Sunday, April 03, 2005

Blogging, Knit Guilding and Gardening

I'm having a drink. Here it is, Sunday, and I've been working on digital photos and this blog for most of the day. My new button alone took 2 hours - grab it, will ya? I hope someone will use it. I have Photoshop Elements 3.0, which I am beginning to adore. Being an impatient person, I didn't take the time to read through the wonderful Short Courses manual until now. Instead of being intimidated, I should've realized that PE3 is perfect for a nitpicky, detail-oriented, organization freak..uh...person like me who loves to put everything in categories and lists.

I have three CDs chock-full of pictures since 2002. I managed to upload only the first CD of photos to the catalog and tag them. Tagging!! I love it!! What a concept!!

Creating the button was frustrating but educational. You can go to GRSites Button Maker if you don't have image-editing software. I picked up this tip from the ever clever Agnes. If you do have Photoshop, you can create your own button. Basic steps if using a photograph:

  • select your image
  • edit/enhance your image (you may need to crop so that it's basically rectangular)
  • save this as your baseline
  • resize to button dimensions (something like 1"x.5")
  • save this as your baseline button
  • you may have to close and re-open baseline button image
  • use the Text tool to layer your text onto the image
  • save your button as a GIF or JPG
In knitting news, I attended a knitting group at Coffee Republic yesterday. It was kind of intense. Amid the serenity of many ladies knitting away socks and scarves, there was a buzz of excitement. I was in awe of the complicated projects these women were working on...Beth had a lovely lace pattern from White Lies using bamboo yarn...Sandi and Carol were knitting socks on such teeny needles...Kaedean was holding up samples of a reversible cable...Barbara was putting on a show and tell about felting purses. I was enthralled by it all. So of course I joined the Sacramento Knitting Guild (aka Camellia City Stockin'ettes) and then rushed to Babetta's for my 10% member discount. And I promptly bought several skeins of Manos del Uruguay.

Hence my button. The background is Manos del Uruguay in colors #113 and #32.

I dig Manos because it's a Fair Trade company. I think that's very important. Yes, the yarn is expensive. However, Fair Trade means the final product was produced with environmentally sustainable processes, the middleman is cut out and 90% of the profits go directly back to the cooperatives. My coffee is the same way - don't laugh - Fair Trade organic coffee is the best!

Finally, two more happy events this weekend. First, Carolina is in the NCAA Championship Final by way of beating Michigan State. It was a nail-biter for me in the first half and I'm sorry to say that I was quite snappy at half time. Poor Karl. However, I made up for it after Carolina won. Second, I spent some quality time in my garden tending to my riotiously overgrown herbs. I let the parsley overtake their borders so I cut them back furiously (hopefully I won't regret that later). The mint was just atrocious. I really had to fight with the original plant because it spread all over. Tip: do not grow mint in your yard, it will grow like a weed! Keep it in containers! I trimmed the oregano and the flowers close by - Blue Marguerite and something that looks like a mum.

OK. I'm having another glass of wine. For you Sacramento-area readers, the Ironstone wines are very tasty. The Symphony Obsession is crisp and sweet.

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day!


Violet said...

I would be happy to "hook you up" with other knitting groups!!! Email me: mstigger_5 at yahoo dot com

Stephanie said...

Wow, sounds like you had a busy weekend. I am so anxious to get out and start yard work, but it will be a while yet before I can do much good - still too cold. I'm going to my first Guild meeting tonight - I hope I enjoy it as much as you did. Manos is great yarn - such pretty colors. I made a great scarf out of it.

sherry said...

I try to drink fair trade coffee too.Glad to know about the manos, and yes,I made the same mistake wmint. The roots were atrocious!!!

Agnes said...

I absolutely agree with you on the mint issue! They are like weeds and their roots go so deep that it seems impossible to clean them off the ground!
And my God you made me blush ... I'm not "ever clever" ... just like playing around with gadgets! Besides, being not having a job, one has to feel oneself being good at something, right? hahaha ... have a nice week ahead.

caitlyn said...

Wow, you've added so much to your blog! =) I love your button. For my blog button (which isn't even "active"), the image is also of Manos del Uruguay's part of a scarf I made.
Sorry it didn't work out with the Silk Garden -- I would have loved to sell it to you. Hope to meet you sometime soon! =)

Kaedean said...

Hey girl, Cool to see my name in your blog and my blog on your side bar. Violet is teaching me about side bar stuff and I'll soon get you up on mine too. Some of us Sacramento knitter have PJ parties up at Angels Camp. And we love Ironstone wines!! The Symphony Obsession is my Fav too!!

Cyndi said...

Your blog is looking fabulous! I need to spend some more time on mine... I finally updated my blog links today.

Thanks for the wine tip, I'm going to have to try the Ironstone. I love a good bottle of wine.

Good luck with your gardening. My garden has been quite neglected for the last year, although I did manage to get out in the sunshine on Saturday and prune some of my shrubs. I have a half wine barrel full of mint that is doing its best to escape and take over my yard! :)

Lu said...

I did not know that Manos is Fair Trade company - it is important to me too. Thanks for the info!

Jenn said...

I love your button and will gladly steal it :-)

I have photoshop elemants alos and can't figure out how to use it. Drives me crazy. But I am not one fore reading directions either....that could be the problem!