Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Friday, December 26, 2014
Think of thread as you would paint: you can make dots, smooth strokes,or long, sinuous curves. Like paint,you can apply thread sparingly or very heavily. Going over an area with several layers of thread can create wonderful texture, but you need to make sure our surface is sufficiently stabilized to support these layers without puckering.
Here is a half baked version of Libby, and no, it was not completed in time for Christmas. Still need to work on her eyes, nose and little buck tooth.
Wonder if Libby approves so far?
Friday, June 27, 2014
Liking an entertainment area free of dead cottonwood leaves, this week we will have entertained with friends and a few repasts. A luncheon, a neighborly get together, and a couple friend tonight: all outside on a fairly leaf free patio. Tonight I will be making a new salad with sweet potatoes and a rice vinegar dressing that is tossed together with the sweet potatoes and grilled corn cut from the cobs. The cobs were grilled last night and are safely tucked away in the fridge for their glorious debut today with the sweet potatoes, black beans and a cilantro vinegar dressing. I'll let you know how it turns out. One other sort-of recipe for a tea punch that was refreshing and tasty was equal parts brewed tea, pineapple-banana juice, orange juice and ginger ale. That went down fairly well.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
The next day she e-mailed me and said something like "thanks for the cornbread...very light and delicious." Thought that was hilarious as she obviously had not even taken a bite of that dense cornbread.
On to my cardigan knitting, the Delancey Cardigan found here. It has stripes that point downwards with a chevron stripe motif which makes it a flattering style. Thinking I had memorized the pattern well enough to continue knitting on and on, I later found out (and too late!) that I had missed a "slip two, knit one" at the beginning of the side, so had to rip out an hour's worth of work.
It actually could have been worse, since when knitting the Delancey I was watching the latest episode of "Downton Abbey", not really paying much attention to the knitting. Friend Jan said the Brits were a bit up in arms about that episode with Anna Bates being victimized. You can see an interview with Anna (Joanne Froggat) at this link as both she and writer Julian Fellowes discuss the episode. It's a wonder I got even a stitch made since the episode caught me in its emotional and visual grasp.
Of course, I was using my shrinky dink Downton Abbey knitting markers with the tv up loud and clearly empathizing with Mr. Bates.
I do have a few markers left from when I made them last year, so if you want two, I'll send you them postage paid. Just leave a comment telling me your favorite actor from the series. Will draw from comments for the winner if there is more than one reader interested.
And the canines? They are an expensive pair this month as BOTH had to have their annual check ups, vaccinations and dental cleanings. We are not the first to think the IRS should give us a tax break on their medical expenses.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Fun facts about this project by Kate Davies, with the pattern cleverly termed A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing:
- Nine different colors of wool are knitted into the pattern
- Each of the nine colors is from a different type of sheep that are raised on the Shetland islands
- Learned how to knit in the traditional Fair Isle style this summer in Scotland
- I bought the kit while visiting Jamieson & Smith Wool Brokers over the summer in Lerwick
- It was so much fun to knit that I finished it in ten days
Some modifications were made because our dogs are a bit smaller than the size given.
Mercy has attitude, right? She thought it was a bit warm to be modeling this coat in August, but what is a girl to do when she is being featured on the runway?
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
2. A baby sweater being knitted up for Jackie who is in her third trimester with Jackson. Jackie is a huge Denver Broncos football fan, and I am sure she will be ensuring Baby Jackson will be also. This is almost finished:
Stray Cats. The shipping was costly, but where else have you ever seen orange and blue sock yarn? The pattern is Beyond Puerperium, by Kelly Brooker and is an ingenious little knit.
3. An outdoor decades old rocker that needs a re-finish. Sanded and ready for new stain:
The stain mix: an ounce of oil paint, a scant cup of turpentine, a scant quarter cup of boiled linseed oil. Stay tuned. A previous post here explains it all. Also this post gives a true recipe for wood stain.
4. Chicken Tikki Masala for dinner. The hub will grill the chicken and likely make the recipe if I can convince him that I am still refinishing that rocker. (He does NOT like painting.)
Linking up with Tami at Work in Progress Wednesday
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Libby Sweetpea, therapy dog and healer of the mind, had a torn ACL. At six years of age, this is not too uncommon. She took a flying leap off the back step, as usual, but that one leap ten days ago left her in pain with the liklihood of permanent disability if she did not have surgery to repair the tear.
So she underwent a tightrope procedure and spent one night at the animal hospital. She probably did not miss us near as much as we missed her. This was her little shaved leg a few days ago; she was recuperating on the lap of the Mr.
This is how Libby's dad remembers what to do for her and when to do it. I thought it was cute that he wrote it all out. She does not mind doing her range of motion exercises too much, and just whimpers a bit when it hurts.
Libby this morning:
This is a pair of Faceted Rib Socks in progress:
Tomorrow I am heading out to Las Vegas to play in a Scrabble tournament at the Riviera Casino and Hotel. There will be 56 competitors. Can you find me in this listing? Please wish me lotsa luck!
Friday, July 13, 2012
This handsome fellow owns a group of guys having adult beverages outside a cafe in downtown Aspen, Colorado. He posed so beautifully that I just HAD to try and capture him in watercolors. So the picture in the upper portion of the post is my submission to Paint Party Friday.
And this picture is just one showing a proud fellow having cocktails with his family at The Little Nell. The waitress brought him a bowl of water (can you believe it?) and on a tray, no less. I wonder how much was tipped to his server. Since the average cost of a room there is over $600, just the tip given for his bowl of water was probably more than my friend and I paid for beers that afternoon.
I counted five dogs around the Little Nell pool that day. His face is obscured in order to preserve his true identity. (You never know, he might be a celebrity.)
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
This is her previous certificate.
(See video on sidebar for Libby's Work Day)
Friday, July 23, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
When friends and family ask about therapy dog and owner responsibilites and what we do, the same questions are often asked. Here is a rundown of typical questions and answers:
Q: What are the requirements to have a dog certified as a therapy dog?
A: The dog (and owner) must pass eleven requirements in order to be certified as a "therapy dog".
Q: So what are the steps?
A: see photo below (click on highlighted area to enlarge)
Q: Can all dogs qualify for training?
A: No. The dog must allow petting and be unafraid of strangers, loud noises, and differing situations. One of our dogs was not a good candidate for TDI training, and one pup was willing to be trained.
Q: How do I get started in the process of training my dog?
A: Any obedience training program is the first step in teaching your dog to comply with the requirements.
Q: I have a yappy dog; can she be trained to work for her kibble?
A: Yes, we have a b*tch of a dog when she is at home, loves to bark and jump, etc. (sorry to have to admit this)...but on the job, she is a behaver.
Q: How much time does this take?
A: As much time as you are willling to give. Practically any nursing facility, hospital, hospice, school (Wagging Tails is a separate program tutoring kids in reading), special care housing, assisted living, hospital or medical clinic is willing to entertain the idea of therapy dogs.
Q: What are my responsibilites in visiting with my dog?
A: Be open to the person you are visiting. Remember that the visit is not about your and your dog, it is to meet the needs of the person whom you are visiting. The person you are helping generally does not want to hear about your stories or life history. The dog facilitates conversation and contact with the client, and helps to engage the client with distraction and productive time.
If you have any questions about how you might volunteer with your animal fur friends, feel free to contact Therapy Dogs International via email or call them at (973) 252-9800.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Once the fur was gathered from our two dogs and their home-style groomings over the past 18 months, the obvious next step was what to do with it to get it into shape for spinning. It would need some other fiber to mix in with the fur in order to make a good blend.
Luckily, here in western Colorado, there is a farm with 14 alpacas on it. Shearing time was last week, and new acquaintance Cori Elam saved me enough alpaca fur (all white) for the blending. We rendezvous last night at our first weekly summer Farmers' Market in Grand Junction, and I gave her my bag of saved dog fur. It looked like this, and I had about a pound of it:
This fur will be mixed with Cori Elam's alpaca fiber. Cori's website can be accessed at Cori's Western Colorado Alpacas. She has all kinds of alpaca products for sale. Many of her alpaca fibers are imported from Peru; beautiful products were on display at her booth last night.
Back to the preparation process of the fibers: from the site how to prepare fleece for spinning, easy and concise information was gathered regarding the next steps:
Another website packed with information about using animals' fur is Spinning Straw into Gold. Take a gander at that site if you are interested in reading about one person's vocation with animal fur products. It is amazing.
Step 1 Take a chunk of fleece about the size of a basketball. Fill your sink with hot water and some dish soap. Step 2 Put the fleece in the sink and let it sink. If you are impatient, you can gently push it down. Slowly move it around but do not "agitate." Agitation will cause it to felt, making it useless for spinning. .... further steps .......remove the fibers and you are ready to spin.
But what would a knitted project with dog fur blended with wool look like? Sure enough, that source on the internet Ravelry with over 400,000 members world-wide was my best source for tracking down someone who had pictures AND and an explanation of her process of collecting fur. New friend Avedaggio on Ravelry from Boulder says about her dog Mulan's fur:
My mom has a shih-tzu, whom she keeps long-haired. Mulan’s fur is about 8 inches long. To keep her from becoming a matted mess, mom combs her every day and gives her a bath (complete with blow-dry!) every week. Since Mulan was a puppy, mom had been saving the fur she combed out in little plastic bags, and a couple years back she and my dad took it to the Estes Park Wool Market and got someone to spin it up (this was before I learned how to spin). Then I got 1200 yards of 2-ply Mulan yarn for Christmas! It smelled like Mulan right after the bath. It was so funny when we put a skein on the floor to let Mulan investigate– she sniffed and sniffed, and then picked it up, carried it to her favorite corner and curled around it as if it were a puppy! So cute. I ended up knitting a lap blanket for my mother out of it.
So the next steps of blending the alpaca and dog fur are in process. After the washing, carding, and spinning steps are completed, there should be more than enough yarn to whip up something as special as a Mulan's lap blanket shown above!
(Thanks, Avedaggio, for the use of your picture and your entertaining story.)