Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Recent Etsy purchases

I meant to post these pictures before MerleFest and totally forgot. I bought some lovely soap from autumn oak in the scent of The 60's (patchouli, sandlewood, and other lovely scents). It came wrapped in some appropriate fabric and with a sample of dyed wool locks (she's also a spinner - how cool is that?). The soap is exactly what I've been looking for and will have some on hand from now on!

autumnoak soap

Next, I'd fallen in love with dream a little's aliens (look in the sold section) and thought of Chicky when I saw this sweet little Juicy Bug. Chicky loves all things small. When she was little she always had some small thing clutched in her paddy paw, and the sight of anything small still produces an instinctive, "AAAWWW! That's so cute!"

cherries and blueberries juicy bug

Isn't it sweet? It is sturdy and meant to be played with. It came in a lovely little package that Chicky has kept as well.

juicybug and packet

Can you blame her? She's been sleeping with the Juicy Bug on the pillow next to her or up in her fairy canopy. It looks like it was made to hang out in a fairy canopy, doesn't it?

She has taken up weaving (they made looms at school) and done some very nice work with Cascade and Lamb's Pride Bulky I had in my stash. I'll take some pictures tomorrow outside of the three she's made so far. I'm thinking of getting her a small loom - she's obsessed and I can certainly relate to that! Here's a picture of her "working" last night

chicky weaving

her brothers are requesting custom made belts from her. Rock on, sister!

There's a new fiber update that happened tonight over at Etsy. I've ordered some yarn to dye and I will soon have another skein or two of handspun up in the shop as well.

new shop update

Sunday, April 27, 2008

MerleFest for a day

It's hard to believe I've lived in NC since 1989 and this was my first trip to MerleFest. We went on a one day stint to scope it out. It was amazing and overwhelming. I had little idea of what I was in for; I knew it was big, but I didn't know it was BIG! Next time: backpack containing sunscreen, rain gear, tarp (to cover chairs when it rains), bug juice, camera, wide brim hat (waterproof), light weight sweater, and A KNITTING PROJECT). I'm glad I didn't bring knitting along in my regular bag. In the morning it was blisteringly hot (not fun to knit when your hands are sweaty) and then the thunderstorm came and not only cooled everything by 15-20 degrees, it soaked everything. I decided not to take my camera bag because I didn't feel like lugging it around, but I had to protect it from the elements. There were more DSLR cameras there than I've ever seen! Lots of good lenses. I wasn't brave enough to walk up to the stage and take pictures, there were lots of people to climb over and I kept visualizing myself tripping over the legs.

We saw the Lovell Sisters first (I heard them on A Prairie Home Companion maybe last year? They won the talent under 21 show and they were at MerleFest last year). They are amazing musicians, but their lyrics leave something to be desired for me.

lovell sisters

They did a round robin kind of thing with Barefoot. These guys are great! They're out of Anchorage and they play well, have lovely harmonies, and good lyrics. They're kind of a little timid in the performing arena, but they just need a few more shows under their belts and I bet they'll be excellent showmen as well.


A while later the rains came. We were huddled with many others under a picnic shelter like sardines for about 25 minutes. Afterwards, we went to dump the rain out of our chairs - like everybody else without a tarp.

our seats in the rain

We saw Rhoda Vincent & The Rage on the main stage and it rained on and off the whole time. Those of us that didn't have appropriate gear would vacate the front seats, while those prepared people would just pop open their bumbershoots and hunker down.

Rhonda Vincent & The Rage

The showstoppers were The Carolina Chocolate Drops. They were on the Traditional stage (covered tent - yea!) and it was packed! We were crammed inside the doorway and it started to rain again during their set. They were fabulous!

The Carolina Chocolate Drops

During their Charleston version of Salty Dog, Rhiannon got up and did The Charleston. They've been having "jug issues" - the jug was a water bottle for the set.

Charleston Salty Dog

We left after their performance. We were driving back last night and were pretty exhausted from the walking, standing, sitting (each for long periods). I thought my back would feel much worse than it did this morning- that's always good news!

In parting, a video from The Chocolate Drops (not from MerleFest):


Monday, April 21, 2008

New socks...finally

Set number two of the handspun that was dyed by funky carolina. I am going to measure the leftovers - I might be able to eek out one more sock! I've been wearing the first pair, they are quite cozy and go well in my Doc Marten Club Mary Janes! There's more color in these socks than I've ever worn in my entire life.

random socks pair #2 finished

Hazel the Honda is doing well. She has converted me to a mini-van lover - her spacious cargo area with little hooks that hold cloth bags from dashing groceries all over the place is groovy. And her stereo system kicks ass. And the air conditioning works. And the passenger side door opens from the inside (haven't had that in a while). And the hatch doesn't fall on my head. It's the little things.

This past Saturday I saw my other man, Steve Earle, in concert in Charlotte. It was in the McGlohon Theatre, which used to be a church downtown (right across from The Discovery Place). Small theatre, good seats, great company, and Steve playing for 2 1/2 hours. He was fabulous. I wasn't sure how I would feel about the DJ part of it (this album he recorded mostly by himself and there are some "loops" on it). Lots of old songs and all of the new album. None of The Revolution Starts...Now and only one song off Jerusalem. He's producing Joan Baez's new album coming out soon. Can't wait to check that out, too. Allison Moorer (wife #7) played for 45 minutes and that was hard for me. I've said it before and I'll say it again, she has a great voice, but her music and lyrics don't do anything for me. On top of that, she has the stage presence of a wet dishcloth. Sad but true. Here's a sample from this year's tour, but it sounded much better when we saw them.

This weekend is MerleFest... only Saturday for me, but since I'm a first timer it may be enough. I tend to be overwhelmed in crowds and get my fill of them rather quickly. Looking forward to Levon Helm, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Ollabelle. The Avett Brothers are Friday night so I'll miss them. Wah! I'm totally taking my camera. I could kick myself in the ass for not having it at Steve. I didn't know if the theatre would allow it (I should have known they wouldn't care - there are pictures of Steve all over the internet) and we were so close to the front it would have been perfect!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Birthday Wishes

The boys turned 11 on Thursday - where has the time gone? I have listened to the gown twins I know and always made them two separate cakes. This year there was a time crunch on the cake making (reason to follow) so they have store bought cakes (sorry guys). Bowen

bowen cake

and Morgan thinking about their wishes

morgan cake

Lest you think they were serious, this is what was mostly happening. They can't be serious for more than three minutes. Their natural goofiness kicks in after that.

birthday laughs

On Wednesday my friend Becca went to CarMax with me to get our new horse! Hazel the Honda Odyessy. She's a 2004 with only 36K - there were several to choose from, but low milage on this one was key. She has a cargo area in the back that will be perfect for hauling a wet dog home from the Eno, grocery bags, and the large African market basket I carry every day.

hazel side

A bird already christened the driver's side door. Gotta love that. I've de-Carmaxed her - I've taken off the front plate and the decals. I've bought two other vehicles from Carmax in the past and it's become part of my ritual after purchase. That and getting what ever smell they put in the vehicle OUT. Yesterday I had both side doors and the windows open to let her air out. Still smells like chemicals.

The children are very excited about her too. They can have their own space and not touch each other. I'm sure they can still find a way to fight about looking out windows that aren't "theirs" but so far, it's been argument free. They each have their own vent they can adjust the air flow to, and that is a thrill.

I'm off to see Steve Earle tonight in Charlotte, very exciting. I think Hazel may get her first road trip!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Raconteurs, the car, and some wool

I don't know if I can express (or if it's worth trying) the hideousness of the weekend. I spent Saturday in a huge pit of sadness, that was only made slightly bearable by spinning and watching the first season of The Riches. It's hard when I have issues and no children, it gives me too much time to think, worry, and spiral out of reality. Not good.

Sunday was better. Picked up the kids, they had a soccer game, and I downloaded The Raconteurs new album - which rocks in a most spectacular way. Consolers of the Lonely has some very heavy moments. Right now I could listen to "Top Yourself" all day. If I had this on Saturday, I may not have been able to be so fucking gloomy. The kids are totally into it, too.

I get to have the rental car until Saturday. Of course, somehow my ex and my divorce are still interfering with my life. My credit report has issues thanks to my ex. Reason number 1023 to never be legally bound to someone. While things are going fine, it's good. You never know what that person is going to be like with you when it all goes bad. They know your secrets and what will piss you off quicker than a bee in your knickers. Dangerous stuff.

I dyed some fiber Saturday morning before the funk settled. Here's one of my new favorites:


It's name is Squidge.

I promised the peeps I would read some aloud now.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


The kids and I went today and cleaned our stuff out of the car. I also took a picture, I know several people that didn't get the roadside experience, but have heard enough about it and are curious.

The full on view of Inga.

Inga now

Next, the close up.

Inga closeup

Sad, isn't she? She has been officially claimed a total loss and I'm waiting for the final figures from the insurance company so I know what I have to work with as far as the purchase of a car goes. Rather anxiety producing. As we were there, my stomach got all knotty just looking at Inga. We had a lot of ups and downs together. She certainly was no stranger to riding on a flatbed tow truck. Not that I've been in other accidents, rather her quirkyness led to breakdowns in various places and she was frequently towed to the Volvo shop. I'm sure Crown Volvo in Chapel Hill will miss her (probably not, heh)!

You may also notice the coating of yellow all over Inga. It is spring here and the plants are copulating like there's no tomorrow. I thought I had a cold all of last week, which may be partially true, but now it is all allergy action. Even with all the rain we're still breathing lots of pollen.

The rest of the night's activities include finishing dinner, reading aloud, and going to bed early - all of us. We have soccer and a long day tomorrow.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Morgan's Favorite Skein III

Because of all the car crash drama, I was negligent and did not post this lovely wonder! Sarah, again, has worked her magic with one of the rovings I hand-painted. I love the colors!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Day of firsts, fits, and tears (all mine, I'm afraid)

If Wednesday is the hump, things can only get fucking better. The good news first, today is the Vegetarian Special day at Bahn's, my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Durham (cash only, small seating area). Lunch was spectacular as usual. Next up, Morgan's last visit to the orthopedist for his broken finger. I'm slightly concerned about the NINE x-rays he's had taken of his hand over the last month, but it all looks good. No more splint, except for soccer for the next two weeks. We've had our day, and we're on our way home. A mere two miles from our house, Bowen was talking to me in the back seat and I turned around to look at him and when I turned my head back the pick-up truck in front of me (without it's break lights on) was sitting there and we were approaching quickly. I slammed on the breaks and said, "oh shit!" because I knew we weren't going to stop in time... and we didn't. I hadn't been going 55 mph and the airbags didn't deploy but the front of my '98 Volvo with 161,000 miles was SMASHED TO HELL. The hood had that terrible angle that means doom, antifreeze was leaking all over the road, and those really expensive headlights? they really ARE glass! The car wouldn't start to move it off the road, it had to be pushed. I hit the pick-up truck AND the pick-up truck hit a woman in a rather new looking Toyota SUV of some kind. Sigh. I haven't ever rear ended anyone and the shock was pretty impressive. My mental capacities flew out the window for the next minute or so and then I came to my senses and started looking for my license and registration. Fifteen minutes later the police (state trooper) finally arrived. We each got to make a written statement and I AM FUCKED. I'm bummed about the citation (haven't gotten one of those before either). If I go to court the chances are pretty good they'll drop the charges if I prove I'm taking care of the accident. I'm bummed about MY CAR, cause there's only the one and I was hoping it was here for the long haul (I had money set aside to fix the air conditioning I haven't had for the past two summers) and now she (Inga) is probably gone. There are so many accidents in the area a claim representative can't get to my car until MONDAY! The insurance has arranged a rental which they will cover $30/day up to $900 but I worry.

The amazing news, the stuff that makes me cry ( from sadness earlier) but now from the kindness of virtual friends. Sarah is organizing a raffle to benefit ME! I can't believe it or even wrap my mind around it right now. Prizes include roving, hand spun, and commercial yarns. If you want to get into the action and help me out in the process, head on over to theytoldmesew. Tickets are $1 for ONE ticket and $5 for SIX tickets. I'll post more details as things get more organized.

I am also offering free domestic regular shipping for the month. There was a scheduled update happening this week anyway, but today I was a little distracted. I'll post more rovings tomorrow.