Saturday, May 22, 2010

Swap the Seasons, May Edition

My swap partner outdid herself again!

And I think she may really be psychic too.

You see, last Saturday I hosted a tea party for my knitting group.  I didn't mention this to anyone except those invited.  And yet, this is what showed up in the mail that day:

This beautiful teacup fits perfectly into my teacup collection, and will have pride of place.

Then on Monday, ANOTHER package arrived.  To say I was surprised would be an understatement.

Inside I found this:

The yarn is from Stricken Smitten - Shimmer Glimmer in the "Serendipity" colorway.





It's soft and smooshy, has fantastic sheen, and the color is simply stunning.  This color of green is why green is one of my very favorite colors.

It also had a package of Mighty Leaf Tea in Green Tea Passion.  YUMMY!  It smelled so good, and tasted even better.

So, as you see, I have been utterly spoiled.  Thank you so much swap partner!  And you have excellent taste.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"...That I Really Lived"

 "I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. 

I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. 

I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children. 

I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. 

I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. 

I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."

~Marjorie Pay Hinckley

This quote comes from an email that my lovely Aunt C. sent me.  I couldn't agree with it more!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Swap the Seasons, April Edition (okay, it's May, but let's pretend, hmm..)

As I mentioned before, I'm participating in the Swap the Seasons Swap being hosted by CoggieTM of the High Fiber Diet Podcast.

Since it's a secret swap, we don't know who is swapping to us, and my swap partner is very clever.

She created an identity for the swap: Ima Sekret, complete with fake profile.  She also sent her first package directly from the vendor, so I have no idea where she's at.

But on April 19, when I opened my mailbox, there was a package.  And when I opened the box, this is what I saw:

When I saw that the return address was for Wee Ones, I got VERY excited.  You see, I've admired the stitch markers they make for so long now, but had a hard time indulging myself.  The selection she made was PERFECT!

Four adorable Boxer stitch markers!  They are so cute -- even having little paws painted on the bottom!  I am so grateful to Ima Sekret for these lovely stitch markers, and for the thought and effort she put into making such a perfect choice.

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Stash Enhancement

A while back, Knit Picks, to promote their new videos, offered a 10% discount code to anyone who emailed a friend about them.  So, I did. :)

I got my code and wanted to make sure to use it before it expired.  And here is what I got


A wooden darning egg, which I was needing to repair some of my hand knit socks.

8 hanks of Alpaca Cloud - 4 of Smoke Heather and 4 of Tidepool Heather.  The photo doesn't do justice to the sheen or depth of color on these -- especially the Tidepool; I absolutely love that colorway!

12 balls of City Tweed DK - 10 of Emerald and 2 of Porpoise.  I fell in love with this yarn while knitting this sweater.  I cannot wait to have something for myself knit out of it.  And the colors are so beautiful!
The Nautical Blanket kit.  My father- and stepmother-in-law sail, and having settled in a cooler harbor, I thought this would make the perfect gift for them.  Being able to buy it as a kit makes it that much better. :)  I have started work on this, but will save the details (including the modifications I'm doing) for another post.
Have I mentioned that I really love this company?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Homeschool Resource Freebies!

 There is a wonderful company called CurrClick that offers ebooks/curriculum for homeschooling.  They have featured products of the week, one of which is free.

Right now, in honor of Mother's Day, they have a TON of resources that they are offering for free.

Check them out and take advantage of the offers.  And if you're looking for something specifically, search for it and purchase it too.

Full disclosure:  I do not receiving anything nor am I affiliated with CurrClick in any way except as a customer who has found them to be a very valuable resource.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Non-Fiber Crafting

I'm not a huge collector of things.  Mostly, having a lot of things causes me to feel stressed out.  One of the exceptions is tea things. 

I have at least 1/2 dozen teapots, approximately 30 teacups of varying style and design, several sugar bowls and creamer pitchers, decorative spoons for mixing them in, tea strainers of various size and type, and an art deco style tea cart.  Almost all of these things have sentimental value, being either inherited or gifts, but I love to use them just as much as I enjoy looking at them.  One thing I don't have, though, is a tray to carry and serve the tea from.  Until now, that is.

Several years ago I purchased several wooden trays to decorate.  All but two of them had been done and gifted to others.  Well, one day in February I decided I needed to do some crafting that wasn't fiber related, and when I opened my craft supply cupboard, the remaining trays were waiting.

When I was working on these before, it never took more than a week to go from start to finish, so I figured this would be the perfect break project.  I popped in a cassette (yes, I still have AND use them ;)) and we got to work.

Using acrylic craft paint, I started by laying a base coat of "ivory" down over the entire thing.  Then I decided the sides would be painted one of my favorite colors: green.  I chose the "grass" shade.  The color was dark, but translucent, so it looked multi-shaded.  Not the look I was going for.  I managed to convince myself that all it really needed was another coat.  Or two.  When that didn't work, I set the project down and walked away for a while.

About the start of April, I decided I really needed to get the project done.  Since the "grass" wasn't working for me, I changed it to "ivy", and 3 quick drying coats later that was done.  I added another two layers of "ivory" to the base and the painting was completed.  A quick rummage in my craft cupboard turned up some decorative decals that went perfectly with the paint scheme, so on they went.  And then it got set aside again because of Easter, and the company we had.

Two weeks ago I determined to get it finished.  I took out my spray can of polyurethane and got to spraying.  Or rather, I TRIED to.  The spray was very uneven and sparse.  I tried everything I could think of to get it going better, and eventually got it to where it was at least usable.  I used three light coats, with a gentle sanding with very fine sand paper between each.  And am very happy with the results.