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


Getting Back to This One

Last February I blogged about a bead embroidery project I started that I wanted to get done by May.

It ended up being put aside for a bit. Now that my foot is in a condition where I can't walk much, I find myself returning to that project. Here is an update photo.

As you can see, I had to put a piece of suede between the fabric and the Q-snap because it was so slippery it wouldn't stay put. It stays nice and tight now.

Close up of work.

You wouldn't believe how many hours I've put into this already. It's going to be a major effort to get this thing done.

That's all for today. I'm heading out to my sunny deck now to work on it some more.

Live long and prosper. \\//


It's Beaded Ornament Cover Time

I don't know why, but when summer arrives I start wanting to bead Christmas ornament covers. I just finished the one I started on the camping trip.

I used 4mm copper Swarovski crystals, silver-line matte peachy gold size 11 seed beads, gold bugles, and some 2mm antiqued copper beads.

The pattern calls for 12mm bugles. It is very hard to find that size around here, so I used slightly smaller ones and added a copper bead on each end to get the 12mm.

The pattern is a new one by Michelle Skobel named Luminous Riviere Ornament Cover. It is done in right angle weave and netting, is very well written, and easy to follow. Now that I've finished it, I find myself wanting to make another. Hmmm....I've got some really pretty tanzanite colored crystals somewhere around here.

It is hot and muggy today. The sky is cloudy and getting darker as the time goes by. I'm expecting thunder and lightening in the very near future. It's supposed to be warm and thunder cloudy the rest of the week. It's about time our summer weather got here.

Live long and prosper. \\//


I Feel Refreshed Despite It All

So, we went camping this weekend. We stayed at Riley Creek campground on the Clark Fork River, up near Priest Lake (the town, not the lake). This was our first choice for the weekend. There were but 3 sites left when we got there, so we were pretty lucky we got them. But before I get into that, let me start at the beginning.

On Thursday I went out to the trailer to do my annual thorough cleaning of the inside where I polish, scrub, and dust everything so it all looks new again. After I was done I gathered up the cleaning supplies and headed to the house with the intent to start packing. As I was walking up the back steps a freak occurrence took place that resulted in me falling on the steps. Ouch. My foot twisted in ways it shouldn't sending me flying and I smashed both knees firmly into the wood when I landed. I sat on the steps and cried it hurt so bad. Daughter Ruth helped me back into the house after a bit. I applied ice to my foot and thought to myself  'I think I broke my foot'. I decided to wait and see how it went over the next hour or so before rushing to the emergency room.

After some ice and whatnot, I poked around a bit and it was pretty certain that I did not break my foot, but I surely did sprain it badly. So, basically, I had to keep off that foot as much as possible. I could hardly hobble on it. My knees swelled up and turned a lovely shade of purplish black. Loading the trailer was gonna be difficult. But sweet daughter Ruth jumped right in to help. She hauled everything out for me and put it away. I just had to gather it in piles around the house and tell her where it all went.

When we arrived at the campground we set up camp and I prepared to spend the whole weekend with my leg propped up on my folding foot stool. I sat on my brand new purple Coleman lumbar chair that I bought the week before to replace the one I'd worn out. My new chair is extremely comfortable, so I didn't mind sitting in it a lot.

The weather was kind of chilly, but not rainy or snowy. It was partial sun and clouds. So we wore long sleeves and had a nice camp fire. I had planned to ride my bike, but that plan got thrown out obviously. I couldn't ride with my foot injured the way it is.

We were going to go kayaking. That I could do with a gimpy foot cuz once I'm sitting in the boat, the feet are no longer needed. However, the river is up so high and the current so swift they were not allowing kayaks and canoes in it. So that ended up being out.

So, what did I do all weekend? I knitted and beaded of course! And ate, and sat and chatted, and drank whiskey, and hovered around the camp fire and relaxed. It was one of the most relaxing camping trips I've ever been on. I came home so rested and refreshed.

My foot is feeling much better too. I've got a couple more weeks of healing at least, but the worst is over.

I have pics of the weekend crafting.

I am calling this the Flirty Fir sock because that's the name of the yarn colorway. I LOVE this colorway. It is so pretty.

I also love the sock pattern. It is so pretty, and knitting up very fast cuz I'm having so much fun with it. It's a very simple 8 row repeat that I memorized after just knitting through it once. It's a slip stitch pattern.

I had planned to work on the bead embroidery project and make a major dent in how much is done on it. I packed all the beads and necessary tools. Then promptly forgot the the embroidery frame with the partly done project on it. I could have kicked myself if not for the gimpy foot.

A couple days before we left I got this new pattern for a Christmas tree ornament cover and happened to have the beads along to start it. (I always pack more than one project!). So that is what I worked on.

I have one more point to do, and then the next part starts. The pic does not do these beads justice. The crystals are copper colored and extra sparkly. The seed beads are silver lined matte pale orange. So everything shines so pretty in the light.

Tommy was absolutely golden on this camping trip. He was so well behaved I was beginning to wonder if we'd brought the right dog. He was so thrilled to see brother-in-laws dog Tripper too. I think I could safely say Tripper has become his best friend. They had a very good time together.

I have figured out what is causing the blue screen of death on my laptop. My virus protection software has developed a conflict with Windows 7 after it's last update. I do not know how to fix it. For now, the virus protection is disabled, but that can't remain. I need protection with all the foreign sites I visit. I will be tossing around ideas on what to do. Hopefully, I can find a solution. I think I'll start by uninstalling the program and reinstalling it and all the updates. Sigh.

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday June 22, 2011

I am having a hard time finding something to blog about lately. Fortunately, I do have something for WIP Wednesday.

I have finished the knitting of this little sweater. I still need to block it and find some buttons. So, technically, it's still in progress

It's made with an acrylic/polyester blend yarn, so I will be steam blocking it. I plan to do a before and after post on it.

It has been a few months since I have knit a pair of socks. Too long for my cup of tea, and since we're going camping this coming weekend and I MUST have a pair of socks on the needles for camping, I cast on the first one today. Already got the cuff ribbing done in 3x1 rib. The main stitch pattern is a slip stitch design. I am loving the colorway! Gorgeous stuff.

Remember those gorgeous tomato plants I bought to replace the ones that got frosted?
 This is what they look like now.

A tad bit of frost here, a tad bit of frost there. I don't know how they've managed to stay alive. But look! Baby Tomatoes!

These are some stubborn and courageous plants.

Yesterday we did indeed get some of that predicted sunshine. Didn't make it into the 80's, but it did get to 77F. It felt very good. Today it's 84F. Feels even better. I'm actually wearing a tank top and shorts. Wasn't sure I'd get to do that this summer. The weekend is predicted to cool off into the 70's and be nice. I sure hope so.

We're going camping! First camping trip of the season. We don't have reservations this time. We're just gonna wing it. We've made a list of campgrounds in order of preference. We'll start with the first one on the list and if there are no spots, we'll move on to another until we find a place to camp. An adventure! Don't know where we'll end up. Doesn't matter. We'll be getting out of town during the annual Ironman Race. That's the important thing.

I am having computer problems. A few days ago I downloaded and installed a big Windows update and now I get the blue screen of death every so often. It has something to do with when my computer goes online via our home wifi. Sweet Hubby hasn't had time to look at it for me, so until he does, things are a bit iffy. In the meantime, I've been downloading all kinds of updates and installing them in hopes I'll 'accidentally' fix it. I noticed 2 updates failed so I suspect that may have something to do with it. Unfortunately, Windows doesn't want to stay open long enough to download the updates (they are massive in size). So, anyway. With camping (I'm not taking the laptop) and that problem, you probably won't hear from me for a few days.

If you're interested in participating in WIP Wednesday, please join us.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Grills and Beads

Had a rather busy weekend. The weather was rainy and cold, but that didn't keep me home. We went to the circus on Saturday. A circus set up in a park in Rathdrum. I don't think that has ever happened before. We had to go. It might never happen again! It was a fun show. There were tigers and lions, acrobats, clowns, and very cute well trained dogs. It was a fairly small circus, but I enjoyed it immensely. Just about everyone in town was there too. The mayor said he's learned something from this experience. The residents of Rathdrum really like a circus.

Sunday was Fathers Day, so sweet daughter and I spent the day spoiling sweet hubby. It started with daughter asking me for some money and the keys to my car. I gave both to her. She left, and came back shortly after that with a box of fresh donuts made at the new local Donut House that opened recently in Rathdrum. She said it was special breakfast in honor of her Dad. Oh my goodness, they were good. Best donuts I've ever had (except the ones I make, of course). Definitely better than Krispy Creams. That's saying a lot!

We gave him a brand new barbecue grill last weekend for his present. I found a large stainless steel Commercial Charbroil with the infrared cooking system and a self cleaner at Lowes for a very reasonable price. Anyway, I took him a week early because I was worried they would run out of them before I could get one. The deal was especially good on this grill and they were selling fast. People were buying them while I stood there looking at it. Sweet hubby can be pretty picky about this kind of thing too, so it's usually best to have him along for the yeas and naes. I need not have worried. He loves it!

Well, he got the grill early, but we needed something to cook on it. So we went shopping for steaks on Sunday, as well as a few other necessary items. We took him out to lunch to Red Robin cuz he wanted a burger in the worst way. Then we came home and watched movies and relaxed. For dinner, sweet hubby barbecued the steaks. Mmmm, were they ever good. Best steak I think I've ever had. The grill is awesome! I've never seen a grill that cooked so evenly before. Sweet hubby loves it. I know, cuz he keeps telling me that he does.

All weekend long, when I got a few moments, I worked on the peyote necklace for the blue and white fancy donut. It took me almost an hour to do an inch. Since I wanted 18 inches, it took a lot of hours. I finally got it done. Then I beaded a toggle clasp set and put it all together. It's done now.

The necklace.

The beaded toggle clasp, closed.

The toggle clasp open.

Both the toggle and the ring are done in tubular peyote stitch using beads that I used in the donut. Specifically, Japanese size 15 seed beads in white, Delica's in matte white and satin blue, and Czech size 11 seed beads in an iris coated transparent smoke color.

Close up of neck-chain, done in even count tubular peyote stitch also.

The necklace, different angle.

I made this for a friend who admired my purple and gold fancy donut so much I decided she just has to have one of her own..

Now, about that rain we've been getting. We have definitely had too much of it and the cold (we're still getting upper 30F's at night!). The grass and hay fields are starting to get that over watered yellowish color to them. The wild plants that prefer a slightly dry climate are suffering too. The seeds in peoples gardens are not sprouting, but are rotting instead. My lovely tomato plants are no longer lovely, though-bless their little hearts-they are hanging in there. One even has a small green tomato on it. The dahlias, however, are happy as can be, putting on new growth as fast as they can. I guess they like the rain. Tomorrow it's supposed to be sunny and get up into the 80's. As usual, I'll believe it when I see it.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Donut Herringbone (said with a French accent)

I did some beading this weekend.

Delicas and 4mm crystals.

Herringbone stitch.

I'm definitely in a donut mood.

I love the way the gold coating glows on these lavender beads.

Unfortunately, I can't remember where I found this French pattern, or I'd link to it.

Live long and prosper. \\//


A Tip to Share

I love making floral arrangements out of the flowers growing around my house, including the wild ones. One of the  biggest problems, though, is that wild flowers, and some of the domestic ones, don't last very long once you cut them. Some will last for a week. Others last about 45 minutes, and everything in between.

My experience with Lilacs is about 3 days max. I'm feeling lucky if I get two. Most times, I've got up the next morning and they are limp and not smelling quite right. So, lately, my thoughts have turned to that floral preservative stuff that one gets with flowers that come from a florist, (or our local grocery store). I said to sweet hubby "I wonder where one can get that stuff?" He said "Google it."

Well, yeah. Why didn't I think of that. So I Googled and found recipes for floral preserver, and the why's and how's of them working. So, you remember those lilacs I showed you the other day? I tried one of the recipes on it, and darn if it isn't working! They are still looking fabulous! In fact, they are opening up and looking better and better. I've added some Bleeding Heart and Crabapple blooms for a bit more color.

The recipe I used is as follows:

1 quart warm water
2 tbl spoons white vinegar
2 tbl spoons sugar
1/2 tsp household bleach.

Mix it up and put the flowers in it, cutting a bit of the stems off first to get rid of the air bubbles that have formed at the bottom of the stems. It is recommended you replace this mixture every couple days to make the flowers really last.

So, what is the purpose of those ingredients?

Sugar is food for the plant. The flowers die due to lack of food. I guess they have a sweet tooth.

Vinegar is to make the water more acidic so it matches the cell sap in the stems. It stabilizes the color of the flowers too.

Bleach is to prevent bacterial and fungal growth so it can't get into the stems and block the water flowing up.

You start with warm water because it helps the mixture move up the stems quicker. I've also read that you should not put cut flowers near ripening fruit because it will cause them to deteriorate quicker.

There are other recipes and more info at these two web sites:

Cut Flower Preservative


I am looking forward to the wild flower bounty to be coming soon, assuming it gets warm enough. My big new tomato plants got frosted last night. :-(  They are still viable but man, it's June 10th! Enough already!!!!

Live long and prosper. \\//


WIP Wednesday June 8, 2011

 Haven't been posting much the last couple weeks, have I? I've been distracted from the blogging. I will get back to it, though, starting now. I've got a WIP Wednesday for you.

The little baby pullover is making good progress. I've finished the front and back and have picked up stitches for the first sleeve.

I'm at the thumb on this Entrelac mitt. I've kind of stalled at this point. I can't figure out how to do the next thing to make it look like I want. Argh! Frustrating!

I have a beading WIP.

Even-count tubular peyote neck chain to hang the blue and white donut on.

My French Lilac is in full bloom.

It smells so good.

So, what's this big distraction in my life of late? My Droid. I can't seem to stop playing with it.

I'm having way too much fun. In the last week I've played 26 games of Solitaire, winning 24 of them.

Over the weekend, after I'd done more yard work than I should have so that I breathed in too much pine pollen and had to sit for awhile sucking on my inhaler, I discovered the wonders of Pandora. It's a program for turning electronic gadgets like computers, phones, ipads, etc, into radios. I love it. You can personalize the kind of music you want to hear. For instance, it asked me for the name of a favorite artist. I typed in Nora Jones. It created a radio station that plays Nora Jones type music.

So, I sat on the deck, working on the above little sweater while listening to the calming tones of Nora Jones and others who do similar music to hers. It was a very pleasant time for me.

Yeah, the weekend. It was very nice. Sunshine, heat--got up to 81F on Sunday. T'was wonderful! (Except for the pine pollen-which is extra thick this year.) Saturday I got my hair trimmed, and then we had the graduation party for my nephews son. There were a few family members from out of town there. It was good to see them again.

 I spent most of Sunday working on gardening sorts of things. I replaced all the marigolds that died from frost with dwarf dahlias (cuz that's what they had at the hardware store in Rathdrum). I tried resuscitating my poor tomato plants. They got frosted over Memorial Day weekend while we were away on the  coast. They are so pathetic.

The two in the pot on the right look dead, but there are tiny little leaf sprouts on it. So, they are alive. (Before Memorial day they were about 18 inches tall and starting to bloom.) When sweet hubby saw them later that afternoon he exclaimed "Those are pathetic! You'll never get tomatoes from them! Go buy some new ones. Some BIG ones!" So I did.

Aren't they beeyooteeus? (Please don't ask what I paid for them.) These gals already have flowers on them. I just might get to have that much longed after tomato sandwich later this summer. I can hardly wait! I will be yanking the pathetic ones out of the big pots and replacing them with these tomorrow-weather permitting. (yeah, that heat didn't stay around long.)

The dinnerplate dahlias I started indoors then hardened off and put outdoors, only to have them get frosted over the same disgusting weekend as the tomatoes, seem to be recovering too. I ignored them all last week, but finally checked them out and they weren't as bad as I thought. Only 3 of them were totally slime. There were still quite a few green leaves and new growth on the rest, so I think they'll be okay. They are, in fact, way ahead of where they'd be if I'd just put the rhizomes in the ground on Sunday. We'll see what happens.

Note to self: Next year, wait until AFTER Memorial Day before putting out those frost fearing plants.

If you're interested in participating in WIP Wednesday, please join us.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Simple Womans Daybook for June 4, 2011

June 4, 2011

Outside my window...
The Crabapple is starting to bloom, and the leaves are fully out on the flowering plum. The plum bloomed this year, but it had only a few flowers. The regular plum tree (the one that has fruit) had just a few flowers too. Spring has just been too cold and wet for them.

I am thinking...
that I am tired of the cold and the wet. While we were on the coast last weekend my dahlias and tomatoes got frosted. I'd left them outside so they would get watered. I thought they'd be safe. I mean, it was Memorial Day Weekend! I was wrong. A few of the plants have survived, but are set back a few weeks.

I am thankful for...
the ability to create beautiful things.

From the kitchen...
Last night for dinner I talked sweet hubby into grilling a pork tenderloin roast. He burnt it. It was hard and black on the outside, but inside the meat was very tasty. I don't think I'll be cooking this type of roast on a grill again. Our grill is just too hot. Oven, or forget it.

I am wearing...
my green checkered nightgown with the pink roses embroidered around the neckline. I am taking my time getting going today.

I am creating...
the baby sweater. It's coming along nicely. I finished the back yesterday and am well to getting the front done. I am also working on the thumb part of the new entrelac mitt design. I've got an idea, just don't quite know how to implement it. It requires experimentation-which always involves frogging and tinking until I figure it out.

I am going...
to my nephews house today. His son graduated from high school yesterday and we're havin' a party. I'm getting my hair cut a couple hours before that. The bangs are hanging in my eyes and driving me crazy.

I am reading...
a fascinating book titled Godless by Dan Barker.Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists

I am hoping...
for warm sunny weather this weekend. The weather man says we will.

I am hearing...
the birds twittering outside, the fridge is humming, and the clock is ticking.

Around the house...

It's quiet. The daughter isn't up yet. Sweet Hubby is checking his email. Tommy is snoozing. I don't know what the cats are doing. They're getting into trouble, I'm sure.

One of my favorite things...
Lilacs. Ours are finally blooming. I have a vase full sitting on the coffee table. They smell so good.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Well, lets see, there's the usual knitting group stuff. I'm also getting my hair cut today, the party at the nephews house this evening, and lunch with friends next friday. Knitting and beading are on my list of things to do too.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

If you want to join the Simple Womans Daybook, click here.

Live long and prosper. \\//