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Monday, March 23, 2009

A Smattering

Life has been alllll over the place of late.
I am recovering from a flu with an overlay of a cold (when your symptoms take a 90 degree turn and the meds that were working on the flu symptoms suddenly stop working - you've been gifted with a cold on top of the flu. Avoid this experience if you can...).
Of course I picked up the cold when I stayed at work with the minor flu 'cause I HAD to make a deadline...(Pause for "serves me right" moment here.)

And so here's some recovery experiences; a smattering of what I've seen or been up to recently.

Firstly - Fun websites to visit!
The colors of this celebration were startling and lovely.
The Holi Festival of Colors.
Two of the gents I work with are from India. I asked them if they'd ever participated in Holi - they both had and the first thing they said was "You don't wear something you want to keep..."

The Big Picture has been wowing me this week. If you haven't already seen these, the Undersea Eruptions near Tonga are amazing!

Whilst collecting web-site info for you, The Big Picture delighted me with Signs of Spring!

Lastly, Lynda at Kiwi Knitting noted this tooooo funny video in the Kiwi Blog. Go look to be amazed, entertained (I laughed out loud), and deal with your sheep-envy - from the Baaa-Studs: Extreme Sheep Herding!

I'm getting ready to felt the 2nd Knit Dr. Bag. Check out the size differential between the already-felted bag on top of the soon-to-be-felted bag (yes, the light patch is a dollar bill for size reference.):

Plus Pockets...

More Plant stuff:

The deep purple of these violets were just too much to resist:

Buried my face in this drift of Jasmine.
Lovely, lovely scent!

And the pollen has been pretty thick around Tucson...

These are Acacia Trees.

Here's how they look at night...

And I'm for bed (and some allergy medication!)

Pleasant dreams!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wear'n O' the Green

Me Da tol' me a very long time ago - "You're already Irish - you don't have to wear green on St. Patrick's Day."
This tradition may have been started from a bad St. Paddy's when I forgot to wear green and was pretty well abused at school. However, I have always liked the idea and I share it out at the least provocation. When I'm older and gray-er, I expect it'll be common knowledge and a fine pinch-less tradition.

So, in honor of St. Paddy and my family's American Irish Green-ness, I thought I'd show some of Tucson's Spring Greenery.
The Aloe Vera plants in my yard have pushed up their stalks and presented tubular flowers to which the hummingbirds and bees are attracted. The bees were being a bit shy today. Yesterday they were visiting these flowers with legs loaded with pollen...today, they were too fast for my camera and their legs were rather bare of pollen.

Notice the purple flowers?

When we bought the house there was a green bush in the corner of the yard. The next spring, I was surprised to find it offered Lilac blossoms to delight me and make me smile for the lovely scent and flowers from my childhood.

Lastly - these are the flowers that, for me, truly represent spring in Tucson. African Daisies.
When the African Daisies bloom - it means it is Spring.
They close up at night and open to face the day.
They don't stay for long - just for our short springtime.

These happy flowers are in the yard of my neighbor, Linda.

Have a lovely St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Blogs to Explore - Three-fer

Continuing my efforts to reduce my "Blogs to Explore" stash by actually exploring some blogs I bookmarked to review later...
(this might be the only successful stash-busting I can hope for.)

Brooklyn Tweed:

My first impression of Brooklyn Tweed was: "Where is the stuff?"
You know, the stuff that surrounds the blog..."About Me", "Blogs I follow", history of the blog...?
It's blank...maybe he/she is a minimalist? Hmmmm.
(Blogspot issues? Nah - my "stuff" is intact.)
Ah-HA! Found 'em! Waaaaaay at the bottom, past the photo galleries and Flicker links.
I'd say he's a minimalist. Likes things clean and uncluttered.
(My craft room might give him hives on sight...)

My 2nd impression of Brooklyn Tweed - VERY talented crafter. Knits, spins (gorgeous stuff)...Oh - designs too (I believe published in Vogue knitting - and WEBS)...
And he (I think it's a he..."Jared") appears to be a professional photographer - which explains the seriously lovely photography decorating the blog.
And he appears to be quite fond of "natural" colors - gray, tan, browns, more gray...bronzy golds.
Ah - and he teaches. Yep, he's probably HUGE in the knitting industry and I just don't know it.

And my Knit-ignorance is showing some more. There seems to be some abbreviations I'm clueless about - kind of like I walked in on a conversation and I'm lagging behind. I expect I'll figure it out if I keep reading - who "CE" is...and what an "MFA" is...
(Eureka! "CE" = Classic Elite Yarns!)

Woof, this guy can KNIT / DESIGN. He also offers some good advice and educational links.
And here's a neck warmer in "Brioche" stitch. This might be the one I saw folks knitting at Purls. That was also the day I learned my favorite (ancient) LL Bean sweater was not in some kind of rib-stitching...it's in Brioche stitch. Good to know since I want to recreate my fav gray sweater before it fuzzes apart (sooner over later - it's over 20 years old. (damn, I'm old)).

I think I'd like to continue reading. This is not a blog that makes me giggle out loud, but it is Very inspiring, and as previously noted, loaded with educational opportunities.
(And some pattern-design shopping opportunities...I think I'd like to try the Brioche stitch on a small scale in the form of that neck-warmer.)

Exploring Earth Sky Knitter:

I believe I tagged this one off Knitty.Com - the Mindful Knitter.
It appears this nifty soul also writes books? (Yep, my ignorance is showing yet again...)
Wow - she is eclectic! Knits, plays electric guitar, is quite spiritual, is a Shambhala Arts Instructor, a Mom, studies Japanese Brush Painting, and I expect the list will go on quite a while.
Love the Yarn Whisperer pics!!
I'm intrigued by the Mindful Knitting Retreats and Events...
Rats - the link doesn't work. I'll try another tack later...
She seems like a really nifty and profoundly interesting person.
And I'll continue to read her Mindful Knitter articles every quarter.

Exploring Unique Designs by Kathy:

Closer to home. This is someone I already like and admire, although I don't know her very well. Kathy Withers. She spins the most lovely, interesting yarn. Of which I have procured a respectable (read mildly frightening) amount - and I shall probably collect more.
I barely abstained from adding to my stash when I glimpsed her booth at the 4th Ave. Street fair and made myself not even stop to look. Tragic and certainly not fun but I had a rare moment of willpower (that I'm rather regretting (sigh)).

She has a ranch in NW Tucson and I've been lucky enough to enjoy a tour during the 2007 Wool Festival. She raises sheep, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and I believe there's a goat, alpaca, and a llama or two.
She collects the wool/fibre and creates lovely stuff. She also knits and has an amazing loom and I believe her daughter is a Master Harpist(?). Kathy does amazing felted landscapes, and teaches classes...
Huh? Oh, yeah - the blog. Sorry.

We get to start with the first baby of the season from just a few days ago!
Dangerous stuff - she has pictures of the yarn in her shop. (I want...)
Cool - I didn't realize she has an Etsy shop - more power to her! (Well, yeah, I can shop locally...hmmm but I could see something on Etsy and ask her to hold it for me...(jeez - I'm yarn addict!!)).

Oh - it sounds like she's has a rough year already with her flock. Latte and Garnet and lambs gone? No - that is too sad.

Ups and downs - she has baby bunny pictures! I don't know if these are of the type (?Angora?) from which she spins the most lovely, tactile yarn. There was not a lot of the Angora Yarn the last time I visited 1-year plus ago (bunny-sized), but yummy soft all the same.

She's more of an real artist with her crafts. Free form. I tend to be more structured (read semi-boring), I think, but I admire her avant guard perspective and product - like this lovely shawl. And I'm already way back into her October blogs so I think I'll just keep reading. Yep, she's a keeper.