Follow by Email

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Crafty

I have been planning and crafting for a sale in a few weeks.  This is the first craft show I have participated in since I consigned some hand crafts to an art center's Christmas market many, many years ago.

I have been sewing and crocheting, making jewelry and planning my displays and hoping it all goes well and that I sell some things.  Wallets for holding tea bags, credit cards, business cards, little acorns made of cloth and stuffed into real acorn caps and my own invention, crocheted lip gloss cozies!
I also lucked into some lovely stoneware pedestal Coffee mugs.  I plan to fill each one with a tea bag or two, a packet of instant gourmet coffee and a few chocolates or cookies, then wrap them in cellophane and tie with a bow.  I thought children might like to buy an inexpensive gift for their mom or their teacher.

Here is a random sampling of a few of my craft items.  I'm pretty sure the picture is self explanatory.
As I said this is my first craft sale in years and years.  Wish me luck.

Quotable quotes; in the category Oh I Think We Can Safely Say I'm More Than A Bit Compulsive!

"You want to be a bit compulsive in your art or craft or whatever you do ."  Steve Martin

Monday, September 30, 2013

Taters

A while ago I blogged about my garden and specifically about potatoes.

I harvested my potatoes yesterday.  Not a bad return for a crop that required little more than cutting up some potatoes and tossing them into a tub full of dirt.

I figured since the greenery had long since died away the potatoes (if there were any) were ready to harvest.  I dug in with my hands and felt around.  Sure enough, there were some round lumpy bits in there.  A few were chunks of bark from some compost but most were potatoes.
I got spuds as small as large peas and a few of quite a respectable size.  I heard freshly dug potatoes are delicious.  Since we were having pot roast for supper I scrubbed a few of the smaller specimens and cut them in half (if larger than bite size) and tossed them into the pot with the simmering gravy.  I can't say as they were the best I've ever had but who doesn't love taters?  Not me!

I'm hoping I missed a few and will go tater digging again in a few days to see.

This may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship . . . with my potatoes.

Quotable quotes; in the category  Pooh To You!  What About The Ladies?

"What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow."  A. A. Milne

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Mad Doctor?

I'm still working on the first of the Golf Club Covers for a Chemist.  I have finished the part that goes over the club and am now working on the cuff that fits around the - - - stem?  handle?  whatever the thing is called that the head of the club it attached to.  The part the golfer holds onto as he swings the club and yells "FORE"!

I am about ready to start working in the white stripe and I'm putting it off because I hope to avoid a jog in the stripe. I found some sites that offer instructions to avoid the jog and I am using this one as my guide.  I guess I'm just afraid to jump in and get wet but if I dip my toe in I might find the water is fine so then I'll have to commit.  Isn't procrastination a wonderful thing?

In the meantime I researched my knitting books for charts for initials.  I did not find just exactly what I was looking for so I decided to chart my own.  I like the style of the letters and I think even the chart looks good.  I'll include the chart with my knitting directions when they're finished.

Quotable quotes; in the category Oh Lord, Why Do I Do This?

"The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course."  Billy Graham

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There’s Chemistry!

My niece has no qualms about asking me to knit for her.  I love to do it.  I love to knit, I have a huge stash of yarn (most or all bought either on sale or on deep discount clearance) and I love to give handmade things to loved ones.  She has asked for hats, scarves and most recently a headband/ear warmer, which is well in progress.  She sent a photo of one she found on line and I researched and found a pattern with a similar stitch.  It has wood buttons.  I asked the Big Guy to cut me a few slices from a fat twig and plan to bore holes in them to make custom buttons. 

I have pestered her for ideas to make something for her boyfriend/partner/possible future spouse.  He does not want a scarf, does not wear ties or hats and does not play Frisbee so a flying disk is out.  Finally she said golf club covers might be a good idea.  I researched patterns and found shapes I liked.  Then I started to get ideas.  He is a PhD student at Northwestern University.  I found a link to their official Pantone shade of purple (Pantone is a color coding system printers & designers use to ensure the proper shades of color are achieved).  Since the Big Guy is a printer.  I asked if I could borrow his Pantone sample book.  We took it to the craft shop to match the yarns.  I struck gold when I found the store brand was nearly a perfect match for the “official” Northwestern Wildcats Purple.  I purchased a skein of purple and one of white.
Driver Cover In Progress
Then I got the brainstorm of the century – boyfriend is a chemical engineer (I relish teasing him about being an engineer while completely ignoring the chemistry aspect of his studies).  I can’t tell who enjoys the teasing more, him or me - - - yes I can - - - last time I was with niece & boyfriend they both remarked that I wasn’t teasing him nearly enough.  I confessed that I was having a few personal issues and was off my game – but by the end of the evening I was back in good form and he was reassured I liked him enough to tease him unmercifully.

I got the idea to knit the covers in purple, with white stripes on the cuff to denote the Driver, the 3 wood and the 5 wood – and the brainstorm to stitch the atomic symbols from the periodic table rather than the numeral on the head of the cover.  It will be a private joke and hopefully he plays golf with non-chemists who will wonder why his covers bear the initials H, B and Li instead of 1, 3 and 5.  I am beyond thrilled and very, very proud of myself for this flash of genius, if I say so myself!

Since my yarn and needles are not the same as those specified in the patterns I have found I decided instead to knit the covers from the top down (which allows the knitter to establish & measure gauge as they go rather than having to create a gauge swatch in advance.  I cast on the approximate number of stitches (thinking this might be the middle size) and began to knit.  I soon discovered my gauge was such that this test piece would easily accommodate the driver (the largest club) and went from there.  I decided to make notes of my stitch count as I went along and turn the experiment into a pattern for my Ravelry page.  This post contains my initial efforts.  I'll post updates as the covers progress and will publish the pattern in when it's done.
Happy knitting and may you have a Bogey . . . or an Eagle . . . or even a hole in one!  I think I just had my personal best!

Quotable quotes; in the category If My Golf Score And My Bowling Score Were Reversed I'd be Great At Both!

"It took me seventeen years to get three thousand  hits in baseball.  I did it in one afternoon on the golf course."  Hank Aaron

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Early Harvest

I haven't posted much about my garden, mainly because once it gets hot I tend to stay inside and let the weeds grow.  Which they have.

A couple weeks ago I did pick several cherry tomatoes from a volunteer tomato vine that grew on its own.  The two tomatoes I bought at the garden store and planted did nothing, by the way.  The volunteers were deliciously sweet & juicy.  There are a few more out there waiting to be picked and enjoyed right there in the garden.

I also picked an apple off our tree.  It's about 2 inches in diameter with a golden skin and a rosy blush.  And a myriad of brown worm holes around the stem.  The apple trees were planted many years ago and if there ever were apples they were always destroyed by squirrels or fell to the ground before they were ripe.  I stopped wasting the effort to spray them for bugs long ago but for some reason there are apples this year.  I couldn't resist picking two, eating one and photographing the other.  Not sure of the variety but it's pretty, no?
The potato came out of the plastic tub which I planted with many potatoes from the kitchen that had sprouted eyes.  Rather than throw them away I planted them and kept adding soil as the leaves grew higher.  This technique is supposed to increase yield.  A few weeks ago when I dug in the earth I found nothing but then I dug again and found this little specimen, about an inch in diameter.  I've heard freshly dug potatoes are delicious and cannot wait to find a few more and add them to my supper menu.

So here we have the first fruits of the garden.  Hopefully there will be more.

Quotable quotes; in the category I Could Have Told Him!  It Was The Squirrel!

"Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why."  William Hazlitt  English Writer & Painter

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It's My Bag!

A while ago I posted about making my own paper gift bags.  See how I did it here.

While I made the previous bags from brown kraft paper, today I made a bag using wrapping paper.  When I unrolled the pink check paper to cut it to size, I discovered the reverse side was blue check.  I decided to use that as a design element.
I wrapped the paper around an appropriate sized box, glued it together, folded in the bottom to make it square and glued that (a little invisible tape helped).  I folded the top over twice to the outside to make the blue border (would have been easier had I folded it before gluing into a bag shape) and glued it down, leaving a space open for the handle.  Don't forget to remove the box!  It's only there to help shape the bag.

I cut a strip of paper the length of the handle and three times the width.  I folded it over on one side, with the pink check visible, then folded the other side in reverse to expose the blue check.  I tucked the ends into the opening in the top fold, glued it down and my bag was done!

To make the gift card I cut a piece of the paper about 2 inches square and folded an origami crane.  Cranes are said to bring luck and are often given as gifts to newly married couples and newborn babies.  Since this bag would hold a gift for a new baby I thought the crane was appropriate.  Learn how to fold an origami crane here.

I wrapped a bit of the blue check paper around a gift card and glued the crane to it.  There was just enough room to write on, and I tied it to the bag handle with a bit of pink ribbon.

I'm very happy with the way the bag turned out.  Here is what is inside the bag, tucked into the  pink tissue paper.  I blogged about making this bib & booties here.
Quotable quotes; in the category It Really Didn't Take That Long!

"The life so short, the crafts so long to learn."  Geoffrey Chaucer

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Baby Baby!

Boss has been having grandchildren this year.  His daughter gave birth to her first son, the first grandson in the family, in April.  Later this summer his son's wife will give birth to a daughter - their first and the 3d granddaughter in the family.

I, of course, wanted to give a gift for the new babies.  Something simple and nice and preferably handmade.  A few years ago at a previous job, several of my coworkers had babies just a few weeks apart.  I decided on washcloths, hand knit in baby colors, and presented with a bottle of baby soap.  They seemed to be very popular.  One mom declared it too pretty to be a washcloth and used it as a doily on baby's crib-side table.  Here is a link to the blog post I wrote about the washcloth pattern I made up and used.
This time, I had been blessed with a huge quantity of beautiful quilt fabrics.  I decided to make bibs for the babies and made matching booties as well.  For the grandson I decided on a rather subdued, if not masculine, fabric and chose plaids and solids in gray (I had already been knitting the gray booties and wanted the bib to complement the color).  They came out very well.  This is my favorite bootie pattern because, although the original called for angora yarn, I use regular worsted weight and the booties resemble duck feet . . . at least to me.


For the granddaughter I chose fabrics in yellow flower prints (mostly because the yarn I had on hand for the booties was also yellow.  Clever, non?)  I suffered over these booties.  Try as I might, and I tried three different but similar patterns, I could NOT get the stitches to line up properly to make that darling lacy & rounded toe.  I finally decided to be the boss of the pattern, forcing each round of stitches to line up where I knew they should and adjusting to make sure the lacy part was evenly spaced across the toe.  I succeeded and if I do say it myself, the booties are darling.


I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed making & giving them.

Quotable quotes; in the category I Guess That's Why We're Here!

"A baby is God's opinion that life should go on."  Carl Sandburg