Saturday, January 22, 2022

I Remembered

Every time I go to DS's taproom, Zambaldi Beer, to knit with friends I intend to take a picture of my knitting with my mug of beer and every time I forget. Except today! Today I remembered to lay my knitting down on the table and take a picture of it with my half mug of hazy IPA. Just so you don't think that DS isn't a good brewer, it's supposed to be cloudy not clear. It's the style. I like it because it has a strong grapefruit aroma and taste.



I finished the Sunset Doublethick Washcloth at the taproom. I knitted until I thought I had just enough yarn to bind off. I wasn't too far off, I had about a yard left.



Then I picked up the Black & White sock to work on that. I'm on the leg which is seven inches of knit, knit, knit, around and around until I get to the heel flap, heel turn, and gusset before another seven inches of just plain knitting for the foot. I'm in no hurry.



After knitting I pulled out the 3-D drawing book and drew the next few figures in the E lesson. I don't know what the flying thing with arms is but then there's the Elf Ear and the Emotional Eye. Kind of creepy.


This morning I spied a House Finch all fluffed up and huddled against the tube feeder. Every once in a while he would turn and peck at the seed but mostly he just sat there fluffed against the cold. I don't blame him one bit.


Today's toss was a teddy I found in my drawer that I will never wear again.

For the prompt I wrote about the sky. Okay, I confess that I wrote this yesterday but I like what I wrote an awful lot so I'm claiming it.

--Barbara

Friday, January 21, 2022

Not Quite As Cold

It got up to 18 degrees today. Balmy! And it was still sunny so the House Finches came to visit the feeder this morning. They had it all to themselves, no bossy Cardinal to chase them away. I took a picture of a Junco on the birdbath but it was in the shade and the bird all but disappeared.



I redrew the elephant today. I want to draw it enough that I remember how to draw it without having to look at the pictures in the book. Then I drew the next E creature. He calls it Eek. I don't know what it is but it was fun to draw.


I pulled out a loose sheet of watercolor paper and tried my hand at another fish picture only this time I painted seaweed first, let it dry, and then painted a big fish swimming onto the page, only my paint didn't stay wet long enough for the colors to bleed. I'm rather happy with how it turned out.



At Friday Night Knitting I worked on the Sunset Doublethick Washcloth.  I'm planning to keep knitting on it until I run out of yarn, or almost run out of yarn. Zoom was frustrating today. I kept freezing and getting kicked off. I rebooted twice and reconnected about four times and still had trouble with it so I gave up and signed off. Now that I'm not on Zoom my connection seems to be stable. Grrr.


Today's toss was another gardening book, this one about plants that attract bees.

The prompt today said to write in dialogue about a reunion that goes wrong so I wrote about college sweethearts that reconnect. Things don't go well.

--Barbara

Thursday, January 20, 2022

At Least The Sun Shone

It's so cold. I had to go out this evening and when I was coming home my car's thermometer said that it was 3 degrees. Three. Degrees. That is just brutal. When it's that cold I have to wear a hat in the car to stay warm and my wool mittens don't really do the job. Bloody cold. At least it was sunny today.

The Downy Woodpecker came back this afternoon and spent some time on the suet cakes. This one was a male, I can tell by the red swoop across the back of its head, and it acts like it owns the place. Funny how a bird can display arrogance with just its body language.



Speaking of arrogant, the Cardinal was back this morning and he was up to his old selfish ways, driving off other birds when they tried to land on the feeder with him.


A small flock of Juncos came to the backyard this morning too. They stayed in the shadow of the house so everything has that blue, underwater look about it. I'm impressed that the bunnies that visit at night left some seed for the ground feeding birds.



Instead of drawing out of a book today I drew an underwater scene with an angelfish and some coral. Not too bad. OJ and I drew tonight after supper. I'm getting braver to just think of something and then draw a line around it.


Today's toss was a garden book. I'm going to have the garden removed and seeded over into grass next spring. I realized last summer that I gardened for Durwood and really don't have the motivation to do it anymore so I'll get rid of my gardening books too.

Once again I sat staring out the patio door and didn't crack open the prompt book. I watched the next couple painting videos and can't decide what my next move is.

I got to go watch LC and OJ in swim lessons tonight. They're doing quite well but I felt bad taking their wet heads out into the freezing dusk. Good thing I knit them hats.

--Barbara

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Woodpecker Day

I don't know if one Downy Woodpecker visited three times or three separate Downy Woodpeckers visited once each but I enjoyed seeing the woodpecker in the sunshine this morning. It feasted on the suet pellets twice and then visited the suet cakes once but that shot was in the shade and therefore murky.



I unpinned the DK Shawl from the blocking pads and wires and all of the edges lay down nice and flat now. Hopefully it'll stay that way until next August when I can take it to the Fair.


Today I painted the official fish in my sketchbook. They turned out okay. The next unit is about making different marks on the paper with thick paint and different tools, letting it dry, and then cutting out shapes to make a collage. I'm not excited about that. Maybe I'll watch the next video and see what's coming up. Hope it's more painting and less crafting.



I had a blah kind of day. Not really in the mood to do much of anything (besides snack, which I did too much of) so it was late in the day when I pulled out the drawing pad and Draw Squad book. I drew the six figures in the next lesson and left it at that.


For quite a bit of the afternoon and evening I knitted on the Black & White Sock. I added at least an inch to the leg of the sock and then I added a few rows to the Sunset Doublethick Washcloth too but I only took a picture of the sock.



I spent my Christmas gift certificate from DS and family the other day and my alpaca yarns came today. I got six skeins of the creamy white and three skeins of the gray. I envision making a hat with a stripe and maybe matching mittens. Alpaca is so soft, I love it.



Today's toss was a bag of mission figs that had gone bad, well, fermented in the back of the cupboard. I told you that I was in a snacking mood so I was looking through the cabinets and found the figs. One whiff told me that I was too late. Out they went.

The prompt today said to write a story that ends with "and then he woke up." So I wrote about a man chasing bad guys through his castle waving his sword and protecting his vassals, being all heroic, but then he woke up and was back to being nine years old.

I got a call from DS this evening that he has COVID again. He said he doesn't even have a headache or a cough but tested positive, the only one in the family to do so, again. It was just about a year ago when he had it the first time. What a pain. 

--Barbara

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

I Caught One

A bird. On film, er, digital. Pixels maybe? Anyway, I was lucky enough to be holding the camera when a Chickadee visited the platform feeder. It flew away just as I clicked the shutter so all I got was an empty feeder but then another one arrived and I nabbed it. Gotcha!



A squirrel made itself at home dangling from the suet pellets this afternoon. It was snow flurrying at the same time but you can't see the flakes.


I started drawing the E figures today--a sphinx, which he called an Early Egyptian to fit the lesson, and a couple elephants. I wonder what's on the next page.



This morning I texted some of my knitting pals to arrange a Sunday knit at Zambaldi and it turns out that two of them can make it but the third can only knit on Saturday so, lucky me, I get to go knitting at the taproom two days in a row. It's only polite. I cast on a sock to have something small and portable to knit on this weekend. Now that I'm through the cuff all the stitches are knit stitches so that's the perfect no-thinking-needed knitting.


I'm on a kind of lentil jag. I caught it from my friend Lala. Last month I made Lentils & Rice and it was so good I made it again during my Investment Cooking week last week. I also made a batch of lentil soup last month. Lala has been extolling the virtues of red lentils so I had to try them. This morning I made a batch of North African Red Lentil Soup which I got off the WW site. I had all the ingredients on hand. I just had a taste of it because I had my lunch already but it's good. It has tomatoes and cumin and garlic and onions in it. Next I want to try Red Lentil & Red Pepper soup also from the WW site. For that one I have to buy a red pepper and some chicken broth. I should probably go to the grocery tomorrow morning before the temperatures crash into the single digits. I should have gone today when it was in the 30s. Oh well, I'm hardy and I'll bundle up.



There's a full moon tonight. It's called the Wolf Moon because of the wolves that howled outside villages in winter. This is not a great picture but it's the best I can do with my old camera. I can't make my "big" camera take a picture of the moon. Maybe if I set it to Manual...



Today's toss was more spatulas. I know! I have a lot of them and keep finding more.

Oh, I watched the last episode of Season 1 of Bridgerton this afternoon only to discover that Season 2 won't be on Netflix until March 25 or something like that. It'll be hard to wait.

--Barbara

Monday, January 17, 2022

Practice Fish

 I'm nervous about painting fish in my sketchbook so I dug out a couple loose sheets of paper approximately the same size as the pages and painted some practice fish. This was my first attempt. First I had to look up how to make gray from colors (mix red, blue, and yellow but be careful because too much red makes brown) and then squirt out paint on a big palette so I had a lot of paint to get wet enough. I had too much paint on my first try (upper left) but once it dried I kind of like it.



After supper I tried again. That one's not dry yet so I haven't had the chance to use colored pencils to put in the eyes and other details. 


No birds showed up again even though the sun came out for part of the afternoon but this squirrel spent some time leaping up to the suet cakes for a nibble.



I visited Zambaldi this morning and it was a brewing day. Brewing makes the place smell kind of like a bakery. I got to taste the new hazy IPA made with Wisconsin grown hops.  It has a wonderful citrus aroma and flavor. It was good to spend a little while visiting with DS and finding out how their anniversary weekend went. He said they had a nice crowd and lots of compliments. Good. Now people just need to keep coming during the slow months of winter. Since the next Packers game is on Saturday I think I'll see if I can rustle up a knitting afternoon at the taproom next Sunday.


I've been adding a few rows here and there to the Sunset Doublethick Cloth. I'm in no hurry and I find myself riveted to Bridgerton when I sit down to watch. Oh well.


Instead of digging around for something to toss I went to the grocery after my visit to the brewery. I didn't crack open the prompt book or the drawing books either. Just didn't have the oomph.

--Barbara

Sunday, January 16, 2022

I Saw A Bird

One little brown bird, a House Finch, well two actually, but only one deigned to pose for a portrait. It was overcast and 20 today so my theory about birds only coming in the sunshine proved wrong. I don't know when they come but a couple came today.



And the squirrels discovered the peanuts this morning too. In the afternoon a pair of them were tag teaming the suet cakes but I didn't get a picture because they were too fast for me.




I started the next section in the 3-D drawing book today. The letter of the day is E so I drew six versions of that letter. I thought about drawing more pictures but I just wasn't in the mood. Some days are like that. I didn't paint either.


I did do all the laundry, washed and dried, but not folded and put away. I'm saving that for another day.


Today's toss was a trio of candles that I came across on the shelves in the basement. I rarely burn candles. I'm not really a fan of fragrance.

Didn't write a prompt today. Instead I sat on the couch, between trips to flop the laundry around, watching episodes of Bridgerton on Netflix. I didn't even knit. All I can say is oh my, the Duke. *sigh* Thanks for the recommendation, CS, DM, and KE!

--Barbara