Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What the Deuce?!

I just love saying that. What the....? Lately there have been many exciting things happening in my life. Here are a few highlights: Ashevegas2010 happened and it was epic. There were yarn shops and monkeys and gigglefits and lots of wonderful friends that met and re-met.
Last Saturday night Sister Mary Monkeypants and I attended Malaprop's author night and we got to meet Sharyn McCrumb! We gave her a handknit shawl and got SMMP's picture taken with poor Sharyn.
Sunday was The Big Crafty, which was colorful and a treasure trove of local art and creativity.
Then yesterday I had a random special moment. I was picking up a friend at the teeny Asheville airport and I saw this man who looked like he had stepped right out of National Geographic- nut brown, sturdy, huge brown eyes, handknit wool sweater with a special strip of pink around it, elaborate woven headgear with earflaps and pom poms. I kept looking at him, feeling drawn to talk to him. Finally I went up and gestured at his hat and showed him my knitting so he would understand what I was interested in. I knew he did not speak english, I could just tell. This lady came up as we were smiling at each other and said "Oh he doesnt speak English, he's a Shaman, a holy man from the Peruvian highlands." Which of course he was. So I went to pull the car around and I was thinking about synchronicity and how, somewhere in the Peruvian highlands a bunch of people must feel like they met Elvis to talk to this man. I decided if he was still there when I pulled back around then I must talk to him again. He was standing outside right where I had to park, with another man who was carrying his drum. I asked the other man if he spoke English, yes he did. Here is our exchange: "Please tell him that this hat is a gift, handknit, and this yarn is a gift, made locally here." He looks carefully at my hat and seems to like it. I hear him say gracias. "Can you ask him if he would mind taking this picture of my son and saying a prayer for him, he has a heart problem." I place my hand on my heart. Im looking at the medicine man. He listens carefully, takes the picture, puts his hand on his own heart, then takes my hands in his large warm ones and talks. The interpreter says "He says to tell you that he will pray for your son each morning in his morning prayers." I said gracias. We stood like that, smiling, well met, for a bit. I did not feel at all like I was supposed to bow or be intimidated, but I felt like we were equals, and there was a peace between us, and that we shared a feeling of good humor, and clarity. His energy felt like a tree, both alive and full of life force yet solid. Being empathic I am used to feeling energy from others but I have never felt another empathic person read me so clearly. It was interesting and I felt very open to it. like I said, we were well met, and that made us both feel amused. It was an unexpected joyous moment that I will treasure always.
I apologize if this post freaks some people out, as I usually don't talk about empathic ability or spiritual matters, but a good friend wanted me to blog about it so here you go!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shakespeare, Superglue and Strippers

I wish y'all could see what I have seen lately. My friend Lizabee knitted a tree! She is incredibly talented. I've knitted a sweater in hempathy, created a pretty doable marketbag pattern that's up in my ravelry shop, got to have a slumber party with Merino, made two new sock monkeys- a Shakespearean one and a Pirate one. I'm working on a gnome for the shop right now. Getting in gear for Ashevegas2010! Big yarn fun, cant wait! My dream date sock monkey arrived from Karen, his name is either Lyle or Bananaman depending on if he's in his superhero gear or what. He has a laser. Its not a pink pen, its a "LAZER" and he disintegrates tacky yarn objects. As you can see, he's pointing his "LAZER" at crochet toilet paper doll. Fortunately she did not disintegrate since apparently the "LAZER" needed recharging. Other news, crafty-wise, include my 9 dollar acquisition of a new shelf from Goodwill. It came from a coffee shop, or a strip club. It says "GRIND" with a big arrow pointing down on the top. AWESOME craft shelf. Also, I have been playing around with collage and the vintage book tutorial and made a few nifty little books for fun. I used vintage hardbacks and file folders and superglued my fingers together. I used a gift bag from World Market on the Girl Scout book, so it has ribbon ties! That one holds a mead calendar. The other one pictured is Mattie's gaming journal. More of those in the works. The basic tutorial is here.
You can do it! Get out that superglue!
I am collecting pictures for a steampunk version now.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Meaningful and Socially Important Blog Post

Just kidding. It's about a finger. There has been lots of activity going on here in the pug palace what with sock monkeys and market bags being knit, powdered Mountain Gorilla in a can, boy magnets, and Sister Sin on the Lazoom bus tour. So finally I blog and it involves hot glue and Purl's finger. Also, it's just a borrowed finger, which Son #1 found under the couch in the man cave at work. It's Purl's pointer to be exact. Son #1 took it with us to a really scary Chinese buffet on Tunnel Rd. He wanted to put it on the buffet line or something but Ward said no. The place was seedy. Ward was chewing on a dubious rib at one point, while I sat knitting entrelac and praying Son #1 did not need to be airlifted to Mission for eating the "sushi". Suddenly I heard dog whinings outside the scrummy window. I started giggling. "What?" demanded Ward. "He's crying 'cause you're eating his mama" I told him. I mean, don't go there.
So we buy this hershey syrup for ice cream which is my main food group. Instead, the horde descends on the refrigerator every day and Son #1 tanks on chocolate milk. This morning, my big crafty idea for the week was to hot glue Purl's pointer finger to the top of the syrup bottle. A goulish crafty message: don't mess with my chocolate syrup, boy! Mwahahaha! I'm someone's Mom?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sock Monkey Politics

Reporting almost live from Asheville, NC this is Indiana Banana bringing you the latest important-type news. First off, Mom has been busy creating the mysterious sock monkey dream date for her secret swap and I'm real jealous of his outfit. I had to go with her to work today pretty much nekkid except for my hat. In related news, work was pretty cool because I met these really tough chicks, one is called Liz Viscious and the other one is Annie Knuckles. Annie is a knitter which you can tell from her awesome tatoos. They like to skate around and bash other girls up and act tough. Honestly I think Mom was charmed. They are doing roller derby in Asheville tonight at the civic center. Go roller derby! Later in the afternoon Mom and her friend L were having lunch when some nice people stopped by with a humongous camera so we went out to say hi. The nice man who was all dressed up decided to interview us on tv. He asked Mom about stuff like Asheville being "quirky" and he seemed kind of obsessed with golf. Mom told him how cool Asheville is and how excited everyone is that our President has decided to vacation here and that it seems like a good idea for him to demostrate fitness and love of the outdoors by relaxing at golf. She also invited Obama's wife "flotus" to come downtown shopping and offered to teach her to knit. Maybe she'll make a sock monkey! Would that be SMotus? Anyway after the camera was off we posed for pictures till Mom found out who they were. This guy in the picture with us is called "Ed Henry" and Mom had to sit down on the floor after L told us that Ed would show our interview on CNN to "millions" of people. Gee I hope my friend Noah will watch us! Mom hopes that Obama sees the interview. I am not sure I want the POTUS to see me nekkid though. Maybe Mom should knit me some pants in case I get my own fan club or something. Love, Indiana B.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Unexpected Blessings

I wasn't expecting a Holy day. My mind was full of peeps, jellybeans and thoughts of Uncle Wiggly and his dear friend the Easter Bunny whispering in the new grass outside of our house this morning. You all know how much delight I receive almost daily from the whimsy and silliness around me. Anyway, I went to church this morning so that son #2 could help hide easter eggs for the children. I should go more often, and I always resolve to do that whenever I go but I was again struck by how unexpectedly blessed I feel while I am there. First I got to hug my sweet friend Lizabee, and wish her and her little family a Happy Easter. Then another gift- I walked into the foyer and one of my very favorite customers came right up to me- a lovely friend who's knitting is always so creative and here she was, a member of UU! The service was pretty good too. There was a poem by Mary Oliver about a big black bear that I need to look up and read over, and a good sermon about Jesus and hope and spring. The best blessing of all was the Easter egg activity that we do every year. Yes the children get candy, but this is even better- each adult gets a plastic egg and during the service we are invited to write a blessing for a child and put it into the egg. Mark said to imagine, if we were that child, what blessings we might like to recieve. My heart opened, and I wrote "For you, love, hugs, flowers, chocolate, warmth, peace, cartoons, happiness, comfort, toys, peace, sweet dreams, joy"
Then I sat and listened to the music and realized how many tender hearts were uplifted this morning and that everywhere people were feeling hopeful and reverent and miraculous.

This was enough of a gift but it got better. In order to understand better, a small story- I've been struggling lately with my snark. I like to take the laughing Buddha approach in my adventures with people, but there are times when I lose my balance and laughing with the world feels more like poking fun at it. In a mean way. It has been bothering me lately that my irritations have turned into a snarkfest, and although funny there is a part of me that wants to go on a snark diet. Story over.
So after the service, as the children were hunting their eggs outside, we adults went into Sandburg Hall to socialize and find the eggs that the children had hidden for US. I opened my egg, purple of course, and was delighted to receive such a blessing- I like to think that it is not just a sweet, which it definately is, but also a phrophetic, hopeful guide for my springtime: "YOU ARE NICE"

I hope I will be. A little child will guide me.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sister Mary Monkeypants Gets Mischevious

Who am I kidding, "gets" mischevious! Her middle name is mischevious. Sister Mary Mischevious Monkeypants. So she did call me from Oklahoma the other day, pining for a seder. I tried to explain to Kathy that they should open the door for Elijah (she thought I meant while she was at work) and that Matzoh was like a giant cracker, but she asked would it be good with bacon on top. SMMP decided she would just start some junk up on April Fools Day instead. She snuck onto the phone AGAIN, and had some really specific pranks for me to carry out: I had to yarn bomb the street lamp in front of Purl's. Also, she told Ward to lock the front door and leavea note for the horde after school. The note said "Moved- left no forwarding address- Occupant" but I left the back unlocked. She had me leave a horrible picture on Lindsey's computer desktop but lets not go there. I had to buy Merino this GIANT bone, twice as big as he is. She even impersonated me and managed to piss off the prude at Kilwins. She actually called there and demanded "chocolate poo" for April Fools Day for the horde, and they got offended and informed her that they do NOT create "inappropriate" things. Hey lady, EVERBODY POOPS (yelled Sister Mary Monkeypants). She has been one busy sock monkey. I'm exhausted. The only prank I got was Mattie pretending to have an F. Which is kinda funny.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thrifting score

Last night was really nice, Lindsey took me and Stacey-face to Bouchon for dinner. It's very intimate and the food is fantastic. Stacey said last time she was there she saw Andie Mcdowell. I drank a rasberry margarita and laughed like a horse all evening.

Today was pretty fly also. I went over to Lizabee's house and we watched the video for the OWL program that the parents have to see. We also looked at the awesome costumes for Lizabee's play. She is a sewing genius. Then we went to AC Moore and the Goodwill CLEARANCE store, out behind the regular store on Patton. WOW. A dollar per pound for clothing! Needless to say, I dug around there for a few hours. I got a little girl's halter dress, which i just sewed up the bottom and now I have a new bag with cute buttons on it.

Also stopped into the consignment shop ETC and ruined my bank account by finding the perfect office chair for Purl's. Also scored these crazy silk curtain things, and put them up in the boys' room to replace Ben's tacky sheet fort. It looks so cool!!! See what you think. That's ben celebrating his new room divider by drawing himself a mustache, beard, and wearing a hat.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Birthday Seriousness Oh Noes!

It took me a week to figure out what I wanted to say on my birthday this year. I'm not very exciting in person, not a terrific knitter, a particularly good parent or that great of a wife, but somehow online I seem to have a knack for making and keeping some really fantastic friends who are very creative, talented, funny, and loving. With these friends in mind, I am blogging as if I have something important to say. Possibly no one will read this and thats ok too, but just in case my tractor girls peek or the terrific Asheville crowd is following me, these are my birthday thoughts.

I have been concerned with a few things this year. Chiefly, this earthquake in Haiti. I wonder, every day, how those people are doing without shelter, living there with family dead or missing, children, animals left to fend for themselves. I worry. Let's not forget them.

I have a new hero this year. A good friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have watched her slog through the ick and the fear and the whole terrible ordeal with a determination that I cannot even convey. I'm so very proud of her.

Just this week I witnessed another epic battle between good and evil when the horrible landlord of the Miles building downtown decided to get nasty with the owners of the Humor Shop. These are good, decent people with children to provide for, making do as best they can, and that landlord is trying to grind them under her expensive heel. I keep wondering how I can help.

This year has definately been epic. I'm turning 42 today, no big deal at all, yet I've been fussed over and spoiled so much that I'm embarassed. This is a positive thing, being so rotten. I have a theory that until your loved ones really make a big deal out of your birthday, until you really feel that people are celebrating your life on the planet, you'll need the party and the songs and the cake. This year, when I was asked "what do you want for your birthday?" I thought about Haiti, and my friend recovering from chemo, and my new friends from the humor shop, and I thought about how I'd love to help them all, heal them all, no more fevers, no more worries, a new job for Brenda, for Bruce, and I thought about my family, the loud boys and the crazy dogs, this unique city that I've come to love, and I don't need one single thing. I'm grateful for everyone, everything. Im lucky to be here.

42 is no big deal but Im so blessed to have these beautiful people thanking me with their gifties and their love. What else can I say? That is all.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Horde of Zombie Pugs?

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and the Chinese New Year, plus there was a great Mardi Gras parade downtown. I love Mardi Gras. Well, I love cake anyway, and there's king cake involved. And feathers. Feathers are pretty cool. Too bad I missed it, but we had more snow and ice and Ward wrecked the car trying to avoid hitting a bus.
We walked up to the store though, and got everything to make Ward his Valentine cake. Then I spent the day obsessing about what we would do if the school called and one of the boys was sick and I couldn't get to them. I did start the Everlasting Bagstopper, or as I am calling it, the gobsmacking bagstopper. It's an easy knit. Pretty too, in the Katia cotton. Had to stop my pretzel sweater, I can't get any help on what to do after the second cast on. I'll ask Gay at Wed knit group since she's made it before.
So this morning school was cancelled again, and I was carrying some cake to bed to avoid the blast of cartoons. I don't really recommend carrying cake to bed if you live with a herd of pugs. That is all.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cupcakes, Mardi Gras and Ravolympics

Tons happening as usual here, and February is packed full of shenanigans. I missed the fetish ball because I got overexcited about my new teapot Cheryl. No lie. I was taking sexy pictures of the teapot late that night when it dawned on me that I was supposed to be at the ball. Is this a sign? I'm turning 42 later this month. I think yes. It doesn't take much to get me going these days. HA!

TeamSockMonkey is casting on tonight when the Olympic Torch is lit, and I have already ordered goodies for the team through our shop on cafepress. I set it up so all swag proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders for Haiti. Urbangypz is our official prize sponsor, donating her luscious hand dyed yarn to our winners...go team!

Meanwhile, the shop has been jumping, Lindsey finished her chemo and THAT is great news. My lil recycled magazine stitch markers are starting to sell too- yay!

I'm linking to BlogAsheville because she has some really cute valentines day pictures and info about local stuff happening for Sunday and even mardi gras!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Best Week Ever

Finally getting to blog! Christmas was a whirlwind, and we had lots of traveling afterwards getting Knittymac moved up here and settled. Gearing up for Ravelympics and sock wars, and fundraising for Haiti was next. Our direct link to donate to Haiti is: http://www.firstgiving.com/puggerhugger
The funds are going directly to Doctors without Borders. So, anyways I finally got to go to Connecticut to see Brenda! I feel like I have a whole family there now, I just loved them all. It was such a great trip! We did a lot of cozy knitting, coffee drinking, watched loads of Father Ted, and visited with Sophia and Bronwen! We went to Brenda's LYS which was lovely, and WEBS! It was relaxing and wonderful. I cant wait to have them here for Ashevegas 2010! Geocaching with the Emperor was really fun too, and I managed a whole round on the death sock. Here are some pictures.... There's me trying to stuff Sophia into my bag and take her home, there's the sign in the candy shop where I bought Fred some goodies, and of course Dharma being a splendid sock hostess and bringing me coffee and mint ice cream. Back to the grind here, surrounded by snuggly pugs and yarn. Im happy to be home but can't wait to go back!

Friday, January 1, 2010

To Look Forward To

I kind of enjoyed 2009, and I'm predicting that 2010 will be the Year of Yarn. Let me lay it out for you: I'm lucky enough to be living in crafty Asheville, working at Purl's. I'm a cookie, and Captain of TeamSockMonkey Ravelympics 2010. You already know about the Christmas Hippo. So my year looks like this:
January Knittymac moves to Asheville, and I get to go to CT to visit Brenda! WOOHOO!!! A week of knitting and IRL hugs and giggles!
I'm using some buter-soft Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton to make this blankie for the shop. So far it has been fibercrack just as predicted. Bought some Ella Rae Latte in Amethyst (oh yeah) to do a Thermis cowl. That Latte is so soft, and it shimmers like Mirasol.
Also? SOCK WARS V I am puggerhuggersockninja!
February is time to knit a box of chocolates, and start Ravelympics! Also maybe some sort of birthday thing.
March-May I'll be saving up for Ashevegas 2010, our annual yarn crawl and social sock monkey party here in Asheville set for he last week in June.
June I'm really hoping to take the horde to some sort of beach, since Matthew has never seen the ocean. Ashevegas 2010 of course will be AWESOME!! More on that later.
July Im hoping Brenda and Don will come down here and camp out. Crossing my paws.
August- holy carp that's fall! Time to save up for SAFF. Urbangypz has decided to do a booth at SAFF this year and asked me to help her out. I can't WAIT!
Hopefully by fall I'll be finished with Ward's cardigan. *weak laugh* Also on the needles about 3 pairs of socks, the infernal wallaby, Ward's entrelac experiment...
Of interest- Jane Thornley and possibly this scarf.