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Wherein you will find posts with humor, photos, reviews, occasional rants and journalistic entries of interest to me alone but that I hope will touch you, the reader, in some way. I remain sincerely yours,
A Work in Progress

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Happy WW!
Link up or go for more great photos....

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shhhhh!

I love this time of year.  Still lots of time to work with to make Christmas presents, enough to enjoy the making.  The girls and I are very excited this year.  We have some super secret present plans and the materials are on the way!  I have my own projects, both knitted and sewn that I am excited about too.  Thought I would share in case anyone needs ideas this year too.

I am removing my auto-send feature for this post so my family won't see it.  I am doing this so that you too can benefit from the ideas we are so excited about.  So, if you see my family members, shhhh!!

Project One:
Glass Tile Jewelery
The girls and I are making these for lots of people, the ideas are infinite and we are so excited.  We bought materials for earrings, necklaces and key-chains to do with these.  I saw some on Etsy I really wanted last year, then found a DYI here.  The Hybrid Chick.
Here is an Etsy page with tons of examples.  We bought our supplies here.
Ours are going to be mostly book themed.  Like this example made at this Etsy Shop..
Project Two:
Knitted Projects 
I am in love with my new mad skills on DPNS and the Magic Loop method of knitting small diameters.  I am on a roll making tons of mittens and fingerless mitts.  These I adore.  

I am using Plymouth Yarn, DreamBaby DK on size 5's and I am making the small size which are perfect for most of us.  The link is for the pattern on Ravelry but I was fortunate to have stashed away the original which has different sizes of the pattern.  I would love to play with some Cascade Cloud 9 with these too.  Super simple and so beautiful!  This is the first one I made.
I've made and had requests for these too, Vanilla Frappe Fingerless Gloves so I am doing more of these too.  Simple, done up on straight needles and seamed up the size, your choice of decorations makes these really stand out.  (see how hard I was avoiding dpns?)
These are a Galway yarn with antique buttons from an old Scandinavian sweater.
 Jenna's have a shorter cuff and no buttons.  Hers are cotton.
 Bella's Mittens for my Twilight loving daughter.  These were it.  The project I HAD to make.  My fear of DPNS, my intimidation of and by the Magic Loop Method, cables and thumb gussets were in full on crazy but I did it!  I did have to undo the first one about 4 times and the 2nd as well when I couldn't undo a cable row, but I made them.  They aren't perfect but they are lovely and I hope she loves them.  (I would use smaller dpns for the thumbs if I had any to use at the time.)
Project the Third
Major score on some stunning wool sweaters at the thrift shop yesterday.  These are so beautiful but SO 80's you could never wear them so home they came and I felted them last night.  Going to make gorgeous over mitts and mittens for more presents!
Here are some places with patterns and more recycled sweater ideas.
http://www.ehow.com/how_6196303_make-felted-wool-mittens.html

Update...
I wanted to package our gifts in some nice way and didn't want to spend more money.
Thanks to Pinterest I found a DYI origami box and made tons of them!  They are so cute!!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Musings on Time

"A person who has not done one half his day's work by ten o'clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone." ~Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

And so it is.  
I am most often, the first person up in the morning, even before the cats (who at least have the good grace to look ashamed about it).  It is, more often than not, dark still and on occasion I have dressed with something or another inside out and won't notice til I'm back from errands hours later.
I suspect most people head first and foremost to meet their own needs at the crack of dawn, figuring that, as they must get up, they are entitled to coffee.  I have no such luxury.
The cats see to it that they are fed before anything else gets done at all by sheer obnoxiousness.  Then the fish, the bird, guinea pig and the dog, get food and fresh water and at that point, I will stick a mug of yesterday's coffee in the microwave.  (Where I will promptly forget about it.)  Making a fresh pot for Mike, I putter about the kitchen, making dinner in the crockpot, cleaning and making his lunch to take to work.  
Finally,  my very favorite part of the day.  The part I need and crave that is never, not ever, long enough.  That soft, still, hushed time of morning that is MY time.

"I used to love night best but the older I get the more treasures and hope and joy I find in mornings."  ~Terri Guillemets

This is the time of day I am absolutely most productive, sometimes, even creative.  It is the only time of day that I listen to music.  I can let it float over my nerve endings and soothe my soul.  My Enya playlist is on Grooveshark and all is still and quiet as I sip my coffee, do devotions and Bible study. Email and social media are next, then homeschool prep for the day.  Get up to let the dog out, the cat in and the chickens out too. (repeat as needed)   Then, if time allows, I may write some.  Before I know it, my time is over and I get to talk with my beloved for a bit over more coffee and send him off to work.  Time to wake the girls for school and off we go into our day.

"You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by".  ~James Matthew Barrie

It isn't always easy to appreciate the day as the hours go by, we get busy or bored or frustrated or not and time goes by.  I treasure the time we spend reading aloud each morning, curled up near each other, close enough to touch, to snuggle, to connect before we go our separate ways.  Chores, errands and school fill the day but it isn't without moments to cherish.  There is comfort in it's very routine, it's ordinariness.  

This is the time of year we begin to think about gifts for Christmas in earnest and the projects begin, together and in secret.  My evening reading suffers greatly as my hands fly through knitting projects, watching with pleasure as they take form and near completion or as I rip it out yet again because they have not and begin again.  Our family television viewing increases as does our discussion time while we work.  My busy hands assuage my guilt at marathons of our favorites or something for school.  Once in a great while we will listen to a book on tape together and the house is still and quiet as we work and listen and the evening goes by.  Sometimes we are all doing different things immersed in our own book or game or project but there is a sense of togetherness, of family-time nonetheless.

"O precious evenings! all too swiftly sped!"  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All too soon comes the hour where, reasonably, I can expect to sleep to some extent.  The knitting is put away, the dishwasher has run, the laundry has been folded, the schoolwork checked.  The chickens are in, the kids in bed, tomorrow's menu planned.  My Kindle and I head to bed for whatever reading I am able before my eyes are too heavy to go further.  Prayers of thanks, petitions for cares, praises for blessings sent heavenward as I drift off to sleep.

Each morning sees some task begin, Each evening sees it close; Something attempted, something done, Has earned a night's repose”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weekend in October

October is perfect.  Just cold enough to indulge in reading, writing and knitting, still nice enough in the afternoon for walks or chatting with the chickens a bit out on the deck. 
(don't judge, they are excellent listeners)

Cranberry Crumble and coffee makes for a simply thematic and warm breakfast to be had while leisurely reading news and checking Facebook, Twitter and other favorite sites on the computer.  I do love having time to go to my favorite message boards on the weekend and catch up.  (Although, the sugar high from the crumble is making it hard to type.)

I am reading the Sandman Slim books by Richard Kadrey and this weekend I am plowing through the 2nd one, Kill the Dead.  I am really enjoying these odd books.  James Stark is the ultimate bad ass antihero.  Thank God for my Kindle for immediate access to the third one.  Because I am almost there.  (Note to self, check digital library before buying.)

Last night we indulged in a Merlin marathon, the 3rd season finally showed up on Netflix,  which meant I catch up on knitting projects.  I assuage my guilt at staring at the TV by keeping my hands busy, and NOT in a popcorn bowl.  At present I am working on a pattern I can't do with needles I don't have and didn't like it when I finished it and ripped it out.  There is a mitten pattern I would absolutely kill to be able to make but I am afraid it is well beyond my talents.  (I never have learned how to do cables, though Mom is more than willing to teach me.)

Did I mention my efforts to lose weight?  I think I have.  Well, my Wii balance board and my scale are having differences of opinion about my weight and well, I've got to side with the scale.  The scale is showing continual progress while the Wii Fit balance board is making snide comments and asking if I know why I gained weight.  I guess it wasn't there when I actually buttoned those size 14's!!  (stupid piece of crap)

Heading out tonight to see family and celebrate an anniversary milestone. I love my family. (yes, I am leaving the house AT NIGHT, I do sometimes, you know)

“I don't care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching--they are your family.”
Jim Butcher,
Proven Guilty

Have a wonderful weekend.



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Monday, October 3, 2011

Away for the Weekend

We had a wonderful time at Old Sturbridge Village this weekend.  Though the weather was fairly lousy, off we went for the day on Saturday.  It was Friends Day too, which, if you are a member, means some fun things like raffles and such. 

The whole family really enjoyed watching the Cider Mill in action.  They had one of the oxen yoked to it and around and around he went working the gears that ground of barrel after barrel of apples.  It smelled incredible.
Later, we went to a "tasting" of the heirloom varieties of apples they grow at the Village and around Massachusetts.  My favorite was one that tasted pear-like, crunchy and delicious.  I forget it's name though, dang it, can't find my list they gave me.
 Jenna got to make a pot with the potter this time around, she had a wonderful time and he said he would fire it for her.  If it doesn't break or get lost, we'll pick it up next visit!
Off we headed for a talk given by the President of OSV, a man I admire greatly for what he has done to revive the place.  When it came time for the raffle, we won on the ticket Mike had found in the mud!!  This is the photo I took of our prize package  A lovely tin punch lantern, 2 of the redware mugs I love and a candle holder.  We were thrilled.
Sunday, another crappy day weather-wise,  was St. Ann's Autumn Bazaar.  
Off we went and purchased a ton of tickets for raffle prizes.  They had so many wonderful baskets up for grabs!  Baskets of everything you can imagine, all lovely.  Jenny won the basket of dog toys and treats.  St. Ann's also happens to hold an icon museum and as we had just studied the Byzantine Era, we were delighted to show the girls some of the gorgeous items they had from that period. I am rather fond the of Russian icons myself.
We left Rowan behind for the next stint in her Junior Internship at the Village and headed home.  Back in two weeks to pick her up and for Harvest Days!!


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