Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. (I tagged four 'cause I'm pretty sure some of the other people I would have tagged have done this before.)
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Six Random Things about me:
1. I love being surrounded by "real" art. The pieces we have around the house may not ever be worth more than we paid for them (and, in most cases, probably less!), but it really makes me happy to have art in my home.
2. I was a cheerleader in jr. high and high school. Hard to believe, I know...
3. I hate to be forced to listen to half a conversation while someone loudly babbles on the cell phone at the grocery/Target/on the street/in a restaurant. Seriously, I don't want to know that much about you and your significant other/medical condition/legal woes. And don't get me started on driving and cell phones...
4. I would eat raw oysters every day of my life if I could, preferably with a peppery mignonette. Or with spicy horseradish and lemon and a dash of Tabasco. Ummmmmmm.
5. We used to have a fab espresso machine. Every weekend, my husband would make my frothy beverage of choice and he would draw pictures in the foam using a toothpick and paste food coloring. It was so silly and very fun. Starbucks moved into our neighborhood, the machine broke, and I don't drink coffee very often anymore (it makes my stomach very, very sad), so coffee drawings have fallen by the wayside. I miss them.
6. If I had the means, I would have homes in New Orleans, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC. They are cities I return to again and again. (Plus, oysters are readily available in each!)
Next up...I'd like to tag:
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Hats for Stitches from the Heart
Spring Forward Socks (dyed and knit by me) for my Aunt to gift to someone at work
Cat Hat for my cousin
Plus a Brangelina Hat (forgot to photograph that one) made for a giving tree that my friend, Barb, was doing for charity. (If you decide to make one, my experience is that it comes out rather large--even large enough to fit over our disgraced governor's hair--so you may want to cast on fewer stitches.) It certainly wasn't the metric ton of knitting that some people do for the holidays, but those little jeans were a challenge to my patience. The knitting was easy and the finishing wasn't difficult in terms of skill required, but I took them apart three times until the stitching looked good enough to me. I even re-did the little label twice. I must have stitched one of the pockets four times. (I was obsessed.) In the end, I think they're pretty cute. Hope she can wear them more than once or twice.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
I need to go because Pitch is lying across my left hand (all 19 lbs. of him) and alternately nudging and nibbling the fingers of my right hand as I type this. He clearly wants some undivided attention, and he's earned it.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I vowed early on that I would not allow myself to be a passive participant in the process this time. I made the decision to spend Nov. 1-4 working for the campaign in Iowa, and I was eventually assigned to Waterloo. My only regret is that I didn't spend more time volunteering earlier in the process, but the time I did spend means everything to me. I feel invested in this election and its results in a way I never have in any election before.
Did I say invested? A while ago, the husband noted that BarackObama.com was appearing on every monthly Visa statement. (Might be true.) At this point, I've got more Obamagear than the average bear. I even made this sweater vest (it's a Picovoli) to wear while working in Iowa:
Fortunately, it now has a shelf-life of 4-8 years, though I may retire it after the Inauguration.
*Barack Obama is our 44th president, and 44 just happens to be my lucky number as well as my birthday. Coincidence? I think not. (Well, actually, I do think it is a coincidence, but a pretty good one!)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Each year I select an artist from whom I will make my first purchase the following year. Last year I didn't actually make a pick which turned out to be fine since there were so many surprises. Next year, I aspire to get a large face jug from Tim Flinn, whose work is incredibly unique and has great detail.
A Velvet Ant on the Kentuck grounds
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I didn't get to the Garden District yarn shop on this visit. They, like many businesses, have shortened hours since Katrina and are only open the second half of the week. I did stop at Quarter Stitch and had a lovely chat with the owner. (My Obama-wear invited many excellent conversations on this trip.) It turns out that they have a knit night around the corner at a gelateria on Sunday nights, but I didn't find out about it until it was too late. They have no Internet presence (not even on Ravelry), so info about this little shop can be hard to come by.
The husband flew home Thursday morning and I wasn't leaving for Birmingham until Thursday night, so I went to the Ogden Museum, had another artery-clogging lunch at Mother's, and went to see a documentary about Katrina called Trouble the Water. It was there as part of the New Orleans Film Festival and I recommend it highly. I had been obsessed with the events and coverage of Katrina. I watched CNN compulsively, and I have continued to follow the progress (or lack thereof) in the years since. This documentary shows a perspective of the disaster that I had never seen before. It follows one couple from the Lower Ninth who started video taping before the first drop of rain fell. They continued to tape as the water rose and they were forced to take refuge in the attic and, later, as they were helped out of the flooded house by a relative who used a punching bag as a flotation device. It documents their attempts to restart their lives in another state, and their eventual return home. It was incredibly powerful to watch this film just yards from the Convention Center where so many people suffered for so many days. It is an interesting and worthwhile piece of historical documentation.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Firstly, I tagged along with the husband to New Orleans. He had a conference, and I took the opportunity to enjoy five days in a city that I love. From there, I flew to Birmingham, AL, and met my friend Sandra for our annual trip to the Kentuck Festival in Northport, just outside of Tuscaloosa. Our dear friend, S.A., is the Executive Director of this amazing event and it never disappoints. From there, it was off to Seattle on my way to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island for a four-day retreat with Cat Bordhi. Really, it shouldn't be legal to pack this much fun into a two-week period. And, because of Southwest's customer friendly change policy, I was able to add the New Orleans and Seattle trips on to the original Birmingham trip with incredible ease and no change fees. My flight plan of Chicago-New Orleans, New Orleans-Birmingham, Birmingham-Seattle (via Nashville), Seattle-Chicago cost under $600 (which I though was incredible), and every flight was either on time or early. Plus, Southwest is one of the only carriers that allows two checked bags without additional fees. Still, I wish they would do assigned seating, but there are many other pluses that offset that inconvenience. (Here ends the commercial for Southwest. We now return to our regularly scheduled post.)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
(Okay, I lied just then. I would totally want to have a beer with Barack Obama. So sue me.)
Now that I know the recipient has gotten her package, I thought I'd post pics of the most recent reverse applique shirt that I made. I donated it to an Obama fundraising raffle on Ravelry and the winner has promised to wear it to a debate party on Friday night.
I am so fired up to go to Iowa to volunteer for the campaign for the four days leading up to the election. I am going to get in my car and head west and I am going to put my Dar Williams cd in and turn the volume up really loud on the chorus. (Yeah, I know the song has nothing to do with a politcal campaign, but there aren't many state names that sound so good sung over and over again.)
Thursday, September 18, 2008
It's a bit hard to see, but there are 7 or 8 chalk outlines of the girls, some feet to feet and one set holding hands. It just cracked me up.
Monday, September 15, 2008
It is September and that means it's Halloween. (I am in the camp that believes it is a season, not just a single day.) I love, love, love Halloween: pumpkins, ghosts, witches, all of it. Okay, not ALL of it. I like it all except the dressing up. I know that sounds strange, but it comes from a very logical place. My mother HATED Halloween because she despised costuming my brother and me. Over the years, her dislike of costumes began to rub off on me, and something I used to enjoy became not-so-much fun. (Don't get me wrong, Mom is a fine person, she just hated Halloween.) The other issue with costuming was weather-related. Growing up in Pennsylvania, it was often cold at the end of October, and Mom, being a sensible, responsible mother, required the wearing of coats when it was cold. As you know, Dorothy Gale did not wear a yellow puffy jacket with blue and red trim when she was skipping off to Oz. The wearing of cold-weather gear messed with my sense of verisimilitude and put a big, fat damper on things. (Chattering teeth probably would have taken the fun out of it, too, but who could tell when one was all hopped-up on a Sugar Daddy and Dum Dum buzz.)
Saturday, September 06, 2008
(An alpaca, not a picture of my husband, btw.)
Getting there is going to be fun. I was already flying home to Chicago from Alabama (I'll be there for the Kentuck Festival) on the 20th. Thank goodness for Southwest, and I was able to change my flight (and keep the full value of the ticket) so that I will be flying from Birmingham to Nashville where I change planes for one bound to Seattle, and my bags will be checked through. I'll pick up a car there and stay in the city (at a cool hotel in the U district called the Hotel Deca), and I will drive to Anacortes to the ferry the next morning. I bought a separate, one-way ticket home. It worked out great. Then, when I get back home the 26th, I will have a few days to rest up before I ship out to Iowa to help the Obama campaign Nov. 1-4. (I have volunteered but have yet to get an assignment, so that is still a bit up in the air, but I'll be damned if I will sit idly by without doing all I can--besides writing checks--to see the election conclude the way I hope it will.)
- A couple of evenings, I hung out with Jennie the Potter and Dawn (Jennie's "roadie" for this show), both of whom I'd met on the SeaSocks cruise. I love, love, love Jennie's work. I added one of her new yarn bowls to my pottery collection. It was great to see both of them again.
- I also got to spend time with Chris of Briar Rose and her daughter, Amy, who was helping at the booth. She is a nice as her yarns are gorgeous, and she graciously offered to have 6 of us piled into her RV so that we could watch Michael Phelps win gold #7. Seriously, if you believe that spirit and intentions transfer to the thing someone makes as she is working on it, you cannot do better than to get some Briar Rose.
- I acquired mostly roving and top on this trip, and I have plenty of fun new stuff to spin. I also got two itty, bitty Bosworth spindles (20% off!) and a new Kundert spindle for the collection.
All in all, a fun trip, though perhaps a day too long. I missed my boys (the tall, human one, and the four-footed, fuzzy ones), and I missed my shower. (It isn't the most glam bathroom on the block, but at least it is mosquito-free!)
It was home for a few days, then off to...
Monday, August 18, 2008
I had a great time in Michigan, and judging by the number of small-but-itchy welts on my wrists, hands, feet and ankles, the mosquitoes enjoyed my visit, too.
On my way over on Tuesday, the jam-packed Jetta had a blowout about 3 miles from the Michigan border. Hanging out by the side of I-94 waiting for service wasn't the best fun ever (I should have been counting semi-trucks whizzing by to pass the time), but the tow truck arrived pretty quickly and I was on my way on the spare in about 90 minutes. (There was no way I was going to try to change a driver's side tire given how busy it was on the highway. That decision turned out to be a good one because, as we discovered, my tires have some kind of special wheel lock caps for which no tool was included in the tire kit. The mechanic ended up prying them off the tires with a big ol' knife. Good times.)
When I arrived at the fairground, I selected a nice spot not too far from the marginally better bathrooms and proceeded to set up the new tent. My test-run in the backyard had gone much more smoothly (less wind, I think), and it took a bit longer to get set up than the first time. I managed to nip my finger between a pole and a clip and I christened the entire tent with blood droplets. (Come to think of it, perhaps that's why I was so popular with the mosquitoes.) Fortunately, once the tent was up, the rest of the week was a breeze.
I cannot recommend the Cobb Portable Barbecue Grill highly enough. It is lightweight, easy to use and clean, and the outside stays cool when the fire is lit. It attracted a lot of curiosity, and I was super-popular with the over-65 male demographic. I enjoyed a number of grilled meals, including portabellos, zucchini, peppers, and brats. (This was a vast improvement over the all PB&J diet of trips past.)
I took three classes, Mechanics of the Spinning Wheel, Two Socks on One Circular Needle, and Felt Shoemaking. The sock class was just "meh." It was an all-day class, and it was a technique I could have figured out on my own had I devoted the time to reading some instructions. Amy Tyler taught the spinning class, and it was different than the one I took with her at Midwest. She has a laid back approach and I enjoyed this one as much as I did her previous class. Kelly Brandt taught the shoe class and it was a lot of fun. (I had taken a class with her last year.) In the morning we made our felt and began to make our shoe pattern using some formulae she had developed. In the afternoon, we cut the felt and the leather soles and stitched the felt to the bottoms. I don't think anyone finished by the end of the day, but we did get to a place where we could finish on our own. I've got a few steps to complete, but I was pretty happy with the results for a first-time effort. I doubt I will be cobbling on a regular basis (or ever), but it was a unique experience.
More to come in part II...
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Tuesday I'll be heading up to Allegan, MI for the MI Fiber Festival. This trip is many things, including a self-imposed challenge as to just how many things I can fit into a Jetta.
New tent. Check.
New air mattress that (hopefully) doesn't have a slow leak. Check.
New Cobb Portable Grill and various accoutrement. Check.
Various tables and camp chairs. Check.
And so on and so on.
Every year I try to improve my little nylon home-away-from-home a smidge, and this year could be a charm. Not having to hunch over in the tent will be a vast improvement. Too bad I don't have a satellite to pull in Olympics coverage--I have been glued to the TV like snot on suede since the Opening Ceremonies. I do need to 'fess up: I am not a sports fan. I watch one annual sporting event, the Indy 500. I am, however, and Olympics junkie. I want desperately to go to Vancouver in 2010, and I am really excited that Chicago is in the running for 2016. That being said, I may either have to cozy up to someone with TV in their RV or hit a local bar to watch some of the games while I am in Allegan.
I'll be taking a few classes that I hope to report on, including a shoe making class which incorporates creating custom felt to make slippers, shoes, or boots with leather soles. Could be fun, could be a soapy, wet mess.
So I will be off the grid (my cell doesn't even work up there) until Sunday. The dear, sweet, oh-so-tolerant husband and the cats will keep things running smoothly in my absence, I'm sure. See you next week.
Monday, August 04, 2008
I've come to the realization that I needed to resolve some photography issues. My yarn p0rn left something to be desired. I've ordered a few mesh pop-up cubes to construct a light box and hopefully that will help. I was getting so frustrated with the lighting conditions--either the flash was too flashy or the pics were dark and slightly out of focus. Neither condition is very useful.
I'm still stalled on the two sweaters, Ribby Pulli and Mr. Greenjeans, that are on the needles. Frankly, I often hit a wall at about 70% completion. And, given the season, the urgency isn't there at the moment. I want to finish something I could actually wear right now. I've got a simple pair of ribbed socks that should be done today, and I plan to cast on for a simple top for the waning days of summer. I also need to commit to having a brainless pair of socks going at all times. Too many times recently, I left the house empty-handed for lack of a simple, portable project. Bad planning on my part. Yesterday I stash-tossed for some skeins perfect for ribbed or stockinette socks to have on hand ready to go. New Rule: as soon as the last pair is kitchenered, cast on the next. Do not pass go until this step is completed. Also marinating in their own project bag are the Hydrangea Socks. The Flat Feet yarn is so unpleasant that I just can't get motivated to continue. I think I am going to destash the other two sheets I have because it is just not making me happy. I doesn't make sense to force myself to knit that way when I have so many other choices.
After weeks and weeks of waiting, I am finally going to be getting some ripe tomatoes! There are BLTs in my future, my friends. In fact, I think there are some ready to be plucked now. Mmmmm...BLTs + iced tea = nirvana. (But only if you use real mayo and not that fauxnnaise or light mayo which is too sicky sweet.) BLTs are really important around here because we used to have a few moderately-priced diner-ish places that excelled in them. As the neighborhood has gotten swankier (yea! higher property values, boo! goodbye to super-cheap, good food), they have gone away. My only recourse is to stink the joint up by frying bacon up here at home. If that's what it takes, then I shall do it.