Monday, January 31, 2011

A Valentine and a Quilt Top

After such a fun and busy Saturday my creative juices were in high gear for Sunday, so I continued on with Baby Abril's quilt and finished the top:
Hoping to get it sandwiched and quilted today as well as getting the binding on, but I may not get the binding hand sewn as I do want to get to some knitting as well.

I also wanted to have a small little wall hanging for our door.  I have the hearts wall hanging in my header photo in our living room, but I think it's fun to have something on our door as well so you can see it as your leaving.  So I searched around and couldn't find anything small and simple that caught my eye and decided to just do my own thing - this is really stepping out of my comfort zone as I've never done this before.  Anyhow I just took a few scraps and fat quarters I had to create this.

I must say I'm quite pleased with it.  It's very simple and was very quick to put together and CR liked it so it's all good.

It's cooled off around here and is only going to be in the mid-30's for a while.  It was feeling like spring was around the corner until this morning - bummer. 

This week we start our fingerless gloves for the Skacel Trekking Yarn Challenge.  More stuff to learn, hope I'm up for it.  That sock sort of did me in although I've started over and this time around it's going a lot better, however I've yet to do the heel, so we shall stay hopeful and optimistic that it's won't be backwards this time around.

Stay warm, and happy crafting!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Busy Saturday

Wow, what a busy and fun Saturday I have had.  Up early and out to breakfast with friends.  Then off to do a few errands before going to my local knitting shop - Sheeps Clothing, for the fun Shibui Knits Trunk Show.  I've been so excited for this yarn to come into the shop, you see every Monday this Feb. I'll be taking a shawl class using their Silk Cloud (60% kid mohair, 40% silk) yarn and their Baby Alpaca yarn.  You use a strand of each to knit into a gorgeous shawl.  I chose their Wasabi color.  I wish you could feel it - it's so soft and dreamy.
I also bought a couple of their pattern books - oh such gorgeous stuff.  One is Shibui Luxury and one is Shibui Heichi.  I want to make these socks out of the Luxury pattern book:

So I got some Shibui Staccato (65% superwash merino, 30% silk, 5% nylon) to use with some of the Shibui Cloud in this color combination:
Again - I wish you could feel this, it's just gorgeous yarn.  Here's a look at the 2 pattern books I got:

I started a baby quilt for little Abril (that's spanish for April).  Our Nephew and his wife had Abril this past fall and while I made her a cute little baby quilt, I wanted her to also have a pretty quilt to enjoy as she got a little bigger.  It still needs to have the rows sewn together and then an inner and outer border put on, but here is my progress so far - I love the colors.

While I was at the event this afternoon this lovely older lady told me about these really cute small shadow box type frames with broaches in them at this high end gift shop in town.  I thought to myself, hmmm wonder if I could find some frames like that, buy some nice cardstock to put as a back drop and do that with some broaches I have.  One of the broaches is from my Mother-in-Law.  I remember Mabel wearing this broach and CR thinks it may have been her mothers broach.  I was able to find the frames and I've framed Mabel's broach to give to CR's daughter for part of her birthday present.  I hope she thinks it's as special as I think it is.

It's hard to see the etched design on the broach, but it's from England and has a bird flying on it.  It's a very pretty piece.
I have always loved broaches, since I was in my teens - not the typical thing a teen would like, but I liked them so I collected a few here and there from antique shops.  I couldn't tell you where I found this piece, but it's a mosaic pin in the shape of a mandolin(?).  I love it and so I framed it for myself as you can see.

As you can see, busy girls are better girls and have a lot of things to do in the next few weeks.  My sock that you've seen in previous posts isn't going so well.  I went to class last Wednesday only to find out that somehow, and I've no idea how, I was knitting it backwards - what should be on the outside of the heel is on the inside and vice versa.  So I came home feeling totally defeated, despite the words of encouragement from the class and teacher.  I mulled it over for a day and then decided to begin a new sock and learn from the multitude of mistakes I'd made on the first version.  I'm glad to report that while still not totally perfect, it looks much better and is going along a lot easier for me - that said, I'm not to that pesky heel yet.

Stay busy, stay warm and happy crafting!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A BIG Surprise from CR

Yesterday we went to Costco to pick up a few things.  A relatively short list, a quick in and out kind of trip, which is sometimes hard to do if Costco is busy or if we have a long list and they've moved things.  So we enter the store and CR says, oh wait I wanted to go this way, so he turns and starts walking toward the TV section, or so I thought, but what he really had in mind was the cameras.  You see for a couple of years now I've been pining for a Nikon DSLR Camera, with a zoom lens so I could take close up pictures of nature and what have you.  The one I wanted was the D5000, not quite as spiffy as the D90 that my son-in-law raves about, but this one does what I want and I have wanted it bad.  So we go down the aisle, CR says - oh hey is this the camera you wanted, I'm like - yeah (thinking - oh just rub it in) and he picks up the box and puts it in our cart.  For a rare moment in time I was flat speechless.  Then I said to him - what are you doing.  He said to me, you have wanted this so much and you have done such a great job at losing weight, getting your act together and figuring out what works for you, what triggers you to eat and just working on yourself and your health, you deserve a big reward.  Again I was speechless - and this doesn't happen to often let me tell ya.  I was like honey, this is to expensive (although I didn't want to put it back), and really I should lose a lot more than 110 pounds to be deserving of such a reward (and I have 25 more to go - oy vey).  He said nope, you deserve this and so we walked out of the store with this (after paying of course):

And yes I gave him a big old kiss right there by the camera display!!

I also finished an apron for myself.  I think it's pretty cute and I took a close up of the crazy buttons I found for it.  I got the fabric and the buttons at the Center Diamond Quilt Shop in Cannon Beach, OR this past Thanksgiving.  I like how it turned out, but lord it'll be white from flour in no time the way I bake, haha.

Well that's all for the excitement around here.  Now to study up on my new camera, figure out how it all works and go Eagle watching again so I can take some really excellent pictures.

Stay warm, happy sewing and knitting!

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Sock has a Heel

This sock has definitely been a huge challenge for me.  I just finished the heel, full of mistakes I might add, but there it is, a HEEL - hooray.  I'm still not so sure about the method, thankfully there was a 2 part video that I could refer to that helped me out, but still I'd forget what I was supposed to do a time or two.  They call it a short row heel and it uses the wrap and turn.  Well I got the wrap and turn to build the first part of the heel, but the second part, not as clear for me.  It's a learning process, next heel will be much better.  This is what I did to keep busy while my hubby listened to foot ball and made 11 Bean Chicken Soup for dinner.

We are supposed to have a high of 56 degrees today, hard to believe we are so warm while the east coast is so frigidly cold.  I wish the sun was out with the warm temp's, but it's grey and gloomy.  I have such issues with winter and lack of sunshine, it's really starting to get to me - as always.  I've also discovered that I don't tolerate sugar alcohols in my advanced age.  I have to be careful of sugar grams since my weight loss surgery, so I try to find things with splenda, or low sugar grams.  Well I recently bought a sugar free Pillsbury mix for brownies and some sugar free frosting.  Both have splenda, but also sugar alcohols and just a little bit darn near kills me with gas pain to the point that I couldn't sleep one night I hurt so bad.  It's like having a heart attack from gas.  Do any of you have issues with sugar alcohols?  Just curious. 

Stay warm where ever you are!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Sock Update

Last night I started to knit the heel of my sock.  It's not the best looking sock in town, but here's what I decided.  I've only done a scarf and a few dish clothes and just started learning in November and I'm doing a sock already, with a twisted cable and reading a pattern and now a heel - well perfection is not what I'm striving for, learning is what I'm focused on, so I'm allowing myself mistakes without guilt.  I have learned to pick out mistakes and go back, but slipped stitches still elude me.  Here is a picture of my sock - I had 2 more cables in before I started the heel, so it looks short in this picture.

I've also been busy in my sewing room and made a few aprons.  Here are two that I recently sent to the ladies who host the great videos on  They do cooking segments and I thought it would be fun to make them aprons.  If they prefer not to use them that's okay too, just wanted to do a little something for them for all the great information the give out.

And last, but not least, I got a new pair of glasses.  I hate picking out glasses and I never think they look good on me, but these, black frames, have gotten me several compliments.  I guess they look okay, what I know for sure is they are very light weight and very comfortable.

It's cold and grey and windy here today, but not as cold as other areas of the country so I shouldn't complain.  And we don't have snow and bad roads to contend with so we are lucky in that as well.  I did have an epidural in L4 of my lower back today and thankfully it is giving me relief - or perhaps that is the numbing agent they use before the cortisone, whatever it is, it's working and I'm not having spasms.

Hugs Your Way!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I need ideas, and a recipe I think you'll like!

Hello Friends and Readers.

I was recently cleaning out the closet in my sewing room - I actually use it for a pantry and a place for coats, rather than to store fabric, you see my kitchen is rather small and I don't have a lot of cupboard space.  Anyhow when cleaning out the shelves at the top of the closet, I found some wonderful and adorable tea towels that were embroidered years and years ago by a lady that was 101 years old.  She originally embroidered them for someone in my family in the 50's, and when I moved out and into my first apartment, they were given to me, well I never used them because they were so cute and I didn't want to ruin them.  I forgot all about them until I cleaned out some storage boxes.  So............. I'm wondering if they wouldn't be cute to put in a quilt as embroidered blocks and using reproduction fabrics.  Would that be a good use for them?  Or would it be wrong to cut them up and use them as quilt blocks?  For you quilters - what do you think, how would you use them??  I'm afraid to wash them even at this point, so any and all advice and ideas would be appreciated.  Here they are, Monday through Sunday:

Now for the recipe.  If you like peanut butter and are gluten intolerant or sugar intolerant these are so good and so easy.  The recipe makes about 40 cookies:

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
1 egg
1 cup sugar (or splenda) - I use splenda
1 & 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Mix the ingredients together, and drop on to a cookie sheet - I use a regular teaspoon from my silverware and drop abut 2/3's of the teaspoon onto the baking sheet.  The oven should be warmed up to 375 degrees and I bake them for 9 minutes for the size I bake.  If you want them bigger you'll have to bake them longer.  Some people roll them into balls, I don't bother with that cuz the PB is to sticky in my opinion.

Here's the stats on 1 cookie:  59 calories, 5 fat grams, 3 carbs, .6 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 2.6 grams of protein (I used Sparkpeople recipe calculator to figure this out).

And here is a picture of the yummy goodness:

CR LOVES, LOVES, LOVES peanut butter and he is wild for these cookies and the fact that they're not bad for calories and something we both can eat/enjoy in moderation.

Happy Baking.................

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Eagle Watching

I tried to post this yesterday and deleted it somehow - I was so discouraged I figured I'd wait till today and try again. 

Yesterday CR and I went to a local park where the Snake and Columbia Rivers meet to do some Eagle watching.  We counted about 15 of them and I got a few pictures too.  It was a grey, frigid day and I don't have a super zoom camera, so my pictures aren't as good as they could be - I reminded CR that they'd be better if I had the camera I really wanted.  I'm guessing by the look on his face I was pushing my luck on that subject, haha.  Anyhow some of the eagles were young and hadn't developed their white hoods - guess that doesn't happen till they're around 5.  But they were so beautiful and hearing their distinctive cries was just thrilling.

Near the park we went to is the Port of Pasco and Lampson has a huge yard there where they have their cranes, etc.  So we stopped so I could take a picture of their Transi-lift Crane.  This bad boy is huge.  The first one I saw was when I was in my early 20's working at a construction site for a nuclear power plant which was later mothballed and never completed.  The Transi-lift was used to lift the dome top onto the containment building. 

I was also lucky enough to snap a couple pictures of Chanceman doing his "shower inspector" job yesterday morning.  Chance has appointed himself as the chief shower inspector to his Dad and therefore every morning perches on top of the shower doors and watches CR shower.  He doesn't do this for me - just his Dad, evidently CR doesn't get clean if he's not watched, haha.  Anyhow I end up having to wipe the ceiling down for all the cat hair above the shower door. 

Chanceman had his yearly check up this morning and got his shots at the vet.  He's 7 years old and this morning was quite peeved about it all - it was frigid outside and he was not amused by the cold.  He loves the sun and if it's not shining so he can lay in the rays coming in the house, he will lay on a table under a lamp or on top of the dryer to get and keep warm.  Well he got cold so when he got to the vet he was sporting an attitude and was not the usual good boy he typically is.  All is well now, he's been curled up on my recliner all day and sleeping and staying warm and is full of love tonight.

Stay warm and hugs your way!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Learning to Knit Socks

Skacel Yarns is sponsoring a 20 years of  Zitron Trekking Sock Yarn Knit Along featuring Michelle Hunter of Knit Purl Hunter.  So my local knitting shop - Sheeps Clothing is having the knit along every Wednesday evening.  This month features their Susanne yarn and we're making toe up socks.  Now I'm new to knitting and I was a bit scared to take this on, but it's quite easy once you get the cast on part down.  There are prizes to win each month and at the end of the 6 months there is a grand prize as well.  So not only am I learning to knit socks, but I might win a prize too - wouldn't that be fun!!

Here is a couple pictures of my progress so far - it's not a lot, but it's coming along nicely.

And not to worry - I'm still having fun with my quilting too.  I've got quite a few things in the half done stages in my sewing room that I'll show you later!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What did you do today.....

Happy New Years Everyone.

Decided to shower and put a clean pair of PJ's on today, no makeup, and head into my sewing room to accomplish a few things.  So what did I accomplish on the first day of the new year - I made a new valance for my Kitchen window (got the fabric on sale for 3.99 a yard - it's by Maywood), then I cut out 5 aprons and a purse which I'll get busy and sew tomorrow and Monday.  After that, I really have to get busy on the quilt for our bed which was started last winter and is still sitting there shaming me that it's not done yet.

Here's the valance - hope you had a great New Years day too.