Still Documenting


Still going strong with The Documented Life art journal.  I started about 12 weeks late, after reading about it on a blog I follow.  I finally got caught up last week and while I’m not working on it as obsessively as I was when I was trying to catch up, I find myself doing page prep and trying out new ideas and techniques off and on during the day.  Honestly, I don’t think “techniques” is the right word for what I do.  It’s more like “I wonder what would happen if……”  I love doing this stuff!  Taking part in this project has shown me my inner artist – the one I didn’t know I had.  Here are some of my pages –

Monochromatic Challenge

This challenge was to ask someone else to start on my drawing, then I was to finish it.  Mr. Iknead started with a drawing of his iPad.  I couldn’t get the image of a theater ticket or the idea of a premier out of my head and this was what developed.

Draw A House Challenge

I saw a pin of some crooked pottery houses and pinned it with the intention of trying the idea out in my pottery class.  Guess the images stayed with me.


If the good people, in their wisdom, shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.  Abraham Lincoln



Good to Go, Rain Rain Go Away


I received the yarn for my My Harmonica Shrug yesterday, but in spite of my best intentions, it didn’t get finished.  Today is another day, though, it could transform from WIP into a FO; technically, the day’s not over until midnight, right?  I frogged the Cable and Pleat Tunic and restarted this time without the twist.  That’s what distracted me from My Harmonica.  I promised Harmonica that I absolutely, positively will not work on any other project until it’s finished.  Yes, I talk to my knitting all the time, most of the time nicely, but there have been moments….


The good news is that the patio is finished and we’ve purchased a table, an umbrella and four great chairs to go with it.  We’ve also gotten most of the plants in the ground and so far, they all seem to be doing well.  We have a couple of different begonias, impatiens, lamb’s ear, butterfly bush and coral bells in the flower bed, with just a couple more to plant, a redbud that a friend gave me and an oakleaf hydrangea from another friend.  The bad news is that it has rained for the last three days, so all the lovely furniture we’re so anxious to use is sitting in the garage, waiting for the sun to come out.  When I checked the forecast this morning, it said rain and thunder showers continuing through Sunday.  Crap. I hope it’s wrong.  The other bad news is that Mr. Iknead’s back went out yesterday, due, I’m sure, to all the stooping, squatting and lifting he’s done over the past week or so.  He had a rough afternoon yesterday, I hope he’s better today.  Poor thing.


The newest Yarnbox arrived earlier in the week and here’s what it contained – Two skeins of Fingerpaints Supersock Self Striping from Cherry Tree Hill Yarn, 100% superwash merino, in Java Jive.  I have only three words – It. Feels. Amazing.

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.  Chinese Proverb





While I’m waiting for the yarn to arrive to complete the My Harmonica Shrug, I decided to go ahead and start this.  I had the yarn, I had the needles, I had the pattern and I even did a gauge swatch.  The pattern starts out CO 338 stitches.  Place marker and join in the round.  Knit five rounds, purl one round.  It’s working, everything looks to be fine, right stitch count, etc.  I don’t have to tell you how many stitches are in six rounds of 338.  Anyway, as I’m putting this new project to bed (I try to sort things out a little, make sure I know where to start when I next pick it up, looking for dropped stitches, just making sure I have no nasty surprises the next day, stuff like that).  Anyhow, (you fiber artists already know what I’m going to say next, don’t you?) I saw that it was twisted.  Oh no, please no!!!!!! Yeah, twisted.  At 11 p.m., I frogged what I’d knitted and started casting those 338 stitches on, again.  Maybe my Fyberspates will arrive today, sigh.  Here’s what it looked like before frogging –

See the gauge swatch?

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.  Leo Tolstoy



WIP Wednesday, Patio, Hello Beautiful


See that little ball in the photo?  That’s all the yarn I have left and the Harmonia Shrug just isn’t. quite. finished.  All that’s left is adding ribbing to the other sleeve, binding off and finishing with a tiny ruffle.  Luckily, for once I saw this coming and was able to order one more skein from a yarn shop in the UK.   I’ll have nearly an entire skein left over, but I can definitely see the rest transformed into gift(s) this fall.  That’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes, as they say.


Our patio upgrade/redo is FINALLY finished and are we enjoying it!  We’ve had our coffee outside on it for the last few days and have relaxed in the late afternoons with our respective cold drinks and iPads.  Totally worth the $ and frustration.  We have plans tomorrow to start shopping for an umbrella table and a swing. 


Here’s my most recent picture of Babydiva, who grows more gorgeous all the time.

Babydiva and doggy sister, Bela

This may be my all-time favorite photo of my son and his daughter, sharing homework time.  I have a phenomenal son, who is also a phenomenal husband and father and this sweet photo proves it over and over.  


Our only chick in the nest now, Josie, who is always right in the thick of things.  She was very put out that her daddy went inside for two seconds and shut the door before she could follow.

Linking with Frontier Dreams, Ginny’s Yarn Along and Tami.

I admit to having an imagination feverish enough to melt good judgment.  Dean R. Koontz








Put The Knead In iknead2knit, Par-Tay


There was no kneading involved, but I did try out a new cake recipe today, a Cinnamon Roll Cake and yep, it’s exactly what it says, a 9×13 inch homemade cinnamon roll.  Yeah, it’s totally drool producing and will be put into the regular recipe population that hangs out above the microwave in my kitchen.  You can check it out here.  Mine isn’t as pretty as the one on the website, but who can take time to take photos when something smells so wonderful??


It’s brought to my attention that I haven’t blogged about Susannah’s birthday party.  Thank you, dear daughter, for putting a guilt trip on me.  I guess that because I blogged about her actual birthday, her party was a few days later, blogging about the party never occurred to me.  My bad.

The party was a huge success, thanks to the Herculean imagination and efforts of Bigmommy.  The Papoose wanted a rainbow birthday party and that’s what her mommy pulled off, making it look easy.

There was a Rainbow Cake

Six SEPARATE layers, BTW, to go on Rainbow Plates.  There were games, Pin the Cloud on the Rainbow and Musical Cloud

There were presents and balloons!

Given Bigmommy’s balloon phobia, she went above and beyond.  There were friends and streamers

And sisters and cousins, an aunt and uncle

(This is Babydiva’s mommy, Babymama, with newest cousin, Charlotte, on board!  She is expected to arrive the first week in August.

We can’t forget the Queen’s chair or the Rainbow Arch!

But you know what was the absolute, best fun of the whole thing?  Being a family, all together, aunts, uncles, moms and dads, grandma and grandpa and cousins, with more than enough love and friendship to go around.

Babydiva and Aunt Lindsey, with Babymama photo bombing.

Consultation between the Sprout and Babydiva

Sitting back enjoying the babies

The birthday girl herself loving every minute!

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.  Mother Teresa



The Documented Life Project – Playing Catch Up


I’ve been promising to catch up my TDL Art Journal photos and now is the time.  Here goes:

Add a flap to your flap


Collage something you recycled



Make a list of the things that make you you


Draw, photograph or collage a bird onto.your page

This one is especially special to me.  I gave my mother the hummingbird magnet several years ago and it was on her refrigerator up until she passed away and my oldest grandbaby painted the picture of the ducks as a gift to me.


Cut up a magazine -add


Use a rubber stamp in a new way


Add embroidery or embroidery floss to your page -no floss? Use thread

I printed out my favorite poem, gave it a watercolor wash and sewed it into my journal.  Then, I added a pocket to contain a  vintage handmade hankie that belonged to one of my favorite aunts.

So that’s it so far.  A new challenge will be posted Saturday morning, so stay tuned!

We are all something, but none of us are everything.



WIP Wednesday, “This Is Gray”, Booklove

“THIS IS…….”

When I went to the salon this morning, I showed the pictures I posted yesterday to my stylist.  If you missed yesterday’s post, you can read it here.  My stylist, who was my friend before she was my hairdresser, looked at the pictures, looked at me like I was crazy and said, “This is gray, your hair will not look like this.”  “How come?”   “You’re not gray enough” she says.  Oh.  OK.  She could make it more ashy and less gold, she said.  Again, “OK”.  So she did and I love it.  Love. It.

The Big Reveal

FYI – Back in the day (up until 2006), I pretty much kept my hair ultra short – think crew cut.  My daughter asked me to grow my hair out for her wedding.  I did and have loved my long hair much more than I ever expected.


Still working on My Harmonia, but am in the last stages.  A few more 12 row repeats and I should be home free.

Last but not in any way, least


In the throes of insane Booklove, and yes, I know I say that every week, with Far From The Tree, Parents, Children, and The  Search For Identity, written by Andrew Solomon.  This book was one of the 2012 Ten Best Books according to the New York Times Book Review.  Incredible book.  Don’t be put off by its size, it’s a great read and the pages fly.


Linking with Tami, Frontier Dreams KCCO and Ginny.


I have done my plowing: I have sown my seed.  Again I have time to sit and read my books.  T’ao Chien





Maybe A Change?


I have a hair appointment this morning and have been thinking about letting my hair just go its natural color.  My hair is naturally blonde , but as I’ve aged, it has darkened a little, with some gray coming in.  I’ve been having blonder highlights put in, mostly to brighten it up.  It seems very mousy and drab without at least a little help and I’ve been seeing posts about women letting their hair go naturally gray or silver and I have to say – I like the look.  So, I’m going to talk to my hairdresser this a.m. and who knows, I may walk out a silver fox rather than a golden girl.  As an aside, I literally grew up in what was called back then, a beauty shop (three of my mother’s five sisters were what was called back then, beauty operators) so changing styles, color or texture has never intimidated me.  I’m thinking something like this:

Or this

I’m really loving this more natural look.  I may have a surprise come this afternoon.  Oh, here’s my hair right now.

Getting a little pumped, even as we speak!

Trust your hunches.  They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.  Joyce Brothers



A Nasty Bit of Business


Confession:  The technique for a provisional cast-on eludes me.  For the past eight years I’ve avoided them entirely – up until a week or so ago when I started work on the Harmonia Shrug.  The pattern called for a provisional cast-on, which was unavoidable.  So I did my version a PCO and it went fine.  Perfect, until the first half of the shrug was done and the second half required removing the PCO and picking up the stitches. Horrible.  Horrible because I really don’t know what I’m doing and removing the  CO took HOURS.  It was all twisty and some of it was backwards (I think) and most of the stitches to be picked up were also twisty and bass-akward.  After many hours, a headache and a stiff neck, I think I got it fixed around midnight.  No not a bit obsessive, I much prefer the terms persistent or goal oriented.  No pic of shame though, I need a Happy Picture.  

Happy Baby Alpaca



I have never been hurt by anything I didn’t say.  Calvin Coolidge




A Different Sort of FO


Several weeks ago, I decided to dust off my practically nonexistent sewing skills and make a skirt.  You can read about the whole disappointing episode here.  Anyway, I felt enough time had passed, my psychic wounds were more or less healed and with the correct pattern size and some fabric found on a clearance table at Jo-Ann, I tried again.  Guess what!!!!  I made a skirt and it fit and so what if there were just two pieces to the pattern!  I MADE A SKIRT!!!!!  Pretty proud of myself (giving myself a hug).  Here’s a look –


Now, if the weather will cooperate and start feeling like spring again……..

Linking up with Tami today.

I will prepare and someday my chance will come.  Abraham Lincoln 




Unblocked, Birthday Joy


Thankfully, whatever caused the mental block earlier this week has moved on and I was able to restart and then finish challenge #20, which was Use A Rubber Stamp In An Unexpected Way.  Admittedly, I didn’t reinvent the wheel this week, I used a stamp exactly the way you would expect but after feeling totally blank as far as challenge ideas went, I felt that beggars can’t be choosers and just went with it.  I’m behind with posting photos.  That’s on my list to get caught up on today.


The Papoose turns four today!!!!!!!  Hard to believe, but true.  Look at me, still getting teary, four years and innumeral blessings later.


Four Years

Going in search of a tissue……

One joy dispels a hundred cares.  Confucius



WIP Wednesday, Raging Booklove and This Always Cracks Me Up


Vivacious Chocolate Shrug is still on the needles, but just barely.  The bottom line on this particular project is that I don’t have enough yarn to finish it.  No matter how many times I do the math, I’m still about a skein short of a project (that sounds like a joke) and decided to find one that fit both my yarn yardage and needle size.  I stalked Ravelry patterns for hours until I decided on Rita Taylor’s Harmonia Shrug, here’s my progress so far:



At the moment, I’m in the throes of infatuation for two books.  First up is The Other Family, by Joanna Trollope and the second is a memoir, New Life, No Instructions by Gail Caldwell.  Both are awesome in their own way.  I (finally) finished Frogmusic  and have queued it up to read again after the current two.  Book crazy, always have been, always will be.


Seriously, who can read that and NOT laugh?

I’m linking with the usual suspects, Tami, Ginny and Frontier Dreams KCCO.

If Borg’s parents hadn’t liked the name, he might never have been Bjorn.  Marty Indik