Saturday, March 31, 2007

I've Been Trying:

1. to spark my creativity by reading this book, Kaleidoscope with the most beautiful cover. It's one of those books that FEELS so good just to touch it. Well put together. And it has a chapter by a woman named Susan Tuttle, (who is a good friend of my friend Kate). I've met Susan once and in that one brief moment knew she was one of those women who looks you in the eye and is genuinely interested in what you're saying. Her part asks us to "Explore the Landscape Within", a self portrait. But I REALLY can't wait to get to the chapter called "Set Your Brain On Fire"...that's just what I need.

2. to walking every day. I found a new hill not far from home...15 minutes up and 15 down. I get so bored doing the same walk that I've taken to driving to some of the backroads, parking and walking in a new place with new things to look at. Whatever works. I've lost 10 pounds of unnecessary stuff.

3. to be patient during negotiations for a piece of property near the coast. To NOT get my heart set on it so much that I go into a funk if it doesn't work out. Moving after retirement has always been in the back of our minds, so this will be the first real concrete step.

4. to knit, to read, to clean, to put christmas decorations away (pitiful me). They're off the mantle and made it to the couch...TODAY the attic!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

New Projects and Inspiration

This is my new project. Knitting a sweater for me. I don't trust making one for someone that may be disappointed if it comes out not quite the right size, or a little lopsided. But for this one time, I'm determined to do it the right way, so much so I've already ripped part of it out once, emailed the designer once with questions, and know I need to rip some out on the other finished side. The designer, Jill Vosburg, was very helpful and very patient with a neophite like me. The funny thing is, I'm not really new at knitting. My mother taught me when I was 8? But I've always knit "my way", meaning never EVER taking time to do a test guage square. Duh. Making changes to a pattern because I like it "this way instead". I guess that's okay if you know what you're doing. :)

So hopefully, before too long I'll have a finished product to show.

I'm so surprised to see that crocheting is also making a big comeback. I have an afghan, (or 'african' as Stephen King calls it in his new book Lisey's Story) that was made by my Aunt Maddie and given to us as a wedding present. But the one I wish I had was one I grew up with. It was beautiful multicolored squares surrounded by black. It was always on the back of the couch and when I was home sick from school it would entertain me for hours, just looking at the color arrangements. Nice memory. Hope everyone has one of those special memories.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Signs of Spring

When I was younger and my kids were little I worked with my friend Loel in her nursery school. Every spring she would send the kids away at the end of the day with the assignment of looking for 'signs of spring'. I still do it. All by myself. And besides the first crocus, first pussywillows, first green grass, there are three BIG ones I look for in anticipated excitement. We've got number one:

Tapping the maples. I particularly love this stand of maple trees with the real old fashioned buckets attached, not the new efficient plastic kind with the tubing attached to each one.

They line the road for a good stretch, with this beautiful old stone wall running behind it. Quintessential New England in spring.

Numbers two and three are a ways off yet. I'll let you know.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Knitting Bag

I went away last weekend and came home without the cord to download pictures from my camera, so I feel like I'm missing some major part of my blogging life. What's a post without pictures, I say. At least I need the crutch of pretty pics enhancing my words. But, until my cord comes home I do have some to show you...a knitting bag I made for my sister's birthday.

She can organize all her needles and patterns in one place:and I got to use one of my beautiful new buttons:Can you tell I'm having a hard time with the new beta blogger and moving pictures around...and what's with this blue text? Anyone have some words of advice for the technically challenged?

Monday, March 05, 2007

We pause for a moment... bring you a few pictures of the last days of winter here in Maine. These are two of 5 ruffed grouse in my crabapple tree that is right outside my kitchen window. I love that tree. Last weekend we had a 'herd' of turkeys eating off of it...some in the tree and some standing on the ground jumping up to reach the fruit...pretty funny.
And this is daughter Sarah with her housemates, Maslow and Buca. Big dogs. We had a great day on the lake and the house didn't suffer too much from wet dog. I bought a new bathing suit today in preparation for a trip to Florida in a couple of weeks. And when we get home, it will be warmer here. Sap hasn't started running yet because the days are not that warm, ( warm days/cool nights) but March 25th is Maple Syrup Sunday around here so it will be SOON!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

So Close...

This is 99.5% done...all that's left to do is hand quilt the log cabins, and think of some very clever title for it. It's about 26x26, hand painted fabric, using washers as embellishment....I'm happy with it.

The real color is more like the top photo.