Monday, August 31, 2009

Good-bye to Colorado August

As the last day of August rolls out the door, we bid a fond farewell. There are good times in Colorado during August--some warm days with little rain. The produce is plentiful and delicious--peaches from the western slopes to corn from the plains; not to mention the Rocky Ford cantaloupes that are considered the best in the West!
Another good thing about August is the end of year sale at Celestial Seasons in Boulder. We stock up! Boxes of teas are discounted to bargain prices plus inside the shop you can find bins with marked down teas (those that have gone thru the wrapping equipment wrong). It's a fun day to scoop up your favorite tea for future drinking.

Good-bye August! Hello September--and the beginning of fall.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

One Year, Eight Months and 16 Days!

A countdown to completion of BOM (block of month) that took almost two years to finish--well, technically, it isn't finished until the binding is sewn on and stitched in place. But, we'll call this one complete!

Earlier blog had shown only the center block that needed applique; here is the rest of the quilt that needed applique. Not one to be precise or exact, you will notice that the outside of the applique is not uniform--hurrah! It's difficult to get that uniqueness.
Now, we'll move onto another project that needs to be finished, complete, done, over with, concluded, polished off, brought to an end, terminated--well, maybe that word is not appropriate for UFO!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MEAD!


Meet Jessica--she's the greeter at
And what is MEAD you inquire. Jessica can give you the lowdown on mead as she is also the tour guide. Mead is an alcoholic beverage, made from honey and water via fermentation with yeast. Its alcoholic content may range from that of a mild ale to that of a strong wine. It may be still, carbonated, or sparkling. It may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. Mead is often referred to as "honey wine."
Depending on local traditions and specific recipes, it may be brewed with spices, fruits, or grain mash. It may be produced by fermentation of honey with grain mash; mead may also, like beer, be flavored with hops to produce a bitter, beer-like flavor. Mead is independently multicultural. It is known from many sources of ancient history throughout Europe, Africa and Asia, although archaeological evidence of it is ambiguous. Its origins are lost in prehistory; "it can be regarded as the ancestor of all fermented drinks," Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat has observed, "antedating the cultivation of the soil." Claude Lévi-Strauss makes a case for the invention of mead as a marker of the passage "from nature to culture." The earliest archaeological evidence for the production of mead dates to around 7000 BC.
How many Medival books have you read that refer to Mead as the drink of the house? Well, now you know--and mead is gaining in popularity. Meaderies are popping up all over the country--mostly small productions but non the less available to drink.
Come on over, we have a bottle chilling!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Handspun

Let's talk handspun fibers today--those waiting in the wings as they age; waiting to be created into something truly exceptional and worthy of their fiber qualities. Wools of various breeds (we're talking sheep here)basking in their glory as they decorate a basket or two and bring color to an ordinary room.
But what will they become in a future life? The fibers haven't spoken to the hands yet! How about these single yarns, just hugging themselves and mellowing out for the time being? And these fibers which were 'leftovers' from a mysterious project to become a skein of two plied yarn. Another spun ball of lovely fibers, which did become a pair of whimsical socks for January spin-in 2010 "sock it to me" theme.
And then there is this wonderful fiber, happily named "South Beach Dye-it", containing 70% Superwash Merino / 10% Banana / 10% Soybean / 10% Bamboo--what fun it was to spin! These last two fibers are found at Weaving Studio
Spun fibers just waiting around, aging gracefully, to be knit or woven into that magical perfect item.

Friday, August 21, 2009

BLUEWORK

Ahhhhhh, did you hear that sigh at your location? Project completed! Well, we can almost say completed, but first the quilt top will need to go to the magic hands of the long arm quilter. The quilt top is bluework from Bird Brain Designs Snowmen and Reindeer


This is a BOM (block of the month) project, if you are wise. But, these 12 blocks were embroidered earlier this summer, doing all 12 blocks one after the other--guess I really got into bluework! Then the blocks were finished and once they kept getting in the way of other projects, it was time to put them together. Drum roll please---blocks set and an almost finished UFO out of the way!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cold Pressed

Since there are so many of our friends suffering with hot temperatures and unseasonable weather changes, this post is for you. Let's make some cold pressed coffee! First, you will need this wonderful gadget
This box contains everything you need, except the coffee beans, to make a refreshing brew that is stored in the refrigerator.
First, place the small cork into the bottom of the plastic container--make sure it's placed on the outside! Yes, you would think that would be standard procedure, but there are some brains that don't work that way (yes, count my brain as one of those!)
Then place the wet filter into the bottom and and add 2 cups of cold filtered water.
Have your coffee ground coarse; pour half of the coffee into the container, then slowly pour 5 cups of water over. Add the rest of the coffee and wait five minutes before adding 2 more cups of cold water.Now comes the hard part--waiting for the water and coffee to make their magic--waiting those 12 hours and the aroma of the fresh brewed coffee fills the air. Pull the plug and let it drain.
This liquid is concentrated coffee; just add water and heat to make a delicious cup of coffee any time of the day. But, we prefer to make iced coffee, especially on those hot days. Taking 1/4 cup of the liquid gold, add water and half & half, along with ice cubes and you have a delicious coffee drink.
You say--you are a tea drinker! There is the perfect solution coming for you!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Loomin'

"Are you loomin'?" How many times was this phrase spoken during those days of weaving demonstrations? People, mostly men, are always intrigued with the loom workings--the up and down motion of the harnesses and the stepping of the feet on the treadles. But, now there is a loom associated with knitting. It is a circular pegged loom, much like the small weaving looms that were used for potholders. Amazing, that the weaving world has crossed over into the knitting world! Yes, I'm in the process of 'loomin' as the warp is on the loom but it's on my weaving loom and not a knitting loom. . This is 8 harness Macomber loom but the weaving pattern is to use only 4 of the harnesses. The warp is bamboo yarn dyed to commemorate 2010 Convergence conference to be held in Albuquerque, NM. The colors are quite fabulous and it looks as good on the loom as it did on the warping board.

The wonderful shuttle is made by Michael Harris of Dallas, who 'dabbles' in woodworking and does an outstanding job! This is a great small shuttle with smooth lines and great throwing ability. The bobbin (two silk sewing thread spools) fit and run nicely on the magnetic rod. Sometimes Michael will show his wares at small regional conferences but at the last conference attended, we learned that Michael is working in the Philippines so it could be awhile before he has any other lovely shuttles to offer. In the meantime, this little shuttle will be savored and enjoyed as it glides across the warp threads.
Not so sure about the pattern look, but we'll venture on and hope that the structure will grow on me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Miscommunication!

The repair work around the summer residence has been completed--finally! Now, we only need to pay the bills that are rolling in; answer inquiries from HOA about painting without their approval and make sure the roofing permit is filed away for safe keeping. There has certainly been "failure to communicate clearly" in our way to completing this repair task. When thinking of miscommunication (failure to communicate clearly) brings up the famous movie quote--do you know what movie and who spoke those famous lines? Answer at the end of our miscommunication. First off, DH worked so hard to turn all those deck boards over so painters could apply 'stain' to the bare wood. Now, thinking of stain, we see in our mind's eye hints of walnut, pecan, cherry, etc that will bring out the sheer of the bare wood, using its transparent abilities to leave the luster of the natural wood to shine through. Painters, bucket and paintbrush in hand, start to spread color on the bare wood! Heavens to Betsy--"No, No" he hurries out the sliding door to say--"this is not what I wanted". Poor painter, who doesn't speak much English, looks dismayed--this is what is on order form--STAIN! The bucket even reads STAIN, even though it's the color of the house and solid color. Painter makes his phone call to supervisor, while DH makes his phone call to company office--"we want stain on deck, not paint", he declares over the phone. 'We'll need to call you back with an answer', the reply comes. DH goes to paint bucket to read about contents. Thank goodness, the internet has come through again with description of this STAIN painters want to apply to wood deck. Kwal stain is in fact a solid color STAIN--much better, longer lasting and perfect for wooden decks! This is definitely a miscommunication or a failure to communicate! And shows how much we are out of the loop in the paint world!

Grand looking deck and house--looks to be a new house!
Now, to the HOA communication that we received. In letter dated the day we begun to paint: "you must have approval to paint your house"--well, not those words but close. We did read the guidelines on website and it clearly states that 'if no color change is made in paint, then there is no reason to have HOA approval'. Okay, another miscommunication on their part, not ours this time!
We also had a miscommunication with roofing company when they didn't leave permit on site so when city inspector came out, he would not approve the roofing job until the permit was posted! Okay, roofers bring out permit and post on the window and it's there for days. Earlier this week company calls to say it was approved and you could take down the permit--the city came out again? yes, there it is--signed, sealed and delivered--approved! Why post the permit if the city inspector isn't taking the permit for his records? Oh, well, miscommunication on someone's part. Goes to the fact that in our daily lives we think we are communicating right but the other person on the end of that conversation might have a different thought of your communication.

Answer to question, who spoke these famous words and what movie? "What we have here is a failure to communicate."--was voted as the #11 movie quote by the American Film Institute. This line was spoken in Cool Hand Luke. The quote is attributed to "Captain, Road Prison 36," who was played by Strother Martin.
Here is the entire quote:

"What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach, so you get what we had here last week which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. And I don't like it any more than you men."
The captain isn't the only one who utters the words. Later in the movie, the main character, Luke (Paul Newman), still cocky despite being cornered by prison guards, openly mocks the Captain with the famous line.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finished!

Okay, finished with one project--feeling good! That one is ticked off the list and we go onto the next UFO. This is slow going and the list is still very long.
The scarf was knit from handspun Roving Art April selection. It is a great feeling to take the project off the needles and block it. Laid out on the basement carpet as that was the only area that wasn't high traffic. It's a good lace pattern but was monotonous after the pattern was learned. And once you know the pattern and begin knitting, it seems the yarn will never run out!
Now, when to wear this scarf? Since it is wool, the scarf will rest till colder weather. Just can not let it abide in the closet rolled up and out of eye sight. It needs to be on display.


A true work of art in my book!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hi Ho into the Mountains We Go!

What a great weekend we had--a trip into the mountains is a pure pleasure any day of the week but this trip was to partake in the BBQ cook-off being held in Dillon, CO. Load up the car with drinks and off we go. No food required as we are going to stuff ourselves with BBQ! It's early so our first stop is for that substance known as black gold--coffee!
A little piece down the road we pull off when we see that flashing neon sign that boasts HOT!
Nothing like a fresh hot doughnut handed to you as you think over how many to buy!
All it takes is one bite to know this is heavenly!

With our appetites whetted for awhile we continue onto our destination. After an hour and half, we have arrived at our goal--the BBQ cook-off! Cooking teams line both sides of the town center streets--where to begin? Do we have a plan of attack? Purchase a fist full of tickets--oh, no, one of our party has ventured off to the first booth as we enter! Okay, no harm done and the taste of the rib bone was awesome--wonder if all booths will feature the same fall off the bone goodness!
The teams are varied and some have large festive booths while others are small and understated, but the food from each one we purchase is outstanding.
Some of the sauces are sweet, others are vinegary and sour, while others are just right for our taste buds. There are just a few non selling cooking teams but overall we have a choice from many selling teams. There are a few non traditional food items as well. Shrimp and sausage on a skewer
and mountain oysters followed with an amber bock beer.
If you are a first timer to indulge in this delicacy then you can proudly wear your badge of courage!