Monday, April 29, 2013

Loofah and Loafing

Last year we grew Loofah and I just got around rubbing the skin off the dried gourd and getting the seeds out.
 These are the seeds and the few loofah rings .  This year we will know what we are doing and I have high hopes for a big harvest.  I put these rings into a mold and cover them with soap for a luxury bath soap.  I think when I add one of my hemp or linen face cloths, I will have a nice spa set for sale this Fall!
Will is continuing his wool education!  He is a hands on kind of student!
Here he is during his PE class!  He bounces around just long enough for me to get washed and dressed in the morning!
 I think this was one of his favorite activities today!  He splashed up a storm!
 Now this is my favorite part of bath time-the snuggles!
He is ready for bed and goes down very quickly.  Isn't this a heart melter?!

 Now I will go about tp straighten up the house and then do some knitting before I crash .......

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A New Project

 There is a new project that is even more precious than my fiber pursuits!  We are watching Will for a few days while his parents are in Hawaii for a trip;  Matthew earned the trip because of his  top sales at Sherwin Williams!  Grandpa fed him his bottle this morning and serenaded him to sleep!
 Will and I take stroller rides-he is chewing on the scarf I made and was going to wear to church today.  Someone liked it I gave it to him; a logical grandma choice!
 We borrowed the stroller (it helps to have young friends willing to share!) and this exer-saucer so Will would have some entertainment and so I could have 10 mins to catch up while he did so!  It is working out great on both counts!
 We enjoy a tons of conversations; he is very talkative.  He is enjoying the feel and lightness of this woolen shawl and I explain what kind of animal it is from.  We both smile a lot!  He is also mimicking noises and we have a lot of non-verbal male communication, too; I raised 3 boys and I remember how this is important to them!
 On our walks we saw 6 Sand hill cranes in our yard-we have never had this many at peace-usually more than one couple is a fight in the making but these remained social all afternoon!
 Flowers in bloom in the pool area are also of interest .  The day lilies are show stoppers!
 The ground orchid is in full bloom-this is one of 8 groups of flowers out right now.
 Will and I enjoyed a swim-the pool water is warm enough not to be a jolt for him-he enjoyed the time to splash with no interruptions from me like for bath time!
A less welcome find on our walk-a Coral Snake which was very dead and snatched by one of our vultures by the end of the day-gratefully!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


 Bill had his stitches removed today and so on the way home from the doctors we stopped to have lunch together at our favorite restaurant.  It was warm and tropical out on the deck and just perfect sitting and watching the boats on the river.
 This was  to our right and offers shade to the parking lot area.  What a magnificent live oak tree!
 The branch looks like it has been molded.  Just beautiful.
 The cypress tree is in full leaf and has tons of cones now.
 The cones are not like any you find on pine trees!
Not a wave in sight-the water was so inviting but we did see a gator so being a spectator is good enough for me!
For some reason, we both had an urge to take a boat ride-it has been a long winter without a tour!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Putting it All Together

  As soon as the house maintenance was complete this morning, I sewed the backing (navy texture print) and loaded all the layers on the frame.  I take as long to pick out the design for the pantograph as I do to load it all!  
 I needed a design that would :  remain as background and not be too showy, be masculine , work with all the different colored and designed blocks and still be pleasant to stitch!  No easy task.
I am using a variegated thread in blues.
 And I am pleased with the way it works with all the different blocks from plain .....
 to busy.  It is stitching through all the layers just beautifully, too, which is a huge relief not to have tension, thread or stitching issues, as you can imagine!
On our last JoAnn's trip, I found this olive green silky print on sale for 1/2 off which had my name on it-big time.  I had some plain olive lining fabric in the stash so the skirt is lined, elastic waist and ready to wear in an hour-I do like this pattern which is no longer in print but looks like this!  (There was enough to make  a scarf to match which I sew in a spiral for a bias scarf)
Tonight, I finished the sock!  On to the second sock which will be the 7th flamingo sock, if you were counting!
Big grey is filling out and learning to relax.  He is a beauty!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cutting and Sewing and Knitting

 We have been finding murdered yarn skeins in the living room.  We had our suspicions but no proof. Consider this proof!  Does she look sorry?  I think it is satisfaction not remorse!
I was knitting some more on the entrelac blanket;  I am on the last skein!  When I got the urge to try another flamingo sock with smaller needles so the sock is more refined.
Oh, yeah.  We have a winner.  I am using the same number of stitches around, but this one just feels better, looks better and I knew I could do it!
The quilt top for Caleb's t-shirt quilt is complete and I will load it up onto the frame tomorrow.
I made another bathing suit for Abigail's American Girl Doll using a product that is new to me which was recommended on the pattern.  At the last trip to JoAnns I purchased a package and it sure does work beautifully!  It is called Fold Over Elastic and comes in a variety of colors.  Give it a try!

Friday, April 19, 2013

More Socks and Shirts

 I finished another pair of shorty summer socks.  I like being able to make a pair with just one skein of yarn!  These are going to Marsel since they are of Regia yarn which is supposed to be guaranteed not to spring a hole in the heel!
 I played around with a bit of yarn over design on the top of the foot.   There will be more with this idea on the next pair.
 I have the rest of the T-shirt blocks interfaced and arranged to my liking.
 I cut out all the sashing this morning and then started to put it all together.
 I didn't get too far because the sunshine and the pool called this afternoon-the water temperature is up to 89*, my minimum temp and so I took a nice long swim until a rain storm moved in and I had to run inside!  Only four more rows to go!
I did a bit of this until supper time!  More cotton spinning! It looks like the azaleas out in bloom in the front yard.
This is the latest we have had them bloom in the 6 years we have lived here!
The color is just electric.
After the rain this afternoon, we see a lot of blooms like this one on the air fern.
Another rare sighting is this one of JD who prefers to stay hidden.  She doesn't like the rain so she has adopted this shelf on the outside of the fireplace!  I did not have permission to photograph her!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sacks, Socks and Shirts

 The Live Oaks are releasing their last batch of pollen.  The rain helped to wash away a lot of it, gratefully!
 I made the camouflage backpack for my oldest grandson's birthday.
 He enjoys being in the woods by their house and doing reconnaissance so I can only imagine the adventures he will take this bag .
 I wrapped up the packages to mail to him........Nyki had to scent the box first to send a message to their household cats!
 I decided to tackle a long postponed quilt.  Caleb had given me a bag of old T-shirts for a memory quilt almost a year ago.  I have decided the layout, a 5 x 6 block design with denim colored sashing so I needed 30  12 1/2" squares.   I dug out, sorted and cut out squares-some the front and some both front and back.
 I then pressed interfacing to the back of the squares to stabilize the stretchy cotton knits for quiltmaking.  This press sure saved me time though it did heat up the sewing room!
 This is the pile of t-shirt bottoms I will bag up for use in the garage for rags.
I whipped up a pair of cotton socks with stretchy Paton yarn-I used only one skein for summer weight shorty socks!


The bird bath fountain sprung a leak so Bill fixed the leak and put a new sealant on it and I gave it a new paint job!  I had to let the pai...