Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer draws near...

This has been an eventful new weeks. My step-daughter flew into town on June 6th to stay for two months during her summer break. My 6 year old finished her last day of Kindergarten on June 13th, with many tears and much insistance the following Monday that she should go to school anyway. I finally dug the hole and cemented the sleeve for my umbrella clothesline I purchased back in March. This last week has seen a swap package arrive from Rumplestilskin from the Knit It Forward group on Ravelry, a new container garden, and a new job for me. The job is nothing fancy, just cashier/photo lab at Target, but it should be fun. I've always enjoyed working retail.

Here are some pictures of the new plants. Three of the long rectangle planters were started in May, with seeds from the dollar section at Target- chives, basil and some parsley. Then, at the Farmer's Market last Sunday all of the plants were $5 for a box. I filled a box to brimming, all those Tetris games years ago finally paid off, and I filled every available pot laying around.


There are herbs, including thyme, greek globe basil, apple mint, curly mint, italian parsley, curly purple basil, rue (for rememberance), lemon verbena, tarragon, purple sage and oregano. There's also a mystery plant (below, the spindly green thing in the white pot) that I remember is an herb, but not what herb it is. I'll have to look it up. Not only are there tons of herbs, but there's yellow and orange peppers and two or three kinds of tomatoes, too!

And even made a little plot of melons, Sugar baby and athena cantaloupe. There is a network of holes beneath and around that old tree stump, I am not sure from what kind of critter. It's been three days and nothing has been eaten, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.


There are also seven (seven!) hanging baskets of flowers, too. Loving it. This is the first real garden attempt I've made since we lived downtown 3 years ago and I had a feeble 18" by 4' plot off the back deck. I think I'll join in on Norma's Garden Along, it'll help curb my distractedness and keep on top of it I hope.

Here's a picture of my Knit it Forward swap package:
Lovely stuff. I can't want to make some socks with the Silver Creek BFL. I was very lucky to recieve this package from the owner of Rumplestiltskin, in Utah. Her package is nearly ready to go.

Last Friday, hubby took all the kids to see The Incredible Hulk and I actually got to go out on my own... with friends... to a bar even. It was awesome. I didn't have my phone, or there would be pictures of that, too.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The only pretty ring time

Yesterday morning my daughter pointed out to me the pirate ships in our bushes. April in Virginia is a wishy-washy thing, being cool one minute and toasty the next. Thursday dawned cool and misty. In the bushes, brought into delicate outline by the moist air, was an entire fleet of ghostly galleons.

This pirate spider hung jewels in it's sails.

Sometimes leaving fall's twiggy weeds isn't such a bad idea if it brings a fleet of pirate spiders, eh? I am fascinated with the different types of webs spiders make. I wonder if we have a huge family of arachnids, or if just a few spiders set a whole lot of traps. Last year we had several of the large black and yellow garden spiders in the same area. I was tickled when the kids decided they were friends and looked for them every morning instead of running from the silver dollar sized critters.

And these are the creepy misty woods across the street. We actually live in a regular house-full subdivision, but we're on the inside bottom edge of a U shaped street, so no neighbors directly across. Makes for very picturesque views of the seasons.

I finally finished my sister's scarf. Here's a closeup of my pins and string...

And here is the finished product...

I love how it turned out... clocking lace really is an amazing thing. I had switched knitting styles once I was comfortable with the pattern, and was so into just the doing of it, I didn't notice that my gague had gone all wonky because of it. Blocking cured everything. Sweet!

So pretty, and knit in the Classic Elite Alpaca Sox, sooo buttery soft to knit with.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I am working on a present for my sister... I am pretty sure she doesn't know about the blog yet, so I'll post tasty Work In Progress pictures... Here is the yarn... it's really more of... well, something between a dark salmon, and rust... kind of a pretty muted brick color... if that makes any sense.

This yarn is sooooo soft and cozy. I literally cuddled it while I waited for my turn at the LYS. I don't go in there often, they may have thought I was crazy... Mmmm... alpaca.

And here is a picture of the scarf so far.

The color is not accurate in that picture. I Love this pattern. It is my first attempt at using a chart, I never thought I would be able to 1. use a chart, or 2. Stop using a lace chart because I memorized it, but I did both! It'll look a little different once I block it when it is finished. It's the Column of Leaves Scarf pattern from Brooke Nelson.

On a non-knitting note, I recieved some new henna from someone who knows where to get fresh pre-made cones. I was skeptical, as I've been making my own paste for a long time, but it turned out rather well!

I started at the bottom and worked toward my fingers, you can tell I had not done mehndi in a while, as it's simple and a little akward at the bottom, compared to the top :P
It darkened further than this. I got a nice dark chocolate brown on the thickly henna'd areas on my palm and a nice smooth chestnut on my wrist.
First time with Prepackaged henna in years, but it was purchased for me by someone who knew where to get it fresh.

So there it is... that is what I've been doing this week.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sorting through...

We were lucky to find a really neat quirky house for Rent a little over a year ago when we were househunting. One of the oddest things about the house is that it has a second kitchen in the finished basement level.

Before we even mved in it was claimed as my Craft Room. There is a large walk in closet off to one side that has built in shelves that house my fabric stash and other assorted crafty junk. I am, however, notoriously bad at keeping things uncluttered and this space has been pretty much useless to me except for doing laundry (the washer is next to the stove O.o) except for maybe 2 months out of the year (if you put all of the smaller bits of time together.)

Today I am working on that. Obviously, my procrastination is in working order, as I am sitting here at the pc instead of actually working on it.... but things are getting done.

I am even using one of the kitchen cupboards for my yarn stash... I have not sewn more than two things in the last year, but I have completed at least ten or twelve knitting projects. I think there is something proportionately wrong with my stash. I should see if anyone wants to trade yarn for some fabric :P

On another note... I found a really nifty site for blog layouts. suckmylolly's Free Blogger Templates and Designs . I might be switching mine around for a bit until I find the one I like best. There are a lot of really fun retro look designs there.

Bah, I thought I had something new, but there are a couple of people in other places who use wickedcookie as a username. Hrm.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A New Beginning...

So I came to an interesting conclusion this morning. The last week or so I have been spening far too much time on the web... reading crafty blogs and food blogs... poking around on Etsy and Craftster .. searching through Ravelry not only for patterns, but fascinated by the community that has grown there. All the time I drink in the creativity and imagination shown by the people in each place. Yet somehow, I kept finding myself feeling a little empty... I can never seem to find my inspiration. I am terrible at desiging things from scratch, but for some reason in my head, that was what it took to be (cue black background and single white spotlight) An Artist. Which is what I desprately want to be and foolishly believe that somehow I am not.

While I was making tea around noon to go with my homemade bread peanut butter toast epiphany tapped me on the shoulder. I keep struggling to find inspiration to create something from scratch with my own ideas and it's like trying to climb over a slippery silicone wall with greasy hands. i.e. Not gonna happen. There's a good reason for this... I am good with my hands, I enjoy creating with my hands... but that is not where my muse lies. I am grasping that idea today. I am growing comfortable with that idea... I think.

I can follow a pattern an knit up something beautiful... I can follow a recipe and create a dish that my family clamours for again and again... but I can't take fabric and turn it into something lovely straight out of my head. I don't have the passion to do the same thing over and over again, to troubleshoot and rework until the pieces fall into place. Except with one thing. Words. Above all else, I am a reader and a writer. I put reader first because I spend far more time reading than writing.

So my medium, truly, is words. That is my comfort zone and my challenging place all rolled into one. I love reading and writing, I love editing... I find great satisfaction in finding all of the little things that professional editors miss. I am fascinated by word origins. I am such a word geek that I page through not with the intent to use most of what is there... but to watch language develop. I enjoy proper grammar, and if I don't know the rules, I love looking them up. I admit it, I am a word geek. This is where I find my art. I am cool with this.

Now, don't get me wrong, this will not stop me from trying if the muse hits me over the head and throws me in another direction, I am still willing to try anything. But now I have a focal point. I think I have all along, I was just in denial.

What's funny is that I created this blog a couple of weeks ago, but have been so busy trying to force myself to be creative in another direction, that I never wrote anything until today.

So here it is. Forgive my writing style if you find flaws, I tend to be more wordy than spartan and am often interrupted by a member of the household menagerie (one husband, a daughter of 6, a son of 4, 3 cats {5 temporarily}, a dog and 3 fish.) My posts here will be minimally edited for the sake of non-procrastination. I am the Duchess of Run-On-Sentences (there are too many queens in that country already.) So, you all are welcome to take the same wicked delight in catching my mistakes that I do in the books and papers I read. (I've never found a poorly edited blog... interesting that. Perhaps the lack of deadline pressure?)

On a side note, there is a little Thai restaurant in town called Bangkok Cafe that I used to frequent, more or less, with my friends when we were in high school. There was a delicious tea we ordered from time to time that was incredibly rich and tasty in an unusual way that was a shocking shade of opaque pumpkin orange. It was named generically "Thai tea". We asked for more information once, and found that it was made from a mix, like hot cocoa but I do not recall more than that. I have eaten there several times since, but my grown up mindset has prevented me from drinking the scary looking orange beverage. During my aforementioned epiphany I was making a tea made by Yogi Tea . I had picked up this tea because the name, Sweet Thai Delight, brought back memories of that tasty tea I had not had in so long. When I brought it home, however, although it was very tasty, and had a sweet overtone of it's own, it just didn't taste as if it would be anything like the tea from Bangkok Cafe. I did like it though. So much so that I have had it more than any other tea since I brought it home. Then today, having just eaten homemade bread with peanut butter and jam, the tea was a little bitter. I added a teaspoon or so of sugar, and as I was sipping, I was caught off guard by the sweet flavor, very remenicient of the tea from the thai place! I looked down into the white mug (previously all cups of this tea had been in my darker mugs) and you know what? The tea was a lovely deep tea pumpkin color... I added just enough milk to make it cloudy, and there it was. The pure not-mix version of the Thai tea from long ago. I am a happy camper.

So, to conclude the first post of my new shiny blog, I would like to give an idea of what might be found here in posts to come. Amongst other things, the main bulk of the blog will be Knitting and Cookies... Err. Cooking even. Though there will be a lot of cookies, too. I lean towards the thrifty side of things. I love taking an old sweater, unraveling it, dyeing it, and making it into something new. Hmm.. Far too distracted to think of anything else.

Thanks for stopping by, please come again soon!!

template by