Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
New room status: still in progress. The floors and walls are done and are beautiful. Stuff is moved in. Unfortunately due to the enormity of my art and crafting supplies the beauty is hard to see. So until I get some shelves hung I don't think pictures are worth it. Good news though--my james will be hanging them this weekend. He's such a super guy.
Speaking of my wonderful james, he starts school Monday. Due to the economic situation around here and our goal to be debt free, we were debating whether he should start now or wait another year. But he really needs a new challenge and we will make it work.
No new bird sightings. Although the eagle and hawk were spotted again this week. Oh wait, I did get a beautiful watercolor painting of a blue bird sitting in his nest from our friend Lance. It's now hanging in my office at work. It's cute because the bird looks a bit grumpy and you don't often see that portrayed in pictures of fat, little birds.
And last but not least...I give you the glorious MARSHMALLOWS!
Yes I did it! Cross it off the list! They were divine! It took two attempts and two recipes to get it right, but I have conquered! I had a few taste testers (kids and adults) and they all agreed --way better than store bought. The request for the recipe was confirmation. I would now like to experiment with color and flavor. Can you imagine deep pink ones flavored with a bit of cinnamon and cut out in heart shapes for Valentine's Day?
Saturday, January 24, 2009
We'll be sluffing church to paint--hey it's my birthday tomororw, no need to judge :)
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
(Someday I will clean the outside of that window...someday.)
Monday, January 19, 2009
1. A pencil case for HELPSudan. (still need to add the drawstring closure)
Which inspired the following conversation, last night...
James: Whatcha knitting now?
Me: A pencil case.
(Insert brief pause.)
James: Like Africa Sudan?
(Insert brief pause.)
James: What's for dinner?
As you can see, he's curiosity only goes so far when it comes to my knitting.
Anyway, I've decided to use a different pattern than the one I originally thought I was going to use. The original one calls for 2 circular needles and I didn't want to have to go buy them. So, I'm using Pencil Case for Darfur by Kieran Foley. I think it's only available via Ravelry. If you're a member click here for the pattern.
2. More monkeys!
I'm using Koigu superwash wool. Superwash is wonderful. It still holds the warmth of wool but you can actually wash it in the machine. (on the gentle setting of course). I believe they treat the wool with chemicals for it to have this great quality. Although I'm not entirely sure and don't want to do the research because I'm willing to bet I'll discover it's harmful for the environment and guilty knitting is just not something I want to deal with. Being an SUV owner and all.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
A huge bird in the fields. I pulled over because I'm a sucker for all things birds. He flew to the top of a power pole.
It was then I realized what kind of bird he was...That's right!! A Bald Eagle!!! I was so so excited! I've never seen one out in the "wild" before. I inched closer and closer to him; my camera happily snapping away. I think this is my favorite shot though...
I looked at him thinking, "Beautiful eagle. Do you know how breathtaking you are?"
I think he was some sort of a hawk. But for some reason he only wanted to let the camera see his underbelly. A gorgeous underbelly to be flashing about though.
I told james I think that when I'm old, I'll be a bird lady rather than a cat lady (Just to clarify, I never really wanted to be a cat lady--but if I had to choose one of the two...). I'll have a big picture window looking out into a yard filled with lots of bird feeders. A good rocking chair and some nice knitting by my side. For outings I'll go feed the ducks or visit the feathered creatures at the aviary.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
A beauty isn't she?? I'm thinking I shall do a once a week post about my adventures with Aida.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I just can't get it out of my head and I love it! It's by Aaron Strumpel written from the Psalm 133 & 134. I love the last two lines when everyone is singin' it at the top of their lungs. Just beautiful. Thanks Halen for initiating it :)
Friday, January 9, 2009
Congress has passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act which means that small businesses, Etsy sellers, crafters and artisans, even large retailers, anyone making and selling products for children (including clothing, toys, games, furniture...etc.) will be required to invest tens of thousands of dollars to have their products tested and labeled by a third-party for any dangerous chemicals. This will put crafters and sellers out of business. Example: If I wanted to sell some knitted baby items on Etsy, I would have to send samples to a lab and pay to have them test it for harmful chemical. (Even if I used all natural products--like 100% cotton!) Which would mean I would have to sell my items for $1000's of dollars just to break even!! This is ridiculous and government should not have that much control. I'm all for safe products for children, but seriously this is just too much.
We can make a difference and there is proof that some people already have! Cool Mom Picks has put together an excellent overview of the issue and has created a list of links directing you specific sites where your voice can be heard. Click on the Save Handmade button to the right or click here for more information. SAVE HANDMADE!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Last year I knit myself a new hat for the new year. I decided to continue the tradition and finished off this fashionable hat last week. I tried to give it away because I didn't like it on my noggin', but no takers. So I tried my head once more and I actually do like it now. (I apologize for such a crappy pict, but I wanted to get this posted. I'll try to get some better shots later.) The free pattern is here from knitandtonic.
I've also finished the hat to go with the mittens for Sophie. She pulled it right off her head when I originally gave it to her so I've added ear flaps and ties. This is actually my own pattern folks! Yep, I designed it myself--something quite rare around here. So here's what we've been busy with the last few weeks. Our hopes for the new year...
- To pound out debt! We've set out to really work on this this year and can do it if we stay focused. We don't have much debt compared to the national average, but enough to prevent us from getting ahead. And with James starting school this month it's a must. After a recent generous gift, we've already paid off one MAJOR one. We've also taken some small steps to continue to help us get ahead. Like... cancelled the cable (yes sadly this means no more Martha, Catherine Tate or dvr-ing the beloved Office--I'm sure we'll survive), drained and unplugged the electricity eating hot tub, put a smaller heater in the pond, completely stopped using credit cards (we rarely use them, but totally committed to stop using them after our Chicago trip), hand made most of our Christmas and birthday gifts for friends (jam, aprons, soap, knitted items, framed pictures for family Lisa took of us...etc.) , been very, very frugal on our grocery, clothing, and entertainment without feeding into a spirit of poverty (hard to do!) and if I can find a second job worth the gas and time, I'll be doing that too. So hopefully by O-10 (I've decided to dub 2010 that), I'll be reporting some fantastic news.
- James and I are also committing to really work on our health this year. We're both pretty healthy, but miserably overweight. We have a trip with L & L planned to Lake Powell in May and want to be able to keep up with them and of course for all the pictures that come along with vacationing, since you live in your swimming suit on the lake! (I'm so, so excited! Seriously Powell is my favorite vacation spot--ever! But more on that later...) The whole health thing came about after a year of just feeling, well... fat and outta shape and recent pictures have horribly proven the point. We've both struggled with weight all our lives and tried several times to get in shape, but never at the same time and with so much determination, so I'm hoping we'll be successful this time round. I'll keep you posted...hopefully this blog will also keep me accountable so be warned, I'll probably talking about it a lot.
- As I said my James will be going back to school beginning this month studying Business Administration. Yea! I'm so proud of him. He loves to learn and I believe this will really be good for him. He's excited too.
- I also hope to start a good garden in the spring. I'd like to do a ton of canning this Summer, but would like to can some of my own produce. Pickling cucks, tomatoes, and beans are at the top of the list. The jam was a hit this year for Christmas gifts and I'd like to be able to get a good storage of canned goods going.
- I'd like to master the art of marshmallow making. Yes, marshmallows people. I set out to try around Christmas but didn't have a whisk attachment to my second-hand mixer. I'll have to either borrow one or maybe the coveted Kitchenaid will mysteriously arrive on my doorstep. Hey, it's possible. Stranger things have happened around here.
- I'd like to do more charity knitting this year starting with HELPSudan. They are looking for knitted pencil cases. You can read more here on Wendyknits (a great blog if you are a knitter and a cat fan).
- I hope to blog more and take better pictures. My little camera is limited so it's a good challenge. A used Nikon D70, 80 or 90 is on my wish list...right under the Kitchenaid of course. Oh and lessons on how to use wanted camera.
- More creativity is on the list too. I'd like to make some pieces (embroidered, painted, collage, paper cuttings, etc.) for some of our bare walls. I'm really desiring art pieces that say "us". Which I think I can start on because we've been "us" for a few years now and I'm hoping to capture it.
That's it! Be prepared to hear more about my adventures. Oh and here's a fat little blackbird I saw at Costco yesterday. He begged for me to take his picture.
To all of you, may 2009 be your best year thus far and may God be big in all your lives!