Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Goodbye May!

 One more block down.

 June is almost done. I just have to finish a flower and then outline the whole thing. That won't take long.

Here's the mugshot so far. The year is really flying by!

Monday, May 30, 2016


Every Memorial Day I am grateful for the fact that I have never lost anyone to war.

Many family members have served but all have come back.

Our town puts on a big to-do down at the memorial by the Bay every year. The whole place is hopping at the moment. We turn into a regular tourist town this time of year.  You can hear the music and the fireworks as soon as the sun goes down. As for me and The Mister, we have really become old fuddy duddies. He's been cleaning out gutters and cutting grass trying to get ahead of the tropical nonsense heading our way. I've been glued to war movies on TCM.

My favorite war movie? Mrs. Miniver, of course.  Calmly knitting in a backyard shelter while your son is part of an aerial firefight that is raining bombs down on your house is my idea of a hero.

It never feels right to wish anyone a "happy" Memorial Day. It's too solemn an occasion for that particular greeting. What makes sense, at least to me, is to wish you peace.

And let's not forget....

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Soap

This is the last of the soap to be wrapped for a long time. I love wrapping soap and I hate it when I have a lull in the activity because I haven't made any in a long while. It takes six long weeks before you can test it and now I have to wait until the last bars are ready which won't be until late June. Sigh. I will have to console myself with this amazing Oatmeal soap. This is my favorite recipe courtesy of Delighted Hands. I throw in a extra dab or two of what I have laying around but the base is all hers. She was my enabler from the git go. Her posts on her incredible peppermint soap fueled a raging addiction.  Must. Make. Soap.

I did make more Mango Papaya this week because I loved how it smelled and hated how it looked. The original is getting cut up into samples and this semi-improved batch is going to a ladies lunch I have in July. I say semi improved because I still don't love it. I goofed up the technique when I forgot to layer the colors in correctly and then over mixed them. Oh, well...it's not terrible, just not what I wanted.

Here is the Blackberry Sage soap I made during the staycation. That top was almost too pretty to cut. The inside is not too shabby but my sage green turned gold. That's what is so addicting about all this. You never really know what's going on inside that mold until you cut into it. It's always a big surprise.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The End of the Solo Staycation

 The Mister should be home tonight for good. Maybe. All week it was a little of this and a little of that going on. I never could really settle down. Miss Babs got a heel.

 As did my Wool Aid sock.

 I'm really lagging behind in the spinning. I even went looking for a shawl pattern for this fiber to hopefully jump start my mojo but noooo....

 This weaving is so easy I could have finished it in a sitting but I didn't.

 I hate the loom being empty so I am going to take my time until I make a plan for more warping. I think I am going to do this pattern again using up all my leftovers. Maybe.

I did get to finish my latest Audible audiobook. I really loved the narration. Anton Lesser is excellent. Those 19 hours and 13 minutes flew by. Now I need a fun summer listen.

 Daddio''s quilt got a back but I'm not too sure my mishmash of stripes worked. We'll see.

 Gracie liked it. She gave it two paws up and rolled on it until I took it away. Now I'll have to remember to take a Benedryl when I go to work on it again.

I took the quilt top to Daddio last week. He said he didn't remember it. I even showed him where all the little stitches were where he pieced them all together but it was all a mystery. At least he remembered me.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Play Misti For Me

 My solo staycation is over for the next 24 hours. The Mister is home to regroup before he returns to his Mom's for the weekend. What we both really need is sleep but I'm too excited to sleep because my  new toy is finally here! It's a Mini Misti stamping tool and it is fabulous.

I can't stamp worth beans and this little doo hickey takes all the worry out of it. You just put your card in it, arrange your stamps where you want them on the card, close door, open the door, ink up the stamp which are now stuck on the door, close the door and voila....if it isn't perfect, you can ink the stamp up and shut the door again and it stamps right on the exact same spot. Brilliant. I love it. It was worth every penny and it cost a lot of pennies.

No more ruining a card you just made when the final stamping goes wrong.

 Speaking of new things, I also picked up this adorable fairy stamp at AC Moore last weekend. I had a lot of fun coloring it with my fancy blending markers.

Here is the last of the May cards from the kit. I am expecting the June kit any minute now. I'm not kidding when I say I am stalking the mailman. I've also got a regular stakeout going on with the mailbox because the 10 card video tutorial is already out on YouTube and I'm itching to get started.

Someone asked in the comments about soaping tutorials and in case you didn't see my reply, Soap Queen TV on YouTube is where you want to start as are the tutorials on her blog. The Soaping 101 videos are also excellent for learning the basics. Be warned: once you figure out your lye supply,  you will be cleaning out your cupboard of kitchen oils before you know it. Saponification is highly addicting.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Solo Staycation Day 2

 It's been one extreme to the other around here. Either it's cold and wet or it's hot and humid. Now that the sun is back it's pretty miserable out there. I am also sad to report that the bugs are back. I'm an itchy mess just from going to the mailbox this morning.

 I have got some knitting done on Son's second gray cardi attempt. I finished the fronts at 3 am because The Mister's old dog can't sleep without him. She whines all night and wanders around looking for him.

 I just put on TCM and watch whatever old movies they have on all night. I doze on and off on the couch, needles in hand in between dog wrangling. My Featherweight Cardi is coming along.  A few more color blocks and it will be time for the sleeves. You can't get better TV knitting than this.

 Aubade is morning knitting. I can't see in the dark to work on it. I just finished the last row of the next to the last lace section before the border. Now I have 9 easy rows of stock knit.  It's 578 stitches around that sucker so it's still going to take some time.

I made soap at 7 am because I could. No one's going to wander in and ask for coffee. I can make all the mess I want. That's more Blackberry Sage. I loved it but I gave it all away so I made a big loaf this time.

 I did work on the quilt backing again. I decided to use up more of Daddio's stash by making more strips and use the same technique to make a section that I will turn the opposite way.

At least that's the plan. I am so tired from being up all night that my brain can't handle the math on that at the moment but I think it will work. Maybe. I need a nap.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Solo Staycation

 Look at what I found in the yard yesterday.  I  transplanted a hunk of green stuff from Daddio's last summer and something came from it. I'm amazed. I think it is a Siberian Iris. It's very small with lots of ornamental like grass surrounding it. Mom had a giant clump and I took a hunk, stuck it in the ground and forgot about it. It's a good reminder that life does indeed go on.

I found it when I was trekking up to the mailbox. Look what I found in the mailbox.

Oh, my. This is just gorgeous. When you are working with colors you can't have enough shuttles and bobbins. I can't tell you how many times I have picked one up to buy but put it back down when I looked at the the price tag.  I can't thank you enough BlueLoom. I am practically speechless.

 The Mister will be gone most of this week to do some Mom sitting while the rest of the family is off on vacation. She'll be 97 next month and is still in her own home. While he's away I'm planning on doing whatever I want. Not that I don't usually but it's different when someone's always looking over your shoulder.  First up is the quilt backing for Daddio's tumblers.

 I used to keep Daddio out of mischief by giving him things to do when I wasn't there. One of those things was to cut strips. We had boxes and boxes of them so we made rolls out of them by sewing the ends together. Some we used for weaving, some for quilting. This roll is just what I needed to make a backing.

 I used the Jellyroll Race technique that I saw on YouTube. It wasn't as much fun as they made it look but it did work up quickly. Here it is pre-ironed. It reminds me of those broom skirts. Remember those?

 You take the roll and sew one end to the other and keep on going that way until it's all together. The colors line up sometimes but that's part of the fun.

It's not quite big enough so I'm still going to have to add a border but for the most part this is done deal-and it's only day one of my staycation!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

More Rainy Days and Mondays

 It rained all weekend. It rained yesterday and last night. Today we are supposed to get a break in this incredible streak of wet weather. I'm not making any bets.  I did finish the edging on Daddio's tumbler quilt while I was sitting inside trying not to go stir crazy. The photos are dreary but it's the best that I could do in the dark.

First, I want to thank the two tools that made all this possible. Without the glue or the needle threader I'd still be slaving away. The glue made piecing go so much easier. I did still baste with thread but at least I didn't have to fight with the edges. As for the needle threader, I hate to admit it but I can't see well enough anymore to thread a needle light or no light. I bought a bunch of these and I'm putting one in every sewing basket.

 The part I hate is the the removing of all the paper pieces. I'm always afraid that the whole thing is going to come apart even though it never does.

 It still is quite a job. Daddio catches the edges of the paper every so often so you have to be careful.

There they are all ready for the trash. You could recycle them but I don't. I have tried ironing them out and using them again but it just doesn't work for me.

Ta dah....now I have to go figure out a backing. It's got to be as wild and crazy as the front so this may take a while.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Good Times

 Last night was the end of the year party for the skating team.

The rink was nice enough to donate 45 minutes of free ice time for us to play on.

 We had a potluck in the party room going on at the same time. That means lots and lots of sweet stuff.

 There was some healthy stuff but....

 ...lots more of this kind of thing which is more than fine by me.

The team gave our coaches flowers. Aren't they gorgeous?

 We gave the kids trophies and team photos.

I got a trophy too-and lots of thanks from parents who appreciated how hard I worked for all those gold medals we won this year.  Everyone wants to know what we are doing next year and even though I know, I'm not telling. You don't want the competition to know what you're up to.

I would say it's going to be nice taking the summer off but you see that theatre camp date? That's when I have to have the stuff ready for next year so we can start rehearsals.  I've got a lot of work to do. As usual, I've got something really big to make.