Saturday, December 30, 2006

Favorite presents


Violette challenged us all to draw our favorite present. So here is a fun sketch with some of my favorite gifts included. I used the new watercolor pencils to color the items. It was a fun little exercize.

I just took down the Christmas Tree. It was so dry that it was a real fire hazard, plus I felt like getting back to normal so I took everything down. Now to get it all put away and all those pine needles vacuumed.

I have been looking for a new purse and the other day I found this purse at Walmart marked down to $5.00, what a deal. I think I might try and paint it. Then I thought oh I like the purse what if I ruin it, but then it was only 5 bucks so no big loss but then I realized I have an old purse I can practice on first. So that is a project planned for the new year, One of many I hope. I want to start trying some of the new techniques I have been reading about all year. I have been collecting supplies so now I need to find the magazines in question and starting playing. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Feeding Ducks/ Gifts


I did go feed the ducks that day and this is what it looked like at my feet. It sure seemed like every duck for miles showed up. I usually like to do this on the holidays since no one else seems to do so. A little trip out in nature always seems to soothe the soul.

Here is a felted drink holder or pencil holder which is what I am using it for. Peggy sent it to me. The pencils were from Sarah, a nice collection of Caran d' arch watercolor pencil to add to what I already have.

This is a box of handspun yarn that my sister Peggy sent me. They are really beautiful, all sorts of colors and textures. I am not sure what I will do with them.

This is some fiber that Peggy sent me also first is some merino wool which is really soft and the second is romney and mohair. Its color is a really unique blends of greens and yellows.

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Enough of presents for now. After working out at ten I seem to have spent the rest of my day cleaning. I took the ham bone from Christmas dinner and put on a pot of split pea soup. It is starting to smell pretty good. I whipped up some whip cream for the last pumpkin pie. Yumm.

Sarah showed me how to use iTunes which works great. In order to upload music to my Mp3 played I still have to use Musicmatch which is a crappy program. After a couple hours I finally got it working and uploaded all my new music to it. sometime technology really is not my friend at all.

I got the new sewing machine set up. I couldn't manage to figure out the automatic needle threader though. I have a class on the machine on the ninth so I will wait till then to figure that out. I really want to take down the tree and put everything away but my daughter is protesting so I guess I will keep it up for a few more days. I am really ready to get back to normal and start working on things again. Its also time to come up with a goal list for 2007. I usually like to do that before the year ends. Last years goal was to explore my artistic abilities and I did start on that. I think its an ongoing process. This coming years focus will be on the book about my grandparents but there are other goals to look at too.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Day

I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas Day. This is what Santa brought me. I's a Janome Decor 3050 computerized sewing machine. I picked it out in September but was not sure I'd get it. I am a happy camper today. I haven't used it yet but its going to be very nice. My sis Peg sent me lots of fiber to spin. I'll take pics and share later. The sad news is that the sock I sent her are too small. I will need to have her send them back to me, take them apart and redo the toes I guess.

Sarah is sitting playing Final Fantasy XII, Dave is reading the newest Tony Hillerman book and I am downloading CD's into the computer. I got a Norah Jones and a Michael Buble' and Sarah got Evanescence, the sountrack to CARS and the original broadcast recording for the Lion King. Lots of fun new music.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone. Blessings to those who celebrate and those who don't. I wish you all a peaceful evening and tomorrow too.

We just had our Christmas Eve Snack of shrimp and cheeses and crackers. The blower on our fireplace started making noise, strange noises. That was good because Dave looked at it at we could have had a fire. We have a candle on the mantle and it melted through its side on to the top of the mantle, down to the metal fireplace insert and into the workings of the fan. There was a lot of wax to clean up but everything is still hot and smells of wax. We have the doors open to cool things off. It will be fine now but could have been quite the fire and quite the disaster. Lesson learned here, when equipment makes a different noise check it out immediately.

We went to see Eragon this afternoon. The baby dragon is so cute, I want my own. I had read the book and was happy to see it filmed. Saphira the dragon is so cool looking. The special effects wizards did a really great job on her.

Not much else to share, we're heading to town at 8pm to sing carols with a group at church. That should be fun, I really enjoy singing Christmas songs. This morning the Kids put on their rendition of the Best Christmas Pageant ever. It was really funny and the kids were so cute.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Snow Angels

When I went to lunch yesterday I snapped this picture. Its from inside the car looking towards the river.


I also tried to do a snow angel for all of you in non-snow areas of the world. It sorta looks funky so use your imagination.


I have pumpkin pies cooking in the oven so there is this wonderful smell in the house. Dave and Sarah went to town for who knows what so I am feeling a little lonesome. Once the pies are done I may just go to town and feed the ducks or do something. I envy all of you who are having big gatherings. I really miss that. I try to fill my time with events but it doesn't work for the entire time.

There was a drumming circle at the Unitarian church I attend, last night. There were about ten people so it was a small group but it was still fun. There was the little guy about 4 years old who just loved to drum. It was fun just watching him. We had an assortment of Native American style drums, african drums, rattles, rainsticks, an assortment of other noise makers. It was fun to hear all the sounds and just get lost in the moment. It appears they drum every month so I think that I need to make this a regular event for me. Drumming really is healing and I could use a little more of that in my life.


I started this the other night. Its some Blue Faced Leicester roving I dyed for myself. I am going to try to spin it really fine, do a three ply for socks.

I just looked out the window and saw these birds having a feast. I thought it looked cute.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

White Christmas


I'm dreaming of a White Chirstmas just like the ones I used to know. Well my dream came true as I woke up to snow, as long as it doesn't melt we may have a White Christmas after all. Can you see the snow orbs in these pics?


I went and got my haircut this morning, I just couldn't stand it any longer. It kind of flattened down being in the snow but I still like it. I'll post a pic later, I have been trying to shoot it myself and its not working very well.
I went and did my christmas dinner shopping. I decided to get one of those cooked spiral cut hams so I don't have to do much for dinner. It always amazes me that you can not get everything you need in one grocery store.

I'm off to have lunch with Ginger and then finish shopping for groceries and a few stocking stuffers. My back is much better today and I am so greatful for that. Yesterday I was in so much pain I was ready for one of those steroid shots again. Spending the day with a heating pad really helped. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Solstice

Its 2:42 pm today and the sun is already lower in the sky. Yes its definetely the shortest day of the year. Here is some info I gathered on the Net.

The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, and its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice. Hence the origin of the word solstice, which comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, “sun” and -stitium, “a stoppage.” Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter.

Symbolism of the Winter Solstice
Fire and candles are important to many pagan holidays.The Winter Solstice marks a crucial part of the natural cycle. In a real sense, the sun begins anew its journey toward longer days, times of new growth and renewal of the world once again. In a spiritual sense, it is a reminder that in order for a new path to begin, the old one must end and that spring will come again.

The winter solstice is the longest night of the year and is said to be when the Goddess gives birth to the God. From here on in the year, the days will become longer as the god grows into his full strength.

Fire and candles are important to many pagan holidays, but especially so for the winter solstice, as the God of most modern pagan traditions is associated with the sun. The winter solstice is a time of feasting and celebration. Often trees are decorated with bright ornaments, a tradition going back to ancient Germanic peoples, who held the oak and the fir tree as sacred. The Yule Log, candles and mistletoe are all symbols of the winter solstice.

Women Celebrating Winter Solstice

We had a symbolic letting go of sorts at my womens group meeting on Monday. We let go of things we wanted and then listed things we wanted to bring into our lives and tossed them in the fire. Tonight I think I will have a fire and Sarah and I will do something similar. I don't really have a tradition with celebrating the solstice so I make it up as I go along. I know that my Irish ancestors celebrated this so in some ways I feel like I am reconnecting with that Celtic past. That feels good somehow.


This is the handmade paper I got from my friend Nancy. Its beautiful, has small amounts of several different colors and textures. I can't wait to use it in some artwork.

This is the journal cover I got from Celeste. I think I may embellish it a little and add a strap to it. Its made out of Velveteen and has a lavender colored blank book inside.

Ornament Exchange

Oops, I forgot to give credit where credit was due, sorry about that. This is the ornament I got from Lisa Froggy in the ornament exchange. Originally I thought it was from Judi and that's what I posted previously. The Santa was made with paper clay, I think it is pretty cool and looks great on my tree. The misunderstanding came when Lisa thought it was to be a secret, I saw the return address and thought it said W,Virgina but it said Virginia so I concluded Judi but I was wrong. Anyways its a beautiful ornament that Lisa made. Now that is cleared up on to other things.

I rented Little Miss Sunshine last night, what a fun quirky movie, Sarah and I had fun watching it. The we watched more Heroes, she needed to see the first 6 episodes. She was excited when she could understand some of the Japanese that was being spoken.

I got a lovely card from my GPS sister Pam. Simple but elegant and fun, thanks Pam. I think it so pretty. I love it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cookies, Games, gifts

When I haven't blogged in a couple days it is like Oh where do I begin. On Saturday I had my second annual cookie party. Here is Amy's daughter Kristin mixing up a batch of Christmas cookies. I had a total of 4 adults and 2 teenagers. Fun was had by all. I never remember to take any cookie pictures.

On Sunday night I went over to friend Phil's house and we played games. The higlight was playing the Seven Deadly Sins. Its like trivial pursuit but to earn the center pieces you have action things to do. Some we pass on since they are very risque.

Kristin had to put something green on her face, Amy had to wear socks the rest of the evening. Phil pretended to be a cat cleaning his face and Sarah ended up doing a great imitation of Courtney Love. Lots of fun.

Here is Sarah having to lick butterfor the Seven Deadly Sins Game.

I was showered with gifts on Monday and that was fun. My sister sent me a doll she made, I got a belated birthday gift, a copy of Knit Lit Too, s compilation of knitting stories. Another gift of handmade paper, an inspirational CD from my friend Nancy. Then I went out with my friend Celeste for lunch and she gave me a nice lavender colored journal in a purple velveteen pouch and a book and kit on Tibetan Flags, where you get top make your own. Plus my sisters sent their Xmas package with goodies I have to wait to open. I'll get some pics up her later today.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wind rain but no snow

Sarah got home last night, it sure feels great to have her home again. Its very windy today, it has been raining for two days, I sure wish it would snow. I need some snow for it to feel like Christmas. Hey Snow Gods send us some.

Last night I went over to my friend Amy's house last night to bring a Christmas gift and let Sarah and Kristin see each other. They grew up together and one now lives in Washington and the other in Montana so they are rarely home at the same time. We ended up staying for dinner and playing games till 10:30. It was one of those fun days where the unexpected occurs. I need more of that in my life.

I had to take the pirate socks apart again. There was some really bad looseness way before the heel. So I ripped out the instep, heel and some of the leg and will start over again. Yes its frustrating but I think worth it. Now Sarah is here so I can only work on it when she is gone which hasn't happened yet. She wants to do everything with me. Oh well it will work out somehow.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Finally Socks


As you can see I have finished something finally. They are all packaged and ready to go in the mail today. Now its back to the pirate socks. I can give them to Sarah unfinished if I like so the pressure is off. Yeah............

Dave left about 6am to go pick Sarah up. I sure am glad I don't have to make that trip in one day.

I am meeting my friend Madeleine this afternoon to talk about grants and such for my new book project. I hope she will be able to point me in the right direction. At least it will be a start.

Six Weird Things About Me

I have been tagged to do the Six Weird Things About Me. This was hard, maybe weird is just another forma of normal for me.

1. I too will burst into song at the slightest phrase. That must come from singing a lot as a kid. On car trips we'd sing entire musicals.
2. I can quote entire scenes from Lord of the Rings and Hunt for Red October and other movies I seen a zillion times.
3. I too am directionally challenged. If I am unsure in a place where to turn I invariably turn the wrong way. I have been trying to work on this so I am getting better. It helps to have a daughter who always knows which way to go.
4. I can eat the same food like spaghetti for breakfast lunch and dinner or even every day of the week for dinner and not get tired of it.
5. I can go for a long time without cleaning my house, I am just oblivioius to dust and all that. I think my head is just up in the clouds. There are more imortant thing to focus my time on.
6. Some may think that raising your own sheep, spinning, dyeing and then knitting or weaving with it is weird but I think it makes me more interesting.

I am not sure that these are weird things jus the ones that I can think of that make me colorful or eccentric. Just think I am not boring on a car trip. Oh if you are reading this you are tagged.
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Shetland Rovings

I had the rest of my Shetland fleeces prepared by Spinderella and Shirley picked them up and brought them to me this weekend. They all sell for 25.00 per pound.


This is Emily, she is really an oatmeal color, she was my first sheep and always has a nice fleece.


I have a little of this years Athena left. Cyndi took the rest of it, this past weekend. It really is a beautiful shade of brown.


This is Juno, she is pure black, the only Shetland I had that never turned color.


This is Gabrielle, she is mostly white with some light brown throughout her. The picture can't seem to bring that out.

These is Athena's fleece from a few years back. It has quite a bit of hay in it but it falls out as you spin. The nice thing is its a beautiful chocolate brown color. Here is a sample of yarn from it.

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Wisdom from Tony Bennett

I saw Tony Bennett on Oprah yesterday and thought what an amazing man. I have heard him signing all my life and he is still going strong. He is over 80 years old and looks 60. One thing he said is that he has 2 creative pursuits, when he is burned out with singing he paints and when he is bored with painting he goes back to signing. Everything he does has a creative outlet. Maybe that is why he looks so good and still sounds as well as he did thirty years ago. I feel like that a lot of the time. By that I mean that whatever I do needs to have some creative potential or I am not happy. When I was working at the call center I could just feel it killing my soul. There was not an ounce of creativity involved so it drove me nuts. In order to survive I had to quit.

This a baby gift that Suzanne from my knitting group made. I thought it was really nice so I took a pic to share with all of you. It has a sweater, hat, booties and a blanket. It is going to a mother who is having a spina bifida baby.

This is a close up of the little hat. I thought it was so cute. Makes me wish I had a little girl again.

Dave is going to pick Sarah up on Thursday so I am glad I don't have to make the trip. It will be good to have her home. Maybe she help me get my Christmas Spirit.

I decided to have my cookie party again on Saturday to see if that helps. It was really fun last year. I invited a few people over and they all bring their own ingredients to make 3 kinds of cookies and then we all take some of each others home. We have a potluck lunch and I added Margarita's to the mix last year and fun was had by all. I wish I had a second oven to cook with. It slows things down having to wait to cook but we seem to manage somehow.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Weekend Visitors

My friends showed up around 4:45 fifteen minutes before Heroes came on so I subjected them to it. They liked it so well that on Saturday we watched the first 6 episodes since I had them on tape. I created a couple new fans. We had a couple days of spinning, knitting, talking, sharing and so forth. It was great catching up with each others lives. As usual the weekend came to a close too soon. My sciatica was really bothering me with all that sitting but we managed somehow. Now to get back to normal, that is always hard for me.


Here is Judy, spinning some alpaca on her wheel.


Shirley is spinning this gorgeous silk that she got from Lynn Snell. I kept threatening to steal it in the middle of the night.


Here is Amy, she had her usual jjob of seeing what kind of ice cream we wanted before she came over. We had her get Haagen Daz this time.. OOh it was yummy.


Shirley was knitting these cuffs onto store bought gloves for her grand daughters, They are the cutest. I just loved these red and white striped ones.

Judy made this bag that needs to be sewn up and felted and 3 pairs of gloves without fingers. I just worked on my socks. I am on to the foot of the second sock so I should be able to get them in the mail this week. Then I will be on to other projects.

Friday, December 08, 2006

This Coming Weekend

My spinning buddies Judy and Shirley are on their way up north to good ole Idaho as I write. I should really be cleaning up a little more, but you know its good enough. We've been friends long enough that they don't care what the house looks like, they come to see me. Its a great feeling. They are probably talking a mile a minute, who ever isn't driving is probably knitting on a pair of socks. I have about an hour before they are likely to show up. Then it will be party harty time. It is so wondeful when friends come to visit. Judy is bringing up the rest of the wool that I had Spinderella process. It will be interesting to see what my black and brown fleeces look like. I had her do 2 white, 2 brown and a black. I am anxious to see them.

My Doctor has told me to add cariovascul;ar exercize to the therapy I am already doing. It has been hard to do them both on the same day. I thnk that I just need to work up to it slowly. I haven't really exercized that way all year. I was really pitiful the first day.

The sun is shining today and we have a beautiful blue sky. Not a typical December day by any means. Maybe that's why I have no Christmas Spirit this year. Maybe it should just snow, that might do it.

When I drove home there were cows in the road. That's always a precarious thing, I mean do you drive around them or do you go and wait till they'r gone. I drove around there weren't any bulls so it seemed safe. They were my neighboirs cows too. I called to tell them but no answer, it makes me wonder how long they will be on the loose having a feast. Ahh life in the country, never a dull moment.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Light a Candle

Light a candle for my dear friend Lisa, her mom is about to make her transition and Lisa needs all our prayers and love tonight and in the coming days.

I lost my mom in December seven years ago and I can still remember the deep sadness. Send some love Lisa's way if you can. She's Lisa Oceandreamer on my sidebar.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My next book

Ever since the end of Nanowrimo I have been thinking about my next project. This is an idea I have had for some time, and its resurfaced again. To begin I need to give some background. I have my Irish Grandparents love letters that they wrote to each other from 1901-1910. Some of the time my grandmother was in New York working as a maid and my grandfather was in England working in the mines, other times one of them was in Ireland and the other in the US or England. They wrote for 10 years and did not marry until 1910. I have about 225 letters. I always thought this would make a good story. My thought on this evolved to the idea that I would like to visit the places that they wrote from, locations, like Dublin and Carrick on Shannon, Ireland, New York City, Wigan, England and Detroit, Michigan. My idea is to record my experiences about the places and intersperse this with their story and then the actual letters. I would add photographs of what is there now and try to find photos from the year they were there. To do this requires quite a bit of travel and financing that has always been a problem. Then I see the Secret and think maybe I can just attract the funding to me. I have decided to set this idea in motion and see where it takes me.

Meanwhile I see something on The Bold Soul's website she has a link on her site where people can donate funds to sponsor the writing of her new book. I didn't know you could do that so I added the link to my site too. I am pursuing different avenues of finding funding for this project. I am going to check out what grants may be available. I thought of checking with historical Societies and Irish organizations and maybe specialized publishers. I have a meeting with a friend next week who knows about applying for grants. So I will start seeing what I can apply for.

There is a lot I need to do before I need to really travel anywhere so I am starting to figure what I need to do first. In the past sometimes the project seemed so big that I got discouraged. Now I think I can organize it better into manageable parts. I need to get back to scanning in the remaining letters so I am not touching the originals anymore. They are pretty old and some are quite fragile. I have done about half of them.

I have thought about doing this for a long time but I think by using the Law of Attraction I will actually be able to attract the funding I need. I am really excited about getting started on this.

Artistic Expression

I finally got back to doing some Art. I made my ornament for the exchange and will pop it in the mail this afternoon. Also made some ATC's for Ang's Tea bag swap. I really can't show those until the participants receive them.

My spinning sisters Judy and Shirley come tomorrow, I haven't seen them since September so it'll be a great to spend the weekend with them.

A Wreath No More

I wasn't going to blog before I left for knitting this morning but due to a request from the other Kate, here is a short one.


I found this wreath in my basement with my Christmas stuff. It was in a box but not tightly sealed. It was made with pumpkin seeds, so I think there must be some mice downstairs that thought 10 year old varnished pumkin seeds tasted good. It was the cutest little wreath at one time.


Here is the wonderful Ornament I got in the ornament exchange, its from Judi in West Virginia. Looks lovely on my tree. It's sad to confess that I haven't even started mine yet. In fact I have no idea what I am even going to do. Hopefully inspiration will come soon. I hope to work on it tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

N ew Ideas, Heroes and more

This is the second day in a row I have been up at 5 am. I usually go to bed at midnight so this is not a good thing, Today I went back to sleep until 9. Wole quite groggily thinking I needed to get ready to go to my friend Celeste's house for spinning. Only to find out that it was next week not this week. Oops. I am glad I didnt dress and haull my wheeel onout to the car and show up on the wrong day. Now I have to take my car in to be worked on at 1pm. So now I have all morning and no plans. I really have plenty I can do but this free time that was planned has thrown me for a loop somehow.

Last night I had a great meeting at my womens group. My friend Ginger brought Champagne and we toasted my book, my friend Kaye, quitting her job and more. The evening was spent talking about the Secret and Law of attraction an bringing things into our lives. Very upbeat I loved it.

I get home about 10:30 and go grab the tape where Dave has recorded Heroes for me. This is my favorite show this year for sure. I put the tape in and just as Claire's father starts to tell her how he knows all about her abilities, the tape goes to all white static. ARGGHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It' s the last show this year, I am hoping it answers questions and just when I get to it nothing. You know it would have been better if it had taped nothing. No clue what happened or what. The good thing is the show is rerun on the SciFI channel, but man I wanted to know what happened then. Very frustrating.

Well now my friend C.J. calls and tells me spinning is on even though Celeste had not listed the date in the note she gave me. Now thats weird, oh well I guess I had better get dressed and moving then. I have my new book idea to share and a list of things I like I want to do. Maybe later today. Ta Ta

Monday, December 04, 2006

What I've Learned

What a title, now that I have said that I had better write something profound. I have seen other writers do a top ten so here is mine.

My Top Ten things I learned from doing NaNoWriMo

1. That I can actually write if I put my mind to it.
2. That procrastination is a fine art and I am a master at it.
3. That I can commit to something crazy and actually finish it. After not finishing the Knitting Olympics I guess I was more determined.
4. That after you do a big project like this, you find that you really can do anything. I mean if I can write 50,00 words in a month just think what I can accomplish in 2007. Look out world.
5. When you take your laptop out to write somewhere it really helps if you can't get on the internet.(see #2)
6. That there is not one book in me but several, and now they can't wait to come out.
7. That you can survive without cleaning your house for a month.
8. That when you can let go of expectations, wonderful things can happen.
9. That friends and supporters really make a difference, it was having people believe in me that made all the difference.
10. That I can accomplish great things, that I was meant to, and its time I did so.

Back to real life

After NaNoWriMo I headed back into Christmas frenzy mode. I have to get these socks made for my mother-in-law, and they have to be mailed so I needed to get moving. This sock is well into the foot so I hope to finish soon so I can do the other one. No I have not finished the pirate ones, they can wait as they don't have to be mailed, I keep taking those apart, so they are really slow going. Anyways, here is the sock.

I really like the color changes, I may to get some more of this yarn and make myself a pair. I would be able to do these faster if my tendinitis hadn't flared op again. It is so annoying when the things you love to do cause you pain.

I got most of my Christmas shopping done over the weekend, boughyt a tree and have it partly decorated. There is more to do and I also have to finish decorating the house. Two of my best buds are coming up from Salt Lake City for the weekend. We'll have another pajama party. That means we won't get dressed and we'll spin and knit and eat all day...aah bliss...

Then Sarah will be ready to come home Wed or Thurs of next week, so I'll be heading to Montana again. It will be good having her home for a longer period this time, but I wish she could get a ride. Its so nuts that there isn't even a bus out of Missoula.

I don't know what the temp is but its pretty cold out today. It must be single digits out there. I hate the thought of even venturing to town, but I must so I guess I will have to bundle up.