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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Work In Progress

This is what has been consuming my time.



Which will eventually be this. Except that I'll mess up the face/eyes. Because I *always* do.

Okay. That and an amigurumi Sailor Moon doll I've been working on (that hair. evil, i tell you. eeeeeeevil). And reading. And playing ArcheAge. And watching anime. And teaching the Imp the alphabet. And trying to get rid of a flea infestation. Ugh.

Yes. So that is me right now.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Book Haul

I've been watching a lot of Booktube (that's book related channels on Youtube) lately. People post videos of their monthly "book hauls" - the books they buy for that month. Well, I don't buy many books and you'll likely never catch me filming a video of myself. But I do love books. Every weekend the Elf and I try to get to the library. Here's this week's haul! (yes, they're predominantly YA)

Return to Labyrinth volume 2 by Jake Forbes
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

In addition B bought me:

Ceres volume 4 by Yuu Watase
The Fox by Sherwood Smith

Will I read all of these in a week? Uhm. Probably not. The Fox is a read-a-long for May so I don't even need to worry about that one. Though.. I really want to know what happens in the story and I've never been great at self restraint when it comes to books!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Found my Mojo

These are the most enjoyable to knit socks I've ever tried. Well... except for the heels. I have zero desire to ever knit an afterthought heel ever again. All the same. These are great fun. And they look hilarious when not on a foot. Great. Fun.





I'm knitting these from Phat Fiber samples I've gotten in the past. Details are here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The House of Sand and Secrets by Cat Hellisen

My first reaction upon finishing this book last night: *inarticulate fangirl noises*

Okay. So. This book is the sequel to When the Sea is Rising Red. It follows Felicita and Jannick on their move to MallenIve and... there's very little else I can say that won't spoil things. There are societal complications. Marital complications. Things ensue.

This story was an emotional roller coaster. I was frustrated (not with the book, and not with the characters.. but *with* the characters.. as in, empathy. I felt their frustrations). I teared up. Smiled uncontrollably.

[I'm not writing this well. I've woken up in a bad mood. Kids are being loud. A toothless, old cat keeps stalking back and forth between me and my keyboard. My computer is acting possessed by demons. People are changing silly in-game agreements with me at the very last minute. And it's only 9:30am. It's just been a day already. Someone make me another cup of coffee?]

Sand and Secrets is an amazing book. It's beautifully written. The characters are alive, real, and very much get under your skin and into your head. The imagery is.. breathtaking. Jannick's house in his head... I don't have the words. Amazing. Perfect. Mind blowing. None of those do this book justice.

The last book/series I gushed about like this was The Glass Books of the Dreameaters by Gordon Dahlquist (somehow I haven't read the third book in that series. wtf?!). And I stand by both that series and this one: top favorites. Ever. Of all time. Forever.

My only complaint with anything regarding this world: I can't find a copy of Dogleaf! Goodreads tells me there's a short story (ebook) that follows Felicita and Jannick after this book. I want it, precious! But it seems to not exist outside of that one goodreads page. This makes me sad. And frustrated. I want all the Hobverse books. All. Of. Them. Now, please.

There's a snippet of another book at the end of Sand and Secrets. It has elements in it that spark my dream-memory of the long ago beta read. It made me squeal with happiness inside.

Go read this series. No excuses.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What?!

Okay. I think I knew this at one point but... Megan Lindholm - author of the Windsinger series (in which reside one of my favorite pairs ever - Ki and Vandien) - is Robin Hobb. What?!

I'm attempting to use goodreads and.. I'm not sure it's going well. Is this site as user unfriendly as I think it is? Was I spoiled by librarything? Or maybe by that month I spent entering all my books (now sadly, outdated) with my cuecat?

In any case. I'm working on it. This is me on goodreads.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

Okay. Preface. I read this story when it was a different story. Back in the days of LiveJournal Cat let me beta read this story. It had a different title, different characters, but was lovely and engrossing. I've wanted to read her published works since she first let on that she was in print. I was so very excited for her - Cat is an amazing person.

So fast forward to a week or two ago. She has a new book out (Beastkeeper - go read it, too!). I smack my forehead: how have I still not bought her books and read them?! Okay, well, because I don't buy hardcover books or ebooks of things that I know I'm going to love. This means I can't buy her new book yet. Sadness. But! Her previous two books! I have no excuse now! B bought them for me the very day that this crisis happened in my head (yes, I have issues).

I dove into When the Sea is Rising Red with gusto. I was familiar with the world, of course. But.. it was.. like reading a dream you know you've had before. It's amazing and compelling. And different. It's not the story I remember. Like that dream - it's familiar, like a skin I shed but knew so well. When I try to remember a dream in a linear way, it slips around and refuses to be caught. Reading this book was like that. It was so exciting - just because I knew but didn't. Does that make sense?

I will say this right now - read this book. It has earned a solid position among my top favorite books. Ever. Of all time. Forever. Felicita, Dash, Jannick, Whelk Street, Ilven. The world is so solid, so well depicted. I could smell the sea air, feel the grime of the streets, taste the terror of hiding from the sharif (spelled this way in the book - not a typo), small the scriv, feel the sticky 'ink residue. I read this book in a day and a half. I tried to hold out. To savor it. But I couldn't.. I *had* to read it Right Now Or The World Will End. It was that good.

Time for some honesty. I was scared to crack open the second book: The House of Sand and Secrets. It wasn't in my half-remembered dream. The blurb about it.. doesn't sound so compelling (do blurbs ever?). What if I don't like it? How do I reconcile that with knowing that I've loved everything I've ever read by Cat? (There's a book she wrote that I beta'd. I can't remember the name of it. But Caleb. And fairy tales. And black feathers? Rain. And smoke and a squat/house. A cowboy hat? A trail in the woods? I miss that story, even though I can't hold on to the slippery dream selkie that it has become.)

So I put it off all day. I knit a sock for the littles (they fought over it - silly boys). While putting the littles to bed that night, I started House of Sand and Secrets. And you know what? It completely sucked me in. I'm in love all over again (I've already been close to tears and squealed in delight). I've less than half the book left and I'm torn (as always): devour it hungrily? Or savor it? It's so good and I Need To Know What Happens Next! So I'm doing both. I'm letting the story stew in my mind while I write this not-review and knit a second sock. And in stolen snatches I will devour pages like they are part of a hidden, secret dark chocolate stash.

tl;dr: Cat Hellisen is an amazing author. Go read her books. If you don't, you're missing out on some of the best books you'll ever read. Ever. Seriously. Go. Now. Read. Thank me later. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Creeper

Finished the creeper for the Elf yesterday. More fiddling with plastic canvas than I'd like, but the boys love it. Learned (properly, finally) how to crochet in joined rounds. Couldn't get the seam invisible and there's still a slight diagonal to the work (you can really tell in the second pictures) but it's an improvement all the same.








Used this pattern and some random sock yarn held double. Ravelery notes here.