Category Archives: Off Topic

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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Holiday Break!

UntitledNo actual blog post (at least, with content) this week.  I’m back home from Christmas but brought home the family cold, along with my brother.  We’re having a great time doing “quiet” activities like watching lots of Star Trek (#nerdsiblings).  By lots I mean four movies and an episode Sunday and then one movie after dinner last night (I worked yesterday).

UntitledI will be back next week with goodies from a swap with a friend and fibery things I received for Christmas.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and will have a fun and safe New Year’s holiday!

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Christmas Decorations 2015

I love love love decorating for Christmas.  Even if no one but me will see it.  So I thought I’d share some of my favorite things around the house (and because I’m a bit pressed for time this week). Warning: Picture Heavy Post!

002In the interest of full disclosure, I did not make these. Passed down from a parent’s aunt.

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My tree is a bit small but I like the size for just me.  Three new red ornaments this year just arrived today as a gift!

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My cat is terrified of these guys.  Although some mornings I find Rudolph knocked over.

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I’ve had this forever and still like moving DecemBear around.  This year I’ve fallen behind a bit.

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If there’s an earthquake Santa is going to plummet to the ground below.  Sorry Santa.

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I actually bought these for my grandma years ago (she had a bit of a place mat obsession) and as my mom and I were cleaning out Christmas decorations from their cabin by the lake I found these.  What a wonderful reminder.

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Stick ’em up Frosty!

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Because carolers watching you in the bathroom isn’t creepy at all . . .

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Vacation on Jekyll Island, Georgia

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Warning: Picture heavy post!

I’m not going to bore you with a lot of details about my recent vacation to Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia but wanted to share some of the amazing scenery.  I took right at 1,000 photos plus whatever was on my phone.  Here are a few and I might post more later once I’ve had a chance to do some editing.  I had an awesome trip and met some amazing people.  One of my favorite things to do was to go down to the beach at night to walk or even just listen to the tide come in.
Beach 087Beach in the morning

Sunset 520Sunset on the Intercoastal

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Beach Reading

Babies 558Baby Turtles at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

GC Alligator 626Alligator at the golf course.

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Catch Up Time

So it’s been a while – 2 days shy of a full month (one day by the time this posts) since my last post.  Life got busy.  Want some highlights?

  • A few work trips. First was one on 36 hours notice where I flew round trip in one day.  Left my house at 5:15am and got home at about 1:00am, but, at least it was a good meeting with no delays and I learned a lot.  Another trip was with my boss, who is wonderful.  I always learn a lot from her and seeing what some of our clients do in detail is fascinating.  In general, I like work trips.  If I fly, I usually read for work or knit – since seats have shrunk even more its pretty hard to get my laptop out and work.  I also knit in those 5-15 minute gaps (waiting at the baggage claim, waiting to meet for breakfast, etc.) which really adds up.  Most of my colleagues know I knit and spin.  Sometimes there is good-natured joking but no one ever makes fun of it.  I suppose the fact I carry pointy sticks helps with that fact.

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  • It’s busy season at work now and 55 hours per week are normal.  Sometimes, I’m worn out and just want the week to end.  But, when I’m working on interesting projects and have stuff to do it’s not too bad.  The worst is when we don’t have the client work and I get bored.  I don’t handle boredom or slow well.  Shocking, I know.  At any rate, this may affect my goal of one blog post per week.  I usually try to write several at a time to give myself a reserve but that may not happen as frequently.
  • Had one sudden trip home to Missouri in January to see my grandmother.  She is now on hospice in the same town as my parents as her health deteriorates.  I was able to go home (my back didn’t exactly appreciate the six hour drive) and spend a substantial amount of time with her while she could remember who I was.  I stayed at the nursing home most days and one night and either worked or knit as she slept.  My wonderful friends in Indiana took care of everything while I was gone and it was such a relief not to have to think about if the trash was taken out or if the critters were fed.  Nursing home had wifi so Christopher was set with YouTube on my iPad.

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  • I had a birthday – 31.  About as exciting as 30.  And 29.  But definitely more fun than 30! I ended up going over to my friend’s house for dinner.  I picked up Thai food for us and she got a singing balloon (which terrifies the cat) and chocolate cake.  We ate, talked and watched Star Trek (TNG) with her son.  That ranks pretty high in my book! She got me a skein of Malabrigo Sock in an absolutely beautiful green/dark denim blue colorway.  So squishy soft I think it will grow up to be a cowl.  I also got lots of birthday wishes from my coworkers.  Two sang to me over the phone, one sent me the card below (it sings – check out my instagram) and cherry m&ms, one brought me cookies and I received lovely IMs and emails throughout the day.  Pretty nice birthday!

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  • Hmmm, spinning group was today with three friends.  The usual hijinx – wine, snacks, laughing and spinning.  And we moved a piece of furniture around a corner.
  • Home DIY time! I’ve got a couple DIY projects in the works. The first is some backsplash tiles between the sink and the window as I have waaay more trouble with splashes and stuff there than behind the stove.  I’m hoping to fine those peel and stick tiles in the small glass tiles with some red, black/gray, warm tones (to match the cabinets and countertop) and other mixed colors.  Once I find that I’m planning to paint the center island a deep barn/brick red.  Right now it’s white with black trim and gray/black tiles on top (seriously, my island is two kitchen cabinets put together back-to-back). There’s another DIY project in the works but it will merit its own separate post.
  • Preview of coming post: Finished Object (Spectra Scarf); On the Needles; On the Wheels; DIY Cleaning Supplies (because my wonderful pal Nicky has asked); Craft Room Expansion; 2015 Events and some reviews.  Phew – stay tuned!

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