The Ugly.

Yes, I've been known to spin some bad, very bad yarns. We'll see how I like this next time I look at it. It might just be a good conversation piece.

I was sad again today, still missing my mom. I thought perhaps taking a mental health day to just regroup might be good. I've been going going and going for a few months and maybe I just need to sleep in and watch Food Network for a day. However, tomorrow is too busy at work. Meetings, on occasion, require my presence. So then I thought about Wednesday...again, those pesky meetings. So Thursday is out due to another meeting and a reception that requires my presence and Friday there is a lunch that requires the same. Ah well, perhaps next week?

At least I'm heading over to Tulsa on Friday with my sister to partake in some wonderful Dave Matthews Band (live by the way) goodness. Yes, Friday will be a good day.


Things the make me smile

If you haven't caught on, Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I love the crisp mornings, the cool fog that settles over the valleys in this area, the changing colors that surround me on my way to work each morning, the introduction of winter squash to the local market, and the smells of spiced everything (apples, pumpkin, cookies, whathaveyou).

I was especially in love with the season this morning as I hung out with my sister at the Fayetteville Farmer's Market. While the crowd was small today (the locals are avoiding the roads due to Bikes Blues and BBQ) the day couldn't have been any better. The sun was beautiful and bounced playfully off of my handspun yarns beckoning shoppers over, the breeze, while cool, reminded me that even if it felt like everything came to a halt for me this past August, things still change and settle as they have forever, the city gardens were still vibrant with color, but with the deep reds, oranges and yellows of the season, yes - today was a gorgeous day.

I thought I'd list a few of my favorite things about the season below.

Fayetteville Farmer's Market (my yarn on display there above)
These caramels from Have It Confections on Etsy
Pumpkins and other winter squash in a HUGE variety of colors
I can begin to wear scarves and cowls in the mornings
Grilled cheese and soup - lots and lots of soup
Opening up the house and turning off the AC
Cleaning up the gardens and getting them ready for winter
Making basil pesto with the last of the summer basil in my herb garden

I think I'll begin listing these items here on my blog as they come to me. It's a great way to celebrate the season with all of you. Please leave a comment sharing your Autumn favorites with me


Speak for yourself

No really, please speak for yourself.

This sign welcomed bikers and apparently it spoke for all of us (us being those who work at Walton Arts Center). Oh, okay, I'm a curmudgeon. Bikes Blues and BBQ isn't all that bad. It's great for people watching, for ear drum busting roars of the motorcycles as they pass by, and apparently, this year it's good for helicopter tours that last all day. The best part was when the guy escaped from the Washington County Courthouse into the crowds of bikers yesterday right before they sentenced him to 55 years in jail. Yup - he did something so bad that they were going to lock him up for 55 years, but instead he's hanging out just a few blocks away eating BBQ and riding a motorcycle. Ah, it makes you feel all warm and squishy inside.

I have enjoyed the fair food (polish sausage with grilled onions and a funnel cake made up my dinner tonight). It's not all that bad.

On an entirely different note, I find it interesting that my siblings and I have all started really missing my mom at about the same time. I emailed them about her yesterday and it turns out, I was not alone in feeling very sad about mom being gone yesterday. We all mourned her loss, cried about it, hugged about it, and cried some more about it when she left us. However, mourning a loss and actually missing someone are two different things. I'm at the point now where I just wish she'd come home. I wish she'd quit ignoring the phone calls and pick up the phone to talk. I wish I quit missing her when I go for a visit. However, I know that's not the case. I know she's never going to be out digging in her garden when I go visit, I know she's never going to answer with her signature, very happy, "hello" when I dial her number, I know she's not going to agree with me when I'm complaining about something that happened during the day, and I know none of these things will ever happen again.

Aside from crying when I had to take her last kitty to a friends house (thankfully it was a friends house and not a shelter), I had been tear free for a couple of weeks. This week was not one of them. This week I really, really miss my mom.

Okay - sorry about that. How about something on a lighter note? Hmmm... I'll be hawking my handspun yarn at the Fayetteville Farmer's Market in the morning so if you're local, you know where to find me.


A Finished Object

Remember that yarn I gushed over a while back (see here if you don't), well, I finally found a project worthy of this yarn. I looked and looked for something I'd wear... a lot. I love hats, but don't often wear them as I find myself trying to keep my hair looking nice for work. So a hat was out. Mittens or fingerless gloves were the same way... I like them but don't wear them enough. I wanted this yarn to get knit into something I'd grab almost everyday on my way to work. Well, almost every cold day.

I found a pattern on Ravelry for a "Wham Bam Thank You Lamb" cowl. It was a free pattern, always a plus, I could do it in one evening, again, a plus, and it used chunky yarn, not only a plus but a requirement. I read over the pattern, cast on my stitches and a little over an hour later I had the masterpiece you see above (please excuse my old DMB concert t-shirt, I don't dress up for knitting hour in front of my tv). I'm so excited with how it turned out and with how it features my yarn.

And for all of you shoppers out there at the Fayetteville Farmers Market who pick up skein after skein of yarn and ask "what do you do with 100 yards of yarn" well, this is one project.


Things that go bump in the night

A few posts ago I announced that I'd be hosing my first SAL (spin-a-long) for Woolyhands. The turnout has been great and I can't wait until the spooky batts make it to their new homes and the creations get posted to my Flickr group. The add ins are a lot of fun and these colors just scream halloween. I thought I'd give you all a sneak preview of each batt and the description that went along with it. They are listed in order from top to bottom in the picture above.

“The Count’s Revenge”

It’s been a year since you escaped the dark woods slightly shaken but unharmed. You’ve almost put that trip to the mountains of Transylvania out of your mind. However, that rustle you hear outside your bedroom window on the darkest of nights is not caused by the breeze, rest assured, The Count is out for his revenge and waits patiently for sleep to fall upon you.

“Witches’ Brew”

You spy a light in the woods, a gathering of voices so screechy they send chills down your spine… “eye of newt… the blood of a frog”? What’s that smell coming from the gathering? Is that brew they are creating meant for you? You try to scream and run away, but you realize, they had expected you’d do that and the spell has already begun…

“Ghostly Whisper”
We’ve all heard it, late a night, a sound from behind you… a whisper of something so chilling, yet from an unfamiliar voice… looking around you hope it came from someone in the room and you realize, as a chill creeps down your spin, that you are alone.

Where did that Ghostly Whisper come from?


Something startles you from your sleep and you wake up to a pitch black room. Not even the dim light from a distant moon lights your view enough to see what caused your rising. Another bump in the night sends a shiver creeping down your spine and you remember a legend you heard as a child about hobgoblins that find homes under your bed and you pull your covers closer…


Yum Yum Give Me Some

This might be my new favorite way to find out what's for dinner:

Tasty Kitchen

Go there... you can thank me later.

I cooked two recipes from that site tonight. This and this. Both were delicious. Both were modified slightly by me but that's just how it goes in my kitchen. I also sauteed up some green beans Asian style and that was just my recipe - so don't get on to me for the lack of veggies.

I'm not sure why I like the site so well... so far the recipes I've cooked from it haven't been hard and I've had most of the ingredients on hand. As much as I love my other culinary websites, they sometimes aren't quite as "throw it together and love it" as this one is.

Both recipes gained the Sweet Boy's seal of approval. Yay.


So Organized

My mom had a wooden architect table at her house that she used for beading. I loved it since she found it at a garage sale and it was one of those pieces that you wished you would have spied first so you could have claimed it.

My siblings and I have started the daunting process to figure out what we want to keep of hers and what we'd love to keep, but don't have room for. That table is on my list. No one else has mentioned it yet and I'm really crossing my fingers hard that no one does. I think it would be the perfect table to use in my wool studio as a carding station. It's the perfect height and it is sturdy enough not to walk around the room as I card wool like my current table (a folding table from Sam's Club that I use for Farmers Market) does.

Before I cant even beg my siblings to let me have it, I needed to make sure it would even fit in the space. So this afternoon was "Project: Make Room for the Table". As you can see by the before photo: and after photo: the table will fit perfectly and it really cleans up the space to add another piece of furniture to the mix. Funny how that happens.

I wish I'd get the same bug about cleaning as I do about organizing my crafty areas.


How I did it

For those who wanted to know my method for hair - it's basically THIS METHOD.

I'm reading a lot of forums where people say to not do this method and only go to a hairdresser. I figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I had long hair when I started and didn't cut too much off, so I was safe. I think some people go too far with this hair cut and then they have way short layers on top - never fun.

I made my pony tail by hanging my head straight down (crown of my head facing the ground) and combed and combed and combed my hair until I was absolutely sure that everything was hanging in the right place. Then I made the pony tail right on top of my head and went from there.

Whatever you do, be careful. Cut in small amounts and take out the pony tail and check your progress before going shorter.

Oh, and I take no part in the blame if this doesn't work for you. It's a gamble... I like how mine turned out.


I wish I had a before picture...

because it would make this picture even more amazing.

I'm cheap when it comes to things like cutting my hair. Well, that's not entire true. My hair stylist runs me about $60+ to get my hair cut BUT I only went about once a year so while it cost a TON to have done, I didn't go back as often as I should have. I would usually reserve my appointment until I was just about ready to shave my head because my hair was so depressing.

I got to that point yesterday. My hair was long, lifeless, void of good layers, and sad. Just a sad head of hair. I wore it up almost everyday because it looked bad down. Not that it was in bad shape. I didn't have a single split end which I consider a blessing since it had been 13 months since my last cut. I owe that to Panteen I'm sure. It just looked blah... blah... BLAH.

Inspired by a conversation with a fellow artist/crafter, I decided to try and trim my own hair. After some research online with tips and tricks to cutting your own hair, I went to work. One shower and 40 minutes later, I had a very nice, layered cut. I lost close to 3 inches (maybe a bit more) but the impressive part is the layers that I created. I'm happy. So happy. AND, I saved $60. Always a good thing.


Halloween Spin-a-Long

Raise your hand if you like Halloween?

And raise your hand if you like spinning wool?

Now raise your hand if you are a fan of a good, old fashion SAL (Spin-a-Long)???

I'm sure many of you have your hand up if not for all of these, at least for one of these. I have started my very first SAL over at Woolyhands. This Halloween themed spin-a-long will feature some goolishly fun batts in a mix of fibers with some spooky add ins for those who love to spin art yarns. I've had so much fun carding up some various batts and I can't wait to send them out to the participants at the end of this month.

If you've never participated in an SAL, now is your chance. Don't know what an SAL is? Well, you're in luck because I'll let you in on the secret. SALs (or spin-a-longs) are just a chance for a bunch of spinners to all spin either the same batt or a selection of themed batts (which mine will be) into yarn and show them off in a forum of some sort. The fun part about mine is that everyone who posts a finished yarn over at my Flickr group will be entered into a drawing for some surprise spinning fibers. This couldn't be more fun!

I've been wanting to do this for a few months. I participated in an SAL over the summer and absolutely had a blast. Now that I've had a bit of time to devote to my piles of wool, I decided it was time to host this. I just can't wait to see what people spin up with their Woolyhands Halloween Spin-a-Long Batts!