Happy New Year!

'Twas the night before New Year and all through the house, the only creatures who're stirring are about to get in big trouble -

Snickers loves hiding in the tree and chewing on the wires;
she knows she's not supposed to be in there . . .
who me??

and the grandpa was snuggled asleep on his couch -
before the clock even struck 10 p.m.

While visions of zucchini bread - freshly baked - danced in his head.

Happy New Year to all and to all a Good Night.


Christmas Gift

This is the Christmas ornament Matt and Chris gave us this year. Isn't it cute?

*Aug. 19, 2008


Woven FO

Remember this from a few weeks ago? I'd warped the rented knitter's loom to make a scarf but with Christmas deadlines looming (sorry) I didn't get much further.

I got the bug to finish it last night and spent about three hours weaving
, tying the fringe, and getting it off the loom. A quick soak and block, and it was ready for close-ups this afternoon. I used two strands of sock-weight yarn - Fearless Fibers superwash Merino in Deepest Forest - for the warp (the long-wise threads) and one strand in the weft (the side-to-side part). The scarf is really soft and drapes beautifully. The colorway is gorgeous, as always with Deb's yarns, and I love how the colors interact. The thin yarn took longer to weave than my first two projects, but the results were well worth the time.
This was my first experience using a fringe twister. I'm not sure I like the look; maybe I should have twisted fewer strands together? It will be something to play with next time.


John's Present

Dick was busy in his workshop this holiday season but I couldn't show what he was working on until now. He and Rachel conspired to make Rachel's hubby, John, a box to hold his collection of watches. It took Dick a bit of time (and some swearing) to get the cuts just so, the wood sanded to the proper finish, and the leather glued into place. He also had to cut the class to shape and custom craft a system to hold it in place. I wish I'd gotten a photo of the packaging job Dick did on this before he shipped it off to Colorado. He layered egg-crate foam under the glass, with thick cardboard on top; then a layer of wood and at least 6" of hard plastic foam all around, all of it held in place with bright red duct tape. He was determined that it would arrive intact. Rachel said it took her over 20 minutes free the box from its wrappings.

The majority of the box (the lighter wood) is cherry and the sides are Brazilian walnut; there's full-grain leather under the swirl glass top and a sliding shelf in the top drawer to hold rings. Doesn't he do nice work?


Christmas Memories

A few memories from Christmas Eve at Vic's and Christmas Day at Matt's.

The "Greats" - Dick's parents with Naia, Miles and Chris

Enjoying the day - Margaret, Jen, Scott and Vickie

Gary (who was kinda surprised that he liked the presents we got him. See? The old folks still got it!)

Marie - the new hairstyle and contacts were a big hit

Marie and Dad - she loved the cherry hope chest he made for her.
I didn't get a picture of the huge amounts of baked goods Marie made for us. Yum!

The 'art piece' Dick made for me The burl wood slices are beautiful. This will hang on a reindeer hide in the stairway.

Oreo searching for her presents

Christmas morning at Matt's

Matt's clan - Naia, Chris, Miles and Matt

It took Miles about three presents before he figured out the big stack was all for him. Huge smiles!

Princess Naia awaiting her next gift

Breanne and Garrett made the holiday complete
when they joined us for the day

Naia trying out her new scooter; it didn't take her long to get the hang of it.

Rachel, John and Addy; Meg, Aaron and William;
Bill, Carolyn, Keith and Kelly
- we missed you!!


Finished at 1:15 a.m. Christmas morn. It was a 2-day marathon to get it finished on time and my crochet arm hurts. But it was worth it - I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

Tech specs: Daisy Square pattern, done with Caron Simply Soft Brites in Blue Mint, Grape, Watermelon, and Black.


Rockin' Christmas

Merry Christmas, from our house to yours.


Baking Traditions

I don't do as much holiday baking as I used to. When the kids were small, I'd spend an entire weekend in the kitchen, making fudge - chocolate and peanut butter - brownies, sprinkle cookies, zucchini bread, cakes, and cookies, cookies and more cookies. Dick and I would both take giant platters of it to work and we'd still have enough at home to nibble on for a couple of weeks.

I got the baking bug again this year. I made my list and headed to the grocery store today. Then I prepared my work area -
moving everything off the counters. And I found a willing helper - Naia thought she was queen of the world when she didn't have to share these with anyone. The thrill of licking the beaters never gets old.

Naia was a big help with the zucchini bread. She grated the zucchini, tasted the brown sugar (to make sure it was still good, of course), measured and poured ingredients, and opened the oven for me.
We watched it - impatiently - rise in the oven and were cutting into it before it even had a chance to cool. This was Naia's first experience with zucchini bread and she pronounced it deeelicious.

Naia also measured and mixed all the ingredients for the sprinkle cookies, which are my personal favorite.
Butter, graham crackers, chocolate chips, coconut, walnuts and condensed milk. Yum!

And every helper should be responsible for the dishes, right? While I cooked chicken, made chili, and started a big pot of beefy macaroni, Naia had a great time - and made a great mess - with three sinks-full of sudsy water.
And afterward? We watched the Grinch together. Merry almost Christmas!


I {heart} Christmas Craziness

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas. And the CD.

Santa, are you listening?


Merry Merry

Dick and Marie decorated tonight. I finally talked Dick into getting a pre-lit (aka 'fake') tree. Every year, I want to start decorating the day after Thanksgiving but Dick resists, mainly because the 'real' tree we usually get dries out too fast and becomes a hazard. Now I can decorate at Halloween if I want! (just kidding, honey!)

I went in to work for a few hours and came home to a fully decorated house. The entry hall -
the dining room - the front bay window - and even holiday linens. Sweet.


Total Trust

The FO's continue to flow. This is blocked, packed and ready for shipping tomorrow. It's Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK in Magenta, two strands held together for a worsted weight. It's incredibly soft and close enough to purple that I seriously considered keeping it for myself . . . . Oreo was kind enough to model this FO. I thought she'd protest so I had the camera ready for a quick shot. I pulled it over her head, then pushed the belly band under her to button it - and she didn't even open her eyes. Dick says that shows total trust. I say it's total laziness. There are two of these - the other one is purple with orange and blue stripes - and they aren't for Oreo. This is a commissioned project that gets shipped out tomorrow also.

Less than seven days to go and I still have an afghan, a shawl for me and two Christmas stockings to complete. Piece. Of. Cake.