Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Annie's Lace Throw


She's finally done!

Details:
Pattern:  In a kit from Mary Maxim
Finished Size:  63" x 50"
Hook Size: K
Yarn:  6-7 skeins Hobby Lobby ILTY in Antique White
Changes:  Replaced last two rows of edging with one round of picot stitches.

Thanks to my friend, Celia Winters, for all the help and encouragement!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Neverending Blanket

 

I'm still working on the edging!  Only three more rows to go!  Right now it's taking about an hour for each round.  Geez.  It'll all be worth it in the end though.  I can't wait to show it to you when it's done...maybe tomorrow if I don't have much work come in.  I just can't do another row tonight.  My eyes are crossing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Crochet Book


I finally broke down and bought this book.  I'd seen it around for a long time, but I just figured I had plenty of pattern books for squares and such and didn't need another one.  However, this may be the best crochet book I own now!  I love it.  Lots of tips and instruction and different ways of doing things.  I haven't even gotten to the patterns yet, but it's worth it just for the instruction alone.  I highly recommend it if you don't own it already.

I really want to try a few of the motifs right now, BUT...

I absolutely have got to work on my Annie's Lace Throw and try to finish it tonight.  I'm on the edging rounds but they are many and long.  I don't know if I can finish it tonight or not, but I'm going to try starting right now.  Bye.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Hanger

 

I used another version of the same basic pattern found HERE, and I still don't like it and it still wasn't wide enough to fit around the hanger without either stretching the crap out of it or adding more rows of sc to make it fit better.  It still looks like crap.

I've decided there just isn't a good pattern out there to be found and I'm going to have to just make my own.  So stand by and I'll work on it.

In the meantime...



This is the type of hanger I ended up buying.  After making a few tweaks with the wire cutters, it works great.

You'll need to cut the bottom wire so it looks like this:


Leave that bottom wire in kind of an L-shape.  That gives you something to hang onto with the pliers so you can pull the wire out of the wood.  Just a little twisting and pulling and you'll get it out.  The bottom hook comes out more easily.  Then you're left with a perfect hanger to cover however you like. 

Those eBay and Etsy sellers can keep their $10-each "vintage wooden hangers."  These were $6.99 for a pack of FIVE at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Yes!

Saturday, March 27, 2010



The pattern can be found HERE, but to me it was about as clear as mud.  I'm pretty sure I did something wrong.  The pattern doesn't say where to put the shell stitches after you sc, so I guessed and obviously guessed wrong.  I also had to add a round of sc around each side before crocheting it together.  My hanger was too wide and was stretched too far without them, creating even bigger gaps in the shells.  I'll have to try it again and change things up a bit to see if I can get it right.

AND you cannot find the proper "old wooden hangers" unless you want to pay an arm and a leg.  I checked.  I just used a hanger I had that was padded and covered in satin.  I cut the satin and padding off because it was just to big otherwise.

All-in-all a pretty disappointing project.  I do want to try it again though.


Lookie-Lookie!


These are so yummy...

Chocolate cookie-cakey bottom...

Marshmallowie yum-yum on top of that...
Icing covering all...
AND Eastery-Springy sprinkles on top of that!



And cheap!
$1.50 at Walmart in the Easter aisle.

   

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Innocent Until Proven Guilty...


Mmm...yarn

I love that green color.  It's Hobby Lobby's ILTY in Pistache.  I bought all they had, but I'll be looking for more.  The peach is a baby yarn.  I have plans for both, but not until I finish a few other things first.

I should be finishing up Annie's Lace Throw this week.  I'll be starting the border tomorrow...it's a big border and might take a couple of nights to finish.  Can't wait to see it finished and show you my big Ta-Dah.


This is a rotary cutting tool and cutting mat I got at Walmart for cutting strips of material for the wreaths.  I got a blister from cutting them with scissors.  We can't have that.  My mother suggested I go get one of these.  My grandmother used one all the time for quilting.


"What?  I'm not doing anything in here in the bathroom all by myself."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Boo-Hoo, Grrr...

I hope I haven't bummed you guys out too badly.  I am so grateful for all of your sweet comments over the last couple of days.  They really have helped.  Thank you so much.

We are really doing okay with it.  It's very strange not having them around, but that will just take time to get used to.  I just imagine Phoebe with her big smile running around chasing squirrels with perfect legs now!  That always makes me feel better.

Now, just so you don't feel too bad...take a look at this, courtesy of Mr. Eli:


I just started this beautiful doily last night and this is what's left of it.  Grrr!  Yes, his backside is stinging right about now and he's keeping his distance.  Every time he gets to close with his ears pealed back and his tail between his legs, I give him the stink-eye and tell him to go away.  I'm not ready to make up yet.  He really only tore out about half a row, but he sure made a mess of the ball of thread.  I'm sure it was great fun.

I guess the best way to deal with it is just go buy a new ball of thread and tie it on.  There's NO WAY I'm dealing with that tangled mess!

Thank y'all again for your messages and emails.  I love you, man!

The Girls

Phoebe & Abbey








Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Three Pasta Recipes

Because I didn't want y'all to be without a little somthing-something from me I thought I'd post these recipes.  They are all very similar.  I couldn't pick one, so I printed them all.  I haven't tried any of them, but I'll be making one of them this week.

Summer Pasta

1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti pasta
12 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1/2 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup chopped fresh basil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
ground black pepper to taste

Combine tomatoes, cheese, basil, garlic, olive oil, garlic salt, and black pepper in medium bowl. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, and transfer to a serving bowl.
Toss with tomato mixture. Serve.


Pasta Pomodoro

2 (8 ounce) packages angel hair pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups roma (plum) tomatoes, diced (canned ok)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (10.75 ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth (optional)
crushed red pepper to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Pour olive oil in a large deep skillet over high-heat. Saute onions and garlic until lightly browned. Reduce
heat to medium-high and add tomatoes, vinegar and chicken broth; simmer for about 8 minutes. Stir in red
pepper, black pepper, basil and cooked pasta, tossing thoroughly with sauce. Simmer for about 5 more
minutes and serve topped with grated cheese.


Tomato Spiral Toss

8 ounces uncooked spiral pasta
2 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes and basil in a serving bowl;
set aside. In a small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Drain pasta; add to tomato
mixture. Drizzle with oil mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Snow & Some Bad News

Just a couple of snow pictures first...



Now the squares I made yesterday...


7-inch Esther's Square (Aran & Buff)
My Vintage Lace Square is kind of wonky. That may be the back that's showing. I'm not sure! It may be wonky because I used two different yarns -- the red is cotton and the white is ILTY.
Esther's Square is supposed to be 12 inches. I just made it smaller. I think I may make a blanket with this square some day. It's really pretty.
Just click on the links for the free patterns if you want them.
*************************

Now I have to give you some bad news...
Abbey has been sick this last week. She's hardly eaten and has blood in her stool. She also has a big tumor that she's had for a few months on the underside of her neck. It feels like the size of an orange. She is deaf and mostly blind. She will be 13 in May.
Phoebe has also deteriorated this year with her arthritis so that she can barely walk and needs assistance getting up and down. She also has numerous tumors. She is deaf and her eyesight is also shot. She will be 15 in August.
We are going to take both of them in to the vet tomorrow for the inevitable. It makes no sense to treat either of them at their ages and in their conditions. It's just their time.
I may be absent for the next couple of days. Just wanted you to know why.


A Video

Barnaby shot this video about ten minutes ago. We got a ton of snow overnight. I haven't heard any totals yet, but they did say the county we are in had the biggest snowfall totals so far. It's supposed to keep snowing until around noon today. It looks like about six inches so far. Enjoy this video of Eli and Fletcher! They love it.

video


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Whoa

It is snowing on March 20th at my house.  That's crazy.  I got pics.  Will post tomorrow.

The NASCAR race is at Bristol, Tennessee tomorrow...our favorite track.  Woo-hoo!  Barnaby is going to smoke a chicken and some salmon.  YUM.  I love smoked salmon.  I guess he'll be smoking meat in the snow.

I crocheted two squares today...one 6-inch and one 12-inch.  Will post pics of those too.  I may make one more before I retire for the evening.

Short post, but it's late.  Y'all come back now, ya here?


Friday, March 19, 2010

Another One

Finished Rag Wreath


I added the crocheted birdie & bow.
I think my birdie needs a tail.


Molly the Owl

My sister sent me this last night.  I thought some of you might be interested...

Here is the link to Molly the owl. She is sitting on 5 eggs that should be hatching any minute. She is in an owl box in San Marcos, CA.  The daddy owl comes in occasionally to drop off food.


http://www.ustream.tv/theowlbox

Thanks, sister!  It's cool!

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

Speaking of birds, I'm going to make my crochet birdie today to hang on my purple wreath.  I may start making the green & yellow wreath too, or maybe the pink one.  I don't know if I have enough pink material though. 

You could make one of those wreaths for practically nothing if you used a coat hanger and clothes you already have.  I need to go look through my clothes that don't fit and see how many pink things I can tear up and use.  I've also thought about going to the Dollar Store to see what kinds of cheap things they have to use for material for the wreaths.  It needs to be some kind of material that has some firmness to it, if that makes sense, so that it stands up nice.  I don't think jersey t-shirt material would work very well.  I'll just have to experiment and see.

Have a great Friday, y'all!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rags to Riches

I am such a dork with these titles.  Whatever.

OMG...Oh.My.Gosh.  I cannot wait to show y'all what I made last night...

TA-DAH!


Yay!!  Isn't it pretty?

It isn't finished yet.  I'm going to crochet a little birdie to hang in the center when I get some time, and I'm going to tie a large bow at the bottom.

I saw a lot of these when I followed the link on Lucy's blog a couple of days ago.  She has a link on there to a Flickr group for wreaths.  You can go look if you want to see a lot of beautiful wreaths made from different things.

But my favorite were the rag wreaths.  And I think my very favorite one is this one made by heatherknitz on Flickr.


How gorgeous is this?  I love the aqua.
She used a felt birdie, but I'm going to crochet mine.


I went out to Hobby Lobby to get the things I needed yesterday afternoon.  Here are a couple of pictures of what you'll need to make one yourself.



I got 1/3 of a yard (12 inches) of each of the purples you see here.  It was plenty to make a large wreath with some left over.  I used 12-inch strips of fabric that I cut off with pinking shears.  I also cut each end of the strips on a diagonal with the pinking shears.  You can just use regular scissors if you want. 

The ribbon is for the bow I'm going to put at the bottom.  The green, yellow, and pink material is for another wreath.  I bought those little bundles already cut, but they were really expensive at $9.99 per little bundle.  It's cheaper to buy it off of the bolts and have them cut it.  Each purple color ended up costing anywhere from 69 cents to just over $1.

Just cut or tear your strips of material and start tying them on to the wire wreaths pictured below.  You can also use a wire coat hanger and just cut it and form it into a ring.  I wanted to use these because they're a little wider.


Here are the wire wreaths I used.  They have several different sizes.  You could buy even less material if you just want a small one.  These were about $2.50 each.  I found these in the floral department.  They were in a different spot than all the other styrofoam, straw, and twig wreaths.

It took me three hours of cutting and tying to finish that large wreath.

Okay, that's it!  I have to get to work now.

I hope some of you make wreaths of your own and post pictures of them on your blog.  I'd love to see what colors and designs y'all come up with!  Let me know if you do, and I'll come have a look-see.

Bye!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Peek-a-Boo

Here's a peek of the Annie's Lace Throw progress:



What you're seeing is the center and is 2 feet by 2 feet.



I finished with the middle flower and surrounding mesh last night. I'm glad to be finished with that part. The rest should be simply in comparison. (Knock on wood)


Someone asked if the Annie's Lace Throw was the same as the Queen Ann's Lace, and the answer is no.  Annie's Lace Throw is on Mary Maxim's site.  You can view a finished one HERE.  When you get there, if you roll your mouse over the picture, it enlarges for a better view.

I have made the Queen Ann's Lace scarf found on Ravelry, but it's a completely different pattern.  But it's pretty too!

I'm going to try and hurry and finish my work today (which I should have finished yesterday) so I can work on it somemore.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hello? Is Anybody There?

Why do I taste Pepto Bismol when I come here now?  Hmm...

I'm am SO screwing-off today instead of working like I should.  The day started off really well and I had my nose to the grindstone, but something went wrong when I took a break and I haven't done anything since.

I think I've just been sitting here because I certainly haven't gotten anything else done either.  Maybe a nap would revive me.

Nah.  I think I'll go crochet awhile instead.

What are y'all doing?  It sure has been quiet on the innernets lately.  It seems like nobody is crocheting or blogging much.  Snap to it, people!  You're dragging me down with you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Snoozefest

I just spent 3 1/2 HOURS croching on the Annie's Lace Throw and 5 minutes ripping it all out.  GAH!  I am frustrating myself making these errors and not catching them until five or six rounds later.  I was so happy and my mood was lifted becuase I had gotten so much done on it tonight.  It's my own fault.  I've got to start counting stitches at the end of each round to make sure I've done everything right before moving on.  I could have been finished by now with all the rounds I've had to rip out and do over.  But I am more determined than ever to get this done and done right.  I shall prevail!

Either that or I'll have a meltdown and fall in a heap on the floor bawling.  Jeez, I hope that doesn't happen.

It's been in the high 60s and 70s for temps during the day lately.  The dogs have really enjoyed it. 

Man, this is boring drivel from me, isn't it?  I feel like I've been a big bore around here lately and I don't know what to do about it.  The writing juices just have not been flowing.  I'm all blocked up.

The sun is shining.  The dogs played.  I crocheted and messed it up.  Gawd!

Maybe it's the pink.

I'm leaving now because everything sounds stupid.  I'll try again tomorrow or at least just post pictures.  Blogging is hard.  Ha!  That made me laugh.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sundee Afternoon

I made the Carmelitas last evening, and of course they were fantastic.  Barnaby had his with vanilla ice cream, but I just like mine plain.  I think they are much better after cooling completely, but Barnaby liked it hot so his cold ice cream would melt and he'd get that hot & cold thing going.

I like the Grandma's Date Squares better, but these are definitely good, especially if you like carmel and chocolate together.  And they're very quick to put together.

Barnaby made me a new blog button with the new pink background.  Please grab a new one if you'd like.  It's prettier than the ugly mustard yellow background before.  (Right-hand sidebar under my profile)

I made more Thai Sesame Noodles earlier today.  They should be ready for dinner tonight.  I only got one serving of the last batch I made because Barnaby ate them all.

That's it.  Nothing happening.  No race today.  I'm outta here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Happy Place

It's 10 minutes until 5:00 pm and I'm all snuggled down sitting in my bedroom in my pajamas with an as yet to be opened 2-pounder of Twizzlers, the laptop, my purple water bottle full of ice water, a fresh glass of iced mint tea, my book, a few magazines, and Sammi.  What more could a girl ask for?

If anybody cares, here's how I make the iced mint tea:  2 teaspoons of Lipton Instant Tea, 1 herbal mint tea bag (I use Stash), 1 packet of Truvia (calorie-free sweetner), 2 cups of cold tap water, and lots of ice.  I put everything, including the tea bag, in a 2-cup measuring cup, mix it up well, and then add the ice.  Once it gets nice and cold, transfer as much as you can to your tea glass and refrigerate the rest for refills.  You'll get two large glassfuls.  It's yummy and refreshing.

We stopped at the store earlier and got the things I needed to make Carmelitos.  Don't they sound incredible?  I'm only making a small pan of them because I know they'll be so good I won't be able to leave them alone.  I have a weakness for anything with oatmeal in it.

I hope your weekend is going just the way you want it to.

I'm All Pink

I wanted a change with something a little happier.  This'll do for awhile.

This template came from Allie Brown.  She has instructions in the right-hand sidebar of her blog for using her templates.  But if you currently have a 2-column blog and want to use one of her 3-column templates, you'll need to read below and following those instructions first.

Also, I've had several comments about some people having problems switching to a three-column template for their blog.  Here are some terrific instructions for doing just that:  How To Switch to a 3-Column Blog

It works.  I switched back and forth between a two-column and a three-column this morning and had to use these instructions, so I know they work.  But don't ask me if you have problems.  I just followed the instructions and it worked.  I'm stumbling in the dark like most of the rest of you and learning as I go.  Good luck!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beautiful? Me?

Aww!

I'm so glad to have something to post. Maybe this will get me in the groove again.




I got this award from Janis today.  Thank you so much, Janis!  You have no idea how much I needed something like this right now.  And thank you for all the sweet things you said too.  I'm honored you thought of me.

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

So I've been MIA for a few days, huh?  I've not been feeling too great, but hopefully I'm on the upswing now, or I'm at least to the point where I can fake it.

I've been crocheting on Annie's Lace Throw from the Mary Maxim site.  I have made very little progress because I've been crocheting rows 7-13 over and over again.  I couldn't seem to get it right.  I'm sure it was because I wasn't concentrating as I should have been.  It's not hard in the least, but you do have to pay attention and have no distractions.  I finally got passed that point earlier today and I'm up to Row 15 now.  Thank goodness.  It was making me crazy.

I think I'm going to read my book tonight and set the crochet aside.  I haven't picked up my book in several days.  (The Raven's Gift...see previous entry.)  If I'm not careful, I'll forget everything I've read and have to start all over.  I sure wish I had some Twizzlers to munch on while I read.  Yes, I've eaten the whole 2 pounds I bought the other day already.  I've been stressed, okay?  Oink.

Mmm

Later, gators.