fairy garden

fairy garden 1

I finally made my little fairy garden this weekend. I used a poorly constructed (by me) box from scraps of wood from an old, weathered fence that fell over a few years ago. And then I thought I’d practice with my nifty 50 lens and take some artistically dreamy photos.

fairy garden2

That might not have been the best idea, since I still don’t know what I’m doing or how to capture what I want.

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Well, it is a fairy’s eye view I guess.  How about an iPhone photo of the whole thing?

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Well, bad photos aside, it was a lot of fun to collect small plants and garden accessories and design a garden for the imaginary wee folk. Winston wonders when they are going to show up, so he can eat them.

winston

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a fresh, new year

Happy New Year! I have high hopes for 2012, and I'm starting it off by cleaning out and finishing off and setting goals and figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. I'll be blogging up a storm here at Hey Lucy, and I'm starting to think about all the projects I can do and tutorials I can share, and things I can make for my Etsy shop. You see, while I was on vacation I learned that I had been laid off from my job. It was a bit shocking, and it's somewhat terrifying, but I really hope to turn it into something wonderful. 

It's quite fun wake up in the morning and have the whole day to putter and create, although it is surprising how much time all those mundane little things can take. I'm working on getting into a routine, a la FlyLady, and spending a certain amount of time in my little house studio. Later this week I'll be setting up my own little home office in a corner of our tiny guest room, which will involve building a desk, among other things, and I'm excited to see how it all comes together. 

In the meantime, I've whipped up and worked on a few things that have been waiting to be done for a very long time. I've had this polka dot fabric for dog beds for months, and I sewed one up the other day. It's just a giant pillow cover with an envelope back, and I stuffed it with some of our old pillows that have seen better days and needed replacing. I made it for Bear, our 10-year-old Golden Retriever, so he won't have to lay his old bones down on the floor, but Winston was eager to try it out and model for me.

image from www.flickr.com
He heartily approves. Oh, and Bear likes it too.

Ages ago I had the bright idea that I would hem some cheery blue plaid cotton squares and use them as handkerchiefs. I did a cute, hand-stitched hem on one and then ran out of steam. I really have to be in the mood for hand sewing, and the mood hasn't striked (stricken?) for awhile, so I zipped the rest through the rolled-hem foot on my sewing machine and called it good. The corners are not the prettiest, but it turns out I got them done just in time, since I woke up yesterday with a scratchy throat and runny nose. I have to say, it's no fun feeling under the weather when you can't even call in sick!

image from www.flickr.com
There has also been much knitting this past month, but I can only give you a sneak peek of a few projects, and I will have to tell you more later. I am finally testing my design chops, and the first photo is something I am working on that I hope to finish up and write up soon! I might need a test knitter or two, so let me know if you are interested! 

  image from www.flickr.com

So, I could use a little help. I really want to build Hey Lucy into a great site and have it be something useful, and then eventually to accept sponsors. I should probably do a formal survey, but in the meantime, I want to know what you think makes a good blog, what makes you come back every day? Tutorials? Original patterns? Links to cool stuff elsewhere? More photos of Winston? 😉 Fashion, design, crafts? One more than the other, or all three? Do you want to know about iPhone apps? Do you like to have lots to read, or just look at lots of photos? Please share! Either in the comments, or via email, if you want to keep it private (lucy (at) heylucy (dot) net). It would be most appreciated!

Here's to a fun new year!

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applesauce

image from www.flickr.comTaken with GorillaCam app, edited with Tiltshift Generator

A little over a year ago I had this great idea for a blog all about iPhone apps, that was focused more on women and creative sorts, you know, people like me and you (I'm pretty sure most Hey Lucy visitors are women and creative, except for my brothers, who are men, of course, but still creative, and iPhone users). I had an iPhone and found all sorts of app review sites, but they were mostly by men and mostly about games. I like games, but I've got Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, and Bejeweled, and that's about all I really need at the moment. So I started a blog called Applesauce, and posted a whole bunch of app reviews and iphone photos, and it was a lot of fun. And developers were constantly sending me their apps, but there were kind of a lot of crappy apps being sent and it was not always easy to find the time and energy to keep up with everything, and then, a few weeks ago I managed to break the whole site. Also, I had a really good deal on web hosting for the first year, but that ran out and it was starting to cost more money and I couldn't figure out how to fix the site and I really didn't think I could keep it up all on my own, so I finally came to the decision to just let it all go. So if you were an applesauce visitor, I'm sorry that it's not there any more.

I have good news, though! I thought it would be fun to post the occasional review or photo here now, instead! I hope you won't mind, and really, it just means more posts! Recently, Mr. Heylucy's sad little mobile phone died, so we had to upgrade. I gave him my old 3gs iPhone and upgraded to an iPhone 4. Now that I have an even better camera, I need a little push to start playing around with it more and taking pictures every day. I'm still always on the lookout for nifty, well-designed apps, so I'll tell you about them and some of my old favorites that I wrote about before on Applesauce. I'll tag all app related posts applesauce, so if you are interested, you'll be able to easily find them. I hope you won't mind, and I promise this won't become an all-iPhone-all-the-time blog. 

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finish-itis

A while back, the Yarn Harlot wrote about a serious condition she called finishitupitis, wherein she felt a need to finish everything in her unfinished object (UFO) basket. I'm not sure how that virus traveled from Canada to California, but travel it did. To the detriment of almost all other activities, I am determined to Get Stuff Done and get rid of projects I have no interest in finishing and clean out the yarn that I will never use. So yes, I finished yet another project. Yay!

image from www.flickr.com

Juneberry is a surprisingly fast knit, and it was interesting the whole way through. I loved this pattern, and I want to make it again in something soft and silky and drape-y. Shelter is none of those things. That's not at all a criticism, however, it's just a very different yarn for me. Had I come across it in a yarn store, I don't know that I would have been eager to buy it. I think that most of the yarn I have worked with has been worsted-spun yarn, rather than woolen-spun, as this is. Briefly, worsted-spun means that the fibers are long, and the yarn is spun with the fibers parallel along the length of the yarn. Woolen-spun, on the other hand, is made with shorter fibers, which are more perpendicular or in all different directions. The result is a much lighter yarn because there is more air trapped between the fibers. This also means that it's warmer, as I could tell as soon as I flung this shawl around my shoulders. 

image from www.flickr.com

Shelter feels very dry, and not at all soft when it comes off the skein. It has almost a crunchy texture, I kept wanting to compare it to styrofoam when I was working with it. I didn't have any problems with breakage while I was knitting, but when I did want to break the yarn, it did so very easily. Part of the dryness, for want of a better word, makes it really show off the stitches, which I think you can see, are very clearly defined. It blocked up beautifully, and softened a bit. It's still a bit too scratchy to wear right up against bare neck skin, so this will be better worn as a true shawl, around my shoulders, rather than bunched up around my neck like a scarf. 

image from www.flickr.com

So, if you'll be knitting something with lots of cables or other interesting surface textures, I highly recommend trying out Shelter. I think it's the perfect yarn for many patterns from Brooklyn Tweed, so kudos to Jared Flood for creating this yarn! 

So now that I'm down to just one project in my knitting bag, I've decided to go through the abandoned project bags and either finish something that's been hibernating, or ripping it out and using the yarn for something else. I'm just going to try to keep alternating between new and old. Last night I had a look at one of the first lace projects I attempted (in 2007! sheesh!). I knew there was a mistake in it somewhere, and I had been so frustrated that I stopped knitting right in the middle of a row, threw it in a bag and never looked at it again. Fast-forward to last night, when I un-knit several rows, but still didn't seem to be able to discover exactly where I went wrong.  I tried knitting a row, but I soon realized the my little size 3 bamboo needles were nowhere near pointy enough to deal with this extremely fine lace yarn. So I ripped the whole thing out and I think I'm going to use it for a very simple, lacy, beaded shawl, and I'll be using bigger needles with nice sharp points. I still love the yarn, and I love the pattern, just not together in the same project. 

One last thing, I have a thrifty knitting tip to share. With the last few lace projects I've been making, I thought it would be really nice to have some blocking wires. One of my local yarn stores had some that you could buy individually for a couple dollars a piece. Another local yarn store had a set for over thirty dollars! I didn't notice how many there were in a set, but still, it was a lot of money. I went to my local Ace Hardware, which is one of my favorite stores ever, because you can ask them anything and they'll help you find an answer. I told them what I was looking for and they sent me to look at some steel rods they had. They were great, but a little heavy, and covered with gunk from the manufacturing process that I would have had to clean off. Then they guy remembered something from the welding section. I had a look, and thought they would be perfect, and they were less than $6 for a set of six 36" copper colored rods. They're packaged in this handy tube, required no cleaning, and were nice and sturdy without being too thick. 

image from www.flickr.com

I have no idea what they are supposed to be used for, but I've used them to block three shawls so far, and they worked great!

Wait, I lied, one more last thing: 

image from www.flickr.com

Winston says Hi!

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holiday pity party

I've been meaning to post some pictures or something, but I came down with an annoying cold the day before Thanksgiving and so I've just been feeling sorry for myself. I like to keep things nice and happy here, so I've been at a loss. I love the holidays, but due to many circumstances, I'm having a bit of a hard time this year. I'm not sure if I will be able to visit my family, my cold is still lingering, and Thanksgiving was kind of a failure all around. These are all minor problems, so I am irritated with myself for the ridiculous pity party I've been having the last few weeks. I am trying really hard to generate some Christmas cheer. 

image from www.flickr.comIn an effort to start feeling more Christmas-y, I thought I'd try and do a little something for the holidays every day. I've started playing Christmas music, I'm putting the finishing touches on a couple handmade gifts, I think I'll set up the tree this weekend, and I hung my big wreath up on the front of the house the other day. And then I noticed that some of the lights were out. It seems to be exemplifying my attitude right now: trying to let my (Christmas) light shine, but not quite succeeding. Blergh.

At least I have this fuzzy face to keep me company while I pull out the decorations:

image from www.flickr.com

I'll try to get over myself soon. 

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