Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Blessings

It was such a lovely Easter weekend here. The weather was perfect. It felt like Spring had really arrived. Today the sun was shining and you didn't even need a jacket! At last :). We had a few visitors which was nice and Mom received this lovely bouquet of carnations. They really brighten up the house.

The Easter Bunny arrived, despite my decree that there was to be no chocolate brought into this house. A couple of chocolate bunnies did sneak in :(
Millie and Bunny had a private word about it.....

I was kind of hoping the Easter Bunny might sneak in and prepare the Easter dinner, but that didn't happen either. So while I prepped the feast I found a few minutes in between to hook a small bit. The leaves are sprouting on the burlap

I'm slowly making some progress. It is fun to watch this project develop, one element at a time.
I hope you all had many Easter blessings this weekend.

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

It takes a Village..... keep all the little birdies happy. And after today, there's going to be a lot of happy birdies in my town. Today was Don Miller's annual Bird House Show and Sale. Named "The Village" this sale featured over 100 unique bird houses. Don, our Baptist Minister, has been doing this for a hobby for several years and his creations "fly" off the shelf. They are all made from recycled materials and every one is different. I already have one in my back yard but I thought it should have company :)
Nothing says Spring like a bunch of bird houses!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Catching up

I've spent the last few days catching up. And I've been making the most of my days off. Busy, busy, busy! You'd almost think I was one of those wealthy woman who lounge around and have leisurely lunches with girlfriends. I loved it! It's nice to not have a schedule for a change. Thursday morning I even went to the Hook-in at Deanne's studio.

I ordered a few Easter goodies for us too. It just wouldn't be Easter without hot cross buns. And the coconut mini cupcakes didn't last very long. Yumm

In fact I haven't even had much time to work on my rug. I thought I'd have more done by now. Here's my progress so far

I hope to have more to show you soon. I'm alternating between knitting and hooking. I haven't been the best blogger lately but I'll get better soon. I feel like I'm slowly getting caught up on life. You need a few days off every once in awhile to recharge, be selfish and un-scheduled.

I hope you all had a lovely Good Friday.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Tuesday Ramble

I'll start with the best part - I'm starting a little mini vacation as of this afternoon. Yay! This morning I had to travel for a meeting with another co-worker. Snow showers, fog, and slick roads but we arrived safe and had a good meeting. On the way home the roads were better and we stopped at the Masstown Market for lunch. It's quite a great place and I now realize I should have taken pictures. Oops.
While we were having lunch we saw a old school friend who joined us. That was an added bonus. And I picked up supper to bring home - their famous seafood pie

I will definitely be picking up one of these again.

Tonight I am hooking a bit on a sunflower before DWTS starts. It's not that great this season but I am eternally optimistic that it will get better. However I am no longer eternally optimistic that there will be a Spring this year. There is some kind of cold, wet or white event everyday since "march 20th". It is still very much winter here. I'm sick of thinking about Spring. It's just a cruel taunt now. Pfft, whatever!

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

I'm going for it

Just as I expected would happen, I looked at my new large hooking pattern - and looked at it - and looked at it - and the more I looked at it, the more scared I became. There are so many details and so many lines that I was almost paralyzed.
Friday night and Saturday I trolled through my various piles of stashed wool, looking for pieces I could use and general inspiration.

Finally today I decided I just had to go for it. Pick one thing and hook it. So my eyes focused on a daisy

Whew, that was easy :). So then I hooked another daisy. Then I must have gotten cocky because next thing I knew I had starting hooking a large sunflower

So I guess I was right in a previous post, you just have to do it one piece at a time. I've stopped for the evening. I was sure I had a large skein of yellow/gold slub wool but can't seem to find it tonight.
Instead I'll blog hop and knit for the rest of the evening.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Breakfast Report

So many of you asked about the mystery of the coddled egg. Well, let me tell you....yummm. I tried it this morning and despite me over cooking it a bit, it was still great.
First thing you need to do is lightly grease the inside of the porcelain coddler and also the inside of the metal lid. Then put a small pat of butter in the bottom and break your egg into the coddler. Next you season to taste. I added just a little salt and pepper but tomorrow I'm going to add a pinch of chives. Really, you could add anything - cheese, cream etc. Lastly, add another small pat of butter to the top. (I got a bit carried away with the butter and added a little extra. One small piece would have been enough)
Now place the coddler into a pan of boiling water, but just below the metal lid.

You should boil it for about 8 minutes. I got distracted and mine cooked a little longer than I should have. When its done, carefully remove from the pan using the ring. It's hot, so I slide a knife through the hole.
Now when I removed the lid, at first I thought it wasn't cooked.

But it was, that's the butter on the top. (Yummm). You can eat it direct from the coddler with a spoon, but I took mine out so I could show you

It's a cross between a boiled egg and a poached egg. But it seems the white part is less rubbery and more creamy. I like it. Tomorrow I'm adding chives and a little cheese. So, that is a coddled egg. Two thumbs up from me.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

How do you eat an elephant?

Of course, the answer to this is one bite at a time. So how do you hook your first large rug project? One strip at a time

I usually like to stick to smaller projects. The few times I've tried larger projects, I end up bored or frustrated. But I've always wanted a large "statement" type rug to hang on a wall.
I had a seed of an idea but I can't draw and designing a large rug, with lots of elements, just would never happen. So a few weeks ago I asked Deanne if she would design something for me. I gave her just a vague concept and it was ready today. I could hardly wait too see what she did.

It's perfect! And it's LARGE. I'm committed to finishing this piece but its going to take awhile. My head is spinning thinking of color planning and sorting through my stash. Eeeeeeeeeee Fun!

I was going to post a pic of the entire design ---- but what fun would that be? I think I'll tease you for awhile, piece by piece.

P.S. I'm testing the egg coddler tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes :)

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yoo-hoo.....where are you?

Spring.....I'm waiting. So far, 2 days into spring and 2 days of snow and flurries. The heck with it!! I'm forging forward (in my mind). I took a hint from my blog friend Julie from Dog Trot Farm. She's been buying bundles of pretty cut flowers to bust the late winter blues. So today I bought 2 bundles of daffodils - one for home and one for my office. Tomorrow they will be opened up with bright yellow faces

Not only will they be pretty and perk me up, they also help raise money for Cancer Research. Win - Win, right!

I got another treat today - a package. Some time ago I read a blog post about how to coddle eggs using beautiful vintage porcelain egg coddlers. I became obsessed. I looked everywhere and couldn't find one. I eventually turned to Etsy and found several. I ordered one

It's so pretty and it is in perfect condition. This weekend I'll be trying it. It kind of reminds me of the old egg cups we used to have. My grandfather wouldn't eat an egg unless it was in an egg cup.

And the seller had everything packaged so nicely and she added a cute little change purse and a sweet tiny note

I got a huge kick out of the little note and envelope. They're just like in Downton Abbey. Whenever they get mail, the letters are teeny, just like this.

That's the days news.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Something Fishy

I know a guy who knows a guy. Isn't that how all the best stories start? This time it's a fish guy - fresh haddock fillets. He comes to town a few times a month I think. I'm telling you, this fish was so fresh it didn't even smell fishy! I coated them in corn flake crumbs and pan fried with a little olive oil. I think it was the best fish I've ever had.

The other fishy thing that happened today involved my own stupidity - pure and simple. I probably shouldn't admit this but I don't exactly look over my credit card statements with a fine tooth comb. (Sometimes I don't even open them). I usually just look at the balance and pay it off every 2 weeks. Today I opened it up and looked and saw something fishy. When I last traded cars I got free Onstar service for 3 years. But APPARENTLY, I've been still paying for it!
I went to my dealership and we are trying to get it sorted out. It appears I am paying for Auntie's Onstar and she doesn't even know how to use it!! It was supposed to be cancelled over a year ago. So now the fight begins. Wish me luck

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Leprechauns and Bunnies

Guess I'm a little late to say "Top of the Morning to you", but Happy St. Patrick's Day anyway! My Mom always loved this day. Her father and her were always proud of their Irish roots. Today I dressed her in green, just because :)
She had several friends visit her today. They all remember how much she loved this day.

I made one of our "traditional" green desserts - pistachio squares and I celebrated with my own version of green food

And in between the beginning of the weekend and the end of the weekend I somehow found the time to finish my Paisley Bunny Pillow. It's listed on Etsy here
Paisley Bunny

He/she would make a great addition to your family. Great personality and completely house broken ;)

Hope you all had a great St. Paddy's Day

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Simple Saturday

The sun is shining and has melted away the layer of snow cover that was on the ground this morning. Spring is so close I can feel it! Very soon the boots can go away and out come the shoes. Or maybe I should say, an excuse to buy new shoes ;). I find the next month difficult wardrobe wise. It's still cold in the morning but by noon you're over-dressed and too warm.

I enjoyed my day off yesterday. I raced around all morning and got all the passport stuff complete and in the mail. Yay! I even had time to stop in to Flow Boutique for a coffee. Then it was Happy Hour with the gang and a quiet evening at home.

This is what is currently on my frame - Paisley Bunny

It seems like I don't have a lot of exciting events to blog about lately. Not that I'm encouraging any extra drama. Sometimes quiet and routine is a good thing.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oy Vey!

It's never good news when your phone rings early in the morning. Did you ever notice nobody ever calls to wake you out of bed to say "Good morning Sunshine, you just won the lottery"?
When I got up this morning I wasn't sure if I heard the phone or was just dreaming. Then before I could move my cell phone beeped. Text message from my "faux" sister in Massachusetts - "call me as soon as you get this message". So with my heart in my throat, I dialed. Her Mom had been rushed to the hospital in the night and her father was going nuts. And she asked would I call her Dad and try to calm him down. She was right, he was borderline psychotic with worry and I put my fears aside and gave him my best "get a grip" lecture. I really just wanted to be there to hug him. So, umpteen phone calls and emails later, all is OK. She is home and will be fine.
But that was the kick in the pants I needed to get my passport. I foolishly let mine expire so now I'm starting from the beginning. I chased around all afternoon getting the application, photos, signatures etc. So if I ever have to get to the US in a hurry, I can. There is no blood between our families but we couldn't be any closer.
So tomorrow, on my day off, I will be sitting in the passport office. Sigh......

In other news, Momma had her last check up with the surgeon today. All is GOOD!

By the time supper arrived I just had enough energy to go to McDonalds drive-thru. A French fry fell on the floor and with lightening speed Millie was all over it. She loves those French fries

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sometimes it's so simple

Did you ever have one of those moments when the light finally comes on? After the longest time of trying to get around a problem and the solution is just so simple.
Today I saw a John Wayne quote that made me laugh at myself ~ "Life is hard. It's harder if you're stupid."

I'm terrible at drawing. It's a big problem when trying to design simple rugs freehand. I can never get things right and end up with multiple attempts and a big scribbly mess on the burlap. Tonight I had an idea. (Yeah, go ahead and alert the media). I printed out some simple shapes, in different sizes and cut them out on card stock.

TaaDah......easy re-traceable templates. Duh....why didn't I think of this before?? I'm pretty sure all you hookers are scratching your heads and wondering why it took me so long to figure this out.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Ring the bell

My office is next door to a Church. Every day at 10am and 3pm the bells ring. It's become a comforting routine. The afternoon bells in particular tell me my afternoon is at the mid point. Today however the bells were momentarily less comforting. All of a sudden I heard them ringing and thought "wow, this was a long afternoon". Then I noticed the clock - 4pm. Guess the time change even affected the bells (or at least the bell programmer)

We have a few jokes around the house about ringing bells but unless you live here in crazy-town it will make no sense.

Chicky pillow is done and ready for shipping to its new home. I selected a wool for the backing but no picture yet because I want Pix to be surprised :). I have just enough burlap left for another small piece. Any suggestions?

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Less one

Spring forward is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that extra bit of daylight in the evening. The other part - losing that extra hour of sleep wasn't fun. But the real fun is the next few days......(yes, that's sarcasm). Each time change Auntie goes into denial. A total resistance to adjust. D.E.N.I.A.L
"What time is it?"
"No it's not. It's only 9am".
OR my personal favorite (not) "What time was it yesterday?" ARRGH. Yes folks, this will drag on for the entire week! Sigh.....

On a happier note, I "might" be down one project. I think the chicken pillow will be going to a new home later this week. Yay! Just waiting to select an appropriate wool backing.

My relaxing weekend continued as I decided I wasn't cooking today. Delivery pizza for supper, and it was so good. It's been awhile since I ordered pizza so maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much.

Apparently relaxing is contagious because Millie has caught it. Yet she always manages to keep her eye on me. Such a loyal little buddy :)

My head is swimming with new ideas from reading the new Rug Hooking magazine. I'm toying with the idea of hooking a large rug. Stay tuned!

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hi Chicky

I spent a nice relaxing Saturday doing what I like best - hooking. Last night I had chickens on the brain. (Not sure why). But before I knew it, I had this little guy drawn on the burlap.

I think it might end up being a small pillow. So, if you have a farmhouse kitchen then stay tuned because I'm sure you "need" this pillow!

And as an homage to Alice, I've given this chicken purple feet. Shouldn't every chicken strut her stuff with purple feet??

I also got my latest copy of Rug Hooking Magazine tonight. Time to give the hook a rest, make a coffee and flip the pages for my next inspiration. I love the cover this month.

I hope you spent your Saturday doing what you love :)

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Her triumphant return

Exactly 3 weeks ago today Mom had her mastectomy. And today she was able to go back to her Adult Day Care Program. Sometimes I look at her and see a frail, sick woman. I forget how tough and strong she really is. She's been doing great.

It really was fun when we walked in this morning. They weren't expecting us. I could say that I thought it would be a fun surprise for them....but that would be a teeny fib. The truth is I forgot to call the coordinator last night. Oops :)

But it was a fun surprise. They all hugged her and told her how much they missed her. There were even some cards waiting that they had made for her. She enjoyed her day but she was totally wiped out when I picked her up at 3pm. She could barely hold her eyes open. It's the first time she's been out.

Now it's official - life is back to normal. ( or whatever my normal is)

And tonight I bound and listed the little Spring Sheep rug on Etsy. Yay! One down, two to go

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Pinocchio Effect

I've been thinking about Pinocchio lately. Not the lying part, but definitely the growing nose part. I'm having a bit of an issue. For the past few months I've been reading in bed, trying anything to help me settle down and sleep better.

I wear contact lenses and only use my glasses to read in bed. Lately it seems like I have been sliding them further and further down my nose. Now they are teetering precariously right on the tip. I'm running out of nose!! I think it's probably time to make an appointment with my eye doctor, since growing a longer nose seems impractical ;)

Oh, if you are wondering if I've made any progress binding the UFO rugs. No
Did I find the green yarn? No. Did I even look for the yarn? No. Tomorrow's another day! Lol

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Giggles and Goodies

When I got home tonight I heard this story and had to giggle. Auntie said a couple of ladies were here this afternoon to visit with her and Mom. According to Auntie, one lady was leaning over Mom and talking "quite a bit". Now, Alzheimer's patients don't typically respond well to the "too close - too much" thing. It was a little strange because the lady has been here many times and isn't normally so.....chatty.

When she was leaving, she walked about 6 feet away from Mom and Mom looked at Auntie and "loudly" proclaimed "Hmm, she should be on the radio". LOL.
God love Momma, that sarcastic little spark is still in there somewhere ;)

Two weeks ago I received a sweet little package from Kim at Field of Dreams blog. I mentioned it but I don't think I shared the pic of this sweet little stack of hearts.

They are so cute and Kim was so thoughtful to send them to me. And today when I got home I had another treat in the mail from Lesa. She knows I'm a Downton Abbey fan so she sent me this calendar and beautiful card.

Thank you to both ladies. Bloggers are the sweetest, most generous people.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

More fun than a barrel of monkeys

Do you remember these? Toys certainly were a lot simpler when I was young. No batteries, no computer chips, yet they managed to amuse us. But I digress. My point is this - last night we had more "fun than a barrel of monkeys"

I went to a local theatre production with one of my oldest friends. The show was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. We laughed all the way through, as did the entire crowd. I wasn't the only one seen grabbing their cocktail napkin to wipe away the tears. The show was about a married couple who struggle through menopause and an unexpected pregnancy. Several of the actors were friends of mine so it was even funnier to see their characters and personalities merge.

Today I found yet another unfinished project and thought I'd keep the momentum going and finish it. All that was left to hook were the 3 leaves and I thought I'd bind it with cording and a whipped edge for a chair pad.

Do you think I could find the soft mint green yarn for whipping? NO. And it was the perfect shade, so I decided to wait until I find it. (Any excuse to delay binding, right!). But in the few minutes I did devote to searching, I found some more cotton dishcloth yarn I forgot about so out came the knitting needles.

It was a dreary, drizzly day but at least the snow banks are slowly disappearing.

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bobbins and bindings

I have a love-hate relationship with my sewing machine. I guess we don't truly understand each other. I rarely use it, only to finish the edges on rugs. And because I procrastinate the binding process I don't turn it on often. And it seems like whenever I do, something the cursed bobbin runs out!

This morning I "found" an unfinished project and decided to bind it and list it on etsy. (Momma needs to buy more wool so I hope it sells quick. Hehehe). So I sew about 6 inches and the bobbin was empty. One failed attempt at filling it led to a tangled mess. Attempt #2 worked but then I ran out of thread half way through. Arrgh!

I think the thread company's should package a spool of thread with 2 filled bobbins. Wouldn't that be a great idea?? Anyway, a quick run to the store and I was back in business.

Here is the little rug that was a free pattern in the Fall edition of Rug Hooking magazine

Now listed on Etsy! Hopefully there will be a couple more listing this week.
Tonight I'm heading out with a friend to see a play. Should be fun. Happy Saturday

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