Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wait A Minute Mr. Postman

Since coming over to Blogger and meeting so many wonderful people in crafty blog-land, I have come to love my mail box again, my studio is once more a place of wild creativity, and I feel I've made some really inspiring new friends.

So now let me show you what's brought on this love fest:

This is the wonderful Knitflix swap package that I received from Maggie who I must apologize to for not posting this picture sooner. Isn't it fabulous!?! It's based on the movie "Finding Neverland" and Maggie stuffed the box with:

- The movie "Finding Neverland" (can Johnny Depp do anything badly?).

- 4 skeins of gorgeous yarn ( 2 are Jaeger which I am lusting over and their mine)

- the knitting magazine Knitscene (totally drool worthy)

- a big box of Whoppers (lasted 3 days)

- a big box of Junior Mints (hiding in my office at work for emergencies)

- a big box of Milk Duds (sadly melted during the trip here),

- 4 cute candy rings (two were presented to a dear friend's daughter and her best friend when we went to Faire for her birthday. Princesses need bling you know)

- a bag of white chocolate M&Ms (the first to go and barely lasted one day)

This stunning brooch is called "Blue Skin" by Grace Danel which I received through the 2nd Annual Face Brooch Swap (click on the image in Mamarox's post to see all the pins). There is something about it that is very mystical and grand. I have plans to make a necklace for it so that the brooch can be used as a pendant.

I found this little card in my mailbox earlier this week from my Secret Pal 9 partner. *SQUEAL*

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This is the skein and swag I received from Scout for my first Indie Swag Club package. Love it! The wild bag is something I'm going to have to hide from a few people because it's so very them. I'm especially tickled by the sock yarn because it's similar to what I sent Maggie for the Knitflix swap, and I really liked it. I think I've figured out what my very first pair of socks will be using this. I just need to get the needles and go for it! To all you sock knitters out there, stay tuned because I'm going to have LOADS of questions.

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I received this wonderful package Thursday. I knew it was coming but still wasn't prepared for the kindness inside. This package is from Kiki and Lucy of Luscious Gracious. Kiki and her daughter Lucy were who I had as my One Skein secret pals. That is, I was the one sending them goodies. Between the emails and reading their blog, I discovered a family who truly loves craft; they enjoy a creative life that is inspiring. Inside the package, along with a letter from Kiki that I devoured ever page of, I received:

- A funny postcard from Lucy showing a 10,000 pound saguaro cactus squashing an old station wagon.

- The prettiest handspun skein of Merino wool yarn in peach and pink. Lucy recommended the "Candy Wrapper Sachet" from the One Skein book and I must agree. The yarn's colors remind me of salt water taffy so I think it would be perfect.

- A little bag of beautiful Cat's Eye beads that I've already got ideas for. >=)

- And a whole handblended batt of Merino wool in "Wild Blueberry", made by one of her dear friends and for me to practice my drop spindle spinning on. I wish the photograph did this one justice. It's this lovely bluish purple color with wisps of soft pale silver. If you've seen fresh blueberries, you'll know exactly what this looks like.

I am not stretching the truth in any manner by saying I absolutely LOVE YOU ALL!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Vegan Pal Questionnaire

Blame Jennifer for this one. ;)

1.) What is your craft, & how long have you been doing it?
- I have two main crafts, beading and knitting. I've been beading for the last 4 years and knitting for a total of 3 years (I learned to knit years ago but was... distracted... by other crafts). LOL!

2.) Are you a vegan, vegetarian, veg-curious, veg-friendly or other?
- Veg-friendly.

3.) What is your favorite color(s)? Do you particularly dislike a color(s)?
- I like most colors, it's bad combinations that make me cringe.

4.) Do you have any allergies (such as pets, foods or cigarette smoke)?
- I'm allergic to avocados. Strong pet odors and cigarette smoke make me sneeze.

5.) Do you have any companion animals? If so, names and types?
- Not at the moment though I plan on getting cats when we get a house.

6.) Do you collect anything?
- Beads, yarn, dragons, Disney pins, cookbooks, etc...

7.) Do you have a favorite vegan food, snack or dish? If no fav that's vegan (for those who aren't vegan), what's your favorite food? (Hopefully your pal can find a vegan version!)
- My favorite vegetarian dish is called "Asparagus and Lemon Fettucine". Yum yum! I make it with regular cream and Parmesan cheese but the soy versions work fine for those you are true Vegans. As for snacks and such: I'm a rice fiend; cookies, ice cream and chocolate are my sweet downfalls; and for the salty stuff, give me CHEESE DOODLES!

8.) What tools/supplies/accessories for your craft(s) are you wishing you had but don't? Also, what do you have TOO many of? (basically a wish and anti-wish list)
- Hmm... In the beading camp, anything is appreciated except for those grey flocked beading trays. Just don't like them. Over on the knitting side, again anything is appreciated but I don't need stitch markers. I'm good there.

9.) What type of handmade item would tickle your fancy? What don't you like? (Keep in mind this swap is open to all types of crafters.)
- Surprise me. I'd rather not pigeon whole my pal into having to make something they'd rather not do. Make me something that tickles YOUR fancy. Whatever you do best, that's what I'd like one of please.

10.) Is there anything else you would like your pal to know about you?
- Best thing would be to read my blog (and the older posts) to get to know me. I'm an eclectic person and am easily fascinated.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Won! I Won! I Won! (and Another Surprise)

Thanks to everyone who voted on my "Black & White Knit Flix Package"! On Monday, I received the following message from the adorable Jennifer:

"Congratulations, Te! You are the winner of the Knitflix Swap contest. Yay! You win a Gettin' Knit Together Kit from our very own Purl of! Purl will be in contact with you to get your mailing address! Bravo my knit and bead friend! Bravo!"


I didn't participate in the swap/contest to win anything but I'm not going to lie and say that I'm not pleased I entered. =)

The day was capped off by a package waiting for me from talented Scout. It was the first package in my 6 month subscription to her "Indie Swag Club"! I'll post details tonight. All I can say is if this is what I'm to expect in future packages, I'm going to be one happy knitter. =)

Now to find someone who has something like this for beads. >=)

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Orange Dreamsicle

I have come to love getting the mail these days. Today's delivery brought me my very own funky scarf goodness from my sneaky Funky Scarf Swap partner, Debi aka SpunMonkeyBean.

I read the card she included first before checking out my scarf and from how she described herself, I was immediately intrigued about what was hidden inside the pretty starburst tissue paper.

Wanna see what I got?

So very funky and beautiful, and it will definitely be getting worn lots.

Come closer. It's all in the details you know. Debi wrote that one of the thinks she enjoys is spinning yarn which makes this scarf even more special, and it's so soft! Besides being properly funky in design, the colors are really great. I'm reminded of an orange dreamsicle shake. It's in a soft shade of orange with tufts of white and one little spot of magenta on one end which could be the cherry on top!

Each end is different. One has dangly fringe while the other is solid. Can you guess which one is my favorite?
Thank you so much Debi. It's just wonderful! =)

There's some magic in this scarf as well, you can smell it (it smells really good). It makes me wanna get funky!

OK, apparently it's past my bedtime, or maybe it's the Dulce De Leche liqueur. Either way, it's time to take my silly funkiness to bed. Night all!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Get Out There And Vote

What wonderful news! Jennifer just let me know that I'm one of the 3 finalist in the Knitflix Swap for my "Black and White" movie box. YAY!

She also said that I could campaign for votes so.... VOTE FOR ME! Pretty please? =)

The voting has begun and runs until Sunday night (10/15/2006), midnight PST. Just go to the post and leave a comment.

Thanks so much.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire

Hello Secrete Pal!

Here is my questionnaire for Secret Pal 9:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
- I've not tried them all so I can't say what my favorite is just yet. =) As for what I absolutely do not like, 100% acrylic because it itches. Blends are ok because they usually result in some fun and funky combinations.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
- Uhm... a large plastic baggie. =(

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
- This is sort of a tricky question. I learned how to knit around 10 years or so ago or so but... it went into unused limbo for 8 of those. I started up again in ernest with the One Skein Swap and am loving every minute of it.

I learned to knit totally by accident really. I was running around with my mom looking for yarn shops that sold yarn for weavers. We entered a shop somewhere in Eastern PA (converted old house) and the owner was really a trip. She and my mom got onto the subject of adding knitting to trim or combine with her weaving and the next thing we knew, she sat my mom down and handed her some pointy sticks to teach her the basic knit and purls stitches. She then looked up at me and said, "Well don't just stand there, take a seat." Next thing we both knew, she'd taught us to knit and purl a few rows on a little swatch, helped us pick out a simple pouch pattern, and the needles and yarn for it, and sent us on our unsuspecting yet merry way. Mom stayed with it for the most part, discovering the fun of socks, I let it slide when beads entered my life.

Skill wise, I'd call myself an advanced beginner because though I've done plenty of lace and such, I've not YET tried socks, changing colors, or cabling. Or finished a sweater for that matter.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
- I made one just for this project: Knitting Wish List.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
- I'm not a fan of strong floral scents. I like honeys, lemons, cucumbers, gingers, chocolate, and edible things like that. I can sometimes find Demeter Fragrances, but the site that gets me in the most trouble is BPAL or Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Those dang little imps! Beware, once you start experimenting, your money is in serious trouble.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
- I have more of a salt tooth than a sweet tooth but when it hits, chocolates and caramels are my top two favorites. I love most kinds except the cheap stuff. It just tastes... cheap.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
- Beadwork is currently my #1 love just over knitting. I spin some and am "trying" to learn how to use my drop spindle. I've done all sorts of things in the past like mail art, figure sculpting, porcelain dolls, and a slew of other things I can't remember at the moment.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
- I like just about everything except country and rap. I enjoy just about everything else, including the genres that don't end up on the radio unless it's an obscure station or satellite(acapella, big band, etc...) I'm always interested in discovering new artists and have found all sorts of wonderful indie singers/groups that really knock my socks off such as Four Shadow and 4 and 20 Blackbirds. Yes, I can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
- I can't think of any color I really don't like. What I don't like, can't stand, however you want to say it is horrid color combinations! Some colors were just never meant to be together. Hot pink and olive green? Run away! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
- Married, no kids or pets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
- All of them.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
- Once again, I don't know just yet but at the moment I guess it would be purses/totes. Socks are my next thing to tackle and I keep getting told that I'll be hooked once I make my first pair. We'll see.

13. What are you knitting right now?
- Two things at the immediate moment. A tote for my partner in the International Tote Exchange II, and a hooded baby blanket in... BUBBLE GUM PINK for my husband's niece. She's due soon so I'd better get a move on.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
- Oh yes!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
- I like them both as they each serve their own purposes. Bamboo and wood are my favorite in material. The sound of knitting with aluminum makes my teeth hurt. My circular kit is done in plastic. It has its issues (stiff) but they work well.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
- I do own a yarn winder but not a swift. I currently use the back of a chair, my knees or my husband for that. LOL!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
- Uhm... when did I say I started knitting again? The first, and only, sweater I ever tried to make was out of Vogue Knitting magazine. I made all the pieces for it but didn't know what to do when it came time to put it together. I don't even know if I have the cone of yarn now to finally put it together so I'll probably just pull it out and make something else with it.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
- Halloween. Favorite holiday as well as my wedding anniversary.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
- Disney pins, cookbooks, and autographs. Can I count beads and yarn too?

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
- Books, see my Amazon wish list above. When it comes to yarns, just surprise me! For needles, I should probably get some nicer circulars though I'm not sure which as I hear different reviews. I'll have to peak around for knitting patterns and post them. Most I've found I've gotten out of magazines or free online. I don't have any knitting magazine subscriptions at this time. I pick up Knit.1, Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, and now Knitscene.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
- Cables (that thing goes where?), color knitting (you want me to change colors?), and continental knitting (but I like throwing my yarn!)

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
- I'm about to become one. I've never tried but I just joined Scout's Indie Swag club where I get sock yarn each month so I'm going to definitely try. I'm a size 10. Measurements: 10" from heel to top of my big toe, 3 3/4" across at the ball of my foot. What else do you need?

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
- April 15th

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Knitflix Swap

Jennifer over on Craftylilly Knitting and Beading did an EXCELLENT swap called "Knitflix" that just ended. I hope there will be another round. *hint* *hint* This was a non-secret partner swap were participants came up with a knitting/movie package to give to each other. It had to include one movie, supplies for a fun movie night, and some fiber related goody be it actual yarn or something related like needles or a pattern.

My victim partner was the delightful Maggie of MagKNITficent. We have very similar tastes so it was especially fun to find something that she'd really enjoy. After reading her questionnaire, her blog, and a few email exchanges, I came up with a black and white movie theme. Here's what I sent:

- The movie Casablanca, a must for any classic movie and/or Humphrey Bogart fan.
- A black and white box of tissues because with Casablanca, you're gonna need it.
- A box of "Black & White" sweetened popcorn. You must have popcorn for movie watching.
- Two bags of M&Ms, one in white and one in black, because there also must always be chocolate around when doing anything.
- 3 skeins of black and white (and gray) sock yarn to make cute socks with while watching the movie.
- A pair of black sunglasses to feel like a starlette in.
- A clapboard tray to hold all the goodies on.

I stuffed the box with white tissue paper and black confetti like streamers to make it festive when she opened it. Maggie, I hope it didn't get everywhere!

Another version of the same shot, in theme fashion.