Thursday, December 29, 2005

The paper has settled

Well, Christmas with 4 kids in a spacially challenged apartment sure was interesting. Christmas morning was a flurry of activity. And I mean "flurry" But instead of snow, it was wrapping paper. There were things that were from mysterious people because the kids only got as far as " Oh it's for me" before the paper flew and tags went awry. If we bothered with thank you notes, they would all sound like " Thank you for the lovely gift. It was much appreciated." We had inclement weather so did not go visiting. Thank the great spaghetti monster. And had my parents and a friend over for supper that was greased with lots of wine. My parents left about 9 because my dad had a new calf that he had to check up on, a Christmas baby none the less. But Linda stayed on until about 1 am and watched both "the Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy" Both were greatly enjoyed by all who partook.
Since then, I have been sleeping in , eating, drinking and being merry. Tis the season for a bit of debauchery. I can feel my ass starting to spread, But I won't worry about that until next year. Slated for new years is a games night at the aforementioned Linda's house. We are having a curry potluck and I can hardly wait! Sweatpants here I come.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Canada Post impressed me????

Two weeks ago, I received an e-mail from my sister alerting me to the face that she had dropped something in the mail for us and to keep an eye out. It arrived two days later. I was impressed. Then, after frantically working on the warp from hell, and finishing it, I posted the result on Monday the 19th,I received a note on Wednesday the 21st that it had arrived, and I was really impressed. So then, on Wednesday, DH also received an e-mail from his brother, who lives in Victoria, stating that he had posted something that day that probably wouldn't arrive before Christmas. So this morning , 7:00 am, the door bell rings. Hmmm. Being "The Man" in the house I haul my ass out of bed and go and answer it. It is the Canada Post Man with a package from Victoria! I sign and chuck it under the tree and go back to bed( no school today for the kids as a obligation trip up the river to the in-laws house is the order of the day (no guilt thought because, really, how much is going to get done today)) Later that morning, DE says " that was quick, I bet it cost him a bit though." So I check. $40. The postage from Victoria to Fredericton in two day is $40. Should I be impressed, or should I be horrified. That is 16 import beers, 4 bottles of wine, or a moderately priced bottle of scotch. Now I know the origin of "highway robbery"

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

the clock is ticking

The warp from hell turned out to be two very nice pieces of woven fabric. They felt a but like burlap after coming off of the loom, but linen is sometimes like that. After washing, it was crisp like linen should be but very soft. Lovely if I do say so myself.
Saturday was The Great Tree hunt. I took all of the kids to the Farmers Market, where trees are known to gather near Christmas and picked out the perfect tree. In our case, due to lack of space, the perfect tree is about 6 feet tall, skinny, and flat on one side. Move over Charlie Brown! The kids decorated it after I did the annual strugle with the lights. I was actually quite impresses with the effort. It is not jam packed with ornaments and there is no more than two ornaments on any one branch. I remember the first year that I let the kids at the tree. There were some branches that had 6 or 7 balls on them. They were all plastic of course, but it still looked a little lop sided.
Shopping is all done. That's what happens when you run out of money. But nothing has been wrapped yet. I keep waiting of the perfect time, when everyone is asleep, but usually I am one of the ones that is asleep, and wrapping gets done. I have two more presents to finish. Snakes and ladders game boards that employ 10 sided dice and go up to 196 or so. My boys could benefit from some addition games. I figured that the 10 sided dice would be a good thing because of the novelty factor involved.They are starting multiplication in school soon and as of yet have not perfected addition to 20. The other present is the same for a friends kids. I just hope to get them done before Friday when the kids get off school.
And tomorrow is the solstice. DH and I used to host a solstice party every year, but since the family has grown, the space in which we resided seemed to shrink and we decided to not bother the past few years. This year will be no excecption. However,I am sure that we will raise a glass of something in honor of longer days to come. It will just be a bit quieter than it has in the past. Maybe next year.
I had to bring L to the dentist today to get what I though would be a filling, but which instead turned out to be an extraction. Apparently the tooth was going to come out soon any way and the cavity was all the way down to the pulp. Ick. No wonder he was complaining about it hurting. I hope that this will be incentive to brush better and more often instead of wailing about how he hates to brush. Suck it up princess, or there will be a lot more where that came from. That's my nasty mommy voice speaking. It seems to come out more often these days.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Warp from hell

I had visions of a beautiful orange,yellow,red rep weaving, but stupid me didn't sample. I know that I am suppose to sample when working with new materials or a new weave structure. Well, in my defense I have woven with linen before and I have woven a rep weave before. I had just never woven a rep weave in tow linen. I should have known better. Can you say sticky? Can you say no shed? For those of you non weavers out there,Imagine picking burdocks off wool mittens. Fun. NOT! I had to take out half the threads in order to get a shed and therefore had to use a different weft. I am sure that I am confusing some people. Time for "Weaving for Dummies" Weaving is basically having a bunch of yarn all laid parallel to eachother. To weave, you go over the first thread, under the second, over the third , under the fourth, etc. The next time , you go under the first, over the second, under the third..You get the picture. It would take a long time to do this by hand, and that is where a loom comes in. It holds all of your yarn parallel (this is a warp) and raises every second one. When every second yarn is raised, it is called a shed. You have a bobbin which basically looks like a long skinny thread spool and it is onto the bobbin that you wind your weft or the yarns that you are using to do the over under thing. It goes in a shuttle which is smooth and slides throught he shed. And lastly a rep weave when finished looks sort of like corduroy , but larger. I can't think of a better way to describe it. I am sure that there is a better way , but I am drawing a blank. Oh yeah, Tow linen is slubby, hairy linen. It likes to stick to itself if it is to sett to closely together.

Lesson learned...Again...Sample. Sample. Sample.

On the bright side, Liz, Kate, and I made out like bandits at Briggs and Little woolen mill. We stopped off at Blacks restaurant to have coffee, which expanded to fries and westerns, and in my case, breakfast. I have enough fleece to satisfy my daughters needle felting craze for quite some time. I even got some for myself. All I have to do is find time. It seems that there is so much to do right now. Oh yeah! It's that Christmas thing. Right . Right.

Last night was also the annual Stitch and Bitch Christmas gathering and Yankee swap. I am the proud owner of a fir and pine swag thingie that is over a picture in my living room. It looks quite nice. I also came away with two crocheted doilies which are now under plants. This year we had a $5 limit as always, but our gifts had to be, at least partially, hand made. It was all good and lots of fun.

Kate took some pictures of the temari balls (aka pretty useless things) but DUHH, I am having a hard time getting them out of the e-mail and into iphoto and then on to this blog. It is time for Tech Support! Aka DH. Who is at work. Maybe later I will get this thing to work. Sigh. I hate being technology challenged.

Friday, December 09, 2005

One puddle two puddle

The other title could be called "tales from toilet training".

My youngest, N, we shall call her, suddenly decided the other day that it was time to, "poop in the potty" . I fluctuated between "yeah! Finally" and " Oh no! Puddles and wet spots" . The potty was reclaimed from the shed, dusted off and warmed up. It now resides in the place of honor, right next to the "big potty." She is now able to remover her diaper all by herself and has had a few successes. Yeah! But they are far outnumbered by the, we shall call them "puddles" . I think that you know what I mean. I have to say that this stage has been something that I have been both looking forward to and dreading for a while now. The end of diapers. The beginning of independence. But DAMN! I hate to have wet socks. And the couch never did recover from the last bout of toilet training involving twin boys. At least N is a girl and she just leaks as opposed to the boys who, because they are boys, tended to spray. It is amazing the range that they had. I think that the only furniture that they didn't get was our bed. That is a strict rule in my house. No naked bums on the bed. I hate to step in it , and I really don't like to sleep in it. Ick. Along with the diaper, N can remove all of her clothing now. Another "milestone". It is one thing to run around naked in July, something completely different to run around naked in December. I keep my house cool, around 18. Drat those power bills. We live in an old house that was built in the days before Fiberglass Pink. I think that they used spit to insults the walls here. I wear a sweater most of the time and slap the wrist of any one who touches the thermostat. Usually L, who seems to think that 30 is a good temperature to have the house. I think that I finally have him trained. I don't understand how N can run around with nothing on.

I had also recently been at a big sale at the local Co-op and bought diapers for less than half price. I had a little extra cash and so stocked up to the tune of almost 600 diapers. If she potty trains now, I will not have saved any thing. And I thought that I was being smart. None of my other kids trained this early. They were all closer to three. I guess that in the unlikely event that they do not get used, I will donate them to the local food bank.

Nothing new on the weaving front, although I am almost finished a new temari ball. It is in pinks on a navy background. I think that it looks quite pretty. And most of the money that I made at the sale is gone too. Surprise surprise! But the tree will be a little fuller underneath this year. I am even going to get myself something because DH is hopeless when it comes to shopping. Once he is at the stores, he does pretty well, but it is the getting him there that is the hard part.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Did you ever realize how many different meanings there are for the word committed? First there is Committed as in "I committed a crime" Then there is committed as in "Once you step out of the plane, you are committed to parachuting" And then there is the committed that is attatched to the word asylum. As in"We had to have her committed to the asylum." There may be other meanings, but they didn't come to mind yesterday while I was winding a ball of yarn. Sounds pretty innocent that. Winding a ball of yarn. I have a swift, I have a ball winder. What I don't have is a swift that will take a skein of linen that is almost 2 yards in circumference. I had purchased two skeins of that linen years ago and of course in to the stash they went. One is a lovely deep red, the other is black. At our local weavers group meeting a few months ago, some one came up with a brilliant idea to have a yarn swap. And I inherited two skeins of the same kind of linen that I had in my stash excecpt in a medium and a dark orange. The three look stunning together and the black add some nice highlights. BOING!!! Project in mind! Strike while the irons hot! ( I swear that my daughter will get her chance at the loom) Then yesterday, I thought " I'll get the "ball" rolling and get these things balled up before I have to pick up the kids. Half an hour is plenty of time to make three balls" ( I had already made the black into a hand wound ball in the dark distant past before I had my wonderful ball winder.) Out comes the swift, out comes the ball winder, out come the beautiful red linen. I try to fit it on the swift but to no avail. The skein is HUGE! Maybe if I set the swift up so that the yarn hangs vertically in stead of horizontally, I can get It going with out too much fuss. Hmmmm. It seems a little off exactly vertical but maybe it won't make much of a difference. Gentle reader, 2 degrees off vertical does make a difference when you are dealing with 500+ yards of linen in a humongous hank. The thing kept falling off in dribs and drabs, the yarn got tangled around the shaft, which was horizontal, I can't even describe the tangling that took place. Needless to say I had to quickly abandon the ball winder idea and started winding by hand because I had to keep ducking the ball through the tangles. So what started out to be a quick 15 minute project turned into one that took about two hours and included leaving to get kids, waking the sleeping baby, starting homework, keeping the awake baby off the skein so that my mess wouldn't get any worse. I was committed to finishing the ball making process because my "studio" (haha) is the living room that is also the playroom for the kids. In politically correct terms, We are spacially challenged. My kingdom for a room with a door. I would have dearly loved to shut the door and walk away. I would have come back and finished, I swear. About half way through the ball making process, I thought that I should have been committee for thinking that my harebrained idea would work in 15 minutes or less.

I still have two monster skeins to wind. Any suggestions?

Monday, December 05, 2005


And that is cha-ching as in loonies and toonies hitting each other in the cash box yesterday. The show,Christmas Choice at Memorial Hall, was a long standing show that is known for the quality of the work. There were not as many participants this year as there have been in the past, but maybe that worked out better for me. It takes place in the old theater hall on the UNB campus. It is a beautiful old hall with stain glass windows and high ceilings and poor lighting. Thank goodness for clip lamps. I had handwoven,hand dyed scarves and fabric origami cranes, reindeer, and cards. I had also made some small purses in the style that I prefer. Long handled so that I can wear them across my chest instead of having the fool thing constantly slipping off of my shoulder. And small enough that when jammed full will weigh no more than 2 pounds. Unless it is full of loonies and toonies! Then I will let it weigh slightly more. I also had a few temari balls. And people came and people saw and people BOUGHT!!!! I had one woman, bless her, that spent over $200! She did her shopping for her daughters in laws with me. People raved about my scarves. I feel so validated. It makes me want to dye more and weave more. I will ,but later. My daughter wants to use the loom. I kept saying "yes, but later" so later has come. I think that she wants to make herself a chenille scarf. She was really enamored of the ones that I made, but they are the wrong colours for her. I even did a trade and netted some gifts for some family. Gotta love it when that happens.

Thanks to Liz who was there with me and who would have sold more if she had made more!!!!! She had beautiful knit and felted purses and some hand dyed skeins of silk. And thanks to Joe who kindly lent us a table ,and then when we discovered that we had about an acre of space in which to set up, kindly lent us another table that was holding up a bunch of his stuff. He even took some pictures, so maybe I can score a few and learn how to post them here. Thanks to Bill, my DH who has always given me support,and said that I deserved a good sales day. And lastly thanks to wee Nicole for still taking naps and letting me get some sewing and warping done. I feel like I have won an Oscar and had to thank all the people who made it possible, I'm so pleased.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Happy Saturday

I had a really great title for my post today, But I forgot it. So what else is new.

I did a wee craft show on Thursday at my DH place of employment. It was only an hour and a half, but I have to admit that I was quite disappointed with my $9 profit. It was originally a $4 profit but I think that the secretaries in my DH office felt sorry for me and sent half my booth fee back home with him. I am doing another show on Sunday that is much better advertised and has a good history, so I am hoping to make a bit out a bit better there. Liz and I are sharing a booth and I just want to say thanks to Liz on two accounts. The first Is because after moaning about my dryer not working, she said that her old one used to die all the time and it was almost always the fuse in the switch box. So I being the intrepid explorer that I am, found the fuse box and lo and behold! there it was! a blown fuse! We had spares so I just popped one of those suckers in and was back in business. Phew! The second thanks to Liz is because I can't spell very well and when I was typing in my interests for this blog page, I spelled "dyeing" as in colouring yarn, "dying" as in game over. I was following the rules you see. Drop the "e" and add "ing". I have two reluctant readers and so am going over spelling and phonics rules with them all of the time. So Liz clicked on my links and came up with people obsessed with death. I looked at one and the first few words were, "death, dying, blood, vomit....." and then I stopped. Not quite the image I am looking to project. Think "rainbow, sunshine, bright red blue and yellow, happy thoughts" Well, maybe that is a bit too much in the other direction. Think coloured yarn. That's right, coloured yarn

lizzies yarns

one thread two thread