Monday, March 29, 2010

Pulling out all the stops

Where we live here in California, it gets quite warm in the late spring and summer. It isn't a far drive to Lake Tahoe though for some good clean fun in the snow.

I pulled out every last hat, glove, scarf, and other random knitted item that I made my family over the last couple of years and dressed them up in it all.

"It ITCHES, Mommy!" was the refrain of the weekend. They were overall pretty good about it though and in the end, wearing a silly beanie that your mom made you is still better than a cold head.

Maybe I'll knit some lighter weight something up for this summer. Meanwhile, I'm thinking about the summer deadline to enter quilts into PIQF and wondering if I could finish something in time.

And if you're looking for some cool photos from Yoko Saito's recent class in Norway, check out Emily's blog Ravenhill and Una's blog Samsy for some beautiful photos of the purse class they took from her. Sigh...wishing I was there with you both!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gifts from afar - Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2010 and Yoko Saito

The other day, I went to my mailbox to pick up a package sent to me by Foong Ming.

She is a quilter, a reader of my blog, and happened to also be going to the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival last January.

Inside of the package were two books that she got there for me.

The first one is a catalog of all the winning quilts at the Tokyo quilt show. This publication is amazing and beautiful. Each of the quilts is a work of art and the photos are just stunning. I have always wanted to attend this show, and now I feel like I have been there. So very cool.

The second book is by Yoko Saito, called "Daily Quilt" - ISBN978-4-529-04780-7.

I was looking through this book, drooling all over the amazing taupe quilted item patterns. If you don't have this book it really is worth adding to your library.

While I was reading, thinking how sweet Foong Ming was to send these to me, I saw the first page of the book.

She had it SIGNED and ADDRESSED TO ME!!! by none other than the famous YOKO SAITO!!!

At this point I almost fainted, ran and showed it to my husband, and I'm now calling this book my favorite book in my entire collection.

Thanks again Foong Ming. You rock! Sending a virtual hug your way...all the way from California to Singapore.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The wearing of the green

Did the food scientists who developed Mac n Cheese think of it as a St. Patrick's day food?

Well, perhaps not, but with a generous amount of green food coloring, any dish can become an Irish feast.

I wore my green shirt today, and celebrated St. Patrick's day by spending an evening with a couple of my best girlfriends for knit nite.

They are creating some awesome things, and I'm still learning how to use my drop spindle and trying to make yarn.

In my next post, I'll be telling you this amazing story of what I got in the mail yesterday. It includes not only taupe fabric, but also Yoko Saito (in a very special way), and the Tokyo Internation Quilt Festival, as well as friendship from Singapore.

I know, it's hard to wait, but it's too late to tell that story tonight and I want to do it right.

For now, kiss an Irish friend, and raise a glass - Slainte.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Great....that's just great.

I'm still plugging away on my signature quilt. It's been slow going since the baby has been sick on and off again.

I ended up missing my monthly quilt group over it (horrors!) but a worthy cause to comfort a sick little soul. He's finally better so we're all thrilled to get back to a more normal routine.

Last night our 4 yr old was acting up, so I told him he was going to bed without storybook time as punishment. Usually when I punish him he cries, or ask me to forgive him. Last night he looked right back at me and said, "Great...that's just great, Mommy" and stomped off to his bed.

My husband and I looked at each other in awe, wondering if teenagehood has set in 10 years too early. Yikes. Are they supposed to do that at 4?!

This weekend I'm off to take a spinning wheel class at The Verb, so looking forward to that and cannot wait to see my spinning girlfriend Marianne again.

In photographic news - I ran across the photography of Brigitte Carnochan. She has some nude work but I find that her Handpainted Flowers and Still Life Gallery is a very unique take on macro photos and quite beautiful.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Using a drop spindle with kids

Answer to my brain teaser is that I made bracelets!

After teaching my son's class how to use a drop spindle, I gave them each little bracelets made out of the hand spun yarn with a wool felt bead.

My son helped each of the kids pick out the color felt bead they wanted and I tied them on. They loved it and it was a nice take home item for them to show to their parents and explain how they learned about wool, felt, and how to make yarn. We used dental floss threaders to get the beads on to the yarn. Pretty simple.

Meanwhile, my cold is getting better which is the good news.

Maybe the bad news is that our baby is an overachiever and has already starting acting like a two year old. Tantrums galore.

I'm the star entertainment of each restaurant we visit - holding and attempting in vain to comfort my little fireball - while wondering why I ever decided to leave the house in the first place. Oh the beauty and the heartache of being two.

If you're looking for the next greatest blog since sliced bread, head over to visit my sister's fresh new blog. It's devoted to scrapbooking. I'm sure she'd love a little hello from you.