Monthly Archives: March 2014

A Look Back: Behind the Scenes of the Re-imagined “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park « Disney Parks Blog


A Look Back: Behind the Scenes of the Re-imagined “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Park « Disney Parks Blog.


This is a great behind the scenes look at the refurbishment of Small World 5 years ago.


Wool Dyeing Experiments


I have been dyeing a lot of wool since that fiasco before. By the way, that actually turned out to be pretty nice yarn and I made a hat out of it. It had a lot of gray in it which is from not using the color wheel properly but I still liked it.

Recently I bought a lot more dye from Dharma Trading Co (it was on sale) so I could try different color combinations. I know you can make any color using just red, yellow and blue but that take a lot o more color theory training than I have! I did buy 2 primaries this time to see how it goes but haven’t used them yet.

My first experiment was a mix of Sapphire blue, burgundy and periwinkle. These were all Jacquard acid dyes. I wanted to try a mix of all over color like I did before but these were carefully chosen to not turn muddy where they came together. This was a very successful dye job and I am thrilled with the results.

Finished blue yarn. Not perfect but getting there. I haven't decided what I am going to make with it.

Finished blue yarn. Not perfect but getting there. I haven’t decided what I am going to make with it.









This week I decided to try a 3 color dye, dyed separately so I could blend them together on my blending board. I’m not very good a reading directions, preferring to just dive in and let the chips fall where they may. I used my 3 pot crockpot and after soaking the wool (about 4 ounces, divided into 3 hanks and tied with yarn to hold it together) I added a teaspoon of Dharma Trading Co acid dyes in Peach Blush, Duckling and Lichen. I had soaked the wool in a bowl of water with 1 ½ cups of vinegar. I got it all put together and turned on the crockpot and when to work (not a unsafe as it seems, I work from home)

The resulting wool was MUCH darker than I expected from the pictures on the website but they were really wonderful fall colors. I have them blended and am spinning them now. I am very pleased with the colors but they were so much darker than I thought they should be so I decided that maybe it was time to read the directions all the way through. OK, maybe I added too much dye.

The first darker batch of wool.

The first darker batch of wool.









On the blending board

On the blending board








The rolags that I am spinning from

The rolags that I am spinning from









So yesterday I did the math (their figures are based on a pound of wool or yarn) and found that I should have used a ¼ teaspoon of dye…. So back to the crockpot!

I did everything the same on this, used the same colors so I could see the difference and the same amount of wool. The difference was amazing. They colors are very much like the pictures on the website and very nice spring colors!!  I think I will blend these too so that I have a firm comparison.

2014-03-27 17.18.26







That got me to thinking about the color range you could achieve with just one dye color. I realize that this is probably not rocket science and that for people who dye all the time, well they probably already know this. But for beginners, this might be a huge deal; it was for me.

So this morning I got the 3 pot crockpot back out (seriously, this is the handiest thing for dying small batches and not having to hang over a pot for hours!) and put labels next to each pot with ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon and 1 teaspoon. I am using Dharma Trading Co acid dye in “Fire Engine Red”.  I used 6 ounces of wool this time (South African corriedale) so I have 2 ounces in each pot.

Fast forward a few hours and I have 3 – 2 ounces lengths of red wool. The color change isn’t as strong as I thought it would be originally. I do like it and will certainly be able to use it for something.  I have some light patches and it may be because 1) I didn’t soak the wool as long as I usually do. I am going to start soaking over night from now on and 2) I think the size of the 3 small pots is too small for this much wool. Before this I was using 4 ounces total and the dyed wool was much more evenly colored.

Three shades "Fire Engine Red"

Three shades “Fire Engine Red”









I hope this might encourage you to try dyeing wool or yarn. It is so fun to do and so satisfying to knit something from yarn you dyed and spun yourself!

Tomorrow I am going to Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle with my daughter and her husband. I hope to have some pictures by Monday or Tuesday.


Smokey Sausage, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup …


MAKE A 15 MINUTE SENSATION – [[MORE]] Smokey Sausage, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup ….

I first made this soup in November and have made it many many times since then. I start with the basic soup but almost always add something extra or different. Tonight I added a can of kidney beans and I chopped up a pound of asparagus and threw it in. It makes a really great, hearty soup. I have also made it with beef broth and strips of beef as the meat (I think I added a can of diced tomatoes to that too). It occurred to me as I was making it tonight that I should share this recipe with everyone.





Kevin’s New Truck


Wow, I have really been neglecting my blog lately. No excuses, just very busy. So, what has been going on in my life? Well…

The other day when I was making the payment on the truck it occurred to me that I have never blogged about it, especially when I blogged about Kevin’s old truck before.

We were going on a cruise in November (it was a splurge for our 40th anniversary) but because of an emergency in April, we had to cancel.  So, we thought that maybe we would run down to Disneyland and have our anniversary trip there (anything so long as it is Disney!!) Well, we were 2 weeks away from the trip when I get a call from Kevin saying he is broken down and has called for AAA. This is the same truck in this blog     so I always dread getting these calls. It took AAA 3 hours to come get him and we had it towed to Midas. The Midas here in town is the only place we have found that actually still knows how to work on old trucks (this is a 1977 chevy). The Next day we got the bad news, the engine was gone, things that should be moving in there just weren’t. This is the news we didn’t want to hear. There comes a time when you just can’t put any more money into an old truck, no matter how good a truck it has been.  My whole family has used this old truck for years and it had given very good service for many good years.

So…what to do. I have to point out here that the last car we had payments on was a brand new 1974 Datsun truck that we got about a year after we got married, mostly because Kevin was going into the Air Force and I wanted a car that was reliable. This was not the truck, it was NOT reliable at all and I had it in the shop a lot. But that was the last car we made payments on. Since then, we have paid cash and bought cars we could afford even thought they were not very new. We knew this time that maybe it would be good to buy a newer truck that might last into our retirement (10 years, so it might be pushing it a little…). I gave Kevin a budget to stay under and everyone started looking online for the perfect truck. I had a few things I wanted, the most important that it have less than 40,000 miles A few days later, Kevin called from work and said he had found the truck. I could tell from his voice that he was in love…

The ad he sent was a gorgeous truck, a blue crew cab with 4 wheel drive and ALL the bells and whistles. I called him right back and told him that it was certainly a beautiful truck but it was considerably above the budget I had given him and the payments would be too high. By this time he had already called and told them we would be there the next day, asked questions about it and was told that it would be no problem to keep the payment at what I wanted….I could see that this was a done deal before he even climbed in.

On Saturday we all climbed in Max’s truck and went over to see it. And it was beautiful and it was WAY more than any car we have ever had. It had bells and whistles that we didn’t know cars even had these days. And it was comfortable. And it drove beautifully (it is a 2010 and had been taken very good care of by the former owner) It had not been smoked in (cigarette smoke is one of the things that gets my asthma going). And did I mention the stereo? That’s what sold me. This thing has a stereo system that is just amazing. The sound wraps around you and seeps into your soul. And this was just with the radio playing (it is way better with the MP3 player plugged in). It also has a “sync system” that not only plays the radio and MP3 player by talking to the car, Kevin can sync his phone with it and so is completely hands free. We didn’t know cars did this but we drive old cars.

So, we have a new truck. The first thing we did after buying it (which was a whole new level of scary) we drove it up to my sister’s house so everybody could see it and we all went for a ride. My Mom loved it (she is 99 years old) and wanted to drive it herself!   And we made them close all the doors so we could play them the stereo. Not sure they were as impressed as we are with it but they were amazed that the car talked to Kevin. Once a week it (actually “she”, you can choose between a woman’s voice or a man’s) asks if he wants it to e-mail him a car report….

I don’t get to ride in it much and I have yet to drive it but Kevin is truly in love. Almost every time he gets out of it he says “isn’t it a beautiful truck? And that is worth the many many years of payments to come!It is a really big truck and I am use to driving my small flat 92 Camaro. I moved it across the drive way because Jen was coming over and I had to sit on the front edge of the seat so I could reach the pedals and I could barely see over the hood. It does have adjustments for the seat and the pedals move out towards you but I didn’t want to change Kevin’s setting for a 50 trip. I probably should drive it sometime.

So that’s it. Oh, the old truck? Kevin gave it to a guy at work and he is going to fix it so he has an old truck to haul things in. I was glad we didn’t have to just haul it to the car dump.

Here is a picture:

Isn't it beautiful?!

Isn’t it beautiful?!

DbM Interludes | Disney by Mark’s Video Interludes


DbM Interludes | Disney by Mark’s Video Interludes.

This is one of my favorite Disney websites, especially during work. You would need a second monitor of course but having these going takes a little of the stress of the day away. Almost like being there!



Epcot Flower and Garden Festival


The following is news of the Flower & Garden Festival being held at Walt Disney World being held March 5th to May 18, 2014. The full article link follow this excerpt. Someday we hope to go to this:


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Kermit the Frog will find it is easy being green when his artfully-crafted character topiary debuts during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 5 to May 18, 2014 at Walt Disney World Resort.  With flamboyance to spare, a floral Miss Piggy will join Kermit and his blooming banjo in the World Showcase topiary display.

Urban Farm Eats will be the new Outdoor Kitchen on the promenade with a sustainable garden featuring tilapia, eggplant and other farm-raised treats. Guests can try new menu items including the Land-Grown Eggplant “Scallop” with Romesco Sauce, Ghost Pepper Dusted Tilapia with Winter Melon Salad and Mango Chutney, plus red and white vegan wines and gluten-free beer.

The festival’s nearly 100 whimsical topiaries and its 11 tantalizing Outdoor Kitchens with sweet and savory indulgent bites are reason enough to visit the 75-day flower and garden extravaganza. Yet the park will be packed with so much more as it transforms to a rainbow-hued wonderland of sweeping gardens and exhibits. Stars of HGTV, including Alison Victoria of “Kitchen Crashers” and Matt Blashaw of “Yard Crashers,” will appear each weekend at the Festival Center, Audubon will debut its new Hummingbird Garden and Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden opens as a fun-filled play land.

via Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

The Great Penguin Sweater Fiasco | Giant Flightless Birds

The Great Penguin Sweater Fiasco | Giant Flightless Birds

A few days ago I post a story about penguin sweaters….below is an excerpt from a new article. There is a link below to the full article but this is it is a nutshell:

“Hundreds of sweaters started flooding in, far outnumbering the rescued penguins. Skeinz was contacted by local and international media wanting pictures of cute penguins in sweaters. The organizer’s holiday coincided with a long weekend, so there was another delay in shutting down the campaign. But by now the horse had bolted, as the online newsletter content remained unchanged and was easy enough to copy and paste into emails; the penguin sweaters had gone viral.

And by now it turned out that none—not one—of the sweaters was actually used. The rescued penguins were being kept in warm water and recovering under heat lamps, much less stressful for wild birds than dressing them in a cute knitted sweater. Nobody seems to have asked the vets and rescue workers if they in fact needed penguin sweaters, and those interviewed seemed a bit surprised by the international knitting effort.

The end result is that “hundreds, possibly thousands” of unneeded sweaters will continue arriving at Skeinz. The organizer claimed, “the sweaters were a way for people to help, even if they weren’t going to be used.” Apparently the sweaters will be sent to a conservation group in Australia, though with crates of penguin jumpers already in storage it’s hard to see when they’ll ever be needed; some might be sold for unspecified fund-raising purposes. It all seems like rather a poor use of thousands of hours of volunteer effort: the knitters would have made more of a difference supplying gloves and hats for the volunteer clean-up crew, or donating a few dollars to Greenpeace, or writing to their MP with their views on maritime safety or offshore oil drilling. Knitters didn’t sign up to make sweaters for sale; they made them for penguins.”

via The Great Penguin Sweater Fiasco | Giant Flightless Birds.

Knitters wanted for penguin pullovers – ABC Melbourne – Australian Broadcasting Corporation


Knitters wanted for penguin pullovers – ABC Melbourne – Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


My sister-in-law tagged me on Facebook with this and I think it will be a really fun project to do. I wanted to share in case someone else was interested!!