Sunday, December 28, 2008

Throw Away 50 Things - Redux, Part Deux

So about today.

One would think I had done nothing at all, as I sat on the couch knitting on a sock and watching DVDs for most of the day. We finished up Alias, Season 1, watched MI-3, Elizabeth 2, now we're onto Battlestar Galactica, Season 1. I did read the Sunday paper and do 2 crosswords as well. The paper basket was full so out it went (item 1).

I did, however, get off my duff and made yam/acorn squash waffles with pecans to our breakfast. You can find the recipe for these in the Joy of Cooking. Including canned pumpkin, any squash, but for spaghetti works just great for these waffles. I also amended the recipe to use 3/4 to 1 cup of squash. I have also added 1 tsp. real vanilla and 1/2 cup of pecans pieces to the basic recipe (finely chopped candied ginger makes a great addition as well). These waffles are a staple in our house.

I also threw away a coffee mug that had a chipping design (2nd item), sorted out more clothes (3rd thru 10th items) for the charity shop and decided to get rid of even more books (11th thru 17th items today) to the 1/2 price store.

Books are my greatest pleasure and my greatest source of pain. I love to read and collect them but I hate to move them and I never have enough shelf space for them either... I really cannot see tho how a real book can ever be replaced by an e-book? Never mind, I can't find the right prescription for my glasses to read them from a screen.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

One on One Journal Exchange

The package from my journal exchangee arrive yesterday afternoon. It was a tough choice whether to wait to open it 'til this morning or tear into yesterday. Well, I tore into it yesterday as I am not that grown up yet, LOL. Here's a fuzzy picture of the box's contents. CHOCOLATE, YARN, travel related bookmark and an Irish themed journal with Celtic Knot endpapers. Thank You! Susan in Ohio.
I am a huge fan of Celtic knot work. I have done knotwork appliqued quilts, loomed beads, needlepointed them, cross stitched them, appliqued an I-Cord knot on a felted bag, put designs on wearables, stamped them on papers and painted them on boxes and signs, and stitched them onto banners for Scottish and other Celtic related events.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Waited til the Glue Dried - Folio

I do apologize for the crappy photos.

I couldn't find my tripod this afternoon.

I decided that I would make my daughter, Erin a folio in an effort to corral her collection of recipes she has been gathering. I keep finding a recipe here, a recipe there and sometimes I pick up a stack of papers thinking they are mine and need to go into the knitting book and instead find a receipt for a Truffle Cake or some such. It's an adventure sometimes trying to find the piece of paper that I am in search of. However, I am as guilty as she is in printing off stuff for future use, so my solution for both of us is something to contain them in.
Folio: a case or folder for loose papers
I had a basic idea of what a folio should/could be. Two hard covers, generally hinged and held together somehow usually with ribbon ties or an elastic strap.

To get started I pulled out what supplies I thought I might need. For this project these supplies included: mat board(s), ribbons, fabrics, clear plastic, glue and general sewing supplies.

As I do papers crafts as well as quilt, I had my choice of what to cover the mat board with. If using papers to cover, gather paper crafting supplies.

I had a stack of mat board leftover from another project and use a piece of it cut in half for the covers. Since I was making black and white tote/storage/gift bags for Erin anyway, I just grabbed one of those prints to cover the outsides with.

First I cut the fabric to size and then wrapped it over each cover and glued down on the back side.
Waited til the glue dried.
I next took a piece of wide French gros-grain ribbon in black and cut in thirds to make hinges spaced evenly along a long edge and glued them down. I then cut picot edged ribbon in turquoise for two sets of ties and glue them down on the opposite long edges.
Waited til the glue dried.
I then covered the insides of the mats with a turquoise print fabric. Glued them in.
Waited til the glue dried.
Front of Cover: I made a card slot out out of a black and white Celtic creature ribbon stitched as a frame onto a clear plastic insert. Glued it to the front. (It's kinda wonky, as I didn't get one of the corners to cooperate, but the folio can have any label the DD would care to insert and I decided to add this after the covers were glue on, so I couldn't stitch it on.)
Waited for the glue to dry.

From start to finish, it took about 24 hours to make this silly thing, most of it was spent, you guessed it, waiting for the glue to dry. Maybe I should use a spray adhesive next time. For safety's sake, I would, of course have to spray outside. With our Colorado cold winter temps and the nearly constant wind, I would not try to make one with spray adhesive at this time. In all, it would have taken less time and energy to go to an art supply store and buy one, but now it's off my someday, maybe Bucket List. It's funky, kewl and I used stuff I had laying around to make it with... This project sorta of fell into my throw 50 things away drive, if using 5 things up can count?

Throw Away 50 Things - Redux

In an effort to continue on my quest to throw away at least fifty things this month. Here's a list of what has gone:
1. Useless Coffee Maker (got's me a French press, way better coffee)
2. Cat Scratch Post cat doesn't use (likes one of my wicker baskets much better)
3. 6" thick stack of papers after sorting
4. Plastic canister pretzels came in I thought I would do something with
5. 2 Yellow Pages books we never even opened as we Ask Dex
6. Another bag of clothes to the charity shop (2 skirts, five shirts, fleece jacket)
7. Another bag of books to the trade shop (30 or so)
8. Bag o' Yarn to charity knitters

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Okay, This is Just Weird - Redux and Baby Chicklet Close Yer Eyes

Here below is a link to something that proves that some people have WAAAAAAAY too much time on their hands, but really think outside of the box. A Beef Jerky Purse modeled on Chanel, no less! Here's the link to the pix and if you are a vegan, vegi, or any iteration of non-meat eating, you might want to skip this....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ravelry Journal Swap and Moleskine Round Robin

So, I belong to, which is an on-line knitting and crochet community. It's suppose to be about knitting and/or crocheting, right?

First off, Ravelry has a group or two or three for EVERYTHING. I saw that there was a one-on-one journal exchange happening. You first fill out a brief questionnaire, then you get matched up with someone else who signed up for the swap as well. Then after some exchanges to get further details about your swap partner, you then send a journal with, in this swap, a writing prompt and a wee giftie. Susan, my swappee is from the far reaches of the NorthCentral Mid-West and loves pink and blue. She is WAY younger than me, so I got her a bubblegum pink journal with book binding and lined pages, as that's her style of journals (being cack-handed, I prefer spiral bounds). Then I made a Superperson emblem with flowers and vines PINK bag with pink and black ribbon ties for it along with a matching pink project bag that I filled with two pinks and one blue ball of wool roving and the new Clover needle felting pen as her giftie. Well, apparently I chose wisely as she indeed loves pink, but she also loves Supergirl
and liked the fabric I chose for her gift. She has also has never tried needle felting, but was interested in it and now she has the start of her supplies if she finds she likes it as much as I have discovered I do. As always, in haste, I left something out of Susan's package, so here is what I wrote to her about that. It might be of use to someone out there.

I wrote to Susan:

I do hope you enjoy the needle felting, I am a huge fan of it as I am sure you can tell from my blog. The only thing I didn’t send along, which I discovered too late was a large CHEAP sponge, like you get from the Dollar Store for a working surface. You can get the brush mats at JoAnn’s, Hancocks, Michael’s, etc., but if you’re not sure if you are going to like the process or only going to try it a few times, I would use a substitute and the cheapy sponge works nearly as well for a needling surface. Use a cutting mat under a sponge, tho, so you don’t mar your table and/or break your needles, ask me how I know, LOL… Above all, have fun and oh, by the way, cookie cutters make great templates for designs if you aren’t comfy with free-handing it… If you do get hooked or needled, as the case may be, many LYSs will sell dyed wool roving fiber by the oz. and some of the artier stores may have dyed silk tops and other kewl stuff that can be needle felted. The black bag with the oak leaves is needled from both wool and silk fibers. Have fun and if you do have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. (See post of 11/24/08 for picture.)

Then there is Group C of the International Moleskine Exchange Group aka the Fabulous Creative Collaborating Chicklets. Wherein, I have met an amazing group of women and they know who they are, who if anything, are funnier, smarter and more clever than me. There are 10 of us in the group, but 6 of us appear to either have the most time to waste or the smartest mouths so I can thank the Gods and Goddesses that most of my group share at least some of my warped sensibilities about the world and Martha Stewart and are willing to talk about free ranging chickens, vegan marshmallows, Moleskines, art and what ever else happens to strike our fancy. Oh, sometimes we even talk about fiber, Frewen is blogging about felting boots, Baby Chicklet about prezzies made of fibers and I just posted about my version of Jayne Cobb's hat from Firefly and what my daughter's getting for Christmas.

So, you might ask, what is a Moleskine? The Moleskine is a notebook that can be quadrille (graph), unlined, lined, watercolour, thick or thin paper filled generally black covered with an elastic band to hold it all together with an inside back cover pocket for stuff that was made famous by the likes of Hemingway, Picasso and various other creative people and a staple in my purse for 5 iterations or about 5 years. It comes in various sizes and now apparently in various colours. We are doing a round robin, which means that currently my Moleskine is in Essex, England UK, with Lini, the Happy Hooker. We each did intro pages wherein we let the women who were going to work on our Moleskine know if we wanted a theme, hated something, had no opinion, yadda, yadda, yadda, before sending them off and then we'll each do 2 or more pages in each of the 10 other books in the exchange before ours returns to home.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's a Cunning Thing - Jayne's Hat

Here's my iteration of Jayne's Hat from the television show Firefly, Message from Home. It's done in cotton not wool as the DD has an issue with wool. Taking pix of yourself is really never a good idea, but a few folks have asked to see the hat. How cunning is that?

Monday, December 15, 2008

What I Did Today

I made this card for my friend Hunie and her family for Christmas. It's cardstock, fabric and a button. It's a green and brown tree appliqued to a starry blue background with a red sun face button for the topper. I also did some knitting on a prezzie for my DD. Can't show you the pix of it yet as she will look at my blog on the odd occasion...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas At Sea Update

Here's the updated numbers for the Christmas at Sea Appeal. We CAN DO it!!!! Time is running out tho, so please do what you can to help get the seamen warm for the season. Thanks everyone for your efforts.

Mariners Scarves: 4506
We need: 494 more!
Mariners Caps: 3205
We need: 895 more!
Seafarer’s Sets: 5752
We need only 263 more!!!!
Socks, Vests & Helmets: 1774
We need 761 more!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Last Night's Incredible Full Moon

Last night, my friend, Rebecca reminded me to go out and look at the moon as it was at it fullest in years. Well, it was amazing! When Erin and I went out there was a coloured ring around the moon that shaded from yellow gold to rust to turquoise to indigo, to lemon yellow to cerise with a fat contrail trailing across it. It was incredible to say the least, and it was huge! This photo does it no justice but is more in the way of a aide de memoire for a Moonatic quilt I have in mind.Web Comic guy, Dave Lowe has a great pix of last night's moon on his blog as well...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yarn Wars - another funny from the DD

Every time I read this one, it just make me laugh. Laughter is a good thing. Enjoy it... If you want to enjoy more of Dave's work, here's the link to his blog and then click on ParaAbnormal

Knitting Christmas at Sea

This is a plea for the Christmas at Sea Program thru the Seamen's Church. I have been knitting hats and scarves for this worthy program in hopes of getting the numbers that are needed. Can you/would you all help? I am part of the group that supports this mission, as well as the Graceful Hands Charitable Knitting group at Grace and St. Stephan's Episcopal Church in the Springs which also knits for this group and local persons in need. Here's the link to the Seamen's Institute site if you want further information.
These were the numbers needed as of 2 days ago...
Mariners Scarves: 4506
We need: 494 more!
Mariners Caps: 3205
We need: 895 more!
Seafarer’s Sets: 5752
We need only 263 more!!!!
Socks, Vests & Helmets: 1774
We need 761 more!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Throw Away 50 Things

I was cruising thru a friend's blog this morning and saw that she had signed the pledge to throw 50 things away this month. In an effort to declutter my chaotic homestead, I am taking the pledge. I am a few days late getting started, but I can say that I have thrown 4 things away already and taken a box of books to the trade store. Now to get that bag of clothes off to Goodwill or some such place. This is an early start on those suggestions for New Year's, maybe I'll actually have the habit when the new year gets here to throw instead of stow. More to come...

Well, I am thrilled and excited. I didn't realize that my peeps were actually going to my blog, reading it and commenting on it as well! Thank you all, it's so kewl that you care enough to look and to comment. I shall persevere on you all's behalf.

It's cold, snowy and yucky out, but I must go to the PO and send off my Ravelry Moleskine Round Robin and a Mail from Home Shower of Cards card for a friend's son who's missing his family and home whilst stationed in Ramadi.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Moon and Planets

Last night, the moon which looks like God's Thumbnail at the moment and two planets were close enough and bright enough to form a triangle in the sky. The daughter and I each took a peek at it and were glad that we had the chance. There were no clouds in the sky to obscure the view and there was enough pink to make a really gorgeous picture. Make ya glad to be alive.

I really was wishing for a SLR camera with which to take a photo as my little point and shoot just can't do it justice. Still, was glad to have experienced it non-the-less with our beautiful Colorado dusky sky and the mountains in the backdrop.

I am going to have to make a quilt of the view to go into my Moonatic Series, which is up to 5, but I haven't worked on it in a really long time. This might be the kick I need to get going on it again.

So, look up every night if the clouds let you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Knitting a Hurricane

So, I was poking around Ravelry, the on-line knit and crochet community and discovered a cute little hat called the Hurricane Hat. It has a purl stitch that spirals up the hat. I tried it out in a pink wool yarn that I had and made it mini. 1 inch 2x2 rib, no crown basically. It's baby sized and I am sure that I can find a baby to give it too. Anyway, I really like the pattern and will make up a bunch of them as I am burnt out on the Christmas at Sea Mariner's Hat at the moment.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Snowy Morning and Machine Felted Bags with Needle Felted Natural Designs

I have just finished a new knitted and felted knitting bag (made from black Lopi, washed and dried twice in the machines) with needle felted oak leaves done primarily with wool roving, the highlights and shadings are made of hand dyed silk rovings.

I added a needle felted thistle in wool and silk rovings to the blue felted bag recycled from a sweater that a friend made and gave to me a couple of years ago. It's ever so subtle, but loverly, I think.

Thistles are a favorite theme of mine and they appear in a number of iterations on any number of items. Like a quilt or two, a stomacher for a 1740s dress and now this bag. I have also done a locker hook one and I have a penny rug sketched out as well.

Some day... I talked to a wool strip rug hooker the other day about the process of hooking rugs and I have been interested in pursuing it, but haven't gotten the energy up to learn a new craft. I seriously don't need a new skill set, LOL. I have been reading about rug hooking in magazine devoted exclusively to the subject and looking at photo sources for hooked rugs and they are lovely.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The AFA Football Game or How I Spent my Saturday

Yesterday, I volunteered to carry a flag for the half time program at the AFA vs BYU football game. We spent nearly 8 hours on site. The volunteers included enough people to carry all the flags of the 50 states and Puerto Rico, we carried our flags in order of statehood, so I was second in the line. It was fun getting shout outs from the cadets, if you were carrying the flag of their home state. I got to carry the flag of Pennsylvania, which is my home state.

We rehearsed carrying in the flags in the morning. We were then tailgated by the cadets before the game. We sat next to the band in a section reserved for us, so we watched the game amongst our kilted friends. The half time show combined the brass band from the Academy with Pipers and Drummers from the various pipe bands (El Jebel Shriners Pipe and Drum Band, Colorado Irish , Isle of Mull, Michael Collins, Pikes Peak Highlanders and two others whose names I cannot recall at the moment) from up and down the Front Range of the Rockies along with Scottish and Irish dancers (who were from the Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers and the Bennett School of Irish Dance.) If and when the pix come my way, I will post some. I know a lot were taken. By the way, if you have never heard a pipe band playing with a brass band, do find the opportunity. It's awesome! In Colorado, Denver Brass and a Pipe and Drum Group do a joint concert around Christmas. I have also seen the Marine Band from 29 Palms playing with the Pipes and Drums and it's amazing, especially with the mountains as a backdrop up in Estes Park.

It was brutally cold in the morning, but it got much better by lunch and game time. We were lucky in that the weather had changed, as we had snow and brutal wind the day before. I was glad of my and my mum's knitting prowess as I accessorized my kilt with a sweater my mum knit for me more than 40 years ago and with cabled stockings and mitts that matched, that I knit for myself. My daughter, Erin accompanied me to the game and was wearing the gaiter (neck warmer) that I knit for her last winter. Our friends, Katte and Curtis Judd were there as well. Katte, too, was wearing the mitts that I had knit for her last winter. We were also very glad to have our cloaks with us. Curtis, Katte and Erin own and were wearing their Half Moon cloaks and the AFA mascot, The Bird, was quite enamoured of them. I was wearing a full length cloak I made for myself about 10 years ago. I find Half Moons to be too heavy for me to wear for any length of time and so I made myself a Melton wool cloak from stock leftover from my mum's store as a cover-up for my period clothing, it also works for covering up when wearing a kilt on a cold day.

The game happened to be my daughter's first football game. It was part of her birthday celebration as she turned 25 on Friday. She enjoyed watching the fans and seeing the traditional bits that the AFA does during their games, like the parachuters, the fly over, the falcon flight, the cute cadets doing the pushups after a touch down, etc., the game of football, not so much. We were all highly amused by a group of cadets in the seats in front of us who stood through nearly the whole game and danced to the music. It turned out that they were the Swim and Dive Team, who there to show their support and it was a privilege not a punishment, even though they did look kinda silly. We did find out that attendence at the football games is mandatory for all cadets. They don't necessarily have to sit in the ranks during the game as they can sit with family and friends if they are attending, but they must attend.

For the DD's birthday, I made her French toast for breakfast in morning from a french batard, took her to see the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace (We loves, loves, loves James Bond, we do!). Then we had her favorite dinner consisting of London B, fresh green beans and instead of the usual smashed taters, we had smashed yams.

In all, it was a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You to the Veterans

To all the veterans I know and those of you currently in harm's way on behalf of me and mine. I appreciate you and your willingness to defend our country in these trouble times. Thanks to you all for your service and above all to those currently deployed, BE SAFE.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Okay, This is Just Weird

On Election Day, I posted a pix of the morning sky with it's red clouds and related about the Red Sky at Night... anyway, I had forgotten that McCain's branch of service was the USN. Things that make you go hmmm?

Felted Knitted Handbags

Here are pix of the three felted handbags that I have made in the last 5 years. The striped one was done for a colour class I took with Heather Thomas in Boulder. The messenger bag I made last winter. The applique Celtic knot is I-Cord as my intarsia skills are not the best. The light blue bag I made this past spring as an exercise in Aran style knitting in preparation for a sweater I am knitting for my friend, judy, in Broomfield.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Official - We have A New President

Huzzah, Barak Obama.

Now can we get back to the business of life?

Non - Magical Magical Bracelet

My friend, Katte Beth, bought us all Magic Friendship Bracelets back in the Springtime when she and her three children came to the Springs for the School Break. She is definitely one to make things fun and so she picked up the "white bracelets" at Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs and told us all they were magic. Well, everyone else's changed colours in the sunlight but for mine, of course... Anyway, I have worn it ever since and it fell off in the shower today and I am gonna miss it.. Thanks for the fun and memories, Katte

First Effort at Pin Weaving

Here's the picture of my first effort at Pin Weaving. I got the destructions from the magazine, Cloth, Paper, Scissors and away I went. I don't know what it will end up as yet, but I think twigs are in it's future.

It's Almost Over - Election Day 2008

If you haven't yet, get out and vote. If you have, like I did, early, good on you. My daughter voted by mail two weeks ago and I voted early last week. I was surprised by the crowd at early voting. Really glad that I carry knitting with me at all times. I got 6 rows knitted on a charity hat while moving along to the poll workers. I think the jury is still out on those Diebold voting machines though. We will see what we will see when it's all said and done. However, I cannot wait for this day to be over as I am tired of the mean spiritness and sniping of the campaign ads. Whatever the outcome, if you didn't cast your vote, I feel that you cannot complain. If you voted you took an action and therefore I feel that one is entitled to whinge and complain...As I sat out side this morning communing with the ether, I was amazed by the sky. I took pictures and I will post them too. The time change is still playing havoc with my sleep and rising patterns so it was sunrise when I went out. That old rhyme came into my head, "Red Sky at Night, Sailor's Delight, Red Sky at Morn, Sailors Be Warned. The clouds were reflecting red all over the sky, very kewl. On to better things, on the art front, I did my first pin weaving. I will post a pix as soon as I get them downloaded. It's a little piece about 4x4 inches. It's got a pearl cotton warp and a loverly hand-dyed bamboo yarn in yellow to magenta fading to apricot in some places weft that my friend Cherie from Farm Fresh Textiles sent me to make a chemo hat for another friend of ours.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Grrrrrrrr Arghhhh !!! New Blog as AOL DUMPED my other one

I am so pissed at the moment. AOL dumped their hometown journals and therefore my AOL blog is gone, bye-bye, in the wind, so long and farewell. Piss, piss, piss, argle bargle, shit!!!!

Now, I need to start over and find the pix and hope I saved some of the writings some of which my loyal readers enjoyed even and I would like to read over on occasion..