Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Something Different

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail today with a link to something cool she had seen. I checked it out, then decided to see if I could replicate the idea. The result is in the photo you see above. Yes, a cute, little knitted cupcake with a pipe cleaner cherry on top! I am going to try this again one of these days, because I think the top of the cupcake is too pointy. Still, not too bad for a first attempt.

Yesterday I knitted on the second knee sock for my niece for almost 6 hours straight. Yes, I finished the first sock, and immediately started the second. Now that I know what lies ahead (and now that I have done all the math!) I think I will complete the second sock a lot more quickly than the first. Sorry there is no photo today - I forgot to take one before it got too dark for pictures.

I spent some pleasurable time working in my stamping room today, as well. I hope to have something new to show you from there tomorrow, too. But I really must get busy on Halloween cards, and I've been pondering my next move there for some time now... I hope to have my idea refined and ready to implement very soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

When Genealogy Meets Art

It dawned on me earlier this week that instead of spending money on copies of old photos to use in my various art projects, I could use the old photos I already have! I printed out a small selection of the many photos I now have on my computer, and gave it a try.

Here we have my great-grandfather (well, one of them). He brought his wife and three sons from Poland to California in 1920.

And finally, this is one of my great-grandmothers, whose name was Ray (presumably short for Rachel). I am still missing many of the details of her life, but I can tell you that she left her adopted country, the U.S., to move to what was then Palestine in 1929. She lived in Tel Aviv until her death in 1958.

The background for the first item was made with my trusty Adirondack color wash sprays (Raisin and Stream) and Glitz Spritz. The backgrounds for the ATC and the second card are actually from the same sheet of paper; I took Trish Bee's challenge and used the scrap paper that covers my stamping table to make a Worksheet Wonder background.

It's no surprise that these pieces mean more to me than most of my recent efforts. I will probably still buy collage images from time to time, but I really enjoyed getting my ancestors involved in one of my hobbies. Aside from the sentiment involved, I can print out as many copies as I like, and can adjust the size of the photo to suit my project. Pretty cool, huh?

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Thank goodness for the wonderful people at Club Posh! If not for them, I never would have learned that a card I submitted to a stamping magazine has been published. Above is the scan I made of the card before I sent it out to Just Cards, a magazine I don't get and have never seen.

Thanks to my friends, I have now seen this page (33, if you want to look for it) in volume 11 of Just Cards. The funny thing is, my card is apparently in the Everyday Cards section of the journal, while it was intended to be a card for the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana). No matter, I am very happy to know it was published.

I haven't knit much today, but I have done some creating in my stamping room, which is something I've been wanting to do for a while. Later on, I'll have some work to do, as Maccabi is playing a basketball game tonight. Sure hope I'll be writing about a victory, but we have an almost completely new team this season, not to mention an all-new coaching staff and team manager. They've been playing well, and I suspect in a few more weeks they will really have pulled together.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Big News

I have big news to share. Or, should I say Big News? But first... can you guess what this is? A very shy fellow, he hid amongst the leaves and I couldn't get a good shot until...

the neighbor's dog started her traditional whine/howl/bark thing that she does whenever her insensitive/stupid/evil... ahem... owners leave her alone. Hey, folks - buy a clue! The dog is a husky, suited to mushing over the frozen tundra with her team of pals, not lounging around all alone in a Middle Eastern backyard. (Sorry, pet peeve sorta slipped in there...). Anyway! The dog did her thing, and the kingfisher flew over to the other side of the yard and I was able to get a better photo.

What's that? Oh yeah, The Big News. Right. Well, this week something very wonderful happened with our business (Samin Translations). We signed a new client: none other than our favorite/much beloved basketball team, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv! Yes, I am now responsible for translating articles for the team's English website. There are still some kinks to be worked out, but this is just so exciting for us, you have no idea. It's like having the L.A. Lakers as a client (not that I love the Lakers, my team was/is/always will be the Golden State Warriors, but that's neither here nor there. Especially not here).

Anyway, I'm a bit fragmented here because I am just so thrilled with this opportunity. Not only is it a huge boost for our translation business, but it is a heck of a lot of fun for all of us (especially me). So you can expect posts about Maccabi to increase, and I hope you won't mind.

After all, this is Bag of Chocolates. You really never do know what you're gonna get!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Yep, the big 4-9. What a concept: I am now a 49er! It fits, considering I am a native of the San Francisco Bay Area...

I've had probably my best birthday ever today. I took advantage of the never-argue-with-the-birthday-celebrant rule (what? it's not a rule in your house?) to get a couple of before-school photos of my sweeties. Aren't they gorgeous?

Later, Avi and I drove in to Tel Aviv for a meeting that marks a huge step forward in our translation business. Fun, exciting... lots of superlatives fit, but more about that in my next post. After all, this one is all about moi!

After the girls got home from school, they turned the tables on me and gave me my first-ever birthday treasure hunt! Meital was the mastermind behind it, and did an incredible job. Every clue referenced a toy I had knit for her, and where it was likely to be. Absolutely delightful! As you can see, she gave me a teddy bear she knit herself (with some help from me, but not much. Avi later told me he cracked up every time he saw me working on my own gift!). Liat wanted to make a collage for me, and decided that since I always have a small notebook handy next to the computer, that would make an excellent canvas. She was right! But I am trying to figure out how I can protect her work of art. I am thinking of inking it with Versamark ink and covering it with clear embossing powder.

And now, even as I type, Avi is preparing a fabulous dinner, including my all-time favorite food (well, aside from chocolate): potato pancakes. Yum, YUM! For dessert, we will enjoy the fabulous chocolate cake Liat and Meital baked for me last night, which has been frosted with chocolate ganache. I keep hearing the opening words of that old Fred Astaire song* in my mind...

"Heaven! I'm in Heaven...."

*"Cheek to Cheek" by Irving Berlin (from the movie Top Hat)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lots Going On

Today has been an interesting one here at Bag of Chocolates, but for now I'd better keep mum on most of the activity. However, I have been wanting to share a couple of things with you. Above is the baby sweater I may have mentioned working on. It's a free pattern from Knitting on the Net, I just decided to stripe it rather than work it all in one color. The sleeve directions are a little less than perfect, but I've had enough experience knitting top-down raglan sweaters (and their sleeves) to know what I need to do. This is the sweater I mentioned hoping I could finish before Wednesday, when I want to get started on the sweater for Meital. I rather doubt I will be able to do it, seeing as it is now 5:30 in the evening on Monday, but who knows? After all, baby arms are short, and therefore it follows as night does the day that the sleeves of baby sweaters are - or ought to be - short. We shall see.

This is a bit of lace trim I started so long ago that I really don't remember when it was (though I suspect if I troll through my own archives I could make an educated guess). It was right about the time that I made that denim bag with the crazy quilt patch on it. I think I will probably just cast this off (when I get around to it) and figure out later why exactly I made it. I am sure that at some point in time, its future will be revealed to me in a blinding (well, hopefully not literally blinding) flash of inspiration. Hmm, maybe I ought to leave it on the needle, in case said flash informs me that the piece of lace trim I need must be 10", not 8" - or however long this may turn out to be once it's blocked.

And here's something to file away under Never Throw Anything Away. For a few years, several years ago now, I tutored kids in English after school. In my own inimitable fashion, I spent hours crafting educational-yet-humorous worksheets on a wide variety of subjects, some specifically suited toward a particular student. I added graphics and all sorts of other touches I hoped would amuse and amaze my students. Having learned long before not to trust much of anything to the innards of an inanimate object, I kept a folder of print copies of my ouevre.

Whew! Just the introduction to this is wearing me out. You, too? Sorry.

Anyway, Liat recently started tutoring a student in English, math, and other subjects as needed. When she came home, she asked me if I had any materials on a couple of subjects (the use of has/had, and pronouns). "Well," I replied, "of course!"

I've now searched High, Low and even In-the-Middle, and I can't find the darn folder! (You knew that was the whole point of this rant, didn't you?). I know I didn't throw it away, so perhaps the title of this little morality play should be, Never, Ever Move Anything from Where it Has Been for the Last Few Years, Otherwise You'll Never be Able to Find It Again!

Though maybe that's just a tad too long to be a catchy title...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

As Promised

Here, at last (for those of you who eagerly await such things), are the photos of my birthday presents-to-me. This order from Addicted to Rubber Stamps includes two new colors of Adirondack Color Wash spray (Lettuce and Raisin), a few Adirondack ink pads (Terra Cotta, Stream, and Pesto), Perfect Pearls in a pretty blue color whose name I can't think of at the moment, and some Tim Holtz goodies (grungeboard, spinners and philosophy tags - I think that's what they're called. I'm horrible at remembering the names the companies give their colors, stamps, and the like. I just buy what I like, pretty much without regard to names).

Here is my order from Sunday International: some Distress inks (let's see if I can do this from memory: Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Worn Lipstick, Mustard Seed and Broken China. Also included are three EZ Mounted stamps - LOVE those! - two by Posh, er Dee Gruenig Designs, and one by Sunday International. So much fun!! If you get a card from me one of these days using these products, you'll know it isn't something I whipped up a few years ago and forgot I had on hand...

Truth be told, I've already played with some of my birthday toys. Just couldn't wait until Wednesday.

And today I got my first birthday card of 2008. Not such a big deal, because it was from... my bank. Oh well, it's the thought, right?

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Well, after two miserable days of not being in any condition to do much of anything, today I am up and about... and in my stamping room! I worked on my Autumn themed ATCs for the Club Posh swap...aside from the theme, we are required to use orange in our cards. I had fun with these... the background started out as a page from a clothing catalog. I gave it a good spritzing with Adirondack Color Wash spray in Butterscotch, then topped that off with just a bit of Cranberry. Once that was dry, I flicked some orange acrylic paint (Delta brand) onto the background. The pumpkin, by Dee Gruenig Designs (Posh Impressions), was stamped (and embossed) on some Dutch newspaper that a friend sent me a while ago. The newspaper was also sprayed with Butterscotch and a hint of Cranberry. The leaves (also by Dee Gruenig) were stamped onto solid colored paper that had been sprayed first with Glitz Spritz. The only thing I am not sure about is whether I should add something in the upper left corner, or leave it as "white" space. Meital suggested I add a smaller leaf... Maybe I will use my leaf punch and see how it looks.

I also finished up a tag I've been working on for awhile. I started out with a sort of greyish/olive green cardstock, and sprayed it with Color Wash in Stream (I know, it's getting repetitive; wait until you see what I got for my birthday!), then sprayed over that with Glitz Spritz. I squirted some VersaMark reinker onto an ordinatry kitchen sponge, dabbed that randomly over the background, then melted some copper embossing powder. I wish you could see how shimmery and pretty this background is! The violin image came from a magazine, and the sheet music was a gift included with an order from Collage Stuff. I sprayed the sheet music with some Moon Shadow Mist (think walnut ink with colorful glimmers) in Buccaneer Bay Blue. For the rose (also by Dee Gruenig), I first tried inking my stamp with Perfect Medium and brushing Perfect Pearls in Copper onto the tag. It looked horrible! I really need to practice that technique. If you have any tips, please let me know. To cover it up, I stamped the image, using a copper Cat's Eye ink pad and my copper ep, onto vellum, cut it out, then glued it over the botched attempt.

I had planned to show you the loot I bought for my birthday, but I think I'll save those photos for my next post, just in case I don't have anything else to show you. Oh, and Joansie reminded me that yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate Day, but I was feeling too miserable to attempt a pirate-themed post by the time I saw her e-mail last night. Oh well, there's always next year!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sharing the Love

Just a quick post today because I am feeling even more poorly than I did yesterday.

First and foremost, I want to thank Joansie for giving me the I Love Your Blog Award. What a wonderful honor. You really made my day, Joansie.

Since I am not into chain letters and passing obligations on to others, I am not going to "tag" people to perpetuate this award. But I would like to share with you a partial list of the blogs I love:

Knitting By The Ocean
Sheep Shots
Ivory Blush Roses
Auntie Sandy
Allie's in Stitches
Michi Rhymes with Peachy
Gayle Page-Robak

There are many other blogs I check in on regularly and love reading, but this gives you a sample. Enjoy!

And now, I'm going to crawl into bed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Can one lurk on her own blog? Hmmm, not exactly a question for the ages, but one that's been on my mind.

Sorry I disappeared like that; there really are a couple of reasons. The big translation job we've been working on started turning into the translation job that never ends... Every time we thought we were done, the client would bring along a couple more pages or articles. But now I think we truly are done. At least until next week, when rumor has it the client will be back with more work. Lucky fellow; he is off to Italy for the next few days.

The other reason I've neglected you is that I've been sick. Still am, actually. All four of us have been passing around a noxious combination of sore throat, congestion and upset stomach. I've come to the conclusion that keeping busy will be more effective in taking my mind off of how I feel than lolling in bed would.

As I mentioned before I pulled my vanishing act, I have resumed work on the knee socks for my lovely niece. This photo is from a couple of days ago; by now I am nearly done with the ribbing. Once I do finish it, I'll need to pick up the stitches that were set aside for the afterthought heel, and get that done. Then I can get started on sock #2. I'm hoping to finish it before the end of October, which means no more slacking!

I can't decide if I like the wider stripes or the thinner ones. I guess I like the stripes no matter how they look; I am still loving this yarn (Regia Nation). Unfortunately, I have learned I was wise to buy four 50 gram skeins, because not much is left now of the second skein. I may be able to squeeze a child-size pair of socks out of the leftovers, or maybe I'll mix it up with something else. The plain blue I am using for the ribbing and heels is Opal Uni.

I have also found the time to knit up a couple of bottle cozys, and I've made progress on the top-down baby cardigan I have been working on. No recipient in mind, just wanted to use up some stash and have a baby gift on hand. I've also worked on my own top-down V neck pullover.

But I have new yarn, picked out by Meital, that is going to become the Starsky, Jr. sweater from Knitty. I decided to consider this yarny acquisition part of my birthday loot, and so I am planning to start Meital's sweater on my b-day, one week from today. I am hoping to at least get the baby cardi done before then. If I make significant progress on my own sweater as well, that would be all to the good.

Today I received another installment of birthday goodness; this one is related to stamping. I think I'll wait and share that photo with you next time. That way, I won't have the excuse of not having anything to show you, and thereby talk myself out of posting to the blog.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Past Comes Back

Every once in a while the past comes back to bite you on the... well. You know.

In any event, here's a story for you. Once upon a time, when I was quite a bit younger, I signed up for a one-day writing seminar held on the campus of San Francisco State University (where, coincidentally, I was working for the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation). At the time, I still clung to my delusions of grandeur, believing that one day I, too, could join the ranks for published writers.

The gentleman giving the seminar was an energetic, emphatic man named Gordon Burgett. To this day, I still own the book the instructor had written, which I purchased at the end of the seminar. Its title: Ten Sales from One Article Idea. Not surprisingly, the subject of the seminar was how to earn a living by selling (and reselling) your non-fiction magazine articles. As the introduction to the book states: "This book describes...a marketing process that takes an idea, molds it to fit ten kinds of markets, sets it into a time frame, and shows the key correspondence at each step." Basically, we learned how to research and write one article, then sell almost exactly the same article (with strategic revisions) to ten different magazines.

Why, you are almost certainly wondering, am I boring you with this peculiar tale?

As you know (assuming you've been keeping up with recent posts), Avi and I are in the process of translating about 20 magazine articles, from a wide variety of publications, on the subject of Italian perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi. It's been quite an experience; interesting when we learned something new, rather tiresome when we end up translating basically the same article over and over again.

Yes, in the process of completing this translation project, I have seen in action the very concept conveyed in the seminar and book from those long-ago days. Frankly, it makes our job a bit easier when all we have to do is simply copy/paste a previously-translated article. Of course, the writers do make those strategic revisions from one article to the next, and we need to pay attention to that. But it has been fascinating to see the process in action, as it were.

In other news, I have been hard at work on my niece's knee sock. I have also brought my in-progress top-down V neck sweater (pattern by KnittingPure & Simple) out of time-out and worked on that. It's really still too hot to knit with a sweater sitting on your lap, but I really wanted to make some progress on that.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another F.O.

Last night I finished up the Filatura di Crosa Vista Sleeveless V-Neck Pullover (whew!) for Liat. It's a free pattern at Elann.com. The only change I made was to knit it in the round from the bottom to the start of the armhole shaping. I then knit front and back flat, and joined the top at the shoulders. The Vista yarn is a pretty color and very sparkly, but knitting with it isn't the most pleasant sensory experience.

I have been working on the knee sock and spent a fair amount of time this afternoon doing (and re-doing) the math for the decreases from calf to knee (remember, I'm knitting these toe-up). I finally decided I was hesitating too much, and heading straight from caution to paralysis, so I just dove in and started following my own instructions. I am eager to finish the first one and start the second. I hope I will feel less insecure about working on the second sock.

Avi and I got a fair amount of work done today. We have learned that we need to have everything done by Monday, so there will be no more relaxed afternoons until the work is done.

I also got Meital's shopping done today. I hope the things we bought will last her through the winter.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

All Play?

If "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" then what does all play and no work make Jane? A fascinating woman, of course!

Actually, Avi and I did do some work today, so I can't in all fairness say "no work." But boy! Did I have fun playing today? You betcha!

Remember the card I showed you a few days ago? I had plenty of leftover paper, and I've been trying to use it up. The background and leaves (made using a punch by EK Success) are from that leftover paper. The picture of the woman is from Collage Stuff, and the word stamp is a partial image from a stamp by Posh Impressions.

Then I made this tag, using strips of leftover paper and some black cardstock. I stamped the leaves and acorn (Posh Impressions) using a Versamark ink pad (clear ink) and clear embossing powder on black cardstock. I then painted them using Perfect Pearls mixed with a bit of water. I got the idea from the Ranger website. I used the leftover Perfect Pearls mixture to spatter the backgound of the tag before gluing down the leaves and acorn. I am pretty sure the ribbon came on a gift someone gave to Liat for her birthday. I painted around the edges of the card with some bronze colored paint I bought at a local art store. It's actually part of a set; also included is a glaze that, when painted over the dry bronze paint, creates a verdigris effect. I have only used it once like that, and wasn't thrilled with the results. I need to try again.

I even worked a (tiny) bit on my niece's knee sock today - not nearly enough, though. I really need to devote a solid chunk of time to that. Meanwhile, I'm going to go work on Liat's top before dinner... I definitely want to get that finished as quickly as possible, so I can work on the socks and various other things.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I've spent a fair amount of time in my stamping room lately, and have a few things to show you. Above is one of two similar cards I made during my first attempt at the brushless watercolor technique. The outline leaf stamp is by Posh Impressions. I used a Kaleidacolor rainbow ink pad in Fall colors. The twig is from our hibiscus bush out front, the button was probably a gift from someone, and so was the leaf-shaped brad. The word stamp is something I ordered about ten years ago, and I had such a hard time getting my order from the woman who ran the company, that I am not even going to tell you who it was! (Sigh, some things you never forget...) The brown patterned paper is by Keeping Memories Alive, but is so old that most likely it isn't available anymore. I tore two edges on this card (only one on the other) and dabbed Distress Ink in Vintage Photo on the torn edges. Then I lightly sprayed the edges with water so that the ink would run a bit.

While I was at it, I made two more cards using the brushless watercolor technique. They are more similar to the projects Tim Holtz has on his blog, except I omitted the torn edges. The solid leaf and acorn images are by Posh Impressions. The word stamp was a gift and is unmounted rubber, so I have no idea who makes it.

Then I had fun with a tag. (Anyone notice a theme here? Maybe if I stamp enough Autumn-themed cards, the weather will actually cool off.) First I traced a puzzle piece (from one of those puzzles we all have that is missing a piece or two) and created a reverse mask. I used a word stamp (Penny Black) through the mask, then removed it and put the puzzle piece in place (I put Wacky Tack glue on the back of the piece so it wouldn't move) and sprayed the tag with Adirondack color wash sprays in Cranberry and Butterscotch. I stamped three solid leaves (Close to My Heart) in Versamark Ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. I then sprayed the tag with Glitz Spritz in a copper color (I think it's called Burnished Copper). Then I stamped three more leaves, this time using copper ink and ep. I removed the puzzle piece and stamped the leaf outline image (Posh Impressions) using Distress Ink in Vintage Photo. I scraped the edges of the tag with my fingernail, then used the same ink to color the edges. The fibers don't show up well, but the ribbon exactly matches the tag, and the threads are a shimmery copper color. I'm very happy with this tag, though I can't help feeling it may need a little something (a word or two?) in the upper left corner...

And at long last, here is photo of the Shetland Shorty top I made for Liat. Really, it's more a photo of Liat wearing the top, because obviously the top doesn't really show up all that well. She was running late for a party and I didn't want to slow her down with all kinds of close-up shots. Plus I much prefer taking photos in daylight. At least you get the idea. The pattern is free at Knitty. The yarn is 100% cotton, brand name Heela - something I bought locally.

But wait! There's more (though no photos). This morning I also baked brownies for Meital's pool party. I greased a pan that turned out to be too small (fortunately I figured that out before I poured the batter into the pan), and I figured, why let a nicely greased 8 x 8" pan go to waste? So I made a spice cake after the brownies came out of the oven.

I think I'll have a little lie down now...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Productive/No Photo

I didn't want to let too much time go by before posting again, though I don't have any photos to show you today.

We've made good progress on the big translation project, so I had some time for artistic endeavors. I've been trying to make cards using the brushless watercolor technique, from Tim Holtz's blog. I've now made four card fronts (two each of two different designs) and when they are all put together I will share them with you here. I've learned a lot from the process, and will probably go back to this technique in the future.

And while we're on the subject of art and stamping, I have had fun doing a little birthday shopping for myself. I've got two orders in, one at Sunday International and the other at Addicted to Rubber Stamps. I am so excited to get my new goodies! I have a few weeks before they get here, so I am going to go through my existing supplies and weed out things I don't use or want any more.

I am nearly done knitting the front of Liat's light blue V-neck top. Once she tries it on, I can finish that up and start the upper back. Shouldn't take too long to get that finished. Maybe before the yarn for Meital's cardigan arrives, I will be able to finish up a couple of other works-in-progress.

Like the knee socks for my niece. No, I haven't forgotten them. I'm just ignoring them. I am nearly to the top of the first sock, then I'll need to add the ribbing and the afterthought heel. I'd like to get the pair done by early November, so I'm going to have to get serious about those socks, and soon.

The last piece of news I have is that I did some baking today. It's been awhile; it's just too darn hot to bake most of the time. I made my usual eggless oatmeal cookie recipe, but added chocolate chips instead of raisins. I'll be baking again tomorrow, too: Meital is having a few girls over to swim, and I promised to make brownies.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Here is a card I finished up and got out in the mail yesterday. I took inspiration from a project on the Ranger Ink website. I used my new Adirondack color wash sprays in Butterscotch, Cranberry and Stream. I used an old book (The Mystery Writer's Handbook, circa 1993) as my paper source. I also made a second card front that more closely follows the original project (black cardstock base, only 12 squares on the card front). There's a new project I want to try next, from Tim Holtz's (tm) blog (isn't that weird? He trademarked his name! He's a genius, though, so it's okay).

We got a lot of translating done today. By my estimate, we're more than halfway done with the 20 some-odd articles. Something interesting (but not surprising, really) we're learning is that the same story can be told with all sorts of variations. I wonder which one (if any) is the truth.

It reminds me of my genealogy research. Family members tell the same story different ways, and learning what really happened is nearly impossible. I guess family historians have to settle for approximations of reality. Same goes with dates. I have had relatives tell me so-and-so was born in 1900, only to find various official records that state the birth year was 1901. Does it really matter? Well, I am anal enough that I have to say, yeah, it does matter. I like to be accurate when I can.

I am currently trying to find the record of my great-grandfather Joseph Colvin's arrival in the U.S. According to his U.S. Naturalization Record, he arrived in 1892. After searching fruitlessly according to as many variations of his name as I could think of, I started checking out the ships' passenger lists for the date I had. Nothing. Then I checked a different document I have, filled out by my aunt (his daughter), which gives 1889 for his year of arrival in the U.S.

Unfortunately, there is no month or date. So, you guessed it: I am searching through the passenger lists day by day, starting with January 1. Some ships can be eliminated right away, if for example, they sailed from someplace like Havana to New York. The rest, unfortunately, must be checked. I have no idea where in Russia (today's Poland?) he originated, nor from which port he set sail. Added to that, the scans of what I believe are microfilms of documents which are about 119 years old are not in the best of shape. We won't even talk about the so-called copper-plate handwriting!

Sorry. {Deep breath}. I just needed to vent a bit.

Still no progress on the mystery I uncovered in the 1900 census, either. Basically, I saw the name of a child listed that we'd had no idea existed. I imagine he must have died at a young age. I still don't know if my father ever heard about him, but his brother, who is a bit older than my dad, doesn't recall ever hearing the name, so it's unlikely my dad will know.

I always did enjoy a good mystery. I just hope that eventually I can solve this one!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Now We're Back to School

That's more like it. Obviously, we got the traditional Back to School photos taken today. Back in the days when I used to keep up with the girls' scrapbooks, the first page of every school year featured an individual shot as well as one of the two girls together. But as I have already confessed here at Bag of Chocolates, I am way behind in my scrapbooking. Every June, I tell myself that I will be able to take advantage of the relative lull summertime provides, and get caught up.

Yeah, right.

Oh well, we all need our dreams.

Avi had to go to Jerusalem today, so I pretty much wasted the morning trying to track down some information at Ancestry.com and a few other genealogy websites. No luck. In fact, I'd go so far as to say, no manner of luck at all!

Except, of course, you know...bad luck.

Maybe I should get a tee shirt to go along with the other one I want and don't have yet ("I'd Rather Be Knitting"). The second one would say, "I Could Have Been Knitting." At least then I'd have something to show for all the hours of this day.

Think like Scarlett...Think like Scarlett!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

It's in the Mail

If I'm not mistaken, today was the day to send off all of the Mittnz (for the Mittnz Blitz 2008) to the Reservation. I sent off 6 pairs of mittens, two pairs of wristwarmers, and a hat. You've seen all of these projects before, so I just settled for this sort of squished group shot. Some participants made up to 50 pairs of mittens and/or wristwarmers (maybe even more)! It was fun to be part of the project.

Today was the first day of school for Liat and Meital, and for the first time in probably 11 years, I forgot to take pictures of them before they headed off. I was quite upset and annoyed with myself for having forgotten, but I've decided to take the Scarlett O'Hara approach. Much less stressful.

Avi and I are still working on the current translation project. It involves translating magazine articles about an Italian perfumer named Lorenzo Villoresi. There is a fair amount of repetition (no surprise there) as regards the information, so I have taken to using a game show approach as I read the English aloud to Avi for him to translate into Hebrew... "...the company was founded in...????" Of course, he knows all the answers! We're having fun with it, and it's great to have work to do every day.

Well, mostly it's great.

Despite the work, I've managed to work quite a bit on Liat's V neck top. It's done in Filatura di Crosa "Vista" yarn, and the pattern is free on Elann's website. Soon I'll be ready to start working back and forth on the front, then the back. The pattern is designed to be knitted flat, but there's really no reason to do so unless you happen to find inner peace and fulfillment in sewing up knitted seams.

I've also made some genealogy progress, albeit of a rather startling sort. I've uncovered a U.S. Federal Census from 1900 for my paternal grandmother's family that contained something unexpected. I need to write to my father and uncle and see if they are aware of this information. Meanwhile, I'm trying to do follow-up research, and not having much luck. Ah well, I've learned that the name of the game in genealogy research is patience.