on a saturday afternoon

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boy and i went to Venice Beach this last Saturday since he’s never been. i knew he’d be amazed. Venice is the place to go if you are looking for fun. there are dancers, street performers, and hundreds of artists. on the west is the ocean, the sun reflecting off the surface from the chilly waters. a few stray children tempting the tide, running to and fro. bicycles, scooters, roller blades, skateboards, up and down the miles of paths. a little bit of bar hopping, sitting down and people watching. incenses pervading your nostrils. the world famous freak show: bottles of two headed mice and turtles. taco shelled turtles. a sword swallower. electric chairs. the winds blew in from the south, causing me to hold my dress down or else it would be a new rendition of Marilyn Monroe’s favorite scene. all the glitz and glam intermingled with tourists. so much to do, so much to see. can’t wait to go again. (and btw, boy ♥ loved it!)

bread day

bread today.

bread tomorrow.

bread every day.

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i ♥ ♥ ♥ bread.

it’s something i’m going to have to wean off of though, i’m possibly having a gastric bypass surgery and bread is not approved. so i will enjoy the fresh smell of yeast, melted butter, and flour as it kneads. i’ll continue to peek under the warm towel that covers the ball of dough that i hope will rise. i’ll knead it with my own hands, filling it with cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar. i’ll watch over it for another half hour. then i can finally get it into the oven. in thirty minutes my bread is done. the house smells like a French patisserie.

and i can’t wait to do it again.

teensy.weensy

my February sweater project began with a false start. i had to frog four rows right off the bat because i wasn’t doing the right stitches. so i began again. i’m slow going on this project. i haven’t worked charts in forever. but i just. had. to. use my madelinetosh tosh merino light. i’ll have another update in a couple days as the Ravellenics/Olympics will begin and i can finally cast on my ultimate goal. more about that later.

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a mellow yellow type of day

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if you knew me, i mean really knew me, then you would know that yellow is the Über-color. oh yeah. Über, i said it. what now? so you can only imagine how very excited, like oh-my-god-i-pee’d-myself-excited, i was to find not one. not two. not three. but four skeins of my most favoritest yarn and color: madelinetosh tosh merino light in “candlewick”. it is sincerely, the.best.yellow. not too bright, not too dark. a fine honey. a spicy honey mustard. a reddish, orange-ish, type yellow. perfect in every respect. i am seriously considering investing in just this color. i could knit every sweater in this color and it would be a mellow yellow type of day.

thank goodness for toilet paper

those cardboard rolls can be awfully useful.

i finally found a “home” for all those loose gelly pens, mechanical pencils, Sharpies, and what not. from toilet paper cardboard rolls. well, Mod Podge and some patterned paper had a bit to do with it as well. i found an old cardboard box that my mom used to collect buttons and got to work measuring some papers.

…and this is what i came up with, from beginning to end:

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et voila!

hats and mittens and really cute kittens

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excuse my absence. my son has finally come home after months of tumultuous behavior, group homes, intensive therapy. the works. last week was our “official” case closure. he’s home for good. teenagers. they invoke so many emotions in a parent. frustration. pride. loathing. love. there are days he worries me so. and then there are days i want to tell him to go play on a busy freeway. and yet since he’s been home i’ve found a new source of inspiration. you see, i didn’t learn how to knit until my son was about 2 1/2 years old. when i started all i could do was the basic knit and purl stitch. (i didn’t even know what bind off meant!) but i persevered and knit him an afghan (current whereabouts unknown). i knit him sweaters for the first day of school and for picture day. but by the time he turned eight the requests for handknit items came to a standstill. and then my Stinkerbuggy came and i knit blankets, sweaters, hats. you name it. while i still knit for my daughter, i don’t really have anyone to knit for. every now and again my mom hints to me that she wants the snowflake sweater that, my grandmother knit her many, many years ago. the problem with that is my mother doesn’t have a clear memory of how that sweater was constructed. (we’ve gone through dozens of snowflake motifs and have come up empty handed on patterns.) mind you, there is a point to this story. at the beginning of the year i stumbled upon a charity knitting group called Bundles of Joy (on Rav). the group knits sweaters, hats, scarves, mittens…pretty much anything that is needed on the Pine Ridge Reservation, specifically this LOWO group. i knit immediately that i wanted to help. and even though i’ve pared down my stash, i still have plenty of remnants to turn into hats and mittens (as above). and of course, a kitten named dr. shelby cooper to make sure i stay on task. (she’s the boss, you know?) so far i’ve knit four hats and two pair of matching mittens. i need to finish up the rest of the mittens asap. these will be for some of the babies on the reservation. my hope is that the mothers will hold onto the keepsakes that keep their beautiful babies warm and cozy throughout the years. i have until the beginning of February before sending the lot out. my hopes are to knit four more sets. eight may not be a lot, but i know that these people will appreciate every thought that went into each stitch.

on the way to the market

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about a year or so ago, Santa Monica went completely plastic bagless. they are now saying that l.a. is going back to paper bags or use-your-own. while at Michael’s i bought a three pack of canvas tote bags (about 13.5 x 13.5) and some fabric paints. i decided to break out the paints and began stamping my first of three bags. one of them i will use a half apple, the other will have gray and yellow chevrons (both make using apples and potatoes for my stamps).

the fabric paint i used it Tulip Soft Matte in “marine blue”, “blue”, “turquoise”, and “cool blue”. i also mixed a few blues together to get some extra color. just use the eraser of a wooden pencil as your blotter. and remember to put a smaller towel or paper in the bag so the fabric doesn’t bleed through. use a hair dryer to seal the paint and let it dry.

when you’re done, fill er up.

 

 

new year inspiration

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2014

the last day of 2013 i felt inspired to break out the paints and papers. buttons and twine. flowers and mod podge. you may not know this about me, but before i became a Knitter i was a Scrapbooker. a bonafide had-every-color-brad-and-Bazzill cardstock type of crafter. i loved making 12 x 12 pages and altering paper bags and foam core. but the fact is that fiber has held my heart much longer and much stronger. still, i perused a few aisles of Michael’s and JoAnn’s, trying to figure out how to spend that 50% off coupon, and i found a few trinkets and things. a while back i had bought a 180-page pack of patterned paper for cards. this came in quite useful. scrapbooking has come a long way. so while watching movies and noshing on a fresh baked warm apple cake i decided to make for dessert i got out some wood and paint and embellishments and got into the spirit of New Years Eve. i am hoping that this new year will bring about more good and less anxiety. last year was especially difficult and this year there will still be obstacles to overcome. i am inspired by what the new year has to offer.

the curious case of the missing mitten

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last month, to the day, was my thirty third birthday. i had two luscious skeins of madelinetosh tosh merino light (a fingering weight yarn) in the colorway “thunderstorm”. i love my blues. so i cast on for a pair of fingerless mittens inspired by the famous “Monkey Socks” by Cookie A. (she’s my favorite sock designer and i met her in person and she is a.w.e.s.o.m.e.) i knit the first mitten fairly fast and eagerly cast on for mitten no.2. i was cleaning out my knitting bag and purse when i put the finished mitten on the top of the couch. as i was getting to the thumb hole shaping of no.2 i went to no.1 to make sure my stitches were correct. but no.1 wasn’t on the top of my couch any longer. for one week i blamed my son. he must have thrown it away while cleaning. i blamed Shelby. she’s always hiding her toys under the bathroom sink or behind the fridge. my son said i must have pretended to knit the first one and to just knit one more. but then i’d have three mittens if i found the first, i replied. shelby just blinked like it was of no importance to her. i was too angry at the missing mitten to finish the second. i looked everywhere: i moved the stove and the fridge. i moved the bed to the other side of the room. i scoured the closet. i looked behind the entertainment center. i got on my knees and looked under the bathroom sink. it was nowhere to be found. until one day. (three weeks later…) i clean and swap out my purses. i went back to my old Sailor Jack tan/black bag. and as i dumped out my daily calendar, my Kermie wallet, the pink striped notebook i scribble in, my lonely house key, a bottle of Advil migraine meds, and a few Sharpie fine markers: well, fingerless monkey mitten no.1 appeared. i quickly finished the second one so i had a pair. and this is the story of how they came to be.