Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After Christmas...

Santa’s workshop is closed. I’ve finished socks for Bill (my last outstanding knitting project for the year). Those who’ve visited Graceful Arts Fiber Studio could all sing out in unison why Bill’s Christmas socks always have to be red – it’s because red is WARMER! (According to Bill, anyway.) I recently realized that when Bill and I first got together, washable wool wasn’t an easy-to-find option. But now, thankfully, it is so his Christmas socks fit better and do better in the wash. There’s another good reason they need to be red – the one time I made blue ones, they got left behind in a hospital stay. Bill promises this wouldn’t happen again, so maybe (shhh!) for Valentine’s Day another color might be used. A lot of those early socks need replacement.
Socks might be in the air, so to speak. Last week, Shelly, of the Thursday knitting group, finished her socks. Her feet are now ready for dancing.
Instead of dancing, I’ve got my nose to the grindstone on the upcoming doily book. Here are ones finished and blocked so far. It’s a terrible photo, partly because they’re tatted in size 80 thread, and partly because we’re in the midst of a late afternoon blizzard, so the light isn’t great. Three down, about nine to go. Ginny and Kathy are each working one - and right now I've got no articles due - so I think it will be possible to finish in time. Big Thank Yous, ladies! Went to the store and the library earlier and stocked up on milk for Bill and books on tape for me. I’ve cleared a rocker near the fire and – even more importantly – within headphone reach of the CD player. We’ve gotten in wood, parked the snow shovel outside the door and talked to the snowplow guy. We’ve got tea and chocolate, so we’re ready for productive and well-nourished hibernation, if necessary. I won't say bring on the snow, because I'd very much prefer spring, summer or fall - but since we can't seem to stop it, I'll try to enjoy it in my own way.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I'm back!

Trying to catch up with a neglected blog is like trying to tell a long story. So here are a few photos of what I did this summer and fall.
A lot of gardening led to a great deal of canning. Full disclosure – Bill did much of the gardening - I helped and the result was tremendous. There were a few crop failures - the cucumbers came on so slowly we forgot about them, but the zucchini was apparently mis-labeled, because it all turned out to be yellow summer squash. Which is why we lost interest in it by August and forgot about it on purpose. But these were more compensated for by the tomatoes, which just never quit. For this we have to partly credit Bill’s trellis-work, an intricate Rube Goldberg-like device he builds each season out of a small mountain of saved string and recycled vineyard posts. And a little credit to me, too, for choosing a giant variety of paste tomato and starting a bunch of seeds in the house. Opalka tomatoes aren’t the tastiest on a sandwich, but they make great sauce. And do we have sauce! I had to buy another shelf system for the pantry, and it still left us with a large cardboard box in the kitchen, which holds another two dozen jars of sauce with peppers, eggplant, and garlic all also from our garden.
Working at my favorite theatre – the Old Havana Courthouse Theatre in Montour Falls. I took this photo backstage at our last production of “Wings of Fire.” On the left Elizabeth Hageman as Wendy Wingnut and Sarra Solomon as Poppy Rivets – the two played an all-girl aviation team. I had a very minor role as judge of the air contest and sheriff arresting the villain at the end of the show, but as they say, there are no minor parts, just minor actors. I’d judge myself a very minor actor but I had a great time anyway.
Sarra took this picture - you'll have to guess which one is me. The backstage area is about the size of a small bathroom (minus the plumbing) and when there were more than three people back there, it was definitely crowded. I was also box office manager and stage manager and I loved every minute of it.
Wood stacking – four cords’ worth. There was still about ¾ of a cord left that had to be re-stacked first; I managed to stack about a cord’s worth per day which allowed me to finish the job single-handedly in record time. Just me and my little bottle of ibuprofen.
Dyeing threads, because I’m totally in love with color
Kelly Dunn in Canada made this doily using up the last of my "Sunset on Seneca" colorway.
Teaching – these two projects were for the Fringe Element tatting group. And as always, they did a fabulous job and I had a wonderful time.
A little more traveling. I spent Thanksgiving week in Sweden visiting friends. Tatting and friends came together when I met a group of Swedish tatters at my friend Anita’s house in Stockholm. We had a wonderful afternoon of coffee and cake and sharing; I brought a new pattern and we tried it out. Now I’m tatting for next year’s teaching and a forthcoming doily book. Oh, and getting ready for the holidays.