Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pure Bliss

You know how there are people who can sleep practically anywhere? If Tiger were a person, she would be one of these. Where does she choose?

In a laundry basket full of papers and books.

In a guitar case.

Next to the VCR.

On top of the printer.

In a shoebox.

This is what you call a state of true contentment.

Blogging Material

There are a lot of blogs out there that post fantastic pictures. Especially the foodie blogs. Pictures SO clear and so perfect, you could practically reach in and take a bite.

Me? I'm not one of those blogs. Who would take a picture of brownies that look like this?!?

In my defense, I baked them in my oversized toaster oven. This oven takes too long to heat up for toast, but it seems to overcook everything else. I keep it because it was a gift from my sisters to get rid of my decrepid old one. I still have the old one, but keep the new one out on the counter.

Thankfully, once you scrapped off the burnt, top part and covered it with icecream, you'd never know it's original crispy beginnings....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trying to catch up

As usual, I am running behind here at Happy Acres, especially this time of year. There are less than 6 weeks left of school and it's getting down to the wire. The rest of this week isn't too bad, but I have one week in the middle of May that, quite honestly, is just scary.

We did get one thing done, the thing that #1 Son has been looking forward to for the past year. He made the school's Honor Roll and as a reward, the school will send you to Sea World on an overnight trip. There are 5 places to stay and #1 Son chose to sleep with the dolphins. Needless to say, he had a BLAST. The IO took lots of pictures, but this is my favorite.

Nothin' like being covered in whale water!!

While the boys were riding roller coasters (#1 Son rode Kraken TWICE!), us girls had some fun ourselves!!! We went out to dinner and then to JoAnn's to get some fun craft items. No yarn was bought (SHOCKER!), but I did buy some fabric that Baby Girl fell in love with. The easy ones have a chance to be made, like the Ariel pillowcase.

The shorts and the dress, well, I not sure on those.

I just need to set aside a day for sewing. Maybe on Friday.

The best deal of the day?? There was some Debbie Mumm fabric that was really cute and on sale.

Normally it was only $2.99 but by the time they added the sale discount plus the end-of-bolt mark down to the 2/3yd, this piece of fabric cost only a quarter. A QUARTER! I was pretty pleased with THAT!!!!

Saturday was nice and warm,

but the boys were exhausted so not much else went on this wknd. I've been trying to work on some projects, but I was really wiped out this wknd as well so not as much progress was made.

However I DO have a finish to post. My charity vest. This is the front.

And this is the back.

I used up a lot of odd balls of yarn on this one. This vest started out as a Mystery KAL, but while I really loved the pattern (and have seen the finished product on Ravelry), I wasn't loving the way the yarn was hiding the design. So instead I decided to just go with a generic sweater instead. Once I hit the sleeves I realized that I may not have enough yarn to finish them so instead it became a vest!! I'm happy with the way it turned out. I think the finished size is around a size 10 or 12 adult woman.

Stats for the vest:

3/2/09 - 4/19/09
c/o 150sts on size 9 needles
13" to underarm
7.5" underarm to neck
Yarn used: blue and black were Germantown; red was Norsk Ullgarn (made in Norway)
total used: 9.2oz/571yds

Some other things have been started but that will have to wait until later in the week to post.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Feeding the Addiction

When I was younger, I used to love stationery stores. All the cool cards. All the pretty paper. All the colorful pens. As computers became more prevalent, so did email. Which meant people wrote fewer and fewer letters. I fall into this category. I used to be a BIG TIME letter writer. My bottom dresser drawer used to house my stationery collection. I had anywhere between 5-10 different kinds of papers and note cards. Plus colored pens that matched. I kept track of who I wrote to, when, and what paper was used.

Yes, I was a stationery nerd.

My first collection was nail polish. I LOVED nail polish. All colors. Especially for my toes. Then came my stationery collection. As I got older, my collections shifted. I discovered cross stitch. As most of you know, part of a hobby is the collecting so of course I had to collect the floss and charts that I would eventually do. When we moved from NY to FLorida, that collection fit into ONE moving box. Eventually fabric joined the ranks of my hobby/collection (picture all the quilts and clothing I will eventually make!). Ah, and then knitting. Such pretty yarns started to live with us here among the stitching and the sewing.

This collection no longer fits inside one moving box. We will not discuss how many moving boxes we would need.

So, as you can see, I've had quite the collections over the years. Which one did I feed today?? Was it yarn? No. Even though my LYS *is* having a 35% off all yarns in the store (she is moving to a new location). Was it fabric? Not this time. I really want to use up some of my fabric before I buy anymore (not including the Ariel fabric Baby Girl wants me to get at JoAnn's tomorrow). Cross stitch??? Nope. Even though I did meet up with my stitching buddies today at Needle Orts.

I fed an old obsession.

I had to go into Office Depot for some printer ink and I like to browse the pen section. It's been a LONG time since I've seen a decent pen collection. Yes I've seen Michael's and Joann's and even some art stores, but those are specialty pens. Pens with a purpose. Calligraphy. Scrapbooking. Card making. Very few all purpose just-want-to-make-the-writing-pretty pens. Then I saw it. Sharpie had a display of their pens that looked like a rainbow. It literally took my breath away. So I bought a couple.

The picture doesn't do it justice. I wish I had my camera in the store to take a picture of their display, but you'll have to settle for what I bought instead. I got berry, blueberry and purple. I love these pens for writing on my wall calendar because they don't smear on the glossy paper. Then I saw these.

Arent they adorable??? I love the patterns on the body. Plus it looks like clear ink,

but when you write, it comes out the color of the patterns. I haven't opened the pack yet, I still like looking at the packaging.

Apparently I'm still a nerd. But a nerd who did REALLY well in the advertising field back in the day!

As I mentioned, I met up with my stitching friends at Needle Orts. I brought my Seasonal Spring to work on and got quite a bit done.


Gotta love those 1/2 stitches! They go so quickly! There is quite a bit of white done as well, but you really can't see it in the picture. Once I get more of the surrounding color around it, it will stick out more.

I was going to post my vest finish here, but I'll wait until tomorrow. Right (or write) now I have to go play with my pens.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I could use another week for MY stuff

The rugrats are back in school today and I'm enjoying the quiet. The hardest part abt this morning? Getting up 2 hours earlier than we have been. The best part? The quiet. Laundry is started, the house just needs a quick pick up, and a pot of joe will be started soon. There is no tv on, no questions being asked, no arguments to referee.

We are back to our regularly scheduled week. This is a good thing because I tend to get more done when they are at school. Grocery shopping gets done, house cleaning gets done, errands get done.

The rugrats are happy to be back too. The IO took them this AM and usually Baby Girl likes to be walked to class. However today she told the IO that since they were with us all week long, she just wanted to see her friends and she could walk herself. It was a nice way of saying, get lost! LOL

We ended up having a nice week. Went to the movies to see Hannah Montana, went bowling

(#1 Son bowled a 115 on his last game!)

went hiking

and while the IO took #1 Son to play tennis, I took Baby Girl to a local tea room with some friends for a fun tea party.

She had a great time!

Meanwhile all the projects I figured I could tackle weren't even touched. I've been going thru the ever present piles in my bedroom and I had hoped to work on #1 Son's quilt or maybe even work on a scrapbook or two. Nope. Not even pulled out. But I did finish up the charity vest last night! I still need to weave in the ends and block it, but it came out pretty decent. I'll be taking a pic of it later today.

Now it's time to start up Joe!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

There's hope for me yet!

Back in Oct (or July, I'm not sure anymore) we did a big shopping spree at JoAnn's. While there, they had their plant kits on sale. I've tried their herb kits before but I can never get them to grow. They did have a cat nip kit 50% off so I figured I'd try it. I took it out of the bag and put it on the counter.

And it sat.

For a really long time.

It got moved from the kitchen counter to the kitchen table to my bedroom dresser and back again. FINALLY I was going thru some stuff on the kitchen counter and came across the kit. I figured I'd might as well try it, just so I can get rid of the box. I planted it early Friday morning and figured I'd be lucky to get any sprouts considering a lot of the seeds were still exposed. Sunday morning the kids noticed this

WOW! I have taken a picture every day since.




I finally replanted it in a pot and put it on the front porch/stoop/slab of concrete by the front door. We'll see how long it lasts.

At least somebody likes it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Morning Updates

First of all, I am VERY happy we have started Spring Break. I really could use the time off. (I reserve the right to change this emotion on Sunday AFTER the kids have been home for a week).

So much to blog abt, so little time. Now that we are in Spring Break, I have to share computer time. I'm not thrilled with this. So what's been going on?

Memorial Celebrations

Saturday Sky and temps

Malbrigo sock

I am SO much quicker with socks on size 2dpns than on size 1.5dpns. BUT I am enjoying it immensely!! Malabrigo is lovely to work with. It's too bad it's as pricey as it is, I could see doing an entire sweater with it if there was no limit to the yarn budget.

Charity vest

This project......It WILL get done, just because I'm stubborn that way, but it has changed from a sweater with a pattern to a plain sweater to a plain vest. This sweater will fit a teenager when I'm done, which is good because there are very few charity donations this size. However it is taking a LONG time to complete. Once done, it will go into the charity bag to mail out later this year. I have also decided I will stick to small children knits.

Speaking of small children knits, I just found out one of my sils is pregnant so that means more knits to be made!! Of course this gets the creative juices going and I want to make sweaters and blankets and quilts for both the new baby and the older brother. And that also makes me want to knit for my other 1 y/o niece in CA. PLUS making more things for Baby Girl. Oh and that quilt for #1 Son that I've been working on for the past 5 years......(actually I think it might be longer now). I have been going thru my binders looking for projects to knit, but as I look thru them, I'm realizing there are a bunch of patterns I'll never do. I really need to clean it out. Yet another project for another day.

It always amazes me when people tell me they are bored. I would love some of their extra time.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Spring Concert Special

Here is your program

Please put your tickets here.

Reserved seating up front.

Starring Piano Man

Also starring Drummer Girl

Featuring a special duet by both artists

Thank you for coming!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon

Hmmmm, again I've written abt 3 blog posts in my mind, and yet haven't sat down to post them. It's been a busy week and I'm really looking forward to spring break. We had field day last week and since the school is so crowded, they split the grades up. This is good because then I can walk with both kids w/o having to run back and forth between them, but bad because I'm there two days in a row. Saturday had us in Daytona all day so by the time Sunday rolled around I was TIRED!! I did nothing but stitch and knit. No laundry, no dishes, no nothing!

I started to regret this Sunday night when I got an email from my MIL saying she wanted to come for a visit on Tues. YIKES! The house was SO not company ready. Thankfully she called and said she was coming out on Friday instead. MUCH better. Now I can clean at a leisurely pace. She's not the white glove type so I don't have to worry abt a perfect house, but it would be nice to have a couch and a table free from junk so we can sit down and chat.

So what have I been working on in between the chaos? Well I have another finish!! In cross stitch no less!

It's a freebie from Stitchy Kitty and a quick stitch. I used my flax aida/linen blend fabric and I really like it! Easy enough to see like aida, yet a nice sheen from the linen. I wish Joann's carried more colors. This only took me 5 days. It was a nice break from the other projects going on. Not sure who will come out to play next.

No finishes in knitting, but I'm making some progress. First here is my charity blanket.

Normally these are a mindless knit for me, but the yarn is not sliding thru the needles easily so it tires my hands out pretty quick.

This is a charity sweater for Warm Woolies

It started out as one pattern, but has changed to a more mindless knit. I will finish this sweater, but I'm really not enjoying the largeness of it all. Plus I still have abt 2 inches before I need to start the chest and sleeves. I will need to change yarns which means I need to find something that will match AND have enough to finish. I may add a stripe where I am to separate the colors. Maybe navy or black. Gotta see what I have in the charity wool bag.

This is #1 Son's sock.

I'm using the Patons he picked out and I have to say, I'm really enjoying it! The colors are striping better than I was expecting and since Patons is a thick fingering weight, I can knit them using size 2 dpns. I plan on making the heels and toes black. Now I just need to find the black skein I know I have......

So there you have it. Weather has been weird for everybody lately, including us. This was our Saturday sky with people.

They are hard to see but easy to hear when they go by. Click on the photog to see larger. It was in the 80s on Saturday. It rained on Monday and the front that gave a lot of people snow brought cooler weather to us as well.

See? That is 56!! FIFTY SIX in April during the day. I'm not sure if we broke a record or not, but that is cold for us in April. Esp since we've had some really warm temps lately. And here is our rest-of-the-week.

Gotta love springtime in Florida.