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An observation for those who like to work with dyes…

While the words dying and dyeing mean two entirely different things, they sound exactly the same. 

Thus, telling the person at the monument company that you will have to come back in the morning with the sketch and inscription info you are ordering for a headstone, because you are dyeing in the afternoon, does not exactly go over very well.

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Glass Tree at CMOG

Glass Tree at CMOG

Needing some time to ourselves yesterday, we decided to visit the Gaffer District in Corning. 
First we stopped at the Corning Museum of Glass to check out new displays, gift shop and grab a bite to eat at the cafe. 
The photo above is of a large tree made entirely of blown glass ornaments…  I really liked the colorful balls of glass against the stark background..  photo was taken with my camera phone, but I think it still turned out pretty well.
Note:  if you are ever in the area around this time of year, a glass blown ornament is one of the things you can choose to work on in the museum’s studio for a small fee.   Several other private glass studios in the area also offer visitors the opportunity to blow their own ornaments.
After a lunch of smothered chicken, we proceeded just a couple of black to Market Street.  We got some good deals on winter boots at the Bass outlet, some simple tops at another store and did a lot of window shopping, looking at items displayed at glass blowing studios…  till the cold chased us back to the car and home.

I love our local library…    Where else can you go to bring home lots of interesting books and also attend special programs? 

Yesterday Jess and I went to the library for a Holiday around the world program and to bring home more stacks of books.  I wondered why they didn’t call it Christmas around the world, but when I got there and saw a table with Hanukkah exhibit, another with Kwanzaa,  another with Boxing Day and so on, I thought the name was appropriate. 

At each table, the children got to listen to stories about the specific traditions associated with each holiday, they got to make some things, and taste some things.  

It was so busy that I couldn’t get any photos of the tables…   but I did get this..

recycled coats art piece

recycled coats art piece

While waiting to go into the auditorium, we watched some people playing Chess with giant size pieces the size of a small child.   Then we looked at the displayed cases with needlework pieces.  Then this display caught my eye.  The description said it was done by a couple using fabric from donated coats that were too worn to be reused by someone… what a great way to recycle clothing… art!   The photo is very dark and blurry… took it will my cell phone and trying to make it lighter just made it strange…

Yesterday… or was it the day before…. I submitted my name to win a Talino Transfer Kit to use for mixed media work…  This morning I received an email saying my name was one of the ones chosen to recieve a kit!   My first thought was Yay!  And then got to thinking of how I’ll use it..

My reaction did not compare to my granddaughter’s who did literally hop up & down when she found out it was something we could use for our collage and journal projects. New play things for the New Year….

Many thanks to LAYERS UPON LAYERS … be sure to check out that great blog for all kinds of mixed media ideas.

My simple woman’s update is posted on a separate page…  you can find it in the link above..

and a teaser….

While I have posted very few things on my studio blog lately,  it is mainly because I’ve had little time for photos and descriptions.    And with Christmas and Rock Day so close I still don’t have a lot of time for getting photo colors just right… I may just wait till after Rock Day to work on it… 

I did take a quick photo this morning of just a few of my many batches of silk top available, some dyed using natural dyes this summer.  Here are  4 different batches of silk top that can be used for spinning, blending or other silk work.   One of the solid colors was done with a walnut dye, it is absolutely yummy! The sage green ( color is off in the photo) was done with my purple and black daylilies.   The other two were done with commercial dyes.    Using my plants for the natural colors was a lot of fun…

Simply Divine Silk Top

Simply Divine Silk Top

I saw this on another blog and thought that someone read my mind. The things we love were so similar that I could have just posted what she wrote without changing a thing, but I didn’t.

7  Things I love:

* My family… 2 legged and 4 legged… who know me well … and love me … quirks and all.  And the grandchildren who let me see things through a child’s eyes.

*My home… where friends and family gather comfortably. No matter where it is, big or small, it is unique and much more than just a home.

* Quiet time in the morning with a cup of coffee or tea, watching the sunrise, reading or strolling through the garden while the dew is still on the flowers… with Him who loves me most.

* Curling up in a comfortable chair … with a good book … no where I need to be.

* A winter day with big fat snowflakes slowly falling gently ….  snowman making weather …

* Being creative …. trying something  new… a recipe … a new craft … new flowers in the garden … and sharing with others.

* Living simply … doing more with less … finding the little treasures in life.

What do you do when your dogs measure less than a foot at the shoulders and more than 8 inches of snow has fallen overnight… and it is still falling?. Here we break out the beach towels…

My dogs are Lhasa Apsos, a Tibetan breed. Although they are far from where they originated, they fit the description of ‘snow mountain dog’ very well. While they don’t care for heat and humidty, detest the rain and even worse, puddles, snow on the other hand is a different matter.

As our weather turns colder, they become watchful, looking up and sniffing the air testing for possible snow. If they think it is coming there is a little bounce in their step in anticipation of a little fun. Once it gets here, they revel in it.

Gizzy & Krystal...snow dogs..

Good dog owners that we are, we diligently go out and shovel paths for them and clear a large area in the dog yard for them. And as always, they will run out and ignore the cleared areas, jumping into it, plowing through it, eating it, rolling in it and looking for the highest pile of snow and sometimes engaging in a
doggy version of King Of The Mountain…

Dafni and Karma playing in the snow

Dafni and Karma playing in the snow

While they are out, we keep an eye on them… if they are in full coat or have not had the hair on their paws trimmed short, they can accumulate so much snow on their coat that it acts as great insulation and so mucn on their paw pads to act as snowshoes. But, if it isn’t dry snow which can be shaken off easily, it will all get too heavy and they will sink in the snow and have trouble getting free and just lay there in their insulated coats, paws tucked under till they thaw out.. Meanwhile accumulating even more snow.

How much snow can a 10 – 20 pound Lhasa accumlate? A lot! And it is almost impossible to get it out before bringing them in. They don’t shake it out cause it doesn’t bother them. Our solution is to use beach towels. Our mud room/back hall is right off the deck. Just before the dogs come in, I’ll throw a bunch of beach towels into the dryer to warm them up. Then I try to knock off any snow clumps or icicles from the dogs coats. When they come in, each dog gets a warm towel spread on the floor and as they roll in it, the towel absorbs water… avoiding many puddles all over the floors…

Gizzy rolling in a towel

Gizzy rolling in a towel

The only other solution I’ve found that works well for quick thawing with no puddles is to put a dog into a wire bottomed crate near a source of warm air or use a blow dryer to dry them, neither of which I like to do, particularly with multiple dogs.

Schools are closed, travel adversaries are out… nice day to stay home, enjoy our first heavy snowfall and watch the snow puppies romp in the snow….

Several friends have mentioned that they don’t use their ipods because they dislike using anything in their ears and most stations for their ipods are too bulky or require a plug, thus not being very portable. I mentioned I use a small speaker unit for mine and was asked what it looks like… Here it is…

It isn’t very big at all, fits in a large pocket, has very good sound quality and batteries (I like to use rechargeables) seem to last forever. This allows me to take my ipod just about anywhere in my multiple floored house, studio, garden… away from home. Occasionally I will use the ipod with the earbuds, carrying it all in the little bag I made from yarn leftover from a sock project, which to my surprise won a first place ribbon at a fiber festival.

While the ipod is a modern gadget, I find that it is one of those things that simplifies my life. On there I have devotionals, music, tutorials, books and more, all of them free downloads. While there is nothing to compare putting my feet up and reading a good book, being able to listen to something on the ipod while I work is very enjoyable and keeps me from acquiring even more books than I do.

Another thing that helps keep life a bit simpler and uncluttered is the small counter area I planned when we knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Most of out friends and family liked to hang out in the kitchen with us and combining the spaces allowed us to create a seating /window seat area at one end and the message center area as well as an island for eating or food prep.

The message center is a small granite tiled counter on two bookcases with recycled cabinets above. On the left side of the counter is a slim wine cellar and more storage above for wine bottles. One of the cabinets holds glasses and such. The other cabinet holds coffees, teas, and snacks such as nuts. On the counter sits a wireless lap top, a one cup coffee/tea maker, and a few items we use everyday. When the letter holder fills up with photos, recipes, etc, It is time to clean it out. Artwook by the grandkids or other interesting photos or items such as the apple pencil holder I made many years ago, pencils and a family calendar iare all we need tacked on the wall. Cookbooks are in one bookcase, childrens books in the other. Often a grandchild can be found sitting on the floor looking through the books.

Altough most of the time the counter serves as a message center, it takes only minutes to set it up as a serving area for desserts and coffee bar. I like that I can monitor pc use by grandkids while I prepare supper, read a book, use my spinning wheel, etc.

simple-woman-daybook-large

Outside my window… It is very grey and blustery… feels like January … brrrrrrrr!

I am thinking.… About a son whose Birthday is today…

I am thankful for… a warm house. I did my 2+ miles this morning on my elliptical trainer, just too cold for walking or jogging outdoors…

From the kitchen… Hot pizza! With lots of cheese…

I am wearing… Thin layers of clothing, hand knit wool sweater, hand knit wool socks.

I am creating… Fiber batts for spinning and felting. Also working on personal notes to tuck into Christmas cards.

I am going… Nowhere, it is a good day to stay home and catch up on reading, spinning, knitting.

I am reading… Lots of things, mainly articles in magazines, online, doing a bit of research on several topics.

I am hoping… To hear good news about several family members.

I am hearing… Dogs barking… Our littlest Lhasa, Star likes to exercise her lungs as well as her legs when she is let out. Why is it that the littlest ones are so often the ones that run the show? Silly girl.

Around the house… Granddaughter Jessica says we are beginning to look like a library with the bathroom and laundry room being the only rooms with no books. Can one ever have too many books?

One of my favorite things… Someone gave us a collection of booklets of old paper dolls, uncut. Some are actually paper teddy bears. I remember playing with these types of dolls as a young girl. When I flipped the booklets over to see how old they were, I found the author/artist at the time lived less than 2 miles from us. I hope we can find out more about the person who created them.

A few plans for the rest of the week: sort out a yarn order that arrived today, finish my brother’s throw, start the guild newsletter for December, play with the drum carder, visit the museum in Corning…

Here is picture thought I am sharing…

paperdolls-1

To read more about The Simple Woman’s Day Book, visit her blog. http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Shortly after Mom’s death almost 13 years ago, I found a book about finding oneself after losing one’s parents.

At the time the book helped me to understand some of the things I was experiencing. Still I didn’t agree with most of the things mentioned in the book.

Two weeks ago, Dad passed away. It was unexpected, in fact he‘d had a wonderful day on Sunday, going out to dinner with my brother and his wife. In a way it was a blessing that he went as he did. I’ll always remember him dancing up a storm at my niece’s wedding this summer.

Many came to the funeral including family members we haven’t seen in a long, long time. Some of our childhood friends also showed up. They’d seen the name in the paper and wanted to show their support. Despite the occasion, I enjoyed connecting with them and we will keep in touch.

While the book…Losing Your Parents, Finding Yourself… wasn’t just right when Mom passed, it is now that both parents are gone. The book points out that regardless of our relationship with our parents (good, bad, indifferent, etc…) our lives are forever changed when they are gone, we will never be the same person as when they were alive, no longer someone‘s child. Our role in life changes.

My siblings and I are now the generation that our children and grandchildren look up to, their connection to the extended family and to the past.

And so another change along with the many changes this past year.

I lost my voice 2 weeks ago and still don’t quite have it back, I need to be quiet and now is a good time to be quiet.

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