Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Happy Friday Everyone!  First I want to stop and ask that we all take a moment and remember all those that have died defending our country and way of life.  Both are precious and are made more so by the sacrifice they and their families have made.  I offer my heartfelt gratitude!

Now onto yarn business.  As you can see, I am slowly but surely making progress on my sock.  I really want to get the leg of sock done so that the next time I meet up with Mel, I'll be able to learn how to do the heel.  I'm still very pleased with my progress, but I am such a SLOW knitter. I know that I'll get better with time, but for those of you who haven't figured this out already, I'm not the most patient of people.  This is been a wonderful lesson in knitting and patience.

Before I leave you for the weekend, I wanted to share some pictures with you that I'm quite pleased with.  If you've been peaking in on my blog for any length of time, you know that I am not the greatest photographer so when I take a good one, I'm particularly tickled.  These are some pictures from my weekend with the girls that I think are pretty good. Please keep in mind that Mother Nature is a beautiful subject :)

This is the lichen that was growing on the fence.
I don't know if you can see the calf, but there is one there nursing.
Beautiful horses and beautiful mountains.
Stone Mountain, NC.  I've climbed this mountain numerous times.  The views are amazing!
Some pretty flowers.  The next one if my favorite.....
I just love the vibrancy of the yellow.  

I hope you've enjoyed the pictures as much as I enjoyed the trip.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Mine will be a lovely three day weekend and I'm wondering if I can convince Car Guy that spending a day home on the back porch knitting is actually a wonderful way to spend the day.  Wish me luck!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Not What I'd Planned

Today's blog post was going to be all about the pretty pictures I took in the mountains over the weekend because I wanted to show you how beautiful my home state is, but that ain't happening.

Last night was "Hookah" night. So off I went up to Panera's to hang out with my wonderful yarn friends. We had missed each other terribly because we missed a week.  Lot's of catching up took place by looking at pictures of Annie's craft room that got new cabinets (soooo jealous!),  looking at the lovely yarn porn that Melanie bought on her recent trip (Again, so jealous!), looking at the progress Dawn has made on her rug (so pretty!) and meeting a new yarn buddy Jennifer (Hey Sweetie!). It was so fun to sit and enjoy a couple of hours with these ladies and to learn.  I'm so excited, I'm about to bust! Are you ready?  Here it is.......

The beginnings of my first sock!  Yea!! There's not a lot done on it, basically just the ribbing, but it's a start. I have to give a HUGE thank you to Melanie.  Her patience and guidance have been a huge in I probably would have given up in frustration without her. There were no tears, but I did contemplate throwing everything across the room in a childish temper tantrum.  As I told another friend, the magic loop is not so magic for me.  But we're getting there!

Just because I'm so excited, here's another picture. Isn't it pretty? Please say yes, if for no other reason than to humor me. I think I drove Car Guy and  My Boys nuts last night because every time I'd finish a row, I'd have to show them and ask them what they thought.  There was an awful lot of indulgent eye rolling - Yes, I saw it! But seriously, I'm just beside myself!

I understand that sock making can be addictive and there is a lot of truth to that because I want to hurry up and finish the post so I can work on it as I'm at lunch right now. I swear it's calling to me!

I want to wrap up by thanking everyone who stops by for a visit, leaves a comment and shares the love.  You've helped make keeping this digital diary a lot of fun! Have a wonderful day!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Back to Reality

Hi Honey, I'm home! I have to tell you that coming back to reality stinks!  I loved coming home to Car Guy and My Boys, because I actually did miss them terribly, but Laurel Springs, NC is beautiful country!  

I went up there with my friends Sue, Amy M. and Amy B.  We actually stayed at Tilley Farm which belongs to Amy B's husband's aunt. Isn't it gorgeous?  I just love the old farm house and Amy said she thought this one is about 100 year old. At one point I asked if the farm needed a caretaker.  I told Amy that I don't need much....just enough to send My Boys to college...It was worth asking, believe me. There is no TV, no A/C and no Internet.  We just got to spend time with each other.  

I shared this bedroom with Sue.  I slept in the bed under the butterfly.
This is the room The Amys shared.
This is the den.  There is a sofa to the right. We really didn't spend much time here.
This is were we spent a lot of time - the kitchen table.  Isn't it amazing? It doesn't seem to matter were you go in the world, who you're with, people always congregate in the kitchen. Guess that's because that's were the food is.  And holy cow, did we have food :) ....
and wine....did we bring enough? Actually, we had more than enough of both. The Amys and Sue all make wine, so that is never in shortage and the food was amazing!  Bruschetta, Spinach Salad, Cucumber Dill Pasta Salad, tons of fruit and cheeses..I'm forgetting so much....Caprese Salad, which is fresh Tomatoes, Basil, sliced fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar...It's absolutely amazing that I didn't gain a ton of weight, but I'm guessing since so much of the food was fresh and natural we did pretty good.
Saturday morning we woke of to the sounds through the open windows of birds chirping and cows lowing. They were telling us good morning...and how lazy we were.  We didn't get up until 11:00 am! (This picture was taken from the porch.) We had a quick, lite breakfast, cleaned up and then packed an amazing picnic. 
 We loaded the car and drove to The Thistle Meadow Winery.  This winery is owned by Amy B's father in law.  There is a lovely creek on the property and this is where we unloaded our feast.
How gorgeous is this? I could have stayed in this spot all day. And we just about did.  After much talking, laughing and eating, we walked up to the winery for a tasting. In a word, Yum!
From left to right: Sue, some crazy lady in a hat (me), Amy B and Amy M.
After the wine tasting, we loaded everything up and headed back to the farm.  We had a quiet evening, sitting on the back porch watching the sun set.
Once it started getting cooler, we moved back into the kitchen, where we ate  - yes again - and sat around the kitchen table some more.  There was much laughter, some tears and a wonderful evening of women celebrating each other and our friendship.
   Somewhere late into the night the sock monkeys carried me to bed.

The next morning was a lot of hustle to get the house cleaned up and our stuff packed up.  Someone else was coming up to use the farm house and we needed to make sure we left it clean and ready for them.
One last picture before we leave. Thank goodness for timers on cameras!

I really can't express what a wonderful time I had with these amazing women.  They are warm, intelligent, funny and incredibly giving - in short, wonderful friends.  Thanks ladies! This weekend made heading back to reality on Monday morning a little easier to deal with. I hope you all have a group of friends like this to enrich your life!  Happy Monday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Girls' Weekend!

Just a quick note to wish everyone a wonderful weekend!  I'm off to spend the weekend in the mountains with some wonderful ladies. I'm sure we will have a great time and I'll be sure to take tons of pictures to share.  Until then....Happy Weekend!!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Argh! Hurry Up!

Have you ever noticed that when you want time to pass quickly, it crawls!  Like when you were a kid and the last week of school before summer break lasted FOREVER. Well I'm in that position now.  This week is positively taking forever!  You see I'm getting a wonderful treat this weekend.  I'm going on a girls' weekend!  Woo Hoo!! We leave Friday and come back Sunday.  Me and four other lovely ladies will spend the weekend talking, relaxing, and drinking wine.  There will only be a radio and each other.  No television, no husbands asking what's for dinner, no children needing help with homework or laundry.  No one to clean up after but ourselves.  All this and the beautiful mountains!  Can you tell I'm excited?  I'm truly not trying to be mean to Car Guy and The Boys.  I love them dearly, but Momma needs a break. And since I live in a testosterone filled house I'm really looking forward to a little estrogen time. And this time away will make me appreciate them all the more. I've already started a list of things to take and at the top of the list CAMERA!  I will be so aggravated with myself if I forget it.

OK.  I feel better now that I've gotten that off my chest.  On to yarny goodness...Wait!  First I have to show you something absolutely gorgeous.  This past weekend, Car Guy, my MIL (mother in law) and I went to a few consignment shops just to browse around a little and I found these pillows. There were three of them and I bought them all.  I'm afraid that it's been raining a lot lately, so the lighting in the photo is lousy.  Aren't they beautiful?  The best part though, is that they were only $10.00 a piece! Can you believe it?  They are embroidered on a creamy linen and the colors are very rich.  Blue flowers with gold and burgundy centers and lovely green leaves.  It was love at first sight. I do love a good bargain!

Now yarny goodness.  Doesn't this look interesting? It's actually a hat that I'm in the middle of blocking.  It's sort of like a beret and pinning it wasn't working so it is currently stretched out over a bowl until it dries. You work with what you have!

Photo credit Crochet So Fine
It's another Kristin Ohmdal pattern from her Crochet So Fine book called Visage Lace Beret. It's worked mostly in chains and single crochet, so it's a little time consuming, but totally worth it. She used a lovely beaded lace, but the person I've made it for isn't really a beaded kind of girl.  This is just a little something for her that's a bit more stylish than your standard winter hat. On top of that, since the yarn I've used is acrylic and I've steamed it, she can throw it in the washer and it should hold it's shape pretty well.....we'll see :)

The last item I've been working on is a scarf of my own design - sort of.  It's a modified shell pattern that I found in a crochet stitch dictionary. The scarf is about four inches wide and it won't be to terribly long because I'm making for a very petite lady that needs a petite scarf.  Any time she finds a scarf she likes, it almost hits her knees! She wants green and feminine and I think I've accomplished that.  I haven't decided what kind of edging I'm going to put on it, but I want to do something so that it looks a little more finished. I'm using Bernat's Satin yarn.  It's really soft and an acrylic yarn, so it's washable.  I do love natural fibers, but I've found that so many people are a little leery of the care of them and then there are fiber allergies to keep in mind.  You'd be amazed at how many people can't wear wool. And I also make a lot of baby items, so easy care is important. So unless otherwise requested I try to find a soft easy care synthetic.  This also helps keep item cost effective both on the creative and retail side.

Well, I'm off to count down the minutes hours days until Friday - Ugh.  Would love to know what you think about edges for the scarf.  Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'll Be Back

Hello everyone!  I think Lurleen started working for Blogger and that's what caused all the problems.  She's safely at home now eating moon pies and drinking her RC Colas waiting for Larry to take her to the Wal-Mart - Yes Erica, you did see her there! She needs more blue eyeshadow.

Since I think (hope) that everything is working correctly in the blog world now, I'll take some pictures for you tonight so that you can see what I've been working on.  Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fszzt! Yikes!

It seems that my brain has gone "fszzt."  I had all these wonderful ideas for a post today.  Thoughts and creativeness that would have astounded you all. But when I woke up this  morning and all I had was this strange humming noise, followed by "fszzt."  Did you hear it? I don't know if it's because it's raining again and my brain just refuses to wake up or what. So I decided that I'd introduce you to Lurleen.......wait for it......

Yikes!!  Isn't she lovely?  She is my redneck alter ego. She looks like a hooker of another sort!  She came to visit one Halloween.  I'm happy to say, that she hasn't been back.  When she came to visit, she brought her husband with her......
Aren't they an attractive couple?

Now you know why my brain went "fszzt." That's enough to cause anyone's brain to freeze up and then freak out. Just a little something to aspire to....Not!  Have a wonderful day!

Happy News - Lurleen gave birth to a lovely eyelet pillow that night right before she had a wash off the blue eyeshadow and Aqua Net hairspray.....not to celebrate the birth of her, umm, pillow.....No one was harmed while Lurleen and Larry visited except my dignity, which ended up in the gutter.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all my fellow Moms out there had a wonderful day yesterday!! Mine was spent quietly at home and that's just what I wanted.  I managed to finish the red scarf and was able to give it to it's intended recipient, my Sainted Mother.  I was so excited to finish it in time - all forty-eight repeats - that I boxed it up and gave it to her and forgot to take pictures - Argh! Don't worry, I know where she lives, so I'll get some photos :)

This is my crafting bag.  In it, you will see brand new bamboo circular sock knitting needles and a gift card to one of the big box craft Mother's Day gift.  I was so impressed because Car Guy listened to me talking about how supposedly wonderful bamboo needles are and started asking questions.  He took note and took The Boys out shopping and this is what they brought back.  I was so very impressed and please.  Now I just have to wait for Mel to return from vacation so that I can continue my sock making lessons. Do you see the sock wool in the bag too?  I'll try to take a better picture of it for you when I have it on my needles so you can see how pretty it is. I can't tell you how excited I am to learn something new. Hopefully next winter, I'll be rocking some really cool socks.

My break is over, so I'd best get back to work.  Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May Show & Tell and A Little Humor

What the....May? What happened to April? And March for that matter? I REALLY miss how slowly time moved when I was a child. Now everything moves way too fast....Anyway.....It's time for May's Show and Tell.

Something you may or may not know about me is that I like to wear dresses, mostly in the spring and summer.  They are comfortable and usually pretty cool.  And evidently the lady I'm about to introduce you to likes them as well. Her name is Jessica.  Her blog is Green Apples and she sews....

 and sews....
 and sews....
and sews quite well.

I like to sew, I'm just not that good at it. But guess what?!  She also knits....

She does that well too.

I love going to visit Jessica's blog because first of all, I love clothes.  Secondly, everything looks so pretty.  Her details are great and her explanations are easy to understand.  I know the basics of sewing and when I read her blog, I totally understand what she's done. She also tells you all the great things like what fabric she used, what problems she ran into with the pattern and suggestions to make your attempt a little easier. I think she also appeals to the practical side of me in that she makes all this stuff (she's quite prolific) and wears it. She even chronicled a whole trip with the clothes she wore and whether she bought or made them. Everything looks so good on her too.

Stop on by and check her out. She's inspiring me to take the cover off the old Singer...maybe.  This could be dangerous.

Legal Jargon - Disclaimer - the pictures above are from Jessica's Blog.  They are solely her work, her photography and her property.  I am not claiming them as my own in any way, shape or form cause I ain't no thief.  Also, Jessica doesn't know me from Adam's house cat so this is not a paid endorsement.  Does that take care of all the legal stuff? Thank you for your time!

Now for the humor.  I noticed the other day that I had a HUGE spike in my hits.  I couldn't imagine why they literally tripled.  Well, when you title you blog post Happy Hookers, I'm guessing it broadens your appeal to a whole new audience. Hmmmm....I wonder how many disappointed people were out there?  "This is about CROCHET?!?!" I'm guessing this was NOT what they were expecting. Especially since this hooker was making clothing and not taking it off  : )

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Hookers

"I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." – Mark Twain

A friend of mine used this as her status on Facebook this morning and I think it sums everything up that I'm feeling about recent international events beautifully.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  We went to the Liberty Antique Festival on Saturday.  I'm afraid I didn't take my camera, but it was a beautiful day and the vendors had a lot of amazing stuff....most of which was out of my very practical budget. Sunday was spent crocheting.

Have I mentioned lately how I am really beginning to enjoy Tuesday nights.  After a long day at work, because lets face it they are all long, I head home and fix dinner for my men. Then I grab my yarney bag and head over to Panera's for some hooking fun.  It's so wonderful to spend time with these ladies!  And guess what?!?!  Dawn and I are turning two knitters into hookers!!  That's right folks, they are coming over to the dark side!  I love watching their enthusiasm and excitement as they are learning and achieving!  Granny Squares and wash clothes abound.

The knitters are going to return the favor and tomorrow I get to venture into new territory and get my first lesson on sock making! I am so totally over the moon at the prospect.  I was in the store this week-end to get my needles and sock yarn and there are sooo many cool sock yarns. Such great colors and textures. Mel makes such great socks and she's going to get me started on magic looping, whatever that is.  I'm sure it will be magic if I can figure it out.  I don't know why I'm so intimidated by knitting, but I am. 

As many of you know, I've been working on gifts.  You've gotten little glimpses here and there, and today is no different.  Alice has been making these beautiful cowls and she has inspired me to do the same.  Mine is a little different and is for a VERY special person. This person LOVES the color red, so....

This picture does not do the color justice.  A friend said that it's like the color of roses, which I think is perfect for the recipient. The yarn used in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo in Rouge. It's 80% Bamboo and 20% wool and it's yummy and soft.  It splits just a little if you aren't paying attention, but looks and feels gorgeous. 
The pattern is in the May/June Issue of Crochet Today! As you can see, it's a rather lacy, feminine pattern, which I also think is appropriate as this person is always a lady.
 The pattern is the Infinitiy Scarf by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby. It's a four row pattern repeat that once you get the hang of it works up fairly quickly. This is a good thing because in order to get the length needed, you have to repeat the four row pattern forty-eight (yes, that's 48) times.  I'm a little over a quarter of the way through. So I have a lot to get done in a little time....though I'm not going to tell you my deadline : )

Well, I've got to get back to the real world.  I will let you know how things turn out tomorrow night. Hopefully you won't feel my frustration vibe across the yarn world!  Have a wonderful afternoon!