Friday, April 29, 2005

Finally Friday

This is Mattie.
Mattie is technically my Husband’s sister, but Brandy & Haley just think of her as a cousin.

Here she is with her big sister Deja.
How cute are these two ladies, sitting so good for the photo.

Mattie just celebrated her first birthday on the 23rd. Here she is enjoying her special birthday cake shaped like a dog bone.

My Secret Pal

My secret pal is a mind reader. First let me show you what I received yesterday in the mail.

WOW! Take a look at my LOOT! I can not tell you how excited I was to pull this out of the mail box. I knew last week that my Secret Pal had sent a package, so all this week I have been anticipating it and every time I have gone to the mail box and nothing was there. I would just say maybe tomorrow. So when I opened my mailbox and there was a key for one of the larger mailboxes to open I was excited. I was grinning ear to ear by the time I got back into the car with my husband and my package. Hubby said there was a guy also getting his mail and he was laughing at me at how happy I was to get my package. Enough with the small talk drive BOY! Our house is about a half mile from the mailbox.

I opened my box to find 2 skeins of Cotton Fleece in color putty, 2 skeins of Lace Weight Mohair, A fiber Trends Pattern for three different patterned lace scarfs, a cute little oriental print zipper bag chuck full of little Hershey bars, & a perfect little blue handbag.
I absolutely love everything. I am totally intrigued with the two little Lace Weight Mohair skeins. I have never seen anything like them. There is actually 500 yds on each of these little puppies. I LOVE the little blue hand bag. I was walking around the house with it last night. Hubby asked me what I was doing. I replied “NOTHING”. He would not understand if I explained it to him. You know how it is when you get a new bag you walk around with it testing how it feels and looks while you’re carrying it. Or maybe I am alone on that.

Anyway back to the fact that my secret pal is a mind reader. I also received another package yesterday. From my new addiction shopping place.

This is titled A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swansen. The book finally came out in a paperback version and more economically priced. I am a little intimidated by lace knitting. I love how it looks. I thought by getting a book just on lace knitting it would help me to learn how to do it correctly. The book looks good. I flipped through it last night. It has about 41 different patterns that included lots of shawls, shrugs, vests, sweaters, socks, hats, handbag, & a couple of other things. Some of the things look impossible to make, they just look so intricate. The way the book reads it makes me feel like I can make every thing in the book. The book starts with a simple beginner triangle shawl. All the patterns are rated to let you know what level of knitting the pattern is done. I am pleased with the book.

I am so excited to get started learning how to knit lace. Thanks to my secret pal I can get started right away.

I can not wait for the big reveal at the end of the month and find out who my secret pal is. This has been so much fun. I am sad that it is almost over.

Progress on Rowan “Air” Cardi

Here is where I am at on my Rowan Air Cardi. This is the back. It is working up nicely. I need to make it to 33cm then I can start shaping the arm holes. I am at about 22cm now.

I was RAOKed

I received a card from Cindy this week She send me some lovely stitch markers. Great colors. I love how they are all different size loops at the top to fit different size needles. Thank You so much Cindy. You can check out her blog over at Sauvageblue.

Weekend Plans
This weekend I plan to do a lot of sewing & knitting. Also I need to go shopping to find something for my mom for Mothers Day. Today we are taking our employees out to lunch. This week was administrative professionals’ day, so we thought we would show our appreciation for them by taking them all out for lunch. Should be interesting. This will be the first time my husband and I will be spending time outside of the work environment with our employees. I have my fingers crossed that it goes well.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Playing Catch-Up

Warning this is a long Post. I think I am behind in my posting due to the computer problems and my birthday. So hopefully I will be able to catch up with this post.

What is Up with the Computer

The whole computer glitch started when Hubby decided to upgrade his computer. His birthday was on the 17th and since besides watching movies his only hobby is playing on his computer he decided it was time to upgrade. He usually just buys the stuff and installs them himself. The cool thing about when he upgrades is that I get all the stuff that he takes out of his computer which is an upgrade for me.

So he gets all the new stuff into his computer and starts it up and it works like a dream. Then he takes mine apart and takes out the stuff and replaces them with his things, gets it all put back together and plugs it in. Nothing. The darn thing never started up. So he takes it apart and moves things around and puts it back together. This goes on several more times and still nothing.

Here he is with my computer guts laid out on the table performing surgery trying to bring it back to life. Finally he realized the Pentium processor chip had come unattached and he did not know it because it was under the fan. So he puts everything back together and plugs it in and finally it reboots. The only problem at this point is I can’t get onto the internet. I share my husband’s internet connection using a router and a cordless device that attaches to my computer.

As you can see by Cosmo’s expression after assessing the computer situation he believes there is no way this is ever going to work. Hubby gives up trying and decides to order two new Ethernet bridges one for each of our computers to connect us to the router. So I had to wait for those to come in the mail. Finally they arrived and they were very simple just plug the bridge into the wall outlet and then attach the cable from the plug to my computer. The second bridge goes into an outlet with attached cable from the router to the bridge. I started getting the internet but it was not consistent. It would disconnect frequently and had no rhyme or reason. I ran a Norton scan to check for viruses and had none. My hard drive had some kind of glitch. With a last ditch effort I decided to reformat my Hard drive. That sucks, because everything you have stored on it will be wiped out. So I spent some time burning some cd’s saving all my photos and documents that I did not want to loose.

My computer is working great now. After all of that I am still glad for the upgrade. The graphics card is way better than the one I had and also I have more memory now and my computer is a lot faster.

Onto My Birthday

Thank you so much for all your birthday wishes. You guys are the BEST!

The restaurant
I chose P.F. Chang’s for my birthday meal. The restaurant is located in Texas about 45 miles away. It is a real cool Chinese restaurant.

Here is a picture of the giant horse statue out front of the restaurant.

We ordered the crab wontons served with a spicy plum sauce for an appetizer. I ordered some organic green tea.

It came in a little tea pot that was set on the table with two small cups.
For the meal we shared an order of Shrimp with Lobster sauce, Moo Goo Gai Pan, & some Mango Chicken. Both ordered white rice. All dishes were tasty. Then for the grand finally we ordered dessert.

This is called The Great Wall of Chocolate. So GOOD! I am actually still eating this piece of cake. It was made with six layers of chocolate cake, and served with a raspberry sauce. Then I opened my fortune cookie and my fortune read: “Pleasure awaits your Company”. I thought that was an odd fortune. Considering I just had a pleasurable time eating the chocolate cake. Too broad I need more specifics.

The Cards
I love cards especially the ones with great artwork or photos on them. Here are two of my favorites I received for my birthday.

This one was from my MIL & Step Mom. Inside it says “Wishing you a pawsitively fabulous Birthday”. Our Bassett hound Brandy often sits up like this on her two back feet. It just cracks me up.

This card I received from one of my employees. I love the soft tones and the expression on the sharpei’s face. “Laugh Lines” So Cute.

The Gifts

Tinker Bell Garden Clogs.
These are perfect I was in need of some new ones. My old ones both feet have holes in the bottom from where I put my foot on the shovel to push it into the ground. I will be styling in my new clogs.

Mickey Mouse Terry Hooded Cover-Up.
This will be great for wearing over a bathing suite or bumming around the house this summer.

Rowan International Subscription
Hubby got me this subscription to Rowan Knitting Magazine. I already received the welcome package. It included mag # 37, a pattern for a poncho with 4 skeins of Rowan Cork in a black color. The membership is pretty cool. On their website they have free patterns monthly and you have access to their archives for the past patterns. Overall I am pleased with the subscription. It is kind of spendy but it makes it easier when it is a gift. I think I might make a scarf with the four skeins of Rowan Cork, I don't think I will make the Poncho pattern.

I also have some books on order that are not released until the beginning of May. I am excited about their arrival.

Secret Pal 4

Hi Secret Pal. It is OK you did not reveal yourself in your comment. I know now your name is Heather but when I click on your name it takes me to a page that says Profile not Available. So I still do not know who you are. Still a secret. I am looking forward to the package you sent. I can not wait for the big reveal at the end of the month. This has been an awesome experience and mostly because of how great my secret pal is.

Up Coming Crafts

A week ago I lugged my sewing machine out to hem some pants and I was over come with thoughts of sewing projects. I had the itch to start up some sewing. I thought I might make a cover for my lawn chair cushion.

Here is what it looks like now. I do not even know how old it is. I originally bought it at an estate sale for $15. It is pretty faded now and I thought if I make a cover then I could toss it in the wash when it gets dirty. As you can see the dogs enjoy laying on it also.

I ended up buying these three large beach towels from target and also this throw pillow. I thought it would be cheaper yardage wise to just buy towels. Plus the terry fabric usually does not have many color choices at the fabric store. I don’t have a pattern I am just going to wing it.

I also took a trip to Jo Ann’s fabric store and found some great pattern combinations

Here they are:

I thought I might make a knitting needle roll up case with the Sheep fabric and maybe a couple of Hand bags to hold knitting projects with the other two patterns.

New Knitting Group

I joined a new Knitting Group called Knit’n Fit. This group was started up by Cara over at
Earth Mother. It is a support group for knitters that want to stay fit. I think this is a great idea. I am hoping it will keep me motivated to get back on track with a healthier lifestyle. Go check it out here.

OK I better stop. I am not sure anyone made it to the end of this post.
Have a Great Week!

Friday, April 22, 2005

My Birthday

Yep today is my Birthday. I was born April 22, 1972. I thought I would dig out some of my child hood photos and go down memory lane.

Here is me as a baby. To say I was a happy baby was an understatement. I have heard from family members that I was bald and rolly polly.

This picture was taken Christmas of 1974. I am the one on the right. My sister whom is two years older is the one driving the tractor. Most pictures of me as a child are with my sister. Also we usually are wearing matching outfits but in different colors. These outfits are a real gem. On the back of the picture it says the outfits are from my grandparents. If you can not make it out in the photo I will let you know those are Hee Haw overalls and yes we are on a tractor. Yes we were a little bit country. As I got older I would learn not to ride anything my sister was driving.

This picture was taken Winter of 1979. Oh baby, we were looking good. Did I mention we were children of the 70’s. I am the one on the right, with the plaid pants. Holy Crap. What is up with the sun glasses?

This picture was taken Summer of 1983. Again I am on the right and my sister is driving a lawnmower or tractor thing. Notice I am not on the vehicle. This is a great black mail picture of my sister, due to the fact she is making a stupid face. Ha Ha. I am eating a slice of watermelon. I love watermelon. Did I mention we were country kids?

This picture was taken when I was in the 5th grade. We went to some kind of zoo or something. Here I am holding a white rabbit. I have always had a love for animals and a need to be around them. You might think from this picture I would have grown up to be tall with long legs. No such luck. My legs actually only got as long as they were in this picture. I topped out at a height of 5’1. My sister is about a quarter inch shorter than I am.

That was fun. So much has happened since my child hood. I can’t wait to see what the future brings. More details of my birthday to come. Also my computer is now working and I had to reformat my hard drive so bare with me while I get it set up and back to normal.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Technical Difficulties

Unfortunately I am having computer problems. I am sneaking on my husband’s computer to write this post. He is mowing the lawn. I will need to make it quick. I will tell you more about my computer once it is up and running. It is currently in a sad state in pieces on the kitchen table. Once it is back together I still need to wait for a piece that is on order that should arrive next week, hopefully before the weekend.

I will leave you with some photos of some of my irises that are in bloom right now.

This is the verbena that I bought last weekend. I planted it in one of my favorite pots. The pot is a wood carved rabbit I found a couple of years ago at one of the local shops.

Brandy is currently hiding under a blanket due to the fact I am not a happy camper about my computer. The rest of the family better be hiding under a blanket if my computer is not up and running by next weekend. 8)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Where Does the Time Go

I finally finished up my gardening this morning. It was a two day adventure. It was sunny both days but it was windy. No need for me to exfoliate for awhile due to the wind blowing the sand around my exposed skin. I think the worst part had to be digging up the dead plants. Since I live in the desert the root systems I swear go all the way to China. Here are the plants I bought to replace a couple of dead plants. I also grabbed a couple of pretty flowering plants for my front courtyard area.

List of plants: Dwarf Dark Pink India Hawthorn, Dwarf Burford Holly, Cannas, Dark Purple African Daisies, Iceland Poppy Mix, Lemon Sugar Marguerite, Worm Wood, & Lanal Blue Verbena.

I am most excited about the Cannas. I bought the “Tropicanna”variety . Last year I remember seeing them in some of the garden catalogs. I was so happy to be able to find that variety at Lowes. The leaves are multi hued and the flower is brilliant tangerine orange. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when they start blooming.

“Lemon Sugar” Marguerite
This plant was so cheery and the name is so yummy I had to bring it home with me. I planted it in one of my old terracotta pots and put it near the front door.

The Verbena I was also pleased to find. I grew a bunch of it when I lived in Oregon. I love the deep purple clusters of tiny flowers. Plus the name always makes me think of Little House on the Prairie. On the show Laura’s teacher Miss Beadle wore the scent Lemon Verbena. A Little trip down memory lane.

All the plants I bought I found at Lowes or Home Depot.

Cardi Craziness

I got pretty far on my cardi.

Unfortunately I had to rip back down to the moss stitch border. This picture is just to show the progress I had made before the ripping. There was a section where I had to make one and I did the method where you pick up the yarn in-between the next stitch and the one you just did. Then place it turned onto the left needle and then knit into it. Well the further I went along the more it irritated me how it did not look right. Also the more I checked my work I discovered a purl where there should have been a knit. That was the last straw. I knew I should have ripped back at that point instead of continuing on. It was not that noticeable but I kept looking for it and seeing if it was noticeable. Then I knew it did not matter, I NOTICED IT, and it was driving me crazy. So I ripped it back. I did not have to rip all the way to the border but I could not figure out where I was in the pattern it is a 12 row pattern with the cable running on both sides. It was just easier to start from the beginning of the 12 row sequence.

I actually feel great about ripping it back and I am also enjoying knitting the pattern. I am knitting into the front and then the back of the same loop for my make 1 and it looks much better. Of course I love the yarn.

Short review on the Movies I watched this weekend
As you know I rented Sideways & Spanglish. “Sideways” I have no idea what to say about that movie. Weird movie. I was thinking it was going to be funny, two guys take off for a week and check out wineries. This movie had some funny moments, but overall it is about two losers. It was kind of depressing.

“Spanglish” was pretty good. Although not as good as I thought it was going to be. I like Adam Sandler and also like Tea Leoni. One of my favorite movies is “The Family Man” which stars Tea Leoni & Nicolas Cage. I thought Spanglish was going to be that good. I pretty much cried through the entire ending.

One last review. Hubby and I watched “Van Helsing” last night. It was on Starz. It is that vampire movie starring Hugh Jackman & Kate Beckinsale. I was not looking forward to watching this one but hubby was looking forward to it. I have a thing about vampires. I am freeked out by them. My neck is very sensitive and I can barely watch anything vampire related with out getting skidish and squeamish. Some people can not watch when people give blood and a needle is poked into the skin. Well for me it is someone’s teeth going into the neck flesh. Hubby enjoys teasing me about it. He tries to torcher me.

With that said “Van Helsing” was probably the least scary of all the vampire movies I have seen. There was two parts were there was a sudden jump out scene with noise. You know that cheap trick they do in scary movies. Other than that, not too scary. There was a ton of bad jokes told through out the movie. The jokes seemed out of place. The movie also had Frankenstein and a couple of werewolves. Overall a good movie to knit by.

Time to Wind Down

Brandy has passed out and is lying under my desk by my feet. She helped me outside while I was gardening. Tasting my flowers, grabbing a glove and running around the back yard, & lets not forget the time she helped me by taking a crap right next to where I was working thinking I might need some fertilizer. 8) Gotta Love Em

I plan to rest these last couple hours before having to get up tomorrow and go back to the grind. Have a great week.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Weekend Plans

First and for most I was RAOKED. It happened at the end of March. I know this has taken me too long to post about. I apologize. I received a handful of recipe cards from
Alison over at Just Another Day.

The reason it took me so long to post about it is because I brought the cards to work and kept forgetting to bring them home. Many of my employees were making copies of the recipes. They all look very tasty. Alison is so very thoughtful. Thank you so much. Also her blog is great go check it out. I am hooked on it already.

Weekend Plans

Yes I broke down and rented some movies. I have not been to the movies in forever and have not rented any in such a long time. The reason is because last year we switched to satellite TV and we have several of the movie channels. So we try to wait until they come on the movie channels to get our moneys worth. I am going crazy. I am such a movie buff. I can hardly call myself a movie buff if I am the absolute last person to see the movies. Geez. Anyway I broke down and rented these two. Both I have been wanting to see since they came out. Plus they will give me some good knitting time while I watch them.

I got an updated photo of one of the neighborhood bunnies. Now that our grass has come out of dormancy he has been coming by to graze. So cute.

Brandy spotted him in the back yard while she was wondering around. He took off running for the safety of the front. Brandy followed in a slow run. Bassett hounds with their short legs are not fast runners a good thing for the rabbit. Anyway Brandy has been obsessed ever since she spotted him. You know from earlier posts she loves her bunny. Now Brandy spends hours out back with her nose to the ground dragging her ears in pursuit of rabbit tracks. I think she has found some rabbit pellets but that is all.

This weekend I plan to do some gardening. I lost a few plants this past winter due to several freezing nights. I will need to replace them. I should probably buy some Ben Gay this weekend also because I have not worked out in such a long time. I am so out of shape I know I will be sore after gardening this weekend.

So with the gardening the movies and working on knitting my cardi it should be a fun filled weekend. Bring it on I am ready! Just get me the Heck out of the office! 8)

New Knitting Patterns from Rowan

I received two new pattern books from Rowan last week. They are so good I have to mention them.

Classic Café

Classic Garden

These two books are awesome. Their goal was to come up with contemporary designs that would with stand the test of time. This is a great idea. For me if I spend several months making a sweater I hope that it would not be out of fashion in a short period of time. I want the items I knit to last a long time and stay in fashion.

If I had to choose only one of the two it would be Classic Café. There is at least six patterns I would like to make and two I definitely will make. Here is the two I just love.

This one is called HUDSON and is from the Rowan Classic Café. I love this sweater. I plan to possibly knit this one next winter. I love it with the hat. So SHEEK baby.

This one is called JERSEY and is also from Rowan Classic Café. What a great sweater. This is a great light sweater for spring or fall. I like the combo color it is shown in. I also looked up the yarn colors in the specified yarn and think I might want to do it in a pink & green combo. Maybe I might make two.

So many things to knit So little Time.

Response to Comments

Laura had a great tip that she left me in my comments about using dpns. She said:
“Have you tried this with your dpn...?Each time you finish knitting onto a needle, knit one stitch from the *next* needle onto it, then continue on as you normally would (you'll want to mark the start of your round, as the location of the garment shifts on the needles). Does that make sense? It's worked well for me.”
Thank you so much that is a great tip. I will definitely do it that way the next time I use dpns. Laura you are so great. I always felt we had a connection. You will have to let me know if you ever start up a blog again. So glad to hear from you. Take care.

Meredith enjoyed my write up of the art exhibit by Gregory Colbert in NY City. She asked where it was showing.
Meredith it is currently at the historic pier 54 in Manhattan’s West Side. It will be there from March 5th through June 6th. I am sorry you missed it on your recent trip to NY. I am not sure where it will be after NY. Hopefully somewhere else in the states. So more of us can experience his work.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Spring Forward

webshots photo

I do not care for loosing an hour. I do like it when it is light out late into the evening. Always makes me think about sitting outside on those long summer nights sipping margaritas and enjoying the company of others.

Calmer “Air” Cardi

Cast on for the arm. I thought I had a brilliant idea and proceeded on dpns. It was looking nicely but I am not happy with the inconsistency around where the needles join. I plan to rip out the arm and do it on regular needles. I thought with the dpns I could cut back on sewing time but I would rather have it look perfect than skimp on time. Then I cast on for the back. The border is a moss stitch. I like the way the creamy color shows the stitches. I know I am going to love this process. So far so good.

If I Were in NY

I Love NY. Although I have not been to NY in such a long time, I still love it. NY has so much to offer in the way of art. If you are planning a trip in the near future to NY you must go and see Ashes & Snow. Gregory Colbert is doing an exhibition of his work titled Ashes & Snow. Colbert is a Canadian born artist known for his documentary films. I think I read that he has been working on this group of photographs for the last 13 years. He photographs animals.

Colbert Quote:
“In exploring the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working towards rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals,” says Colbert. “The images depict a world that is without beginning or end, here or there, past or present. I hope the overall effect is an experience of wonder and contemplation, serenity and hope.”

Take a look at some of his work from Ashes and Snow

I can not even describe how I feel when I look at his work. I feel a connection, some kind of yearning, and an overwhelming feeling of calmness. If I were in NY right now I would be at this exhibit. Spending countless hours absorbing and feeling the moment of these images.

Here is the official website for Ashes & Snow

Shwing did an article on the exhibit here

Orion also did an article here

Routine Sunbath

Cosmo and Haley catch some rays