5 December 2010

Snow day

Apologies for being MIA on my little blog, I've been busy. Admiring the snow, that is! Like most of Europe, we've had some amazing snowfall these past few days and because I'm one of the people lucky enough to live at walking distance of work, I could really enjoy it. It all started early this week, when on Tuesday, I found the first evidence of snow on my balconies!

Oh, that poor little plant! I think it's thyme, but whatever it is, it's sturdier than a rock because it survived so much already and it's still going strong. But now, it's covered in this powdery layer of ice!
Kind of like...

These little plants that won't survive a lot more, I'm afraid (I really am terrible with plants, aren't I!?). Covered in a thicker layer of snow already, look at us, having an actual winter, how awesome!

And then.. today..

Snow coming up past my ankle! Powdery goodness covering my balconies, my street, my town, everything! Icy malice, shutting down roads and delaying trains! I love it! Let the whole world come to a full stop and enjoy the cold for a while, no harm in that! Let's all make snowmen and have snowballfights and then warm up with a cup of hot coco and soft, fuzzy slippers.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be, as I had to go to work today anyway.. And as I write this, the rain is coming down already, messing with my beautiful fairy tale world. Booh.

Cold also means that I am once again on the lookout for the perfect winter hat. I have the perfect yarn already, gifted to me in my swap parcel, but all patterns I have found so far either come out with the wearer looking like a conehead or like a ginormous idiot. I love the idea of a Koolhaas but my knitting isn't that good yet. I did find a crochet version which looks good but it asks for a lot more yarn than I have...
Therefore I ask you, dearest reader: any suggestions for the perfect hat? I have about 170 m. of *googles* Aran-weight yarn (I am still not used to those weights!) and would love a hat with something interesting. What are your favourite patterns? Do you have a hat you made that you love? Let me know!

24 November 2010

My swap package has arrived!

Yay! Yay! Yayyayyayyay! After a loooooong wait (partly because she sent it out later because she wanted to add something really cool which I really didn't mind, partly because it took 2 weeks to get from Scotland to Holland, which I wasn't expecting at all) my package finally arrived yesterday!

(apologies for the box, I couldn't wait to get it open, and then I couldn't get it open..)
All neatly wrapped in blue tissue paper, with a lovely little card stuck in the middle, which I opened first of course. Then the tissue paper came off so quick I forgot to snap pictures, then I ooo'd and aaaa'd and cuddled and laughed and had a happy smile on my face as I ran out the door because I was horribly late for work.

Thankfully I had some more time this morning. Here's the whole bunch!
Chocolate, more chocolate (I had a hard time keeping the BF off that bar of Cadbury chocolate), gorgeous yarn (the purple one is merino, the blue and yellow a wool/angora mix. soooooo... sooooooft.... caaaaan't... stooopp... cudddddling.....), some stitch markers which are equally awesome, but not as Awesome as the doll to the far right. I have named him Angus, for he looks like an Angus, and is awesome, therefore he is Awesome Angus.

He rocks.

Some close-ups of the loot:
Gorgeous stitch markers! I don't know how you did it, Shirley, because I have been musing over making my own or buying some stitch markers sometime soon for a little while now, but I don't think I ever posted about that!

Gorgeous yarn! All those little colourchanges and specs of blue and purple and pink.. Love it! No idea what I am going to make with it, but it's soooo sooooft, and soooo pretty, it needs to be turned into something really cool.

And look! More gorgeous yarn! I got two blue balls (teehee) and one yellow skein, and I think the blue yarn is going to be a hat or beret or something to keep my ears warm this winter, because it is so soft and cuddly and mostly wool so really warm too! The yellow one will join the purple yarn in my 'this is so pretty, it needs to be kept for a special project' pile. Which consists of the purple yarn, the yellow yarn, and 2 balls of sock yarn I once bought and still haven't decided on what they should be used for.

And there he is. Awesome Angus! I think he had his arm twisted a bit while travelling from Scotland to Holland so he is currently enjoying some recovery time in the living room, but he will be getting a really good spot in the study, where he shall be cheering me up all day long. It's a heavy task, but I think he's up for it.

Yeah. He'll manage.

Thank you so much for the wonderful goodies, Shirley!

18 November 2010

The blue monster returns

Remember this one?

The thing that wouldn't stop looking like a piece of underwear?

I grew tired of it. It was living in a plastic ziploc baggie in my project bag (the giant mesh-marketbag that's hanging from my doorknob, the one with all the needles and yarn sticking out of it because it's overloaded), it got in the way, it was not happy and neither was I. See, every time I took it out of its plastic habitat, I looked at it, and lost all interest. It was wobbly, wouldn't lie flat no matter how I pulled and pushed, and it felt like I had been working on it for AAAAAGES and it still wasn't big enough from tip to tip to be wrapped comfortably around my neck, while the bottom tip was already hanging down my tummy in the front. It was stupid. Looked like a meshy bib. (see what I did there?)


No, don't worry, I haven't ripped it yet. I'm working my way up to that, but I want to see where the balls of blue cotton I still have will take me. This is seven rows into the Elise shawl (rav pattern). The pattern itself calls for sock-weight yarn and a 5.5 mm hook, but I'm stubborn and use my 3 mm hook on.. eh.. thin yarn (is this sock-weight? I don't know!) because it want it to be less open.

So far, I quite like it. It's a pretty and pretty easy pattern, and basically consists of a 2 row repeat, so hard to mess up. (but, well, you know, not for me, obviously, since I already had to rip out a row because I got started on the wrong row. 50% chance of messing up, trust me to pick the wrong option.)

I'm curious how this one turns out when it's larger than 7 rows, so I'll keep you posted.

11 November 2010

Cold weather makes me do things

Bad things. Evil things. Things that may very well destroy me.
Like making fingerless gloves and starting on a hat, even though I told myself not to do it.

It's the cold, I tell you. It makes me do things. And makes me think of bad things. I was walking to the shops today, on my way to get groceries, and I suddenly just found myself inside this little kitchenware shop, staring at Le Creuset oven dishes and 75 euro garlic presses. All of a sudden, all grocery shopping forgotten, I was daydreaming of a kitchen filled with Le Creuset pans and pots and dishes and... Then I realised that the small bowl I was holding was a 25 euro bowl that could fit in my palm and that I in no way was paying that much for that little, and I hurried out the door and got on with shopping. (without the bowl in my hand, of course. Thought I'd just point that out.)

I'm going to make a giant lasagna now, that'll help me get warm again. But not without leaving you with this picture of what our parking lot looked like last week. Not anymore, with those heavy winds. Good thing we still have the pictures.

4 November 2010

Just some random bits of blogging

My wrist has gone AUCHPOPAUCH again. How, I don't know. Why, beats me. All I know is that I can't make any sudden movements, such as not move my fingers at all and keep my hand perfectly still. Or something. Any way, this means I'm bored out of my mind because I can't give in to urges such as use my purty new yarn to crochet fingerless mitts or hats (no, not fingerless hats, just hats. which basically, if you really think about it, are also fingerless.).

So I'll keep you guys entertained with something I've been working on for at least two weeks now. Two whole weeks. Keep that in mind.

It's impressive, let me tell you that.


Oh yes. I've been knitting again. One needle full of impressive, difficult... stockinette stitch. See that bit of blue in the bottom corner? Two rows below that is the edge. I kid you not. It took me about two weeks (I'll admit, not two weeks of non-stop knitting of course) to get this far in.

Conclusion: knitting is so slooooow compared to crochet! Unbelievable! It's such a shame that crochet fabrics don't look as neat as knitted fabrics do (the reason I'm learning myself to knit) because it takes AAAAGES!

If I ever finish this, though, it'll be a little purse or pen case or needle case or something. It needs to be big enough to hold all my crochet needles and normal needles and measuring tape, so thankfully, not too big at all.

(also, I might be lying about the not knowing why my wrist went *pop* again. It might just be because of the knitting.)

Crochet-wise, I've been making a tiny, little, but useful, thing for a swap on the We Love Lucy-group on Ravelry but as far as I know, the package hasn't arrived at its new owner yet so I won't spoil the surprise yet.

Grandma loved the pillow, by the way. And with 'loved' I mean 'adored it and apparently showed it to every single person in the house that came to visit for her birthday and stalked me on the phone for a week because she wanted to thank me again because she was so impressed'. And no, I don't mean stalked in a bad way, it's my grandma! We just kept missing each other's phone calls for a week.

I did end up getting her on the phone though, and we talked about crafts for a good 10 minutes. One of her more memorable quotes: "I never thought you'd be one to pick up crafts like crochet or knitting! You never were interested in it when you were younger!" which gave me a good chuckle since she did try to teach all of us to knit, but we never were very interested. (probably because it's so SLOW)


In other news, autumn came peeking round the corner and decided to hang out for a while. It's getting colder (another reason I resent the fact that I can't make those fingerless mitts) and you all know what that means!

Purty leaves all over the place!


Also, I've picked up this book, The Small Hand by Susan Hill, yesterday and I got to tell you, it's really nice! I almost just bought it for the amazingly gorgeous cover, but the story, an old-fashioned ghost story set in a reasonably recent time (it's not really specified as far as I'm aware) and I love a good ghost story.


Meanwhile, I've been listening to a lot of Dutch singers lately (don't know why, they're just really really good!) and I've got some Spotify-links to share with you. Listen. Love. Really.

- Lisa Lois - Smoke
- Caro Emerald - Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor
- Laura Jansen - Bells
- (I think this one is more interesting for Dutch readers, since they sing Dutch lyrics. Still, it's a good cd, if you like 'kleinkunst'!) Jurk - Avondjurk

And really, if you don't have Spotify, go get it, it's awesome. AWESOME I say.


There. Enough random bits and ends. I'll go and make a cup of tea now.

1 November 2010


I tried something new today. I put a pot of water on the stove, dumped in three bouillon-cubes, a bunch of broccoli and a handful of other veggies..

You can tell where this is going right?

To this!

But then I did this... *

And I got...


Oh, wait. I know what happened. Because then..

This happened.

And I hope a lot more of that will be happening tonight at dinner. That is, if I can stop myself from wandering in the kitchen every now and then and sticking my face in the pot and drinking all of this right up.

*: (okay, not really. I stuck my immersion blender in the pot and made lots of nasty squishy splurtsy noises.)

Broccoli soup

-one head of broccoli
- about 1.2 liters of water
-other veggies to taste (I used a handful of veggies from a veggie mix, with carrots, onions, bell peppers, leeks and something that looked a hell of a lot like more broccoli)
-2 or 3 vegetable bouillon-cubes (depends on your taste, I like mine a bit salty)
- bacon cubes or strips of bacon, cut into small bits
- mushrooms, sliced.

Chop the florets off the broccoli and put them in a large pot. Chop the stems into smallish bits (or leave them out, up to you). Throw in the other veggies, all chopped into small bits (if they're not chopped already). Pop in the cubes and pour the water into the pot. Bring the whole thing to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are nice and soft.

Now comes the fun part. Take your immersion blender, stick it into the pot and WRRRIEEEEEEEEEENGGGGGGGGG it all together until smooth. Or, if you don't have an immersion blender or fear the possibility of green stains all over your kitchen because you are like me and will try to lift the immersion blender out too high so you can make a fountain with your soup (sorry), pour it into a blender and blend until smooth. You'll probably want to do this in batches, though.

Once all your soup is back in the pot (unless it's on your ceiling, then I wouldn't put that back in), taste and add salt and pepper.

Keep it warm while you fry up the bacon bits/cubes and the mushrooms (I'd do it separately, but I guess you can just throw both in a big frying pan and stirfry).

To serve, either add the bacon and mushrooms to the soup beforehand, or keep them in a separate bowl like toppings. Serve with cheesy bread, breadsticks or cheesy breadsticks (see the general idea here?)

I saw people also liked to put in a bit of heavy cream or sour cream, which might also be a nice addition.

21 October 2010

Grannies for my Granny

I'm pleased as punch to say that I am done with my granny square pillowcase and that is AWESOME in so many ways! I'm willing to bet that my granny approves, but I'll have to wait and see until Saturday, when she gets it for her birthday. In the meantime though, have some pictures!

Grannies! 25 in total, none the same, surrounded by a gray-green-blue border.

And the back! I sacrificed an old green sweater for this pillow, because it seemed like the easiest way to make the back! Both the granny square pattern and the idea to back it with an old sweater come from Attic24. The buttonband was improvised because, well, Lucy of Attic24 crocheted through the sweater and that wouldn't work, so I simply did a blanket stitch and crocheted into the holes. The buttons are felt buttons I got from a cheapass store once, I used a number of them to revamp a guys' sweater (replaced the stupid black buttons with brightly coloured felt buttons, voilá, girly sweater), these were the once I had left after that.

I think it turned out awesome and I'm thinking of making one for myself as well, since there's still a truckload of yarn left from making the Lucybag for my mother, as well as the large part of that old sweater.

And something completely different, although I also gave this one away: A tiny owl for my niece's tiny little girl (who is a complete darling, and so tiny!) I kind of improvised, and it's basically an eggshape in two colours with a beak, two wings and two eyes.

I made this one in 2 hours time, got up at 7 am for it, but I think it turned out adorable and fit for tiny baby hands.

There. Now that that's all done, I'm going back to listening to sixties' soul and relaxing.

11 October 2010


I'm on a crochet-stop. Full stop. Cold turkey, even. With a wrist that says 'TWITCH' 'PAIN' 'TWITCH' at every move I make, I thought it would be best not to pick up my trusty hook and hook away like I like to do. In stead, I've focused on photography the past few weeks, and put some shots together for your entertainment. And yes, I am indeed showing off. There's some shots here I really, really, REALLY like!

Sunset and Sunrise

Don't you just love Autumn evenings?

Or crisp, cold, beautiful Fall mornings? I think this was shot at 7 am when I was camping out behind my computer after a night of not sleeping and a lot of sneezing (I don't know why, or how, but I do know that I didn't want to wake the boyfriend up, so I got up and dressed and crawled behind my pc when it was dark, and found this when I looked up a couple of hours later)

Forest Walks

Boyfriend's grandmother had her birthday a month or two ago, and we gave her a family day out as a present. It involved a rather awkward ride through the forest in a horse-drawn cart and us getting out in the middle of the forest, but it was a beatiful day and I took tooooons of pictures. The prettiest ones:

(don't you lovelovelove that red colour?!)

(this one currently resides on my desktop as my background image)

(I kept thinking that faeries might just pop up out of the nooks and crannies or from behind the wood stump)

What, you thought I hadn't done anything in the past few weeks? I may have given up crochet for the time being, but that doesn't mean that I didn't make something! I made 25 somethings, even! All I need is my wrist back to normal, and then 11 more of these tiny little babies, and I will be able to make it into a pillow cover.

Colour, colour everywhere! OOOO!

Question to you, my dearest readers/lookers/lurkers/passers-by! I tagged my pictures with a little 'Tecrin Tries' in a corner, purely for copyright reasons. Does it bother you? Do you find the mark distracting? Or do you think it's common sense or are you not bothered by it at all? Do you think I shouldn't be so paranoid and don't bother with them in the future because, let's be honest here, who on earth would steal these pictures and use them as their own? Be honest! I can take a little criticism! Or do you have a better idea to ensure nobody uses these pictures as their own? I'd love to hear it!

8 October 2010


This post has nothing to do with yarn, cooking, baking, crafting, or anything like that.
Nope. This post is about geekery.

I think you may know this by now, but I play WoW in a wonderful, amazing guild called Vintage. Last night, Vintage took down the Lich King, earning us our Kingslayer title after 4 whole months of wiping. Needless to say, I'm very proud of us all and feel the need to shout it off the internet-rooftops. WE DID IT! HE'S DOWN! Check out our homepage if you want to see how we did it (and aren't afraid of a few cursewords and 15-minute videos)


Now back to our regularly scheduled programme. And by that I mean hardmodes. GO VINTAGE!

2 October 2010

Itty Bitty Camera: now with added pattern!

I decided that I'd try my hand at making a pattern for the crochet camera, hereby christened Itty Bitty Camera! If you would like to try it out, please report back on if it was doable or if you had any trouble understanding the directions. Or if you have nothing but praise, then you may report back too.

And show me pictures of your finished camera! I love pictures!

Without further ado: 

The Itty Bitty Camera Pattern!

Yarn: Black and Grey, dk weight
Hook: 4.0 mm.
Of course, you can also substitute yarn and hook size for any size you want.
You will also need some filling, a tapistry needle and, if you want to turn this baby into a keychain, a little ring or keychain hook.

Make the following pieces twice with black yarn:
1. Ch. 5, sc for 7 rows. (the sides)
2. Ch. 13, sc for 7 rows. (the front and back)
3. Ch. 5, sc for 13 rows. (the top and bottom)

Make the following pieces once with the grey yarn:
Ch. 3, sl.
Row 1: Sc. 6 times into the ring, sl. Into first stitch.
Row 2: *sc x2* 6 times (12 st)
Row 3: *sc, sc x2* 12 times (18 st)
Fasten off. Leave a long tail, you can use this to sew the lens to the camera body.
Sc 3, turn.
Row 1: Sc in middle stitch, sc, ch1, turn.
Row 2: Sc in middle stitch, sc.
Fasten off. Leave a tail long enough to sew the flash to the camera body.
Ch. 3, sl.
Row 1: Sc. 6 times into the ring, sl into first stitch.
Row 2:Change to black. Sc. Around.
Leave a tail long enough to sew the button to the camera body.
With black yarn, take two pieces of the body that fit together at the sides (for instance, one of the sides and the top or bottom, with their smallest sides aligned) and sc the parts together.
Keep sewing the parts together in this manner until you have a nice, boxy shape, leaving a long tail at the gap between the last parts that need to be sewn together.
Fill the body snugly but not so full that it starts to bulge (the camera needs to be boxy) and sew the gap closed.
Sew on the lens, flash and button, and attach the keychain if you want one.

(Look at me! I'm a designer and stuff! oooOOOoo!!)

(Oh, and apologies for the odd font. Apparently copy-pasting doesn't work too well with blogger...)

27 September 2010

Tecrin tries... Baking! Again.

My kitchen life has its ups and downs. After the summer, I decided once again that I had to start watching what I ate again and left the kitchen and the baking for what it was, bar some delicious bread to accompany fresh soup every now and then.

But now that the weather has turned to more autumny temeratures, the baking-bug has been itching again and I spent both last weekend and this weekend in the kitchen, baking omnomelicious muffins and cupcakes. And the best part? Boyfriend dearest, the person that is the most difficult audience for anything baked, wouldn't stop raving about my apple-raisin-cinnamon muffins. So here's the recipes, try both, weep, and be glad they came into your life. Oh, and for the love of anything baked: eat them warm. Please.


Apple-raisin-cinnamon muffins (makes approximately 9 muffins)

150 gr flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tsp cinnamon
40 gr sugar (I used normal, but you can use brown sugar too)
1 apple, peeled and diced into reasonably small bits ( I used a granny smith, like I do in all my apple pie/cake recipes, because they taste divine in pies and cakes and keep a bit of a bite, unlike some apples that just turn into mush when you heat them up)
1 large handful of raisins, washed and dried (really, I just winged it a bit. If your apple is big, use a little less, if your apple was small-ish, use a large handful. I think it's slightly more than a cup.)
125 ml milk
1 egg
4 tbsp butter, melted

For the topping:
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar

Here we go!

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Either grease a muffin-tin or line it with paper liners.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, apple and raisins.
In a different container, mix the egg, milk and butter.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until they kind of come together. Don't overstir! Make sure the flour is mixed in properly, but don't make it one homogenous batter!

Pour the batter into the muffin-tin.
Mix one tablespoon of butter with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and two tablespoons of sugar and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the muffins.

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes until they are nice and golden on the top. Take the tin out of the oven and let cool until they are not so scaldingly hot you'll burn your tongue, then pop them out of the tin, and dig in!


Butterscotch-chocolate milk cupcakes (makes about 12 cupcakes) (pictured above)


3 eggs
4 tbsp chocolate milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
150 gr flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150 gr sugar
175 gr butter
75 gr butterscotch chocolate, cut up

Here we go!

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Grease a muffin/cupcake tin or line it with paper liners.
Mix the baking powder, salt, sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix the eggs, chocolate milk and vanilla extract until combined (it'll look disgusting, but it's for the greater good).
Add the butter and half of the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. In phases, mix in the rest of the egg mixture until it is a nice, smooth batter. Stir in the chocolate bits until it's well combined and scoop into the tin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are nice and golden brown. Take the tin out of the oven, let cool until not scaldingly hot (you know, to save your tongue) and dig in!

You can save them in an airfree container. But really, you should just eat them all and not feel guilty for they are SO DAMNED GOOD!

24 September 2010

Yarn porn

To counter the depressing message I left earlier this week, here's some yarn porn. It cheered me up!

Remember that I told you that my fairy-grand-godmother gave me a huge bag of yarn when I told her I was learning myself to crochet over a year ago? No? Oh. Well, my fairy-grand-godmother (she's not really my grandmother, although I certainly think she is, and she certainly considers us her grandkids) gave me 2 bags full of yarny leftovers and goodness when I told her I had picked up crochet and brought my first pair of fingerless mitts to show her. She was impressed, she said, although when looking at them now and then, I think she said that to be nice. (it's because she's just such a nice lady, I think.) A short while after that, a friend gave me a giant bag of yarn with leftovers and balls of acrylic somethings because she didn't use it anymore. In other words: I got a whole bunch of leftovers, which I unceremoniously dumped into plastic bins and stuffed away to search through later to see what it all was, exactly. I picked at it a few times, opened the bins, browsed a bit, but put it away quickly when I saw how much work sorting all of it would be.

Well, now that my thesis is on hold until my supervisor emails me back (which, by the way, he hasn't done yet), I had some time to spare and I decided to use this time to dig through those bins and throw out what I couldn't use anymore and sort out the rest.
I found treasures. Lots of treasures.

Here's the blue batch. All odds and ends, some balls larger than the others, but some were really so gorgeous, I wished I had a mountain of it. Look!

That colour! Isn't it gorgeous?!

I wasn't able to capture how shiney this yarn really is, but it's silky, and smooth, and pretty...

Similar colour, different texture, but squishy and pretty!

Another one of those little balls that I wished was a ginormous skein. Don't mind the little.. thing.. on the tail. I don't know what it is. But I know a pair of scissors that would love to get more acquainted with it, soon.

And then there were reds. Lots of little balls of reds. I never knew there were so many different hues of red.

Oh, and orange, too.

Different types of orange, even. This reminds me of pumpkin pie, even though I never had pumpkin pie in my life. Must have been the weather.

And there was...

One of the few balls that actually still had the band on. See what it says? See? 15% wool, 15% mohair. OoooOOOOoooo! Soooo... soooft... I can remember grandma had a sweater in this colour that was really really squishy and soft and kind of tickled when you gave her a hug.

And then I found something truly.. horrific. It changed how I thought about my lovely, neat, sweet little grandma forever.
Grandma! This is almost like hearing you swear! I never knew you could be so messy! One big clump of knotted, brown, thin yarn. I'm guessing this was supposed to be a sweater of some sorts, since I found these too:

Which I'm guessing is cuffs of some sort.

And then there were the natural colours, which I'm guessing is all either undyed wool or some sort of blend.

Light colours...

And dark colours.

This one looks like it came straight off the sheep. There were three balls of this, actually, but as you can see in the group-shot above, I only kept two and threw one out. It was a jumbled mess of a lot of things, but I'm pretty sure a lot of that wasn't actually meant to be in there.

That's it! I threw a lot out, too. Balls of acrylic that crunched when you so much as looked at it, balls of leftovers that were so twisted up into itself that trying to untie it would take me at least three days, non-stop. I tried, with one of the red balls, because it looked like some sort of cotton twist (almost rope-like) and seemed interesting. And smooth enough to allow me to undo all the knots that it twisted itself in. There were colours that were so hideous, I couldn't think of anything that would make them more appealing. And yes, I thought of dyeing it. I don't think it would work. Plus, this saves me room for more yarn that doesn't look like ass.

I also found a bag of my first ever crochet projects, many of which were never finished, but I think I'll dedicate a new post to that, one of these days.

22 September 2010

Incoming: rant

My apologies in advance for this non-crafty, rant-a-licious post, but there's something that's been weighing me down for weeks now and I've finally taken a step forward so I feel like I should let some of the stress out.

It's about my thesis.

As you may or may not know, I'm a student and am currently trying to finish my Master's Degree in Translation by writing a thesis. My subject: Young Adult Literature. I love YA lit. Not just as a reader, although I must say many of the YA-titles that came out in the past few years have entertained me very much. I love it as a bookshop-employee, because it gives me the opportunity to help kids find something interesting to read when they no longer feel at home in the children's section but don't feel like switching to adult literature yet. I'm probably projecting; it's how I felt when I grew up and had read every single book in the children's section of our local library by the time I was 12 and moved on to fantasy because there was nothing to read.


I love this category to bits, so I figured that writing a thesis on translating YA should be a piece of cake for me.

Wrong. Very, very, very wrong. It's a difficult subject at best. YA as a literary category is relatively new, but it's known under so many different names that finding secondary literature on it becomes a slow and frustrating process: you never know if a text is discussing YA under another name, or simply discussing something different alltogether. And that simple fact has made me push it away from me since I started last year in June. Summer interfered heavily with my work too, since I was gone most of August. Then September hit, and it hit me hard: I felt so stressed I was unable to sleep for nights in a row, it was affecting my health very much, it was making me tense and probably not very pleasant to be around. I had row after row with the boyfriend about really stupid things. I think we once had a fight over toilet paper. I was ready to break down. So I finally made the decision to stop what I was doing.

Well, no, actually, that's not entirely true. I've made that decision three weeks ago, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, and wrote something down in a notepad on my phone about it. I didn't do anything with this, though. I just didn't want to admit defeat and move on to something that would be more productive, like an actual translation. I'm stubborn like that. Very unattractive trait.

But I've done it; I've admitted defeat. I've bitten the bullet. After not sleeping again all night because I was tossing and turning and frustrating myself with thoughts about my thesis, I got up early and sent my supervisor an email explaining the situation, along with a proposal for 2 texts I would like to use as a translation thesis instead. Now all that's left is waiting for a reply and hoping he'll accept one of my proposals, so I can get started.

I've been taking deep breaths all morning, ever since I pressed 'send'. I hope he'll get back to me soon. In the meantime, I think I'll just go and sort out my stash. I've made a small start on that last night, but I'll devote an entire post to it one of these days. It'll be both yarn-porn-ish and yarn-horrorish. I promise.

21 September 2010

Summer is really over, I'm afraid

One thing is certain in our household: we don't plan birthday parties in detail. Why, you ask? Because half of our family was born in March, and the other half in September. It can snow in March, but it can also be 20 degrees outside. Same goes (well, not the snowing part) for September... Last Saturday, we went over to the parents to celebrate my baby sister's birthday.

She's turned 19 today! 19! Can't be, she was only 12 yesterday!

Anyway. It was gorgeous outside Saturday evening, albeit a little cold, so half the party moved outside to enjoy the fresh air or a cigarette. Me, being the idiot that I can be, forgot to bring my sister's little present I made to go with the 25 euro she got from us to help save for her camera. I decided to bring it around yesterday, and took my bicycle out for a ride in an attempt to get more excercise. And to take pictures, of course.

The weather was once again taking the piss, since it had been reasonably calm and sunny on Sunday, but turned windy, cloudy and ugly on Monday. With the wind in my back on my way over to the parents' house, I managed to snap a few pics while cycling.

Amazing, isn't it, how you can pass something on your way to school/work/go shopping/see friends your entire life and never realise that it's kind of pretty?

I mean,

Imagine having one of those little boats over there. Hmm..

There's trees everywhere, and for the largest part of the way, I cycle along the canal. In the summer, there's bugs everywhere and you have to keep your mouth firmly closed or fear an unexpected meal of flies and musquitos. Yesterday, they were all gone. The only bug I encountered was a very grumpy bee, that flew straight into my chest and decided to hang around for a second while buzzing furiously. Reminded me of a grumpy old man, driving in his car, with his window down so he can swear at kids racing a traffic light.


Then I got to my parent's house and presented my sis with her...


Sis approves.

On the way back, the sun broke through the clouds for a little while and I came along a little cluster of trees at the side of a lake and saw.. well..

Sun shining through the trees. I don't know about you, but to me, that screams summer. I smiled the rest of the way. Summer wasn't gone yet.

And then I woke up this morning and found that I was proven wrong.

I'm afraid Summer really is over now.