Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I am SO EXCITED. I have been working on this sweater for over two years now. Poor Scott has been waiting patiently as I knitted and ripped the thing a million times. I finally finished it in time for his birthday. I wasn't there when he opened it, but he posted this pic (which I have shamelessly stolen) on FB and it looks like it fits great!
He looks like a male model! Not bad for only my third sweater and my first real foray into cables!!

 I made some grody Halloween treats this afternoon. These are bloody Band aids. They didn't come out so great but folks will get the idea.
 These came out great but are so gross! Dirty Qtips! (Mini marshmallows on either end of a lolly pop stick, dipped in melted peanut butter chips.
 I loaded them up with lots of 'ear wax'.
On both ends! Ewwww!!!

Happy Halloween Tomorrow!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Odd Weekend

This weekend just felt really odd and surreal for some reason. For one, I didn't follow my little Rain Man schedules and routines, so time and chores were all out of whack and I saw some of the oddest things...
I covered a barn shift that I don't usually on Saturday. The volunteer who had been keeping Rosie at her home while her boo-boo foot mended brought her back to the barn.
We were awfully glad to see her and her ducky friends were ecstatic. They all huddled and talked over her absence before going out in the yard to go over any changes that had occurred in her absence.
Saturday afternoon I went to Last Saturday Knitting with the Knit Chicks. although I swore I wouldn't do it, I started another secret project and ended up knitting iCord all afternoon.  My Knit Sisters made it more than tolerable! When I got home I put the finishing touches on my entry for the Decorate a Paper Pumpkin contest my dept is having at work.

Sunday morning it was gorgeous but only in the low 30°s at 8:00 when I left for my barn shift. This was sailing right over my house. And I do mean SAILING. It was really moving! I noticed a bunch of folks across the street parked on the golf course. The balloon went over the course at a pretty good clip and everyone jumped in their cars and peeled out after it. I'm guessing it missed its intended landing spot. What a beautiful day for a balloon ride...clear as a bell...but I hope they wore their woolies!
Every other Sunday I go to the local grocer before I go to the barn and see if they have put any outdated product aside for us.  Heady from my rare encounter with the balloon, I was more than surprised to pull in the parking lot and find this huge horn of plenty!  I don't know where the pilgrims are that belong with that thing, but I picture them stomping around Mt. Horeb somewhere like two Puritan Godzillas. They'd have to be what? 30 feel tall?

When we got done with our chores on Sunday, Lola-the-mini-pig decided she didn't want to stay out with the goats in the pasture. She snorted and oinked to be let back in the barn and then she proceeded to toddle down to her 'bedroom' and burrow under her snuggly green blanket and take a nap. Just her little butt was sticking out.

Sounded like a good idea to me, so I went home and did the same...but I tucked my butt in.  You're welcome.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Some Tanglin'

This week's Diva Challenge was a fun one for me.  The challenge was to use only stripes as your foundation 'string'.  I made my stripes into a sort of a 'log cabin' string.  You quilters know what I mean. It looks like this:

 Then I filled it in with new patterns from Genevieve Crabe's weekly roundup last week. There are some really cool ones (as usual). I love the flower border at the top, the coral, the water, the buttons, the coffee beans, the Celtic knot, the bow ties. the olives the one on the left I messed up and created my own tangle.......Uh...oops! That's all of them! Great work you tangle designers! You rock!
After my Zentangle Retreat a couple of weekends ago, I decided to set down and do a piece that incorporated the techniques that we had learned so I'd have a record. The most valuable lessons for me were on shading although you can't tell that here because the scanner really makes a mess of it. The other thing I wanted to try was 'pop-outs'.  Diane Knauff, teacher extraordinaire, had a beautiful piece that she had done where she took one element of the design, enlarged it and shaded it so it looks like it's floating on top of the design beneath it.

As you can see, I met with varying success. But at least it's something to keep in mind and work on in the future.

It was nice to sit down and tangle last night. I have been working on a knitting project that I finally finished on Tuesday night. I'll post pics of that soon, but it sure was nice to get it off my plate. Although, as I was sitting around doodling, I did a quick calculation of how much time I have to get my Christmas projects done....EEEEK. Mittens and socks and jewelry, OH MY! Looks like doodling will have to take a back seat for a while!  How are you guys coming along on your Christmas gifts?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Zentangle Retreat

I spent the weekend in beautiful Mineral Point, WI at a Zentangle weekend retreat. The teacher was Diane Knaff from Madison. I encourage you to go over to her website and take a look at the beautiful things she's done.

It was a wicked rainy weekend so it was perfect weather to snuggle into a little studio at Shake Rag Alley School of the Arts and doodle away. I have pics of Mineral Point itself but will save them for another post. For today, I'll just show you the work we did over the two days worth of classes.

The morning of day one was a Beginners class where we learned the basics or tiles and strings and some different tangle patterns. In the afternoon we learned shading techniquest to make the tangles pop.
The last part of the afternoon concentrated on drawing with white ink and charcole on black tiles.

I love the way the jelly pen feels when it glides over the black paper.

On Sunday morning we learned how to 'deconstruct' the patterns that are all around us every day to make our own tangles for our work. On Sunday afternoon, we worked on Zendalas (Zantangled mandalas).  The first bit of the class concentrated on drawing our own mandala string to tangle in. I failed miserably as you can see below:

I even used a ruler, protractor and compass and still couldn't get it even!

In the afternoon, we worked on a prestrung tile; one that already has a lightly penciled mandala outline drawn on it. Much better! I tried to incorporated a lot of the techniques we'd learned over the weekend in one place. Better.

If I thought I was reved up last week in anticipation of this class, I'm twice as wired now. I have so many new ideas that I want to try out!!! If you ever get a chance to take Diane's class, I highly recommend it. What a stellar weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Doodlin' Around

 I have been so excited about my upcoming art retreat, that I haven't been able to simmah down all week, Deah!. I have a lot of work stuff, and home stuff to do and doodling doesn't really fit into my schedule this week but it's all I can think about.  So I set aside 30 minutes (5:15-5:45) each morning this week to doodle. The rules are that there be only one doodle and that it be finished quickly.  If I finish in 10 mins, I'm still done... no fine details-just get it out of my system for the day. Here is Tues, Wed and Thurs' endeavors:




I've got my tote bag packed with more stuff than I'll be able to use in a month; sketch pads, cards, pen, pencils, books...I'll only be there one night but am looking forward to being in a place where there are no chores or distractions    and no TV...just focused,  unadulterated, self-indulgent doodle time! Squee! It's good to be me!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Diva Challenge # 90

Two posts in one day! I did the this week's  Diva's Challenge at lunch today. The challenge was to use a specific string-String # 001- that looks like this:
And 'tangle it! Like this:

This was a quicky for me. I used a sharpie pen which is a little larger than the micro ones I usually use and scribbled it out on my lunch hour so there's not a lot of detail but it provided a much needed stress break.
Thanks again, Diva, for a wonderful challenge!

Pumpkin Procrastination

I had a lot to do last night; laundry, dishes, vacuuming. Yep. Lots of stuff on my list. I got home, fed Ben and took him on a 30 min walk, came back, ate a bowl of soup and got started. Then there was a knock at the door. It was a handsome police detective that wanted to go over the details of a (non-dangerous) incident I witnessed in my building last Monday. He stayed about 20 minutes and by the time he left I was flustered and had lost my mojo.  I dithered around trying to pick up where I left off to no avail, so I did what anyone would do in such circumstances. I sat down and doodled on a pumpkin.  That's what you'd do, right? Right?!
I quickly discovered that my 'perfect, beautiful, pumpkin' was shaped more like a Charlie Brown pumpkin once I got started.
 But I kept going anyway.
And by bedtime, I had finished....

I closed up shop and went to bed only to discover that there was no bedding. The sheets were still in the dryer! Doh! So despite my penchant for periods of pesky, pumpkin procrastination I ended up doing at least something productive after all!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Autumn Ritual

Each autumn, I take one Saturday in October and hit several places that I love. It's my own personal little tradition. Even though I felt like crap on a cracker due to a sinus and ear infection on Saturday, I realized that this one was the only weekend all month that I didn't have stuff planned for, so it was now or never.  I decided to go to the Mt. Horeb Fall Festival and then decide after that if I'd go further or not based on how I felt.

It was really cold and overcast and so the art fair wasn't as big as it has been in past years but it was still  nice.  One of my favorite parts is the pumpkin decorating contest. There are always the most creative ideas!

I like the Dr. Seuss one in the middle!
This kid went all out and made a pumpkin totem pole.  Notice Nemo swimming in the foreground!
The coolest thing was the men building this.  Usually there is an artist carving trolls out of logs in this spot.  It's a Scandinavian thing, the trolls. Mt. Horeb is the Troll Capitol of the US and their main street is the Trollway.  Anyway, I don't know if this is supposed to be a tree house or what but they will will be surprised when I back my pickup up, load it on and haul it out in the middle of the woods to live in it. It's finorkin' adorable... and fortuitous since I have been threatening to move deep into the forest and live all alone like a troll for weeks now!

I also went to the annual library sale and stopped in to see Mo and Rebecca at The Cat and Crow. I only get over to their shop once or twice a year, but it gets cuter every time!  I was still feeling OK after the fair so decided to go the back way up to Ski Hi Apple orchard in Baraboo.  Along the way I saw a sign that said "Rendezvous: Step Into the Past".  Now my friend Dale Harriet is a historical reenactor, so I  knew what that sign meant. I pulled into the park and took a stroll around.
Here is the Civil War blacksmith. I was shocked to see the historically correct wheelchair on the left (snicker).

These guys were shooting muskets, smoking and looking really manly out by their Civil War minivan. The horses that pulled it must have been out in that pasture yonder.

Chatted with this lady for quite a while about her spinning. She was super nice.

Spent a lot of time at the fur traders tepee. It was cool 'cause it was a tepee and all, but the real draw was in the lower right corner of this picture...a Newfoundland dog named bear.

I was freezing my tookus off so I didn't stick around to see who won the war this time. Instead, I headed on to Sauk to Culver's for lunch. It was so busy there were no seats.  After I finally scored a small table, I invited an elderly lady that was milling around to sit with me since there were no other seats available.  She and her son, Dan, and I had lunch together and a wonderful visit. Turns out, she had retired not too long ago from that Culver's after working for 22 years there. She was thrilled to bits that that week, in the mail, she had received a card that entitled her to 25 % off meals for life! I was thinking that
#1.  After 22 years, I'd deserve FREE meals.
                                                #2.  After 22 years, I'd never want to see another butter burger in my life!

After lunch I went on up to Ski Hi Apple Orchard even though Dan (from lunch) had said that due to a warm spring and a late frost that took all the apple buds off, it was pretty slim pickin's up there. I bought some apple cider and a couple of cider donuts, but he was right. Slim  pickings indeed. It was a hard season for all different kinds of farmers out here. 

I went up to Ho Chunk Casino and lost my $20 as usual. Next year, I'm just going to pull up in front and hand my $20 to the doorman to save time. Know why they call it Ho Chunk? Because they get a 'Ho' Chunk of my change every time I got there. Ba dum bum...

By that time I was really done in and so with a quick stop at a roadside pumpkin patch to pick up a small pumpkin to doodle on, I toddled on home. I was so tired that I sat on the couch in my flannel p.j.s with a woobie and watched the new Muppet Movie without knitting or drawing or anything else! Those of you who know me, know what a rare occurrence that is! But, I pulled it off. One more ritual accomplished to help close down summer. 

Monday, October 01, 2012

Autumn at The Farm

Autumn is my favorite season; the colors, the crisp air, the smell  of fallen leaves, apples and wood smoke. I took some time after my barn shift to just sit out with the sheep, goats and Lola and absorb some sun and fall vibes.

Colors in the pasture

 Bert, Frances and either Maude or April...plus a great shot of the manure pile. Sheesh!
 Teddy (left) Bert (right) Bert was my buddy.  I sat on the ground in the pasture and he came over and laid right beside me and stayed for about a half an hour.

 Crystal and colors

Finally, taking their cue from Lola, everyone snuggled in for their afternoon naps so I went home and made sure Ben didn't miss out ongorgeous weather.
Just before I snapped this pic, he was asleep with his head on his turtle.  He always hears the camera and looks! What a ham!

Hope you all had a nice autumn weekend as well!