Eye Candy Friday...

...so long, August. We hardly knew ya!

Today's eye candy is from our garden and mom's. First, from Mom's garden, a lily:

Pink lily

and a pink rose:

Full blown pink rose

From our garden, a yellow hibiscus:

Yellow Hibiscus

I love hibiscus flowers. We have two containers of them in our courtyard, one with pink flowers and the other with the yellow flowers. I can sit in my studio chair and see them through the window. So pretty!

Up this weekend: It's a 3-day weekend...yay! The extra day will be put to good use.

I need to get a dress to wear for the wedding on the 8th. I need to do some household chores that have been neglected for far too long. (Note to the cats: this means the vacuum monster is coming out of the closet! You have been warned!)

In the studio, I need to hang the IKEA panels to hide the washer and dryer (this time for sure!). I also need to finish labeling drawers and find a home for a last few items. I want to re-orient my work table and possibly my studio chair to make the most of my space. Once I have these items in place, I can determine how big a rug to buy for the room. I'd like to get a rug that will bring in another color that won't clash with the sage green of the walls and the coral chair. Both the sage and coral colors are hard to match, so getting something that goes with them is going to be interesting. I really don't want it too look too busy, either. I may need to bring in a couple of friends to get a second option...

Craft-wise, I plan on spending some quality time weaving now that I've warped the loom. I'm really looking forward to that!
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where the heck did August go...

...it feels like it just started and now it's almost over??

Normally I'm all over September, it being my birthday month and all. I like to celebrate as long as I can. :) However, this September is a little different.  Over the past few months my vision has been getting worse, making it difficult to do some crafty things, like knitting, and making it almost impossible to do others, like stitching and needlepoint. Even worse, it's becoming difficult to read text on the computer screen, which I need to do for work.

Now, it's not unexpected...I knew I had cataracts in both eyes and at some point I'd need to do something about them. Well, I've reached that point for my right eye. So in September, I'm going to have my eyes measured (or whatever they call it), go to my pre-op class, have cataract surgery on my right eye, and go to my post-op visit. Then I'll have to get new contacts or glasses for the vision change. So September will be filled with trips to Kaiser and the optometrist. Not my normal birthday month activities of shopping, crafting, and whatever sounds fun.

I'm not gonna lie, though. It's really scary to think about what they are going to do to my eye. But even scarier is the thought of not being able to work or do the things I love.

Until I have the surgery, I'm using the accessibility tools built-in to the computer and popping up the point size of the text display so I can see it better. And I can still see well enough to spin and weave.

I've been itching to weave something for the last month, so I decided to start a new project. Over the last two evenings, I warped my loom for a new shawl. When I reorganized my yarn stash, I found some Blue Heron yarn that I purchased at Stitches West 2011.

Blueberry Rayon Metallic yarn

I have 2 skeins (550 yds. each) of this rayon-metallic yarn in Blueberry. I used a full skein for the warp. I haven't decided yet whether I want to add some Leno or other lace sections to the shawl or just do a plain weave. I think I'll just weave a couple of inches and do my hemstitching before I decide.

So far, it's making me happy—I love the colors and the sparkly bits are fun to look at!
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Catch- up Tueday...

...there have been a few things that arrived withing the last few weeks that I've neglected to photograph. I finally took some pictures today.

As I was taking the pictures, I realized why I have ignored a couple of them: I don't like the colors. They are club yarns, so I don't have any choice on what I receive.

Oldest first...the Rockin' Sock Club installment for July 2012 (behind the spoiler):

Rockin' Sock Club 2012

I think this is the first installment in a long time where I don't like the yarn colors and I don't like either of the patterns. Let's just say I'm not a big chicken fan nor do I like autumn colors. I'm not sure what to do with this one.

Next is the yarn from the Cookie A Sock Club installment for August 2012 (behind the spoiler):

Cookie A Sock Club Badge

This color is a bit better, but still not one of my favorites. However, I do love the sock patterns that came with it.

Last is the Loopy Ewe 6th Anniversary kit:

Loopy Ewe 6th Anniversary Kit

and the yarn:

Tickety Boo Seasonings Series yarn

This was not a club yarn so I knew what I was getting when I ordered it. I love the colors!  I might weave something with this.

In the studio, I'm declaring the decoupage project done for now. I covered the remaining boxes an they are back on the shelf. I decided not to cover the magazine holders when I saw that Target had some sturdy ones on sale this week. They are a bit wider than the ones I have, so I bought 2 teal and 1 black. The 3 new ones replaced the 5 skinny holders I was using. Thank goodness I don't have to cover them!

I also finished sewing the second bench cover.  and used some leftover fabric to make another small throw pillow. While I was at mom's last weekend, the Husband replaced the old track light unit with a new one and I could finally hand my pendant light over the sewing machine. I still need to get more light over the work table, but I'm not having much luck finding something suitable.

And I couldn't face dress shopping over the weekend...guess I'll have to do that this coming weekend, The wedding is on the 8th and I'm running out of time!
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Eye Candy Friday...

...the not-our-garden version.  Here are some pictures from mom's garden.

Pink hydrangea:

Pink hydrangea
Pink viola:

Pink viola
Orange rose:

Orange rose
Daisies along the fence:

Daisies along the fence

Last night I finished putting the yarn stash away. I think I might have a few skeins hiding somewhere in the house, so I need to track them down and get them into the studio.

Up this weekend: In the studio, I'm going to finish the second bench cushion and hang the panels to hide the washer and dryer. I hope to finish the decoupage project, because I'm tired of it. At least I don't have to go back in the house to wash my hands when they are all sticky. (Thanks, J!)

I need to start looking for a dress to wear to a friends wedding. I just hate dress shopping...nothing ever fits right. :(

Sleep would be good, too...
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random Thursday...

...still trying to get back into a routine. I didn't get a chance to post yesterday for a couple of reasons.

before getting to the randomness, let's celebrate the completion of my studio sink! The Husband finished the trim work and hung my mirror:

Completed studio sink

We bought a pair of these mirrors in New Mexico several years ago because we loved the tin work. We hung them in this room when it was the Husband's office.  I love that we can use one in the sink alcove, but we have no place to hang the second one. Maybe when we finally make a real guest room I can hang it in there.

Randomness:
  1. Did you know that some MacBooks have batteries that swell? I sure didn't until it happened to mine. I would have never noticed it if I hadn't packed my MacBook to take to Mom's. My laptop sits on a small stand that allows air to circulate underneath it and, as it happens, allows the battery to swell without you noticing!.

    I ordered a new batter and installed it Tuesday night.
     
  2. Did you know that you should calibrate your new MacBook battery for best performance? I didn't, or at least I didn't remember that I needed to do that. That's one of the reasons I didn't post yesterday. I was in the "let battery discharge all the way and let it sit for at least 5 hours before plugging in again.  As it turned out, that was OK because...
     
  3. I went to the eye doctor, who dilated my eyes. I couldn't see much of anything for several hours. This was the other reason I couldn't blog yesterday!
     
  4. Because I couldn't see well, I decided it was a perfect time to sort through my yarn stash. Over the past couple of years, I'd place new yarn in a zip lock bag and cram put it in any drawer with enough room to hold it. So I had sock yarn mixed with lace yarn, and so on. I managed to get it all out of the zip locks and sorted by weight. Then I started putting them back into bags and sorting them into the fabric drawers. I still have about 1/3 to put away. 

    The best part is that I found some yarn that was wound and ready for the loom!. I think I'll warp it this weekend and get started on a wrap for me!
That's all I have for now...
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yes, I was a little MIA...

...with no internet at Mom's and not getting back to my hotel room until very late each night, I had no time to upload my pictures much less blog!  Driving home on Sunday was the worst I've ever seen it and it pretty much sucked the life out of me for the rest of the day and part of Monday.

My side trip to Cambria was quick, but necessary. I went to the cemetery to pay my respects to a wonderful woman who recently passed away. I was unable to attend her funeral service, but wanted to say goodbye.  Then I went down to the beach to soak up a few minutes of ocean before I finished the drive to mom's.

It was great seeing the family.  It's always a challenge to try and catch up with everyone's lives when you don't see them for several years at a time. The Spanglish is a little difficult to follow sometimes, but I eventually got back into the rhythm of it.

I hadn't seen  my brothers or nephew in a while, so it was really good to catch up with them. And I met my nephew's fiancĂ©e, who is really sweet. I didn't get to see my sister, but we had a nice chat on the phone.

There is always so much food at these family gatherings...I feel like I gained 15 pounds in 2 days! We had 3 kinds of salsa and lots of chips; tamales, both savory and sweet; tacos; huevos rancheros; 6 tri tips barbecued over oak wood; piquinto beans; potato salad; several loaves of garlic bread; pan dulce; and menudo for Sunday breakfast. The only things that weren't homemade were the corn tortillas, the chips, and the pan dulce.

There are several group participation things at these gatherings, but my favorite is making the tamales. My mom prepared the meat and my brother prepared the masa for both the pork and sweet tamales. Everyone participated in the tamale assembly. My mom immediately cooked a batch so we could enjoy them later in that evening. The best part was that I got to bring home some frozen tamales to cook for myself! And my mom made sure there was an extra tri tip made just for me! (yummy!)

It's taken a bit to sort through the pictures, but here's a couple to hold you. My favorite pan dulce:

Pink polvorone

And a picture of the beach at Cambria from my little side trip:

Muggy Cambria day

I hope to get back into some crafting soon!
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no pic WIP-it Wednesday...

...because picking up a few WIPs that I've ignored for a while. They don't look marginally different than the last time I showed them to you.
  1. I'm back to knitting the Carousel Socks [Ravelry] that I started back in March {!).  I'm still trying to knit the second cuff to the same point as the first. Then I can start knitting them two at a time.
  2. I set up my Legend cross stitch stand to hold the stretcher bars for the next mermaid. I have about 20 stitches done on the Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia. Only a few thousand to go!
  3. I worked on the second bench cushion. It's ready for sewing. I just need to find enough time to finish it.
I am not spinning, although it seems very strange not to be.  :)

I won't have much time this weekend to work on any crafts. I'm making a quick trip to Mom's for the weekend. She has most of her sisters coming for a visit. It's a perfect time to take pictures of them making tamales, gabbing, and enjoying being together.

The Husband and the kitties will have to make do without me!
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a Ravellenic Games thrill of victory...

...no agony of defeat, but a small agony of the knees and hands! :-)

I plied the Bill Compton handspun at Spin-In on Saturday:

Bill Compton handspun
and the close-up

Bill Compton handspun, close up
Specs:
Started 8/9/12;
Finished 8/11/12;
Falkland (4.0 oz) in Smoke and Mirrors 1 from The Yarn Wench;
115.4 yds chain-ply, 10 WPI 

I finished the Sookie handspun singles on Saturday, let them rest for a couple of hours and then started plying> I finished plying it on Sunday, 2.74 hours before the deadline!

Sookie handspun
ad the close-up:

Sookie handspun, close up
Specs:
Started 8/9/12;
Finished 8/12/12;
Mother of Pearl (4 oz) SW Merino from The Dyeing Arts;
150.75 yds, chain-plied; 12 WPI;

The totals for the Ravellenic Games:
  • 7 yarns
  • 6 chain-ply; 1 two-ply
  • 1099.95 yards,
  • WPI range from 10 to 14
Here's the whole set:

Ravellenic Games 2012, Finish Line
Not quite sure what to do next! After spinning for Tour de Fleece and then the Ravellenic Games, it feels strange not to be spinning. I know I need to rest my hands and knees for a few days, but I need to do something!
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another Finished Object Friday...

...I'm treadling as fast as I can!  First, the Eye Candy.

A rose:

Single rose

a rogue gladiola growing in the same pot as one of the plum trees:

Bright pink gladiola

and one of the last stragglers on the salvia bush:

Purple Salvia

Last night was very productive for spinning; I finished the Sam Merlotte handspun:

Sam Merlotte handspun
and a close up:

Sam Merlotte handspun, close up
Specs:
Started 8/6/12;
Finished 8/9/12;
Falkland (3.8 oz) in Newly Minted 1 from The Yarn Wench;
124.7 yds. chain-ply; 11 WPI

I also finished the singles for the Bill Compton and started the singles for the Sookie handspun. Sookie is the last of the 7 yarns I'm spinning for the Ravellenic Games.

Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow. I need to make a munchie to take...I need to come up with something fast!

After finish the last of my Ravellenic yarns, I'm going to give spinning a rest. I've been spinning pretty much since June 30th and it's time to work on something else!  Maybe weaving.

If I have time, I'll decoupage the last 3 photo boxes. I have 4 magazine holders and 3 pattern boxes to decoupage after that. Someday I'll be done with this project!
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WIP-it Wednesday...


...the recap took me a bit longer than I expected so I need to keep it short. Here are the WIP quick hits.

Stitching is alive and well. I worked on the Summer cross stitch project at craft night last night. No updated picture yet.

In the "not technically my WIP" category, the Husband is making good progress on the sink in my studio. It just needs some finish work.
Studio sink

I have spun have of yarn #5 (of 7) for the Ravellenic games. This one was picked for Sam Merlotte:

Sam Merlotte, bobbin #1

It's close to Merlotte's green. I hope to finish spinning the singles tonight.

While I've enjoyed spinning for Tour de Fleece and the Ravellenic Games, I'm ready to work on something else. Weaving might be nice...
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July 2012 Recap...

...let's hear it for Tour de Fleece and Ravellenic Games! Otherwise, I wouldn't have finished anything.

Finished:

  • 7/1 Brown Yak-Merino handspun (Spinning) [Ravelry]
    Part of  a 3 oz Yak Survey sampler from Tactile, a Fiber Arts Studio;
    39 yards
  • 7/2  Cream Yak-Silk handspun (Spinning) [Ravelry]
    Part of  a 3 oz Yak Survey sampler from Tactile, a Fiber Arts Studio;
    52 yards
  • 7/4  Brown Yak handspun (Spinning) [Ravelry]
    Part of  a 3 oz Yak Survey sampler from Tactile, a Fiber Arts Studio;
    33.5 yards
  • 7/8 Tidal Pool handspun (Spinning) [Ravelry]
    Baby Camel-Silk top from AVFKW
    180 yards, fingering
  • 7/17 Sierra Sunrise handspun  (Spinning) [Ravelry]
    Corriedale from Judy's Novelty Wool;
    176.8 yards; DK
  • 7/17 Cafe Mocha handspun (Spinning) [Ravelry]
    Alpaca-BFL from Knitifacts;
    152 yards, chain-plied
  • 7/29 Jessica Hamby handspun [Ravelry]
    Goth Chick (4 oz) Duo from The Dyeing Arts;
    195.4 yards,  chain-plied; 13 WPI;
  • Books:
    1. On the Prowl, Patricia Briggs
    2. Spider's Bite, Jennifer Estep
    3. Web of Lies, Jennifer Estep
    4. Venom, Jennifer Estep
    5. Tangled Threads, Jennifer Estep
    6. Spider's Revenge, Jennifer Estep
    7. By a Thread, Jennifer Estep
    8. The Grey God, Lizzy Ford
Started:
  • 6/30 (late entrant) Yak-Merino top (1 oz) in a 3 oz Yak Survey sampler from Tactile, a Fiber Arts Studio (Spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/1 Yak-Silk top (1 oz) in a 3 oz Yak Survey sampler from Tactile, a Fiber Arts Studio (Spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/2 Yak top (1 oz) in a 3 oz Yak Survey sampler from Tactile, a Fiber Arts Studio (Spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/3 Tidal Pool Baby Camel-Silk top from AVFKW (Spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/10 Cafe Mocha Alpaca- BFL from Knitifacts; (Spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/14 Black Alpaca-Silk from Ashland Bay (Spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/27 Jessica Hamby/Goth Chick Duo form the Dyeing Arts (Spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/29 Godric/Sunglow from The Yarn Wench (Spinning) [Ravelry]

Worked on:
  • Royale top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm [Ravelry
  • Decoupage project - covering all of the boxes and containers with the same paper

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  • Carousel Socks  (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Cazadero Mist handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]
  • Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  • Isonzo Merino-Bamboo top (spinning) [Ravelry
  • Jungle Songs quilt
  • Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Oriental Dragonfly, Dimensions kit (embroidery)
  • Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Recipe for Summer by Pine Mountain Designs (cross stitch)
  • Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry

UFOs:
  1. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  2. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  3. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)

4 down, 3 to go...

...I might make my 7 yarns by the end of the Ravellenic Games.

I ended up not spinning at all on Friday.  I decided to stay out of the studio for one night and be a little sociable.  Of course, I ended up falling asleep early. LOL!

I have finished two more yarns, putting me over the halfway mark of my goal.  I decided to spin singles for two yarns.  Then I plied one on Sunday and one last night.  I'm spinning these a little thicker so I get done faster. It's a nice change from trying to spin as thin as I can.

Here is Eric Northman:
Eric Northman handspun
and a close up:

Eric Northman handspun, close up
Specs:
Started 8/2/12
Finished 8/5/12
Falkland (3.8 oz) in Garnet 1 from The Yarn Wench
167.5 yds. chain-ply; 12 WPI
For: Handspun Heptathlon, Team True Blood, Ravellenic Games 2012

This is Adele Stackhouse (AKA Gran)

Adele Stackhouse handspun
and a close up:

Adele Stackhouse handspun, close up
Specs:
Started 8/5/12
Finished 8/6/12
Merino-Silk (3.9 oz) in Arcadia 1 from The Yarn Wench
124.7 yds. chain-ply; 11 WPI
For: Handspun Heptathlon, Team True Blood, Ravellenic Games 2012

Originally, I picked the last one for Pam. However,  while I was spinning, it became clear that this top wanted to be Adele, not Pam. So, I changed the name of the yarn, and now it's happier. :)

On the studio front, we assembled the second bench, so now it just needs a cushion. The Husband has a couple of little issues with the sink and that took some time to resolve. The sink is now working without any leaks (yay!) and he is working on the finishing...caulk, paint, replacement drywall, etc. It's getting close to done!

I bought and assembled the bar stool for my work table. I also decoupaged 4 more photo boxes. I decided to go ahead and swap the plastic lined boxes with a couple from the kitchen. They worked so much better with the mod podge.

One of these days I'll get the recap done...
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Finished Object Friday...

...that hasn't happened in a while!

I finished plying the Godric handspun:

Godric handspun

and a close up:

Godric handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 7/29/12
Finished 8/2/12
Falkland (4.0 oz) in Sunglow from The Yarn Wench
221.5 yds. 2-ply; 14 WPI
For: Handspun Heptathlon, Team True Blood, Ravellenic Games 2012

I immediately started the Eric handspun, yarn number 3 of 7 for the Handspun Heptathlon. I think I'll limit how much I spin tonight to give my knee and hip a breather.

Eye Candy Friday is a bit sparse today. There weren't many flowers in bloom this morning and it was too overcast to get a decent sky pictures. Here's what I found in one of our hanging baskets:

Bright colors

Of course, the Husband couldn't remember the name of the flower and there was no tag. [sigh]

Up this weekend: The Husband is working on my countertop and sink. If he doesn't finish it today, I'm sure he will finish over the weekend. We need to assemble my replacement bench. I hope this one is intact and has no glaring defects.

When the sink is done, we'll reassemble my work table, which was moved so J would have enough room to work on the countertop, etc. Target has some bar stools on sale that might work well with the work table. I need to go check them out.

I need to do more decoupage--I'm getting bored with this project because it's taking so long. However, I know it will look better when I'm done, so I need to push through it.

When I'm not working on that, I'll be spinning. I have to step up my game..I have 5 yarns to finish by the end of the Olympics!  I better take some more naproxen and get a move on!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and Happy August!

Today's WIP is the Godric yarn I am spinning for the Ravellenic Games. Last night's Olympics was pretty exciting and I found myself spinning quite fast. So fast that I finished the singles for Godric:

Godric singles

(So fast that my knee and hip are complaining this morning. I might have to take a rest day before I start the 3rd yarn.)

The plan was to make a 2-ply yarn from these singles. However, I didn't weight the fiber when I split it in two and it looks like there's more on one bobbin, meaning that I'll run out of one bobbin before the other. Usually when this happens it's only a few yards and I can get by with using Andean ply on the excess. This time, it looks like there will be a lot more than just a few yards. I need to think this through before I start to ply. (I also need to remind myself that this is what happens when I start something new at 10pm...the brain is not firing on all cylinders then.)

I took a picture of the bench cushion I finished on Saturday:

New Bench Cushion

I really like the fabric. The color makes a nice contrast with the white bench. My replacement bench arrived yesterday, so I'll have to make the second cushion over the weekend.

I'll get a July recap posted soon.
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Eye Candy Friday...

...and a Tour de Fleece update. First, the eye candy. The sweet pea bush in our front yard is continuing to bloom: The tomatoes in th...