Friday, November 23, 2007

Fabric, Family and Friends

Happy Thanksgiving! Well, happy day after Turkey Day Thanksgiving. This week has been one that really pointed out to me how very much I am blessed with a wonderful son, awesome sister in law and her family, and friends that are beyond fantastic. They keep me balanced, add great joy to my life and I adore each of them. They are always there when I need them even before I ask. God is good!
I have actually gone 8 days now without knitting. What? How can this be?
I am working on a project of the heart and loving every minute of it. Several of us are making pillowcases for all of the 100 plus children at the Methodist Children's home. Eventually I hope this will become a statewide project and we can support all the Methodist Children's homes in the state. Right now there are people from 4 churches involved and the pillowcases are turning out to be fabulous! Since a sewing machine isn't my favorite toy, I have been buying fabric, cutting it, and putting together kits for those that actually love to sew. I've been like a kid in a candy store matching colors and patterns and having great fun especially since I don't actually HAVE to do the sewing. I'll probably complete at least one for the experience but I think I'll make sure some of my more talented friends oversee the project.
The challenge has been to find material suitable for boys that is also 100% cotton. There is an abundance of lavendars, pinks, and "flowery " patterns but not much "macho" stuff. The other challenge has been to find fabric on sale. The most I've had to pay was $6.00 a yard but it was really great fabric and I only needed 1 1/4 yards. Did I rationalize that well?
I hope to post some pictures later this week--or maybe early next week????

Monday, November 5, 2007


SAFF (Southeast Animal Fiber Forum) held at the Western North Carolina Ag Center was great fun! The weather was fabulous with clear, cool days and the trees were beginning to show color. I met some of the Peachtree group from Atlanta there along with some of the Choctawhatchee guild from FL . Nice to be around creative people! My son came over for the weekend and I was surrounded by tons of vendors with FIBER!
I really did resist--never actually look at your stash before going to something like that. The image keeps invading your thoughts as you shop--a real deterrent--most of the time. I limited myself to 2 cookie cutters for needle felting, a few ounces of dyed wool for the felting, and some gorgeous bamboo fiber in shades of turquoise and blue.
Needle felting seemed to be the big thing with lots of booths supporting the craft. I also managed to get some soap from The Soap Shed which is one of my favorite places. Not only are the soaps great smelling, the names are fabulous. Studly Bubbles???? Love it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is it Fall yet?

I can't believe it's been 6 weeks since I posted anything. I blame the life writing class I am taking. I have been writing at least 3 pages a week for that so have forgotten about the blog.
Got together with some friends and we played with the paintsticks on silk scarves. Loads of fun. Thanks goodness for texture plates as I have no drawing ability. It was a lesson in branching out in color which I am going to try next time. A couple of people did some awesome scarves with a lot of color and they were perfect for the time of year particularly.
I didn't get to make the trip to MD that I was looking forward to but several things have occurred that made me realize that I needed to be home for a bit to help some people . Funny how things work out like that.
Anyway, the topics for the writing class have been 1) a room in a house where we grew up, 2) a momentous day in our life, 3) a story about a relative or stories that a relative told, and the current one is writing about our faith or how an event helped focus our faith.
It has helped to have actual topics upon which to focus rather than just rambling.
I am knitting a baby kimono and some baby bibs since there seem to be little ones joining this world. I am finishing up prayer shawl # 8. This one is different in that it is a triangular shape but the color is various shades of purple and I love that. #7 has the colors of the rainbow in it which was what was requested by a young friend when she asked me to make one for her.
I have found a fun knitting group which is knitting for charity at another church so I am doing that twice a month.
In the meantime, I have a house that desperately needs to be shoveled out, 2 dogs that need grooming, and more yarn projects stacking up for the holidays. On the other hand, there is a great set of paper tiles for tea bag folding which will make wonderful tags for the gifts if I ever get either category finished. Geez, I need a clone!!!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Beef puffs and silk

Eureka! Conner had a major breakthrough. Both ends of the couch work well! You can indeed get on and off the couches on either end. So, it is no longer necessary to climb over me when I am occupying the "correct" end of the couch. Finally.
The next obstacle is a beef puff. It is a chew which is made from a cow's ear--I know, I don't like to think about that either. Allie LOVES her beef chew. She understands the concept of chewing it. What she doesn't understand is the concept of taking a breath while devouring it. She is also less than charming to Conner if he gets anywhere in her vicinity while she is exercising her jaws with one of these. Conner, on the other hand, likes to stand and watch Allie chew the beef puff. I suppose he is trying to learn how to do it as his sits on the floor untouched.
The interesting part is that if you swap the beef puffs, Allie is thrilled to have a fresh one and Conner will actually chew the one that Allie used to have. Go figure. Apparently it has to have the Allie seal of spit on it to be acceptable, or in this case, chewable.
On a fiber note: Had a wonderful time making a birthday present for a friend this week. I used paintsticks on a silk scarf and was fairly pleased with the results. I rubbed several different colors over texture plates and then also rubbed over a stamp of a leaf to get a more solid design.. I used 3 different blues, a metallic gold, and a rust made from brown and orange for the scarf. The paints didn't really go through to the other side of the scarf so I did different textures on the back side of the scarf with some of the same colors used on the front.
I also ended up scrubbing the floor where small particles of the paintsticks had dropped. Fortunately it came off easily since I did manage to see it before it had "cured". The paintsticks leave the scarf with a nice "hand" and a really fun to use. I will probably order some more scarves and get some friends over to play.
Speaking of friends--had a great lunch with Suellen and Shirley on Wednesday. We each brought our favorite quotes and shared them with each other. Not surprisingly we had all collected quotes since we were much younger--connections, connections. Linda decided to get the flu so will join us, germ free, next time.

Monday, August 20, 2007

a shoe, a shoe

Ah, what is that unusual thing on my right foot???? It is a shoe! It feels really, really weird and I can't put on a "normal" shoe yet, but I have a Croc on my right foot. The bottom of the foot feels prickly which is strange but if I had to look at that lovely black boot one more day, I was going to scream. Besides which, walking or standing in the boot was starting to cause my hip to hurt so changes needed to be made.
Naturally my first trip was to the Dollar Store where I found 5 more skeins of Fun Fur that I "needed". 3 were black and white and 2 were pale green/blue with a touch of peach. I'll use the black and white to make a tube type scarf as a Christmas present. If you are reading this and you get this present, please have the kindness to at least look surprised and try to forget what I paid for the yarn.
The blue/green will be used for freeform for whatever I am currently making. I haven't decided yet. Right now I am just happily making shapes. All of the shapes have something of a curve to them and they are all in the blue range but that's as far as the decision making process has progressed. Possiblities are vest, jacket, shawl. Scarf is out as I have enough of those to clothe a giraffe.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Balloons and friends

Sunday was the last day of the balloon festival. Unbelievably hot--as is the usual right now...record breaking heat. I mean there are some records you don't care if they are ever broken, but our weather is doing it now--consistently!!!
Lois came over to watch the balloons and we put the chairs in the shade on the sidewalk in front of the house. (Balloon watching has become a fun, family tradition for us.)
The balloons came right over the house as they were landing and one even landed on my street. I called to one balloonist as he was going over and said he was welcome to set down as we had plenty of room. He thanked me but said he was headed for the next street over. He asked if I was enjoying the balloons and I responded that I always did. I asked if he had had a good weekend and he replied that he had. An altogether very pleasant exchange. I love little bright spots in the day like that.
Friends are truly a blessing!!! I don't know how people function without them. They go above and beyond the ordinary. I wouldn't have made it the past 5 weeks without JJ, Lois, and friends. They have carted me around, gone grocery shopping for me, taken me grocery shopping, brought food, called to check on me and offered help in many forms, and sent cards. The latest gift was Martha coming over to bathe Conner and Allie. Can you believe that? I have been humbled by the many kindnesses I have received. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by such caring people.
Not only do my blessings offer to help, and do it repeatedly, they follow up with action. It reminds me once again that is what we are supposed to be doing in this life. Looking out for others. It's why I love them. They "get it". AND, they all bring great joy and laughter to my life even when I am able to safely drive myself around.
Ok, now I am off to plant myself in front of a fan and think very grateful thoughts about the people who invented electricity, fans, and central air conditioning....and of course, sweettea. (Which as any true southerner knows, is one word!) and no, contrary to what some in other parts of the USA believe, it is NOT the same when you just add sugar to cold unsweetened tea. not the same animal at all, at all!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hot air balloons

Well, the term hot air balloons is full of redundancy when it is summer in Louisiana. However, they are beautiful to watch especially early in the morning as they come over the horizon. It is such an art (ok, maybe a science) to figure out where to lift off and then what altitude is best to make it over the target for the drop.
This morning there were several over the drop area at the same time which is always exciting.
They would come in from the NW and would be hidden by trees when they were flying low and then suddenly just pop into sight.
The colors and designs made them look like Easter eggs just sailing along in the morning sky. I think I like the morning contest better than the ascension in the late afternoon or even the "glow" which is held at night. Fewer people and therefore quieter and you can really concentrate on the balloons.
I decided not to go to the glow tonight as it's just too hot!!! I did watch the ascension. Finally got a bright idea and took a chair outside and also brought out a floor fan which I plugged in and turned on high. Not only kept me cool: it also kept the mosquitoes away. I think I will use the same system for the fireworks tonight. Boy, are the dogs going to love the fireworks! Definitely the comfort and security of their crates for them.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The productive boot

Ok, I have been reduced to actually doing something other than knitting while lying around with my foot up in the air. Yuck! I mean, I love to knit but after a while the fingers begin to rebel and the eyes start to cross.
So, I am now dragging stacks of old magazines over to the couch and going through them. Can you believe some of them are 12 years old???? Well, if you are one of my crafty friends, of course you can believe it--you have your own stash. Anyway, the stash is diminishing which is a good thing. ...except that now there will be more floor area that needs to be cleaned.
I have discovered that it is good to go through the Rubber Stamp magazines while I am in a knitting mood. When I get back to the paper making/rubber stamping marathon, then I will throw out some of the fiber mags. ...maybe. I would hate for you to have expectations of nauseating cleanliness--but then, most of my friends understand vertical files.
Well, I have procrastinated enough---time to elevate the foot and sort, and sort, and sort.......

Monday, August 6, 2007

Conner can jump

I have mentioned previously that Conner could jump on and off the couches on one end only. He has had another jumping break through however. When we got ready to go to FL this weekend, Allie jumped in the back of the car and into her crate. SO DID CONNER! I mean, this is huge!!!!!
I'm not totally sure he realized what he had done until he was up there but we were amazed and really, really praised him. He managed this feat several more times over the weekend. Apparently this ability still hasn't transferred to the other end of the couches as evidenced by his performance last night when we got home. Oh, well, I am thrilled with any and all progress.
The workshop went well and the participants were great. All except one had been to the January Spin-in and I think she will probably come next year. I tried to stay in the chair with my foot propped up as much as I could but the foot/ankle was still swollen by the end of the day.
Got to visit with lots of friends while we were there and that was great fun. Waaaaay too short a time but better than not getting there at all.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The foot and crochet

Went to the doctor yesterday. Looks like 4-6 weeks more of THE BOOT, hereafter referred to as Bootie. Seemed like a good idea to name it since it will be with me for a while. Bootie needs decorating in the worst way. Glitter is out as it is entirely too messy and besides, if I ever get out, I'd hate to be over dressed.
A glue gun and some beads are a possibility. The only problem is the summer heat which could melt the glue and there I would be, hobbling down the street dripping various colored beads behind me. Kind of like throwing rose petals in reverse. I may give it a try anyway. Since I have now started using a cane instead of crutches I am trying to figure out how to decorate it also. Should the cane and boot match? Ah, such decisions to be made.
Many thanks to all my well meaning friends who suggested a walker. I gratefully decline. Now be truthful, if you see a cane or crutch, you think injury. If you see a walker, you think nursing home. Since I am within a few decades (ok maybe less than a few) of assisted living/nursing home status, I prefer not to give people any doubts about my condition. Crutches or a cane get sympathy, a walker gets people moving out of your way and talking to you slowly.
Watched Uncommon Threads on tv this morning and there was a great scarf idea. (How many scarves does one person need anyway?).
Anyway, crochet a chain however wide you want your scarf. Single crochet across. At each end, chain 5 , or 10, or however many you want and crochet 2 single crochets into each chain. When you get back to the base row of sc, single crochet across and repeat ch/2sc on the other side. This make a plain body of the scarf and some awesome curly stuff along the sides of the scarf. Really great looking. On the progam they used a multicolored yarn and it was beautiful.
JJ is coming today. Yeah!!! Must go hobble around the guest room making up the bed. Really, really need to teach Allie and Conner some useful tricks!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

It's bright!

Finished the cotton necklace. I swear, I think it may glow in the dark but it was fun to put together once I got going. I found that I had a lot of pieces left over which I may use for another project--earrings maybe, or is that just over the top? maybe I can trade them with other people who ff. For now, they will go in a glass jar which will look cool. Will probably stay there for years, and years if I run true to form.

Friday, July 27, 2007

finished with Harry

I have stretched it as long as I can but I finally finished Harry Potter. It was as spell-binding (pardon the pun) as I thought it would be. However, I feel as if I have said goodbye to long time friends. I am so very grateful that it ended with the "good guys" winning. I know life isn't always like that, but I prefer my fiction to fit that script.
I am also working on a freeform crochet necklace. I am making it of Sugar and Cream cotton for the most part and the colors vibrate in hot pink, orange, red, and yellow. I think I may have one outfit I can wear with it . However it is a good antidote to all the rain we have had lately, even if it assails the eyes sometimes. Figuring how to put it together will probably be more difficult that making the various pieces. Again, I am a process person, not a product person!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

from 1st blog attempt

Fiber bits
July 20, 2007
Friends that feed my fiber habit are the BEST! Got a call yesterday from Linda who told me that the Dollar Tree had tons of really good yarn at $1.00 a skein. She even volunteered to pick some up for me as I still am not able to drive. Now folks, that's a friend. ....She not only tells me about the stuff but she goes and buys it and delivers all in one day. I am wallowing in yarn--Fun Fur, Increditape, and several other brands. The ideas are circling in the head.
I started a necklace last night by making scrumbles out of red, hot pink, and orange using Sugar and Cream cotton. I will probably throw in some yellow and may even use some perle cotton to make smaller shapes for fill. It's fun just making the various pieces. I do love doing non-structured stuff. Suits me much better than following a pattern that someone else has designed.
I am also making a cozie for my water bottle. Cheryl has decided on a challenge for Spin-in for 2008 of making a cozie for a soda can. Since I don't' drink soda any more, I decided to make one from my water bottle. I am crocheting it using mostly Sugar and Cream with some Increditape thrown in for fun. Since the theme for 2008 is Pigment Party, I am using lots of color. I'm going to need to put some elastic in the last couple of rows so that it holds to the bottle without sliding down and becoming a free form coaster.

Conner and the couch
July 14, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, Conner, my 14 month old Sheltie, made a startling discovery. He could jump on the couch. Now, in the past, he would have to be lifted onto the couch and lifted off. Even if you left him on the couch and walked out of the room, he couldn't figure out how to get down. We're not talking a high couch here either.
Well suddenly one night he decided to jump on the couch. He then lay down quickly, shot up and jumped off. He then repeated this activity 10 more times, as if to reassure himself that he could actually do this amazing feat.
Finally! I was so relieved. That relief was short lived however. There was a glitch in the brain processing skills. He only thinks he can get on and off the couch on one end. This goes for both of the couches. Same end on each one. So we are still waiting for the major breakthrough where he discovers he can get on and off the couch on either end.
I'd really love to know how his little brain processes stuff.

The foot
July 13, 2007
Well, I had my first pedicure ever. Not the experience I had anticipated! I was in Houston for the wedding of friends' son. Several of us decided to go to a spa (code word for this is going to be expensive) and get a pedicure.
The pedicure was ok, relaxing even. Then they give you these flimsy little slippers which you are to wear instead of your shoes. Well, flimsy slippers combined with pouring rain and wet , uneven tile outside the building produced a less than graceful fall.
I honestly thought I had badly hurt my knee because it bent so rapidly but after laying on the ground in agony for a bit, I was able to get up with help. And then the real pain began---my right foot felt as if someone had taken a sledge hammer to it.
Long story-short version, I went to the emergency room of a local hospital (which was excellent, BTW) , had xrays, and found out I had 2 fractured toes. So much for the ballet career.
Missed the rehearsal dinner and spent the next 24 hours in the motel room with ice and ibuprofen for comfort. I was able to make the wedding as the sister of the groom was a wonderful chauffeur.
The church had a wheel chair which was great and other than steps --lots of them--leading into the reception, everything went off well. The wedding was beautiful and I'm so glad I didn't have to miss it.
A young couple who were friends of the groom even helped me get home the next day. He drove their motorhome and she drove my car. Very nice, great company, and lifesavers.
So this week has been resting a lot!
Oh, I did get to Albertson's for groceries on Tuesday. My sister in law drove me. We managed to get the wheelchair in the back of her car. Once we were at the store we remembered that they had motorized carts so I used one of those instead. Well, we tried to use one. The first one I got in was deader than the proverbial doornail. The second one would move all of 6 inches and then stop, 6 inches and then stop.
Finally I did manage to get it going but then we were afraid for it to stop so I would come sailing by the cereal and Lois would say to point out what I needed. Had to make a couple of passes as I didn't dare stop.
You would think that people would know to get out of the way of someone who was laughing hysterically while trying to guide a riding cart around the store. Almost took out a couple of people but some of them showed amazing agility when they finally realized the danger.
When we got to the frozen food section, I did have to actually stop and look at something and there the cart died and refused to be resurrected .
A nice young man who worked in the store came over and actually pushed the cart (and me) to the checkout aisle since none of us could get it to go again.
The manager even came over to help but I think she was only trying to protect the rest of the customers as she kept putting herself between them and me. As if I would roll over them in that cart that wasn't going anywhere.

Entry for May 24, 2007
Definitely on a knitting jag. Have now done 6 dishcloths in a week. So easy to finish. I am determined to have a stock pile for gifts, etc. Have used 4 patterns so it certainly isn't boring.
Am looking for a knitting group that meets during the day.

dog sitting-early May 2007
I am currently taking care of Pepper who is a miniature Schnauzer. She wears a bark collar as she has a high pitched bark which could shatter glass. The first morning she was here, I removed the collar when I put her in her crate to run an errand. Big mistake!!! As I was walking out the door with one of my dogs, Pepper starting her squealing routine. That, combined with the door closing, set off the security alarm.
I rushed back in, turned off the alarm, put the bark collar back on Pepper (who was much subdued by then), reset the alarm, and left without incident.
Later in the day after they had been out in the yard playing, I brought the dogs in for a "rest". I sat on the couch and knitted for a while. In a bit I heard whining and got up to investigate, thinking it was Pepper and she was upset about something. Not so! Pepper was tired and had gotten in her crate. Conner was the one whining. He was laying on the floor with his head in Pepper's crate and crying because she wouldn't come out and play with him. There are days when I know just how Pepper feels.
Allie was above all of this and plopped herself in front of the fan which is her very favorite place. Eventually Conner began to get the idea that it was nap time so he joined the other two and actually got his head out of Pepper's crate.
So ended day one of the Pepper sitting.

2nd week with the crutch

Well, I decided to move my blog. This is the sort of thing that happens when you have too much time to sit around the house. I have surfed the net, with the foot semi-propped up, and have found all sorts of things I didn't know about.
The foot is still slightly swollen and there are still some lovely bruise marks but it's getting less colorful.
I tried to drive yesterday. Not the best idea I've ever had. I could work the brake with the left foot just fine--only forgot to use it one time. The problem was with the accelerator and the right foot. I could not use a lot of pressure on the accelerator which meant I traveled at the rapid speed of 30 miles an hour. Really ticked off some other drivers, I am sure.
Fortunately, I was only going out for lunch and since it was close, I was only a short time traffic risk.