Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Toy!

Oh, I love a new toy!  I've entered the world of Silhouette.  There is lots to figure out, but man oh man is it fun.  Here is my first successful 'vinylling'.  It's a frosted vinyl with a purchased image on a bathroom mirror.  It's adorable, even if I do say so myself.  The other two people who've seen it both had the same reaction! Yea!  It took me a while to get it together.  Trial and error.  But the process was fun and the possibilities are endless.

It's a goal to make and send homemade cards this year.  With this new toy, they will be quite fancy!

Try to imagine taking a picture of a mirror without getting yourself, your hand, or your camera in the shot.  These were the best of the bunch.  Not to mention this is a frosted, but clear vinyl, so it's pretty subtle, hence the somewhat fuzzy nature of the pictures.  Or is that due to some sort of user error?  Funny process anyway.

Totally off topic:  See the shelving in this bathroom.  My fabulously handy husband made it to fit the space and the dimensions I wanted. I love my handy husband.

Also off topic, but worth sharing with the world I think:  I heard this on TV recently:  Children are not perfect... but they don't need to know that you know that.  The world will point out their flaws, soon enough.  Try to be the one to see them with the kindest eyes.

This thought has been rattling around in my head ever since and is really what prompted the choice of the vinyl.  I'll be putting up things on every mirror in the house and changing them as inspiration hits.  It's yet another way to love those you love.  And during this Year of Light, I plan on loving in as many ways as possible!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pattern Weights

Before we get into it...  let's just for a moment celebrate the number of posts this year. Yes.

Okay, on Pinterest I found a picture of pattern weights and immediately flew back to my tween years, watching my Aunt cutting out patterns in her basement, using pattern weights.  This was in the mid 70's.  My Aunt was on the cutting edge.  hee hee.  Get it, 'cutting'.  Whew, I'm a funny girl.

Anyway, I thought to myself, 'I gotta get me some of those'.  Pinning the pattern is among my least favorite parts.  This pinner had used washers and large nuts, which she wrapped in fabric.  So, off I went to the hardware store to buy some washers.  (If I'd remembered to take pictures before I started, I'd insert one here...)  I bought a variety of sizes.  The larges ones have a 2 1/2" diameter, the smallest 1 3/4" diameter. I also bought 2" diameter washers.  The smaller washers I purchased in packs of 10.  I bought 2 packs.  The smallest and largest ones I bought individually, because that's all they had.

I ended up using ribbon to wrap mine because I did not want to finish the edges of fabric strips.  Ribbon is more instant satisfaction!  I stacked them by twos or threes and wrapped, wrapped, wrapped.  It's not hard, just takes some time.  I did not glue the beginning, I sandwiched the end between two of the washers and then overlapped the first wrap to keep it secure.  How to secure the end?  I pondered all of my choices and tried a couple before settling on hot glue.  The other glues I tried just didn't dry fast enough and holding the ribbon while it dried was harshing my mellow.  So, hot glue won.  One tip, the glue cools fast on the ribbon because of the metal washers so plan to work quickly.

Are you wondering if they work?  Well, they do.  I have successfully used them to cut out a fleece jacket, which just might show up on this blog!   If you are working on a complicated pattern and need the pieces to stay attached, you can still use a pin for that!

By the way, I spent $9.59 on washers and used left over ribbon in my studio which made 10 weights.  It's a bargain, even if you'll be buying ribbon, too.  I used about a yard of ribbon for each weight.  About.  It can vary greatly depending on the washers you are using, how many you are stacking together and what kind of ribbon you are using.  Try one first before cutting the ribbon!  The widest ribbon I used was 1/2".  I tried using a wider ribbon but it just bunches up in the middle and looks terrible.  The grosgrain is very thick and is therefore less flexible and it took more ribbon to cover.  The lime ribbon was the best for this application as it is very supple and molded itself to the washers.  The green floral came to me in a box from my mother in law.  It's not actually ribbon as the edges are unfinished.  I think it might have had some adhesive on the back, once...a long time ago.  There was no wrapping or packaging, so it's anyone's guess.  But it looks pretty great as a pattern weight.

I actually think I might need more.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Oh, yes.  They are as good as they look.  I found the recipe on and decided to make them mini's.  Because they are mini's, they need less bake time.  This is my second try to find the exact right time.  They are better, more moist on the inside, but darn it all, it's going to take another batch because they are just a little too done on the outside.  Darn it all!  It's a burden, but I'll do it.  It's the sugar topping that makes them rock!  Oh, you'll be tempted to add extra chips.  Resist.  Using the mini chips gives you lots of good chocolate coverage and when you put too many in it throws off the sweet balance.  Can't really say how I know that, but I do.  ;-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blech... And other uplifting thoughts

I've been not well.  Not super sick, just blech.  It's a bummer.  Tired, achy, yes, I admit it, whiney.

We are experiencing a serious cold snap.  Below zero. High winds.  The sort of weather that makes you want to hibernate.  My studio is in an added on portion of the house that just isn't as warm as the rest of the house.  And as I've already mentioned I feel icky and cold in a warm room.

So instead of spending some quality time in my studio, I am sitting in front of the computer, in sweats & two shirts & a double thick blanket.  But, at least I'm improving on the consistency of this blog, eh!

Well, enough whining.  Yesterday was inauguration day here in the US.  It's filled with historical references and protocol I am not well versed in, but I totally love it.

It was also Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  I always feel a pull whenever I read his writings.  He was focused on Civil Rights, but his wisdom reaches across to all aspects of life.  Below is one of my favorite quotes and is where the name of the blog came from.  Enjoy.

And I say to you, I have also decided to stick to love. For I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind's problems. And I'm going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn't popular to talk about it in some circles today. I'm not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love, I'm talking about a strong, demanding love. And I have seen too much hate. I've seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I've seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen and too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who has love has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


I post to this blog inconsistently. Sometimes I'm bummed or frustrated or irritated and sometimes I'm accepting that inconsistency is a part of who I am.

Primarily, I'm bummed when I want to document something I've created and forget! I've been working in my studio this month and there are things to post, before I give them away! My camera is getting kind of old and the digital pics are not as clear... Oh, heck. Hold on, I'll get some pics to post.

Okay, this scarf I just finished today. Yes, I'm intentionally knitting things to keep. Which feels weird. But I'm doing it anyway.

It's some sort of specialty yarn that I've had quite a while. Unsure how to proceed, it's been waiting patiently in a box until last week when I spotted it. It was a little fussy to work with, but the end result is really interesting.

I made it to wear with this corduroy jacket.  I'm really pleased with the way the orange bits reflect the light.  The scarf itself is 10 inches wide and 32 inches long.  I started with 33 stitches on and knit every stitch until it was a good length.  I wanted it to hang, not too long, and I definitely didn't want to double it up.  It's an infinity scarf, which means I gave the end a twist and joined the wrong side to the right side.  This time I tried knitting the ends together as I bound off.  An earlier infinity scarf ended up with a serious seam when I bound off first and joined second, so I was looking for a new way.  I like the seam better. I'll try again with a less fussy yarn and see how it goes.

As this is the Year of Light, I'm going to lighten up about fuzzy pics.  I'm also going to lighten up about the inconsistency.  

2013 - Year of Light

We've taken to naming the new year as it approaches. It's fun and empowering and I highly recommend it.

This year has been dubbed The Year of Light. It started with this quote:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” MLK jr

I started to feel a tingle as I read that quote. So I searched the definition. Get a load of this:

Definition of LIGHT
1 a : something that makes vision possible
b : the sensation aroused by stimulation of the visual receptors
c : electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength that travels in a vacuum with a speed of about 186,281 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second; specifically : such radiation that is visible to the human eye
b : DAWN
3: a source of light: as
a : a celestial body
c : an electric light
4 archaic : SIGHT 4a
5 a : spiritual illumination
6 a : public knowledge
b : a particular aspect or appearance presented to view
7 : a particular illumination
8 : something that enlightens or informs
9 : a medium (as a window) through which light is admitted
10 plural : a set of principles, standards, or opinions
11 : a noteworthy person in a particular place or field
12 : a particular expression of the eye
14 : the representation of light in art
15 : a flame for lighting something (as a cigarette)
— in the light of
1: from the point of view of
2 or in light of : in view of

Really! How great is that?! Truth, enlightenment, inner light, spiritual illumination! I feel uplifted, inspired and hopeful and that is just what naming your year ought to be.