Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pitter Patter of Little Socks

Here are two more pairs of socks finished.

Some rainbow socks with purple toes.


and some navy blue socks.

These look almost black, but they are navy blue. That is such a hard color to capture on my camera.

I've got one baby pink sock done and I'm hoping to have the mate done soon. And then maybe a pair of black ones. I know, black isn't normally something you'd see on a baby, but I think that's why it might do well.
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On a side note, we went to the library last Friday and we all checked something out. I got some DVDs, #1 Son got a book he was already in the middle of reading but left at school, and this is what Baby Girl got.

I told her she was limited to 30 books. Yes THIRTY. She has read half that pile and she'll probably finish the rest of them off this wknd.

That's my girl!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Knitcroblowc

I'm already mixing up the days for the Knit/Crochet Blog-a-long because some days move me more than others. Today I'm using the Wild Card Day.

All Tooled Up - Do you have a particular knitting/crochet tool or piece of equipment that you love to use? Maybe it is an old bent pair of needles that used to belong to someone special, or a gorgeous rosewood hand-turned crochet hook that you just love the feel of? Write about what you love it.

I almost passed on this one too, but then I remembered an important tool that I had to use for my sock knitting. I've been working on a lot of baby socks lately, but I don't always have a needle with me to kitchener the toe closed. Which means I can't start another sock because I don't have enough needles to keep them both going. This happened twice to me during ballet. I started thinking there has to be SOMETHING that I can pass these live stitches onto until I have a needle to close up the toe. I tried a straw, but it didn't work. I was going to ask for a paper clip but nobody was in the office in the studio to ask. Just as I was beginning to see if I could get away with pilfering a paper clip, I looked down and saw the perfect tool.

A bobby pin!!! This is the perfect solution for my problem and I was ticked I didn't think of it sooner!

So there you have it, my favorite tool for the day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Knitcroblo Day 2 (and a surprise visitor)

An Inspirational Pattern - Blog about a pattern or project which you aspire to. Whether it happens to be because the skills needed are ones which you have not yet acquired, or just because it seems like a huge undertaking of time and dedication, most people feel they still have something to aspire to in their craft. If you don’t feel like you have any left of the mountain of learning yet to climb, say so!

I'd like to eventually learn to knit a sock toe up or maybe learn continental, but for now, I'm happy with my knitting. I knit to decompress and right now trying to learn something new requires more brain cells than I've got or want to use at the moment. That doesn't mean I'll never try them though. Gotta keep my options open!

That being said, there is a pattern in my arsenal that I do want to eventually do. It's a design by Maddy Laine called Flower Boxes. I bought this awhile ago, even started it, but the lacy flower part just didn't look right. And then I found a mistake in the lacy leaf part. So I ripped it out. It is sitting in my closet just waiting for me. It's not hounding me or calling out my name, but it does wave to me when I come across it from time to time. One day I will do it.

Just not yet.

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Now that may sound like a great way to end a post, but I can't end w/o a picture. For those of you on FB, you have already seen this picture, but I have to share with my blogger buddies. After I dropped the kids off at school and I was driving down my street, look who was on my front lawn.

Meet Fraiser. He's a Florida Sandhill Crane and he was feasting on acorns in my yard. These birds are over 3 feet tall so they aren't exactly small, but that didn't stop my little warrior Princess from stalking this bird! I didn't get any pictures of that because I was trying to keep her from attacking. When I was abt 6 feet from Fraiser and her, she started to jump at it. That bird flew up with it's huge wing span and set right back down abt 4 feet away. It was enough to startle her so she stopped and I could pick her up. She was NOT happy abt going inside but there was no way I was going to let her get him. Wasn't sure who would win either. After that I went back out with my camera and took some shots of him.

He had quite the personality too. When he saw I had no food for him (it's illegal to feed them, but I suspect he's had a handout or two from the locals) he started to walk away. I followed him down the street and he would occasionally stop and look at me. At one point he spoke to me! And he also fluffed his feathers all up as he strut away. I got this one as he was putting them back down.

Fraiser seemed to be enjoying the attention because whenever I pulled out the camera, he would strut or pose or speak. I'm hoping he comes back for another visit soon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Knitting And Crocheting Blog Week

In an attempt to blog more (at least for this week), I'm participating in



brought to you by Eskimimi Knits. Today's topic is:

Starting Out: How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting?

The short version? My mother taught me.

Now here's the rest of the story. She learned when she was young and would occasionally work on a project, but it wasn't that often since we lived in Miami and wool knits weren't exactly the type of clothing needed for our climate.

(my mother is the one on the far left)

However, one day she decided to knit up an afghan for the bed. She made squares 12x12 in pastels (purple, green and blue) in a basketweave pattern. This got her sister going and she started making squares out of browns, oranges and a marbled version of the two colors mixed (can you tell it was the 70s??). This is when she taught me to knit. I loved the knitting but not the brown yarn. I had nothing to make with it so I never kept it up. She never did finish that blanket before she died in 1980. I kept it and decided I would eventually finish it off, and I did. Seamed it up with thread too!! (what did I know?!?!) I've thought abt ripping it out and seaming it properly, but just can't do it. Reminds me of when I worked on it.

When I was 13 I make a Barbie coat (which I was very proud of since I'd never done shaping before). Then I didn't do much more with knitting until I moved to NY and saw a sweater in a Family Circle Magazine in the late 80s. Went to a yarn shop in Riverhead, NY and bought some bulky grey yarn. Once that was done I bought some yarn for a cotton blend sweater, but soon after we moved back to FL and my desire to knit faded while my desire to cross stitch got stronger.

It wasn't until 2001 when #1 Son was 2 and I was pregnant with Baby Girl that I picked up knitting again and have been consistent with it ever since.

Come back tomorrow to see what question 2 will be. And if you want to participate, it's never too late to just jump right in! You don't have to sign up anywhere, all that was mentioned was to tag these posts with the knitcroblo and the number day we are on. Let me know if you participate, I'd love to read it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Yes I *do* still exist!

Wow it's been awhile since I've posted! Some of it is because it's been busy here, some of it is because I just haven't had the desire. I'm also becoming a Facebook game addict. I tend to leave it on during the day and will plant some corn or harvest some grapes or plate up some virtual food between loads of laundry and running around with the kids.

In fact, while I'm writing this post, I have another window open on Country Life (a facebook game). I have some knitting next to me and non-virtual clothes that need to be folded. Hemi's helping with the pressing.

AND I have the tv show Glee on. It's a repeat of their tribute to Madonna. Ok so how old am I that they are having a retrospective of a woman I would watch on MTV back in the day?? A woman who was scandalous for crawling all over the stage in a bridal gown singing Like A Virgin, and yet here she is being analyzed for the subtext in her music!

Wow.

History sure is a funny thing.

Speaking of history and *old*, the IO has been going thru some old LPs and while the kids have seen these before, they apparently don't remember seeing the smaller 45s.

Their reaction?? AWWWWW they are SO cute!!! I really do wish I had an old record player so they could actually listen to these records instead of just looking at them. CDs just don't *pop* and *hiss* the same way. I know I can get one from Target, but it is VERY low on the list of things to spend money on.

Speaking of money, no, the IO is not employed yet. He's been on two different interviews; one we know he didn't get, the other one we're still waiting to hear abt. A third phone interview was promising, esp since it was for contract work with Disney. That's the one he really wants. We'll see how it goes. This is just another example why I have stash!!!! For those lean times when shopping just isn't possible.

I do have some knitting to show, a pair of baby socks.

I have another pair done plus one of a third pair, but no pics yet. I'm trying to get as many done for this craft thing next week as possible, but I'm not a fast knitter and my hands do tend to cramp up after I've been knitting for awhile. We'll see how it goes.

And since I feel every day should be Earth Day, here's a little bit of sun for you.

A lone sunflower among the weeds.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A tisket a tasket

....Lucy's in her basket.

Somebody put this basket on the piano to get it out of the way and Lucy has made it her own. She can either turn her back on the outside or turn her back on us.



You can go away now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Meme Movies

Karen from Musings of a (mostly) Self-Taught Knitter had posted a meme today that I thought I would do. I watch a LOT of movies here at Happy Acres and felt this would be a fun one to do.


Name a film that you have seen more than 10 times.
Hmmmm, there are quite a few of them. The Sure Thing, While You Were Sleeping, What's Up Doc, and Foul Play are just a couple.

Name a film that you’ve seen multiple times in the cinema.
That would be Grease. I think we saw it in the theatre abt 30 times. No joke. It was my mother's favorite movie and I was abt the only one who would go with her after awhile. I still remember the price of a ticket, $3 for her and $1.50 for me.

Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a film.
It used to be Tom Cruise back in the day, but he got weird. Today it be John Cusack. He's a bit weird, too, but in an IO sort of way.

Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a film.
I don't have one. If the movie looks like one I want to see and there were other people that I enjoy in it, one particular person wouldn't stop me from seeing it.

Name a film that you can and do quote from.
Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing and Real Genius get quoted from OFTEN!

Name a film musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
Grease, Grease 2 and I'm getting really good with the High School Musicals.

Name a film that you would recommend everyone see.
Believe it or not, I don't recommend movies. I'll tell you if I liked it or not, but I've been burned one too many times with "I can't believe you LIKED that movie" or "That was a bit offensive" (this coming from a person who was upset to see a boob shot but no issues with a head being decapitated. go figure).

Ever walked out of a film?
Two. I walked out of Goulies back in the 80s, and Monster House a few years ago.

Name a film that made you cry in the cinema.
Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium. When Mr Magorium was dying, the majority of the kindergarteners (it was a field trip no less!) didn't understand the imagery of him dying. However we had just lost a few pets and a couple of grandparents in the past few years and Baby Girl is asking me, "He's dying, isn't he". With tears in her eyes. Meanwhile I'm trying to hold it together. We both end up crying. Not a pretty sight.

Popcorn?
Absolutely!!

How often do you go to the cinema (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?
Not as often as I'd like. I enjoy the whole movie theatre experience. Dark theatre, big screen, box of stale popcorn with fake butter. No pause button to stop the movie to tend to some household crisis.

What’s the last film you saw in the cinema?
The Bounty Hunter. I really enjoyed it. Cute chick flick movie.

What’s your favorite/preferred genre of film?

It depends on my mood. I like romantic comedies. A good spy flick is enjoyable. I don't like war pictures. Too violent for me. But I have no issues with a movie like Die Hard. Guess it's the fake violence vs the real violence.

What’s the first film you remember seeing in the cinema?
Hmmm. I remember seeing the Disney movies like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. The 1st James Bond movie was The Spy Who Loved Me. My 1st R rated movie was Little Darlings. Did not find Matt Dillon cute at all!!! But I loved Kristy McNichol.

What film do you wish you had never seen?
Hmmmm. A hard one because if I don't like a movie, I just shut it off. However I wished I'd never seen Terms of Endearment. The scene of her saying goodbye to her kids was horrible. Keep in mind my mom died only 3 years prior so it was very realistic for me. However I never liked movies with the mom dying. Hated Bambi because of it (it's really the only part of the movie I remember) and Dumbo with is mom in a cage rocking him was also horrible. Again the only parts of that movie I remember.

What is the scariest film you’ve seen?
Real life tends to be scarier for me than cinema, but I think the scariest one was back in the early 80s when all the slasher movies were in style. I saw a lesser known movie called Phantasm. It was really weird and I don't remember much abt it other than it freaked me out for a bit.

If you could be any character portrayed in a movie, who would it be?
Any movie with Meg Ryan in it.

Total number of films you own on DVD and video.
I know it's under 100. Keep in mind these are movies that cover both my tastes, the IO's tastes and the rugrats tastes. AND we've collected a lot of video tapes over the years.

Last film you bought.
I know it was a Barbie one. We don't buy movies that often anymore. Between Roku, Netflix, the internet and Dish, we can find pretty much anything we want to watch!

Last film you watched.
I watched Sweet Home Alabama last night.

Five films that mean a lot to you.
I guess movies I've seen as a child. Grease is a big one, it was the last movie I remember seeing with my mom before she got sick. Sound of Music and The Ten Commandments are ones I remember seeing with the entire family on TV. If it was on, we made a point of being home to watch it. Secret Admirer was an important movie for the IO and I (long story for another post).

What are your favorite movies?
Well I've listed a bunch of them already. It's easier to list my least favorite movies. Anything that's sad. Don't like movies that make me cry. Or give you the impression they are comedies and then sucker punch you by throwing in something really sad. A lot of earlier Robin Williams movies are like that.

So there you have it. If you lasted this long, you are truly a movie buff! What movies do you like?


Lucy sez: Any movie that keeps your lap in one place for a long period of time works for me!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Getting back into gear

Even though the IO still isn't employed, schedules of school, ballet and gymnastics resume tomorrow. Spring break is abt to end and I have to say, it was a much needed break. The week before included 2 field days,



a SeaWorld field trip,

a dinner party with some long-time-no-see friends and a religious celebration.

Did I mention the celebration was after the Sea World field trip and the dinner party was after a field day?!? While everything was fun and enjoyable, it was good to have some downtime after all of that. No schedules, no place to be, just kids being kids.

Can you see them? Look toward the top. You might even want to click on the pic to make it bigger. See them now???

Yep, my little monkeys climbed REALLY high this time.

Hope they enjoyed it because it will be the last time for a LONG time. #1 Son came down ok, but the IO had to climb up to get Baby Girl. He was NOT a happy camper after that one!!!

We've been getting some warm temps this past week as well, hitting 80+ a few times this week. I had to put the a/c on for a few hours in the afternoon, but it's been nice to have some warmth for a change. (I don't start complaining abt the weather until we hit 90 for days/weeks/months on end. Which should be soon.) We had a cool front go thru which brought us back down to the 70s. We had a beautiful morning this AM, but I didn't get my Saturday Sky in time because by mid afternoon, it looked like this the rest of the day.

That's ok, we'll be blinded soon enough (re-read above statement of 90+ weather for days/weeks/months on end).

Hope you're all enjoying some beautiful Spring weather!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Climb Every Mountain

Living in Florida, there aren't many mountains around. In fact, the highest spot anywhere in FL is below 350 feet.

Break out the oxygen!

However when the rugrats were with my in laws, my mil gave us tickets to Bok Tower Gardens. Depending on the website you go to, Bok Tower is the highest spot in peninsular Florida (the part that sticks out). (when you do a google search, some places say Bok Tower is the highest, others say Sugar Loaf Mountain is. Bok Tower had a sign to back up their claim; click on photo to make it readable).


Either way, we had a really nice time.



This sign just cracked me up!

Apparently there has been much confusion in the past!

This led to a building that housed all the history and info on Bok Tower and the gardens. They even had some crafty replicas of the tower.

One in string


and one in leather.


look at the detailed work!


Here's what the tower looks like in real life


with a close up of the gold door.


It's a 60 bell carillon and they play it twice a day. You could hear it anywhere on the property. While that was really amazing and beautiful to hear, the parts I enjoyed were the gardens.








It was SOOO relaxing. At one point I sat down on a bench that was just off the beaten path, hidden behind a tree. This was my view.

I decided this was my tree and started imagining a hammock under it and a place where I could put a book and an umbrella'd drink. Behind me I had some blue jays flitting about. Sometimes getting close, but would flit back when the camera came out.

Meanwhile the IO was playing with the local fauna

This guy came right up to the IO, but lost interest when he realized all he had to offer were some acorns from the ground.

He wasn't the only one looking for some food so off to the visitor's center we went and to the Blue Palmetto Cafe.

Yes these are real plants! Talk about your decorative curtains.

I was surprised they had such fresh food to offer. The IO got some fried fish and chips, but I went more for the natural approach.

This is their Blueberry Chicken Salad. OMG was it good! It had dried blueberries (which I never heard of before-YUMMY!) along with feta cheese, strawberries and some sugared pecans. Oh those were SOO good! With a blueberry vinaigrette dressing. I would definitely get it again. I can still taste those sugared pecans.

I took so many pics, but as usual, they never seem to do the place justice. I hope you enjoyed your small virtual taste of Bok Tower.

I know we did.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Saturday Soul Searching

Simplifying. I need to do it but don't know where to start. I don't even know if I can. Plus I'm still the go-to person for support. One friend is worried her husband might lose his job in 3 months. This makes her nervous since her daughter will be getting married in November and the place they are looking at will be abt $14,000. My nephew is depressed because he would love to be married, but can't find a girl. Plus he hates his job. One friend is ticked off that the Mother/Son event at school is not what she wants and blames the PTO for not doing it properly. Another friend has to bury her 22 y/o step daughter.

Meanwhile I have a family to take care of. The next couple of months will be VERY hectic with events scheduled back to back. Oh and did I mention that the IO is not employed?!? He's a computer engineer who does contract work, but with the bad economy, the contracts are ending sooner. The one he was on was suspended because the company he was working with can't make up their minds as to what direction to go in. They told him it *might* be picked up in a month. We've heard that before and I'm not holding my breath. He's got irons in the fire, one of them a permanent position (the one I'm REALLY hoping for), but I still have ballet costumes and an Epcot field trip to pay for. Oh yeah, and a mortgage. This could explain the funk I'm in and why I'm trying to escape life with my virtual worlds on Facebook. Just a couple of clicks and I have milked my cows, cooked Peking Duck and started contruction on a tree house. Virtual life is so much easier.

But I soldier on. At least I'm not burying a family member. (she's got us ALL beat and the one I worry abt the most). So this explains why I've been scarce lately. I want this blog to be upbeat so I've been waiting a bit to post. Thank goodness for kitties and quilt shows!

Since I've been spending so much time on Facebook, I'm not getting much done on any of my projects. Baby Girl's shawl didn't get done. I haven't picked up my stitching. And yet I somehow got talked into participating in a local artisan's craft show. Huh. Maybe *I'm* the reason I can't simplify...... So I'm working on baby items. Quick and easy and stash busting. So far I have these.

I'm almost done with a matching hat. After the hat I plan on sticking with only baby socks. Did I mention the show will be May 1st?

And since this is a Saturday, here is my sky.

The weather has been really nice lately, let's hope it keeps it up.

Virtual Quilt Show

Welcome to Happy Acres Virtual Quilt Show. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

Every year there is a theme. Challenges are set and guild members participate. It's interesting to see what people come up with.

This year we had houses,

houses,

and more houses.




There were quite a few pastel quilts

also with a theme.




Some added a retro feel.



I really like these dresses. The details added to the dresses really make the quilts sing. And that first one would be perfect in Baby Girl's room.

The details in this Victorian Crazy Quilt

are really amazing. You can click on the above quilt to see the details, but here are a few of my favorites from it.

I love the cross stitched piece. Notice, another house.


LOVE the teapot and cup set.


Probably left over from some curtains or pillow.

There was also another crazy quilt, this time in neutrals.


I usually love color in my quilts, but there are a few neutrals that catch my eye. Here is another neutral quilt.

Who knew beige could have such depth!

Speaking of color, batiks continue to be a favorite.




And while not completely made from batiks, it's a nice blend of both batiks and regular fabrics.

It was a birthday gift to a woman who leads quite an active life.

There was only one whole cloth quilt.

You can click on it to see the quilting better. Here is a sample of what it looks like.


Anybody remember the safety pin quilts? (scroll down to see them) No pins this year, just some scissors.


These next quilts cracked me up. Not one

but TWO quilts made from the Crown Royal bags.

They were made well so I doubt they were drinking and sewing at the same time!!

This one is really cool.

I love the colors in it, but the part I really love abt it? It was made for a women's shelter! Thinking of the woman who receives this quilt, the joy and comfort it will bring, makes me teary eyed.

What was the Best in Show? Here you go!

Those blocks were very detailed and SMALL. The workmanship was amazing.

However, this was my favorite quilt.

Art quilts are nice, but I prefer the kind you can curl up in.

So there you have it, this year's quilt show. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoy putting it together.