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September 2014
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November 2014

Witch Throwback

Once upon a time I visited the Land of Green Witches, and as it turns out, one of the Witches has held a flame for Smith ever since she saw him, all those years ago. Well, she saved up all her powers and cast every spell in her book her woo him away!  

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I had to do everything I could to counteract her spells and save him (and me!) from the powers of the Hag. This meant a quest into the Land of Green Witches!

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The first place I stopped was the WitchBar where several of the spell-casters hang out, but the piano player only laughed at me and the rest of the gang chased me off. I think the Hag bribed them.

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As I walked around the Land of Green Witches I ran into a Witch who her sold her spells for chocolate, but much to my dismay I had no chocolate! She was not a kindly witch, as she enjoyed ignoring my pleas.

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When I asked the HulaWitch to help she was so obsessed with her dancing I couldn't get her to talk to me. The Hag must have cast a spell over her, as the poor thing could do nothing but swing her hips and keep the hoop going.

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I thought I might get some help at the Pumpkin House, but when I arrived, the HangingWitch was having so much fun swing from her knees, she wouldn't even talk to me!

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Lucky for me, I found the Information Booth and the dear Green Witch inside thought she knew a special witch who could help me. I wished I found the booth at the beginning of my quest.

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Finally, I found help when a kindly WitchMixologist gave me a bottle of Love Potion #9.  I mixed it into one of Smith's beers and he popped right out of his spell and told the Wicked Hag to leave! She flew away and we hope she never comes back!

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Next year, I think I'll make sure I have plenty of chocolate with me when I enter the Land of Green Witches, and I'll make sure to take a special treat to the MixologistWitch, as she saved me and my man!

Happy Halloween!!!


I Feel Good!

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Don't be a hag

Thoughts along the lines of this weeks ToT subject, "10 Things You Feel Good About Right Now", have been bouncing around my head for the last few weeks. I saw a video not too long ago about how a photographer looks at the world with a different perspective, one that turns the ordinary into something extraordinary. The whole time I watched I was in awe of the photographs, as well as, how easy it was to change ones view of the world around us. I tend to get down on myself and my confidence wanes from time to time, but I am committed to changing this and working on staying more upbeat and positive.

1. I feel good about  taking on a new challenge in the office and learning a new job. It feels good to be given a promotion and to know others have confidence in my skills.

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2. I feel good about the new month and the chance of the first snow. Autumn has done a good job of keeping winter at bay, but it won't be able to hold back the tide much longer. I am ready for cold weather, as I am a knitter and I have my hand knit gear.

3. I feel good about the new supplies I bought to try my hand at journaling. One of the ways I thought to build my confidence was to write down my day, to share my perspective with myself, and to see I can keep the focus on the good things in the great world around me. I bought a small sketch book, a set of colored pens, and a few colorful papers to spark up my pages. Ideas abound...bouncing through my thoughts.

4. I feel good about the shawl I'm knitting, as I am very close to finishing. I have a very small ball of yarn and I may be able to make it through to the end, or  may run a little short. I am keeping faith and will knit on with confidence, until I am finished. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. (I should know tonight if the yarn held out.)

5. I feel good about the line up of new projects next in the queue. You won't be one bit surprised by the colors I'll be using.

6. I feel good about my Alabama Chanin project and I just ordered beads to open up even the awakening possibilities. I just need more time in my day so I can spend some time working on it. My next AC project will be something I can wear. 

7. I feel good about the fun 3-day weekend just past and the fun time we had with friends, as well as, the time I spent alone, pampering myself with a haircut, and mani/pedi. The weather was perfect for bare toes. Smith and I went out for breakfast on Sunday, spending time together before he had to go to work in the afternoon.

8. I feel good about the the next book I'm going to read. A couple of friends and I were talking about "Rebecca" and how much we enjoyed it as teenagers, as well as rereading it as adults. Then we got into a conversation about all the other books we'd enjoyed  by Daphne du Maurier as teens and we decided to read (or reread) "The House on the Strand". It will be fun to share our thoughts about this book we barely remember from our childhood reading.

9. I feel good about my new exercise routine. At the moment it consists of spinning (on a stationary bike for as long as I can stand) and then a short routine of weight training, which I enjoy very much. Spinning gives me time to read (listen) and that's the part I like best. It's something I know I'll get into, even though at the moment, I haven't quite got the hang of it.

10.I feel good about the week ahead, as it looks quiet, which will give me plenty of time to knit, sew, and read. I need some time for all three!


My View

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I've often told Mary how much I love the Waterlogued App on her iPhone, as it's an app that isn't created for the Android. If it was you'd see some gorgeous watercolored pictures of the fall colors around us. This weekend, Mary graciously surprised me with Waterlogues of three of my photos.

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I love the way "my mountain" look in watercolor. 

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It may be a good thing I have no access to this app, as that may be all you'd see, as I love the subtly of color, created by mixing water and paint. 

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Although, the sky around here does just fine creating its own painterly sky, no app needed. 

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The weather has been exceptionally warm, thanks to the warm winds. We've enjoyed the blue skies and yellow-drenched trees that dot our landscape. The fall season has gone on without winter playing tug-of-war, the garden dying a slow death, as plants dry up, an elegant beauty created in their dying.


It Was 1952

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It was 1952 and we lived in Pocatello, but often visited grandparents who lived in Salt Lake City. Dad bought a new 1951 Ford, a car he kept until I was 13.

When it was time to head back home Grandma asked for just one more picture of our little family. I was being a "pill", as term my mother often used to describe my independent spirit. Mom and dad didn't want to pose and they started acting silly, mom fake compalining and dad frowning in a grumpy sort of way.

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It's a little hard to read, but grandma wrote a quick line on the back to describe the situation. It's just one more of the cherished photos of my collection.


The WIP Goes On

And on and on. A while ago Kim said she felt the border of Cactus Flower was never ending and it made me realized how much I had yet to knit. At this point I am 11 or 12 repeats into an 18 repeat border and, I must say, it is starting to feel endless. It wasn't until I'd reached the halfway point that my attitude changed to the "endless" feeling. 

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Why had my attitude changed when I was now, actually, on the downhill side? Had I forgotten that I am all about the process? Oh yes, I love a finished project, but I also love being mindful of knitting while I knit. There is entertainment in each loop of the yarn over a needles and being conscious of the action of creating lace. Each nupp brings me joy (after it's completed) and each 38 row repeat gives pleasure, along with a feeling of accomplishment. The process of knitting is all about just that, the process.

By changing my perception, my new perspective has yielded much happier knitting time. Completing each row takes me closer to wearing this beautiful shawl over my shoulders and the advantage is I am enjoying each row as it happens. I no longer look at how far I have to go, but at how much I've accomplished.  It is the process that brings joy.

 


The Worst Case

My sister faced the ToT question a few years ago as a forest fire approached her house. She had a few days to think about what she would need, but not everyone in this situation has that luxury. She was out of her house for almost 6 weeks, but her town was saved (due to nature's capriciousness) and while she was happy to have a home to come back to, she joked she had rebuilt it into the house of her dreams during the time she was away, that she was disappointed to come back to the same old house. 

Loosing your home would be about as hard a trauma as anyone could go through and it is impossible to know what would be missed, but a few obvious things come to mind.

1. Important papers would be very hard to replace, so we keep them safe, in one place.

2. I love my antique Japanese table as much as any other thing in my house and I would mourn it's loss. The rest of my furniture I can only wish would go up in smoke.

3. Every hand knit item made by someone else would be most important of all my knitting. The love that went into each one while being knit cannot be replace. 

4. The water color painting by my entrance way. It's on  "permanent load" from a friend. It's a scene of a place in the So. Utah desert and I find the colors peaceful and the painting facsinating to study. 

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5. The Evertt Ruess prints Smith gave to me for an Anniversary gift years ago. 

6. My wedding ring and a few pieces of jewelry, but in the all of it, none of it is all that important to me. 

7. Pictures, pictures, pictures. Any picture in my house, especially the ones my father took of me and my siblings. 

8. Our cars (in the carport), even though, they are beaters, they would be able to give us a freedom of movement without relying on someone else. 

9. Some of my hand stitched treasures, as they are dear and I will never be able to stitch the tiny stitches they are would require. 

10. My computer, which wouldn't be a big loss, but it has my favorites and there are a slew of pictures saved on it, too. 

Have you given this subject much thought? It's something I pray never happens to any of you. 


Autumn Weekending

The weekend weather was about as perfect as you could hope for on a late October day. We took advantage of the warm and sunny skies as much as possible.

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Friday night I stopped by my local community radio, KRCL, and met my favorite of all time DJ, John Florence. His music is my morning sound track and listening to him is the reason I makes it up at 5:00am. I felt a little star struck at meeting him, truth be told. 

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Saturday Smith and I enjoyed date night in downtown SLC. We wander around looking at the street art (something we need to explore during daylight hours) before going to a concert of beautiful jazz  music by Cyrille Aimée. Fabulous. She and her band were just fabulous. 

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Because the weather has stayed unseasonably warm, Smith worked in the garden most of the weekend. We picked the last of our tomatoes for the year. The leaves at been hit by frost, but the fruit clung on to the last minute. Garlic has been planted and other parts of the garden will be covered with mulch and put to bed for the winter. It's a process and one Smith enjoys right up until the snow flies. 

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After errands Sunday we stopped by a place that shall remain a secret, and yes, I have something up my sleeve, but the golden grass was photogenic, so I'll share it here while I work on my secret. 

How was your weekend? Rhinebeck joy is in the wind and I can't wait to read about the sheepy experiences.


WIPing Right Along

Every once in awhile the desire to stitch comes over me and I set my knitting aside, and the Alabama Chanin project comes out to play. Stitching this piece has taken a little longer than I anticipated, but finally I'm finished with the running stitch outlines on the front of the market bag.

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Truthfully, I became a little too enamored of the knots on top feature and may have  overdone it, but once again, I am reminded of the lesson that less is more. Next time I'll work to be a little more discretionary with my knots.

The feeling of excitement I felt was quite electric, as I started to cut away the fabric of the petals. I took a calming breath and cut into the first shape, watching as the gray fell away and the color behind came into view. I felt a bit of pride, as well as relief, because I can tell this finished bag is going to be grand.

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When my hands grow tired of holding tiny, sharp scissors, I stitch on another piece of the bag. I have changed techniques and instead of running stitch with knots showing, I'm using the back stitch without visible knots. Thoughts of beaded petals are running through my mind, as I think of the amazing work of Mason-Dixon's Ann Shayne. Check out this blog post where Ann tells of her trips to India and Alabama, which were truly amazing in all aspects. Her resulting AC shawl is something to behold.

My stitching time is short, although I am now committed to find more time to work on this project. It would be nice if the market bag could be finished by the end of the year. There's a whole lot of hand sewing to do between now and then if it is to happen.  I hope you'll be watching my progress, as I need a little encouragement!


The Weekend Accounting

Carole's ToT consists of sharing 10 Things We Did This Weekend. The request couldn't have come after a better weekend as our weekend was full!

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Saturday graced us with perfect fall weather, which was just what we wanted for the annual Harvest Fair at the SOUL Garden.  Along with the monthly work day, preparations were made for an unknown number of guests. Tables were decorated, a fire pit filled with kindling, and bails of hay were placed to create seating around it. Weknew participants would want to stay warm by sitting near the warmth of a fire.

The weekend not only was full, but it created in me a feeling of gratitude, as I felt the bounty at my fingertips.

This weekend I watched as little folk decorated pumpkins and...

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I visited with our citiy fire fighters and paramedics (before they were called away on an emergency).

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I went on a hay ride and as we rode by a haunted cabin, we were frightened by zombies!

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I learned from Dr. Dread that his horn is called a euphonium.

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I kept the fire going when the temperatures started to fall as the sun went down.

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I watched the sunset and took multiple pictures of the changing sky.

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Smith wanted me to see the amazing black widow spider his buddy created out of a electric cart of some sort. I'm not often afraid of spiders, but this one would rise up and try to bite!

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We also met a couple of celebrity folk, Wonder Woman and Fred & Wilma!  15518621035_a6d9eafc1e_z

We sat around the fire long after dark and listened to 8 year old zombie stream of conscious 'scary' stories.

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Sunday the day was much colder, and started with a sprinkle of rain. We braved the chill and went to the local farmer's market. The squashes and pumpkins, and other veggies for fall harvest, filled the booths. By afternoon the sky was clearing and the sun was out to warm the air. 

The best part of the weekend was spending it with Smith. It has been a month of Sunday's since we had two weekend days together. Who knows when we'll be that lucky again.


WIPing Wednesday

This post is about something that, as of late, has been a little foreign to my blog. Every week I spend Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon knitting with friends. Some weeks it's the only time I have to knit, but it still adds up to 4 hours of time. Plus, this past week, I knit all weekend at the Alta Knitter's Retreat and spent yet more time knitting with Kym.  I'mI feeling like good progress that's been made and hopeful the momentum will carry on. 

Of course, there has been my usual problem of repeating the same mistakes (over and over and over), which has slowed down progress, but it is the process, and I have shouldered through. In the all of it, Cactus Flower has  grown more quickly than I'd anticipated and you can count me thrilled. 

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The main body was easy and fun to knit, although the nupps slowed me down a bit. Nupps aren't that hard to do, but I certainly had to pay attention. It was the two color section that gave me the most trouble, even though it's a very easy section to knit. I made it much (much!) harder than it should have been and take complete responsibility for being ditzy and not paying attention. 

The sideways knit lace border looked complicated and intimidating, but that is far from the case. The chart has been easy to read and the lace has proved very readable, too. Do you read your lace as you knit, checking your progress to see if your stitches make sense? Learning to see how the lace works from row to row has saved me through many a complicated lace shawl. I'm thrilled with the textures in Cactus Flower and the way the design sections flow together, which means it may end up another favorite shawl.

Gale's posting about her WIPs on Wednesday, so I thought I'd join her. I love the interesting and colorful projects she does.