Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crochet Cysts!

I recently purchased a camera, and so I will be posting pics of Works In Progress very very soon.

I've been busy keeping up with my 2010 goals. I've been crocheting every single day. A lot of this has been using 100% cotton yarn, which I find takes a bit more effort and strain to work than acrylic or wool. I think this may be the cause of the crazy cysts I've developed in my right hand!

I noticed a tiny little round thing rolling around under my skin and within a few days it had grown from being the size of a large grain of sand to a small pea. It's now hiding, nestled between some bones in my wrist but I can still move it around. There's another tiny one growing in the middle of my hand. You can't see them and there's no pain but I can't stop playing with them. My doctor tells me they are Ganglion cysts. The cause is unclear but could possibly be from overuse of your hand and joints.

My doctor (who is a good friend) tells me these are commonly referred to as "PDR cysts". Why? Because a doctor can take the Physicians Desk Reference and drop it on your hand to pop the cysts! ACK! He's kidding, of course, but assures me he can pop them if I want. I've decided to wait it out for now. I've had small cysts before in other places before and they simply went away. In the meantime, I'm trying to hold my hooks a little looser in hopes that this will stop the growth of new ones.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

#TeamAndrewGarcia Hollywood Week!

Although it was taped a couple weeks ago, American Idol Hollywood week is on tv this week. I've never actually watched this portion of the show, but I found it really interesting that many people who gave really promising auditions in their hometowns totally bomb in Hollywood. I guess it's nerves, but it seems like it would be less stressful to be in front of the judges for the second time.

Anyway, our boy Andrew Garcia is still a front runner! When we heard the hopefuls could choose to accompany themselves on an instrument, my sister and I both really hoped Andrew would play guitar because he's really good. Sure enough, he played and sang a killer acoustic version of Paula Abdul's Straight Up:

Gutsy move! I wonder if he'd been planning to sing that for a long time (back when Paula was still on the show) or if he decided to pay tribute to the former judge after she left the show. Either way, it was an amazing performance! Andrew totally flipped the song on its head and made it far more beautiful than the original. Much like Marie Digby's version of Rihanna's Umbrella, I think Andrew's interpretation highlighted the lyrics and moved the pop song closer to being a really pretty love song.

Andrew once again got rave reviews from the judges, with both Randy & Kara showing excitement during the performance. Andrew's fellow contestants were totally into it, too, which I thought was pretty cool. My sister and I started shrieking when Ryan Seacrest's voice-over indicated that once Andrew was called out to the front row, they all knew that was the group that was going forward. :)

Twitter, blogs and new agencies are all onboard the Team Andrew Garcia train. I have yet to see a single negative word about him. While that could mean people won't bother to vote for him.. it still means he's getting the attention and accolades he deserves. Win or lose, Andrew is on his way up!

Hello Kitty Purse

My family structure is complicated. Take divorces & remarriages and couple them with the Mexican extended family where EVERYONE is an aunt, uncle or cousin and it's just hard to know what to call people. What, for example, should I call my second cousin's stepdaughter? OK, yes, I could call her "my second cousin's stepdaughter" but somehow that sounds like I don't like her. I really really do. She's an awesome little lady! So, for lack of a better term, I'm going to refer to her as my niece. Deal with it.

So my niece turned 10. I knew her birthday was coming up but didn't really know if there would be a party / if I would see her until 2 days beforehand. I find those "tween years" so difficult to shop for. 10-14 year olds are still kind of little kids... but you can't really assume they want a toy. Luckily, I knew she is really into Hello Kitty. I was just going to swing by the Sanrio store and pick some stuff up, but then I realized the one in our mall closed! Boo!

I had seen a Hello Kitty granny square around on a couple craft blogs and really wanted to try it. The problem is the pattern is from an out-of-print Japanese book! I finally found this tutorial, but honestly, I just couldn't quite get the pattern to work out right. Finally, I just stared at the picture and kind of worked something out myself. Since I was free-handing it and had no clue if I'd be able to replicate the square, I decided to just make one and turn it into a little purse.

I used old reliable: Lily's Sugar 'n Cream 100% cotton yarn. I love it because it's heavy & sort of stiff without being bulky. It's great for crafts and is my go-to yarn for washcloths.

I made a panic-run to Joann's for some embroidery floss for the face. In retrospect, I think I should have gone with more yarn in black. The features are just a little small and don't have as much of a cartoony quality. Still, I think she turned out ok. I added a small flower (made of Caron's Spa yarn) and a fun little heart button for the closure. I briefly considered closing it up with a zipper, but I was worried that the repeated pulling would eventually rip the purse apart.

I finished the face while sitting in my car in front of the store. I realized the purse just looked better if there was something in it, so I ran into CostPlus World Market to grab some Hello Kitty candy to put inside.

The purse was a hit. My niece seemed to really appreciate it and so did her mom. Although, she did sort of stress me out by saying "Oh, I knew Lia's present would be something cute and handmade!" Ok... that's sweet except that my people-pleasing self now feels all this pressure to make all their family's presents now! Sheesh. I need to get over it.

Have a happy day!