Thursday, January 29, 2009

A burst of color

I forced some tulip bulbs this winter. It's been so nice to have a burst of some friendly yellow flowers in the middle of the winter!


Check out the roots...

Tulip roots



Don't let the freezing ice and snow get you down!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009


It's been a while! I wish I had some knitting to show to you - but I got nothin'!

So instead - I am going to share some crazy pictures I found!

Take a look at these!

Old times

My 3rd grade, my dance class from when I was around 6 or 7, a church youth group trip to VA beach and backpacking in Europe after college.

I found a stash of old pictures this weekend and posted a bunch of facebook. Have you gone on there? It's a crazy place where you find all your old friends! I can't believe the connections I've made!

One of the "meme's" going around Facebook lately is 25 things. I'd thought I'd share it with you all too:


1. I have played the flute, piccolo, piano and giutar in my lifetime. The only one I still occassionally pick up is my giutar. Sadly it sat untouched for years until I took lessons just a few years ago!

2. I love to travel and I have visited 19 countries: Italy, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Luxemborg, France, Spain, Belgium, England, Scotland, Wales, Iceland, Greece, Turkey, Japan, Mexio, Aruba, and Canada. I am still kicking myself for not jumping a boat to Africa when I was in Spain! I could see it from the top of the Rock of Gibralter!

3. I studied abroad in England for a semester and saw 25 plays for my theatre class. One of my favorites was actually called "Shopping and F*cking". I was in the 2nd row maybe a little too close to the action! Minnie Driver was also in the audience and I had a better seat! Gotta love the student ID.

4. I kissed a Hairy Coo in Scotland. It was slimy.

5. I stole my first pint glass with Aimee Ferris in Luxemborg in 1998. I thought for sure the police would come after us and lock us away in some scary prison. Turns out - It was the first of many - and today I have a rather large collection of stolen pint glasses! Each with their own story.

6. I was an English major in college and still can't believe I now work with a computer software. I always said being an English major was a major in the art of bullshit - I can talk my way into anything!

7. I still love to read and admit to being a book snob - my favorite book in the world in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. I dream of finding the next book that will affect me in the same way.

8. I backpacked through Europe after college and during a night train trip from Vienna to Budapest a strange Tunisian man proposed to me and offered 8 camels for my hand in marriage.

9. I love all things crafty - knitting, sewing, painting, drawing, quilting - there just isn't enough time in the day!

10. I have made some wonderful friends online through my blog - they everywhere from Africa to Albuquerque. I even got to meet some of them while working in Albuquerque. What did we do before the internet!

11. I love green chilies and think everyone should go have some Santa Fe cakes right now! (A Santa Fe cake is a pancake with green chilies, pine nuts and blue corn - yum!)

12. When I was little I wanted to be a Solid Gold Dancer. Didn't everyone?

13. I grew up and lived in the same house in Easton PA for 18 years - until leaving for college. A few years later my parents moved to my grandparent's house up the street. Even though it's only a few blocks away - I still miss "my house!" I still drive by and visit it when I'm home.

14. The first concert I ever want to was Milli Vanilli - and it wasn't even real! I still like that song "Blame it on the Rain"

15. I once sang backup for a band called Phaser. We performed at the Black Cat in DC. Singing on stage had been a dream of mine since childhood. I was so nervous! The one time was enough :)

16. I know someone named Jenny (well Jen) who's real phone number was 867-5309. (sing it if you don't know what I'm talking about)

17. I worked in Washington DC for years and can get anywhere using the Metro. I have never once drove there and would be completely lost if I tried.

18. I used to work for the Smithsonian as a trainer and everyone thought it was so cool that I got see "behind the scenes" The truth of the matter is the "behind the scenes" was not very glamerous. My "training rooms" often consisted of folding tables and lots of junk in dark basement rooms. Still - it was fun to take my lunch hour looking at dinosaurs or First ladies! One of my training sites was literally in the Bat cave at the National Zoo. Dispite the dank smelly locale - it was next to the lion den and it made my day every morning to hear the lions roar.

19. I always have a song stuck in my head - usually the last song I hear. I have to mute the TV when ever a commercial comes on for Empire carpets or Free Credit - those songs will haunt me for hours! Rright now it's the Price is Right theme song - cheesy 70's theme music. Ack! My friends call me "Jukebox Jody" because I can whip out a song for any situation.

20. I have to sleep on the right side of the bed.

21. I once wrote a novel in a month for NaNoWriMo. It sucked!!

22. When I was little I used to eat Peanut Butter, ketchup and pickle sandwiches.

23. Whenever I sit down on a chair - I have to sit on one of my legs. I'm just not comfortable otherwise! Sometimes I pull up both and sit "yoga" style.

24. I like to put Peanut butter in my chilli. My husband gets really insulted when I do this to his chili - so I sometimes have to go on a stealth peanut butter mission. The dogs always give me away though since Peanut butter is their favorite thing ever.

25. I am absolutely blessed to be back in touch with so many old friends!

I'm not going to tag anyone - but if you want to share 25 things - please leave me a comment so I can ready yours!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's a new day...


Sketched while watching the Inaugeration festivities this morning.

It's a brand new day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Edgar Allan Poe

Happy Martin Luther King Jr day!

Did you also know that today is Edgar Allan Poe's birthday? He was born in Boston and lived many different places, but he died in Baltimore. The Baltimore Ravens get their name from him and many other Baltimore locations get their inspiration from him.

One of those location is Annabel Lee Tavern in the Canton area of Baltimore, named for Poe's last poem of the same name. I ate there with John and his cousin last week and loved it! If you haven't gone - I highly recommend it.

Anyway - there is Poe stuff everywhere and it inspired me to draw some Poe! I sketched a quick line drawing while sitting at the table waiting for my sliders (they were amazing by the way! Kobe beef burgers with Pulled BBQ on top and some kind of goat cheese spread - yumm!!) and then came home and drew a full sized version in my sketchbook of the month - this time Nancy's.

Edgar Allan Poe

I love all his lines and shadows - he was the original Goth.

I will leave you with the poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe:

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Edgar Allan Poe

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Handspun Happenings

I've been doing a lot of spinning lately. I'm working on getting a batch of handspun ready for a large project. One more skein of yarn that will be part of this project is this skein of Dragonfiber handspun.

This was the roving before I spun it:

And this is after:

Dragonfiber handspun

This is one of my favorite colors of handspun yet! I just love the deep gorgeous colors. I spun this into a heavy worsted weight 2 ply and have about 125 yards.

Dragonfiber handspun

I've also been practising a new technique. When I get to the end of my two bobbins when making 2-ply and I have some singles left on one bobbin, I have been practing Navajo Plying. I finally felt I was good enough at it to try an entire skein.

My first attempt was with this hank of Fat Cat Faukland Roving.

It went from this:

To this:

Fat Cat Navajo 3 ply

This Navajo 3-ply is far from perfect, but I learned a lot from making it. One of the most important things I learned was that it's MUCH harder to do the Navajo ply when your singles have a lot of twist. The singles twist and kink and just make a general mess. I do tend to put a lot of twist in my singles when making two ply - because I like a tight twist. But I've learned that Navajo 3-ply does not need a lot of twist in the singles to still make nice and tightly twisted 3 ply.

Fat Cat Navajo 3 ply

So my second attempt at a Navajo 3-ply was much better. I used a lovely ball of Merino from Sunset Fibers:

The color repeats were nice and long and I didn't want to lose those, so I again spun this up with the intention of making a Navajo 3-ply. This time though - I paid attention to the amount of twist I was putting into my singles. The results were SO MUCH better!

Sunset Fibers Hanspun

I am so in love with how it came out. The beautiful rainbow colors are still in full effect.

Sunset Fibers Hanspun

Remember how I said I was going to use my handspun more this year?

Well the completed handspun was immediately balled up and used!

All wound up and ready to go!

I crocheted the Queen Anne's Lace scarf:
Queen Anne's Lace Scarf

: Queen Anne's Lace Scarf
Yarn: Sunset Fiber Handspun
Hook: Size J
Alterations: I added some additional loops on the first and last "flower" so that the scarf would look more finished on the ends.

Queen Anne's Lace Scarf

This is the first time I've crocheted anything in LONG time! Thank God for online video tutorials! I had forgotten the difference between single, double and triple crochet!

Queen Anne's Lace Scarf

I love how this scarf came out!! By keeping the long repeats of color by using Navajo ply - let the wonderful bright colors of this roving really stand out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sketch'n Part V

Yup - I'm still drawing in other people's journals for the Sketchbook Swap!

Here is the latest edition (a little late actually) I sent this sketchbook on before Christmas...

I did these:

and my favorite of this go round is my Hurley's Day Dream drawing:

Hurley's day dream

I am daydreaming myself about making this drawing the basis for a children's book on Hurley's adventures!

These were drawn in Leah's sketchbook. Take a peek at her website - she is very creative!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I love getting surprises in the mail! My friend Sarah is probably the best surprise sender ever!

She sent me this:

Presents from Sarah!

She just got back from an awesome trip - read about it here... and she went to a sea turtle center. I love turtles, as you may or may not know, and she got me these cute sea glass earrings!

Presents from Sarah!

And this one may need some explaining - but I squealed like a little girl when I opened the box!

Be Fri necklace!

Remember when you were like 12 and everyone had those Broken heart necklaces for Best Friends where half says "Be Fri" and the other half says "st end"? (Well maybe you have to be 30+ to remember this - but everyone had one! If you need a reminder - look here ) Anyway - we were making fun of those necklaces and I started calling Sarah my "Be Fri"... so she decided to make me a necklace out of it! In a much more fashion forward and updated form!!

How awesome is that!? Thanks Sarah - you're the bestest Be Fri ever!

I also got this amazing yarn from Coleen!

Present from Coleen!

It's Tilli Thomas Flurries yarn. It was a birthday present from a yarn shop at Dewey Beach DE - I love it! I've always wanted to try this yarn - but never could justify the purchase. It's it great when someone just gives it to you!?

Thanks ladies!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

First knits of the new year

As the clocked counted down to midnight I knew I could get it done. I could feel it - the last knit of the year was about to be finished! They counted down to New Year.... 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3..2....1 Happy New Year! And I just wasn't quite done... so this is officially my first knit of 2009 - finished about 12:05 am

Noro Two Row Scarf

Noro Two Row Scarf by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed fame
Yarn: Noro Kureyon in colors 195 and 157
Needles: Size US 7 Addi Turbos

I know I know - it's a fad knit and everyone is making one - but I had the yarn and I just cast on!

I love it!! The ribbing makes it squishy and awesome.

Noro Two Row Scarf

Noro Two Row Scarf

Noro Two Row Scarf

Noro Two Row Scarf

My second knit of the year was the "One Day Beret". I knit this in one day - on New Years Day!

One Day Beret

One Day Beret by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: My first handspun spun on my friend Nicol's wheel
Needles: Size US 9 Addi Turbos

I decided that I needed to actually knit with my handspun this year. So far I've really just been spinning it and then petting it once a while as it sits in a basket. Well my basket is overflowing! So I started with the first skein of handspun I ever made and knit this hat!

I love the increases at the top...

One Day Beret

I have really cool stuff to show you - more handspun and *gasp* crochet! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

First post all year!

Wow - I haven't posted all year! hehe... I've been sick as a dog for the last 10 days or so. What started out as just a stuffy nose has morphed into the worste cold/flu whatever I've had in years. I think I'm finally on the road to recover (I hope) and thought I should make an appearance in blogland.

For Christmas this year - we all got wonderful things and I wanted to share some of the highlights...

John grew up in Japan during his formative years (age 6-12) and grew up loving all things Japanese. One of the things that has captured his fancy is Pachinko machines. He has several "old fashioned" ones in our garage. This year - his friends got him a brand new electronic Pachinko machine! In case you have never heard of these you can read more about them here and here.

John's new toy is based on Star Wars! Here he is playing it:

John's new toy

When you get the little metal balls into a slot - it sets off a slot machine type game. If you get three of a kind...
Pachinko machine

You get a "bonus game" or a "bonus video"...

Pachinko machine

Yes - it lights up and makes LOTS of noise! (It's currently residing in our basement!)

Bailey and Hurley got toys of course - but the biggest hit has to be Hurley's new soccor ball...

Hurley's new toy

Believe it or not - he can actually pick this thing up with his teeth! He loves to batt it around and the best part is that is doesn't roll under the couch like most balls. The picture above is the only clear picture I got! Most looked like this:

Hurley's new toy

As for me - I got my grandmother's button jar.

Button jar

I can't tell you how wonderful this gift is! My grandmother was visiting us from her nursing home and it was great to share this with her. I remember searching through this button jar as a kid to find just the right button for a project. My crafty side comes from my grandmother for sure. She made many of my clothes as a kid and taught me to crochet and sew. I look forward to the many projects I will create with these treasures!

Button jar

I hope your holidays were just as wonderful.