Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fire danger, more watering and a night on the town!

I usually blog every day but yesterday I was smelling smoke in the neighborhood, trying to get an answer about fires in the area and watering, watering ,watering.  By the end of the day I'd gotten nothing much done and a friend called and said the local pub was having a shrimp and steak dinner for $12.00 and I jumped at the opportunity!   I had a couple cool ones which relieved the stress of the "fire danger" and enjoyed a wonderful inexpensive meal for once cooked by someone other than MOI! LOL!  It felt great to get out of the house, socialize a bit and relax............ahhh.
But I have been doing a few things.  I managed to get a few rows done on my Granny Stripe Table Runner
 And there's a few less pins on my wool applique...........
I finished a book ...okay, so it was a very little book..............
and no it is NOT is more about "united we stand, divided we fall" and how we need to take responsibility as citizens to ensure the future of our country regardless of our political affiliation.  I highly recommend it.
I hope you had a wonderful Saturday and I have to go look out the window now at rain clouds moving our way!  Yes! Yes! Yes!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer...........

Remember the radishes you could barely see the other day...........

 well they are up and about today!  I have to water several times as they are babies and have to be coddled as such in this heat.
 I got some things in the mail today too...Oh!  How I love to get mail,  not bills you understand but REAL mail like catalogs and magazines and presents that I've ordered for myself and by the time they come I've forgotten and it such a surprise!  I love that! LOL!  
This is flour which I'm pretty excited about!  It's a lot of flour that will go in my freezer.  There are 4 packages of each kind in those boxes from Bob's Red Mill.  There is Quinoa, Oat, Barley and Flaxseed meal.  This will last a year as I am making my "girls" dog treats with it.  I have several recipes for their treats and they include such things as cheese, blueberries and apples.  I found recipes on Martha Stewart which you can get yourself or I'll share as I make them and post on here.  I was getting concerned about the treats I was giving them as there were recalls and some made in China and the good ones were so expensive that I decided to make my own and they would be better for it and it would cost me less.  Another adventure in living!   Stay tuned for this as they only have a few days left of their present treats so I had better get a "move on"!
 I also got my Mary Jane's Farm magazine which I always love and read cover to cover and save for forever!
They have a special place in my glass bookcase with the rest of the "keepers". 
And.....(drumroll please)..........I started one of my YOP's (year of projects)!  I started my Granny Stripe crocheted table runner.
The yellow is an existing table runner I have and the red is the up and coming one.  I know it doesn't look like much of a start but with the Granny Stripe....the beginning is the hardest!  Your chain has to be a multiple of 3 or it won't work out.  I wanted it to be about as wide as my yellow one above so I chained 69 stitches.  Then the first row is single crochets and you have to end up with 69 or whatever multiple of three you chose for your size.  The first time I got 70....not good, the second time I ended up with 73....REALLY not good....but the third time was charm and I got 66.  Okay, so it wasn't 69 but it was a multiple of 3 so I'll take it!   Once you get those first 2 rows done it is clear sailing and crochet heaven as it works up like a dream!  Oh, and my son isn't coming the 8th...maybe the next week so I can skate a little on the housekeeping deadline.  So, guess what I'm doing tonight?  I'm going to crochet and watch The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie and maybe even Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman if I can stay up that late and I'll have some tea and peanut butter cookies and read my MJ magazine all from the comfort of my pj's and my feather bed!  Pure delight!
I hope you had a delightful Thursday and tomorrow is Friday!  My favorite day still even though I'm retired! LOL!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Houston! We have liftoff, I mean germination and a Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  It's a hot one here and extremely dry so I pray there are no fires started by fireworks.  I was invited to go out on the lake tonight and join the "flotilla" but it is way too hot for me and I don't go in the water so I'll be staying home in my nice ac! LOL!  Plus, my son is coming Sunday and I need to get the guest room prepared for him.  It tends to become a "catchall" when I have no company for awhile.

You're not going to believe this but my seeds that I JUST planted what...3-4 days ago?  They're sprouting!!!!   LOOK!
  These are lettuce sprouts and below radishes sprouting..........

They're a little hard to see and there's not as many of these yet but I am amazed!  Last year I bought Burpee seeds and the germination was less than 50% on 2011 seeds!  This year I bought Seeds of Change Organic seeds at Walmart and they were less expensive than Burpee and the germination rate was fast and full-blown!  I am REALLY impressed!
My flowers are putting up a good fight in this heat but no matter how wet they are the heat still seems to zap all of us!  Remember my full of blooms petunias on Memorial look.....few blooms and they've all gone to seed it looks like.  Oh,'s too hot to be out there enjoying any blooms anyway.  Maybe they'll make a comeback in October when it cools off? LOL!

Have a wonderful 4th of July and stay safe and stay cool!  Happy Birthday America!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Baking, crafting and reading...........Tasty Tuesday!

Made my favorite cookies.........peanut butter!   This time I tried using Stevia which is a natural sweetener and cup for cup used like sugar.  Other than it being lighter in weight and easier to roll the cookies in I noticed no difference as opposed to Splenda where the cookies were soft and would not crisp up.  Also, the sugar didn't melt on the pan and make a mess at all.  I highly recommend it!  I use it in my coffee now and notice no difference.
I've been working on my quilt block and notice how few pins are left?  Signing up for the Ravelry Year of Projects really got me motivated!  I also discovered that you can put all crafts and WIP's (works in progress) on your YOP list too.  I have until the 14th before the list is considered "done" so I will be going back to my July 1st post and editing it for all my other projects that are not knitting or crocheting.  Whoa Nellie!  That list is going to be long now!  Of course, it will definitely include my folk art quilt!
I finished this book last night that I got at the library.  It is interesting and I learned a few things but mostly it seemed the author was reliving his own childhood.  I am an only child though so I did notice some characteristics but nothing I would change about myself now.  I just keep trying to improve on the original!

P.S.  BTW, I swear, I had the best childhood anyone could have asked for (well, the first 5 years anyway).  I think it's that solid foundation that gets you through the rest of it!

This is scary!  I have knitted 3 scarves and a pair of oven mitts and I want SO BADLY to make socks but I must admit.....I'm TERRIFIED!  I will be reading this book several times over.  This book came highly recommended by Susan Anderson (a knitting designer and blogger).  I do know how to use a circular needle and do the "magic loop" but I will probably make some baby socks to get the gist of it at first.  I think I would get totally confused using 3 to 4 double pointed needles but what do I know?  Maybe there's some You Tube videos out there I can watch too.  I also may knit a few other things before I attempt this....I told you I was scared! LOL! 
I hope you all had a great Tuesday and have wonderful plans for tomorrow!  Stay safe!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Off to a good start for the week....worked outside today

I baked a loaf of bread last night before I went to bed.  Once my dough is ready in the frig it only takes 40 minutes to rise and then 30 minutes to bake and no time at all for prepping really.  It makes great toast which I had with my yogurt this morning.  My standard breakfast.
I did my usual watering this morning here and at my neighbors and by that time I was already sweaty so I decided to just stay outside and get some work done.
I planted my 2 planter boxes that I painted last week.  One has 3 kinds of lettuce and the other has a couple green onions and radishes.

They both look the same so one picture should do it! LOL!  The seeds are in there though, trust me!  Now I need to paint that bench....pretty sad looking!  I put them up on the bench so the rabbits don't get my produce when it comes in.
I also had some plants I got on sale that I hadn't potted up.......I think the tan one has lost the battle.
I posted once before on how I use coffee filters in the bottom of my pots so the dirt doesn't wash out through the bottom holes.  Well, I flatten them out in the pot first..............

But you can see that they don't stick to the sides and the dirt is going to go right past them......sooooooo....
I water them down first before putting the dirt in and then they stick to the sides of the pot really well!

This is a different pot as I forgot to take a picture of the first one but this trick works.
I'm going with some succulents as it is so hot down here you need to water twice a day to keep things alive.  I get tired of watering all the time!  This is an experiment so I'll see how they do and how I like them.  There's a sedum, a dessert rose, hen and chicks and some moss roses.
This has some creeping thyme, snapdragons and moss roses.
I was whooped when I came in about noon but took a nice bath and did a few things around the house but I can only work outside every other day as it really wears me out!  I can remember when I was young I could work outside from sun up to sun down so if you're reading this and you're young, take advantage of your energy and stamina because when you get to be my age, won't have it! LOL!
I hope everyone got their week off to a good start.  What's everyone doing for the 4th?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Craft Along on Ravelry..........A Year's Worth of Projects the gal who hates committment just joined the above group on Ravelry!  I do like to set goals though and I love a challenge so here I go!  I chose 10 projects for July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013.  Finally, something that doesn't happen at the beginning of the year.  Here's what I would like to accomplish:

1  Finish my Granny Stripe table runner/throw as this is a WIP (work in progress) this is crochet
2. Knit a pair of socks ( I will probably knit a baby sock first to get the hang of it and practice as I've never done this before although I have knitted 3 scarves and a pair of felted wool oven mitts.)  Some people say socks are boring....I love boring!
3. Another crocheted throw or blanket that looks like chenile!
4.  Some knit dish towels
5.  Did you notice I am going crochet then knit then crochet on my projects?  I don't want to get rusty in either skill so I try to switch from one to the other.  I've been wanting for while now to learn to do crocheted edging for pillow cases, dresser scarves, name it.  Here is my project for that
6.  A crocheted "carpet bag"
7.  A knitted cotton bath mat
8.  Cherry crocheted edging (I want to put this on shelf edges)
9.  Crocheted stone covers!  Yes, they're amazing...take a look!
10.  And a MAJOR project of a crocheted bed cover that I put last because it will take me awhile to save up the money to buy all the yarn for it!  LOL!  But it is beautiful (I think)

This is my first year joining this group and participating so I chose 10 projects only.  Oh!  I could have gone on and on but who am I kidding?  It will probably be a miracle if I get all these projects done!  But I'm going for it!
 If you're not familiar with Ravelry it is a free website where fiber people meet, share projects, patterns and you have your own "area" where you can keep track of your projects both in progress and future and you can join different groups, connect with other Ravelry members, ask questions and even SHOP!  It is a wonderful place....almost magical!  If you are interested in joining just go to Ravelry  and you too can join the Craft Along if you want.  Come know you want to!  We will encourage each other and keep each other on task and inspire and learn new skills.  It's a win-win!
I hope you are enjoying your Sunday.  I better get going and get started on my projects while the year is still young!

E D I T as of 07/04/2012 - I discovered that I could include "other" crafts that are WIP or newly planned for 2012/2013.   So, here I go!  I don't have pictures but you will see them in progress updates on Sundays.

1.  Master bedroom bed quilt - I have pattern and materials but have not started
2.  Guest room bed quilt - just a plain "patch " quilt based on one I saw that Helen Phillips made on her blog.  I have the backing material but that's all.
3.  Baby quilt for local quilt guild - have materials but haven't started yet
4.  Quilted growth chart for my Grandson Uriah - have material, pattern and it is about halfway finished sewing together.
5.  Quilted BIG project bag - pre-quilting my own material for this and not sure where the pattern is at the present time....hmmmm 
6.  My very first sampler quilt/throw is finished except for binding.
7.  Cross stitch - (yes, I said cross stitch...I haven't done it for years! ) I got the book Stitch by Cath Kidson and it included a free cross stitch little zippered purse/bag.  I started the cross stitch on it.
8.  13 Snowman blocks for Quilt Guild swap in November.  I have the pattern but no materials yet.
9.  Pillowcases (pair) sewn to utilize the crocheted edging I'll be making.
10. My folk art quilt that I have been working on and it should have been #1.  This is all hand stitched wool applique on wool felt and there is one big center block which is done and there are 12 surrounding blocks and 4 borders all hand appliqued.  I have 9 blocks finished, 3 left to go and then the 4 borders.