Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Munchkinhead and I started planning months ago.  When was that March? April?  We knew what we were going to be for Halloween, and as fall arrived, we started working on our fabulous costumes.

I’m a half-eaten Triceratops!

Triceratops knitting 

And Munchkinhead is a T-Rex.

T rex in a chair 

Specifically, she’s the T-Rex that’s eating me!

T rex eating triceratops We were inspired by the Milwaukee Public Museum dinosaur diorama. (re-enacted here)

We bought some very cheap sweats on sale at Target – actually, they were kinda free because I used a gift card I won at a State Bar of Wisconsin program.  Munchkinhead dyed hers to be the proper shade of red-brown.  Mine were good dark grey.  Both of our tails are made from an extra pant leg. 

Munchkinhead’s tail and back have a spine quilted in by Mommy.  My guts are also courtesy Mommy’s quilting.  They’re part of a down comforter that was lying around in her sewing closet.  Mommy also stitched Munchkinhead’s sleeves for her little arms.  Mommy originally said she wasn’t going to help us, but she got pretty into it with lots of great ideas.  She watched Dr. Who has half a triceratops so I could hand stitch the frill onto my costume.

My frill is made of fabric a scarp of stabilizer, which Cathy at JoAnn’s suggested.  She also suggested pleating it for the circular effect.  Mommy did the pleats; I cut the zig zag.  My top two horns are foam and my nose horn is felt, molded on Mommy’s felt carrot scissors keeper that I got her in Texas.  It’s held on with a strap of clear stretchy jewelry line.

Munchkinhead and I both have cardboard feet.  Hers aren’t on in the picture, but she has three front talons and one back talon on each foot.  I just have giant plodding triceratops feet, and I do have to plod in them because they make it very difficult to walk.  Our costumes are also both stuffed with pillows, which makes them quite warm.  They’d’ve been perfect for your standard put-your-costume-over-your-snowsuit Wisconsin Halloween, but it was 67 on Trick or Treat this year.  We felt like we really were in the late Crustaceous period!

T-rex handing out candyTrick or treat was fun.  Have you ever seen a T-rex try to hand out candy?  Tiny arms!  The kids would have to get up really close and Munkchinhead would still need some oomf to throw the candy bar into their bag.  Several kids had to pick up the candy.

After trick or treat, we had fun running around Mommy and Daddy’s house taking pictures of “T-rex attempts to do” this and “Triceratops attempts to do” that.  It was really funny.  T-rex could hardly do anything.  She fell headfirst into a laundry basket attempting to get clothes out of it!  I kept getting stuck in doorways and other narrow areas around the house.

Tonight, we’re going to ballet.  It’s Don Quixote, and they said we could wear costumes since it’s Halloween.  I’ll have to take my top half off so the frill doesn’t block anyone’s view.  Hopefully the colored contacts we got won’t obstruct ours.

We’re also going to – and this was a surprise to us; we found out about it after we’d started our costumes – the museum!  It’s a members costume party night.  Should be great fun.  I wonder if anyone will recognize us.

T rex and triceratops together

(Since Mommy and Daddy weren’t home, we went across the street to one of the neighbors’ and asked them to take our photo together.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Who Wants Sparkly Legs? I do! I do!

There are many secrets in the world.  My love of fancy stockings is not one of them.  Fishnets all summer, sweater tights all winter.  If they’re fun, fabulous and long enough to make it all the way up my legs, they’re mine.

If they’re fun, fabulous and too short for my legs, they probably belong to Munchkinhead.

When working on my purple sparkly gloves, I couldn’t help but think, “oh my gosh, I could make totally awesome fishnets like this!”  So I did.

Ok, they’re not quite totally awesome because when you’re holding them up next to each other, they look like two different sizes - A familiar problem – but Munchkinhead says you can’t tell when they’re on and she’s super picky about visual symmetry, so that’s good enough for me.

I began with a chain stitch about the length from my big toe to my pinky toe, the one that cries wah wah wah all the way home.  I did a single crochet stitch around the chain a couple times or three to make an oval, then did small lace loops of two or three chains linked back in for a round or two or three – you can see why these came out different sizes, no?  Then I moved into the 5 chain lace just like I used for the gloves.

When I got past the arch of the foot, I chained around the ankle, leaving a hole for the heel.  My thought was I’d fill it in like an afterthought heel in knitting.  Exactly how, I had no idea, and I’m not sure I can tell you know.  I sort of chained around and linked things until it was filled in with a cute little seam on the heel edge.

The whole leg is simply 5 chain lace all the way up.  I didn’t add any thing on the first stocking.  The second one was coming out a bit smaller, so at the top, I increased the chain lengths to six and then seven so my gigantic thighs will not be squished.  As I said, in the end, they came out close enough.  I’ve only warn them a couple times, but so far I’ve gotten lots of complements.

I love being sparkly!

purple fishnets

yarn: Vanna’s Glamour by Lion Brand in Purple Topaz; listed for size 2; 96% acrylic and 4% metallic polyester

Crochet hook: little pocket sized thing one a key ring for picking up dropped knitting stiches

Monday, October 27, 2014

More Characters for Kaki: Book Review of Where the Horses Run

Warner It was nice to read a Kaki Warner novel that didn’t have rape and murder in it. - I recently finished her latest, Where the Horses Run. - I guess it was because this one takes place in England rather than the wild American West. 

Where the Horses Run is part of the Heroes of Heartbreak Creek series.  The characters from Heartbreak Creek all make an appearance, even if only in the words of another character.   Ash and Maddie, the main characters from Colorado Dawn as the prime auxiliary characters in this book.  They travel to Scotland and England with Thomas Redstone, who has been an important character in all the Heartbreak Creek novels. 

Thomas is sort of Heartbreak Creek’s Mr. Spock.  never primary, always a large role and a clear outsider who’s half insider.  Thomas is a Cheyenne Indian whose grandfather was white and who sometimes serves as deputy sheriff, a very white role, but very much with his Cheyenne personality.

The Kirkwells – Ash and Maddie – also take with them a new character, Rayford Jessup, who is this book’s male love interest.  Along the way, he meets Josephine, the book’s female protagonist.  She loves horses; he’s a horse wrangler.  There you go.

Where the Horses Run is a much slower paced book than Warner’s others.  I, for one, appreciated that.  I could put it down and come ack later, but still found it enjoyable and a good read.  there were no horrible stomach knots this time and no tears. 

There also seem to be fewer lusty scenes, which is just fine by me.  Though I was disappointed by the ones that are here.  they felt like words instead of emotions.  Ruth Okediji’s descriptions of steps the World Intellectual Property Organization can take to reposition itself in Balancing Wealth and Health were more emotionally resonant than Kaki Warner’s intimate scenes in this book.  There must be other adjectives to describe nipples besides “puckered,” which isn’t a very pleasant sounding way for nipples to be – sounds course, hard and painful.  How about alert? dancing? robust? apprehensive? peaked?  I don’t know; I’m not a romance novelist.  But puckered made my nose squinch up in discomfort and distracted me from connecting with the words on the page.

Josie is a delightful character.  Strong yet feminine and although she’s got a history to make her interesting, she’s not broken and doesn’t need fixing.  Rafe is broken.  Rafe has an interesting history, too, but we never really get the whole picture.  Maybe that will come out in a future story.  Some great fan fiction could be written about his past.  There’s just enough bits and pieces given.

Thomas’s character is continuously flushed out throughout the Heartbreak Creek novels, and it works well.  Because of this, he has more depth than any other character and it’s about to pay off.  The next book will focus on him and Prudence Lincoln, the half sister of the first novel’s protagonist (Edwina Brodie in Heartbreak Creek).  I can’t wait!


Other Kaki Warner book posts:

  1. Pieces of Sky
  2. Open Country
  3. Chasing the Sun
  4. Heartbreak Creek
  5. Colorado Dawn
  6. Bride of the High Country