Happy Birthday Dad!

My Dad and I on my Wedding Day

Today is my dad's birthday! So I figured I would dedicate today's blog to my dad.

My dad is quite the guy, he can fix anything, open anything, and pretty much do anything. He's kind, sweet, caring, strong, compassionate, handy, helpful, funny, sarcastic, smart, humble, gentle, and most of all loving. I've learned the importance of hard work and how it pays off at the end of the day. My studying capabilities for school are totally the result of my dad who used to read my assignments and "hammer" me right before a test. My problem solving abilities comes from my dad who could always figure a way to fix something or make something better.

Not to brag but my dad can fix just about anything, or if you need a random thing-a-ma-bob that you saw on TV to make some new fandangled craft that peaked your interest, he can figure out how to make you one. He can build doll houses, piano benches, bread boxes, cabins, chicken coops, shelves, book cases, spare parts for toys that are broken, and he can make the best cupcakes you've ever had. He can read the most boring paper you've ever written for grad school and come up with insightful questions. If you need a set of doll chairs and a table for your tea parties, he can make you one (now my mom might steal it and keep you from it once you grow up, but that is just because it is so cute).

If you are going to be living on an island for 6 weeks one summer for an archaeological dig and you need a bunch of tools as a part of the project he can figure out the best ones to get and even some that you didn't think of. You need tools for a new wire jewelry project that you aren't quite sure about he can tell you what might work (and he's always right on the money).

When you are little and your hair needs to be curled for a dance recital and your mom is at work, he can figure it out. He can play barbies and He-man and set up an entire battalion of green army men in your living room while your mom is at work. He knows that even though it has a funny name "aba zabbas" and "big hunks" are the best candy to eat when flying model airplanes on the weekends. He knows that the best treat after dance class with your best friend is the Yogurt Mill with jelly beans "on the side." He knows that even if you are lost all day on a 3-wheel motorcycle it can be fun (even when your mom is livid when you finally get back). My dad knows that the best clam strips are in Morro Bay and that climbing on the rocks there is a lot better then going antique shopping. My dad knows how to pan for gold with patience (even though you've been a brat the whole trip and refused to eat anything other than McDonalds). He knows that the best hotel is one that has a pool, even though your mom thinks you're crazy for wanting to go swimming when its freezing.

He can teach you how to drive a stick shift without scaring the heck out of you (except that one time on the hill). He can encourage you when you decide to throw shot put and discus in high school because some guy said you couldn't (even though you are the smallest one on the team). When you decide in college to be an archaeologist he thinks its cool, unlike most of your friends parents who give you the blank stare followed by the comment "and what are you going to do for a real job."

On your wedding day he can calm you down when the emotions start getting to you, he can dance with you, talk with your friends, and welcome your husband into your family. He can help you move when its hotter than hell, baby sit your insane dogs that keep your parents up all night, and drive all the way to your house to check on your cats when you are on vacation. He can appreciate the time it takes to knit a sock, he's interested in the new craft projects you are working on and wants to know how you made them.

When your favorite uncle dies and you are beyond devastated he is there for you with hugs and support even though you feel like the world around you is crumbling. He's always there to let you know that things will work out and everything will be OK; somehow even if you don't believe it, you believe in him and that is enough.

My dad is freaking awesome. He knows how to love unconditionally, be supportive, encouraging and sympathetic. He is a strong man and a fabulous person. So here's to my dad, I hope he has a Happy Birthday and always know how much I love and respect him.

I love you Dad!

New inspirations

II love these colors - Flower from Maui

Today was full of new inspirations. My new issue of Piecework magazine came in the mail a few days ago and I had yet to sit down and check it out. Inside was an article about an art installation "Roses from the Heart" which involves 25,266 replica's of colonial women's bonnets. Apparently England used to forcibly transport convict women from to America (until 1776) and Australia. This installation of bonnets commemorate their struggle and the artist Christina Henri is hoping that people from around the world volunteer to sew a bonnet as to represent one of the convicts. A pattern is provided on her web page and we are asked to embroider the bonnet roses and hearts as well as the name of the convict on the outside of the bonnet. More information can be found here. Now I don't know really how to embroider but this project really tugged at my heart strings and I e-mailed the artist for additional information. I am totally interested in contributing to such a unique event which will go on display as a part of International Women's Day.

I was really excited about reading the article and checking out the information on the website provided. I think this is an interesting project and I look forward to contributing to it.

I also stopped by a small thrift shop this afternoon on my way home from lunch and stumbled upon a few unique finds: I found some knitting needles, an old knitting pattern book, an old wooden Boyle needle holder, a funky cardboard box for "Puritan" needles, a funky lamp that looks like a mini-spinning wheel and the greatest find.....a sewing machine in the cutest little desk. My sewing machine is a "New Home" Sewing Machine, model K and it was made in Orange Massachusetts. I'm not sure if it is model 5360 or 4122. It has the desk of 5360 but only one door instead of 2, there is only 1 door on the 4122 so I'm not sure which one it is. Either way according to the information I have found so far the pamphlet advertising the Model K was printed between 1910-1940. So I was pretty jazzed. I knew it was pretty old but I didn't realize it was that old!

When I got it home I found that it had its original operating instructions in one of its drawers and when I stuck my head under the table to look inside I found a small old woven basket with little bobbins full of thread. It was quite the find. I absolutely love it. I'm trying to research more about the sewing machine to narrow down the dates but still I'm pretty jazzed about it!

I'm looking forward to fixing up (or I should say begging my Dad who can fix anything to help me fix up) my "new" sewing machine. If I can get it working I think I'll try to sew my bonnet for the "Roses from the Heart" project, obviously the time frame is a little off but I still think it would be pretty cool.

Now I just need to learn how to embroider.....but hey if I can knit socks how hard can embroidery be? (I'm hoping that doesn't come back to bite me in the butt)

Socks, Stamps, Shopping, and Smiling

Maui Sunset =)

What a whirlwind couple of days. Teaching, knitting, shopping, driving, and lots of smiling pretty much sums it up. I finally got to catch up with my friends Kelli and Matt, unfortunately our other partner in crime Amy was out of town and she was greatly missed, but it was great seeing Kelli and Matt. We had a yummy lunch, saw a hilarious movie, and managed to drag Matt shopping and he was a great sport about it!

I survived teaching my first knitting class without too many bumps and bruises. It's ironic that I feel completely comfortable waxing and waning on and on about archaeology and the historical development of cultural ecological theory in graduate school but get me to teach knitting socks (something I love and a lot less complicated) and I need a Valium or about 10 skeins of hand dyed sock-yarn to calm myself down. The class had some ups and downs but I think that for the most part it went pretty good, we'll see how class 2 goes in a couple of weeks but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everyone will get their homework done and succumb to the propaganda I have been spewing about the joy of knitting socks.

Speaking of socks, the Pop! Corn socks are making some excellent progress, I could go on and on about the corn yarn again but I already did that a few days ago and I'm sure I'll be mentioning it enough as the socks progress. The cuff is done, the body is done, the heel is turned and I'm only a few inches away from the toe. Unfortunately the other Calypso socks that I have been working on have taken the back-burner to the Pop! Corn socks. The other socks shall now be referred to as Kelli's Socks since I succumbed and showed the sock in progress to her when we got together for lunch and a movie this weekend. Ordinarily I'm really good about picking out yarn for certain people (Kelli in particular since she likes such bright colors) and I honestly didn't expect the yarn to knit up and scream "Kelli" as much as they did when I started working on them. I figure resistance is futile but I can at least drag out the knitting progress for a little bit before I have to surrender them. =) On the other hand, the faster I get Kelli's socks finished the sooner I free up my needles for another pair of Corn socks..........at least I have my motivation!

Taking a break from knitting I've realized that the first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem. So here it goes...... I'm a stampaholic. Stamps, paper, ink, embellishments, flocking, and dare I say it...GLITTER......I can't help it.

I think the best part about being crafty is learning new things and meeting new people. Today it was great because I ran into a few ladies that I had taken some classes with at the Stampin Post and we could rush around the store oohing and aweing over the new stamps! It was so much fun! I feel so lucky that I have the Crochet Cafe where I love to hang out. I never thought I'd be a craft store groupie but between the fabulous classes, great location, and awesome friendships that I've formed with the owner Debra, and other people I've met at craft night, it's great to have a home away from home to just sit, chat and work on projects. Life is always full of ups and downs, and from time to time some smile shortages, however I'm learning tapping into my creativity and sharing it with like-minded individuals provides and endless supply of easily accessible smiles.

Not to mention you really can't go wrong glitter, stamps, sock yarn or corn yarn for that matter....What can I say......I'm easily entertained....