Sunday, November 10, 2013

Deep Thoughts: Beliefs

Today's Tea: Vanilla Cream from Octavia Tea
Mood: Contemplative 

I'm going to start by giving yesterday an overall rating of excellent, despite what could have dropped the day to rock bottom. 

But let's start over. While talking with Lisa yesterday we got on the topics of life changes and beliefs, since both of us have been going through some major changes lately. (Sorry if I've been particularly unbearable at times to anyone. Most of it felt beyond my control and for someone who needs to be in control of most things that's really hard to deal with. I sincerely apologize.) I was raised in predominately Christian homes, Lutheran mostly, and though I fell out of practice both of my parents(and their families) are still quite active in their church-going and involvement. I personally didn't care for it. 

I like the ritualism of church. The order of things, I still to this day can recite The Lord's Prayer and most of the commonly practiced responses by heart. The feeling of awe I get when walking into a cathedral has to do with more than just the architecture. But I find that, in general, I greatly dislike the Christian belief system and after being confirmed I dropped it. That was way back in the day, and since then I've dabbled in adopting different beliefs. The one that I've always come back to is Wicca, though I'd prefer to just use the term Paganism. Wicca makes me think of baskets (no disrespect). I was really interested in high school, bought books, studied the magickal properties of herbs and stones, collected bits of things to keep in my box since I didn't feel comfortable setting up an alter lest my family question it (they were not so open-minded and understanding as they are today). 

But people were judgmental and at such a pivotal point in life I didn't like being judged. I hid it. I stopped practicing, kept my boxes under my bed and only pulled out my tarot cards and books when I knew I was alone. That just made me feel like a sham, like I couldn't call myself a practitioner because I wasn't. So I fell out of that too.

It wasn't so bad for awhile. Life took over and I didn't really think about it. I'd pull out my boxes every so often to smell my herbs and read a tarot spread but mostly they sat untouched under my bed (even through moves) for years. 

Now is different.
Now, I've spent the last 8 months reevaluating my life and the decisions I've made. Things are missing. Lots of things and I've tried to fill them with the wrong pieces. It was really bad there for awhile (ask any of my close friends) but I'm starting to figure myself out and maybe it's time to open my boxes again. I do miss them.

My belief is in nature. A closeness with the elements fueled by a higher power and life force running through everything. I need to find my center and maybe this is one thing that I need to do it. 

Last night we had a bonfire party and I used the opportunity to burn some baggage that I'd been holding on to for too long. It felt good to stand there amongst friends and let things go as I watched journal pages curl up and ripple beautifully with fire. I feel relieved and rejuvenated. I'll figure this out eventually.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Skill Mastery: Gin & Tonic Hat

I've wanted a nice hat to wear for a while now, but I didn't feel comfortable enough in my knitting skills to do something fancy. I found the pattern for Gin & Tonic over at Knitted Bliss. It was really cute and seemed easy enough to do.

Isn't it darling? You can see all of my notations and yarn choice on my ravelry project page. I had to teach myself how to properly knit a "daisy stitch" which was easier than I had expected but also a pain in the ass because I knit rather tightly. Can't be helped, but I had to remind myself repeatedly to loosen up.

I realized, as I started knitting up one for my sister, that I actually shortened the pattern. Doh! It still fits well, it's just not as slouchy as it's supposed to be. I wear this hat all the time now. It's become a staple in my wardrobe for chilly days. Keeps you warm on cold days, but not too warm on nice days.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Game Break: DmC (Devil May Cry)

Guys. This game. Words can't even properly describe how much awesome it holds in its pixels. I've enjoyed previous DMC games, but I was never a follower. They were fun, button-mashers but I didn't follow the story. I knew who the characters were, but not much more than that. This game has changed all that. The opening sequence ALONE changed all that! And it has nothing to do with the fact that Dante was naked...okay, maybe a little bit.

I know a lot of people that I talked to before it came out were skeptical. Diehard fans were upset. They completely overhauled the look of the game, Dante lost his iconic white hair and red coat. Honestly I think it was for the best. I mean look at this sexy beast!! 

(click to enbiggen)

The full image from the cover art is my laptop background right now (you can find it at the end of this post). They didn't completely get rid of everything. Rebellion, his sword, is still around looking badass along with Ebony & Ivory, the guns. The inside of his coat still has the red everyone is used to but gives him a grittier, rough and tumble feel. His personality is so much more fun, too. He's a cocky little bastard. It's great! 

Character hotness aside, I'm really enjoying the story so far. I'm only 5 missions in (I just checked it out last night from work) but I can't stop playing it! I have to know what's going to happen! I destroyed a church! (I don't count this as a spoiler cause they had it in the demo) The combat is fun and pretty simple. You can play "serious style" and actually memorize combo moves and such or you can play like me and just mash the shit out of some buttons while watching your style points skyrocket. I really like what they did with the new weapons too. Rebellion transforms into Arbiter, a heavy hitting demonic axe, or Osiris, a quick crowd-controlling heavenly scythe. Both are good, fun weapons and you can easily switch between all three to deal out serious damage (trigger controls!) Chaining attacks together is flawless and fast, from ground to air and back again.

It's really pretty too. I was worried when I started because some of the people in the intro cutscene were rendered with terrible lighting and they looked really...rough and ruddy. It could have been a conscious choice, they were bad guys, but I don't know. That's the only issue that I've seen so far. Everything else has been beautifully rendered. Just look at this screen cap.

I love the settings. The contrast between the real world and Limbo is well done. Limbo especially, so bright and twisted and I like the way they make the environment one of the enemies, you never know when the ground might fall out or buildings decide to try and crush you between them. It adds to the suspense! If I wasn't trying to get a good score I'd spend more time looking around when Dante gets sucked into the alternate world. So far the game gets high scores in my book. Here, have some more eye candy.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

At This Moment...

I'm working on homework while thinking of many other things. Like what to make with my new yarn. How long it's going to take me to finish the hat I'm working on. What book should I read next? This recipe for chocolate pudding that I want to try. Blog posts that need typing, layouts need designing, things need to be packed for the move, there's painting to be done...but for just a moment I'm enjoying the silence and remembering lunch with my family this afternoon. The look on my niece's face as she slept peacefully through the boisterous meal. Saying goodbye to my mom and sister as they head back home after a fun weekend. Thinking about what makes me happy.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Skill Mastery: Arm Knitting

Learned a new trick this week, Arm Knitting! I'm always looking for something new to try so when this tutorial showed up on my screen I had to give it a shot. Knit a chunky scarf in 30 minutes? Yes, please!

And this was only after 10 minutes!

It was very simple and super fun! It took a few minutes to get the hang of it because I kept twisting the stitches in the wrong direction. I had these extra skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Charcoal laying around from an old project. You have to knit two strands together (as you can see in the picture) and I only ended up using half of each skein. Plenty left over to make another one!

My sister took the first one before I could get a good picture of it (figures!), but here's the second one! Instead of the six stitches that I "cast on" for the first one, this one is ten stitches wide. I like it much better.

(Modeled by Me, Photos by L. Jamieson @ Willowwrenn)


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I've had many blogs in the past 10 (or so) years. Journals, art blogs, writing blogs, fitness, food, fashion, you name it, I've probably tried it. All of them. Every. Single. One. has fallen to the way side. (except for T3 yay! But it's still a baby and I don't work on it alone.) I feel bad about that, most of them never even got off the ground. It was just a way for me to fill my time until the next thing caught my eye (I'm really terrible about that).

So let's try something new. How about a life blog? Not sure what that is? Don't worry, me neither.

Let's go on this wonderful adventure together, shall we?