Friday, July 31, 2009

When She Shines

So Mr. Honey and I went to the Cubs game on Wednesday afternoon to watch the Cubs play the Astros and if you've ever seen or heard a Cubs game, you know they sing 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' during the 7th inning stretch and they have a celebrity lead the singing and the celebrity throws out the first pitch. Now, everyone knows I loves me some Mr. Honey but the first pitch was thrown by and the 7th inning stretch was lead by:

Terrance Howard. I won't drool like that again until I'm 80, outta my mind and sitting in a corner at the home. Thank you, God.

See that pattern? It's a nice pattern. A nice pattern that's a pain in the rear end. The thing about being a knitter is this: we like challenges. We like looking at a picture of something and saying to ourselves we can master it and then we like putting it on the needles and doin
g the k2 and k2tog and the yo k1 psso and all that stuff and seeing the pattern come together right before our eyes. (That's why I grin when people say knitters are patient. Are you insane; we knit for the instant gratification.)

But some stitches, no matter how beautiful they are and how glad you are to have done them, are a pain to do. This butterfly pattern is a 26 stitch repeat so I placed a row marker every 26th stitch to make sure I stay within the lines. I don't know how many times I had to tink back but it was more than a couple and more than a few. It required concentration. And thought. And math. And a bunch of Mr. Honey Stitchmarkers. Well, at least they were cute.

Another thing about us knitters - we like to say how much of a challenge something was so we can get more appreciation when the end result comes. It's kind of like labor - or so I hear. All that pain and then you get a beautiful baby.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


So what happens when an afghan comes off the needles? Well, in my house, it goes on the wires and gets framed. I choose not to be one of the dedicated knitters who places their afghan on the ironing board, gets out the iron and steams the afghan section by section.

In fact, I was one of those knitters who never blocked anything and thought it was fine.

But then sometime last year, I discovered the steamer and my life has never been the same. Then I found out about blocking wires. I was thinking about getting blocking wires but they weren't long enough for the afghans I was making. And they were a little pricey. Certainly there had to be an alternative.

Enter Mr. Honey.

He got me wires from his place of business and months ago I started framing my afghans and steaming them. He got me two different sizes of wires and it's actually fun putting them on and steaming them and such.
If you're a purist, you will want the blocking wires and God bless you...but if you're like me, and you want some flexibility in what you have, go to the local hardware store and get friendly with your associates cuz they can hook you up.

If you can find him, you can even ask Mr. Honey.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Shout out to My7Kids! Thanks for being one of my first followers!

I didn't put an end date to the contest. I have been asking for folks to vote on their favorite haiku (and they have, just not on the site - which sort of defeats the purpose, but I guess I didn't explain that) today I noticed I didn't say when I would tell who the winner was:

an oversight of huge proportion
and we clearly have one winner
I have to go back and count to see who the second place winner is. So, I will announce the winner on August 1.

I'm such a dweeb.

Wondering about the lampshade? Wondering when I would get around to telling you about it? Well, now is the time! It's the Photo Lampshade from Sassy Shades on Etsy. Kristi makes it and other kinds of unique lamp shades. This is what I mean when I say I am in awe of what people do in the world of handmade and with their creativity. Artistic lamp shades - what a great idea! I wouldn't have thought of it and I wouldn't be able to do it, but Kristi can and she does.
Check out her store. You may find a gift for that person who has everything - but a photo lampshade.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chicago Top Ten for the Week of July 26

It's been quite a month so far. I am expecting good things to come right before the end and I pray I am on the right track - one thing that has remained consistent - there are some talented artisans in the Chicago area and when I am ready to do the holiday shopping, I will be looking in some of those shops first!

This week's list is a lot of fun as you shall see as I bring you, in no particular order, this week's Top Ten:

Darling Acorn Earrings
These are the cutest earrings. I admit it: I have put them on my favorites list.

Arctic Sunset Dress Fond
Geometrically pretty and a well put together item.

Beaded Butterfly DaLee Trinketry
Elegant, simple, fun. What more can a girl want?

Rag Doll patchworkz
What can I say? She has my hair.

Locket Emily Wiser Jewelry
Because sometimes old school is the best school.

Look, halfway through already. We had a block party yesterday. We've had them for the past six, seven years or so and this is the first one we've attended. Our neighbors down the street asked us to come and this year Mr. Honey said yes. It was a great deal of fun and every family that participated won something. We won a $15 gift certificate to a restaurant - fitting since we have a date night every week!

On to the final five!

French Laundry Earrings by leaves of glass
First, you have to love the name, and then the color!

Handstamped Julies Jazzy Jems
If you can get close enough to read it, then you should have no problem reading the restraining order.

Chiclets on a Saucer
by Chicagoish
I loved Chiclets as a kid and they look so cute on the clock!

Matte Metallic time2cre8
Can't believe this is a handmade thing. I love it!

Knit Tattoo Swallow Kisses
You're kidding, right?

Now come on, admit it, this is a great list. You should go shopping in these stores and others!
Have a great week!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Loopy Fun, Tamales and the Danger Needles

Don't forget to vote for your favorite haiku!

Thank goodness I don't do crack - not just because, as Whitney says, "Crack is whack!" But because my friends are enablers to the nth degree. When we went to St. Louis we did a white elephant exchange where you place in a bag a skein of yarn you think is less than appealing and you get one in return. Well, I got three balls of fun fur or facsimile thereof which put me over the moon.

My buds thought I was nuts but in subsequent conversations, I convinced them I loves me the Fun Fur and I loves me the acrylic yarn.


The gang took over Loopy Yarns yesterday and Lisa said she would bring me some Fun Fur from her stash - so did Jo Ann - so did Mary Ann - and we did another white elephant where I got this tote from Lisa along with a skein of Lion Brand Thick and Quick in a green color. (Which perfectly matches the other green skein I have some where in my stash!) So, yet another tote bag, a dozen skeins of Fun Fur and eyelash yarns, AND Lisa popped in the Danger Needles (size 50) you see in the bag. I swear I was looking for the battery holder and a book on Zen and knitting which I am going to read - how much you bet I actually like it? (See, why it's a good thing I don't do drugs? Imagine what would be in my tote bag if I said something like: "Marijuana's nice. I can do good things with weed.")

We all trouped over to PJ Clarke's for lunch (my guy pal, Mark, is partial owner) and we had some good food and then we trouped back to Loopy's. Most of us took the EL and let me just say that second set of 35 stairs that followed right after the first flight of 35 stairs just about killed me. I made it home just in time to change clothes and go to my Wednesday evening knitting group which met at Tamale Hut Cafe. Three of us that went that morning, met there that evening along with 14 others so we had a crowd that evening.

I met some great new folks (StitchCraft is up to 80 members!!) The place was a fun place to knit and it was really nice.

Let me say this to those of you who might not be in a knitting group. FIND ONE! Make one, crash one, lurk in one. Some of the best people I know are in a knitting group and the kind of synergy the St. Louis group has with each other is amazing, the StitchCraft group is diverse, talented, fun and every once in a while we do something good for the community. Both groups are welcoming and willing to share knowledge (and Fun Fur!) I sincerely felt joy yesterday because I spent that time with my sisters (nothing against brothers, there just weren't any) and we got some good, old school contact.

There ain't nothing better than that.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Poetry Corner

We had some really nice entries for the Haiku Contest - but I am, of course, neutral. Here's the deal - I am going to post the haikus and you make a comment and tell me which one you like. The top two winners will win a set of 4 Mr. Honey Stitchmarkers - one of which he will personalize!

Let the voting begin!

1. Ideas and notes
rough sketches or detailed prints...

2. knitting in the round
makes mister honey horny
so knit all around

3. knitting my new love
yarn, needles and a pattern
made for someone loved

4. glue, tape and scissors
silver wire, nylon thread
all within arm's reach

5. stole keys from an old
typewriter at the day job
totally worth it

6. knitting and crochet
decoupage and beadwork too;
they keep me busy

7. fabulous felt, fuzzy, firm
warms the hands, heart, toes
and even, the odd nose

8. Scrapbooking for fun
Silver putty for bracelets
and weaving for rugs

9. I craft to stay same
Without it, step back, watch out!
Scary girl I'd be!

10. Macrame, tatting
Crewelwork and applique-
My clothes are unique

Monday, July 20, 2009

This Week's Chicago Top Ten - July 20, 2009

It's an exciting thing to go searching through store after store searching for things that literally make you stop and look. But that's what I do every week for the Chicago Top Ten. I go through stores by Chicago based artisans and stop when something catches by eye. That's the only criteria - it has to 'make me look.'

Here, in no particular order, are the Top Ten items that made me stop:

Peace for Two by SwivelSpace
Earrings and necklaces are probably my two most worn items. So a necklace that's a little funky and a little edgy will work for most day.

Lampwork Lariat by Inglassworks
It's shiny, sparkly and intricate - oh my!

Cameo Cookies by Sweetambs
They only look like jewelry - honest, they're cookies!

Sterling Silver and Blue Stone Dangles by mLindvall
Oh, these are preeettttyyyy!

This Bird... by Kittenintheengine
Harkens back to the 60's - the decades of protest and change.

We are halfway through this week's picks. I am pleased to say how different this list is shaping up to be compared to all the others.

Heart Cluster Necklace
by Offbeet
I love stuff like this. I can see this around my neck.

Plum Dichroic earrings by GlassCat
These are mine - go get your own.

Sullivan Personalized Stationery
by Silhouette Blue
I like personalized stationery. I have some and yes, I still send letters Old School.

Earrings by lizsage
This is a 'retro-fresh' (I made that up a little while ago) reminds me of Rowen and Martin's Laugh-In. The show that helped launch Goldie Hawn!

Hot Pink Pasties by Belmont Burlesque
That's right - pasties - and they come with a bottle of glue!

The only way you can get this kind of variety is to have this kind of variety available. Kudos to the CCA (Chicago Creative Authority - I just made that up, too!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

All Systems Go

Y'all know what this means. It means I'm going to try and logic away something that probably doesn't have a lot of logic behind it.

Like why it's July 17 and it friggin' freezing in the house and we don't have the air conditioner on. We do have some open windows to let in the fresh air - but it's supposed to be fresh summer air. You know Summer? Change the first vowel and that's what we're supposed to be doing - Simmer(ing). I cannot explain why global warming causes us to be cold.

I can't explain all the recent interest in Mr. Honey's Old Chevy. Did I ever tell you the story about his Old Chevy? It's so..male. When Mr. Honey and I started dating the subject of cars came up (I have no idea how - I was driving a Pontiac Sunbird - no one talks about that on purpose) but Mr. Honey mentioned he drove an Old Chevy when he wasn't driving the company car. (I could care less about what cars men drive which is why I'm not sure how this conversation came up.) Anyway, I was out with some friends who knew him and I mentioned I started dating him and said, "He mentioned the strangest thing. He wanted me to know he drove an Old Chevy. Like I care."

The two of them practically threw themselves on the floor laughing. (Yes, this has something to do with knitting; just wait.)

When they finally came back to their senses, they informed me the 'Old Chevy' was a 1965 Corvette convertible. Oh, yeah, that's funny.
When I asked Mr. Honey about it he said - with a straight face - "I didn't want you to like me for my car."

So now, of course, I hate the car. He has drained it of all fluids and taken off the tires and the car sits covered in the garage. He has not driven it in eleven of our thirteen years of marriage. I mention every year how he should get it back in driving condition and take it out for a spin or sell it. But he hasn't seemed interested in any of those three things.

But everyone else loves it and no matter what function we're at someone will slide up to me and ask me if I can get him to sell them the car. My usual answer is "If you have a buck 68 in your pocket right now, you can take it home.' Would you believe NO ONE has managed to have $1.68 in their pocket?

But two people have been seriously pressing Mr. Honey to buy the car and he asked me if I could sell it to either his brother or his best friend. Both of whom have cleared this pending purchase with their wives and they are ready for the bidding war to begin. And my answer?

Absolutely not.

I bet you're not as surprised as he was. Here's how the conversation went:
"What duh?"
"Do you want to sell the car?"
"I'd prefer to keep it but I haven't driven it."
"OK so you sell the car to your best friend or your brother both who we see on a pretty regular basis and how are you going to feel seeing your Corvette brought back to life and if you want to drive it - you will have to ask their permission?"
"That would be weird. I'd like to fix it - it just hasn't been a priority."
"You wouldn't be doing the work yourself. How bout this? Get the car fixed. Drive it yourself and if the thrill is gone, feel free to sell to whom you like. Until then you cannot sell this car to anyone you know."
So now, he's interested in getting the car repaired and driving it himself. I haven't been able to get him to consider that for eleven years. I can't explain it.

So what does that have to do with knitting?

I have to start yet another knitting project:
I can't explain that either.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Give In To It

How do you not love this face? I see this face and I just smile or crack up - depending on how many people are around and if I care whether or not they think I'm crazy. Believe it or not, these are bath bombs. I'm used to seeing them look like, well, round things that have no character. To own the truth, I didn't think they really needed character until I saw this little cutey. Now, a bath bomb ain't a bath bomb unless it has a smile.

This face made that face.
This is the face of Beth Merriman and she runs Chickscratch on Etsy. Her shop makes vegan spa products - so no animals will be harmed in the making of your me time. I interviewed Beth a little while back but I wanted to make sure you guys knew about her stuff because besides the bombs, she also makes candles and hmmmmmm body butter. Doesn't that sound naughty and nice?

Beth and I are simpatico because she tends to be a, let's say creatively organized. We do the best we can but creativity cannot wait for anyone - except mebbe Merry Maids. She also works in theatre. I almost majored in theatre and I have done school and community theatre. (Did I ever tell you I won the Stanley Perry Theatre Award at Aurora University? Don't even ask me where that bowl is. My guess it's in the garage.)
But this isn't about's about Beth and her wonderful store.

Check it out - it's a hoot and a holler...and with faces more than just a mother will love.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

An Embarrassment of Riches

You still have a few days to enter the Haiku Contest.

Do you see them? Can you count them? How many are there? Let me help you out. Five. Five afghans in the making. Five big, old projects going on at one time. Ten knitting needles. Two cable needles, eight project bags (hey, it's a lotta yarn.)

You know what else?

One is missing from the photo. Another afghan project in another bag did not make it to the photo shoot.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. It may still turn out to be a good idea - we'll have to see how long it takes to get them all done. But here's another little kink in my knitting armor - my nephew is getting married next month and I have taken the 'handmade' vow so I am, of course, knitting them a nice blanket or afghan for their new ain't in the picture above. It ain't on the needles. It ain't been picked out.

Hah. This must be what they mean by living dangerously. Why, you ask, can't I designate one of the undone to belong to them when it becomes a done. I thought of that, too. But the answer is obvious to me - she likes blue - but not just any blue - a dark, bright blue.

But wait, you say, there's a blue strip up there. It looks like it might qualify as a dark, bright blue.

And I would agree. But here's the thing.
I told want to give them that one.

Nothing like standing in the way of your own success.

Aha, you say (you are a talky bunch today) there's a bright blue square up in the corner that could, mebbe, pass as darker, if not exactly dark.

Again, I would agree. And now that you mention it, that might become the gift because although she likes blue, my nephew likes green and that particular afghan is called Stained Glass and has a multitude of colors and is more likely to go with whatever color scheme they have in their new place.

Here's the idea I actually had - I would finish all the afghans (believe it or not, they will all be done within a few weeks cuz that's how I roll) I would post them with everything else in the shop and then they can go through the shop and select what they want and then I would ship it to them.

How did we get on this? The subject was the five afghans in the making. Two of the five are made in one piece; the others are squares or strips (the one that is missing is also squares) which is why they will be done in a relatively short order. Can you tell I am working on the gold one at the top? It's slower because of the pattern but it will be beautiful and with it out of the way the others will move and it will all be done, as I said, in a few weeks.

If I don't start any others.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Uneasy Highway

Enter the Haiku Contest!

Y'all remember these. I mean it wasn't that long ago they were in a posting I did. The moment of truth has come:

I need to do something with it.

I've already turned them into balls of yarn. They are sitting on the desk in my office - which is part of the reason I'm writing this from the laptop in the living room - I am in the middle of fiber avoidance - which I am sure I can have classified as a medical condition. I dyed these months ago and they're still hanging around unknit.

This is 100% wool and it is not super wash so it will felt. I am thinking I should make a big ole purse out of it. A big tote bags and when I felt it the colors will meld and it will be really pretty.

What do you think? I could also do a scarf and a hat. Or hat and gloves. Or scarf and gloves. Or hat and gloves. Or..wait, I think that's all of them. I must do something. Something must be done and done by me...but you can certainly weigh in. But I am leaning towards the tote bag thing because it could make one slamma jamma tote bag (did I just think of the name?!)

What a clever sausage am I.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Chicago Ten for the week July 13, 2009

Still looking for entries to the Haiku Contest

It occurred to me sometime between last week and this that it might not be enough to just list those ten artisans or their work that made the list. It might be helpful to put just a little blurb as to why I chose it. It might be the color of something, or it could evoke an emotion, it might make me laugh, smile or think (egad!) So, starting this week, there will just a little bit more than a list because these artists deserve a little bit more than just a mention. Here, in no particular order, is this week's Chicago Top Ten:

rjeanmarie - baby blue hobo
I admit it. I'm a sucker for bags - especially tote bags. This hobo bag caught my eye because it's big and roomy and could hold a knitting project. Yeah, it's also fashionable, but that's just a bonus. Y'all know I don't care about being fashionable.

creativeapples - Hey, Giraffe
Second only to the Unicorn, giraffes are on my favorite animals list. Chances are good I've seen this giraffe up close and personal on one of my visits to Brookfield Zoo.

Mommyto4 - Bold Necklace
As far as jewelry goes, I love earrings, necklaces and pins. And because I tend to wear v-necks or scooped necklines, the jewelry has to, well, bold. This necklace is!

beesbureau - wood and silver earrings
These earrings manage to be both elegant and funky. And they made me go 'hmmm' when I saw them.

beesnetta - the Field Guide
You could tote a child around in this bag - not that I would; I'm just saying!

Half way home!! Please give feedback to this new format of the Top Ten by making a comment.

sofiamasri - Francesca earrings
These earrings remind me of rose windows in a church. I would also love these in different colors..(hint!)

The Owl Lady - Salt & Pepper Shaker
They looked so cute and they look like they needed some love. Yeah, I know they're inanimate...still.

Chinacherie - Copper Filigree earrings
My ears actually started to ache when my eyes told them about these earrings. All I can do to leave them on that page so I could tell you about them on this page.

fivetrees - Simon
Yes, he's cute. But I admire anyone who has this kind of patience and attention to details. Traits that are lacking in me.

Ken Carrano - Woodblock One
Wow. Jeez. Huh. I don't know which one I thought first, but I thought all of them.

Visit. Browse. It's one of the ways these folks measure the success of their store fronts. They would love it if you bought from them, but even if you just give them a kudo or a heart or tag something as a favorite for those times when you are looking to shop, that would be a great show of support!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sweeter For Me

Still looking for more contestants for the haiku contest!

Come on, now - you gotta give a sistah some love for this! Looky at what I did over the weekend. I made me some colored yarn. There
are some hot spots which will be easily avoided in the future, but this isn't a bad thing for my second time dyeing yarn.

I meant to call this color Seaside, but when I put it on line, it came out Seafoam. I will take it either way.

What I love is that the variegations are natural with the kettle dyeing process so a twin skein will still have its own personality while
being in the same family - kinda like your sibling.
This is Daiquiri - I know, ain't I clever? Actually, a strawberry frozen daiquiri would be pretty nice about now. I didn't know about kettle dyeing until I looked up dyeing yarn again after Joe got me the book on natural dyeing. I would have to say kettle dyeing is easier than the hand painted yarn.
But it doesn't allow for the same kind of manipulation. I am already thinking about the next time I do yarn how I will be able to get more of the variation I want. I won't get that precise kind of coloring folks who do the handpainting get - on the other hand - that process is much more time consuming and it's definitely messier so Mr. Honey appreciates my
choosing the neater way. (This is creamy lemonade - but you've seen this already, I talked about this one in a previous post.)
I am really amazed at all there is to learn and do surrounding this craft we love. Even if I never did anything like making stitch markers or dyeing wool, even if all I had were the needles and the yarn, I would find that enough to fascinate me the rest of my days. I mean think about it: all the yarns, all the
different kind of needles, and enough stitches that you can go several years and never see the straight stockinette stitch unless you really wanted to.

That would be enough to keep us all going,
wouldn't it? I'm calling this color amethyst - cuz that's what it reminds me of. Anyway, just knitting would be fun enough, but look at what else we can do. One wonders why this little craft ever waned in popularity - there's so much it can do for making a whole lot of things better. This color is Cherry Vanilla - it's good enough to drink.
I love this craft.
I simply love it.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Fun to Dye For - The Greatest Reward

The Haiku Contest is on!

A while back I mentioned I wanted to do two things I had done before without great success. One was the stitchmarkers and dyeing yarn
. (If you're one of those people who just have to have proof I actually said it, you can read about it here.)

Well, we know the Mr. Honey Stitchmarkers are reality - speaking of which - why haven't more of you entered the contest, come on now; it's just a little haiku. It won't hurt ya! Anyway, the stitchmarkers are on the regular schedule and that left just doing the dyeing.

Also remember I was going to stick with a single color and hope for some natural variegation and I found the instructions for kettle dyeing where I don't have to lift a brush or even do much mixing of the colors - I don't even have to be in the room when the heavy lifting is being done.
So, dyeing yarn was at the top of the to do list for work and I pulled out the pot and the wool and the dye and thought I would start with yellow: This isn't the best photograph, I should have moved it closer to the window to get more of the natural light. But then again, I took it at about 5:30 this morning - there wasn't much natural light out there - but look at it! 50 grams of creamy lemonade. That's what I'm calling the color because it has some yellow and some white floating through it.
I am certainly more happy with it than I was with the first batch of yarns I dyed. Not that I am completely unhappy to the point I won't use it. I actually have the balls and hanks on the desk in my office and I am plotting out a purse to make with them that ought to look a little retro-fresh (I coined a phrase - heard it here first; don't go using it without expressed written consent!)

I also dyed a skein in a rich cherry color but it's out drying and I don't want to take the photo of it just yet because the color is going to change when it dries.

I have no idea what one does with a 50gram about 100 yards of yarn and I am certain I can make some more of this because the recipe was really easy - I'm just so excited that it was successful - Mr. Honey was fascinated that the water was clear after I lifted the yarn from the water - especially on the darker color.
Excuse me while I scream: YIPPEEE!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And now a word for our sponsors

Don't forget about the haiku contest!
And Wandering Cat is also doing a contest

Here's a great thing about being a Project Wonderful publisher - you know who's going to advertise on your site. You know because you get to pick them. I get to approve the ads that will appear above, below and to the right of the post.

Most of them are in crafts - but some are for other blogs and cartoonists. I've clicked on some of the ads and read the blogs and the cartoons and found some witty writers and artists out there and some smokin' jewelry and other items. To tell the truth, I think I hit the big time because Timothy Adams is advertising on my site - la de da!!

Take a moment to click on some of the ads. You might find some interesting and wonderful things in the creative, handmade world. (Besides, it helps them and me, too!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Games People Play

Nothingbutsoap has an interesting offer - free soap for two blog posts. Pretty clever. Such ingenuity needs to be rewarded - thus this shout out!

It's Time for Another Contest
I'm feeling the need to read - haiku, that is, the little piece of poetry consisting of three lines; the 1st line is 5 syllables, the 2nd line 7 syllab
les, the 3rd line 5 syllables.

The subject is crafting - this can be your specific craft or crafting in general.
Post your haiku to the comments on this post.

You have until Friday, July 17 to get your work of art entered.

I will place all the entries into a posting and as
k readers to vote for their favorites - the top two winners get the prize!

No, I'm not giving away yarn though I probably could and Mr. Honey would be thrilled by it -
instead, I am giving away two sets (4 each) of my new Mr. Honey stitchmarkers. These eight stitchmarkers could come out of the regular or imperfect stash that are on sale in the shop.
In addition, I will personalize one of the stitchmarkers in each set for the winners. (Up to five letters)

How about that for fun? So, get that haiku mojo going and make your entries to win some fun and funky stitchmarkers - made by Mr. Honey and myself!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Unforgettable - This Week's Chicago Top Ten

Oh man, the things that have caught my eye for this week. It's dangerous going to look for treasure because you are likely to find it if you know where to look. I suppose my saving grace is that I don't have a lot of money to purchase everything I see. At least not all at once. My list of favorite things is growing so large, Julie Andrews couldn't sing them all even with all the Von Trapps crooning with her.

See for yourself - you'll know I tell no lies when I say this is a great group of items. Here, in no particular order, is this week's great Chicago Top Ten:

Silver and Topaz Earrings from designbysuzyn
Blue zircon earrings from soniaandbev
Original Painting by bsasik
Anti-sapphire ring by Recycledrings
American Gothic by Natalieodonnell
Snack Tray and Cups by Sugarshorts
Buddha Box by marilyngrad
Pink and Green by eyecather230
Tropical Dreams by YourTimeBodyTreats
Blue Poncho by Mylittleaura

Alright now, show 'em some love and click on their items and take a gander at their shop.
A little bit of support goes a long way - ok, maybe not for Dolly Parton, but certainly for these folks here.

Jewelry, art, knitting (of course, but I didn't go looking specifically for it) all kinds of goodies. All in the Chicago area. Man, why would you need to live anywhere else? I mean, politics aside, is this a great city or what?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Baby, Baby Don't Cry

IIt's been quite some time since I interviewed Janet Lendecker about her shop JanetNicoleCreations. Since that interview in May, she has added some additional items to her shop and had a couple of sales. Now, lest you think I am taking credit for that success, let me tell you I am not. Instead, I am in awe of how she found the time to add some additional products considering she is a mom. and a nursing student who used to run a day care out of her home. I didn't understand how she had time to do what she was doing let alone expanding her offering to include the darling ponytail holders she's added to the shop.

What caught my attention
was her wipe cases - baby wipe cases - making something so plain and functional into something funky and fresh. It makes sense a mother and a nurse interested in working with children would come up with something like that. (Never would have occurred to me!)

Janet also loves to sew and has thoughts of showcasing and selling her custom pillows in her shop. Do you get the feeling she never stops? You can read the entire interview here. Go take a look at her shop. She adds to it when she can so while there might not be a lot there, what is there is cute and fun. If you know a new mom or a mom to be or if there's a little girl in your life - then mark her shop as a favorite and keep Janet Nicole Creations in mind when you're shopping.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Let Me Be The One

They talk to you -
At least they talk to me - no, no, I won't be noble and say this happens only to me - I know they talk to you, too.


y see live people.

And they talk to you. Now, I admit, most of you get talked to by natural and animal fibers, they talk to me, too, but I can usually ignore them (until I go to a shop in St. Louis, but that's another post.) I get talked to by the acrylics, too. Here is something I am going to put out into the atmosphere that will cause a tremor through those of us who have one:

re is no real need for a yarn stash.
There. I've said it. I heard the collective gasp but you all know it's true. We have one because we want one. Oh, I can hear it, "but what if I wanted to start another project?" "I need some...just in case." In case of what? Alien yarn hoarders from another planet come and take away the LYS and every Joann's, Michael's and Hobby Lobby on the planet?

Here's the second thing:
You can only work on one object at a time.
You're ready to throw me out the club, aren't you?

Put down the noose and stop building th
e stake. I'm on your side. You guys know I have a yarn stash - I have a HUGE yarn stash. I have yarn that's not made any more. I have yarn purchased from stores that haven't been in business...for years. I am not about to give up my stash.

But there's a down side to all this yarn around (OK, more than one but I'm trying to focus) IT TALKS TO
YOU. I am working on afghans because both the StitchCraft stash and the designbcb
stash is
a little light. I pulled out a pattern and before I could even flip it over, the voices started:
"Pick me."
"You don't have enough of that one; pick me."
"Yes, but if she doesn't have enough she can go get some of my cousins; pick me."

The voices started in on how they were the yarn best suited for the job - or not - I heard from the St. Louis Fibers (great name for a soccer team!): "Don't even think about using us - not enough of us. Go down to the lesser mortals." They look innocent enough when they wrapped in the harmless looking skeins - but oh the egos they have. They think they should be touched. They think they should be admired. They think they should be used.

So you pick on
e and all the voices go silent and you think that's the end of it. But whoa to her (or him) that does not finish the project. Who lets it go for a little while - or worse - who frogs several times. Then the voices start again: "What are you doing to me? I thought I was going to be a cable? Do you have a clue?"

I might have a clue but I have over 1000 patterns. Sometimes a pattern you'd think is easy turns out not to be as facile as you thought. Sometimes the pattern and yarn don't mesh up. Sometimes other things get in the way.
What you really want to do is tell the fiber to stuff it - but it is your fiber after all and it is the blood of your knitting existence. So you humbly apologize - yes, even to acrylic yarn - and you strive to do better.

If only our marriages ran like that. So, I have three projects going. For the moment, the mumbling is down to a minimum. I have touched them all and that seems to have appeased them:

but I'm gonna get busy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cloud Nine

Let's start with a yarn stash update:
I said the goal was to get down to just one box (big box, tub, really) of yarn up in the office and that tub would make it downstairs with the rest of the stash. It was a big dream. Alas, it was just a dream. I did go down from three boxes to two - and the empty box will now go out into the trash where I am hoping someone will come along and say: "why is she throwing away a perfectly good storage box" and take it into their home where they will get plenty of good use for it. If not, it will biodegrade - so I'm not polluting (very much.)

Now, back to our program.

You give birth to them. You raise them. You tell them they need to know how to get out in the world and the minute they want to go and do just that, you wonder why they are abandoning you - no, not the kids - the knits.
There I was yesterday, minding my own businesses
when I clicked on my Etsy page and scrolled down. "I don't have nine sales." I said to myself before it hit me that perhaps now I do have nine sales. I went over to the sales page to see that two of my youngest babies have found a new place to live. For the moment, they are going together but who knows how long that will last - I mean unless you're Venus and Serena can siblings really live together?

Mr. Honey was in the other room and I called out to him that two of my afghans have sold - the first afghans to sell on line. I mentioned something like: "Wow, I just don't know what to do." And do you know what the two legged male of the household said?
"Perhaps you should pack them up and ship them."

That's why God made them first.



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