on the needles

Monday, June 30, 2008


Luca wearing his Cheshire Cat grin. I swear, that dog has more ways of smiling and looking happy than any other dog I have ever seen. I've said it before but it bears repeating - I'm not sure Luca really IS a dog. He's a CREATURE.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Snoozes

Clemmie is dog tired. Me too sistah!

Doesn't her little nose look like one of those fake plastic ones that some teddy bears have? :)

I've been devouring books at an amazing speed lately - here are some recommendations:

The Observations by Jane Harris - reminds me mostly of Slammerkin with a bit of The Crimson Petal and The White and Vanity Fair thrown in. Great read & great main character. Ghosts, mysterious people with mysterious pasts, and revenge all in a wonderful period setting.

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier - the movie was okay (if you can stand Nicole Kidman) but the book is fantastic. Frazier is a REAL writer. He comes up with descriptions that are not at all obvious until he mentions them. I love that. I tend to have a immediate negative reaction to the "Southern American Novel". It's just SO cliche to me. Not so with Cold Mountain. Nothing is forced or formulaic about Frazier's writing. And the story deviates quite abit from the movie so if you've seen the movie you haven't read the book.

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan - again a great writer & a story that is significantly different than the movie. Obsession, paranoia, guilt = great story. I loved Attonement too so at this point I'm pretty sure everything by McEwan is worth reading.

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 26, 2008


These are the latest pens Hubby made. I just love the acrylics. But now that it's not too cold to be turning - it's too hot to be turning. :( I'm glad I can do my hobbies indoors!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mastiff Mouwff

Presenting - Libby's great big ole Mastiff Mouwff. Look at that huge gaping maw. Any Lion Tamers out there willing to stick your head inside that? I dare you. But don't say I didn't mention the DROOL.

When Libby stands next to you and breathes on you it seriously feels like someone is pumping a huge bellows, blasting you with slightly stinky humid air and sucking all the breatheable air out of the room.

**Got 6 more patches done last night. Did I mention each patch has 8 seams? The good thing is that I am mostly using the yarn tails for sewing up so when I have finished the sewing I won't have any ends to weave in. So I'm closer to being done than it may feel like. :)**


Craty News and the Big (Sponsor Kid) News

Been a few days since I last posted... (sometimes it seems like you have to go to Blogger confessional... "forgive me readers, it has been X days since I last posted...) ;) The transition from school to camp is always a bit crazy but we've reached our tenuous equilibrium again. :)

Crafting is off and on this past week. I'm just super tired. I've been trying to concentrate on sewing up the patches. I counted and I've currently got 31 patches all sewn up. That's about a third of the total I have. It takes me about a half hour to sew one patch up. So lets see...the calculator says it will take me 31 hours to finish sewing up the patches. Not too bad right?

The biggest & best news this week is that since my last post I have gotten letters from 8 of my sponsor kids!! (I'll post photos of the kids I haven't "introduced" on the blog yet.) -

Flor, 7 years old from Honduras who tells me she likes to eat rice with beans and cheese. (Me too!)

This is our latest picture of Flor.

Lesly, 6 years old from Guatemala who says she had a great birthday because her village has a festival around her birthday so she got to go to that.

Carla, 5 years old from Chile who drew me a really detailed picture of a little girl - I think she used every colored pencil she could get her hands on.

This is the only photo we have of Carla so far:

Mary Joy, 12 years old from the Philippines who told me how she got her nickname of "Apple". (So sweet.) I had complimented her on her lovely handwriting and she told me she takes great care to make her letters to me nice and neat. (Isn't that sweet?)

Our first letter from Joey who is 9 and lives in the Philippines. He says his father is a farmer. Joey likes math and has lots of friends.

This is Joey:

(As an aside to tell you how great Children International is - I had noticed in Joey's family report that it was noted that he needed some dental work. I called to CI to ask what the status was with that in case he needed some help and they said they would check on it. A week ago I got a letter from CI with a full report from the dentist on what work Joey had done and what his status was now. I was amazed! Talk about customer service! I have a harder time getting reports from my own kids dentist. So the good news is that Joey's teeth are all taken care of.)

Our first letter from Harry, 13 from the Philippines. He wrote to introduce himself and to thank us for our special donation (He was one of the ones we gave Mother's Day donations to.) We got three more photos of him also! He was able to buy tons of groceries, school supplies, clothes, and kitchen supplies. (Made me so happy!)

My first letter from Ana in Ecuador. She turns 11 this month. She describes herself as a "simple, humble girl". She writes very good English in a beautiful curly script.

This is our latest picture of Ana. We sent her a birthday package. I can't wait for it to arrive!

And we got two letters from Jester! He is 11 and lives in the Philippines. He is the little boy that waited two years for a sponsor. I have to say his letters really touched me. He is a wonderful boy who expresses himself very well. You can tell he has a very sweet heart. He told me about his father abandoning the family and how he feels it is now his duty to step in and take care of them. He promised to work very hard in school so that he could prove to me that he deserved to be sponsored. (Totally made me cry!) We also got another letter with several photos of him. He wrote to thank us for the special donation we had made and tell us about all the things he was able to buy with the money. The sweetest thing was how he described "jumping in surprise" at getting the gift and how happy he was at being able to share that with his family. He's a real treasure - we are so lucky to have him as a sponsor child!

Hubby told me he would get on task and install our scanner so that I can more easily share letters and photos with you guys. There's nothing like getting to see the actual letters. You can tell how hard the kids work on them and the pride they take in using their English skills and writing neatly. I feel so privileged that these kids share their lives with me. I love how different they all are. I will really enjoy watching them grow up. They are such special people!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cool Photos My Hubby Takes #2

Click to get the full effect.

This is a drip of water from our kitchen sink. You can see our back splash tiles reflected in the big drops. Cool!

In crafty news I have crocheted all the skeins I have on hand for the square target blanket so it is on to the sewing. I've been procrastinating in the sewing a little bit because I have been crocheting all the sock yarn scraps into one large square. I arranged all the scrap skeins in the order I wanted to use them and sort of figured I had better just go ahead and get them worked in before I forget what that order was! The square has gotten a little big to be my traveling project anyway. :)

So - I've got to get my next project on board! I started looking at my Ravelry queue to see what to do next. I'm still really into blankets. I do want to finish the Cobblestone Pullover but the thought of working with Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in 90 degree weather isn't too appealing! I really want to KNIT something but all the patterns that are calling my name are CROCHETED. The other day I had a moment of panic where I thought maybe I didn't know HOW to knit anymore since I have only been crocheting for the past few months. It was actually a physical panic. Sort of like how you drive a familiar route all the time on auto pilot and everything is just fine. Then one day you look around and actually think about your surroundings and you suddenly think that you must be lost because you don't recognise that tree, that house, that store etc. That's how it felt. So when I pick up my knitting again I'm going to have to come at it sideways for the first few minutes until I get my groove back. If I actually look at it or think about what I am doing I may just seize up!

Anyhow - I think I will use my World Series Blankie as my knitting project (even though it's also a bit heavier and woollier than I would prefer to work on in the summer). And I have dug through my stash for more sock yarn to crochet a hexagonal blanket with. It will be 100 percent stash yarn (I hope - I think I have enough) and this time I am using all hand dyed stuff that I got from Etsy or bloggers who dye their own yarns. All in earth tones. Fun fun fun!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lazy Sunday

We're all relaxing today. Libby has relaxing down to an art form.

Look at those paws! Every mastiff I have ever known has had the curious habit of standing on their owners feet. Even if Libby is just sitting next to you she will put one of her paws on top of one of your feet. I think it is just the mastiff way of "keeping track" of their loved ones. You can't stray too far when you are pinned down by a mastiff!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cool Pictures My Huby Takes

Since I'm going to be running a little low on blog fodder until my blanket is sewn up...I decided to steal some from other people. :)

Don't worry, I'm keeping it in the family.

Ever wonder where I get the awesome bird & dog photos from? From my hubbs! He is crazy into photography - so he takes all the shots for my blog these days. And since he doesn't really keep a blog of his own and since he is pretty much the resident photographer for On the Needles anyway - I've decided to give myself license to steal his photos for blog use any time I want. :)

(I DID mention about being a hard-to-live-with-Diva didn't I?)

Well, here's a shot Hubby took yesterday. I call it "Spray Misty For Me".

(I crack myself up y'all.)

Click for the full effect.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Now that I'm Net-Famous...

You can all say you "knew me when". ;)

Our interview with Children International came out today. I know that for most knitters this news is a pale second to the debut of the summer Knitty - but it's got to be a good sign that both things happened on the same day right?

I promise that I will try to keep my new found net-fame from going to my head. But you'll probably never be able to tell the difference since I am already a difficult-to-live-with Diva. :)

I've had lots of nice comments and emails about the interview already. I thank everyone who has dropped me a line! It's so nice to hear from other people who are enjoying their sponsor kids as much as I enjoy mine. I am super mega jealous of the people who have had the chance to travel to meet their sponsor kids in person!

I recently got word that our Mother's Day donations have reached the kids and Jester and Harry's families have both had the chance to go shopping. Zoila's family will be going soon. I can't wait to get the reports and pictures!

I also got a new photo of Javiera today!

This is our first photo:

And this is the one we got today:

Javiera is from Chile. She is five years old. She lives with her Mother (who is a street vendor as so many of the parents are), her younger brother, Grandmother and several of her cousins. Javiera's mother reports that Javiera is "naughty" by which I think she means that Javiera is lively and full of mischief. Personally I like a spunky gal so I was happy to hear that. Javiera's family is very close and all the cousins love playing together.

I also recently got a list from Children International of all the siblings of my sponsor kids who still need sponsors. I'm trying to make a special effort to find sponsors for these kids. If you have thought about sponsoring but haven't yet then this might be a good option because I could point you in the direction of some wonderful families that I already know are really committed to having their kids in the CI program. If anyone is interested please email me - my address is in the sidebar - and I will get it all set up for you.

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 09, 2008

Catchin' Up With Y'all

Soooo - what's been up with you guys?

Actually, I already know the answer(s) to that question because I have been blog reading if not blog writing. I've got the end-of-the-kids-school-year-is-kickin-my-ass syndrome.

Since I last wrote, my daughter finished her school year and we hosted a pool party for her entire class. It was fun - especially because we didn't grill this year. We ordered pizzas instead. I got to catch up with the other moms and got a sunburn (as usual).

Then my daughter had her first ballet recital. Can you say "CUTEST THING EVER"? I only slept one hour the night before & woke up from that little bit of sleep after having nightmares about not being able to do a good enough bun. Ballerinas are SERIOUS about their buns. :) It's not that my daughter is demanding or anything - it's just that she is my baby and I wanted everything to be perfect for her. It was. She was beautiful. The most beautiful little thing in the whole world. Who needs sleep anyway?

My son will be out of school this week - with all the attendant pool parties, teachers gifts and general mayhem that comes along with the end of the school year.

Then - camp. Oy.

In crafty news...I only have one skein of yarn left to crochet up for my blanket! I've sewn about 1/3 of the bundles of various squares into larger patches. The sewing actually goes fairly fast. I can't wait until I start laying the patches out to see what kind of designs I can make. I'm thinking this will end up actually being two blankets - one in blues and earth tones and one in .... everything else. :) SO I may need to buy a bit more yarn. Won't know until I start laying things out.

In animal news...I think Scooter is going to be a yellow head. He looks like he has started loosing the feathers just above his nose/beak and the ones that are there have a distinct yellow undertone. It will be cool to see the new color grow in. I'll try to get lots of pictures.

And last but for sure not least - Children International did an interview with me & my family and will be including it in their newsletter! Email me if you would like to read it & I will send you a link.

Oh, and also - it is hot here. The kind of hot that we locals like to call hizzzzzot! I'm not going outside - possibly ever again.

Labels: , , , , ,