Friday, January 25, 2008

Sick Day

Today is a sick day--literally--which is somewhat of a bummer. Typically I take sick days to go to the doctors' for routine stuff, so I get a portion of the day to play. Also--on rare occasion, I will take a "mental health" day. Fortunately I don't need those too often as I am pretty much on an even keel temperament wise. But sometimes, I just catch myself ready to bite some kid's head off and I know that it's time to rest and regroup. I don't believe that a teacher should ever succumb to that urge. No one has the right to do that. As adults, we should be modeling the behavior we expect of our students! Okay--that's rant #1. This post is a long, leisurely one which may contain various rants so I will attempt to put subtitles in so you, gentle reader, can choose which sections you want to read! So--back to the sick day thing--I have been nursing a weak cold for the last 2 weeks and yesterday I felt rather sick--like I was getting bronchitis. Last night, the fever kicked in and I came home, put on my pj's--the nice warm flannel kitty cat ones that Maddy gave me--and called in for some Chinese which DH pickup up on the way home from work. After all--nothing helps the respiratory system more than a healthy dose of hot and sour soup! Of course we also had Szechuan Beef and Kung Pao Chicken. We love our spicy food at this house! I remember when Bird was little and he had to have everything made mild. We gradually started adding the hot spices until he was used to them. Now he puts hot sauce on everything! Go figure! After dinner, I basically crashed on the couch.

Today I got to watch morning TV. I was delighted to learn that Martha Stewart now has shows On Demand for subscribers to digital cable. So--for all you Martha wannabes--there you go. On another Martha show, she made a bag for a yoga mat. I am so going to do that when my new, improved ultra thick yoga mat arrives here in the next few days! I also spent the morning sipping lattes. I used my new mug and coaster which Cat gave me:

I did go to the doctor's and he said that he thought I basically got a viral thing on top of a cold and gave me some natural therapies to try for 24 hours. If those don't work, then I can take an antibiotic. He prefers not to start with antibiotics as he feels that abuse of those drugs has caused a rise in all the drug resistant bacteria we are seeing. So, I will make friends with my neti pot once again! When going to the pharmacy at Giant, I did pick up these:

These looked really fresh and they are huge! I love pastel roses. I will have to groom my rose garden this spring so I can cut my own roses! I've neglected them over the last few years.

The Mind's Eye

The Mind's Eye! This is what I call the ability to envision things mentally. I've always had this ability and I remember frustrating my mother when I would describe projects to her that I wanted to make. She couldn't picture what I would describe, but I could picture things very clearly. This is the ability that sparks all things creative. The proverbial light bulb goes on and a creation is born. This is one reason I don't buy stash yarn and fabric per se. I have to see something finished before I buy. For example, I went to G-Street last weekend and, as usual, checked the remnant rack. I haven't gotten any remnants lately but I stumbled on this 5/8 yd. piece of silk charmeuse:

The moment I saw this, I pictured a cowl neck halter type top. The picture is so clear in my mind. Now I just have to find a pattern or something similar to use as a springboard for making my own pattern.

This ability to see completed creations comes in handy. Typically, once the creation takes shape in my mind, I plan the steps to making it and gather all that I need. I've learned that the actual work is best saved to the last minute when deadlines are concerned because I stick with the original plan. If I have too much time, I start questioning my original design, often making changes which I end up not liking. I've learned over the years to "go with my gut" so to speak.

It's funny how these mental images can come out of nowhere. I remember when I was in the metals/ jewelry program at MICA and we were told to make 20 sketches of projects to be approved by our instructors. I would go home and pick my brain and nothing! Then I would find myself in a staff meeting at school, with some totally boring speaker, and the light bulb in my brain would be going off nonstop! Strobe lights even! I'd rush home to my sketch book and in a matter of minutes my sketches would all be there!

This ability can also be a curse as well. I went to G Street on a button finding mission to get buttons for the coat that I mentioned in an earlier post. My problem is that I picture something very specific in my mind's eye and of course, what I picture cannot be found. I picture a button covered with black soutache braid with a knot in the middle--something like would've been used in the 1940's. I could make them, but I just don't want to. Well, lo and behold, G Street had something similar--just not in black! I did get the velvet needed for the collar and bound buttonholes. I also picked up these buttons. I don't love them, but they are okay.

After G Street I went to Joanns and found these:

I lean toward the 2nd ones. Any comments on this matter would be welcome!

The Mind's Eye thing also has implications when planning projects with another person who doesn't think the same way. This kicks in when embarking on home decorating projects. DH and I just don't think the same way. When renovating, I picture the finished room. He takes it one step at a time. It can be frustrating when trying to explain to someone why you want something done a certain way. Fortunately, DH is very laid back and pretty much lets me make the decisions here.

Upcoming Projects?

I ended up hitting the pattern counter when I went to Joanns:

I also got a book on using vintage beads and buttons in jewelry. I have a rude amount of antique buttons. I love them and they need to be shown so perhaps jewelry would be the way to go! I need to go back to G Street go get a Kwik Sew pattern for yoga pants. I'm having a hard time finding the ones I like--boot cut petite length. I think making them is the way to go.

I'm also trying to find the right yarn to make the new Zephyr pattern, 28thirty. I picture this sweater made out of a tweed or a kettle dyed yarn. I have some merino from Uruguay that I had bought for another project that I like:

I only have 3 skeins of this which totals 654 yards. The XS size calls for 600 yards and the S size calls for 700 yards. According to the pattern, I should wear the Small, but I've always made XS in Zephyr designs. I'll have to really think this one out because I can't get more of this yarn and I would hate to get the thing almost done and run out of yarn!

On the homefront

Last week was spent undecorating. Like my holiday decorating, this is done in two phases. First we take down the tree and anything else that is only Christmas--Santas, nativities and the like. Snowmen stay up until early March.

If you notice--the snowguys remain on the mantel, some snowy candle rings remain on the table and a little glass snowman peeks up from the roses!

Other homefront news--Bird set the date for his senior recital--April 13. DH and I will go up the night before. We hope to also go to the burgh on President's Day weekend to attend the concert band performance. Maybe we'll get some real snow there!

As I write this, a kitty throwdown is about to occur. Harley, who has always been the biggest wimp, is growling and posturing at Greg, who has always been the biggest bully. This has been going on for the last 10 minutes! Greg is just sitting there! Now he has decided to move toward Harley, who is backing up and still growling. I suspect that fur will be flying any minute!

I realize that I have less than a year to use the wealth of "W" quotes I have left. WoW! I'm still on 2002 which means I have 5 years of unused quotes and, Lord knows, George keeps adding new material on a rather frequent basis.

Bushism of the day:
"I'm the master of low expectations." —George W. Bush, aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003

Kitty cam:
The big lugs, Mikey and Greg, relax on the couch while Harley takes over the recliner. Sitting in our family room often involves moving a cat!


  1. Vicki,
    I love the second set of buttons. They have a bit more whimsy and a bit more of an antique look.
    And who is this doctor that suggests alternative methods first?!
    Have a great weekend,

  2. Sorry you haven't been feeling well. I love the patterns that you picked, and I know exactly what you mean about getting creative mental images!! I have the same thing.

  3. I like the second set of buttons as well.
    You have a beautiful home!

    Hope you're feeling better. :-)

  4. i love that kettle dyed yarn and 28 thirty would look great in that. you could always make the sleeves shorter like three qyaurters or elbow length if you are running out. i started out with the xs and just added a few extra increase before joining and that did the trick for me.