Friday, April 20, 2018

April in Chicago

I made it to Chicago.  There are violets, but no lilies of the valley or lilacs.  There was, however, snow.  It came late and was gone by morning, but still snow in mid April!

It's been write, write, write since I got here. I had to finish up the update of my website and get cracking on the next Yarn Retreat  book.  It is easier to get lost in my work when there is no one to interrupt me.

I am also working on the project for the book.  The characters are new to knitting so I wanted a project that was easy and quick, but also nice looking.  I was also concerned that I didn't use yarns that might be discontinued before the book comes out. Just before I left I went through my stash and grabbed some knitting needles the size of small baseball bats.  I gathered up three different yarns that seem standard and not likely to be discontinued.  I had already come up with a plan for the design, but I wanted to try making it to see what kind of problems my characters would have with it.

It is alway s exciting to work with  a number of strands of yarn because the end result is always a surprise.  I didn't know what it would look like until I started working  on it.  So far I'm pleased with the results.  The retreat Casey is putting on this time is for some of her college friends and I wanted something they would actually wear.

The time here is flying by, particularly since my trip got shortened by the bad weather.  For the days I have left, it will be write, write, write.

The weather is supposed to get better by the day, not that I will really notice.  My head is with Casey on the Monterey peninsula where the skies are always cloudy and the bodies keep piling up.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Weekly Craft Project: Round Up Part One

At the beginning of the year, I shared that one of my goals for this year was to do something crafty once a week whether it's a whole project or part of a project (like the merboy tail). I thought it would be fun (and easy blog post to write, to be totally honest with everyone) to share some of the projects I have completed during this, roughly, four and half months of the year.

In no particular order because I forgot to date my pictures when I saved them:

2018 Craft Projects from January 1-April 19:

Merboy tail: This crochet project was one of my time consuming projects. I got a little off the pattern but it still turned out great and the recipient loved it. I had made one before and used brighter colors but the 4 year old receiving this one had asked for "boy" aka darker blues than the light blue and green color yarn I used for sister's mermaid tale.

Being a scrapbooker, I have completed some layouts over the last few months. I've made about thirty and will show off some of my favorites:

The last project I completed was on Sunday and it was a tablecloth and towels for the buffet that we use as a bar. Next on my list is to complete a craft project using items I bought...oh about a year or so ago...and if I don't by July then into the sell box they go. I told myself this was a for doing, and if I'm not going to use an item it's time to let it go.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Upcoming: Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

It's April.  These days I always associate April with a number of things, among them the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.  The LATFOB is next weekend, and I'm looking forward to it!

For one thing, I'm delighted that this year I've been invited to be a featured signing author at the booth being hosted by the Los Angeles Romance Authors, the local chapter of Romance Writers of America.  LARA has had a booth for the past few years and I've often volunteered there, but this is the first time in a while that I'll be signing.

I'll also be staffing--and signing at--the Mystery Writers of America booth, as well as signing at the Sisters in Crime booth.

All of these will take place on Saturday.  I hope I also get some time to wander and visit other booths, although I won't attend any of the many talks being given this year.  I don't intend to go on Sunday because I have too many deadlines coming up to comfortably spend both days at the festival.

These days the LATFOB is on the University of Southern California campus.  It used to be held at the UCLA campus.  I enjoy both, but one fun thing about USC is that I can get there by Metro, although I have to change trains.

I'm sure I'm going to have a fun Saturday.  If you're in the LA area, do you plan to attend?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Let It Snow

We are still digging our way out from under a big blizzard that started late Friday, exploded on Saturday and continued most of Sunday, dumping over sixteen inches of  wet snow that came down horizontally in a wind that at times blew over forty miles an hour.  I went to the funeral of a good friend late Saturday morning in a light snowfall that barely coated the streets.  By the time it was over, including a lovely catered lunch, there were whiteout conditions on the streets, and I crept home leaning forward over the steering wheel, barely able to see other cars on the street.  Church services on Sunday were cancelled, I watched television and stitched and worked on Tying the Knot – which has a blizzard in it, so that was appropriate.  Work on TTK is starting to move along - hurrah!

The forecast says tomorrow, Wednesday, will be either lots of rain or some more snow.  This is not exactly unprecedented for April in Minnesota, it often snows in April.  But we did set a record for the amount of snow this past weekend.  And unless it all melts by Wednesday – it’s trying to do that, but temps are hovering between twenty and forty degrees, so it’s slow going.  The snow is cooling the air, which keeps the temperatures low, so I suspect Wednesday is more likely to see more snow or at best a rain and snow mix.  

Perhaps we’ll see daffodils and tulips some time in June, and lilacs by the Fourth of July.