April 30, 2008

Flirt!

Many of you know that I sometimes wear the hat of Stunt Stitcher for Miss C. I can't remember how I originally found her blog - but I really like her, she's funny, sassy and will definately tell it like it is. It was when I found out that she has 5 kids that she homeschools (I'd have killed mine before they made it to school age) and opened Clementine's Dry Goods without any help from a bank or other lending instutition that I volunteered to stunt stitch. The lovelies that follow are all from FreeSpirt's Flirt line and I love it! Miss C does not have an 'online' store as you know it - but check her website in progress and give her a call - she'll mail anything you want! She has 98% of the amy butler fabrics which are so hard to find.

This needs to be a full skirt, possibly B4742

Imagine V2903 from this.

How about V2960 from this one?

This could be B5179

I can see this as V1043

April 29, 2008

Mail Love Baby

Remember when I made this bag? I love the pattern, I love the fabric that I used, but I did not love the bag. See, I tried to add pockets and they were just in the way and not very useful - to me! Well Nicole mentioned that she loved it and so I dropped it in an envelope and sent it off to her. She claims that she still loves it and it will be perfect for attending her significant other's races. I'll check back with her after she's actually put it to use :) Anyway - as a thank you - she sent me these darling paw print stitch markers. If you are interested in having some - you can get yours here. Please go visit and support the handmade - Nicole is all about a cause and she said the solid purple paw print is Animal Cruelty Awareness. FYI - I did not personally kill the little mouse yesterday. I simply told JB about it who set a fresh trap. Unfortunately, we don't use no-kill traps. I know that mice need a warm place to live - but it doesn't get to be my house.

April 28, 2008

Swapping in the Rain

You know with Spring the famous saying goes "April Showers, bring May flowers", please tell us what you like to do when those April Showers are pouring down on you. Do you like to curl up with your knitting, take in a movie or crawl back in bed? With the Spring Showers, I tend to go back to my first love - garment construction! I will spend wet days in the studio making cute springy skirts and cotton dresses. Then when the May flowers come I have really cute clothes to wear. I do also like curling up with a good book or sitting on the couch watching the rain and knitting. Having lived most of my life in Western Washington and a brief period in England - the rain doesn't really bother me. I actually enjoy walking the dogs in a light mist, but once the rain gets so heavy you wish your glasses had wipers - then I'd rather be in doing something creative, relaxing and productive.

It's Only 7am and It's Been a Rough Morning!

Can I go back to bed now? First, I got up a little bit late. Then when I went out into the garage to get the V8 for JB's lunch, there was a little mouse sitting on the shelf. I resisted the urge to scream, grabbed the V8 and went back into the garage through the previously closed door (this will be important!). After making coffee and packing lunches I sealed the little mouse's death - sorry to all mousy lovers, but after seeing him sit there and then finding a hole in the bag of dog food - he has to go. Next, I went downstairs and let the dogs out of jail. Nothing different there - everybody was good and went out through the doggy door to take care of business when they got up. Just like every morning, I walk out to the garage with JB when he leaves. The door between the laundry room and the garage closes and after he drives out of the garage I fill the dog bowls. It was when I was pouring the last bit of the dog food into the bucket that I noticed the mouse hole. Anyway - with all four bowls in my hands, I climb the steps and turn the door knob. You do know what's coming, right? Locked! The dogs are all on the other side woofing at me because it's time to eat. I know the front door is locked because I locked it myself! I know the kitchen door is locked - so what's that leave me? Yep the dog door! So away I go in the my short robe and barefoot. It's Seattle so of course it's raining! The dog yard is dirt - no grass! I open and close the gate behind me and attempt to crawl through the opening - that's 9" wide! Thankfully it's taller than my shoulders and hips are wide. However, I don't generally lay down so I'm 2" off the ground. UGH! I actually tried twice, gave up, when back into the garage and tried to talk the dogs into unlocking the door. But there's the whole with about oppossible thumbs! So, back I trek through the dirty, muddy dog yard and push, shove and do whatever I can to get through the opening (my shoulders and bust are sore!). Finally - I'm in! Heading upstairs and step in a fresh puddle! No, I don't know who did it, but they're all gonna die! So I stop and clean that up. Then I unlock the door, close it from in the house and check it again. Finally I went out and got the dogs' food, closed the garage door and grabbed my coffee. Now, I'm gonna go see what can go wrong while I get ready for work!!

April 27, 2008

Fabric Inspirations?

On our trip to Niagara Falls, we spent the night at the John Morris Manor. This was a perfectly lovely bed and breakfast. After a very nice dinner in town (I can't find a link to the restaurant, but I need to know what those pork chops were stuffed with!), we went back to the B&B and crashed.
Some how, we ended up staying in the jetson room. Even though it has 2 twin beds they were pushed together into a king size and held together. But can you believe the wallpaper? I know! Crazy. We actually only chose to stay in this room because J&J had the other room on the same floor - it made sense to be on the same floor that way Henry could come over in the morning and bring me his toy to try and get.
Besides the fact that the wallpaper in the jetson room was so out there. The reason I really took JB's camera and took photos of the wallpaper is this. Do you see that wall paper? That one, in the photo over there, on the left? Right! It reminds me of Tina Givens ZaZu Fabric. I love that chandelier fabric and while I made a couple of Amy Butler Swing Bags out of it and I don't have any left for me. I gave them all away! Now, I'm longing for a skirt from that fabric.

Mystic

Mystic, Connecticut was a stop on our way to Foxwood. See 4 years ago when we vacationed in New England, JB desperately wanted to go to the casino - he had seen while watching the World Poker Tour, but we didn't have time. So this time it was a must see. I'm sure most everyone has seen Mystic Pizza, I haven't seen a lot of movies, but I've seen this one! No, we didn't go to Mystic Pizza to eat (I've heard the pizza isn't really that great). We didn't even go into the Mystic Seaport - it's a working museum and everything looked good lovely, but we didn't know how much time we had. So we just strolled along the street, reading the signs and looking for a place to get JB a lobster roll. I swear it will be a really good lobster roll that will convince him to move to New England. The weather was beautiful on this Saturday - the last one of our vacation and we took our time strolling along the sidewalks, looking at the water, boats and birds. We did feed the birds some of our french fries during lunch. Apparently we like naked trees as subjects of photos - doesn't that one look neat in front of the house?

Coffee and Sunshine

Let's pretend for a minute we all live in the home of our dreams, have land, and don't have to work so time is unlimited! It's Spring planting season! What would you grow? A little veggie garden? A bed of bright spring blooms? Or is your thumb so far from green that the only thing you'd be planting is your tushy into a nice chair on the porch to get some knitting or crocheting done in the nice breeze? Well for a couple of years now, JB and I have had many, many discussions about this. The home of our dreams would be a converted barn. But wait - you don't want to know about the house, really! I would have a small vegetable garden - not because I like to garden, but because I think it's a good thing to do. I would grow - lettuce, carrots, peas, butternut squash (my favorite), beets, cucumbers - etc. Mostly salad stuff with a few other veggies thrown in. Thankfully, JB is the gardner in our home - knitting and garment construction are my loves - gardening and wine are his. So, in reality, my tushy would be firmly planted in one of two spots. In one of our Adirondack chairs in the sunshine on the front lawn, or at the patio set by the pond in the back. Either way I would have knitting or hand sewing with me as well as some sort of beverage depending upon the time of day :)

April 26, 2008

Almost Home

At least with the daily update of what we were doing. So, yesterday we were at Niagara Falls. Today, we slowly made our way back to Watertown, New York. We made a couple of stops along the way - at wineries in the Finger Lakes area. The area is beautiful and the day was stunning. We started out a lake so Mr. Henry could go swimming - the water was cold, but that didn't stop him! That's him standing in the water watching were his ball is going. This lovely tree was next to a great winery. The bare tree was really lovely to me. (Generally when you see these strange photos - I've asked JB to take them.) Since I don't really drink wine (I know! But I just don't like the taste.), I don't remember the names of the wineries we stoped at. JB wasn't loving all the New York Wines, but that didn't stop him from having a collection to bring home. We were gonna have The Princess ship them, but JB decided it would fit in our suitcase with our clothing! Since almost everything I wear was in there I was freakin out when we opened the suitcase, but everything played nicely and none of my clothes were ruined by red wine!
Next stop - Mystic, Connecticut.

April 25, 2008

Traditional Niagara Falls

Or maybe not.
All photos taken by JB (except the one he's in).
Can you believe he doesn't like most of them?

April 24, 2008

DOT Thank You

While we were on vacation in New York, Mercy's Mama sent me a fabulous DOT Swap package. I love this because I could have probably picked it up! Her return address is in New York - How fun is that? Anyway - included in the box is the cutest little bowling bag! Well it's not really, but the shape reminds me of a bowling bag. What it really is - is an adorable bag for traveling with your dogs - it opens up to lay flat and there are stainless steel bowls on both sides. The bowls are removable for washing. The best part of this bag is the dog bones on the outside - they are photo frames! I know!!! Do you see that super cute dog bone photo frame in the back? It's going on my desk. As soon as I pick the perfect picture of one of the dogs - I haven't decided which one. There was also a pink scarf, a new collar, and some wonderful treats for the dogs which they have devoured already!
For me - new socks! Lovely louet gems in french blue. I have never used this yarn and I'm very excited to try it. I absolutely love the color and if the yarn is half as nice to work with and wear as it is to just sit and fondle - then I'll be sold for life!
Thank you again - it was nice to come home to such a wonderful package.

April 23, 2008

Another Day Trip

So Tax Day dawned bright and early. I had managed to remember to mail our taxes before we left - thank goodness - because by now I had no idea what day it was ever!
Remember before leaving I made an effort to do the short rows heels on the trekking socks? Well they were my evening, travel socks for the first part of the trip. I finished them early Tuesday morning and made JB try them on. He thinks they're a little bit bright - but he wears them and says they fit well and are comfortable.
Once everyone was finally up and moving we all loaded into Jason's big truck for another adventure. it wasn't really a day trip in the true sense. First stop - Mission Rose Quiltery which is Jessica's nearest LYS. It's 50 miles from where she lives! How sad is that? Anyway - I picked up j. knits superwash sock yarn in Providence (scroll down the link). This will make socks for me. {Carolyn, will you go look at the link and let me know if there is a color you love?}
I also picked up some Heritage hand painted sock yarn by Cascade Yarns. My sole goal in purchasing new sock yarn (and yep that's all I bought - enough yarn for 4 pairs of socks) was to get something that I couldn't get at home. Cascade Yarns are distributed right in my backyard, but when I left my LYS didn't have it. Therefore, this was a very safe purchase! Justification is everything - doncha know?
Mission Rose has a knitting side and a quilting side. The boys (Jason, JB, Fred & Henry) were getting restless and came in to get us. But I had to wander over to the quilting side. She had Anna Maria's Chocolate Lollipops line which I can't find anywhere in the Seattle area. Oh my! I squealed, and then I had to explain to JB why I was excited, then another lady who was shopping had to come and look to see why I was so excited. And then, like an idiot - I left without buying any :{
We ended the day at the John Morris Bed and Breakfast in Seneca Falls. The town looked lovely, but it was a small town and the rolled the streets up at night. Once we had a very nice dinner at the only restaurant open we headed back to bed. We might have had a little bit too much to drink. But I tell you what, I have to figure out how to recreate their stuffed pork chops!

April 22, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

Jiggity Jig
As is normally the case when you get home from a longish vacation, there is tons of housework to do - and yard work. After loving up on the pups, sharing treats and letting them sniff us top to bottom, I unpacked the suitcases, put away what needed to be put away, stripped the bed and put the sheets and towels in the laundry, put the rest of our clothes in the laundry, vacuumed upstairs and down. Now I'm waiting on JB to finish up mowing the lawn and cleaning up the dog yard. Then it's off to cut his hair and then to the grocery store. It's days like this when I hate being the woman! We got up at 5 a.m. Eastern Time, got on a plane at 8:00 a.m. arriving in Seattle at 11:30 - yep 6 hours later! Of course we managed to 'gain' 3 hours in our day and forget to eat! Now I'm running out of steam, so I better get moving.

April 21, 2008

Watertown Zoo

According to J&J the Watertown, New York zoo was created by the same gentleman who designed Central Park in New York City.
While we never did make it to the Central Park zoo this one was just enough to get you excited about seeing the animals.
The thing about zoos is that I always end up feeling bad too. Really bad. I mean would you like to be locked up in an enclosure that's too small?
With strangers looking at you and attempting to sound like you all day long? That's what I thought - me either.
FYI - all photos courtesy of JB - resident photog in our house. And next week once I'm home and life resumes its normal grind, I'll upload all the photos to flicker, research my posts and add links. Home tomorrow! By the way - I'm still a week behind with the blow-by-blow.

April 20, 2008

Are You Sick of the Blow by Blow?

Last Sunday found us starting the day slowly. We were way, way north in New York - practically in Canada! After finally getting everyone ready, we all piled into Jason's truck and went out to a very yummy breakfast (Chan, I'll be attempting to figure out those pumpkin pancakes for myself). After that we went to a few wineries in Northern New York. The first one was nothing spectacular, but the second one was really good. Or so say the wine drinkers in our group - me - just pass the vodka! Finally, J&J decided to show us Boldt Castle on Heart Island in the Thousand Islands area. Isn't that beautiful? It was never lived in. The story goes that the castle was designed and built by George C. Boldt (millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City) set out to build a full size rhineland castle as a display of his love for his wife, Louise. Unfortunately, Louise died suddenlty before the castle was complete and George had no desire to neither finish nor live in the castle after her death. But man is it beautiful. Dinner Sunday evening was a glorious spaghetti, green salad and bread. My friend Jess has the best stuff in her house, she is a gracious hostess and a wonderful cook! If you get a chance - go visit her :) Love ya Jess - miss you guys tons! eta: links and correction to names

April 19, 2008

The GW Bridge

Since Friday was really our last day in the City, we got up pretty early on Saturday morning. We had to deal with tons of transportation, starting with a cab, then foot, then subway, train and finally car. So, after making sure everything was packed, we had the hotel call a cab to get us to the George Washington Bridge. When we crossed it on Thursday, it was clear, sunny and beautiful and JB wanted photos of the New York skyline that could only be seen from the bridge. So we decided to hoof it across on Saturday. Of course, the weather wouldn't cooperate with us on Saturday and it was foggy. But we walked anyway - with all our bags! Thank the heavens I can pack light :) It was still pretty. At one point, JB was taking photos and I just leaned on the railing and waived at cars going by. I got 3 honks and 2 waves! The Princess just laughed at me. I have to say, that while I don't think we got to see everything we would have liked to in the City, racing around for 2 days was plenty. There is some noise about heading into the City on Monday before we leave - but I'm not sure that I need to go.

April 18, 2008

When Last We Met

Our fearless heroine had spent the first day of her vacation getting blisters. Day 2 - she wasn't much smarter! We started the day by heading into the City. This time taking the subway to China Town. After an unsuccessful search for a Michael Kohrs purse for The Princess, but successfully purchasing both a Coach and a Kate Spade we headed down to Battery Park. Battery Park was amazing and I swear I will load tons of pics to my flick account when I get home. Anyway - after that, we again boarded the subway, this time heading uptown toward Little Italy and Soho to find purl. After purchasing enough yarn to make two pairs of socks. Of course, this was yarn that I couldn't get at home.

By now, we were all cold (we had been seduced by the weather on Thursday and left our coats at the hotel on Friday), hungry and getting tired. We stopped in Little Italy and ate, then walked through Central Park on our way to turn in early.

It was a good day.

April 17, 2008

Fred & Henry

While I am away from my own hounds on vacation, I have been accosting every dog I have run across. It helps that we are spending the better part of our vacation with Jessica, Jason, Fred & Henry.
Fred is over <---- there. Fred is a 4 year old Vizsula. He is a tiny little thing, completely high strung and a little bit freaky. The first morning, he forgot we were there and barked at both JB and myself when we got up. He is used to us now!
Henry is older, he is greyer and larger than Fred. Henry is a very, very sweet soul. He is a such a nice, gentle dog. His favorite thing to do is to pack his 'dollies' around in his mouth. Once he has one or two of his favorites, he'll walk past you so you can try to take them. Should you actually manage to grab hold of one, he will tug until he pulls you over. In the photo - he is pouncing on pretend moles.
Because Fred & Henry go everywhere with their people, unlike my dogs who get left home with a dog sitter, here you can see them both at Niagara Falls - the Canadian side.

April 16, 2008

Niagara Falls

Okay, so since I seem to be the queen of the non-traditional photos I thought I'd share one of my favorites from Niagara Falls. In the front of the photo is snow and ice. The stuff that looks like sand pictures is really layers of dirty icy snow. I just love the way the colors layer - even though I know what it really is. Behind the icy sand pictures is the "American Falls." Due to the topography of the land and the borders of the two countries one set of falls are in the United States and the other is in Canada. The American Falls consists of two smaller (referring to width of the falls, not the drop) falls. The Canadians got the horseshoe! Again today we are travelling with Jessica, Jason, Fred & Henry (more about them for DOT). Tuesday night we stayed in a B&B in Seneca Falls, we had a lovely breakfast and headed out to Niagara Falls. First we walked around the American side where the views are very limited. Both of these photos are of the American Falls and taken from the US side. The Falls are absolutely breathtaking from this side, but wait until I show you photos from the other side. Let me just say this: 1 - the photos don't do it justice; and b - the Americans got gypped!

Coffee Swap Topic #3

Tell us how you started drinking coffee. Were you in high school or college and making it through all nighters? Did you get it from a family member? What drives your love of the bean?
I can't really remember when I started drinking coffee, but I know originally it was with cream and sugar. Truth be known, I really love a big cup of coffee with a flavored creamer in it (or Bailey's) but I tend to drink it black now and I really enjoy it that way. I'm sure I was in high school when I first started drinking coffee.
I remember my sister making pots of flavored coffee and then putting the left over coffee (pot an all) into the fridge for iced coffees in the afternoon. She would also make coffee cubes so her coffee wouldn't get diluted as the ice melted. That works best with flavored coffee - in my opinion.
Now I have a coffee pot with a timer and I wouldn't have it any other way. The coffee is ready to go when I am in the morning. Some days I think it's the smell rather than the taste that I enjoy, but I really do love the flavor.
My favorite thing to do on a weekend morning is to walk the houndies to the local latte stand and get me a grande non-fat vanilla bean latte! Yum-oh.
(The photo is me on the train from Grand Central Station to Connecticut, working on JB's toe-up socks and drinking a latte!)

April 15, 2008

Jessica Now

After two full days in New York we were headed to North New York. The Princess went with us and rather than take the train or rent a car she drove. We found my friend "blogfree Jessica" of the comments and her husband Jason's house without too much trouble, but as we were sitting in the driveway checking the address and deciding it was wrong they were watching us out their windows.

Pictured above from left to right is Jessica, me, The Princess and her husband Jason taking a picture of us. JB took this pictures. It was cold and the wind was blowing. We were up in the 1000 Islands area of Northern New York looking at castles on the islands.

We started the day waiting on JB to get his lazy hind end out of bed and then went out to breakfast where I had the most remarkable pumpkin pancakes. After eating until I couldn't move, we headed out for wine tasting. Followed by castle watching and spaghetti.

Jason just got stationed at Fort Drum and shortly will be going on an extended 'business trip' to the middle east. Everyone send safe thoughts for Jason!

DOT Spring SWAP Package

The theme for this swap was 'spring cleaning' with a dog theme. There were some required elements such as a towel and a handmade item for you person. There are several either handmade or embellished items in my package. First - I got to send to Gnat, she has 2 dogs - Jackjack and Abigail Grace. Abby has some allergy issues and I think I may have blown it with the big bag of liver treats - sorry Abby. It's hard to see in that photo but included for Gnat in the package where 2 coffee cups; 2 hanks of Shibui sock yarn; a bag of chocolate covered nuts; and one of these swing bags. Jackjack likes tug toys - so I made a fleece rope pull and bought him a soft flexible rubber pull that won't last 5 seconds, I'm sure. I also added the puppy embroidery and his name to a dark blue bath mat. This was more like a hand towel in texture, just slightly larger. I think it will work great for drying muddy feet. Miss Abigail Grace got a pink bath mat with her name and a bone embroidered on it. I made her a fur bear with lots of squeakers added. Also in the package was a bucket with shampoo and conditioner (I got a screaming deal at one of the pet stores after the holidays), a box of dryer sheets (these are great for rubbing down wet dogs - it takes some of the wet dog smell out of the house leaving the scent of the dryer sheets). Well - I hope they all enjoy it :)
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