Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve with the Softball crew

Thanks to JJ, JD and Mimi for hosting a GREAT Wii tennis tournament and, of course, great food provided by everyone.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

patching the couch to buy an elliptical trainer

We have a great couch whose colors work well in the living room despite the fact that we purchased it over 10 years ago. The real problem is that it's a sleeper couch, never buy one. We were cautioned, but felt the need for the space too much to head the warning. Here I am patching the fabric after years of dogs/cats/boys abuse. I washed the cushion covers in the machine, hand scrubbed the arms and base. It looks good. We're skipping a new couch in favor of an elliptical machine. It was a 3 to 1 family vote.

"christmas" photos

We gave the family a chiminea/fire pit. They received a dart board and Max was excited about The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare.

Renee, Shelli and Guitar Hero III take the house by storm

We enjoyed playing Wii Guitar Hero III Monday evening. Renee and Shelli brought their game over and we sipped hot buttered rum, ate popcorn and played/cursed the game. William made it to level 4. Max was sick and opted to stay in bed the entire time. He had been outside briefly and felt horrible after that. poor kid!

"gingerbread" houses

The Midsouth Eclectic Homeschool group was graciously hosted by Tommie and her family last week. They made gingerbread houses. Tommie made the royal icing, cut the graham crackers and provided some toppings. Families provided the artists/architects and more toppings. Here is William and some of his work. Max played Risk and skipped buildling. William made wall to wall carpet, a fire in the fire place and rock on the outside of the house where the fireplace was. Later at home he added some landscaping. Unfortunately Fudge, the super Yorki, ATE the house while we were at Teen Night. He is becoming VERY bad in his old age, but we still adore him.

Fuzzy Feet for Max

before and after felting. Fuzzy Feet knit on size 10 needles, 2 at a time. Yarn is Moda Dea Cache purchased on insane discount last year. Felts and wears better than 100% wool, but the colors are less than enticing.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

William makes the team for Nationals!

Memphis Club Members make SEUSKF Team for AUSKF Nationals

Congratulations to Jeremiah Mazurek, William Thornton-Leonard, Yuka Kamimura, and Masumi Kamimura (pictured at William's bar mitzvah celebration) who were all selected as members of the All-Southeast U.S. Kendo Federation Team.

They will compete on the weekend of July 4th, 2008 at the All-U.S. Kendo Federation National Tournament in Las Vegas.

The Southeast U.S. Kendo Federation (SEUSKF) covers 7 states and includes more than 20 dojos and programs.

Of the more than 350 kenshi belonging to the SEUSKF, only 32 were selected for the team.
The above is from the Memphis Kendo blog. On a personal note:
To everyone who knows William and knows that he has to raise all funds for Kendo himself, please save your pennies for his biweekly cookie sales which will begin January 2008 and continue until June 2008. He is also available for casual labor (yard work, construction) and pet sitting. He has to raise about $700 for this tournament as the region does not supplement the team outside of the entry fee. That means airfare, hotel and food are the responsibility of the individual. In addition to this tournament he has plans to go to Cleveland for an April tournament!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Knitting project; Vintage Sweater

My knitting process is one of pure inspiration. I keep a knitting sketch and idea book to record these bursts and refer back to it when I'm ready to CO another project.

Inspired by this photo from an old Women's Daily, I have sketched and swatched and am embarking on another sweater for me. I firmly believe in using Ann Budd's handy book of sweater patterns for reference and to cut down my math time. Yet I constantly find myself getting gauge that means I still have to do math! I'm getting 4.5 and 5.5 (ribbing) not nice whole numbers. But the stitches are there (waist x gauge=CO) and I'm working it out. I hope to have this done in about 2-3 weeks. I made a nice semi-circle skirt from some fabric I had laying about and this yarn matches nicely. I intend to study the sleeve cap article in Winter 2007 IK to help me sort out the sleeve cap, though I've never had problems with it. I do have to do lots of juggling between hips/waist/bust and upper bust measurements so I jump between size guidelines in the Budd book. I will not be including any of the patterning you see on the inspiration photo. I'm not that cutesy!
*note, one week into the project and i have completed the back, the front is to the armhole shaping as of 10 am Wednesday 12/12/07.

First Candle

Chag Sameach! First night of chanuukah went off without a hitch. I kind of forgot how to make latkes, but after sorting out the oil temperature, all went well. The boys are older now and gone are the fun days of reading storybooks about channukah or watching Sheri Lewis' Channukah video, but we had a good meal, lit candles, said the blessings and played driedle. Max won. Ginger busied herself with scraping the wax off the old table. After looking at a shot of Molly under that ancient family table, I will have to polish the pedestal!

Monday, December 03, 2007

kenshi takes a beating

William was exceptionally fortunate to have a very small practice with his new bogu. Two senior students gave him exquisite instruction to move his Kendo from beginner level to more advanced level. He struggled to change his habits and become frustrated and angry with himself. At one point ( I have the photo!) his poor technique got him hit quite soundly on the head and he discovered that even new fabulous bogu will not protect you from poor Kendo technique. After being furious with himself, he struggled to breath and I had to help him get the men off (I still think that thing might be too small!) but I generally do not get involved in the drama of his life. He pulled himself together (and hopefully apologized to the senseis) and practice ended. toda Raba, Arigato Gozaimasu to Yasuda-san and Register-san!
I was knitting most of the time, don't ask me what, but I was knitting. Probably socks, they're the most portable thing I knit. I need to put a photo up of the current pair of oh-so-boring-beige-socks.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Max's Winter Cardigan

Knit in KnitPicks WOTA Sapphire Heather and doubled on size 8 needles. Raglan adult sweater pattern kind of. Knot work added at breast pocket area and zipper placket. The photo with his teenage smiling face shows the color more accurately.