Thursday, December 31, 2009


I've been busy knitting a shawl for the past four days. Now, it's time to add the second color and I'm hesitating. Here's the planned skein wound up and sitting in the middle of the shawl-in-progress.

The yarn I'm using is wool. I do have a similar weight of acrylic of each color already in there (hot pink, turquoise, and purple).

What do you think?

Should I abandon my multi-color project and fiber content to keep a consistent color palette?

Should I just go with the original plan and see what happens?

Polymer Play

While I've been resting with knitting and photo editing; Tom and the boys tried their hands at their first Polymer Clay Project, using some well-written Dragon Embryo instructions from the DadCanDo website.

Here's my montage of the project:

They plan to paint their creations this weekend.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I thought this day would never come...

You know the one? The one where I'm enjoying and looking forward to time spent knitting. The day where I'm shirking other responsibility (like cooking and cleaning and talking with people) just so I can sit and knit! Yeah, that's the day I never expected to see. It's ONLY taken me 25 months of diligently performing my Domestic Duty of knitting to stumble upon The Project. The one with the perfect yarn and the perfect needles and the perfect me!

Since I hurt my back over Thanksgiving weekend, I've been required to do a whole lot of resting. After talking with my friend Marie about a shawl (Show Your Colors by Spunky Eclectic) we saw at her former LKS (local knitting shop), and how much she loves her finished version, I dug around in my stash and found some Sport Weight Lorna's Laces Wool Yarns I'd bought in California last Fall.

I've since started the shawl, which I intend to use all three color-ways (called: Child's Play, Apple Hill, and Uptown). I'll be knitting them progressing from dark to light (or right to left in the picture). And I just LOVE making it! It's the first knitting project I've worked on that I WANT to do (not just NEED to), know what I mean?

{the above is a photo of the test swatch, not the shawl}

This morning, Tom said "What are you doing?", then looked over to find my head literally bobbing along in time with my stitches. It was so subtle I didn't even realize I was doing it. I was just in a groove and smiling as I stitched away. This is my biggest project so far, and I know it will feel slower going as I move along, but I hope I can keep up my enjoyment with it and that I'll love the finished product as much as I am enjoying making it!

I also love watching the way the color pools together... look how it coagulated perfectly on my needle on this row.

By the way, it's quite a bit bigger now, this photo was from two days ago. ;)

What are you doing on your holidays?


This is my 400th blog post, and somewhat by the way of noting it, I've updated the blog format AND, ***FINALLY***, created my own blog header. Anyone recognize the objects used in the photo? Mayhap I'll send a prize (
I've been cleaning out my sewing studio and I have collected a nice little bag of goodies) out to someone who knows from whence the objects come. I'll give you until noon on New Year's Day to figure it out and leave a comment! ;)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

WOW Wyoming Photography from Fieldtrip

I've been working a lot this week with photos from my Yellowstone Geology Field Trip last September. I received photos from six classmates. With my photos, there were over 1,700 from 4 days. I've been organizing them into a chronological-thematic succession.

This afternoon I paused and worked on some panoramas and montages. I really like them!

Collection of Macro Photography by Myself and Others

Wyoming route 191, North between Rock Springs and Farson. The Rockies Bear Tooth Mountains are in the background.

Red Canyon

The Chugwater Formation

Travertine Terraces in Thermopolis

Somewhere on the route North to Cody.

Nez Perce's Last Stand along Shoshone River

Near the Highest Peak (along the Axis of the Bear Tooth Mountains) in Wyoming.

Tetons with Snake River Below

Cathedral Formation of Tetons

The Grand Tetons

Montage of Nature and Man-made Formations

Montage of People on the Field Trip

While I made all of these panoramic photos and montages, and most of the photos were taken by myself, some of them were taken by others on the trip, including: Ryan Deichmueller, Michelle Gatti, Carmen Meeks, Madisen Mitchell.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ahoy, Sourdough!

I recently requested (and received) a Sourdough Starter from my local Freecycle group.

This week, I have done some research and started using the sourdough starter. I have made: Pizza Crust, Pancakes, Banana/Applesauce Bread, Mannaeesh (think Pita-ish), and now English Muffins. I realize that one of the initial reasons I wanted a Starter was to make English Muffins. Still, they seemed a little scary and mysterious. Last night I started them (the dough has to sit for 12-16 hours) and tonight I cooked them.

How can a little pile of bread make me feel so happy!?

They look (and taste) great! I'll let you know how they taste tomorrow for breakfast! :D

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gotta Love It

What do you think of my new dress? How about the shoes?

Skaddy-wompus photo courtesy of Jack. ;)

The shoes I bought about 3 weeks ago, but the dress, the dress I found today, on the asphalt, discarded behind the thrift store. I picked it up (because it was black fabric) and saw it was a dress, then looked at the size, and lo-and-behold, it was my exact size.
I feel like I must pause and let you know I was making a donation after cleaning the garage today... I was NOT just digging through donations at the thrift store. This was just lying there on the ground to be pitched. Upon closer inspection, I can see that the ONLY thing wrong with this dress is that it needs be laundered to remove the dirt.

Whoo-hoo! A nice dress just in time for party season, for FREE!!! ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Let's Get to the Point

Yesterday morning, while volunteering at Frank's school, and as therapy from an emotional morning, I took it upon myself to sharpen pencils until a blister formed on my finger. I sharpened pencils for an entire hour!

And. I took pictures of them.

Frank's teacher walked by and said "I'm glad to see you've found a project." I think she thought I was nuts.

After creating the above montage, Tom also said I was nuts.

So, what do you think? Am I out-of-my-mind or just in-tune (to take the moment for productive therapy) and artistic, to see the colors and be able to create something intriguing to look at?

No matter where you deem my mental state to lie, I think the above image needs a catchy and fun title. What are your suggestions?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coverstitching and Serging

I just spent (dare I admit it) over 2.5 hours remembering how to switch my serger from a regular Serge stitch to a Coverstitch. Previously, I've only coverstitched in classes and that was well over three years hence. While I still have the manual, it's a little tough when for each of the 13 steps, you have to try to figure out which switch/cover/thing they are telling you to move.

When I finally got it working, I wasn't *thrilled* with the results, but was glad to get the hem done. Then, I thought it would be oh-so-simple to return my serger to it's former serging state. Sadly, after five re-threadings, I sent my friend home (without her dresses sleeves finished) and told her I'd keep working on it. :P

The good news here is that I cleared off (most) of my sewing room surfaces AND got my hands on fabric again. I always love the hum of a machine with the feel of fibers slipping through my fingers... and once I get a taste of it, I remember how therapeutic it is for me and find myself returning to the fabric and machines.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Watercolor & Transportation

Just about done with that watercolor... I finally choose to paint the quilt with color-scheme number 2, which was my 2nd choice, but many of your 1st choice.

All that's left is to ink it... and decide if it will have a face (like my trademark smiley) or a blank face, like Suzy Toronto's style.

What do you think, blank face or smiley face?

[Does anyone else get nervous at this point in a project? When it comes to inking it and finishing it off?]

In other news, with my prospective internship, I needed a vehicle to drive for 5 weeks, and my Geology Professor today offered to let me borrow his extra car. "Whoo-hoo!" for blessings coming from unexpected sources!!! :D

Saturday, November 07, 2009


While running around on Halloween taking photos, I came across this...

...and, no. I didn't eat one. Actually, I was so busy gathering possible photos for the paper that I didn't even *think* to eat one! <=-o

I love the color and forms on this photo... it's actually my desktop background these days. ;)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Adobe Photoshop Skills - Photomerge & Collage

Today I learned how to create a panoramic image (using Photomerge). This image was made (very easily) using 11 images.

I thought this would lend itself to a web banner. My cousin wants to create a blog, so I threw some text on it that might suit her.

I also made a true "collage", though I realize I've been picking up the skills used in this all semester.

Although Jack wanted to see more of himself, so I made another version...

What do you think? Which do you like?

I loved making both sets!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Photojournalism - FRONT PAGE

Today one of my photos made it on the front page, above fold, in color, with credits! YEAH!!!

I woke Tom and Frank up screaming (with joy) and jumping up and down.

The photo is of two siblings casting their ballots at yesterday's election... it's certainly not the artistic or portraiture style I've done in the past, but it's what the newspaper editor wants/needs.

In July, I set the following Photojournalism Goals:
  1. Get published in the local paper(s).
  2. Get on the front page of the paper.
  3. Participate in training at the paper.
  4. Get an assignment from the paper (to go photograph a certain event).
  5. Have written articles published (with or without photos).
  6. Get paid.
As of today, I have accomplished the first three... in the past seven weeks, fourteen photos have been published... that's two per week, which I think is pretty darn great!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Photojournalism - PTO Fall Carnival

I was published again today (albeit without credit or being named). Here are the photos from the PTO Fall Carnival last Thursday that made it to print:

School Carnival

MAGIC SHOW - Adam Ranger dazzles students at the Elementary School Carnival Oct. 22 at the Events Complex with his magical mysteries.

FISHING FOR FUN - Kaylin, age 7, was one of many children who joyfully took home dozens of donated goldfish at the Fall Carnival for the Elementary School's PTO.

ALL SMILES - Kortney, age 7, enjoys the show in her fancy attire.

Today was great because there was a thumbnail of Kortney on PAGE ONE!!! So, I made it on the front page, even though it was just a thumbnail. Next... get "above the fold" WITH photographic credit! ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Making a Mermaid Tail

I just saw this wonderful little tutorial on making a mermaid tail and had to share.

Photo from Elegant Bloggery

It's times like these that I wish we had a daughter!


5:53pm - HEY!!! I *JUST* realized I cou
ld make the boys MerMAN fins!

Give them a pitch fork and crown so they could be "King Triton".

In the background, I hear Tom saying "it was at that point, Your Honor, I was forced to kill her..."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Painting a Quilt

I'm beginning to think that, perhaps, painting a quilt is more difficult than making a quilt! I know what colors I want to use in my painting of the quilt, but I can't figure out the design for the quilt.

Finally, I traced the quilt, then colored it with colored pencils a few different ways. I plan to paint the quilt in very muted tones, so look more at the design than the intensity of color here.

Which version of the quilt do you think would look the best? Not detracting, but still interesting?

PS: Isn't it amazing all these designs were colored from one drawing? I love how you can make a quilt look SO MANY different ways, just by color and value placement!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Swine Flu and Watercolors

We disappeared, yes we did. Two weeks ago, Jack started our whole family on the path of the H1N1 Virus, affectionately known as "The Swine Flu". Our whole household was quarantined for a full week! It has just wiped us all out, but gratefully, we are all on the mend.

The past few days, I started looking at two artists I like, Nadia Tate and Suzy Toronto. Yesterday, I printed out 16 mini-versions of Suzy Toronto's work (in black and white, all on one page) then sat down and started to sketch. Based on her style, I wound up with this version of myself:

Which I began painting today. Did you know that I like to paint? I do. I often get busy and "forget" about it, but I am always glad when I finally put pixels pigments to paper with a paintbrush once more!

I think she might use acrylics, but I like watercolors, so that is what I am working in. When I scan and reduce it, it will intensify the colors, plus, with my new Photoshop skills, I'm already thinking things like "I can fix that" or "I can change that color". But trying to draw and color things on the computer is still VERY hard for me... I'd rather do it on paper and then modify it on the computer.

I hope to use the illustration for my Suzy Qute Designs (specifically the business cards I've been working on).

Anyway, I thought I'd share my WIP (that's Work in Progress).

Sunday, October 04, 2009

What about Fall???

Jack and I went to a statue dedication on Friday. Gorgeous, mid-high 50's.

Saturday, we played at a Family Day at the College. Mid-50's again.

Today. It was suppose to be rainy and in the 50's, instead, we have over 4" of snow... it's been snowing! :P

The boys got right to the business at hand, chasing one another with wet globs of snow flying everywhere.

How can the same thing (snow) bring such opposite reactions (joy and dread) from the boys and their mother?