Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A New Tradition

Somewhere in the last few years I stumbled across someone who had Christmas Quilts.  The quilts came out on December 1st and graced the beds only in December.  What fun!  I thought knitting a blanket would be faster than quilting, so I began last September (2010) on this blanket.  It is wide enough to cover our couch end to end - that's about seven feet, so all my boys can snuggle under it while watching a Christmas movie.  It is about four and a half feet long.  It took me a year!  I would have liked it to be a little more square but after a year, I just wanted to be done.  We got the blanket out sometime around Thanksgiving and it has definitely gotten some snuggling but I think I've used it the most! 

5197 Christmas blanket folded up

If you are curious about the details you can find more information on my Ravelry project page, including how many skeins (14) it took.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Traditions New and Old

When I was little, my brother, sister, and I always got to sleep under the Christmas tree the first night it was up in our house.  We did not start this tradition right away with our kids, but last year it came up in conversation and my kids wanted to do it.  The kids slept under the tree last year; this year, we all slept in the living room last night, even though it was a school night! 

Last Friday we joined my brother's family at my parents' in the mountains to cut a Christmas tree down.  While we were there, we got some Christmas pillowcases from my mom, a newish tradition she started a few years ago.  I had told her that I was trying to stay with red, green, and brown for all my decorations so she found this cute fabric.  I love them! 

5156 pillowcases from Nana

How about you?  Any out-of-the-ordinary holiday traditions at your house?  Come on, I know you want to share!  In fact, if you post about it and tell me, I'll link to your post.  Let me know!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Family Pictures

It's family picture time!  How do I know this?  Because I've been taking family pictures like crazy!  I'm hoping to squeeze in some of my own soon.  I love family pictures, no matter what people look like, no matter if the kids are all looking or smiling at the same time.  It's this moment, and every moment is perfect in its own way.  Know what I mean? 


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt: October

2356 graffitti

0202 a black cat
black cat

She'll sit all evening next to BFJ but try to catch her outside with good lighting and she runs around the yard.  Finally I caught her between a screen and a dirty window!  I like it, though.

2255 heritage

Hand written notes in the end pages of my grandfather's Bible.  It is currently being rebound for my uncle by Denver Bookbinding, and they are keeping all the end pages. 

7302 candlelit

In a candleholder my dad made.

9848 crunchy leaves
crunchy leaves

0929 fog/mist

Since I don't live near much water that would lead to fog or mist, I had to settle for foggy car windows. 

0376 golden

9769 a pumpkin

The white, the gold colored ones, and the little oranges in the foreground are all from our garden!

1111 something eerie or creepy
something eerie or creepy

I ran into Frank the Rabbit (from Donnie Darko; I still don't understand that movie) at the end of a haunted house for kids.  None of the creatures jumped out, which I guess was the kid part.  Personally, I found the silent watching more unnerving!

1131 sunset

I failed to capture 'river' and 'witch's hat/broomstick.'  I searched through my four years and 23,000+ pictures for a river of any kind and did not find one!  We have creeks around here.   No witches either.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Oh Here's My Blog!

Was I gone awhile?  A few of you wrote to ask if I was alright, thank you!  You may have thought I lost my way.  I guess I did.  I was stressed / depressed through most of October and I was too busy, but now I'm not.  So there you go.  So I'm back!  Two good things have happened to me recently.  One is that I have done some reevaluating of my life, and have trimmed back a few things that...  just aren't as important as the time they were taking.  I'm increasing my margins, as my dad would say.  The second thing is that my parents came for a visit, which is funny because they don't live that far away, but they came for a couple of days.  (We wanted them to.)  They were willing to do whatever I wanted so that included helping me get my car to the mechanic, some decorative woodwork that needed touching up, making Christmas neckties for the guys, making cookies, reading with the boys, and so on.  Sometimes you just need your parents around!! 

I have taken a renewed interest in the monthly photo scavenger hunt and I'm determined to have a strong finish.  Wish me luck; I think I've only hit all twelve items for the month twice, and that was back in the spring.  I'll post some of those another day.  For now, here's a picture that makes me giddy:  we are still eating out of our garden in November!  Still growing:  carrots, onions, parsley, sage, rosemary and mint.  


Saturday, October 22, 2011


I love taking family photos!  It's so fun to see people spending time laughing with their kids.  Here are a few groups I've had the priviledge of shooting in the past month.  You may have seen one or two of these on my Flickr page but I'm having so much fun with them that I thought I'd do a little post here, too.   


8852 future rockers

Hello Fall

I'm enjoying a delicious tea that my mother-in-law recommended while BFJ is loading the back of the garage with firewood, and turning my garden beds over for the winter; two boys are watching cartoons, and one is coloring.  Someone pointed me to the perfect barn and giant tree for my afternoon photoshoot.  This evening, I'm invited to a birthday party for one of my favorite little girls.  If I were just binding off the perfect sweater, or sewing down the binding on a sweet little quilt, it would be a flawless fall day. 



0285 orange flowers




Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Time!

It's almost jack-o-lantern time!

Are you working on a Halloween costume?  I would love to hear about it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Knitting

I've gotten several knitting projects finished up lately.  I have not taken the time to post about them because most are gifts, but maybe I'll take a moment this week to get some pictures of those that aren't or have already been given.  Or make something for myself?  Hope you're all enjoying your fall preparations!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

something to think about

I know you can't believe everything you read on the internet but what if.  And I know that 83 experiments won't convince everyone.  But what if you knew for sure, that this is true?  Would it change your lifestyle, or would you just think, "that's too bad," and continue on?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Am I a lone reed?

"Kathleen, you are a lone reed. You are a lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce."  -Frank Navasky


Do you ever have that thing where you say something out loud, and the moment the words leave your lips, you wish you hadn't said it out loud?  Almost like you jinxed it, even if you don't believe in jinxes?  I just had to go and say that my word for this year is 'contentment.'  What I have been struck with this week, several times, is the irony that I am seemingly alone, or perhaps one of very few people, looking to have deep, meaningful connections with real friends. 

I invited every friend I have that a) lives in my relative corner of the world that I b) thought would be interested, to join us in some of our traditional fall festivities.  With the exception of my parents, and one VERY wonderful pair of friends, everyone has declined.  Everyone is too busy, or in too much of a hurry.  The kicker is that several of them has since mentioned that they went ahead and did it without us.  So the idea was good.... 

Several events of this year have resurfaced in my concious mind, and I don't know what they add up to. 

I had a date with a friend; I arrived at our meet-up where I proceeded to sit and wait for 35 minutes without any sign of her.  Finally, I decided that something unforeseen must have happened so I went back to my car, and there she was - talking to another friend.  And she informed me that if I just had a cell phone, this wouldn't have happened.  It was my fault.

I have a friend who on one hand, has repeatedly said she loves my pictures, but on the other hand has said that if she had to pay for my pictures she would take her own because, "I just can't justify paying for pictures." Then she went and bought a camera that cost twice as much as my first digital SLR. 

And don't even get me started on that popular networking website everyone belongs to!  Thanks to a tip from one of my younger cousins, I was the first person I knew with an account.  But it got to the point where I realized that "friending" had very little to do with friendship, so I quit.  And of course, I have not been invited to some things because people have to "go out of their way" to invite me. 

I love blogs, I love Ravelry, and I love Flickr.  But I want to look someone in the eye, hear their voice, see emotions on their face.  I want to go see a friend's local band because I knew they were good back when no one had heard of them, and not because I'm networking.  I don't want someone to say to me, "Okay, you can be right," because, frankly, they don't care either way.  I want friends who don't answer their phone in the middle of our conversation, because the conversation we're having is satisfying.  And I want a friend who accepted my invitation not only because it was a good idea, but because they knew I'd be there. 

I feel like I'm wading knee-deep against the blowing sands of commerce, and technology.  I guess I'm having a midlife crisis. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Red Corn

In trying to persuade loads of friends to go with us to Miller Farms, I looked all over for pictures I've taken, and did not find many.  I will be sure to take many this year.  In the meantime, as we were making Mr. Shagnasty yesterday, we discovered a previously untouched pile of indian corn from last year's excursion to the Farms. 
8511 indian corn with dahlia

We don't have loads of friends, but we do have a select few of the best!

On the schedule for today:  church, lunch, applebutter-making.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


One person woke me up this morning singing, "We get to decorate for Halloween today."  The next person plotted to find some branches.  Yet another sewed... 

We borrowed a shirt from this Grandpa, some pants from that Grandpa, and a couple of buttons from Marie.  Not quite done, but meet Ukulele Threadneedle Shagnasty. 

More to come...?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Decorating for Fall

One of my kids asked today if we could put up the "nut line."  I'm laughing hysterically inside!

Monday, September 26, 2011


September is drawing to a close.

8391 harvest

Here is my 'harvest' picture for the photo scavenger hunt.  Have any good tomatoes recipes or canning tips?? 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Trains Go By

7897 train zooming by

Today, we went to a train party.  A model train party.  Isn't it fun to have friends who do things you would never have thought of?

ETA:  Someone asked if I have more pictures so hopefully they'll check back.  Here's the rest of what I shot, on Flickr.  (If you are not familiar with Flickr, let me just point out that you should click on the first thumbnail picture, and then click it again, and then "Next," so you can view all the pictures large on black; so much better that way!) 

Maybe I should go back with a tripod and get some more pictures!  Do you think they would notice me slinking through the yard and basement?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


7448 'm'

M is for marigolds, which remind me of my mom.  As a child, I thought they were so orange, and not fancy.  But then I became a gardener, and realized that, like my mom, some things have a hidden value, which I never appreciated growing up.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Perhaps it is the voice of experience talking: 
Speed:  You know mint toothpaste?  Don't ever put it in your eyes.


On a different note, I made the mistake (?) of eliminating everything from my blog yesterday to make it poignant, and now I cannot reload the / any picture on my header.  UGH.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Red Sunflowers

6802 backlit red

I had such a great response to my red sunflowers last year, that I planted all the rest of the seeds this year.  They are such beautiful flowers. 

This morning, as I was talking pictures in the garden, the Bruise shared with me that his teacher told him there are not red sunflowers.  I asked for a clarification on that.  Apparently, he had added to a discussion about sunflowers, "...and red ones."  To which she replied, "You mean tulips or roses.  Sunflowers are not red."  Guess who will be learning something at school tomorrow!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fresh Berries

Fresh Strawberry Syrup

1 c sugar
1 c water
1 1/2 c mashed fresh strawberries

In a saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil.  Add strawberries and return to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve over pancakes or waffles.

Recipe from www.allrecipes.com.

I visited Berry Patch Farms again with a couple of friends.  This time, I left triumphantly with a whole flat full of strawberries, and a few pints of raspberries.  I could have picked more, but you know, I did have to pay for them! 

From this: 

We now have one bottle of syrup, three pints of raspberry jam, at least six pints of strawberry jam plus more on the stove now, eight little packs for lunches, and several snacks on the go.  Yum!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

100 Strangers

My latest photo venture. 

1/100 John George. To read more about it, click on the picture!
6133  Stranger 1/100, John George

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My cat, Stitch.  We also have a black cat, Trixie, but she slinks in the shadows.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Live Theater

Today, at the last minute, we decided that we would go, afterall, to the open house at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.  We got there too late for the free lunch and prizes, but we had a lot of fun looking around. 

Set minature for To Kill a Mockingbird.  How small is this miniature?  That is my smallest child's blurry head in the foreground.

Costumes from Dracula were out for everyone to look at: 

Sketches of Jacob, and Marley (dead these seven ye-ahs):

A set miniature for A Christmas Carol: 

A huge splurge for our holidays, and one we haven't indulged in for a few years, we've already got our tickets for A Christmas Carol.  I might not have gotten them, I might have just thought about it, but if you buy them in July, you can get them half price!  And this year, we are taking the boys.  I am SO excited! 

We also missed the backstage tours, which I was really bummed about, but we did get to see how they make 'snow' and got to explore a few areas that are normally closed.  I asked if they needed volunteers in set design and was told, "Um...  not really."  Oh.  Maybe I will check back in a few months to see... just in case.   

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Hat for Fall!!

The Addison Hat is now available for sale on Ravelry here.  Several of my wonderful friends test knit this for me, and one of them even bought the pattern even though I said I would give it to her.  Aren't knitters nice?! 

And in answer to Anna's (and possibly others') question about the shop on Larimer, I don't remember what the name of it was but everything was French-, wine-, or dish-related, so I could have spun around with a blindfold on, reached my hand out, and found a good gift for my mother-in-law!  If I think of the name, I will post it. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me

Okay, not millions, but whenever I think of peaches, I think of that song. My kids are learning to sing it. One batch of Spiced Peach Preserves:

I can't figure out what I altered last year but I didn't use a vanilla bean - don't have any; instead, I used a dash or two of vanilla extract. I wish I had more peaches for more batches but alas! other members of the house wanted some fresh.  We also made some of Guy Fieri's Cin-Ful Peach Cobbler, which was delicious.  A very big hit with everyone!  I left out the cranberries (didn't have any) and if I had it to do over, I would leave out the almonds as well; I didn't think they added anything. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


My favorite client (my husband) is selling his guitar, so of course I was happy to take some pictures for him.