Sunday, October 31, 2010

Family Time

Maxi loves it when the kids are at home and our son, Joseph was in Minneapolis this weekend, visiting from New Haven, Ct. It was great to have him here although it is never enough time. I did take Friday off from work in order to spend a little more time with him. He was in town to play with the Minnesota Orchestra so we went to the concert on Friday evening and that was a treat as always!

We also had dinner with Joseph, our daughter Celia and her beau, Pat. We went to
Bar La Grasa and had a great time and delicious food. It was very special to have the whole family together. It just doesn't happen often enough.

I am in decision making mode about the next big project. I still have so many things in the works but I am drawn to starting something new. Does this happen to everyone? I haven't lost interest or given up on the things I am working on but I just feel this need to start the next thing!

So I keep looking at the materials in the cabinets and drawers and making lists of the new supplies that I might need for the next thing. But because there are other unfinished projects (several - alright more then several - lots!) I feel guilty about pursuing a new endeavor.

But, a girl can dream, and sketch, and handle all those fun tools and enjoy the feel of the many yarns calling out to her!!!

Yes, I am working on spinning the purple wool that I started this past week. I am working on the knitted cuffs that need embellishment. I am trying to keep up with the boxes with buttons that need to be stitched. I just folded 18 more paper cranes for my friend Anna.

But just look at that yarn. . . . . . . .can't you hear it calling? . . . . . . . . I won't resist for long . . . . . I am weak.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spinning through the Fall

The gold flame spirea bushes in the front yard are just beautiful this year. I cannot remember them ever being such a great mix of colors. I cut some branches for my desk at work as I know they won't last long outdoors now. In fact it is raining this evening and the wind is getting quite gusty so everything may look a lot more like the end of October by tomorrow morning.

The prep work is done on my next spinning project. This is a nice variegated purple, lavender, and grey wool that has been in my fiber stash for a long time. It has been on my list of projects to be completed so it feels good to get at it!

I was hoping to spin it directly from the locks as it is in the photo above. But after closer examination it proved to have too much plant material in it.

I spent several hours pulling the locks apart and gently opening them to release the little bits of grass and dirt. I usually work over a white cloth laying across my lap to catch the fallout and to give a light colored background that makes it easier to see the foreign matter. This is time consuming but very rewarding!

I now have a box full of this purple cloud-like wool! I am not going to card this or prep it any further so I will hopefully get a nicely textured yarn. This will make a single ply yarn that is not a bulky weight but a little heavier than a worsted. That is the plan. I will photograph the results and report later.

The last rose of summer!!!!

Yes, on Saturday, Oct.23 I photographed this rose blooming in our backyard! The serviceberry tree that it is leaning on has dropped all it's leaves and most of the plants around it are going dormant but this rose was fooled by the warm temperatures and has just kept growing.

Enjoy whatever fall weather you have left. There is the mention of snow flurries in our forecast for this week. Winter will come. . . . . . .

Friday, October 15, 2010

Craving Carbs! ! !

I always miss baking in the summer. Or do I just miss the home baked goodies? Well, whatever. . . I bake far less in the heat of the summer than in the cooler weather so I am always craving cookies, scones, zucchini bread, chocolate cake . . . .need I go on?

Okay, so I did raise the temperature of the house and the electric bill to run the air conditioner a couple of times. I baked these chocolate chip cookie bars earlier in the summer. I used a recipe from my friend, Mary Lynn in Omaha, given to me years ago when we both worked there for Mangelsen's. Still my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Check the recipe out on my page listing.

We had lots of zucchini from our garden that could be made into bread, bars, muffins or zucchini chocolate cake. So even when it was too hot to bake all those goodies we grated it up and froze it in 1 cup portions for future use. Waste not, want not!!

And now that it is getting cooler again, I can get back into baking mode. This is sister-in-law, Suzanne's zucchini bread recipe. It is in the pages list also . . . you will love it!

I will add my zucchini chocolate cake recipe next and soon a photo of the fresh cake. . . . .Umm!