Sunday, September 30, 2012

Theme-a-licious September Smalls Wrap-Up

First of all, I'm so sorry this post is late! I wanted to get it done before I left for vacation, and that didn't happen. But I convinced myself that it would be OK; we were getting home on the 29th and I could do the post then. Except we actually were getting back today on the 30th!

Anyway, I'd like to tell you that I was able to finish the squirrel in the center of the pincushion that I'd started at the beginning of the month.
But I can't. Poor little guy. I didn't want to take him with me on the trip, so there wasn't much time to work on him.

Speaking of the trip, I did get a "little" something done in the car...
Hexipuffs! I finally found a stuffing I like...I had tried cotton balls, but they did not have enough give to make good stuffing. I found a bamboo-rayon combo suffing that feels quite nice--almost silky. I think I need someone to look at the way I'm finishing the top of them...I get a weird wonky edge at the very last corner.

And here's the rest of the picture of the little teaser I showed last time.
I've completed the main part of the bracelet I started during the Lottlympiad! There's just some peyote bands and little embellishment left!

Now it's time for...
Obligation October
Wow, the holidays are only a couple months away! Avoid that last-minute crunch and work on some gifts now.

This month is not all about gifts...any obligation stitching counts (round robins, anyone?) The only gift I have planned is an ornament for my sister. And to be honest, I have NO IDEA which one to make her. I will have a few other "obligations" to fulfill, though. I'm starting (yet another) online class this month. I also promised to do a KAL with Sue...we both have scarves that have been in progress waaaaAAAaaayyy too long. We haven't ironed out the details...I think we're going to go for an hour a week. I may designate it as Dancing with the Stars knitting for the season. Anybody want to join us?

So how did September go? Did you make a lot of progress...or just small progress? =) Please add your link below (to your check-in post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) Our next post will be on the 15th, when we'll check in with our progress for Obligation October! And don't worry if you haven't posted before...just jump in whenever.

1. Jackie
2. Sue
3. Sherrie
4. Joanne P
5. Valentina

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Finished Object Friday

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So, I was having doubts about this cowl when it was still on the needles.
No doubts now! I love it.
This is a Moebius cast-on, knit in the Honey Cowl pattern (Ravelry link to my project) with recycled sari silk yarn. So since it's a Moebius, half of it laterally is the front pattern and half is the back.
But I still like the way it looks. I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off...except for like 15 stitches, which I bound off as normal, because I was running out of yarn. I ended up with about 6" left!!

My attempt at a pouty model look.
Or something.

One souvenir yarn down, like three to go. Or maybe four. Um, but who's counting.

For more finished objects of the yarny persuasian, head over to Tami's Amis!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lottlympiad Closing Ceremony

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...inspiring music plays...

Bob: The majesty of another Lottlympiad... swells...
camera pans over a vast array of craft tools scattered across a landscape of half-eaten scones and empty tea cups

Bob: ...dreams are achieved, or missed...

sound of a record needle scratch

Bob: Jim, what are you doing??!?

Jim: Bob, it's been over a month since the Lottlympiad ended. Let's just get this over with.

Bob: Jim, what happened to your accent?

Jim: I don't want to talk about it.

Bob: I take it that your tea didn't go too well.

Jim: I said I don't want to talk about it. Can we get started, please?

Bob: Uh, OK, Jim...we are very behind schedule. First, let's go out to London Olympic Stadium and check in with Tom and Ato for an update on the Random Relay!

Jim: Wait, Bob, I thought that Random Relay was a swimming event.

Bob: Just go with it, Jim.

Jim: Uh, OK, but can we have Craig report it instead? He goes so much faster....

Bob: Good point, Jim. Craig?

Craig: Thanks-Bob-and-Jim. We're-here-for-the-Random-Relay-and-we-just-have-to-hope-the-baton-doesn't-get-dropped. Otherwise-four-more-years-with-no-gold. We-need-a-finish-of-the-bottom-row-for-a-silver--the-border-for-a-gold. We're-rounding-the-bend...
AND-IT'S-A-PHOTO-FINISH-FOR-THE-SILVER! RIGHT-AT-THE-LINE! But-how-does-the-overall-field-look?

Bob: Wow, that was fast. I think Craig may have been listening to Andres Cantor too much. So there we have it, folks, the first gold medal in these Games! What do you think of that, Jim?

Jim: Whatever, Bob.

Bob: Jim, seriously, what happened at tea?


Bob: OK, Jim, but you can't just blow off the rest of the update.


Bob: Jim, calm down! What phrase? "Blow off*"? Ohhhhhh...Jim, did you say that at tea?

Jim: YES! NO! Shut up, Bob.

Bob: OK, tell me the whole thing, Jim.

Jim: Well, the host was seating me, and I was just making conversation, you know?

Bob: Of course.

Jim: So I was telling him I was a broadcast journalist, and he seemed really impressed, until I told him I had blown off* work for the afternoon...then he just laughed and laughed.

Bob: Oh, Jim, what else did you say?

Jim: I'm...I'm not even sure. I had just gotten a haircut and even bought a new suit for the occasion, with Union Jack suspenders* and everything...

Bob: Uh-oh...

Jim: And so the first thing I did was ask the waitress if she wanted to see them...

Bob: What did she do, Jim?

Jim: She...she looked at me like I'd just said I was wearing women's underwear or something! So I tried to change the subject by asking what she thought of my haircut and if she liked the bangs*.

Bob: Oh dear. How did the rest of the tea go?

Jim: Well, she went away after that...for a while, actually...but eventually she came back with my tea, and I told her I needed some Splenda, if it was no biggie*.

Bob: Jim, did you get thrown out of the tea room?

Jim: *sobs*

Bob: While Jim tries to pull himself together, let's head out to Andrea and Elfi at the North Greenwich Arena for some Rhythmic Gymnastitch.

Andrea: Thank you, Bob. I hear we're short on time, so we'll get right to it.

Elfi: This is one of my favorite events. It's easy to see, because it's so visual.

Andrea: You really know how to boil things down to their essence, Elfi. So let's take a look at our result.

Elfi: What this young lady can do and what she does so brilliantly is her work is exquisite.

Andrea: Ah...yes. But I see this performance has earned a dreaded yellow. That was a lot of deductions.

Elfi: That's just because she's so good!

Andrea: I...see. It's still a bronze medal-winning performance, though. Back to you, Bob.

Bob: Thank you, Andrea. Elfi has her own way of expressing things, as usual.

Jim: She'd better be real careful here, Bob.

Bob: For our last report of the Games, we've received word from that the second gold medal of the games was earned in the Bead Triathlon! Let's take a look.

Bob: A shining result, and a great way to wrap up the games! Here's the medal count...
Final Medal Count

Bob: Well, that's it for this Games. We'll see you in 17 months in Sochi!

Jim: I'm never speaking a foreign language again, Bob!

Bob: Um, Jim, you were just using an weren't really--


Bob: *rolls eyes* Good plan, Jim. And goodnight to you all!

The Lottlymplete can't seem to make it past two Golds. All in all, though, a successful Games.

*To understand why Jim came across as so crass to his poor waitress, take a look at the slang here. And do a little research before you travel. =)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Avast, Me Hearties!

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Ahoy! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! To help all you scaly scalawags out there, I offer my number one tip on how not to sound (or look) like a lubber when talking (or typing) like a pirate:

Pirates say "ARRRR!" They do not say "ARRRGH!" (Or "ARRRG!")

"ARRRGH!" be what ye say if ye drops yer flagon of ale on yer toe (or peg-leg, as the case may be).

So now, step lively, me beauties, and hoist yer colors fer all the world to see!

Arrrr! It appears even as a pirate, I be a grammar nerd.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Random Tuesday Randomness

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Thank you for all the well wishes on my trip(s)--the one down the stairs and the upcoming cruise. The bruise on my elbow is starting to develop some exciting colors, but it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be...more a subtle pastel whisper than a screaming colored cacophony. It and my hip only hurt if I bump them (which is ALL THE TIME, because I am a klutz, and a tired klutz at that). My shin bruise is fairly light-colored as well. So long as no one on the ship thinks Michael's doing me harm, I don't care so much. =)

So remember when I thought I'd found our missing recycling bin? Well, it turns out it wasn't ours, although it's probably our neighbor's on our other side. The numbering on our street is complex (the post office has us as "A" and "B" of the same number, but the City of Atlanta still has us as separate numbers because they take about 10 years to actually combine and split parcels...blah blah blah boring administrative rant), so it's hard to tell if it's hers or just from another street entirely. I only saw it driving by, so I saw two out of three numbers were ours and the third looked like ours. So now I guess *I'm* the crazy neighbor. ;) At least I hadn't taken it back....

Work is still bad, and the past two nights I've only gotten 5 hours sleep due to worrying. I NEED EIGHT, PEOPLE. Send me good, sleepy thoughts, please!

Blah blah drama blah blah tired blah blah pretty pictures soon.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Geekend That Was, 9/16 (Injured Reserve Edition)

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This weekend started out great!

Friday night I made this leek, chard and corn flatbread (with the leeks from my deck!)
YUM. Although, it wasn't as "flat" as we all might have hoped. We gobbled it up so fast, I didn't get a shot of it baked.

I got some shots of the products of our glass-making class (I'll still do a more detailed post later, but I know you've just been quivering with anticipation to see our flowers and paper weights, right? RIGHT??!?)
Kinda cool-looking, right? Even if they don't necessarily scream, "FLOWER!" (Mine's on the left; Michael's is on the right.)

And the paper weights (or "art orbs," as Michael calls them).
(His is on the left this time. Hmmm...from this angle mine looks kind of like and atom bomb going off....) I'll share some more pictures later.

Then, Saturday morning happened. Spoiler: I AM OK.

Let me set the picture for you...I am walking downstairs, with a mug (thankfully empty) in my left hand, and my Kindle Fire in my right hand. I'm discussing the morning schedule with Michael, who's still upstairs.

Heather: So I think I'm going to exercise.

Michael: Why wouldn't you?

Heather: I might injure myself.

Michael: Just don't injure yourself so bad you can't go on the cruise. (we're leaving next weekend)

Heather: Oh, come on, how could I possibly injure myself that bad--


Heather: --or I could just fall down the stairs.

Michael: What? Are you serious? ARE YOU OK??!? (sound of running)

Yeah. I fell down the stairs. Only about four. But here's the weird thing (you know, besides it happening right after that conversation): I fell forward. And the other weird thing: I didn't drop my mug. I was still holding on to it when I started to evaluate my injuries (right hip, right elbow, left shin, left knee, and back of left hand). What? Yeah, somehow I scraped skin off the back of my left hand, even though there is nothing nearby that I could have hit it on, AND I STILL HELD ON TO THE MUG. Weird.

So instead of hermitting and stitching, I was hermitting and icing to minimize bruising. It's really hard to stitch with your right elbow elevated above your heart. (It is possible to play Lego Harry Potter that way, though.) It somewhat worked; the visible bruises aren't too bad. But my elbow HURTS.

Sunday there were lots and lots of errands and general freaking out about packing because we were supposed to do that Saturday before I took myself out of the game.

Now please enjoy my very fuzzy TUSAL (made so mostly by this scarf, but also by my less-than-stellar focusing skillz).

Yummy flatbread is yummy, our glass turned out pretty cool, and this is why my mother didn't name me Grace.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Theme-a-licious September Smalls Check-in

I haven't had much time to stitch because of work, so it's a good thing all this month's projects ARE small!

I'm working on Ye Shall Prosper, which is a set of smalls designed by Moss Creek Designs (it's picture 4 =). Right now I'm working on the pin pillow (bottom left in this picture). It doesn't look very interesting right now, but soon there will be a SQUIRREL!
The bit at the top of the fabric is the top of the acorn-shaped scissors sheath. I've already stitched the needlebook (the picture's on my WIPocalypse page) and the front of the scissors sheath. Here's a lame picture of it...
Yeah, I didn't even take it out of the frame to photograph it. Nothing but the best for you guys. =)

The other small thing I'm working on, I can only show you a small part of...but you'll see the rest of it soon. (Foreshadowing! Your key to quality blogging!)
Very small...those are Delica beads.

Are you enjoying stitching smalls? Or at least smaller things? Please add your link below (to your check-in post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) Our next post will be on the 30th, when we'll wrap up September Smalls and talk about Obligation October! And don't worry if you haven't posted before...just jump in whenever.

1. Joanne P first again!

2. Karoline

3. Sue

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday (Indecision Edition)

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Did you ever feel that it was just time for a project to be "done"?
This is my Beaumonde scarf (Rav link)...or at least, maybe it is. It might be my Beaumonde cowl/neckwarmer. I ADORE this yarn, and I LOVE the way the pattern looks, I'm just a little tired of knitting it. It's been in progress for 2 years...I used to knit it on MARTA before I got my Kindle. It's not even a difficult knit. Maybe I just want to start something new.

What do you think? Hang in there for the full scarf, knowing I'm only about 30% done, or end it with some stunning, about now?

For more decisive knitting, head over to Tami's Amis!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Geekend That Was, 9/9

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Did you ever have one of those weekends where you thought you'd have so much free time, and energy, that you were going to get So! Much! Done!! but then it turned out that all kinds of little things crept in to ruin your amazing plans?

Yeah. Me, too. It was this weekend!

I actually had simple plans: Pick up our glass pieces, and get a bunch of things done off my massive to-do list (still leftover from my two weeks of non-stop working). Unfortunately, a lot of time got taken up because Michael was called in to do sound AGAIN (they guy who bailed over Labor Day weekend, as in "Oh, yeah, I forgot I was going to be out of town" didn't bother to take over his slot). And we had to get together with Michael's parents for a pre-birthday dinner.

Sunday we were both exhausted. I did manage to harvest some of the leeks that have been growing up on the deck. I wasn't really sure if they were, how do you tell? I read "when they're about an inch and a half in diameter"...I dunno, maybe they were? Anyway, I found a recipe I wanted to try, so we'll see later on this week how they are.
I also roasted some more tomatoes from our mutant tomato bush that's still producing. By the way, if you haven't tried these slow-roasted tomatoes yet, do yourself a favor and try them. A. MAY. ZING!

And in the land of the bizarre that is downtown living, I located our stolen recycling bin. It's in use by our neighbor three doors down!!! (I know it's ours because it's got our number stenciled on the side.) What should I do?
  • Just take it back.
  • Take it back, but leave a passive-aggressive note in their mailbox, "Hi! This is your neighbors at 574! Thanks so much for finding our recycling bin. We've called the City of Atlanta to let them know it's been recovered."
  • Call the City of Atlanta and ask them what to do.
  • Just forget the whole thing, since I think the City of Atlanta just dumps our recycling in with the regular trash, anyway.

I want to move.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lottlympiad Week Two Update, on Tape Delay

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Bob: Welcome, once again, to the Games of the Second Lottlympiad!

Jim: Wotcher, Bob! What ho!

Bob: Jim, have you been reading Harry Potter?

Jim: Yes...why? I mean, blimey, Bob! What are you on about?

Bob: Nothing, Jim...I'm just wondering if this is better or worse than the Australian "accent".

Jim: Don't get shirty with me, Bob! Tally ho, let's stop mucking about and soldier on, guv'nor!

Bob: (muttering) oh, it's worse

Jim: What's that, old thing?

Bob: Nothing, Jim.... So, folks, you may be wondering why we're coming to you after such a long delay. It turns out that after our last, spoiler-filled update, Jim was...overly protective of letting any updates out.

Jim: Oh, go on, then, old bean!

Bob: That wasn't a compliment, Jim.

Jim: Wot d'ye mean? Saved everyone from spoilers, I did!

Bob: Jim, you deleted all the coverage you and I filmed! It's taken weeks and weeks and weeks to reconstruct it!

Jim: Well, think of the fun we wouldn't be having now if I hadn't done!

Bob: (sighs) Let's go to Dan and Rowdy at the Aquatics Centre for a report on the Random Relay.

Dan: Thank you, Bob. We had a very exciting start to the action here.

Rowdy: Yeah, Dan, it's really hard to tell from this overhead shot of the pool, but we made it to the end of the row!

Dan: A great result in the opening heats, but so far it's just a bronze medal performance.

Rowdy: Dan, what you want to do in these heats is just shut down at the end...leave something in the tank for later.

Dan: Well, there's plenty of swimming yet to come. Back to you, Bob!

Bob: So, a bronze medal in the Random Relay so far, but there's a long way to go to get to the next level.

Jim: Stiff upper lip, old man, I'm sure we'll get to gold!

Bob: (sighs) Ah...thanks, Jim. Say, that's quite a lilt you have there. What else did you watch in preparation for your "accent"?

Jim: "Crazy for You" and "My Fair Lady," of course.

Bob: (rolls eyes) Both with perfectly accurate portrayals of British characters. We've received a report from Steve and Julie at the Bead Triathlon, and we can show you that a silver has been achieved in the second leg.

Jim: I say, old crumpet, what a smashing result!

Bob: Jim, do you even know what a crumpet is?

Jim: Righty-ho, Bob, I've got one right 'ere!

Bob: That's an English muffin, Jim. It's not quite the same thing.

Jim: What? I mean, Wot? But it is English.

Bob: Not really, that's just what we call it. Kind of like "French fries" were actually invented in Belgium.

Jim: Well bugger me...

Bob: Let's just go out to Al, Tim and Elfi for a report on Floor Exercise.

Al: The drama. The intensity. The multitude of rhinestones. A single toe out of bounds can suddenly put emotion into a very emotional weekend.

Tim: Al, when you get right down to it, it really does all come down to the scores.

Elfi: Yes, what you have to remember, and what you have to pay attention to, are the deductions.

Al: But all these tenths of does it all add up? How can we figure out who is really doing well?

Tim: Well, I'm no great shakes at math.

Al, Tim and Elfi: (laughter)

Al: Who is? So we've come up with a simple symbol system so you can know, instantly, if a gymnast is doing well or...not so well.

Elfi: Right, because you certainly can't tell just by watching if you're seeing and observing an excellent performance. We've trained for years so we can alert you each time a gymnast gets a deduction by stepping out of bounds, or falling.

Tim: This is a really good idea, Al. So we're going to have, like, a range of scores that would be considered good, bad or "on the bubble"?

Al: Not exactly.

Tim: So then we'll have a symbol so that you don't have to subtract the deductions from the initial score yourself.

Al: No, we'll show you all three -- starting score, deductions, and final total.

Tim: So what's the symbol telling me?

Al: Well, I'll tell you, Tim. Better yet, I'll show you.

Tim: Oh, I see! Now I won't have to remember that a random range of deductions is "good", another random range is "OK", and a third random range is "bad"!

Al: That's right, Tim. So if you see a green triangle, you know the gymnast got a really good score and can expect a medal.

Al: A yellow square means the gymnast needs her competitors to make some mistakes to be assured of a medal...she's not sure where she stands.

Al: And red means...well....

Al: So on to tonight's competition! How is it stacking up?

Tim: Well, there's a lot going on out there on the floor right now.

Elfi: That's true. But I think what you'll find, and what you'll see about this athlete, is that she is very careful to think about the considerations of her choices.
Tim: Are you saying you like the yarn, Elfi?

Elfi: I am saying that there is yarn there, yes.
Tim: Those are some good lines there.

Elfi: But a little unevenness towards the hem. Maybe a couple tenths that the judges can take off there, and believe me, they will be very careful to consider and observe all those things.

Tim: And judges are just like horses; if they smell fear, they'll pounce!

Tim: Oh, uh oh.

Elfi: There are some pins there.

Tim: Yeah...there are.

Elfi: And also some yarn.

Tim: I think we're going to be seeing a yellow here.

Al: It's a green!

Tim: She's got the silver!

Al: A silver! As if it were written...

Bob: Ah...thanks, Al. That was...enlightening. So a bronze, silver and our first gold of this Games! Well, I'm afraid that's all we have time for in this update.

Jim: Pip pip, Bob, I'm off for a spot of tea at the Savoy!

Bob: Jim, you're not going to keep using that fake British accent while you're out are you?

Jim: It's tickety-boo, Bob!

Bob: If you say so, Jim.... We'll see you back here for the Closing Ceremony soon! That is, if Jim can keep his hands off the footage this time.

Jim: Jolly good show, old chap!

Bob: (sighs)

Jim: No, seriously, Bob, that was actually a good show.

Bob: Good night, everyone!

Is there more gold in the Lottlympiad future? How will Jim fare at a proper British tea? The Games are long over, but the suspense continues!

Wondering what in the world is going on? This should explain. And be sure to enjoy the first 2012 Lottlympiad update if you missed it.

And to my British readers...remember that any views Jim expresses are not those of the Lottloft. What do you expect from someone who researches British accents solely by watching Broadway musicals?? (That's Jim, of course, not me. =)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WIP Wednesday

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Almost a year ago, when I visited Arizona, I bought this awesome recycled silk yarn.
I always had in mind that I wanted to make a Moebius cowl with it, but I hadn't got around to casting it on until Altius August.

I actually cast it on about three times...once it was too short, and the next time I just couldn't stop thinking about how cool the yarn looked loosely wound. Finally I decided to try knitting the Honey Cowl pattern around the Moebius, thinking that the floats would preserve some of the original look of the yarn.
I gotta admit, right now it looks like a complete mess. I have no idea how wide or long it's actually going to turn out. Hmmm, maybe if I'd done something crazy like swatch, I'd have more of an idea...

For more WIP Wednesday eye candy goodness, head over to Tami's Amis!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Geekend That Was, 9/2

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Thank heaven for long weekends. Friday passed in a haze of not-as-much-catch-up-sleep-as-I-would-have-liked, with liberal doses of I-am-relaxing-and-getting-nothing-whatsoever-done. But at least there was no work!

We had planned to go to DragonCon either Saturday or Sunday, but Michael got called in to do sound, so that blew both days right out of the water. We did go to the parade before running to rehearsal. I immediately scored a shot with a Spartan.
After rehearsal, we headed back to wander around the four hotel lobbies and see all the awesome costumes up close. Unfortunately, they made a change this year, and you could only get in the hotel lobbies if you had a pass. BOO!! So although I have literally hundreds of pictures from the parade (auto-advance FTW!) I only have a few closeups (we accidentally snuck past security before we realized there was any). Though one of them is me in a Captain America sandwich...

Saturday evening we went for a glass-making experience. This is one of the best Groupons I've gotten! Now, when I signed up for this "studio" glass-making experience, I had a certain picture in my head. "Studio" conjured up visions of us sitting at stylish heavy wood tables, on high stools, with our cute little Bunsen burner things in front of us, goggles on, as we worked with teensy glass blobs. You know, like at the glass blowers' shop at Disney.

I was not prepared for a 2,000 degree F (1100 C) furnace and 6 foot (2 meter) blow pipes! But BOY, was it fun! I'll have to do a full post on this once we get our pieces back (this weekend), but here are a couple teaser pictures...

Me waiting to make glass into a flower...I love the look on my, "Wait 'til I get my tongs on you!" (They're actually GIANT tweezers.)
(In the background you can see the glowing reheating furnace, which is teeny compared to the furnace housing the molten glass.)

And here's the instructor helping me form my paperweight into something resembling a globe shape.

Sunday passed in a haze of not being over my fatigue, and Monday was pretty well devoted to trying to catch up on everything I'd let go for the past two weeks. I still haven't gotten to all the email, though....

Long weekend still wasn't long enough. I did, however, manage to not get horribly burned or captured by aliens. So, that's something.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer Postcard Blog Hop

Just look at the lovely postcard I've received from Lesley at Lesley's Stitching Diary as part of Jo's Summer Postcard Blog Hop!

My picture reminds me of childhood holidays,by the sea, in the sun,dreaming of eating everything in my picture on the same day!! Then I would probably have sunk when I went swimming.

Best wishes

What a cool gotta go...there's some Publix Chocolate Trinity calling my name!

Old Geek-outs