Monday, March 31, 2008

Play Ball

No apologies for being somewhat missing in action, wedding season is spinning up and things are just far too busy on the work end of life.

  • busy
  • raining
  • raining
  • raining

Never a very good combination! Saturday was the first 'big' wedding in the upcoming wedding season of wall to wall brides and we had to meet at the studio at 9:15. I'm always awake quite early but for some inexplicable reason I slept until EIGHT THIRTY!!!! I could not believe it! After racing to feed the dogs and get dressed, I put makeup on in the car (I never do that) and got to the bride's hotel on time. All day long though I had that chasing my tail feeling, ack. I was so entirely off my game that I didn't bring along my knitting, NO knitting bride photos, what a major bummer is that? Geez. While I did manage to sneak in a run through Starbucks for a peppermint mocha (ah....) there was no real food until 10 that night. Wedding cake doesn't count, does it? Knit group was yesterday----- thanks girls, it was divine. Knitting, politics, laughter, more knitting and chai gelato, who could ask for more???

Those very familiar socks in the pic at the top of the blog ARE the Twilight 2 at a Time socks in progress. The very socks I shall still be working on when I am in The Home For Wayward Knitters. No doubt about it, and it is okay. I think that another couple of inches and I'll be ready to turn the heel. Woo Hoo. I don't hate the process anymore, but I don't look forward to it, still don't pick them up and pop off a few rows like I do when I have socks on the trusty dpn's. It's better, but not brilliant!!!! News at 11.

Today is opening day for Cardinals Baseball so spring is here, no matter what the weather says! And the weather says it is gray, slightly chilly, damp with thunderstorms in the forecast. Ack. Play ball!

I had to go in search of spring this past weekend as a matter of fact. Well, except for the yard which more than amazingly needs to be mowed. I'll be hauling out my green little push mower sooner than later. Most joyously, I did find signs that spring WILL arrive, even late! My peonies are pushing through the ground, their pink shoots growing a bit more each day---- and I can't wait, I adore peonies!

And who could ever have imagined that as horrible as the winter was, all 30+ inches of snow we had, that the parsley would volunteer to come up again! Lovely!!!

And of course the chives are off to an early start------- very soon they will be calling me to create one of the very best tastes of early spring, a fresh omelet of asparagus and chives with maybe a sprinkle of fontina cheese.

Ahhhhhhhhh, ending up with a peek of green and the promise of spring! I feel better already!

Now to lace up my shoes and get back out the door before the storms come..........

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Knit This

I couldn't sleep last night. I'd sat knitting for a couple hours very happily working on "Twilight", my 2 at a Time Socks project. Nevermind that at my current rate of speed I'm going to have these socks done in time for winter (of '09)---- it is okey dokey. I just have a few too many irons in the fire at the moment!

In a fit of spring organization (I don't know why as it is raining and cold again) it was necessary to haul tubs from the basement that were filled with spring clothes and change out the winter clothes. It is sort of like my recent computer Seussing project but actually more enjoyable). Regrettably, in the course of things, and because I am a horrible klutz, I jammed my right hand and knitting is for the moment not a very doable activity. Crap on Toast indeed! Because knitting was not a happening thing, nor was sleep I sat in front of my computer. Where else to go but Second Life? (And for all of you who haven't explored it, I can't tell you enough what a kick it is!)That is me in my Rhonda McCullough persona, sitting on the bench and knitting away.

Look what I found!! A groove little knit kiosk in SL called KNIT THIS. You can just search it and it'll pop right up for you in the SL mode. You can transport right over. I was captivated by the knitting needles that actually WORK---- along with some other offerings like cute little knitting bags, bowls of yarn and needles, etc. Too cute!

It is raining again here which means the trip home from the studio will be a damp one. Ack. With luck my hand will heal quickly and I'll be back in the groove. It is amazing how slow and silly you are operating in the solo mode.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Random Monday

Okay, on with Bari's request----- I love Bari's blog as much as I love her gorgeous lustable bags and because if nothing else I am dutiful--- I will honor her and give 7 random facts about me. Which as I told her is pretty funny because I am so blabbingly honest in the first place!

1. I hate my neck. I know, I know -- I always say that but any list of mine would not be complete without leading off the pack with that fact!

2. I do not like the flavor of raspberries OTHER than real raspberries. Like raspberry candy, or in a cocktail or something? Nasty.

3. I always try to participate in the Fab Shop Hop----- and have since day one. I never have time mind you, and since the group of quilt shops to be visited grows each year it does take lots of time! But it is mindless fun that I get really competitive with myself over. When I was 'in' the Hop, all those folks who emailed to ask where the bunny was drove me crazy. For the record, the Hop that is almost finished---- I found all those little suckers! (And spent a little money along the way!)

4. There are two crafty things that I seem unable to do. At ALL. I can't shuttle tat to save my life (I can needle tat, well the basics anyway) and I am the worlds worst crocheter. Both are like advanced mathematics, I have a brain jam against them.

5. My favorite color is red. Pink comes in close but only because it is the summer version of red.

6. If I had all the time in the world I would hand applique and knit lace more because I really enjoy it.

7. If I could buy just one thing (regardless of the cost or space required) for my beloved sewing room it would be a long arm quilting machine. Oh yeah. A knitting machine for the slodgy stockinette parts would be pretty great too!

Three more to tag says the Queen of Purses----- so, spill it Pam, Melissa, and Jen.

Oh, one last thing. The lovely photo above? Of the daffodils in the park? The park actually doesn't look like that at all. The pic was taken last year, 2 weeks earlier actually! It just goes to show you how late spring is making an appearance this year. As they say hope 'springs' eternal, I am clinging to the fact that spring WILL come.

Just not fast enough!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

So, the deal is that for a couple of days I've just been lower than low----- lower than the slowest pig to the trough! (Sorry, rather ancient Texas saying) Feeling tired, cold, full of gray and rainy and as if that isn't bad enough, today is Easter and for the first time in my adult life I have no plans. None. The heck with even a small Easter something, try nothing!!!! I even have to work for a few hours, when an excellent client calls for photos of her children and family at first communion, well you make it happen and I know she will appreciate it. And it SNOWED this morning! Snow for pete's sake! I'm well and truly over the snow, never mind that it should be against the law for one single snowflake to fall on Easter!

I didn't work a bit yesterday, well at least on anything that brings in the bacon. Instead armed with my iPod I decided to roll up my sleeves and put the fix on the upstairs bath. Remember the squirrel that ate the whatever around the doohickey on the roof and made the roof leak? Yes, that. The goop and tape had been troweled on and had fully dried and I couldn't put it off any longer, I tried, really I did. And the leak had left a nasty bit on the ceiling in there as well. Trudging up and down the ladder a booboozillion times the patch was sanded as smooth as possible. That was followed by the vacuuming because the mess was pretty bad and I didn't want it to spread. Lastly the paint------ done and done. I must say, it looks pretty darned good! I'll have to re-do a few of the fleur d'lis stamps in there but for the most part that is done. As far as the ceiling goes I just think that somebody has to smack me upside the head. Hard! I hate to paint the ceiling, hate it hate it hate it! I refuse to paint the ceiling, always have. So to cover the leaky part and not wanting the body breaking paint job, I decided to WALLPAPER the ceiling. Right, wallpaper. Surely that is far easier, a much finer solution that to paint!! Remember--- a 100 year old house so a paper that looks like vintage tin seemed a good idea. I am chock full of good ideas apparently! I had done the same treatment in the downstairs bathroom in 'strips', the same as papering a room. It was dreadful, so I decided to cut the recent paper job into pieces that would emulate the 4x4 tile squares of real tin. It was a HORRIBLE thing, just the worst. Hard to maneuver the ladder in the bath/shower area, and it is a ceiling for heaven's sake! HELLO!!!!!! You would think that the squares would be the same from all angles but this was not to be true. It turned into a production to get the drippy squares of wallpaper turned (and turned) so that they were all going the right way. If I were wallpapering the floor it would have been a walk in the park! My arms ache, my shoulders ache, my neck is killing me and I'm cranky. Ack.

The upside of course is that the bathroom is done! And I got caught up on a few podcasts and was able to listen to some of my tried and true hard at work faves from the music side. The other good thing is of course that the bathroom had to be cleaned (and more than a lick and a promise) after the job, so it sparkles. I'm thinking of making it a museum now complete with velvet ropes to discourage entry.

What is always on my iPod to listen to when I feel low? Vintage Johnny Rodriguez and not the happy "Love Put a Song in My Heart" stuff either, nooooooooooooooo------ "Faded Love", "It's Over", the tearjerker stuff! Or Vern Gosdin, honey there is nothin' like "Is it Raining at Your House?" Along with some really old school country. Twangy stuff. I think it harkens back to the day when I lived in Del Rio Texas and nothing put a smile on like a Friday night at the local honky tonk, drinking beer out of a Mason jar and two stepping around the dance floor. The days my friends, the days! Don't ask me why but it has to stay on the iPod, just because. What other music is a staple? Michael Buble, Daughtry, Van Morrison, and Nicole Mullen.

What music always 'does it for you'? Do you have constant friends that play during sad/happy/blue/crazy/sweet times of your life? Is there a tried and true playlist that is the soundtrack to your life?

Tomorrow, I'll post my Seven Random Facts as instructed by Bari---- until then, Happy Easter!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Kauai Quilt

Well look what I found! In another spurt of procrastination (not for taxes but for work) I found this little quilt in a box in the basement! Go figure! With the rising water in St. Louis (and my basement) I ventured down to make sure all boxes were out of harms way, and found a small one that didn't look familiar. The quilt above was hiding in there!

I've always adored Kauai and it has always felt like the home of my heart. My last trip was 3 years ago, to Princeville--------- ahhhhhhhhhhhh. This quilt predates that trip and was made when I was living in Honolulu. I'm not sure I like the wavy, watery border much anymore but I haven't lived with it long enough. The quilt face itself is embellished with all sorts of stitches, beads, and ribbons, lots of texture.

It does need a good pressing, but I thought I would share it with you.

What cool objects are hiding in your house?????

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tolle to Presley

Anyone else reading Tolle's " A New Earth"? I'm dutifully reading, highlighting and flagging. I want my novel to be picked up by Oprah's bookclub what can I say.

A great read, although I think a bit hard to sink into in spots. Intriguing.

My final comment is that if I EVER start to look like Priscilla Presley with the way too dark hair and those scary eyebrows and kabuki white skin, please stop me. Schedule a very firm intervention. Please. I'm so happy that on Dancing With the Stars she was not as frightening as she usually looks.

The sun is shining on the first day of spring with a high of 62! Spring might be on the way after all! Work calls and a long day it is. It will not be like wrangling the bride in the current issue of Vogue that I just blogged about on the business side---- a 10 page spread featuring a jet set bride marrying in a 200K dress in Cartagena. Quite the destination wedding, quite. There are moments I do enjoy a life that is quite a bit simpler, you know what they say, the bigger the wedding the more problematic the bride!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When an Ark Seems to be the Solution

The story? The story begins? Well if a story begins here at home today it begins wet and soggy. So wet as a matter of fact that an ark does sound like an incredibly good idea! Yes, that is exactly what I feel like-------- sure, there is not enough materials to build a suitable ark and I sure can't knit one fast enough with my recent knit-slodgeliness!!! Then that whole knit ark think would require quite a bit of pitch or something to make it float and not take on water after all. I will readily admit to not having enough technical or architectural savvy to take on a project of that magnitude.

It has been raining for days, DAYS! I am sick to pieces of it and as we all know (and shall not further mention) the winter thing was beginning to run me around the bend-----I still have a bit of Hawaiian sand in my shoes and this past season was horribly rude. There are towns to the south being evacuated for pete's sake, which I say to mean that there are a lot more serious things than my whining about my basement flooding and the lake in the backyard!!! But they ARE, and I'm really not very happy about it.

During lunch instead of eating (which was on my mind in a big way) I grabbed a salad and got a quilt/wallhanging backed and batted, pinned and pressed--- ready to be machine quilted. I've been chipping away at it and when the bunnies on the revolving seasonal entry wall come down next week I'd sure like to have a quilt to replace them, something new and fresh. It is a warm and a bit quirky-happy quilt, and makes me smile. We like that!

So when I pushed back from the computer yesterday and work was done and dinner was made (okay, leftovers from lunch if you must know) I forced myself (did you hear that??? FORCED myself!!!) to sit and work on my '2 at a Time's'. I have to say, it all went very well and it was quite nice to sit and knit for a bit. I even spent some time questioning myself just why I had so stubbornly stayed away from knitting in the first place? Knitting socks in this fashion is not a technique from the pit of hell after all, it is just different and requiring new habits. Let's not be a stick in the mud old girl! So knit I did and Tuesday evening is Guilty Pleasure Night after all!! Good old fashioned butt sittin' knittin'----starting with American Idol and moving into Real Housewives of New York City. Yeah---- thanks a lot television writers! Because of you I am now quite hopelessly addicted to crap on tv. With some knitting accomplished, at least it was a rather productive evening. "Twilight" has another inch and a half or so on the leg, I felt bad about the speed of the socks until I did remember that when these babies come off the needle at the toe, there will be a pair. Deux! I have to admit that is quite the feature! Thanks to dearest Melissa who has kindly not been nagging me or making me feel like a snarky old frumpus about my recent sock reticence. She's very wise that woman!!!

No big whoop, but on they march---- and perhaps (said in a whisper so as not to tempt the knitting gods) the knitting stalemate is broken! They actually are longer than they look, must be the camera angle.

All I have to say is that thank heavens there is knitting and quilting to talk about or I'd feel compelled to launch into my views on American Idol this season. Ack.

(Go David---- and I don't mean David the child either)

Not that I'm talking about Idol or anything...........

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day--Totebag---- and SL

I feel like I'm gasping for air on this St. Patrick's Day-----

  • taxes are finally done (all but the paying of course)
  • things on the home front have been attended to (like it or not)
  • No knitting whatsoever has taken place
  • National Quilting Day was celebrated in RL and SL
  • The adorable bag has been finished
  • Still no pics of the new haircut
  • Not much spring in the air
So much for the short list!

After the taxes were organized, compiled and we met with our accountant (who is great) I did promise (again) to use a computer program of some sort that might get things better organized. I promised and have already decided to break the promise. It's like childbirth, you forget the pain relatively quickly after the main event and get back to other things.

Around the house the leak on the roof was repaired----- but what was left behind was the damage to the ceiling and wall in the bathroom. If it were not MY bathroom I could much more easily ignore it, but alas, it was mine. The full allocation of down time has been spent scraping, sanding, taping, and gooping the area. It still needs a final sanding and then repainting. I'm telling you, my next house will not be such an old lady that needs constant maintenance and upkeep. I myself should the the only one that requires such attention!

As I moaned to my knit group yesterday afternoon, I have not knit a stitch in way too long. I don't know if I'm just in a rut or if I need to just give up and say that I am not going to be a two at a time sock knitter, give up on the tangled balls of yarn and the endless futzing, and go back to what has always brought me pleasure. The joy (for me) is just kinda' gone and I really hate that. Ack. I have to say that I did love being at knit group as always, RMS provided fresh motivation indeed. She is one of those wonderfully prolific knitters who always has such enthusiasm for our 'sport'. R is knitting a fabulous sweater from the Summer 2007 Knitter's and I found a little square neck top in the mag that is SO cute! Maybe that will break the spell. We met at a new venue, just a few blocks from the coffee shop where we were too frequently run out by music, we tried a gelateria and coffee shop. Delightful to be sure! How can you not enjoy hanging out and nibbling on a Tres Leches Gelato?

Because I have already admitted that not one stitch of knitting has happened, at knit group I brought along my bag in progress and put the final handwork touches on it. Because somehow I believe that a bag has to stand up by itself and be constructed within an inch of its life the inside side seams as well as the bag bottom seams had to be finished using coordinating bias strips of fabric. The front and back of the bag were machine stippled as one piece with the pocket attached later. Because it was "lining-less" covering up the raw seams was the only choice. Despite Yoel's thought that the inside was the outside, I had chosen to make the outside of the bag "smooth". It is done and quite fabulous and will go to live with my daughter, a gift for her birthday. I was clocking time in this bag to see if it were Etsy-able and have to tell you, it would not!

Inside pocket---- I couldn't stitch it on because the front and lining were quilted together. The pocket was 'fused' on with heavy duty web and then hand whipped for security.

The exposed seams, covered with coordinating print, covers the mess but also looks really cute.

Cute bamboo handles!

And finally, the other side. Both "front's" are different, yet coordinates. The size is about 12" high and 18" wide, not including the handles.

National Quilting Day was on Saturday, I was at work wrangling brides but considered the machine stippling of the patchwork bag as quilting and I did get into the sewing room for a bit. And I managed to pop into a couple of quilt group meetings in SL (Second Life). Is anyone else a SL'er? We need to get a knit group together over there. For those of you that are unaware, SL is the amazing computer generated place where you "live", shop, and wander around places that are incredibly lifelike, populated by people from all over the world. You can sign up for free---- but fair warning, Second Life is quite addictive! The Photos below are from the SL quilter's get together and from Pat Sloan who has been SL'ing for over a year! I'm still pretty new---- but have learned how to get around, how to change my avatar, and am constantly amazed at everything that is out there, from Oahu to Jerusalem!

That is the morning group----- I'm in the jeans and red hair. Pat (aka SL Paisley) gave us the cute quilt themed tote bags! She asked that we all wear green------ I found a big green St. Pat's Day Party Hat while out shopping but didn't wear it (way too silly) and was glad I carried it as Paisley was so gloriously fancy!

That's 'me' on the far right with the schmancy stockings. I 'changed' for the evening meeting. We are standing in Pat Sloan's studio in Aurifil Land.

If you SL----- let me know your name so we can meet! Because you choose your first name (and my top zillion choices were taken) and get a choice of last names your name can be quite fun! I'm Rhonda McCullough. Which of course, on a day like today I must say it is a FINE Irish name! ;)

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all------ around the world! We're all Irish on this day!! I didn't plan ahead to make corned beef and cabbage so I'll be trying to run in between the rain drops today and dodge the crowds along the parade route to find a nice warming plate of my favorite fare.

A Guiness? Of course!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Taxes in the Sprit of Things

Well in the true spirit of things I will confess that I really am not all that fond of taxes, the paying them or most especially the doing of them. Even when (thank heavens) there is a tax professional that is responsible for the 'doing' part, the collecting and collating and organizing and all that is quite hefty. Small business, gotta love it. It also brings about year THREE (ack) of the promise to myself that I will invest in Quick Books instead of the folder for each month neatly broken down into categories and added into totals. It works, but my accountant always looks at me like I have a rotary dial phone at home or something. Which of course I do not. I don't have a phone at home, just my cell which I can ignore much more easily--- I hate phones.

So taxes are taxing and they are what they are. They will all get together and I can move on to something else. Which for those of you doing the Ekhart Tolle book is a very bad statement which means I am not enjoying the now and want to move to something else. Which I do.

Such the conundrum.

Check this out------ I was sitting in the sewing room last night in a last ditch effort not to be working on the taxes and going through the pile of UFO's that are fabric related. I pulled out this old wallhanging top, maybe 4 years old or so? I loved the panel at the time and for some reason put it together with a rather blah lineny fabric. Which I hated then and hate now and more than likely why it is folded in the back of a drawer. Upon rediscovering it, I still like the panel very much---- they do have their place after all! Digging out some black marble fabric from the stash I think I will rip off the nasty linen and re-sash with the black Moda.

Right after I finish the taxes.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Life seems to be busy, and I really couldn't tell you when it happened, but it did. Sunday was spent in meetings with brides that came up at the last minute and I didn't even make it to knit group. I hate that!!!

I have been trying to land in one place long enough to accomplish anything, what I really need to do right now is accomplish something with the vacuum cleaner!

I'm in the middle of a spring bag---- and love it so far. It is in progress, the front and back are ready to be machine stippled a bit-------

Isn't it great? I'm dying to finish it, perhaps it will spur on the arrival of spring! I know that it is rather hard to see what it will look like in its' final form! Laying there all flat on the table pinned to backing and batting it really isn't much to see. Yet!

Hair cut? Oh yeah! I finally lost my too long locks and traded them in for my more standard short and somewhat textured look. I feel like me again. Think Lisa Rinna, older and not quite so fashionably svelte. Oh, and without Harry Hamlin either! Pics to follow.

On the way home on Saturday I absolutely had to wander into Hobby Lobby, don't ask me why. I can go into HL with nothing on my agenda and wander out with a full cart and a sore checkbook. Recent damage was a very sweet plaque that hangs in my hallway above the bookcase............ blessings. It struck a chord and does in fact seem like it is the rallying cry for life of late. It is a handy reminder that life is short and despite whatever feelings I might have at a particular moment, I am blessed indeed. Well and truly blessed.

I wish you all blessings as well! More than you can count and so wonderful your breath is taken away.... on top of wonderful health, and lots of love of course!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Forcing Cheer

Cheerfulness is a highly underrated personality trait, and sometimes a bit of forcing, or 'faking till you make it' seems in order. Today is one of those days I guess. Around the land of blogs and life in realtime the talk certainly is that this long and grim winter (unless you are lucky Lisa who lives in Paradise. (sigh) Yes it is boogerin' cold, and I'm sick to bits of winter but spring is not far behind, it just can't be.

I've ordered some new spring clothers, a couple pair of cute little pedal pushers, some simple and cute tops, and even a jacket that will be tres chic while bride wrangling. Let us not forget those great leopard shoes that I have not been able to wear because of the piles of slush and muck.

Then, consider that the clocks spring ahead tonight. Nothing says spring is almost here like missing an hour of sleep! That bump of the head on the pew in front of you as you doze off surely means that spring is on our doorstep!

I have had an enforced news moratorium the past couple of days and that always perks me a bit. Instead I've found a new and curious addiction, "Second Life". I'm currently lazing my computer generated self in a cushy chair on a beach in Hawaii. I should be knitting! I think in the past day I've knit a mind boggling row on my "Twilight" 2 at a Time Socks......... I just can't settle in to the art of the knit. OR the quilt if the truth be told.

And to my joy, I went through the boxes of patterns in my sewing room and did come upon my favorite pattern for pants. These were called palazzo's in the day and currently they seem to just fall into the 'wide leg' category. So flattering they are! I am in the process of finding just the right fabric to make a couple of pairs. The problem with that is that the really good fabric stores have disappeared leaving in their wakes stores that sell more crap than fabric and the fabric they do have is novelty fabric or that of poor quality.

The palazzo pants/wide leg pants and their flatterability is most important because if the truth be told I've not been walking this winter, not gone to the gym enough and I am suffering from a dreadful weight creep.

Enter a new Pilates chair and promises to turn the tide.

And dangitall, I'm going to be cheerful about it!!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I Need a WayBack Machine!

Oh Mr. Peabody------------ turn on the wayback machine! I am not entirely sure when I want you to set the dial to, that remains the only problem. I'd ask Sherman, but we all know that boy only gets us into trouble!

Why the wayback machine? I'm weary today I guess. Sad and weary. At a local Starbucks in a neighboring town two average looking white late teens came in for a latte. Happens everyday. Except the boychild decided to steal the tip jar. The TIP JAR for pete's sake! When a man, a well respected member of the community tried to do the right thing and pursue the kids, they ran him over in their car and killed him. I do not believe for one moment that when he woke up he thought that would be the last time he saw his home, his friends, his family. That he would die for doing the right thing. I also don't believe that the kids thought past coffee. Why in the world would you be motivated to steal a tip jar (they got less than five dollars) and then KILL someone?
Two suspects in a Starbucks robbery, which resulted in the death of a Good Samaritan, are in police custody.

From the local news affiliate:

Crestwood police said the suspects are from an Atlanta suburb and have been staying at hotels in the St. Louis area. Officers arrested them in St. Louis.

Prosecutors have not filed any charges in the case.

Officers released surveillance video of the supsects earlier in the week hoping the public could help them track down the suspects.

Police said a woman walked into a Starbucks store on Watson Road and bought coffee Monday. After she walked out, the man she was with, stole the tip jar and ran out of the store.

Roger Kreutz, a customer at the store, ran after the man. The male suspect hit Kreutz with the getaway car. Kreutz died Wednesday from his injuries.

Police said the manager of the store believed there was only about $5 in the tip jar.

So you see.............. I'm weary of so much of this sadness, so much of this blatant disregard for life.

We need cookies, we need milk. We need hugs and handmade goodness. I agree with Eckhart Tolle, we ARE all collectively part of the entire human condition, certainly we can turn around this mess. It is all about the love, certainly the love can cure us?

Can't it Mr. Peabody?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It snowed and then some

10 inches, although I can tell you from the snow that sneaked in down my boots that it either snowed more than that, or the wind blew drifts that were fierce. (Fierce..... my vocabulary homage to Project Runway!) Regardless----- it snowed. It was at times (like in the photo above) almost a whiteout. Can this be Missouri? Why, yes it can. The little nook in the photo is on the second floor and the most wonderful place to sit and watch the world go by.

Check out the size of those snowflakes! Notice the steps on the house across the street---- they are almost buried and the considerable slope of the yard seems flat.

That is sweet little girl dog Hana in the back yard---- poor thing. What is a dog to do when they have to potty???? I had to shovel a space in the yard for such necessary business!

As promised, photos from my painting adventure. The living room was the object of my efforts, the above photo is BEFORE. Sort of a very very pale celery green. This was the last room to be re-painted, and I've always wanted to give it a bit of a facelift but wasn't sure quite what would make this room sing out and say welcome.

Still BEFORE. Not bad, certainly a great room----- but just pretty blah.

Ta Da------ the after. With Hana on the couch of course. The color is "Fudge Bar" from Behr.

I have to say that I LOVE it!! Very warm, very cozy and the furniture as well as the photos and quilt are enhanced as well. The ceiling molding is a mid green, you'd almost call it avocado but that word is not very trendy! I left that molding green and it looks wonderful.

After digging out for an hour and a half late yesterday afternoon I'm actually good to head out to the studio. It's a full day including rescheduled tasks, that of course means that not a lot of knitting, reading or quilting will happen.

More snow on the way Friday. Whoopie!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fab New Bag

The Bernina is home and with it came a burst of creative energy. (Some actualized and some in the planning stages). You might remember that the bag itself was in the works when the sewing machine gave up and started doing that whole bobbin tension loopy bit thing. Ack. So when the machine came back from its' extended stay at the shop I was sort of afraid to work on the bag again. Remember----- heavy Timtex construction, the bottom itself has two layers plus the adjoining layer. With some trepidation, I dove in. I did remove a seam allowance worth of the Timtex in the remaining parts of the bag. So---- it is done, right down to the black leather handles! Firm---- lightweight---- pretty great looking I think!

I did listen to your comments and used the previously auditioned Japanese print, the contrast band is the French handwriting. An interesting juxtaposition, make it fresher I think.

There she is again---- just because I really like looking at it!

The side profile is not too chunky, and the bag sits nice and tall---- I wanted the contruction to be 'tight'--- no slouching. I have a tote in progress that is very softly constructed, slumping and slouching to be expected and perfectly okay!

I'm so pleased that I can indeed put a whole sweater in the body of the bag without having to scrunch it up too much! That is Cable Luxe in there, the back, the front and one sleeve (minus an inch)............ plus two balls of yarn and a little zippy bag with the necessaries d'knit.

Painting is done--- yay! I have a couple little spots to touch up, you know what happens when you put a rich deeper color over a very light shade. Then I'll rehang prints and the quilt that are in this room. So far I just love it, very warm and cozy! I did take some photos of before so later I can show and tell the before and after.

Moving on we have "Twilight" from Two at a Time Socks. Melissa---- as always your encouragement (and whip cracking???) keep me at it.

Woo Hoo--- about an inch on the socks past the ribbing. It seems so much slower, but I do have to stop to remember that TWO socks are in progress instead of a solo.

I'm knitting. A bit sporadically (remember, painting happened yesterday!) and trying to give this whole two at a time thing a fair shot. So far so good.

The near 80 degree temps are a dim memory as I look out the window and watch it snow. and snow some more. Weather pundits are calling for 6-8. I hope they are miserable liars. I have now entered the old lady zone where life remembers the past. Did I really call Hawaii come? Was it lovely almost every day with never a whisper of snow and ice and cold? Could Orlando weather have been as wonderful this time of year as I remember?

Hope your weather is far more wonderful and your day is productive, happy and completely fab!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Antique Quilt---- Knit Bozo

The studio where I toil (and toil) away is located upstairs of a wonderful emporium of all manner of things antique. It's wonderful eye candy and a source of great temptation. On my last trip into work, I parked the car and walked in front of the antiques store and what did I see in the window? New and quietly tucked underneath a big old wrought iron bird cage filled with flowers? A quilt! I'm a sucker for antique quilts and so of course I had to go in. On closer inspection the quilt was full sized, and in remarkably good condition showing really marginal signs of wear. The colors held pretty true, the stitching was only broken in a tiny few places, and there were no holes or rips and tears. The batting, once cotton, had gotten quite thin--- but it was beautiful. I'm sort of in a blue period (colorwise) and this simple square in a square really appealed to me. When I asked the price the owner told me that she had just reduced it and that it was $25.00. How fast can you say sold? It came home with me that very moment!

So pretty! You can see the wide border of blue, the second border is the soft white.

The fabrics in the quilt are quite soft as well, a nice small scale plaid and a red, cream and blue print.

Prince, handsome boy dog that he is thought it was VERY nice of me to put a soft pretty new quilt on the loveseat that the dogs have claimed as theirs in the second floor 'lookout'. He immediately jumped up in such excitement! He is singing the Prince Dog song in the photo above--- if only you could hear!!!

His sister Hana promptly decided that she had to claim a spot on the new quilt as well. How lucky are these dogs? Comfy new digs! Woo Hoo!

Of course that prompted a bit of brother and sisterly sparring over the space---- turf wars as it was. In the shot above you can see Prince saying "excuse me, I believe this is MY space" and Hana is jumping off. Just so you know------ she always comes back and she always wins! They were both pretty miffed when I folded the quilt and hung it on the stair rail to be enjoyed.

It is official! I am a Knit Bozo. Knit group was yesterday and as always, the time was great. I'd spent the early afternoon outdoors (it was almost 80 here in an unseasonably warm burst of spring) doing a light cleanup of the yard. Leaves were blown out, a bit of raking, etc. The day was simply far too glorious to be inside! Not to miss knitting, I did wander over to the local coffee shop to catch up with the ladies. Bless the ever lovin' hearts of rms and Yoel---- they got my Two at a Time Socks straightened out. To sound like an old tv show, when last we saw the 2 at a time Socks, they had the ribbed cuffs knit on dpn's and placed onto that long cable in preparation for knitting. I did NOT get it, no way no how it made sense to me, I felt like the worlds biggest dork!!! To add into that, these kind knitters discovered that in my complete and extraordinary befuddlement I had knit a row on one of the socks backwards. Don't even ask how I did that because I have no idea. None. I carefully tinked back and rms kindly got my socks in the correct position. Off I went, thanks in FULL measure to rms and Yoel. I think I have done about 10 rows of the body of "Twilight".

So, here is the deal. I am just not sure that I will ever find pleasure in knitting both socks at once in the 2 at a Time (or Loop) method. I am not certain at all that it is faster for me, although to have two socks completed at the same time will certainly be wonderful. The ever tangling yarn makes me beyond crazy and there is all that sliding and fiddling of the cable to be able to make the knitting happen. Perhaps my biggest brain wrinkle was that I thought (wrongly assumed) that you knit a complete round on a sock before moving on to the other---- not that you knit one half of a sock, moved on to the other, turned that sock and finished the first. It just did not gel with me. Refer back to Knit Bozo.

Turning the heel has already made me very nervous. I can't feature how it will all pan out to save my life.

I'll plod ahead and offer thanks to help that will surely be needed along the way. I'm holding out final pronouncement of how the method will figure into my knitting practice until I'm done. That is after all, only fair. I do wonder, and hope--- that the knit community can embrace the different styles of knitting as what brings each individual pleasure, i.e. what makes a knitter happy as they complete a project in their style. Whether we choose looping, 2 at a Timing, 2 circs, or trusty dpn's........ whether we knit lace fripperies or find joy in cotton dishcloths----- it is after all, about the joy and peace we all find individually as we work the stitches one after another until the end result is a finished project. The work of our hands, done in our style.

Mama always said that everyone was different and that it takes a lot of folks to make the world go around.

The almost 80 degree spring teaser of yesterday promises to bring rapidly falling temps on this gray and rainy day. We'll finish the day with sleet and freezing rain, turning to heavy snow tomorrow. My Bernina is back and I'm finishing my incredibly wonderful big ole' bag and I'm going to paint the living room. Why not----- it may be the last snow days of this long winter. (PLEASE be the last snow days of this interminably long winter. Please.)