Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Leap into February!

Where has January gone? I don't know, but we are on the verge of February and it's a leap year! Did you know? I didn't realize it either until Sara was telling me about a friend who is expecting and her predicted due date is February 29th. I have a cousin who was born on that day. Not sure how I would feel about that...young perhaps??? We had to take the BMP6 in for service. Since the Gold standard warranty has expired, this service is on my dime. The sales clerk quoted me $239.00 with an apologetic face. Do you know how much this sucker cost? You think that amount is going to scare me??? Hard to believe I have had it for almost 6 years! I got it right after Tom bought his new truck (see how that works??? LOL!!!) We hustled out of Montavilla before I could go check out the Enterprise. Probably a good thing.  Anything named after a Star Trek space ship has to be expensive! I have been keeping myself busy in the interim with little sewing jobs and knitting. The resources for learning are amazing online and I am happily learning new knitting techniques. I'm a cable Queen now and have designs on lace. I just started the Shalom cardigan (pattern courtesy of Ravelry) and it is going super fast! Working straight day shift at work has been interesting...didn't realize how my body had gotten into an evening routine, but it's okay. Except for the part when the dogs get me up at 4:45 on my days off! That kinda sucks! But the good news is more knitting time! Speaking of dogs...Sam is fitting in beautifully. He is gaining confidence and has found his voice. He still is a little skiddish at times around that man that comes and goes, yet he warms up really quick and sits with Tom in the recliner. They'll figure it out. Well, guess I'd best scoot up to the studio and knock out those paying jobs and see what the rest of the day might bring. Here's a picture my childhood friend sent me yesterday...just to leave you with something to look at...who is that girl????

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sam I Am

I sound like a Dr. Seuss book, don't I? I haven't been a very faithful blogger lately, although I have been keeping up with my blog reading. Part of the reason I have not been blogging is that we have a new baby in the house! Not a grandbaby, mind you, but we adopted a black and white pomeranian named Sam a couple weeks ago. My friend Nancy dropped by my office one afternoon and said "You should check out this pom they just got in to the shelter...they're looking for someone to foster him!" Yeah, right...like I'm going to bring him into my home for 2 weeks, love him and turn him back? It was hard enough when we did foster children! So we pretty much knew that unless he grew a second head or was as vicious as Kujo, he would become a part of our family. We enjoyed a nice walk to the dam for lunch on a rare afternoon of sunshine and blue skies. It was a welcome reprieve after last weeks weather! Do you know how many pictures it takes to get two dogs to look at you at the same time? Here are the boys...
They are sufficiently tuckered out now, so I am going to do some vacuuming and fire up the embroidery machine. My favorite thrift store reopened last week after their building was restored. This morning I dropped by to take some items I had cleaned out of my closet and to look around. I scored on some yarn and a great bag to carry my knitting around. Need to spruce it up a bit and make it mine!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Clean-a-thon Continues

Sewing Studio Edition! I pulled everything out of the fabric closet tonight. Many happy surprises of fabric I forgot about that got hidden and remnants of stuff that really needs to go! I have one box filled for thrift. I'm going to call it a night and get after again tomorrow after work. Maybe by my day off I'll have a tidy organized space to work in. Wouldn't that be lovely?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Make Way for the New...

I read an interesting blog post on Flipboard (a free app I found for my phone that you can customize with newsfeeds, google reader, Facebook, etc.) about a gal who spends New Year's Eve cleaning. It started out as just New Year's Eve, but as her life and family grew she had to start a few days earlier to complete everything. Now I will never get that wild and crazy about cleaning, but I have started cleaning out a cupboard or two when I have a little spare time (starting with the cookbooks) and it has been very good. I am learning new things about the stuff I already have. Like the grinder attachment for the Kitchenaid mixer is also a pasta maker with several dies to make different pastas, such as lasagne. How many times have we used that thing and I did not see the big bold letters that said "Pasta Maker" on it? Crazy! I reorganized my storage containers the other day and am quite happy with how nice the cupboard looks and that the lids are stored with the containers. I previously had prescribed to the containers in the cupboard with a drawer of lids, but that had morphed into a Tupperware nightmare! I thought it would take up more space, but through nesting the smaller containers in the bigger ones and getting rid of the dead wood with no lids, I actually have more room! And an empty drawer! Who knew I had 3 sifters (2 full sized and 1 mini)? How often do I use 1 sifter? Did I really think I needed that many, or did I just forget I had one already? I'm currently waiting for the clean cupboard to dry before I put back the items that are staying. I may even tackle the junk drawer this morning before I have to go to work!
In sewing news, I cut out a muslin for McCall's 6513 yesterday. I say muslin because I am using the knit from Fabric.com that came with a huge seam through the middle of the cut and I had to be a little creative to get all the pieces out. I'm sure this pattern will become a TNT. Yesterday we gorged ourselves on holiday football and cheered madly for our Oregon Ducks...the 2011 Rose Bowl Champions!!!! It was a great game and Wisconsin was a worthy opponent. It could have gone either way, but I'm happy for our Ducks! All the football time really gave my 2 socks at a time project a shot in the arm and I am now on the home stretch of knitting the foot. The heel turn on the pattern I am using did not make sense. It only had decreases on one side of the gusset and maybe I just don't understand what it was telling me to do, but I have made enough socks that I just did it my way and the heel looks great. Guess I know more about knitting than I give myself credit for! Anywho, it's off to get some stuff done before work. Time to get back on that horse and ride!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012! Put a Bird On It!

Welcome 2012! I hope everyone had a happy and safe 2012! Tom was working so our celebration consisted of a nice dinner of rib steaks, rosemary garlic roasted red potatoes and salad, topped off with cocoa apple cake. I was really excited about the cake. Cocoa apple cake was a staple dessert in our house growing up, and somehow through life's twists and turns, I lost Mom's recipe. Tragic. I'm not even sure where it originated from...maybe one of the Scott Paper ladies that my Dad worked with. I had done an internet search before, but nothing had come close to the original, which had chocolate chips in it. Flash forward to 2011. My cookbook cupboard had overflowed to the ridiculous. I made the decision that some serious culling needed to be done, and so one morning I went through my cookbooks and donated a bunch to the Book Nook, which supports our local library. In this day and age, most any recipe is a click away and so I reduced my cookbook collection to a fraction of it's previous size. I felt good about it. To test out my recipe accessibility theory, I did one last search for the Cocoa Apple cake. The first recipe that popped up was it! Of course it was a little shy on the chocolate chips, but I always added more anyway, so that told me it was the one! Anyway, enough about cake!
Jo and I went home shortly after dinner to avoid the drunken craziness that usually accampanies New Year's Eve. Good thing...I heard the boys go out a short time after we got home. We did our chores, got in our PJs and settled in for some telly and sock knitting. 100+ channels and nothing on to watch prompted me to see if there was anything new on NetFlix to hold my attention. What? The first season of Portlandia had been added! Since we don't get the IFC channel, I thought it would be fun to watch the show that sheds a light on our big city.
I ended up watching the whole first season (6 episodes in all). Kyle Maclachlan is hilarious as the mayor and Sam Adams (the actual mayor of Portland) has cameos as his assistant. The show is a series of skits with recurring characters that feature different locales here in Portland. Portlan's motto is "Keep Portland Wierd" and you definitely catch that vibe in Portlandia. The knitting of 2 socks at a time is going fabulously...knitting heel flaps and will be turing the heel soon. I hope to have this pair off the needles by the time my new ChiaoGoos arrive, so I can start on another pair with a lace pattern perhaps. Or maybe toe up 2 at a timeMight as well complicate it more! I did venture out yesterday to JoAnn's to take advantage of the 99 cent McCall's pattern sale. The main pattern that drove me there was McCall's 6513, a new Palmer/Pletsch knit top offering.
This is so the type of top I like to wear and I can't wait to take it for a spin. Unfortunately Tom had a job waiting for me when I was heading home from town so I couldn't dive right in. The good news is I knocked the job out in the afternoon and it paid for my little trip to JoAnn's! I picked up several other patterns and some more sock yarn. I won't rest until all my socks are handmade!
I have to go to work today, so I had best get off the computer and give Jo a bath. I like him to start off fresh with a new class. I'm sure he will be thrilled! Usually he runs and hides when I say the "B" word. Enjoy the rest of the holiday if you have it off. I am off tomorrow and will be watching the Rose Bowl. GO DUCKS!

Project Dress a Girl

For the past couple of years, I have made dresses for Project Dress a Girl Around the World, in part thanks to the campaign launched by Mari...