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Monday, June 30, 2008

Another Project Almost Done!

Whoo, hoooo! I'm being very productive these days. I've had a few custom orders that I'm working on, plus I think I'm near to having found a great website designer for a reasonable amount.

Here's the bear square, but the duck is not yet ready to be unveiled. It's been a fun project, and it's making me realize that baby blankets do not have to be that hard (remember the twin's blankets -- so many squares! In fact, I confess, the girl's blanket still sits ...) Anyway, you really need only 20 squares to make a good sized blanket (the square is about 10 inches). And I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, which has really nice colors and is so soft. I haven't tried washing it yet, but I have the feeling it'll be fine. Ok, now, back to the duck!

Today's Thought: Check out my tea recipes on Associated Content to quench your thirst during your 4th of July festivities!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I know, I said I was done with the animals of yarn, but I discovered I hadn't covered the Alpaca, and that's a glaring omission because Alpaca fiber is the warmest out there and so great to crochet or knit with. These animals used to live just in the highest elevations of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, and northern Chile. They are related to llamas, but unlike llamas, they are not work animals or raised for their meat, it's all about the fiber. Their fiber was once considered a luxury, but now that alpaca farms can be found worldwide, alpaca is becoming more affordable and more available.

Today's Thought: For all you budding writers out there, there's another site on which you can post your work -- It's easy to use and accepts a variety of topics.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Googly Eyes

There's this great new-ish craft store on Barracks Row here in DC called Ipso Crafto (gotta love that name!). I ran in tonight just before they closed (at 7) to pick up some of those eyes that you stick on dolls, etc. They have the black discs that shake around in the plastic covering with white background -- you know, "googly eyes"! Why might I need googly eyes you might ask? Well, because I've come up with the cutest crocheted squid, and he needs some eyes :-) Pictures to come (yes, the B-in-L still has the camera, dah).

Today's Thought: "She" magazine from England is just so cool -- it's a woman's magazine with fashion, make-up, recipes, home tips, etc., but with less ads and fluff and much more substance than the mags we have here. Subscriptions are not cheap ($69 a year), but you can sometimes find single copies in Barnes & Noble or Borders.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Well, at least the kitchen! I played hooky from work today (I took the leave, it's legit :-), and I'm planning to go sit out by the pool for a little while, but at least I got up and cleaned the kitchen. I'm hoping to get more done this afternoon, but we'll see...

An axolotl update: so, the body is done, but I'm having a little problem with the head. I had hoped to do the whole thing all in one piece, but I think I might have to do the head separately, then attach to the rest of the body. Back to the drawing board.

Today's Thought: George Carlin was a comedic genius, it's a real loss to the entertainment world, but thankfully, he's left behind so much great material. Of course, a lot of it is available on YouTube, but his two-CD set is so worth checking out -- George Carlin Classic Gold.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mmmm, Turkish Food

I have been in the cooking mood, go figure! I usually avoid the kitchen if I can, but once in a while, I'm having the urge for certain foods and end up making them myself. And, for some reason, I've been really wanting "borek" lately -- it's a cheese-filled Turkish pastry (savory not sweet), and so, off to the Turkish grocery store I went! Here in the DC area, there are a number of Middle Eastern groceries, and a Turkish one opened up not long ago in Rockville, MD (N. Nelson Street, right off of 270). It's called Lezzet, and their stock is pretty good.

I also found a great website,, on which a Turkish woman has posted a number of recipes. Next I want to try Turkish ice cream (dondurma) because it's really custard-y in texture (kind of like gelato), but the store was out of mastic gum, and I'm discovering that that is an ingredient that is not easy to find! Well, I'm sure Lezzet will restock soon, and dondurma will be mine!

Today's Thought: On the same theme, Turkey's national soccer team takes on Germany today at 2:30 EDT on ESPN as part of Euro2008!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I've got nothing to report on the projects -- Sunday and yesterday were just so busy, so I got nothing done, ugh. Things are getting out of hand around the house too, the layers of dust, yes layers I think ;-) But, I'm really hoping this coming weekend is going to be quiet and uneventful, allowing me to finish my current projects and get this house cleaned! I dream of having a team of people come through, cleaning, dusting, and taking care of everything, while I lounge on the couch directing them and working on whatever I want to do, ahhhhhhhh. Yeah, well, I'd better snap out of it and get back to figuring out where I left that pile of bills that need paying!

Today's Thought: The Crafty Bastards' Arts and Crafts Fair is coming up this Saturday the 28th. It's from 10 to 5 at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, 8230 Georgia Ave in Silver Spring Maryland. It's a huge, good time (they had over 20,000 attendees last year at the Adams Morgan fair), with unusual vendors and music and other performances throughout the day!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Well, I am learning so much about the Axolotl. It's a Mexican salamander basically, not to be confused with a lizard or reptile because they are amphibians. And, they come in all sorts of cool and different colors. The one I'm making is going to mimic the "white albino" with red gills! (if you'd like to learn more, check out I found a great 100% natural bamboo yarn that's so great for creating this plush amigarumi.

Not much else going on -- I'm still waiting for my brother-in-law to return my camera, but here's the owl I made for the baby shower earlier this month ;-)

Today's Thought: Williams-Sonoma has these great microfiber dusting mitts that pick up everything, and they come in cool colors too.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


So, went to visit my friend who had the twins. They're about 3 1/2 weeks old! Sooooo cute. And I managed pretty well if I do say so myself :-) It's a little scary though, they're just so small, and two of them. Man, and when they both get going at the same time.... Anyway, no child endangerment laws were broken, so it was a success!

I'm having such a great time with the Wii Fit! It's pretty cool I must say -- it's really not hard core exercise, but the evaluative tools are pretty good and accurate. For example, it can tell if you're maintaining proper posture and balance and gives you tips on how to make corrections.

Alright, back to the projects. Yes, that's right, plural! -- am making an Axolotl and duck and bear squares pattern. I know I keep promising pictures and not delivering, but I swear they'll be a whole bunch soon!

Today's Thought: The Daily Crocheter is a great site to find free and for purchase patterns and all sorts of crocheting info, and you can sign up for their newsletter!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


So, last night, I finally took my new Wii Fit out of the box and set it up (quite easy actually), and on it I went! Suffice to say, my Wii Fit Age is quite good I must say :-) and I can tell, this is going to be a lot of fun! Then, my husband says, "hey, that looks cool, let me give it a try." So, his Mii gets imported, and he types in his height. So far, so good. Then, he steps on the board, and we hear an audible gasp (never mind that it does that each time anyone steps on, that's the first time we heard it :-), then his Mii starts getting wider, and his BMI is not pretty! He then does the balance/fitness test, which comes out fine, but the Wii tells him his Wii Fit Age is 4 years OLDER than me!! Heee, heee, heeeeeeeee! Anyway, I’m loving it and am so glad I didn't ebay it! I'll keep you posted on our progress!

Today's Thought: For those of you in the Washington DC area, the Crafty Bastards Silver Spring Crafts Fair is coming up on Saturday, June 28th, from 10 to 5. Admission is free, and you can find out more information, vendors' list, etc. at !

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Well, the baby shower yesterday was so nice (as nice as it can be in an office!), and I think the mom-to-be really liked the stuffed owl. I found the pattern in Crochet Today magazine (Sept/Oct '07, p 75) and just changed the color scheme to match her color choices. Of course, I forgot my camera, but hope to get some shots from others.

Ok, so back to the girl baby blanket, especially now that the babies are home with their mom, who really went through a lot (eclampsia and the whole ICU bit). We're hoping to get over there soon to visit, when she's ready, and I've got to have that blanket done to take with me!

Oh, and here's an interesting tidbit: Chenille is made by lining up the fibers horizontally on a machine, stitching down the center, then trimming, apparently like a pipe cleaner. That's part of the reason chenille has no elasticity and also why it can shed.

Today's Thought: Artomatic is coming to an end this Sunday here in DC, so if you're in the area, try to stop by and support the local art community!

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Ok, I think I'm running out of animals from whose down yarn can be made! Yaks are endangered animals from Tibet and the surrounding Himalayan region in Southeast Asia. Considering how unstable that region is and to help keep them from extinction, yaks are being sent to cold-weather regions for reproduction. Yaks produce two types of hair: a coarse outer coat, which is used for rugs and ropes, and a soft inner coat (the “down”), which has been compared to cashmere. Yak hair is extremely warm because yaks are used to subzero temperatures. It's quite laborious to produce yak yarn because the coarser hairs must be removed from the down to get usable yarn. Thankfully, there seem to be enough people around willing to put in the time!

Today's Thought: Next time you're in the mood for a home-made hamburger, try using ground buffalo meat instead -- it's much lower in cholesterol and fat than ground beef!