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August 2008
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October 2008



It was cloudy and dreary all day yesterday, but not colorless.  I love the color and texture of the Wisconsin landscape every day of the year -- yesterday it looked something like this.


I was in Madison all weekend and needed a photo stop on the way home.  I'm exhausted -- in a good way -- with a very busy week ahead, and I'm starting to wonder how I'm going to keep all these balls aloft.  What's the secret to juggling??

On Flickr here and here.

New haircut (is there an echo in here?)


I had just a little trim, really, and this is "salon styled," not exactly how *I* do it... and there's COLOR!  Not a huge departure from my regular hair color, but DARKER -- never thought I'd go DARKER.  Ali said that it looked "natural."  That's good.  I left it completely up to the stylist. "Do what you do," I said, though I did ask her to leave the narrow band of face-framing gray, which I have come to love -- is that weird?  Well, I like how it turned out.  This is semi- or demi- (it's not) permanent -- it'll fade away.  My next appointment is just before Thanksgiving and if I do decide to make it permanent, there'll likely be highlights and lowlights added for a little more depth and dimension.

I finally had a chance today to play around with my remote shutter release and the old studio lights that DH had squirrelled away.  I had to get a hotshoe-to-hotshoe adapter and a sync cord, and I also bought an inexpensive softbox to diffuse one of the lights -- looking forward to fooling around some more!

Now, about my neck...  I'm not going to apologize for it...  I'm mainly just wondering where in the hell it went!  Where is my neck??  There's that saggy chin thing, but there should be some neck below that...

**Just a note about Dancing With The Stars, about which I barely wrote a single word last season, but honestly... I think Ted McGinley went home only because of Inna Brayer's lips, WTF was with her lips when she was in costume?  I'm delighted that we'll get another week of Cloris Leachman, but I really hope that doesn't last too long, and I'm also happy that Rocco DeSpirito learned to move his hips -- that'll keep things warm in the kitchen...

It's Wednesday -- Think Red!!

My Red Shawl

I am not only knitting red... I am knitting TWO things that are red... very, very RED!  They are also both LACE projects; granted, the lace patterns could not be simpler, but that makes THREE lace projects in a row (in case anyone is keeping track).

The item above is the Stolen Moments Wrap (Ravelry link) and it is for me.  I'm using the yarn I reclaimed a couple of weeks ago and love how this is turning out.

OFA Red Scarf

Think Red Wednesday!

The second item is the Koigu Lace Scarf.  It is narrow and will be very long -- long enough to loop and pull through.  This one is for the OFA Red Scarf Project.

I have a bunch of stuff to do today, including a haircut!  I'm getting color, too, for the first time in... I don't know how long.  I doubt that I'll be thinking red about that, but who knows -- I'll be going to the same stylist that Katie did...

New haircut

It was a good weekend -- busy, fun, productive. Katie was home and had an appointment at the salon on Saturday. She's rockin' the new 'do, don't you think? I hope to catch the beat come Wednesday when it's my turn... change is in the wind.

Thanks so much for all the well wishes and encouragement. You leave me verklempt. One thing's for sure... I'd never have done it without the encouragement and support of my family, especially my girls, nor without all of YOU. Blogging has changed my life -- not just my knitting; it's changed the way I look at life, what I expect from life, where I want to go in life, how I want to live my life. And by blogging, I mean YOU!

Thank you.

Something to blog about

It's true what she said.  With a lot of encouragement from her.  It's called Victoria-Pictoria Photography.  I filed the papers and opened a bank account last spring and have been working (working working working) and learning (learning learning learning) all summer, slow and steady, to build a small photography business. 

I've acquired a domain and hosting.  I'm working on a website and proofing gallery.  And pricing.  And a blog -- a Wordpress (*gasp*) blog.  I know!  I've been a Typepad girl for.ever!  Acquiring it was as easy as pushing a button; posting will require pushing a few more.  I'm still figuring out my approach there... you'll be the first to know.

Oh, yeah, I've been taking pictures, too.  Most of it's been for free.  Weekend after next I'll have a couple of paying gigs, and there's an event on the books for mid-October that should be great, and a few other irons in the fire.  It's exciting.  Building.  Sickening.  Oh yeah, I feel ill before every shoot.  But it's fun, right?

I decided to do this for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is to have a little fun doing and learning something that I love and, hopefully, to generate some needed extra income.  So far, I've been having tons of fun, even though I've done nothing but spend hemorrhage money.  And I sure could spend a LOT more.  All I can say is that I've definitely been doing MY part to keep the economy going this year!  It doesn't appear that it's been enough, though.  Maybe if I pre-ordered the new Canon 5D...

Heh.  Just kidding.  Maybe.  No... really.  I'm kidding.

Mostly, I'm doing this because I still can!!  Because if I don't do it now, if I wait until the "time is right," when the hell will I?  Because what am I waiting for?  Because I'm going to be 50 in less than two months and, damn it, it's going to be a NIFTY FIFTY!!

More than anything else, of course, I'm doing it because of my girls... for them, with them, to them, inspired by them, encouraged by them, motivated by them, as an example to them.  All those things and more...

What goes around comes around.

Simple Things

10 Simple Things That Make Me Happy (Ten for Tuesday) (in no particular order)!

1. Fresh (straw-, rasp-, black- 'n blue-) berries in a bowl with cream, or just by the handful, or plucked right off the bush all warm from the sun and not even washed.

2. Real stuff -- cards, letters, money, yarn, chocolate -- in my mailbox.

3. Smiles.

4. Sunny days -- like today.  Even sweeter when they follow a weekend such as last.  Better if there's another tomorrow -- my day off!

5. Good tunes.  Loud.  Dancing.

6. Laundry on the line (big surprise).

7. New nightgowns!  It's been a while and winter's on the way.  I have two favorites from Gaiam which were recently on sale... and then there were four.

8. Happy hubby.

9. Happy kids.

10. Voicemails from Mack; most recent: "Will you buy some coffee for my school-raiser?"


I took the long way through town yesterday morning on my way to work. The sunrise was INCREDIBLE! I had to stop and shoot. Today was shades of gray from start to finish. I like this better.

Company is due in this evening. I feel like I'm forgetting something for tomorrow. Hopefully it'll come to me before Sunday morning. Happy weekend!

Road Trip

Sorry for the recycled photo, but it's appropriate. And easy. It's also one of my favorites -- for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the subject. I love the "bigness" of this toy car -- the big curvy redness of the hood and fender, the big glitteriness of the bumper and headlights, the big roundness of the white tires.

I think I should have a glitter bumper on my car!

Road trip tomorrow afternoon with Ali, involving coffee... and also yarn. After over a year of trying to get to Loose Ends Yarn Shop in Mayville, tomorrow will mark my second visit in less than a month. w00t!

It's been a very busy week/month/year and it doesn't seem to be letting up. It's a good busy, a hopeful and mostly happy busy. It's sometimes a little bit expensive busy, but hopefully it will get busy and start to pay back... eventually. It's also a busy that leaves me quite exhausted.

In other news... I am wearing long pants today -- the first time in MONTHS -- and Juno Regina was 'round my neck yesterday morning (and not just because it's so beautiful, though that's certainly a good enough reason).

* * * * * *

I will never forget.

We'll never forget you Brent!

Favre2  Favre1

I swear on a stack of Brett Favre farewell tributes...  My BIL's neighbor printed who-knows-how-many T-shirts that declare:  WE'LL NEVER FORGET YOU BRENT!!

And now my BIL (not an Aaron Rodgers fan) has his game shirt for the season.

I went to New York City swift on the heels of Brett Favre's signing with the Jets -- or "Jet Favre," as Mack calls him.  I had instructions to buy Jet Favre jerseys while I was there, if I could, but I couldn't.  I did manage to be the third whacked out cheesehead in one day to ask this guy to model his...


...and we saw his name in lights.  Well, he's delighted the crowd once again, claiming his first win as a Jet in classic Favre fashion.  Bittersweet.  (Today's game was one of at least 8 that the local CBS affiliate will broadcast in the Green Bay market this season.)


PorchfloorThe summer house-painting projects are nearly complete -- windows and trim on the south side of the garage will get attention, everything else will wait 'til next year.

This week it was all about the back porch floor.  DH labored on Labor Day, applying a coat of primer to the prepped floor.  When he was a very young man, he worked with his grandfather painting houses and commercial buildings in northern Wisconsin.  He's pretty good at it.  He also tries to make a living as a painter -- though with watercolors and acrylics, rag paper and canvas, and smaller brushes.

I gave him the "Knitting Interview" over dinner out a couple of weeks ago and the answers were pretty predictable -- a sampling:

The sweater I knit for Katie is recalled as "being good" -- a baby sweater of many colors, knit well enough but very poorly put together -- it's "cool" because of the colors, the buttons (which I recycled from an old shirt of his)... vintage, history...

Knitters don't have an expensive hobby "as hobbies can go."

My knitting in public has never embarrassed him, he can't name another blog, reads mine very seldom, doesn't think the house would be any cleaner if I didn't knit, and doesn't mind that I check out yarn stores everywhere we go.

When we got to this question...  Do you understand the importance of a swatch?  I almost couldn't continue -- in fact, I almost fell right out of the booth and onto the floor laughing when he answered:  To make sure the color matches -- like a paint swatch.

Maybe the question should have been about the importance of dye lots!

DH is quite good with a tape measure and saw, hammer and nails, sketching out designs for bookshelves, bathroom overhauls, garages, houses, major remodeling projects.  He's great at abstract thinking and knows all about measuring and making things fit, but I guess you buy your lumber, measure twice and cut once, and it fits (with a tap-tap here and a tiny shim there) -- the variables (whether it's a 2x4 or 2x6) are predictable, calculated, and taken into account.  He obviously came at the question from the more creative and artistic angle.

Anyway, it still makes me laugh.

Me:  Is there anything you'd like to add in closing?

DH:  I like that you have a community with blogging.

I like that, too.  Thanks for reading.  Happy Saturday!


Your result for The Perception Personality Image Test...

NBDS - The Trailblazer

Nature, Background, Detail, and Shape

You perceive the world with particular attention to nature. You focus on the hidden treasures of life (the background) and how that is affected by the details of life. You are also particularly drawn towards the shapes around you. Because of the value you place on nature, you tend to find comfort in more subdued settings and find energy in solitude. You like to ponder ideas and imagine the many possibilities of your life without worrying about the details or specifics. You are highly focused on specific goals or tasks and find meaning in life by pursuing those goals. You prefer a structured environment within which to live and you like things to be predictable.

Take The Perception Personality Image Test at HelloQuizzy

(found via CursingMama -- this morning before Bloglines crapped out)

* * * * * *

I am trying to come up with some specific goals and tasks to make my focus for the weekend.  In a general sense (without worrying about details or specifics), it could be to reclaim some of the structure that seems to have gone missing in my environment.

Or maybe just to reclaim it in the environment of the upstairs front bedroom that is often occupied by Katie when she's home, and is currently housing a lot of her stuff in the downsizing from apartment to room, but which will soon be occupied for a few days by a guest -- a young woman (daughter of an old friend of DH's) visiting from Oregon to check out Lawrence University.  I was awake in the middle of the night on Wednesday and this was among the myriad of concerns that kept me from falling back asleep.

So, of course, I was very tired last night but didn't fall for that going-to-bed-early trick again -- the one where I go to bed at 8:30p and wake up all refreshed and ready to go... at 11:30p.  How does that happen?  Instead, I divided my time between my two red projects -- one with thick-thin yarn on fat needles, the other with skinny yarn on skinny needles.  Heh.  I discovered a major BEND at the tips of those skinny needles -- caught in a car door variety.  I can't imagine.

Oh.  A big highlight in my weekend environment will be a visit from the nephews!

Have a happy one.

Knitting RED!


Red3_2This is Secret Pal yarn -- it's been half knit and marinatin' so long that the question wasn't "When are you going to finish that?" but "When are you going to rip that out and start something new?"  The answer came on Sunday night when I ripped and re-skeined, then washed and hung it out to dry (and be photographed) on Monday.

I love the far left quarter of the photo above -- the out of focus, sparkly part -- and imagine that if Van Gogh ever painted a hank of red yarn hanging on a clothesline, it might look a little like that.

Anyway, I found a pattern for a quick-to-knit, simple lace wrap that I like much better.  I started last night.

I'm also knitting a narrow, simple, one-row-repeat lace scarf with a hank of red Koigu KPM that I've had in the stash for almost as long.  This one is earmarked for the Red Scarf Project.  I have two hanks of the red Koigu, though, and like this enough (at the moment) that I'm considering knitting another on larger needles and carrying along a strand of red mohair -- for myself.



The next big thing will not be red and is not for me.  This is Filtes King Kim, a cotton/poly blend, that I am hoping to use as a substitute for the Berroco Suede specified for Maddy's sweater.  Kim is quite different from Suede, but Suede kind of stands alone, too, and I'm thinking (hopeful?) that they're similar enough in their differences to maybe just work.  We'll see.  Swatching in some manner will soon commence.

Hello cool weather!!  I am reminded that I have two sweaters for myself that need only seaming and finishing -- Oblique and the Coup d'Etat -- and also the Habu Birthday for Mom.  There may be a fini frenzy afoot.

Fair fare


Fair2  Fair3


Maybe I was hungry.  I took a lot of pictures of produce.

Haven't been to a county fair in ages, but went on Sunday -- to a neighboring county's fair (we're practically at the junction of three and a fourth is just a skip to the east).  We had lunch (cheeseburgers and brats) at the 4-H booth.  Didn't go on any rides -- just had fun checking out all the stuff in the Exposition building and meandering through the (small and large) animal barns.

Wow, there are some really funky chickens in the world, aren't there?

Juno Rejoicing!

Junor1 Junor4

Junor2 Juno3

Juno Regina!  With rejoicing!

I love it!!

I love the yarn -- even with the picking out of little straw bits at surprisingly regular intervals (and I'm sure I've missed a few bits that I'll be picking out later).

I love the colors -- they're perfect for fall!  I especially love how the colors and striping remain consistent throughout, even while changing and displaying all the subtle nuances that hand-dyed yarn should have.

I love the pattern -- it is truly... Mimsical!  Mim's Juno Regina is the perfect project for a lace newbie like me -- challenging at the beginning, a long portion of cruising (which makes for excellent travel knitting!), followed by a recap & review of the challenging portion.

PatternJuno Regina by Miriam Felton @

YarnMorehouse Farm Merino Lace, 660 yards (one hank), purchased at Rhinebeck 2006

Needles:  4US, straights

Mods:  Eliminated one pattern repeat at each side to make it narrower -- more of a scarf than a stole.  It's still wider than I normally like my scarves, but it's also lacey and drapey, and so just perfect!

I also love my camera and my 50mm lens.  Knitting: Shawls, Shrugs & Scarves set on Flickr.