1.27.15--Happy Birthday--It's gonna be one of those months...

Found on Wikipedia, of course
Happy Birthday, MidFloridaSisterInLaw! 

She is my family travel coordinator, runs a business she founded, enjoys cooking, ziplining, roller coasters, Costa Rica, traveling of all types, reptiles, and has a wealth of ideas for activities and games. 

Her middle name is Energy, and it can tire you out just to watch her. 

1.26.15--Happy Birthday--It's gonna be one of those months...

Tomorrow would have been his 130th birthday. Happy Birthday to my Paternal Grandfather. I wish I had met him.


More on tea caddies...

Found on Pinterest: I could make my own! The site is in Spanish, but I know how to translate easily enough. Or, I can just read the pictures.

These tins are easy enough to come by, they are all over the place. My question is, what do people do with the cookies? They are quite simply, indistinguishable in flavor from the corrugated paper that separates them inside the tin.

I could crumble them and put them on the road for the birds, I suppose. After all, they eat gravel so their palates may find these cookies just the thing.

1.21.15--still knitting

Quilting is starting to happen around here, but I still don't have all the knitting out of my system that I need to do.
I have been grabbing random put-ups--usually "one-offs", just casting on and knitting. Most things turned out to be scarves, but here are a couple more hats. The first is a helmet liner from early WWII. It is a soft, tweedy wool and it worked up in two afternoons.
This is another 1989 cap, probably for my brother.

Right now, I am MAYBE knitting a sweater for me. It is an unusual construction and I found about 5 hanks of Noro Kureyon with no plans for it so I cast on and began. It is a top down with four evenly spaced increases. 

I have been doing a lot of window shopping for yarn. It is a lot of fun to fill a cart, then close the tab on the browser.


Ugliest tea caddy ever
I have tea. I mean, I have A LOT of tea. I probably need a Tea Caddy. There sure are a lot of different styles available. I like some of the antique ones (about $50-$200), but I tend to keep my loose tea sealed. 

There are some newer ones for bagged tea (bamboo, acrylic, all kinds of materials), but I have a lot of the herbals that do not have an outer bag or a string and tag, so it is difficult to figure out which is which if they are all dumped into one container. 
Most beautiful antique--about $399

Right now, I have the boxed teas in a basket I made and the individually bagged teas in a smaller basket. 

And since I don't have to send a son on a four year journey to an imperial palace in order to bring some tea back to me, I will probably not get a box with a lock.

A tin makes sense. It seals with out a lock and might hold loose as well as bagged teas. I remember we had one like this when I was growing up, but it only held buttons as far back as I can remember. I am still enjoying the search.

1.17.15--Happy Birthday--It's gonna be one of those months...

Happy Birthday, SouthFloridaNiece#1 !

Can't believe this didn't post this morning. 

Anyway, happy birthday to one of the special people I know who PREFER the essay question to the scantron response test. We are a very elite group.

1.16.15--Knice Knitting

This is my new favorite hat pattern. It is called the 1898 Hat and is a pattern selected for the 115th anniversary of The Seamen's Church Institute's (SCI) Christmas at Sea program. The hat is specifically designed for Mariners who need the extra-warm ear coverage. I have knit some and I see a bunch more in my future. It is a very satisfying knit that requires a little less than 200 yards of worsted weight yarn and two afternoons of knitting time. Then crown of the hat allows for color work and some cables, maybe.

1.15.15--Happy Birthday--It's gonna be one of those months...

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Don't worry, I didn't spend money sending you flowers. Look at these for free.
January's flower is CARNATION

1.13.15--Happy Birthday--It's gonna be one of those months...

Happy Birthday, AwaySon!

I will drink a cup of Russian Caravan tea in your honor. 

I raise my glass to you. (Despite the family crest, this is not one of your gifts, it is a picture I stole from Wikipedia.)

Tea, a popular drink in Russia since 1638.
Russian Caravan style tea is a classic smoked black tea, made with a blend of Keemun, Lapsang and Assam. It was made popular along the trade route from China to Russia.

Imagine traveling the plains of Asia by camel train with a "precious cargo of tea destined to the opulent courts of St. Petersburg. During the Czar’s time tea was the most important drink after vodka."

I don't know about you, but I think I would prefer it before vodka.
1898 HAT, my new favorite hat to knit, modeled by Headley.
Link takes you to the pattern by Kristine Byrnes on Ravelry


HAH! Like that is going to happen. 

Well, it DOES say expect LESS...


January is a big month for birthdays in my families. I am only acknowledging family birthdays on the blog, but I have so many friends ALSO born in January. How common is your birthday? Swiss designer gone NYC, Tina Roth Eisenberg put this chart on her design blog/studio. 


If you had a spare shipyard lying around in your country, what would you do? 
Why, build a theme park, of course.

"Les Machines de l’île" is a totally unprecedented artistic project. Born from the François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice’s imagination, it is at crossroads of Jules Verne’s "invented worlds", of the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and of Nantes’ industrial history, on the exceptional site of the former shipyards.

As if there weren't 1001 reasons to go to France anyway, riding around a theme park on an elephant inspired by a design engineer's wildest dream would be enough. 

The Island of Machines has a place where you can watch the engineer/artists at work, a book and gift shop, cafe, carousel, and much more. 

I dare you to watch and not be intrigued.

1.7.15--Happy Birthday--It's gonna be one of those months...

Happy Birthday, HomeSon!


I tried a new (to me) tea last week. I can't wait to get some more.
Gift from my LLB friend. (Lovely L. B., a quilty friend from BOTH guilds)


I will be looking for a box that looks just like this one. I KNOW I have seen it in a shop somewhere...

It is a TISANE. I have been watching all the Hercule Poirots while I continue the scarf knitting marathon. When I selected this packet, I heard David Suchet's voice say, "It is ten o'clock, Miss Lemon. Time for my tisane."

I had never heard anyone say the word before and now I know it is pronounced tee SOHN.


What I tried last week:
Definitely a WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE. I bought an envelope of the RED Miso, but it is labeled Traditional Japanese Style and I wonder if it will be a little too fishy flavored for my taste. 

Oh, well. WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE IT? I will have spent $.94 on a little knowledge and everyone knows knowledge is power...


I discovered a new artist: Nathan Ripperger of Dubuque, Iowa. I saw some of his work on Pinterest and followed it to his Etsy.com shop. He illustrates things he has said to his children. Go check his shop, I am sure something will resonate with you.

I bought a set of three as a New Year's gift to myself. He has given me permission to show you the one that caught my eye first.
Nathan Ripperger does NOT need more awesome.
Clearly he has an unlimited supply.

It will hang in my bathroom. I also bought one of his designs for my work-out room and one for my studio. Go to his site and see if you can figure out which ones I liked almost as well as the penguin. I'll let you know if you were right.

I think he has a great sense of humor, and a nifty style, and I am glad I gave myself this gift. After all, almost everyone can use a little more awesome.

12.31.14--Kid President's 20 Things We Should Say More Often

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Things to think.


Tuffy Tea Strainer came into my household not long ago. It does a very good job and Is so helpful when I drink tea made from the teas I have in loose form. Lately, I have been drinking the Kusmi Troika tea, which I have mentioned before. Although I stopped drinking American and British made Earl Grey, this Parisienne Troika is so perfectly blended, no one flavor overwhelms. I am inspired to try some other Kusmi teas.


Each day is new waiting for me to decide how its history will be written.


I tried a different city for my weekly grocery shopping. Same store, but different variety available. 

I am indulging in my passion for Indian Food, and pretty much hitting the non-GMO, vegetarian offerings. 

Here is what we had over brown rice last Tuesday. As Christmas Eve-eves went, it was pretty good.


My SmallTalk Quilt group exchanged gifts. I received from Scarborough, Ontario, but it is a mystery who sent it.

I blurred the return address and my own personal details, but really, the return label was not much of a clue!

The package held some pretty Christmas neutral fabrics--enough to give me a head start for next year!

Some cute little reindeer clothespins
And an armchair caddy for needlework! Whoever she is, she knew how I would enjoy the orange and gray prints.

And if she is reading this, we ate the candy before I took the lens cap off the camera!


New Winter Holiday Tradition!
WRIGHT INN in Asheville, NC
We traveled to Asheville and stayed at a great little spot.
Carriage House at the Wright Inn

We walked around the city, explored new restaurants, and made time to go to the Biltmore. We took the candlelight tour and it was lovely! I learned to use a new camera and enjoyed some time outdoors. 
Stately Elegance
When we came back, we took a day and climbed the trail to the top of the falls at Amicalola State Park. Then we walked down the 425 steps, snapping photos all the way. It was a pleasant day despite the overcast sky.
Steeper than it looks
Not all of the trail up was difficult for footing.
Yes. 425 steps down is strenuous.

Just a taste of the payoff.


Merry Christmas! We had a red and green Christmas Eve. Sun dried tomato, pesto, whole wheat pizza. New traditions!


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
HomeSon, me, Lily Dog


Pantone Color of the Year for Spring 2015 is MARSALA
Lifted right off the Pantone site

Every year, Pantone predicts which color designers and consumers will be buying over the next year. They describe this year's color as "a naturally robust and earthy wine red."

It is named for a fortified Sicilian wine, and Pantone hopes it will embody the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal...emanating a sophisticated, natural earthiness. 

They claim it is universally appealing, but press has shown that is not really the case. Marsala has had some unfavorable comparisons in the design trade. (Go HERE to read what Kristin Hohenadel has to say.)
Lisa, wisely, does not wear the color next
to her skin for she knows it is not a good one for her.
Lisa Eiseman from Pantone notes that the color "combines dramatically with neutrals, including warmer taupes and grays. Because of its burnished undertones, sultry Marsala is highly compatible with amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range."
Silks waiting to become saris in India

I don't know if I would call it sultry. In fact, I think some publicist or assistant got the name WRONG, looked it up, and concluded it was a fortified wine. I think they originally meant MASALA, which is Arabic for seasoning, and is favored in food from the Indian sub-continent. Surely SULTRY is a great descriptor for for THAT.
Powders awaiting the Holi Festival, or Festival of Colors

Pantone has some "color pairings" (more WINE imagery), but just like last year, I see a LOT of Walmart blue and pink. Just yuck.

Stylecaster.com shows the top 10. Here are my 4 top Walmart color picks. There is a pink (predictably), but I am saving that.

Here are Aquamarine, Scuba Blue, Lucite Green, and Classic Blue. If you ever go to Walmart to buy women's T-shirts, you will see some familiar colors. First of all, just because it is called AQUAMARINE, doesn't mean it has any relationship to aqua, or marine blue. In fact, it is really just plain old baby blue. I put a little square of Marsala in the corner. They do not do much for each other. 

Nor does SCUBA  do much besides remind me of my favorite turquoise shirt which I have to keep buying over and over because I don't wear a bib when I eat. (I complain about the typical Walmart blues and pinks but turquoise ALWAYS gets an exemption from me, no matter the origin.)

LUCITE ? No. Lucite evokes CLEAR and TRANSLUSCENT. This rendition is too muddy. Marsala doesn't like it, and neither do I. 

CLASSIC didn't have much of a chance. I think it would be luscious as a small accent color with the Marsala, but I have the proportion wrong to show it to its best advantage.

STRAWBERRY ICE--as pinks go, I have seen worse. It is kind of retro with the Marsala. I will have to think about that. Somehow, the two colors which should have been warm together are a little bit cold. 

Yes. I do like TANGERINE. The balance is wrong, though. Marsala would make a good accent on Tangerine, or the other way around. In equal proportions--too intense. I don't know where to look to rest my eye.

GLACIER is just another blue. To give it its due, it does look like a good contrast. I think many of the grays would do well with Marsala but I would take care with the greener grays.

Oh. Unfortunate. CUSTARD has a lot of potential but I am thinking this yellow needs a little brightening with Saffron, maybe.
MUCH, much better, don't you think? 
FSU fans say YES.

Saffron in the wild will bear me out on this.
Harvested Saffron...........................Saffron in flower

Check the three colors Mother Nature put with Marsala: lavender, emerald, and saffron. Look at her proportions, too. She gets it right most of the time.