"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


I Love Flushing Toilets

I had big plans for this mornings post. I have finished my bead crochet lariat and I was gonna take pics and post them and whatnot. Ha! Mother Nature had other plans that shoved my plans right out of my head.

About 5 pm yesterday it suddenly got very very dark at the Parkarosa and then we were hit by such a fierce storm that it actually scared me and my daughter Ruth. The power was blinking on and off, on and off, and the wind was blowing so hard the pines were actually bending over far enough for their tops to touch the ground. Ruth and I rushed around the house shutting down all the computers and making sure all the furry kids were safely inside, then hunkered down for the ride.

The storm was quick. Maybe 15 minutes at most. But it did a lot of damage. Trees came down all over the place. Shortly thereafter the sirens started. Then we discovered we had no running water.

Our well house is on a different power line than our house. That's cos it's in the middle of the Parkarosa so all the family can hook their houses up to it. Well, apparently a large tree lost some large branches on hwy 41, just in front of my brother-in-laws house. The branches came down on some power lines and ripped them apart in 3 places. There was a fire-though small. No power over there? No water over here.

With no water I can't flush my toilet, or wash my hands, or fix the dinner I had planned (roast pork tenderloin, baked potatoes, etc). So, as usual, the family met at Toro Viejo, a very small mexican restaurant in Rathdrum, and we had dinner together. The only problem was that power was out all over town, so just about everyone in town was there with us. Those who weren't were probably at Burger Heaven, Dairy Queen, One Eyed Jacks Steakhouse, O'malleys, and Granny's Pantry. The other restaurants Rathdrum has. So it took a long time before dinner was served. They actually ran out of Margauritas! I was forced to drink diet Pepsi with my enchiladas. Sigh...

Anyway, to get back to the subject, we were hoping the water would be on when we got home, but no dice. Not until 8:30 this morning. I hate not having running water.

You do not appreciate a flushing toilet until you can't flush it. Think about it.

I did get quite a bit of knitting done though. We had power at our house. So we could still watch tv and have the lights on. I got the left front of the baby jacket done, and started the right front before going to bed.

This morning I'm picking Sarah up and we're going to the annual summer bead show at the fair grounds. So I better get going.

Have a great day, and tell your flushing toilet hello from me, and you might thank it for all it does too.


Fridays Feast 6/29/07

Here's this weeks edition of Fridays Feast.

How many pieces of jewelry do you wear most days?

3, sometimes 4. My watch, my wedding ring, and my amethyst ring. I wear my beaded necklaces when going somewhere.


What is your favorite instrumental song?

This is a HARD one! I play the violin, majored in music. I've played in orchestras, rock bands, string quartets, jazz bands, musical ensembles of every shape and form, own a huge record collection, so I've played and heard a lot of instrumental songs. There is NO WAY I could pick a favorite. Period.

Who has a last name that you like?

My sweet hubby. My maiden name is Proulx. It's french, and pronounced Proo. You don't know what torture and cruelty I endured as a kid with that last name. When I married sweet hubby, I proudly and joyfully became a Park. Love it!

Main Course
Name a popular movie you’ve never seen.

Alien. When it first came out one of my friends went to see it, and after hearing his description of some of the scenes I've refused to see it. Yech!

Fill in the blank: Nothing makes me _laugh_ like _my daughters quick wits_.


Rock Heaven

Part 2 of the camping trip.

On Sunday we decided to chill for the day. We explored the campground, visited the little store it had, and then went our seperate ways. Sue had a brand new tiny little inflatable sail boat that she was dying to try out, so she headed for the lake. Dan went with her. He sat on the beach and read a novel while she assembled it, then followed her around in his kayak in case she might need rescuing. When they got back to camp I asked him if the boat was fun. He said it was 'fun, and funny'. I guess Sue was pretty entertaining. I should have gone down and watched.

Doug went for a long ride on his bike. He loves to do that on camping trips. Ruth got out a jigsaw puzzle to work on at the picnic table. I took the dogs on walks, cleaned the inside of the trailer out, then sat at the picnic table and worked on my bead crochet lariat. It was a very pleasant day. The sun was shining, but it was not hot out. There was a nice cool stiff breeze blowing.

When Doug got back from his bike ride, we scarfed down some lunch. Then the three of us and the boys went for a drive on some logging roads in the mountains. While driving around we came upon an interesting rocky face, so we stopped and let Ruth investigate. There was lots of granite. She found tiny little garnets in it. Was quite pretty. Here's some photos I took while there. Click on the pics to enlarge them.

Ruth investigating the rocky face.

Gotta get a close look at those tiny garnet crystals.

After the 4 mile hike the day before, Morgan was having no more of that hiking stuff. He refused to get out.

A tiny little tree. We were up in the alpines, where a short growing season, thin air, and hard winter makes the trees grow very slowly and small. Call it natural bonsai. This tree is probably a few years old. It was just too cute. That's my watch next to it.

This is some very very tiny pink Penstemmon that I found growing on some rocks.

A view of Priest Lake from where we were in the mountains.

When we got back from this little trip we had dinner. Sue made Chicken Mediteranean and I make Elk burgers. We gave some trees we'd cut down last summer to an elderly fellow, he needed them for lumber or something, and in return a couple weeks ago he gave me a couple packages of frozen Elk burger. I saved it for the camping trip. Mmmm...was it ever good. I think we got the better end of that deal.

Monday morning it was cold and rainy at Priest Lake. It was a good time to leave. We packed up and came home.

I'll be putting the rest of the pics from our camping trip in my Yahoo photo album, so the family can see them.

Yesterday I went to bead group. Made good progress on the bead crochet lariat. Boy did I get lucky though. I've been using some purple silver lined Czech rocailles in this project that I carried in my shop and brought home when I closed it. I only had the one hank and discovered yesterday that I was 2 strands short of what I needed to finish the fringe. No one around here carries that particular color. So, basically, I thought I was screwed. However, Cindy came up with a tube of Japanese rocailles that are so close in color and size that they are virtually identical to what I've been using. Thanks for rescuing me Cindy! Just have two branch fringes left to make.

Bill got out a bucket--a big BUCKET--and dumped it out on the table I was sitting at. It was stuffed full of 4mm druks they just got in. My goodness, I didn't know druks came in so many colors! They were gorgeous! Druks are round glass beads made by the Czechs. I love using them, but the color selection around here hasn't been very good. Bill has fixed that problem.

On the way home I stopped and picked up a couple skeins of light denim blue yarn to make a baby jacket. I'm going to try Caron Simply Soft. It's pretty cheap, as prices go, so I'm not expecting a very good quality yarn, but there isn't anyone close by that carries Patons Canadiana or Plymouth Encore-my favorites. (And who's fault is that? Sigh...)

Daughter Sarah's best friend Charo is home from the army-permanently. She's pregnant and there's going to be a baby shower next Saturday. Sarah and Charo have been friends forever. So I want to make something for the baby rather than buy something ready made. I've chosen an aran style baby jacket from 101 Knitting-To-Go Projects by House of White Birches. It's done in worsted weight yarn, so it should knit up fast. I've already got the back half done. I doubt I'll have it done by Saturday, but there'll be enough I can show it to Charo anyway.

Have a great day!


Way Better than Yosemite

The camping trip was awesome! The park was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and I had loads of fun.

We camped in a park on the east side of Priest Lake. It was right on the lake, with a beautiful sandy beach. First thing I did after we set up camp was go kayaking on the lake with my daughter Ruth. The sun was shining, the sky was deep blue, and there were fluffy little clouds blowing around. But the wind was blowing just a little too hard for my taste and I started to get nervous about the size of the waves on the lake, so we paddled back to shore. Other than the wind on the lake, the weather was wonderful.

On Saturday morning we did our 'big' breakfast. One morning per camping trip we get out the eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, pancake mixes, or whatever and fix a big breakfast. We used to do it every morning, but I couldn't take that much cholesterol in my diet every day. I'm not used to eating like that for breakfast. We had electricity at this park, so Sue got out the waffle iron. I'd brought some spicy chicken sausages I'd found at Costco, and we had hashbrowns and scrambled eggs and crispy bacon. Yum, it was good!

After cleaning up the breakfast mess, we all packed ourselves, and a lunch, into the trucks (gotta have 4 wheel drive where we were going) and drove up into the mountains on logging roads. We were headed for a specific place sweet hubby and I had found last October. It has some incredibly awesome geologic stuff going on and we were dying to show it to daughter Ruth, the geology major.

She was suitably impressed. In fact, she got downright excited about the whole thing. Got out the hammer and started pounding on boulders. Lots of granite. In fact, the 3 mountains we were in the middle of were pretty much solid granite.

There's a trail that goes up into the valley between these mountains. We decided to hike up it until we'd had enough hiking, and turn back. We being sweet hubby, daughter Ruth, my dogs Tommy and Morgan, brother in law Dan, his wife Sue, nephew Nathan, and nephew Brendan. We didn't know what was up there. That's part of the adventure. Well, did we get a surprise! About a quarter mile or so up the trail we could hear water falling. A bit further up and the trail started running parallel to a gorgeous creek. We cut through the bushes to find it, and here was my first view. This is the family walking on solid white granite, along the edge of the creek. The creek is just on the other side of them. You can click on these photos to make them larger.

We could walk up along the side of this creek on the granite for a long ways, so we did. It was so beautiful! These pics do NOT do it any justice at all. It was probably one of the most awesome sites I've seen (and I've seen some major sites in my life!) This is sweet hubby and his brother up ahead of me. Look at that splashing water. It was a very powerful creek. We did not want to fall in it, we'd be in big trouble.

After walking up awhile, I turned around and took a pic of the creek thundering down the mountain side behind me.

Eventually, we got back on the main trail, which continued to follow the creek up until it came to a spot where another creek met with this one. At this point, the trail split. There was a family here who were having lunch and whatnot. They told us if we crossed the creek (not an easy task) and took the trail on the other side, there was yet another really awesome waterfall up a couple hundred feet or so (the new creek did this one). The family decided to do that. However, I could not see a way to get Morgan and Tommy over there safely (the water was swift. I needed both my hands to keep my balance.), so Ruth and I decided to take the safe way and just wait for everyone else to come back.

We were in a really beautiful spot, and the boys would enjoy exploring all the new smells. Ruth left me for a bit and continued up the original trail we were on. She was hoping to find an easier place to cross the creek. Instead, she came back and got me to see this. Just a couple hundred feet up the trail the granite waterfall continued. Notice the dark rock in the center of the photo? That rock is HUGE! This was one awesome site. The creek came down into a pool at the front of this photo before it then tumbled on down the mountain.

In the shade by this pool was this wonderful natural granite bench at the perfect height and size for sitting on. Morgan posed for me on it.

Then I sat down to wait for the family. We figured we had about a half hour to 45 minute wait. This was a very pleasant place to do it. Ruth shucked her socks and shoes and went wading in the pool, and the boys explored. I tried to get a nice pic of Tommy, but all I got was his little butt. He was very excited about the whole hike and couldn't sit still for 1 second. Too many things to explore and smell. That's him behind me. Ruth took this pic of me on the 'bench'.

That's all for now. I'll share more pics tomorrow.

Have a good day.


Fridays Feast 6/22/07

I spent the day, yesterday, getting ready for the first camping trip of the season. WOO HOO! I love camping. No, let me rephrase that. I love WIMPY camping! That's what my daughter calls it, because we have a beautiful little 25ft trailer with cushy beds, a couch, table, stove, oven, sink, tiny little bathroom, fridge and freezer, furnace, air conditioner, cd player, and we mustn't forget the microwave (which I've yet to use). Way better than a tent, let me tell you.

We bought the trailer 3 years ago, after the last camping trip I would ever do with a tent. That last tent trip involved wind, RAIN, cold, the tent collapsing on me during the night, and waking up to a cold wet lizard on my face. It was the lizard that put me over the top. I proclaimed to sweet hubby that was IT! NO MORE TENT!

I love my trailer. My tiny little portable vacation home. Drag it into the beautiful outdoors and live like a queen.

I will be taking my Monkey Sock with me, and some beading. I always take creative projects with me. There's nothing like sitting on a beach with something cold and frosty in the cup holder, and a project in my hands, watching nature.

So, there'll be no blogging until Tuesday. In the meantime, here's my Fridays Feast.

Name a funny habit you have.

I silently count stairs when walking up or down them. Don't know why, done it all my life, find it incredibly annoying about myself.

If you could instantly know how to play a musical instrument, which one would you pick?

My friends and relations won't believe my answer, but it's true. The violin. I know, I know. I already play the violin. But I'm not very good. Every note is a struggle for me to make. I would love to be able to pick it up and easily make it sing like Itzak Perlman does.

How long is your hair?

'Bout 18 inches I guess.

Main Course
When was the last time you forgave someone, and who was it?

Ummm, lets see. I guess it would be Tommy (my Iggy) for peeing on the carpet yesterday. I don't understand it. Why can't they stop doing that???? I've never had a dog so hard to potty train as these two. If I lock them up in the bathroom for a couple hours to run to the grocery store, they hold it. In fact, they'll hold it for 8 or 9 hours. But if I lock them in the living room for 30 minutes to go run an errand, they pee on the floor. Arrrgghh..............That's why hardwood flooring is in my future. If animals are gonna pee on my floor, I want it easy to clean up.

What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

My dishwasher. The guy who invented it should have a place in heaven. If I could take it camping with me, I would.

Have a great weekend.


The View From the Other Side of the Counter

Woke this morning feeling 1000's of times better. Hurray!

I beaded last night, but not on my lariat fringe. I worked on my zigzag peyote bracelet instead. You'll find the pattern for it here, scroll down a bit:

Silver Mist Gardens

It's an exercise in beading with different size beads, which makes it raise up in a very satisfying 3-D effect like Cellini spiral. I'm doing it in limey greens and eggplant purple. It will be a bangle-I hope. Heh heh. Keeping the tension good and tight has been the challenge for me. If you don't keep it tight, the pattern doesn't work right.

I visited JanuaryOne's blog and found an interesting thing going on. She's been on vacation in San Francisco and had visited some yarn shops. One of them had not been the best experience for her, so she stated that in a fair and honest way. The comments have been very interesting, which has led to the subject I'm gonna write about today.

We've all experienced it. You go into a store and the folks who work there aren't real friendly or helpful, and you leave feeling like they'd have been happier if you hadn't come in and interrupted them. You vow to never return.

If that's the first time you've been in the shop, please don't judge it harshly.

Being a former yarn shop owner, I know what it's like. There are customers who have unrealistic expectations when they visit a yarn shop. They expect the proprietor and employees to be all fuzzy warm, friendly, overly helpful, and like a warm hug all the time-no matter how badly you may treat them, when in fact the customer is entering a business owned and operated, tragically, by humans.

When I had my shop, I tried my very best to be as friendly and helpful as I could at all times, but life got in the way. It's hard to smile and be friendly when the night before you just had a teenage girl go off the road at 80mph and wrap her car around the pine tree in your front yard and smash her brain to smithereens (I was the one who looked in the car first-not pleasant), or you just got back from your annual physical after having been told there's a lump in your breast, or your house was burglarized the day before. Or your neurologist has just told you that if you don't have surgery on your back, you're going to be in a wheel chair within a few months. These things happened to me.

Or how about you just found out that brand new expensive silk sweater you put up on display a couple days ago has successfully been stolen by a shoplifter, or you just had a customer who verbally abused your employees for NO justifiable reason, or you've just spent 2 hours gritting your teeth with the customer who is so obnoxious you want to run and hide when you see her at the door. Or you've been chewed out by a customer about a really bad yarn-even though you don't sell that yarn and the customer bought it somewhere else. Or you just had to clean up a mess from a customer who took tons of skeins off the shelves and left them laying all over the store on the floor. These things happened to me.

Or maybe you're just feeling lousy. Your back hurts, you have a nasty headache, you have a cold, you're fighting off the flu, you just had a fight with sweet hubby (rare, but it happens). I'm human. I have bad days.

Most customers are wonderful. That's one of the reasons I loved having a yarn shop. But, the fact is, there are far more scary customers out there than scary yarn shop proprietors. Far more people who have unrealistic expectations, or have an attitude that the shop owner is trying to rip them off. There are stories I could tell you that would make your hair stand on end.

I'm not saying there are no lousy yarn shops out there. There are, I've visited a few of them and was totally justified in never going back. I'm just saying, don't judge on the first visit.

It takes a special kind of person to own and run a yarn shop successfully. Not only do you have to know business, and knitting, but you have to love people, and you have to have diplomatic skills far above anything used to calm angry countries.

So, if you visit a yarn shop, and you haven't had the experience you expected, or wanted, remember, there are two sides to the checkout counter. Give the shop staff the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they just had a really bad experience before you got there. Give them a second chance.

Have a great day.


Printable What?

I didn't do any beading or knitting or anything last night. By dinner time I was having such bad PMS cramps and a headache that I just wanted to lay down in a dark cool room and pretend to be dead. I didn't do that of course, but I sure wanted to. Instead, I downed some pain killers and cooked dinner (even went to a bit of trouble for it-mustard tarragon chicken), then laid in my recliner and drank Southern Comfort until the bottle was empty. Somehow, it helped a little.

And lest you think I was under the table, there were only two shots left in that bottle (rats!). About an hour after dinner my sweet loving daughter, Ruth, said the most awesome words I've heard in quite awhile.

"Would you like me to make you some chocolate pudding Mom?"

I almost cried. I must have done something incredibly good in my past to get a daughter like her. She made me chocolate pudding. It made me feel tons better, though I still went to bed early.

So what does all that have to do with the title of todays entry? Nothing. Ha ha! But, before dinner I was doing some web surfing, in an effort to forget I was in pain. I started out just looking at beaded eye candy at various web sites, clicking on links just cos I was curious. I got sidetracked and ended up on a site that had Printable Boxes. What, may you ask, is that? It's a graphic image of a box template that you can print on cardboard stock, cut it out, fold it on the appropriate lines, glue the right tabs, and voila! You have a small gift box.

I didn't know there was such a thing. They make perfect gift boxes for my beaded jewelry. In fact, I wish I'd found them before Tami's birthday. They are so cute, and some of them are downright beautiful. They come in all kinds of shapes and there's even little tiny bag templates. I ended up spending quite a bit of time just looking for printable box templates and saving them on my computer. So, here are a couple links where you can find some free box templates. They can be bought too, but I haven't looking into that yet.

Package Tech

Mardar's Stuff

Rainbow Graphics

Let me know what you think, and have a nice day.


It Was a Crochet Kind of Day

I had a productive day yesterday, despite the fact I was feeling low energy (still am). PMS is no fun. I finally finished the crocheting on the bead crochet rope. Whew! It's a relief to get it done. I will take it to bead group today and finish the embellishments (fringe).

I had a most unusual phone call in the morning. Someone in KnitWits gave my name and phone number to a gal who used to do a lot of crocheting. She had been working on a baby blanket when she became quite ill and was unable to do anything in the way of crochet for quite some time. She's much better now and wants to finish the blanket, but couldn't figure out where she is in the pattern. Could I help her?

Yeeks! I'm not all that confident in my crochet. Not like I am in knitting and whatnot. And it's been several years since I've done anything besides slip stitches. But, this was a fellow yarn artist in distress, so I decided to give it a try. I went over to her house after the morning walk.

I had a wonderful time! This gal turned out to be quite a bubbly person. She showed me the blanket and the pattern. Thank the GODS it was an easy pattern! Only 2 rows of pattern repeated over and over. I was able to figure out where she was in it and got her going.

She is a self taught crocheter, and wants very very much to be an excellent crocheter. Quite frankly, she already is. I looked at some of the things she's made in the past and she does beautiful work! But she seems to have lost all her confidence in her crochet ability. Probably because of the illness she just battled. It affected her hands quite a bit.

I recommended she purchase one or two crochet reference books. Other than that, all she can do is get back into it and in time it will all come back to her. I also invited her to come to our next KnitWits meeting. Hopefully, she'll show up.

After all that crochet during the day, I needed to KNIT, so last night I made good progress on my Monkey Sock. I finished the gusset. Here it is so far.

I'm lovin' the way it looks. You can see the heel flap detail really good in this pic too. Much prettier than plain ol' stockinet.

In my last entry, I mentioned I'd crocheted the whole Winnie the Pooh set by Leisure Arts. It took me 3 years to do the whole thing. Not a pattern for the feint of heart either. I had days where I could NOT figure out the instructions and had to think about it for a day or two before it would come to me what they meant. It was constructed in a very unique way. You make the arms and legs, then while making the body you actually crochet the limbs into it, rather than sewing them on afterwards. Makes for a much nicer toy that way. I used Patons Canadiana for the yarn.

My buddies used to be on display in my shop, now they sit atop my desk. Here it is. If you've made this set, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear other's experiences in making it.

I have the Leisure Arts book of Bugs Bunny and Friends patterns in the stash, with the yarn. I should get it out and make them some time.

Today, it's supposed to be sunny and in the 80's. I hope we don't get all the weeks good weather in the middle. We're supposed to be going camping next weekend and I'd like some 80 degree weather for that.

Have a great day.


Happy Fathers Day!

To all the Dads out there, Happy Fathers Day!

I called my Dad, he got his present on Friday. If you will remember, I sent him a remote control airplane. It was a complete surprise. When I asked him if he got his present, he started laughing and said "That's quite a gift!" He hasn't tried flying it yet. I think it's a little intimidating for him. He said he "didn't know they made them that way". Yes Dad, even toy technology has changed over the years. Heh heh. Anyway, he's waiting until grandson Joey can come over and fly it with him. In the meantime, he's working on his garden today.

Gramma is doing okay. They had to put her in an extended care home last week. She's just not able to take care of herself any more. It was a tough decision for my Dad and his brothers to make, but I know she'll be better off there. Gramma lost her eyesite several years ago (she's 93?) and now she's falling down a lot and stuff. Someone needs to be there with her 24 hours a day. In the home she'll get that, plus there's other people living there. She might actually develop a social life and friends. Wouldn't that be great?

Remember the slippers I made my Gramma? Well, everyone has got to see them, and now EVERYONE wants a pair. Even my Uncle Jimmy! I told Dad to get everybody's shoe sizes and color choices, and I'll see what I can do.


I just ordered some Oak blockers with deer heads carved in the top. They're beautiful. Click on the picture to go there.

Well, we're off to Spokane. Sweet Hubby wants a digital camera for Father's Day. I decided to let him pick it out cos I know I'd probably pick something he wouldn't like.

Have a great Holiday, everybody.


Monkey Sock Love

Oh yes, I am enjoying my Monkey sock. I'd forgotten how much fun socks are to knit. Yesterday I finished the flap, turned the heel, and now I'm working on the gusset. I usually stop a textured pattern at this point, but I like this one so much I'm gonna do it all the way to the toe. They'll be the purtiest socks I own. I will have to get myself some new shoes to wear them with-something that shows off hand knit socks properly. hmmm...maybe I should check out the Birkenstock store in Spokane Valley?

I also worked a bit on my bead crochet lariat. God, 40 inches is a long way! I've done 32, only 8 more to go. When I get it done, there is NO way I'm selling it. This one is a keeper, for ME! I'm not enjoying it like I thought I would, which is kind of disappointing to me. I was hoping I'd find it loads of fun so I'd make a lot of them. Oh well. One never knows until one tries it out.

I think when this rope is done I will try doing something similar in brick stitch needle weaving. I have downloaded a free tutorial from Bead-Patterns.com that says doing tubular brick stitch with size 8 perle cotton will produce a similar result. I love the way bead crochet rope feels, very slinky and organic. So if brick stitch will do it, that might be better for me. It may not be quicker, but I wouldn't have to string all those beads on in advance and I know I enjoy brick stitch much more than crochet-which is just plain weird.

Why do I not enjoy bead crochet as much? Makes no sense to me. And yet-I just LOVE making crochet stuffed toys. I've made hundreds of them. I did the whole Winnie the Pooh set (patterns by Leisure Arts) when I had the shop and loved it even though they were the most difficult patterns known to mankind. In fact, I got blue ribbons at the fair. I wonder what I did with those pictures?

Showed my finished Nautiloid to Sarah's boyfriend last night. I got such a kick out of his reaction. He actually squealed "Oh, it's so CUTE!". Never heard that sound come out of a grown guy before. Heh heh. Made me laugh. He absolutely loves it. Now I know what to make him for Christmas.

Now I know, for certain, that my daughter Sarah has truly 'left' the nest. She called just a bit ago to ask if it was all right to come over. She's thinking of her own place as 'home' and respecting our privacy, which is kind of sweet. I've told her she does not need to EVER ask permission to come here. I think I'll make sure she has a key to the house. I seem to remember Sweet Hubby telling me she'd given hers to him some time back for some unknown reason.

Had no plans for today, but now I do. Sarah and I are gonna bead for the booth. I guess I better clean off the dining room table (which is once again stacked high with remnants from various and sundry needlecraft projects).

Have a great weekend.


Fridays Feast 6/15/07

I knitted last night. I've been beading so much lately, because of the impending Rathdrum Days, that I just had to take a break. I miss my needles. Come to Mama.....

I picked up the Monkey Sock and couldn't put it down. I am LOVIN' the stitch pattern. 11 rows, but I've actually memorized it. I decided I was gonna keep knitting until I was working on a heel flap. Hurray! I'm halfway through the flap. I changed the pattern here though. I don't like a plain stockinette heel flap. They aren't as durable as the slip stitch heel flap. Not as pretty either.

To do 'my' favorite flap, for the first row you slip the first stitch, then *knit 1, slip the next stitch knitwise. You repeat from * across, ending with a knit 1. For the second row, you slip the first stitch, then purl across the rest of them. If you haven't tried it, do so. I think you'll like it a lot.

Morgan was a DOG yesterday. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I celebrate. You see, Morgan was severely abused by his previous owners. When he came home with me, he was 4 pounds under weight, suffering from malnutrition, and scared of everything. If you lifted your hand in his presence, he'd run away and hide. Loud noise? Run away and hide. Man in the room? Run and hide. It broke my heart. He didn't play, didn't bark, never wagged his tail. In fact, he didn't do all the doggish things dogs do. Most of his life was spent hiding under a blanket. His spirit had been beaten into the ground. A broken dog. I think we can safely say he's fixed now.

We had meatloaf for dinner. I usually line the pan with foil before plopping the meat into it for baking. The fat and meat encrusted foil ended up in the garbage after dinner. Guess who dragged it out of the garbage and had a feast? We celebrated.

Speaking of feasting:

Fill in the blank: The best thing about where I live is _the natural beauty. It's like camping all year long. Also, the privacy_…

Create a new name for a deodorant (like “Flower Fresh” or “Shower Scent”).

??? Stink Stopper

What was the last piece of software you installed onto your computer?

Corel Paintshop Pro 11. I've been using version 7 for ages. Sweet Hubby gave me a laptop and I wanted Paintshop on it, but couldn't' find my disks. Was 'forced' to get the new version. It's okay, but as usual, they've changed everything so I'm gonna have to relearn everything. And what the heck happened to 'Gamma Correction' in the color tool bar?

Main Course
If you were to receive a superlative award today beginning with the words ”Most likely to…”, what would the rest of the phrase say?

....die with knitting needles in her hands.

What two colors do you like to wear together?

Purple and Green.

Have a great day!


Bearded Iris is Blooming

Royal Purple is my most favorite Bearded Iris. Twelve years ago I asked a lady I knew who grew Bearded Irises like there was no tomorrow for a cutting from her Royal Purple Iris. She gave me a whole bag of rhizomes to plant. I planted them, then patiently waited for the next summer so I could see my purple iris in bloom. Not one of the Irises she gave me was purple. What a HUGE disappointment that was. So I went to the nearest nursery and bought a Royal Purple Bearded Iris 'bulb'. It never bloomed, until yesterday. Worth the wait!

The wild Iris is blooming too. Seems to be a bumper crop. I'm seeing them in places not usually having them. This one is growing in the bushes beside the driveway.

This is the bracelet I made earlier this week for my friends birthday present. It's made with size 11 ab clear silver lined seed beads and teal 4mm Czech crystals.

I had it all wrapped and ready to go, but I was losing confidence in my choice of patterns. I did not know if my friend would find it attractive or not, or if she wore teal. I can't remember ever seeing her in that color.

Yesterday afternoon I was surfing Sandra Halpenny's web site and came across her free Tennis Bracelet pattern. This is definitely a style my friend, Tami, would love. So I sat down and whipped it up for her. It's made with size 11 silver lined clear seed beads and 4mm bicone crystals. I gave it to her at lunch today, and she LOVES it!

Oddly enough, I think the teal would have made her very happy. She was wearing a very brightly colored shirt today, with lots and lots of teal in it. Oh well.

I also dipped my toes into ring making this week. This is my first one. I used some 6x5mm rice pearls dyed pink (which I found at Walmart for a mere 75 cents a strand on clearance), some 4mm Czech crystals, and size 11 pearly seed beads. Talk about instant gratification! It was a lot of fun to make. I've been wearing it and getting loads of compliments. So I guess I could say it's not bad for a first one. I got the pattern on the Perlalili site. It's called Bague Chrysalide. The pattern is in french, but I was able to follow the diagrams quite easily.

The purpose of learning to make rings is so I can make a few for the booth I'll be having at Rathdrum Days. I'm making a few adult size rings, but mostly I want to make some pink glam for the little girls to talk their parents into buying for them. Using the above ring as a jumping off point, I then designed my own little pink ring. I've used size 15 clear silver lined seed beads, 3mm Czech crystals in clear ab, and 4mm Czech crystals in pink.

Also discovered something truly DISGUSTING yesterday. The corner of the living room, behind my hubby's recliner, is where the dogs like to keep their toys. In the last couple weeks or so it started emanating a rather obnoxious odor. Now, in the past, I used to put a little throw rug down there, and Morgan liked to lay back there for a snooze. But Silver took to peeing and spraying on the rug, so I removed it and got Morgan his much loved doggy bed. When the odor started emanating, I assumed that the recently humid damp air we've been having lately had made its way down into the carpet padding and was resurrecting some of the smell from Silver's old pee. Hubby asked if I'd please spray the area with Fresh Care (a fabric deoderizing concoction that comes in a spray bottle, made by Clorox),

So, yesterday Ruth helped me pull the chair out away from the wall, and that is where I found the truly disgusting thing. This odor was not old, it was NEW! Silver had soaked all of the boys toys (which explains why they weren't being played with lately) with his toxic cat spray. Some of the toys were so soaked they were still wet! I didn't win the war after all (see Cat in a Snit entry 5/23/07). I had to throw all but two of them away! Fortunately, I was able to salvage Blue Giraffe and Pink Piggy, which just happen to be Morgan's favorites. I washed them in the sink, rinsing several times, and managed to get the odor out, yet the squeekers still work.

Now--where is that cat? I have a bone to pick with him. SILVERRRRRRR....................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great day!



This guy was sunbathing on the front door. I thought my front door was clean 'til I looked at the pic. That gooey stuff is glue left from a note I'd taped on the door for the UPS guy. Mr. Moth was using it to hang on I guess. See his right foot sticking out there-holding on? So cute! He sure is pretty.

I don't feel so good this morning. Sore throat and I ache all over. I'm hoping it's just reaction to yesterdays walk. Arrrghh.....not my idea of fun.

I worked on my Monkey Sock last night. A little here, a little there, eventually it will get done. I also worked on a bracelet. A friends birthday is coming up on Thursday. I'll finish today at bead group.

Morgan is doing much better. The drain has stopped draining and the swelling has gone down completely. Now, lets hope it stays that way and heals.

Sent Daddy's Fathers Day gift. I got him an electric remote control airplane from Red Rocket Hobbies.

Rather extravagant for me to spend that much on him, but he needs a toy to occupy him. He used to have a plane when I was a little girl. I have fond memories of the two of us going down to the track at the local Junior High school and flying the plane. It was a gas powered plane. He had to build it himself, made of paper and balsa wood. Took him hours. I used to enjoy watching him work. We'd be sitting at the kitchen table. He'd be cutting and gluing, I'd watch with such intense interest. I remember when he crashed it into oblivion too. What a sad day that was.

This plane snaps together and runs on batteries. Comes with a battery charger, 2 batteries, and all sorts of cool goodies. RC planes have changed a lot over the last 40 years.

I had to send the plane by FedEx Ground cos the box was kind of awkward, and the contents fragile. I wanted it to go 2-day, but they wanted $80 for that! Ridiculous to charge that much. So I sent it regular. He'll get it the day after Fathers Day. Better late than never.

Oh! Almost forgot! I took daughter Ruth to Borders (she's a bookaholic like her mother) and I found goodies!

This is a new version of Julia Pretl's book. The original she published herself and it was spiral bound. It also only had 4 patterns in it--the four on the cover. This new version was published by a real publisher just recently and has a LOT more patterns. Some of them are SO awesome. The charts and instructions are very very clear. If you are into peyote, check this book out. The boxes are adorable. It's a beautiful book.

Not only that, it's the same price as the older version, but a much better buy!

This is volume 2 of Charlene Schurch's wonderful Sensational Knitted Socks book that came out a couple years or so ago. I like V2 better than the first. Lots of really beautiful, yet easy, textured pattern socks in this one-both lace and aran, and a nice variety of gusset and heal choices. She also has included colored patterns that are complimentary to each other so you can do the leg in a main pattern, the instep in a complimentary pattern to the main, and the sole in another complimentary pattern to both the others. Makes for some really beautiful socks.

Have a great day.


Pics From Our Walk

I did some knitting over the weekend. My Nautiloid is done. Here it is.

Another view.

In yesterdays entry I talked about going on a walk in the backyard with my daughter Ruth. I had my camera with me and took some photos of some of the wildflowers. This is one of my favorites. We call it CatsEars, but it's official name is Mariposa Lily, or Star Lily.

This is a side view. We have them all over the place right now.

This is Honeysuckle. It smells wonderful, and the hummingbirds love it.

This is a wild rose. The outside is heavy with the scent of them. They're having a bumper crop of flowers this year. Lots of pink and green mounds around the edge of the lawn.

This is called Butter and Eggs Toadwort.

That's all. Have a nice day.


Pattern Updated

I spent the morning fixing some of the problems brought to my attention in the free pattern. It should be easier to understand now. Let me know what you think.

Embellish Me

Last night we went to see the new Pirates of the Carribean-at Worlds End movie. I enjoyed it very much, though there was one thing I didn't like about it. They spent the whole movie building up to the release of the goddess Calypso from her human form, and then when she was released it was so anticlimatic and flat I almost cried with disappointment. Here I thought there'd be a great revenge scene and ......nothing. She grows giant, and disappears. Whoop-dee-doo. It sucked. The rest of the movie was good though. Especially the fight scenes, and the special effects.

This afternoon my daughter Ruth and I went for a stroll in the back yard. The cats went with us, though Chenille chickened out about a quarter of the way, meowed at us loudly, and went home. The grass and whatnot is getting pretty tall on the trails now. I suppose it can be difficult to wade through when you're only eight inches tall.

We spooked a mama grouse and her nest of little babies. She kept flying ahead of us and pretending the lame wing routine to get us away from them. We weren't interested. Well, Silver was I suppose, but we didn't let him explore the possibilities for a snack. The babies were so cute! We left them alone and went on our merry way (Silver pouted).

I checked to see if the Lady Slipper was in bloom (down the hill from our house). It wasn't even there. Didn't sprout this time. I was afraid that would happen. They prefer protected shady spots and the trees that were around it to give it that environment are gone now (stupid storm!), so it's too sunny in that spot. Rats! I did everything I could to save it because it's on the endangered species list, but I guess things were just too different for it. I wonder if the Phantom Orchid will sprout this year? Another rare one growin' in my back yard. I'll have to go check on it in a few days or so.

Have a great day.


Pattern Is Up

I've posted the first free pattern on BeadKnitter Patterns. Please check it out and leave a comment about what you think. Ways to improve? Let me know. Thanks.

New Site

Today I'm working on a site/blog for patterns designed and written by me called BeadKnitter Patterns. I plan to put free and purchasable patterns on it. I've got a lot of work to do. I need to figure out how to do a shopping cart. A difficult task for me, seeing as I have no idea how to do it at the present time.

Morgan is doing fine. His drain is draining. Yech, what a mess. Slimy red stuff all over his neck. I wonder if he's getting tired of having his neck washed?

Yesterday Ruth and I went and saw Shrek 3. I'd heard two things about it. 1) It was better than the previous two. 2) It wasn't as good as the previous two. They're both wrong. It's AS GOOD as the previous two. I loved the plot and the funnies were hilarious. The graphics are amazing! In one scene there's a close up of Fiona's head. The hair was so life like. It gleamed just like real hair would gleam, and you could see each individual strand gleaming differently depending on where it was in relation to the light source. Won't be too much longer and you won't be able to tell animated from real photos.

Later this afternoon we're gonna go see the new Pirates movie.

Well, I'm off to do some research on shopping carts.

Have a good day!


Fridays Feast 6/8/07

I am so tired. Didn't get much sleep last night. Every sound or movement Morgan made woke me up. He's very uncomfortable with that drain tube in his neck. Poor little guy. I feel terrible, but it's for his good. After a couple weeks, all this will be healed and gone and he'll feel a thousand times better.


What do you consider to be the ultimate snack food?

Potato chips and onion dip. (I live in Idaho for a reason.)

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), about how popular is your last name?

Depends on the country. Here in the US I'd say about a 3. Now, my hubby's ancestors are Scottish. But judging by the number of solicitation phone calls we've had in the past, there is a large contingent of folks out there that think he's Korean. So I'd say in Korea it's probably 10.

Now my maiden name (Proulx)? .0000000001

Who is your all-time favorite sitcom character, and why?

Mr. Huckstable in the Cosby Show. He was the father I always wished I could have had, and he was so stinkin' funny!

Main Course
Do you shop online? If so, name some sites you like to browse for goodies.

Yes, I shop online. Etsy.com, Amazon.com mostly. Sometimes Ebay. And there are lots of specialty sites I've ordered from for things like computer equipment, pet supplies, knitting supplies, bead supplies, and whatnot.

Fill in the blank: I think _Paris Hilton_ should be _put back in jail_.
Her total contempt for the law is very disturbing.

Have a great weekend!


Vet Update

Morgan is home after spending the day at the vets. They figured out the lump. He has a cyst associated with one of his salivary glands. They did surgery-putting a drain tube in it. (The story of my life, taking care of doggy drain tubes). The hope is that all the goo will drain out, things will close up and heal, and that'll be the end of it. If it doesn't, well, I don't want to think about that right now. He'll be on Prednezone for awhile again. I HATE what that stuff does to him, but it's a necessary evil.

Get Well wishes would be greatly appreciated by Morgan.

Another Vet Visit

Is there health insurance for dogs? Iggies are so darn fragile.

I've scheduled a trip to the vet for Morgan later this morning. For a few weeks now he's had a strange swelling under his chin. We didn't worry about it. At first we thought he'd been bit by a mosquito or something. The bump went down, then it came back, then it went down, then it came back.......you get the picture. Well, now it's come back and it's growing-alarmingly fast. Other than that, he's suffering NO other symptoms. He's got the energy of a puppy, healthy appetite, sleeping well, playing well, happy happy happy. Don't know what to say. He's getting old.

I hope it isn't something serious. My friend Cindy has a Giant Schnauzer who is the same age as Morgan and has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Yeeks! After hearing that the swelling on Morgan has scared me. Poor Sammy Jo. She's such a sweetie. Doesn't seem fair.

I have a question. If a non-filthy-rich-spoiled-rotten-celebrity-brat young girl were put in jail for probation violation and drunk driving, would she be let out of jail for 'medical' reasons, or would she be sent to the prison infirmary, given necessary treatment, and taken back to her cell?

Paris Hilton disgusts me.

Knit Wits was fun. My Knit Wit friends were in fine form to keep me laughing. Such a comical bunch. Darlene was waving her knitting needle around while she was talking and almost stabbed me with it a couple times. She claims she isn't violent and was just 'talking with her hands', but it was the 45th day without a cigarette for her and I think she was trying to take it out on me-subconsciously. Heh heh. Hang in there Darlene. I admire your courage to give up the nasty weed.

I got the shell of the Nautiloid done, and most of the face. I should be able to finish it in the next few days-if I can keep my hands off the Monkey Sock.

Have a good day.


New Earrings

Bead group was fine yesterday, though I didn't get to work on the project I'd planned on. I'm making a tubular peyote strap for the current beaded knit pendant bag I'm working on and I forgot my chart, so I couldn't work on it (definitely need the chart). Fortunately, there was an uncompleted project in the case that I could work on or I'd have had to buy beads and start something new (Oh horrors!). So I worked on a tiny little peyote box from Julia Pretl. Another project to learn from. The pattern is free, though you need the book she sells to finish it.

Here's a pic of my Monkey Sock, so far. Of course, it's purple, well, actually Iris-Blushing Pink. I got the yarn on Etsy.com from Wild Meadows Yarns , hand dyed superwash wool/nylon blend. It's very very soft. I'm lovin' the pattern.

With Rathdrum Days fast approaching, and me having paid for a booth in the craft fair part, I'm in bead jewelry production mode. I made some earrings over the weekend. This is a kit I bought from Pamela Welborn Designs. I've been wanting to learn how to do Dream Catcher earrings for quite some time. Pamy's kit was a great way to learn. Hoops are 26mm, beads are size 15, the catcher part is a metallic thread in silver.

This is another Pamela Welborn Design called Alternate Dream Catcher. The hoops are 26mm. I just love this shade of purple. I used one strand of DMC metallic embroidery floss for the weaving and size 15 beads.

A couple weeks or so ago my daughter Sarah took me to a little gift shop near Lewiston, Idaho that sells beads. I found these square 'hoops' there. After making the above earrings, it was a natural progression for me to start wondering if that same pattern would work on these. I absolutely love the way they turned out. These hoops are much larger (40mm?), so I used size 11 seed beads and 2 strands of the DMC metallic embroidery floss in red.

This afternoon I have my Knit Wits meeting to attend. I will work on the Nautiloid toy I haven't finished yet. There's a spinning meeting this morning, but I'm going to skip it this month. Too much to do.

Have a great day!


Baked and Boiled

That's how I feel after the weekend. It was unbelievably hot-in the 90's F. Fortunately, sweet hubby put the air conditioner back in the dining room window so we had a place to retreat to. Last night the heat 'wave' broke. It thundered and rumbled all night, and the rain came down so hard the rain gutters couldn't keep up with it. I got very little sleep. I was hot and sweaty and it was just plain too noisy. Morgan was restless too. Loud noises make him so nervous. Tommy, on the other hand, slept through the whole thing-SNORING! Little turd...

This morning it is blissfully cool out-though it's going to rain all day. That's okay, though. We need it.

Sunday evening my daughters and I gathered nephew Gavin, niece Kaitlyn, fishing gear, and a few boats together and went fishing. It was beautiful on the lake. We floated among the lily pads hoping for bass. Sarah came SO CLOSE to catching a big one. Actually had it up against the side of the boat-reached for it-and it fell off the hook. You could hear her wail from 3 counties away. She did catch 6 little Sunfish, though we're speculating it might have been the same one 6 times cos she kept throwing it back.

I got lots of bites, but I had a big worm and a big hook-too big for what was biting (I want a big fish!). It was little Sunfish nibbling on my bait. One even grabbed one end of the worm and took off. I let him swim around with it a bit before jerking it out of his mouth. I had one bass jump out 2 feet from the boat after a bug. I spent an hour hoping he'd bite my worm, but I guess he was in the mood for bugs.

I made 3 pairs of dream catcher earrings over the weekend. I'll take pics after I get home from bead group later today and post tomorrow. I also did a few rows on my Monkey Sock.

Tommy is healing very well. He should be getting the stitches out Friday or Saturday.

It is so nice having Ruth home for the summer. Someone to chat with during the day. Cindy and Jean weren't able to go walking yesterday, so Ruth went with me. We walked Post Falls Park. The wild roses are in bloom, as well as white Penstemon, Milkwort, Yarrow, wild Dill, Blue Pod Lupine, and a weird lookin' little blue flower I'd never seen before that is called Snapdragon Skullcap. I was kind of pleased with that name cos when I first saw it I thought of snapdragons, except this has a nice little unicorn horn on the top. So funny looking!

Have a great day.


Great Beady Links

Tommy got the dreaded drain tube out yesterday morning. I am so relieved. I hate those thing so much. I understand why vets use them, but yeesh! How uncomfortable for the doggy. I can tell Tommy is happy to have it gone too.

The trip to Moscow to get Ruth went well. Only had one jerk driver on the way down. I was driving in a 60 mph zone, going 68, when this idiot in a pickup truck passed me and as he was doing so he tossed a beer can out his window at me. Almost hit my windshield. Don't know why. I wasn't doing anything to annoy anyone-'cept doing less than 80 mph. I wish I could have got his license plate number, but it was covered in dirt. It's not a reassuring thing to have a BEER can tossed at you on the road. One has to wonder where the contents of that can is at the moment it's being tossed (inside the driver perhaps?). I just don't understand people.

I got to Moscow at 6pm, as instructed. But the vans didn't show up until almost 8. The weather was hot and sunny. There was a nice shaded bit of lawn that I spread a blanket out on. Me and the boys sat on the blanket. I worked on the Monkey Sock, and they sniffed the air. (The university barn was nearby.) Ruth has quite a tan. Definitely been in the out of doors for 3 weeks. She looks good and she enjoyed the trip.

I thought today I'd share some bead tutorial links with y'all. These are some of my favorites. Some are in foreign languages, but the graphics are very clear.

Peralili - in french, but wonderful patterns for rings.

Rubys Bead Work - awesome patterns!

Jewelry Making
-Tons of fun stuff.

Bead Pattern Central - Tons more fun stuff, some you buy, some is free.

DIY Network - an amazing collection of freebies from various tv shows.

Sandra Halpenny - gorgeous necklaces

Beadwork How To - links to all sorts of goodies.

About.Com: Beadwork - all about beads

Bead-Patterns.Com - Download for purchase, and lots of freebies too.

That's all for now. I'll add to the list as I come across stuff. Let me know if any of these links don't work.

Have a great day!


Fridays Feast 6/01/07

Wow, it's Friday already. Where did the week go? It went way too fast, that's for sure. Seems the older I get, the faster the weeks go.

Last night I started the Monkey Sock. It took awhile. I had to find my one missing size 3 needle. (pattern calls for size 2 but I don't own that size-oddly enough. All those needles I brought home from the shop and nary a one was a 2.) I knit socks on 2 circular needles. I hate double points. Anyway, after searching for over an hour, turning the house upside down, in one last act of desperation I took all the size 4's out of the needle case and checked them with the needle gau
ge. I'd put the 3 in with the 4's. (Insert picture of me banging head on wall here-if there is such a thing.) In the process I did find my missing skein of Plymouth Sockotta sock yarn, plus the Opal I'd bought on Ebay. So that was a good thing. Oh, and I found the size 000 double points I bought ages and ages ago (before socks on circular needles) for a pair of lace socks I still want to make. Now all my needles are properly in their cases. Hurray!

I cast on the stitches and got about 6 rounds done on the Monkey Socks before bed time.

Name something you think is “the best.”
My sweet hubby, Doug. He's the person who taught me what unconditional love is. Christians talk about Jesus telling us to love. My husband lives by love. He puts most Christians to shame. He supports me 100% in my endeavors-no matter how ridiculous. He respects me, loves me for who I am, lets me be me. He's so kind. He also spoils me rotten. He's tall and cuddly and has the best kisses in the universe. One of the things I adore is the fact that I knit is one of the things that attracted him to me because his mother knitted too. Isn't that sweet? Marrying him was the single BEST thing I've done my whole life.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 highest), how stressed are you today?

About 6. I have to take Tommy to the vet this morning, hopefully to get that nasty drain tube out. Yech! I hate drain tubes! Then later I have to drive down to Moscow to get my daughter Ruth, who is returning from the Geology field trip. I have to meet her in a small parking lot across the street from the west side of the Kibbie Dome. I'm anxious cos I don't know my way around campus and will probably have to look a bit before I find said parking lot.


What kind of cleanser do you use to wash your face?

Soap and water. Sometimes Apri apricot scrub.

Main Course
Tonight is a blue moon! What is something that you believe only happens “once in a blue moon.”

Blue moons, of course.

When was the last time it rained where you live?

Last Sunday, during the party. Sigh.....

Have a great weekend!