Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dyed and Gone to Roving

Dying wool roving. 
So I still haven begun the sleeves on my sheep to sweater project sweater BUT since I got the spinning wheel in functioning order this week thanks to the awesome ladies at Yarn Underground's Knit Night I've now plied the yarn for sleeves and have the spinning bug. This time I yearn for color!!! My favorite way to get color into fiber is Kool-Aid. I stock up at Wal-Mart where it behooves them to carry all the colors. The least fancy the store demographic the more colors you're likely to find. The most key things for dying roving:
-acidity
-water
-heat
-not felting (no agitation, no drastic changes in temperature)
I arranged my roving (this is the fantastic roving I got from Uncle Doc!) in a 9x13 pan. Then fills it with enough water to cover the wool. I added 1 cup ish of white vinegar. Then I shook out Kool-Aid packets as seen above. I did not mix/stir/ anything the Kool-Aid. Just sprinkled on top. 
Then popped it in the oven. I turned it on to 400 degrees. When I came back it I was gently boiling I added some more water (tap hot) as some had in fact evaporated out and turned down the oven to 300*. When I could gently push the yarn down with a potato masher and see that the water above the yarn was clear I knew we were done. If I was a patient person I would have waited for the water to cool and pull the roving out onto a towel and then rolled the towel to press the roving dry. Alas, I am not patient. I pulled the roving out with tongs, may have burnt myself and may have made a giant water mess. But isn't it cool? And let me tell you how fantastic it smells! And how great our apartment smelled when dying it!!
Mmmmm can't wait to spin this! And dye more!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Tale of Two Quilts

Well, we made it over the river (several times) and through the woods to my in-laws home in Boise. I am now currently in bed taking a break from binding this house warming gift for them. 
As I was binding this runner, I began thinking about the quilt I was snuggled under. The blocks are from a friendship quilt exchange my mother participated in along with my aunt and many of my "other mother" family friends. This quilt top was assembled and donated to MCC to raise funds for world relief. The North Fresno MCC Quilters hand quilted this and then it went up for sale at the Central California MCC auction. It was there my mother purchased it. After some shifting around, it now resides at my in- laws home in their new guest bedroom. What a treat for me to enjoy this reminder here of so much love and how lucky I am that all my worlds are so blended. 

My sister was telling me that she read The Quiltmakers Gift with a young girl that she mentors. Quilts are gifts that go beyond thread and material, making them all the more special to have out, use them, and remember their stories. Sure, there nice to preserve for posterities sake, but when they're tucked away, how can new memories woven into their tales. So, get those quilts out, take a picture, and use them, love them, love the people you connect with them, and make memories. 

And me? I will go back to binding....and enjoying a tale of two quilts that have crossed paths. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ice-Expanding My Schema

So you've seen the adventures of Daisy in snow. Today we explore what a Freezing Rain Advisory means. 
I checked the weather this morning and saw "Freezing Rain Advisory." Based on information I already had, freezing rain meant the water was snow. I thought that's silly. Why didn't they just put snow. When I arrived at my car I began to start to comprehend. Rain that hits lingers and turns to ice. I'm not really sure about the logistics on this one BUT I do know it meant I couldn't open my car door.
When I pulled on the handle the ice cracked but the door wouldn't budge. I hip checked it to loosen ice but still no budge. The ice scraper-not useful. Hot water-really not useful-and also increased the barrier of ice on the ridge at the base of the door. Finally Luke in his pajamas, coat and boots was able to force it open. 
This ice was so not like frost. 
Once I finally got into the car and got it going, the fans meant a bit of water under the ice and started to melt. I began to hit it with the butt if my ice scraper to cause it to crack and shatter off. 
Seriously peeps. Like a quarter of and inch thick! 
So this is how Idaho weeds out the weak. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Daisy Does Snow

Having grown up in California, and taught middle school in Kansas (no recess in middle school and snow means snow day) it's still a bit surreal to me to be experiencing day to day things in snow. 
Here's the play area this morning blanketed in snow, and yep they played here. As did the people who made these footprints shortly after the snow. 
Me with snowflakes just after the kids had pre lunch recess and I was headed to my lunch break. 
My car. It never occurred to me that I shouldn't park my manual car facing uphill on a steep hill with snow on it. Duh. 
Yep. It's on the peoples grass strip. My principals solution: let it roll back as get both wheels on the curb to then steer off it. 
It worked. I wonder how I'll park tomorrow. 

Black Friday

was not a shopping day for me. At least it wasn't intended to be.
This one actually goes back a week. Luke had a bigger chunk of time off than I did so he left the Friday before Thanksgiving to go visit with his parents. That Saturday his dad had a big "work day" getting ready for a fundraiser put on by the hospital he works for. Luke tagged along to help
and they assembled and hung Santa, his sleigh, and his reindeer.  


Also during that week, Luke and John put up Christmas lights so that they could have their traditional day after Thanksgiving house lighting.
So, on Black Friday we went to the big Christmas Tree show/fundraiser.
We were joined by Jerel and Hailey Luke has known Jerel since forever, and we've loved having more chances to visit with them now that we've moved back to the area! 
We went back to the house and I got going on a turkey noodle soup from stock I'd made the evening of Thanksgiving! On a quick dash out I had driven by a Walgreens, on my way to the grocery store to get egg noodles. They had a sign that said 20% off Legos!?!? So I bought some. AND I had one of those rewards which I also used. Can you say jackpot?! 
We watched the boys unveil round 1 of the Christmas light festivities. 
Came in and enjoyed some soup. 
Then I introduced John, Luke and Neola to the magic of guessing which Minifigures are in the secret packet, actually being right, and the drive to finish the collection. We had one more errand that night (for shells and clay pigeons-my segue into the next post) and I convinced them that we should stop back at Walgreens for the rest of the collection. 
There we stood feverishly feeling up the Lego packets guessing at which Minifigure was inside.
I didn't see any of the stares because I was on a mission. Luke, John and Neola were great.
This was our haul: 
Once home we re-guessed and opened to confirm whether we were right or not.  
This actually turned out to be an excellent move because Luke caught our one and only error before we opened it!

Then Neola and I stopped by Target on Saturday to get the two Walgreens didn't have!
Sweet success! 
I was doing some grading in the computer lab, "My Room" or at least the room I decorated Lego Style, today and it was fun to hear some of their exclamations as they saw them when they came into the room! 
Icing on the cake was that we found this guy at Target too!
Luke and I built it together. 
Do you wanna build a snow man?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Day 2014

Christmas and Thanksgiving breakfast at the Nickodemus house always means "Sticky Buns" more commonly known as Monkey Bread.
For our big Turkey dinner we enjoyed a fun mix of the Nickodemus and Wood family!
L-R: Neola, Uncle Steve, Aunt Becky, Me, Beckham, Graham, Josh, Lisa, John, Luke.
Thank you photo shop magic for getting everyone in the picture! (Lisa and I took turns taking a picture and then I used an automated Photoshop program to merge them.)
Josh and Luke
Becky brought a fun dinosaur activity and Beckham, who is mega into dinosaurs, was thrilled!

We had two gravy's this year! I made the usual Roux gravy with flour and butter. 
Then, Aunt Becky showed me how to make a gluten/dairy free corn starch slurry gravy!
John and Aunt Becky 
Of course there must be Pinochle.
John's creative score keeping 
Beckham likes to be a dinosaur and has made the keen observation that dinosaurs don't wear clothes. 
We played the Highlights Hidden Pictures app for a bit! 
We were joined later by the third leg of the Wood Family, Stephanie, Mike, Eli and Gabe.
Here's we've depicted the great adventure of getting everyone to look and smile the same direction! 


Gabe are getting old enough to enjoy the famous marble game! My mom AND Neola both had a set and both saved their sets for when kids come over! 
 The grown ups were skeptics at first but once everyone saw how cool it was...
we we're joined by all! 
It was a great day of fun games and family! 
The funny part is that my dad and Cheri were having Thanksgiving dinner with Cherri's son and family who are also the Woods!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Popcorn. It's what's for dinner.

You know you have strong feelings about the weather when you husband is the first one out the door and he comes back and says "Honey, I just want to warn you there's snow on the ground."
Then, you feel like a weather chicken when it looks like this:
This was all melted by first recess when the snow turned to rain because the weather warmed up. 
Do you wanna build a snowman? 
Dinner last night after I got home from knitting was a very large bowl of popcorn.
An my super sale, super warm slippers have arrived! 
We each watched our own shows on our devices. Scary shoot em up movie for Luke, and I am finishing up my first time watching Gilmore Girls in order and not as re-runs. Ahhhh. I sure do like getting to hang out with Luke again. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cool Factor

Sooooo Idaho gets pretty cold(for me). Last week our highs were in the 20's, and my job involves quite a bit of time outside supervising recess. I'm learning there are a handful of things one doesn't even fathom until really truly working/living in the cold. (No my time on exchange doesn't count. I lived in this happy on campus bubble.)

1.) Shoe SizeS 
As in more than one. I've got the shoe size for ballet flats and Tom's and dress shoes with thin socks or a little liner sock, I've got a shoe size for when I'm wearing my wool socks, and I've got a shoe size for when I'm wearing wool socks and have toe warmers. This has made the debacle of choosing winter boots all the more interesting. 

2.) Cool-Factor
Cool-ness is no longer a factor. Socks with Toms? Yes please. I don't care if I'm dorky. I'm warm and comfortable - ish.  (My Tom's do stretch over time. They're now wool sock size.)

3.)Wiggle Wit It
 Wiggle room. Be sure to have some in your clothes. When you're getting ready for a full frigid day outside one must be wearing long underwear (top and bottom) a long sleeve shirt and a sweater, pants for inside and snow pants for wearing over the top outside. Some people think I'm ridiculous on this one, but snow pants cut the wind and insulate. Cool factor is out the window peeps. So that sweater you got to wear with a cami...its now rather snug with so many layers underneath. And those pants that make your butt look great? If they show off your butt they're too tight for this layer business. 

4.) Frozen Wood Chips

This my dear friends is a bizarre sensation. Woodchips normally get everywhere. On the clothes, in the shoes... when they're frozen they just clump together! They can be broken apart, and even come away in chunks. They're like a dense, mildly spongy, mat. The beauty is that when they're frozen the cling factor of wood chips is reduced dramatically, and they don't get in your shoes!

5.) The Hair
Ah, the symptoms of cold weather hair are generally a result of consistent hatting.
-static (dry air, lots of wool, static!)
-consistently mussed looking
-even if I've washed my hair THAT morning, when I get home after a day of hat application and removal my hair looks like I haven't showered for a week!

Coping mechanism: Braids. Lots of braids. Especially french braids. I braid my hair damp, to keep all wispies in. I wrap my head in a scarf at night to make said braids last longer.

6.) Frosty the Windshields
We're back to parking our cars outside and now time is to be allowed for warming up the car and scraping off the windshield. This always evades my mind until I walk out to my car and it needs to happen. Our clocks are all set to be 6 minutes fast now.