Thursday, April 30, 2009

Loose ends

The great news of the day was my friend Kathy was released from the hospital following her latest return of symptoms. Sounds like she needed a medication adjustment and is now feeling better -- woohoo!

My Holly Tote body is done, now it's on to the straps and a pocket. I'll post a pic when those pieces are done. I finished knitting the bag at the dentist's office yesterday, waiting for my gums to numb up. I was supposed to have two fillings, one on top and the other on the bottom. The one on the top took so long to fill they had to put off the bottom tooth. I told the dentist I thought he was drilling his way to China and asked for another shot so he could finish without me wincing so much. Oh joy, numbed the bottom jaw for nothing and I was truly sore today.

I got a message today on Ravelry from a knitter from Colorado in dire need of a yarn I had posted in my stash. Knowing how desperate you can be when you're running out of yarn for a project I'm more than happy to lend a hand by selling her the giant hank of Wool Pak from New Zealand. It's so distressing when you think you can't finish a project because you've run out of yarn. Right Sue?

Now I had planned on using that yarn for a felted bag, but it's been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years so it's time for it to move on.

Lastly, I had talked a few posts ago about a couple of wines purchased from Costco. I can tell you that the Spanish red, Etim, rated 90-91 points by Robert Parker, Wine Spectator, is scored appropriately. It's outstanding at that price point, $10-ish. Very smooth, nice finish, great taste. The second wine, a Malbec from Mendoza Argentina, Maipe, is also a very good wine. I think it was scored at 90 points also, and for about $8 a bottle makes a great weekday wine.

And with that I'm off to fold clothes before climbing into bed for a good night's sleep, I hope.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Knitting is good for you....

Not that I needed confirmation from any sort of medical expert but there was a feature on CBS's The Early Show earlier this month that ties improved health with knitting and quilting. Here' s the link to that story: 'Knitting for Your Health'. I know I feel better when I'm knitting, quilting, rug hooking, felting, etc. There's always a heightened sense of joy when I'm crafting.

With few complications (why do I have 5 leftover dowels??) and about 15 minutes I put my new winding station together tonight. Doesn't every knitter need a winding station?!

I L-U-V, love it! I chose it for the thickness of the top shelf. Most every gadget can be clamped to it, including my wooden swift, Royal winder, and Strauch jumbo winder (on the bottom shelf). Oh the happiness that exudes from such a perfect find! Being white, it fits in perfectly with my Expedit shelving units. Matchy-matchy can be a good thing. Don't you just love it??

Close ups of the clamping situations:

This is soooooo much better than using my secretary in my living room. The swift left marks on the drop shelf -- arrrgghh.

And look, I managed to fill up the shelves while you weren't looking:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Project update

It doesn't take a lot to distract me from my work. I found this great piece at IKEA tonight. I made a quick run to the store after visiting my friend Seamus at the funeral home where his mother is being viewed.

I think this little table will be great for a yarn winding station since the swift can be attached at one end and either of my ball winders can go on the opposite end. When they're not in use these gadgets can rest on the shelves of the piece.

So tomorrow night's task will be what amounts undoubtedly to a 'simple' assembly project.

Tonight my quilting group met for our monthly meeting at Sue's house in lieu of our scheduled site, Kathy's house. Kathy is back in the hospital and facing an uncertain future as no one seems to be able to tell her why she's relapsing. While Diane, Sue, and Carol showed off their Stack 'n Whack blocks in various stages of completion, I kept knitting on my Holly Bag. Here is the progress so far. I've knit all of the second color and am about to switch back to two strands of the green and finish it up.

And a close up of the scale based on the quarter:

Just a few inches more to go and then the handles. Next up is another Holly Bag but in dark blue tones instead.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Adieu Marge

Tonight I justified not going to the gym by mowing the lawn instead. Yes, I did sweat, and yes, I did work hard. The lawn is now manicured although I was not able to put the weed/dandelion preventer down due to impending rain, which is expected tonight and tomorrow.

I think, though, I was just plain whipped again. My coworker Seamus lost his mother over the weekend and even though she had been hospitalized recently, at age 73, this was unexpected. I met his mother once at his house warming party a few years ago. I remember thinking "this is a woman who does as she pleases without worrying what other people think." She was wearing a wild leopard print blazer with gold lame pants, and a big 'ol hat. She and her husband were the first white couple in Michigan to adopt a black child. Marge was a true Irish gal with flaming red hair and the spirit to go with it.

Maybe we all should try to incorporate a bit of Marge in us -- doing what's right without any thought to what others might think, putting a bit of zaniness into every day and having fun, no matter what life throws our way.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No doubt about it

My knitting mojo is BACK! I knit steady all weekend, finishing one felted bag and starting a second one. I'm trying to mix up the colors a bit from the ones that I've done in the past. After 6+ years of making felted bags I need to try some new combinations. One of my customers from last fall led me to think in a whole new way -- everything does not need to be symmetrical. So many times I plan things out to the most minute detail when it's really not necessary. Go with the flow! It's much more freeing.

Here's the bag from yesterday, made from the yarn I bought Friday at EweNique Knits' sale. I used Brown Sheep Bulky in Aubergine and Charcoal Grey. I'll be stockpiling my items to felt to take to my Mom & Dad's next weekend, where I can use their washing machine.

And here are the handles and pocket, to be added following felting:

The handles were done using both yarns and I decided on a 5 stitch I-cord. The pocket is perfect for a cell phone or keys. Many of my customers asked for pockets and while I sold many bags previously sans pockets, I like putting the pockets in as an added touch.

Once done with that bag I began another one using Cascade 220 in perky Lime and Bright Pink. This bag will more of a school tote, named after my daughter Holly, who is a special ed teacher. Yeah Holly!!!!!!

Already about half done, I expect to finish it tomorrow. I'm on a roll!! I need to make about 4 things each week to be stocked up for my fall shows. Phew! In between, of course, is Holly's wedding. Keep reminding me to finish that rug for them. Time's a ticking.

Today was a beautiful day -- mid 80s and full of sunshine. I got my front flower beds weeded. It's so much easier to yank those bad boys out since it rained yesterday. My Columbines are about to burst and the Bleeding Hearts are right on their tail. Haven't inspected my Peonies yet but I have to get that blasted dog to stop using the back flower bed for a potty! Any tips??

Yesterday the stinking ants made their annual return to my kitchen. This year I was quick to put the traps out. They look like a bunch of drunken sailors, barely able to make it back to their nests. Score one for the Joneses.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Stormy weather

Today was a bright sunshiny day until mid afternoon when the winds that had been blowing all morning brought in storm after storm. Amazingly enough, too quickly for Kevin to get the lawn mowed. Urrrrggghh. The pending storms also prevented me from making my first trip ever to Eastern Market -- maybe next weekend. I did however, partake in the second day of the storewide sale at EweNique Knits. Helping the economy as much as I can plus reducing the amount of yarn the shop needs to inventory. What a great gal I am. :*)

Maggie and I watched the rain pour down and then the pinging of hail began.

Here's the hail that landed on the outdoor mat -- sorry for the less than stellar photo:

Photos through the front door glass combined with a very dark sky don't make for much of a picture but you can see by the white spots we had quite a bit of hail.

Remember how hot I said it was yesterday in my office? Well, apparently it was that hot or worse at the 'home' and Dad decided he'd had enough. So decked out in his PJ bottoms and a T-shirt he summoned my mother to come and get him. Apparently the 'home' could not turn on the air conditioning until May 1st. Well, that's not doing anyone a favor at the 'home' as many of the residents were complaining and suffering from the heat. Dad had a hard time breathing and Mom took him back to their apartment, she said for good. Today Renee and Tim went over to help move all of his belongings back to the apartment. Now the task begins to find an alternative to their existing living arrangement. I still think that having someone come to the apartment to help with his personal needs is the best option. Not to mention, both of them seeing the shrink every couple of weeks.

I know Dad is not well. Thursday when Kevin went out to watch the Red Wings game with Dad, he introduced him to an employee as 'his good friend Pat Mahoney.' He does have a friend by that name but I still don't follow where that came from. Kevin had just been there on Tuesday and there were no problems like that.

I'm guessing there's plenty of stormy weather ahead, in more ways than one.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Toasty today

Today we hit 86º and it was stinking hot in the office. My unofficial thermometer, courtesy of Oakland Community College, registered 84º. This did not elicit any sympathy from Kevin, who said it was 94º at the restaurant. But it's not about him, now, is it?

There's something magical about taking off your shoes and socks when you're overheated. Instant relief! Ahhhhh.

After work today I stopped by EweNique Knits to check out their sale. My friend Eddie actually went on his lunch hour and returned with his purchases for my viewing pleasure. There's no way I'd ever be able to shop on my lunch hour. Maybe my lunch day, but certainly not my lunch hour. Spurred on by his great buys, I plunked 30 minutes worth of coin into the parking meter and headed for the shop.

I picked out practical felting yarn for bags and hats, all at great prices. My one out of character yarn was a skein of Elsebeth Lavold Angora, a blend of angora, wool, and polyamide, in a butter yellow shade. I figured I could make some baby booties out of the 91 yard skein. Turns out, I can actually make 2 pair from one skein.

First you cast on and knit from the toe up, working inside out.

And then you have to split the stitches between two needles, so you can have separate needles for the instep and the balance of the bootie.

Then you have turn your work right side out and continue knitting, round and round, and wind up with finished booties.

It took a mere hour to make this pair of booties. Can't get much better for a quick gift item. The pattern came from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I think I may need to head back over to the shop tomorrow to pick up a few more colors. I'm learning, slowly, not to dive into something (meaning spending wads of money) until I'm certain that I LOVE it. I'm liking these booties, although I may look for another pattern, and can see a need to make more.

I re-joined the Berkley Fitness Center tonight. The yearly membership was only $125 if you signed up tonight. I couldn't justify paying $30 per month, not with my employment uncertainty. Best bargain on the planet!

Many of my friends from the Black Sheep Knitting Guild have made their way to the guild's annual retreat. I chose not to go due to budget issues but I'm still sad I'm not there with them. I'll find plenty of things to do here this weekend, including the weeding of my front flower beds. I'll be slipping back into EweNique tomorrow sometime after I get home from the gym, to see what colors remain of the angora yarn, and to show Marilyn how the yarn knit up.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Read instructions twice, knit once....

Kind of a take off on Norm Abrams' "measure twice cut once" adage. I was knitting on my Hoodie Tunic sleeve today on the bus when I had an unfortunate 'aha' moment. It suddenly occurred to me that I'd been knitting the decreases to the left of the marker incorrectly. The pattern calls for SSK, with instructions to slip the first stitch knit wise, slip the second stitch purl wise and then knit the two together. All this time (first sleeve and now second sleeve) I've been doing the opposite. Now, I thought I liked the look until I actually did it the right way by accident and realized how wrong I had been. About 10" of tinking later I'm back to the beginning of the sleeve.

Some people would have been content with the sleeve as is. After all, it is the underneath part of the sleeve and who in the world would have ever known something was askew. But not me. I would have been bothered by this flaw every single time I put it on. You know what this means, though? Right! I have to re-do the first sleeve too!

Looks like there's no chance I'll have the sleeves done tomorrow. Maybe by next Friday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Knitting Mojo makes a return

This morning, being Earth Day, I returned to taking the public bus to work. For quite some time I've taken it every day but lately, in order to get home sooner, I've been driving my T & C minivan. Driving prevents me from being able to knit on the way to and from work. Unlike some D.D.D. (see yesterday's post) I prefer to knit when someone else is doing the driving, namely my bus driver Clarence.

I started working again on my second sleeve for my Hoodie Tunic. I expect to be done by Friday and then I'll move on to the hood.

A woman on the bus ride home today asked me how many things I make in a year. When I answered somewhere around 100, I'm not sure she believed me. Between charity knitting, show knitting, gifts and personal knitting I'm sure I hit 100. Somehow my stash doesn't seem to reflect the corresponding reduction, much to the delight of local yarn shops!

Here's a fun knitting self assessment for you to think about.......

My Knitting Experience:

Bold for things I have done, italics for things I plan to do one day, and normal for stuff I am not planning on doing. ?? for unsure

Afghan ??


Garter stitch

Knitting with metal wire


Stockinette stitch

Socks: top-down

Socks: toe-up

Knitting with camel yarn

Mittens: Cuff-up

Mittens: Tip-down


Knitting with silk ??

Moebius band knitting

Participating in a KAL


Drop stitch patterns

Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn

Slip stitch patterns

Knitting with banana fiber yarn

Domino knitting (modular knitting)

Twisted stitch patterns

Knitting with bamboo yarn

Two end knitting

Charity knitting

Knitting with soy yarn


Toy/doll clothing

Knitting with circular needles

Baby items

Knitting with your own handspun yarn


Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)

Continental knitting

Designing knitted garments

Cable stitch patterns

Lace patterns

Publishing a knitting book


Teaching a child to knit

American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)

Knitting to make money

Button holes

Knitting with alpaca

Fair Isle knitting

Norwegian knitting

Dyeing with plant colours

Knitting items for a wedding

Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)

Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars

Olympic knitting

Knitting with someone elses handspun yarn

Knitting with dpns

Holiday related knitting

Teaching a male how to knit


Knitting for a living (This is my dream.)

Knitting with cotton

Knitting smocking

Dyeing yarn


Knitting art

Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously


Knitting with wool

Textured knitting

Kitchener BO


Knitting with beads


Long Tail CO


Knitting and purling backwards

Machine knitting

Knitting with self-patterning / self-striping / variegating yarn

Stuffed toys

Knitting with cashmere



Knitting with synthetic yarn

Writing a pattern

Gloves ??


Knitting with linen

Knitting for preemies

Tubular CO

Freeform knitting

Short rows

Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers


Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine


Knitting on a loom ??

Thrummed knitting

Knitting a gift

Knitting for pets


Knitting with dog/cat hair

Hair accessories

Knitting in public

If you are a knitter, and participate, leave me a comment so I can read your list!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I have to admit that I've lost my knitting mojo. I haven't knit since Saturday. I've been working on the placement of my Stack 'n Whack blocks and that's it for creativity. I made it to the gym for the first time since Saturday, too. I need to really devote more time to that effort. I'm making progress on getting into 'dress' form for the wedding, having lost 34" since I started working out, one year ago on the 19th. Go Suz, go Suz, go.....

Holly said the wedding invitations arrived Friday from Vista Print and they look great except for one itsy, bitsy problem. The response cards are TOO BIG for the ?*%@ invitation envelope. Ugh. Seems we never bothered to notice this one little thing when we were ordering online at 10 PM. Not the kind to back away in the face of a challenge we'll just get out our handy dandy paper cutters and slice a bit off the top. And sides. And bottom. Egad.

Today's D.D.D. (Dumb Driver of the Day) award goes to the nimrod driving on I-696 during rush hour and drumming with drumsticks at the same time. What's the matter with people anyway?

Monday, April 20, 2009

New blogs in my favs

I love to look around the web at different blogs. Partly because I'm looking for style, layout, etc., but mostly for content. There are so many interesting people in the world. I added a few from outside the US and a couple of quilting blogs for my Chicken friends. Please take the time to check a few of them out and be sure to leave comments everywhere you go.

I spent most of the evening editing pictures from my friend Francis's wedding. Lighting in a hall is always challenging and several of the children had 'demon' eyes which required correcting. I thought I was all set, created a PDF slideshow and tried to mail it to myself at work. No go. Too tired to figure it out tonight.

I've been dragging most of the day and didn't even go to the gym tonight. I think my Dad's situation is sucking the energy right out of my body. He seemed much more 'gone' last night. He said he thinks my Mom is seeing someone else. That's all he can think of as to why she's not visiting him. There's more but I just don't want to think about it anymore tonight.

Hoping to get a good night's rest and start all over again tomorrow..........

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Great day out

Today was my all day quilting cut-a-thon with the Chicken group at Kathy's house. We were supposed to bring fabric with four repeats to use for a Stack 'n Whack quilt. Ok, so I only brought a yard of fabric that had two repeats -- that's what I get for picking up the fabric before I have the full instructions -- visualize my sad face here. Nixed that choice and Kathy brought out some great tropical bird fabric to use instead. I was the last to do the cutting of my strips and then 3 1/2" squares so I never got to start on the piecing. Lugged my sewing machine over for naught. I knew better. I'm a really poky slow cutter.

I was a slacker at photos again but I did get Diane's fabric before the cutting and then the auditioning of potential piecing of the block.

Kathy made a great lunch for us and we had invited our guild friend Barb over to present her with the quilt we had made for her. Two 1/2 years ago our friend Lissa (and Barb's best friend) was stricken with breast cancer. We made Lissa a quilt and gave it to her just a month before she died. Unfortunately, the vultures in Lissa's dysfunctional family swooped in and took the quilt. Last summer Barb graciously gave much of Lissa's quilting pieces -- unfinished tops, blocks, WIPs -- to our group because she knew we would finish them in Lissa's memory. So, being the quilty people we are, and having received our group name, the Chickens, from Barb, we made here the quilt below. We used mostly reproduction and shirting fabrics in this really sweet quilt and Barb was really pleased.

May 2nd marks the second anniversary of Lissa's death. Have you scheduled YOUR yearly mamm yet?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Such a good day

Don't you love it when you get up early on a Saturday and you're nothing but productive all day?
I started the day getting my annual mamm at 7:15 (all looks good so far), then I stopped at Elaine's Bagels since I had a few minutes to kill before the gym opened. What a delicious smell in that bagel shop -- picked up a half dozen bagels including the cinnamon sugar variety that has to have it's own little bag. Next I worked out for 1 1/2 hours, generating a nice stinky sweat. Home for a shower and then out to clean up the front flower beds. Not much to report there but the columbines are on their way:

The roses look pretty good, as do the Hens 'n Chicks. Since I'm late in cutting back the Rose of Sharons I'm not too hopeful they'll flower abundantly. After resting a spell I headed over to knit with the ladies at Right off the Sheep. I worked on my Hoodie Tunic, which only needs 1/2 a sleeve and the hood still:

I'm really enjoying knitting this sweater and can't wait to finish it.

It was fabulously warm today, about 75ºF, so everyone was out at English Gardens, where I went to pick up some cold-hardy Pansies. Seems this is the last of warm weather for a few days so I needed to buy flowers that won't croak when the temperature dips back down to the 40s. Ugh. I also picked up some bird seed for my backyard feeder that was woefully empty all winter. I know, bad, bad girl. I'm making up for it now.

Lastly I headed over to Costco to pick a prescription (which they were out of, darn) and a few bottles of wine (which they happily had). I chose a couple of bottles that had been rated 90 points by Wine Spectator so I'll see if I'm on the same wavelength as the pros.

Here are some pictures of the beautiful pansies I brought home, in their new home in the planter by my front porch:

It was a bit windy when I took these shots (rain is heading in...) but I changed the speed to 1600 to get a better shot of the close ups. I'm starting to the get the hang of this camera, finally.

Lastly, I'll leave you with a shot of the Shepherd's Wool I bought last month at Stonehedge Fiber Mill. I'm planning to knit some hats, possibly felting them, we'll see. All kinds of great colors!

And with that I'm off to press my fabric for tomorrow's quilt workshop. And where are those darn flower head pins I know I have somewhere????

Friday, April 17, 2009

Green Day

No, it's not quite Earth Day, payday or even tax refund day. Instead I'm sharing a couple of green things with you today. I will be working on 'green' projects tomorrow but not tonight.

Here is my Sneaky Sheep Swap.2 gift from Linda, who drew my name. She admitted to being intimidated by knitting for me since she sees me knitting so voraciously. Linda chose a bamboo yarn and a great lace pattern to create her scarf for me. She also told me she appreciates the value of a 'life line' now. If you don't know what that is, leave a comment!

While my new scarf looks lovely on my dress form, it will look much better on me!

And here's a close up of the stitch pattern:

Back when we traveled to the Black Swamp show last month I spotted a divine quilt, used by Briar Rose Fibers, beneath their yarn display. Instantly, I whipped out my camera and fired off a couple of quick pictures.

It added to Chris's display but I sure wanted to nab it to give it it's proper due for the beautiful quilt that it was. Be sure to check out the Briar Rose website if you're not familiar with her yarns. She also carries fabulous ceramic buttons that her sister-in-law makes. I bought several from her to use on my felted bags. I'm quite the button freak, but that will have to be another blog.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ahhh, Spring has returned

The warmth has made a comeback and so have the flowers that were nearly frightened to an early death by last week's nasty snow. Here are some shots of my neighbor Helen's daffodils, which stand like dutiful soldiers in front of her house.

Every yard perks up when the flowers are in bloom. With temperatures in the low 70s this weekend I'll be out in the yard, cleaning up the flower beds, and hopefully re-potting my containers that sit near my front porch. If all goes well, I'll be sitting out on the porch, knitting, and listening to a Tigers game, once my work is done.

Sunday will be a quilting day for the Chicken group at member Kathy's house. We'll be doing a version of the Stack 'n Whack technique. I'll post pictures of those blocks when I get them pieced. I'm hoping the fabric I chose in Charlevoix will work out for this project.

Somewhere during the weekend I'll be heading out to see my Dad. Wherever he may be... seems he complained of chest pains yesterday and was taken from the 'home' to the local hospital by ambulance. Mom didn't call until 5 PM tonight and that was probably only because Kevin was going to go visit his grandfather tonight and watch the Red Wings playoff game together. Irritated? You bet I am. What if it was serious -- shouldn't I at least be given the opportunity to head to the hospital, in case it's the last time? Apparently after several tests they have decided his heart is beating too quickly, which is highly unusual for him -- he's usually got low blood pressure. Funny how this flare up occurred the day after he went back to the 'home'.

Anyhow, I've got to get going on knitting projects for my fall shows. I spent some time tonight selecting a few yarns I want to use to make hats -- nice colorful, chunky yarns. Again, I'll post pictures when they're done.

My award for the dumbest person I saw today goes to: the idiot chick driving during rush hour traffic eating a mini container of yogurt, one arm resting on the steering wheel, the other holding the spoon with which to eat. Egad!

Well, the dryer just beeped, so it's time to fold clothes before heading to bed.....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Patience really is a virtue

Tonight I decided to tangle with last night's 'spaghetti' yarn. Not that I necessarily had that much more patience today. It only took about 45 minutes but here is the result of my persistence:

I very nearly gave up on this former wad of fiber. Had it not been cashmere it very well might have wound up in the garbage. But I'm glad I persevered and now have enough yarn for another project, maybe a narrower version of yesterday's scarf. I'm so very glad that Linda liked hers.

My other test of patience today was the quantifying of my existence at work. I ran SQL, after SQL, after SQL, trying to validate statistics regarding the individual jobs that I run. I can hear the belt tightening now.....................

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

BSKG Meeting

Tonight was our Black Sheep Knitting Guild monthly meeting. I was really looking forward to it since I had finished my Sneaky Sheep Swap.2 exchange item. It is a sweet thing too, see what I mean:

And the recipient, Linda, loved it. What's not to love about cashmere???

But unfortunately my evening had the wind knocked out of the sails by hearing that my father has gone back to the 'home'. Wrong on so many levels. I'm so disappointed that my Mother is not even considering getting a home duty caregiver for him. If you had an ingrown toenail would you amputate the whole leg? Potential solutions are not even being considered here. The food at the 'home' was barely summer camp fare. My apologies to any summer camp that actually cared about the food it passed out to campers.

So I came home to this:

And, no, it's not a pile of spaghetti. Rather, it the second skein of cashmere I had to dig into to finish Linda's scarf. I'm going to have to leave this project for a day when my patience has been replenished. Urggghhh.

Done, done, diddly done

I took the day off work today to get my stinkin' taxes done and finish knitting my Sneaky Sheep Swap item.

I am pleased to report that both are done. Well, nearly. I have to weave in the ends on my exchange item and block it a bit before wrapping it up for today's meeting at 7 PM. My taxes turned out well with a bit of a refund coming back to me. I was prepared to owe the government money so that is a pleasant surprise.

But for now it's well past midnight and I need some beauty sleep before heading off to work.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Catching Up

I can't make this a long post -- I'm on break from knitting my Sneaky Sheep Swap project, you know, the cashmere item. It's due on Tuesday and I've got to finish my income taxes before then too. As a matter of fact, I do remember the deadline, and no, I didn't have the urge to get them done sooner.

Last Thursday was our quilt guild meeting and I'm just now getting around to posting pictures. We had Ami Simms

lecture and while I didn't take pictures of her quilts I did manage to snap a few of our Show and Tell quilts.

These two quilts were crafted by one our of newer quilters (so sorry, I can't remember her name tonight) and are based a couple of her favorite pop culture items:

Isn't she clever???!!!

Next up is a fabulous quilt from Cathy who received the quilt top, tore it apart and re-pieced it adding the great border and quilting the finished piece.

and a close up of her blocks:

This is another great quilt from Cathy, where the top half blocks are mirror images of the bottom half blocks:

and here's a close up of those blocks:

Next up is a huge quilt Judy (a fellow Chicken group member!) finally showed, along with a close up of the blocks.

Last up, Joyce (also a Chicken) revealed her latest creation:

and a close up of her blocks:

Our guild is full of talented people. I need to re-position myself when it's time to take pictures so I am able to snap more. Sometimes I get shots that look like afterthoughts because I react too slowly and our quilt holders move too quickly, especially if they're trying to see the quilts themselves!

Well, my break is over, back to knitting......

Friday, April 10, 2009

Just plain worn out

I realized tonight that my gas tank is running out. I need a good night's sleep and I need to get back into the gym. I missed three days in a row there and I'm beyond sluggish.

Work is getting stressful with pending staff cuts and the requirement to explain in great detail how our workloads fluctuate from month to month. What a shame that it has come to this. I'm not great at tooting my own horn but I better get there fast or I'll be calling 'MARVIN' before long.

Dad is back home where he belongs and now we begin the search for a home care alternative.

I got my hair cut and colored tonight so I'll look great until I go to the gym tomorrow morning and sweat the new color out. Reminder, take tan towel not the white one, to the gym.

I have to do my taxes this weekend. I even took Monday off from work to be certain it happens. Anyone out there can hold my feet to the fire on this one.

On top of everything I need to make my knitting guild swap item for Tuesday. I'll post progress pics as soon as I get started. I will say it involves cashmere.....................

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Forgetful Jones

Back in the day, my kids were pretty ardent Sesame Street fans. One of the characters we liked best was Forgetful Jones, partly because our last name is Jones, and partly because we always had so much going on that we were prone to forgetting something.

I have the worst time remembering to grab my cell phone off of the charger. Now, I'm not one of those people who relies on their cell phone. No sirree, instead I tend to use it for emergencies and it bugs the crap out of Kevin. So today I neglected to nab the phone before I headed out the door to work and then I again forgot to get it before heading out to my quilt guild meeting. Big mistake.

Apparently all hell broke loose tonight at the 'home' and Kevin wound up going out there to help my Mom move my Dad back to their apartment. I got home too late to call them so I don't know what precipitated this outburst. Kevin said there was an anxiety attack involved, late dispensing of his Ativan, and probably a lot to do with my Mom coming and going all the time. One of the workers actually suggested to Kevin that instead of telling him we were leaving, we should just say we're going for a drink of water and not come back. I can't imagine that working. He's not so unaware as to not notice when someone does not return in a matter of minutes. That's a stupid suggestion. Perhaps that works for the people who longer remember how to tie their shoes or feed themselves but that is NOT my Dad.

Back to my other life....Guild was fun tonight as our speaker, Ami Simms, is quite humorous. Part of her lecture involved her pet project to raise money for Alzheimer's research. This was touching a bit too close to home for me tonight, even though Dad 'only' has dementia. Ami is doing great work for this cause and has helped raise over $280,000 so far. Be sure to check out her website, The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, to see the current array of auction quilts available for you to bid on this month. The money raised could someday help someone you love.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One more thing....

checked off our list of wedding preparations. We started the visit by indulging in great Mexican food from Zumba Mexican Grille, a favorite of Holly's, and Kevin's current place of employment.

Next, we drove out to see my Dad at the 'home', set up the new swivel base for his TV and returned home to finish the invites. Isn't this a great picture of my Dad and Holly?

We used the website VistaPrint and thankfully Holly had already crafted a template using a photograph of the two lovebirds taken last summer by my BIL Mike, photographer extraordinaire. Holly and her Mike have been engaged nearly two years and when they marry in June they will have been a couple for 9 years.

It gets kind of crazy with more than one Mike in the family. Do we have old Mike, young Mike; old Mike, new Mike; or maybe big Mike, little Mike?? Call the name 'Mike' and both heads turn. Maybe the new Mike will be a 'Michael' instead?

I'm very relieved to have the invitations finally ordered. Next up will be addressing and mailing them out by May 2nd!