July 2008

July 30th, 2008 - Alone Again

All of our guests are gone, and the house is once again very quiet. I am very sad to see everyone go, as we had such a great time visiting. I even had a chance to go down to Charleston, but I will post about that in a day or two.

One of the things I have been working on lately is a birthday gift for TJ's Mom. I have never tried cross stitch, so when I was walking around a store and saw this kit, I thought I would give it a whirl.

It was a really fun little kit to do, once I got a hang of the basics. I did a bit of reading here and there on a couple of sites, and picked up some good tricks. I am sure there are hundreds more that I don't know about, but there were a few that definitely helped.

I am not sure that I will rush out to do another big cross stitch again any time soon, but there are a couple of little freehand things I am thinking of trying for myself. I really did feel a sense of accomplishment to get this finished and framed on time, and I understand better now the amount of time that goes into some of the large and detailed pieces you see.

I also wanted to try my hand at paper quilling, so I thought I would make a little card to go along with the gift.

It was a fun process - I ran the paper through the shredder to give me long strips. Then I used a pick from a dissecting kit (don't worry, it was never used for it's original purpose) to roll the paper into the shapes.

The only place I had trouble was with the gluing. I did get everything glued on ok, but the glue discoloured the paper a little. Either it was the wrong kind of glue (Aleene's and white glue), or the wrong kind of paper (construction). I will have to play around a little to see if I can get a combo that works better together. I still think it turned out ok though.

So happy birthday Mom 2! I hope you enjoyed your trip down here and your gift!


PS - TJ's Grandma is doing much better now, thankfully. It appears that it was less serious than first thought, and is going to be taken care of well. And my friends puppy has made a miraculous recovery and is home and doing well! She is eating and starting to gain back some of the weight she lost. We didn't think she was going to make it there for a time. Thanks for all your good thoughts everyone!


July 20th, 2008 - The Good and the Bad

I will start with the good, because I am trying to keep positive as much as possible. As you know my parents were here last week, and we had a great time. They went home much too soon! We had some time to relax, some time to catch up, and some time to explore. On Tuesday we made the short drive out to Natural Bridge, which truly is an amazing site that pictures cannot do justice to.

So grand a scale, and it feels mostly untouched. We also checked out the caverns, but it was too dark for photos. It was quite the experience as well.

We also got to try out a few local restaurants, one of which is a great true southern cooking place. My Dad wanted to make sure he had some good fried chicken while he was here, and that we did.

(notice my Dad's VT shirt. He wanted to make sure he fit in ok)

Also a nice pick me up this week was these flowering trees that have popped open all over Roanoke. Does anyone know what these are?

It was a great week spent with family, and I can't wait for them to come back again. Thanks guys. :)

As for the bad news, the first is that there has been a lot of it lately. I posted earlier in the month about Rae's second fire. Last week the 10 year old son of another member in our knitting group was very severely burned. And last night the husband of another member was badly burned while working with a BBQ. Both are going to be in the hospital for quite a while, and our group is busy working on some ideas for gifts and other things. We sadly seem to have been very plagued by fire. In addition, TJ's grandma fell ill last week. Thankfully she does seem to be feeling a little better, and will hopefully be good as new soon. Also my best friend's new little adorable puppy has parvovirus, and is having a very bad time with it.

So please keep all these people in your thoughts, k?


July 12th, 2008 - More Baby Love

July is a busy month for us with visitors, and as each visitor arrives I am able to post more of the gifts that I have been working on. This past week our friends Dave and Michelle and their little one arrived to spend some time with us over a couple of days. Michelle is expecting her second shortly, so of course I had to make a gift.

First, their card, as I was pretty chuffed on how this one turned out.

It is held together with a little tiny piece of velcro.

Since the last monkey quilt was a success, I figured I would make another one! But would you believe I forgot to take a picture of it? Michelle - could you fire me an email with a picture of your quilt? In the meantime, here is the last one that I made to remind you (they were pretty close to the same)

And of course, to go with it, another sock monkey!

This time I used the red yarn for the mouth, and I really liked that change. I will certainly use the red in the future. Michelle's little one picked out right away that the sock monkey was the same as what was on the quilt (he is a very bright little 4 year old).

And since D is only 4, I figured I should make him something too so he didn't feel left out.

Here again I used the freezer paper method, which is really simple and quite accurate.

He looked pretty happy about it, and he does know that he is going to be a big brother. I also got him a little puzzle to do while he was at our place, since we don't have many toys.

We had a great time visiting with you guys, and we can't wait for you to come down again!

Today my parents arrive for the week, which I am super excited about. We have some fun things planned, so I might be a little absent over the next week or so!


July 7th, 2008 - Wee Pumpkin

Friends of ours will be having their second baby in a few weeks (on the off chance you are reading Yvonne, stop). Off to the stash I went to find some yarn for a baby hat.

Pattern: Pumpkin Hat Leaf Curly Cue
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted (love love love this stuff)
Needles: US 7 Denise
Changes: Knit flat and seamed

I made this large enough to hopefully be worn near Halloween, although anytime in the fall would be cute. It is for a little boy so hopefully it is not too girly.

I also though I would try my hand at freezer paper silk screening.

What a great way to stencil! Much easier than other methods I have tried. There is a tutorial for it here.

I also got to use my favourite baby stamp for the card

The inside says "Welcome to your little Sweat Pea!"

And finally, all wrapped up with a colour coordinated braid.

If I do say so myself, I think it all turned out pretty cute!


July 5th, 2008 - Unbelievable News

Rae, the local knitter here who was the recipient of the comfort afghan we put together after her house fire, has lost the apartment that she was temporarily living in to a fire. While the blanket was saved, her dear cat (the one they thought they has lost in the last fire, only to have her reappear several days later) has perished in this fire. It is unbelievable how cruel the world can be sometimes.

It doesn't begin to come close to enough, but I am so sorry Rae.


July 2nd - 2008 - Photography

I am not one to do memes, but this is more of a display of the beautiful photography you can find on flickr.

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name? Dani
2. What is your favorite food? Spaghetti
3. What high school did you go to? Sinclair
4. What is your favorite color? Purple
5. Who is your celebrity crush? John Krasinski (seriously....yum)
6. Favorite drink? Wine
7. Dream vacation? Fiji
8. Favorite dessert? Ice Cream
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Yarn store owner
10. What do you love most in life? My husband
11. One word to describe you: Type-A (I know that is two words)
12. Your flickr name. knitty34 (nothing showed up when I searched this, so I just picked one from my set)

1. Simple Sepia - Action by Dani., 2. We Love SPAGHETTI, 3. Sinclair, 4. Soft purple,
5. John Krasinski makes my loins quiver., 6. wine pour, 7. Fiji Boy,
8. mmmummm..mummm...mmmmummmmumumum, 9. Steaming Up Close Too,
10. For you / Para vosotras (Sant Jordi), 11. Caution: Risk of Fire. Use Only Type-A Lamps., 12. LadyE (8)


July 1st, 2007 - Displaced Canadian

Happy Canada Day all! I realized this morning that this is the third Canada Day in a row that I have been outside of Canada. 2006 I was in Italy for work, 2007 I was in Cyprus for work, and now, obviously, I am in the States. But I did hang my Canadian flag outside this morning, although admittedly it looks very odd amongst the US flags that are up for the 4th of July. We are having a street party this weekend for our first 4th of July, so I am really looking forward to that. It sounds like it is quite the shindig.

One day last week Nikki and I went over to Laura's house to help her out with a commissioned project she was working on (we got paid with food, the best kind of payment). After we were finished, Nikki was kind enough to give me another spinning lesson, and this time I actually made yarn I think I could use!

I plied it using my drop spindle, as we just wound it off Nikki's bobbin with a yarn winder. I felt more like I was getting the hang of it near the end, but it is still REALLY slubby. I will use it someday as an accent in a handwoven scarf.

Next week starts our cavalcade of visitors for the month of July. There are a lot of things that I need to get finishing before then, including a lot of gifts, so I have been crafting like crazy. I will be able to post some of them as soon as they are gifted.

And sorry about the video on the last post - it wasn't working for most people so I just posted a still instead. If anyone wants to see the video let me know in the comments and I will email it to you. We have had a number of crazy storms since then, so I have been taking more pictures and video. Who knows, maybe someday I will put it together into something!



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