Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yarn Along

It's Yarn Along time again! Ginny has a new arrival at her house, so I don't know if the official Yarn Along is happening, but I am actually knitting and reading so I'll post mine anyway.
I posted about the sweater earlier, but it looks a little different today, since I had to rip out all of the short rows for the body. Somewhere between my drug-addled and illness-addled brain there was not a lot of accurate counting going on.
I have all the correct numbers now, so I should be able to carry on well from here.

The Elder and I have been reading Anne of Green Gables at bedtime. We started it a long time ago, but it went missing (ahem, under her bed, like mother like daughter) so we were reading other things.
This weekend saw the cleaning of the kids' bedroom, however, so we found the book and we picked up right where we left off.
There is magic in this story of simple people in a small town in Canada. The language never fails to enchant me. Lucy Maud Montgomery's descriptions of Avonlea and the surrounding woods and seasides are so vivid. I forever find myself daydreaming about Prince Edward Island and a little cottage near the sea. I hope that the Elder finds as much beauty and joy in Anne's story as I have.
Are you reading or knitting anything fun this week?

121-151 of 365

Long Weekend

I had an audition on Thursday, and I felt a little tickle in my throat. I didn't do as well as I would have liked. Friday, the tickle turned into a full-fledged Super-cold and I spent the majority of the weekend nearly passed out on the cozy chair watching movies and knitting.
Did I have to feel this way on the weekend when my husband took off extra days to spend with the family? Of course. Or when we might have finagled a babysitter and gone to the movies together? Guess so.
Oh well. I'm on the mend now, and I should be better by the end of the week if my current progress is any indicator.
On the plus side I didn't have to work, and the pace of the days was perfect. We spent a little time at the playground, I slept, we went as a family to see Kung Fu Panda 2 (much fun), the Elder and I planted veggies in the garden, I took a nap, we sat and watched the world go by, the kids played in the sprinkler, and I knitted. A lot.
As I was browsing through Ravelry the other day I saw this pattern and I just knew it would be perfect for the Thirteen Mile yarn that I had in my stash.

It will be impossible to keep up my knitting pace what with work, and parenting and volunteering at the new church community garden, but I got a monster start on this since Friday, and I have confidence that I will finish it before it's cold enough to use it.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gifts for the Students

I have been volunteering in my daughter's class (and the class down the hall) since the beginning of the year in a great program called Rocket Readers.
About a dozen parents and grandparents descend on the class once a week for a half-hour, each take a couple of kids and then the kids read to the adults.
My Rocket Readers have made such incredible progress this year, but it's easy to see just how much work it is to teach 1st grade.
These kids are at so many different levels!

Today is the final day, and a party, and I made a bookmark for each kid.
A long time ago, at least a decade, I saw a Good Thing on Martha Stewart's show about embossing velvet ribbon using an iron and rubber stamps.
I am not a stamper, but one of my previous jobs was assembling rubber stamps for a very small independent stamp manufacturing company (when I say very small, I mean it, we worked out of the owner's living room) and I have a small collection of stamps that I liked and kept around.
My favorite designer was Hattie Lace - and I see that you can still order her stamps through Inky Antics which was the business where I worked!

Anyway, if you place the velvet ribbon on top of the rubber stamp
and then iron through the ribbon for about 15 seconds
the stamp will crush the pile and you have an embossed ribbon!
(alright, I know, that's not the same color ribbon, but I was taking kind of erratic photos. I got a phone call in the middle)
Easy-peasy lemon squeezy.
I have a set of alphabet stamps, so I put each kid's name on their bookmark.
The last step was trimming the top and bottom of the ribbon with pinking shears.

A totally easy and fun project that the kids can use for a nice long time.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday, so that means it's time for Yarning Along with Ginny!
These books are both finished, The Elder and I are participating in a Mother/Daughter Book Club with some of her classmates and the book this month is Clementine by Sara Pennypacker. We finished it last night, and I was surprised how emotional I got when I was reading it.
Fun story, interesting characters, and well-suited to a first grade reader.
The other book is Cleopatra A Life by Stacy Schiff, which I read when I was on my Mother's Day weekend adventure. I haven't Yarned Along since then, so I thought I'd slip it in here.
Really interesting story.
I'm knitting some sweaters for the Elder, the first one I made I ran out of yarn, so it's a little skimpy, I decided to try it again with different yarn, but she chose almost the identical color.
What are you knitting and reading today?

Monday, May 23, 2011


Our favorite climbing tree is in bloom and when we were at the park today I was reminded of these photos of the Elder I took when she was 5.

Today's blossoms weren't as spectacular as two years ago, mostly due to the stormy weather we've been experiencing lately, but the tree was still quite lovely. I was happy to have my camera along so I could take some photos of the Younger at the same age as his sister in the same tree.

That sweet filtered light is one of my favorite things about spring.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lovely Day

Well, we certainly have had our ups and downs weather-wise this year, but today and the last couple of days have been perfect.
Something about the colors in the sky and trees makes me want to take this photo every day.

Something about the smell of the air and the feel of the grass beneath my feet keeps this song running through my head.

I don't know how anything else can compare with mid-May in Minnesota.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Knit for Japan

Ginny from Small Things - the host of the ever-popular Yarn Along Wednesdays - has put out a call for knitted hats to send to tsunami and earthquake stricken Japan.
Join me in knitting a hat or two, won't you?

Hats can be mailed to:

G. Sheller
P.O. Box 9114
Fredericksburg, VA 22403

Thank you to Ginny for organizing this.
Even if it's only a little thing that we do, it can make a big difference in the lives of someone who has lost so much.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger Interrupted

Sorry for anyone who commented in the past 2 days.
Blogger was down, and things were lost.
I don't know if the rest of you felt the same as me, but it was a tough 24 hours there.
How was I supposed to keep up on what everyone is sewing, knitting, photographing, baking, cooking and otherwise doing without access to my blog-list?
Not to mention the work blog I couldn't update.
It's all back on track now, though.
Blogger as usual.

My Legacy

I realized this morning that the most important lesson I have been teaching my children since their birth is that it's perfectly fine to procrastinate.
This may not be the ideal legacy to pass on.
Maybe they'll see how frazzled I get when there's no more time and decide to learn by the opposite of my example.
This afternoon is the birthday of a friend of the Elder and I realized last night that we didn't have a present for her.
So, this morning the Elder and I looked through the Wee Wonderful's book and she chose a doll to make.
The Elder chose the fabric and we cut the pieces out together and worked until I had to drop her at school, I finished the rest on my own and then I'll drop "the package" off at her school before she jets off to the party.
She chose this doll,
but I didn't think we had the time to finish a yarn hairdo, so I took inspiration from this doll.

I was having a block about cutting two circles that were the same this morning, so I sorta copied the eye shape of this doll.
She came out alright, for being born at the completely last minute.

I have a feeling that the Elder's friends aren't going to want handmade dolls for much longer, so I am happy to make one if she asks me to. She actually ran the sewing machine for part of the doll today as well. I think she might be ready for some in-depth sewing time.
Maybe she can help me make the project that I planned for the Kids Clothes Week Challenge (which I have cut out but have made no further progress on.)
What's on your work table today?

Monday, May 9, 2011

What I Did On My Mother's Day Vacation

I woke up early enough to watch the sunrise every morning.

I rode 3 planes, 7 trains, a bus, a van and a boat.

Spent an afternoon listening to the waves and collecting rocks and shells.

Walked approximately 377 miles.

Caught a glimpse of a movie icon
Well, his bakery (sort of)

I had a delightful time in the Garden State and I got to share it all with my baby sister!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Waterfowl, a Haircut and a New Hat

Yesterday I spent some time with the Younger at my alma mater watching the amazing variety of water birds at the Dew Drop Pond. He had his hair freshly coiffed at the local child's hair emporium and he fit right in with the mallards.

The other thing putting a smile on my face lately is this little lady and her new hat.
I found it at a rummage sale on Monday, thinking she might like it for dressing up, and she's worn it everywhere since. It goes well with the Easter dress, no?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Time Spent Creating

Yesterday I had a creative impulse that would not be ignored.
Despite having 3 active projects for 3 different work environments, I just could not help but go forward with this frivolous project for my couch.
About 3 months ago I found a large wool remnant in our bin at Treadle Yard Goods, and though I had ambitions of making a coat for the Elder, the idea soon came to me that it would be the perfect throw for our couch.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, it's still pretty chilly in the evenings, so we've been using this throw blanket every day when we watch our Top Gear re-runs together.
There has been a small pile of felt sitting on the side table for almost as long as we've had the throw, waiting to be an embellishment of some sort.
I had an idea of flowers and leaves, but I finally, just yesterday, settled on circles.

I took some bowls and glasses from the cupboard and traced them on the felt, then I attached them to the blanket with a running stitch. I also rounded out the edges of the fabric, which were looking a little rough.
Nothing Earth-shattering, just a fun bit of fun.
This may seem like procrastinating, which I suppose it is, but I have decided that time spent creating can never be wasted time.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

91-120 of 365

I didn't manage every day this month, usually April is the least consistent of my 365 projects.

Tra La!

Happy May!