Saturday, December 30, 2006

My Mom's Shawl

Well, at last I can reveal what I have been working on pre-holiday, for my mom. This was the project that I frogged 4800 stitches on, cried about, threw things across the living room over... finally recovering with the help and encouragement of others and am so happy that I did. Not saying I'd want to do that all over again, but I did learn something in the process...Pay Attention! I mean REALLY pay attention when you're doing a lace pattern!!

Here's a few close-up shots of the pattern. The shawl is called the Stora Dimun Shawl, from the book Folk Shawls, which is a must have book for your library. I used Swish Superwash Merino from Knitpicks, the color: Red Pepper. I really enjoyed working with it, because this was my first official lace shawl, and the thicker yarn helped ALOT, while learning the new stitches and patterns. It's also soooo soft. One thing I especially liked about the pattern itself, were the shoulder shaping rows. They make the shawl sit very nicely upon her shoulders. Ok, Ok, without further ado and anymore blah-blah-blah-ing...


The bottom edge:



A shot from above while I was blocking it:




Whenever we ask my mom what she wants, she tells us anything blue, medium or chocolate. Well, I deviated from the standard this year...just a bit :) and chose to make her a red shawl. My intention being to give her something cheery to wear/look at, on those cold grey winter days. I was extremely nervous about giving it to her after we had a conversation about color (I was already half way through the shawl, post frogging) and she told me that she couldn't wear red. Oh no!! I fretted over it for a few days, Jack did some fantastic reassuring, and when the day finally did come, she was more than pleased by it :) I do believe I saw a few tears and that made eveything worth while...not that I like seeing my mom cry, but you know what I mean! And here she is!




Doesn't she look lovely?




This girl knows how to work the runway!




Ladies and gentlemen...America's Next Top Model!

Hooray! I'm happy that she's enjoying it. She called me yesterday to tell me that she was wearing it and it was keeping her nice and toasty warm :) Now to figure out next year's pressie...

Here's a few lovely's that I finished yesterday. I'm adoring the yellow dafodil one...




When I finished winding up the yarn, I turned around and this is what I saw! There's absolutely no mistaking that he's mine!!


Friday, December 29, 2006

Holiday Photos

Here are some holiday photos that were taken while my mom and brother were here a few days ago. We had a great time! Always too short, but I'm sure they couldn't get out of Miami fast enough! haha!!

One word of caution: These photos were taken very early- pre-coffee early, and our hair and clothing choices must be excused...well, OK, everyone else looks fine. I'm the only crazy looking one in the tie-dye t-shirt and red knitting sheep flannel pants...*grin*

Here's Eli and his favorite gift, a lint roller. It's actually Grandma's, but he took a shine to it :) Also note our fabulous no-fuss holiday tree in the background taped to the wall. :P Good stuff!




Of course, the obligatory "bow on head" photo must be included!




Here's a photo of Eli trying to figure out why we keep wanting him to stick his hand inside a big white sock :)




Daddy and Eli opening up presents...Awwww...




Eli checking out his new toy. It's one of those cool noisy button pushing kind of gizmo's that is sure to drive all of us completely nutters one day...




And here's the afore-mentioned crazy lady opening up her FABULOUS gift from the DB...a swift!!! Woo-hoo!! Don't I just look like I won First Prize at the county fair?




If you've never seen a swift before, this is what they look like...




...kidding of course! This is my brother Joel, who was my stand-in swift, before I got the real one! He is holding the Schaefer Trenna yarn for me as I wound it up into a center pull ball. Notice the lovely hair he is sporting in the photo...well, when he got back home to Jacksonville, he headed down to the hair salon and had it cut off and donated to Locks of Love. Kudos to you little bro! Now, let it grow again, damnit!! (you must excuse me. I am so proud of him for doing it, but I am in the "everyone should grow their hair long" camp) Just a funny thing about me, I guess.

Lastly, here's a photo of me and my bubba boy. My mom and Joel are in the background.



Tomorrow will be the great unveiling of my mom's shawl, which she proudly modeled for me in the front yard. Can't wait to show you guys!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Yay! My computer is no longer sick and my Secret Pal rocks!

Wow... nothing like a good virus to show you how dependant you can become on your computer. It's rather scary, to be quite honest. While my family was here, we were having a conversation about what would happen to humanity if all of the computers in the world were hit with a virus. What would we do? Things would come to a grinding halt, really fast. You see, we were forced to have these conversations, because we had no computer to waste our time on...kidding, mom!

But anyway, enough about the devilbox, let's get to the good stuff! I hope everyone out there in the real world had a fabulous holiday, ate lots of pie (Em :) and took loads of pictures to share with everyone (Parisa- we're all dying to see Ireland!!) :) I have so many pictures to post, so I'll be putting them up over the next few days.

I guess I'll start with Yule. We really didn't do anything fancy to celebrate it this year. It kind of snuck up on us, (I know...excuses, excuses) but I did get one of THE most fabulous lace knitting books from my DB as a Yule gift.




I've already started one of the shawls in the book, which I'll be posting pictures of later on. This book is full of GORGEOUS projects. It's definitely worth it's weight in gold.

On Saturday (the day my computer was really feeling the effects), I was busy cleaning, and praying and crossing all of my fingers and toes that all of the presents I ordered online would arrive (the last day the post was running). I lucked out and got all of them except for one, which was coming and is still coming, from Thailand for my brother. My postman had to make two stops at my house, and the second time that he came by, he dropped of a package from my Secret Pal. This could not have come at a better time, let me tell you!!

I opened up the box and found this box o' joy inside...




...and there was a lovely Yule card, with the most gorgeous accompanying envelope. Here's the front of the envelope...




...and here's the back...




Isn't that too cool? There was also a very thoughtful Yule Blessing inside, which is now being prominently displayed on my refrigerator, right next to my Scooby Doo magnet, underneath Dracula. After reading the card, I opened up the box, and this is what I found inside...




Wow!! What a thoughtful and completely awesome package!! There was a gorgeous lace shawl pattern (which I attempted to start and then decided to try an easier pattern from the book first...I know, I know...chicken I am). There was also a delicious bar of Lemon Verbana soap...yummmm :), a Knitting Day of the Year calender- very cool, a book thong, hand lotion (which I love), wool wash, a knitting accessory case/pouch and...drumroll please...one of THE most gorgeous skeins of dark purple/plum laceweight yarn that I have ever seen. It is exactly what I would have picked out for myself. It's 1250 glorious yards of Schaefer Trenna 50% Silk/50% Merino wool. It is so soft and shiny and yummy and elegant...I can't even begin to describe how loverly it is :) I want to pet it all day long and gaze at it adoringly... *grin* I've already wound it into a center pull ball and it's on the needles working it's way into a shawl as we speak...




Thank you thank you Secret Pal!! I know you said you were worried I wouldn't be happy with the package, but I am so happy and thankful and realize how much thought you put into it! I can't wait to find out who you are, oh evil one... *grin*

Last but not least, I joined the Monthly Dishcloth KAL that Em and Parisa are in, and I finished this dishcloth, which was put in my brother's stocking, along with a bar of soap called Hippie in a Bar, which was handmade by Cottage Garden Therapies, a fellow Etsy vendor. I cannot recommend this soap enough! It smells divine and the packaging is outstanding. She really goes above and beyond.



Well, that's it for today. There's a gazillion more photos to come :)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Blogger Down!! Blogger Down...

Well, I have won the computer virus lottery and am currently sitting in the good old Miami Public Library right now....grumble, grumble....but thank Goddess for them!! Why do nasty people create nasty computer viruses? I must have bad computer Karma from a past job or something, because this is the second time it's happened to me...I need a computer condom...is there a shot I can get? Reminds me of my days back in Nam...what?! Rambling, sorry....

Anyway, happy holidays everyone! Hopefully the computer doctor will be coming to my house soon. I have so many pictures to share...finished projects, Yule gifts, and my Secret Pal sent me the most bangin' package a girl could ever ask for! I said bangin, yo :) Uh-oh... I'm becoming urban....NO!!!!!

*grin*

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Yule!


Happy yule to everyone! I'm deviating from the norm today, dedicating this post to everything Yule :) I want to give a nice overview of the meaning of Yule and some of the Lore that goes with it. I pulled this from Akasha's site (I hope she doesn't mind!) Following the Lore, I've set up some links, for anyone interested in reading more about the holiday/tradition. Some of the similarities between Christmas and Yule may surprise you...

Happy day to all!

Yule Lore (December 21st)

Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.

Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun, the boughs were symbolic of immortality, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly, mistletoe, and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes. It was to extend invitation to Nature Sprites to come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to pay visit to the residents.

The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder's land, or given as a gift... it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze be a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.

A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds, cloves, and dust with flour.

Deities of Yule are all Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets of metal work. Brighid's flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda's cauldron assures that Nature will always provide for all the children.

Symbolism of Yule:
Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.

Symbols of Yule:
Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.

Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.

Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb's wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).

Incense of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.

Colors of Yule:
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.




Links to more info:

For an interesting historical perpective, click here.

Info on the Winter Solstice, with some really great links to sites on "The Ancients"

Info on Sacaea-Saturnalia and the Sun-worshipping party-going Egyptians and Romans!

Some more tid-bits on the Scandinavean influence on Yule.

These are just a few links. There are so many out there and it's fascinating to find correlations between what is practiced now by way of the Christian tradition of Christmas and the Traditional way of the Pagan community now and hundreds of years ago.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

F.O.B. #6 When do you procrastinate?

Well, I have procrastinated posting this because I was busy yesterday working on something that I was procrastinating on, also!! Haha! I guess those will be my first two answers for the topic of yesterday's F.O.B.: When do you procrastinate? Good choice, Em!

7) I procrastinated putting up my post for #6, because I was working on yarn...

6) ...which I had been procrastinating doing since Eli went to the hospital.




5) I used to be famous for procrastinating during college, regarding papers that were due, but I somehow always seemed to pull it off!

4) I procrastinate changing out the garbage can in the kitchen. For some reason I'll cram trash into every square inch of the can, sometimes leaving stuff on top, before I change it out, or Jack comes along and does it because he just can't stand it!!

3) I procrastinate putting my clothes away...I'll wash them, hang them out to dry (using your dryer makes up 10% of your energy bill), fold them and then they'll sit on the end of my bed for days, waiting patiently for me to find their homes in my closet. I do believe I've seen my sweaters thumb twiddling.

2) I procrastinate sewing in loose ends/seaming almost finished knitting projects...anyone else like this?

1) I can't think of anything else at the moment, but I'm sure I'm guilty elsewhere :)

Off to check out Parisa's page to see if #5 is up...

Monday, December 18, 2006

FOB #7: What knitterly items would you most like to receive this holiday?

Yay Ann!! Good list idea! Hmmm...7 knitterly things I would most like to get my hands on...and keep out of Eli's grubby little mits :)

7) A swift....oh, how I would love a swift :) I have the ball winder and I think Jack is getting tired of holding the yarn for me :)

6) The pattern that I'm still debating on...so far, 1 vote for short sleeves and 1 for long, so methinks I'll be making them both *grin*... that is, when I grow another pair of hands and my fantasy nanny finally shows up for work :)

5) I also would looove to make a pair of these funkilicious little clogs...I would look just fabulous dancing around the house in these, wearing only these- woo-hoo!! Sorry, TMI...

4) This mudflap girl t-shirt, because she is just so darn adorable and I'm tacky enough to wear it.

3) Some unspun Icelandic wool, because I am just dying to make the Feather and Fan Triangle shawl from the Folk Shawls book.

2) The book Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush.

1) Some Socks That Rock Yarn. I love this spoingy, spoungey stuff :)

Ahhh....that was fun:)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

F.O.B. #8 Knitty Cravings

OK, I'm thinking that for #8, we could list 8 projects that we have either completed, are currently working on, or reeeeally want to make from Knitty's huge archive of patterns. I think some of you may have challenging "link" issues, so a list without links is OK, I think we're all resourceful enough to find them:)

For my list, I have only completed one of them and it is #8. I wanted to show a picture of mine, but it's hiding out in a box somewhere in storage-land...I used a soft chocolate brown Alpaca for the main section and a glittery tangerine and gold yarn for the accents. Here goes.

8) Tie One On. It's a really simple knit, with really nice results.

7) Nautie. Oh, how I must make one of these...

6) Clapotis. ...because this is what all the cool kids wear...

5) Shocking Pink Coif. For those days I want to rock the Amish in me :) Am I being serious? hmmm...

4) Baudelaire. These socks are gorgeous.

3) Tiptoe. I think these tulip socks are so cute. They make me feel all happy inside...*grin*

2) Pomatomus. These are just too cool, and I believe that Parisa is making them right now?

1) Lizard Ridge. Now if I could only figure out how to finance this project...21 skeins of Noro Kureyon...what?! If you haven't seen a picture of this afghan, do yourself a favor and check it out :)

And there you have it. My eye-candy contribution for zee day...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Help Me Decide Please :)

I found a knitting pattern for two of THE coolest sweaters at stitchdiva.com. The problem is, I can't decide which one I would like to make. Any suggestions? The short sleeve would be more wearable in Miami, but I sooo love the long sleeves... help!


F.O.B. #9: You Learn Something New Everyday...

...so why not start it off with the number 9? I was sitting around yesterday, and for some strange reason, I Googled the number 9. Yes, very strange, I know :) Anyhow, I came upon the site for Wikipedia-The Free Encyclopedia, and they have a huge page all about the number 9. I thought we could give our thinking caps a rest today and do some good old fashioned cut and paste action (hopefully this is legal in cyberland and they won't cart me off to the pen).

All you have to do is find 9 bits of info on the number 9 and share them with everyone on your blog. You can use the link above, you can do your own detective work, heck, you could make the stuff up and we'd never know (or would we? :) It's OK if you end up choosing the same answers as other people. What's important is to choose what interests you, so you'll learn something, and when someone asks you what the most prestigious sweater number in hockey is...well, you'll know the answer :P

So, here is the latest addition to my Walking Encyclopedia of Useless Knowledge:

9) Important Buddhist rituals usually involve nine monks.

8) In Wiccca there are nine sacred trees used in bonfires.

7) Norse mythology and Germanic mythology recognized nine realms of existence. Eight of the realms were embodiments of opposites: fire and ice, heaven and hell, creation and destruction, and light and darkness. These realms all converged on the center realm, where humans lived out their lives.

6) One of the most famous legends in Celtic mythology tells the story of nine magical hazel trees at the center of the Otherworld. They hang over the Well of Wisdom and drop their nuts into it, importing wisdom and inspiration to all who drink from the water or eat the salmon of the river.

5) In Thai, the word for nine, 'gao', is the same as the verb for 'to develop or progress'.

4) In urban culture, 'nine' is a slang word for a 9mm pistol or homicide, the latter from the Illinois Criminal Code for homicide.

3) In ice hockey the number 9 is one of the most prestigious sweater numbers, having been worn by legends like Maurice Richard, Bobby Hull, and Gordie Howe. It was also worn, doubled as 99, by the great Wayne Gretzky.

2) Nine judges sit on the United States Supreme Court.

1) But most important of all...9 inches is how long these gauntlet gloves are going to be from cuff to cuff when I am finished with them:)




Have a great day everyone!

Friday, December 15, 2006

F.O.B. #10: Instructions For Life...

So, I was reading this book a few days ago, called Shaving the Inside of Your Skull, by Mel Ash, and I came across a great idea for an F.O.B. post. Before I get down to that though, let me tell you how great this book is! This is a short description from the back cover:

"This book offers you what you never thought to have- the balding of your brain! Crazy yet classic, it shears away the old think of consciousness, puts Christ on a pogo stick, Buddha in running shoes, and you the reader in a radical revolt from who you were."

Has that piqued your curiosity a little bit?

Well, I came across this section that challenges you to write down 10 short statements summarizing what advice you would give another person, the 10 most important lessons you've learned so far. I thought this would be a nice addition to the F.O.B.

Here goes.

10) It is what it is.

9) Always enter a room with a smile, because it puts others at ease.

8) Material items and money are essentially energy. Energy must have a constant ebb and flow, so make sure you're keeping it going. Give things to people who need them, spend money, don't be a miser (now this doesn't mean max out the old plastic, but you gotta keep it going). By keeping the flow going, you make room in your life for the things you need. Very cool concept that I have found REALLY works.

7) Stay organized. Clutter brings you down.

6) Know how to accept a compliment graciously. (I'm still working on this one sometimes)

5) If it tastes good, well, eat it.

4) Be present. Be in the here and now. Worrying too much about the future can make you miss what's happening now.

3) Try not to regret anything. It serves no purpose.

2) Take time for yourself. Recharge.

1) It doesn't matter what you do for a living. It's who you're being while you're doing it.

I can't wait to see what everyone writes for this one. I could always use some good advice!

I also wanted to share the Kung Fu of Good Deeds philosophy, since we're on the number 10.

Another excerpt from the book:

"On an episode of the TV show Kung Fu, the Master tells Grasshopper, his young student, that if someone does you a good deed, you are in turn obligated to do a good deed to ten others. These ten are then obligated to do ten good deeds apiece. By implementing this simple geometric equation, good deeds will soon flow all over the world. Next time someone does you a good deed, go and do ten more."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

F.O.B. #11

Today's F.O.B. is a list of 11 movies that I associate with the holiday season.

In no particular order of course :)

11) Nightmare before Christmas

10) The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

9) Scrooged

8) A Christmas Story, because "you'll shoot your eye out..."

7) The Bells of St. Mary's

6) A Wonderful Life

5) Bridget Jones Diary- you gotta love that reindeer sweater!! KAL anybody?!...KIDDING

4) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

3) Serendipity

2) The Wizard of Oz...what?! I don't know, maybe the munchkins remind me of elves...

1) Night of the Demons...haha!! man,, ahhhh...I'm tired!!

I'm hoping to be tomorrow's ring-master, ring-leader, Ringo Starr, whatever you want to call it, for F.O.B. #10. When Em gives me the nod, I'll post it for ya'll...well, yee-haw...

Hospital Update

Hello! We're back, so I figured I give out the low-down, the skinny, the 411 on what the results are. Well, there's good news and bad news. The good news: when they went down his esophagus with the scope, they found no stricture (large amount of scar tissue) and we were all amazed, because the x-rays showed something completely different. Some more good news: we didn't have to stay overnight at the hospital, which might I add, was an absolutely FANTASTIC hospital for children- I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone.

The bad news, well, now we have to figure out what is really wrong with him. If there is nothing blocking the passage to his stomach, then why is he having problems swallowing/holding down anything solid, that is larger than a pea? We'll be back to the doctor's at the end of the month and I guess we'll take it from there. It's such a guessing game...

I did take my knitting to the hospital and had many people ask me what I was crocheting!! Am I that bad or do people really not know what knitting looks like?! I started a pair of socks using the yarn that Cary sent me. I was going to do Jaywalkers, but then I felt like I needed something very simple and repetitive for the waitng room, so I'm making ribbed socks, for my pleasure :) They may look funny in the photo, and that's because I knit socks inside out. Don't ask me how I managed to learn that way :P Maybe it' s a hidden talent and I'll save the world with it someday *grin*




Also, thanks to everyone for keeping my little guy in their thoughts and prayers. It means more to me than you'll ever know :)

OK, I'm going to pick up on the F.O.B. on #12 "I Will Not" vows that we all make for the holidays.

12) I will not put off sending out holiday cards until the 24th.

11) I will not buy more gift wrap, because I still have 3 rolls from last year.

10) I will not try and make Eli wear a bowtie and sit on some strange man's lap for a photo, just because I think he looks adorable (Eli, not the man with the fake beard)

9) I will not peek, I will not peek, I will not peek...

8) I will not spend alot of money on my cat's stocking, even though I think he'll notice if I'm being cheap.

7) I will pretend not to notice that there is no historical accuracy to the exact date that Jesus was born. Many scholars put his birthdate in the warmer months...hmmm...

6) I will get down off my high horse when it comes to this issue :)

5) I will not be too hard on Al Roker for being such a doofus this time of year or any other....

4) I will not miss the snow, I will not miss the snow...OK, I'll miss the snow :)

3) I will not take all of the candy canes of off the tree and hoard them...I will try to remember what I learned in Kindergarten about sharing.

2) I will not watch The Grinch Who Stole Christmas more than 20 times.

1) I will not forget the main reason for me for this holiday, and that is being with my family :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm the first official F.O.B. slacker...

...I hope I'll be forgiven. I've been so busy getting things squared away before tomorrow's trip to Miami Children's Hospital... :( I'm more anxious than usual and am wondering why? We'll be back Wednesday. They want to keep him overnight for observation, which should be a bundle of fun.

Thank you to everyone for your well wishes. In some weird crazy cyber sort of way, and a bit beyond that, I'll miss you guys :) You have all brought rays of sunshine and joy into my life in your own special ways.

In no particular order:

Cary...why didn't I think of Charlotte in the name list?! haha!!

Parisa- I just got your card- you're an angel. Thank you for the nice surprise :) I love the candy canes (they're one of my favorite things about this time of year :)

Em- Yay!! I'm glad you got the yarn :) Now, how's it going with that omelet maker? haha!! Yup, I'm obsessed with it :)

Ann- you have great taste in names :) ...and naked orgies are good...ahem...what did I just say?!

Renee- woo-hoo for Jordis and her way-cool hair-do!! She was my fave too :)

and last, but most certainly not least, Meg- Don't fret my friend, I can make more- I do them one at a time, so it might be slightly different, but I can aim for the same colorway. I looooove Viola. She's so pretty.

Bye for now.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

F.O.B #16 Baby Names :)

This is a special F.O.B. for our mama-to-be, Ann. We're to come up with 8 girls names and 8 boys names. Please pardon my hippie-dippie flair :)

Girls:
1. Bliss ( a little girl who painted a flower on my face at the Further Fest)
2. Winter (a character in a novel by M.M. Kaye)
3. Belle (I think you all know of this wonderful book-reading girl)
4. Mazzy
5. Willow...hmmm...now where'd I get that from?
6. Jordis (Rockstar INXS)
7. Merilee
8. Xan

Boys:
1. Elias
2. Wolf
3. Matthias
4. Loki
5. Sebastian
6. Sydney
7. Lennon
8. they call me...Tim...haha!! (Monty Python reference for you there :)

F.O.B. #17

I really like this list, from what I've read of Em's, Parisa's and Ann's. These are 17 things that you just can't live without. They have to be material objects, so... here we go...

17. My Doc marten sandals, shoes, and boots...yup I'm a Doc junkie. Even though I don't get to wear them very often, I still like to look at them :)

16. My computer, but of course...

15. My cell phone. We don't have a home phone, so I'd be cut off from civilization without this and the old computer.

14. Any and all books I've ever read. There's not one in particular, because they all act like Miracle Grow for my brain.

13. My sewing machine.

12. My finished and unfinished cross stitch pieces. I've done a few, and these are two that I've worked on. The first one is Waiting For Ships and it is finished. The second is Queen Mermaid, and I'm almost done...I'm a BIG fan of Mirabilia, as you can see :)






11. My drop spindle. When I need to feel a little bit more "connected" I pull this out and spin away. It's been awhile since I've really gotten any good spinning done, because Mr. Eli just thinks it's so much fun to grab what I'm working on and run...one of these days...to the moon!

10. My Starbucks coffee...my brother works there, so I get the ultimate coffee hook-up! Woo-hoo!!

9. Wow, I'm having a really hard time with this list...I'm in this give-away phase right now, so I'm finding it hard to think of anything else...

8. Yarn stash/needles

7. Eli

6. Eli

5. Eli

4. Eli

3. Eli

2. Eli

1. My new yarn ball winder :) No, it's not #1 on the list, but I just looked over at it while working on this list and it screamed "ooh ooh..pick me, pick me!!"

Yes, I know I totally cheated, but I really can't think of anything...I have so much stuff and this list has made me take a good look at all of the junk and clutter I have around me, that is really rather insignificant in my life...hmmm.... Time to call the Vietnam Vets for another pick-up! I think the only things that I really need are things that help me create. Without those, I'm sure I would just wither up and die.

Speaking of the aforementioned ball winder, this is my first wound ball and an accompanying swatch gauge. Isn't that just so exciting? ;P This is the yarn the my Sock-ret Pal, Cary, sent me. It's gorgeous hand-dyed superwash from a lady in Upstate NY, called "Crush Season." (the yarn is called that, not the lady :) I'm looking forward to trying my first pair of jay-walkers with this yarn. It's a treat for me to knit with someone else's hand dyed yarn :) I've just finished the holiday knitting, so now it's time for "me" knitting. Hooray :)




Friday, December 08, 2006

F.O.B. #18 and Eli's Hospital Update

I think I'm a day behind, I'm not really sure, but we got caught up in Eli business yesterday. We had to take him to the hospital for his barium swallow, to x-ray his esophogus. I just got the results this morning that he does have a stricture (scar tissue that is closing up his esophogus, making it impossible to get food down), so we'll be making visits to the hospital starting next week, to dilate his esophogus again.

For those of you who do not know, Eli was born 9 weeks early via emergency c-section, weighing in just under 3 pounds. He stayed in the NICU for 7 weeks and had surgery when he was almost 4 weeks old, to attach his esophogus to his stomach. He had the condition called Esophageal Atresia without a fistula AKA pure Esophageal Atresia. In laymen's terms, his esophagus ended in a pouch right around his breastbone. Any liquid or food that he would try to ingest would stop there, because there was no connection to his stomach. He was fed intravenously for the first few weeks, then through his nose after the surgery. He now can only manage foods that have been blended/pureed and cracker-like foods. The baby on the left shows normal anatomy, which he now looks like. The 2nd one from the left shows what the atresia looked like.



In 1939, they performed the first successful surgery to correct this. I could not imagine the horror of what it must have been like to be a parent of a child with this condition before this time. They literally had to watch their babies starve to death. I'm really not trying to be morbid, it's just a thought that crosses my mind still, about how fortunate we are. So, it has been an ongoing battle to correct this birth defect...I hate those two words, so let's call it his specialness. Due to these upcoming procedures, I have gracefully bowed out of the craft fair and hope to do the next one that comes around.

Well, there's the bummer news. Now I'll attempt my list with what humor I can muster up right now.

These are 18 items that are in my kitchen, but do not belong there...

18. Sunglasses with hologram eyeballs

17. A small can of black playdough

16. One tarnished silver candlestick

15. A box of Crayola crayons

14. 2 ashtrays (we don't smoke)

13. a funnel

12. A box of latex medical gloves

11. A roll of address labels from our last address

10. A black plastic cauldron

9. Cooler full of hair dye

8. Frozen breast milk...what?! Don't worry, it's not there anymore... :)

7. Travel size shampoo

6. Bubbles

5. Tape measure

4. Styrofoam basketball keychain

3. 10 Halloween tea light candles

2. 3 dominoes

1. tweezers...ewww...in the kitchen?

That list was much, much easier :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy Birthday to Jack

Today is the Day That Will Go Down in Infamy...no not Pearl Harbor...Jack was born today!! Happy birthday to my DB! Don't worry, you're not getting older, just better :)

The Festival of Blogging continues on...AND we have a name for it. We've found our special purpose in life (holy Steve Martin reference) I'm hoping I can keep up :) OK, here we go...19 characters that have tickled my fancy over the years. We could draw our "people" from books, mags, movies, tv shows.

19. It's only fitting that we kick this list off with Navin Johnson (Steve Martin) of The Jerk, because he was born a born a poor black child...

18. Grommit. Need I say more...a dog who knits!! Where oh where can I get one?!

17. Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. I am not a huge fan of zombie movies, but man, this guy was great! How ingenious is it to try to bring down zombies by hurling a copy of Prince's Batman Soundtrack at their heads... "There's no I in team. But there is an I in pie...there's an I in meat pie. And meat is an anagram of team."

16. Sir Ulricht Von Lichtenstein of Knight's Tale...how cool is it that he gets down to David Bowie's Golden Years. If you haven't seen it, you really must check it out.

15. Steve Zissou...Could they have chosen a better actor to play this role? Bill Murray rocks.

14. Morgan Le Fey from the book The Mists of Avalon. She has always been painted in such a negative light, and this book, which is narrated by her, finally gives the reader a glimpse of the Arthurian Legend from the woman's point of view.

13. Alice in Wonderland. Enough said.

12. Danarys the Dragon Queen from the George R.R. Martin series The Song of Fire and Ice. It's been awhile since I've read this series, but she stands out in my memory. How could she not, with two, or was it three, baby dragons.

11. Holly Golightly from Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. I haven't read the book, but I just adore Audrey Hepburn...I've always wanted those earplugs with tassles and the eyemask with eyes on it.

10. Tim Gunn from Project Runway. I know, I know. He's not a character, but I love him!

9. Willie Wonka, of course. Even though I love Mr. Depp, Gene Wilder will always be my Willie...that just sounds wrong... :P

8. The King of Siam (Ule (sp?) Brennar) from the movie The King and I...etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

7. Pete from Pete's Dragon. This is one of my favorite childhood movies and I love him, well, because he's a dragon :)

8. OK- I'm sticking with movies now, because my brain is starting to sizzle...*grin* ummmm...how about....Beetleguise. How can you not love that character?

7. Frankenstein from the movie Young Frankenstein. I love the part where he's on stage with Gene Wilder singing Puttin on the Ritz...priceless!

6. Dracula, played by Gary Oldman. Simply yummy, the younger version of Dracula, that is. Not too fond of the 900 year old model...ewwwww

5. Lily Munster. She always seemed like such a nice mom :) Her housekeeping skills were lacking something though.

4. Rob Roy, played by Liam Neeson. Hooray for men in kilts!

3. Reverend Dimsdale of The Scarlet Letter. I loved the book and really liked the movie with Demi Moore and Gary Oldman.

2. Catwoman, played by Julie Newmar. She was my first version of Catwoman, from watching the tv reruns afterschool as a kid. Loved that series!

1. Rover Dangerfield. This was the animated dog, who was voice-overed by Rodney Dangerfield. It's a pretty obscure film, but he sings a song about peeing on a Christmas Tree and it's stuck with me for years...

Whew...19...that was getting tough towards the end. I like the idea that the number gets smaller as we go! Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings :)




4.

Challenge Accepted

OK, I will try, key word being try, to keep up with Em on this 20 day blog-a-day countdown to Christmas. I technically have until the 21st, which is when Yule starts, but I'll play along anyway, because I'm a joiner, darnit! To start off this event, here are 20 things you didn't know about Brooke, unless you are my mother or I have carried your child...

20. My favorite smell in the world is the smell of yellowing paperback books. I am a self-proclaimed champion book-sniffer- I can tell you if a book is good or bad by it's smell alone...and I'm not kidding you on this one!

19. I learned how to drive stick/standard when I was 17 on a 1971 Volkwagon bus. I had no choice. I was the only sober one coming home from the concert.

18. During my late teens, I went on many Spring and Summer tours with the Grateful Dead.

17. Due to this, I missed too much school, had to repeat a half year and graduated late. The good news is that I got my act together, went on to college and graduated with honors from Eckerd College.

16. The day of my graduation ceremony, I met some friends for mimosa's before the ceremony and was drunk as a skunk by the time I entered the auditorium.

15. I have 6 tattoos.

14. I want more tattoos, the next one being Eli's footprints on the top of my feet.

13. I don't eat ribs...thorasic cavities freak me out. I really don't like anything off of a bone.

12. I prefer to wear long skirts, instead of pants/jeans.

11. I sometimes listen to the Willie Wonka soundtrack while dyeing yarn...the middle one bears an uncanny resemblance to schnozzberries, don't you think? :)




10. I just discovered Tegan & Sara and looooove their music!!

9. I'm a big fan of Project Runway and have been known to watch American Idol now and then...please don't tell anyone!!

8. I live 15 minutes from the beach and never go.

7. I think the Florida Panther is one of the most beautiful creatures alive.

6. I am a big believer in past lives and soul groups and really wish I could find out things "for sure".

5. I hate ironing clothes. Avoid it like the plague.

4. I think full-size vans a creepy yet very utilitarian, kind of like my last step-father. (sorry mom!)

3. I run with scissors.

2. I have a motorcycle which I haven't ridden in over two years!! It's been relegated to laundry hanger and it sits in my dining room!! You really must come over sometime! It's amusing :)

1. I am amazed everyday at how far Eli has come. This is a picture from when he was about 4 months old and still on the oxygen. I love this photo and thought I would share it with you.




OK, there you have it! 20 things you now know about me. I have no idea what the next 19 days have in store, so I'll just follow Em's lead!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Snuggles for Animal Shelters

I was talking to my mom on the phone yesterday and asked her to take a picture of the knitting project she has been working on, so that I could post it and share her story. When I was in Tennessee a few months back, I bought the book, Knitting for Peace. While flipping through the pages, we discovered that there is a need for "snuggles" at many local animal shelters. Snuggles are basically little square blankets that go into the cage with a dog or cat. They provide a soft alternative to the steel cages and hard floors, and give the animals warmth and a soft place to sleep. I think the most interesting aspect is that an animal is more likely to be adopted if it has a blanket in it's cage. Here's the photo she sent me of a few of the snuggles she has knit so far. Hooray mom!! My mom is an animal magnet/lover/stray finder/savior and I think it's so cool that she's doing this for the wee critters.




On a less heroic note, I finished another sock project bag. I know I'm not saving any animals, but it sure did turn out nice and no animals were harmed while making it :P




Monday, December 04, 2006

Dirty Knitter Swap

Yes, you read correctly. The Dirty Knitter Swap is being hosted by another Brooke, who was actually one of the first bloggers to stop by and say hello a few months ago. She is collecting Brooke's Who Knit and I am in her official menagerie :P This swap looks like it 's going to be alot of fun- it's for those who love knitting and drinking... I don't really fall into the boozing knitter category anymore, but I am so fascinated by those who do! I only drank and knit once in my life, and I woke up with a horrible hangover, someone else's knitting needles in my bed, and a suspicious charge on my credit card to Jose's Palace of Pleasure...haha!! Kidding of course. Here's the link to Brooke's page. Even if you are not a drinking pirate, but a cheap date like myself, it looks to be fun. I'm not a fan of chocolate, but I am a sucker for a chocolate martini, so count me in!

On another note, I woke up this morning and some more of my babies have hatched...same mother, different fathers, can you tell? *schnort*




Pretty soon they won't need me anymore...*sniff* *sniff*

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cheeky

Yup, that's what I am when I wear my new uber-cheeky shirt that arrived in the mail yesterday. I LOVE it! I found it on BUST's website and couldn't resist it's contradictory, schizophrenic charm. I wonder if Martha Stewart has one just like mine? Hmmm...




Don't think I'll be wearing this to the airport anytime in the near future, though... :P

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Snowflake

Yay! Bag Number 1, the Snowflake Bag that I've been blabbering on about is done :) Here's a few pictures: (I wish my camera could have picked up the brilliance of it- all of those little grey circles in the snowflake are silver sequins and they sparkle, sparkle, sparkle :)








You can find a detailed description of the bag here. I found a great tutorial on "jordy's" which you can see by clicking here. I made some modifications on the size, to make it more sock project appropriate and made it a drawstring rather than handled. There has been some interest so far (Parisa :) in doing a KAL, so this is basically an example of what the finished project would look like. Everyone would pick out their own individual fabrics, of course, which will make it really fun to see what everyone comes up with. We could even do a contest, with the winner getting a nice skein of handpainted yarn to put in it? Hmmmm....tempting? It's a fun, quick project. It only took me a few hours to make mine. I'm thinking January would be a good time to do this. Definitely after the holidays have blown over!

Here's a picture of the Scrabble/Boardgame/Playing Cards bag I did last night as well. I think it looks perty darn cool.




While I was getting ready to do some sewing last night, I looked over and what did I see? Eli inspecting my yarn. And what a fine job he did! He was so mesmerized by the tiny spools of color, that I think I'm going to teach him his colors using thread, fabric and yarn. Poor kid...




Friday, December 01, 2006

December 1st...Wow...Hmmm....OK....

Where does the time go? This is the time of year I often ponder that question. Every year goes by faster and faster. I believe time is speeding up, because I haven't started slowing down yet! I've been staying focused on my work and of course keeping busy with Eli, but this is a time of year that I really start missing my family, as I'm sure most others do as well, that are separated by many miles of asphalt. My mom and younger brother Joel, will be coming down on the 24th, so we're really looking forward to that! There's a 25 pound turkey just waiting patiently in the freezer. Don't worry, I made sure it has lots of food and water...haha!!




I just finished dyeing a gazillion skeins of yarn and am now going to be giving my sewing machine some much needed love and attention. It's been sitting on the dining room table/work area sulking for the past few weeks. Every once in awhile I catch a nasty glance from it! I'm going to be making four different knitting bags for sock projects this weekend. A Snowflake Bag (which is almost done), a Burgundy Rose bag, a 20's Flapper Bag and a cool Mod-style one. Of course they'll be on my Etsy shop, but when I post the pictures tomorrow of my Snowflake Bag- which is GORGEOUS btw, I'm going to add a link for anyone who wants to take a stab at making one. They are fairly easy to make and the results are awesome- I've been coveting the Snowflake Bag for days now :) I really do have issues!! haha! Would anyone be interested in doing a knitting sock project bag KAL? I could whip up some easy to follow instructions and y'all can let the creativity flow. It could be fun! If not now, maybe after the holidays?

Just a thought...