Tuesday, April 15, 2014

crochet headband

just little bits of things as I go by... have two days off starting tomorrow and hope some 'real' news then.  I was working on this little headband over the past few days in crochet thread - as something small to bring along with me.  It was a ball of crochet thread I had and a size E crochet needle.

Of course, Esme liked it, and now this one is hers - although I may have to downsize them just a little for her to keep the tension in them.  It looks pretty good on her.

I'll have to make some more for me - I have a shirt yoke I've done as well as 'small take with' that is ready to try sewing it to some fabric and see how that looks and how it drapes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

bits in productive mode

Mark made Esme an egg calendar so she can count up all the eggs over the next few weeks.  We are thinking of basing her allowance on this.. we'll see.  They've averaged four eggs a day the past few.  I've been trying to make a few productive steps each day, even with work.  It always makes me feel better to say 'I got that done.'... some days it is hard, like when it is raining, and there can be no progress made outside.  I have a black stitching (not quite blackwork) embroidery towel I am bringing to work with me today.

I refashioned the dragon bolster pillow this morning.  I had taken it off the bed because it was now too wide (We downsized to a full from a queen) and was worming its way out and onto the floor.  But, I have noticeably not slept as well without it filling in the 'dip' in between the headboard and mattress.  Finally I cut up an old pair of corduroy jeans (bought at the flea market years ago, and never the right size) and sewed the legs together to make a long bolster.  I slit the dragon pillow leaving most of the stuffing inside and stuffed him inside the new lining, sewing up the ends with circular patches.  It worked out quite well, and I no longer feel like the regular pillows are falling away from me in between the headboard when I lay down.

Then I cleaned some items out of the fridge.  And now my time is gone - and I have to get ready for work.  I am investigating making a cross stitch sampler for our hallway... silly feeling, old craft but I like the fact that they are a moment in time that we can still look back and say 'this was done X years ago'... and maybe one day Esme will make one.  I'm a bit nostalgic on those things.  Mark says soon I'll be making her a hope chest and filling it up with things.  We were, I guess, some of the few girls that were still meant to fill up our own hope chests back in the 80s... I have some nostalgia about that, too.  I learned to make things, and I still like to do it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

embroidery and eating eggs

soulful faces on Daphne (white) and Nova as they beg for egg sandwich.
 Esme is getting a bit of a cold, so we had some (canned) chicken noodle soup and she ate quite a bit of an egg sandwich, which is a feat for her.  She really wants to go check for more eggs - posted pictures late yesterday onto the earlier post of her checking for eggs after school (same dress, but she has had a hot bath this morning and wanted to put it on again - it is a 'farm girl dress'. hehe)

I took a hand at some embroidering on an old indigo towel last night.  We were watching Fantasia, the old one - and I didn't use a pattern, just went with it.  I need a lot of practice.  Printed out a pattern for another flower and am taking it to work today to bide the time at lunch.

Friday, April 11, 2014

chickens, eggs, a ravioli rug and archery

 Here are our chickens.  There are six hens and a rooster - and they are 'Red Star' type chickens.  They lay large brownish eggs and seem to be quite happy in their new home.  We got four eggs from them this afternoon.

Here is Mark showing them off

 We had the fencing and lumber already in the garage for the pen and the coop, so it was the price of the chickens, from a coworker, and buying some chicken layer feed.  Mark built an incredibly nice coop with the lumber on hand.

Our pretty multi-headed daffodils are blooming, as well.  I'm working on what I'm calling a 'ravioli' rug for Esme's room.. but it is also sort of like a zigzag pattern of little crocheted squares.  The white yarn came in a box from Mark's aunt and had cuts through it - but this is a perfect use for it.  The squares do not take very long to make.  Usually the tough part about making a rug that is a useable size is how long it takes to get it there.  By the time it is the right size it feels odd to lay that much work down on the floor to be walked on.  We will see how this one goes. 

Mark also dug out his old recurve bow out of a storage about a week ago.  We took it out today and practiced some target shooting.  There is a lot of muscle memory involved.  It has been about fifteen years since I had a bow of my own and did regular shooting with the 'same feel'... I had about two hours practice today and was able to get everything mostly on or very close to the target (a 2 foot by 2 foot piece of styrofoam on blocks).  We will do more practice later.  I was impressed how kneeling with the bow the memories came back of how to swing it over my neck to the side, how to counterbalance the quiver when I knelt and hold it to the side when walking etc etc... little things you don't even remember until you are in the same position again.

 Father and daughter getting ready to check for more eggs.

 A large brown one in the nesting box, and one more out in the yard.

 That was two more eggs, and that makes six for six.  They are happy chickens.

 Esme, practicing at being a chicken whisperer.  She talked to them for quite a bit. Then we all went and ran a new water pipe from the hydrant to the chicken coop fence, before dinner.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Gypsy green and pink shawl

It took over three weeks, but it is finished.
48 by 26 inches

Monday, April 07, 2014


We finished the chicken yard yesterday, but it was getting later in the afternoon and there was still supper and Esme's bath to get done for the night - so we did not get the chickens.  Instead, we took a walk with Grandma and the dogs down to the lake and back up through the woods.  We saw the herons' nests, and the goat ran around with/after the dogs and made us laugh. 

I saw the peas are coming up in the garden - I had feared them lost and needing replanting.  There is also mint, lemon balm, poppies from last year (Icelandic?) and I found and brought inside the hens and chickens from Grandma I thought the dogs had demolished entirely.  Inside, the tomato seedlings are doing fairly well and the peppers have begun to show in that pot.  My indoor 'salad garden' is producing pretty well. I finished the "shockingly green and pink" shawl - pictures later, and it will probably go into the KnitOwl shop.

I laughed quite a bit yesterday morning.  Esme came home from Grandma's house (She had spent the night) and had a mail order catalog in her hand.  'Mama, I have good news!  There is a new shop open in the town!  We gotta go there.'  She has been picking things out of it ever since that she wants me to buy for her.  *oh dear*

I finished the planes for the workshop, and they will go in the mail today.  The second person asked for the pattern - I just haven't made it up yet.  I need to borrow Grandma's scanner and take a day to do that.  I don't have as much time for making to-order toys as I used to.  There are some 'art' toys I would like to make, though.. some art deco chickens, a bi-plane, and a convertible car.  Those are all in my sketchbook.  I need to work on the patterns for the book, as well.. neither here nor there.

I've been using Pinterest as a lookbook, lately.  It gives me lots of ideas.  I feel I can crochet some more than I used to - and that things don't have to be as perfect as my mind dictates.. what I have always thought was not quite good enough for weaving or crocheting or sewing seems to be 'artistic', now.  That feels odd.. but that is what I am seeing in the pictures...

I also see that many of the things I have made for the house are showing up in other design magazines and interior decorating here and there - all over... apparently I am in on a trend and didn't even know it.  Also, many of the decorating images affirm what I already have 'felt' about my own style, bohemian, gypsy, rustic farmhouse... yes that describes it quite well.  I have been very drawn to certain types of flowers - dahlias, zinnias, poppies and sunflowers, that I continue to see gorgeous pictures of.  And although I hardly ever let myself travel down that road - there are styles of clothes I didn't know I really liked, as well - skirts and lace tops and shawls that I keep seeing and saying 'I like that.'  So very far away from the tomboy I was firmly set on years ago.  Funny, to realize that, now.

So, until I have a picture of the shawl,  here is one of the planes.