Crafts are my passion, Cats are my obsession

My crafting adventures, my cats, my dogs, my opinons - I never did keep a diary as a child, but I'm doing it now!

Sunday, September 07, 2014


Yes, that is right. I'm moving.

I'm moving my blog.  This one has been attracting way too many spam comments, and I find the title a bit - well, I've evolved.  The blog has evolved.

I still adore cats, I still collect cat things, but I also am spending a lot more quality dog time.  And I am posting craft things more at Ravelry, but will try to improve that one... since I do more than just "Ravelry approved crafts".  (Ravelry is focussing on knit, crochet, and weaving - while there is some needlefelting and dyeing becoming more prevalent, I do lots of other things as well, so I'll still be using my new blog for those kinds of posts).

I tried making a separate blog for food, but find it cumbersome to have too many blogs going.  So, I'll (eventually) be amalgamating my blogs to the new one, and deleting the old.  Same with the feeble attempt at a separate free pattern type blog.

Don't worry, though - over at the new blog, I'll be trying to remember to use labels, so the different type of posts will be findable, hopefully without too much difficulty :)

So - here is the link:  (I think, to avoid attracting the spammers even more, I'll make it a non-clickable link, so, my apologies in advance for making it so you have to do a copy/paste.

animalbabbleandcraft dot blogspot dot ca   So, copy that, paste it into the URL bar, and replace the word dot with a "." and don't forget to take out the spaces. :)

See you over there!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm not missing...

Nor am I dead.  Neither is my computer.... though that one was close!

I just seem to have long stretches where I run out of time or ideas to blog about.

I'm going to try once again to do at least a post a day; I hope I don't bore anyone to death with some short "I can't think of a thing to say" posts day after day.

I'll have to go back and check when I last posted stuff, so I can see how much updating I need to do on what has been going on with me.

So - if not sooner, for sure at the start of November, I'm going to put full effort into posting at least once every weekday, and possibly on weekends too.  And I think I'm going to try to get back to my other blog, the food one.  This one will remain my crafting blog, and random thoughts.  And any food posts and recipes will go on the other blog.  That one, too, I'll get back into in November.

Part of the reason for the delay - I am having some issues with photos...

Ok.  Will try to keep in touch again!

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Guest" post.

Hi everyone.

I just wanted to tell you about how my life changed three years ago today.  I was pretty young, back then.  I lived in a tiny room in a shelter.  I had friends - people who would play with me, talk to me, walk with me.  But I really wanted something more.

Then, *she* walked into my life.  She came to the place where I was living, and I first saw her through a window.  Our eyes met, locked for an instant, and I knew right away that she needed me, maybe even more than I needed her.  It was love at first sight, I'm sure.

We met - spent some time together, but she had to leave again.  She promised to come back.  I waited.  I started to wonder if she really would.  It got to be late, and I went to bed.

But, someone came and woke me up!  I was very tired, and not a little confused.  But, it was true - there she was, but with some other guy!  I didn't know what to do... Honestly, I was still half asleep, and even though I recognized this lady, the man with her I'd never seen before.  I wasn't too sure about him at all; I was even a little bit afraid of him!

The woman and the man talked.  She was almost ready to cry.  I didn't know really what was going on, and I was starting to think I'd made a mistake about this lady.  All I wanted in those few moments was to go back to my little room and go back to bed.

Well, instead of letting me do that, the woman and the man went away, to talk to one of my friends.  And a few more of my other friends came to talk to me, and to let me know that everything was going to be OK.   In fact, they kept telling me it was going to be wonderful!

The two people came back, and they were both very happy.  My friends got a couple of my own things from my room, and gave them to the people.  Then, the man took me out to their vehicle.  I haven't been for many rides before, and some of them weren't the most fun.  So I was a little bit afraid again.  But, that nice lady was there, too.  They took me to a house.  It was  big!!!  Much bigger than I was used to.  I kind of stayed by the door - it was a small area, a lot like my old room... I wasn't sure what to do.  I mean, here I was, tired, confused, scared....

Hard to believe it was only three years ago!!  And hard to believe how scared I was - I've learned that the man, who I now call "Daddy", is not to be feared, but to be loved.  He plays with me, he brings me balls to play fetch with, and he pets me and hugs me.  He lets me nap on the couch beside him.  And the woman - I call her "Mommy".  She loves me, plays with me, hugs me, protects me, snuzzles me, feeds me, brushes me - I was right, when I saw her that day three years ago.  We were just meant for each other!!  I'm so glad she decided to come into that shelter that day!

OK, "guest" post over ;)  I just thought it would be fun, on this third anniversary of my beloved Delko coming into our family, to maybe write what it might have been like from his perspective.  Of course, there is no way to know why he had the baggage he did - he had a history of issues with men.  He's mostly gotten over those, but it still takes a while for him to warm up to men when he first meets them.  But the bonding - I am positive by the way he acted when we met that it was as I typed above for him.  I mean, he did look out his window, and right into my eyes, and melted my heart.  And when he was brought into the "meeting room", he barreled across the room, jumped up onto the couch beside me, and put his head in my lap and looked up at me with love, as if to say, "We belong".   The bond has grown since then, and while I'll never forget my baby Bear, D has a place beside him in my heart forever.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Criminal Minds on TV last night

Ok, the title is the only spoiler warning you get.

I am SO not happy.  Not cool, writers.  Not cool at all.

One of my favourite characters on the show - Dr. Spencer Reid - is one who seems to be picked on more than the others.  Not just because I like him so much, because I do like several of the others, but it seems that while the others face various personal crises, and are often put into extreme danger, Dr. Reid is put in more difficult situations, more heart wrenching, more peril, more burn-out-inducing story lines than all the others put together!

And I really don't like what happened at the end of last night's show.  Reid finally gets a love interest that doesn't make him seem like a socially inept geeky pre-teen in an adult's body, and then KILL HER OFF!!! IN FRONT OF HIM!!!!

I am not impressed.

Tomorrow - I'm going to have a "guest blogger" ...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Upset today...

Not totally sure why.  One of those days when you are super sensitive to stuff.  So, the littlest thing gets you angry, or sad, or frustrated, or...

Laundry day. That's never a good thing.  I did accomplish some stuff today - I got some recycling stuff sorted and disposed of.  Some newspapers bagged to take to a pet shelter.  A bag of garbage tied up and out the door...   While I was dealing with cupboard issues and plumbing and mice, I had to keep the bag for garbage up on the counter.  And I don't have much counter space!!  But, the mouse was chewing into the bag.  I have one of those inside the cupboard door type bag holder garbage things.  Anyway, I waited, I watched... no fresh mouse poop.  So, I put the fresh bag back into the holder.............

I really need to find some new mousetraps.

(I don't have to sort my recyclables for the bin - but the shelter doesn't want flyers/ad inserts because they are often glossy and non-absorbant, and usually odd-ball sizes - so I was sorting those from the regular newspaper stuff)

I use the word "stuff" alot.

I finished my scarf last night, tested it this morning.  I love it... I didn't take a picture, though.  Yet.  I may get around to that later... I've been rather out of sorts today, which I already said.

Well, maybe tomorrow will be a better day - I will be having lunch with a new friend, at an old restaurant, that is going to close by the end of this month...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I was wrong....

I didn't get the little scarf project finished last night.  But, I know I will for sure tonight.  There is hardly anything left to do, and it is a good TV watching night!! (NCIS, NCIS LA)  :)

Hey, I said I was going to post daily again this year; I didn't promise quality posts every single day!! Today was errand running day, so I didn't have much 'puter time (and besides, I'm supposed to be spending less time on the 'puter, and more time getting my life put back together!!)

Monday, January 14, 2013

So I'm nearly finished an instant gratification project

Besides being a quick to knit item (small, all garter stitch) it is also something I need.  I have a scarf, that was a lace sampler scarf that I did during a workshop to learn about Shetland lace.

I like it, but I don't love it.  I only use it when I need a longer scarf for doing some outdoor things.  It isn't warm enough for the nasty cold snow shovelling days, and it is too much for the being in the vehicle and indoors while running errands days.  So, I need a smaller scarf that I could tuck inside my jacket.

Then I tripped over it one day.  A cute scarf, and it was a free pattern.  I didn't realize at the time I saved the pattern that it had been translated to English from another language.  It isn't the greatest translation, either - but between the knitting experience I have and the picture, and the simplicity of the design, it really isn't that hard.  I'm nearly done - just have the end weaving and a few finishing touches.  And a little tiny bit more of the knitting - I did make a slight variation to the design.  I promise to show a picture, and a link to where I got it, probably tomorrow 'cause I'm sure I'll finish it tonight!! :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Can't think of a thing to write about!

But I still want to do the daily post thing.

Been a quiet weekend - nothing on TV, cold nasty weather, can't find my recipes to do some baking... Just a blah couple of days...

Hopefully, things will pick up this week.  And I can find things to write about!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

TV time

TV Time Popcorn.  I miss that stuff.  Really!  Came with its own cooking oil pouch, that added flavour.  Then there was Jiffy Pop.  I think you can still get that, though I don't see it often.  Seems like these days, people are into microwave popcorn, or hot air poppers.  Me, I like making it on the stove, the old fashioned way.  But sometimes, I use the hot air popper.  I was buying and eating the microwave popcorn for a while, and loving it, but it got to be too expensive... So, I've switched back to regular type.

But, that isn't quite the TV time I meant.  I am trying to settle in to the new TV season.  I am so sure that things were different when I was younger.  Seems to me that back then, a "season" consisted of 13 weeks/shows - for the fall.  Then another 13 after a Christmas break.   You only had to put up with reruns in the summer time.  Which was fine, because you could catch up on shows you didn't get to watch because something else was on at the same time.  I mean, really, this was way before VCR's and such.

Now, though - the start of school in the fall does not coincide with the start of new TV shows and new seasons. You are lucky to get to see new shows start up before the Christmas specials come on... Really.  Some don't even get started until November... And then, by mid-December, they are into reruns or not on at all because of the Christmas specials.  So, you have to wait.  Until middle of January or even well into February before you can watch again.  And then, the new shows only last another month, maybe two, and you're into summer reruns...

And I wonder why some perfectly good shows never make it past a season or two... We used to have a thing, where we would never start watching a new show until it had been around at least a year.

So - for now, I'm in a bit of a limbo waiting on  a few favourites to come back, or to start up with new shows again.  And a couple others that I wish I could get a handle on when the "other channels" are going to rerun the series from the start... NCIS and NCIS LA are two that I only recently got into, so I'd love to go back to the start of those ones.  There is a channel that is rerunning the older stuff, but I haven't been able to catch them from the first, or even much in any sequence!  Like I did before with Star Trek Voyager, where I recorded them in order so I could watch them.  Oh, well, one day...

In the meantime, Criminal Minds is still into reruns.  And Once Upon A Time has started new shows.  Walking Dead isn't starting for a few weeks, and Survivor will be starting mid-February.  And then there is Grimm....

I haven't found it in the listings yet, and haven't seen a preview/promo for it either.  I finally went googling, and there are more episodes made and ready to go...

So looking forward to some good TV again.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Why are mice so cute?

And why do cats and dogs have to take their time about dealing with them?

I've had a mouse problem for a little while.  The rotten little so and so has been hanging out under the stove, and ignoring my mousetraps.  It seems to like the dog food, even resorting to scrabbling up the side of the deep plastic dish to steal pieces right out of the bowl!!  I am trying to keep the stray pieces picked up, and the dishes away from in front of the stove, but of course, I can't do that 24/7.

Well, this morning, one of the kitties managed to catch a mouse.  Hurray.  Until.  In order to keep it to herself, and away from the dogs and the other cat, she decided to bring it up onto the kitchen table.  Where I try to do other things, like browse the web...

Just before this, though, she is trying to get to the table... doing the obstacle course set up by two curious dogs and another cat.  At one point, I see that she has the entire front end of the mouse in her mouth... Well, at some point while dodging the others, she adjusts her hold, and the mouse has gotten enough wiggle room to bite on the kitty's lip... She "yelps" and tries to shake it off.  She manages, somehow, to regain control of the situation, and heads for the table.  Dodges the other cat, and nearly loses the mouse under the fridge.  Finally manages to get it where she wants it.

So, she puts it down on the table, and then proceeds to bat it around!!  It gets into the air space I have under the laptop... I lift up the laptop so the cats don't cause any damage... She then bats it onto the floor!!  And loses track... because one of the dogs nabbed it and took off with it.

And put it down in front of the closet, where it was captured from in the first place...

So, I grab the cat, who is searching everywhere under the table.  I point her at the mouse.  The dog growls at her.  I have to tell the dog that the cat should be allowed to deal with the mouse.  Which now smells (to the kitty) like dog slobber.  (I've been there done that one before!).  So, now the cat wants nothing to do with the mouse.  So, I have to tell the dog that it is now OK to have the mouse... So, he finally picks it up, takes it up a few stairs, then leaves it there.  I figure, by now, this thing must be dead.

I pick it up by the tail.  It doesn't move.  I drop it in the toilet (which is the most handy and logical disposal place) and it starts trying to swim.

I really hate being the one who has to dispatch the mice... much prefer to deal with disposal of dead mice.... I feel too guilty being the instrument of death.  :(

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Spam redux

Those spam messages I was talking about the other day.  They were nearly all made on old posts.  Some very old posts, even... But, what did I find when I opened my email this morning?  A new comment on yesterday's post!  I got all excited (I know, I write this blog for me, comments aren't required from my readers) until I realized it was from that prolific fan, ''anonymous''.

Sure enough, I opened it, to find a ton of gibberish!!  Really, a lot was hard to understand, but eventually, I was able to make out links to buy or sell items...


Well, today has suddenly gotten away on me - somehow, I nearly forgot to post!!  So, even though it is short, I still need to post someplace else today, and I need to run out for gas for the vehicle... and since I did such a long post yesterday, you deserve a short one today :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

When did play become work?

My mind is wandering and jumping from one thought to another....

So, the pathway in this post may get jumbled some...

Maybe if I start at the beginning: Found a short row tutorial on Pinterest.  Decided I would try it out to see if it is worth adding to my repetoire.  Started thinking about short rows, when I learned them, and the fear about learning them.  Started thinking about my need/desire to learn more techniques.  Thought about the obsession of learning all there is to learn.  Led me to think about will it ever end?  Always seems to be a new way of doing things.  Thought about Elizabeth Zimmerman and her "unventing" things.  Thought about how I never heard of her really until the net.  Thought about all the other wonderful inspirational knitters I've found. Thought about how a hobby can turn into work, yet work it once was...

So - those are the thoughts I thought I would elaborate on today...

Via Pinterest, I found a blog (Soctopia) with a tutorial on "shadow short rows".  I looked at it, to see what it was about.  I can normally visualize things I read rather well.  But this had picture after picture (not sure if I like that trend that seems to be happening in blogs lately; especially food/recipes - I mean, do I really need to see a picture of a bowl of flour, then a sentence that says, add 1 egg, then see a picture of a bowl off flour with an egg sitting in it?  Really?)  Anyway.  Somehow, I couldn't totally wrap my brain around how it was going to work, or how much I would like how it would work. Part of that is that right now, the sun is shining right into my face (love it) and my screen is reflecting a lot of glare, so it isn't easy to concentrate.  Part of it that I'm also doing laundry, dishes, and playing door-maid to a couple of dogs... anyway, so I saved the directions planning to go over them later with yarn and needles.  Once I get an afghan further along, and maybe finish a scarf I went and started last night because I need a new scarf.  The scarf is going to be cute; the pattern was originally written in another language, then I'm guessing (by the very strange directions) it was translated via computer.  Plus, it was more like a guideline to make it, rather than a true "pattern" format... Which made the translation even more strange, in my opinion - but fortunately, I'm an advanced enough knitter, and the scarf is simple enough in execution, but I digress (and I'll share it later anyway!).  So, I've got a few things I want to try out this year - tubular cast on, which I am having trouble wrapping my brain around, and this shadow short row thing.  And I thought about short rows.  How I learned them by following a well written pattern, that didn't tell me I was about to do short rows.  It simply told me what to do on the row.  When I was reading a book on knitting written by Wendy Johnson (library book, forget the title at the moment) I remember her talking about steeking.  How she didn't know to be afraid to cut her knitting; she just trusted and followed the directions in the pattern.  That is how I learned short rows.  But I didn't know that is what it was... So, fast forwarding... I had joined the sock knitters email group.  So many people complained about how hard short rows were.  (this was a number of years ago, btw).  They panicked because they were so hard... I made the mistake (don't know why, because I did then and still do know better) of believing these people, and started avoiding any sock patterns with short row heels.  Of course, the more I read, the more I realized what they were -- and couldn't understand why they could do a basic heel turn after the heel flap, which is accomplished by only knitting part of the row then turning - literally, a short row.  Then, I heard about "wrap and turn" for short row knitting.  Again, because this was the method I'd done in the sweater years before, and because it just seemed to be somewhat intuitive, especially if the pattern was well written (and there-in was the difficulty - not all patterns are well written!!) so I stopped worrying about the sock patterns I was finding.  And, I started remembering how I'd been afraid to learn to do cables, because they looked difficult, but turned out fairly easy.  And I started to learn things like lace knitting, but admit at first I was apprehensive about how to do that... Then I realized that there was probably nothing too difficult to learn to do in knitting.  All I had to do was to follow directions, and not think too hard about it all.  After all, it is pretty much all knitting and purling, right?

So. I learned of some other things... like, that there was more than one way to cast on.  But, since the one I used pretty much worked for me, I didn't think I needed to learn too many others.  Sure, I needed to learn the provisional cast on, but for everything else, knitted on worked fine for me.  Then I got a job in a yarn store.  I was shown a better way - the cable cast on.  Of course, doing something one way for a very long time, it was hard to change completely.  I now use the two types, depending on the project.... and of course, depending on the project, there are other cast on methods that can be learned.  And other little techniques here and there.  And when a customer is asking you to show them how to do something, and you use a type of cast on they aren't familiar with, well, you need to learn the other most common method - long tail.  And one thing leads to another... Soon, you find yourself learning things so you can help/show others, or even learning them right along side of the customer!!  Now, I consider myself a quick learner, and am able to learn by reading about stuff, by hearing about it, and by watching it.  Once in a while, I need to re-inforce the learning with doing.  (as for the shadow short row thing).  And, I'm just a little bit (I can hear those of you who know me laughing) obsessive.  Knowing there are more ways to do something, and that some are better in some situations than in others, has made me want to learn more and more...

That isn't the part that made play into work.  In fact, to me, learning new things is still play! Very much so.  I love to learn new things.  I just meant, by the post title, that sometimes, other people stress about learning new techniques.  I mean, really, for many many years, the one type of cast on served me just fine.  It is fairly versatile, and does the job.  For a very long time, I only knew one way to decrease - knit two together.  I didn't know that it slanted a certain way, and that there were other ways to decrease to make it slant different.  Eventually, I came across pattern directions that said to slip one, knit one, and pass the slipped stitch over to decrease.  I just followed the directions, and didn't give it any thought.  Didn't realize that it sort of slanted different than the knit two together.  Same with increases - you either did a yarn over because you were told to, or you cast on an extra stitch at the beginning of a row.  Eventually, I learned that you needed to do something different in the middle of a row to increase, and I think the first one I learned was to knit into the front and back loops of a single stitch.  So, my point is, that if you enjoy the process, and your end result works, why get into a tizzy over some of the techniques?  If you are happy with the result, so what if all your decreases slant the same way?  So what if your wraps on your short rows show?  Really, they are so tiny anyway, and if on the heel of a sock, does it really matter?  Are you afraid someone is going to inspect your foot that closely to see them??  Which is what made me think of Elizabeth Zimmerman.  I had read one or more of her books from the library, and loved her philosophy of knitting without tears (one of the books titles, even). But, honestly, I really hadn't paid attention to the name of the author of the book I'd read or memorized it.  And I'd never seen her TV show.  It wasn't until I read her name over and over on various internet sites that I realized I had read her books... I thought and still think about her saying people "unvent" various knitting techniques.  This seems ore relevant even today - Back in her (hey)days, and before, communication between regions was a long and labourious process.  Sure, there were letters, and later phone calls, and quilting bees and their knitting equivalents, and books, and so on - but mostly, various patterns and techniques were largely handed down through generations, not always across geographical areas.  A particular combination of knits and purls might be called by one name in one country or region, and the same pattern called something else in a different area.  In other words, people were unventing all the time!  For example, the cable cast on - I prefer to call it that, but when I first learned it, the lady who taught it to me called it the "English cable cast on".  She has a German background.  I soon came across some directions for it elsewhere - exact technique, but referred to as the "German cable cast on".  And then there is the "magic loop" technique.  One of those that took me a bit to grasp - mostly because the directions I could find at the time were the opposite of the current tutorial trend - there tended to be NO pictures.  But, I finally got it while going through some of my inherited patterns - a picture showing a center start doily that was done on a long circular needle to start instead of using double point needles, by pulling out a loop of the cable on either side.... aka, "Magic Loop".  The pattern was written in the 1940's or 1950's.  And didn't use the phrase "magic loop", but there it was!!    So  - even though there are "new" techniques out there for me to try and to learn, and new ones cropping up every so often, most of them are probably something that someone somewhere tried doing once before.   And that led me to thinking about some of the new inspiring people of knitting.

There are many ladies, some of whom I knew via email lists and discovered common interests with before I realized they were celebrities ;)  Ok, I know some of them wouldn't be comfortable with that title, even if it is deserved.  Some of them were designers or knitting teachers before I came to know them, just that I hadn't been exposed before.  Some of them I could say (if I were so inclined to) "hey, I knew her/him from way back, before....."  So that also helped me to realize, that knitting is simply a case of doing what you love to do, figuring out a way to do what you want to do (designing a pattern, unventing a technique) and doing it.

At one time, knitting wasn't play, it was work.  If a person wanted a new sweater, or some warm mittens, they didn't simply run to the store and buy them.  They had to make what they needed.  Industrialization changed all that, and people began knitting for pleasure.  A lot of the old techniques were lost that way, I think, and that is probably why they need to be re-invented...

So - that is how my thoughts went around, just before I sat down to try doing a post today.

For a change, my thoughts that would become blog fodder came at a time when I was ready to blog, instead of when I was doing something totally different, so that I couldn't jot it down, and ultimately end up forgetting what I was going to blog about, lol.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Well, I guess I better do a picture.

I haven't edited most of the pictures of my craft projects of the last few months.

But, I have a couple of pictures of the doggies taken on Christmas Eve.  So, I better share them :)

The top one, is Delko, sitting on my chair wearing one of those "martian antenna" headband things.  I bought several of them a few years ago - they are sparkly, and the ones he's wearing have pom pom reindeer on them.  (I bought them for me to wear, but since I didn't do any decorating for Christmas this year, the antlers and Santa hat were still packed away).   I'm only holding on to him because that is a rocking type chair, and he gets nervous on it.

The second picture of Lady, wearing pom pom teddies, required the steadying hand because she is the opposite of D - she loves to steal that chair, and curl up in it for naps.  :)  So, I had to hold her up to get the shot!

Well, that's today's post.  I cheated a little - sharing pictures so I don't have to think what to write ;)

Monday, January 07, 2013

Quiet day today

I didn't get to do as much as I wanted, because today, the computer decided to act up....Things I like to do in the morning as part of my waking up and getting my head on straight took a lot longer than they should have... Plus, I decided to try a new recipe today, so that took some planning.  And work... it involved peeling shrimp that was bought when I wasn't paying attention....  My son was with me, and got me distracted on the math of how this package of shrimp was a better deal than the other... of course, because this package is full of shrimp still in the shell... :P

Oh, well - that's OK, I've now used up the last of it (well, will be using it shortly, anyway!) so I will be much more careful in the future!!

So, short picture free post, just because I had a backed up day!!  Tomorrow, things will be better... just as crazy with errands needing to be done, but I'll find the time... I have to, to tell you about my lunch with my sister that is to happen tomorrow!  And, DH will be working late, so I'll be able to play on the computer more  have more time to get things done during the day ;)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Blog Fodder

Blog fodder is what I call some random ideas or thoughts or images (not actual pictures, but those things you see in your m ind) or current affairs or conversations or things I've read somewhere... things I feel like commenting on.   :)

So, after the other day, when I posted about spam, I got a comment on yesterday's post.  I'm pretty sure it is spam.  But it sort of makes enough sense, that maybe it isn't.  But if not, then why would the person include a  seemingly unrelated link?  And not sign their name?  It came from that prolific writer, "Anonymous" again.  And finally, if legit, well, the grammar sucks.  Now, I know that I don't always write with proper grammar on my blog.  It is more a stream of consciousness thing - I write what I'm thinking.  But, this comment, well - it resembles one of those badly translated pages... Heck, that may even be what it is.  Yet, it almost made some sense anyway....

Even though I normally would just delete it, and not subject you to the craziness, this time I thought I'd share it. Use it as blog fodder ;)  I've thought about blogging about specific spam messages before (like, how if I'd responded to all those male body enhancement spam messages, that I would have a part that would be several feet long, even though I started out with nothing!!) but never did get around to doing it.  Some of them are actually entertaining (the ones I get via email).  So, anyway, without further ado, here is, copy-pasted, the comment that I got yesterday:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "weekend post - fixed my sink!": 

Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to 
be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of.
I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they just don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

So.  What do you all think?  Following the word, "Thanks" was a link that had a url including the words "club" and "entertainment" before the dot-com.  But then, there was a link to the person's profile, containing words like "fanpage" and "blog".... so, maybe the guy/gal is legit?  I don't know... I didn't click on either  link.  But I'll probably watch for future comments.... Oh, and if you are reading this, and are "anonymous"- well, maybe give me a better indication of who you are an what your intentions are.  Especially if you are a real person with a language barrier.  I can only imagine what online translators do to the slang a lot of English speakers use, and I know that spelling issues can totally change a meaning of a phrase... Please and thank you!

Ah, the adventures of blogging...

Off to get my supper started!! :)  (roasting a chicken!)

Saturday, January 05, 2013

weekend post - fixed my sink!

 I want to stay in the habit of posting/writing.  So, I'm going to try to every day again.  Like I tried last year.  BUT - weekends are likely to be short posts.  Because of privacy in the home (I know, my blog is out there public, but sometimes I don't like having to explain everything while I'm trying to do something...) and because there are many other things to accomplish, I won't be able to write much.

Today was - a good day.  I started, late last week, to clean out under my sink due to some mouse issues... discovered a plumbing issue.  Finally, today, we got it all fixed.  Though, what seemed like a "simple" five dollar part, turned into a second trip to the hardware store for another - wait for it - ten dollars worth of parts.  (sometimes, I wonder why it costs so much for a plumber - no need to tell me, I do know, having worked in construction, besides, I did mention this took a week.  If I'd called and paid a plumber, it would have been done lots faster...)

Anyway - nice to know that I am (still) capable of doing minor home repairs.  And great that just in case I don't, that the people who work at Home Depot here are more than willing to help, to show you what to do, to explain everything and walk you through the whole process.  :)  Unlike the other big box hardware store...

(see, I told you I didn't mind doing a bit of "free advertising" for somewhere I like :)

Ok.  That's it for now.  Now to spend some time putting everything back in my cupboards!!

Friday, January 04, 2013


The edible kind:  We usually buy cheap, no-name brand canned meat products.  They aren't bad.  And we don't eat them daily, or even weekly.  Maybe, two times a year.  One time, though, the name brand Hormel Spam (the original stuff) was on special at the store.  It was either the same or very close to the price we usually paid for the other.  So, we bought some.  Wow, what a taste difference!!  I mean, yeah, when I was a kid, "no name" foods hadn't been thought of yet.  But there were some store brands.  So, we had the real thing back then. But sometimes memory plays tricks, or just plain doesn't work for some things.

The inedible kind:  I've often spoke/written of the point of my blog being for me, to have blog pets, to sort out thoughts, vent about stuff, keep a kind of diary of my life, and finally to share pictures and stuff with others.  I've tried to decide whether I wanted or even "needed" comments, and realized, that while I welcome them, they aren't the main purpose of the blog. That is, I don't *need* to be the center of attention. But, I learned nearly immediately after starting my blog, that the spam 'bots are out there.  Just waiting to pounce on any opportunity to spew advertising and whatever else it is they spew...  So, I quickly made this blog one in which the comments are "moderated".  That is, they need to be seen by me first, to determine if they are worthy of  being posted, or if they are simply an attempt at getting free advertising.  Now, I have no objection to legitimate free advertising, and will happily post and/or review and/or help any business that I consider worth knowing about.  I'd even consider allowing a certain amount of advertising about business that I have no strong feelings one way or the other about.  I mean, really, that is what word-of-mouth advertising is all about -- you see or use a product or service that you believe in, and you want to share to help out your friends and family.  To that end, I have now and again mentioned such things here - told you about a great deal I got, or a great place to shop, or great service...

What I don't like, though, is senseless "spam" messages.  Or, anonymous advertising/comments.  I know that in some cases, some of my friends don't have a blogger/google based username, and don't want to publish their names, but they usually indicate that to me in some way or other, and I can often recognize them by the comment content anyway ;)  One time, someone commented on my post about dyslexia.  They left info about their blog.  I allowed the comment, since their blog was informative, even though there was some bits that looked like advertising a product/service dyslexia related.

But, ever since last summer.... In July, there was a comment posted on an older post of mine.  A person, (maybe) who signed their name, said that they had found my blog via a search engine, but that it was hard to find.  That if I let them, they would show me how I could maximize the hits on my blog.  I thought that was rather strange... I didn't publish the post, nor did I click the link.  I'm not *that* dumb... However, I held the message for a while.  Wondered what had prompted it, planned to post about it...

Well, within days, I started getting spam comment after spam comment!!  Some of them simply had a list of unrelated words (search words), others specified a product or service (wanna buy a t-shirt? next time that particular one comes in, I'll save it for ya).  So far (not that I have read each one word for word) they seem tame.  No pharmacy stuff, no body part enhancements,  no video chatting with lonely girls... But no less annoying!  Especially when they come ten at a time, spaced only a few minutes apart, then another group an hour or two later!!

I haven't figured out yet if it was a random 'bot thing, or if it was because I went from posting daily to hardly posting.  Either way, be grateful that I have done the moderated comment thing, to spare any of you the aggravation of thinking there is a comment you might want to read after any of my posts, and being assaulted by a random bunch of advertising!

So - here's hoping that my renewed attempt to blog daily will stem the tide of spam-blitz-commenting!!  I'll let you know. :)

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Goals where are you!!

I didn't get around to giving my goals much thought... But, after posting the title, I decided to jot down some things in my calendar.

I have a new calendar thing. One of those little "checkbook" sized wallet style pocket/purse calendars.  You open a page, and get a week view - spaces to write several lines of appointments etc. on the weekdays, a couple lines each for Saturday and Sunday... I've been writing in it, some of my short term goals or to do list for the day.  Checking things off that I did, X beside the things that didn't happen for whatever reason.  Like, I might plan my day, but then something comes up, and I don't get to it. Or I don't estimate the time it takes properly...

Anyway, I figured, I would jot down the goals that I come up with here for the month on the last day, in this case, January 31st.  Then, when the time comes, I can see if I succeeded. :)  Without having to search here, or anything, especially for adding the goal items to the todo list!

So, my January goals are:
-Start writing that document I never got to last year (a special project that I dragged my heals on, but now I have someone willing to read and critique it for me)
-Thoroughly clean my fridge, and keep it that way!
-Watch some of the movies I PVR'd but feel guilty spending time watching
-Tidy/clean up my livingroom, so I can host a home-sale party in February (I'll talk more about that in a blog post soon)
-Craft-wise:  I'm currently working on a double-knit afghan to replace one I made before that is now dog-damaged beyond repair.  I hope to get it to the half-way mark well before the end of the month.
-I am determined to learn how to do a tubular cast on.  I just haven't been able to wrap my brain around it when I've tried before...

Shorter term goals - I *will* get some pictures ready to share... I promise.  Before too long... for sure by next week.  Too much going on this week and weekend, including a plumbing repair, but things should be settled by next week.

And today - I'm hoping to get some baking done.  Remains to be seen if that happens (I misplaced a recipe I wanted to use).

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Changes, always changes...

Haven't had chance to think about goals... late yesterday, my GS (that's grand son for those not yet well versed in the abbreviations) sent me a chat message on Facebook asking if he could come stay here this morning until Friday "after work" time... Of course, I said yes. :)

So, I was rather busy tidying up a bit, and reorganizing my plans for today.  Still need to do laundry, and I still need to do a bit of between-shopping (forgot to buy cheese that I need for a recipe) but that works, because I can adjust and pick up the few extras I would need for him (extra drinks, maybe a snack thing or two)

So - my post today will also be short again!  Oh, well - I'll get back into the swing of posting.  And I need to wean myself off of so much Facebook time, too... I spent a lot of time on it while being depressed before, and I confess to probably being addicted to a particular game, and I do rather enjoy a couple other games, though I don't have to play them quite so obsessively, and I did spend a lot of time on it over the holidays.  I really need to break that bad habit, and get on with other things...

Hopefully, I can get back into spending less time online, and more time living, and still find just enough time to be online to blog about it all ;)

See you tomorrow (and hopefully I'll have some goals in place!)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Trying this trick again

I'm going to try again to post every day to this blog.  :)  Hopefully, I'll make it further this year!

So - today is Tuesday.  Yeah, yeah, January 1st, New Year, Blah-blah-blah.  First day of a new year, first page in a new book, first day of the rest of my life.

I do have some goals for this month and this year.  But it is already well into this day, and I still have a ton of goals for today!!

The other day, while trying to deal with an ongoing mouse problem, I discovered a new serious problem with some plumbing.  So, I've been spending the last few days cleaning out a kitchen cupboard and repairing a drain leak problem.  Had to go with a temporary fix for now - thanks in part to the holiday season, and in another part to some cash flow situations... Nothing major with any of those - but enough to throw off a few other things.  (like, try washing and cleaning things without using the sink!!)  Anyway, it should all be back on track today, so I should be able to be back on track everywhere tomorrow.  Plus, tomorrow is a return to routine with work schedules and so on.

So - even though this is a short post, I will pop in tomorrow with a list of goals for the month, and maybe I'll even remember to do a picture or two :)

And, hopefully, with posting more often, I'll be able to counter the excess amount of spam comments I've been getting....Which I'll write about, too, in the coming days.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

So, it is Christmas morning.  Already.

It has been a crazy fall, and it kept me from posting or doing much of anything that I wanted to!!

The paint a day project only lasted the first half of the month, and I didn't get camera shots of all of those (yet).  Having a hubby home for a month can cramp a style - sometimes.  Don't get me wrong, I love him very much... but...

Anyway, toward the end of September, we had a plumbing problem, again.  Then October was try-to-catch-up month - didn't work. November - hubby was home for a couple weeks sick.  Which brought us into December - a month that flies by at the best of times!!

In the meantime, I did manage to knit an entire sweater for myself.  A free pattern, Aidez .  I enjoyed that knit. :)  I also managed to make a few socks (I have pictures, still on the camera).  I'll post more about them later.  And now I'm working on a replacement double knit afghan.  I couldn't find the exact pattern in my stash for the replacement (I've made two of them before) but I was able to find the second pattern in a library book.  Both patterns are from the late 80's early 90's, from McCalls Needlework (my memory was wrong; I'd thought the one was from Family Circle or Woman's Day magazine - but maybe they are all under one umbrella... )  Anyway, I did make two afghans before.  One was a winter scene, with a skater and some skiers, trees, stars... The other was a little group of houses, a church, and Santa and sleigh flying past the moon.  The winter scene I did in blue and off white, the Santa one in red and white.  Well, hubby stole the red and white one as soon as it was off the needles, and has loved it on the bed ever since.  Unfortunately, the dogs have also "loved" it, and it is now beyond repair.  So - since I haven't been able to find where I put my Santa pattern (which, I had come across back this summer during an attempt to clear the craft room), I went on a 'net hunt, and that led me to the library, where I found the winter scene pattern.... So, now I'll have a winter scene in blue and off white, and one in red and white.  :)

Oh, I'm sure I've blogged before about my depression fight and my frustration with the house... my attempts to get things done but being interrupted by other things changing priorities (like the plumbing!).  Well, I have finally gotten rid of a lot of the depression!  I made some changes, in December, and things are better now than they have been for a while.

TV viewing - well, I watched all the regular programming... NCIS and NCIS LA have become interesting.  I have started watching them regular, and catching some reruns in syndication.  I still can't get into the new Hawaii 5-0 fully; as in, it is background noise, that I kind of pay attention to, but if there is something on another channel or something recorded to watch, I'll do that instead... Criminal Minds and Big Bang Theory remain favourites.  Survivor is the only reality show I can watch.  Took me several years to get into it, but now I look forward to it.  Walking Dead is another show that I can hardly wait to come back on.  Grimm and Once Upon a Time are great shows, too.  As a matter of fact, my Christmas present is the Once Upon a Time Season 1 DVD :) :) :)

And I finally got caught up on the entire series of Star Trek Voyager, from start to finish.  I have a little problem with their time traveling... they did their best to avoid paradoxes, yet, somehow, I feel the need to examine a few things a bit more closely.... or, I can just let it go and enjoy... Since I ended up erasing the recording so I could tape a few movies, I guess I'll let it go ;)

Well, today is shaping up to being the first sunshining day in several weeks, so I think I'll sign off for now.  If I don't "see" you before, then hope you have a Peaceful Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year.  I am going to try again to do that post a day thing on the blog- I nearly made it through most of the year last year - maybe 2013 will be the one! :)


Monday, September 10, 2012

Keep forgetting

To take pictures of my paintings.

I'm also finding it difficult to find a few moments to create them.  Yesterday's was one I am sort of disappointed in.... It seemed like a good idea when I conceived of it, but in execution, it turned out - very juvenile...

I have found (or did I say this already? Sometimes I plan a post in my head, then never get it down on paper/typed here) that if I compose the picture strictly with paint and brush, that it tends toward landscape type things.  If I want to create an object, I sketch it first.

Oh, and I've done a couple experiments with using a black ink pen instead of black paint to highlight or add to the painting.... sort of a "mixed media" approach.

I'll take pictures soon... promise.

What I did snap a quick shot of was the sweater I'm working on.
I took this picture last night, just before my knitting session.  Hard to see, I know, because of the poorer evening lighting, and the dark colour of yarn.   So, I did try to lighten it up a bit with editing...
Not sure if it really helped much... but I tried.  You can see in this shot, sort of, if you look close and kind of use your imagination a little (in real life it is there, and maybe in a future shot you can see it better) there is a U shaped seed-stitch filled cable - called "seed stitch wishbone" in the pattern.  I now have two of them - to give an idea how much more I knit last night.  I didn't knit any the night before last - just couldn't get into it for some reason.  But I really made progress last night, getting into the flow of things, getting enough done to read the knit to see where I'm up to, so I spend less time staring at a screen or piece of paper....

Otherwise, not much exciting has been happening.  Hopefully, that will change soon.  And I'll get those painting pictures taken and uploaded soon!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Sweater and painting

So, I managed to do two rows last night - I'm getting into a rhythm.  Still slow going, and having trouble getting back into knitting some every evening.  I had to clear out some space and get a few things organized due to some crazy events this summer, and I boxed up some stuff, thinking and expecting it to be temporary - that by now I'd be unpacking those boxes again.... Instead, they got moved from place to place a few times, so I don't know what is in them or where they are anymore.  Which is frustrating, because now I don't know where my stitch markers are.  But, I thought, that is fine - I have some cool arrow shaped paper clips that would work great!!  *sigh*.  They work, but not great.  They don't slide so well....

As for the painting -- Here are Days 4 and 5 - my "still life" efforts :)

Neither of those reflect my real home or anything... Just some ideas in my head.  Oh, and the two round dark splotches on the bottom picture - just about center near the top - those were wet spots caused by a cat paw... now that it is dry today, the "wall" is a more uniform blue with the dark blue tiles...

And here is that moth picture I promised - I haven't previewed the video yet, nor checked how many megs it is (for sharing purposes).  I know I did share a video on my blog once before, but I do  like to check them out myself, to make sure it is worth sharing!

So, hopefully, I'll be able to share a picture of the sweater, and the video of the moth, tomorrow.  And maybe even a painting or two...

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Please excuse the interruptions...

Or at least, I am being asked that today it seems.

Laundry day always stresses me out, makes me crazy, frustrates me, interrupts with changing loads, etc.  So it isn't the best of days.  Add to that, the in-out requests from the dogs, and the husband on holidays, and I find it difficult to finish what I start, and I tend to take the easy way out and not start anything.

Ok, I did do some stuff today, and accomplished some things.  But I was rather lazy about some others.  I took pictures, just haven't downloaded them.  Of my painting, and of a bug.

Last week some time, or maybe even more than a week ago, I saw a bug in my flowers.  At first, I thought it was a hummingbird, but it slowed down to drink from the flower, and I realized it wasn't a bird, but a moth.  Very briefly, I wondered if it were a butterfly, but before the thought of the word finished, I realized it had moth characteristics, not butterfly.  Surprisingly, I was able to identify it via google immediately.  A hummingbird moth!  Or, white striped hawk moth... Within a couple of days, my email newsletter from a local garden expert arrived, with information about - hummingbird moths!

I've never seen them before (or if I did, I likely mistook them for the bird or a butterfly, or perhaps even a small bat, since it was near dusk when I saw this one) then suddenly a sighting and information.  Why am I telling you this?  Because, when I get around to downloading from the camera, I'll show you the picture and maybe even the video of the bug that was here again late yesterday afternoon!!

No fresh pictures of the sweater, though.  I finally was able to sort through the directions, set up an easy way to keep track of where I am, and knit the second pattern row.  Now I should be able to whip right through the next several rows... I hope!!  There is a bit of a tricky bit, a strange sort of direction on one of the cables.    And it wants me to stop at 5 inches from the beginning to do some shaping.... The ribbing is 3 inches, and it is bulky yarn, so I'm guessing I won't be doing too many more rows before I stop.  (thinking about overall length and quantity of yarn purchased - wondering about making it a little longer than they say to...need to look at the picture again, plus with the cable patterning, I could throw everything off)  Oh, and I need to make a mental note:  When selecting pattern and yarn for a cable project, think twice about using a dark coloured yarn for directions that say to "knit the knits and purl the purls".  They aren't so easy to see!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Lack of progress

I couldn't concentrate well last night, so I didn't get much done on Aidez.  I did the knit row, and the first row of the cable patterns.  I need to do something different, until I get the patterns established, for seeing what it what.  I have a few files, with the directions for the sweater, and for each type of cable pattern, and for the abbreviations used -- I found it difficult to keep flipping back and forth, trying to keep track of each one.... This is just "start up" frustration - once I get a rhythm going and familiarize myself with what is being asked, I'll be fine.  In the  meantime.... Yuck.

I also haven't done my painting yet today - I will soon.  I know what I want to do, though, so it is just a matter of doing it.

I have done a lot today, though.  I worked on some dishes, before I even had my morning tea!!  Swept the main floor, washed part of the bathroom (the tub didn't look like it truly needed a washing), tidied some stuff in the livingroom, and I plan to tidy some more.  I've let the flyers/advertising supplements/newspapers get a bit piled... I save the newspapers to take over to one of the animal shelters, but the flyers should go into the blue box... Just need to do it.  I will - soon as I'm done here ;)  Then I'll paint, then do some more tidying.  I also worked on another project, one that I am in no rush to do, but it still needs doing.

Speaking of the blue box - back in June we got our new big wheeled bin for recycling - but we aren't allowed to use it until October!!  So, we're using the time to work out a newer system.  Instead of all stuff going straight to the basement where we store the current box (right at the bottom of the stairs, where we would toss stuff - if it were upstairs, the dogs would keep emptying it for us) we've set up a smaller blue plastic bin in the kitchen, and we empty it every couple days or so.  This change caused me to have a meltdown about two (or was it three?) weeks ago.

This house is getting to me.... a recurring theme in my posts how much I hate many aspects of the house.  Well, back in the spring, we had to have the sewer line cleared.  The annoying trees in the front send their roots down every so often, especially in the spring when they start their fresh growth.  Well, the guy didn't spend a lot of time here; he was saying how ours was the last call of the evening, then he was back to days, which he preferred.... So, a few weeks back (it was a Monday) I was having a good day - several things were going well for a change, and I was in a good mood.... So, when I went to go to the basement to empty the bucket, I discovered that the sewer was again plugged.... and there was some water in the hole, as well as evidence on the floor that it had been happening for a couple of days.... I was not impressed, in fact, I broke down completely into a puddle of tears.....

All of this had happened just after getting our vehicle fixed yet again, after it not working for a couple of weeks... which had been an on-again-off-again problem since early in the spring.  So I fell apart....

We did get another guy in, same company, but a different guy.  He did a much better job, and in fact, confided that the other (young) guy was probably going to be fired, because there was a pattern forming, and he is often complained about for not doing an adequate job.

I also am glad that I blog about stuff.... I was unable to figure out where the heck I'd put the receipt from the last time (improperly filed) to figure out when the sewer was last done.  BUT, a quick search of the blog - when I posted about Delko being very protective, and nearly coming through my kitchen window.  This time, the new guy who came was much more respectful of my cautions about the dog.  Who, it just so happens, still tried to come through the kitchen window, even though DH was trying to keep him calm outside.... Finally gave up and dragged him into the garage, but he still tried to get out and "save" me.  Gave the house a full inspection again after the guy left, too.

So, no pictures today, but tomorrow I'll try to do some more. :)

Monday, September 03, 2012

Knitting up a storm.

So, I got the ribbing done on Aidez.  I'm updating my Ravelry page with it, too, since I'm part of that KAL on Ravelry.  But, since not everyone is on Rav, I'm sharing here, too. :)
This picture shows how I'm doing the front side pieces as well as the back, like I did with the sweater from last summer.  I really don't like sewing all the pieces at the end, so I'm going to join as I go again.  I'll start seaming after I establish some more of the body.

I did some more painting.  Yesterday, I did a tree with fall colours.  I'm starting to think I'm way out of practice on painting, and that it looks rather "juvenile".  But, honestly, when you are working with cheap brushes, paint, and paper, sometimes you just can't really get quality... For example, I have two blues, but only one green... I did try a bit of mixing of colours.  I remember going through those classes at University, and it is amazing what you can do with tempera paints in only black, white, red, blue and yellow.  I've applied a lot of that learning to the dyeing of wool.  But cheap acrylic dollar store paints don't mix as well...

So, today, I mostly tried some experimenting with water colour washing.  You start by wetting down the whole paper with plain clear water, then add the paint.  I didn't plan to do a landscape, but that is what happened... but when I was done, I think it looks more like a sea scape... And I think I should have let it partly dry before I tried to add birds to the sky, or maybe tried drawing them on after with an ink pen (just a regular pen with black ink).

Tomorrow, I think I'll try some form of still like, and/or maybe (though I've got 27 more days to play) sketching something in pencil, then filling in with paint, and/or adding features to a background with pen or pencil.... I recall that some of the things Trish did with hers was not really painting a specific object/subject, but just doing some random designs/patterns.  I need to remember that those are valid things to paint, too.  I don't always need a "model" or a "theme" or an object.... Abstract is good.

Anyway, here's the pictures...

Hm.  Seems that this new interface or whatever it is called for blogger is taking some getting used to.  In some ways, it is better than the old way, in others, it is confusing!!  
I'm now typing centered text, when all I wanted to try to do was to get the pictures to show up side by side...

Anyway, I hope to start talking about some other things soon.  Like how crappy my summer has been, as well as the few good highlights through out.  And maybe start talking about the new TV season.  I know, I was only ever really talking about some TV shows before, but since I've started a trend....  One of the shows I like started the new season mid-August.  Very early... but since some of the shows last year started late, or started then took a break, I guess the "normal" rules are now totally out the window.  Grimm has now gotten three new shows off to a second season... though, even those are confusing.  They seem to be offered on three different nights/times, and I keep looking at each one trying to figure out whether I've seen it or not.  I'm not too happy with the direction it is going at the moment, though... 

Next up is Once Upon a Time.  For a couple weeks now, they've been showing selected episodes, working up to the new season.  I missed the final of last season, and don't want to risk missing it again - especially as the way it is going right now - the "guide" on the TV says it is on at 8pm on Friday on one channel, but at 7 on another... my DVR is set to record the first channel (8 pm) BUT - the guide is wrong, and it is actually shown at 7, and the show that is slated to be on at 7 comes on at 8 and gets recorded... No big deal, as they are episodes I don't feel the need to rewatch, but scarey at the possibilities... HOWEVER!  My local library purchased the DVD of all of season 1, and I think I just might get a chance to borrow it before the new season starts :)

The Walking Dead is another series I'm looking forward to.  Along with the regulars - Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, NCIS and NCIS LA, Hawaii 5-0, though I really only watch that one as background - good knitting show.  Along with Blue Bloods.  I pay enough attention to keep track of the running storyline about the various characters, but not much more than that...

And Survivor!  I'm not sure if there will be a lot to get excited about yet, but we'll see.... I've always said that I felt sorry for the contestants who got medevac'ed out, that I would like to see them get another chance, and here we are with three of them coming back for another chance! :)  Haven't decided who I'm rooting for, or who will be the one to hate.... 

So, that's the post for now. 

Sunday, September 02, 2012


Ok.  I took a picture of the start of the sweater I'm knitting for the KAL.  Knit ALong.  The yarn store I like to shop at now is hosting the KAL for the sweater on Ravelry.  Basically, if you join the KAL, you can get 10% off the price of the yarn if you buy it from them, which I didn't know until I was buying it.  Well, I do have a vague recollection of knowing that bit before hand, but it really wasn't a motivator.  The sweater itself is one that at first, I didn't like.  But the more I looked at it, the more it grew on me.  (let's hope that stays as a figure of speech, lol).  Anyway - I figured, why not?  So I joined the KAL, and I bought the yarn (I know, I have more than enough yarn and projects already that I shouldn't have) and I cast on and managed one row last night.  I did spend some time the other night swatching, and I did spend some time with a new book looking at and playing around with some cast on methods.  So, I really didn't get much progress on the sweater yet.  But, the point is, that I did start!
Yes, it is a dark colour, and it isn't pink.  I do like purple, too... and I figure, I've done so much in pink, that it really is time to move on a little.  Yes, I still love pink, and will still make pink things.  But I do need other colours too.  I was thinking maybe black as a second choice, if the dark purple wasn't what I wanted.  And I still had pink as back-up third choice.

Next up - The granny squares I've been working on.   There have been a lot of hot days this summer, busy busy days, that have left my mind kind of mushy and unable to concentrate properly.  And stress, and TV shows, and distractions, and personal demons.... So, instead of working on the Memories of Mexico shawl like I should be, I've been working on the Granny Squares.  Kind of mindless, more relaxing, easier to put down in the middle of doing them.  I found some yarn on sale, in a variegated, that appealed to me.  And some more solids that co-ordinated nicely.  Dark brown, Tan, (the picture it looks more grey - will see if I can do better next time) and a variegated of dark brown, tan, and turquoise.  I'm going to keep making squares like the one pictured until I run out of the variegated (there was only the one ball left) and then see if I need to use some more solid to make them bigger.  The solid colours were in larger balls than the variegated.

Now, I'll share day one of the painting project.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to do a picture of flowers, to represent the gorgeous hanging baskets we bought this year. I haven't edited a picture of them yet; we have them hanging in our gazebo, and this is the first time I've ever "dead headed" flowers.  What a difference that makes!!  Anyway, there are a lot of pretty pink flowers, some purples, and some reds and whites.  I was thinking of painting a picture of one or more of the baskets... Well, the painting didn't quite turn out like that.... I was also thinking of doing some sort of painting about the fall colours.  I have a bush, it is called cottoneaster, (I may have the spelling wrong - spell check thought I wanted to say, testosterone) pronounced  co  TONE  E  aster and last year, when the leaves were turning from their normal dark blueish green to the red they normally go, there were some other inbetween shades of yellow and orange/rust.  I want to dye some yarn for socks in those colours, too.  Just haven't gotten around to doing that yet.  Anyway, I do think of those often.  So I thought about painting a picture of fall colours maybe.

I have done yesterday's painting, and today's, but haven't taken a photo of today's.  I'm using a cheap paper, and the paper takes up the water of the cheap acrylic paint (not to mention, I'm adding water for appropriate effect) and so the paper curls - later, I'm going to try pressing it with a warm to very warm iron, to see if that does anything interesting... Anyway, I don't have a picture of today's picture to share yet. ;)  Here's the one I painted yesterday.
Titled - Field of flowers.

Don't know what I'll paint tomorrow, if it will be another plant inspired, or maybe another theme, or maybe abstract... Or maybe start as one thing and evolve... Will keep you all posted, though.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

September first!

So.  Today is the day that I start my painting project.  I'm kind of excited :)

I must remember to take pictures!!!  And I need to decide on what to paint for day one.  I thought about starting with flowers.  But my thoughts for some reason are turning to fall colours and leaves.  Some of the trees are reacting to the hot dry weather we've been having and are turning and dropping leaves already.

I'll decide later, when I sit down with paint and paper.

Also, I've gone and started a new knitting project.  There is a Ravelry group for a local yarn store, and they are hosting a KAL for the next month or so - Aidez is the project.  I've selected and purchased the yarn, and I did a swatch last night.  Mine will be made in "Purple Jewel Heather"  I'll take pictures of my progress on this, too.

I know, I know, I have to finish the shawl, and I have to take pictures of the granny squares I'm making for a blanket. But, I'm sure that now that September is here, and I go back to my "nesting", I'll be working a lot on these and other projects.

So - short post, but hopefully a bit more coherent than my last one ;)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to ....

So it is back to school time.  I struggle with myself at the store these days, and the worst is yet to come!

I am long since past attending school.  I suppose I could theoretically go back for a master's degree, but I'm not likely to bother.  And while I may at some point be involved or asked to help with the grandkids, I really don't have anyone to buy school supplies for.  BUT - I love this time of year....

For some, renewal comes at New Year's - a fresh new calendar, fresh start to the year, etc.  For others, it is spring - rebirth, the awakening of plant life, starting gardens, cleaning and airing homes...   For me, back to school time is the time of renewal and fresh starts.  Nothing like walking into the classroom for the first time - you can sit in (just about) any seat you want.  New books, new teachers, new friends, new supplies.  The promise of things to come, of things to learn, to do, to create all contained in a brand-new notebook!!  That one is my absolute favourite, and the most dangerous!  I probably have a lifetime supply of notebooks. And loose leaf paper, and copy paper.  Yet, every year, I'm drawn to the selection at the store.  Packages of pens and pencils, crayons and coloured pencils, paints and glue and scissors, rulers and geometry sets - but most of all the notebooks and binders.

All these fresh new toys, with their potential, their promise - and in a couple of weeks, they'll even come on sale!!!!

*sigh*.  I need to remind myself, that I really don't need any more notebooks.  I don't need more pens and pencils.  I have enough erasers.  And so on....

But I still have the old urges, to get a fresh start on lots of things.  Time to restart the long winter projects, the knitting, the quilting, the crocheting, cuddled under an afghan while watching TV because it is just way too cold to go outside... Comfort foods, like home made soups and stews.  Home baking, home made bread.  Warm wool socks.  Oh, and about the TV - this is when the new seasons of past favourite shows start, and new series appear.

Don't get me wrong, I hate winter - snow and grey clouds and cold.  I love the blue skies summer heat.  At least, the physical part of me is like that.  But the mental, the emotional part - I love the "nesting" part of it all.  And the learning and creating - in summer, sure, I can learn and create, as well as in the spring.  But when winter hits, there really is nothing else to do but to buckle down and stay inside, and occupy the mind and the soul.

Ok, this probably isn't one of my better organized posts, but I still like this time of year for the fresh start!! :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Made my decision on the paintings

So.  I have a "sketchbook" with 30 pages.  The book is spiral bound.  The front of it says that each page is 12 X 9 inches.  I measured - the spiral binding eats into the 12 inch length of the paper.  So, I'm not going to get 12 perfectly matching 3 X 3 inch squares from each page.

What I decided to do instead, is to take a page, cut it as close to the binding as possible, then cut it in quarters.  Simply fold it in half, then in half again, and cut on the fold lines. This will give me four rectangles to paint on.  Because I'm going to do the painting a day thing for 30 days, I will use 14 pieces of paper to make 28 small rectangles.  For the remaining two, I'm going to use one more sheet, and cut it just in half once - so that there will be two days that I can be inspired to paint something a little larger.

And I'll only have used half the booklet.  Then, if I find that I'm enjoying the painting, I can always make more later. :)

I've also remembered some things.  First off, that I did do some painting in the intervening years - When I was attending University for my degree, I took an art class, that had us doing several techniques.  Among them was painting - and I recall that I learned a lot about self esteem regarding my abilities from that class.  Funny how I recall one major lesson when I'm offering help to others, but forgot where/how I learned it...

See, a lot of people worry about minor errors or perceived flaws in their knitting or crochet.  I remind them that when they are working on the project, they are generally holding it up close to their face/eyes, and really seeing each individual stitch.   And that if they put the item on the back of their couch, and step away from it and look at it as others will, they find that the flaw disappears.  Sort of like not being able to see the forest for all the trees.

Yet I forgot the part where I learned about that during the art class.  We were working on some paintings.  Of course, up close and personal with them.  At the end of class, we attached them to the wall, and all stepped back to observe and share with the class.... and my pictures were down right good!!  Maybe not art gallery material, but a lot better than I would have believed, looking at them on the work table while painting, and in some cases, the ones I thought I'd done terrible at were among the best of the lot!

So.  I do still have some talent.  And I should be able to derive some pleasure from this little project.  And I obviously still need to do some healing anyway, if that was closer to the front of my mind than the art class...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Not updating, but jumping in with all new info.

I should get around to updating what has been happening since my daily posts stopped.  But I'll need to re-read my last few posts, so I know what I *have* talked about, and what I haven't.  And today is not the day for that.

So instead, I'm going to talk about a plan I have for September.  One that I hope will be easy enough to execute, despite some challenges....

It all started some time ago, when I started checking a webpage every day, called One Pretty Thing .  They show a variety of links to blogs with various craft projects.  They have, for example, posts called "Daily Do It Yourself".  They also have "Kid's Craft Round Up".  Or sometimes it might be a "Crafty Food Round UP".  Or Knitting, or holiday related.  Or whatever.... there is even an archive you can check, to see what they've posted in the past.  I've found some cool stuff.  And some "out there" stuff, too.

One of the posts was about a crocheted goldfish.  But not just any gold fish.  A "plarn" goldfish.  Or beta fish.  Anyway, I loved it.  I want to make one.  As soon as I figure out the right way to work with plastic yarn, or "plarn" or recycled plastic bags.  I tried it once, years ago, and had a great deal of difficulty.  Not sure whether it was the plastic hook, or if I'd saved the bags too long and they degraded, or what, but I wasn't very successful.  I was going to use plastic bread bags to make a door mat... I found the stitches were very tight, and I couldn't slide the hook through them well - it kept sticking.

But the cute little fish is making me want to try again.

And I started reading the blog.

More recently, Trish (the blogger behind the plarn fish) wanted to get back to her painting.  So, she decided to commit to doing a small 4 X 4 picture every day, for 30 days.  She kept the supplies handy on her kitchen counter, so that it would be easy for her to do.  At the end, she mentioned that she did it with dollar store supplies.

Now, many years ago, like, back when I was around 10 years old, I wanted to grow up to be an artist.  A painter.  I bought or asked for Christmas gifts various paint sets.  I took some lessons in painting.  I wasn't bad, if I do say so myself.  But, there were reasons that I ended up abandoning the idea.  Painting became difficult, due to some issues that were happening at the time.  Well, that is now a very long time ago, and I've done a lot of healing since then.  And Trish has inspired me to maybe pick up a paint brush again.

Especially if it can be done with inexpensive supplies from the dollar store!!

I guess I realized, that to continue the healing process, I need to see if I can still paint, if it can bring me the happiness it once did.  Not that I need yet another hobby; knitting, crocheting, quilting, spinning, cross stitching and the hose of other things I do are probably more than enough.  And if I were to get back into painting big-time, it could get costly for supplies, not to mention, space to store it all!!!  So, honestly, I don't want to get back into it and fulfill that dream of becoming "an artist".  However, I think I want to try painting again anyway.  And like I said, Trish has inspired me.  And I think it will be good for me to finish healing.  I hope it helps!

But the challenge.... I'm not quite ready to explain it properly to my husband.  First off, there is the hobbies I already have, and am finding it hard to organize properly in the space I have.  So trying to explain to him that what I want to do is going to take up very little space.  Second, I know he was supportive of my interest in art when we met, but at that time, the hurt was too fresh, and I didn't pursue it then.  I don't know if he'd still be as encouraging, especially if he thought it might grow (it won't, really, I just want to know if I can do it).  Third - he's planning to take his holidays from work for two or three weeks in September.  It was going to be hard enough to paint on weekends with him around, and trying to explain why I was doing it.  Now he's going to be underfoot for most of the month.

But, I'm going to give it a shot anyway.  I'm going to start on September 1, and try to paint a small square every day.  And I'm going to fight the negative thoughts (if you couldn't blog every day because you ran out of ideas, how will you paint something every day?) and try to do one small picture a day.  I found a sketchbook with 30 pages at the dollar store.  I just need to decide if I'm going to use a page each day, and make something small in the middle but with the option to fill the page, or if I'll cut the pages in half, or into smaller squares.  Trish went with 4X4 inches.  The sketchbook says the pages are 9 X 12 inches, so I could go with a 3X3 square.  I'm still debating....  I have time.

And I'll try to take pictures at least every few days.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Guess I broke a resolution for sure.

Before, when I missed a daily posting here, it was generally because I was busy, and either didn't have time, or was so busy I just forgot.   Then, toward the "end", I was running out of things to say.  I mean, I was showing/talking about progress on the shawl.  And I was talking about TV shows I'd been watching.  And I was whining about the housework I should be doing but wasn't.

And, well... with summer coming, the TV watching wasn't really happening much.  Between gorgeous summer weather finally arriving so the urge to hang around outside in the evenings playing with the doggies meant no TV, and the summer reruns meaning no new or interesting TV, I just wasn't watching anything.  Sometimes, I didn't even watch the news for up to a week at a time!!  (at least I would check the news channel that I watch's website so I know/knew what was going on in the world).  And I would still try to keep up with the Star Trek Voyager episodes I was recording.

Our PVR and remote were acting up for a while, so I was also trying to watch the movies that were recorded, so that if they changed out the box I wouldn't lose them.  Some, I know, will be on over and over and over again, but others don't come on often enough... Anyway, we got the box mostly fixed, but I think we're still going to have to get it switched out.  But, the tech that came was going on holidays, and we want the same tech back - he was great, and for some reason, even the dogs liked him (Delko doesn't like strange men - takes him a while ~usually~ to get to know and relax around men - some kind of baggage).  So, we want to make sure to get the same guy.

Speaking of techs... when I left you, I was waiting on a washing machine repair guy.  The company I called quoted me (I forget the numbers now) a base price (around $40-50) for walking in the door, $15-20 or so per 15 minutes or was it half an hour? labour, plus parts.  I thought it might be a broken belt, since the things that were supposed to turn stopped turning, and there was the smell of burning rubber and some smoke.  I thought the belt burnt.

So, the dogs took a definite dislike to this guy, and I had to use TWO baby gates to keep them upstairs, while the guy was in the basement. I stayed in the kitchen pretty much, to keep the dogs from coming down the stairs and over or under the gates (they did both!).  The guy's cell phone rang - and I could tell by what he was saying (not evesdropping, just overhearing) that he was talking to his kid.  "I'm fixing a washing machine.  What are you doing?  What is mommy doing?  That sounds like fun.  I'll be home for supper (this was close to lunch time).  I'll read you a story/play.... You get the drift.   Short sentences, homey talk, think a brother or sister was mentioned... this was going on for roughly ten minutes.... I didn't complain because I could hear tool usage and stuff. So, he was working while he talked, but still... how efficiently could it be with the distraction?

Anyway, after he got off the phone, he called up to me, asking if I had a flashlight.  (seriously?  you are a washing machine repair guy, are likely as not to be working in people's basements, or at the very least, dark corners of insides of machines...)  Anyway, when I took it down, he looked under neath the drum on the inside, and announced:  "The washing machine is working now.  It wasn't working before, but it is now.  I don't know why.  It wasn't the belt".

O.   K.

Guess who I won't be calling again???  And I starting saving up toward a new washing machine.  So far, this one is staying working, which is good, because I had to spend part of the washer money on fixing our truck... :(  New starter  motor and new solenoid switch.

So, in the next few days, I'll get you all caught up on my knitting and crochet, and my other adventures so far this summer. :)

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