Monday, March 31, 2014

Sweater Progress

I really wanted to finish this sweater in March, but it does not look like that is going to happen!
I'm okay with my progress through, because this is my first attempt at a sweater! And I'm enjoying the pattern (I partly am following a cardigan pattern but I made up my own colors and design). It looks very neat!

Right now I'm finishing up the back. After that I need to knit the sides, sleeves, and button plackets.

I hope to be done mid April, but I'm not going to set a time, because I want to start working on other things again!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Video Editing Adventure Story

I had a wonderful post full of fluff and bunnies and happy rainbows for you guys, but then...then this happened. So I decided log it in diary format for your amusement today.

January:
  • Receive amazing new video camera from husband for birthday. Much feels.
February 1:
  • Film first video and start youtube channel. I just know I'm going to be famous! Yeah!
  • Realize 5-year old mac will not recognize snazzy HD video file
  • Try to download mac updates so I can use my amazing adobe CS 5 to edit videos.
  • My beautiful, amazing pristine Mac gives me the finger as I unsuccessfully try to doc my video files to the mothership drive.
  • Cry. 
  • Six hours later, subject self to Husband's PC and lame windows movie maker that does not let you edit your sound. Also, I can't windows 7. I think the feeling is mutual.
February 13th:
  • Windows movie maker is a terrible editing program. There has to be something better out there. 
  • Spend day googleing about video editors and reading reviews.
February 15th:
  • Download Movie Studio Platform trial. It's amazing. Except, when I export my videos, my audio runs at a different speed then my images, causing me to develop the amazing ability to project my voice into the future.
  • Cry.
  • Demand husband fix this problem. Now. Fix it now. Why can't you fix it?
  • Husband buys me ice cream.
  • I uninstall Movie Studio.
March 1:
  • Download Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 17 trial. Compile ideas for new videos and film them.
March 12:
  • IT WORKS GREAT OMG!! Successfully edit and upload two videos. Feels of utter relief permeate my person.
March 16:
  • Convince husband to shell out $80 to buy full system. Much flirting.
March 18:
  •  Make all the videos!
March 19:
  • Notice that when exporting my video sound is missing. Why is the sound missing? This did not happen with the trial...
March 20:
  • Export video 30 times. Sound is still missing in different parts every time I export. Feeling of dread creeping in.
March 23:
  • Contact customer support by e-mail. Is told that because my computer "technically" does not meet requirements, they cannot help me solve this problem.
    • "Intel Celeron technically is not meant for editing. Intel core 2 duo is the minimal requirements your processor  fall below intel core 2 duo. Here is the link for Studio 17 systems requirements" (actual quote)   WAHT?
  • After I calmed down, I called their customer service (in India) and demanded a refund. (Actually I timidly asked for a refund because I am shy and afraid of phone conversations)
  • But they gave me a refund. (or so I was told...after I promised to delete the product after refund processes. Of course I'll delete it. IT DOES NOT WORK!)
  • Feel slightly better.
March 25:
  • What am I going to use to edit now?!?!?!  (also where is my refund?!?!)
  • Downloaded free trial of something called " Camtasia Studios"
  • Camtasia does not recognize HD files.
  • Weep and eat chocolate.
  • Search for free video converter to convert my videos into different format.
  •  Fail utterly. Accidentally download a computer virus.
  • Cry.
  • Make husband find me a free video converter that does not want to place a watermark on my videos. (Got one here)
  • Convert all my recorded movies to MP4 files so that I can try out this new editor.
  • Converting videos takes three days.
March 27th:
  • Finally get to edit (again) the videos that I filmed an (entire) month ago.
  •  Have slight hope that perhaps this will work this time.
Yeah, that's been my video experience the past few moths. Suggestions are welcome. I hope this new editor works.  #firstworldproblems

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Clown Pants?

So last week I bought two new pairs of kinda crazy pants, a black and white pair and then a blue and white pair.


I really like these kind of "flowing" pants, but here is the thing. Do they look to much like pajamas? My husband says they look kind of like clothing a clown would wear...




Me? I'm still not sure if these scream "bedtime" or "fashion". Maybe they say both? Anyway, please let me know what you think, because husband and I have bet the movie choice this week on who gets the most votes. I really don't want to watch Trains, Planes and Automobiles again...

Pants: Rue 21
Sweater: Goodwill

Monday, March 24, 2014

Divorce is not an Option?

Lately I've seen a lot of feminist blogs discussing the much-uttered phrase "Divorce is not an option." They say that this phrase can trap people in abusive relationships because there is no avenue for a person to flee dangerous situations, and also that it can place undue stress on a marriage to "make it" even if one or both individuals have given up.


That is not what this phase means. It's not something pointed at other peoples marriages like a judgement--I'm not saying, oh, well, yours didn't make it. It also does not mean that divorce should never be used--because sometimes divorce is the only option. I would say that divorce is utilized to much in today society, but that's a topic for a different post.

When Brian and I married, we tried to discuss as much as possible how we were going to handle disputes. We also wanted to make it clear that we were going into this marriage with the full intention of staying together for life. We talked about boundaries, emotions, and triggers, and made sure we both knew that things might drastically change when we moved in together. In short, both of us wanted to make sure we could adapt habitually to each other.

One of the things we discussed was divorce. The divorce rate for the united states 3.6 per 1,000 population with the marriage rate being 6.8 per 1,000 total population (stats from CDC for US marriages and divorces in 2011) This is really high. Because I desperately want my marriage to last, Brian and I decided to set some rules regarding divorce and adopt the divorce is not an option mantra.

The first agreement we made was to agree that this only made sense in a relationship that was not abusive. Physical and mental abuse should not be tolerated in any situation. Honestly, if my husband started abusing me, I would seek counseling and/or separation, depending on the degree of abuse and how safe/unsafe I felt, before pursuing divorce.


I am happy to report that there is no physical or mental abuse in my relationship with Brian. Sure, we have disagreements, and we both have faults, and life can be full of moments where we try to selfishly assert our will or desires on each other, but we generally try to approach each issue with as much love and respect as possible. I've never had a time where Brian didn't adopt a humble spirit with me when discussing a problem. I can tell, even when we are in a heated discussion, that my husband cares about me and that he wants to understand where I am coming from. I hope he can say the same for me.

That main point aside, this is what the term Divorce is not an Option means to Brian and I--this is the list we made up before we married, to help us stay true and honor our goal of staying married for life.
  • Never bring up the word divorce unless you really mean it. (Aka, don't use this word as a way to coerce or threaten your way into getting what you want or making someone feel bad)
  • Nothing should be so annoying as to leave the person you love over (Aka, irreconcilable differences) Honestly, I try not to annoy my spouse on purpose, but it does happen. When it does happen, we talk about it. Communication is important--and so is remembering what your spouse tells you. Remembering is my hard part. As is picking your battles--is this really worth talking about, or should I just put on my big girl pants and do it myself?
  • Put God first. This is a christian thing. If we are both actively seeking Christ, trying to learn and grow in the bible, God can council our spirits and help us change before our spouse even notices a problem. It also gives us a common ground to fall back on. 
Those are the three ideas that Brian and I tried to base our marriage on from the start. I remind myself of them all the time! When Brian and I are having a disagreement, I try to remember that this is the man I love. I care about him, and because of this I shouldn't try to "get my way" but instead should be trying to better understand him, communicate with him, and above all else glorify God.


My marriage is no where near perfect, but it's growing--and I'm enjoying watching it grow. We've both changed so much. I've learned to give, and so has my husband. It's so beautiful to see my husband sacrifice for me--and I love to see this in myself as well. We don't sacrifice because we have to, or because if we don't the other person will throw a violent fit. We sacrifice because we love each other and we are committed to this thing called "marriage". And for us, that means divorce is not an option.

What about you? Does the term "Divorce is not an Option" sound like something you would adopt?   

Friday, March 21, 2014

Meet Shannon from Dragons Curse

A blogger friend of mine recently sent me a copy of her newest novel, Dragons Curse.

Needless to say I loved it. I loved it so much I decided to attempt to cosplay as her main character, Shannon. (FYI, this blog post is spoiler free, so don't worry)


I like Shannon. When the novel opens, she is fresh out of academy, where she studied healing and herbs.


Now, Heidi (the author) does not really talk about what type of clothes her characters wear, so I just went with a kind of modern renaissance look. Heidi's book is not historical, but it does have kings and magic and castles, so I figured the dress would be pretty renaissance-y, but not totally from that time period, since its an non-earth world. 


In my mind Shannon would never wear a long dress, even if all the other women in her time period did. She's much to practical. She needs to run around and have free use of her legs and pick herbs, Wearing a long garment to walk around the woods all the time would muddy the hem. Shannon wouldn't stand for that. She'd wear a short dress just to avoid laundry, so she could spend more time practicing medicine and less time cleaning her hem.


Shannon also strikes me as the kind of girl who wouldn't bother with babbles, like rings or necklaces, so I didn't wear any. She's very independent minded, as well as studious and methodical. I fancy her spending all her time with plants and books and, well, no time at all on her hair. She's definitely the kinda girl who would let her hair air dry. Not because she's lazy, but just because the thought of spending time on her hair when she could go to the library would never occur to her. 


What do you think of Shannon? If you want actually meet her and spend a few hundred pages in her head, check out Heidi's book Dragon's Curse on amazon!
Shannon is a really fun girl, and her adventure is unique and entertaining. Also..need I tell you that there is a dragon? Well, there is, and maybe you'll get to meet him too.


Anyway, I enjoyed cosplaying as your character, Heidi! And I can't wait to read the next book in this series. I'm hooked!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Outside Weather, Finally


Yes I'm wearing pigtails. It was warm and my hair wanted to do something other then hang down the back of my neck. I also seem to have indefinitely borrowed this shirt from my sister. I can't remember exactly how I came to own it, but I know she loaned it to me and so far I've hung onto it. For maybe six months now. Oops.

Well, I'm sure she won't really mind, because I've given her so many outfits over the the past few years! 


The only thing that's a bummer about this warm weather is that I still need to shave my legs. I really hate shaving my legs. Sigh.


I got this off-white cardigan at goodwill a long time ago. It claims to be made out of 10% rabbit hair. What I like about it is it's soft and has a lot of drape. Oh, and it was $4...also, last week I went shopping and bought some crazy pants that I'll be wearing next week. It broke my spending freeze, but it was worth it. I'll just start over next month. Yeah. Next month... 


Monday, March 17, 2014

New Space

I love what I've done with my creative space! Here is a post of what it looked like before. Now it's much more organized and much more me!


What I did was move my yarn upstairs, and then fixed my clothes to fit all in one space so I could use the other closet as a hobby closet.


I love it! Now everything is all in one place, within easy access! I can also shut the doors and hide the clutter, so to speak.

I love working in my new space--and this is only the beginning of the changes, because this summer it's going to change further! My husband is cleaning up our "storage room" and turning it into a "guy place" where he can tinker with things, so his computer and one of the recliner chairs will be moved down there, giving me even more room! I hope to create a space to film as well as put a bed up here so that my friends will have a place to stay over.

What do you think?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Real Struggles

I've found that most people have a hard time talking about their struggles. Specifically, when I ask other Christians what they are struggling with they usually mumble something about not being nice enough or needing more time to read their bible.

Not all Christians I know do this, but a big majority of them seem to have an issue talking about what they are going through.

I think this is wrong. I realize that they might think I'll judge them if they are honest, or they might be embarrassed about what they are struggling with, or they simply may not wish to share, but I'm tired of the trite answers I keep hearing. We Christians (and people in general) are supposed to love and respect and not judge each other. Talking about our struggles with other individuals who might have gone through the same thing can start the healing process! Talking about our faults lets us realize we are all human here, and this is not a competition.

Making up shallow struggles in an effort to look good, on the other hand, does not help.

(Also, I'm not talking about strangers, I'm talking about people I know, people I either go to church with or see on a regular basis. I don't randomly ask strangers how they are doing, I suppose because first meetings are filled with other kinds of conversations.)


So today I'm going to talk about some of the things I have struggled with.


This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, mostly because I'm human and I have the funny problem of trying to turn my struggles into other people's problems or attempting to simply ignore them by stuffing them as far down into my subconscious as possible.

Perhaps that should be my first confession. Hah!

If you ask my husband what I struggle with, he would say patience. And he would be right. I'm very impatient. When he told me I needed more patience, I got impatient waiting for him to explain to me exactly how I struggle in this area. Suffice to say we ended up laughing.

I'm also selfish. In small ways, like feeling sorry for myself because I have to do the dishes, or wanting my husband to do this or that. I'm also selfish in major big ways. For example, I don't like it when my husband tells me I can't buy things. Honestly, I should not even be asking him if I can buy things. We have a budget. If I've already spent all my personal money, I shouldn't keep asking him for shoes or shirts or books or haircuts. He's not my parent, we are both adults that should stick to the budget. But I'm selfish! And I struggle a lot with staying inside our budget and not going over because I just saw a sale that could not be passed up. The goal for life isn't "attempt to make self as comfortable as possible by buying all the pretty things at all the times and without restraint" but rather "make the world a better place". I fail at living like that. All. The. Time. There are many other examples of my bouts with selfishness. I'm working on it.

Another thing I struggle with is judging others. Hi, my name is Carolynn and I judge others. And I don't know how to stop. When I see someone who is overweight, I think to myself: I am so glad I'm not fat like that. Instead of seeing a person I usually just see the weight they wear and judge them for it. Yes, I'm a terrible person. I'm trying not to elevate myself above others for any reason, especially a reason like myself being born with genes that make loosing weight easy and gaining weight hard. The fact that I'm a size 12 has nothing to do with my worth and the fact that someone else may be a size 22 has nothing to do with theirs. I don't "win" at life or beauty or anything by being a little bit skinner then you. I try to remind myself of this but I still can't help judging the "overweight" people I pass in Walmart.


I struggle with managing my time. I think everyone should like me, and I really struggle with accepting people who don't accept me. I mean, it makes no sense to me when someone isn't interested in me or says I'm weird or gossips about me or writes me off as stupid/lame/not good enough. If you want to make me livid, tell me I'm stupid or lame. I'll go off on you. Because clearly everyone should like me.

For major struggles: I, at one time in college, struggled with watching anime porn. (This is so awkward to confess...) It has been years since I've given into this particular struggle, but at one time it was very real to me. Also, in my last relationship my boyfriend cheated on me. I was super upset, so to get him back I went and cheated on him. Not my finest moment. I was terrified for a long time that because of my choices I was now an awful person who would eventually cheat on my husband--but I never will. That's a choice I'll never make again. Thankfully, my past X and I are both Christians now and we have totally forgiven each other and now are friends! It is amazing to have healing in this area.

So yeah, those are some of my faults. I'm not afraid to share them, although I'm not proud of them. No one is perfect, me least of all. The things I've gone through, the bad choices and things I deal with on a daily basis--they all just point me further towards God.

What about you? Are you struggling with anything lately? We are all human, and we all need grace and forgiveness.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wearing


I've been loving my wardrobe recently. But I haven't bought anything new! Instead I've thrown out around six bags of clothes. All the clothes that don't fit. Anything with holes or stains. And all the articles I have not worn in over a year.

All my clothes now fit in one space, and its easy to see everything and find what I want. This dress and scarf is what I wore last Saturday.


Life is still pretty slow. For example, the highlight of my week was buying new organic tea at the grocery store. And knitting. A lot. My sweater is coming along nicely. But it does look rather odd. I decided to do cables and stranded colorwork all at the same time. I'm going for really organic cables, so they are all knit, but each cable is twisted with two different colors. It looks...interesting. I've never seen anything like it before. It's either going to be the coolest sweater ever, or...the ugliest.


I really hope to have it done by the end of the month, but who knows?

Anyway, happy fashion Wednesday!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Revisting Watercolor

So, this week I water-colored my husband a picture of the tardis for his birthday!


Happy Birthday, my lovely husband!

We celebrated my husbands wonderful day by buying him the new Final Fantasy: Lightening Returns and eating yummy brownies.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Day Before Snow

I thought spring was coming, but the day after I took these pictures we received about 8 inches of lovely fluffy cold stuff!
Life has been pretty slow lately. I rearranged my "studio" (the room that I use as my closet/sewing space/ knitting area! Pictures to come soon. Or, perhaps a video reveal? ).
My husband is talking about buying a shed for our backyard so he can turn our storage room into a "perfect man cave" (since I took over half his man cave with womanly things.) I know not every couple is blessed to have their own space, but I know both of us having different places to go has drastically helped our marriage when we need time apart. I have a running joke with Mr. Adventure over the fact that we have two bathrooms--because I'm sure this tiny fact has saved our marriage more then once.
Other then that, I've read a few books. Mr. Adventure and I had a silly spiff and made up over drinks at Logan's Roadhouse. We also successfully attended the gym every other day last week. Also, all that swimming has given me an ear ache. Poor ear.

Life is pretty slow right now, and I'm definitely enjoying it.  Here's to spring--and a hopeful look towards turning Mr. Adventure's man cave into a nursery. Maybe.

How are you?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Let's Crochet: Part 4


Welcome to part four of the Knitter's Guide to Crochet. Today we will learn how to increase and decrease when crocheting!

Thankfully, you increase with crochet exactly like you are kniting: by crocheting into the same stitch twice. Now, with knitting you have to go through the back loop for the increase stitch, but with crocheting, you simply crochet into the same space twice to make two crochet stitches out of one.

For this example I am using worsted weight yarn and a size 5.0mm knitting needle. To increase with a single crochet, you will make two single crochet stitches in one stitch. It looks like this:


It's the same if you are using double crochet. You would simply make two double crochet stitches out of one stitch.

Decreasing with crochet is fundamentally the same as well. When you decrease with knitting, you knit two stitches together. But the crochet stitches are bound off, remember? So, to decrease with, say, single crochet, you first must make a live stitch. But you don't bind it off. You simply hold that stitch and then do a normal single crochet stitch into the next space, binding off that one and the last one together to make one stitch. It's a little more complicated, and it looks like this (for single crochet):


Another way to decrease if you are very new to crochet is simply to skip a stitch and crochet into the next stitch. However this can compromise the lift of your fabric and make holes.

This tutorial is also in video form! Check it out below!


Each stitch (single, double) decreases a little differently but with basically the same principle. For the double crochet stitch, you will do part of the stitch in the first stitch space, and a full double crochet stitch in the second and bind them both off together. There is a great youtube video on this step if you would like to see it. The file was too large to make a gif out of.

I hope this helps you dec and inc with crochet! Let me know if you have any questions. If you would like to see more of my crochet self-help tutorials, click here for part six, joining in the round, or here for the crochet table of contents!

Also, this is my 700th blog post! Yay!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Wearing

Spring is just around the corner. I can taste it and I couldn't be more excited! I'm ready for warm, and green (literally, my yard is brown...) and camping trips!
I'm trying to wear all my favorite sweaters this week. Think I can do it? Well, since I got rid of a ton of clothes I only own 8 sweaters now. So I think I can actually get away with it.
This sweater was dubbed "the grandmother" by my significant other. However, I don't think my actual grandmother would wear it, she is a very very classy lady with the fashion sense of Audrey Hepburn. We have totally different styles--I would call my style a mix between boho and kawaii. And I'm okay with that because it means I get to wear this sweater. Yay!
Guys, I know I just posted a few days ago about my 6 month spending freeze but then modcloth posted this pineapple sweater and I just think it was made for me. I don't know what to do, but right now I'm dreaming about it.

What have you been wearing lately?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Free Clothing (CLOSED)

Hello guys! I've been cleaning out my closet. Last week I donated three huge bags of clothes to a instagram friend. And then, this week I decided to close my vintage etsy shop and purge my closet some more. I also have not bought a single new piece of clothing in over a month! (this is a milestone if you know me...)

My goal is to not buy any new clothing items for 6 months. Yes, that is right. I want to hold off on buying anything unnecessary for 6 months. (actually, not just clothing, this goes for anything) I made my last yarn purchase in mid-February for my sweater, and won't be purchasing any non-food related items until September when fall rolls back around. I really hope I can make it...

As you can imagine, my husband is rejoicing. As am I. I want to work in cutting down my clutter and just enjoying what I already have for the next six months.

So, I decided to see if any of you lovely blog readers would like to receive (for free) these clothes from my old vintage etsy shop.

I have organized the clothes by size. Each picture is a "lot". You will receive the entire lot. Shipping is 10$ per lot and I will refund any money that I don't use for shipping. If you are outside the continental USA shipping is 20$ per lot.






To claim a lot just leave a comment on my blog indicating what size you want. I just realized I have two med/large piles, so if you want either of these, please state rather you want the one with the purse or the one with the shorts.

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