Monday, September 29, 2008

tis the season

I'm considering participating in a craft fair with a friend in November. Nothing makes me question the quality of my work like putting it on display and trying to sell it!
Here is the Christmas card I'm considering. Can I get your input? Right now the inside is blank. I could stamp Happy Holidays! inside. Or should I just leave it blank?
Does it need anything more? Some inking of the patterned paper maybe?

I don't want to offer too much. I'm thinking a few cards, those personalized matchbook notebooks I make and some holiday ornaments I've made in the past, such as the Santa, the snowman and the pumpkin stuffies. I found a really cute advent calendar I may add too.

Anything else?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

this is what 40 looks like

In cake form. :)

This is love, wouldn't you say?

Girl-child made this all by her self. With her own hands. From scratch. Cause she loves her momma. And her momma loves her. Very much.

Happy Birthday to me. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

a knitter's stash is no laughing matter

Sorry fellow TWD bakers. The only dimples you'll find here are on my forty year old. . .never mind. :) Today is my 4oth birthday and I wasn't allowed to do any baking. My daughter has made my cake and I think it is going to be grand indeed. I can't wait to see it! But first, dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe! Excellent atmosphere and Justin, my newly turned 21 year old gave me a high-five and said, "YES! Drinks!" That's where we celebrated his birthday a few weeks ago. We had so much fun I wanted to go back for more. The celebrating has begun.

But first, a little chastising. There can be no laughing at a yarn stash. You know who you are. And you'd better be getting on the phone to wish your little sister a happy birthday! Mom, I got your card so you're off the hook.

I know I said I wasn't going to accumulate a yarn stash but I can't help it! A girl can only knit so fast and, and, and. . .I doubt seriously I even need to justify my stash to YOU, mom. Let's see the photographic evidence of YOUR stash, shall we? And then we'll talk. Um, kettle? Black? Apple? Tree? :) That's us, alright. You know I love you.

Ok, I'm done with that. How about some show and tell? This is that lovely little ball of TY-DY yarn turning into a sock. Cute, no?

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Friday, September 19, 2008

yarn (2)

Went on a mini yarn crawl with the girls I typically knit with on Fridays. Big shout out to Heather and Trista! Rochelle, feel better. You were missed!

Can I just say, I have never stepped into a Hobby Lobby or Michael's and had my breath taken away. Today it happened more than once. This first yarn is a 100% kettle dyed wool from Manos del Uruguay and it is to. die. for. Cami had a cake floating around in the shop for a while and I fondled it every chance I got. Hell, I molested that thing! This colorway is simply #113 but it needs a better name. Hello Gorgeous works for me. I don't even have a project in mind. I bought it just to have me some pretty to look at every day. A girl can never have too much pretty.

and this little lovely is a brand new yarn from what I can tell. Mine is one of only three stashed in Ravelry. It's by Knit One Crochet Too , called ty-dy socks. I can't wait to knit this up! The colorway is magenta moss.

And how often can I sing Ravelry's praise? Today I learned a new trick and it's just so cool I can't keep it to myself. Most of you are probably rolling your eyes, having figured this out months ago but I just discovered it today!
If you go to your queue and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page there's a little box that says 'add to ravelry queue'. If you drag that up to the links section of your task bar and drop it, anytime you're searching the WEB, not just ravelry, you can click that button if you find a cool sweater on some one's blog even and it will drop into your ravelry queue. SO COOL! Thanks Ravelry!
(if all this is too technical for you, drop me a line and I'll see if I can't walk you through the steps)

Now I must go knit!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

perfectly round, just the way I like 'em

My cookies, that is.
Oatmeal cookies are among my favorites. Just the recipe on the box of Quaker not changed a bit. And I use my beloved cookie scoop for perfectly round beauties.
even the dough is good.
perfectly golden. mmmmm
And I had to take a picture of Schnoozer the Schnauzer (I'm not even kidding). We're dog sitting for my daughter and her fiance while they house/dog sit for someone else.
He's such a good little dog. Personality plus. I feel so bad for him though. They think he's a bit of a pain. Well, duh - he's holed up in an apartment all day. He comes out here and runs the back yard till he's plum wore out. Tossing the frisbee helps too. He's a different dog at "granny's" :)

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Tuesdays With Dorie - Chocolate Chunkers

I really like when recipes have steps that aren't in your typical recipe. This cookie was built a little differently and I enjoyed the process. There weren't much dry ingredients at all, mostly chocolate. I say that as if it were a bad thing. HA! Some of the chocolate was melted with butter and creamed into the little bit of sugar. So you end up with a cookie that isn't overly sweet except for the sweetness in the chocolate bits inside. This is one tasty cookie.

Claudia of Fool for Food selected this week's recipe and I think I love her. :) I'm just one of 200 or so bakers who had the opportunity to make these cookies this week. Check out what other TWD-ers have done with this amazing cookie.

As I was scooping the dough onto the baking sheet I thought to myself, "These cookies should be called chunky something." I laughed when I looked at the recipe again realizing they are indeed called chunky something - chocolate chunkers. The dough is chocolaty, the bits inside are chocolaty - Chocolate Chunkers indeed. I think there are FOUR different kinds of chocolate in these cookies. What's not to love?
They reminded me of the old Chunky bars:

Chunky, chocolaty, delicious.
I skipped the raisins though. I prefer my chocolate without rotten grapes. ;)

I do like the taste and texture of this cookie. One strange thing though - it didn't flatten out at all as it baked. So the second batch I didn't let the baking sheet cool between batches as the recipe suggests. Still a perfect ball of cookie. The third batch I tried using a tablespoon to scoop the dough out rather than my trusty cookie scoop thinking it would deliver the rustic, chunky looking cookie I was seeking. I think I like the shape of these cookies without the scoop. And that's a first for me. I use my scoop for ALL the cookies I make. Not this one though. Next time I'll use just a tablespoon and I'll suffer through the complete lack of symmetry for a wonderfully chocolate cookie like this.

I don't know why mine didn't turn out like Dorie's in the book. I followed the recipe exactly. I'll be interested to see the other TWD baker's photos.

All in all though, it is a good cookie. I'd be proud to offer them to anyone. I'm thinking some home -made vanilla ice-cream with these cookie chunks would be To. Die. For.

I'm planning a cookie baking marathon today to get caught up on last week's Whopper cookies. Ken is going to LOVE those but last week I was too mad at him to bake them. :D My little way of sticking it to the man, I guess.

If I'm still in the cookie baking mood after those I'll make oatmeal cookies and maybe snickerdoodles. My nephew is in basic training and I'm thinking some home-made cookies are in order. To help make him Army strong you know. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

one without bugs!

I went out and picked a few pears off our tree today. It was an adventure, out there swinging my rake, trying not to kill one of the dogs with my falling bounty. We don't tend to our fruit trees at all. They're old and unkempt (sort of like me! heh heh) but produced a surprising amount of fruit this year.
The little dogs were all over me, begging for bites of my pear. Mystery solved of who has been nibbling the ones on the ground and Fatboy has been eating grass all week!
How can I not give them a bite? Just look at these faces!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Justin!

My "baby" turned 21 today.
This is one of my favorite pictures of him taken right around (if not -on-) his first birthday.
They say time flies. I say it passes by like a (explitive removed for my tender viewers) rocket.
Happy Birthday, Justin. And many more.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

identifying grandma's plant

From summer 08
it starts like this but then grows into this:
From summer 08
the stems are very soft, not branchy. it reminds me of a jade plant, almost.
any ideas? i know they're popular. i see them all over the place.

the photos are linked to my picasa album. click for a bigger view.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

summer lovin'

a few pictures from our yard. . .

this lily looking thing is actually a hosta. we've never seen them bloom this way. they must like LOTS of water cause that's what they got this year and they are lovely.

and this we lovingly call "grandma's plant". neither of us know what it's really called but ken's grandmother gave a cutting from her garden a few years ago. we took it with us in a bucket when we moved at the beginning of spring. we transplanted it here in the indiana sunshine and it has just flourished! If anyone knows anything about this plant (I have pictures of the foliage too) please leave a comment as we want to know if we can split it up.

there's nothing nicer than having plants growing in your garden that friends or loved ones have shared. ken's grandmother has been gone for two years now but somehow, it's as though a bit of her lives on in our garden.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

weekend visitors

My dear friend, Beth came for a visit this weekend. We had four terrific days together. Oddly enough, I didn't take a picture of her but I did snap a shot of her heart:

Meet "Elvis" or just El for short. Her mother bit her mouth when she was a puppy hence the Elvis sneer (thank you. thank you very much) so Elvis became her name-o.
She's a little bunch of sweetness Beth rescued from the Amish earlier this year. Do you know about the Amish and their puppy mills? Do a google search if you want, but be prepared to be very angry.

El was going to be destroyed because she could not produce. She was of no use to the Amish. A rescue group stepped in and saved her. She is one lucky pup. But really, Beth is the lucky one. El is a complete doll.

We had a great cookout on Saturday where I harvested FIVE yummy tomatoes from my own bush (no comments from the peanut gallery). This is a BIG deal for me! I've never grown any of my own food before. I plant one little tomato bush and all of a sudden I'm some kind of gardener. We have grand plans for next year and of course they include tomatoes.

Good food, good friends and cute puppies. That's a pretty good weekend in my book.