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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Another WIP Completed



Last evening I finished up the sweater set for my friend Debbie. She will take it with her to South Korea when she goes this Spring to visit her son Mike and his wife. I know that it will be close to the time when the baby is due.


I did quite a bit of frogging and tweaking with this sweater pattern. It was frustrating to say the least. Several times I thought to just rip it all apart and search for another pattern. Then I got stubborn and thought about all of the work that I already had in this project.


Before I get into some of the details I experimented with the camera, to use the flash, or not. All the photos where the sweater set looks peachy were taken without the flash. When you compare it does make a definite difference. The actual color is pink.


The pattern I used is from a very old crochet book by Columbia Minerva, titled "Crochets for Babies infants and toddlers" book 778. When I looked inside the cover to see the year it was published I couldn't find a date. The pattern is called Daffy-Down-Dilly. There is a blanket that matches the sweater and cap but Debbie wanted a blanket with hearts.


Making the sacque (sweater) was relatively simple until I got to the yoke. Then the hair pulling began. I ripped it out a good 3 times, the count was off. Row 4 of this leg of the pattern was just wrong. It said that 59 stitches should remain, well no, I had 57, and no matter how many times I ripped and redid the rows it always came out to 57. After that I was on my own, trying to salvage all the work, trying to just make do and continue. 


Where the yoke right and left sides meet at the front is suppose to be flat, forget that, I made a change, I folded down the top corners and fastened them down with a pink button. The buttons were sewn on straight at the corners of the collar, but they don't look like it in the picture. I am fussy like that, it has to be even and straight. Why it never looks right in a photo is beyond me, everything always looks a bit wonky (is that a word? maybe Wonka, like Willy Wonka). Then on the back I stitched down 3 areas so the collar I made would not flip up. I then ran pink satin ribbon under the collar and tied it in the front. 


Here is a view of the back of the sweater. I love the shell pattern. It is easy to follow.


Then the back of the bonnet/cap. I wasn't too happy with the way the ribbon went through the eyelets, it twisted a bit. The pattern called for single crochets between the chain 2 spots and I should have done double crochets, that way the spaces would have accommodated the width of the ribbon better. The pattern actually calls for making a chain tie with pom poms on the ends. Folks, I just wasn't in a pom pom mood by the time I was wrapping up this project, lol.

 
I needed either a doll with a head the size of the bonnet or a real baby to model it......alas, neither was available for the photo shoot.


It would be nice to have added booties to this ensemble, there was no matching pattern for them in the book. I had very little yarn left, maybe enough for one bootie, but not for two. By the time I finished up I wasn't in a bootie mood anyways, no pom poms and no booties.....sigh. It was time to move on to the next project.....mom's blanket......grrrrr!


This past Wednesday would have been my husband's 68th birthday. The girls, Holden and I spent the evening together and had taco pizza. Special occasions are coming and going. Memories remain in my heart always. I am blessed to have my daughters and grandson, extended family (and you) to share my life with. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for another day to try and be a blessing for someone, no matter who that someone might be. I thank all of you for being my friend, for coming here and taking precious time out of your lives to read and/or leave a comment. I want to wish all of you the best for the holidays, may your lives be filled with God's love and his blessings. All we have are gifts from him. There are millions of words, but the one I use to describe our God is "AWESOME"! ♥♥♥

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Auction & Other Stuff


On Thursday evening my friend Rhonda and I went to the School of Hope for their auction and sale. Some local businesses and vendors offer up an item or two and then the auctioneer will call out the numbers and anyone interested in the item can bid, and raise, you know the drill. The cause is a worthy one, to help with school costs and various other expenses. The School of Hope is for the mentally challenged, many high functioning, individuals with Down's Syndrome and other afflictions. My oldest daughter Rachael works in one of the subdivisions of the school.


I spied out this cute little monster in the green basket with his story book. I won't tell you what I paid for him, but if it hadn't been for the money going to help the school I probably would have passed him up. Of course I will gift him to Holden for Christmas. He likes monsters and books. His bed is filled with stuffed toys and how he finds room to actually sleep in his baby bed is amazing. He insists on having all his friends and buddies right in there at nap time and at night.


Then I bid on this and won. I needed another casserole dish like I need another hole in my head, but it was such a pretty color and I love that it is oven, microwave, and dishwasher proof. I love the wire rack that the dish rests in.


 Today I went grocery shopping and had to stop at Joanne Fabrics to buy a bit of yarn for a couple of scarves. I needed a pot for my Amaryllis bulb. The pot is just what I was looking for, in fact it almost matches the casserole dish I won. It was 50% off and so I grabbed it up.


Was I ever surprised, my Joanne store was all remodeled and looked so nice. I went straight to the yarn isles for my few skeins of yarn and low and behold look what jumped right into my cart.....


it didn't stop there, nope, these are just the colors I chose, I got several skeins of each of these and the good news is that they were all marked down $1 each. They are so soft and will be perfect for cowls and scarves. Have any of you ever tried this Lion Brand of Jiffy yarn before? Now, the bad news, I forgot my coupon, grrrrrrrrrr!


I then went down the next isle and saw this. Could my hands grab these 3 skeins fast enough, I think not! This yarn feels fantastic, I just wanted to stand there and play with it, honestly folks, it is beautiful and feels terrific! "I have plans for this", said the woman who said she was swearing off yarn for awhile.....this is my heroin....it is a wonder I am not some drooling idiot (sitting on the floor in the yarn isle) when I get a hold of stuff like this....


My next mistake was going straight to the pattern book display. The shopping cart must be magnetized, it is like I have no control over it, yes, I entered the Twilight Zone of the store, skimming, scanning and flipping through books.

 

I left the store feeling quite content with myself, I got my fix and managed to do some minimal damage to my pocket book. Honestly, they didn't have to re-stock the shelves either ♥

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ear Warmers & A New Book



This has been the year for ear warmers. I started making them and just couldn't stop. Fun and quick, that is what I was looking for and I found it on Sara's blog, "Tangled Happy" located here. I didn't use her flower though, I did my own from another pattern I found.


I made a total of 33 which was a great stash buster. No two are alike and I used buttons from my collection.

 

I left both of my girls pick out one. The rest I will give as gifts or maybe sell, depending on who is interested. I do have an Etsy shop but never opened it up. Maybe I will open it before the new year. We will see what happens.


I loved making these. They were so much fun. One led to another and before I knew it I had a bunch.


Now that I have them out of my system, for awhile, I will finish up the baby sweater and bonnet that are to go with the bobble heart baby blanket.


When that is completed I will start joining Mom's blanket. I know all you guys are sick of hearing my procrastinating ways, but this time I will be true to my word and just get it done.

 

I have a mile long list of things I want to do. This new year I hope to do some quilting. I bought this beautiful quilt book from Lori Holt whose blog "Bee In My Bonnet" can be found here. I'm not sure if this is Lori's first book, but she has her own company. She sells patterns and has many tutorials posted on her pages. The book can be purchased from her. It arrived in excellent time. It is a keeper!


This rainy and cold evening I was invited by my friend Rhonda to attend an auction for the School of Hope. As usual, I forgot my camera. I did bid on a couple of items and won them both. More on that next time. Hope all of you are doing well ♥

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Busy Hands



 For the past several weeks I have been working on the baby blanket for my friend Debbie. Her son (a school teacher in South Korea) and his wife are expecting their first baby this Spring.


The yarn I used was from the box of yarn my friend from Florida sent me. The yarn is several years old, how do I know that, well, the price tag was still on the skeins.


How many years ago was the price of yarn only 88 cents for a 4-ply knitting worsted weight yarn?


 The label says pink, but it looks closer to a peach shade to me. Actually in the pictures the color does look more like pink.


 I made 20 blocks and then bordered them with a row of sc all around, then a second row of dc with a ch1 space between, putting a dc, ch1, dc, ch1, dc in each corner space. I tried crocheting the blocks together with a sc but it left too bulky a ridge, so I tried a sl joining them and still was not happy. In fact I had the whole thing joined together with the sl stitch and ended up undoing it. I dug out my tapestry needle and started hand stitching. The seams now are nice and flat, just the way I like them.


She wants a sweater and bonnet, so I found a pattern that hopefully will look good with the blanket. I am holding my breath on having enough yarn cause I know the stuff I am using is as good as antique. There are zippo chances of finding any in this lifetime.


I also found a cute ear warmer pattern on Tangled Happy's blog (she is on my sidebar). I have to sew some seams and make some flowers to finish them off. I have been wanting to make some for the past 2 years. There are all sorts of darling patterns out there. This is another way of stash busting.


And, in case you are wondering what happened to my mom's African Flower blanket.....it is resting quietly, without complaints, in the recliner in the living room. It will get put together before mom's birthday on December 10th. See that scrappy blanket on the back of the chair, I made that 36 years ago when I was pregnant with my first baby. That old afghan has been through the mill. It has been slept on, slept under, wadded up like a pillow, thrown in a heap on all the furniture, laid on by the kids, hubby, the dogs. Family has wrapped them selves in it and the kids have fought over it. It has been washed and tumble dried so many times I'm surprised it still holds together. Recently my youngest said she wanted it. I have made her at least 3 beautiful new ones (different designs) and that she would want this one kinda surprised me. It is not the prettiest blanket I have ever made, in fact it is just bits and pieces of left over yarns that weren't enough to do anything else with. It has been abused, but still loved.......just like that worn out t-shirt, jeans or the old shoes that are a favorite. So what are you working on? I imagine with Christmas right around the corner most of you are busy doing up Christmas gifts. ♥

Monday, November 11, 2013

Missing My Vet


Some people live their lives every day and don't give a second thought that because of someone, somewhere, laying their very life on the line, it enables us to live the good life. Reach out, thank a veteran. Don't just do it once a year, if the opportunity presents itself, jump at the chance. My husband was a Vietnam Veteran. The vets who served in this very unpopular war were not treated well when they came home. Remember not all soldiers die on the battle field, many more die years later from the circumstances out of their control during the time they served. AGENT ORANGE.....I rest my case. I miss my guy. Many other husbands and wives are missing their loved ones today. War, it is right up there on the top of the list of the things I hate. The war didn't end when the troops came home. The battle rages on inside of those of us who are left to pick up the pieces of a broken heart.




Saturday, November 9, 2013

Autumn, Herb Garden


I swear, if I live to be 100 I don't think I will ever be able to find a more beautiful sight in nature than the sugar maple tree that I planted years ago. In the spring and summer it has dark green leaves that throw shade underneath it's boughs. The shade is so thick that there is hardly any grass under the tree, and when I mow I am always kicking up dust. It brings welcome coolness on a hot day. For the past 2 weeks the leaves turned from green to this beautiful mix of yellow, purple, red and a pinkie color.


When the sunlight hit the tree it was breathtaking, a sight to behold, and it was hard not to constantly glance at it. It was almost translucent at times, just hard to describe. The thing is, the photos do not do it justice. One would have to actually be standing there to understand just what I mean. I can be at my kitchen sink and see it. Then over a couple of days it became this blazing red-pink mass of splendor. If I had my back to the window and the sun was shining on the tree, it would be reflected on my stainless steel refrigerator, looking like there was something on fire.


 It reminds me of a torch, the way it is shaped, the way it glows in the sunlight. When the clouds cover the sun this tree is still like a ball of fire. Simply beautiful.


 I love taking pictures of it. I dread what is to come though. I will have to rake it's leaves and there will be a ton. I can no longer get my John Deere riding mower in this part of the back yard. Since I had the new bagger put on it the mower does not fit through the gate. I always push mow this section of the yard.


My herb garden got a much needed taming. You can hardly see the sage plant in the left front corner of the bed after I gave it a haircut. The plant is about 5 years old. There entire bed was so over run with mint, rosemary and basil that I had to pretty much pull and dig it all up. Lesson learned, plant mint in a pot, do not plant it in the bed, it is invasive.


You can see some mint is growing between the back of the bed and the fence. It has these roots that go everywhere. I have garlic chives and just plain chives. They survive the winter pretty well and they bounce back no matter how badly I trim them back.


This last pic is a shot of where the rosemary and basil was. There is parsley, more oregano and leeks on this end. I planted about 10 cloves of garlic. We will see how that does. I have never planted any before, but I ran across an article in a magazine from our electric co-op that explained that this is the time of year to plant it. The leeks are in the right front corner, I have no clue about how I was to plant them. I think I should have separated them individually. I really need to read up on that. So, do any of you have an herb garden, and what do you plant in yours?


Before I end this post I just wanted to thank all of you for the sweet and thoughtful comments you leave for me. I look forward to reading each one and please know that they brighten my days. You are welcome here anytime. If you ever have any questions I will try to answer them. You can always email me. My address is on the sidebar. I hope you all have a great weekend. ♥

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Friends For Sunday Dinner

I haven't been in the mood to entertain anyone, but I knew I could not live like a hermit the rest of my life. Last week I invited 2 good friends, who use to be our next door neighbors, over for Sunday dinner. They accepted. Besides, it was my turn to treat them and I wanted to do something special. Rhonda and her husband Greg have been so good to me. It has been about 3 years since they moved and I miss them terribly. We couldn't have asked for better neighbors. So, here is the dinner I made for them.......

 

The meal consisted of baked breaded pork chops, cheddar hash brown potatoes, white half-runner green beans, croissant rolls, and dessert was cherry pie with vanilla ice cream.

The recipe for the potatoes has been around the block for several years but I will post it for those of you who haven't seen it before. Keep in mind that you can modify it by using low-fat sour cream, diet margarine, the lower version of the cheddar cheese, you can cut the salt too since the canned soup has more than enough sodium in it and you can always find a low cal version of the cream of chicken soup. You can't find an easier dish and it is always a hit during the holidays or potluck meals. What follows the recipe is just some pictures of the food prep.

Cheddar Hash Browns

1-2# bag of frozen hash browns, thawed
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed corn flake crumbs  (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients well (except corn flake crumbs).  Spray a 9" x13" pan with Pam. spread potato mixture in pan and top with the corn flake crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.










It is always good to sit down with friends and enjoy a meal together. I could not ask for better friends. God has truly blessed me.


This is always an attractive meal when dished out on a plate. I love how it looks on my blue dinner plates. I loved how it smelled and tasted. The pork chops were breaded with just the plain corn flake crumbs. If you are seriously wanting to make the potatoes, just keep in mind that the original version is high in fat, cholesterol and calories. So, unless you want to spend 2 weeks on the treadmill, I would recommend the version using the lighter ingredients. ENJOY!
 
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