Archive for May, 2012

Field Trip!

May 29, 2012

As I’ve mentioned before in previous blog entries, I’m teaching my dear friend Carolyn to knit. She’s taken up the hobby with a vengeance. In fact, you could even say that I’ve created a knitting monster! (But that’s a good thing!)

She’s already finished her first sweater. All she had to do the last time I saw her was to sew up the side and sleeve seams and put the buttons on it. I can’t wait to see her new sweater all finished up.

She’s also started another sweater from some yarn that I bought for her to say “thank you” for letting me use her quilting machine and showing me how to quilt with it. This sweater she’s working on now is a little easier than the first one so she’s really been going to town on it.

Carolyn is enjoying this knitting thing. It’s something that she’ll do way into retirement, I’m sure. One reason I think this is the fact that she’s been exercising her credit card to buy yarn! Yes, she’s building a “stash” of yarn. I have to laugh when she e-mails me and tells me all about another great buy she’s made on some yarn. She reminds me of me. Oh, how I know about those great yarn buys!

When we had lunch the other day, she told me about a yarn store that someone had told her about. She said that she had some extra time that day so she drove on out to check on it. She was so excited about all the beautiful yarn they had that she left the magazine that has the directions for the sweater she’s making.

So she asked me at lunch if I would like to ride out with her after work the next day to pick up her magazine and I could see what a wonderful place this is. I couldn’t hardly let her ask me the question until I was saying “YES! A FIELD TRIP!”

This little shop is located in an old two-story house in Rogersville which is about a 30-minute drive from here. The name of it is One City Market. I wouldn’t have guessed this was a yarn shop from the outside of the house or even by the name.

But when we walked in and was immediately surrounded by all this beautiful yarn, all doubts vanished. There were several ladies sitting around knitting and visiting when we first walked in. It was a knitting group that meets a couple of times a month. They seemed to be having a lot of fun.

We talked with them a few minutes, then we started going from room to room to look and feel all the gorgeous yarn that was everywhere. Apparently the owner of the shop also loves antiques so there was yarn displayed in a lot of her antiques as well, which just added to the quaintness of the shop.

Carolyn and I found a little room in the back that had some clearance items which we had fun going through. We sat in some chairs and looked through patterns and had a wonderful time just surrounded by all that goodness!

When one has been knitting for as long as I have, one has a huge stash of yarn as I have. I certainly didn’t need to buy yarn, but the yarn was so gorgeous and it called my name! I couldn’t resist. So I bought yarn, and needles, and patterns. And I wasn’t alone. Even though she had just been there the day before and bought yarn, Carolyn bought more yarn, and needles, and patterns. But she has a good excuse. She’s building up her stash for retirement. However on the other hand, I have enough yarn to last me for two retirements! But it was sooooo fun! Especially when the lady wrapped my yarn hanks into balls. It was fun to watch the process! (I need to get one of those ball winders!)

Here’s my goodies I came home with. . . . . .

We were there a lot longer than I thought we would be. We could walk through the whole place again and still see yarn that we missed seeing the first time. Hey, maybe another field trip soon?

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Doling Re-Do

May 17, 2012

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I decided to take a walk through Doling Park. This is possibly the oldest park in Springfield. You can read more about the history of the park here.

There are lots about Doling that I remember from my teen years. It was a bustling, fun area for parents and children alike. There were boat rides on the lake, a carnival on the main walkway, a little train that went around the top portion of the park, a skating rink where we spent many an evening, and even a cave that you could take a tour through.

The carnival and train are gone now as well as boat rides, the skating rink and the cave tours. The cave, of course, is still there but it’s been boarded up now because it’s unsafe to enter.

The park board has done a good job keeping the park neat and clean all these years. It’s always been a nice place for families to take their children to play and have picnics. They added a playground for children, a swimming pool, a family center, and a senior center.

Recently, the park has undergone a new transition. The swimming pool was taken out and a new part has been built onto the family center to house a new indoor pool! The park board has also renovated the pond and the grounds around the pond. Here are a few pics we took while we were taking our little walk-through.

The pond

The area between the pond and the cave entrance.

The ducks like the newly cleaned out pond.

This is another area next to the pond. Not sure what it’s supposed to be for — drainage? or an extension of the pond? We’ll find out in another couple of weeks, I think.

Here’s an interesting sight along our way around the pond. Hmmmm, maybe there was a chain link fence along here a few years ago? 🙂

This is a pic of what the new swimming pool in the new section of the family center will look like. Pretty neat, huh?

I, for one, am certainly happy and pleased with the new improvements that are going on at Doling. There are many happy memories for me there. If you get a chance to visit Doling and take a walk around the park, please do. You won’t be disappointed.

Roses

May 5, 2012

Our roses have gone wild this year! This is the best they’ve bloomed since we planted them a few years ago. It must have been the mild winter. I took a pic of them at their most gorgeous, but I guess it didn’t make it to the chip.

Anyway, last week when Hubby came home from his dad’s, he had one of the roses from the bush that we gave his folks on their anniversary many years ago. It’s called World Peace. It’s always produced big, beautiful roses, but this year was exceptional as you can see.

Hubby wants to get one of these rose plants for our yard. I’ll be on the lookout!

The New Shelf, Froggie Afghan, Inventory Again

May 4, 2012

In the last blog, I mentioned the shelf that I finished putting the last coat of paint on that was going to go in my sewing room. It’s been so long ago that I bought that shelf, I can’t even remember where I bought it, let alone when I bought it.

Originally, I was going to hang it in our bedroom when our bedroom was in my now sewing room. It was going to go above the window in the west wall which is no longer there. That’s been the plan for these many years.

I’ve always had a real problem with procrastination. There are projects around here that have been in my life for so long I can’t remember if they originated during my grandchildren’s lifetimes or my children’s lifetimes. Yes, that’s pretty bad!

Anyway, the shelf is done and I found a new and exciting place for it in my sewing room.

The little froggie afghan is finally finished also.

The baby turned out so cute!

My dear friend Carolyn is learning to knit, (and doing a pretty darn good job at it BTW), and that excites me. It doesn’t take much motivation for me to cast on another project. We’ve been looking at a lot of new patterns, specials on yarn prices, and just talking about the projects we’d like to do. Yes, that excites me. Consequently, I’ve been casting on a few new projects.

Another motivation for me to make more items has been the fact that I applied for a booth at one of the major craft shows that pop up around here every weekend in the Fall, and I got a booth! My sis will be sharing the booth with me but we need to have a LOT of items because there will be thousands of people walk through this craft show. It’s exciting, to say the least. This will be the biggest show I’ve ever participated in.

So on that note, I need to take inventory of what I’ve already started, finish what I think might be good for the sale, and look into making more smaller projects. I’ve already cast on a pair of leg warmers that I’m knitting in a variegated yarn, a cowl made with Bernat Lace Sequin yarn, and another pair of socks! (Pics later)

A while back, (last year), I got into the mood to make purses and bags and I’ve got about five of them in my UFO box. They’re all kind of pretty. These were some of the UFO’s that I wanted to work on during my ten-day vacation. I only got one of them done after my vacation.

It’s made from a yarn that I bought at a yard sale. The yarn didn’t have an information band around it so I have no idea what material it’s made from. It’s very coarse and is thick in places and thin in places. It has a slight smell like rope. It’s really cool. I made this bag from it, added leather handles and I think I’m going to line it with muslin. Gee, I don’t know if I’ll want to put that in the sale or not. I kind of like it. Here’s a close-up of the yarn,

The next few months are going to be busy for me. Besides the craft fair to make things for, I have the Fair coming up again in July/Aug. Hmmmm, I’d better go do some knitting — or maybe I’ll make a trip out to the little shop out back and paint today. So many crafts, so little time!

Time To Get Back At It

May 3, 2012

It’s hard for me to believe that the last time I posted was a month ago! Where ‘o where does the time go? It’ll be a challenge to go back a month and try to “catch up” with all the happenings around here. (Hubby and I live such an exciting life you know.)

The last blog was about the quilting trip to my friend’s house to quilt my quilt. What a wonderful and fun day that was.

I started a ten-day vacation on April 4th. There were great plans to finish ten UFO’s, (one for each day) during this time.

However, before I left work on Tues., I was starting to lose my voice. Usually I don’t get sick with laryngitis, but this time I did. Wed. was ok for the most part. There was NO VOICE, but I didn’t feel too bad.

A pair of socks is a project always in the works and has a bag all their own. When I finish one pair, I’ll stick another ball into the bag to start another pair. I like to have the bag handy to grab on the way out the door for a small project to work on when I know I’ll have a few minutes waiting, etc.

After all my chores on Wed., I got the sock bag out and finished the pair that I had been working on for a while. One day and one project done. So far so good.

As soon as that pair was done, I started another pair and got them done the next day! (This pair doesn’t count because it’s not really a WIP or UFO.)

The next day, I decided that I needed to make a run to the store and do some other errands. By the time I got to the store, I was chilling and feeling pretty bad. I even bought a sweater to wear because I was “freezing”!

As soon as I got home, (with the groceries because I’m a real trooper that way), I went to bed and was in bed the next two days! By Sun., I was feeling a lot better and went with Hubby to see his Dad. I don’t get to go very often because I’m always working on the weekend.

Needless to say, my plan to finish a project a day for ten days went askew. A couple of other projects did get done during my vacation, but having my plans deflate took the fun out of working on them.

Another plan was to clean up the garage, my shop, and Hubby’s shop and storage building. So starting Mon. morning, that was what I did the rest of the week. No pics of all the work, but take my word for it, they look great! I LOVE re-organizing and cleaning things up again.

My main reason for doing the garage was to get my yarn stash re-organized. It took most of the day to re-group and put the skeins in new plastic totes. They are organized according to their weight, then by color. Usually when I want to start a new project, I’ll have to have a certain weight of yarn. Then after I find the right weight, I can choose the color I want. Easy, peasey!

The next TWO days, I worked on my shop. Oh my, that shop can get in a real mess! Not only do I make a mess when I paint, (usually I have to work on several projects at a time because it takes a while for paint to dry before I can go on to the next step), but I’m always bringing “stuff” out to the shop and there’s all these little bags sitting every where that need to have a home.

The new shelves I put in the storage area off the shop last year had sunk into the ground and was leaning way forward. If they leaned much more, everything would start falling off. When it rains, the ground under the shelves gets very soft. I had a senior moment and forgot that when I put the shelves up.

So I had to take all that stuff off, re-set the shelves with 2×4’s across other boards, and then re-build the shelves and put everything back on the shelves. That was a lot of work, but hopefully it’ll stay that way for a while!

Finally, by the middle of the second day, I had the shop cleaned up. I’d been painting on a shelf that I bought a long time ago to hang in my sewing room. It needed several coats so I had to do a little at a time on it. After all the cleaning was done, I put the last coat of paint on it. There was paint left over, so I painted a little vanity from our old bathroom that I’d moved out to my shop for more storage. The paint made it look like new!

The shop looked so nice all cleaned up, I decided to start some more projects. (That’s what I do!) So I’ve started three more projects, some tins (from old CD holders) that will be little tic tac toe games, a couple of journals which I’m painting cute lady bugs with flowers on the covers, and some tiles that will have a little gingerbread man on each one.

Two days left of my vacation, and we started on Hubby’s shop. Wow, I don’t think it had been cleaned out since we moved here! We found things that he forgot he had. We made three piles, one for trash, one for giving away to charity, and one to give to the grandsons to see if they can sell it and make some money on it. (These items are left over from the classes that Hubby developed and taught in his job.)

It was starting to sprinkle by the time we had done about 2/3rds of the shop. So we got everything put away and stopped for the evening.

The last day of my vacation, it rained off and on all day. We didn’t get back to his shop during the rest of my vacation. But to jump ahead a little, we did get it finished on my next “weekend” from work. It’s a good feeling to know that all that junk has been taken care of.