Sunday, December 31, 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

Looking Back on 2006

I have been looking back at my life in 2006. Frankly, I mostly see "Work". I spent from January to May in Dallas, TX working because of Hurricane Katrina that occurred in 2005. I met a new friend that was a quilter, Joan, and actually got interested in quilting, as if I needed another hobby. We made pillowcases, purses, went to fabric shops and quilt shows. I tried blaming her for me buying the Brother 1500D sewing/embroidery machine at one of the shows but it was something I wanted and she just said the right words.

I did take a warp painting class while in Texas. This is the second time I had taken a warp painting class and I was very disappointed with the results both times. I have found something on the internet that I will try in 2007. The process to get a space dyed look for your weaving projects is to use your knitting machine (I have one) and knit a simple stockinette, paint the knitting, unravel, use the unraveled yarn to warp your loom. This sounds so great and might solve my problems.
Found two weaving stores and went to weaving guild meetings in Dallas and Ft. Worth. The members were so friendly and made me feel right at home.

I was home from June to August but did not really get much done. I was just so tired. That is when I learned that I had diabetes. We have caught it early enough so that I can control it with diet and exercise but the knowledge through me for a loop. In September, actually I spent Labor Day driving to an assignment, I worked in NewPort News and Virginia Beach, VA. Stayed there until the end of October.

Finally met Sue. She's the one who got me interested in Paint Shop Pro. She came to meet me at the hotel I was staying in NewPort News one day and taught me so much. I had never met her before; a dear friend had told her about me and wanting to learn how to make signature tags and digital scrapbooking. Sue had such patience with me sending screenshots to try to get through to me the things she wanted me to learn. I do not know how to thank her for all she has taught me. Of course, my children would not thank her, I made all the gift tags for their gifts in Paint Shop Pro using pictures from when they were very young. I will post some of the tags when I have a chance so you can see what I came up with. My son said that I made him look like a pimp on one of the tags. At least my daughter knew that it was Willy Wonka from the Chocolate Factory fame.

The week before Thanksgiving, I was sitting in a hotel in PA waiting for my sister to call me to pick her up when I received a call from work that I was being sent to work in New Orleans but did not have to leave until the December 4. My sister and I have never been really close but now that my parents have both died, I wanted to do whatever I could for us to be sisters again. This meeting was the beginning. We talk every week and I feel that whatever caused the riff and I do not know what, we can mend our relationship.

I had fooled around making my gifts so I had to really curtail my plans for Christmas. I left home on December 3rd and took my sewing/embroidery machine and spinning wheel with me to New Orleans. I had to find things for friends gifts, a coffee exchange, and items to finish making family gifts, while running around a strange city were I had so little time after work. Somehow, I got everything done. I even convinced a co-worker that she could do crafts and helped her make funky dishwashing gloves for her sisters. We had been in a shop on Magazine Street in New Orleans when we saw these dishwashing gloves for sale. I told her that we could make them and make them better. I did the sewing of the cuffs and had her do all the gluing of the "Bling" factors on the gloves. She was thrilled. My son has not sent me the pictures we took Christmas so I will have to show you later the results. I was just as pleased as she.

To end the year, I am home until January 2, 2007. I wanted to go by and see my friends. I went to Gail's weaving/knitting shop. She is only 15-20 minutes from me which makes it nice. She is the lady that has taught me the basis of spinning.

Gail would not let me take a picture of her. But if you ever have a chance to go to Gettysburg, PA, you should check out her shop, she is right in the center of town.

There is another weaving shop with more yarn but not nearly as much love and friendship.

I also have been working on some socks. My daughter gave me sock yarn and a great pattern for Christmas. I have to get the socks finished that I have been working on first. I always have two pairs of socks (different patterns) going at the same time. I get tired of working on one and then I work on the other for awhile.

I will get them the other sock for each pair done this week or by the time I get back.

The green sock has a cotton yarn top but the foot part is a very soft 100% Merino Wool by Louet called Gems. I did not like the feel of the cotton and did not want it on the foot part. I have to take a picture of the shawl I wove so you can see. I wove it on my 8 harness Ashford 25" table loom using Bambuu 7 from Cotton Cloud. Of course before you see it, I may have used the fabric as panels in a jacket. I have been leaning toward that.

My son-in-law brought me luggage for Christmas for my trip to Europe. Since I am taking the Rick Steves, Europe through the Backdoor tour, you can only take with you what you can carry and put in the overhead bin on the plane. The luggage my son-in-law gave me can be used as a backpack or wheeled luggage. My daughter and son-in-law filled the bag with things I would need for the trip like: a silk sleep sack and a power converter. My son-in-law's parents gave me a travel alarm clock; really needed that.

My son gave me a video IPOD so that this way I will have my music, books, and can download my photos while on my trip. He also gave me a desktop computer. He is on his way to see me today and set up the computer. For some reason I am not trusted to do it myself. Okay, so I spill coffee, water, soda into my computers but I promised that I would not do that anymore.

My son is here, I am getting a new computer with flat screen monitor....HURRAH!!!!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I Made Out This Christmas part 2

As promised, I wanted to show you more gifts received from friends.

The first is from Joan. I met her while working in Dallas, Texas this year. She is a quilter in every sense of the word. She is the only person I ever met that buys fabric by the bolt.

Against my better judgment, Joan is determined that I become a quilter. I think there is no hope, but I am willing to try. I received some beautiful fat quarters, a subscription to McCalls Quilting and a cute pink bag to carry my quilting supplies in. I was thrilled with these but the treasure was a ceramic house for my Christmas village of a Quilt Shop. I have named it Joan's Quilt Shop and will make a sign to sit in front of it for my village next year.

Don't you think it is precious....., I do.

I also received a mountain load of gifts from Vicki. She is my new knitting friend. We have not met but it seems like I have known her for years. She was my secret sender in the One Skein Exchange and made a beautiful pin for me knitted on toothpicks. I will never get over that. We decided to stay in touch and send each other knitted gifts for Christmas, etc.

She had mentioned that she like the fingerless mittens that I had sent my One Skein Exchange person, so I made her a pair for Christmas. When I received her package, I almost fainted. I received homemade creme candy (melts in your mouth) made from a receipe from her grandmother, as well as homemade Chocolate Bark candy (I seem to have a piece in my mouth all the time). She also sent homemade marmalade that has been a part of my morning breakfast since I received it. So delicious. She made the marmalade from the fruits that her sister brings her.

I have some beautiful note cards that I can only send to special people that can appreciate them. Vicki said that they were a Bible school project with yarn scraps. According to Vicki, there is no end to what she can do with scrap yarn.

I have no words for the yarn. But I should not be surprised, Vicki's taste in yarn is breathtaking. I will never find a project that will do it justice....however, it will be fun trying. The words can express.

She admitted that she used my blog to find out what I liked. I had mentioned in a previous post that I liked Creme Brulee coffee. I can not find it very often around where I live so when I go to a coffee shop that has it, I become a very good customer of theirs. To my amazement, she sent me Creme Brulee coffee from her favorite coffee shop. I am sitting here at this moment savoring the aroma and taste of that coffee. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Vicki.

And now my knitted gift....I have never tried to design any knitting. She made me a skinny scarf that she designed and made herself.

I wore it to my local weaving/knitted shop and got so many compliments. I was smiling so hard you would have thought that I had made it.

Isn't the internet wonderful. You meet such wonderful people.

I have a short story to tell you about another internet friend. I had been receiving emails of jokes for almost a year but did not bother to tell the person that I did not know them because I loved the jokes. I had to say something when I received an email asking for the address of a relative. I wrote her back and told her that I did not know her but would like to stay on her contact list because I loved the things she sent.

We sent back a few notes and she sent me a picture of her and her husband. When I found out that I was a diabetic, she wrote me to tell me that she was Type 1 and that I could control it. She sent me magazines, pamphlets and a cookbook as well as being a wealth of knowledge on what I need to do. Because of her help, I am not taking any kind of medication. I have everything under control with diet and exercise. I can eat anything I like but in moderation and have to watch portion size. Thank you very much Susie.

My daughter was a surprise to me on Christmas. She knits but that is the end of her love of fiber/fabric. She is very creative but in other ways. Since I had purchased a sewing/embroidery machine so that it would be easier for me to travel with than taking 2 machines, she asked me if I would show her how to use my Bernina 330 stand alone embroidery machine. I took it to her and showed her the basics. She said that she wanted to embroider some things and then bead it. WOW!!!! was I amazed when I opened a present from her and found that she had embroidered a tee shirt for me. She did a great job, don't you think!!!!
I think she is ready to move on to sewing.
Well, I go back to New Orleans to work on Monday. Have a couple of my friends to visit. I will take some photos of my friend Gail's knitting/weaving shop that is located in Gettysburg, PA about 15 mintues from me. I know you will enjoy them.
I am working on some socks that I will show you in the next post. I am in a Spinning Exchange so I have to get started on that. I have not spun in quite some time so I hope that I get something that looks like yarn out of this. In February, I will have a chance to take a one day class that will help me in spinning the yarn for the 2nd skein I am to send my exchange partner. You are to send one handspun skein in January and one in Februrary. I am going to try to concentrate on my spinning this year so that I can get better.
Other thoughts on my mind is to make some art dolls. That is the fault of Teesha Moore, if you check out her blog, you will see the most spectacular dolls. I was so envious.
I have also joined a fiber artist group. They have an exchange making fiber postcards that you can send through the mail. I thought that this would be fun to try using fiber and Paint Shop Pro.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I Made Out This Christmas

I am still in amazement of the gifts I received from friends. I have never had a Christmas like this one. My family gave me everything I wished for plus some... but my friends out did themselves. I will post again tomorrow to show you more. I also want to take some photos of what is on the loom and the knitting needles. So much to do and so little time.

First however, I want to show you what I sent for my coffee swap and also some pages from the Chunky Book Exchange.

In the coffee swap you were to send a box to your coffee exchange partner that consist of goodies and coffee. My box is on it's way from my exchange partner and I can hardly wait. Here is what I sent her:

I asked her for a wish list and she told me that she would love a book by E Zimmerman or Nancy Bush. I found that the bookstores in New Orleans did not have many books. I found a store just before I sent the box that had one book. I also sent the coffee that the locals in New Orleans drink which is a combination of coffee and chicory as well as a pound of regular coffee. I was happy to see that the yarn store that had the book also sold hand dyed sock yarn. I never worked so hard trying to put a box together as I did this time.

I also received my Chunky Book. The pages were to be 4X4 and the theme was Santa and Me. I did not have a picture of me with Santa but I had one of my daughter so I put my baby picture face over hers. I was happy that we were facing the same way.

This was so much fun. I would I would love to do another project like this.

These are just a few pages to give you an idea of the book. The first photo is of the cover and the lasts photo is of the back. You can see my page in a previous blog post.

We could not leave the back of the pages blank as you can see.

I met my friend Ileana a few years ago while working in Akron, OH. She kept me laughing while we walked in the evenings after work telling me about coming to the U.S. and not being able to speak English. You know that the person has a good heart and a great sense of humor when they can laugh at themselves. She has written a book about her faith which I will tell you about in another post. For quite sometime, I have been trying to get her to get a hobby. Since she loves jewelry, she called me one day and told me she was taking a jewelry class. After she took the class, she called me back to tell me that she loved it and was making me a present for Christmas. I was speechless when I opened the box. The first thing I saw was a beautiful purse made with fabric from her homeland in Guatamala. She knows how much I love their weaving. I then saw a small white box that held a gorgeous fused glass pendant. My mouth was in a constant grin when I saw the little green box, it held another fused glass pendant. I had no idea....They are so beautiful. I am going to get a simple chain for one and let my daughter make me something for the other one. I am sure you will agree that they are beautiful.

I received two more boxes from friends. But that is another post.....

Hope all had a very Merry Christmas...

I sure did.