Sunday, February 26, 2012

I am BEYOND excited!!!!!

I just made my first purchase of Stylecraft Special DK yarn from England. I am on pins and needles, or should I say hooks and needles, waiting for my 36 skeins to arrive. They have the most beautiful selection of colors. Can't wait to show them to you.

I have been having so much fun this week, working on quick little projects. I showed you my Happy Flower decoration, from Lucy at Attic 24
Of course, the 3 little munchkins have all requested one. I am finishing the leaves on the stems and the embellishments on the hangers and then I will stiffen them and they will be done.

I mentioned on my last post that I had joined 2 groups on Ravelry. I don't know if it is knowing that I joined One a Day, that I have become obsessed with getting 2 rows crocheted a day on my afghan, or if it is just relaxing. Haven't figured it out yet. I do know that I don't want to go to bed unless I get the next row of color completed. This "ugly" afghan might actually be done while we still have cold weather.
My new addiction, GRANNY SQUARES!  I don't know if it is because you start crocheting a square and in less than an hour you have a mini masterpiece. Well, not always a masterpiece, but, a very sweet little square. For whatever reason, I am hooked. Speaking of hooks, I am trying to find a specific crochet hook. It has a red handle with with polka dots. Anybody have any ideas? STOP!!! Get back on track. Granny Squares. What is so fun with these squares, I am learning new stitches and techniques. When I have a bunch of them, I will make an afghan. If the squares don't work in the afghan, they will be coasters. This is a win win project.
This hexagon is nothing special. Just wanted to see if I could make something fairly even on all sides. 

I started and finished my "itty bitty" baby mittens. OH MY GOSH!  They took me about an hour and a half to make. They will be perfect for taking David for walks on our cold spring mornings. These mittens are on page 33, in the "itty bitty nursery" book, by Susan Anderson. 

Saturday I did one of my favorite things, went to Eastern Market and Srodek's Polish Market. This time of year there aren't too many farmers at Eastern Market. The ones that are there are selling mostly eggs, root vegetables, apples, honey, beans, bakery goods, and firewood. There are a few vendors there from stores selling grocery store produce. This year, the market offered free spaces to new local entrepreneurs in hopes they will become regular vendors in the spring. I am addicted to 2 new items, Maria's Homemade Salsa, from Hamtramck, Michigan and The Brinery's fresh purple sauerkraut, from Ann Arbor, Michigan. OH MY GOSH!!! 
At Srodek's Polish Market, I can't resist the atmosphere. Even if I didn't need anything, I would go there just to chat with the owners and listen to the old and young Polish customers speaking in their native tongue. However, this trip was for shopping. The Srodek family makes the BEST pierogi's. Wait, my ex-husband's wife makes the best, AND, she taught me how to make them last year. Oops, getting off track again. The Srodek's pierogis are wonderful. I bought potato/cheese for Luiza, mushroom/sauerkraut for Sarah, and wild mushroom for me. As I was making them Luiza said she would TRY on of mine. I said "Oh no, you don't have to". Why would I want to share MY wild mushroom pierogis that cost more for fewer of them? So, while we are eating dinner, I cut one of mine into 4 bites, put one piece on Luiza's plate, and guess what? THATS RIGHT! She loves wild mushroom pierogis. Figures. 
The other thing I bought was Morski Polish cheese and horseradish cheese. All I can say, YUM!

Today will be a nice day. After church, 2 gals are coming over to hang out. One is a beautiful card maker. She is working on her Christmas cards for 2012. I can't imagine. I am still putting the finishing touches on my Christmas cards from 2006. Probably time to give up on mine. However, Rebecca is so talented. She got married this past December and made all her own table decorations for the reception. They were gorgeous. The other gal that is coming over, is coming to plan a vacation. Sarah decided to take Luiza to Disney World this summer and while talking to Marci, found out her family is planning on going, too. That will be fun. I have to stay home and daycare my other little ones AND watch all of our animals, so, this will be nice for Sarah. Ten days with a nine year old, need I say more? Marci's children and Luiza are great friends. They will have so much fun. Later today, my son and his family will be coming over for our weekly Sunday dinner and to bring the girls to sleepover. I think tonight's dinner, FAJITAS! Easy dinner for 9 people. 

I will leave you with some pictures of my cute estate sale finds. These are all Boyd's Bears.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eleven Questions

I love the blog, Wooly Knits N Bits. I was reading it tonight and to my amazement, I was asked to participate in a fun online questionnaire. Here is what I was asked to do:

I've been tagged by Wooly Knits N Bits  to answer her 11 questions.
The rules are:
1. Post these rules.
2. Answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you.
3. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
4. Tag 11 people, if possible and link them to your post.
5. Let them know that you tagged them.

So here goes!
  1. What is your favorite movie?  It is impossible to come up with just one. I love the Bourne Identity series, Serendipity, and Julie & Julia. I started writing my blog after watching Julie & Julia, which I have watched AT LEAST 40 times.  
  2. Bath or shower?  Bath. 
  3. What makes you angry?  Right now, politicians. I do not understand how people think what they are fighting for is more important than the other person's conviction. We are all passionate about our cause, but we MUST learn to meet the other person in the middle or nothing gets done.  
  4. Where do you feel most at peace?  I love camping at the Pinery in Canada.
  5. What song touches you the most?  Shout to the Lord. Cry EVERY time.
  6. How do you like your eggs?  Scrambled with grilled onions, green peppers, and mushrooms.
  7. Is the size of your stash of yarn/fabric/craft supplies problematic?  NOPE!  I only buy when I am ready to start the project. Also, when I started knitting/crocheting, I decided to get rid of everything else. Sold or donated all my sewing patterns/fabric/notions. I do still have my sewing machine, but, only for emergencies. 
  8. Do you eat the recommended amount of fruits and veggies every day?  Almost. I am a vegetarian. 
  9. What colours do you like to wear?  Black with bright colors or Black with white. Fat girl mentality. 
  10. What is the best meal you cook?  Depends who you ask. My favorite meal is a thick pasta sauce consisting of sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, grated carrots, tomato paste, & fresh basil over spaghetti. If you ask my son, he says Swedish Meatballs and noodles. He is 34 years old and only found out last year that my meatballs and gravy are purchased in the frozen section of a local market and not homemade. He was crushed.  
  11. If you could build a house anywhere in the world and bring your loved ones with you...where would it be?   I usually tell people I would love to have a home in Tomsk, Siberia.  I must say, I love my state of Michigan. I would love to have a home on one of the Great Lakes.

Those were my answers. Here are my questions:

 1.  What is your favorite knitting/crochet book?

 2.  Bright or pastel?

 3.  Where is your favorite place to knit/crochet?

 4.  Favorite pizza topping?

 5.  Where is your favorite place to buy yarn?

 6.  When is your favorite time of day to knit/crochet?

 7.  What do you use more of, man-made or natural fiber yarn?

 8.  Favorite vacation spot?

 9.  Rain or snow?

10.  Sweet or savory?

11.  Favorite season? Why?

I invite the following bloggers to join in the fun:

And any other bloggers that would love to join in, please do so!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

RELAXING weekend.

What a great weekend this has been. All my little ones were picked up early on Friday, which is VERY unusual. They are normally gone by 5:30 p.m. each day, but Friday the baby was picked up at noon, 2 more at 3:00 p.m., and the last 2 at 5:00 p.m. WHOA!!!!  All this extra time to pack up my yarn, hooks, and books to take to Scrapbooking Night at our church. Yeah, I know it is called SCRAPBOOKING Night, but a few of us knitters decided to crash it one night, about 4 years ago. It was a huge success. Now it is more like "craft night". We have a blast. We meet the 1st & 3rd Fridays of each month, take turns bringing a dessert, and craft until midnight. About twice a year the girls have a weekend of fun. They either bring sleeping bags and stay at the church or leave at midnight and return the next morning for breakfast. Sometimes they go out to the Salvation Army Camp and scrap/craft there. I haven't been able to do that. My daughter, Sarah, is in charge of this group, so I stay home with Luiza, the 4 dogs, 2 birds, & 4 turtles. However, we have our own weekend of fun. YIKES!!!!....... off the subject. I was telling you about my weekend. ANYWAY, Friday night was fun, crocheting with friends. I did get a few flower heads made. I need to go buy some yarn for the stems.

Saturday morning Sarah, Luiza, and I went out to 3 craft stores. I bought some cheap cotton yarn to make more Happy Flowers. I am loving these flowers. I was thinking about making just the flower, leaving the stem and leaves off, bundling them up in groups of 6 with a ribbon, and giving them as a gift of coasters. They crochet together so fast. This is the pattern from Lucy at Attic24. It is called the Happy Flower Decoration. I love Lucy's designs. They are so cheerful.
I just realized I haven't finished making and hanging the crocheted circle and heart from the bottom of the flower, along with the beads. I still have to stiffen the flower by applying a thick layer of glue to the back of it. 

These are the yarns I bought to work on the stems and the pink and purple to add springy colors to my old stash. 
These are the beads that get added to the top of hanger and dangle from the bottom.
After shopping we had a wonderful lunch at a local pizzeria. They have the BEST greek salad and hot bread sticks made from the pizza dough. Need I say more? While we were eating my daughter decided it was time to get Luiza's hair cut. Just like that! One minute we are eating, the next minute we are rushing out the door to get EIGHT INCHES of Luiza's hair cut off. I still don't know where that came from. I must say, as much as this gramma cringed at the thought of cutting her beautiful hair, it looks darling. And to think, in one year it has grown 8 inches. ( couldn't find a before picture ).

I have decided to join 2 groups on Ravelry. One is called Granny Square a Day, which is self explanatory and the other is called One a Day. This one, you just complete one project or specific part of a project, a day. I am working on an afghan with yarn from my very small stash and my goal is to crochet one row a day. The afghan is much longer than I had planned, so, one row is a big accomplishment per day, since I am still working on other things. Because I am working from my stash, I sometimes crochet a row or two with an odd color combination and then decide that I can't live with it. Perfect example, this particular skein of HOT PINK yarn! I added the row, ripped it out, and then added it back. NOPE, it is coming out for good. I will use the hot pink for the Granny Square a Day project. I figure if I set a goal of 1 granny square a day and 1 row a day, before you know it, I will have 2 afghans made. Seeing that I have never made a full size afghan, this excites me. 
TOO FUNNY!!  My daughter just walked by and said that this afghan will be known as the "ugly afghan". Probably the favorite afghan, but also the ugliest. Yep, the hot pink row comes out. 

I have decided that I need to have one "itty bitty" project going at all times, since my blog IS knitting thru the "itty bittys". I have gotten side tracked. This week I plan on knitting the baby mittens on page 33 of "itty bitty nursery". Fast project.
Hopefully, it will inspire me to make the Circles Stroller Jacket on page 28 of the same book. 
Susan Anderson has SO many patterns that aren't in any  of the "itty bitty" books, that I am so anxious to make. I MUST get back on track.

I also want to get started on the Cat pattern from the Etsy store, Mamma4earth. I love Linda's patterns. Her blog, Natural Suburbia, is really interesting. She designs alot of wild animal knit patterns. She is from South Africa. 

It is getting late. The 3 granddaughters are sound asleep. I have to get up early to get them fed and 2 of them off to school. Then the 3 little ones will arrive around 8:00 a.m. and the day will begin with gusto. 

I will leave you with a photo of my new spring purchase. Good Night.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Its time to get a pencil and paper

I LOVE lists. I love to get a new notebook and my favorite pen and start making lists. I like to make a list of what needs to be cleaned in the house, the daily chores. I love crossing off each job as I complete it. I am so quirky that if while I am doing one job and I add a little something to it that isn't on the original list, I quickly write it down so I can then cross it off. I love making grocery lists. I write the items in the order they are in the aisles at the market. I desperately try NOT to buy anything not on the list. I LOVE making lists of projects to do around the house. It is always interesting to see how many got done before the month is over. Truthfully, that list is usually forwarded to the next month. I painted my bedroom before Thanksgiving, ran out of paint with one section of my stairway wall to go, and STILL haven't gone to get the pint of paint. Since nobody sees it, it isn't a priority. Note to self, PAINT!!!!

I have been enjoying alot of new blogs recently and have noticed alot of people are into a project a day. I believe the Ravelry group is called One a Day. I haven't committed to it, but, it sounds fun. This winter has been tough with 2 elderly dogs, with lots of issues, and then adding David to my group of little ones. I don't seem to be able to sit down and concentrate while knitting without making errors that require as much UN-knitting as knitting. Because of that, I have been crocheting more simple items. I think that is why the One a Day sounds fun. All of a sudden I am LOVING Granny Squares. If I did a square a day, which takes no time, I could actually make my first full size afghan. 

So, tonight I think I am going to get a NEW notebook, my favorite pen, and make a list of knitting and crocheting projects that I want to complete. I haven't done an "itty bitty" in ages. I need to pick one. My only issue with the "itty bittys", I love the yarns that Susan Anderson chooses for her projects. I don't have a stash of yarn, so, once I chose the project, I will have to find the time to go to my LYS, "have you any wool?" and FORCE myself to look through the bins for that special yarn. 

I have been crocheting a few little bookmarks for my granddaughters and their teachers for Valentine's Day.

I saw this darling little flower on the Attic 24 blog. I immediately became obsessed to duplicate it. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the yarn that Lucy used, so, my colors are not what I wanted. However, since this is my sample, it works. My next one will have more springy colors.   

My ex-husband's wife, who I adore, gave me a wonderful cookbook for Christmas. Last fall we had been watching a cooking show, America's Test Kitchen, and they made this Coconut Cake that made all of us salivate. We immediately went online to get the recipe and it was no where to be found. So, when Julia surprised me with a Christmas present, she said she had an ulterior motive for getting me this gift, page 851 Coconut Layer Cake. 

I made Julia the cake for our Annual Superbowl Scrapbookers Party. I am so THRILLED, she loved it.

Well, I think I am going to go make that list of projects to start working on. Things that can be completed in a day and things that are to wonderful to resist. In the meantime, here are some photos of the kids today. What can I say, I am so blessed.

Mia, Ella, Luiza

Miles - 22 years old

Tahki - 23 years old
Good Night. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

WINTER HAS ARRIVED!!!! Maybe I will finally get my head out of the sand.

I wish I could tell you why I have been so silent. Everyday I read all my favorite blogs. I get so excited by the things all these wonderful women are writing about. I make mental notes of projects I am dying to knit or crochet and in some cases, recipes I would love to try. 
I wish I could remember WHY I became so silent. Maybe it is the fact that I am now "Nanny" to 4 month old David. I started watching this precious little guy the last week of 2011. His parents moved to the United States from Russia a few years ago. As many of you know, my granddaughter was adopted from Russia. I went on two trips with my daughter to Russia, the first to meet little Luiza and the second to bring her home. I am obsessed with Russia. I hope that I will learn some Russian from David's mom. Funny, I am dying to know everything about Russia and she moved here to get away from it. ANYWAY,  adding an infant to the group has changed my day to day routine. Having a 4 month old, along with the 2, 3, 5, 7, & 8 year olds, has made for some long days. All of the children are so good, but, only the 2 older ones are on the same wave length. The 4 younger ones are all developmentally at different stages. By the time 6:00 p.m. arrives, I have lost all my "oomph". It takes everything to look at the computer, let alone tell you what I have done throughout the day. You know, that really isn't a good explanation for my silence. After all, the Duggar family has 19 kids and she has time to HOME SCHOOL! 
Maybe I have been silent because my 4 elderly dogs are all losing their minds. Let me just say, Dillon (14 yr old Yorkie) has lost his hearing. Completely deaf. Quinn (9 yr old Great Dane) has spinalstinosis. Every time he wakes up, he has no feeling in his rear end and his hind legs always look like he is seasick. Trying to keep 8 lb deaf Dillon safe from the 180 lb tipsy Quinn, that is a constant job. 
No, thats not it. That isn't why I have been silent. It could be that not having a battery in my camera has been tough. It isn't much fun to blog without pictures. I know I love seeing what people are talking about. It has taken me months to get this crazy battery. I only have one specialty camera shop in my area and they have odd hours. I finally got there today. FORTY dollars for this battery. Well worth every cent to get the camera back in working order. I came home, put the battery in the camera, took a picture of Luiza, went to take another and the camera said "CHA", which means "charge". Or so I thought. Come to find out, my old battery works just fine. All this time I thought the problem was the 7 year old rechargeable battery. Thought it finally wore out. Nope. Seems the problem was the memory card. Somehow the card was damaged. Apparently, "CHA" means "change" the memory card. To think, we haven't been able to take photos since before Christmas and it was just a matter of switching the memory cards that we already had. *WARNING - Don't let children read the next sentence*  I AM SUCH AN IDIOT!!!!!! 
Well, all these things combined could explain my silence, but, I am not convinced. After 3 months with no real snow, today, February 11, 2012, we woke up to about 2" of beautiful white snow. It FINALLY feels like winter. I woke up, looked out the window, saw the snow, and it felt like my brain reset. With temperatures in the teens, I headed out to shovel the sidewalks, go to Eastern Market and Srodek's, run some errands, make some Budapest Mushroom Soup and brownies, play Alphabet Soup Scrabble with Luiza, and now blog. I think my entire reason for being silent, I was missing winter. When you live in a state that is suppose to have 4 seasons, and up to now you have only had 3, something has to suffer.
So............I am back.  Since I have just written a novel telling you why I haven't been blogging, I am going to give you a rest from reading and post some pictures of a few things I have been doing.

Sleeping like a baby. 

I love this pillow, the Blooming Flower from Attic 24 . This was so much fun to crochet. It went together SO fast. I still have to buy a pillow form to stuff it.

Alphabet Soup Scrabble, great game to play with the little ones. Fun way to learn to read.
I always shovel the lawn for the mail carrier. 

Budapest Mushroom Soup.

Luiza and I made brownies. She hid little pieces of Snickers candy bars in the batter.