Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mouse trouble

This is Morgan Mouse.  He's nice and quiet, stays where I put him - most of the time - and never gets in any trouble.  I wish all mice were like him.  I posted about him here.

But there are mice in my house that are nothing like Morgan.  They get into everything!  I have a cabinet they have gotten into that we can't figure out how, but anything I pull out of it has to be washed before use.  I have a large bottle of bleach right by the sink. My hands constantly smells of it - ugh!

But what really made me mad was when I found out that they have been in my thread!!!

A brand new ball of thread - destroyed! I am not a happy tatter right now!

I was looking for thread for Jane's TIAS just before it started and kept noticing these red bits and ends.  I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this ball of thread!   Now I'm having to clean out my thread drawer and figure a way to keep the mice out.  In fact, I'm having to check out the entire dresser.  I have many things I'd rather be doing!

It's days like these that I wish we still had a cat.  We never had this kind of problem with a cat in the house.

On to more pleasant things, like Jane's TIAS.  Here is mine up through Day 5.

There have been a lot of guesses as to what it will be but I don't think any of them are correct - Jane is much too sneaky for that!  My guess has been some kind of plant, but that's only because she's not done one yet for a TIAS. We will have to wait to find the right answer.

Day 6 is going to be available tomorrow, January 21!  I know I'm not the only one looking forward to it.

Will Day 6 be the day it becomes more obvious what it is?  (hahahaha!)

More like Morgan

I have found mice in my house!
Such messes they leave
Everywhere that they roam,
Everywhere in my home.

From cabinet and counter
The stairs and the floor
My house is infested
My patience been tested.

I’d love to send them packing
Clear them out – good bye!
I’ve not yet found a way
That will keep them at bay.

Remember me as I fight
This army of mice.
They aren’t cuddly or cute
As they munch and they scoot.

Why can’t they be like Morgan,
Flat and well behaved?
I could live with mice then.
But these! Go away! Amen.

Wanda Salmans

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I've joined the TIAS crowd

Yes, I'm doing Jane E's TIAS I just haven't had time to post about it.

The 2015 TIAS started out on Day 1 with a button - a pretty small button.  This button didn't want to join. It tried getting away and hiding a couple of times but now it is attached to two shuttles, making it a lot harder to disappear.

A few more rings were added on Day 2. 
Not much a clue to say where this is heading.
Jane hasn't done any plants yet (for a TIAS) - maybe it is this year?

Day 3 is no help, really, just a few more rings, though it does look like we are turning a corner.  At least going a different direction on the next installment.

As I have no better guesses I'm sticking with the plant theory.

What's your guess?

"Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment."
Carl Sandburg

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Are You Ready?

The New Year is here and with it new beginnings.

Including Jane's 2015 TIAS which starts tomorrow January 7.
Are you ready?

I looked through my shuttle collection and found two that were empty - not that easy as most still have thread still on them from previous projects.  Then I checked through my button stash for a 3/8th inch button - again, not as easy as I thought it would be.  After I found the button I could think about what color thread to use.  As it was handy and I like the color I wound the shuttles with Lizbeth #657 in size 20.

I'm as ready as I'll ever be for this year's TIAS.
Are you?

I've also started the new year by adding a couple of patterns to my Patterns tab.  I finally finished diagramming the Fall Bookmark (aka Bookmark in Fall Colors) I posted about here and here.  I was also asked about the pattern for the wreath I posted about here.  Both are now available.

I don't make resolutions for New Years as I rarely keep them.  This year I'm making goals instead.  The top three (at the moment) in no particular order are:
Update the header and layout of my blog.
Diagram and write out the patterns for the snowflakes I made in the last few months.
Practice taking better pictures for my blog.

These are practical goals that are totally reachable.  I feel I am ready for them.

Are you ready?

"May it be the best year yet for you
And everything prosper you may do." 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bedside tatting

A little before Christmas my MIL became pretty sick.  It put a bit of a damper on the whole holiday.  We spent some time sitting with her, to give a break to my FIL. I always have some tatting with me but I don't always have a pattern or a project with me, which is what happened one evening.  I had green thread, red thread and even some red seed beads but no plan.  This is the result from that evening. 

Let's face it, a simple round motif of rings and chains in green makes a simple wreath.  The beads I added after it was done because I forgot to add them as I tatted.  I braided strands of the red thread together to made the bow, and, ta da! A wreath!

I completed it while there and thought to leave if for my MIL, but I wanted a picture of it first.  It took a bit of doing to find a background that worked.  I tried several things before I noticed a Christmas stocking that turned out to be the best background.

I'm happy to say that my MIL is doing much better, though she gave us all quite a scare. In some ways the family meeting there, taking turns sitting at her bedside, made us much more aware of how blessed we are with family, even without the traditional Christmas gatherings.  I'm just hoping it's a long time before we do this again!

"If today was the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?"
Steve Jobs

Update - pattern added to My Patterns tab 1/6/15

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Decorated Ball Ornaments

Sometime just after Thanksgiving I found several ball ornaments with Styrofoam centers that are covered with red thread.  I had been thinking about trying to decorate balls like this for awhile so I purchased the ornaments to give it a try.

Wanda Salmans 2014

They turned out well but only one was finished by Christmas.
There were too many other things going on.

Wanda Salmans 2014

This one took the longest.  I completed the first two rounds then it languished, hanging from the lamp shade, half done.  I pinned it to the ball to entice me to finish it.

While watching football this Sunday I was finally able to finish it. 

Wanda Salmans 2014

For this one I cut a plastic card to make a thread gauge and didn't notice that it wasn't a straight cut until I went to finish it off.  I obviously used both ends of the gauge, which were not the same width.  It is much less even than I thought it was. 

The completed ornament still looked good on the tree.  The tree was a small one, too small, really, for this big of an ornament, but the grandchildren just knew it needed to be there.

Now I need to put them away, somewhere that I don't loose them, so they can go on the Christmas tree next year.

"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Two Snowmen

I had an idea for a snowman the other day.

Snowman doodle  Wanda Salmans 2014

He was a bit of a pain to make - he didn't want to hold still to put on his hat or scarf!  And I lost the beads on the floor several times before he was done.  He remains alone - at least for the time being.  He might get a friend to be worn as earrings someday.
We'll see.

It snowed last week, a wet, heavy snow, just perfect for snowmen and snowballs. We had a couple of the grandchildren staying that day and they could hardly wait to get out in it.  The first thing were snow angels and then a snowman.  A carrot for a nose, charcoal for eyes and buttons, twigs as mouth and arms.  Papa brought out a hat and Grandma donated her scarf.  Then we couldn't go in without a snowball fight. It was so much fun!  The snowman lasted a couple of days, slowly leaning over but kept it together until the kids left.  A few hours later he lost his head, then the rest of him gradually melted away.

Have you built a snowman yet this year?

Two Snowmen
One inside, one outside,
One little, one big.
One lives for ever - or until he gets lost.
One lives a few days when he just melts away.
Both were made in just a short time,
For the length of their stay
They bring smiles to us all.

Wanda Salmans 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dressing up for the neighbors

Well, dressing up a gift for the neighbors.
One of my neighbors had a birthday this last week.  I wanted to gift her with something but not something that would just sit around the house and need dusting.  Both she and her husband have health issues so I didn't want to make or bake something that would be hazardous to their health, either.  Not saying I'm a bad cook or anything like that but I couldn't remember what things they need to stay away from - sugar, salt, fat, dairy, red meat - you get the picture.  After thinking about it for a bit I hit on a gift idea - simmering potpourri.  I did a search on Pinterest looking for a recipe or ideas that used things I had on hand and came across one that called for orange rind, apple peel, cloves and cinnamon sticks.

I just happened to have cloves and cinnamon sticks in my cupboard.  I don't always have apples and oranges sitting around but we had just picked up our order of apples and oranges from a local member of FFA (Future Farmers of America) who was selling them as a fund raiser (this is done yearly).  How about that, everything I needed. 

Now to package everything up nicely.  I have a package of lunch-sized brown paper bags that I thought would work - okay, not the whole package of bags, just one.  I didn't want it to be naked, so I dressed it up with a bit with burlap, lace, and buttons, then added a sprig of evergreen (it was fake but it looked nice) and a bow.  I added one of my snowflakes to it but in such a way as it can be taken off and put on their tree.

Instead of sending just orange rind and apple peels I put in a whole orange and a whole apple; dropped in a palm-full of cloves and several sticks of cinnamon.  I printed out the directions and put it in the bag also. 

I thought it came out nicely.  It smelled good just sitting in the bag.

My neighbor really liked the gift and the bag it came it.  I know they'll like how it will make their house smell because I made some up for me, too.  Can I say I helped dress up their house for the holidays, too?

"Remember, the greatest gift is not found in the store but in the hearts of true friends."