Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Decorating

So it's that time of year when I start thinking of what I want to do, decorating wise for Christmas.  This year, with the help of Pinterest, I have found lots of things for you.  Here is what I'm thinking:

Doilies in the windows like snowflakes ala Ysolda's blog from last year.

Lots of pomanders to make the house smell amazing!

Dried orange slices for the tree.

Popcorn and cranberry garlands.

These super cute trees for the back of the piano.
image source (with a tutorial!)

Lots of garlands for the windows and stair well.

A big green wreath for the front door!

Some fun stuff for the tree!

A winter pillow!

A brand new tree skirt (well pants).

there's also a sew along there and directions!

And a hand punched rug to top it all off! (But you'll have to wait to see that one)


So here's number 15 it's the 3 Hour Sweater, but I changed the yarn size, the needle size and the sizing.  With it on I'm thinking I still could have gone down a needle size or 2 on the ribbing, but I think it still looks good with jeans.  It's made out of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, which is Cashmere, merino wool and micro fiber, it's so soft and we'll see how warm it is today.  I'm not in love with the fit, but I'm thinking maybe I'll throw it in the dryer for a second to shrink it up a little.  I also figured out that to meet my goal, I'm going to need to make something every 2 days until my birthday, we'll see how that goes!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Secret Santa Swap

Hi Everyone,

I have joined the Secret Santa Swap that Shawnee over at Flirty Apron Swap is hosting.  I had so much fun in the last apron swap I did I couldn't resist!  So here's the questionnaire for that:

  1. What are your hobbies? - Knitting, sewing, crocheting, spinning, singing, quilting, and cooking
  2. What are your favorite colors? - I like bright jewel tone colors, pink, teal, green, blue, orange, red
  3. Do you collect anything? - aprons oddly enough
  4. Are you allergic to any fibers or animals? - mohair, which is sad because I think it's a beautiful fiber knit up
  5. Do you have any pets? - 1 cat
  6. Coffee, Tea, or Chocolate? - all of the above!
  7. What do you like to read? - I love to read period fiction, thrillers, anything about crafting, and some romance
  8. Do you prefer Cookies or Candies as a sweet? - cookies, nothing better than a fresh baked cookie
  9. What is your favorite holiday treat? - Skillet Cookies, something my mom always made when I was a kid
  10. Describe your favorite holiday tradition. - Driving to look at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music
  11. Did you believe in Santa as a child? - yep, I was convinced he was real
  12. When do you open presents? - you get to open one on Christmas eve and the rest on Christmas day, but the stocking is the biggest deal Christmas morning!
  13. Do you put up a tree and when?  If not, how do you celebrate? - We put up a tree around my birthday on the 15th, that way the munchkin doesn't have to have a tree up for his birthday on the 11th
  14. Does your tree have a theme? - handmade
  15. What has been your favorite gift to give?  to receive? - to give, anything handmade same to receive, it just has so much more heart when it's been made by hand

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

14/28 Halfway There!

This is my halfway post!  I am posting my 14th item which was actually finished about a month ago. Bad blogger no cookie! I know, so anyway, this is a full circle skirt that I made using the formula from Casey's Elegant Musings which ended up making the waist a little big so I took it in about 4 inches total.  The only thing about this skirt is that when I wear it to work it makes it difficult to walk down the stairs.  I love it though!  It's flannel and cozy and feels like wearing pjs to work, but much cuter.  I am in love with maxi skirts and I want to make a bunch more, I think they are a great alternative to pants for the California fall and winter.

Sorry for the crappy pic:

Monday, November 7, 2011


I'm getting close to the half way mark in items, I'm gonna have to pick it up if I want to finish in just over a month.  But here is lucky item 13!  I refashioned one of Steve's shirts that shrank vertically, but was still the same width, have you ever noticed this happening?  Anyway, I cut the sleeves out, cut a seam down each side, put 2 darts in the front, took the whole thing in, sewed it back together, put 2 pleats in each sleeve and shortened the top and now I love it!  It's perfect for bumming around town in, not a big baggy t, but still comfy and cute.  And you can't go wrong with a Dropkick Murphy's shirt!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I finished my quilt!

Just in time too, I also think this counts as item 12 in my 28 things.  So I made it using a pattern from The Encyclopedia of Classic Quilt Patterns it was the spiderweb quilt.  I used all fabrics from my stash except the backing which I had to buy some sale fabric for since I didn't have enough of one fabric to back the quilt in.  This thing is big, it's queen sized and it was a pain in the a to quilt on the machine, but the end product is awesome and I love it!  What do you think?

And here's a close up of the fabric, it's darker in real life

Saturday, November 5, 2011


The alternate title to this post should be "Why I Sometimes Feel Like I'm Living in How I Met Your Mother".  So tonight we gave the munchkin and some friends kids the choice of seeing Puss in Boots or going to play lasertag, I'm guessing that my astute readers have already guessed which they chose.  So we went to the arcade, not exactly what I had in mind for my evening, but you know...  So anyway, we went to the arcade and had some pretty horrible pizza for dinner, not that it's a huge surprise that the pizza there wouldn't be great, but I had hoped they would prove me wrong.  After dinner the kids all went up to play lasertag and I settled in for some good old pin ball playing.  I started with the Monopoly machine, not all that rewarding of a machine to play on, but after a while Steve came and told me that there was a Simpsons machine so I switched to that one and while it was really fun the ball had a tendency to get stuck and the left flipper stuck quite a bit.  Yep I get pretty serious about my pinball playing, I know, I'm really just a 10 year old inside.  So anyway, Steve comes down a while later super excited because he got first place in lasertag, and of course, the munchkin came in last and was a little sad about it, but no big thing, he's over it now.

I've been in a bit of a funk all day, I'm not entirely sure why.  I think a lot of it is that the quilt I've been working on for a while isn't turning out the way I'd hoped in the quilting portion.  I tried the spray adhesive basting spray and I'm not very happy with the way that it is turning out, it's bunching up while I'm quilting it and it's really pissing me off.  Not to mention some other things that we happening today and cleaning the house for my parents coming into town tomorrow to stay with us, which isn't normally a big deal but right now we also have Steve's sister and her boyfriend living with us until they can get on their feet here, so the house is quite full and everyone is still getting used to living together.  I'm having a hard time getting used to it I guess, I just sort of feel like our private lives have been invaded and like I have no time to myself.  I know it's petty and that I need to just suck it up and deal with life, but sometimes I just like my life to be mine and lately I haven't felt like I've had much control over it.    I think I really just needed a little cathartic writing time.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oh November Rain, you remind me of my favorite places...

When I got up for work today it was a bit gloomy, but then it's November, that's pretty much how it is everyday.  So I went about my business and took a shower, blew my hair dry, got dressed and noticed that it was raining.  Not just raining, but pouring, so I changed into a sweater instead of the short sleeved top I had originally chosen, grabbed my umbrella and took off for work.  Now those of you who've lived in Southern California know that we normally don't have real rain, but today it was crazy and totally random.  As I drove down the freeway I'd drive through torrential downpour that my windshield wipers had a hard time keeping up with and then it would be completely dry.  As the day went on it cleared up, which reminded me of Steve and my time in Washington for our honeymoon, 2 years ago this week.  While we were there we fell in love with the state as a whole and Seattle in particular.  Our dream is to move up there after Chris is in college and live outside the city on a plot of land somewhere.  Driving through the rain today gave me that same feeling I had up there, when Steve and I got to spend a week with no distractions, we were 45 min out of cell range with no cable or internet, and how wonderful it was.  I really believe I found my soul mate with Steve, he's the most wonderful man I've ever met and he's my best friend.  There really aren't many people I could spend an entire week with and not want to strangle, but with him it was like a week wasn't enough.  Well, until we drove home and he decided that it would be an awesome idea to drive it all in one go, Glacier, WA to Tustin, CA in 20.5 hours, 1,282 miles, in a truck with my hubby and audio books.  I slept most of the way, but even that was fun, though I still think Steve is a little insane for doing it.

A little blurry but this was the drive home

Thursday, November 3, 2011

11/28 - Socks!

I made a pair of socks, that's right I finished both of them.  For those of you who know me and my knitting you know that's quite an accomplishment since I have had a pretty severe case of SSS (Single Sock Syndrome) in years past.  I am in love with these socks, they are so freaking comfy!  I made them out of Socks that Rock Lightweight in the Grawk Colorway from the Raven Clan Series.  Back when the Raven Clan Series of colors came out I bought a skein of each in light weight, I had money to burn, the economy was better, I wasn't married, I had no kids, and I'd heard great things about this yarn.  So naturally being the good goth that I am, I bought all the pretty black/purple/green colorways that came out.  Can you believe that I've had 13 skeins of sock yarn in my stash for more than 4 years and I've never knit any of it?  That's going to change, this is the squishiest, yummiest, most comfy yarn I've ever knit socks out of.  They are the Anniversary Socks by Nancy Bush from the book Favorite Socks from Interweave Press.  This is a great pattern because the lace is super simple to memorize and it's only on the fronts, I love that they are longer socks so they keep me warmer and since they're dark, I can wear them with shorter pants and they look like leggings. I knit them on double points because I didn't have the right circ in my stash and I didn't want to buy a new one for these socks, but in doing that I realized that I don't dislike dpns as much as I thought I did.  I guess it's just been so long since I've knit with them that I thought I didn't like it.  I don't know though, I'm going to try doing my next socks 2 at a time on 2 circs to see if I can get them done faster, I'd also like to try knitting one inside the other sometime, but that kind of scares me.  In short, these are my favorite hand knit socks I've ever made and I think a lot of it has to do with the yarn!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Last Meal

So I had no ideas for today's post so I'm going with the prompt from the NaBloPoMo site for today which is "If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you eat?"  I'd have to say that I'd have a nice grilled steak with rosemary smashed potatoes and super fresh green beans with peach cobbler and homemade peach ice cream for dessert.  I know it's not super extravagant, but it definitely reminds me of home. Growing up my Dad would grill almost every weekend and I love that open flame charcoal taste on a steak. And in the summer, having grown up partially in Texas we would make the most amazing peach ice cream with fresh peaches from Texas, which are the best by the way.  I loved everything about summers with my family, the time with cousins, the sound of the ice cream maker, running around outside at my Grandma's in the country, de-silking corn, picking beans, all of it.  I think that's why I have such a strong desire to move out to the country when we grow up.  I feel like there is just something about being close to the earth that I miss in my everyday life in the suburbs, but such is life when there is a munchkin around.  I wouldn't want to sacrifice his education by moving to the country, or risk not getting to see him as much because of custody shenanigans. 9 more years and he'll be out of high school and we'll be free to wander where we will.

Rosemary Smashed Potatoes

2 lbs of  New Potatoes or Red Potatoes
3 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Boil the potatoes until they are just soft and drain.
Pre-heat oven to broil.
Oil a cookie sheet and place boiled potatoes on them.
Smash the potatoes with your hand, a bowl, a potato masher, really anything that will flatten out the potatoes.
Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and chopped rosemary leaves.
Broil for about 15-20 min or until crispy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


That's right, it's that time of year again! National Blog Posting Month.  I'm going to attempt it once again this month.  I'm hoping that now football is officially over I might have some more time to post and take pictures and what not.  I really feel like I'm falling behind in my blogging and I have some more projects that I need to show you all, so I'm attempting this again.  I know I'm not starting the month off on a great foot with no pictures and all, but I promise some soon.