14
Mar
2016

We recently discovered a new addition to the North Alabama dining landscape – The ToyBox Bistro. I’m telling you about it, but this isn’t a critical “restaurant review.” It is just an impression of a fun little spot from an appreciative fan. I first found out about the eatery from this recent article in AL.COM.

What really piqued my interest was this quote: “Toybox Bistro is a homage in some ways to Timon’s late husband, Steve, who died five years ago from cancer. Timon said Steve was ‘an enormous collector’ who filled her house with lots of cool, high-end toys and games.”

And what a dear, sweet homage it is. I always wondered what would become of these sorts of collections. I know that my current yarn fetish will happily be consumed by my sister, but what do you do with a lifelong acquisition of all things geeky and game related? The interior of the ToyBox Bistro is filled with action figures, games and gaming cards. It is absolutely adorable and if you know any gaming enthusiasts from aged 8 through 88, they will get a kick out of perusing the showcases.

(Apologies for the crappy photos, all I had was my cell phone and it was a little dark inside.)

A wall of action figures:

tbcase

Some wonderfully repurposed pendant light fixtures:

lightfix

Each table top, under glass, has a collection of playing cards including Munchkin, Yu-Gi-Oh, Cards Against Humanity, etc.

tbmunchkin

The food is well-priced, well-prepared and quite tasty! They offer adult and kid friendly items such as hamburgers, hotdogs, wings, salads and various other dishes. Beer is also on tap. We tried their special “waffled mac & cheese” and found it surpassed our expectations. It’s basically Mac&Cheese done in a waffle iron – you will love it if you are one of those weirdos, like me, who loves the burnt crispy bit on the top of a casserole.

tbmac

Check them out. They are next door to Sugar Belle (owners of the cupcake assault vehicle in town).

Websites: ToyBox Bistro Facebook Page; Sugar Belle

10
Jan
2016

This past summer, a new pattern idea caught the eye of my sister and me.  It’s called the Scoreboard Knit Along  where one sets up a scarf, knit in the round – each row represents a point scored during the season.  Generally, two main colors (from your team) are chosen. Color 1 is used for your team’s points; color 2 for your opponents’ points.  Some people use a third color to knit a separator row between games.

I chose to use all three colors for the New Orleans Saints: Black, Gold and White. Because I wanted more variation and interest in what would be a very long finished piece, I decided to use black for the saints scores, and alternate gold and white for the opponents scores.  I separated games by purling the final rows of each.  My sister also decided we should augment these ridiculous things with beads to make them even more ridiculous! (In hindsight, I regret it because the beads catch and snag the scarf when it’s folded up.)

In this 2015 season, the games the Saints played in had a combined 984 points.  That is a lot of knitting, and because the pattern called for a mid-weight yarn, this thing ended up over 14 feet in length. At least the pattern connects the ends, so the scarf ends up doubled on itself, so the result is only 7 feet long.

ONLY. SEVEN. FEET. Hahahahahaha!

Scarfff

 

This is probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever crafted, and if you know me at all, that’s really saying something. So, now, what does one DO with an 8 pound, striped, although quite cuddly and squishy, because I used nice yarn, monstrosity?

If I wrap it around my neck 4 or 5 times, it’s impossible to move, but is comforting.  Hey! Just like one of those travel neck pillows:

Scarfneck

It’s the perfect length for a good leash:

IMAG0053

 

I could freak out the children and tell them there is a giant python in the living room trying to ingest their dog!

Scarfeatdog

Or perhaps, Rapunzel Hair for halloween…

Scarfrapunz

We live in an old house. Maybe, this is the perfect item to block those cold, drafty doorway openings:

Scarfdraft

 

Hm. Yeah, it makes a pretty good straight jacket.

Scarfstraightj

I think this is my personal favorite. I hate unannounced visits from people I do not know. Especially solicitors – anyone going door to door must be discouraged from coming near my place. What looks from the street much like a huge snake on the porch may deter a few annoying people.  Would you risk it?

Scarfdeter

Ah. Scarfzilla  – the possibilities are endless.

 

12
Oct
2015

My sister has been in town several times over the past few months. Coincidentally, there has been a temporary Biergarten at the Space and Rocket Center on Thursday evenings, and we have been frequent visitors.  If you are a local to the North Alabama area, you should check it out. It’s free entry to the Davidson Center, and how often does one get to dine on schnitzel under a true life Saturn V rocket? The last week is October 22.

Much to the chagrin of my teenager, we also discovered how much fun the kids’ play areas are.

We also loved the book, The Martian, thus the inspiration for this hot mess. I think the pimp cup is a supernatural touch.

bring-seesters-home