Glasses – The Rose Colored Kind

Things are looking up for the knitting group. StitchCraft now has 107 passionate crafters and though I have not met them all, the ones I have met have been wonderful!

It also looks good for the first StitchCraft sponsored craft show to take place in either February or March (I will know the date once I get the final approval to hold the shows and get feedback from potential vendors. I was looking for something to do that had to do with the craft show and keeping a positive outlook, so I created a logo:
What do you think? It’s just a first go, but I’m liking it. I should know by this time next week if it’s a go – if I remember to send the proposal.

I am hoping I went through all the crap for something great to be on the other side – I hope that right after I hope that all that crap is revisited upon the person who sent it. (Hey, I’m prayer, not perfect.)
There’s another prayer shawl on the needles! And I sold another afghan! We have to take the pooch to the vet this evening because he cut himself and I will get the afghan out of storage in the trunk. It’s freezing here – so I’m hoping to get the trunk open!

Did you all have a good Christmas? Mr. Honey and I saw Up in the Air on Christmas Day and yesterday we went to see The Blind Side. I will have to say this has been the best performance I’ve seen Sandra Bullock do and Tim McGraw was surprisingly good. (Is that his real hair?)

Can’t Help Loving That Man of Mine

OK, I didn’t have anything on my Christmas list. Me, the person who said, ‘if you’re in love with a crafter you have gifts for life.’ Yep, I said that and I still couldn’t come up with anything to put on my Christmas list.

Well, that’s not quite true.

I came up with a lot of things for my Christmas list. Just not things I wouldn’t have to explain away. Like, the Addi Turbo set of exchangeable needles. I would have to explain that although Mr. Honey has already purchased me a set of exchangeable needles, this set is made of a different material and therefore I need them.

Or why I need another six books when I haven’t even cracked open all the books I got between my birthday and Christmas last year. (I would have to explain that I have indeed cracked them open, but I have yet to make anything out of any of them. I would then have to explain my method of choosing books to work out of which would only cause more grief and confusion because according to my plan, I won’t make anything out of those books til about 2015.)

There are a lot of things on my list – and I could have done another yarn shopping spree, but seriously, even I’m getting tired of all the yarn I have – so I’ve decided to keep that to just my anniversary present. Which means I have a lot of knitting to do between now and May. So, I was going to forego a Christmas present….

until…someone suggested a few weeks back that we go to Chix with Stix again. It was the Friday during the Holiday Shop and so we popped over and I got some really nice yarn (even paid full price for it) and as I was waiting for Melissa to finish her purchase I saw it.

A knitting bag to end all knitting bags.

I stared at it and decided I wanted it. I pulled it off of the shelf and fell more in love than ever. It was the only one of its kind in the store. I pulled out my cellphone and called Mr. Honey and told him I had something to put on my Christmas list after all. When I hung up the phone, I glanced at Melissa who promptly said:

“You are so spoiled.”

Yep. But come on. It’s the Hermosa Namaste. I wanted it before I even looked inside. And after I called and said I wanted it, I took a look inside and wanted it even more. The clerk told me she would add it to my wish list and all Mr. Honey had to do was to come and tell them it was on my wish list and they would ring it right up.

So, Christmas morning after I gave Mr. Honey all the stuff he asked for (except for the string, that didn’t come in time.) He handed me a box and for a moment, I wondered if he didn’t get the bag for me. But there it was – all beautiful and all mine.

And the bag finked on me.

There was an envelope in one of the pockets of the bag and as I picked it up, I saw a slip of paper inside so I said to Mr. Honey. “Gift receipt?”
“No.”
I opened the envelope and pulled out the slip of paper that said ‘Gift Certificate $20.’

“Ah, honey, you got me a gift certificate, too?”
“No.” and his eyebrow arched.
I didn’t understand.
“I don’t understand.”
“Well, I told them what you told me that the bag was on your wish list so they put the purchase under your name. And it appears you’ve spent so much in their store that you’ve earned a gift certificate.”
Hummm. I don’t go to that store that often.”
“And yet you have the certificate.”

I just put my head down and admired my bag.
And thought about how to spend that $20 in that store.

A Post Christmas Contest


My wonderful Susie got me started with My Blog Spot and they sent me a coupon for some free biscuits (yum) and they also sent me a butter dish with a butter knife.

And here’s the great thing – you can win a giveaway package just like I got. Pillsbury (through MyBlogSpark.com) sent me two coupons for a can of biscuits, the dish and the knife.

Let me tell you, Mr. Honey and I both like bread – Mr. Honey likes bread better than I do and he worships at the altar of Julia Child by saying you can never have too much butter. So biting into one of these biscuits is – to quote him – ‘like eating dessert.’ They are good. OK, they’re a little better than good! One of my favorite eats from childhood is biscuit and syrup. Mom used to make biscuits, we would pour a little Alaga syrup on a plate then dip the bread into the syrup. Yummy, sticky goodness.

These biscuits take that to a higher level. Oh my. And we still have a coupon left!!

You want to win the prize pack? It consists of coupons for biscuits (good only in the US) the dish and the knife. And the contest couldn’t be simpler – what did you serve for Christmas dinner?
It’s an easy way to get back into our blog reading and writing routine!!

What did you serve for Christmas dinner?

A Little Holiday Cheer

I was looking at my schedule of things to do (because it’s there I might as well look at it) and it said that if I were following my schedule, I would be writing in the blog and I would be telling you about another blog I thought was pretty nifty. So, since I wasn’t really doing anything waiting for the weather to warm up to the upper 30’s so the ice will melt off my car and I can make it to Christmas Eve rehearsal with my fingers intact, I decided to go looking for a blog I want to share.

And I found a beautiful one.

A Black Pepper has some beautiful photography and also some nice knitting going on as well. You gotta love the talented people in the world – they give us something to look at.

Lucy writes and photographs this wonderfully fulfilling site (I don’t know if she takes the shots of herself. She appears to be that talented.) She’s also a designer and has an Etsy shop. So, if you’re looking for a visual feast and some nice writing to go along with it right before you look at some knit and crochet items right before you go shopping on line, then check out A Black Pepper and prepare to enjoy yourself!

I Wish You A Merry Christmas

The Prayer Shawl roll continues on…I decided I should show you what I’ve been up to. Five prayer shawls and one more on the needles. The light colored one on the bottom left was made a few weeks ago and is the only triangle one there will be. I used to make the triangle all the time, but I am enamored for the rectangle one. The four rectangles have all been made with a ten day period – told you I was on a tear. I love the colors. And I love how soft they are and they look like a lot more work than they are.

Mr. Honey’s sister is getting the triangle one because she canceled Christmas (well, kinda, another post) and his sister-in-law is getting the prayer shawl on the upper right. (I can tell you this cuz they don’t read the blog!)

There are more shawls to come in some really lovely colors and I am excited to see them go from skein to shawl.

You know what else I’m excited about? LIsa’s Pieces. Lisa is a local
artist and she makes jewelry. She’s fresh and understated – which means her stuff has a great ‘wow’ factor.
Take a look at some of the things I love in her shop: Aren’t these the cutest earrings? Y’all know since I chopped off the hair that the ears can’t go out naked. Earrings have always been one of my favorite accessories and these are just darling!
My other favorite accessories are pendants and these are also quite cute.

She manages to get quite a lot into such a small area. The pieces aren’t so big they overwhelm you, but the designs are such they carry themselves very well. I just love her work. She’s been doing it for over fifteen years and she even makes guitar picks! Check out her shop on Etsy.com and see if you don’t fall in love with it, too!

I’m going to get back to the knitting now. While I do have that prayer shawl on the needles that’s about 1/3 done, I will actually be working on some squares. My secondary project is to make 200 squares and I have 3 of them done. I am hoping I can keep myself interested enough to get through them all because they will make about 4 sampler afghans which should look really nice.

I don’t know that I will get back here before the holiday so let me take this moment to wish you and your family the best of the holiday season. Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festival of Lights or whatever the observance of your heart and spirit – I pray that it is everything you wish and need it to be and that it leaves you feeling wonderfully tired and refreshed with the joy of being surrounded by the people you love or being in restful solitude can bring.

My Arms are too tired…

to take a photo of all the prayer shawls I’ve been making. I’ve been on a prayer shawl tear for the past few days I’ve made three in the past week and there’s another one on the needles that should be done by the end of the day.

So, what’s with the prayer shawls? Couple of things: I sold out at the holiday shop so I don’t have any more. Mr. Honey and I decided to give his sister and sister-in-law prayer shawls for Christmas. And if you recall, I started making them for a Prayer Shawl Ministry at my church. I’ve also decided to put more of them in the online shop and have them available for sale at the craft sales we’re pulling together. So I’ve been making them as fast as I can. I’m using a basic garter stitch pattern but the yarns and colors are so good they do the most of the work. I’ve discovered I can make one in about 15 hours. Mr. Honey will have the honor of selecting which ones are used as gifts. They’ve all been prayed over in church and will have a tag with the date on them. And the church will receive money for each one I sell. I am hoping it will help in some small way.

You get so much impact for the effort. They’re soft and beautiful and can have such a meaning for people. Prayer shawls are not just to give comfort; they are also a way to spread joy. They can be used for celebrations and observances. I love making them.

Are you all ready for Christmas? It doesn’t seem like it should be here. 2010 is two weeks away. Goodness. Didn’t 2009 start just last week?

What A Week!

Howdy!
Yes, I know, it’s been a while!

Heather and Cici! You won the contest and I need your contact info to send your prizes!

So, what have I been doing for this past week? StitchCraft was participating in the Pleasant Home Holiday Shop for the week. Pleasant Home is a beautiful mansion and for the first week in December, it is turned into a holiday shop with handmade crafts and art from local artisans.

We’ve had the pleasure and honor of being there for three years and ever since we’ve been there we’ve been the top sellers and I think we’ve probably had that distinction again and keeping that record holds special meaning for me because this is the first year the group isn’t with the church. (They had their own space in the shop far away from ours.)

I was worried there wouldn’t be enough merchandise to sell so I was furiously knitting up a storm and I ended up with about 100 pieces. I needn’t have worried because five others contributed items and we had nearly 200 items to sell.

Everyone had at least one sale – Marion did really, really well with her jewelry and knitted goods. Overall, we made more than we made last year – which was another personal point of success for me.

Melissa took some photos and I’ll let you know when she posts them. But our tablescape was really nice. Melissa did the original setup and Marion did some tweaking. We had a great variety.

My task from Mr. Honey was to come home with less than I left with. I left with four big bags and a box. I came home with three bags. I sold a little over 20 things. My goal was 30 but I can live with it since, well, I have to and because I sold an afghan for over $100!! (it was a great week for me on that front as well.)

I saw a couple of folks who have shops on etsy and still haven’t managed to make my top ten list (that will return next week, btw!) and I got some ideas from some of the crafters that I will have to make reality.

So, today, I’m a bit tired and I have a meeting at church. I am going to take the rest of the day off and then come back strong tomorrow. I hope you had a great week last week and a great week this week. I cannot tell you how great positive reinforcement is for the soul.

Make it a great day!

My Two Cents About Tiger

Here’s the good news: just because you’re a celebrity doesn’t mean we get to look inside your life and tear it apart.

Here’s the bad news: just because you’re a celebrity doesn’t mean you get to tear your own life apart and then ask that we not look.

Let’s say you’re a young golfer and before you even step onto a course we’ve heard from your father how great you already are and how great you’re going to be. I mean your dad does a great PR job on. So much so that we actually pay attention and we watch you as you make your professional debut.

And what do you know? Your dad was right. You are good. In fact, you’re pretty great. We watch you some more because we are amazed at your talent. Does that mean we get to look into your private life?

No. But you offer us glimpses. Which is your right. You get to make up the rules that govern your privacy. It is YOUR privacy, after all. You shouldn’t have to ask me to respect it. You should build the rules that tell me how I should treat it.

OK, so now you know that we are interested in you. In fact, you generate so much interest that companies are now coming to you and asking that you be the face for their product.

Your privacy firewall needs to change.

You are no longer just on the golf course. You are now representing a company. So your behavior and your decisions need to take into account the impact on your life and theirs. Does that mean I now get to invade your privacy?

Nope. But you have agreed to become more exposed. You are now on the t and v and radio. You do more interviews because the company wants the exposure they’re paying you to get them. So while I still don’t get to peek into your private life, you need to make the adjustment that I’m going to look just a little bit harder.

Let’s say you get married. A marriage is a private and personal contract and that contract has to be made with your circumstances in mind: your wealth, your job, your public exposure. You need to make an agreement with your spouse about how your circumstances will not bring harm to your privacy – which now includes her and any little cubs that you have.

So, does being married mean I get to look into your private life?
Absolutely not.

Then you decide to take yourself a girlfriend…or a dozen.
Now, that doesn’t violate your personal privacy agreement. It does, however, violate the privacy agreement you made with the companies you agreed to represent if you have a morals clause and it definitely violates the privacy agreement you have with your wife because most marriages do come with a pretty specific morals clause about keeping yourself only unto them.

So, the only agreement that has not been broken is the one you have with the girlfriends.
Does that mean I can pick apart your private life?

No. But your wife can. She’s now free to come after you with a golf club in public – after all, the deal is over. You broke it. She’s no longer obligated to keep anything – except mebbe some of that lovely money.

Your business partners can, too. After all, you put them at risk for losing the money they’ve already paid you in advance that might not be made up because of the decision you made. They can publicly or privately decide to dump you or decide to stick with you long enough to look at the profit margins.

None of the above puts you in danger of me until…..

your girlfriend(s) decide to break her/their agreement with you and send your texts, emails and voice mail all over creation. Then you can ask for all the privacy you want and I will agree not to talk to you…

because I don’t need you. I have your texts, emails and voice mails. Thanks. It’s not your privacy; it’s your girlfriends’ business that they’re willing to share. It just happens to be about you. But, hey, I respect your wanting to get your family life together and I won’t comment at all about the only reason you want to is because you’re caught. That’s all your business. And I am nothing if not respectful.

But I’m going to talk with all those women who are willing to talk to me. And you don’t get to say anything about that. You set the rules, you broke the rules. We’re all now walking through the broken pieces picking up what we can. You have the right to ask for your privacy but don’t be surprised if I don’t respect your lack of self-respect.

You want your privacy back? You will now have to make an agreement with me. You will promise to live the most boring life you can except when you’re on the golf course. And I will agree to grow bored of you and leave you alone except on the golf course. I will, of course, push that. There will be stories and rumors but if I can’t trace it back, they’ll die down. But you will need to be consistently boring. Don’t parade your family around in public to show me what a happy family you are. Just go home and be a happy family.

Oh, and it would help if you won your next golf tournament. Make it the next two. And speak with the tournament directors and the PGA and make it so the announcers on the t and v can’t talk about….you know. And should you win and you have to do the post interview, have them make it clear that the first reporter that asks about…you know…will end the interview for everyone. If you win the tourney and they can’t talk to you about it then they’ll keep each other in check.

But you need to keep yourself in check first.

And We Have Contest Winners!!

Thanks for bearing with me with the delay of announcing the contest winners!
As you know, there was first one prize of the book Knit Fix, some yarn and needles. That was supposed to be the only prize, but then there were so many good tips and I have so much yarn that I thought I would give away some of my workhorse yarns to the person who had the tip that benefits me the most – purely subjective.

So, first, the best tip prize. I read the tip and I said ‘wow, that makes sense. I like that and I tested it out to see if it was really a time saver – not so sure about that – but it gives me an option for how I might want to do things. So the prize for the tip:

Instead of doing the original ssk, you can K2Tog through the back loop

Goes to CiCi!! Yeah, CiCi..send me an address and I will send you some yarn from my stash!

The Grand prize was pulled by Mr. Honey and I told him not to just take a name from the top, so he shuffled them all around and he pulled out a piece of paper and the name on it was..

HEATHER!!!

How’s about that, babe? You get some of my yarn and the book and needles. So, send me the place you want it shipped and it will be on the way.

There really were some great tips and even though you can go to the post and read them all, I will be featuring them one by one along the way.

Thanks to everyone who posted – Mr. Honey was impressed and that’s saying something.
I have to go get dressed for our date night but I will be back quite soon with a new post!

The Last Generation

My sister sent an email out to us that the hospice people were giving my aunt a week at the most. She sent it out yesterday afternoon. Last night she and my brother called to say my aunt had passed. When I was growing up she and my cousins lived two blocks away from us.

She was the last. Now in my immediate family we no longer have any fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, grandfathers or grandmothers. Of course we are parents, aunts, uncles and two of us are grandmothers but there’s no one left above us.

I remember when my mother died I whispered that I was an orphan even though my father was still living. Four years later, my sister asked me to come to Phoenix because Dad’s mental health was failing and she had taken off more sick or vacation days than she had and she wanted to know if I would come. I had left Xerox the year before so I was free to come and I flew in to Phoenix on December 2nd. When I entered my Dad’s bedroom, he was getting dressed – to look at him you couldn’t tell he was sick but the voice inside my head said ‘he won’t make it to Christmas.’

Over the next few weeks, I could see what my sister meant by his mental health failing as he was moody, sad, upbeat and changeable. One morning he was sitting at the bar isle in the kitchen with his cousin when he keeled over and crumbled to the floor. Gone. Just like that. On Christmas Eve.

That left my aunt. My dad died in 2000 and I didn’t speak to my aunt for a long time until my cousins were here for a family reunion. I actually didn’t attend the reunion but Mr. Honey and I were at the zoo and happened to run into my cousins. One of my cousins admonished me for not keeping in touch with my aunt. She told me how they stayed in touch with my parents and the least I could do is stay in touch with my aunt who missed talking to me.

It made no sense to point out to my cousin that staying in touch with my parents wasn’t a hard thing to do since they lived in the same town and went to the same church and did things together while I was in Chicago. Made no sense to say it because it made no sense that geography couldn’t be overcome with a phone or an email. So I started calling and emailing. And the first time I spoke with my aunt in over five years, she broke down in tears and said over and over how good it was to hear my voice.

Yes, I’m an idiot but she forgave me by not admonishing me and I could tell from the conversation it wasn’t even on her mind. A few months back my cousin thanked me for being consistent in keeping in touch even though I didn’t get to speak to my aunt every time I called and not all the emails were returned. I am grateful she yelled at me.

Of the three girls and one boy that made up my mom’s sibling group, Bay was the one who got the sense of sass and humor. I remember one time she was in the car when she was stopped by a police officer. We all knew Officer Gunn (yes, his real name) he lived down the street from me. He came up to the car and said to her. “Mrs. Patton, you didn’t come to a complete stop at that sign.” Without missing a beat she answered, “Officer Gunn, the sign said ‘stop’ not ‘stay.'”

Without her here, my sister, the eldest grandchild, becomes the matriarch of the family. I kidded with her about that last night and asked her if we needed to call her something else. “Ma’am”she said. “start saying ma’am.”

Without her here, I don’t know where the anchors are. My sisters and brothers and I are close and my sisters and I are especially close so I guess that’s where I will look – but it’s not the same. We always had someone in that last generation to turn to. But now it’s us. I’m one of the youngest, so we should be here for a good long time to assist the next generation – except none of the last generation made it to 80 years. Bay came close at 77, my father at 72. The generation before that made it to the 80’s.

I’ve marked the next reunion on my calendar and I will make sure my brothers and sisters do the same. I have cousins I’ve never met in person on my Facebook page and we keep tabs on each other. And I’ve learned a valuable lesson about keeping in touch with family which I will remember. I am looking forward to meeting them next year.

The good news is now that generation is complete and together in whatever Heaven is and I’m certain that if there are stop signs in heaven she’ll come to a complete stop, turn off the car and stay.