Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Blogiversary!

It's a year today since I officially started blogging! I hope you have enjoyed your visits with me. Please enjoy a pictorial look back at my year.

I didn't necessarily reach all my original goals for this blog in the first year, but I still had a lot of fun and learned a little bit along the way. Blogging has enhanced the way I look at everyday life. It has help me to take better notice of the small things that make me smile and I've enjoyed sharing them with you.

To my few faithful followers, I thank you very much for stopping by and reading along! I especially love the comments you leave. I'm looking forward to growing my blog over the next year and I hope you are, too!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

We took a little ride to New Hope, PA today and met up with our good friends, Chuck and Carol. If you've been a reader of my blog for a while, you might remember that they are from Connecticut, where we're from originally. We normally see each other about four times a year when we visit them or they come to see us in New Jersey.  Recently though, they relocated to Pennsylvania, shortening the distance between us from four hours, to less than two! Yay!

But, getting back to our day in New Hope... We had a really beautiful day, all sunny and bright. We ate lots of good food, browsed all the fun shops and took a short ride up the Delaware River on a ferry boat.

I had a little bit of fun with my camera today, too. Enjoy some of the sights of my day.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Definition of INDULGE

transitive verb
a : to give free rein tob : to take unrestrained pleasure in : gratify
a : to yield to the desire of : humor b : to treat with excessive leniency, generosity, or consideration
intransitive verb
: to indulge oneself
Rittenhouse Square
In April my good friend and knitting buddy, Carole, and I had a day of indulgence! We took a little train ride into Philadelphia to visit the yarn shop Loop! Since both of us are usually on a very limited yarn budget, this was a treat of excessive generosity!

Another knitting buddy of ours, Will, works at Loop. When we arrived, he yielded to our desires and gave us free rein to browse about the candy store yarn shop, all the while answering our questions and offering creative suggestions. We took unrestrained pleasure in every yarn we looked at and touch.

Loop is a wonderful yarn shop. It has very clean and neat appearance and is very organized.   The staff is friendly and helpful. I'm not just saying that because Will is my friend... I've been there before and everyone has been welcoming. They have a large work table with chairs that calls to you to sit for a bit and knit few rows while chatting with the staff and customers.

While I sat for a moment, I was able to better take in the array of yarns that I thought I had just looked over quite extensively, and yet I was seeing things I hadn't taken in from the close-up inspection I had just made. Once I sat back and looked around, I was seeing some yarns for the first time.

While we were there, many customers came and went, asked questions, shared their plans for their yarn, and were all very friendly. At one point Carole and I got involved with helping a customer to decide on a project and choose the yarn for a baby gift. We joked that we had earned our keep by "working" for a while. I would LOVE to work in a yarn store!

It took some time, but we finally settled on our own purchases. We didn't buy a lot, but we left knowing that we would be back again, so there was no need to indulge oneself too much at one time!

Here we have my indulgences for the day.

First, some Black Bunny Fibers Silk Sock in the colorway Iridescent that you see here already in progress. Yes, this is the yarn I was bribing myself with in an earlier blog post. Yes, I know I haven't shown you all the finished projects that were involved in that bribery yet, but I will.

Second, some Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy in Olive, Denim and Pale Silver. I plan to make myself a shawl with it. I had in mind the Earth and Sky by Stephen West, but Will isn't in agreement with me on this. He is encouraging me to be creative and come up with my own design. I'm not sure yet, I'm still pretty stuck on my first idea.

In the morning before getting on the train to Philadelphia, we visited a little bead store. My eye was caught by a pair of earrings on display in the wonderful colors of orange and green. So summery! I just had to yield to the desire to buy the beads so I could make them for myself. I also found some great blue bugle beads that I couldn't live without.

And finally, here is one of the the beautiful yarns Carole indulged herself with. She is making my favorite pattern... the Multnomah Shawl! 

How have you indulged yourself lately?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Art Doll

Several years ago, long before Ravelry, I joined a Mail Art site. I only participated in one swap. It was for an Art Doll. I had never done a swap before and I had never made a doll before, but I was excited about the challenge. I really put a lot of effort and creativity into this doll and I was really in love with her when I was finished. I wish she hadn't been for a swap and I wish I still had her today. Sadly, the doll I received in the swap was not nearly as intricate or creative. Needless to say, I never joined another swap.

I share with you today the photos of my doll making process. I apologize for the quality of some of the photos. At the time, I didn't have a camera that was very good for taking close-up shots.

I did some research about doll construction and put together my base doll.

I enjoyed learning how to work the construction of the head and neck so that the head would have more dimension.

The theme for this swap was an Autumn Art Doll. I really didn't have a vision of the finished project in my mind, so she just evolved as I went along. She truly was a work in progress. I knew I wanted to knit for her but I didn't have enough time to knit her a sweater, so I made her some leg warmers and a scarf. I also gave her some long auburn hair.

She sat around somewhat naked for a while waiting for my next inspiration. Then I saw a really cool suede skirt somewhere and replicated it for her using felt.

I loved the detailed stitching I gave it.

Then I gave her a jacket, and a hat just perfect for the season... a witches hat.

I looked online at lots and lots of different doll faces and practiced drawing faces on paper and then on scrap fabric. I practiced for quite a while. Then I practiced some more. I was really afraid to actually draw that first line on the doll! If I screwed up, I'd have to reconstruct the whole head again! Yikes! It was getting close to the deadline when I finally just jumped in and did it. I think she came out rather nice looking. Oh, how her personality popped once she had a face!

She stood about eight inches tall.

I remember naming her and giving her a little story. She also carried with her some gifts from her garden and a recipe for something seasonal... a pumpkin bread I believe. (I'm sure I have this all written down or saved in a word document somewhere.)

Although I can't remember what I named her, I do miss her and I hope she has a happy home!