Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let the Adventures Begin

One flight down, one to go Then we are in Washington and a short drive to Grandma's house in Idaho. We got some great pictures from the plane as we were flying over Three Sisters (on the other camera to be posted later). So excited to be on the way and ready to start the fun!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cat in the Pot

I planted a pot of flowers at my parents' house since I thought they would make a great spot of color in the front of the house. I did not, however, make any plans for watering it. Well, the plan was rain, but the eaves on the house kinda divert the water away from the house and the pot. So long, painful (for the flowers) story short...the plants died. I did not anticipate that a pot of dirt would make such an inviting cat bed!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Harry Potter in Pieces

My nephew's birthday is speeding toward me and I am making a Harry Potter doll and broomstick. Right now he looks a little bit odd and unfinished. Never fear, I will not traumatize my nephew by giving him a Harry Potter doll in pieces (that would just be wrong!), but it is also competing with all the other October birthdays. So, here it is so far!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Breakfast at the Lake

It doesn't get much better than this!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Weekend at the Beach

As usual, time has been flying by and it was Thursday, September 1st before we realized that Labor Day--and a three-day weekend--was here. After some last minute planning about how productive my weekend at home was going to be, I got an invitation Friday morning to leave for the beach that evening after work. I was sold! (Pack at lunch? No problem.)
As so, as the rest of Fresno was sweltering in the heat, I was blissfully (somewhat smugly) enjoying the cool beach air in my sweatshirt. On Saturday we went to a fun craft fair in the park. There were so many different artists, from jewelry makers to painters, photographers, woodworkers, and more. Tyler got a wooden airplane, which he loves. He did notice that there really should have been a third wheel at the back of the plane and found a creative solution to try out.
A trip to the fabric store and then into the spa (with cute little tree frogs to keep us company). Doug got homemade BBQ sauce from one of our clients and he marinated the tritip in it for a day or two. It was delicious! Vegetables, garlic bread, fruit and some Fiasco wine through a very cool wine difuser rounded out the meal.
The beach was a little overcast, but that was the perfect escape from the heat of Fresno. The fresh salty, sea air makes your lungs feel a little bit cleaner. :) And of course, no sea trip is complete without looking for shells and burying yourself in the sand!
And of course, after all of that food for dinner, we had absolutely no room for dessert ... so we made it the next day. It was the first time I had eaten BBQ peaches, but I would definitely have them again. First they were drizzed with a sugar/cinnamon mixture and then put on the BBQ and drizzed with more of the mixture. It certainly makes the peaches less healthy, but oh so good. Add a little ice cream and berries and you're set!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Think it Must be Love...

I have started a new project. I have done plenty of sweaters, hats, blankets and more, but, believe it or not, this is my very first shawl. It is a pattern that I have loved for a long time. The Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl is a perfect blend of stockinette (I confess, I love the look of stockinette) and decoration along the edge.

I just needed the perfect yarn to go with it. When I got an incredible early birthday present of Anzula Luxury Fibers Squishy, I knew it was the perfect yarn for this project. I took a little bit of time to get started because I love the anticipation of a new pattern and a new yarn. I don't think I should have waited. Both the yarn and pattern are better than anticipated. I love, love, love the feel of the yarn on my fingers! Maybe it's the super soft merino, maybe it's the added cashmere, but it feels lovely when I'm knitting. I was only supposed to cast on and maybe do a row or two before getting back to cleaning. Yeah, it didn't happen quite like that ;) But I love it so far!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Doctor is In (and Out)

As many of you know, I entered my very first Ravelry swap--the wonderful Doctor Who Swap. Surprisingly enough, my swap partner turned out to be...my sister! (She laughed out loud when she logged on and saw that of all the people who entered from the US and abroad, we were paired up together.) It certainly had its pros and cons. On the plus side, I knew that I was making it for an amazing person. On the down side, we couldn't work on it together and collaborate.

My swap package was amazing and very exciting! I got the best stuff.
The fun notes on the packages were very fun. The cross stitch Tardis was a wonderful surprise and is now decorating my desk.
I love my new Doctor Who project bag. It is currently holding my shrug and still has room for an extra skein and pattern--definitely bigger on the inside. I'm going to need to make some more project bags. Who knew they were so useful?
I got gifts from the ninth Doctor (beautiful Geek Chic "The Ninth Doctor" yarn), the tenth Doctor (Scottish Shortbread), and the eleventh Doctor (Jammie Dodgers!). So cool and a great find. The yarn was one that we found when we had been shopping together before the swap and both loved. Since she picked it up first, it was only fair that she got it. How lucky am I that she got it as a present for me? I have been reminiscing about the butter salt seasoning we used to have when we were growing up. I got some microwave popcorn with--butter seasoning! Yay!

I also got beautiful, handmade stitch markers. The Tardis marker can mark the beginning of the round and the graduated blue crystal markers can mark increases and other parts of the pattern. 

My swap present looked a lot like hers when wrapped.
I would not have done a banana for a swap with anyone else, but since the travel distance was VERY short I felt it would not have any chance to spoil.
We both love tea, and the Doctor shares our love of a good cuppa.
Puppy chow seemed like a delicious and decadent snack.
I thought Doctor Who address labels would be very useful and fun for someone who likes stationary. (No pictures of the address. Go away creepy stalkers!)
We go through a lot of popcorn so it's always nice to have one stashed away for when you get to the bottom of the box too quickly. (And she's very particular about how long the popcorn is allowed to stay in the microwave. I'm not sure if it ever gets to finish out the timer on the popcorn cycle.)
This yarn was ordered and dyed just for her! The "Waters of Mars" color is named after the Doctor Who movie of the same name. Geek Chic, of course. Hey, it's almost like we shop in the same places ;)
And I had to include a stitch marker with the cover of the Waters of Mars movie to go with the other Doctor Who markers.

Undoubtedly, the most time-consuming and frustrating thing to make was the Tardis project bag. Since it is lined, I decorated it before it was sewn together. That involved quite a bit of math to get everything where I wanted it! I would keep saying that it would look better if I added extra embroidery here or there. It was a bit of a love/hate relationship between me and the bag. I hated it as I was struggling with it and saw no end in sight. Now I love it! (I admit that it was a little hard to part with it.)

I thought the timing was a little interesting, but right after finishing the swap I finished reading Brisingr, the third book in the Eragon/Inheritance series. I was amused and appreciative to find a hidden nod to Doctor Who!

"Adrift upon the sea of time, the lonely god wanders from shore to distant shore, upholding the laws of the stars above. ... The trickster, the riddler, the keeper of the balance, he of the many faces who finds life in death and who fears no evil; he who walks through doors." (204, 207)

And for those of you who think this CompLit girl is reading too much into it, the author says this is indeed a Doctor Who reference. Go Doctor Who fans!
On the whole, a very successful first swap. I'll have to do another one!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blogging From Your Phone ...

... the next fun tool?
I love all the advances in technology that bring fun tools/toys. I'll have to play with this one a little bit more!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Anzula Luxury Fibers is Here

Needles and Ewe is excited to welcome Anzula’s beautiful yarn Squishy, a delicious blend of Superwash Merino, Cashmere, and Nylon. The 114g and generous yardage combine with exquisite colors. As a special “Welcome to Needlesandewe.com” we are offering 15% off Squishy through June 20th.

Come explore these and other wonderful colors. If there is a color you are dying to have, let us know and we would be happy to do a special order for you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Welcoming Summer With Snow? I'm So Confused!

For Memorial Day Weekend, we usually trek up to Huntington Lake. The weather this year has been so crazy! We keep checking the weather service website to monitor the snow level and it was still about 5 feet for the weekend. Although the road was not ploughed all the way to the lake, we decided to make our first trip of the season up to the Big Creek General Store.  We drove through a bit of snow falling in Shaver on the way to Big Creek.
The water is crazy high right now, and the snow hasn't even melted yet. This is the "tiny" steam that usually runs right outside of Big Creek. It comes in from one side ...

...and goes out the other side of the road.
The food was just as delicious as ever (Thank you, Milan and Regan!) and the service was just as friendly and excellent as it always is. I would highly recommend a trip to the Big Creek General Store, even if that IS your destination. I loved the tritip sandwich on garlic rolls. Soo yummy! And the berry cobbler with homemade ice cream was the perfect finishing touch.
I was able to finish another Koolhaas before the trip. As I suspected would happen, I ran out of yarn just before the end. I ripped back to before the decreases and added ribbing. Voila! My first cowl/headwarmer!
After lunch we drove up a little more to the snow park. We don't have a toboggan, but a sit-upon in a trash bag was good enough for us. We had to do a little maintenance to the run to be able to slide down more easily, but I was very grateful that other people had been there before us to do most of the heavy work! Since it was lightly snowing, we were the only ones there. (There were two cars leaving as we drove in and a car driving in as we drove out, but all in all very light traffic.)

Kaelie was disappointed she could not slide down with us. But she did take one for the team and gladly became the target for all our snowballs. What a trooper! (And she really did look quite proud of herself for catching so many!)
I was pleased with how warm my snow pants kept me. Tyler, however, does not like to bundle up. We did get him to put a jacket and gloves on, but the sweat pants did not stay dry for very long. It ended up being the perfect length of time since he was ready to go when he got cold and we did not have to break his heart by dragging him away.
A little bit of hot coffee and tea in the car, a change of clothes, a much appreciated heater and blankets, and we were off back home. Not how I expected to welcome summer and spend Memorial Day weekend, but very fun!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wickedly Amazing

I must admit that I have a secret bias in favor of Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera. Other musicals are always enjoyable, but somehow they are not as memorable. So a year ago when we bought tickets to Wicked, I expected to like the music and the story, but mostly the company and the fun of going out as a group. But I must admit that I was amazed by how much I loved the show!

A little bit of dressing up and fun and conversation.

A little bit of knitting (of course).

Great set design. The set design behind the curtain is even better!

And GREAT music that you can listen to again and again! I would definitely go again! (You should go, too!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Madness! It’s a yarn and fabric sale!

Needles and Ewe

Come to Needlesandewe.com to explore our sales. All yarn and fabric is on sale. Save up to 30% on your favorite brands, including Noro, Louisa Harding, Ella Rae, Malabrigo, Benartex, and more!

Don’t let these March bargains get away. 
Sale ends 3/23/11. Buy now before someone gets your favorites!