Monday, May 30, 2011

Color Everywhere

Blessed Memorial Day -
I am the wife and a daughter of war veterans and the stories they tell - or try not to tell - about their experiences makes one wonder why we don't do all we can to stay out of conflict. Unfortunately, we all know that is not possible. Sometimes a fight has to be waged. But that is why countries created rules of engagements and boundaries about what we will and won't do to each other when we are captured. Trying to put civility in an uncivil act.

As a child, I had an unquestioning loyalty. I remember being the one to get the flag and hang it outside on Memorial Day. I looked up in the encyclopedia on the proper way to hang the flag and I was very careful not to let it touch the ground and to check it to make sure there were no frayed edges. I remember it being fun and patriotic. I remember being surprised we had a flag.

I don't cringe when someone burns the flag. I know some folks think it should be illegal but here's my thought: I would support it being illegal if when I was born my country gave me a flag from the Government Office of Flags. If at the time of my birth my country claimed me as a daughter and gave me a flag they would have the right to tell me how it could or could not be used, including destroying it in protest or wearing it like a swimsuit. I actually think we should do that. We should make American flags only on American soil. They should not be massed produced on foreign soil. They should come from the Government Office of Flags and they should provide one, free of charge, to every citizen born and naturalized.

But as long as I have to buy it - and pay taxes on the purchase - I get to do with it what I want.

And I am not less of a citizen because of it. I believe in the freedoms my husband and father fought for. I will defend your right to disagree with me and claim you as much of an American as I claim myself to be - heck, I'll even give you the edge. Because that's the reason the sacrifice was made - so we have the right to be disagreeable. So you have the right to bear arms and I have the right not to. So I have the right to love where my heart wishes and so you can wish everyone had the right to marry. Even the wish for some folks not to be able to marry (you're wrong about that, by the way, but it's your right to be.)

If you ask my husband how long he served he will tell you the years, the months, and the days of his service. He was not a career serviceman by any stretch. He was drafted in and when he was discharged he never looked back. But he and my father both served their country at a time when being a black man in the armed forces or serving in Viet Nam were not easy because the country as a whole did not appreciate it. But still they served.

For those who have served our country - thank you so much for doing what I don't have the courage to do. I would hope I'd have your back but there are no guarantees of that. You do have my thanks and my heartfelt respect and awe for what you and your families do because a soldier never serves alone.

My prayers and best wishes to blue star families - I hope they all return safely. And also to gold star families - the ultimate sacrifice can never be truly appreciated but we try.

Have a blessed Memorial Day.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I have the great pleasure of being part of the Etsy Artists of Color Team. Being part of a team means supporting team mates and having a place to get and give support. There are other groups I joined but it was really hard to keep up with all of them and in the end, I went with EAOC because it feels good.

I am going to feature some of the other Etsy Artists of Color because they are talented and because I want to support the handmade movement. My hope is that you will take a moment and check out the people behind the artistry as well as the work itself. I have a little sneak peek at some top stuff from Team EAOC:

Proud Mary Earrings by Hilari I loves me the purple, I loves me the earrings, how could I not loves me these purple earrings?

Chunky Infinity Scarf by Jarvis gift Take what I said about purple from above and put it here. Plus, this scarf is so unique and funky!

See what I mean? You can find beautiful items like these all through Etsy. Just enter Team EAOC and you will find gifts and things you can spoil yourself with - you'll even find some of my things!

Have a great weekend. It is Memorial Day on Monday and my thanks, prayers and best wishes to those who served and are serving in our Armed Forces.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Loving It

To that group out there that's trying to get rid of Ronald McDonald - get a life. Get something that resembles a life. You know what? Get a job while you're at it so you have something to do when you get a life.

Ronald McDonald makes your kid fat? Really? Big Macs don't kill people. People eating a thousand Big Macs kills people. That's probably not even true. The point is t
his: If there were no Ronald McDonald there would still be people eating there and taking their kids. Geez.

In knitting news: This is why we love the wig! I retook photos of the green a
nd red crochet slouch and it look so much better with hair. This isn't to say that bald isn't beautiful because it is - just not on a really white styrofoam head. I think it's a big improvement over the way the pics were done before. It also helps that Mr. Honey built me a stand. (I actually have two) where I can mount the head and turn it around. Just makes everything better.

And while I am in a ranting mood: What's the big deal about Newt Gringrich and how he spends his money? This is one of the stupidest non-issues there can be. If the man makes enough money to cover buying $500K in jewelry, then th
at's what he gets to do. Some opinions are if he has that kind of personal debt how can he handle the country's money? That's an apple and orange comparison - not even - it's like comparing apples to horses.

First, president doesn't sign a check or open an account and has levels of different folk to go through.

Two, one is personal and one is business. I have had oversight of budgets and did control where money went and how it was spent and I was always under budget - can't clai
m that in my personal life. The difference is one set of money is mine to do as I liked and the other was entrusted to me. I can spend my own money in any way I want within the limits of the law. So can Gringrich.

Three: He paid it off. He got an offer to have an interest free account for a year and took full advantage of it and paid it off before the interest was due to hit. I have the same deal going with one of my creditors. If I want to use it buying bubble gum, I get to do that and as long as I don't default, you don't get to say anything about it.

I'm pretty sure I'm finished rambling, at least for today, here is the hat that is going to Australia. I did tell you I have a hat headed for Australia, didn't I? I got a special order for a hat and the person who is getting it lives in Australia! Be impressed. Not with me but that it's going to Australia. Wonder how she found me.

Tonight is date night and all I want to do is sleep. No I mean sleep.

The great yarn sort continues but I admit to having stalled it a little. I am sorting between full skeins and partial skeins and I keep running into more yarn. The fabulous Melissa wanted to know what I was going to do with all of it. I don't know. Right now, there is a serious moratorium on fiber purchases and I see a lot of square type afghans in my future.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The End of the Wor....

Damn. Still here. That's good news.

This morning I was at Central United Methodist Church in Skokie where the United Methodist Women and the United Methodist Men of our district had their first collaboration: a seminar and workshop on Domestic Violence that covered hetero couples, same sex couples, teen, date and senior abuse.

My BFF, Billie, was the keynote speaker and is quite qualified to be so and the world being as small as it is, she knows the conference president from the grade school she went to where she did her internship for her Masters.

The conference had some great information; not great as in wonderful, but great as in big: for instance in Chicago, the police get 593 calls reporting domestic violence

a day. Imagine how many more were not reported.

Domestic violence is the number one cause of death of pregnant women. Because someone who doesn't have a conscience to not hit a woman isn't going to gain one because she's carrying his child.

1 in 4 people experience some kind of domestic violence: man, woman, child, teen, senior. If you're sitting in church or if you are at work, if you go to a game and there are at least ten people there, three have been abused. If you're one of them - there's help.

Kids tend to exhibit the behavior of their same sex parent or present adult. The media can't be blamed for all of it. Some kids are watching a reality show called their life and they are acting out at earlier ages.

Because the world didn't end today, I want to make sure everyone knows there is a National Domestic Abuse Hotline and the number is

Friday, May 20, 2011

New and Improved

Notice anything? That's right, she has hair. I am looking for ways to improve the store and I thought the heads would look better with hair. I also am giving thought to changing the mannequins themselves but truth is, they are expensive and the wigs were less than $25. I have this long, curly one and a short, really curly one. I even put them on and I look horrid in the long one but cute in the shorter curly one.

In case you might be thinking that it doesn't make a difference if the mannequin has a mane
or not, I invite you to take a look at a photo of the very same cap on (possibly) the very same mannequin sans hair. The one on the top looks like Angelina Jolie the one on the bottom looks like Angelina Jolie entering Witness Protection.

There will be some photos reshot and we will see if it improves anything.

I have started my great yarn migration. I went into the office and starting sorting through my yarn. I am separating full skeins from partial skeins and thus far, I have about ten of those ten gallon bags full of yarn - about half full skeins and the other half not. The good news I didn't expect to have so many full skeins and I also didn't expect to find so many natural fibers among the acrylic. There are some nice blends and I found myself getting excited again about my yarn stash. This is a good thing because if you recall there was so much up there that it was depressing because I didn't know what all I had.

There are still bags to go through and then the boxes downstairs but this is a great start. Of course, because I am sorting the way I am for every one bag I sort, I get two. But at the end of the day, I will be able to see what I have in my stash for something like an afghan and so I will know if I have enough.

Mr. Honey walked into the bedroom this morning and reminded me not to forget the stash in the car. I told him it was already sorted so it could stay where it was for the moment. He later suggested I get a yarn stash tree. A branch like thing from which I could hang my ten gallon bags of yarn.

Ha. Ha. That's the sense of humor I told you he had. Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This Week's Top Ten List

Let's just jump right into it, shall we?

Butterfly Bib by Lovisetto - Leaves me speechless.
Love Mug by claylicious - I loves me the handmade ceramics and this little cutie would make a great knickknack!
Sea Shell Poncho by Benivision New shop on Etsy with lovely knitted items. Go and be inspired!
Necklace by Classic Keepsakes - love that color. It would be brilliant against either a black or white shirt.
Love you, Dad Rock by sjengraving - Dads need love to and this rock would be a great reminder for everyone.

Here is my anniversary gift - 20 skeins of Universal Yarn. There are two different types with two colors each - I hate the word 'colorways'. I have no idea who thought that up but it seems a little pretentious to me. I've tried it - I may have even written it and I can't stand it. I've heard people say it and I cringe. Color. Nice, solid good word that has been good enough for centuries.

I don't know if I told you that Mr. Honey transported the cache back from Phoenix in his suitcase, sacrificing the pillow he brought with him, to do so. Yes, he is a darling man and really should not love me as much as he does.

But he does. So better for me!!

Soap Pouch by Mountain Girl Soap - Simple, clean. Just like I like it!
Leather Earrings by katrinshine - So, who really thought we would make it through a list without a pair of earrings in it?....
Italian Tote by Chic Leather....or a tote bag?
Queen Bee by Classic Keepsakes - OK, is anyone else creeped out or is it just me?
Popcorn Scarf by Beemaya - Fun with fiber! I have some of this kind of yarn and haven't done a thing with it yet - but the time may come!!

So, that's the list for this week. I have completed a crochet newsboy cap and a market bag and I am about to do the hat in another color. I've put a poncho up in the shop. I need to get more items in there. I hate to say it, but you know what is almost six months away - time to start looking at the gift knitting!! Just saying.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Donald Duck(ed) and things I hoped we learn

At least that farce is over: listen, Donald Trump never was going to run for president....never. That's why he jumped in with the birther nonsense. It was a sure way to get publicity and it was a sure way to make sure he wasn't going to win because he would never make it in the general because of his comments.

I think he was surprised when he shot up in the polls - of course, I am wary of polls - I think pollsters tend to ask the folks where they are most likely to get the answer the people hire them to get want to have. So they asked a bunch of people who didn't like the president if they liked Trump and they did.

Lesson 1: Realize we live in a 24 news cycle and that means where there is no news, someone will create it. Even if it means interfering the second cousin of the the niece's daughter's son daycare nursery assistant to get it.

This also means if someone is sitting on a pedestal it is not news that people like them. It's news when people want to knock them off.

That's why Barack Obama got great news coverage when he was running. Not because he was the great hope, but because he was the great hope running against Hillary Clinton. Raise Obama to knock off Clinton. Unfair to both, but hey, it's news.

He wasn't going to run because it meant revealing information: like his finances. For all the talk about his billions - he doesn't have that much money. Oh, he has a lot, his bankruptcies protected his wealth and added to it while discharging income for other people. But he's not a billionaire. He's Paris Hilton with bad hair. Family money combined with appearance money makes him rich. But that claim he was paid 2 million dollars for his 'genius'? Really? Is that the going rate for genius - 2M a year? The cast of Friends was paid a million an episode. Joey must be a freakin' Mensa candidate.

It also meant pulling his family back into the spotlight, including Ivana and Marla; just what we need, Dynasty 2012. I don't think he expected it to have the impact on his son and his son's charity work. His daughter, Ivanka would have been tormented as well. It's what happens and he would not have been able to stop it. Tiffany would have been hounded and seeing she's a teenager who has stayed out of the publicity that would have turned her world upside down.

Lesson 2: Know a showman when you see one. Seriously? When have you ever heard of anyone in any presidential administration calling DT to Washington for business advice? Don't you think that kind of genius would have been tapped by now? Buffet gets called. Gates gets called. Jobs gets called. Whenever you hear of the great, billionaire business minds getting together, and they do, you never see that name. But it could be because they're intimidated.

He definitely wasn't going to run after the release of the birth certificate. He was so proud he got it released. Sure, how much you want to bet someone in the White House went up to the President and said, 'Release it now and we can use the Correspondents Dinner to our advantage.' The timing was just too coincidental. People were running all over themselves saying he got the certificate released as if that was the goal. The goal was to see if there was something on there and it turned out there wasn't. Though some news outlets said smudges and lines made it suspicious. Not only did Trump get his ass handed to him by the president in front of a live audience where he dare not get up and walk out, it was handed to him spanked and with a brand new diaper.

For the past few years we've seen nastiness like never before and it all starts with us. We need to be a better informed electorate with higher standards for ourselves and those who work for us. We have to stop being so easily moved one way and then the other. We also have to stop defending ground just because someone is a Democrat or Republican or a Liberal or a Conservative as if that has any value at all. It doesn't. We don't even know what we're defending half the time. We're defending ideas and we don't always care if the idea is good. Sometimes if the idea is good but the other guys says it then the idea is bad. We bring this madness on ourselves.

I don't know how we walk back from the precipice but maybe the first step is to stop walking towards it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ball Parks and other things

I did not take pictures at the Sit and Knit. I do not know what I was thinking because there were about two dozen women inside of Pleasant Home - the weather was yucky so we couldn't even be on the veranda - and we were all knitting chemo caps. We ended with about 26 of them and because I am a little obsessive, I will make four more and make a nice round 30 to be distributed to wherever the wonderful Vickie, whose idea it was to make chemo caps, would like them to go.

But I did not take a photo. I did, however, take a photo of Chase Field when we were in Phoenix.

To recap, we have this idea to go to a Cubs game in a new park until we
've hit all the National League Parks. We are not obsessive about this so we don't have to do it all in one season - though last year we did sit next to this couple who were visiting all the ballparks - American and National League - in one summer. They were young. We are not. I don't think we were ever that young. That is a couple that loves baseball and ballparks. We are a couple that loves the Cubs. Room for us all.
So far, we have been to Miller Park in Milwaukee, The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati - before you get your nose twisted because you think they've named their park the only one with any patriotism you should know Great American is an insurance company, so it is the company that has the patriotism jones not the ballpark. PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Wrigley Field in Chicago and now Chase Field in Phoenix which stands on the ground where my parents' church once stood. The church is now down the street.

When Wrigley Field is your hometown ballpark it really isn't fair to compare other parks. There is a feel to Wrigley that has yet to be duplicated. A lot of that is because Wrigley, Fenway and the late, great Camden Yards, are the granddaddy parks. Wrigley is the second oldest park in the bigs. There is something about that park.

The other parks are more modern and more techy and that's not always a bad thing. I really love the inside of Miller Park. I love the outside of Great American ballpark, they have the best plaza. (and cheap parking.)The view from PNC is amazing because they have the bridges and it is literally downtown and they have some friendly staff folk. I haven't discovered what I love about Chase. My brother works there but that's not really about the park.

On the knitting side of the house, I am almost done with this. Mine is in lime green and made from Lily Sugar and Cream. I, of course, tinkered with the pattern because seed stitch drives me nuts unless it's for an edging and I don't have to do more than ten stitches of it. I once made an entire top of seed stitch and I wanted to hurt the pattern maker and the person who would eventually wear the top. Since no one purchased the top my frustration has not been appeased.

After the bag is done - which requires a trip to Joann for some D rings - I will start on the newsboy cap from here. The cap I made for the Sit and Knit was from this book. The beret was listed to take an hour to make. That was about right and I was talking to folks the whole time.

I am up early - I went to bed before midnight last night - and decided the way to have the quiet and house to myself was to be up before Mr. Honey. I took a walk, albeit ten minutes, and then sat right down at my laptop, even the dog is still asleep. It's a really nice start to the day. This and some knit/crochet - what could be better?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This Week's Top Ten List

I will share a strange/funny encounter on the trip at the interim...

Tote by by Bayan Hippo - I love simple and elegant and this is it. I would love using this as a knitting bag. Of course, I love using anything as a knitting bag.

Crochet Necklace by lovely crochet - Believe it or not, the first thing I thought was this would look great with something skimpy like beachwear. Someone tell me i'm not crazy.

Crochet Flowers by Anne Marie Breiblog - These are just so darned cute and cleverly made. They would go great on a knit or crochet tote bag!

Comfort Cat by Marjii - I dare you...I dare you to look at this cat and not smile.

Technical Tote by ribandhull I love this tote bag - such a surprise!

So, one of the funny things that happened coming back home. My bag was going through the screening when the agent stopped it and called over her teammates and they said: "Is that a full tube of toothpaste?" They asked, "Who's bag is this?" and I said it was mine and a guy asked if I had a big toothpaste in the bag. And I said yes, so he pulls it out and I make the comment that it came with me and after a pause he said, "Well, it's not going back." and they pulled it out and he handed it to the woman and believe it or not, they start giving each other high fives and saying, 'Good catch!'

That's not the whole story - but the list must be completed

Dinosaur by sage12888 - the happiest little T-Rex in the world!

Shoulder Bag by arton crafts - Now, come on, I know this list is tote bag heavy but that's never happened before and I'm thrilled with it!

Neck Wrap by tortilla girl - This is some lovely work in a misty, beautiful color!

Scarflette by Kerrera Skye - This is so funky and wonderful especially for teens. I love the button and the way it's worn.

Yarn by Color Shift Yarn - These are some beautiful color progressions! I dye some of my own stuff and this gives me ideas!!

So, to finish the story...they are congratulating themselves on finding toothpaste and I am watching them thinking how they really don't have much to do. One agent takes the tube and throws it away in a waste basket at her feet.

Really? Why on earth would something you remove something as being unsafe and then throw it away right there? I was about to mention that when I decided that was not a good enough reason to be arrested. But isn't that strange?

While you think about that, think about visiting your local shops - chains are great but a local shop needs your love, too. Even if you purchase just ten percent of what you get from local retailers, that's a great boost to the economy and the synergy and karma for everyone!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Under Control

I broke my resolution. I purchased yarn. I cannot blame the fabulous Melissa - though she was with me - she actually tried to stop me. She didn't try very hard but she did try. Even the store owner tried to stop me.

I purchased seven skeins of 100% merino yarn in a lovely shade of blue originally priced at $16 per skein and on sale for 50% off.

I am flawed. And happy.
But I have to say I am happy and I am also feeling guilty. I no longer carry my credit cards because it is just too tempting. I need to stop myself before I get too far out of control. This is a real fear.

This is the lace crochet slouch and it is off to a new home in Portland, Oregon. I am
thrilled to have another sale. I was lamenting with Melissa on how i can increase my sales. She gave me some really good suggestions and Mr. Honey gave me some of the same suggestions so I should probably listen to them.

I am going to take pics of the projects I have on the needles. Well, one of them because it's a scarf made of Cascade Magnum and it's an awesome pattern. The other two are stash busting afghans and it's all squares and that's kinda boring but the one with the Cascade is really has an impact.
So I am off to prepare and ship the cap off to the west. I hope your week is a great one with people to love and work to do!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I Think..Therefore I Have A Headache

The world may be back to normal. I went to bed at one of my normal times and I got out of bed before Mr. Honey. This means he has to make the bed because the rule is the last one out makes the bed. For the past three years, that has been me but now that he is back, it should be him because I am up in the wee hours. Except that's not how it's been working. He's been getting up because he was still in the work habit and for some reason, I've been staying in bed later. But today, I was up and out and he was still in bed. This leads me to believe that Superman is doing that thing he does where he goes into orbit and reverses the turn of the world.

There are some stories from the road - some cute, some not so much and I will be sharing them over some of the time. I downloaded the
photos I took and the first one was this one from the first game we went to on Friday night. Kosuke Fukudome of the Cubs. I did remember to take some photos outside of the stadium to prove which stadium I attended - you know, in case I run for office and have to prove I was there.

Chase Field is the latest in our 'visit every park where the Cubs play' series. It is a little slow going. So far we have Wrigley (which shouldn't even count since it is the home field) Milwaukee - which has the friendliest folks, Cincinnati - which has the best plaza outdoors, Pittsburgh - where the yarn is not taxed. That makes the baseball experience even better and now Chase Field in Phoenix. My brother reminded me that Denver (where he lives) is also a National League Park. Which I needed no reminding of. The way my mind works, I wanted to do the division teams first and then expand and the only reason we did Phoenix was because of the anniversary thing. In truth, on our anniversary the team was in L.A. and we were headed there but decided to spend time la familia.

There are also some new knitting books in the library - did I mention that already? I brought back two from Phoenix and two more made their way home yesterday from Half Price books which was right next door to Tuesday Morning where a friend of mine sent me an email saying they got an alert that Tuesday Morning was having a good yarn sale. I went to check out the yarn sale which was not good. It two shelves with remnants tossed on them. Not that I needed to purchase yarn anyway because I have that resolution thing where I am not purchasing yarn (except for the exceptions to the rule) so I walked out of Tuesday morning fiberless and walked right into the Half Price Books and purchased two books for more than half off. I can put a moratorium on book buying as well since I don't have that many years left on the planet to do all the patterns I want to do and once I leave the planet, I think I will have the capability of knitting whatever I want from memory.

OK, I did kind of break the rules about not purchasing yarn but I did it before I left. And I did come home with 20 skeins of yarn newly purchased in Phoenix - but that wasn't me, that was Mr. Honey - he bought it.

I'm dancing as fast as I can.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This Week's Top Ten List

Anniversary week continues! Mr. Honey and I went out last night for our anniversary dinner after coming back Monday night from our anniversary trip and since tonight is our regular date night, we are going out again! He has renewed my marriage contract for one year (I usually ask for and get a two year extension. This year I went for the one year which means he is locked in until 2027) and I renewed his contract so he is locked in until 2012.

In our travels in Phoenix, we drove past a craft sale (outdoors of course) we didn't stop but it made me think of looking to see what handcrafters in Phoenix are making!

Mojito Soap by Wild Herb - I actually saw this display as I was driving past the craft show! Looks even better up close!

Pocket Watch by The Enchanted Locket - This is unusual and lovely and the rest of their products are interesting and eye catching.

Salt and Pepper Cactus by Dark Horse - I had to select one thing for the list but they have some really cute stuff!

Classic Casual Hat by Buygail - Royal Wedding anyone? Had to better than the one Beatrice wore!

Cut Wood Earrings by Water Horse - These are so lovely and I can't believe they're wood!

So, I logged on to my sister's computer and I saw an order for a Glee hat but the buyer wanted a 'deep scarlet' read cranberry color and
she wanted the flower smaller, so Monday night when we got back I put it on the needles and by 3 in the morning, it was done! This is a really good color for this hat and I didn't think there was such a thing as a really good color for anything - some things don't look good in certain colors. I think this is easily the best one I've made! Nice to have some work waiting for me when I got home!

Teddy Bear Beanie by Polkadotposh - one of those things that make you go 'humph.'

Blue Cameo earrings by Lilajo - These are unusual. Wonder how heavy they are.

Pineapple Shawl by crochetgal Forgot crochetgal lived in the area. If I'd remembered I would have contacted her for a recommendation for a LYS. As it was, I went to two - one was out of business and the other I put a dent in Mr. Honey's credit card.

Pendant by germandicollection - I love this piece because it dresses up and down and still holds it own.

Proud Peacock by Bellina Creations - This is worth a trip back. How lovely is this?

I am still recovering from the trip. I am falling asleep at the laptop! But still I am astounded by the talent. I wished I had stopped to view the crafts and if I wasn't meeting my family for the plans we had for the day, I would have. But the great thing is I am certain there will be other shows.

In the meantime, I am grateful to be back home and grateful and thankful that my family is well and we had this time together. It's been years since we've all been together and I know Mom and Dad were glad to see it!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin