Category Archives: Off Topic

Photo Blog Post: Staycation 2018

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A couple weeks ago my brother stayed with me in Indianapolis while our parents went on vacation (sort of – they stayed homed t00).  My brother and I enjoy our time hanging out together without the ‘rents, especially since he lives six hours away.  If you’re not aware, he is five years younger than me and has special needs, specifically Down Syndrome and Autism.  So here are some photos of our staycation!

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We spent our first couple days at home and I got up on some housework and house projects with his help.  I have nicely organized pantries now!  At home time means lots of Star Trek and Disney for us, and Chris’ new favorite, watching me play Horizon Zero Dawn. The cat decided she loves my brother, mostly because he pets her and lavishes her with attention.

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On Tuesday we went to the Indianapolis Zoo.  My brother loves animals and we visited the elephants multiple times.  I think if I’d had my knitting we could have sat there and just watched the elephants for hours.  He also loves the dolphin show, and the bears.  I liked the baby warthogs.

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Wednesday was FOURTH OF JULY and we had a cookout at my house with my friend and her husband.  Some grilling, shooting off Chris’ little rocket in the backyard and generally goofing off.  We played some more Horizon until it got dark and then sat in the driveway watching fireworks around us (with Chris directing to the patriotic music I had playing).  I set off some smoke bombs too.

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We needed some quiet time, and it was crazy hot out, so Thursday was a movie day at home.  More Star Trek, Disney and Horizon Zero Dawn.  The nerd runs strong in our family.

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And a final photo from the zoo . . .

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Spring Sewing & Stitch Makrers

I’ve done a lot of sewing this month and even made some stitch markers.  All of the bags were a wedge style but one was lined with vinyl to be a make up bag.  The make up bag and the kitty flower bag were gifts for friends.  The fabrics are from Joann’s and the stitch marker charms are from fandom chart bracelets on Amazon.  I’ve gone to using snaps on many of the project bags to eliminate yarn snagging on zippers.

Kitty project bag and notion pouch for a friend who was leaving to visit her significant other across the pond.

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Vinyl lined make up bag – gift for a friend. I told her almost six years ago I would figure out how to make a vinyl lined make up bag and finally did. I applied the iron on vinyl to the lining fabric.

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I found some more of the beautiful stained glass type Beauty and the Beast fabric.  So many of the Disney fabrics are pink, pastels and downright girly.  I previously made two bags out of this fabric as gifts but wanted one for myself.

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Another not girly Disney fabric

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Game of Thrones fabric

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This might be fabric more aimed at little children but I fell in love with the pirate sea creatures

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Space cats – enough said

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Llamas

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And now some stitch markers – in order – Star Trek, Supernatural, Game of Thrones

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Holiday Sewing 2017

I’ve done a lot of sewing in the last few weeks. Some were gifts for others, some were holiday themed bags for me.  Most of the bags are a wedge style and I’ve provided some links at the bottom of this post to tutorials for similar bags.

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The first is a Star Trek pillowcase for my brother.  He loves Star Trek (as do I) and I thought this would be something fun for him.

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I also found a beautiful stained glass type Beauty and the Beast fabric.  So many of the Disney fabrics are pink, pastels and downright girly.  So I was excited to find this print at Joanns.  I made two bags.  The first didn’t have the exact placement I wanted in terms of the castle and Belle and the Beast so I made a second bag.  The first bag has a good home – a colleague’s young daughter.

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And some more bags. . .
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This bag is different from the others in that instead of having a zipper closure at the top, it has snaps for the closure.  I made this bag for me to see what I think of this closure in terms of usability and convenience.  If I like it, I will make more bags in this way.

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Winter Move to the Loft

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The weather turned cold (as in sleet in October cold) a few weeks ago so I moved my knitting and spinning stuff back upstairs to my loft.  Truth be told, my winter spot is my favorite because its just so cozy.  Since I’ve posted about the loft before, I’m just going to show you the new items and what’s changed.

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When my family decided to sell my grandparent’s house over the summer, I picked up some furniture.  Some sentimental, some function and some both.  One of the pieces was a cedar chest.  It was rather un-cedar-y so I rubbed down the interior with cedar oil (pro tip – use less than you think you need).  Right now I’m storing various yarn in there in the beige cloth bags (to protect from the cedar oil transferring) and projects and bags in the cloth bins.  I may change that around in the future.

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My new Larry the Sheeple from ErinLaneBags.  She now sells many sheeple prints – I still want to get the Doctor Who set.

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Last but not least I did some re-organizing of my bookshelf.  I move a lot of the books over to the cube organizers so I’d have a couple free shelves. I have my eSpinner and tools/current fiber (in the green basket) on the top shelf and my wedge bags on the second shelf.  I have hooks for many bags but the wedge bags don’t have a great way to hang (hanging by the lanyards puts too much stress on the zipper pull).

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Thank you for joining me on a quick tour of my loft!  I’m so looking forward to spending the winter upstairs!

 

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Lest You Think I Disappeared. . .

I fully realize I’ve been as quiet as a church mouse this month. It has been an absolutely crazy and insane month of weird happenings. So, I’m going to give you an update on the two big things and then some smaller updates on miscellaneous things. 


At the beginning of May my cat stopped eating (which was very scary for my food motivated cat). Initial diagnosis was a UTI but when she didn’t start eating within a couple days of treatment I took her back to the vet for additional testing. The vet gave me a diagnosis for lymphoma. At that point the biggest concern was getting her eating again because if I couldn’t within a couple days, I would need to consider letting her go. I tried a last ditch effort of an anti-nausea medication injection and that seemed to jump start the appetite. After another week of trying random soft foods, then hand feeding kibble, she finally started eating on her on. Due to the lymphoma we’re just in a waiting game but she seems happy and active and lovey. 


On the first day I got her to eat on her own, I went and broke my foot. The true story is I tripped in a ditch by a work colleague has a much better version, that being I fought off pirate ninjas with knitting needles and a skein of yarn, while saving a truckload of kittens. Totally beleiveable, right? Anyways, I’m in an aircast for 6 weeks and hoping the bone starts to heal on its own. While I can get around pretty well, stairs are still problematic and I’m trying to stay off my feet as much as possible because walking in the cast is discombobulating my back. So appreciative of my wonderful friends who have been helping out. Also, ordering groceries online is now a thing, which makes me feel like a lazy bum but so be it. 


My last fiber festival classes of the season are this upcoming weekend at the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, Indiana. More details on the Classes page but I’m teaching a fun variety of classes. Cables 101 will teach you how to knit cables, read cables from a chart and how to fix mis-crossed cables. Beaded Wire Bracelet is a fun in-class project to knit a beaded bracelet from wire. Lastly, DIY stitch markers will teach you to make three different types of stitch markers and you take home as many as you can make. 


All of my plants for the year, save for a few a friend brought over last night, are in their pots and growing. I have some fruit (strawberries), veggies (carrots, peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens), herbs (too many to list), and some flower/healing plants (chamomile, lavender, echinacea). Winston loves the fresh kale! 

More in June on Hoosier Hills, what’s on the needles and recent spinning.  I’m gearing up to participate in Tour de Fleece but I’ll, obviously, be spinning on my e-spinner rather than my double treadle Sonata. 

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Fibery Fun in Chicago

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I feel like I haven’t posted in forever.  This past weekend was my first weekend at home without any major commitments since the middle of September so I’m finally starting to catch up.  Most notable of the last few weeks was a quick girl’s weekend in Chicago visiting a friend.  It was a great, and crafty, weekend.  I’ll include my yarn purchases soon (waiting so I don’t inadvertently disclose a friend’s birthday present).

Now anytime I’m traveling and know I’ll have some shopping time I always look up the closest yarn shop(s) to where I’m staying. I found two fairly close to my friend’s place in Chicago.  Saturday morning we went to the first one, Knit 1.  I loved the clean, sleek lines and the variety of yarn they carried.

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Also at the yarn shop I found a pattern that looks fun to knit.  This is how I take note of patterns I’m interested in prior to saving them to my favorites in Ravelry.  Just a quick snap  of the tag with the pattern name!

Next we ventured out to Ikea, because every crafter needs Ikea.  Important to crafters were two things.  One, a Raskog Cart.  This cart is reasonably priced, very sturdy and is great for keeping your knitting, spinning, or other craft supplies nearby.  Second, is the Fintrop system.  Long story short, this is a metal bar on which you hang metal baskets.  It’s actually designed for the kitchen but I’m repurposing it for above my desk in the fiber studio.  Putting straight knitting needles in it would look equally smashing.

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On the way home, we stopped at the second yarn shop, Nina.  This was a narrow but very deep yarn shop located in the city’s Wicker Park neighborhood.  This shop was equally well organized but a more eclectic variety of yarns.  I found a couple goodies and noticed some stitch markers from a local to me glass artist, Ann Tudor.

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After relaxing a bit, we went back out for dinner to a new for me taste – Ethiopian.  Simply amazing and now I’m hooked. It was so flavorful and yummy – if you’ve never had it, and you like ethnic foods, you should try.  The food is served atop a spongey bread called Injera, which is used to pick up and eat the food.

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Photo Post: Maine Coastline 2009

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Warning: Picture heavy post!

I’ve had a busy couple weeks and another coming up so I’m “cheating” with a photo post from a vacation to Maine in 2009. What’s interesting is I shot all these photos with a  then  thirty year old SLR camera.  It was my dad’s back then and I learned on it. Unfortunately I don’t still have the notes for each photo as to the specific locations but all are from along the coast of Maine.

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Loft Crafting Space

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I’m lucky to have two primary areas of the house in which I knit and spin.  During the summer I go down to the living room on the main floor simply because the upstairs is too hot.  But, my favorite spot is my winter spot upstairs in the loft.  I’m not why I love it so much more – maybe the coziness, maybe the layout and maybe the decor.  Usually I try to wait until the weather is consistently fall-like in October but this year I just couldn’t wait.  So this past Saturday I made the “great” migration.

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The first step was to just bring everything upstairs and set it out all over the floor.  Then I organized and put everything away.  Some things have changed since Spring (I’m more into using my planner with pretty stickers) and I wanted some of the random tools/accessories better organized.

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All my planner supplies, including unused months, filler paper, stickers, washi tape and pens, fit in this bottom drawer.

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This was the drawer that I desperately needed to organize better.  Previously, everything was just tossed in and, given the height of the drawer, it was a disaster.  I discovered that two of the small storage container fit stacked upon each other.  The containers are clear which makes identifying the contents quick and easy.  That said, I might still label them with washi tape for color!

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This corner contains my swift, ball winder and skein winder and on the wall above hangs project bags. I binge-watch Netflix while knitting so the TV and I are great friends.

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My e-spinner and spinning accessories live on the bookshelves, along with my camera, magazines and books.  Also new this fall is a green basket for my adult coloring books and creative notebooks.  I recently started reading Let the Elephants Run, The Creativity Challenge and The Productivity Project.  I like being able to just pull out the bin and do something out of my norm.

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Lastly, my comfy cozy recliner.  It’s mate bit the dust last year (RIP) and this one is probably 10-12 years old.  There will be tears when this one goes kaput.  The double decker end table was bought for $1 at an estate sale.  Great use of space and its a perfect surface for my e-spinner.  The colorful cubes on the back wall contain yarn.  And more yarn.  And a bit more yarn.

Thank you for joining me on a quick tour of my loft!

 

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Photo Blog Post: Staycation 2016

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Week before last my brother stayed with me in Indianapolis while our parents went on vacation (although we got to spend both weekends together as a family).  My brother and I enjoy our time hanging out together without the ‘rents, especially since he lives six hours away.  If you’re not aware, he is five years younger than me and has special needs, specifically Down Syndrome and Autism.  So here are some photos of our staycation!

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Our first outing was to a local SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) event (in garb) with my friend.  We enjoyed watching sword fighting, seeing some baby bunnies and attending court.

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Our second outing, a couple days later, was to the Indianapolis Zoo.  My brother loves animals and we visited the elephants multiple times.  I think if I’d had my knitting we could have sat there and just watched the elephants for hours.

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We needed some quiet time, and it was crazy hot out, so we had a movie day at home.  We watched several superhero movies, and the next day follow up with watching Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.  The nerd runs strong in our family.

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The cat decided she loves my brother, mostly because he pets her and lavishes her with attention.

And a final photo from the zoo . . .

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July 26, 2016 · 11:00 am

Photo Blog Post: Fairfield Park

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Warning: Picture heavy post!

I’m still coming back from my dance with bronchitis so I needed an “easy” post.  I’m originally from a small town (approximately 5,000 people) in southern Illinois and my granddad still lives there.  I met my parents/brother there this weekend for my birthday.  That reminded me I took these photos a few  years ago at the city park in Fairfield.  Then I played with exposure on them for fun.

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