Saturday, January 31, 2009

January 31

The postcards continue ...

What? I am NOT a midget. Stop calling me that. I'm five foot nothing. That's just a bit short. What? Put on my hat? Oh yes, it does make me look taller. Yeah, sorry. You were referring to the backdrop. My mistake. Hmph. You cut off my arms!"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

January 22

One of the gifts I sent to my fabulous sister at Christmas was a set of photobooth postcards. She is mailing them back to me with narrative on the back. Here's the delightful story so far."While Delma, Selma and Zelma showed off their Xmas hats, Wilma smiled warmly, knowing in her heart that her little kiss curl made her the cutest woman at the party."

"Selma's friends all wanted to show off their nifty hats too. All, except for Myrtle and her little sister, Sally. No-one had told them it was a hat party. They put on a collective brave face, while secretly lusting over June's little crocheted number."

I have such a neat sister.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

January 18

This was my attempt at a table decoration for tonight's dinner party. It's not much, but it's what my backyard had on offer. I actually like its simplicity.

The evening was a great success, except for the fact that I could have had a leetle more food. Thirteen guests showed up; it was a nice mix of people. I was very excited that Chris showed me how to change the settings on my camera to take good photos in low light. I have SO much to learn about photography; I've always just used the automatic settings, so even a tiny bit of new knowledge makes a big difference.

More photos here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

January 17

Irene asked me for a tutorial for my hacky sacks. I refined the pattern from several I found on the web. This is what works for me! I have also posted a downloadable PDF in the right-hand bar.

Hashi’s Hacky Sack

Small amount of 4-ply knitting/crochet cotton
Size 7 steel crochet hook
Tapestry needle
1/2 cup poly pellets
Nylon stocking

Pour half a cup of pellets into the toe of the stocking. Shake it down into the toe. Twist the stocking a few times tightly above the pellets, then fold the leg of the stocking down over the ball you have made, pulling it all the way through. Twist it again and reverse direction, covering the ball again with the stocking. Keep doing this till you have used up all the stocking, making the twists in different places on the ball each time so you don’t get lumps. Put aside.

ROUND 1: Ch2, work 11 hdc in first ch. Join with slst to first hdc.

ROUND 2: Ch2, hdc in same st as slst. 2 hdc in each st around. Join with slst.

ROUND 3: Ch2, *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in next st. Rep from * around. Join with slst.

ROUND 4: Ch2, *2hdc in next st, 1 hdc in next 2 sts. Rep from * around. Join with slst.

ROUND 5: Ch2, *2 hdc in next st, 1hdc in next 3 sts. Rep from * around. Join with slst.

ROUNDS 6 – 16: Ch2, hdc in each st around. Join with slst.

Slip ball form into cover.

ROUND 17: Ch2, hdc in next 2 sts. 1 dec (yo, insert hook in next st, yo, draw up lp, yo, draw thread though 2 lps on hook, yo, insert hook in next st, yo draw up lp, yo. Draw thread through all four lps on hook), *hdc in next 3 sts, 1 dec. Rep from * around. Join with slst.

ROUND 18: Ch2, hdc in next st, 1 dec, *hdc in next 2 sts, 1 dec. Rep from * around. Join with slst.

ROUND 19: Ch2, 1 dec, *hdc in next st, 1 dec. Rep from * around. Join with slst.

ROUND 20: Ch2, dec all the way around. Join with slst.

ROUND 21: Ch1, sc in same st as slst. Sc in each st around. Join w slst. Break off and weave ends into work.

Monday, January 12, 2009

January 12

I'm not the only one doing it. Read this story (heard on NPR today) about a man who invites the world to dinner every Sunday night. May our humble beginnings blossom into something so wonderful.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 11

Oh how I love my macro lens.

I spent most of the day in the kitchen, preparing for our first open house dinner. At one point we were expecting fourteen guests, though in the end only six showed up, so with three of us we were a group of nine. I made three different kinds of lasagna (beef, vegetarian no-pasta*, and shrimp and broccoli), plus salad, and onion focaccia. And a cake and cookies for dessert. It would have fed 17, so of course with the reduced numbers there were lots of leftovers, which I pressed upon my departing guests. It was a really pleasant low-key couple of hours, just the way I wanted it to be.

For future meals I'll be employing the crockpots more, I think. I don't really want to spend the whole day on this if I can avoid it. We'll iron out the kinks, so it's easy to pull off every week. I'm happy to be feeding people.

*The portobellos above contributed to this deliciousness.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

January 7

I used to write a lot of letters. As a child I had penpals. I spent a year in England in my teens and kept in constant contact via mail with my best friend in Australia. My sister has shoeboxes of my letters written as a young mother. Even just a few years ago, I wrote long illustrated tomes to my daughter. What happened?

I still keep in touch. I send birthday and Christmas cards to friends, family, even my Grade 6 teacher (who, ironically, wrote back last week saying how nice it was to receive my cards but she would love to HEAR ABOUT MY LIFE.) That's just it ... I don't seem to share so much anymore. Am I just less voluble, or maybe less self-absorbed? I somehow can't summon the desire to share the minutiae of my life in a letter. I prefer the ten-words-or-less snappy immediacy of a Facebook status.

Kinda sad in a way. I used to feel like I was defending one of snail mail's last bastions. But I seem to have abandoned the post.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Monday, January 05, 2009

Sunday, January 04, 2009

January 4

We kicked off our Sunday Open Dinners with a Games Night tonight. Shawna, Lola and Sara joined us; much laughter ensued. What a lovely end to a very nice staycation. Back to work tomorrow!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

January 3

It's really fun to play with paint and paper again. So much of my creating has been done with cloth for the past year. Though I see cloth is still making an appearance :-) I'm enjoying myself!

Friday, January 02, 2009

January 2

I love to wrap gifts in cloth; and this little something nestles perfectly in a wrap made from an unpicked silk tie. It's doubly satisfying when the wrapping, as well as the gift, is both aesthetic and useful. My yearnings for beauty and utility are satisfied nicely.

Thursday, January 01, 2009