Friday, June 30, 2006

More postcrossing

Purple Assignment Tag - Postcrossing
This card was for an "assignment" I asked for a purple card and then someone tagged me and said they would make me a purple card. So sugar and spice came all the way from New Zealand just for me. I tagged someone else who I STILL need to make her a red collage card. I have all the necessary supplies I just need to get crackin'

The stamp on the back of the card.

Snoopy Card

Snoopy came from up in North America - Canada. Snoopy sure put a smile on my face when I cam home today. I love the bits if yarn she swirled on the card 'cause I'm partial to yarn (and mail.)

Such a lovely stamp on the back too

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I got an awesome tote

I got an awesome tote for my WIPS from my partner for the Use what you have swap this June. I just LOVE it. It's purple what's not to love about that! It's big so I have plenty of room for yarn, patterns etc.

Tote - Project Bag

The inside is even lined with a pocket that is a perfect to fit for the Altoid mint tins I use to hold stitch markers and the like (Yes, I do eat the mints before I add pins to them. Sometimes, I even wash them first;)

Tote - Project Bag

Thank You!

We went camping

We are going camping several times this summer and took our first trip last weekend and had a great time. (Although the getting ready was kind of stressful)

We went to Pamona Lake Park where Stephen used to camp with his family when he was young (about 20 years ago!) We plan on camping in Pamona again in the fall. Our next camping trip will take us out Missouri way near the Ozarks (we think.)

Fishing at the Sandstone
Taking a break from the fishing to catch some shade instead of fish and get something to eat.

Fishing at the Sandstone
Stephen is still fishing on the sandstone he used to fish with his dad and grandfather.

Old Homestead
The Old Figgins Homestead is FOR SALE - 12 acres, a house, 2 ponds, and several out building that need major repairs. We were dreaming bit about buying the old homestead this weekend Corbin is ready he wants horses.

Uncle Lee's Horses
We stopped off to visit Stephen's Uncle Lee who raises horses. I wish I had a video camera. He called the horsed to us and it was beautiful. Words just don't do the picture in my mind justice. The two white horses are twins. One of them seemed to really like Corbin. He wants to get both of them when we buy the farm. ( Corbin seems to think we have decided to buy the farm.) Stephen and I just can't decide are we city mice out country mice? Then there is how in the world we will make money if we live in Pamona.

Pome on the Range Orchards
We found this orchard getting lost on the way back to camp from fishing and visiting the horses. It was a great find. We went back on the way home to get some peaches, their elderberry and blackberry wines, and some of their jams. Yum! The kids got apple slushies.

Pome on the Range Orchards
Feeding the ducks at the orchard.


I got more postcrossing cards yesterday

From the Netherlands I got this card:

It's a picture of one of her paintings

I love the stamp on the back.

From France about one of my favorite foods chocolate:

French Chocolate

French Chocolate
The stamp

French Chocolate
A stamping she added - it's sweet

Don't miss the pictures from our camping trip below!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My first postcrossing card

I got my first postcrossing postcard in the mail yesterday all the way from Finland. This card was a part of a tag. I tagged someone to send a homemade postcard to then someone tagged me. She even used sunflower stickers on the the card. Did she know that Kansas is the Sunflower State?

Handmade Tag - Recieved

Handmade Tag1 - back

Categories: , ,

Categories: postcrossing, 2006,

Secret Pal Swap

I got another package from my Secret Pal on Friday last week. I would have posted the photo of all the goodies she sent me sooner if I wasn't getting ready to go camping last weekend. (We had a blast camping too)

I got two different kinds of lotions, a few free patterns that look fun to give a try, a scrap afghan pattern book, a shawl pattern book, crystalite hooks (this was great because I have the larger one but not the smaller ones)

As you can see I have already put the yarn holder to use. I am making a washcloth with some Bernat Cotton Tots.

Thanks Secret Pal!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Use What You Have Monochrome Swap

I just participated in my first use what you have swap. I made my partner a tote, amigurumi kitty, a bookmark and a headband.

The tote was inspired by the blanket in the Spring Interweave Crochet. The headband is my own design and you can find the pattern for it here in my blog. I did adjust the pattern a bit because I used size 3 cotton rather than ww yarn. The bookmark is a free pattern but I altered it a bit. The kitty was from a pattern book.

I enjoyed the creativity that was part of this swap and tried things that I would not have tried. It was hard to only use what I had for a whole month. I did break down and buy some cotton yarn at the very end of the month because I wanted to make some facecloths and I didn't have the cotton yarn I wanted. I also purchased some patterns that I didn't want to wait for. In my defense (except for the cotton yarn) I only used yarn from my stash for the entire month. You can see those things in my flickr photo gallery.

I like the idea of a use what you have swap because it makes you think and get the creative juices going. I found even in my other projects I could find something to use that I already had rather than go buy something new to finish it. Yet, Telling myself I couldn't buy anything was like being on a diet I wanted it even more! (Because I am new to dishcloths and facecloths and I just wanted to do it!)


Let's face it I'm addicted to yarn and proud of my stash!


It will all be gifts for family and friends and for me too. So, it will all get used eventually.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thursday Thirteen-What we have been up to

So another theme I have seen around on blogs I read so I thought I'd give it a try and get me posting a little bit more often.

1. The kids have been going fishing with their dad. The first time Corbin caught fish and Jade didn't and the second time Jade caught fish and Corbin didn't. We are going camping and fishing this weekend !

2. Jade has been spending most of the summer in her room listening to books on tape.

3. Corbin and I are reading the Catwings series by Ursala K. Le Guin. We finished Catwings Tuesday and are currently reading Catwings Returns.

4. I've been crocheting but you already knew that didn't you? (reminder to self must change name of this blog to Confessions of a Mother Who Reads Crochets Too Much.)

5. I did pick up a book to read, Out of Eden, that's promising. I need to re-read One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Dodd for bookclub in July.

6. Corbin has watched the Incredibles for at least 3 times this week.

7. Jade likes to stay up late and sleep in this summer.

8. I joined yet another forum to send and receive postcards from all over the world. It's called postcrossing It's inspiring me to get out the paper, glue, old magazines to make my own cards AND I love getting mail :)

9. Jade is taking a Japanese Calligraphy class which she seems to be enjoying quite a bit.

10. I should be getting ready for homeschool group today (Wednesday) rather than writing this post for tomorrow (Thursday)

11. I managed to get the most of the laundry that has decorated the family room floor (for several days now) folded and put away.

12. We had a blast at Shawnee Lake Park last week with some friends. Poor Corbin got a sunburn. They both had fun playing with friends, sliding down the slides and I had fun hanging with the moms.

13. I took a spinning class. Now, I want a spinning wheel anyone want to get me one? Ahhh well, I guess I'll stick with my drop spindles. Hey, if you change your mind let me know! I know just where I want to put it.

This time I'm not going to use that linky thing I used for the Wordless Wednesday but I'd love too see your list. Just make a comment in my blog then I will come read yours :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Stitch Markers

I'm having fun with beads and earring findings to make stitch markers when I crochet. Many of these markers I will send out as surprise gifts for the wishing well on Crochetville. Some I will keep for myself.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

more spinning

I've been working on this on and off for a few days. The spindle is now full. So it's time to ply my yarn soon.

I'm going to try my hand (literally) at the Andean plying technique.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Socks - a little further along

Socks - a little further along
Originally uploaded by sammimag.
My socks are movin' along a bit more. I have the next task to complete for the crochet along. I just need to decide how I want to go about it. I found when I did the grafton fibers toe-up sock pattern when I got to the heal I need it to be a bit more roomy.

So do I make a longer chain than suggested or do I add a few more rows then make the chain?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I'm spinning - sort of

I took a spinning class this weekend. Man oh man it was hard. I forgot how some physical things take me sooo long to learn. Spinning ,especially on a spinning wheel, is like trying to rub your belly and patt your head at the same time.

Let's just say it out loud now, I cried. I wanted to figure this out sooo bad. I had such a hard time keeping the wheel going and figuring just how much fiber to feed the spool and not break the yarn or get the wheel going the wrong way. AAAACK!

I managed to get the hang of it. Dang it, I may be dang near 40 but it was embarrassing for me to be the only one struggling really hard. Then my frustration gets to me then the tears.

There is some beauty in the end. My first skein of yarn spun and plied on a spinning wheel.

Hand Spun Yarn - Wheel

Since I didn't bring home a spinning wheel (that a 350-400$ purchase yikes!) I worked on my drop spinning when I got home and made this skein, another chunky weight yarn:

Hand Spun Yarn - Drop Spindle

I plied this yarn using a drop spindle and that was a challenge to say the least. I think lots of the twist I had out in to the singles all came out when I plied. Now I have this soft looking yarn that looks like roving.

Not only can I cry when I get frustrated. I'm reminded that I am STILL impatient. Right now I am on my next spinning attempt and the pace is very slow. I am taking my time a pre-drafting the fibers and doing the park and spin method. I am pleased with what I have so far. So that's a good thing.

I think I am sufficiently challenged. I now HAVE to master this. I will preserver. (and have fun too) I will learn to take my time.

Postcard Art - Maybe

I'm trying my hand at making my own handmade postcards to take part in handmade card swaps on the postcrossing forum. I 'm feeling a bit creatively challenged but it's likely my perfectionism creeping in.

I like what I am creating "okay" but I really want to make a wow statement or something. For some reason I feel like I am cheating using others peoples photography to make cards. I think I need to find some unique way to use the materials.

Are there any artists (or lovers of art) out there reading my blog? I'd love some constructive criticism, inspiration or even just some plain old reassurance. Beauty is in the the eye of the beholder anyway. I might hate it but maybe you just LOVE it! If you do love something you see and I still have it I might just mail it too you!

This one I like and my receiver liked it too. She said he was going to frame it and hang it in her kitchen! So now I my art is hanging on wall in Austria. Cool!

Red Flowers and Food

This bountiful garden card I like it "okay" I think there is something missing here. I'm not sure the composition is very pleasing. I also feel like I am cheating on this card because the card is made of a gift box lid cut to size with seed packet pictures glued to the the top.

Bountiful Garden  - Beans

This one I like more than "okay" mostly because I like the photos of the happy smiles and the silliness of it. It makes me smile. Again, it feels like cheating because I am using others photos.

flower smiles

Maybe I am going to far with this flower and photo theme?

meditation love

Here I am seeing what happens when I add words.
baby joy

This one I love the colors but the composition I'm not sold on.
blue buttefly

Have some suggestions?

I have added more cards to my art card set in my flickr account to take a look if you want. Just click on the link in my sidebar.

Beauty and Function

Beauty and function can be hard to create in the unschooling home but NOT impossible. I really need beauty and order. I also need ease and functionality. As it turns out in our family the dining room is the best place to do crafts and the best place to store most of the crafts supplies.

Most of the time the dinning room does NOT looks like this. Often the table is covered with works in progress. The table MUCH cleaner than usual and only because I want to show off my first large doily I crocheted recently.

3 great iPhotos

I have more craft storage that spills into the family room.

3 great iPhotos

Having most of the craft stuff centrally located makes it much easier to keep organized and picked up and it's more likely to be used too.

Some day I would like something more atractive here rather than plastic drawrers but it serves it function. If I want I can hide it in the laundry closet next to the dinning room.

Today I plan on getting out a mask making kit I picked up at a garage sale earlier this summer. So the doily will go off to the side and the table will be getting dirty.

When we will have a party or some company and I want the place to look a bit nicer I can quickly transform this crafting center to something much more attractive. I move some things around and add some pictures from other places in the house and Voila!

3 great iPhotos

I plan on adding a "curtain" to the bottom part of the shelf to hide the plastic bins from view. When we have the funds I will likely make or buy some kind of cabinet that will offer the same storage possibilities.

I got a package!

I got a package from my Secret Pal on Friday. It was a nice surprise after a long day at the swimming pool.

A package!

I got a skein of yarn, some Mocha Java coffee, a tote bag for my many WIPS ;) and a small clutch like bag great to hold some hooks. I have already indulged in some of the coffee, very yummy.

Thank You Secret Pal!

a little bit of this and a little bit of that

I apologize up front to anyone who prefers exact measurements. I can be that way too sometimes. Yet, I have gotten to the point that sometimes I want something yummy but I just don't want to take the time to measure every thing out. The recipe I am about to share is just a guess anyway because I'm trying to recreate a salad my dh and I LOVED to get when we ate at the Boho in Occidental, Ca.

Strawberry Salad - one serving:

green leaf lettuce about 1 cup shredded by hand or cut you decide
one small clove of garlic chopped or more (because let's be realistic here garlic is a VEGETABLE!)
a dash or more of olive oil
a dash or more of balsamic vinegar (this is the absolutely must ingredient! balsamic vinegar as far as vinegers go is very close to heaven for me and really makes this salad)
a dash of salt
2-3 strawberries sliced
a few pinches of sliced almonds almonds or toasted walnuts either is very good
a few pinches of fresh parmesan cheese ( parmesan cheese in a can is NOT good enough you must splurge on fresh parmesan cheese)

Viola you have a gourmet salad that reminds me of my salad days (pun intended) in California

Serve with chilled white wine and some white cheddar cheese and be happy:)

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Time 12:17 am and I'm not sure....

If I should dance like Snoopy or Cry? You ask ...Why?

Because Jade is in the kitchen making pancakes. I want to cry because I want to go to bed and I don't want to wake up to a potential kitchen disaster in the morning. Cry because she just may have used up all the cream and milk for my coffee in the morning. Not to mention I'm tired ! But I'm having a hard time sleeping with the activity in the kitchen so I decided to surf, read email and now blog.

Or I could dance like Snoopy because she is making them herself. She READ! the recipe herself. AND Now that I am up the pancakes are smelling pretty good so I just might eat them too. So that's a good thing.

Still up at 12:24 am

Bear and Purse

My son has a little friend down the street who was having a birthday last weekend so he asked me to make her a little teddy bear. He contributed lots to the overall design of the bear.

He had me sew on a little pink heart for the bears belly (I don't have a picture of that sorry!) He also requested I make the bear a scarf and mini purse. Then I made a purse for the little girl to hold the bear in.

I was able to make this with everything I had in my stash in honor of use what you have. I am trying very hard this month to NOT buy any more yarn or craft stuff.

I have not succeeded very well though. I couldn't pass up a crochet book I found at half price books a few days ago for only $5 and a pattern for some fun book marks.

I haven't bought any new yarn for 3 weeks now!

Monday, June 5, 2006

more socks - the beginning

more socks - the beginning
Originally uploaded by sammimag.
I'm working on a Sock CAL for CGOA members. I got this far then after doing part of the next task I decided to frog back to the beginning. I just didn't like how roomy the socks were at the toes. I was worried they would be even roomier if I kept going.

The pattern suggested I end with a certain number of stitches which didn't make sense to me if I want the pattern to fit my feet.

The gauge required was 13sc/2inch which is about 6.5 sc/inch. I measured my foot just under the toes and got about 8.5inch around. So that got me about 55sc needed to fit my foot. I decided if I ended with 54 sc I would get a snug fit and the sock will stretch.

54sc is just about what I ended up with when I did the grafton fibers toe up sock. I also changed how I did the increases. I did increases w/o a sc in between them which I think makes a tighter fit.

I hope I'm right.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

On Gardening

Ok not much on gardening but a card I received from Finland today for the what is your hobby tag on he postcrossing forum.

Gardening Postcard from Finland

Even the stamp "matched" the card

Gardening Stamp from Finland

I've have been watering the garden lots today. Dang I am hot. I'm so hot think I'm melting. Need cool air, need water, need a beer .... oh good I have one ;0)

Friday, June 2, 2006

My baby is growing up

Corbin got his ear pierced today. He's pretty pleased although he said it really hurt.

I feel so surprised, kind of incredulous that I have kids with pierced , ears and now an ear. Not that I have a problem with pierced ears. It just seems like such a big thing to do to me.

He does look pretty cool. I'd think he was pretty cute if I was 7 years old. I'm probably kind of prejudiced with a mother's love and all.