Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What I'm thinking about

Sugar plums.... etc etc.....

All I can do right now is give you a hint of what I'm working on.

I'm thinking... I'm thinking....

Your Dominant Thinking Style: Exploring
You thrive on the unknown and unpredictable. Novelty is your middle name.You are a challenger. You tend to challenge common assumptions and beliefs.
An expert inventor and problem solver, you approach everything from new angles.You show people how to question their models of the world.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Old list

A little something I found while going through my hard drive:

25 Things I Appreciate Just As They Are:

1) Cold beer
2) Flannel sheets
3) A kiss
4) The sound of the tea kettle whistling
5) Casmir
6) T-shirts
7) The Outer Banks of North Carolina
8) French toast
9) Penny loafers
10) A kitten
11) Tall ships
12) homemade tomato soup
13) Crayola crayons
14) Sunsets/starry nights/full moons
15) A bubble bath
16) Violent, paralizing snowstorms....midweek
17) Potato chips and onion dip
18) A new hardcover book
19) A fire in the fireplace
20) Thunderstorms
21) Popcorn at the movies
22) Red lipstick
23) An old Bordeaux wine
24) oatmeal cookies
25) A ripe, ready-to-burst peach

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What I did on my fall vacation

I just got back from visiting my cousin and her family in Superior, CO which is a tidy little community just outside of Boulder. I can't even begin to tell you how nice it is to have relatives in high places....

On Sunday we went hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The hike we took was to Alberta Falls. It was a relatively easy hike but very enjoyable and of course the scenery was gorgeous.

On Monday my cousin and I went into Boulder and did a spot of shopping at the Pearl St. Mall, an open air shopping district in the heart of Boulder.

This is the window of a shop called "Paper Doll"

We then met my cousin's husband for lunch at the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House. It was one of the most amazing buildings I've ever been in and I would highly recommend it.

Oh and before I forget, this was the view from my window. Delish!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The latest book meme

1. One book that changed your life: On the Beach by Nevil Shute

2. One book that you've read more than once:Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: The Riverside Shakespeare

4. One book that made you laugh: The Death of David Debrizzi by Paul Micou

5. One book that made you cry: On the Beach by Nevil Shute

6. One book that you wish had been written: Daddy Fix It Please?

7. One book you wish had never been written: There are several on this list - mostly religious in nature.

8. One book you're currently reading: Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

9. One book you've been meaning to read: The Queen of the South by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

You say tomayto... I say tomahto....

Last week my friend Ben brought me a tomato from his garden (shameless plug - that's Ben from "Hilltop Herbs" in Alexandria - catch him at the Clarendon Farmer's Market on Wednesday afternoon or the Old Town Farmer's Market on Saturday morning).

I had already picked some rosemary from my garden...

And then this past Saturday I stopped in at Ellwood Thompson's and picked up this lovely eggplant , known to some as the "sacred vegetable".

Now, a number of years ago, I picked up a cookbook in London with an excellent stuffed eggplant recipe but I didn't have all the ingredients this evening. On the other hand, I tend to be a culinary pirate. I see recipes more as sort of...guidlines... So without further ado, I sliced the eggplant in half and hollowed the halves out. I sautéed some onions in olive oil and added the eggplant flesh along with some mushrooms and some chopped cashews. I let that cook for about 10 minutes and then added breadcrumbs mixed with oregano and rosemary as well as a cup of quinoa. I stuffed the eggplants, topped them with the loveliest of slices from the wonderful tomato which Ben brought me, covered it all with a nice little bit of cheese (Chimay fromage) and baked it at 350ºF for about 45 min. C'est magnifique!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Book list

A while back I put up a booklist I got from Lolly Knitting Around which has garnered a few interesting comments. Today I watched the movie version of one of my favourite books - "On the Beach" by Nevil Shute. If you've never read the book or seen the movie, I highly recommend both. The story is incredibly heart wrenching and the performances in the movie very compelling -- especially Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Anthony Perkins. Anywho, I think this book ought to be on the required reading list for all high school students around the world.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Well, I guess that about covers it....

A belated birthday present from my mother - the fabric to cover a chair I've come to call my throne. It's a late Victorian mock-Jacobean reproduction that I like to think might have been saved from the fire at Manderly. The fabric is a nice plain plum-coloured velvet which I'm hoping beyond all hope that Charlie thinks is too pretty to scratch. With the fabric I take off the chair, I'm going to make a nice, excessively textured wallhanging with some lovely felinesque shredwork.

Pictured here on top of the fabric is a scarf I knit using yarn from Three Waters Farm
and following the instructions for learning how to knit lace in the summer issue of Interweave Knits.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Baby did a good, good thing.....

The Chris Isaak concert at Wolf Trap was WONDERFUL last night despite the seemingly 300% humidty. If I have 1/2 the energy he has when I hit 50 I'll be on top of the world. Not only that, the man can sing like there's no tomorrow. I'm sure if they'd given him another couple of hours he'd have gone right on. As it was, he closed with a beautiful rendition of my fave - "Blue Spanish Sky" -- a song I had wanted to play for my dear grandmother but unfortunately never got the chance. It always makes me think of her and brings a tear to my eye when I hear it.
On another, much lighter note, we met a couple of very nice gentleman last night at dinner who made sure we got to the concert in one piece and got back on the highway headed in the right direction after the show. For that I am eternally grateful. As it happens, they were also great company. Thanks Ben and Blair! (to be continued.....)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Crazy jeans

Tonight I'm going to see Chris Isaak at Wolf Trap with friends. I was going to wear these jeans which I've been working on but decided that since it's so hot and humid, I'll wear something cool and linen instead.

In the meantime, here's the newest of spider webs. All it lacks is a crazy little spider!
So, instead of wearing these jeans and goodness only knows what else, I decided to wear some black linen pants, a glittery red top and this (Simplicity 4132).

I'm not at all thrilled with the way the neck turned out mostly because the fabric I used - a sort of satin-backed brushed twill - is a bit too thick. Perhaps when I have a bit more time I'll take it off and replace it. Otherwise, it fits very nicely and was very easy to put together so I'd definitely make it again.

Oh, and before I forget, since we're going to be in the area this afternoon, we're going to G Street!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Tired of being green....

You are Ocean Blue

You're both warm and practical. You're very driven, but you're also very well rounded.
You tend to see both sides to every issue, and people consider you a natural diplomat.

Now that's more like it!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Ultimate Crazy Spider

I don't think I've ever quite explained the reason I call this blog "The Crazy Spider". I'm sure most of you who enjoy crazy quilting know that the spider is considered a symbol of good luck and many times takes the center stage on an elegantly stitched patch. It also happens that I went to the University of Richmond which lays claim to the only arachnid mascot in North America. So it was only a matter of time before I stitched up a little patch in the school colours - red and blue - with a lovely little crazy spider in the middle. I have plans to make a large wall hanging which would encompass all the things I did while I was at school. My BA is in history, so this should be a fun project to work on. So without further ado, here is the UR patch:

Crazy Little Spider

Phew.... what a day... what a day.....

I finally got everything loaded into the computer, cropped and sorted so here we have a smattering of what I've been up to for the past few months.

I completed the patch for my mother just in time for Mother's Day. I was right pleased that she was impressed as her handiwork is quite fine. I have also decided since then that the size I made her patch -- roughly 8x10 -- is a very good size to work with. I finished it before Sharon started her "100 Details for 100 Days" or I'm sure I would have gotten a lot fancier stitch-wise. As it is, this piece has really served as a springboard.

Here it 'tis:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Where am I?

It's been a long, hot summer and it looks like we're going to get a break in the heat tomorrow! YEEEEEEEEEHAW! Perhaps this weekend I'll feel a bit more enthusiastic about updating this blog. If you scroll down a few posts, you'll see that back in March I hit my arm and suffered some damage. Unfortunately, it was the straw that busted up the camel's elbow(didn't know they had elbows, did ya...). I've got nerve damage in my left arm that has rendered it somewhat painful to spend any length of time typing. Since I have to do that all day at work, I've been taking a break from doing it here.

I have managed to finish a few things in the past month and hope to have some pictures up at some point over the weekend.

See ya soon!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Book meme

This one is from LollyKnitting Around --

Meme instructions: Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't, underline (I had to make mine red since I can't underline) the ones on your book shelf, and place parentheses around the ones you've never even heard of.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
(The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold)
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert

If you think you'd like to have a go, consider yourself tagged.

And now for my 2 cents worth. I think Georges Simenon's The Window Over The Way is far, far better than George Orwell's "1984". It was also published prior to "1984".

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Turns out I'm spotted. I won't gross you out with photographs, but the weekend before last, I bashed up my elbow pretty doggone hard. I think I did it when I was cleaning the tub. I hate cleaning tubs so I was probably scrubbing harder than I needed to. Anyway, the next morning I woke up and my elbow was green and purple with big spots of bruise. I don't think I broke anything but my arm has been uncomfortable ever since. I think perhaps I will have to go to the doctor after all.

Anywho, typing has not been that much fun but I hope to be able to post a few new things later this week.

Monday, March 13, 2006

But am I striped or spotted?

You Are Teal Green

You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.
Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.
While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.
Your warm personality nicely counteracts and strange habits you may have.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The official project of the month or what I did with that pile of fabric....

The front.....

The inside....

Very much needed, indeed! Now young Master Charlie has no earthly idea how to get at my knitting needles... Have you ever seen a cat pout? It really is one of the saddest sights on the planet. On the other hand, I'm sure the needles are very happy. Unfortunately, you can't really see it in the picture of the front, but the quilting was all done as a spider web. Crazy, ain't it?!

Crazy mini..... mini crazy?

I actually made this before Project Spectrum started, but I just finished it, so it almost counts. I made a stack of these last summer with the idea that I was going to finish them while I was on vacation. Maybe if I'd brought my sewing machine along with me....

Monday, February 06, 2006

I wish I had a pencil thin moustache...

I ran across this website the week before last on Something to Say and got a big kick out of this hat! For those of you who are fans of "The Thin Man" series, can't you just see Nora wearing this hat... with icecubes concealed underneath?

Red and Pink

As you can see by the cute little button on the side of the screen, I have signed up for "Project Spectrum". I've got plenty of inpiration for the month of March -- in fact, I've got a crazy amount! And now I have a deadline, so I'd better get back to it.

Friday, January 27, 2006

What flower am I?

You are an Iris:

You are logical, analytical, dignified, and wise.

You are studious by nature and may prefer

books to people. You tend to be a serious

person but are capable of making others laugh

with your dry sense of humor. Friends always

benefit from your advice.

Symbolism: Over the centuries the iris has come to

symbolize faith, wisdom, hope, and promise in


Which Flower are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, January 16, 2006

Tea for Kaffe

And now I can post the 50% done Christmas/birthday/housewarming/welcomebacktoVirginia wall hanging I'm working on for my friend Angie. She's a very giving person who has made countless numbers of quilts for her friends. She's also a GREAT cook who hopes someday to have her own tea shop so when I saw this pattern in the Sep/Oct issue of Quiltmaker, I had to make it for her. Please excuse the angle at which I took this picture -- it's been a long day:
And of course it's no where near finished until Charlie sits in the middle of my masterpiece and cleans his knee. You simply can't get very far in life if you don't keep your knees clean...


I got a new camera for Christmas.... Most of what I seem to have taken pictures of are the cats.Not to mention a couple of videos of Charlie playing in his water dish with a piece of broccoli. I've promised him I won't post those on the 'net.

I've also taken a few pics of all the nice fabrics I got for Christmas. Some in my stocking and some by virtue of a gift certificate.

Thanks Mom and Angie! And thanks to Joyce for having such a lovely selection in her shop....