Archive for February, 2012

Pretty Workday!

February 24, 2012

This winter has just been too nice. Lots more warm days than cold. Hopefully it’ll keep this up because everything is starting to bud out now and if we have a spell of hard frost again, all the flowers and trees won’t be as pretty this year. That’s what happened last year. We had a hard frost after the apple tree got all it’s blossoms, and what apples we got from the apple tree were about the size of walnuts. Not pretty! Certainly not eatable.

Hubby decided to take advantage of this nice weather — it was 70 degrees in our backyard yesterday! When Jim dug the hole for the footing on our new room extension last Fall, he piled the dirt around one of our trees.

So Hubby got his shovel and wheelbarrow out and moved the dirt from the tree to around the patio and sidewalk. (We’re trying to level it out so there won’t be a drop-off going from the sidewalk and patio to the ground.)

He’s done this once before, but when the rains come, it settles and sinks into the ground. It’ll probably have to be done again, I’m sure, but we’ll keep moving dirt until we get it the way we want it. Doesn’t it look nice?

While Hubby did his thing in the yard, I decided to work in my little shop out back. It needs a good cleaning, but I didn’t feel like getting into that just yet. There were several sacks of junk goodies that I’ve hauled out there during the winter. So I went through the sacks and put stuff where they belong, straightened up the tables, and decided to finish some painted projects that I’d started last fall. Here’s what I brought into the house that’s finally finished,

These are candle holders. One of them has been turned around so you can see what I wrote on the backs of them. Two of the jars have little votive cups in the top and the other two have a painted saucer glued on the top to hold a bigger candle.

And. . . .

These are treat jars. Aren’t they cute? All of these items were almost done, just a little finessing to do. So here’s more UFO’s finished! Yeah, go me!

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Jumping Ahead

February 23, 2012

Yes, it’s true. I’m jumping ahead with new projects. My goal this year was to finish a project if I started one before starting another new project (to keep UFO’s to a minimum); at the same time, work on UFO’s in between. I’m very proud to announce that the UFO’s have been going away little by little.

Unfortunately, my “new” project for the year, the patchwork purse, is still a WIP (work in progress) because I haven’t been working on it this week. (My bad!) But to be fair to myself, I have to say that I’ve been finishing another UFO sweater, which is good, because I NEED to finish my UFO’s.

BUT, I got a new Crochet Today! magazine a couple of weeks ago. It has the cutest baby afghan ever! I can’t get it out of my mind — I want to make it soooo bad!

Yesterday I “played” in my yarn stash, just to see if I could find some yarn to make that baby afghan without having to buy yarn. Well, I found some, but of course it’s not the same colors — but close enough. The next thing I knew I was crocheting on this baby afghan. Aaaagh! I knew I’d do that!! But it’s sooo cute! See what I mean?

If you look closely, you can see the child holding a small stuffed froggie that fits under the mother’s arm on the afghan. It’s not tied down so the child can remove it to play with.

I’ve already got all the green squares crocheted and started on the off-white ones. (I didn’t have the straw-colored yarn that’s pictured.) It’s working up fast, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back to my purse very soon.

However, there’s the little Spring training ball-cap for babies that’s shown on page 17 that’s just too cute to pass up . . . . . . .

More UFO’s Finished!

February 16, 2012

Three more UFO’s “have bitten the dust”. I finished two more sweaters.

The blue one is from Family Circle EasyKnitting magazine, Spring/Summer 2005 issue and I knitted it in Caron’s Simply Soft yarn. It’s sooooo soft!

The brown striped one I knitted for Hubby out of Red Heart yarn from my stash. Some of this yarn is from my sis’s stash that I inherited. I’m always looking for ways to use it up. This pattern came from Family Circle easyKnitting magazine Fall 2005. I started this sweater three years ago in Feb. 2009. Well, it turned out too big, so it may go to charity. I’ll wait for a while to see if Hubby will wear it.

It’s amazing to me to see how many sweater UFO’s I have. A couple of years ago, I had the mind-set to go ahead and start projects when I came across something that I wanted to make. I thought that if I start them, then I’d work on them and finish them instead of having the yarn and directions sitting around in bags waiting for me to get to them, (like I have now!) Unfortunately, I can’t knit and craft as fast as I can find new items to make. Consequently, this is where all these UFO’s come from. I put a stop to that when I had to clean out my sewing room to get ready for our new bedroom construction. At least wannabes are salvageable if I decide I’d rather not make that item on down the road.

The third project that got finished is another little cross-stitch picture.

I’ve started another new project. This is a patchwork purse from a kit that I bought through Connecting Threads. All the cutting is just about done, then I’ll start sewing it together.

Also, I’m working on yet two more UFO sweaters! I finished the knitting on one of them yesterday, so all that’s left is to sew the pieces together. The other one has one more sleeve to be knitted that I started on last night.

So far, so good. I’m a little proud of myself for sticking with these UFO’s. Boy, it’s been hard, though!

Hubby’s New Toy

February 14, 2012

It looks like we are going to have a winter after all. This has been a very mild winter so far. Except for a dusting of snow at the beginning of winter, we haven’t had any snow at all. But yesterday we got about two or three inches. Not a big deal, but a chance for Hubby to “play” with his new snow-blower.

Let’s go back to last Feb. when we had about a foot of snow. It snowed during the night and all day the next day. I knew it would be too deep by the time I got home from work to get into the garage, so I just called in because of the weather and stayed home. There hasn’t been too many days I’ve missed work because of the weather, so I didn’t feel too guilty. It took both of us several hours the next day to get the drive-way shoveled out. Backbreaking work and we felt our age, to say the least.

A few months later, Hubby bought a snow-blower. We bought it during the summer to get a better deal on it. We had to order it on-line because the stores weren’t carrying snow-blowers during this time of the year. After we got it, Hubby looked it over and hooked it up to make sure it was going to run. But without snow, he didn’t know if it would work or not. So we had to wait.

Well, we finally got a little snow. It wasn’t enough to warrant using a snow-blower, but it was enough to at least try it out to see if it was going to work. So Hubby hooked it up and tried it out. . . .

It looks like it’s going to work like a charm. BUT I’d just as soon not to have to use it anymore this year. I’ve been liking this Spring-like weather we’ve been having this winter!

I’ve Been Reading

February 8, 2012

When we bought our bedroom set about twelve years ago after we moved here, we only bought one side table because I knew we wouldn’t have room for another one. It was always on Hubby’s side of the bed. But last January after our new bedroom had been finished and put back together, there was room on both sides of our bed for a side table and lamp.

We had a table/floor lamp out in the sunroom because I didn’t have any other place for it. (We never get rid of anything because you just never know.) So I put this table/lamp by my side of the bed. Fit perfectly!

All of my life I’ve had problems going to sleep as soon as I go to bed. Also, wanting to read more but never seeming to find the time has been an issue with me for quite a while now. Maybe reading for a while after I go to bed might be the answer to “killing two birds with one stone”, I thought. Now I have the means — with a lamp on my side.

A couple of years ago, I got an advertisement for a new mystery book club through Annie’s Attic. It’s about a bunch of crafty ladies who help Annie solve the mysteries she keeps finding in her Grandmother’s attic. Wow! How could I pass that up. My favorite reads are mysteries, especially if they are tangled up in knitting/crafting. I joined the club and started getting a book about once a month. But I never seemed to find the time to read them.

Debbie Macomber is another author who enjoys knitting and incorporates it into some of her books. At the book store one day, I came across a book called “A Good Yarn” by Debbie Macomber. After looking it over and realizing it was a story about of a group of women and their lives centered around a yarn store, I bought it and started reading it. But the book slowly got put on the back burner with the rest of the books that I wanted to read “one of these days.”

So, with books, a light by my side of the bed, and plenty of “awake” time after going to bed, I started reading for 30 to 60 minutes after I went to bed. This set-up was perfect for me. It wasn’t a struggle to “get into the habit” like with exercise. It came so natural for me to relax, let my brain slow down, and sleep came as soon as I turned off the light and put my head down. AND, I was “catching up” on all the books that I wanted to read.

A WIN/WIN situation! Here’s a pic of all the books that I read last year.

Actually, a couple of those books may have already been read before last year. But still! Isn’t that impressive?! I’ve surprised myself.

One of these days I’m going to read the “Little House On The Prairie” series again. The set was given to me as a gift several years ago. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, so it’ll be fun to read it again. This book series has been one of my favorite reads since I first read them in elementary school.

So this is a program that’s doable for me. Hubby says that the light and my reading doesn’t bother him. I think he’s right. He’s usually snoring before I’ve turned the first page!