Last night I hand felted my first "One Skein" bowl and holy crap was that a lot of work. My arm muscles are clearly under-developed and not made for such hard labour. I can barely type today but will endure the pain for your reading pleasure.
The bowl turned out nicely and ready for my sundries. What a lovely word "sundry" is. It just sums it all up. Another word that I find amusing is "ascertain". It always reminds me of my favourite Kids in the Hall skit about this guy who receives complaints from his co-workers for over using the word "ascertain". T and I snicker immaturely every time we hear someone use it in public. Also the word "detritus".
Today is T's birthday. He has made a special request for dinner and I have whipped up creme caramels for dessert. He also wants to go to the Sheratin and swim in their pool and hot tub. I'm not so sure about this. What if we get caught? I'm so a by-the-rules kind of girl. I'd be so mortified if the Sheratin people caught us and we are escorted out of the hotel, never to return again. Maybe I should try to talk him out of going. Maybe I should just relax and do something rebellious. I'll let you know what happens tonight (unless I'm behind bars).
I, too, bought some spring bulbs and placed them in the front window, but they were getting too chilly, so I moved them over to the piano to warm up. They are definitely uplifting for the spirit. So is my giant cup of coffee. It's as big as that planter.
I finished two more brooches in black and pink - it's hard to see. I am still trying to figure out the lighting on the camera. The computer is slogging along this morning. It can't even keep up with my snail-like typing. -N
Look at what Lion Brand sent to my e-mail this morning!
It'll be held at the Mall of America from February 17-18th. I am definitely going but probably alone, as I am not mean enough to subject T to a knitting event. You should come.
I have fallen down with a case of the winter blahs. It hasn't been a tough winter by any stretch so I'm not complaining, however I'm just tired of being indoors all the time. Like you, my desk has no window access so most of the time I don't even know what the weather is like. The organization is moving soon to another location so I am hoping that I will have a window. Anyway, to help with the blahs I dropped by my local greenhouse and picked up a bunch of hyacinth bulbs. I then stopped into the thrift store and picked up some pretty little glasses in which to grow the bulbs and they are now all lined up in a pretty little row on the window sill above my diningroom buffet. They make me happy to look at them.
What lovely brooches! Love the bird too. Is he going to eat the brooch?
I hope that your Crouch Library knitting group will happen. How exciting would that be? If you become the facilitator perhaps you could change the time to the evening. Not that I don't want the old ladies to come, they are a great source of knitting knowledge, but that would allow people who work during the day to attend. Keep me posted.
I started knitting up one of the felted bowls last night. They do really knit up fast. I am hoping to get a couple done so I can give T's mother one when she comes down next week. I cannot wait for my copy of One Skein to arrive from Amazon. We heart Amazon!!
Hope you have a productive weekend. I, for one, cannot wait for this week to be over. The temperature is supposed to drop these next few days so I plan on picking up a few balls of chocolate brown wool and knitting the days away in front of the fire. Happy weekend!
Tonight I must craft up some quick gifts for two birthday girls in the office. I am going to try sewing some brooches – may need pins for the backing. I just thought of that now. Maybe I can swing by Fabricland on the way home.
Did I tell you that the Head Librarian at Crouch overheard me gushing over Em’s newly knitted mohair scarf, and a Knitting Club may be in the works? I asked Em later if she was serious, and she really seems to think so. It’s not a new thing – knitting groups at the library – but they are all during the morning or early afternoon. It’s more of a gathering for seniors. So cross your fingers for us. I think I will look up some Stitch’n’Bitch for terms of reference.
Three hours later - don't ask - one brooch ready to gift. I'm beat, and the sewing machine is packed away, and the dining room table is, once again, neat and tidy. Jane will have to wait until Sunday for a gift. The brooch was simple to make. I simply got stalled by laundry, empty bobbins, picking up J from work, and figuring out the new camera. Time for bed.
I saw Diane Keaton on Oprah a long time ago, and she was saying that she wrote down a good deal of her children’s discussions, and then she carried these little notes with her throughout the day. She read one out loud, and it was so comical and adorable. The children were bickering at each other, and trying to update their mum, and then sending their love. I thought seriously of doing this – I sometimes think to myself while deep in conversation with the girls and J that I wish someone was there to hear us talking so silly – but then it occurred to me that I might be too busy jotting down their words and miss something golden in the meantime. Should I be cherishing the moments and live them in the now or remember them fondly and perhaps inaccurately later? I reminded myself that actors can be a bit dramatic sometimes, and I moved on.
J thinks I should stop watching Oprah altogether, but it’s not such a bad thing to stop and think. I guess he was referring to the nightmares I used to have when O would be speaking to rapists and molesters. You’d have been scared too. I don’t watch her that often anymore for that reason plus the fact that I get home later.
I have three bowls on the kitchen counter all felted and shaped. They are beautiful. And now you can witness the splendour - I ordered a new digital camera online on Friday in the middle of the night. And faster than Amazon could say 'your order is on the dock', I had it in my hands. I'm feelin' the love for Best Buy!
What should I do for Jane’s birthday? She has forbid me to tell anyone it’s coming up, but I can’t just let it go. Know what I mean? I snuck into her office, and I insisted that I would take her out for lunch on Saturday to one of her favourite places - and I added that if she refused my offer, I would rat her out. I think she is going to cave. I should give her some knitterly love as well, so I may have to rummage through the finished object stash - I'm not thinking there is much, but will keep my fingers crossed all the same. She may just end up with a felted bowl!
How sad about the fire in the library chute. Why do people do things like that? At least London has lots of libraries and a fantastic inter library loan system. I know that you and I took advantage of it often. I don't know how many knitting books I requested to have sent to Cherryhill. Minneapolis has had to close many of its libraries due to budget cuts and the ones that are open have very limited hours. That makes me sad as well. But at least I am close to my local library and have discovered their Museum Adventure passes. Anyone can visit any of the museums for free! I am very excited to get passes for the Walker Art Center, the Mill City Museum, and the Science Center that houses the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices. How cool is that?
Well, I hope you had a nice weekend. T and I just relaxed and cooked and did all of the things we enjoy. We finally went to see Borat: Cultual Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Seriously funny movie. I was curious to see what it would be like watching this movie amidst Americans but I was at an art house theatre so the crowd seemed to really like it. I wouldn't suggest watching this with the kids though.
Hope you have a happy Monday. I am going to knit a few more rows of my "Endora" baby blanket and call it a night. And yes, you are my inspiration for knitting cables.
It didn't really hit me until I returned home this afternoon as I sat down on the sofa to knit a few rows of yet another Lopi felted bowl. The world of needlecrafters has lost a precious copy of Leigh Radford's One Skein. Some dinky vandal set the library chute on fire right after I was forced to return my long-awaited copy! If only I had waited one more day, my penalty of 30 cents in library fines would have seemed peanuts. If only I had ventured a little more out of my way and hit the Sherwood branch on my way home from London Yarns. If only I had remembered to return it to the Westmount branch when I was there earlier in the morning to pick up my holds. I could have saved it.
On a sunnier note, Congratulations! - from an idiot who failed the driver's test the first time.
Now be honest. Was I your inspiration to cable? Did you remember my lesson?
I must be off to my book club. I cheated and looked up some literary reviews so I would have something to add to the discussion. Don't get me wrong - I read the book, but like three weeks ago. I just needed a little refreshing. They might think something's up when I use the big words I rehearsed!
You'd be so proud of me! I passed my Minnesota drivers license knowledge test this morning with a perfect score! Hooray! I had a lot of anxiety over it as it's been ten years since I last wrote one of these darn things. It's a huge relief and I was even able to register my car and get Minnesota plates today. Stuff like this just takes more time and energy than it should and I'm glad it's done. I will keep my Ontario plates though and cherish them. After all, Ontario is yours to discover.
My knitted cupcake hat is done. I took a picture but still can't get it downloaded onto the computer. The in-laws are coming down to visit in a couple of weeks and I think they have the software so I'll have to ask them to bring it down. Anyway, I am very pleased with the way the hat turned out--just like in the picture! I also started on this baby blanket for my future neice/nephew. I think it's so pretty and cables are really fun to knit. I think you would agree with me on that one. I started it tonight and couldn't stop knitting. My fingers are so cramped I had to stop.
I laughed at the picture in your last post. We're sorry we left you. Please come visit us!
Here is my random picture, taken from the balcony of my parent's home in Vancouver.
Hope you are well.
I gave away my beautiful felted bowl to my parents’ best friends on the weekend before taking a second picture, but do not dismay! I was so amazed at how well it turned out that I whipped up another in a mere hour and a half. The second bowl is knit with white Lopi wool, and as noted everywhere, white wool does not felt well. It’s true. I have run it through the wash twice, and I will try again later once I have a few more bowls knit up so I can run a slew of them through some hot sudsy water.
To take a break from the bowls, I started up an earflap hat in my Manos del Uruguay. It’s so pretty. My fingers are reaping the benefits of a slightly more expensive wool. It works up so nice and fast. You really ought to treat yourself to skein or two!
You sound very refreshed after your weekend of cleaning and organizing. I had a similar experience when we tackled B’s room –it’s amazing how much a 4-year old accumulates! I was astounded. Her room seems ten times larger. The last of the holiday decorations were boxed on Saturday morning, and we were able to reclaim the living room as well. Good times!
I would have to agree with you that the second cabinet is the winner. Drawers can hide loads of ugliness, but I think it depends on what you’re storing. If it is craft material like yarn and fabric, maybe it would be nicer displayed through the frosty glass. Cash in on all those lovely colours! Note the Canadian spelling. I am also looking for a pretty storage idea for my yarn – it’s all over the place in baskets, in bags, in boxes . . . I may check out the Goodwill again. I was hesitant about huffing a giant cabinet into the trunk of the Focus by myself last week, but maybe I can convince J to come along with me on Saturday. I am sure there are thrift stores in Minneapolis! You could also wait until late spring when the yard sales pop up everywhere, but you sound fairly anxious. Go with your heart. That’s cheesy advice, and I love cheese.
Speaking of cheese, I brought a chunk of Stilton with mango and ginger for lunch today. Mmmm.
I am not sure what’s happening with the camera at home. I am very tempted to shoot a couple shots with the CR digital camera, but I will hold off for a couple more days. I am sure J has a plan up his sleeve that probably involves buying a new one.
Oh where, oh where have all my friends gone?
the only one left,
Take good care and wear sensible shoes,
Actually Auto Archive is more of an opponent at the moment. Huda has lost (or archived) all the messages in her inbox, and I found the location on her computer where her Outlook files are 'archived', but I can not for the life of me open them up or throw them back into Outlook. Doesn't the word 'archive' insinuate a sense of retrieval??? It's really more of a 'Joe' problem than an N problem to me.
Steering away from work, I found the cactus cake picture you requested. Feast your eyes!
Remember how skimpy I went on the green icing - the cake is practically glaring at me from underneath! L's birthday is coming up quickly again. This year I think I am going to go with a reconstructive clothing theme. Confused? I am going to modify the Rip It! and Generation T books for the 11-year olds. We're going to rip up some tees and make sequined wristbands from old sweater cuffs and scarf belts from men's ties. I am going to ask Ciara or Alyssa if they could come over and give the girls makeovers - Jane thought it was a great idea. What should I do for the cake - or cupcakes? I thought little appetizers and finger food would be good for dinner.
I'm leaving work early and heading over to the thrift store. Yippee!
Again, no camera set up so no picture. We seem to be on a run of bad camera luck. I did take a shot of the cake that I made for the dinner last night. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out, but the recipients of the cake loved it. I'm very pleased as they still want me to do their wedding cake after seeing the sample. It's actually only the top tier of a cupcake tower but it will be the cake used for the ceremonious cake cutting .
How exciting that your cousin asked you to decorate her wedding cupcakes! You still have time to take the cake decorating classes that Michael's offers. I took all three and the rest is history. I do miss the cake decorating since moving to Minneapolis. Hopefully my co-worker's wedding in March will get the ball rolling for me down here. Hey, remember the cactus cake that we made for E's birthday last year? You must have a picture of it somewhere in your computer. If you can find it, post it and also e-mail it to me (thanks!).
Here is some cake/cupcake related info.
West Coast Crafty has a post today about cupcakes and links to some cupcake bakeshops that make them.
This is where I get the inspiration for a lot of my cakes. I could oggle their cake gallery for hours.
And hopefully tonight I can muster up the energy to begin this very cute knitted cupcake hat for my friend's daughter who's birthday is coming up soon.
Unrelated to cupcakes but is a celebration nonetheless, is Martin Luther King Day this Monday, January 15. That's why we are having the long weekend and you poor Canadians have to work.
At least you can enjoy your ketchup chips and Coffee Crisp bars at the office.
Bye for now,
I finished knitting up the Lopi bowl, and I took 'before felting' pictures, but now the computer won't 'read' the camera, and J is grunting and groaning. That can't be good. The bowl has been through the washer and is now being air-dried and shaped. It was a super easy project, and although I knit it up on two straight needles because I didn't have the right size circs, it worked up just fine. I can't wait to show it to everyone. People will bow down to the bowl. And my sneakers are washed and bright white!
My cousin called me, and she asked ME to decorate her wedding cupcakes! ME! I was thrilled because she has style and taste, and yet she still asked ME!! I may have lots of questions, but for now I will await pictures of what they are to look like. The wedding isn't until June, so I still have a while to stew about it. How did your wedding cake consultation go? Why didn't I ever invite both you and T over for dinner? Maybe I was scared I would scare you guys off with my smothering and oozing enthusiasm for everything weird.
I ripped Tim's CD onto the computer last night, so I have a back-up should anything horrid happen to the CD. I can't believe that I waited this long to run this quick, super easy preventative measure! Anyway, I think I will be able to sleep at night once again.
J is reading B a bedtime story, and I need to listen carefully and ensure he isn't making up the story as he goes. I wouldn't be surprised if Belle cuts the cheese and needs to light a match!
Seriously cute picture of B. She's a funny kid. Hope the family is doing well.
Sorry to hear about the coat. You'll have to post a picture of it so I can fully picture you falling outside of Growing Concern...talk about a growing concern! Perhaps you should wear appropriate shoes for outside and bring your cute ones in a bag to change into when you get to the office.
I apologize for the short post as it's been a busy day and I have plans tomorrow evening. Yes! T and I are actually going out and having dinner at another couple's house. I am making their wedding cake in March so I'll be bringing a mini cake tomorrow for dessert. Still haven't decided what it will look like but I can freestyle.
Here is a picture of the Mississippi taken from one of the bridges that goes to the University of Minnesota. When you come to visit we'll build us a raft and sail on down.
I was very excited to wear my new winter coat from H&M this morning and was doing my best not to get it grungey by rubbing up against the Focus and B's dirty boots, but my cautiousness became my Achilles heel. In a moment of extreme generosity - I held open the door for another parent at B's child care centre - I fell down for what seemed like ten minutes due to the extreme slipperiness of the new nylon and the delicate and dirty bundle in my arms - plus I was wearing a pair of those darn shoes with no treads! A perfect recipe for guaranteed disaster. People kept moving along around me lying (or laying) sprawled out on the floor in my beautiful coat. I no longer looked so hip or fashionable. While I laid (or lay) there, I thought seriously about staying there and not going on with my Monday, but B said, flatly and not looking at all amused, "Get up, Mum." And so I did, with a hasty brush to my coat, like nothing happened. I do recall cursing mildly under my breath to no one in particular.
The rest of my day was filled with small shortfalls - I forgot the wrap I was dying to showcase, I lost my breakfast pita that I set out for lunch, and I sent off a zillion emails requiring responses and received none. I am glad it's nearly over.
What holiday weekend is next? I loved your links - who knew there was a world of cupcakes out there begging to be baked? And the square boiled egg inspired me to boil my last four eggs! Well done. I was nearly cheered up except that after my little boiling episode, I found a tasty recipe for carrot cake, but I no longer had the four eggs it required. So how many hours separate us? Am I ahead or behind? Can you tell that I not a geographical scholar? And get on that camera for Tod's sake!
As for total crafting accomplished this weekend, I only have three more LONG seams to iron, pin and sew on the front of the quilt. I began a felted bowl from One Skein in that stinky Lopi wool that you spotted when we were Goodwill hunting for little mason jars. Man, is it ever gross to work with. And greasy. I seriously can not wait to throw that bad boy in the washer!
And now, a picture for the post!
Hope your weekend went well. Mine just flew by as it was my first weekend back from Christmas holidays in Vancouver. You know how you always get sad after the excitement of the holidays is over? Well, I'm over that! I meant to pack away the decorations but ran out of time. I guess it'll just have to wait for next weekend. No excuses because it'll be a long weekend. Sweeeeeeet! Sorry to rub it in for all you Canadians.
Anyway, must remind T to download the software for the camera because this is getting silly. I'd like to show you some pictures of the house that I've been meaning to send to you since October. Instead, here are some fun things that I found during my noon hour blog cruise:
I am very close to ordering myself one of these egg-cubers. Happy Mundane tries it out with great success. We all know how much you like your hardboiled eggs, N!
Design Sponge's new shop has some beautiful artwork up for sale. Lovely!
The prettiest and most unique cupcakes over at Cupcake Bakeshop. I plan on trying out a recipe of my own--vanilla bean cupcakes with green tea buttercream. I'll let you know how it goes.
And although not a blog, this is my next project for my sister who is getting married this summer. Perhaps in a different colour to appeal to my future bro-in-law.
And on a completely unrelated note, to answer your question, yes, Minnesota is in a different time zone than Ontario.
We're all just hanging about today. I may get out the sewing machine, and finish seaming the front of L's quilt. I took a picture of it last week when I was setting out the eventual pattern and I did not want to forget what looked best, but alas, the picture was too fuzzy or blurry may be a better word.
When I was providing childminding last week for yet another meeting at work, one of the mums kissed her children good-bye and noted to each of them to 'Be appropriate for Ms. N'. Is 'Be good.' out? You know how much I like to be on top of these trends. Is it appropriate to ask your children to be appropriate?
I am plugging away at the cabled wrap, and no, I have no idea who shall be the recipient of this fine piece of work. It may be just fine draped over the arm of the white sofa. Who knows? I will know better once I crochet the edges. That's right. I am learning to crochet. Currently, I am practising on some old fo's and my stash of acrylic. Eek. Not a pleasant task, I can assure you. While looking for my Manos del Uruguay that I purchased just before Christmas, I found the sock I started eons ago. It is still so short! I found the Manos, and I am planning to make a couple of toques, but need to wind it into balls and measure some heads. I am still recovering from J's too-giant toque for his abnormally enormous cranium. I have become a joke around here. Must prove to them they are all wrong and mean.
Here's the too-small hat I knit for B. I will give it to Denice on Tuesday for Baby Ciara. It looks just like the picture in the book, but I should have stuffed it so that it would stand taller, and you would be able to see the eyelet row. The pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts has an error in the eyelet row - it is either missing one hole or has one hole too many because when I was weaving the i-cord through the holes, the end of the i-cord ended up on the inside of the hat. Well that didn't work. So if you do decide to knit this one up, and believe me, it's easy, somehow work out the hole issue first. I used Mission Falls in coral - only one skein! Remember the grey Mission Falls I bought when I took you to London Yarns the first time? I started knitting another baby hat pattern, but I think I may rip it out, and knit up one of these babies. I also have a purple skein somewhere as well.
I am listening to The Last Kiss soundtrack, and it is so pretty. Isn't Zach Braff just pretty? I haven't seen the movie, but the songs are so dreamy. This reminds me that I should see if the library has the soundtrack to Garden State - I have the Postal Service CD, but I am sure there were other songs on the soundtrack that I would certainly love. Hmm. I am reminded of a Kids in the Hall skit where this outlandish music snob declares that soundtracks and Best ofs are for little girls and housewives! So what if I am?
Finally! I've made it. Thanks for settin' her up finally. I've unfortunately misplaced the CD needed to install my camera's software so I haven't been able to download any new pictures yet. Can you believe we still have unopened boxes left from our move in September? I'm positive the CD is in one of those boxes sitting in our "office".
For now, here is a picture of one of my favourite things to bake. Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Yum! Notice my lovely pink Kitchen Aid in the background. You can tell this is an old picture because it was taken in the kitchen of my place back in Canada. Doesn't everything just look so much nicer on a pedestal plate?
Any how, hope everyone has a great weekend. I plan on spending mine figuring out Magic Loop. Have you tried it?
I thought I would start the blog with some resolutions. My first resolution should be to make resolutions for the New Year. Honestly, I keep forgetting, or rather I have chosen to forget. Here are just a few in no particular order.
· Knit using my never-ending stash of yarn! Start Christmas and birthday knitting ASAP! Become a relentless member of the KNIT Club at my LYS.
· Get out the new sewing machine at least once a week. Finish L’s quilt by her birthday in early February.
· Post to the blog at least every other day.
· Clean the laundry area.
· Become a serious gardener despite the enormous and terrifying bumblebees.
· Take two trips – Ohio and Minnesota. Make that three – my parents are paying for a shopping trip to Michigan. Woo-hoo.
· Create a career portfolio for interviews.
· Cut out caffeine again – I will continue to drink coffee and tea, but I will insist on decaf – as much as possible since J refuses to drink fake java, I may have to disguise it by refilling an agreeable regular container.
· Give my children more mum time.
· Become the ultimate crafter!
· Have a more positive attitude about work and life in general. I tend to imagine the worst possible scenario for everything – imagine things are going to work out just fine.
· Go through all of our belongings and give to Freecycle.
· Go to gym.
This looks more like a to-do list than some resolutions to which I may or may not adhere. Wish me luck!