Monday, June 29, 2009

Well, It Is Not Really What I Had Expected....

...but, I guess that is what happens when you don't do your research first. My hibiscus, chili, and curry yarn.....turned out a pale yellow. I guess if you can even call it a "yellow". But I love it just the same. It was a fun experiment and I learned a lot. I just gotta chalk it up to trial and error. We never learn if we don't make mistakes. I will be well prepared for the next time. I can't wait for this weekend. I have lots of crafting projects in mind. I hoped to add more to the Etsy too! I see oil cloth in my Etsy's future. Oh, and of course, hand spun yarn!! If you are somewhat interested in the chalkboard quote of the week, stay tuned. Will post that soon! I have completely fallen down on the job but plan to hop back on the wagon!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Spinning Sunday!

So, I got up this morning and finished up spinning my skein. I got the tea all prepped.

Tied the tea bags together.

Dropped them in the boiling water.

Um, note to self, when working on a gas not allow tea bags to drape over the edge of the pot. They will catch on fire.

I let the tea steep for about 1 hour and then added the skein. I strained it after about 4 hours. During this process Jeff told me that it was not going to work and started to give me some complicated chemistry reason of why it would not work. I was like, it's just tea and wool...not neuroscience. But....unfortunately.....

He was right. I guess that is what I get for not doing my homework first. But, not to worry. I have come up with another idea! I am going to use spices. Curry usually dyes with a nice yellow color and chili powder of course dyes red. So, I combined them both together. Not sure why, just sounded like a good idea at the time. Smells kinda strange when being boiled though.

I weighed it out on a scale to about one ounce. I poured the spices into a teabag pouch that I had.

I sealed up the teabag with an iron.

Turned it upside down and shook it to make sure it was sealed properly.

Brought it all to a boil (looks rather questionable, I know).

And dropped it in.

Now we wait..........

So, while I was screwing up my freshly spun yarn...I did a bit of research on Navajo Ply. Oh, it looks complicated. I think I am getting a bit ahead of myself. Maybe just concentrating on screwing up the dying process is enough for one weekend! The Joy Of Handspinning is a great website though, very helpful. I am a visual person. It is so much easier for me to catch on to something if I see it being performed. Apparently, there is such a thing as handspinning cruises! Just take your wheel out on deck and spin away! That sounds fabulous. I can't think of much else that sounds better than that right now!

This website is lovely! You must check it out. Sissy, it is going to make you want a sheep farm even more! Crackerjack cracks me up in all his regal-ness. I think he and Ziggy should meet.

Ziggy was supervising my spinning yesterday evening.

Finally after all my searching, I finally found a Texas based website for roving. I am starting to get a bit discouraged though. Seems that spinning and fiber arts are not that popular in Texas. I guess I just need to pack up and move, to Santa Fe!

So...I have been going on for a while now. The yarn is still soaking in its dye bath. I may leave it there overnight. It seems to be working, an nice pale orange color it is now. After research this afternoon, I did realize that I was to use a product to help bond the dye to the fiber. It is called mordant, basically a chemical salt. Some others say to use cream of tartar in addition to the mordant. I will know better next time!

I also worked on some new socks today so I could at least feel some sense of accomplishement at the end of the day.

I worked on these socks when I was in Santa Fe and realized that I need to pick up the pace and get them done. I need to pick up the pace and get a lot of crafting done. Christmas is only 6 months away!

Cheers and stay tuned for the outcome of my hibiscus, chili, and curry yarn!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Spinning Saturday!

I have found myself overwhelmed with roving...but in a very good way. I spent some time today studying up on spinning. Earlier this week I became a member of Spin Off Magazine online and also subscribed to the magazine (a 10 year anniversary present to myself!). On their website, they have some great videos. I happened across many talented spinners who were kind enough to educate the rest of us. The Art Of Megan was one of them. Gotta love her, she was playing Radiodread in the background during her demo's (bonus). The other helpful lady has a website called Spinning Forth. She played music too, reminded me of the Ozark Mountains for some reason. So, during all my research and note taking....I got inspired! This evenings events will consist of continued spinning with the newly learned "rolag" technique and trying out dying! I am stretching it a bit here and am not going to just dye...I am going to natural dye with hibiscus tea! That may be a really bad idea, but...I guess it is not the worst thing I have ever done.

While searching for dying techniques, I came across this blog, Little Slice Of Life. I was not able to find any specific examples of dying with tea during my Internet search. I think I probably need a book but (actually I am certain that I need a book), but it is Saturday night...I am going to let loose and get wild and go for it with absolutely no technique in mind.

So, here is some roving I have had laying around a while.

It was inexpensive and nothing special so if I screw it won't matter too much! I am tempted to use some non-dyed Merino roving my sister gave to me last year but, I will be really upset if that gets messed up. Gotta use some self control!

I got my rolags all ready to go...

and started spinning away.

Then, after a night of spinning and watching He's Just Not That Into You, I was too tired to dye. So, until tomorrow...the saga continues!

Cheers and Happy Saturday! I have a long weekend next weekend that I am looking rather forward too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Anniversary To Me!

It has been 10 very quick years! It is amazing how time just flies by. I was surprised with Happy Anniversary flowers when I came home from work.

We went back to Caro's, home of the puffy taco. We just could not get enough of the puffy taco last time we went. I did not realize last time they they have sangria. The perfect summertime drink. So, it only seemed fitting to take a picture of it and add it to my photo collection of this summer's sangria.

After dinner we went to Four Day Weekend. These guys are hilarious. We had a fantastic time and I did not stop laughing once!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Back In Fort Worth

Happy Father's Day to everyone! We pulled in from Santa Fe late yesterday evening to the hot and humid Texas weather...about 98 degrees! When we left Santa Fe yesterday it was in the 50's. Oh, I miss it already, but it is good to be back home. It has taken me a bit to get back in the groove of things.

So today, in memory of Santa Fe...I finished spinning the "burrito skein"....

I think I will name it Cheshire because it looks like the Cheshire Cat!

I hung the picado in the kitchen...

Don't mind the dishes piled up in the corner...they are drying :-)

and I made some blue corn muffins with the blue corn meal I picked up at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

They are gooooood!!! They are especially good with the honey whip I picked up.

Cheers to all!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday In Santa Fe

Today Jeff and I ventured off on our own in the Plaza. We had a lot of fun going in in all the different shops and I had the most course!! I really wanted to show Jeff all my favorite Santa Fe spots so, we went to Miriam's Well and I purchased more roving for spinning and a new book. The roving is beautiful. This picture just does not do it justice. The orange is called Persimmon and is 100% Merino. The blue is called Petunias and is 55% Merino, 25% Soy Silk and 20% Tussah Silk. Miriam said that she picked the roving up when she was visiting in Colorado. I really envy her. I would love to have my own yarn shop and teach classes. She is selling her business but unfortunately, I don't have the spare change lying around!

I purchased my spinning wheel last year from Miriam and she remembered! It really is a special little shop and she has the most beautiful things. You know, you can get a sense about people sometimes and Miriam seems like a very wise and well rounded individual which makes going to her shop even better. I was glad Jeff got to meet her, I thought he would enjoy her and he did! Don't worry sis, I plan to share all the roving with you! You just must come visit me soon!

After Miriam's Well, we went over to Todos Santos. Todos Santos is a candy store with a Dia De Los Muertos theme. I love the way they have decorated this little store. The candy is amazing too!! This year I purchased a little box of chocolate. I forgot to take a picture of it before I unwrapped it.....I was too excited!

I already ate the heart and part of the circle with the nuts on it. The heart is white chocolate with a dark chocolate center and also made with rose water!! Devine! The lady that was working was very nice. She is a local and gave Jeff and I the inside scoop on Santa Fe living. She also threw in a few free caramels because Jeff was wearing a Manu Chao t-shirt. We met a lot of really nice people today, come to think of it!

We ventured over to Dressmans Gifts and picked up a few souvenirs to take home. I really love the tin work with the Dia De Los Muertos art. So, I picked up a little something for myself. I seemed to be pretty good at that this trip.

After a bit of souvenir shopping, Jeff and I went to La Boca!!! Oh, we certainly saved the best for last. Get ready for a major geek out.

My absolute favorite spot in Santa Fe....

We started off with a bit of Sangria (surprise surprise).

Then, we had garbanzo carrot hummus with flat bread.

The next Tapas course was Fried Egg Chorizo and Potato.

Round 3 was Canalones with scallop and crab........oh....I went into a food coma at this point.

The special was Pimientos de chile's roasted in garlic with sea salt. I ate a tiny pepper and it was packed with heat! mouth was on fire for hours! But, it was worth every minute of it!

The owner/chef was there, James Campbell Caruso. My mom and I met him during the Santa Fe School of Cooking Culinary Tour last year. I think the cooking tour was coming to La Boca today because the owner was there and they were getting the tables ready. if you are ever in Santa Fe, the culinary tour is an absolute must!

After La Boca we did a bit more shopping. We stopped into the Santa Fe School of Cooking and I picked up some Blue Corn Meal and Whipped Honey. I can't wait to go home and make blue corn muffins with the honey!

When our day of exploring the Plaza was over, my parents picked us up and we went back to the casita. I learned a new way to spin called rolag. I will explain that later. Basically, you roll up your roving like a burrito and spin it. It works rather well, I am now a firm believer in burrito spinning.

Jeff and I went on a little nature hike. It was fun. We found lots of things along the way like an old Christmas tree still in tact with its tinsel.

A blooming cactus...Jeff cut one of the fruits off and got little tiny cactus needles in his finger. He was a regular Bear Grylls on our hike! Ha!

We happened across a tree stump with a few mountain rocks stacked on top of it.

And....just waiting for us on the mountain top...2 green lawn chairs. We felt right at home!

The view from the lawn chairs....

On the way back from our hike, we happened upon a few wine corks. Look like someone else was partying on the patio!

Tomorrow we are packing up and heading home. Oh, I wish we could stay longer. Someday, I hope to call Santa Fe home. It is just really beautiful here. Right now, I am blogging on the patio of the casita to a gorgeous sunset and about 70 degrees with a breeze. It would be nice if this moment could last forever!

Cheers to Santa Fe and its people! Until next year!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday In Santa Fe

Well, the trip seems to be coming to a rapid end. I don't want it to end. It is so peaceful out here and I have not thought about work once! It is good for the soul to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life! I have enjoyed every minute of it. Tomorrow Jeff and I are going to go do a bit of exploring on out own and I think I am finally going to get to go to La Boca!!

Today we had a nice relaxing morning. We went Museum Hill to the Wheelwright Museum. Our casita is just a few miles from Museum Hill. There is the sweetest exhibit there right now. It is called Through Their Eyes: Paintings from the Santa Fe Indian School. The exhibit is a collection of the work of students at the Indian School between 1918 and 1945. The paintings are absolutely wonderful. The students had talent that I can only dream about. The colors they used and the precision of the lines in their drawings was so enthralling to me. Each painting told a story of culture and heritage. Some of the paintings are so detailed, it is as if the people in the painting are alive and staring back at you.

The museum has 2 sculptures outside that were sculpted by Allan Houser. Allan Houser was one of the students at the Indian School who later became a famous artist.

The museum has a gift shop they call "The Trading Post". It was structured and built to look like a real trading post. I picked up a few things there...some I cannot talk about because they are for a particular person...I think she knows who she is!

I got the cutest little folk art owl at the Trading Post. Jeff actually found the owl. I think it makes a fine addition as a decorative addition in our home. I also got a burden basket. I learned about this from the casita. Susan, the lady of the casitas that we stay in, has one hanging by the front door. I noticed it last year and wanted one but was not able to find one. So, when I saw it in the Trading Post, I knew I had to have it!

***update. We have named our little owl..."Enchilada Tow-Hee." I think I am going to write a Children's book about him. It is already in the works!***

On Museum Hill is "The Labyrinth." (Jeff is now dictating to me what the labyrinth is so this is all him...he is a science dork) Contrary to what the name may imply, this labyrinth is no maze. It is a single circular path eventually ending in the center. In the center, sound is resonated which baffled me at first (that is Jeff speaking remember). I could not leave until I justified this to myself. As I walked around the 2 foot exterior walls, I noticed that the labyrinth rose slightly towards the center forming a dome. This meant that the labyrinth formed a perfect parabola. For those not familiar with calculus, a perfect parabola means that no matter where on a structure a signal makes contact it will follow a line called a directrix to the exact center point, called a focus. The low walls serve to reflect the sound along a directrix to the focus, where you are standing. My mind at rest, we could now leave. **That is the end to Jeff's scientific description. Those who are reading this and know him...I know appreciate it! :-) Oh, this is Jeff's first blog entry!!! World record breaking news here! I can just go ahead and end this blog here, but I am not...

After the museum we came back to the casita for lunch and just relaxed. Then, we headed over to Gabriels...the most fabulous Southwestern/Mexican food restaurant in this area....I feel like I am writing a review or something.

If you order guacamole, they make it for you right at your table.

My dad ordered a pitcher of margarita! Aye! Right up my alley!

For dinner I had black bean enchiladas. Sooooo good!!

Jeff had crab enchiladas..I never heard of such a thing.

Well, I am tired and it is about 12am here so, I am turning in. Good night to all and Cheers!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday In Santa Fe

Today we ventured out to Bandelier National Park. It is very surreal to see the ruins of the cliff dwellers. We had a great time. My dad, Jeff, and I went. My mom stayed back to rest, which was probably a good thing because this was quite a hike! When you pull in, they give you reading material for the points of interest on the hike. I think the points range from 1-24. On the hike, you stop at each point and read about the history of that particular point. I hope that makes sense, I feel like I am not explaining it very well. So, we stopped at each point took some beautiful pictures and took turns reading aloud the various excerpts. It really is a beautiful hike and the weather was nice and cool, just how I like it!

Anyhoo, I visited Bandelier with my parents and sister about 15 years ago. It was here that my dad educated me and my sister on a rare and almost extinct bird... "The Yellow Fangled Tweety Bird". We were walking through the trail and there it was...the most magnificent bird my dad had ever seen! My dad said "Hey! Look girls, a Yellow Fangled Tweety Bird!" We were like, "Where Daddy, where?" and looked all around to find this ever so magnificent rare bird. Um, yeah. He got us good. Once he started laughing at us we realized that we had been..had! Oh, fond memories of my young and impressionable youth. We still joke about it to this day. I guess you had to be there :-)

Here are some pictures of our trip to Bandelier. I have also included a bit of history on Bandelier if you are interested :-)

"Bandelier's human history extends back for over 10,000 years when nomadic hunter-gatherers followed migrating wildlife across the mesas and canyons. By 1150 CE Ancestral Pueblo people began to build more permanent settlements. Reminders of these past times are still evident in the park as are the strong ties of the modern Pueblo people. By 1550 the Ancestral Pueblo people had moved from their homes here to pueblos along the Rio Grande (Cochiti, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo).

In the mid-1700's Spanish settlers with Spanish land grants made their homes in Frijoles Canyon. In 1880 Jose Montoya of Cochiti Pueblo brought Adolph F. A. Bandelier to Frijoles Canyon. Montoya offered to show Bandelier his people's ancestral homelands."

We also saw this huge lizard. We later discovered that he is a fence lizard.

I love this picture. It appears as thought a little raccoon was playing in the stream a bit before we walked over the bridge.

After we went to Bandelier, we went to Los Alamos to the atomic bomb museum. This place is very interesting and a bit eerie! Spooooky! :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...