Wednesday, May 30, 2007

SPT 5/31/07

SPT 5/31/07
Originally uploaded by BrickMillStudio
Here's my latest entry to Self Portrait Thursday. I took the shot this past Monday morning while strolling to Dunkin' Donuts for a 'day off from work iced coffee'. It was cloudy when I took the shot, but a flash just wouldn't do... I'm looking into a 'cool old stuff' shop that is down the street from where I live.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Grandpa's 96th birthday
Originally uploaded by BrickMillStudio
As today is memorial day, I will take a serious moment to remember my grandfather, Ed. This picture was taken just over two years ago, about a month before his death, and was a rare moment when he was his old self, laughing and joking around. To perk him up, I suggested that he pretend that his birthday pie (prune pie) tasted terrible. He got a gleam in his eye, and then shouted to my grandmother, 'ughhhhh, what is this! This is terrible!"
My grandmother got all upset, saying, "It's your favorite! Prune pie! Don't you remember, you had it last year!"
My grandpa said, "What? This is last year's pie?"
They went back and forth, with her getting all upset that he didn't remember that he liked prune pie and that it didn't taste good. He played the part quite well, and she didn't even notice that the entire time, he was continuing to gobble down the pie, which was delicious (if you like prune pie). Finally, I nudged him:
"Grandpa, I think we'd better stop. She seems upset."
"Really? Okay."
So, we then let her in on the joke, and we all had a good laugh. I think my grandma ended up forgiving the two of us, because he has always been a prankster, and, well, it's always nice to see a twinkle in his eye.
This picture is a good memory of that day and of the way he used to be. I know my grandmother misses him terribly; they met when she was 15, they married 5 years later, and were married just over 70 years when he passed away.
Here's to you, gramps.
That's Right, I Can Spin Yarn!

A few years ago, I took a lesson on how to spin wool roving into single ply yarn, but the bug didn't really sink its teeth in and take hold. Well, while I was at the Sheep and Woolcraft Fair, I decided I'd give it another try. I bought a simple top whorl spindle from Spunky Eclectic, who also gave me a bit of roving to spin with, and I also bought some roving from another vendor... that roving ended up being a little rough and less fabulous to spin with, but I managed to turn both of them into a bit of yarn! Once I do more practicing, if I get through the 10 ounces of the crummy stuff, I'll probably order something from Spunky, because the stuff she gave me for free was so good, the roving she actually sells must be even better!
The darker roving was from Spunky Eclectic - you can even see in the picture that it is smoother. The small skein of yarn is from that roving. The bigger skeins are from the rougher, ickier roving. I even managed to ply them, which was cool!
I guess everyone learns things in different ways... after the fair, Cece and I went over to Mamacate's house for some knitting and spinning. Cece whipped her spindle out and got to work - me, I was feeling a bit sleepy, and didn't really feel like having people watching me while I tried to spin... I am normally not a shy person, but just wasn't in the mood. Instead, I carefully watched what all of the other spinners were doing, and when I got home the next day, I took out the fiber and did what I had seen everyone else doing. Sure, there was some trial and (very knotted) error here and there, but the end result was yarn that I could actually knit with!

I can remember a couple of other things I finally learned how to do while I was all by myself, including tying my shoes. My parents had most certainly shown me how to do it a bunch of times, but the first time I did it without help was while I was sitting all by myself. I can remember running into the kitchen to show my mom what I had accomplished!

I'm still not certain that I'm completely hooked on spinning, but I did like it, and suspect I'd like it even better with nicer fiber rather than the lumpy, scratchy stuff!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

MBAAAAAAHHHHHHH! (a sheep impression)

This past Saturday, I went to the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair in Cummington, Massachusetts. I drove out with my buddy Cece, and we m
et her mother there. We had a very good time - it was a hot, sunny day, but parking was plentiful and it wasn't humongous and overwhelming and crowded, and it wasn't TOO hot. We saw lots of nice sheep and various other woolly animals, and both of us managed to buy some yarn, some fiber, and spindles with which to spin wool! And without further ado, here are some pictures of our day!

First, a couple of fuzzy pals in some cheery togs, which I assume keep them toasty after shearing:

Next, a cuteypie closeup:
A drowsy fluffykins:

A llama, I think...
Snuggly pals:
And the best one yet, the only friendly sheep we found all day - all of the others turned away or were fairly aloof:

Of course, I also bought some yarn, both from Spunky Eclectic, which I wound into a ball pretty much immediately:

Then, I also got some tencel yarn from Just Our Yarn, which I'll make into scarves/shawls of some sort. They had some samples all knit up, and the drape was fantastic. The price was very reasonable, as well - I'll definitely visit their website in the future!

And for my next post, I'm saving a leeeeetle bit of a surprise!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

SPT 5/24/07

SPT 5/24/07
Originally uploaded by BrickMillStudio
Yes, it's Thursday again!
Today, I got a haircut, and am even wearing a little lipstick and mascara! I'm all girled out!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

*Tiny Whimper*

Well, I had a mostly lousy ay today. I had to get up at 6 AM to get to the South End Open Market, and it seemed like a cloudy but okay day at that time... until I set up my borrowed tent (courtesy of Lush Beads owner, Liz), at which time it decided to rain... sometimes lightly, sometimes torrentially, but always wetly. There was water in my shoes. Up my pant legs. On my jewelry. Dripping through the tent. (um, tent makers? try working on a nonleaky tent, mmmmkay?) And, as you can guess, sales were wretched. Did I mention it was also chilly? Made worse by being wet, of course... I was wearing two shirts, a sweater, a jacket, and a scarf (and yes, pants, shoes, etc). I was still cold. My sales totalled $12, and consisted of a single pair of earrings that I sold to my tent mate, Skullknocker. Thank goodness for that sale, and for her mellow, humorous company.

The only light at the end of the day was that I got to go over to my friend Tarsha's house for dinner with my knitting friends afterwards. I feel very guilty that I just ate and ran - I think I owe Tarsha something special. Gotta think about that one.

The tiny whimper comes here: recently, we have had a run of some rainy and/or cold weekends with warm/hot weekdays, which is really wearing on me. I just looked at the 10 day forecast, hoping for a nice Memorial Day Weekend, and... tiny whimper... the forecast calls for three flippin' days of rain. All weekend.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Self Portrait Thursday 5/17/07

Here is today's entry for Self Portrait Thursday. I suddenly remembered about 1 1/2 hours ago that it was SPT day, so I took a quickie pic that showed off one of my new pairs of earrings that I made!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Petals collection Dahlia Socks

Started and finished in a week, I do believe, these sockies are wonderful and pink and great and I loved knitting them, and I will love wearing them.... next winter! It was about 85 and humid today, so no need for wool socks for quite a while, I assume.

These socks were the latest from Sundara Yarn's petals collection. I have now finished April's socks of the month, but still have one of my January pairs on hold... I even sized up for the leg portion, but it was too tight. Next, I suppose I'll have to rip it out and reknit the leg on bigger needles. So it goes.

SPT 5/10/07 NYAH NYAH!

SPT 5/10/07 NYAH NYAH!
Originally uploaded by BrickMillStudio.
Here's my weekly self portrait thursday shot. I was feeling silly.

Monday, May 07, 2007

More Socks!

Well, more sock anyway...
I bring you sock #1 of the most recent Sundara Yarns petals collection sock of the month club, right next to my extremely veiny (evidently) nude foot.

I hope to denude the right foot very soon!

I love the viney pattern of this sock. In case anyone cares, I actually think I prefer the patterns that have been coming from the Petals Collection more than I like the patterns that have been accompanying the yarn from the Rockin' Sock Club.

Now, I must confess something: I went ahead and bought that camera that I wanted so much. Here is a super duper closeup of some earrings that I made:

This is a completely unedited picture. Look how close up it is! Look how clear the details are! I still need to fuss a bit with the brightness/ exposure settings, but I am tickled pink. Pink, I tell you! PINK! I oxidized the ear wires and the headpins to give them an antiqued look. And below, another unretouched photo of some more new and cute earrings I made:
In case you're interested, the headpins I used for both pairs were handmade by ME with fine silver wire and a mini blowtorch. Yes, I used eye protection!

That's it for now... off to update my Etsy store with these beauties!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Beads from Glass Bead Extravaganza, 5/5/07

I went to the Glass Bead Extravaganza today, and came home with a small assortment of handmade lampwork beads. It was a wonderful show, with some incredible artists there, but I managed to stay away from buying super expensive focal beads!
After the bead show, I went around to a few places for Somerville Open Studios and had a nice time. I ALSO stopped by the camera store, and checked out digital cameras. I looked at a super fancy one with an optional macro lens, and all I can say is WOW. I wish I had the money for that- it was AMAZING. The quality of pics you can take of items... say... of jewelry.... unbelievable. I guess I'd better start saving my pennies, or winning the lottery or something...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

New Socks, New Yarn!

First off, new socks. These were whipped up out of the latest Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club yarn. It's the Silkie Socks that Rock yarn, andit is very nice and soft, what with that little bit of silk in the yarn! The pattern was called "Knee High to a Grasshopper", and you could either choose to knit them a regular height, or up to the knee. I was half tempted at first to do the knee highs, but then figured that they'd be too hot, and that no one would ever see them to appreciate them. The stitch was the most basic of lace stitches, the faggoting stitch, but in reverse: instead of k2tog, yo, it was p2tog, yo. However, I didn't notice that it was purling instead of knitting, so mine are backwards! Luckily, I like the way they look just fine!
In just the nick of time, I received the yarn from my second sock of the month club, and it is sooooo pretty! It's from Sundara Yarns, and the colorway is called "Dahlia". It is a lovely pink, and here it is, perched on my windowsill:

Yes, I've already started knitting.

In non-knitting news, I received the lease to sign and return for my new artist studio, which is very exciting! Also, I've been trying to learn some new things in jewelry making, as well. I oxidized some sterling silver headpins and earwires, and also made my own headpins with a small blowtorch! It was all very fun.

I also almost caused a fire. Wheeee! This past weekend, I had made some coffee, and I usually put the coffee pot away after I use it... yeah, I almost never put ANYTHING away after I use it, but for some strange reason, the coffee pot gets put away. Anyway, I didn't put it away. At lunch time, I turned on the stove to make something to eat, and as I was loading the dishwasher, I smelled something TERRIBLE. Upon closer inspection, it was the electrical cord to the coffee pot, which was still plugged in! YIKES! I quickly unplugged it and checked out the damage, and decided that the poor coffee pot had to be put out of its misery. This excited me to no end, because I hate that damn thing. It is old, small, and makes crappy coffee. So, whooooo baby, that means I got to go coffee pot shopping! Except that when I got to the store (with my 20% off coupon, yessirree), I said to myself that what would be even BETTER than a coffee maker ...... would be an espresso machine! That's right, I now own an espresso machine. I have made cappuccino and a latte, and have even experimented with soy milk and almond milk. The steamer thingy on the side is SO COOL, but dangerous. Hot. One of these days, I will probably have some sort of 'incident', which I promise to tell you all about.
That's it for now...