Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Could I "Bee" More Predictable?

I said I wasn't going to do it.

I repeated the above statement ad nauseam.

I may or may not have scoffed at friends who started this thing.

I can't help it.

It is far too cute to avoid.

Bee-lieve me, I tried.

So, here I go...

Casting on tonight...


The Beekeeper's Quilt

I foresee five cats thinking I am the best Meowmy in the world, as surely all these little hexipuffs MUST be for them. 

(Okay, Paula and Autumn Geisha, stop laughing and saying "I told you so.")

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Love Your Nostril

It all started so innocently. 

Watching tv last night, I was a bit bored.  Wes was sitting next to me reading.  I turned to him and said, "I love your ear."  Hmmm, a little grin.  "I love your chin."  More grin...game on!

I love your smile.

I love your dimple.

I love your forehead.

I love your cheek.

More grinning and now a little giggling. 

I kept going.  I love your elbow.  I love your big toe.  I love your shoulder blade. 

Finally, stupid tv show was over and I needed to get some sleep in order to get up at a horrendously early hour to run 40 minutes on the rude contraption treadmill in order for us to get to the shop early this morning.  Off to slumber...

Fast forward to an hour or two after arriving at the shop.  Sitting at my desk facing my dearest love..."I love your pinkie."  Grin and giggle again. 

I love your forearm.

I love your knee.

...and so on, UNTIL, Mr. Thinks-he-can-play-my-game pipes up with some I love _______s.  What ensued was a goofy, giggly, classic game of you can't do this, only me.  Yup, we are weird that way.

I got the last word with, "It's my game, I make the rules and I love your nostril."

Game...Set...Match

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Keys to Success

There is a back story to this statement.  There always is, isn't there?

This has been an unusual month in some good and some not so good ways.  I am glad to see it making its way out.  For a little bit more than a month, we have been playing musical vehicles.  My father-in-law had a wreck in December and totaled his truck.  He is fine, but this created an inconvenience for him.  My dearest and I typically ride together to work (except for the sacred Knitting Tuesdays) since we work together at our shop.  No worries, FIL can drive the shop truck and we will just use my car.  That got all straightened out with the completion of his truck issues.

Then, my son needed to borrow the shop truck several times to get all the supplies he needed to work on his Senior Project (building and donating 3 picnic benches).  Here is where the back story gets a bit convoluted.  My dearest swears that he never loses his keys (so does my son, but we all know that's a fib), but perhaps that is not the most honest of statements either.  For some unknown reason, there is only ONE key to the shop truck.  No one knows if there ever was another one or if it got lost.  Never mind that one key should be a red flag to get a spare, especially considering the number of hands it is passing through this month.



This last Knitting Tuesday was crammed full of all sorts of activities above and beyond the knitting, which wound up being for a measly 45 minutes or so.  My day started with a RIF (Reading is Fundamental) book distribution at one of the local schools.  Before I could even leave the school, my dearest was texting me in a panic because he couldn't find his truck key.  Dear Son had borrowed the truck the Friday before, so it took little thought to figure out where it was.  Side note here:  the spare set of keys for the shop (dearest's, not mine) had been AWOL for a few weeks and happened to finally be located in the pocket of a jacket hanging in our dressing room.   After a trip to Dear Son's school to get the key and a trip all the way out of town to our house and then back into town to finish my marathon activity day, I am convinced that while there are definite keys to success in life, in this instance there is a key to epic fail.  Said Epic Fail Key can be seen above. 

Has a spare been made?  Nope, not yet.  Will it be?  Most likely, but the person that plans on making TWO spares is going to hide them. 

The moral to this story?  There really is a reason why we have a Key Bowl on the table by the front door.  Now, if I could figure out a way for certain someone's in the house to actually use it!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Battin' a thousand...

Norman is a thief. 

This has been well established.

He likes makeup brushes, toy mice, small change purses, bread, bread left in plastic bags on the counter, and...

all things yarny.

His antics have been previously well documented:







He does not discriminate between the yarn, the roving, or the piece waiting to be blocked:





But, this time...

this time, was beyond my "it's early in the morning, I can't believe he did it, holy crapola, it's everywhere" ability to snap any photographic evidence.  Hard to believe, this time he rendered me photographically mute. 

So, use your imagination if you will.  Picture a nice, lovely, brand new (just got on Saturday), batt of black suri alpaca fiber waiting for me to spin into yarn porn.

Now picture tufts of same fiber spread all over the rug and floor in the family room, into the hearth room, down the hallway and all over the floor in a spare bedroom.  I plucked and plucked and plucked.  Sweep it off the hardwood floor?  Nice idea if it were not for the fact that our floors are semi-rough faced reclaimed 12 inch planks complete with face nails.  It was like velcro. 

Miraculously, I did manage to recover most of it and re-form it into fairly aligned fibers.  Somehow, after weighing it, I still have 2 ounces of the fiber gold. 

It's a good thing I like Norman!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Pining away

Several years ago, I purchased some super cute end tables and a coffee table.  They were the right shape, right color, and the right price.  The downside?  Pine + little boys that like to bang on things = tabletops that are frequently dented and scratched.  It would not have made sense to replace them as they would just get beat up again.  I still like them (the overall size/shape) and use them, but am tired of the blah color.

If you read anything in the realm of DIY home decorating, I am sure you have read all about chalk paint.  There is some that you can purchase (at $39-ish per QUART), or you can make your own.  After reading multiple tutorials on how to do this, I simply jumped in and made my own.

The before:


During:



After:












I used some extra paint from one of the boys' rooms:  Crimson Sky (which is actually red, but looks sorta pink here) and Gargoyle (essentially black)...yes, one boy has a room with two walls in red and two walls in black which has a very cool factor.

The recipe (after tweaking and combining lots of online recipes):

1 cup of flat latex paint
1/3 cup water
1 heaping tablespoon UNSANDED grout 

Some DIY'ers suggest that it is vital to use the "expensive" wax also made by the $$chalk paint supplier, but I used common finishing wax and was pleased with the results.  You do not need to sand or prime your surfaces, this stuff sticks to everything.  First coat was the red, then second coat (after red is dry) was the black.  Let it dry, then sand the edges and surfaces to create the worn look you desire.  Wipe well and then apply wax and polish to the sheen you want. Much more economical:  Paint on hand $0, Grout ~$5 (will last for a lonnnng time) and Wax--I keep it on hand anyway.  Both tables were completed in one afternoon.

Go paint something!

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Grape Thief or Food Tester?

This morning as I sat down to my breakfast of a bagel and an orange, disappointment filled my sleepy soul.  The first orange had some nice squishy heft to it, which normally signals to me that the fruit will be juicy and tasty.  Wrong...dry and pithy.  Number Two...same story.  Number Three...wrong again.  Number Four...do I even have to say it?

Picking fruits and vegetables at the grocer is a crap shoot.  Sometimes you honestly cannot tell what you've got until you get it home and open it up.  In my former life as a dietitian, I would get frustrated by the vehement and often loud complaints by patients when I would go on Meal Rounds.  C'mon people, we do not have x-ray vision and cannot simply "know" that the baked potato you were served (whole and uncut and wrapped in foil) was going to have a big black nasty spot inside.  So, what's a produce shopper to do?

Are you a "sampler" at the grocery store?  Never done it and never will at the chains or even local stores.  In my mind, it is flat out theft.  Lots of people do it, as well as putting that bunch of grapes that are sold by the pound in their carts and then strolling around the store snacking on them only to go through the check out with a much reduced poundage of fruit to purchase.  Shopping at a farmers market is a different matter, if you ask for a sample you are most often given one.  This whole scenario reminds me of the episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" where Frank gets busted for "sampling" trail mix at the store.  When my oldest son was small he would always want to eat a banana from the cart when we were shopping.  Did I let him eat it?  Yes.  Did I pay for it? Yes.  At the check out I would always have the checker weigh the bananas and then pull one off and tell them to weigh and charge for one more.  Not an exact science, but made me feel better.  

What does all this mean?  I don't know, but I do know that I really need a glass of tea and really want an orange, but Number Five scares me.  So, for now I'll hop off my soap box apple crate and go fix some tea.

On the plus side...my compost pile is going to be happy!




Friday, January 6, 2012

Scarfing it up...

Yay for me! (but also kind of sad, too!)  Over the holidays, I managed to refrain from scarfing up any and every sweet treat put before me.  This was doable, in part, because I.did.not.make.anything.  This is the first year since the dawn of my ability to cook, that I did not make oodles and oodles of yummies.  Why bother, not everyone in the house likes it all and most of it was being made out of habit "because that is what I have always done." 


In other areas of my world, the Entrelac Scarf was finished and given away.  While back home visiting my family, the scarf finally came off the needles.  My brother-in-law was intrigued by it.  We had a few conversations regarding the possibility of it coming to live in his world.  For some reason, he kept doubting the "manliness" of it, but further conversations revealed that this manly man uses a pouf in the shower.  That revelation led to much teasing about the manly pouf.  In the end, he decided that the colors were sufficiently manly and he would/could wear it (my sister piped up at this point to declare that she might steal it). 


I very nearly forgot to take a picture of it, but made the BIL model it with the promise that the picture would not reveal his identity. 




Boy am I glad to be done with that one!!  (the scarf not the BIL...he's a keeper!)


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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Dunes...

ahhh, how I wish this post was really about a wonderfully warm and sandy trip to Pensacola and The Dunes.  My family took many, many trips to Pensacola when I was growing up.  We always stayed at the same place (NOT The Dunes, although we passed it to get to our place).  It is January.  It is cold.  It will soon be snowy, icy, cold and dreary.  I.NEED.SAND.AND.WAVES.  


Sadly, that will not happen anytime soon, so I am left with The Dunes on my needles.  It was started a couple of months ago and is being made with some alpaca I spun and dyed.  When it was all said and done there was around 750 yards of the three ply and a small ball of two ply that I will figure out something to make with it.  


In keeping with my goal of finishing up some WIPS before starting anything else, The Dunes has taken up residency in my knitting bag.  The yoke is done and the first sleeve is nearly done.  The pattern is very sparse in its detail and the decreases in the sleeve have given me a bit of a headache as I can (and did) read it a couple of different ways.  That being said, both options have been combined to make a go of it and with any luck, I will remember what I did in order for the second sleeve to match.  Yes, I could have written down my version while knitting along, but where is the fun in that?  So, if, perchance, both sleeves don't look pretty darn close to the same, I will compensate by making sure one arm is wildly flailing about while wearing it.  That way, folks will be more interested in my antics and less aware of any sleevy discrepancies.  


Sorry for the picture quality.  You are going to have to bear with me and my crappy phone pics until I can figure out (and correct) what buttons I pushed on the DSLR which is now not cooperating at all.




The sweater has small cables all over and the yarn is ridiculously soft.  DUH! it's alpaca!!  Even though my dying did not turn out exactly as planned, I have to say that I rather love the way it looks.  Will it be done by Friday, doubtful.  There is a secret fear lurking in my brain...I will run out of yarn...


My dearest and his father are currently working on grouting the slate floor in the front area of the shop and something tells me that sanded grout is the closest I am going to get to sand for a while.  A girl can dream...


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