31 December 2012

Whoopsy, I missed Sunday's Snaps!

We made cookies, which came out perfectly and are surprisingly still around...

Continued some fabulous family traditions...

Had a fabulous Christmas morning, that started just after 5 a.m.!

I guess so we could get to playing by the time the sun came up... lol.

I finished this little blanket, though it still hasn't grown on me.

Hobbit joined Ravelry and is a French Knitting Knob force to be reckoned with!

94... I think

All of my crafty endeavors from 2012.. at least all the ones I've photographed.  Not too shabby.

30 December 2012

The red X

Not tickled with it but it's done.
I finished the blanket with about 45 minutes to spare, no thanks to this stupid cold that has been plaguing our family for the past month.  It started with Pokey, then Hobbit got it (and is still fighting it) and now it appears to be my turn.  I am less than thrilled to be hampered with this idiotic cold but on the upside, at least it's during a school break so I don't have to a bunch of running around to do while feeling like death warmed over.  Silver lining and all that.

I think I'm going to curl up on my sofa and work on my Molly Weasley sweater... I'm so worn out that I fear even that is asking too much of me.

27 December 2012

8 more plus 3 rounds

That's all I have left and it's due tomorrow before 11:59 p.m. EST - have mercy, I will not fail!!

26 December 2012

2013's Promises to Try

Those who have been with me for the past two and a half years know that I don't make resolutions.  I don't like setting myself up for failure because we all know that is exactly what resolutions do.  Instead, I make promises to try - that way, even if I don't exactly succeed in my endeavors, the simple act of trying makes it a win.

Last year, I promised to try a new knitting or crochet technique that scared me, to move more, to discover more patience and to get organized.  They were lofty goals for me and I think I did a pretty good job with them this past year.  I learned how to do stranded color work, attempted to learn how to read crochet patterns (went rogue every time but I tried), attempted to do a lace shawl twice (frogged one, hibernating the other) and I went beyond the granny square and made actual articles of clothing with crochet.  The moving and patience are still works in progress but I'm trying and since we've moved, I've been super organized and stayed with it.  I'd give myself a passing grade for this past year because I never stopped trying.  So what am I going to do for 2013 - take a look...

  1. Read at least one book a month.  I have gotten out of the habit of reading and I miss it.  I realize now that I have to make more time to read - either in the car pick up queue or just before bed.  There is time available, I just have to better utilize it.
  2. Make my first sweater.  It's time.  Sure, we live where it's super hot but I have always wanted to knit one and I think I'm ready now.  Might test the waters with making it for Hobbit though - smaller sweater, bigger confidence.
  3. Save a thousand dollars this year.  It's a goal and it's super tangible but Pokey and I are rubbish when it comes to saving money.  I want to get in the habit of putting funds away every paycheck, even the smaller ones, so that should he ever come down with the flu again, we aren't in the lurch.
  4. Visit my folks at least once a month.  Now, y'all are probably thinking that is an odd one but I have gotten to be a bit of a hermit since retiring from Disney.  I don't like to go running around and would much prefer people come to me... my mother is the same way so in order to get to see her and spend time with them since they'll just be 2 hours up the road, I'm making it a promise to myself.  She's going to teach me to sew and I'm going to teach her how to use Ravelry - might even get her playing around in the castle, she's a total Hufflepuff, trust me.
And there you have it.  My list of things that I am going to try to do for 2013.  It's actually a rather tough list for me so I'm going to have to push myself a bit.  I think it's fun to look back over the years at the things you want to do and take stock in how far you've come.  There are a lot of exciting things coming with this new year, I plan on making the most of them.

25 December 2012

Merry Christmas

From my family to yours, we wish you the warmest of holidays. Be safe and God bless.

24 December 2012

Lots of little happies

We made cookies this morning...

Someone was rather proud of her work.

Care for a bite?

Someone wanted to help - we thought better of it.

They are really flippin' good... and it's a good thing we waited because they won't see the light of day!
We also watched movies and did our nails - fingers and toes!  Now we're going to relax before supper, after which the real fun beings!!

Small confession

I'll admit that I was not feeling the Christmas vibe until today... now, I can barely stand myself!! So much to do today - baking cookies, working on projects while watching classic Christmas specials and topped off with going out to look at Christmas lights in our pjs with cocoa in hand.

Hopefully, Hobbit will be in bed by 8 and asleep by 10 so that Santa can get his work done and in bed before midnight because little people wake up super early on Christmas day!

And with that, Hobbit just ran in here and squee'd "It's Christmas Eve!!!" I'll try to get some photos of all our goings on to share later tonight, no promises though. Regardless of if you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope y'all are having a most wonderful time today and are surrounded by those you love too!!

Happy Christmas Eve!

May you be surrounded by those you love and may all your wishes come true.

23 December 2012

Sunday Snaps

It's been a week full of presents - like our holiday ornament swap with Club 33. I sent this...

and received this!

Making last minute requested teacher gifts...

And surprise parcels at the door.

Even got a little creative in the kitchen.
Today, we're baking Christmas cookies for Santa because we've got one more day to wait and then the night that never seems to end is upon us!

22 December 2012

Creative cupboard cooking

Ever have a day where you have food in your house but you don't have anything to eat?  Lots of things but a bit lost as to what you want to do with it all?  That was me tonight, until I found four things - cooked chicken, broccoli, cheese soup and rice.  It was awesome!

The spices are Worcestershire sauce, chives, ground mustard, onion powder, salt and pepper.

The broccoli was frozen and I nuked it for half the time suggested - then I cut off the stalks.

Poured the soup in a bowl and added 3/4 of a can of milk, scraping sides to get it all!

Toss in your spices to mix with the soup, this ensures it covers everything.  It's all 'measured' to taste.

Put the rice on the bottom, add cooked chicken, broccoli and soup - mix it all together so it's wet.

Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 35 minutes...

Clean up and wait - or make biscuits and get them ready like I did.

After 35 minutes, stir and taste test.  Now put it back in for 10 minutes, uncovered.

This is when I put my biscuits in the oven because it helps make sure it's all served hot.

Pull it out after 10 minutes and let it sit for about 8 more so that your biscuits can finish.

After those 8 minutes, pull your biscuits and plate your supper.  It's amazingly good!
Do you want to know the best part - I figured out that this supper right here cost me roughly $6 to make and I have leftovers so that would make it $3.  Yet another reason why I love a good old fashion roaster chicken.  This makes the third meal I've made with it - first the actual chicken, then my soup (which gave me two full meals of leftovers) and now this (which gave me another meal of leftovers).

You can't beat that with a stick.

Little goals this week.

There are a few things that I need to finish before Friday of this week so I figured if I would list them, it would make me be held accountable... so here it is, my list of little goals.

1. I'm going to finish this - it's actually due on the 28th for Nerd Wars as my Dissertation.  I am bound, bit and determined to finish it... because I've never missed a deadline in my entire Nerd Wars time.

I haven't touched it since I hit the halfway mark - lots of late night work is going to happen!
2. Making a batch of Christmas cookies to put out for Santa on Tuesday.
3. Dust and vacuum house in preparation for Santa.
4. Organize ideas for Winter term over at Hogwarts.  So far, I am toying with doing an OWL.  I have the yarn and everything but I'm debating on whether or not I'm going to do it now because I know that once I'm done with my Dissertation, my hand might need time to recuperate.  I'm currently in negotiations with myself that if I do one - an OWL or a Dissertation - that I can't do the other.  I might reach a settlement this week because I've offered myself some pretty solid arguments.

I even have my proposal all written out and modifications listed.  I'm thinking it's a go, don't you?
5.  Find Hobbit a new doctor.  I'm looking for an actual pediatrician instead of an osteopath, which is harder than you might think around here.  In Florida, there is a very heavy DO population and we tried them but obviously they aren’t cutting it since I’m no further along than when I started sans my own research and Hobbit is getting worse. Finding a true MD in these parts is not easy but I think I may have found one and he isn’t all the way in Tampa so that’s a bonus. I’m going to call on Monday for an appointment for her on Friday… hopefully it will all work out fine.
6. Make some Christmas cupcakes because everyone needs a cupcake on Christmas day - even the oddballs who don't like sweets.
7. Get the laundry caught up and away so that it isn't mocking me over the holidays.
8. Toss all of the icky ornaments that I didn't like and didn't use this year when I go to put it all away on the 26th.  We are going to get a smaller tree for next year so what we currently have on the tree will be perfect - no sense keeping things we don't like.  This will free up some space in the garage as well.

Smaller, colored lights and fuller - that's the direction we're headed.
9. Take Hobbit to go see "Les Miserables" one afternoon while she's on break.
10. Try very hard to keep my wits during the holiday break - mess won't kill me as long as it's picked up before bed.  Mess won't kill me as long as it's picked up before bed.  Mess won't kill me as long as it's picked up before bed. - I'm practicing my mantra so that I don't go mad.

That's a nice list of things to get done in a week's time.  I think I'll check back in on Saturday, the 30th, to see how I did.  I'm hoping to say I got them all crossed off!

20 December 2012


I always try to do what is right... to do things as I would like to have them done by all.  Y'all know where I stand on single pattern prices and why I don't charge for patterns.  I always get so downhearted when I find something I really like it costs upwards of $6 or $8 for a pattern.  I couldn't afford to craft if I had to pay that for each item I wanted to make - to offset the market, I give mine to the crafting community.

We are a community of givers by nature.  We give our time to our projects and in the end, the vast majority of what we create we give away.  I know of very few knitters or crocheters who actually have as much as what they give... for every pair of socks we make, three are gifted... for every afghan or sweater, two more are wrapped up for others... for every hat we make ourselves, five more are donated.  We can't help it, it's just a part of who we are.

I woke up to find that 12 people purchased and downloaded my pattern.  That's $12 already.  I have a donation button up there on the right if you would rather donate directly without the pattern but I was tickled to see progress already.  Pie in the sky had me calculating - if we collected the same amount every day for a year, that would be $4380... if it were the total for the month, it would be $144 by the end of the year.. and if this is all I am able to collect, it is still $12 more that can be added to the funds.

As a community of givers, I just wanted to give my thanks to all of you.

19 December 2012

Knitters for Newtown

100% of the sales for 1 year will be donated!
If you have ever wondered why I have such a hero worship of Sharon from Three Irish Girls, this should put it to rest.  Yesterday, she started a charity movement called Knitters for Newtown.  They have a Ravelry group and a Facebook page so you can keep up with the events however you choose.

This group is dedicated to joining our creative forces to bring comfort and peace to the families effected by the senseless tragedy on Friday morning.  Sharon has two beautiful colorways that she has created and 20% of the sale price (not proceeds, sale price) will go towards helping these families.  We are also going to be creating blanket squares for at least 26 blankets - so that every mother who lost her child that day will have a homemade comfort.  Through these actions, Sharon has pledged to raise $10,000 for this shattered community.

I know that I give away most of my patterns for free but I do have one pattern that is purchasable -My Mama's Slipper pattern.  It's only $1.00 and I promise that all sales from Friday, December 14th until Saturday, December 14, 2013 will be donated.  Purchase the pattern and make a pair of slippers to comfort a loved one, knowing that you are also sending a bit of comfort to Newtown as well.

We can't undo the horrific events of that day but we can show them that there is still good in this world.  That people they have never even met are aching alongside them and we want nothing more than to bring them peace and comfort.  Won't you join us in making a difference? 

18 December 2012

Tuesday Tunes

The television show "The Voice" opened with this last night. I bawled uncontrollably and for several minutes after, as did my husband. It is so very moving. If you have not seen it, it is breathtakingly beautiful and a wonderful tribute.

17 December 2012


When I was a little girl, you could walk to school without fear.  You could play on the school playground regardless if school was in session or not.  You could walk to your friend's house or play in the yard, using the street lamp as your indicator it was time to head home.  I had a wonderful childhood and lived in a world without fear - my children will never be able to say the same thing.

Today, the school flags are flying at half mast.  There were police officers out front during student drop off and they will patrol the hallways.  I am so very thankful for them, protecting my daughter while I can not, but I am gutted that we need them to guard our schools.

Friday my heart broke into a million pieces - for the babies who left this world too soon, for the heroes who saved those still here and for the entire community of Newton, Connecticut.  We were not the only ones in pain that day as some madman wounded over twenty children in front of a school in China that day as well.  People try to put a band-aid on it and say there was "mental illness" - of course there was because no one in their right mind would do such a thing.  Other people are blaming the guns and laws surrounding them - last time I checked, it took a person to make a gun fire.

We, as a nation and as a world, have lost sight of what is important.  We have turned our back on that which gives us strength, guidance, compassion and understanding.  In a world full of instant gratification, full of self-proclaimed entitlement, it's become a scary place.  We, as a whole, need to spend more time caring for others instead of ourselves, then there would be no room for the actions of this past week.  We are broken and lost and I fear for our future.

May those we lost on Friday be at peace and those who were left to carry on find strength in a nation who grieves with them.  May we finally lift each other up and work together - to protect our future... our children.

16 December 2012

Sunday Snaps

Wallace has had a wonderful first week of downloads...

Hobbit has been working hard on special Christmas gifts for her friends...

I've been keeping busy on fun little projects and ignoring my bigger ones...

We're all impatiently waiting for Santa...

And I had a wonderful birthday full of love, laughter and some super cool presents.

14 December 2012

Crazy days

Yeah, that's crocheted lace and a pattern!
Oh my goodness - what a crazy few days I've had.  I have another crazy few in front of me too!  I have been lazy, crafting, eating, baking, cooking, reading and watching movies for the past few days.  Actually, I guess I could take lazy out because I have been doing stuff... even working my first crochet pattern off the actual pattern - it's amazing and hopefully I'll be done tonight or tomorrow.

Currently, my online life has been off the charts.  It is Sorting Week over in our Harry Potter group on Ravelry and let me tell you, if you are a part of this group then I think you should be a minion just once.  It is such an amazing experience.  I love it!  We also got our staff assignments, both in our houses and in the castle.  I'll be continuing my role as a Mentor for the students who wander in and don't get sorted - teaching them the ropes and ways around the castle.  It is my calling to do this job, I swear.  It's a blast and a half.  I've also headed home to Hufflepuff where I am the cete mama for the Honey Badgers!  Yep, over the moon for that role too.  Switching over to the Nerd Wars side of things, we are wrapping up the final round of Tournament 6.  My team, Club 33, is currently in second place and we are doing an awesome job.  I may not care much for some aspects of the tournament but there is one thing I will always love and that is my team.  The players we have are so stinking sweet and funny and kind.  I love them.

Tomorrow is my birthday and we were going to go back to Disney for the day but my throat is bothering me today and Hobbit is home because she is barking like a seal with her allergies.  Asthma has been uncooperative for both of us so I think it best if we just stick close to home.  Who knows, maybe we'll go ice skating at the mall instead... or play putt putt... or find something equally as magical to do with the weekend.  Pokey is off so either way, I'll be happy because I'll have everyone who can be home at home.

Time to get back to Sorting... I hope everyone is having as magical a day as I am!

12 December 2012

Day One events

I heard a knock on my door and when I opened it, he was looking up at me...

I let him in.  When AC kicked on, he seemed to shiver... so I made him a hat and showed him around.

Now that he's toasty warm, he's decided that he likes it here and will stay.

10 December 2012

Early birthday presents rule!

I will be 40 on Saturday.  I'm super excited about it too - but then again, I am one of those weirdos who absolutely loves their birthday.  Initially we were going to go to Walt Disney World so I could photograph all of the splendor of the season but earlier this pay period, Pokey had come down with the flu and missed several days of work.  For normal folks, this is no big deal but when your paycheck is 80% dependent upon commissions, it can be a serious situation.  It's okay though - he's all better and we have Annual Passes so we can go whenever we aren't so skint.

I did get the coolest birthday present though - starting when Pokey came home tonight until we go to bed on Wednesday night, he is going to be me so I can have a "weekend off"!  Yep, that's right.  He's going to do the cooking, cleaning, taxi service and every other chore that I do on a daily basis while I sit on the sofa watching period dramas and crafting.  What could be better? Oh, I know - he's making it so that I don't have to lift a finger... at all!  It's a completely pampered 48 hours.

Whoever said the best things in life aren't free has obviously never been married with children!  This is the best present I could have ever wished for and it doesn't cost a dime.

09 December 2012

Introducing... Wallace

I love the little tweed flecks in this yarn.
My favorite holiday movie is "White Christmas" and yesterday, I introduced it to Hobbit.  I loved how much she got into it.  While we were watching it, I was designing a hat for one of the women who volunteers at Hobbit's school.  She had made comment that she loved Hobbit's newest hat and wondered how much I charged.  I was honest and told her that I don't craft for money... then I asked her what color she liked.  I think I threw her off because she kept repeating "I wear a lot of black".  Well, this is a true statement but considering that her hair is ebony black, I wasn't going to create a hat that no one could see.

I went diving into my stash and I found this really pretty skein of yarn in a greyish putty-like colorway called "Stone".  It wasn't overly girly and nothing would compliment her love of black than this neutral tweed.  This was definitely the yarn.  While I was making it, all I keep hearing my head was "a slam bang finish", uttered by Bing Crosby's character, Captain Bob Wallace... and so came to be, the Wallace hat.

I think it's an instant classic.
I really liked how it came out but it was missing something.  It needed a bit of a feminine flair that the chosen colorway just wasn't bringing to it.  So I grabbed some yarn that I had dyed in a wonderful burgundy and plum colorway and set to making a cute little simple flower.  Nothing flashy because the hat was deliciously understate.  This flower was perfect but it still needed one more thing - and Hobbit hit the nail on the head when she put the button in the center.  That was it!  The hat was now perfect.  I attached the flower after it was blocked and dried so that the points would be sharp.  I also went through and tacked them down as well because I want them to always be perfect.  Wallace was officially complete... and now it's wrapped up and waiting to be delivered tomorrow.

You are just as lucky as the woman who is receiving this hat - I'm giving the pattern away to y'all!  I've added it to the Ravelry database and everything.  I hope you enjoy it and I can't wait to see what color combinations y'all decided on... because there is more to life than black!  To get your own copy of Wallace, simply download now
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