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

8/30/09

Strawberry Fizz-Pretty Enough to Eat

I am finally getting around to posting a pic of that first Bayerische sock I got done. It hasn't been blocked yet, so it's a little wrinkly.



I have also finished a beaded bead. It's name is Strawberry Fizz.




It's made of 4mm round crystals, size 11, and size 15 seed beads. There is a 20mm wood bead inside. This was a real challenge for me. I had to rip out a lot of rows before I got the right number to cover the bead properly.



I have a new hobby I'm dabbling in making Liqueurs. I started 2 batches of peach liqueur today. Tomorrow I add the sugar syrup to some raspberry liqueur I started 3 weeks ago. I have also made strawberry and banana. In all cases I've used fresh fruit. I'm producing some might tasty stuff, but I need more education on how to filter it after it's done. They're kind of cloudy cos there's bits of fruit and spice still floating in the liquid.

Well, that is the news for now. Have a great day.

8/27/09

Fair Report 2009

I had 16 entries. I won 12 first place ribbons, 1 second place ribbon, and 1 third place ribbon. I am most proud of the third place ribbon for it was on my photograph of the butterfly's eye. It is very very difficult to get any ribbon in the photography dept. I am totally surprised I did.

Two items were not judged. My cross stitch picture has been damaged (and heads will roll). The mattes are all messed up. The only thing I can figure is they must have dropped it. They may have even broken, and replaced, the glass in the frame. I won't know for sure until I get it back. (If, per chance, you know what happened, please email me privately) I have logged a complaint. Because the mattes were messed up it was deemed unjudgable. I am horribly embarrassed to see it hanging on display that way with my name on it. I've always won 1st place ribbons on my cross stitch. I have a reputation being damaged because of something out of my control. Very frustrating.

I entered a bead knitted amulet necklace, but it was put in the wrong department so it wasn't judged. I think they have some bugs in the system over there at the fair. At least it wasn't damaged, so I will let it go.

I took pics, of course, but before you see them, I must brag. My darling daughter, Ruth, entered two knit items. She won a 1st place ribbon

Fingerless gloves

and a 2nd place ribbon.

Trilobite Hat

She's only been knitting for a year. I am so proud of her. Congratulations Ruth!!!!

Okay, the first place ribbons:

Fircone Lace Shawl

By the way, the shawl was inside out on display. I turned it right side out. sigh..

Cabled fingerless mitts

Knit beaded fingerless mitts

Russian stitches necklace and Bead crocheted necklace

Bead knit amulet bag

Smoked Barbecue and Cellini spiral necklaces, peyote bracelet.

Beaded ornament cover

Another beaded ornament cover


Daughters beaded bridal bouquet

2nd place ribbon

Mexican Waters Lattice Socks


There's a mistake in one of those socks, so I'm happy with this ribbon. It means the judges caught the mistake. (I was wondering if they would. LOL!)

Third place ribbon

Photograph: Eye of the Butterfly


Here's my cross stitch with the messed up mattes. See how the inner matte is not centered vertically?


What it's supposed to look like:


I spent about 3 hours at the fair looking at all the crafty and artsy entries. There are many talented people living around here. However, I had to go by myself and it just wasn't as fun.

Have a great day.

8/24/09

Russian Spiral in Pearl and Gold

Russian Spiral stitch is wonderful. It's fast, easy, and quite versatile. I have made a necklace using this stitch.


I finished it Friday night and I've been wearing it ever since. I will be teaching a class on this in September. See my Beading class page for more info.

The weekend was nice, even if I did have a nasty migraine all day Saturday. Sweet Hubby went for a 51 mile bike ride, so I spent the day relaxing. I really couldn't do much else. I tried beading and knitting but the eyes ached too much from the headache. So I organized beads instead. I have several little bags of Chinese crystals that I bought at a fantastic sale earlier this month I hadn't put away yet. That, and the piles of tubes of seed beads and whatnot sitting on the table I've used over the last 2 months and not put away. Yeah, I'm a slob. It's me. Take it or leave it.

Sunday we borrowed my brother in laws little utility trailer and hauled some furniture down to Moscow, Idaho for the college daughters apartment. A couch and some chairs that were her sisters but no longer were wanted. It's old furniture, beat up and stained, but it's better than nothing. This furniture originally was ours. We bought it new many moons ago. Sweet Hubby has declared that we are not moving it again. So if college daughter wants to take it with her anywhere else, she'll be on her own. The couch weighs a TON because it's a sofa bed.

The weather was cooperative. It was not too hot. It was a pleasant trip. We took the dogs with us so they could have an adventure. The drive down was beautiful. The wheat fields are just now being harvested. In the woods are lots of golds, browns, and lime greens because we're in the last days of summer as they transition into autumn. Looking at the way nature places colors together gave me some inspiration for beading to try later this year.

I probably should mention I finished the first Bayerische sock. Now, for sock number two.

I have posted my Knitting class schedule for September on my Knitting class page.

Have a great day.

8/19/09

Another Hand of Catch Up

I can not believe how BUSY I've been lately. Someone, please! Stop the ride! I wanna get off.

Our yard sale was a resounding success. Even though we got rained on a bit. I didn't make as much money as I had hoped (Niece Stacy got the lions share of the take since she sold the most stuff), but I did get rid of all the computer crap that was inhabiting the house. HURRAY!!!! That alone made the weekend worth it. Most of it I gave away to a gal whose boss could make good use of it. I could not believe how much of it we had. Or maybe I should say Sweet Hubby had. My goodness! Boxes and boxes of it. Old hard drives, power supplies, cases, cards of various types (just how many sound cards can a person use?), memory chips, monitors, and cables. Cables of every design and type. Miles and miles of computer cables. Daughter Ruth said it was like living in a computer museum when she saw what we had. Who uses 5 1/4 disks anymore? Got rid of it all! Some went to the dump to be recycled too (that was the first truck load).

I also managed to sell my old Sony Mavica camera, my old sewing machine, and one of Sweet Hubby's bicycles that he didn't use any more, as well as various odds and ends like dishes, glassware, etc. It feels so good to get it all out.

Now I've got space for more yarn. Nah, just kidding! Ha ha!

Here's a pic I took during the sale. Nephew Tyler, who is over 6 feet tall, was challenged by his cousins to prove he could fit in this dog crate. And darn if he did!


I have to admit, I was sorely tempted to leave him locked in there. LOL!

At the end of the sale we had leftovers. We got lucky too. A gal from the local Catholic church asked if we'd be willing to donate it to their youth group for a big sale they're having next weekend if she hauled it away. Well, let me see, her-hauling it away, or St. Vinnies-we have to haul it away. She won. So she came with a pick up truck, 3 young fellas, and they hauled all that stuff away for us. I gave her the 6 boxes of cross stitch patterns left over from my store too. I was tired of seeing them there in my storage shed-laughing at me.

Besides working on yard sale stuff, I've also been getting my entries ready for the fair. I finished the necklace I was making with one of my beaded beads. To be honest, I finished it 3 times. The first two times I didn't like the results. They just weren't right. Some of my ideas are not good ones. On Monday I took it apart and redid it the 3rd time. Finally! I got something I liked. I've named this piece (click on the pic to embiggen)

Smokey Barbecue


What can I say? That's what came to mind when it was done. Admittedly, I was hungry at the time, but it works. There's smoke swirling in those saucy porcelain beads, and the transparent ab/smoke colored seed beads I used help with the idea.


I made the toggle clasp from scratch, in peyote stitch. I really like how it turned out. It fits the necklace well.


I also did some small changes to this necklace which is a combination of Russian spiral and St. Petersburg chain.



I actually made this about 3 years or so ago, but I was never quite happy with it. Now I am. I learned a long time ago that if I'm not happy with something I made, fix it until I am.

Detail of the St. Petersburg Chain part.


Dark purple bugles and silver lined light topaz seed beads, with some round gold beads and a couple purple lambwork beads for embellishment.

This is the Russian Spiral part, which I used for the focal point.


I finally finished this cross stitch I started eons ago (I may have even blogged about it). After I got it matted and framed it looked pretty good-to me anyway.

Sorry about the reflection in the glass. It was hard to figure out a way to photograph it because the glass was freshly polished.

Yesterday I finished up getting all the entries ready, then hauled them to the fair grounds. I have a total of 18 entries including the 3 items above. I also entered the fir cone lace shawl, beaded lace fingerless mitts, Mexican Waters Lattice socks, the green cabled mitts I made my daughter for Christmas, the "Red Flame" crochet rope, a few more jewelry items, the photo of the butterfly eye, and the bridal bouquet I made with the french beaded flowers.

My daughter Ruth entered something for the first time. She finished these fingerless gloves the night before, so I talked her into entering them, along with her Trilobite hat-which I've just realized I never took a pic of it.

She used a Berocco Socks Metallic sock yarn that has a thin strand of metallic in it. The sparkle doesn't show in the picture.


I just love the little cabled rib in the cuffs.


Now, last, but not least, more tomatoes from my little vines on the deck. Yum!


Hopefully, life will slow down for a little bit. Ruth went back to school last night and summer is starting to wind down. The trees are already changing color, getting ready for autumn. Summer just isn't long enough for me, even if it is busy.

Have a great day.

8/11/09

Just Newsy Stuff about Me

Wow! I can't believe it's been a week since I've posted anything. It suggests I'm busy, and the suggestion is correct, though if I'd wanted to I could have posted something. I just had nothing to say. Today I'm going to catch up. Lets see....

I'm surprised that I've only had 1 comment on the previous entry of this blog (Pay It Forward). That's okay. I understand it's a pretty big commitment, and kind of silly too. I will be closing the comments for it at the end of this month, so if you're interested, do it now.

I had such an incredibly busy week last week. 'Course, it was the first week of the month. I had Rathdrum Knitalong on Tuesday, which went very well. We had 9 people show up! I got 3 of them started on their first pair of socks. Three more want to do socks too, so I'll get them started next week. I also got good news on one particular person I've been wondering about.

The first time I went to a meeting of this group the 'leader' said some very disparaging and untrue things about acrylic yarn. Many of the folks there, including ME, were knitting with acrylic as she went through this offensive diatribe. Some were offended-seriously offended (I was disgusted). In this particular case, the gal stopped coming because she felt like people who use acrylic yarns are not welcome. I've been trying to get in contact with her ever since to ask her to come back now that I'm the 'leader'. She has been contacted by someone else and will be returning next month. I'm so relieved. I don't know why, but I was feeling particularly bad about this incident, even though I wasn't the one who caused it. I've also made it clear we don't ridicule or discriminate against folks yarn choices. What kind of yarn a knitter uses is a very personal choice made for all sorts of reasons and no one is allowed to criticize it at Rathdrum Knitalong.

On Wednesday I went to CdA Yarnies in the morning. No one but me showed up. So it was just me and Andrea. I got quite a bit done on my sock-which consisted of unraveling back to the beginning of the gusset and starting it over. 6 hours of work gone-just like that. I didn't like the way the pattern does the decreases for the gusset and I was a good 2 inches from the toe before I finally gave in to the niggling voice in my head. Now I don't know if I'll get these socks done in time for the fair. I've got so much other stuff going on in my life that sock knitting time is getting slim.

After Yarnies I went to Knitwits where Connie introduced me to 'the job'. Just before we left on our camping trip she asked if I'd be willing to take over the Knitwits fair entry job. I've been wanting to get more involved with the group and this is the perfect job for me cos I'm so familiar with fair stuff and all. I will assist her this year to learn the job, then take it over completely for next year. I am excited. It's not really that big a deal. I'll be in charge of gathering, entering, and returning fair entries for the group members. I'm just excited to be helping out more.

Thursday I showed up and hoped for students for my knitting clinic class. No one showed. It's August. I'm not surprised. I did a bit more knitting on the sock.

The weekend was busy with the little things. Laundry, foraging for food, hangin with Sweet Hubby, etc. I wasn't feeling good all weekend though. No energy at all. I'm thinking maybe I'm getting anemic again and have increased my iron dosage for a bit.

This week I am working on getting the first of my fall classes set up both in beading and knitting. I will post the info as soon as I have it all figured out.

Also on this weeks plate is a yard sale. The Park family has one every couple years. It't time. It will be this coming Saturday and Sunday at my sister in laws house, cos she lives at the best place to hold a yard sale. I'm going to see if I can get rid of some of the hundreds of Cross Stitch patterns/books I've got in storage that I was unable to get rid of when I closed my shop.

Oh, and getting my fair entries together. We turn them in next week.

Here is something awesome.



I picked them yesterday and put them in a salad. The plants on the deck are producing. We haven't had a frost yet to kill them. Hurray!

Have a great day.

8/4/09

Pay It Forward

There is this Pay It Forward game going around the blogosphere. I learned about it from The Jewellery Goddess, a blog I read fairly regularly. I did some research (followed the links to other blogs that are participating) in hopes of finding the original post, but have yet to find it. However, people are actually doing it. I've decided to join in on the fun. Here's how it works-the official rules:


I am entering into the following contract with the first 5 people who comment on this post and commit to do the same on their blog.



Just read below and, if you feel up to the task, copy the following into your blog and leave me a comment.



I am willing to send a surprise worldwide (I live in the USA, BUT before any goodies are sent out - I must see a post on your blog - post the link in the comments).



1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It’ll be done this year (2009).

4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber.

5. I reserve the right to do something strange or weird.

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.

7. Send your mailing address – after I contact you.



Welcome to everyone. I will however, make an effort to do something that you like based on what I see on your blog, BUT there are no guarantees.



I like that last sentence the best cos it means no stress. I've got the whole rest of the year to get them done.

So, the first 5 comments, folks.

I've got Rathdrum Knitalong today. We've changed our meeting time to 1pm-3pm (did I mention that before?) to make things easier for all involved. I'm going to be starting 'lessons' on knitting socks on 2 circular needles. If you care to join, bring two 24 inch circular needles in size 2 or 3, 100 grams of fingering weight sock yarn, and a positive attitude. Can't make this meeting? Come to the next one (August 18) and we'll get you caught up.

Have a great day.

~~~~~~~~~~~

8/11/2009 - Edited to add: Comments for this post will be closed August 30th, 2009

8/3/09

Cough Cough!

We had a fabulous camping trip in the most beautiful place on earth (and I've been to some really beautiful places) with Sweet Hubbys family. There is no other place as beautiful as Priest Lake. I love it up there.

The weather was hot, but the lake was so refreshing. We kayaked and hiked. Some rode their bikes. We ate really really good, celebrated Sweet Hubby and BIL's 50th birthday, daughter Ruths 22nd birthday, and had a really great time together.

Dan, Ruth, and Sweet Hubby kayaked to the upper end of Upper Priest Lake to Navigation camp ground, which is an 18 mile trek. When they got there they went up partway on Upper Priest River. Ruth found petrified wood along the river. She's pretty excited about that.

Morgan and Tommy did much better this trip. Morgan was much more relaxed and took things in stride. I took him on several walks with just me and let him sniff to his hearts content. He especially enjoyed the heat. He loves it when the mercury hits 90 and above.

I took my knitting and beading, as usual. This time I knitted lots and didn't bead at all. I've got the Bayerische bug. I have to finish those socks in time for the fair. I'm halfway down the toe of the first sock. It's a time consuming pattern. Lots of cables and twists. It's going well though. I plan to really concentrate on them over the next 2 weeks.

I will have pics of our trip later. I took my camera, but never used it. Sis Sue, however, took lots of pics, some just for me. As soon as she sends them to me I'll post 'em.

When we got home I discovered something bad. Chenille had managed to hide herself in my bedroom and was trapped there the whole time we were gone. No food, or water, for 4 days in a hot room. Boy, was she pissed when I opened the door. She's okay, but she sure let me know in no uncertain terms what she thought of the whole deal. We looked for her before we left, but we didn't find her, so I figured she was outside. As far as I'm concerned, it's her own fault for hiding in there.

The heat is still going on today. It's supposed to get up into the mid 90's. On top of that, some where upwind there is a wildfire that is smoking us up pretty bad. My eyes itch like crazy, and I'm coughing up a storm. I will be spending most of my time indoors to avoid any asthma attacks the smoke could cause.

Have a good day.