Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Goodbye March

>>Warning: creepy-crawly picture below.  (I believe I was previously asked to give fair warning.) <<

Thanks for all the positive feedback on the baseball gloves!  I feel like I have only been on here lately to wish the new month hello and the old month goodbye.  We've been busy! 

BFJ took this week off, he'd requested it a month ago, and then as it turned out, his parents moved from two blocks away to two hours away so we've been helping them move.  Today we spent some time exploring the shopping district of their new town and my mother-in-law and I discovered they have a quilt shop, yarn store, bead store and scrapbook store.  What more do you need? 
Flowers at the new house: 

Yesterday, I came home from the closer house, tired but inspired to get some of my own projects done before I someday-move and wonder why I never got anything done.  Therefore, I spent the afternoon in my shed "puttering around" as some of my family would say, but I felt good about gaining a foothold on some ideas.  Hopefully I'll have more to show on those later.  In between moving, we've been working on our yard.  What was once a garden: 

early spring 2010

will hopefully one day be grass and more greenery, less neighbors' clutter.

...oops, I must have deleted the in-progress picture.  But I'll tell you, I've made good use of bad yarn as a makeshift fence to keep dogs and boys off the one-day-grass.  As previously mentioned, we removed a short sidewalk that dated back to trash-burning days, and we also removed a swing from one of our trees.  The swing-users were preventing grass from growing around the tree.  We seeded about half of our back yard.  We've had pretty good results with grass seed so fingers crossed.   

Last week we had a birthday dinner and a little birthday gathering. The theme of the week was "bugs" and we borrowed a bug-type creature from someone at church for a couple of days.  If you didn't know, adult scorpions have an irridescent characteristic to their shells, and glow under black lights (the black light came with the creature) but we didn't leave it on too long.  It is not good for them.  

Of course I've been sewing and knitting, and trying to finalize my baseball glove pattern, as well as other projects!  I hope you're all enjoying Spring and getting your projects underway!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Snow Day

School's closed and we are all home today.  I'm catching up on laundry, Lost, and knitting projects. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Means Baseball!

I've had this idea for a knitting pattern in my head and it's finally come to fruition!  I am still polishing up the pattern, but here's a quick peak: 

PS:  There's more than one size and this one is too big for me but it was the only one I had "stitched up."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Happy St. Patrick's Day!  We've had a busy weekend and I didn't get any good green pictures so this will have to do:  sweet potato vine and coleus from last year's summer pots.  Lots of lovely greens!

Thank you all for commenting on your favorite books; lots of great recommendations.  I picked the next book for the book club, Possession by A.S. Byatt.  I've read it before but it's been a long time.  Once, I was discussing books with one of BFJ's best friends and he was listening so intently to me about this book, I couldn't believe it.  Finally he said, "So... no one gets possessed?"  Ha! no wonder; it's not that kind of possession, its about (fictitious) writers.  Anyway, I look forward to exploring all the books that are your favorites.  And I would just like to say that I would have responded to your comments directly but most of the comments did not have return emails.  Although Shawn, I neglected to reply to you.  I'm sorry!  I will!!

The weather here is crazy.  Today and tomorrow we're looking at 70° weather but last weekend and this weekend, snow!  Crazy, but Colorado.  I'm looking forward to baseball season although I'm disappointed that we lost Torrealba; he was one of my favorite Rockies the last few seasons.  Not only a good player, but a great attitude; he was recently traded to the Padres.  I'm actually working on a baseball-related knitting project but I don't have pictures.  More on that later.  

Over the weekend, BFJ told me to go down to the hardware store and buy a double-jack.  (That's miner talk for sledgehammer.)    So I did, and he spent Saturday busting up some cement for me.  We've had a little sidewalk in the middle of our yard that harkins back to the days of incinerators and trash burning, but is now completely unnecessary.  We are going to be seeding the areas of the yard that were previously cement and garden, and will be ripping up some of the other grass to put in a new garden in a sunnier spot!  I trust I'll have many pictures to post over the summer.  

Last night, I went to Marly's house and joined her for a podcast with Chrissy Gardiner.  It was lots of fun, and I actually wanted to talk to Chrissy; I have her book, Toe Up! and it is great.  If you would like to check out this or any of Marly's other podcasts you can find them on her website; top left sidebar.  And while you are there, you can check out Marly's two new hat patterns, with pictures taken by yours truly and modeled by Sisterpants.  I'm surrounded by beautiful and talented women.  Okay, here's a picture for you: 

Pattern:  Ratatouille by Marly Bird, Yarn: Cascade 220, Model: Christy

For today, I will be:
~ making cupcakes to take to Zoom's class.  And then I am going to be
~ talking about "things I learned in school that I use in real life."  Several of the things I thought of actually fall more into the Hobby category, rather than the Job category,  i.e. quilting and knitting math, blog writing, gardening biology.  I finally arrived on the fact that grocery shopping is one of my primary jobs, and I do add up my purchases in my head as I go through the store!  So math it is.
~ finishing some book bags that were going to be 2008 Christmas gifts and will now be 2010 St. Patrick's Day gifts for my kids.  Oh, I was thinking on writing up a little tutorial on that.  Anyone interested? 
~ making "Irish stew" which is not exactly the real deal because I'm using steak instead of lamb.
~ if I have time, I'll be writing up a knitting pattern. 

Well, I'm off to bake cupcakes.  I hope you all have the luck o' the Irish today!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Reading Material

I love books.  I received several books for my birthday and Christmas in December, mostly knitting, at least one gardening.  I have a friend who's recently moved her office and cleaned out some books and gave them to me, and my in-laws are moving.  They are cleaning stuff out and giving us books.  While BFJ snoozed on the couch the other night, I stacked the books up on the mantel.  Actually, I still had half a box to go when I quit.  Here's what I've been given in the last three months: 

And in case you've always wondered, here's the top of my bedside table: 

Oops, I didn't draw an arrow to the one I'm reading, that would be The First Circle by Solzhenitsyn.  I also usually have a Bible and a glass of water on this table, too.  I love having a bunch of different books to look at before bed, especially if I'm not in the middle of a gripping story.  And I have a stack of quilting and knitting magazines and seed catalogs on the floor by my bed.  We also have two bookshelf cases full of books downstairs.  Maybe three!  I'm very glad our boys like to read, too.  There's just nothing like a good book, is there? 

What is your all-time favorite book or series?   

Saturday, March 6, 2010


If you knew how old my kids are, you'd probably think it's sad that my kids have never been rollerskating before.  Luckily someone invited us to a rollerskating birthday party this morning, and BFJ and I found that Skate City has not changed in twenty years.  I think some of the laces on these skates may be that old, too! 

  We were amazed how well The Bruise did, here he is out in the middle by himself. 

I haven't meant to be so neglectful of my blog.  I like to blog, and I love reading your comments.  However, everyone in my house has been sick at least two separate times in the past two weeks.  It has not been fun.  Also, I spent two hours last night listening to a "half-hour long" presentation on what is apparently the world's best vacuum.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed that, though, and what else is Friday night for but fun family time.  At ten o'clock, I finally had to step out and put the kids to bed.  The Bruise went down crying between sobs, "...but I didn't get to see the last tool on the Blue Max." 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pencil and Paper and Things Like That

I already posted today but I wanted to tell you about something.  I recently stumbled upon Geninne's Art Blog and was reminded how fun it is to draw.  I especially like that she shows how to carve your own stamps, and also tells all about her tools and why she likes them.  I've always wondered what a linoleum cutter looks like.  Her bird drawings are beautiful as well. 

I dug up some of my old pencil line drawings from my one college art class:   

I think we should have a weekly family-sit-and-draw-and-color time, as everyone in our house is very artistic.  This morning I went downtown and was inspired to stop at Meininger's.  (The website is not as much fun as the store.)  I bought a birthday gift there, and a just-because gift for a little comic book artist I know, and I bought myself a really sharp Xacto, which I always think I need!  I was tempted to buy a linoleum cutter and a carving block, and there were so many lovely shades of Prismacolors, but I decided to see what I've got at home first.     

March is Here

Nineteen days until Spring!  We checked our seeds yesterday and they all had sprouts so hurray! that will save me a little money on the gardening project.  Here are the marigolds: 

Unfortunately, there was also a lot of mold growing in the little seed checking packets so I threw them all away.  The only ones that didn't have any sprouts were the nasturtiums but I suspect they needed a little more time; their seed coat is a lot harder than most of the ones we were trying. 

It is nice and sunny here today, and should be for a couple of days.  I wish it weren't soggy and muddy out, I am just in the mood to go out and do some garden prep work.  And we have a lot this year.  Yesterday, the boys and I went to a couple of our local garden center / nurseries to see what's going on.  There was not a lot to look at but it was nice to see they are getting things started in their greenhouses.  We saw this interesting plant, or perhaps I should say tree; I have no idea what it is but don't you think Dr. Seuss would have liked it?