Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pulling Up Anchor

I have pulled up anchor and sailed my blog off to a new port.

New blog home:

I hope you will visit me at my new home.

Thank you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Dinner

I hope you had a Happy Easter!

We had family and friends over yesterday. Both my SIL and BIL came over. My dear friends also brought their son Finn, our godson. We had a simple dinner followed by egg dyeing.

Have I mentioned how much I love my oven lately? It's the best oven in the world! While my ham was cooking in the big oven, I had my lemon poppy cake baking away in the mini oven at a different temperature. It saved me so much time.

I truly had a wonderful time cooking the dinner up. I was in my element, singing (poorly) along to my CD's. Dan checked in on me and shook his head in bewilderment.

Of course, the mess all my cooking made didn't leave me quite as joyful. All I could think of after everybody left was a quote from an unknown woman. "If a woman was to see all the dishes that she had to wash before she died piled up before her in one pile, she'd lie down and die right then and there."

I should mention that I had already washed and put away the preparation dishes. Plus, the dishwasher had been loaded and ran once.

Rather than face it right away, I hid in my sewing room. Certain I couldn't handle any large and detailed projects, I opted to hem Dan's work pants.

It did the trick. It pepped me up enough that I was able to face the mountain of dishes. Dan had thought I would tackle them Monday morning, but there is one thing I hate more than a dirty kitchen and that is being faced with a dirty kitchen first thing in the morning. I'd rather have a root canal.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Evie's Tag Blanket

I have named the tag blanket pattern after my friend's daughter Evie. It was her fascination with taggies (she has two tag blankets and one tag toy) that inspired me to alter my XandO cloth into a tag blanket.

After working for a whole week on the pattern, it is finally complete. The pattern contains two full pages of charts. The written directions take up another 8 pages.

Please don't let the length of the pattern scare you. The pattern itself is not difficult. It was my desire to present the pattern in the most user-friendly manner that caused it to grow out of proportions.

The pattern can be instantly downloaded through The Knitting Vault.

If you are on Ravelry, this link will escort you to my pattern store where you can read the full description and/or purchase the pattern. Upon purchase and payment, the pattern will automatically be added to your Ravelry library.

A word of caution: It is assumed that double knitting takes twice as long as plain knitting. I would assert that it takes three times as long. Double knitting requires a great deal of manipulation with the two strands of yarn being used. Typically, before and after each stitch, one of the strands of yarn must be maneuvered into place. Thus, this project should not be started the night before the day it is needed. Of course, if you do manage to complete it in one day, I'd love to know about it!

Katie's Doll Quilt and (of course) More Cards

I finished Katie's doll quilt last night!

Well, there are a few white lies in that announcement. The quilt isn't completely finished; I still have to tack down the corners. It's not a "real" quilt either; it's a "cheater" quilt.

The top of the quilt is just one piece of fabric. The batting is just a piece of flannel fabric. I'm still calling it a quilt, because I did quilt the layers together. They are loosely quilted, but quilted all the same. I just followed any straight lines I could find in the fabric top that went from side to side without meandering. (I don't trust my machine to meander. Often when I turn a corner on it, the needle gets jammed). Then, I stitched around the hearts that all the My Little Ponies were framed in.

The whole quilt was machine quilted, including the binding. I topstitched it down rather than hand tack it to the back. I imagine with the white fabric on the back side, this quilt is going to require a lot of machine washing.

I tried taking pictures last night, but without any sunlight to speak of, they came out a bit dark. I'll try again this weekend.

And for cards - I have 3 new ones to show you!

First, a personalized card inspired by my new Carol Duvall book.

Carol had included instructions on how to stamp directly over paper colored in chalk. I don't have chalk. Nor was I about to color a whole piece of paper in chalk anyway. I want instanst gratification!

But, if you look closely, you'll notice that the color underneath the bike is yellow. I colored a small section of the red cardstock with a yellow colored pencil to make the stamp pop out a bit more.

In case you're wondering who I personalized the card for, it's me. I ride a red bike to run errands and my last name starts with h.

Next up is an Easter card.

I just piled some cardstock up and slapped a bunny button on top. (The back of the button was cut off with an Xacto knife).

Lastly, I give you a Greenland card. Now, I've never been to Greenland. And for the record, I have no desire to go. I hear it's really cold there. I can barely suffer through the Pennsylvania winters without whining once a week.

This picture is from a 1956 encyclopedia that came with the purchase of this house. The son, for whom the collection was purchased for many years ago, thought he could live without the knowledge.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tag Vote

My XandO design started out in life as a not-a-blanket. It then morphed into a dishcloth, but was found to be too heavy. Then, it tried to be a washcloth, but it was too big. Now, it is auditioning for a tag blanket title.

I asked Dan what he thought of its new purpose, but he didn't quite understand why one would put tags on the outside of a blanket. It didn't make any sense. Tags are supposed to be sewn on the inside of clothing. So, clearly, he isn't any help.

So, I need your help.

With tags?

Or without tags?

The idea for turning my XandO into a knitted tag blanket came from my friend's daughter. We attended her christening on Sunday.

For her gift, I had purchased a tag blanket from BabyLoveBlankies, since I didn't have time to make her anything. She started playing with the tags on it right away. Her mother told me that she has a taggie toy that she plays with when she's laying down in her crib. And here I had just bought it because I liked the fabrics.

The christening card in the pic above is made from my button stash. I just used Zots dots to glue them in place.

To perhaps encourage my card fetish, my MIL sent me down a present with Dan's early b-day present. (Thanks, Mom!)

It's full of great ideas! I can't wait to try the weaving and frame techniques. Since I have enough birthday cards made for everyone's birthday this year and a few even for next year, I think I'll start on mini holiday cards, like Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Monday, March 17, 2008

XandO question mark

Thank you to everyone who wished me good health! I managed to escape the worst of it. It took me a few days to get rid of the sore throat and the weak feeling, but I am grateful that it wasn't any worse.

During my time away from Blogland, I got a bunch accomplished. The XandO thingamabob is finished. I have almost completed a doll quilt, cheater style. And I cooked ... a lot. I am a firm believer that good, hearty food always cures what ails ya. So, I made a beef stew, pork with sauerkraut, danish rolls for breakfast, and butter cookies for snacking. Sorry, but I have no pictures of the quilt (since it's not finished) or the food. I never remember to take pictures of the food. By the time I am ready to serve it up, I've spent hours in the kitchen and all I want to do is go sit down and enjoy my hard work.

So, I'll just show off my XandO thingy.

I'm not sure what to call it anymore. It's too big to be a dishcloth or a washcloth. It's too small to be a blanket. It might be perfect as a burp cloth or a baby stroller lovey. Despite my naming problems, I am still working to type up the pattern. By the end of it, I had gotten into a rhythm. I actually enjoyed knitting the last 8 rows, so long as I didn't have to knit another one until the next blue moon came around.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

50 Cent Placemat

I found this placemat being sold "As Is" for 50 cents. You can't see it real well, but there are black smear marks on the back side.

I brought it home and cut the top corner two cupcakes out using a box cutter. I then smoothed out the edges with an X-acto knife.

I raided my card drawer for two blank cards and Zots dots (adhesive dots).

Voila, I present you with two birthday cards!

I'm clam-happy (happy as a clam) with how they came out!

On a personal note, Dan has been battling the flu for the past week. He came down with the flu on Wednesday. He stayed home from work on Thursday and Friday. By Saturday, he was starting to feel better. On Sunday, we met up with friends for brunch and Lost Abbey beer (It's Beer Week in Philadelphia. Normally, we don't start drinking before Noon. Honest.). Monday he went to work, but stayed drugged on Sudafed. Yesterday, he came home early with a high fever again. Today, he is back at work. But, today I woke up with a sore throat. So, if I'm MIA from Blogland for the next few days, you'll know why. More importantly, you'll know that it's All Dan's Fault.