Thursday, November 29, 2007

Knitting as promised!

I finally took pictures of "most" (not all yet) of FINISHED OBJECTS - yippee!

The first (by age) is the Sunburst Sling Purse that Bree selected. While visiting my parents in August, we stopped in a very nice yarn shop in Paducah, KY called With Ewe in Mind. (Very nice shop and the owner was great too!)

Bree wanted a RAINBOW purse and she got a RAINBOW purse from picking out Lorna's Lace Chunky Swirl yarn. The purse was knit to pattern -

Then we have a pair of the Peekaboo Mittens (free pattern here: ) These are made from Cascade 220 Quatro in Pink and I used size 7 needles and followed the cast on of "40" and followed that pattern size (using the larger needle). These are a Christmas gift for a friend of Bree's.

I also finished my MOST FAVORITE sock pattern in the world (ok, so at least so far as I've knit) - I LOVE these.... The girls had fun chuckling at me because I kept saying that the entire time I was knitting them and they didn't believe me. BELIEVE ME! I LOVE these socks (did I say that already?) They are made with scrumptious Koigu in rich green jewel tones (I guess that's a good description) and they are soft and fit nicely and I LOVE them...

Also, shown (barely) is the CHERRY wood sock blocker my Dad made me - He has oak, birch and cherry in his woods and I told him I wanted one, so he cut down the cherry tree (makes us giggle as this reminds me of the George Washington ditty about cutting down the cherry tree) and made one up - I showed them around and people have ORDERED them - so, like an Elf - he's busy in his woodshop making some more up! Go DAD!

I followed the pattern and used size 1 needles.

At the end of October and first week in November, I took at class at Peggy's Strands of Heaven in Plainfield, IL ( ) for this beaded ornament class - Now, I'm hooked. I've completed 4 and am working on the 5th (Great Teacher gifts) - Here are pictures of two of the 4 - (I told you in the beginning I have more pictures to take). They are knit with Plymouth Gold Rush and size 6 seed beads on a size 4 - 40" needle using the Magic Loop lesson (which we learned during the class and isn't nearly as daunting as I thought it was) - These are FUN to do. You knit them, slide them over a glass ornie then "close" them up! Fun, Fun, Fun - Bree loves to pick the colors and beads, too!

So, I'll be taking more pictures of the other finished objects and am knitting my fingers to the bone working on additional Christmas gifts.. So, off the puter I go to knit (ok, to get Bree ready for school THEN knit)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What we did on our Thanksgiving Vacation....

Does it remind you of your first day at school when you had to write what you did over your summer vacation?

Well, since we had our Thanksgiving dinner 2 weeks previous when my Mom and Dad were in town, with Turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings, there was no cooking that HAD to be done on Thanksgiving - leaving the time to do all sorts of other things.

So, Bree and I baked some cookies. We took down the Thanksgiving decorations (scarecrows, pumpkins, etc..) On Friday, while I worked at my Friend's Yarn Store (, Bill and Bree worked on setting up the Christmas Tree. (It's a 10 foot tree!) We finished putting ornies on Sat morning, then went to a craft sale, then started the village. In between all of the above, we worked on the rest of the inside of the house. Well, here are the results of our efforts - I took these pictures at night - hoping the lights would show up:

The window shelf over the kitchen sink - the center is a "miniature" tree with all the Hallmark mini ornaments that my Mom has collected for Bree and I over the years - it's so cute. To the left of the tree is a "fiber optic" village and the colors change - it's pretty mesmerizing to watch:

Above the cabinets. When we were house/builder shopping, I saw in a model home, where instead of a soffit above their kitchen cabinets they left it open and had electricity run up there with a light switch in the kitchen in order to put village houses up there.. Thus our area above the cabinets. The evergreens in the background are the limbs from the Christmas tree we don't use.. Works perfect!

I will never own a house again without a fireplace... I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our fireplace, love fires! We will use it from October thru May! My Dad cuts down the wood (oak, birch and cherry) for us from his woods and splits it up and when it burns it smells SO good - So, have to decorate it nice too!

And then the "biggie" - we have 26 Village houses and are to the point where you just can't fit them all under the tree (thus the ones above my cabinets, and now we even have them under the "small" tree in the front of the house - including the train!). So this is the MAIN town... but the others are the "unicorporated" area - haha

And this is the security company we hired to protect our village... (some help they are - infact the "bigger-but younger" one in the picture decided it was "deer" season and has chosen a ceramic deer to destroy.. She's in the dog house these days!

I just realized I need to take photos of the front living room and foyer of the house for the rest of the decorations... Well,I guess I will do that today!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The "Beer Bottle - Puzzle" Song...

Everyone sing along...

1000 pieces of puzzle on the table,
1000 pieces of puzzle,
Pick one up, find where it goes
999 pieces of puzzle on the table....

--Now don't hate me because you that song stuck in your head...

Here's what it looks like with all 1000 pieces finished....

I love doing puzzles. I got on a kick recently (started on Halloween) and I was in Hobby Lobby one day and they had them on sale - so, I bought a cute Lab Puppy one that was 500 pieces. Well, that took me like 2 days to finish. So, I bought another 550 of an old fashioned looking Santa and that took maybe a week.

So, I figured this is going to cost a fortune so, I upped them to the 1000 piece one with "like" colors so it will slow me down.. It did some - but, this one is now done and I just broke open a new one last night.

There's just something about totally focusing and blocking out everything else that is relaxing to me. Kind of like my knitting. Speaking of knitting, I have a bunch of stuff to put up - but, of course, I have to take pics first and download them and edit them... So, I promise to have a knitting post this week!

In the meantime, I'm off to focus and relax and find one piece that fits...

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Junior Photographer...

This past year, I purchased a new digital camera and Bree begged for my old one. Well, after I figured out how to use the new one (well, almost), I gave her the old one and she takes a TON of pictures!

She took some of Marigold (who went to her new home this week - see my friend's Sarah's blog - link over on the right) and I wanted to see them, so I downloaded her memory card.

I hadn't realized there were some on the card from our trip to the American Quarter Horse Congress in Ohio back in October..

So, I'm just going to do a "photo" collage of some of the neat photos she's taken! I think she should learn more about photography as with her "artistic" ability, she has a great EYE!

Here's some of the photos I just think are awesome...

Our dogs...

Miss Marigold:

Her other pet... (she gets her "sick" sense of humor from her Dad - just ask Paige)

These are of Stacy Westfall riding BAREBACK and BRIDLESS doing a complete reining routine WHILE speaking (via microphone) to the crowd.. Phenom...

Then she brings in a youngster (3 year old) and has trained this horse to perform the same reining routine in sync with her on the other horse - only using the little tap stick you see to cue the horse - (think sychronized swimming). It was truly a "treat" to see - and again, she continued to talk her way thru it to the crowd - amazing!

Then, Bree took these great photos of the girl who won the freestyle reining (which is costumes, free flow pattern and set to music) - think choregraphed horse dancing.. This girl rode to Phantom of the Opera (notice the horse's costume) and she rode the horse thru the entire pattern with a tie-halter on.. She was wonderful and Bree thinks doing a phantom of the opera costume for the 4H Fair next year would be cool!

All these photos were taken with my 4 or 5 year old little sony digital camera - I think she should use the good camera and I'll go back to the "old" one - she obviously has fun and can take super photos!

Basketball season continues...

It's amazing as the girls have played 3 games now and how much Bree has improved (read more aggressive) in her play.

I think Bill got her motivated (well, I KNOW, Bill got her motivated) as he instituted a "reward" system.

Starting with the 2nd game of the season (which they lost by ONE point in the last minute of the game - after losing a 7 point lead) - he told her for every rebound or steal she got, he would give her $1 that she could spend anyway she liked.

I think she was trying hard as my Mom and Dad were in town from Tennessee and she was certainly trying to play well for her audience. She earned $5!!! She played much better! I love this "evil" eye look while defending her player..

Their third game (I forgot my camera as the game was at 8am on a Saturday morning and I hadn't had enough coffee yet) - She played PHENOMENAL!!!!! She made her FIRST basket! (had a HUGE grin on her face after that) - Had several rebounds, several steals and even slapped the ball away several times - So, Bill added knock aways for $.50 - She ended up with $10 for the day - (which she promptly spent on another webkinz) - LOL!

There was a particular play that both Bill and I were so proud at how TOUGH she is. There was a play where she stole the ball and was going on a fast break down the court - one of the other team's players in order to stop her - basically ran her over - she took a hard tumble. Now this week, they were playing at a school with one of those carpeted gym floors (how absolutely stupid, it is).. Anyway, she got up and continued on with the play for that quarter. The quarter buzzer sounded she went and sat down and grabbed her knee - now NONE OF US noticed it when she fell - but she totally and I mean, totally, tore up her entire knee - cross between a blister and a rug burn along with a goose egg knot - they called me over from the stands to help Dr her up and I was in AWE that she got up and kept playing and waited until there was a timeout to "hurt" -

Bill and I gave her an extra dollar for being tough!!! She was pretty dang sore for this entire past week and the swelling has gone down, but YEOUCH... The big old burn, scab looks nasty (even to me!)

They did win their game! Which was awesome!! So now, North Carolina Tar Heels are 2 and 1! Go TEAM! They play this Saturday at 10am - more to come - and since it is not so early, I'm guessing I'll have my camera along!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

She can't be 10 - that makes ME old...

Bree turned 10 on October 30 - OY.. She just simply CANNOT be this old, because then this means I'm older.. Nope, not double digits - why is it that when she was "single" digits she seemed SO much younger?

She had a great kids birthday party at a local shop called "Paint it Yours" where all the kids were given a "blank" T-Shirt and they got to decorate with fabric paint, stencils, "bling" - just for Paige - and all sorts of goodies - they were ALL so creative - it was amazing to see how different everyone's shirts looked!

They had cake and Bree opened her presents - she got FOUR (yes, FOUR, more Webkinz which put her up to 21!!!) - I told Bill, we missed the boat on buying stock on this company!!!

Here are some photos of the group - and also, as a gift to the birthday girl - the store takes a picture of the "group" and scans it onto a separate shirt and then all sign it and decorate it - it was so much fun.

Bree being excited about basketball was creating her very own North Carolina basketball shirt!

The group shirt being decorated:

And the group:

What a great bunch of friends!!!

The next Michael Jordan??? Just having fun!

This year, Bree has decided to play basketball thru our local athletic organization (kind of like a park district league). What makes it really fun is that her team is girls she hangs out with and from our subdivision.

She has always liked to "shoot hoops" with Bill and we've been encouraging her to "do" one thing outside of the horses to stay 'balanced' and so basketball was her choice.

The Coaches and Families are great and the Dad's have fun at the practices (The Coaches rope the Dad's in liking making deals with the girls that if they hit "their" shot then ALL the Dad's have to run a lap in the gym...) hahahah - It's amazing how GOOD the girls get with their shooting with a little motivation - Last week the Dad's ran 4 laps (there are 9 girls on the team). The teams are named after colleges and her team is North Carolina and is all 4th Graders.

They've played 2 games (Saturday mornings) and are 1 and 1 - the loss was a HEARTBREAKER!!! They lost by ONE point in the last 30 seconds...

They play 4 - 8 minute quarters!

Here are a few pictures of Bree and her team from the first game:

Bree is the second girl in line closest to you