Let me off the grid! A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Hurray!  I actually finished the second mitten last night, but was too tired to post the picture.  Other fiber news:  I finished spinning/navajo plying the second bag of the dreaded turquoise mohair (looks just like the first skein, so I'm not posting another pic), spun/plied some lavender/pink/blue wool that had been sitting on a bobbin for ages, and am currently spinning some black wool roving with some sparkly stuff that will be a novelty yarn (pictures of that when it's finished).

We went to Venice Beach and spent four glorious days away from the Las Vegas blast furnace, walking uncounted miles all around this bit of paradise.  Here is a view of the Grand Canal:
Earlier that evening, my husband and I encountered this fellow on the Venice Pier:
Everyone was madly snapping pictures (me included) and he just hung out like a rock star:

It was quite an experience to be so close to him.  Doesn't he look prehistoric?  And that wingspan was enormous!  You'd better believe that we all made way when he spread those wings...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Portable Writing Desk

I have been searching for a portable slope writing desk for quite a while.  At last, I discovered one one Ebay.  Mark, the seller, was willing to negotiate on the price and last Tuesday it arrived:

It is about 160 years old, mahogany, weighs a ton, in beautiful condition, and exactly what I was looking for.  The felt on the writing surface needed to be replaced.
So I did:
This is what it looks like on the inside:

There are two pull out drawers under the cubbyholes, but you can't really see them in the picture.  The original key was lost.  I went to a nearby locksmith, who suggested I go to Gene's locksmith shop, which is not too far away.
This is Eric,
who hand filed my key.  He is of a disappearing breed - a locksmith who loves antique locks and taking the time to create things by hand.  Here is the beautiful key he made:
It works perfectly.  Needless to say, I love my treasure and use it every time I write a letter or practice my penmanship.  I believe that things like this should be used, not sat on a shelf to collect dust.  I like to think about all the letters that were written on it in the past and the lives of the people who used it.  Now my desk will have new memories to collect...

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Starting the second one tonight...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fiber Update

The mitten is almost finished!
my first mitten, minus thumb
Yes, I am fairly impressed with myself, thank you very much.  By tomorrow I hope to have it finished and a start on the other one.  Happy.

More fiber news:  remember the hideous mohair?  Well I got it plied.  It looks pretty nice.  One more bag to go.  AND there is a challenge going on at my favorite yarn shop to create a skein of novelty yarn, which I did.
novelty yarn on top, mohair on bottom
Guess what the novelty yarn is???  A couple of years ago, one of my students brought me a bag of fluff and asked if I could spin it.  I told him that just about anything could be spun and asked him what it was...tee-hee...the stuffing from a baseball!  I found it recently at the bottom of the cedar chest and decided to spin it up.  It's plied with some wool pencil roving that's been sitting around for eons.  Ta-da!  Novelty Yarn :)  The best part?  I used up two things in the chest that were just taking up space.  Two down, 399,999,999,998 to go...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mitten update

Behold, the Thumb Gusset:
Yes, I'm fairly tickled with myself, though I know only too well that pride cometh before a fall.  Who knows what the yarn demons have in store for me...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Knitting with Sputnik...

That's what it feels like whenever I try to knit with double pointed needles.  After wrestling with this at my favorite yarn shop last night, I have gotten this far:
This is the beginning of my first mitten.  I am determined to learn to make mittens (because God knows we need them in Las Vegas at this time of year) and to knit them on dpns (because there's just not enough stress in my life).  And also because mittens are on my 101 Things to Do in 1,001 Days list.  Watch for updates...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Abandoned Art

Here's my latest thing - it goes by different names, but basically you make art and then leave it as a gift somewhere for someone to find.  My blog friend, Palma invited me to the Facebook Art Abandonment  group.  Here is more information from Michael deMeng, who began the group.

I am ready to send my first pieces out into the world, where I hope they will be loved.
"Enjoy the Mystery" ATCs
ATC envelope
abandoned art message
It will be interesting to see if there is any response...