Friday, August 31, 2007

3 Days Later........

It's taken me 3 days, but its done. The office/craft room is clean. I can't believe it took me that long!!! However I can see the floor and most surfaces. The clothes and fabric and paper and towels and trash are picked up and gone from the floor. The dust and cobwebs are gone. I can actually breathe! It is my favorite room in the house now, probably because its the only CLEAN room in the house. Why is it that when you devote time to a project (like cleaning out a room), everything else falls apart!

I didn't take before and after pictures, but I do have a picture of the cats that sort of shows the state of my fabric.

I took this picture to show how Hemi and Tiger are getting along (which of course as soon as I took it a cat fight broke out), but if you look at the background you can see some of the bookshelf and also the fabric (and towel) on the floor.
this is what it looks like now.

SO much better! I'm hoping that since it looks this good, it will be easier to keep up. I can only hope.....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Vacation in a Box!

In the movie Total Recall, you could go to a place to have a memory chip implanted into your brain to give you memories of a vacation you didn't go on. A VIRTUAL vacation.

~OR~

You could have signed up at Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap, get a buddy who would send you cool things thru email, and then send you a box FULL of really cool stuff.

The second way is SO much better!!!!! How do I know? Because I got my virtual vacation in a box TODAY!!!


Janet lives in Alaska and sent me a BUNCH of goodies!! First up, she sent me lots of brochures, flyers and post cards of my *time* there!



Look at all the places I went!!! Then I went shopping! I hit a couple of quilt shops and I got some REALLY cool fabric too!!

The rugrats are already fighting over who gets which one in their quilt!

Ok and look what else came in my box, MOOSE DROPPINGS!!! The edible kind!! LOL They look yummy and will be eaten later tonight when I will be able to eat and not share! Some great smelling soap, some lip balm (oh so nice), a moose cookie cutter, a star ornament, another ornament that is VERY interesting (it's holding a ball of yarn, but she said I am to put an orange in it when I hang it up), three thimbles, some yarn and a 2008 calendar (I LOVE this!)

click on the picture to make sure you get a good look at everything.

Now lets revisit some of the items, shall we? Those three thimbles. When I opened the box up, I only saw one. She tucked the other 2 inside the yarn for safe keeping! Glad she told me or else I never would have found it until I worked with the yarn! Ok those thimbles, one is porcelain/ceramic with the Alaskan state flower on it, the other one is like a Russian doll (and its made out of wood). The third one is especially unusual. It's made out of seal.

The natives make sure that they make use of everything they have, nothing of the animal is wasted. The trick is to keep it away from the cats.

Then there is the yarn. Ah, the yarn.

100% superfine alpaca grown on Alaskan soil. Luscious stuff!!!

And to round things out, we did a trip to the beach in Homer.

Some shells are similar to what we can find here, while others are different. Plus the sand is much darker and coarser than what we find on our beaches here.

Janet, thank you SO much for the wonderful trip to Alaska. It just makes me want to come and visit that much more. And now that you've seen what she sent me, stop by her blog and say hi. She also has a link to a virtual vacation tour(w/o the stuff, sorry but it's all MINE!) that is really cool!!

Hide and Seek Gone Awry


Princess: SHHHHHH Don't tell Tiger where I am!


Tiger: SHHHHHH Don't tell Princess where I am!


Princess: Found you!!


Lucy: Can't a girl get some privacy around here?!?


Princess: I thought she was playing!


Hemi: They'll never find me here!!!


Hemi: ZZZZZZZZZ

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekend Update

In true Florida fashion, as SOON as I sent Saturday's post, we got slammed by a storm. Nature just wanted to prove me wrong. It rained for abt 20 min with a fantastic light show, but then it was all done. Apparently, though, when I watched the news last night, we were one of the few places that didn't get like 3" of rain. We got less than an inch. Still, its better than nothing.

Today the weather is similar. This is what I see when I look out my back window.


And this is what I see when I look out my front.


And it's getting worse. Amazing huh? Again, true Florida fashion. The crazy thing abt where I live, I'm in the center of a cluster of lakes, and for some reason, it can be pouring down rain within a mile of me on all sides, but I can be dry. I guess its my mini lake effect.

I'm still slowly working thru my craft room. Today I was working on one of the bookshelves with all the photo albums. Its hard to get them in order w/OUT looking thru them, and since I've been taking pictures from the late 70s, its taken me all afternoon to organize them!! But it was fun looking at pictures I haven't seen in a long time and the albums are now in order. I've also thinned out some of my cookbooks and sewing books. I looked thru my quilting books, and even though I dont do much quilting anymore, I can't part with any of them. I still have 5 shelves to go thru, but I won't get thru them tonight. These are the worst of the bunch and I think I'm going to wait until the kids are in school and I have a few hours of uninterrupted time before I try to tackle them.

I did do some stitching earlier today, I'm working more on the window frame. I'm starting to get sick of the brown (more browns!) so I put it away.

But this is a lot of the window sill and a good foundation that I can start to move to other portions of the pattern w/o having to worry abt throwing my count off.

I also worked on my knitting last night. One more repeat for my shawl which means I'm just over 1/2 way thru. I've got 42 repeats done.

The fact that I'm 1/2 way there really gives me incentive to get this finished. My goal is Oct 1st.

And I've been working on my football socks. I REALLY like working on them in phases, it makes me feel like I'm really making progress.

I lost one of my needles last night. I think its under the couch, so I'll be getting my workout tomorrow as well!

Oh and remember the stormy sky from the beginning of this post? It's come and gone, dropped some rain and added another fabulous light show. The old saying is true; if you don't like the weather, give it 5 min. It will change.*

*unless its hot. THAT stays forever!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday Sky

There was a LOW in the Atlantic Ocean that was going to bring us lots and lots of rain. We had some yesterday and we had a 50% change of rain today. With that in mind, here is what my sky was like for most of the day.


Around 5pm it started getting cloudy and we heard thunder; and apparently it *did* rain when we went out to dinner since everything was wet when we got home, but it didn't last very long. It's really sad when you watch the weather and hope a tropical storm forms so that we get some desperately needed rain!

Project updates: not much. I haven't touched my cross stitching, I did a couple more repeats on the shawl, I'm starting the heel on one of my Dolphins socks and just finished turning the heel on the other (I have to say working on both socks at the same time is pretty cool and makes me feel like I'm making a lot of progress!), I washed some fabric to make Baby Girl a dress to cover her leotard when we go to ballet, and I'm trying to find the pattern I want to use for my new niece. Why is it when I'm looking for something else I ALWAYS come across it, but now that I need it, its no where to be found. I know where the yarn is and I dont plan on moving it. I'm afraid if I do, I won't remember where I put it!

It's 7:30pm on a Saturday night, the kids are watching a movie, the IO already went to bed, and I'm on the computer trying to motivate myself to do SOMETHING. It's SATURDAY NIGHT for goodness sakes!! Maybe I'll play in my craft closet for a bit. It's possible the baby pattern is hiding in there somewhere.....



Princess says: We're such party animals here at Happy Acres.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kitty Thursdays


HELLO!


They aren't looking, are they??


~~sniff sniff~~


MMMMFFFF


GRRRRPHF!


ahhhhhh


There's nothing like koolaid flavored wool.....

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Something New........

I spent last night and the majority of today going thru the craft closet and bookshelf trying to find a new cross stitch to work on. While I'm going thru my stash, I realized something. The majority of my projects are BIG. Bigger than 8x10 big. Very little of what I own is small. Some of the stuff I pulled out was put back in when I looked at the finished size. But I finally settled on a few things to work on.


Bent Creek's Kitty Cat Row was inspired by StitcherW. When I saw it on her blog, I remembered that I had it too and knew it wasn't TOO big. I need to get some specialty floss and the fabric for it so its on hold for now, but I hope to start it soon. Instead I decided on Seasonal Scenes to be the first thing to work on.

Even though it feels like summer, I started the one for Fall. I figure by the time I finish it,it will be Oct and fit perfectly in with the season. Every space is stitched so I went with a 16ct aida in antique white. I have a lot of 14 and 18 count, but 14 seemed too big and 18 was just too small. I even started it tonight!
By the time I'm done, it will be 5x7, something MUCH more manageable than what I have going now. I can see myself working on this a lot.

While I was playing in the closet, I of course had a helper.

....which begot another helper.....

It's been interesting since the rugrats went back to school. Without them here, the cats are a bit lost. Poor Hemi sticks to me like glue!! The other cats go out, but Hemi is still too young to go out so he gets so lonely and will not leave my side. I got smart today, though. I kept all of them inside and they played with each other. Wore the poor cat out!! Hemi did sit next to me while I was going thru leaflets, but at least I could still do that. Its a pain when I'm on the computer because he wants my complete and total attention.

I don't see a problem with that.

And before anybody thinks I've abandoned my needles, I did do a 4 row repeat on my shawl. Ten more repeats and I'm half way there!! Something else that will hopefully be done by the end of Oct. I've been in a bit of a holding pattern because my SIL is pregnant and I've been waiting to hear if she's having a boy or girl. Well I just found out tonight that she's having a GIRL!!! We are all so happy for her. She has 3 boys now and a little girl would be a nice change. I had a project picked out in case it was a boy, a cross stitch that quotes a scripture of how lovely it is when brothers get along (obviously I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea) with 4 teddy bears in an old fashioned baby buggy. I'll have to put that one away now. Instead I can work on the PINK sweaters I was hoping to knit up! I plan on 2 sweaters with matching hats and socks. The baby is due at the end of Jan, a week after Baby Girl turns 6. That gives me 5 months......

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Neverending Projects

I was working on Queen Ann last night and after I finished just one strand of floss, I had to put it away. Way too many greens. Ugh. I need to start something new. All of my xs projects have been around for a LONG time. The biggest reason, they are big and involved and I get tired of working on so many different shades of the same color. It makes for a beautiful finished project, but a very tedious stitch. Here are my before and after pictures of QAL.



I started Ann (she's been around so long, we are on a first name basis) back in 2000. Bag Ladies and Maggie were started in 2001 (Maggie was the day after 9/11. I figured if we were all going to be blown to bits, I needed to at least start her). Too Pooped is the baby of the group, but even he's been around for over a year. I need to find something else. I mentioned the Kelly Kats but those are mostly black. Which means I need to take a stash dive. I'll keep you posted as to what I come up with......


Lucy: Does this mean you will go into the forbidden closet?!?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Listen to the Quiet

Do you hear that?? Neither do I. That must mean that it's the first day of school!!! WOOHOO!!! #1 Son started 3rd grade and Baby Girl started Kindergarten. They were up and dressed in record time (too bad this doesn't last all year long!) #1 Son didn't want us walking him to his classroom, but Baby Girl did. She settled in right away, no fuss no muss. She knows two girls in her class plus she got the same Kindergarten teacher that #1 Son had so she was good to go. In fact, the entire classroom was doing really well considering this was the first day of Kindergarten. I think its because the majority of them had siblings that already went to that school, so they were familiar with the surroundings. Only a couple of kids were sad, and it wasn't THAT bad. It was very calm and peaceful in the classroom which I think makes the first day start off on the right foot. And yes even though this is my baby girl going off to full time school, I feel fine. I'd be a mess if she was upset abt it, but since she is handling it well, so am I. I know she's going to have a great time and I'm really happy for her. For the both of them. Plus I'm REALLY liking the quiet!!
Here they are as we're walking out the door.


Here is Baby Girl with her teacher.


As we were driving to school we saw this!


We see them alot when we go to school, but I never have my camera with me. Here is another shot. It's hard to take pictures out the side window while you are trying to drive! LOL


Even though its hard to take pictures while you are driving, there is something to be said having the camera with you. Yesterday when we were getting last minute items and haircuts for school, I saw something I've never seen before. It was a Chevy/Ford van decorated in a most unusual way. It was covered in pennies. Yes, PENNIES!! Bright shiny pennies!! But that wasn't all. It had antler horns on the top of the windshield, mounted like it was on a wall. And the back had a bust(Y!) woman that had a crown like the statue of liberty, but she was holding a microphone and her mouth was wide open like she was singing. And did I mention the big chest?!!? I was amazed and SO wish I had my camera! I even did a google search AND a flickr search to see if anybody had taken a picture of it (the license plate was from Kansas so it's been thru a few states), but I came up with nothing. There was a van covered in pennies, but it was a different model and there were no antlers or lady coming out the back window. I think I need to knit up a little cozy for the camera so that it can live in my purse and not get scratched up for moments like these!!!

And on a final note, let's all pause for a moment of silence.

It was just a matter of time.......

Sunday, August 19, 2007

40 Year Old Eyes

They say that once you hit 40, your eyes start to go. Apparently this is true because I'm having a hard time working on my linen projects. I pulled out Queen Ann last night and boy was that interesting! I may have to buy those $1 magnifiers from CVS to make looking at the linen easier. Once I got used to the small fabric, it got a bit better, but when I looked up at the TV and focused on that, it took a couple of seconds to re-focus back on the fabric. It just shows me that I should have done alot of my linen projects when my eyes were younger. Then again it doesnt help that it's 32ct belfast linen either. I think I need to pull out some Monaco 28ct evenweave. Something a bit bigger and more uniform will probably help. Plus I want to pull out my black kitties, Kats by Kelly from Calico Crossroads. My plan is to make up a few of these and put them in a wall hanging. I saw this once at a quilt show and thought the Kelly kitties would be perfect for this!

In knitting news, I finished my red scarf for the Red Scarf Project.

Teddy shows a truer version of the color. Its more of a maroon/burgundy than a red.


This was an easy scarf, I used the Mistake Rib pattern (k2p2k3) and kept knitting until it was longer than my tape measure. The yarn was Reynolds Utopia, #187. Its a pretty decent acrylic, machine washable and soft to the touch. That will go out by the end of the month.


Did I sleep thru Saturday's sky?!?
No, Hemi. I just wasn't home long enough to take it!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday update

I have tried to write an entry for the past 1/2 hour and have wiped out at least 8 different posts. So there will be no witty banter today. No clever conversation will be found.*** The brain apparently isn't capable of it today. Instead it will be just the facts, ma'am.

I've been working on Too Pooped the past few days and I wanted to show the progress going on. It has aLOT of blacks, browns, tans and greys so I can only work on it for so long before I have to rotate it out. So w/o further ado......


I got one leg done and wanted to complete the other, but I needed to take a break from the blacks and greys so I moved to the tree and worked on the browns and tans instead.

I think the next project will be Queen Ann's Lace. She hasnt been worked on since May.

***I like to dilute myself into thinking that normally I DO have clever and witty conversations. Just humor me and we'll all be better off!