Monday, December 24, 2007

And the Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney With Care

Our stockings are waiting and ready! The kids take such joy each year hanging their stocking over the fireplace. Each stocking is hand-made, except for the third one in: Corey's. I did make him a lovely quilted stocking for his first Christmas, twenty-three years ago, but he's lost it somewhere in his "collectibles". Hopefully it'll be recovered one day. Kyle's stocking was a sewn panel. Nothing hard, mind you, but as a new sewer at the time, I thought it was cute.
As the years have marched on, so have my skills as you will see in the photos. Corey and Kyle's were very simple, Casey's wasn't made by me, Kaleigh's, Cassidy's, Kierra's, and Caressa's were all cross-stitched. Each stocking is very special to me, and it is my hope that one day, when they leave the nest, they will take along their stocking and yearly ornaments with them to adorn their own home. The only thing that worries me is that my husband's and my home and tree will be quite sparse! Ah, well, as long as the kids have theirs is all that really matters...

Casey's stocking was stitched by my sister-in-law. It's made of felt and a bit of stuffing. It's quite cute and surprisingly has held up through the years. It's a little delicate, but we take special care of it.
Kaleigh's stocking is sewn and cross-stitched by me. Simple but cute.

Cassidy's stocking is rather simple. Just a cross-stitch, ready made stocking with a few beads. Cute though, don't you think? I can remember that year, I made each of the kids an ornament the same as the reindeer stocking. It got a little old after the first few...

Here are Kierra and Caressa's stockings. As time has gone on, my skills have grown. Both of these stockings are Shepherd's Bush patterns and charms. I love their patterns and have made many ornaments and wall-hangings from them. They have a distinct style, and they're one of my favorite cross-stitch design teams.

This is one of my favorite stockings.

Close-up of the details - charms buttons, and ribbons...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Cupcake Hat

Another cupcake hat done! This one is for my daughter, Kierra. I had a hard time taking it away from her to take this picture. I don't know why it looks a little "off" in the photo, but rest assured it came out straight and "perfect"! For the icing, I used Lion Brand Jiffy Quick and Easy Mohair Look Yarn in Coral Gables. The little flecks of color in the yarn remind me of 'shots' or 'sprinkles' or 'jimmies', depending on whether you're from Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island, respectively. Well, whatever you call them, this hat looks good enough to eat!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WWCS I Received

Here is a shot of the wonderful swap I received from Robyn, of She put together such a scrumptious package for me! She knew my love for coffee and chocolate, and included both! My package consists of Mill Mountain Rowdy Rudloph Decaf coffee, Arabica Decaf from Asheville Coffee, Gourmet Hot Cocoa, Double Chocolate (mmmm), Coffee Lover's Chocolate milk chocolate drops (mmmm, again!), and two chocolate coated spoons (I can't wait to try that tonight), all to go into an adorable midnight blue mug with a cute snowman on it!
I also got bare Knitpicks yarn with Kool-Aid for a fun dying project to do with my kids, a bottle of Eucalan, a Yankee candle (my very favorite, which I can assure you will be burning tonight while I sip my coffee with chocolate spoon in my new cup) in Holiday Spruce, a delightful bar of soap in Citrus Basil, two adorable snowman/lady ornaments, a couple snowfake ornaments, and a Christmas stamp with green-ink pad, that my kids are just driving me crazy to use.
Robyn put a a lot of thought into my package and I just love it. Thank you, Robyn!

Here is as blurry close-up of the ornaments. Can you see the knitting snow-lady? That's me! And the jolly snowman? That's my hubby, Gary!

WWCS - Packages Sent, Packages Received

A blurry close-up of the stitch markers I sent my pal.

Here is the whole package I sent to my partner, Carrie, from I gave her a basket filled with Baronet coffee, a local coffee roaster, two deep green yarns (can't remember the name) from WEBS, with a pattern for a hat to go with it, a sheep key chain, a knitting-themed notepad, a couple coffee mug stitch markers, Santa tin, a home-made zippered pouch with some Eucalan packets, and a hand-knit Christmas stocking ornament. I had great fun putting the swap together.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Healthy Breakfast

Today is the beginning of my Healthy Eating Adventure. I have fallen off the healthy eating wagon and am mad at myself. I began today with a breakfast of one crushed Wheatabix with a drop of milk to soften, flax, yogurt, blueberries and a few almonds. I had a cup of tea and a large glass of water to wash it all down. It was good and filling. Now I'm off to the treadmill for 40 minutes and will do an additional 20 this evening if time permits. I need to remember to behave myself for lunch and afternoon snack... my hardest times of the day.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Need How to Blog Help!

Some of you have left comments for me. What a joy! I would love to respond, especially after viewing your profiles, but I have no idea how to do that. If someone would be so kind as to fill me in, please help me. Leave a comment wherever, and hopefully I'll find it!
For the time being, let me say that what most people ask is how do I find the time to craft and homeschool seven kids. Well, first, two of my kids are in college, so they're done! I can safely say, they were my "test" kids, and I guess I did O.K! So really, I'm actively homeschooling three: a 10th grader, an 8th grader and a 2nd grader. I am not yet homeschooling my four year old and two year old. No, those two just keep me hopping while I'm trying to homeschool the others!
As far as crafting goes... well, I sneak in "mindless" knitting while I sit with my second grader as she does math, phonics and reading. I do the real thinking knitting, like the Icelandic Lace Shawl from 10:00-midnight! That's the only time my house is somewhat quiet and I'm still semi-concious! I sit in bed and knit with my Ott light listening to the sweet sounds of my husband snoring. Well, maybe not sweet, but hey, I'm being kind here. And for sewing, well, that's kind of hit and miss. Should I be folding laundry or cleaning? You betcha! But hey, if everyone wants a happy Mommy, they gotta let me have a little fun dabbling in my own thing! So they let me craft, drink coffee and eat chocolate... not such a bad trade-off, right?

A Cupcake Hat and Tiny Christmas Stocking

Pink seems to be my favorite color lately! I knit the pink and white tiny Christmas stocking for my neighbor who's been fighting breast cancer for the past year. I got the pattern free from
The cupcake was gobs of fun and my 2 year old daughter just loves it. She walked around the whole day wearing it, and in the middle of the night upon waking, made my husband go look for it because it wasn't on her head! Yes, you guessed it, he looked for it, found it, and put it on her head! I have two more in the making as my 4 year old daughter wants one and my friend would like one for her grand-daughter for Christmas. I hope I get them done in time! The cupcake pattern can be found for free at

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Happy St. Nicholas Day! Today we celebrate St. Nicholas' birthday with shoes set out at the fireplace last night and filled with goodies this morning. I wanted to take pictures of the hearth, but my children beat me to it! They are filled with glee and anticipation as the Christmas season nears. We have many advent activities to prepare for the Coming, one being our advent wreath. Let the season of advent fill your hearts and soul with love as we await the joy of the coming of our Lord.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Icelandic Lace Shawl

I have a new project on the needle: an Icelandic Lace Shawl. I got the kit from Sarah's Yarns, at for a mere $25.00 and the pattern free online from The finished shawl is beautiful. I know I can do the pattern, but the problem here is the time and peace and quiet needed to actually think and knit. I did the cast on last night, 339 stitches in a crochet Chain Cast On: Provisional Cast On. I got the directions for that at I just love the internet!
Anyway, I got two rows completed, and had to go to bed :( I hope to do a few more rows today. I think this will be one of the those pieces that will be slow but worth it. I don't know how much time I'll have to work on it as the little ones inturrupt my thinking so I'll need to do that when they're asleep... which is usually when I'm asleep... ;) so we'll see how it goes.

Cupcake Hat
I'm also working on a cupcake hat for my two year old daughter, Caressa. She was born 8 weeks early, and since she was a teeny-tiny baby, I've made her the most adorable hats. I did the same with my other daughters, but not quite as much. I figure I need to get the most mileage out of these cutesy hats as I can, because once they realize what's on their head, they won't wear them anymore!

This one will be a quick knit. I'm using Vanna's Choice yarn, which for an acrylic yarn is pretty nice and just perfect for a child's hat. I got the pattern free here: