Thursday, February 25, 2021

I Like #202


Welcome to another week of things to like.

The weather cleared up nicely this week and at first there was tons of gross mud and melting mess (and dog doo) in my back yard.  But over the weekend I got it all cleaned up and I got this fake grass "rug" to put on my back porch to help the dogs de-mud their feet a little before coming inside.

I've been sewing madly this week, struggling with a quilt I'm trying to finish for the microscape call for entry for SAQA.  Mike took pictures of it last night, so I can do the entry but it still needs a pocket and a label so it's not done yet.  This quilt has a huge story behind it, so I'll have several separate posts about it I'm sure, but here's an in progress pic.



My snuggle muffins are just as snuggly as ever.  Spooky has definitely learned that if he has something he shouldn't have I will chase him to get it away, which has (predictably) turned into his new favorite game.






I found more beautiful art this week, the Ibbini Studios artists Julia Ibbini and Stephane Noyer create these gorgeous vessels out of laser cut paper.  I discovered them through an interesting article with lots of pictures here.


I made a tasty lemon meringue pie this week for a birthday dinner for Mike


And I love that I got my mom's annual Valentine's quilt block in the mail.  She's been making art quilts out of cut up Ohio Star Blocks so one of those made good sense!





I hope everyone is doing well!  Click over to Lee Anna's for more things to like!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

I Like #201

Welcome to another week of things to like.  This week has been absolutely insane weather.  We are now ten days into a really terrible cold snap; temperatures down to -8 and todays' the first day we're going to get above 22 degrees since this started.  The first few days were just really cold but then we had two snowstorms back to back and there's 8-10 inches on the ground depending on where you stick your quilting ruler.  That's just very unseasonable-  for example "very cold" winter weather for us usually means a couple days in the single digits and maybe 4-5" of snow.  I'm just so grateful that even though it's been colder and snowier here than in Texas, our power grid is better able to handle the increased power demands and we've only had a few rolling blackouts around here.  My cousins down in Texas are just emerging from many days of only intermittent power and three days without water.

My heat has stayed on throughout, the only challenge was my large and very drafty sliding glass door, but somewhere in the middle of this stretch I just nailed a big blanket up over it and that helped a little.

Anyway, we've been staying in even more than usual-I commented to a work colleague on zoom that it's been weird to go so many days without needing to put on a mask because we have gone absolutely nowhere.  Yesterday was the first day I even got out to walk with the dogs.  It's hard in the snow-I can only walk one at a time, but I think they enjoyed getting out.  

So things to like this week

I really enjoyed this blog post (and the original article) about one of the oldest intentionally made musical instruments ever discovered, an 18,000 year old Conch Shell.  In one of the links you can actually hear them play it.


http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/60733

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/7/eabe9510



I love the blog the Jealous Curator, and this week she introduced me to contemporary fiber artist Andrea Alonge.  Her work is just amazing, rainbows and sparkles and fiber.



https://www.thejealouscurator.com/blog/2021/02/16/andrea-alonge-2/


This was from early in the week when the windows started icing over on the inside.  The inside of them finally thawed out yesterday.


Around 4PM every day the puppies get restive and want to know why I am still sitting there at the computer and not playing or snuggling with them.  Alas work must go on!



My studio is definitely the warmest place around here;  I think largely because it is newer and just more airtight (better windows, etc.) so we've  been out there fairly often.  Of course Spooky had to sit on Bentley instead of on one of the many other available chairs/dog beds.



My backyard!  Lots of little birdies at the feeders but I couldn't get any pictures of them.  And the dogs rumpused in the snow a little bit, but not very much and I didn't get a picture of that either.


Yesterday I shoveled enough driveway that I should be able to get out, but I'm not going anywhere today either.  


And I'll close with my amaryllis- it's blooming beautifully right now, a lovely spot of color amid the wintery weather!


I hope everyone is staying warm and safe!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more good things to like!


Thursday, February 11, 2021

I Like #200

 Happy Thursday everyone,  I hope you are all staying warm.  We're in the middle of an unusual cold snap for Oklahoma, halfway through about 10-11 days without comin above freezing.  I know many in the north laugh at that, but for us it's cold!  We got a tiny dusting of snow, but not too much.  Mostly just cold.  I don't mind it though, I like the cold weather, and it makes me happy to pull out all the winter knits.  The only downside is that the sidewalks have been pretty slick, so it's tough to walk, but we've been snuggled up inside doing a fair amount of stitching.



The pups are good; Spooky is still chewing on everything but we love him all the same.



"Sharing" the chair with Blue.  I think Blue disagreed about whether there was enough space for both o them but he didn't make a fuss.

There's more space for them on the couch.  Bentley is doing well too!  I didn't have any good pics of him from this week.


A friend of mine takes lunches to homeless people each Sunday, and since it's so cold this week he's taking sleeping bags and warm stuff.  I quickly stitched up some scarfs/wraps/neckwarmers and a throw blanket using some of the fabric in my stash.  It's all soft and cozy fabric,  hopefully it will help someone stay a little warmer.



I've been doing a lot of hand stitching this week.  This is part of a hoop I've been working on during zoom meetings.  I finished the stitching this week, but I have to finish the embroidery into something and then I'll share the whole project.


I have three quilts to finish that aren't even close, two for a March 15 deadline and one for a February 28 deadline.  I'm very behind, but I guess that's life.  One of them also involves a lot of hand stitching,  here's a sneak peek of it.


I read a cool article this week about the Bayeux tapestry being online in hi-res now.  It's really a cool (hugely long) tapestry (embroidery actually) and now you can see all the stitching in detail.  It was made in the 11th century which makes it somewhere close to 1,000 years old.  Pretty amazing.




I hope you all have a good week and stay warm!  Click over to Lee Anna's for more things to like!



Thursday, February 4, 2021

I like #199

 Welcome to a list of things to like!

The puppy is doing super.  Blink an eye and he's run into the bedroom ad plopped himself on a pile of now-slightly-less-clean warm laundry.  Argh.  (but also heart eyes).



I got a new toilet installed this week.  I forgot to take a picture of it but it makes me very very happy.  Weirdly happy.  For several months in that bathroom you had to take the  tank lid off the toilet and flush using the lever arm inside, and then for several months that bathroom had no functioning toilet at all.  My house has two bathrooms and I'm the only one that lives there, so having the second one back working shouldn't make that big of a difference, but weirdly it does.  

I read this great interview this week with an artist who recreates famous paintings with her dog (!!) It's fascinating and hilarious at the same time.  Click through, there are a bunch of different ones and I enjoyed reading the interview.  

Recreating “Salome with the Head of John the Baptist” by Guido Reni (1638)  Recreation by Eliza Reinhardt



I dyed yarn with my spinner friend Melody this weekend.  We dyed a bunch of her handspun wool as well as most of the natural colored alpaca I had left from my aunt.  All the dye videos we watched were recorded pre-covid and they always remind you to put on your particulate mask before opening your dye powder.  Well joke's on them I guess since these days we all wear masks all the time!

The red you see below is a beautiful deep raspberry color in better light, it has a lot of color depth thanks to a fuschia underdye and a red/maroon over dye.  



These three are some small skeins of Targhee wool Melody spun for me,  they were an "experimental' dye batch.  It was supposed to be black/pewter/turquoise, but the black turned out that sort of barfy rose color. It's ok, I'll knit them up with something else and they'll come out fine. 


This was some rainbow speckle alpaca


And this is my favorite.  In person it's a very vibrant orange red, yellow underdye with red overdye.  It's alpaca and I can't wait to decide what to use it for.




And a final piece of very exciting news, I was super super lucky to be able to get my second dose of COVID vaccine this week.  The Health Sciences Center had extra right after Christmas after vaccinating clinical personnel and at that time statewide distribution channels weren't set up yet, so the opened it up to other employees/students.  Oklahoma is doing slightly better with vaccine distribution now, I know it's been a real struggle for people here to find places to get it, but lots of my elderly friends have now been able to secure doses so that's great.



I hope everyone is having a good week!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!


Thursday, January 28, 2021

I Like #198

 This week was filled with some nice things, mostly because my sister and her family came up to see me.  I haven't seen my sister in a long time (for me) even though I saw the kids in early December.  Of course we played lots of board and card games and went for a walk in the park, but mostly we did crafts.

We had a harry potter themed crafting weekend which was super fun.  We started off making house-color themed witches hats.  We ran out of blac peltex so the kids made white ones, but it was super fun digging through all my craft bins to find random doodads to decorate the hats.  

Here is Anna's



My sister made this one for her friend Rebecca who is a ravenclaw




This is Alex's.  He did such a great job stringing all those beads-  it was great to see how well he focused on it.  And I love that he grabbed out one of my old polymer clay beads for the nose.  I made it many years ago when I was making teeth for Seymour and it was so fun to use it for something. I think the yellowish trim below was hand-dyed by Georgia (thanks Georgia!) but I really don't know where most of the other doodads originated.  Just stuff in my studio!


My cousin Kelly made this one,  she's a Hufflepuff.  I love the fluffy batting scrap.  It makes me think of marshmallows and clouds.


Becky made this one for my friend Kristin who's also a Hufflepuff


This is Becky's; she's a Ravenclaw


And here's mine.  I'm also a ravenclaw (but a sparkly one)


They all have hairclips sewn on the bottom, and we managed to get all of them on Becky's head at one point.



The pups had a good time with the kids.  I gave Bentley a bath last night-  he was sad about it but he was getting pretty stinky so we managed to muddle through



The kids also had a good time making fantastic faces on my yarn cones.  I love them!! 



I was so happy to see them, it really made my week.

I hope there have been good things in your week, click over to LeeAnna's to join the fun!

Monday, January 25, 2021

Truffle Shawl

And here's another knitting update!  This will be the last one for a while I think as I'm now at the beginning of new projects rather than the wrapping-up stage of old ones.

This was a super fun, easy knit and made a really warm cozy shawl.  Not too big that you feel smothered, but just the right size for keeping you toasty walking through the chilly air.  

The pattern is the Truffle Shawl by Melody Johnson.  For anyone who doesn't know here, Melody is a phenomenal art quilter who has recently focused a lot on knitting and creating new variations in knitting.  She's made a series of different garments and patterns using these mitered squares, and when she offered to share this shawl pattern I jumped at the chance.  I'd never done a mitered squares pattern before and it turned out to be fun and easy.  No seaming, just all picked up stitches to join on the next blocks.  She usually uses variegated yarns in her projects which makes the pattern stand out in a really beautiful way, but I didn't have anything like that and was pretty committed to using stash yarns.  I pulled out this wonderful green merino and threw in this super fun ribbon yarn for contrast (Thanks Georgia!!). They knit up surprisingly great together.













It was really hard to photograph the whole thing because the ribbon yarn metallic was very reflective, but you can get an idea of how wonderful the yarns look together in the in process pictures above.






I mostly do openwork or lace shawl patterns, and this is so warm and snuggly and scrunchy and different.  Super fun!  Thanks so much to Melody for sharing her pattern!