Saturday, March 20, 2010

What's Mandolinbabe Knittin?

Joanna wrote asking to see some of the armwarmers I've been knitting-the pair above I custom did for myself using sportweight yarn on a circular needle-sure keeps the chill of your wrists!

The next pair you see here are knitted using worsted weight yarn-purple camouflage yarn-I wear these when it's really chilly out.
Here's a work in progress-this pair will be up for sale when they're done-made with sock yarn that's a merino wool/nylon blend. Love the circular needle from knitpicks!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Unexpected Junkin!

Who'd a thought that on a Wed afternoon one would find a big "Estate Sale" banner on a house? Not me-until running by one while doing errands with my Dad. It was later in the afternoon,they were closin up for the day but I did spy the mold you see in the pic above and I couldn't resist. So that was nabbed along with a pile of classical guitar books-some for me & some to sell,Dad found some Japanese art,and we came home. However-I spied a double boiler pan I wished I'd grabbed and Dad was regretting he didn't grab the 2nd piece of art that went with the 1st piece of Japanese art. We decided to go back this morning. I read the article in Mary Janes Farm mag on double boiler pans & really wanted it-so after a visit to an ATM,back we went. And I found more goodies like this cat bed (just the wicker basket-I added my cats bedding after a cleaning with Murphys oil soap) (See below)

Well thankfully they did have the double boiler pan set-it was still there- a Pyrex "Flamewear" set.
I just discovered you can do scrambled eggs in them! Even the handles are glass.
Other little goodies I picked up were a glass butter dish and a totes umbrella so I have a rainy day and summer heat umbrella. Dad did get the other piece of Japanese art-it's a mask set mounted on wood. Makes me realise how much I miss not gettin out there & bargain hunting.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Plane to see

One of my Dads friends who I've talked to on occasion but had yet to see in person finally had a free morning so we all set up a meeting place at an airline history museum near LAX. It's a fun place that make me with I could've been taking trips in the 30's & 40's-the stewardess uniforms looked classier,you got a real meal on your flight,and everything just seemed nicer. No hectic check ins,no worries about your flight having a bozo on board. I was born at the beginning of the jet age and missed the "golden era" of flight,tho I do miss not being able to take a trip on a DC-10 anymore. Don't ask me why,but they were my fave plane to fly on growing up. it made for an interesting end of the week.
My bargain violin arrived and the only bummer is I do need to take it in to be worked on-the seller wasn't exactly what I'd call "up front" a bridge came with it alright,but it's a blank,meaning a luthier needs to custom fit it to the instrument. A different chinrest came along with it too-the pic of the instrument showed one already on. My hopes of restringing & playing came to a halt there,but I have found a local luthier that will get it into playing shape. It's bigger than I thought it would be-amazing how an inch or so makes such a difference-I think this will be as big as I go. Glad I listened to my instincts & didn't go full size. So now I'm awaiting a new set of strings so I won't be charged for any materials & hopefully $30 will do it. Hoping to take it in next week sometime. But I have been humidifying the newest member of the family like crazy-amazing how fiddles are like plants-they need moisture!
The store will be in an article in an upcoming online magazine as it is a member of a co-op of farmgirls who have their own businesses. Looking forward to seeing it & sharing with you!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March comes in like a lion-sorta!

We've had March rains and lately we're getting very heavy winds blustering their way thru the valley,causing some pretty sleepless nights as it whooshes against gates,knocks over cans & bric a brac,and then howls in delight! The photo at the top is of the apricot blossoms on my tree-we'll see how many are left after the winds & rain are done.
Other adventures this month have consisted of the Universe dropping what I'm wishing for in my lap-I've been hunting for either a 7/8 or 4/4 violin-unsure if I can handle the full size,I was watching auctions on different sites-and for the first few weeks it was discouraging-I'd see a beauty right in my price range till the auction closed in on it's ending-and then would shoot up to $200-$300 winning bid. However,I also knew that these instruments weren't for me. And I kept looking-remembering to be patient.
Well on eBay I spied a new 7/8 fiddle,never played, "new old stock" as they call it,up for a BIN of $30. I looked at it suspiciously-and hesitated-and after about an hour I realised the Universe was handing my a deal & here I am just going-"should I?" So I went ahead & got it tho I hadn't heard from the seller (I just emailed him with questions) I did hear from the seller & my fears were put to rest-the bridge was there with it tho not put on it,no cracks,and soundpost is in place. Huzzah!
I'm now bidding on an old case that needs fixin up as it doesn't come with one-If I win it,I'll be taking you on my journey of refurbishing that in a most Farmgirl way!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spring is in the air-despite my not seeing my first robin yet,I'm feeling the energies shift from the laid back,cozy up vibe of winter to the intense "get out there & do something!" of the coming season. So with the help of mother nature bringing rains to my area,I have been weeding out the flowerbeds (long overdue!) and planning the planting of annuals,pansies and petunias becoming fast favorites. Cosmos seeds have been planted in pots,and the daisies I purchased from the "last chance"discount rack at my local Lowes last autumn are making an effort to blossom. What amazes me with myself is how I initially have to really make myself go out into the garden to do anything-then once outside,even in weeding & doing the tasks often considered to be "not fun" I enjoy myself. My mind gets to wander while I do the task in front of me,as I ponder next steps for the store,creative projects I want to do,or mull over a chapter of a book I've read.
The apricot tree is blooming once more-no leaves as yet,but those beautiful little blossoms are telling me there will be another year of a booming harvest in early summer.
My fiddle playing is improving and I'm thinking I can handle a full size after all so I'm window shopping-and I just received a book on Irish tunes that is I think out of print-much bigger than I thought & loaded with new tunes to explore on mandolin as well as fiddle . I'm wanting to bring the front porch in order so I can sit outside & play on a delightful looking porch-right now it's messy,and I'm clearing out the junk that has gathered there over winter. I'm enjoying spring more & more each year!