Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The First Day Back to School

 The first day back to school has come again. But because they have only had each other to play with these last few weeks, they were happy. Elizabeth started the 5th grade. She made a few friends the first day and has asked if she can learn how to play the flute in early morning band. 

Issac is my shy guy. He has played with a few of the other boys. He has always preferred to stay close to mom or play by himself. He hasn't made any close friends just yet, but I have confidence that it will get easier. Being new to a school is scary sometimes.

There is a doe and her twins that visit an apple tree twice a day. Drive Isis crazy, but the doe knows that she is safe with a fence between them. The babies a a bit more shy and run for cover when the dog starts barking. My sister says the same mother had another set of twins last year too.

On top of school starting, my daughter is turning 10 on Monday. It has been such a great joy raising her. Always quick to smile and eager to help when she sees it is needed. It can not be easy growing up with a bi-polar mother, but she is strong and has been able to hold up against my ups and downs.  

Finally finished the hat! I broke down and picked up some Peaches and Cream. I found the instructions for a simple daisy in the book The Harmony Guide to Crocheting . The same book that I am still borrowing from my mother when I taught myself how to crochet. The daisies are really easy, but good morals and copyright laws keep me from giving you the pattern I used from the book. But i think my take along projects for a while will be crocheting little hearts, clovers and flowers. Having small projects like that is healthy for the creative spirit. Here is a FREE DAISY PATTERN that is very close to the one I used. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Never enough time!

I am trying something new this week with the blog. Instead of writing it all in one sitting, I am writing a little at a time. This way after about an hour I don't feel like working on it any more I can save it and work on it later. Other wise I end up rushing to finish it.

There are so many different things I want to try or learn how to do in the world. Today I think I told Kyle that I want to refurbish old furniture, start wire wrapping, perfect my embroidery, and try my hand at graphic design. But there isn't enough time in the day to work on projects that I have already started. Oh yes, I need to add pine needle basket weaving and graphic design to my  list of "want to do".

I like personalizing my social media sites. Or rather I like the idea of personalized sites. I don't know very much about graphic design so I have decided to do what I have always done and teach myself. I download the trial to Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 (a.k.a. APE11) and after watching the brief tutorial I jump in feet first. There are three different ways you can edit. Quick, guided, or expert. I tried the guided, hoping I could familiarize myself with the program. But after about an hour of frustration of the program not letting me experiment the way I wanted, tried the expert. I still have no idea what I am doing, but I could manage the program better when I had the freedom I was looking for. If you want to try the program HERE IS THE LINK . I tried posting a pic of what I had been working on this morning, but either the trial version isn't going to allow me save it as a file that blogger accepts or I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe I'll find some videos on YouTube that will help me.

I almost finished the hat I started. I want to add little crocheted flowers to make it more girly for Eli. unfortunately Any crochet yarns I  would have in my stash are either still packed away or were left behind. It was very sad to have to leave so much stuff behind. We just didn't have any more room in any of the vehicles for a few things. I think I may try just using yarn instead or I'll hit up the thrift store.      

My Grandmother (Yaya in Greek) was always creating something. Whether it was in the kitchen, the garden, or one of many different mediums one uses when creating art. She introduced me to canning and baking in the fall. And even though I am not the most proficient gardener, I give it my all and try to remember to water. But she unknowingly taught me that art isn't just paint on a canvas, it is in anything we create with our hands that give a person a strong positive emotion. She allowed me to be creative every time I came to her house and encouraged me to try new things. Here is a picture of a small piece she made during her pottery phase. She is going to be 92 this year and my family and I have moved in with her so I can make sure she lives the rest of her life in comfort. On evenings she is feeling up to it, she has her great grand children climb in bed with her and they watch old movies together.

My sister and I attended Placerville's annual Craft Fair. I think I may rent a spot next year. The turn out was really nice and there were places for more booths. It was really nice watching our girls hold hands and sit together.

After seeing all of the different things that people had made a feel more confident that what I make will do just as well. ( I really need to learn how to take more pics lol)

I had shown my mother a pair of finger less I had made and now she has requested a pair. muhahaha guinea pig! This basket is about 2 1/2 feet tall and about a foot at the widest part and I have filled it to the brim with small roll lags. Now all I need is a quiet afternoon to spin what I want to use for her gloves. My mother wears a lot of pinks, so I am thinking painting the fiber in shades of pink and maybe embroidering it with vines or maybe some simple daisies. I can't wait to see what they look like finished and on her hands.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

We Moved!

It's unfortunate but we had to leave our beloved Washington. My family needed some one to help take care of my grandmother and I was having a tough time finding a job that would cover all of my bills. So I sold a majority of our belongings and headed back to Placerville, California.

I want this to be a year of positive thinking. So even if I had to leave Washington for a bit, my children get a chance to get to know their great grandmother and the rest of my family. My sister and my mother haven't seen us in about 6 years. I get to finally meet my first niece, Izzy. (She is a cutie b.t.w. I can say that because I am in no way biased.)

When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a huge garden with several fruit trees. As a little girl I remember climbing the giant fig tree in her back yard. I still love figs. She had everything from persimmons to black berries, asparagus to egg plant. Plus she had all the other regular garden veggies like zucchini and tomato and bell peppers. She grew up during the depression so we did a lot of canning during the summer.
I did get to go to the 2013 Yarnival. It was my first fiber event ever and I am ashamed to say I didn't take any pictures. I was located at the Boeger Winery just out side of Placerville. Kyle and I went alone and had wonderful time. It was very hot, but there were vendors selling food and drink with shaded picnic benches. I picked up some hand painted roving of merino  and bamboo. It was the first time every working with anything besides wool. I have the fiber a beautiful sheen to it and it is so soft. I am thinking about making a pair of socks out of it. . . one day.
Yesterday and today I have been working on a hat for Elizabeth. I am using some of the fiber I bought while I was living in Washington. I have also decided this is not only the year of positive attitudes but trying new things. I have worked with knitting patterns enough to know there are somethings I would love to change to make them more unique, but I am still enough of a novice that I do not feel comfortable altering anything. So I have decided to give recipes a try starting with  Paper Sensei's top down hat. It's a  free pattern and a very easy hat to stitch up. But learning how to start a hat with no gauge is a little scary for me but I am trying new things and I WILL master it!