Friday, December 26, 2008

it twas a very white Christmas

I hope all of you had a great, joy filled Christmas and took time to make room in your hearts for Emmanuel--like Halen did. (Loved her blog entry here.)

The Candlelight Christmas Eve service went well considering we only had one rehearsal. There were only a few minor glitches with the song, but all in all it was well worth the nervousness and prayers. Kathy and I were talking about recording it someday.

After the service we headed to James' grandparents' house for their annual Christmas Eve party. However, by the time we got there everyone was headed out the door, but that made opportunity to have some rare one on one time with his grandparents.

Christmas Day we ventured out in the storm to my parents' house for Christmas dinner. My grandparents' (mom's parents) were there as well as my uncle Mike. It was a good time of prime rib, berries with lemmoncello, fresh roasted coffee, gifts, and an impromptu concert by my brother. Quite a nice Christmassy treat.

We certainly woke up to a wintry wonderland yesterday and did today as well. Here are a few pictures. I'm too chicken to venture out in the cold snow right now so I took these from my backdoor and front window. Don't worry, that's not "the happy little chair" sitting out there in the extreme elements. It's does give you a bit of reference of how much snow we have though. It's been very windy too so I imagine that's why there is no snow on those trees back there.

I hope to get better pictures soon when I muster up some courage to actually go out.

In the meantime I woke up early today to finish my "chores" so I could cozy up and read this amazing book...

My James gave it for me for Christmas. It was number one on my list and my favorite gift I received this year. The author, Jane Brocket, writes this blog. I love her writing and visual style and how she talks about "domesticity, not domestication"-- two completely different things. And how some women crave domesticity and don't feel fulfilled or settled with out it. I am certainly in that category. It's a nice thick read so I'm very excited!

Side note: my James said it was quite the feat to explain when asked what he got me for Christmas. Can you imagine?... "So what did you get your wife for Christmas?" James: "Uh a book on the gentle art of domesticity." "Ohhh, uh ohhh interesting..." while their inner monologue is saying, "Jerk! What a sexist pig!" He eventually had to explain that it was what I asked for - number one on my list.

I'm sure I'll write more about this wonderful book. I've only read the introduction and I'm already quite in love with it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

i heart E.B.

Dear Electric Blanket,

Where have you been all my life? All the years I have painfully suffering the first hour or so of bedtime under icy sheet were so regrettable. And even though I adopted you from my late grandma and you are well used and only a lap blanket, to have you warm my cold joints in a heat-register-less bedroom is simply divine.

My husband is very grateful as well. He no longer suffers from my frosty hands and feet migrating to his side of the bed--all thanks to you.

I hear your cousin, the heated mattress pad, is doing very well these days. Especially at my aunts house in Squirrel Idaho.

Who knows, maybe someday we'll adopt a queen sized electric blanket so you can have a friend to hang out with when were not home.

Thank you again for all your time and energy spent with me. I do hope we have many more toasty years together. Oh and please let me know if ever your wiring is getting worn or broken down, I do worry about you and I waking up in a fiery melty mess together.

With much love and adoration,

Becca (formerly one who loathed going to bed under icy sheets)

P.S. Are you available for camping trips?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

a sigh and a prayer

As of an hour ago, I'm officially finished with all gift making, purchasing and wrapping. Whew! We cut way back again this Christmas (we really don't even have a tree) both out of necessity and intentionality. Remember this post where I mentioned a Corporate Free Christmas? Surprisingly it has been an enjoyable experience. My goal was to hand-make most, if not all of the gifts this year. I'd say it was about 70% handmade. I have some great ideas for next year though. Maybe I'll make the 100% mark in 2009.

Now I'm focusing on the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at our church -- frantically trying to learn the complex melodies to Kathy's Christmas Rhyme. I wish I could post a recording of the song to share with all of you. It's a narrative of the nativity that tells the story of a few of the key players and the questions around the absurdity of our King's birth.

"How can this be? A birthplace for the King?

Amid animal smells, the home of beasts of burden."

My favorite part is towards the end when there is a calling back and forth of the group and narrator:

"Glory to God in the highest!

Heaven has come to the humble

Glory to God in the highest!

Divinity mingles with dust

Glory to God in the highest!

Miracles confound the earthbound"

Glorious! I can't wait to hear it with all the instruments and the odd percussion sounds and rhythms that seem to exude from Kathy's DNA. I hope I can do it justice. Say a prayer.

Friday, December 12, 2008

FOs yea!

Finally! I was able to catch some much coveted sunlight on one of my days off this week. Thus it resulted in some knitting picts of my recent FOs (finished objects). I'm working on a birthday gift and a few other Christmas gifts today that I just may have picts for as long as Mr. Sun decides to stay and play.

I look a little giddy because I have been working on this darn cowl since freaking FEBRUARY!! Seriously! It's 51 inches long. While knitting this behemoth cowl I heard quite a few comments like, "Um don't you think that's waaaay too long?" or "Maybe you should stop now Becca." I've learned in my knitting days to just go with my gut and plow through the pattern. I'd rather frog something too long than stop short only to have my hopes dashed of it being finished. I'm so glad I kept going. Because it's so airy and thin, the bulkiness of the length creates warmth and allows for you to pull it up over your head on those blustery days like so: (I'm trying hard to imagine a blustery day in this pict. It was quite hard to do so while inside looking out the window on a sunny day. Can you tell?)

I've also finished mitts for Sophie, who shall be visiting soon! Here parents are my good friends that are coming home from the UK for a Christmas visit. I'm soo very excited.

I found the pattern for the mitts free on Ravelry. If you are a knitter (ehh humm - Rebecca & RaeLynn) Ravelry is a MUST. I know I've said it before, but seriously I use it and check it more than my facebook or myspace pages. It's the clearing house of all things knitterly available on the web. The best resource I've ever found.

I will leave you with this sweet little bobble washcloth-- pattern also available for free, found via the beloved Ravelry.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

lots of knitting but no picts for proof

Although my postings have been non-existent lately, I have indeed been knitting. However, I do not have photos to prove it because 1. I have already given the knitted items away for birthday gifts and such or b. I will be giving them for Christmas and don't want to ruin any surprises for those that read this. So, instead, I will post a lovely photo of the flowers we gave my mom for her birthday.

I also baked a Sunshine Cake for her that my dad absolutely loves. So much so that he called me up yesterday just to tell me not to change the recipe --ever (something my mom is notorious for - sorry mom but it's true). So I guess he'll be getting one for his birthday next month. Even though he doesn't seem to remember that my mom has made this cake many times in the past--where do you think I got the recipe...

In other James turned 30 last Sunday. Welcome to "Club 30" babe! While he did total boy stuff (went to the desert to shot guns with Lance), I baked attempt #2 of his chocolate birthday cake. Yes #2. The first cake made from scratch the day before was a complete disaster. I've never in my life had such a problem with a simple chocolate cake! It had too much baking soda or something because it turned into a giant mess in my oven. Overflowed like a volcano. So a made-from-the-box cake it was. I did make the chocolate frosting though. Later that night we had a quite little gathering with our closest friend, L & L and Nick and his Jina. We did a potato bar and Guinness, played Totally 80's Trivia, which was a long laborious almost impossible game, and enjoyed the attempt #2 chocolate cake. Yes, a total low key 30th bash and no fluff, upon request. My James insists that I NEVER have a big shindig for his birthday--EVER. Don't ask why I don't understand either. But it's fine with me. I think I'm out of my big-party-for-every-occasion phase.

Thanksgiving was spent in Denver with James' family. It was a quite lovely visit. However, I was kicking myself the whole time because I did not bring nearly enough knitting. What the eff was I thinking??! James was even shocked! Next time I tell you all I'm leaving on a trip or vacation or whatever, please remind me of this lack of knitting of trip. I was finished with the project I brought along in mere hours--over half of which was done in the airport and on the plane.

OK now that we're all updated and whatnot (from most recent events backwards I just noticed)--how are those handmade Christmas gifts coming along everyone?

Monday, November 24, 2008

happy little chair

Despite the emotional roller coaster of a week we had last week (some friends got married, a friend unexpectedly passed away, my james made the decision to go back to school, and other issues to process through), this gift from my mom gave me a happy little moment.

I've been wanting to find a chair for our chair-less and (table-less for that matter) kitchen because sometimes when I'm baking or looking at recipes I want to sit down but there is no where to sit and our counters are too high and crowded to do the ol' hoist-ye-backside-upon-the-counter bit. So when my mom said she had a chair for me it was a happy little moment.

It was my grandparents so it's kinda special. Mom painted it a lovely green that goes great in our thrown together kitchen. Even though I've been in the purging-unnecessary-items mood, I could not resist this little seat of joy. Moms are the best!

Monday, November 17, 2008

charity knitting

I've been wanting to do some charity knitting for a long time now so, thanks to Halen's prompting, I've knit up my first infant hat for Save the Children's Knit One, Save One campaign. In short, they are trying to reduce the infant mortality rate in developing countries. 4 million babies die each year in the first month of life in these countries! By educating the mothers and providing them with a newborn care kit, which includes a knitted hat, they hope to give these babies a better chance at life.

All knitters should do this! It's easy. Just go to their website. Download the action kit that includes way easy patterns, knit up a hat, write a little note to the new mom to go with it, write a letter to our president elect asking him to consider helping prevent the death of millions of newborn in developing countries, package it up, then send it by December 31st to the address listed. They do ask for a $10 donation for the kit they make up to give to new mothers, but hey, $10 is nothing for the sake of starting out a new little one in this big world.

I've been checking into some other charities, including local ones, and this seems to be a good place to start. I'll post any others I find.

Here's the hat being sent off today-- made with much love, prayers and many blessings for both babe and mother.

Friday, November 14, 2008

i'm pleased

The tutorial I mentioned one post back for sewing a lining into a crocheted (or knitted) bag paid off! Here's the finished product! Isn't it fabulous how you can't see a stitch of thread where I sew it to the bag?? I'm pretty sure the creator of the bag will approve!
Note: I did not, however, like the tutorial on how to make the lining. Probably because math and I don't play well together. Or the fact that I don't have a computer in my craft room and our printer is pretty crappy so the directions were terribly hard to read. Anyway, I just made up my own way to do a lining and proceeded from there. I'm pleased.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

you think it, they say it

So I was perusing through the channels on the Mindless Machine (aka the t.v.) and found a downright hilarious show on the Fine Living Channel called "Whatever, Martha!" As I understand it, the marketing genius that Martha is, gave her daughter, Alexis, old episodes of The Martha Stewart Show. Alexis and her friend Jennifer watch the show and sometime try the crafts, all while commenting on how rediculous and rediculously perfect Martha sometime is. I do love Martha and her appreciation for all fine things, but for the love of perfectly folded sheets and gold leaf place cards, who really can't watch the show and occasionally think, Whatever, Martha! Here's the promo. I've set the DVR to record every episode... religiously...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

best tutorial ever!

This is for my knitting and crocheting friends. Recently the superwoman who taught me to knit and to whom I am forever indebted to for teaching me this wonderful skill, asked if I would sew a lining into a knitted bag she had made. I was like, "Sure! No problem!" --not remembering that I've never done this before. Gulp. (insert nervous laugh here)

When I'm at a lose for how to do something, which is frequent, I turn to the handy dandy internet for help. What a wonderful tool the information highway is! I found an amazing tutorial on not only how to make a lining, but also how to sew it in! (insert sigh of relief here) Futuregirl, the author of said tutorial, is brilliant and sure has a talent to teach and share her wisdom. Here's the link to the lining tutorial. (Check out her blog if you are into crafty things. It's quite inspiring!)

I'll be working on the lining sometime later today so hopefully I can post pictures of it early this week.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

do owls eat fish?

We have a mysterious owl in our backyard. He is perched out there as I type! We've actually seen him around our little neighborhood for the past few weeks. DH first saw him about two weeks ago sitting on the power line in our backyard. I tried to get a picture of him then but of course it's dark at night and our camera is no professional. The poor bird probably suffered retinal damage from all the flashes.
The next time we saw our great friend was on an early morning walk last week. It was barely light and I saw him fly silently in front of us down a side street. For some reason I brought my camera with me, hoping to see some deer I guess, but yet again the lighting was no good.

Finally tonight when I came home from work he was back and this time sitting where I could stand under him and hopefully my flash would be bright's the eerie pictures I caught of him...

So now my question is do owls eat innocent fish? I know we've seen mice around, but he seriously looks like he's licking his chops as he sits over our pond full of innocent fish...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

more knitting and some shrinking...oh, and GO VOTE!

I've started a new knitting project! Yes, because I can't have just one or even three projects going on at the same time. I'm working on a chevron scarf from the Last Minute Knitted Gifts book. The author also wrote Last Minuted Quilted and Patchwork Gifts as well. I really like both of these books and have done a few projects from each. I've been seeing the chevron scarf all over Ravelry and have been dying to make one myself.

I also started on a basic knit scarf with some yarn a friend brought back from Argentina for me. (OK that's two knitting projects, give me a break.) Though incredibly beautiful, it's sort of a hard yarn to work with and I can't really think of anything else to make with it. I'm pretty sure it's cotton.

Remember shrinky dinks? Those plastic figures that you color and then put in the oven and they shrink and get super hard? Well, I've been seeing all over Etsy and other crafting sights the use of shrinky dink material for jewelry and other fun stuff. So I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and actually found blank sheets of shrinky dink plastic! I whipped up a few necklace pendants and a zipper pull last night. I think I was more excited as an adult to see my creations wrinkle and shrink in the oven, than I was when I was a kid! It was quite fun. I think these shall be Christmas gifts for my gal friends.

I am so glad daylight saving is over! It will be wonderful to have the sun coming up an hour earlier. Maybe I won't despise my early bird-ness if the sun is up with me now.

Don't forget to vote today! How could you forget really though? If you live under a rock I suppose. I early voted and hopefully by tomorrow, no matter who wins, the bickering and candidate bashing will be over...hopefully...I'm just so sick of it. I'll leave it at that...

(Picts of scarves and shrinky dinks coming soon! I'm waiting for some good morning lighting, but it looks like it's going to be a rainy or even snowy day.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

awake at 5 a.m. ...on a Saturday

OK what is with my internal time clock? Seriously. I guess I have to come to terms with that fact that I am indeed a morning person. I've fought it for years. It's sooo much cooler to be a night owl. Especially when you are at parties or visiting friends. Because when 9 p.m. rolls around and you are fighting off the yawns and sleepy eyes while everyone else is just getting going for the night, it feels quite rude.

Anyway, in the wee hours of morn while waiting for the sun to come up so I can get a good picture of the monkeys, I came across this blog. Which suggests that we all have a Corporate Free Christmas by hand making Christmas gifts this year. I do like this idea. However I do want to state that I do not completely agree with banning Christmas shopping all together. I know that Christmas time for small businesses is a very profitable season. And I want to support the little guy. I say this because though spending beyond our means is ridiculously out of control, a lot of us little guys are supported by the general population's daily wants and needs.

I recently heard a podcast from Bethel Church about how there has been a growing negative attitude toward the upper class and the mega rich and their spending habits. Like spending ridiculous amounts on vacations, extravagant houses, gardening services, cars, dining,...etc., but think about it. They are actually providing an income for others, like servers, mechanics, gardeners, contractors, labors, etc. A good portion of my husband's income is provided by the upper class need for good dog trainers and we are so appreciative there is even a market for this.

So again, while I agree we as low and mid-income Americas must stop spending money we don't have, I don't fully support that we stop shopping altogether. I totally support the idea though that we get back to the basics of gift giving from the heart. Whether it's handmade or supporting the local, small businesses rather than the corporate giant big box stores (don't get me started on that whole issue -- I have a hard time shopping at Walmart anymore after I saw this documentary). I want to stop spending on thoughtless and obligatory gifts.

OK now that that rants is out there here's a picture of the monkeys! Together at last.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Second Sock Success!

Hurray! Monkey #2 is finished! It's blocking right now so as soon as it's dry I will post a picture with the fabulous Lisa shoes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

what do you do with so many plums?

Make jam of course!

I finally went beyond my partially successful pickle status to jam status. These plums are from my grandma's tree in her back yard. She passed away about a year ago but my dad and his brothers still have the house in Idaho. Thus I get plums and jars and all sorts of odds and ends from her house.

Anyway, I'm not too happy about how sweet it is and the un-godly amount of sugar there is in jam! Seriously! 8 cups of sugar and 8 cups of plums in one batch. That's half sugar! Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE sugar. Some would say (uhh james) that I am a sugar addict. But this is A LOT of sugar folks! Next time I'll try a low sugar recipe. I don't want to use a sugar substitute so I'll just have to live with it not being as sweet. I will survive...maybe.

In other news my James and I just celebrated our 2nd anniversary!! I honestly feel like we've been married forever. In a good way, forever. Saturday night we went to the Desert Star Playhouse and saw Scary Poppins. It was pretty funny. Especially the girl who played Scary. I'm laughing to myself right now just thinking of her. Then Sunday morning we sluffed church and went to brunch at MacCool's -- one of our favorite restaurants. Who can beat live Irish music and great food?

Oh we will not mention the second monkey. I have plum distraction now. I know, excuses, excuses...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the cure for second sock syndrome

I have had second sock syndrome--for two long weeks, at least. My monkeys are not yet monkey"s". And I hate having WIPs looming over my head. " said you would finish me. You spent money on this yarn. You spent hours and hours on Monkey number one. I'll just sit here and wait for you to pick me up again...sniff, sniff...I guess you don't really love Monkeys as much as you said you did. Might as well frog Monkey number one..." See??? Monkey number two is looming!

However, Lisa came over on Saturday with a bag full of goodies. SHOES! Oh for the love of shoes! See we wear about the same size shoe and she loves shoes, but has a tiny closet so when she gets new shoes she gives me her old shoes. Which are practically new shoes by my standards. This has been happening for years. In fact, I don't think I've bought a pair in years. Probably 75% of my shoes are from the lovely land of Lisa. When someone comments on my cute shoes I reply, "Thanks they're Lisa's." As if they are a brand name like Valentino or Louboutin.

Anyway, I pulled out the first pair and look what I saw...

Beautiful! And the best part is they are great for wearing with my new Monkeys. The longing for the Mary Janes in my last post is gone--thanks to the Lisa shoe love. I am so blessed!

By the way, the looming Monkey is not looming anymore. That's him in the picture. About 25% done. I should be wearing my monkeys by the weekend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

monkeyin' around

I have finally done it folks. Crossed the line into knitted items that seem silly because they are so tedious and take so much time and you have to hand wash them and you wear them on one of the most abused areas of your body -- your feet and you have to buy special shoes to actually show off all your hard work...I have finished my first adult sized sock. Meet monkey #1:
Quite a beauty I must say myself. Except I have lost the ball band and can't remember what kind of yarn it is. And I love it. And I want more. Blast!

Here's the yarn up close though:

What a gorgeous colorway huh?! Perfect for Fall. The pattern for the sock is here from Knitty. It's called Monkey.

Now I just need to buy these cute Mary Jane shoes to show them off. Oh what we knitters do for our craft.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

for the love of buttons

Yesterday, on a whim, my james and I walked over to our local antique store. I was in there last year about this time. Which at that time, there were a few more items for sale, but not much. The store is mostly filled with religious books and dishes. The smell is that familiar odor of my grandparents' basement-- old, dusty memories. The store is for sale right now and has been for about a year. Business can't be that great considering our little town is the dead end of the west side of the valley--literally.

The elderly man who runs the shop reminds me of my grandpa, who is gone now, but fondly remembered. Last time I was in the store (about a year ago) the old man was at the counter doing the same thing - "putterin' around" as grandpa would say when we asked him, "Whatcha doin' out here in the garage?"

Antique stores sometime make me a bit sad and conflicted. One side of me thinks of all the treasures abandoned. The history and personal memories of most items are forever lost. But the other side of me is overwhelmed by all the stuff. So much stuff. Thousands even millions of things that can't be taken with us when we die and sometime become burdens on those we leave behind. I left thinking, "Oh I love that fabulous water pitcher. It would look great in my dining room." The other side of me wants leave the store immediately to go home and clear out all my clutter and things I don't need or use so my loved ones don't have to deal it when I'm gone.

Anyway, on this occasion my love for colors and practical items won out (it usually does dang it!) and to add to my collection of stuff, I found this little jar treasures.

Oh how I love buttons! When I see buttons in a collection like this, it reminds me of my mom's button tin. Opening it was always a feat because the lid didn't sit right. But when you did manage to pry it open, gasp, oh the eye candy!

Opening my jar I think who's buttons were these? Did they all belong to one person? Where they on doll clothes? On a man's suit? Never even used and just tossed in the button tin for those just in case moments? I will never know but they are mine now.

He had about 2 or 3 more jars just like this one and I'm tempted to go back and purchase all of them. Justification: To support the little old man that reminds me of my dear grandpa and to let him know that yes, some people still care for old treasures - even buttons - and even when they feel conflicted about all the stuff already in the world.

Friday, September 19, 2008

chicken in da car, da car wont go, that's how you spell Chi-ca-go

Back from Chicago! What an adventure we had. We went with our good friends L & L for a few days of bummin' around the windy city. Little did we know that hurricane Ike would be visiting that same weekend. Nothing like the devastation seen in Texas, but Chicago was hit with rain like it has not seen in years. However, Ike did not spoil a bit of our fun.

When talking about what we wanted to do while in Chicago, I about fainted when Lisa casually mentioned, "We could go see this street fair called Renegade." "Are you kidding? THE Renegade Craft Fair?! It's happening this very weekend? The weekend of all weekends we chose to come? Ummm...heck yes I do!" I excitedly replied. (For those who do not know about Renegade, it is the Mecca of all amazing indi arts and crafts. NOTHING like the craft fairs we see here in Salt Lake. Nothing. Nope. Nothing.)

So while the boys happily enjoyed many pints of beers, Lisa and I with umbrellas in hand ventured out to each vendor. It's like Etsy had materialized before our very eyes!

Sadly some of the vendors had left and some of the ones who braved the rain were wet and freezing trying to keep their merch dry. But that did not stop a people from shopping. I was shocked by how many people actually were shopping in the rainy conditions. It just shows how amazing Renegade is. Here's what I managed to score...

A cute bird bag to add to my growing collection (my James just rolls his eyes at my bag obsession), some striped wrist warmers, a scarf with a cute tree on it, a necklace made of all kinds of seeds and nuts and a recycled bottle top pendant that I plan to make into a necklace.

Oh it was so hard to resist many more purchases!! People you do not understand how exhausted I was at exercising my self control. Seriously! I passed up hand spun yarn in yummy colorways, gocco prints of birds and trees and little boys with birds on their heads, jewelry of all makes and models, one-of-a kind garments, plushies and softies, felted items, handbags, ahhhh for the love of all things handmade!

Lisa and I are actually talking about going to the San Francisco Renegade sometime next year--it was THAT good!

We didn't do all the usual touristy things because we were limited on time and we're not big fans of the touristy stuff anyway. Personally my James and I have issues with crowds and would rather find some little hole-in-the-wall pub or coffee shop and watch the locals go about their daily business.

However, we did see this famous sculpture:

This is Cloud Gate. A.K.A. the big mirrored bean thing.

This one cracks me up. We look memorized. "Ooooooo shiiiiiinnyyy!"

We also went to go to the top of the Sears Tower. Here's my favorite pict.

This was in the elevator that takes you to the top. The ceiling was mirrored. It was worth the funny looks from that girl in the corner.

My James said, "Legoland!" when we saw this sight.

This is what we mostly did:

...ate amazing food and drank fabulous beer and shopped and laughed endlessly at Lisa's incredible death grip and destination speed walking (inside joke) and walked miles and miles and miles and laughed some more and marveled at the smells and sights and the stories of previous travels and got really wet and had the best chocolate cheese cake ever made by human hands and laughed some more...

...all with our bestest buddies, L & L.

"Turns out not where, but who you're with that really matters." - Dave Matthews Band

Monday, September 8, 2008

two sad little birds and one happy one

The state fair was.....ok. I regrettably forgot my camera. I wanted to get a picture of my dad's prize winning egg. However the people that set the display up not only spelled his last name wrong, but the egg is set in there backwards so the picture wouldn't have shown it off in it's full glory anyway. Seriously! It's very obvious which is the front and which is the back. The painstakingly carved out little bird was not visible. SAD! I went to one of the supervisors and told them they needed to fix it ASAP! But the kind lady explained that the display cases this year are a whole new design and they had screwed the glass fronts shut and will not be opening them until the give back day. Duh! I told the lady that that was a serious design flaw and that I would hope they change it next year. Don't worry I wasn't mean about it but I was stern.

Our good friends Lance and Lisa came with us--actually it was their idea to go in the first place. It made the fair way more enjoyable. L & L "made" us ride the giant slide, which I don't think was worth $2 a person but it was fun and now I can say that I have indeed ridden the giant slide.

There were soooo many people there! Granted we did go on a Saturday night but still. OH and the strange folk sure do come out of the woodwork for the fair! I've never seen so many mullets and shirts with the faces of country western singers proudly worn by their owners all in one place.

We saw lots of quilts and canned items and giant squash and peppers. Tiny lion head bunnies. Stinky sheep. Tons of high priced traditional fair food. The rickety fair rides and games for the kids run by the usual "carnies" as L & L called them. Sad tigers on display seemingly bored as they made endless circles around their cage. Lots of bad karaoke. Gross bathrooms. Beautiful works of fine art.

So all I have to say for next year is that I'm going on a weekday and they had better fix those damn display cases!

On another random was a good mail day! I received my purchase from The Black Apple's Etsy shop. These little buttons are sooo cute! I can't wait to put them on miscellaneous items. bags, my apron, my shoes, my dog's collar (just kidding - my James would not be too excited about that). I especially love the little bird, rabbit and tea kettle.

Here's one more random item... another little nest I found the other day in our front yard. Poor little bird. I feel so bad when I find a nest like this--so much time and labor put into it. I try not to think about the what the former owners are doing for a home. I stuck it in the coleus plants in my front yard for now.

In honor of the theme of this post, here's one of my favorite songs by The Be Good Tanyas:

Well I feel like an old hobo,
I'm sad lonesome and blue
I was fair as the summer day
Now the summer days are through
You pass through places
And places pass through you
But you carry 'em with you
On the souls of your travelin' shoes

Well I love you so dearly
I love you so clearly
Wake you up in the mornin' so early
Just to tell you I got the wanderin' blues
I got the wanderin' blues
And i'm gonna quit these ramblin' ways
one of these days soon
And I'll sing

The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs...

Well it's times like these
I feel so small and wild
Like the ramblin' footsteps of a wanderin' child
And I'm lonesome as a lonesome whippoorwill
Singin' these blues with a warble and a trill
But I'm not too blue to fly
No I'm not too blue to fly cause

The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Meet Tessa

This is Tessa. Originally named Sheldon from the Knitty pattern but renamed Tessa thanks to my friend Halen. Tessa was deemed Tessa on knitting night because it's weird to have a pink turtle named Sheldon. It's for one of my girlfriends, Jamie, who is having a baby shower tonight. I don't think I'll be knitting one of these up again. It was quite tedious and time consuming, but well worth it because I know Jamie will appreciate it and love it--she's a knitter too.

And here are some Saartje's Bootees for her as well. I've done these for other babies and Jamie always comments on how cute these are so of course I had to make her some for her baby. Her other two adorable children have dark skin (she married to an "island boy") so these colors will be great against the new babies skin for sure.

We're going to the Utah State Fair tomorrow! I'm so excited because this year my dad won the Best of Show for one of his eggs! See more about his egg hobby from an earlier post here. I'll be sure to take pictures of the prized egg and post them.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mourning Summer

September 1st. A sad day. Summer is officially over. It was around 97 degrees on Saturday. Today it is hovering around the mid 60's. Brrrrr! Although Fall is a great season, this Summer has been especially wonderful. We had a long, cold Winter and the Summer temperatures have been gloriously hot. It seems that Summer knew it was over because it is raining today--dark, cloudy, gloomy. Don't get me wrong, I love the rain and cozy, blanket, hot coffee, warm slipper days, but I'm just not ready for these cold temperatures!

I did make a fun little purchase off of Etsy today to easy the pain (oh the costly things we do to bring cheer...). I finally bought something from the Black Apple. No not the Mac kind of apple, but the top Etsy seller. I really love this girl's work. Though I didn't purchase a print, which is what she is known for, I did get some really cool little pins. I'll blog them when they arrive in the mail. Etsy is addictive! I could just spend hours looking at all the art and crafty items.

Amongst the mourning and the Etsy perusing, I've been knitting today. We've had a whirlwind weekend of BBQ's, late nights, family, and friends so to have the holiday day off to recover has been quite nice. I've been working on some Monkey Socks from Knitty. I really like them so far. I just hope they fit!

Friday, August 22, 2008


My first try at canning was a success! I now have 10 quarts of picture perfect dill pickles! I'd like to do more but finding the time before cucumber season is over may be a challenge. We had a late harvest for most of the produce this year so I may just get lucky.

I also attempted to finish my market bag but the handles are giving me issues. After completing the handles I realized the opening was way too small to appropriately carry anything bigger than a grapefruit. So I'm in the process of frogging the handles and trying to knit them on larger needles. Here's a picture of it with one of the insufficient handles still intact.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tomatoes, Hens, and To Do Lists

I have the entire day to myself!! From the time I rise to the time I go to bed I can do whatever I want. My James is house/dog sitting in Park City while I had to stay home with Sebastian and his girlfriend, Sugar Pie. Her parents are out of town too so we are watching her the the week. Along with Sugar Pie, came a bag of canned goods and fresh tomatoes! Sooo here's what I had for dinner last night...

Oh-for-the-love-of-fresh-tomatoes, I was in heaven! However, it was missing fresh mozzarella. I'll pick some up today though. The basil is from my little herb garden. Guess what I'm having for dinner tonight? Good golly maybe even lunch, too.

Yesterday I planted a little succulent garden. I had a shallow pot and my Chicks n' Hens and Stonecrop are multiplying out back, so I decided to make a new garden for our front porch. I found the Chalk Fingers and Split Rocks for a great price (probably because they were so tiny).

Do do list for today:

-Laundry (yuck)
-Finish knitting Sheldon - a pink stuffed turtle (yea!)
-Watch some Olympics
-Walk Sug and Sebastian
-Finish knitting market bag - way cute; made out of mustard yellow cotton
-Clean bathrooms (yuck)
-Go to store for fresh mozzarella (yum!)
-Dust and vacuum (double yuck)
-Bake some bread with fresh Rosemary (yum!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Found. Done.

A sweet little nest for tiny baby birds. Found.

We had a bit of a wind storm here a few nights ago and I found this in our backyard while watering this morning. I'm surprised it survived the curiosity of our two dogs. I pray the little babies had already left the nest before the storm blew their house out of their tree.

Sweet little booties for a sweet little baby. Done.

Well I guess I don't know if the baby is sweet yet. She hasn't been born. The baby shower for said baby was last night. (And it was the biggest baby shower I've ever been to--50 people, spouses invited. That number doesn't include kids or dogs. Overwhelming really.) Thankfully I had these done the day before. The mom really liked them which always means it was worth the time and effort. And though I doubted the sex of the baby and had to confirm with a friend, I made them in the correct colors for a girl. Isn't it weird that we still have a tendency of going pink for girls and blue for boys? Why is that? Hmmmm....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

For the love of home baked goodness

This yummy creation is called a galette. Don't ask me how to pronounce it but it's way easy to make. Just take your favorite pie crust recipe and your favorite pie filling - this was apple - place the crust on a baking stone and pile the filling in the middle. Wrap the side over and bake for 30 minutes at 375 and voila -- mouth happiness on the quick.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nice horse...I mean dog

I must show you all our new addition...this is Bosco, a.k.a - horse, big dog, giant mess of drool.

He is half bull mastiff and half English mastiff, meaning really BIG dog who doesn't know how BIG he really is. He's just over 100 lbs and will maybe get to 130 -150 within the next 2 years. My James says he will be full grown in 3 years. yikes. That's kinda scary considering our tiny house. But boy do we adore him.

On the knitting front...

I have knitted up a few odd items here and there but gave them away before I could get good photos of them...oh well. You'll just have to imagine an amazing slouchy hat and bobbled dishcloths in a yummy, buttery yellow and bright red...ahhh beautiful huh?

For the love of cookies (a new saying I picked up from our friend Nick) she's crocheting!

Yes, I'm crocheting. Nothing fancy because of my amazing left-handed-ness (ha!) just a half-double crochet -- I think that's what it is -- don't hold me to it if you are a crochet expert. Anyway, I have so much left over odds n ends worsted weight 25% wool 75% acrylic yarn that I decided to use it up for this fabulous blanket.

It's great to take to knitting nights because it requires so little concentration that I can talk about the most intense topics and not miss a stitch!

Next project?? CANNING! Eeee gads! I'm a bit nervous for this project. I've NEVER canned before and I'd hate to screw up precious farmer's market produce for a crappy batch of salsa.

Project on the back burner? Soap making. Sadly soap making is an expensive initial investment. But I will hopefully be making some for Christmas gift. Better save my quarters!

I'll leave you with a pict of big dog and little dog in a rare moment of togetherness. (Usually Sebastian stays far away from Bosco.) Please note: little dog's head is quite large for his little body which makes his entire body look deceivingly larger in pictures straight on. Technically Bosco is about 11 times bigger than dear Sebastian.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sew I Felt Like It

The spring weather, though snowy yesterday, has made me want to bake, and knit, and sew! Don't ask me why my brain thinks to do fall and winter domestic activities in the spring because that's just how things have been lately. All backwards and unseasonal and whatnot. Here's some pictures of my new felted bag.

I've got a ton of this brownish, tweed-ish yarn so I thought I'd better use it up while I was feeling stash hungry. I really love how the blue looks with these colors. I'd usually put an orange or brown or even white with this yarn but the blue was perfect.

I've also been sewing. After months of dragging my feet to drag my sewing machine to the dining room table, I finally did - the same day I tried a great, amazing new bread recipe. I'm an avid fan of angrychicken and she's been raving about this new book so I broke down and ordered it. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Although my jeans do not. :( Here's the beautiful product of my new found love for it..."it" meaning the bread book--not my jeans.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hmmm...a lawyer??

So I took this little personality test and I agree with most of the outcome however, I do not think I would ever make a good lawyer. WEIRD! I just can't imagine being a lawyer.

Anyway, it's kind of a fun little test. Try it for yourself...

You Are An ISTJ
The Duty Fulfiller

You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.
You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knittings.
Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.
Conservative and down-to-earth, you hardly ever do anything crazy.

In love, you are loyal and honest. If you commit yourself to someone, then you're fully committed.
For you, love is something that happens naturally. And you don't need romantic gestures to feel loved.

At work, you remember details well and are happy to take on any responsibility.
You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.

How you see yourself: Decisive, stable, and dependable

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, conservative, and egotistical