Monday, July 21, 2014

"And they're off!"

Yes, finally got the presents off in the felt like Christmas around here and a mess to match it when I was done!
I got the back done on the brooch for my daughter....
These pin backs I found at Wal-Mart awhile ago and they are self-adhesive as opposed to sewing them on.  It seemed  to stick very well but then it is a light weight brooch too.  I  used a cardboard backing that I covered in fabric using E6000 glue but I hope the smell wears off.  That glue smells like skunk!  I just used a little bit and my whole kitchen stunk.
 Got the presents and cards all wrapped and made out for both the birthday and the anniversary.  I still have the other grandson's birthday on the 26th!
 Then I made the rice krispy treats to put in these funnels I buttered ahead of time.
 They look like something that would go on one of those "60's cakes for men, or something from an outfit Madonna might have worn but in reality.......

 they're supposed to look like big Hershey's Kisses.  The big one is for Amy and Tracy and the middle one is for Sam who just turned 7 and the littlest one is for Grayson who will be 3 next week.  I couldn't send the big one to Amy and Tracy and not include something for the grand boys.  I am no artist but I think they'll get a kick out of it.  I even made my own little "kiss" tab that sticks out of the real Hershey's Kiss.

 I also finished some books..........I loved this book by Colin Fletcher written back in 1958 when he hiked all through California from the Mexican border to the Oregon border.  If you like nature and travel books you would love this one.  Fascinating and it reads like a novel.  You could probably get a copy on Thrift Books where they sell used books and it is always free shipping!  I love that site!

These little books were wonderful and full of old photos of the family of Laura Ingalls  (Little House on the Prairie books).
I got these at a garage sale but someone originally purchased them at the museum in Mansfield, MS where Laura and Alfonzo Wilder finally settled.
I sent 3 of them to my daughter and there are 2 more but I haven't read them yet so I held them back! LOL!
These are my non-fiction I'm reading and then for fiction I am still reading Orphan Train but I should finish that this week and probably the other 2 museum books.  As for a magazine, I am reading Mary Jane's Farm and I should finish it tonight.
Today was my daughter's birthday....I think she turned 38.....I am so blessed to have a daughter especially one like her. 
Happy Trails!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

YOP Week #3

I was "under the weather" this week.  I had some kind of "attack" either pancreatitus or gall bladder as it was extremely painful and I went a whole night sitting up in bed because the pain was too great when I laid down.  I was also throwing  up, dry heaves,  my back hurt and my gut felt like it would explode.  Have any of you ever had anything like that?  I'm hoping it was just because of eating 3 ears of sweet corn and that my digestive tract just can't handle that at my age.  Although WebMD said that pancreatitus is usually caused by fatty foods and alcohol neither of which I over indulge in but the symptoms sure sounded like it.  I am recovered but still a little "sore" but all systems are back to normal and functioning but now I'm afraid to eat wondering what caused it.  I had fresh blackberries that morning with my cereal, almond milk and then the corn for supper.   Anyway, I'm hoping it doesn't reocurr or I will have to call the doctor and that is not good in my book.
But I did get more handwork done (it was good for keeping my mind off the pain)....I have a finished WIP!  I know...finally I'm starting to get organized and wrap things up......the chair pad.....finally!
I still need to steam it as it pops up in the middle a bit.  By the time I got done sewing it together I had a method so if I ever make another I think I know how to avoid any "pop ups".  Also, using the wooden needles made it hard on my hands so IF (big "if") I do any more I would use metal or something more slippery.  I love my wooden needles....just not for this.  The yarn, Katia Super Bulky is very nice and it makes for a great chair pad.
For some of my daily readers this will be a repeat and I apologize but I should have saved it for today.  Another 2 FO's for my daughter and her husband for their wedding anniversary...........
I know this one isn't exactly "fiber related" but there is a little lace on the bride's veil...I just didn't make!
I started several KAL's that I left open because I never know what's going on until I visit my LYS (local yarn shop).  I did not have any plans to make a sweater this year but this one is supposedly easy, all one piece and with the support of my LYS how could I go wrong?  So, I jumped at the opportunity!  This is Patons Classic Wool in their Tweeds collection.  I am loving this yarn!  So soft and a dream to knit with.
Here's a better picture of the yarn.  It goes top down so I have just finished the collar and I'm starting on the sweater part with markers dilineating the sleeves, back and sides.  It is a Mary Maxim pattern called Tweed Comfort Cardigan.  
Another FO, this one for my daughter for her birthday.....
I need to put a backing and pin clasp on it but I was very pleased how it turned out.  I've never knit anything this tiny before.  I made it for her as it looks just like my great-great grandmother's cottage in Ireland.  It still had a thatched roof up until about 20 years ago.  I hope she likes it.
I went to another KAL yesterday and started making a round doily or dishcloth or coaster depending on what size needle and/or yarn you use.  I had doilies on my list this year so once again the stars all aligned.  It's an interesting pattern using short rows that form points around the circle.
The sock is ongoing but making progress now that the gifts are mostly done and the ones that aren't will be for Christmas instead.  I'm going down the homestretch on the foot of the sock and praying I have enough for a second sock as I have big feet.  At this point in the sock it's a great t.v. project.
I know you're sick of seeing it.....I hope I'm not sick of them by the time I can wear them.  I don't think so though as I paid too much for the yarn to do that! LOL!
I think I am off to a great start this year and I am also a faster and better knitter and crocheter than I was last year.  I'm sure I will still run into problems at times and I will always want to continue learning new skills and techniques but it is not such a struggle this year and not so much tearing out and starting over.  I'm truly enjoying it.  Thank you all for your encouragement and support as I would never have gotten to this point without you!
Happy Trails! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thrifty Tuesday

I have been *B*U*S*Y* about you?  It seems I have to plan my life around weather and special ocassions.  I finally got the anniversary present(s) finished except for a maybe a sweet treat to include....a giant Hershey Kiss made out of the rice krispie treat recipe and a giant funnel...LOL!  We'll see if I get that accomplished.  But here's the other 2 gifts.........
It wasn't finished the other day when I showed it...hopefully it's recognizable now?

Then there's the dishcloths....every marriage needs these...........
 Yesterday I went to the bank and they had this magazine..........our town has it's own "glossy"...who would have thunk it?  I guess I have been living under a rock....this was the Spring edition.  I haven't read it yet but it was free so what the heck.  I wonder if my picture is in there? LOL!
This little beauty greeted me on my front porch until Annie came up and scared it away.  I was lucky that the one picture I got turned out.  See the tail turned blue in the shade?  Gorgeous and beneficial little creatures.
I got some placemats and some plastic bins as I am planning on organizing my refrigerator.  There was a pin on Pinterest that caught my eye and since I've got company coming in a few weeks I thought it would be a good time to clean and organize.  (Everything really but I know I won't have time for that!)  I took "before"  pictures that I will post with the "after" pictures.
The "thrift" part of this post is making the presents and organizing my frig will help me keep attuned to what's in there thus wasting less food, hopefully.  I hope you are having a "thrifty Tuesday" yourself.
Happy Trails! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

YOP Week #2

And what a week it's been!  For those of you who read my last post...Terminex has come and laid poison in boxes for the voles that the girls can't get into.  Also, the mouse came out the next day from under the bookcase and looked as tired and bedraggled as the rest of us.  Not sure if it was just exhausted or in the last throws of death but I was able to use a dustpan and get it outside.  I think he took a "wrong turn" and ended up in our house.  I'm sure he regrets that decision!  So, we've caught up on sleep and hopefully we're all recovered....including the mouse.
I spent a good portion of this week organizing my YOP lists for this year and past and what I noticed is....I had NO business even having a list this year! LOL!  I have so many WIP's and even projects that haven't been started from last year and the year before!  I need to be in some kind of a support group.  Oh, I am..... whew!  But what fun I had planning and organizing and not just online but I've got my yarns separated now and pretty organized.  I also made 3 notebooks for each YOP year with a list of that year's projects in the front and the patterns from that year.  I printed off patterns for this year until I ran out of printer paper and they're in plastic sleeves in the notebook for this year.  I have what's beginning to look like a "stash" yet I still need yarn for my projects....hmmm? 
Needless to say, between the organizing, the rodent adventure, no printer paper and a lack of appropriate yarn,  I didn't exactly set my projects afire but I do have an FO!  Just a small one and a look at the projects I'll be starting as soon as my ship yarn comes in.
I started out making a set of 3 dishcloths for my son who just bought his first house, as a housewarming present for him.  It was fine until I added the picot edging and that made it a little bit "fussy" so I decided my daughter would like them and she has a birthday coming up the 21st.
I like to give a set of 3 usually folded and tied with a ribbon
so I'm on to the second one for my daughter with different but coordinating colors..hopefully
Meanwhile I found this pattern for my son which I think he will like and I found some really nice Berroco yarn I'll be ordering today.  I'm also finishing up the little "orny" I'm making for my daughter and SIL for their anniversary......I saw this on Pinterest..........
 This afternoon I am hoping to whip up this little brooch for my daughter for her other birthday gift.
 My next cast on as soon as the yarns come in are for my little Millie.....for me............Millie is the one in the middle. Another Preemie  hat, the sweater for a KAL I just joined and will get my yarn for that this week hopefully and if there's any money left (in my I will be casting on this beauty.
I also actually worked on sewing up my old WIP chair pad too which really helped me rid myself of guilt for starting new projects.  Ha! Ha! I can't wait to see everyone's projects/progress this past week.
Happy Trails!

Friday, July 11, 2014

You won't believe this!

I have a pest service but right now I am being "invaded"....yep....invaded by "voles".  Remember the dead copperhead I found on the street?  (Yes, one of my bloggers identified it as a copperhead NOT a rattlesnake).  Anyway, I thought that was odd as I have never seen one out in the open in the 10 or 11 years I've been here.  I know we have them but they tend to shy away from humans.  Anyway, the city had been mowing the parkways with a big machine and evidently it disturbed not just the copperhead but drove some voles into my yard.  Voles are smaller than rats but bigger than mice and can proliferate like mice and ruin trees and gardens etc. 
So, I've called Terminex and they are coming tomorrow but in the meantime I noticed  the cat hanging out in the laundry room and then peeking under the frig and dish washer.  Sure enough, while I was reading in bed she brought me a present and dropped it on my bed and it wasn't dead!!!  It ran on my bed and jumped off the side (thank you Lord!) and after it she went.  It was evidently under my bookcase  as that's where she hung out for the next 1/2 hour until I finally had to put her outside my room and close the door.  I was worried she would "re-catch"  it and try and "re-gift" me in the night.  To say I did not sleep well knowing there was a critter under my bookcase is a vast understatement.  I am like a zombie today and evidently the mouse is still under the bookcase as Grace is back in there "stalking".  I'm not afraid of mice I just don't like surprises when I am in bed drifting off to sleep.  I have had some bad experiences with mice in the past which I won't go into right now but trust me they are not welcome in my house.  There will be no pictures today and for that you should be very grateful! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lazy, hazy days of summer..........

I've been trying to clean house for company coming the end of the month so that's nothing to blog about unless you want "before and afters"? my house they can be pretty dramatic.
I did manage to make a strawberry shortcake yesterday and it was fantastic....I tried a new(to me) recipe from Alicia Paulson  

2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. cold butter, cubed
1 beaten egg
2/3 c. half-and-half
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine the egg and half-and-half, and add all at once to the dry ingredients, stirring with fork just to moisten. Spread dough in a buttered 8" round cake pan, building up the edges a bit. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from pan and cool slightly. Slice cake horizontally and spread butter on inside layer. Add sweetened strawberries and whipped cream.

 I made homemade whipped cream to go with it along with the fresh sweetened strawberries...........yum!
Happy Trails!  Back I go to cleaning!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

YOP Sunday #1 we are....Year of Projects 2014-2015....and look how far we've come with new skills, new friends and new accomplishments to show for our efforts.  This had been a wonderful experience for me and so with out further adeiu......let the show begin! (music fanfare, drum roll...etc.)
 I'm not going to waste time on all my WIP's and some projects that didn't even get off the ground last year...those are still hanging around but for this first edition of YOP2014-2015 I am going to focus on the new and trending...for me anyway. (another drum roll and more music fanfare).

YOP 2014-2015 Official List of Dreams Projects:
Areas of Operation are:
1.  Christmas
2.  Birthdays
3.  Special Occasions
4.  Holidays
5.  Charity
6.  Skills and Techniques
7.  Clothing
8.  Household
9.  Decorations

Those are my categories and not all of them will have an entry but I like to use them as they help me remember people and things I don't want to forget such as pets, anniversaries, and me!  LOL!
Also, there are specific items I want to make such as; this year there will be (hopefully) more socks and a shawl which I've never done and more toys, as I am really enjoying those and I can't leave out a new blanket as you know how I love me a new blanket!  It's been quite the project just to organize and narrrow down  as I make almost all gifts so that means I need to know what everyone is going to get for Christmas, birthdays, etc. 
I tagged my projects this year in my "favorites" as 201415 so that I can easily see what lies in my future!  As I begin each project they will be moved to my "project" page.  There are 51 projects which means about 1 per week...well....we know that's not going to happen but in my defense I have duplicate patterns of (for example) hedgehog mittens as I haven't decided which pattern I am going to use.
I will also be doing some projects from the following books but since those aren't on Ravelry, I will document those as I go.  Here are the books I will be knitting/crocheting out of (excluding one from last year that I couldn't lay my hands on at the moment):
This book has the pattern that I will be using for my daughter and son-in-laws blanket that I was making for the 5th time from a pattern she chose that I just could not work with the Homespun (yarn from hell).  I am trying this pattern in this book as I have done several blankets from it in the past and loved it.
Only one item from this book and it is the Frida Kahlo amigurumi doll for my daughter who is an art teacher and Frida is one of her favorite artists.
I'm making the blanket on the cover from this book and that is all.
 Let's face it.....there can never be too many socks or blankets in my book! This book has socks for everyone in every size and style.
 Ahhh...there are too many cute things in here to count.........
 I love toy making and hopefully these won't take as long as blankets! LOL!
That's it for the books and mostly they are things already on my project list below just different patterns such washcloths and potholders, etc.  
As for skills and techniques I want to learn:  1) double knitting, 2) stranded colorwork, 3) designing, 4) faster knitting as in continental, and tunisian crochet.
 So, I really did try to narrow things down but you know how that many little time!

Happy Trails! I'll be over later to see what the year ahead is going to be like for the rest of you YOP'ers