Sunday, December 23, 2007

December 20th



My baby brother is eighteen and I can't believe it. It seems like only yesterday he was shorter than me. Now he's on the brink of manhood. The next few years will, I believe, shape the adult he is fast becoming. The jump, leap from eighteen to let's say, twenty or twenty-one is mind boggling when you look back on it. On how much you actually change. Granted there are other, more significant leaps, but this is the one that has impacted me the most.



I admit that I wait with baited breath to see what he's going to come up with next. My brother is an inventor, and innovator, a steampunk, a bookworm, a lion, a gentleman and a gentle man. He's kind, strong, brave, insightful, quiet, loving, and warm. I treasure his hugs, his moments of mischief, and there are many of those, his smiles, laughter, and jokes.



Eighteen years ago I wanted to name him Tigerlilly. I was four at the time and my favorite film was Mary Martin's Peter Pan, can you blame me? I hope not too much. I remember lying awake at my aunt's house, snuggled into my sleeping bag, when the phone rang. I had a baby brother. I was taken down to the hospital in the snow to meet him, this tiny squirmy red bundle of baby brother. We've had our spats, arguments, and fights, it's all part of being siblings. There will be more in the future, that's human nature. The really special thing about our relationship is how much we love each other. Our bond is so strong, it's a little surprising at times, and other times I'm so glad it's there. Cultivated when we were young, and nurtured as we grow older, may it last for years to come.



Well world, here's my Big Little Brother. Watch out. He's an amazing artist who will surprise you with his humor, embrace you with his love, and watch you with his insight. Oh, yeah, and he's probably inventing something on the side that's likely to blow up, or careen madly around the house, so do watch your step.
I love you Big Guy!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving...with Miss Jones


There was much feasting, turkey, cranberry sauce, black olives and dill pickles. Pumpkin pie and apple pie buried in freshly whipped cream. Sunlight and laughter, family and good times.


Cousins came to visit. Actually there's only one who visited me, but we're all cousins, so it really doesn't matter. It was rather quiet without the three older boys, and we didn't manage (or really even try) to finish off ALL the apple cider in the house, but the pear wine was excellent. Crazy hats ensued.


My father's father came too, and it was very good to see him. It's been too long since I saw him last. Here he debates with my uncle over video cameras, batteries, or something to that effect


Then on Friday there was another Thanksgiving with my mother's parents. They don't get out much anymore (largely due to my gramma's declining memory) so we brought Thanksgiving to them.


The boys learn the fine art of making whipped cream with my anxious mother hovering at the sidelines. They're both fine cooks who periodically whip up magnificent batches of biscuits and homemade bread. Me, I'm the pie crust queen, sauce maker extrodinaire, oh yes, I do killer cookies now and again.



The dining room decked out in silver and fine china and crystal.


And lastly this darling lady who is a constant part of our lives. Almost 87, my Gramma has Altzheimer's and dementia. This part of her life could be viewed as a tragic event because yes, there is huge loss of memories, stories that should be passed on to future generations, knowledge that will be lost forever, but if we looked at it that way, we'd never find the joy and beauty in anything now would we? Joy and beauty in loosing your mind? Yes. This lady used to be critical, scathing in her remarks which made is very difficult to love her as a Gramma. We tried, and were polite, but sought the solace of the backyard leaving our parents to defend us. Now this lady is the sweetest little slip of a thing on the planet. She's ranges mentally from about 6 years old to 11 or 12. You don't have to tell her the stove is hot, don't touch, but you do have to remind her to wipe her nose or finish her supper. She's constantly singing now-a-days, today's song was "Tea for Two". Little lyrics are quoted often repetitively, but if you know the song, she'll belt it right along with you. "Jukebox Saturday Night" and "Do You Know Miss Jones?" are also part of the repertoire. As a child who grew up in the generation of the Backstreet Boys, N'Synch, and The Spice Girls, I welcome the new-to-me-but-familiar-to-her songs. It's part of her past and in the future I'll think of dancing with her to them as I listen, to her faltering alto half singing, half humming to tunes along with me. And I'll miss her. For now, I'm soaking it all up. The pretty with the ugly. Keeping the memories of this precious lady tucked deep in a special corner of my heart.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

FO: Tonk's Bolero

I know the pictures are crappy, and beg your forgiveness and understanding. :0)



There isn't really a pattern for this,just lots of vague notes. I really need to get better ones. Heh.


I made this especially for my Halloween costume, but I'm not sure I'd ever wear it again, I don't know yet. I'm thinking of posting it on my etsy, so if you're interested, let me know!



I'm now in a play due to some other people quitting (blech!) so I find myself with copious amounts of lines to memorize! Whee!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ravelry!

MAH! I'm in, and it's super cool. I didn't have to wait too long, but then I don't really remember when I signed up. :0) He hee. Exciting!
My profile

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Coffee Cup Cozy Tutorial - Part One

NOTE: this is a pattern in progress, and there may (or may not) be things missing, please bear with me on this! ;o)

Cut four pattern pieces (measurements coming!) 2 inside and 2 outside.


Sew 2 insides together, and 2 outsides together on the vertical.


Insides and outsides sewn.


Now sew one vertical seam with ins& outs facing each other, and "wrong side" of fabric facing you.


Sew along the long top (horizontal line) and the shorter bottom, leaving one vertical edge open.


More to come! Sorry to leave it unfinished, but I still haven't figured out the best way to get the batting inside without being awfully frustrating.
Cheers!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fall Makings...









It's a quiet rainy sort of day, and I've been working on several neckwarmers for my etsy as well as an Advent Fair or Christmas Bazaar. I'm looking forward to that with great delight simply because it will be my debut as a crafter selling my wares in public.
It rained all day, beginning with dark clouds rolling in last night and not letting up until recently. A peaceful, simple day that makes me want to curl up by warm fire, with a cat and a good book.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Fall is coming...







...and it makes me want to knit. These neckwarmers will be for sale soon! The pink and black are a custom order, but you get the gist of what they can look like, eh? The multi has two siblings in the same colours, plus two others in more muted and rich autumnal colours.

I love fall. It is, without one doubt, my favourite time of year. Perhaps it's because I was born in the fall? Perhaps it is because it's just so rich with my favourite colours? Perhaps it is because I won't melt when I stand in the sun? Something along those lines. Here in the Northwest it rains a lot, but the wind, and the sun. I cannot find words to express my sheer ardor for Fall. The air is heady with the smell of the earth, so recently wetted with rain. The trees turn out their most marvellous colours before succumbing to the long sleep of winter. It's fall! Time to knit some sweaters!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Renaissance Faire!


My friend Rachel went as a mage, that's my staff, though it worked for her well enough. I'm technically, Grace O'Malley, but none but I knew that, and that's all which really matters!


This is "The Purple Lady" according to one small admirer. Kristen as our Fey companion we made an interesting trio.

We met and watched some lovely costumes go by. Jesters, Harlequin, ladies of Her Majesty's Court, they were as varied and original as those wearing them.











Then, my favourite part of the Renaissance Faire, The Joust! We had wandered up near the tilting field only to catch the tail end of a show. The king was holding a tournament to determine who would marry his daughter, only to find that the winning knight was his daughter! Her love was cunningly disguised as her double.






Then we caught the real joust. First off, the knights rode around the ring trying to catch small circles of metal on their swords, these were no bigger than four inches in diameter. Next was spearing a "wild boar", made of three bales of hay, with spear, and blade.







This knight was the only bowman among them. He was amazing to watch as he passed, he didn't move up and down like the other knight, instead he was steady in his riding. Lovely to watch.



Then the actual riding-at-each-other-with-a-thundering-roar jousting. These horses run as an average of 15mph. Just imagine that smacking you in the chest!


This is the Hungarian Knight, laughing at his fellows. He was the "pretty boy" of the bunch, rearing his horse and flipping his hair for the ladies.


Can you tell I didn't like it? Nope. I liked Scotland seen below. His horse was HUGE, and he had the long hair but none of the amusing vanity of Sir Hungary.


Between the jousts, the Jester came out on a little pony to try tilting at the quintain. He hassled the M.C. before falling off his plucky ride.







After all that jousting and dust in our mouths we wandered down to one of the food stalls and bought a haunch of ham, despite it being billed as turkey, it tasted like ham! I got to polish it off!




Yummy!





This, is Commodore Norrington. I first wondered why on earth Jack Aubrey had the audacity to show up at a RENAISSANCE Faire. We're talking the 1500's people. Jack didn't sail around until at least 1770. Well, it turns out our friend Norrington here was chasing Jack Sparrow. I told him not to cross the bridge without reinforcement lest he meet one of the many Jack Sparrows roaming the faire. This comment was met with astonishment ("There's only ONE Jack Sparrow!"), then resolution, "I must first re-claim my hat, before hunting down Sparrow". Delightful.


All in all, it was a wonderful day spent with friends, good food, and excellent entertainment. Before we left, Jack Sparrow had to say good-bye to our Purple Fairy!

I should become a psychiatrist . . . .

Do you know that funny little feeling you get when you're reminded by your sub-conscious that something, one little thing, is not quite right? I often put this off as being hormonal, or due to lack of sleep. It can't be true. Silly girl. This is not the case. It IS something. The challenge is whether you pay attention to it and find out what it is, or leave it lie by the wayside. Often I don't address the sub-conscious, primordial warnings, however, when I do things are often solved or revealed.
I even learn things about me from listening to, me. I'm feeling down and acting rather whingey, I could remedy the problem with buying something, but that will provide momentary solving. It won't make me feel better. I found that I draw my creative energy from being around people. EVERY DAY. That's the hitch. I need to be among my fellow man each day for a time in order for this creativity to work. Elsewise I become very despondent and utterly bored. It's silly, but true. The longer I leave off being around people the more despondent I become, the less I feel like I am an artist and as a result, I've no art to produce. No energy to make something. No joy in picking up my knitting needles and just, knitting. Even if I don't like the project, or am under stress, it's the creative energy drawn from people that fuels me under it all.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ren Faire Update to come tomorrow....

...I'm too worn out to navigate such a long post right now, and besides, you'll have the benefit of more photos that will come later! :)