January 28, 2010

Dogs on Thursday - PM Edition

Here's my pair of little love bugs. Doesn't poor Abby look old? Funny thing - Dudley is older.
He's still screaming at me for making him miss a meal last Friday. But he's off all pain meds only taking antibiotics at this point. He's doing great. He's loving peanut butter on cheese its so much he isn't even spitting his pills out.
qyj in ,';l] jw jo
Hey Mom - let me talk! See last week mom took dad to the dog store and they brought lucy back a new cute hedgie.
Well today she broke it! I love it when she breaks her toys because then she lets me have them with out yelling at me. Here's I am trying to bite his feet off and get to his yummy center!
---- Beau Regards!

Thankful Thursday

Remember back in August when I found that fabulous bead that screamed at me to purchase it? Well - this is a lady at my knitting group who makes jewelry. She took my bead and brought me back this fabulous necklace. (I know I really, really need to learn to take better photos. Anna and her designs can be found on her website and her etsy shop.) There are 2 strands of Czech glass beads coming from the center hole in the bead. Those two strands are mixed with crystals and silver beads and the silver chain is adjustable. In the smallest position, it hangs perfectly right between my collar bones. I love it! Knitting group is awesome!

January 27, 2010

Packages on the Porch - Part 2

The nearest LYS near The Princess is going out of business. The little darling gave me a call last week and asked if I *needed* any yarn. Well need is relative, right? Discount yarn - why not? So, she was shopping for herself and decided to pick up a few little gems for me too. First up is the Artyarns Merino Sock yarn. It's the lovely red/green in the first photo. the orange - koigu!I love koigu and the orange is fabulous. I have a pattern in mind. But there are many, many other yarns in front of them to be knit - unless I can't wait.

January 26, 2010

Packages on the Porch - Part 1

Friday when I got home - I noticed that there were packages on my front porch. Hmm - I was expecting a couple of things - but they should have fit in the box. What could it be? Well it was these lovely hot pads from Debbie! See - I sent her a little part for her sewing machine she was wanting and I had an extra of and in turn she sent me these lovely quilted hot pads. Now she had been making a big deal out of the card I sent with the ankle - but look at the card she sent me! Isn't that adorable? it's an antique sewing machine. But the best part? These hot pads are completely machine washable and they're huge! So no missing the edges and the grabbing the pan with my fingers any more. I used them tonight and even JB noticed. He asked where I got new hot pads. Thanks Debbie this will get lots of use.

January 25, 2010

Pumpkin French Toast

Last weekend I was reading a trashy romance novel and the main character owned a "greasy spoon." One of her breakfast specialties was Pumpkin French Toast - of course she just happened to mention that she made it with pumpkin bread. Before I had even read that - my mouth was watering. Then I started thinking that I had a box of pumpkin bread mix in the pantry and there was no reason I couldn't have Pumpkin French Toast. So Friday night while I was cooking dinner - I made a loaf of pumpkin bread. Then Saturday morning - I made french toast with pumpkin bread. Irish Girlie Knits has an easy recipe here. I started with a flat shallow bowl, eggs, vanilla, milk, cinnamon & nutmeg - although it occurs to me that this would be the perfect time to use pumpkin pie spice. Mix up the eggs, milk, vanilla and spices. Slice your bread about 1/2" thick and let soak in the egg mixture. Meanwhile heat your skillet or griddle. Cook the soaked pumpkin bread over med-low heat (I like to make sure my egg mixture is really cooked) until golden brown turning once. Serve while warm with real maple syrup that conned out of Mr VeeDogKnits by asking if got the email asking for more maple syrup! This was very yummy.

January 24, 2010

What You've All Been Waiting For

an update on our Old Man.
He's doing great. He had 4 teeth pulled but he handled being put out just fine. In fact - he came out of it so well that the vet's office was anxious for him to go home so it would be quiet again. He does not like being kept in a crate.
He's already taking Lucy on for squeaky toys - which is quite funny to see as she could totally take it from him, but won't. He walks around grumbling with the toy and she follows and tries to get somebody to take it from him so he can have it back.
We've been giving him the prescribed narcotics at the low end of the prescription. He's such a stoic man that it's hard to know if he's in pain or not. We were joking yesterday that since he doesn't need any stinkin narcotics he was headed out to the street to sell them. Good thing he doesn't have pockets - huh Thor?
Thanks for the all well wishes, support and understanding - it means a lot.

January 21, 2010

Poor Old Man

So – today I’m asking you to keep my little old man in your thoughts. See toward the end of this past summer his face started swelling. We thought he’d been stung by a bee, gave him Benadryl and the swelling went down. He was still eating fine and nothing seemed to be bothering him so – essentially we ignored it. About a month later his face was swollen again. Strange – he seems to be getting stung a lot – maybe he’s chasing bees. Well just after Christmas we notice he just didn’t want to hang with us. He was still eating fine, running and playing and as Chan pointed out – he is an old man of 11.5! So we decided to take him mid – year for a check – up. Just make sure everything was okay. Seems poor boy has an abscessed tooth. The vet drew blood and put him on antibiotics. His bloodwork came back fine – in fact you would never know he was an old man based on his blood. Tomorrow he’s having the bad tooth (and maybe one more) extracted and the remaining teeth cleaned. He’s always has a problem with tartar – he tends to inhale his food rather than chew. I hate having him put under but know that he will feel much better once the offending tooth is removed. So feel free to lash out at me for neglecting my dog who had no outward symptoms of having a tooth ache. I feel horrible, like I’ve been neglecting him, and I’m asking you all to do whatever it is that you do when doggies need good wishes. Thank you – and I’ll let you know how he does.

January 20, 2010

Still Plugging Away

I want more of a pencil skirt - not necessarily pegged at the hem, but something that falls straighter from the hips than the skirts I normally wear. I loved the Burda skirt that was making the rounds this fall - I've left all the information in the studio - but it has a cute button flap in the front. So - learning from Carolyn I am working a skirt pattern that fits through the waist and hips. This time - I laid my pattern pieces over the burda pieces and figured out where to take straighten. I put it together quickly with some leftover denim. It's quite straight and I like it. I will stay that it's about 4" too big at the back waist. I asked JB - if I was trying this skirt on in store - would you say buy it or put it back. He said "Yea." So - I'm asking you - gentle readers - what say you - buy it or put it back? Also where should I hem it? I think it might be just a tad too long. I did putz around the living room in for a bit, sitting, standing, walking - all were comfortable. The side seams actually hang straight and I think I finally got what I was hoping for - just not sure its a good look for me. Looking for honest advice here.

January 19, 2010

Obsess Much

Some of you know that we had some employment issues this summer. We are lucky that they were resolved quite quickly.
However, I promised myself that once they were resolved. I was going to purchase a sock club membership. So - I polled my girls over at Ravelry and asked them "if you could only have one sock club what would it be?" I got lots of good answers and links to several sock clubs - none of which I'll be sharing - just because.
The one that had the best reviews also had a huge price increase this year. Yes, I could still afford it - but do I need it? Instead, I took an idea I had seen on Brit Knitter's blog regarding her brown bag sock club. The idea was discussed on the stash sock group over on Ravely and I decided to pull some of my yarns that I love - but am not sure what to do with them. I have idea for a few of these balls but not all of them. Anyway - last Thursday I headed down to the studio, got out the swift and ball winder and spent hours winding and dividing yarn into cakes ready for knitting socks. They have all been put into brown paper lunch sacks and as soon as I have a finished pair of socks I'll pick a bag and get started.

January 18, 2010

Second Skirt - Same as the First

Back in December, I showed you the first variation on Simplicity 5914. I love this skirt and have several versions. Until recently it's always fit me well - now it gaps at the back.
For this version - I laid the center front and the side front next to each other on the seam lines and traced the pieces as one. I did however - trace a front with the protruding abdomen alteration as well as a separate back with a sway back adjustment. I did not however, take big enough darts in the back.
I put an invisible zipper in the side seam and used facings.
The skirt was a bit boring and brown, so I added three rows of tucks around the hem. To do this - I pressed the (already hemmed) skirt up 5" all around and then used a foot with a side rudder and stitched 1/4" from the fold just made. Then I pressed up 4" from the bottom and finally 3". It's an interesting addition that rather reminds me of adding "growth" tucks into a garment for a child.
Last - see me new Danskos? I realize they aren't the most fashionable shoes to be wearing with a skirt - but my hip and knee have been bothering me again and I can wear these shoes all day without any pain. And they are a bit dressier than my red dansko clogs.
So - my sewing friends - what do you think? Was I able to make it work?

January 14, 2010

Need to Carry Camera at all Times!

So this week for Thankful Dogs on Thursday (like that?) it has occurred to me that I really need to carry the camera with me at all time.
I'm digging nature - Sunday I was driving West on 196th - a major road and the Olympic mountains were stunning. Snow covered, craggy - just jaw droppingly beautiful. I admired them the entire time I was driving.
So instead you get branches from the contorted filbert in our yard. These twisted branches are often used in floral arrangements. The tree in our yard needed to be pruned and I've wanted the twisty branches in the house for some time. The vase JB found at a consignment store and the loved it. I think it looks fabulous sitting on the desk in our sitting room. So that's one of the things bringing me a smile this week. Also - these bone heads! It's a good thing bread stuffs aren't bad for them. On Wednesday I take the bus to Great Yarns for knitting. Since I don't have my car - JB drives up and picks me up with knitting group is done. He generally feeds the dogs and leaves them in the house - normally he's gone for about an hour total - tonight it was closer to 2 hours and somebody (I don't know and they aren't telling) helped themselves to a 6 pack of muffins on the counter. All that was left was the wrapper.
I know what else brought a smile to my face. Wednesday when I got off the bus at knitting, I practically walked right into the umbrella of a guy walking by. Neither one of us was really paying attention. We both said excuse me and then he offered to walk with me so I could be under his umbrella. It was a big golf sized umbrella and we had a nice little visit the block and half or so. Good manner from a young man - makes me smile.

January 13, 2010

Ebb & Flow

Just this morning I was thinking about this. For me my hobbies tend to ebb and flow. Some days it’s all I can do to stay away from the sewing machine and some days I won’t go near it. I love having a dedicated space for my sewing for when I am in the mood to sew. On the other hand – occasionally I feel guilty for having a dedicated space and not using it.
Where am I going with this? Oh yes – I really want to work on the modifications of my Carolyn skirt. You haven’t seen it yet but the last thing I did was to put the center front and side panel together at the seam lines creating a single cut-on-fold pattern piece for both the front and back. This skirt doesn’t actually need separate front and back pieces, but I made an adjustment so the waist would sit level (ala Sandra Betzina) and I did a swayback adjustment. Plus – it really is easier to just cut two pieces than cut one, move it and cut another. With 2 pattern pieces I can tell immediately if I have enough fabric to lengthen the skirt or need to shorten it.
That skirt turned out fabulously and even has a bit of creativity added to it in the form of tucks around the hem. I’ll wear it this week and get photos. However (and there’s always one of those isn’t there?), I don’t believe I made the darts between the pattern pieces wide enough. The skirt fits well through the hips but the waist is too big letting the skirt spin when I walk. It’s also still very much an a-line and I’m trying to get a straighter pencil skirt variation.
Here’s where the ebb and flow come in. I just don’t have any desire to drag myself into the studio to work on it. Part of it is location – although I’ve mostly come to terms with being in the basement. Part of it was the cleaning up and finishing of old projects hanging out. I managed to get those finished and off the table last weekend. And no – there are no photos – apparently I don’t share sewing anymore!! Anyway – I’m not going to kick myself for not getting down there. It will happen, just like the tide – the urge to create will flow again and something else will be left ebbing. It’s all good.

January 10, 2010

Permission Granted

For what it's worth - the photos in this post have absolutely nothing to do with the content. I just figured I'd share a few more photos from the gingerbread houses. This was from A Charlie Brown Christmas. The main house was Snoopy's dog house and the I wish I could have gotten a photo of the ceiling - it was popcorn. Awesome. Had JB gone with me - he totally would have laid down on the floor to get a photo of the ceiling - next year I'll drag him along. So - what does the title mean? I have a bit of a problem going on in my life. See - JB is a night owl and I'm a morning person. Not really that big of a deal. However - most weekend mornings, after having breakfast we walk the big dogs. I am generally up in the mornings with the dogs - even on the weekends, so that means between 7-8 sometime. JB however doesn't usually drag his happy hind end out of bed and down stairs until closer to 11! (Can you even imagine sleeping that late?) So you say - what's that go to do with the price of tea in China? Well - I get up, feed the dogs and the sit and wait, and wait, and wait and generally get irritated that I haven't done anything for hours! So - after talking with Sue - I'm granting myself permission to dray my happy hind end into the studio while I am waiting for him. He'll find me - either when he's hungry or when he's made me breakfast - works both ways in my house. And then the weekend can continue. You might ask what's been stopping me from going down to the studio and getting something started? Well - I hate the idea of getting involved in a project and then getting interrupted. And usually - the laptop. It's such a time suck - between reading blogs (which I love) and checking Ravelry - sometimes the morning is gone and it's all my own fault - but usually not.

January 8, 2010

Pressies

I seem to always be running behind these days - I mean seriously - Christmas was almost 2 weeks ago and the box from Sue arrived a week or so before Christmas. But in the interests of being kind - I will say that I let her know the box arrived and also that we have a "policy" in our household that if wrapped gifts arrive at Christmas you have to wait until the day to open them. So once I saw they were wrapped - under the tree they went. First up that beautiful bloodhound sandicast frame. I haven't found the perfect picture yet - my gut says to just put my boy in it, but I'll prolly get a good photo of all 4 to put in it. In the tissue next to the frame? My payment for being President of Fudge's Fan Club - yep - squeakers. Lucy was very upset that there was squeaking, but no new toy for her. I'll get right on that dear girl. Also in Sue's box - a lovely heart box with a bloodhound on the lid. I love it. I still don't know where it will live to be safe from the "Tail of Death" but it will find a safe home where I can see it often. Inside the box - this fabulous dog themed charm bracelet. I have always wanted a charm bracelet and now I have one that's near and dear to my hear. I think I might go get the dogs tags (my dogs don't wear collars so we don't have tags) to add to it - small ones but with their names. There was also an absolutely charming bloodhound pin. I don't know how Sue knew - but I collect dog pins, I now have 3 bloodhounds and several of the Disney dogs - including Lady and Trusty (from Lady & the Tramp, remember his sniffer was broke). Last week I got a great box from VeeDogKnits - I'd link to her blog but she hasn't updated since October. We love and miss you VDK!! Anyway - she says it's a birthday box and not a Christmas box. (We have a history of sending out our packages late - she got last year's holiday box in February!) Anyway - she sent me a fabulous Starbucks travel mug for my commute - it's red to match my bag. She also included some of Starbucks instant coffee (just in case the people in my office can't make a decent cup). but the best part of the box - this lovely little kitchen angel. She's adorable. I love how rustic they are. She's holding a teapot and I've put her onto of my fridge where she can watch over the food I prepare for friends who come to visit. As I told VDK - JB does the cooking for company so if I'm making your food you'll be glad to have an angel watching over the preparations! Happy Friday everyone - what's your weekend have in store?

January 6, 2010

Two Things

First for Dog's on Thursday, I want to share something neat. See that photo over there? <--- that one? I made that. See Fudge is a bad boy quite a bit like my Beauregard James and I love that in a dog. His Mom knew that and sent me that fabulous photo of my best boy (well really 3rd best, but don't tell Fudge) in a Christmas card. Way back in April I was appointed as President of Fudge's Fan Club and you can see in his Christmas Greeting I got a special shout out. So - if you are a fan of Fudge (the dog or the candy) feel free to copy the little photo (if it's too big - let me know and I can try to fix it), save it to your computer and the load it into your blog. Happy Dogs on Thursday Fudge!! Next up - Thankful Thursday. I've been wanting to do this for years, but I really wanted a button. Maybe someday Thankful Thursday will have it's own blog and following like Dogs on Thursday, Wordless Wednesday, or Bench Monday but for now it's my own little idea with the silly little button I made using a photo that makes me happy. That is the view of the naked tree through my bathroom skylight. I love it. What I'm asking you to do is take photos during the week of things that make you smile, that bring a bit of sunshine to your day - even when it's gloomy and gray. As part of my kindness theme - paying attention to the little things that bring joy is important. Personally I think paying attention to the small things is important and I know there are others who feel the same way. For now - I'd love it if you would save my little photo to your computer (or create your own) and start your Thankful Thursday post with it. Then come back here and leave me a comment saying you posted so I can go check it out. Have a great week everyone!

January 4, 2010

Clarification

Yesterday, I posted about a word for the year. I read about the concept at Myrna's space and she links to the woman who first came up with the concept. The word I chose is Kindness and while I absolutely appreciate all the words of support - I did not intend for yesterday's post to turn into a love fest for me.
By Kindness - I mean kindness toward myself. While I have no trouble extending kindness to others, I have hard time doing the same for myself. For example - the photos. They are from this year's gingerbread house display at the Sheraton. They hold one every year and the houses are themed and fabulous. This year the theme was Holidays in the Movies. Well, you are thinking obviously I went - where does the kindness come in? And you're right, I did go on Christmas Eve, after I got off work at 2:00. The entire time I was standing in line (50 minutes) I was thinking of all the other things I needed to be doing in preparation for the holiday. I enjoyed the seeing the houses and loved them all. Max as you can imagine (from Grinch Who Stole Christmas) is one of my favorites.
I also really enjoy "It's a Wonderful Life" and it's a family tradition that we all sit down and watch on Christmas Eve. Well really I curl up on JB's lap and sleep through half of it - but I can recite the lines where ever you wake me up - so it's all good.
So - more on kindness - for me it's about me. I find when I bring my focus in then I'm able to do so much more for others. I don't know why - but it does seem to work that way for me.
So - as they year progresses, I will attempt to be kinder to myself. Treating myself to my favorite healthy snacks or stockpiling my favorite lunch soup when it's on sale and not feel guilty that there are 24 cans of soup in my garage - it was bought on sale and I will eat it.
I will be kind to myself when I spend the weekend making skirts, measuring, trying one, fitting and fine tuning, only to have them be too large when they are finished. Right now the way I handle it is to kick myself and ask how can I be so stupid?
I will be kind when I have a list of things I *should* get done and don't get through it all. And in the name of kindness - some days I will even list *hobbies* ahead of housework.
So - thank you all for your words of kindness and I ask you throw it back in my face when you comment on something and I respond with un-kind words about myself. I know I do it and some of you know it to as you've heard it. So, if you don't mind, please give gentle reminders and help me reach my goal. Happy New Year - 2010 is good so far.

January 3, 2010

Kindness

So - one of the things I wanted to get done this long weekend was to update my blog. Update the photos in the header adding photos of the three things I blog about most - The dogs, knitting and sewing. Obviously - that only partly got done. I did change the background, but I couldn't figure out how to get the photos into the little boxes in the header template. I sent a frantic email to Angie - [but since my kid (The Musical One) and her friend updated my desktop I can't copy and past into blogger anymore - so no links!!] asking her for help adding the photos to the template - because see how cute her header is? Yea - I want mine to look like that.
I recently found a new blog (again no linking) of a woman who knits, sews, is very organized and uncluttered. She chooses a word of the year and focuses on that word all year long.
This year I believe my focus is going to be on kindness - in all it's many forms. I think I do a fairly good job being kind to others although I will say that I'm failing at that at my job lately and that needs work. But really - I'm not very kind to myself. I believe that kindness will bring many rewards.
So - I will continue trying to figure out how to update the header and make the links work on the desktop again. However, I won't be doing a year in review. Trust me when I say I knit alot, I talked about the dogs, and while I talked and dreamed about sewing - there wasn't much of it being done.
Happy 2010 everyone - may the new decade bring all you desire.
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