Wednesday, December 12, 2012

un-hip thoughts on Christmas

I'm not a hipster. I don't try to be. I like my Christmas decor tasteful, but with a dash of reindeer-dusted-with-sparkle. Our tree is a motley collection of ornaments from vacations, gifts and childhood memories. The lights are colored LED. One strand may or may not blink (we have decided this is firmly a tree decision- some nights it blinks, some nights no so much).

I was reading the column of Miss Conduct and saw this:
Admit That the Holidays Aren't About Good Taste . . . "Good taste" in the sense of kindness and sensitivity toward others, absolutely. But not "good taste" in the sense of albino-pumpkin-and-white-chrysanthemum Thanksgiving centerpieces or Christmas trees of Art Deco perfection that no yarn-and-Play-Doh kindergarten ornament will ever desecrate. If that's your thing, by all means have the holidays as you like and revel in your tasteful splendor. But if, deep down, you really want to wear reindeer sweaters and listen to Andy Williams, or go outside and bang pots and pans at midnight on New Year's Eve, or throw all the Hanukkah gelt down on a roll of the dreidel like a riverboat gambler - then the holidays are the time to let those nerdy impulses hold sway. When it's cold outside, baby, why be cool? The holidays are the one time of year we're allowed to regress and wallow in nostalgia and anti-hipness.

I completely agree. In addition to that, I think we've lost the spirit of the holiday. At least, I know some people who clearly have. It's about family and getting together, sharing meals and hugs. NOT about wish lists, demanding certain gifts, having a tantrum, and holding grudges. And, that's just the adults. 

I've had a moment of inner peace earlier this week. I let go of holiday expectations and concluded the following:
  1. there are some people in my life that are not happy unless they are making other people unhappy. 
  2. these people have their agenda and I can choose to play along or smile and think peaceful thoughts while ignoring them. 
  3. I choose option b.
  4. I have a budget. 
  5. A handknit gift is  good gift. It's enough. 
  6. A hug from my best friends is the best Christmas gift I get each year (Sylvie and Mari are good huggers).
  7. My  niece looks forward to our post-Christmas visit so much that she's already talking about it. Because she wants to spend time with us. 
  8. Going to mass makes me feel peaceful and connected to my faith. I'm comfortable in my spiritual life. 
  9. Singing along to Christmas music makes me happy. I like the older (50s and 60s) tunes better than Mariah Carey and Michael Buble versions, but I know all the words to EVERY song. 
  10. 14-15 people will be in my very small apartment on Christmas Day for a meal. We'll be cramped, we'll be tight. The ham might have to travel out the back door, up the driveway and in the front door to get to one end of the table, but it's FAMILY. Family's not perfect. We laugh too hard, we love too much, we argue, we assume, we push, we pull and we choose to spend the holidays together. 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Holiday Knitting

Sandra's elves have been busy! Two pair of fingerless mitts in two days. 

Top pair: 
  • Yarn is Madeline Tosh, Fragrant color way, super wash
  • Pattern is April Mitts, by Swans Island Yarns
  • Needles, US 7 dpns, knit picks
Bottom pair:
  • Yarn is from Pumpkinmama's shop, Vines. Handspun, colorway is "hippie chick"
  • Pattern is Camp Out Mitts
  • Needles, US 7 dpns, knitpicks

Monday, December 03, 2012

Finished Object Alert!

Margot's sweater. A basic, top-down raglan with superwash worsted weight wool. I needed to jazz this up for her though, so we added the knit rose and bling-tastic buttons. Size 6 months, US 7 needles throughout. 

It was gifted to her mom yesterday at knit day. Mom is my best friend, Sylvie, and though she doesn't knit, she can can certainly appreciate the finished object! And, we love having her at knit day. 

I have a very special present to share with you tomorow. 


Friday, November 30, 2012

Prophylactic Therapy for the Holidays

My house is 85% of the time, a hot mess. Or at least, I think it is. Today, there is laundry on the dining room table (it's been there since last Friday), a tv tray sits in the direct center of the living room. The ottoman is loaded with knitting, patterns, and a back scratcher. The cat's little toys are EVERYWHERE. My kitchen island has 3 AA batteries, a fruit bowl, headphones, 1 hurricane candle holder, a vase of dying flowers and an iPad on it. There are dishes in the sink. The craft room is filled with STUFF. 

Am I panicking about hosting 2 major Christmas parties in this mess? No.

Am I worried that everyone will think i'm a hoarder and dirty? No.

PC and I tend to clean up BIG once a week.It's not ideal for me, but I've learned to live with it. I've also started to think: we have too much stuff. I had this thought a few months ago and we ended up donating over 40 boxes of "stuff" to charity. Now, i'm moving onto other things that are just taking up too much space. 

I was reading ApartmentTherapy today and saw this article on knowing yourself and how you live in your home. I'd really like to change some things around our home and I think this was just the kick in the pants I needed. One thing that tops my mind: shoes. My shoes live all over the house. I have a shoe rack that I barely use. I'd like to have them by the back door, but the cat box is there. Kitty litter + my shoes = not a happy a.m. surprise. But, maybe I can move the trash can. Or the pantry and the  baker's rack can swap places. 

My biggest hesitation with doing anything major in this place was that it wasn't our "forever home." just a rental. But, it's the rental we've been in for over 3 years. And, with housing market and huge down payments needed, it'll probably be the one we're in for a few more years. So, why not install the mop hanging system on the cellar door? Why not ask if we can install shelves in the spare room? 

Tomorrow, I'll wake up and look around and think: ugh. And, then I'll start the laundry, clean out my clothing drawers, wash the floors and pick up around the house. What's more is that I'll be looking around at how we live. What we can live with, and live without. How to make our space more uniquely ours. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

To: Ungrateful , From: Grinch-y

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Or, at least, December. With the wintry holidays quickly approaching, I'm seriously considering my to-knit list. It appears we'll be having a store-bought Christmas. This makes me a little sad, but then again, I always doubt my gifts when they are handmade. A pair of mittens I spent $28 on wool for, and 12 hours of my life, suddenly needs a $25 gift card so "it doesn't look cheap." No more.

On my needles are some mittens for my nephew to match his hat. My little friends to the North (cousin Sue's kids) need some new dollies, so I'll be whipping up those this weekend (Ysolde's pattern- quick and lovely).  PC? He might get some house socks, but he's cool if they aren't in the stocking. Mom's getting a scarf, but has requested socks. I dunno about that.

Other than that? I'm hitting the mall. And local purveyors, of course. I've become a bit of Grinch in past years, mostly because of particular attitudes during the holidays. I think I'm tired of not hearing Thank You (or in my case, hearing it said very curtly while the gift gets shoved somewhere). Someone recently said something near me (I overheard this conversation): A gift shouldn't come withe expectations and it shouldn't be received with them either. Enlightening! This Christmas, I'm removing any expectations from my gift giving and receiving. If I see something for $2 or $20 that makes me think of you, and I want to give it to you: done. Any gift I receive will be received for what it is: a thoughtful kindness given to me. The notion that someone thought of me when they saw it. I'm not talking about LOWERING expectations; I'm REMOVING them.

I know that if I knit mittens for PC's mom, or a hat for my dad, they will love it. But, I also have a new job and a tight schedule of events (parties, work events, etc) between now and the magical Christmas Eve. So, this year, the knitting will be relaxed. The presents will be bought, wrapped and set under the tree. No guilt. No worry that it won't be "enough" of a gift.

My gift to you this holiday season: remove your expectations, have a cup of tea, get a little knitting time in for you, and stop to enjoy the JOYS of the season. I know I will.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

smitten ten on Tuesday

  Ten on Tuesday is very appropriate for the Boston area,which is expecting snow tonight! Ten mittens I want (need) to knit. Almost 35% of my Ravelry queue is mittens. I love to knit them, love to design them, love to wear them. I guess I'm just smitten with mittens!

1. Bella mittens. A certain 15 year old needs a pair.   
2. Mittens to Order
3. Druid Mittens by Jared Flood
4. Every mitten by Spilly Jane. For real,those patterns are addictive!
5. Envy Checked Mittens. srsly? Those checks? Adorable!
6. Rose Mittens, by Kamilla.
7. 116-6 garn studio mittens
8. Drifty Mittens
9. Winter wonder mittens
10. Aberdeen Ave mittens

Jackson has a hat! I might whip up some matching mittens tonight for him. But I would really like to have this in the mail tomorrow. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Justin Bieber...downfall of decor

We drove past a gorgeous, old mansion in our town last night. You do this, right? Go look at the houses you can't afford at night? Our town is notorious in the Boston area for wealth, so its like....expected to gawk at houses.

Anyway, back to the hobby drive. Gorgeous house. Stunning. No curtains on the first floor (love! If you don't want me looking: less money on light fixtures, save for some curtains). I slowed down to see this house. Then I saw it. The second floor window lit up . Hmm. Is that? Oh, yes it is. All that gorgeous design, landscaping, and gorgeous woodwork, and they have a room full of Justin Bieber posters. 

Teenagers. The anti- taste makers. 

My nephew, Jackson, needs a new winter hat. His jacket this year is red and black, I thought this would compliment nicely. The pattern is frm the latest IK accessories frm the fall, C220 super wash to the rescue! 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Birthday weekend!

Ten on Tuesday! Ten things we did this weekend...

Well, it's been a l-o-n-g weekend, so here goes!

  1. Lunch with PC at Cambridge Brewing. Pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin beer to kick off my last weekend at 34. 
  2. Got my birthday gift from PC!

  1. Trip to get apples with PC at Honey Pot Hill, honey crisp and Mac 2nds for sauce.
  2. Trip to urgent care that led to the ER. Bronchitis was getting worse and I needed some albuterol intervention.
  3. And, Saturday! Stayed in and watched tv, knit, slept...recovered. 
  4. Made brownies. I make the best.brownies.ever.
  5. Sunday...knit, knit,, football.
  6. Trip to BJs for supplies and tv shopping.
  7. Leftovers for dinner...yum.
  8. Trip to the salon to get my nails done: pretty poison!
  9. Dinner with my parents for my birthday! 
  10. Ended dinner with homemade chocolate cake from my mom and a hug from my dad. 
So, yes. Today I turned 35. Happy Birthday to me!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

For the little princesses...

Three sweet littles girls. One big trip to see the princesses. 

First plane trip. 

One loving cousin. One happy momma. Three excited little princesses off to see a real live castle. 

That definitely deserves new crayons, crayon rolls and coloring books, no?

Basic crayon roll,  made with felt, washable crayons, and ribbon to tie. Whole project is ten minutes, and less than $2. Seeing their excitement? Priceless! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ten on Tuesday, the cheesy edition!

Ten on Tuesday- pizza!

Holy crap, I'm blogging? It's been quite the month so far- job interviews, job offers, refusing a few (what? I can pick which job?), offer negotiations,  PC turned 36, a friend is very sick, a parent was very sick, we went on a mini vacation ( courtesy of sick friend, who s ALWAYS thinking of others instead of herself), broken car to now a one car family ( not mine, the Subie is alive and kicking!), and did I mention the job interviews? Sometimes a few per day, running from place to place, and oh....the 17 lbs I lost this month? 

Now, back to pizza...

I love all things about pizza, so here we go:
1. Plain old cheese. Give me one good slice of thin cheese pizza and I'm happy. Preferably from a Greek-style pizzeria. 
2. Pepperoni. pC and I can agree on this one.
3. Peppers and onions. Unlike Carole, I want the big, thinly sliced they crisp up a bit!
4. Buffalo chicken, but it must be from Uppercrust. Yeah, their politics aren't in line with mine (pay your employees!) but they make a good pizza.
5. The flatbread pizza at Beacon Street Tavern in Brookline- figs, goat cheese, onions....divine!
6. My homemade pizza is the use Smitten Kitchen's suggestions to make mine extra selfish.
7. My mom's pizza. She worked at the original Santoro's subs and pizza all throughout Hugh school and can toss dough like no one I know. 

And the last are for things that should NEVER be on my pizza:
8. Olives. Ick. Eww. *shudder*
9. Mushrooms. I don't eat fungus. 'Nuff said.
10. Anchovies. Fish and cheese weird me out. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

re-entry with 10 on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday this week is "10 things you love about September." Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

I'm re-entering the blog-world today... It's been a rough summer and I have a lot to share with you all, but first:

My 10 things to Love about September:

1. PC's birthday is September 2. And I'm a birthday person, so we get to celebrate!
2. School supplies. I have no children in school, I'm not in school, but I refresh our house "office supplies" every September. And, yes... it's color coordinated.
3. Apples. Applies finally come into season in September. And I love apples. Apples & cheddar. Apples & peanut butter. Apple pie. Applesauce.
4. Cool nights. These cool nights are perfect for sitting on the back deck, sipping tea and chatting with PC.
5. Cooler days and lower humidity. Humidity in New England makes me hate summer, just sayin', and I welcome fall and cooler weather like a long lost lover every September.
6. Football. I'm a "football widow" but it means that I get to have my knitting Sundays with my friend Dora. :)
7. return of good TV... lol, as true blue TV-addicts, PC and I look forward to seeing what our shows will be up to in the fall.
8. Good light. I love the fading daylight and the way it plays on the sky. Each night it's like a new work of art to admire.
9. Fall camping! If you haven't fall camped, you need to. In a tent. In New Hampshire. The bite of the air in the morning, needing to sit by the fire, snuggling in the sleeping bag to "keep warm", the colors of leaves on the lake...
10. ... and it's not weird to start putting up your pumpkin and leaves decor in September. My house definitely has a "theme" and "colorway" (pumpkin, fall, leaves, cinnamon, berry, steel blue... very Sept-Oct-Nov) that isn't always "appropriate" in say, April. :)

Big changes around Casa de Mini y PC: dietary changes- PC's down 6lbs, I'm down 12lbs. it's been all-encompassing, actually, and it's finally feeling like not so much work after 14 full days of being carb-free. I have PCOS, which causes weight gain, inability to lose weight (due to insulin resistance), infertility, and ovarian cysts and tumors. A carb-restricted (think South Beach... then think Phase 1/2 all the time) diet, 30 minutes of exercise every day and some medicine should have a positive effect on all the symptoms.  My sugar cravings are damn near non-existent, our plates look very different at dinner these days, and we're a little more energetic.

And, here's my new theme song:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ten years in the making

Ten years ago, two people in their mid- twenties went here to meet for a first date. Thirteen hours later, they said good night, knowing they had just met someone very special. 

Here are a few thoughts on that first date:
  •  Burgers and beer? Dream date!
  • 101 degrees Fahrenheit...there goes my cute hair, make up...
  • A bag of bread? 
  • Feeding ducks, being chased by geese
  • First act of heroism: defense against a goose
  • Franklin Park Zoo, holding hands by the flamingos
  • Pizza fromAngelina's
  • " I have AC, you want to come in?"
  • Omg, I melted today...will he like someone this sweaty and gross?
  • First perfect kiss
  • He is sweaty and gross too.... <3
A few short months later... So THAT is what they mean when they say "you will know when it's love." 

Ten years. 6.5 living together. Two apartments. One cat. Three couches. Three cars...and one love. 

Love you, honey. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Never Too Hot for Lemon Chicken!

No knitting content today, but how about a new recipe? It is wicked hot here in Boston and hot means you want a quick, light, delicious dinner made in under 30 minutes. This is one of my go to recipes; the original was from a mash of lemon chicken recipes. 

Chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded thin; about 1 lb, split into 4 servings
Flour, 1/4 cup
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice, 1/4 cup
Chicken broth, 1/2 cup
Butter, 4 tbsp, divided
Olive oil, 2 tbsp divided
Parsely, chopped, 1/4 cup
8 thinly sliced lemon slices

1.  Preheat oven to 250 F
2.  Pound breasts thin and dust with a mix of flour, salt and pepper.
3.  Heat 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter in a sauté pan; add dusted chicken. Cook 2-3 minutes each side, turn. Place in oven to keep warm. Continue with rest of chicken breasts, adding more butter and oil in between the two batches.
4.   Add rest of butter, lemon juice, broth, sliced lemons; reduce. Add parsley and mix. 
5.  Remove the chicken from the oven and pour sauce over. Serve immediately with steamed broccoli and couscous. 

A few notes: I make couscous the following way: heat 1 1/3 cup water with 1tsp olive oil in the microwave, remove' add couscous, cover with dish towel for 5-8 minutes, fluff with fork. Broccoli is steamed n the stove top. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Boston knitter in NYC...

A trip to Purl SoHo was, happily, in the cards for this trip. Yarn? Nope! Embroidery supplies! I have remained (mostly) strong in my commitment to knit down the stash and their excellent selection of Madeline Tosh or the sale on Manos silk/wool wasn't going to sway me. I treated the yarn walls like a petting zoo: nice to touch, but not coming home!

I grabbed two fat quarter packs that will complement my current fabric stash and help me get some quilts off my brain. The book is a great resource for my favorite kind of stitching:doodles! I'm a lifelong doodler, so I love this style. I see a lot of tea towels and felted mittens this fall! 

One sad thing? Something from Purl SoHo didnt make it into my bag and with our bus tomorrow, I wont get over there again. I hope they can mail it to me. I'm going to tweet them tonight to see what they can do... And call them tomorrow. 

W are on a brief break for the evening, then back out tonight for dinner and a movie. It has been so much fun hanging out with PC and my cousin, Jason. By the way, any NYC girls  reading? He is gorgeous, single, Christian, great job, very funny and lives in the east 70s. :) did I mention he is single?

More tomorrow, and hopefully some socks. Socks? What happened to the hat? Hunting down my US 7 dpns is what happened!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

moonlight sonata

I headed back to the guild tonight after five months gone! Me, missing five months? Yikes! Guess that pesky job was really taking a toll on me! 

Tonight was just sit and knit, as its summer and, well.... We are really only there for the air conditioning. I worked on my blackberry wood hollow hat; it is coming along. Hopefully I will have it done tomorrow night.  We are leaving for NYC this weekend, visiting family, and  I will be hopefully visiting Purl Soho for the first time. I CANNOT WAIT. 

Purl Soho is my dream: fabric and yarn and embroidery? Consider me "in." 

Pics tomorrow of the finished hat. For now, here is something else to look at:

Moonrise off our campsite....I miss my lake!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Squeezing in some knitting time

I have had a pretty nasty infection on my foot this summer. It's part of having had a really bad case of cellulitis and blood-borne streptococcus many, many years ago. After months of dealing with bleeding wounds, the doc gave me a cure: antibiotics, steroids, a salve, and nightly foot soaks. Foot soaks are great for knitting time. 

Or bonding, pedicure style, with my cat. When I settle in, she settles in. Girl time, good times. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Blueberry Pies and Home for Strawberry Shortcake

Blueberry pies in jars? Meh. I need a new recipe and a way to make the bottom crust cook. Any ideas? 

 A very special young lady turned four this summer. And four means Little People, dollhouse residents, Polly Pockets, Barbies, and all the associated "stuff" that goes along with these wee play friends. Like tiny shoes and outfits. And, of course, every girl knows that it is fun to go places with friends.

Enter the traveling dollhouse. I've made a few of these in the past, but I made some mods to this one. 1) added brown felt for the roof, 2) added pockets to the inside, 3) added a front "door" and I glued the batting to the canvas, which made life easier. 

The pattern is from UK Lass in the US. The tutorial is good, but really read it through and double check your cuts and measurements. 

And now that my best friend just had her little girl, I have about 3.6 years to make the next one.

Home sweet portable home.

Bonus for using all materials I had in hand. Cost? Auntie time.

Love this button!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

A tale of two hats

Wow. It has been awhile, huh? My return to the blog was delayed by some changes in my personal life. I was laid off from my job the day before we left on vacation. It sucked, I cried, we had a great vacation and then we came home. And I hid. And hid some more. I've been interviewing but I did hit a funk and I am happy to report that I have snapped right out of it. I have been knitting. And quilting. And baking. And cooking. I will start to update you as we all catch up. 

Today, look at the pic above. My second wood hollow hat by Kirsten Kapur at Through The Loops. My first is this one:

pea. US 6 16-inch circulars...about two sizes smaller than the recommended for the gauge. I'm thinking it will be deliciously warm and snugly on my dad's head this winter, so it needed a smaller, tighter gauge. One thing I always try to remember when I'm knitting with alpaca is that is has drape, not a whole lot of stretch. This can be hard in something like a hat, so finding a pattern that uses: cables in a rib-like way and utilizing a   Twisted Rib for the band is a great way to build stretch into the resulting fabric. Ultra Alpaca has some wool in it, I believe, so that helps a bit, but the drapieness of alpaca will always try to win over the other fibers. Knitting with a smaller needle will also help later drape and keeps the hat's shape once it's worn. It is knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, in the color split pea. US 6 16-inch circulars...about two sizes smaller than the recommended for the gauge. I'm thinking it will be deliciously warm and snugly on my dad's head this winter, so it needed a smaller, tighter gauge. One thing I always try to remember when I'm knitting with alpaca is that is has drape, not a whole lot of stretch. This can be hard in something like a hat, so finding a pattern that uses: cables in a rib-like way and utilizing a   Twisted Rib for the band is a great way to build stretch into the resulting fabric. Ultra Alpaca has some wool in it, I believe, so that helps a bit, but the drapieness of alpaca will always try to win over the other fibers. Knitting with a smaller needle will also help later drape and keeps the hat's shape once it's worn. 

The second hat is knit n US 7 16-inch circs, with Berroco Blackstone Tweed. I love the raspberry color. It's knitting up very pretty. I like that Berroco hasn't polluted the pink with blue "tweed" flecks but stuck to reds and purples.  Surprisingly, this yarn has a bit of a thick and thin feel, almost like a handspun tweed. It ribbed nicely and is cabling well. The yarn is made of wool (65%), super kid mohair (25%), and angora (10%). That angora will make a soft hat and very insulating, while the mohair and wool gives it a lot of durability. So far, the hat has a great halo forming as well. 

Tomorrow, miniature pies in jars. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Is it really only Thursday? Seems like Friday. Or at least I wish it were. Friday I will be packing up and getting ready for our annual camping vacation to northern NH. I love this vacation more than words can say. We eat' we sleep, laugh, joke, drink, carry on, giggle, fish, hike and float. I read books, knit socks, laugh and gossip with a good girlfriend. We make sand castles with our niece, the Noodle, and teach her to get just that much braver in the water. 

This trip is bittersweet. A lot is going on "behind the scenes" at work and home, and well, we could have bad news either before or after we go. PC and I re ready for it and have been preparing, but nothing is set until its set, y'know? 

What do you pack when you go camping? Board games or cards? Knitting? Audiobooks? 

I will be blogging when I get back. Squeak in the comments if you are still reading... 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

IPad blogging?

This is certainly one for the record book, I think. I am blogging via a new iPad  app and hopefully it will make me a cuter, slimmer and all around, a better dancer. Wait. I'm an awesome dancer.

Really folks, it will hopefully just get me blogging more. 

My nook color took a nose dive on a business trip to Philadelphia, requiring me to reboot, reinstall and rethink my nook. Over and over. When PC suggested I just embrace my inner gadget loving could I resist? 

Enter my new 32gb, wifi only white new iPad. Petunia. She's fairly user friendly and we love playing mancala with her. She is going on the Mini y PC annual family camping trip next week. 
and maybe I will get off m' duff and blog while we are there. 

Hope you're still listening. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ten on tuesday: the clean edition

Carole posted her "honey do" list for Dale today as a 10 on Tuesday. In our house, we don't really have a honey-do list, but there is a BUNCH of stuff around her that needs to get sorted. So, here's on the Spring To-Do list :
from this (not my stash--- some random photo from the internets)
to this. Also, not my room... but you get the idea. 

1. The yarn stash. Yup, time to "turn it over" and see what pops up.
2. Fix the yarn cabinet. I need Dan for this one... maybe I can get him to do it this weekend.
3. the sewing area. I need to go through stuff, toss fabrics I don't want and get creative with the storage of things.
4. Two closets in the back room. Time to toss out that which we are squirrelling away back there.
5. Bedroom: strip ,beds and clean off dressers. DUST. Move a lamp.
6. windows. Mine are filthy and it's starting to bug me.
7. Fridge and oven. I need to clean them both soon, but I hate cleaning the oven b/c it gets so darn hot.
8. the back room--- remove two chairs and clean a rug. There's a couch-fold out bed thing from Ikea I want to put in there.
9. new book cases for Dan--- we have a wobbly one and need a better one. I'm looking now for one with doors for him, to keep the dust out.
10. Get the veggie garden in out back. The raised bed needs to be weeded and the hanging baskets need to be set up. Oh, and I need to go get some plants.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

ten on tuesday

So, I live in a cubicle, so my whole world, from 8;30 to 5pm is a bulletin board. So, here are some of the highlights:
1. A prized "motif #1" photograph that my best friend Sylvie gave me for my birthday a few years back. I love it. When i'm in a bad mood, I look at it. It's my perfect day: slightly cloudy, but bright, and autumn.
2. a labbit. I can't really explain this one.
3. an lolcat that I adore: my grumpy button, you're pushing it.
4. a bag made from a newspaper, gifted to me by my boss's sister in Ireland who I've never met, but is super crafty like me.
5. a cartoon of me from the company outing in 2010.
6. a sign from PC that says: "Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh
7. a straw ornament and pink umbrella from my friend at work, Mary. She works in VA now... and I miss her.
8. colorings from Olivia, Remi, Chloe, Tori and Brooke.
9. Jack (my nephew) in his soccer uniform... love this photo.
10. and my reminder for humility and humbleness in this world: "And I'm no theologian, but I'm pretty sure that if you hold a press conference to announce your philanthropy, it cancels out the gesture in heaven"  (quote from Jennifer Graham, a freelance writer for the Boston Globe). I saw this in December 2010 and it just resonated with me so clearly.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Luckiest Auntie

You know those friends of your parents? The ones who were family, even though you weren't related? Well, our Noodle is our "niece" but her mom and I are not sisters, in the traditional sense.

Today, I got to share the day with Mari and Noodle at the Gore Sheep Festival in Waltham, Mass. No yarn, still on my diet, but I did get some new bling. Hope your weekend was full of fun, fiber and friends, too.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

10 on Tuesday: vacation

Today's 10 on Tuesday is pretty appropriate for Carole...I'm guessing her #1 is "not visiting battle sites." Mine are pretty "specific"  as 99% of PC and my vacations are camping. Camping is great and  I love it,but  it's not a worry free or stuff-free vacation.
photos to show what we love about camping

So, top 10 things about coming HOME from vacation...

1. Showering inside. And without flip flops. Our favorite campground doesn't heat the bathrooms, so our May and October camping trips are plagued with eye-opening showers. 
not Dan.

2. Sleeping on a real mattress. Off the ground. Our double height air mattress is great, but after a week? i'm ready for my bed.
not quite, but i do have a rug. 

3. prep space for cooking.We have a camp stove, a camp grill and a camp kitchen that we take on weeklongs... I love them all,but I miss my island. 
mine is very close to this

4. the right tools for cooking--- i have most of what I need, but limited to 1 pan, 1 pot. 

5. TV for rainy days. Yup, I love camping,but when it's dark and a rainy night, sometimes you miss the good old tv. I love to read, so my nook gets a hefty workout when we're camping.

6. Not having to hike to find the bathroom. Our favorite campground has 2 bath houses... neither of which is next to our favorite sites. 
our camp has these, but they aren't in use. But they have them!

7. The cat. Yup, I'm one of those... I miss Pumpkin when we're away. She doesn't miss us, though... she's at PC's parents house, living the high life.
Pumpkin as a baby

8. Having everything in one place. When you camp, you end up moving stuff. Alot. Like the coolers into and out of the cars (bears).

9. Air conditioning.... last year, we camped during the hottest week in N.H. history. With a 3 year old. Granted, we were by the lake all day, but still... barely a breeze and even the shade was hot. 

10. planning the next camping trip!!!
our first site at Cove Camping Area, Conway Lake... 7 years ago. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

great stash knitdown

The 2012 great stash knit down continues. To date, I haven't purchased a single skein or ball of yarn in 2012. Imagine that? Even when Kim at Woolen Rabbit announced her yarn club. (my heart sank) Or when Webs decided to inundate my house with reminders that the anniversary sale is NOW! (and Cascade 220, my go-to standard, is on sale for like $5). Or when I sat down at Iron Horse Farms in Natick with Dora and flipped through pattern books. And helped her buy yarn. I bought two pattern books, a set of needles and a knitting basket. But no yarn. :) And, as an aside to the lovely owner of Iron Horse-- she respected my wish to shop the stash first, my commitment to knitting with what i have... never pushed. I will be back. Not my favorite shop, but it will get my yarn dollars just for that. Oh, and the kitchen table to sit at and flip through pattern books.

What's on my needles? Finishing up a Molly scarf in Noro Silk, a sweater for a bambina (! a girl!) on the way, sweaters for next fall for her brothers... and some hats, mittens, fingerless mitts. Yup, i'm busy and I have two quilts that need to be 1) quilted and bound, 2) designed, pieced, layered, quilted and bound.

I'm a busy woman!

"Don't put me down until I'm dry. Ok?"
"If eyedrops and medicine mean 2 cookies, what does a bath mean? My own chicken?"
I leave you with adorable cat-washing photos... Pumpkin was very well behaved during her bath. Not a meow, a hiss or growl to be heard. She resisted, but she really liked being dried off in a warm fluffy towel. And she's cleaner now. And, hopefully, less dandruff-y.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

on my game...

You ever have one of those days where you feel like you really have it all together? My house is clean (not the craft room, just the house), I made two of the recipe below (one for tonight, one for the freezer) before I left for work (put in the oven, take shower and dry hair, remove from oven, cool while eating breakfast), took out the trash/recycling, grabbed 3 bags of clothes to donate after work... it's a good day.

Today, I want to share with you a recipe that is one of my go-to meals when we're 1) saving money on groceries or 2) having one of "those" weeks where dinner just needs to be ready whenever someone is home. (for the record, we're experiencing both this week)

Crustless quiche

5 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup of milk
5-6 ounce ham, diced (leftover Easter ham would be good)
1 cup asparagus pieces (leftover roasted asparagus is divine in this)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Place the ham, asparagus and cheese in the bottom a pie dish, coated with cooking spray. Beat milk into eggs and add to pie dish. Using a fork, move the contents around so that the egg settles throughout the dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Eat hot or let cool.

We'll have ours tonight with a green salad and french bread. And probably a beer. I said it's been one of those weeks, didn't I?

I have knitting to show, but I've decided to write up the pattern (it's simple,but we all need beginner patterns at some point, right?) so you'll see photos tomorrow. And pattern by the end of the month. If you want to test-knit, leave a comment and your email address. or email me at kskaare (at) gmail (dot) com.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

hello, 1991

I got this from Classic Elite today in my inbox:
I know the yarn is "Florida themed" but this is a little "Golden Girls?"
An ad for their new line of yarns, Sanibel. The yarn looks great, but the associated patterns? Hello, I right? Now, I will admit, that with the new creative leadership at the helm, I've been staunchy shying away from CE designs, but I do still love their yarn. And, one of the patterns is cute, but the yarn takes away from the cuteness!  
cute, right? In a solid color, this would be adorable. 

Maybe it's just me, but I'm really hoping that we see something better for Fall 2012. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tea, cookies and quilting

Amazingly so, but I was up at 5:39 this morning, making Christmas cookies. Yup. Work is having a bake-off today and this is my entry: kringle. (Pronounced kring-lah)

It's a simple sour cream tea cookie, kind of like the Stella Dora "s" cookies. I will put the recipe in a bit.

Next, I took a quilting class on Saturday: tea leaves with Michelle Poor, the pattern designer. It was my first class with an actual designer and it was fun to hear how the pattern evolved. (She liked cathedral windows but didn't like the fussiness of the pattern). It is not too bad for my first attempt. This simple table topper took 4 hours, start to finish.

Knitting tomorrow.

I'm back, baby...I'm back.