Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful (and crafty) Weekend

Hope everyone had a splendid Thankgiving! I know I did. I was lucky enough to spend it at home with my wonderful husband and close friends. The company was superb and the food was delicious. The only downside was how quickly the time flew by.

Perches, Mr. Perches and bebe came for Thanksgiving and stayed a couple of nights to visit. We had a wonderful time catching up, going to the aquarium, munching on leftovers, watching favorite movies, and yes - being crafty. I give you the fruits of our Saturday morning labors - reindeer!

Reindeer 2009 04

A new color scheme for this year compared to years past. They have already been delivered to Sean's work place where people were happy to see them (and surprised they were done so early). A half dozen followed Perches home to adorn her Christmas tree and I have a handful left for my own tree. We didn't get a chance to make reindeer food but I'm hoping to do that this weekend.

I was also the very lucky recipient of these beautiful, handmade by Perches herself, stitch markers. I LOVE THEM! Seriously - when she gets her Etsy store up and running, you should buy a pair of these markers.

Stitch Markers

We also made a quick trip to Joann's on Black Friday. It was late in the evening and we were on a mission to get Perches some size 6 circular needles. What could've, should've been a 10 minute visit to the store lasted closer to an hour. We wandered through the isles, seeing what was on sale and what looked interesting. Decorations and containers, trees and swags, fabric and notions, and then the yarn department. Perches helped me NOT impulse buy yarn for a baby blanket. I so wanted the colors and yarns to go together but her eyes confirmed my own - they just didn't. I'll need to pay the premium cost to get the right yarn in the right colors from the manufacturer. I did end up buying some fat quarters which were half price. The selection was slim as it was one of the few areas ravenged by black Friday shoppers.


What am I going to do with these swatches of fabric? Your guess is as good as mine. I'm thinking they would be great as purse or pocket lining. At 79 cents each, it's okay that they don't have a predetermined purpose right now.

Hope you found time to fit in some craftiness over the holiday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


As I was going through my photos on the computer, I realized I never posted these cute ones of Seamus.

Seamus and Sheep 1

Seamus and Sheep 3

Sheep Toy

Yes - that is a stuffed green sheep. I found it at the grocery store (of all places) and just had to buy it for him. He loves it and he's able to get his mouth around the belly to squeak the squeaker.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Seamus

Proof that two weekends ago, I got Seamus to sit still long enough for a photo:

Seamus - Holidays 2009 (2)

Isn't he just the cutest? And to answer the question in advance about how I got him to smile - I had a bunch of treats that I gave him when he sat still and looked at the camera (ye olde positive reinforcement trick). I think he was about to open his mouth and whine that he had not yet received a treat for doing the right thing. Hence, it looks like he's smiling.

Think he's uber cute? I do - so I entered him into Hallmark's cute dog photo contest. Click here to view and vote for him --

Voting ends December 15, 2009 and winners will be announced late January 2010!
Feel free to pass this along to others to get Seamus some more votes or enter your own dog in the contest.

Here are a couple more from the photo shoot:

Seamus - Holidays 2009 (3)

Seamus - Holidays 2009 (1)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Keeping Score

Results of my weekend to-do list:
  • Make curtain for Office shelving --> completed though I had to use different fabric than I planned on and it's really not that functional to use all the time. It will work to hide the cluttered mess during Thanksgiving and the Christmas party.
  • Make craft room curtains --> didn't happen. I'm not holding out hope of it happening this weekend either.
  • Paint advent calendar --> almost done - completed about 70% of it before I had lost the drive to paint. Painting creativity ebbs and flows with me so I have to act on it when I get it and know when to stop when it's gone.
  • Colorflow lady bugs and gingerbread house decorations --> didn't happen. Must make the ladybugs tonight so there is time for them to dry completely before next week.
  • Start making reindeer candy canes --> didn't start making them but I do have all the materials. Will probably make them after Thanksgiving, in between decorating, Christmas cards and watching Christmas Vacation.
  • Christmas photo of Seamus --> completed and I got some uber cute photos.
  • Wrap Gifts --> completed
  • Organize craft room --> not completed - and in fact, the craft room became less organized because I was doing all these craft projects. Hoping to get things under control this weekend.

At first I was disappointed that I didn't get it all done. I felt like I had only done a few things but my wonderful husband pointed out all the other things I got done while doing part of this crafty list, such as the mundane shopping and laundry. There was also a trip to the dog park that Seamus thoroughly enjoyed and some work done on the overdue baby blanket. This weekend promises to be just as crazy busy with lots of stuff to do. Fingers crossed I can get a lot of it done.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Whirlwind Weekend Ahead

My to-do list for this weekend is daunting, and I'm not talking about the mundane grocery shopping, laundry and clean the house on the list. It is the crafty to-do's that are looking insurmountable - not each on their own, but all of them completed (or at least started) in one weekend is looking like too much. Here's the list:

  • Make curtain for Office shelving
  • Make craft room curtains
  • Paint advent calendar
  • Colorflow lady bugs and gingerbread house decorations
  • Start making reindeer candy canes
  • Christmas photo of Seamus
  • Wrap Gifts
  • Organize craft room

I need to get started and complete a few of these because Thanksgiving will be held at our house this year as well as a big holiday party a few weekends later. I've got to get this stuff done ahead of time so that I can focus on cooking and entertaining. I'm even going to have to break my own long-standing rule and put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. The tree will probably wait until after Thanksgiving but the swags and Christmas lights will probably go up next weekend.

Any guesses on how much I will actually get done this weekend? And how much caffeine I'll need to ingest to tackle it all?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


On Wednesday I started a sock-a-long with my cousin, "C", who lives in the Carolinas. She has knitted in the round before for mittens but has not yet tried socks. Since I was itching to knit another pair after the Harry Potter socks and to use a much better instructional book for my second pair, I asked her if she'd be interested in the sock-a-long.

We're using the following book - Teach Yourself Visually: Knitting Socks. I LOVE this book! The instructions are great and the photos are excellent. It is sooooo much better than the book I used for my first pair of socks. We were going to each use a skein of the ShiBui knits yarn I bought in Portland last year. I shipped one skein down to her and then I finally got around to winding my skein. I was less than amused when I had the finished ball in front of me. No way was there enough yarn for two socks, contrary to what I was told when I bought the yarn. Sure enough I checked the yardage on the label and then the yardage needed for the pattern and it was only enough yarn for one sock. D'oh!

Luckily, I had the perfect solution.

A couple years ago --- has it really been that long??? --- I bought some Socks That Rock yarn in blue to crochet Sean a pair of socks. I bought 2 skeins knowing that a crocheted pair would need the extra yarn. I had never made the socks because after my first pair of crocheted socks, I knew they would be too thick for Sean to wear. So quietly in my stash the skein waited patiently...

...until I yanked them out, stuck one in an envelope and the other on the swift.

It took a while for the sock-a-long to get started given other projects going on and general busyness of life. It was on Wednesday when we started. "C" was going to her knitting group and I had given up hope of finishing the baby blanket any time soon. The sock yarn was calling to me and it would have been rude not to answer.

Here's all I have so far. The k1-p1 ribbing always seems to take forever so I'm only a few rounds into the stockinette stitch. The sock color is "In the Navy" and I'm using size 1 DPNs. I'm yanking on the second stitch of each DPN to avoid the dreaded ladders. So far, it seems to be working.

Socks for Sean 02

You can see the Shi Bui knits ball - less than half of half a skein of the Socks that Rock yarn. You can also see Seamus hoping to get his paws on the ball of yarn. While a cat will take the ball of yarn to play with it, when Seamus gets a hold of a ball of yarn, he runs off playing catch-me-if-you can, gnawing on the yarn as he runs and hides. Funny to watch but bad for the yarn.

I hope your socks are coming along well, too, "C"!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Damn Deadlines

The baby shower for little baby "Q" is today. Here's the blanket that was supposed to be all wrapped up and waiting for the momma to open it.

Sandman Afghan Purple 01


I did send the baby hat and booties and a card with a bow of the baby blanket yarn. The card informed her that a blanket was being made and would be sent upon completion. I should have had it done and at the shower but - c'est la vie. I believe baby "Q" is due mid December so I'm hoping to have the blanket done in time. If not, I'll bring it up at Christmas. And if not by then, hopefully before the spring. I love the Afghan of the Sandman pattern but it is going to be a long time until I make another one of these blankets. They take FOREVER and I'm not sure why that is. I'm a fast crocheter and the pattern is easy. It must be the yarn and hook size.

I also have a project that must be done by Christmas. Little Brodie is 2 1/2 and she would know the difference if her Christmas gift arrived in January. Her mom has informed me that she loves bright, bright colors. I think this yarn will do and it should look great on her new "big girl" bed.

Technicolor Dream Blanket 04

I was hoping to make a sweater for Edward but alas, I don't think that will happen this year. I will have to adjust the pattern for a bigger size and start in February so it will be completed by next Christmas.

Where did this year go??? It seems like June was last week and October was yesterday.

Friday, November 6, 2009

California Dreaming

I had a blast in California last weekend for the Mistress' wedding reception! Hanging out with the Mistress, the Queen, and our boys - it was so much fun. We pre-partied on Saturday with wine tasting at local vineyards followed by the main event Saturday night. Good times were had by all.

While we didn't visit any yarn stores, I did get to converse with the Queen and her current crochet project (gorgeous in person) and I picked up this souvenir to remember the weekend.

Wine Plaque 1

I wish they had one of these in regards to friendship and yarn/knitting/crocheting. Any ideas for one to make?