Moxie & Mel











{January 13, 2007}   Finally Free..

Dear Mel-

I’m proud to announce that I’m finally free of the overwhelming guilt I’ve been living with.

If you’re unsure as to which guilt I’m referring, it’s the guilt of leaving a perfectly lovely scarf sitting half done on a loom since Sept. 25th. Yep, this little one has been hanging over my head for over three months.

But at last,  it is complete! I give you “Tide Me Over” (formerly referred to as The Skinny Scarf, but I like this name better)!

I know that the pictures aren’t the best, but the sense of sheer excitement at having finished it and lifted it off the loom made it impossible to even wait just long enough for sunshine.

It’s extra long and oh-so-skinny, soft as can be and doubles as a whip for misbehaving children. Okay, I admit it. We came up with more possibilities (as it is rather ‘rope-like’), but this is a G-rated blog, so use your own imagination!

While I’m writing I also want to share my next project with you. This WIP is a wonderful wrap I’ve been meaning on making. It can be used either as a standard wrap (around the shoulders) or for the beach lovers as a cover up for their bikini bottoms.

So there’s *my* work in progress…where’s yours?

Hugs and such,
~moxie.



{October 11, 2006}   Moxie and Mel Photo Shoot I

Here are the snapshots from our very first photo shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all it was a rather successful day! We’re hard at work on the descriptions and pricing structure, but stay tuned and you’ll find these wonderful items in our Etsy shop soon!

Next photo shoot: Scarves and Hats at Round Island!



{September 29, 2006}   Excitement In The Shop!

Yay! The Moxie & Mel shop is getting there, and I finally have my very first knitted item – the “All That Glitters” scarf – for sale in the Moxie & Mel Etsy Shop!

Check it out here!



{September 25, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Since its been awhile for a crafty post…I now give you: The skinny scarf, a work in progress.

Work In Progress

Yep, I’m having a ball with this *grin*. I’ve mixed a suede yarn with an eyelash fun yarn to create this seascape of fuzzy comfort. It’s a happy little number in soft shades of blues and greens that reminds me of the ocean. I’m in love with it and might end up keeping it for myself, even though I have no idea when I’d wear it in Florida.  Of course, I’m just as tempted to let someone in the Frozen North have a bit of the seaside to wear out and about.

Can’t wait to finish it off and get started on the next one- a mix of feathery yarn in citrus colors over a burgundy suede background!

Hope all is well with you, and I promise to have pictures for you VERY soon! I’m hoping that, in the next week, the Etsy.com Moxie and Mel shop can open!

Love as always~

Moxie



{September 8, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Oh now I am so jealous I can hardly stand it. That carousel is just gorgeous. Mom wants to know when it’ll be delivered, said she’ll take the pool down to make room for it. Yes…I said take the pool down.  How redneck are we? Inflatable pool. Here’s a picture:

So yes..your trip. Amazing pictures. Love the shot of your Mom and Sis. Totally fell for those quilts! I want a hawaiian shirt quilt! If anyone out there can sew and wants to send me one, I’d like it in bright tropical colors. *grin*

That clock is stunning. I’d love to have it delivered for you for Christmas, but I’m sure it probably costs as much as a small third world country. And now…

Ahhhh. The chocolate. Big fat size of your hand chocolate. I can’t believe you are teasing everyone with those pictures of rows and rows of yummy treats. How wrong is that? I’d like a dozen of the turtles please. Can you have them shipped to my work? Great!

Speaking of work, the new schedule is really running me ragged. I’m working 6pm-2am. Bed about 3am then up at 7am to take Bubba to school. Back home at 9 and study/work until 11, then sleep until 2pm. Pick up Bubba from school at 2:30, then home by 3 and pick up the older two from the bus stop at 3:45. In the shower at 4:15, out the door to work by 5:30. I can’t wait for training to be over and a ‘normal’ shift to kick in! I need eight consecutive hours of sleep! Since I am so sleep deprived, I thought I would give you the cliff notes version of my thoughts today…

Websites I love:

http://www.homesteadwoolandgiftfarm.com/

I love love love that they tell you all about the animal your fibers are coming from. How much does THAT rock? Ah if only they had….

My current obsession:

Citrus bc Colonia Knitting / Felting Yarn

A comment on Project Runway:

Yay! I couldn’t be happier! Vincent AND Angela gone. I know, I know…you don’t watch the show. Trust me though, you would be cheering as loudly as I am over it. Angela had a ‘style’ that meant putting rosettes E V E R Y W H E R E and her stuff looked more like a bag lady’s attire than a designer outfit.  Then there was creepy Vincent, who would say things like (in response to the judges poo pooing his design) “Well it got me off”. EWWWWWWWW. Creepy guy. Yuck.

Myspace: Moxie and Mel’s Myspace page is up and running. Check it out here:
http://www.myspace.com/moxieandmel

Make sure you add us to your friends!

My next project:

Got to – got to! – finish the second sock for Miss Christine and the second panel of the-afghan-that-ate-my-life. Then ..maybe a bigger version of the bag? Maybe I can fit a small headband into the schedule soon too.

Hope you have a good weekend at the lake!

~Moxie



{September 5, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Oh no! I hope you aren’t hurt too badly from your fall. I can’t imagine how I would have reacted; I think chanting “I’m not gonna cry” is pretty close to the mark.

I really enjoyed visiting the winery website; I did have to laugh at the Elderberry wine though- I kept thinking of the quote from Monty Python, “…and your father smells of Elderberries!”.  As for the new “rec room”, I would be afraid to let my husband visit. I don’t think even a crow bar would have gotten him out of there!

I haven’t done anything so generous or impressive as helping a family member prep their house for sale, but we did have a nice weekend. Today Missy came over for a visit and after the fun of tracking down a black racer that was in the boxwood hedge out front…

Black Racer Snake

…she helped me figure out the new sewing machine mom bought. We actually got it to stitch something, which made us feel like we’d won some sort of Olympic Gold. Of course, we still don’t know how to digitize our own graphics, but we’re talking baby steps here. I was so proud of myself I didn’t care that mom’s black tank top now has a poppy flower on it with a stem going sideways from her armpit to a large blossom right where her nipple would be. I’m sure that one glance at the (lack of) instructions for this thing and you’d understand my low expectations and high feeling of success~ the fact that I got it to actually stitch ANYTHING without having a PHD amazes me!

While I was still sailing on the creative high that comes with such accomplishments, we headed out to the Fire Station to take dinner to my sister. We got there just in time to see the afternoon storms blow across the fields. I snapped a picture for you:

Stormy Field

Having assured ourselves she wouldn’t starve, we headed off to spend some quality time at our favorite places.

Jim's Favorite Place

My Happy Place

Jim picked up a few new fishing lures and I sipped coffee and soaked up the crafty goodness. I even spotted a copy of Mason Dixon Knitting!

Mason Dixon Knitting

How sweet is that?! We also spotted quite a few books that screamed out, “Buy me for Mel!” but I held my ground and managed to escape without them. For now. Don’t be surprised to find a box in the mail sometime soon though. LOL

Feeling crafty and inspired now, we all loaded back up in the Soccer Mom Van and headed off for the beach. Why? We were looking for unique sea shells and seed pods to ‘make stuff out of’. Yep. Even Jim was on spotting duty!  I took a TON of pictures while we were there- the storms were sweeping in off the ocean and the sea mist was rising.

Tilted

Sea Mist

After hanging around long enough to spot an Osprey relaxing in a tree, we set out for home and I got to work.

Now I KNOW you’re thinking, “Work?! On Labor Day?”; and the answer is yes! I set up a new page with graphics showing the basic loom knitting stitches and I created my first pattern- it’s for the adjustable cuff slipper socks I made for Miss Christine.

Now I’m consuming gallons of coffee with cream (no sugar) and trying my darnedest to stay awake until 3am in preparation for the new job. Since I’ll be working 6pm to 2am, I am trying to get used to this new sleeping pattern ahead of time. I sure hope it works!

Well, now you know how my weekend went! What are your plans for the week? Anything crafty in your near future?

~Moxie



{September 3, 2006}   Dear Mel-

What a great day we had today! We headed out early this morning. We took the kids to the park and spent the rest of the day wandering at Florida Oceanographic Center. Here are a couple pictures from the park:
The Boy takes flight

Princess Poses

Bubba On The Bobble Thing

Of course, the best part for me was the total immersion in nature. I love spending time taking pictures of wildlife and flowers, so I was on cloud nine!

Sea Hibiscus

Little Blue Heron

Wading

We headed for the hills when the afternoon storms rolled in, running off to Hurricane Grill for some wings and frosty beverages.

Afternoon Thunderstorm

It broke our hearts to see what they’ve done to the place. It looks like a Miami Subs inside, all glossy and touristy. The food wasn’t nearly as good, the service was terrible and they’ve raised the prices (and made the beverage cups smaller!).

We consoled ourselves with a trip to Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins- coffee and ice cream can cure a lot of ills!

I did finish off the first slipper sock for Miss Christine last night/early this morning. I used a new pattern, one I designed myself. It goes directly from the cuff into the heel and uses a thick chain woven through the cuff to make it adjustable. It just happens that Princess has the same size feet as Miss Christine, so she modeled it for me:

New Slipper Sock

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, but I think for the next set I’ll try for more of a ‘scuff’ style. I think if I eliminate all but the last row or two of the heel, I might be able to achieve it. Anyway, I’ll have them done and ready to go tomorrow! I can’t believe how quickly they knit up. Have I mentioned I love my knitting looms?
I think we’ll probably round out the holiday weekend with a trip to the beach tomorrow. Knowing that I’ll be starting work makes me want to spend as much time with the family as possible. Can’t wait to talk to you and I hope you’re having as wonderful a weekend as we are!

~Moxie



{September 2, 2006}   Dear Mel-

A new house for your sister? I’m green with jealousy. You can probably see my spotty aura from there. I want a new house. ~sigh~  Now I’ll have to live vicariously through you ladies. Tell me all about the new place! And how are your renovations coming? Any before and after photos?

Today was a very laid back day. It started with a bright sunny morning. It was just the kids, me and the butterflies…

Butterfly In Sunlight

Butterfly

Jim went fishing all morning and then we headed up to Vero. Lunch at Ruby Tuesdays (salad bar, yum!) and a bit of wandering around stores and shops made the day pleasant. We also detoured to the thrift store and found a dress that will eventually morph into Princess’ Halloween costume. I’ll have to post pictures of that later.

I worked a little bit on the afghan-that-ate-my-life. I have about 1/4 of the second panel done, but I keep getting distracted by shiny new yarns that scream “knit with me knit with me” or patterns that call out “you could do this..and this..and this..and then I would be the PERFECT pattern. Just try it. You know you want to. All your friends are doing it!” I’m not kidding. Just look at their faces. They’re evil little temptresses…dealers waiting for me to get the shakes and give in. And that orange one is SO yummy looking.

Yarnie Goodness

Did I mention the blue Homespun is going to be worked into some slipper socks for Miss Christine to wear at work? She asked, I couldn’t say no, now could I? Here’s a better look at it…

Blue Homespun

I know I know. Focus has never been one of my better qualities!

In the wonderful way children have of making us feel better about our shortcomings (like..oh..Knitting ADD) Bubba has claimed panel-one-of-the-afghan-that-ate-my-life as his own. He’s come to the conclusion that it is exactly…well…Bubba-sized.

Bubba and the Blankie

Off to work on panel-two-of-the-afghan-that-ate-my-life again. Can’t wait to get the box from you!

~Moxie



{August 31, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Due to the rain delay, last night was…MOVIE NIGHT!

Master and Commander

We chose Master and Commander because, well, my family thinks they’re pirates and it seemed appropriate. If you haven’t seen this movie, I recommend it! Aside from a few rather gory parts, it was a really good story. Of course, most people knew that, since it won 2 Oscars and had another 17 wins & 43 nominations in other ‘movie competitions’.
Here’s a summary from IMDB:

The year is 1805. Europe has fallen to Napoleon, and only the Royal Navy stands in his way to total victory. Off the cost of South America, a new conflict is brewing. Captain Jack “Lucky Jack” Aubrey (Russel Crowe) of the Man-of-War HMS Surprise is under orders to sink or capture the French privateer Acheron, which has been deployed to the region. After seven weeks of uneventful sailing, the Acheron strikes first, all but crippling the Surprise in an engagement in which Aubrey realizes his enemy’s ship is nautically superior to his own. Along with his close friend and confidant Stephan Maturin (Paul Bettany) who also happens to be the ship’s surgeon, Aubrey is now faced with the choice of retreating to England and admitting defeat or remaining at the Acheron’s mercy. Aubrey must now do the impossible if he is to survive, repair his ship, catch up to his enemy and defeat the Acheron–somehow

My favorite quote is a rather funny comment from Capt. Jack Aubrey, who quips, “Name a shrub after me – something prickly and hard to eradicate.”   Moving on…
Ah, after the rain. What a wonderful time to explore the outdoors. The air is wonderfully cool, the breeze is still moving along and everything looks so…clean. I spent some time out in the garden this morning. Most of the garden is past its prime, but we still have some hangers-on. The parsley, sage and rosemary to be specific. I love rosemary, but I’m sure I’ll address that in another post; today I was looking at flowers.

I love flowers. I love the colors, shapes and textures that each flower offers up. Nature amazes me.  The flowers around here are in a happy place today, turning their faces up to the sunshine and soaking in all the water from the storm. Even the plumeria are celebrating the tropical weather, sending out the first blooms of the season. I snapped pictures to share with you.

In the gaden

Blushing

Plumeria

Today I spent some time working on an idea for a charity. I spoke with Carrie Watts at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, which is where both my niece and nephew have been treated. After our conversation, I was sure my idea was perfect- we’re going to make items to donate to the hospital. The kids will be making jewelry (Princess) and hats (The Boy) and I’ll probably be making baby blankets. Here’s the information in case anyone else is interested:

Knitter and Crafter Volunteers

The Knitter and Crafter Volunteers donate handcrafted items to be used and enjoyed by our babies, children and their families. If you enjoy knitting or crocheting and would like to donate your items, please contact Carrie Watts at 321 841-5932 or send an e-mail to Carrie.Watts@orhs.org.

Guidelines for Knitters and Crafters

Baby & Pediatric Items

Baby Items: Mommies love the pastel colors.

Pediatric Items: Primary colors are great. (Basic red, yellow, blue)

Blankets and quilts can be in any shape or size you desire.

Booties are 3 inches on bottom; 2.5 – 3 inches heal to toe.

Full term baby hats should be 11, 12 or 13 inches wide and 7 inches long.

Clothing: Diaper shirts can be made in these sizes. Please use Velcro to close the shirts.

Small 11 inches long and 7 inches wide
Medium 11.5 inches long and 8 inches wide
Large 12 inches long and 9 inches wide

Preemie Items

Please use the pastel colors.

Preemie hats are 8, 9 or 10 inches wide and 5 inches long.

Isolette covers are 36 inches X 48 inches with ½-inch quilt batting in the middle.

Fetal Demise Items

The fetal demise gowns should be 7″ in length and have an open back all the way down. Hats are 4, 5 or 6″ inches wide and 2 inches long.

The pastel colors are pink, blue, and white.

Special Care Instructions: Because some of our precious babies are on ventilators, items that have been exposed to smoke, mothballs, perfume or pet fur cannot be used.

I’m still hard at work looming the second panel of my afghan.

Afghan

God as my witness, I will finish this thing!

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

~Moxie



{August 16, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Do you hate blank pages? I do. They stare up at you with some sort of bizarre expectation to be filled in with intelligent..something. I’m not feeling very good at that right now, so I’ll just jump right in.

I’ve been very busy the last few days. I finished the Sunset On The Dunes scarf and the All That Glitters scarf. The Sunset On The Dunes is a pretty little number that surprised me. I hated the yarn, which made it oh-so-interesting to see I loved the final product.

Here’s a quickie snapshot:

Sunset On The Dunes

All that glitters came out better than I could have hoped for too. I took your advice and went for fringe and it made the perfect finishing touch.

All That Glitters

I also made a belt…I’d rather not talk about how that came out. Let’s just say I learned a lot about belt-making and so-forth.

Now I’ve moved on to a special type of torture…creating a new bag pattern. Since we both know I’m not the type to sit around and PLAN on anything. Bags included. So I just decided to jump right in. My thought: Basket Weave.

Yep. That’s right! It’s brilliant, really, when you think about it; a tough-as-nails bottom for a sexy little drawstring bag, perfect for ..well…whatever. So I grabbed that yarn needle and set to work.

Now I’m living in a bad B movie…Revenge of the Basket Weave. See, I didn’t want to waste ‘good’ yarn so I used some of this slinky little cream stuff with a thin gold fiber. It’d be nice but it’s almost..well…scratchy.

Thin yarn. Basket weave. I’ll be here for months weaving over and under, over and under.

Wanna see? Of course you do…

Basket Weave

I’m holding out hope on it, even though I’m slightly off-center. But hey, it’s a prototype. It’s allowed flaws.
While I was sitting there (for hours. and hours) weaving the yarn my mind started drifting (surprise! lol) and I thought about the Three Fates from mythology. Ever heard of them?

Here’s a bit of 411 (from Godchecker.com. how cool is THAT url?!):

FATES: The three Greek Goddesses of Destiny and Fate.

Otherwise known as the Moirae, these timeless old hags weave the threads of destiny that control your life. The original spin doctors.

They are: CLOTHO who spins the Thread of Life, LACHESIS who allots the length of the yarn, and ATROPOS who does the snip (the final one).

All the good and evil that befalls you is woven into your destiny and cannot be altered even one jot. You may find this a little unfair, but it’s the stuff great Greek tragedies are made of.

While the threads we use aren’t nearly as important, it’s almost like what we do is …I dunno…preordained? Over, under, over, under, over, under. I came up with a little poem while I worked, based on these thoughts. Hope you like it!

emotions
dripping down
tangled in the whorl
spinning with the threads
wrapped up tight
measured against the rod
judged for balance
light and dark
cut to length with razored shears
this one long; that one short
woven into the fabric
the tapestry created
the scenes played out
the drama of our lives

Hope you like it!

Are you hard at work over there? I’d love to see some of your designs! How’s the weather in the frozen tundra? HAS to be better than the sweltering heat we’re wilting under!
I’m off to weave myself into a coma… have to be up early with the chitlins and Miss Christine is coming by to drop off the scrunchies and (check this out!) flip flops she’s adding to the shop.

Talk to you soon-

Moxie



et cetera