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Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years' Resolutions: What's on Your Needles for 2011?

Today, the snow  is melted and all but gone. It disappeared almost as fast as 2010, fading away to reside in our  thoughts and memories like a melted Sno-Cone.

Now's the perfect time for planning new projects for the coming year, while clearing out the cobwebs of the past year. Time to empty those knitting baskets, so we can fill them with glorious yarn finds! The Tootsie roll canister is filled and close at hand (food for thought). My desk is not nearly as cleared off as I had hoped, but will be, soon.

I am compiling a To-Do List, things I want to make in the coming months. I'll check off my WIP list from Ravelry first, then fill in with ideas from some new books I received today:
  1. finish Sharon's Winter Socks
  2. The Agatha Cardigan
  3. make a felted purse: Pursenalities: 20 Great Knitted And Felted Bags
  4. make Igor a jacket from stash.
  5. finish The Raven Doily by Halloween
  6. start 99 new coasters for 2011 Christmas card inserts
I'll add more as I go, but this will keep me busy, for now.

I think the weather has the woodland critters confused. Today as we were driving back home by way of a country road, we saw a very large 'Possum on a fallen tree, a fallen victim of one of last Summer's random tornado episodes. He looked disheveled and confused.
Then tonight, I spotted a very large rabbit sitting at the bottom of the hill out back, shaking his ears.

He better be careful or he'll be a munchable for a passing Owl.

It is so warm outside tonight, you can hear the wind in the trees; sounds and feels more like late-summer. It's suppose to grow very cold overnight, but for now, it's weirdly surreal outside. I almost expect an Aurora light show, if not for the clouds overhead...

This is my last post for 2010. May we all find peace and hope in the coming days, weeks, months. We are all in this together, one World united by hope, peace and love of life. Tomorrow, we will begin our day with "business as usual"; but for now, let us will dwell with our memories of Yesterday.

~Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Steady as she knits..

The Agatha right front panel is moving along. Well, I should say I'm moving along with it; as one fellow Knitter said, I may have found the rhythm, and it's going faster now, with fewer rip-backs...
Agatha close-up of a 2-pattern repeat
Agatha right front panel
 I found 4 new books today, am excited to get them! The felted purses looked interesting, especially after my first attempt at felting, back in Nov. during a knitting suarez over at Kellie's house. I'm linking to some Amazon listings,  while they are still available. In no particular order, it clogs up my blog a bit, but hopes it will help someone find a copy they might like.


The Variety Book of Crochet (No. 10)

It was a fair morning, the temp was around 29  F., (wind chill 11 F.) so I opted for a walk with the neighbor, just a couple miles. It felt good to get out again, to inhale the brisk morning air, to feel the tingle work it's magic in my nasal cavities. I woke up at 4:00am to a clogged face, and soon realized I was in the midst of an allergy attack. I had messed with the cat's bedding the night before, and although I made sure to wash afterward, it was already too late. By mid-morning, I was in a full-blown sneeze attack which came and went sporadically then hung around until late evening. I'm not liking this one bit, and will have to wash the cat's blanket at some point, but for now, I'll stay away from it. It's not bothering Miss Pepper, so I'll leave well enough alone, for now.

DD19 brought me home a container of Tom and Jerry Mix (recipe); they make it in her bakery! YUMS!

Miss Pepper misses Summer and being outside, as much as I do...
Igor is having a riot in the snow~

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Liat Knits a Key Cozy - Videos Part 1 and 2

Liat shows us how to make a Key Cozy, using the Magic Loop technique. Good practice for beginners. *M1 (Make 1 stitch), shown at approx. 8 minute mark.




Liat's Limitless Cast-On for Two-at-a-Time Anything! Part 1

Liat's Cast-on socks, cuff down~

Liat's Limitless Cast-On for Two-at-a-Time Anything! Part 1



Liat's Limitless Cast-On for Two-at-a-Time Anything! Part 2

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We can haz Ixchelbunny Yarns!

I just got the most wonderful surprise in the mail today!!! Actually I got it yesterday, but we're finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel and I have now got free time to actually catch up on friends and to write to let my dear friend know it arrived :)

I love the calender! Birds are my passion, I just adore watching them. Mike and I had an unusual day today. Mike hollered for me to come look out the back window-a Red-Tail hawk had snagged a squirrel on our back deck. I had just put peanuts out, and apparently one squirrel wasn't paying attention. After catching his prey, the hawk carried it up into the trees, while a family of crows huddled nearby, giving  Hawk no end of grief. I ran upstairs and confirmed the actual catch spot-the evidence was on the deck rail and in the snow below. I felt a mixture of sadness and celebration of the Circle of  Life.

I'm going to remember this day now, every time I put peanuts out for the Blue Jays, Crows, and squirrels. It's going to be tough, I don't think I will be able to stand at the window now, there will be moments of regret. I'm glad I wasn't there to witness it, but I knew about the family of Hawks-they have been nesting here in our neck'o the woods for 3 years in a row, and have decided to stick around a while.

I have the calender by my coffeemaker now. The lace yarn, Ixchelbunny Mulberry Silk, "Shiburi Indigo" is absolutely delicious~ what can I make with it, hints and ideas welcome!

Mike made us Sloppy Joes tonight-they are so good, but very messy. Mike's is growing cold, as he is outside in Garage World, yucking it up with a friend on the phone. Igor is driving me nuts as I type, laying his head firmly on my arm and is really pushing down, while eye-balling my plate of Joe. Goofball.

Wishing you all a good night and sweet dreams~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Knitting Instructional Video - How To Do a Russian Join



Jeanne from Jimmy Beans Wool demonstrates How To Do a Russian Join while Knitting. Jimmy Beans Wool is your LYS... online!

I'm going to use this technique on my Agatha Cardigan pattern I just purchased. It's one-piece reversible construction looks really exciting. I'm thinking I'll use Plymouth Encore Tweed, Grey Heather T781. I purchased it from Ben Franklin Crafts a while back, not quite sure what I was going to use it for, but this might work out great for a mid-weight sweater, after I've re-calculated the gauge.
Agatha Cardigan
Agatha Cardigan closeup


Agatha Cardigan

DD19 just called to tell me they canceled the get-together at 2 Seasons Bowling Alley, too foggy tonight, making driving hazardous. I'm glad she decided not to go, but now I have these batches of FUDGE I was going to gift. OFUDGE! now I will have to eat it all or see if I can freeze it for later.

I am thinking of trying these gloves for Winter Hands; they sound perfect for moisturizing and protecting from dryness. Check back for reviews.

Peacel, Light and Love~ knit warm and stay happy!
Our Winter Solstice Tree

Friday, December 17, 2010

Recipes from the Hearth: Artichoke Spread

Tonight is a good night for a nice relaxing evening with friends. Time to kick back, turn off the phones, get off the computers, and chill with a glass of wine, some appetizers and a lovely view of the snow-covered woods.

Artichoke Spread is my annual Holiday favorite, served on warm toasted Parisian bread from our local bakery.

Here's an easy recipe:

Artichoke Spread

1 13-ounce can artichoke hearts or quarters, drained
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
a dash of red pepper flakes for garnish

Mix all in a small food processor until creamy. Chill and serve on toasted slices of good french baguette slices, rubbed with a clove of garlic.
Serve with a nice Moscato

Bon Apetite!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tommy James & the Shondells_Crytal Blue Persuasion



Fanette Island Tea house, Crystal Bay, Lake Tahoe '80
My friend Linda reminded me of a song I fell in love with as a kid: Crystal Blue Persuasion. I remember EXACTLY where I was when I first fell in love with the song. In the back of my Mom and Dad's '64 White over Aqua Blue Chevy Impala, in the parking lot at Harrah's casino, North Shore Lake Tahoe, with my sketch book, colored pencils, and 3 new issues of some teen horror mystery pocket book I had picked up at the local 5 and dime. I was 13 and didn't have to stay at the Recreation Center (Kids Center) for the first time ~I was truly in my element up there in the higher altitudes -Life was good. :)

I should get back into my art again. Every Winter, I find myself either knee-deep in comtemplations of days gone by, or up to my hooch in snow on the front porch. The quiet serenity that I feel every time I look out the big window facing West, reminds me of Home, of care-free days and Loved Ones now passed. Sometimes my Soul aches to fly out that window, over the hills and trees beyond the pond, toward that beautiful sunset. I yearn to once again visit Yesterday before it disappears forever. But before it goes, it displays it's radiance in such breath-taking colors, I catch my breath and stop to stare. Then I remember where I am, and I'm content in knowing I've made it this far in my Journey, and that is enough to still my heart.

Tomorrow is Dad's birthday-he would be 96, but to me, he will always be that brave soldier who's hand I held until his battle was finally over.



Happy Birthday, Dad~ I love you!! ♥♥♥

Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Reviews, Picket Fences and Rome, Wisconsin

We're about done for the night-what the heck, it's Friday night and we're bored??? We're caught up from the past couple weeks, it's been crazy busy for the pre-holiday rush, but finally, things are slowing down just a bit.

Still reading Death in a Prairie House, nearly half-way into it. I'm finding too many freaky similarities in the Lloyd-Wrights' and the Coleman/Schwabs. Frank's mother reminds me too much of Mike's ex; all about her family, and persuading the children in the ways of the Colemans, diminishing, minimizing everything having to do with the Schwabs. Money talks, BS walks.....siiiigh, some things never change...

Am shopping for a new book out by Chris Wooding, The Fade. It's something Nats would like, subterranean world-stuff.
She likes his books, just finished reading Poison, and I'm giving her Haunting Of Alaizabel Cray ; I want to read that myself.

I was emailing back and forth with Linda G. tonight, talking about Picket Fences, the HBO series. She told me that Rome, WI, in Jefferson County did, in fact, exist. I did not realize it until she mentioned that the father of Myrtle (The Poison Widow) Schaude's dead hubs, Ed,  was born in Rome, WI. Why I find that story strangely fascinating, is beginning to become clearer to me, now. It's the atmosphere of the area, drawing me in. Places have that affect on me, I have noticed. No coincidences here.

I'm also going to check out The Hunger Games series, which comes highly recommended by Linda~
I'm more driven to look for and find a deal with individual books, thinking outside the box. It's the thrill of the hunt.



OHEY, I finally got around to downloading a new cellphone picture of Baby Rhonda, perfect for this cold first-snowy night! She's such a cutie-pie, in her Snow Bunny Snow Suit.♥♥♥
I made her some Winter Socks, to match Mommy's Winter socks. Boy, am I behind in my Project Posts. I have been knitting in the background, always make time for that in the mornings.




Just about to call it a night-my Old-Fashioned did not happen, Mike is falling asleep at the wheel here.

Wait, I hear him stirring in Garage World....there is still hope for that Old-Fashioned yet!

Simon's Cat in 'Santa Claws'

Merry Christmas, from The Cat.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sandra's Excellent Adventures in Felting

BLOG UPDATE 12/07/10:

I revisited this post at the end of a blog comment on Wendyknits's blog, and am thinking, "this really resembles something akin to a regurgitated hairball..."

My apologies to Miss Lucy and any hapless Readers who happen by.

I was invited over to my Rider's Edge Instructor's house yesterday, for a knitting/felting soiree, and had my first felting experience.
I got there at a little past 2pm. I got out of the Blazer and stop to take a long look around the 1839 limestone house-it is HUGE. So cool, I just stood there for a moment scanning the area, feeling the vibes. It came to mind, this must be what our friends feel when they first see our place. It was a pretty cool feeling, from where I stood; I definitely felt the lurve ~

I first noticed what I thought was an outdoor BBQ staging area, some bricks and mortar, like a small chimney. I wondered why that was there, kind of in an out-of-the-way place, but didn't think much of it afterward. Later, I found out, there used to be another smaller cabin on that spot that the owners inhabited while the Big House was being built. It reminded me of my Smith Valley Farmhouse, similar set of circumstances there. I imagine it happened a lot when people were settling an area.

We sat around K's dining room table, with a view of the great outdoors beyond her property. I watched a flock of turkeys wander by, out past the tree line, must've been 20-30 birds! Not too long after that, I saw a lone doe meander by.

It was so quiet there, sitting and looking out the window at the fields and pastures beyond, I almost forgot what I was there for.  So I grabbed my knitting bag and shared what I brought-the Alaska Jacket. I shared my experiences with the jacket, the pro's and con's of different areas that I felt were noticeable.  M said the jacket would look fine after I block it~ WHEW, that was music to my ears!

K showed me how to felt, something I had seen others do, but hadn't looked into yet. She showed me a Christmas Stocking she bought, with the intention of duplicating it for a gift idea she had been brewing. I said I liked that, so she showed me how to assemble it, wet it, abuse it in the sink and finally admire my new craftiwork.

What started out at around 8 inches by 6 inches, is now this:

It's almost dry now, but I think it's still shrinking!! HA!

I'm going to add some beads and an i-cord hanger to it, once it has dried completely. Cute, isn't it? It will fit perfectly on our tabletop Christmas tree-that will be coming out next weekend, hopefully.

Off to post in Ravelry, where M and K can see how it's developing. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coasters by the Dozen-Patricia Kristofferson

I recently received a new copy of this cute collection of coasters, by designer Patricia Kristofferson. Shown below, front left, back right.


Unbeknownst to the Seller, there was a signature by Pat herself, in the inside front cover.

I was pleasantly surprised, but curious to know how one would come about a sighed copy of a Leisure Arts booklet?
It doesn't really matter if it's real or a fake-the Seller evidently didn't know it was there, made no mention of it in her description.
Maybe I'll write to Leisure Arts and inquire as to how one would obtain a signed copy...perhaps they can enlighten us!

I finished another bookmark, this one I call The Poison Heart. I made it for DD19, to go with some books I've ordered for her, from the Chris Wooding collection. She already has Poison, and completed that book in 3 days.

I sense a matching coaster in the making, soon, going to peruse the Pat Kristofferson collection for something to compliment the bookmark~

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Look What Happens When I'm Away

THE GIANTS WIN THE WORLD SERIES! THE GIANTS FINALLY DID IT!! Dad is smiling down on them for sure!

I got this in the mail today from my Sis in Roseville, CA.

I was so surprised, I was jumping up and down like a schoolgirl when I opened the package! It was such a nice thing to do, too. Susie has always been so thoughtful that way. I am so bad about keeping up with her, but over the years, she has always been there for me, thick and thin, good and bad. I don't know how I will ever top this one~ watch out, Sis, I might just come through for ya! ♥♥♥

DD19's boss was given her walking papers at work, last Saturday-it was a sad day in the bakery. DD19 called me up, very upset, feeling as though she'd lost her best friend. In a way, she had-her boss took care of her from the moment she stepped foot in the bakery, and gave her every opportunity to get her life back on track. She had had such a blow to her self-esteem when told after almost 3 years of bagging, they couldn't find anything for her. But luck was on her side, when an opening happened and she was given a renewed sense of hope. Her boss gave her as much responsibility as she could handle, and DD19 took it all, no matter what. Hours, she took them. Tasks, she learned them and then taught others who came in after her.
They got together for lunch the other day, and DD19 came away feeling better about the whole episode. No matter what, she and her boss will always be friends-that is one thing they can't take away from their employees, over there.

I am nearing completion of my Alaska Jacket. Wow! I've been working on it for so long, I didn't ever think I'd get this far. I finished the two front panels just this past 2 weeks, working away at a row here and there, as time permits. I got a really big break in free time last Sunday and worked for what must've been almost 8 hours, in between baking a batch of biscotti and later making a simple dinner (ocarp, we have been so busy, I can't even remember what we had for dinner-the brain is fried).

I've been busy working on my crochet projects and finally got one off in the mail to Australia last Monday. I can't wait to see how (Name Withheld in case she's reading this) likes her "surprise" I made her. I have another one ready to go, it's going to GA, so there's no rush, yet. Packages to Australia can take up to 6 weeks-I hope mine reaches (Name Withheld) in time.

The biggest enjoyment of my life is making things for other people, no matter where they are. I don't spend a whole lot of time with emails, as I'd like to, so my blogs and occassional Jacquie Lawson e-greetings are one of my favorite things to do, to say, "HI! I'm thinking about YOU!"
When I'm working on something, it gives me a chance to sit back and relax for a little bit, and reflect on events of the days. I think about people I miss, wonder about people I haven't heard from, and relish every friend I come in contact with on a given day.

OMYDEARGAWD Jo-Ann is having a 3-hour FREE SHIPPING SPECIAL TOMORROW! 12-3pm EST!! WHOOT that means I have to get up and get cracking if I'm to take advantage of some yarn deals! I'd really like to find some warm fleece for another jacket for Igor, too.

I've been busy pouring over my newest Patricia Kristofferson crochet books, and waiting until after the Holidays, to start something new, for myself. I got a new book of Coasters by the Dozen, which I can't wait to start on! And as always, I found it on eBay, but in case you can't find a good deal there, I always turn to Amazon, where you can find a lot of nice people there. I've bought many things from Amazon, and sometimes you can find a better deal than even the retail shops can offer.

For now, I think I have all I need, between a dozen coasters and 99 Little Doilies! And as the Holidays roll past, and the Crafters sell their wonderful creations and return to us for more, I am thankful for every day I can sit here keeping my memoires and wondering, "Where does the time go??" For all too soon, another year will be behind us.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Heart Bookmark and Coaster : Ravelry

New Bookmark and matching coaster is posted!
Ravelry: manyhorsesmane's Heart Bookmark and Coaster

Heart Bookmark by Terry Kimbrough




These are going in someone's Christmas card this year :)

It's been pretty busy since Sept 1st, when the Crafters began gathering supplies for their craft shows. In the midst of all the chaos, we began moving everything in our website over to a new cart checkout system, with fully automated card processing. This is going to free me up at least 2 hours a day, and so far, we've taken in 50 new orders through the new checkout, - it works without a hitch! What will this mean to our customers? Quicker overall order processing, faster ship times. For me? MORE TIME TO KNIT!!

I am going to start a new project for DD19, based on the same bookmark pattern, with a twist. I just got her a copy of a book she wanted, Poison, by Chris Wooding. The new bookmark is going to be a black heart with a red streamer attached. Picture in next blog :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Linda Godfrey at Janesville Mall and Cheerios

I coerced DD19 into driving me to the Janesville Mall to see Linda Godfrey at Waldon's Bookstore~ she is promoting her latest book out, "The Michigan Dogman".  I was happy to get my hands on a copy after the publishers "dogged" Linda and getting the books out-they arrived 2 weeks later than planned, and missed a few Halloween deadlines.


The turnout was nominal, people were shopping and many stopped to greet Linda, having met her at other speaking engagements in Lake Geneva and surrounding areas.

While we were in town, I had planned to get some yarn at Jo-Ann's for a chemo hat for CJ's DMIL, but discovered I had forgot to bring my 20% coupon, as well as any  directions to the store. We missed our turn, did a complete circle of Janesville, and did not find Jo-Ann. Bummer.


DH put a whole new meaning on the phrase, "taking the bike for a spin."...after he hit a leafy patch in the driveway while trying to turn the bike around, he did a couple perfect 360's in place, and both he and Luna came away unscathed. I saw it all in slo-mo technicolor nighmare from our office window, screaming "KILL IT! KILL IT!".

Quotes DH later as saying, "ain't giving up yet!"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween, and Jeff Buckley - Ulalume

Today was our anniversary and we celebrated it much as we do every year, by decorating and handing out candy to the Trick or Treaters. We had a banner night this year, at least 6 groups, averaging 6-8 kids in each group. There were the occasional one or two here and there, and even a few 4-legged Trick or Treaters in costume! They got a Milk Bone Treat for being so adorable. :)

My dear friend Lindy, sent me this haunting Youtube poem reading: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgeaqpmqUT8
-a very good rendition and perfect ending to a Happy Halloween!



I finished another bookmark, this time a Bat House Bookmark, and gifted it to my next-door neighbor. I figured she was probably due for something other than another Chemo Coaster, and they do love their bird feeders, but it is after all, Halloween.

We ended our day over hot bowls of chili to take off the chill, then DH fell asleep in his chair while I listen to the Giants and Rangers play for the World Series. My dad was a die-hard Giants fan, we went to many games in my early years. After I left home, dad still enjoyed going to the games with his buddy. The year he passed, I sat with him watching them play for the Pennant, but they didn't make it-Dad shook his head in disappointment that they didn't get to go that year...he passed away 2 days later. I hope they win this time; Dad must surely be enjoying watching them from his special Fan Box~

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Strange Wisconsin Sightings in Madison

Road trip to Madison, WI, with Linda Godfrey, author of Strange Wisconsin, and our local Folklore Expert  on The Beast of Bray Road,  at the Wisconsin Historic Museum. 

Homeless People eating fried chicken over the trunk of her car, top the list of strange "sightings". I felt bad or those poor Souls with no place to be, but the Museum Attendant who escorted us out to the car, was not as sympathetic. One inebriated fellow gave him a hard time about his right to sit where he wished; it was not a place to hang out.

We arrived in Madison at around 11:30, with plenty of time to acclimate. I went over to the Gift Shop and began making my "list" of must-haves for after the book talk. At around 12:00, people began to arrive, much to our relief, and soon, the meeting room was nearly completely filled; very few empty seats remained.

 Linda engaged Listeners with a detailed hour-long synopsis and slide-show of  notable locations around the area. Many of the locations are listed in her book, and I had the pleasure of seeing the spot where the cover photo was taken. The Death Rider was strangely absent; perhaps he was out riding with his WWII buddies, all of which were created as a memorial to lost servicemen the Artist knew.

After Linda's speaking engagement, we took a stroll down State St. to Takara Japanese Restaurant, and had the bestest e-VAR Shrimp Tempura and California Roll sushi. You must order the Green Tea ice cream, afterward-it's a perfect ending to a wonderful meal.

 Then we headed back out for some fun, eclectic shopping. I found DH a set of "Flesh-Eating Zombies" for his haunted toy collection-he LOVED them!! I also got him a shot glass for his collection. I found a set of Wisconsin Lighthouses note cards for some old-fashioned snail-mail correspondences. There's something to be said for getting a letter in the mail, mustn't forget.

 

Many Thanks, Linda-we MUST do it again!!! 

 *footnote:

I hope my mention of the Homeless People did not come across as crass or rude-that really bothered me for  the remainder of the day-I kept thinking about how that very thin woman scurried away with her meal, like a little  mouse, too afraid of confrontation.  The man was just rude, but that's typical of some drunks, some are happy and some get mean...



 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Get-Well Wishes for Hayley

Please send my Grand-daughter Hayley Johnston get-well wishes!! She had her appendix out and is feeling UGGY~ WE LURVE YOU HONEY! XGRAMMASOX

rileychildrenshospital.com
Copyright © 2000-2010 University Pediatric Associates, Inc.Riley Hospital for Children702 Barnhill Dr. Room 5900Indianapolis, IN 462021-800-248-1199

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cut-Glass Snowflake Doily Pattern

Copyright © 2010, Judy M Kerr. All Rights Reserved.
as seen in this blog post:
So Far, So Good: Cut-Glass Snowflake Doily

"The Super Lacecrafts Collection - Crochet, Tatting and Knitted Lace", an Anchor/Coats publication (#17552 in the US, I believe; #1324 in the UK).

This is a wonderful book, but must find a less expensive copy!!!

Judy posted the pattern for the snowflake motif on her blog.

5th Annual Ride for the Burn Camp, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and NEW BOOKMARK

5th Annual Ride for the Burn Camp, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

One of my Riders Edge Instructors is a retired Racine Firefighter. Tom Mills is a hero in every sense of the word.

I had the pleasure of meeting Tom at my RE courses, after hearing the tale my DH brought home from his RE experiences, 3 weeks earlier.
Tom Mills, upper right

He told me a tale of an event a few years back in his career, when he arrived at the scene of a burning building. There were two children involved, a boy and his sister. He rescued the boy, and was honored for his heroism in the line of duty. When he retired from the Racine Fire Fighters, he was given a plaque by Harley-Davidson to commemorate his services. They commissioned an artist to paint his likeness on the fairing of his bike, a picture of a firefighter, carrying out a young boy from the flames that nearly took his life.
He retired with honors, never thinking he'd come face-to-face with that part of his career again. Until years later.

Tom is a veteran Harley rider, over 50 years under his belt. He had attended hundreds of events, and one in particular won honorable mention.
He was to appear at a Burn Camp in upper WI, to give motorcycle rides to burn victims, as part of a charity event. When he rode up to the camp, he was approached by a young man. The youth and his mother approached Tom, and the boy asked him, "Are you Tom?", to which Tom replied "Yes!" The boy asked him, " do you live at ***** Dr. in Racine?" Puzzled, Tom replied, "why, yes, but how do you know that?"
The boy said, "You probably don't remember me, but I'm the boy you carried out of the fire, the one who's picture is painted on your bike."

 After Mike completed his Riders Edge course, he gifted an antique firefighter's axe to Tom. We had no idea how old it was, or where it came from, only that it was given to Mike's dad a few years earlier, where it sat in the corner by the back door of our garage. Tom accepted the axe, and later told me how he had researched the axe's origins and maker's marks. He found out it came from a fire station on Halstead Ave. in Chicago, and was one that would have been attached to the inside of the cab of a fire truck, behind the Captain's seat. He even knew what company made the screws that held the axe head to the handle.
He proudly told us that he hung it in a room in his house that housed many memorabilia, and we were so happy to know it found it's home, exactly where it belonged, in the home of a TRUE HERO~

We are honored to have crossed paths with this great fellow, and hope to see him again soon, when we  reunite with our new Family at Kutter Harley-Davidson, for next Spring's events.

I finished another crochet bookmark today. I did this one in variegated purples, it just reminded me of petunia colors. This one is very pretty, and was easy-peasy. I especially like it's Victoriana old-style charm. There will be many more variations made from this pattern, I'm sure!

Petunia Bookmark
by Alyce Cakalic
from Leisure Arts #75069, Reader's Choice Bookmarks

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Linda S. Godfrey at the Lake Geneva Public Library

Linda S. Godfrey at the Lake Geneva Public Library

I'll post updates when I return!

Hi Honey, I'm BACK!

We had a great time at Linda's speaking engagement at the Lake Geneva Public Library! Over 125 people attended, and they all came to hear about her new book, Haunted Wisconsin, Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Badger State.

We arrived at the library at approximately 6:00pm and were greeted by a couple Early Birds, anxious to meet the Guest Speaker. We began setting up the table, putting out all the books we brought with us, and within minutes, the room began to fill. Before long, we had dozens of people standing in line, waiting to have Linda sign their newly purchased books. I managed the sales, freeing Linda up to autograph and speak with her fans. She literally glowed as people came up to her, welcoming her and recounting tales of previous appearances they attended; Linda has quite a following!
Linda gave a wonderful presentation complete with slide show, and great tales of her travels through Wisconsin and Michigan.

While I am no writer, I hope I have done Linda justice in my blog-I had a great time and am looking forward to going to Madison with her on her next speaking engagement, Wed. Oct. 27 at  The Wisconsin State Historical Society - NOON to 1 pm On the Square in Madison, at 30 North Carroll Street, 608-264-6555.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Bookmarks to Crochet

Finished this one today, it was a joy to make. 
by Pat Gibbons
from Leisure Arts #75069, Reader's Choice Bookmarks

My other two bookmarks, the Sunflower and the Butterfly, got featured photo requests today! I'm working on the Petunia by Alyce Cakalic, next. Nobody has done one of those, so mine may be the first.  They are fun and work up fast, I hope to have several done by the time the Holidays roll around.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bookmarks To Crochet

Finished this today, another easy-peasy little gift idea that will wind up in someone's Christmas card, for sure!
 Butterfly Bookmark by Patty Kowaleski


The leaves are falling fast. I missed being able to go outside and work in the yard, still getting caught up on work from the week. I did bring the hummingbird feeder in. I will miss the little Hummers~

Tomorrow, I will bake Biscotti, then later in the evening,  we'll watch Dexter, Season 1, Disk 3. The break is going to be welcome~

Friday, October 15, 2010

MSF Riders Edge Basic Course | Resources For Women Motorcycle Riders | Harley-Davidson USA

As promised, pictures of our Kutter Harley-Davidson RE course:

Class #178, day 1. Kelly, our Instructor (lower right). Do we look a little nervous to you?

hugging a curve, LOOK AHEAD!
The curves were a riot, once you got up a little speed. The bike is NOT going to tip over.

 SEE = Search, Evaluate, Execute.
I had already got my groove on, weaving in and out of the (3 inch tall) cones on the range, I reeeeally hugged the curve to see how much control I could maintain and high tight I could maneuver around a curve. These are the same bikes used in races, I got nowhere near the depth of angle that can be achieved, with a little practice.
DH doing a curve, having a RIOT!

Obstacle course-piece'o cake.

My next bike. It sold the next day..., siiiiiiigh...

The Happy Graduates of Class #178. WE DID IT!
We are both so glad we took the Riders Edge course-you come away from the experience knowing you can go out and ride responsibly, without endangering yourself or others.


Resources For Women Motorcycle Riders | Harley-Davidson USA

Resources For Women Motorcycle RidersRead stories from woman motorcycle riders and find information about riding courses, gear & apparel, women's motorcycle events and tips for buying the right bike.
Check it out at Resources For Women Motorcycle Riders

99 Little Doilies- Definitely not enough time in the Day!!

I just received my copy of 99 Little Doilies By Patricia Kristoffersen, and I'm positively in awe of all the cute designs!
This paperback book has 144 pages of patterns, color photos, and illustrations with comprehensive instructions for various unique stitch techniques, including: working in front, around or behind a stitch, free loops, working in center 3 loops of a stitch,  working in 2 legs of a stitch.







I also got this new book the other day:


Reader's Choice Bookmarks by Leisure Arts #75069
and finished this cute Sunflower Bookmark, from the front cover:

Sunflower Bookmark


I've been crocheting for over 40 years, having first learned the basic stitches at age 10. I can thank my Mentor, Ethel Harvey, for inspiring me to crochet. I used to go over to her house as a child, on those long summer days and spent many hours under her care and guidance. My mother was very grateful to have Ethel as someone I looked up to, I'm sure. It kept me out of trouble and very busy when school was out. I can thank Ethel for my green thumb, my love of antiques, and also my collection of assorted greenhouse-variety cacti. I remember her house, a single-level bungalow on the end of a cul-de-sac. There, she tended nearly a half-acre of all manner of roses, trees, shrubs, vines and perennials. I even remember a Pitcher Plant by her front steps. The thing smelled rotten, but she showed me how it would collect rain water and flies would become trapped within it's bloom, to be later ingested by the plant. I remember it looking like this:
Pitcher Plant
Someone who I once considered my best friend- no, my Mentor, once told me I should stick to crochet, in lieu of knitting. I wanted to expand my crafting talents and have had a long-time love of all things knit. In retrospect, I have spent probably a little more time than I should have, contemplating her statement and consequent decision to cut our friendship short, wondering why things happened as they did. I cannot come up with a single reason...so, no, I will not stop knitting, I enjoy it too much. But I will keep crocheting gifts, even though some of those things may hold some sad memories within their intricate knots.


We went for water at the Spring today. to fill a multitude of gallon jugs (old milk cartons) with the natural goodness of artesian well water. It tastes so good, and is so COLD coming out of the pipe. It was originally dug by hand by a farmer over 150 years ago, 60 feet down. Since then, a pipe has been fitted and a concrete base makes it more permanent. Recently, some heathen kids did some graffiti art on the base of the well pipe, a horrid desecration, in my humble opinion. Kids with too much time on their hands, you can never get away from it, even in the country.  
 It was a crisp, sunny 59 F at 5:30 pm, the sun low in the sky, nearly blinded DH. We saw one Whitetail rump disappear into the woods, on our way out. The woods always remind me of childhood memories of Placer County, CA. The twisty windy tree-lined roads,  the deep woods just beyond, the pine needles on the forest floor, whisper of secrets along darkening paths.

It's Friday, Taco Night! I'm hungry, so I'll scoot outta here and come back later with pictures of mine and DH's Riders Edge experiences~you don't want to miss it!