back and forth

My two lives. My late night/early mornings life of mad crafty energy, where my fingers itch to create and my mild mannered day life of teaching, biking, tennis and the love of my life!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Norcatt Tomato Testing, 2006!

Sounds official, doesn't it? Basically, it was a group of hard core heirloom tomato affecionados, meeting in the park with the task of tomato testing and grading over 80 varieties. YIKES! We had 5 tables covered with tomato varieties. We ranked the flavor from 1 to 5, 1 being 'I HATE it!' and equated with grocery store tomatos; to 5, the best.

Our youngest, and very discriminating tomato taster! If it was based on amount eaten, Sungold was the best, with Momotaro. Yeah, I know. Both are hybrids. :-)

What was so interesting is when two of us grew the same tomato and how different they looked and tasted. Here is Brad's Berkeley Tie Dye (top) and my own. His was much greener, and more defined patterns. However, mine was prefered for taste.

Some highlights were Bruce's Tomato Sorbet, Debra's decadent brownies, Annie's darkest of dark Black Zebra tomato, all of Brad's eyecandy toms, and the perfect location and weather. I can't wait until next year!

Monday, August 14, 2006

...more beads

I have so so so many beads. I love to buy beads. I love to string beads. But with so many options, I have a hard time commiting to a piece of jewelry without a lot of 'suffering' (unlike fabric: Bonzai!!!) And as much as I really like my polymer beads, I was not happy with the photos. So, I changed it up again! I strung my polymer sets with some of my beads added!

I'm much happier with the way it presents, and the pictures are more fun. I'm keeping the price the same, just more beads for the buyer to play with!

I tried taking pictures outside in the morning light, in the late afternoon sun. Uck. These are the ones I like, and it was just on my bed with a flash!

Here are some I recently finished and posted. Hopefully it will help crafters see the beads in their own creations more easily.

And I'm working on more Sock Bugs. I really like this one. His name is Spooky, of course!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Titancia magic and my wonderful son!

Titancia (from Etsy and Craftser) did this awesome biz card for me, for my Winter Knitty 'Covet Corner' ad. It's really cute, and fun, and will be perfect!

And even though this has nothing to do with Etsy or cycling/tennis, my dearest and best son put this in for me today! He's so handy. He cut the holes perfectly, did an awesome caulking job. He's 19, and those Taylor genes are in him through and through! He's never caulked or tried anything like this before. I did the grunt work of cleaning off the old caulk, and bleaching the slight mildew behind the old, nasty wall surround that was there. Isn't my boy the best? His very sweet gf was there to lend a hand as well. Thanks, guys!

AND I'm wanting a trike again. For touring. For climbing, and descents, and cruising. I sold my Amos wheel to go towards that. I know I wanted to pay off certain things FIRST, but I may just pay certain things to a certain point, before I weaken and get this. No more being blown into traffic from huge gusts of wind. No more fear of rough road on fast descents. I WANT ONE!! I could so ride the CA Coast on this! Cardiac? No problem...My only concern is if my back can take it. My back loves a df bike. Not so happy in chairs. Next summer, I'll go test ride one and see. In the meantime, I can dream...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

spinning and dyeing! and adding sock yarn

I'm finally back to spinning and dyeing. I haven't liked the way Jacquard does with crockpot pour method dyeing, which works great with food dyes, so I'm handpainting yarns and fibers. That's fun!

Here's some merino and tencel fiber. I LOVE this soft, shining stuff.

And my handpainted sock yarn. You'd think in 'Sockdiva's Shop' this would have happened earlier; but the whims of creativity had otherwise! This is superwash merino. Can you tell I'm big on practically every color in the dyepot?

Etsy changes: I removed the pendants that had nothing to do with socks. And I WILL try to make stitch markers, but out of those little sock beads, rather than simple slices. So bigger than the slices, and like M&M's. Even though it's much more work, I'll put the same price. Hmmm, might need another sock cane from clayartist!

Biking: Rode in Napa with nl! Here are the stats:
Mileage: 40 miles
1 flat
Buzzed by too many cars to count! Trucks were best, sedans were worse.
1 huge breakfast for lunch in St. Helena
Potholes, hills, not that many cyclists!
Headwinds - 20 mph