30 October 2014

Boo!

Entered in the Thread Animals Best Designs of 2010 competition

The Gangly Gang

The Spider and Friends

Cheese!

Charlotte's Web

I love you this much!

Come to Mama

camouflaged

Can I come inside and get warm???

Halloween Sunset

The Next Morning

Beautiful Moon, Obnoxious Spider

My Spider Light in the light of the Full Moon

Moon Madness

Mooned

28 October 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Red Mountain Pass

Red Mountain Pass

Mineral Creek

Mineral Creek

Molas Pass

Twilight Peak

Vocabulary Reboot

all just words

Every once in a while, a news headline catches my eye and tempts me to hit the link and get the scoop. Lately, I've been growing very, very frustrated with supposed news services that do nothing more than republish hot stories published by other outlets.

I'm quickly reaching the point I don't want to read any news because it's all plagiarized with a big asterisk: Put each paragraph or bullet item onto a new page, and force the reader to gobble up bandwidth with the same-old/same-old autoplay promotional videos and megabyte-chugging ads (and often unwanted, tracking cookies and malware) reloading again for each stupid page.

Aaargh!

One of the ways I'm combating this is by subscribing to a TEXT-ONLY news brief service. I still have to put up with the annoying and unwanted gigabyte hogs if I click links to read more, but at least I can be a little bit informed if I can read the headline and the first paragraph.

Don't even get me started on headline writers who don't read the content of the story and plug in a headline that sensationalizes but doesn't tell the real story...

Saving that rant for another day, another way I'm fighting the irritating uninvited loss of expensive bandwidth is to do a search on a trusted search engine for the keywords in whatever story I want to read. I'm slowly beginning to recognize which supposed "news" services are bogus, and I can avoid them altogether without finding out via hard experience all they will do is crash my computer with malware and tracking cookies.

My most recent experience was a teaser for this year's list of overused words that should be banned. I'm a writer, so this topic very much interests me. However, I don't get much time to surf the 'net and stay on top of real news, so the header snared me, hook, line and sinker.

Easily solved. Exit the browser immediately. Clear all cookies. Open a new browser with my trusted search engine (usually google.com or startpage.com) and search for "words that should be banned." Top of the the list is Lake Superior State University, which conducts the annual survey, and I roll my eyes for not just going there in the first place instead of even bothering to click a link on a stupid teaser. What can I say? Born blonde; didn't come from a bottle. I can be a real space case. Truly.

Which reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw the other day and absolutely love:

"I Like My Space" - NASA

And now, back to that list...

I don't watch TV and didn't have to endure the dance that created the twerk fetish. Thank goodness. But I do know what the word means. Recently a reader/snowflake crocheter commented she likes how I've been tweaking my old snowflake patterns as I work through my special project. I couldn't resist replying, "Better to tweak than twerk..."

I really dig the word "unselfishie." I think that should become next year's most-used word. As long as we are using it to become more unselfish.

volunteer shirt

27 October 2014

Snowflake Monday

Bilingual Snowflake

Every once in a while, I get a request to convert a snowflake pattern from American terminology to British terminology. This feels like a second language to me, one I haven't learned yet because I haven't practiced, practiced, practiced until I can "speak" it without having to look at a conversion chart.

Most often, the requests come for a complicated snowflake. I tried running a search and replace once in an attempt to cheat my way into British terminology, and I ended up with one very screwed-up pattern.

I feel bad when I can't help new crocheters who aren't able to do the conversion any better than I can. So I decided it's high time I practice, practice, practice, but with an easy pattern, to see if maybe I might get a better grasp on this so I can help beginning crocheters across the pond.

Here’s my first attempt. I tried very hard to make it perfect, but because I do not use British terminology in my everyday crochet, I can't vouch for how well my translation of his pattern is; I hope my British (and Australian!) readers will be patient with me as I try to learn to speak a new language.

Here's a conversion chart, if that helps more than what I've done below.

I get quite a few requests for charts, too. I am able to chart; charting, however, takes me a very long time, especially during fourth quarter, when work is so busy I hardly see daylight. I have been working on one chart for two months now and still haven't finished. So charting is another area you'll just have to be patient with me while I give it my best shot.

Sometimes I wish there were two of me!!!

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Bilingual Snowflake

Finished Size: 2.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Bilingual Snowflake Instructions, American Terminology

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), * 2 dc in ring, ch 3; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 dc in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Pull magic circle tight, but leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 2: Sl st into next ch 3 sp, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 sc between next 2 dc, * ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 sc between next 2 dc; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 3: 1 sc in same ch as sl st, *1 sc in next dc, ch 3, 1 sc in same dc, 1 sc in next dc, ch 7, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, ch 2, 1 sc in next dc, ch 3; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Bilingual Snowflake

Bilingual Snowflake Instructions, British Terminology

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 5 (counts as 1 tr and ch 3), * 2 tr in ring, ch 3; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 tr in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Pull magic circle tight, but leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.

Round 2: Sl st into next ch 3 sp, ch 2 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr in same sp, ch 3, 1 dc between next 2 tr, * ch 3, 3 tr in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 dc between next 2 tr; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 3: 1 dc in same ch as sl st, *1 dc in next tr, ch 3, 1 dc in same tr, 1 dc in next tr, ch 7, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, 1 dc in next ch, 1 htr in next ch, ch 2, 1 dc in next dc, ch 3; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in starting dc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

A link to the blocking template I use is located here. That website has some of the most helpful snowflake information I know of. I also have a link to it on my sidebar to the right. I try to keep all the important links there so everyone will be able to find the information they need.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

Bilingual Snowflakes

24 October 2014

23 October 2014

October Fool

come alive again

Autumn abated early when we experienced our first snow accumulation in early September. The wonderful moisture and warmer temperatures that followed tricked my garden into thinking winter had passed. Many of my flowers began trying to bloom again!

Indian Summer brought back a few hardy polinators and leafeaters, too.

hummingbird moth with revived lavender
the little Nikon

Sip Away
the iPhone

Stop eating my kohlrabi!!!
the little Nikon

next year's praying mantises
the little Nikon

Because my Big Gun was in surgery, I was forced to try to capture this splendid phenomena with the iPhone and the little Nikon point-and-shoot. They do okay.

moist blue
the little Nikon

blue heaven
the iPhone

Thankfully, my Nikon D300 came back just in time to catch the biggies! One of the day lilies I planted at the end of August wasn't supposed to bloom or even grow until next summer. It quickly made a triple fan and began shooting tiny little buds skyward in October!!! A glorious but stubborn hyacinth, which doesn't get as tall, wasn't expected to display its true colors again until next April or May.

autumn delphinium

California Poppy

shy hyacinth peekaboo

autumn day lily bouquet

I hoped each of them would hold on until the Big Gun returned. Or that the mercury wouldn't drop below 32 degrees again until afterbloom.

Be careful what you ask for. You might just get it.

Gotcha!

new blue
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