Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blowing in the New Year

After being sick the last ten days...(Yes, still sick...better...but coughing my head off. I should have ripped abs for the New Year. It's that kind of cough. Don't get me started about the mucus vortex behind my left eye. It is a battle to rid myself of that vortex. I am armed with a neti pot and I am not afraid to use it.) we are having a quiet evening at home and doubt I will make it to midnight.

I hope your New Year's Eve is rocking and your New Year is healthy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Little wings

On Sunday December 21, 2008, I set one of my little owls free while participating in the Toy Society Christmas. I was Christmas Drop #64. The location was Plummer Park by my house.
plummer park

I found a very nice pine tree and hung my little owl for someone to find.
toy society

Today I received word that he was found! He has made a new home in New York with a three year old named Oscar! Isn't that amazing? That little owl really flew the coop and across the country. A real traveler that little owl. I hope he has a very happy life.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Baby Knits

Here are Kiss & Cookie's Christmas presents
Kiss Sweater
This little cutie sweater is from Baby Bamboo Knits (323) by Sirdar. It has the very creative name of Design B aka Round-edge Cardigan. It was knit up in Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK, which is 80% bamboo and 20% wool. It knits up beautifully and has a wonderful sheen to it. This baby sweater was not the easiest sweater and I would not do it again. It was knit in five pieces. The picked up edges for the border were also done separately and then you pieced it together. A lot of work for such a tiny sweater. But I am very happy with the way it turned out.

sugar button
This isn't the best picture but the button looks like sugared candy. It was the perfect touch for sweet Kiss.

This is the Owl Baby Vest for Cookie
owl vest
The pattern is free on Ravelry. It is totally cute, cute, cute! It was also knit up in the Baby Bamboo. This was a fast knit and I totally recommend the pattern.

Then I found plaid pants at Janie & Jack
cute outfit
that had a matching green stripe in it. What luck! Cookie will be quite dapper with preppy set at the playground.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

On the mend

Put on clothes today. (yes I have spent too many days in my pajamas)
Ventured outside.
The world hasn't changed much since I caught my cold.

Thanks for all the good thoughts and wishes.
I am sure that's why I am on the mend.

Friday, December 26, 2008


It was Christmas on the couch at my house. No making of pies. No holiday dinner with family. Just sleeping all day on the couch. I didn't even have the energy to open my Lendrum DT spinning wheel. Yeah, feeling that bad. No playing, just laying. When I told Carla I didn't open my Christmas present she said maybe I needed to go to the emergency room because I must really be sick. The hubby was a good caretaker and made minestrone soup. But now he has caught my Christmas cooties. So both of us are just laying around today.

I hope everyone had a happy & healthy holiday!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Most of the wrapping is done. The baker is baking. My cold has gotten worse but I am staying warm with lots of hot tea and blankets. A Christmas Carol is playing on the television. We are ready for Santa Claus to visit us here.

Wishing you all the best on this Christmas Eve.
Don't forget to set out cookies and milk for Santa.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quiz Show

I saw this early this morning over at Squirreled Away and thought I would play along. You can too if you would like. Just so's I can know you better.

Here's the rule: Bold the things you've done & post on your blog!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars - 4 yoginis moon bathing & a hoot owl.
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii and danced on a lava cliff with the roar of the Pacific below.
5. Watched a meteor shower - I love a good meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo - I play Lady Thiang in my 9th grade production of the King & I
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch - I taught myself to play the piano and read music in the 4th grade.
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked - Yeah I was 12 and with a short lived teen aged delinquent step sister.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - I call this a mental health day!
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping - pure freedom
27. Run a Marathon - Oh hell no!
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - no, but it one of my favorite cities. Although I have been in a gondola in Long Beach.
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing - only indoor rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke - I must indulge my inner lounge singer every once in a while
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted - by my hubby when we were dating.
48. Gone deep sea fishing - I get seasick so this will not be happening.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - not the tippy top I am afraid of heights in the structures.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater - Oh yes as a kid, in the Red Baron, our Red Chevy station wagon. If it was warm out we sat on the hood with our backs against the glass or from the back of the wagon in our sleeping bags when it was cooler.
55. Been in a movie - student film. I got to slap a guy all night long. He was a jerk in real life too as I recall.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class - Tae Kwon Do as an undergrad. HI-ya!
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen - Thanksgiving in Raleigh, NC. They served pigs feet too.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - still eat 'em
62. Gone whale watching - seasick field trip in Elementary school
63. Got flowers for no reason - he's good like that
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check - it happens, right?
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - I have my teddy bear.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican - saw Pope John Paul give the Good Friday confessional. Just in the right place at the right time.
82. Bought a brand new car - I have only had two cars & they were both new.
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve
86. Visited the White House - Just the outside. No tour or anything like that.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous - Tom Jones!
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

That was kind of fun. It reminded me of things I hadn't thought of in many years. Like the drive-in movies. That was so much fun as a kid. The Winnetka Drive-in. It had four screens. I am deliriously tired & am going back to bed.

PS. Gary, the heater man, got the heater up and running! Gary is great, but man do I write fat checks when he comes around. Plus, he busted me for not changing the filter since his last visit in June. Thanks for all the good advice. I am drinking lots of tea! to stay warm & get rid of my cold.

Monday, December 22, 2008


BBBrrrrrrrrrrrr. Woke up this morning to a very cold house.

The heater is broken and it is chilly-bo-willikers in the house. What the...The thermostat reads 60 degrees!!! I am under blankets, encased in polar fleece, with a warm cap on my head. My cold is coming along nicely and loves this cold weather. It thinks it might stick around a few days more if the heat stays off. There is a call out for help. Gary, the heater man, should be here between 1-4pm. It can't be soon enough for me. I have lots to do but with the cold in my head and the cold in my house I am pretty much hunkering down until help arrives.

I hope everyone is warm and toasty in their neck of the woods.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah!

I am feeling a little bit better today.
Thank you for all you good wishes.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

under the weather

Last night, Tank was up several times not feeling too good. I awoke with a slight sore throat in the middle of the night. But the lack of sleep and standing out in the cold to make sure she was okay has turned my little sore throat to a big sore throat. Friend's are over. Lots of cooking. But just not feeling too perky. Dessert is in the oven. Gelato is a-churning and all I want to do is go to bed. You know you don't feel good when you want to pass up dessert for the comfort of sleep.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hang up the Stockings

The stockings for Cookie and Kiss have been sent, delivered, and hung by the fire. Just in time and ready for Santa's first visit.


This is what all that button sorting and cleaning was about.

Mom and Dad got their own stockings too.

The whole idea for the stocking came from this book.
stitched in Time
By Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy.

The book is great, with lots of ideas for keepsake projects. She even provides the template for the stocking in the book, but I decided it was easier to draw my own than try to enlarge it. I also used double stick fusible web for the toe and the heel rather than baste the fabric down. I thought this would preserve the fabric better and give it a little more stability. The stockings are made from recycled blankets that I picked up from Ellen's neighbor Rosina. It was my first time doing the blanket stitch. Not too hard once you get the hang of it. The buttons came from my stash and I made the bias tape. The stockings came out super cute and I am sure that Santa is going to stuff them full of sugar plums and goodies because those babies are pure love and surely on the nice list.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hoo do we have here?

The other night three owls showed up at my house.
Here they were making a mess in my crafting area.

And staring at me
with their BIG

Later I found them sunning themselves
like they were in Hawaii on vacation. (pass the cocoa butter, please)

Then they flew around the kitchen a few times trying to elude the camera.
But I found them.

Finally they came to roost in the Christmas tree.


Where they have settled down to nap.

One of these fellas is for the Toy Society Christmas.

What is Toy Society you ask?

In their own words:
The Toy Society is a small project spreading the love throughout the streets. Nothing to it really just a bunch of handmade toys looking for a nice home.

What started as a small street art project in Australia is slowly spreading around the world.

The Toy Society Christmas is a world-wide toy drop happening this weekend! Not too long ago I stumbled upon the Toy Society and thought to myself what a cool idea. Then they announced the Christmas plans and I decided it was a the perfect time to play along and spread some cheer. If this sounds cool to you, I invite you to play along. Who wouldn't want to find a handmade toy proudly stating, "TAKE ME HOME. I'm yours!" any time of year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

trimming the tree

The tree has been decorated and the house smells so piny and looks very festive. The hubby put lights on the front of the house and hung a wreath over the garage door. He even cleaned out the gutters while he was on the roof. And just in time for our big storm too.
Christmas tree

hoot owl
Look at this cute owl ornament.

This is a suitcase ornament with the Taj Mahal painted on it. These two ornaments are the newest additions this year.

sock monkey
Last Christmas, Miss Darcy gave me this very festive fellow.

Over the years we have collected wine bottle ornaments, Champagne ornaments, & this large Chianti ornament. Vintage 1994. I have lots of favorite ornaments on the tree. It is always fun to go down memory lane as we decorate the tree.

What are some of your favorite ornaments?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Batten Down the Hatches!

We have a doozy of a stormy raining down on Los Angeles. Yes we, of enormous sunshine are having torrential rains and very dark skies. This means mudslides and terrible driving. You know it is raining hard when the Dish can't pick up a signal and the dogs start barking like the Huns are trying to get in.

Time to reheat some Chicken Pot Pie and get some crafting done.

Everyone be safe and drive slow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Best Comfort Food Ever!

best dinner ever
Last night we had beer can chicken for dinner with steamed broccoli and wild rice. Tonight with the leftover chicken we made Chicken Pot Pie.

First we cooked up the filling.

biscuit top
The hubby made a biscuit top to pop on top.

We baked it up.
Served it up.

more please
And ate it up. Okay, we didn't eat it all up, but we so wanted to try. It was the best chicken pot pie ever! It kicked buns. It was one of the best dinners ever!

What's your favorite comfort food?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

First present of the season

My good friend Charissa told me that my present was in the mail and that I couldn't open it until Christmas. When the package arrived I called to tell her my present had arrived safely. She surprised me by saying that I could open it now.

Really? Are you sure?

Yes, I could definitely open my present.

So I opened my first Christmas present of the season.

Lo and Behold my new iron!
for Christmas
It is a Reliable digital Velocity.

I have been wanting a new iron as my old one was pretty crappy and wasn't really made for pressing. Cursorily I have been researching irons and heard some good things and bad things about the Rowentas. But I hadn't really commited to buying an iron anytime soon. But thanks to Charissa's inquiring mind and Carla doing a little research I have a really beauty and soon to be workhorse of an iron.

This iron is serious. It is funny to be so excited about an iron, but I was doing a happy dance about my iron. I have only used it once and it is like ironing with a whistling tea kettle. This puppy throws off some serious steam. As the sewing projects progress and more ironing ensues I will report back on the iron as I figure it out.

Thank you Charissa! You are a ROCKSTAR!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A must see

Strangers in Good Company
Strangers in Good Company (1990) is a gem of a film.

It is part drama and part documentary. It is about a group of 7 elderly women who find themselves in the wilderness. These are real women, not actresses and the dialogue is largely improvisation as their lives and relationships unfold. It is really and truly a beautiful film. It will warm your heart and you will fall in love with these women. The commentary by the director, Cynthia Scott, and the Cast biographies will really give you more information and insight into these tremendous women as well as the beauty of film making. This is the type of film I would like to make if I were a film maker. It shows the extraordinary lives of these women in a tender and profound way. This group of women are magical together.

This is definitely one to put in the netflix queue.
I think you will love it. I know I did.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Logan River Wrap

Behold the Logan River Wrap. I started this last November and it has been languishing in the WIP pile for months with the last bit of cabling to be done on the end. Well I finally got it finished and blocked it last week.

Logan's River wrap 3

Logan's River Wrap1

Logan's River Wrap 2
Pattern in Interweave Knits, Winter 2007
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed
Needle: Size 8

Playing with buttons
I love it. The sorting. The sound. The shapes. The colors. Love it.

clean buttons
A little washing.

shiny buttons
Don't you just love playing with buttons?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To spin or not to spin

This is my current dabbling....spinning. Santa likes the idea of getting me a spinning wheel for Christmas. So I thought I had better investigate spinning and give it a try before Santa makes a major investment in my crafting abilities. The first thing I did was contact Regina of Monster Crochet (she has knowledge galore about all things fiber) and ask her a few questions about wheels. She gave me her advice and invited me over to check out her spinning wheel. She also told me to pick up a drop spindle as it would help me to learn to draft the fiber.

new spindle
This is a Kundert Spindle made of walnut and bird's eye maple. I bought this beautiful spindle at A Mano Yarn Center. Last Thursday I brought my spindle and some roving to Stitch 'n Bitch and Regina got me spinning in like 5 minutes. I was making yarn in 5 minutes. What?! It is nothing short of miraculous this whole spin-a-majig thing

first yarn
I practiced like my good teacher told me to.

On Sunday I went over to Regina's to try out one of her spinning wheels, a Lendrum DT. It was a crafting party as Jenna and Jenny were there to sew up some mittens out of a recycled cashmere sweater. They turned out super cute. Everyone brought a little bit to eat and Regina made an amazing quiche. She showed me how to set up the wheel, got my fiber going and showed me what to do. Then I got a turn at the wheel. I was uneven in my treadling and uncoordinated in getting the hands drafting at the same time and I had way too much twist in my fiber. Still, I was spinning. I was making yarn!!!

first yarn on spinning wheel
The fruits of my labor. Can you believe it? I can't. I cannot believe I produced a little skein of yarn in so little time. Like in an hour. Yarn!

spinning wheel
If anyone would like to throw their two cents worth of advice about spinning and spinning wheels, please share. I am anxious to hear about everyone's experience in the matter.

Even so, I think I know what Santa is bringing me for Christmas! Oh boy! Oh boy!!! I can't wait for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Good eating & Good Company

Saturday morning started with biscuits and jam.

all gone
We ate them all up.

Saturday night we went with Ellen and Larry to the WAHA Holiday Tour and Progressive dinner.
WAHA Progressive dinner
The houses were amazing and there was a dinner course at each house on the tour. It was a great evening out with Ellen and Larry. She has much better pictures on her blog.

Sunday we had our five course dinner. There aren't many pictures because we cooking and catching up with our friends Melina & Clive and of course eating!
sweet potato filling
Here is the sweet potato filling.

SP ravioli
I was in charge of the filling.

coming to the table
Joe was in charge of making the pasta on our new Kitchen Aid pasta maker that his mom got us for our anniversary. It works fantastic. Thanks Jean for the great gift.

Ready for the pot.

Sweet Potato Ravioli

2 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup mascapone cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese or to taste
1/4 grated nutmeg
1/4 cinnamon

Boil sweet potatoes. Cool, peel, then mash. Stir in mascapone and spices. Stir in parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now if you do not have a pasta maker, pick up some wonton wrappers. They work great and there is less fuss and muss in the kitchen.

Use a light dusting of flour on your surface. Put a tablespoon of filling in the center of pasta or wrapper, wet the edges with water. Add layer of pasta on top of lower layer. Carefully press the top layer down and try to remove any air pockets. Cut with biscuit cutter. Press the edges to secure. Make all you ravioli.

Place in rapidly boiling water for about three minutes. They will start to float to the top of the pot when they are ready.

Top with a simple brown butter sage sauce and you are ready for dinner.