How many Rum Balls, is too many Rum Balls?

The Christmas shopping (crafting etc.) is complete. Although I do have a tendency to add additional little bits and pieces to the gift's. We started baking a couple of days ago and passed out all but a couple of the goody bags to friends and neighbors. James made some dark chocolate crinkles which baked up with pretty little snow capped tops. As is customary, I had to take a photo. He also made his Chocolate Oatmeal Crispy Chewies (which I just love right out of the oven), and extra rummy rum balls ,yummie!. I made some glazed lemon lavender breads and crazy chewy popcorn balls.

As we "speak" James is in the kitchen making an Apple Pie. I'm going to make some Italian Chocolate Bread when he is done.

Tomorrow we will get up early and go to the Young's to visit and pass out gifts and eat too much. Then we have to book it home to feed the cats and drop off gifts and pick up gifts and food. After that we will go to Grandmas for the usual dinner and gift exchange. I hope I didn't forget anything....

Because I am pretty sure that Krista (and other peeps) will not be perusing this website tonight, I am posting the gift photos. I started making pillows for Krista in 2006. It is still on her wish list, and I had all the fabric and trim that I needed to make them, so I finally completed 3. On the forth one, the needle broke. So, three it is.

The teaser photo from an earlier post is revealed here. Several weeks ago I asked my mom what she wanted as a gift. She said nonchalantly, "mittens". I don't know if she remembers or not. I asked this because her list seems to always consist of random non-gift type items such as: undergarments, socks, shampoo, etc.

A couple of weeks ago when we had the knitting get together I taught her how to knit in K2P2 ribbing. She doesn't know that she is making a scarf to match her gloves. Maybe I will let her choose the color next time, because I'm pretty sure it is not her favorite... there's always next year.
I did make some lip balm this year. It was rather easy once all the proper tools and ingredients were obtained. The hard part was finding them, which I would not have been able to do without the internet. Its peppermint and has a very subtle feel, applies thinly that is.

Dad gets a hat that I am not sure will fit... made with donated yarn from Krista. I am working on another hat of my own design (it's a 2 needle hat since I don't have the right sized circulars). I'll try to remember to post a photo.

I also plan on making a gift for Maggie. She would like a little blanket to sleep on so that the chair doesn't get so hairy. Luckily she is not expecting it to be on time for Christmas. Rocky gets to play in the paper when we are done unwrapping.

Pretty little beads

So I have been working on photographing my beads. It seems to be harder to shoot jewelry than other stuff. I cut up a cardboard box to try to make a light tent. It worked kinda. What was even better was using one of those plastic clothing bins with the semi-clear sides. After I was satisfied with that, I kept trying to find a good background for the beads.... this is the photo that I got after a few days of fiddling.

I think it looks good, but I can only take little tiny photos because I am using the back of a black CD as the background. What I want is some Black Ice, or white ice....

I have been looking around for something that would work and I cannot find anything glossy enough. I might just splurge someday if I start selling on the net and buy something. I also want a bust... the kind you display jewelry on. Don't be rude.

So, aside from working on the Ginkgo newsletter, and knitting, and making cards (hurry up), that I what I have been doing.

HEY! Anyone want to buy custom beaded jewelry, let me know. It's a good idea!

Knitting with the peeps...

So, there was tea and goodies, thanks all for visiting.

I only got a couple rounds of the sock done. However, Shelley learned to cast on and K2, P2 ribbing, as did mom. Very exciting, now you know how to fish!

I'll see how far they get.

I have decided to start another project for someone who shall remain nameless. It is another project that I cannot put up until after Christmas. I will be using some of the yarn from Krista. There is much work to be done. So I had better get on with it!

Puzzo time!

We did it, we got our winter puzzle. It's the Sistine Chapel, 3000 peices by Educa (Educa puzzles are great for those of you who like to spend months working them.) We put together most of the edge pieces over the last 2 days and are starting on the hard part... the middle.

Hopefully we will be done by Christmas, because I think it's our house that is hosting... yup... pretty sure.

The last big difficult puzzle that we did was Guernica, by Picasso also 3000 pieces.

Bubbles arent cute when they come out of the toilet.

For the last 2 days, when water is draining, the toilets would bubble. This is a good reason to keep the lid down. I hope you all do that, it's a good habit. You wouldn't want all the toilet germs escaping and contaminating for example, your toothbrush. (Or if you watched that Oprah show, you know that the germ thing is futile.)

So in any case, I was scared to use the potty. I didn't want it to splash at me.

James got on the roof and snaked out the vents, which really freaked out the cats. Maggie was very concerned with what sounded like giant metal rats in the walls.

We called the pumping truck to drain the septic system and they determined that our main line was clogged. I guess that our little palm tree (that is so cute) was the culprit. He recommended removing the tree. HA! I think that James is planning on fixing the actual line since it was done so poorly in the first place. I think this is a better plan too.

Anyway, they were able to fix the clog rather easily it seems. The guy (who calls people "pardner", who does that?) said that the baffle should be replaced. This means that someone gets to crawl into the septic tank (Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe...) and replace the baffle. I think that will be a job we hire someone to do.

For about an hour it really stunk outside.

Neglecting you, whoever you are...

I have been knitting my lovely sock. It takes a long time with size 1 DPN's, but it's so perdy! Gosh, I should take a picture to document this...(reluctantly gets up and grabs the camera, gosh, it's so heavy...)
Okay, so I cannot just take one photo of anything. I took 33 of various things that I want to.. document. I'll spare you and begin with the socks. I have done about 20 rows and got to cast on in Twisted German. I know a lot of those... Anyway, I like that cast on, it's fun. The yarn is Smooshy by Dream in Color (lipstick lava, 100% superfine Australian Merino!) and it's so yummy. I'm going to attempt a short row heel, because they just look better. (pattern)

I am also making Sleepy Snake and Mischievous mouse from MochiMochi Shop. The colors have been changed but I am almost done with the length of the snake.

So, in addition there are some other things that I made recently. A friend of mine who is rather strange was attempting to make polymer clay feet one day. She decided that they would make good earrings. We weren't drinking. Ultimately they were smashed up into who knows what. But it inspired me more than it should have. I though, how strange and great would it be to bring that idea to the next level.

These are the wiggle toe earrings.

And now for a more serious project... This took several hours of beading from a pattern by Jennie Hennesay (available here). If you have 6 or so hours and the correct beads, have at it.

I had a bit of trouble with the clasp. I didn't want to put on a lobster claw or anything because I think they detract from the handmade feeling, so I invented the clasp. It is possible to get it on, but requires practice.

So that is what I have been doing craft wise.

Knitting at my house!

Saturday, December 8th at noon.

Bring some yarn and sticks and a treat if you like.

What to make....

So, I completed one half of fetching from Knitty, and I don't like it. Do I do the other, or just claim "lost glove"? I just think it should be longer.

I want to cast on for something else, and I have some nice sock yarn...

Krista also gave me some yarn to make something with, but I dunno what...someone else needs to make the decision for me.


Speaking of lists, I am making a list of all the things that I want to knit and it's just so long and intimidating! I guess I just have to pick one. So I guess I will just pick one.

I'm feeling sleepy...

Maggie found a new and exciting way to wake me up. See, we have this tall headboard on the bed, and she likes to hang out on the ledge at the top (against the rules), kinda the same way she likes to sit on the top of the shower door sliders during steamy time. Anyway, she is usually very accurate in her cat leaping endeavors... this morning, she missed the headboard and landed on my face.
So, this could have been a painful type situation except that Mags doesn't usually use her claws for much of anything. It was mostly soft foot and fluff that landed on my face. What a way to wake up. James chased her out of the room and tossed a sandal down the hallway at her. (Don't worry, we always miss).

I didn't get right up and feed the cats.

I looked out the window, and it was and still is, very frosty! I wish I had a bathtub. Okay, there is a bathtub, but it is unbelievably shallow. It's harvest gold too, they don't make those anymore. What is the point of having a shallow bathtub, just make it a shower.

The frosty is in the courtyard too and affecting the tropical plants. It's okay! We are experienced with keeping tropical plants alive thru cold winters. I'm going to knit them little scarves. No seriously folks... all you gotta do is put a bunch of mulchie stuff on them. The bananas look so sad, as do the trumpet flowers. Crazy blooming fools. What season do they think it is?

I am knitting. Not right now, but while the evil grotesque XBox game is on. The furkids and I sit in the living room and knit. I am knitting some cabled fingerless mitts, for me. There are a couple of mess ups, but you don't know where they are. The yarn is a pure Peruvian Alpaca in a beautiful dark purple. I hope noone cares if I knit during thanksgiving dinner... don't mind me...

We went to the mall yesterday (strangely James idea, due to the fact that there is a puzzle store there) and didn't find what we were looking for. A Sistine Chapel puzzle by Educa. We will order it online. It's cheaper anyway. Then of course since we were at the mall, I had to stop by Daiso! I love Daiso. They even had yarn. I got some things to use for holiday cards too. It's a very fun store and everyone should have the chance to go. Plus, almost everything is $1.50!

I also had to redeem my Victoria's Secret free panty! The coupon was even good for colors this time!

My egg not latte is gone...and really it is about time to get dressed and look alive.

Enjoy your dinners.

I like coffee, I like tea... This mornings coffee was so pretty I thought I would show you. We have been having egg nog in our lattes recently. Also, fresh ground nutmeg with the fancy grinder that James gifted me last year. It's made by Peugeot. They make cars, and nutmeg grinders. Who'da thunk.
So last night I was going to start another knitting project but found that I didn't have the correct type of yarn. See, it comes in different thicknesses. One cannot just make anything out of anything. For example, socks require a fingering weight yarn. Take off your shoes, see those little tiny threads on your store bought socks...imagine those threads as regular yarn thickness. It just would not work.

The dilemma is: do I buy more yarn, or do I figure out what I can make with what I have?

There is a fantastic yarn store about 2 miles away, which we walked to once. It's called Let it Rain and they have very nice yarns. This also means that the yarn can be pretty pricey, as well as pure and natural, which I appreciate. AND I get in a good (sunny even) walk after having an egg nog latte.
Okay. I'm done with that last knitting project. This is what you get to see. I am surprised that I kinda could figure out what to do considering my experience is with scarves... the next project is more complex. I first have to choose my yarn. Also for the next one I will have to knit a swatch. That's what I know so far. I have the pattern, but have not actually read it. Wish me luck...

Choice of colors!

I had my choice of colors! There was even glow-in-the-dark and sparkles! I chose orange. Orange doesn't get enough credit. Everyone always likes blue. Blue this, blue that. The sky is blue, when it isn't gray... but when the leaves turn orange, that's the stuff. So anyway, I chose orange and a kitty cat! They even offered a choice of picture. Isn't it fun to be a kid!

It's not gross. Get over it.

monkeys with ropes

It had to be done. Now tree feels much better. It had a "haircut". It's good that there are these guys, because there were some big old branches that needed down.

When the wind blows, the limbs rattle around all over. I just assumed that having human up there would make the branches wobble, but no, humans are nothing compared to the wind. I know this, its no secret to me. Hundred pound limbs were thudding to the ground under me.

I invited the kitties to see what was going on, but Maggie was not interested. Rocky listened from a distance with his satellite ears moving around in every direction.

Progress Report

The working in the round, is not hard at all! It tends to get tight, but maybe that is just me. It works though. I'm encouraged to make socks now! I have issues with rather strange looking heel flaps. I have seen some with a mitered heel that looks much better. There are some really pretty socks out there. There is a woman who always makes socks toe-up (that's starting at the toe) so that she can end when she darn well feels like it. I like that idea.

Browsing around, I found some very interesting sites, my current favorite is >
I'm going to look thru my links and add them to my sidebar thingy.

I got a book! Went to Half Price Books yesterday, and got a half priced book! I liked the designs, but will change the colors. It's Quick Knits to Wear, Edited by Jeanne Stauffer. It's full of classic basic patterns.

Round and round we go...

Yup, I am attempting to teach myself to knit in the round. I cannot tell you what I am making until the new year. I will be taking photos and storing them though so that we can have a conversation about it next year. Not that anyone posts any comments....
So, this is the first attempt. I got the stitches on three needles and then the instructions said "join". Join, I don't know what that means, and could not find it in the book, so I just decided to start knitting. It seems to have worked. Now that the computer is on though, I am going to look for some more details. I have worked about 10 rows. It is more difficult, but fun because there is more to keep track of.

pointy sticks and plenty of balls

I have been waiting for a week for my balls to arrive! They are finally here! It's so exciting that I am going to make all kinds of things. I got some cotton balls, and some alpaca balls and all kinds of other balls. I even tested Maggie to see if she wanted to attack my alpaca balls, but she was confused. I bet that she would attack them when I wasn't looking and there would be yarn strewn all about the hallways.
So, now I have pointy sticks and plenty of balls. I think that I will watch Survivor, and then Greys Anatomy (while recording The Office), and then watch The Office, all the while working on the orange scarf so that I can complete it and make something else!

I've never been so excited about a box of soft colorful balls!

Apples, corn, beef jerky and Almond Roca

Since I got my braces off we have been stocking more crunchy and chewy and otherwise yummy things that I have not had for a while. One of those things is Almond Roca, which is very good. We also got some Beef Jerky, which Maggie just happens to like more than cheese. I bought some Granny Smith apples that I plan on biting into soon.

If I were an apple, I wouldn't want to be bitten into... the almond roca feels the same way...

I declare it officially holidaystime

We have this tradition here, that we begin the holiday season with an Egg Nog Latte. So Diva has been serving egg nog for about a week or so, and we went to have our season starter yesterday. It was so good!

Last year, I had my latte without James and got in big trouble.

Since it is official, I can begin to make little gifties. Don't ask me for fancy gift$. You will not get any. Now, if you want something, you can certainly ask and hope that someone else who reads this blog gets it for you. Heck, maybe I should put my requests on the Gimmie List...

I really want to start decorating. It is not time yet though. I guess I could put up the garland and decorate it with leaves, that's not too Christmessy yet. I have some leaves. I have plenty of branches too. Our poor tree lost a limb. Not sure if we will be able to have it taken down before the CRAFT PARTY THAT YOU ALL ARE COMING TO.

The yard itself has been cleaned up, and part of the limb has been cut so that it is passable. We have to get a guy though, with a big firetruck ladder or something though. They cannot climb the tree because it is brittle (Maples are like that). They cannot put their truck on the septic system, so really we need a firetruck. Then I could take more pictures.

So many pointy sticks!

I got them... they arrived in the mail today. What I really want to do is cast on 10 different things and get started. However, not only do I not yet have the yarn, I am not allowed to cast on 10 different things.

I also got my braces off a week ago, and now I have a great use for all the leftover bands. They are keeping my needles cozy with their pairs. I took a photo, which also includes the Alpaca that was mentioned in the previous post.
I am used to using US size 7. The 1's and 2's are so little! OOOH, lace! I don't know how realistic that is, but I may try it. Again, where is the yarn!

The other option is knitting.

I don't feel like knitting. I'm saving my strength.... I ordered several balls of yarn from Smiley's Yarn, which has some great prices. I'll let you know if the yarn is okay. It's the same brand name stuff that any craft store sells. I fulfilled the min $40 order which got me some 25 balls... The prices are fantastic as they have several "yarn bins" that range from $1 to $3.99 or something like that.

I also ordered some bamboo needles from Oriental Touch... (whatever that means). That should come next week. I got a full set (sizes 0-13) of both double pointed and single pointed for something like $40. It's my Christmas gift to myself. It will also be my gifts to everyone else...

In addition (to which I should probably stop adding), James and I walked to Let it Rain on Harbour Point. Let it Rain is a yarn store that has some very nice quality and interesting variety of yarn. It's within walking distance... and they have a Wednesday knitting club for anyone who wants to join.
I only bought enough to make a nice hat or something, not sure what it will turn out to be. I have to wait for my needles to arrive. I have to remind myself that I am in the middle of another project. There will be no 10 projects at a time...

Dave and Richard....

They just don't go together.
On a trip to NY we got in to see The Late Show (which is not particularly easy). We got in for the show on Wednesday October 17th, 2007. The guest.... Richard Simmons. In typical fashion (if you can call it that) he comes running onto the stage all glittery and glisteny... He must shave or something. Anyway, he bounds onto the set from the back entrance hands waving, fro bobbing right between where James and I were sitting... which also means that we were on TV....with Richard Simmons...doesn't it? He does the same thing on the way off stage.

Mom would be so excited... but she doesn't stay up late enough. And by no means would they ever get a TIVO. In fact, the TV hardly works as it is. That's a whole other topic though.

In any case, if you are ever in NY, you should see if you can get in to see Dave. It's an interesting part of the day, and don't forget to BE EXCITED, because "everything is funny" if you are in the audience. Go for drinks beforehand.

Goodmorning, it's noon...

It's not noon yet. Noon is in one half hour. Please do not consider that daylight savings time started this morning and it is actually more like 12:30...

I have been knitting by the wood stove with tea recently. So far I have made 2 scarves which were gifted to Marge and Jade when I was able to tag along on a Young family trip. I didn't get photos....oops. Marge's was a heavyweight cabernet red, ribbed scarf (K2, P2). Jade's was a thin basic grey knitted scarf in some very lovely alpaca! As I was getting toward the end of the second ball I became alarmed that I would need another, so I went out right then to JoAnns to try to find it.... and realized that it was from Michaels....

Turns out that I didn't need any more. So now I have 2 balls to make something else.... I am now accepting bribes....

My current project (I try not to start more than one at a time...) is another scarf in K2, P2 for James. It is a beautiful pumpkin orange wool blend. Maggie loves to sit on it while I am knitting. In fact, the alpaca yarn, she loves to attack. Alpaca Attacka. I found her biting Jade's scarf one day... No more cute baskets of yarn around the house...just cute baskets of kitties.