Friday, November 26, 2010


I am merging the two blogs.  It doesn't make a lot of sense to keep the two separate right now.  This blog will still exist, but the posts are being transferred to Mindless Ramblings.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Denial

I know this cannot be how my family feels...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not a Baby

My youngest child consistently tells me, "I not a baby; I a big kid."  He is starting to exert his autonomy.  He runs off at the park to play returning only to look for water and snacks.  He is a big kid, and he runs with the biggest.  He nurses less frequently sometimes going for days between asking for milk.  He makes sure everyone knows that his room is the one he shares with his big brother.  If E says something about his bed, B is sure to correct him.  He has laid claim to the bottom bunk.  It is his.  He now sleeps in his own room.  He decided last week that he would sleep in "his bed."  It is only when the morning light shines that he climbs into our bed for snuggles.  Last night he came into his room where the older kiddos were listening to a story.  They had fallen asleep, and he wanted to join them.  He crawled up between them and fell asleep.  He did this without me.  It was bittersweet.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I decided with all the canning I have been doing that pickles would be fun.  I think I was momentarily delusional spurred on by a friend.  I have canned sweet pickles(cucumber chips), dill pickles, kosher dills and hamburger dills.  Most of the recipes come from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving which I of course bought at my local Ace Hardware (thanks, Dad).  The other recipe comes from a friend's mother.  Her pickles are said to be the best.  We will have to wait a few weeks and then I will give a verdict.  For now, I have to figure a spot for all the jars.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Creativity in the kitchen

If you have extra yellow squash and no plan to use it, just slice it up 1/8-1/4 inch thick and dehydrate it.  It is good with hummus or other dip.  It has a slightly sweet flavor.  Delish.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

One Third

I have a plan.  I have a crazy plan.  I have a plan to make three quilts by giftmas.  I want to make one for each of the kiddos.  I only have one pieced and sandwiched.  I have ideas for each of them, but putting them together is taking quite a bit of time.

The quilt pieced and sandwiched was waiting for quilting inspiration.  It is for B, and I think I know what I want to do.  It will be a simple geometric pattern.  I have the binding selected.  It is from the same fabric collection as the quilt top, Punctuation from American Jane.  It just needs to be cut and sewn into strips.  I am hoping to handsew the binding, but I may have to adjust that plan as the deadline approaches.

The next quilt was stuck on piecing.  The fabric is the City Weekend collection and is soft and feminine.  I had selected a pattern, but I didn't love it.  Then a friend showed me this quilt.  I love it, and have decided to make this pattern.  It required a bit of fabric, which has been ordered.  The backing fabric has been selected.  Not sure about the binding yet.  I need to hurry.

The last quilt will be made of jeans.  I have enlisted the help of everyone I know in collecting jeans.  It will include jeans from everyone in our family as well as from our community.  It will be a simple 4.5inch square top.  I will quilt it with straight lines.  I don't think this is the best time to learn free motion quilting.

Am I crazy?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


I love knitting the mystery sock from Through the Loops each year.  I enjoy getting a clue a week.  I seem to be able to knit much more quickly when on a deadline.  I eagerly wait for the clue and hope to knit it before the next one.  This year I was able to finish completely one sock in Socktober (October for those of you non-knitters).  

I still have a foot to finish on the mate.  I carry it with me all the time in the hope that I may find a few minutes to knit.  My mom noticed the yarn this past weekend and asked what I was making.  I told her socks, for which I know she has little appreciation.  I was told last year when knitting my mystery socks that my mom thought knitting socks was a waste of time.  Too bad the socks I was knitting at the time were for her.  I promptly tore out the toe and reknit the socks to my size.  This year when she noticed the socks, she adamantly denied such a rumor.  She said she would love handknit socks.  So, I am now franticly finishing the socks for her upcoming birthday.  You have to be nice to your mom.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I have become a couch potato again.  My battle with fitness and weight drags on.  After putting on quite a bit of weight in the last few months, I have decided to try to curb the madness.  I have begun the Couch to 5K program AGAIN.  I like calling it couch potato to 5K.  I started this week and have run/walked twice.  It isn't too bad.  I have to listen to music or the time seems to drag.  My favorite podcast is a bit of hip-hop/dance music.  I found it on this site.  The creator prompts you for the runs and lets you know what is coming up.

Let's see if I can make it through the program this time.

Cool Sewing Books

I enjoy sewing.  I like being able to create something.  I plan on making a few more dresses for Aine as they have been a big hit.  I may have to find this book as it has some neat things in it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

She Loves It

Today was a productive day.  Although I did not finish until 1am, it was worth it.  I was able to make a dress/tunic for Aine from IKEA fabric.  It is a black and white leaf print which Aine immediately put on with her new black shorts.
(she assured me that her hair was combed, but she had just come out from the bath.  She is also munching a cookie)

I also made a nightshirt(gown) for Eamon.  He has been wanting one, so I crafted it from the same pattern I have been using for Aine's nightgowns/tunics.  I used IKEA fabric in the same print as Aine's dress below.

The best result of the day was the dress I made for Aine from the IKEA dot fabric.  I used an Ottobre pattern from the 3/2008 issue.  It is the tie-back dress, and it is a huge hit.  I did not finish under the wee hours of the night, so I hung the finished result on her doorknob.  She immediately put it on and modeled for photos.  She LOVES it.  A big plus is it spins.  I am sure she will be wearing it a lot this summer.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Two and One

One nightgown/dress and two pairs of shorts completed today.  Aine has requested more of the nightgown/dresses.  She really likes this one with miniature skulls (fabric by Michael Miller).  She has worn it since it came off the machine.  I finished a pair of elastic waist linen shorts to wear with it when we leave the house as it is a bit short.  She insists it is best solo, so I may have to make another shirt for the shorts.  I have some black and white IKEA fabric in mind for the shirt.

Eamon loves his red horseshoe shorts.  He thinks they are very comfortable pj bottoms.  I made them big and long as per his request.  He wants a nightgown now, so I will see what we can find in the fabric pile for him.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Out of Practice

Inspired by the Kids Clothes Week, I decided I need to get back behind my sewing machine.  I finally was able to sew a bit today.  I traced a few patterns from old Ottobre magazines this morning as soon as I awoke.  I set the fabric aside hoping to sew a bit when Benton napped.  Then I pulled out my pajama pant pattern as we are low on summer sleep wear.

I decided to start with pjs, so I cut some Michael Miller fabric I had for Aine..  I used a pattern for her pink horseshoe pants, but I winged it for the boys.  I used existing pants as a guide while cutting whimsical camping fabric for their pants.  Big mistake. I forgot to compensate for the elasticized waist while cutting.  I didn't realize this until I had put the pants together and held them up.  I hopefully asked Eamon to try them on - no luck.  Then I turned to Aine - nope.  With enough elastic they fit Benton.  The smaller ones intended to Benton were somewhat salvaged and fit him now with no room for growing.  Not all is lost as he LOVES his new pants.  Aine is quite pleased with hers as well.

Next up is a nightgown, a dress and a skirt for Aine.  I also plan to make Eamon a pair of pj bottoms as well as a nightgown per his request.  At that point, we shall see where we stand and if anything fits :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Writers are sexy.  Not in the eye candy type of way, but in the ability to put words to paper.  They are sexy as they hone sentences into complex thoughts that elicit emotions and images.  The ability to write can be a gift as the ability to read the written word can transform an individual.  One is transported to another time and place with unique smells images and emotions.  Writers do this for their readers.

Recently I have been walking and listening.  Each morning I put on my headphones and venture forth by myself for a bit of time alone.  During these sojourns, I listen.  I listen to podcasts.  My favorite explores writers.  They are writers of the short story, and the podcast is from the New Yorker.

The short story is magical.  In just a few pages an entire drama unfolds.  Do you remember reading The Lottery?  If you cannot, please stop now and read it.  It is fantastic.  The author skillfully transports you and then shocks you at the end.  All within 30 minutes!  The words in a short story must matter.  There is no room for extra verbiage.  Each word gives meaning and adds to the whole.  The elements of style abound in a short story.  A good short story author skillfully weaves the tale leading the reader.  I love them.

So if you only have thirty minutes to spare, read or listen to a short story.  Hear the magic of an idea unfolding in a short space and marvel at the author's ability to create something with so few words.  I swear it is a treat.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I have decided to clean out some knitting UFO's. It began when I needed to clean my craft area and discovered quite a few of my Grandmother's unfinished work. I began to fret that the legacy I would leave for my children would be mounds of yarn and good intentions. I don't have that many UFOs - a doll intended for my niece's 2nd birthday(she is now 5), a pair of socks, a February Lady Sweater, and another cardigan. I do have a lot of yarn though.

So far the doll is finished, and I am 60% done with the socks. I plan to finish the socks by the end of May and make some decisions about those sweaters.

The abundance of yarn is another story. I will reevaluate it based on my knitting progress this year. I think I can make a significant dent if I keep my knitting mojo.

Water Wash Only

Oh, I have stepped off the mainstream sidewalk. I am now not only no poo, but now I am not even using baking soda/ACV rinse. My youngest brother has been utilizing a water wash only system on his hair and it looks good. I even asked to feel it. So, I decided to try it. I figured what do I have to lose. So, I am now 5 weeks into it. My hair has gone through various phases - greasy, waxy, normal, greasy, etc. I am able to blow dry it and wear it down. It is still getting a bit greasy by the end of the day, but I am going to persevere. Most of what I have read online mentions a 6wk to 3 month adjustment.

We shall see. If you see me, please let me know if I look gross. So far everyone I ask tells me it looks fine.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Sweater

I knit Aine a sweater vest for her birthday. I was so pleased about the design and yarn. I was using stash yarn (Peace Fleece) and a free pattern. I finished by the weekend of her birthday celebration with family. I took her to pick out a button. She chose a shimmery red button. THis did not even come close to matching the purple with navy trim vest, but I acquiesced as it is her vest. She tried it on after I sewed on the button. The verdict...

Scratchy! She hates it and refuses to wear it. I even tried washing it to soften the fibers. Nope. It is sitting in the top of her closet unworn. Of well, it may be a bit of time before she receives any more handknits.