Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And Now For Some Bling

The penultimate day of reaching into the Royal Mail pouch - c'est domage! It was a small package today, but worth it:

Beads! Small red and gold and pink beads. Pretty blingy beads in little bags. They speak to this girl's blingy heart. Yes, yes they do.

I will now need to devise another method to add them to projects, since I don't have a crochet hook small enough to get through the holes. I am undeterred. Once again, thanks Tanya!

I thought I would take this opportunity to provide links to those blogs that took part (or will imminently be blogging about taking part) in The Blog Hub Swap - just in case you might want to join in on the week-long giftapalooza next time.

Faithfully Geeky
Tanya's Blog (a/k/a Goddess Jasmine)
Life and Yarn or Yarn and Life
Stitched Together
Misadventures in Craft
Knit and Seek
The Crafty Yuppie
The Nude Ewe
Disorderly Twinings
Master of a Thousand Things
Knitting in Beantown
Kismet's Companion
Underground Crafter
Life on Laffer
Tako Knits
Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts

If I've missed anyone, I apologize ... and I'll add your url in later!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Great Gift

So I'm getting to the end of my Blog Hub swap gifts. Reaching into the Royal Mail pouch today, I pulled out a gift that was rather large, and to my surprise and joy look what Tanya packed for me:

MORE YARN! And it's mohair (one of my favorites). And it's a variegated shade of light pink to almost-burgundian red. And there's two, two, count 'em two balls of the Laines du Nord loveliness (which is, oddly enough, completely manufactured in Italy). Can you tell there's just a little excitement here at chez Voie de Vie? Squa-wee!

I cannot wait to find just the right pattern in my queue (or maybe from somewhere else) for these two wonderful balls of mohair. I do have some ideas, but need to check out gauge and yardage information. I also like to let yarnie decisions marinate for a while. Like a good stew, I find the decisions get better and more tasty after they've sat around for a little bit. All of the creative juices need to come together, and that might take some time.

Nevertheless, I cannot thank Tanya enough for these super skeins of mohair magnificence.


Will it get any better tomorrow? Who knows what else is in the amazing Royal Mail pouch ... well, other than Goddess Jasmine herself, and she's not telling?!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Theme Has Formed

The Royal Mail pouch is getting slimmer by the day! I can't believe this is the fourth gift I've opened from Tanya a/k/a Goddess Jasmine. However, when I pulled it out of the pouch, I couldn't believe how fragrant it was.

This would be the hand-made portion of my swap package. Tanya has made a little soap sack (the ribbon is a nice touch), and inside is this most beautiful soap:

Not only is the color divine (love that orange theme), but it smells so good!

Additionally, I received some stitch markers. Clearly Tanya knows how much I love my beastly kitty George Bailey:

I didn't take them out of their little red pouch because you can still see them perfectly, and the red is a nice touch. I wonder if she made them?

Once can never have enough pretty stitch markers, so I'm thrilled with these.

Keeping count and keeping fragrantly clean. I'll take it.

Check back tomorrow to see what other goodies Tanya put into the Royal Mail pouch.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

On Chocolate and the Exotic

Day three of the Blog Hub Swap at chez moi. Before I show you what I pulled out of the Royal Mail pouch today, I initially promised everyone a better photo of my most awesome orange yarn from Day 1. Good as my word, here it is:

Fabulously orange, yes?

Now, onto today's swappy gem. It's Sunday, so I was particularly pleased to pull what you see to the right out of the hat.

Now, any chocolate is great in my book. And, since these are all produced in the U.K. (and I'm wondering if any are produced near Tanya's home), they could technically qualify as a "local" gift (one of the required gifts in our swap package directions). I especially loved the Ferrero-Rocher and the caramel-filled chocolate, although the Ferrero-Rocher is easily purchased on this side of the pond.

As good as this chocolate was (yes, you know it's long gone now, folks!), I've also received some great chocolate in other swap packages. Most recently I received this bar of chocolate awesomeness from Germany:

It was not too sweet, had little bits of nut and fruit in it, and was just a delight to eat and oogle over the packaging. I've also received memorable Belgian chocolate that contained chili pepper. Go figure.

From where have you received great chocolate? Definitely let me know, as I'm always on the great chocolate lookout.

Tomorrow is day 4: the happy hump day of swapping gifts. I'm certain I can't wait for another dip into the shiny packages in the Royal Mail pouch.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

On Peacocks Natural

It's day two here at chez Voie de Vie of the Blog Hub Swap. In case you missed day 1 (for me, it was yesterday), it's a swap wherein participants create boxes with seven different items, send them to another swapper, and the recipient blogs about the contents for a week.

Since I could open my packages in any order I pleased (except for the one at the end), I pulled out the next package my hand came to in the Royal Mail pouch. Et voila! it was this:

I love stationery and notebooks, so this is a perfect little set for me. Here's a closer inspection of the notebook cover. The pattern is, aptly enough, entitled "peacocks natural."

The set also includes a pen, pencil, ruler and eraser all with the same pattern.The notebook is small enough for me to carry around, and I can stick the pen into the wire binding so I won't lose it at the bottom of my bag.

Since I'm always coming up with new design possibilites, having a notebook with me all the time is pretty much a requirement. Tanya, thanks for the inspiration book. 

And, finally, see this box:

A lovely box, no? Well, it's now winging its way toward its intended Blog Hub swappee. Oh yeah.

Check back tomorrow to see what next emerges from the Royal Mail pouch.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The (Happy) Fiber Revolving Door

Well, happy Friday my fibery friends. I am still in Deadlineville, but can report that this

and this

have gone out the door to their intended destinations (all made into lovely projects, of course).

I have also been a-swappin' happy fiber and other fun stuff. In one swap, I have received my first skein of legendary Wollmeise yarn directly from the German Wollmeise store. So take that. Isn't it an awesome color?


It's almost 600 yards of light fingering weight superwash merino, so I'll need to pick a special shawl pattern for it.

In another swap, The Blog Hub Swap, we've been tasked with creating a package of 7 different gifts for our swappy partner, and then blog about each gift for 7 days (and we've also been given some gift categories that must be included in the package). I'm about ready to send my package out to my recipient swap partner, and I received my swappy package from Tanya a/k/a Goddess Jasmine (it's a round robin swap, so person A sends to person B and person B sends to person C - you get the idea). I opened my Royal Mail package to find this:

Oooh yes - shiny, happy little packages. Now, other than the card (which has specific directions to open it last), I can open these in any order I choose. I know that each of us must receive at least 100 grams of yarn. I also know that the package wrapped in orange is the yarn. Am I going to wait to open it? Heck no. I'm going for the gold first, people. Delayed gratification is great in some instances, but this is a swap for cryin' out loud. Delayed gratification - exit stage left. And now for the awesome yarn (snapped in fading light, so sorry for the less than perfect shot - I'll make up for it before the 7 days are over):

It is an absolutely ecstatic variegated shade of orange. It's also super soft. Of course it's perfect - it's orange. I am wondering what exact type of perfect this skein is, however, since there was no tag. Maybe Royal Mail, or customs on this side of the pond, really did open the package. Tanya, o Goddess Jasmine - you haz done good. What a great way to start off my 7 days of bloggy gifts.

Do make certain you point your fibery compass at Andrea's blog and check out what other fiber is flying around the blogosphere this Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just in Time for the Presidents' Holiday ...

... hand it to a fiber artist to get it pitch perfect. Go to Boston area-based Adrienne Sloane's blog to check out her vision of a more perfect Union.

Happy holiday weekend, everyone. Get out there and make something.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Another Installment of Year-end Art

60s Redux, Divided
Tryptich: acrylic on canvas
10 x 10 (2); 4 x 12 (1)
(cropped for aesthetic ease/online posting)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sorry to Interrupt Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday ...

... with more non-fiber art, but I'm in the middle of Deadlineville. So I bring you more year-end art:

mixed media on canvas
24" x 36"

Definitely check in with Andrea's blog to get your appropriate Friday fiber arts fill.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

When Top-Down is Just Fine

I am not a big fan of most top-down processes and designs. Top-down (trickle down) economics? Nah. Top-down management? Nope - not really. I'm generally more inclusive.

Of course there are excep-tions to most rules - and top-down sweater construction is definitely the exception in this instance. I've just completed my first top-down constructed cardigan, this Doris Chan design, and I love how it turned out. I love the yarn (Plymouth Grass) and the fit (mine is more top-of-the pocket length) is great ... because of all that top-down stuff. I can't wait to wear it this spring and summer.

Being particular can occasionally be well-placed. Occasionally.

Now make certain you check in with Andrea's blog to see what everyone else has under construction this Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday.