Oh I'm so Sorry

It always seems like once I find a new Blog to read that Blogger goes on some extended vacation from the rest of humanity, and I'm sorry to any new readers. Lately I've just been try to recover from the mad gift making and shipping, the slew of x-mas parties and the cookies that go with them. What have I been up to? Well one I can't show you because its a secret, but some others I can.
First I made my own surface of the sun.....My good friend Evan of Evan Baines Photography out of Nashville uses this method for his amazing photography and for about $20 you can too can take better pictures any time of the day. Check out this link for instructions, Strobist.
Yes that is my Red Swingline Stapler!

When I moved out here from TN and away from the great people in my lab, they threw me a little going away party. The also gave me a little gift card to one of my favorite yarn shops. Little Knits in Seattle. Well the idea was that when I couldn't stand living in a yarnless town any longer I could break out the gift card and get some much needed fiber therapy.
BEHOLD! Enough Silky Merino Malabrigo to make the Hour Glass sweater in this great tone on tone blue. Really? Blue? Claire? I needed a change. It's more glacier than blue.

Next week I'll share more, including my gifts from the BVC folks and snippets from the secret project. After Christmas the Etsy Shop will be updated, and a second shop will be rolled out after in the start of the new year (oooooooo).

Until we meet again, a little surprise from my African Violet that seems to forget its winter.



The winner of this years give-away is Merlin the Cat, her concise answer jumped off the page the moment I read it, "I craft because with out crafting I would not be who I am."

Now for my answer. A few of you asked "Why I craft?" The answer is because I can't not. I can't explain it, but I must create. It can be anything. When I'm not knitting I'm sewing, or cooking. At work I'll draw or just retype all the SOP's. I need to be making. It amazes me that I can take a plain old ball of yarn and turn it into a hat or sweater. Something completely useless to something useful.

I have lots to share from give-away week, christmas gifts finished and new yarn. Please come back for a visit!



I want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by this week! It was great. I spent all week running to the blog to read comments. Tomorrow I'll post the winner. Keep checking back to see what we're up to next.



Today is GIVE-AWAY-DAY, So......I'm going to ask ONE question, "Why do you craft?"

The answer I like the best, gets......This three bag set. You will get a large 14 inch Knit-along Bag with a handle, a medium Sock-along Bag with handle, and a small 7 inch zip bag.
You have until the 6th to answer, and you'll know the winner by the 12th!



Mondays are well mondays, even when you don't have a real job. It still stinks. The only cool thing about Mondays is that its our Lawton area Knit-together-get-together. We go to the Atalanta Bread Company. Nice and tasty. Knitting in Public (KIP) draws a lot of stares, which makes me laugh. Lots of "they're sewing" and other mis-interpretations from parents to children (NO KIDDING, once in the airport a mom told her daughter I was SEWING!!!! I always carry my Brother sewing machine on the plane, and on what planet do you not know what sewing looks like that you mistake it for knitting. Personally just ask, its good for kids) .
I took some pictures today since we had a wee bit of sun.
Lady Feb.

ID Badge Holder (Christmas Present for someone!)

Earrings for Myself

Earrings for sale on Etsy

I risked my fingers to make a light box. I'll show some more pictures on Wednesday. Stay tuned because all this week is GIVE-AWAY week, and I have a give away.


Serious lack of posts

Okay so I didn't post every day. I kinda forgot, kinda didn't have anything to talk about. My crafting has been lacking. Since I have been volunteering everyday, I just kinda forget. The lab is a strange place and if you never worked in one its hard to describe. Lots of machines and not any windows. I do have some projects in mind. Like a stuffed buffalo pattern, an upcycled snowman or other holiday themed creature and deconstructing a shrug that I love but wish was in a different color.
I did however finish my Lady February Sweater...


Trafficing across State Lines

In Lawton recycling is personal choice. No one picks it up for you nor do they have an easy way to drop it off. The towns main recycle center is on post. The other strange thing is, they don't take glass. No one takes glass. So once a month or so we pack up the Jeep and drive south into Texas with a boot full of glass bottles. It might just be the strangest thing I've done in the name of the being green. Sometimes we just leave other times we hit the Best Buy and the Target since Wichita Fall has about 13,000 more people than Lawton does it gets these stores. We have a um a Cato's. This time we went for dinner. It was rather uninspired but it wasn't a chain and it wasn't in Lawton which seemed to be two things going for it. WF's is also this giant mess of freeways which are poorly labeled and hard to navigate. I want to know what that planing session was like. "I wana make this city really confusing, so people just can leave so they stay"


Crafts and Cooties

Fridays are always a little lazy. Since learning about our coming move to Seattle the weather has responded and its been cool and gray, and thus adding to the Friday lazy's. Our lab was slow and peaceful, except for the constant chatter of the students and what they'll do with this weekend. One of the great perks of working in a post hospital is that you work very few weekends. It's very costly to employ civilians on nights and weekends but not the military. Though it sucks a little they rotate just like we do, just more.

After work I've been trying to keep my craft level up and not just get sucked into the computer. Since Turkey day is sneaking up on us, I started my major projects. Two finished one not.

Felt Thanksgiving Garland



This was way easy, just felt cut outs and string. I'll make a template for the shapes if anyone wants one.

Fall Leaves Paper Wreath

I wanted a nice wreath but didn't want to spend a ton so I just got out the old craft paper and following some MS instructions knocked with out in like 20 minutes. I'm thinking about how I can make one for x-mas too, but since I have a holly outside the front door I might just steal some branches from it. My Thanxgiving table runner is still a work in progress but should be done soon.



I know, I know I didn't blog yesterday. But since it was Veterans Day yesterday I thought I'd leave the Blog blank. Yes that is a picture of Mt. Rainer. We will be going home in March, finally. It's only taken us 5 long hard years and 24 months of deployment time to get there. I'm overwhelmed. I get to look for new grocery stores and yarn shops! I get to see my fam again.
Mainly I've been hanging around the lab and it has been fun. I just kinda float around and bug people and learn there systems. I think I'll find myself back in Chemistry. We here at RACH run the same analyzers that I ran at my first lab. They are people sensitive and if they like you, they like you. It might have something to do with my skill of killing Mercury Vapor lights. Tomorrow I think I'll go knock on the Micro lab door and introduce myself.


Guess what?

If you know where this is, then you know where we're going.
This is my home, I'm coming home.


When Mondays are good

Sometimes Mondays are good, sometimes they can start something that will make the rest of the week. I'm ignoring the super wet back yard and my HUGE water bill (I've called the landlord). Celebration cupcakes are in order today. It was a delicious little cupcake too. The runt of the litter I frosted it first, then ate it. The red cross was dragging its big feet so I went to "help" out this morning and push them into getting my placement. It didn't take long, I went to the lab around 10:30. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the feeling of being somewhere needed and wanted passes over you. I played around in Hematology which appears to be my new home. It was lovely. Then when I got home I got my order of lovely Blueface lester wool! (pictures later) and an email about the Lab job I applied for. So I made cupcakes of celebration!



I'm going to count the weekends as one day, since I know most readership is done at work.

These are the long over due shots of the Hew Shrug.

I'm not sure where to start about this shrug, but don't make it. I'm all for it hurts so good knitting. Hell I drive a stick shift and like it, but this shrug was just stupid. Cast on some 200+ stitches for the ties WTF? It doesn't have a good picture nor anyway to know what this baby is going to look like. The directions kinda suck. I'll wear it but don't make it. I think I'm getting old and cranky in my knitting. I want projects that are well thought out and test knit, I want good directions and looks of maps and measurements. It could be the cabinet makers daughter in me, but I want to know what things should be.

That said, I've been working on my Thanksgiving crafts and am quickly understanding that x-mas is getting ever closer and thus need to start making those gifts. Eeeek!


Keeping Track

Still no word on the MT volunteer gig so I figured I'd make the best of the 70 degree day and sit on the back porch with a blanket and the giant house spider. So far so good. In order to feel like I'm actually doing something with myself and to keep me from getting distracted by the internet or the like three hours of the New Detectives on the ID channel, I keep a calendar. You know for all my super important meetings, and power lunches that I have with those other ladies who lunch. Please try not to laugh so hard that anything comes out your nose, it really hurts. No really I do have all sorts of silly things written on the calendar, like, "dishes" and "post to etsy" and "spin" so that when I do these things I can cross them off and feel good. I've worked this way since childhood. I made my own homework sheet in middle school, with boxes for each class (algebra, lit, religion, what do you want I went to a catholic school and yes we had religion homework) it was very popular, I made copies for people. Sometimes a try using oh say one of the two electronics that I have on me at all times, my crackberry or my iTouch. Alas nothing is a satisfying as paper. I can flip back to last week or two weeks ahead. You don't get that from your crackberry. This also means I've taken to carrying a very large purse too. Its damn handy

Speaking of purses, I love purses, bags, pouches, whatever you want to call it. On this fine day I got around to taking some pictures of the super carry all I made some time back from the fantastic learn to sew book, SEW.

I ordered the fabric some time back, like when I lived in TN, from Sew, Mama, Sew. They have some of the cutest fabric plus they have a great blog. I've got some good size scraps leftover too which I think will find themselves as more drawstring bags.

Any way, the wind is starting to pick up out here and I've gotten all the vitamin D that I need.


Having a Punny Good Time

We like jokes in this family, we also like really silly puns. An attack with rolled up socks is normal and then the claim of being "socked". So while making dinner the other night it happened, there was at good ol'fashion

I'm not sorry for that.

But other than silly food jokes, I'm still crafting away. Granted I did go to post to get my volunteering straightened out. Turns out no one called the lab director yesterday (when I talked to the volunteer coordinator about starting today) so I had to wait on her to call us back, and it was a busy (okay they thought busy) morning in volunteer land. Well long stupid, you people have got to get this ironed out or your going to keep loosing every volunteer you get through here, story short..... I'm going to be working in the lab as a volunteer MT. I know that sounds really strange, and the more I say it the stranger it sounds, since ummmm I made lots of money per hour as an MT and now I'm giving myself away. Since we've reached our employment event horizon so to speak (just about 4 and half months left here and thanksgiving and x-mas in there) I'm really not going to get to do anything unless I just give it away. So hopefully I can start soooooooooooooooooooooooon, I'm so board I'm making root vegetable jokes.
After fighting and fighting with the printer to get it to print in reverse so I could make some neato little tags for my stuff....
I also got some yarn cakes ready for use. I'm almost done with the first arm of the Lady February Sweater (soft green), I plan on making a shawl with the dark green, and a second ball of silk bamboo for some fingerless gloves to take the chill off the mini coopers chrome gear shift. Let me tell you that bugger gets red hot in the summer!



So I was puttering around my strange collection of blogs I read, and I came across this, Craftig !
It's a rather nifty world of crafts of all kinds and a way for everyone to find your "story". A Story is anything, a funny story about how your dog ate all the yarn you bought for the wrap or the pattern for the wrap. I've already posted my original Mint Chip Purse Pattern (don't worry I'll put a link on the side bar). Thanks to Carina and her super craftblog, since she was the one who interviewed the founder of Craftig, Kristen. I can't wait to check it out more.
Remember it is also the third year of HandMade Holidays over at Sew, Mama, Sew! with a daily installment of great gifts to make, buy and NOM!
So other than my wasting time on the soul-sucker that is the internet, I've been trying to line up a reason to get out of bed. I haven't had any sales from the etsy site so I haven't been making much of anything. Instead I've had my blood drawn, spent an hour of death by powerpoint, and then went up and down back and forth to become an American Red Cross Volunteer. As neat as a paycheck is, working at the JC Penny's in the mall is just not going to cut it on my already sad resume so to the LAB. Okay so not the real lab, and not any test, or any real responsibility. I'm back to the world of blood letting. Not leaches, just normal phlebotomy. But mark my words the first smart mouth who calls me a "vampire" is getting an 18 gauge to that little vein that runs your pinkie and ring finger.


November Challenge

So for the month of November, I plan on blogging daily. Yes once a day. I just can't seem to get in a groove with the world of blogging. I'll work on updating my blog, getting more current pictures up, getting those finished project on the left up. Showing you all sorts of not so great lawton stuff. Well, I'll be seeing you!


Happy Halloween

Pumpkin Pile (Vertorama), originally uploaded by Panorama Paul.


Medicine Park on Sunday

Unlike the Falls of my youth in the great Northwest, with large mountains covered in huge ancient Fir trees and the foothills full of bright fall colors, fall here is painfully short and lacking the color. We tried for a little fall foliage and headed out to Medicine Park, a strange little community just north of Lawton.
First of all Medicine Park is tucked away between the two Lakes collectively know as LETRA. It's a funny little art community which is best compared to a very small Vashon Island. Its less artsy than totally nut-jobby.

We headed out to checkout the Bath Lake area, which is about downtown, after a piece in the local paper caught my eye.
We couldn't have asked for a better day, cool wind, bright sun, very few people.

We even ran across a bale of turtles warming in the sun (look it up, a group of turtles is called a bale, that's what wiki is for)


Not much Going on

These days it seems like nothing is going on, and yet not a lot is getting done either. No pets that need walking or have funny attachment to thing, thought the parakeet loves the remote control. Other than trying to track down where in the world the part to my dishwasher is since it hasn't work in the two months I've lived in this house and have had to wash EVERY single plate, dish, cup, soup etc by hand. The finally agreed that the 10 year old contraption had to go and I got a brand spanking new one. Granted its about the size of a suitcase rather than the newer larger types but it's a working dishwasher none the less. BUT! It leaks, from the back, into the carpet. :( Wet socks are really gross. I needed to go to the grocery today, get things to eat, to make dinners with but now I get to call the rental people and wait for someone to check on my wet carpet. GOODIE! But its not all bad, I can get some more spinning in and work on my sewing project.

So far the spinning is going well, I do predraft and all that, but I think my very first try at making yarn was a good one. It had some really thick spots but that seemed to get better, and the twist is a little tight so that the yarn will do something a little funny when I knit it, I'm sure, but I'm okay with that. Only problem now is that I have to get some more fiber. If I was back in TN I could go to the up coming fiber fair but alas I'm here. I should just get on it and order more of the same since it was well priced and only faintly itchy. I do have about 4oz of undyed silver alpaca. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm



Since I've been home during my stay-cation (aka unemployment) I've been releasing my inner Martha Stewart. This includes crafting, cooking and more importantly COOKIES. See the Hub loves cookies and power through a bag of chips-a-whatevers in like 3 days. I started out with those just add an egg and stick a butter type cookies but recently moved up to see what the COOKIE of the day was at Martha Stewart.com.
Now you can go back through the past few days and see the other cookies. Lots of those too may ingredient kinds of cookies, even more of those too complicated for cookies which will be consumed in one bite kind of cookies. But every now and again, you get a good one.
When I was a weee little Claire my gram and I would go to the bookstore on friday (after lunch-bunch but that's another story) and then go two stores up the hill to the deli and I'd get a snickerdoodle and milk. Never failed for years. Mmmmm they were those big snickerdoodles, that are a little crisp on the bottom up soft too.
I just had to make them, and when the Hub asked "whatsa snickerdoodle" I was sure if I'd have 3 dozen cookies to myself or if he's eat them too.
The dough even tasted like right, just like the cookie but unbaked. These are quite possibly the tastiest cookie I've cranked out in a long time.
I highly recommend this particular recipe, You'll find it here! They are best served with Milk or tea, and are not half bad with coffee, water, soda, or just after dinner.