Wednesday Wings ala Marguerite

I've always enjoyed Marguerite's Wednesday Wings.  She's so knowledgeable about birds and takes wonderful photos of the birds that visit her feeder and nest in her birdhouses.  I've always been a little jealous at the variety of birds that show up at her house.  However, I'm pleased as punch to report that I have my own Wednesday Wings today!  Yesterday hubby and I were lounging around the house watching a movie after dinner.  All of a sudden the crows started making a horrible racket.  I went outside to see what was going on and found this majestic guy (or gal – it's hard to tell the males and females apart) hanging around a tree in our backyard:



He hung out for about an hour and and half and then went on his merry way.  The crows continued to dive bomb him and occasionally he would snap at them if they got too close.  The crows were really flirting with danger because an eagle will grab another bird right out of the air if they so choose.  This may be one of the nesting pair from across the street, or one of their offspring looking for a place to nest (they had three babies this year).  I have mixed feelings about wanting him to make a home in our yard.  It's a wonderful opportunity to observe bald eagles first hand, but then you become a nature preserve and there are a lot of restrictions on what you can and can't do with your property.

These pictures were taken with our new Nikon CoolPix P500.  We had bought a Nikon D60 a couple of years ago, but it has become obvious it's just too much camera for us.  I had visions of buying new lenses for it and really getting into photography, but that's just not going to happen.  Plus it didn't do video and only had a 3x optical zoom with the lens we had.  The CoolPix has an outstanding 36x optical zoom, is smaller and more lightweight and does everything that we'll ever probably want to do with a camera.  I'm already getting some great other Wednesday Wings shots:


That's about the extent of the excitement chez Missour Star this week.  I currently have three active projects which involve:

(1)  a grey stockinette sleeve


(2) grey stockinette socks


(3) a navy blue stockinette sweater. 


Add in grey, overscast skies and it's really a snooze fest.  I guess I do have the Advent Scarf, but it's just not doing it for me right now.   I have a terrible urge to cast on something new, but nothing's calling to me.  I flirted with the idea of starting the Wedding Ring Shawl, but I don't have the yarn for it.   We just spent a boatload of money on the new camera and new window treatments for the living room, so I can't justify a major yarn outlay right now.  What to do?  This weekend we have company, but maybe next week I'll sit down with Ravelry and do some exploring.  Any suggestions would be welcome!

The Hole in the Ocean

Has it really been two weeks since I blogged?  Recently someone told me that retirement is like digging a hole in the ocean.  As fast as you dig it, stuff flows in and fills it up!  Of course, I do have to remind myself that I'm doing the things I want to do.  I just want to do so much!!

Where to start?  Well, last weekend we had our 4th Annual Spring Tea.  This is an event that two friends and I have been hosting for – well, four years.  It's nothing fancy, but just a fun time to get together with friends and be a little girly.  I made scones, lemon poppyseed muffins, Devonshire cream and lemon curd.  Yummy.  My friend made finger sandwichs and the tea (she's British so we bow to her expertise).  The third friend contributes the invitations and made some beautiful fabric corsages. 

Of course, two little girls needed new dresses and Nana was glad to oblige:

Isobel has decided she doesn't like being "girly", so I was a little worried, but she was pleased that her dress was blue and didn't complain at all.  Maggie got into the spirit of the occasion with her own corsage:

There were hats:

And, of course – tea:

The weekend before the tea we had the girls for the weekend to give Abby a little break.  During their stay Isobel became infatuated with my spinning wheel and wanted to make yarn.  She pedaled and I drafted:

I asked her if she would like to learn to knit and she said, "I'd love to learn to knit."  Definitely an improvement over last time when she informed me that only old grannies knit.  So, I guess I'd better start thinking about it.  Anyone out there ever teach a child to knit?  Any suggestions?

I'm still a trifle obsessed with making little zippered bags.  I've sold some as wedding sets and I think they'd be great for shower gifts.  I especially like this set that I just did:

The smallest case is a tissue holder.  Here's the inside:

Pretty, huh?

I have been knitting in the evenings and finished In Dreams.  No picture yet because it's not blocked and looks like a pile of beaded dental floss.  Once I finished that, most of my knitting was rather plain and boring, so in a fit of I'm-not-sure-what, I started a new sweater.  I've been wanting to do a Dale of Norway for me and chose Nagano.  I'm up to the plain part of the body:

Now that I 've started a winter weight wool sweater, warm weather is sure to come – maybe?  We actually hit 70 today and it was glorious!!  Now we just need to string two of those together in a row and we can officially call it spring.

Spring Has Sprung

I'm hoping we've finally turned the corner on springtime – do two good days count?  Sunday was absolutely glorious, followed by two days of cold and rain, followed by another glorious day today.  Mid 60's and sunshine!  However, considering the weather in the rest of the country, we have no right to complain about our record-setting cold spring so far.

On Sunday we headed down to Snohomish to celebrate Isobel's and hubby's birthdays.  Isobel was a little annoyed that we were not celebrating on her actual birthday, which was yesterday.  So she called the party her "pretend birthday party".  The party was held in the local park and it was picture perfect weather!


Hubby is also annoyed that he is now of Social Security age, but is comforted in the fact that I will join him later this year. Isboel gave him a coffee cup that she decorated herself – "Happy Brthday, Love, Isobel".  Priceless!


Our present to Isobel was a science kit.  As soon as she got home she put on her lab coat and started experimenting:

Her greatest desire in life is to be a scientist.  Ivy's is to be a princess (gotta work on that girl!).

Isobel's Auntie Ling bought her a bicycle, which required some adjustments from Grandpa:

On the way home we drove through the tulip fields.  We didn't stop, but I managed to get some pretty pictures from the car:

Once again I am reminded of what a beautiful place we live in.  In fact, as I write this I'm watching out the window as two bald eagles circle over our yard.

My etsy shop has been quite busy!  In fact, I had to get busy and restock since I had sold so many items.  I am having so much fun making these little bags.  I just restocked yesterday:

One of my customers requested a custom bag for her daughter's wedding.  That got me to thinking how pretty monogrammed bags would be and I came up with these:

They can be customized with any color or initial.  I'll be putting up a section for special ordering these, but if anyone's interested before then, just email me.  This set is going to be a shower gift for a friend from church.  I also discovered that the smaller bag can be made from a fat quarter.  So I dived into my fabric stash and found some fat quarters that had been languishing because I couldn't figure out what to do with them.  These bags will be coming soon!

Lest you think I've abandoned knitting, I can assure you that I've actually got quite a bit done in the last two weeks.  However, none of it is particularly photo-worthy.  I finished one of the fronts on hubby's Cambridge Cardigan and am busily working away on the last clue of the In Dreams Shawl.  There is no way I'm going to try to spread it out on the needle to try and get a picture.  It's pretty crammed on there!  This particular clue has 1600 beads!! 

This weekend we'll be having the girls with us.  Abby's sister and two kids fly back to Japan on Friday, so we'll be giving her a bit of a break.  If the weather's nice we'll probably spend a great deal of it outside.  One can only dream!

Oh, and I almost forgot.  My random number generator (aka hubby) picked out a number and the lucky winner of my blog contest was JoLynn.  JoLynn is almost local – she lives over on the mainland and we occasionally run into each other.  She was in our class with Cookie A.  Congratulations JoLynn!  She has already picked out her prize and it is winging its way to her.