Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thunderstorms and Thundershirts

Some storms came through the area tonight, 
and brought a lot of rain and, unfortunately,
a lot of damaging hail.

Lots and lots of hail.
And a lot of power outages. L

And they say the weather will be worse tomorrow.


Good thing I bought the dog his thundershirt already!

No, no, not for the Oklahoma CityThunder basketball team!  J
(Although that would be cute.)

No, this is a shirt that I can put on him
when there’s a thunderstorm.  
Like tonight.

He tends to shake like a leaf when it thunders, 
and this shirt is designed to treat anxiety 
and keep the animal calm during nervous times.

(thunderstorms, fireworks, trips to the vet)


It’s like swaddling a baby,
or maybe like a constant hug.

We’ve only tried it out 2 times, but I do think it helps.
He was still walking in circles some tonight, 
but he wasn’t shaking, so that’s nice.

It’s just so sad when they’re nervous and shake like that!

The company even makes thundershirts for cats.  
We’ll have to see about that…

At least it helps the little dog.

I wonder if they’ll come out with one for people??

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Watching Sherlock Holmes on PBS has been so much fun!!

The finale was awesome.
(we've already seen it twice!)

As one reviewer put it: 
“If Holmes isn’t dead, though,
why are we all crying? 
Because of Martin Freeman, that’s why."

Great acting, great fun, great villain!

How can we wait a year before the next one????


Lucky Dog

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More Nature Photos

 I forgot to post our upclose encounter with the turkey!! 

Look at those colors!

The week after his first visit,
he came all the way up on the back patio!

That was the last time we saw him. 
Hopefully, he met up with the rest of his friends
and they're roaming the rest of the woods together.

Look at those ears!

It’s funny... 
If we put out deer corn, we see deer. 
If we don’t, we don’t.

(Deep, eh?)  J

This year I am Container Gardening. 
I used to grow tomatoes in pots years ago,
and decided to try it again this year.

Why??  When we have perfectly lovely garden beds out back?

Because they’re out back!  Outa sight, outa mind!

I can tend to these so easily, here on the front patio. 
And I know they’re getting enough water,
because I water them every morning until they tinkleJ

And hopefully, there will be fewer pests this way, too,
and definitely no weeds. 
And I can keep an eye on 'em super-easily this way. 

(I pruned the basil a bit this morning
and enjoyed a yummy tomato & basil pasta for dinner. 
There’s nothing like fresh basil!)

ANYway, it’s just an experiment this year,
but I am really enjoying it so far.

What I did NOT enjoy was getting my first tick bite of the season. 
Thank heavens Mr. Man pulled it out as soon as I knew about it!

I cannot express my hatred for ticks vehemently enough.  <shudder>

At least most of the gardening is done: 
deadheading, leaf removal, ivy trimming, annuals planted… 

So if I stay on concrete for the rest of the summer,
maybe I can avoid getting many more.  L

Fire ants were bad enough in Texas,
but these ticks in Oklahoma are terrible! 
I don’t know how the raccoons aren’t covered with ‘em!

Speaking of, we spotted a nursing raccoon the other night. (!) 
Ooh, her titties were big and well-used!  Hahaha

Yes, I pick and choose which part of nature I hate,
and which I love.

After all, they can’t all be this cute…. J

Lucky Dog

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sock Redux

I am so excited!!!

When I finished my second sock,
I realized that it fit me way better than my first one did. 

I think that new formula for the heel-flap-length
really made a difference.

And I knew from my records that I had knitted the first one
6 rows longer than it now needed to be.

That’s when I knew…
I had to unravel my first sock and do it over!

I had 2 finished socks for about 10 minutes there!  hahaha

I hate to have “perfectionistic-like tendencies”… J
But I knew I could do it, and why not have them both fit nicely?

And since I would have the yarn from the 6 extra rows,
I knew I would have enough yarn for
sewing in the ends and then some.

So.  Time to unravel.

Now I was prepared to re-knit the entire sock...
But I realized that if I unraveled it from the toe,
and only unraveled it to right before the heel flap,
I wouldn’t have to re-knit the long cuff.

This was definitely going to test my wits with live stitchesJ

The first step was to find my woven-in end. 
Fortunately, I found it right away.  <wow>

I carefully pulled the end of the yarn out, stitch by stitch,
and then I had to un-sew my grafted toe.  (the kitchener stitch)

From then on, it was unravel and unravel,
winding the yarn in a ball as I went.

I wasn’t sure if all those decreases would unravel smoothly,
but they did.

When I unraveled the gusset and got down to the heel flap,
I realized that I could put half my stitches back onto a needle. 

I’m halfway home!  J

And then, when I got close to the end of the heel flap,
I looked at the wrong side of the fabric to see where
my Eye of Partridge stitch (with its slipped stitches)
came to an end, and made sure I had unraveled it all.

And then I put the other half of the stitches back
onto another needle, and I was set!


Over the weekend, I have already re-knit the heel flap
and turned the heel…

And I picked up the gusset stitches,
remembering to make the stacked increase in the corners.  J

And now I’m just merrily doing the gusset decreases.  
After that, it’s just the foot and the toe!

You know, it’s funny…

In my knitting, I gain more confidence from
fixing my mistakes successfully than from anything else.

Who knew making mistakes was such a good thing??

Good thing, too, ‘cause I’m sure to make plenty more!  J

Happy knitting, everybody!!

Lucky Dog

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pastel Fix

"The unfolding of Thy words gives light
It gives understanding to the simple."
Psalm 119 verse 130

This is my latest pastel piece with lettering.
You all know how much I love making these.  ♥

But this pastel started out a little bit different.

Here it is when I first painted it:

I liked it okay, but it seemed a bit insipid. 
It looked weak and needed “strengthening”.

So I re-taped off the area and added a teal blue to the mix. 
Especially to its edges, for definition. 

Yes, just the ticket, don’t you think??

(You can click on one of the images, and then go back and forth to see the difference.)

It’s just embarrassing how much joy these little pieces give me.

They’re simple.  Colorful.  Delicate. 
They have a lot of visual texture and surface detail in person.

And they’re fun to paint and make.

I enjoy the Process and the Product.
That’s unusual for me.

And the coolest thing about this one:  it’s right-justified.

After the Peter Thornton workshop,
where he again demonstrated his brilliant trick
for designing a right-justified layout,
I find myself making a lot of right-justified pieces.

I just love right-justified stuff!

And, since I’m using markers,
I can use some of this commercial paper that I own by the ream.
Win.  Win.  Win.

Does it get any better than this???
J  J  J

Lucky Dog

Here's a scanned version:

(none of these look like it does in person--oh well)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Going Crazy

I haven’t ever mentioned this before, but sometimes this blog software drives me insane.

Sometimes I will compose my little blog entry, and “publish” it, and the software will add returns here and there, totally changes my formatting, and making it look bizarre.

Then when I go to “edit” it, it doesn’t show it like it looks on the blog, which makes it very difficult to correct.

It drives me crazy sometimes!

So I do my best to get it looking like I want it…
click on “publish”, and it reverts back to the wrong format!


I do this over and over and over sometimes.
It’s madness, I tell you!

A simple blog entry can take tons of time to post when this happens.

So… if I post a blog entry and you get multiple notices,
I am so sorry.  It’s just me fighting the editing software.


I do not like this game at all.
But blogspot is free, so I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Thanks for listening.  J

Lucky Dog 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Second Sock Syndrome?

No, no second sock syndrome here…
I finished my other sock!  Yay!!!!

And I even remembered the regular rounds
when doing the decreases this time.

I also learned something new.
And that was, how to determine how long to make your heel flap.

Most patterns say to make it 2-2½ inches long.
Well, I’m like, which is it??  2 or 2½?
How do I decide which to do?

Then I stumbled upon something written by Clara Parkes,
of Knitter's Review fame
(not to mention her fabulous books).

She said re heel flaps:
An easier way to figure them out is to simply knit
as many rows as you have stitches on the needle.

I began my sock with 60 stitches.

So with half of those stitches (30) on my needle for my heel flap,
 that meant I should knit 30 rows.

And it really worked beautifully.  The sock fits
Now I think I have my sock formula for my foot complete!

And if you’re a knitter who doesn't subscribe to Knitter's Review,
check it out.  It’s free.  www.knittersreview.com

The website also has all sorts of reviews that are archived,

 from yarns to needles and everything in between.

There are tutorials, how-to’s, free patterns, surveys...
It’s a great place to explore and surf for every knitter.

And she has a free sock pattern and tutorial,
where you can learn things like how long to make your heel flap!  J

Once again, I just love the Internet!

And I love my new socks! 

Lucky Dog

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Peter Thornton Quotes

I just finished typing up my notes from the recent workshop
with Peter Thornton and wanted to share some of his wit and wisdom with you…

1.  Instead of saying, “I can’t do that”, say: “I can’t do that yet.”

2.  You see your neighbor’s work for what it is.
     You see your own work for what it is not.

3.  If you get a compliment, don’t negate it. 
     Just say “thank you” and go on.

4.  Your hand will never be able to give you
     what the mind’s eye can envision.

5.  When in doubt, add gold.  J

6.  If it doesn’t sell, triple-mat it and double the price.  J

7.  All rules lead to Balance.

8.  Never do the obvious.  It’s already been done.

9.   Just because you can’t read it, doesn’t mean it’s art.
And just because you can read it, doesn’t mean it’s only craft.

10.  The great thing about calligraphy is that nobody reads it.  J

11.  When you’re playing, you do your best stuff.

12.  Grey always works.

And last, but definitely not least, (in fact, maybe the most):

13.  It’s the doing of it, you see.

So, now you know why I love learning 
from Peter Thornton so much…  ♥

Lucky Dog

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pinterest Pix






Tonight I picked 5 things
off Pinterest that I loved
so I could share them with you.

I love Pinterest.com.
(I do wish the photos were larger.)

You have to skim quickly
to find the few jewels in the sand...

But they are soooo worth it!

Fresh input is critical for an artist.
Feed yours today!

Lucky Dog