Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Slowing it down

As a general rule, I don't allow the kids to watch TV during the week.  But this week called for an exception.  The pace has been crazy this week, and the children are tired and super cranky.  Tonight I allowed them to watch a movie. Well, we started one, but the DVD started skipping around and pixellating, so I took it off (insert minor tantrums here) and we found Home Alone 2 on TV. 
 We put up our tree this weekend.  We purchased a smaller tree this year, so the decorating went extra-quick.
 It has been raining all day.  The weather channel mentions a chance of some wet snow later on.  I wouldn't mind that at all.  Tomorrow promises to be another long, action-packed day.
I am looking forward to some serious down time this weekend!  Time to get on ravelry and search for sweater patterns.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December!

Here we are, December.  We're going to be stitching.  And later, we'll be sewing.
 And there has been some hooking, too.  This could go on for years, I think.  As I was describing to Rob how surprised I was to be running out of colors mid-round, he said, "so this is going to be a $200 blanket?"  Uh, I hope not.
 But so far, it looks like a million bucks!  That's a yardstick in the picture below.  While my yarn shortages and selective color re-purchases have forced me to abandon my color pattern, I see no reason why I can't work until the yarn runs out, enjoy the blanket for the season, and then pull it out next fall and add on some fresh yarn.  And to think, I had entertained notions of this thing covering our bed!  Not this year...
What are you working on this Thursday?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Random Thoughts

Thanksgiving was awesome.
 Trying to move through New York City with eight children ranging in age from seven to seventeen has its challenges.  The MTA made a lot of money off of us.  The best part is that we could all laugh about it.  And did we ever laugh!
 It's my day off, and I think I have three days' worth of errands to complete. 
 Of course, "find a skirt for Christmas" really isn't a pressing thing--but why not have a little fun on one's day off?
 I am so excited about baking goodies for the holiday that I already started.  I made some Peppermint Meringues on Saturday night.  They are on the cover of this month's Bon Appetit.
I'm off to start the day of errands!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Some Things on the List Got Done








*AND* I did accomplish most of the items on my practical list, too!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Resting and Restless

This week was one of those where I just had to give up any notion that I could control anything.  I had to take a deep breath and go with whatever happened.  On Monday night, Caitlin didn't feel well enough to go trick-or-treating.  On Thursday, she had blood drawn and a chest x-ray which confirmed pneumonia.
She's doing much better now that she's on antibiotics, and hopefully she'll be all perked up and ready to go to school on Monday.  And hopefully her siblings will remain healthy!

I have spent the morning re-pinning like crazy over at pinterest, and now I'm feeling a dreamy/practical list forming.  Mary Beth did one for this weekend, and I think it's such a great way to see what you'd love to do and what you need to do--and maybe find a way to work in a little of each.

So here's my list for this weekend--and I know that some of my "dreamy" items are completely undoable, but I wish for them anyway!

Dreamy:
plan Xmas gifts to mail
start salt dough ornaments with the kids
try to get some family pictures
check the fabric stash for polar fleece
make pumpkin muffins

Practical:
prepare for Monday's cub scout meeting that we're leading
make reservations for a trip later this month
straighten up the dining room table
clean the bathrooms

There you have it--a little creating, a little cleaning.  And a whole lotta recuperating.  Happy weekend!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

We interrupt this season...

 Life has been busy.  On Thursday, I had all four burners going at the same time.


 On Saturday morning, I hurried to bring in the mums from the front steps.  It looks like we live in a florist's shop now.  It's kinda nice.


I didn't want the mums to be killed. By the snow.
Trick-or-treating in snow boots?  I guess there's a first time for everything!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Five Photos

We've been busy.  We've been hitting,




and pitching,



 and starting,



and finishing!



(and smiling, too!)



Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's Thursday!

A day off.  I think I have three days' worth of things I want to accomplish today, and first on my list was "post blog entry."  I love checking things off the list!  Look at how my insulator collection has grown--it expanded out to the side windows!
 Most of these I picked up while antiquing.  Four of them were acquired during a family trip out toward Lancaster, PA.  Turns out that right off the PA Turnpike is the antiques capital of something--the US?  Central Pennsylvania?  I don't know--I do know that we went to about three places, and there are about a dozen more to go to!
 Most of my acquisitions have been blue or clear.  But I just made a trade with a gentleman, and now I have some lovely green ones!
 Once the sun returned from its long, long vacation, I was able to fully appreciate the colors.  It looks like stained glass, and this is my view from the kitchen sink, so I'm happy that I have a great view of my collection.
 Christmas quilt?  Finished.  I decided to machine sew the binding.  Now to wash and put away until after Thanksgiving.
From Alicia Paulson's Embroidery Companion.  I'm stitching this on cross-stitch fabric.  It has been years since I've done any cross-stitch.  Wow is this hard on the eyes!  I really should do this while sitting under a very bright light, but this project "lives" in the dining room, so I sit in there and squint and stitch.  One of these days I'll relocate.  And probably purchase some magnifiers.

So that's me on this Thursday.  Tonight I'll be knitting away on Aidez.  I have started the sleeves, so hopefully, I'll have a finished project to show you soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Knitting news (and some cute kids)

So I've been working on Aidez for a while.  I thought I'd be super efficient and knit both fronts simultaneously. This is how far I had gotten.  By the time I reached this point (so, so close to finishing the fronts), I decided that I couldn't live with the fact that my center seed wishbones looked completely unlike everyone else's on ravelry (over 1000 projects can't be wrong).  It took me a few hours to come to terms with the fact that I was going to have to frog them.  I was not happy about it.
In unrelated news, on Sunday, we went out apple picking.  First, we stopped by Peddler's Village (a shopping center/tourist attraction) to look at the imaginative scarecrows on display.  Apple picking was both muggy and buggy.  Next time, I'm holding out for a cool, crisp (and gnat-free) fall day.  It was t-shirt day at church--I don't usually dress the kids all alike.
 Back to the knitting!  Here is the new left front.  I hope to finish this tonight.  See how the center design is different?  How it's actually seed stitch?  The written directions in the pattern are correct; the chart...not so much.

 Here you can compare the two.  The one on the right is the new left front--you're following this, right?  The left one is the old right front--hopefully by next week it will be all fixed.
And when the weather finally cools off for good, I'll have an awesome new sweater!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How It's Going

This is my third week of work.  So far, the transition has been pretty smooth.  I really am making the most of my days off--except for the stuff that I'm putting off.  Like the basement.  I'd rather run errands than deal with the dried-out smelly cardboard boxes that are in the basement.  I'm putting that on my schedule for Saturday morning.  But see, I put things on the schedule!  For example, next Tuesday, I'm cooking a whole chicken and using it to make three or four meals for next week.

I'm not going to mislead you, either.  Right now, the kids are scheduled to walk in the door in ten minutes, and I haven't started on dinner (stuffed shells because I didn't have time to make crepes for cannelloni).  Dinner needs to be served to Caroline by 5:00 because she has dance from 5:30 to 7:30--the rest of us can eat when we get back from dropping her off.  I'm just thankful I found a can of tomatoes in the pantry so I don't have to start chopping up the last of the garden tomatoes.  Whew.  Worn out?  In some ways, sitting at a desk is relaxing!

So, this desk where I sit is at a mom-and-pop screenprinting and embroidery shop. You know, they print team sports jerseys, company t-shirts, baseball hats, etc.  They have a website.  And if you go to the website and scroll down, you'll see that they offer holiday cards.  In the interest of full disclosure, if you order cards through the company, I will (!) make a little money.  But you were going to order cards from somewhere, weren't you?  I know that we are still very careful about where and how we spend our money--even two years after Rob's unemployment summer--so I really am not trying to be flip about this.  I am just letting you know that snapfish doesn't have to be your only option for the holidays this year.

Speaking of the holidays, I finally sandwiched that Christmas quilt.  Now to decide how to quilt it on another day off...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Staying Crafty

We are slowly settling into a routine.  The sun is setting noticeably earlier, so that is a huge help when bedtime rolls around.  (In the spring, it was next to impossible to get the kids to come in for bed because the sun was still going at 8:00pm!)

Yesterday, instead of bringing my knitting bag along to dance class, I threw some balls of yarn and a hook into the bag.  I made one complete granny square, and about three-fourths of another.  I finished it (and made another) once I got home.  I'm up to 21 grannies now (out of 81).  Slow progress, but still progress!  The pink is much more vibrant in person.  It's a heathered yarn, so you can see lovely pinks and purples mixed together.  It looks very mauve in the picture. 
 Last Thursday I was able to make the pillow covers.  I went a little crazy fabric shopping, and I splurged on several Heather Bailey prints for this project.  And I have enough left over for at least one more smallish project.  I love how these turned out.
 I purchased the pillow form for Caroline's pillow last week--forms were 50% off at Joann.  They didn't have the size I needed for Caitlin's, so I'll have to order it.  I just love how these turned out.
Today is a day off for me, so I'm heading to the library to pick up some holds, and then I'm off in search of clear contact paper, a new hairbrush for one daughter, and jazz shoes and a leotard for the other daughter.  Who'd a thunk that I'd have to search around to find clear contact paper?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just keep swimming...

Isn't that what Dory the fish said in Finding Nemo

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..."

It's my theme song lately. 

You see, I have started working three days a week.  Yay!  Really, I could not have found a better situation--I work during school hours, and the business is family owned, so they have told me that if the kids are ever sick, or the weather is bad, etc., not to worry about missing work.  So I'm excited about working, about learning new things, and about getting paid.

Last year, I was amazed at how quickly a full school day could pass, and I was even more amazed at how little I could accomplish in that time.  So I know that working is really going to help me be more productive on the home front.  But right now, I'm trying to get ahead a little bit (thus the menu planning and meal preparation).  This week, the extracurricular activities are starting, and we seem to be at the dentist's office with frightening regularity (as we begin this long road to a mystical and expensive place called Orthodontia), so rather than freak out about all that needs to be done in a day, I'm gonna "just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."