Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Mama's Shalom Cardigan. Another birthday present for myself. It's alpaca, and oh, so soft! Also needs buttons.
And lastly, a hat. It's a gift, and boy, does this not look anything like the picture on the pattern.
There is last-minute shopping to be done around here, and some more houseguests are on the way. I hope to be back here before the big day, but if not, I wish you all a very merry Christmas--full of peace and love for you all.
Monday, December 21, 2009
This was Sunday morning, after IT was done.
There was a lot of shoveling, lots of help from friendly neighbors with snow blowers, and lots of sledding.
Then we took a little drive out to Peddler's Village to see the lights.
We also stopped in to see the winners of the gingerbread competition. Can you believe this one only took third place?
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I did move the serger and the sewing machine out of the dining room. And then three loads of laundry moved in and took over.
You wouldn't believe the progress I've made on my next sweater, though! I pretty much spent any and all birthday money that came my way on yarn for myself, and I am so enjoying making things!
Anyway, it's down to crunch time here for cleaning--but the weather forecaster this morning mentioned that we could be seeing some snow starting on Saturday, so this party could be over before it even starts. At least I'll have a clean house for the family members who will be arriving next week!
Monday, December 14, 2009
I found this pattern on ravelry. It was such an easy knit--pretty much all stockinette, with a little seed stitch thrown in at the end. I love, love, love how this sweater fits. Happy Birthday to me!
Pattern: Francis Revisited
Thursday, December 10, 2009
And now, on to more seasonally appropriate items! Yesterday the kids' advent calendar "activity" was that we'd be putting on the Christmas pillowcases.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
If only our long extension cords weren't in use outside (for Christmas lights that still aren't finished), I'd try running those up into the kitchen to see if the damn thing works. Alas...I figure this way I'm getting some exercise!
Once things dry out around here, I can tell you the story of the dress I made for myself yesterday. It looks like a potato sack on me. I'll be hacking it up and salvaging the fabric. Just not today.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
After searching online and in stores, I finally found this cute pink flannel duvet cover. The only problem--it was king-sized. So last week I spread out the king-sized duvet cover on the floor and then laid the queen-sized comforter on top of it. I trimmed it down on three sides (making sure to keep the side with the button closures intact), and then stitched up the seams. Piece of cake!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Felted mistletoe sprigs! Free pattern on ravelry! Super easy!I stopped when I had enough for the swap (I had to make 10, so I was ready for a break.) But these knit up in about 20 minutes, and I think they're so cute, I may make one for our tree...eventually.
These went out in Wednesday's mail. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for my new lovely ornaments!
I'm on a pinky-purple-lavender kick lately (you should see the yarn I'm working with!). This is view A, but all the different options for this pattern could easily be interchanged. My only gripe about this pattern is that there are no long-sleeved options, but I may experiment with that later. I still have some knit fabric in my stash to play with.
Friday, November 27, 2009
And here is Bobby's favorite part of the meal. I just had to take a picture of it like that--fresh out of the can, no artful slicing to pretend that it's anything other than cranberry jello!I wish I had taken pictures of the main attraction, which this year was a tie between the supremely awesomely delicious turkey and the beyond scrumptious, first-time-I ever-tried-it and-have-raised-the-bar-for-all-subsequent-Thanksgivings homemade gravy. I mean, my mother-in-law was saying I should go out and buy and cook another turkey so we could enjoy the rest of the leftover gravy!
Here is my latest knitting project, finally completed. This thing has completely derailed my holiday handcrafting schedule. I'm so glad it is done.
I have already hung it up. Another confession: I was at the mall this morning at four. That's right, four. I had birthday money just burning a hole in my pocket, and I didn't want to wait until tomorrow to go shopping without the kids. So I had a grand old time and was home by seven. I am beyond tired. I stopped by Jo-ann's for some doorbuster fun, and had a jacket/cardi all cut out and ready to sew...only to discover that I do not have any ball-point needles! That's when I started decorating. And because I'm dying to sew this thing up, I may actually go out later with the kids. I hope that Michaels sells sewing machine needles!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Anyway, this birthday seems almost as big as the next one...maybe I'm giving too much importance to the numbers. I've been wondering whether there is anything I want to do/see/accomplish before I turn forty next year. There are things I'd like to do eventually, but nothing that I really feel pressured to do in the next year.
So now I wonder, do you have a "bucket list"? Is there something you want to do or see before any milestone birthday (or kicking the bucket?)? Have you crossed anything off your list? Share with us.
And if I don't get to stop back in here tomorrow, please know that I am thankful for all of you, my virtual buddies. I wish you all a happy, peaceful, and delicious Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 23, 2009
The kids are doing better. Rob and the kids made a cross to put up in the yard to remember him by.
I am adjusting slowly.
After thirteen years of letting the dog out one last time before going to bed or leaving the house, I'm having to make new routines.
The kids had a picnic on the floor of the sun room over the weekend. They'd never been able to do that because the dog would steal their food.
We can all run through the house now (well, I don't condone this, but at least Fletch won't start barking and join in the chase).
I still expect to see him lying on the floor as we watch TV in the evening; I swear I hear him making his "old dog" noises while I sleep. As I said, I'm adjusting slowly.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Amy at Park City Girl led a zig zag quilt along over the summer, and I pretty much followed her instructions. I used a couple of charm packs plus some solids. It's a little smaller than I had hoped--maybe 49" by 49", but still a good lap-size quilt.
Of course, I am hosting Thanksgiving this year, and that means that I have to stop taking on new projects and put away the sewing machine (at least for one day). Since the dining room has become my work space, I have a lot of cleaning (or at least moving out of sight) to do in there.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Anyway, right now, I'm left with all these pinecones (and this is about only half of what I brought home). They're still on the cookie sheet because I don't know what I'm going to do with them! I keep searching the house for some kind of decorative basket to put them in, but I haven't found one yet. They really need a home soon.
And right now, on another part of my dining room table, is the zig zag quilt. Does anyone have a recommendation for quilting thread? Because I'm using a brand-new spool of Coats & Clark machine quilting thread and it is breaking constantly--just like all the other spools of C&C machine quilting thread that I've bought in the past. Constantly re-threading the machine does not make this enjoyable for me!
And right now, I'm knitting these as fast as I can. Seven down, five more to go, and then it's on to the mini-mittens.
And right now, I'm wondering what is the best way to repair these jeans. The quickest way will be an iron-on patch on the inside. Or I could just take these out of the rotation.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Anyway, I skimmed the chapters about toys and books. I have always thought that fewer toys was a great idea (and yet our house is full of plastic crap), but I hadn't ever considered fewer books. But the same logic applies--with fewer toys in a space, the child is free to actually see what's there and will tend to play longer with what's in front of her instead of getting distracted and moving on to the next thing. And with a basket stuffed full of books, same thing.
I usually go through a big purge right before Christmas (you know, to make room for more junk), but this year, I'd like to think of this as a new beginning--less toys and stuff, period. I'd like to keep it pared down all year. I feel Grinchy--it's not that I don't want my kids to have things, I just think we can all do just fine without so freakin' much of it! This year (and I know I say this every year), but this year, I really want to be mindful of what comes in the house and not just buy "one more thing" so they can unwrap it.I spent most of this morning going through the kids' rooms thinning out the collections of junk. Gone are the eight (eight!) Nancy Drew books that were sitting completely unread after almost a year. Junie B. has moved to the bookcase downstairs. The collection of books in each child's room has been cut by about two-thirds. Most of those moved downstairs to the kids' bookcase; some of them have been passed on to Goodwill.
I decided to try toy rotation again--since Bobby is finally showing interest in the 400-piece box of K'nex he received for his birthday over a year ago, I have left that in the playroom. I moved out the giant tub of Tinkertoys and the two containers of Lincoln logs. All of the stuffed animals (except for that handful of loveys they sleep with) are taking an indefinite vacation in the basement--they'll be moving into Goodwill next week if nobody complains that they're missing.
They're about to come home from school, and I'm a little nervous about how they'll react. Hopefully it will go well. And maybe next time I'm here I can show you some crafting. I'm going to need some Advil later for my back--all that bending and stooping and picking up has taken its toll today!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I just love these quilts--I made them for the kids for Christmas last year. I have no such plans for any huge undertakings like that for this year. Cranking these three out was a job and a half--my mom and I were hand-stitching the binding to the backs of the quilts on Christmas Eve day!
This is Caitlin's quilt. I think her room is my favorite. It's sunny and yellow--just like her! She is a crazy sleeper, and her quilt is usually pulled off the bed by morning, so that's why I make the beds instead of torturing myself to get them to do it.
With these dark blue walls, Bobby's room is the darkest in the house. While it's great for going to sleep, I just can't stand to leave his blinds closed once he's up--it's like a cave in there!
And here is Caroline's quilt. It's queen sized, and it was a beast to quilt, even with the simple cross-hatching pattern. I like all the different fabrics. It's busy, but I love to get lost in looking at all the patterns.
Shel Silverstein has a poem titled, "Hector the Collector." I often call Caroline "Hector." You can see why. She doesn't like to close her dresser drawers. Ever.
So there you have a brief tour of quilts and my children's messes. We are working on "contributing" to the family. They are supposed to be contributing by putting away their clean clothes and by putting the dirty ones in the hamper. Also putting away their shoes. It's a work in progress, and it doesn't appear to be going well, judging by these pictures. I think that the kids are more than capable of doing these tasks, and I am trying to restrain myself from sweeping in and doing it all for them. If I'm going to let them learn responsibility, I have to let them own the tasks, even when they appear to be failing.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Today I went in search of yarn for more Christmas related activities. I had a very brief kid-free window of time, so I had to go to A.C. Moore instead of one of my favorite LYS. What a pleasant surprise to discover that A.C. Moore had a much larger than expected selection of Patons wool AND it was all 25% off! Bonus!
What early November post would be complete without some Halloween pictures? Here are the girls after I finished with face paint and right before the oldest ran out the door to trick or treat with a friend.
This one is grainy because I forgot to turn the flash on, but I wanted to show the boy in his costume. He's Ben 10--and all of these costumes were either handed down or recycled!