Monday, December 31, 2012

Auld lang syne....

First of all, here's a picture of Mom and Wyatt helping me to spread some dried manure on the asparagus bed. On the nicer days we have had so far this winter, we have been trying hard to rehabilitate the garden. Dad was so ill in his final season that we had to let gardening go for more important duties. Dad worked for many years to establish his wonderful asparagus bed; I am determined that we will continue to take good care of it so that we can enjoy the fruits of his labors for many years to come. Mom said one thing we needed to do was gather some manure and put it on so that the winter snows could coax the nourishment down to the roots. Wy found it quite amusing to be picking up poop, as most 4 year old's would.

Here I sit, poised on the brink of a new year. Really, I have never held too much reverence for New Year's. I don't typically go out and party the eve before. Not really my style. But if 2013 will be less stressful, less painful, less aggravating, frustrating and instead be peaceful, and render for me a time of mental clarity and sanity, then I say (as I think my Dad would have said), "So long 2012...don't let the door hit you in the ass!"
Bring it on.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Corner View- "White"

Today's Corner View theme is "White". So, without much ado, I searched through my photo files to find random shots of different whites...
 This is some Icelandic yarn that I spun from a roving earlier this year from fiber purchased last December at the Arkansas Fiberarts Extravaganza
 This was a baby sweater that I finished for a friend
 Homemade gnocchi
 Whitecaps on the beach at Vilano Beach
 The white (& black) tile I laid in the laundry room
 A beautiful doily spotted in Eureka Springs
 Potatoes, about to be planted
Mom's white roses.
Corner View is a weekly appointment, with bloggers all over the world. For more CV's, visit my pal Francesca over at Fuoriborgo.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

12 Shawls in 2012: Memories of Santa Fe

After a year of designing shawls, you would think I would have become tired of shawls, or run out of ideas. Not fact, the ideas are never a problem. The execution is not always so easy. Here we are, it's December (all too quickly, it seems), and here is the final installment of my "12 Shawls in 2012". I call this design, "Memories of Santa Fe".

I decided on a good basic, solid (as in non-lacey) warm wrap for the cold month of December. This is not at all the design I originally had in mind, but after enjoying myself in Santa Fe, then coming home to look at my yarn stash, these colors of Malabrigo Lace just begged to be united in a lovely Southwestern-y theme.


The year has truly flown by. I never thought it would go so fast. A lot has happened this year, some good, a lot not so good, bad, in fact. I won't bore you with the details right now. If you read my blog or my facebook page, you have some idea. Designing these shawls has helped me maintain a bit of sanity; I have had to be accountable to those who had, in great faith and belief in me and my abilities, bought the e-book I titled, "12 Shawls in 2012" before it was actually completed. Wow. Thanks, dear readers, for your support and faith over the last year as I created each shawl.

Many of the designs have been professionally tech-edited by Haley Zimmerman; she will be editing the entire collection, so if you've bought any of the patterns, or the entire collection, there will be updates coming yet on some of the designs. I will continue to upload these as they become available. I also plan on adding charts in the future, once I have the ability to run Illustrator. Updates will be sent in the future as these become available, as well.

The button above is for the individual pattern for this shawl. To purchase the entire collection (that's 12 patterns for the price of 10!), click this button:

Thanks again to all of you who supported me and believed I could accomplish my goal!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis- Saturday

Yes, that is the official name that was given to what we now know as Santa Fe, somewhere in 1609 or 1610. It's now wonder they shortened it to Santa the time you said all that, you would have lost your train of thought regarding anything else you might have wanted to say! I am writing this Sunday morning. We will soon be headed out the get a massage, (try not to hate me too much!) then back to the casita for lunch (leftover paella), then we are going to go explore The Flea. Yesterday, we went to Museum Hill, where we visited the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art. Unfortunately, one is not allowed to take photos inside of the museums, but I did get some shots outside. Here, a view looking toward the Sangro de Christo Mountains.

A giant kachina dancer in the museum courtyard

Part of the sculpture garden

entrance to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture; if you live out of state, you have to pay more to go in.
Our paella for two at El Farol. We went expecting to also experience the Saturday night flamenco dancing, but as we were told, we would have had to have made specific reservations for that as well as dinner; it seems, "That is a whole different dining experience" by a young hostess who was poured into a tight blue dress and 4 inch heels. Hmph. Maybe some other time. My only complaint, which was soon rectified by our young waiter, Max, was that there were plenty of EMPTY shells in the paella. After fishing out 3 mussel shells and one clam shell, I only found one mussel. Deb was experiencing a similar situation on the other side of the table, so he brought us a bowl of mussels and clams to top if off with. Not sure if that was intentional or not, but if you visit and order the paella, keep this in mind. Overall it was pretty good, even without the flamenco dancers!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Santa Fe- Friday

On a kind of spur of the moment offer (well, at least insofar as I am able to be "spur of the moment"), a coworker and friend told me she was going to Santa Fe, and would I like to come along? She has a friend who has a casita here, so I would only be out travel and food. I didn't think I could swing it, initially, but then the planets aligned and it all worked out. In spite of my friend Deb's exploding suitcase on the way to the airport and the fact that her friend has given her the wrong key to get into the house! But no worries, dear readers; as I told Deb, when I am traveling for pleasure, I just look at hiccups like that as part of the adventure. We managed to procure a new suitcase before getting to the airport and a neighbor who keeps a key to the casita so she and her husband can keep an eye on things when the owners are gone was able to help us out with getting in and out by bringing us a key. See? No big deal. Anyhow, it was late enough on Thursday once we got out and about (and I left my camera back at the casita!), that I didn't get any pictures until Friday. So here goes:
On Friday morning, we went to the Santa Fe School of Cooking, where we took a class on Contemporary Southwestern Cuisine. Here is Chef Michelle Roetzer
showing us how to make vanilla espresso flan. I had never actually had flan before, but it was amazing; think, satin sheets for you mouth...I know, weird imagery, but it's the best I can come up with right now.

Here is my friend Deb, just as our meal was served.

I should have used my flash, but our meal was Orange-Coriander grilled salmon with poblano lime jam, fresh corn-green onion tamales, Chipotle black beans, cabbage slaw with cilantro and serrano chile, and finishing with the flan. Sorry, didn't get a pic of the flan before I ate inhaled it.

This is the famous Loretto Chapel;  click the link and you can find out why they are famous.

Bear with me while I show you some different angles; I just love old architectural details...

If you clicked the link above, then you will find out more about the miraculous Loretto staircase. If you didn't and are just too lazy to scroll up, here it is again.
It's a very interesting story.

Today (as I am actually writing this on Saturday morning), we are headed back into town to get on a tour that will take us out Canyon Road. There are supposed to be a lot of artists and other things to see and do. Catch ya'll later!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Corner View- Artist?

Today's Corner View theme is "Artist?" I don't know that anyone would truly consider me an artist...but over my life I have pursued many artistic endeavors. In the past (and sometimes now) I have sketched, painted, done woodworking, but the thing that I really love putting my energy into these days is the fiber arts. I love to dye, spin, knit, crochet and felt anything that will lend itself to any or all of the above activities.

While I don't consider myself a photographer by ANY stretch of the imagination, I do like taking pictures, and try and make them as "artistic" as possible.

I have enjoyed exercising my "artistic" muscle this year by designing my shawl a month series, "12 Shawls in 2012", and I also have flexed that muscle when styling and shooting the pictures for the series. It has been a lot of fun!

For more Corner Views, visit Francesca over at Fuoriborgo.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Teaser pictures-November's Little Sister Shawl

As promised, November's shawl pattern will use most of the Malabrigo Lace that you have left from October's Big Sister Shawl. I actually still have enough of the rusty color that I could probably make a scarf, too. I had some trouble with this shawl near the end...the edging was eluding me. What I wound up with is a hybrid of part of an antique pattern in which the last two rows just were not working, then I tried doing a ruffle, which was even less satisfying. In the end, I am finally satisfied with the outcome, and like it more and more the longer I look at it. These are the best of the pics I shot today before my camera finally died. I managed to make it work long enough at home to coax the pictures out of it. My son, who is taking up photography, took a lot more pics, but alas, he is using a film camera, so those pics will not be available until next week. In the meantime, I thought I would let you have a peek of the finished result.

No buy button yet...the pattern should be back from tech editing next week, before the first. Check back then!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

12 Shawls in 2012: October- "Big Sister Shawl"

Introducing October's shawl in my "12 Shawls in 2012" series, "Big Sister Shawl"

 I call it the "Big Sister Shawl" because it has a little sister, which will be unveiled next month as the November shawl, "Little Sister Shawl". Why are they sister shawls? Because they are made from the same 3 skeins of Malabrigo (or as I like to say, "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmalabrigo") Lace, meaning that they are sister shawls. Since you get two shawls from buying the yarn for this one, it's like a two-fer!
Click here to buy your pattern  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Corner View- "This is horrible!"

I find it rather ironic that this week's CV theme is, "this is horrible". This week  year has been horrible for me and my family. As some of you know, my Dad has been battling lymphoma for a little over a year now. We rejoiced after he finished his chemo; there was no activity. On Friday, September 14th, we learned what we had been fearing...that the cancer was back, and with a vengeance. Daddy, ever the fighter, insisted on trying chemo again. His oncologist was gentle with us when she told us that it was probably not going to work. She waited patiently for us to come to the same conclusion, and last Wednesday, Dad came home to wait for death to come, with Hospice to help him and Mom. Horrible is watching someone you love die a slow death. Horrible is wanting so badly to help and knowing with that sick feeling in the deep pit of your stomach that there is nothing you can do to help....except wait with him, hold his hand, offer a cool cloth, a back rub, a reminiscence and let him know through words, and touch, how much he is loved....and how much he will be missed.

I love you, Dad.

For more Corner Views, visit Francesca at Fuoriborgo.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Corner View- "Impression"

Today's CV theme is "Impression". I read all of the posts before writing mine, just to see what everyone else's take on it was. Because, you know, the word Impression has many meanings. For instance, there's an impression that you make when you bury something into a soft material, like clay or sand....

Then there's an impression, like one is trying to give a hint of something, as in Impressionist art...that something might herald the arrival or departure of something, like a season for instance...

...or of something one is making....

There is impression as in creating a strong effect on the intellect, emotions or conscience, as in "This book made a real impression on my life", or, "That song created quite an impression on my heart".

Impression can mean a vague remembrance, notion or belief of an event or occurrence, as in, "When I was little, I get the impression that I liked to play in the sprinkler a lot, often in the buff".( The memory becomes a little less vague when there are snapshots to prove it!)

Then there is "making a good impression". I was recently accused of only being interested in making a lot of money (HA!) and impressing my friends. To that I say, true friends don't need impressing. If you have to impress them, they aren't really your friends. Aren't you impressed? : 0)

For more Corner Views, visit Francesca at Fuoriborgo