Sunday, August 19, 2018

Santa's finished!

I finished Santa on Saturday. Isn't he fantastic?
 I am so glad to have him done. Now I can move on to his sack of toys which goes in between Santa and the Snowman. 
Of course then there are 25 mittens and stockings to work on. I don't really think this will be finished for use this year. Especially as I have another special project that I want to work on. Unfortunately, I won't be able to share that one at all until it is finished as I want it to be a surprise for the recipient who I know reads my blog.
 Saturday started and ended with two different mysteries. First, I went outside to pick up the daily newspaper and noticed that our garage door was open. I thought I had closed it when I returned home the night before. I went over to it and pushed the button to close it and nothing happened. I went inside and told Hubby about it. We had experienced some bad thunderstorms the night before and he thought that maybe we had either had a power outage or power surge that automatically opened the garage door. It was probably the latter as all of our clocks were still on time which would not have happened with an outage. Hubby remembered a button to reset the opener and it worked. Thank goodness.
Then last night at around 9:30 pm our fire-alarms throughout the house started to go off. They only rang for no more than a second or two, but long enough that Hubby had to check each and every one. We still don't know why this happened. I think it is time to replace all of the batteries. All of our alarms are hard-wired, but they have back-up batteries that should be replaced once a year. We usually do this in April, but we didn't this year. There are two that are on cathedral ceilings which make for some scary tall ladder stretching to get to. I am much too short to reach them (and very afraid of heights). Hubby can just barely reach them....he is not too fond of heights either. He is usually somewhat shaky after he replaces those two batteries. I think this will have to be attempted today though. 

I have also been working on the next Operation Gratitude Scarf as well as my Breeze Infinity Scarf. You can see both of them below.
I am hoping to finish the donation scarf by Tuesday so I can hand it in at my stitching group. 
I decided to continue reading An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman. 
Image result for an english ghost story
I can't say that I love this book, but it did get more interesting once I got further along in the story. I am currently at a part of the story that I am once again not enjoying. It is a little too dark and gloomy for me with too much character angst. 

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. I will be working on the Advent Calendar today. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Saratoga

My husband is a big horse racing fan. Since we can't be away from home for more than a few days due to family obligations right now, we have been going upstate to Saratoga Springs, NY for one or two nights during the racing season as our vacation the past few years. There is a yarn shop and a quilt shop there so I usually have a treat also. 

This past Wednesday we drove up, hoping to visit the Gardens at Yaddo in the afternoon.....my treat for this vacation. This photo is dark because it is a dreary rainy day here today.
As the plaque says, Yaddo is a National Historic Landmark. It was conceived at the turn of the 19th century as "a working artists' community where creative artists pursue individual and collaborative projects in a supportive environment".
This gorgeous fountain is at the bottom of the hill that leads up to the mansion. The mansion is off-limits to visitors as it is still used for artistic pursuits and was covered in scaffolding as it is under restoration.
 Here is the entrance to the gardens.
 This is what you see when you walk through the gate.
 The gardens are primarily made up of roses with a smattering of sculptures.
 Here are some of the roses that were still in bloom. 
 Isn't the two-tone of this rose unique?
 Here is a pretty pink...
 and a peach colored rose...
as well as a pretty yellow.
In the center of the garden is a fountain with fish in it.
There was an interesting flower in this fountain also.
Off to one side is a sculpture of Christalan. "Christalan represents youth, chivalry, and victory over motality" according to the flyer. 
From the rose garden you could walk up to the pergola. It was starting to rain so we walked up quickly to see what was above.
This fountain was a treat to find. It is quite unusual. 
 There was a small stream down to yet another fountain, but it is dry as it is under renovation.
 When finished, it will be surrounded by spring and summer flowering perennials. There are a few there now.
 The sky was turning really dark so as we were leaving I snapped one last picture of an array of roses. 
The gardens were much smaller than I expected. We were there for maybe half an hour. Even on a sunny day I don't think we would have lingered for much more than an hour.
 We left the gardens just in time as the skies opened up as we drove to our hotel. We had a dinner reservation at an iconic Saratoga restaurant, Siro's. This restaurant is only open during the six weeks or so of the Saratoga thouroughbred racing meet. It is one of those places to see and be seen. We enjoyed a tasty meal. After dinner we went to the Harness Racing track for a couple of races. Hubby loves this atmosphere. I made one bet and had a small winner. Yay!
 We spent the next two days at the main thouroughbred racetrack. I would love to tell you that we won a bundle of money, but I spent those two days without another winning bet. I tend to bet Exacta boxes, which means that I am betting on a few horses to get 1st and 2nd place in any order. I came in 1st and 3rd or 2nd and 3rd more times than I want to count. There were a couple of races that my horses started out at the back of the pack and stayed there. Sigh.....Neither Hubby or I bet a whole lot of money on a race. The whole day costs us a lot less than most other vacation pursuits, but it can be quite discouraging to lose all the time. Hubby had a winning Day 1, but he and I were betting many of the same horses on Day 2 so it was a losing day for both of us. 
We had two nice breakfasts out and two great dinners. We spent two days out in the fresh air. All and all it was nice to get away.

I did bring my knitting and crocheting with me to work on in the car. I am knitting another Operation Gratitude scarf.
This is a similar pattern from the same old magazine as the last one.
I added a couple of rows to my Breeze Infinity Scarf.
Before we left, I spent a little time working on Santa's arm. 
Although I placed it in the correct position above, it is not attached yet as it still needs its glove.
I am hoping to finish it today, but our son came to visit this weekend so it may have to wait until tomorrow.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. 

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, August 5, 2018

August is here

It has been really hot and humid here on Long Island. I have been staying inside in the A/C knitting and working on the Advent Calendar as well as updating my lecture notes for my fall classes. 
On the knitting front, my donation scarf is now finished. It will be donated to Operation Gratitude

I used up a yarn that I know that I have had over 20 years. I may make another scarf or a hat.

I have been working on Santa on the Advent Calendar. My last update was here with his disembodied head.
 I happily added part of his hat, but his head was still disembodied.
Next I added his beard.
 Yesterday I added his mustache and started to bead his left arm. It has four parts to complete before I can add it on to Santa.
 After his arm I have to work on the rest of his hat and then Santa will be finished. There is still a whole lot more of the Advent Calendar to work on though. 

Here is my Operation Gratitude Scarf. This picture shows the color best.
 Here is a close-up of the pattern.
Finally the whole scarf again.
I am still reading some too, but I won't share today as I am not sure that I like my current book choice. I am avoiding it, which is a sure sign that I won't be finishing it.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. I will try to finish Santa's arm. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Valley Forge

Hubby and I visited our son in Pennsylvania last weekend. We went to Valley Forge National Park on Saturday. Of course I have to first share with you an iron, thimble, scissors, pins, clothespins and shoes that were on display in the Visitor Center. I wouldn't be a crafting blog if I didn't.
There are several hiking routes as well as fairly easy walkways. There is also a trolley tour available to various sites in the park. The views were just spectacular.

There was a reproduction village of soldiers' housing.
Hubby and my son enjoyed the afternoon. We walked only a little way on one of the walkways as it was quite hot on Saturday and, as you can see Hubby forgot his cap and was worried about sunburn.
There were several statues along the route throughout the park.
We also saw George Washington's headquarters.
 Strategy workroom.
Sleeping quarters. 
More sleeping quarters....
and yet another sleeping quarter.
This is the statue of George Washington.
The following day Hubby and son went golfing while I enjoyed some local shopping. I also enjoyed the view from my son's apartment balcony while reading or knitting. 
Hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend with our son.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

What do you mean July is almost over?

I can not believe that this is the last Sunday of July? Where did that month go? Have I really been off from work for a month already? I don't feel relaxed enough that to be true. 

I have been working on Santa on the Advent Calendar. He has his face now and one arm.
His head looks disembodied as he still needs his hat, beard and mustache.

My donation scarf is growing. The pattern is from a magazine that my aunt gave me when I was a teen in the 1970s, because it had a dog sweater pattern in it that I wanted to make.

I have started a different cowl. I just could not get the other one to work for me. I think it was the wrong pattern for lace weight yarn. I have started the Breeze Infinity Scarf instead. 
I decided that I wanted to crochet something, because it takes less brain power for me than a lacy knitted scarf. This will be seamed at the ends to make a cowl. Once it is blocked, this will be a really pretty openwork pattern. It looks pretty good already.

One of the bunnies came to visit Friday and I put out some carrot pieces. 
 I was able to get a couple of close-ups while it was nibbling on the carrot.
I like when they visit our yard as long as they stay away from my flowers (bunny repellent ensures that).
There was just one bunny that night. Often there are two or three.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are up to. We may be visiting our son today, so I think I will be knitting and crocheting instead of working on Santa as sequins and beads do not make a portable project.

Thanks for stopping by!