31 October 2018

Wordless Wednesday

30 October 2018

Hawaiian Dreams

Part Three of Three

I could cancel the trip altogether and let down a very dear friend who had never been to Hawaii, or I could take matters into my own hands.

Two months before my scheduled departure, I decided to use my savings to purchase airline tickets, and I put the hotel reservations on my credit card. Yes, I’d have to make payments on this trip of a lifetime, but it would be worth it. I would make it worth it.

I extended the trip by three days and bought tickets for an island hopper. We’d visit BOTH temples and the Polynesian Cultural Center, too. We would have a ball!

Five weeks before we were to leave, I finally met Mr. Right. Yes, it’s true. Hard to fathom, but factual. This development nearly sent my parents into cardiac arrest. They were quite sure they were stuck in a dream because no way was this ever going to happen in real life. Their beloved old maid wasn’t going to be a spinster after all.

The Lord likely knew exactly what He was doing when He made me scrounge for a female traveling companion. Novels and blockbuster movies have been written and filmed detailing the results of man plus woman plus beautiful tropical island. Yet still, leaving the love of my life behind for an entire week seemed like torture!

A week before departure, I took my final training ride. If I could successfully ride from my metro apartment to the top of the nation’s highest paved road, I would be able to do Mauna Kea. At home, I would have only 8,000 feet of elevation gain, but the mileage would be much further. And the weather would be much hotter. Mauna Kea doesn't have a brown cloud.

I successfully climbed more than 30 miles and made it to 10,000 feet, but I couldn’t go another inch. My bad knee stopped me cold. Actually, I was sweating by the bucket and not chilled at all. If I pushed any harder, maybe I could be the first to climb Mauna Kea in a wheelchair.

The next day, I cancelled my bike rental. I kept the moonlight tour because I thought it would be joyful.

It wasn’t. I mean, it was a great trip. Not just great, but fantastic. I loved hearing the history of the area and all about the native culture. I hiked atop a cinder cone and could see the summits of both Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, as well as the ocean. The full moon rose in the shadow of Hawaii’s tallest mountain as the sun set. I hiked to the true summit of Mauna Kea. After dusk, I viewed planets and solar systems not visible to the naked eye via multiple telescopes set up especially for tour guests.

During the van ride the entire tour, all I could think of was taking a mountain bike up that long and winding dirt road. Looking back now, I'm not sure I would have been able to ride to the top, due to volcanic fumes I didn't realize I had inhaled during my brief hikes until the next day. Pretty nasty stuff!!!

The botanic gardens, fabric shops, temples and flowers everywhere somewhat made up for the disappointment. But every time I saw a bike, oh, how I wished I had at least tried.

That is, until I got back home. That’s when Mr. Right suggested a repeat trip might be the perfect honeymoon. Would I be willing to go through this again? Would I be willing to get married???

We haven't been to Hawaii. Yet. Our day will come. I promise.

Most couples romantically fantasize about beaches, shopping, diving and sightseeing in Hawaii. Not us. No. Not even Mauna Kea would be enough to hold our interest now that we’ve pedaled up the highest paved road in North America together and halfway across Colorado multiple time to boot. We want to ride around the entire Big Island. On our own bikes, not rentals.

Oh, and now he wants to ride all the way around the other islands, too. Plus, he's seen films of mountain biking in Hawaii. He gets as excited about single track as I do about flowers and photography.

I wonder what fishbowl I can drop a couple more tickets into to win yet another trip of a lifetime? Naaa. We’d probably end up having to pay for the trip ourselves.


29 October 2018

Snowflake Monday

Check this out!!!

I tried to research why dark colors painted with glow-in-the-dark glue don't emit as much glow but wasn't able to learn much more than different colors require different light spectrums to charge. My guess is that the white offers a reflectiveness, while the darker colors absorb. But that's the just the ancient photography darkroom technician in me coming out of hiding.

I tried charging the dark colors with daylight, LED, incandescent and fluorescent light. I even gave the larger skull three coats of glow-in-the-dark glue. The LED worked the best, and I think it's because I set the light right on top of the skulls for a few moments.

Here are the orange skulls charged with LED light.

And here is the same photo played with in the mobile version of Photoshop.

I stiffened my Nocturne Skullflakes and skulls the very same way I have stiffened snowflakes with glue for decades, using the glow-in-the-dark glue instead of school glue. I painted narrow flake joints with full-power glow-in-the-dark glue, not mixed with a bit of water, and boy, do those joints glow!!!

This new glue makes me want to remake every single one of my Halloween snowflakes from the past nine years!!!

You may do whatever you'd like with skulls and skullflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 6 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, sequins or beads or stick-on jewels or permanent markers or embroidery floss for eyes, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Nocturne Skull Motif Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc and ch 2), 8 dc in ring; work 1 more dc into ring, using linked dc method to connect it to first 2 ch of starting ch 4 to prevent a gap between stitches (yo, draw up loop through magic ring, draw up loop through 1st ch of starting ch 4 and pull through 2 loops on hook, draw up loop through 2nd ch of starting ch 4 and pull through 2 loops on hook). Pull magic circle tight as you can.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 2: Sl st into ch 2 sp, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 7 dc in same ch 2 sp, sk next dc, 2 dc in each dc around, using the linked dc method described in Round 1 for the 16th dc.

Row 3 Teeth: Sl st into each of next 2 dc, ch 3, [sk next dc, 1 hdc in next dc, ch 1] 2 times, ch 1, 1 hdc in next dc, turn.

Row 4 Teeth: Ch 3, [sk next ch 1 sp, 1 hdc in next dc, ch 1] 2 times, sk next ch, ch 2, sl st in next ch; bind off here if making Skullflake motifs.

Here are completed skulls with and without the 5th Round. Do not use the 5th Round if you are making the Skullflake, but refer to single crochet diagram below to complete the final Round of the Skullflake.

Optional Round 5: Work sc all the way around skull, using sl st at the jaw bones to maintain the curved shape and using 2 sc in each tooth gap and 3 sc in each corner gap as shown below; bind off. Weave in ends.

Nocturne Skullflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in ring, [ch 3, 2 dc in ring] 5 times; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round. Pull magic circle tight as desired.

Round 2: 1 sc over post of dc directly below, [ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in same sp] 6 times, omitting last ch 5 and last sc of final repeat; ch 2, 1 tr in starting sc to form 6th ch 5 loop of Round.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 (dc), 2 dc over post of tr directly below, [ch 2, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in next ch 5 loop, ch 3, 3 dc in same loop] 5 times; ch 2, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [working from front of skull motif, 1 sc in top center of skull, working counter clockwise around, 1 sc in each dc to jaw joint, sl st in jaw joint, 2 sc in next tooth gap, 3 sc in tooth corner, 2 sc in next tooth gap, 3 sc in next tooth corner, 2 sc in next tooth gap, sl st in jaw joint, 1 sc in each dc to top of skull, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 12, sl st in 10th ch from hook, ch 2 (picot loop made), 3 dc in same ch 3 tip] 6 times, omitting last 3 sc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

NOTE: My prototype Nocturne Skullflake included ch 2 spaces between the skulls and the 3/dc shells. The flake may be worked either way. I wrote the pattern without the ch 2 spaces because I like that version better. Also notice the variations in pinning of the shorter points.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin skullflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint skullflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow skullflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel skullflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the skullflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Skullflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

Didn't notice the pirate skull and the rolling eyeball until after I embedded the photos in this blog post. The lost eye has now been resocketed!

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