Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm Lizzy!

So I was travelling around the blogosphere today and I found this site were you could take a quiz and find out which Jane Austen character you are. Of course I had to take it! And guess who I was? And she's my favorite! But if you look closely I'm also Elinor....that would be okay too. Have I completely lost my mind? I guess this proves how really mundane my day was....

Elizabeth Bennet


Elinor Dashwood


Jane Bennet


Emma Woodhouse


Marianne Dashwood


Charlotte Lucas


Lady Catherine


Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with

I got a chuckle out of that...

Otherwise, my day has been pretty boring. Went to Target to get some stuff, came home with too much stuff. Making personal pizzas tonite with homemade chunky marinara, fresh pizza dough, fresh mozzarella and I'm going to top them with some basil from my own plants. I can smell the marinara cook as I type and I'm getting pretty darned hungry!

Just went in to get a taste on a piece of french bread and of course its too hot and now I've burnt the roof of my mouth! I always do that!

Talked to an old friend last night (my very oldest friend, in fact.

We've known each other since we were born and we're only 24 days apart!). So many of my conversations with my friends these days are centered around trying to live in the moment and not get sucked into wishing away what we have. It's so easy to see only the laundry, dishes, driving about, groceries (need I go on?) and forget how precious each day really is. In this forever planning ahead and on-the-go society we take it for granted that the sun will rise again tomorrow rather than being amazed and thankful to greet it for yet another day. One way that I combat the treadmill that is our society is refusing to make plans for my kids for the summer. When I was a kid we played by the pool, ate popsicles, read books, layed in the sun. I want that for my kids. I want blessed laziness. Only 15 more days until unabashed slothdom....

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

please, sir, may I have s'more?

Spring has returned to Oregon. I don't know how long it will stick around this time but I'm making the most of it while its here! This weekend Doug built an arbor for my cottage garden. We had to get it up quickly because I had a Cecil Brunner rose in a pot that had sent roots out the holes in the bottom and we had to move the rose thusly snapping off said roots. This made the arbor a neccessity because it had climbed about 12 feet and it needed a place to rest on. So now I have a beautiful arbor with a lamp in it and a somewhat sad looking rose (It will perk up when I feed it and water it lovingly) on it. The gate will come next with some pickets kindly offered to me by my mom who got them at a salvage yard and had no project for them but couldn't pass them up! And then hopefully this summer we will put up a short fence. So right now the arbor looks a little like a sore thumb standing in the middle of nowhere in all its grandeur. I'll put up pix when Doug moves the other potted rose over. He had had enough yesterday and refused to move it.

Even though we didn't really do anything for Memorial Day, it was a lovely evening so we pulled out the fire pit and made ourselves some s'mores for dessert.

And here's Henry enjoying his.

By the end of the s'more portion of our evening Henry had eaten 3 s'mores and I was threatening medication! What is it about sugar, fire, sharp sticks and stickiness that brings out the mischievious worst in boys?

I did so much spinning this weekend that my drive belt (or whatever its called) which I knew was on its last legs broke into 3 pieces! Quick thinker that I am, and not to be thwarted in my quest for the creation of perfect yarn, I remembered that you can tie cotton string and use that as a drive belt. Voila! It worked and I continued to spin until my bad shoulder cramped up so horribly that I was going numb in my hand. And did I achieve my goal, you might ask? Yes, I would say so. Pix when I ply (when I regain some feeling other than pain in my right arm...). And on the subject of yarn: I am very disappointed in Koigu sock yarn. Yes, it knits up nicely. Yes, it gets softer and softer with each washing. NOOOO it does not retain its colorfastness! And what it does turn into looks like pastel .....I don't know what. But its not pretty. And its more expensive! I think I'll be sticking with Lorna's Laces and Opal. No more Koigu for me (I'll bet Doug is happy to hear that! He is amazed that I can spend $12 for ONE sock and have to knit it myself!).

So now that I'm addicted to dyeing, I can't wait to try the overdyeing that is shown in Martha Stewart Mag this month. I went a little crazy this weekend with the dye. I had a piece of ugly natural colored fabric that was kind of damasky looking. Kind of. It was in the barn and had bat shit and mouse shit on it and was in the throw out pile when my mom, queen of the salvage, spied it and said "Don't throw that out! Its at least 6 yards, you can do something with it!" Well, folks, she was right. It's a 60" wide decorator (translates to expensive. Bought in the days of the football money) fabric. I had nothing to lose. So I brought it in with gloves, stuffed it into my washer, added lots of bleach and soap and waited. It came out nice and soft and kinda pretty but boring. I was glad mom had made me save it. I've been using it on my window seat cushion (too lazy to sew it up--just wrapping it around the foam. Also easy to remove because big ass labradors like to sit there and put their big noses on the window). Well, this weekend I thought, wouldn't that be pretty blue? And I remembered I had bought RIT dye at least 3 years ago. I found the dye (that itself is worthy of a blog!) and cut the fabric in half and set about turning it beautiful. And it is! So, what do you do when you're done dyeing your project but there is still dye in the bucket? I can tell you this, you don't pour it down the sink! You run around the house looking for things to dye, thats what! I had some white matelesse shams and now they are blue and match my shabby chic (Target) sheets perfectly!

Do not notice the wrinked sheets --only the soft blue shams. I know, crappy picture....

Pretty soon I'm going to have to type with only my left hand because my shoulder is cramped again. I'm so lazy you'd have to guess at the words because I'd just leave out the right hand letters. re t rr w. (More tomorrow)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

it's still freakin' raining!

Just in case you were wondering where he is or how he's doing, here's the Quackinator:

This is him at my kitchen door. Apparently we weren't feeding him early enough today and he hopped his big fat duck ass up the steps and onto the porch. I am sparing you the sight of the duck crap that is beneath him....

I finally finished my Koigu socks (yea!) and am now working on a pair for a christmas gift (can't say who) and a bath mitt.

(Yes I know there is dog hair at the bottom of my socks--I wore them to bed last night and wasn't going to wash them again just for a picture. Sorry.) And I'm spinning! I am so hooked! I went to my lys yesterday and picked up some Perendale roving. It felt pretty soft so I figured that it should be nice if I didn't butcher it with my wheel. And I didn't! I'm still doing the thick and thin a bit (really, really thin and not too thick) but it turned out so soft and pretty I was excited! So excited that I actually spun 86 grams and then dyed it! My lys only carries Jacquard dyes and seeing that I'm an impatient and instant gratification kinda girl I figured I'd try it. It was very easy and not messy at all. I don't know if I'll get enough variation in color but for now it's better than KoolAid and I'll play with it some more before I make the next step. You can bet I'll be "plying and dyeing" , as my daughter Riley would say, all weekend. Yup, I'm hooked.

So this new yarn that I spun yesterday I'm calling Colette because reminds me of the color of that beautiful rose on my cottage. This is so fun!

Other than that, things have been pretty status quo here. Here's a sampling of dinner conversation from the other night:

Ruby takes a bite of salad. "Whoa!!! Whoa!!! Did you buy different croutons?" Ruby continues to roll the crouton in her mouth, checking it out with her tongue.

"Yes I did, Ruby. They didn't have the ones we usually buy."

"Wow. I could tell. These taste different." (Ruby is my 17 year old.)

Yep. Things are so boring around here that the arrival of a new kind of crouton is worthy of stopping dinner for and talking about. Boy, you sure can't put one past Ruby....She loves her dinners. Every day when she gets out of school she either calls me or texts me and asks, "what's for dinner?" I guess I can't complain--much better to have your teenage daughter concerned about her dinner than boy problems or whatever. I think I've spoiled them by cooking full dinners every night. College will be a rude awakening, I think.

I'm on a mission this weekend. If anyone needs me I'll be the one furiously spinning....

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

roses, ad nauseam

This is a shot of a corner of my big garden with my cottage in the background. I'm loving the lupines and the foxgloves.

Well I'm no closer to finishing those socks but I did ply my yarn and dyed it and I can see that soon we are going to need to go the way of the chemical dyes and leave the koolaid behind. Yep, we all knew it would go this way and here it is. I'm such a color freak that I can't stand not having all the colors of the spectrum at my disposal. So there it is.

Even though the rain sucks and the gray clouds are thoroughly depressing there is one good thing about it: the photography gods are particularly kind to photographers when it is overcast outside. That said, I went nuts with the roses. The wind, however, was not kind and that's not good for macro photography so I had to cut some flowers from my garden and drag a heavy vase of flowers around my yard. And shoot at least 1 gig in about 30 minutes flat...

So we got these:

I love the way that the roses look like ballet tutus. These are all my favorite colors: pink,rose,green and a shot of turquoise and it amazes me that I got them all together in a natural setting (except the vintage turquoise bean pot is not out of the garden and natural, but we'll forget that).

Don't the delphiniums look so sweet with their green polka dots? If that stalk hadn't broken and turned downward I never would have known they were there...Well I'm sure you all have had enough of the roses for today.

Heading to the bath now (with my yarn dyeing book...) Maybe some knitting in bed!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

rain, rain go away...

As I cruise around the blogosphere I am seeing one constant remark in almost every blog I read: its raining here today. Now, I read blogs from all over the US and Europe and I find it amazing that we are all experiencing the damn May showers. I am seriously thinking of turning the heat back on! My hands get so cold so quickly I feel like lighting the wood burning stove and cuddling in with a good movie and some sock knitting. And of course something yummy and freshly baked with a good cup of coffee. Except that I'm trying to watch what I eat...I didn't even brave the rain today with my intrepid labrador--I did the treadmill in the barn and watched Lost on the ipod.

Speaking of hunkering down, as it were, when I go outside these days I can hear finches and bluejays. Because we live next to some huge fir trees the sound bounces and echoes and so, so, so reminds me of the cabin we used to have at Pinecrest Lake in California. Our cabin was surrounded by towering pines and the calls of the finches and bluejays would echo. It was always the first sound I heard in the morning and the sound that would lull me to sleep during a nap. (We used to joke about how it took about 2 days and then you would revert to "cabin mode". That meant that you slept in, took naps, wore your pajamas for long stretches of time, read books and generally let everything go to hell in a hand basket but, damn, if you weren't relaxed!) I do love it that I'm not awakened by cars or people outside; just my own chickens or duck or peacock and the house wren building a nest right outside my window. This morning I rolled over and started to snuggle into my pillow again and my first thought was "Is it Saturday or Sunday?" As we all know, I had a rude awakening when I realized it was Tuesday. And rainy.

I am getting closer to finishing Koigu socks and should have them done maybe tomorrow. And then I really am going to get a head start on knitting some christmas gifts. Along with upcoming birthday gifts. Along with another pair of socks for me....

I didn't even make it out to the cottage today: I felt guilty that the dust bunnies in my foyer were the size of terriers. I'm not kidding. So I had to pick up the vacuum and the dust rag.

And I just want to let everyone who reads my blog know: the comments you leave me make me smile from my heart. There.

Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm a cheatin' ho

Doug was laughing at me last night because I was working on my toothbrush rug and remarked that I felt like I was cheating on my knitting. Yeah. He almost spit out his coffee on that one. I guess I am truly a sick woman...When you start one of these rugs its so satisfying because you make so much progress so quickly. But as the rug gets bigger it's harder to see the progress. Last night I rugged for about 3 hours and finished one whole row. Only 4 more to go....Willow mentioned that she's interested in finding out more about how to make rugs. This is a good website with clear instructions: toothbrush rug instructions.

Its raining today and probably will be for a few more days but I didn't let that stop me on my quest to walk at least 4 days a week. Angus and I went out and walked in the rain today and it wasn't so bad. Except that my car still smells like wet dog even though I brought a towel to dry him off.

The latest on quackers is that he seems to be pulling out of it a bit. He and Angus were mixing it up a bit today and when Angus came into the cottage he plopped his fat butt on the step and tapped on the door for at least 30 minutes until he finally fell asleep out there. I know it all sounds cute and quaint but now theres a big watery duck poop puddle on the step. I wish he didn't crap--I'd let him in.

I'm listening to 10,000 Maniacs and it so brings me back to the years right after college, being newly married and a new mom. New Jersey, naps, high chairs, strollers. I listened to the 10,000 Maniacs all the time back then; in the house, in the car. It's like the background music to my life as a young mother and NFL wife. I wish I knew then what I know now...but isn't that always the way it is? If I had taken up knitting then I'm sure I wouldn't have had as much anxiety as I did when Doug was playing. It's funny how music can do that to me--totally take me back to where I was when I used to listen to it. Humidity, the red maple outside our house, the chain dragging sound of our radiators, the smell of a baby when she first gets up from her nap with her curls stuck to her face. If nothing else, remembering these things reminds you that, as the 10,000 Maniacs say, "these are the days". Those times seemed like thats how things would always be and look at me now: in Oregon, of all places, with 3 kids that can put themselves to sleep, don't need their food cut and can even wash their own clothes! So what is right now won't always be. I'm reminded to live in the present and love it for what it is, good and bad.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

i'm tired of pimpin' for fowl

Lately I've been thinking a lot about when I used to visit my grandparents. They had a ginormous oak tree in their back yard and they put a king size bed under it to be able to sleep outside when it was too hot to sleep in the house. When we would stay with them we would sleep under the oak tree with them and watch the stars (back then the only thing moving in the sky was a falling star--I don't think there were many if any satellites!) and listen to stories before we'd nod off to sleep. I always thought that when I had kids of my own I'd take my best memories and somehow recreate them for my kids. I know I cant' do that completely but at least let them experience something similar. I'm ashamed to say that we hardly ever sleep outside in the summer. I don't know why--maybe the threat of mosquitoes (I don't remember my grandparents having any...), but we don't. And we have great stars out here in the boonies! When you look up in the summer it feels like the sky is going to fall down on you. We have loads of beds in the barn--maybe I should just have Doug drag one on out and put it somewhere for us to sleep outside. But what about the dog? He always sleeps on my bed with me and he'd never settle down outside. And a tent just isn't the same...I'll have to ponder this one.

Every time spring roles around I start getting itchy to use fabric. I usuallly stop knitting and move onto creating with fabric. This year I can see that socks are perfect because I don't have to stop knitting because a project is too big and warm to have on my lap. Socks don't do that. But I am going to start picking up my toothbrush rug. I started it 2 years ago and seem to only work on it in the summer. It's pretty close to being finished so maybe I can manage that this year. I love doing this as much as I love knitting because you use strips of fabric that are ever changing and this keeps my attention span from waning. And I love fabric and colors and the rug is always changing with each new strip. My only downfall is that you are supposed to wash the fabric first and I never do (impatient) so I get some stringies at the end when I wash the whole run. I don't mind and I know that the more I use it and wash it sooner they'll disappear. The rugs are so nice and soft I love to use them all over the house.

Quackers has now taken up with the barbecue. He just hangs out there for most of the day. I've looked up some info on ducks and apparently if you aren't going to provide them with a companion you have to be prepared to play with them. I am not making this shit up. If anyone out there in blog land knows how to play with a duck please be sure and let me know. I've also looked into ordering him a companion but you can only get ducklings and it would be a big pain to raise them all over again especially since we now have 5 cats who would surely eat them. I am in a quandary. Any ideas?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Guess what? The roses are really starting to bloom now! You will be so sick of roses by the end of this summer....This rose is Collette, the one growing on my cottage.

Today is a sad day. We found Cheese dead yesterday. Quackers is inconsolable and will not leave the carport.

He spent last night quacking quietly trying to get her to come to him and let her know where he was (that's what they do all day when they can't see each other and are in different places in the yard). So now he won't leave the side of my car where he can see his reflection. I feel so bad for him... I told Doug maybe we should get him some diapers and let him in the house for some company--ducks like to have a companion. Doug pretended he didn't hear me....I don't know what to do! I don't want more ducks but I don't want Quackers to be alone and sad...I guess we'll just have to wait and see how he does. I really didn't intend on spending so much blogtime on this duck but he seems to be pushing himself onto center stage....

I am making some serious headway on Koigu sock #2; let me just say that Little League games are good places to knit.

And I finished the bath mitt and washed it and it looks so cute! I've yet to try it but am planning on taking a lovely tub to tonight seeing that Angus and I took a walk and I was out in the garden again today. I love watering the tomatoes and basil--I swear they look bigger every day! I can't wait!

And lets finish with some roses, shall we?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

anyone got any mole remover?

I've been somewhat of an inconsistent blogger of late--the weather went from a lovely sunshiney70's last week to an overwhelming 90's yesterday! That's just too warm! So I've been doing some puttering in the cottage garden and tramping down mole tunnels in the big garden (damn those things!). Some cat has been catching and killing some of them but obviously not the ring leader in my garden. Whatever cat it is apparently doesn't fancy mole for dinner as I keep finding them dead on the driveway....I had Doug out there Sunday digging out a quince that has become completely overgrown. We have two and he worked on the first one for 30 minutes until we conceded defeat and put the dirt back in the hole and pruned the crap out of it! The next quince he worked on for 30 minutes and then we transplanted it. Its not looking so happy but who likes to be transplanted and then have 90 degree heat? I'm glad it was mothers day because he had to swear at me in his head and not out loud....

I've been making good use of my paraspa and hand cream--I especially needed it after tangling with those quinces!

I haven't gotten much knitting done but am dying to find a nice cool place and do some. I finished one sock with the Koigu and am now working on sock #2. But then I got an idea in my head (I know, fight the urge!) to knit up some cotton bath mitts! Don't ask--I have no idea why! But it's actually coming out cute and I think they would make nice gifts with a bar of soap or something. What is it about knitting that makes you want to knit all gifts? As if you don't have enought to do....But the summer is big birthday month for my family and one must be prepared! There's no reason to be caught off guard and if you knit something it means its okay to sit and knit and not do laundry or dishes...

I'm currently spreading myself thin trying to make bags (I want one of those bags like the one I made my mom for mothers day), garden and spin! It seems that the better you get at spinning the longer it takes to fill up the bobbin and ply and all that. I can never seem to devote more than an hour to it no matter how hard I try. I just got the book Dyeing to Knit by Elaine Eskesen. It is truly inspirational! Her color choices are so beautiful and her ideas as to how to pick colors for things are amazing. Even the cover of the book makes me drool. Right now all I can manage are KoolAid dyes but I know that soon I'll feel to limited and I'll have to branch out. I love the way hand-dyed yarns have a softness and are variegated. I'm so easily distracted that just the colors or textures changing in a project is enough to keep me interested and knitting!

My roses are all so close to blooming and I'm so excited because I'll be out there shootin pictures every other day. I feel I must prepare you for the onslaught of rose pictures that you, friendly bloggers, will have to endure.....

Sunday, May 14, 2006

mother's day

Happy Mother's Day, all!

Whew! Yesterday was spent creating a new garden in front of the cottage. It's going to be a raised bed garden for veggies and herbs. We finished the bones of it yesterday: placed the boxes, filled them with dirt, planted tomatoes (I was getting scared that we waited too long!), laid down some thick mulch for the paths, and created a few planting beds for lavender, rosemary, daphne and others. I'm one hurtin' unit right now! Soon we'll put up a fence (maybe picket) to surround the cottage and keep the ducks and the chickens out.

Doug will be making me a gate with an arbor over it so the two blue pots will move and roses will be planted there. The pix are terrible but I had to take the lighting I was given....

And now I can finally show the cute Amy Butler patterned bag that I made my mom for Mother's Day. (She reads the blog so I didn't want to spoil the surprise...)

And then I was delightfully surprised by my mom and dad with these :

I feel blessed.

OOOOOOHHHH! My kids just gave me my presents! I received a beautiful potted (by himself) plant from Henry, some wonderful smelling and softening hand lotion from Riley and a parafin hand spa from Ruby! I am so excited and feel doubly loved. I am going to go warm up some wax and plop my hands in right now....

Friday, May 12, 2006

who needs tolerance?

You all will be happy to know that I finished my Mother-in-law's socks last night at 12:15 while I was in bed, listening to my husband snore, and watching the Poseidon Adventure(the old one) on TV. In my haste to get said socks packaged, boxed and fedexed, I neglected to take pictures. Alas, they are now but a memory.

I am currently sitting here blogging with a Mikes cranberry lemonade (summer in a bottle!) and waiting for Chinese Food. Doesn't that just scream Friday?

This may be way too much information but I'm just gonna throw it out there. It is suspected that I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Moving to the lovely Northwest definitely did not help and I realized something was up when all I wanted to do this winter was sit by the fire and knit. And nap. And knit some more. And then go to bed. Well. Now it is sunshiny in the morning when I wake up and I just pop outta bed at 6 am like nothin doin (as my papa would say). So I have somewhat recently given up on the anti-depressants. This has created a bit of a situation as I'm kinda gettin a bit rageful behind the wheel. Especially rageful of slower drivers who are not even driving the speed limit! And I seem to get a bit pissed off by bumper stickers. I feel that I'm not shoving my beliefs down anyones throat with them and it bugs me when others do (unless its a Cal Bears sticker or something to do with knitting which you never see anyway). Okay, admittedly I am experiencing some rage issues but I've got it under control. I really do. One morning my daughter Riley (BIG Southpark fan) remarked upon my lack of tolerance and said that I needed to go to Tolerance Camp. I was shocked. I am so tolerant of others (just not slow others) and try to never offend but here she is telling me I need to go to Tolerance Camp! (For those of you who don't watch Southpark, one of the characters is really a snot and very intolerant and as his punishment for doing something very un-PC he gets sentenced to Tolerance Camp) For the last few mornings she and I have been going on about this and I 've even asked her about other people who I know to be less tolerant than me. Riley had the audacity to tell me that Aunt Ali only needed to go to aTolerance WORKSHOP!!! Well, finally I took it to a new level and shut her up. I asked if there were spa treatments at Tolerance Camp. Enough said. Sign me up...(I'm not really that rageful--my kids are big exxagerators)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

self imposed deadlines are the worst kind

I am knitting furiously to complete Mother's Day socks for my mother-in-law so that I can FedEx them tomorrow. That's my excuse for this really lame blog and I'm stickin to it.

PS: Hope that the "Concussion Kid" feels better tomorrow...I want to see some pix, Patti!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

a few of my favorite things

This is my first blooming rose out of all of my roses. It's Collette, a climbing rose (though I think it's more of a rambler). It is especially thorny but it smells like tea when you rub its leaves and I think I love this rose the best. That is until Abraham Darby blooms....If you've checked out my flickr page you can tell I love to photograph roses more than any other subject. It's something about the light and how soft the petals are and the muted colors. I'm just passionate about the things!

I decided to take some pictures of things that make me smile. Things that make me happy. Like the swallows (I can't get a picture of them because they fly around too fast). Like my dog, Angus, sticking his head out of the car window. I always wanted a dog who'd do that but none of them ever have. Now there's Angus. So here are some of my favorite things:

My Wellies.

My fabric stash.

Washed fabric roses.

My Liddle Kiddle bracelet. Okay, this one needs an explanation. When I was a kid I had one of these (long gone now). But when we lived in New Jersey we had this great junk store and I found this in absolutely perfect condition. I love it as much as I love my diamonds...

Stitch markers that I made from vintage necklaces.

I love all these things. I think its important to surround yourself with the things that make you happy. I find that even when I'm having a crappy day I can somehow shake myself out of it when surprised by something that tickles me inside. Another thing that really makes me smile is the comments that people leave on my blog. It just seems that the blogosphere is such a supportive place. It kinda follows the old saying ," If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Yeah, I like that.

So, does anyone out there watch the damn Soprano's? I am so frustrated! I was talking with Bernadette today and we were commiserating about how disappointing the show has become. Dang. The only thing they're killing is time! I know it's not all about the whacking but, geez! Christopher's drug tripping? Watching him sit with a stray dog and space out? C'mon!

Okay, I'm done for tonight....

Monday, May 08, 2006

is it swendly?

When Henry, my son was about 2 1/2, he would crack us up with a set of criteria that he would apply to every living creature that he would encounter: Is it swendly (friendly)? Do it bite? Can I pet it? He would ask those three questions about all animals. I remembered those criteria today while watching that damn duck go after my dog and then a cat. He's obnoxious! No one really takes him seriously and maybe thats the problem. If he knows Angus is in the cottage with me he will hop his heavy duck ass up on the step and peck, peck, peck at the glass for 15 minutes! By this time Angus is asleep on the floor or the comfy chair and isn't even paying attention to him. I think Quackers would flunk Henry's criteria. All 3 of them.

I've picked up some embroidery (mother's day is right around the corner, you know) and between the needle and using size 0's for my sock, some of my fingers are downright sensitive! I'm thinking of getting one of those paraffin bath thingies...maybe that will help. I'm really in a rut with my knitting right now--I'm not inspired by my socks and I'm only on the first one (and scared of SSS) and I'm bored with my sweater. Sooooo, thinking of casting on another pair of fast socks just for fun. I don't know... Actually, now I remember that I just ordered some Opal Petticoat in a new colorway so maybe I'd better wait until that arrives in the mail because you know I'll be wanting to dive into that!

I went to Joanne Fabrics today (how hard would it be to make that place nice, huh?) and got a large cutting mat. Now that I have so much room on my cutting table I can use a bigger mat. Plus, my mom had a 40% off coupon so that was a bonus!

It must've been a boring day on the farm if all I had to talk about was Quackers and a cutting mat....

Sunday, May 07, 2006

cottage ho

We're expecting some rain today (welcome for my garden) but that's not going to stop me from making trips from my old workroom to the cottage. I want to get all my stuff moved over as soon as possible. I was out there so long yesterday the battery of my ipod went into the red--guess I'm going to have to get an ipod/charger/stereo thingy one of these days!

After I was done in the cottage I went out and picked a bouquet for the dinner table (we had the family over last night: my sister and brother-in-law and their 3 kids, and my mom and dad) full of lupines, forget me nots, heuchera, and lilacs. Love it when I can pick bouquets for the table all the time! Once things get blooming it doesn't stop until October.

Sooooo, not much knitting happened last night: I was mentally exhausted by stimulating dinner conversation. Wow, we do have some high powered minds working at our table. Last night the topic floated to my sisters new pool that they are putting in and then the subject went deeper (do you like the swimming puns?): it became a discussion on the amount of water displaced when one cannonballs into a swimming pool. Yep. I kid you not. My father swears that you will not hit the bottom of a 7 ft. deep end with a cannon ball. My sister, however, says that her ass will touch the bottom. The gauntlet has been thrown down now. My daughter laughed and asked Aunt Ali if she was going to shove rocks up her butt (a la Southpark) to secretly make herself heavier. You can see where this is going...The good news is that conversation did not take the turn to poop. Somehow that is always where our discussions end up. Stimulating.

Finally I am close to completely being moved into the cottage. So I took some pix before it got too messied up.

This is my sewing area. I would love to have an ironing board set up all the time but it seems like a luxury, even for someone with their own craft cottage. No, I need to come up with a better name than that. I hate the word craft. It somehow trivializes any kind of artistic or creative endeavor. It brings to mind popsicle sticks and pom poms. Not that I don't like those things--there is a place in the world for that. Just not in my cottage unless its the kids...

And here is a shot of the sewing area and my hutch that hides my mini-fridge. I know. Words cannot describe how lucky I am. A bathroom and a mini-fridge. And an electric tea kettle.

And a comfy chair. This is an old chair my mom and I got when we had our shop in California that she slipcovered and it never quite made it into the shop. My sister has the mate and I am currently bartering with her to get it back...

I will take pix of the mighty work counter that Doug built for me but when I was taking these pictures Henry was busy making a mess over there and I'm not taking pictures of mess.

Lastly, somehow the duck, Quackers, figured out that Angus was in the cottage with me and stood on the step outside and repeatedly tapped on the glass in a taunting fashion. What's a weekend without a little duck taunting?

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I've been working hard on my cottage and no new pix to post yet and knitting at night BUT I did have one thing that was blog worthy: I was playing scrabble last night with Riley, my middle daughter (her brother and sister were both out for the night so we were taking advantage of some alone time) and I got 42 points (triple word score) for "cherry"! That doesn't happen often to me so I thought I'd share it.

Hopefully some cottage pix tomorrow.

Friday, May 05, 2006

big things a'happenin...

Just a quick post today as big things are happening here on the Farm: our beloved houseguest of a year,Bernadette, has recently moved out. She came last summer to finish her thesis and you know how time flies when you're having fun (with Mike's Hard Lemonade, rum punches, cosmo's, martini's...Not all in one night!) and we did have fun! The kids love her , the dogs love her and Doug & I enjoyed her company and babysitting talents. We will all miss her! However, now there is an empty cottage, and I am not one to waste space, I must do my best to fill it! So, instead of a darkish, cramped work room I'm getting a largeish, light-filled, studio with its own bathroom, and all the room I could ever need (I say that now...) for my work! I'm going to have a big table for my sewing machine and serger, a big counter: one side for cutting, one side for assembly. And windows! Did I mention windows? I can walk out of the house, leave the laundry and have my music on and be by myself! If someone wants me they have to come out to get me. More pix will come of the glorious cottage (it even has Collette roses growing on it) as soon as we get it all together. Needless to say, we'll be working our tails off until its operational!
I am so excited!

Here's a picture of the view from the cottage at sunset.

Some knitting is getting done (when I'm not doing anything else) so here's a crappy picture of my Koigu sock that I ripped out and am know knitting in a plain old stockinette with a picot edge. Knitting with size 0's takes forever. And my hands have very rough from gardening and moving furniture and stuff. Even wearing gloves with scads of thick lotion to bed didn't help much. Anyone have any suggestions for a good hand cream?

I did manage to sew up a spring/summer knittting bag because I was getting tired of the felted bag I was carrying around. Love that Cath Kidston oilcloth. And the bag is big enough that I can throw my damn behemoth of a camera in too. Which brings me to the point of why all my pix are little weird lately--I keep forgetting that I have my macro lense on and instead of running into the house to change it I just make do with what I have.

Off the the cottage! Hopefully completion is imminent!