Sunday, July 26, 2009

Too many hobbies

My den room is definitely too small for all of my hobbies. Shelves are filled with yarn, the closet is overflowing with yarn, scrapbooking supplies and other things that just need a place to be for now.

My daughter-in-law and I decided to do scrapbooking today since it is too hot outside to do much of anything. After I found all my printed pictures from 2006, I couldn't find the notebook where I'd written down all the places we'd visited while in Japan for Cherry Blossom Season during that year. I couldn't find any pictures for the beginning of 2006 except for one of my youngest son wearing a scarf that I'd knitted for him. It wasn't ready in time for Christmas so he got it in January. At least it kept his neck warm during the winter months while he was finishing a degree at University.

After spreading out all my papers, tools, glue that was so old it wouldn't stick, and finding new glue and acid-free sticky's and some birthday paper and some other birthday things, I proceeded to just sit on the floor and paste the birthday photos from Mum's 88th birthday and half of the pictures from my daughter's 27th birthday on pages, and then my back hurt, I was tired and felt like it was too much work to do in a totally disarrayed room.
My daughter-in-law and youngest son had moved a bookshelf into the den which now houses many containers of yarn that I haven't noted on my inventory list as to which container they are in. While my yarn inventory is kept up-to-date, finding the yarn that I want is still a bit difficult for me since I had to move all my yarn, scrapbooking, and quilting supplies into this small den and the basement and under our bed.

The thought of finishing 2006 seems like a lot of work. I still haven't printed out all the pictures from our trip to Japan, but I do have enough to fill a big scrapbook. Sometimes I wish I'd hadn't started doing this hobby or had just done books of birthdays, Christmas, holidays, and special events rather than trying to do it year by year. I still haven't totally redone my grown children's baby pictures, and many of them were damaged due to acid getting into them. At least I'd removed them from their old albums.

If I get the wild idea to finish two quilts, the scrapbooking stuff will again be back in the closet so I can use the table.

I think that's why I prefer knitting. It is portable, it is waiting for me next to my spot on the couch in the family room, and if I'm bored with one project, I can pick up another UFO and work on it. Quilting and scrapbooking take time, lots of equipment and of course an uninterrupted hour or two.

Millie turned 16 months old on the 25th, and she had a very exciting experience out in the lightning and thunderstorm last night. We'd gotten ready to take her out when the rain began and as we heard thunder, we decided not to go to the power easement. We walked her down to a big park with a pond, trying to gauge which way the storm was moving. It was moving with us. My husband got some pictures of the lightning and the skies but he was frustrated as he only had his small camera.

When the storm was coming right over us, I decided that we'd be safe on the stage that is covered and at the park. Along with some skateboarding teens, we sat and watched the storm, watched the downpour of rain and Millie wasn't frightened of the thunder. It was a good test for her as she is going to be a therapy dog, visiting people in hospital and eventually visiting children at Children's hospital.

Once the storm was past us, we walked very fast in the opposite direction to get home, get dry, and feel safe. Our daughter had towels out to dry off Millie, for which I was very grateful.

I needed a picture of Millie since she is now 16 months old, but she wasn't interested in sitting still. She was more interested in what 'her dad' was doing. He'd cleaned the barbecue so our youngest son could barbecue hamburgers on it tonite. Millie wanted to be with 'her dad' and he was trying to get her to sit quietly but she wanted to play.

He finally got her to sit with him, and they both seemed to be smiling. I think.

Of course the first picture of my messy den has Millie lying in her favourite spot while I'm on the computer.

I'm really enjoying working on the Lavalette shawl with Yarn Candy, Sweet Fiber silk and cashmere. The pattern is simple to memorize and although I should be finishing the Thomas the Train cardigan for my grandson, I keep returning to this shawl. I did do a few rows on the cardigan last night and plan to do a few more this evening. Doing intarsia isn't my favourite thing to do, but the fronts are looking much better than the back. After I finish the front left that I'm now doing, I will do the sleeves. Then if I have yarn left over, I may redo the back. Now that is something that I'm not looking forward to doing, but I do like my projects to look finished and well knitted.
My BSJ is finished except for buttons. Either I'll just put the buttons on and give it to my sister-in-law when she's out her visiting in August to take home with her to give her daughter, my niece who is expecting in September, or I'll wait until the baby is born and put the buttons on the correct side. I wonder who decided which was the right side to add buttons, but I'm sure I could google it and the answer would be there.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Holiday's on Vancouver Island

With my car loaded to capacity, my husband and I left home for Vancouver Island with our dog, Millie on July 2. It was Millie's first long trip, first ferry ride, and many firsts for her during our week on the Island.

The picture above is of the waterfalls in Campbell River where we stayed with my brother-in-law for three days. Our queen-sized air mattress which had only been used once in 2007 during a visit of my high school friends, was filled and quickly deflated. So I chose to sleep on a small couch, while my husband managed to keep filling up the air mattress and eventually fell asleep on the floor. On our second night, I turned the air mattress over to discover about 3 rips. It probably occurred when it had been put back in the bag. A trip to get duct tape was in order.

With the duct tape, it had a slow leak. I chose the couch again. After two difficult nights of sleep, my husband went to Canadian Tire and bought a new queen sized air mattress, which worked beautifully.

We spent three days in Campbell River, visiting with my b-i-l (my husband's older brother), walking Millie around the town, down to the water, and through a great park where other people were walking their dogs or riding bikes or just taking a pleasant evening stroll. I of course found the local yarn shop called, Needle Arts Centre, which I found some yarn that I just had to have.

From there we headed to Port Alberni and the weather shifted from sunny days to rain. We found a hotel that took dogs, and the staff were wonderful to Millie.

We spent one day in Tofino wandering around and took Millie on a walk that led to the ocean. She found a friend to play with there, much like she'd found a friend while walking around the park area in Campbell River as can be seen in the picture below.

At Tofino, Millie had so much fun playing in the ocean and it really wore her out. She slept well every night, but then she went everywhere with us and was walking a lot or running free when we felt that she would be safe.

After two days in Port Alberni, we headed for Nanaimo and found another hotel, a Best Western, that allowed dogs. They even had a bed for Millie plus they'd leave out treats for her like she was a prized guest.

We found a small dog park at Beban Park and Millie again found friends to play with.

Millie did very well on her first holiday. She didn't mind the ferry ride and neither did we. Instead of leaving our car and going upstairs as we usually do, we stayed in the car, walked Millie and even sat for a short time in the small dog areas that they do have on ferries. The first one was air conditioned and too cold for us, however the second one wasn't air conditioned and the door was cracked open a bit and it wasn't very comfortable. The car and just walking Millie around the cars and to the back of the ferry seemed to work well for all of us.

I did find another yarn store in Nanaimo called, Mad About Ewe and was able to find some yarns that I usually have to travel into Vancouver to obtain.

All in all, I found this week away from home very relaxing. I read two and 1/2 books and highly recommend The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. I quickly read two fairly current knitting novels which entertained me, but they were books that I'd call light summer reading.

I only worked on one project the entire time. I managed to get quite a bit done of the wrap that has been on my needles for months now. As I have two projects that I need to finish by September, I'm going to finish this wrap, which will be great in the Fall, and finish the BSJ for my niece whose baby is due in September and my grandson's Thomas the Train.