Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Wednesday Watercolors


I was downstairs working on some soap wrapping do dads....

...when I got the bug to take out my watercolors. It's been a long time.

Ages ago I was working through this book trying to take what I know about painting flowers and trying to translate it into watercolor. It's not as easy as it looks.

I've always been fascinated with painted flowers. My grandmother had a lot of china things that were hand painted by a friend. I inherited this one. 

Years ago  my mom and I took a tole painting class. It was all the rage in the 90's. I painted flowers on everything I could get my hands on.

Even ducks. That was acrylic paint and it's a whole other thing.

That loosey-goosey watercolor flower is certainly elusive and frustrating-but I'm not going to stop trying.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday


The bottom half of the cow pile is finished. I had to play floss chicken to get it done. 

That caused me to have to order some more of the green I was out of and that led to.......

....a new project. You can't just order some floss and have to pay more in shipping than the floss so something else always has to jump in the cart. I was looking for something vintage looking and something in one color. 

I didn't know when I bought it that it was inspired by the designer's 1853 Maryland house that was built by a George Matter. I couldn't find anything online about the house so I'll have to take the designer's word for it. It's a lovely sampler no matter the origin and although it's rather autumnal, I think I'm going to spend the summer with it. 

Monday, May 29, 2023

In Remembrance


Our little beach town takes Memorial Day very seriously. We have a large memorial park right as you come into town that overlooks the bay. They have lots of ceremonies there this weekend for all the branches of the service. Lots of wreaths get laid. We're spending the day as we've spent the last month or so....doing nothing special. The Mister naps, I knit. Life goes on. Thank goodness.

Sunday, May 28, 2023



Our Memorial Day plans got put on hold because one of my kiddos is under the weather. We had planned a big family get together this weekend but that's on hold for now so all I can do is get caught up on some neglected projects while I do some long distance fretting.  
Number 21 has its sleeves in production finally. It's been in time out for a long while. 

The Big Gray Blob will get a few more inches added to the body.

I've got to catch up with my Audun squares or I might not make my 6 block quota this month.

My socks are playing nicely for a change. I didn't think I would like this colorway but I do. It made me go on a Regia sock buying frenzy last night. One ball out, one ball in. The stash must be fed. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Running on Empty


After spending all morning running up and down the stairs doing laundry and taking Pup for her walk, the only thing I wanted to do for the rest of the day was to put my feet up and watch whatever dumb shows The Mister watches all day. Some days you got it and some days you don't. As of yesterday we're one month in and my energy and patience are starting to wear thin. As soon as The Mister gets the okay to resume normal activities I'm going to bed-for a month. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Off Balance


Pup and I are still taking advantage of our early morning walks while The Mister is in therapy. The weather has been on our side. 

Sitting and knitting with the sound of the bay hitting the shore is the best part of my day. I don't know how I could ever leave this place. That big water is the one thing that keeps me going. I still feel like that 8 year old kid in the back seat of my parent's car as we crested the hill where you can see the water for the first time. The way it just appears is like magic. I still can't believe I live here now. 

Back at home I have to fight the battle of the washing machine. The tech guy came on Tuesday, said the suspension was shot (no duh) and he'll be back in a week to 10 days with the parts. In the meantime I'm still doing laundry in the tub and coaxing the washer into the rinse and spin cycle that takes several pauses and readjustments to balance and re-balance each load. It takes all day. It's very annoying but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Soap Tales


It seems like ages since I made these last batches of soap. This was February 22 which does seem like a long time ago now. Needless to say, thanks to The Mister's earlier than expected surgery, this soap has had a nice long cure and it's more than ready to go to a new home. 

First up is the unscented batches. Plain Ole Goat and Oatmilk. Oatmilk is vegan, made with oat and coconut milk with colloidal oatmeal. It has little flecks of vanilla powder but it has no scent. 

My fruity scents are a zesty Lemon and sweet Blackberry. These are not the same scents of this type that I have used before. I used a new supplier for all the scents this time around. You can look up the scents at Nurture Soap if you are interested in a more detailed description of the fragrances. 

My spa scents are Awaken and Aroma Therapy. Awaken is very bright and slightly citrus. Aroma Therapy is a stronger scent of undetermined origin but it's not bad. It's got glycerin rivers running through it because I went a little extra with the honey which caused it to heat up. It's a nice bubbly bar because of it and I've been using it in the kitchen. 

The flowery scents are an enchanting Avalon and very regal Empress. Avalon has a very light floral scent. Empress definitely makes its presence known. It was made with silk infused water so it has a beautiful slip to it. 

The double butter soaps are Honey and Apple scented. They are very conditioning but not very cleansing because of the addition of all the hard oils. They are definitely a luxury bar. 

Last but certainly not least is my favorite Oatmeal and Honey bar. It has colloidal oatmeal in it which makes it silky and lots of honey that makes it bubbly. I always make a batch of this as it's my favorite. 

And.....I had one failed batch. Poor White Tea and Pear is an ugly mess. The scent did calm down a bit. If you like a strong, crisp scented soap that is a bit of an eyesore this one is for you. I'm not even going to wrap it unless someone wants to try it. The Mister loved it but he does love a strong scent. Me-not so much. 

So......if you want to re-home some soap send me your mailing details and top 3 choices. 
I'm Araignee on Ravelry. 
Or email me at
No strings attached.
When and what I send you will have to be a surprise. Things are still a bit crazy here.

Thank you in advance. Until I empty my shelves I can't make anymore and there's absolutely no fun in that. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wednesday WIPs


Look what I've been doing. When I take The Mister downstairs for his few hours of TV time at night I've been trying to get a couple of loaves of soap wrapped a day. 

It hasn't been easy. I made a lot of soap. I also have to deal with constant interruptions. It's either The Mister needing something he can't reach or some critter needing attention. 

Since I walk right past the post office every time I take The Mister to therapy a few times a week I thought I could drop a couple of packages off. Tomorrow I'll be back with the giveaway details but for now if you want to see your soap choices being "born" you can go to my sidebar and pull up the February posts. I was pretty much soaping all month among other things and go into detail about each batch.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Tiny Needle Tuesday


I finished Patchwork Printemp's last little box and I have to admit I'm bored with it. I could go on to the borders but I think I'll put it away until next spring. I've got the summer version of this waiting to be started and I think I'd rather be doing that right now. 

I've been tempted to put the Village Quaker away and put something more summery on this frame too but maybe not. I do like this one and I might like to see it completed someday. I finished the big side motif and a few random letters this week. 

Cow Pile has its mound to stand on. Now I have to do the border so I can figure out where all the rest of the vines and flowers go. I'll give this one until the end of June and then I'm switching to Hen Peck for its 4th of July theme. 

That last sail is done and I'm going to have to start figuring out the ship below. I have one big front sail to add and I've got to get it all to meet somehow. Since I'm working off pattern now it's going to take a bit of thinking and I'm not looking forward to that.

Monday, May 22, 2023

When Knitting Attacks


This has not been a good week knit wise. First Musselburgh turned out to be a disappointment then this. I am an obsessive matchy matchy knitter when it comes to socks and my latest pair of Arne and Carlo's Regia were a big flop. The one on the right has some kind of dye issue with it making big blotches where there should be a neat little blue stripes. No matching with that. Even The Mister said ewww when I showed it to him. It was a good thing I was knitting them both at the same time. If I had gotten that first sock done and then discovered the would have been so much worse. 

No big deal you might say since I was only an inch or so in but that inch or so took a lot of work to achieve. Let me explain using my next attempt with some different yarn. 

To get that matchy matchy thing to happen with one 100 gram ball first you have to split it in half. Wind, wind,'s mind numbingly boring. 

Then you have to wind it all up so it's all heading in the same direction and then two more windings to get them both into cakes so they won't roll away. Also boring. 

Then you have to make more balls as you search for a color pattern you can recognize and match up which is not always easy. By now your morning is shot and you've accomplished very little. 

After all that you still have to get it on both needles so you are starting from the same spot. I anxiously knit both cuffs in tandem while watching to make sure the color changes are happening at around the same time. No sock is perfect but it's good to be close. Hopefully this loosey goosey design from Arne and Carlos will be more user friendly than that last one. I'm not in the mood for anymore surprises. 

And.....if all that wasn't bad enough, my just off the needles Felici are not going in the gift box after all. After blocking I noticed that they have a pretty bad case of the ladders going up each side. That's what I get for using the Magic Loop when I am under stress. I either pull too right and make ridges or transition too loose and get ladders. I could say it is a design element but we know better. They'll go in my sock drawer and after a winter of washings they'll probably look just fine. That's three big fails this week and bad things usually come in threes. Hopefully the knitting gremlins are done with me for a while. I sure hope so. 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

From New York to London


The 1000 piece New York in Spring puzzle is done. I think I owe it my sanity. I haven't had the bandwidth to do much of anything but I did find a few minutes at the end of these terribly long days to put a few pieces in. 

I'm off to London next and I just may be heading to Paris after that. 

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Early Birds


The Mister had an 8 am drop off at physical therapy and Pup and I made good use of the time walking around town. She was much more calmer in her stroller. She walked, then rode off and on for about 45 minutes which was the most she's been out since The Mister's surgery. 

It was a beautiful morning. It was overcast and cool with a brisk breeze. The beach was deserted.

I had brought along the big gray blob to work on but that breeze would have blown it away.

We got back to the car with just enough time for me to get one more row on before I could hear The Mister dragging across the parking lot with his walker. He was surprised when they handed him another schedule with even more dates on it. It seems his knee needs work in order for that hip to stay where it should so we are now looking at mid July as a discharge date. As I've said's always something. 

And........Betsy wanted to know about my new vacuum. It's a Fykee. I found it on Amazon for $149. I was tempted to get an more expensive one but with my track record of things breaking I thought better of it. The way things are built anymore it's better to go cheap and replace them when they break. I learned that the hard way with the oven and my pricey countertop and I'm now learning it with the fancy washer. Nothing is built to last anymore. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

It's Always Something....


Look familiar? Those of you who followed me through the big mange adventure of 2022 know that I'm doing the laundry in the downstairs tub. When we all had mange I had to boil everything in these big utility buckets. We don't have mange again.....thank goodness but THE NEW WASHING MACHINE ISN'T WORKING. 

No matter what size of the load it goes off balance and rocks itself across the room at every spin cycle. So I've been washing the clothes in the tub and using only the short rinse and spin feature while standing over it taking everything out and adjusting it every time it bumps. I'm still dealing with The Mister's incision so I do a lot of laundry trying to keep everything clean. It's been a nightmare. We have a repair person scheduled for Tuesday. At least I had the good sense to take out the extended warranty when I bought this set at the start of the pandemic in 2020. 

On a happier note, I have to say I LOVE my new lighted cordless vacuum. My cats are shedding like mad and this little thing has saved my sanity. Does it replace my canister vac for deep cleaning all the little nooks and crannies? No, but it makes short work of tidying up. Another plus is that The Mister, who HATES the sound of the big vac doesn't mind the little hum this baby makes so I can pull it out all day long even when he's napping-which is a lot of the time at the moment.