Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome (insert name here)!

As hinted in the previous post, we have a new family member.  No, no, I didn't pop out another child ('pop out' - yeah, like it's that easy).  We have adopted a second cat.  A little boy, about 3 years old.  He is a tabby of some sort, and we found him through Cats Cradle Animal Rescue, here in Victoria.

This cat is one of the sweetest, most cuddly creatures I've met.  He loves being held, rather like a wee child, and is an instant lap cat.  He does tend to demand a lot of attention, and meows more than I am okay with, but I suspect that it's part of getting used to our house and his place in it.  I'm hoping that he'll relax more once he gets the full run of the house.

Our other cat, Sarah, is not amused, as one would expect, but she's managing to keep away from him.  She stares at him a lot. She does hiss if he comes to close, and has started to take a swipe at him, which I have curtailed with a squirt from a water bottle.  He is mellow about this - doesn't hiss, and just backs off.  

This friendly boy, however, is currently nameless.  While it's true that the foster homes had him named as "Geoffrey", I quickly dismissed this.  Just not my cup of tea for a cat's name.  So we have to come up with a new one.  I do have a few ideas, and my eldest son does too.  My suggestions are:
  • Finn (short for "Fingal", or "Finn McCool" - an Irish/Scotch warrior of myth)
  • Satchmo (the nickname of famous musician Louis Armstrong)
  • Aslan (the lion (and Christ-figure) from The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe series)
My son's suggestion is... "Marucho" (not sure on the spelling, so going phonetically on this), a character from the Bakkugan toys.  Can you tell where his brain space is these days?

So yes, we have a few ideas, but haven't made the firm decision.  If you have a suggestion for a name, or want to vote for one of the above mentioned, pop a postcard in the mail.  Or, just post a comment.

Update, May 7th: we now have the kitty's name.  None of us seemed to want to give in to other choices, so we did the only thing we could do to be fair - we drew a name out of a hat.  In went "Marucho", "Finn" and "Satchmo".  My eldest son drew..."Marucho" - the name he had wanted.  He, of course, was mighty pleased.  My 4-year-old, who loved the name "Satchmo", let the floodgates open, and much comforting and tissues.  I'm not a big fan of "Marucho", but fair's fair. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy 1st Blogiversary to me!

Holy cow - has it been a year since I started this blog?  A little longer, actually.  It occurred to me this afternoon while reading my favourite local gardening blog, Backyard Feast, who is about to celebrate her first year of blogging, that I too had started about this time last year.  A quick look back shows that my first post was on April 18th, 2010.  I had intended (hoped?) to blog much more, but funnily enough, life and crafting gets in the way.   No offense to y'all, but I usually prefer knitting to blogging.  Speaking of knitting, I owe you & the blog a long overdue "On & Off the Needles" post.  Coming soon...

In the meantime, I am slowly pecking away at my screenplay, getting ready for Gaia's Colours final (most likely) "Dye Day" workshop this Saturday.  Oh! And I will blog soon about a recent addition to our household.  Also coming soon....

It's a sunny afternoon, and I think I'll do a row on my current cardigan WIP before I get dinner going.

Hope it's sunny and mild where you are!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And the Winner is...

I think internet blogging awards are great.  Bloggers pass along wee badges of recognition to each other, further promoting their ramblings, photos and artwork.  Why not.

To this end, I've received my first nod in the blogging world - The Versatile Blogger award.

This honour was served up by The Housebound Writer - thanks so much, Andrew!  I'm blushing!

Now the rules of this "Versatile Blogger" award have been laid out as:

1. Thank and link back to the blogger that awarded you the badge.
2. Share 7 things about you.
3. Award 5 – 15 other bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers to let them know about the award.

The first rule checked off, I moved to #2.  So, seven things to share about myself.

  1. I want to design and publish at least one sock pattern, one shawl pattern and one sweater pattern sometime in the next 5-10 years.
  2. My dreams are so interesting and often so real that sometimes I wished I lived in them rather than here.  Then my alarm goes off.
  3. I love knitting more than chocolate.  And that's saying a lot.
  4. I despise sewing.  My apologies to the seamstresses out there (what is the word/title for a male sewer? - a tailor?).
  5. The idea of 20 more years of menstruating is depressing, annoying, and frustrating.  I know, as a pagan, that I should be embracing and celebrating all phases of my cycle, but really, I could happily do without my period every 26 days.  (This does not mean I wish to be pregnant again though - just so we're clear here.)
  6.  I need to work on my use of punctuation and sentence structure if I'm ever to become a published author.
  7. And one from my past - I used to figure skate, do ballet, and take synchronized swimming lessons (I even won two medals at the Alberta Summer games for the synchro swimming!).
And now, to pass along this award to others who have blogs I enjoy...
  1. The Original Yarn Salad
  2. In Among the Heather
  3. Knitted Bliss
  4. The Student Knitter
  5. The Bookshelf Muse
  6. Eskimimi Knits
  7. Frosted Petunias  
Congrats to these lovely bloggers!  May they pass along the award fun!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wooly Creature #1

This past week I received some adorable dry-felting kits for making felted animals.  The company is Woolpets, and I picked mine up at a LYS, though I have seen them at The Loopy Ewe (an online US-based company) too.  I've never done dry needle-felting, so am now getting into it.

I have four to try - Turtle, Frog, Sea Otter and Penguin.  For this first try, I decided to do the Penguin.

Here he is:

 He turned out a bit taller and skinnier than I was aiming for, but not bad for my first try.  My kids, especially my youngest, were fascinated by this process of bits of wool being poked into shapes.

Since doing Mr. Pengu up there, I have also needle felted a golf-ball sized toy ball for my cat, and a tennis-sized one for my boys (indoor only).  I was surprised at how much wool and how much time it took to make a ball of a decent size.

I'm thinking of doing the Turtle next....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A great day in Sidney

Today I spend a few hours visiting a small town I used to live in - Sidney, British Colombia.  It's about 20-25 minutes north of Victoria, and on the edge of the Saanich Peninsula.  It's next to the airport and near the BC Ferry Terminal.  When I was a BC Ferry employee (for ten years), I found it handy to live five minutes away.  Sidney is quaint, and geared for tourists.  It's also quite pedestrian-friendly.   When I was living there, it took mere minutes to walk to the downtown/"Main" street area, with the grocery store, pharmacy/post office, cafes, restaurants, health food store, and best of all, the beach!  I do admit, I miss living there, though since most of our family's world is located in Victoria and Saanich, residing in Sidney now would be more of an inconvenience.

So what was the reason for running up to Sidney today?  Why to see a spinning teacher!  Yes, a woman who teaches others how to spin fleece into yarn on wheels and/or spindles.  She came recommended to me by two local spinners/customers that I know.  Since I am still very much an amateur at spinning on my wheel, I thought it would be helpful to have her guide me to better techniques.

It went very well!  Her house is right next to the ocean.  It is inviting, with it's warm wood, softly colourful fabrics and bundles of fibre, poised on shelves, just waiting to be spun.  She showed me how to work on my drafting in a "short draw", which I will have to practice for a while till my fingers and "peddle foot" have developed the muscle memory needed.  I must say, I came away inspired to spin more, and feeling slightly envious of her beautiful work & living space.

After the spinning, I hopped over to Fish On Fifth, which is a long-time hip little restaurant just off the main street.  I used to haunt that place when I was pregnant with my oldest son, because their cheeseburgers are amazing!  I highly recommend this place for it's very tasty food.  They even have deep-fried chocolate bars!

Then, with a full belly, I wandered down to Tanners Books.  It has a huge magazine section, and is great for kids and adults.   I picked up The Knitter, a UK-based magazine, Spin Off, a spinning magazine, and one called Wild Fibers.

Since bringing home my new desk, which I blogged about in this post, I have been pondering on a new lamp for the desk.   I was day-dreaming of a green-hooded "Banker's Lamp", thinking it would likely work with the look of the new desk.  I hadn't had any luck finding one locally, as of yet.  But today, with just 20 minutes or so before I had to head back into Victoria, I thought to stop at a local hardware/housewares store called "Capital Iron".  Lo and behold, they had just what I was looking for!

See?  Doesn't she suit the desk?

Yes, definitely a great day - it was even mild and sunny too.

Off to watch Glee now, but don't tell anyone!  I'm a little embarrassed to admit I like it.  Sigh.