Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Finished Christmas Gifts

Here is a table-top quilt I made for my parents for Christmas. It was my own design. It's made from 1930's reproduction fabric, as they were both born in the '30's (plus I just love the fabric, anyway) and the steam coming from the pies is hand embroidered. I will pair the topper with a cute pie plate and a list of 'pies-0f-the-month' that I will bake for them each month throughout the year. I'll have cherry for February, key-lime or mint for March, etc. I'll try to come up with a theme for each month.

Finished Christmas Gifts

This adorable doll was knit by my 13 year old daughter! She made her for her 7 year old sister for Christmas. You see, I had all the kids draw a name and told them they had to make their sibling a gift instead of buy them one. The girls shrieked with excitement, as the boys rolled their eyes! My three boys just want to buy their partner a gift, and I keep explaining to them that it's a gift from the heart kind of thing; but they just don't get it! We'll see what they come up with.
Anyway, I'm just a smidge bit proud of her as she knit the entire gift by herself, with no direction from me. She's definitely my knittin' buddy! You can find the pattern free online by going to

Finished Christmas Gifts

This is a basketweave scarf I knit for my brother. I bought the yarn at Marji's Yarncrafts, a local yarn store a couple years ago at her end of the year sale. You can't see it, but it has very subtle specks of gold in it, and it's very soft. The scarf is folded in half in the picture, so it's fairly long.

Finished Christmas Gifts

Here are a couple dishcloths completed and ready to be put into a basket with friendly, home-made cleaning solutions for my son's girlfriend. These were great to knit while doing school with my kids, as they required very little thinking and I could put down and pick up and know where I was.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Children's Christmas Reads

OOooo... this one is a goody! Stories of the Child Jesus from Many Lands by A. Fowler Lutz, printed by Sophia Institute Press, is a treasure of short stories of the Child Jesus. Each story is full of goodness and strong faith and shows that Jesus is with us always. We have been reading a story a day since Friday after Thanksgiving and each story is a delight. For all ages, this book is rich in vocabulary and wonderful for re-telling. Truly a must read for after Thanksgiving/Advent reading!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Winter Wonderland Question of the Week

What is the ideal setting for enjoying the perfect cup of coffee? Who would be there - or would you be alone? Inside or out? Morning or night? With food or just the steaming cup of joe?

Hmmm.... I guess the ideal setting for me would be sitting around a campfire with my husband and kids. Yes, a cup of hot coffee and a s'more would surely hit the spot, with the people that make me happy and content. Ahhh... just the thought brings me good feelings! But I have to say, I also enjoy an iced Americano sitting at the outside tables with my girlfriends during a warm summer weeknight is also a lot of fun.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Prayer Shawl

My dad's birthday is December 21 and he suffers from COPD. I thought he could use a prayer shawl on the days that he doesn't feel good. It's soft and warm, but more importantly made with a lot of love and prayer knitted into it. I can't even imagine how many Hail Mary's, Our Father's, and Glory Be's are in there! I hope it's a comfort to my dad, and it is my hope that when he wraps himself in it, and will feel all the love that's been poured into it.

Fingerless Mitts

I just finished these fingerless mitts the other night. I made them for my sister-in-law for Christmas using SWS Patons yarn. They're pretty soft and the varigation in the yarn is quite pretty. I hope she likes them. The pattern was free on-line. The only change I made was to knit the cuff an inch longer. Also, the number between the markers I changed from
15 stitches to 7. They worked out just fine. Here is where you can find the pattern:

Bend the Rules Zippered Pouch

A zippered pouch I recently made to hold my knitting tools. I lined it with the same fabric as the brown and pink paisly in the Bend the Rules Clutch. It's a real nice size and a snappy piece to bring out while knitting in public.

Goodies from Etsy

Here are the pics of the stitch marker holder. Sorry, but I'm not too blog savvy yet, and I published the insides before the outsides! Anyway, aren't these just too cute! I love 'em and I know my daughter will too when she gets one for Christmas.

Bend-the-Rules Sewing Clutch

Here is another clutch I made from the Bend-the-Rules Sewing book. Just love that book! On the left, is material that I just fell in love with. It's a pretty pink with brown, and lined on the inside with brown and pink paisley. The button is one I covered from the lining material.

I scooped these babies up from Etsy, created by Mary Blume. They are stitch mark holders. Now I have no excuse to lose my stitch markers. The blue one with the cute teapot button is mine, and the lilac one with the glitter button is for my daughter, Kaleigh.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Coffee Swap Question of the Week: What I'm Thankful For

Oh, could a question get any easier? I'm most thankful for my family. My husband and children are truly gifts from God, and I couldn't be more grateful. My husband is a wonderful man, my best friend, and I'm so happy he's put up with my antics for the past twenty-four years! What a guy! And my kids, well, they're my best friends too, every one of 'em. They've made my life full and more meaningful, and have taught me the real meaning of life. Yup, I'm one blessed gal, and truly a grateful one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Healthy Breakfast - Oatmeal, Yogurt & Fruit

I thought I would post a few healthy breakfasts along with the recipes. I think it's so important to start the day off with good food to fuel the body for the busy day ahead. This morning's breakfast was delicious and full of nutrients.

Hot Oatmeal with Yogurt & Fruit
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oats
2 TBS flax, ground
2 TBS brown sugar
1 cut apple, frozen blueberries, rinsed, or frozen mixed fruit, mixed
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, per serving

Bring water and salt to boil, and stir in oats. Add brown sugar, flax and fruit. Top each serving with 1/4 cup yogurt.
Serves 4

Monday, November 12, 2007

Coffee Swap Question of the Week

My projects do change a bit when the weather gets colder. I like to knit sweaters, mittens and shawls, but in November and December, the crunch is on to get gifts knit and sewn. So far, I have a shawl and 1-1/2 dishcloths knit, two clutches and one zippered pouch sewn. I have a few more things to go, but I'm on my way... as long as I don't get side-tracked.

Veterens Day

To all who serve or have served, and to their families, a heart-felt thank you. Thank you to my husband Gary, for serving... in part it's helped make you the man you are today, and to my father-in-law that has passed, it made you the man you were...
And yes, to my Uncle Tony, who spent a few years as a prisoner of war in Germany, many years ago... that shaped your life forever as well.... We won't forget... A special prayer for you all today.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Visit to WEBS

Ah, what a fun day! We went to WEBS, the yarn store. If you ever come to western MA, you just have to go there, if you love yarn. The store is quite big, huge really for a yarn store. They have every kind of "good" yarn available, and so many patterns, samples and all kinds of knitting related items. I bought my Winter Coffee Swap partner her yarn today, and some other goodies, too. It's terribly pretty... I sure hope she likes it.
Kaleigh is knitting Cassidy a doll and doll outfit for Christmas, so she bought some yarn for the dress: a very pretty blue wool. Once she got home, she took out her needles and socks that she's been working on, and got the 'ol knitting needles fired up! Even though she should be working on the doll, she said she's itching to get the socks done after seeing so many pretty sock yarns! After I walk the treadmill tonight, I'm going to work on the fingerless mitts I'm making my sister-in-law for Christmas. I'm using Patons SWS soy wool. It's so pretty. I thought one skein would be enough, but now I'm not so sure. If not, I'll have to go buy more tomorrow. So tonight looks like I'll be watching The Birds and knitting the mitts. All over a nice, hot cup of coffee... and brownies, too. It can't get much better than that now, can it?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Crocheted Winter Hat

O.K., this picture is a little scary, but aside from that just take a peek at the hat. I found this pattern from It was a free pattern, and the young woman made it up herself. I think she did a wonderful job.

Here is the back of the hat. I'm not sure if I'll wear my hair up or down...

A view of the side. Too bad the pic is blurry. I don't know why that happens.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Weekly Topic Contest

When did you first start drinking coffee? I had to be about three. My mom and dad drank a lot of coffee, so they used to put it in my milk. I always loved it. The aroma of coffee brings me back to my childhood, that warm, comfy, snuggly safe feeling. My mom always smelled like coffee and my kids tell me I smell like coffee too! They love the smell for the same reasons as me. As far as taste goes, the first sip of every cup makes me say, "mmmm...... or ahhhh.....".
Enough said.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bend the Rules Sewing Clutches

Here are the clutches made by Kaleigh and me from the book Bend-the-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. These were fun and easy to make, and used fat quarters from my stash. If you look closely, you can see the matching lining fabric peeking out. Between the fabrics is a piece of soft flannel. This was a great project to learn how to line and face a bag. If you're looking for a wonderful mother-daughter project book, this one fits the bill. It has many fun and cute projects that appeal to both teens and older gals... like me.

A Typical Homeschooling Day for Cassidy

Cassidy was busy at work this morning. This is what a run-of-the-mill morning looks like for second grade at our house. The other kids are busy doing their schoolwork, too. Corey is still sleeping as he has classes later this afternoon, Kyle is at class, (yes, homeschooling does eventually, and sadly, come to an end and they go on to college) Casey and Kaleigh are busy in their room doing their work, Cassidy is with me, and Kierra and Caressa are in a corner of the room playing Wedgits.
It's been a busy day, so far. I just made a batch of cookies and home-made rolls, and will later put together a Chinese casserole and veggie platter with some yummy dip to bring to my friend that's laid up for a couple days. I hung two loads of laundry and have one more to go, but daylight will be ending soon, so I think I'll hang that load downstairs. If I'm too tired, I'll just throw them in the dryer.
I have a cute project my daughter and I did over the weekend, and will post as soon as I have a few minutes to sew a button on...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Children's Crafts

I am a consultant for families that homeschool their children, and are enrolled with a distance learning school. For my Mother of Divine Grace School children, I made each one a bookmark to send them as a little Christmas gift from me. We made twenty for my MODG "kids", and a few extra for my real life kids!
My children had a good time helping with this project. I cut scrapbook paper into 2" x 6" strips, and Cassidy, Kierra and Caressa put stickers on the paper. We laminated the bookmarks, punched a hole in the top and finished them off with a home-made pom-pom. My daughter, Kaleigh, spent the evening last night making the pom-poms while watching the Ghost and Mr. Chicken!
Since this was such an easy and successful project, I'll do the same thing with my daughter's Little Flowers group in December. The topic I'll talk about is knitting, and each girl could make a bookmark and make a pom-pom. Very useful skill later in life, right?