31 January 2015

Good morning!

Oh my great giddy aunt... I went to bed early last night and I apparently really needed it.  I actually feel rested this morning which is a feeling I haven't had all month.  Working on the weekends during the school year is rough.  I never get an opportunity to recharge - and I'm a horrible napper so I constantly feel tired which makes me pretty much a poop.  My patience and attitude both just plummet.  I may go to bed early again tonight... who knows.

I brought my Patronus shawl into work with me.  I am honestly disappointed in this pattern.  I am not enjoying it and it's not coming out at all like I had hoped.  I love my colors but the actual shawl and the construction are not enjoyable - which is odd because I absolutely love the designer.  I've made several of her shawls before and I've loved every one.  Oh well, them's the breaks, as they say.  I'm on row 35 of 57 so only 22 more rows to go.  I told myself to do one row a day and then I'll reward myself with something fun to make... yes, I fall for my own bribes.  I've very gullible.

Time to get ready for work.  I've got to write menus for February today too because we've got to go grocery shopping when I get off.  Thankfully, it's a short month so I don't have to be too creative.  I hope everyone has a good day and oh yeah, guess what I finished last night...

My Hitchhiker is all done!  I am so proud of it... and now, on to the next knit WIP that needs attention!

30 January 2015


I will open this bag (yes, it's a gratuitous shot of my favorite project bag)...

and work the last three rows of my Hitchhiker!

Butch is not impressed... oh well.

27 January 2015

Keeping my face towards the sun

This is my motto as of late.  There has been too much negativity running around - online and in the world.  Don't get me wrong, I know there are bad things happening and they make me sad but that doesn't mean that I have to wallow in them and spread the negativity like a disease.  So I'm not.  Who is with me to keep their focus on the warmth of the sun instead of getting lost in the darkness of the shadows?

I had a beautiful day yesterday with my mama.  We wandered around shops, had a nice lunch, wandered around more shops, stopped for a sweet treat, and then went back to my house and talked for a bit.  I love spending the day with my mama.  Nothing brings in the sunshine and joy more than spending quality time with loved ones.

Today is my Sunday before my work week starts.  I have a meeting to attend at work tonight around 7ish and while it is not my favorite thing to do - go to work on my day off - at least I get paid a percentage of my regular wages to sit and listen... plus, I don't have to go anywhere but my office so it could be a larger inconvenience.  In the big scheme of things, 25 steps from the living room to the office in my stocking feet and sweatpants is not so bad.

I'm going to spend the day at Pemberley with my Hitchhiker while I do the laundry.  I only have 7 teeth left, which has me so excited I could bust. The rows are so very long now.  It might be unrealistic to think I could finish it today but hey, the worst that can happen is that I fall short - the best is that I get closer to my goal - so there really isn't a down side.

To celebrate this terrific Tuesday, I'm sharing a bit of Pemberley with you too... enjoy!

24 January 2015

For the love of Mickey...

Super cute puppy butt cheers everyone up... right?
I am actually writing this on Friday night because I can't sleep.  Hobbit and I spent the entire day - literally the entire day - at either the doctor's office or the pharmacy today.  Pokey took us out for medicinal milk shakes between appointments so that was nice.

Turns out that poor little Hobbit does have strep throat.  She's been given an antibiotic and we've stocked up on yogurt so all should be well in her world within the next 48 hours.  Me, well I've managed to kink up my Eustachian Tube... the official diagnosis was called Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. I am am officially dysfunctional... lol.  Oh my word, you have to laugh or you'll cry, right?  I can tell you that it hurts more than you can even imagine.  Thankfully, I have a note that I turned in to my supervisor which allows me to work but not have to wear my headset, which is a godsend!  My supervisor, who is fabulous, said it wouldn't be a problem at all.  I hate missing work.  I may not always love being there, but I don't like to be thought of as unreliable.  If I can be vertical, I can be at work.

I talked to my mama tonight too.  Monday can't come fast enough.  I need my Mommy Day.  No clue what we'll do and I honestly don't care.  I just want to hang out with my mama for the day.  I don't get to see her enough as it is so when our initial day was pushed back, I was really disappointed.  Granted, she had a super severe allergic reaction that landed her in the ER so I was more worried about her than anything - she's where my stubborn/suck it up streak comes from and with my daddy not there right now, there is no one to push her to do what is best in spite of herself.  Thankfully, if there is a thankfully, Peanut was with her when it happened so she took her to the ER.  Two weeks later and she's finally all better, so what do I do, I get dysfunctional.. I swear, sometimes it feels like I can't win for losing.

At least I got a lot of waiting room crafting done.  I am now up to 31.5 teeth on my Hitchhiker, up to Row 34 on my Patronus, and I even got in another tooth done on my Variable Star.  When I got home, I worked on everything a little bit more, even adding an inch to my Magnolia shawl.  I must say, feeling so horrible that you can't move around does have it's privileges.

Okay, I should head off to bed now.  I'm not telling you want time it is but I've got this set to go up around 10 am so at least it will look like I got some sleep... even though I flat out told you from the get go that I was up late... as you can see, I am a horrible liar.  I hope every is having a beautiful weekend, whatever time it might be.

23 January 2015

I told you creativity was flowing...

I'm going to spend my weekend finishing this up!
The pattern notes are written and the prototype is coming along nicely.  I hope to have this pattern released with the new month.  I'm really excited about it!

21 January 2015

Such a good day

Today has been such a good day.  You know the kind where it starts off with a small bit of goodness and then it just snowballs into awesomeness?  It was one of those kinds of days.

It started when I learned about a particular event that can only be described as... well.. Karma.  There was a little poster or online meme that said something about how if you live a good life, and do good things, then God will allow you to watch when Karma comes around to those who deserve it.  Well, today I got to watch and I must say, I was so pleased.  For months, I have been dreading going to work because the environment was, simply put, toxic.  To learn that something was actually done just had me praising His name and thanking Him for his work... and today was a great day at work... something that hasn't happened since August!

The next bit of awesomeness in my day was finding an unused gift card for iTunes.  It was enough for me to be able to get the new Phillip Phillips' album, which has been playing most of the day - and it is magnificent!  I told my husband when he auditioned for American Idol that he would be the winner.  I just knew... granted, I've got a good tracker record picking the winners from auditions too but he was different.  He was electric, captivating, and his voice was cosmic.  He has simply gotten better with time too.  Amazing artist and I highly recommend you pick up this album if you can.

The other fabulous fun of the day - I won a project bag from my Quidditch square this past match over in the HPKCHC on Ravelry!!  Oh yeah, so super cool and I can't wait to see what comes.  I love project bags and I don't have near enough - not true project bags.  I have some cute totes that I'll use but I really wish I had more actual project bags - box bags are my favorite.  I may need to learn how to make them.  That would be a great Mommy Day.  I'll have to see if we can't do that one day.

The creative energy here is fabulous now!
The final bit of stupendousness for my day... Pokey bought me a cork board for my office!  Yep, I made an offhanded comment that I really wanted one so I could get all the ugly stickies off my monitor because it just looked cluttered to me and he knows I don't do well with clutter.  Now my office looks perfect and I'm in hog heaven.  The last bit that I could use is a clock to hang on the wall for Hobbit to use to know when to go outside for the bus.  I'll find one though... something fun... maybe I'll make one.  Crochet a cute mandala and then get the clock kits to make it work.  Yeah, I think that'll be my plan.  I could use buttons or crochet cute flowers for the numbers.

My day has been so fully blessed - even my Knit Picks order came in faster than it said so I've got my "AUSTENtatious Crochet" book to read and figure out what I'm going to make first.  I hope y'all had an equally blessed day.  It's amazing the recharging effect it can have on a person - body and soul.

19 January 2015

Drumroll please...

I've contacted Sara and she as 48 hours to get back in touch with me.  If I don't hear back from her by 11 am ET on Wednesday, January 21st, I will pick another winner at random and try again.

13 January 2015

One down, three to go

This is going to it's new house tomorrow.  I really like how it turned out - I hope she does too!
My Detention OWL has four shawls needing to be finished.  This is the first one that I have completed.  I used my new blocking mats and wires last night to get it to bloom so nicely.  It is huge, let me tell you.  It took up my entire office floor - look...

The wingspan reached 64" and the length from center is 32"... it's massive and soft and fabulous!
I really like the difference using blocking wires makes.  My edges are crisp and straight.  My lace really opened up and the peaks are perfect.  I think next time though, I will place a wire between the body and the lace edge so I can open the lace a bit more.

Today I was supposed to have been spent tooling around with my mama but she had to cancel.  I understand - she had a severe allergic reaction to the material they used to strip the wallpaper border from her kitchen.  By Saturday night, she was in the ER, it was that scary.  Today, three days later, she's still covered in hives and miserable but at least she can breathe and her face isn't swollen any longer.  It was scary - scarier to me because I've been there myself so I know how she feels and what she is going through.  We've rescheduled for week after next so I will still get to see her, just not today.  I really needed a "Mommy Daughter Day" too... but I will simply readjust my day and wait until the end of the month.  I've been fighting a cold anyway so I'm pretty miserable too.  To celebrate my mama, here is the tune for today - enjoy!

12 January 2015

Starting the year off snazzy!

I have something fabulous to share with you and I have been sitting on my hands so I wouldn't share it too early.  Have you noticed that I put my hook down for a little bit and picked my needles back up?  There is good reason for this - a fabulous little accessories pattern book by Pam Powers entitled "Dress to Impress, Knitted Scarves".  Oh my goodness, just look at what I have made...
Hobbit graciously agreed to model it for me as soon as it was dry from blocking.
Isn't it gorgeous!  I actually knit this in a few hours - it was broken up over two nights after work but a more experienced and faster knitter could make it in an afternoon, I'm sure.  Even that precious flower is knit - and I've used the pattern for it since because it is so much fun to make.

I was asked by my publisher friend if I wanted to review this book and the minute I opened the look book pdf, I agreed.  This pattern was on the cover and I immediately had to have one.  It was so absolutely perfect.  Delicate.  Feminine.  Beautiful.  Fun.  Everything I want in an accessory.  When I ventured through the pages I could hardly contain my excitement - so many projects jumped out at me!  Do you know that I actually started a second project?  I sure did, I even teased with you it last Monday...
Is it silly that I'm super proud of these 4" of cabled knitted goodness?  Yeah, I didn't think so either.
Not bad for a crocheter, huh... makes me think I almost have the right to call myself a knitter too.  It took me three false starts but I've done pretty well now.  I have a page all set up on my Knitting Buddy app and everything.  I'm loving this pattern.  Would you like to see what it will be when it grows up?  Okay...
All book images are (c) Pam Powers and borrowed with permission
Isn't it going to be gloriously fabulous!  I love that this pattern is made flat and then you do you some knit origami and BOOM, awesome bow!  As you can see, I am nowhere near done but I'm working on it and I loving every second so that's a big win in my book.

Would you like to peek at a few of my other favorites?  Yeah, I thought you would.  I can't show you all 24 but I've pulled out the ones that have made it into my "must make before I die" pile.  Take a look...

I love the combination of the bold chevron with oversized buttons in this gorgeous cowl.

The delicate lace in the cowl still looks snuggly warm and the feminine feel of the ascot its amazing.

Can you see how the body has texture too - just enough to keep it interesting but not distracting.

I love the way the inside is just as beautiful as the outside.  Pam really pays attention to details.
Yes, I need to make another one because I absolutely love this pattern.
I had a really difficult time choosing which patterns to share but these are either on my needles or waiting to be queued up.  Now y'all know that I am not very savvy in the knitting department.  I can knit but my brain sometimes goes on strike and my confidence falls to my feet.  I can honestly tell you that the instructions on here are so well written that I never got frustrated trying to decode what Pam wanted me to do next.  Even with new techniques, because she has an awesome section in the back that gives you photographed step-by-step tutorials on how to do something that you may have never done before...
Between the easy to follow written instructions and clearly illustrated photographs, you'll be a pro in no time!
So, how would you like to win a copy of this book?  It's easy to do...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I kept it simple because, as Pam just proved, it's elegant and beautiful. No fussy giveaways here - just answer a question and you're golden. Entries limited to US only due to shipping. Please be sure to include a valid way for me to get in touch with you - email address or Ravelry ID will be perfectly fine.

I'll announce the winner on Monday, January 19th. Don't worry if you aren't chosen because this awesome book is available now, both online and in stores.  Good luck everyone!!

10 January 2015

Cheesy Chicken Pockets

I have been fighting a cold so suppers have been simple around here for the past few days.  Today, I got a little creative - we can blame the cold medicine - but everyone loved it so I'm going to consider it a success.  Y'all know I love to make roaster birds - chickens and turkeys - so finding new ways to use the fabulous 1 pound bags I get from them is always a treat.  This supper is fast, has stuff that is good and good for you, and you get a lot from 1 pound!  Leftovers from leftovers, another win in my book.  So here is what you need to make some Cheesy Chicken Pockets...

1 lb of precooked poultry (chicken or turkey)
1 package of large tortillas (these came in a pack of 10)
2 cups of Mexican blend cheese
1 bag of frozen broccoli
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup of cooked rice

1. Cook the broccoli per it's instructions.  Once it's done, mix the cooked rice and cilantro in so it's well blended.  If you need to split some of the broccoli to make it more bite size and manageable, this is the time to do it.
2. Heat a skillet on the stove, if it's not nonstick, spray a little nonstick spray in it.  Be careful not to overheat because the spray will turn black and burn the tortilla.

3.  Layer the ingredients as follows - line of cheese in the middle, rice and veg mixture, cheese again, poultry, cheese again.
Start on the ends of the layer to keep it all tucked up tight, then roll it over itself to make a little package.

4. Take the sides and fold inward.  Then bring up the far end to the middle, fold over once more so the seam is on the bottom.

See this one on the end here... pan was too hot but Pokey ate it anyway

5.  Place in the pan and hold it down with a bit of pressure to seal the seam.  It's okay, you won't hurt yourself.  Let it cook about two minutes or so then flip it.  After it's had time on the other side, pull it from the pan and place in the next one.
I got 10 fabulously delicious Cheesy Chicken Pockets - and we could only eat 4 of them.  They're filling!
And there you have it.  One quick and easy supper that doesn't break the bank and gets healthy chicken, broccoli, and rice into your diet.  Everyone loved them so that's a great bonus.  I took the leftovers and wrapped each pocket individually in foil and then placed them all in a gallon freezer bag for supper on another night.  I'll take them out, arrange them on a cookie sheet (frozen and in their foil wrapper), and reheat them in a 350 oven for about 12-15 minutes.  This will keep them from getting soggy or "leaking" all the yummy goodness out.

I hope you enjoy it!

05 January 2015

A leap of faith

Here is a glimpse into an internal dialogue I had with myself last night...

"Oh that's so pretty.  I want to make that and I have the perfect yarn for it.  Wow, these directions look complicated.  Oh wait, okay... she just uses different terminology for that.  I can do that.  I think I can do that.  I'm not really knitter.  I'm more of a crocheter.  I don't think I can do this... but I want to get better at knitting so I can at least try it.  Worst case scenario is I fail... and waste yarn.  Yarn is expensive.  I don't want to waste yarn.  Oh goodness, maybe I shouldn't do this.  Nope, I should wait until I'm better before trying this pattern.  I think it may just be too advanced for me."


Queue my internal voice - who actually sounds like Walt Disney himself - because my internal voice has more confidence in me than my external mumbly voice...

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.  Everyone falls down.  Getting back up is how you learn to walk."

Then I thought back to what I saw on Christmas Day.  My most favorite quote from my idol...

I smiled to myself and did the only thing I could do... I cast on 21 stitches.

04 January 2015

Sunday Snaps

Sneaky peaky at something coming up... mark your calendars for the 12th!
Oh my goodness, what a week this has been!  It started off by being off from Sunday through Tuesday which is a great way to start the week... just ease into it, that's what I say.

Sunday was spent cleaning up all the Christmas decorations, Monday was spent visiting with new old friends, and Tuesday was spent relaxing.. at least I think that was the order.  It may have been flipped in some fashion but those events did occur in some order during those days.  The reason I can't remember the order is because this week has been crazy!

The Winter term for The Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup started on the first... as did the Winter series for Disney Adventures.  Lots of new challenges were posted which means lots of prep work and question fielding.  Then I had to get my OWL submitted - which I did and has since been approved!

Between all of that, I had to work on a knitting project for an upcoming book review - and I was successful!  So successful that I am going to cast on a second project from this book and cross my fingers that I can get it done in time.  I loved how the project turned out so much that I had to email the finished photos to the publisher.  It's that fabulous!

Thankfully, I'll have reached my 'weekend' this afternoon.  I just need to make it through this shift.  I have this post set to post automatically because I didn't want to let time get away from me.  I hope you have had a beautiful week that was equally as exhilarating. 

Do you have anything fun planned for this week?  Right now, I'm just excited for the return of Parenthood and Downton Abbey... come on four o'clock!!
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