June 30, 2008

Rhubarb Crunch

::Mix 1 Cup flour::1 cup packed brown sugar::3/4 cup of oatmeal::1 teaspoon of cinnamon::and 1/2 cup melted butter:: ::Press half of the oat mixture into a baking dish::I use a 6x9 pan:: ::top oats with cut rhubarb::
::and then some sliced strawberries::
::Combine 1 cup sugar::1 cup water::2 tablespoons cornstarch::cook over medium heat until it becomes thick and clear::add 1 teaspoon vanilla::pour over fruit in baking dish::
::top with remaining oat mixture::bake at 350* for 60 minutes::
::serve with really good vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream::neither of which I have tonight::Enjoy::

June 29, 2008

He Said What?

So the other evening, JB and I were sitting in the front room. He was watching TV and playing poker online and I was knitting - working on one of the 2 pairs of socks I have going for me. When he looked up and said "You're knitting more socks." So the first stop I made on Saturday when I left the house was Village Yarn & Tea Shop. I picked up the Neckdown V-Neck Shaped Cardigan from Knitting Pure & Simple (scroll down, 2nd from bottom on left). I purchased 7 hanks of o-wool classic in color 8101 which is a nice boring brown - perfect for an all seasons cardigan. That'll teach him - now, not only am I knitting socks, but I have all the yarn to start a nice beautiful boring brown cardigan.

June 28, 2008

You Did What?

Today I left the house on a weekend for the first time in almost a month. It's not that I haven't had anything to do, I just haven't been able to get my rear off the couch and get it done. But today I did! My second stop was JoAnn's where I went to find some heavier weight muslin to get started on my coat. What I saw when I walked in however was these adorable red melamine summer dishes. I have been wanting some summer dishes for carting out to the pond for awhile now - but have resisted because we all know I have plenty of dishes! But these were 50% off! So I got 4 large plates, 4 sandwich plates and 4 bowls for $14. The serving tray I picked up at my next stop for $8. I mean really - look how cute they are. Could you have left them there? Tonight we are our dinner on those cute plates - wasabi salmon cakes, steamed asparagus and raw red peppers. We sat by the pond and listened to the waterfall, watched the sun on the treetops and the Robin sitting in the tree looking for worms. We walked around the yard and smelled roses, looked at caterpillars and saw a couple of butterflies - it was a wonderful evening.

June 27, 2008

More Love in the Mail

Back in April I made 4 of Amy Butler's Swing Bags. This is a super easy bag to make. I have only made it from cute quilting cottons, but I have used various materials to line it. For example: heavy sew-in interfacing, mid-weight iron-on interfacing, canvas (which is what the pattern calls for) and light weight batting. My favorites either had interfacing or batting.
To date, I have now made 6 bags straight from the pattern and one that has been very modified. How many do I have you ask - None. I have given them all away. Some were gifts some were samples for Clementine's Dry Goods, and one was just plain taken from me by The Princess.
This one is for blogfree Jess - it's already winging it's way to you courtesy of brown along with other birthday goodness that is late. Thank goodness I ate the cake!
This morning after walking down the hill to get home from bike riding. The mailman was waiting for me in our little cul-de-saq. He handed me one of those USPS envelopes that you can't open for anyone's money! I took scissors to it - very carefully. If you sew and you love all the Amy Butler prints but can't find them locally. Follow the link above and call Cami. Look how pretty these arrived. Tied up with a little ribbon and all! Before you all go all postal on me - I know that these particular cotton prints are not Amy Butler at all but are part of Tina Givens ZaZu line which I cannot find a link to. Anyway - I had originally bought this fabric locally and loved it. Then I made swing bags out of it and sent it off to Cami. Who's customer's loved it and wanted it until she actually ordered it so they could have it. Customers are fickle things. Anyway - she sent me a hunk of yardage from the 2 prints I used in the bags. These are destined to quickly become cute summer skirts to be worn everywhere with painted toes and sandals.
Finally - look what was sandwiched between the pretty fabric. This is my shirt - I didn't get to see the yarn harlot this year, but Miss C. had shirts made for the occasion. If you go here, you can see better pictures of the front and the back. I may were this pretty little pink number with one of those skirts (probably not - don't send hate mail).

June 26, 2008

A Dog's Purpose

This was an email sent to me by JB. I have saved it for a "my dog's haven't done anything noteworthy" DOT post. A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year-old) Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a Ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's Owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were Hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I Told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, And offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for The old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they Thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to Observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might Learn something from the experience The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat As Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so Calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I Wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a Few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition Without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together For a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud About the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than Human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, Piped up, "I know why." Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his Mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more Comforting explanation. He said, "People are born so that they can learn how To live a good life -- like loving everybody all the Time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old Continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so They don't have to stay as long." Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like: When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy. Take naps. Stretch before rising. Run, romp, and play daily. Thrive on attention and let people touch you. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree. When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough. Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you're not. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently. Be always grateful for each new day.

June 24, 2008

The Postman Rings Twice

Last week Rachelle left a comment on a post of mine and I popped over and checked out her blog. Now it's not the first time I'd been there. I rather like her blog, pretty scrolly things - a writing style that reminds me of Camilla, but I keep forgetting to add her to my favorites. I'm not savvy enough to check bloglines or even pretend how it works. I did pretend for a little bit - but that didn't last long at all. Anyway - Rachelle was giving away some snazzy vintage sheath dress patterns. Hmm - Those might fit me and look decent. I'll comment. Well - low and behold I Won! Today there as a cute little package sitting on the bench in the entry way. I haven't been doing much sewing at all lately. But I'm slowly getting back into the studio. I was thinking one of these dresses might work for the pretty border print cotton seen here. While my clothing mojo has gone on a little trip - I have been doing a little crafting. Chan has been on the look out for the perfect bag. We exchanged many an email where she described her perfect bag. I have been working on it. I am sad to say - that while I will still mail her the bag in her birthday box. It's okay - she knows I'm making the bag and putting together a box for her birthday. I'm hoping to mail it on Thursday. Anyway, I had asked her about a couple of Pampered Chef items. They arrived on my doorstep today. Thanks Chan - I will think of you every time a zest citrus or grate nutmeg! It was a pleasure talking to you tonight. I wish I had know there was a package so I could have thanked you then.

Why Bloggy Friends are the Best

Last Tuesday - the Boston Celtics won the NBA Championship. JB was a very happy, happy guy. Before the confetti had finished falling - I had emailed Nicole to see if she would mind picking up a Celtics champion t-shirt for JB. She ran out the next day at her lunch. She picked up not one, but 2 shirts for JB. Tonight when I got home from work there was a package from Nicole on my counter. JB was working in the garden and I went into the studio for a little bit. He came in while I was cooking dinner. He couldn't stop grinning while he opened the package.
When he came back into the kitchen. He was wearing his new t-shirt (I think he dropped food on it at dinner). He pranced around the kitchen asking the dogs "Who's the champ?" I'm sure he won't take the shirt off for days.
Thanks Nicole - you made his day. :)

June 22, 2008

Do You Grow Your Own?

Food, that is? We have expanded our menu this year. In years past, we have mainly grown lettuce and tomatoes.

This year we have added peas. I hope I get more than just that one flower. I need to go out and play with hubby's camera - because I just love how the little runners looks clinging to the trellis. Carrots. Until now, my soil has been too hard to grow carrots. Since JB built the raised beds - I might actually get some of decent size. It's almost time to plant the next rows - staggering the harvest time.

And beets. I love the little red veggies produced, but have never cooked the greens. Anyone have a good recipe for using these beautiful green leaves? I know their edible - I just don't know how.

June 21, 2008

Leap o' Faith

I like a nice cushy sock. I really like one with a little patterning, something pretty - especially if I'm going to spend my time making it. The other thing I really like is a sock that hugs my foot. Not so much that it cuts off circulation to the toes, but hugs the feet. So, I week or so ago I was flitting about the internet and saw a pretty warshcloth pattern and knew that it would become these pink socks. Then while talking with the Amazing Miss C, we were discussing socks and she said that she refers to Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks as the bible on sock knitting. So I swatched, then I measured, then I looked up the charts in her book for 8 stitch pattern repeats, then I cast on 88 stitches per sock! Oh my! This just seems like 28 stitches too many. But, I'm getting 10 stitches to the inch in pattern on US0s and my instep measures about 8 3/4". So Ms. Schurch said cast on 88 stitches. I jut know these socks are going to be too loosey goosey and I'm going to end up either ripping them or giving them away. But even with the feeling of dread - I just keep slogging on. Knitting away. I have modified the original pattern so that I'm only repeating rows 3 through 10 for the pattern. I wanted something that looked more like a cable - and it does. And I wanted them to happen closer together - which I got. So far, I am very happy - let's hope that lasts!

June 20, 2008

Sock Everywhere!

This was the view at knitting on Wednesday night. Everywhere you looked people were knitting socks. The green pair is tofutsies and is being worked toe up with a cute little pattern. I think the colorway might be 734 Feet in the Grass. SWTC recently changed all their tofutsie sock yarns from number to names - that all have a reference to toe or feet. Next up is my friend the Anonymous Miss D. I don't know what sock yarn she is working with. Some hand dyed something or other which is working up beautifully. This is her first pair of toe up socks and she jumped right in doing them both at the same time. She's darn close to doing her first short row heels. There were 3 tables at knitting last week - at each table at least one person was knitting socks. Most of the knitters at Great Yarns! has converted to doing at the very least - both socks at the same time on one circular needle. There are a few hold-outs resisting toe up (me!) but as I looked around this past week, out of all the socks being knit - all were two at a time and only my pair was cuff down. So this summer I want to do 2 things: find a short row heel that I like wearing and learn how to do a heel flap and gusset on a toe up sock. Happy Sock knitting!

June 19, 2008

Abigal the Gate

So the other night we were out on the deck BBQing. Well JB was BBQ, I was just standing around watching. Anyway - the door was open and the dogs wandered out. They are allowed on the deck, but Beau & Lucy (ruled by nose) are not allowed off the deck. We have kept a baby gate there in the past - but on Monday night there was no need. See the gate? Abigail positioned herself at the top of the steps and just laid down. Every time the dogs would come near her, she would growl them back. She wouldn't let them anywhere even close to the steps. It was very cute, she knew they aren't allowed down and was keeping them in line.
This last photo shows Beauregard with his nose in the air - speaking back to JB. Jay was teasing him and kept telling him to lay down. Beau didn't want to, so he was talking back. He's actually quite a sassy dog! I wish I had a camera with video and sound! This was really funny! Happy Dogs on Thursday, and Miss C, I hope Dot's okay and you have found her a temporary home.
While doing my blog hopping this morning - I found a pair of socks named Guided by Love. They were designed by Kristi. While I rarely purchase patterns online these are so cute with the paw prints walking over the instep and Kristi is raising money for a very good cause - to help fund Seeing Eye. Go look - now!

June 18, 2008

No More Ugly Balls!

Now - get your minds out of the gutter! Wool Balls - people, wool balls! My friend CJ's Mom sent me a new wool winder. The note said "Thanks for bringing me over to the dark side." She was on bed rest will pregnant and I offered to reacquaint her to knitting. I spent a Saturday with her - teaching her to cast on and dropped a bag of anything a new knitting might possibly need - along with some 'good' yarn to really hook her! She jumped right in and made the wee one a hat with double pointed needles! She's also working on a baby blanket. A while back she said she wanted to learn to knit socks. Preferably both at the same time because she's a slow knitter and wanted to finish a pair and from the toe up so the fit would be perfect. So - I'm helping her with that by guiding toward appropriate yarns, needles, links for techniques etc. Thanks for the ball winder - it will definitely get used! :)

Thank You

I want to thank all of you who have commented on the recent post, either publicly or by emailing me privately. You have no idea how much it helps to know that I'm not alone. It makes a huge difference to me to know you all understand and aren't just judging me. Thank you so much for commenting.

June 17, 2008


No, not that finished knit - to be introduced and explained in detail later, but my life recently. I don't know why, I can't explain it, but life just seems hard lately. It's getting harder and harder to just get through the things that have to get done on a daily/weekly basis. You know - working, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning. I am still knitting - but mostly because that seems to be an extension of my fingers when I sit down - it just happens without conscious thought. Part of this comes from my current weight and how much I let society and the images on the pages of magazines and television affect my personal self worth and how I think I should look. I have discussed this numerous time before and I don't really want to rehash it here - but the truth is that since I got sick last Fall I have let my weight creep back up and it is weighing me down. I know what I should do but I don't have the energy or the desire. Without losing the weight, I don't know how to get past this and get comfortable in my own skin. Any suggestions?

June 16, 2008

The Musical One

On Saturday, Flag Day, also known as June 14th - The Musical One turned 24. I had the post composed in my head on Friday-it's just taken this long to get it to the blog. Happy Birthday! You are a smart, beautiful, responsible adult and I'm proud to be your mother.

Father's Day

I figured out that in my family when it's mother's day or father's day that means you get to do all the work! For example - it's Father's day - the Musical One wanted eggs benedict for breakfast - and that's one of his dishes. So he cooked breakfast. Then dinner was BBQ - I don't cook outside. So he got to cook dinner too. See, Father's Day and the Father did all the work. We spent the day at the horse races. It was the first really beautiful day in Seattle. As soon as we got home, we leashed up the big dogs and headed out for a walk.

We were less than 5 minutes from home, when a young kid on a motorcycle who claimed to live in the neighborhood and have a 3 year old of his own - came flying down the road toward us doing 50+ with his front wheel in the air. The noise of his bike scared Miss Lucy, who darted into the road. JB got her leash locked and got her safely out of the road, yelling at the kid on the bike to slow down. He slowed down all right. Slowed to a completely stop, then turned around yelling at JB and giving him the universal hello sign - if you know what I mean.

I put Beau into a sit-stay and we waited where we where while JB and Lucy went back to talk to the kid on the bike. He was mouthing off and words were exchanged. The kid called the cops and we spent the next 30 minutes or so waiting for the sheriff to show. After all was said and done - the young man will be cited for Reckless Driving. Moral of the Story ~ don't drive like an idiot in my neighborhood. The cops will be called (even if you do it yourself) and you will end up in trouble. fun times!!

June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

Marji tagged me for the current version of the game blog hopping. This is interesting when reading about others, I'm pretty sure I'm not that interesting. By the way - if you don't already stop by Marji's blog occasionally - do it. She is a works from home mom with 9 children and a big dog! She cooks, sews, home schools and loves her husband - now isn't that refreshing. Anyway -- 1. What was I doing five years ago? Hmm, I can't readily recall. I believe I was in the process of changing jobs - leaving my thought I loved it job (working for the sewing machine dealer) and going back to law. Getting ready for the girls to graduate and go onto college. 2. Five things I must do today: a- get my nails done; b - vacuum the floors; c - prepare for ASG Meeting tomorrow including notify everyone, find the pattern, and cut the community service projects out; d - plan menu for upcoming week; and e - do something I want to and enjoy - sewing and/or knitting, possibly walking a dog. 3. Five snacks I enjoy: a - popcorn; b - chips; c - brownies; d - ice cream; and e - JB's homemade cheesecake. 4. Five things I'd do if I were a billionaire: This truly is a hard question. I would like to think that other than giving up my paying gig my life wouldn't change much. I would pay off my house and then go for the next life - purchasing a B&B and living rather than working. I wish I could be like Chan but who knows really. 5. Five bad habits: a - definitely OCD, all the light switches have to be in the same direction; b - freakin' out when I'm home alone; c - long, hot showers in a time when we should be conserving everything; d - letting food go bad in the garden; e - refusing to eat leftovers. 6. Five places I've lived: a - Seattle, Washington; b - Missoula, Montana; c - San Diego, California; d - Some tiny little town in Texas; and e- Omaha, Nebraska. We also lived in England. 7. Five jobs I've had: a - mushroom picker; b - waitress at a truck stop; c - Mom; d - retail sales for a sewing machine dealer; and e - office manager Now, I'm suppose to tag 5 people. Most people I know have already played, but how about VeeDogKnits (formerly known as blogfree Jess); GoldenTracks; and The Princess

June 12, 2008

Guard Dog (NOT!)

So in the dog yard, there is a pile of dirt. It was deliberately left there after the replacement of our septic system a couple of years ago. Beau loves it. He digs in the hill, they all play king of the mountain on that dirt hill, and his most favorite thing to do - stand on the hill and watch the neighbors. When we bought our house 7 years ago - we didn't have a dog yard in the back - but then we only had 2 dogs then. They lived in the upper back yard - the part that now houses the pond, and Hank the Heron. That yard has a picket fence to keep the dogs in. The back where there are now houses - was woods. Anyway - now that there are houses - Beau likes to stand around and watch them, then bark, then he goes to the fence, jumps on it and then hangs 10 until he can't see them anymore, at which point he hops down and starts over. The silliest part of all - that fence is only 5' tall. He could be over it in a heart beat. He just doesn't know how is back feet work - thankfully! Happy Dogs on Thursday everyone.

Fat Albert

Last night at knitting. One of the ladies was working on a hat that would be felted some day soon. It is to be a gift from one of the teacher she works with. Anyway - I couldn't help myself - I had to put it on. In it's pre-felted state it reminds me of the character from Fat Albert who had either hair or hat that covered his face with holes cut out for his eyes. I'm sure it will be quite lovely once it's felted.

June 11, 2008


Carolyn first introduced me to Barrie Pace. Since then I've been getting their catalog in the mail. Last night saw a 'sale' catalog delivered. These are just a few of the dresses that I am in love with. Must figure out how to make:

I just love this dress. It's available in pink and green. It's organza with cotton dots and is fully lined. Unfortunately, I really don't have anywhere to wear such a pretty party dress.

This is a Maggy London knit dress. I like the contrast band and the little bit of contract at the shoulders. The contrast should emphasis a waist, right? But what about those gathers - good with a belly or no?
When Carolyn speaks of embellishments she always says add it in 3s. Well - how's this for a third place? I love that - just above the hem. Will definitely have to do that!
Just a couple of basic shirtdresses. With my love of the shirtdress this Spring/Summer (Seattle late Winter), I am just really drawn to these two. Also thanks to Carolyn, I now have two great shirtdress patterns winging their way to me. Happy Sewing everyone - what's inspiring you?
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