15 Seconds of Fame

Our last morning in Paris, I discovered an error on the bill from the previous night’s dinner splurge at Les Ambassadeurs. So we took the Metro to the Hotel de Crillon on the Place de la Concorde. Walked up the subway steps to the street. In front of the entrance to the hotel was a crowd of people. A metal barricade stretched from the revolving door of the hotel to the street where a black limo was parked. Red carpet on the ground from hotel door to car door.

“What’s going on?” I asked the teenager standing next to me.

“It’s Madonna! She’s about to leave!”

Excitedly, I looked at Ridge. “Madonna!”

He said, “Do you want to stay?”

I thought, “Hmmm, Madonna or last day in Paris? Madonna or last day in Paris?” No choice really, “I don’t want to wait around. Let’s fix the error on our dinner bill and go.”

But how to get around the barricade and into the hotel? We watched someone walk through an opening near the building, up the three steps to the landing, and push through the revolving door. “Let’s go,” Ridge said.

Walking into the hotel behind Ridge, switching sunglasses for eyeglasses, I tried to scan the lobby for a glimpse of an entourage and perhaps . . . Madonna. The reception area for the restaurant was at one side of the hotel lobby and up several steps. We met with the maitre’d who apologized and left to fix the bill. We sat down on the sofa and continued watching the people in the lobby. When the maitre’d returned and our transaction was completed, I asked him, “So why are all of the people waiting outside?”

He leaned in closer and whispered, “It’s Madonna. She’s about to leave.”

Another moment of giddiness, “Madonna!”

Ridge again offered me the choice, “We can stay!?”

Madonna or last day in Paris? “I don’t want to wait around. Let’s go.” Leading the way to the exit, switching back to sunglasses, still scanning for HER. No luck.

I pushed through the revolving door, and . . . screams and flashes and more screams and more flashes. I froze. Was SHE behind me? Turned around . . . and saw Ridge . . . who turned around and saw . . . no one. He looked back at me. And I looked back at the crowd. Embarrassed and staring at the ground, I quickly walked the red carpet as the screams faded and the flashes stopped.

Away from the crowd, Ridge and I looked at each other and laughed. “They thought you were Madonna!” he said.

“Yes, but just for a moment. I was in such a hurry to get out of there, that I couldn’t think. Should have danced down the red carpet singing ‘Like A Virgin’.”

I was Madonna, for 15 seconds.


Hat Design??

What makes a beautiful hat? It’s a combination of elements. Perhaps …

Color + Texture + Detail = a unique hat.

Basic black yarn + staggered eyelet stitch + black square button


Bright blue yarn + double ridged rib stitch + pewter button and thin silk yarn added in the brim

Sometimes the detail is in the color.

Cognac heather yarn + double ridged rib stitch + the color tone variations in the “heather” yarn

Sometimes the detail is in the yarn.

Dark gray marl yarn + pillar stitch + the blending of white and dark gray strands in the yarn

And sometimes the detail is in the stitch.

Denim blue yarn + knit 3/purl 1 stitch + the rolled up brim highlights the reverse stitch, a knit 1/purl 3 pattern

hat collage

Endless combinations. Happy knitting.

A Cool Tool

Point. Focus. Click. What do you do with the pictures you take? Post a few on Facebook? Print a few for Christmas cards? Recently I tried an online photo editor that is free and relatively easy. It has become one of my favorite things. I have plans for this tool.

Garibaldi Collage

Garibaldi, Oregon on a clear and warm September day. So easy to create with PicMonkey.


Confession #1: I have a terrible time remembering what everything is on my camera. Aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance? My camera is set on Auto and I usually get a pretty good photo, but sometimes . . . PicMonkey has an Edit a photo section where I can play around with the exposure or color or sharpness of a photo.

Confession #2: I don’t like to read directions or manuals. New computer program? I won’t read the manual, I’ll jump right in. The Help button is my best friend. PicMonkey is easy to use. I love the Collage feature. Download my photos, choose a Layout (Ducks in a row, FB Cover, L-egant, etc).

Picmonkey is free, but there is also an upgrade option. I haven’t gone there yet . . . but the Jigsaw layout is calling me.

Sweaters Collage

A collage for my LoopsAndLines “About Page”.

Patons Collage

A collage of yarn color choices for hand knitted hats. And yes, PicMonkey has a tool that lets you add words.

So my plans for this tool? I want to experiment with the Card layout, see if I can do something different for next year’s Christmas cards.

Confession #3: I can get so focussed, that something obvious will pass me by. If you have a great idea for how to use this photo editing tool, I’d love to hear.

The Three Rs




Right? (I am not counting that R.) Years ago, a former State Superintendent of Oregon Schools stated that the traditional 3 Rs were being replaced with new Rs: Relationship, Relevance, and Rigor. The importance of those Rs became evident in my classroom.

Relevance: This R is a must. Readers read, writers write, mathematicians solve problems. I tried to create lessons and activities that had real world importance. Help kids see the connections.

Rigor: We want all schools to work on this R. In a classroom of 25 students, there is not one level of rigor, but 25.

Relationship: This R was the key for me. Every school year it took a month or two, but once I knew my students, things started to click. I knew each learning style, each individual’s abilities and disabilities, each personality, each child’s willingness to accept challenges.

Those 3 Rs are seeping into my retirement . . . another R! Yesterday I realized that tutoring 2 children together, impacts my Relationship with each child, and affects potential growth (Rigor). The most efficient use of my limited time is one to one. I can focus on one personality, one set of learning strengths and needs.

I fill my retirement days with classes, volunteering, joining new groups. Activities that I look forward to, want to keep doing, have a blend of my 3 Rs. For example, I love my exercise group. Exercise is Relevant (keeping me healthy), it is Rigorous (no explanation needed), and I have a bunch of new friends (Relationship).

Relationship, Relevance, and Rigor . . . if I feel them in an activity, I am finding I look forward to doing it more.

‘Tis the Season

It was a busy weekend. Spent yesterday printing invoices, wrapping knitted items, downloading shipping labels (I love my DYMO LabelWriter!), boxing or envelope-ing.

photo copy 3

photo copy 2

photo copy

Christmas 2013

Hand knit Christmas stockings: 4 color choices (forest green, traditional green, forest floor green, burgundy) with band of trees

Hand knit Christmas stockings: 4 color choices (forest green, traditional green, forest floor green, burgundy) with band of trees

Hand knit Christmas stockings: forest green with 5 band patterns (trees, chevron stripe, plain band, geometric squares, holly)

Hand knit Christmas stockings: forest green with 5 band patterns (trees, chevron stripe, plain band, geometric squares, holly)

I am working on my new line of Christmas stockings for 2013. That sounds so pretentious. “New lines” are for Pantone color trends or Coach’s spring line of purses or Nike’s cross trainer shoes.

I opened LoopsAndLines on Etsy in August 2011.


I wasn’t thinking “lines,” just happily knitting. My olive and poppy red cotton stockings and my sock monkey style stockings were the big sellers. For Christmas 2012, my focus was building inventory, so I let color or style inspire me. It was the year of knitting ADD. My striped jester stockings and my sock monkey stockings were best sellers.

So I am trying to control my knitting ADD. Using stats from past best sellers, I am developing my new line for Christmas 2013. Lots of color choices for customers: traditional Christmas green, forest green, burgundy, or a rich green called forest floor. Lots of style choices too: knitted bands with a chevron stripe, a strip of holly, a strip of trees, a wide band of interlocking squares, or a band left open for personalizing.

How’s that for someone who earned a C- in Economics 101?

Off to work on inventory . . .

Lisa T

Lisa T

First post. Hmmmm . . . How about a list? I like lists. Lisa’s Top 10 1. Happily married to my best friend and soul mate for 23 years. 2. Daughter, sister, aunt, step-mom, but sadly not a mom. 3. … Continue reading