Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crocheted Bacon Strips

After attending the summer Knit and Crochet Show in 2008, I was inspired to try my hand at a more freeform method of crochet. You see, my creative process tends toward heavy documentation. In other words, I jot down each and every stitch in my trusty notebook when designing something. My feeling is, generally, that I never know if or when I'm going to want to make this thing again. Or, at the very least, I may want to use a previously documented pattern as a jumping off point for a new design. So, freeform? Yeah, not so much. However, always open to new processes, in 2008 I threw caution (and my notebook) to the wind and embarked on a more intuitive journey...

Crocheted bacon strips!

Crocheted Bacon Strips Small

As many of you may be aware (hello to my tweeps and FB friends!), I thought I had lost my stack of crocheted pork strippage during my recent move. It was all very upsetting as I have big plans for this treasure! To that end, I also hate having lots of WIPs around. So, finding myself settled into my new very teensy living space with bags of WIPs literally everywhere has been motivation to enter a finishing phase. (Metaphor for my current stagnant trials and tribulations? Uh, yeah.) At any rate, I have tons of ideas for these porky, thready beauties floating about my grey matter. Nonetheless, I'd love to hear any ideas that you may have for my strips, my peeps! Please feel free to share your visions with me. And, if I happen use your idea, I'll send you a few of my thready pork strips as a token of my appreciation!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cougar Crest Trail

Top of the Cougar Crest Trail

Took this at the top of Cougar Crest Trail last weekend in Big Bear. We made it to the top at dusk. I love the light at that time of day.

Monday, April 12, 2010


In an effort to vary up my exercise regimen, I've embarked on a few recent hiking expeditions. Friday night last was no exception as I found myself navigating about a darkened Santa Monica mountain trail with my Special Man Friend ("SMF") and a larger group hailing from the West LA Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Your mission, LadyLinoleum, should you choose to accept it is as follows:

  • 5 mile hike beginning at roughly 7:30 pm PDT
  • 2.5 miles to top of trail and back
  • 1,100 foot elevation gain
  • 2 hrs and 5 minutes from start to finish
  • hike rating - moderately strenuous
Here's a visual of the route. I love you GPS!

So, the SMF and I pull up to the meeting place (near PCH and Sunset) at approximately 6:45 pm on Friday night. I scan the crowd. Most of the participants look to be in their 40s, 50s, with a handful a few decades older. I breathe a sigh of relief. I should be fine, right? I'm in relatively good shape and hey, if this crowd can handle the hike, I'm golden.

Uh, yeah.

Anyway, after signing in and waiving the SC of any responsibility should we injure ourselves at anytime during the hike *hint, hint*, the SMF and I are whisked away by the carpool wave and dropped off at the beginning point of our evening's journey. Requisite announcements were made by one of three group leaders (a guy who looked to be in his 80s and a little unsteady, I might add) and then we were off...AT LIGHTENING SPEED.


Could someone have told me that we were going to walk what felt like 10 minute miles from the start so that I could have done a few runner's stretches beforehand? Oh, and could someone have also informed me that the 1,100 foot elevation gain happened to be THE ENTIRE FRONT END OF THE HIKE? Yeah, there was no gradual elevation gain on this hike. No siree. First 45 minutes into the hike was all steep incline. I felt like a mountain goat on meth.

Worst part? That 80 year old guy who looked a bit wobbly? Yeah, he blew by me in the first five minutes of the hike.

At the top of the trail, the SMF and I were praised for "making good time". A few of the regulars seemed surprised by this and rewarded us by inviting us to join in their group Fig Newton break before turning around and heading down. We thanked them, but decided to forego the Newtons in order to snap a few shots of the view before making our way back.

WLA Sierra Club night hike

I have never before enjoyed a downhill journey more than this one, peeps...

Anyhoo, upon reaching the end of our night's adventure, we received more praise for our hiking speed and prowess, the leaders thanking us profusely for NOT holding up the carpool (as some newbies are wont to do by virtue of their turtle-like hiking skills). In fact, the old guard even invited us to join them for their traditional Souplantation post meth-hike meal AND invited us back for next Friday night's jaunt.

Yeah, I need to think about that invite a little longer before I RSVP...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Concrete Blond

Shorter and lighter...

Rocking the Almost Platinum Hairz

Ahhh, I love my monthly visit to the salon.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Whiling Away The Weekend

Over the last few months, I have come to cherish my weekly 48 hour cube farm furloughs. This is due, in part, to the fact that I recently discontinued my weekend knit/crochet teaching duties (nine hours of yarn store play every Saturday just became too much atop my weekly full-time cube farm commitment). It is also due, in part, to the fact that I now have my own space, chock full of my own things, a new locale filled with the delightful hustle and bustle of a mother/daughter duo going about their respective lives. Combine those ingredients with a heap-load of good friends, a busy urban setting providing lots of events to partake in at week's end, the new found psychic space in which to spread my wings and I've got a recipe for weekend scenarios that have become nothing short of a delightful respite from my work week stress-test-like schedule.

As such, last weekend's menu o' fun stuffs began with a lovely Friday eve dinner amongst friends at Hae Jang Chon in K-Town. (Got to love a restaurant that sports a grinning pig on the sign!) Our little foursome partook in the all you can eat meatfest where we sampled HJC's Bulgogi (BBQ beef), Black Angus beef brisket, marinated beef short ribs, thick slices of Canadian pork belly (mmm...bacon...), and BBQ pork.


Does anyone see a knit Canadian pork belly kilt on my design agenda? Methinks that might be a must...


Anyway, all of the usual yummy Korean BBQ sides were also present: Kimchi; cone tortillas; rice cake; bean paste soup; and lettuce with sesame paste for constructing your own, uh, Korean tacos. The quality of the meat was stellar, sides were delish, price per person super reasonable in addition to something you don't see much of in my hometown...FREE PARKING. Oh, and my new buddy, Heather, and I drank many a bottle of pomegranate wine too.


Bellies full, our little party headed over to the Wiltern for a screening of one of my all time fave films, The Big Lebowski, for none other than Lewbowskifest. White Russians, I mean, uh, Caucasians all around! By the way, many a said beverage could be obtained throughout the screening from the bar...Nice!

Saturday, I had the opportunity to join a group of friends for an evening cooking class at Simple Gourmet in Redondo Beach. We spent the evening drinking wine and playing with knives. It was great! At the end of the evening our little group of novice chefs enjoyed the fruits of our labors...a three course French-inspired vegetarian meal. I would go into more detail and oh, show a few pictures, but I seem to have lost the camera I was using that evening. You see, my brain seems to be a bit muddled these days. Oh well, at least I still have my little point and shoot.

Easter Sunday involved, yes, you guessed it, more food. Brunch with family and friends at Luminarias followed by a lovely motorcycle ride traversing a handful of SoCal canyon roads. Nice way to spend the day to be sure...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Genesis: The Sequel

The last few years have proven to be quite rough for me. In spite of the chaos I've found myself in, I've managed to keep making and blogging. However, over the last few months I have been unable to keep a stiff upper lip and motor through my life's meltdown with any grace. You are all aware that I have been navigating my way through a divorce process that could be characterized as glacial at best and completely stagnant a majority of the time, thanks to a very uncooperative counter party. In January, I also informed all of you that I have been witnessing my former home be foreclosed upon by a lender who has had little sympathy for my current plight, actually verbalizing that it would be more cost effective for them to take back my house than to lower the interest rate on my current loan, which had they chosen to go that route, oh by the way, would have enabled me to make my monthly mortgage payment unhindered. Go figure. Add to this pile o' crazy the stress of moving all of my little family's possessions to an apartment, literally a third of the size of my soon to be lost condominium, and the fact that my job is at a rolling boil due to our fiscal year end. To say that I'm having trouble keeping my head above the waterline would be the understatement of the year (and it's only April!). Needless to say, crocheting and knitting have practically ceased over the last few months and, well, blogging hasn't been on my to do list for some time.

So, I'm in a state of flux, poised to hit the reset button, yet waiting for the aftershocks to cease before I flip the switch. Meanwhile, I've been trying to glean how this reset will take shape and have begun to feel a twinge of excitement about the myriad possibilities before me, which I think, is a very good sign. You see, I tend to be a pretty positive person, despite the orange cones littered around the wreckage of my past mistakes. I tend not to be a dweller, but a doer. As a result, I am itching to get beyond the painful present, gain a bit of wisdom in the process and for all intensive purposes, live.

My mantra has always been, jump off the cliff and deal with the landing later. Oftentimes, this ability to ignore fear and just go for it has served me well. Other times, I've jumped right into a red hot mess. However, it is safe to say that my life is never boring and regrets? No, not really. Taking chances and throwing caution to the wind has provided me with so many amazing experiences, meaningful friendships and unexpected wonders that I could never, would never, change a thing.

So, another new direction? Another reset? Bring. It. On.

What do I have in store for you, dear reader? I have no clue. But I'll tell you, whatever appears on this blog as I embark upon this new chapter in my life will be tinged with a bit of humor, a smattering of wisdom and a vision of the future, my future, that will honor the independent spirit you've all come to know over the last five years.

Love to you all!

Yours in craft,