Sunday, July 29, 2007

Yarny, Yarn, Yarn

So I finally have my dyeing process down and made some stuff that I really liked and that I thought was good enough to sell. I planned on posting it on Etsy tomorrow but brought it with me to SnB today to see what some fellow knitters thought. I only came home with one of the four skeins of sock yarn I dyed. Sold the other three in the firt ten minutes I was there. Guess that means i'm doing something right. :) I took a bunch of pictures before I parted with the yarn so please, enjoy some yarny eye candy.


"Blue Earth" (above) and (below) are the same skein, different lighting. It's actually somewhere in between the colors in these two pictures.

"Venus" (above) I didn't have time to reskein this one so you can still see the pools of color.

Here's some bulky weight wool I hand painted and then overdyed. I'm working up a pattern for a felted handbag that uses one skein of this yarn.

Here are the four skeins of sock yarn. I still have the one on the right, "Martian Sunset".

And here it is before I reskeined it.

And see this? I'm going to have this times ten in my back yard in less than eight hours. I'm going to sleep now.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Playing with Acid Dyes

So this is what I was doing last night until about 2:30am. I got the earthy colors I was going for by adding a dash (or sometimes more) of the color opposite on the color wheel. Very cool. :) Unfortunately after the heat setting I ended up with some mottling that I was not going for so i've got to figure out how to keep that from happening. I think I have an idea though ...

This next colorway I absolutely love but I got some really bad blotchy stuff going on. It looked great before the heat but afterwards was such a disaster that I overdyed it with a solid color. That's still drying to we'll see what happens. I really like the color combo though .. I just have to figure out how to make it stay that way.

Here's my "Red Planet" colorway. I ended up with a bit of blotchiness on this one too but in matching colors so it kind of looks like I meant to do it. In the skein above the blotches were almost black and they are in the gold color so it really wasn't good.

Wanna Buy Some Yarn?

Remember the two skeins of the coveted Cherry Tree Hill yarn I said I ordered for myself? Well I got them and they are not the colors I thought they were going to be. They are very pretty but the "Wild Cherry" has purple in it and the "Moody Blues" is a lighter blue than I thought. Not that this is a bad thing but I had two people in mind to knit socks for when I ordered this yarn. Now that I see it, neither skein fits the person for which I planned to knit said socks. And I have too much sock yarn for this to just sit there taking up space. So ... anyone want to buy some yarn? If I don't sell it by Stitch 'n Bitch on sunday then I will post it on ebay. If you're interested in either, or both, shoot me an email at celenam [at] intergate [dot] com. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Fun Weekend

I haven't blogged about last weekend yet so I thought I do a little of that. We went to Horse Shoe with our friends Chad and Kim and their kids. It was a lot of fun and really relaxing too. The kids, as usual, played really well together. I forgot how much I loved being out in the Gulf. We went scalloping (yummy!) and found a bunch of sandollars (sp?) too. I'm drying and bleaching the sandollars and plan to use them for my kids art class to make Christmas ornaments later in the year.

Kids and Crafts

So I went running last night for the first time in about two weeks. I walked one mile, ran one mile and then walked another mile. It felt great but man am I sore today. And then I ate Cheetos for breakfast ... way to ruin that workout! I managed to get some more crafty things done last night after everyone else went to bed. I've really got to stop working this way so I can get some much needed sleep but I just can't find another time where I can stand in the kitchen mixing dye. The boys are always moving stools around in there so they can see what i'm doing and I can't have them breathing dye dust. I have to wear a mask myself. It's not toxic once it's mixed but breathing the dust in is bad for your lungs. I also finished the logo for my hand dyed yarn. I'm super happy with it too. Now I just have to decide whether I want to add some color to it or leave it black and white. Hmmmm .. what to do. I also have my label idea. I'm going to use business cards tied to the yarn versus a sticky label. The info specific to the yarn itself will be on the back of the card. And speaking of dying yarn ... I got swap partners sent out for the Hand Dyed Yarn Swap I started. I can't wait to see what everyone makes. Fun stuff!

And now for some even more fun news ... Brody seems to be starting to talk! I know that's normal but for us it is different. Houston never did that. He really didn't start talking where anything made sense until about two months ago. I've been able to understand some of what he says since a month or two after his second birthday but he's really just started trying to talk very recently. In fact, it's time to go back to speech therapy. He's doing really well on his own but he could use a little articulation therapy now that he's attempting to make more sounds. Back to Brody though ... he's picked up baby signs really well but now he is adding sounds to them. He says "hot" and "bath" although they sound more like "hau" and "baa". I wasn't really sure until a few days ago that he was doing it on purpose. Get this though ... I would just about swear on my life that he said "applesauce" this morning. I about fell of my chair. We were sitting at the table and I was feeding Brody some yogurt. Houston came in with a cup of applesauce and sat down with us to eat it. Brody pointed at Houston and I swear ya'll ... he said "applesauce" plain as day. I couldn't believe it but I know I heard it. Now that i'm tuned in to the fact that he is trying to talk i'm noticing him making a lot of different sounds. When Houston was this age all he said was "da da da", everything was "da" ... for a loooooong time. Brody is making all kinds of sounds and it is a lot of fun!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Cool Stuff!

Okay ... not that I could ever afford any of these things but I am drooling over them .... Jou Jou Baby Art Stuff. There are some great art supplies at Leaps and Bounds too and they are much more affordable. I've got my eye on the "deluxe standing art easel".

Everybody, meet Alison ....

Alison is the person I was assigned to spoil during Secret Pal 10. She lives in MA and is currently in grad school. You can read her blog at And you can see the packages I sent her here:

Package #1:
Package #2:
Package #3:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Yarn Swap, Kids Art Class and Etsy

As if i'm not busy enough with my usual things ... i've gone and found a few more ways to spend my *cough* free time. Ha ha ... ha ha ... ha ... oops sorry, almost fell of my chair laughing again. :)

1. My hand dyed yarn swap is going well. I have 28 participants and sign-ups are closed for this round. I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.

2. Remember the toddler art class idea I posted about earlier? Well I sent an email out to a bunch of moms to see if there was any interst. Holy cow! I could have fifteen kids in the back yard next week. That should be fun! I've got dates set for the first four classes. There's no way I can have table space or easels set up by then so our first couple of classes will be on old sheets on the ground. I don't think the kids will mind. If you sent me an email response be on the look out for an email coming soon with dates and details. And if you haven't responded yet but want in please let me know asap. K thanks. Also, older and younger siblings are more than welcome to join in the fun. I should probably call it a kids art class versus a toddler art class but the projects will be geared towards the toddler and two-year-old level for now.

3. I've been asked about my Etsy shop a couple of times now so here's an update for those of you who are interested. I've decided to hold off posting anything for sale for a little while. I want this to be something special ... I want to get everything just right and have it look professional. If things go well on Etsy I plan on starting a stand-alone shop online. So far I have a name, a website (still in development though since it will be an Etsy shop at first), a logo idea, have part of my logo designed and have six yarn colorways, some stitch markers and two work-in-progress bag ideas. I'm not ready to give any details other than that but i'm hoping to have it all together in about a month. It's a lot of work getting this all set up and doing all the dyeing experiments and graphic design and I don't have as much time to put into it as I wish I did. I'm really excited about it though, so much so that it has pretty well taken over my brain. I wake up thinking about yarn and go to bed dreaming of new colorways. I've had some pretty crazy yarn related dreams lately. I hope others are as thrilled with things as I am and want to buy lots of yarny stuff. :) It's making it really tough for me to concentrate on my engineering projects though as I find my thoughts wandering off towards yarns and dyes and new ideas instead of focusing on the project in front of me. And it's really frustrating that I don't have the time I want to put into it. There are just so many things I want to do ....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Brody and Gavin

Justin, Wrenda and Gavin stopped by last night. Wrenda sent me these super cute pics of Brody and Gavin that she took. They totally look like they are up to something, don't they?

Ya'll ... this next picture cracks me up to no end! It looks like they've just had a very philisophical and serious conversation about life and are both pondering some very deep question. Freakin' cracks me up ...

Socks, Tomatoes, Pumpkins and Pancakes ... of course :)

I'm almost starting to like these socks. See that big mole on the toe on my left foot? Houston thinks it's funny to sneak up to me and try to pull it off while i'm not watching. Kid is gonna get accidently kicked in the head one of these days when he scares the pants off me. Not to mention how bad it hurts.

And here's Houston modeling his sock. I wish I had caught on to the "knit both at the same time to avoid second sock syndrome" thing before I started this sock. Actually this started out being a sock for Brody and when I realized how big it was I just tucked it away in a drawer of yarn and forgot about it for a while.

Picked from what's left of the garden today. Is it just me or do you see a sock yarn colorway in this photo? Yep ... probably just me. ;)

Is it Halloween yet? I'm going to clean and process these tomorrow and store 2 cup servings in the deep freezer. Just the right amount for my pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup recipes.

Houston is the puzzle king. He loves them and put all four of these floor puzzles together without much help at all the day we got them. We were really impressed. Probably the best $12 i've spent in a long time.

Is it done yet? I don't know, let me see.

Brody has pretty well mastered the art of feeding himself with a fork. It's amazing wat they can learn if you just let them try things you don't think they'll figure out yet. He's been an eating machine lately ... another growth spurt! Oh, and these were the pancakes his brother left at the breakfast table. I walked into the dining room and found Brody who had taken the plate and the fork off the table, put it on the bench, and started chowing down. He stood there and ate every last bite.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Procrastination & Knitterly Gifts

So i'm supposed to be working but i'm having a hard time getting my head into the project this morning. I was supposed to finish two projects last night but my CAD files wouldn't unzip. So I had to have them resent this morning and attempt to work while caring for the kiddos at the same time ... which doesn't usually go well ... hence my usual late night posts after finishing a job at midnight or later. I have yoga tonight so i'm trying to get something done during the day. We'll see how it goes. We're actually supposed to be at the park right now with a mom's group but Houston woke up in the middle of the night and threw up on Brett so I figured we should probably stay home. I was actually looking forward to the park as I haven't left the house since I got home from Stitch 'n Bitch on sunday. Oh well ...

So there are several things on my "to blog about" list. There's my trip to Indiana, old pictures of Uncle Buck and I, my birthday gifts, finished objects, the "come to jesus moment" i need to have about a project i'm working on, and knitting family members (Hi Aunt Karen). Since my brain doesn't want to turn on this morning (was it the cleaning of puke and screaming child at 3am?) i'll go with the easiest post.

Knitterly Birthday Gifts ... YAY! :) These days there's not much that makes me happier than knitterly stuff. So here it goes:

1. Papa and Miss Nancy got me a knitting book I wanted called Knitting in the Old Way. (Yay for having a wish list on my blog .. how cool is it to actually get stuff I really want?) They're always good at figuring out what I want, even if it's something I didn't know I wanted yet. :) Thanks Papa and Miss Nancy!

2. Rachel gave me some yarn that I also had on my wish list. It's Patons Soy Wool Stripes. As the name suggests, it's a blend of wool and soy and it's stripey. Yay! I love me some stripes! Thanks Rach! I've already figured out one thing I want to knit with it too. Calorimetry
3. My dad gave me money to buy something I wanted. So far i've purchased some professional acid dyes for my yarn dyeing and as soon as I get another Joann's coupon in the mail i'm using it to order myself a swift (it's a yarn thing). Yay! Thanks Dad!
4. In my usual fashion, I also bought myself something. Does anyone else do this? I always buy myself something for my birthday. I try to be really careful about spending money but I let myself splurge a little for my birthday. I bought myself a knitting book and some yarn. Here's the book:

I don't have the yarn yet as I ordered it on the internet just a day or so ago. I bought two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome from a yarn store that is closing down so I got a really good deal on it. One in Moody Blues and the other in Red Cherry.

Since i'm still procrastinating i'll post some other knitterly stuff. Here's the headband I finished knitting several weeks ago. Nice gray hair huh?

And here are my "Ugly Socks". Aren't they awful? I don't know why I continue to knit them. I suppose it's because I enjoy actually finishing a project from time to time ... especially socks.

Currently listening to: Meredith Brooks Blurring the Edge
Forgot how much I liked this CD. Actually, completely forgot this CD exists until I read something on Lorena's blog this morning that reminded me of it.

Currently reading: The Bitch in the House
Great book! It's a collection of essays written by women. Here's the blurb from the book jacket: Women today have more choices than at any time in history, yet many smart, ambitious, contemporary women are finding themselves angry, dissatisfied, stressed out. Why are they dissatisfied? And what do they really want? These questions form the premise of this passionate, provocative, funny, searingly honest collection of original essays in which twenty-six women writers invite readers into their lives, minds, and bedrooms to talk about the choices they've made, what's working, and what's not.

More to come on this book later, for sure. Lorena suggested this book to me while we were talking at Applebee's on sunday as I was explaining how I had been "the bitch in the house" last week. Then she lent it to me when I went to pet her stash. I've only read the first two essays so far but I would highly recommend it to any other stressed out, frustrated women who find themselves being somebody they are not or don't want to be. Thanks Lorena ... what a great read!

Okay ... back to work now. :(

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Mama Free Sunday ... well amost

I finally got to go to Stitch 'n Bitch yesterday. Yay! :) We moved to a new location and it was great. We're meeting at Books-a-Million on 13th street now. Unfortunately I only made it there for the last hour of the meeting because of the bad rain and accidents on the way down and the fact that I first went to the wrong B-a-M ... oops! But a few of us went out to Applebee's afterwards and I then I went to Lorena's house to pet her stash and talk more about Ravelry, as we are both addicted. Oh my does that woman have some yarn! I'm soooooooo envious! And she spins too which was really cool to watch. I really wanted to learn to spin before but after seeing it in action the "really want to" is turning into a "must do". Now all I need is a spinning wheel .... hmmm ... have to work on that one. :)

I really enjoyed hanging out with the SnB ladies and hope to do it much more often in the future. It's great to find some talented, like-minded ladies to hang out with. I don't get that much so I really appreciate it when I do. It's also really nice to go somewhere as "Celena" instead of "Houston and Brody's mom" ... know what I mean? It was a much needed break for me that I must do more often.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Brody Walked Last Night!!!

Finally! He took about six steps towards Brett. He only did it a couple of times after that and only two or three steps each but at least he finally did it. Of course he hasn't taken any steps today. I think he would rather crawl because he can get there faster that way ... until he learns to run at least.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


As if I needed yet another internet thing to steal my time away .... this Ravelry thing is way too much fun. I finally got my much awaited invite last week and was finally able to join in the fun. Now I have yet another reason to stay up until 2:30am. I love that I can see what other people have done with some random skein of yarn they own that I also have in my stash. I already found several things I want to knit and so my queue grows and grows.

I was having some technical issues with it until I remembered reading somewhere that they designed it to be run with Firefox, not Internet Explorer. Once I downloaded and installed Firefox, all my Ravelry problems went away. And I must say, i'm really digging Firefox. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better than IE. If you don't have it ... you should. And it will automatically import all of your bookmarks and settings and stuff for you from IE so it's a seamless transfer. Now I don't have to deal with the annoying error messages I keep getting ever since I updated to the newer version of IE. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! :-)

If you're on Ravelry, look for me. I'm "Celena" ... original, I know.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More Yarn Dyeing

I decided not to reskien this one because I like the way it looks with the similar colors together. I'm going to dye another one just like it and reskien it so I can see which way makes it look more desirable. And my last crafty picture for today .... here's a work-in-progress bag I made.

The Artistic Gene Carries On ...

Houston is a painting machine. This was his first painting experience and he absolutely loved it. I was amazed at his attention span with this project. He painted for a good thirty minutes before stopping to take a dip in the kiddie pool. He then went back to it several times for five or ten minutes at a time. I read the article "Small Hands, Big Art" in the july-august issue of Mothering Magazine while I was on my flight to Chicago last week that inspired me to start some art projects with Houston. We've done some pasting and drawing but until a couple of days ago he had yet to experience painting. I'm considering starting a toddler art class here once a week. Anyone interested? I'm thinking of putting together a calendar and planning what project will be done each week. That way moms can decide what they want to bring their kiddos to. The woman that wrote the article has a pretty good system going and it sounds like the moms and kids both have a good time. She has everyone bring a big t-shirt to use as an art smock and everyone donates a few dollars for supplies. She has an area set for them with a short table so they can stand while they paint/draw/paste/etc. She referenced a couple of books about kids and art that I want to pick up sometime soon too. One thing I found really interesting was her reference to these books of how kids are ready for art long before parents usually think they are and what art skills help develop different brain skills. Now I just need to find a long table with short legs. I've got the backyard space and the wash bin and chunky paint brushes and some paint to get us started. I went into a Joann's Etc while we were in Tampa and was in absolute heaven. I wish we had one of those stores here. You should have seen the children's craft section. I could have spent a fortune! I only bought a couple of items but I did get lots of project ideas from browsing around in there that I plan to put to use.

The books, in case you are interested, are:
Young at Art: Teaching Toddlers Self-Expression, Problem-Solving Skills, and an Appreciation for Art, by Susan Striker and First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos, by MaryAnn F. Kohl with Renee Ramsey and Dana Bowman

After painting and swimming we cooled off with some yummy cantelope from the garden.