Because there is not enough time-wasting material available on the Internet, I present you with this from the Hero Factory:

Superhero

I am the Super Solderer, fast enough to make a diamond ring in a single three hour studio visit.  Check out my huge blow torch.

What special abilities would you have if you were a superhero?  If you make your own superhero, be sure to let me know, 'cause I want to see it.

I don’t remember being into mysteries or murder or the macabre when I was younger.

Although now that I think of it, I did rather enjoy the novels written by Lois Duncan, who writes some pretty amazing books for teens and young adults.  Some of my favorites were Daughters of Eve, Killing Mr. Griffin, Stranger with My Face, and I Know What You Did Last Summer.  Even now, as an adult, I love those books.

So maybe that’s when my fascination with murder, crime, and death in general started.

Which brings me to the reason for this post.  One of my favorite websites is called Find a Death and I find it utterly compelling.  It is basically a compilation of the “death stories” of celebrities and not-so-celebrities, complete with photos, death certificates, gossip, and sometimes, mementos.

William_holden_dc

The creator is a guy named Scott Michaels who has what I think is a pretty interesting story of his own.  Scott also has a business called Dearly Departed Tours, which I’ve never been on but wouldn’t mind seeing.  Maybe a good sightseeing trip for the English relatives?

Some of my favorite profiles are:

Desi Arnaz (some good gossip here)
Jackie Coogan and the Addams Family Cast
Sam Cooke
Grace Kelly

A word of warning:  Some (maybe most) of the content on Findadeath.com is not work-appropriate.  Some content on it is not for the squeamish.  Finally, while I don’t personally find it disrespectful, there is the occasional hint of irreverence about death and celebrity on this site and if you think you might be easily offended, perhaps it isn’t the website for you.

Otherwise, have at it.

I know, I know, I owe you a post.  Preferably one that is non-political.

There are actually a whole lot of things I want to post about, but most of my writing time has been taking up with the kind of writing I've been wanting to do for a long time:  fiction.  I try to write about 1000 words a day, in addition to research.   I've mentioned this before, but the novel is set in 1678 in London and is about a female fortune teller who becomes involved in the unsolved mystery of a client's death.  The working title is Touching of the Evil but that will definitely change because it is based on an earlier story line I'd worked out and doesn't really have anything to do with the current story.

So all that writing hasn't left a lot of time for posting here, but that's okay.

To tide you over, here is a random selection of things I'm also doing these days.

What I'm Reading
One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

What I'm Knitting
Christmas Gifts!  Can't blog too much about that because part of my limited audience might actually be receiving said gifts.

What I'm Eating
Shrimp!  I've been making a lot of things with this yummy shellfish lately.  Most recently, I made Emeril's Shrimp and Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, Chilis, and Green Onion.  It was delicious, and super easy.  I made it for a dinner party and pre-measured and prepared all the ingredients so all I had to do was throw it all together when it was time to eat.

What I'm Drinking
Sugar Free Red Bull.  I am a caffeine addict and unless someone can provide evidence that it will eventually kill me, I will remain one.  Lately, I've been drinking Sugar Free Red Bull as a substitute for coffee in the morning.  As it gets colder, I might switch back to coffee but for now I'm liking this instead.

What I'm Watching
Dexter.  I am loving it this season.

What I'm Not Watching
Californication.  We loved the first season of this show but after a couple of episodes this season, we stopped.  It was getting on my nerves.

Where I'm Surfing
I've really been loving Ravelry lately, which is a knit/crochet community.  I've been a member for awhile now but it's only been the last couple of months that I've really gotten into it.  If you haven't signed up yet and you're a knitter or crocheter, do it now!

So that's it for now.  Have a good Tuesday!

Behold, one of my favorite knit projects of all time:  The Clapotis Wrap.  It’s meant to be a scarf, but it’s big enough to be a wrap.

Air

I love scarves, and I don’t have near enough of them. When I found this pattern on Knitty, I knew it would be a perfect scarf for the not-so-cold winters of Santa Monica.

Neck

Of course, I used a different yarn than is called for in the pattern, but it worked nicely:

Patons Grace
4 skeins Brown, 3 skeins Azure
Size 6 circular needles

Wrap

While it took me a couple of weeks longer to knit than I thought it would, I almost didn’t mind because it is such a fun pattern.  There is something very decadent about dropping stitches in a pattern, and in this one I got to do it every 12 rows.  Obviously, I have to get my entertainment where I can.

Head 
It’s also a forgiving pattern–at the end I had the wrong amount of stitches and I was able to easily “hide” it.  So it’s not perfect, but you’d never know.

I know I will be wearing it a lot this fall and winter!

Today is our 10 year wedding anniversary.  Mick, I dedicate this song to you:

Seems like only yesterday we were swaying clumsily back and forth to this song in front of family and friends.  What we lacked in dancing skills, we’ve certainly made up for in love and happiness.

Everyone says marriage is hard work, but I have to be honest, it’s not hard at all for Mick and I.  It’s actually pretty darned fun.  And just to prove it, we’re taking trapeze lessons today to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Happy Anniversary, Mick!  I love you!

This is one of those posts where I don’t have enough content to write about any one thing, so I’m going to include a whole lot of little stuff for your reading pleasure:

Bada Bing
Today is supposed to be warm in Santa Monica, and while searching through my drawers for warmer weather clothes, I found one of my old projects–the Bada Bing tube top.

Really, I Do Knit!
Contrary to the recent jewelry-heavy content of this blog, I have been knitting, and in fact have been rather obsessed with it of late.  Over the last week or so, I designed and knit a cute little cardigan for myself using baby alpaca.  It’s not 100% finished yet, but here is a preview:

blocking

So far my only real criticism of it is that it is a bit on the small side, especially in the shoulders.  I only had about 850 yards of yarn and rather than be sensible and buy more of it, I designed the sweater so it used about 800 yards.  Anyway, I’ll blog about it more when I’m completely done with it.

DIY Hermes Kelly Bag
Who said Hermes never gave you anything?

I’m not one of those girls who dreams of having a Kelly bag, or really, any high priced fashion accessory.  Hell, I don’t think I even knew what one was until I was 35.  Still, I dig the concept of styling my own:

Kelly Bag Pattern

This truly is the closest I’ll ever come to owning one, and I’m cool with that.  If I ever actually make one, I will definitely blog it.  In fact, I have a fab idea for this pattern, so stay tuned.

Cable Needle Holder Tutorial
From Jen at PieKnits, here is a nifty little holder for your cable needle:

Cable Needle Ring

I especially like this holder because not only is it a knit accessory, it is also jewelry.

Knit Designer “Interview”
Jen at PieKnits recently held a contest in celebration of the three year anniversary of her blog.  As part of the contest, readers answered questions then asked Jen a question.  Here are some of her answers.  It’s not an interview per se, but still an interesting glimpse into the life of a great knit designer

Loves Me, Loves Me Not Ring
You didn’t think I’d be able to do an entire blog post with no jewelry in it, did you (I’m not counting the Cable Needle Ring)?  Of course not.  That’s why I present to you this ring:

Loves Me Not Ring

I didn’t make it, but I thought it was clever and deserved a mention.

I’ve been accumulating a few of miscellaneous web links lately and it’s time to post them.

Lost Wax Casting Process
From Beth Cyr Jewelry, this is a great tutorial about the lost wax casting process, which is something I’d really like to learn.

Amazon Kindle
Mick and I each bought one of these a couple of months ago.  We LOVE them.  Instead of watching TV every night we’re reading and we’re much smarter now.  Mick wrote two blog posts about it:  Embracing the Kindle and Sharing Two Kindles if you’re interested.

Works in Progress
These photos are from Kathryn Reichert who sells beautiful jewelry on Etsy.  In this pictorial, she shows how she makes bezels for pendants.

Shapely Prose
Kate Harding’s Fat Acceptance blog.  I don’t agree with everything she says, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t make a lot of great points and body acceptance is an important issue for men and women alike.  Of particular interest is the BMI Project.

Craft Boom
Lisa Lam of U-Handbag’s blog about starting and running a crafty business.  U-Handbag always makes me wish I could sew (well, sew better).

In other news, I got another treasury today and it features some really great Etsy jewelry artists:

great_jewelry

A note about treasuries.  They expire within two or three days, so links I post will quickly become outdated.

Yesterday I got a treasury on Etsy and dedicated it to my husband Mick, whose birthday was Friday.

geek_husband

There must be a lot of geeky husbands out there because I’ve never had such a popular treasury!

In other news, the Saturday Night Special I participated in last night was pretty successful for me.  I won’t be able to do them every Saturday, because if I did, I’d have to raise my prices, but once in awhile it seems to be a good way to get some sales and generate some interest in your shop.

Well, sorry to post another meme so soon after the last one, but my sister-in-law tagged me and since I am a people pleaser I guess I have to do it.

1)  I think it would be fun to make a shoe.

2)  This kind of freaks me out.

3)  I wish I could dance a whole lot better.

4)  I hated my wedding dress.

holly_mick_wedding_filmgrain (1)

5)  I haven’t been to the dentist in like 10 years.

6)  I like the smell of my old dog’s breath.

7)  I love transgendered people.  I also love drag queens.

Pardon the brief interruption.  On Saturday we went skiing at newly re-opened Mt. Waterman ski area and I wanted to blog about it in case other skiiers like us wanted an opinion about it.

The LA Times did an article about it on February 24 and it includes some photos.  We forgot our camera, so alas, no photos here.

I was really looking forward to seeing what it would be like, for a few reasons.  First, the opportunity to ski so close to home seemed too good to pass up.  I know there other places in Southern California we could go, but as the owners of a very old dog whose bladder is sometimes unreliable, we really have to be careful about how long we stay away from home.  The Waterman website indicates that it’s 55 minutes from downtown L.A. and we figured we could be there and ready to ski within two hours from Santa Monica.  This turned out to be a fairly good estimate, although the trip there at 7am took considerably less time (about an hour and a half) then the traffic-ridden ride home (2+ hours).

Second, when I went to Doc’s Ski Haus to buy skis, everyone there was excited to hear we were going to Waterman.  This made me excited we were going to Waterman.

Third, this was a completely spontaneous, unplanned ski day trip, something we’ve never done before.  It just sounded like a lot of fun.

So, did Waterman live up to our expectations?  Yes and no.  Read the LA Times article for more detailed info, but here were our impressions of the resort (and keep in mind the type of skiiers we are–we love the sport but came to it relatively late in life, and enjoy the atmosphere/apres-ski portion of skiing almost as much as the skiing itself).

I’ll start with the pros:

1)  The staff there is really nice.  You get the feeling that they care about the mountain and want it to be a success.

2)  Although there were icy bits in the shaded areas, I liked the snow.  It was soft and a bit slushy without being wet.  For me, it was easy to ski in.

3)  Easy access.  The lift is visible from the road.  Just park the car, grab your gear, get your ticket and you’re off.

4)  No crowds, which was good because the lifts are slow (see below).

5)  It is a good place to practice and learn, given how small and (currently) uncrowded it is.

6)  Although very short, I thought the intermediate run(s) were fun.  I also thought Wallbanger (double black diamond) was a fun run, but honestly, it is way beyond my skill level.  It took me a long time to get down and I lost a ski the second time.  But if I was more experienced I would’ve really liked it.

7)  I liked the atmosphere.  It feels friendly and the other skiiers, ski patrol, and staff were helpful (like when I lost my ski, people were shouting advice to my husband, who was in charge of retrieving said ski).

8)  Apres-ski at the beach!

Now the cons:

1)  It is really small.  With only two lifts running, there were a limited amount of runs we could do.  This was further decreased by the fact that we are intermediate-level skiiers and some of Waterman’s better runs are black diamond.  I can do black diamonds, but this was really challenging (mainly because of bumps).  That said, the challenge made me want to continue to improve my skiing!

2)  The runs are short, and the lifts are slow.  We spent a good deal more time on lifts then we did skiing.

3)  Given its size, I thought the lift tickets were too expensive.

Overall, I am very glad we went to Mt. Waterman, because I had a great day.  I’d go back, especially if I just wanted to work on some skills and get some practice in. Just remember that it is very small and a bit limited.  I look forward to visiting when the third lift is operating and I am a better skiier so I can see what some of those other black runs are like.