Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I'm never sure whether I should say 'Happy' Memorial Day. For some, the remembering is full of grief and pain. But that's not to say we should not look back and appreciate the sacrifices made so we can live free.

My aunt Wanda writes a lovely blog that I enjoy reading. Her post today was a "Memorial Day Tribute to Roy Robertson." That's my grandfather, and though I knew of his military service, she gives many details of which I was not aware, and am glad to know. Thank you, Wanda, for such a fitting post to honor him.

Both my grandfathers, at least one great-grandfather, and my dear father-in-law all served our country in the military, to name a few. I am very proud of each and every one of them.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

caution: mommy at work

First Friday is coming up, so I took advantage of a little time alone this afternoon to do some sewing. My big seller last time was headbands, so I decided to restock those.

First off - tunes. I have to listen to Mortal while Lydia is gone, or she says snide things like "Is it… music??" Pfft. What do 4 year olds know about music? Might switch to watching Lord of the Rings in a bit, though, because this blog post got me to thinking of it….

I am often amused by the incongruous conglomeration of items that finds its way to my sewing table. There's the usual pins, scissors, measuring implements… and of course coffee… and glue… and a lantern, because it's storming outside and if the power goes out it's black as pitch in the basement… yeah, I need to tidy up a bit.

Tubes that will soon be headbands - I slide my wooden yardstick through them to press the seams… because I walk on the wild side.

And a pile of headbands ready to be pressed and put in the basket.

Okay, that's enough of a break. Back at it!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

crazy night

I've taught the Rainbows (preschool) class at our church off and on (mostly on) for 8 years now. But this week, I quit. (Just like I quit after every Wednesday night that happens to be on or near a full moon.)

As the kids arrived, they started playing dress-up. At one point, I had Moses, a fireman, and two princesses beating each other with cheerleader pompoms.

On second thought, I think I'll stick around. Good entertainment is hard to find. ;)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

friends in low places

One morning a few days ago, I was out on the steps attempting to remove the dried garden mud from my tennis shoes. (Happens a lot.) Lydia came out and joined me, gown, bed-head and all.

Our front yard is shady and cool, so snails like to hang out there. Lydia found a couple to watch, and named them Billy and Silly. She wanted to hold one - I believe this one is Silly.
Leave it to this one to find a friend first thing in the morning. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

the difference a day makes

Every year, I do a post on the date of my uncle Ron's death. It's my way to mark the day, to remember and honor him. He died three years ago tomorrow.

But this year, I think I'll do it a little differently. Instead of posting on the day of his death, I'm posting on his birthday, which is today. Since he is my daddy's twin, it's daddy's birthday too; so I'm eating a piece of cake for Ron as well. It just seems more appropriate to me right now not to mark the day we lost him, but rather celebrate that the world was able to hold on to such an extraordinary person for nearly 60 years.

I miss you, Ronnie. And I'm glad you were born.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

when you give...

The Bible says that when we give, we should not make a big deal of it; in fact, we should be so secretive that our right hand doesn't know what our left hand is doing. But how could I not call attention to such a sweet blog post?? Thanks, Amy! Amy has a baby boy on the way; since her first two were girls, I wanted to be sure she had lots of blue!

And the hat pattern can be found here, if you're interested.

I also wanted to apologize for the spotty posting of late; we're very busy wrapping up the school year right now. Hopefully soon I'll be able to visit more often - I haven't even shown you the garden yet!

Friday, May 7, 2010

tatting practice

As much as I love to sew, and knit, and crochet, and embroider, sometimes I like to do something a little different. Lately I've had a yen to tat again, so I've been stocking up on interesting threads when they cross my path. Today I had need of a small embellishment, so I decided to drag out all my threads, books and such, and give it a go.

I learned to shuttle tat years ago, but decided it was just not worth the trouble. But a couple of years ago I read an article by Pamela Quevedo regarding needle tatting, and decided to try it. I find it much simpler than shuttle tatting, and quite enjoyable. Though my skills are far inferior to hers, I have at least reached the point where I can decipher vintage patterns, change the stitch counts for the larger threads I prefer, and even write my own patterns just a little.

Today, the piece I made started as a pattern from a vintage tatting book. I tweaked it for the size thread I wanted to use, and I was pleased that it turned out to be exactly the dimensions I needed for my project! Experienced tatters would find glaring errors, of course, but I think it will suit my purposes just fine. (And yes, I know I need to weave in my ends. I'll get to that.)

If you are interesting in trying needle tatting, I would highly recommend the book Learn Needle Tatting Step by Step by Barbara Foster. If you order the kit, it comes with needles so you can get started right away.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

yet another thrift store find

In case you hadn't noticed, I've had opportunity to go to the thrift store a few times lately. This time, I found some yarn! About 3 2/3 skeins of Reynolds Courant, which I had never heard of, for 99 cents. It's 73% viscose, 27% linen. Interesting, right? I can find lots of appropriate patterns for bags and such, but what I'm really hoping is that there's enough to make a small shawl.

The needles will need to be circular, because the number of stitches increases exponentially when knitting a shawl. And the needle size will need to be a bit bigger than the size 8 the label calls for, if I have any hope of making a shawl from what I have here. So I pull out my three largest all-time favorite vintage Susan Bates Circlon needles. My aunt Karina, who taught me to knit, gave me a few pair; I also snap them up if I see them on Ebay or Etsy. They are not too smooth, not too "grabby," not too pointy, not too blunt. The biggest one here may be a bit large; the smallest one, a bit small; I think the medium one will be juuuuust right.
Boy, I hope this works. I'm liking this steely blue-gray color with denim - you think?
What do you think, helper kitty? Helper kitty?
I had an idea in my head for the pattern, and was about to try and write it out. Luckily, I found this one, and it saved me the trouble. Honestly, I think the stitch pattern will show up better in this yarn. So let's give it a try, shall we? It's a nice day here on the back porch, so I think I'll sit and knit a while.
Hello! Coffee and chocolate - how did that get there? ;)
Ah, yes. I like how this is turning out. Very much. But I'm getting annoyed flipping from one page to the other to keep up with the pattern, so I think I'll scribble the main repeat on a card.
Aaaand my helper kitty has completely passed out under my bench. Hard to find good help these days.