Sunday, May 27, 2012

Feeling Crafty

I've said it before and it was no different this year - May is a horrible work month.  On the plus side, this year was a little less stressful on getting the work in.  Almost all of our clients are now computerized and there was no last minute data entry to worry about.  On the other hand, a couple of our group were scheduled to take a vacation the last week of May and we were hoping they would not have to lug along a laptop to handle any last minute mailings.  We went into high gear from the last week of April until we finished the last file on Tuesday of last week.  I was relieved to finish up early, but really pooped and looking forward to the three day Memorial Day holiday.

I thought about just taking the weekend off and spending the time on the couch reading or knitting, but I decided I needed to do something different and get my mind off work.  I decided to make Saturday a play day and I started by going to my favorite yarn shop, Yarnorama in Paige, to take a class in needle felting.

I had only a vague idea what needle felting was all about, but I'm always ready to explore a new needlework technique so off I went.  It turns out that needle felting is about compressing roving (carded wool or other natural fiber) with a very, very sharp needle to create shapes and designs.  The teacher had a lot of interesting examples to show us, from small teddy bears to elaborate Christmas ornaments, and then she set us to work to create our own designs on a wool ball.  I started with a simple flower on one side.

And then I tried a free form design on the other side.  By the time I had finished the second design, I was getting the hang of the process.

I remarked to the teacher that it was rather ironic to deliberately felt wool when, as a knitter, you worry more about keeping wool from accidentally felting.  Felting (both by water and by needle) has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity lately.  I've never really had any desire to try felting, but this version I can see coming in handy for mini projects.  I'm planning to make furniture (a bean bag chair perhaps), pillows and wall hangings for my future hippie bus dollhouse.

When the class ended, I considered that I was only 11 miles from Giddings and one of my favorite antique malls, so I decided a little bit of antiquing would be a good way to spend a few hours before heading home.  I thought I would get away with just window shopping, but then happened across a cross-stitch piece that I decided I had to have.

It was a bit expensive and I managed to walk away from it at first, but it was well done and was based on Proverbs 31, one of my favorite Bible passages.  I finally decided it would fit in nicely in the guest bedroom where I have other needlework pieces on display.

Buying a piece for the guest room got me into additional trouble.  Last Saturday I had spotted a shabby chic lingerie chest in a store in Smithville.  I had continued to think about the piece through the week and I decided to swing back home through Smithville and see if it was still there.   I knew it would look very nice in the guest room and provide a little needed storage for guests during their stay.   

I figured when I arrived at the store and it was still there, I was meant to have it.  (Especially when the store owner told me another lady had her eye on it and was due to bring her husband in to take a look later in the day.  The early unmarried bird who doesn't have to check with anybody, has an advantage.)

That stop put an end to my shopping spree, so I headed home and arrived just in the nick of time.  Little Mojo had been out of sorts for the previous 24 hours, unable to get along with anybody, not even his Mommy.  I had not been home long before we discovered why.  He was hit by one of the seizures that come along every few weeks or so, and this one was more severe than usual.  When it subsided, we settled him on the couch for a long nap beside me, and I kept myself occupied with starting a new scarf.  

I've gotten a little tired of the scarf I'm knitting at the moment (miles of 3x3 ribbing, pretty but boring after the first mile), so I decided to switch over to crochet for a little while.  I'm having a good time with this pattern and the colorful yarn.  I expect I'll be working on this project quite a bit this weekend - when I should be mowing and pulling weeds and cleaning house.  

This is lots more fun.  And I've earned a little play time.


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