I’m sketching like mad. That’s right, sketching not knitting – I’m done with that for March, don’t worry I’ll be all tucked up in yarn again tomorrow. I have an assignment due on Wednesday morning. Sort of a cinematic thing really. I have to draw a certain space with a specific lighting component and from a distinct viewpoint.ย  I have 5 choices for each of those elements and I can combine them any way I want, sorry, Prof. Plum isn’t a choice but I suppose I could use a candlestick. Trick is, once I have chosen say, an elevator withย  a candle from an angle, I have to convey an emotion or feeling – without the presence of anything living. This is the kind of stuff I like.
Last week we had a very Hitchcockian assignment, draw a staircase with a sense of mystery: This was my attempt.


Can’t you just see Carey Grant rushing through that space and pausing to tighten the belt on his coat beforeย  nimbly descending the stairs while gazing furtively over his shoulder? I can. (it’s this stair from the other side, upstairs)

I’ve also had to do self portraits. These are NOT me but whoever she is, she’s cute.

self-portrait-in-pencil.jpg self-portrait-in-charcoal.jpg



Cuz this is what I do, at the playground



This is what I did Tuesday night. I mean, I didn’t DO it…ugh.

Aurelia fell out of her bunkbed Tuesday night around midnight and broke her collarbone. I took her down to the ER, they treated her like a queen and we rolled back home around 3. She’s good. She’s got her arm in a sling and has an appointment with an Orthopedist tomorrow morning. She doesn’t have a clean break or a fracture, its something inbetween. We’ll know more tomorrow, meantime she’s hopped up on tylenol with Codeine and no, it does not make her sleepy, it makes her giddy. Great at bedtime ๐Ÿ˜›

(that isn’t her x-ray up there but it’s very close to what hers looked like – its the same kind of break.)


We went to the library book sale today as kind of a treat for my poor broken one and for her sister that feels left behind by all the attention the broken one is getting. We got a pile of books for under $20, and it was all their own money and their own book choices – I steered but they chose. Before we went I told them that they were not to choose anything based on a movie or cartoon they had seen. We have so many versions of Disney princess stories that I just didn’t want to add to that pile. They did GOOD, I’m looking forward to reading most of them. My only concession was Fraggles, who can resist Fraggles.

Ah, last clue time. One of the following will be finished by midnight on the 31st and one most definitely will not be. Feel free to revise your guesses.



I’m off to watch Becoming Jane, and knit of course.


Who would’ve thought that a boy like me could come to this


I. Me. Sara, has dyed yarn. And to good effect. *sigh* happiness


I have those Twilight socks sitting on the burner and in order to make them what I really want them to be I needed to do this because the colors I need don’t exist in any company’s line of sock yarns. I know, I looked.

I popped in to Webs on Saturday to pick up yarn and luckily ran into Gail – the “Kangaroo Dyer” responsible for all of Webs in-house, beautiful hand-dyed yarns, the Franklin, the fun stuff she did with the Belle and the Berkshire, the Alpaca. She’s a genius. We got to talking and I mentioned that I was going to experiment with Kool-aid and she suggested food coloring.

Oh chickadees, I have food coloring! I do the cake thing, remember!?!

Gail steered me to an article on Knitty and I dove right in. I can see how this becomes an addiction, easily. Aurelia saw how much fun I was having and said I should do this a lot more. My this-will-ease-Patrick’s-mind response was, “Mama already has enough of our money invested in crafts, honey. Maybe when I use up a bit more of what I have I’ll do some more of this.” She shrugged and headed off to read her latest copy of Katie Kazoo.

yarn-to-be-dyed.jpgย  dye-pot.jpg wilton-yarn-dye.jpg

I skeined off some small amounts of yarn, 20 yds each, and dropped then into a pot containing one gallon of water plus 3/4 cups white vinegar that was just below simmering. I then mixed my food coloring into 1 cup of, just off the boil, water. I add this stuff to frosting by the toothpick dip so I was a bit cautious at first and figured I could always add more dye. the first color infusion was just a bit of orange, I got what I wanted and took one skein out to drip dry a bit. I wanted graduated colors, sort of so I figured layers of dye would keep the colors related. The second infusion was the same amount of orange and a touch of black, third was equal parts of both colors and the last was just black.

mini-skein-1.jpgย ย  3-to-go.jpg 2-to-go-mi-dye-bath.jpg

Now, I didn’t leave the skeins in until all the dye was absorbed, I checked on them every minute or so and pulled each skein when it reached a color I liked. then I tossed what was left of the original undyed skein into the pot just to see what would happen while I heat set the four mini skeins.

heat-setting-in-the-microwave.jpgย  out-to-dry.jpg this-is-what-you-do-with-the-remaining-dye-bath.jpg

I’m stoopid with happy over what came out. And good news for you! The pewter yarn- just under 100yds of fine-sport/sock weight yarn is now part of the Blogiversary prize pack!! WHEE ! So get your guesses in, only 7 days left. Your last clue is on Wednesday.




Le Sacre du printemps


Well, Spring is about rebirth, right?


I think I’ll start over. The past week, and yesterday in particular sucked pretty hard. I’m going to turn my face to the sun and try to grow a bit, though I think not so much as my exploding african violet here.


I took some time for myself last night. This is one of the things I did, hand-dyed yarn. Yum. More details and your last clue on my project progress next week.


Have a wonderful Easter – all you that celebrate, and a beautiful Sunday if you don’t.


What is it worth?


Our five -year old is a thief. (* Edit)

I drink coffee in the morning and because I don’t want to kill the children I pick up on the bus with my dragon breath I chew gum. Last Saturday morning I woke up to both my children giving me sweet, berry scented hugs.

“Why do you smell like that?”

“Well, because Saebra got some of your gum and gave it to me. She said it was OK.”

“So now the word of a 5 year-old is law?”

“She said it was OK!”

“Saebra, where did you get the gum?”

“From your purse.”

“Did you ask if you could have that gum?”

“No. I just wanted it, and I wanted sissy to have some, too.”

Then we had a nice long talk about how bad stealing was, we reminded them of the Golden Rule, reiterated the extreme badness of stealing, dealt with, what we thought at the time, were tears of guilt and reassurances that we were understood and we went along our day.

On Monday a letter came home from school. Saebra had stolen a pack of gum out of the backpack of her only real friend. This friend had shared a piece with her at recess and when they came back into the classroom Seabra liberated the rest of the pack from her friend and put it in her own bag, because she knew she would want more, “It was SO good Mama!”, and because she thought her sister would like some. She got caught waiting in bus line because she could not wait to get home to take it out of her own bag and her friend saw her holding it and told the teacher.

She wrote a letter of apology to her friend – a saint of a girl who has totally forgiven Saebra and continues to be her friend – and her punishments were decided.

For the next 14 days she has no computer time, she may not watch any movies, she is confined to her room when she is home and she had to give up a sleep over at my Mom’s house that was scheduled during that time. We dealt with many many, what we thought at the time, tears of guilt, reminded her how horribly bad stealing was and the Golden Rule and sent her off to her room to begin her sentence.

(Thursday and Friday of this week they were not in school. Thursday was jampacked with dentist appts and my nephew’s birthday and yesterday was Good Friday but I had to work, so they had been with me for the last 48 hours. They were not good during this time. There was much sassing, there was much breaking of the rules while on my bus – no standing, no roughhousing, no yelling, no throwing objects…yada yada yada. They are currently restricted to their beds on a “no talking unless you are asked a question” rule till tomorrow)

This morning I woke up to Saebra’s lovely minty fresh breath. It’s not from toothpaste.

I feel like a horrible mother.

* I was handed this a bit ago


translated by her sisterย 


Time for a little Imperial March

ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

I think I have mentioned before that my nephew, who turns 9 today, it a Star Wars fanatic.


He requested a cake with Admiral Ackbar‘s ship in an epic battle with a Star Destroyer. This is what I came up with. I’ll add glow sticks for their laser weapons just before we do the candle and song thing.


We also decided to go crafty with him for his birthday. He’s getting a start up wood burning kit from the girls and a nice unfinished balsa box from myself and Pat, to experiment his newly gained wood burning skills on – filled with handmade Star Wars felt patches (Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance insignia and one of the Death Star under reconstruction)



Boots with the fur…


I have been bad, but good too.

I was distracted by making jewelry for Annie’s birthday – forgot to take pics. She and David have a great new house and we were delighted to spend Saturday there with them and lots of other friends. At one point Annie broke out the Play-doh and all 10 kids sat, quietly absorbed for the next half hour, at least. ๐Ÿ™‚


I knitted this – not on the list. I’m also working diligently on one that IS on the list and at least one list item is officially done.


We celebrated St. Patricks day with green milk at dinner – Yankee Pot Roast – and Shamrock shakes for dessert. Sweet, green, minty, ice creamy goodness.


Want to update you guesses? Feel free.

Tomorrow I have some distracting embroidery and a cake to decorate for my nephew’s 9th birthday then back to work with yarn.

(My kids came home singing this song – not the words, just the tune – and now my husband can’t get it out of his head and he’s driving me crazy with it)


In search of Shell Mountain



Atreyu and Artax had searched the Silver Mountain, the Desert of Shattered Hopes and the Crystal Towers without success. And so, there was only one chance left to find Morla, The Ancient One, the wisest being in Fantasia whose home was the Shell Mountain, somewhere in the deadly Swamps of Sadness.

Everyone knew that whoever let the sadness overtake him would sink into the swamp.

ย losing-artax.jpg


here’s a quick refresher, or introduction, if you’re not sure what I’m talking about. It went right over Patrick’s head but I think it’s hysterical. I yell Artax every time I step in that damn mud. ๐Ÿ™‚ Its the path down to the sugar shack, soย  I yell it about 12 times a day!


I watched the stars as they turned to grey…



I thought of this song because I heard my first morning dove of the year today.ย  I saw my first Canada goose on Friday and we’re boiling maple sap like mad around here so I guess its safe to admit that Spring is moving in. She’s still got of bunch of boxes of stuff in storage and she wants to paint the place before she hangs anything up or decides on curtains but I think she’ll be settled in soon.


(The pics above are from one of my favorite sets of pictures of my Sabie. I made the little top she’s wearing from an old curtain I got at the Goodwill, I made Aurelia pants from the same fabric that year – called them my Sound of Music kids. Mom framed these up for my birthday this year – look at that face.)

Speaking of maple…Dudes! this shiat is sweeeeeet! Our first batches are coming out so dark! 4 gallons so far and that’s just from our first week, we only made 5 gallons all season last year. Want some? Drop me an e-mail: ChickenBetty at Gmail dot com, $9 per pint. We shipped amber goodness to Salem, Ma., North Carolina and California last year, we can get it to you fast.

We also had friends stop by yesterday to check out our whole sugar-shack set up.ย  The girls had headed off earlier in the day for a fairy hunt with April and her brood and were having such an awesome time that they totally missed Annie, David and their boys’ visit. No prob, this we’ll do again!

So, shall I give you a clue? towards the contest? You brave few souls who have already tossed in your ideas may feel free to amend them anytime between now and 3/31.

I have fallen off the ‘finish what you have already started” wagon. Phhhhhbbbbt. ;P

odette-gauntlets-up-close.jpg odette-gauntlettes-back.jpg odette-gauntletts-on.jpg

These are in the shop and this may become a sweater design, or two.