Thursday, August 31, 2006


Self-defeatism: Telling daughter to go play with her dolls so I can clean the house.

(This room sparkled only moments ago.)

Friday, August 25, 2006

water wheel

water wheel
Originally uploaded by Dominique Alyce.
Yesterday was a rainy day so it seemed appropriate that we spent most of our day wearing slickers in the water room at the Children's Museum. We had nothing planned for the day so I let Chloe take the lead. We were at the museum for nearly four hours as she worked her way deliberately through each room. Luckily I had a new knitting project with me.

As she became lost in her imaginative play, I noticed many parents pushing their kids through the exhibits. The poor kids frantically touched, pushed, pulled, played at a hectic pace to meet whatever expectations the adults had for them - as though there were a conveyor belt under their feet processing them through childhood. No wonder there are so many kids misdiagnosed with hyperactivity disorders. They must be desperate to get it all in before their parents catapult them to adulthood.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What are these girls doing indoors on a beautiful summer day?

Originally uploaded by Dominique Alyce.
Chloe's best friend on the planet is visiting us at the farm. It is among the last few carefree days of summer. The skies are clear, the air is warm and not a drop of humidity. We should be at the beach.

Instead, all sorts of random objects around the house have been assembled to form a miniature city at the center of my small living room. The chairs have been moved and a quilt (machine made I'm embarrassed to report) has completed their tent city. How could I break this up?


Originally uploaded by Dominique Alyce.
There's a tent in the middle of my living room. So why would I ever spend the big bucks for this when my child can experience the great pleasure of imagining and building and playing in this?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pointy Hat

Originally uploaded by Dominique Alyce.
A better view. I haven't woven the ends in, yet. Sometimes it never gets done. I thought Chloe looks like a little flower fairy in this so I might add a few soft green leaves around the edges, or even leaf ear flaps. Maybe that's too much.

Pointy Hat

Originally uploaded by Dominique Alyce.
My sister-in-law was in town last weekend to plan her wedding (to be held at the farm - hurray). She gave me a gift of a few skeins of hand spun, hand dyed yarn. Here's one of them after I turned it into a hat. Would have taken me about a half hour because of the bulk, but I had a few shaping challenges so it took about an hour.

So here is how I think I did it:

Materials: One skein chunky, irregular yarn and size P/11.5mm (I think) hook.

Ch 3. Join with sl st to form ring.
rnd 1: ch 1, work 5 in ring, join w/sl st (use a marker at end of round - I use a large safety pin as I lack many of the nifty notions people have come up with.
rnd 2: ch 1, *sc twice in 1st st, sc in next st*, and repeat from *.
rnd 3: ch 1, *sc twice in 1st st, sc in next two stitches* and repeat from *.
rnd 4: ch 1, *sc twice in 1st st, sc in next 3 stitches* and repeat from *.

Do you see the pattern? Each of the following rows you add another stitch before the 2-in-1 stitch. Stop when it's big enough, but still tight enough to hold your head, then do a few rows of all single crochet without any increases.

Chloe's got a 6-year-old kid sized head so I did 11 rows of increasing rows and 5 rows of the same size. I also try to space out where I put the 2-in-1 stitches when I increase so I don't ever increase above a double stitch from the previous row.

I know, this isn't a very exact pattern, but a few people have asked how I do this, so this is the best I can do. One of these days I'll have a notebook by my side and record each row exactly - although I can't imagine that would actually work because with nearly every project that I do, I rip out just about as many stitches as I complete. It's part of my process.

And believe it or not, I started this hat from a pattern (pg 42 from One Skein by Leigh Radford) determined to stick to the point for once - that lasted for three rows before I backtracked. Only the first five chains remained from the original pattern :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Originally uploaded by Dominique Alyce.
My friend betrayed me a couple of years ago by leaving downtown to buy a 1 1/2 acre lot out in subdivision hell in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. She's been begging me to come for a visit this summer, tantalizing us with their new blowup waterslide.

Well, finally, FINALLY we made it for a day trip. And what a day it had been. I now completely forgive her for moving on. Her home is as lovely as she is. Her garden is abundant with the most incredible, edible delights, and the kids went mad over this waterslide. Everything about yesterday was perfect, except for leaving. Chloe threw a temper tantrum remiscent of her terrible-two days. But it passed quickly, and we both slept very well last night.

This will become a monthly routine (Missy, be warned).

PS: I so love my new lenses. I took this with the telephoto - safely from the shade of Melissa's deck several hundred feet away from the water. Click on the photo to see more in the set. Kids and water always make me smile.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I'm a little drunk on mojitos and beignets and the power of the new outfits my camera gets to wear. George really made up nicely.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday. Shhhh, don't say anything.

I'm pretty sure my husband has forgotten as he got up, showered, kissed me goodbye and went to the gym. His forgetfulness has ceased to bother me many years ago. It's not that he doesn't care, he just is a little flighty about relationship things. Now, if I were 8-bit code, or a financial instrument, or naked, he'd be all over me :) When he realizes that he forgot, he'll really make it up to me. So I'm going to see how far I can take this.

We have dinner tonight with friends, I could really embarrass him and let them be the first to wish me happy birthday today. Or I could spill the beans and drag him to the camera store to buy me a really good telephoto lens. I have a Canon EOS 20D. Any recommendations or testimonials for a good lens?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dead Snake

dead snake
Originally uploaded by Dominique Alyce.
My mother was reminiscing about picking blackberries when she was a little girl in Louisianna. She was terrified of the snakes - poisonous ones that could kill you. I ran inside to change into pants to protect my legs from the thorns when my uncle called.

"What'er'y'all doing? Where's yer Mom?"

"Picking blackberries."

"Better watch out for those snakes. They like the rodents that eat the berries."

"Yeah - Mom just said (like two seconds ago). I don't think we have any here."

I guess we do.

Volley Ball Camp

Originally uploaded by Dominique Alyce.
Chloe went from having never touched a volleyball and barely being able to catching and throwing, to actually bumping, setting, and not-quite-spiking in all of four days.

It was a humid, but fun week.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

red jug

red jug
Originally uploaded by Dominique Alyce.
I haven't had many words, lately. Part of being at the farm and having a child at home, full-time again. Chloe was in time-out nearly fifty times yesterday. It was a day to cause me to seriously rethink homeschooling.