Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bucky in the Noro Mountains

My friends on Ravelry probably all noticed that I've been uploading my stash. Since the arrival of the addition of my new stash from Stitches, I've dragged out all the boxes from my closet, taken pictures of just about the entire stash, and as of last night, posted about two-thirds on Ravelry. About half of the boxes have been pushed back into the closet with a tight fit. But I'm seriously wondering if the rest would be willing to go back without busting the closet door.

I got lots of help with the picture taking. Like here, Bucky wants to show that if I wind a regular ball of Noro Kureyon into a fluffy round ball, it's slightly bigger than his head.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stitches West

Slowly coming down from Stitches high. Since I dragged my last purchase into the house on Saturday night, I have cleaned out my entire stash, photographed most items and as of last night, still in the process of putting them in my Ravelry Stash.

The Market is overwhelming as usual. They are very strict about camara and video equipments this year. Fortunately I travel light. An ounce extra in the purse is an ounce less yarn I can carry. With that note I should start weight training now to get ready for the next Stitches.

Met Jess and Casey of Ravelry's fame. Did my passport thing.

Quite a few new booths this year, also many familiar faces. A new magazine I discovered -- Wild Fibers, published by a woman in Maine. Linda travels all over the world for good fiber and stories about the people and animals that create the fiber. Beautiful pictures, and great indepth articles about sheep in New Zealand, camel in Mongolia and buffalo in Texas. I bought a copy of each back issue they had, from Summer 2006 on, and signed up for a subscribtion. But there are ten issues before that and I will have to look for them on eBay.

Couple of note-worthy purchases. A fat skein of baby alpaca from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm in Rainbow colorway. I have been looking at this colorway for at least the last couple of years, now it's finally mine.

Diagonal Delight Vest kit from Shelridge Farm, designed by Maureen Mason-Jamieson. I feel rather guilty for getting this. Last year I bought the Marmalade Cardigan kit from them, same designer. Guess what it's doing now? Marinating in the stash. But my feet won't leave the booth until something in the form of a skein jumped into my bag.

Took Ginger Luters class Module Magic: Triangles, wearing my De Colores. She was very happy to see her design implemented.
Till next year.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Charity Knitting

First my own, baby size vest using Cozy in Cables Toddler Vest Pattern from Marguerite who blogs at Stitches of Violet.

A group of vests and sweaters from my mom.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pug on Thursday

Heading out to Stitches class in a few minutes, then dinner with South Bay Knitters, then Market Preview tonight. Planning to spend Saturday buried in the Market.


Renee Robertson is an artist who sells her works on eBay, mostly oil paintings on canvas or wood, like this puggy bunny for Easter. Her eBay ID is: reneerobertson. We have a few of her paintings around the house, to remind us that we are pug slaves. At one point Bill and I took turns to bid on her paintings and won separate auctions. Renee graciously painted a small personalized painting with a black and a fawn pug and send it along with the two paintings we won. Just love her!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Recent Reads

1. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. After reserving this book twice from the library, finally finished it. It was my book of choice for our book club in January. As Sarah wrote in her review of our discussion, "I think all of us felt inspired by this book to bake more, cook more, taste more. Some of us even want to try our hands at canning and cheese making."

2. (audiobook) Bean Tree by Barbara Kingsolver. Her early novel about how a young woman from Kentucky drove through Oklahoma, had a baby handed to her, and eventually settled in Arizona. Half of the book is about Cherokee, it's culture and people. Can't say she put them in a glamorous light, but an interesting read nonetheless. Pigs in Heaven is a follow up of this book.

3. Andrea Bocelli, a Celebration by Antonia Felix. Great biography of a great man, lots of lovely pictures.

4. The Music of Silence by Andrea Bocelli. Autobiography written in Italian by the singer himself and translated to English. Not sure if the translation is that bad, or (sigh) Bocelli should keep his night job -- singing.

5. An Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck. Picked up from New York Times best seller list. Don't waste your time.

6. Social Intelligence by Danial Goleman. Listened to this book on CD and had to borrow it again so I could read it word by word. Great book for understanding our social brains and how we learn to operate ourselves and our social relations. Would love to read his earlier book, Emotional Intelligence as well.

7. (audiobook) The King of Torts by John Grisham. Brain candy.

8. (audiobook) The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. What's amazing is not only a blind deaf girl could earn a college degree and become a writer, scholar, but how Anne Sullivan could get the concepts through the blank silence and touch the soul beyond that. Also makes me wonder how much money it'd cost to keep a 24x7 caregiver/tutor like that and afford all the supplies and expenses they need.

9. (audiobook) Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. Good theory, too bad I don't do diets.

10 (audiobook) 1984 by George Orwell. After living in a society with Big Brother staring down every moment, I really don't need to read about it in a science fiction.

11. (audiobook) Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. Great book. If only there are more Morrie Schwatz's in this world, and more Mitch Albom's to record these great people.

12. Schulz and Peanuts by David Michaelis. Another great man. Good grief.

13. (audiobook) The Sky is Falling by Sidney Sheldon. More brain candy, works really well when I'm stressed and over worked. I'm not usually fond of crime novels, but I'm always happy to read Sidney Sheldon. It was my brother's influence when I was in middle school, and later in college I adopted the English name Vivian from one of the Sheldon novels Bloodline. Here is more about our names in my very first blog entry.

14. (audiobook) Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson. Bryson's account of his "last look" of the British Isles before they moved back to the US. We listened to the book together on the way home from Lake Tahoe this weekend. Wish I could have beeped out a few choice words, but now Henry is reading the book, just have to exercise our parenting caution and remind him what to do with his language (and I'm sure he'll pick up the choice words first).

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Trinket on Thursday

This happened last Sunday, recorded by Bill, aka Trinket's Dad:

"Trinket", I said. "Go tell Mommy to bring me $60 when she comes down from the library". The little black dog lowered his head toward the ground, raised his ears gazing direclty at me. It was apparent that Trinket wanted to get every ounce of meaning he could from this command and he was determined to do the right thing. "Go on now" I said, gesturing toward the stairs. He paused just long enough to make eye contact again, assuring me that he would do his best.

I turned back toward Henry. "There he goes, did you see that?". I waited a few moments and then I called up toward Vivian, thinking she was in the library. "Hey, did Trink deliver my message?" Getting no response, I hurried up the stairs and went to look for them both. I found Trinket standing behind a closed door, dutifully waiting to deliver the message. When he saw me, he turned again toward the door and then looked back at me. "I've done my best", he seemed to be telling me with his eyes. "Yes, you have", I thought.

Henry came up behind me and we both laughed our heads off, to think about our little messenger. We'll have more errands for him in the future, that's for sure.

Here is Trinket waiting for the next message.

Friday, February 01, 2008

February and Book Meme

I'm happy it's February. I always liked February, even before Henry was born, but having my child's birthday day in this month certainly adds some significance. Usually Chinese New Year is in February (this year it's the 9th), so when we were in school we got most of the month off. February is the beginning of spring. Sure there is snow everywhere, but it's not as gloomy as January, days are longer, the sun is brighter. In the past five years, January has been a busy, stressful month for me at work. There were days I had to work pass midnight. I'm learning to manage the time better, but the stress is still there. January is the time when bosses decide, "hey, it's the beginning the year, why don't you take on couple of new projects?" when you are trying to get over the holiday blues. By February people are more relaxed, getting used to the new routine.

Happy February to all of my readers!

Book Meme Tagged by Zelda at The Aquitaine Academy, which is a top notch classic education facility for young children age two to nine and beyond, room and board all inclusive.

- Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
- Open the book to page 123.
- Find the fifth sentence.
- Post the next three sentences.
- Tag five people.

On the top of my book pile is Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. The actual quote would bore anyone to tears, so I'm going to cheat. Here is the page I'm reading now:

"When my mother retired from teaching college, she found herself with a large, empty house and no one to fill it: her children had all ended up living in other cities, some quite distant, and my father had died years before. A former professor of sociology, she made what, in retrospect, seems a smart social move: my mother offered a free room to graduate students from her university, with a preference for those from East Asian cultures, where older people are appreciated and respected."

This is my dream retirement life, not the being single part, but being around new ideas and culture, continue to learn, reflex on life, and provide my wisdom to the world. Being respected is mandatory. I've always dreamed of living in the academia, it might happen one day.