Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jane: Update!

OK, I've been away from this blog for quite a while. Last week was very busy --2 meetings, hosting a panel discussion at the library, an all-day retreat, AND meeting with students as they finished up the semester. And then I had to start grading! Even when I had some free time, I didn't want to spend it at a screen/keyboard.

I'm basically done with grading, so thought I'd share a few pictures I've taken during the past week or so. I've been THINKING about this blog, just wasn't able to focus on writing a post.

During a break in the action, I stopped by at Earl May nursery last week. I needed to get a clematis to replace the one that expired last year. I also bought a bleeding heart--I love those plants and had just the right spot for it.

Here's the kitty with my bleeding heart and some Iowa soil. Digging into this soil is just such a treat--it's rich and black and crumbly. I grew up with clay soil in our yard, so every time I dig here in Iowa, I am thrilled!

On Sunday, I did a bit of crafting. I'd gotten a funny book at the library, Stray Sock Sewing, that I wanted to try. I was drawn to the book by its Japanese subtitle (lots of cute crafts coming out of Japan--amigurumi, for example!) and its quirky, unusual Totally Useless Items!
Making creatures out of socks is WAY quicker than making amigurumi. And it's really easy, too. I bought some socks at the dollar store on Sunday, and made these creatures that afternoon, to the delight of my boys, who think they are fun.

This one is maneki neko, 招き猫, the lucky cat. You might have seen these in Asian stores. Usually, one paw is up, waving customers (and money) in to the store. Supposedly, waving the right paw brings in luck. Waving the left paw brings in money. Or maybe the other way around. This cat is waving in both!

As for useful items, I'm still crocheting that shrug from Positively Crochet; almost done. I want to get another Traveler's Scarf on my knitting needles, too.

And now I have time! I'll turn in my grades today! That'll take a lot of pressure off. Then on to a couple of really interesting stories for the magazine--I'll report on those later.

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