Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Summer of Yarn Love Strikes Again

Watch me jump up and down and overuse exclamation marks!

I received my July package from my spoiler!

When the mail delivery guy at work came by with my package I was so excited. I'm expecting several packages right now -- mostly from yarn swaps -- and I didn't know which one it would be.

I was a little behind on work so I couldn't ethically stop and open it. I used it to help stop my procrastination and told myself that if I did this and this and this, then I could open it.

So I did a few of them as far as I could take them and took a lunch hour and decided that was the time to open the package since it was my lunch hour, after all!

So just look at all of this:

My benefactress (is that a word?) heard my plea for more of the SWS yarn in the same colorway, so now there's a Curly Q scarf in my future crochet plans. Finally something I get to keep! (Or maybe not. I may be short on gifts this year....)

Anyway, look that beautiful American flag star in the background is going to hang on my front door.  Isn't it gorgeous?

Continuing clockwise, there's a ranting journal with Sponge Bob on it.  Or else a regular journal with a ranting Sponge Bob on the cover. I haven't decided yet.  I don't do a lot of ranting, so probably it'll be the latter.

Next is hand lotion called Gloves in a Bottle that I used right away because my hands are super dry.  But I'm wondering where online I mentioned this because if I didn't, then my Secret Pal is carrying that stalking thang a bit too far.

Next, gorgeous linen yarn. The color ranges from orange to fuschia with graduated shades in between. Gorgeous! I'm gonna hold onto these skeins before I decide what to do with them because there's one more package coming next month and maybe.... Well, never mind.

And last (if you don't count the note that I'm not going to mention because that's between me and my Secret Pal and I only put it in there so you could see the pretty stationery): A Jar!

When I saw this jar I thought perhaps my Secret Pal hadn't gotten my message about not sending sweets anymore because of my high blood sugar. It has the yummiest looking candy apple on it. I thought it was a jar of caramel and I didn't know how I was going to resist opening it and pouring it into my mouth!

But it's not sugar! It's a candle. I tried sniffing it to see what it smells like, but looks like I'm going to have to take it home and burn it to find out. Either that or test my office's sprinkler system.

Maybe not.

Secret Pal, wherever you are and whoever you are, you're still the bestest!

Thank you bunches and bunches!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In Other Crafting News

I spent the weekend creating bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages for a very elegant wedding (for less than wealthy people).

It is my second favorite craft to crocheting.  At least today it is.

When I have received the promised digital photos from the photographer, I will post more details.  Meanwhile, all I have are these two inadequate shots of the bride's bouquet that I took with my cell phone.

Note the entwined crystal heart beads if you can find them.  They were my favorite creative touch.  I included a matched pair in the groom's boutonniere.  He smiled when I told him.

Well, the first wedding pics are in and I'm adding one of them below.  You can just make out the amethyst hearts in both the bride's bouquet and the groom's boutonniere.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


At my office's holiday party in January someone took this photo of the back of my head. She was fascinated with my hair.

It wasn't my hair.

Well, actually, it was my hair because I paid for it, but it didn't grow naturally out of my head.

I started to chastise her for something -- not seriously chastise mind you, but in that party-going, too-too way one does when there is alcohol being served (I can't remember what for, either, some remark or something) -- and just as I was making a disapproving "mou" with my mouth, the little stinker snapped another photo.

I was disappointed my hair was getting so much attention because -- besides the fact that I felt so unphotogenic -- what I really wanted to get noticed was my armadillo handbag.
(In answer to your question, I will quote Mary Poppins: "made of." You can only just see the strap over my shoulder in the photos.)

Oh, well. I suppose there will be other parties.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Another Yarn Contest: My Black Hills Summer Vacation

See that panorama up there? Those are the Black Hills of South Dakota. Where I come from originally (Illinois), they're called Mountains. (Since I've lived in California now for over 30 years, I have a new understanding of the difference between hills and mountains.)

But way back when I was a teenager in the '60s, those were the highest mountains I'd ever seen. The summer I was 15 I went with a youth group to a summer camp -- not for camping, mind you, but to work. Our job was to dig a trench from the top of the mountain down to the camp to hold a pipeline from a water supply for the camp.
Every day in the morning, we climbed this mountain. Every day at noon we climbed down for lunch and a rest period. Then we climbed back up and back down at nightfall.
I hated this youth group. I'd only been a member of the group for a year or so because my father, a church choir director, had just moved from one church to another. So not only was I a "new kid," I was a choir director's kid. I got picked on a LOT, and especially by the boys.
It seemed every time I turned around the boys were playing some sort of trick on me and snickering at me and thinking I was a stupid dolt.
Mind you, I know now why they were doing it.
My daughter is the spittin' image of me and has been at every stage of her life. In fact, she looks so much like me that when sorting family photos, if they're not marked with the year, I sometimes have to stare at the photo and look at the background and figure out which one of us it's a photo of.
This is what my daughter looks like today. She's 29. She doesn't look much different than she did at 15 -- and therefore not much different than I looked at the same age.

Not bad, eh?
So, like I said, in my old age (and after it's too late to work it), I realized that those guys were teasing me and tormenting me because -- Dang! I was hot!!!
(I'm not even going to say "If I do say so myself" because at the time I thought I was really, really ugly. It took having a look-alike daughter and seeing her every day and watching the men sniffing around her to find out that that coulda been me if I hadn't been so stoopid!)
Of course, people tried to tell me, "It's only because they like you," but I never listened.
Anyway, I digress.
One day after lunch time on a really, really hot day I was wandering around the camp biding my time and enjoying my rest period when these four guys from another cabin walked up to me and asked me to help them.
Of course, I was immediately suspicious. But they seemed really desperate. "Hey, Jo Anne," the hottest one of the bunch called out, "can you help us? We really need to find a hollow-J goose-necked smoke sifter to clean out the fireplace in our cabin and we can't find the camp director. If you see him, will you ask him if he has one?"
"Come on, guys," said I, "you think I was born yesterday? You guys are pulling my leg again."
"No!" they yelled. "You gotta help us. Rev (the minister leading the work tour) is gonna kill us if we don't get this fireplace cleaned today!"

By the way, I ran across this public domain photo on the internet and it looks surprisingly like the cabins we stayed in:

I felt sorry for them and told them I'd try to find the camp director. "But what was the name of that thing again?"
So they had me repeat it over and over and over again and I walked around the camp reciting, "hollow-J goose-necked smoke sifter hollow-J goose-necked smoke sifter hollow-J goose-necked smoke sifter hollow-J goose-necked smoke sifter hollow-J goose-necked smoke sifter hollow-J goose-necked smoke sifter"
until I found the camp director.
"Say, Mr. Camp Director," I said, "do you have a hollow-J goose-necked smoke sifter anywhere? The guys need one to clean out their fireplace."
"Oh, sure!" he said, not missing a beat. "It's up on top of the mountain hanging from a sky hook!"
Oh, no. If these guys were going to get their cabin cleaned in time for inspection, I'd have to climb the mountain, find the hollow-J goose-necked smoke sifter, come back down and get it to them before we had to climb back up again for the afternoon shift.
So, being the helpful and generous soul that I am,
(oh, yes, Dear Reader, I did)
I. Climbed. The. Mountain. Again.
Well, I guess I gotta make this long story short. Lucky for me, my friend Pam wasn't hungry enough at lunch time to come down the mountain and had decided she'd rather stay up there than have to climb it again in the afternoon.
She had no idea where they kept the sky hook up there but she helped me look for a little while.
Then she said, "You know, Jo Anne, I think a sky hook might be some kind of a joke. I mean, where would you hang a sky hook from?"
I didn't tell her about the hollow-J goose-necked smoke sifter. I just waited on top of the mountain for the afternoon shift to arrive.
Along with the raucous laughter.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hello, I'm Jo Anne and I'm a Swapaholic

I have so many crochet projects clanging around in my head daily that today I decided to be a legal secretary about being a crocheter.

I sat down and started -- *gasp* -- a list!

Then I checked all my online places where I get involved with swaps (mostly Rav, of course), and gathered them all up and put them on the list.

Then I put in every charity I had promised a crocheted item.

Then I put in every baby and wedding gift upcoming.

Then I put in every birthday and holiday gift upcoming.

Then I printed it out.

Then I thought of a gazillion more projects I'd forgotten to put on there that I'd bought yarn/patterns for.

I tried putting due dates on them but most of them said ASAP.

I'm in trouble. Deep, deep trouble. So I started my 12-step program today (is there a pattern for that?)

Anyway, meanwhile, I received another swap package. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Barbara from the Atmyhouse Yahoo! group who sent me two scrunchies in colors I just happen to LOVE and a bunch of recipes*, all of which I happen to LOVE, and candy ('nuff said) and a pencil and an emory board, and -- well, just look at the picture and see for yourself.

*(I am learning so much from participating in these swaps. I never would have thought to include recipes! And I love receiving them. I will definitely use these!)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Yarn Addict's Dilemma

My yarn stash has outgrown its containers by about double.

I live in a very small apartment.

So what am I doing entering a contest for free yarn?

*eye roll*

Be sure to mention my name, okay? You'll see why when you read the entry rules.