Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Quick Hello

Just stopping in to say a quick hello, our main computer tower is down - actually 'down and out' of the house completely, being repaired by professionals. I'm updating the blog on the MacBook, and I still haven't learned how to link on this thing, so sadly, no videos or photos.

Our trip to Victoria was quite lovely, though the weather was unusually hot. I seem to have bad luck that way, I head out somewhere that's suppose to be temperate, and it happens to be going through some sort of worst-in-30-years heat wave (Scotland was the same) - the Prairie heat seems to follow me. Victoria had other perks though, we visited with family and friends and ate far too many fine meals. There was a particularly memorable meal at Mum's one night, when she was serving some very beautiful salad greens from the pesticide free market she favours. After the greens had been rinsed thoroughly, spun through the salad spinner and served onto plates, Ian speared a leaf and on lifting it up found a great big slug sitting on the plate staring up at him. Ian screamed, Mum was horrified and Dad scooped it up and set it out in the garden, while I just laughed and laughed and laughed. Does this make me a bad mother or a bad daughter? Maybe a little of both. (hee hee hee)

We also did some walking along the beach, finding some mermaid's tears (beach glass) and driftwood. so a good time despite the heat and the slug. Once the computer is up and running again I'll post photos.

It's been a fairly lazy summer, I haven't finished any projects I've started, and the weeds have completely taken over the garden. The mosquitoes like the tall weeds, and the dragonflies like the mosquitoes, so we're inundated. I'm just gazing out over our back garden and there must be thirty or forty dragonflies buzzing around, I don't think I've ever seen as many as I have this year. I really should weed that garden...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Published, Powerful, Pending

There's a new knitting book available, 1000 Fabulous Knit Hats by Annie Modesitt. It's a collection of photos of 1000 knitted hats, along with 10 patterns that Annie considers her top picks, hat-wise. The author contacted a number of people through Ravelry, and asked to use their photos in the book - and well, guess who one of those number was?


Six of the 1000 photos are mine!

One of them even made it to the cover:

that's the back of Elly's head. She appears again later in the book, here:

I was sent an e-mail telling me how to "sell" my friends and family on the book, but I'm truly useless at that sort of thing, so instead I'll just tell you what I like;

I like that the people in the book aren't "model perfect", just ordinary people, sometimes making goofy faces (#471), sometimes trying to strike their very best poses (#373), people happy to be photographed (#726), some not so much(#486)...

I like that the choices of designs range from classic (#016) to inventive (#123) to hilarious (#406)...

I like that the book showcases how people take photographs, some like action shots (#831), some like portraits (#534), some like a bit of the majestic (#164), and others like the utilitarian "just the hats, Ma'am" (that's most of them, mine included)...

I like that the book captures how knitter's knit, and that's with colour, colour, colour - purple, orange, blue, green, pink - all grouped together page after page.

If you want to see which photos belong to which numbers you'll have to buy the book.

- best pitch ever? -

I tried my hand at making iced coffee yesterday.

The recipe is very simple, basically take one pound of coffee and soak in 10 cups of cold water for 12 hours, then strain.

I didn't have a full pound of coffee, but there was one quarter pound in the freezer, which I mixed with two and a half cups of water (the math worked). I'd bought this coffee a while back, but found it too strong, so I stashed it in the freezer until I decided what to do with it - iced coffee seemed a good project.

It's very dark, but this morning I mixed about a third of what I'd made with ice, cream and sugar and gave it a try,

then I added more sugar.

I was about half finished when I started to feel my heart race - really, really race - and I remembered that the coffee from the freezer was espresso...

there were a few moments during the day when I thought my heart was going to give out completely. I made a few phone calls (thankfully, only to Nigel and Elly) where I sounded extremely animated/agitated/unhinged, and I had a very difficult time typing Winnipeg with only two n's.

I'm better now, and wiser too. No more quadruple espressos for me!

Project Alert, Project Alert

I haven't shown you a Friday Find for a while, and I'll be traveling tomorrow, so I thought it was time to show this:

An old Singer in it's original "coffin" case. I've wanted one of these for years

It's a model 128, with vibrating shuttle (instead of a regular bobbin), built in 1948. I've heard that this model was nicknamed "The Farmer's Wife", I suspect because it was a no frills, standard issue (not that I'm knocking Farmers' wives).

The motor and electrics all work fine, but it needs a thorough cleaning, which I plan to do on my return.

Ooooo .... excitement!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Exterior Shot

The new stucco and painting are all done now. I think the place looks fabulous - though the back garden looks a state, and, between the stucco-ers and the painters, all the plants all the way around the house are thoroughly trampled. The stucco colour is called "Sagebrush" and it's a yellow-green colour. Nigel keeps eyeing it and asking if I'm "sure" it's really green, which I am. At the moment the house colour is competing with the grass and trees, making it look more like tan, but once the snow is on the ground it's going to look very obviously green. I'm absolutely certain that this is a perfect colour, it's going to be a colour that changes with the light and season. The trim colour is by Benjamin Moore, called "Ivory White", another ideal shade. Prairie light is very strong and yellow, so plain white paint can look both stark and dirty if it's tinted with blues or grays, a good prairie white always has yellow, green or red as a tint.

So there.

We had the dormers painted a medium gray to blend in with the roof - another good call, I think.

Later this summer we'll be having a deck built in the back, and a small bit of landscaping done, and then next year will be the year for some exterior "finishing touches" - seeing which perennials have survived and maybe planting a tree or some shrubs in the front.

My wee lemon tree is doing well (despite the terrible weather).

We still have three lemons, the largest is here. I wonder how long they take to ripen? Perhaps more sunshine and less rain would do them some good. We've had lots more blossoms, but I haven't seen any new fruit, probably too much rain and wind. still, I'm very pleased with it's progress!

I've also made loads of progress on my vintage cardigan; finished the back and one and a half fronts. I'm loving the greeny-olive "sludge" colour, but it just doesn't photograph well, so I haven't been taking pictures. I might alter the pattern and add some colour at the yoke, we'll see...

Here's a video to make up for my lack of blogging lately...

The music piped onto that old clip is by Daft Punk, check out the link to their video, they don't allow their videos to be embedded into blogs.

Wow! I sent this off to publish and forgot to tell everyone Happy Canada Day, and also to wish my youngest a Happy 14th Birthday.

Happy Canada/Birthday Day!!!!!