Sunday, February 28, 2010


My brother gave me the absolute coolest birthday gift on the planet: a gift card to FAO Schwarz to make a Muppet Whatnot. They have this awesome online muppet generator, and you can choose all of the parts. After making countless online muppets, I finally decided what I wanted and placed my order. To be honest, I think I ended up with the same exact combination I tried my first time through the generator.

A few days went by, and then Karl emailed me at work to say that a muppet-sized box had arrived and was waiting on our kitchen table. I could not wait to go home!

I have always loved the Muppets. Can you tell by the poster hanging in our kitchen? There's the box! Who could ever guess that something as fun as a muppet would be inside that ordinary-looking cardboard box?

If you look closely at the poster, you'll see a photo stuck in the lower left-hand corner of the frame. It's a picture of me, age two, with that exact Muppet poster hanging by my high chair. It came in a National Geographic Kids magazine, and I loved to feed all those open-mouthed muppets. That's what I'm doing in this picture-- making muppet food. After a while, the poster got so caked with food and play-doh that it had to be thrown away, but I found a replacement on eBay a couple of years ago.

Anyway, back to the box. I pulled out the contents...

Hello, Muppet!

I couldn't resist posing for a few photos with this charmer!
Thank you, Elsworth! You're the best!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Knitting Olympics: Finish Line!

Here's the finished hedgehog, ready for a long nap!

Off to bed...

Knitting Olympics: Coming Together!

Here's the little guy with his head and body stuffed and attached...

Now he's got arms!

Hooray for legs and feet! In this pattern, the slippers are sewn to the legs. If I were to make this again, I would try to figure out a way to make feet with removable slippers.

What would a hedgehog be without spines?!

All sewn together and ready to get dressed!

Knitting Olympics Update

Here are all of the parts (minus the hot water bottle), ready to be sewn together!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Knitting Olympics Update

The Winter Olympics are moving along quickly, and I'm trying to keep up the pace with my Knitting Olympics project! Here it is so far. The yellow piece on the needles is the first of two bedroom slippers.

I'm concerned that I might not have the right type of eyes. I have googly eyes, but the pattern calls for plain black plastic ones. I'm going to try the googly ones out and see how ridiculous they look. I can handle minimal ridiculousness, especially if it means one less trip to Michael's.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just a tiny lie

"What are you knitting?" asked the nice lady on the bus this morning.

"A baby blanket," I lied.

It was just so much easier than saying, "I'm knitting a bathrobe for a hedgehog."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Knitting Olympics Update

Let the games begin! I started knitting my little hedgehog on Friday, to coincide with the Opening Ceremonies. And I really surprised myself by getting a lot done! In the photo above (I apologize for the brown-on-brown...I never claimed to be a photographer), you can see the hedgehog's body, head, two arms, two legs, and one ear. I had another ear but I'm afraid it's long gone now. Oh well, the ears take about nine seconds each to knit, so I'm not too concerned. Last night I started the bathrobe, which is the baby blue piece you see on the green needles. I'm trying to decide if I want to do a variety of colors for the robe or just keep it light blue. Fortunately, I've got some time to decide, since it'll be a few days before I get to the potential color change part.
I'll keep you posted on the progress as my knitting needles and I race to the finish!

Girls' Weekend 2010

Last weekend I met up with seven friends from college for a mini-reunion in Chicago. I love these girls because we know each other so well. We met in 1995, during our freshman year, which means we've now known each other for fifteen years... and that is a long time. Most of us have lived together at some point or another, and we've cheered each other on through relationships, break-ups, babies (well, just one baby, actually), big choices, small choices, and weird phases (but not me, of course). We live all over the country now: Denver, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Jackson, WY. This means we don't get to see each other all that much, but when we do, it's so much fun. Usually there is a lot of wine, cheese, and darts. And laughing... lots and lots of laughing. This weekend was no exception. I'm not saying we laughed at the opening ceremonies, but... well, okay. We did.

We had to visit The Bean, of course! It's this really cool silver bean-shaped sculpture in Chicago. The photo above is our reflection in The Bean.

We're very serious about darts.
Ladies, it was so fun to see you all! Can't wait for GW2011!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Top Ten Things Making Me Happy Today

1. Finishing big, looming projects ahead of schedule, and the calm contentment that follows

2. Iced tea from Barrique's

3. The anticipation of starting this project tomorrow

4. A bus ticket in my purse that will take me down to Chicago tomorrow for Girls' Weekend 2010

5. Sunshine

6. The fact that three of the kids in my 'tween knitting club learned how to knit on double-pointed needles this week

7. A new girl at work who also rides the bus... now I'm not the only one

8. The book I am savoring, which is the newly published sequel to A Little Princess

9. A little ache in my arms from lap swimming yesterday... that means they're getting more muscley, right?

10. My favorite holiday, which is basically a celebration of red, pink, and hearts (all things I love)

What is making you happy today?

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Lovely Birthday

I would like to thank my husband for giving me a wonderful 33rd birthday last week.

He woke me up in the morning with a delicious breakfast burrito and a big present. What could it have been? I took the paper off and discovered a fruit box. Inside the fruit box were a few apples and a smaller gift. I unwrapped it and was thrilled to find an ipod! Get it-- apples, apple ipod?

Karl had to go to class, but I got to stay home and enjoy a day off of work. I went to yoga in the morning, then did a little just-for-fun shopping and met my friends Kate and Erin for pedicures downtown.

That night, Karl and I went out for Thai at our favorite restaurant, then stopped by a tavern for a few rounds of darts on our way home.

It was perfect.

Hello Hippo

Well, it's about time. I've been working on this hippo since Christmastime. It turned out okay, but maybe a little grouchier/more confused than I would have liked. It's also kind of stiff right now; the arms stick out, and the legs are a little too thick to make sitting comfortable. This hippo just needs to be played with for a few months, I think, to get nice and soft.

p.s. Remember when I liked that tablecloth at a coffee shop in Cedarburg? You can see my copycat attempt on our dining room table in the background of these pictures.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why I Love Curry

Karl and I make curry at least once a week. Here's how we do it:

  • Saute a bunch of vegetables. Throw in tofu or meat if you like.
  • When the vegetables are about halfway cooked, add 1-2 tablespoons of curry powder.
  • Let the veggies finish cooking, then add a can of coconut milk. Simmer for a few minutes and serve over rice.

There are lots of reasons to love curry. Here are a few:

1. It's fast. It takes about half an hour.

2. It's a good meal to make together. It's fun to have some time cooking with Karl after work. Since this one involves a lot of chopping, it's perfect.

3. You can put just about anything in it. We sometimes buy too many vegetables or get a huge delivery from our CSA, so if I think there's something at risk of being wasted, I throw it in a curry.

4. It tastes awesome. It's different every time, but I've always loved it.

5. Turmeric (in curry powder) is supposed to be good for preventing alzheimer's disease, which my grandmother had.

6. The leftovers are delicious hot or cold.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Have you ever had something happen like this:
  • You wake up with a song in your head. An obscure one. When you turn on the radio, it's the first song you hear.
  • You see a Q-Bert sticker on the sidewalk. "Huh," you think to yourself, "I have't thought about Q-Bert in a long time." Then half an hour later, a friend mentions how much she wishes Q-Bert would make a comeback (without you bringing it up first!).
  • You hear a rarely-used word. So rare that I can't even think of an example right now. Then 4 seconds later, you read that same exact rare word.

Well get this. I got caught up on my Google reader, and one of the posts was on Pioneer Woman's blog. "Meh," I thought, "looks like a dumb book." Don't worry, I think that a lot. I'm picky.

Directly after reading that post, I went into the Secret Inner Workings area of the library. And what was the first book staring at me from the shelving area? That's right, it was the exact one Ree had been writing about on her blog. Weird. I've never heard of this book before, and there are only four copies in the entire South Central Library System. What are the chances?


This afternoon, while I was at the reference desk, something very weird happened. I was just working away as usual. I had gone to the DVD section to help someone find a movie, and when I got back to the desk, I reached for the computer mouse. I got the hugest electric shock ever. I can still kind of feel it in my finger. And get this: the mouse and keyboard both stopped working as a result of the shock. Did I electrocute my mouse?