togbean's place

Friday, June 30, 2006

Caught in a Trap

I finally added a profile pic today. I've been trying to think of what to use since I began blogging. I'm not fond of my own image and I wanted to make sure that I had something distinctive yet me. So, there I am on your left. This is the Humpty Dumpty picture. Thus named because I had gotten all dressed up in our finest winter bits - mittens, chicken hat, scarf - and declared to my mother that I was indeed Humpty Dumpty. She quickly grabbed her 110 - HA! that'll mark my age pretty well - and snapped the photo.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

And on, and on, and on...

So, this is where I take a moment to write down and really think about ALL the projects I have stacked up for myself. Here we go with the list:
tank for the bean (3/4 done)
tank for the grumble - at least I have all the yarn, Thanks Becca!
blue shrug for the bean(1/4 sleeve done)
bean's merb(tail section done)
grumble's cinderella doll with all the trimmings
mushroom birthday purse for unnamed friend(pieces are done, needs to be assembled, felted and embroidered)
messenger bag for Sarah
geometric square shawl for Erin(1/2 done)

That's just the knitting folks!

Pillow case dresses for the munchikins - picked up a bunch at Sally's last nite
(The Salvation Army)you can't beat $.69! - 2 down, 2 to go
Sarah Punk-Rock Sock Monkey (cut out and ready to sew)Done and posted at Craftster - Look for Sara Lee Monkey
Two new summer bedspreads for the girls
2 new pillow covers for Anne - DONE
sewing up the embroidered pillow I made (this is on hold until we get the new couch and I can match the backing fabric)

This is what's on the workboard - as it were
Stuff I'd like to get to work on?

* remaking Dad's X-mas stocking that Grandma made for him, it's hermetically sealed and packed away at this point to preserve it from any more moth and weather damage.
* 2 new tops for me from fabric that my sis bought for me 4 years ago!
* babay quilt for April's upcoming #3
* sweater set for the husband's counsin's new daughter (I'm NOT doing seed stitch again!)
* two or more embroidered pillows to go with the impending new couch

Maybe I should stop blogging and get to work!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Back in the Day

The Hubby and munchikins were out searching the Quabbin the other day for old foundations and they found this little guy squirmin along. I haven't seen one of these little red salamanders since I was about 8. My paternal grandmother, Nanny, and I used to spend a lot of time together on her property. Up at the pond - where The Hubby and I were eventually married - at the moss beds, in the berry patch, or swimming in the brook. The rocky little banks of the brook, under the pine trees, was where we'd find these little guys and she knew even then that it was So important not to play with them or disturb their environment. When I was about 10 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and our trips out into the property ended shortly thereafter, a combination of her fear of forgetting where she was and my burgeoning pre-teen social life. I spent plenty of time camping up there in my teen years, took walks with my sister and nephew and even followed the path to what's left of the old iron bridge with my own kids but I've never again seen a little red salamander.

As an adult I'm pretty much a home body. I'd rather sit and knit while watching a good flick or listen to some great music while sewing than traipse through buggy woods, but I'm so glad that The Hubby likes to get out there and do those things with the munchikins.

Friday, June 23, 2006


This is something I've been knockin around in the old noggin for awhile.

About a year ago I was making a Very Hungry Caterpillar playset for my friend's daughter and I couldn't find our copy of the book anywhere! So I googled it - where I ended up was here, scroll to the last entry. Let me warn you that if you do not have a stomach strong enough to handle exotic foodstuffs being pondered and consumed then please DON"T follow the link. Suffice it to say that I heartily enjoyed "Steve Don't Eat It" and have been a fan of the site - The Sneeze - ever since.

Don't worry - I'm getting to the image above.

Through The Sneeze I found an amazing illustrator, S. Britt, something about his work seriously appeals to me. I love the colors and the quirky, not-quite-rightness about the characters. His work makes me feel like I'm sitting in front of the old wood burning stove in my grandparents back room, it's like looking at all of my favorite books from early childhood - did I mention I like his stuff!?! Anyway....
through his links section I found Yamauchi Kazuaki. Again with the colors and the somewhat bizarreness of the characters. In his gallery I found this image of stripes and bugs.

Here's where I get to the point.

I want to knit/felt a bag in those colors and embroider the bugs on top - How cool would that be!!
Just add it to the list of things that might get started before the muncikins hit college. :)

The Vale, chapter 2

It's been almost a month and I thought it was about time to post the next chapter.
Questions, concerns,advice? Please post a comment - all are welcome! Pop back and check out chapter one here.

Settle down, settle down. Let Grandpa take his cap off and shake the rain out of his old feathers. Alright my little Chickadees get comfy. I’m about to tell you the story you’ve been buggin me for all winter. The story of Great Stone and how it cracked.

It was a wonderful and early spring that year. The crocuses had popped up beside the old well, the only bright color to be seen in the entire Vale. Whatever winter berries might have been left were gobbled up by hungry folk as soon as the snow melted enough to reveal them.

On the days we weren’t pelted by rain, your Gram and I would spend our days hunting for suitable twigs and sticks to build our first nest together. We traveled the length of the Vale and even skirted the edges of the Deep looking for sticky pine, oak and new maple. Of course Gram insisted on building the bedrooms completely out of apple branches so we’d always wake to that sweet smell.

That was also the first spring that Dahla the great black bear failed to have cubs. Old Grang, the only other bear Dahla let near the Vale for years, had moved through very late the last summer. They fought more that year than any time before, leaving great claw marks in the pine stand and giving all the Folk pause as their roars echoed around the hills. By the time spring arrived he was long gone. It’s a good thing too because she was mighty tetchy about not being a mother again.

She always was a proud beast, very tender and firm with her cubs and considerate and kind to the other folks of the Vale, but with no cubs to guard and raise the other folk had begun to question her decisions. You see, Dahla had been head of the council since coming here for her first winter sleep some 15 years before. Being the largest and most powerful animal, we would go to her with disputes and concerns.

With no responsibility keeping her in the Vale the folk had begun to look for a new councilor. Dahla was none too happy with being excluded but it was her own rule, set down years ago, that only mothers could run the council. A single female could leave at anytime and we could be stuck in a crisis with no leader.

Word came to us from the frogs first. Of course no one was listening to their incessant peeping about a big cat. Everyone knew that the farmer’s cat Smudgie had a taste for young spring frogs. It was when the salamanders started to draw the big cat’s prints in the mud for us that we began to worry.

The Bobcat couldn’t have chosen a worse year to move to the shores of the Deep.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Let the Sun Shine

Happy Solstice Everyone!!
To celebrate the day I thought I'd share the needle felted items that I made on Monday night at the Mega Bookstore Knitting Group. My good friend April stopped in to teach us all the basics of needle felting. Everyone got to make this little acorn. Mine is about the size of a silver dollar. Everyone had a great time watching these hairy little balls of raw wool turn into little acorns and we had very few bleeding fingers in the process!
Well, it's a beautiful day, the munchikins and I are headed to the castle park for the midday and then back to splash in the pool before the day gets too hot.
Enjoy the turn of the season!

Monday, June 19, 2006

B B B Baaaaad

So I'm a bad blogger - 11 days, no post - so what?
Come over here and make somethin' of it ;P

The camping trip was great! All we could say the whole time was, "Ah. No kids." Nobody tells you before you have kids that you will come to relish absolute quiet, that NOT being asked for help at least twice an hour will be a relief. Ah. No kids.
I also found this great piece of needlework tucked away at my mom's place. She picked it up at a yard sale somewhere. I'm thinking of reworking it with some slight additions and updated colors.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

On the Road Again

The Hubby and I are headed out for our 10th anniversay get away this weekend. I have plans to try and stitch up a version of this while he tramps through the woods.

While we are away the latest project with the kids will have time to grow. Mmm, Rock Candy. The Grumble thinks this is fascinating and can't wait to try it. The Bean says, "It's science. Daddy knows science."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby

Today is my one and only sibling's birthday

I though I'd put up some pictures of lovely things growing in my yard that came from her gardens at one point or another.

She's an amazing gardener. She creates the most organic/earthy jewelry. She's a great cook. She's a great Mom. She makes me laugh and I'm so glad she's my sister.
Happy birthday sissy.
Lost Turtle!

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Tomorrow night at the local Mega bookstore, Kristin Nicholas will be showing off her latest book and teaching us all a few basic embroidery stitches. We'll get to make a bookmark and have fun with crazy, yummy colors. I can't wait!

And just because the colors seem to work well together, here's my honeysuckle vine.