Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hello Everyone, Saying it's been a while is certainly an understatement!
Lots has happened in the past years.  In brief, I re-located to another state, for the time being.  My heart is still in the west and the unbearable climate  and strangeness of this place has only strengthened my resolve.  At times I feel I'm in a parallel universe here, though I am thankful for some educational opportunities and some new acquaintances who make it tolerable.
     Talking of education, I have returned to university after so many years to  hopefully finally finish my degree.  The return to university is one of the few bright spots, I adore campus atmosphere; always have.   However, the lack of work is frightening.  I have had a couple of temporary, part-time jobs including a very brief stint ghost-blogging and hope more writing jobs, or any job for tat matter will soon come along.
        Last year, I was lucky enough to be able to happily spend part of the summer in Colorado if not New Mexico.
 Summer was almost all about a very tough maths class, it brought me to tears on more than one occasion and decreased my average a bit, though I'm still in the honors range. Lesson learned: Sometimes just passing a class is all that is necessary, and that I needn't be so hard on myself all the time.  I've always been a worrier,
 I'll try to upload some artwork later.
What I'm reading for fun. Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman since I'm currently 11th in the queue for Ocean at the End of the Lane for download from the library, and have just finished re-reading Graveyard fir the third time,  Also got caught up on some Sci-Fi books and television shows.  Look forward to the new season of Grimm, online in October,  I don't have a television, but re watched some episodes online before the semester started last week.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

four imposters

pastel on board 10x10 inches

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope your Thanksgiving and weekend are the best possible.
Beautiful anniversary roses from hubby:
Our barnwood cupboard project is nearly finished and I had hubby bring it in to the house. I loved how it turned out. Only the back uprights to add ( I polyurathaned them this afternoon and they are almost dry) and a bit of tighten to be done. It now stands where our vintage tea table used to be, and the tea table is where it should be.

In my second shop

At http://www.naturalsoothers.etsy.com/ more catnip balls.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In the shop


To be listed in my Etsy shop by tomorrow: Mini accordian blank books/portfolio

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shall I begin again?

I've long debated whether I wanted to continue with this blog even before my last surgery more than a year ago. Being a private person, I don't put myself out there like many people, so I don't imagine that this blog is interesting to anyone but my friends and family, and they already know and love me :).
Anyhow I think I will take it slowly and for the moment, concentrate on my art and crafting.

Thanks to all who have visited and who have commented here. I appreciate your taking the time.
I am happy to announce that my handmade cable needles, number 6, available in my Etsy shop, have a mention in Vogue Knitting International. Many Thanks to editor Faith Hale for including my work with the others:



Friday, June 20, 2008

finished and packed

We were so disappointed, none more than MIL of course, that after traveling more than 70 miles, they were unable to complete her medical procedure, and she may have to travel even further, to university hospital, get it done in future. She is doing well, and had no adverse reactions. I'm glad we could be with her.

Finished! The knit-along baby's cardigan ( I made up the pattern for this one, using the measurements from an old pattern, and adding the lace collar, cuffs, and hem). The most troublesome part was the collar. Even though I added extra stitches, and I water blocked it as I did all of the pieces, it still has a tendency to curl up. I will block it again sometime, but it can also be worn up. I made it a one button since it is meant to be worn over layers of clothing. The button is actually clear and pearly, but the reflection makes it look silvery. Oh, I knitted the leaves and crocheted the flower. I'm not fond of crocheting, but I can manage to make up small things. I will enjoy seeing the sweaters by the rest of the group.






I'm all packed for the hospital for surgery on the 23rd. I don't want to go, but I must. I'm to be admitted at 7:30 a.m.
The house is in order; Apart from the usual daily housework, I've been sorting papers and cleaning cupboards, the 'fridge, the upstairs and sitting room windows, etc. I always try to do this intense sort of cleaning before a long trip or a hospital stay. It's nice coming home knowing that even the things not immediately seen are in tidy.
The flower beds are weeded, (between the many rain showers. It won't be long before there are new weeds, *smiles*but the beds look great today. The peonies are fragrant and lovely in the back, and the ones in front they are starting to open.) and the projects I wanted to get done are done. So one would think I have some time to sketch and watercolour, but there is always something which needs doing, eh?! I do have some things in mind that I want to craft for the Etsy shops. I've closed the shops for the next two weeks.




'Ta ta for now!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

surgeons, rains, and public radio

I was glad MIL and her friend was with me, especially for part two of the test in nuclear medicine, since it was very unpleasant. It put a bit of damper on our planned lunch out and mini shopping trip, but we made the best of it, and in the end, it was the time spent together which was most important. MIL is having a small procedure on the 16th, so prayers and good vibes are always welcome.
New comfy cotton tees to supplement my summer wadrobe:
.







I met with the surgeon yesterday, Tuesday. Surgery is scheduled for June 23rd, a Monday. I expect to be in hospital for a couple of days. Since I try to be a girl who sees the glass as half full, I'm thinking about all the guilt free knitting and sketching I'll be able to do (hopefully,) whilst recovering :). Rain, rain and more rain ! I hear it's been the same on the west coast. There is flooding in much of the Midwest.
I hung out this load of wash before lunch on Sunday, It was sunny, and very hot, so I was lulled into thinking the heavy rains from the previous days had ended. Within an hour the laundry was soaking wet. The sun came out again, then it stormed again. Well suffice it to say, it was Monday afternoon before they were dry, but on the up side, they smelled even fresher.
We enjoy listening to NPR (public radio), especially on Sunday afternoons, when we listen to Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. This Sunday, Martin Sheen again was guest star; one of my particular favourites, and singer Bonnie Rait sang as well as participated in the some hilarious skits. Guy Noir and Powder Milk Biscuits are also favourite bits. This photo from a previous appearance
These five napkins represent about half of, and the best (hole free) of our everyday napkins. Due to frequent washing, they are getting quite worn, so I bought this fabric with which to make new ones, to replace them as they get too worn out. I don't mind that the old ones are faded, as they get even softer, but I do mind the holes :) I've made four so far, and will probably do four more. I think I'll like them even more after I wash them and they fade and soften a bit.






What I'm reading...again--- a 1954 version of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, with great pen and ink illustrations:

I've been using my 15 year old bread maker lately. I've aways liked the convenience, the breads are delicious hot from the maker, and the dough program is great ( though small if you need to make more than 10 rolls) when one doesn't feel like kneading. However, it tends to darken the crust a bit unless I'm at home to turn it off before the last 5 minutes.
This was a white bread with half a cup of applesauce added for moistness:






Hot, humid weather calls for a cool three bean salad with fresh seasonings.

In our perennial garden, the irises and daisys have started to bloom, and I think the peonies in the back will will open this coming week. Fragrant bouquets for the bedroom and around the house. Our quad county Iris society had the annual show on Saturday, but it was too far to travel (last year it was in our town, and my first bouquet entry got an honorable mention) because of the pain, plus we had other plans.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

moods and friends, family and appointments

Mood: thankful, hopeful, creative.
It was so warm and sunny in the early hours yesterday, I decided to make sun tea in this re purposed 4 litre juice bottled. I filled it just over half full with water and used 8 regular Lipton brand tea bags, and 8 Green tea bags. I actually had some while it was still quite warm from the sun, and then later after it had been refridgerated for several hours, with a few fresh 'mint leaves added.



Isn't it wonderful having friends and family who seem to have a knack for knowing when you need them, even miles away? Among other contact this past week, I got another lovely handmade card from my friend Jo. I won't embarrass her by posting a photo here. Suffice it to say that her work is distinctive and that her sentiments are greatly appreciated. Jo, you know how much I enjoy your "snail" mail, our taste in music, ;), and our usually unplanned crafty exchanges. To my friends who have e-mailed or telephoned, Thank-You! Also, hurrah for mother-in-law who give me those hugs mum wishes she could give across the miles.


So, days before Emergency Care I ate very little. Great for losing extra pounds, but not so good for one's health. (my follow up visit to my doctors' showed weight loss; I rarely weigh myself, I try not to be a chained to the scales, it's too depressing, *lol*)

For the first 48 hours after the hospital along with lots of fruit juices, this is what was recommended, and all I could tolerate due to the nausea and pain. Peppermint tea, made from leaves fresh picked from my garden, also helps.


Hubby bought for me loads of these Popsicles and ready made Jell-O and we had lots of packets at home. I'm not so fond of Jell-O, most remind me of hospitals, but I do like the lime flavour.





















I have a test in nuclear medicine tomorrow, which I've had before so I know what to expect.

I'll be meeting with a new general surgeon on the 12th. The surgeon I saw for 20 years moved away last year, so It will be interesting meeting someone new. By several accounts, he is likable.

Here is the back and front of the child's cardigan I'm doing for the Knit-Along at My Craftivity. I had to "frog" the front pieces entirely. Since the pain med keeps me in a fog when it is working, and the lace pattern I had in my head was not the one I had worked out for this project, ( they are quite similar)I had to take it apart.

I've received several knitted or crocheted dish washing cloths from my MIL, but I've never made any for myself. I noticed that about half of my store bought cotton cloths have holes and tears in them, and I usually buy replacements when this happens, but I thought I'd make some. These may end up being presents for friends and family, but they are fun and quick to make, and not too much thought is required when I'm in a fog. The yellow mock cable was the first one, but I thought it might be too heavy when wet, so I made up a simpler pattern, which uses fewer stitches. (I have several skeins of Peaches and Cream cotton on hand but any worsted weight cotton will do.) Here is the pattern for the lavender cloth. Easy:

With size 7 needles, cast on 38 stitches.
Seed stitch:
Row 1, right side---
knit one, purl one across
Row 2, knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. Repeat until piece measures approximately 1 inch
Keep to seed stitch pattern for first six and last six stitches, working the remaining stitches between in straight stitch (that is; knit right side rows and purl wrong side rows)

Work until piece measures about 7.5 inches from beginning, finish as for bottom border with seed stitch until piece measures 8. 5 inches. bind off in pattern, sew in ends. Finished size is approximately 8.5 inches square.
I think when I just need to pick up my art journal and start sketching. I haven't done any sketching lately, and I miss it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

photographs, life is...

The pain I have been having in my right back and sides took a turn for the worst over the holiday weekend and I spent Sunday in emergency care when it became unbearable. I have a long road ahead but I choose to celebrate life, because in spite of many obstacles, life is good.

We went to the cemetery to rake and decorate the family plot as we do at least once a year, but I forgot the camera, so no photos.

However, here are some photos of scenes of home and nearby travels.
For the humming birds :



The Landscapers' finally opened for the season, so we bought another cubic metre of cedar mulch for the tomatoes, and
















to replenish the flower and herb beds








The bluebird house on the garden shed:
















The raspberry bushes have been pruned!

At the vintage/thrift shop, hubby played with this Alvarez guitar:

















I bought this butterfly house, someone else's handiwork:












I repaired it, sanded, gessoed, and painted it blue and white.














The thin plywood is not sturdy enough for posting it in the flower bed, so I think I'll use it as decoration on the front porch for a while.

A stack of old magazines and a vintage book from 1928
version after the (silent) movie came out, starring Faye Ray (The original King Kong’s “girlfriend“) While the book is a Grosset & Dunlap publishing, which I collect, it is not a children’s book, but I broke my rule of collecting only their vintage children's books for the black and white photos and Ms. Ray :)



















Lilacs:
An unoccupied bluebird house on the south border:


Pear blossoms, very tasty pears, yum!










A bat in our belfry, or our chimney any way:

A bat took up residences in the gap between the house and chimney. Here's hubby cleaning the bat guano from behind the chimney. After which we sprayed liberally with bleach, and rinsed with a solution of Green Works and water.


It's time to finish this pair of cotton denim and wool blend socks:














As for the baby's cardigan, I have finished the back and both fronts, but I will be out of yarn before I can finish the sleeves. ( I considered making short sleeves, but I decided to order more yarn instead. Photos are forthcoming.

The positive side have needing bed rest is that I can knit and sketch without guilt :)

Take Care of each other!