Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Christmas is coming wicked fast (as we say around here). I was way far ahead and now I'm way far behind - how did that happen? At least I've managed to finish the one gotta present - a mistake rib scarf with a ruffled edge and an unoriginal hat (yarn harlot pattern.) The yarn is Webs Valley - very nice to work with. Two for the scarf, one for the hat.
The knitted crock will likely have to wait a bit longer. I have a backup present ready to go just in case.
I would dearly, dearly love to finish a lace scarf I've been working on, but with each row taking 90 minutes, it's unlikely.
Hope your fingers are flying and that you're having fun!
(pic to follow if I can talk blogger into it!)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
My other lesson is this - that sometimes you just don't know where you are going until you get there. You may feel lost and like you are never going to arrive at a destination and then suddenly you are there and all the pieces make sense. That's how I felt at the end of the book. I felt for much of it that I was just wandering aimlessly, trying to force the story in some direction, but it didn't entirely make sense until the end when it all came together.
Now what happens? I hope that I go back and edit this and smooth out the rough parts and turn it into something that might actually amuse and interest someone other than my mother, who is obligated to love anything I write.
My husband and family will be happy to have my attention back and just in time for Christmas. We've started the shopping and I've even started the knitting believe it or not! I have a scarf finished and half a crocodile. I love a deadline as much as the next person, but I'm not going to go over board. I want to finish the croc and make two scarves. If there's time, I'll add in a pair of half mits for my God daughter. I'm hoping that since they're in stores everywhere, she'll consider them fashionable instead of just an oddity.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I found a great quick-arts-and-crafts fix that can not only use up stash, but also make for cute floral arrangements, wreaths or package toppers: pompom flowers.
Monday, November 16, 2009
My friend Allison found this pattern last year. At first when she described it to me, I got confused and knit the stripes vertically. It came out really cool but with a bus load of ends to weave in. Plus, the stripes took forever. Okay, not really because I did finish that hat - it just seemed like the project was endless.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
a. have too many stitches
b. need smaller needles or
c. need to give up on the idea of a 3-1 ribbing since it won't ever be tight enough.
I actually undid three hours of knitting because the hat was on track to be too loose. As much as it troubled me to frog, I knew it would bother me every time I wore the hat - if I ever wore it - if I didn't. Besides, the fair aisle I was trying out wasn't showing up as much as I would have liked anyway.
Maybe I should swatch? Now that's just a radical thought!
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The wings and halo are from Jo Ann Fabrics. The dress is a nightgown that almost wasn't. I bought the fabric during an optimistic fit of high hopes. As always, my sense of what can be accomplished in a given period of time is far removed what can actually be accomplished in that given period of time. Adding to the fun, we could only find the sleeve portion of the pattern my mom loaned me. Thankfully, I'm just crazy enough to have tried pattern making so I was able to piece together the rest. According to my little angel, it is "exactly" what she had in mind. As you can see, it's about perfect for chasing Luke Skywalker around the park.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
We love Dollar Tree. Everything there is less than a dollar. Yes, everything. It's a kid's nirvana.
Most of what I made is cribbed from other bloggers with original twists inspired by the imaginations of the 4 yo, 7 yo and an extra 7 yo who has a particular penchant for crafting. There was one sort original craft, however. It's Halloween Cards!
We found these very cute paper gift bags at the store and now that my eyes have been opened to thinking about things for uses other than what they were intended, we did just that. We cut out the great pictures, attached them to heavy paper and added googly eyes. It's perfect for a note to go with the specially designed original picture frames we're sending to the grandparents (see below). We coated them with a glossy varnish, but that step could be skipped.
We have fallen in love with googly eyes. It started with a frame by Swell Life. Once freed from the idea that you should use just two to fill in as eyes on a drawing, we were off to the races putting them on everything and anything that didn't move too fast. (The dog wisely went upstairs)
The eyes started the frame frenzy. We went from eyes to glitter glue and eyes to paint. Those are poka dots. We figured that would be a little more fall for grandparents who might like to keep them out past the upcoming holiday.
Once we started, we just couldn't stop. This bowl of bones is a take off from another decorating idea.
Next came the wreath. The one I saw was a lovely feather and fancy ball version. We were going in that direction when I found a pre-made black wreath at Michael's for 40 percent off. It's embellished with plastic party favors from (can you guess?) Dollar Tree!
There's more, believe it or not. We found these two great pumpkin stands at Target on sale after Halloween last year. I didn't want to use them for the pumpkins because I feared they would roll off. We were going to get the fake pumpkins, but they were $10 each on sale. At the dollar store, we found black buckets and fabulous masks. (Notice the googly eyes on the witch?) $4 total.
True confessions - after all was said and done, we had a great time and ended up with lots and lots of stuff while keeping busy for an entire three-day weekend, but in total it wasn't exactly cheap. Even at $1 a pop, things add up more quickly than one would expect. Add in a few $4 and $5 items from Michaels and pretty soon, we're talking big bucks. Still less expensive than department store, however, and way more fun.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I'm in that phase of week (okay that phase of life) when I have not nearly enough time to try all the crafts I'd like, so I've been living vicariously. For those of you who appreciate creativity, check out the swell designer, who is doing a 24 crafts in 24 hours. There are some unbelievably great ideas.
And in the really appreciating creativity realm - check out dollar store crafts. I guarantee you will never look at a dollar store the same way again. I have long appreciated the dollar store for kitchy kid birthday favors and such but my mind is blown by the possibilities. I am in awe of the people who walked down the aisles and saw treasure where I saw junk. I can hardly wait to go to the store and try my hand at it - if I can ever find the time!
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Costumes must be chosen.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
But that's when the trouble started. The chart is supposed to be repeated 4 to 6 times depending on how big you want the shawl. I had no clue how many times I'd already repeated it having lost that valuable piece of paper on which I had kept track.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
But done it is - except for blocking, which I pledge to do tomorrow. I hope blocking will make it bigger since even though I did the big size, it seems a tad tiny. I love this pattern. It's challenging enough to be interesting without being overwhelming. The only hard part, as with all shawls of this style, is that you are constantly adding stitches so the rows get longer and longer. It goes really fast at first and then slows to a crawl.
The yarns are hand dyed bought in CT. Because the turquoise has some purple and the purple has some turquoise, they sort of blended together rather than having distinctive stripes. It creates sort of an impressionistic painting feel that I really like. I think I'd like the end stripe to be a little narrower but with 300 and some stitches on the needles, I didn't mind enough to redo it.
Now, it's time to start knitting for Christmas if I'm going to, I suppose!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I didn't have salsa on hand so I subbed a can of tomato sauce, tomatos and onion. I also added extra peanut butter because I really like peanut butter.
I thought this was a great recipe and DH liked it too. I think dd 15 would have liked it but she isn't home for dinner. DDs 4 and 7 were not at all keen on it and chose to eat celery and peanut butter as a main course instead. DS who has been coming home super hungry from football wouldn't even try it. I'm trying not to take that personally.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I'm slammed on deadline for my grown up work this week which has meant very little time for crafting and lots of stress. My relief in times like this is to take peeks at what everyone else is doing and to live vicariously through them.
I have found a site that is worth sharing because it's like a gateway to what everyone else is doing. It is Whip Up - a collection of other crafters tutorials, book reviews and the like. Seeing what everyone else has done makes me want to spend my days doing nothing but sewing and knitting and creating gorgeous things. (I'm even thinking about making a quilt - although I suspect it's more about wanting to have a quilt than wanting to put together a kazillion little squares no matter how beaufitul the fabric.)
Beware before you go to the site - it's easy to get lost wandering from one link to the next.
Now, I MUST get back to work so that I can get enough done so I can get back to doing some actual knitting instead of just dreaming about it.
Monday, September 14, 2009
My children were beginning to doubt me. DH was getting ready for a big old "I told you so." But urged on by supportive friends and family, I persevered on the crock pot front, and by golly, we finally have a hit!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Here's the thing - I thought it would be awful. I thought I would hate it. I thought I'd run my worse time ever. So why did I do it? Well, when I woke up and heard the rain, I thought to myself that it was pretty comfortable where I was and that no one would hold it against me if I didn't get up. The whole day I could say, well I was going to run a race, but the rain...
Or, I could drag myself out of bed and have a much better story to tell.
The race was in Revere, along the beach that was notably empty on this particular day. It was beautiful in a stormy, full of character sort of way.
Registration was thankfully inside. We were greeted by amazingly cheerful volunteers who were wonderfully inviting even though they faced standing outside in the rain for the next hour or so. The runners were equally cheerful despite thoughts of having to run through a shower.
We were soaked from just walking across the street from the registration room to the shelter in front of the start line. While we stood there watching it rain like someone was pouring water out of a bucket, it actually started raining harder. Then came the thunder.
I admit that I almost hoped lightening would follow and they'd call of the race. But alas, no.
We lined up, the horn blew, and we were off to the race. And you know what? It wasn't that bad.
My jacket did get soaked through and clung to me like saran wrap, but the temperature was about perfect for running. It turns out that once you're completely soaked, it's not so bad. It's the getting soaked that isn't so much fun. On the way out, we ran into the wind and the pelting rain. That meant, however, that on the way back, the wind was with us helping to make up for lost time.
I expected to run slower than my usual slow pace, but as I neared the finish line, I heard DH yell to me that I could do it in under 35 minutes. In the distance, I saw 34 on the timing board. It seemed too far away to make it, but I kicked it up anyway and crossed the line at 34:53. My best time ever, rain or not.
Friday, September 11, 2009
It ended up to be the consistency of oatmeal and with the apples and cinnamon, that's what it tasted like too, except with sausage. People ate it, but that might have said more about their state of hunger than the quality of the dish. There is still quite a lot left.
Day 4 is Pizza - from a pizzeria.
This weekend I may actually buy a pot roast. Believe it or not, I have never done that before. I'm not even sure what to look for. Mom says it's labled "Pot Roast." Yeah for moms. Too bad she can't come and cook it for me too. :0
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
He's been laughing at me because he says I've been doing more cooking to cook it in it than I would otherwise!
Yesterday's recipe was fiesta chicken , which received mixed reviews. DD 7 loved it. DD 4 hated it. DH thought the chicken was dry. I thought it was tasty. It might have been even better if I'd had the can of Mexican style tomatos the recipe called for instead of the plain ones, but oh well.
In reviewing recipes, I think I'm going to do a whole new grocery shop. It seems we don't naturally have on hand the ingredients necessary.
Thank you to all who've sent suggestions - I will happily be making good use of them
Monday, September 07, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
I finished a bunch more diamonds yesterday and then looked at the directions again. I did them right (whew) but only now noticed the "make bigger diamonds by casting on 38 stitches..." Doh. I forgot to add in weaving all the ends! I could have cut that in half (or at least a third) by making bigger diamonds. Oh well, I'm way too far in to it to change course now. I have finished all the yarn from one ball...
Maybe Christmas is too much to ask. Her birthday is in June...
I finally saw Slumdog Millionaire because DH saw it and insisted that I would like it. It was great. If you've been waivering - go see it.