Thursday, April 21, 2016

Knightstar Pattern


One of the highlights of my week arrives on Friday afternoon. That's when Genevieve Crabbe over at 'Zentangle Harmony' posts her Weekly Round Up. She gathers all of the challenges, tutorials, new pattern step-outs and other yummy doodley things from that week's  blog posts from the art community and puts them all in one fabulous list. As soon as the bell rings at four PM, I end my work day and start perusing the new patterns. I don't take the time to check out everyone's blogs during the week so this service she provides is invaluable to me. I get a bunch of new step-outs that I probably would have missed otherwise. 

Every once in a while, a new pattern catches my fancy and I obsess on it. Remember my Narwal period?  Or Breakers? Last week is was Knightstar created by teenage tangler, Daniel Lemothe and it so totally ROCKS! It's a gridded pattern and every square is exactly the same; two opposing parabolic curves. Simple, but when put together by rotating each square 90°...VA VA VOOM!!!!

The pattern creates petal-shaped openings just begging for Doodle-jewels and Mamma just got a new pack of colored pencils so it was off to the races! I must admit that I lost track of time on this one and missed my bedtime by...gulp...a lot. I totally blame Daniel for the fact that I'm face-down at my desk today. 

This is just a rough attempt in my doodle book. I'm thinking of doing a larger one on poster paper and making the blocks black and white checkerboard or netting as Daniel suggests in his video. Oh The possibilities!!!!!


Hats off to you Daniel! I'm a Knightstar fan for life!

This One's For Pimped Out Chevy Cruz Guy!

I don't like to be pigeon-holed. I don't think anyone does. I know it's human nature to think that you know all about someone but you don't so...stop it. For instance, I wear purple shirts..a  lot. But just when you think to yourself, 'Hey Self, there goes Molly. She wears purple shirts', I'll turn right around and wear a green one. Just to mess with your mind (ECHO, Echo, echo). That's right. No one puts Baby in a corner! You don't know all about me. I could be Batman! Preposterous? Maybe, but have you ever seen us in the same room together?

With that in mind, I love to run into other folks who don't let society (or you could insert the word 'reality' here) define them. This morning, on the way to work, I encountered their king. He was ahead of me at the stop sign on Nesbitt Road. He was driving a silver Chevy Cruz and it was decked out! It had small tires so it barely cleared the ground, colored hubcaps, custom dual exhaust, decals on the tops of the tinted windows, a spoiler on the back, and was spit shined to a glow so bright that you couldn't look directly at it without sacrificing your retinas. 

When he got his chance to turn right at the light, it was a thing of beauty! He lurched into traffic with a roar that sounded very much like a 1930s John Deere tractor that has seen many years of hard hauling, but it eventually settled and evened out into a high pitched whine reminiscent of an old Toro push mover we had back in the day. When I passed him, he was sitting low, lid on backwards, aviator's shining and head pumping to music of which I could only hear the bass. Actually I could feel the bass. 

This dude had it going on. He had decided that while a Ferrari wasn't in his budget, a  pimped-out, compact, family sedan would fit the bill nicely, thank you. All it needed was a little bling. After all, he was on the inside, so the appearance of the outside of the car was limited only by his imagination. Had he wanted a horse, there is no doubt I would have passed him, galloping down Nesbitt in a jaunty fashion, clip-clopping two coconut shells together and yelling 'Hi Ho Silver'! 


 You GO Pimped-Out-Chevy-Cruz-Guy! No one defines you but YOU!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Busy Bee

Things have been relatively busy at Chez Bee these days. The weather is getting a little warmer and the winter blues are scampering away. There have been garden seedling to plant and garages to sweep and spring cleaning in general.

I have discovered that I can knit on my evening walks now that my fingers don't freeze off. I knit about an inch a mile. Tuesday night I walked 3.5 miles and last night I walked 2.5 and that (plus the little head start I got at Knit Night last Friday night) gave me a sock leg in record time. Tonight we find out if I can knit the flap and turn the heel at 3.5 m.p.h.! Accomplishing it, and accomplishing it without puncture wounds to my protective outer coating are two different things. The struggle is real.




                     

I drug out 'Tribal Narwal' from the closet where it has been sitting in time out 'thinking about what it's done' and commenced work on it with the hopes of getting it done in time for Expo in July. I hate working on this so much right now. It's poster size-way too big. I'm at the 'I just want to get it over with' stage. I want to finish it because I have ideas for two other poster-sized pieces. Yep-I'm a slow learner!


I took a free origami class over at the library last night. First we made a box.


 Then we made a jumping frog. If you touch his butt, you can make him jump in the box!

Next came a gift card envelope

Or a library card envelope as it were!


Then we learned to make Mama and baby penguin.


 And last was a little petal box. This is the bottom


And this is the top

And when we finished, all of our new treasures fit in our little box!

Our library is so great. It's big, beautiful, has all the amenities and provides really interesting free author lectures, classes and workshops. I love it so much, I would marry it if I could! Anyway, that's all the news that's fit to print around here. What have YOU been up to?





Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Vote!



People say to me all the time, "Molly Bee, why don't you post more bewb pics on your blog"?  So here you go!


I was at the polling place at 6:45 AM, waiting for the doors to open, and I was still Voter Number 98! I suspect that there are MANY of us that don't want to have to pack up and move to Canada in November. I do LOVE Canada, and living on the island they have set up and waiting for us (Cape Breton) would be my dream, I HATE packing!


If you haven't voted yet, please do so....and continue to do so whenever you can. It's more important than ever! 

Monday, April 04, 2016

April Fools Blows In Like A Blizzard and The Definition of Chinese Food

As most of you know, when my Dad passed away on April 1, 1999, my Mum gave me a coin bank that belonged to him and it's one of my dearest treasures. It's one of the wooden box ones with the old post office box door that has a little alphabetical dial lock on it. Since then, I try not to spend any change and just keep socking it away into Daddy's bank. Then I take it to the bank on November 1st (his b-day) and April 1st and cash it in. I didn't get to do it in November because I was just getting home from California, (I felt bad because it was the first one I missed in 17 years!) so it's been a year since it's been emptied this time. I could hardly lift the thing...$192! I also try never to spend $5 bills and when I get 20, I take them in,and put them in savings. I had close to $300 in $5's.  Cha Ching!

I went to Knit Night with the girls Friday night, but didn't knit. I have been working on my shawl so much that I've all but blown out my wrist and thumb so I brought my doodling instead. Worked on Sea Glass most of the night and we listened to Beth Kille who is a great singer from Madison.



So my April 1st was good and I didn't get fooled all day-mostly because I worked from my home office and there was no one there but Ben, Cooper and I...but I wouldn't put it past Cooper to try something. As it turns out,  April Fools Day happened April 2nd this year...when I woke up to THIS! What?!?!?


Snow!  And not just snow...WEIRD snow. In 5-10 minute intervals from morning until early afternoon, it alternated between the sun shining with bright blue skies and dark overcast with white-out snow and hail; wave after wave after wave! And the winds!  A huge tree fell on our neighbors' house and there were THREE metal downspouts rolling down the street at one point. It was howling so bad that it freaked poor Cooper out and he ran around the house like he was possessed, his eyes as big as saucers! Glad I didn't have to go out for anything during all that. I went out at suppertime to have Chinese food with Friends-Hope and Matthew but it had calmed way down by then. 

Matthew (age 7 going on 47) cracked me up at the buffet. He hadn't been to one before and his mum helped him pick out some things that he might like from the Asian and American selections. I came back to the table and he had mashed potatoes, corn, fried chicken and green beans on his plate. He took one bite of his mashed potatoes and said, "I don't like Chinese food!" I said, "You don't have any Chinese food on your plate, Dude!" He picks up a piece of food from his plate and holds it over his head in a 'Eureka' kind of way and says, "Oh yeah?! Whattaya call THIS!"  "A green bean", I reply flatly. He took a closer look, says, "Oh yeah" and eats it. I may or may not have snorted out loud. Seems the problem turned out to be with the gravy on the potatoes , not 'Chinese food' in general. 

Sunday was over 60° with a balmy wind and I spent most of it reading (Be Frank With Me by Julia Claibourne Johnson- 2 thumbs WAY up!)  or out with Stick, exploring the damage of the previous day's storm. I think we had all four seasons over the course of two days! How was YOUR weekend?



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

When the Going Gets Tough...

It's been a rough couple of weeks around Chez Bee which means there has been precious little housework (even more 'precious-er littler' than usual) and more drawing and crafting.  After help from Friend-Jen on this finorkin' pattern, (Not the designer's fault-I totally over thought the chart to the point of no return.) I've made some headway on my shawl.


Close up of stitches. It's honeycomb but you won't be able to really tell until I block the bejeepers out of it.


This is a horrible shot, but more accurately represents the yarn color. I don't generally wear bright yellow and this yarn, with it many shades, reminded me more of honey and honeycomb than the one on the pattern. 


There's also been copious amounts of doodling. Nothing takes me out of my head and tranquilized my mind-monkeys like a clean sheet of paper and an ink pen.


This is a card I made for my friend Kathy.  The pattern in the upper left is my 'Obad' pattern, and the tree is my 'Cherryfield'. I've been trying to use more of my own pattern in my work. I usually create them and then never use them!


Always dreaming about the sea.  It shows up in a lot of my work,   Tess Carlson Imobersteg's 'Breakers' pattern. Is one of my favorites


I don't know WHERE this one came from! Not my usual style. The gem setting is kind of creepy looking.


My least favorite, although the bottom pattern is mine-'Sherman'.


I don't know where the little people came from. They may be fairies from the garden that Cooper destroyed a couple of weeks back. Are they happy or are they signaling for help?

I tried a grey, Copic Pen for shading. If you look at the top  you can see where it tossed a hairball and I had to make a leaf to cover it. Guess I'll stick to pencil!

And so, although my house could use a good cleaning, I got a lot of other stuff accomplished and made it through the storm that has been my life for over two weeks. The storm is over now but something tells me that the vacuuming still won't be done anytime soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Making New Friends

I always have fun at the grocery store. I'm that annoying lady who insists on looking at you, smiling and saying 'hello'...or that your kids are cute. I'll help you reach something if you need it, direct you to where to find an item if I know where it is, or help unload your groceries at the check out.

We live in  this new world where most people are oblivious, self-involved and pre-occupied.  And I live in a city where trying to handle your life among the seething masses tends to make folks distance themselves out of sheer self-preservation, but I was born and raised in small-town Northern Maine.  I knew all my neighbors. We said hello to each other when we met face to face. For good or bad, everyone knew everyone else's business and we all looked out for each other. I've been here for 26 years now and I refuse to have those little sparks of civility, humanity and common courtesy  stomped out of me by the same people who pride themselves on their 'Midwest friendliness', so I carry on while I'm out and about, interacting (gasp) with my fellow humans.

Most times it works out great. People aren't used to hearing that their sweater is pretty from a complete stranger. They are amazed that someone they don't know wants to ask about their dog, or their motorcycle or whatever else catches my eye to talk to them about in passing. Most are taken aback, but very friendly.  Sometimes they look at me like I'm crazy and scuttle off, but those folks are few and far between and it doesn't bother me when they do. The brook doesn't sing it's song without the stones. 

But sometimes, it bites me in the butt. Like this morning. I was joking around with my favorite check out gal about the fact that she doesn't drink caffeine. 

I said, "I totally can't relate to you right now!" 

She said something about being the black sheep in her family because she didn't eat beef or cheese either. I said,'Well you're no fun at all!!!'  

There was a cackle from the gentleman behind me who was, conservatively estimated, 8,000 years old and wheeling an oxygen tank. The cashier said," It's OK, I drink whiskey like a fiend!".  

"Atta Girl!" crowed the old guy. "You've got to do SOME fun stuff!" he said as he put his items on the belt .  I swear to DOG! As DOG is my witness, the only items he had were a bottle of vodka that he could barely lift and several Red Bulls. 

We all laughed and I headed out of the store. When I got into the vestibule I had to take a minute and  untangle the bags from around the cart seat where they had gotten hung up. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around. It was the guy that graduated in the same class as Moses, toting his booze, Red Bull and oxygen tank. "Wanna go find one of those fun drinks?" he growled.

"Uh, no, but thank you." (It was, after all only 7:45 in the morning and that wasn't even CLOSE to  the biggest issue with the current situation!)

"Aw come on!" he insisted. 

Then, on the spur of the moment I had a flash of inspiration and let him down the most dignified way I could think of.  "I like girls." I said. 

"Huh." he said, looking bewildered. "Well, have a nice day." And with that he shuffled off. 

That's right. I 'came out' and I've never even been or needed to be in! I apologize to all of my gay friends. I can't imagine how painful it is to go through the 'coming out' process with friends and family and I don't make light of those experiences at all, but at least, by using this ploy, his feelings weren't hurt and he'll have a story to tell the folks back at the home!

At any rate, even though I garnered a 'Klingon' in this instance, it was still amusing and no one got hurt. I encourage all of you to interact with folks you run into when you are making your way through the day. Take a chance! You never know what will happen!

Diva Challenge 260: Monotangle-Shattuck

Shattuck Swirl

This week's Diva Challenge was a monotangle; only use the Shattuck tangle in your tile. Shattuck is one that I use often so it was a pleasure, meditative and very cathartic, to draw the same strokes over and over.  Thanks for another wonderful challenge Diva!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday Disasterday

Last night was Knit Night with the girls. I went to supper with Friend-Dale Harriet beforehand, which is always a good time. Then there was an excellent band at the cafe-The Soggy Prairie Boys. I'm a Soggy fan for life now! The girls set to work cheering me up and succeeded brilliantly. I couldn't ask for better Knit Sisters!

This morning I had a wonderful brunch with Friend-Janice, to celebrate another successful mission completely around the sun. She doesn't really celebrate her birthday but I'm ever so happy she was born, so I made her go....because it's all about me. We went to Pancake Cafe-yum! We munched, chatted, and  laughed until we cried.

I was in such high spirits and optomistic that I figured I'd keep it going and head on over to Farm and Fleet to look around at the gardening stuff. That's right, I fully intend to torture and kill some veggies in my garden again this summer. I had such a great time perusing all of the little packets, deciding which seeds I would leave in the racks to live another day, and which seeds were coming home with me to be sown and almost immediately dispatched to that Great Green Garden in the sky.  I decided to go easy since, to date, I've only really successfully cultivated lettuce and spinach which are pretty much no-brainers.


I picked out my goodies and a bag of potting soil and went to the checkout. The guy was ringing up my bounty when I stuck my hand in my purse to get my credit card and plunged right into a mass of gooey lipstick that had somehow come uncapped and covered everything inside.  Pleasing Plum isn't nearly as pleasing when it has exploded and gorped all over your cash, phone, cards, and the lining of the inside of your purse! Oi!

I apologized to the cashier and told him what happened.  He gingerly took my card like it was coated with something radioactive. I told him if he got in trouble with his girlfriend when he came home covered in lipstick, to just have her call me and I'd vouch for him, He got a mischievious glint in this eye and touched the card to the side of his neck a couple times. My kinda guy! Jokes on him, though. I didn't give him my phone number.

Once payment was taken care of, I took the small bag in hand, heaved the 20# bag of potting soil over my shoulder and went out to the car. As I was putting everything in the trunk, I realised that there was a couple of pretty good-sized holes in the potting soil and I was now covered with lipstick and copious amounts of dirt,  I looked like I had successfully held up a bank using just a potted cactus, only to have the dye pack in the money bag explode!

I still had another stop to make and didn't want to go home and change.  My errand was at the Sow's Ear, and they have seen me in worse condition, so I just went with it. I have been wanting to make the Liquid Honey scarf from the last issue of Knitty and so I went in last night and got a skein of lace weight, golden-colored yarn. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it only cost me 32 cents since I had a bunch of  points built up on two loyalty cards I had recently found in an old wallet. In my glee, I forgot to use their awesome, heavy duty, yarn winder to cake the yarn up from the skein.  I also needed to buy a 32 inch #3 needle because althought I have a metric ton of needles of all sizes, I don't own that particular one. Of course.


I caked the yarn, which took forever because there's like a million yards of it in a skein.  I turned backto and tried to keep my dirt and lipstick-smeared jacket front hidden from the general populace, but there was nothing I could do about it when I went to the counter to pick up my needles. I sheepishly explained to the casher why I looked like a pig pen and she said that she had heard hard-knocks stories from a lot of other customers that morning. So it looks like I'm not the only one having a Saturday-Disasterday.

Now I'm home, my jacket is in the wash, the contents of my purse have been cleaned off. The purse and offending lipstick (the Plum of which became progressively less and less Pleasing the longer it took to clean up) have been thrown away. There was no hope for the purse.  It was a nice one from Goodwill too! I'm going to sit down, perfectly still, and try to cast on the shawl now and hope that I have all of today's disasters behind me!

How is your Saturday Disasterday going?