Tuesday, September 30, 2008

PROGRESS: Knitting for Hawaii

Almost done, but not quite. I still have to do 2 more piping bands of green at top and bottom, so that all of the orange has piping around it. For knitters, it's because this was knitted in the round and the color change and stitch change really shows up that jog. UGH! It really bothers me. The piping disguises it.

This is from Stefanie Japel's pattern, Cleo. I modified it. I shortened mine greatly...the original pattern has this at tunic length, and on me it snugged around the booty with the orange stripe under the rear. Not favorable for the junk in MY trunk! LOL I made mine tank length.

I'm sewing a cami in mine as a lining, after cutting off the cami straps.

Probably will have to finish this on the plane to Honolulu, I'm pretty much out of time.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cats Finding Their Spots

The cats are finding their favorite spots in the Athens house.

Here's Tate' in the guest bathroom sink.

And here's Peta on top of the refrigerator.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Some of us knitters get a lot of pleasure out of a good project bag. On her last visit, my mom gave me a bunch of project bags, and two of them are PERFECT for airplane travel.

DH and I will be jetting off next week for vacation, and I'll have a project that I've been looking forward to working on for a long time...the Cross Country Chullo. It's an earflap hat with a motif of skiers and snowflakes knitted in Fair Isle.

Thanks to mom, I'll have my yarn, pattern, charts and needles tucked into this fabulous water resistant drawstring bag, with my stitch markers, tiny sewing kit scissors and Post-It notes (for keeping my place on the charts) in the matching zippered bag. Two sets of double pointed needles...OMG! That's 10 needles in total (only 5 in use at a time).


Monday, September 22, 2008

Speaking of Cats...

This is Stevie, the screen climber. I took him in many years ago when I worked at a retreat center and a co-worker quit and abandoned him on the property.

And these are Mitch's two sister cats. Whoever said cats are quiet and aloof never met these girls. They were yelling at me when I took their photos. They act Siamese. The top one is Peta, and the bottom one is Tate' (pronounced TAH-tay).



Porch Progress (Not Done Yet)

Yesterday we got the screen stapled on. It was definitely a 2-person job. Thank goodness we now have a compression stapler...what an amazing tool. I still have to paint the trim that goes on top of the screen all around, and on the supports. Then we will put the trim on.

The part of the screen on the side farthest away...Mitch built that structure. When we bought the house, only the close part was framed in (and the screen was rotten). The other side was completely open with no frame. Good job, Mitch!

We used special pet resistant screen made of fiberglass, since Stevie cat is known to climb screens.

After we were done stapling the screen on, I drug 2 chairs out and we christened it with a tiki beverage. (This isn't the furniture that will stay out there, though.)

The original builders of this porch had a lot of time on their hands! Someone used a jigsaw to cut a piece of trim to fit the bricks of the house, like a puzzle.

It goes on like this:

Sunday, September 21, 2008


8-) Like, omigod. For our upcoming EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY (woot!), Mitch got us tickets to see AC/DC! I grew up on AC/DC and was a big fan. Had their vinyl album, wish I still had it. Finally I get to see them. Last year we got to see The Police (totally rocked). Seeing everyone as an adult can be strange. Not too long ago we saw Joan Jett and the place was packed with middle aged surburban looking people who had dug their leathers out of the closet. That was not pretty.

Last night we saw a guy about our age wearing a Styx t-shirt that said, "Classic Rock MY ASS!" LOL

Friday, September 19, 2008

Knittin' fer Hawaii

Since today be "Talk Like A Pirate Day", I be changin' me text t' sea dog-speak. Translate yer own blog here: http://www.syddware.com/cgi-bin/pirate.pl

Th' swabbieal blog o' Celeste C. Dickson.

Hopin' t' get another tank done before our vacation in Hawaii. Th' green yarn be used around th' orange, as a pipin'.

Th' original pattern, Cleo by Stefanie Japel, has this tank comin' below th' booty, wi' an orange stripe wi' th' green pipin' at th' bottom. I be goin' t' try makin' mine much shorter...I dasn't need a horizontal orange stripe at me rear. 8-)

Th' fabric be a very open weave, requirin' somethin' underneath. Since I strongly dislike th' current trend o' lettin' bra/camisole straps show an' couldna find a t-aft cami, I purchased this cami in Modal fabric an' will cut th' straps off an' sew 't in as a linin'. 'tis jus' th' starboard shape t' fit th' tank in that manner.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Theme Songs

I love music...it truly evokes moods and is memorable. I remember certain people and times in my life by the songs that remind me of them. Here's one that will remind me of today, Monday, September 15, 2008. It's Dave Edmunds, "I Hear You Knocking".

Today's Paint Progress

Forgot to get a real "Before" photo...

This is a "Before" photo after we moved all the construction stuff off the porch, and Mitch finished ripping down the rotted screen. Then I cleaned the porch, scrubbed with trisodium phosphate to get off dirt and mold, and scrubbed with a large steel bristle brush to get off the extremely hardy and stuck on roots of the ivy that the previous owner had growing INSIDE the porch and through the rotted screen. This view is from the living room. The carport is beyond the porch. When the porch is finished, I'll hang bamboo curtains on that side so the carport and cars are camouflaged from view.

That dirt patch inside the porch is where they had ivy growing. We are going to make it into a tiled fountain using the leftover tiles from the kitchen remodel.

Here's the front that Mitch framed in a few months ago on the porch, unpainted. Previously, only one side was screened, and the front was just open to the elements. This was yesterday's progress, getting it all cleaned and scrubbed. That sliding glass door leads to the dining room...the porch has two sliding glass entrances.

Today I put primer on all around the porch. Here you can see the two sliding glass entrances.

Finished the primer except for that one patch of HardiPlank. So close! That's the view from the dining room. Big wisteria right there. Monster wisteria. Beautiful in Spring. And that ivy, growing around its base. I saw a display at the botanical garden here that said that ivy is a non-native, invasive plant that ideally people would not use.

Weekend in Athens, GA

Our friends Beth Rene' and Hajro came to visit this weekend, on their anniversary.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY and many more.

the happy couple...5 years.

the other happy couple...8 years in December.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lacy Summer Tank

Finally finished making this Lacy Summer Tank. I will have fun wearing it on vacation in Hawaii!

This pattern can be purchased at http://www.shopatron.com/product/part_number=PAT1434/703.0

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


WOOT! Something to take me out of my after-Olympics depression. Lance Armstrong is going for another Tour de France, after coming in second in a 100 mile race in Colorado. I guess he figures he still has the chops. He stated that he intends to bring more attention to the fight against cancer through racing again...but I saw his steely eyes harden in a video when he confirmed he will race the Tour again. I think the man just likes to compete! That's what it takes at his level, for sure. A Yahoo article says he was inspired (as I was) by 41 y.o. Olympic medalist swimmer Dana Torres and 33 y.o. Olympic medalist gymnast Oksana Chusovitina.

He plans to post all his drug screens online for all to see.

This photo is from the VanityFair.com interview. Ahem.
Go here for the article

Monday, September 08, 2008

Joel's Bib

Finished a baby bib for my friend Trecia's soon-to-arrive grandson.

The button is just a sample button. I haven't found the perfect button for it yet.

This pattern is from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

My Favorite Bar

Just saw this photo on nola.com, showing Louisiana National Guardsmen outside my favorite bar, Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop on Bourbon Street. The Guard was patrolling this week after Hurricane Gustav.

Jean Lafitte's is always dark like that, it's lit only by candles. It's said to be the oldest bar in the U.S. I once saw a dog sitting in a stool in there, named Kafka.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Vintage Knitting and Crochet

My family safely returned to New Orleans on Thursday, and thankfully their electricity was back on when they got there.

But before leaving, Don and Mom gave me a box of vintage knitting and crochet patterns that a co-worker had brought Don. Sadly, a knitter/crocheter had passed on and no one in her family wanted the patterns. The co-worker remembered that Mom knits, so the treasure was handed on. I was also given a very interesting knitting machine, I will blog that later.

Included in the box are quite a few clippings of a knitting column from the Times-Picayune/States Item, New Orleans' paper, from the '80s. Those are cool.

Here are a few patterns I am seriously considering.

This crocheted mermaid pajama bag pattern is in an American Thread booklet, undated, priced at 35 cents. The only thing giving me pause on this pattern is the requirement of 13 packages of iridescent bangles...with 100 bangles per package!

Here's the cover and back cover of the booklet with the mermaid pattern. The front cover features a bouquet with flowers made entirely of yarn. What a dust catcher! The back features a "groovy, baby!" tank dress and go-go boots. Plus, if you look closely at the back cover, you will see a bedspread with a eagle motif, and a crocheted and framed eagle piece...the framed eagle is done with pom poms. WHEW! And another dust catcher...a yarn tabletop Christmas tree. Those are too retro even for me.

There are also MANY patterns like these two below, undated and unattributed. On eBay, I found some vendors selling similar patterns who claim they were mail order. Date attributions from the sellers ranged wildly between the 1950s through the 1970s.

My maternal grandmother had a poncho like these, machine made, with the hand slits and fringe. Someone who shall remain nameless did not share my enthusiasm for making one of these...I believe the opinion was that the design is too old fashioned.

I will definitely be making one of these. Totally reminds me of my grandmother. Hers was brown with stripes. Mine will probably be dark purple. Oh and the pattern on the top, those aren't color stripes, that is an open weave stitch, lacy effect. Both of these capes are one solid color.

And, VOILA' ! Saw the same design the next day in a current Lands' End catalog! Everything old is new again! Here is the verbiage from the Lands' End catalog: "Even with vintage touches - a ribbed collar, arm openings and toggle closure - this is a contemporary cape." Hmm. Maybe the Lands' End catalog writers don't quite share my enthusiasm for retro, either. "Even with vintage touches"?!

Here's something even I wouldn't make: a crocheted Pants Suit. Did anyone even wear these?

This is another American Thread booklet cover. You can make your own shag throw rug! My paternal grandmother had a shag rug at the time. I believe it was green. If she reads this, she can correct my memory if I'm wrong. I'm glad we don't rake carpets anymore.

And one last interesting cover...this one is from 1973. It shows several close fitting, cropped sweaters like what we have today. Except instead of wearing them alone and showing lots of skin, back then they called them "toppers" and wore them over something else. Not to be a prude or anything, but I think the majority of people today need to wear them as toppers, too. I'm not against showing a little skin, but some things just aren't flattering and/or don't fit well.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Botanical Garden Photos

All of these photos were taken by me, from inside the conservatory.

Beautiful tiger spotted orchid.

Indoor fountain.

I thought these flowers looked like butterflies. Can you see the "wings" and "antennae"?

This one was labeled as a "Lipstick Flower".

Don't know what this one is...

More orchids...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

More Evacuation Photos

Evacuation = chocolate. Five of us ate these two pieces of cake, but that's not the only chocolate we had this week. We thought the sugar decorations on top of the cake slices were pretty.

Yesterday, us girls went to the Botanical Garden. We were surprised at how fantastic it was...a really superior garden. There's an air conditioned and spotless tropical conservatory that includes a really nice lunch cafe (cold bar, hot bar, "all bars", soup and desserts). All the tables had beautiful potted plants on them. There's an outside garden and five miles of wooded trails.

(Note: Don was here too, I just didn't get a photo of him. He was golfing! We also had their two dogs and two cats.)

Mom and me.

Me and sister Sarah.

This is a giant red okra plant! I've never seen anything like it before. More garden photos next time I post.