Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scribbles

Oh my goodness, it is HOT here. Normally temps are comfortable this time of year, but we are having the most unbearable heatwave. I just went outside (it's almost 8pm), and it is still oppressive. Temps reached over 100F this afternoon and Google tells me it is currently 91F outside.

I've been knitting in spite of the heat. With my move coming up in less than two weeks and things so busy at work, I'm trying to set aside time each evening to relax and de-stress. Nothing new to show you, still working on my two scarves. I did buy this Cotton Supreme Batik yarn on Saturday to make a scarf for my sister, who assures me she likes it. I love the colors and the softness. (I got the picture off the Internet because I'm too lazy to actually take a picture of the skeins I bought.)

This is my September artist trading card for my swap group, made with ink pens and colored pencils. It was fun to doodle.

I got the idea for my ATC from this book Cory gave me for my birthday, Scribbles. It is written by her friend Lindsay Ostrom and is chock full of cute ideas for creative lettering.



Speaking of Cory, she kindly awarded me this Cherry On Top award. Thanks friend! I'm supposed to answer the question, "If you could go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be?" My answer is, I would like to instill a greater sense of confidence in my younger self and not worry so much about things beyond my control.

Wishing you a cool and happy week ...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yarn in the House

Last Sunday morning I drove to the coast to take a walk by the ocean. Afterward, I stopped in at a yarn shop a few blocks from the beach and discovered they were offering 20% off their entire inventory.

Oh, frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!


The Mission 1824 Cotton is for making wash cloths.

I'm using the Paca de Seda alpaca/silk blend to make a scarf for someone who shall not be named as she might be reading this. The pattern is the Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf.

My Reversible Cable Scarf that I started a few weeks ago is coming right along, too.

On a completely different subject, did you watch the season premier of Dancing with the Stars this week? Last season wasn't very interesting, but this season they have a great line up. Did you see Jennifer Grey dance? I loved the movie Dirty Dancing when it came out (still do). Seeing her dance again so beautifully after all these years brought a few tears to my eyes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Silly stuff about me

My friend Jane over at Maiden Jane tagged me for this fun and silly quiz.

1. What is one thing you just cannot stand?

Oh, so many things! Near the top of my list is unthoughtful people who park their cars so poorly that they take two spaces in crowded lots where parking is already at a minimum.

2. If you could go back to your childhood, which cartoon or television show would you pick to be your all-time favorite?

That would have to be Happy Days. I was so in love with Fonzie.

3. What's something you do or have done that would surprise people?

I've traveled all over the country by myself to hike in our National Parks and see areas of great natural beauty. Two of my favorite places are Mt. Rainier and the Florida Everglades.

4. Do you believe in ghosts?

Let's just say that I am very open-minded. I used to scoff at all things supernatural, but then some things happened that made me change my mind.

5. When you go in to a store, what is your weakness, something you just can't help yourself buying more of?

That has to be yarn! I have little self-control when it comes to books, too.

6. What is your proudest moment of being a parent? (Animals do count.)

I don't have children, so I will have to tell you about a Charlie moment. There have been several times when he thought his little brother Apollo was in danger and moved quickly to protect him from other cats and strangers. It brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw him do that.

7. If you could go back and relive one day of your life, which day would you choose?

I have been thinking about this question the last few days. It is an interesting question to contemplate. I thought about loved ones I have lost and how I would like to see them again and impulsive decisions I have made that I would like to take back. I also thought about accomplishments that I am proud of. But as I reviewed the special moments in my life, one thing really stood out that I never realized meant that much to me. I don't want to say what it is because it's too personal, but I will say it was a big surprise and has me rethinking my priorities.

Cory at Pink Dogwood Blossom, would you like to play?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Show & tell and thoughts on letting go of stuff

When I went to see Cory in Grass Valley last month, she took me to her daughter Teresa's pottery studio, T-Pots Pottery, where I made this fused glass dish. I am so pleased with how it turned out! It was easy and fun to make. I wish Teresa's studio was in my neighborhood so I could make a few more of these dishes as gifts for family and friends.

The theme for our August artist trading cards was bags and shoes (and optionally hats). I struggled and struggled and struggled with it and couldn't figure out what to do. I've found that when I become both blocked and obsessed about some creative pursuit, the best thing to do is make it as simple as possible. Hence my ATC with little drawings.

I'm selling some of my furniture in preparation for the move next month and finding it surprisingly difficult to let go of my stuff. It used to be that I had no problem selling, tossing and giving things away, but I guess with age comes attachment. I sold my futon this morning and currently have an ad on Craig's List for this dining room table, which belonged to my grandmother. As I was writing the ad, a wave of grief washed over me because this is one of the last things that I have of hers. I've been using it as a desk the last year or so because I have a smaller table that fits better in the dining room, but there isn't room for both of them in my new place.

I've tried to donate this potato chip can twice, but can't let it go. I got it from my sister a couple years ago, and she said it used to belong to our mother. When I saw it I was flooded with warm childhood memories, but to be honest I'm not sure if I actually remember this can or not. It is the contents that really got to me.

Inside are the cookie cutters my mother used when I was a child. I have such fond memories of her baking for us. It is unlikely I will ever use these, but I don't think I can part with them.

You might have noticed that I haven't been blogging or visiting your blogs as much as I used to the last few months. There are several reasons. One is that my workload at my job doubled and I don't have the time and energy that I used to have. Another reason is this time of year, the transition from summer to fall, is a funny time for me. It brings on a melancholy, and if I don't take good care of myself it turns in to full-blown depression by November. So I've been giving myself lots of quiet time to read and reflect. The last reason is I haven't been knitting much and don't have anything fiber-related to share with you.

I'm thinking about starting a new blog that is more general or changing the name of this one so that knitting is no longer the focus. (Not that it ever really was.) I'm going to keep mulling it over and will let you know.

Hope that you are enjoying your weekend. I do plan to visit your blogs later tonight or tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Black & White Wednesday :: The New Place

I'm not moving until next month, but I took a drive over to the new place last weekend to take some pictures. The grounds looked so pretty with the morning light streaming through the trees.

My most important belongings are packed and ready to go.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guess what I'm shopping for?


No, not birds .... bird feeders! Can you guess why?

I'm moving next month! To a place that allows bird feeders!


For those of you that asked, my current apartment complex doesn't allow feeders because they don't want you to attach anything to the building. No wind chimes, hanging baskets, decorations, etc. But ... whatever. I'm leaving!

The new apartment is on the top floor with a balcony surrounded by trees and a creek below. Bird heaven! Actually, the manager called it "bird highway" because of all the feeders hanging there already.

Yay!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Forbidden Bird Feeder


Shhhh ... don't tell anyone.

I have a bird feeder on my patio.

My apartment complex doesn't allow bird feeders. But I couldn't bear to be without one any longer.

So far, I have seen chickadees at the feeder and juncos nibbling on the spilt seeds on the ground.

The squirrels are enjoying the spillage, too.


I have a water bowl for the squirrels. When it is empty, they clang it loudly in protest.


You-know-who is enjoying the show.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer fun

Last weekend I went camping for the first time in 14 years. The ocean was a five minute walk from the campground, and we could hear the lapping of waves at night. One day I walked down to the beach and sat for a couple hours staring at the water. My life has been extremely busy and exhausting the last several weeks, and I needed to just sit and let my mind wander without trying to accomplish anything. There was no one around except me and the wind, and I found myself spontaneously singing a Tibetan Buddhist chant, "Om Mani Padme", which means the jewel in the lotus. Suddenly I remembered that I had my MP3 player in my backpack, and that particular song was on it. Within a few minutes I was playing, splashing, and dancing in the water accompanied by Om Mani Padme.


I turned 44 years old earlier this week. It was very much a bird birthday! I received many owl- and bird-themed gifts, like an owl towel from Cory, owl bandages and a bird calendar from Hilary. Aren't those bandages a hoot? (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) While camping, my family surprised me one evening with a chocolate cake and candles. They sang happy birthday and spoiled me with presents. I was a happy camper. Another birthday treat occurred later in the week when my co-workers took me out to lunch at Applebee's and the waitress sang happy birthday to me in Italian. It was gorgeous.

A sweet blogger friend sent me a package of bird goodies in the mail for my birthday, including this vintage crocheted owl. Isn't it adorable? I'm still trying to decide where to hang it.

I'm listening to the audio book Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter Ann. Sue is the author of The Secret Life of Bees. The book is a memoir of her and Ann's journey to Greece as Sue struggles with her upcoming 50th birthday and Ann deals with depression over the loss of a dream. It is also about mothers and daughters and there is a strong spiritual theme. It's a little slow, but rich and textured and inspired.

I'm working on a reversible cable scarf in a soft cotton and silk blend yarn. Cables are still a bit of a novelty, and although this pattern is quite simple, I'm enjoying it very much. I've been wanting to knit a cabled scarf ever since I saw Cinder over at Brooklyn Tweed.

Hope you enjoy the Labor Day weekend.