Thursday, January 26, 2012

Love those gadgets

So far so good. My resolutions to be more productive seem to be working. I wanted to be better keeping truck of my/our calendar and the iPhone is very handy for that. Got to use the gadgets you have!

Nothing on the calendar? Lets go to the Mummy exhibition at the VMFA. We kept talking about it. If you don't watch it the event is over before you went. You have to call for tickets for a specific time because it starts with a 30 minute movie for which you receive 3-D glasses. It is FIRST CLASS! To which James says that it is no wonder since the exhibition comes from the British Museum in London.

The exhibition was so worth seeing. James and I have been in Egypt, in the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and in the Cairo Museum, but you can never see enough of it. Here there were not an overwhelming number of pieces but really special ones with wonderful explanations.

To think some things were made 3000 years ago with not nearly the sophisticated tools we have now. The craftsmanship! The artistic design!

Of course no photography ... but there were mummies in the gift shop window!

If you want to know more about the exhibition click here.

Between finally trying to straighten out my 'queendom' (hobby room), cutting up fabric and doing the 'regular' things, time to make lace.

I don't think I will be wearing this shawl this winter.

Started to sort my fabric. For a brief period I was talked into (by a quilt shop owner) that pre-washing for quilts is not necessary. What a mistake. So some un-washed pieces are in-between my stash ... and I am taking care of that now. I also learned how to easily fold each piece so it is not one big mess.

James' comment: Mmhh, several quilts here!

Oh, yes ... more to do.

Last coat of varnish on the bobbins for the HLG (Heartland Lace Guild). Year bobbins and achievement bobbins out to dry long enough so they don't stick together in the mailing. Uuuhhh, that has happened. They can feel dry but aren't.
And yes, Easter is just around the corner. O.k., o.k., Lent has not even started but time goes so fast.

I saw some work on the internet by Steffi Reinhardt in Germany and it inspired me to do this one. It has 12 four-legged spiders. I made it into a sampler. I recently received the book Spinnen, Spinnen, Spinnen by Hildegard Gloes, which has an abundance to choose from. It was a lot of fun. I used tatting cotton but might try it again with sewing thread for a daintier look.

14 pairs of bobbins. 
This shows the different spiders a little better.
This was an earlier one I made. All the spiders the same.

And now what I am really excited about. About two Sundays ago I saw how much weight the parents of the little twins in the pew in front of us in church have lost and how great they look. Asked Jay how he did it. He says he has a FREE app on his phone which makes it so easy. I tell James about it in the afternoon and moments later he is signed in. We have both lost about 3 pounds each since then. I kind of 'hitch-hiked' with James until now since we both eat pretty much the same but I downloaded the app yesterday on my own phone and find that it is a lot of fun. MyFitnessPal really makes you aware about healthier living.

Keep your fingers crossed and wish me success. Its not about looking good but about being healthy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lace and learning about Fun Traditions

Second Monday of the Month:
the Colonial Lacemakers monthly meeting ... today in my house.

10 am. The table is laid for lunch later. Since James and I just came back from TN on Saturday, all the Christmas decorations were still up ... and I decided not to break my neck over it to un-decorate but make a party out of it.
But first serious lace making. We were 9 this time so had to spread ourselves out in living and sun room. Welcome to a brand-new lacemaker. Brenda is very eager to learn to make lace. We are happy to share whatever we know.
Wow, everybody is bent over their work.
Lunch. Soup, salad, dessert AND Christmas crackers. We had some good laughs taking turns reading the jokes we found inside the crackers.

1)  Why did the scarecrow win so many awards?

2)  Why did the bacon laugh?

3)  Why did the rocket lose his job?

Enough? Right!

And everybody was a good sport and wore the crowns found inside too. Crowns? Here is the royal wave!

1)  Because he was outstanding in his field.

2)  Because the egg cracked a yolk.

3)  He was fired.

And back to work but no more pictures. Too busy lacing and talking. I was eager to ask Lali, our friend from Barcelona, Spain, about her Christmas traditions since I had already caught snippets. She told us all about "tio". It is a log dressed up as a Catalan mystical figure. Children have to feed it every day starting Dec 8 with cookies or sweet wine.

I found the above picture on the internet. But what happens in the afternoon on December 25th is so funny. It is very well explained here and it is so funny. And here is a cute video James found about it. The link to Wikipedia even has the words to the song.

The tio only "poops" (the word Lali used) little presents. The Three Kings bring the real presents in the night of December 5th.
The 5th January is the night that Kings Parades take place all around Catalunya as the three kings finally make it to town collecting letters (wish lists) from children ahead of the much anticipated delivery of presents the follwing morning of Kings Day on the 6th.

Lali also told us about their New Year's eve celebration, called Noche Vieja. 
For many years, Spanish people have had the custom to celebrate New Year’s Eve with grapes ! This event is called “Campanadas”. On the last day of the year, the 31st of December, everybody has to have twelve grapes ready to eat when the clock starts to chime at midnight. Each time the clock chimes, they put a grape in their mouth. By the time the clock has finished chiming, everybody has to have finished the grapes so the New Year can start, but nobody finishes eating the grapes on time.

Eating the grapes is a lot of fun because everybody starts the New Year with a full mouthful of grapes. It is not possible to finish eating the grapes by the time the clock finishes chiming. You can buy small cans with 12 grapes, peeled and unseeded, in supermarkets.

This tradition started for the spanish people because one year there was a big grape harvest and the king of Spain decided to give grapes to everybody to eat on New Year’s Eve. says: This dates back to 1909, when grape growers in the Alicante region of Spain initiated the practice to take care of a grape surplus. The idea stuck, spreading to Portugal as well as former Spanish and Portuguese colonies such as Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru. Each grape represents a different month, so if for instance the third grape is a bit sour, March might be a rocky month. For most, the goal is to swallow all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight, but Peruvians insist on taking in a 13th grape for good measure.

She also told us that lately a new tradition has emerged: men and women wear red underwear.

Isn't this interesting? I love it!

And now it is time to pack the Christmas decorations up for a year! Sigh!