Friday, December 30, 2011

A Brief Look at...

...the year in review.  From crochet... the garden... the kitchen.  

Looking back, it's been a good year...

a blessed year.

Looking forward to 2012.

Wishing you peace and happiness in the new year.

"Learn from yesterday,
live for today,
hope for tomorrow."
- Einstein -


Monday, December 26, 2011

Sneak Peek...

I thought I'd pop into blogland and say "Hi".  I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas.  We had a nice holiday weekend and wrapped it up with a get together with my sister and her family yesterday afternoon.  Too much food was eaten and too much sugar consumed by the little ones, but we all had fun making memories together.

I've been working on my Shetland Tweed afghan when I can.  I'm just short of the halfway point...

I know I've said this before, but this is one of my favorite patterns.  It's just a lot of fun to make and believe it or not it moves very quickly.  

I would classify it as mosaic crochet giving the look of fair isle...

I have modified the pattern in that I use long double crochets instead of the double crochets in front or behind the stitches.  If you do it this way, you'll have the pattern on both sides of the blanket and you'd be hard pressed to tell which is the wrong side.

Hubby is off work this week, so things should be relaxing; and I'm hoping to get in plenty of crochet!

Enjoy the last week of 2011...

It won't be long and we'll be saying, "Happy New Year!"


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

May the Spirit, that is Christmas, fill your heart with the joy of the season.  

Wishing you and your families a very merry Christmas.


 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Getting in the Mood for Christmas

Today kicked-off the start of the holiday baking.  I made my world famous Peanut Butter Fudge and a new cookie recipe.  

I've been making the fudge recipe for more than 10 years and it turns out great every time.  I follow the instructions exactly as written and it's always been super creamy and delicious.  

The cookies (recipe found HERE) have wonderful flavor, but mine were flat as a pancake.  I have no idea what I did wrong, but you can see mine don't look anything like the ones she has pictured on her website.  I might need to replace my baking power.  I know hubby will gobble them up though.  He'll sit down in front of the TV this evening with a glass of milk and devour at least a dozen.  


This afternoon, I put on some Christmas music and dear son and I made wreath bead ornaments.  They now adorn our tree.  

We've been getting lots of goodies in the mail.  My door is filling up with beautiful Christmas cards and we received a festive goodie package from one of my aunts chock-full of holiday favorites.  

Butter cookies, assorted mixed nuts, peanut brittle, candy canes, a beautiful card, and a sweet book for the little one.  

Dear son and I ate most of the butter cookies yesterday while we watched White Christmas.  They just don't make movies like that anymore.  

I think Rosemary Clooney is absolutely stunning in this movie.  I love the scene where she is singing at the Carousel Club in her black figure hugging gown and long white gloves; gorgeous!

Hope your Christmas week is full of activities that make you happy.



Sunday, December 18, 2011

How Great Thou Art

One of my favorite songs....sung beautifully.

And when I think that God his son not sparing,
Sent him to die - I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

 - excerpt from the song
How Great Thou Art -

Hope you are enjoying a blessed Sunday.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Introducing Shetland Tweed...

I started working on a new project this week.  It is one of two that I hope to submit to the Vanna's Choice Contest.  We'll have to see how time plays out over the Christmas holiday.  

These colors are newer to the VC line and I really like them.  

I haven't worked with black a lot, but I thought it would give the "pop" I needed with the softer brown and cream tones.  They have the natural look of undyed wool without the high cost; and so much softer!  


I'm making one of my very favorite patterns, Fireside Cheer from Afghans for all Season.  

I wanted something different and eye catching.  It's very masculine looking and I think it would look nice on a black leather sofa or recliner.  

I'm hoping to have enough time to complete this and one that is more colorful.  I have a pattern in mind, but haven't committed with the yarn purchase yet.

Hope your Friday is shaping up nicely and that you have a warm weekend.  It's in the 30's here, but no snow predicted.  I have a feeling the snow is going to be scant this winter...

Take care!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Sister's Gift

Today I finished up my sister's gift...

The Fisherman's Basketweave as I like to call it.  The pattern is from Aran Afghans to Crochet by Bonnie Barker; it's a Leisure Arts booklet.  I used Wool-Ease in Fisherman for the gift.  I did leave off one of the repeat sections.  But, at 53 x 75 without the fringe, I think it's large enough to snuggle under while watching a movie or reading a book.  

Dear sis said she would really like one someday after I made the wedding one this past summer.  So, I bit the bullet and stitched away...

and away...

I'm so relieved happy to have it finished!  


A special gift for a special sister.  

"A sister is a forever friend."
 - Author Unknown - 

Merry Christmas


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mid Week This and That

I got a new toy the other day when I was out Christmas shopping.  It's an electric kettle.  Our stove-top tea kettle died several years ago.  The whistle broke off and you wouldn't know when it had boiled; you'd end up with water all over the top of the stove.  

The electric kettle is fun to use.  


Have you finished up your Christmas shopping yet?  I may get my husband one or two more small things, but for the most part I'm done.  Even have the little one's things all wrapped and secreted away.  

Oh how I wish we'd get some snow.  I'm ready for the first big snow storm of the year.  We've had so much rain lately...
the house may float away.

My sister and her family are coming over on Christmas.  We are going to do a casual buffet with a Honey Baked Ham.  I need to figure out a couple of side dishes to make.  Something easy as I want to enjoy myself and not spend the day in the kitchen; ya know?

I'm still plugging away on my fisherman basketweave afghan.  I should be starting on the final series of cables later today.  

Hope your week is going well.  

Don't forget to take some time for "tea" during this busy time of year.  AND, don't forget the Reason for the season...

Holiday Blessings.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday at Home

I was up and about early this morning trying to get things done so that I'd have some time later this afternoon to work on the Fisherman Basketweave.  I'm on the final repeat section and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The sun is shining brightly, but it's a cold frosty day.  Hubby is feeling a little under the weather, so I thought I'd bake some BANANA BREAD...

and make some TORTILLA SOUP in the crock pot for dinner this evening...

Nothing tastes better than soup when you aren't feeling well.  I used some leftover Thanksgiving turkey I had in the freezer in place of the chicken.

Did you notice my Christmas cactus in the bread picture?  I got that at Kroger the other day; $7.99 didn't seem like too much to spend in order to bring a little color indoors this time of year. 

And, it brings a smile to my face when I look at it. 


Hope your week is rounding out well.

Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home.

 - Mother Teresa -


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Snowing!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But, the fire is so delightful,
And, if we've no place to go,

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!


We are getting our first snow of the season.  It probably won't amount to much, but I'm loving watching it drift down.

Let it snow!


Friday, November 25, 2011

On the Other Side of Halfway

Well, I'm on the other side of halfway on my sister's Christmas afghan.  I've been working on it here and there over the Thanksgiving holiday.  It felt good to sit down this evening with hook and yarn.

I love all the texture in the blanket...

Between the worsted weight yarn and the bit of wool mixed in with the acrylic, this is sure to be warm and toasty.  Perfect to wrap up in on a cold January night.

I was hoping to have this done by the end of the month, but I think I'll fall short of that goal by at least a week.  One nice thing is that with all the same color of yarn, there aren't too many ends to weave in.

I'm off to start on the next series of cables. 

Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving afterglow. 

We've got a fire going, the Christmas tree lights on and A Christmas Story in the DVD player. 

Nice cozy Friday night.



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Blessings to you and yours.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Cheeseball

This is an all-time favorite in my household and I always serve it around the holidays. 

We really enjoy it, and I love it because it's super simple to make if you have a food processor.

Gather your ingredients:

Holiday Cheeseball

+ 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese (brick)
+ 2 small packages Budding Beef
+ 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
+ 2 tsp Accent
+ 1 Tablespoon chopped green onions (dried)
+ 1 Tablespoon milk

  • Throw everything in your food processor (chopping blade) and run until ingredients are mixed together and smooth.
  • Place mixture on a plate.
  • Using a rubber spatula smooth into a ball shape.
  • Cover and let sit in fridge overnight.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Turkey Craft and Party Favor

I wanted to have a little party favor for the boys on Thanksgiving.  So I gathered together some materials that I thought I'd need to make this craft. 

It just took about 20 - 30 minutes to make these cute little guys.

What you'll need:

+ Movie-size boxes of candy
+ Kraft paper
+ Construction paper in various colors
+ Scissors
+ Glue
+ Tape
+ Markers

  1. Wrap the boxes of candy in the Kraft paper.
  2. Cut out a circle for the belly and a circle for the face.
  3. Cut out fat triangles for the feet and a skinny triangle for the beak.
  4. Cut out almond shapes in various colors for feathers.
  5. Cut out a little red wattle.

Glue all the pieces in place and draw a face on your turkey and some toes on his feet. 

(I wanted to use the those googly eyes for the face, but we were fresh out.  The marker worked just as well.)

And, he's done.

My son made his; it was a fun little project.

The little one is now making Indian feather headdresses out of construction paper and glitter glue to go along with the turkeys.


It's raining here....perfect day for crafts.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pecan Chewies

I found this recipe for Pecan Chewies last week on Mommy's Kitchen.  They sounded really good (and easy to make) so I printed out the recipe and set it aside to try later.  

This evening, my father-in-law and his friend will be arriving to spend the night on their way to PA for Thanksgiving.  With this in mind, I needed a little something to serve up once they arrived.  This seemed to fit the bill.  

I couldn't wait until they cooled to try them, so I dished up a couple for us to taste.

Hubby's on his fourth one, so they must be good..

I need to hide the pan so I have some to serve my father-in-law.  



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting Close to Midway...

The week has quickly blown by and it's already Thursday evening... 

I haven't had as much time to dedicate to the Basketweave Fisherman blanket this week, but I am making some progress; midway isn't too far in the distance. 


I've made it past another series of cables and am into the next basketweave section.  I think I'll block it before I put the fringe on it to give it a nice finished look.  Hopefully my sister will like it. 

On a different note...

It was a pretty day today, with the sun shining brightly in the sky.  I took advantage of the sunshine and had hubby grill out some burgers to go with a BLT salad for dinner.  Soon, the grill will have to be retired to the garage and we won't have another good hamburger until spring.  Burgers just don't taste the same cooked on the stove...

Beware the grocery stores this weekend, it's going to be a mad house.  I think I'll try to get most of my shopping done tomorrow evening and just have the few odds and ends to pick up next week.  I did get the prize purchase made though...

Ole Tom Turkey weighing in at 23 pounds. 

We'll be enjoying leftovers for a long, long, long time. 

Gobble, gobble...


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Planning

I've started planning my Thanksgiving Day menu.  
Early this morning, I was digging through my stack of favorite recipes, looking for just the right ones.  

I usually get out a manila folder and write the menu on the front of the folder and put the recipes I'm going to use in the folder.  It helps me stay organized.  

I make my pies and quick bread the day before as a prelude to the big event.  I usually put on some festive Christmas music and get an early start.  And while the pies are baking, I'll throw together the cheese ball.  I can tell you my dishwasher gets a workout on pre-turkey day.  


Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
Ole Tom Turkey
Mom's Pecan Dressing
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Beans w/Almonds
Cranberry Sauce
Salad (I haven't decided on this yet)

Pumpkin pie
Pecan pie
Toll house pie

Shrimp tray
Cheese ball & Crackers

I'm looking forward to all the festivities.  My sister and her family will be over for dinner.  Then we'll relax in the family room with desserts and a game (or two or three) of Catch Phrase.  I imagine the boys will run around like wild critters and have a blast.  


What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?


Friday, November 11, 2011

Snow Flurries Predicted...

Last night at dinner, dear husband said, "You know, they are predicting snow flurries tonight." 


What's a girl to do? 

I wrapped up my nightly chores, threw on my pajama's, turned on the gas logs, and grabbed my crochet.   

For a little while, it was just me and our extra-large house cat "Pebbles".  As you can see, she thoroughly enjoys the fireplace.  The "boys" were playing marbles in the other room and I was enjoying a little bit of quiet time.  No TV, no thoughts but for the next row's stitch pattern...

Dear hubby came in to join me a little later and turned on an historical war program, but I kept stitch'n...

I didn't see any snow flurries last night, but it sure was cold this morning; 28 degrees when I came downstairs. 

Snow flurries predicted again for tonight? 

I hope so! 


Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Basketweave Update

A little progress update on the Fisherman Basketweave I started working on last week.  I'm making this as a Christmas gift for my sister.  I'm about a third of the way into it and when it's done, hopefully it will look like it does in the booklet. 


I'm hoping to have it done in the next couple of weeks.  I'm "itching" to start on my next project, but I really want to finish this first.

This is a great booklet with some really pretty afghans in it.  Maryfairy on Ravelry made one from this booklet using a medley of the different stitch patterns, you can see her beautiful work of art HERE

I love these fisherman afghans, but I'll be ready for a little color once I wrap this one up.



Rainy Day...

It's raining here in southern Ohio and I'm having a quiet morning...

I'm letting the little one sleep in.  Rest is one of the best medicines when you are feeling a little under the weather.  I hope he is feeling better today.

My Mom sent us a few thanksgiving books she found at the second hand book store where she volunteers.  I think I'll set aside the current chapter book I've been reading to dear son and start reading to him about the first thanksgiving. 

I started a new book (for myself) over the weekend, it's called Be Encouraged by Warren W. Wiersbe.  It's a commentary on 2 Corinthians.  We are doing a bible study in our Wednesday evening service on that chapter.  I thought it would be a good accompaniment.  

Quick clarification on my post the other day.  I'm not going to be entering the blanket I showed in this POST in the Vanna's Choice Contest.  I made that for someone a couple of years ago.  At the time, when I made it, I had wanted to submit it, but didn't meet the deadline.  I don't have the blanket any longer since I gifted it to a friend.  If I enter, I'll make a new blanket.

On a different note, Rie over at CraftyRie is in the process of creating a universal blog list for crafters.  Go over and check it out, lots of fun crafty blogs to get lost in...

I hope you have a good day today.  I think things will be quiet around here again today.  Just taking it easy.  Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in our day-to-day lives and rushing here and there that we forget to breathe. 

Take care until next time.