Best Laid Plans…

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I had big plans for this week. I really did. I took the week off with plans to package my Potluck stamped silverware for a local shop, read a book, tackle the behemoth that is the guest room, and squeeze in a little knitting. HA!

What really happened is by Sunday I was beginning to feel sick, and by Monday…down for the count. I’m talking about the kind of gross, snarfly sick that makes people at the HEB quickly take giant scissor steps away from me. Mostly this is to avoid getting sick, but probably because sometimes I blow snot bubbles out my nostrils when I cough.

That said, I’m thankful for a few things during this little bit of down time:

I’ve had time to plow through both seasons of Pulling. Thanks for the recommendation Libby. This show makes Sex and the City seem like Little House on the Prairie.

I cast on for this cardigan with the Madelinetosh DK in terrarium that has been sitting around far too long. I knit one a few years back and hated the way it fit me, so gave it to friend.

Ice cream for my sore throat, particularly the kind with vanilla and orange sherbet swirled together.

Soup. Canned, homemade, at a café. Don’t care. Today I plan to make this soup which has become a perennial favorite of mine. Be sure to sauteé carrots with a little curry, ginger and cumin. Yummy.

A snuggly ginger kitten and the almost autumn-like early morning and evening light.

Yet another fine excuse to leave the house a wreck.

So off to HEB to scare off strangers and friends alike.

So, this happened this weekend

Emmett

Meet Emmett. The last thing, and I mean the very last thing we were looking to do was look for another pet… especially with one very sick dog. But they usually find us, don’t they? This tiny nugget has a loud purr and an even louder voice. My current obsession with Outlander had me spouting off Scottish names like Dougal McTavish, McKenzie and Angus   to match his ginger coat. All of these were met with blank stares from the husband. He will never know how close he came to having to live with a cat named Jamie McKenzie Fraser…I’m that thoughtful. We were concerned about Rosoce having to deal with a pesky kitten this summer, but he is very interested in this little guy. I guess it can be his pet.

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Saturday our friends Elizabeth & Shane were married in Rochelle, Texas. It was an lovely Hill Country evening with horses running in the pasture below, barbecue and a country band. A great time was had by all.  I stamped this cake server for them.

Schwarma

Made this recipe last night…wish I’d like tripled the recipe, it was so good. I grilled it instead of roasting though. It is summer in Texas, and truth be told.. i love a little char on most things this time of year.

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Still knitting this, and am enjoying this yarn so much. Knitting Mojo still in working order.

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… weaving mojo too. This warp is like a thousand times cleaner than my previous effort. I’m weaving a table runner out of cotton/linen warp and a boucle for the weft. I’m really liking the fabric that’s being created on the loom.

Back on That Horse

porchI spent this past weekend at a fiber retreat in La Grange. As a result of communing with such a diverse group of wonderful, productive, intelligent and talented bunch of women… my knitters’ block has been kicked to the curb. sunrise

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I frogged the squares meant for the Barn Rasiing Quilt I talked about last month and warped my Schacht randomly with different colorways. This is really only my third attempt at weaving and was shy about trotting my sloppy warp out in front of so many accomplished real weavers, but realized it was also the only way to learn from them. Everyone was so kind and encouraging, offering tips, like tying on with smaller bundles to create a smaller gap at the beginning, and using wider paper at top to keep tension and stitches even. I’ll also point out that none of this advice was dispensed while I was frustrated, but when I’d gained momentum and confidence.  kindness.warped

weavingNo need to adjust your monitor…this is a particularly electric section of the scarf.

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Look I a made fabric!

missbabsWhen making decisions on what projects to start on the retreat, I pulled out this beautiful ginormous skein of Miss Babs Yowza! What a Skein! in Merlot that I bought during The Hill Country Yarn Crawl in 2010, yes 2010. While searching for project ideas for said yarn I saw this simple and fun shawl that was just recently published here. Serendipity.

merlot2 I am loving both this yarn and the knitting. Win Win.
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Each year at the fiber retreat there is a challenge. Last year each participant received a large amount of mystery fiber to spin then weave, knit, crochet or felt into whatever pleased them. This shawl was spun and knit by one of the women who was so amazingly generous to gift it to me when I mentioned how much I loved it. I resisted at first, but when she explained she was just going to ship it up north to family, and unlikely they’d love it as much as I do… well,  I gladly accepted. Cannot wait to wear this, and cannot wait for the next retreat.

Friday Favorites

decamillis2-1 copy Somehow this morning I was tumbling down this book arts rabbit hole while drinking my morning coffee. I’m in love with these miniature copper oil paintings embedded in covers. Artist is Joseph DeCamillis.

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Recently I’ve found myself obsessed with this salad, though I most often use big store-bought croutons since they are easy to have on hand and I don’t normally have a baguette around for long. Are you really supposed to save some for later? Also, the crunchiness of  the croutons means that by lunchtime, they will still have some toothiness to them, even though they’ve been tossed in dressing hours earlier. This has become a favorite lunch, most definitely a happy desk lunch. This salad is the perfect companion to a hunk of leftover grilled chicken or salmon. No need to heat the protein, it’s perfect cold.

35252736.Oct18004 I love this photo of my mom and sister Kelly circa 1968. Love her fishbone earrings. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, step, foster, in spirit, or otherwise. Motherhood isn’t for everyone, and while some struggle at it, others are stellar. So let’s hear it for mothers of every stripe.

Looking forward to a rainy weekend so I can try out a new recipe or two, stamp some silverware pieces, and find a new knitting project to start. I’ve been stuck on the new project front for about two weeks. More on that later.

Friday Favorites

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Whew! It’s Friday. Been a long week at work. Ready to unwind. Hubby has a road trip to New Mexico planned for next week, so I am looking forward to spending time with him this weekend. I believe he already got the dreaded never-ending mowing done, so perhaps a less chore filled weekend is at hand. I’m totally craving waffles, the yummy malty tasting ones like at Waffle House. Just so you know.

I arrived ready for a long day, then all meetings and lunch plans I had for today have just been cancelled. Woot!

A few things that are totally floating my boat this week:

The image above makes me very happy. Image found on Pinterest here.

Excited to cast on for Lady Fern tonight.

I know it’s so nineties, but I have recently realized that I miss using my Filofax, I do.

I just can’t seem to fully embrace using the calendar on my phone. I always have so many notes and to do lists for each entry that it becomes a pain, and really I want all that info at first glance, in different colors. I am also a doodler, so hard to doodle a swirl or a tree in my calendar on my phone.

Do you use your phone/tablet/desktop calendar exclusively?

And, Ohmygoodness. Melamine dishes in candy colors would make eating any boring old sandwich outside a whole lot better. I just may cave in and buy these. Blogger Michele Wooderson has such a sweet colorful blog.

Have a Slice, or Two

homeslice I just dropped a couple of these, along with some other new items, at The Owl this afternoon. Notice the new labels. The back of the bellyband reads Handsome, Cheeky & Useful… because they are. This would make a great gift for your best pie baking friend, favorite host or hostess, or yourself. Better yet, why  not bring  Mom  a fresh-baked strawberry rhubarb pie and this pie server as a gift… that is, if she’s a Texan. Now all I can think about is pie, no lie. Today marked the return of the Cedar Waxwings. They find our mulberry tree every year, and the tree is a buzz with wings. It’s quite a spectacle, and the fact that I await their arrival each spring is further proof that I’m middle-aged. In case you needed some. Five things I’m looking forward to this weekend:

  1. The season premier of Orphan Black. Helena!
  2. Beginning a new knit or crochet project. This pattern is a heavy contender, but would like to use a sport weight linen instead.
  3. Rain, I think we’re slated to get a bunch of it.
  4. Happy Hour at Elgin Local Goods  Pimento Cheese and Blue Corn Crab Cakes…what’s not to like?
  5. Work. I have two clients needing logo design.

Sweet Dreams are made of Cheese

Lately I’ve been stamp stamp stamping away on vintage silverware, knitting this poncho, making shepherds pie (you betcha), redesigning my husband’s website artisanconcrete.com and trying to steal away some time to light a fire on our new brick patio. I’m striving to finish my poncho for our trip to Maryland & DC next weekend… only like 8 9,  okay 10 more inches to go. I predict a lot of Gilmore Girls (don’t judge me) or A Chef’s Life knitting time this weekend. If you’re not watching this PBS show….you should. Love.

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blankie

I said I would “NEVER” again knit something for money again. I had a moment of weakness late this summer and said “YES” to knitting this baby blanket for a coworker to give as a shower gift. I always say “NEVER”, but rarely mean it. Please don’t ask.

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About the silverware, does it make me a C-R-A-Z-Y person that I love stamping just one letter at a time with a hammer on a spoon? Be honest. I love this like I loved learning to set type on a letterpress. It’s hands on print production on a shiny loud scale. And don’t think for a minute that I don’t see the irony in the fact that I am writing this having just finished creating the Ipad version of the magazine.

The title of this post is lifted from the words stamped on sets of cheese spreaders… all with bad cheese puns.

“Let it Brie”, “Sweet Dreams are made of Cheese”, and “Gouda Vibrations” I know, it’s painful, right?

And for you Eddie Izzard fans (I’m looking at you @JDewps)… keep your eyes peeled for “Cake or Death?” cake servers to hit The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods Store or G&M Drygoods soon. Oh, and look for holiday cards too.

Tonight I’m taking the early commuter home for Sip, Shop & Stroll. This event will happen the second Thursday each month. In-store specials and live music. Downtown Elgin from 5-8. Future dates 12/11, 1/8. Elgin Local Goods just posted that they will have tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches! If you haven’t visited downtown Elgin lately… you really should. It’s truly becoming the heart of the city that it once was.

Pop Pop

This morning the muffled pops of not so distant gunfire were heard while drinking coffee out back, reminding us it was dove season once again. Fall is coming!

While cooler fall weather may be more than a few weeks away, my mind is swirling with all the projects I want to knit. Or crochet even.

This hat has been a great diversion (or side trip) from this shawl

The side trip is almost to an end. 

Flora

Pattern: Flora Poste's Cap
Yarn: Shibui Alpaca
Needle: US 2 and 3 16" addi lace

The shawl… I really had no desire to knit this pattern before I saw Melissa's three-color Bridgewater on Ravelry. Inspired, I immediatley frogged another project and cast on for Bridgewater as soon as I could. Melissa was kind enough to allow me to grab some of her photos to post here. Such beautiful color choices.


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I'm knitting mine in Madelinetosh Prairie also…

Noodle

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Turquoise for the center Square. I won't lie, this center square is one big square of snoozy garter stitch, but I'm so pleased with the size and drape of it, that it was worth trudging through.

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Wilted Rose for the Horeshoe Lace Frame. Picking up the edges of the sqaure was a bit hinky, but all stiches are ready to to roll. Last weekend I was on a weekend trip with friends and knew the lace pattern would require more attention than I had to give. The good news is that this frame is only 39 rows. 39 looong rows that is.

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and Nutmeg for the Knitted on Lace Edging

Speaking of last weekend I did persuade my friends to stop in Comfort so I could go to The Tinsmith's Wife. Love this shop. They recently moved into the old general store building next door. The new store seems larger, but with lots of cozy nooks to sit and knit.

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Last Weekend

Last weekend looked like this…

Chair

hands down, my favorite place to knit

Bud

and my favorite little buddy to knit with

Soup

i made this

Compost

and this

Sox

and finished these

Here's hoping for more of the same this weekend. My husband is sick today, and I'm feeling a bit iffy too, so perhaps just the knitting part would do.

I'm almost done with this great beret pattern from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas and though I've cast on for Topiary in a lovely blue green wool, I think I mayswing by Hill Country Weavers right now to pick up an oatmealy Berroco Vintage so that the stitches will be more pronounced. Yep, that' sexactly what I'm gonna do. I'm not normally a big fan of a wool/acrylic blend, but this yarn is really great.

off to the yarn store!