Sunday, August 2, 2015

Storms......................


It has been raining everyday for 26 days in a row.  And I mean raining with big storms, crashes of thunder, and big bolts of lightening.  


These photos are from a week ago on a Saturday morning at 9 AM.  That is right, 9 in the morning, but it looks like it is well into nighttime.  These could have been taken yesterday or even this morning, the weather has been like this for days and days.


Everyone is sick of the weather but me, I absolutely love it.  Now I am not thrilled about when I am popping in and out of houses where I work with bags full of toys, but when I can stay home and hangout with the thunder booming, and the rain falling, I am so happy.  I get so much more accomplished around the house, and I seem so less stressed.  I get more time to do things I like because I feel like I can't venture out in the rain with Little Buddy where we will both get completely soaked getting in and out of his car seat.  I live in the wrong area, I should live in the Pacific Northwest where it is rainy so much of the year.  I would be in Heaven.  

So sorry for all of you vacationing in Florida right now, you are not getting the best weather to see the beach or to go to theme parks.  Hang in there, this can't last forever, and remember your raincoats.


 I wanted to show you Little Buddy sitting in a treasure of mine.  This chair was in my Grandmother's farmhouse when she was growing up.  It was in my shared bedroom when I was little, with my Mother's old Shirley Temple doll sitting in it.  I  kept it safe when my older two were little, they were a little more destructive than this little one of mine, so I only let them sit in it with direct supervision, Little Buddy is a bit easier on things.


It is finally the perfect height for this sweet one.  He loves to sit in it and rock, "all by myself."  I have no idea how old this chair is, but it warms my heart to see this precious boy of mine sitting in this family heirloom.  He is a special part of my family, and now has a history with this chair, too.


A special thanks to Kathy B for sending Little Buddy some very fun photos this week.  He loved seeing all of them and thinks you are the best!  So do I!!!!

We have had two successes on the potty the last two evenings, keep your fingers crossed we are moving in the right direction.  He is very slow in the potty department, but we will get there.

Have a great week and enjoy your weather!
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Is thread yarn and a new toy..................

I am wondering if you consider crochet thread to be yarn?  I mean it can be used for making similar things but is it really the same?  Because if it is I have officially gone off my yarn buying ban in a big way.  I have not bought any yarn in seven and a half months, that is like a lifetime to me, and I would really like to stay on track with that.  Crochet thread is not something I have ever purchased and there is a big reason for all of this recent thread purchasing (there is a lot more of this hiding under my craft table).


Can you guess what it might be?


My dear friend Beth P contacted me a few weeks ago asking me if I would be interested in her Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom and Stand.  Beth's loom is a wonderful 32 inches wide, as opposed to my 20 inch wide, Ashford Knitter's Loom.  You see Beth talked to me in detail about my loom purchase a year ago before I bought it.  She told me not to buy a loom that was going to be too narrow.  I thought for sure that nothing I would ever want to make would be wider than 20 inches.  How wrong I was.  Very soon after I bought my loom, I realized my error.


Beth knew something that I didn't as a very novice weaver, that the width of a project is always narrower than the width of the loom, sort of like the Zick Zack Shawl in my last post.  My loom is great to make things like scarves and table runners, but not so great for a blanket, place-mats and wider projects like big shawls or even napkins.   Beth had not ever even used her loom and was offering it to me at a wonderful price.  I had to grab it when I had the opportunity.  I thought that even if I didn't use it anytime in the near future, I would have it when I actually had time to weave.  The loom arrived last weekend, and this week I put it together.  It is gorgeous.


Somebody else was very busy with his tools while I was assembling the loom and the stand.  I absolutely love the stand.  I do not have a stand for my Knitter's Loom, but I am thinking of saving my pennies to buy one.  It makes it so much more portable, and so much easier to weave in various places in and out of the house (well that is when the weather gets nicer).


  While I thought about saving this loom for a time when I actually had time to weave, like any new toy I had to get it all set up and ready to play with right away.


Now you can understand why I bought the thread.  I was thinking of  making thin, woven place-mats and had no idea about what to order online as far as weaving yarns that are sold on a cone.  So I decided to make a trip to Joann's with my 20% off coupon.  Not only did I get a LOT of thread at 20% off, most of it was in the clearance bins so I was able to get this all for a steal!  For that reason alone I am not considering it yarn, because it isn't adding to my yarn stash, I am just starting a thread stash!  I mean thread is thread, and yarn is really yarn.


I have no idea how these place-mats will turn out, I have a plan in my head but it could all go drastically wrong as this thread is acrylic and it is a bit slippery.  It is a learning experience and I am having fun so that is what really matters.  Beth also sold me a Boat Shuttle and a Bobbin Winder, I have no idea how to use these so I am using my plain old wooden shuttle sticks for now.  Wish me luck with my new toy much wider loom.


Oh, and somebody I know wants to blow you a big kiss, did you catch it?

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Zick Zack Photo Finish......................

Oh Zick Zack Scarf/Shawl by Christy Kamm, I am in love with you.  I wasn't a few hours ago but I am now.  You are going to be a wonderful gift for my friend Sue, whose husband passed away just three short weeks ago.  I can't wait to wrap you around her shoulders and tell her that you are now represent a hug from me to her.  



You are gorgeous and I think you know it, but like all of us it took some work for you to reach this level of beauty.   Like all of us it takes a lot of work to get us out the door looking good, and you are no exception.


I actually swatched you early on and decided that you and your Noro Silk Garden loveliness were going to work perfectly with 72 stitches cast on and size 10 needles.  You fooled me into thinking you would be 16 inches across and you were for the first few inches.  But then something happened along the way,  I got tighter with my stitching, you started to curl up on yourself as you were rolling off the ball.  I do not blame you because I did unravel you from a previous project and did not take the time to wet you down and and get all your kinks out.  So what we had was a bit of a yarn fight, me constantly trying to untangle you, and you shrinking width-wise on me at a rapid rate.



I knew it was happening yet knit on in a total frenzy trying to get you done.  And like a novice knitter I did not remember the longer you make a project, the heavier it gets and thus pulls in on itself, losing the crucial width that was so desired.  I am so lucky that my dear friend is a tiny whip of a thing.  She is just over five feet tall and weighs as much as my thigh.   You will do well for her especially since this morning I spent about an hour steam blocking you to within an inch of your life.  I actually used an entire iron full of steam to get you to a width of 16 in. and a length of 75.  I was not trying for that extra length but I got it.  At one point you were only 12 in. wide so I think it was a victory for me and the iron.  


You started out as this project which I made years ago.  I loved it yet never wore it so I decided the Zick Zack would be perfect for you.  


I wrestled with you trying to pull you apart.  But I got there and even fixed a few of those annoying joins that Noro is so famous for while I was rolling you up into balls.  Look how fun you look all ready to go and become something new. 


Look how different you look using two alternating balls of yarn, the change is incredible.  


And here you are all finished and I am exhausted from all the steam blocking you needed to get to this point.  You are wide enough to be considered a shawl, which is what I was going for but actually could be used as a scarf, well if you were 5' 10" like me you could.  Anyway I thank you for the steam bath you gave my face this morning as I wrestled with you and blocked you into submission a proper size.  

Next time I make you oh you gorgeous Zick Zack, and if you know me there will be a next time, I will use bigger needles and add one more 12 stitch repeat.  Noro Silk Garden yarn, I still have a love/hate relationship with you, but you came from my stash and you look beautiful so I thank you for that.

I am so glad it all worked out between you and me, and I sure hope Sue loves you, because even though we had our differences a lot of love was put into you so she would feel it when she needs it.


And if she doesn't like you, you can always be a table runner. 
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Friday, July 24, 2015

Pet Peeves on a Friday....................

I am irritable and irritated today so you are getting a pet peeve post from me, if you need sprinkles and cupcakes, I will see you next time. 

 I am not happy about poor drivers, especially poor drivers in the rain.  And Mr. Motorcycle driver with no helmet on, you scare the crap out of me when you cut in front of me at a rapid speed.  You  may think you know what you are doing, but one slip and I am the one hitting you and I have to live with that because in all likelihood you are a goner.  We are going 65 miles an hour, you don't stand a chance.

Waiting for over 45 minutes for my insurance card to be taken at my scheduled blood work appointment this morning, that is 45 minutes sitting in the waiting room just waiting to be called up to the front desk.  I got there 20 minutes early for my 9:45 appointment, fasting of course so I was not happy to begin with due to low blood sugar.  A nasty woman and her daughter came in at 9:51 and made a big stink about their appointment at 9:45 and she was actually taken back before me!  I waited for exactly one hour to be seen, she waltzes in late and gets seen first.  Oh yes I was kind but did inform the laboratory staff that they made a huge blunder and there was yet another woman waiting for her 9:45 appointment still in the waiting room. Poor service and nasty people should not be working at the front desk of a lab, yes I got an, "I'm sorry," but really I don't actually think they were.


Getting older.  Now I really don't mind my wrinkles too much, or my gray hair.  You see they tell the story of my life and a lot of it has been stressful, or made me laugh, and the whole story shows that is for sure.  But what I really don't like is my inability to see even large text without my readers.  I used to be quite proud of my ability to see without readers, but as soon as I hit 49 my eye sight deteriorated fast and frankly made up for lost time.  I swear I can't even text without jumbo letters on my phone and I have yet found a way to pluck my eyebrows with no glasses on.  I have tried a magnifying mirror which frankly just scares me to death when I look at it, I don't need those wrinkles to be MAGNIFIED!!!  I can feel those wee hairs but for the life of me can't find them with tweezers so I end up poking myself silly.




 Gardening in the state of Florida.  Oh you think by these pictures that my garden was so successful it was not.  After the ridiculous amount of cut worms that I flung off my plants for weeks I ended up getting mites.  Really they destroyed everything and after all that care, after watering, spraying with red pepper spray mixed with a wee bit of detergent, I got one stinking cucumber and a few tomatoes.  Not one cantaloupe, not one! And to make it worse the cucumber wasn't even tasty.  I am not giving up because I am nothing if not stubborn.  I am just waiting until it cools off a bit before I start again.  The tomatoes, while taking a huge hit with stem rot, cut worms and mites did produce for a while and they were tasty, small but tasty.


Here I go about Florida again, but we just can't seem to grow decent flowers.  Ours are all so sensitive to cold weather and frankly too much heat even though it is mighty tropical here.  I miss the flowers I used to see when growing up, lilacs most of all, but hydrangeas, oh my I wish I could grow beautiful hydrangeas here.

As for Florida, the politics here absolutely stink.  The rights of women and children have been put years and years behind, yes I am talking to you Governor Scott.  Since when is it okay to put a photo opt about tourism and the Governor visiting a dolphin, front and center on the front page of the paper and have a side story about the poor people killed in the movie theater in Louisiana?  Have we become so immune to tragic killings, and the pathetic use of guns, that a picture of the Governor seeing a dolphin is more important to us than people being murdered? 


Not as much time for knitting as I would like.  I swear it seems to me that as I have gotten older, and of course working as much as I do and taking care of Little Buddy, I have so much less time to knit or crochet.  I am going to try and rectify that this weekend if at all possible.  For those of you thinking, oh for the love of God get off your blog and knit for Pete's sake, you are right and I will in just a bit.

Just so you don't think I am in a total snit with no return to the positive person I can be, there are a few things I do like these days.  Our weather pattern is currently thunderstorms and lots of rain.  While I don't love working in this weather because I get soaked, this weekend is supposed to be full  of rain and I am going to stay home and enjoy it.  I feel so bad for all of you out west with the severe drought, weather everywhere is crazy isn't it?

Colin Firth, please see last post to understand my obsession.  And yes all of you fans out there, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Colin Firth production, but frankly I will take him any way I can get him.

Chocolate chips, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip muffins, all of which I dived into after returning home with super low blood sugar from stinking blood work appointment.  Made with agave so you would think they were less calories but with the extra butter in them to make them tasty it sort of nullifies all that good work not eating sugar does for you.

See above to see why my behind is expanding at a rapid rate.  Along with decreased time to knit is decreased time to exercise and my clothes are getting tighter all the time because of it.  And frankly the whole aging thing makes it harder to keep your shape as areas of your body you once felt were fairly firm and intact sort of drop into another area over night.  Oops I was supposed to be positive, I forgot..........


I will leave you with the cutest sleeping boy in the world.  Couldn't you just eat him up?

Have a good weekend.
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Zick Zacking along, a gift and some wishes to return to my trip................

 

My Zick Zack Scarf/Shawl is not zooming along as fast as I would like.  I actually did not knit for over a week after returning home from our short trip.  So much work to do and things to catch up on at home left me with no time to knit.  But this past weekend I was able to get moving on it.  I needed to lighten my heavy heart so I watched Bridget Jones Diary, and Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason to make me smile while I knit away on this project.  Give me a little Colin Firth any day to lighten my mood, he is my all time celebrity crush. If he were to walk up to my door and ask me to go away with him, I am going, I am just saying, I am leaving every thing and every body and I am going with him.  I am making this Zick Zack for my friend Sue who just lost her husband, our dear friend.  It was a tough weekend with the celebration service for his life on Saturday, my husband had to speak at it, he did a wonderful job.  I think she might like an actual hug to pull around herself in her sadder moments.  That is why I am trying to get this done as fast as I can, which is actually turning out to be not very fast at all.  




Upon returning home from the service and the gathering afterward, I found this amazing surprise in my mailbox.  From my darling and wonderful friend Tammy.  How did she know I would need a little surprise from a dear friend right at that very moment?  Tammy you are just the best.  Thinking of me and knowing the exact time I might need a special something in the mail to pick up my spirits.  A thousand thank yous are being sent your way for always being so positive, uplifting and seeing so much beauty in life.  You are an inspiration to me every day and I thank you for your amazing gift.  The dream catcher is already up in my studio/office just waiting to catch my dreams, and the wonderful book is ready to write them all down in.  Tammy your are such a special person, I am so glad we are friends.




Talk about an inspiration, this little guy inspires me every day.  We rode in a van in Wisconsin and he loved it.  So now we have to play, "van" almost every day.  I wasn't getting much done with all the playtime so I made up a van for him to drive his friends around.  Doesn't he still look so little when his glasses are off and he has his footie pj's on?  He is now officially on the weight and growth chart.  He is hovering between the 3-5% for both but we are finally on it in both areas so that is what is most important!








 I am missing the wonderful time we had in Wisconsin to just be with Little Buddy.  I thought I would show you how we don't always look so perfect.  Oh yes we have lots of fun, but I have wrinkles and a saggy neck, and he squints, but it doesn't matter because I simply adore this little boy of mine.  He makes me laugh and smile every single day.  I am so blessed he has entered my life and is a part of my family.

  
While in Wisconsin he ate every meal in a high chair made by his Great, Great Grandfather on my MIL's side of the family.  This is the same man who made that amazing wooden and marble table I have shown before on my blog.  I think it is so special that Little Buddy now has a history with this precious chair.  It once also converted to a stroller, but now only has two of the original wheels.  My husbands Father once was cleaning out the garage and put this by the curb for the garbage man to pick up,  My MIL was not at home at the time and her best friend, and next door neighbor, saw it and rescued it, thank goodness for that!  Not sure my FIL was allowed to clean out the garage again after that episode. 


I will leave you with a messy face smile to lighten your day.  Hope you have a wonderful week.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Beautiful Wisconsin................

I have lived in Wisconsin twice for very brief periods of time.  I really do love the state.  The farmland rolling by as you drive, the wonderful, vibrant cities, and the charming smaller towns.  Although the politics of the state leave me a bit sick to my stomach (not unlike my own state), the people and the beauty of the state make up for all of that.  I miss living there, I really do, so visiting it is really fun for me.  We drove close to Oconomowoc, near where we used to live.  We stayed up in Door, Co. where my SIL's have a beautiful home right on the shores of Lake Michigan, just south of the town of Egg Harbor.  


Can you imagine seeing this view everyday from your back deck?


Or this view from down by the water?


We visited The Ridges Sanctuary where this upper lighthouse lines up with a smaller one and used to guide ships into port safely.  The trees and the flowers were magnificent.  My SIL's volunteer here every week keeping the precious grounds protected.  They have recently been involved in trying to reestablish different lilies back into this protected area.


This amazing yarn bombing is courtesy of a husband and wife team.  If I remember the article correctly, the lovely woman owner of this property started the project, and then her husband joined in and finished it.


We went for a walk in a gorgeous outdoor gallery with paths that lead through the woods with sculptures everywhere.  The sculptures were so interesting.   People are so incredibly talented it just amazes me.


Little Buddy needed a little rest with his aunt's after  all of his walking around looking at art, by the way these comfy rocking chairs were for sale just in case you are interested.


Most of the time was spent reading, knitting and playing with this special little guy of mine.  I actually realized I don't see him near as much as I would like to due to work.  It was fun to just be with him and hear him chatting away about airplanes, vans and trains.


There was even time for a few smooches.  He is very smoochable after all. 





There were long walks in the woods and on this great road near my SIL's house.  Well we were walking but Little Buddy was running walker style.



We were treated to some beautiful sunsets, gorgeous temperatures and even an evening thunderstorm.  It was perfect and makes me miss Wisconsin all over again.


Bye for now Wisconsin, thank you for the wonderful trip.
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