Monday, August 27, 2007


Somehow I never thought it would take until now to get back to the blog but it has been busy. I've had freelance work for the tile shop,CJ's new classroom needed me for the Lazure painting team. I've been cleaning my house and I even managed to make some new hat designs. Not bad, really! So today I am finally getting to the long delayed project of putting up the lights in my sweater felt closet so I'll be able to see the colors without pulling all the felt out into the room. And maybe I won't smash my head on the roof beams so often. It can only help!
As I was pulling out the sweaters to make room to work I felt like I was meeting a lot of long lost friends. As much as I love my family, it will be a relief to get CJ back to school. I crave a bit of peace and quiet so I can produce more hats and scarves for my upcoming shows. Easton Library on Sept. 23rd, Redding Congregational Church on the 29th and then sometime in October the Fall Fair at Housatonic Valley Waldorf School. (This is all in CT if you'd like to visit.) So now back to the project!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Yes, I'm Still Alive

Still alive but busy and tired. It's week 3 of the summer camp and I've been spending my days with a bunch of 4 to 8 year olds. It's a lot like trying to herd kittens. I've cranked out a couple of freeform crochet purses because that's all I have the energy to do in the evening - sit and make scrumbles. The last week of July is our last week of camp, my last week as camp director. After some serious lazing around to recuperate, August will be much more productive.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ninja Dude!

The 6th graders made dolls in handwork this year and this is CJ's Ninja Dude. A lot of the other kids made soccer players, one made a Native American and another made Fleur Delacore. (If I've left anybody out, please forgive me!) Sewing was much more to my son's liking but next year he'll be making a sweater. If he doesn't want it for himself maybe he'll make one for Afghanistan.

Forty Shades of Green

When we were in Ireland my husband's mom used the expression "forty shades of green" to describe the landscape and yes, it really is that lush and beautiful. I started this hat the other night because I felt like making roll stitched rounds. Originally, I thought it would be the base for some mushrooms or something but now I'm not so sure. I like it the way it is except I'll probably enlarge the ear flaps a little and add ties. What do you think?

UW Hat Completed

Well, Here it is! I'm very pleased with this one.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Ultimate Waldorf Hat

Here's a quick snap of the top of my latest hat. This would be a perfect hat for a Waldorf kindergarten teacher! I've pretty much finished the body of the hat so now it's on to the fun part, adding more mushrooms, flowers and bugs. However, I think I'll be taking a break from that to make some Bottles of Hope for Danbury's Relay For Life. They came up short and desperately need more bottles to give out this weekend. I had already decided to make a pendant for my unoffical extra son, Sidney who is graduating Saturday, so I'll already be digging out my polymer supplies.
It's an incredibly beautiful day here, sunny, cool and breezy so I can open all the windows and get some fresh air in. Yesterday I pushed myself to start doing morning pages again and I feel much better for it. No, you won't be seeing me spill my guts here, at least not beyond a certain point. Wandering Lydia is about being fun and creative and moving forward. I get my head in order in my morning pages and ruminate on projects here.
I've got a bunch of ideas for hats that I need to get started, a jackalope hat and a coral reef hat to start with. Good old Salvation Army has provided me with two bags of sweaters to felt and overdye. Serious fun ahead!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lydia The Tattooed Lady

My life was wrapped around the circus. Her name was Lydia.
I met her at the world's fair in 1900, marked down from
1940. Ah, Lydia.

She was the most glorious creature
Under the su-un.
Guiess. DuBarry. Garbo.
Rolled into one.

Lydia oh Lydia, say have you met Lydia,
Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.
She has eyes that folks adore so,
And a torso even more so.

Lydia oh Lydia, that encyclopedia,
Oh Lydia the Queen of Tattoo.
On her back is the Battle of Waterloo.
Beside it the wreck of the Hespherous, too.
And proudly above waves the Red, White, and Blue,
You can learn a lot from Lydia.

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la

When her robe is unfurled, she will show you the world,
If you step up and tell her where.
For a dime you can see Kankakee or Paris,
Or Washington crossing the Delaware.

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la

Oh Lydia oh Lydia, say have you met Lydia,
Oh Lydia the Tattooed Lady
When her muscles start relaxing,
Up the hill comes Andrew Jackson

Lydia oh Lydia, that encyclopedia,
oh Lydia the queen of them all!
For two bits she will do a mazurka in jazz,
With a view of Niagara that nobody has.
And on a clear day you can see Alcatraz.
You can learn a lot from Lydia.

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la

Come along and see Buff'lo Bill with his lasso.
Just a little classic by Mendel Picasso.
Here is Captain Spaulding exploring the Amazon.
Here's Godiva but with her pajamas on.

La la la, la la la, la la la, la la la

Here is Grover Whalen unveilin' the Trilon.
Over on the West Coast we have Treaure Island.
Here's Najinsky a-doin' the rumba.
Here's her social security numba.


Oh Lydia, oh Lydia that encyclopedia,
Oh Lydia the champ of them all.
She once swept an Admiral clear off his feet.
The ships on her hips made his heart skip a beat.
And now the old boy's in command of the fleet,
For he went and married Lydia.

I said Lydia (He said Lydia)
I said Lydia (We said Lydia)

La La!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Wandering Lydia's Mehndi

As mentioned previously, I've gotten into doing henna body art. I started out with a kit from a local boutique with the idea of having something fun to do at the May Fair. CJ's teacher saw it and suggested that it could be a fund raiser for the class trip. There is a big Labor Day Parade down Main St. that we always go to because my friend lives there, so I plan to set up and do henna for the duration of the parade. The nice thing is that I wouldn't be trying to fund raise within our school community - we're all sick of fund raisers and pretty well tapped out. All money raised that day would go to the class trip but I figured that I'd have business cards out in hopes of getting some bookings for parties. I hand drew the business card with a boteh design around the contact info. When I showed it to my friend she said," You do know that there is a song about Lydia the tattooed lady, right?" Well, sort of vaguely, though it had nothing to do with my choice of name. Just another one of those random bits of serendipity that Groucho Marx sang it!
So I've been practicing on myself and studying at The Henna Pages:, which I highly recommend for anyone who would like to try doing henna. Gotta go see what's going on downstairs. We are supposed to be going to a picnic.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Playing Hooky

What a fun day this was! I took a fieldtrip to two different ethnic markets today and not only did I get henna, rose syrup and yard long beans, I also found the elusive carrot pickle I've been looking for. One of my dearest friends craves kim chee the way I yearn for Pakistani carrot pickle. My son will have a couple of surprises in his lunch tomorrow - a small box of chocolate filled koala cookies and a strawberry jelly drink with an anime character on the label. Can't quite place the guy on the label but I know that I've seen him before. And, though it's hotter than you know where up here, I photographed a bunch of hats and uploaded them to They're in the Wandering Lydia gallery. Finally, I hennaed my hand and came up to write a little here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Getting an Award Is So Cool!

What a weekend! I'm just getting to process it today since I spent yesterday at school and taught my last clay class for the fifth graders. First the big news, My Lydia hats took second prize in the fiber category at the Bruce Museum Craft Festival!!! The day started with me walking by the other booths to set up and fighting down my doubts. This is a very nice high end craft show, by far the best place that I have shown my hats. But it was too late to turn back or worry about it so I got busy setting up. As with any outdoor event, the weather was an issue. Saturday was cold and wet with long stretches of rain which meant that attendance was low. I wore a wool hat all day and was probably the only vendor who didn't freeze. One woman actually offered to buy the sweater off my back! Sunday was the exact opposite, hot and sunny so foot traffic was up. I sold the majority of hats on Saturday but was glad for everybody else that Sunday cleared off. I assumed that people were not interested in buyig a wool hat on such a warm day, I got a lot of positive feedback. But late in the day my neighbor asked how I was doing and to my surprise, they had also done better on Saturday. The folks who braved the wet weather on Saturday were serious and came to buy. Sunday's attendance was better but it seemed that a lot of that traffic was just there to wander around on a pretty spring day. Well, one never knows... Still I am pleased with the experience though I don't plan to do another outdoor show until Sept.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thank you, Susan Cooper

Today's post is a quote from Susan Cooper's last book in The Dark Is Rising Sequence, Silver On The Tree. I was reading the book while I was stumbling through my this-is-not-my-beautiful-life phase. Bran and Will have gone to the Lost Land to retrieve the crystal sword in order to defeat the Dark.

"Gwion sighed. "So the Dark did a simple thing," he said,"They showed the maker of the sword his own uncertainty and fear. Fear of having done the wrong thing - fear that having done this one great thing, he would never again be able to accomplish anything of great worth - fear of age, of insufficiency, of unmet promise. All such endless fears, that are the doom of people given the gift of making, and lie always somewhere in their minds. And gradually, he was put into dispair. Fear grew in him, and he escaped from it into lethargy - and so hope died, and a terrible paralyzing melancholy took its place. He is held by it now, he is held captive by his own mind. He and the sword Eirias that he made with him. Despair holds him prisoner, despair, the most terrible creation of all. For in great men, the mind can produce giant spectres of great power."

And now I am awake.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Hats Hats Hats!!

Yes, it's finally production time at Wandering Lydia world headquarters. The studio is humming, well, the fan is on anyway! My personal assistant, Miss Bumpus is on an extended coffee break downstairs. Oh, excuse me, she's doing dream research, trying to come up with stunning new ideas for me to develop. I'll be at the Bruce Museum Craft Festival on May 19th so if you're in Greenwich, CT that day please stop in to say hello. Today's picture has nothing to do with anything but I like blogs that have lots of images. That's all for now.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Lucy Mae Bumpus Must Die

GRRRR! My normally beloved canine personal assistant, Miss Lucy Mae Bumpus is in first place on my shit list today- literally. All it took was one moment of inattention during our after lunch walk for her to find and roll in a very nasty pile of stink. I had to frog march her directly to the tub for a good cleaning. Now we are both in bad moods. Though I'd have to say that she's gotten the worst of it. After all, how can she have a decent nap if I won't let her up on any of the beds? Don't worry, I won't actually kill her. Seeing her looking soggy and dejected is enough.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Merry Beltane!

It's been a rather pretty first day of May though the clouds are moving in this evening. The forcast for Saturday's May Fair sounds beautiful. How nice to have a festival without rain! Today's picture is one of my polymer clay brooches in the Puck series. Not exactly the Greenman, more of a Greenbaby!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Son Went To FL And All I Got Was This Lousy Cold

Bleargh..This spring vacation week has not worked out as I had planned. My husband and I are both sick and a crew is showing up tomorrow to reroof the house. I've got lots that I should be doing but I don't have the energy to do it! I did finish this painting though. Lifting a brush was all I could manage. That and I put in an order for acrylic paints since mine are pretty depleted. Random thought for the day: toasting marshmellow circus peanuts really improves the flavor!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cleaning The Land of Enchantment

So our twelve year old is on vacation at Disney World with his best friend until late Thursday night. I'm taking care of his Neopets. He's in for a surprise when he gets back, I cleaned his room. Should have rented a backhoe! I pulled out three full contractors bags of broken toys, papers and plain old trash. He's a prolific artist which is great, but as soon as he's done, the drawings get left all over the floor where they get walked on and churned into a sort of indoor leaf mold. I found his missing gameboy in the ground cover. It's a miracle that no one stepped on it but I suppose that it was pretty well cushioned by all the debris. Meanwhile, Miss Lucy Mae Bumpus, our dog was watching with great interest, at one point snagging a lollipop left from a Halloween past. Once the room was picked up she was allowed back into the "Land of Enchantment" as we generally refer to his bedroom. (This is a reference to an old Pooh Bear episode. Tigger sucked Piglet into a canister vac as part of a magic act. The interior of the canister vac was the Land of Enchantment.) Now here's the thing. As I was sitting on his bed resting at the end of all the cleaning, Mis Bumpus jumped up beside me, gave me a kiss and settled happlily on the bed for a nap. All of a sudden it hit me.. the dog thinks we've taken our son to the pound and the room is now hers!

Friday, April 6, 2007

I'm Not As Old As This Post Would Suggest!

We get a small free newspaper every week and usually, there isn't much of interest beyond the latest Ocean State Job Lot ad- and I can get that on the web. This week's cartoon was a nice little nugget. Once again I found myself explaining "ancient" history to my son so he'd get the joke. Anybody tried watching old Bugs Bunny cartoons with their kids? I had to explain why a character said "ding!" when he reached the end of the ear of corn he was eating.(You know, like an old fashioned typewriter). One of my Grandmother's favorite ways to tell us we were talking too much when we were kids was:"What? Did somebody vaccinate you with a phonograph needle?" I love that line! Kind of takes the fun out of it when I have to stop and explain it. Oh well, good times, good times...

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Baby Socks and Sweater

Just a quick picture of some of the knitting I've been doing - Since I still have a lot to learn it helps to work on child sized projects. The thought of tackling a sweater for myself is still too daunting! My goal is to knit the old fashioned way without line by line patterns and to work on my tension on purl rows. I'm a mixed knitter but I prefer to knit continental if I need to purl. I used bamboo needles on the front of the sweater and found myself rowing out pretty badly so I switched to plastic needles and made a concerted effort to loosen up on the purl rows. I'm trying to be good and get some freelance tile painting done today so no knitting for now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

This Is Not My Beautiful Life

The title of this post says it all. The best I can say at the moment is that I've been making some nice baby socks for the kids in Wardak, Afgahnistan. I'm not one to bore you with the irritating details so I'll leave it there. Thank the heavens I have my knitting to keep me going! Hopefully I'll be in a more congenial frame of mind soon. I've got to work on inventory for a craft festival in May and making a lot of cool hats will cheer me up.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Mokey Mokey!

Mokey Mokey is done and my son is happy with him.(pardon the lousy scan, I can't find the camera cable) The sponge worked out really well in place of fiberfil stuffing so I'll probably use it again when I want a distinctly blocky form.
No school next week. It will be nice not to get up and out on time in the morning.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Amigurumi Fruit Bat

I took a break from the Valentine's Day socks to make my first amigurumi last night. At first I couldn't think why I wanted to make a bat but then I remembered that we've been watching Kodocha lately so I must have had Babbit on my mind. So here is a girlfriend for Babbit! I can see how it would be easy to get addicted to making amigurumi - they are cute quick little projects that can offer a bit of a challenge if you're trying to make them up as you go along. I was image surfing last night and one of the blogs I visited had a link to:, Cooking Cute. I am inspired! I'm going grocery shopping today and then I'm going to pull out my bento boxes and pack myself (and maybe my son) a nice lunch for tomorrow. I have a hard time packing a nice lunch for myself on Mondays but if I make it an art project, I might be able to do it.
What's up with all the pink and cuteness, I wonder? Normally I loathe pink. My bedroom was pink when I was a kid and I was stuck with that and the matching pink gingham curtains and ruffled bedspread for quite a while after I had outgrown them. It must be the winter doldrums. Teachers and students at school have been dropping like flies and it's been bitterly cold. I must be looking for an escape.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

One More Sock Junkie

Yes, I too have succumbed to the craze for knitting socks. After all the years of my freeform crochet obsession and the number of times I tried to take up knitting and dropped it, I finally got it. I love working on DP's. These Valentine's Day socks owe a lot to the eastern way of knitting, though I still worked from the top down. The lace motif is crocheted. I adapted it from part of a motif from an old tablecloth pattern. They called it "Spring Beauty" but I though it looked like a pomegranate design. Now I need to get busy and finish the other one!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Note To Self

Do not bring bamboo skewers and drinking straws to clay class as tools. This should have been obvious to me. I should have known that 12 year olds would use them to turn the class into an amazon rainforest hunting expedition. Bamboo skewers stick really well into drop celing material. Fortunately, these are not especially difficult kids and they stopped right away.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Doin' the Monday Dance

On Mondays I teach a clay class for the 5th or 6th grade at my son's school. I also cover morning recess at the lower school which leaves me hanging around for a couple of hours between recess and clay class. Happily, I have friends in the area and today I got to hang out with my painter friend who also happens to be an astrologer. She did my chart for me and I'm still mulling it over. Change is in the air. I'm going to be making some decisions and freeing up my energy.
Anyway, it's been a good Monday so I posted a picture of one of my dolls.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Greetings From Lydia

Well, Hello World.
Welcome to Wandering Lydia. Why Wandering Lydia? When I started making art hats from recycled wool I thought it would be fun to have an alter ego who was as interesting and off beat as my sculptural hats, and so Lydia was born. When I was a kid I was given some Aunt Lydia rug yarn to play around with and the name just stuck in my head. I seem to recall that there was a drawing of a cross looking old maid on the label, but don't worry, this Lydia is nothing like that! My other Lydia inspiration was the character Lydia Deets from Beetlejuice. (though I was born too soon to be a goth in high school.) Wandering is the best way to describe my creative life. When anything and everything can be an art material there's always something new to try. And there you have it, Wandering Lydia.
I'm going to have to take some pictures. This is part of a rug I've been making from the bits leftover from the hats. Pretty time consuming but I love the result.