Busy, busy

To say I've been busy as of late would be an understatement. The kids just finished writing exams, we spend too much of our spare time shovelling mountains of snow and I've started 4 new projects. And I'm loving it! All the action, commotion and getting things done makes January fly by. Unfortunately my camera is misbehaving so I can't show you the striped scarf I've finished. Soon. I also won't hand out any details of the new projects that will be Pay It Forward treats. Instead I give you the following treasures that I immensely enjoy:

1. Visit Lucy at her blog ZebraKnits. Her Adelaine coat is spectacular! I love everything about it. Lucy, you should publish and photograph your own knitting books. Your designs, knitting and photos are divine.

2. Visit Amanda and Lily at Joli House. Mother and daughter ~ oh-so-talented and wonderful.

3. Visit AmandaJean at Crazy Mom Quilts. AmandaJean you are a quilting inspiration! This is my favourite quilting blog. Stash ~ Oh yeah! Check. it. out.

4. Visit Katie at Philigry. Beautiful blog, talented & beautiful woman, beautiful family. Lots and lots of great projects and recipes. The best word to describe Katie and her blog is beautiful.

5. Be sure to stop in for a visit with Mr Puffy and Claudia. Lovely knits, super recipes, gorgeous photos and Claudia is the nicest person ever! I'm blessed to have met her via blogging, Claudia you are a wonderful friend. :)

6. Visit Dawn, Torin & Emma at Woolywumpus. Dawn is my dearest friend and blog enabler. We have many fun and wonderful adventures together. We need to plan many more...

Hopefully I'll have a charged up battery and operable digital camera in a few days. Until then Happy Knitting and Yarny Hugs! xoxo


I've been feeling a bit blue

Good thing I have ample blue stash. This is a sampling of blues, there's plenty more of each yarn.

Since I have 4 new projects in the planning and starting stages I can't blog about ~ or I'll ruin the surprise ~ I've decided to cast on something new for myself too. I'm leaning towards the Kidsilk Haze in shade 592 as Kim Hargreaves Trinket, minus the beads.

If you haven't seen Carolyne Roehm's books check them out. They're filled with incredibly photographed home, garden and recipe ideas. Her web site is inspiring. Be sure to read her bio, she's a multi talented woman who is also a dog and horse lover.

I have all but Carolyne's first book that is no longer in print. At Home With Carolyne Roehm is by far my favourite. It's set up by the seasons, page after page of gorgeous photos and recipes. Have a look at it next time you're in a book store ~ it's eye candy and a oft browsed coffee table book here at our house. Charlotte Moss's Winter House is one I pull out every winter too.

When The Blues strike me it's a good thing! :) Have a lovely day everyone!


To Do List with a Twist

Many thanks to Alison for this one!! The things already done are changed to ~ bold. Things I want to do ~ in italics. Things not done and don't want to ~ left in plain font. Here we go...

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a Meteor Shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney World/Land
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in Paris
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden a Gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David in person
41. Sung Karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold girl scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Received flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a cheque
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favourite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a Quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved some one's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swum in the great salt lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee


Pay It Forward

Wow!! You guys are Great!! I have 4 people interested in Paying It Forward! Participating are Woolywumpus, JourneyingFive, Ze and Celestial. You are the nicest people ~ I'm off to raid my stashes and start making stuff for you all!

Sheila is participating in a Paying It Forward exchange. I absolutely love the idea so I've joined her in spreading some joy and having some fun. If you haven't seen the movie 'Pay It Forward' the concept works like this: When someone has done a good deed for you rather than doing something nice in return to that person you Pay It Forward by doing something nice for someone else. I'll send handmade gifts to the first 3 people who commit to also Pay It Forward by posting in the comments you'd like to join.

The gifts will be from my heart with the intent to make the receivers feel warm and happy. They'll be sent out within the next 6 months. In return you post a Pay It Forward promise on your blog and then send out your handmade gifts within your 6 month time frame.

If you'd like to play be sure to mention what colours you like in your comment. Blogger doesn't ask for emails for me to reply to commenters so please send me an email if you know I don't have yours. Won't you come join me? I'd love to make you something special!

ETA: Leaving a comment won't commit you to Pay It Forward unless you specifically say you want to join, so no worries. Have a great day everyone!


Quilted knitting bag

Made from fabric scraps this little bag rocks for small knitting projects and socks. The squares are cut at 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches stacked in 3 rows of 4 on each side. There's a 3-1/2 inch wide strip for the bottom so this bag can sit up nicely. The quilted handles are comfortable and sturdy. I used fabric spray adhesive between the layers and quilted it in the ditch on my sewing machine while it was still flat before I lined it with the bull rush fabric. Next time I'll use a different fabric for each square for a scrappier look.

I'm stashing cut-to-size fabric squares to make more bags as gifts. Next time I'll add a magnetic closure and maybe a piece of plastic mesh in the bottom. I'll probably sew up some 5 x 5 inch square bags too. It's a fun project that can be finished in an afternoon to use up leftover bits from quilts.


11 Random Things about me

1. I hate to be late. I try to keep an organized schedule and always wear a watch. I'm also a list maker which helps prevent me from being late.

2. My family had German Shepherds while I was younger and Rottweilers when I was a teenager. I always wanted standard poodles but it wasn't until I was married that that finally happened. It's been 20 years with poodles now.

3. When I started knitting my dad offered to pay me to quit. He thought knitting was for old ladies with nothing better to do. I counter offered to use the money for wool to knit him a hat.

4. I'm influenced by colour. I'm especially fond of watery blues, grays, whites & creams, and shades of green. Colour affects my mood, my energy level and it inspires me to create, knit and sew. The older I get the clearer and lighter the colours I surround myself with are becoming. In the autumn I'm drawn to reds.

5. I have trouble maintaining my body temperature and dress in more layers than most people would ever consider putting on at the same time. Wool is a major part of my wardrobe along with jeans and boots. I rarely wear shorts, even when it's scorching hot outside. Mom says I've been chilled since I was a preemie.

6. I knit every day unless I'm sick and always have multiple projects on the needles.

7. I'm married to the love of my life and consider myself extremely fortune to be with such a wonderful man with 2 great kids.

8. I hate it if there's a mess or clutter on the kitchen counter or dirty dishes in the sink. I will stay up late to tidy that up or it bugs me so much I can't sleep thinking about it.

9. I used to be a runner. With a compromised right foot that's become long walks, hiking and yoga. I just ordered some Yoga DVDs for a new workout and am looking forward to them arriving in my mailbox. I'm working on being a runner again. I miss running on my treadmill ~ it's where I do my best problem solving and brain storming.

10. I suffer from SABLE. Stash Amassed Beyond Life Expectancy. I love fibre. There's a yarn stash as well as a fabric stash. I suspect my SABLE tendencies are a direct result of enjoying Ravelry and reading other people's blogs so much. I'm constantly tempted by people's amazing FO's and adding to my queue.

11. I love to see inside other people's homes. I'm intrigued by how they decorate, how they live and what things appeal to them. I especially enjoy seeing what they collect and getting copies of thier favourite recipes.

I'd love to learn something random about you!


Ryan's Favourite Oatmeal Cookies

I enjoy baking instead of buying cookies for my appreciative teenagers and husband. This recipe is from Dawn's mom's 5-Star Recipe file. If you like you can add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the mix before they go on the baking sheet. Ryan is thrilled she shared the recipe with us. Thanks Dawn!! I'll try to eat just one, honest... After a long, cold day outside in the snow tracking with my friends and Chase I'm sure I burned off enough calories to indulge in a cookie. Or two...


½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour
2-½ cups 3-to-5 minute rolled oats
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt

Cream together butter and shortening; add brown sugar and white sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix in blender until well combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, rolled oats, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture in 3 instalments, mixing well after each addition.

Drop by teaspoonfuls for small cookies or a filled and levelled ice cream scoop for large "Ryan sized cookies" onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 8 – 12 minutes for small cookies, 16 minutes for the large sized cookies. Let cool completely on a rack.


You light up my life

I collect a lot of different things including lamps, they vary from elegant to rustic in design.

I love the lines of this tall lamp with it's square shade lined in gold that casts a beautiful warm light down the hardwood base. If I only had one table lamp this would be it.

The shade on this western saddle base is parchment paper punched with leather lacing.

This elegant cut lead crystal & brass Pineapple lamp with a hand sewn linen shade lights our living room. It was purchased not long after Don & I were married for our first house.

This was the first lamp I collected when I was 10 yrs. old ~ my dad was concerned that I was already collecting light fixtures and dishes at that age!

Mom gave me this adorable standard poodle puppy. The hat band around the top of the shade is leather threaded with silver hearts from the Stetson I wore showing horses in conformation.

A Tiffany lamp ~ everyone probably has one of these.

A wooden dresser base with drawers sits beside one of my porcelain flowers with it's distressed milk based paint finish.

This lamp is for a night table but until I find the right replacement for it's spot it's on the antique chest of drawers in the front entrance.

I also have a lamp with a momma bear (my nick name is She Bear) and 2 clubs, as well as Ott Lites for knitting, sewing and reading. There are exquisite bronze castings of poodles made into lamps (I saw in Maryland while at the Poodle Club of America National Specialty) that are gorgeous. I haven't as yet gotten over the sticker shock ~ but one day I might not be able to resist and ship one of them home.

There's no knitting progress to post ~ I've had my butt kicked by the flu this past week. The true measure of how sick I am is not how high my fever but if I can't manage to pick up knitting or a book to read. I haven't knit more then a few rows on my scarf in the last 10 days or so. I've spent time visiting other blogs and emailing in bursts, then head back to the couch or bed to nap. Being sick is such a waste of time! Hope everyone is healthy and well.

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