Category Archives: Giggles

It Has Begun


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So, What’s in the Box?


It has been a … less than stellar day, which means it is the perfect day to share something awesome.

A little while ago (during my B.A.D.D. period) I was at work when I received this picture from my Mom, Dad and husband….

What's in the Box?

What’s in the Box?

No one would tell me what was sitting in my living room – or what was in the box. I thought that it was a book Trevor and I had been trying to sell. Finding the right seller for rare books can be difficult and tedious, and we have a doozey we found at a garage sale.

Of course I got mandated at work that night, and after 16 hours all I could do was come home and crash. To be honest, I forgot all about the box. I even forgot doing the horrible impersonation of Brad Pitt from the movie Seven when he yells “what’s in the box?” (spoiler: it was a head). The terrible impression made from hours 4 through 11 in my shift were soon forgotten after that the sucky-ness of work caught up with us and well … we all forgot.

Trevor had been twitchy all week and all I thought his second job was catching up with him. With his Dad being sick and working all the time of course he couldn’t remain the Zen Master of the Universe. It’s still strange that I thought that though – because the only other time if our eleven year relationship where I have seen him twitch like that is before he proposed.

So when I came home one night, this is what I found sitting in my living room … no longer in the box …

My first spinning wheel!!!!!

My first spinning wheel!!!!!

My first spinning wheel! The present, from my family, was a (very) early 30th birthday present. As it turns out, everyone was waiting to see my response to the gift – so much so that I spent two hours on the phone before I could even sit down and look at my new toy. The wheel is an Ashford Spinning Wheel Kiwi 2 and unfinished – which is perfect. Everything about it is perfect – except my spinning 😉

Here goes nothing

Here goes nothing

So friends and neighbors, who are also spinners, I am begging for any tips/tricks/advice on how to make the perfect yarn for my perfect family!

No pressure 😉

 

 

Where Would I Be Without You?


If this doesn’t warm your heart, then I don’t know what will!

Trevor and Alissa and Yarn

 

For those who don’t know, I am incredibly arthritic in my right (and dominate) hand. When the great Ruffle Scarf Endeavor started I was okay with the knitting, not okay with pulling all the yarn apart. By the end of the night my hand was a ghastly purple bruise, even with ice and Advil the swelling was hard to control. My Etsy Shop had never really done any business until the ruffles, and since I was helping to contribute to our household I never said no to an order.

After a while though my hand was a mess, I couldn’t hold utensils to eat and my knitting was slowing to a snail’s pace. Well, here came my incredible family to the rescue. It started with my husband. Trevor started pulling apart yarn and placing them in the reusable bags we use to grocery shop. My hand was starting to heal but still lagging, and I felt pretty darn guilty for asking him to help.

Then, miracles or miracles, my niece…my Gloria…wanted to help as well. She’d come over after school and just pull yarn without ever being asked. It seemed natural to her to just hunker down and help. That’s just how she is. Before you know it, I was back to full knitting ability and my hand almost looks flesh-colored again!

Trevor and Max and Yarn

If I’ve ever lamented over anything, and I mean anything, then it was because I didn’t realize just how lucky I am. Being rich would be nice, no doubt about that – but I would never trade it for these moments, these amazing people in my life. Somehow I am lucky enough to have my two favorite people (and my favorite cat) helping me to do what I love, arthritis be damned.

Seriously friends and neighbors, does it get better than this? ♥

October #yarnpadc


Okay, keep in mind that I am at work and have NO idea how to link or do anything like that in my iPod.

So The Knitterly Hooker had a post today for October’s yarn picture a day contest and I’m totally going for it.

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Luckily I took a pic before I left today to send to the lovely lady I am making this for do I am good to go! Join in, follow at #yarnpadc on Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter. Here’s to making it through the month!

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Day one – On the Needles – complete!

All Night KAL – Week 3 – I Need More Spare Time!


So the progress on the Jayashri Sweater continues, very slowly. It’s been a really busy week; several custom orders have come into the shop (yea!), along with several (28 – yes, twenty-eight) ruffle scarf orders. If you don’t take into account having 1) a job 2) a husband and loving niece and 3) social life, well then I guess I would have my pullover finished by now.

Wanna see some progress? Because I really want to share!

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I am still keeping a very vigilant count of all the stitches that go into this wonderful pullover, it appeases my OCD as well as my genuine curiosity about how the garment is coming together. I am getting to the decreases that are written in the pattern for the waist, decreases aren’t a problem and I can see (both on the picture of the sweater and in my head) about how this supposed to turn out. It is the short rows and increases for the bust ( of which mine is….ample) that I am a little worried about. I am watching the Short Rows Class on Craftsy to get a better understanding of how these stitches are worked and it has done wonders to bolster my confidence. Of course I am saying this before I’ve actually worked a single row. 🙂

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It is a bit daunting to put your first attempt at anything on the internet – especially when you spend every minute of your spare time seeing other bloggers amazing, flawless work. Perhaps it will be a way to motivate me to spend the extra time to learn the construction of a garment – I mean, who wants to fall flat on their face in front of such amazing talent? Either way it goes I am just remembering to breath and enjoy the knitting.

So friends and neighbors it’s question time! What was your first handmade garment? Did it end with smiles or tears? Is there any advice you would wish to share?

As always, it is a pleasure to blog with such great company! ♥

 

I Just Don’t Think I Can….


Knit another (censored) ruffle scarf!

I know I am complaining and whining for no good reason, I really am self-aware enough to know I sound like a brat. The scarves are getting my name out there, they are bringing in extra money that we desperately need and people really like them.

Honestly though, after I hit 50 I just started to stare at the yarn with wild contempt – like it had killed my dog wild contempt. The knitting I’ve gotten used to, can even do it fairly quickly now but it is the pulling apart of the ruffle yarn that kills me. It takes me about 40 minutes to unfurl 30 yards and is killing my hand. Knitting I am used to, pulling apart miles of lace I am not. Not to mention the tedium – I just want to purl!

I am whining again…I CAN’T HELP IT! My Mom has been selling these things like hotcakes and my husband is so happy for the extra fundage – there is no way I would dream of complaining to them. So sorry friends and neighbors, but I needed to vent.

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** On the Plus Side **

I gave away a few knits today – which felt wicked awesome! My Grandmother received my first lace shawl (Oh no! I didn’t take a picture!). My niece got her Link-like Hat and my Mom received a boatload of OSU Buckeye Flower Pins and a cowl I was making before the orders got too crazy (Oh no! I didn’t take a picture of it finished! I suck!). I (censored) LOVE giving presents!

Another awesome thing I got to do today was mail out the Surprise Mystery Box for whatimuptotoday – winner of the 100th post giveaway! Oh – I cannot wait to see what she thinks of the goodies!!!

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** Moving Forward **

So I’ve had a few ideas of what to do with my blogging time (which I am really, really missing right about now) with no new knitting to blog about. So again, I am asking for comments, questions, considerations and suggestions. To start basic though, here are a few brainwaves I’ve had so far:

Also: Seriously thinking of starting this Knit Along the second or third week in September – any thoughts?

Jayashri Pullover Pattern on Knit Picks  (Finished Bust Measurements 34″-62″)

Sorry for Going AWOL!


 * * Quick Reminder * * 

You have until Wednesday the 21st (my hubby’s birthday ;)) till 11:59am to enter the GIVEAWAY! Click →HERE← to enter!

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 * * I Have Been Negligent! * *

Oh friends and neighbors, I am so sorry for dropping a giveaway in your laps and then disappearing for days – this is the first time I have ever done that. You know, if there wasn’t a natural disaster occurring that is 🙂

I would love to give you a really good excuse like 1) I worked 60 hours last week or 2) I have almost 40 orders for ruffle scarves or 3) I was at the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair and lost in a great euphoria of fiber and yarn or 4) I was crazy busy getting ready to get Trevor ready for work, which starts tomorrow.

But honestly it was a bit of laziness. I should have been able to keep up with reading all your wonderful posts and promoting the giveaway every day but I was just so burnt out that I felt kind of foggy all the time. I like to put a piece of myself in my posts, and all my pieces were just a little too tired to do it justice. For that I feel a bit guilty – okay, a lot guilty. Hopefully this week will slow down enough that I can give all of you the attention your blogs deserve and make a post that won’t bore you to tears.

It’ll be a busy week! The giveaway ends Wednesday at 11:59 and Thursday a post announcing the winner and listing all the wonderful shops and small business will be listed for your viewing pleasure. I am so excited to see how it turns out and who I am going to get to make a care package for! After that it on to more ruffle scarves!

Cannot wait to catch up with every single last one of you, I’ve missed you through my haze of ruffles! 🙂

Too Funny Not to Share


A little giggle is good for your health! 😉

Oh – and don’t forget to PARTICIPATE IN THE GIVEAWAY!!

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Two Firsts for Me!


When I am bummed out about my hand I watch movie trailers – it takes me to my happy place which is a very, very good thing. The Wolves of Wall Street Trailer is my new favorite – I am literally vibrating with anticipation to see this movie. Enjoy the GIF. Enjoy the Trailer. Enjoy your day because there is a lot going down tomorrow.

Not really, just loads of photos if Flickr ever comes back up!

THE PHOTO! Totally NSFW or Small Children :)


Well, there is a solution to the conundrum of the Naughty Picture!

Click at Your Own Risk!

Click at Your Own Risk!

→ Click Here or on the Photo Above To See For Yourselves! ←

The Conundrum of Posting a Very Naughty Photo


Okay friends and neighbors, I am stuck. To post the very funny, very knit-tastic photo (that is also incredibly inappropriate) or not to post.

I will give you some clues to my dilemma.

I am throwing yet another bachelorette party in a few weeks. I am going to go ahead and give myself some props for being an outstanding bachelorette party thrower – I know no bounds. I have no fear of adult super stores, I have an entire box (hiding in my basement so Gloria never sees it) of cupcake, cake, suckers and truffle molds that are very appropriate for that sort of party. I am on good terms with at least two male strip clubs in town, I don’t drink so I can always drive and my emetophobia keeps everyone’s cars clean (I put the drunks in a cab and let them handle it).

Here is the thing. For this party, my friend has asked me to KNIT something for her and the rest of the party goers. I made it last night….it is staring at me from my iPod photo cache demanding to be released.

It is knitting – so there is that. But I try to not even curse on this blog, let alone posting a very naughty photo.

So friends and neighbors, any ideas?

One Lovely Blog Award!


One Lovely Blog Award.

One Lovely Blog Award.

Receiving blogging awards is still such a surprise to me. When I started this blog almost 18 weeks ago I never imagined anyone would read it let alone recognize my existence with an award. This particular lovely came from Movies, Silently. I love her blog, it was in fact one of the first blogs I started reading when I started my blogging adventure. Silent Movies are her specialty, but it doesn’t stop there. She’s cunning, funny, stylish and her posts are always a fantastic read. Seriously, do yourself a favor and pop over there – I will wait. 🙂

So, down to the rules of the award.

  • Add the “One Lovely Blog Award” image to your post (Check!)
  • Share seven things about you (Check!)
  • Pass the award on to seven nominees
  • Thank the person who nominated you and add a short blurb about them.
  • Inform the nominees by posting on their blogs 

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * * * * * * * *   * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

** So, 7 new (and supposedly interesting things about myself) **

  1. I met the love of my life when I was 17 years old…on a blind date. We both worked for the same chain of movie theaters and a friend thought it would be the perfect set-up to get Trevor to run into her arms (we really are that different, and difficult ;)). Eight months later we were engaged!
  2. When we moved into our condo in 2004 our next door neighbors were meth addicts. These were the scariest moments of my life! When their cat wandered into our yard with infected wounds from being punctured by needles Trevor and I gave them two choices; 1) Give us that cat and go away or 2) we are going to call the cops and have you arrested. Fatty never liked us, but I think we gave him the best (and last) 3 years of his life.
  3. It has become a good luck/ family tradition for the men in the family to get heat stroke on their wedding night. My grandfather, my dad and my husband were all incapacitated on their wedding night. We got home, I put my husband to bed with Advil and Gatorade and went downstairs and ate the white chocolate fondue pot he had prepared 😉
  4. When I was I was working at the hospital in college, I was going through the ER to get to my car and saw a man self-canabalizing. That’s right friends and neighbors, he was eating his own fingers. I dutifully told the nurse what was happening in the hallway and the proceeded to go get my own lunch.
  5. In high school I was running after my crush after a concert. Being that I was in high heels and a skirt (and horribly clumsy) my shoe got stuck in-between the sidewalk and the grass propelling me, and my skirt, forward. After recovering from my humiliation ( it didn’t take long, stupid crap like this happens to me all the time) we realized the foot was in fact very broken. On the plus side, my crush carried me to the car, ER and home. Then made a joke to carry me around all the time. I was elated – and that feeling never changed, even after I found out he had a crush on my brother.
  6. My all time favorite band is The Smiths. You may think it’s music to wallow in, but I love it!
  7. I have an unnatural love for horror movies. After my OCD made normal things in life seem terrifying, watching a horror movie – and being scared and something you SHOULD be scared at – makes sense. There is not a lot I haven’t seen – and Martyrs is the best/worst of them all.

Okay. Done! Now for my nominees!

  1. A World Created – Hannah, until we started conversing I thought that all internet friendships were supposed to be creep and weird. Now I know that a true bond can be created out of kindness and passion for your craft. Every post seems better than the last.
  2. Traveling the world….and much more – Your blog shows your deft hand with your craft and a sharp wit that makes your posts a pleasure to read. Bonus, you were the first person to really help me make the Katniss Shawl for my niece – I am indebted to you!
  3. Lottieknits – You know why you are getting this, your kindness knows no bounds. For the rest of you – go read this blog! It has snippets of everything you would ever want to read about. It has been a constant source of inspiration to me.
  4. lollyknits – Just another blogger that I desperately wish was my next door neighbor. Decisive and funny, her posts are a joy to read. Her pictures make me jealous (this is a good thing and a compliment) and again – another kind soul that is always willing to lend a hand.
  5. MonsterYarns – Although it seems like everyone already knows this blog, I am going to suggest you quit reading mine and go straight over yonder to MonsterYarns. The post is fabulous, the writing superb! Not to mention that some of the comments I have received from this blogger are hilarious!
  6. Rob’s Surf Report – A great writer, blogger and friend. There is always something to heavily consider after reading his posts – and not commenting doesn’t feel like an option. I am inspired by the free way he writes and voices his opinions.
  7. Creative Writing with the Crimson League – This is a newer blog (for me) that I’ve started following. Do you have a blog that you just cannot skip, even if you’ve been up for 20 hours? If not – head over, you shant be disappointed!

Alright friends and neighbors, two posts in one day again but totally worth it. Signing off for a bit and I will see you tomorrow….unless something else decides to flood. 🙂

The 30th Anniversary Party! LOADS OF PHOTOS!


Thank heavens this is over! The party went fantastically despite the downpour that kept most of us in the house – this may also have been a blessing considering it was 108 degrees out. The flowers – both knitted and planted – done! The blank index cards from the guests – done! The two days of almost 17 hours of cooking – DONE!

I should have taken more pictures, but when the weather turned and the kitchen demanded constant attention I got a bit sidetracked. Despite my negligence, I want to show you what we’ve done.

By the way, I cannot wait to get caught back up with my blogging friends and neighbors without feeling guilty again!

Okay, let’s see if I can organize these is a way that makes the most sense…hope you enjoy!

** Edited Photos **

 ** Knitted Flowers **

** The Foodie Goodness! **

I could just kick myself for not taking pictures of any of the cooked food! I got so busy trying not to set anything on fire that I just forgot.

I thought I would include our menu, and maybe on a later post I will add recipes because it was delicious!

** The Menu **

  • Veggie Tray – Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Stop-Light Pepper Assortment, Cherry Tomato and Celery.
  • Fruit Trays – Cantaloupe, Grapes, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries and Watermelon.
  • Panzanella Salad
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
  • Fresh Basil, Mozzarella and Cherry Tomato Skewers
  • Artichoke Bruschetta 
  • Almond Cake with Buttercream Frosting
  • Key Lime Cupcakes
  • Chocolate Truffles – Cocoa Dusted, Espresso Dusted and Plain

I know I am forgetting something – but my brain is still pretty fried. I will go through everything when I do the post with the recipes!

** Balloons ** 

And last but not in the least Last….

** The Flowers we Planted **

** Then There are the Friends and Neighbors…and Family! **

That be all she wrote friends and neighbors!

I do believe I am going to go take a nap before I attempt to read any blogs, otherwise my comments are going to be as jumbled as my mind is at the moment – but I cannot wait.

Two for One Special! Stitch Patterns for Week’s 16 & 17


Hello friends and neighbors. Before I get started I just want to apologize for just now getting back to all your wonderful comments – I fear I am being a bit neglectful of my blog lately. With the unplanned vacation, even more unplanned flood and my Mom and Dad’s 30th anniversary party I am being pulled in a million directions. This being said, as soon as I get this post up I am going to spend some quality time with you and your posts. Just please don’t lose hope, the party is over on the 16th and things should be back to normal by then.

Okay, enough begging for your patience (by the way, pretty please?!). It is time to see what GG has been doing to me these past two weeks. So, with no further adieu we have stitch patterns for week 16 and 17! Enjoy!

♥ Week 16 – Let’s Call it the Picnic Blanket Stitch 

Full Size at an Angle.

Full Size at an Angle.

Something I have noticed about my great-grandmother is that she dealt almost entirely with knit and purl stitches. There are the occasional cables, but not many. I have to say this is giving me a new appreciation of the basics. Now, let’s see about this pattern shall we?

Needles: Size 5 US (3.75mm)
Yarn: Bernat 100% Cotton in Coral
Stitches: (I think, this is guess-work here) Multiple of 5+4 stitches. I also do 2 stitches on each             edge so it’ll lay straight.

  • 1k – Row 1: Knit (Gotcha, good good!)
  • 2p4and kp4 – Row 2: P4, *K1, P4* rep. till end of row (Not sure I’ve seen the “and” before, so this ended up getting frogged once before I got it).
  • 4p4k1p4 : Row 4: *P4, K1, P4* rep till end (Um…guys? What happened to the rest of the rows?)
  • Okay, so this is also where some guess-work and frogging occurred. I figured if she didn’t write it then it had to be knit. If there was a change on row 4 then there would have to be two rows knit after it for symmetry (I tried 5 rows but it looked wonky). So this is the actual pattern down yonder ↓ in a pretty blue color.
  • Row 1, 3, 5 and 6: Knit
  • Row 2: P4, *K1, P4* rep. till end of row.
  • Row 4: *P4, K1, P4* rep till end of row.

 

This pattern was a bit like playing a knitting detective, which makes me feel (goofily) like a knitting super hero. Goofy? Oh, yes. Definitely. I just wondered if she only knitted it once or she just knew that it had to be a repeat of 6 rows. So many unanswered questions. Anyway, ONWARD!

 ♥♥ Stitch Pattern Week 17 – The…Morse Code Stitch? 

Full On

Full On

– Needles – Size 5US (3.75mm)
– Yarn – Bernat 100% Cotton in Coral
– Stitches – Multiple of 10 + 4 stitches  (Totally sure about this one :)) 8 row repeat.

  • 1k – Row 1: Knit
  • p – Row 2: Purl (Okay, no more numbers – she has a way doesn’t she?)
  • 1 – Row 3: Knit (Really? Somewhere this old bag is laughing at me, I just know it!)
  • 4p4 and k6p4 – Row 4: P4, *K6, P4*. Rep. *to* till end of row. (Well, at least the numbers showed up again. How kind!)
  • k – Row 5: Knit (AND there gone again….curious).
  • p – Row 6: Purl
  • k – Row  7: Knit ( I should add here that at least this pattern was written vertically, so at least there was some actual separation of the rows. It is rare in here writing, but it was also written on the back of a doctor’s business card – so maybe it was a space thing).
  • k3k1p4k4 – Row 8: K4, *K1, P4, K5*. Rep. till end of row (Did you notice that the K3 was wrong? Well I sure didn’t…frogged twice before simple math made me feel like a simpleton. As long as the pattern gets done who cares right?).

Well, that’s about all for me tonight folks. Now it is time to catch up with my blogging family – make sure you guys haven’t been up to any shenanigans! One more thing to leave on tonight though…Have you ever tried to get a good picture of you knitting only to be foiled by the light? Well, taking a pair of knitting needles, a hair tie and a pocket light stabbed into the couch might work! Think I am kidding? Well, at least the couch is old! 🙂

Knitting Needles, a Hair Tie and a Pocket Light stabbed into the Couch.

Knitting Needles, a Hair Tie and a Pocket Light stabbed into the Couch.

RaT Day #5 – Cover Title Scramble & A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On!


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So the challenge for today is pretty self explanatory – Love.Life.Read has given us the lists and we are to try to crack 5 for each month. I have to say that my OCD driven mind is SO PLEASED with this challenge – this type of puzzle is right in my wheel house! Do I have it in me to figure it out? Well, lets give it a whirl shall we?

May Titles:

  1.  hte   h5t   vewa – The 5th Wave ( By Rick Yancey)
  2.  eht   scetrsahnen – The Enchantress (Michael Scott)
  3. ginwre – Winger (Smith Andrew and Sam Bosma)
  4.  sujt   neo   skis – Just One Kiss (By Susan Mallery)
  5. yan   shduesc  lwil   od – Any Duchess Will Do (By Tessa Dare)
  6.  ti   dha   ot   eb    uyo – It Had To By You (Jill Shalvis)
  7. tols  dan   dfnuo – Lost and Found (Nicole Williams)
  8.  het   yelbon  gnki – The Boleyn King ( Laura Andersen)
  9.  neoc  noup   a   niprec – Once Upon a Prince ( Rachel Hauck)
June Titles:
  1. het   nomo   dan  remo  – The Moon and More (Sarah Dessen)
  2. egies  dna   ormts – Siege and Storm (Leigh Bardugo)
  3. rtas    dsceur  – Star Cursed (Jessica Spotswood)
  4. teswe  lsat   ira  – Sweet Salt Air (Barbara Belinsky)
  5. het   crenwmeo – The Newcomer (Robyn Carr)
  6. veorfre   oto   rfa – Forever too Far (Abbi Glines)
  7. het  miatng   fo  deyrr  uanacvhga – The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh (Stephanie Laurens)
  8. wot  fo  a  dnki – Two of a Kind (Susan Mallery)
  9. neo   etswe  deri – One Sweet Ride (Jaci Burton)
  10. hwta  hte   kedu   sesdeir – What the Duke Desires (Sabrina Jeffries)
  11. 11) kifagn   ti – Faking It (Cora Carmack)
July Titles:
 

1) fi   het  ohes   tisf  – If the Shoe Fits (Megan Mulry)
2) eth   eegd   fo  vnere – The Edge of Never (J. A. Redmerski)
3) rfits  gisht   a   veonl  – First Sight: a Novel (Danielle Steel)
4) utre   lvoe  – True Love (Jude Deveraux)
5) ehtre   tletil   rdswo –  Three Little Words (Susan Mallery)
6) eht   gniht  si  velia – The Night is Alive (Heather Graham)
7) feprcte  gifln  – Perfect Fling (Carly Phillips)
8) scoeh  hte   gronw   ugy   veag   imh  het  gwonr  gefrni –  Chose the Wrong Guy Gave Him the Wrong Finger (Beth Harbison)
9) meoh  ot   kewihsy   kecre – Home to Whiskey Creek (Brenda Novak)

August Titles:
  1.  lafl   fo   veif – Fall of Five (Pittacus Lore)
  2. wrnco    fo    gdminhit – Crown of Midnight (Sarah J. Maas)
  3. hte   desah  fo  het   onom – The Shade of the Moon (Susan Beth Pfeffer)
  4. sero  bahrro   ni  mlobo – Rose Harbor in Bloom (Debbie Macomber)
  5. eht   rohe – The Hero (Robyn Carr)
  6. gib   ysk diwengd  – Big Sky Wedding (Linda Lael Miller)
  7. yatacasw  veoc  a  ltehrse  yab   venlo – Castaway Cove: A Shelter Bay Novel (JoAnn Ross)
  8. siht   rilg   a   veonl  – This Girl: a Novel (Colleen Hoover)
  9. mtetapinto – Temptation (Sherryl Woods)

Yes, I did all of them…the Panic Monster insisted that I finish what I started. I should also mention that I have never heard of a single one of these books….how out of the loop am I?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

 ** Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On **

Let’s do book shimmies! We made it through the week-long part of the read-a-thon!!! Congratulate yourself and your new bookish friends on their progress so far. Did you get as much read as you wanted to so far? Have you changed your goals for the 24-hr marathon read?
Despite what feels like doing loads of reading, I haven’t finished nearly as many books as I thought I would. So far I have finished:

And I am currently reading: Double Feature by Owen King

Joe Hill and author Owen King read "Double Feature".

Joe Hill and author Owen King read “Double Feature”.

So have I changed my plans for the 24 hour RaT? Not so much. I am going to read for a whole 24 hours, but I don’t want to feel pushed to put up big numbers. It doesn’t really matter how many books I read, just that I get to put aside time to catch up on all the reading that seems to have fallen by the wayside (or is buried under yarn). Either way I am very excited to participate – and also to see if I can sit still and read for 24 straight hours!

In Which I See My Neighbors Having….Relations


The night had been so calm after the storms passed. The heat no longer felt like a wet blanket clinging to your skin and the stars were out. Despite my general dislike of moths, I decided to hobble my way to our back yard, turned on the back light and picked up my book.

I was settling into the familiar feel of the chaise lounge, allowing for the pillows beneath my injured appendage to conform to the massive boot when I heard a party across the way. Oh well, it is Friday after all and let it slip my mind. The book was captivating, I was totally lost in the world created for me by the author that I didn’t notice the back door opening across the way. If anything, I considered having the flood light on to be a good indicator of my presence outside – I was most definitely not out to snoop or spy, you need two working feet for that.

It was only a few moments later after lifting my eyes in search of my sweet tea that I noticed my neighbors…how to put this politely…bumping uglies. Yes friends and neighbors, my neighbors were going at it like bunnies on ecstasy. Immediately the blood shot to my face “good God, is this happening?”. It was. I really was. Neither of them under 300 pounds (not that size matters,except for the fact the noise they created on the squeaky chair – which was abandoned for the ground in quick order – was unbearably laughable) it was not something I had planned on seeing – I needed to get away.

Now, making  quick exit when your foot is (maybe) broken is not really an option, but the flood light was on and when they realized they had been seen…well…I couldn’t fathom their embarrassment. Ever so slowly I ninja-rolled off the chaise and on to all fours in a vain attempt to be stealthy – probably should have accounted for the fact that my book would hit the ground with a meat thwack! sound that would have scared birds. To make matters worse the noise, which was quite startling over the noise of the couple very verbally praising each others skills, caused me to jerk my head – thus spilling the remainder of my sweet tea all over my head.

It was at this point, on all fours and drenched in sweet tea surrounded by the echoing “oh God’s” and “Oh yes'” and “right there’s” and (horribly) “no, with your finger” that I started laughing. I don’t mean a giggle, don’t get that impression. This was a full body hee-hawing, explosive laughter that erupted from my diaphragm and, in fact, actually scared a bird.

Being found out was painful for my neighbors, they scurried (as quickly as they could) from the ground and ran inside where the party was still going strong. Did I mention they were still butt-naked and covered in grass stains? Well, they were.

Now, safely inside and clean from the shower all I can do is think “Wow, I should never venture outside when I cannot make a quick escape”.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!

 

Holy Crap Batman! I Need a Swap Re-do….STAT!


Oh Sheri, I feel you are about to get majorly screwed by my swapping inexperience!

I was approached by Sheri over at Confessions of a Refashionista: Life on the Zig Zag a few weeks ago with the idea of a swap. I was thrilled, especially since she wanted the Link-like hat that I had so worried over. Her boisterous spirit and enthusiasm for the swap was so infectious – not to mention the fact that I would be sending something I made to Germany! Everything about this sounded like an amazing idea!

The Link-Like Hat for Sheri!

The Link-Like Hat for Sheri!

Too bad I have never done a swap before. I was woefully unprepared.

I received my package today and was floored by the enormity of the gifts and goodies inside this unassuming package. I will lay it out for you:

  • My very own copy of Confessions of a Refashionista: Life on the Zig Zag
  • Oh Yeah – My Copy is SIGNED!
  • My family eggy-nestlace where each egg represents a member of my little family (Me, The Hubby and Maxwell)
  • An incredible pair of rosette earrings
  • A “tassen teppich” – or Mug Rug – for both me and the hubby to stylishly enjoy or coffee.

I was blown away by the kindness and thoughtfulness of this gift – I also feel SO GUILTY my head is about to explode. Do you know what I sent Sheri?

  • A Hat.

Yup, ladies and gentleman I have epic-ly failed my first swap. I am ohhing and ahhing all over my goodies and poor Sheri is just getting a hat – I even forget to post the damn thank you card! So what is there to do? Do I send more things? I am definitely not at talented as Sheri – knitting is my main creative outlet besides painting and they are ridiculously hard to get through customs.

Here. Let’s look at bigger pictures of all this awesomesauce before I pose my question:

My Lovely Signed Book.

My Lovely Signed Book.

Signed Book

My SIGNED Copy!

Family Eggy-Nestlace for Me and the Hubby, and Max!

Family Eggy-Nestlace for Me and the Hubby, and Max!

Gorgeous Rosette Earrings

Gorgeous Rosette Earrings

Tassen Teppich-Mug Rug2

Tassen Teppich-Mug Rug – Front

Tassen Teppich - Mug Rug - Back of Mug Rug.

Tassen Teppich – Mug Rug – Back of Mug Rug.

I want to thank Sheri from the bottom of my heart, this package was amazing! I have learned an invaluable lesson from this swap – if you’re going to do it, do it up right!

I want to do this up right…so friends and neighbors…what the hell do I do?

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award & My Mom and Dad’s 30th Anniversary


I have two really wonderful people to thank for nominating me for the Wonderful Team Membership Award, both Pretty Little Things in a Box (on June 14th) and knitxpressions (on June 17th) have gifted me with the honor of knowing that somehow or another I have been a wonderful team member! I love the idea of this award, that bloggers can thank all the people who have helped them – mainly because so many of you have helped me. I feel as though I am flattering myself here a little though, both of these outstanding bloggers don’t need my help, but I am thrilled to read their posts and offer my humble insights. To you both, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Wonderful Team Membership Award

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award (I REALLY want to create a New Award for this, much like blogger Movies, Silently did!)

Now onto the nitty-gritty.

To accept this award, I have to follow some rules:

1.The Nominee of the Wonderful Team member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her blog. (check!)
2.The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little. (check!)
3.The Nominee shall name his/her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during 7 days. (On My Way!!)

I want to say an extra thank you to all of you I am passing the award to. You have supported me with both your advice, your motivation and your exceptional kindness. I have found a family here and you have made the world a little richer every day!

A World Created  ♥ knitrun4sanity ♥ Creatively Carolyn  ♥ lollyknits  ♥ yarnycakes  ♥ DaniellaJoe’s Blog  ♥ knittingsarah  ♥ Skyscrapers and String  ♥ A Tangled Yarn Knitting Adventure ♥ Lottieknits ♥ B.G. Bowers ♥ Cross(stitch) Your Heart  ♥ Intricate Knits ♥

So here are my 14 wonderful, insightful, helpful lovely nominees. There are so many other bloggers I want to give this award to as well, your insights have been just utterly priceless. To the nominee’s – CONGRATULATIONS!

** Planning a Big Old Party **

Mom and Dad Christmas Morning. 2011.

Mom and Dad Christmas Morning. 2011.

These are my parents, and in the literally thousands of photos I have on my computer – this is the only one I have of them together. Seriously, I just spent a good 45 minutes attempting to unearth a single shot of my parents in the same frame. I could suppose that this says something (very loudly) about my Mom and Dad, but I am choosing not to go there.

Planning this party is….interesting. With T out of work and every penny we have accounted for, planning the type of party that I would like to give my parents is proving to be quite difficult. Hours spent logging serious library time looking for affordable recipes to feed all the people they want to invite, going to big box stores to find the cheapest paper on which to print invitations and trying to be as creative as possible to make their day special.

The invitations have turned out quite well, another perk of having Photoshop on my computer I suppose. I am going to mail out the invitations and include a 4″ by 6″ blank index card for everyone invited to write a little note. The plan being that I will present them with this in an album the day of the party. I would love to ask people for pictures but I am not about to press my luck.

Then there are the centerpieces. My Mom suffers from COPD, which basically means that real flowers are absolutely out of the question; her suffering from a crippling asthma attack would spoil the entire party for her. So, what is a knitter to do? Well…knit!

Assembly Line.

Assembly Line.

Loads of Flower Stems.

Loads of Flower Stems.

First Attempt at Construction.

First Attempt at Construction.

 

First Trail Vase...Needs Work.

First Trail Vase…Needs Work.

The plan is to make these the centerpieces, all acrylic yarn and no asthma attacks! I figure 6-8  flowers per ice tea glass (its plastic but we’re broke, so I will forgive us). I am also going to do a very delicate i-cord in blue (for water) and spring green (for grass) to place in the bottom of the vase. I may do a type of bow around the middle, but simplicity is my goal and I don’t want to verge on tacky. Bonus: this is a GREAT way to stash-bust!

I am also making a scrapbook of their married life, all 30 years. I am a bit concerned about this because I have never scrapbook-ed in my life! My Mom dearly loves scrapbooks but I was just never able to get into it, I like the photos neatly labeled and able to stand on their own. Maybe it’s OCD, maybe I just don’t like putting glitter and stickers on my photos – but for my parents I will suck it up. I just hope that I don’t make it too boring, I think I might have to buy some glitter….

Whew…long post today friends and neighbors! I hope you were able to hang in there till the end because I have a very important question to put out there. Do you have anymore ideas on how to make an amazing party for my parents on a budget? ALL SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME!!

 

 

Loads of Photos for the Weekend!


Geez, the weekend has already seemed to have gotten away from me! I meant to post these lovelies yesterday, instead I got to spend a glorious day with Gloria and T. Nothing is a better than losing yourself – and time – surrounded by your two favorite people. We played Scrabble, ate pizza, watched movies, painted our nails (not T of course) and just reveled in each others company. It was an excellent Saturday!

So on to the photos! T and I took a very long walk in one of the parks around town, my Canon and I hindering our process of calling real exercise despite the 5 miles under our belts. It was so relaxing, very reminiscent of the cabin in the woods, and I came home with loads of photos. I hope you enjoy!

Hello Babies!

Hello Babies!

Who doesn’t love a little fuzzy baby ducky? I am trying something new here today – if you cannot tell. I have admittedly admitted that I am not a talented photographer, but I do know what I am doing with messing around with saturation and hues. So showing completely unedited photographs is a bit….terrifying. If I have learned anything in the past few weeks, it’s that the community that I write for won’t mind – if anything I am going to get some very constructive feedback.

The Heron.

The Heron.

Okay, I got a little (a lot) carried away taking pictures of the Heron – but he is so pretty! The edited photo at the top really brought out his natural coloring, the rest of the photos seem a bit dull in comparison. However I promised myself to show the good and the not so good here today.

The Water Tower.

The Water Tower.

I only took one photo, so edited it is!

Bird in Flight.

Bird in Flight. I love how confused the other bird looks.

I love the bird feeder, I know it is not from the park but I could not resist sharing!

Manly Duck...Just Relaxing.

Manly Duck…Just Relaxing.

IMG_1083

Running at our approach.

The male ducks stayed together, never even approaching the females or the babies. I thought it was odd. Men, can’t live with them – can never try to understand what they’re thinking.

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Fuzzy Focus. I like how it turned out.

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I really like the ducks in the background with the plant leaves in focus. It seemed to be a very happy accident.

Both of these are edited, but not as much as you would think. The only think I did was to sharpen the focus and put a frame on it. All the rest of it was me remembering how to properly use my camera. It will take time and my hands will shake, but I will love every moment of it!

Look Who I Found Again!

Look Who I Found Again!

I’ve probably overloaded you with photos today. I really hope you enjoyed them!

This week my blogging plans are as follows:

  • No Page Left Unturned (the library shelves project I need to get on)
  • Stitch Pattern a Week (cannot forget GG and her antics)
  • My Parents 30th Wedding Anniversary Plans (part rant – part brainstorming)
  • Finishing the Header section with all the Stitch Patterns to date, just so you don’t have to go searching for patterns!
  • WIPs and FOs
  • More Photos (of course more photos!)

Have a wonderful Father’s Day friends and neighbors and I look forward to hearing from all of you again ASAP!

I Never Do Two Posts In One Day But….


….Since I pulled my head out of my bum and the hat is turning out really well, I thought I should share! Thanks to all of you who have been so kind, so understanding, so helpful and helped me get through my – rather annoying now that I’ve reread it – rant.

Say It Loud and Proud Grumpy Cat!!

Say It Loud and Proud Grumpy Cat!!

 

50th Post & WordPress Family Award!!


Today is a big day! My 50th post and a new award to show off from a blogger I greatly admire. There is a bit of guilt since I haven’t posted since Sunday – my father-in-law has re-injured his hip and we spent the majority of the past few days in a hospital where the internet is a big no-no. But my fellow bloggers, and their trials and tribulations, have never been far from my mind. Did the frogging turn out ok? Did the sweat block the way you hoped? How is your Mom doing? Is your son’s first strep throat on the mend? If you are reading this, you know who you are.

50 posts ago I never imagined being a part of a community, let alone one that I cared so dearly for. Online communication is rumored to be stale, sterile and removing us from one another – I wholeheartedly disagree. I have been repeatedly gifted with kindness, calming words and encouragement from all over the globe. I am a very, very lucky girl.

So I humbly dedicate my 50th post to all the bloggers out there who encouraged me, helped me and showed unparalleled kindness to myself and others.

♥ The WordPress Family Award ♥

The WordPress Family Award.

The WordPress Family Award.

What is better than knowing you are part of a close-knit community? I am stealing the line from Knitting with Heart, the lovely blogger that has given me this award today. It still comes as a surprise that I have been awarded anything, even after 50 posts. I love reading knitting with heart’s blog – I love reading all your blogs! Knitting with heart has shown her caring nature, superb talent and ability to enchant every reader with every post. I owe you a debt of gratitude – reading your blog opened up my eyes to writing about things other than just knitting, and the fact that you consider me a part of your Online Family brings more than a little mist to these weary eyes.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.

RICHARD BACH

Thank you. Thank you so much to all the bloggers that have made me a better – and stronger – individual. Since I can only link to 10 of you this is an incredibly difficult decision to make. I will do my best.

knitrun4sanity  knittingsarah lollyknits  Pretty Little Things in a Box  A World Created  throughacrackedlens B.G. Bowers  ♥ Creatively Carolyn  curlsandq  The War in My Brain 

If you choose to pass on this award, here are the rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them.
5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people who have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

To my WordPress family – we are what we make, and because of that we are stronger than we ever knew!

 

Stitch Pattern Week 12 & Heartfelt Shout-outs to Amazing Bloggers!! Seriously, My Faith in Humanity Has Been Restored!


I sincerely hope that my good mood is infectious, I want to spread the love! Something rather amazing happened during this week stitch pattern, I am still left dumbfounded by it. The pattern…hold on, let me catch my breath, was totally readable! That’s right friends and neighbors, even my great-grandmother seemed to want my week to go as smoothly as possible. So, with bated breath I present Stitch Pattern Week 12 for your viewing pleasure!

˜ The Knotted Rib Stitch˜

Oh GG, you have made this heavenly stitch so simple. Wish you were here to share the glory that is this pattern!

  • cor p2ktwice p4 end by two – Row 1: (RS) p2, *K front and back, p4*; end K front and back, p2. ( I don’t know if it is the fact that I have spent 12 weeks reading your work GG, but this was by far the most informative you’ve ever been!)
  • k2 pjoin k4 end by two – Row 2: (WS) K2, *p2tog, k4: rep rom* ending P2tog, K2 (Okay, the pjoin was new, but it made since that if I increased in the first row, I had to decrease in the second. Thank you GG, The perfect topper to this week!)

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

→ Shout It From the Rooftops!! ←

First shout out goes to Yarnycakes for supplying me with incredible sock yarn to start working on my Beekeeper’s Quilt. I could stare at this yarn all day long, I am actually afraid to work with it, it’s so perfect just the way it is! This was my last purchase coming from Etsy and boy-howdy did it end on a good note! Seriously, check out her store – I don’t think I could be more satisfied with the purchases I’ve made from Etsy if they had come with chocolate and a masseuse!

My second shout out is more of a sincere thank you to someone. My grandfather used to say that there was still magic in this world – but the magic came from either 1) Nature or 2) The inherent kindness that still lives within people. This magic came from the latter.

Lollyknits has done something incredibly kind, incredibly gracious and incredibly unexpected. When I posted that my husband was losing his job and I was losing my mind, she immediately contacted me with her surefire ways to keep your head on your shoulders. The message, all on it’s own, was incredibly reassuring and quite comforting. Lolly decided to take it a step further though. She sent me, for free, my first spindle and fiber to spin. She said that it helped her relax, and that might be just what I need right now.

Can you believe this? Someone I have been talking to through our blogs for only 12 weeks sent me a package of fiber/spindle goodness out of the kindness of her own heart. I am taken aback, still not sure how to fully understand that there is still magic in this world. I don’t know how to say thank you enough for her kindness – but also in helping to remind me that there are people in the world that can reignite your belief in magic, thus restoring your faith in humanity.

I want to end on that note, the best note to start a weekend on I believe. Just remember friends and neighbors – life is full of magic.

Me in Fiber Love Heaven

Me in Fiber Love Heaven

Finally! So Much GOOD Stuff to Report!


My oh my dear friends and neighbors, my cup runneth over! A shopping spree on Etsy is starting to arrive, projects are getting finished and life is recovering its equilibrium. Where to begin, how to begin? Well, how about the beginning!

 ♥ Finished Projects ♥

I know it is Wednesday and I should be showing pictures of the copious amounts of WIPs currently taking over my living room, but I cannot resist sharing good news today. I finished two projects in the last two days; sitting outside and getting that much-needed vitamin D, I watched projects just keep growing and eventually flowing off my needles.

The first is the Graham Hat. I found it hunting down knitting projects for my dear Hannah Rose (hmm….hope I got that right) over at A World Created who was starting her first knitting project. I fell in love with its simplicity – and the fact that it isn’t copy written so I can try to sell it – and casted on. Wanna see how it went? Well, Hells Bells, I am giddy to show you!

I am very pleased with how it turned out, and the berry colored yarn is so ridiculously soft, I cannot get over it. I found it my stash (since T is out of work I am going on a stash-busting mission) and had forgotten it was there. Well, turns out that worked out just lovely.

The second project is one I have shared before, the Entrelac Knitted Cowl from the Craftsy Classroom. Once I got a handle on how it all works, it was the most mindless knitting I have done in a long time, which is fantastic! How could something that looks that complex be so easy to do? Practice, patience and lots of knitting love!

Oh, so much good stuff…and there’s more to come!

♥ Etsy Love ♥

In a rare show of support from my Mom, I was recently given a prepaid credit card to do some shopping on Etsy. The idea behind it was to be able to see how the shops worked, how things were packaged and how well the shops operated. It would have been perfect if she hadn’t said “Oh, you know. In case you ever actually sell anything” but today I just don’t care that it was said. I got online, searched my shops and my blogs and made some purchases.

I didn’t realize Hannah Rose was going to get two shout-outs today but here it goes. Hers was the first shop I went to, I had remembered a post showcasing earrings that made me drool and I thought this was the best place for me to start. A World Created is her store on Etsy and I am just head over heels for it, so many diverse things and such incredible prices. I bought the pair of earrings that I’d fallen in love with and to my surprise, there was a free ring in with my purchase! It felt like Christmas getting the mail this morning!

My New Earrings!

My New Earrings!

My new - and unexpected - Ring!!

My new – and unexpected – Ring!!

 

MY. NEW. EARRINGS!

MY. NEW. EARRINGS!

Even as I am writing this post I have the earrings and the ring on, I feel a bit like the girl in the picture. Just so soft, so feminine and oh so happy. The best part about the ring is that it is adjustable, so when my silly hand swells I can keep wearing it!

My second (of three) purchases was not from a blogger but from one of the best sellers on Etsy. I received a skein of Shimmer Silk Yarn (200 yards/.5oz) of lace weight yarn from WCMercantile. I am going to start working on my Beekeeper’s Quilt here shortly, and I thought this would be great for either embroidery or knitting. The packaging was sparse and to the point, but the yarn is really quite lovely!

Summer Silk Lace Yarn.

Shimmer Silk Lace Yarn.

My last package should arrive tomorrow from another blogger with talent to spare. Oh, this post has just been so much fun to write. The nagging Panic Monster cannot be bothered to pester me when I am in such a good mood. I have put off – at least for today – the fears and trepidations of facing life with an unemployed husband, an offending appendage, and facing the loss of health insurance. I am all about sitting in my garden, smelling the sweet herbs just waiting to be made into something mouth-watering. I am going to knit with abandon, love like there’s no tomorrow and cannot wait to post again.

Thank you again friends and neighbors! Your support, kind words and talent push me a little further each day to being the person I know that I can be. Have a freaking awesome day!