Friday, March 12, 2010

A new beginning for Juice

This week, our family is celebrating a new member: daughter-in-law Juice. After nearly a year waiting for her visa, she is finally here in the US and on March 9th, they were able to marry. She feels she is beginning a whole new life -- new husband, new family, new country. My DH and I weren't able to attend (they live on the opposite side of the country from us) but will be with them for a celebration sometime soon.

It is nearly the middle of March, and mud season has begun here in New England. Or should I say, the first mud season (the other one is after the leaves have fallen...). Almost all the snow is gone and the small bits that remain are brown-tinged piles here and there. Rain falls instead of snow, but the ground is still frozen just a few inchs below the surface, so the rain cannot soak in...instead, it forms a slick layer of mud. As the temperature increases, the water will eventually defrost the soil and soak in, leading to spring. I get so impatient for the new green growth.

I've completed another pair of socks; I really like the effect of the self-striping yarns. And, I've started yet another pair -- one in spring shades of pale lavender, greens, pale yellow. One sock is half done.

Also this week, I made a basket and have finished a quilt top to give to my mom. Since she lives in Florida, and keeps her house quite warm, I won't add any batting and will, instead, make this into a coverlet. When It is complete, I'll add a photo.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Catching Up - Again

February was a busy, short month. I spent most of it off-line and with my mom in Florida. She's getting older, and every so often, I need to trek down to see how things are going with her. I was hoping for a sunny, warm break from the New England winter, but Florida was in the middle of a cold snap. In spite of the 40-50 degree weather, I persisted in pretending it was warmer and wore tees and sandals. I think the locals thought I was nuts; I probably am......

I finally finished the bright yellow socks from yarn my friends Margo and Nina gave me last spring. I have never been so slow on a sock project before. The yellow yarn is really, really bright and has stripes of red, pink, mint, blue, and taupe.

While I was away, my new paint brushes, inks, and ink stone arrived from China. Today, I played around with them and did a couple of easy test pieces to see how the brushes behaved. The first one is a very brief sketch of a mountain, the second is a few stalks of bamboo to test the various sizes and two types of inks. I have not finished that piece yet. Notice my new "chop" in red at the bottom? That was a treat my son and daughter-in-law-to-be (as of March 9th!) threw in the box for fun.

In this last picture, I was fiddling around with some leftover watercolors and some new rubber stamps. I rather liked the results.