Art Yarn fun!

Over the summer, I learned how to spin art yarn with beads and locks.  I spent a day with a dear friend of mine, Di. and taught her what I learned.  It was so fun!  She is totally hooked!  I want to show of her lovely art yarn.

Isn’t is lovely!!!!!!

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Visiting Lynnie!

After being only 5 hours from Lynnie since moving here to IA, we finally made it up to MN to visit for the weekend.  Myself and B. left Friday evening and made it up there by 7pm.  We met up with Lynn for dinner at a yummy Pizza place, before heading out to her home.  It was a very long drive, but soooo worth it.  I missed Lynn so much.  We stayed up much too late catching up, but headed out first thing in the morning to the MN State Fair.  It a huge fair.

First activity we did was the river ride.  This was extremely fun and OMG wet!!  I was so soaked I purchased an outfit from a fair dealer to wear for the rest of the day. We ate lots of food and had lots of fun and saw lots of interesting things.  Of course, I enjoyed the fiber arts sections.  B. and Lynn took in several rides while I tried not to over heat.

After enjoying the day, we headed over to the airport to pick up Chris from his return trip from London. It was so great to catch up with Chris over a yummy Italian dinner.  B. enjoyed playing a few games of chess with Chris before heading to bed for the night.  We all woke the next day and spent the day relaxing by the beach.  More Chess and some Wii DDR, then cat watching, and B. took the kayak out for a spin.  It was such a nice day and so fun visiting with Lynn and Chris.

The pictures are from the State Fair and are fabulous!!! three of the best quilts I have ever seen!

Cedar Rapids Area Fiber Arts(CRAFA) Guild Field Trip – Betty Shreeves

Mid July, the CRAFA guild members went to Betty Shreeves home for a lovely workshop on silk hankies and dying fibers.  It was such a fun day! I brought two skeins of blank merino sock yarn, two skeins of blank alpaca sock yarn, 2 four ounce hanks of cormo roving, 4 oz of tussah silk roving to dye along with the silk hankie that Betty provided to us.  I went crazy playing with colors and really enjoyed the freedom to play and be inspired.  All ladies learned new techniques and made some really great silk fiber creations.

Each of us was given 30 grams of silk hankies. Silk hankies are silk cocoons stretched into a square.  We used Pro-Chem dyes in a huge array of colors to dye our pre-soaked hankies. Then let them soak for a couple of hours before placing each hankie in a plastic baggie.  Betty then steamed them in her dyers kitchen.  While we waited we learned to spin our silk hankies and knit with them.

Instructions as I remember:  Peel on hankie from your stack of Silk Hankies. Place your thumbs directly in the center of the hankie and make a hole in it. Pull evenly to the outer edges until you have a ribbon of silk.  This instantly becomes your roving in which you will spin from.  Draft it to the size you want your yarns gauge prior to spinning.  It is very tough to draft out while spinning.  Instead of spinning this “roving” you can knit with it.  I didn’t get many pictures of this field trip since I was very involved in particpating.

Those of us who went really enjoyed ourselves.

Preparing for the Move.

Throughout the week of Thanksgiving and then some we found ourselves painting each and every room in the house.  While this process was proceeding, we were also half-assed packing stuff up and moving it outta the way, to make way for new Carpets that were put down on the 30th.  It has bee a mad house around here!  I am very thankful to Jacqui and Robert Rayne and their lovely girls that came over to spend an entire day painting the walls in my house with us.  They worked themselves into a puddle of mud.  I know we went to bed every night achy and dead tired.  I am so incredibly lucky to have them in my lives.  They understand what it means to be friends and be in a community.  Their isn’t a whole lot out there I could think of that I wouldn’t do for those folks and I am pretty sure they feel that way about most folks they meet and know.  It is going to be the most difficult thing, leaving them behind.  With so much still needing to be done to ensure their home and health, it is going to be so hard to be so far away and helpless.  Not my favorite feeling!

A BIG Thank you to the Rayne Family for Helping us Paint!!

Now I must clean up messes of paint spots, clean floors, replace caulking, and separate all we are going to storage and all that is going in the car/airplane with us to the hotel.  Much work to be done.  S. leaves tomorrow and that makes me anxious and sad.  I don’t know how I am going to get out there or when.  All I know is all my stuff is being picked up on the 12th by packers and then I don’t know what. <shrugs>  We’ll see, I guess.  I feel sorry for the dogs.  The trip is going to be rough on them.  Staying in hotels with dogs isn’t so easy.  they usually have to be kenneled until you get home from work, if you are not in the room, so we have their cages.  Snoopy won’t mind so much, but Fiona will loose her mind!!  She is usually out roaming her acreage lazily all day long.  Days will be long stuffy and small.  My poor baby. 😦

But when I arrive it will all be better since, I will be their and be taking her out for walkies often!!!  That means no time in the kennel unless I must go out, if that.  🙂  I don’t mind us needing to be out there and think it will be a pretty neat adventure.  I hope for the best, but its the actually process of moving that just bites!!  I need someone to point to some shiney bright spot I am missing about the process of moving.  I would really appreciate it.  End results are going to be wonderful, but what is wonderful about this particular climb?  Anyone???

Playing Catch up.

Well, many hard decisions were made and we have concluded we are moving to Cedar Rapids Iowa.  This is a huge change for us.  I have never lived outside New England, so I am more nervous than S. whom grew up not too far from our new destination.  The boys are excited for only one reason.  We will be within 4 hours of my dearest and best friend Lynnie.  We all love!!!! her, so I am excited to finally get to live near her as well.

Before I get to caught up in the now…let me back track a little and show these fine examples of our Samhain celebrations this year.  For those whom might not know, Samhain is the Pagan Sabbath, that falls upon All Hollows Eve, or Halloween!!!  It is one of my all time favorite holidays.  We invited my parents over for our Dumb Supper(eating in silence in honor of our ancestors, leaving a table setting and plate full of goodness for them, afterward leaving it outside for the animals to enjoy or wandering spirits;).  Afterward, the boys bobbed for donuts hanging from a string attached to the ceiling.  This could go on for hours and the laughter never ends!!  We held no rites this year, which felt very weird especially as we had so many recent deaths in our family, but I was able to personally take some time to remember and “talk to them” and it was incredibly uplifting for me.  Then came the onslaught of Halloween Movie Marathon!!  Our tradition.

Earlier in the week, the boys attended a fun Halloween party at our UU Church.  We carved our pumpkins early so we could enter them into the contest.  All were really great.  I loved mine the best.  It just made me laugh everytime I saw it.

Now onto the next post!

The Horror!!!

What an indescribably painful time.

I picked up Christine, to join me in a jaunt up to Rindge, NH for a walk through , The Cathedral of Pines.  I love this spot.  It is beautiful and sacred.  One of my all time favorite places in the world.  If you don’t know what it is, go look it up.

I got out of the car and we walked to the enterance where the bell tower looms above as you walk by.  An right away,, I noticed something wasn’t quite right.  I figured it was my memory hadn’t held onto enough of this place to have noticed the enterance to the catherdral being this low lying and landscaped, then I met upon a clearing.  If you know anything about The Cathedral of Pines, the only clearings are ones for memorial gardens wrapped around the back perimeter of The Pines.  I stood in horror.  I couldn’t grasp what I was seeing.  It was all too shocking.  It was all gone.  Other than the Alter of Nations, everything was gone.  All the huge, tall, spyring Pine trees were all gone.  The lovely benches tucked under the the tall pines that you could sit in and just breath in the peace of this place and look out between the trees the Alter of Nations with Mount Monadnock as the backdrop.  It was alll wrong!!

What had happened?!  All was landscaped mounds as you traveled a path to the a small seating area aroung the Alter.  None of the memorials were kept up in their beauty and serenity.  The paths were overgrown, gardens were missing and dug up in some locations.  The pagan circle that took so much to actually have placed there was now leveled dirt as so many of the surrounding sacred places with in these grounds.  It was horrifying. 

I walked around taking in all that I could manage and we entered the museum and teetered on about all the neat items folks have donated over the years as memorials to loved one.  We entered the main hall and there is was.  An Explanation.  Ice Storm of 2008.  It had brought down every single Pine of the Cathedral.  I just didn’t know what to say or do.  I don’t dare take pictures of what it looks like now.  It is definitely not the same place as my memories held.  Instead I took these: