Look What Showed Up in the Mail!

Candy Fabric

All I can think is, “Ididit!Ididit!Ididit!Ididit!” to myself over and over.  In case you can’t tell from the photo…that’s fabric.  I designed it…and I’m feeling rather pleased with myself about it.

I took the design from the candy bookmark (here!), made it a million times more complicated (it took about 2 weeks of grumbling to finish–I’m very sorry about that to anyone who had to listen to the grumbling), and used Photoshop to create a repeat pattern (which is, in all honesty, pretty much the only thing I currently know how to do in Photoshop).  And it worked!  On the first try!

I’ve stared at it long enough at this point to feel comfortable saying that everything lined up just as it should.  Gah!  I’m so happy with it.

And now I get to order more and make stuff with it (stuff–a technical term) as I only ordered a fat quarter initially.  Hopefully my next pattern will come together much quicker than this one did (cupcakes next!).

Now what to make with it first?

P.S. I feel like I should just come out and admit to not ironing before photographing…everything is far less bendy in person, lol.  I realize there’s some weird stuff happening in that photo.

Finishing Up Ms. Marvel’s Scarf

Ms. Marvel update!

I started on the scarf…the tedious part.  You don’t want to know how long it took me to put the trim on just the edges; I knew adding the funky starburst bit was going to make me want to cry.

Ms. Marvel Comic

Instead of crying, I chose to flail my arms in the air.  Sometimes Michael flailed back.  It was a thing.

Ms. Marvel Stencil

So…to make my life easier I made a weird looking stencil.  (no I don’t remember why it looks that weird…I made it back in June, just never got around to using it).


Then I traced it with a fabric marker so it would wash out (not that you’re actually going to see it).

Funky shape pinned

And then I pinned one side, sewed one half of the line and then flipped it over to pin the other.  It was moving way too much to risk trying to pin both sides and then sew.

Finished scarf end

The end result looks like this…I wish it didn’t look quite so much like snakeskin, but it looks fine from a distance, so I’ll deal.  Stephanie says it looks good and I’m being too nitpicky.  She’s right.  My nitpicky side is very resentful of her being right, but she’s right.

Michael with a Stick

Lastly, I’ll leave you a photo of Michael with a stick.  We took a brief break to go Pokemon hunting, and Michael found a stick.  Also, I realize I’m playing the WordPress lottery with photos here, and that this photo–the entirely unrelated one–will be the one that shows up on facebook.  Bring it on, WordPress.  Bring it on.


Ready, Player One Vs. Armada

Frankly it isn’t a contest.  Ernest Cline’s Ready, Player One has received millions (at least it feels like it) of amazing reviews, while Armada just didn’t.  In my humble opinion RPO was spectacular; it sucks you in to this crazy futuristic environment, and doesn’t let you go.  On the other hand, Armada is just okay.  I wouldn’t recommend reading it first—if you do, you’ll probably never bother with Ready, Player One, and that would not be a good mistake.

Book Covers of Ready Player One and Armada

For the sake of order, here, let’s start with what makes Ready, Player One so awesome, because much of what makes it awesome is what makes Armada fall a bit flat.  RPO is set in a future world, where real life isn’t half as great as it used to be.  Our hero, Wade Watts, lives in a trailer with his aunt and about 12 other people.  This trailer is located in the “stacks” (yes, you can think library here), where people pile their rv’s/trailers/vans/etc. on top of each other as a response to overcrowding in cities, lack of resources, lack of jobs, what-have-you.  Life on planet Earth isn’t great.

That’s where OASIS comes in.  OASIS, an online virtual reality mmo type of game, allows players to log in and level up characters by fighting and completing quests (like you could in, say, WOW); players can go to school, they can work, they can go clubbing, hang out in a friends “basement” playing video games.  You get the idea.  If it weren’t for having to eat, sleep, and exercise, you can pretty much live in the OASIS (as Wade does many times throughout the book).

When the OASIS’s creator, James Halliday, dies, he leaves his company and fortune in the hands of whomever can solve his puzzle first (and find the egg)—a puzzle based on Halliday’s love of all things 80’s.  As the years go on, more and more people quit the search for Halliday’s egg, with the exception of a few notable groups: the gunters—your average joes obsessed with the search—and the sixers—employees of the massive IOI corporation out to make money.  Wade Watts is a gunter, and a broke gunter at that, meaning he doesn’t have the funds to leave his school world, level up his character, and do all of the other fancy things that most of the other gunters can.  Regardless, Wade finds himself opening the very first gate—making him the very first to accomplish this task.  What follows is a fast paced journey of pretty much everyone in the entire world trying to find the egg first, and the bad guys, the sixers, trying to beat them all to it and gain control of the OASIS.  It’s full of humor and trivia; if you are a fan of anything 80’s you will probably find something you like in this book.

I actually listened to both books on Audible, and Wil Wheaton does an excellent job reading.  I really appreciated the meta moment in the middle where he referenced himself.  I will, more than likely, listen to it again at some point—I enjoyed it that much.

My Armada review will be a little shorter, because I have far less to say about it.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that great either.  I listened to Wheaton read that one too.  While Wheaton does an excellent job, sometimes even an excellent reader can’t make a mediocre book great.  Also, I think his voice just made me want to re-listen to RPO

Zack Lightman, our teenage protagonist, looks out the window at school and spots a space ship, straight out of his favorite video game, flying through the air.  An alien invasion follows, and it seems like Cline is trying to write another Ready Player One with all of its video-gaminess and references.  Armada falls flat because of this.  It’s the kind of book that makes you want to try your hand at rewriting it, because you’re pretty sure even you could do a better job at it(I spent a half hour last night doing that exact thing).  Honestly, Cline could’ve skipped pretty much all of his many references and instead focused on developing his plot/characters a bit more to make the book a million times stronger, but for whatever reason he didn’t.  He technically made them part of the plot, but that doesn’t mean they did anything for it.  They had impact in RPO.  They didn’t have impact in Armada.

If you liked RPO will you like it?  Maybe?  Go in with very low expectations (I lowered mine a lot, and I’m glad I did), and you’ll enjoy it well enough.  You probably won’t recommend it to friends, but if you’re sad because it’s been a while since RPO and you really, really want to try it out then just do it.  It isn’t awful, it just isn’t good.

I did notice in the interview Cline gave with Amazon that he lists Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash as one of his favorite novels.  Snow Crash, a funky cyberpunk adventure, has some plot similarities to RPO (like virtual reality) AND a good plot that WILL surprise you.  It might be a better way to scratch your RPO itch than Armada.  Just sayin’.

The Leita Thompson Memorial Park: My New Favorite Pokemon Stop

I’ve been passing the Leita Thompson Memorial Park for years (I’m sure some of you have too), and I never considered stopping until recently thanks to a recommendation from another Pokemon Go player.  The park is a bit deceptive.  You can see the Arts Center from the road as well as the Memorial Garden, but neither one of these actually makes it seem like there’s a really nice walking trail behind it.

As it turns out, it’s absolutely worth stopping, and if you ever happen to be traveling down Woodstock rd with a few minutes to kill, then I encourage you to pull over.

Leita Thompson Memorial GardenFor you Pokemon Go players, there are three Pokestops and a gym in the memorial gardens.  The gardens are small, but pretty with benches everywhere making it a fantastic place to just sit and chill.  My only warning is to bring bug spray–I am not a fan of the mosquitos, and these guys bit me through my shoes last week.

I like to sit over near the lady with the urn–she’s technically a fountain–again, though, mosquitos.  You can normally hit the gym from where where she is, and I (weirdly) like the sound of the little fountain.

These are all the Pokestops (I’m standing in the memorial garden):

So Many Pokestops

Everything you see in the screenshot, you’ll hit in the trail ahead.  You can’t really see the ones in the memorial garden (thank you gym…).  The one next to the road is the start of the trail that I normally head to.  There’s a longer path that starts on the other side, but I have yet to go that far.  For a path through the woods, that’s the most Pokestops I’ve seen so far (I’m sure there’s a spot with more somewhere, but it probably isn’t half as convenient).

Map of Leita Thompson Park

I normally go down the yellow and loop back around.  I can get down to all of the Pokestops and back in 20 minutes-ish, making it ideal for killing time between students.  One of these days I’m going to do the whole thing.  There’s a pond that I have yet to see.

Even when it’s hot, the woods are so dense that it’s shady and relatively cool even when it’s ninety degrees out.

Leita Thompson Trail

And if you walk far enough you’ll hit a gym up at the Arts Center (I have yet to explore that…I presume you can go inside).  You’ll also notice that the Pokestops are really interesting up near the arts center.

I think the statues/sculptures were all old art installations that have been relocated…because I have yet to find any of them.  I was trying to take the gym up at the arts center when these two teenage boys walked by muttering “where’s the head”, so I know I’m not the only one baffled by the missing sculptures.  Personally, I’d like to see the musical sculpture.  Those nails just look bizarre.

Does anyone else frequent the Leita Thompson Memorial Park?  I’m a little freaked out by the coyote warnings (especially one about the rabid coyote…), but there are no dates up to tell how recent they are and I have yet to see anything, so I’m probably going to continue to be brave.  There are always so many people going around the trail, walking their dogs, running, that I know I’m not the only one (being brave).  If I find out more about that, I’ll update my post.

In the mean time, what are your favorite woodsy Pokemon Go places?

Park Address:

1200 Woodstock Rd, Roswell, GA 30075




Fun with Cupcake Earrings!

Adding fun into the title clearly makes EVERYTHING more fun.  True story.

And now for my face:


Becky and I came up with 2 different earring designs based on my brand new coloring bookmark set–> Coloring Bookmarks Eat Sweets! Pretty spiffy, no?  The ones I’m wearing in the photo feature a tiny stack of 3 cupcakes.  Which means that when you wear them you are literally hanging 6 cupcakes off of your ears.  Lets see Chuck Norris do that!

Now lets see my face again:

Pink single cupcake earringsBam!  My face.

These are the singles.  As it turns out, I like both of them equally–which is only odd, because I was really, really, really determined at first to have a stack of cupcakes because in my crazy cupcake obsessed mind more cupcakes are ALWAYS better.  As it turns out, they are pretty stinkin’ cute, but the singles have the added bonus of being able to see the detail a bit more, so hooray for that.

Multiple embroidered cupcakes

As with the cherry blossom necklace (scroll down, I promise it’s in there), I created the lineart and Becky worked her magic to digitize it for the embroidery machine.  They take a bit of trial and error to get right, and then they take a bit of prayer–because I really am terrified of fire, and melting the edges so that they don’t fray is utterly terrifying.

The purple cupcake stack and the blue cupcakes on the right are actually the original design.  Can you tell the difference?  The finished ones on the left look so much cleaner and nicer because we removed some of the detail.  The poor yellow cupcake in the middle bit the dust–I think the embroidery machine tried to eat it…it happens sometimes.

So, what do you think?  They’ll be available for sale soon…hopefully!  We’ve got a few other things in the works as well, so keep an eye out.

And if you didn’t follow that link above to go buy my coloring bookmarks, go here!  They’re pretty!  They’re inexpensive!  You can color them!  And think how happy your very favorite Angela will be if you buy a set! (BTW, thank you for everyone who HAS bought a set, I really do giggle like a little kid every time I sell another one!)

Coloring bookmarks preview