Saturday, October 17, 2015

Promotion - Christie Cottage

Wow! Summer sped by again and here we are at the first hard frost already. It's a time of harvest and creativity for me. I seem to pick up the pace in the Fall, getting ready for the long winter months ahead. 

Today I'm linking to Christie Cottage Blog. This blog primarily features promotions of handmade items. Another great way to find unique items for yourself or for gifts. Whenever I look at sites like this I get inspired to keep creating - so many ideas! I may see a color combination I'd like to try, or a texture pattern, or a theme. Take a look!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Garden Visitor

The summer flowers are in full bloom. Most of the flowers in my garden are the same as in this post from 2013. I'm enjoying their scent as well as the color. There are a few new additions, and I will try to get some photos of those as well. Until then, enjoy this photo of a recent visitor to my phlox.
I'm sure you know that butterflies, for the most part, do not sit still. And I just have a little point and shoot camera that I barely know how to use. So I was very pleased to see how well this photo turned out. I was really trying to get a shot with the wings fully open, because this female Tiger Swallowtail had amazing iridescent blue on her hindwings. It was dazzling. And I was excited to see that she still had both of her little tails intact. Very beautiful.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Yarn Along July 29, 2015

Finally taking time to do another blog post and join along with Ginny and the Yarn Along. Summer has been long and busy, and so far very enjoyable.

Last week I had a vacation, which I usually don't do in the summer time. I traveled just a little bit, and got to see some dear old friends, and I'll write more about that another time.

I had ordered Go Set a Watchman, but decided that I needed to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird before I started it. I accomplished this on my vacation, and then I watched the movie again, and watched the documentary about making the movie as well. Harper Lee is my literary focus this summer. I felt a small connection when, reading her biographical background online, I discovered that she did not complete her college education - something we have in common. I've never really had any regrets about that; I discovered long ago that we must all be lifelong students, continually learning and challenging ourselves.

On the needles, I started using my free ball of Chroma from Knitpicks, making a second "Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief". I like this pattern. It really highlights the subtle color changes of Chroma. I'd like to find a US made version of this yarn. I'm really looking forward to trying some KnitCircus gradient dyed yarn very soon!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Yarn Along June 3, 2015

Ok, let’s join in with Ginny and Yarn Along! It sounds like a square dance move, doesn’t it?

This is going to be the honesty edition. I’m sharing what I’m actually knitting, which is this pair of rainbow booties. Looking back at my previous Yarn Along posts, I realize that I’ve shown a lot of booties! Well, they are small enough to be a take along project, and I like making them. They make good gifts, and I’d like to try and have a cache of baby gifts ready just in case.

I thought about showing one of the more complex projects that I have going, but truth be told, I haven’t worked on them in weeks. So, simple is what we’ll stick with. These booties are made from Bernat Sox yarn, which I’ve learned is discontinued. It’s a cheerful rainbow colorway. I have a couple more balls in different colors. Fun!
The book I’m reading – well – listening to – is TheBonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan. A friend gave me the paperback, and I started reading it a month ago. I wasn’t riveted, but I didn’t want to give up on it, since Sally had recommended it, so I borrowed the audio version from the library and I’ve been listening while doing housework. Too early for a thumbs up or down, but at least now I’m making better progress.

This is a difficult time of year for me to get much reading or knitting done. There is way too much work to do outside. I have a few more plants to put in, and I’d like to do some transplanting as well. And brush clearing just never ends! And firewood cutting, and garage cleaning, and mowing, and on and on….

Soon all that will change when it gets too hot and humid to be outside for very long. The local pool, where I spent most of my free time last summer, will be closed this year for renovation. So most likely once it gets hot, I’ll be in the house with the air conditioner on. Then the knitting will start flying off the needles again. For now, I’ll work on my green thumb skills!

Monday, May 25, 2015


Just five minutes ago, I was sitting in that corner of the sofa. I got up to take the DVD out of the player and put it away, and look what happened! Out of nowhere!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Out the Back Door

This lovely lusciousness greeted me this morning as I left to go to work. Right next to the back door - the ferns are almost as tall as I am! And trying to peek out - one of the Jack in the Pulpits. I love spring!

Monday, May 18, 2015

New Feature - Soundtracks!

Ok, so I missed blogging in April, and half of May. When I had interesting things to say, I had no time to write. When I had time to write, I had nothing to say, or no nice photos. Such is blogging!

I came up with this idea this afternoon. Some other blogger has probably already done this - I don't care. I finally thought of it. 

For some time now, I seem to change out my cds on the stereo on the weekend. I pick a new set based on what I've got going on for the day, or what kind of mood I'm in. I used to listen once, then switch, but the past few years, I seem to play the same set over and over for a week or more. I get in a groove. 

Now, I'm going to start sharing those sets with you. First up - some men. I started this set on Saturday. I think it will be around until Memorial Day. It's also a big part of what I'm listening to on Pandora right now, and I'm really enjoying it.

Back when I was tending bar in the mid 80's some of these songs were on our jukebox, and every time somebody let me pick I'd play them. They defined my summer that year. Good to get back with Phil again. By the way, I just got this CD from the Swap-a-CD website, which is a great way to trade music you are tired of for music you want.

I listened to this CD while doing a lot of driving, back and forth across Wisconsin, and up and down along the Mississippi River. Again, more summer music. Back then I only had the cassette, and when I got my first stereo with a CD player this is one of the titles I had to get on CD. I love the piano. I wish I could play like that. And I still remember most of the words.

Another talented vocalist. I love the stories in these songs. More laid back rhythms, soft yet solid. 

So that's this week's lineup. These guys can sing to me anytime!

Monday, March 23, 2015

March Madness

Spring snow! I thought we were only forecast to get a couple of inches, but Mother Nature outdid herself. The snow blower had a rough go of it, but it was a little too much to ignore, and way too much to shovel by hand. Might be one of the deepest snowfalls we've had all winter. Good thing I like snow!

Friday, March 13, 2015

It's Working!

This year, I got an early jump on the Easter decorating. Well, one spot, anyway. On a mild day soon after Ash Wednesday, I went looking for a branch to use for an Easter Egg tree. 

In the past I think we always used dead branches. But something about that didn't seem quite right. I wondered if maybe the idea was supposed to be cut a living branch, and get it to bud out by Easter. 

Ideally a willow or forsythia would have been the perfect choice. Easy to green up, I'm sure. I thought about lilac, with its pretty heart shaped leaves, but I couldn't bring myself to cut any of my own lilacs. So I snipped the end of a rogue mulberry, that needs to be removed anyway, and brought it in. I added water to the stones in the crock, and hung the ornaments. I wasn't sure if a mulberry would do anything. They are one of the last trees to open their leaves here, and being more of a hard wood, I didn't know if my branch would even take in enough water. The buds were so teeny tiny.

I guess the conditions were right, because this morning I noticed bright green leaves starting to unfurl themselves. 

Such fun!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Yarn Along, March 4, 2015

Another Yarn Along day, and I feel like nothing exciting happened during the past week. This is when cabin fever starts to set in. I went to work, came home, did some knitting, watched some tv, cooked, played with the cats. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

The calendar turned to March, so the countdown to retirement is now two years and eight months! I need to keep that goal in mind, so I don’t get carried away with my spending. February seemed to have a lot of costly expenses in it. Most were necessary, but I could always try to do better. It’s easy to get carried away buying something that’s needed. I shop at the Co-op and buy some things in bulk to save on money and packaging, and then fall down at the cheese island and buy fancy stuff. It’s even worse if I don’t get to eat it all before it goes bad. And I do like to try new things, and fancy foods, but I need to limit that to one or two at a time, not one or two from every department!

Knitting this week was much more of a thrifty endeavor. I worked on items for my Etsy shop, including this pair of baby booties. A friend had given me some leftover fingering weight yarn, and there was just enough of this dotted white Regia to make a pair of booties. Fun!

While knitting, I listened to “The Blood of an Englishman” by M.C. Beaton, the latest in the Agatha Raisin mystery series. I find that I listen best while knitting. Sometimes I can do dishes and or walk on the treadmill, but if I try to do desk work, or organizing, or computer work, I find I miss too much of the narrative. So I had a nice knitting, relaxing weekend!

Joining with Ginny and the rest of the Yarn Along Gang.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Yarn Along February 25, 2015

I had written a New Year’s blog post all about getting back in the habit of writing more often. Yes, well, that didn’t work did it? So I’ll start 2015 with a Yarn Along post, and join Ginny, and hopefully that will get the ball rolling.

I started this cardigan in 2011! It’s taking me forever to work on because I keep stopping to work on other projects, mostly those that will bring in some money. I try to spend less on my fiber habit than I make with it, and last year I failed miserably, spending almost twice as much! This year I’m off to a little better start, but it’s early…

When I pick this sweater up and get rolling on it, I really like it. I designed the stitch pattern, although it’s similar to some in books. And I used Wendy Bernard’s book “Custom Knits” to come up with the formula and numbers for the cast on, v-neck, etc. The yarn is Lion Cottonease. I was hoping for a light summer cardigan, but I think it might be too bulky for that, although, when I put it on, it doesn’t feel overly heavy.

Over the weekend, I started working on one of the sleeves, and my concern now is that I’ll get in enough decreases before I get down to the wrist. The ribbed pattern is deceptive, and I added more stitches under the arm than usual. I think it will work out all right; I just need to do a little math again to see what I need to end up with.

My book this week is “The Cat Who Tailed a Thief” by Lilian Jackson Braun. I am slowly working my way through this series, and try to read three ‘cat whos’ per year. They are light and fluffy mysteries, and I find them endearing. Last year I fell down miserably in my reading. I only read a handful of books, switching mostly to magazines. I also got stuck on a couple books, and stubbornly refused to give up and start a new one until I finished at least one of them. That finally happened last week, and I’m much happier now!