Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Happening Today

Today is the last day of Makers' May.  The last question is "How do you envision your work in five years?"

I've never been a five-year-plan person.  Ever.  Not even a one- or a three-year plan.  Things just get dealt with as they come up.

Today is also the day Kathy has given us another meme.  Rightly, she gave us yesterday to remember service members no longer with us.

This meme is "Check 'Yes' or 'No'."  Play along if you'd like.
*Will you be watching the Summer Olympics?
Here and there, I imagine.  I won't be looking for times or schedules, though.

*Is School OUT yet in your neighborhood?
Yes.  UGA first, then county schools.

*Did you go to summer camp?

*Do you display your needles?
Yes, though not really on purpose.  I keep them in a clay jug in the den, so that they're handy.  It wasn't an attempt to be artsy.

*Have you been on Ravelry this week?
Yes.  This morning, as a matter of fact.

*Do you walk outside at night?

*Do you think in metric?
Oh, lord, no.

*Do you want a swap?

*Are you afraid of mosquito borne illness?
Not particularly,

*Have you knit a Christmas or Holiday gift for 2016 yet?
Not yet.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Show My What, Now?

Makers' May wants to see my personality or style.  Pardon the drift back into time, but, when I was teaching, there would come a point in the quarter/semester where the topic of "How We Are Who We Are" would arise.  At the heart of Sociology is the belief that we are what our social environments and experiences make us, including traits which we may have always thought were inborn.  Personality is one of the things that environment has a hand in shaping.

During this chapter, I would give students several opportunities to take personality tests, from the serious to the silly.  Of all the tests that I gave over all those years, I never found one that didn't explain or describe myself perfectly.  One way humans have sought to explain others' behavior is through the use of astrology.  I am a textbook Aquarian.  The following characterizations of those born under the sign of the water-bearer are as accurate as I could be in telling you about who I am.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Down to the May Wire

Only a couple of days left in May, and, ergo, in Makers' May.  Today's question is 
"What is your next design project?"

Seeing as how I am not a designer, the truest answer would be "I don't have one."  However, I happen to know that a couple of Paloozites are sending me the squares they have completed to this point.  It could be called "designing," I suppose --- putting the squares together to make the blankets.

Yeah.  Let's go with that.

Briton has had to run errands for me this weekend --- picking up Maddie's insulin, going to the grocery to get me some things to drink and a DayQuil/NyQuil split pack.  Today, I feel better, though it's sore all around my sternum from coughing and coughing and coughing.  Those of you on Facebook know that there's a feature there called "On This Day."  My "On This Day" has been showing that I've been sick on this weekend a lot.
Your guess is as good as mine.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Happiness Is. . .

. . . seeing my children happy

. . . cocooning in quilts

. . . a breezy beach

. . .  seeing the first lightening bug of the summer

Friday, May 27, 2016

Cheers Friday!

Makers' May wants to know what I'm drinking.

The Blankapaloozites want to know what color their next square should be.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wish List

What craft skills do you wish you had?
Is drawing a craft?  Because I wish I could draw.  And be something more than an extremely basic seamstress.

I wish I knew what began pounding me during therapy yesterday.  All of a sudden, I felt like some had thrown me, face and torso first, against a concrete wall.  Today, my limbs feel achy, and heavy when I try to lift them.  Then they go all wobbly when I try to use them.  And there's a cough, and my nose is stopped up, and my skin has that distinctly "fever-y" feel, and my head hurts in a couple of different ways, and my throat hurts.

Other things on my wish list:
being left-handed
a midnight blue Rolls Royce
a house with lots of built-in bookshelves
being multilingual
bring able to arch one eyebrow

New color prompt tomorrow.  Are you in the mood for squares?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Can't Forsake This One

Yesterday's Ten on Tuesday was "Ten Favorite Desserts."  I can't let that one slide.
1.  Flan.  Any meal, any day.
2.  Sweet potato pie.  Do not try to trick me with pumpkin.  I can tell.
3.  Chess pie.  If it were possible to inhale a pie, I would do it with this kind.
4.  Warm sugar cookies.  In the end, sugar cookies always win the day.
5.  Tres Leches cake.  If you can make a good one, I am in your debt forever.
6.  Caramels.  Little cubes from Kraft.  Just hand me the bag.
7.  Egg custard pie.  There was a cafeteria my family went to a lot when I was growing up that served the best egg custard.  I can still taste it.
8.  Blondies.  Nothing against brownies, but they can be all over the place.  A blondie tastes like a blondie, no matter where you get it.
9.  Cheesecake.  Plain.  No chocolate, no swirls.
10.  Rice pudding.  Absolutely no raisins.

And, the minders of Makers' May want me to show something shiny.  So, here are the balloons from the shindig celebrating my best friend's contributions to her synagogue:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Do Ya Love It?

What do I love about where I live?
Part of downtown Athens, Georgia.

I don't know how many times I've told someone that Athens is great if you're a college student.  If you're older than that, it doesn't take you long to realize that you aren't the demographic for economic development in town.  Bars, apartment complexes, street festivals, bars, food take-out and delivery, nail salons, waxing shops, bars, football weekends, bars.

There are things I like about Athens:
quirky, interesting stores downtown (but finding a parking space to get to them is a nightmare)
summer (UGA students are gone, meaning traffic is immediately lighter)
the local restaurants (wide-ranging menus city-wide)
independent bookstores (yes, there's a B&N, but there are also little blink-and-you'll miss them treasures)
being "close" to Atlanta (for big events as well as one-day trips.)

Monday, May 23, 2016

What Would You Say?

What is your favorite handmade purchase?
Oh, my.  This is a very tough one.  Maybe a little hoop embroidery piece made by my cousin's daughter.


Kathy wants to know
*Are you more likely to wear a 
poncho or a shawl?
I'm more likely to wear a shawl, though I like ponchos.  It scarcely ever gets cold enough here for a poncho, though.

*Which brings you more joy, 
Casting on or Casting off?
Casting on.  That's easy.

*Are you more likely to knit a baby a hat or booties?
Honestly, it's about 50/50.  Strictly a mood thing with me.

*Does anyone in your family fall asleep in a chair or do they fall asleep in bed?
Bed.  Even when my children were little, they were unlikely to fall asleep in a chair.  (Car seats exempted, naturally.)

*Would you rather win a hot air balloon ride or a dinner cruise? 
Neither interests me.  I suppose the balloon ride doesn't interest me less than the cruise.

*Do you watch the awful news or do you avoid it?
I'm a bit of a news junkie --- I check headlines lots of times each day, and watch the evening news every night.

Do you go to the movies or wait for them on cable?
Again, this is sort of a difficult question.  There honestly aren't that many movies that can pull me into a theater, and if they can't do that, I'm not going to watch them anywhere.

ETA:  Kathy also asked how we feel about Noro.  I adore it.  If I could only have one yarn the rest of my life, that would be it.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Day in My Life

My days are nothing if not all the same.  In fact, one of the first things I do when I wake up is try to figure out what day it is.  I feed the cats, take Rupert out, dose Madeleine.  Then, usually, it's straight back to bed.

When I get up the second time, I take Rupert out again, then sit down for computer stuff.

The rest of the day, I knit or read.  There's almost always a movie or TV show playing on the computer.

Some days, there are doctor or therapist appointments.  Some, I need to go to the grocery.  And, honestly, that's about it.

I'm, basically, the poster child for an out of work depressive.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Makers' May. Day 21.

It's a gray day here.  The animals and I are fighting over couch space.  I think that they have developed a highly organized, sophisticated plan to deny me use of any part of it.  They have banded together despite their species difference against the common enemy, The Human.  I struggle  for a seat, and am granted one only long enough to answer the next MM question.  They demand chicken- and pork-flavored treats in return.

What gets you excited about your work?


I'm definitely a process knitter, rather than a product one.  The physical process of knitting is what I enjoy.  The feel of the yarn, the satisfaction of getting through lace repeats without screwing up, the motion of the needles, and the still hard-to-believe idea that an entire garment can be made with two sticks and what amounts to one long piece of string.

Friday, May 20, 2016


"Show off your friendor crew."

Makers' May, I'm 56 years old.  I know what a "crew" is, though I don't have one.  However, I have no idea in the world  a "friendor" is.*  Which is proof, I suppose, of my not having one.

Let's move to terms and phrases that I do know, shall we?

"Life of Riley"

"Don't take a knife to a gunfight.  Even if it is all fancy, and has your name on it, and stuff."

"Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?"

It isn't a 'man purse,' it's a messenger bag!"

"Never go to sleep angry."

*Okay, I can break the word down for its definition, but that's not as fun to write.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

What Color Is the Sky. . .

. . .  Oh.  Did someone use that already?

Today, Makers' May asks, "What is your color palette?"  Well, Makers' May, let's go to the chart for the answer:

If you think of the above as a clock, my palette starts at 10 o'clock (the purples, naturally), and sweeps under to about 5 o'clock.  Purples, blues, greens, greys --- which, sadly, are unrepresented.

I've nothing against yellows, but they just aren't quite in my wheelhouse.  I do not like orange.  You might be able to get a peach or an apricot by me, but I'm gonna whoa you up before you get to the true stuff.

Now, red.  I've nothing against red at all.  For some reason, red's simply not been a color I go to.  Clothing-wise, it's because I don't look good in it.  Knitting-wise, my attention always go to my purple-to-green colors;  I scarcely pay red any attention.

"Sorry" is one of those words that begins to look like a truly non-word the longer you look at it.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Makers' May wants to know the biggest craft mistake I ever made.  Well, I'm the type of crafter who throws away things that don't measure up.  Therefore, I don't have a memory of a sweater that came unravelled when someone wore it, or a skirt that I sewed splitting a seam.

I am sorry that I didn't keep the first think I ever knit (a vest).

I am a miserable potter.  Hannah and I took a mother-daughter pottery class together once, and I was hopeless.  She took right to it, of course.  It was good fun, even if the skills never clicked with me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Two On Tuesday: Kathy's Meme and Makers' May

This week, Kathy asks the following:

*What's your favorite toe nail polish color for summer?
I don't polish my toenails;  it brings unwanted attention to my feet.

*What do you do with an odd leftover knitted sock?
Turn it into a toy for the cats by filling it with catnip and cinching it up. 

*Have you ever had lice?
No.  We had a scare in middle school once, and all had to report to the auditorium to be checked.

*Have you ever had a Tic?
Yes.  Luckily, I found it right away --- before it had a chance to burrow.

Are you afraid of needles? 
No, not really.

Who are some of your favorite pattern makers?
Berroco is my absolute favorite.  I honestly don't know much about other designers.


Makers' May wants to know what my favorite book is.  It's Blindness, by Jose Saramago.  No, I did not see the movie version a couple of years ago, because nothing needed to replace the words and images that the book left in my head.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Makers' May

#15 --- Do you have any pets?
Why, yes, I do.
Erin (hiding her Granny-Smith-apple-green eyes)

Lily (originally headed for life as a barn cat)

Rupert (never the sharpest knife in the drawer, but scads of ways to make you love him)

Madeleine (found in the wheel well of my son's car)

Riley (who came to us when my mother died)

#16 --- Do you have any tattoos?
That's my right forearm, as you would see it.  It's the Chinese character for "center."  It's to remind me where to go when chaos descends.  As a bonus, you can find the initials of lots of important people in my life within it.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Digging Through The Yarn

Digging through the yarn to find


If you don't have a case, go with the color of your phone.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

If You Want An Action Shot

I'll give you an action shot:

Tomorrow, though, Maker's May, tomorrow there will be a surfeit of pictures.

Some time ago, I came across the notion of a pocket prayer shawl.  My mother was part of a prayer shawl group at her church, and, though I've never made a prayer shawl per se, I do hope that people who have worn my shawls found some kind of comfort in them.

But this idea stuck with me.  With the odd balls and hanks of yarn already being used for Blankapalooza and Harry's Hundred, why not tease something else out of the remnants?  So, I'm making one or two along.  The idea of a basket of these left at a church, or a shelter, makes me feel good.  

I'm not putting designs on mine, though I am using different stitch patterns.  My "thing" is sewing a button on to each one, in a fairly random place.  Somehow, that made sense to me --- if you are carrying the shawl in your pocket or purse, it would be easy to find, and quick to grab.  Also, I had the idea of a rosary, or a pebble you find that soothes you, or an aid to meditation.  The button might well interrupt grief or worry as someone holds the shawl, and finds it there.

I'm not describing this well enough;  it may sound a little too New Age-y than I mean.  All I know is that I got the idea for the buttons, and it seemed to be a good idea to follow.

And, on the subject of ideas, another Blankapalooza color prompt tomorrow!  How is everyone doing on their squares?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Changing Things Up

Maker May wants those of us who are participating to post five favorite IG accounts.  Now, I'm operating under the assumption that "IG" stands for Instagram.  And though I do have an Instagram account, I hardly ever check in.  Instead, five of my favorite Pinterest pins.

Daring, calling an audible like this, huh?

Former student, now friend, Heather Larkin, has a business called Fairyography, where she takes photos like this.  If you want to escape into a land of fairies and elves and many, many things breathtaking, click through to her site.

I never see, or drink, or even think about tea without my dear, dear Teabird coming to mind.  We've been friends for a lot of years, and she has been a rock for me a lot of times.

This from Emily, a friend I met when she was living in Ohio.  She's now in England, raising two very special children, Emmett and Alice.

Best friend Shari found lots of wonderful ideas for her daughter's wedding.  This is one of my favorites.

Kathy reminds us that just because you can wear it, doesn't mean you should.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Truth Be Told. . .

. . ., I should probably excuse myself from today's question:
What do you do on your days off?

Since I don't have a job, every day is a day off, really.

It's kind of funny --- my therapist once asked me, "When you were working, what did you envision as a perfect day, or weekend, off?"  My answer was, "Nothing at all to do except read, knit, and sleep, whenever and for however long I wanted.  Near a beach."

Turns out that when that's what you do EVERY day, it's not nearly as fun as it sounded.  Maybe the beach thing is what I need to pull it all together.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Question 11

What is your favorite handmade shop?

I have several friends who sell on etsy and artfire, so I won't risk hurting anyone's feelings by choosing one of those.  Fortunately, there is another shop that I just love: Lisa Snelling's "We Love Poppets" on etsy.  Her work is so lovely, though pricey.  I've given several of her prints to friends for various occasions.  And then there are the Poppet figures, adorably represented here by "Dandelion Poppet":
The creativity and skill that produce such beautiful things boggle my mind.  There are so many people out there with great gifts.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This One is Easy

The Maker's May question for today is "Who is your ideal customer?"

Anyone who buys!!!

My ideal situation would be to generate enough income from my etsy shop that I wouldn't have to dip into my Next-Thirty-Years accounts for living expenses.  But that's never happened, and it never will.  Charity knitting is where I'm at, as well as, in perfect honesty, giving my knits away.  I don't know how many students, over the years, complimented my mittens or scarf or hat. and I took it off and handed it to them.  The payoff was running into them somewhere later on, and seeing them wearing it.

All that I get from my father, who was a jeweler.  He'd offer people "special discounts" if he knew they truly wanted a piece, but were a little strapped for cash.  His favorite thing to do was deliver the jewelry to the customer, have the customer say, "Great;  how much do I owe you?"  Daddy would say, "When you get the bill, you can pay me."  Of course, a bill never came.

My mother, who saved and re-used everything, thought he was being reckless and naive, trying to buy people's friendships.  Those two were almost unfathomably different, but they had 56 years together.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Come Inside the Big Tent

Under this big top, questions about indulgences and priorities and preferences!  First in the Center Ring,  Kathy's Monday Meme.
1.  What is the bulkiest yarn with which you have knit?
I've dealt with some fairly bulky chenilles.  And Knit Collage has great bulky yarn.

2.What is the biggest size needle you've worked on?
50.  The project (a cowl) was off the needles almost as soon as it was cast on!

3.Tell me about the WHOLE enchilada.
Shredded steak, green onions, cheese, cilantro pico de gallo, then cheese melted on the top.

4.  Would you rather wear a bulky ring, bulky bracelet, or bulky earrings?
Earrings are out;  I wore earrings that were too bulky too soon after getting my ears pierced the first time, and tore my right earlobe.  With a ring, it would depend on what makes it bulky (material, setting, stone. . .)  I do like a nice bulky bracelet.

5.  Name something oversized that you own and love.
I can't think of anything oversized that's mine.  I have oversized collections of things, but the things themselves are of regular size.

6.  Which is bigger, your number of Ravelry project pages, or the number of patterns you have faved?
Patterns.  Not even close.

7.  What is the biggest vegetable you have grown?
A pumpkin.  Each of my children came home from school with pumpkin seeds more than once!

8.  How large is your stash?
I thought it was embarrassingly big, until I posted a photo of it, and had people tell me they wish they could pare theirs down to that size!

9.  What's the longest vacation you've taken?
A week.

10.  What is the longest you've gone without talking to another human being?
Two or three days.

Next, today's Maker's Question.
What would you save in a fire?
The pets.  (I'm assuming I can only save one thing.)

And our last circus ring:

Sunday, May 8, 2016

*happy dance* (Thanks, Chewy!)

It has happened!  I finally ordered a test product from Chewy.com for Rupert that he truly likes!
(That would be Rupert in full-throttle-excitement-mode.  Lily, of course, in natural-cat-mode.)

No, really --- he is genuinely liking this food:
Rachael Ray's Dish.  It has vegetables and fruits along with the beef and brown rice.  I had to sort of coax Rupert into that first bite, but once he tasted it, he dug in on his own.  Win!!

Cat food was also on the test list this month:
Wellness CORE Chicken & Tuna Hearty Cuts.  Lily and Erin are the canned food eaters, and notorious gravy lovers.  They, almost always, lick up the gravy from their food before eating a little bit of the meat.  This, they went after vigorously, and, when they were down, plates were cleaned of gravy AND meat.  Another win!!

Each month, Chewy.com asks me to choose two of its products to try.  My reviews are based solely upon my honest and true experiences with the products.  I receive no money whatsoever from Chewy.

Who Made Me?

That would be David B. and Delores E. Spence, shown here amid the Christmas chaos that comes from having two grandchildren:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Shelving and Sharing

Today's Maker's question borders on the unanswerable for me:
What is on your shelf?

Really?  Maker's May?  Really?  Which shelf?  There are so many shelves in this house, and so many not-originally-shelves-that-are-now-shelves. . . 

Tell you what.  I'll go with the shelves that are right in front of me.

The entertainment unit that, after all these years later, I still can't believe we found.  At some point, Dale and I had furniture in the den, and cable inlets, that put our TV in a corner.  For a while, we had the TV on/in regular tables/shelves, but then we found this.  Perfect!

Okay.  Top to bottom, my shelves hold
1)  Stuffed versions of some of my favorite things, action figures, and my Funko Pop collection.
2)  DVDs --- with a picture frame downturned on some, --- a tin "K" sign, another Funko Pop, and a Lego hero.
3)  More DVDs.
4)  TV.  And, to be be completely honest, there are things behind the TV, but let's not discuss them just now.
5)  The pull-out shelf holds coffee table books.

Now, let's make it a little interesting with a little contest, shall we?  A skein of yarn for each correct answer.  You can only win once.  First correct answer in wins.  Deadline for answers is 10 AM (ET) tomorrow.

1)  Three people/characters are represented three different ways in this picture.  Can you name one?  Three people could win here;  each naming one.
Abraham Lincoln: photo on wall, book on pull-out shelf, Lego
Yoda: stuffed (plush), Funko Pop, Mr. PotatoHead
Hershel Greene: action figure, Funko Pop, crocheted doll
2)  Someone looking at this could tell I'm a knitter.  How?  (Skein won by my twinnie Kim.)
3)  How many Disney Funko Pops are there?
Two.  Carl from "Up," and Maleficent from "Sleeping Beauty."

Have fun searching!

Friday, May 6, 2016


What inspires you?

Well, Maker's May, it's quiet.  Quiet lets me think.  Kind of forces me to, actually.  My physical location isn't as important as there being quiet where I am.  Yes, by the open window of a house on a beach is my Ultimate, but when I picture that in my mind, I realize I don't hear a TV or any music.  It's just the breeze and the water, and me being still.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Learner Be

Today's Maker's May question: What new technique would you like to learn?


My big knitting bugaboo is double-pointed needles.  Technically, I know how to use them.  I understand what's supposed to happen.  But I simply cannot knit with them because I can't hold them!

(Photo from dailyskein.wordpress.com)

Stitches slide off, a needle slips out and onto the floor, I reach down to pick it up and lose more stitches.  Cast on again, somehow manage to tangle the needles (NOT the yarn) when I'm dividing stitches, get that straightened out, then the ball of yarn has rolled away and now one of the cats is playing with it, and Heaven help if I lay this down to retrieve it, because it will be impossible to pick back up correctly.  It's hopeless.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

There Are Helpers Everywhere

As she has done more than once in the past, my wonderful Bridget has given me a way to blog without thinking too much.  (Like all else about me, my thinker is strained to the point of cracking.)

Bridget blogged about something called "Maker's May," which she had read about on Facebook via Stefanie Japel.  It's a question-a-day survey/meme/take-off point for those of us who make things.  Lay your eyes here:

Since I didn't learn about this until yesterday, I have a little catching up to do.

1.  I am KSDean.
2.  My newest completed creation is a hat for, coincidently, Bridget's Harry's Hundred.
3.  I sell on etsy.
4.  Currently in/on my workspace:
one dog
one cat
one computer
two books
two works in progress
one jar of Vaseline
one tape measure
one pair of scissors
one bottle of hand lotion
two remotes for the TV
one can of Dr Pepper

There!  All nice and caught up, and my thoughts distracted for a few minutes.


For some reason, this year I am constantly moving Christmas stuff around the house.  I'm not sure why things are so unsettled, but they...