosquitoes from Jumanji were poking their suckers through my car. Looking back, I realize this was all very underwhelming, seeing as I was alone, driving 3 miles an hour and it was, after all, a dragonfly.

I have so many drawings, etc. to post but sadly, I have not the time. Tomorrow. For now, have a church sketch.

Friday, May 16, 2008


My birthday is coming up! 22 is a big number. 21 is just a lame excuse to drink, 22 is adulthood. People start having families at 22 (not me, but people). So over breakfast this morning, my mom spilled the beans about my birthday present this year: a bike! This is the one I've chosen.

It's simple, but cute and perfect for city livin' ("one day," she says wistfully). All it needs is a little basket with a cluster of fresh flowers and/or produce and a bell.

So on my daily jaunt to Target I took a look around. Every woman was pregnant. Our town is one big baby maker, full of fertile soccer moms. They have a tendency to be a little neurotic at times, but that's okay. It makes me feel safe.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sigh of Relief

Most of my work is done. I have a final portrait and 10 small portraits to finish by Monday and a couple of small finals for Tuesday and Wednesday. Freedom, you taste like fresh strawberries.

I just spent my afternoon watching a corny Lifetime movie and sobbing like a child. What is wrong with me?! I used to have emotions of steel. I'm getting soft in my old age.

I've spent a lot of time lately reminiscing about my teenage years. Actually, less reminiscing, more remembering with horror. 12-19 was an awkward stage in my life. Very awkward. There are some good memories though. I was so idealistic about life and career. I still am to a degree but this was different. I pictured myself becoming an astronaut or an astronomer. Not real life ones, movie ones. In my dreams I conquered the world with my genius and shot aliens with guns strapped to my legs. Angelina Jolie style.

Now that I think about it, maybe I set myself up for failure with the whole physics major thing.

Anyway, what started the memories was the all-nighter that ended up being more of an all-to-4-am-er. I was listening to Dvořák on just to keep myself awake. When I was a pre-teen I would sit in my piano teacher's sitting room and listen to her CDs on headphones. My favorite was "Humoresque No. 7". Sigh, the man was a genius. That song invariably brings back memories of oatmeal cookies, rain and tomato soup. All of which sound good right now. Too bad it's 100 degrees outside. California! Why can't you be more like your brother, Washington? Huh?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Finals? No thank you.

As the semester winds to a close and final projects are being assembled for submission, I am quickly realizing I am a horrible note taker. Next semester, I'm going in with a game plan and will not be caught off guard again.

Just an obligatory all-nighter-must-procrastinate post.

Holding my breath 'till the end of next week!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm choosing to quote last night's SNL Weekend Update: "If you still haven't gotten your mother flowers or anything you've still got, oh wait, 12:30? nope you blew it."

That about sums up Mother's day for the whole life. Today, I only halfway blew it. I (secretly) borrowed some money from my mom and bought her some flowers and her favorite chocolates and brought it to her at work. Sigh. I know. Don't you wish I was your daughter? Also, she asked for a knitted teddy bear, currently unfinished. He has no face and no ears. We call him Stumpy because he has little feet. He may accidentally look like a cat when I'm done.

All right. I'm going to go watch some Josh Groban on V-me, the Spanish PBS channel. Hah.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Summer Goals

Aaaaaaaand....I'm back! So the first wave of homework is done. It's the calm before the second storm. The big one. While I have this down time (and while Mother's Day is just a skip and a jump away) I'm taking this opportunity to knit, frantically. Pictures to come.

With summer vacation quickly approaching I have some goals in mind:

1. Read as many books as possible
2. Fill up as many sketch books as possible (with real drawings, not just lame doodles)
3. Finish (or kill) all started knitting projects
4. Clean out my closet
5. Play the piano at least once a week (I'm starting out slowly)

Okay, that's good. I don't want to create any lofty aspirations, I'm a realist.

Last Sunday I watched a documentary called "Carrier". Usually I'm not a big fan of military genre anything but this one just hooked me and drew me in. There were times, especially towards the end that made me sob like a baby. It's 10 hours and I haven't seen the first couple of episodes yet. I'm waiting for the opportune moment. Watch it, love it, buy it.

And to close out the post, a photo. I was playing around with the liquify function in Photoshop. Neighbour and her husband were my victims.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I miss you

I'm a bit swamped with end-of-semester chaos. I'll be back soon!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Super Sunday

Ebay is a dangerous thing. I'm bidding on some cake decorating books for my mom. I'm in a ferocious bidding war. It's is up to $3.00. I know. I'm a ruthless killing machine. After a while though, it stops being about the item and it just turns into winning. I have been known to bid more for an item than it's worth just so I can have the satisfaction of flipping a "You have just been outbid" in the face of my opponent. I should really stay away from these things.

Church bulletin Sunday makes a return! Only, this time you can't really tell it's a bulletin. Sorry folks. These are neighbour's parents. My mom says it looks like them (well, as much as the back of someone's head can look like them), but I'm skeptical. What do you think neighbour?

Something really exciting: last night I ordered some hand-dyed Terra Firma (1700 MHz Merino) wool from Yarn Nerd aka adam knits! who has the absolute most adorable dogs I have ever seen. Check him out. I'm already plotting what I'm going to make with it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hot Tranny Mess

I found this on carissa's site and decided it was just too good not to repost.

Ode to Cleanliness

I have officially assumed responsibility of all household cleaning. I figured it was fair. My mom works and I don't. It's reasonable that I should clean in between classes and homework. The truth is, though, I'm not a neat and tidy person. Any of my roommates will attest to this. I'm not sure how this new arrangement is going to work out.

When I was going to school in LA, we had a cleaning lady named Carol. She, to this day, was one of the most selfless people I have ever met. She was always happy, always ready for a chat, clean things that were totally not her responsibility to clean. We'd do little things for her, leave her "We <3 you!" messages on the bathroom mirror (that she'd later have to clean), give her a Christmas present. Let me tell you. I had no idea how wonderful that woman was until I had to clean my own coffee maker. So Carol, if by some wildly unlikely chance you ever read this, I'm sorry I didn't appreciate you more.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Fridays are Blue

Ah, the last day of color week. Prepare yourselves for some serious blue:

Another drawing, age 4. It must have been a series. I discovered this one on the back of the pink ballerina

I spent the day at a coffee shop, doing homework. There's ample handicapped parking

My mom bought a wooden oar and asked a family friend to paint it

An old heater

Thursday, May 1, 2008


So, I stepped out on a limb with this Color Week thing, something I would never normally do. I tend to keep to myself in this busy internet world. You know what? I've been so inspired by it. Not just with my own heightened observations but with seeing everyone else's creativity. Everyone involved is unique and talented. They approach life from different perspectives, different locations, situations and mindsets. It's just so beautiful. I can't wait until the next one!


Gosh. Yesterday, I screwed the pooch and didn't turn in a term paper worth 25% of my art history grade. Luckily, my professor is very sweet and said I could send it to her today and get full credit. Instead of being grateful and trying my very best to get it to her ASAP, I'm procrastinating and lollygagging (yes, lollygagging) and dreaming of knitting projects I can't do until I'm finished with this paper. Okay. This will be my accountability. It's 3:30pm right now. I have to finish this paper before 6pm or I will dream up some sort of hideous consequence for myself. Probably in the form of housework.

Pink and Red Thursday

Well, color week is drawing to a close. Just one more day left.

Saving these for a rainy day

I drew this when I was four. I especially like those sexy knees. I can't tell if she has a mustache and she's singing or if she just has a really big lip.

Some nick knacks in the kitchen. That tomato is an old pull cord toy that plays music. The eyes move back and forth. Creepy?

Some berries on a curtain

Checker board, also for a rainy day.

This color day was a labor of love. You see, it's Springtime and my allergies are having a party in my nose. It kind of feels like they invited cold and flu as well and they're trashing up the joint. No respect. None at all.