31 August 2009

Chess, anyone?

Well, it's the 31st! You know what that means, right?

First, let me bore you with my weekend adventures...

Last weekend we went to Wenatchee, WA where the apples are. It was nice, but both the kids were in moods and it took its toll on the happiness of the trip.

We visited Rocky Reach Dam. I love dams...they're just so impressive! We were lucky enough to see some fish in the fish ladder! (I have to admit though...salmon creep me out! *shivers*)It really was a beautiful place. Lots of flowers, cool breeze...And then they have a museum inside, and you get to see this...a row of turbines. JJ, being the structural engineer/geek that he is, was very impressed with their super-strong crane/lift thingies. That says 250 tons.
They have a little turbine cross-section poster...Let's take a closer look at this, shall we?Workers can go down there! Can you imagine? Where do I sign up? :)

My son got a kick out of this...

And so now for the giveaway! Our friends at Random.org have selected the very fine number 7 for our happy prize winner. And that's Cathy! (Who happens to have a lovely blog...go check it out!) Please e-mail me (link is in my profile) your snail-mail info so I can get these goodies out to you! :)

No one guessed exactly what I was making...but ikkinlala came so very close with her guess of a game board. It is a game board, but more specifically...
a chess board!

You see, I was in the game shop with my chess-obsessed son and we saw this cool hexagon chess. Well, it was $40...and, being the crazy lady I am, I thought...I could make that! And so I did. Does it look beautiful? Not in the least! Do we own the correct number of bishops (Hex chess takes 3 bishops and only 6 pawns)? No, but 2 of the leftover pawns don't mind wearing scarves...
So it works. Now if he ever makes some chess-loving friends, and they want to come over and play, we're going to shell out that $40! ;)

27 August 2009

Can you believe this?

Kellie at Don't Look Now is actually giving this quilt away! Check out her patterns as well. I totally need Pretty in Pink! *sigh* So gorgeous!

So run over there and enter to win...or you could not enter to win and thereby increase my chances of winning... ;)

20 August 2009

hi ho-hi ho, it's off to IKEA we go...

My husband (let's call him JJ from now on, shall we?) has a meeting in the town where our IKEA is. So I suggested we go there for dinner, and the kids and I will browse while we're waiting for him. Now browsing isn't my specialty. I'm a shopper. And technically I have enough money to buy this drawer unit I really, really want, but I also want so many other things. We'll see what I can talk him into... ;)

So yesterday I'm crocheting along on my lovely gigantic granny square when I realize I've got a rounded corner. Yup, for the last 5 rounds I'd only put one dc set in the corner instead of the required 2.So here's where my craft-philosophy comes in. I'm going to leave it. I've started up the correct # of stitches again, but there will be a little pucker where I messed up. If I corrected all my mistakes I would get bored, and nothing would ever get finished. I know ladies who are sticklers for perfection. I've seen them pin at each and every seam in a bargello quilt, and rip it out if all the corners didn't match up exactly. That's so not me! Everything I make will have a serious flaw, that's just the way I roll...

But here's a funny--I show my, oh that's right, I show JJ the mistake last night and I say I wonder if I should undo all that. He immediately said, "NO WAY! That's a lot of work! And anyway, it'll be worth more if it's defective." :) Then he says, "Is that the one for our bed?" I say yes. "Well I'll check back on it in 2012." Yup, I've got a reputation!

I also thought I'd share with you a recent-ish purchase. Yes, I know I should wait until I'm finished with one project to buy stuff for the next, but I just can't help myself! (And I did promise myself that I'd finish this one blanket before I started on any other crochet project...and so far I've been able to resist the temptation. So far...)
(Isn't it yummy? Mmmm...)

Don't forget about my giveaway as well!

14 August 2009

Miscellaneous things...and a giveaway!

I've been inspired to do a giveaway.* Although I find the best inspiration to be a product I feel everyone must have, this time it's actually a project I'm working on...but more on that later. First, I shall torture you with miscellany...

I totally lost my train of thought. We just heard the ice cream truck and there was a mad dash to get outside...

Oh yes, I was going to tell you about some pom poms I made the other night with my nifty Clover pom pom makers. I have the small set and the jumbo. Clover has a video to show you how to use them. It's so easy...after you do it once you'll never need directions again.

(I just love how these turned out!)

I had this whole skein of hideous camo-colored acrylic yarn with which I hoped to make 'pom-bombs' for my son and husband, but I found the acrylic didn't make such a nice shape. Instead the pink, which is Knit Pick's Swish DK, made the very tighest, happiest little ball! The green is a Cascade 220...again, a better ball than the acrylic, but not quite as happy as the Swish. I really like that yarn--it's so horribly soft. Mmmm.... I wish you could feel it through the screen.

Speaking of yarn, I got this bundle of lovliness in the mail today...

And speaking of creepy mutations...what? We weren't talking about those? Hmm...well, anyway. The other night the neighbors heard a mysterious yelp coming from my house. At that very same moment, I unwrapped this...

Yes, it caught me off guard. It's actually pretty cute in this picture. But not cute enough that anyone offered to eat the cob it came from. So it was mine...

And last, but not least, we come to my current project and the giveaway. I'm making hexagons out of this super-soft 'pleather' material. It's also the first time I've been able to use my handy hexagon tool. I actually bought it so long ago that it was before I realized some acrylic templates have a backing on them to keep them from being scratched. I remember wondering how it worked if you couldn't see through it. I'll pause while you laugh...

It's horribly easy to use. You just cut the strip of fabric to the width of your unfinished hexagon. (In my case, that's 2.5") Then you line up the top and bottom of your desired hexagon with the fabric (making sure the back point isn't over the end of your fabric) and cut along the front two sides. I found it easier to use my tiny 25mm rotary cutter.

Then you take that arrow-shaped piece, turn it 180 degrees, again line it up with your desired hex, and trim those triangle bits off! Voila!

So...what does a girl want with 18 white, 18 black and 18 brown 'pleather' hexagons? Can you guess? I just can't imagine that anyone will get it...

So here's where the giveaway comes in. I want you to guess just what I'm doing with those hexagons! The winner will receive their very own set of pom pom makers and a couple of balls of the lovely Swish DK yarn (which I'm in the middle of ordering, so no pics yet...) I hope that's a fun prize... (I know I want to win it! Let's see...is it a big, hideous honeycomb? Nope, I don't win...)

You get one guess, and that's your first entry! Make sure I can contact you if you win, especially if you don't have a blogger account!

If you mention this on your blog, leave a link in another comment and that's your second entry!

I'll pick the winner on August 31st. That should allow enough time for the yarn to arrive, and hopefully I'll be finished with that hexagon project by then... ;)

Have fun!


* I actually started this post a while ago but my original prize, a GC to Knit Picks, didn't work out because they only ship to the US. I, however, ship anywhere. :)

11 August 2009

Some people...

I'm just disgusted. The other day something out the window caught my eye. It was a girl climbing on our fence. So I watched and she was tried to yank off a 'ball' from our monkey tree. Then 3 of them climbed the fence trying to yank it. It wasn't budging...it isn't supposed to come off. So I went out and told them to get off. They didn't even apologize or anything!

Well guess what? They came back and apparently were successful. The ball is missing and the tree is weeping white fluid. Nice... You know, if they had come to the door and asked if they could have one, I very well might have clipped one for them. But why do they think they can just come and take whatever they want? I don't understand people like that...
(monkey tree 'balls')

It's actually not the first time we've had that sort of problem. I think it was last year...we found some men with clippers clipping at the tree! Can you believe that?!? They wanted a cutting to start their own tree. First I say, go buy one at a nursery like the rest of us. Second...get the h*** off my tree! People...they really disappoint me. *take a deep breath*

So here are the plant pictures I promised...

2 lovely gladioluses...
Various Hydrangeas. I should have taken pictures before our hot weather. A lot of the petals burned...(Lovely, isn't it?)
(I didn't treat the soil, so they're mostly purple this year...)
(mmm...)

(See the little bug on the leaf? Cute...)(A baby pumpkin)(A quince...)
(The lake seems so serene today...)

10 August 2009

A quasi eventful weekend...

It was by no means a fun weekend...I was in a bad mood for most of it. Feeling sad, out of sorts and sorry for myself. Lovely. To start it off with a bang, my son woke me up at 5am on Saturday to tuck him back in bed. I just couldn't get back to sleep after that. Nothing like a lack of sleep to set the mood. But quite a few things occurred...

We went to IKEA and bought some flooring for my craft room! And also some drywall! Woo-hoo! Now that's not to say that it'll get done anytime soon, but it's a start...

We also bought some new chairs for the kids. There was a problem putting one of them together so I asked my husband for assistance. One of his ideas was to use super glue, but he squeezed the tube and nothing came out. So i took it, opened the cap and it all came pouring out on my finger.* It almost stuck to another finger, but I pulled it away in time! Whew!
(It's getting bigger...)

Then that night I did some crocheting before bed. As usual my mind wandered here and there...lately my son and I have been watching the harry Potter movies. The 4th was on it's way in the mail and I hadn't read that whole book. I hate seeing the movie before reading the book. Then I had the best idea--I would download the audio book to my ipod and listen to it as I crocheted! I went online...it's not available. Went to Amazon to see if they had it on CD. Yes, for $50!!! I am not paying $50 for one CD book! No way! So then I thought...what about the library. Guess what? They have all of them, except the one I wanted! Can you believe it?!?

Was that all that happened? I think so...

So here are some pictures...(A neat little flag I got. They have a variety of things to hang from the arrow. They even have a sheep! See the spider web?)
(A star I painted and hung outside)

(A vintage pillow. I'm constantly telling the kids not to play with it/leave it on the floor)

I took some picture of my plants today too...I'll share those next time.

*The tube says to soak your finger in acetone nail polish remover. It was taking forever and not working. So I put a gob of hand lotion on my finger and bandaged it. It worked great. It took about a day, and I reapplied the lotion maybe 4 times, but at least it wasn't such a hinderance as sitting there soaking...

03 August 2009

You have got to be kidding me!

Okay, so I bought Mono's Formica Blues album in 1999 (98?) and I loved it so much that I went looking to see if they made anything else. Nothing! So I was disappointed, but checked every now and again to see if anything new popped up. Then after a few years I couldn't even find that album. I searched every online music store I could find...nothing. It was like they never existed.

So tonight I'm looking around for some good chill on Amazon, and guess what pops up? Not only did it pop up, but apparently they've been making new stuff this whole time!!! I swear to you--I checked so many times in so many places. I checked under Mono...under Formica Blues. Nothing!

So as dismayed as I am at this whole situation, I'm mostly just happy, happy, happy that I found them again! Off to make a purchase... ;)

Oh, and if you love chill too, I highly recommend the 'elemental' series. Those are some of my favorites!

Hopefully I'll get my rear in gear here soon so I can show you some new stuff...