Thursday, May 29, 2003

FINALLY the kids are getting better from the "super flu" or whatever it is that has plagued them for the past 10 days or so. Whew! We are just starting to get back into a normal routine. I have finished my "lemonade diet", lost 13 1/2 pounds and am transitioning back to food. Today I get orange juice and tomorrow soup. After that, I can eat normally again! YAY!

I took up the swimsuit project again. The fear of the unknown has kept me from doing it for too long. So, I broke down yesterday and CUT THE FABRIC! It really doesn't look that difficult and if the kids are still doing well today, I hope to start sewing this afternoon, after we finish home school.

I am almost finished with my Ships Project submission. I have to sew up the bottom of one slipper then get my contribution into the mail. I have also finished the back of my daughter's aran sweater and have started on the front panel. The items from my "unfinished work" photo are in motion! Hopefully I will have a picture of something completed soon!

Sunday, May 25, 2003

In response to the Spindlers' Challenge to submit a spindle spun skein of yarn to Spin Off for their "rare breeds" issue, I purchased 8 oz. of GCN (Gulf Coast Native) from Running Moon Farm in Lousianna. Good thing too! Even though the skein needs to be 2 oz. or less, it took me 4 attempts before I got one I was willing to submit!

All 4 skeins are double ply GCN, weighing between 1.5 and 1.9 oz. The first skein is from wool I felted when I dyed it with Wiltons food color. The second skein is natural GCN with pink and purple Angelina added for sparkle. I received my Angelina in the mail on the day I started this skein and threw some in on a whim. I don't care for the result. The third skein is another dye attempt. Though it only felted minimally, the color didn't take and most of it washed out. It continues to bleed in water even now. I really don't like the washed out color of it at all. All of these first three skeins are my "normal" 12-14 wpi.

Skein 4 is a bit of a break-through. It is my first 20 wpi skein!!! I also learned to "long draw" spinning on a spindle while working on this skein.

It is natural, undyed GCN. It is very soft and I really do like the color. Sometimes I need to learn to "leave well enough alone"!!! This is the skein I think I will submit.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Well, here is our first homeschool spinning project: our spindles!

We are certainly not artists, but the kids and I had lots of fun assembling these. AND they glow in the dark!

Friday, May 16, 2003

I just love looking at the beautiful pictures of flowers so many of my e-friends post on their blogs. This morning as the bird song awoke me to another day in the sub-tropical paradise that is N.W. Florida, I thought I'd share some pictures of a couple of my favorite flowers too.

Before moving to Florida, roses were my favorite flower. Now, my top three are magnolia, hydrangea and hibiscus. I also love dogwoods, but have had no success planting dogwood trees to date. This year I hope to successfully plant some hibicus. I tried last year, but the dog ate them.

I just adore magnolia blossoms! The creamy white flower is so beautiful and the heady, exotic perfum is just incredible! Unfortunately, I am terribly allergic to these flowers. I brought some into the house only once. . . I would love to see someone fashion a spindle whorl in the image of a magnolia blossom! Wouldn't it be beautiful???

When we first moved to Gulf Breeze I saw these beautiful, "Dr. Seus" like hydrangeas all over the place. My favorites are the blue ones and I knew I had to have some of these around my house. I bought a few blue flowering plants. Apparently soil ph determines the color of the flower and my flowers immediately started sliding towards the pink end of the spectrum. They are a lovely purplish pink color, but I would like to find something to turn them blue again!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2003

We had a great time at our home school today. Everyone woke up early so we went out and picked the last of the Spring blackberries. We only got enough to make blackberry waffles, but they were good! (I was very good and only tasted them. I am determined to drop some of the weight I have gained over the last couple of years.) We finished home school by painting the toy wheels we bought the other day. We plan to turn them into toy wheel spindles over the next few days! In this picture Gregory is still working out exactly what he is trying to paint on his wheel.

We had a great time painting our toy wheels. Naturally we had to apply some glow in the dark paint. The rest of our paints were bright neon that are supposed to glow under black lights. We also have some fish stickers to apply tomorrow. Gabrielle painted her spindle with a very abstract design. The outfit she is wearing is one I made for her (tee shirt and shorts in blues, fuscia and white with a nice embroidary working its way over her left shoulder) and I was glad very little paint ended up on it.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

I have so many projects sitting out waiting to be finished. (And we are not even going to think about the ones that are put away, out of sight, that may, or may never, get completed!) These are the ones I want to finish soon. I've found that I get discouraged when I have too many unfinished projects sitting around needing my attention. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a project.

One of my highest priorities is my swimsuit sewing project. I told the kids we couldn't go to the beach until I had a swim suit that fit again. (That means make one or drop 20 pounds or so.) I have "designed" the suits I want from the basic pattern in Kwik Sew's Swim and Active Wear pattern book. Now I just need to cut and sew. This is the "commitment" phase where I commit to my design. I tend to get hung up at the commitment phase for a little while whenever I try something new.

Then I have the smocking project I started last fall. I started this project when Gregory started kindergarden and I had to sit in the car 45 minutes every day waiting to pick him up. When we started homeschooling a month later, Gabrielle's dress moved to the "back burner" for awhile. But summer is fast approaching! I need to finish smocking the last two gold fish, add eyes to everyone, then finalize with bubbles and sea weed. Since this is to be a sun dress for Gabrielle, I need to finish it before she does too much more growing or before the hot season passes us by.

I also started knitting an aran gurnsey for Gabrielle and have almost completed the back panel. (That is the mauve knitting in the center back) That leaves the front and arms. The last sweater I did started as a sweater for Gregory and ended up as a sweater for Gabrielle by the time I finished it! Since Gabrielle is my youngest, this one is just going to have to get finished. I want to complete it by the fall.

I also have my Spin Off Skein to finish up! On the niddy noddy is the first skein I started. It is natural GCN from Running Moon Farm. I received some Angelina in the mail on the day I started this skein so I threw some into the mix to see how it would look. I didn't really care for it so I grabbed another couple of ounces of my GCN and some Wilton food color. I managed to create a lovely batch of felt! I did actually spin it using a "rip-draft" technique, but am not at all happy with the yarn. So I finished up the first batch of GCN, which is on the niddy noddy. I also dyed another 2 oz of GCN (blue, greens and purple), which I started spinning this morning. It is only a little felted, but the dye is not adhering to the fiber. I don't know what I am going to send in, but I thought I'd better just finish up everything I started and then decide!

Another knitting project on my needles awaiting completion is the pair of slippers I am making for the Ships Project. I have one done, but seem to have slowed down with the second slipper. This is another high priority unfinished project.

Finally, I started a mini-triloom project. I am learning to weave on the tri-loom in anticipation of purchasing a 7 ft. triloom from Running Moon Farm later in the year as my Christmas present (I hope!). I sewed a couple of mini triangles together and then stitched (in yarn) a decorative X pattern down the seam. I want to add some cross stitch flowers or something and then sew it into a pull-over shirt for my daughter. I thought I could sew a vest back within extended shoulders ending in points with buttonholes. Then I'd add a couple of chunky buttons to the woven square and line it for comfort. We'll see how that turns out!

I am hoping that this public display of my unfinished work will help prod me towards completing it! So many ideas, so little time!

Friday, May 09, 2003

This is the outfit I sewed myself for my birthday this past January. Usually most of the clothing I make is for the kids, and especially for my daughter, but for my birthday, I like to make something for me. It is just a casual outfit, but I love the greens in it! I took some of the material I used with the pants and made diamond appliques for the mock turtleneck tee-shirt. There is another fabric incorporated into the tee-shirt I intend to eventually use for a coordinating skirt. I discovered spinning between completing this part of my outfit and the planned skirt which delayed its completion! Eventually I would like to spin up coordinating yarn for a summer sweater to "mix and match" with these other pieces.
Proverbs 31:13: She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.

I love that the things that I love are gifts from the Lord!

I guess this means my fiber stash has a biblical basis! YIPPEE!!!

This is my son Gregory on the beach in December 2001. I love this picture because our beach is so beautiful.

This is my most recent skein. Spun on my Schacht Wheel, it is a 3 ply of organic cotton, colonial wool and a gold metalic embroidary thread. I need at least 1 more skein since I hope to turn it into a summer sweater!

Gabrielle, then 2 years old, playing dress-up. I thought I'd start with a picture on my computer as I learn to use my new Blog.