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Showing posts from 2009

More Handmade Gifts

I'm dreaming of spring gardens.  On Christmas Eve, the new Burpee catalog arrived, maybe that's what started it.  I have been getting Last Chance! emails in my In Box regularly from several seed and plant companies, but the new shiny catalog really caught my eye.  And now that all my Christmas projects are over, I have time to consider a new direction.  But before I delve into all my green aspirations, I thought we should visit the last of the Christmas projects...  I had big plans that did not make it to the Done list this year - knitted ornaments for all my loved ones, embroidered gift tags for all my gift recipients; ah well.  I did make a Calorimetry for my brother's wife, who actually said she wanted "one of those big headband things."  I wish I'd gotten a picture of it on her, it looked much cuter on her than on me.  Of course, I bought the yarn with her in mind so that's as it should be.  But first, I made these Toasty s for her which are just li

Handmade Christmas Gifts

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  Our end-of-week was packed, and we're not done yet!  But now that most of the gifts have been opened, I can show you some of the things I made.  Shamrock Fingerless Gloves Last December, I decided that I was not going to let another Christmas go by without making something for my sister-in-law.  She's always there when I need her, she's intelligent and funny, and one of the best friends I have.  Being part Irish, she likes all things Irish.  In February I spotted this pattern on Ravelry, I knew I wanted to make these for her.  I was hoping to get them done by March 17th but being a new knitter, that was laughable; I had never done color work.  That didn't stop me from trying, though.  Luckily I bumped into Marly several times while I was working on these and she gave me some pointers.  Having just fallen in love with my own fingerless gloves, I decided to make these fingerless as well.  So here they are: Pattern:  Heath

Merry Christmas Eve

Christmas Top Ten

Ah; here we are, warming bellies by the fire.  Sorry that's blurry, I didn't use a flash because I didn't want to alert them to my presence.  I'm working away on my last handmade Christmas gift, and my last batch of Christmas cards.  It's been snowing since last night, nice and Christmassy, and we've had a fire going this evening.  What we ended up with for our last host/ess gift was homemade marshmallows.  BFJ made one batch that turned out like this:  So he made another batch which luckily turned out like this (after cutting): I am so excited to show you some of the gifts I've made but I guess I can wait a few more days.  I felted my first item this week.  That was nerve-wracking.  I don't know why I waited until the last minute to do that.  I didn't leave myself much margin for error but it turned out very nice.  Thimbleanna posted her Top Ten favorite things about Christmas and I thought I would do the same, only a little differen

More and Less

I got a facial for my birthday; that's what I said I wanted and thoughtfully he granted.  While I was laying in the semi-dark, facing a new year in my life, a new year on the calendar, I had some time for reflection.  This isn't a list of resolutions; I'm not quitting anything, just doing a little less of some things and a little more of others...   Less    More    soda    water driving    walking   talking    listening planning    doing          wistfulness   being content    watching   reading  watching    playing  lecturing    loving    saying   being   chocolate...    just kidding Let's don't get crazy, now. 

Hat and Butterflies

Hello out there!  I am still swimming through Christmas projects.  I have had to eliminate some in order to enjoy the season.  I am putting those off for next year; something to do in January.  In the meantime, I can't remember if I've ever posted about this but I designed my own hat!  I made it last January when I was working at the stock show and needed something to keep my head warm on the way too and from the car.  I had only been knitting three months so maybe I should call this my Beginner's Luck Hat.  I won't, though.  I love this hat, it is so warm, and I love cables, but it does look like it could use a little blocking.  One day soon I'm going to publish the pattern!  And since we're discussing me, I'm a year older this week.  Happy Birthday to me!  I'm not one of those people that hates birthdays.  Even if I accomplished nothing in the past year, I'm still alive so therefore have all the potential in the world to do something Incredible

Downtown Denver

I love going downtown, especially at Christmas time.  I was hoping for more shots, of the May D&F Tower, of 16th Street...  but the little wrestlers in the back did not allow for a long car ride.  Maybe next time.

Slipper Socks: Medium.

I have a lot of things in my head that I wanted to blog about before Christmas but the month is getting away from me!  I'm going to cram some of it in today.  I heard this advice a few years ago and it has not steered me wrong:   Don't buy something for a gift that you wouldn't want to receive yourself; unless you know the recipient specifically wants it.   For example, all the piles of kitschy little gifts in the middle of all the department store aisles: those are not for your friends.  Unless one of them is like BFJ, he likes those.  This sentiment is epitomized by a scene in The Ref.  Everyone has spent years sucking up to the family matriarch, hoping for her blessing on business enterprises and such, as she holds all the family money.  Christine Baranski plays a woman who receives slipper socks from this tight-fisted mother-in-law for Christmas.  When the truths start boiling over among all the players and Christine's character speaks up, Mother Rose asks &quo

Hey There I Am?

As I sit bundled in layers I'm dreaming of my spring garden.  I was just perusing the garden blogs I read which I haven't done in awhile.  I have been consumed with knitting this year, if you couldn't tell, and did not get the most out of my yard.  But that's okay.  Different years have different priorities.  As I was strolling through old posts on said blogs, I stumbled across this post.  To clarify, the picture in the post is mine but the shed is not; it's my mother-in-law's.  You can read about my shed if you follow the link.  Despite the confusion, and the fact that I found it eight months later, I'm thrilled to be mentioned on someone else's blog!  

Please Respond!!

Growing up with a minister for a dad, we often had Sunday Dinner company, and out-of-town missionaries staying the night.  When we traveled it was usually to see family or friends, and most of the time we stayed with someone we knew instead of in a hotel or motel.  When friends or family were in town, they always stayed with us.  I guess that is why I like to entertain.  Being the guest is lovely, too!  I'm sad to see some of our gentilities slipping away so I thought I would remind us all of some holiday etiquette guidelines.  Okay, I can't skirt the issue any longer.  One of my biggest pet peeves is that people often no longer respond to this little accronym: RSVP.  It's  french: respondez, s'il vous plait , which literally translates to respond if you please, or please respond .  In elementary school terms, check 'yes' or 'no'.  It says to the hostess (or host), I value your effort as much as you value my company.  And feel free to keep any rejecti

O Christmas Tree

Today, we went up to the mountains with Nana, Grandpa, two aunts, two uncles, two cousins, and cut down some Christmas trees.  The forest is full of pines and aspens but what I really wanted was a fir.  I had just about given up finding one when I heard my dear loving husband had spotted one and was awaiting my approval.  As I was headed toward him I heard the WHACK of the axe and knew the decision had been made.  He told me later that someone else was hovering, waiting to see if he was taking it, so he decided to give the man a definitive answer.  Luckily, it was the best tree; I guess he knew what I liked.  As we were loading up our many trees, several different people stopped in the road to ask us where the fir trees were.  It's a very slim tree, narrower than two of the boys at least!  Here's my little helper putting the gold bead garland on, and then all done.  When we were young newlyweds and didn't have a tree topper, BFJ suggested putting a bow on top and a ribbon


I'm happy to finally show you some knitting pictures!  I made this Whirligig Shrug back in September or October.  My little friend's mom reads my blog so I didn't want to put it up here before I got a chance to deliver it.  It's the 12-18 month size and she's a petite 14-month-old so it's a little loose but will be perfect for her spring fashions.  Since I didn't get a chance to go right down and deliver this sooner (various people have been sick), I tried it on my niece to see how it was going to fit.  It fit her perfect and it was so quick and fun to make, so I made the 24 month size for her.  I just have the edging left to do.  That's on my list of Christmas projects to finish, and I'm hoping to embroider it but I'm not sure what I'll embroider, what color, and where.  There's not much front to it, so the sleeve or the back?  Then again, I might not have time.  I'll let you know.  Pattern:  Whirligig Shrug by Stephanie Japel

Catching Up

I'm happy to be back to red here at Short Story Long.  Happy December to you!  Just 23 days left until Christmas, you know.  I spent a lot of November working on some projects that left me with mixed emotions.  I was asked to knit some things, and I was flattered that my friend thinks I'm a good knitter, and pleased to be asked.  I was frustrated that I struggled with so many steps.  That was part of the process, finding mistakes, but I like to do things right the first time, especially when it's time consuming.  On the plus side, I learned a lot.  My friend joked that  my FLS would be a piece of cake.  No joke; I wish I had time to knit myself a sweater before Christmas, but I don't know if that will happen.  Anyway, I am left to my own devices, now.  Hurray!  There's a list in my head just waiting for some little check marks.     We had a nice Thanksgiving with BFJ's family, and on Friday we went to Aunt Banana's.  There were 29 people for the par


BFJ told me on Monday that I needed to get out and do something exciting so I could update my blog.  I've had too much going on but no words to aptly describe life, these days.  I have been knitting like mad for a friend, and am still working on that.  (Everything's due next Tuesday!)  And I've had four other people in the house all day every day this week.  It's been nice, but crazy.  What have I been up to besides contract knitting?   One of my little boys requested socks awhile back, so I am trying to knit those in time for Christmas.  I have finished making a couple of Christmas gifts, I have gotten almost all my Christmas shopping done, I've been working on a jigsaw puzzle (I need something to break up the knitting,) and just generally trying to keep up with my housemates.  They are putting together a band.  They've got a great name but I'm not going to tell.  Here's a sneak peek of the group.  (The third fellow has drumsticks but they're fly

Veteran's Day

I've mentioned before that my dad plays Taps at military funerals and other services.  I had the privilege of attending the Ft. Logan Veterans Day service with him today.  I took the opportunity to thank a few of the vets there, and also saw strangers thanking my dad both for playing at the service, and for his military service.  We stopped at Applebee's , who is serving free meals to Vets today, and a gentleman drove through the parking lot in a diesel pick-up.  When he saw my dad, he stopped short, turned off his engine and told my dad thanks.  You know what they say, if you value your freedom, thank a vet.   Here's the group who played Taps today, the youngest bugler is still in high school!

Books and Winter

Just a quick? update on the Book Club front; I don't want to go into long descriptions or give away major plot points, so I'll try to keep them short.  If you want more information, you can read other reviews, or read the books yourself! I did finish The Shack but did not get to the meeting to discuss it as I was very ill that day. I did enjoy this book. One thing I thought was interesting was how it broke through traditional paradigms of religion, like what God "is." I thought the writing was decent; I thought the story was interesting, and I thought the plot was great. I was disappointed that several people chose not to read the book "because of its subject matter." (Presumably religion?)  I should reiterate, it was a fictitious novel. That's not very sporting! One of the reasons I have always wanted to join a book club is to get outside of my comfort zone, my usual authors and subject matter. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I have some handcrafted gifts (knitted and otherwise) that I can't show you, but here are a few items I can!   After discovering that sock blockers are not always easy to find in local shops, I talked my dad into making some for a yarn shop near me.  Aren't these neat?  They are made from a Colorado pine that was destroyed by beetle kill .  Interestingly, the disease  gives the wood this lovely silvery-blue quality.  Normally pine is more yellowish like the stripe in the toe, here.  Beetle kill has claimed over two million trees in Colorado.  We heard a lot about it on the news a few years ago, and one could drive down the highway and see waves of brown in our normally green hillsides.  It is no longer a hot topic and we don't hear it on the news much anymore.  My dad is also making some sock blockers from (non-beetle kill) dead pine which was cleared out to reduce the fire danger to the live trees nearby.  (I don't have pictures of those.)  I told my dad I would

Mmmmm Fall

This past summer I was looking for some salsa ideas but stumbled instead upon a recipe for apple butter.  I've actually never had apple butter before.  I keep seeing apples on sale at the grocery store so finally bought some.  Last night, the boys and I got started on this project.  Of course, as I was skimming the recipe I hadn't noticed the "stir for 1 or 2 hours" part!  I'm glad it didn't actually take longer than an hour to get to the buttery consistency.  We all had some this morning on toast.  Mmm-mmm!  No wonder I like fall.  I made this apple butter with Golden Delicious, per the recipe, but I also bought some Honeycrisp, which my friend Candace has raved about.  She lives a lot closer to the Pacific than I do so maybe they aren't as pricey where she lives.  I was glad to find them on sale, and bought five.  They are delicious, no doubt about it.     Now I have several little jars of apple butter and hope that by Thanksgiving I'll have

Random Review Friday - Great Holiday Baking Book

         Crinkle-Faced Ginger Monsters While we were snowed in yesterday we tried a new cookie recipe.  I am SO happy I found my Great Holiday Baking Book , which had been missing since last December!  This cookbook goes by season or holiday starting with St. Patrick's Day in March and continues through Passover, Easter, Mother's Day, and so on, ending with President's Day in February.  There are recipes from many cultures including Irish, Jewish, Mexican, Christian, and eastern European.  Some holidays have only a few recipes from one culture, like St. Joseph's Day which is an Italian holiday.  Others like Christmas, celebrated by many cultures, have many different recipes.  And how many holiday cookbooks have recipes for April Fool's Day?  Although this book covers baking, there's more than just sweets; there are also traditional baked goods like rolls and breads.  Everything I've made from here has been a hit, and I love the history on the recipes an

and More Snow...

I'm just stopping in here to give you a weather update!  So far this storm, (since Tuesday night) we've gotten 21" at our house.  My dad says he's cleared just over two feet from his driveway this morning, in the mountains.  My husband and I were discussing last night how the "official" Denver weather is measured at Denver International Airport, which is nowhere near Denver, and would only be in the Denver city limits as a technicality, if that.  It's several miles from the city, and over 30 miles from our house.  With the huge difference in terrain over 30 miles in our state, that also creates a huge difference in weather!  Currently the airport is reporting 10".  Well anyway, we're all safe in our little home, with a garage full of firewood, and lots of projects to do.  We didn't get to the castle yesterday, maybe today.  I would like to post pictures of the snow, but without getting out in it, it is really hard to get a picture with any

Snow Pictures

Ducks on the creek, me in the snow and my own WARM wool hat. Tree in my in-laws' front yard. Zoom, melting the snow at Grandma's house.   fence Grandpa's fish pond Watering can!