Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Pictures for Friends

I took some pictures for Marly a couple of months ago, for an article she wrote about an afghan her grandmother made.  They're in the latest issue of Crochet Today!  The article is on page 92.  No photo credit for me, but I know I took 'em!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Photos for My Knitting Friends

For my friend Beth, I took some pictures of her new bag.  Isn't this cute?  As of this posting it is not available yet but it will soon be at Knit Picks.  Beth's got a great eye for colorwork, as you can see in all her pieces.  (Just follow the link above to see more of her patterns.)

I swapped Beth pictures for yarn, and I made my mom a hat!  My mom needs a hat that is "not too tight" because she doesn't want Hat Hair when she gets wherever she's going.  Of course, even in the Colorado mountains it is mostly too warm these days for a hat, but you never know when a storm will blow in.  Now she'll be set. 

Pattern: Ratatouille by Marly Bird
Yarn:  purple, Cascade 220 Heathers; brown, Black Water Abbey Worsted in Wheat
Needles:  US#9 Addis, 16" & dpns

As I was walking away from my conversation with Beth, my friend Christie asked how much I charge for pictures.  We got to talking about her Yarn Lover's Lotion and as she told me what she was looking for I knew this was the perfect project for me.  I love still life and macro photography.  As Christie was describing the rustic feel she wanted, an idea was forming in my head.  I was planning to spend the weekend at my parents' in the mountains, which is full of rustic charm, so we made plans to get together before I left town. 

When BFJ and the boys and I pulled up to my parents' house, it was serendipitously perfect light so I jumped out, hauled out my camera and props, spread stuff out and got to work.  My mom helped me some and the boys would wander by, dinner time came and went.  You just can't let those perfect light moments go wasted!  I ended up with lots of shots.  Too many, actually, I am still editing them!  But I had a lot of fun; when the pieces just fall together like that, they are the best shoots.  My mom suggested this nice slice of wood, which may be a bench someday, and you can see my dad's sawbuck in the background of the pictures.  Rustic, yes?

In part, I swapped pictures with Christie for some of her awesome lotion.  It comes in three fragrances, Lavender, Lime Verbena, and TinCup Arts' signature scent.  They are all delicious but I do have a thing for Lavender.  And the cute little tins!  Once they're empty I'm sure I can find a use for the tins.  The Bruise seems to have really taken to the TinCup scent. 

I got up early the next morning and took a few more pictures for good measure. 

If you are interested in some of your own Yarn Lover's Lotion, you can check out their website here.   

More later... I'm dashing off to take more pictures!    

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Posy Pattern

Finally, I can let one of my secrets out of the bag:  I have a pattern published here!  And here's a look at it: 

I set myself a goal at the beginning of the year to submit a pattern or two.  It's that first step that is the scariest, right?  (I was going to submit my baseball gloves somewhere, but I didn't know where, and one of my friends suggested I have very lofty goals, so I published that one myself.)  My first ever pattern submission was selected - hurray!  I was thrilled when I got the letter back saying my pattern was selected for the Summer 2010 issue of Petite Purls!  I thought that was going to be the hard part.  Ha! 

Before I had even heard back, I spent weeks looking for the right yarn.  A friend who knew I'd been looking for some lavender-y yarn gave me a bunch, so problem solved!  Er, not so fast; other colors were suggested, considered, and so on.  I had to find similar yarn in just the right color.  I tracked down a local yarn shop that carried the same yarn that I'd been given.  After a couple drafts of what I thought I was doing, I got started on the actual knitting.  You know how some things work on paper but not in real life?  Yes, you probably know about that.  After two complete tops that didn't look quite right, I surveyed my knitting group and they all agreed with the solution I had arrived at, so I knit a third top.  Luckily, I really did have a lot of this yarn and I never ripped out, I just kept pulling out another skein! 

I knew exactly (well, pretty much) how I was going to construct this top but when it came time for the shorts, I let that sit on the mental back burner longer than I should have.  But they were really easy, once I sat down and made them.

I learned a lot through this process.  Working with other people's vision of my vision is not an easy thing to do.  Then there were the pictures.  It seems I can never get the perfect shot for my own pieces as easily as I can for others'.  I took a whole set of pictures but when I sat down to look at them, they just weren't right and I was about out of time!  I scrambled to get together with a model at a closer location, and the second set turned out better.  It's funny how different times of day really look different on film.  In the end, everything came together and I will definitely have a better idea what I'm getting myself into next time!  But it was fun, and I acheived my goal and then some. 

Be sure to stop by at Petite Purls and see all the cute patterns they have!  Petite Purls is only celebrating their first anniversary but already they've got lots of great stuff.  In the Summer 2009 archives you can find one of Marly's patterns, for which I took pictures.  And this little blanket would make a great baby shower gift. 

Of course, this has nothing to do with my last post but it's what's going on for me!  I'll be back to the lime and lavender in a day or two.  And you might wonder if I've all but forgotten about quilting.  Never fear, it is on my list of things to enjoy this summer.  I'll let you know!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hello Summer!

I hope you all had a nice Father's Day.  We did! 
I have lots of stuff going on that I'm excited to post about, including a photo shoot, a new pattern, and more!  However, before I get to all that, I've got a few hundred pictures to edit.  So for now, just a sneak peek at some of the ingredients of my weekend...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday Morning Adventures

This morning I had a photo shoot without people.  Sometimes that's easier but then on the other hand, it's hard to tell objects to move just a smidge this way, now back a little...  Anyway, I took the boys to the park with me and we hiked around for quite awhile.  One thing I noticed while we were walking around was just how many types of grass there are.  For example:

On the way out of the park, this house caught my eye.  I've been thinking I should photograph it before it gets torn down, so I pulled over next to it.  It was crushed during last year's storm

While we were nosing around this building, chasing rabbits, a gentleman came out of the building we'd parked in front of.  Zoom was less than thrilled that we'd been caught trespassing.  How could his mother be such a hooligan!  Instead of being angry, the gentleman chatted with me for awhile about the crushed house.  (The owner, who'd recently purchased this 160-year-old house and was renovating it, was sleeping upstairs when the dog woke him up.  Good thing he had a dog!)  This fellow, John, also told me about coming to America in 1950.  He was from the Ukraine and had served in the Russian army during WWII.  He also fought for the US during the Korean War.  We had a nice chat and I wished I could give him some pumpkin bread or something.  Maybe I will run into him again. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Something for Me and Other Stuff

Thank you, those of you who voted for Aunt Sharol.  It feels like it's been two weeks since I posted; this past week has been loooong and full of stress. 

I debated about admitting this in public because I think this is a weird, old-person situation, but I had a kidney stone last Sunday.  I had one several years ago, before I'd had kids, (way before I was old,) and I remember the event and how I felt, but I didn't remember the pain.  This time, I knew what it was just based on location but the pain was so sharp that I could hardly breathe, which caused even more pain as my hands started cramping up from lack of oxygen!  (That might have actually been the worst part.)  The pain started at church and a handful of people were praying for me, including my little boys, and luckily it was gone within about half an hour.  I drank a lot of cranberry juice that day.  I've heard that this is the closest thing to childbirth that men experience.  They're not getting off lucky, that is some horrible pain.  And no beautiful baby to hold at the end!  I'm all alright now, but note to self, I need more water and ruffage in my diet. 

I've been working for a month on a sweater for Marly and I believe it is no longer a big secret as she took it to TNNA.  (If you check out Marly's blog, you can see my sister modeling two of Marly's latest hat patterns.)  Hours and hours I've spent on that sweater, and can't even show you a picture.  For one thing, it's still sort of secret, and for another, I don't have a single picture of it done!  Hopefully I will have a chance to photograph it when she gets back from Ohio.  But here's a sneak peek, which Marly did approve: 

On Wednesday, my dad had a heart attack.  My dad is in his early sixties, and good health but you just don't know what is going on inside, sometimes.  Fortunately, he was helping someone build some wood furniture and the wife was a nurse and recognized the signs.  He was flown to a great hospital and immediately had surgery, and is doing great.  A lot of friends and family came to the hospital, and many more were praying for he and my mom.  We are very thankful for our network of pray-ers.  There was not really a lot of panic, either.  Panic never helps.  The only people missing from the hospital was my sister, who ironically was flying to California for her job, and her husband who did offer to come up but didn't make it before the main hoopla was over.  She is the one person who always gets tragic news, like "someone died," or "your dad had a heart attack," on the phone at work.  It never fails.   

I knitted all the way to the hospital, at the hospital, and all the way home.  And then all night long, and got the sweater mostly done by 5:30 a.m., at which point it was in Marly's hands on the way to the airport.  Unfortunately, there were some finishing bits left for her to do, but I trust she'll forgive me.  I know she would if she knew how many hours the hood took! 

Then there are the little things.  We're trying to organize a block party on our street, and between the four houses in charge, we cannot pick one weekend day that will work for everyone.  Not one.  Why I'm in the middle of this, I don't know, but somehow I am.  And then we've had a deluge of rain the past few days, which has pummeled the garden and flowers around the yard.  I don't know when it's due to stop, I hope everything can recover.  Although it looks like it is going to be a less than ideal year for the peony.  Again.  At least my other alliums broke out before the storm came in. 

Oh, some good things happened last week, though.  I finally started on Something for Me.  And I realized, I could show you pictures!!  Unfortunately I did not have it done by yesterday evening, when I was hoping to wear it to a wedding.  But fortunately I recognized early on that it was not going to happen, and did not worry too much about it.  I think I might be about halfway.  I am hoping to have it done for next Friday.  Once I'm done, I'll tell you all about the details.  (Thank you, Larissa, for replying to my questions about gauge and drape.)

Another item on the happy side of life, we went to a family wedding last night.  We had a great time.  My sister and her husband were there, and my parents, and lots of cousins,  including Cousin Brian, the strongest man in Colorado.  Or so I assume; he placed third in a world competition so he's probably number one in the state, right?  Everyone wanted their picture taken with him, including these little cousins.  I realize that comparing him to little children really does not illustrate to the rest of you just how big he is, but it does show what a great personality he has.  

So the week ended on a positive note and we're looking forward to the new week ahead!  I hope you are all well and happy!  Ah Monday.  I can sleep in. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Vote for Aunt Sharol!!

(Actually, Aunt Sharol is more directly related to Aunt Banana than to me but we're still family.) 

Aunt Sharol needs your votes!  You can click HERE and see her two minute presentation on the TV show she'd like to create.  If you like it, please vote for her!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

In the Garden

I find it so interesting that the bees love the alliums and chives.  They (plants) are definitely keeping harmful bugs away from the plants around them.  I can see a huge difference between my chive-surrounded lilac and the lilac by itself. 

And here we are, the garden Day 1.  Everything's planted although we still need a gate!  Next year, raised beds.  I am very grateful to have a compost pile again (surrounded by rocks in the back.)  It is nice to know we are giving a little bit back to the soil instead of putting it all in land fills.  Despite the sad grass in front of our garden area, most of our yard looks very nice!