Electrifying hand dyed yarns, with personality!

Archive for March, 2013

Ah Ha!!!

I finally have a working computer at home!  Woot!  Hopefully this means I will be coming to you a little more frequently, baby willing.

It’s been a busy few days, but I’m super excited about having gotten our garden together.  Last two springs I had a small container garden outside the front door of our apartment.  It didn’t get much sun, and someone literally tried to take off with the biggest pot that housed my lack luster tomatoes, but I enjoyed having it. This year, with our new apartment, and our tinsy back yard (that actually gets sun!), I was supper excited to bust out all my containers and plant something!

It's not much, but it's mine

It’s not much, but it’s mine

Those tall things in the window box are green onions.  We took the root bases, cut from some store-bought green onions, nearly two years ago!, and planted them.  We haven’t had to buy green onions since, and they taste amazing!  (They also seem to thrive on neglect.)

We got so overzealous picking out plants, that we had to come up with a creative container for all the cilantro we had.

Cracked storage bin?  You bet!

Cracked storage bin? You bet!

I’ll be super excited to get an actual harvest this year.  Years past we’ve gotten nothing more than a few sad tomatoes.

I did include two different kinds of tomatoes this year.  A Queen Heirloom, and something called a “patio tomato.”

Clockwise from the top: Basil, lush looking Patio Tomato, Heirloom, and more Basil.

Clockwise from the top: Basil, lush looking Patio Tomato, Heirloom, and more Basil.

Jalapino

Jalapeno

The Swiss Chard looked a little sad, but after planting and a bit of water, they perked right up!

Such pretty colors!

Such pretty colors!

Eggplant

Eggplant

Sweet little Strawberries

Sweet little Strawberries

Of corse, throughout the planting I had a certain kitty trying to prematurely eat all the plants.  She’s why we can’t have any houseplants :/

 

Leah, my ever present helper

Leah, my ever-present helper

Anyone planting anything good this spring?  Or are you just hoping to dig out of the snow soon?

 

 

 

 

 

Uugggg

I had planned on posting a bunch this week.  I had done stuff!  I had pictures!  I even had a finished object for crying out loud!!!  Sadly, I also had food poisoning.  Nothing stifles productivity like your insides trying to escape :/

We started out the week having some good, clean, family fun.  We keep alternating between winter (our version of winter any way. ” Ooo, it’s only 60 out, better bundle up!”) and summer here.  Apparently we don’t get spring this year.  Anyway, on one of the warmer evenings we decided to pack Little Sheep’s blanket and head to the park with the beagles.

H. G. Hankle, always on the look out over Little Sheep :)

H. G. Hankle, always on the look out over Little Sheep 🙂

We even decided to let Little Sheep check out the grass for the first time.

Not sure the grass was more interesting than her tough.

Not sure the grass was more interesting than her though.

Tuesday we had our good friend Liz come into town for a visit.  She’s a super awesome baby person and had fun with LS while I tried to finish up Josh’s “Christmas” scarf before he took off to the frozen north of Toronto for work.  I’m happy to say I was successful!  Although I am ashamed to say that I suck at blocking.  Example:

4am flash photo, not so good

4am flash photo, not so good

I seriously need some blocking wires, and cats who are less interested in alpaca.  I had to pin it out in a separate room and close the door to keep the cats from rolling all over it.  Although maybe letting them once and letting them stick themselves with a stray pin might teach them a lesson… but I doubt it.  They are super stubborn.

Another lousy picture

Another lousy picture

I did really love how it blocked out, and you could finally see the single, manly, cable down the middle.  I was a little disappointed with how it tried to curl back up some once I repined it.  Is there a trick I’m missing?  It’s baby alpaca.  I soaked it in wool wash for a good hour before wringing it out and pinning it.  I had a fan on it to speed up the drying process, but I did let it dry completely before unpinning it and weaving in the ends.  (At 4am in order to send it with Josh on his 6:30am flight.  I must love him or something.)  I got to wrap it around his neck just in time to send him out the door 🙂

Since it’s just been LS and me the last few days, with not a whole lot to do other than work out the food poisoning, I finally got a little more knitting for myself done!  I’m plugging along on my “Baaad Sheep” mini shawl.

Slowly but surly

Slowly but surly

What started out as 10 stitches per row, is now over 150 stitches per row.  I’m hoping to use up the whole ball and get a nice scarf size.  I’m figuring I’m about half way there.  I am loving the make shift pattern it’s got going too.

Close up beauty shot

Close up beauty shot

I can’t wait to wear it!  Hopefully it will be done before the weather warms up too much.  I’m thinking about adding some nice warm weather yarn to the shop.  I’m not a huge fan of cotton, so probably a silk blend of some sort.  I’m totally open for suggestions… hint, hint.

 

Sweet Freedom!

After an extremely long week, and an even longer wedding day, full of rain and thunder and flooding (by Southern California standards), I am finally free of wedding responsibilities!!!  Woot!  Through all the chaos, we did have a good time and my sister is now happily on her honeymoon.  Did I get pictures of the center pieces I worked so hard on, no.  Did I catch someone in the act of underage debauchery?  Oh yes I did!

Don't worry, it was empty, and she didn't have it but for a second

Don’t worry, it was empty, and she didn’t have it but for a second

So, to reward myself for all the hard work, I started a shawlette!  In “Baaad Sheep” no less!  😀

 

SAM_0640

I’m making it up a little as I go.  It will be crescent shaped, and fairly simple.  I’m going to play with the pattern and some graph paper and I’ll hopefully have a pattern up soon.

Loving the subtle color changes of "Baaad Sheep!"

Loving the subtle color changes of “Baaad Sheep!”

Eventually I’ll stop ignoring all my left over Christmas projects, but for now I’m enjoying the nice, bouncy shawl 🙂

Anyone have any projects that they’re extra pleased with these days?

 

Light at the End of the Tunnel

The wedding is Friday.

That means I have a ton of things to do before then.

It also means that Saturday is mostly my own!

I’m dangling this nice little hank of “Baaad Sheep” in front of me, with the promise of a nice mini scarf/shawl.

I’m resisting the urge to look up patterns for a mini scarf/shawl.

Any suggestions…..?

SAM_0452

Beagle Rescue Needs Your Help

Hey everyone, this is a courticy reblog. If you have a minute to help some Beagles in need, please donate! Every little dollar helps!

charmcitycreativedesigns

The beagle rescue in my state needs HELP!!!!!! They have had several dogs that they rescued or were just dropped off that are heartworm positive along with jacquline who needs a major surgery that will cost around $1600 if there are no complications but may be more. Her poor leg needs to be amputated and went a very long time like this alone and in pain. So the rescue is asking for donations.

Any amount of money is appreciated even if it is just a $1.00. I think anyone could do that much. You could collect coins at your schools or classrooms etc to donate to the rescue in Maryland.

Are you a vet or work or own a vet clinic and can donate meds for he beagles that are heart worm positive please call the rescue ( a link will be posted below to get that info) I am…

View original post 33 more words

How I Get My Pretty On

Sorry for the radio silence, my sister’s wedding is this coming Friday and we’re all in last-minute freak out mode.  I’ve had this post nearly ready to go for a few days, so without further a due…

***

In case some of you didn’t know, I am a big supporter of The Beagle Freedom Project.  They are an amazing group dedicated to rescuing “research” Beagles from labs around the world.  Some of these poor dogs have never even seen grass before.  They are used in all kinds of testing of cosmetics, cleaners, and pharmaceuticals.  Beagle Freedom Project rehabilitates these dogs and finds them loving homes, which is amazing!  It’s because of the awareness and outreach of this group that I am going cruelty free with my products.

BFP is currently celebrating their 11’th group of rescues!  In honor of the newly freed Beagles, I’m going to share with you my favorite new beauty supplies that are NOT tested on animals!  What’s even better, these are all readily available at your local Target store.  (I have not been paid by any of these companies, and I make these claims from my own research on the companies.  If I’m mistaken about any of these, please do let me know!)

SAM_0527

For hair care, I love TRESemme.  They have all different kinds of products within their brand, I happen to use the moisturizing version.  They’re also super affordable at about $5 for the bulk bottles.

I also use the Organix Macadamia Oil to smooth out my frizzy.  They have a full line of all different organic hair products too!

Our Little Sheep is very happy with her California Baby, all natural and super sensitive head to toe body wash. 😉

SAM_0529As far as skin goes, I am super sensitive to I don’t even know what :P.  Some lotions just have me itching within an hour or two from applying it.  I haven’t narrowed it down to one specific thing, but I can say that the St. Ives Daily Hydrating Lotion works well for me, and isn’t tested on animals!  Unfortunately not all their products have the “not tested on animals” label on their bottles, and my online research has been a bit inconclusive.  So as far as St Ives goes, I only purchase the products that have the “not tested on animals” label directly on the bottle.   *Update* Sadly my St. Ives lotion no longer caries the “not tested on animals” label on any of their products, any new online research is pretty inconclusive.  I’ve opted for a lotion from Alba Botanica and will be writing an email to St. Ives to try and get the real scoop, and inform them that I will no longer be using their products until they officially stop all their animal testing.

My husband really likes his Every Man Jack body wash.  My dad and brother use it as well.  They also have great shaving products.

For my break out prone, and super sensitive, face, I’m totally in LOVE with Alba Botanica’s Acne-Dote line.  I use the face and body scrub every morning in my shower, put the lotion on under my make up every day, then use the astringent every evening to take off my make up.  My skin has seriously never looked better!

SAM_0530

Tom’s of Maine has been a bit of a struggle for me.  Their toothpaste, while it seems to work great, does have a bit of an off taste compared to your usual science laced toothpaste.  Their deodorants haven’t always worked well for me, although I know some people who swear by them.  This new Naturally Dry version does work very well for wetness, which is my main concern, but a friend of mine who tried it said the scent wasn’t quite enough for her.  However, I defy you to find a cruelty free deodorant that works better than this one.

The Yes To Carrots/Blueberries/Cucumbers/… line has a lot of great cruelty free stuff.  Their berry lip balm is my go to.

SAM_0532I don’t use a whole lot of makeup, but I have found a few staples that I really love.  I’ve recently discovered E.L.F.  While I’ve only tried their eyeliner and shadow, I have to say, if the rest of their stuff is as good, consider me hooked!  They’re cruelty free, a really great quality, and super affordable!  That eye liner also has a shadow stick in the other end, and it was only $3!  As I run out of my old icky makeup, I’m mostly switching to them.

Almay is another affordable brand, who’s cover up has worked really nicely for me.

If you’re willing to spend a bit more about ($10-$12 a piece) Physician’s Formula has great mineral powders that I’ve been using for years.  They even have kits that include powder, blush, and a finishing powder.

Also, for my friends who occasionally like to get their hair did,  Paul Mitchell does not test on animals!  So you can easily find a salon or stylist that uses their products!

So that’s my new line up.  I’ll have to do another post on the cleaning products I’ve been using and even making, sometime soon.  Do any of you have awesome cruelty free products you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear about them.

***

Also coming up, a FINISHED KNIT *GASP*, some more succulents via wedding pictures, and a new yarn in my shop dedicated to BFP!  A portion of the sale price for this new yarn will be donated to BFP so they can continue their amazing work, so keep an eye out for new colors soon!  Yay!