Sunday, May 31, 2009

Major Effort

I'm concerned about this week because watching two dogs is soooo hard. Look what I'm having to put up with this evening:



My New Coffee Mug

Andy bought me this a few weeks ago:

Because who doesn't need a little silliness with morning coffee or evening tea.


(Excuse me while I go clean the mirror...yipes!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Go-Read-It Post

You absolutely must read this story of some photo albums found in a flea market: "The Eternal Sunshine of Fred & Anne". It's a testament to the power of photographs and the way that we interact with them.

(Found via this post on


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Celebrating Baseball Season

I am enjoying baseball this year. I'm no expert, and am probably embarrassing to go to games with sometimes. (For example: A few weeks ago I was trying to orient us to the stadium and asked someone with a "Can I Help You?" sign where Home Base was. She widened her eyes, looked at me, and then asked, "Home Plate?" Andy just shook his head sadly.) But I do like watching the game and I know enough to cheer (sort of).

So, in celebration of the sport (despite the Ranger's horrible loss to the Yankees when I was there Monday) I give you a find: Baseball socks. Occasionally I post a list here of things that "I would make if I had the time, but I am too lazy busy right now to think about seriously," and these socks would be on that list. The women's size, with the cool stripes. I mean, those stripes really are unusually cool, and the technique sounds interesting: "festive knitting."


Saturday, May 23, 2009


(I'm really enjoying this long weekend and all my crafting time...)

When I was digging through my supply drawers yesterday, working on the quilt, I found a bag with one completed sock and one 2/3 completed sock. So this afternoon, after minimum effort on my part, I give you:


Why did I wait so many years to finish these? They're fabulous, and they make me think of Mardi Gras.

Stats: Broadripple Socks from on size 3 Crystal Palace bamboo dpns (I love these, too, and don't know how I left something on them for so long--now I'm ready to start a new project with them!). The yarn is Jojoland "Kaleidoscope" (100% Merino Wool) in Color # HM09.

Now, I only have to wait until next winter to wear them, as summer has definitely come to Texas.


One Day Lap Quilt

Yesterday I made a little quilt. I sort of used the Purl Bee's "Sunny Tied Quilt" tutorial, but on a much smaller scale and with a few little changes.

Back in January, I bought a half-yard set of three Amy Butler fabrics from Home Grown Pillows.

When I laid them out to look at them the other day, I thought they looked pretty good together, and so yesterday I made a little trip to the store for muslin backing, batting, and wool yarn. I washed my fabric, pressed it, trimmed it, and sewed the top together. I pressed that, and then did as the Purl Bee said, laying out my quilt sandwich on the floor.

I marked the top every six inches and tied it together. (Note to myself here: I like how quickly a tied quilt can be finished, but I don't love sitting hunched over on the floor, struggling to push a needle through three layers of fabric and batting. I much prefer sitting on the couch quilting, even if it takes longer.) I trimmed the batting to match the quilt top, unpinned the backing from the carpet (I didn't have a tile floor to tape it to like the tutorial suggested) and cut it one and a half inches from the top and batting. I finger-pressed, folded, and pinned the backing over the quilt (this is all in the tutorial), took the whole thing to the ironing board and pressed it. I don't like the way the zigzag stitch looks in the tutorial, so I sat down and hand-stitched the border.

I took a bunch of photos before I washed my quilt because I was absolutely terrified that something would go wrong despite my pre-washing the fabric and testing the colorfastness of the wool I used for the ties.

(click to make these photos larger)

But it did survive the wash! And the ties felted in a fuzzy, friendly way that I like.

This quilt was so easy, and would be perfect for someone with limited knowledge of quilting. Perfect for baby blankets -- all you need is three half-yard cuts of fabric, muslin, batting, and wool yarn, and, in about 7 hours, you'll have a new little lap quilt to love!

This one's for me.



Last week, while I was suffering under this new development of allergies, I had good company.

Today when I uploaded pictures to my computer, I found these photos of Raider on my camera. He's a good boy.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


My life is so public these days. I have accounts with Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter as well as other more interest-specific groups like Craftster, Dogster, and Ravelry. And in these accounts, I have "friends"--people that I would recognize in person, people whose faces I've never seen, and people who know me so well that, frankly, it's embarrassing to think about sometimes.

And then there's this blog.

I love community of all sorts, and I like these social movements. I think of it as a way of being together, worldwide, and it's wonderful to share ideas and experiences in a boundary-free way.

But I've come into a conundrum. I'm not crafting so much because I'm doing other, good for me things and I'm not alone as much. This is good, but it leaves a little hole in my social networking. A hole that I'm hesitant to fill with real, personal details.

Why? Because, for the first time ever, there are "friends" that I sort-of know that I don't really want to share every detail of my life with. "Friends" who comment on odd things when I run into them in person, who say "I saw on Facebook that you went to Austin last weekend" in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable. There are people integrating my personal life with my screened-for-them life.

I've always been an open, honest person, and I find it difficult to think about censoring myself, but I am also beginning to appreciate privacy to a certain extent.

So I'm considering what to share here when I don't have wonderful pictures of knitting to share. What to talk about while I'm thinking about where I'm headed next. What to mention when I want to share something more important than the weather, but less important than how I feel about something going on with people who might read this.

Difficult, this public/private life. Interesting that we choose to share it, and the way we screen ourselves. Also interesting when we don't censor ourselves and end up embarrassed, or worse, fired.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Facebook Epiphany

Ah, funny how life changes.

I just found further proof that the boy I was in love with four years ago wouldn't have worked out--Facebook photos of a family trip to the shooting range.

It makes me laugh, thinking of me trying to fit in.

I won't even hold a gun.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

*Hack Hack* *Cough Cough*

This week I was planning on doing a lot of things, since Andy is out of town. But I was blindsided by pounding sinus cavities, dripping nose, hacking coughs, and lots of other unpleasantness that began last Friday with a scratchy throat. Sure that I'd already infected everyone that I visited with last weekend in Austin, I went to the doctor on Monday. I was convinced that I had a)the swine flu or b)a sinus infection. Much to my surprise, the doc said I had ... allergies. That's it! Boring old allergies. "This can't be right," I said. "It must be something else," I whined. "But I've never had allergies like this!" I coughed out. She shook her head authoritatively and said "I'll bet you've never had a gray hair either, but one day you'll get one of those, too." So I took my prescriptions and went home. And I've gone to work and whined and sniffled and begged for pity and answered the phone in the strangest, stuffiest voice anyone's ever heard.

And that's been my week.

But what I had planned to do, what I wanted to do, was start on a quilt kit that I bought in Houston back over my birthday weekend in January. And, if I got tired of that, I still have some socks on the knitting needles and a cowl for my mother, and a drawer full of yarn in desperate need to be created into some garment or other. And then I found this tutorial for Hemp pendant lamps that would look fabulous over my dining room table.

There's been no crafting at all, though. I've been so sick that I haven't even gone to get my Roxie dog back from my parents' house, which makes me sad. But I haven't been lonely or bored.

I've had Andy's chi-weenie, Raider, to keep me company.

No crafting, but not such a bad week, after all.


Monday, May 11, 2009

National Children's Book Week

I don't have children yet, and I'm not a teacher yet, but I do love children's books. Children's books often have a lot to offer adults, too.

In honor of National Children's Bookweek, here are a few of my favorites (just a very few--you should see my bookshelves!):

1.A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. L'Engle is my favorite author, and this is one of many, many books for children that she wrote.
2. Another L'Engle: Meet the Austins. This book is one of L'Engle's early books and is completely different than the science-fiction many of her kid fans love. I read this to my brother when he was little, and we loved it.
3. The Giver by Lois Lowry. I read this as an adult, and still think about it sometimes.
4. The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo. I loved this enchanting book so much that I included it in a paper I wrote for one of my "serious" literature classes.
5.Imagine That! Poems of Never Was collected by Jack Prelutsky. I used to mail my little brother paintings of monsters. Around that time I found this fabulous book--the illustrations are wonderful!
6. The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery by Graeme Base. I spent hours going through this as a kid, looking at the incredibly detailed illustrations and searching for clues to solve the story's mystery.
7. Superfudge by Judy Blume.
8. The Hank the Cowdog series by John R. Erickson. I am always surprised when people don't know this series. These are brilliant books, told from the farm dog's perspective. The books on tape are just hilarious--if you take a long trip with your child, you should take these with you.
8.The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. What favorite children's book list would be complete without this one?


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Andy!

Today is Andy's birthday. So, "Happy Birthday" to my boyfriend, to the man who listens to me gripe and makes me laugh.

Today is his day, and I'm happy to be able to share part of it with him.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Perhaps your cat needs a sombrero to celebrate, too? I found this one at To Scarborough Fair.