Friday, December 29, 2006

Back from Finland and I've been tagged!

Okay, I'm back from Finland and exhausted. The boys and I had a wonderful time and I'll post with pictures once I collect my thoughts about what I want to say. There was so much there it was amazing. Till then, Thea tagged me while I was gone so I'll respond and tell a few of my strange things. Snicker! Happy New Year!

RULES: "Each player of this game starts with the "6 weird things about you." People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

1.) I had a houseplant named Stella whom I fed beer and water.
2.) I clean my kids' ears obsessively because I hate ear wax.
3.) I CANNOT eat/drink after anyone at all-even family--sharing utensils grosses me out.
4.) I can do a tarot reading and know a few hoodoo spells.
5.) I'm a total hypochondriac.
6.) I still like for my Mom to do the little piggy rhyme with my toes. You know, this little piggy went to market, etc.

Since I'm an HTML moron, I have absolutely no idea how to get a link in here I have to bend the rules a bit. If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Encounters with an ostrich and other animals

Mom visited the boys and I for Thanksgiving which was really nice. We damn near didn't get the turkey cooked because it was still partially frozen. Once we managed a quick thaw, I actually forgot to turn the roaster on. After an hour, Mom discovered that mistake. Still, we ate high on the hog and had a great time. I've seemed up the teal sweater and am working on several projects. Today, I am not going to show you those :) Instead, you're going to see pictures my son took from our visit to Fossil Rim in Glen Rose, TX. Fossil Rim is a conservation park where you get to drive through and view free roaming animals from your car. We had a wonderful time and learned a lot about the animals we saw too. Still, the most memorable part was our first animal encounter. Directly after driving in, we stopped to look at this ostrich who promptly strutted and swayed his way to our car. The next thing I knew, I was face to face with this lovely big bird who was looking quite insistently at me. Apparently, I was too slow for the impatient bird because before I knew it he had stuck his head IN THE CAR and tried to yank the bag of feed out. I sat flustered and uselessly telling the ostrich to shoo. Mom, on the other hand, grabbed the bag of feed threw some to him and told me to hit the accelerator and move on. If it had been left up to me, I would probably have sat there till he got in the car with us. So we moved on past numerous deer and wildebeasts until we came to some zebra. Let me tell you, they are bold and quite used to getting fed. As the car ahead of me pulled forward, I noticed one particular zebra parked herself directly in the middle of the road. She had a very determined look on her face and was pregnant to boot. She absolutely would not budge until we threw her some feed. Let me tell you, the look on her face meant business! Next, we came to the giraffes. I have decided I love giraffes. They're so interesting and majestic. That was something I didn't realize until I was looking up at one up close. Nothing makes you feel like you are very small in the grand scheme of things than to look up into the eyes of such a big animal. We also saw a wolf (the wolf was in a fenced in habitat). It's so easy to think of those animals unrealistically when they are so eager to come close to you in order to get a treat. With the wolf, you had to be extremely quiet. (Of course we could not get near him and certainly no feeding was allowed) He was interested but very weary of human interaction. It was a poignant reminder that these animals are wild animals. Unfortunately, we have this opportunity to interact with them because their habitats have been encroached upon by development or they have been hunted into near extinction. That makes me very sad because we are losing a valuable part of our environment. All in all, we had a wonderful day an the kids learned a lot about the animals and why conservation is so very important. So, if you have a conservancy nearby, go to it, If you can't go, make a donation to support it. It's worth it. Here are just a few of the photos my oldest son took from our visit there.
(By the way, just to be clear, the conservancy at Fossil Rim had strict rules about our interactions with the animals. No touching or hand feeding was allowed, People were to stay in their vehicle at all times. No horn honking or driving off of the trail. One very small bag of feed per car with no exceptions to avoid overfeeding. Of course, we were reminded that all of the animals were indeed wild and not domesticated just because they were familiar with human interactions.)

Till later, Alicia

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mom says it's like Mork and Mindi

That's what my Mom said about my pants. She took the photo so you won't be regaled with fuschia thighs but if you look at the hip area you definitely get the idea!!! In other news, I've whipped up some more washcloths. I totally prefer to crochet these. It's way way faster and I like the texture. The teal sweater is my own pattern, if you can even say that because it's ridiculous basic and simple. Still, I'm learning from each of my own knits and that's what's important. My Mom is here for Thanksgiviing so I'm super happy about that. She's helping me get organized which is very nice. Apparently, I'm not very organized. I prefer to think I'm just overwhelmed with projects right now! Oh, since my sister said I wasn't updating my blog nearly enough I am pledging to do better!!! Must throw in gratuitous cute kid shots for the family. Love you guys! Till later, Alicia

The babies are here, the babies are here!!!

Kristi of Red Dog Knits had her babies! Yay!!!! They are super adorable so go check them out! Congrats Kristi and Noel and good luck with your babies!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Strange days indeed...

It's funny how a day unfolds sometimes. You think everything is going to happen a certain way but instead it all just pans out differently. That's how my days have seemed lately. Nothing has happened how I envisioned it to. Really, it all started out with the fushia ski pants. The boys and I are going on vacation to Finland for the holidays with my sister. She is graciously ordering most of the clothing and footing the bill for the trip. (We haven't seen each other in a few years.) I thought I'd help out by purchasing the ski pants for the boys and I. The boys' pants arrived and all was good. My first pair of pants arrived and fit nicely. Now, here comes the fuschia pants dilemma. You see, el cheapo here ordered the stuff off of ebay because I refuse to pay full price. I saw this pair of fushia pants in my size for sooooo cheap. I figured even with overdyeing I'd still come out on top. I figured. Uh huh. Right. So, the day comes when my pants arrive and I eagerly put them on. The good news is that I didn't have to suck in to zip them up. The bad news is that all I was lacking to make my outfit complete was a Farrah hairdo and some of the shiniest lipgloss this side of the Mason Dixon line. Topping it all off would have been some serious 70's theme music to add that cheesy touch. Can you say snug? I looked like I was in hot pants ready for the disco floor! Oh, don't worry. I'll post a picture. Eventually. I can't quit laughing long enough to focus the stupid camera lens. My dear sister, (seriously, thank you lea!) is kindly ordering me a new pair of ski pants. In black. Only on the condition that I bring and model the fushia hot pants/ski pants. Me, being a cheapo, has agreed to do it. After the arrival of the pants, the kids have been rowdy. The pets have been rowdy and I 've had crazy dreams about the cycle class I teach. The only thing that hasn't been strange has been knitting. I've done a bit here and there. I'm working on a simple sweater, a hat for a friends' daughter, and just lots of other random things. I may never be able to knit up all the yarn I have. Well, I'll just die trying I guess! Till next time, Alicia

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bed sock, absorba and what's on tap

Okay, so it's been rather hectic here. The kids and I are settling into a routine. Our furry family members, however, have other plans. Last night, or early this morning actually, Chloe the wonderdog woke me up. She did this by pouncing on my bed and trying her level best to get the cat to play with her. He was having none of it and neither was I. I love Chloe but you should know I refer to her as ," My Little Pony". She's just 70 pounds of wiggly doggie love which would be fine if she weren't convinced she was a lap dog. Arggghh! Oliver is steadily assaulting any pair of legs he sees. That little guy is fast! Hopefully, they'll settle down soon enough. In needle news. I finished Tempting II awhile back. It turned out okay but I'm concerned it might grow a bit. Time will tell. From Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush, I finished the bed sock. I used Cherry Tree Hill Superwash Merino. I love the silky feel of this yarn. The fact that I can machine wash and dry it is such a bonus! I might be in love with superwash wool. The Absorba Bathmat is finito as well! The ladies at the Mason Dixon KAL are right. It is like wrestling alligators to knit this thing. For my next one, I'll be crocheting it instead. My idea of looming it did not work at all. The cotton was just too inflexible to easily loom knit. I've also finished some other odds and ends that I'll post a bit later. Right now, I'm hard at work on about four different projects. Big time startitis. I need to develop some finishitis. Oh, before I forget, I have to unveil my first original did it all by myself knit top. I think I ended up naming it the classic white shirt revisited. It wasn't complex but I did have to fiddle with the neckline a bit before I got it right. For my next original design, I'm going to use a lovely textured stitch pattern. I'm fiddling around with the design a bit more to get it exactly like I want it. Till next time, Alicia

Monday, October 02, 2006

Long time gone

I'm sure that some of you might have given up on me but I promise I'm still here. I've had a lot going on lately. DH has deployed so I'm getting into a new routine around here. I promise a post with pics this week. I actually have completed some projects and have a ton on the needles. I've also been doing some writing. I'm contemplating moving my blog but I haven't decided yet. Until Friday, when I absolutely promise to post. Alicia

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Yarn Harlot visit and big time catch up

Okay, I'm way way behind in my blogging lately so allow a little bit of catch up on this post. I was fortunate enough to see the Yarn Harlot in Austin, TX on the 29th of July. If she's speaking anywhere near you, it's totally worth the drive to go. She is very funny! I met up with some other bloggers there whose sites I'll be posting on my sidebar in the near future. What a great group of ladies! I don't have an LYS in my area so the knitting community has always been a very virtual reality for me. It's so neat to meet fellow bloggers in person. Once I get the links up to their sites, drop by their blogs and take a look see. I met everyone from college students to grandmothers; sock knitters to lace knitters; and everything in between. The talent at Hill Country Weavers that weekend was amazing. By the way, if you happen to be in Austin, Hill Country Weavers is a must. I swear the first time I went in that store I drooled. The yarn selection is wonderful and of course, I came away with quite a haul. All in all, it was a fabulous weekend and well worth the drive down to see the Yarn Harlot speak. Since then, I've joined yet another KAL. This one is called UFO August. I was hoping to get my UFO list completed before I move on to other projects. I've finished a pair of rustic loomed gauntlets of my own pattern. Right now, I'm trying to finish Tempting II before completing my original white shirt. I'll have to knit like the wind but I think I can do it. I'm also working on a novel I've been kicking around for awhile. My synopsis is due to my Mom (editor) like yesterday. As you can see, I'm quite busy so I'd better get back to work! Till later! Alicia

Monday, June 26, 2006

Toes in the water

Many knitters come to a point in their craft where they feel restless. You've got the basics down; you've branched out and you're learning more everyday. Somehow, it just isn't quite enough. Something is missing. You crave....something. You're just not sure what. I've been restless in my knitting for awhile now. Branching out into lace and cables has helped expand my horizons but I've been needing something more. Awhile back I posted about my favorite white T-shirt and designing my very own homage to that old shirt. Well, I've gone and done it. I've calculated, swatched and decided for long enough. So, this weekend, I cast on and now, I'm just past the underarms. There's something very liberating about doing it yourself. Making your own path so to speak. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed designing. I haven't designed since college. Back then, I sketched clothes I dreamed of creating. Now, I'm working on sketching knitting and crochet that swirls around in my head. I've got four other projects in mind already. Yarn is sourced and the sketches are being fleshed out. Hopefully, my restlessness will be eased. Really I just hope the sweaters turn out the way I see them in my head. That's the real challenge isn't it? To envision something a certain way and mold your materials to make it become real. Speaking of challenges, I'll issue one to you, dear readers. Whatever your medium, push yourself past your current boundaries. If patterns are what guides you, toss them aside, outcome be damned. It doesn't matter if what you render works out, it's the process you take along the way. What did you learn? What worked and what did not? Get where I'm going here? Sometimes, shaking it up a bit can bring life back to your knitting (or sewing or crocheting,etc). Feel free to drop me a line and send me a photo of what you did and what you learned. I'll be posting my progress along the design route as I go. Till next time, I'll leave you with a few pics of some of my finished items. A felted box, a refashioned cami, and progress on the nosegay doily.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mr Robot-O

Okay, let me start with a quick aside to Jeanie--since you asked, I've modeled the car coar. Notice how I'm not showing my face. That's because I'm dying of shame! No way on earth I'm being photographed in those bloomers either!! So I was feeling, well, a little off my mojo for awhile and really needed something to convince myself I was able to create something that wasn't a home-ec reject looking thing. Eureka! A fellow CP'er issued a challenge on creating a nosegay doily. Now, I'm not a doily girl but the challenge was to interpret it in your own way and do your own thing. That I can dig! So I whipped out the pattern, my yarn and hook and got ta goin'! I now have a newfound appreciation for all things doily. My interpretation is going to be a shawl in mercerized cotton. I thought about doing a purse but I really would have to line it and just wasn't sure I wanted to do that. Maybe for another doily interpretation eh? Feeling really jazzed over my progress on the doily shawl, I convinced DH to wrap me up in duct tape. Oh stop it! It's not what you think! He was kind enough to help me do my duct tape double dress form this weekend. Glad I did it, not sure I'll be doing that again, thank you very much. As DH was wrapping, he said, "Hope you remembered to go pee cuz this is gonna take awhile.!" Once you get going, there's not turning back. You can't even sit down! Gyaaahhh! Towards the end , not only was he singing his own praises about his uncanny ability to mold the duct tape perfectly he was doing his own rendition of the Double Origato Mr Robot-O song. Still, humiliation aside, it was worth it. I've cast on for squash blossom. 462 stitches. I cast on 462 freakin' stitches. There is not enough wine in all of the world to get me to cast on that many stitches again. I had to di it twice because I messed up the first time. A woman can get dangerous after casting on that many stitches twice. Needless to say, I'm only on row one. We'll see if this one makes it to the FO pile. On the sewing front, things are going much better. I've refashioned many things and actually used the dressform already. Two of my grandmother's shirts are now retro aprons. One of my old maternity sweaters has recovered my office chair. So, all in all, it worked out okay!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Bloomers are for girls and some yarn is just crap

Oh my what a productive weekend I've had! I jumped right onto a pajama outfit I'd picked out to sew. Feeling ecletic and basically because it looked comfy, I picked out a junior pattern that was a baby doll shirt and bloomers. Big. Mistake. You know that nagging feeling you get that something just isn't going to turn out as you'd hoped? I should have paid attention. I had that feeling as I was sewing the top. Noting to myself that I looked like I was with child when I tried it on, I thought, "Well, maybe with the bloomers it'll all come together." I decided that the bloomers needed length because my butt hanging out is not my idea of cute or comfortable. Never ever lengthen bloomers. I looked like a cow caught in cotton flannel. Is it possible to look thirty pounds heavier? Oh yes, it absolutely is if you wear this outfit. At least I dissolved into hysterical laughter before I felt very much my age. Still, I'll wear the top to sleep in, maternity look and all. DH actually asked me not to even go out to check the mail in it. I sewed quite well. I just picked a doozy that's all. Add to that my crochet car coat disaster. I whipped it up as part of the stashalong. The yarn was LB colorwaves and I'd had it forever intending to make this coat. Let's just say it wasn't all I'd hoped; that I think colorwaves is craptastic and I'm not frogging it. Why not? Well, for starters it took too long to make. Also, I doubt the yarn could withstand the frogging, it barely withstood the crocheting. Plus, it does actually fit. It's just really ugly but I do see myself wearing it around the house to keep the chill out. Just never ever in public or around guests. In mason dixon warshrag news, I've finished another washrag. Oh how I love that pattern. I'm going to have a whole drawerful by the time I'm done. What next? I'm deciding today but I know for sure that I've got the following on tap:

Nosegay Doily challenge from a fellow cp'er (crochet list)
Shirts into aprons (Wardrobe Refashionista)
Tempting II (upcoming SKC KAL)
loads more warshrags
doing the gauge swatch and starting my own sweater
should I throw in socks? maybe I will!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ball winders and wash rags

Okay, hopefully blogger will cooperate with me this go round and allow me to post though my post won't be nearly as witty and well thought out. I just finished my first washrag from the Mason Dixon Knitting book. Please go and run to the store to get this book if you don't already have it. It's rare to find so many useful and pretty patterns in one spot. Not to mention that these ladies have a wonderful, reader friendly way of writing. Hold a minute...I'm having a psychic vision..yes, I see, I see...why.. it's me doing lots of projects from this book. Specifically, I'm lusting after the nightie and robe. Oh August come soon so I can go and buy the yarn!!! Till then, I will use my stash to make lots of washrags. In the spirit of recycling, I dug out a cotton/linen blend vest I got at the thrift shop a few months ago to use for some prissy powder room handtowels. I just love that word prissy. In stashalong news, I used my yarn enhancement day for June to purchase the yarn for my first ever made it all by myself with no pattern top. I chose Elann's Esprit in bright white. I like the texture and already have an idea of what I'm going to do. Now I just have to crunch the numbers and get gauge. I've got two sewing projects and an embroidery project in the works as well. It'll be a busy summer at the Bal casa for sure. Sam, the pic of the ball winder is for you! I love mine and highly recommend it. Till next time! Alicia

It's done!!

Never again will I sew plaid anything! Initially matching the plaid wasn't so bad. The trick is keeping the plaid matched while you sew. Apparently this is something I'm not too skilled at. Still, I'm happy with the end result. Now that I've finished the couch, I'll share the how to paint your couch info.
1. Choose a fabric paint and decide on a color. Order three times the paint you've estimated you'll need. Plan on the painting taking about five times as long.
2. Tape up any parts of the couch you don't want painted.
3. Lay a tarp down and put on clothes you don't mind ruining.
4. Buy a bottle of wine to be consumed after you paint. You'll need it.
5. With a paint brush and a sponge brush, alternately paint and do a dab press method to ensure full coverage. If you're back isn't killing you by the time you're 1/4 of the way through, you're probably not doing it right.
6. Let it dry for at least a week. No really, let it dry! I got paint residue on some clothes because my seat cushion was still a little damp when I put it back on the couch. Patience was never a virtue I possessed.

If this all sounds a little daunting then I've accomplished my goal. By the time you consider paint and labor (oh the labor!), you might rethink being cheap and just go get new furniture. By the time I was done with these couches, I would have sold everything that wasn't nailed down just to buy some new ones. It sucked that bad! Mrs Pao, I promise a pic of my yarn winder this afternoon and a further explanation of my duct tape dress form!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The death of a shawl

Why didn't I trust my instincts and cut a new, longer lifeline? I'll tell you why. I was overconfident. Yes sir, I believed I had it down pat at this point and wouldn't make a mistake in the final repeat before I did the edging. Hah! How foolish!!! I looked down to admire my handiwork only to find that not only had I made a mistake but I had lost part of my lifeline as well. In vain I tried desperately to locate the stitches necessary to pick up once I frogged back but it was no use. I was hopelessly lost. So I frogged the whole dang thing. That shawl had the audacity to break a few times too. I'll start over but not until at least June 15th. Why June 15th? Because it'll take me two weeks to get over the case of the red ass I got from making such a stupid mistake. Should've, should've...paid more attention, cut a longer lifeline instead of being a cheapy and trying to reuse the previous one just one more time. Grrrrr! What next? I'm not sure but I'm thinking Squash Blossom. (see pic above)I like it. I have the yarn and it's summery. Maybe I'll go do a gauge swatch now. It'll make me feel better!

Okay, I did the gauge swatch for Squash Blossom. I need bigger needles which I've ordered. So in the meantime, I spent the weekend sewing nine, yes nine, pillows and a wall hanging. Picture to follow soon. I don't care to sew that much ever again in one weekend. I couldn't have done it without Mom and the wine she brought. Okay, I didn't drink the wine while I sewed, I drank after! I've cast on for a cotton throw for the couch too. I've decided to do my own thing and not follow a pattern. Hopefully it'll come out okay. I'm sort of keeping track of what I'm doing so when I'm done, I'll post about it. DH is helping me make a duct tape double dress form next weekend. Yeah!!! If all goes smoothly, I should finish up the crocheted car coat I'm working on this week. I'll confess that I something doesn't seem quite right about it. I hope that's not the case since frogging this yarn would be next to impossible. Till next time! Alicia

Half full or half empty? Half full I say!

Ahh the ebb and flow of life. One step forward; one step back. Our a/c went out again and we just broke down and bought several fans and an inexpensive window unit since the temps were above 90 degrees. The a/c repair should be out here tomorrow but I'm not holding my breath. Three FO's to call my own. Two one skein wonders done with kool aid dyed yarn. One fat bottom bag in Noro Kureyon #88 (I think)--see SnB crochet Happy Hooker. I love both patterns! They are quick and easy. Instant gratification. I'm still plugging away at my lace shawl and have a confession to make. I've been ignoring it. Don't get me wrong, once I'm knitting it, I enjoy it and am so happy I learned to do lace. It just feels like it's taking forever and I'm not a patient person. Technically, I could just start the edging now and have a nice shawlette but I'm feeling stubborn and don't know if I want to do that. So in the interest of compromise, I've decided to finish the skein of yarn I'm on and then maybe see if I want to do the edging. Until then, I need to find some way to avoid the siren song of other projects. You know the feeling. If I just put this down, I could whip this up in no time; have something really cool and get back to the forever project soon enough. This is what makes the forever project the forever project in the first place. What a viscious cycle!! On the couch painting front, I've got one down; one to go. They were previously ivory, a very stained ivory at that. I'm not beginning the next one till the air is fixed due to the humidity in the house. Ignore the pillows, I'll be recovering those shortly (as in next weekend)and promise a full before and after set of pics. Till next time!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Lilac Orangina off the needles!

Well, I finished my Orangina Saturday and seamed it that night while watching Ultimate Fighter 3. I can't get enough of UFC. Orangina was a surprisingly fast knit and quite satisfying. Not too challenging but not boring either. I chose to do the smallest size since cotton and I have a tenuous relationship. The very first top I did was in cotton and though I picked my actual bust size, it seemed to grow by at least two inches. The end result was a top that was cute for two wears and now is saggy and baggy looking. Picovoli was my first successful cotton knit since then. The only change I would make would be to knit the lace pattern an inch to an inch and a half longer and then begin the ribbing. I like a little more tummy coverage than most blouses offer these days. We'll see how I feel two wearings from now. It might be juuussst right by then. In embroidery news, I demolished one shirt and put a leopard smack dab on my breast on the other. Nothing like leopard boob to spice up your day. Note for the future, placement really is important when you embroider. I was working steadily on the fat bottom bag from Deb Stoller's Happy Hooker, SnB Crochet when I got to thinking it just wasn't looking right. Sure enough, I had messed up and had to frog it completely. I chained again last night and started over. That's what happens when you don't pay attention to detail. Apparently I just kept increasing and increasing. That's what happens when you lose track of your stitch count! On the needles now are many things. Among them a cotton dishcloth knit continental style. Funny, I know it will be quicker to knit that way when I get the hang of it but right now it feels so awkward. Also, I'm still working on the lace shawl and the goal is to complete it by the 15th. I better get cracking on that since my couch paint just came in. The goal is to wrap that up by the weekend. I'm sick to death of the whole couches in transition look. Time for completion already! Oh yeah, the hat on the stuffed horse is another stashalong project. I had a single skein of yarn hanging out and the pattern to go with it. I crocheted it up in one night. Love that!!!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Stashalong and other great things

Today is a very sleepy Saturday here in the Bal casa. We woke early anticipating two back to back baseball games and a party only to find that both games had been cancelled due to bad weather. We had a terrific storm last night that actually didn't scare me at all. It was really fascinating. I'm not sure why I felt so mesmerized. It could have been all the lightning. It's almost surreal to watch nature behave that way. DH and I watched King Kong (the new one) last night. Now, I've never seen the original so I have no comparison but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I've made progress on my Orangina in lilac and have the picture to post as well. It's coming along quite quickly--more quickly than I thought even. In light of that, I've decided that I must organize myself! Enough with a closet overflowing with yarn! Enough with two, wait, I mean three unfinished quilting projects and countless sewing projects. Have I touched all the thrift store recycling stuff? I didn't think so. Oh yeah, there's also the novel(s) I've been puttering around with for ummm over two years. No, I don't have writer's block. I have a complete inability to focus on one thing at a time. So yesterday, I dragged the kids to Target and got a project notebook. The goal is to get myself on some type of timeframe. Last night, with wine in hand, I began listing all the projects I have on tap and the order in which I'll be doing them. I've even assigned some tentative timeframes. Today, I felt so motivated I actually got up the courage to tackle some machine embroidery again. For my birthday, I got a Singer Quantum Futura 200 CE. I'd been a little discouraged because it's a fussy machine. God forbid you don't thread something right. The darn thing wants you to do it correctly. Imagine that! Today I decided I would not be beaten by a sewing machine. I don't give a rat's butt if it can embroider. I had a discouraging false start and finally- success! I'm really proud of that. I haven't sewn in ages so this is very good thing. I'm dipping my toes in the water again. This week I also got my card from my Project Spectrum pal Mrs Pao. What a lovely card and a great person! Thank you so much!!! I'm not sure I told you, but I'm fourth generation Irish on my Mom's side so the Gaelic Blessing is very special to me. Also, the envelope had a Paddington Bear postage stamp as well--I LOVE Paddington. I had a Paddington bear as a child that I positively wore out. I can recall reading the books to my children as babies. Yes, folks, I do the voices--it's the only way to read! Accents and sounds make it much more fun and exciting. Mrs Pao's card has a special place in my home office beside my computer. I've been missing Thomas very much lately and this card really puts a smile on my face. Thank you again Sam! Oh, I'm also including the yarn and books I picked up while in San Antonio. I've decided Blue Sky Alpaca's 100% dk Alpaca might be heaven. It's soooo soft! The coral piece on the sofa is a wrap I crocheted. The dishtowel is, well, a dishtowel I crocheted. Both were for the stashalong I'm participating in. Till next time! Alicia

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sea World for the weekend!

We just got back from spending the weekend in San Antonio. I'm glad to say we had a great time even though we bought more than we had anticipated. No one could ever accuse us of not getting lots of momentos on any trip we take! We left Thursday morning and apparently missed quite a storm that rolled through here. So bad in fact it blew a panel of our fence down but hey, they fixed the A/C while we were gone so I'm happy! The drive was very scenic and reminded me of the small towns that my Grandma Leitha likes to visit so much. If she were with us, she would have been stopping at every house along the way asking for a pinch of whatever plant she saw. My Grandma Leitha has a deep love of all things floral and is a true green thumb. She also makes the best fried apple pies known to man. It's my personal goal this summer to take lessons from her so I can make them too. Anyway, we finally arrived and searched in vain for the Alamo. At one point I questioned whether it was really there at all and then DH suggested we get settled into the hotel and regroup. That sounded good to me! Once we got settled in and actually looked at a map, we realized we hadn't been far from the Alamo at all. We got gussied up, snatched the kids up and headed back out. It was very interesting to see that place. I didn't really realize how the battle fought for Texas changed the face of America and helped shape it into what it is today. While we were there, I got my Dad the book he'd been asking for. Now I just need to ship it! I'll do that Friday or Saturday. The kids and I were so excited we could barely sleep that night. The next day we got up and spent the whole day at Sea World. We had a wonderful time and I've decided I might need to get a Clydesdale horse one day. Of course, we saw the shamu show and sat in the splash zone. Those are the most majestic creatures I've ever seen but I have to say I'm not really convinced they should be bred and held in captivity. They are wild animals after all. Seeing marine life is always amazing to me and reminds me of how small I am in the grand scheme of things. The kids had a blast and Brandon even asked to go back. I'd kind of like to myself! The next day I found the yarn store (of course)! If you've never been to San Antonio, it is home to The Yarn Barn off of McCullough Ave. Great store and such friendly staff! It's not just for knitters, they have quite a needlework section as well. The owner helped me out and even searched for a book for me. I'm now on their mailing list and happy to know that they will take a phone order (even a special order) and ship to me. I'll have some pics posted of my purchases on my next post but I'll just say now--three words--Cherry Tree Hill!!!! We then hauled on down to the riverwalk and I took some great pics of the local architecture. Later, we had the best Indian food and just stuffed ourselves fully. The next day, we got the kids haircuts on the Air Force base and headed home. By the time we got back, we were just done! It was really great to get out of here for the weekend. Now, we're back to the daily routine and I'm proud to say that I've finished two things for the stashalong I'm participating in. Yes, I did get yarn on the trip but since I'm participating for three months, I get one stash enhancement day per month. I'm also feverishly working on my Orangina for the sexy knitters club KAL. I've decided that I definitely couldn't do both Orangina and the Somewhat Cowl before the end of the KAL so I chose to do just the Orangina. The Somewhat Cowl is next on my to do list though! I don't see a big issue with finishing it since I'm participating in the Stashalong! I was very glad to hear that Sam got my postcard intact! I'm expecting hers anyday and will post a pic as soon as it arrives. It's been very nice to get to know someone through Project Spectrum. It's expanded my horizons and helped me step outside of my comfort zone. I can be a bit of a hermit sometimes and get very routine oriented so I can resist change more than I care to admit. I'm working on that everyday! I better run now and promise to post more later!