Year Three, Month Twelve. (36 of 192)

I didn’t immediately love this song, it was a grower. Once it did grow though, I was smitten. Also, I really love when I can bookend these years with a female artist. I want Riley to have positive female role models.

I absolutely love Bat For Lashes, I impatiently waited for her new album, The Haunted Man, to leak for weeks. I know, I’m a terrible music lover… what can I say. It was well worth the wait though, fantastic. In September I played Marilyn so much that I started to annoy Terrence, I’m guessing he was not a fan. He would say things like, didn’t you listen to this already? Yes, yes I did… and if you weren’t here I’d listen to it on repeat, but I don’t out of respect for your sanity.

Bat For Lashes, Marilyn
At minute 2:54, that’s when this song gets super adorable. I die.

Runners up for September’s best song,
Grizzly Bear, Yet Again
Angel Olsen, Acrobat
Bat For Lashes, All Your Gold
Still Corners, Fireflies

Riley’s Soundtrack, Year 3.
October | Intro
November | Take Care
December | Montreal
January | I Belong In Your Arms
February | Oblivion
March | The House That Heaven Built
April | Krokodil
May | Tomorrow
June | Motion Sickness
July | Take A Walk
August | Today’s Supernatural
September | Marilyn

 

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Yarn, A Love Story.

During the Summer while I was visiting the Lion Brand Studio, I was telling one of the girls how I wish my cat would stop attacking my yarn when I work on projects. She told me to give her her own ball of yarn and she’d stop. She didn’t stop, but she did get a bajillion times cuter, if that’s possible.

She really, REALLY loves this ball.

And then…

…sometimes I upgrade my yarn and insides to produce something better.

I had so much fun making this pumpkin that I had to go out and buy some fiberfill and 100% wool yarn in orange so I could make it better. I’m super happy with the result. I’m going to make this guy in white and then move on to try to make more cool amigurumi creations. I promised Terrence’s sister I’d make her a hamburger, it’ll be an adventure. The pattern I have for that is a little confusing, but I’m going to give it a try.

If you’d like to join me in populating the world with tiny yarn pumpkins the pattern can be found here. Sure, I’ve seen better pumpkins out there but no patterns. Maybe next year.

Ingredients I used:
Patons Classic Wool in Pumpkin
Stitch Nation Alpaca Love in Espresso Bean
Poly-fil stuffing

Happy crafting!

Sometimes I learn.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I can’t read crochet patterns. I’ve tried for over a decade and its always just been gibberish to me. I don’t make traditional patterns for the work I do either, its just a post-it note of nonsense that only I understand. Yes, my entire blanket designs fit on a single post-it.

Lately I’ve been working on blankets from the time I wake up until the wee hours of night, not giving myself much time to goof off. So tonight I challenged myself to finish a certain amount of work so I could play. I fell short… but I played anyway. It wasn’t that short, I promise.

When I try new things I usually watch youtube videos to figure them out. I wanted to make a pumpkin, but I couldn’t find a good video to teach me. Determined as I was, I read two different patterns and tried to make them work until I settled on one. I actually followed it! I had to scrap it several times and every now and then I needed to Google, but I did it. My stuffing is a bunch of cotton balls and its totally lopsided, but its ok. I just wanted to learn something new.

!!!

Here comes Galaga.

Does it make me sound cocky if I say how much I love my new throw? Whatever, I LOVE my new throw! I have a list of all the blankets and throws I want to eventually make. Since I already have Space Invaders, Galaga was low on my list of next projects. However, someone requested that I make it… which instantly makes it a priority on the list. Before I upset any gamers with my comparison of Space Invaders to Galaga let me just say, I only mean style wise, I already make something with rows of intergalactic enemies. Don’t yell at me, I’m sensitive.

Either way, I really like Galaga because of how colorful it is. It has a lot of pop. I’m also glad I decided to add the specks of stars. I’m super excited for when I have the time to make a full level blanket, as much as I love my little throws, I really love making full length level blankets. They make me nostalgic for hanging out at the arcade with my friends. I was a big Ms. Pac-Man junkie and I remember Galaga was right next to Ms. Pac-Man at our local arcade. My friend was a huge Galaga fan so even though we ran to separate machines we were at least close enough to hang out and be engrossed by our chosen arcade machine.

Now I’m making myself sad that that arcade went out of business in 2006. The above photo was taken the last weekend it was open. I went to the auction of all the games, we wanted to bid on skee-ball — that would have been awesome. Terrence won me the tiny color tv prize that I had always saved up my tickets to get. Tears. Guys if you still have one, support your local arcade.

R.I.P. Sand Lane Arcade ❤

What was I talking about…? Oh yeah, I made a new throw! More pictures after the break…

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Weirdly awesome.

Love from CNET!

In the middle of the summer I quit my job. I didn’t mean to do it, it wasn’t a plan… I was actually in a bit of a state of shock after it happened. However, it was both the best and stupidest thing I’d done all year. I have a wedding fast approaching and I have no job. So instead of feeling useless and dependent I began staying up until 4am nightly and crocheting until I was passing out.

The result has been weirdly awesome. It started when I posted a sneak peak here and on instagram. Then a friend reposted that sneak peak on Reddit, which had several thousand views. I thought that was where it was going to end, until I was putting up photos of all of my nightly work on flickr, readying them for when I would update my etsy shop. That’s when the explosion happened.

In my last shop update I told the story of how it8bit, spread the word about my blankets and it was the craziest day ever.

But just as the crazy was winding down, more crazy. Again, I didn’t know what was going on…

Love from Technabob!

All of a sudden I was getting a crap ton of emails again and I was super confused. Its funny how I never know when any of this happens and I have to search the internet to find out why I’m feeling all sorts of random love.

The best part though wasn’t when these big tech blogs noticed me, it was when Terrence kissed my head and told me he was proud of me. When I first quit my job, Terrence was glad. Then after some time went by Terrence was stressed. He’s still pretty stressed, but for a minute there he was proud and a teeny bit less stressed. Now, when the internet loves me enough to make this my full time job that I can survive on and possibly fund my wedding with… that’s when I’ll be happy and all the stress can finally be gone. For now, I’m just seriously flattered.

And chock full of exclamation points! So many that I have to randomly squeak and punch things. Don’t worry. no one has be injured by my exclamation points… just a little confused.

Year Three, Month Eleven. (35 of 192)

I love the way every Animal Collective album has a distinctly different sound, all while keeping the bands signature style. I adore this band. I spent most of August jamming to Today’s Supernatural over and over again, the energy is fantastic. When I first listened to Centipede Hz it had that same energy throughout the album, I strongly recommend it. Then again, I strongly recommend all of their albums. Everyone stop what you’re doing and throw some love towards the Animal Collective.

Animal Collective, Today’s Supernatural

Remember when I said that music was amazing and that it was becoming harder and harder to narrow down a single track to represent each month… yeah… I jinxed it. This was the last amazing single of the summer as far as I’m concerned, everything else is alright. I’m trying to dig deep for next months pick, but I’m feeling a settle coming on.

Riley’s Soundtrack, Year 3.
October | Intro
November | Take Care
December | Montreal
January | I Belong In Your Arms
February | Oblivion
March | The House That Heaven Built
April | Krokodil
May | Tomorrow
June | Motion Sickness
July | Take A Walk
August |Today’s Supernatural

Shop Update: The Photo Finish.

Etsy Shop is now fully loaded!

Donkey Kong

The Barrels Level

I started my morning early, I set up my room to take photos and I planned on starting to write up my etsy listings. As I was writing horrible copy for my afghans I was being getting messages and comments from Etsy, twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. I wasn’t too confused at first and went along with my business… and then I noticed my gmail inbox was filling up quickly. I refreshed my dashboard for this site and saw the view counts in places that I’d never achieve in a million years on the merit of my rantings alone. And then the hunting began, the hunt for the source. I’m assuming we, more Terrence than I, unearthed the beginning of the crumb trail.

www.it8bit.com

At the time that I’m writing this there are over 800 notes on tumblr in regards to my work. A few weeks back Terrence’s bff couldn’t contain himself and excitedly posted my crappy mobile phone preview photo of the Donkey Kong blanket onto Reddit. It’s gotten over 6,000 views… which would sound exciting to me, but only a sliver of those people actually came to my website and no one contacted me. My point is that these 800 notes mean more to me than the 6,000 views. Big thanks to it8bit.com, more specifically Pacalin for thinking my work is neat.

I started this rant with another point in mind. Ah yes, with all of this attention I had to scramble to finish all of my listings and post them immediately. I initially planned on updating Tuesday, I’m a fan, Tuesday breeds excitement in my heart. Its because of all the eager bus and train rides to music stores early on new music Tuesdays, its a warm memory. Today has been a whirlwind of photo editing, crappy copy writing and shipping rate hunting. After the crazy was over I treated myself and my girlfriends to a night of delicious froyo at Red Mango and a moonlit walk under the Verrazano bridge.

And now for the rest of what you really came here for… shop updates…

Pac-Man + Ms. Pac-Man In Love Throw

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Space Invaders Throw

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Princess Peach Hearts Mario Throw

FYI, clicking on the images will link you to each individual item. Just in case. Oh, and tons more photos can be found on flickr, here and here.

And now that it is just about 2am, its time for a much needed sleep.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondies.

Third attempt, the defining batch.

When my girlfriends and I gather together for a night of dirty talk and television we like to have dinner and dessert. For a while we were meeting weekly and ordering up a new treat each time. On this particular night I had an intense craving for blondies, so I met up early with Amanda and went over to our favorite spot for tasty treats. You guys, they had never heard of a blondie. Seriously. After we explained it to them they still looked confused… and then offered us brownies. FIVE bakeries later, all with the same resulting interactions, not only did we feel like kicking brownies in the junk, but we were very disappointed with Staten Islands bakery community. We even called a few restaurants that we thought might have them listed on their dessert menus, they were just as confused and brownie pushing. We were getting annoyed, so we started a fruitless tour of supermarkets. Just as we were about to give up and make cookies I decided to try my hand at baking blondies from scratch.

I quickly pulled up a couple of recipes on my phone and devised a plan of action. When we finally all met up, we told the girls about our adventure. They also gave us perplexed looks… they’d never heard of blondies either. What’s wrong with society these days, blondies are AMAZING.

My first attempt that night tasted ok but I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the results, after more tweaking and one more try I had settled on a recipe that I stand by. Blondies have actually become somewhat of a tradition amongst our inner circle, they’re expected. I’m even baking a couple dozen for our engagement party next weekend. My mother and I will be cooking our asses off in a couple of days, this should be fun.

First attempt, not yet perfected.

  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (I use Kosher salt crushed with a mortar and pestle)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup diced walnuts
  • Recipe adapted from here.

    Happy nomming,
    Ana

    Year Three, Month Ten. (34 of 192)

    I hadn’t realized how long it was since Passion Pit‘s last album came out, three years. Right before I heard this new single my friend asked me if Passion Pit was gonna be releasing something soon and I was all, it hasn’t been that long since the last one. Jump to literally two weeks later and I heard Take A Walk, not only that but I was able to procure the full album. I guess I didn’t notice the spacing of time because I still listen to Manners on a fairly regular basis, I wasn’t yet yearning for more. But since I got it — and it is awesome — I’m all… hmm, I guess it had been a while.

    Passion Pit, Take A Walk

    I don’t want to jinx it, but these last couple of months have gifted us with some really great albums. Thanks Summer, you’re not bad… even if you do rob me of comfortable fashion choices.

    Runners up for July’s best song,
    Twin Shadow, Golden Light
    Bat for Lashes, Laura
    Passion Pit, I’ll Be Alright
    Dirty Projectors, Gun Has No Trigger

    Riley’s Soundtrack, Year 3.
    October | Intro
    November | Take Care
    December | Montreal
    January | I Belong In Your Arms
    February | Oblivion
    March | The House That Heaven Built
    April | Krokodil
    May | Tomorrow
    June | Motion Sickness
    July | Take A Walk