Sunday, December 28, 2008

you're it!

If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. Go to your photos folder on your computer. Find the fourth picture in the fourth file and share! Here's mine:

So fun!

Ken and I built these adirondack chairs two summers ago. I painted them fun funky colors and every time I see them outside, even today, they make me smile. They remind me of the good time we had working side by side, completing a project together.

Ok, so here's the real fourth photo:

The chairs are actually fourth from the bottom. But since they didn't specify, I used the better picture. This one evokes memories of sweat and sawdust which ain't all bad but just doesn't hold the same charm. So, good pictures or bad, let's see 'em!

Oh, and if you play along, be sure to leave me a link where I can see yours!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

koolhaas hat

This pattern should be called kickhass hat. Number one, it is a totally kick ass pattern. That Jared sure knows what he's doing. Me? Not so much. I seem to be more proficient at UN-knitting this pattern. I need to just relax and trust the pattern. When it says 'knit the next two stitches through the back loops' but doesn't say 'knit them together' then maybe, just maybe I should follow the pattern and not decrease the stitches by half the first decrease round. Maybe it's just me. OK, so it's totally me. I swear, I've unknit the first decrease round about 17 times. But seriously, this is a fantastic knit. The cabling pattern is so distinct it's super easy to find your mistakes. Lucky me! When I did get stuck I emailed Jared and he politely walked me through. How's THAT for customer service?!

I know I've been saying this for the last three days but really, today I will finish this hat!

I got super behind in my blogging. I can't (un)knit AND blog! So, for those interested, I posted some of my Santa collection in my google album. Click the Santa below to visit.

Hope your holidays were merry and bright.

ETA: Koolhaas hat DONE! This is by far, the coolest thing I've ever knit. It's not perfect but it is done and it's still lovely.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

santas great and small

I love being a Santa collector. I think some people view him as the father of commercialism but to me, Santa represents the spirit of Christmas. He is the spirit of giving, the wonder and magic of the season.

Here are a few of my favorites:

He's a big one!
and this one was a gift from Ashley:

and this one is Ken's favorite. He's impossibly small and impossibly cute.

11 days till Christmas!
Ornaments coming soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

what if? a meme

What if... could bring one character from your favorite book to life, who would it be? could solve one of history's unsolved mysteries, which would it be? were stranded on a deserted island, what 2 people would you chose to be stranded with? could spend a day with any celebrity, dead or living, who would it be? could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? could live anywhere, where would you live?

  1. Hmmm...there are a few I could answer here - maybe Colin from Jude Deveraux's A Knight In Shining Armour or Old Dan and Little Ann from Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. Or all the carnies from Water For Elephants by Sarah Gruen. Great reads, all.
  2. Something to do with God. To prove or disprove his existence completely.
  3. my cousin, Cristi and my dog Grizz - does he count? my dog, not my cousin. :)
  4. Christian Kane, my current crush.
  5. my bad eating/exercise habits
if you're reading this, you're tagged. post a comment where to find your answers. I love these things!

incredible find!

Found the best rabbit hole site ever! While it's more website than blog, I still had to post it as my blog o' the day. I guess my tag should be website of the day, rather than just blog shares. What a find! From the site:

"One Pretty Thing is a daily website dedicated to bringing you inspiring projects for a handmade life.

Weekday mornings One Pretty Thing will showcase a different holiday, seasonal or project-specific Roundup compiled with projects from across the internet.

Our evening post, The Daily DIY, is a compilation of the day’s DIY projects and inspiration from around the blogosphere. And on the weekends we’ll take a look at YOUR projects via our Flick community, friends of the site, contests, crafty inspiration and an additional Weekend Roundup!"

Doesn't that sound fun? You know where I'll be weekday mornings!


We got our tree up last night. It was good family time. Both kids were here and Ken was medicated. ;) He set up a video camera and the kids didn't know we were recording at first. They were in rare form, laughing and tormenting each other. The festivities even included the first stanza of "Who Put the Dick on the Snowman" brought to us by Ashley. We were laughing so hard even if we were a little worried she knows the whole song. To those of you with small children reading in shock, this is what those sweet Christmas memories morph into - your sweet little girl singing of the phallic state of snowmen. Merry Christmas!

To continue the holiday merriment, here's a photo share of an advent calendar my mom made quite a few years ago. My kids still fight over who is going to be first. They have it all figured out who does which day till we get to the star that goes on top of the "tree". Each numbered pocket has either a crochet ornament or a snowflake to hang above. I asked the kids last night if one of them wanted to take it home (This is our last Christmas with kids living with us). Before the words were even out of my mouth, Ashley jumped up with her hand in the air shouting, "ME!" :)

Thanks, mom. Merry, merry.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

overheard in the hallway

(whispered)"Where's mom?"
(louder whisper)"I don't know!"

Maybe you had to be here to get the humor in this but hearing this out of the mouths of two very young boys you know some serious mischievousness is underway. Made me laugh.

And for the blog o' the day, check out a print a day Yasmine has some seriously cute stuff - free printables to download and other crafty bits.

Not much happening around here. It was a pajama day - chilly outside, warm, knitting in front of a fire, cozy inside.

How about starting the christmas cheer? I'll share some of my very favorite bits of the holiday: traditions, recipes, decorations and other jolly bits.
Starting with a favorite tree ornament:
No, I haven't set up my tree yet. This is from a few years ago but my tree looks pretty much the same every year so let's pretend, ok? This is a cinnamon ornament boy-child made in pre-school, circa 1990. Some years later, girl-child thought she'd found a christmas treat and took a bite. See the little crescent missing from the bottom? Ashley teeth. Probably even her baby teeth. I can almost hear you saying, "Awwwww." :) You can't buy that kind of holiday cheer. My tree is full of those kinds of stories or, it will be once it's up. Soon! I promise!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Blog o' the day

You never know what you'll find there: a crafty, how-to link (such as the Martha craft pictured above - click to go directly to, a freebie offer, decorating ideas or some other sort of cuteness. Jessica has it all.
Check it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm famous!

The amazing Bakerella, in a video collage, shared my modest cupcake pops on her blog!

Thimbleanna brought it to my attention. I had scrolled through the names and didn't see anyone special in Indiana so didn't think anything of it. I'm listed under the unknown locatiton even though my photo in the video says Indiana. Fun, no?

This is pretty exciting stuff. My name on her blog is like standing one person away from Martha Stewart! Amazing!
Thanks Bakerella!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Has anyone seen November?

Wasn't Halloween just yesterday? November flew by in a flash. I'm expecting Christmas tomorrow. And how fun is Christmas going to be this year with three little ones in the house? I'm trying hard not to think about my own kids not being here this year. Boy-child is moving back to Toledo soon and won't be here at all. Girl-child should be here for dinner as they went to her future in-laws for Thanksgiving but it's just not the same as having them wake us up Christmas morning. I miss them. Little them. These boys came just in time.

We had friends over for Thanksgiving and this year I perfected the art of delegating. I made only the turkey, the ham, stuffing, corn casserole, pies, deviled eggs and ham roll ups. You may be laughing but seriously, last year I did everything and nearly had a nervous breakdown. This year getting dinner on the table was a breeze with others handling their own dishes. We had 16 bodies around the table this year. Good group of folks.

Since nothing too exciting is happening with me, I thought I'd share Ken's follies with you. After 23 years he finally built himself a fort in the back yard. A fully vulcanized structure, awaiting siding in the spring. The man is incredible. Dude built this on his own in about three days. Then he took a nap. It's a woodshop. He's pretty stoked about it and I couldn't be happier for him. I may never see him again once the electricity goes in.

We worked and played out in the yard this weekend before the snow fell. We got all the feeders up, ready for any squirrels and birds that wander over for a snack. We built a tree swing for the boys and laughed for nearly an hour straight watching the bigger boys try to figure it out.

Fall clean up in the yard always makes me a little sad. While Fall is a beautiful season here in central Indiana, the long winter that follows is like watching the world die around you. Summer's splendor is long gone and the beautiful hostas in my shade garden are withered and resting now. It's sad yet hopeful, knowing once again next year in the spring, they'll rise from the ground, strong and green to be lovely again. And do we have plans for our yard next year! I suppose that's the fun of a long winter - using that time to look through gardening catalogs, dreaming of dirt. Listen to me getting all poetic about the weather. How about a picture? The winter garden:

Can't really share pictures of my knitting with Christmas coming but here's a little teaser. :)

And I want to start sharing some of my better blog finds. I have my regulars over in the sidebar but there are tons more I stumble across and want to share. Take a gander at Carla over at Four by 40 for quick little snippets of humor. (thanks, Angela!)

That's about it from the nut house. Christmas pictures coming soon. The tree should go up sometime in the next week. Stay tuned for some holiday cheer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

sweater pics

I snagged a few pictures of this little moving target with my cell phone. In his very cute, new, hand-knit sweater:

which is even cuter from the back if that's at all possible:

the buttons need some work - they're pulling at the holes but that may just be the yarn. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

little boys with big boy hair cuts

scroll down a few posts for the 'before' shot of little Jordan. Here, is the after.

OMG. I just might love this little bugger. The marks near his nose? Grizzly Bear bite. :( Of all my dogs I knew Grizz was going to be one to watch. He got Jordan the other day when the baby fell on him. I know these things happen and Stephanie is pretty laid back but still. I felt feel awful. Isn't he just a doll baby?

BUT - I was glad to spend a quiet day down at Clementine's. Those knitters are a good bunch., like salve to me. And now, the sweater is almost finished, a hat and sock are both in the works. Whatever will I knit next? Ravelry, here I come!

My girls down at Cami's were so good to me today - they bought $125 worth of my cards and pin cushions from the crap fair! Esteem restored! Thanks, ladies. You sure know how to make a girl feel special. :)

To those who have been sending good thoughts/prayers for my friend Susan's husband, here's an update - John had surgery Monday to have chest tubes inserted to remove some fluid building up around his lungs. They also drained his one lung that was completely filled. Last I heard, he was still in ICU but in stable condition. The doctors were surprised at the amount of infection he still had. He's been on some potent, IV antibiotics for about 10 days. They're not working as well as the doctors had hoped. I will keep you posted.
Thanks for the prayers. I'm sure they appreciate knowing folks all over are putting in a good word for them. :)

Now I need to read a bedtime story and do some tucking. Night all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

promised pictures

first, the van damage. not major but I know it'll still cost more than I want to spend to fix it. :(

and the raglan sweater I'm knitting for Cami

the yarn is Berroco Comfort, a really nice (though splitty) acrylic.

the pattern is a top-down, raglan sleeve baby sweater. with this yarn and size 8 needles it's knitting up to fit little Jordan (14 months) perfectly.

and Fatboy was just too cute not to snap a picture and share. :)

happy Tuesday!

baby it's cold outside

Even the wine is cold:

How stinkin' cute are these? I found them in one of my favorite mail order catalogs. I wish some crafty vixen would write up a pattern so I could re-create them without paying SIXTY FIVE DOLLARS for them! I didn't say I ever bought anything from this particular catalog, It's just one of my favorite wishbooks. They are mighty proud of their stuff. I love most everything in the pages. But these are just. too. cute.

I'm off to Ravelry to see if the uber crafty folk there maybe thought this up already. It wouldn't be the first time I was late in discovering something so excellent!

Pictures of some knitting soon, promise!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

crap fair

I always look at bad experiences as feedback for the future. It's the Pollyanna in me, I guess. Today SUCKED ASS. The company was great - I love spending time with my friend Heather and her son, Aleksander. But the people of Danville don't know cute when they see it. If it weren't for the stalkers who stopped by -waving- I'd have sold very little and folks, my stuff is capitol C cute.

All my items were priced clearly, with cohesive signage and priced well, I think. Luckily I made just enough to buy Ken an early Christmas present with a few bucks left to spare. And the good news is, now I have Christmas cards to mail, Santas to share (Anna) and more time now to knit. Halle-frickin'-lujia.

cute. see?

And just in case the day wasn't quite crappy enough with bad sales and terrible weather, I crashed my van on the way home. I'm fine but where the steering wheel used to be horizontal when driving forward, it's now vertical. Wet, leaf covered, curvy roads and jumping telephone poles - they'll get you every time. Damn it all. Shook me up good.

But the bright side? Stephanie cooked dinner tonight and cleaned the kitchen afterward and the house looked great when I got home. I have a wife. It rocks. :)

Big shout out to my brother, Russ who lost his faithful girl-dog, Jezebel this week. I love you big brother. (((hug)))

Friday, November 14, 2008

craft fair info

For my faithful lurker and anyone else interested - I don't have a lot of information on the craft fair I'm doing tomorrow. I know it's in Danville at the fairgrounds from 9 to 3. It's supposedly a big one, advertised in the Star and everything so. . .

Stop by and see me!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the craft fair cometh

I'm ass-deep in santas, cards and other papery goodness. I'm still working on some cards and I need to print up business cards, price tags and signage. And my computer is misbehaving. There is little I hate more than bad computers. Bad computers and messy linen closets.
Behold, the before shot:
notice there's nothing on the top shelf? That is what prompted this closet clean out. I made the mistake of asking Ken to put some blankets away on the top shelf and he doesn't possess my blanket stacking skills. So when he added to the precarious stack the pile came tumbling down on top of him. I tried not to laugh (unsuccessfully) and my punishment was a stack of boxes to pack the next morning. My instructions were to pack away anything we don't use. Without the extra linens, my closet is now organized and perfectly lovely:

spreading all my secrets on the internet. what's the matter with me? boredom, mostly. without my computer I've been forced to find other means of passing my time. Scrubbing toilets is next. Oh, and of course this is keeping me busy too:
meet sweet Jordan. He's busy, that one. And I, quite frankly, am exhausted. :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

pancakes, blanket forts and Stuart Little

This is how my day began: pancakes, blanket forts and Stuart Little on the TV. I think I did pretty good considering it was my first fort in about 15 years. :)

You may ask why I was building a fort in my living room. Well, for those of you who may not know the story, Ken and I adopted a young family. We saw an ad on Craigslist from a young mother who found herself in a desperate situation. She'd moved from Idaho to live with friends here in Indy and the friends turned out to be not so good. They got evicted from their house, leaving Steph and her three little boys homeless. That's where we come in. Stephanie, Jordan (13 months), Preston (3) and Hunter (5) are now safe and sound under our roof. A blanket roof as it turns out. :)

It's working out really well. I have someone who helps out with things here and Stephanie has an extra pair of hands for these sweet, loving boys. Everyone is thriving here. It's fun to see.

Preston and Hunter enjoying the blanket fort.

I highly recommend playing in a blanket fort with little people. They're big fun!

Is it nap time yet? ;)

Friday, October 31, 2008

boo (b)

Snagged a few Halloween pics off my cell phone. Please excuse the crappy pictures but this shit is too good not to share.

First up, evidence of convincing someone what a good bra can do for her self esteem, not to mention her cleavage. I texted this picture to her husband and I think he may have actually been speechless - a rare occurrence indeed. Cover your eyes, little ones. This isn't for tender viewers:

and my darling girl-child, discovering her love of false eyelashes. Go ahead and tell me how freakin' adorable she is. :)

And the amazing Halloween cookies my friend Trista made for a knitting get-together. I liked them so much I had her make a few dozen for Ken to haul to work today. They were a HIT! This picture doesn't even begin to show in detail the intricate work she puts in to these cookies. Every Witch has a wart, every eye is perfectly blood-shot. They ROCK! Thanks Trista!

and, as promised, a full-sized shot of a few of the Halloween cards I created. They were a hit too.

happy haunting!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

happy halloweenie

I cropped this picture way down to share just a snippet of some Halloween cards I've made this year. I'll share the whole picture this weekend, after my cards have gone out in the mail. I don't usually send Halloween cards but I was looking through my paper crafting stash and thought it'd be fun to use some of the items I've had for a while - always a good challenge.

Years ago I bought a Halloween paper kit - it has to be at least 6 or 7 years old. Never used a bit of it. It had these neat vellum, Victorian looking Halloween sentiments. I had fun creating different ways to use them. And my rocking new stamp. It's been a while since I played around. I busted out the embossing powder and everything! Needless to say my desk is a mess now and I've done nothing all week toward the craft fair. But it was worth it knowing I'm going to make some folks smile this week. :)

Happy Halloweenie!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

me, me, meme...

4 Things I Did Today:
  1. cured my clap :) -see below-
  2. made spaghetti for dinner
  3. kissed my husband
  4. ate a dairy queen blizzard
4 Things On My To Do List:
  1. put laundry away
  2. including summer clothes
  3. sweep my floors
  4. finish Christmas cards

4 Of My Guiltiest Pleasures:

  1. the internet
  2. knitting
  3. gourmet food
  4. sleep!

4 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I'm afraid of horses but I absolutely love them.
  2. I'm a perfectionist but I'm also quite lazy. It makes things very frustrating at times.
  3. I absolutely hate to fly. I'm not too bad once I get in the air but on take offs and landings you'll find me with a death grip on the arm rest and tears in my eyes.
  4. I rub my feet together when I'm going to sleep. So does girl-child. My mom does it when she's just sitting in her chair with her feet up. I don't know if she does it when she's in bed. It's funny.
Snagged this meme from a rockin' new blog I found: Vintage Glam.
I'm tagging - Susan, Cami, my mom and my brother because he needs to post something FFS!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

finally! cured of the clap

please excuse the messy hair and yesterday's mascara. when this kind of knitting is in progress, beauty waits. or rather, the beauty that is unfolding on the needles takes priority.
I cannot believe I finished the clapotis. I can't even remember when I began, it's been so long. I got sick of it for a while and tucked it down to the bottom of my knitting bag, knit on some socks for a bit before digging it out again. and might I just say it is lovely.
and such a versatile scarf! I had it wrapped around my neck a few different ways and because of it's length, it can go around my head or my shoulders with plenty of room to still tuck around my neck. I love it. I have enough yarn to make either a hat or some gauntlets or maybe a neck warmer as a gift. the yarn is just delicious. I may sleep in it.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

sometimes I amaze myself

I have so many projects going right now I'm actually losing sleep. I'm still trying to get my shit together for the craft fair. That's actually going quite well. I've got 70 (+/-) pincushions, 40 cards with more to come. 9 Santa's in the works and fabric for 20 or so pumpkins. I've been brainstorming (ouch, I know) about my display too and I think I've come up with something uber cute. If I can just get it to translate from my brain to something real.
I'm 4 rows away from starting my toe decreases on my TYDY socks. For you non-knitters, I'm less than a day away from being completely done. And I must say, nothing makes you feel better about your work than having your friends fight over a project. Both Cami and Noemi have claimed the pair as their own. I think one of them even licked the sock on the needles. I said, "Don't think it's yours just cause you marked it with your spit."
(hello Juno fans)
I've even been working on the Clapotis. I'm done with the main part, now to start decreasing the thing until I can cast off the last few stitches. It's getting cold here. I'd better hurry.
Today I pumped out half my Christmas cards for the craft fair:
and I created this for the backs of my paper goods:
sometimes I amaze myself. I was so happy with the way this, what should I call it, my watermark? turned out. Its a business card of sorts on the back of each hand-made card. Fucking brilliant! (sorry mom, I'm working on getting my blog rating up from PG to R. I can't have kid-friendly blog FFS!)
More cards tomorrow and then maybe some sewing with a little knitting in between.
Fun day, huh?
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

comfort food

Does it get any better than mac & cheese? I don't think so.

I never made it from scratch when my kids were young because I never had it homemade as a kid. My kids wanted mac & cheese from the box. It's the cheesiest you know. For all the scratch cooking my mom did, mac and cheese wasn't made from scratch at our house. We had "Kraft Dinners". That's what they were called - the macaroni in the blue box? Kraft Dinner. With stewed tomatoes. I know. Way to ruin a good vision, huh?

Does this restore the yummy vision dancing in your head? This here is Cami's rocking mac & cheese. Boy-child couldn't get enough. "I blame it on Cami." Said he. It's that good. Hope she doesn't mind me sharing the recipe with the internet. Here we go:

  • 1 1/ c pasta cooked and drained, rinsed in cool water
  • 4 T butter
  • 3 T flour melted/cooked together

add 1 1/2 c milk, cooked stirring until thickened a bit. add:

  • 4 oz cheddar
  • 2 oz velveeta, shredded

melt cheeses in roux, pour over pasta in a greased baking dish. top with 8 saltine crackers crumbled and mixed with 1 T melted butter. Bake at 375° 20 - 30 minutes until bubbly at the edges.

Think I'll go make some.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

K is for. . .

When I was little, all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother. Even back then I was always playing house, taking care of all my babies. Later on, when Ashley was born I was scared, knowing I couldn't prop her head between my knees to get her pants on. That's what I always did with my dolls and no one protested. And no one was going to pick her up at midnight and give me a few bucks. This was for real. Scary, amazing, wonderful, heartbreaking. The toughest-damn-job in the world.

a portrait we did for Ken's birthday back in 2004

K is also for Ken.

The most amazing man I've ever met besides my dad. Isn't that the way it should be for girls? :) He's -so- damn smart. He can do anything. He's compassionate, generous and takes good care of me. Wow. It must be a good day. :)

taken in February 2004. A birthday ride.

and K is for knitting.

I love this craft. It will never cease to amaze me, taking sticks and strings and making something that wasn't there before. Something functional and beautiful.

Knitting has broadened my world. Besides being a wonderful outlet for creativity, I've met some really amazing people. Folks I wouldn't have even met otherwise.

Knitting. Good.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

oh for cute

this is a smackerel of the little pumpkins i'm making for an upcoming craft fair. no, these photos weren't taken in a field of tall grass, these little darlings are impossibly small. and isn't everything just so much cuter in snack size?

tutorial here.