Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Wedding Day!

Congrats to the new royal pair! Isn't it fun to get caught up in all the frippery?

The local grocery store has invited everyone to come and have wedding cake and coffee from noon to one o'clock today. And we're in Ohio, an ocean away from it all : ) It's nice to have reasons to smile and eat cake!

Mmwaa! Sealed with a royal kiss.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My new book trailer!

I'm so excited about the trailer for Rose of Par Kluhnd! Here it is:

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I was looking through some old photos hoping to find enough to use in a book trailer I'm trying to make, when I came across this photo:

It was taken by my daughter a couple of years ago when on a trip to England. I just thought it was beautiful and wanted to share. You can click on the photo to see it even larger, and then click on the back arrow to return to the blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm building up my inventory

I've been busy with spinning, spinning, and more spinning, building up my inventory of handspun yarns so that I have enough for the two vendor booths I've signed up for this summer at craft and fiber fairs. 

I broke down and bought some handpainted roving from several shops on Etsy to speed the process along. There is no way that I could wash, comb, dye, and spin all that I needed from my own raw fleeces. All of that takes time. I'll still be using my own stuff, but won't be relying on it exclusively for my yarns.

Ooh there are lots of beautiful handpainted rovings for sale on Etsy. It's hard to narrow my choices down to just a few : )  They spin up so beautifully, too.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Alpacalypse

Is that when alpacas take over?

A few months ago we received a postcard in the mail from some sort of church warning us that the end of the world would happen on March 21st.

Well, March 21st has come and gone and, as far as I know, we're still here. Right??

Maybe when things kept looking pretty okay on March 21st, the people of that church should have done this:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wood duck weekend

A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I went in search of bald eagles. This weekend we went out in search of wood ducks. We found some at a park along the Chagrin River here in northeast Ohio. Click on any of the photos to see them enlarged, and then hit the back arrow to return to the blog.

Here's a female. The males generally get all of the attention, but I think the females are pretty, too:

And this is why the males get all the glory:

Which one stands out when they're side-by-side?:

I know, I know, the pretty boys:

We also found a hawk who was nice enough to let us snap a few photos. My husband took the picture below:

I wonder what kind of weekends we'll have in the future...

The Gray Wolf Throne...

comes out on my birthday! What a great birthday present! I still have to wait until the end of August, but I can do that.

This is a terrific series, beginning with The Demon King, continuing with The Exiled Queen, and now, ending (at least I think this is a trilogy) with The Gray Wolf Throne.

Cinda Williams Chima is the author - I have signed copies of all of her books so far : ) She lives in the area and she's given talks at our library and had book signings at our local independent bookstore.

Oh what a happy day August 30th will be!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Early spring in the wood

Color is not apparent yet in the woods here in northeast Ohio. The season is still early here and frost-free nights are still several weeks away. Early spring hasn't shed its winter colors yet. But soon...

Click on any of the pictures to see them larger, and then hit the back arrow to return to the blog.

Somehow these seeds escaped the blizzardy winds of winter and are still holding on together:

photo by Steve Ash

Here is a peek at early spring growth, still shy and hidden away:

photo by Steve Ash

Little animals gnaw away at old bones and antlers until nothing is left:

photo by Steve Ash

Frilly skirts for fallen logs:

photo by Steve Ash

All of these photos were taken by my husband.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lack of sleep causes rambling posts

Didn't sleep well last night due to accidentally drinking regular coffee instead of decaf too late in the evening. As I lay in bed trying to sleep, all sorts of strange thoughts coursed through my brain. And music.

I've been listening to a lot of Runa and Kate Rusby lately. All night, amid half-coherent wonderings about lots of things that seemed so important at the wee hours, in the background, my mind's music played such songs as I Am Stretched on Your Grave, a hauntingly beautiful and melancholy tune.

I first heard that song a couple of weeks ago in the venue of a cozy National Park lodge, sung by the Celtic band, Runa. Wow. Utterly beautiful.

Anyhoo, you can tell that I'm still tired, can't you? What I really came to type about before finally actually going to sleep, is that I spent the day finishing up making a cat bed. What I wanted to say about it is that it's made out of what I refer to as 'crap yarn' - the yarn I've spun out of the trash fiber that's left behind in my wool combs after combing wool fiber into spinable roving for my spinning wheel.

This stuff was really bad, anyone would be right in throwing it away, but I decided to keep it. I carded it, spun it, and dyed it with leftover dyes from legitimate projects. I knitted up what I wanted to be a cat bed, which I was going to felt.

I finished the knitting today and felted it in my washing machine. What came out was actually really pretty. It looks like an art piece. I'm flabbergasted. I'm way too tired to go through the hassle of taking pictures and posting them tonight, but soon. I'll try to take some nice pics and share.

Of course if I try to make something like it again, on purpose, it won't turn out as pretty - that's the way it always works, isn't it?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Ogham Alphabet

From the Triskelle Irish History Website.
 This is the Ogham Alphabet, a form of ancient Celtic writing often found carved on standing stones.

Each letter is also associated with a type of tree. Different types of trees held their own special meanings - mystical, magical, or sacred - for the long-ago users of Ogham.

I borrowed the Ogham alphabet and use it here and there in my book, Rose of Par Kluhnd: A Fairy Tale. There are a lot of links to ancient Irish myth and legend in this book, for those who care to look for it. You don't have to be at all acquainted with Irish lore in order to enjoy the book, but it's there for those who want to delve a little deeper.