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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Well now---- here I am! Mystery Stole 3 update and Trip To Thread Bear Review!

Where to start? Where to start?

Back is better- whew. That's a good thing.

My post is up over at Laced With Grace- Don't miss it- you'll see how a family table political debate turned us all to prayer......through the leading of the littlest member of the family (of course;)

We went to friends' 25 anniversary party on Saturday... it happened to be on the West side of the state so a stop at Thread Bear Fiber Arts Studio was a must.... and is something NOT to be missed!

Things I loved about Thread Bear-

1) Over 6,000 sq feet of YUMtastic Yarn! (A word of caution- I was a bit crestfallen when I pulled up- I was expecting a huge shop--(which I got) -- however-the store front was average size.... (front window) ----totally deceptive- it is DEEP-goes back forever and - huge on the inside- don't let the curb-effect fool you;)

2) Staff immediately welcomed me in and included me in conversation... about fall plans- and even a stroll through the new Vogue Knitting anniversary edition..

3) Owners were present- and delightful.

4) I bought- Blue Skies Alpaca silk,Blue Skies Alpaca alpaca silk
Blue Sky Cotton, Blue Skies Cotton
Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn,smooshy dream in Color and lovely stitch markers;)

5) Big, sleepy, sweet, black dog on his own Ottoman- of course;)

6) Shop is visually stunning- bright, loaded with yarn yet still open and easy to maneuver through without knocking yarn out of every bin. (I hate it when I feel like an oaf knocking stuff all over in an overly crowded shop;)

7) Fiber for spinning;)

8) Comfy spots to sit n knit

9) Wi-fi available for non-knitting members of your excursion

10) Lovely displays- did I mention the visual appeal????

Thread Bear- it truly is Michigan's Knitting Mecca.... Excuse me, if from now on, I must face the West to knit;)

My Mystery Stole 3 is coming along quite nicely- I'm at row 292- Melanie's recommended lifeline secure....(And somewhat freaking me out...for the life of me- I cannot anticipate what's coming;) )




mystery stole 3 at rown 292







mystery stole 3 at 292 close up LOVE the border







I sees bees- MS3



I finished my African Violets Inspired Chevron Scarf in silk:


silk chevron and violets





silk chevron scarf




And- I cast on The Invisibility Shawl From Charmed Knits:

It's in some random- stash dived lavander Feza mohair blend



Invisibility Shawl- Charmed Knits

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stupid Sacroiliac

Not sure how- but I've managed to muck up my back. (Don't usually have trouble with my back... EVER!)

Been on the couch. Trying to get better. Went to Dr's. taking Anaprox. blah.

Sitting at the computer hurts, so- will be back soon.

Hate this.

On the upside, I had plenty of time to read the Potter book.

My thoughts-

Better pace than book 6.
I like a happy ending. (I'm sappy that way)
Can't say much more without spoiling- so I'll refrain.

Knitting... working clue 4 of the Mystery Stole. On row 226

Still absolutely clueless as to the theme.



ms3




mystery stole 3 edge

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mystery Stole #3 Knit along... working clue 3


Knitting- this time it's a mystery to me too! I'm bit less than half way through clue 3. My goal? 10 rows per weekday. (Yes, I am a freak. I gave myself a knitting quota...) I know. I know. Shut up.

It's a rainy-ish overcast day.. which didn't exactly make for beautiful pics. Honestly-I have absolutely NO CLUE what the theme for this stole could be... I'll just keep knitting.

I suppose I have another update too... the bee that stung me a couple of weeks ago?
(go a head scroll down to the pic, I'll wait)

The one that had me running across the yard screaming, swearing off yard work for ever? Remember how I was sure there were hundreds more chasing me?

Well- the lawnguy (who came to clean up the mess I had made of the bushes in the front yard during the escapade) let me know he DID have freinds. A whole nest of them DID come pouring out when he yanked the remnants of the bushes.

I'm baking him blueberry muffins. Even though they didn't get him. (my homeowners policy holder breathes a sigh of relief)

A new Chevron scarf- (to balance out the lace knitting)

daisys painting 078

This one was inspired by a pot of african violets. I'd show you a pic of those--- but my cat likes to eat just about every flower that comes into the house.

Apparently, he thinks violets are truffles, Or some such cat nonsense.

Till tomorrow- some flowers that cat has yet to eat:

daisys painting 047

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Simple Summer Bruschetta






It's finally here! Farm stand season in Michigan!

Tomatoes with flavor- fresh sweet corn, zucchini for stuffing!

YES! This Italian Mama made herself a special lunch today! In honor of my first trip to the farm stand- I'll share a favorite recipe
Simple Summer Bruschetta:

preheat oven to broil



1 loaf good Italian bread-(or A French Epi loaf) sliced about 1" thick



1/2 Cup Favorite Balsamic Vineagrette (I like Newman's Own)

Optional: a few TBLS Gorgonzola cheese crumbles.



3-4 Large fresh tomatoes seeded and diced (I just cut the tops off then run the knife into the center sections to loosen the seeds then give it a gentle squeeze to dmp the seeds. Purely preferance- you can leave the seeds if you want them)

1) pour dressing over tomatoes and let them macerate for 15 minutes or so.

2) Using a pastry brush- "paint" bread slices on one side with dressing from the bowl with tomatoes- as if buttering.



3) If you like Gorgonzola (or bleu cheese) sprinkle over bread slices



4) Broil till just toasted- about 3 minutes, until bread is toasty and cheese is melty YUM. (watch closely- this is best done by "eye")



5) While still hot (this lunch needs to be eaten immediately) spoon macerated tomatoes over toasted bread.

This is italian grilled cheese and tomatoes- kicked up! For lunch I munch three huge slices with a glass of persimmon/white tea iced tea.

Oh yeah.

PS- usually I have a momma lunchable (south beach lunch in a box or something similar) But once in a while it's nice to make a special meal... just for me. ;)

Another day I'll post my method for bruschetta the "hard way" olive oil, bread rubbed with fresh garlic etc;)

Knitting update- Why Yes, I still am.;) One monkey sock complete- and am on row 138 of Mystery Stole #3




farm stand season.... Italian trinity




Giant zucchini's to soon be stuffed and sauced;)



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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mystery Stole 3 at row 120!


Black Alpaca With a Twist
Black glass seed beads-
US #3 plymouth bamboo circs (24")

I have markers placed- but just at each side of the center stitch.

I'm using a life line- (threaded through stitches while they are on the needle- between charts. This one is placed between chart one and two. I remove them after adding the new lifeline.


Close up of the center motif in clue #1

Looks Thai like to me...but I have no clue what the theme may be.
I'll just keep knitting along...

With clues- yet somehow- Clueless;)

For more about MS3 visit Pinklemontwist- she's the brains behind the mystery! The group is now closed- but the pattern will be available for sale after it's completion!

SP 10 has wrapped up- my final pkg went out the pal I've been sending too... I hope she likes it- Loopy ewe sock blockers... Claudia handpaint sock yarn and Lantern Moon Sox Stix... with misc other goodies too;) Will let you know WHO I've been sending to....after she receives it;)

I haven't heard who was sending to me yet... maybe soon. Maybe I won't, stuff happens... it's ok.. I really do like sending goodies;)

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Extreme adventures in family camping... or at least in surviving the drive home.

Wednesday was a Holiday...so, we had plenty of time to pack up and make sure the house was clean before we left for a family camping trip. Bad (but sweet) Dog Sami was at her favorite Pet-Sitters. The cats were prepared (as always) to take over the house. Laundry was ready for the trip AND for the re-entry upon our the return.

Although we were surrounded by campfires, playscapes, fishing hooks and hatchets.... there were no major injuries. Even the great Beetle bombardment, was fairly quickly quenched.

There was much:

Toe toasting by campfire


toasty toes

Perfect S'more's making


perfect

Go Carting... (this look on my middle son's face worries me about drivers ed)


way too serious

Fishing


fishing




fishing

Bumper boating... (which resulted in a soaking wet Dad, and happy sons)


camping 027

Our "Little House on the Campground"



camping 055

A bit of beaach front near fort gratiot lighthouse

bit o beach


Fort Gratiot Lighthouse- (well- all that I could get in the lens from the terrible angle we had:()



fort gratiot lighthouse


A fruitful trip to Mary Maxims: below left to right: Aracania Nature Cotton, Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, Austermann Step, Mondial, Lana Grossa Cotton blend....a few notions and such;)

debbie bliss pure silk, lana grossa, mondial

There was also: Yahtzee, wifi, and plenty of bacon and barbeque. (WIth the exception of Chinese one night... what can I say?)

The trip had gone too smoothly- I should have known a storm was on the horizon.

Let's start with leaving for home on a day with 102 degree heat. In Michigan? Yes-

Here's the proof:

the evidence



Next- let's add the air conditioning dying in my truck- about 30 minutes into our ride home.

Add 2 adult sized sons and a car seated preschooler to the back seat of my way to small and air-conditioning free- mini suv.

Add a slight sunburn and the desperate need for rolled down windows. (Ouch... let's just say my left shoulder smells a bit like barbeque... but it's just me, roasted.)

To the mix... please add strange car trouble which created the uncanny ability of my truck to not be able to travel faster than 30 mph.

The result? Well- let's just say that our 90 minute relaxing drive turned into a 3+ hour sauna. I didn't even lose weight. (I weighted myself when I got home.. just to check...) Somehow- I managed to sweat AND swell.... GREAT. Just. My. Luck.

The topper? My husband's need to leave this morning for a business trip to Denver. This made stopping and getting a room and fixing the vehicle this morning (we came home on Sunday... no chance of car repair on Sunday afternoon..) before finishing the drive home- impossible.

People. I put my knitting DOWN... I was working on a Monkey sock...

trekking XXL pro natura

and it was too hot to knit. A SOCK! Unbelievable. (Trekking XXL Pro Natura- Monkey sock pattern By Cookie A.. on Knitty.com)

Well- as I am posting- you've already surmised that after cool showers, a nice tubby and many glasses of cold water on arriving home... we made it.

Maybe we were towing too much weight... it could have been one of wo things that put us over.. my shoes, or my knitting bag. Both of which were certainly necessities;)


More tomorrow... when I'm finished with the laundry and cleaning out the camper (I hope;)

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dear Apple- Go ahead, Convince me.


Dear Apple-

I'm a techno-mom. In my (rather large and heavy) purse, at any given moment- I have an iPod video, a Palm Treo and a digital camera, I sometimes carry my Palm Lifedrive- mostly just for Wifi. ( I also keep an iPod shuffle in my knitting bag, which is always with me- just for audio books- gotta love my little pink shuffle!)My two teens and husband all have iPod Nanos.
Early adopters? Yeah- that's us.
But, I don't know about this time. While I can see the huge benefit of combining my media tools into one (as can my right shoulder which generally totes my 40 lb purse) I have questions about buying into the iPhone just yet.
I want to want, an iPhone. Really, I do. I actually think I DO want an iPhone... But my Mom brain keeps asking Mom questions. Like would it be worth it? Not just the $, but the hassle?
From the reviews- it sounds pretty seamless and perfect for those using a mac OS. But, my laptop is MS. Are the benefits there for me, too?
Next?....I've been with my wireless provider for years.... getting an iPhone probably means switching my wireless provider (ummm lets just say a company that starts with a "V" really likes me) for my whole family in order to get the best deal all around...and that includes a business line...a WAY huge hassle. Or- setting up a separate account for just one phone (or iPhone, I should say) which doesn't allow for sharing minutes or a family plan- which would cut into the old Mom-budget.
Finally- and this is a pure woman thing. I'm not hearing great things about the screen/input. This momma has Acrylics. How female/user friendly is the touch screen? Can a stylus be used? Or something to accommodate a girls nails?
See? I'm just, not convinced.
So Apple- here's the deal. According to research 80% of all dollars are spent by women. (yeah that's right- we're the shoppers!) Women who are Mom's, women who work, and women who buy groceries. If you want my dollars-advertising or product wise- (and the dollars of my sister-moms) go ahead. Convince me.
1) Send me an iPhone- I'll give you an honest/reliable Mom's review.
2) Answer the questions:
a) benefits for MS users vs mac users?
b) ease of changeover- from current wireless provider- (reports are that it can be rough going)
Now- while I have my doubts about Apple actually reading or answering this post... I have no doubt that there are new iPhone users out there on the net- so, what say you, especially Mom, iPhone users....worth it, or not?



My blog is worth $275,495.52.
How much is your blog worth?

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