Saturday, February 21, 2015

Just a Little Bit Crazy

...I must be.  Somehow, I got it into my head to use some Brown Sheep Cotton Fine that I had purchased a few (?) years back to make a pair of FairIsle socks.  I was doing just great until I hit the heel and then the knitting and life just fell apart on me.  Project was sent to hibernation, and when I tried to get back to it I just couldn't orient myself.  So, Froggie the Ripper pulled it all out.  Then I saw this scrumptious cropped sweater and knew what to do with the skeins of tiny yarn.  No amount of arguing could sway me, and now, here I am deep into tiny stitches and tiny needles, straining my eyes and wrist while setting in thousands of stitches.  I guess it is a little like scratching off those cards to see if you won a prize because I love the way the pattern unfolds.  (Ask me when I am done if I still feel the same way?)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Hurrier I Go the Behinder I Get

...That is a quote from an old cross stitch pattern I once did.  I often think of it and feel it was made up just for me.  I am a collector of things by my nature.  I collect not only all sorts of physical stuff but mental and emotional stuff as well. Sometimes that makes it very hard to move forward.  I have great hopes that this new year will bring some changes to all that.  When fruit stops ripening, it begins to rot.  Forward progress is essential or the rot begins!

For the past few weeks, I have been working on a new bracelet.  It is for someone who
loves Banksy and I wanted her to know I "had her back."  The Para Rat was actually started early last fall when she took a trip to Hawaii.  I just felt she needed a parachute. (metaphorically)  I was not able to finish the project in time, but it turned out she really did need a "parachute" when the vacation took a serious nosedive.  This ratty is filled with symbolism.  If I was in survival mode, I think I would want money (the dime), and food (the slice of Swiss cheese).  Ratty has a parachute to catch his fall, the blue beads symbolize clear skies ahead, and a hobo-like wrapped pack implies whatever is needed in our bag of tricks to get through the rough times (solder bumps).  Bone beads and the silvered pebble are to show strength and stability, and lastly, lava beads are there to remind the wearer that life is better met with fluidity than a rigid approach to whatever is in our path.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


This year is already getting away from me.  I wasn't even crazy to go off to the hills the weekend before last.  This trip, we had several uninvited guests in our well-known hotel chain room.


...5 of them!  ...Don't think we'll stay there again, even though we have stayed there many times in the past with no issues.  Catching and disposing of stink bugs just grossed me out.

I did enjoy a visit to Beads and Beyond.  Barry (the owner) is always so gracious and thrilled to share his knowledge of beads and jewelry making.  I am excited to know a little more about working with precious metal clay, which I have been wanting to play with.  He gave me the "OK" to torch a project.  I had read somewhere that torched clay was not as durable as kiln fired clay and I wouldn't want to mess it up.

I still need to get my studio straight so I can get to work in it!  This is taking it's own sweet time.  I have found two great plastic storage containers that I wish I had two more of.  They fit perfectly into the dresser drawers and hold so many beads in a 1-1/2 " layer with adjustable partitions.  I got a workshop grade power strip that I have attached to the bench leg.  This will facilitate plugging various tools in.  Really, ...I have had to crawl and reach low on my hands and knees to get to the outlet behind the bench and...

 I assure you it's no fun.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hit the Ground Running

Into the New Year, there are always a list of tasks that are left-over from the past.  Being caught up all the time is a fantasy that I sometimes dream of, but ya-a-a-h that's is not going to happen here!  My brain dumps loads of ideas every day that I really really really want to make happen.  I would never get caught up even if I lived to be as old as Methuselah.   I suspect that the alternative is a good de-cluttering of the "To~Do" list that I keep.  Really, do I think that making my own potholders is necessary?  Even though I know they would be better looking, better functionally, and last longer, can't I just go buy some some and use my time in other ways?

Lately, I have been knitting up some older stash yarns (same as the cowl I showed you last time) for a scarf for my daughter-in-law.  I thought there was another ball of the foundational orange yarn.  Well, I ran out and so now what's a gal to do?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Cristmas Everyone!

Today will be a busy one in the kitchen.  Soon I will set the turkey in a brine to sit for a few hours and then "it" will be on.  Oh yes
  • Tuscan Roast turkey
  • Glazed sweet potatoes
  • Wild and Brown rice
  • Collards
  • Cranberry & Orange relish
...Details later, but for now,

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I Can't Believe....

I Can't Believe that it's the end of the year and Christmas is almost here and this year I am not making gifts.  Sort of.

The studio is critically important for my creative efforts, and that is taking priority right now.  The painting is done, and in my opinion looks amazing.  Since mine is the only one that counts, I am ready to move on!  

Furniture.  Well, that is a hang-up.  I had planned on bringing a very solid table into the room, but it has been beside the computer in the "everything" room, and is set up with files under it and is where I do office business.  I cannot replace it without having to find a new solution for the files.  So, I am thinking of buying a workbench.  Mostly everything else is ready to place, and I am beginning to move supplies that will be kept in a long/low dresser off to the side.  I need to make a trip to the dollar store to get trays that will hold beads and other components. 

However, I am returning to knitting after a long hiatus, making quick and simple cowls.  The hands have to be kept busy!  I showed you the rustic cowl in my last post, and here is one I made from left-over yarns.

Several years ago I made a vest that had all these yarns in it plus several more, and I love that vest, but just had not used any of those gorgeous left-over yarns.  I may keep the cowl, or give it as a gift.  I can't believe that the cowl was photographed in the studio, after dark, with only the lousy overhead chandelier with my iPhone. 

I am thrilled that those reds came out true to color and with the possibility of fabulous photos to come!

Sunset Bolero Vest  ....Pattern by Jane Thornley

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

May this be a day that all of us remember the many things in our lives that we are grateful for and appreciate that we have been blessed with the love of those close to us.  This year, it will just be my husband and I sitting down to our feast, but we are happy and content with that.  All my sons have to share their time between multiple sets of parents, and so we are content to share them too.  Just last week, the DH and I decided that we really do want to get rid of a few extra pounds and feel healthier.  As a result, this Thanksgiving feast will be quite different than in years past.  Pared down to a much more manageable meal, we are putting together a few basics today, in as we serve up the leftover turkey and gravy in the next few days, we will add in newly prepared favorites so that each of the traditional comfort foods gets its moment.

One of the things that I am thankful for is that my energy and passion for creating is returning.  The dining room/Mom's room is now getting a base coat of paint.  I am sure it will run into next week to get it together, but then the new studio will become a reality.  I have chosen that foundation to use my time this year instead of crafting a multitude of gifts for others.  It was a hard decision, but this is so essential to me that I decided to gift myself this year.  The artisan inside is nearly bursting to get into action and ideas are filling my head.  There are so many wonderful projects waiting to be created, whether they are my own or by others.  For now, as all the space it needs is my lap, I have been knitting.  I adore cowls, and this is one I just finished.  Knit in garter stitch of neutral yarn, I added thin carry alongs to give it some color.  It was inspired by this free pattern from Purl Soho.