August 30, 2009

Help! I Need Somebody

- not just anybody! Yesterday I was at Michael's shopping for supplies to make Dorset Buttons when I ran across this fabulous bead. I know - it's a really crappy photo and for that I apologize. But - I couldn't leave it there. It's fabulous. It's got a mother of pearl background with a real pale green. Then there are blue flowers and blue dots. It's stunning really. Here's where the help comes in. I'm not a jewelry maker. I've tried making beaded stitch markers and if you've been unlucky enough to receive any of them - you know I suck at it. But this bead is begging to be a necklace. Just a simple something with maybe an additional green or blue bead at the top. I took a second crappy photo with a quarter for scale. Funny thing is - I don't really wear large chunky jewelry. But this screamed necklace so loudly at me that I dropped it into my basket. So - does anyone reading make jewelry? Would you be willing to make this into a necklace for me? If so leave a comment with a way for me to reach you and we can work out details via email. Thank you (in advance).

August 28, 2009

My Friends Have Great Taste!

Last week my friend GoldenTracks added a book to her stash on Ravelry. Well - books don't go into stash they go into Library. She was cleaning her stuff out and getting rid of the things she would never use. I have long wanted Wrapped in Comfort and now I have my very own copy - thanks to Miss GT. Thanks for everything - it's all lovely. She PM'd (private messaged) me through Rav and asked if there was anything else in her stash that she was getting rid of that I wanted. - Well, since you asked. Actually - I told her if she had sock yarn supplies that she didn't want and nobody was interested in - to just ship it. I would knit her a pair of socks or two. Wednesday when I got home, there was a box on my front porch. The top photo? That's what come spilling out of the box. 2 books - Wrapped in Comfort and Knitting New Scarfs. Another ball of Ty-Dy Socks. If you have a chance - get some of this it is so soft and lovely to knit. 4 hanks of Lorna's Laces in two different colorways and some Cherry Tree Hill. Unfortunately the beautiful Cherry Tree Hill is what convinced Miss GT that she didn't like knitting socks. She disliked it so much that she ripped them. It's too bad - there are so many lovely sock yarns. But what I really want to know - what's in the center?

August 27, 2009

What's In a Name?

Every body's doing it - it started with Sue (who saw it somewhere else) and then I saw that Golden Tracks had done it and I'm sure that Channon, Nicole, and Marjie will all do it before Dogs on Thursday is over. What is is you ask? Explaining how your dog got his/her name and what nicknames they have. First up - Dudley. When we first got him, his name was Hamilton - but that didn't really fit him. We tried out a few names trying to see what would fit him. JB finally decided to go with his favorite actor and his favorite film - that would be Dudley Moore in Arthur. So - Dudley Arthur he is. He also gets called Eeyore - as he will sit in a corner and not look at you. He is very very patient and very shy. He doesn't like kids - but will tolerate them. He's the sheriff around here. After JB and I had been married a few years, I thought it might be nice to have a baby. He said no and we got Abigail Jane. It was the name I wanted to give a little girl. She has exactly the same personality as our 2-legged child The Princess. She gets called - Abby, Boo, Princess, Doodle Bug, and occasionally by the 2-legged child's name.
Our next dog was Beauregard James. JB had wanted a bloodhound and I resisted for years due to the short life span. There is a woman semi-locally who had been breeding the cr*p out of her female bloodhound. It's shameful really. Anyway - Beau was the runt and a liver.
We knew he was coming home with us and we knew what his name would be. By the way - I just love his lines in this photo.
His nicknames are Beau, Goober Boy, Stoner, Dufus Boy and Proper Dog!
Finally we have Lucy. Her name is Lucy - not Lucile and not any other variations. When we brought her home she was absolutely beautiful and there was no way we could leave her in the horrible conditions they were being bred in. She's what's known as a DunnRed and her face is all the same color. When she was a wee pup - her nose and eyes were the same color as her fur - strawberry blond. She is named for the fabulous Lucile Ball as "I love Lucy!"
She gets called, Lucy, LucyLou, Lucifur, Lulabella, "ThisWayLu" and Lu. She is a gem who will always be under you feet trying to help.

August 25, 2009

How I Spent my Summer Vacation

With kids and teachers all over blog land heading back to school it feels like Summer is over. Did you all have a good time?
Remember earlier in July when I had to move furniture around for the window replacement project?
I managed to get rid of a few old projects and finish up a few. I found 3 sets of pillowcases that have been hanging around for about 7 years. Seriously.
I started these when I worked for the sewing machine dealer. I must have got one set done for class and then put these aside. The embroidery on the cuffs were all finished, the bodies were cut - they just needed to be put together.
I love the fabric used for the body of the tan pillowcases. They have 2 little embroideries, connected with a satin stitch scallop.
The print pillowcases have purple embroidery on the white cuffs. For some reason they look really short. I haven't tried them on a pillow yet.
Finally the pink is a linen type fabric. The pink portion of the cuff has different decorative stitches in a pale pink thread. The white insert has a larger decorative stitch. The scallops on the edge were done with a heavy weight white cotton thread.
I'm glad to have these finished and have 3 potential gifts already done.

August 22, 2009

Bus Bag

Like Channon I am now in the market for the "perfect" bag. it needs to be able to hold a pair of shoes, my purse items, lunch and knitting. I think this bag may be it. It appears to be freakin' fabulous and I think it would hold everything I need for a day. It has outside pockets for my phone and an inside pouch for a water bottle. I love the hot pink, but it also comes in a fabulous mossy green or black. I definitely wouldn't want black - I think I want hot pink. I think I might find time to go see it in person next week. So - what does your perfect bag have?

August 20, 2009

It's a Dudley Kind of Day

That's our "old man." Dudley just turned 11. He's pretty active and fit for a dog of such advanced age - in fact most people think he's the youngest.
We had a bit of a scare last week. He went to the vet and got all his shots, then on Saturday he couldn't climb the stairs and was stiff and sore.
We gave him low doses of pain meds and anti-inflammatories. He's also the smartest dog we have - he knows when to lay low and rest. he's fine now and I'm thinking we have another 11 years with him.

August 19, 2009

Quilting?

Ever since Melly posted a link to rachel's disappearing 9 patch tutorial I have been possessed.
Then last month I saw one a friend had made that was stunning. Absolutely stunning. I can't stop thinking about it.
Last weekend [after taking Melly to breakfast] I bought a whole bunch of fabric to make a quilt. What in the world has happened to me?

August 17, 2009

I Might Have Bought New Shoes

Friday I had to go downtown. For those of you who have had the privilege of driving downtown with me, you know that it is not my preferred mode of transportation. So, I have been learning how to get downtown and back home on public transport. Friday afternoon - with at least 20 minutes to kill before the bus that would whisk me north arrived, I happened to notice an Aerosoles store. I figured I'd just pop in and see what's new. I tend not to wear black and nice brown shoes aren't that easy to find. I also tend to purchase cheap shoes and wear them to death. Consequently all my brown pumps look horrible and aren't worth repairing. I brought 3 new pairs of brown pumps home with me. They are cute, comfortable and didn't break the bank. I was also able to eliminate 4 pairs of brown shoes from my closet, so everybody wins, right? The Mary Jane style shoe is called Out of Controle and I can't find in on the website any longer. Just your basic pumps with three tiny little straps going across the top of the foot. The spectator style pump is Roleplay and I'm tempted to go get them in gray too - but there's that whole "don't wear a lot of black" thing. I also picked up a pair of brown sandals called Katapult. So - I should be able to manage walking downtown with little to no pain in my feet now.

August 13, 2009

Thorsday

Tuesday was "the Twins" (Beau & Lucy) birthday. They turned 6 - don't say anything but happy birthday, I'm less than pleased that they are six already. Anyway - our little town has a parade every year and we say it's to celebrate their birthday. As far as we know - the first parade was held on their first birthday. So there! At the parade last night we met Thor! Seriously - doesn't that look like Thor? Melly handed me her leashed and went over to talk to the big guy's people. I think she said he was 4, he stood nose to top of the head with the couple's toddler. Way too cute. Many of you know that Beauregard hates the parade. He doesn't think the treats at the latte stand and the pizza crust are enough of a birthday prize to make the terror of the parade worth it. Poor boy. He has finally learned if he lays down the big scary noises are less likely to get him. You can't tell - but he's shaking like a leaf in that photo. Lucy is also less than impressed with the parade. Dudley & Abigail have fun though. They love seeing the other dogs who come to the parade and seeing all the basset from basset rescue being all dressed up. Abby especially loves all the attention she gets from the humans at the parade. Maybe next year for their birthday we'll leave Beau & Lucy at home - maybe . . . .

August 11, 2009

More Granola

Due to a very unfortunate event, Miss Melly is sleeping in my guest room and driving my Jeep this week. I'm glad to be able to have a guest room and an extra vehicle to loan her.
When we got home from the airport last night, she saw the canister of granola on the counter. (I keep it there so we remember to eat it.) Melly asked about the granola which reminded JB that we still had some and this morning he finished the last batch off.
This is CoffeeYarn's granola recipe and it's super easy. Last time I didn't get clumps. This time I stirred less often during the baking and left it on cookies sheets until it was cool. Then I added raisins and dates. Pecans were the nuts of choice and I still used honey and vanilla. Yummy!

August 10, 2009

Way to Procrastinate

This is what I worked on this weekend. A very dainty, delicate lace. See, when I was cleaning up and going through everything in the studio a couple of weeks ago - I ran across a hank of Tahki Red Cotton. But what to do with just one hank of cotton? Well - I can get about 3 yards of knitted lace out of the cotton. So I emailed Carolyn and asked her if she could use some red lace. She said yes and that she had just been looking at some red lace in New York. Then I started thinking about Carolyn - see she sews amazing things and adds fantastic trims that at just right. But they aren't the type of trim that I would add - the trim that shouts look at me - I'm handmade. No, Carolyn would add a more subdued trim. So then I started searching Ravelry. This is the combination I came up with - Red Pearl Cotton and tiny double pointed needles. This lace will block out about an 1.25" wide. I'm hoping to end up with about 5 yards to send her.

August 7, 2009

Finished Friday

I've fallen way behind on showing the socks that I've knit - but I have met the goal of knitting 12 pairs of socks this year from stashed or gifted yarn. In other words - yarn that I personally have not spent money purchasing during 2009. Once I reached that goal, I decided to see if I could knit 36 pairs during 2009 all using stashed or gifted yarn, with three sets of 12 - 12 pair for me; 12 pair for JB; and 12 pair that are gifted. 18::12 Taylored Test Knit socks. This is a pair of socks that I volunteered to test knit the pattern for a Ravelry Designer. I don't remember if the pattern is free or not, but the details are over at Rav. Yarn is Pink Baby Ull that I've had in the stash for awhile. Needles were US0s, both at the same time, toe up. 19::12 Y's Ty-Dyed Summer. This yarn is so soft and just lovely to knit with. Everyone who saw them thought the yarn was a bit bright - but I'm telling you - you smile when you see them. Pattern: Dash Needles: 2.25mm, magic looping Toe up, gusset heel, traditional heel flap. 20::12
Pattern: Twisted Tendrils
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, Good Luck Jade
Needles: 2.00 mm double points, worked one at a time, top down. This pattern was fun and challenging, but easy to keep track of. The yarn was fabulous. I will say this was another test knit and I followed the pattern exactly. I was devastated when I realized these socks wouldn't fit me, so they were gifted to Miss L.
Size 7 feet and legs provided by Miss L.
In case you're wondering - to date I have knit 5 pairs for me; 4 pairs for JB; and 11 pairs have been (or will be) gifted. I have 2 pairs on needles - one for me and one for JB.

August 6, 2009

Lookie Here

Abby has a tongue, too!

Thanks to our heatwave, I am able to prove it.

She is normally very ladylike and doesn't stick her tongue out.

In fact, she kept walking toward me while I was trying to take the photo. Happy Dogs on Thursday. I hope you are warm enough.

August 5, 2009

This is How Much of a Dork I Am

The red pot. The one that was used for the tutorial on how to build your own beautiful umbrella stand. It was for my new clothesline! yep! I love it. I have wanted one for awhile - finally, I couldn't stand it any longer and went on an all out hunt to find one. It's had 2 loads of laundry on it already. i love air dried clothes - I'm pretty sure there isn't much of anything better - plus look how great it is for showing off finished sewing projects. Hey Miss D - I had a photo shoot in my mind just for you, but JB wouldn't cooperate. High heels, skirt, apron and pegging out the laundry. I'm sure you can imagine it. So - that quilt hanging on my line right now? Well I made that top during The Princess' senior year in high school. And then she decided she didn't like sunflowers any more. A week or so ago - she yelled at me and got really mad because both The Musical One and Miss L have quilts that I made and she doesn't. So, I offered to attempt to finish this one up before she drives to Connecticut at the end of this month. But of course, she can't decide if she likes it and would actually use it - so here it is kiddo. Let me know so I have time to layer and quilt it :)

August 4, 2009

Umbrella Stands In Action

okay - so here's the pot i showed you yesterday. it's it pretty sitting there on my dirty deck? guess i should clean the deck off, huh? Anyway - later this week sometime, i'll tell you what it's holding with that pretty little metal stake. here's the pot that started it all. it's there -- under out patio table. the girls bought me the table and chairs for mother's day one year and they bought JB the pot, a bag of concrete and the umbrella the same year. those girls of mine are pretty clever.

here's a close up of it under our table. one thing to consider when you pick a pot - is will it fit under your table? that's important if the pot will be holding the umbrella that you use to provice shade while at your table.

another use for a concrete filled pot with a tube? a bird bath. in this case the pot was built as detailed yesterday. using a smaller diameter piece of PVC pipe. then, JB put a larger diameter piece of PVC on the smaller piece. the bird bath portion is a fairly shallow plastic serving platter which he attached a PVC coupler to the bottom of with plastic glue of some sort. the coupler fits into the pipe, the platter is filled with water and we have happy splashing birds. if you build a stand - i would love to see how you use it.

August 3, 2009

How To Make a Really Neat Umbrella Stand

So you spent the first part of the summer refinishing the deck and picking out the perfect patio furniture. Or you spray painted and refinished all your outdoor furniture. Whatever, you don't want one of those boring old white, water filled umbrella stands. They just don't cut it. So you need any pot that floats your boat. Should be a ceramic pot though and not plastic. You will also need concrete, water, a piece of pvc pipe, duct tape, and felt or furniture sliders.
First, put the duct tape over the drain holes in the bottom of the pot. You don't want the concrete to ooze out the bottom. Because the pot we chose for this project was much taller than it needed to be to keep the umbrella upright, JB drilled drain holes in the sides of the pot.
He dumped concrete into the pot by the bucketful and then adds water. You can see he has the hose crimped in his hand so it doesn't fill the pot with too much water. I have no idea how you know how much water is enough - I guess you just do.
DO NOT MIX the concrete at home with your hands. It's not good for you nor is it advised. In fact, you might actually want to wear a mask while dealing with dry concrete. You do not want to inhale the dry concrete either.
JB just kept dumping in concrete and bits and water until the "texture" was right. Once the concrete had started to set, he put in a piece of PVC pipe which is longer than the concrete is deep.
Make sure you use that duct tape and tape the bottom of the PVC - otherwise it will fill with concrete and you won't be able to stick you umbrella in the pipe. You can sorta see that the concrete only fills this pot about halfway. We put the furniture sliders on the bottom so it would slide around on the deck easier. We could also put dirt and plant flowers around the top since it has the drain holes. Tomorrow - I'll show you some of the "Umbrella Stands" around our yard. Enjoy.

August 2, 2009

Cleaning House

In the process of moving and cleaning stuff for the window installation - I did a clean out of my magazines. I can't for the life of me figure out what to do with all of them and how to store them so I can easily find the information I remember seeing. I have a nice collection of Australian Stitches. I subscribe to Interweave Knits, Threads, and Burda (World of Fashion) all of which I'm keeping. However, I have a bunch of knitting magazines that I no longer have a use for and I don't want to just toss them. I'm willing to send them to live at your house if you are interested. Just comment, making sure I have a way to email you and I'll send them out - first to ask for a specific set gets it. I will only ship to the US - thank you :)

3 magazines - EasyKnitting Spring/Summer 2005; Knit It Spring/Summer 2006 & Fall 2005

3 Issues of Knit 'n Style - # 148, #155 & 159 5 issues of the English magazine Simply Knitting - January 2009; July 2009; February 2007; July 2006; and October 2006
5 issues of knitsimple - Winter 2005; Spring/Summer 2006; Spring/Summer 2007; Winter 2008/09 & Holiday 2008
6 issues of Creative Knitting - July 2005; November 2005; November 2006; March 2007; March 2008; and May 2008
One issue of craftsylish
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