Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Since My Last Post....

...I've turned 37. My dad gave me a stunning pair of pearl and diamond earrings. My kids and hubby made me a lovely supper! :)

...I've been to a baby shower where I gave one of the star afghans away and made two bibs-o-love and two burp cloths (Mason-Dixon Knitting) and received a very mediocre reaction from it all. Disappointing.

...Traveled to Michigan for a conference, only to find out when we got there that Dad had booked us one day short of how long we needed to be there....and we missed the last meeting of the conference. I was disappointed.

...Spent every waking moment practicing the kid's/teens/adults Christmas Program in my head. I wrote it again this year. The performance was this last Sunday. I thought they did a terrific job and Sam (my co-coordinator) said that lots of people really enjoyed it. She let me know that I only have to write it from now on and she'll take care of the choreography and getting everything ready. *whew, thank god for small miracles*

...I've done all my shopping for Christmas online, except for a few things I have to pick up this weekend. I am beyond stoked for Christmas. It is THE best time of year. Theoretically, I love to bake and decorate and have parties and all this stuff. My house is so small and in such a state of 'ripped apart' I couldn't have a party here if I wanted to. I just mentioned that to Tony the other night.."Remember all the Christmas parties we used to have?". *sigh* Those were the days. And as for the baking and decorating? Yeah. Who has that much time? Someday, I am promising myself this now, I WILL have an awesomely decorated house AND tons of baked goods to give away. I WILL!

...The yarn store has been blessed abundantly. God just keeps us going even during economic hardship. Some how, some way, the money is always there to pay the bills. And we've expanded. We've added the full line of DMC embroidery thread, Buttons, Ribbon, Fiberfill and Sewing thread to the store. While some people would read this and think "In a yarn store?", you have to understand that we are an hour away from anything big or good, 20 minutes from anything else. And its not an hour like in the city, where you might drive for a while to get to a specific store...No, this is an hour of nothing but trees, snow, deer and stupid drivers. So to be able to avoid driving anywhere but your local town is a blessing and a necessity.

...Speaking of snow. It's been -10 to -25 this whole week. Plus about 6 or so inches of snow. Yay. One day it rained, just for something different to do. Then it froze and plummeted to -10 without a windchill. It's been fun ever since.

...I've been so busy knitting and trying to complete things that it hadn't occurred to me to take pictures. Then one day I thought, "Hey, I should take some pictures so I can post them on my blog!! I mean, my gosh, I haven't posted in such a long time, cuz I've been really busy.", and my camera said 'low battery' and wouldn't take the picture. So I walk over to the drawer that holds the large packages of batteries that I purchased last month so I could grab two regular batteries to hold me over till my rechargeables are, yeah, my daughter apparently thought that she should burn through the entire package by taking LOTS of pictures and videos with HER camera. And by LOTS of pictures I mean, 25 of the dog in every conceivable pose, 10-15 of her cousin Bekah, at least as many of her brother and his friends, and about 75 of her cousin Jake, who are ALL cute, but not worth my entire package of batteries.

So still no batteries and still no pictures for you.

...Here's a rundown of what I've gotten done.
1- Kody's Christmas blanket (not posted because there need to be at least a FEW secrets, right Amy??)
2- 5 hats/mittens. One more hat to go.
3- 2 prs slippers, started another pair
4- 3/4 of Kyle's Christmas blanket (also not posted for the same reason as the other one. )
5- Ball ban dishcloths (they are just a staple)
6- 2 baby bibs-o-love and 2 burp cloths
Huh, that just doesn't look on paper like, as much as it feels like in person.

I'm sure I've gotten other things done...and maybe I haven't...but it sure feels like I've gotten more done.

Ok, other than that I don't know where the last half of November and all of December has gone. I really don't. And I apologize for not posting before this. I'll try not to let it happen again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fantasy Castle with Characters

This pattern would be easy enough to adapt for boys or girls.

**Disclaimer- This pattern has only been tested by me. If you find inconsistencies in the pattern, please let me know! Also, I had some issues with Blogger putting this pattern on, so if it is missing me.***

**If you are worried about assembly, a Word Document picture tutorial for assembly is available if you email me.**

Fantasy Castle with Characters
by Elizabeth Mareno 2008

Skill level: Intermediate

Materials:Castle Yarn: 6 0z Heather Grey (used red heart super saver)
approx 4 oz Delft Blue or color of choice for building (used red heart super saver)
Small bit of black
Large eye needle for assembly
Safety pin or stitch marker
G hook
N hook
1- regular sheet of plastic canvas, color doesn't matter.

Character Yarn: Small amounts of Off-White or other skin color, White, Watermelon (pink), Limelight (green), Black, Lavender (orchid), Yellow/Gold (Lemon), Light blue (or other eye color), Red for lips, Rust brown for saddle and princes hair. (All character yarn was Caron Simply Soft and Simply Soft Brites)
Small bits of novelty yarn for embellishments.
Large eye needle for assembly
F hook

***Do not join rounds unless specified***

Castle Bottom: with grey and G hook, ch 2
(RS) 1- 6sc in 2nd ch from hook, do not join. (6)
2- 2sc in each sc around. mark the first sc of each row to help keep track(12)
3- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) around, (18)
4- (sc in 2sc, 2sc in next) around, (24)
5- (sc in 3sc, 2sc in next) around, (30)
6- (sc in 4sc, 2sc in next) around (36)
7- (sc in 5sc, 2sc in next) around (42)
8- (sc in 6sc, 2sc in next) around (48)
9- (sc in 7sc, 2sc in next) around (54)
10- (sc in 8sc, 2sc in next) around (60)
**At this point, cut a piece of plastic canvas to fit in the bottom of the base. Set aside.**
11- BLO (back loops only), sc around, JOIN with sl st to 1st sc. (60)
(WS)12- ch1, turn, in both loops sc in 1sc, (trc, sc in 3) 14 times, trc, sc in last 2sc (15trc) join. (be sure to push trc to RS of work, these will create bobbles)
13- ch1, turn, sc in each trc and sc around, join, (60)
14- ch1, turn, sc in 3sc, (trc, sc in 3) 14 times, trc in last sc, join. (trc bobbles should be staggered at this point in the pattern)
15- Rep row 13
16- Rep row 14
17- Rep row 13
18- Rep row 14
(RS)19- Rep row 13 (should be 4 rows of trc bobbles now)
20- do not turn, ch1, sc around, join. (60)
21- BLO, (sc in 8, dec) around, join (54)
22- Both loops, (sc in 7, dec) around, join (48)
23- (sc in 6, dec) around, join (42)
24- (sc in 5, dec) around, join (36)
25- (sc in 4, dec) around, join (30)
26- (sc in 3, dec) around, join (24) Put plastic canvas base in place and STUFF.
27- (sc in 2, dec) around, join (18)
28- (sc in 1, dec) around, join (12)
29- (sc dec) around, join (6)
CUT, Leave a long end for sewing, weave through last 6 sc and pull tight. Weave in ends.

BODY: with blue or body color, join to open rounds of row 21 with sc.
(RS)1- sc in each loop. join(60)
2- ch1, sc in 52 sc (52)
3-12- ch1, turn, sc in each sc.
13- ch1, turn, 2sc in 1st sc (increase made), sc in 50, increase in last sc.(54) do not join.
14-16- Repeat row 13 ending with 60sc on RS row.
17- do not turn, begin working in rounds again. sc in 1st sc of row 16(mark st) and each sc (60)18-24- sc in each sc around, moving marker to the first sc of the row as you go.
25- sc in 59, switch to grey, drop body color, sc in last sc, don't cut body color, crochet it in behind work.
26- with grey, sc in 3, switch to body color, drop grey, don't cut it, sc in 56, switch to grey(carry it over behind work), sc in last sc.
27-Repeat row 26
28- with grey, sc in 3, switch to body color, sc in 55, 2sc in next sc, switch to grey, sc dec over last sc and 1st of next row.
29-with grey, dec over 2sc, switch to body color, 2sc in next sc, sc in 56, do not swith to grey, cut grey.
30- with body color, sc in each sc, join and cut leaving an end to weave in.

**slip stitch a trim around door and window with grey

**Cut two pieces of plastic canvas about 10 squares wide and the length of the body. Whipstitch yarn all the way around the edges of the plastic canvas, then sew them into place on the sides of the building. The purpose of the yarn around the edges is to keep little hands from getting scraped by the plastic, and the toys from being snagged. The purpose of the plastic canvas is to add stability so that it stands on its own.

TOP: with grey, working from bottom to top. ch2
(WS) 1-10- Repeat bottom. (60) use stitch marker
11-12- FLO (front loop only) sc in each.
13-15- both loops, sc in each around.
16- (sc in 8, dec) around (54)
17 and all odd rows- sc around
18- (sc in 7, dec) around. (48)
20- (sc in 6, dec) around. (42)
22- (sc in 5, dec) around. (36)
24- (sc in 4, dec) around. (30) start stuffing
26- (sc in 3, dec) around. (24)
28- (sc in 2, dec) around. (18)
30- (sc in 1, dec) around. (12)
32- (sc dec) around. (6)
34- (sc dec) three times (3)
Cut, sew closed, weave ends.
**Sl st top to body using open loops on row 11. Leave row 12 open loops open.

ROOF TRIM: Using grey and loops on 12, join with sl st to any open loops with top point facing you.
1- ch1, sc in each loop, join with 1st sc. (60)
2- ch3, (2dc, ch1, 3dc) in join, [sk 2sc, sc in next, sk 2sc, (3dc, ch1, 3dc) in next sc] around to last 5 sc, sc 2sc, sc in next, sk 2 sc, join with sl st to top ch of ch3, finish off and weave in ends.

DOOR: with grey, make 2 pieces. ch13
1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch. (12)
2-12- ch1, turn, sc in each.
13- ch1, turn, sc dec, sc in 8, dec (10)
14-16- repeat decrease pattern of row 13 until you have 4sc. do not cut at the end of row 16
17- going around the outer edge, 2sc in top corner, sc in each row end down side, 3sc in bottom corner, sc in each ch across the bottom, 3sc in next bottom corner, sc in row ends to next top corner, 2sc in top corner, sc in each sc across, join with 1st sc. (53)

**Cut a piece of plastic canvas to fit in between door pieces. Then assemble wrong sides together with plastic canvas in between working a whipstitch all the way around.
**DRAW BRIDGE RINGS: ch3, join, 10sc in center hole,join, finish off and sew on to the curved part of the door.
**DRAW BRIDGE CHAIN: with grey and black and N hook, ch60. String through the holes, the building, and back through the other hole. Make large knots to keep the string from pulling out of the rings.

STRAP: with body color
1- ch8, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each across. (7)
2-50- ch1, turn, sc in each sc.
Cut, Leave long end for assembly.
Sew strap to side. You are done with the castle.

PRINCESS: Using F hook and off white or other skin color, ch2
1- 6sc in 2nd ch from hook (6)
2- 2sc in each (12)
3- (sc in 1, 2sc in next) around (18)
4-8- sc in each.
9- sc dec around. (9) Stuff
10- (sc in 1, sc dec) around (6)
11- sc in each
12-2sc in each (12)
13- Change to dress color, (sc in 1, 2sc in next) around (18)
14-18sc in each.
19- BLO, sc in each
20-21- both loops, sc in each.
22- (sc in 1, sc dec) around (12) Stuff
23- (dec) around. (6) sl st to join, finish off, weave end tightening up bottom.

SKIRT: with dress color, in open loops of round 19 of body, join with sl st.
1- ch4, 2trc in sm sp, 3 trc in each loop around, join. (54)
2- ch4, trc in each, join.
3- ch4, trc in sm sp, 2 trc in each sp, join. (108)
4- ch1, sc in 1st st, (ch3, sk 1st, sc in next st)around, join. Finish off.

LEGS: make 2, don't stuff.
with black ch2
1- 6 sc in 2nd ch. (6)
2- 2sc in each. (12)
3- sc in 4, sc dec twice, sc in 4, (10)
4- sc in 4, sc dec, sc in 4 (9) change to skin tone.
5-13- sc in each.
Finish off. sew to bottom

ARMS: make 2, don't stuff.
with skin tone, ch2
1- 6sc in 2nd ch. (6)
2-3- sc in each. Change to dress color
4-10- sc in each.
Finish off, sew to body at row 12. Embellish dress with novelty yarn.

HAIR: with hair color
**join at row 2 around post of sc to side of face with a sl st. ch9, 3sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch to the last ch, sc in last ch. (first curl)
**sl st around the next post and repeat curl.
**sl st around the next two posts and repeat curl pattern. (2 curls, space, 2 curls) you may need to go one extra space and curl to make it even. then sl st across front of head to make 'bangs'.

HAT: with dress color, ch2
1- 4sc in 2nd ch from hook. (4)
2- sc in each
3- 2sc in each. (8)
4- sc in each
5- (sc in 1, 2sc in next) around (12)
6- sc in each
7- (sc in 2, 2sc in next) around (16)
8- sc in each
9-12- sc in each.
Cut, leave a long end for sewing to head. Stuff lightly and whipstitch around the bald spot on the princess head.

**Embroider face.

Repeat body as for princess, using shirt color and changing to pants color @ row 19. Eliminate the skirt.
Repeat legs and arms as for princess, using pants and shirt colors.
BELT: with gold/yellow, ch18, sew on around row 19.
HAIR: Embroider on using long stitch from front to back.
CROWN: ch14, join with sl st to make a ring, sl st in 4 ch, sc in next, hdc in next, dc in next, hdc in next, sc in next, sl st in 4, join, cut and sew on top of hair.
Embroider face on like princess.
Embellish the top of his shirt with faux fur trim or something brown and manly looking.

STEED: starting at the nose with white, ch2.
1- 5sc in 2nd ch from hook. (5)
2- 2sc in each (10)
3-5- sc in each
6- (sc in 1, 2sc in next) 3 times, sc in 4 (13)
7-10- sc in each
11- (sc in 1, dec) 4 times, sc in last (9) Stuff
12- (dec) 4 times, sc in last (5)
Cut and sew closed, set aside.
Embroider eyes and nostrils with black.

NECK: with white, ch9, join to make a circle, don't twist it.
1- ch1, sc in each ch, join (9)
2-7- ch1, sc in each sc, join
Cut, sew to head with eyes on top @ rows 10-12.

EARS: with white, ch3
1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and next (2)
2- ch1, turn, sc in 1st sc, 2 sc in next. (3)
Cut and sew to head with a slight curve.

BODY: with white ch2
1- 6sc in 2nd ch from hook. (6)
2- 2sc in each. (12)
3- (sc in 1, 2sc in next) around (18)
4- (sc in 2, 2sc in next) around (24)
5-17- sc in each
18- (sc in 2, dec) around (18)
19- (sc in 1, dec) around (12) STUFF
20- (dec) around (6)
Cut, leave long end, Weave ends pulling closed like the prince and princess.

**Sew head and neck to body on begin side of body, leave the closing end for the tail.

LEGS: Do not stuff, make 4
with black, ch2
1- 6sc in 2nd ch (6)
2-3- sc in each, change to white at end of row 3
4-10- sc in each
11- 2sc in each,
Cut and sew on to the body at the 'shoulder' areas of the body. It's ok if the fluted pieces of the legs overlap a little. The horse will stand on its own.

MANE & TAIL: Cut 4" pcs and latch hook them around sc posts on the neck. Put as much or as little as you like. Cut 4-5/6" pcs for the tail and fold over and latch hook to the butt.
Embroider bridle on with brown yarn, leaving long pieces on both sides of the mouth for reins.

SADDLE: with brown, ch4
1- sc in 2nd ch and next 2 (3)
2- ch1, turn, 2sc in 1st sc, sc in next, 2sc in last (5)
3- ch1, turn, 2sc in 1st sc, sc in next 3, 2sc in last (7)
4-6- ch1, turn, sc in each
(WS)7- ch1, turn, sc in 1, trc in next (push to RS, saddle horn), sc in rem sc.
8-10- ch1, turn, sc in each
11- ch1, turn, dec, sc in 3, dec (5)
12- ch1, turn, dec, scin 1, dec (3)
13- ch1, turn, sc in 3 (3)
Cut off, leave a long end for sewing to horses body.
STIRRUPS: before sewing to the body, attach w/ a sl st to the middle sc on one 3sc end, ch10, sl st in 6th ch from hook and next 3. Finish off and weave ends. Repeat for second side.
**Sew the saddle on, making sure the saddle horn lines up with the middle of the horses neck.

DRAGON: with green, ch2
1- 6sc in 2nd ch from hook, (6)
2- 2sc in each (12)
3- (sc in 1, 2sc in next) around (18)
4- (sc in 2, 2sc in next) around (24)
5- (sc in 3, 2sc in next) around (30)
6-11- sc in each around
12- (sc in 3, dec) around (24)
13- sc in each
14- (sc in 2, dec) around (18)
15-18 sc in each.
19- (sc in 1, dec) around (12) Stuff firmly
20- (dec) around (6)
Cut, leaving long end. Sew end closed.

DRAGONHEAD: with green, ch2
1-2- Repeat as for body
3-7- sc in each
8- sc in 4, 2sc in next, sc in 2, 2sc in next, sc in 4 (14)
9- sc in each
10- sc in 4, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 2, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 4 (18)
11- scin 8, dec, scin 8 (17)
12- sc in 4, dec, sc in 5, dec, sc in 4 (15)
13- ch1, turn, sc in 12, leave 3 undone. (12)
14- ch1, turn, sc in 4, dec twice, sc in 4 (10)
15- ch 1, turn, sc in 3, dec twice, sc in 3 (8)
16- ch1, turn, sc in 2, dec twice, sc in 2 (6)
17-ch1, turn, dec 3 times (3)
18- ch1, turn, work on row ends and rem sc, sc 16 sc around, do not join, begin working in rounds again, mark 1st sc of last row.
19-22- sc in each.
Cut, leave a long end for sewing to body. Stuff firmly.

MOUTH: with green, ch4
1- sc in 2nd ch and next 2 (3)
2- ch1, turn, sc dec, sc in last (2)
3- ch1, turn, sc dec. sc around row ends and open sc, 3 sc in corners.
Cut, leave a long end for assembly.

TONGUE: with red, ch3
1- sc in 2nd ch and next (2)
2-4- ch1, turn, sc in each
5- ch3, sl st in sm sp, sl st in next sp, ch3, sl st in sm sp, Finish off.
CUt, and sew on to the 3sc end of mouth without the red showing through on the bottom of the jaw.

EARS: make 2 with green, ch4
1- sc in 2nd ch and next 2 (3)
2- ch1, turn, sc
3- ch1, turn, sc dec, sc (2)
4- ch1, turn, sc dec (1)
Edge with sc in each row end and 3sc in each corner. Sew to head with wide part to the bottom and curve ear slightly.


TAIL: with green, ch2
1-4sc in 2nd ch (4)
2- sc in each (make sure that the tail is right side out before continuing)
3- sc in each
4- (sc in 1, 2sc in next ) twice (6)
5 and all odd rows- sc
6- (sc in 1, 2sc in next) 3 times (9)
8- (sc in 1, 2sc in next) 4 times, sc in last (13)
10- (sc in 1, 2sc in next) 6 times, sc in last (19)
12- (sc in 1, 2sc in next) 9 times, sc in last (28)
13- sc in each.
Cut, leave end for sewing. Stuff lightly and sew to butt. Finish stuffing firmly before sewing completely closed.

BOTTOM FEET: with green, make 2, ch2
1- 6sc in 2nd ch (6)
2- 2 scin each (12)
3- BLO, sc in 4, (sl st in next, ch3, sl st in sm sp) 4 times, sc in 4 (8sc, 4 toes)
4- both loops, sc in 4, from behind sc in same 4 loops as toes, sc in 4 (12)
5-6- sc in each, join.
Cut, stuff and sew to bottom.

TOP FEET: with green, make 2, ch2
1- Repeat row 1 of bottom feet
2-BLO, sc in 1, (sl st in next, ch3, sl st in sm sp) 3 times, sc in 2. (3sc, 3toes)
3- in both loops, sc in 1, from behind sc in same 3 loops as toes, sc in 2 (6 sc)
4-5- sc in each.
Cut, don't stuff, sew on.

BACK SPIKE: with green, ch26
1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and each (25)
2- ch1, turn, (sc in 1, ch3, sc in next, ch4) repeat, join.
Cut, sew on to back starting between ears and ending at the tip of the tail.

WINGS: Make 2
1- ch3, 2dc in 1st ch. (3) This is the tip
2- ch3, turn, dc in sm sp and next 2dc (4)
3- ch3, turn, sc in 2nd ch from hook and next ch and dc across (6)
4- ch1, turn, sc in each. Outline around with sc , put 3 sc in tip.
Cut, leave long end, sew onto back shoulders equally spaced from spine and tail.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Coming Tomorrow!!!

New for you! The pattern for the Princess Castle with Characters!!

Yay! It only took me a year to get ready to post it!!

More FO's

Finally, the pictures of the finished Palin Socks for my mom. These were completed VERY late on November 3rd. So I was able to give them to my mom to wear to the polls for her 61st birthday. She loved them. :)

Here is my mom's sexy display. Ya gotta love mom's. :)

Close-up of stitches. First pair of lace socks. Not sure I'll make them again any time soon.

Some FO's.

First up. Slippers. Made them for charity, then found out I made the wrong 'kind' of slipper for this particular I donated them to my husband, who has never gotten a pair of slippers from me..*shock*

You can get this pattern here.

Next up, some more ballband dishcloths. The blue one I made with 1/2 cotton yarn and 1/2 acrylic yarn. The purpose behind that was to create sort of a 'scrubbie' dishcloth. I like the abrasiveness of acrylic for scrubbies. The pink one was the ultimate 'use up your leftovers' dishcloth. I ran out of yarn 4 times making this one...hence the multicolors.

This pattern is in the first Mason-Dixon Knitting book, which is a reeeeaaallly good book that you have to buy OR at the Elmore-Pisgah website for free, since they are the ones that invented it. :) You pick.

Since finishing these items, I have also finished knitting: two pairs of mittens, a neck warmer, a hat, working on another hat, 2 bibs (Baby Bibs O Love, MDK book), 1 burp cloth (same book), working on another burp cloth..hoping to make another bib and burp cloth after that before Friday this week. I have finished crocheting: A princess castle with characters. Yay!

Um...You're a Little Early!!

My Christmas Cactus.

Last Week.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Inside My Devotions

Well, this morning during my devotional time I came across this scripture. I thought that it was quite relevant to our current economic crisis.

Proverbs 21:6 NKJV- "The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death."

All those people that have dipped their fingers into the public coffers will have to answer someday for their actions. I believe that they will have to answer here on earth, as well as, when they stand before Judgement. Those that deny God and steal from the people will get theirs in the end. I don't have to be afraid of the future, because God is my source, not the world's economy. He has never seen the righteous forsaken, nor their seed begging bread (psalm 37:23-27). I am expecting God to give me all manner of witty inventions to succeed and live through this economic crisis. I, also, don't have to judge or think badly of these people. Because, if I judge them, God won't. Also, if I judge their sin, I will stand judged for the same sin. Judge not, lest you be judged. Same reason televangelists and preachers that step beyond preaching the Word of God (for reproof, rebuke, and edification of the saints), to judging those that are in sin as though they are lesser people, end up being caught doing the same thing and ruined publicly.

Repentence should be the order of the day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Have A Pet Peeve....

....and it's name is hypocrisy.

I have a cute little yarn shop in the downtown of my city. Next door to me is an alternative religion store that I and my family have nicknamed "The Ching-Ching Store". There are days that we can hear them 'drumming' for peace through the walls (brick walls). The people that work there have all manor of eco-friendly, men-hating, i'm a goddess, leaf-licking, tree-hugging bumper stickers on their cars. They have psychic readings and meditation and healing stones and organic pork (raised on the owners farm, which I have heard people commenting, as they pass my store's open door in the summer, on how they can't believe they sell meat in that store. *gasp*), etc. They, also, have the audacity to have a sign on their doors that reads: "Limited hours due to the Bush/Cheney depression". No lie.

So we share a 'yard' in the back of our stores. Here's where the hypocrisy begins. The people that own the store rent the upstairs apartment. There is a dumpster in the back yard used by both the store and the apartment. However, it gets very full and their garbage falls out and wafts over to my yard. Empty cigarette packs, empty sport drink bottles, cardboard box pieces, various other pieces of garbage, etc. You get the idea. It never gets picked up unless I pick it up. They, also, never cut their small swatch of grass all summer. Not that that is environmentally just looks so sloppy. The fence around their A/C unit is all a shambles...they just do not take care of anything.

How are they so enlightened? How are they so environmentally friendly when their yard looks like this? Remember, I get to share the mess, since part of this is my yard too. I'm honestly waiting to see if they pick it up. If not, I'll have to clean it, as usual.

Total hypocrisy. It's trendy to be enviro-conscious. But, when it comes down to brass tacks and the rubber meets the road. How many of them really are?

I don't label myself. I just live it. I, even in my ultra-conservative/non-liberal/non-bandwagon jumping/live for only ONE God instead of many lifestyle, know how to pick up trash.

It's called stewardship.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Holy Freakin' Cold, Batman

Yep, you heard me.

It's freakin' cold here! My grass was actually crunchy this morning.

I'm not ready for everything to be white.

Lovin' the frost accumulation on my clotheslines.

I was able to get all these lovely pictures whilst I was waiting for "Sir Sniffs-a-lot" to get done doing his business. Meanwhile my toes were frost-bitten. Thank you very much.

The longer I live here, the more I hate winter.

*Oh God, please move me somewhere warm.*

Homeschool Group Fieldtrip: Cranberry Bogs

Welcome to our homeschool group's fieldtrip. We did this about two weeks ago, but I'm a slacker and I'm late getting the pictures up.

Here we have a long shot from where we were parked. We walked the road over to where they were harvesting the cranberries. The open water is bogs that have been harvested already. The fields themselves look green/brown like the ones off in a distance in the picture. When the cranberries are ready to be harvested they flood the bog and a machine is run through the plants to pick the berries off the vine. Any that are not good will sink. Only the good cranberries float to the top for harvesting.

There is a very strong suction hose in the water with the cranberries. The men working continually push the cranberries towards the suction hose. They are then pushed up a conveyer belt through a machine that seperates the bog water and the cranberries. The cranberries are then loaded into a truck that will carry them back to the plant. This truck was almost done and another one was ready to take its place. At the time that we were there, they were harvesting about 9-10 trucks this size out of each bog.

Here we have Teo and his little possy: Trent, Anthony and Bryce. They are 3 of the youngest boys out of 8. Their family also has 1 daughter, she's the oldest. Notice the bogs waiting to be harvested in the back ground??

Here we have Stef with her friend Amy (she's the fourth oldest of 8 kids).

Here is another shot of the same bog being harvested from the last pictures. The men are dragging and pushing the cranberries towards the suction hose that you see to the left. The line going through the cranberries is the floatation part of the 'boom'. Which is what they place in the water to gather all the cranberries to the harvesting end of the bog. The water was about 40 degrees that morning, according to the guys.

The trucks then drive the cranberries to this holding tank and dump them in. Literally. They were very cautious about kids standing up on the edge, because if they fell in, they would drown. This holding tank is 12 feet deep and the cranberries are all floating on the top. The pressure and weight of the cranberries would hold someone under. But, OMGosh...that's like 6 feet deep in cranberries!

Then they travel from the holding tank to this conveyer system (which is REALLY LOUD) and pressure washed and seperated. Then they are conveyed once again into the back end of a semi-truck and away they go. They are driven that day to a factory several hours away. And these guys make about 2 runs a day like that. Crazy.

The particular cranberries that are harvested at this farm all go to the Ocean Spray company. These are all going to be made into craisins. :)

Cool huh?

Fruit Pizza

OK. Talk about being a "Pokey Jones"! I promised you this recipe back in March!! So sorry.

Pictures first, then recipe.

Fruit Pizza

1-1/2 cup butter
3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar

Mix, put in a jelly roll pan. Bake @ 350 degrees until brown. Let cool.

2-8 oz cream cheese (softened)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar

Blend and spread on cooled crust.

Arrange any combination of fruits: apples, strawberries, grapes, mandarin oranges, bananas, etc. on top of cream cheese mixture.

4 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup sugar
2 cups pineapple juice
2 tsp lemon juice

Cook until thickened. Pour over fruit. Cover all fruit.

I. Heart. Fruit. Pizza. Passionately.

Corn Tortilla Recipe

Here's the corn tortilla recipe I promised awhile ago. It and I are finally in the same place at the same time.

Corn Tortilla's

1-1/2 C AP Flour
3/4 C Cornmeal (Fine or Coarse depending on the 'grit' you want)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 egg
2-1/4 C Very Cold Water

Beat till smooth.
Heat griddle @ 350 degrees
Ladle out 3 Tbsp of batter onto griddle and quickly spread out to about 6".
Turn when the edges are dry, not brown.
Place on a paper towel to cool.

**My experience with these was the the middle looked too gooey to turn, but the edges were dry. Don't pay attention to the middles, they will cook after you flip them. Some of them I overcooked, some of them were just right. They will feel a little stiff coming off of the griddle, but they will soften up and become pliable while cooling.

I made vegetarian refried beans mixed with black beans on the stovetop. I mashed the black beans down a little so that they weren't whole. Then I served with cheese, lettuce, black olives, and sour cream. Hubby likes onions and nobody likes tomatoes in our house...but you can serve with regular taco meat too. This is what we ate for tacos when I was a kid. It's super cheap to make and goes a looooong way!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Palin Yarn Updates...

Remember this post?

Well, here is the first pair of socks from the Alaska Rose yarn in honor of Sarah Palin from Castle Fibers. These belong to my grandmother. Doesn't she have cute feet??

She ooohed and aaahhhed about how soft and comfy they were.

Here's the wierd part. Even after making that entire pair....I still have this much yarn left in the first skein!!! I can get another sock out of that!!

So I started this pair for my mom. I've never made lace before, but it's not much different from cotton dishcloths with lacy patterns. It's really quite simple. Also I didn't have any size 2 straight needles, so my dpn's are pulling double duty. This picture shows the first 9 rows of lace.

Yeah, 9rows of pattern gave me approximately one inch of fabric. This is going to be a slow sock.

tah for now!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Hello, Beautiful.

Spinach & Artichoke Mini Bread Bowls from Schwans.

Lightly seasoned bread bowl. Artichoke and Spinach mixed with Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses......

....You know you want to be a vegetarian.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What You Should Be Doing....

What I am doing......

What I should be doing....

Take the Barack Obama Test....

How closely do you think like Barack Obama?

Find out here.

Apparently I disagreed with 44 out of 48 me a disagree percentage of 92%.

I don't think I'll be voting for him.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Homeschool Fun!

Here's a song I came up with last year to help Stefani remember the bones of the skeleton. Granted this isn't all umpteen-billion of them...but it's the major ones. And the kids decided that I MUST share this with you.

The Bone Song by Mom
(to the tune of 'your thigh bones connected to your knee bone, etc')

Cranium's connected to your Cervical Vertebrae
Cervical vertebrae is connected to your Clavicle
Clavicle's connected to your Scapula
And now your shoulder is intact

Scapula is connected to your Humerus
Humerus is connected to your Radius and Ulna
Radius and Ulna is connected to your Carpals
And now you have an arm

The Carpals are connected to your Metacarpals
MetaCarpals are connected to the Phalanges
The Phalanges are your fingers and they wiggle
Now you have a hand

Phalanges can touch your sternum
Your Sternum is connected to your ribs
Ribs are held up by the Vertebrae
Now you have a body

Vertebrae are connected to your Illum
Illum is connected to the Coccyx
Coccyx is connected to your Lumbar Vertebrae
Now you have a butt

Lumbar Vertebrae is connected to the Femur
Femur is connected to the Patella
Patella is connected to the Tibia and Fibula
Now you have a leg

Tibia and Fibula are connected to the Tarsals
Tarsals are connected to the MetaTarsals
MetaTarsals are connected to the Phalanges
Now you have a foot.

Stefani got an "A" on her test of the skeleton, btw.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Really Wierd Song by My Kids

I say Gracia (pronounced Grassy-Ass) to the trees
I fall to the ground, so brown (like a clown)
And we disintegrate
And the tree warns us not to eat the yellow snow
But we never get a chance
Because we disintegrate
So save the owls (No!)
Save the squirrels (No!)
Just save the disintegrated leaves
(So they can try the yellow snow)

Yup. This is what I get to listen to on my way to work.

More Yarny Goodness

I came home to this wonderful little package on my table.

May I introduce to you: Alaska Rose (in honor of Sarah Palin) by Castle Fibers Yarn. This is a hand dyed, lovely, 90%merino/10%nylon, superwash sock yarn by a lovely lady on Ravelry named Rita (this is a Ravelry link). She had a contest to name the yarn. There were two yarn colorways to name. She ended up calling them "That's the Ticket" and "Alaska Rose". I actually purchased the Palin yarn before she had the contest. She posted it in one of the forums and I decided that I HAD to have it. I ordered 3 skeins so that I could make a pair of socks for me, my mom and my grandmother to wear to the polls on November 4 (which is also my mom's birthday).

Well! I promptly cast on the first pair last night while watching the Biden/Palin debate and this is how far I got before bedtime.

Can you tell I love making socks?

More Fingerless Gloves

Here we have the emergency pair of fingerless gloves that Stefani just had to have for the Homecoming game next week. Our school colors, in case you haven't figured it out, are orange and black.

The fingertips got a little long. But, she's going to be out in the cold, so that will be ok. This is the first time that I've made these with WW acrylic yarn and everything turned out a bit bigger than the wool does. I used bamboo dpn's on this and I didn't care for the way the acrylic stuck to the bamboo needles. If I do these in acrylic again, I'm using my metal dpn's.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Extreme Fatigue

Here's the last three days:

Thursday: woke up @ 3:30- got up @ 4:30- stayed up the rest of the day, got to bed late due to a wedding rehearsal that took forever.

Friday: woke up @ 5:30- got up- stayed up- dealt with wedding that Tony officiated(which to give you a small clue, the girls were at the church at 1:30 they still weren't dressed, make-upped or curly-haired....the wedding started @ 2pm...the groom got to the church and left again TWICE before actually making it back to the church @ 1:45....needless to say, you can imagine how tense I was)- took Teo out to celebrate his 12th Birthday, fell asleep in the movie theater...something I NEVER do- got to bed @ 1-ish.

Saturday: woke up @ 5:30- could've cried- got up @ 7:00- have been up all day dealing with our local Harvest Fest, which means that my store had to be open, and our Youth Group sold gourmet toffee and popcorn as a fundraiser.

My contacts burned putting them in today. I have a headache sitting right behind my eyes. My body is so fatigued I almost can't stand the thought of doing anything.

Oh my.

You have to understand my normal bedtime is about 9:30-10, my wake up time is 7am, I get lots of sleep. But, not the last few days. Part of it is because of some ridiculous debate I found myself stuck in the middle of on Ravelry. Thankfully I've successfully ignored all the jabs at me that have popped up since wising up and leaving the conversation. (I'm not a liberal...I'm very conservative...we disagree...alot). BUT, for whatever reason this stupid conversation wakes me up at ungodly hours of the morning because it bothers me. Why can't I just let that go?!?

Well. If you have a mind to, keep me in your prayers. I have a HUGE week ahead of me. We are celebrating my dad's 25th year of ordination with special speakers every night at church...and I still have to bake bread tomorrow...and make chicken chili for Wednesday...and I'm so tired.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Some Completed Work and Some Stash...

To start with I finished Teo's slippers. They are the "Yo Mama's Fat Booties" pattern. Love, love, love this pattern. Easy peasy and really warm. I am going to have to make some for all of us this winter. It's supposed to be bitter cold and frankly I can't afford to turn the heat up as high as we would need it to stay super slippers it is. These are made from a wool/cotton combo called Bloom. Which despite looking high and low for it on the web...I have no idea where you can get it from. Apparently the company JoJoLand does not carry it anymore.

These were a necessity for T right now cuz....well, he was cold a week or two ago and the only slippers he could find were his sisters pink/glitter slippers that I had made her a few years ago.
And after watching him buzz around the house in those for a day...I decided he needed his own.
Notice the lovely 'construction zone' floor in my living room? Sexy, eh?

Now, to yummy yarnage. Here we have two skeins of loveliness. I purchased them while visiting Bayfield in August. And yes, I just took the pictures of them this morning. And yes, I have been THAT busy that I haven't had time to do anything with them yet. So I just take them out, sigh, pet them and put them back in their bag, about every other day.

1) Trekking, Hand dyed sock yarn. 100g/459yds. 75% Superwash wool and 25% Nylon. Colorway: Feuerland....which translates to me as gorgeous, earthy reds and browns. This skein is for me and me alone. I will be wearing a soft, warm, sexy pair of hand dyed socks.....someday.

2) Berroco Sox sock yarn. 100g/440yds. 75% Superwash Wool and 25% Nylon. Colorway: 1433 apparently. LOL. Which means it is mostly deep grays and browns with touches of deep gold, black and cream. This is for Tony. This is to replace the pair of Cashmere/Wool socks I made him last year and shrunk in the wash (they now fit my feet) this year. :) I know these aren't Cashmere...but I actually think they will make better dress socks than the last pair. And yes, that is me trying to make myself feel better for ruining his socks in the wash.

And the two of those together cost me the total of a meal out for my entire family. I'll say no more.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sweet and Simple Shawl

12.25 oz/ 350 g/ 1109.5 yds/ 1305 m
#2 Fine or #3 Light yarn
Black and White sample used 3-1/2 balls of Knitting Fever Chromatic- #2 Fine Weight with a G hook.
G hook

The beginning chain establishes the width of the shawl from neck to waist. That makes this shawl very adjustable both in width and length.
The material amounts listed will give you a shawl 24” W x 60” L.
If you want it longer than 60” and wider than 24”, I suggest you buy an extra ball or two of yarn.
Your beginning chain is any multiple of 3 + 2.

Gauge: 5 diamonds x 3 repeats = 4” x 2”
Gauge Pattern: (yarn used Patons Astra #3 Light w/G hook)
R1- ch26, sc in 2nd ch from hook, (ch3, sk 2 ch, sc in next ch) repeat across. (9sc)
R2- ch4 (counts as dc + ch1), turn, (sc in ch3 sp, ch1, dc in next sc, ch1) repeat across. (9dc)
R3- ch1, turn, sc in 1st dc, (ch3, sc in next dc) repeat across putting your last sc in the 3rd chain from R2’s ch4. (9sc)
Repeat R’s 2 & 3 until you have completed 3 repeats, ending with R2.

Row 1: ch 92, sc in 2nd ch from hook, (ch3, sk 2 ch, sc in next ch) repeat across. (31 sc)
Row 2: ch4 (counts as dc + ch1), turn, (sc in ch3 sp, ch1, dc in next sc, ch1) repeat across. (31 dc, 30 sc)
Row 3: ch1, turn, sc in 1st dc, (ch3, sc in next dc) repeat across, make sure to put your last sc in the 3rd ch of Row 2’s ch4. (31 sc)
Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until you reach your desired length, ending on Row 2.
Finish off this end by placing a sc in each ch and st across. Cut your yarn.
Reattach in the first sc of your starting row. Put one sc in each sc, 2sc in each ch space.

Crochet Terms:
ch- chain
sc- single crochet (UK dc- double crochet)
dc- double crochet (UK trc- treble crochet)
sk- skip