Monday, November 29, 2010

Eye Candy Monday?

...yeah, didn't think that would fly. For some reason, I never did get a chance to blog, even though I had 4 days off!!

Wednesday afternoon and evening were busy as I prepped as much as I could for T-Day dinner, got the turkey in the brine, and did a little cleaning. Thursday was a blur, with the meal preparation and the final house cleaning. The meal was good and the company was fun. The Daughter was a great help with the clean-up.

Friday is normally our day to go to the Christmas tree farm with friends, but they had to reschedule this year. Instead, I did a little weaving and a little spinning. The Daughter and I went to the movies in the afternoon and saw Burlesque. Loved it!! But then, I do love Christina Aguilera, Cher, and musicals...

Saturday was another laid-back day. More weaving and spinning, and not much else. Here's what the wrap looks like so far:

Red Marine Silk wrap, in progress

Sunday was the postponed Christmas tree farm trip. Our hosts asked me to bring a side dish to go with lasagna, so I made a baked spinach frittata. I also took a cream cheese spread with our favorite crackers from Whole Foods. It was a clear day, but very cold. We had a great time!

Crest Ranch sky

When we returned, I helped the Daughter rearrange her room and move a few things out to give her more space. Our little house is rapidly running out of room, so a purge is in order soon. Maybe after Christmas when I have a few days off...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

random Wednesday...

...I almost did a "Hold, please" post instead.
  1. Haven't taken any pictures in a few days...sorry!
  2. The Daughter is now officially moved to the West coast and is living with us until she figures out her next steps.
  3. In the midst of all the holiday madness, I got a flat tire that could not be repaired. So yesterday morning I spent an hour and a half at the dealership getting my tires replaced and having the other 3 tires checked. 
  4. Managed to get the last Thanksgiving grocery run done this morning before coming into work. My timing was good because by the time I was loading my car, the parking lot was filling up. Yes!
  5. Baked my pies last night and pre-baked the yams. That's all I  managed to do before curling up on the couch and watching Dancing with the Stars.
  6. Specking of which, very happy that Jennifer Grey won!
  7. Haven't touched my knitting, spinning or weaving since's all put away for now.
I have no idea if I'll have time to post again until the weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eye Candy Friday...

...from the garden again!  (I know. I just can't get it together with my crafts. Sigh)

The Husband decided we needed some fall color, so he bought some cyclamen.


Fuschia Cyclamen

These are in the cobalt planters in our atrium (AKA courtyard). It's been threatening to rain since early morning, so the light wasn't great when I took the pictures.

In a different eye candy vein, I ordered some yarn from Blur Moon Fiber Arts last week to take advantage of my sock club coupon. I bought this yarn for it's name: Raspberry Moose!

Raspberry Moose Socks That Rock yarn

It's more moose than raspberry, though. Oh, well!

I bought this Marine Silk to weave a wrap for myself, in True Blood Red.

True Blood Marine Silk yarn

I knew the color would be different than on the web page because that image is a different fiber, but I was quite surprised that this was more on the pink side than red. It's still pretty and one of my colors, just not what I was expecting.

Up this weekend: A big housecleaning push! With company coming on Wednesday and my working Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I need to get the majority done this weekend. I need to buy the turkey, do my initial grocery run for staples and frozen stuff, and make my cranberry sauce. I can get the Daughter to help when she arrives on Monday, but I may just have her do some of the perishables shopping so I can concentrate on prepping the food. We'll see what works out best...

Crafting might be on hold until after the holiday. I'll be happy if I can get a few minutes of spinning done or if I can warp my loom with the Marine Silk!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WIP-it Wednesday, with an F.O. thrown in... promised, pictures of the yarn I finished spinning over the weekend.

This is Swamp:

Swamp yarn

and a close-up:

Swamp yarn, close up

Started 11/7/10
Finished 11/13/10
Merino-Bamboo top (4oz) from Fiber Fiend
Spun and Navajo-plied on Lendrum DT Folding Wheel
171.2 yards, 12 WPI

I still haven't gotten very far with my sock knitting. I'm carrying them around with me so they are not "out of sight, out of mind," but I'm just not working on them!

I made some progress on the Turquoise Trails needlepoint last night. It's very pretty, but I'm getting a little tired of straight stitching with the equivalent of pearl cotton 12 that is used to fill some sections.

I pretty resigned to the fact that if I finish anything else this month it will be spinning and not needlepoint, knitting, or weaving. I don't know...maybe the time change did me in!

Monday, November 15, 2010

random Monday...

...because this day has completely escaped me!
  1. Never schedule your car's routine maintenance for Monday morning at 8:30am. Between the parents dropping their kids off at school and people who have forgotten how to drive over the weekend, it will take you longer to get to the car dealership than it will take them to do your oil change. Ask me how I know...
  2. Take pictures when you think of it over the weekend, because you might have done #1 above and ran out of time to take them before you left home. (Sorry, no pictures!)
  3. Thanksgiving is next week, people!
  4. Visited the brand new mega-Safeway over the weekend, along with 50 thousand other people (there's another "never" for you). This puppy is huge! They have a much larger produce section and a large prepared food/cheese section than any other Safeway I've been to. But, their selections in the meat area are still limited to the same stuff and the beef is expensive.
  5. Finished spinning my Swamp Merino-Bamboo yarn. Pictures on Wednesday.
  6. Found a little more floor in my craft room!
  7. Washed the sheets and tidied the Daughter's room a bit.
  8. Narrowed down the new cookie recipes to 10 possibles. Need to scan and OCR them, which will make me read them in more detail. Then I can decide which ones to make.
  9. Note to self: use the convection feature for cookies, not for pumpkin bread....the bread rises too much in the center and doesn't bake all the way through. Had to discard part of a pumpkin bread loaf because it was not done; the rest of it was perfect.
  10. Has anyone seen my sock knitting mojo? It's run away again...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Eye Candy Friday from the garden again...

...brought to you by the letter P.

Pomegranates, 2010

Pomegranates almost ready

Purple Salvia...

Purple Salvia, close up

and Icelandic Poppy.

Gold Icelandic Poppy, open

Gold Icelandic Poppy, close up

Up this weekend: Spin In!! Yay! After having to miss Craft Night this week, I really need to spend some time with like-minded people. I love the Husband, but there's only so much crafty talk he can handle! (I feel the same way about web programming, so it all works out...)

I want to spend a little time going through magazines and firm up my menu for Thanksgiving. We're hosting the Husband's parents again and we hope that some other family members might join us for dinner or dessert.  I'm not sure whether the Daughter will be able to be with use for dinner as her father will be in town. We'll get her for at least part of the day, though!

The daughter's room is in good shape. There are a couple small things to do, like wash the sheets, but it's as ready as it can be at this point. I need to move on to my craft room because it's a disaster! That will be a huge project...maybe I'll knit instead. (LOL!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WIP-It Wednesday again... promised, here is the latest spinning:

Swamp, bobbin #1

I am well into bobbin #2. My goal is to finish spinning the singles by Saturday so I can ply at Spin-In. Guess I need to go stash diving to find the next fiber to spin!

My last installment of the Loopy Ewe Sock Club arrived on Monday. It's very pretty (see it behind the spoiler picture).

Spoiler--Loopy Ewe Sock Club

I'm sad because this is the last club installment for the year. To get into this club, you go into a lottery and hope that your number is picked. Once picked, you get one year with an option to renew for a second year. After that, you go back into the lottery. I was very lucky to get in on my first attempt. I don't think my luck will hold for next year. While I love the Blue Moon Fiber Arts sock club, the Loopy Ewe Sock Club extras are the best...definitely my favorite sock club! I can only hope that I get in again next year!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Make-up Monday... in making up for the camera-fail on Friday.

We have very few things blooming right now...a very confused plum tree and a few flowers. These are some Icelandic poppies in our window boxes:

Orange Icelandic poppy

Gold Icelandic poppy

Poppy in the morning sun

There are still a few chile peppers that are not quite ready, like this Trinidad Scorpion chile:

Trinidad Scorpion Chile

You have to wonder about anything with "scorpion" in its name...

The weekend report: I got a lot further on the Daughter's room than I intended, mostly because my brother is coming to stay with us for a night and I thought it might be nice if he could use the bed! There's still more work to be done, but I think I've done as much as I can until she gets home and decides how to organize her closet, etc.

In between chores, errands, and mailing my package, I spun a little of this:

Swamp Merino Bamboo top

I bought this at Stitches West 2010 from Fiber Fiend. It surfaced when I was putting stuff away in my craft room. When I couldn't decide which craft to work on, I remembered it and decided to spin it up. I've spun about half of it so far and really like the way it's working up. I'll post a WIP picture on Wednesday so you can see. This is destined to be a 3-ply that I will use as a weft for some TBD weaving project.

About the only other thing I did on the weekend was finish Indulgence in Death by JD Robb. It's her newest book and I really enjoyed it. I'm about 75% into Skein of the Crime by Maggie Sefton so I should finish that one up pretty soon. Guess I should read slower so they last longer. LOL!

Friday, November 05, 2010

camera fail on Eye Candy Friday picture...

...somehow the landscape feature (as in pictures of landscape) on my camera has gone wonky. The last few pictures I've taken have been very grainy. Now I haven't made any changes to the settings, so I don't know what's going on. I tired to take a picture of the morning sky and it looked terrible.

So instead you get another picture from our trip to Baltimore--another mosaic from the American Visionary Art Museum. This one is on the wall facing their little garden area.

Wall mosaic

Up this weekend: Continue to work on the Daughter's room and find new locations for my craft stuff.  (I  really need to start using up some of my stash so I don't have to store so much!) I have a package to mail out tomorrow from the postal station inside the Hallmark store. (And I might just have to look at some of their Holiday stuff...) Then there's the standard household stuff to do, and errands.

It might be a little hard to concentrate on chores and errands with the loom calling to me. I'm toying with a new project in my head and it wants to become reality.  I guess I better get it in before December rolls around and I have no time!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

October 2010 Recap...

... didn't finish a lot on the craft-front this month.  Oh, well...

  • 10/28 The Whale's Migratory Tale yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]
    BFL-Silk from Pro-Verbial Fiber club by A Verb for Keeping Warm;
    Yield: 418.75 yards, 2-ply;
    WPI: 18
  • Books:
    For a Few Demos More, Kim Harrison
    The Outlaw Demon Wails, Kim Harrison
    White Witch, Black Curse, Kim Harrison
    Black Magic Sanction, Kim Harrison
    Taken By Midnight, Lara Adrian
    Queene of Light, Jennifer Armintrout
    Child of Darkness, Jennifer Armintrout
    Veil of Shadows, Jennifer Armintrout

  • 10/23 The Whale's Migratory Tale yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Fiber: 75% BFL, 25% Tussah Silk, dyed with Indigo;
    Pro-Verbial Fiber club from A Verb for Keeping Warm;

Worked on:
  • Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  • Mochaberry Brambles (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • The Beets Go On (renamed, was My Heart Beets 4U) socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Turquoise Trail by Laura J Perin (needlepoint)

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Hexagon socks (knitting) [Ravelry
  • Jungle Songs quilt, pieced backing
  • Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning)  [Ravelry]
  • Tealing Groovy quilt
  • Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]

  1. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  2. Dogosaurus Rex sweater (knitting) [Ravelry}
  3. Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Stranded Hearts socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  6. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
  7. Wisteria Angora-Merino top from Tactile (spinning) [Ravelry]

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and I still haven't done a recap for October. Oops!

I've been working on two projects: the Mochaberry Bramble socks and Turquoise Trail. The socks don't look substantially different than the last picture I showed you, but the needlepoint does:

Turquoise Trail, as of 11/3/10

As I mentioned, I finished the Neon Rays sections (shiny, light blue). I was having trouble positioning some of the elements and decided to do some sections out of order. According to the pattern I'm not supposed to do the metallic rays (the circular medallions in the upper right and lower left) until step 11. Stitching these will help me determine when to stop stitching in the sections where the rays appear.

There is still a lot to do. Maybe I'll finish it this year, and maybe not given that December is cookie month!

I've been perusing the holiday magazines, checking out the cookie recipes to see if there are any new ones that catch my fancy. I'm seriously disappointed with Better Homes and Gardens publications this year. They are recycling cookie articles and recipes from last year, including the pictures, and duplicating the recipes in several of their current holiday publications. Why should I buy a magazine that has recycled content? I've been buying their Holiday Cookie issue every year since they first started publishing them (1980?) and I haven't seen this much recycling in all that time. [Sigh] It sort of takes the fun out of it!

I'll get that recap posted sometime soon...

Monday, November 01, 2010

Happy November...

...guess that means I need to do a recap post soon!

First off, let me put some more healing and calming vibes into the Universe for my friend Jane who is having surgery today. Everyone think good thoughts!

My weekend report: I spent a good deal of Saturday cleaning out the closet in the Daughter's room. I managed to find a home in my craft armoire for most of my aromatherapy and soap supplies. It was a good thing I went through it as all of my base oils had gone bad. It had been too long since I last made any scrubs and they were pretty bad. One plastic bottle split as I was moving it into a basket so that was a little mess to clean up.  A lot of my herbs that were in plastic bags were goners, too.  I'm not as concerned about the herbs in plastic containers because I use them as additives to my soap. They are more for the exfoliating properties than scent - I depend on the essential oils for that. Anyway, the things I haven't found new homes for are the labeling supplies and containers. They are a little bulky.

There were a lot of paper supplies and music CDs in her room that can be stored. I set aside 2 bankers boxes of that. I think eventually I will have to add another bookcase to my room so I can remove the magazines (knitting, quilting, cross stitch) from hers. I decided not to do a lot or rearranging until she moves home as she might have some ideas of how she wants the room rearranged. For now, it was important to make room in her closet so I can remount the closet pole for her to use.

I spent the rest of Saturday working on my neglected needlepoint project, Turquoise Trail. It took me 3 hours to get the Neon Rays Ribbon sections done...what a pain that was!

Sunday was shopping day, I went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients for lasagna, one last bag of candy, and cat food. I made a quick trip to Michael's to check out the Halloween stuff on sale and went to the quilt store to buy blades for my rotary cutter. (A little Christmas fabric might have jumped into my hands, too...LOL!)

I hadn't made lasagna in a while and I had forgotten how long that took to put together. I make a meat sauce from scratch so that takes some time. Also, I like to pre-cook the noodles halfway before assembling. This time I defrosted some frozen, chopped spinach and that took extra time to squeeze out the excess water before adding to the casserole. A lot of ricotta, some shredded mozzarella, provolone, asiago, jack, and cheddar cheese rounded out the lasagna. It turned out yummy!

I had purchased two small pumpkins a week ago and decided I wanted to carve at least one. So after I finished assembling the lasagna, I carved a pumpkin. Here's what greeted our trick-or-treaters last night:


Not a stellar pumpkin by any means (or picture for that matter), but at least I carved one, unlike the last *mumble* years! I found a flickering battery-powered light for 50% off at Michael's and put that inside instead of a candle.

I worked on the Mochaberry Brambles socks in between trick-or-treaters. I'm at a point with these socks where it was easy put them down and then pick them back up again without losing my place. A good choice when you are being interrupted by the doorbell!

Eye Candy Friday...

...and I'm looking forward to the weekend! This week we harvested plums from one of our trees: Corncockles have sprouted up all o...