Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snowscapes

I don't usually get outdoors when the weather is cold, (I'm a sit-and-sew when it's cold out sort of person) but luckily a friend asked me to take some anniversary pictures, and I met them at a park. I love the hint of blue in the sky in the last one:



Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yesterday, Today

Yesterday: Today:
Good thing I bought myself some long underwear last week. I have an appointment to do some portraits today!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Put It On The Board

(I don't know what that means, but my brother and husband said it repeatedly.)

We had a great Thanksgiving. I hope you did, too. We had a small group, just my family: five boys and seven adults. I made Night Before Mashed Potatoes, and a cherry pie. BFJ made the turkey and stuffing! Everyone brought something, and so on.

The highlight of the evening was the board game,
Wise and Otherwise. We did not have enough game tokens for everyone to play so my sister-in-law drew herself on a pistachio shell. We present: Nutalie:

We've had this game for years, longer than kids, but haven't played in awhile. We had so much fun, one of the boys who's just learning to read joined in. We should play it more often; it reduces people to tears. Here's proof:





I'm thankful for my family, my home, my salvation, friends who knit, friends in general, little boys with dirty faces, and a husband who shares his quilt.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Was Fun Today:

Frost in the morning


Taking family pictures for friends

And sewing with another friend while all the boys hiked to the park.
A good day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gifts for People Who Have No Internet Access

Thank you all for the kind words about my dad's benches and tables. I love the carved trees. I might have to order another item from him, myself.

In family news, my parents were down to town (from the mountains) on Monday for some business and stopped by to see us. We had fun walking to school and back with Nana and Grandpa. BFJ was also home for the day, so it was a whole family affair complete with two dogs. I showed my dad a few things on his new digital camera and online, hence the last post. And that was even his photo. Pretty good composition, I thought. Oh by the way, I made the rag quilt on the couch in that photo a year or two ago. My first "quilt" by machine.

Today, BFJ is enjoying snaking the sewer line, an annual delight. On the plus side, the boys were happy that Dad was home early today. Luckily we noticed a teensy bit of water around the drain in the basement this morning, so there was no major flooding this time. Since Dad is outside spraying things off with the house, The Bruise asked if we can play in the sprinkler. Um, no. It's November. In Colorado. But really, today's high was 72* F. Tonight's forecast is freezing drizzle. Hmm.

I haven't posted as much lately because I prefer posts with pictures. Between secret Christmas projects and the drab scenery, I haven't had a lot of pictures to post. But Finally! something I can post about: I am making three little blue hats. They will all be the same, but different colors. You can see the first one there on the left. I think they are turning out pretty cute, if I say so myself. They are just stockinette with a couple of stripes, and for decreases, I divided the stitches into eight groups and worked an ssk decrease. I think my three little noggins will like them. I keep trying them on different heads. They say, "Is this my hat? Can I have this hat?" and I answer, "This is a Christmas present," somewhat dismissively, so hopefully they'll be a little surprised on Christmas.

On the sewing front, someone saw my needle cases (none of which have sold yet; oh bother) and asked me to make a bag like the nifty little one she had, to keep skeins from rolling away while you knit. Here's the one I made for her:
Below, you can see my needle case: it folds in half. I thought I should clarify that. It looks sort of like a wallet, I guess, and holds 6 sets of dpns, sizes 0-5. Ideal for someone who knits socks with dpns, and fits neatly into the matching bag I made to hold a sock WIP. (This is the outside of the Sock Monkey needle case I posted earlier.)

And finally, some foliage. Zoom planted a lima bean at school. I don't eat lima beans, myself, but it is a very pretty plant. We even have a bean pod on it, but I thought you might like to see the blossom. I don't know how long it will live in its cup, but I appreciate the transparent quality of the cup. It's the first indoor plant I've been able to keep alive. I guess I've been overwatering!

Monday, November 17, 2008

More of My Dad's Stuff

I'm showing my dad how easy it is to blog. Here's a shot of another of his tables.

Friday, November 14, 2008

'No!

" 'No! It's Christmas!" So said our little one this morning when he looked out the window. Not quite Christmas, but it is our first snowfall of the year. This is pretty late for first snow in Colorado, you can usually plan on some before Halloween. It was nice on Halloween, not have to wear coats over the costumes, though, and now, we are all ready for the holidays to get underway.


We've been busy: babysitting, playdates, going to the Arvada Center. There were kids there from all over the Metro area to see Seussical. The Bruise and I also got tickets for the same show. Speed was excited about riding the bus!

Now we are off to school. Hope you are enjoying your day. Yay Friday!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Projects


I have been working on lots of projects!
After seeing one of the baskets, someone at the knitting store asked if I could make some knitting needle cases. I can! It is so fun making these little projects; fun to use up my stash and all these great fabrics I've been collecting. It is nice to see them turn into something. I did buy the sock monkey fabric just for this project, but it is the only new fabric I've bought for these. I've made more baskets, too. I am going to some craft/cookie/gift exchanges in December and I know these are going to come in handy at some point. As I may have said before, these little baskets are great for using up scraps that you just couldn't toss.



Last year, I was inspired by Erin's posts* on handmade gifts and am making a lot more this year. (Don't worry, not everyone is getting a hat!) I have a little list of projects I can work on over the next month. I am happy to report that I revisited the gift that went horribly wrong, and the second version turned out much better! You'll have to wait til after Christmas for a picture.

With all this work going on, I have had to set up a permanent work station, as opposed to the kitchen table, which is used for practically every meal. I rearranged some things in the laundry room downstairs. It is a cold, cement room with less than ideal lighting, but it is nice to have my own spot. And especially nice to be able to leave the sewing machine out. I know it is ready at a moment's notice. At times it is kind of dungeon-y, but Christmas music adds a little warmth.

AND! My aunt wrote asking if I needed a zoom lens; she knew someone who was getting rid of it, and she thought it would fit my camera. I was happy to accept it. My camera came with a 25mm - 75mm lens, and this "new" one is 75mm - 300mm. I am excited to use it, although I haven't found a need for it yet; this chilly weather has kept me close to my subjects the last few days. But who knows when I'll need it, and I'll be ready!

*I tried to link to Erin's posts but had a problem so here's what you do: click on House on Hill Road in my list of blogs, go to archives and look at January 2008. It's worth your time to see the blown glass ornaments her girls made for her!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good Will and Earnest Effort

I was surprised when, several years ago, I heard my dad defend a U.S. president that I knew he didn't like. I can't really remember the details of the conversation, but the other party stated that President So-and-so didn't deserve to be addressed as such. My dad said, "If I met him, I would call him President So-and-so. That's his title, he's the leader of our country." I was impressed that my dad had this attitude toward someone he didn't agree with. But really, isn't that how we are all supposed to act? Shouldn't we have respect for the people running our country? I am not saying that we should turn a blind eye to what happens in our government simply because they are our leaders. We should all be citizens who care about the big things, like elections, as well as the seemingly little, like how we manage our own day-to-day responsibilities. Shouldn't we respect people in general and treat them how we'd want to be treated? It's that good old Golden Rule.

As BFJ and I watched Senator McCain's concession speech, I was very pleased to see this man, (who, despite not being the President Elect, does wield power in our country,) speak with such grace and respect toward his opponent. Then, we watched Senator Obama's speech, and I was equally pleased to see the dignity that he extended toward his opponent. It would be nice to see my friends and neighbors extend good will and earnest effort toward this next president, whether or not we voted for
him, and to our neighbors, leaders, coworkers, families. Treat others as we want to be treated.

"I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating [Obama], but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited." - Senator John McCain

"I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead." - President Elect Barack Obama

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Hat for My Sister


I really like this yarn. I imagine there's much nicer, but it's the nicest yarn I've used so far, wool and angora. I was going to make something else for my sister with this yarn but I don't have the right gauge needles and I have not gotten to it yet. I started some Toasty fingerless... gloves? I got one done, was halfway done with the other; I tried them on. A lot. I loved them. But I didn't know for sure that my sister would, so I frogged it. I am going to go back and make some for myself. I would have just kept these but had I started out to make myself something, I would have picked a different color. For my sister, I was still planning to do the other thing, but then after the ridicule of the green hat, I said I would make her another. So here it is, a hat for my sister. Oh, and it is my own design. I am very pleased with the cabling. Sister, stop by and get you a hat.

I am very glad that we got our voting done last week. It was bad enough competing for parking spots at the school to pick up my kids, nevermind standing in line. We didn't even stick around to play on the new playground.

Instead, I zipped right home and worked on another project. I was all set to not tell you about it because it is a Christmas present. But now I am going to not tell you about it because I had so many problems that I am going to have to start all over. Hmph.

This evening, the school principal came over and read my kids a couple of books before bed. We "won" this in a silent auction. It was a lot of fun. It reminds me of that episode of Leave It To Beaver when Miss Landers had dinner with the Cleavers. Hopefully my kids know that teachers and principals are real people; it is nice to build relationships with them.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Benches and Yardwork

(I'm here avoiding grocery shopping.)

This weekend, BFJ and I got out to do some yardwork. He worked on raking up leaves and cleaning out gutters; I worked on cleaning up my garden, taking down tomato ladders and so on. First, we both had to get gloves. I lost my favorite
gardening gloves in the tomato fields at Miller Farm. The Bruise voted for purple, so I got purple ones this time. They should be easy to spot!

While we were at the gardening store, I also got an allium, which I've been wanting forever. At least all summer. (Yikes, I got mine for a bargain, it looks like!) So of course, I had to dig a hole. So while I was digging, I might as well move some of the grass around my rosebush, which is inconvenient to mow around. So while I am digging up grass, I might as well move it to a bare spot. So I had to dig another hole. So while I was digging, BFJ might as well dig too, and remove that other rosebush I tried unsuccessfully to dig up last spring. By then, it was time to have dinner, and since I haven't gotten to my bi-weekly grocery trip yet, I had to run and get something quick. I went to the store with mud all over my pants and arms. Hopefully, no one noticed. Or if they did, they probably just thought, "Oh, she must be planting bulbs." And I still need to plant my tulips! But I have the perfect place, so hopefully BFJ will be in the mood to dig some more when he gets home from work.

Someone asked me about the bench my dad made, which you can see a bit of in this picture I have previously posted: What with everything dying around the yard, or being muddy, I didn't have a cute, shady place to take a full picture, so this will have to do - it is currently in the shed. It has a spot in the garden, but there was this rascally rosebush growing up in the middle of it. (I thought I dug that up last spring... )
My dad made this bench for me last spring but is now selling them at craft shows and for custom orders. If you are interested in a bench (George) I will give you his address. I am hoping to take some to my local garden store next spring. His are much nicer than the ones they currently have around their grounds.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat


One last October picture for you... Don't forget to set your clocks back tonight, if you live in a Daylight Savings area!
Happy November!