Monday, January 16, 2006

Beauty should not be cruel...

Oy Vey! I haven't posted since November- egads! Oh well, life goes merrily on it's way around here. I've got a 1920 version of "Zorro" on; it looks way cool in sepia, with grey/blue for night scenes.

Holidays- over, went well, don't want to drive all night with small children anytime soon.

Knitting- oh yeah, that. Actually, I finished DH's christmas present hat a few days ago. Debbie Bliss Cashmerino chunky in a dark greyish purple with an avocado green contrasting color. I'm very proud of it. It's soft, dense, and pretty, with a really cool decrease pattern on the top, that come to think of it, resembles a flattened octopus. His bare head is very appreciative.

New projects-
*Cotton washcloths. I'm using cheap cotton yarn- Sugar and Cream I think- and practicing patterns while making a cloth for each kid. Almost halfway done on L's purpley-blue waffle-weave (basket-weave) cloth. Soph's requested red, pink and white with a heart motif. I'll do my best. Sade's will be more pink based, and G-Dub gets blue, lime green and white. Not sure of what pattern for the last two- I've downloaded a ton of free patterns, so I'll just pick a couple that look interesting. It's a way to learn to read patterns better, without making a scarf. A friend crocheted dishcloths for me for christmas- I don't use dishcloths, but thought it'd be nice for a washcloth.
*Still with the hats. I'm about to rip out what I've done on a hat for Sadie that's to be felted; I'm just not sure anymore. Bleh- indecision can thwart project completion.
*More headbands for the girls. Shouldn't take too long. Pink and purple variegated Lorna's Laces- so nice!
*Um, might be taking a two night class on crochet flowers. I'd like to learn crochet, and flowers would be fun for the girls. We'll see if it's full, though.

Writing- Yeah, I suck. Must try harder.

We are accomplishing some new goals for us, though. Finally putting pics on the walls. I may finally make some valances for the living room. Planning meals better, and eating fish two times a week. Starting diet/exercise plan- can't blame baby weight too much longer. Ugh.

Must go- Zorro's trying to beat down oppression- gotta stick it to the man. You go, Z-boy!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Even less writing....

Yeah, sorry about that. Knitting has sucked all free time away. Good and bad. More projects completed, other things neglected- reading, cleaning, sleeping...

Thanksgiving was quiet. It was just the 6 of us, a fine turkey, and tons of wine. Oh yeah, good times.

Kids are great- grandparents coming to visit this week.

*Wacky felting- G-Dub hat knitted, felted, and cute! It's blue and green with eyelash trim. A cute green caterpillar made of i-cord and eyelash is crawling up the hat. It's too cute! Almost felted it too small though- oops!
*More hats- Two felted hats for the girls- pink and purple with sparkly eyelash. One half-way done already.
*Knit basketweave headband/ ear warmer for Soph. Quick and cute!
*Knit brown and gold stocking hat for nephew- done in one day- wowza!
*More projects to come...

December's almost here. The weather is turning colder, and we've already had snow. Brrr! Kids love it though.

I'm hosting the playgroup Wednesday, so cleaning must happen. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

More guests... little writing...

Yep, I've been busy. So just a quick update. Great visit from my folks, in-laws coming tomorrow. Gotta love having other willing hands with the kids. Hopefully a couple dates- a sickly husband may preempt that. The weather has gotten a lot colder; it was really windy today, and we had to break out the heavier coats and hats.

*felted scuffs- felted and drying. I didn't do any shibori on them; I think I'll add some cool buttons if anything. They look pretty cool, and feel warm and fuzzy, although a bit moist yet.
*Wacky felting class- Working on a hat for G-Dub. It's blue and green, with eyelash yarn accents. I'm going to add little ruffles with eyelash in them that when felted, look like fuzzy caterpillars. Hope it turns out!
*New ideas- Quick headbands or hats for the girls for Christmas, a couple of scarves, maybe some more felting. We'll see how much time I wind up with.
*Halloween costumes were cute and well-received.

I've been reading quite a bit lately; I have a book I have to start and read quickly before it's due back. After the felted hat project...

Christmas is coming faster than I want. I'd like to make quite a few gifts, but may run out of time. I won't find out until Thanksgiving who I get in a drawing, so it'll cut pretty close. I'll wait and see...

Over and out. Must try to call traveling brother to wish him a happy birthday. Hope I catch him...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Busy times, cool temps...

Fall is here for sure; cold, wet wind, cloudy skies, and lots of leaves to rake. Our tree turned all of a sudden last week, and is dropping leaves at a rapid rate, with the help of a strong breeze and scattered rain over the weekend.

Yep, last week was really busy for me. School, skating, and soccer for Sophie- I'd be exhausted if I were that kid. Playgroup hosting for me- mad housecleaning on Tuesday. A great playgroup experience on Wednesday; happy kids, happy moms. And Friday night, a surprise weekend guest. My brother got stuck in Milwaukee over the weekend, so he came over and spent a good weekend with us. I tried to outdo myself cooking this week. I made lentil soup for the playgroup moms, a curried chicken and rice soup for John on Thursday, a breakfast of scrambled eggs with veggies, bacon, potato pancakes and coffee Saturday morning, Beer Cheese soup and brownies for supper on Saturday, and Sunday's brunch to beat all brunches; a veggie and cheese souffle with potato pancake and ham steak- mmmmm!

Project updates:
*Swatches for Shibori felting- done and felted, now drying. It's a cool technique where you bind off bits of your knitting by either stitching, wrapping thread around, or putting a washable object in and wrapping. Then you felt it, and when it dries you wind up with a spider web effect, bobbles, or a 3-D netlike effect. It looks really cool now, and I can't wait to see it when it's totally dried. I think the bobbles are my favorite.
*Felted scuffs- One finished, one half-done, both to be felted. I'm thinking of doing some shibori bobbles on them; not positive yet. I might just decorate them with cool buttons or ribbon after they're felted. Guess I'll decide soon!
*Halloween costumes- Two Care Bear shirts made, two bear hats to go. One skirt to polka-dot- I think I'm going to find white dot stickers and do it that way. Much faster! Hope they'll all be cute!
*New projects- felted scarf, knit scarf, hats... and the old ones remain as well- felted pillowtop, sewn pillows

This week looks to be busy as well- Harvest Festival at the school tomorrow, no school the rest of the week, parents coming to visit- yay!, Halloween party Wednesday, haircuts for girls Thursday, a few dates! It'll go be so quickly! And then it's November- where has the time gone?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"She had a sparkling personality and a smile to match...

Yep, another week without posting. Just got busy. Anyway, fall is trying to assert itself around here. Mostly cooler weather, leaves turning and falling, furnace on for the first time in a while. If only it wasn't going to hit 70 degrees again in a couple days. I want my soup weather back! My soup goal for this winter is French Onion soup, and Chicken Matzo Ball soup. For some reason, I've never tried making either, though I like them both. Got to master making good beef stock for the onion soup- I've learned the importance of a good stock for some soups I make, like Split Pea with Ham.

Kids are great- I have a conference at Soph's school tomorrow; we'll see how that goes. Lucy and Sadie have loved their weekly playgroup. I love being around other moms with kids that'll be in school with my kids (the playgroup formed from meeting other kindergarten parents who have younger kids). It's kinda a pain to get the kids ready to go, and to keep track of them, but they love playing with the other kids, and I love adult conversation. G-Dub has his 4 month check tomorrow; I can't wait to see how much he weighs. Shot time too- owie!

The twins' latest trick, which they've now performed twice, once at home and once on the road, is sequestering themselves in the bathroom, arming themselves with toothbrushes, and using toilet water to paint on the walls or to BRUSH THEIR TEETH WITH! Yuck-ola! Never underestimate the power of a pair of curious toddlers! Gives new meaning to the phrase "potty mouth".

Project updates- Yes, progress has been made!
*Swatches for felting class- 2 down, 1 to go; it's started and about 4" long
*Felted scuff class- Way cool! One scuff is already half-done, in only 24 hours! Yippee! I'm using Lamb's Pride worsted in Dynamite Blue- they'll be pretty soft and kinda fuzzy. I also learned some new skills- increasing, casting on in a work in progress, joining and knitting in the round on DPNs (I've done it before, but am not proficient yet). I love how quickly they're going, and aspire to make some for the girls. It also makes me want to try mittens, now that I have some new skills. One things at a time! After they're felted, then it's embellishment time.
*Manos pillowtop- no progress to report
*Hats- umm, nope! Will do soon.

Well, that's enough I guess. Wednesdays poop me out. The playgroup, soccer, and storytime, on top of the normal busy day really is tiring, though in a good way.

Monday, October 03, 2005

"The Ship of Death had a new captain..."

The thing about the movie "Nosferatu", and silent movies in general- they're infinitely quotable. For some reason, it's easier for me to remember quotes I've read, instead of just heard. I saw that "Nosferatu" was on tonight; TCM does silent movies on Sunday nights. Having never seen it, I had to watch. I love the color changes in scenes, and the orchestrated music is great. Not too scary, by today's standards, but I bet it scared the pants off of film-goers in the 1920's. Too cool! And gets me in the mood for Halloween! It's October at last!

Now, what the hell is Nosferatu doing carrying his own coffin around the idyllic village? Can't his minions lend him a hand? Or are they all rats now, or locked in the loony bin? Sheesh- give an undead dude some help! He needs to sleep the deepest sleep already!

Project updates- Working on overextending myself again- no big surprise there.
*Swatches for class- One has 2" to go, the 2 others should be knit soon after. Highest priority for now.
*Umm, other knitting projects... umm, yeah, okay. Will return to scheduled programming soon, after swatches done.
*New project- Halloween costumes for the kids. Materials purchased, simple ideas, easy to execute. One Minnie Mouse- requiring ears, a bow, and fabric painting polka dots on a skirt. Two Care Bears- requiring bearish hats made, tummy designs for sweatshirts. Baby outfit- haven't decided yet, but will soon.

"But she could not resist it's strange- and mysterious temptation." Yeah, like more ideas to make. I went to an Arts show today, and saw all sorts of cool projects that seemed totally doable. If only I had the time, money and energy. If I could budget my time better, I think I could accomplish much more. At least my kids are happy, healthy kids- that's my main goal right now. Someday I'll get off my duff and pound out some art, damn it!

"He strangled him- the Vampire!" Oh yeah, it's Angry Mob time! Dude, you knew it was going to happen. It happens to all the crazy bloodthirsty creeps. Look at Frankenstein, and The Beast. Run, Knock (Renfrew), Run! Mobs are never well organized; guess that's something about angry villagers in general. They just trashed an innocent scarecrow in their search for revenge. What did that Scarecrow do to them? Request a brain?

Why does Nosferatu have rodent teeth? Does it have something to do with all the rats that came off of the aforementioned Ship of Death? Kinda ruined the climax of the movie for me. Why be afraid of a big rodent? Is it going to knaw you to death? I don't know; just not creepy enough.

Yep, the happy village is once again out from under the shadow of the Bird of Death. Lucky them.

Totally dig the silent movies though- they're great to watch. We've watched "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Ben-Hur" in the recent past. "King-Kong" had awesome music, and is of course iconic. How fun late on a Sunday night!

I never realized that the actor who played Nosferatu was Max Schreck. Max Schreck was the name of Christopher Walken's character in the second Batman movie. Coincidence- doubtful. Very cool homage, though.

I must sleep the deepest sleep, else my eldest will be late to school.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Whoops! Got off track...

Well, so much for my disciplined writing! Last week was busy, with a sick kid thrown in, so writing took a definite back seat to daily life. Life has a way of doing that to you.

Anyway, fall weather does seem to be here now, for the most part. Cool and cloudy today, with a light mist/ heavy sprinkling this morning while walking Sophie to school. Just lovely! We took the kids to a farm market on Saturday. We got apples and apple cider, and let each girl pick out a squash. We had a snack of popcorn and cider on the drive home, and made squash soup for supper. Warm soup and crusty bread for supper- the perfect fall meal for me! I also made some oatmeal cookies with chocolate-caramel chips- mmm!

My husband thought that Saturday was the perfect fall day. We'd had a lovely breakfast of eggs, hash browns and bacon, had a great outing with the crew, a good supper, and a great football game on TV. Go Badgers! Even though he's an alum of Michigan, we cheer for Wisconsin, seeing as we live here and he teaches there. Close games are the best! Especially when your team wins!

Projects- Ah yes, projects. Well, the Manos pillowtop is about 6"-7" so far; I'm going to knit it until I use up two skeins. It's mindless knitting, just need to do it. A complication has arisen though- more knitting classes! They don't start for a few weeks, but one has homework before class meets, so it takes precendence over the pillowtop.
*Class 1- a felted scuff class. Yippee! More felting! I get to knit scuffs in the round on #11 DPNs- we'll see how that goes. Then it's all about the felting and embellishing- looks to be fun, judging by the great sample in the shop.
*Class 2- Shibori felting. Yep, yet more felting. This class needs three 8" x 10" stockinette swatches for the class. It's a class using a unique felting technique that ends up with three-dimensional fabrics. Sounds cool enough. I'm doing the swatches in three color combinations- dark brown/dark olive, dark brown/pumpkin orange, pumpkin orange/dark olive. I had the yarn already, so no expense there.

I'm taking another felting class in November- wacky felting. It's taught by one of the owners of the shop, and I've wanted to take it for a while. Can't wait!

I broke my rule of not buying more yearn before I got some projects done- I couldn't resist it. Darn shop, getting more luscious yarn in every time I look. Anyway, I got yarn to make a scarf. A rusty dark orange, to go with a somewhat variegated mohair, in yellows and oranges with some flecks of other colors. It'll be a quick knit AFTER my homework is done. Promise!

Well, need to think about getting the crew ready for school pick-up. Takes a little to get them shoed, strollered, front-packed and happy. Better get started!