Sunday, December 30, 2007

Walking....30 miles

I have started walking to work. According to my one way commute is about 2.43 miles, so basically, I will have 5 miles a day round trip. I have done it a couple of times already, so it is doable. It will mean leaving for work about 30 minutes earlier and getting home 30 minutes later. But the plus side is that I am off my butt walking! And if the weather happens to turn bad during the day, there are enough people at work who would be willing to give me a ride home.

So far, apart from some miscellaneous dog walks, since the 16th of December I have walked 30 miles so far. I would like it so I am walking 100 miles a month. Seems to be a reasonable goal.
What I would like to do is get a map of the Appalachian Trail and mark off miles to see where I would be if I were walking the trail.

I already have a decent pair of running shoes and am getting a decent backpack to carry "stuff" to/from work. I'll go ahead and invest in a decent day pack which I can use when I go on longer hikes for pleasure. And then a waist pack for walks. Then hiking boots.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


This is one of the squares from Carla's Blanket I am knitting. I had decided to knit it up out of scraps of yarn I have and not buy any more yarn to make it. Therefore, it will probably be the uglist afghan in history, colorwise. And since I am making 2, there will be 2 ugly afghans.

I have completed 2 sets of the first 2 squares they released and have started on the second 2. I have a box all set where I will put my squares as I knit them, so at least I am semi-organized.

I am also knitting up a hobo bag to use as a grocery bag. I am doing A LOT more walking than I use to, for various reasons. Mostly, to get off my butt and finely get below 200. I was 237 about 4 months ago on a quick doctor's visit. I am now down to 219. And it has all been done by eating better and getting more active. As part of my "5 Year Plan" I look at my walking as training for walking the Appalachian Trail when I retire.

Friday, December 28, 2007


This is Noel, the rescued dog. She has just about doubled in weight from the skin and bones, literally, she was. She's a sweet dog and we are all working out peeing and poohing (outside, not in) and all in all, saving her ass has not been a problem.

Now I have had dogs before and I have never had a chewing problem. There are bones and chew sticks everywhere now in the house.

Her favorite chew toys.....the inner soles of MY shoes and the laces there on, AND, MY KNITTING NEEDLES!

It is hard to get mad at something that looks at you like this, but I am the mother of teenagers and have a stronger will than to be fooled by that look of innocence and repentance. Especially when I look over and find a big wad of Manos yarn and the chewed end of a circular needle!

I know the picture is blurry. That's because I am trying not to come completely unglued. Luckily, she has only gotten to my Clover bamboo needles and not my set of Lantern Moon needles which would have had her happy butt on the street corner with a "need a home" sign on her neck.

But we shall overcome....if it kills us! By the way, that is the start of a Feather and Fan shawl in reds.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Lights

This is one of the best displays I get to pass while walking the dog. It really makes it worthwhile to walk in the evenings now. This house always does a great job of decorating, regardless of the holiday. You can't tell it from this picture, but it is actually a purple house and on the peak of the entry there is a small stone gargoyle. I love it.

But my neighborhood is pretty sedate as far as decorations go. Mainly white lights on the trees. But pretty none the less. What's not pretty is my room right now. If I don't get it cleaned Santa won't visit me, because he can't find me. And then I want to sew some.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Crisis at 4am!

See this.....this is a coffee pot.....the lifeline of my morning routine. I get up at 4:00-4:15am and start the coffee, walk the dog briefly, usually do a load of wash, load of dishes, get the girls up, make my lunch and lastly make a HUGE mug of coffee, ok latte, to take to work and leave the house a 5:30am.
This morning I pour in the water, put in the filter, add coffee, hit on and the light comes on, but no gurgling, no water coming through little hole. Faint, gasp, rapid will I make it through the day!
So out to the outside storage closet I run where an old, slighty wonky one was and I prayed it worked and I hadn't put it out there rather than the trash can because it didn't work. I quickly rinsed off months and months of dust and spiders and cobwebs, poured water in and turned it on. IT WORKED!
So after 1 pot of water through it, I ran a pot of coffee. Ok, some people are probably going to die that I didn't disinfect it, scald it, but I NEEDED MY COFFEE!
So all hail the poor old coffee pot, neglected and abused, but working!
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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Morning Update and Lifestyle Change #1

We have gone from being in the 70-80's last week to being in the 30-40's this week. But we got RAIN! Almost didn't recognize the sound of it when it started yesterday evening. So we have winter-like weather now!

Noel (new dog) likes insoles of shoes. Guess this is a big argument for "pickup your shoes and put them away!" But she has put her weight back on and is a nice addition (except for the pooh and insole eating).

This is the birthday blanket from Knitsimple. They are offering the pattern free, on-line, a block a week. I have a lot of odds and ends of yarn, so I am going to knit/crochet it up as they release the patterns. I would like to make at least 2 of each square. That way I have one square to keep for myself and I have an afghan for a gift in 2008. The first two blocks are textured and fun to do. I have one done of the first square and am working on the 2nd square. I'll go back and make up the 2nd of each square. And as soon as I get batteries for my camera I'll take pics of what I have done so far.

I have also knit 2 and working on number 3 of a hat whose pattern I can't find where I got from (someone's blog I read) so I can't give credit where credit is due---yet. However, this hat points out Lifestyle Change #1 I want to make (instead of resolutions for the New Year)....owing my work.

In the past, if I made something and took it into public and receive compliments on it, I would put it or myself down..."it's nothing", "it's easy"....almost denying I had anything to do with it. So now I am taking credit where credit is due. Yes, there are people out there who are more creative, more productive artwise, more this and more that and that's great. Who else would I get inspired by. However, when someone comments on my work it will be at least a simple thank you rather than a put down of my work. I made 1 hat to use up some scraps and it was in a color someone had commented on being their color, so I knit it up as a little surprise for her (Puerto Ricans transplanted in colder climates need more protection). Then 2 people asked me to make one for them and are paying me for it. Guess I must do a pretty decent job if someone is willing to buy it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

New Dog and PIF

Need to get birthday present for BF out of the way before Christmas actually gets here. And then too, I have committed myself to a PIF (Play it Forward) with Kirsten.

This is just another way I am working toward validating myself as an artist. Like so many of us, I have played down that side and said "oh, it's nothing" when I have created/made something and have gotten compliments on it. Or as I was recently hunted down at work and had someone ask me to knit something for them of importance (a replacement Christmas stocking for their grown son....luckily not for this Christmas). So in the spirit of the "game", if there are actually 3 people out there reading this blog (which I am going to try to update more regularly, then leave your name and you will get a hand made something in 2008 from me. I knit, draw, bead, just about anything artistic, so who knows what you might end up with.

Oh, and I have been asked to knit hats for 2 people too in the last week.

Otherwise, we are the new family to a part whippet dog. She was found starving on the roadside by some people who couldn't keep her due to having 3 dogs already. My 3 cats are adapting to bullying her around. She's sweet, named Noel for the season, and pictures should appear soon.

Off to work to earn money for art suppiles and dog food.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Quiet Thanksgiving so far. Girls are still asleep and I have done 2 loads of dishes and made 2 pies (Hot Fudge and Carmel Coconut), a cake (Aunt Mary's Chocolate Pound cake) that I put in peppermint flavoring since I ran out of vanilla and the turkey is in the oven, eggs have been boiled for giblet gravy, the neck is simmering for broth, the rolls are thawing and the sweet potatoes are baking. And it's only 8am!

Found a link to this blog, SimpleThings and really like being thankful every day for 3 little things. So for today...

making food that has been in my family for years and reliving those traditions even though most of my family is miles away

having my daughters (and myself) here and in good health

the smells of Thanksgiving...the turkey, sweet potatoes....the steamy kitchen

It's a good day today!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not Before Thanksgiving!

Pulled out some old pics from Christmas a few years ago. We are staying home this year (thank goodness) and discussing XBox 360 versus Wii and other Christmas combinations. Maybe Santa comes and maybe he doesn't, but I have stirred up a hornets nest. Two daughters, two different opinions.

But getting a little excited about the holidays. Have a 17 pound turkey in the refrigerator (for 3 people) and all the fixing ingredients for the rest of the stuff. So next week will be all about left overs. Then comes Christmas baking. Can't have Christmas without sweets. Luckily I can make it and send it off to school.

Speaking of which....I found out they are building a Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts up the street from me. Does it have calories if you walk up and get it rather than driving through?

Monday, November 12, 2007

This week.....library sale!

Ok, I know it is good/noble/wonderful to volunteer. However, my volunteer project this week is very, very selfish. I am admitting it up front.....I'm a bad person I know.

This week is the library book sale. I worked this weekend so I could take today off and go help unpack about 400,000 books and put them on tables. Since kids are out of school, Trumpet Princess will be helping me. I am also working the sale after work on Wednesday night and again on Saturday morning.

What is selfish about all of this you ask? To get the first crack at books of course! The ultimate is to get in on Sunday morning an hour before the masses to get my boxes of books for $5. I'm a selfish bitch I know!

Related to books, I have only written about 3000 words for NaMo so far this month. So part of my goal this week is to get to the writing meet up Tuesday night and to up my word count. I would like to hit 10,000 by the end of the week. Don't expect I will hit 50,000, but would like to get closer than 3000.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Too Many Interests

This is just an example of my interests, of which I sometimes feel I have too many. Just some doodling/drawing/coloring I did yesterday at work rather than knit. See, that's my problem, my artistic interests lay in so many areas. I do the following:
needlework (not much recently)
ATC cards
altered journaling
fiber arts
paper arts

and from those categories, I spin off in all directions. I don't just seem to hone in on one area and sometimes I feel I spread myself too thin and need to concentrate in one area. So many people these days are making and selling their ideas and I would like too also, however, I don't have just one thing I would like to do.
Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Backdrops and how to value yourself......

Here are the flats Savvy and I painted for the Celtic Halloween celebration this weekend. It was my first time at attempting something like this. She has had some experience because of theater in school. If you notice on the bottom of the second one from the left is a small animal. We laughed, saying it was either a fox or a mad squirrel. Boy, was she thrilled when the first group up told everyone during their set "shh...there's a baby fox up here". But hopefully this will get her some theater points for school.
Anyway, I "designed" and painted the backdrops and agonized the entire time "they weren't good enough". Slowly I am getting so I can value my art/craft things I do. For years, if someone said something about what I was working on, I would put it down with "no, it's easy" or "no, it's nothing".
But it is something. So now, I am telling myself to at least say "thank you" and leave it at that.
On the other hand, I am looking at these backdrops as giant ATC cards.......

Sunday, October 14, 2007

and the problem with this argument is?

Conversation coming home from Ren Faire meeting with Drama Queen.....

She: Glad it's getting colder. Now I don't have to shave my legs as much (malicious grin as she knows I can't stand hairy legs on women)

Me: "grimace"

She: Just think, if this was the middle ages I would be in style. (evil grin)

Me: And you would have had 3 children and died of the plague by this time in life!

She: (rolling on the floorboard laughing) So by not shaving my legs, I would have had 3 children
and died?

Me: yep (emphatic nod)

Can't see what's wrong with my logic! Why is she still laughing? It could have happened!

No, I'm not Perfect and I'm Trying to Embrace That!

If I could drop my inner critic I figure I would be half the person I am now. My inner critic can get so LARGE at time, I think I would probably go from a size XX to M poundage-wise if I could just ditch that HUGE inner voice. I am sure part of it is being a Virgo. After all we can be our own worse enemies. Believe me, I know more about my faults than anyone else.

But I am trying to listen less to that inner voice. For example, these pumpkins. I got a wild hair one night, found some patterns surfing the web and tried out different patterns. The best one is from Did a knitted one and then one where I just wrapped yarn around a ball of polyfil and took them into work and set them on top of my computer. I was "OK" with them, but after being at work for only 1 hour, someone came up and bought them!

Then I have a second person who is going to pay me to make little table clothes for her granddaughters' little play tables.....because I can sew and she has seen "what beautiful work I do". If you asked me, I would tell you "yeah, I can sew, barely".

But I am getting better at ignoring my inner critic and listening to my inner muse and my inner creative voices. My BF has commented several times now about how, when I was in church with her and they asked for people to identify themselves as artists, I raised my hand.

Being an artist is not what puts food on my table. But I am slowly shoving the doubting voices away and identifying myself as a writer/artist. The family cookbook I have talked about doing for years now, is nearing completion. I have the recipes 99% done, am pulling old family recipes and scanning handwritten recipes and other items I want to include in the cookbook. I have a rough outline of what was starting out to be 1 "trashy paranormal romance" which split out into a trilogy.

My BF's birthday is coming up and I am trying to/needing to/having to embrace the financially poor me and creating her birthday presents. I always feel like making her gifts is somehow second rate to buying her something. But no, this year I am holding my head up high and making her presents. Each one has a special meaning to her and thus as I work on them, I am thinking about her and all she has come to mean to me and my girls. So in many ways this is a 2-way present. I am giving something to her which should have a lot of meaning to her, it's one of a kind and at the same time I am getting something back by having spent time thinking about her and all she means to me.

So no, my drawing, painting, beading is not "perfect". And my scales will still read XXX when I climb on them today. But at least for the moment, I am not listening to that doubting voice in my head and feel better for it already.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pumpkins and Acorns and Cats

These are a new idea I picked up. Experimented with "natural" versus "golden" acorns. So far everyone likes the natural. So I have picked up a bunch of acorn tops from BF's yard will make a bowl of these to decorate with.

They will go perfectly with the other project I am working on.....felted pumpkins! The first 2 I did were sold within an hour of getting them to work. So I now have 1 one and 2 white and 1 small black pumpkin. Had to get some Cascade 220 to make more with. Will post a finished orange pumpkin shortly....not just one posing on Drama Queen's head.

Not that she's shy or anything, she was more than willing to wear this to school if she could as a hat. I need to find her a really, really funky hat to wear. She put it own after I had felted it some, so I figured it would at least be drying around.

This is the kitty I quickly knit up from spare yarn. Actually, it is the second one. The first one was a little smaller and only 1 color. But they were both grabbed and taken off into no man's land.

Monday, October 01, 2007 stupid

This is the sign in our local grocery store parking lot. It has been in place for several years now (at least 4), but it always makes me laugh when I pull in. I know they put the rocks there to keep people from running over the median (like people will do to save 6 inches of driving....but really. I would like to know how many people actually hit the rocks (which are about 2 feet tall) before they had to put a sign up to show there are some really big rocks on the ground.

But it makes me smile.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Books, books, books

I have 2 huge stacks of books by my from the library and one from the used book store, mainly their $1.00 table. But some of my future and past reading include the following:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Really great book on eating local and just watching what you eat, from a pesticide, etc. point of view.

Snake Hips by Anne Thomas Soffee. The subtitle is "Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love". This was a reading club book at our local library which is how I found out about it. With a title like that, it has to be a fun read.

A Weekend To Change Your Life by Joan Anderson. Read her book, A Year by the Sea a couple of years ago and reread it every now and then. Great book about "turning of age" as an older woman.

Bitterwood by James Maxey. A local author I went to see in person. Science fantasy and really good read so far about dragons. They are very "human-like".

I'm one week older,

but definitely not any wiser! This was my birthday present to my self.

This is my "modified" phoenix rising from the flames. Let me tell you, if nothing else, I have a profound respect for those with numerous tattoos because it is not the most "comfortable" thing to do in life. Luckily, they didn't care how many faces I made while they did it.

It was not a sudden decision. Been on the table now for a couple of years, thinking, revising, going through the whole yes/no process. The Friday before my birthday I left work and did it. Figured if I didn't, I would regret it.

It's on my lower back, in the center, so unless I flash someone, no one will ever see it. I did it for me. It symbolizes my next 50 years and to do things that I want to do, not what is expected of me. Don't worry, tube tops and mini skirts are not in the future unless the phoenix and I get a lot smaller....which is also in the works.

On my quest to eat better/feel better, I actually stopped and took a look at just the sugar I put in my coffee every day. I have a HUGE insolated mug I generally carry to work and I put just a smidge over 1 cup of sugar in it...every day! I was appalled when I realized how much sugar just in my coffee I was drinking.

Well, I couldn't see not drinking coffee with milk/sugar and I don't like sugar substitutes, so Monday through Friday I don't drink my coffee. That's 5 cups of sugar a week I have cut out. Saturday and Sunday mornings I still have my coffee, but it's a whole lot less coffee and a whole lot less sugar total. A person can't give up everything!

But I feel a little better and surprisingly, I don't really miss the coffee that much. Although with it turning cold, I might need to give up my tea and substitute the coffee, possibly revisiting the whole sugar substitute thing. Also, I have found when I do drink my coffee on the weekends now I am putting less sugar in it. Sorry Sugar Industry. I know someone a sugar worker has lost a job because of me!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mohawk Mom and G, H and I

Take this mohawk and picture it with yellow instead of hot pink and a letter "A" in yellow on the side. The person who received this mohawk requested another one in school colors. I even charted my own "A" I am so proud of myself. Delivered it to her at school the afternoon of the first home game. I could have sold 100 of them if I had the on hand. She is going to take orders for me, so I guess I will be "mohawking" a lot.

Most of the sewing is done for the band. Flag stripes are done, color guard uniforms are hemmed. Just waiting on some muslin to turn into large panels for the band, then all my sewing should be done for them.

Trumpet Princess survived her first football game even though she did say she almost fainted when she looked up and saw the stands for the first time.

Now it's onto painting the flats for Celtic Halloween. One primed, 5 more to go.

G is for -

Gardens and Gardening - I enjoy them, wish I did more gardening. Of course, with this drought I am glad I have not committed innocent plants to a sure death this summer.

Gourmet - wish I enjoyed food more, or rather took the time to appreciate and savor it more. All too much I fall victim to the rush, rush, rush of everyday life.

Goddess - wish I was more of one, or thought more of myself as a goddess. Also wish I thanked the Goddess more for all I do have in life

Green Man - enjoy the legend and drawings of the Green Man

H is for -

Horses - wish I had the time and money to still own one. They are so beautiful and strong and in some aspects, very reassuring.

Healthy - getting there, both mentally and physically. Walking more, eating better. Cut out coffee during the week. Not for the caffeine aspect, but the 16 tons of sugar I use in it. Hope the sugar industry can handle my cutback.

Humor - letting my sense of humor help me get and stay healthy. See humor in every day life more and honor it.

Harry Potter and Laurel Hamilton - ok, you can't get more opposite on the "paranormal" bookshelf but love them both. If I had to pick one though......bye Harry.

I is for -

Impatient - I often find myself getting impatient with others instead of accepting things to flow as they do. But getting better....lot less cussing at the stoplight.

Italy - wish I was there, backpack, wandering around, eating wonderful food, seeing wonderful sights.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

D and E and F

Trumpet Princess got her own mohawk disappeared before pictures could me made. Along with a knit tie. But did manage to pin this down long enough to get a picture made.
So I think I only have about 100 more things to make out of Pretty in Punk but have stopped in favor of getting some socks finished up (that were started eons ago!)

D is for....

Daughters - I have 2 wonderful ones. Completely different, but each equally fantastic in their own ways.

Daring - I wish I was. At least in my mind I think I am at times, but for the most part I'm not.

Dogs - I prefer dogs over cats, but I have 3 cats right now. Dogs require more effort than cats, but I still like them better.
E is for....

Eating - it's something I do, but don't put much thought into it. I would like to become a more "thoughtful" eater and enjoy the process and the result more, rather than just fixing something because it's time to eat.

Enjoyment - would like to get more enjoyment out of life. Many times I feel like I am just rushing from one thing to another, mindlessly, without really enjoying what I do. Actually one thing I do enjoy is going to my local bookstore and spending a couple of quiet hours, with my coffee and books and magazines, writing and reading.

Ex-Patriot - I would like to have the "daring" and the "finances" to become an ex-pat. Italy, England, Scotland?

F is for...

Friend - I am lucky I have a few wonderful friends, one in particular. Although, sometimes I feel like I am not a very good friend.

Finances - would like to be better at them. Love algebra, can't balance my checkbook!

Farmer's Market - enjoy going to the market, especially early in the morning before it gets crowded. Need to do it more.

Fountain Pens - I LOVE fountain pens. I have a couple, one handmade out of wood, and I guard them jealously.

Fantasy - I enjoy reading it and writing it.

Food - would like to have a great appreciation and really enjoy it for itself more.

Well, off to get dressed and go sew on a football field sized American flag for the band. Guess I'll be seeing red, white and blue today!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mohawk in Summer

It's hard to think about wool and felting and hats when it is 100 degrees outside, but Oldest Daughter has a friend whose birthday is this weekend. And she wants a mohawk. Friend also has the most luscious, thick, wavy hair you can image. People would kill for it and kill her if she actually did get a this is the next best thing.

No children up yet to model, so had to stick it on a folding candy stand to let it dry and to display it. Thought about putting it on myself and taking a picture, but didn't want to scare anyone.

It was a quick project from Pretty in Punk by Alyce Benevides and Jaqueline Milles. Actually, most of it was done during a viewing of Glass Bottom Boat and 300. (Ok, I know it's a weird combo, but after 2 hours of sweet Doris Day, 2 hours of ripped abs is tasty!)

I have to brag, the book was given to me by Marci when I offered to switch jobs with her. Couldn't talk her into it...the job switching I mean.

Downside to this project....I knit it in some Reynolds Lopi I had bought a couple of years ago to do a large felted purse. Thank goodness I didn't knit and felt said purse, because just this little hat was like washing the family dog after letting it go for months. I have been picking lint off like crazy. Pulled it out of the washing machine after just a few minutes of agitation and had a huge ball of "fuzz" in just a couple of minutes. Nasty stuff. And I have tons of it left.

Directions in the book were very clear, very easy to follow and, like I said, quick. Trumpet Princess has earmarked 10 of the 25 patterns she wants made up, including another mohawk hat. Don't know whether to thank Marci for the book or send it back in self defense!

Oops....child model......

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Band Night

After more than a week of 95 or higher degree heat with matching humidity, the all day marching band camp is over. Now it's evening only practices and games and competitions.

Trumpet Princess is doing great. Personally, after watching these kids several times over the past couple of weeks (I was on hand to give out water, cold wash clothes and Popsicles) I have to give them all credit. They worked like Trojans, despite the heat.

What I can't figure out though is how the same people who can't remember to pick up clothes off the floor can memorize several songs, learn a 10 minute marching routine and do the two things at one time.

This year's marching band theme is "Arlington...Where Valor Never Rests". This is just up her alley, she has always loved patriotic music. They have a field trip this coming week and are going for a day trip which will include Arlington Cemetery. They have permission to lay the wreath at 12n at the Cemetery.

During the performance last night, we started off in the auditorium where they played several of their tunes. They, of course, opened with the Star Spangled Banner. Ok, so I am peri-menopausal, but there were many a tear in the audience after they played it. It was beautiful!

Trumpet Princess was also one of 6 trumpet players picked to do a rendition of the Flag at Iwo Jima during the performance. She is all over herself with this.
Back to cleaning up my room now!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me

I decided to join in on the Encyclopedia of Me meme started by Bella Dia. I have visited her site in the past and enjoy it every time I stop for a moment.


A is for -

Age - I will be 50 in a couple of months and am looking forward to it...sort I can start the 2nd half of my life and do things better/right/more fun this time.

Active - wish I was more active. A friend started running recently and is entering marathons now. I sat through the Tour de France and wanted to start riding a bike again (first have to get one), so I will try to walk more and do more yoga.

Appalachian Trail - I would like to hike at least part of this trail, but that would require me to be more ACTIVE!

Asparagus - wished I liked it in more than just our family asparagus casserole. It looks so elegant and people who eat it look like they are knowledgeable and sophisticated.

Apples - love crisp, tart apples, the kind when you bit into them your toes curl.

Ample - I am a little more "ample" than I would care to be. But to change my ampleness I would have to increase my activeness.

ARTIST - I would like to see myself as more of an artist. Others have called me an artist, but somehow the critic in my brain doesn't allow me to. But the critic is getting smaller each day.

B is for -

Bitchy - which I can be at any given moment

Butter on Bread - I love to put butter on crunchy, crispy, chewy bread, which means bakery made not from the store in a wrapper bread.

Bees - like bees, wish people were nicer to bees, no food. Makes me regret all the times I caught honey bees in jars and shook them up as a child. But you don't see bees on clover much anymore.

Balance - I would like more balance in my life.

Breeze - I love the feel of an autumn or spring breeze through the window, especially at night through an open window.

Bed - I love bed, I don't like sharing my bed, I like clean, soft sheets on my bed.

Better - sometimes I wish I was a better friend/mother/person and then other times I realize I am really better than I think I am.

C is for -

Cats - the "girls" have 3...which I eat and water and am not really all that emotionally attached to (maybe)

Creative - wish I was more creative, but then maybe I am more creative than I think I am

Critic - I have the world's largest and harshest inner critic or at least I blame it for not doing things at times

Crafty - I am "crafty" in the whole "artsy/crafty" way...more crafty than artsy, but working on changing that balance

Color - want more color in my life. Who says you have to wear blacks and navy's and browns when you reach a certain age or that they "look good on you". I want more color.

Caring - would like to feel I was more caring

Careful - wish I was less careful about what people might think and more "me doing"

Crochet - I would like to crochet a bedspread like my grandmother did

Chocolate - I have advanced to the age where quality is more important than quantity...but quantity will do in a pinch

Coffee - never thought I would get hooked on it...but there is something about that first sip in the morning (or night). Of course, some would argue with all the sugar/milk I put in my coffee it is really a sugared latte.

Candles - love candles, lighting candles, scented candles soft and cozy and calming

Ok, that's it for now....have to think of the other letters!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Tour de France

Ok, I will admit to the following:

1. I went and camped out at Border's Bookstore on the evening
of June 20.

2. I got home at about 1pm June 21 and read for about 30 minutes.

3. I did not do anything other than a quick trip to the grocery store and
farmer's market on Saturday (plus a load of dishes in the dishwasher).

4. I have finished the last Harry Potter (at about 7:30pm Saturday night).

5. I did manage to read and keep one eye on my men in spandex Saturday.

6. I am fine with the way things were ended (and that's all I'll say!)

7. Now I can go back and give my full attention to my Team Discovery boys.
Come on Levi! Come on George!

8. I have been knitting mitered squares out of scrap yarn during the tour
and have about 1/2 dozen done because I stopped and knitted a market

9. I have to clean house today or the house patrol will come get me!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I'm Famous! I am linked from Shiny Little Things! This is like having a ton of chocolate deposited on your doorstep! Cynthia is the head creative genius (and they are all creative geniuses there) of Ornamentea and Panopolie in Raleigh. Walk into either store and you won't want to leave...ever...and you come away with too many ideas to work on at one time....but you try anyway.

Today is off to Band Camp Day for Trumpet Princess. The person who has not been getting up until noon was up at 6am today. Mom here has learned that letting her go is not bad, and in some ways, very pleasant. Ex-Goth daughter is smilingly waving her sister off she copes with extreme sunburn from the beach on the 4th.

I sent the purse off to its new owner without pics....bad me. But I did make 2 skirts on the 4th, one for me and a matching one (at about 1/2 the size) to mine for Ex-Goth daughter. I have gotten into these long, "floaty" skirts. Cooler than pants, a lot more comfortable than jeans (you can use sit about any un-ladylike way you want). So I guess as my 50th approaches I will retreat into "hippiedom" and start wandering around in skirts and peasant blouses.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fourth of July

Great way to start a day and reading blogs.

The ex-Goth daughter is on her way to the beach for the day. Actually she left last night to send the night so they could get up early and leave. Hint.....if you ever want to kidnap ex-Goth daughter, so it early in the morning.....she just walks where you direct her to without much effort and usually with her eyes closed.

Trumpet Princess is asleep on my bed. Seems a bug in her room (remember all those dishes I told you about!) kept her awake last night, so I came into the computer room this morning to find her curled up in the papasan I sent her to my bed to sleep for awhile.

Branched off from my usual blogs and am exploring new blogs....and there are so, so many good ones out there.

Cut Out and Keep is a great site with all kinds of craft/food ideas. Since I have torn up some more fabric strips, the Fabric Bead Necklace is looking pretty good right now.

And I will try to have pics up shortly of the 2 finished bags. I lined them both last night and put the handles on the 2nd one. The second one does not have the ends showing because the person who bought it from me before it was even started wanted it that way. Both ways look pretty nifty.

Webs Yarn Store is a lot of fun to go through. Unfortunately, this only wants to make me run out and buy lots of fabulous yarn!

Lolly Knitting Around is another new favorite. Bright, colorful and fun to read.

Dogged is another girl after my own heart. Wouldn't you just love to spend a day with some of these people!

Actually, the intro to these new blogs were the "fault" of Knitting Daily. Does that make her an enabler? If you have not subscribed to this newsletter, do so. It's fun and informative at the same time.

Need a coffee refill.........................

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Raggedity Purse

This is what happens when someone give you about 5 yards of fabric you really don't know what to do with. Ok, it was ugly fabric! So in a fit of inspiration, I tore it into 1/2 inch strips and rolled it all into a big as Trumpet Princess' head. She wandered through while I was reading blogs and ripping and rolling and giggled and left.

So after I got it all torn up and rolled into a ball (see it in relation to the arm chair) I took size 13 circular needles and started knitting.

I made the bottom of the purse about a 3"x 14" rectangle and then picked up stitches and started knitting around. Since the gold fabric looked so
boring by itself, I pulled out about a yard of red Christmas print fabric I had left over from some project or another and ripped it up. No picture of that ball, it was much less impressive.

So now I have some strong contrast. I decided I liked the ends where I tied the strips together hanging out and just knitted until I got tired of it. You could only see a little of the big ball decreased, so if I had used it all it would have been a body-sized bag I am afraid.

I was going to make I-cord straps for the bag until I got home and walked by the big box of vintage purse handles (yes, they are from the 60's and 70's...a yard sale find) and there was this perfect set of rattan handles. Just the right size and coloring. So using the red strips, I tied the purse to the handles. Now I just have to line the purse. I think I am going to just use plain muslin (which I have on hand) and I think I want to add one of those large magnetic snaps to the inside to help hold it closed.

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And I now have a "commission" to make one for someone else, but she doesn't want the strings on the outside. Her's will be with the same gold fabric and using a soft green for the contrast. I have a set of round wooden handles I am going to paint green and knit the top of the purse a little different in order to go onto the handles.
So I guess since I have had a few "commissions" on various things I have made, I really am an ARTIST! Since they have been knitting mainly, I get to call myself a "fiber artist". For some reason artist sounds much more important that crafter. Call me a snob!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hot Sunday

It's hot and humid....not my kind of weather at all, so I am staying indoors and cranking the ceiling fans up.

Little Bear has started an Alphabet Along for the summer. Each week do something that has to do with those letters of the alphabet. So I am playing along, and starting early, it actually starts tomorrow.

So for "A" - Artist Trading Cards. I am getting more and more into them and love them. This is one I just did for the "Summer" theme for a swap at Artists' Oasis.
And "B" - Nana's BBQ in the crockpot. This is my grandmother's way of fixing pork BBQ in the crockpot. I can fix it and not heat up the kitchen. Very simple. Put a pork butt in the crockpot. Rub down with pepper, hickory salt and a few dashes of liquid smoke. Let cook all day. Remove from the pot and pull all the meat apart. Serve on buns with cole slaw and her BBQ sauce. Fantastic. And the good thing is, I can fix it and eat on it all week.

You will probably be seeing a lot of Ren Faire stuff online this year. I have accepted a larger volunteer position and am looking forward to finally putting names to faces, etc. with the group. I am so terrible with names it hurts.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Experimenting and playing……

Isn’t that what art is all about? So I am trying to type my blog in Word and then transfer into blogger. We will see if it is a successful experiment or not.

My day off and I have already done a lot. I scanned the cards from last night’s swap at the ATC club meeting and entered them into an album. I have invited members from the club to join the group. Gotten marching band registration into the envelope and on it’s way to school with eldest daughter for the youngest daughter. I have the ATC ready for my first swap with the atcards group.

This is the card I made for our “summer” themed card for May. It has a sun that you can rotate up. The lemonade and strawberry margarita are made out of shrink plastic I colored with sharpies and colored pencils and shrunk.

Better get to doing all the other stuff I need to do.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

First off, thank you to all the soldiers, past, present and future, for all you have done. Since Trumpet Princess is thinking of joining the military, Memorial Day will have more and more of a meaning to me as the years go by.

Secondly, lean your head to the left and take a look at a couple of ATC cards I have done in the past.

The first one is a celebration of New Year's and the blue one is about magnetic poetry which Best Friend loves. She has tons of the sets of letters and came up with the bright idea of putting the letters on old cookie sheets and uses and old metal TV tray.

Sorry I was too lazy to rotate the pictures before copying over and there is a bit of a glare on them. But I now have the scanner operational, so I will scan future ATC's.

I was "working" this weekend and finished up my cards for the ATC Club this weekend. But no sneak peaks until after Thursday night. I have also joined a "I Still Love to Read", a "Poe", a "collage" and a "musical" ATC swap at The "I Still Love to Read" is done! And I will try and get it into the mail next week. Have an idea for both the collage and the musical ATC. Am making an "paper doll" so to speak that has a musical theme for Trumpet Princess as her goodbye card to her music director who is WONDERFUL! Thanks Mr. J for all you do!
Started my "Red and Gold" altered book. Need to start on the black page spread for someone who started the ABC locally, then had to move. We are making her up a book. Have an idea of what I would like to do, just need to get it started.

Back to the ATC Club, I made extra of our summer theme cards so I would have some to trade online. Occassionally, I do get some bright ideas.

Well, 5am is just a little early when I don't have to be at work for hours yet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's Been Forever..................

Ok, so I have been very, very lax.....but then my life has been very, very busy/weird/full/odd the past year. But (fingers crossed) things are looking up, both in my life and my daughters' lives, so we are moving forward.

Things going on:

1. We volunteered in the NC Ren Faire this year. I made both the "noble" dress and the peasant dress. Plus an extra peasant dress for a friend of oldest daughter. We will be doing it again next year (after all I was award the Order of St. Michael this year for volunteering!) and will be doing a pirate outfit, another noble outfit, and I think I want to be a crazy herb lady.

2. Decided not to put in a garden this year. This is a VERY BIG decision, but I figured I am the only one that eats tomatoes unless it is in soups, chili or sauce. Farmer's Market is close, cheap and they are getting more and more "heirloom" vegetables there. And I enjoy going. And I don't have time that I want to give up from other things to take care of the watering and weeding.

3. Working more on my writing and art "stuff". Getting into the ATC and altered books, art journaling more and more. Now that my house has been rearranged, I almost have a "studio" setup so I can keep things off the kitchen table. I now have a desk (actually an old kitchen table) and a drop leaf table to use in my bedroom now.
So it's off to take Trumpet Princess to the orthodontist because somehow or another she was running outside at school, tripped on her flip flop, caught her braces in the zipper and pulled off a bracket.