07 March 2014

Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps

I had the pleasure of seeing celtic/Arthurian/folk/etc. musician [Heather Dale] and her musical partner Ben Deschamps live for the second time last night.

What an amazing show! She does a great job of combining storytelling and music--very much a modern troubador who spend months out of the year on the road. I'm always blown away by their combination of art and spot-on technical skill both in music and vocals.

Anyway, I wanted to mention that she has a [completely free live album] called Perpetual Gift. I'm not usually much of a live album enthusiast, but this one is really good. The sound quality and execution is very much like their studio albums because they're such awesome, consistent, professional performers. It combines the energy and storytelling of her live shows with great recordings of some of her most popular songs. It's a perfect introduction to her music.

So go [download] it! Burn it! Put it on USB sticks!

She's also got (at the time of this post) fifteen more days on an IndieGoGo campaign to help launch her [Celtic Avalon] project. It's a touring musical/mixed performance art touring show of the King Arthur story. It will be combined with an educational component AND you can get a professionally produced concert DVD of the show!

02 January 2014

illogiCon 2014 Panel Schedule

This is still a bit preliminary, but my [illogiCon panel/event schedule] is as follows:

3pm- LGBT Inclusion in Fandom
6pm - Breaking into Burlesque
9pm - Smutty Fanfiction
10pm - Open Filk

10am - Romanticized Mars vs. Real Mars
Noon - Make-up for Costumers (I'll be doing a clown grease demo)
1pm - Ethics in SF
9pm - Nerd-Vana Variety Show
After - Open Filk

10am - "Hard" vs. "Soft" SF
Noon - Women in Fan Culture
3pm - Running Table Top Games
6pm - Geek Arts and Crafts (hands-on!)

And don't forget to bring singles for the [Nerd-Vana] show on Saturday! 18 and up only and we'll have to card at the door. I'll be doing two songs and a little bird told me there would be a sexy Kirk...

30 December 2013

Minta Durfee Shrug

My friend was in the middle of knitting this cute shrug pattern when the blog that was hosting it fell off the internet. I managed to get a snapshot from the Google cache and save the pattern into a .pdf. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to do this.

The shrug is a re-write of a 1912 pattern for modern knitters by Elizabeth F. It's knit flat with worsted weight yarn and then seamed under the arms.

[Pattern .pdf]

The [original Ravelry info] is still up.

03 December 2013


Filk-lesque: one of those annoying blend portmanteaux that describes what I've been doing all year. I perform musical acts of an often nerdy bent at burlesque, variety, and cabaret-style shows in Raleigh, and the rest of the Triangle and Triad. I usually perform in clown-style full face makeup, but I've also appeared in my own skin and in drag!

Check out my [videos and music]!

There are also TONS of pictures on my performer Facebook page and a list of upcoming shows.

Photo by Patrick Kirby

14 July 2013

Snuggles for Shelter Animals

I was browsing [Ravelry] and came across the [Snuggles Project].

The Snuggles Project encourages people to knit, crochet, sew, or otherwise fashion small, machine-washable blankets for animals in shelters and rescues. You take the Snuggles to your shelter/rescue of choice on your and then report it back to the site to say you participated in the project.

I've been working some cat-sized (14x14 inch to 24x24 inch) blankets for the often beleaguered Wake County Animal Shelter. If anyone would like to join me, let me know and I can drop off a bundle. I'm almost up to one square yard of Snuggles knit! It's a TERRIFIC stash-buster for all that bulk acrylic I have lying around. Since I'm still a fairly simple knitter, it's also been a great way to practice more complicated stitch patterns (and by complicated I mean more complex than a 1x1 rib :P). I'm starting on a fisherman's rib blanket and it's SQUISHY.

Scrap yarn Snuggle!

[Snuggles Patterns] has lots of plushy stitch patterns to try!

And finally, a spreadsheet of my [running Snuggle yardage].

19 March 2013

08 January 2013

Fingerless, Asymmetrical Skull Mittens

My first attempt at duplicate stitching! Because skulls are TOTALLY RAD!

[Pattern .pdf]

18 December 2012

Pork and Sweetpotato Baked Wontons

Yum! I want to mix-and-match on the filling ingredients with some ground turkey and spinach.

-1 lb. ground pork (I ground mine at home!)
-1 large sweetpotato, cut into slices or small chunks
-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
-1/4 cup of onion, chopped fine
-2 Tbs. fresh sage, coarsely chopped
-1 Tbs. soy sauce
-1 Tbs. Korean barbecue sauce (or sriracha)
-1 egg
-coarse-ground pepper to taste

-1 package wonton skins (50 skins)
-Mini-muffin tin
-A couple damp paper towels to protect wontons from drying
-Some kind of oil to brush on skins (sesame is really good but I used an olive oil spray because it was easier)

Mix the filling in a bowl with your hands or a spatula. Done!

Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
Oil both sides of the wonton skins. This helps prevent the corners from toasting too much. Tuck the skins into the muffin tin. As I prepare on side or one tray, I like to lay a moist paper towel over the stack or tray of wontons I'm not working with so they don't get too dry. Drop a small spoonful of filling into the cup and fold the corners in.

Back at 450 F for 8 minutes. Serve with a dipping sauce! I cheated and bought the Trader Joe's gyoza sauce.

It's really easy to make the filling the night before and stuff and bake the wontons right before serving, but you could cook them the day before and warm them or assemble and refrigerate (covered with moist paper towel and wrap) and bake right before.

25 October 2012

So what if it wasn't for my car?

Today I went into an Advanced Auto Parts in Cary to buy some car wax.

A 50- or 60-something gentleman approached me amiably as I was picking out a wax and exclaimed, "A girl is going to do this?!?"

I didn't feel especially chatty so I just smiled and nodded, saying, "Sure!"

He then proceeded to mansplain to me what hard "elbow work" it was. I answered with something about it being good exercise and he told me I was pretty and already in shape. I kept trying to politely return to comparing waxes but finally just had to walk away.

I didn't even bother telling him that I was buying wax to restore some worn knitting needles because I was so tired of the conversation and didn't want to feed into his "Aw, isn't that cute? It's standing on its hind legs!" thing.

He wasn't being intentionally rude (and I didn't take it as such), and I could have cut the conversation short less politely when polite wasn't cutting it, but sheesh.

Here's a picture of my waxy needles!

25 September 2012

Naughty Knitting

Pattern offered for free courtesy of [RattleFox]!

Go Wolfpack!