Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Winter Project Link Party over at Jennifer's...............

Now that I have those pesky presents finished for Little Buddy's teachers and therapists I am in the mood to make something for myself with my new yarn.  And just in the nick of time Jennifer from Thistlebear is having a Winter Project Link Party to help keep us motivated and on track through the Winter months.

The first project I am going to make and just started this past Sunday is Flaum by Justyna Lorkowska.  I purchased this pattern a few days ago, read it through and cast on.  I am going to learn a few new things with this pattern, but it will still not be so hard that I can't enjoy my knitting time.  I am all for learning a few new steps but I am not going to drive myself crazy being a  Master Knitter at this point in my life.  I need something to keep my brain moving but not stress me out at the same time if you know what I mean.

As for this beautiful yarn it is also going to be a sweater.  Now that I have downloaded the Flaum I just might have to make it again in this beautiful berry colored yarn.  This Juniper Moon, Moonshine was slotted for Lily, and when I bought the yarn I fully intended to make this sweater, but maybe Flaum is more practical, we will see.  Right now my goal is to just make a sweater from this yarn, I still have time to decide on the pattern.

This gorgeous yarn is next in line for another Zick Zack Shawl this one for me!!!!!  I can't wait to cast on with this soft and beautiful yarn.  It might have to be a project I have on the go while working on the sweaters.  It would be perfect to grab and knit a row or two when I have the time, or when I need something easy to knit.

So my goal is three finished projects this Winter.  Special thanks to Jennifer for this fun link party.  I hope you visit her and join in the fun, you can make anything you want.  Come on I know you want to join in all the fun!

Also special thanks for all of your kind comments about my glitter leaves, they look so beautiful in my window, I wish you could see them all together sparkling and glistening in the light. 

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Two finishes.........................

My Autumn glitter leaves are now hanging in the windows in my kitchen and family room area.  I am in love with them.  Some are hanging on a single clear elastic string, and others are grouped together in a small swag.

These photos do not do them justice.  They twirl slowly and gently, glistening as they catch the light.

Each one is different, just like the leaves on the trees.  I even got a compliment from my husband who frankly usually does not notice when I decorate the entire house for any holiday, let alone leaves in the windows.  I even like them in the evening when the lights from the kitchen reflect off of them.

  I am just tickled to death that the vision I had came out even better than I thought it would.  Don't you love it when that happens?  To see how these were made please visit my last post if you haven't already.

I did say two finishes didn't I?  You bet I did.  I have been relentless with myself, even though new yarn has been purchased, I have kept my head down and finished all the scarves for Little Buddy's therapists and teachers for school.   Seven in all.

They aren't very long, and goodness knows they won't be warm, but since we live in Florida they don't need to be.  They are decorative and I hope these people will understand what they are.  Remember the dishcloth/trivet fiasco of last Christmas?  Can you possibly mistake these for something other than a scarf?

Made with Patons Silk Bamboo with a size I hook.  I made these from the lovely Sue's, Queen Anne's Lace Scarf with matchmaking ends, pattern.  Sue takes you through a very thorough tutorial on how to get those ends to look the same.  It really makes a difference and makes the scarf look so much more finished.  Hop over and see her amazing directions.   Each scarf is a measly 100 yards, again not long enough to make a huge scarf but long enough for a quick present.  700 yards of yarn was used for this project, 700 I bought specifically for this at a great sale price.  Hooray, those seven presents are out of the way, and nothing was added to my stash, well nothing was used from my stash either if we are going to be completely honest.

As for you Flaum, you and I are about to get better acquainted.  I can't wait to cast on and get busy with you with this gorgeous Juniper Moon Farm Moonshine yarn in a soft gray.  I am so excited I plan on winding you up in a ball as soon as I am done with this post.  

Here is to a new month, a new week and a new project!

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Glitter and Glue.......

I am not a glitter girl, just saying I am not in love with playing with it.  But I got a bug in my bonnet about making some glitter leaves to hang in my window and well now you just have to make some with me.  It all started when I found this beautiful decorative leaf in the store covered in glitter.  It was just so stunning. I bought the only one they had and wrapped it up for my friend Lynda to include in her birthday box.  Of course I could not get the leaf out of my head and proceeded to spend way to much time on the Internet trying to find more.  I came up with nothing, absolutely nothing.  So what is a girl to do?  Well go visit the nearest craft store which is Joann's in my case.  I figured I could make something I would like and get a deal with my 25% off coupon and was I right!!!!  The Fall Seasonal items are 50% off already so this was a great project that was also cost effective, you have to like that.

I bought several of these wooden cut out skeleton leaves, glue, a foam brush, and the cheap glitter on sale in the kids area.

Here is my mini work station on parchment paper.

I loaded my my leaves with brushed on glue.

Flipped them over on a pile of mixed color glitter.  Nature does not make leaves in exactly one color so mine aren't either.

Let dry and then complete the process again on the other side.

I love the sparkle and the variation in the colors.

I will show you the big reveal when both sides are dry.  Right now I am in LOVE with them.  I know many of you are enjoying the beautiful colors of Fall, I am not, not down here in Florida anyway.  This is my way of bringing Autumn into my home.  I can't wait to see the finished project.  Hope you are excited too.  Remember working with glitter and glue is not for the faint of heart, or those of you who do not care for a mess.  I think the mess is worth it in this case.

By the way I recently finished a fabulous audio book called Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan.  It was read by the author which made it even better.  It is available in good ole book form if that works better for you.  It is a memoir about motherhood and it made me laugh and cry,  I loved it.  You don't have to be a mother to love it, it was one of the best books I have listened to yet.

Happy October, my favorite month of the year!
We are expecting a cool front this weekend because of the lovely monster of a hurricane making its way up the eastern coast, stay safe all of you in the wind and intense rain.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Alpaca and yarn fun........................

Today Little Buddy and I met my friend Cathy for a little adventure.  My very favorite yarn store, Criativity in Largo Florida was having their Third Anniversary Event.  As the owner has an actual alpaca farm there were two very special visitors at the event.  You know I can not control myself around alpacas or sheep, I just love them and I am hoping to instill my love for them in Little Buddy.  Although to be honest he was more interested in the fence they were in, and that they had a fan in their pen then the actual alpacas themselves.  Are you ready for some cute alpaca photos?

Little One had a fine time looking at these two, and frankly two was enough for him although I would love to go to the actual ranch sometime soon.  You can find the information for the farm here at this link Luna Bella Alpaca Ranch.  He did not enjoy the yarn store quite as much as playing with the fence, he bossed me around telling me not to walk slow, walk faster, stop and to go this way!  Lord, he is the biggest boss ever!  All the lovely ladies in the yarn store thought he was hysterical.   I carried him on my hip all over the store and back again, let me just tell you this boy is gaining weight!

Do you like his hair cut?  I took him to Great Clips to get it cut this past weekend between headaches.  He was a doll, sat as perfect as could be, turned his head when asked, and behaved beautifully.  It was done in 12 minutes! That is right, 12 minutes!  It takes me two days, and is such an issue with all the crying and head turning and thrashing about, not to mention the clean up which includes hosing down his high chair.  I. Will. Never. Cut. His. Hair. Again!

Back to today, the yarn store was having a bit of a sale and I picked a 20% off coupon out of a bag, so I had to buy yarn, right?  I mean when do you get to buy Juniper Moon Farm Moonshine yarn on sale?  I have not gone crazy in the yarn buying department just buying some this past month after taking a full eight months off , and remember I am only buying if I have a specific project in mind.  I am thinking about making Flaum with this yarn, but now that I am looking at it I might need one more skein.  This might be the best ever go to sweater.  That is two sweaters in this brand of yarn I have planned for the near future.  The other sweater is Lily, but I just may rethink that one.  Flaum looks like it might be fun in a wide variety of colors including the raspberry bought for Lily. Hmmmm...  I will have to think more on that one.

I also bought one more skein of Berroco Modern Cotton, just like I had for the baby blanket I just finished.  You see while making the blanket I panicked that the crochet was eating up the yarn at a rapid rate and I was going to run out of yarn, so I went and bought one more skein of each color.  Funny thing is the blanket was finished with less yarn than I had originally planned for it, I had three skeins leftover, two of cream and one gray.  I felt if I added to that amount I could make a nice drapey tank top to wear over a T-shirt, in wide stripes of course.   Remember the yarn was on sale so I could hardly pass it up!!!!

I will leave you with this darling face, and a special thanks for your positive responses to my baby blanket.  It will be  placed in the post on Monday.  I hope the soon-to-be parents will like it.

Also thank you for your genuine concern about my headaches.  You are all right I need to slow down, but that is not happening anytime soon.  I am looking into the cause and think I am making progress.  We will see soon.  I have talked to my doctor who is a brilliant woman and also my neighbor.  We are going to try some medication but the thing is I have to get a migraine during office hours so I can go get a shot and she can monitor my response to the medication.  Hard to do when you get so many during the weekend and in the early evening.  I went to my acupuncturist and she has helped me so much.  I have now been headache free for five whole days.  My vision is still a bit funny but it is clearing up.  All will be back in balance soon.  Thanks you all for your kindness and support.

Hope you are having a wonderful day.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

After and before.........

I know it is supposed to be before and after but who wants to wait?  Here is my finished Berroco Modern Cotton Baby Ripple.

I finished it today on a very unexpected day off.  I have been having some pretty bad headaches lately and when number four migraine in 48 hours came roaring in while I was at work last night I knew work was not possible today.

I had planned on finishing the last three rows of this last night, but as you can imagine once I got home I went right to bed and stayed in my very dark room.  I am very lucky Mr. 18 was home, he took care of Little Buddy all on his own, even taking care of a poopy diaper.  However when I talked to my husband this morning he told me the diaper had been put on backwards which made me laugh, well it was a little chuckle because my head was still hurting. 

Here is the before, all rumply and tiny.  I had hoped that a good blocking would be perfect for this blanket because once again I could have gone with one pattern repeat more.  This is your basic 14 stitch ripple, you  can find the pattern everywhere.  Before blocking it was 24 x 39 inches, after it was 28 x 42.  I think that is a nice baby size.  The blanket is soft and even though this yarn calls for a H hook, I used an I and maybe could have gone up to a J.  It would have been more drapey if I had.  Is drapey a word?

This will be shipped out to the new baby who will soon be in our family.  I love that my nieces and nephews on both sides of the family are having families of their own now.  If you are in my family, and are having a baby, you get a baby blanket from me whether you want one or not.  It is the rule!

Of course when I am home with a hurting head and do not want much noise or light I have this going on right outside my front door, they are repaving the street.  Let me just say that trucks of all shapes and sizes have been here making a LOT of noise today.  I finally put my earphones on and listened to soft music to drown them out. 

I am glad that even in a darkened room, with gentle music on I could finish this baby blanket.  For the next few hours I will not have a thing in progress, absolutely nothing on the hook or needles.  I think I might make some Queen Anne's Lace Scarves with matching ends by Sue Perez, for therapist and teacher presents for Little Buddy for Christmas.  Remember all the dishcloths that were made last year?  Well I do and I remember that everyone thought they were trivets even though I had them packaged up with a nice bar of beautiful soap.  I think a scarf might be better.  I vowed to give only Starbucks gift cards, but you know me I have to make something.

Hope you are having a great day.

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Autumn, audio books and reading..................

Autumn is on my mind as it is popping up on so many blogs.  Autumn is far from Florida, and will be for a few more weeks, maybe even a month or two.  I love Autumn, it is my favorite season which I find ironic living where I do in Florida.  As of the beginning of October I will decorate for Halloween and Fall, but for now I will have to make do with these beautiful sunflowers I bought at the market today.  I found the glass polka dot jar in the three dollar bin at Target earlier this week, a fun combination for the hopefully cooler days ahead.

One of the things I absolutely love to do is read.  I find so many of you out there in blogland do too.  As my reading time is limited due to work, Little Buddy, and my overall level of fatigue I find it hard to read as many books as I would like.  I am on the road for a couple of hours a day, driving to patients homes, driving, driving and more driving.   I used to listen to music in the car but it just became so irritating to me, all the crazy beats, and of course all the commercials.  I find when I listen to audio books I get to hear the book, do something productive with my travel time and stay calm while driving.  Well that is until I recently listened to Broadchurch, I wasn't to calm listening to this book!  

I know many of you feel that audio books aren't for you because you like to make up the sounds of the characters in the  books in your own mind, I do too, but for me audio books are a life saver.  I enjoy the take the person reading the book has on the characters, sort of like when I watch a movie based on a book, it might not be the way I had envisioned it in my head but it might be great just the way it is, even if it isn't my way.  I listen to these books through my public library system, with an app on my phone.  It is brilliant as I am listening to books I may never have thought of reading, and they are free.  If I don't like it I just return it and I am not out a whole bunch of money. 

So in honor of audio books and books in general I would like to recommend a few.  I just finished listening to Broadchurch this afternoon.  Oh my what a story!  I managed to have not seen the show and had no idea who did what, if you haven't seen the show, or maybe even if you have, this is one fantastic thriller. 

One of my favorite authors is Liane Morality.  I have listened to Three Wishes, and Big Little Lies this year and both of them are terrific.  I have read many of her other books as well, all of them are wonderfully written, terrifically detailed, and so full of interesting characters. 

I listened to one or two of the Bridget Jones books even though I had already read them.  They made me laugh out loud in my car.  There is something to be said about a book that makes you giggle while you are driving.  

There is something about a mystery listened to in audio format that is very exciting.  I have listened to many of the John Grisham books this year as well as The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  The Cormorant Strike series by JR Rollins were fabulous in audio format.  I loved the gruff voice of the lead character.   

Not to make you think that I never pick up a book, actually I try to read every night, here are a few I have read that I really enjoyed.  My favorite of the year so far is Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall.  I really loved this book and could not wait to whisk myself off to bed to read it.  

A new to me author Brian Freeman, wrote The Bone House, which was fascinating to me as it takes place in Door Co. Wisconsin where my SIL's live, and where we visited this past summer.  The book also takes place in Florida, it was very exciting and well written.  

Sarah's Key by Tatiana  de Rosnay was a fabulous read.  I know I am late to the party on this one.  The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy was also brilliant., taking place in the same era.  

All in all I have listened/read 38 books so far this year.  Many of them were okay or good but not good enough for me to recommend.  Those listed above made the cut and are the best of the best. 

One of the books I knew I would struggle with is Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.  There has been so much press about this book already I won't go into to much here.  Even though I told myself not to I read it, and believe me I think Harper Lee had this manuscript set aside for a reason.  She was just figuring herself out writing this book, a first draft, trying to find her way.  When I think of it that way it makes sense to me.  Thank goodness she did find her voice in To Kill a Mockingbird, my favorite book of all time.  

Now we have another block buster coming out in the Millennium Series by Stieg Larson, will you read the fourth book in the series even though the author died before he was finished writing it?  Lots of controversy here as his long time love did not want it published but his brother and father did, and hired someone to finish it  Time will tell on that one for me, but I have to say I am no hurry to get it when it comes out.

Tonight I am starting a new book to read before bed and this weekend will download an audio book for my travels to and from work.  There is just so much out there read and/or listen to.  Tonight I am also working on this baby blanket, I am at the half way point!

Read any good books lately?

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Saturday, September 12, 2015



This is one very determined little boy.  Sometimes he is getting very opinionated, and demanding, as well as determined.  Most of the time he makes me laugh, although I try not to show him that.  He was a bit too determined to get into his friends business at school this past Wednesday.  I was in a big hurry to get to work when I picked him up and the teacher approached me with this bit of information.  She is very sweet, and I like her a lot, but I had to remind her that he has no idea how to play with children.  That is the school's job.   He is a, "therapy baby" as I like to call them.  A little person who has played with therapists for years but not with children their own age.  He will figure it all out because he is one smart cookie.

I am determined to work on this baby blanket this weekend.  I love the yarn, Modern Cotton by Berroco, in the colors Gadwell (grey) and Sandy Point (cream).  This yarn is so soft and lovely to work with.  It is perfect for this ripple baby blanket.  I would definitely use this yarn again for a sweater, it would be so yummy to put on.   Actually I plan on spending most of my afternoon with my feet tucked up under me on the sofa, stitching away while watching college football.  I am determined to rest this weekend.  I have been running on fumes for so long I have forgotten what a rested body feels like.  This past week was no exception with four solid days of work, over 400 miles driven for work, and two very lengthy re-evaluations to write up.  Do you ever feel just bone tired, almost like the fatigue is so deep it is in your bones?  Today I am forcing myself to rest, relax, drink tea, read blogs and crochet, we will see how that goes.

Miss Spider could also teach me a thing or two about being determined and of course being a hard worker.  I make sure to go and talk to her every day.  I know I feel a bit like Wilber in Charlotte's Web, I am getting a tad to attached to her.  She has definitely had her babies as she is much thinner than last week.  She is darker too.  I am afraid her days are numbered, so I tell her how magnificent she is everyday.  I know you probably think I am a bit cuckoo talking to a spider.  I also talk to deer when I pass them on the road and ask them to stay exactly where they are and not run into the street.  I even talk to my plants, the wee little frogs and toads living on my back deck, and of course turtles I see crossing the road.  I stop my car if at all possible and move them myself so they are clear of traffic.

I am determined to catch up with all of you.  Seems like I am always saying that, but I fear I will be lagging behind in blog reading for some time to come.  The school/work schedule leaves little time for any type of break.  I must remember to smell my one and only rose when I can, and I must remember to rest, rest, rest this weekend.  I hope you are rested, relaxed and having a great weekend.
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