Monday, March 28, 2011

Bunny hair love

I love angora.  I'd own a dozen angora bunnies, but I live in the city and am really allergic to rabbits.  When I was in my early twenties, I actually lost a job because of it.  (It's hard to groom rabbits when your nose is running around the room mocking you!)
Luckily for me, there are nice people out there that harvest bunny hair, wash it, dye it, and then sell it to me!  I love those people.  Hubbie understands and says he isn't jealous in the slightest.  I've chosen to believe him because it means lovely yarn.
I recently got to indulge in my angora love.  TK, Lana (one of the ladies from our knitting group), and I want to dinner in the village.  (Can I just say jalapeno hushpuppies with maple butter?  Soooooo yummy!)  (Please excuse me while I wipe the drool off of my keyboard.) Before dinner we went to Downtown Yarns and I came across Malabrigo Handspun Angora. (said with a sign worthy of a teenaged girl with her first crush)  I love love love love love it! 

So soft, so lovely, such small yardage.  It was only 40 yards and a bit pricey, but worth it.  It claimed to be a worsted weight, but it worked up bulky.  I paired it with some Classic Elite Lush and made it into a shawlette.

It's a small shawlette, but the perfect size for a scarf.  As soon as I have it photographed, I'll put up some pictures.

Did I mention that I'm in love?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring has sprung!

Finally!  I have to admit that I was getting pretty tired of the snow and cold.  But then I came across these.

The crocuses are blooming.  Aren't they beautiful? It's like mother nature is smiling at me.

I can't help smiling back,

Monday, March 14, 2011

Romance novels

I've decided to admit a potentially embarassing truth about my self.  I read romance novels.

"But Joyce!" you say, "How can you read that stuff!?!?!"

I must stand in defense of the fluffy novel.  You know, the ones that don't have an impact on your life and are just a fun diversion.  Some people read fantasy (dragons and magic and swords, oh my). I read romance (dragons and magic and kissing, oh my). 

The thing is I'm quite picky about the romance novels I read.  I grew up reading Danielle Steel (with a heavy dose of Stephen King thrown in for balance.  I'm nothing if not eclectic.)  I was in my twenties before I realized that she doesn't really write what I consider to be romance.  How can her books be considered  romance when they generally include a tragedy that kills one (or more) of the romatic leads?  And I really don't like it when that happens.

I'm also not fond of weak female leads that cannot take care of themselves. (Save me from milquetoast!) I love a strong female character that knows her own mind and has ways of her own to get out of difficult situations (but also knows that a little help never hurt.)

I also love a strong male lead character that loves the female for who she is.

I have been know to yell at the characters in the book I'm reading when they do something not so smart.  Going into the dark room alone to investigate the noise, going outside to confront the crazy guy when the house is perfectly safe, you know, that sort of thing. (Ok, so you don't find those situations much in a romance, but...)

With a romance, what will make me yell at the characters (and sometimes toss the book across the room) is if the only conflict keeping the lead characters apart is a lack of communication or their own idiocy because they're "too afraid" to admit their feelings. Come on people, put it out there!  Sure you might have your heart ripped out, but it's better than pining from afar and wishing you'd said something!

And last, but most certainly not least, no means no!  There have been an unfortunate number of "romance" novels thrown away (As a side note, this almost never happens with any books in my house.  Books that have been read and will not be read again are donated or given to a friend that might enjoy them.  Most, however, are still on my bookshelves because some of my best friends are books.) or burned (I'm sorry, but that book had to die!) because the author thought that it was ok for the male lead (I will NOT say hero) to force himself on the female lead without her consent (and they later fall in love with hearts and rainbows?!?!? I don't think so!)

Plot holes (and sometimes plot absence) can be forgiven if the writing and romance are good. 

Now where did I put that Julia Quinn novel?

Monday, March 7, 2011

You are my sunshine.

Back when Hubbie and I first met, I had a serious thing for gumball machines.  But not necessarily the ones with gumballs in them (although I do love my gum).  I was instead more intrigued by the trinkets and curios that one could purchase for just 25 cents.  One day he surprised me with this little gumball machine gem.

A ring with an adorable sunshiny face.  The face is maybe a quarter of an inch across, but has such amazing detail that I immediately loved it. 

Cloudy days just can't compete,