Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Today is DD's last day before the holiday break, and in my mad rush to get everything done, I want to pass on some holiday cheer. Check out this tree. [I'm not posting a picture here in respect of copyright, but check out the link!]

I've been promising pictures of my lace-weight yarn, and here it is!

I got 945 yards out of 3.75 ounces (I suspect it was 4 ounces to begin with, but I had some parts I picked out because they were making me mad--much shorter staple length. Grrrrrr!) I'm fairly happy with it, but of course the test will be in the knitting. Now if only I could decide on a pattern....

The bottom yarn is some I managed to spin up, 4 ounces of some beautiful hand-dyed roving my Mom gave me for my birthday. It's not finished yet (need to wet it and hang it to dry). I really love it! I've got another package of the same stuff, and I'm looking forward to getting it spun up, too. I got 135 yards out of that first package. I think it was 2 ounces, but I'm not sure. I'll check later.


Sometimes I get reminded that I have little ears listening to everything, and maybe I need to clean up my language a little bit. For example, here's a conversation we had this morning:

DS: "Is it close to Christmas?"
Me: "It's VERY close to Christmas."
DS: "Oh my hell!?" under his breath.
Me: [giggling] "Sweetheart, how about saying 'Oh my goodness' instead of 'Oh my hell,' all right?" [Yes, I know I shouldn't giggle, but I do think it's pretty darn funny. Even when he does it in public.]

DH and I were talking last night about how he's very much a boy--he loves testing things to, and past, their breaking point. He wants a remote control car for Christmas (and has for months--ever since the summer, if you ask him what he wants for Christmas, it's always "a remote control" by which he means a remote control vehicle of some kind). He'll be four years old in January, and almost none of the remote control cars out there are made for anyone under eight years old, so I anticipate having a broken RC car pretty quickly. Sometimes he surprises us though!


I find it pretty amusing that three of the four people who commented about the ice storm video live in warm places! Thank you for your comments, ladies! It's supposed to be around 60 as the high here again, although it's chilly in the shade. Odd weather, that's for sure!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ice Storm Video

I ran across this video on the local newspaper site. Once you get through the insane line in the grocery store that's just up the street (the line goes all the way through the store), the video shows my neighborhood. They show the street behind our house in the first part of that section.

Today we spent some time chopping up limbs and making a huge pile in the front yard. I've dubbed it the beaver dam, and hopefully tomorrow I'll have pictures. It was snowing too much to have the camera outside, although thankfully none of the snow stuck to the streets. There are a few patches of black ice, but hopefully the (forecast) temps in the 40s tomorrow will get rid of that.

Have a great weekend, all!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hot water again!

Pretty, isn't it? (All of the pictures are clickable if you want to see larger versions.)

In this picture the icicles are hanging straight down, which wasn't the case for most of the icicles--the weight of the ice caused the tree branches to bow and finally break, and the icicles made interesting arcs.

Our yard looks like a war zone, and the falling branches took out most of our chain-link fence:

That's the neighbor's dog, who was quite interested in all the smells! :-)

Thank goodness the power is back on!

Our house is all electric--there is no gas line to the house. So when the power goes out, so does the hot water and the oven! No cooking, no warm water, no lights, nothing. The power company has done an incredible job of getting us back up and running. The kids are still out of school because about half of the schools here don't have power, but they're getting everyone back up pretty quickly. The original estimate was three to 11 days, so they're really pushing hard! Unfortunately there are still a lot of people without power.

This is the neighbor's tree that almost came through our back door--two more inches and we would've had a lot of glass broken.

It totally creamed our porch swing, and it takes a LOT of force to bend tubular steel! It was a graphic demonstration of why you don't want to be standing under a tree when branches start coming down!

The purple is an outline of the now very oddly-shaped porch swing. I have no idea how we're going to get rid of it. Hopefully the sanitation department will take it, although they usually don't take things like that.

Not much knitting has been done, mostly because this is how I had to do it:

After the power came back on I managed to finished the quilting on the harpiscord cover for my Dad:

I started it before the power went out, and it was just horrible to look at it and KNOW that I couldn't work on it until the power came back on. It was 8 yards of 60"-wide fabric. I managed to get it done in time for my Mom to throw it in her suitcase, throw the suitcases into the truck, and speed to the airport. It was a bit tight there at the end!

Luckily I was able to do some spinning during the brief time that there was enough natural light, and I got the blue sparkly lace-weight stuff done at last! I bought the 4 ounces of roving in May at the Snake River Fiber Fair, and it's taken me seven months to get it spun up. Pathetic! Pictures next time, hopefully.

I hope everyone is staying warm! If the storm is headed your way, go buy D-cell batteries NOW--the entire city of Tulsa seems to be sold out of C- and D-cell batteries and chain saws. Don't forget about non-perishable food, and a way to warm it up. Needless to say, once things are restocked in the stores around here we'll be buying some back-up supplies....

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Still here, but no power

We're still here and doing well, despite being without power (and therefor no heat or hot water) for a day now. Hopefully the power will be on later today or tomorrow, but I've heard reports that it could be up to 10 days. I certainly hope not!

I have lots of impressive pictures of tree limbs down, including one that almost came through our back door! Once the power comes back on and we can fire up my computer, I'll post some of them.

My DH's work has power all the time since they've got generators (part of the building has hospital facilities, so they always have power) so if all else fails and the temp drops too low in the house we can always come and camp out here.

I'd forgotten the joys of washing my hair in really really cold water. LOL!

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Paying It Forward

I signed up for "Paying It Forward" on Nurhanne's blog.

At first I was hesitant about signing up, because I thought that with so much going on in my life right now, there is no way I've got time to do something like that. Then I thought, hey, it's a whole year to send three things out, I can do that!

Here are the guidelines:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

It's a little open ended, in that there's not any kind of guideline as far as value, etc, but then again that's very freeing.

So, if you'd like to participate, be one of the first three people to leave a comment on my blog, and then make the same promise on your blog.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Why are we doing this again?

I just realized that in the chaos of everything that's been going on, I neglected to post pictures of why we're remodeling that bedroom:

This 14' longarm quilt machine is going to go in there!

I'm very excited about it. I'd stopped making quilts because I knew that I didn't have a chance in hell of quilting a bed-sized quilt on my Bernina sewing machine. I struggle with crib-size quilts, and there's just no way I'd wrestle anything bigger.

Here's another view, with my parents' trailer in the background:

They brought the machine (disassembled into long pieces) in that trailer from southern Utah all the way here!

And here I am, with the new machine:

I haven't used it much even though it's set up in the garage, because the garage is not the cleanest place in the world and I don't want to get things all messy. Not to mention that it's really cold here right now! I can't wait to get it moved into that room. My family might not see much of me once it's all set up. ;-)

It's not actually a "new" machine--one of my best girlfriends bought it about five years ago, and her back has deteriorated to the point where she can't stand for more than a few minutes, much less quilt. (It really bites. She's one of the most generous people I know, and I hate that she's in so much pain.)

And just because there haven't been many kitty pictures lately, here's one of Squiggy, curled up on the mud-scraping cleaning mat:

It just amazes me that he likes to sleep there! It's NOT the least bit soft.

Have a great week, everyone!

Light at the end of the tunnel

The floor is in!!!

And here's what we had left over:

Yep, that's one board. The scrap pile is quite small, too--maybe 10 pieces of boards.

And here's Greg putting in the trim around the new closet:

And you can also see the beautiful floor that continues into the closet.

And here's one of my projects in progress:

It's a shawl pattern I'm testing, so I don't want to show too much detail. I'm using some of the new KnitPicks' Harmony needles, and really liking it!

I'm exhausted so that's all for now.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Look what we did!

We've been working pretty hard on the quilt-studio-to-be, and we had a little help:

We cleaned and cleaned and cleaned the floor, and finally we were ready to lay down the bamboo flooring:

And here's the most awesome husband in the world, with 38" of flooring put down:

And a gratuitous close-up:

The tape is on there to keep the joints together while the glue dries.

We're SO excited! Hopefully tomorrow we'll get the rest of the floor laid, then we'll be able to start moving in the quilt machine. We'll probably break it down and leave it in pieces for a day or two, and put in the trim and doors. I hope to be able to set the machine back up on Sunday or Monday, and then look out, because I'm going ot quilt up a storm!!

Greg is talking about putting bamboo flooring in the hallways and living room, now that we've gotten over our anxiety over gluing it down. Look out, we're dangerous now!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Green is GONE!!

Before I offend anyone further (because I've been getting a lot of either "oh, that's such a pretty color, why are you getting rid of it?" and/or "I just painted my bedroom that color"--three people have said that), I should explain about why I dislike the green color my sewing room used to be.

When we first looked at this house, all of the rooms were decorated very nicely in well-coordinated schemes.

Then we moved in, and none of our stuff worked with any of the color schemes in the house. NONE OF IT. I've also discovered a few things about myself after living in a house with some very strong colors:
  1. I don't LIKE strong colors on all the walls--I don't like the way it changes the feel of the light in a room, and it makes it very hard to bring other non-neutral elements into a room;
  2. I (and my hubby) like to change rooms around with some frequency. Having a very strong color on the walls makes it hard to shuffle things around from room to room; and
  3. With the exception of blue, I don't like cool colors on walls. The green in that room was NOT a warm green and was quite gray, actually. I like warm colors on my walls, darn it!
  4. This room is going to become my quilt studio, and I need a more-neutral color on the walls. The light reflecting off the green walls was messing with things like thread-color selection unless I had my Ott light going or was near the window.
I find it incredibly ironic that the exact same color we've just painted over is THE color of the moment. I'm just so sick of looking at it not going with any of our stuff, and it's been entirely too dark for me. This is one of the more-accurate pictures of the color, and pretty much all that's left of the green color:

Oh yeah, except for this beautiful bit of painting (major sarcasm) :

Of course that's two layers of bad paint jobs, the dark green and the beige. I'll be taking a razor to the window and attempting to take off as much beige and dark green paint as I can. Or not--luckily the blinds cover the vast majority of it, which is probably why it's still there. If I don't see it, it won't drive me nuts.

As of this evening, here's how the room looks:

We've gone through two gallons of primer and we'll probably use most of a third bucket. The green color is really cold (as in the color temperature), and we want to make sure all of that cool undertone is gone before we start putting the new paint on there or else it'll look kind of grayed too.

The previous owners also painted the ceiling fan blades, which threw them totally out of balance. The fan couldn't be going any faster than the lowest setting or it wiggled and danced so badly that the end of the pull chain would go in huge circles and bang the glass light parts that I'm surprised they hadn't broken. I don't understand why people paint things like ceiling fan blades, light switches (not just the covers, but the switches), and outlets. I think the previous owners were allergic to masking tape or something, because I've seen no evidence that they knew how to use it.

We've ordered a new set of blades and they should be here on Monday.


My wonderful, and very generous, Aunt Louise sent a package for Greg and my birthdays. Here's a bad picture, taken after most of the chocolate candies have been enjoyed:

Be sure to click on the picture to see the beautiful jewelry and goodies.

We're just overwhelmed at all the goodies in this package! On the top of all of that was a bag with this luscious yarn:

I have no idea yet what I'll do with it, but there's enough to do a lacy sweater, probably! Pretty exciting!!

And I couldn't resist taking this picture:

Beautiful stamps, aren't they?

Thank you, Louise!


I could go on and on--I'm so behind in my blogging--but since we have lots more painting to do tomorrow and it's 1:00 in the morning, I'll spare you for the moment.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Busy busy busy

I'm still here, just very busy!

There's a LOT going on here, and I'll post about in a few differnt postings. First up, here are our "creep cakes" we made for Halloween:

I couldn't find my cake-decorating tips, so I was stuck using a knife to try to swirl the color I wanted where I wanted it. The kids and I had fun making these. My favorite is the zombie (third row down, second from left) with the brown jelly-bean teeth.

We finally broke down and bought a "Bag A Nut" device for picking up pecans, and I'm thrilled with how well it works! We haven't had to rake this year, and it's been a lot faster so far to pick them up.

The other huge project we've got going right now is remodeling the back bedroom, and here's a picture of the progress as of yesterday afternoon:

I can't WAIT to get rid of that green color!! It'd be one thing if our decorating scheme went along with it, but it really really doesn't. It's incredibly dark and I find it hard to live with. Yay for beige!

In kid news, Gillian lost her first top tooth and in addition to having a really cute smile, now she's got a bit of a lisp, too. The other top front one is loose, so it could get really intersting once it comes out, too!

What a couple of hams!

I've got a lot more to talk about and a lot more pictures to show, but not tonight--I still have to get the guild newsletter out and finish my swatches for the workshop coming up this weekend with Joan Schrouder.

Happy knitting, and hopefully more posting tomorrow.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Still here....I think

It's been incredibly insane around here. Good insane, but crazy nonetheless.

My parents were here for a little over a week, and now the real work begins--I have to clear out the sewing room for the quilting machine. That doesn't sound too bad, but that entails clearing out this room completely so that we can replace the floor and shift the closet to the adjacent wall. It's amazing how much stuff I've managed to cram into this room in the last three years.

So, yes, I'm still here, and hopefully I'll at least download the pictures from my camera and post a few of them in the next few days.

If I don't end up posting before Wednesday, have a happy, safe Halloween!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Still here, just cleaning and quilting

I've been having such a good time piecing the blocks for my current quilt project! As of this evening I'm 3/4 of the way finished with the top.

Here's how it looked about three and a half weeks ago:

And here's how it looks now:

I'm roughly three-quarters of the way finished! The picture above is a sideways view, and it'll have a border all the way around it in a dark brown/black fabric. The blue Post-It note (in the bottom left of the picture) will be the top left corner of the quilt. It's 13 blocks across and 16 blocks down. It's going to be a very large queen, but that's the size we use on our bed so it's a good thing. Ever since we got a pillowtop mattress the smaller queen-size quilts I have just aren't quite big enough to cover the sides of the mattress. What, moi, picky?

I'm really pushing and trying to get this finished quickly because my parents (who are bringing my quilting machine) will be here on Tuesday! I'm so excited! I'd hoped to have this finished before they got here, with some insane idea that I could quilt it while they're here. I'm not really sure why I want to do such an insane thing, but the idea stuck in my head and there it is.

I might actually manage to have the top finished before they get here but there's no way I'll manage to get the back done, too. I also have a back to finish for my Checkerboard Chains quilt top, but that, too, is going to have to wait. Maybe I can strongarm my mom into helping me piece the backs (insert evil laugh here)....

I've never been able to be terribly realistic with my project planning, but then if you've been reading my blog for very long you already know that.

The other insane thing that we've got going (that's "the royal we" at this point) is that I'm trying to get things moved out of my incredibly messy yet somehow organized-to-me computer/craft/beading/sewing/quilting/scrapbooking sewing room so that we can move the closet to a different wall, strip the popcorn off the ceiling, paint the walls, and put in laminate flooring so that this room can become my "quilt studio" with the big quilting machine in it.

I'm so overwhelmed by all the crap I've accumulated.


Thank you so much Opal, Andrea, Romi, Louisa, Dipsy, ClaireEJ, and Marti for the compliments on my Mom's Swallowtail Shawl! I'm not sure she's checked my blog lately (they've been busy getting ready to come here for a visit) so I'm looking forward to showing her the post and wonderful comments.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Look What My Mom Did!

I'm so proud of my Mom. This is her very first lace project:

This is the Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits Fall 2006. She used KnitPicks Bare yarn and dyed it a darker ecru color.

I''m so proud! We had a few phone consultations (they live in Idaho, I live in Oklahoma) but they were few and far between. I can't wait to see it in person!


I'm excited because my parents are coming for a visit in about a week and a half. Of course that means I've got to shovel out this room, but is desperately needs it and I need a deadline to actually get it done. :-)


Yesterday was my wonderful, awesome husband's birthday, and the kids were totally mystified that he didn't want a party, or a card, or--gasp--no presents, just a cake and a nice dinner with us. The three of us sang happy birthday to him, and despite Ryan claiming he didn't know the words (he's 3), he sang just as loudly as the rest of us. It was SO cute!


I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Spring Thing Shawl blocked

It's pretty pathetic when it takes me longer to get something blocked than it did to make the item!

Here's my finished--and blocked--Spring Things Shawl!

The color is off slightly--the yarn has a bit warmer green tone to it.

The yarn is Jaggerspun's Zephyr lace weight, in the color Basil. I used way less than one 2-ounce ball. I didn't think it was going to block out as big as it did, and I'm pretty happy with the size. It looked tiny when I bound off, which is probably part of the reason I didn't block it immediately.

I haven't worn it yet as it's been either too warm or too rainy, but I'll definitely bring it to guild on Monday evening.

Speaking of K.N.I.T. Guild, I should be working on the newsletter that has to go out A.S.A.P. instead of my blog. :-)

Thanks SO MUCH for all of the wonderful comments on my sweepstakes ribbons!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sweepstakes x2!

The Tulsa State Fair opened today and so I dragged my family (practically kicking and screaming in DH's case) to see if I'd won any ribbons.

It turns out I did on four of the six items I entered, including two sweepstakes ribbons!! I'm pretty proud, I have to admit.

Here's the Shetland Tea Shawl. I wasn't sure this was going to win anything since I had a bit of a tension issue on the border. I started a lot tighter than I ended but didn't realize it until I blocked it (two days before the entries were due). It still got a sweepstakes though so I'm thrilled!

The other sweepstakes was on my Augsburg doily, from a Lena magazine my Aunt Louise sent last year. I entered it in the "miscellaneous items" category because they had one for crocheted doilies, but not knitted ones.

I got a first place on each of my two skeins of yarn. In the pic below they're the blue ribbon on the left and the one just below it. The funny thing is that the ribbons almost totally cover the skeins! LOL!

This isn't mine, but it does belong to one of the ladies in my Panera group, Penny. I LOVE this sweater! She wore it to the very first K.N.I.T. Guild meeting she came to and that's how we all remembered her: "the woman with the beautiful fair isle sweater." Yay Penny!

My friend Kim (also from the Panera group) also got a ribbon or two in the photography section, but I didn't have time to really look for her pictures. I know she got at least one ribbon and I hope to have time to really look at the pictures later. Both kids were pulling on my pants, telling me they were hungry and WHY was I looking at all those pictures?!? Didn't I know they wanted to eat??

We also explored the livestock area (after eating), and found a totally different section than we'd been to last year. They had a large petting area with all kinds of exotic animals, including some Zebu (two different kinds), a zebra, a kangaroo, some caves (looks like a cross between a rabbit and a horse, kind of), an alpaca, two camels, some sheep, lots of goats, and some baby chickens. I'm leaving out a whole bunch of animals, but it was fun!

Here are the kids feeding the freshly-shorn alpaca:

And Greg helping Ryan feed a Jakob Sheep:

There were lots of goat kids and very pregnant goats, as well as some new lambs. The kids (ours, that is) had a great time!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Truck, Chairs, Fabric

Another highly descriptive post title. ;-)

First up, the "new" truck:

It's a 2000 Ford Ranger, and DH LOVES it. I'm not so fond of it but since I'm not the one driving it every day, that's just fine!


Today I went on a fabric acquisition expedition for some more blacks and light greys for my current quilt project.

The large brown bit on the right will be the borders, the ones on the bottom will be added to the darks, and the ones on the top will be added to the lights. The bright fabric on the top left is one my boy picked out and I'll probably add it to my fat-quarter drawer--I'm sure it'll be the perfect "zinger" in another quilt.

This quilt is just flying along--I figured out that it takes me 45 minutes to choose, stack, cut, sew, press, and trim 10 blocks. Not too bad! I've got 58 blocks finished right now, with another 10 to press and trim. The goal is just under 200 blocks for a queen-sized quilt so I'm more than 1/4 finished. Not bad for having started less than a week ago!


On our trip to get the truck we stopped at Ikea.

I LOVE Ikea and could spend hours and hours there. Luckily for my family, I managed to restrain myself this trip. We came away with two chairs, two trash cans, an easel and some finger puppets for the kids, and a set of dishes which are totally awesome.

Here's the easel in use:

It's been a huge hit with the kids, especially DD. Here she's drawing a pirate ship on the ocean, complete with sea creatures.

Here is one of the chairs with its slip cover:

There are two chairs but one is in the living room at the moment. They're very comfortable!


On the knitting front, I made some progress on the socks for Rebecca:

I'm actually much farther along than that, but I didn't manage to take any pictures today.

I'm a little concerned that they're going to be too big, so I'll probably hold off on going much farther until Rebecca can try them on.


Hopefully my next post will have some fair results, and it opens tomorrow afternoon and I'm dragging the family over there tomorrow night.