ticks and stitching and folding, oh my

I found a tick on my dog. I did NOT take a picture of it either before or after it was removed (you’re welcome). While my husband was patiently trying to remove the tick without leaving any bits in the dog or squeezing the body and potentially leaving pathogens in him, I wondered if this was another metaphor for the election and our new president. I am not going to think that one through but I’m sure there is something there. Let’s just leave it that. The good news is that the tick is off and the dog got a bath out of the deal. He didn’t think the bath was good news but he sure liked the treat I gave him afterwards.

In crafty news, I started working on my embroidery again.

Stitching again. A little behind on the club. #cozybluestitchclub

I’m going to finish the house and then work on the leaves. I might be reading too much into everything, but I do feel the symbolism of working on an embroidery of a house, like I am turning inward. As I said, reading a lot into everything.

I also folded a paper bird for my husband.

Origami bird

He bought something called “muscle wire” which he plans to use to make the bird’s wings flap. I am intrigued to see the finished product! Hopefully that bird works, but I found a lot of different origami bird instructions online. This one was supposed to fly like a paper airplane as well but I think I did the tail slightly wrong and it didn’t glide nicely like the video I watched.

Look! I posted two days in a row!


the end is here

It’s the 30th! That makes this my final NaBloPoMo post of 2015. I didn’t feel as pressured as past years, I think because I let myself miss days. Maybe I should care more about missing but who would be mad? Me? As usual, this exercise makes me wish I posted more often on my blog. I would say that after this I will try to do so but we both know that I would be lying because I am pretty sure if you looked at my posts from November 30th for ever NaBloPoMo, I have said the same thing.

I had so much fun the other day painting my winter scenes that I decided to play a bit with my water colors again today.


There was a pumpkin, a turnip, a little hedgehog and a robot with a balloon. The robot suffered from “I should have left it alone” disorder. I kept messing with his face and I am not happy with the end result. Oh well.

I enjoyed my November and I hope you did as well and I hope to be back soon with painting, coloring, food, or, you know, knitting to share with you!

busy busy busy day

It was a totally crazy day. We scouted for food with the Boy Scouts. Then was my younger son’s last soccer game followed by a party. My friend Katy made this incredible cake.

Katy's amazing cake.

It was also delicious. The bottom part was chocolate and the ball was sculpted out of rice krispie treats. She is a genius!

I made less beautiful but still tasty vanilla butter cupcakes with chocolate ganache.

My not as beautiful but still delicious cupcakes.

When we came home I decided it was high time that I actually tried out the book making idea.

First book

I got The Essential Guide to Making Handmade Books from the library and then stumbled upon a copy of it at the second hand bookstore. I followed the book’s instructions for a Single Section Pamphlet. I was glad to get some practice sewing the binding but I’m not totally excited with how it turned out. I think if I want to make more of these, I should cut the coloring page in half lengthwise first. I think it will make a better proportioned booklet.

In the process of making this book, however, I discovered that I don’t know where my exacto knife is. I tried to use my husband’s larger craft knife but the blade was too dull. I need to get a sharper blade or find my exacto knife before I can try again. It is good to have goals.

kid embroidery

It was embroidery day in the Arts Focus sewing class at school. Trish, who leads the class now, told the kids that a few years ago a lot of kids made Origami Yoda designs for their embroidery. One of my son’s friends decided he would do that again.


I love how the class gets into embroidery. Most kids really enjoy it. I think there is something soothing about the repetition of the stitches and the way there is less stress on perfection. These stitches just make lines, they don’t hold anything together.

There must be a lesson in that, but I am not sure what it is.

coloring and play dough

I finished a coloring page today.


I really should figure out what to do with them. They are piling up in my house. The previous two books I had didn’t have tear out pages which makes it easier to just keep everything in the book. Once I’ve torn it out it feels more final or something. What would you do with them?

I also made a one second test video today.

My son is supposed to make a stop motion animation for school so I downloaded Stop Motion Studio to my iPad for him and tried it out with the play dough we made for his project. I can see how that could be fun!

Headache and Peanuts and WIPs, oh my

I missed a day already! Well, three days, if you count the first two of the month. I am on day three of a headache. I am going to go ahead and blame that for my forgetfulness yesterday.

Moving on…

My younger son had a short day at school today so another mom suggested we take the kids to see the Peanuts movie. He was pretty excited to see it, so I said sure. Sadly, the seats are too comfortable and I fell asleep for a chunk of the movie but I did get to see Snoopy’s girlfriend, Fifi, and hear her non-voice voice. When the credits rolled I discovered that Fifi’s voice was none other than Kristin Chenoweth! She was almost the only name I recognized. I’m kind of amazed that someone would hire Kristin Chenoweth to be the voice of a dog who doesn’t talk, let alone sing! Hollywood is a crazy place.

I got a new shot my current WIP, knitting and coloring.

My current WIPs.

I guess it is not very informative, as far as the knitting goes. It is growing, thanks to four and a half hour long board meetings like I had last night! It is getting cold so I hope to finish it off soon. Time to start picking out patterns for the next project!

coloring in the lines

I am not quite sure how it happened but I took up coloring this year. I think it was an offshoot of the Zentangles I was drawing last year around this time. I colored some of them and I suspect that on a quest for markers to color my own drawings, I discovered the wide selection of coloring books available to grown-ups for coloring right now.

I started with two different books of mandalas (Mandala Design Coloring Book and GeoMandala) and did a bunch of those. Here are a few of my favorites.


Most of those are done with Stabilo 68 markers. I then got a book called Just Add Color: Mid-Century Modern Patterns along with some Spectrum Noir markers and that took off. I now have Just Add Color: Geometric Patterns and that is my current obsession. Again, a few favorites.


I am no longer astonished as to why I haven’t finished many knitting projects. When I uploaded these photos I saw how many there were! Almost 50. That is a lot of coloring! You can check out my art album on Flickr if you want to see more.

I find it very soothing and a bit comforting that there is no expected final product. Yes, there is a colored page when I am done but it doesn’t have a purpose. That may sound ridiculous but I spend so much of my time working on final products (meals, knitted items, projects for school) that it’s nice to do something that has no point.

But yes, I do stay in the lines.

an LED expedition

Embroidery was fun in class today, as usual. I love how enthusiastic the kids get about it. This year’s class is skewed older so they were mostly self-sufficient rather quickly, which is nice to see.

After school, I had to go to Evil Mad Scientist to pick up LEDs for our sewn circuit. I had ordered the wrong size from another store and discovered that this place actually has them cheaper and I can go pick them up instead if paying for shipping. While I was there I also picked up a Sticker Circuit Starter Kit and I pre-ordered an LED menorah which I am very excited to get. My husband has promised to do the soldering for me but he needs a new soldering iron first. Win-win!

It turned out that today was Evil Mad Scientist’s open house so my whole family headed over in the evening to look at their kits and projects. My husband didn’t see any other kits he wanted but there were a few cool clocks I wished he wanted to make. Maybe I need to actually learn to solder myself. I have this fear that I will burn myself if I take that up! Also, I really do not need another hobby. That said, I am pretty excited to try the sticker circuits.

My knitting group friends said I should blog about having gone to knit night. I am not sure what there is to say other than reporting that knit night conversation is always interesting and unexpected. Today we started off talking a about Kim Kardashian and ended up talking about protein bars made of cricket flour. Yes, cricket flour is totally a thing. Will wonders never cease. This came up because my son’s Arts Focus class was spinning silk and the teacher of the class offered them silkworms to eat. He passed, as did I when someone offered to save me one. I love my kid’s school. And my knitting group.

2013 FO Round-up and a 2014 FO

In 2103, I finished 16 knitted, crocheted, and knotted projects. My conic sweater has no photo so it is not pictured below. I should remedy that.

2/21/13 finished honey cowl French Press Cozy Clapoktus finished magrathea Chemo Caps more bunnies are better Posh Lintilla
Bunnies! ArtFibers Brogue Cowl Mouse for W Husky Stripes Paracord! Teacher Gift crochet jar cover

I guess this is about my speed these days, since it’s almost exactly what I made last year. Although, some of these photos are of more than one thing. For example:


I made two bunnies and I organized, knit part of, and sewed up part of the blanket under the bunnies in this photo.

crochet jar cover

This photo is of two but I made five of these crocheted jar covers.

Teacher Gift

I only made one of these, but look how cool it looks with a color-changing LED candle in it…

White Red Green Yellow

I skipped calculating my stash total last year but here is this year’s: as of today I have 74,438 yards, or 42 miles of yarn. That is only (“only”) 3,000 more yards than at the end of 2011. I do have a confession that I went to ArtFibers for one last hurrah and came home with 700 yards of Tantra and about 340 yards of Ginko.


Aren’t they gorgeous? Lucky for my wallet they did not have sweater quantities of the yarn I wanted to use to make a sweater in a color that I thought would be good on me. Whew.

Moving on…

My most recent FO is not knitting but cross stitch.

i love you in robot

I got the kit from Alicia Watkins on Etsy. It is so cute and was so much fun to do that I want to make all of her patterns now. I should mount this finished piece, frame it, and figure out where to put it before I do anything else, though.

Really, I should be knitting one of the projects on my needles. I might be time to cut my losses with a couple of projects and frog them. I have one sweater that I think is going to have to be totally rethought. At least the yarn won’t just sit in my stash that way.

NaBloPoMo Day 19: Paracord!

A few days ago I mentioned that I had ordered paracord and buckles. Today I put them to use.


I ended up going to YouTube for instructions rather than using the tutorial I linked earlier.


From left to right they are:

Yes, I bought a book. It’s an ebook, though, and it was only $7. I learned how to do a nicer knot for the clasp and I really like that waterfall tie. Here’s an attempted closeup of the knot.


As you may have guessed, the buckles aren’t working. I got glow-in-the-dark ones which are too big and translucent green which are too small. I think the small ones might work for friendship bracelets with embroidery floss and for now my 7-year-old son is using a glow-in-the-dark one to make a belt.


He enjoyed doing it for a bit and took a break for dinner but then came back to it a bit more. It goes pretty quickly so I think he’ll be able to finish it up tomorrow. I’ve already started shopping for new colors. Move over yarn, here comes paracord!