Saturday, February 16, 2013

It's everywhere, it's everywhere.........Spring!

At least in the Ozarks and coming soon to a neighborhood near you!

jonquils or daffodils...I always get them mixed up.  Lambs soft, I can't help but reach down and rub the leaves............
Ajuga with its little purple flowers...........
and of course, I can't leave out the dandelions............
all of these grow wild here in Arkansas and even the daffodils have naturalized in many areas but not my precious Rosemary and Oregano which are able to Winter outside here.  My Rosemary is like a big evergreen bush now and the oregano seems to do well nearby under the protection of the Rosemary.

Even the little "puffballs" (fungi) on the North side of the house are all up.....don't they look like someone planted eyeballs?  If you step on them a puff of what looks like smoke emanates from the hole in the middle and carries thousands of spores into the wonder they're all over the place!
 And I left this pot of tulips out and forgot about it and lo and behold here they come!

 I brought them in the house now so I can have some blooms inside again this year!  Sometimes I think my plants are grateful when I ignore them! LOL!  So.........Happy Springtime everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sock KAL & Happy Valentines Day!

First of all Happy Valentine's Day!

Second, I'm sure you're all sick of looking at these socks and there's another one to go so I'll make this brief.....I finished the first of my second pair and cast on the second far, I don't have that "second sock syndrome" but I'm sure I'll catch it if I hang around with you guys long enough! LOL!  The sock looks MUCH better in the picture than it does in real life.  There's a row on the bottom and top of the sock where you can see why you are supposed to use as long a cord as you possibly can!  I am using a 40" cord this time so hopefully that will eliminate that "line".  We shall see.

I also finished another book...a non-fiction that I bought years ago and needed to read years ago as by now I've figured a lot of it out "the hard way".....what is up with me and making things more difficult than they need to be?  Anyway, it is well-written, easy to read and no matter where you are in life you can always learn and I did learn things from this book.  What's that saying?  "When the student is ready the teacher will appear".  Maybe I just wasn't ready when I first bought it.  "Live passionately for today and purposely for tomorrow." - Koyie, Maasai Tribal Leader
Here's a cute little Valentine project that I meant to make but never got "a round tuit".....could someone please send me one?  I'd be glad to reimburse you for it! LOL!
It's from Purl Bee 
I'm not sure if the pattern is still out there but they're made of felt and I think there was a little pocket where you could place those little candy hearts....don't quote me though.  Either way, it's a fun site to browse and VERY inspirational for crafters of all kinds!  They have a shop, Purl Soho, where you can order "supplies".  Oh!  That reminds me...I haven't given myself a Valentine's Day present yet....ummmm.  TTYS!!!!!  HUGS!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Works in Progress and a book review!

I think this is the next to the last block of my folk art quilt and then of course there's the border which is also appliqued and embroidered.  But this block is done.  Now I have to go get my wools together for the next block.  Sometimes that entails dying some wools to get the colors I want but dying is fun! 

There are only 3 green stitches left on this but "don't ya know" I ran out of that color so I need to go look in  my DMC  "stash" and find some that is close.  i had to do that with the pink too.  Why is it they never include enough or am I just wasteful?  Of course, then I have to wash away the dissolving waste canvas and sew it up into the purse/pencil case it was meant to be.

The book I finished is my first one for February but it was a big one, 541 pages to be exact!  I need to read about 5 a month in order to meet my goal of 50 by the end of the year for the GRAND PRIZE that Embarrassment of Riches is giving away.  It's not really about the prize as I have no idea what it is or if I'll win it but more about the challenge and reading only books I already have which I want and need to do without buying more (which to me is so tempting).  Anyway, this book was so fun and interesting to read and I looked forward to it each evening.  It is sort of like a cross between Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz yet unique in it's own way.  It is written by a husband and illustrated by the wife who are both talented and creative people in their own right before they collaborated on this book.  There's a another one after this one called Under Wildwood which,  of course, I want to get.  I bought this right before Christmas and actually bought it for the illustrations as I want to design my own applique and I thought the illustrations, especially of the birds were very inspiring.  It is on the New York Times Bestseller List and I highly recommend it if you would like an escape but can't afford a vacation! LOL!
I told you it was a biggy!      
I hope you're all enjoying your Tuesday and Happy Valentines Day tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tips for Tuesday or any day for that matter......

I have a bunch of little things to share.  Things that I've tried or used and I'm always thinking..."I need to share this with my blogging friends" but then I forget. Sooooooooo......I thought I would make a weekly Tuesday Tip post where I share little pieces of helpful information or products I like or areas where I am trying to be more frugal.  So here goes for this week's Tuesday Tips!

TIP #1

When Grace came to live with us (our new cat) she came with a very small litter box which I realized was NOT going to work as much of what she deposited ended up on the OTHER side of the litter box...if you get my drift.  So, I went to Wal-Mart and although they had one that was deeper it wasn't really much bigger.  I had a nice one for Patches when she was alive but when she passed I gave all her things to the Friends of Animals organization here in our town.  So, I looked on the internet and found all kinds which ranged in price but none were FREE and there was shipping and handling on top of that.  I've been trying to use what I have and not buy things and to think "outside the box" or in this case "inside the box" so at first I looked for an old plastic tub that I  might have but although it was deep it wasn't very big but then I spied a plastic bin that I had used for paperwork when I moved.  Perfect!  It was deeper but not too deep and gave her plenty of room to turn around.  It WAS free too!  As you can see, she spent no time at all "getting down to business" in her new "bathroom".  LOL!
Yes, it's in the shower area as I don't take showers....I'm a bath person.  I'm going to put up a little curtain to give her some privacy.  I also put a drain plug over the drain so no litter can get into the drain. 

TIP #2 - I'm looking for more natural and organic products to use in my home, to ingest and also to use on my body.  I've used up all my face creams and eye creams and was just about to buy some over the internet when I heard a dermatologist on GMA say that one of the purest things you can use to moisturize is olive oil!  Well PTL!  I had 2 jugs of the stuff! 
I decanted some into a small glass jar I had saved from some previous face cream and I've been using it for about 2 weeks now.  I love it!  I no longer need 2 creams; one for my face and one for my eyes.  I also like the fact I don't have to be so careful not to get it in my eyes.  It is also warmer to place on my face than creams which tend to be cold.  It is MUCH less expensive on a cost per use basis too.  After I apply it I let it soak in a bit and then blot it off with a clean towel. 
No wonder those Mediterranean women have such beautiful complexions.  I wonder if it's too late for me? LOL!
I also have olive oil in a little spray bottle in the kitchen that I decanted from the big jug and I use it for spraying pans/dishes when a recipe calls for that type of spray.  It is much cheaper than buying those cooking sprays and again no chemicals or funny aftertaste.

TIP #3
I love liquid soap and have been a fan for years as I was so tired of the mess in soap dishes and on sinks.  But I was also looking for a pure face and body wash and even the ones that stated they were natural and ph balanced etc. had lists of unpronounceable ingredients on their packaging.  There are many organic options too but again many are very pricey but I found that Dr. Bonner's castile soap was about as pure as I was going to get in an affordable soap for my face and body. 
I hated to think of all the mess again with bars of soap and they run $3-$4 per bar I think.  I got 2 bars, tea tree oil for my face and lavender for the bath and body.  Again, on a cost per use basis this is so inexpensive!  They smell wonderful as they use pure essential oils and tea tree is not only anti-microbial but has a scent that is so refreshing in the morning...I love it!  Almost like Rosemary.  As for the soap mess, there just isn't any because these soaps are so pure and I can tell they are going to last a long time so well worth the money up front.  Here's a picture of the face soap in my soap dish after 2 mess in the bottom of the dish!  I also stick the wrappers in my drawers for their scent.
So, there you Tuesday Tips.  Please let me know if you like this post and want to see more of them.  BTW....we have snow warnings out!  Yippee!!!!  I've got a full larder and plenty of fire wood so I'm looking forward to it.  But I do keep praying for all those who have met with tragedy and destruction from other storms.  I'm a weather geek....watching the Weather Channel like some people watch soap operas.  I guess I'm just fascinated by Mother Nature but I never want anyone to get hurt or suffer loss of any kind.  Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

YOP Update

ATTENTION:  Would "Thinking Out Loud" please send me her email address?  She was the winner of my giveaway last week but she left no email and she evidently has no blog so I have no way of getting a hold of her to tell her she won!  If anyone knows her or sees her out there in Blogland please tell her.  If I don't hear from her by next week I will draw another name.  I kept all the names in the same box I drew hers from, just in case.  No more entries will be accepted.
I haven't gotten much done YOP-wise as I've been struck with "Spring Cleaning" fever....and Spring has come to the Ozarks...I'm pretty sure of it.  The robins have been here for about 2 weeks unless they never left but the true sign of Spring to me are skunks.  I've smelled them and seen a couple dead ones on the road.  That's always been my sure-fire sign of Spring!  Skunks hibernate so when they come out you know Winter is over.  But I did work on a couple things........... 
The turquoise sock is my first one done with a size 9 (it was supposed to be a size 5) needle, Magic Loop style.  The yellow is the first of my second pair, also Magic Loop but with a size 5 needle but with a shorter cord.  The first sock was knitted with a 40" cord.  I thought I was having a problem with my markers but discovered the shorter cord I used was pulling the stitches at "bridge" of the 2 needles.  I noticed I did not have that problem with the first sock where I used the longer cord.  Notice the bottom of the sock and difference between the stitches. I am becoming a knitting "detective"!  Ta Da!

Here's a closer picture of the "problem"....
But the second sock will be knit with these new needles I got from Jimmy Bean's Wool   They're Knitter's Pride needles and you can buy the cord and the needles separately.  The black circles are "stops" which allow you to leave your knitting on the cord and use the needles for a different project or vice-versa if it's just a pair of socks.  See how the cord lies flat and doesn't curl?  My "curling" cord caused me more problems for a new knitter....if you're a novice to knitting on a cord make sure you get a flat "non-curling" cord!
I also picked up some more cotton yarn at Wally World to knit or crochet washcloths.  I was even able to get some red, white and green for Christmas which I grabbed although the picture makes it look more like orange than red..  Can one really start too early making things for Christmas?
 I did work a teeny bit on my cross stitch which I need to finish.
  Hopefully, this week I will get more cleaning done and needlework as there will be no running back and forth to the veterinarian and no giving pills twice a day to Nitty.  For those of you who asked about my sweet girl, thank you so much!  I am thrilled to report that she is doing fabulous!  She has canned and dry Hill's Science diet now, she's taken all her antibiotics and she has stopped itching and licking.  The smell has disappeared and the shedding of "hunks" of hair has stopped!  I don't know who's happier.....her or me! LOL!  She's happy and frisky and back to her old self again....I am so grateful!
Have a great week...Downton Abbey is on tonight and Doc Martin right before so I will catch up with all of your posts tomorrow.  I LOVE Sunday nights!