Monday, December 13, 2010

Prayers, once again...

Please pray for my girl Shelby and her whole family. She is, as I type, in a surgery that is projected to take five hours. That's a long time for all of us who are waiting. That's a long time for the doctors. That's a long time for her.

So please, pray for her and everyone involved.

Carolyn Michelle

Follow the events of Shelby's surgery here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

We are ALL mad here....

....mad about hats, that is:

Top: Michael's Monster Hat
Bottom: Hannah's Narwhal Hat

What fun hats to be commissioned to make! I was also commissioned to make a plushie, that I finished but cannot post because it is for a gift.

Feeling so festive.

Happy Monday!

Carolyn Michelle

Monday, November 22, 2010

What up, Buttercup? Another update in pictures....

Well, this is an unusually warm day for Midwestern November: it's 65 degrees!!! What the what?! Hey, I'm not complaining.

So, what's up? I'll tell you what's up: insanity. Rapidly approaching are my first semester of college finals as well as portfolio reviews for my are classes. Uhhhh......yikes? Yeah. Roger that.

But before I melt with the stress of my college classes, I get the sheer joy of flying out to see my sailor for FIVE WHOLE DAYS. I
leave on Wednesday (in precisely 47 hours). In all honesty, words cannot do justice to the excitement that keeps making me giggle like a school-girl.

Don't judge me! I haven't seen him since his graduation on October 4th. That's a long time. I know you know that. You are smart. You can count. And stuff.

The DeviantART obsession continues (no I do not have it opened
in another tab.....stop judging me!) as I have officially posted 50 deviations. It is indeed spiffy.

In other news, my hat making sales have really been booming. So far I've made a narwhal hat for Hannah-from-the-first-floor and have been commissioned to make hats for Long-Lost-Cousin-Andrew-who-wants-a-simple-hat, Michael-who-wants-a-hat-that-looks-like-a-monster, and Jax-who-wants-to-be-the-one-and-only-"Jax-a-lope"-with-antlers-on-her-hat.

So. Looks like I know what I'm doing on the plane! Crochet hooks can be taken on board, yes?

In other, other news, I got to spend some time with some of my favorite people this weekend: Tara, Bubba, and Daddy. :) Before heading home for the weekend, we saw a shadow performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show (featuring Jax as the criminologist) here in town. T'was fun. A relaxing weekend (despite the disturbing nature of Rocky Horror, I was able to sleep well) complete with our first ever fire in our fireplace.

We've lived there for...oh....five years now? Yeah. We're a lil slow with the fireplace thing.

And I got to hang out with the Martin Girls! Though it was not in the best of locations: Shelby is in the hospital again. Click that link to see some of the spiffy crafty work Tara, Shelby, and I were doing. That doll was so well dressed.

Now, the pictures:
1. Jacque the Zombie: an accidental piece of artwork created on my paint pallet
2. Doraleous at Target: the plushie Doraleous I crocheted a while back. He goes everywhere with us. Perhaps I shall post the full adventures of Doraleous at a later date...
3. Tara modeling for Propaganda Candy's new items. Check out the shop and admire all of my fav sister's photo work for us!!!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Carolyn Michelle

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Obsessed?! Who, me???

Cough-cough. Obsessed with DeviantART? Me? Absurd.


(Thirty-one deviations in two weeks)

Okay. So?

(Hours and hours on the groups page)


(More time spent on there than facebook)


(Blogger and facebook combined)

Shut up.

Me on DeviantART


Monday, October 4, 2010

Hello Sailor!!

What a fabulous weekend.
Two months is a long time.
A very long time, indeed.

I have renewed amazement for all those who go for even longer than we did without seeing each other in order to defend our great nation. What strength!

I love you Caleb!!

-Carolyn Michelle

Monday, September 27, 2010

Regarding Vintage Dresses...

Vintage dresses: they are wonderful, right? Who doesn't love the feeling of pawing carefully through a pile of historical garments only to find the most amazing, most lovely, most stunningly-awesome dress...

And have it fit you like a glove...

And find the perfect shoes...

And find a vintage slip to wear under it...

And have a cardigan and belt in your dorm room that will match it perfectly...

And then find out that not only is it a vintage dress, but also a vintage dress made of hand-crocheted lace...

And have a boyfriend who will be graduating from Navy Basic Training on Friday October 1st which presents you with the perfect opportunity to wear aforementioned dress, shoes, cardigan, belt, and slip...

Yeah. I love that feeling.

Dress, shoes, and slip from Moxie in DeKalb, IL

In other news: I got a DeviantArt account (the-carolyn-michelle) which means I have yet another place to list my creations (in addition to flickr and Ravelry and Facebook and here and Etsy...) Yay!

Also, in case you didn't get it, Caleb graduates on Friday!!! I leave with his mother and father on Thursday night to head out to the hotel and meet up with Josh (Caleb's brother) and his wife Linda. It's gonna be an awesome time!!!!!!


That's all there is to say: yay!

All my love,
Carolyn Michelle

Photo: Carolyn Michelle's cell phone 25th September 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More stitchery and a Pec Thing recap

Music to suit this post: "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence + The Machine

My hooks sure have been flying since I've been here at The Ni-U: Monday night I made this festive hat for Jen's (our R.A. for the StubStub end of the floor) birthday which was Sunday. She was out at a staff meeting when it was finished, so I hung it on her door with a note and went off to bed.

Later that night, I honestly don't know what time, Jen knocked on my door. Awoke and opened the door all bleary-eyed. I was met with a huge hug and a thank you. I went back to bed smiling.

I must say, it was one of the better wake-ups I've had in a while.

In other news, this past weekend was the Fall Pec Thing and Propaganda Candy was there. Of course! The weather was chilly, rainy, and cloudy at best. We sustained a thunderstorm early Saturday morning (before the gates opened, luckily). Despite these setbacks, we came out ahead! Hoorah for making money, not losing it!

I would like to make a quick shout out to three very special ladies...Becca, Sarah, and Trisha:

These girls took a leap of faith, journeyed with Samantha and me to Durand, and helped out with the Pec Thing. It was AWESOME to have them with us. Their company and assistance will not soon be forgotten. Thank you girls!!!!

In other, other news, last night I crocheted what I think is one of my crowning achievements in plushie cuteness. I'll have to wait for a few days to post it since it is my dear sister Tara's 16th Birthday present.


That's all I have to say.

Have a blessed week,
Carolyn Michelle

PS: NINE DAYS (!!) until I get to see Caleb!!!!

For more on the Fall Pec Thing, read the Propaganda Candy blog and check out the Facebook album.

Photos: (from top to bottom) Jen Marie and her spiffy hat. Becca at the Propaganda Candy booth. Sarah with her spiffy mustache. Trisha helping cook homemade pizza at my house Saturday night.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A New Disease: Scarf-Mania

It started simply: a pattern I found on Ravelry. It was a gorgeous scarf with double-crochet cluster mesh sections...I was smitten.

I rendered the beauty in a silky yet economical medium: Caron's Simply Soft in a shimmering grey/silver. Visions of myself wearing a darling Little Black Dress and this scarf to Caleb's graduation began to dance in my head...oh the romance! Oh the love! Oh the awesomeness of wearing a beautiful scarf and being the most beautiful princess at the ball!!!!!

Reality check: I am not a princess. Nor is there a ball in my future.

I awoke from my double-crochet mesh cluster (DCMC) stupor to discover the aftermath of my episode into Crochet-Lala-Land:

  1. A semi-well made grey mini shawl. The reality of my ability to follow a pattern without changing it to my own mash-up.
  2. The beginnings of a salmon-pink DCMC scarf made lengthwise. This was born with watching America's Got Talent last night. I suppose in my insanity I decided Prince Poppycock should have worn one while he sang Nessum Dorma (watch me swoon).
  3. A green, teal, and blue DCMC scarf also worked long-ways...but with three skeins at once. I was drawing "perfect cubes" for my Drawing 100 class. What do you expect?
I do not think health services here at NIU will know how to treat my newly acquired disease: scarf-mania. Hopefully these scarves will sell well in the Propaganda Candy Booth at the Pec Thing. If only I had some Fiber Freaks here at The Ni-You to share my woes with.

We could make a support group!!!!!

All my love,
Carolyn Michelle

Monday, September 13, 2010

Where my stitches at?

Oh... they are:

Photos: 1) Kristi's Slytherin Scarf WIP;
2) The Great Granny Bag WIP; 3&4)
Sammi's Amigurumi Mudkip Plushie.

I'm loving Ravelry.
Who says you don't have time for crocheting in college?!

Anybody else having a crafty Renaissance, or is it just me?

Carolyn Michelle

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We are LIVE on Etsy!

As of 12:14 PM on September 6th, 2010, Propaganda Candy went live on

It is one of the biggest moments in Propaganda Candy-dom.

There's not much more to say.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another Sale and the Saga of a Hard Fail

Well. Isn't that spiffy, hmm? Miss Zombie Deer will be headed off to her new home on Tuesday.

I was quite fond of the Zombie deer couple, as were many of my friends. If I can get some felt here to the dorm room, perhaps I'll have to make a whole woodland zombie set!

What an idea. i just need to get all my gear together...

Side Note About my Gear: The other day, I was asked by a girl down the hall to d a favor. Well, I guess it wasn't really a favor favor since she offered to pay me in food. But, anyways, Julie handed me her new ballet slippers and asked if I could stitch the straps in place for her. Apparently when you buy new ballet slippers, the elastic cross-straps arrive unattached. Who knew? So I consented, thinking, "this will take two seconds on my awesome-tastic wonder machine!" Yeah. Well, it would take two seconds on my awesome-tastic wonder machine if I had the cords with which to plug it in!!

Fail. Hard fail.

So, there I sat, stitching thick elastic ballet slipper straps by hand. It took a little longer that two seconds, let me tell you, but by the power of my calloused thumbs I got it done. Hoorah! And subsequently got money for food in return! Double hoorah!

I just noticed that this post title rhymes.

In other news: The crocheting-teaching party went well. Very well. I successfully taught two people (one was a boy!) to crochet twith confidence. The others who joined us (there ended up being about five or six in total) did well, but still needed some assistance from time to time.

As it is getting colder here, I am feeling the push to make hats, scarves, and mittens. College kids need them!! I need food!!

On that note, I shall tell you the moral of this post: never blog when you are hungry.

Off to the dining hall for brunch.
Carolyn Michelle

Ps: I'm on Ravelry now!! CreativeCooby

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chain one, teach too!

Another adventure in teaching crochet will be heading to a college campus near you!

That's right folks, I am at it again with this wild idea that I should teach people how to crochet. Brilliant, huh?

Usually, this teaching happens at my house, in a loud, party-type setting. Not this time, oh no. I'm taking it outside (weather permitting) and teaching crochet in public.

Now, this might not sound like much. I crochet by myself in public all the time! But this time I am teaching crochet. My fervent hope is that people walking by us will go, "Hey whoa wait! What is this?!" and stop, stare, and stitch with us.

Think it'll happen? Stay tuned: my first teach-in-public day is Saturday. We shall see, hmmmmm?

All my love,
Carolyn Michelle

Photo Source: a vintage collection.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A List of Things I've Done Lately:

Lists seem to be the most practical way of describing life lately. This is what has happened:

1. Propaganda Candy was officially registered as a business. Yay IRS and responsibilities as an official business owner! (Aug. 5th-ish)
2. Caleb left for boot camp (Aug. 2nd)
3. I moved to college (Aug. 19th)
4. I worked with kids and horses (All summer)
5. Sammi and I got asked to be the "Crafty Goddesses" of the dorm floor I live on (Yesterday)
6. I got a account (Sometime last weekend) (Add me!) (CreativeCooby)
7. One of my best friends, (and roommate at college) got engaged (Aug. 12th....I think)
8. Classes started (Aug. 23rd)
9. I got a new phone (Aug. 24)
10. I made another sale for LLH design (Aug. 22)

This is not in any particular order, as you may have guessed. The decision has been reached, at least in my mind, that I will attempt to sell the remaining items in the Luck, Love, and Hedgehogs shop in the Propaganda Candy Shop. This crossover will be happening I-don't-know-when, but soon. All we are waiting on now seems to be our photographer (my sister) who still needs to send us the images of our products that we will be using in our shop.

With no more Luck, Love, and Hedgehogs Shop for the time being, at least, this blog will become my own personal blog...which is basically what it was to begin with...right? Right. major changes. Okay. All is well. :)

All my love,
Carolyn Michelle

Photo: From my Dorm Window: a Sunset over NIU, Aug 21, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

On Saying Hello to a New Endeavor: Or, Being Torn Between Two Shops

On Saying Hello to a New Endeavor:

Or, Being Torn Between Two Shops

Bubbles are fragile; so is Grandma's good china, the Spanish wine glasses, and basically everything else I'm surrounded by. The situation about which I am going to write exemplifies much the same fragility as all those things...

I'm writing about being involved in two businesses at once.

It's tricky.
It's fragile.
It's kinda fun.

Running Luck, Love, and Hedgehogs Design has been quite the experience. Lots of learning...lots of fails. Now, I am experiencing the joy of sharing a business with somebody. Running Propaganda Candy with Samantha Marie has been a blast so far. We are learning together, growing together, feeding off of each others' creative urges...

T'is cool.

But, and this is quite the "but," I seem to be unfairly torn between the two shops.

Propaganda Candy is quite clearly here to stay...but is the same true of Luck, Love, and Hedgehogs Design? What a bittersweet moment.

I'll have to get back to you on that.

Pray for this decision...indeed it is difficult.

-Carolyn Michelle

Photo by Carolyn Michelle (June 2010)

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Weekend in List Form, or, The Insanity of Growing Up

Yes, yes. It seems my attentions have been driven yet again far from thoughts of updating this blog. Hmmm....why is that? I have developed an easily-understood list for you, because "easy" is all I can do right now. So, in no particular order, things distracting me:

1. My dear friend Shelby, in whose hospital room I am sitting right now.
2. Graduation from High School yesterday.
3. Reaffirmation of my faith via baptism yesterday.
4. A crazy-intense Grad Party at my house yesterday.
5. My darling boyfriend Caleb's birthday tomorrow.
6. The initial success of my latest crafty endeavor with Samantha Marie, the bee queen.

Regarding #1: Shelby is the middle daughter of the family I babysit for. She has been in the hospital for almost a week because of wonky white blood cell numbers. I have the honor of being the first non-family member to have a sleepover with her in the hospital.

Regarding #2-4: Just. Wow.

Regarding #5: He'll be 20, I'll feel old. What does one get for a guy leaving for the Navy in just over a month??

Regarding #6: Read all about it here on the official Propaganda Candy blog.

Now, sleep does come.

Have a blessed time-period-until-the-next-post.

All my love,
Carolyn Michelle

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What Your Mother Always Told You, or, A New Way To Wash Your Hands

I was a dirty child. I loved to make messes and drag them all over the house. If it wasn't a dirt/grim-filled mess, it was a whirlwind of toys, papers, and a hoard of craft projects. Not much has changed besides the acuteness of my motor skills, and even that is debatable sometimes.

My whole life, the one thing tying my down and keeping me from plummeting into the abyss of clutter-filled madness has been the other people guarding the order in my life. Who are these guardians of sanity and neatness? Hmm...

Mothers. My biological mother and all the additional mothers who pitched in to raise me right: Bubba, Grandma Beth, Grandma Kay, and Aunt Moo Moo, just to name a few key players. Without them, I would definitely be an untamed, unruly explosion of destructive creativity that is unable to do anything from start to finish. Through their years of dedicated persistence that I do wash my hands and don't keep bringing out more projects when I have a zillion going I have grown up to be a still-insane yet much more socially acceptable human being.

On Mother's Day I celebrated not only my mother, Bubba, but also these supportive mothers who kept all my fingers attached while I endeavored to explore art while under their watchful eyes. Thank you, ladies. I am quite glad that you put up with me and helped make me what I am today.

Grandma Beth taught me to crochet, to make apricot preserves, to sew on a machine without losing a finger, to read patterns, and to be a world-class bargain hunter.

Grandma Kay taught me how to sew by hand, to make my own patterns, to embroider, to bake a pie, to play hostess, and to tend a garden.

Aunt Moo Moo was my first crochet student. She taught me to be patient while teaching others, to get excited as they learn, and to be amazed when their skill surpasses my own.

And Bubba. I cannot even begin to list the things my mother has taught me through the years.

Thank you.

In other news: The Pec Thing is fast approaching! May 15-16, 8 am-5 pm. Propaganda Candy is lookin' good. Pics next time??

Also, I am proud to announce that this post is courtesy of me getting up on time via Wake-up Call de Caleb. Baby steps, baby steps. Maybe eventually I'll wake up on my own.


-Carolyn Michelle

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Life is wonderful.

The art of a trip to Chicago with Art 4 Honors.

The art of knowing what college you are attending.

The art of Senior Prom with Caleb.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sorry, I gotta go do that Thing...

At last, the weather here is warming up. You know what that means: the hunt is on. Garage sales, flea markets, and auction barns dance in my head. The prospect of finding that piece of "vintage awesome" is enough to drive me mad. I hear the calls from the beaten-down grass lawns, trodden over by all the hopefuls who came before me. They say, "Oh Carolyn, come and play!"

Well. Here I come.

For the first time ever, I will join the ranks of vintage and craft enthusiasts who line the booths at the Annual Pecatonica "Pec Thing" Flea Market and Craft Show. Together with my trusty partner Sammi-the-bee-Queen, we will craft our way into history with our new joint effort entitled: Propaganda Candy.

Featured items include: pin-on buttons, shrinky dink art, recycled jewelry, and plushies.

I'm so excited!!

Picture Above: Building II at the 2007 Pec Thing (Note: Funny enough, this is actually a picture from the official Pec Thing website of my Grandma Beth's booth)

In other news: spring break 2010 is here and the renovations to the Hay Mow/Art Barn are underway!

More on that later.

Have a wonderful day,

Image from:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The computer is not so crafty...

It is doubtful that I will ever exist in a state of total and complete peace with technology. No, if it's not one thing, it's the other. PC not working? Good thing I have my Mac! But, wait, what is this? My Mac isn't recognizing my camera? Could it have anything to do with the fact that I cannot find the correct USB cord for it? How is that possible? It's not like that drawer that houses the multitude of cords and plugs for all our devices is a mess or anything. No...couldn't be that at all.

So, basically, this blog post is utterly boring and lacking in cool-pictures-I-took-specifically-for-the-blog. Mer.

Regardless of my electronic plight, I shall press on. These man-made insufficiencies remind me how fail-able humanity is; it gives me more time to enjoy the stunning glory of springtime weather. Thank God above that it is finally here, my prayers have been answered.

T-shirts! I can comfortably wear t-shirts outside now!

So, while I leave you this pictureless post, the score stands at this:

The One responsible for the weather: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 points. Those responsible for technological advancements: 0 points.

Carolyn Michelle.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Monkey in the Midst of Madness

Amid all the insanity going on this week, somehow there was time to enjoy the Sock Monkey Festival at Midway Village. What a way to spend Sunday afternoon: walking with my Grandparents, Tara, and cousin Abbey through rooms full of vintage sock monkeys. Of course what would a sock monkey festival be without sewing my very own sock monkey?

{There would be a picture here, if it weren’t show week for Singsation}

Also, the results are in, Caleb is officially a member of the United States Navy.


I’ve never been so proud in my life.

The best part of it all is, for Caleb’s job, he will only be gone from me for nine months of schooling because he's a reservist. Then he comes back and will probably be going to school somewhere in close proximity to me because, after he finishes training and schooling, he only has to report to a base once a month for a weekend.

In the midst of this madness, the world is slowly starting to fall into place.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On Being Sick and Reaching Goals

There simply must be some law that ensures that when creative people are home from school, they are totally and completely bored out of their minds and thus are dying to return to school ASAP. If there were such a law, I wish it could be enforced on me. Granted, I should not be in school because I am such a snotty, sneezing mess; however, there must be some was to inflict boredom on myself. Being stuck at home with every form of supply and tool for creative expression available to me is a far cry from punishment. In fact, staying home from school is a great deal of fun, despite the long list of chores Bubba leaves me with and my incredibly explosive sinuses.

I feel guilty knowing that all my friends are having their physical health rewarded with Calculus homework and heat-lamp lunch food while here I sit: still in my PJ’s, doped up on green tea, and crafting like there is no tomorrow, trusty box of Kleenex at my side. Sometimes I wish I could just drop out of school for the sake of art alone. I swear I’d get more art done in twelve days than I have in twelve years.

Disclaimer (in the event that my mother reads this): On the subject of dropping out: I will do nothing of the sort; I’m finishing High School, and I’m going to college. But, at least in college I’ll be studying art all the time.

Even as I write this angst-filled blog post, there are people making significant amounts of progress towards their goals. Right now, Caleb is sitting in a waiting room getting ready to take his ASVAB and MEP tests.

Yes. Caleb is joining the Navy.

Since he was in second grade, he has wanted to be in the military, and now (after much deliberation and questioning) he has finally signed up. Everything is all crazy in my mind with the excitement and fear surrounding his decision. All I can do is wait until Wednesday when he gets the results back and finds out when he ships out. Is there some kind of support group that understands the obsessive “I’m-freaking-out-right-now” crocheting of the proud, yet fearful, girlfriends of future sailors?

There’s one thing I can tell you, I’m going to get so many hats done.

Prayers please.

Carolyn Michelle

photo source:

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Truth About Hats

The Truth About Hats
Another Reason to Send Him With a Yarn Sample
The truth about hats is that they are an excellent way to use up the random-and-totally-unmatchable skein of yarn. Hats are infinitely variable in pattern, color, shape, and size. You can whip one up in your morning classes and be wearing it by homeroom at the end of the day. Hats are basically the most practical, instant-gratification project in the history of instant-gratification projects.

The truth about this hat is that it was made with yarn. And not just any yarn, mind you: it was made with yarn that Caleb willingly offered to go to the craft store and picked up for me.

Yes ladies. I am gloating. My man went to the craft store for me.

However, the yarn I sent him off to find was not intended to end up as a hat. I was in desperate need of more yarn for Emma's Backpack and thus attempted to leave home early for Bible Study on the 21st. Keyword, attempted. Since I was late and still in need of yarn from the craft store that would be closed by the time Bible Study was over, my darling Caleb offered to go get the yarn for me. I even brought a scrap of the stuff so that an exact match was possible.

Best laid plans of mice and men: I forgot to give him the piece of yarn.

After describing the brand and color of yarn to him via text message, I had little hope of him finding the right kind. It's a very obscure shade of orange Red Heart that I'm using.

When Caleb arrived to give me a ride home, he proudly presented me with the Michael's bag containing the yarn. I peered inside and was amazed at what I saw:

The exact shade of orange I needed...
...except it was Red Heart Soft, not Super Saver.
I smiled and said, "I think this is right! Thank you so much!"
Life lesson applied here: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. He went into No-Man's-Land for me and that's enough. Besides, this hat is pretty darn fly, right?
That's the truth about hats.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Who could ask for more?

(left to right)
Top: Ducks hiding in the bathroom, Find the Ducks note from Tara, Mac & Cheese
Middle: Conversation Hearts picked out for me from Caleb, Valentine's date in the living room
Bottom: Adventures in screenprinting, Progress on Emma's backpack, my new dress

What a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

To the AM Michael's Shoppers:

To all the other ladies sitting in the parking lot of Michael's at 8:45 AM this morning: thank you.

Perhaps I did not share any conversation in those awkward moments before the store opened, but what I experienced was something far more special. I shared my unspoken presence with other dedicated and time-constrained crafters like me. I showed up to shop for crafty goods fifteen minutes before the store even opened and found that I was not alone. Ladies, I commend you; you reminded me that I'm not a loser, even if I show up to get some geeky supplies before the craft store opens.

Well, if I am a loser, at least I'm not alone. And seriously, why don't they just open at 8 on Saturdays?! Every crafty chick knows that the early morning hours are the prime moments for yarn, screenprinting emmulsion, and glitter glue purchases.

Perhaps I'll write to the CEO.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Can I Get a Rawr?

Now, that's what I'm talking about! (Fantastic picture, no?) It's time for some seriously stripey action around here: I'm in the tiger-making business. My friend Miss Emma the Animal Lover, has commissioned a particularly interesting creation: Emma wants a crocheted tiger backpack. You know, like the cute teddy bear backpacks little kids have? Yeah, Emma wants a tiger.

At first, I was a little wary of taking on this project when the third-quarter-mass-assignment-of-papers-and-essays is about to begin. But sweet Emma was so enthusiastic about it that there was no way I could refuse.

She even drew up various patterns and possible construction ideas for the thing. Quite helpful, if you ask me.

So, here I sit, crocheting a tiger's foot while the world outside is being coated in yet another quote-on-quote snowstorm of the century.


Tell me it's the snowstorm of the century when I wake up for school tomorrow.

In all honesty, school should have been canceled today. The school bus that runs our route got stuck in the ditch of one of our poorly-groomed country roads. But then again, who am I to speculate? I just drive to school everyday.

In other, more lighthearted news: there were adorable mini snowmen on the roofs of several cars in the parking lot after school today, mine included. Someone must have been feeling extra festive, or something. Regardless the motive, that gesture of frosty kindness was a nice reminder that my friends are awesome.


Try to survive this horrrid winter storm, will you?

Carolyn Michelle

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Never cook alone

"In December, drinking horchata
I'd look psychotic in a balaclava
Winter's cold is too much to handle
Pincher crabs that pinch at your sandals"
-Horchata by Vampire Weekend

Since I have lost my voice so completely that it would be an utter waste of time to even attempt to go to school, I embarked on a culinary journey of sorts today in leu of class. Ever since the release of Vampire Weekend's new CD, I've been dying to try my hand at making homemade horchata, which is what the first track of the album is about.

"Horchata (or-CHA-tah) is a milky white, sweet beverage that was introduced to Spain by the Moors. The original Spanish version is made with ground tiger nuts and is especially popular in Valencia. In Latin America, where the tiger nut is not commonly available, pulverized rice is used. In Mexico, horchata is one of the most common aguas frescas and is ladled from large glass jars set in ice."

So, after the decision was made that I would stay home, I immediately began to make preparations for my horchata adventure. I had previously done research on how horchata is made, but had never printed out an actual recipe. No problem, I'll just look it up again, right?


It was snowing this morning, which means the satelite dish that connects me to the rest of the universe is dusted in just enough of the flakey, white stuff that the connection is ka-put. In other words, no internet.

But I didn't let this little fact hinder me at all. I remembered most of the recipe and, honestly, how hard could it be? Horchata is made of rice and water, for Pete's sake! Famous last words.

With a quick prayer that none would be harmed in the process about to ensue, I dove in. After about three hours of boiling rice, steaming rice, soaking rice, and blending rice, the horchata was ready. I, in my joy of coming this far without assistance from modern, internet-type technology, was ready to behold the glory. And after looking at my creation that had congealed into a substance that resembled Southern-style grits....

...I'd rather not talk about my horchata.

Photos (top to bottom): Horchata and Jamacia drinks (
Horchata in a Mexican cafe (
Horchata ala Carolyn Michelle