August 31, 2006

Project Runway 3 show 8

And the show continues. Heidi comes out and announces that 2 models will be off. Blah, blah, blah, as my daughter says, "Why do we have to watch this? It's not about the models." I reminded her that their moms probably do care. Heidi says that the challenge will be to design an outfit for a hip jet setter and sends the designers to the workroom to meet with Tim Gunn.

Why are the hip jet setters? Well it turns out that the designers will be designing for themselves. Squeals of delight run through the room. 30 minutes to sketch and then off to mood to spend $75.00 followed by back to the workroom to finish everything by midnight.

Laura designs a cocktail dress. Kayne goes nuts for a Versace print that is crazy. He's cutting it out and putting it on a black shirt. Simple black pants will be made to complete the outfit. Jeffery decides to be a rock star so he's making a blazer, pants, and t-shirt. Michael is going to be a "Hampton meets the hood" with cargo pants made out of seersucker and a shirt. Vincent designs a v neck shirt and black pants (boring). He's never made men's wear so he takes off his pants and uses them to make a pattern. Uli selects about 5 different bright prints. It's typical Uli. Angela designs shorts and a tank- type top that just looks odd.

Onto the runway. Again what the hell is Heidi wearing?!?! UGLY!!

Laura ok. Kayne looks like an Elvis rip off but it's so typical Kayne (he's always over the top). Jeffery's outfit is one that Jeffrey has the personality to carry off. It's a great fit. Michael's is wonderful too. Again he's got the personality to pull it off. Vincent boring and safe. Uli makes the typical Uli dress which the judges say, "We've seen it before." Angela is just a mess. Top is awful, the shorts are wrinkling just standing on the runway. And those little rosettes on the ass. What woman would call attention to her all with rosettes?

Here's the twist: They now have 1 hr to get to the apartment, pack, and get to the airport for the second part of the challenge. When they get to the airport they find out they are flying off to Paris. First class! And Tim Gunn appears to fly off with them. All the designers are thrilled to have Tim along.

Landing in Paris they drive to Parson's Paris and go into another workroom. They are introduced to Catherine Malandrino who will be judging for the second half of the challenge. She is given the score cards and pictures of the outfits as they were on the NY runway.

Each designer walks their outfit and scores are tallied. The winner is Jeffery! I really think he deserved the win. Three pieces all fit to perfection. Good job. And Angela was out. While I'm not an Angela fan I do have to admit that I felt sorry for her. Obviously she's never really been farther than her backyard and the one chance she gets to go to Paris she only gets to stay for a short time. I don't know who Jeffery will pick on now.

August 29, 2006

Work in progress

Finally some flowers on the arch! It hasn't been a great summer for growing things around here but slowly things are coming along.
I bought some wonderful hand painted yarn last week. I did a roll brim hat for my secret pal for this month and started a matching scarf to send off next month. I love the colors and think the simple pattern helps show off the yarn. I also finished another pair of socks for N . Just have to hide the ends and turn right side out. I'm almost finished with the foot of socks for hubby. And I started a light weight hat for my granddaughter. It's a prototype at this point since I really think the shaping on the top will be wrong. We'll see. Plans are to add colored buttons to dress it up.

Gotta love school

Don't you love it when the kids go back to school? I always looked forward to it just so that we could get some routine back into our days. It seemed like the more we got into summer the more lazy we all became so back to school made sure dinner was on time, laundry was done, and there was more than canned tuna in the house to eat.

This year marks the first time in 20 yrs that I hadn't had a child in the local school system. No one will be rushing to catch the bus on Thursday. I won't have to sign 50 different forms. No running to the store 3 times to get specifically required supplies for each child's 8 different classes.

Instead I sent 3 children off to the local community college yesterday for their first day of classes. Books and tuition on my charge card so no trips anywhere other than the school for supplies. I kind of like this! Gonna be easy ......

Until the call today. "Hi Mom, I locked S1's keys in the car by accident so when D2 comes up can you make sure she has a key for S1's car." D3 has been driving for about a year and so far has managed to lock her keys in the car 4 or 5 times and left the lights on to drain the battery at least twice. At least D3 didn't leave the lights on this time. Think it's gonna be a long semester!

August 24, 2006

Project Runway 3 show 7

So this week the challenge was to design for "the everyday woman". Heidi brings out the models and you can see by the silhouette behind the stage that these models are all shapes and sizes. Designers are confused until they realize that their models are their own moms and sisters.

The twist? They aren't going to be using their own relative in this competition. Heidi brings out the velvet bag and each designer gets to choose the model they would like to work with. Of course all the thin moms/sisters are chosen first. It's like watching sides being selected in high school gym class all over again.

Everyone is taken for a walk to Tavern on the Green where they are met by Michael Kors and his mom Joan. She seemed like a sweet person. Kayne had his arm around his mom the whole walk. Michael Knight was holding his mom's hand. Very sweet.

Over lunch Laura mentions to her mom that she is pregnant again with baby #6. I LOVED HER MOM'S REACTION! She didn't flip out excited about being a gram again. You would have thought they were discussing something casual like buying a new purse or getting a puppy. And Laura's comment about how she didn't know how she felt about #6 but might as well throw it on the heap of the other 5? Very odd thing to say.

A nice visit is had by all and then it's back to work. The designers have a consultation with their "client" for 30 minutes to discuss colors, design, likes and dislikes. In a cruel twist of fate Jeffrey has ended up with Angela's mom, Darlene. Right from the start it appears that Darlene doesn't care for Jeffrey. Maybe Angela casually mentioned she hates him at the Tavern on the Green get together? Anyways, for someone who's daughter makes clothing she seems very vague on what she wants. Knows what colors she wants but not anything else.

After working for a while the mom/sisters come back into the work room to see what's going on. Everyone seems to be working well together except for Jeffrey and Darlene. Darlene doesn't like the fabric. It's the exact colors she told Jeffrey she liked but now she's disappointed and tells Tim Gunn about it. Jeffrey tries to work with her explaining that he sees her as a beautiful woman and is trying to bring something out in her that she might not see herself.

Darlene leaves the work area in fake tears and upset. Angela rushes in to fan the flames of the disagreement and Jeffrey's mom tries to squash the whole thing by talking to Darlene. Thanks for the drama Darlene but I didn't buy any of it.

Robert designed for Vincent's sister. Simple long black dress (because we all know black is slimming) with a red flowing jacket. Boring.

Jeffrey designed for Angela's mom and it was a mess. Shapeless with too many colors at the neck. I think he just didn't know what to make and had never designed for a heavy woman before.

Angela designed for Laura's mom. Black top and skirt with fringe on the bottom. It fit terrible and looked awful.

Vincent designed for Uli's mom. Simple dress with this HUGE brown collar.Ugly. The judges went crazy for it.

Kayne designed for Michael's mom. He designed very basic capri pants, orange long sleeved shirt and a "poncho" of fabric that didn't seem to go with anything.

Michael designed for Robert's sister. He did a shirt dress that was totally reversible. Very nice and stylish.

Laura designed for Jeffrey's mom. Her outfit was a high waisted skirt, a blouse with a huge collar and a scarf. Same old same old for Laura but unfortunately it looked awful on Pam.

Uli designed for Kayne's mom. Her outfit looked wonderful. Great patterns, wonderful fit and she should have won.

But alas, the judges couldn't let an overweight every day woman outfit win. What would high fashion think if a well designed outfit for a size 16 or 20 women won? Wasn't think what the competition was about? Guess not because Vincent's dress with that ugly collar on an almost model sized mom was the outfit of the evening and Robert was out.

August 23, 2006

The Princess has finally arrived

Grandsons W and N have been with me since Sunday. We've had a lot of fun playing with almost every toy in the house. I kind of miss the mess of little ones around so I think I'll wait til tomorrow to clean this up. It's funny how when my kids were little I was always quick to clean up everything but once they grown up a mess like this makes me smile. We counted trains and there are 112 Thomas the tank engine trains at my house.
There is W with his new sister who will be referred to as A from this point forward. She arrived Monday afternoon at 1:50 weighing in at 6lbs 13ozs 20 1/4" long. She looks like N.
This is N who is only 20 months old himself so he really wasn't all that interested in the new little one. He did like the fact that the bed went up and down.

August 21, 2006

Happy Monday

So many project started and yet I find time to cast on and do more. Oh well. Sooner or later they'll all get done. These are some socks for N. The lesson I've learned for knitting socks for the boys is to knit until you think the cuff is long enough and then add another inch. The leg is a fluted banister so they should stay up well. I'll be making another 10 socks all the same. It makes it much easier for mom if they are all the same. The yarn is knitpicks simple stripes.
My daughter and son in law are in the hospital today having the baby. FINALLY!!! She still doesn't have a name but she's 6lbs 13ozs and doing well. Mommy had some problems so hopefully she'll be out Wednesday or Thursday. In the meantime I've had both they boys. We went to the playground, took a walk, ate, napped, played with trains, did a little reading, and had a great day. This one W ended up falling asleep before bedtime.

August 19, 2006

Cyber pals and Secret pals

In my circle of friends no one knits. There's no one who really understands the excitement of scoring Opal yarn at $8.00 a skein. My yarn stash is a mystery to everyone. Why would you need all that yarn? What's the difference between these 3 red yarns? Hello!!! One is worsted super wash wool, one is sock yarn and one is just worsted wool. That would be like asking why you need more than one book in your book collection.

So the internet allows me to connect with people who are going through the same thing. Crafting as a normal part of life. You make cyber friends and get to share your craft experiences and knowledge. I definitely think it's given me a good base to be able to try things I wouldn't have tried. I love seeing what everyone is working on and sharing in their excitment when they've come to the end of a long hard project.

One of the
groups I belong to is having a secret pal exchange. It's been a lot of fun so far. My pal is in Australia so because I have to fill out a customs form it hasn't been much of a secret for her. One the other hand I'm totally stumped. I think my pal is in Canada but is sending things as part of a conspiracy to a friend in the USA for mailing. Anyways, this is my haul for the last 2 months.

August 17, 2006

Project Runway 3 show 6

So Heidi comes out, wearing an outfit that was so awful I couldn't believe she would wear it on a fashion design show, and announces that the designers have had it very easy up to now so the next 2 challenges will be hard. Michael decides to stick with his model .... really does anyone care about the models other than their moms?

Next morning 5 am Tim Gunn is off to wake everyone up to be ready to leave on a field trip by 6. Best line of the show was Alison's to Laura. Laura was wearing her riding gear and Alison said something like, "Oh good you are wearing your horse riding outfit. This challenge could involve horses." Laura probably get about as close to horses as she does to cleaning up after those 5 monster kids of hers.

Anyways, into a waiting van and off down the road to New Jersey. Out of the van and into a recycling center. Each designer get 30 minutes and 3 recycling bins to fill to create an outfit of their choosing. After that then back in the van and off to a store to spend 15 minutes and $25 buying glue, paint, etc to finish the outfits. They have 1 day to complete this task.

The work room is a flurry of activity. Still there are learning moments. We learn that none of the guys seem to like Laura. Robert and Kayne wolf down dinner just so they don't have to be in the room when Laura comes in. Vincent says he doesn't own the future. Humm.... The editing leads you to believe .... along with the really interesting looking outfits in progress ..... that just about anyone could go home.

One the runway Uli cute dress, Robert good design, Anglea did a patchwork ugly thing, Michael creative use of 3 different materials, Laura same old same old. Laura is really just a one note designer from what I'm seeing. Jeffrey I though had this competition in the bag. His outfit was interesting, unusual colors and very well done.

Vincent's was the usual Vincent mess. I don't know if it's too much medication or not enough with Vincent but he should have cashed in the 401K and used the money for additional therapy.

Kayne's and Alison's outfits were both a mess. In addition Kayne styled his model to look like she had been run through the recycling plant. Alison's model didn't fair any better with her hair tied up like a giant bow on the top of her head. They both could have done much better to compensate for the ill fitting outfits.

I think Vincent should have been out. Kayne and Alison both just had a misstep. Heck, Robert has had two already and he's still with us. But Alison seemed to be held to a higher standard than the guys because she was a women designing women's wear.

So in the end Michael was the winner (Jeffrey was PISSED) and Alison was sent packing. I really thought it was unfair to send Alison home since Vincent has not had a single outfit that was noteworthy.

August 16, 2006

The Mailbox

If you live in the center of my town (uptown as we country folk call it) a trusty mail delivery person walks right up to your house and places you mail in box attached to your house or slides it through a slot in your door. Your newspaper is delivered the same way or placed in plastic and left in your driveway.

When you live further out like I do your mail is delivered curbside in a mailbox. The newspaper people slide the papers into curbside tubes, usually while playing the car radio quite loud at 4:30am. When I first moved into our house I thought about getting a cute, custom painted mailbox. Two days later, as I awoke to find my mailbox had been hit by a baseball bat during the night I realized that a cheap mailbox was probably going to work out fine.

The way this whole mailbox thing works is: kids with baseball bats and too much time on their hands smash it a couple times over the course of the year. During the winter the snowplow dents it while throwing snow off the road. And each time this happens you as a home owner take a hammer and beat the mailbox back into shape to allow the front to close. After 3 or 4 years you replace the box with another cheap mailbox. Still it's nice to try to dress the ratty looking mailbox up a bit.....
maybe with some nice morninglories??? If you're looking at the flowers you probably won't notice the wonkie top?? Maybe it's time to get out the hammer again.

August 14, 2006

On the needles, off the needles

Ok, still on high alert over here waiting for my new granddaughter. She just doesn't seem to want to come out and be spoiled to death. I don't know what people who don't knit do to pass time. So while I'm passing time I've been working on these .... hubby's sock .... shawl to repeat 4 out of 14.

I'm going to say right now that while I know I can knit lace I'm coming to the conclusion that I am not a lace knitter. Too much concentration needed althought I'm learning a lot from the project. These are for a project I shouldn't be casting on until I've finished a couple things but I know I'll never be able to resist. We have balls of Knitpicks crayon and some train buttons so you know already it's going to be something for the little men.
I completed these on Sunday. They are socks for hubby Lana Grossa #6538. First time I've ever used this yarn and I have to say it's very nice. Gotta see how it washes and dries before I give it a thumbs up. Just to note that I don't make matching socks. I feel that life is too short to worry about matching your socks.
And I finished these Saturday. Some more CIC socks just waiting for the ends to be tucked safely away.

August 12, 2006

A day out with Thomas

Today Thomas the Tank Engine was in Waterbury, CT for another weekend of excitement. When my son was little he loved dinosaurs. Everything revolved around dinosaurs. We use to go to the Peabody Museum all the time so he could see the dinosaurs in the great hall.

When W came along, Thomas the Tank Engine was in Waterbury for a weekend. Hubby and I knew nothing of Thomas but it was a nice day so we took our 17 month old sweetie over to library park. Little did we know .......

Thomas appear to be a cute make believe story about an engine on an island. He has make believe friends and goes on make believe adventures. The truth is Thomas is a method of sucking money out of the wallets of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else who happens to come in contact with him.

So here we are 2 yrs later and we're visiting with Thomas again. W 3 1/2 yrs old has his Thomas buddy, N 20 months old, to show around in the world of Thomas. In those 2 yrs we have bought about 100 train cars, 5 sets of tracks, buildings, accessories, shirts, shoes, sandals, cups, dishes, tooth brushes, DVDs, blankets, tattoos, balloons, birthday parties with Thomas themes, and hours upon hours of play.

You know you're totally in love with someone when you'll take money away from yarn to purchase yet another Thomas engine.

August 11, 2006

The town crier: Ten am and all is well

I work for a very very large national health insurance company doing a job that my own family doesn't quite understand. It's not exciting but really helps people because I fix their claims that haven't been paid correctly. Like I said, not exciting but so it goes.

The perk to this lack of an exciting job is that I get to work at home; yes I'm a full time telecommuter. So on days like today where it's beautiful out I have to try to work while daydreaming. Thankfully, Joey is keeping watch over the left side front yard for me this morning.
Leaving me free to keep an eye out on the backyard.
This is the view from my office slider. Sometimes there are deer in the backyard. Other times groundhogs, bunnies, and birds. The pond it a small town owned pond where I taught my kids to swim. Now I take my grandsons over to play and swim. Really who needs an exciting life when you have this?

August 10, 2006

Project Runway 3 show 5

Well I'm finally a happy person. My man Michael won a challenge! In my opinion Michael has an amazing talent and always gets to the next round without question but for some reason he's been overlooked. Seriously, a dress made from coffee filter should have won over a dress made out of bed sheets in the first round. Anyways .....

The challenge was to recreate an icon. The models picked the designer they wanted to work with. Then the models went into the work room and selected a picture of a fashion icon the designer would update. Cher, Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy, etc. Very intesting challenge.

I really like Bradley. I don't think he's all that talented but he's funny. Bradley's model had selected Cher and Bradley didn't know a thing about Cher. Seriously how could anyone not know about Cher?

Vincent struggles with Twiggy and Robert couldn't get the clean lines he needed to recreate Jackie O (he had traided some fabric with Vincent and the linen just wasn't doing it).

There were a couple arguments in the sewing room between Jeffrey, Angela, and Laura. Michael seems to like everyone and was affected by the tension. So he makes a phone call to get himself centered. Who did he call? His homeboys? Girlfriend? Nope, called his Mom. She sounded like a great person and gave him confort and reminded him to keep praying. Yes, Michael prays every night for guidance and support. How sweet is that?

On the runway, Vincent is a trainwreck, Bradley even worst. Laura finally did something without fur on the cuffs and collar all by herself. Angela was very impressing. Kayne (Love Kayne) did a great job with Marilyn Monroe.

Now again Robert Best was on the runway as one of the worst. I think Robert is playing it too safe trying to do what he thinks people want to see instead of speaking in his own voice. I still have confidence in Robert. Linen was just another misstep but definately now big enough to send him home.

But in the end my guy Michael pulled it out with his remake of Pam Grier. Way to go Michael. And Bradley was out. The outfit was poorly fitted and sewn terrible.

I think after the last show Tim was way over his make it work and carry on quote so only made it thru editing with one this time.

August 07, 2006

Waiting on the girl.....

My oldest daughter is due any day and we thought for sure my first granddaughter was going to make her appearance Friday. Well, she had other plans and decided not to come out and meet us yet. I had my grandsons Friday and Saturday so not much knitting. I think my granddaughter must hear her soon to be big brothers screaming and she's afraid. I've done my best to reassure her .... offering cookies, candy, staying up past bedtime at Gram's house but she isn't buying any of it.

I had a pretty productive week. Finished 5 more pair of socks for CIC. Did some work on my shawl. Finished the heel flap, turned the heel, did the gusset decreases and started working on the foot of my hubby's sock.
I was pretty pleased with this week's work .... these two could care less. This is a rare picture of Charlie and Joey. Joey is the tiger and Charlie is the brat! He's the annoying little brother to my other two cats. At age 2 he just wants to play and at age 16 Joey just wants to be left alone.

August 04, 2006

Shawls and cats

If you were at my house any time this week you would have seen Joey in this pose somewhere around the house. Here he's blocking the doorway. After this pic he moved to lay across the entire width of the hallway. It's a cat's life for sure. Charlie was smart and spent the whole week in the AC. Oscar slept out on the covered front porch on the concrete. I'd check on her ever couple hours just to make sure she was still breathing. At least is was too hot for them to bother with this.
I was working on it Monday night and when I picked it up again Tuesday I totally forgot where I was in this pattern. PANIC!! I couldn't remember what I had for dinner that night much less what row I knit the night before.

After a lot of counting, swearing, and Archie Bunkering (the famous line "shut up you" or "stifle it!" because whenever you are trying to count the entire household has 5 million things to say to you and only you as if you have suddenly appeared after being abducted by aliens.) I managed to figure it out. Hence you'll notice a little paper hanging from a split stitch marker at the edge of the shawl. It says "5" meaning I'm on row 5 of a 10 row repeat.

Project Runway 3 show 4

Couldn't post this yesterday because we lost power so no computer. Couldn't even knit last night in candle light since I have enough trouble working on this shawl in full light (hey I'm not Laura Wilder!!!).

Anyways the long awaited show .... who gets kicked off. The challenge was to design a 3 piece outfit for INC. Each designer sketched and pitched their design. 4 designers were selected as team leaders and they selected 2 designers to work with them. So 4 teams of 3 people. Ok. They shop, they sew, they collaborate, and they go back to the apartments at the end of day 1.

There's a problem. Keith has pattern books in his personal stuff. Pattern books are not allowed since they can give a designer a little extra knowledge in construction. In addition Keith went AWOL and used the internet; both are against the rules of the show. So Tim Gunn arrives and Keith packs his bags and leaves asap.

I think Keith's leaving showed the other designers how the production company believes in giving everyone a level playing field. Keith was the designer with the most personality, good or bad, so having him leave was losing a lot of interesting sound clips.

Day 2 arrives without Keith leaving his team of Alison and Jeffrey to finish the outfit. Those two did an amazing job pulling things together and getting the job done.

Runway show .... the winner was Angela's team in spite of Angela. I must say she was a great team leader because she listened to her team members, Laura and Michael, and didn't poof anything and cover it with those nasty fabric yo-yo things.

At the bottom was Robert and Bonnie. Robert's outfit looked a little frumpy from the front with a slit up the back almost to the model's ass. Bonnie's was just sad. So bye, bye Bonnie.

So it should be interesting to see where the show goes from here. No real dynamic personalities from what I can see in the bunch. Jeffrey with the cutting remarks is even being nicer since he actually has had to work with the other designers a couple times and is beginning to see they have skills too.