Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The LULL

Yes, it's that time again- anticipation followed with the big celebration, then the New Year.  We are in the LULL.............................................

To cause to sleep or rest; soothe or calm.
2. To deceive into trustfulness:
v.intr.
To become calm.
n.
1. A relatively calm interval, as in a storm.
2. An interval of lessened activity: a lull in sales
 
There isn't time to begin a new project or time to finish an UFO--we are just in the waiting period till the clock strikes midnight on December 31st and we charge into a new beginning.
 
Thank you my friends for visiting my blog.  Thank you for just being you.  We'll be back soon with new adventures, new themes, new thoughts, different UFO's to save for 2013.  Onward we go....................................

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Weaver's Party!!

Our weaver groups are partying hardy!! One last blast before we close out the year.  It's a merry time of the year--a chance to let our warps hang down and not worry about finishing that little bit of hemming.
Scharine, Ryukyu Heritage Textiles, is showing off her latest commission.  She is wearing one of her lovely woven shawls.
She has a Japanese ancestry and is learning the ways of the old world.  This piece is to be used with a chess set--light silk fabric.
Our hostess for the day, Tracy owns Lone Star Loom Room/Nordic Studio and has recently returned from a two year stint in Singapore.  She welcomed us to her new home.  Everyone had to see her studio space and view what's on the loom!
Computer driven Megado loom by Louet
Towels at their finest!
Her movable loom bench by Walter Turpening is not only function but a work of art. 
And on the loom in her bedroom--wonderful hand painted warp.
Two members, Karen and Gerry, admire the work.
These wooden weight hangers sure look prettier than water bottles!
Okay, enough of that stuff--let's head to the gifts to open!  Our group knows each other so well we went to paper bags years ago to hide the identify of the giver.  Every gift is a winner and no stealing allowed!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fall Birthday Celebration!!

Oh Happy Days! It was a great day for celebrating--fall birthdays and the holidays too. We were delighted to enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our hostess Linda (December birthday girl) and Brenda brought not one but two cakes.
Here we have Sandy (with coffee cup in hand), Debby (stitching away on her quilt) and Jane (September birthday gal).  Rose, whose birthday is in November was away attending her brother's funeral.  We send our best wishes to Rose and her family.
Jane, next to Judy C and Karen working feverishly on the binding of her French Braid quilt.
Karen and to her left Camilla (our expat 'mother--she keeps us up to date on activities and locations)  Thanks Camilla!!  Welcome back to our fold after a stent in Mexico.
Linda, our hostess was stitching on her gift for granddaughter--a soft mattress to fill a generation handed down doll bed.  What a marvelous gift!
Annette with her sewing station all set up--ready to sew on her latest top.  Annette was our 'treasurer/gift buyer'.  Thanks Annette!  We always enjoy seeing your smiling face!
Annette is so organized with her sewing plan.
And here is the finished block.......................
Brenda is beaming for two reasons--she is learning how to use an early Christmas gift from hubby--a rotary blade sharpener.
And the second reason for the big smile--a new granddaughter expected Spring, 2012.  Brenda is planning her baby quilt with this selection and pattern.
Camilla is stitching down the binding on this quilt for her church--love the colors.
Oh my!  what is this lovely creature?  French Braid in all its glory!  What wonderful color choices.
And the artist behind this masterpiece is Karen!  Good job Karen!!
A nice quilting choice too.
Brenda has finished her French Braid--smashing!!
Debby's quilt--nice pleasing colors.
Do we have good quilters in our group or what??!!  Thanks to Sandy and Judy M.
Look what was found in the back bedroom--what a lovely quilt!
This was found on the back bed--just waiting for the final touches.  Doesn't matter if it's a birthday celebration, a Christmas party or just plain gathering--any day spent with this bunch of ladies is a good day!

























Monday, December 12, 2011

Head Gear

We pressed Green Head into action again.  She had been lazy and just hangin' out for the past few weeks Our hands had been knitting on the 24 days of Advent and ignoring the lovely hats that had also been knitted recently...........so now, we present two hats from the November archives!
This first hat was a mystery knit along with one of our favorite hat designers.. Woolly Wormhead.  Her patterns are as unique as she is.  Here is 'green head' modeling handspun wool (Kermit) from Skyloom Weavers dyeing hands.  The hat pattern was mystery A but now has the name of Corella.  With the hat are the fingerless gloves from October mystery.
This was a nice fiber to spin--This BFL (blue face Leicester) has become my BFF!!

The other mystery (WW offers two mystery patterns at a remarkable price during her yearly KAL) was Rubbish Mojitos.  This is not handspun but some sock yarn that had been languishing around the stash pile.  Sure, made a nice hat.
The swirls are just perfect! Someone will enjoy wearing this lovely hat!  Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled knitting..........................................day 12 of Advent scarf.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Plan B..............................

Here we are--with plan B for the 24 days of Advent scarf instructions.  There is just one more small ball of handspun yarn to use in this scarf so we had to come up with plan B--quickly!  Search, search the stash closet and what did we find?  No blue wool yarn!  Real bummer!  But, there were several skeins of white yarns!  Yes, white!  and it doesn't really matter if the blue in the middle matches the blue on the end.  All different thoughts are running through the old brain---how to incorporate these two handspun blue yarns with a different yarn and white, no less.  Ah, a 'brilliant' thought races across the waves--why not dye the white yarn blue?  Well, of course, the perfect solution.  One small problem--the white yarn is not handspun.  Then--"who cares whether it's handspun or not?"  We can always rationalize.

Problem solved!  We'll dye the white yarn blue--oops! another small problem--we are ready to knit the next day and we don't want to fall behind in the patterns.
Can't wait!  Must knit!  And knit we did!  just attach the white yarn and continue on and as the knitting progresses, the thought process took over again--we'll use the other ball of handspun for the last of the patterns so the blues will be on the opposite ends of the scarf!  Yes, perfect!  And then, we'll dye the whole scarf blue!!  We are so smart!!
We are on day 8--keeping up so far but the weekend rolls around and we are journeying away--hard to knit when you can't download the pattern, but we'll find a way--even if we have to sit in front of the PC all night with the instructions!  or chart it ourselves with pen & paper row by row.  By golly, we plan to keep on schedule.  Everything else can go by the wayside, except
when we sit down with a cup of tea to paw over this magazine.  Have you seen this?  It wasn't easy to find--Barnes & Nobel was sold out; Jo-Ann's was sold out (guess everyone used their 50% 0ff coupon to buy).  Finally, we found a copy at Books a Million.  It's a great read and the patterns........................oh, well, those will have to wait till December 26th.
Simple sayings for wonderful times!  These Back Door quilt series are quick to make--unless it sits on your sewing table waiting to be quilted and bound.  This one will fit nicely into January decor--so there is plenty of time to finish it up--right??  Off to knit Day 8!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Okay--It's December Already!

We always think December will take 11 months to return but somehow it was just yesterday and here it is again!!   Where does the time go?  And the older you get, the quicker the time flies--something just not right about that.  Anyway, you think you'll be ready when the holidays roll round--never.  It's like we are caught off guard............................
It's the day after Thanksgiving, the cool front has brought some much needed rain and a biting north wind so it's time to Christmas tree shop--we opt for a real tree; even though hubby keeps pointing to the 'fake' ones. 

Well, what if we wanted the tree placed on the stand crooked??!!

Love that Ravelry! and the brilliant designers that share their knowledge--here is the return of Advent Calendar Scarf--a pattern a day for 24 days!  Try to keep up with this.  Here is day one--looking good so far but of course, it's only the first day.  The yarn is handspun from River's Edge Fiber Arts--a soft lofty merino--one small problem though--won't be enough to finish out the scarf so plan B swings into action.............................only we have to think of a plan B! 
December first brought forth the celebration of the birth of our first grandchild--who just happens to turn 21 this December first--Happy Birthday dear granddaughter!
Okay, we thought, just thought, we could keep up with this weekly mystery QAL from Bonnie Hunter.  Here is the Orca mystery part one--224 2.5" half Quarter Square Triangles!  Only four have been squared up, just 222 more to go.........................
It's first Friday and you can hop over to The Painted Quilt blog and download this stitching pattern--Kaaren made a cute pillow with her design.  Thanks to all these generous people who are willing to give of themselves.......................Happy Holidays to us!
Okay, we're kept up with the pattern so far--finished is day 4 and day 5 is downloaded--just have to think quick---what yarn to use now that we've run out the handspun?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Painted Churches

Painted Churches of Texas not only means the churches are painted on the outside but inside as well.  This is a great tour of lovely churches, where worshippers can still kneel and pray weekly.  Their doors are always open to the beauty of the brush.  We took a short trip to visit a few of these marvels.
First stop was at High Hill, just a short drive from Schulenberg.

The doors are open on this Sunday to welcome all comers to view.

Through these swinging doors you can enter into the halls of peace.

The first view from the back is awesome, to say the least! 

Even the statures have that painted artistic touch.

No--not stain glass, but painted windows.

Ahh, the arches in each alcove takes you to a wonderful setting.

Notice the columns--they are painted too.

And the pulpit holds lessons from our Lord and Master.

Onto our next stop--just a quiet out of the way little town where this white church sits.

Prayers aloft!

Once again, painted windows--although simple in style, mighty in looks.

The Altar.................

No words can describe this setting; feast with your eyes.

Our next visit was to the tiny town of Dubina.  From a distance on our drive down the country lanes we can see the steeple.


Maybe not as elaborate as some of the painted churches, this quiet location is a restful respite from the daily grind.


It was here that we met others who were taking the journey.  In our conversation they told us about other painted churches that were off grid.  Now, for our next trip we'll take that side drive off the major interstate to find that peaceful painted church.