Saturday, January 22, 2011

One WIP down....

(Here's a post I'm publishing back-dated. It just never happened in January when I initially wrote it)

So. It took me a little over 2 years, but I have finished the Aran Wrap Cardi. Woot!!!

I wore it to work the past 2 days in the -8 degree F weather. It has been the best thing to cuddle up in--early this morning when I had a bit of a fever, and couldn't get rid of the chill, I put it on OVER my fleece bathrobe, and got in bed under the down comforter, with wool handmade socks on, and slept for another couple of hours. Deliciously warm, yes!

I am so happy to have finished that project, now I can devote my creative time to other WIPs! Right now am still working and almost done with the Noro sock-yarn kitchen curtain I have been making! Crazy color for a drab cold winter.

I am basing my new kitchen color on a vase that we received from Edible Arrangements; after all the wonderful fruit was used today in a lovely smoothie, it was washed and will accompany me to the paint store later. I really want that color in my home somewhere, just not sure how the living room gray that is planned will coordinate with that yellow-orange!? I really have to be careful here! I'm thinking just an accent wall under the cupboards when they get raised) will give enough of that happy color to the room. Since my kitchen-living-dining room is all one open area, I don't want to chop it up with colors that don't coordinate. Hmmmm

Well, my LYS closed. What a sad event for the social knitters in my area! Molly has moved on to have more time for her grandchildren, and who can blame her?! Too bad no buyer was found for the store, though. I am sure there will be lots of satellite knitting groups that form from this dissolution. There are other LYS around, but none with the warmth and acceptance of The Gifted Purl. Sigh.

I am proud I could wear my new sweater to the last night of her store--I bought the yarn from her as my first purchase in 2006!

One bonus about this awful cold snap--the sun has been shining full force. Thank you God! I needed to see the sun, it has been a lot of gray overcast and snowing days around here!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Plans for 2011, Plans for the Day

Maui vignette

Ah, the weekend. It has been majorly cozy around here--snowed last night, just a little, and when I picked up milk on the way home, I got a broasted chicken too, ready to serve. That solved dinner easily. My doggie and I loved it :)

Earlier in the week I made a crockpot of split pea soup. It was bubbling along all day while I was at work. It was so piping hot after I walked my dog, I didn't even care that it was not pureed. It was fantastic and warmed me up well! That will be dinner today, too.

I want to try making these too, don't know why sauerkraut sounds so good to me these days, but I had bought a large jar of it at the store that has been sitting in my fridge without being used.

I have been looking on Ravelry, and saw I have 6 WIPs listed as incomplete. This next week I am going to seriously work on getting some of them finished. Two of them are completely done, but just need the loose ends sewn in! It'll be easy to get those off my list!

One that is very easy to finish is a destined for the frog-pile sweater. I finished the body a year ago then realized it is both too big, and the designed neckline overly large. Here I document it B4 I frog:

(someone on Rav made one with a reduced neckline by about 5 inches and it looks much better.) I just don't want to try this pattern again--I restarted about 4 times total. We're done. I can use that gorgeous silk yarn for something better. I love cardigans....

I also have a small pile of mending to do, including mending a pair of shoes! Do any of you have a favorite pair of shoes that have done this to you?!--I was wearing them at work in late August or September, and toward the end of the day, all of a sudden the sole was flapping when I walked! What the?! It has come unglued from the insole! I'm off to the hardware store to find a glue suitable to put that back together. Geez, I've never had to cobble before....

While at the store, I am going to look for citric acid and rennet. The latest issue of Hobby Farm Home has instructions for making your own mozzarella cheese, with good photos. I have always wanted to make my own cheese! If I can find those two ingredients, I should be on a roll!

The local community college always offers jewelry making classes which I want to take this winter. I usually try not to do anything extracurricular in the deep winter b/c I hate driving in the bad weather, but the college is only about 7 minutes from home, so I should take advantage of it!

And finally, the library is going to be starting a writer's group later this month. I have not forced myself to write since NaNoWriMo2009, but I really would like to get in the habit again. I think belonging to a local writer's group would be a good thing! I write fiction and poetry, but it has been a while!

I am going to be repainting my living room, at least one of the bathrooms, and my back room before spring. I have been attuned to color lately, and so here is a photo I snagged from this blog's post, that is from a Pottery Barn catalog:

I want one of my rooms that color, how gorgeous! I really love the black and white accents. Another paint I want to get a hold of is Rustoleum 'Heirloom White' that I saw on a blog where someone repainted an old piano bench. What a lovely color and easy if it is sprayed!! I could use that paint on a myriad of furnishings I want to change. And a third color I LOVE and that may become my next generation green living room is called 'Grazing Field' by Sherwin Williams (see painted dresser here). I am hunting for that color at the hardware store today....My living room has already been 3 different shades of green since we moved in 18 years ago, first a dark forest green, then sage green, then a very light pea green which I am heartily sick of now. If I paint it yet another green, my sofa slipcover and the other furnishings will continue to go with it, and I like that idea. Plus, I love green!

The other option I was thinking about was going with a nice gray or silver color in the living room, that would be very new for me. I love this pic on the Glam Lamb, that room rocks! That's the darkest gray I think I could do, but it is very calming, no?

I have been looking at seed catalogs. I LOVE planning my garden. This year I am going to plant some of those hull-less seed-bearing pumpkins (Snack Jack, SnackFace, etc) to make roasted seeds out of. Yummy! I expect a large harvest of those. I may set up a new garden patch in the back yard to accomodate them--the creeping jenny has been taking over the grass anyway, so I might as well plow it under. Thinking about getting a couple of chickens too, but I have to look into the city rules for that first. (My doggie would love them!)

Check this out: cool idea to make a moroccan style lamp, what a great idea!
And, I love all the brackets for shelves that The Glam Lamb put together!

Happy Happy January to all my blog readers!

Monday, January 3, 2011

To Start the Year

A stuffed hand-sewn holiday decoration I made 27 years ago!

To start the New Year right, here's a sweet video I just found on UnicornPoo:

I like that. How poetic. Being alone is something I love, and I'm not afraid of it. I hope that both my children have received that gift from us, the ability to be alone and be okay with it. I find I NEED it frequently for peace.

Alone, but not lonely.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Color Therapy

New Year's Eve Memories....

I made some Italian Hot Chocolate today, after walking my doggie in the frigid wind-chill. Boy did I need it! It was creamy and good--I added brandy to mine, and warmed up even more :) I served it just like Lex did in the original recipe and it tasted wonderful!

Next I want to try Nutella Hot Chocolate! I never thought to use Nutella that way!

I have been working like a fiend since yesterday, on this:

I uncovered it in one of my WIPs bags. Guess I needed a little Noro color therapy! :) I always seem to need that this time of year!

Here's my favorite new holiday recipe: Oreo Truffles. Need I say more?! These are incredible, and take about 15 minutes to make!


2/3 of a bag of oreo cookies, 35 cookies or so (35 cookies make 35 truffles)
8 oz cream cheese
Chocolate for dipping, white or dark

Pulverize the cookies in a food processor until they are uniformly fine crumbs. Throw in the brick of cheese and process until it forms a ball of chocolate dough. You don't even need to bring the cheese to room temp for this!

Next, use a tiny ice-cream scoop to form about 1 inch balls of the dough, and place each on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Freeze for about 5-7 minutes to firm them up even more.

Melt your dipping chocolate, dip each ball and put back onto the wax-paper lined tray, and put the tray back into the freezer to firm up another 5-7 minutes. Then let sit at room temp--these get better even a couple of days later! YUMMY!

(Only cream cheese could have made Oreos any better!)

While you are sitting around eating bonbons (!) you can play this cute online game called Scarygirl. What a hoot.

WIP countdown:
Tonight I finished a sleeve of the Aran Wrap Cardi while watching the Bears lose to Green Bay. Only 1 sleeve left to go! My goal is to wear this wool sweater in January, so I think that another week ought to do it--I'll take it to work and see what I can get done at lunch hours this week!

Happy knitting y'all!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bring it on!

I'm ready--are you?! Happy New Year!

I feel such a huge sense of relief that 2010 is over! Enough already. Now, in 2011, I feel like the world is my oyster (what a cliche--where'd that come from?!) But then, I always feel hopeful on January 1st....

How about New Year Resolutions? It's corny, but it is my tradition. I think it's a good time to consciously redirect your life. This year I want to:

  • act my faith
  • finish all current knitting WIPs (A list to come....)
  • declutter
  • take better care of myself
  • take time to do things I love
  • take control of my finances
  • update my house
  • get my career upgrades rolling--(I have plans, can't tell ya yet)....

No negatives there, I want 2011 to be as good a year as I can make it. There are many things I can't control, but my reaction to them will determine WHO. I. AM.

May the new year bring joy to you and yours!