Saturday, February 23, 2008

What! Something New! Heavens! It's Needlefelting!

My feeble attempt at needlefelting. This is my first project. I was not sure how to do the face at all. I have art experience, and I do woodcarving. But this is different. I am not a sculptress. Is that a word? I spell checked it-it is. I wasn't sure how to put the eyelids on, but I guess it looks okay. Am I being too fussy with this whole thing? How about that pug nose? The pumpkin has green eyes, by the way. Made sense to me at the time. The teeth were hard to do. I broke one needle in the process, and that left me with only one needle left. So I can only say my experience is limited. I am going to try one more thing tomorrow, and we will see how that turns out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Beauty Is All Around Us!

Wow! I just looked out my window this morning to see what had happened in the weather department. I saw all kinds of fluffy, blobby things stuck in the tall grasses around the pasture and in the back. I knew that they were frozen spider webs, but it looked like cotton from a distance.

Each one of the spider webs is different. It is truly a work of art. It is LACE all around us. If anyone has ever wondered about spiders, they are with us everywhere. There are thousands. It is easy this time of year to look for spiders in the yard. It is a fun thing to do with kids at night. Take a flashlight and hold it above your eyes. You can also use one of the kind that fasten to your head on a band. And just look around. The light will reflect off the eyes, and there they are! It is so amazing! I do not recommend this if you are truly afraid of spiders. It will only increase the paranoia.

So let's look at all the beauty around us. It is functional, it is creative, it is one-of-a-kind. It only lasts a short time, but the weaver keeps working at her craft. It is also three-dimensional!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Plot Thickens!

This is the product of my imagination. I will not show you photos; it is too embarassing. Have you every read a book where the police have to go to someone's home and look for a missing something? And don't you always wonder what the police think about the person's place. I mean- on T.V. they always say things like, "Wow! This place is really something!" or "This place is a dump!" It is scripted language for the plot and for the audience. But what do real-life police think?

I really think about things like this. It takes it way beyond your mother telling you to always wear clean panties in case you are in an accident. I was just looking around my studio space today. I have the almost-dried gourds hanging on a wooden clothes dryer thing in one space. There are green and drying gourds still on the floor in other spaces. There is my spinning wheel and its nest of fibers around it. There is my sewing area. There is my computer area that I am sitting in right now. There are piles of flannel for the flannel blankie I am sewing around the sewing area. Oh-and I have my telescope.

In my "living room" area, I have all my knitting stuff piled up. I was kinda looking at that last night and wondering if I need to sort that out. I didn't.

So-in walks this policeman or woman. First, he or she or them see the kitchen. It's a kitchen. Sometimes messy, sometimes okay. Then either they go into the messy living room or the messy studio space. "Wow! This place belongs to a really interesting person. She has really neat stuff!" or "Wow! This place is sure crammed with a lot of junk!"

The only time I ever do anything about these thoughts is when I go out of town. I always put clean sheets on the bed, I put clean towels in the bathroom, I always clean up the kitchen and refrigerator, and I try not to leave too much dirty laundry in the basket. I will even wash the kitchen floor if I have time. I will vacuum if I have time. But only if I have time. It always makes me feel better knowing I left my house in good order, and when I get home the house is straight and the bed is ready for me to collapse. And I always wear a clean pair of panties.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

First Comes The Fog-Then Comes The Rain!

So remember this? Well-Ain't We Purty Now? It spun up to a 2-ply approx. 357 yards. It is soft, soft, soft, as merino should be soft. It is Spring-y and Happy yarn.

This morning I woke up early to get ready for the Spinning Guild's meeting. This was part of the drive there. It only got worse as I drove up to the top of the mountain. There was no visibility there. So here we are. We had a brief business meeting. No one seems to pay any attention to what is going on with the business. I think it is funny that this looks like a serious group, but as soon as the meeting part is over-

We party. We chit-chat, we visit, we give pointers to each other, we try to catch up with each other's lives- you know, the usual activity when spinners get together.
Oh-and we eat. It was a good spread today-two quiches, some sausage balls, some kind of fruit bread with cream cheese, and clementine oranges. Yummmm!
So-home again, home again, jiggity jig. I called CJ because she did not come to the meeting. It is a long way for her to drive, but she usually tries to come anyway. My intuition was right. Her mother-in-law's two dogs had a major dog fight, and one of the dogs managed to pull an eye out of the other one. These are little tiny pomeranians-mind you. Not pit bull fighting dogs. They live with CJ and her husband. Her mother-in-law was beyond hysterical, and CJ's husband scooped up the wounded dog. CJ drove them to the vet as fast as she could. It is now recuperating at the vet's hospital. So prayers need to go out to the tiny little thing. She is a mean little dog and has a bad temper, but now she is paying for her mean attitude.
It has been raining really, really hard for a coupla hours now. There is occaisonal thundering going on. This is the weirdest weather. I just never know what to believe any more when I listen to the reports. It is just that kind of day to sleep and read and wear a wool sweater and sockies. Sigh! I just want warm, sunny days again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Walk In The Woods!

The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year, Of wailing winds, and naked woods and meadows brown and sear. William C. Bryant

We wandered down to the ravine behind my house. This is the little creek-low at this time. It was a pretty day. It was very windy and chilly up in the pasture, but once we dropped down below the first bench, it was calm. I couldn't waste a good day, and we had a nice time wandering around in the leaves. At least there are no ticks out right now!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Finished Objects-Whodathunkit?

Cutie Pie Socks-Done! And Mailed! Love them, Love Them! Charade pattern with picot edge on cuff.

Inside-Outside Hat-Done! Elizabeth Zimmerman double hat idea-Tienie's modification-and my own idea of Fair Isle patterns. I tried it on- Cute, Cute, Cute. Easy, Easy, Easy to knit! It's a quick weekend knit. I used Nashua Creative Focus yarn; it's an alpaca/wool blend. Very warm!
I did this for a friend, but I love it! Uhmmm!

Went to Monday Night Knit Group yesterday. I went in early to talk to Joy and Colleen. Joy is going to visit family and she was seaming the CUTEST little girl jacket for her granddaughter's Easter outfit. She found a precious dress to go with it. The jacket was her own design. I hope she will put a picture on their blogsite.

It has been raining a little bit, cold has set in again. I know it is not as cold as the northern states. I think the polar bear could just go to International Falls, and then it wouldn't be extinct. They evolved from a brown bear and adapted to their new environment. Why can't they just de-evolve back to an inland bear? Anyway- Baby says- "Keep your nose covered and fluff up your hair!"

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Something's Blooming!!

This is witchhazel. Isn't it something? It blooms in the woods on streambanks from late January to around March. It lasts so long because the blooms close up when it gets really cold, and then opens when it is sunny and warm on the blossoms. One of my neighbors brought me this bunch yesterday. I love the smell. It is a sweetish scent, and it is very recognizable. I was very pleased to get such a big batch. I usually only get one or two sprigs when I go hunting it. I remember a road trip when I saw witchhazel on both banks of the nearby stream. I rolled down the window to get the full sensory explosion of scent and sight.

The neighbor also brought me a flat of eggs, and some of them are double yolked. Good neighbors are wonderful, aren't they? I shared half of them with another neighbor that is unemployed. We can share around here. It is nice.

We had a dusting of snow this morning. It was the kind of snow that stings the face when the wind blows real hard. Not like the soft, wet snow we had last week.

There were multiple tornados yesterday, but they were all east of here. I think 13 people died here in Arkansas.

I am ready to go back to the warm weather again. I get antsy in late February and March. But this year I am antsy now. It is only a tease when the weather warms up like it did over the weekend. The sun is trying to peek out, but the clouds are prevailing. Sigh! Two more months of this. Yuck!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Frigging Tuesday!

"Voting is the least arduous of a citizen's duties. He has the prior and harder duty of making up his mind."Author: Ralph Barton Perry

I am sick to death of all of the candidates-Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. I think they all are trying to get on my last nerve. Hopefully today will answer some questions for some folks.

I have had all the socialization I need for another week or so. I was asked by a friend to take her mother to the doctor yesterday. She paid for the gas and a little bit extra. So I took her to the doctor and was home by 12:30p.m. I was content to veg out until I would head out to the knitting group at 6p.m.

My older brother called and was on his way to my house. I think this is a joke. My brother never comes to visit me. I live in the boonies. He, of course, took some side trips on the way, and a three hour drive took five hours. He was impressed with the vistas, the mountains, and the remote-ness of my abode. It was really nice since we had a record high of 75 degrees yesterday. Every Spring Peeper was out croaking their little hearts out.

Of course, with the thaw comes MUD on the road. The snow and ice melted on the roads, and the ground was thawed a little bit. So MUD! And he was driving a white car!

But we got to catch up on a lot of little stuff. We ate at a Thai restaurant in the nearby city, and we got home to sit in front of the internet and drink tea. We watched the Hilary town council and talked through most of it.

This morning a neighbor wanted to know if I knew where another neighbor was. I told him he was in Texas, but would return tonight. He then asked me a coupla other questions, and I figured he was trying to make sure I was alright. I told him my brother was visiting, and that was the extra car in the driveway. "Okay, I was just trying to make sure you were alright." My brother was amazed that anyone would even notice that. I told him we are a pretty closed group up here, and anything out of the ordinary makes some hill people a little bit wary. We don't chitchat visit one another, but we check up on one another.

The red-tailed hawks are mating. Sunday I saw Mr. Hawk in one tree by the pond. He was thrilling a song I was not familiar with, and it made me watch. Ms. Hawk flies up and he flies to another tree, and I barely can see he has something attached in a fork in a branch. He lands near it and looks towards her. She flies over, looks it over, and turns her back to him. She said something to him, and flew to another tree. So he does what anyone would do, he ate it. Never let a good meal go bad. Then he flies to the tree where she is. She turns her back to him again, and then flies to another tree. I finally got tired of the silly game she was playing.

As soon as my brother's car was out on the muddy road, I heard the shrilling cry of the hawks. I guess they were waiting until the coast was clear to continue their silly courting game.

I keep watching for the foxes. I hope they come back again. I haven't heard them down on the creek in the holler. I sometimes will hear them talking at night as they trot up and down the holler.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

May We All Tell Our Ancestors Thank You!

I think it is most interesting to be reading many blogs that are participating in a tribute to Bridgid this weekend. Many people find her an interesting ancestor to our own spirituality as women. I find it highly interesting that the Spectrum knitting also was launched on Feb. 1. This year Lolly is interested in "the elements", and the first one for Feb-March is Fire. And who is connected to fire? Yes, dear ones, Brigid.

So please tell your women friends, mothers, grandmothers, mentors, and even your ancestors before you, Thank You!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Snow Is Melting! The Snow Is Melting!

This was the beginning of the snowfall. The woods are outside my back door. There is a steep bluff just beyond the treeline. Ms. Bear and others live down there. But I go down to the creek often during the wintertime. The ticks and chiggers are too rough for me in the summer.

This is one hour later. You can see how fast it was falling.
So this morning I got out the cross-country skis and headed for the pasture. I was eager to get out and see everything before the melting started.
I know this is not a major snowfall compared to other parts of the U.S. But I liked it enough to venture out to the pasture on my skis. Buddy, the horse, galloped and snorted and thought I looked too funny for him to trust me. He recognized my voice, but was puzzled by the skis, the hat, the scarf, and the poles I used. I also had on a pair of snow pants that are water-resistant and make a funny swishing sound when the legs rub together.
I finally made my way out to the road and went to visit a neighbor. The road was packed snow that had frozen and was slick. I had to be really careful and made it to his door safely. Afterwards I fell down going down a tiny little slope that was too slick. My behind is a little bit sore. Don't forget we have lots of rocks around here. I didn't have time to practise my lesson on how to fall properly. And there really wasn't enough snow to cushion the fall. So homeward I went, and away went the skis until next time.
This is my next spinning project. Isn't it lovely. I bought it from Whorled Peace on Etsy. It is superwash merino, and it spins really easily. I love nice roving. And the colors are lovely. I split it out and wound it onto little balls. I hope to preserve the way she dyed it. But then when I started spinning it, I remembered when I ply it it will be an interesting assortment of colors. I think it will be really nice when I finish it. I'll let you know.
I also made some templates for a log cabin quilt block. I am going to make it with scraps and any old colors that I like. It will be a real "scrappy" quilt, and I will show you as I go along. I think I can just make blocks as I have the materials, and it will be another one of my lifelong projects. Like the mitres.
Back to spinning. I love this roving. She did an excellent job with the dyeing.