I'm making another purse, and I've started a toddler hat - in PINK!

I bought some bright pink cotton yarn and found a very cute pattern for a cotton hat, I've only done a few rows of the ribbing and can tell it will be pretty cute!!

I also bought more denim wool to felt a purse, but I also bought some multi-colored mohair yarn, with gold thread woven through it, to make a purse with some woven embellishment. I'm knitting again and feeling pretty good about it!!


OK - I'm ready to knit again. Need to get creative.


Ouch!! my wrist hurts. I've ridden my motorcycle 3, 328 miles since May 9th. My right wrist is in pain, but, the trip to Washington D.C. with 300 or more bikers every day, all the planning, meetings, training, more meetings, meals, fuel stops, itineraries, questions, of course friendships made, emails, phone calls, details, etc., I miss my knitting (clearing my head).

I'm so ready to knit. I'm hoping to stock up and knit some each day. We still have a lot of follow-up work ahead of us, but my thoughts come together as I knit. I thought of a great bag concept today and am anxious to get started.

Also, want to start making small bags that can be carried in motorcycle luggage. Maybe drawstring. I found a source for fasteners, so my creative limits are expanding!!

I start a weaving class in two weeks, I should end with a scarf or throw. Gotta get creative soon!!

Don't want that old fear of failure to return.


Run For The Wall 2009 Mission Complete

Walking to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall yesterday, watching men with gray hair, leather vests adorned with pins and patches, following our "leaders," the two Route Coordinators whose planning and leadership staff kept us safe, all across the nation, I processed a lot of painful thoughts.

One tough memory was realizing that 40 years ago this month, I had my 21st birthday, and the next month our 2nd wedding anniversary, while my husband was overseas. I had very little money, our first son was born just after he left, and I was hurt, disappointed and resentful of the American government and the war protests showering the media. Floods of memories came back as I held our little video camera above the crowd yesterday to capture the laying of the "Mission Accomplished Plaque" at the apex of the wall.

More than 58,000 names are on that wall - many of the motorcycle riders who took this journey with us were finding names and doing rubbings to treasure this moment, and reflect on the past. So many tears, so many people, the general public outnumbered our masses probably at least 800 of us coming down the Lincoln Memorial stairs from a photo shoot, to the wall behind our leaders.

The crowd atmosphere changed before we reached the center, we entered quietly, walking to the outside of the brick walkway - the crowd seemed to be going the opposite direction glancing at the slab wall, and moving onward to other memorials, but there was a certain pause, when two bikers purposefully stepped through the crowd, observers aimed their cameras, and the instant of time was captured. We are at the wall, we've completed the mission, months of planning years of personal training and preparation, a generation of questioning the Vietnam war, the separations, the hurts, the squelched dreams, floods of emotions at the wall, and yet today... looking forward already to 2010 Run For The Wall.

I'm so honored to do the Run For The Wall this my 7th year. We've met people who will be friends for a lifetime, we've established a legacy, seen changed lives, watched people pick up the burden for veterans, hugged, cried and rode across country together, stood in lines for meals, stood in line for bathrooms, sat on our overheated bikes lined up for fuel, and stood in the hot sun on blacktop parking lots waiting for traffic or accidents to clear. We've tolerated each other when we're grumpy and laughed at nonsense along the way. I so love the Run For The Wall participants, and leadership. God has given us new family members and we truly want to stay in touch with them.



This is so creative, had to highlight it - not that I would do it.

Click on the picture to find out what it is.


Memory Lane. Arts Crafts and cooking for pre-schoolers in the 70's

I ran a day care center for 140 kids in the '70's.

Was thinking the other day of the types of crafts we did with the kids.

Their favorite was cooking. We made Macaroni and Cheese from the box, but let the kids stir in the butter and cheese, we made ants on a log, celery, peanut butter with raisins on top. Apple slices dipped in syrup and peanut butter. We got baby-food jars poured in 1/4 of the container, heavy cream, tightened the lid and let them shake the jar till we had homemade butter.

We heated oil in electric skillets. Cut holes in the middle of Pop-Can Biscuits, dropped the biscuit and the cut out hole into the oil to fry our own donuts, then dropped the hot donuts into a bowl of powdered sugar and ate them warm.

Cookies and Cakes were a staple, and lots of jello.

At the time our little family lived on a farm. Touching the baby bunnies in their cages, and watching the chickens run free accross the field was an awesome field trip. We collected wildflowers and took them back to the school to dry them and use in crafts.

Besides large plastic needles and yarn sewing into cardboard, and gluing macaroni and spaghetti into designs on cardstock or poster board, we made our own pinata's for them to hit with a pole on special occasions. The best ever was a giant pumpkin we made with a base of one of those giant "balloon" sit-on balls with a handle, kids sit on them and bounce across the room. We paper mache'd them with layers and layers of newspaper, let it dry over night at adding layers 4 days in a row, then cut a hole and cut apart and removed the giant balloon. Filled it with toys, coins and candy. It took forever to break, but it was a memorable Pumpkin!!

There was always controversy back them. Parents had opinions about everything. Using food as crafts, color dye # 70 or something like that, pasteurized milk, sugar drinks, natural vs. commercial peanut butter, candy or no candy, running with scissors, jello dried on the lunch room floor, whew.

I'll tell ya, I loved those kids, and we made a lot of memories.

I think my favorite was giant boxes of q-tips (cotton swabs). Containers of broken crayons and poster board. We used muffin tins, removed the paper from crayons, dropped like colors into different sections of the muffin tin, put the muffin tin in a giant electric skillet that had a low level of boiling water in it (home made double boiler) melted the crayon and let the kids dip and paint with the colored wax. When it dried solid they had flat mini-pancake sized crayons to color with, which was unique enough to keep them occupied.

We made candles this way too.

We also wrapped book fronts vertically with yarn, then wove over/under with other pieces of yarn to make homemade woven book covers.

We cleared out large areas on tile floors and built huge domino designs, and card houses from dozens of packs of playing cards.

Remember decoupage? We found pictures in magazines, cut them out, painted decoupage over them onto wooden pieces, great mother's day gifts. We also used lots of items from nature, dried flowers on rocks, decoupage. Bugs on sticks, decoupage. The boys loved this one.

A funny story. A four year old after her first day at our day care went home, went straight to her bedroom, got out her box of crayons and proceeded to break each one of them in half or thirds into a bowl from the kitchen. Her Mom was pretty protective of her child's possessions, so she scolded her for the deed, and the 4-year-old said, but I want my crayons to be like the ones at school.

We had some influence!!


A Super Item to Re-Cycle - Leave a Legacy

When our son got engaged, I looked around our house to find a gift for his future home. Girls have cedar chests that they use to store items for their dream homes. Our sons went off to college dorm rooms pretty much with a few posters and a small closet of clothes. They accumulated items for apartments along the way, but don't think their future home was in mind all those years, or if it was we moved so much our "clean-out for the move," squelched whatever plans they had.

I thought a lot today about family treasures I didn't save. But the one thing I thought of when son #1 left was our handmade quilt wedding present from 28 years before. When I saw it in a clear plastic storage bag on our closet shelf, I had a brilliant idea.

I took it to a friend. It was RATTY (that means, unraveling, worn, coming apart) in many places. I asked her if she could make 3 teddy bears with the best parts of this quilt.

When our son saw the one I gave him, his eyes got HUGE!! He said, "Mom, you cut up your bedspread." It had been in storage for years, because I realized after a lot of years use that I was ruining it by washing it and using it, I felt guilty because so much work had gone into it, so I stored it, probably at least 18 years. So his memory of this quilt was from very young. He reminded me it was always on our bed in all the homes we lived in, it was in his good memories of our life on the farm, it was in every home when he was young, where other furniture and belongings went by the wayside.

It meant a lot to him. I have it back now, it is falling apart even more, the other two, they ain't in the best shape???

One is for me, the other for our other son. I need to get in that closet and renew (Upcycle) them again don't I...closets have a way of keeping things out of sight, out of mind, but I also know shoulda's don't count!!


Whether Weather or Not!

Riding a motorcycle across country with an organization like Run For The Wall is complicated by the weather. It's funny to us when people ask, "but what do you do when it rains?"

When it rains - we get very wet!!

What if you get into a major storm? - well, someone in leadership makes the decision for us to get off the road, but in the 7 years we've done this cross country ride we only had one time that we didn't get back on the bikes after a lunch break in Kentucky. A major storm hit during lunch and we delayed our schedule to let the high winds pass. Heading East, from California to Washington D.C. across the center of the USA means if we hit rain today, we hit it tomorrow, because weather follows East to West, unless there is a unique front blowing it away from that path ...

Our life depends on the weather, every meal stop, every night stop, every gas stop, every major turn in direction, if it rains, has rained, is going to rain, you dress accordingly, ride accordingly, plan accordingly.

I'm thankful for my blackberry, I'm thankful for GPS and XM radio, and CB radios ... the weather channel.

Got my ears on, I'm wired, got my rain suit, heated riding jacket, and my cool vest (a vest you soak in water, and wear for temperatures over 90 degrees). We leave Los Angeles at 70 to 80 degrees, go through Needles, CA at over 100 degrees, and end the same day in Williams, Az where it will be under 40 degrees that same night. Quite a test of our endurance for sure.

WHY WHY WHY do I do this?

I'm so proud of America's troops and Veterans - THEY ARE MY REASON WHY!!

www.rftw.org Run For The Wall (my 7th year)

My husband is the leader of the Run (Central Route) this year, he's very humbled by the responsibility and dependent on all his volunteers who have stepped up to help get over 1000 riders across this great nation.


Updating a post from earlier this year.

I talked about a motorcycle ride I am doing this month, several months ago, in a post.


I'm starting that run today, no I'm not going across country by myself, after much planning and thought, prayers, and conversation with people, I've decided to ride in the pack. I'm my husband's personal Camelback Filler (a water bladder that holds ice water and has a hose that you can drink from riding down the highway.

I'm still very excited about the ride across country, had always wanted to go on my own, but I'm one of a very low percentage of women who do this trip, so that's an accomplishment to be proud of, especially at my age.

Good enough for me.


How to Knit an i-cord, step-by-step video!

I finally did a video knitting an i-cord.

After casting on 3 stitches, move them to the left needle, knit the 3 stitches and move them back to the left needle, repeat. This causes the yarn to wrap around into a tube.

Go to this link to see my YOUTUBE video.

If you don't know how to cast-on or how to hold your yarn to get started, check out www.knittinghelp.com


Up Cycled Tea Cups

WOW, this is neat.

In an effort to see what inventive ideas people have from common everyday items, I ran across this item. Click on the picture to go to her current web page. She's a very creative lady.


Wonder what I'll do in retirement?

All the different places we are able to visit, I'm also honored to have some shopping time, and some computer time for research. I find so many things I want to do, this keeps me going. I have to pace myself, but it is so good to have projects in the wings. Its so healthy to have goals, short term and long term. I'm having lots of thoughts about retirement which is in my future. Some of the things I long for is some residual income from my creativity.


AARP is my friend. Guess I need to organize my closets for the collection of supplies I'll need.


Reuseable Bags, Market Bags, Recycled Pop Bottles

I've actually seen bags made out of recycled pop bottles. They are kind of a strange material, but they hold a lot, and I suppose the ones I have will be around a lot of years. As I have bags that I have used and reused for years.

I've actually gotten rather irritated over the large collection of plastic grocery bags that I accumulate when I forget to carry my re-usable fabric bags to the grocery.

There's something about "baggers," people who bag groceries, these days. They only put 5 items in a plastic bag, sometimes it's 5 cans of can food, sometimes it's a bag of apples, a bag of cereal and three toiletry items, usually they're pretty good at keeping the bleach in a separate bag from the new dish towels or bananas, but that's about all the separation of items I get unless I separate them myself on the conveyor. Ever thought about how many times you handle the groceries you buy?

Off the shelf
Out of the cart
into the car
out of the car
into the cabinet
into the pan
into the trash

Should be in the grocery business.

And what about toys for the kiddos and all that packaging and plastic, and all the tools and human adult hands that it takes to open the packages - we have a running joke in our family that it takes at least one adult per child to help open packages on birthdays and Christmas. This is another topic for another day.


I got HACKED on Facebook

Seems like no matter how careful I am, I got spoofed. A valid comment came to my email ... looked totally valid it was from someone I ocasionally get emails from, so I trusted it and opened it. I went to my facebook account (to read the comment) and had to sign in - I noticed my email wasn't already in the user id field, so I entered it and my password. This took me to Facebook - but stole my email.

Evidently this was a pfishing attack...it took my email and password went in and sent an email to all my contacts on Facebook - this is creepy stuff.

Be familiar with sign in and Home page stuff, I thought having to put in my email (userid) again was different, I always sign-in. I felt like an idiot, and probably put a lot of people at risk of having their user id and password compromised. SORRY FACEBOOK FRIENDS!! I'm off of there for now, hesitant to go back.


Natural Wool, Natural Food Dyes.

Continuing on the vein of re-cycling. How about using natural dyes? Onion skins to dye wool, or beets, I have to eventually learn this stuff. Here's a neat link to a post


Rolling Yarn into a SKEIN

I just hate to get yarn untangled, but I also really dislike getting into the middle of a project and having to join new yarn, because I got impatient at the beginning of the project and cut the yarn, to get it untangled. I guess what bothers me most is the interruption of having stop momentum. I put myself under too much pressure to complete a project then take short cuts and pay and pay and pay for them by fixing my errors or figuring out a way to mask them. I really am making a huge effort to tear out and start over when I miss it!!

So, before I get started on a big project of dying my own wool, I'm going to undertake the project of putting the yarn in a SKEIN.

This blog has a cute tutorial on dying and skein-ing your own yarn.


A call for another hug and kiss ... See Ya Wouldn't Wanna Be Ya!

We left Russ's birthday party with our grandkids, son and daughter-in-law last night.

Aven, our 2 year-old granddaughter, is nuts about her Papaw. We got in our car, they got in theirs, and Aven starting shouting to her Papaw from her car seat, that she needed another hug and kiss. None of us have ever seen him move quite that quickly. He had to say good-bye to Aven again. Aven & Russ have an awesome connection. It brings all of us great joy watching these two.

We say goodbye to family, make arrangements for all those things that may come up while we're gone, pack all that stuff we're sure we need on the road ... this is our lives year 'round.

But this week we're leaving for Run For The Wall which is the highlight of our year for the last 7 years. As family calls us back for another hug and kiss, it causes me to think of the friendships that mean so much to us who are calling us to CA, see you there my friends.


When we parted after Easter dinner Aven shouted, "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!" It's quite surprising how verbal she is at 2, and we love it. When we part we are aware of the diversity of relationships and opinions, but we also know we are loved ... and are embraced by those who love us.

PS the photo is one our d-i-l posted on her blog awhile back. This is our oldest son, and youngest grandkid, for my readers who don't know. We are so proud of our family!

Prayers for safety, changed lives and our role and purpose to be revealed are greatly appreciated.


Using your scraps of yarn.

Since I love to felt, I often take several very small strands of a variety of colors, take them to the sink (only works with wool) run Hot water and add a little liquid dish soap (I use Dawn). I work the wet yarn in to a ball, and make embellishments, felt yarn balls can be added to just about anything, trim on arm warmers, top off a hat, trim a scarf, make a necklace the list goes on and on,

Here's a link to a neat article I found about using scrap yarn - DON'T THROW IT AWAY


How to Use Scraps of YARN


Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Stomach Flu, Fluless!!

The absolute last thing we need is the FLU.

I have no desire to do the SOCIAL DISTANCING thing that the media is PROMOTING. BUT, today in a public bathroom, two ladies in their separate stalls were talking about how sick they've been, and one had a sore throat in that public place, and I'll admit I had a more than normal irritation about their conversation - washed my hands longer that the A-B-C's song too!!

I do not want to get the flu. I had severe dehydration probably from food poisoning last summer, and that's way sicker than I ever want to be again, but I can guarantee you, if I get sick, I'll do everything in my power to keep from giving it to anyone else, like I've done all of my __ years. Having to go to an in-service or disaster preparedness to teach myself how to sneeze into my sleeve or cover a cough is a little strange. PEOPLE - keep the flu to yourselves,

Teach your children well ... as children we were taught... Let's stop this flu. Individual responsibility. Goodness, we're about to ride motorcycles across this country, visit hospitals and schools, memorials and Veterans facilities all over this nation, if we all do our part, we can still be some comfort to each other, and stay well.


Knitting Guild, Knitting Classes, Simply Knitting in a Group.

When I get home this summer, I'm hoping to do maybe a once a week or at least once a month knitting group, not a class necessarily, but knitting together, coaching each other. I joined the knitting Guild Association, I plan to look up some other members and get going.

Exciting stuff, new ideas, new projects, new friends, new paths. I love being creative.

Great Retreat - I learned a lot about re-cycling.

My favorite quote from the weekend was during the ice-breaker, our assignment was to get to know another lady for a few minutes, then introduce her to the group, and to try to talk some about re-cycling, since the theme was Going Green for God. One introduction included a young Mom who said she is a good steward of water in her home - her kids never flush the toilet.

Got some great ideas about re-cycling, and wanted to share them for the next several days.

Carried my purses and purse knitting kits to the retreat, sold 2 purses and 2 kits, and met so many nice ladies. We had so much in common, it was very pleasant.

One item I presented this weekend was a wool sweater that I washed in HOT water before cutting off the sleeves. Once the sleeves were cut off, I knit a trim on the cut edge, and made arm warmers. Shopping at thrift, consignment, goodwill or salvation army stores buyint 100% wool and using the sleeves for arm warmers - great gifts next winter!!

Here's a neat article on that topic. It involves actually unraveling items you buy at a thrift store.


CraftStylish is a great web page.



Womens Retreat - come apart lest ye fall apart!

I'm running away for the weekend with my sis. We're going to a women's retreat, and we're taking our knitting. I've packed all my purses (only 6) and 4 purse knitting kits, because as one of the presenters this weekend, they said I could display and sell my items. This is exciting.

I'll report in when I return - it is in the boonies and they say no phone service (probably no email either, so-o-o-o) ... I'm outa here.

You can buy this poster.