Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mother's Day Roundup

It's been a somewhat eventful month - we'll get to the crafting first. I finished the Alabama Chanin T-shirt embellished with daisies that I found on the internet (one daisy, and scattered them on the shirt).

Apparently I used an old pattern, or I gained weight since I haven't been running lately, or something, because this sucker is TIGHT!

I was hoping to wear it to work, despite both boys' opinions that it looks VERY homemade due to the neck and armhole stitching, and the outside knots at the center of each daisy, but for now it has to be home only.

I'm thinking of adding gussets on the sides, though, to widen it at the hips, since I have more of that T-shirt material left. I think I must've meant to use a pattern from the Craftsy Sewing with Knits class that fits nicely over the hips and that I've made 2 shirts from for work. Dangit! Don't you hate it when you're in love with something until the end and then it disappoints? Very depressing.

Here's a beautiful carved Indian elephant that a student gave me as a gift - one piece of wood and can you see the baby inside? Bet this guy wasn't depressed when he finished carving this!

And one night we came back home at night to find 3 HUGE owls sitting on a neighbors' mailbox. They took off right in front of us, then one sat glaring at us from a tree before flying away - very cool.

So here's our awesome Mother's Day weekend. We went to the beach and Drew's girlfriend joined us since she's gotten a summer job nearby. Lucas was truly thrilled to drive the boat - despite the face and non-chalant attitude.

Beautiful weather to head to Fort McRae!

Jake jumped in and out of the boat himself, despite this also being his 11th birthday, and had fun in the water.

When we got home, Drew cooked teriyaki salmon with vegetables for me.

Lucas gave me a first aid kit for my purse and a jewelry holder, but I don't have a pic of them - boo.

Jake was worn out, as expected, but apparently he also picked up something, because the next day he went out in the morning to pee and wouldn't come back in. He just lay on the porch and refused to get up all day, so I ran him up to the vet when I got home, and he had a temperature of 105! The hypothesis was near heatstroke due to arthritis flare from all the activity, but the x-rays and labs all showed he was perfectly healthy for his age. The poor baby wouldn't meet any of us at the door for a couple of days, and went about 5 days without eating his dog food. He did eat cheese wrapped around pain medicine, and is slowly getting back to normal, but it was pitiful to watch him avoid us and pant like he was running a marathon.

So he's more active today and actually ate his breakfast on his own - hooray! Now I'm off to rescue that shirt and figure out which pattern I should've used. Hope you're having a productive weekend!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Jonesin' for Alabama Chanin

Howdy - it's been awhile! I finally finished my 8 weeks to do a bunch of teaching and be co-director of an actual class, so that explains the absence. I've been continuing to pump out cotton dishrags for people, and here's one of those:

And I was pining for a camping trip, so I emailed Drew to see if he and his friends were up for it if I came up and paid for the sites, but I never heard back from him. Dean and Lucas weren't feeling it either, and they went out of town while I was on call one weekend, so I set this up in about 30 minutes and camped my DAMN self!

Check out the pleading look on this face. Even Jake abandoned me, because it was about 45 degrees and he's a'skeered at things that make noise at night, so I let him sleep in Lucas's room while I slept in a sleeping bag on an egg crate (no air mattress for me, no sir).

Now the next weekend, I went to Auburn for a work trip, and took Drew out for dinner with his friends, plus bought him some groceries, and would you believe they have THESE at Walmart? (I only heard of this through Heidi, of Mobile Yarn.)

But the more interesting thing was what he and his friends talked about at dinner, which was that they were doing THIS for the weekend:

Are you kidding me?! I guess it's not cool to camp with your mom in tow, and I'm glad they went camping - 3 Eagle Scouts - but it hurt just a little. At any rate, the rest of us left him here and went to Belize for Lucas's Spring Break, so there! Here are a few pics of that:

And back home (after a painful return trip getting stuck in Houston overnight following an aborted takeoff - THAT's fun!), I had an urge to make an AC Tshirt. Our local NBC anchor wore a dress that was pink with yellow showing through cutouts that reminded me of AC, so that sent me upstairs looking for the right Tshirts. This is what I found, a heathered gray Gators shirt, and the remnants of a blue shirt I used earlier for the crocheted bathroom rug.

I drew a couple of ideas from polka dots to the Alabama Chanin spirals, and pored through all her books, then decided on daisies, which I found on Google. All my airbrushing stuff and other stencils are at the beach, so Lucas loaned me an Exacto knife and I cut one daisy out of a coffee box.

At first I was planning an all-over pattern, but then I decided on a cluster over the right shoulder.

Maybe I'll put a few on the opposite hip, too. I'll let ya' know how it turns out!

So whatchoo been up to? Got big plans for the summer? Wanna get together and airbrush some cotton?!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring Update

Helloooo! Been a little busy lately, how 'bout you? I've still been knitting, but I also just got back from a meeting in Portland, OR, and have been giving lots of lectures, etc. Let's have a look. I just like this picture of Lucas and Jake sharing a moment on the porch.

This is a pack of striped cotton yarn I got to make dishcloths - I really should think of something else to make with this stuff, or else I'll have to open an Etsy store to sell them!

This is a few of the hats my MIL and her friends have been making for our NICU babies...

and just a couple of the blankets. These ladies are so creative with the colors and patterns - they freehand these things!

So last weekend Dean and I ran the Azalea Train Run 10K, and I shaved a minute or two off my time. Did a 11:47 minute mile - woohoo! I took a couple of pics just because this is the only downhill portion, and you can see I'm behind hundreds of people way off in the distance.

And the Azalea Trail Maids are scattered along the course - very nice.

Here's a washcloth I made for Drew's girlfriend.

And now for my Portland trip! Here's a beautiful sunset from the plane.

This is the view from a tram that takes you from the river up to OHSU Medical Center with the VA and the Children's Hospital - cool!

Can you imagine having a hospital room overlooking this view? If your bed is aimed that way, I guess, and you're well enough to care.

This is the longest covered walkway in the country, reportedly, connecting the main hospital to the VA - and that's a gigantic VA!

On the way back home, I walked through the Atlanta airport's concourse connector instead of taking the train and was rewarded not only with the history of Atlanta, but this rainforest, complete with chirping birds and dripping water!

They even have video screens simulating the sky and birds flying overhead periodically. I love this!!!

And finally, this was the opening session of my meeting. The president was surprised by a flash mob. And the dinner on the last night was accompanied by a live band and a huge dance floor where about 100 attendees tore it up - I have found my people!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras

Homemade stuff first: this is my grandmother's costume jewelry bracelet that matched my Mardi Gras dress perfectly, so I had to get Lucas to snap a pic.

And I finished the Split-neck sweater I've been working on since December.

I've worn it to work twice - love it! It just tends to grow in length and become tunic-like, which is fine when being worn with tight pants.

I'm happy with the V-neck, too. Next time I'll make the sleeves a wee bit smaller, but that's a minor issue.

And yet another shout-out to Aprons at Publix, where you sample the meal then buy every ingredient right there at the booth. Dean had a meeting, so I opted to cook Valentine's Day dinner myself - GASP! Publix had a delicious lobster pasta dinner already packaged.

You just throw it on a sheet pan for 11 minutes and voila:

They also had a recommended side item that I fixed, roasted asparagus with tomatoes and pistachios.

And now we pause for our Taiwan cherry tree...which bloomed for approximately 3 days...

and somebody else's tree, which also only bloomed for a few days. I was running and shot this, and the next time I ran every flower was gone.

Now back to homemade stuff. I ordered a 9-skein sample of Willow Sudsy Spray yarn that seems to be targeted at spa items like washcloths, towels, and even spa slippers, and Lucas requested a striped one, so this was the easiest pattern I could find on Ravelry, which is crocheted.

This is a knitted one for myself, and it turned out super soft - love this stuff! Making one for my mom next....did I mention I have 9 more skeins coming that are more striped? It was a 2 for 1, and I can't resist pretty colors.

On to the main event. Drew and his girlfriend came down for his first ride in Endymion, New Orleans' biggest parade on Saturday before Mardi Gras. It's hard to take a good selfie when you're staring straight into the sun.

Here are the boys all costumed up before heading for the float.

Meanwhile, Lucas, Camille, and I headed off in search of the Krewe of Lofcadio, otherwise known as the chefs' parade...because they throw out wooden spoons!

Spoons in hand, we headed to Canal Street for Iris and Tucks, where we met some guys in town from New York for a bachelor party. They were taken with my Auburn beads that Dean had bought in Mobile, though it turns out they never heard of Auburn University, but were big fans of War Eagle bourbon from Kentucky, which I never heard of! I very kindly traded my beads for this one's cup, because that's what you do in New Orleans!

So here's Drew on the float...

and here's a shot of the crowd...

and here's their float coming into the Superdome...

where Camille and I were waiting with a sign so they'd see us. Which was funny, because Dean had no idea we made this. It worked like a charm, then I used it as a table centerpiece so he'd find the table easier - ha! I think it ended up out in the Quarter somewhere, so he'll be like Flat Stanley traveling around the city.

And here's Drew all tuckered out but still smiling. Needless to say, he didn't stay up long enough to see Kiss (none of us did), but he had a great time.

And now they're back at college, and we're mired in that post-fun depression, so I'm starting a new knitting project as therapy. Hope you had a great Mardi Gras...oh, and I realize I didn't mention all the accidents this year, but I'll summarize by saying there were 2 groups run over by vehicles in 2 different states (everybody's okay, amazingly), and 3 men fell off floats and a truck in 3 different states, one right in front of us on Sunday, one in Mississippi who landed on rebar and died, and one in Mobile who was in critical condition on Tuesday. Maybe Mardi Gras isn't so fun....