Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka

I am off (almost) to spend some fun in the sun time with my family.
Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Baldwin the Bathroom Monster

Meet Baldwin!  He is one happy guy!

I think Harold was a bit jealous cause he hopped into the next picture.

Just one more to make!!
Happy Crafting!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Farmer's Wife Week 14

More Farmer's Wife blocks.  I have been enjoying working on these this week.

#27 Darting Birds
This one was a little tough.  I had to pick out a seam several times but I still couldn't get it perfect.  I was just going to make it worse!

Next up was
#28 Duck and Ducklings

This is my favorite one of this batch.

I finished some more blocks today but it is way too dark to take pictures now.  I will be glad when it stops getting dark by 3:30.
Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

View from my Craft Room

This is what I was seeing outside my craft room window this afternoon.  Of course, in real life, the moon looks huge!  Gorgeous!

This was Teacher Appreciation Week at my daughter's school.  I was asked to make cupcakes.  I jumped at the chance!!  I got the idea off of skinny taste.  I didn't use her low-fat recipe, I just used her design.
This picture was taken at dark o'thirty.  They needed to be at the school before nine and I had a class at the gym then so I had to decorate them early.  How fun to make snowmen at 6 in the morning.  You also can't see that they have hats on.
Tomorrow I will have some Farmer's Wife blocks for you!
Happy Crafting!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Meet Harold

This sweet little guy is Harold the Houseplant Monster.  He is going to go live with my nephew this Christmas.  I had to protect him from the Scruffy dog.  Scruffy didn't even care a little about him until I put the eyes in.  Then..... I could see the look in his eyes!!  Toy!!!!  I had to keep him hidden the rest of the time.
The teeth are glued on felt.

Poor Harold.

I finished the binding on the quilt for the raffle.  And I took it to the school today and dropped it off.  One more thing off my list!!!

Today I am working on a Farmer's Wife block and tonight I am working on another Monster!!!
Happy Crafting!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Goals for 2012

Have you thought about your crafting goals for the New Year?  I have been thinking about mine quite a bit lately. You see, my craft room is overflowing.  It overwhelms me when I am in it because there are so many projects I want to do and I keep buying more things to do more projects!!!!  Yikes!

I plan on having this as my motto for 2012.  Maybe.... not so much the do without part, but I think you understand what I am meaning.
Since I can't imagine doing without for the whole year, I have made up a plan.  Once I finish four projects (it has to be all the same type : knitting, sewing, spinning) I give myself permission to buy the needed materials for another project. But... I must have a project in mind, not just random buying.  I have some great stuff in my craft room that I want to use but I keep getting distracted by all the new "ooh, shiny" stuff!!!
I have not renewed several of my knitting clubs for the year too.  At first I thought I would be sad, but it didn't bother me in the least.  I knew I was getting too much when some of the excitement of getting the package in the mail was gone.
If I was a computer guru I would make a little side bar thingie (see, I don't even know what it is called) to keep track of my progress.  Since I am not, I have pinned up a piece of notebook paper that I will use to keep track.
I am pretty excited about doing this.  Not only will I have a prettier craft room, I will be using up some of the wonderful goodies I have collected.
If anyone else has a plan, I would love to hear about it.
Happy Crafting!!

Monday, December 5, 2011


I had plans today, big plans.  I was going to photograph my quilt.  I was going to spend the afternoon sewing.  Hmmm, didn't happen.  The power decided to go out so I sat on the couch and knitted for a while.  It was not bright but there was enough light to see.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get those things done.  The power has gone out three times in the last three days.  Yes, we had some terrible weather but I didn't really think it was that bad!!!

When my middle daughter came home for Thanksgiving, she brought an ear warmer that she borrowed from a friend to show me.  "Mommy, can you make me one of these?  In black?"

I used the Serendipity Ear Band pattern.  I actually knitted it twice because the first one was a bit too small and picking out the alpaca was just not happening!!  I will save the other one for a present for someone who has a smaller head.

I'm surprised that the picture actually came out.  This daughter was giggling so hard.  I think it was because she had blow dried her hair and it was super frizzy.  Any of you out there with curly hair will know what I am talking about.  She was going to use the straightener on it.  I got it mailed off on Saturday so hopefully she will get it soon.

Now I have to finish up the little things that didn't get done today.  It is amazing to me how life pretty much shuts down when there is no power.
Then I plan on knitting on Monsters!!!!
Happy Crafting!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Raffle Quilt

I was asked by one of my daughter's teachers if I could make a quilt for the class to raffle off to make money for Prom.  I made one for one of my older daughters and I was happy to make another one.
I wanted to do something Alaskan and I chose a fabric that had a blanket toss pattern.
I was having trouble picking out the other colors so everyone in the quilt shop helped me.  Only in a quilt shop!!!  It is a bit bright even for me.  I was worried about it a lot!!!!  I still am.

The light coming from the right is from my sewing machine, not the sun!!!  I was in the process of sewing on the binding.  I got it all done and plan to start hand sewing the binding on.

Occupy your Sewing Room begins today!!  What a fun idea.  You can read more about it over here.

Now, to get all my chores done for the day so I can occupy my sewing room!!!
Happy Crafting!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas....

Is everyone who celebrates Christmas getting ready?   I knitted a few gifts earlier in the year and thought I was done. Why do I always get these hairbrained ideas to make gifts at the last minute???
I have been planning away and knitting on some earwarmers for my daughter.   I am making the Serendipity Ear Band out of black alpaca.  I knit most of it on Sunday and it was too small.  So I am still working on it.  Not easy to pick out black alpaca!!
I would like to make some Monsters for my nephews.  They shouldn't take too long to make and I can get them in the mail before we leave for vacation.

On the soap front:

The barley wine soap now smells like spice cake!!  
I'm glad the awful smell went away.  We were getting worried.
I really wanted to try to make a goat milk, honey and oatmeal soap so Saturday I bought some goat milk and froze it.  Freezing helps the milk not curdle when you pour the lye in.  Didn't want to smell curdled milk.  Yuk!

I'm glad hubby was the one cutting this.  I don't think I would have been strong enough.  The soap wouldn't set up at first so I looked around on the internet and saw that I needed to stir vigorously.  It helped it set up but I may have stirred a bit too excitedly cause some splashed out and landed on my lip.  It didn't burn me thank goodness, but it stung and I felt like I had a swollen lip.  I've learned my lesson.  Next time I will be more careful.

Hexipuffs!!  The little box I have been storing them is getting full.  I am going to have to transfer them to a different container.  I want to start sewing them together so bad but I think it will be much harder to store them.  These are easy to make while I am watching TV with the hubby.  I have to show him each one after it is done.  He just laughs.

And I leave you with this photo of the start of sunset this afternoon. 
Happy Crafting!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Soap is a Bubblin'

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.  I really meant to post a few more times last week  but with company, Thanksgiving dinner to prepare, hubby getting the stomach flu (poor guy missed Thanksgiving dinner) and a daughter home from college I just didn't get around to it.
Before life took over, hubby and I tried our hand at soap making.  Oh no!! This could be addicting.  There are so many pretty and fun things to do to soap.  But our first batch made 25 bars so I don't think I can make soap every week.
Soap making is dangerous so we had to wear gloves, goggles and long sleeves.
I will spare you the pictures of me in my goggles. My cheeks are too big and I couldn't smile right with the googles on.
Here is the coconut oil that we used.  It smells just like an Almond Joy candybar.  yummm
Here we are waiting for the lye mixture and the oils to cool.  When we added the lye to the liquid (my hubby's homebrewed barley wine for this one) it boiled!!  I had never used lye before and wow! was it a bit scary.  It also stunk like crazy.  It is a must do outside.
The oil and lye need to be around the same temp., about 90 to 100 degrees.
Lye mixture and oils mixed together.  Must stir vigorously for about 20 minutes.  It was good that I had someone else to take turns with.
The soap is now been poured into it's freezer paper lined box.  I didn't do a great job wrapping the box in freezer paper.  Now I see why people who make a lot of soap buy soap molds.
Wait 3 days...
At this point the soap smelled awful!!!!  It has to set and cure for at least two weeks.  Six weeks is better. That is a lot of soap!!!

Does anyone else have a list a mile long of things you have to do, but you just want to do the things you want to do???  That is me!!   I wasn't planning on making any more gifts but I would sure like to make my nephews some knitted monsters.  And of course, they will have to be mailed out!!!

Yesterday our dishwasher died so we spent some time shopping for one.  Nothing!!  that didn't have to be ordered.  Hubby is going to go again today and look at one more place.  I only have two wants, that it be stainless steel and that the buttons are not on the front.  Hopefully he finds one and today will be filled with putting it in.  I will get to my lists!!!

Happy Crafting!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

Today I am thankful for my health and the health of my family.  A few years ago I went through a horrible sickness and I will never  take walking and being able to physically do things for granted again.

I am also thankful for the beautiful world we live in.  No matter where I go I always find something beautiful.

This week I finished Week 13 of the FWQAL.  I am so behind!!!!!
I made Cups and Saucers which is Block #25.
And then along came Cut Glass Dish  #26
I think the blocks with all the tiny pieces must have been thought up to use all the tiny scraps that they had left over.  Man!!!  This one was scary.  But it went together much better than I thought it would.
Here are a few of the blocks together.  I won't be able to get a good group picture until all the snow melts off my back porch, which will probably be May!!
I took these pictures during a snow storm so they aren't quite as bright as they look in real life.  Even after editing!!
I have a bit of time this evening so I plan to make another block. Darting Birds.  Which really looks to me like a footprint.
Happy Crafting!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful Monday

Today I am thankful for my family and friends who love me even though I am a bit goofy.  Ok, ok, a lot goofy.  At least things are never dull when I am around.

I finished my cheese that I made last week.  After it pressed all night I had to brine it.  Just some distilled water and salt.
This was done at 6:00 in the morning so no natural light!!

The cheese had to set for a few days to dry and get a bit of a rind.  Then I got to do the most fun thing ever!!!  Red wax!!!!  (I have this thing for red wax whenever I see it in the brewing store)
melting.... melting..

dipping...dipping!!  I don't know if there is a way this is supposed to be done.  I just dipped it.
We kept some to eat now and here are the rest ready to be stored and eaten by February.
I also finished the hat for the trainer at my gym.  She cried.  awwww.  She kept rubbing it up against her cheek saying how soft it was, and that red is her favorite color.  I didn't know that!
And now it is off to a volleyball banquet.  Hopefully it won't be a long one and I can get in a bit of knitting when I get home.
Happy Crafting!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Heating Up the Farmer

I was getting a little bored with the colors of my Farmer's Wife Quilt so I decided to use some of the pretty Veranda that I won.
I am badly in need of some potholders.  I'm one of those people who hates to buy stuff that I can make myself.  I look at the ones in the store but never  buy them.
I bought some Insul-Bright at Joannes and thought I would give it a try.
I made the Cups and Saucers block and layered it with two layers of the insul-bright.  The directions say to have the shiny side out so I made sure the shiny side was towards the outside.   I did a little quilting on the  block to keep the layers together.
I cut the binding at 2 inches.  If I make another I will cut the binding at 2 1/2 because it was really tight getting the binding sewn down on the back.
It makes cute little crinkling noises when you touch it.
I hadn't tried it out on anything hot yet and we had company last night.  The guys were making steaks and it was so cold outside that the grill wouldn't heat up.  They brought the steaks in and put them under the broiler.  Hubby said that they took the pan out of the broiler with the new potholder so it must work.  I might have freaked out if I had seen them using an un-tested potholder on something that hot.
I once had a bad experience with a hand made potholder that I had received as a gift.  I used it to get a pie out of the oven and not only did I burn my hand, I dropped the pie all over the kitchen floor!!
I have a bunch of the insul-bright left so I may just have to make myself some more.
We've had a week of wicked weather and I am so happy to have power and heat and running water and all those things that come with civilization!!
Today I am spending time on my regular Farmer's Wife blocks.
Happy Crafting!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cheesy Sunday

Today I attempted to make some Farmhouse Cheese.  I am a very beginner when it comes to cheese making and this is the first pressed cheese I have tried.
My first obstacle was my pot.  I poured in two gallons of milk and the pot was almost full.  Oh no! Quick text to hubby and he told me of another pot I could use.  He is a home brewer so we have a lot of big pots.
There was a lot of letting the milk get to a temperature, putting something in it, letting it set at that temperature, stir every 5 minutes.  Not something that can be done if you have someplace to go.  I just sat with the milk/cheese, watched Dr. Who and knitted on the red hat.
Here I am slicing the curd.  It looks just like milk, doesn't it?  The first time I did this I was amazed.
Here are the curds and whey after I stirred the curds.
Here are the curds being drained.  I had to turn them with my hands and it was a bit gross feeling.  Then I had to salt them.
Here are the drained curds going into the press for the first time.
The curds needed to press for 15 minutes with 4 pounds of weight.  Thank you peanut butter jar.
After 15 minutes the cheese?  is taken out and put back into the press upside down.  I should have been a little more gentle taking it out of the press.  It just sorta flopped out before I was ready for it.  Silly cheese.
And here it sits for 12 hours.  It will be several days or weeks before I can try it.
I hope this was not the most boring blog post you have ever read!!
Sadly, last night the little, red trainer hat had to be frogged.  I tried it on and it was too loose.  So I scrapped the pattern and went down a needle size and am just making a ribbed hat.  It will still be bright and cheerful and I think it will fit much better.  I got about 3 inches knitted today while playing with the curds.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend.
Happy Crafting!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Snowy Saturday

We had a bit of a snow storm last night and I had to snow blow the driveway. By the time I was done I was covered in snow!  I did help the neighbor girl plow hers also because her parents are on vacation and they don't have a snow blower.  Yes, I was wearing bright, red sweat pants!!
Yesterday I worked for a bit on my skirt for the sew-a-long over on the noodlehead blog.
Next up is gathering the top and attaching the waistband.  I'm enjoying making clothing.  I haven't sewn clothing for years except to alter prom and homecoming dresses.

This is the view from my sewing machine.  Nosy me can look at the neighbors or in the summer I can look out at our lawn.
I was trying to not be creepy and take a picture of the neighbor's house.  It is for sale if anyone is looking!

Yesterday I started a hat for one of the trainers at my gym.  She has cancer and just lost her hair a bit ago.  I don't know this lady very well, but she comes to work everyday with a smile on her face and works with her clients.  She is even still teaching classes!!!  If I feel lazy and don't want to go to the gym, I think of her and how somedays she must feel awful but she is still there and smiling!!
I bought some Bebe yarn and am using this pattern: Edna Rose.  I hope she likes it.   It is knitting up quickly.  I rarely use acrylic yarn but this is nice and soft.

Hope you all have a great weekend with plenty of time for working on your projects.
Happy Crafting!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm Back!!!!!!

We had a nice trip to Wasilla for my daughter's regional volleyball tournament.  As the quirky things go they had to start off playing a team that they had already beat several times this season.  But..... they didn't know about their secret weapon.  They had a player who had been out for all of the season and wow! was she ever a player!!!  Since they didn't know about her they couldn't make a game plan and they lost their first match.  Then they went on to win all the rest of the matches against other teams and had to play the above mentioned team again for the 3rd place spot to State.  They played much better this time but still wasn't able to beat that team.
Not much crafting was done while I was gone.  I did knit a bit on a sock and made one hexipuff.  haha
The drive up was gorgeous.  I wasn't too sure how the drive was going to be because we had a huge wind storm the day before and had some damage to our house.  It is odd to wake up and see the back porch covered in shingles.
Not a bit of wind and since I was by myself I just took my time and enjoyed the drive.
I stopped by the quilt store (of course) in Anchorage and then went to pick up the hubby from the airport.  Then we drove to Wasilla which is about 45 minutes away.  By the time we got there the wind was wicked and we were so glad to get into our hotel.
While we were up there we went to a farm and bought 50!!! pounds of carrots, ( I might be orange the next time you see a pictureof me.  I can't stop eating them.) and we went to a dairy and bought some cheese.
The drive home Saturday night was a nail biter.  Blizzard the whole way home.  We couldn't turn on the brights cause then we couldn't see so I watched for moose the whole time while hubby drove.  Was I ever glad to get home and sleep in my own bed.  We woke up to a foot of snow the next morning so we had to plow and shovel.
My, this sounds like a weather blog!!!
I bought my fabric for the Noodle head skirt sew along.  EEK!  There goes those alongs again.  I am very behind cause I had to get caught up on some things at home.  I am going to cut it out as soon as I am done here!
I always worry about the sizing but she has given some great tips on the blog.  If it turns out cute I might be able to talk my daughter into letting me make her one.  Might!!!!!!  My fabric is calling to me!!
Happy Crafting!!!!