Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Big "I know I haven't posted in a while" Post--picture heavy

Well helloooo~ It's me again. I have good intentions and then the day is done and no blogging. But I'll at least catch you up. Starting August 6th, I finally pulled together some ideas of what to do for Derek for his birthday. We were trying to avoid spending money, and that coupled with the fact that Derek typically gets himself whatever he wants, it is difficult to buy gifts. (that sounds kind of bad-he doesn't spend if we're watching it well, he just sees stuff and gets it when we are able to buy ;) I want to thank the ladies at the Reclaiming the Home group on Ravelry, who helped point me in the right direction, and then Derek's friend Ryan personalized the ideas which are all related to World of Warcraft goodies. So, here:

The girls painted a Happy Birthday Daddy! banner:
Happy Birthday Daddy!
I copied some WoW art and framed them:
Derek's b-day goodies
More copies for decoupage on a box:
Box side
Box back
Box front
inside with some goodies
More goodies and the box interior
mana, health, gold and damage
healing potion, hearthstone and character stones
More goodies
all in the box in pouches I made
Inside the box
Rune of Teleportation and Rune of Portals, in case he needs to bust out of work really fast
knitted, felted and needle felted zipper pouch with the Alliance symbol on it (not yet finished, needle broke!) (and, Alliance Lion or Cowardly Lion? You choose. He was happy though :)
And, proto drake cake. Yes is it. Squint. See?

The girls also painted rocks for him and little figurines (a pig and a treasure chest) and got him WoW game cards. :) It was a very geeky birthday and he had tons of fun.

We've also been watching nature. We had gone to City Knitting and the girls saw this and wanted me to take a picture:
Cool weed

And, lastly, while we did not plant sunflowers this year, we still got one. We're keeping track of how it's growing and we're excited for it to bloom.

Sunflower 8/13/09
Sunflower 8/21/09
Sunflower 8/26/09

So that's where we're at. :) I have to go get the cream puffs out of the oven...mmmm!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fiber Fest, How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways...

Today I went to the Michigan Fiber Festival, after some confusion on my part of what weekend it was, and I had a marvelous time. Saw lots of people I knew like Beth Smith of The Spinning Loft, Rita Petteys of Yarn Hollow, friends I knit with, Christne, Vallerygallery, AllyB-all on Ravelry. There was a meet up that included CoggieTM of The High Fiber Diet Podcast, and her mother-in-law (oh no. Her name escapes me. Is she "No Broom" on Ravelry? Or is that just what her Ravatar says? Dang...Sorry, MIL!), and Deborah, who's Rav name escapes me as well. Tim, and Ladybugknitter (Lori) and her son and husband (who makes the great swifts and sock blockers at Hornshaw Woodworks. There were also the Zombie Prom Date Knitters, who all get lumped together because I won't remember everyone's names, except Knitswithsnot, 'cause how can you forget that name? ;) And Spinsanity, the lovely spindle maker. Here are some of those folks:

Some meet-up people

Phew. That was a lot to remember, and forgive me if I forgot you! But I must move on and tell of all the goodness at the festival. I didn't take pics of the booths, because you can imagine it. Big buildings packed with goodness, right? People all over the place, struggling to see every single bit of colorful, soft, fun things they can. It's heavenly.

I took a spin through the first vendor barn, then the second. I ran across the booth where Rachel (AKA my8kidsmom on Ravelry) had some of her goodies from her farm. She wasn't there at the time as she was getting a fleece judged, but I came back to meet her later. She was lovely and her products are wonderful. I bought some Finn from her. mmmm (And, check her blog to see how she did with her fleece! Give her a couple days though, think she's still there until tomorrow.)

Finn from My8kidsmom

But that was actually my last purchase. Well besides the elephant ear I was asked to bring home. :)

I started with a list of things I wanted: a needle felting kit-
Needlefelting kit and misc. woolCheck.

Some tan/brown blended yarn for Derek for some socks--no check. :(

But I found some orange Wensleydale locks to play with!
Wensleydale locks

Then I saw these. Seriously, I couldn't pass them up.
Cutest buttons ever

Plus, Nevernotknitting/Alana has that adorable sweater called "Sheepish" and I am just smitten with that sweater. So these had to come home.

Then I wandered to the animal barn, where I met Murol.

Baby Murol, llama

Murol is a very sweet baby llama who lives at Queso Cabeza Farm and came to greet me and was sooooooft, so I took part of her home with me. :) See her back in that picture up there? Well, here's what it looks like now:
Baby llama-"Murol" Well, about 4 oz. of it anyway. :) I also brought home some Zoey, a grey baby llama who wasn't at the festival today, but this was so lovely it was not to be passed up.
Baby llama-"Zoe" Baby Llama Goodness I even have a plan here~I'll blend that Finn from Rachel with this and then make a vest that I saw at the festival. Wow--a real plan!

Next I saw my first sheep shearing. It was amazing really. This guy didn't have big forearms like the shearer that Itsjustmeghan saw though (and yes, that really went through my mind). (BTW: I went to link to the shownotes for that episode, but didn't search for it. It's there, somewhere. ;)

"Pink! Pink? What's wrong with pink" Sheep in the shearing pen

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw these for sale. The whole bags. It was tempting...BaaBaa Black Sheep have you any...

I also checked out the bunnies, who are always so adorable. This one was my favorite:

My favorite bunny

Next I purchased some wonderful smelling potpourri for sachets Good smelly stuff and discussed a lovely scarf that was knit from silk hankies without spinning the silk first! It was really light and gorgeous, but forgot to snap a pic. Guess I have to knit one up and show you myself. :)

And finally, the last thing to share is a spindle I purchased. I have been longing for a new one and one that was beautiful, that wasn't too heavy/light, that I'd want to use. And I found it. In the Handspun by Stefania booth, a Driftwood Spindle that I fell in love with. Low whorl, zebrawood whorl with a bobinga shaft, 1.1 oz of gorgeousness. If you look at the spindle shaft, there is an email addy on it for direct contact, but I was unable to locate a website. I'd think going through Stefania is the best bet if you are interested. It's fantastic-spins forever!

Spindlelove Driftwood Spindle

So that was my festival experience. I was inspired by so much and I feel full-satisfied-with all the fibery goodness and all it's accessories. The animals, the friends, the hordes of people that all know the secret of the fiber arts. *Sighs contentedly* I have to get going on some projects now so that I can move on to more! I have fiber to clean and card and spin and knit and wear, and I can't wait!

Oh, I did find some things to add to the Christmas list though! heheh...

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Bikes!

Want to see two happy girls? Get them new bikes. "Big girl" bikes, with Barbie things, and streamers and glitter and a bell and a basket or a backpack and a little bike that can hold a Barbie doll on it and attach to the handle bars or come off for some fun inside too. Want to see how happy they are?



Big smiles. :) And as I tucked them into bed tonight, I told our little Peanut how much of a big girl she is with her new bike and she said "I love my bike" with a big smile. As I tucked Goosie in, she said "Thank you for my new bike" with a big hug. Made me so happy to see them so happy.

The downside? Poor Goosie has "growing pains" frequently. I always thought it was just a saying, but she feels it. Wakes her up. And it just did, as I was typing here. Both feet are hurting her from all that bike riding. Her seat is lower than it needs to be for the pedals but just right for her to reach the ground-she's at an in-between stage. She never ends up sore in the mornings either, which is good, but right now she's not so happy. :( Poor baby. But, thankfully, as I said, tomorrow it will barely be a memory.

So, I'll leave you with one more great shot. I love this one...


Monday, August 10, 2009

A Little Organizing!

I wanted to organize my cupboards a little. I have a corner cupboard that is so deep, I can't see how many bags of marshmallows I have...(three!). Or nuts...(four!). Or Fig Newtons...(two!) So I decided to put it all in the pantry. This meant several appliances, devices, books, and occasional dishes had to be moved.

So, here's the pantry before:

Pantry before

Take note especially of the top shelf and bottom two. Here's the after shot:
Pantry after

Then there are the two cupboards that I cleared out to add to the pantry. Here's the before shot:
Cupboards before

And after:
Cupboards after

Now, I know the pantry looks incredibly messy still, but I can reach in there and get what I need, can see it all--even those stacked cans--I have garbanzo beans on the bottom of 2 stacks and then one on top, then black beans on the bottom of others, and one on top. All other different kinds of veggies/beans are in the front, all easily seen. We'll be able to eat from the pantry before buying more. (And, the Fig Newtons? Yeah, both were beyond their time. Of course they sounded good today.)

But here's the cool part. See that corner cupboard? I removed the center shelf to get those tall things in there--that's a Kitchen-Aid mixer, a popcorn popper and a toaster oven. All on that shelf. Where were those before you ask? On my counter! (Well, the popcorn popper was a new acquisition this weekend.)

So now, not only can I see all the food we don't need to buy more of, I don't have to see all the appliances we don't use daily. Hooray!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Where am I? What season is it?

This was a scene in my neighborhood yesterday:

Fall? On Aug. 8th?

How very fall-like.

Today? It's currently 89 degrees (F) and feels like 96 degrees, and is windy but 57% humidity (but feels worse if you ask me). You can't breathe out there and the wind just pushes the wall of humidity in your face more. It's weird! The good news is that it's supposed to thunderstorm again here tonight. Last night there was weird heat lightening going on-lots of it. Ah, Michigan, you are such a weather tease.

I tried fall/winter clothes on the girls today. My little Goosie, who is 4 1/2, has some size 4 pants that don't fit anymore, and some that are too big. But she only has 5 pair to wear or grow into. Shirts? Enough to start the season in, but none to end it in (or wear in between!)

Peanut, who will be 3 in September, has some size 2 pants that she can wear still (overalls and leggings) that she can start the season in, tons of size 3 pants and shirts from big sister, but the pants are all too big, especially in the waist. :/ Should be an interesting season for her!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


The girls love a project. "Let's do a project mom!" So, about a week ago, I said it to them first-"Let's do a project!" They were more than ready for one. This idea came from a group on Ravelry called "Little House on the Prairie". We are reading the series and doing projects from within the chapters. (We're ahead on the reading, but don't tell anyone!)

I took a pillowcase and cut it into 2 pieces. Then we ventured outside and picked some flowers. Armed with wooden blocks, you place flower petals under the pillow case (over newspaper or magazines) and pound away. We had some trouble with the blocks, so the girls tried rocks-perfect! Pounding away any stress, frustration, or extra energy, we pulverized the pretty flower petals (and stems, leaves-even chives!) and made these great prints! I will heat set them in the dryer and frame them. I have the perfect spot to hang these, and the girls were so proud. (Although I think I needed to do the pounding more than they did!)

Peanut pounding flowers Goosie Pounding Flowers
Peanut's Finished Project Goosie's Finished ProjectProud!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Catching Up

Well helloooo!! I know, it's been forever. I said I'd do better. I haven't. But it's nice out and we're busy and .... I know, you don't care. :) But I've got something to write about and a few minutes to do it, so here it goes.

Memorial Day weekend we bought some new furniture. We didn't like the pillows on the floor models, so we had to order the furniture and they said it would take 6-8 weeks. But times are tough and slow, right? Surely it wouldn't take that long.

At the beginning of week 8, I called, just to check in. "They must have just arrived this weekend! They're still on the truck." Cool. Can I have them please? "Sure, on Thursday." (But it's Monday!) So I called and had my old, worn, cream leather couch, chair and ottoman picked up for charity on Tuesday. Then the new furniture was delivered on that following Thursday, 2 days shy of the full 8 weeks.

(no, not last Thursday, this was a couple weeks ago now. I just haven't you well know ;) )

New couch "My" Chair
"His" Chair View from corner

We're completely thrilled and love the furniture. It's all a bit greener than these pictures show, and the carpet is darker too. But those walls--yeah, it's time to paint those bare whitish walls. I love how new furniture can point that out so well for you.

The chair on the orange wall was supposed to be Derek's and mine was in the corner. However, they were supposed to be switched--his in the corner, mine on the orange wall. My chair, however, has a beautiful arched back that left the top of the chair back against the wall with the back legs a foot away from the wall--too far out for that spot. So I put it in the corner...where Derek promptly claimed my chair!! I'm not happy about this.

Also? I planned on moving to "my" chair for knitting rather than the far side of the couch, where I used to knit. But now I can't see as well because the lamp just doesn't go over there. So I'm back to the couch...and that poor lonely chair on the orange wall sees very little love. But I did knit on it while the girls napped today. :) That can be my daytime knitting/spinning chair!

Anyway, we love the furniture. Sturdy, cushy, oh, and those back cushions on the couch? The ones that I fretted over while shopping because I was afraid they would sag and get all slouchy and ratty looking? They have zippers along the bottom so I can reach up there and re-fluff as needed, re-fill if ever needed! How great is that? But for now, they are nice and firm and I don't have to be concerned. Love!