Monday, November 21, 2011

3 Things

First thing, PLEASE check out this blog, Natural Suburbia. I fell in love with this blog a few weeks ago. The gal who writes it designs wonderful knitted animal patterns and also has an Etsy store, Mamma4earth. GREAT patterns. She is in the midst of a giveaway that ends on November 25th. Be sure to check it out.

Second thing, I HATE MAKING BOBBLES!!!!!!  I am trying to make the Santa in Susan B. Anderson's "itty bitty toys". I WAS loving him until I reached the top of his hat. A BOBBLE! I don't know why I have such trouble reading ANY bobble directions. I am going to have to head to YouTube and find some instructions. Drives me crazy.

I would have posted a photo of Santa, but, third thing, the battery in the camera died. I really can't complain. The camera was bought 7 years ago, used constantly, and this will be the first time we have had to replace the battery. It has outlived my dishwasher and refrigerator.

Everyone in the USA, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day on Thursday.  Those who don't celebrate this holiday, just be thankful for what you have and those in your life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am actually getting things done!!!

I don't remember the last time that I had energy ALL day and was still able to stay awake and do something well into the wee hours of the morning. I don't think I have gone to bed before 1:00am in weeks.  Hope this lasts. 
I wish I had some HUGE project I could talk about. Maybe someday, but for now, I have alot of little things I have started and finished. I am so addicted to the baby bibs and washcloths from Down Cloverlaine. I am not a real fast knitter, but these bibs, I can do one in a normal day. My two newest ones are Rudy the Reindeer and the Owl. I think they are so sweet.

I was roaming through the patterns on Ravelry and came across these 2 granny squares. The first is called African Flower. I love this square. I don't why, but I think it is darling.

I also found a Hello Kitty crocheted square. I made a sample out of scrap yarn. I think the real colors will make a cute scarf.

I have my family over for Thanksgiving each year and I try to add a new decoration that Luiza, Ella, and Mia have made. This year we made cotton pumpkins. The girls loved sewing them. It was really nice that they could make them from beginning to end, all by themselves. They even made one for each of their teachers.  

I don't think I have mentioned that my son is in the Detroit Police Academy. He started in September and will graduate in March/April. It is SO grueling, but, he loves it. I am so proud of him. 

I am going to close for now. I am headed to the kitchen to wash dishes and then, I am going to work on Santa from the "itty bitty toys" book. He is coming along nicely. I hope to be done with him by Sunday. Here it is, 10:49 pm, and I am stilling going strong. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

YIPPEE!!!! November is here.

I am stepping up my game. November is here, my favorite time of the year, and I am starting to focus. I am getting SO excited for my family to come for Thanksgiving. I love decorating the house. I love shopping for the food. I love to make the sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, southern green beans, and mashed potatoes. I love making hors d'oeuvres to have before the meal and soup to have for the second meal. I love going to bed at midnight, the night before, waking up about 3:00am to take one turkey out of the oven and put another one in. This year, I think I may make homemade bread. I used to make it weekly, when my children were little. I haven't made it in about 30 years. Maybe I will make it with my granddaughters. Each year I try to think of something new to add to the feast. I think I better get the cookbooks out and see what catches my eye.

Last week my precious cockatiel, Samuel, died at the age of 23. I got him when he was 8 weeks old. He was such a special boy. He helped me raise 12 other birds. He taught my parakeets and lovebirds to get along. He would stand between them, if they were fighting, and say something. Immediately, the bickering would stop. After about 3 months, they never fought again. Sammy had a vocabulary of about 12 words and sentences. He used to whistle the theme song to the "Andy Griffith Show". He taught 2 of his bird brothers to talk. I had fed him before going to church, October 30th. When I got home, I passed by his cage, we talked. I went outside to do yard work, came in about dinnertime. When I passed by his cage, he had died. I am so glad he had had a good day. He had talked to me, ate great, and played with his brothers. It was a tough week for his brothers. Miles is 21 years old, also a cockatiel. They shared a cage. Miles has never been without Sam. He misses him. His other brother, Tahki, is a 22 year old African Ringnecked Parakeet. He is about as grumpy as they come. However, he always sat on the perch closest to Sam and learned to mimick him. He actually learned Sam's voice so well, I could not tell the difference. It is comforting now. 

This past week I started and completed some projects. I am having so much fun making baby bibs designed by Elaine Fitzpatrick. Her blog is Down Cloverlaine. I think they are so cute and SO practical. I made Gobble, for David's first Thanksgiving. 
I also completed the hat pattern, Echelon. I have the HARDEST time making granny squares. WHY????  They are probably one of the easiest things to crochet. Drives me crazy. 
I am getting ready to work on the Christmas Set, from Susan B. Anderson's, "itty bitty toys", page 113. I am starting with Santa. I need to get this set finished, soon, so I can get busy working on her darling little fairies. I am hoping to have them ready for Christmas Eve. Luiza, Ella, and Mia will be so excited. They were featured in Knitsimple Holiday 2011.

Just a few pictures from this past week. Luiza was a butterfly and Ella and Mia were girls from the 50's for Halloween.

Yesterday, Luiza and I raked the front yard. Leaf pick-up is coming on Wednesday. I hope the weather holds out for our next pick-up day in December. We get 2 per season, weather permitting. If I have to bag the leaves, it takes about 80 bags to finish my backyard.  NOT fun.

My aunt stopped by this morning for a visit and brought me this WONDERFUL soap from Italy. The smell of lemon is unbelievable. Thank you, Aunt Jewell. 

I am going to get started on my itty bitty Santa. Hopefully, I will have a photo to post this week. Oooo, and I think I will go put some squash in the oven. Bought 3 different varieties at the market on Saturday. I have never had the one on the right. Can't wait to try it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

3 Fast Little Projects

I am SO excited. For the past 7 years, I have spent the week before Halloween making my granddaughter, Luiza's,  costume. From a mermaid with all the shells, beads, glitz and glitter, to Pocahontas, to princessess, to a black cat. This year, she had a list a mile long of characters she wanted to be. So, as usual, my daughter Sarah, Luiza, and I headed to the fabric store on Tuesday, less than a week before Halloween, to pick out the pattern and fabric. We walked in and I immediately found some great fabric. I turned to ask Sarah and Luiza what they thought of it and they were nowhere in sight. I was heading for the cutting table, with about 30 people in line, when they came around the corner carrying a gorgeous pair of wings. Luiza was squealing that she was going to be a butterfly and wear the wings with a black leotard and tights. It took everything for me to not SCREAM with joy. I can't imagine, the week before Halloween and all I have to do is decide what kind of soup and bread to make for Halloween dinner.

While I was at the fabric store, I picked up some fabric to make some stuffed pumpkins. I am making them for Thanksgiving, so I have a little bit of time.

I also picked up these 2 skeins of Patons Beehive Baby Chunky yarn. I had the hardest time trying to find a natural yarn that is soft enough for a baby. Any suggestions? I haven't been to my favorite local yarn shop, "have you any wool?". I am sure I will find some great skeins there. They always have just what I am looking for.

This week I made these 3 dishcloths for my ex-husband's wife, and her 2 married daughters. I am going to a dinner party on Saturday at one of the daughter's house. We all have such fun together.

Getting late, better say "Goodnight".

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What a GREAT weekend.

After a week of cold drizzly weather, this weekend was beautiful.
I spent Saturday morning doing my favorite thing, going to Eastern Market, in the heart of Detroit, to get my weekly produce with my cousins. Marilyn, her husband Jon, and I go almost every week to relax. We talk to the farmers, get our eggs, produce, soup from the Russell Street Deli vendor, bread from the Zingerman's vendor, and visit with total strangers. Often we see the mounted police officer patrolling the market on Elmo, a HUGE horse. What could be better than that? Just look at this picture of the market. This is only one shed. There are 3 others. Let me just say, this is a jewel in Detroit.
When we have loaded our carts with fresh eggs, vegetables, and fruit, we head to Milano's Bakery for the best cheese danish you have ever eaten. Let me correct that, once a month we splurge on the danish. After we leave Eastern Market, we often head to Hamtramck. 50 years ago, it was a city that was populated by Polish immigrants. Now days, it is a more diverse city. However, many of the original polish butchers and bakers have remained. Jon likes to stop at the butcher shop and get some sausage. The wonderful smokey smells that come from the grocery bag, words can't describe, and I AM A VEGETARIAN! Some things never change, smells bring back memories of childhood. The other stop we sometimes make, is at the polish bakery. This week we bought some paczkis, the most incredible round donuts,  either glazed and jelly filled or chocolate dipped with a custard filling. These are not your normal donuts, these are sent from heaven. 

Saturday afternoon was my, "just like",  a grandson's 2nd birthday. Nolan had a bounce house in their backyard. The children had a blast. They had a fire going in the pit ( 48 degrees outside ), but the kids were barefoot most of the time. They carved pumpkins to take home and hit a ghost pinata'. I think they got more candy from breaking the ghost than they will get from trick or treating Halloween night. We had such a good time. 

This is Nolan, enjoying his cake


I also finished "Stretch", the giraffe bib, for my newest little one, David. I will start watching him the end of the year. He is 3 weeks old. I love this bib. 
It didn't photograph real sharp, but in person, the design really "pops". I plan on making about a dozen different styles. They are from Elaine Fitzpatrick. You can get her free patterns on Ravelry or on her blog, Down Cloverlaine. LOVE IT!

OH, I forgot to tell you, my son started the Detroit Police Academy in September. He will be in training until May, 2012. What a change from first, touring for 3 years all over the world with his band, then 11 years as the Community Center Director for the Royal Oak Salvation Army. Maybe running the summer day camps will have prepared him for patrolling the streets of Detroit. LOL! 120 kids, I can't imagine. Anyway, I am so proud of him and happy for him. He has wanted this for awhile. 

I better go. The little ones will be arriving in about 8 hours. I better get some sleep. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

APRIL 6TH????????

Is it true?  The last time I blogged was April 6?!?!?!?  That is pathetic.

I don't know where the time has gone. Spring and summer came and went. With 5 grandchildren, 4 dogs, 3 birds, and 3 turtles that I take care of, I didn't go on vacation. So what did I do?  Wait, that should say, So what DID I do?  If I think REALLY hard, I can come up with a few things. I am a jigsaw puzzle fanatic. I put about 10 puzzles together. I work them on my kitchen table, so, I start the puzzle after dinner and it has to been completed before breakfast. Too bad I can't make money doing puzzles. I would be a wealthy woman.


I finished Tortellini Tortoise,

I made 3 skinny scarves,

This is my favorite. I made the Pig, from "itty bitty toys", page 43. I love my pig.

I made a tote bag,

and last, but not least, I made my VERY long, winter scarf.

Oh yeah, one other thing I finally did. I started eating properly. I have been a vegetarian since 1992, but that doesn't mean I was a healthy eater. On June 13th I decided to get with it. Turn my life around for the last time. I have yo-yo dieted so many times, I can't count. I am happy to say that as of today I have lost 47.5 lbs. I still have a long way to go (another 65 lbs), but, I have the rest of my life to get it off and KEEP it off. At some point I will post before and after pictures. Maybe at the half way point. Anyway, my daughter told me to check out  Lose It. I love this website. For some CRAZY reason, it clicked.

I made a delicious pot of Cauliflower Soup over the weekend. It is like a freebie soup, calorie wise. If I remember correctly, Weight Watchers don't count points for most vegetables. This would be point free. DELICIOUS!

Has anyone seen the issue of Knitsimple, Holiday 2011?  Susan B. Anderson has the sweetest set of fairies in a tulip purse. My granddaughters are going to love them. I had to hide the magazine so they won't have a clue about whats to come. Hopefully, I will get started on these fairies this week.

Time to go wash the dishes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Its time to SNAP OUT OF IT!!!!!!!!

When you haven't posted on your blog for 3 weeks because you were getting ready for the holidays, that is understandable. When the last time you posted was 6 months ago and you keep saying you can't find the time, SNAP OUT OF IT!!!!!  Unless your last name is Obama or you are in a lab developing a cure for something or you are Kate Gosslin, chances are, you can find a few minutes a week to blog SOMETHING! All I can say is, "I am sorry". There are no excuses for my excuses, so I won't make any.  The only thing I will say, when one stitch lets loose, it unravels everything.

I don't want to start blogging today about what happened 6 months ago. I will tell you a few things, then, it is time to look ahead. Let me start by saying, I FINISHED THE LION/ELEPHANT itty bitty reversible toy!!! He started off a possible misfit toy and turned out to be Neve's favorite toy. Elephant, as she calls him, sits on my bookshelf. Every morning when Neve arrives, the first thing she sees is Elephant. She watches him, with a smile on her face, while she takes her coat and boots off. Then, *vooom*, off to get Elephant. With a grab and a hug, the 2 are off to play. This is one loved toy.

Florian Fox. I fell in love with this fox years ago. It is from a book called "And So To Bed" by Lucinda Guy. I made it for my collection and ended up giving it to Nolan for his first birthday. His mom, Ruth, had given me the yarn from her mother's stash (my dear friend for 34 years, who passed away). When Ruth saw the completed fox, she fell in love with it. Since the yarn had been in her mom's stash, I felt it was meant to be that Florian Fox go live with Nolan and Ruth.

Through the winter all I really made was dishclothes, mainly to learn new stitches. I didn't take on any major projects. Kinda lost my "oomph". I loved looking through magazines and books, but mentally I couldn't get it together.

BIG NEWS!!!!!!!  My son applied a few years ago to become a police officer in a few cities. He was accepted by the Nashville, Tennessee police department, but, he really wanted to work in Detroit. He turned down the Nashville offer a year ago, hoping Detroit would call him. After waiting and waiting, he finally got the call. PRAISE GOD!!!!  He will be starting the police academy something in late spring or early summer. What a change this is going to be. He is currently the Community Center Director for the Salvation Army. He is thrilled, so we are thrilled.

This winter we also expanded our family. We have adopted 3 Map Turtles: Shellie, 10 years old and Sheldon and Shamus, both 9 years old. We are having so much fun with these 3 cuties. We have actually rearranged our furniture away from the TV to facing the aquarium.

Ok, fast forward to today, I am working on Tortellini Tortoise from the book Knit & Purl Pets. I had to temporarily jump ship (from the itty bittys) to make this turtle. Even though I know Susan Anderson wouldn't be upset, I feel like I am cheating on her. LOL.  Since we have our 3 little turtles, I had to knit one.

As I said, I didn't knit this winter, but I did buy lots of books. WOO HOO!!!! Actually, I joined a book club. What a great way to buy books. Saved a ton of money.

Oh, one last thing. NOT good news. This winter while I was moping around, I gained 12 pounds. What a pain, literally. If I had been in good shape to begin with, this would not bother me. Gaining this weight means I now have 90 pounds to lose. ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!!  Last week I pulled out my Weight Watcher books and started counting my points. First week, down 6 pounds.    84 pounds to go.