Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh, Oh It's Magic

My mom is one who loves to come up with truly unique gifts. Decade candy boxes from Hometown Favorites for Valentines day, birthday fortune cookies for Bryan with special messages from her in them, a customized romance novel for our anniversary, etc... This time she truly out did herself.

Some months ago she was working in Texas and found out she was not far from the Scarborough Renaissance Faire. Having got her hooked last year on Faires, she just had to go. Well one day I get an email from her that she needs a photo of Bryan and I in our Renaissance Faire garb. I didn't question why because I just thought it was to show some of her co-workers that she was trying to explain the whole Faire thing to. I promptly forgot all about it. Flash forward to Thanksgiving day last week.

When Bryan and I arrived at her place that afternoon, she was very excited and just had to give us our anniversary/Christmas present right then (she didn't know when she'd see us next). She hands us a large flat package and when we ripped off the paper, this is what we found:

Isn't it gorgeous?!?
I grin from ear to ear every time I look at it. It's even more wonderful because I've always wanted something like this but never found anyone's work I truly liked or knew how to contact. Now to either attach the frame it came with or pick up one that looks old. Not sure which I'd like better.
Below is the photo I sent mom that Christine Angele of Poetic Portraits worked from. Apparently Ms. Angele has a booth at the Texas Faire and mom fell in love with her work. I think she did an excellent job hiding my purse. I'd forgotten about it until mom mentioned it.

Mom also got photos of the painting/picture made that just came in so I'll pick them up Friday when she comes down for lunch. I'm a happy daughter. =)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I See... I See... I See A Sock!

Yes folks. You read it correctly. I've finished my very first sock! I now need to make the other sock but I'm currently doing the *Snoopy Happy Dance* because I finished it and I'm pretty proud of it. Oh I know it's not perfect and I haven't blocked it or anything yet but I LOVE MY SOCK!!!

A huge thanks to: my mom, Scout, and every single one of you who encouraged me and helped me through this. It was really a lot of fun. OK, off to go knit my second sock now. =)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Under The Sea (aka Gift from the Sea)

I made this a couple of years ago and typically wear it only when I'm dressing up. It's so fun and fuzzy!

Well I just recently had a V8 moment and I realized how very silly of me to not wear my more bolder pieces, for me anyway, out and about just because I wanted to rather than wait for an occasion. So this morning I put on a gold colored turtleneck, my black slacks and this necklace and went to work. With the reactions I've been getting all day I think I need to make a few more of these to put in my Etsy shop (still working on stuff to put in there before opening).

Need to pull out some other stuff that I've been hiding it appears.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

First Sock Progress and Swag Is Here!

Not a very interesting title but it will do...

My very first pair of socks are coming along. I had a slight pause trying to understand how the pattern wanted me to pick up stitches. Overcame that little problem last night with some suggestions/websites from you wonderful folks. I got the stitches on and then... ran into a step that I just don't understand. I've got all the stitches back on the needle and am ready for the homestretch but there the next line says I'm suppose to "Knit half the heel stitches." Then "K 1 round." I understand the K 1 round part but the knitting of only half of the heel stitches doesn't make sense. HELP! Tomorrow I'm taking my little sock over to mom's and hope she can explain what in the world I'm suppose to do. I would really like to finish both socks by next week.

And.... MY NOVEMBER INDIE SWAG IS HERE!!! Oh Scout, you sneak you. This is just fabulous!

The colorway is called Pomegranate and there's a ton of it to play with. Bryan took one look at it and said, "Cool! Redskins colors!" LOL! As soon as he said it though, I immediately knew what I wanted to do with this yarn. Long fingerless gloves!!! Perfect for the cold weather around here, perfect for when I attend my first professional football game (next year?), and perfect for my next knitting challenge after the socks! I've got a bunch of patterns I've collected for them. Now to see which one will work. *does the Snoopy Happy dance* The accompanying glittery goodness/swag are handmade knitting themed note cards and gift cards from Glamscience!


Friday, November 17, 2006

What To Play With Next?

I was moving some of the bead boxes around and just happened to open a few to see what I might experiment with next. No I'm not starting a new project, just playing with ideas. HONEST!

Goddesses? I see something wild and Earthy for the first two; maybe a swirling ocean for the mermaid.

A funky shape? A romantic heart done with fringe from the bottom? That next one reminds me of a flower bud of some sort. Maybe flip the brown with green swirly one on its side. Turn the blue and yellow with clear dots upright perhaps? The snake one looks tribal to me. Would be good with natural materials incorporated into it. The donut sun bead (that what it looks like to me) called to me from the artist's basket of beads. What I'll do with it I honestly don't know... yet.

Sharkey? Isn't he the cutest! I've been just hanging him from a thick neck wire but he really needs a happier home. Nothing that will overshadow though.

Frogs? Lizards? At first I thought these two needed something similar to Sharkey; nothing overpowering. Now though it might be fun to do something that is more sneaky. Let them be subtly shown, a surprise.

Hmm.... Bead embroidery for the leaf? Something simple that picks up the purples and blues for the bead?

What do you see?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Many WIPs

OK, so now I'm beading AND knitting. I seriously need to be independently wealthy or figure out how to make my hobbies pay for themselves (and the rent, groceries, etc...). At least they keep me sane.

These are my current Works In Progress; projects that are far enough along that I really need to finish before I dare start another:

Here is sock #1 of my very first pair of socks. I'm using the sock yarn "B-Marie" that I got from Scout's Indie Swag Club. There is suppose to be a picot type edge on the top but it drove me nuts so I'm going to come back and fold over/stitch down that section once I've finished the sock. You don't want to know how many times I had to frog this thing before I got this far. Sailors don't curse as much as I did during this process. This is suppose to be fun right?

This is the hooded baby blanket I'm making my husband's niece for her new baby girl. It will be ready by Christmas and I never want to see another pink skein of yarn for as long as I live, or my eyes stop bleeding, which ever comes first. Oh if you could see how truly pink this thing is! Hubba Bubba bubble gum pink!

I also have several crocheted ropes that I need to finish. The ropes are done, I just need to decide what clasp method I want on them and what extra embellishment I want to add.

This one was a challenge in that I was using irregularly cut square beads and then used round beads to combine the two ends into one piece (not really that hard after all). I'm tempted to do a beaded clasp for this but I'm not sure what look I want. I was also thinking about doing some silver beaded bands to add to it but now I'm thinking a simply wire and bead wrap to gather it together would be nicer. Hmm...

This is actually the first beaded crochet piece I ever did. I was all set to finish it and then kept changing my mind on what kind of embellishment it needed. I went with one idea that just never worked out so I ripped that out. I was thinking of other ideas when Bryan said it looked pretty just the way it was. Looking at it, I have to agree. So now I just need pretty yet simply end caps and a clasp to call this one done.

This was an experiment with variegated thread and clear (iridescent in this case) beads. I finished it while sitting with my mom on the balcony of our stateroom on the Disney Wonder. We were relaxing and watching the sunset while we prepared to disembark from Castaway Cay. I looked at this and realized how much it reminded me of that sunset and thought how nice it would be to somehow incorporate some of the shells I'd picked up from the beach into it. Still playing with that idea.

No, that's not all my WIPs. The others are either basically kits (pieces gathered but not started), or sorta started but not enough to call it "in motion". I really need to finish these before I move to the next piece (unless it's quick of course). Like I said, I NEED MORE TIME!!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

The "Hesitation" Tote

Finally finished and sent my tote for the International Tote Exchange II swap last week. How I got so far behind? Hesitations with the finally details. Had never sewn in a zipper before and hesitated. Silly, because it came out fine. Had forgotten to incorporate the beaded fringe and didn't know what to do next. Again, silly because I sewed it in along the top edge and it looks so cute there. Finally, trying to decide on the strap and the button/loop flap. In the end, I used a simply I cord for the strap and used a leather cord to secure the button and loop flap.

Added some really nice smelling soap and a package of chocolate and off it went. It's hard to see in this photo what the bag looks like. I just couldn't seem to get a good angle on it. It's a simple rectangle, initially knit in the round. The zipper goes in in the opposite direction of the seam (so it's torqued). What you're seeing in the photo is the top edge folded over and attached to the lower opposite corner with that button/loop I mentioned earlier. I have a cloth version of this exact bag and really enjoy it. I want to make one of these for myself (LATER!) . I hope she likes it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Not Even Christmas Yet

It was so nice to come back from vacation to find PRESENTS waiting for me. =)

First was the prize I'd won from Jennifer's Knitflix swap/contest. It's a "Gettin' Knit Together" kit from Purl of Knit and Plenty...

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Inside this gorgeous organizer (the color is called "Water"), I found:

  • A retractable measuring tape that I will be keep inside the organizer where it will be nice and handy (and not buried like my regular measuring tape tends to be).
  • A flexible magnifier and ruler called a Site Minder. This is going to come in so handy for many of my craft projects when I need to see the fine print to figure out what I'm suppose to do next.
  • 3 of the cutest sew on garment labels that you can imagine. They have "Made by Hand. Knit by Heart" written on them. I can already tell I'm going to need more of those.
  • A big (16" x 11 1/2", yes I measured it with my new measuring tape!) and heavy duty plastic bag that zips LONGWAYS! It's called the Project Minder and I can't believe someone didn't think of this sooner. No mangling of a project getting it in and out of a plastic baggie here. Nice!
  • I have 3 nifty plastic labels, Yarn Minders, to attach to yarn so I don't lose the label or if I don't want the label, there are cards inside that I can jot the information down on.
  • The Needle Minder is something I wish I had sometime ago. It's a card that I can identify what knitting needles (and crochet hooks) I have without guessing and stores in a nice thick plastic sleeve. Now I know some people have all their needles nicely organized but I don't and because of that I have 3 pairs of 10.5 knitting needles!
  • There are 3 Measure Minder cards that once I'm more confident in my knitting skills will definitely be putting to use for presents. Actually, I'll use one for myself now so I don't have to keep remeasuring myself to figure out the right size of a project.
  • The 4 Pattern Minder cards appear to capture a lot of information about a project in a nice and tidy way. One side lets you record all sorts of information about a project, from beginning to end. The flipside is for taking notes, allowing you even date the note and put down which row you're suppose to start the next time you pick up the project (THANK YOU!)

I see myself getting a few of these as presents for my knitting friends.

The next package I tore into turned out to be from my Secret Pal 9 partner. Inside I found:

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  • 2- 50g balls of 100% wool yarn in a neat black and deep red blend.
  • A 50g ball of this interesting yarn called "Summer Net". It's this beautiful soft green yarn with a "net" of white over it. I need to dig through my patterns for something Summery to make with it.
  • A nice size bottle of fraganced lotion/body silk (oh la la). Perfect timing as Fall is quickly making way for Winter and the skin is going to be begging for moisture. And why not smell pretty in the process? =)
  • Tucked inside card that accompanied the goodies was a package of 4 stitch markers with millefiori glass beads on the end. Me likey!

All signs point to more wondrous things from my very sweet SP9 pal.

One package was sitting amongst the pile of mail waiting for me that I wasn't expecting. It was from my adorably sneaky Vegan Swap pal. Very original and I LOVE THE MINNIE PIN! It is going straight in my collection. I'll have to take a picture of that particular stash one of these days.

And to your question, dear pal, about which I wouldn't use/like (mittens, scarves, purses, sunglasses, hats, totes, legwarmers): until I get my eyes lasered hopefully in the next month or two, I can't wear sunglasses at the moment and I haven't worn legwarmers since I was in high school (along with mini skirts). LOL!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Quick check in to let everyone know I'm alive and well. LOL!

The husband and I decided to disappear last week for our 4th anniversary for some much needed down time and snuggling. We drove down to the Outer Banks (North Carolina), found a classic old motel to hunker down in called The Blue Heron, and played tourists with no particular place to go. Watching birds and porpoise play in the surf, collecting shells, checking out local artists, and eating beachy food.

Details and pictures to come tonight, including the packages I received from my SP9 pal and Veg pal. THANK YOU!